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" the children of Israel from the land of the “ north, and from all the lands whither he " had driven them: and I will bring them again “ into their land that I gave unto their fathers. " Behold, I will send for many fishers, faith the " Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will " I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt " them from every mountain, and froin every “ hill, and out of the holes of the rocks ;” Jer. xvi. 14, 15, 16. Enemies and oppressors are elsewhere represented under the metaphors of fishers and hunters', because they use secret wiles fitly compared to nets, as well as open force, to make men their prey. The end of this persecution is to gather them, and the time is immediately before they go up to possess the land given to their fathers. . The same circumstances are laid before us briefly, but distinctly, in another passage of the same prophet: “ The people which were left 66 of the sword, found grace in the wilderness; or even Israel, when I went to cause him to reft; Jer. xxxi. 2. This wilderness, into which the Jews are gathered, in order to their conversion, appears from the concurring testimony of the
(1) For the first, fee Amos iv. 2. Hab. i. 14, 15. Ezekiel xii. 13. Hof. v. i.; for the fecond fee Gen. 8. 9. ! Sam. xxvi. 20.
prophets, to be fituated in Aflyria, now Cur. distan. Thus the prophet Isaiah says, “ There “ shall be an highway for the remnant of his “ people, which shall be left from Assyria, like “ as it was to Ifrael in the day that he came up “out of the land of Egypt;" chap. xi. 16.
No unprejudiced person can doubt that the whole of the passage from the with verse down. wards, points to the future restoration of the Jews, without any reference to the return from Babylon. If so, they are represented, ver. Il. as collected from the several countries there mentioned. They are represented, ver. 16. as coming up from one country, namely, Affyria, to take possession of the land given their fathers; consequently Assyria is the place of rendezvous, from whence the nation comes up in a collected body, as formerly from the land of Egypt. Now, as the passages formerly quoted shew, that the Jews are collected into a wilderness, and this intimates that they are gathered together into Assyria, it is an obvious inference, that the wilderness is situated in Assyria.
In regard they are expelled from their habitations by persecution, as we have formerly seen, it is probable the persecution rages in the several countries mentioned in the with verse. In Assyria, (the inhabited parts of it, for they are forced into the desert), in Egypt; in Pathros, a country of Egypt; in Cush, or Arabia ; in Elam, or Persia ; in Shinar, or the country where Babylon stood; in Hamath, or the confines of Syria ; and in the islands of the sea, the coasts of the Mediterranean. « And it shall come to " pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off “ from the channel of the river unto the stream “ of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by " one, Oye children of Israel. And it shall “ come to pass in that day, that the great trum“ pet shall be blown, and they shall come which “ were ready to perish in the land of Allyria, 6c and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and " shall worfhip the Lord in the holy mount at “ Jerusalem ;" Isaiah xxvii. 12, 13. Every circumstance in this representation exactly qua. drates with the view already given. All the Jews residing in the countries situated betwixt the Euphrates and the Nile, are “ beat off;" violently expelled from their dwellings; par. ticularly, they are cast out of Egypt. But the effect of this expulfion, is to gather them toge. ther. They are gathered “ one by one;" they steal away to the place of rendezvous, “ one by “ one.” The place of rendezvous is “ Aflyria,” where " they are ready to perish ;” to be fa. mished with hunger in the wilderness, before they are admitted into the bonds of the covepant; but after they are admitted, they come
up from Assyria, “to worship the Lord in the “ holy mount at Jerusalem.”—The prophet Hosea intimates the same truth, “ They are gone “ up to Affyria, a wild ass alone by himself;" Chap. viii. 9. All the circumstances of the narrative shew, that the time in which they are said to go up to Aflyria, coincides with the close of their dispersion, and the period of their conversion. Their dispersion is represented (verle 8.) as the consequence of their fins, particularly their idolatry. “ Ifrael is swallowed up; now “ fall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel 66 wherein is no pleasure." By a method common with the prophets, to contrast judgment with mercy, and mingle confolation with reproof, he immediately passes to the close of their dispersion , “For (But) they are gone up to Al“ fyria.”—Their situation there can only apply to the close of their dispersion, and it exactly agrees to the views already given of it, “ A wild “ ass alone by himself,” that is separated from the other nations, and, like a wild ass, living in the deserts. It is the period in which God will gather them, notwithstanding all their pro. voking sins. “ Ephraim hath hired lovers. Yea, “ though they have hired among the nations, “ now will I gather them ;” verse 9, 10. In a word, it is the period when they shall be brought to mourn for the "King of princes," whom their
fathers fathers crucified, and they so long rejected and blasphemed ; but the time of their mourning shall be short, it shall be quickly succeeded by the joy of pardon and acceptance. These circumstances fix the time of their going to Assyria, to the period of their conversion ; and if so, Affyria must be the place of rendezvous. We have another passage to the same purpose, Hos. xi. 11.“ They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, " and as a dove out of the land of Assyria : And 66 I will place them in their houses, faith the “ Lord.”
God intimates mercy, ver. 8, 9.-their obedience, ver, 10. The mean of bringing them to obedience, " He shall roar like a lion ;' that is, threaten their destruction by perfecution. The consequence of this is, “.that the children shall o tremble from the west ;” the most distant from the country where it rages shall be afraid. Such as dwell in Egypt shall flee from the persecution as a bird, they hall be " outcasts.” They fall be in Assyria, “as doves of the valley, all of “ them mourning every one for his iniquity." After which they shall be settled in the land gi
(1) The particle meat fignifies fometimes a short pes riod, as Pfal. xx xvii. 10. yet a little while and the wicked fall not be ; Jer. li. 33. yet a little while and the time of her harvest shall come. Their mourning shall be great, Zech. xii. 10. but its duration short.