J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 4.)
Jeremiah gives the judgment of Jerusalem and the Jews in the Land. Ezekiel, the dealings of God with Israel banished, and it is disowning, and His glory leaving Jerusalem and the Temple. He takes the Gentiles, up to the first beast, and resumes them after the last beast, in connection with Israel Daniel takes up the beasts and their history, in connection with the saints and his nation, etc. The Apocalypse takes a further point, and herein connects itself also with Zechariah The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, had been presented to the Jews in Jerusalem as Son of Man, and rejected, and as the Lamb, had taken the throne on high, and become the Lamb in the midst of the Throne. In this character He exercises the power by His Spirit - the seven Spirits sent forth into all the earth, previous to His coming forth to exercise it, either as the King of kings or Lord of lords, or as the Root of David. Revelation 2 and 3 are His judgment of the Church on earth. Therefore the throne in heaven. He governs (by knowledge) the world before taking to Him His power Zechariah takes up Israel and the nations.
- 36. "The living God" - note this.
- 26. This passage, I think, shows that the king of the North, Gog (the king of Sheshach, as I believe) has possession of the regions called "North" in Judaea, by virtue of the system of judgments which come thereon. It is not then his simple inherited possession. "The king of Sheshach" I take to be Gog, not in his original, natural position, but after his having in a great measure possessed himself of the earth, and then upon the putting out of Antichrist, being alone in the earth as against God - the sun darkened, they that are drunken, drunken in the night, see Habakkuk 2 - and so thus, indeed, the king of all the confusion; but it is in the night of his destruction. Of the activity of this, Nebuchadnezzar seems a type - of its being confounded, Belshazzar. I have always thought Nebuchadnezzar, as conquering, to be the type of the Assyrian of the latter day.
91 But it appears to me that there is a point here of new light breaking in - the Gog, the Assyrian, becomes the representative of power over Babylon, when Antichrist is put out, and, though put out by God's mighty ones, he will think it is all to his dominion; see Joel, and the account of the Assyrian in Isaiah. Then, having come against the Jews, he will say, "Where is now their God," setting himself as "the man of the earth" against "the God of the earth," as the other against Antichrist - for the earth is his sphere, power not infidelity and antichristianism, which is the distinctive point of the former. But Antichrist is in fact the inferior power. Isaiah 14:12, clearly, I think, applies to him, Antichrist, but the passage which I will go into here, seems to embrace a larger scope, and to open out this very position of the last king, as finding his destruction in having all drowned in his person, except the head who shall then see that their power is gone, "none shut up nor left."
We have observed, elsewhere, the distinctness of character in Antichrist and the king of Babylon in this point of view, i.e., the virtual headship of confusion, on the destruction of Antichrist, but who holds it in power (for in this God will vindicate it as between them) but who, then turning that power against God, as having all, touches not them, the Remnant but the apple of His eye. "The king of Babylon" is not, in my opinion, used of Antichrist, which is a most important point, and opens out the whole question, and reflects light on many others; compare the connection in Isaiah 14:22, 24, 25. Verse 13 shows the other's assumed dominion in his origin. He is not power but popular, the head "of" not "over," in his principles, as Buonaparte said, "I am the representative of the people"; consider also verse 29, et seq. Then Psalm 48:2, determines, I think, verse 13, and thus the whole matter is made plain. We have also, hence, a very definite understanding of Revelation 16 and 17 and the time of chapter 18:21, confirming generally the view heretofore taken, the details not being there unfolded; see note on the passage now.
The bearing of this I feel to be sound and interesting, but there is not sufficient scope left for what passes between the destruction of Antichrist and the inroad of Gog, as in Zechariah for example, and Gog and the Assyrian are unduly identified.
92 Jeremiah 27
- 1. I suspect the fault is not in "Jehoiakim" in this verse, but in "Zedekiah" in verse 3 - that it was in Jehoiakim's reign Jeremiah warned the Ammonites, etc. And he did the same, as to Judah, when Zedekiah was king; verse 12. But it is a matter of fact to be enquired into.
- 18. It is deeply interesting to compare this verse with Genesis 20:7, and John 15:7. One sees that being a prophet, i.e., having the communication of the mind of God, places one in, and supposes that intimacy with Him which enables to ask and have of Him, and obtain. It produces and implies, in its nature, that kind of confidence, that claim in grace arising from intimacy, that possession of His mind which enables to intercede. Martha was sure Christ was in this position; she did not know, nor realise His intrinsic living power. And note, the Christian, so far as he values his place in Christ, is in this position, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done"; compare John 16:26-27; see also 1 Corinthians 2:16.
- 30. Note, whatever the inworking of grace, and however complete the forgiveness, the state of Israel in the millennium is one of strict law, only direct and personal.
- 33, 34. I compare these verses, and verses 29, 30, with Isaiah 60:21, and chapter 65:19-20. Only here dying is for his sin - judgment in this world. This would seem to be so in Isaiah 65:20.
- 18. This is a prophecy of Scripture - the spoken and the written - the same thing. The Epistles were the same - the "I, Tertius," represents Baruch. The form of inspiration was, however, different, and blessedly so. Not less inspiration, but more in the intelligence. We have the mind of Christ. The Holy Ghost, dwelling in the Church, enters into all its circumstances. The prophets studied their own prophecies. The New Testament is "We speak that we do know."
- 28. God's judgments are not set aside by burning rolls of parchment.
93 Jeremiah 46
- 25. "Amon of No" (see margin). Is there any case of pakad (visit) with min (from) having the sense of cutting off? It is curious having el (to) with Amon, and al (upon) with Pharaoh. I am aware el is not usually placed with the name of a god. The Septuagint (i.e., Origen's text) seems to have read b'nah (her son) and to have left out el. Perhaps el has its force of "towards," "as far as," i.e., God's visitation of Egypt would reach as far as to cut off Ammon from Thebes; see Nahum 3:8, for minno Amon (than No Amon).
- 40. Elohim - used as to Sodom, and nowhere else.
In Isaiah 13 we have "the burden of Babylon," as it appears to me, the whole power of confusion - Babel. Isaiah 14:25, includes the Assyrian, which was long before the rise, you may say, of Babel, in the literal history on which this is founded. Yet it is here identified with it, as the closing point of power - the "ceasing of indignation." Hence we learn that it is in its full, real exhibition, and closing character that it is here spoken of. Consequently, all necessary to the antitypical circumstances are brought together. The burden is of Babel all through. Confusion is to be put out and confounded. Hence, first we have the army of "kingdoms of nations," with God's sanctified ones, His gibborim - the Lord's host altogether. This is "the day of the Lord" at hand, and destruction from the Almighty; see the same thing, precisely, in Joel. The effect - "the Land is laid desolate" - the sun, moon, and stars, put out. The world (te-vel, whole earth) punished for its evil - pride and haughtiness laid low. A man made more precious than fine gold. This implies the destruction of the army itself, also, dreadfully. The heavens shaken, and the earth removed - a known symbol of the final judgment of the latter day, as in the Lord's hand. Here we have the full, antitypical character of the whole scene of the latter day, in its generic accomplishment - its accomplishment in the world, in which the host of the Lord is gathered, but gathered into punishment because of their arrogancy, saying "my hand," whereas the Lord led them up as "the rod of his anger." But the real instruments are not included in this, the gibborim - the sanctified ones - those whose pride is in His exaltation. That passage is complete.
94 Then we have the typical facts of the destruction of Babylon, as holding the Jews in bondage, in which Antichrist shall keep them, for it is their deliverance, rather Jerusalem's, from the Babylonians, which is then noted, and against them. "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob," also note verse 2, the people (gomim) bring them to their place, who may be scattered, and, what has never been yet accomplished since Babylon, "they shall rule over their oppressors." Then, when Jacob has "rest," for this is the point of the second part from chapter 13:17 to chapter 14:1 (now the terrible day in which Gog is brought into destruction, evidently is past before "the rest") the arrogancy of the proud, the man of the earth is set aside. Hence, in celebrating the fall of the king of Babylon, it includes the whole scene of power of man assumed over the world. It is all one great crisis. Lucifer in this is Antichrist, and it will be found, in every particular, to be the counterpart of Christ, in his assumptions in all the characters of His glory. This was that which was the power of Babylon over the Jews. At the same time there is that which never got hold of Jerusalem, though it thought it got hold of it as a nest The Lord broke the Assyrian on his god - the Lord's mountains, and the yoke is taken off. The Assyrian is the successor of Antichrist, in being alone in power, but does not take Jerusalem, though he oppressed the Land, which is therefore here spoken of. The fall of Antichrist sets Jerusalem free, and in fact the earth. The Assyrian, Gog, who has been brought up "with a hook in his nose," perishes, and the Land is cleared. Thus the whole scene is brought before us, giving, as the subject of the prophet's prophecy is Judah and Jerusalem, Babylon and its proper head, Antichrist, but, lest there should be mistake as to the whole scene, the Assyrian is introduced as destroyed under the circumstances which ensued thereon The order has been spoken of and gone into in another place.
- 8 - 59 - 62. Note, as to Babylon, this makes it plain, whatever judgment may be as to ulterior facts, that the then testimony as to the then Babylon was a testimony as for ever. Zedekiah and Seraiah, and the testimony to be then read in Babylon, clearly apply to the then existing Babylon, and Babylon was to be desolations for ever. I reject no ulterior instruction here. So chapter 25:12, where, after giving the nations round about up to Nebuchadnezzar for perpetual desolations, at the end of seventy years He gives up the king, nation and land of the Chaldeans, and makes it a perpetual desolation. The destroying mountain is to be desolate for ever, see chapter 51:26. These are all that are said. Thus of three, two are certainly ancient Babylon.
95 Then as to "from generation to generation" (Isaiah 13:20) "Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency … shall not be dwelt in from generation to generation"; see chapter 34:10, 17, as to Idumaea, and chapter 51:8, as to salvation, and Jeremiah 50:39, as to Babylon. I cannot doubt that Jeremiah 50 and 51 apply to ancient Babylon. Moreover, in the testimony given to Seraiah, it is said, "Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her."