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is to invade Palestine and to besiege Jerusalem. This confederacy, when we consider the era to which it is assigned, can only be the same as that of Daniel's wilful king : in other words, it is the confederacy predicted by St. John, of which Antichrist, then become the last head of the Roman beast, is destined to be the leader. To the armies
then of Antichrist, God declares, that he will make s Jerusalem a cup of trembling and a stone of
burden; and that he will smite every horse with astonishment and blindness, and his rider with madness. Afterwards however we learn, that, notwithstanding the final preservation and victory of Judah, Antichrist with his congregated nations shall first succeed in making himself master of Jerusalem; where he will conduct himself with his wonted cruelty and profligacy. Half of the inhabitants he will upon this occasion make his cap. tives, but the rest of them shall not be cut off from the city. And now, while elate with victory and breathing vengeance against his remaining enemies he is leading his host to the valley of Megiddo,
“ nounce all their former offensive practices, and carefully ab. “ stain from a future repetition of them” (Dr. Blayney in loc.). Dr. Blayney thinks it probable, that the combination against Judah, here predicted, is the same as that of Gog and Magog, foretold by Ezekiel. I differ from him for the reasous which I have already abundantly assigned when treating of that remarkable prophecy. It clearly appears to me, that the subject of the present prediction is the overthrow of Antichrist.
suddenly suddenly the glory of the Shechinah will appear in the midst of Jerusalem *, and the Lord himself will go forth to fight against the nations, as when he fighteth in the day of battle. Mount Olivet will own its present God t, and cleave asunder beneath him. An earthquake will announce the descent of the triumphant Messiah ; and the king of saints will go forth to war in behalf of his ancient people. Then will he suddenly smite with a borrible plague all the peoples that have fought against Jerusalem, and cause them madly to unsheath every man his sword against his neighbour. Judah likewise shall fight against them : for in that day the Lord will make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left.
Nearly about the same time, and most probably immediately before the sacking of Jerusalem and
* Zechar. ii. 5, 8.
t" The glory of the Lord, that is the Shechinah or symbol « of God's presence, when it departed from the city and tems ple, settled itself upon the mount of Olives (Ezek. xi. 23.). les So, when God shall return to Jerusalem, and inake it the * seat of his presence again, it shalt return by the same way " it departed (See Ezek. xliii. 2.). We may add, that, when " our Lord ascended from the mount of Olives, the angels told “ his disciples, he should come again in like manner, that is, in a * visible and glorious appearance at the same place." Mr. Lowth in loc.
the subsequent destruction of the nations, such of the Jews as had been restored by Antichrist, and placed in the capital of Palestine, will be converted to the faith. They will look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn for him as one that inourneth for an only son. This conversion to protestant Christianity, and consequent dereliction of the cause of Antichrist, is in fact the only reason that can be assigned for his turning his arms against his late allies. We may collect from Daniel, that, after he had settled them in Jerusalem, and while he was engaged in the conquest of Egypt, suddenly he hears from the north and from the east (as he would do, supposing him to be then in Egypt) the unpleasant tidings of the landing of the great maritime power with the converted Jews, . and of ihe penitence and defection of those whom he had himself restored in an unconverted state. Enraged at the intelligence, he goes forth menacing utter destruction to all his opponents: and, as Zechariah similarly predicts, he plants the curtains of his tents between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; or, in other words, he besieges and takes Jerusalem *. Then, and not till then, he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Here it must be observed, that Zechariah very remarkably divides the restored of Judah into two
* Compare Dan. xi. 41-45, where the route of Antichrist is very minutely described.
parts; styling the one the tents of Judah, and the other the house of. David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem : and he asserts, that the Lord shall save the tents of Judah first *. Afterwards he proceeds to describe the conversion of the house of David and Jerusalem, as taking place subsequently to their restoration. Judah in tents then is placed in contradistinction to Judah in Jerusalem; Judah the first saved by the Lord, to Judah not brought to salvation till afterwards. This exactly accords with the opinion, which I have more than once had accasion to advance: that part of the Jews will be restored, in a converted state, by the great maritime power ; and part, in an unconverted state, by Antichrist. The converted Jews are described as being in tents; because they are attached to the army of the maritime power, and have not yet acquired a permanent settlement: while the unconverted Jews, whose conversion in their own country Zechariah foretells in the present prophecy, are said to be dwelling in Jerusalem. Here they are besieged by Antichrist; and, as a just punishment for their former impiety, several of them, so far
* “ The meaning here is, that God would save the tents of " Judah first, or previously to any other; and for this the " reason immediately follows, that the house of David and the " inhabitants of Jerusalem might not be tempted to value them“ selves too highly on the preference given to them (supposing " that had been the case) above the rest of Judah.” Dr. Blayney in loc.
a this world is concerned, are suffered to perish, Such a fate precisely agrees with the many predictions, which very explicitly declare, that the Jews shall return in a time of great trouble, and shall be made severely to suffer in the course of their restoration *. In short, these two divisions of Judah are clearly those two divisions of the flock, which Ezekiel calls the sheep and the goats t. .
* Jerem. xxx.1-17. Ezek. xx. 33–38.
+ See Ezekiel xxxiv.' In the first edition of my Dissertation on the 1260 years, I was right in asserting, that this passage plainly taught us to expect a tuno-fold restoration of the Jews ; but at that time I had by no means a clear conception of the precise meaning of it. Hence I mistook the import of the expression “ the Lord shall save the tents of Judah first;" sup. posing it to denote, that the division called Judah should be restored previous to the restoration of the other division called the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem : but, how the one was to be distinguished from the other, I could not then conceive; being aware from their description, that both the divisions must be composed of Jews properly so called. I readily acknowledge, that, when that work was first published, I did not entertain the slightest suspicion that the house of Israel would ever be, restored separately from the house of Judah, and that afterwards the two would coalesce into one kingdom. Taking up he common notion, that the ten tribes are irrecurerably lost excepting such individuals as returned from Babylon with Judah, I had a confused idea, that all those prophecies, which speak of tle restoration both of Judah and Ephrain, meant that of Ephraim only as included in that of Judah. A more exact, laborious, and connected, view of the subject has now led me to adopt a very different opinion. Not that the present passage of Zechariah relates to the top-fuld restoration of Judah und VOL. II.