« EdellinenJatka »
• ascend and come like a storm; all of them
riding upon horses, a great company, and • a mighty army, so that they shall cover • the land like a cloud. For, the Israelites “having lived for some years in peace and •quiet, and gotten riches, and plenty of 'cattle and goods, they will come against • them with a wicked intention, to destroy • a defenceless people, which they will flat* ter themselves they shall the more easily • accomplish, as the Israelites,' as was before obferved, will dwell in unwalled vil• lages, having neither bars nor gates. Now 'fo great an army of enemies, coming • against so defenceless a country, naturally
brings great devastations and distress; to which the account given by Daniel of • these times exactly agrees, that there Mall
be a time of trouble, such as never was fince • there was a nation, even to that same time. • Dan. xi. 45. and xii. i.
• And it seems to be of this fame period, that Zechariah speaks, when he tells us, • that all, that is, many, nations Mell be ga
thered against Jerusalem to battle, and the • city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and • half of the people of it taken captive; and • farther, that two parts of the inhabitants • of the whole land shall be cut off, and the 'third part only be left alive, Zech. xiv. 2,
and xiii. 8, 9. And what we think determines this prophecy to these times is, • because now we find the Lord descends
upon the Mount of Olives, to save the remainder of the Israelites, and to destroy • their enemies ; and because the glorious 6 and happy times immediately succeed,
when the Lord shall be king over all the • earth, and a river of living waters Thall go
out from Jerusalem; which city shall " from henceforth be safely inhabited, and • many people of all the nations, that came s against Jerusalem, shall come up every year at the feast of tabernacles, to worship the King, the Lord of Hofts.
. It is also these times, we think, the prophet Joel, i. 6. and ii. 2, describes, • A nation is come up upon my land, &c. And
the defolation and affliction, they will oc• casion, are strongly described in Joel ii. 3. • a fire devoureth before them, &c. &c.' And
the terror and confusion of the Israelites
are exprest in Joel i. 15, and ii. 1, 2, 6, 11. • Alas! for the day of the Lord is at hand,&c. • But he assures them, that whoever fall * call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; • and that he will plead with the nations,
that are come up against them, and will remove far off from them this northern ara • my: Then will God also dwell in Zion
bis holy mountain, and Jerusalem shall become holy, and there shall no strangers pass • through her, or subdue her, any more, but
• Judah shall dwell from henceforth for ever, l' and Jerusalem from generation to generation : * Joel ii. 20, 32. and iii. 1, 2, 16. to the • end.
• We now find the remainder of the If* raelites will be preserved by God, and * their enemies destroyed. For Zecha* riah xiii. 8, 9. and xiv. I to 6, tells us, that, after two thirds of the people of the
• land shall be cut off, &c. then shall the • Lord go forth, and fight against those nations,
and his feet shall stand in that day on the • Mount of Olives, which shall cleave in the • midst tbereof, and there hall be a great • earthquake. The Lord alfo Mall save the • tents of Judah first, &c.&c. and he will pour • upon the house of David, &c. the spirit • of grace and of supplication. Zech, xii. 74 •8, 10. and xiii. 1, 2.
• For now the special providence of God • will exert itself in the preservation of all • the good and virtuous, who will by these • afflictions be thoroughly tried and purified, • and the wicked only be destroyed. For • Daniel xii. 1. tells us, that at that time • Michael shall stand up, the great prince « which standeth for the children of Israel, • and they shall be delivered, even every one • that fall be found written in the book, • that is, who is good and holy. And so «God by Zechariah xiii. 9. says, I will o bring the third part of the inhabitants of the land through the fire, and will refine
them as filver, &c. they shall call on my name, and I will bear them; I will say it • is my people, and they shall say, the Lord is • my God. And it seems to be of these times • Ifaiah iv. 2 to 6. speaks, be that is left in • Zion, &c. shall be called boly, &c. when " the Lord mall have purged the blood of Jeru• sålem by the spirit of judgment and of burn
• It is not easy to aflign here, what will • be the causes of so great a depravity among
the Israelites, that they should go through • such great afflictions, and two-thirds of
them be cut off, before the Lord comes to * preserve the remainder. One reason per
haps may be, their having lived for some * years in peace and plenty, crowned with * temporal prosperity and happiness, which * too often bring on a forgetfulness of God, 6 and of our obligations to him.
• We now come to the destruction of their • enemies, for though God has permitted • their wicked designs in some measure to