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gloominess, of clouds and thick darkness. He directs the people to fast and cry mightily to God; and prom: ises, that thereupon God would remove from them ihe northern army, which he represents as innumerable, and most ruinous; and that the stench of their ruined hosts should come up, because they had done great things. Upon this he predicts the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all fesh. This received an incip, ient fulfilment on the day of Pentecost, Acts ii, 16–. But it is to have its ultimate fulfilment in the introduc. tion of the Millennium. Then, in chapter iii, le gives a more particular account of the terrible scene of judgment, and identifies it with the destruction of Antichrist, which has been described. "For behold, in "those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again "he captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gath. "er all nations, and will bring them down into the val. "ley of Jehoshaphat.” The battle of the great day follows, verse 9,-"Proclaim ye this among the Gen"tiles; prepare war; wake up the mighty men; let all "the men of war draw near, let them coine up. Beat "your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning. "hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong: “Assemble yourselves and come, all ye heathen, “and gather yourselves together round about: thither "cause thy mighry ones to come down, O Lord.
Let “the heathen be wakened and come up to the val. “ley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the “heathen round about.” The bringing of this vast army to the valley of Jehoshaphat, is supposed to be expres: sed in allusion to the account in 2 Chron. xx, of the vast combined army, that came against the Jews, in the reign of Jehoshaphat. This pious king, upon this occasion, corivened the people to the house of God, and prayed for deliverance.
The Lord by his prophet engaged to fight ihe battle. A spirit of mutiny was excited in the combined hosts. They fought among themselves; and all were destroyed together. The Jews collected the spoils, and blessed God for the deliver. ance.
In allusion to this event the vast armies of An:
tichrist against the Jews are to be collected to the valley of Jehoshaphat, where the Lord will sit to judge the heathen round about. The prophet proceeds. “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come "get ye down; for the press is full; the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multi"tudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the “Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and "the moon shall be darkened; and the stars shall with"draw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of "Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the "heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord shall “be the hope of his people, and the strength of the "children of Israel. So shall they know that I am the “Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy moun"tain. Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall “no stranger pass through her any more.” Here is the overthrow of Antichrist in the valley of decision. Here God decides the controversy between the Church and her enemies. From this chapter some part of the representation of the same event, in Rev. xiv, is bora sowed. The Angel upon the white cloud, with his sharp sickle, reaps the harvest of the earth, which is fully ripe; he gathers the vine of the earth, with its ripe grapes, and costs it into the great wine-press of the wraih of God, in allusion to this passage in Joel. And the application of the passage there decides, that it is fulfilled in the battle of the great day, which just precedes the Millennium, or the destruction of Antichrist.
In Isa. Ixiii, 1–6, is the same event under a simi. lar figure. Jesus Clirist appears as a conqueror, coming away from the slaughter of Edoni, and from Bozrah its capital, glorious in his apparel, travelling in thie greatness cf his strength, mighty to save; his garments red with the blood of his enemies, whom he had trampled in his fury in the great wine-press of the wrath of God. The ancient Edomites were noted enemies of Israel. And the names of their nation and capital are here taken to represent Antichrist in the last time.
In Zech. xiith, xüith, and xivth chapters, we find this expedition and overthrow of Antichrist in Palestine. Chap. xiv, 1-5; “Behold the day of the Lord "cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusa"lem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the *houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the "city shall go forth into captivity, (or be taken captives) "and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from "the city.* Then shall the Lord go forth and fight "against those nations, as when he fought in the day of *battle;" i. e. as in the ancient most signal instances of his fighting for his Chnrch against her enemies. “And “his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of "Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the *mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof to"ward the east, and toward the west, and there shall be "a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of ii toward the "south. And ye shall flee toward the valley of the *mountains." i.e. So great will be the commotion and terror attendant on this coming of Christ to destroy your enemies, that you his people will be terrified, and set out to flee. "Yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from "before the earthquake, in the days of Uzziah, king of “Judah.t And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." Or, as Pool renders this last
> Here is fulfilled the prediction in Ezek. XX, 38, upon the same period and event. And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country, where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Numbers of the Jews, more obsunate and perverse, shall, after they have returned to Jerusalem, be cut off by Antichrist, and not be suffered to dwell in Jerusalem after the battle of the great day. Multitudes more shall be taken captive. But the speedy destruction of Antichrist will afford thein release.
+ The prophet Amos 'speaks of this earthquake, (chap. i, 1,) informing, that his prophecy was two years after it. Josephus speaks of this earthquake, and informs, that the mount of Olives was by it cleft asunder on the west; and the part, which was broken off, was removed to the distance of half a mile.
sentence; Yet. O Lord my God come; and all the saints with thee; as Rev. xxii, 20, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Here is a figurative, but terrible representation of the coining of Christ to destroy Antichrist in Palestine, after the latter shall have grasped his prey.
Let the manner of this appearance of Christ be what it may, whether supernatural; or only a terrible direction of the motives and passions of men, and of the laws of nature, arming them against the wicked; the scene will be terrible and fatal to the enemies of the Church. Verse 13; And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.
As in the forccited passage, Ezek. xxxviii, 21; Every man's sword shall be against his brother. This was the manner of the de. struction of the vast army combined against Israel, in the days of Gideon;* and of the vast confederate army that perished in the reign of Jehoshaphat.To these, and similar instances of signal judgments against the ancient enemies of the Church, allusion is often had, in the predictions of the battle of the great day. I The predictions of these judgments of the Lord upon Antichrist in these three chapters, (the xiith, xiiith, and xivth of Zech.) are too long to be here quoted. They inform, (as chap. xii, 9,) that the Lord will destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And predictions of the millennial glory of the Church succeed these scenes of the battle.Ş
In many instances in the writings of the prophets, predictions of the same event are found; and also of the general ruin of the enemies of the Church, in Gospel lands, at the same period.
Zeph. iii, 8.--"Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the “Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey;
my "determination is to gather the nations, that I may
Judges vii, 22.
† 2 Chron. XX, 22, 23, 24. See Isa. xxviii, 21, with 2 Sam. v, 20,—and Josh. x, 12, Zech. x, 10, to the end, and xiv, 16, to the end.
"assemble the kingdoms, and pour upon them mine "indignation, even all my fierce anger; and all the earth "shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For “then will I turn to the people a pure language, that "they may all call upon the name of the Lord, and "serve him with one consent. From beyond the riv"ers of Ethiopia my suppliants shall bring mine offer. “ing, even the daughter of my dispersed.
The battle which begins at Palestine, will proceed in all its desolation to the open enemies of the Gospel, through the nations. The slaughter is by no means to be confined to Palestine. It will be extended through all Antichristian nations, whether on the eastern or the western continent. It may be a work of years. But it will be a short and decisive work. All who have been partakers of Babylon's sins, will now receive of her plagues. God having taken the sword in hand, he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise a second time. * Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them, in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of his jealousy. A speedy riddance will now be made of all who have the mark of the Beast, whether they shall have been politically united with him, cr not; or wherever they shall be found. “A noise shall come “from the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a con"troversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; "he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith “the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, behold, evil "shall go forth from nation to nation; and a great whirl. "wind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth; "and the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one "end of the earth, even to the other end of the earth; "they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor “buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. † And "the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his ser"vants; and his indignation toward his enemies. For "behold the Lord will come with fire, and with his “chariots, like a whirlwind to render his anger with