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The desolation of the mystic Edom.
Lamentations iv. 21. Rejoice, and be glad*, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz, the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. 22. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.
I have already noticed this prophecy. The Edom, here spoken of, must undoubtedly be a typical Edom; because his destruction is connected with the very last restoration of Israel, after which the ancient people of God shall no more be carried away into captivity. The typical Edom then must be the great Roman Antichristian confederacy of the last ages. Jeremiah describes the daughter of Edom much in the same manner, though more briefly, than St. John describes the mystic Babylonian harlot. †.
The restoration and conversion of the Jews.
Ezekiel xi. 13. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice and said, Ah Lord God, wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel? 14. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 15. Son of man, thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, even all the house
* Rejoice, and be glad.] The words seem to be spoken ironically. Although thou hast long lived deliciously, and committed fornification with the kings of the earth, a heavy judgment impends over thine head: thy nakedness shall shortly be revealed, and thy sins discovered. The style of the passage is exactly similar to Eccles. xi. 9. See Dr. Blayney in loc. † Compare Rev. xvii.
of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get ye far from the Lord*: unto us is this land given in possession. 16. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them from among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. 17. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people †, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof, and all the abominations thereof from thence. 19. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you ‡; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20. That they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21. But, as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.
When part of the Jews were carried away captive with Jechoniah, those, that remained still in their own country with Zedekiah, thought themselves better beloved of God than their brethren of the dispersion, whom they looked upon as outcasts, and as having no right either to the privileges of Jews or to the land of Judea. This vain confidence is reproved, and a restoration is promised. The prediction relates primarily to the return from
*Unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get ye far from the Lord.] "The Jews, who were left in their own country, thought themselves more in God's favour, than those who were carried away captive." Mr. Lowth in loc. See also his note on Jer. xxiv. 5.
I will even gather you from the people.] "This may be in some degree fulfilled in those that returned from captivity, but the utmost completion of this and the following verses must be expected at the general restoration of the Jewish nation." Mr. Lowth in loc.
I will put a new spirit within you.] "These promises chiefly relate to the general conversion of the Jews, when God shall pour out upon them the spirit. of grace, in order to their conversion. Zech. xii. 10." Mr. Lowth in loc.
Babylon; but the whole tenor of the latter part of it shews plainly, that it will not receive its full and ultimate accomplishment till the days of the final and general restoration of the Jews. Then, and not till then, can it with propriety be said, that God hath given them a new spirit, and a heart of flesh; that they are faithfully walking in his statutes, and keeping his ordinances.
The restoration and conversion of Judah and Israel-The con version of the Gentiles-Jerusalem the head of all churches, though not by the Mosaical covenant.
Ezekiel xvi. 46. Thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters, that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters-53. When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters*, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them-55. When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters † shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate-59. For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. 60. Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. 61. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when
* Sodom and her daughters.] "When the fulness of the Gentiles shall come into the Church, some of whom may be compared with Sodom for wickedness (see Isaiah i. 9.), then will I also remember you, who were my ancient people---The conversion of the Gentiles is expressed in Jeremiah by the returning of the captivity of Moab, Ammon, and Elam; and by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians, and Syrians, bringing presents to God, and acknowledging themselves his servants, in the prophecy of Isaiah. And by the same analogy we are to understand the returning of the captivity of Sodom here, of the Gentiles coming into the Church." Mr. Lowth in loc.
† Samaria and her daughters.] "When the prophets foretell the general conversion and restoration of the Jewish nation, they always join Judah and Israel together, as equal sharers in that blessing." Mr. Lowth in loc.
thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant *. 62. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know, that I am the Lord: 63. That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
Under the name of Sodom and her daughters, the whole body of the Gentiles is mystically designated. Their conversion to the faith of Christ is here foretold; and this conversion, agreeably to various other prophecies, is immediately connected with the conversion and restoration both of Israel and Judah. Notwithstanding the many heinous offences of God's ancient people, he will still not forget his covenant with them; and, when at length in the latter ages they shall remember their ways and be ashamed, he will give to the church of Jerusalem her two sisters, the church of the Israelites and the church of the Gentiles, for daughters, not indeed by the Mosaical covenant, but by a new and better covenant, that of the Gospel. Then shall mount Zion be the glory of the whole earth, and the spiritual metropolis of the kingdom of the Lamb. All nations shall flow unto it, and it shall be exalted above the hills. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
The restoration of Israel-The long sufferings of the Jews in the course of their return.
Ezekiel xx. 33. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and
*Not by thy covenant.] "Not by virtue of that covenant mentioned ver. 60, you having forfeited all your title to its privileges (ver. 89.), but by virtue of that new covenant which I will make with you through the Messiah." Mr. Lowth in loc.
with fury poured out will I rule over you. 34. And I will bring you forth from the peoples*, and I will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out. 35. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples; and there will I plead with you face to face. 36. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. 37. And I will cause you to pass under the rod; and I will bring you under the chastisement of the covenant: 38. And I will purge out from among you the rebels†, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know, that I am the Lord. 39. As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols: yet hereafter ye shall surely hearken unto me, and ye shall not pollute my holy name any more with your gifts and with your idols. 40. For in my holy mountain, in the lofty mountain of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel serve me, even all of them in the land: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. 41. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified because of you in the sight of all the nations. 42. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country concerning which I lifted up my hand that I would give it to your fathers. 43. And there shall ye remember your ways and all your doings wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. 44. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you
* I will bring you forth from the peoples.] "I conceive this is to be understood of the general restoration of the Jewish nation from the several parts of the world where they are dispersed." Mr. Lowth in loc.
I will purge out from among you the rebels.] "I will separate the righteous from the wicked in order to destroy the latter, as I did the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness." Mr. Lowth in loc.