Skip to comments.The Restoration and Conversion of Israel - Part III
Posted on 03/05/2011 5:37:06 PM PST by John Leland 1789
No. 249, March, 1915, Vol. XXI., No. 3, pp. 29-31.
II. THE TESTIMONY OF HOSEA (continued).
Finally, let us glance at Hosea 1.10, 11. Here, after stating that Israel is not His people, God promises a future great increase of the nation, "yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea," in which we see a direct reference to the natural seed, for it will be remembered that the Almighty promised Abraham a double line of descendents, a natural seed is represented by the sand of the sea, and a spiritual seed represented by the stars of heaven (Genesis 22.17). Here we have to do with the natural seed. But not only is the multiplicity of posterity assured, it is still further asserted the place of their rejection shall at some future time be the scene of their acceptance. "In the place," pointing not to the substitution but to locality; not "instead of" but "in that very place---their---where you were rejected, you shall be received into favour." Out of some two dozen references given by Cruden under the heading "in the place" only one, namely, Genesis 50.19, "Joseph said, they are not, I am in the place of God," Ken this phrase be taken to mean "instead of." All the others refer to locality, and as regards this special reference, supports the view that as it was when Israel was still in the land they were rejected as the people of God, so in the future it will be in the same land that they will be fully received into favour.
Verse 13 goes still further. It tells us that "the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together" in public assembly, that the reason of this public concourse shall be to "appoint themselves and head." Who is this? Certainly it cannot refer to Zerubbabel, for he only led the representative children of Judah to their own land after the Babylonian captivity; for he was only a type by anticipation of the greater Leader, Messiah-Jesus, who in the future both Judah and Israel, as a united people, shall acclaim and proclaim as one and only Head---cp. Ezekiel 37.22; Zechariah 14.9. In order to do this, "they shall come up out of the land" not necessarily the land of their dispersion, but rather the land of their restoration.
Thus we have a picture of representatives of the tribes, all the tribes, going up out of the land to gathered together in one place, Jerusalem. For it is of Jerusalem in another place we read: "Wither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord," Psalm 122.4. Assuredly "great shall be the day of Jezreel." As Bishop Horsley remarks quote "Great and happy shall be the day when the holy seed of both branches of the natural Israel shall be publicly acknowledged of their God, united under one Head, there Team Messiah, and restored to the possession of the promised land, and to a situation of high pre-eminence among the kingdoms of the earth (Horsley: "Hosea," p. 4).*
*See note on p. 22, February number.
III. THE TESTIMONY OF ISAIAH
We should naturally expect that the "Evangelical Prophet," as he has been so happily styled, would be rich in predictions of Restoration and Conversion. And such we find to be the case; and not only so, for we have many prophecies and descriptions of the time when Jehovah Himself "judges among the nations," and when the glorious King "shall reign and Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously," over a renewed earth during a millennium of righteous rule, when there shall be universal peace among men and among beasts, when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." It is a grand and splendid Book, this of Isaiah. Well may Jerome have explained: "His book is not a prophecy but a Gospel," so full is it of Messianic hopes. And it is in connection with these that we find in this book so many Divine titles. By no means the least interesting is that of
This title is given to Messiah into prophecies of Isaiah, two of Jeremiah, and to Zechariah, all connected with the "hope of Israel" in restoration. It is only with the two in Isaiah that we are immediately concerned, as the other four will, please God, he considered in their proper place. But quite independently of their special context, we see that four out of the six give us some aspect of Messiah's relationship to Jehovah as depicted in the For Gospels. Thus:
Jer. 23.5 speaks of Messiah as "a righteous Branch" and "a King that shall reign and prosper"; in this connecting Him with the Gospel of Matthew which is pre-eminently that of "the King of the Jews."
Zech. 3.8 says: "I will bring forth my Servant the Branch"; and Mark places the Lord Jesus before us as the ideal Servant.
Zech. 6.12 presents Jehovah's Man. "Behold the Man whose name is the Branch"; and Luke puts Him before us as the ideal Man.
Isaiah 4.2 declares: "in that day shall Jehovah is Branch be beautiful and glorious"; and it is John's Gospel that depicts our Blessed Lord as what He is, absolutely and intrinsically Divine.
We find all this brought out at greater length and in much fuller detail in the Companion Bible, page 1304. Before passing on, we would call attention to the word translated Branch. It is "Tsemach," occurring twelve times in the Old Testament, and in the passages here quoted referring especially to Messiah. It means a sprout from the root, not from a branch. "Tsemach is also the name of the brightest star in the Zodiac sign Virgo." (C.B., note Jeremiah 23.5). This is most interesting, and in this connection full of meaning, but see Dr. Bullinger's "Witness of the Stars" (pp. 31-34) for further details.
Now, before we look at any Restoration Scriptures in Isaiah, it is well to note when "the vision" and "word" of the Lord came to him, and concerning whom they came. His prophecy begins B.C. 649, and closes B.C. 588. He was partly contemporary with Hosea, with Micah, and with Nahum. As we have seen that Amos and Hosea spoke to the Ten Tribes of Israel, the northern kingdom, so Isaiah's "vision" and "word" was concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Here we have a prophet speaking to the Tribe of Judah (and by inference to Benjamin also), and speaking before the 70 years' captivity in Babylon of those tribes. And these two facts in some minds have raised the question whether the prophecies of restoration and future blessing were not fulfilled at the return from Babylon. Our answer is that never have the glorious things predicted by the prophet been fulfilled, that they certainly were not so at the return from Babylon (really much contrary to the case) and that this, together with the fact that the northern kingdom of Israel is mentioned in conjunction with Judah, points, as we show in our Introduction, to a future fulfillment.
We now turn to to the prophecies concerning God's future plan for Is chosen people Israel. They are both connected with the title of Branch.
"In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious (margin: "beauty and glory"). And the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel" (4.2).
From which passage we learn that the Branch, i.e., the Messiah, shall be a glorious and beautiful site for Judah. "Thine eyes shall behold the King His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off (lit., Far-stretching, not limited in space as now, but of greater extension). By this statement that in that day the Branch of the Lord shall be "beauty and glory," surely we are to understand that at the conversion of the returned Jews, Messiah will shine forth to them as one much desired: "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in Your salvation" (25.9). This will be "in that day," namely "when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion" (v. 12), and when He shall be Beauty and Glory to them who are escaped of Israel. Escaped from what? Doubtless from the Great Tribulation. This will be the time of "Jacob's trouble." This will be that fearful time of punishment and judgment of which the Master said: "For then shall be Great Tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24.21). But, we are assured, Jacob "shall be saved out of it"; his seed, the servants of God, shall be sealed in their foreheads, and after they have escaped shall doubtless join in that ascription of praise and glory: "Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen."
We turn now to Chapter 11. Like the last prophecy considered, this has to do with Branch. But here the original word is not Tsemach but Netser, meaning a shoot or scion. It is a declaration that Messiah is the offspring of Jesse by direct lineage, the He may be regarded as David in relation to His chosen Seed, "And there shall come forth a ROD out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." And then follows a beautiful description of the profound holiness of Messiah, and His justice and His judgment (vv. 2-5), immediately followed by a picture of peace in the animal world, anticipatory to what is told us in verses 11-16; another instance of the foretelling of events not standing in the same order as their fulfillment. Verse 10 speaks again of the Root of Jesse: "In that day there shall be a Root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people (peoples): two IT shall the Gentiles seek, and His rest shall be glorious." We see in this chapter, not only a prophecy of the restoration of Israel, but also allusion to the nations of the world. The nations are to be blessed with Israel and through Israel: "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," was God's promise to Abraham, and so again and again in prophecy we find Israel and the nations connected and blessing. Especially is this so in Isaiah: "And it shall come to pass in that day" (i.e., the day of the Root of Jesse), 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 and from the islands of the sea" (v. 11). In which verse we note the following particulars:
(1) the Lord shall set His hand the second time. Then there must have been a "first-time" recovery. And this "second" must refer either to the return from Babylon or a subsequent return. That it cannot refer to the "bringing again" of the Babylonish captivity is evident from the list of countries mentioned in the verse. That return was from Babylon, and did not include Assyria, to which country the Two Tribes were never carried. So this "second time," taking the first recovery to referred to deliverance from Egypt, must be subsequent to (and quite independent of) the return from Babylon. It is still in the future.
(2) then a word as to remnant. It is generally taken for granted it by the word remnant is meant few out of many. But if we take the Holy Scripture's explanation of the term, we see that it means, not the few but the national representation all the tribes gathered together to one nation from east and west and north and south to the glory of Messiah's kingdom. Micah tells us what is meant by remnant when he prophesies of Israel's restoration: "I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together is the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men" (2.12). So by "remnant" in this chapter of Isaiah we are to understand all included in the "outcasts of Israel" with the "dispersed of Judah."
As to the countries whence these recovered ones return, Assyria accounts no doubt for representatives of the Ten Tribes. Egypt contributes others; Pathros, a section of Egypt, returns others; Cush, either Arabia or Ethiopia adds some; nor are Elam (i.e. Persia) Shinar (Babylon Lowe's parentheses and Hamath without their contributions. So much for the East. But also from the "islands of the sea," from among the posterity of Japheth, who people the "islands of the Gentiles," from European countries, others find their way to the land which is theirs by promise.
Thus we see that from east to west, north and south, "the four corners of the earth," shall be "outcast" and "dispersed" return. All bitterness and envy and animosity shall be laid aside. An united loving peaceable people (v. 13) shall once more enter the land given them by God. Human agency shall help them (v. 14), miraculous intervention shall assist them (vv. 15, 16). It shall even be "like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."
I’ve posted four parts so far. Have you seen the other three? I’m really amused with some of the responses which reflect unwillingness to believe anything in prophecy as being literal.
JUST GLANCED AT THEM, SADLY.
You might post links to the other 3 on this one.
Much appreciate you.
Are you in the USA still?
Yes, still in the USA, and will be ‘till the heat levels off (it never actually cools off), if you know what I mean. I have folks inside monitoring things for me.
I’d encourage you to ask the mod to pull that post.