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collected the spoils, and blessed God for the deliver.
In allusion to this event the vast armies of Antichrist against the Jews are to be collected to the valley of Jehoshaphat, where the Lord will sit to judge the heathen round about. The prophet proceeds. “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come "get ye down; for the press is full;. the fats overflow; “for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multi. Studes in the valley of decision; for the day of the “Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and "the moon shall be darkened; and the stars shall with"draw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of “Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the “heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord shall sobe the hope of his people, and the strength of the "children of Israel. So shall they know that I am the “Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy moun, "tain. Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall "no stranger pass through her any more.” Here is the overthrow of Antichrist in the valley of decision. Here God decides the controversy between the Church and her enemies. From this chapter some part of the representation of the same event in Rev. xiv, is borrowed, The Angel upon the white cloud, with his sharp sickle, reaps the harvest of the earth, which is fully ripe; he gathers the vine of the earth, with ist ripe grapes, and casts it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God, in allusion to this passage in Joel. And the application of the passage there decides, that it is fulfilled in the battle of the great day, which just precedes the Millennium, or the destruction of Antichrist.
In Isa. lxiii, 1-6, is the same event under a similar figure, Jesus Christ appears as a conqueror coming away from the slaughter of Edom, and from Bozrah its capital, gloricus in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength, mighty to save; his garments red with the blood of his enemies, whom he had trampled in his fury in the great wine-press of the wrath of God. The ancient Edomites were noted enemies of Israel. And the names of their nation and
capital are here taken to represent Antichrist in the last time.
In Zech. 12th, 13th, and 14th chapters, we find this expedition and overthrow. of Antichrist in Palestine. Chap. xiv, 1–5; “Behold the day of the Lord com. “eth, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst “of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusa“lem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the "houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the "city shall go forth into captivity, or be taken cap"tives) and the residue of the people shall not be cut “off from the city.* Then shall the Lord go
forth and "fight against those nations, as when he fought in the “day of battle;" i. e. as in the ancient most signal instances of his fighting for his Church against her enemies. "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the "mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the "east; and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the "midst thereof toward the east, and toward the west, "and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the "mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of “it toward the south. And ye shall flee toward the “valley of the mountains.” i. e. So great will be the commotion and terror attendant on the coming of Christ to destroy your enemies, that you his people will be terrified, and set out to flee. "Yea, ye shall "fee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake, in the "days of Uzziah, king of Judah. And the Lord my
* Here is fulfilled the prediction in Ezek. xx, 38, upon the same period and event. And I will purge out from among you the rehels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country, where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and
ye shall know that I am the Lord. Numbers of the Jews, more obstinate and per. verse, shall, after they have returned to Jerusalem, be cut off by Antichrist, and not be suffered to dwell in Jerusalem after the battle of the great day. Multitudes more shall be taken captive. But the speedy destruction of Antichrist will afford them release.
+ The prophet Amos speaks of this earthquake, (chap. i, 1,) informing, that his prophecy was two years after it. Josephus speaks of this earthquake, and informs, that the mount of Olives was by it cleft asunder on the west; and the part, which was broken off, was removed to the distance of half a mile. Orton,
“God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Or, as Pool renders this last sentence; Yet O Lord
God come; and all the saints with thee; as Rev. xxii, 20, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Here is a figurative but terrible representation of the coming of Christ to destroy Antichrist in Palestine, after the latter shall have grasped his prey. Let the manner of this appearance of Christ be what it may, whether supernatural; or only a terrible direction of the motives and passions of men, and of the laws of nature, arming them against the wicked; the scene will be terrible and fatal to the enemies of the Church. Verse 13; And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. A, in the forecited passage, Ezek. xxxviii, 21; Every man's sword shall be against his brother. This was the manner of the destruction of the vast army coinbined against Israel, in the days of Gideon;* and of the vast confederate army that perished in the reign of Jehoshaphat.t To these, and similar instances of signal judgments against the ancient enemies of the Church, allusion is often had, in the predictions of the battle of the great day. I The predictions of these judgments of the Lord upon Antichrist in these three chapters, (the 12th, 13th, and 14th of Zech.) are too long to be here quoted. They inform, (as chap. xii, 9,) that the Lord will destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And predictions of the millennial glory of the Church succeed these scenes of the battle.
In many instances in the writings of the prophets, predictions of the same event are found; and also of the general ruin of the enemies of the Church, in Gospel lands, at the same period.
Zeph. iii, 8,-—"Therefore wait ye upon me, saith “the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for
* Judges vii, 22.
+ 2 Chron. XX, 22, 23, 24. See Isa. xxviii, 21, with 2 Sam. v, 20,- and Josh, x, 12,
s Zech. x, 10, to the end, and xiv, 16, to the end.
“my determination is to gather the nations, that I may "assemble the kingdoms, and pour upon them mine "indignation, even all my fierce anger; and all the earth “shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For “then will I turn to the people a pure language, thať “they may all call upon the name of the Lord, and “serve hiin with one consent. From beyond the riv“ers of Ethiopia my suppliants shall bring mine offer"ing, even the daughter of my dispersed.
The battle which begins at Palestine, will proceed in all its desolation to the open enemies of the Gospel, through the nations. All who have been partakers of Babylon's sins, will now receive of her plagues. God having taken the sword in hand, he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise a second time. * Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them, in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of his jealousy. A speedy riddance will now be made of all who have the mark of the beast, whether they shall have been politically united with him, or not, or wherever they shall be found. "A noise shall come from the ends of “the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the “nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them "that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus “saith the Lord of hosts, behold, evil shall go forth “from nation to nation; and a great whirlwind shall be “raised up from the coasts of the earth; and the slain Sof the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the "earth, even to the other end of the earth; they shall “not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they "shall be dung upon the ground.t And the hand of “the Lord shall be known toward his servants; and his "indignation toward his enemies. For behold the “Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots, like a “whirlwind to render his anger with fury, and his reobuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by sword “will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the “Lord shall be many. I For behold the day cometh,
* Nahum i, 9.
+Jer. xxv, 31–33.
Isa. Ixvi, 14,
"that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea all
I shall quote and remark upon one passage more relative to this period and event. Isa. xxvii, 1, In that day, the Lord, with his sore and great and strong sword; shall punish Leviathan, that piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
1. Upon this text I shall first note the time here referred to; In that day; which is predicted in the preceding verse. For behold the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no longer cover her slain. The whole connexion of the text evinces, that the day referred to is the battle of that * Mal. iv, 1, +Psalm ii, 9, Rev. ii, 27, and xix, 15. Dan, ii, 34, $ Psalm xxxvii, 9, 11, 20.