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“ faith the Lord God, I have lifted up mine " hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, " they shall bear their shame. But ye, O moun“ tains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your “ branches, and yield your fruit to my people “ of Israel; for they are at hand to come.” Ver. 7. 8,
The great Body of the Jewish Nation expelled from
their Dwellings by the Persecution, are gathered together in the Deserts of Curdistan.
The effect of this persecution is to expel the Jews from their residence, in the several countries where it rages, to seek security for their lives. By this means, the bulk of the nation is collected together into one place. In that si. tuation, their condition is deplorable, the sword behind, famine before, nothing but inevitable destruction in their view. But the design of this distress in the secret council of God, is to bring them to a sense of their great national fin, as the brethren of Joseph in Egypt, when threatened with imprisonment and death, were made to cry out, “ Verily we are guilty concerning our brother;" to induce them likewise to have re
course to the God of their fathers for deliverance, by fincere and ardent supplication. So God intimates by the prophet Isaiah, chap. xxvi. 16. “ Lord in trouble have they visited thee; “ they poured out a prayer when thy chastening “ was upon them.” And by Hofea, chap. v. 14, 15. " I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as “ a young lion to the house of Judah ; I, even “ I will tear and go away; I will take away, " and none shall rescue him. I will go and re« turn to my place, till they acknowledge their « offence, and seek my face: in their affliction « they will seek me early.” In a word, his design is to convert them to the Christian faith, and bestow a spiritual deliverance from infidelity and delusion, as a prelude to a temporal deliverance. So God asserts by the prophet Ezekiel, in the most explicit manner : “ As I live, “ faith the Lord God, surely with a mighty 6 hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with « fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I “ will bring you out from my people, and 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 6 out. And I will bring you into the wilder“ ness of the people, and there will I plead « with you face to face. 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. And I will cause you to “ pass under the rod, and I will bring you in“ to the bond of the covenant;" Ezek. xx. 33.-37. The prophet represents them here, as “ gathered from the countries with fury “ poured out;-brought into the wilderness;”— there made to “ pass under the rod,” the correction of their own conscience, convincing of fin ;~then admitted " into the bond of the co« venant;" not that covenant made with their fathers, but a “ better covenant, established on " better promises ;" Heb. viii. 6;—Thạt mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah, chap. xxxi. 31,-34. “Behold, the days come, faith the Lord, 66 that I will make a new covenant with the 6 house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; « not according to the covenant that I made “ with their fathers, in the day that I took “ them by the hand, to bring them out of the “ land of Egypt; (which my covenant they 66 brake, although I was an Husband unto them, .saith the Lord :) But this shall be the cove66 nant that I will make with the house of “ Ifrael, After those days, faith the Lord, I «« will put my law in their inward parts, and “ write it in their hearts; and will be their “ God, and they fall be my people. And “ they shall teach no more every man his
“ neighbour, and every man his brother, fay“ ing, Know the Lord : for they fnal} all “ know me, from the least on them unto the “ greatest of them, faith the Lord : for I will “ forgive their iniquity, and I will remember “ their fin no more.”
The same circumstances of bringing them into the wilderness, in consequence of distress, and then converting them, are represented by the Prophet Hofea.. " Therefore, behold, I will al. “ lure (persuade ') her, and bring her into the “ wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. ". And I will give her her vineyards from thence, " and the valley of Achor for a door of hope ; " and she shall sing there, as in the days of her “ youth, and as in the day when she came up
(1) The word patach fignifies in general to persuade or induce another to do what we defire, whether this is effected by promise or by threatening, by reward or by punishment, whereas the word allure limits the sense to a persuasion by promise : now the parallel passage in Ezekiel shews, that they were gathered by punishment, therefore not allured into the wilderness. The same sense is implied here; for he says in the next verse, “ I will give * her the valley of Achor," that is of trouble or perturbation, “ as a door of hope;” The therefore comes into the wilderness with perturbation, but God opens then a door of hope, by her conversion, fo that he speaks comfortably to her after her arrival in the wilderness.
o out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at “ that day, faith the Lord, that thou shalt call “ me Ilhi, (my husband); and shalt call me no « more Baali, (my lord).-And I will betroth thee unto me for ever;" Hofea ii. 14, 15, 16. 19. Their conversion is represented by their entering into a marriage.covenant with God. The same figure is used in the Apocalypse: “ The marc riage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath “ made herself ready;" Rev. xix. 7. The fuperior excellency of the evangelic covenant, to which they are now admitted, beyond the legal, is represented. It consists in giving a nearer access to God, and more familiar converse with him, resembling that of a wife with her husband, not that of a servant with his master. 56. Thou shalt call me Ilhi; thou shalt call me 6 no more Baali.” So our Lord intimates, “ I call you not fervants, but friends." We “ have not received the spirit of bondage again " to fear, but the spirit of adoption, whereby " we cry Abba, Father.” We are not come - to mount Sinai, but to mount Zion.” That they shall be gathered by persecution, is intimated by the prophet Jeremiah, “ Behold, the 6 days come, faith the Lord, that it shall no “ more be said, the Lord liveth that brought “ up the children of Israel out of the land of “ Egypt; but, the Lord liveth that brought up Mm