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by Dr. John Thomas
And I will bring them, saith the Lord, again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and Ephraim shall pass through the sea with affliction and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down; and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away".
Let us, then, attend more particularly now to the relation subsisting between the king of Israel and his ten tribes, designated as "Ephraim" and "the remnant of Jacob" in the word.
Addressing them, the Lord says by the prophet, "Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war; for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers".
This has never been the case since the prophecy was delivered; it remains, therefore, to be fulfilled.
With Judah as his goodly war horse and well-strung bow, filled with the Ephraim arrow, and wielding the Israel battle-axe, "The Lord will go forth with the whirlwinds of the south".
"The remnant of Jacob will"
then "be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver".
By such a weapon as this, the Lord "will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard".
This belligerent state of things between the King of Israel and the nations of Gogue's dominion, styled "the goats," will continue for forty years.
The subjugation will be gradual, as Israel is made to "go through" from kingdom to kingdom.
"Feed thy people," saith the prophet, "with thy rod, the flock of thy heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old".
In answer to this petition, the Lord replies, "According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto Him (Israel) marvellous things".
This is forty years; for so long were they in passing from Egypt to Canaan, which was the type of their coming out from among the nations to the Holy Land under the generalship of Elijah, the Lord's harbinger to the Ten Tribes.
The "marvellous things" to be shown them will not be performed in private, but will be as notorious as the plagues of Egypt; for "the nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth; they shall be afraid of the Lord the God of Israel, and shall fear because of thee.
The more immediate consequence of these exterminating wars will be the cessation of all further resistance in the north, which will have been thus compelled to "give up" the Israelites among them, and to let them go and serve in "the wilderness of the people".
They will not march directly into the Holy Land, because the generation of Israelites who leave the north will be no more fit for immediate settlement there than their fathers were who left Egypt under Moses.
They would be as rebellious under the government of Shiloh as that generation whose carcases fell in the wilderness, and concerning whom "Jehovah sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest".
They must, therefore, be subjected to discipline, and trained up under the divine admonition.
But, notwithstanding all the "marvellous things" they will have witnessed, they will prove themselves true to the character of their fathers, who were stiff-necked and perverse, and resistant always of the Spirit of God; so that they will not be permitted to enter into the land of Israel.
Their children, however, will come thither from "the land of the enemy," and attain to their own border.
The reader will, doubtless, desire to know upon what ground I affirm these things.
[Zech. xii.8. Mal.iv.3. Mic.iv.1-7. Zech.ix.12-16. Zec.xii.9. Zech.ix.12-16. Zec.x.7-11; Isaiah xi. 15,16. Jer.li.20-23.]