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St. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, has quoted these verses, as applicable to the Jews of the first advent; but his argument, if thoroughly pursued, will require their application equally to all nations in all ages, privileged with the light of revelation; and, in that respect, distinguished from the ignorant heathen around them.
9. Therefore judgment is far from us,
10. We grope as the blind by the wall,
We stumble at noon- tide as in the dark,
11. We growl all of us like bears,
And as doves we cease not to moan.
We look for judgment, but it comes not;
12. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee,
For our transgressions are before us,
13. Rebellion and treachery against Jehovah,
Injurious speech, conceived malice,
And meditating in the heart words of falsehood:
14. And judgment turneth away backward,
For truth hath fallen in the open street,
It is extremely difficult to conjecture what signifies; I
derive it from ow, fat, well conditioned.
15. Ay, the truth has been weeded out;'
And he who departed from evil has been plucked away.'
Such, according to this confession put by the Spirit of prophecy into their mouths, will be the low state of the church, even at the very advent of Christ. Ah! must not this be what our Saviour meant, when he exclaimed, "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Yet, from the very introduction of this complaint in the prophecy, surely we may infer there are some few faithful," that sigh and cry for the abominations they witness around them!" But it is at this lowest point of their depression, that an immediate interference of God the Saviour is foretold:
15. And Jehovah saw, and it was displeasing in his eyes, Because judgment3 was not:
But he saw that there was no man,
And he found himself alone, for there was none that interposed:
16. And his own arm wrought salvation for him, And his righteousness it sustained him:
17. And he put on righteousness as a coat of mail, And the helmet of salvation on his head:
And he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
18. He is an awarder of recompenses;
The awarder of recompenses will make retribution."
'So Horsley. Compare Sim. Lex. Heb. "The truth had failed," or was utterly missing." ― BP. STOCK. And a good man was no longer to be seen among men.
"Has been withdrawn," or, "has been made a spoil of." VOL. I.
Judgment signifies here, as above, the righteous vindication of the people of God, according to promise.
I take, in this place, the Hebrew text, as restored by Bishop
Wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies,
The Redeemer appears in the character of the Avenger of Israel; and it is much to be noticed, that the distant coasts, the European nations, are pointed out as the particular objects of vengeance, and of just retribution.
The consequences of this divine interposition are universal :
19. And they from the west shall fear the name of Jehovah,
And they from the rising sun his glory. Again, we have plainly laid before us the enemy from Chittim," inundating Palestine with his armies, and falling there: and this is the epocha ever marked in prophecy as the time of Christ's appearing:
When the enemy shall come as a river,
The wind of Jehovah shall dry it up:'
Even to turn away transgression from Jacob:
Lowth from the Chaldee:
.ולהשיב ,same effect
בעל גמולות הוא .בעל נמולות ישלם
“ He is Lord of retribution,
has a 'vm; and the Chaldee, to the
Our translators have followed the present Hebrew text, which must be wrong, from the assertion of verse the fifteenth, unless we render: And the Redeemer shall come forth
at Zion, Even among them that turn from
והשיב ביעקב and לשבי ing instead of
and apps. The Syriac, likewise,
21. And as to me, this is my covenant with them,
Hath Jehovah said.
And the words which I have put in thy mouth,
St. Paul's comment on these words is all we need for their illustration; “ For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in: and so all Israel shall be saved : as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins.” Israel, in virtue of the covenant then to have effect, is consecrated for ever to be the channel for the communication of spiritual good to mankind. This seems to be the import of the latter part of the last verse.
On the Sixtieth Chapter. The sixtieth chapter, expositors are pretty generally agreed, pertains to the future reign of Messiah. It is addressed to the city of Jerusalem, evidently from its localities to the same topical city that is now trodden under foot of the Gentiles. The Sun of righteousness
arises upon her, and she becomes resplendent with his rays, and is appointed to be an instrument in the hand of God, as it were, to reflect his beams upon the nations of the earth.
1. Artse, shine, for thy light is come,
The nations are, at this period, described as involved in great darkness :
2. For lo, darkness covereth the earth,
And gross darkness the nations.
This leads to an apprehension, that those nations which had once been enlightened with the light of the Gospel, will become again overwhelmed in the night of ignorance and irreligion: and we know that already the fairest portion, nay almost all of those countries that once enjoyed the profession of the Gospel, are sunk into the darkness, either of Mahometism, of popery, or of modern infidelity. So that we may truly say, only a few glimmerings of the Gospel day remain here and there in Protestant countries :- darting, as it were, the parting glances of a setting sun upon the labours of pious missionaries in the distant regions of the globe. So nearly have we reached the shades of that evening, whose thickening darkness is only to be dispelled by a brighter“ dayspring from on high!” and this “ dayspring from on high” again bursts forth over Jerusalem, so that we must still say, "Salvation is of the Jews.” 1
1 « The images of the prophecy so far exceed any thing that has yet taken place, that it is reason
able to think the accomplishment is reserved for the second advent of our Lord. This even St. Jerome