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for my name's sake; not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.
This prophecy is plainly confined to the last ages, by its relating, as Ezekiel expressly teaches, to the restoration of the house of Israel, of all the house of Israel: for only some scattered individuals of the ten tribes returned with Judah from Babylon. It declares, that, although God will assuredly restore his people, yet he will not fail to visit upon them their iniquities. He will plead with them in the wilderness, as he pleaded with their fathers during the exodus from Egypt; and will purge out from among them the rebels and the transgressors.
From such denunciations we must necessarily infer, that the complete restoration of the whole house of Israel will be long in accomplishing, and that some of its members will suffer severely in the course of their return. Accordingly Daniel teaches us, that the Jews will begin to be restored at the close of the 1260 years, and during a period of unexampled trouble: and, by computing that a space of 75 years will intervene between the close of the 1260 years and the commencement of the Millennium, and by dividing these 75 years into 30 years and 45 years, he seems to give some warrant to the conjecture that the 30 years will be occupied in the restoration of Judah, and the 45 years in the restoration of Israel. If this be the case, we may conclude, agreeably to the history of the exodus from Egypt which is here set forth as a type of the yet future return of the house of Jacob from the countries of their dispersion, that but few only of the generation, that set out to return to their own land, will ever enjoy the possession of it in peace.
There is reason to think from other prophecies, that the calamities, here predicted, will chiefly, if indeed not altogether, befall Judah: for Israel as a nation will not be restored till after the destruction of Antichrist, and will be brought back with great tenderness and respect by the different peoples among which he has been scattered;
whereas Judah will be restored in the very midst of the wars of Antichrist, and will suffer most severely in the struggle between the contending powers.
Nevertheless, the whole house of Jacob shall ultimately be brought back, and converted to the faith of Christ; and these signal events will be instrumental in causing the Lord to be sanctified in the sight of all the nations, and in spreading the knowledge of the Gospel to the very ends of the earth.
Abp. Newcome seems inclined to apply this prediction to the return from Babylon and the subsequent events; but he is obliged, in so doing, to resort almost entirely to conjecture; and, after all, is by no means consistent even with himself. He supposes the desert, where God is to plead with his people, to be one between Judea and Babylon. And yet he thinks, that, by the rebels and transgressors, those are intended, "who, after the murder of Gedaliah, went into Egypt, called here the land of their sojourning. Some of these were to be carried into Chaldea with the captive Egyptians*; though the greater part were to be consumed t. Some of the obstinately rebellious Jews might also sojourn in other neighbouring countries subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, as Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Tyre; and might thence be taken into captivity." The prophet however is surely speaking of those, who should perish in the course of their being brought back out of the various countries of their dispersion into their own land; not of certain Jews, who were destroyed in Egypt, while others were led away captive into Chaldea. They are plainly to perish while returning from captivity, not while going into captivity. Nor is this all. His Grace very justly interprets the 41st verse to mean, that the nations shall consider the Lord as a great and holy God, when they observe his deliverance of the Jews, and their obedience to him. But when did any such general veneration of God take place, in consequence of the return of Judah from Babylon? This part of the prediction can only be referred to the universal conversion of the nations after the final restoration of Israel, and during the period
Jerem. xliii. 11.
† Jerem. xliv. 12.
of the Millennium. And, if it be thus referred, then the whole prediction must be similarly referred; as indeed is sufficiently evident from its treating of the restoration of all the house of Jacob out of the various peoples and nations, among which they had been scattered *.
The overthrow of the mystic Tyre and her prince preparatory to the complete restoration and prosperity of Israel.
Ezekiel xxvi. 7. Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring upon Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people-15. Thus saith the Lord God to Tyre; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?-21. I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord God.
xxvii. 1. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying; 2. And thou, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre: 3. And say unto Tyre; O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, a merchant of the nations to many isles; Thus saith the Lord God; O Tyre, thou hast said, I am perfect in beauty. 4. Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. 5. They have made all thy planks of fir-trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. 6. Of the oaks of Bashan they have made thine oars: the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory from the isles of Chittim. 7. Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail: blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee. 8. The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners thy wise men, O Tyre, that were in thee, were
See Abp. Newcome's Ezekiel in loc.
thy pilots-10. They of Persia, and of Lud, and of Phut,
26. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters : the east-wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas. 27. Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin *.
Thy mariners-thy men of war-shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.] The whole Antichristian confederacy of the beast, the infidel king, and the vassal sovereigns of the Latin earth, shall be destroyed along with the false prophet in one and the same season of unexampled trouble.
28. Thy suburbs shall shake* at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. 29. And all, that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; 30. And shall lift up their voice over thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes. 31. And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart, and bitter wailing. 32. And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, What city is like Tyre, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? 33. When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and thy merchandise. 34. In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall. 35. All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be trou bled in their countenance. 36. The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and ne ver shalt be any more.
xxviii. 1. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: 2. Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of Godt in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: 3. Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.. 4. With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten silver and gold into thy treasures: 5. By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic thou hast in
Thy suburbs shall shake.] The fall of Babylon shall be felt in the most remote parts of her spiritual empire.
I sit in the seat of God.] The man of sin, who is described in a manner precisely similar, is, "in profession," as Bp. Newton observes, "a Christian, and a Christian Bishop. His sitting in the temple of God plainly implies his having his seat or cathedra in the Christian church and he sitteth there as God, especially at his inauguration, when he sitteth upon the high altar in St. Peter's church, and maketh the table of the Lord his footstool, and in that position receiveth adoration. Bp. Newton's Dissert. xx11."