« הקודםהמשך »
her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof: and out of them shall proceed thanksgiving, and the voice of them that make nierry; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; and I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children allo fhall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punih all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their govenor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to dra' near, and he shall approach unto me ; for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? Saith the Lord. And ye ihall be my peopic, and I will be your God.”
What is here recorded has such an agreement with the other prophecy, that every observer may see that it refers to the fame glorious event.
1. We are told th:t the day will come when the Lord will return the captivity of Judah and Israel, and that they shall return to the Land which he gave their fathers, and that they shall poffefs it. verse 3. What can be more clearly expressed?
2. It is said that the yoke of oppressors shall be brok. en from off their neck, and that they shall no more serve strangers, but they shall serve the LORD and David their king, verse 8, gi
3. Though God has often made a full end of other na. tions ; yet he declares he will not make a full end of the Jews; but will correct them in measure, verse it. This is wonderful, that while many nations are lost and no one can tell where they are, the Jews remain a distinct people to this day, and they are now a standing, daily proof of the prophecies concerning other nations as well as of themselves.
4. It is faid that the city (Jerusalem)shall be built upon her own heap, this has never been done, but will be hereafter, verse 18.
5. It is said that their children shall be as they once were in the city, and that instead of having govenors from among thic Gentiles, as has been the case for almost twe thousand years, their governors shall proceed from the midst of them, verse 21. .
6. To close the whole, it is said that the Lord shall be their God, and they shall be his people. O how happy will they then be !
Another account of the return of the Jews to their own land is recorded in Jeremiah xxxi. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. “At the same time faith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, О virgin of Israel ; thou shalt a. gain be adorned with thy tabrets, and shait go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria ; the plant. ers shall plant, and shall eat them as common thingsBehold, I will bring them from the north country, and. gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child, and her that travaileth with child together; a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them; I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a strait way, wherein they shall not stumble ; for I am a father to Ifrael, and Ephraim is my first born.
Hear the word of the LORD, Oye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off ; and say, he that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock; for th. Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ranfomed him from the hand of bime that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and fing in the height of Zi. on, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock, and of the herd; and their foul shall be as a watered garden ; and they shall not forrow any more at all. Then thall the virgin rejoice in the dances both young men and old together; for I will turn their mourn. ing into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
Thus faith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, a's yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah, and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity ; the Lord bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness. And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with fucks.-And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict ; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, faith the Lord.
Behold, the days come, faith the LORD, that the city fhall be built to the Lord, from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner; and the measuring-line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horsegate towards the east, shall be holy unto the LORD ; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever."
This prophecy is so plain that we need only to urderstand it, and see that it refers to a state which the Jews never were in ; but shall surely, be in before the end of the world.
I will mention one more prophecy from this prophet, which speaks of the Jews being gathered out of all countries to dwell fafely, without ever being carried out of their land again forever. Jeremiah xxxii. 37, 38, 39, 40, « Behold I will gather them out of all countries whetha er I liave driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath ; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely ; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their chil. dren after them; and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” This prophecy needs no comment; it speaks in plain words of the cern tain return of the Jews, that long rejected people.
I shall now give a few quotations from Ezekiel upon this subject.
It is laid, Ezekiel xi. 17, " Therefore, thus faith the Lord God, I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the LAND of Israel.” In this verse it is particularly mentioned, that when the Jews are gathered out of the countries where they have been scattered, that he will give them the land of Israel, and in verses 18, 19, it is said, that they shall have one heart and a new spirit, and that the Lord will be their God, and they shall be his people; this has never been done, but certainly will be.
Another account of the Jews return is recorded in Ezek. xx. 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, “For in mine holy moun. tain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, faith the LORD God, there shall all the house of Ifrael, all of them in the land, serve me ; there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet favour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered, and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen ; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defled ; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own fight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall. know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's fake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, ye house of Israel, faith the LORD."
In the 36th chapter of Ezekiel, the return of the Jews is described more particular than in any prophecy which has been quoted; he says that the mountains which are barren shall shoot forth, and be tilled, and that men shall be multiplied upon them, and houses built with the cities, and that they shall be settled according to their old ef.
tates, (when their land was divided by Joshua,) and that the LORD would do better with them than at the beginning when they first dwelt in the land of Capaan. Verses, & 9, 10, 11, 12, “ But ye, o mountains of Israel, ye shall Thoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel ; for they are aţ hand to come ; for, bé. hold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and fown; and I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and their cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded. And I will multiply upon you men and beast, and they shall increase and bring fruit ; and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your be. ginnings, and ye shall know that I am the LORD ; yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Ifrael, and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more bereave them of men."
The forepart of this chapter is a prophecy concerning the fruitfulness of the mountains in the land of Canaan, when the Jews return; the mountains are now barren and in a great measure distitute of men and cattle; but the prophet was commanded to prophecy to the moun tains of Israel, and to say that, they shall hereafter be fruitful. The prophecy extends to the hills, vallies, riv. ers, &c. verse 6, “ Prophecy, therefore, concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, and to the rivers, and to the valies, &c. Every per. son may fee by this that the land will be fruitful when the Jews return, unless we undertake to Spiritualize the text, as it is called, that is, explain away the plain meaning of the words of prophecy.
These fame fruitful mountains are mentioned in chap.. 34, where it is said that the Ifraelites shall feed upon the mountains of Israel when they return, and that they shall be so free from the fear of evil beasts, that they shall feep in the woods. * See Ezekiel xxxiv. 13, 25, * And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Ifrael, by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.