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of all nations to the true religion? This, we know, will be the result of that dispensation of the kingdom, which restores Israel in the last days. If this statement be right, what follows appertains to those times :
9. And in that day shall the cities of HIS strength become
As the gleanings of the harvest and of the highest bough,
We may justly ask, to whom does the pronoun his refer? I would answer, from the analogy of prophecy, to 'him to whom the cities belong - to the great enemy of God's people. The day shall come when the cities of the adversary shall be destroyed with as small a remnant as the more immediate enemy, the Assyrian, type of the last destroyer, should have left of the cities of Israel.
The next verse, perhaps, assigns the cause of this calamity. The last enemy, as we know from former prophecies, would appear in the character of an apostate from the true religion.
10. For thou hast forgotten the Elohim of thy salvation,
Neither hast thou remembered thy strong Maker.'
What follows is certainly most mysterious.
11. Wherefore, when thou shalt have planted thy pleasant
plantations, And shalt have set them with cuttings from a foreign soil: • Though' in the day of thy planting thou makest it to
grow, And in the morning of thy setting thou makest it to shoot ;
"Or, thy founder,' who was ' thy protector.'
The harvest is taken away in the day of the inundation,
We can only conjecture to what this will refer. Perhaps it is addressed to the remnant of Israel, respecting some early and premature attempt at their restoration; or to some great power, endeavouring to form a settlement of Israelites in the land of promise : * the fulfilment can alone disclose. The expedition or undertaking, whatever it may be, bids fair at first, but ends in almost total disappointment. The cause of this disappointment, the destruction of the vineyard at the very season of its harvest, seems to be stated in the next verses; and from a comparison of former prophecies, it appears to be the great inroad of the last enemy, so often mentioned under the metaphor of an inundation.
12. Oh! this tumultuous noise of many nations,
They sound like the tumultuous noise of the seas :
This is so much like the former symbolical representation of the last inundation," overflowing in righteousness,” in the passages referred to below, + that we can scarcely mistake its meaning: and the final catastrophe of those enemies that destroy this vineyard by divine permission, is exactly similar.
1 “ The produce is gone in the
[) day of the torrent,
“ And the calamity is incurable."-HORSLEY.
the [ביום נחלה] day of inundation
Compare Psalm cvii. 36, &c.
13. The nations roar like the roaring of many waters ;
But He rebuketh them, and they flee far away.
Before the morning, they are no more!
The eighteenth chapter, I conceive to be a continuation of the same series of predictions, relating, as to their principal object, to the dispersion of the ten tribes, their preservation, and their restoration. 1
After the former prophecy respecting the successful invasion, and final destruction of the many nations, we seem to have another nation brought upon
the scene of the prophetical vision, as an instrument of real good to the dispersed and disappointed Israelites.
1. Au! country, continually extending the shadow of its wings,'
Which is beyond the rivers of Cush!
1 “ Judæi, Jarchius et Kim- vium," i. e. “ velorum."-SIMON : chius, prophetam à temporali libe- where see more. I prefer, on the ratione ad spiritualem transire whole, the interpretation of Bishop opinantes, hic vident prostratos Horsley, extending continually the Gogum et Magogum, ultimos po- wing of protection. “In this paspuli Dei adversarios, tempore Mes- sage,” be observes, “ the broad siah."-VITRINGA.
shadowing wings may be intended D'da 5x5x, variè exponitur: to characterize some great people, quidam intelligunt, "strepiti tum who should be famous for the pros alarum," vel “bellicarum.” Col. tection they should give," &c. c. viij. 8; Dan. ix. 27 ; vel “
2. That sendeth ambassadors by sea,
Even in light vessels' on the face of the waters.
Respecting the nation here meant, our hopes will, perhaps, precipitate our judgment. It is evidently, however, a great seafaring people, whose light sailing vessels cover the ocean. “ A land,” says Bishop Horsley, “ spreading wide the shadow of its wings”—“ some great people, famous for the protection they should afford.” Perhaps a modern poet might designate such a nation
“ The fond ally, That fights for all.”
The situation of this country is, indeed, very obscurely pointed out; “ beyond," or " on the other side,” or “more remote than the rivers of Cush.” By “the rivers of Cush” has generally been understood the Nile; and it has certainly a good title to be called a river of Cush; for a colony of the Arabian Cushites, passing over the Red Sea, had in very ancient times established a flourishing kingdoin in Ethiopia, the country from whence this river flows into Egypt. This may be one river of Cush, and some more remote river of Africa another, if we are to look in this direction for this protecting nation. It would, then, be far off to the west. But two other celebrated rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris, have an equal, and perhaps superior claim to be called “ the rivers of Cush.” For Cush was the father of the famous Nimrod, who founded his kingdom on the former of these rivers; and from thence Ashur “ went out," and erected, on the latter river, the capital of the Assyrian empire. In case we prefer this interpretation, the situation of this protecting country—at least, in some sort, the scene of its power and operations,-must be looked for in the remoter regions of the East; and the ten tribes, if they are the part of Israel intended, are certainly to be looked for in this direction. i
* Literally,“ vessels of papyrus," Balvas, understand“ books,” and navigium ex papyro confectum; de consider them as the objects that quo navigiorum genere, v. Pli- are sent.–Faber. NIUM, vii. c. 57; vi. c. 22. Com- But an anachronism, in respect pare na nan, Exodus, ii. 3. Some, of the use of papyrus, will, I ima, after the Septuagint, επιστολας βι. gine, be detected here.
* Chap. xviii,
A description follows of the people to whom these messengers, that pass the sea in their swift ships, are
to go :
may ,ירט if derived from ,מורט
1 This I find confirmed by
, Bishop Horsley, in his Biblical be rendered
away," as into Criticism :-“ Unless we can deter- the hand of a wicked persecutor, mine, whether it be the African or Job, xvi. 11; or we may render Asiatic land of Cush, of which the “ rashly precipitated.” Compare prophet speaks, we know not in Numbers, xvi. 32. The Arab. 19, which quarter to look for the land
bogo signifies in one of its conjubeyond the rivers of Cush, whether gations" conjecit, præcipitum defar to the west, or far to the east dit in exilium;" and in another, of Palestine.”
lapsus fuit in exitium vel diffiquia will admit of several cultatem.” “ Plucked.” — HORSmeanings,“ bolden and retained," “ drawn away,” or cut in length," • Compare the phrase, om “ sprinkled like seed over the sur- og'bm77 19778, Ezek. xxxix. 22 ; face of the land," lastly, “ pro- “ wonderful from their beginning tracted in hope." See Prov. xiii. hitherto."--HORSLEY. 12. "Dragged away."-HORSLEY,