« AnteriorContinuar »
The overthrow of Antichrist, as I have repeatedly had occasion to observe, will take place in Palestine, or the region between the seas : and St. John even tells us the particular part of that country, where this great event will happen; informing us, that it is called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon, or the cursing to utter destruction at Megiddon. It is remarkable that Zechariah has an allusion to the same place, which he interweaves with his account of the penitence manifested by the converted Jews. “ Their mourning,” says he, “ shall be “ like the mourning at the vintage-shouting of “ Rimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” He may, I believe, primarily refer to the mourning on account of the overthrow of Josiah, which happened in this valley *: but, from the peculiarity of his phraseology, I am strongly inclined to think, that he ultimately though covertly alludes to the de
Ephraim : in supposing it to relate to a two-fold restoration of Judah only, I was perfectly right; but I erred in fancying it ta relate to a two-fold successive restoration of Judah. I am now convinced, that it predicts a two-fold contemporaneous restoration of Judah, previous to the subsequent restoration of Israel : the one division of Judah, accurately denominated the tents of Judah, will be first brought to salvation, being restored in a converted state by the great maritime power; the other division of Judah, no less accurately denominated the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, will afterwards be brought to salvation, being restored in an unconverted state and for mere political purposes by Antichrist. Scè my Dissertation, vol. i. p. 395, 396 (1st edit.). * 2 Kings xxiii. 29, 30.'
. .. struction struction of Antichrist. Adopting the metaphorical language of Isaiah, language adopted on the same occasion by St. John, he directs our attention to the vintage-shouting of Rimmon, which is a small town in the valley and neighbourhood of Megiddon. Hence we may naturally suppose, that this shouting is the shouting when the vintage of God's wrath is gathered in, and when the Almighty Word treads the wine-press of the mystic Edom and sprinkles his garments with the blood of his enemies. The other Rimmon, which the prophet afterwards mentions in connection with Geba *, is a different town of the same name, which lies south-west of Jerusalem.
The same subject is continued in the 13th chap. ter. When a fountain for sin and for uncleanness is opened to the house of David, and when the inhabitants of Jerusalem have availed themselves of the mediatorial sacrifice of Christ t, then all idolatry and all false prophets shall for ever cease among them. They shall at once enjoy the blessings of true religion and temporal security; for in that day the Lord will smite him, who is both their oppressor and the enemy of his Church. The sword
* Zechar, xiv. 10.
festly here intended, the Jews being upon their conversion " and repentance to be admitted to all the privileges of the Christian covenant.” Dr. Blayney in loc. .
of divine justice shall awake against Antichrist*, against that presumptuous shepherd or ruler, that
* After having examined this passage as carefully as I am able, I rest in the opinion of Dr. Blayney, that it has not the most distant relation to the death and sufferings of Christ. I believe that our Lord cites a part of it merely as a proverbial saying, laying it down as a matter of course, for the followers to disperse when their leader was taken off. The arguments, which Dr. Eveleigh brings to prove that the word nipy denotes the equality and consubstantiulity of the Father and the Son, do not appear to me conclusive. The word itself signifies a neighbour or fellow-citizen, in which sense it frequently occurs in the book of Leviticus. Now, when one man is said to be the neighbour of anather, that they are of the same nature follows indeed of course, but certainly not because they are neighbours but because they are men ; that is to say, the idea of sameness of nature is incidental, it does not spring out of the term ncighbour. So again, the circumstance of two men being neighbours or fellow-citizens does not prove that those two men are equal or upon the same level in society. This being the case, if a person be said for some reason or another to be the neighbour of God, I see not how either consubstantiality or equality is at all necessarily implied. The subject of the present prophecy is the restoration of Judah and the overthrow of a mighty confederacy before Jerusalem. In the course of it we are told, that soine shepherd or prince, some mighty man who made himself the neigbour of God, should be smitten by a sword: that the wrath of the Almighty should be kindled not only against him, but against the little ones or mean ones; or those, as Dr. Blayney justly observes, “ that are usually held of less account, “ the common people:" that, in consequence of this display of the divine vengeance, such as escaped should be scattered : that these scattered ones should compose the third part of the whole,
mighty tyrant; who, after having spoken marvellous things against the God of gods, at length in the last
the two other parts having been cut off: ard that this third part, consisting of the scattered ones, should by the severity of their sufferings be converted to the profession of the truth. In all this there is so much that is applicable to the general drift of the prophecy, and so little that is applicable to the times of our Lord, that I think with Dr. Blayney, “ perhaps the passage « in question might never have been considered differently from * the rest, had not our Saviour thought fit to make use of it “ for the purpose of illustration." • A shepherd denotes a prince. But what remarkable prince is to be smitten at the era of the restoration of Judah, except Antichrist now become the last head of the Roman beast ? God styles him my shepherd, as he styles Nebuchadnezzar my sertant, merely because he is an instrument of vengeance in his hand. And he speaks of him as being mighty, and as making himself his ncighbour, because he attempts as it were to elbow the Almighty out of his own peculiar residence, thé glorious holy mountain of Zion. I take the idea to be something similar to that of Milton:
“ The chief were those, who from the pit of hell
days, even when the judgments of leaven are abroad, dares to make himself the immediate neighbour of the Lord, and sets up a new abomination of desolation in the peculiar city of the Most High, by planting the curtains of his pavilions be tween the seas in the glorious holy mountain * When the shepherd is smitten, such of his flock, as escape the avenging sword of him that rideth on the white horse t, shall be scattered far and wide; and, agreeably to the parallel prophecy of Isaiah , shall carry into all nations the tidings of their overthrow, and of the marvellous manifestation of the power of God. Great however will first be the slaughter of them; for the Lord will
This interpretation exactly harmonizes with the general tenor of the present prediction, and with what we are taught to expect by the other inspired writers at the eventful period of the restoration of Judah. Antichrist will then place himself in the mount of God. But the sword of the Messiah will speedily be drawn against him; and he will come to his end, none being able to help him. His vast armament will be overthrown with dreadful slaughter; and such as escape will be scattered over the whole world, and in the severe school of adversity will at length be brought to a hearty penitence for their past offences.
* " A new section commences here (Chap. xiii. 7.), but not, " I think, a new subjoct of prophecy. For, as far as we " can judge of a prophecy before its accomplishment, it ap" pears to be a continuation of the same subject, which was “ entered upon at the beginning of Chap. xii ; namely, the " alarming invasion of Judah, and siege of Jerusalem, by a nu" merous body of nutions.” Dr. Blayney in loc. + Rev. xix. 11, 15. . Isaiah lxvi. 19, 20.