« НазадПродовжити »
tions shall be gathered unto it.” ver. 17. This, however, it is scarcely necessary to say, is one of the promises concerning the Millennial Day; which is farther evident from its being at the time of their last conversion: “neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their cvil heart.” ver. 17.
Although not named, both kingdoms are expressly included in the restoration declared in the following prediction by Zephaniah : “ Behold at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; and I will save her thct halteth, AND [also] gather her that was driven out ; and I will get them [both] praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” Zeph. iii. 19, 20. Israel is “ her that halteth," and Judah “ her that was driven out;" but the shame of both, it is here foretold, shall cease together. Each of the two classes is first specified singly, and then they are spoken of conjointly, in the plural number ; "I will get them praise and fame in every land." The one is to be saved, the other to be gathered ; and “the captivity" of both is to be turned away. The time to which the prophecy relates is when those who have afflicted Israel shall be undone ; and the futurity of its fulfilment may also be ascertained from the promise that then “the remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity,” and they shall “ not see evil any more.” ver. 13, 15.
Isaiah also bears explicit testimony to the same truth : “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Is. xi. 10-12. This is not the Gentile church for in the preceding verse,
" the Gentiles” are expressly mentioned as quite distinct both from the outcasts of Israel," and from “ the dispersed of Judah.” Could any thing be more obvious than that this promise is to both kingdoms of Israel distinct from the church, by the very names of the Gentile nations whence they are to be rescued being thus introduced ? And it is farther to be observed, that, as it has only been by their last captivity that Judah has been dispersed into “ the four corners of the earth,” this gathering cannot yet have taken place. That it refers to the period of the Millennium, the whole context indeed distinctly proves, when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." ver. 9. Nor is it to be confounded with their conversion, which is here again also foretold : “ The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song ; He also is become my salvation.” (xii. 2.)
The restoration of both Israel and Judah, and their subsequent union, were symbolically represented to the prophet Ezekiel. He was commanded to take “ one stick and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions ; then take another stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions." These he was commanded to join “ one to another into one stick." This, he is informed, represents the union of the tribes of Israel with those of Judah ; and it is added by the Lord, “ Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land : and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.... And the Beloved, my servant, shall be King over them.... and they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwell; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever, And my servant, The BeLOVED, shall be their Prince for ever.” Ezek. xxxvii. 21
25. When this promise receives its accoinplishment, Israel and Judah shall be made - one nation in the land upon
the mountains of Israel," and shall dwell in the land wherein their fathers have dwelt. This sufficiently indicates its application to the literal Israel ; and that it refers to no past time is evident from its being followed by peace never again to be interrupted, either by external foes or by jealousies and divisions amongst themselves, and from both acknowledging the sovereignty of “one King,” even “ The Beloved,” who "shall be their Prince for ever.” Neither Israel nor Judah, as nations, have yet submitted to Him in any sense; but this prediction foretells their conversion and restoration and submission to the Messiah, as to follow their being gathered from among the heathen, and united into one nation. They shall no more thenceforth be cursed with dispersion, but being brought into their own land .... they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children, for ever ;" for the Lord “will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant." Does all this mean merely their conversion ? mised in addition : " They shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes and do them.” ver. 24.
A prediction precisely similar to that already quoted from Zephaniah, is given by the prophet Micah: “In that day, saith the Lord, will l assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; and I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast off a strong nation; and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion, from henceforth even for ever.” Micah iv. 5.7. Although neither is expressly mentioned, the conditions of Israel and Judah arc here also clearly referred to, the former as halting, the latter as driven out. They are not united but perpectly distinct, each possessing its peculiar characteristic, jur while the one is only “a remnant,” the other is “a strong nation. These are to be " gathered," implying ”
“ their previous dispersion; those require merely to be assembled; and both are to submit to the Saviour's sceptre; "the Lord shall reign over them." This proves
That is pro
its futurity, which is farther evident from the perpetuity of their subjection to Messiah's sway. It shall never cease, from the time referred to—“ from henceforth, even for ever.” This reign commences with the Millennium, when “nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” ver. 3. It will be in the land of Palestine, “in Mount Zion;" and will be preceded by their conversion: "and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God, for ever and ever.” ver. 5.
Such predictions amply prove the future restoration of both the Ten Tribes and the Two Tribes; and, if we mistake not, they also point out their present separate existence. It is the opinion of many who advocate the literal restoration of the the whole house of Israel," that the remnant of the Ten Tribes have become incorporated with dispersed Judah. The language of these predictions leads us to a different conclusion. They seem to intimate that their union has not yet taken place. Their situations previous to their restoration are represented differently—Judah, when particularized, being generally spoken of as “ dispersed” and “scattered;" Israel, never. Judah is frequently said to be "gathered;" .
“ " while Israel, in contrast, is said to be "saved," and "assembled,” and “ brought again.” Israel are “out. casts," and only a “remnant;" Judah, though “cast far off," is still a strong nation." Their restoration
“ ” appears to take place while these are the peculiarities of their situations, and their union to be effected only at that time. In the very act of returning to their own land, they appear to meet, and although they come
together” from the north country, their being together seems something new. It is to be viewed as an occurrence which just then takes place, rather than as evidence of their being already blended with each other. Their union into one nation, as represented by the junction of the two sticks, is explained to mean their being gathered and brought to their own land-a symbol which at least loses much of its significancy by supposing them to have become already one and their union as effected long before their being brought to their
own land. In Hosea, (i. 10) concerning Israel we are told, that "it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God." This refers to the period of their future conversion; and observe what follows, Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel Be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” ver. 11. The time of their being gathered together, thus appears to be when they shall appoint over them one head,—“Then,” and not before. In Ze. chariah both are expressly mentioned, and in such terms as appear to imply their being in a distinct state, even after their return from captivity: “When I have bent
6 Judah for me, [as a bow,] filled the bow with Ephraim," &c. Zech. ix, 13. We stop not to inquire particularly into the meaning of the prophecy, but simply observe, that the one being represented as a bow, while the other is the arrow with which it is filled, implies a correspondence in the different purposes for which they shall respectively be employed by the Lord immediately before the Millennium, thus intimating their separate existence at that period. And again, when they are made one nation," it is to be 6 on the land, upon the mountains of Israel," as if the case continued otherwise with them while in the lands of their enemies. It is only when the are to cease being "divided;" and it is then, “ they shall be no more two nations.” Even when thus united, there is no reason to believe they shall be blended, as those who take an opposite view suppose they already are. If « Judah shall not vex Ephraim," it will not be on account of their distinctions having passed away; but because “ Ephraim shall not envy Judah," an expression which is deprived of its meaning by supposing them to have no separate exist
We say nothing here of the future distinction of both kingdoms into their respective tribes. Since
such information can only be supplied miraculously, the : prophecy of the New Division of the Holy Land, after