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o: distinguished from the sea, we call the Land. Now, o in the prophetic writers, H Tw, the land, as opposed l; ..." to the sea, is found frequently to signify the Holy to s. Land, the people of Israel, so long as they con- X. - o tinued the people of God". And between these and o: the Gentile converts, who are represented by the seaf, X so there was, in the early times of Christianity, a marked f os. line of distinction; the circumcised being bound to o the observance of the ceremonial law, while the un: circumcised were free from such obligation. They are separated in the New Testament also, under the diffe3. rent appellations of Aao' and Evolt, and on account of o of this division, there was a corresponding distribution so of offices to the Apostles and teachers; some among : whom being sent to the circumcision, others to the o ! st Gentiles S. This distinction has occurred before in ' , , , , i. o ch. vii. of this prophecy; and will recur in the pro-2 ..., ... is, gress of the book. The descendants of the twelve // is: Patriarchs, preserved miraculously as a separate peo- 2. s: ple, may probably make a separate part of Christ's go heritage after their conversion to his name|. * . . . . | so Ib. And the third part of the land was burned up, o and the third part of the trees was burned up, and * o all green grass.] Trees, and other vegetables, repre- , , , o sent the converts of Religion; some of whom are o o - . . . * See Is. Xxiv. throughout, and the Prophets generally." / A t See note below, v. 8. • . . . . . . * * * * o: - 1 Acts iv. 27. xxi. 28. xxvi. 17. 23. Rom. xv. 10. o, o, on o § Gal. ii. 7, 9. * . . . * *... . . | See notes, ch. ii. 9. vii. 4. xi. 1.--We have reason to believe, , , ; that the Church, even in its glorious and triumphant state, shall still - * * be conformed to its primitive division : for, Christ assured his Apos- o tles, that when the Son of Man should sit upon the throne of bis o o glory, they also should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes : / o o of Israel. Jones's Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 381. s A A 2 ‘‘ rooted
, “rooted and grounded in the faith;” others, having
no root, cannot stand against the storm *. The third part of these is destroyed. To roslov, the third part, is an expression not uncommon with the prophetic writers: compare Ezek. v. 12. and Zech. xiii. 8, 9, &c.; where the third part represents the remnant of the people who are to be saved,—few in number, when
compared with those who are to perish: but here the greater part of the Christian plants are to survive
the attack. But no grass is left; “all green grass
Ver. 8. A great mountain, burning with fire, was y cast into the sea; &c.] At the sound of the second o, . . . . Trumpet, the hostile invasion of the antichristian powers ... / falls upon the sea. Under this name, or that of the o o Isles of the sea, or Isles of the Gentiles, the nations /.../ ... beyond the pale of the Jewish Church, the Gentiles, o are frequently represented”. These, by the original . o z counsel and appointment of God, were, in process of . _* r * * * * time, to partake the benefits of Christianity, and to be". “ o exposed to its warfare. Upon these the attack descends, o' " ' '. mnder the symbol of “a great mountain burning with ". . . . . . . “fire." A mountain, in prophetic language, signifies to an eminent seat of power, civil or religious. From . . . . . . . the mountain of Sinai, the Law was proclaimed; it o • */ was the seat of the God and King of the chosen peo-, ... ple. On Mount Sion afterwards stood His temple and . . . the place of His local residence: and the increasing . A kingdom of Christ is described under the emblem of X o ** a mountain, which shall fill the whole earth f. And aso. 2 the powers, who opposed God and his people, had - their fastnesses, and local worship, on the tops of **)// o mountains, “on every high hillf.” Under such figu- 4. Z/, / rative language, the Christian Religion is called *z, * . . . . . Mount Sion, and is contrasted with the Jewish Law, called Mount Sinai, in the Epistle to the Hebrews $. Z. Z. A In this sense, Babylon, that eminent seat of power and . . . . . . of idolatry, hostile to true Religion, is by the pro-..... / .
* / o 3
represented as the most active instigators of that persecution. See . * likewise Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, cent. i. ch. v. -** : * ~ *
* Gen. x. 5. Psalm lxv. 5. Isaiah xxiii. 2, 11. xxiv. 14. xvii. 12, 2% . . . " / g o 13. lx. 5.9. xlii. 4. ; compared with Matt. xii. 21. Ezek. xxvi. 15, . . .
phets called a mountain, although it stood in a low situation by the river, and upon an extended plain. “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain; “I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee “down from the rocks.” To which is added, “I will “make thee a burnt mountain.” And these words appear to be spoken prophetically of the utter destruction of Babylon, frequently foretold in other passages. The mountain before us is still burning, and as such, is to become a formidable neighbour and
enemy to the sea,-to the Gentile Christians, as the
hail and fire had been to the land,-to the Jewish converts. . The effect is similar in both, –“Blood;”— and the third part perishes. A large proportion of “those who had life,” (that is, as I conceive, spiritual life in Christ) *, and who were distinguished among the Gentiles for their eminence, like ships which lift their heads above the plain of waters, perishes. “Howl, ye ships of Tarshisht,” is an address to the inhabitants of Tarshish, and not literally to their ships. And to die, in the figurative language of Scripture, is to lose the spiritual life which is in Christi, Our Lord had foretold under the same figure, (“Fire,”) that his Religion should not descend upon the world without producing persecution, divisions, contentions, bloodshed, for the trial of faith, under which, many should fall away $. The Gentile converts were mingled with the heathen idolaters, whose power and corrupt religion were in due time, like Babylon, to become “a burnt mountain.” But the period of its eartinction was not yet arrived; it was now burning, and, as such, became terrible to all around. During
* See note, ch. iii. i. + Is. xxiii. 1. f See note, ch. iii.2. § Luke xii. 49. 1 Pet. i. 7. the
the three first centuries, the idolatrous power was consuming away from the fire inflicted upon it from above, and which had been cast upon the earth from the altar of the True Religion (v. 5). But so long as it continued burning, the persecution of the idolaters raged grievously against the Gentile Churches, and great was the number of the lapsed". Ver. 10, 11. A great star, burning like a meteor; &c.] Upon the sound of the third Trumpet, there is seen to fall from heaven a great star, burning like a Mapras: which Greek word will be found to express any bright effulgence, a lamp, a torch, &c.; but having in this passage the semblance of a star, it may be deemed what in our language we call a meteor; thus therefore have I translated it. The Elder Pliny, describing, from the Greek Philosopher Hipparchus, various kinds of meteors, calls them by this very name lampades f. Such a meteor passing through the nocturnal air, is by Homer called a star;
— — — — de coelo lapsa per umbras,
* Under this name, those Christians are represented in ecclesiastical history, who denied their faith in the times of persecution; and it was only by very severe penitence, that they could be restored to the bosom of the Church. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. vi. c. 44. Cypriani Epistolae ix. x. xi. et seq. Mosheim, cent. iii. part i. ch 2.
+ Nat. Hist. lib. ii. c. 26. See also Aristot. Meteorol. lib. i. c. 4.
$ Saepe etiam stellas, vento impendente, videbis