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plain, and that the Jewish nation was redeemed from the land of their enemies on their return to Jerusalem with Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubabel, : &c.; bere the prophet then prophecied the return of the Jewish nation out of the captivity of Babylou. Futurity appears as present to the mind of the prophet, and he continues
“ Now also many nations are gathered against thee.”—“Many nations." - The Romans. Many nations indeed were with the Romans at the seige of Jerusalem! "Against thee.” Against the Daughter of Zion—the Jewish nation--the real Daughter of Zion! “That say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion." The prophet, in a short compendious method, tells us what nations he has particularly in view ; that say, Let her be defiled, let our eye look on Zion; let the Jewish nation be defiled, the Jews are rejected, and we Gentiles are chosen : she, the real daughter of Zion, is defiled, and we, the Gentiles, are the Church; we will look on Zion.
“ But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel." The .....ians of the present day say, the Jews are rejected, and they, the Gentiles, themselves chosen: the real daughter of Zion, the Jews, are defiled, but they are cleansed; and that they, the Gentiles, know the thoughts of the Lord, which their New Testament has taught them. Tbey understand his counsel, the eternal counsel of his holy will.-- This they pretend to understand, but the prophet Micah assures us “they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his council." “ For he sball gather them as sheaves into the floor ;" that is, he shall gather the Gentiles, who say, the
aughter of Zion is defiled; who say, they will look upon Zion. These nations will be gathered as sheaves into the floor. And for what purpose will they be gathered ? “ Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thine hoofs brass, and thou shalt beat in pieces many people, and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the God of the whole earth.” Let them send missionaries; never mind their converting the heathen nations, as they call them ; let the Bible and Traet Societies continue their labours; let them gain substance, (prose, lytes,) till the time that they will be gathered for the threshing; then I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. Not only their gain will be consecrated unto the Lord, the proselytes which they make by their labour, by the means of their substance, but even their substance also, the real grain, the principal wheat, also will be conseerated to the Lord of the whole earth ; so that here the prophet bas brought us down beyond our own time, beyond the time we now live in, even to the time of the threshing, of which several of the other prophets have also spoken.
The prophet continues to deliver us his view of futurity, even stretched beyond our time, and as such we, not having any history to guide us, can only find the meaning by the understanding of vision, by the knowledge of the Holy: "for in the knowledge of the Holy Ones is understanding.” He thus continues.
“Gather thyself together in troops, O daughter of the troop!* be hath laid seige against us. They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek."
The prophet, or the spirit of prophecy, has hitherto addressed himself to the daughter of Zion. He now addresses himself to the daughter of the troop. The daughter of Zion is the Jewish nation or church (if they will so have it.) The daughter of the troop is the Gentile nations; the Gentile or ......ian church.
7. The spirit of prophecy speaks in the present tense,“ He hath laid siege," although the future was certainly intended, to show the certainty of the prediction. The siege here spoken of, is the siege of Jerusalem, under the direction of Gog, the leader of Rosh, Mashech, and Tubal, which is to take place previous to the coming of the Messiah, the son of David; at which time, and during which siege, “they shall smite the judge of Israel (not the Messiah) with a rod upon the cheek.” This siege will be first, or the first part of it calamitous, for we are informed in another place, one half of the city will go into captivity, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. The houses will be rifled, and the women ravished, and at this time will the judge of Israel be smit with a rod on the cheek. But after this, several of the prophets tell us, when Jerusalem is again taken as before said, and the army of the Jews will flee to the valley of the mountains, then the Lord will come, and all his saints or holy ones with him; then will the hea
* The original Hebrew is 7172 na Bath Gydud, Daughter of the Troop, alluding to their worshipping God as a troop; a plurality in unity. Note.—The plural form of the noun is p'7170 Gydudem, Troops.
thens be judged; then will this mighty army of Gog be destroyed with an utter destruction; then will the Lord set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people ; and then will, the Messiah come, of whom the prophet now speaks. “But thou Bethlehem Ephratha, wilt have become small among the thousands of Juda ; from thee shall he come forth unto me, the ruler in Israel, whose ancestry were from of old, from ancient days.
Thus, The ancient family of Ephrata will have become small among the families of Israel, of the Jews, consonant to the prophecy of Ezekiel, chap. 21—26. « Exalt thou that is low; abase the high. Perverted, perverted, perverted will I make it; and it shall not be, until he comes, whose right it is, and I will give it him.” And it is this family who, according to Ezekiel's prophecy, were to be abased, in Israel, in Juda ; whose reign was to be perverted till the Messiah should come; it is this family of whom the prophet Micah speaks : “And thou Bethlehem Ephrata," (and not the town.) From this family was he and is he to come “whose right it is.” This family was not to be re-exalted until he come whose right it is; this family of Ephratha, who, in the time of Ezekiel and Micah, were exalted in Israel, were to be abased ; their diadem was to be perverted; it was to become small among the thousands, among the families of Juda, as the very next verse in Micah has it: “Therefore will I give them up until the time that she which travaileth has brought forth : then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” “Give them up." Of the town of Bethlehern it cannot be said give them úp; the plural, them, will not apply ; but of the family, the plural will apply as well as the singular. According to Ezekiel, the family was not to be known particularly, but were to be abased, and the diadein or crown given up, perverted : and according to Micah, the family was to become small among the families of Juda. According to Ezekiel, this was to last till he come whose right it is; and according to Micah, until the time that she which travaileth has brought forth her children; so that he will not come until that time, that is, till the daughter of Zion, the Jewish nation, which travaileth to this day, has brought forth her children, which will not be till after the war of Gog; then is the time for him to come, and not before ;
we need not look for him before; our business now is to travail, to be in pain, and labour to bring forth, and he will deliver us."
I shall hereafter have occasion to revert to this prophecy, but for the present sufficient is said to show that the town of Bethlehem was not intended by the prophet, because particularly “them," will not apply to the town, neither will “ Then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel." The remnant of the town of Bethlehem's brethren.--What kind of sense can be made of this ? A town cannot be said to have brethren. It will only, and can only apply to the family of Ephratha, out of which the Messiah will come; and whether he is born in the town of Bethlehem or not, is of no matter of consequence, so that he is born of the family. The lineage, neither, (as I take it,) does the prophet Micah here intend to inform us that he shall be there born, but only that he shall descend from that family, that is, from the family of Bethlehem Ephratba.
Here again, gen:lemen of the American Society, for meliorating the condition of the Jews, you may plainly perceive that this prophecy, wbich has, by .....ians, evangelists, commentators, and divines, been thought and produced to strengthen their hypothesis, will, and is turned, and when correctly understood, makes against your religion, sufficiently to overturn its whole foundation. Will you then, still preserve silence ? I consider you all as convinced of error; will you not then, leave the wickedness of your ways, and turn to God for a lengthening of your tranquillity ? has then the Unclean Spirit, gotten so sure, so strong a hold of you, that although you have no answer to give, no defence to make, though you stand before the world, with fallen countenances, as criminals, in utter despair--are you still so blindly infatuated by the spirit of deep sleep, as to refuse to listen to reason and scripture? For shame, gentlemen shake off the poisonous, deadening lethargy from you; draw, tear the scales from off your eyes, and act, yourselves, as you would advise others to have acted, in your present situation. In sober seriousness, your duty is now, to acknowledge your errors, and make known your convictions, to the world before whom you stand already, at least, silenced, if not convicted. You can no longer honestly preach ......ianity; you cannot pretend to be soldiers of Jesus unless you acknowledge yourselves disgraced cowards; who, after having given a general challenge to Jews, to examine, and be converted, after having forced them into the arena, and obliged them to face you, on the first attack of the most puny champion among them, you are all utterly discomfited, confounded and defeated ! Gentlemen, I can only consider you as conquered opponents, as fallen enemies; and although, am willing to return you your sword, and allow youto try its metal on my armour; I cannot allow you to use it in any other part of the field, only on me, till you have fairly conquered me; not even on a stronger, more potent, or more noble adversary.
Of right, I challenge your arms, I consider them mine by right of conquest, and against me only can you in honour use them, if you have sufficient hardihood left in your compositions. Turn, then, gentlemen ; let us sift this matter fairly, and then after discovering the truth, join in love, and defend it side by side, on whichever side truth and righteousness shall be. At all events, let us together strive to be as it is written :
: ' *And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament."
Dan. xii. 3.
והמשכילים יזהירו כזהר הרקיע:
(Continued from page 165.)
I THINK it necessary, before we proceed, to clear up the objections generally made against such prophecies, as declare and foretell the deliverance of the Jews, from their present dispersion; and the glorious restoration of God's favour, and the different methods which are taken in the explanation and application of those prophecies, and first
Some pretend that the promises were made good; and that the prephecies received their accomplishment, at the return from the Babylonish captivity; and that consequently, the hopes of a future deliverence are vain, and without foundation. In order to clear up this point, let the prophecies be compared with what, Ezra and Nehemiah relate, befel the nation at their return from Babylon, and see if all those glorious promises did then receive their accomplishments? To those passages which I transcribed in my last, I shall here add one whole chapter of Isaiah, that according to his