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5, 6, 7. with Rev. X. 2. 6. in both which places the personage, alluded to and described in the text, is “represented, as setting his right foot on the sea, and his left upon the land, as Sovereign Lord of both elements.”*
The prophecy under consideration, which was dictated by “Him that is true,"+ describes events, which were to happen in the last times, or "in the time of the end,” and must of course remain obscure, till the events predicted shall be about to happen, or be actually passing in view of the then existing generation.
The prophecy in the text is then yet to be fulfilled; or, perhaps to speak more correctly, is fulfilling by the events of the present times. This appears from the prophecies connected with the text. The victories of Mahomet, or the rise and establishment of his dominion, and also the destruction of his power, seem plainly foretold and described in the five last verses of the chapter preceding the text. f “And at the time of the end,” i.e. of the prosperity of the Roman empire, "the king of the south,” meaning Mahomet, "shall push at him: and the king of the north,” the Turks from Scythia, j “shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he shell enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hands, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” It is remarkable, that while the Turks from the north overran Syria, Palestine, and the other neighboring countries, Edom, Moab, and Ammon escaped, and have never been conquered by any nation; and their inhabitants, the Arabs, to this day, receive an annual tribute from the Ottoman emperors, for the safe passage of their pilgrims and caravans to Mecca. "He,” meaning the Turkish emperors, continues the prophet, "shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
+ Rev. iii. 7.
# Dan. xi. 40 to the end.
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Lybians and Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” These prophecies have all been literally fulfilled. Egypt, with her immense treasures, Lybia and Ethiopia, embracing the northern parts of Africa, fell under the dominion of the Turks, and so remain to this day.
Events, which are yet future, are foretold in the two following verses; “But tidings out of the east, and out of the north, shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many.' And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none
shall help him.” Mr. Mede supposes, that these stidings from the east, and the north, which shall trouble the Turkish emperor, may be the return of Judah and Israel from the countries east and north of the holy land, as in these countries the greater nuinbers were dispersed, and remain to this day.” The return of the Jews to their own land, is expressly predicted by the prophet Ezekiel; * and to this event, and to the assistance, which shall be given them by the Christian nations east and north of the holy land, this prophecy may refer. Tidings of such assistance from these nations would doubtless trouble the Turkish government, who are in possession of the country, which is to be restored to the Jews.
But other writers on prophecy give the passage a different interpretation. Persia lies to the east, and Russia to the north, of the Turkish dominions. For centuries past, it is well known, that the Turkish emperors have been apprehensive of a junction of these two formidable powers, and have exerted all their policy to prevent it. It is known also, that there is a tradition current among the common peo. ple in Turkey, that their empire will one day be overthrown by the Russians; also that a mutual affection and confidence subsist between the Christians of the Greek church, vast numbers of whom are inhabitants of the Turkish empire, and the same denomination in Russia, where this is the estab
Chap. xxxix, 5 last verses.
lished religion; and that the former consider the latter, as those “whom ancient prophecies mention, as designed by God for their avengers and deliverers in after ages."*
So the Greek church interprets the prophecy under consideration.
On the whole, it appears most probable from the language of this prophecy, that the Persians on the east and the Russians on the north will, at a period not far distant, unite in one grand effort against the Turkish empire to overthrow it; that the Turks will establish their camp and collect all their strength “between the seas of the glorious holy mountain,” i.e. in the land of Canaan, between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, whence they will go
forth with great fury against their combined foes, “to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” “Yet he," i.e. the Turkish power, "shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”. This will complete the ruin of the Mahometan power, or the eastern antichrist. The overthrow of the western antichrist, which is also predicted in this chapter, will happen about the same time.
“And at that time,” says the prophet in the chapter, which contains our text; that is, at the time when the great events of which we have spoken, shall be passing; when the antichrists of the east and the west shall be falling (for they are to fall,
• Sec Sir Paul Rycaut's Account of the Greek Church, c, iii. p. 83.
agreeably to the prophecy, nearly at the same time) by the means, which God hath ordained for that purpose; "at that time, shall Michael stand up, the great Prince, which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation, even to that same time.” “And at that time thy people shall be
“ delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book;" that is, Israel, God's chosen heritage, who shall have been preserved till this time a distinct people in all the nations, among which they are dispersed, as entirely so, as if their names were registered in a book, shall now be delivered, collected and established in great peace and prosperity in the holy land. The prophets, and after them our Lord, and his apostle John in the Revelation, all represent the time of the conversion of the Jews, and their return to the holy land, as a time of great trouble. .
After these and the contemporary events, which we are led from the prophecies to expect, shall have happened, then will follow, how soon after we know not, the general resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment, to whi! h the following verses undoubtedly refer; “And many of them, that sleep in the dust of the earth (many being here put for all*) shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.”
* Rom. v. 15.