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pidly advances vegetation, perfects the bud and forms the blossom of the vine into a swelling grape. But when the hope of the husbandman is thus raised to a plentiful vintage, it is suddenly blasted, before the grapes are fully ripe ; the shoots of the vine cut off with pruning hooks; the branches hewed down and scattered on the ground, become a prey to the rapacious birds of the mountains, and to the wild beasts of the earth'. The last verse is a chronological note added to the prophecy, to shew the time of its completion. It shall be ful“ filled in chat time,” when the people descri. bed, ver. 2. against whom the expedition was contrived, “ shall be brought as a present unto
the Lord of hofts—to the place of the name « of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion;" that is, when the Jews shall be restored to their own land, for fo the phrase is used, Isa. lxvi. 20. Now, we have seen that the battle of Armaged. don and the restoration of the Jews exactly coincide. The spirit of prophecy having unfolded the crime of Egypt proceeds to shew the punishment of it. It is therefore entitled the Burden of Egypt. In order to illustrate it, he
(1) You will find this circumstance of making the forces collected at Armageddon a prey to rapacious birds, clearly alerted, Rev. xix. 17, 18.
gives a history of Egypt for some time before, probably from the fall of the Turkish empire; as, that there shall be great divisions among the Egyptians, Isa. xix. 2.—That they shall be much under the influence of superstition, ver. 3. That God will deliver them over to the domi. nion of “ a cruel lord ;' meaning Antichrift, or the blasphemous king, then resident in Judea, ver. 4.-That he shall seize on all the fources of their wealth, as the produce of their foil, of their manufactories, of their river and fish ponds, ver. 5.-10.; which corresponds exactly with the representation of Daniel xi. 4.3. “ He shall have power over the treasures of “ gold and of filver, and over all the precious “ things of Egypt.” God charges the counfellors of Egypt with folly, and the people of it with cowardice, in fubmitting tamely to such delusion and oppreffion ; Isa. xix. 11.-16. Then follows an account of the punishment he had in view, and the consequences of it.
He represents it in general, as a divine interposition, ver. 16. then adds the manner of it. " And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto “ Egypt, every one that maketh mention there“ of, shall be afraid in himself; because of the " counsel of the Lord of hosts, which he hath “ determined against it ;" ver. 17. Tidings of the fall of the beast and his adherents in Judea, , fill his party in Egypt with terror ; nor is that terror groundlefs, for the vidorious Jewish army enters Egypt, to execute the counsel of . God concerning that kingdom. • In that “ day, shall five cities in the land of Egypt, « speak the language of Canaan, and swear to " the Lord of hosts ;-one shall be called the city
of deftruction,” ver. 18. At that time, five parts out of fix' of the land of Egypt, shall embrace the true religion, carried there by the Jews, and shall devote themselves to the service of JEHOVAH. The remaining fixth part, adher. ing to the Antichristian tyranny, and supersti. tion of their late "cruel lord,” fhall be utter
(1) The interpretation given above is suggested by Calvin, on Isaiah. I adopt it as being most consistent with the rest of the paffage : when it is said that " there “ shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of Egypt, ” and a pillar at the border thereof :" That “the Lord « shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians « shall know the Lord :” That “ the Egyptians shall " serve with the Assyrians,” and “ be a third with Israel " and Assyria.” These expressions imply, that the great body of the nation embraces the true religion : Now, five parts out of fix constitute the bulk of the nation ; but five cities of all Egypt, make a very small part of the nation; which by no means agrees with the rest of the representation,
ly destroyed. To the clofe of the chapter, there is an account of Egypt as making a part of the Millennial church. The countries of Edom, Moab and Ammon, are not only conquered but pofsefsed by the Jews, as we have seen ; which representation agrees with the extent of their border from the coasts of the Mediterranean to the banks of the Euphrates. But the countries of Assyria and Egypt, though conquered, are not possessed by them, as appears from ver. 20. 24, 25. which represent them as two diftinct nations, holding church-communion with each other, and with the people of Israel. . !
When peace is established, the Jewish church fhall sing that hymn, Ifa. xiv. 3.-27. and chap. xxv. ver. 1.-5.
In the progress of events, we have seen the nations over which the blasphemous king has a spiritual jurisdiction ; the nations who support
(1) Some read, “ the city of the sun,” by changing hc into heth, and suppose that Heliopolis is intended. But Lowth, who adopts that reading, seems to suspect, that the text might have met with unfair management from Omar or his party, in order to accommodate it to his views, and procure respect to his schismatial temple. But on the supposition that the reading contended for were more clearly established than it can be, it would only involve the passage in obfcurity ; whereas, the interpretation given above is clear, and consistent with the scope of the whole passage.
him in his laft extremity; the nations involved in his fall at Armageddon; the nations conquered by the Jews, after Armageddon; and these are nearly the same. The concurrence of these four several representations serve to prove, that the progress marked is not the contrivance of fancy, but the investigation of the truth.
Restoration of the dispersed Jews.
A fourth event foretold, which shall proba. bly be accomplished at this period, is the restoration of those Jews, who had not an opportunity to join their brethren, in the wilderness of Alsyria. The Christian powers in the several countries where they reside, shall give their aid cheerfully and liberally, to convey them to the land of promise, then poffefsed by their brethren, in consequence of the victory at Armageddon.' This is repeatedly asserted in the prophecy of Isaiah. “ Thus faith the Lord • God, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the “ Gentiles, and set up my standard to the peo“ ple: and they shall bring thy fons in their “ arms, and thy daughters shall be carried up“ on their shoulders;" chap. xlix. 22. “ Who “ are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves