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THE account of these prophetic wonders, are also continued by Zechariah, who lived 50 years after Ezekiel.
He says, "the man whose name is the Branch, shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord, and bear the glory, and sit and rule upon his throne.-And he shall not only be a king, but a priest also on his throne; and the council of peace shall be between them both."
The Lord is to return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and she is to be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain.-Old men and women are yet to dwell in the city of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.-And the inhabitants of one city, shall go to another city saying, "let us go speedily and pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also.-Yea many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.
The daughter of Zion is called on greatly to rejoice; and the daughter of Jerusalem to shout; for her king cometh unto her.-He is to speak peace to the heathen, and his dominion shall be from sea to sea; and from the river to the ends of the earth."
And in order to ascertain the period of time with certainty, and to distinguish clearly between the first and second coming of this glorious prince; the prophet declares" that in that day, whenever it shall be, the Lord will destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem; and will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness as one that is in bitterness for his first born. And then there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem-and the land shall mourn ; every family apart and their wives apart.-In this same day, (or about the same time) there shall be opened a fountain to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.-The feet of the Lord shall then stand on the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the mount shall cleave in the midst thereof towards the east and towards the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove towards the north; and half of it towards the south; and the people shall flee to the valley of the mountains, which shall reach unto Azel; they shall flee, like as they fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah-And the Lord God shall then come, and all the saints with him; and in that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them towards the eastern sea, and
half of them towards the hinder sea, in summer and winter shall it be; and the Lord shall be king over all the earth; and there shall be one Lord, and his name one."
All this is too descriptive, and too minute, to suppose them designed, as merely allegorical-the language being so frequently express and positive.
This would be unworthy the grandeur of the sub. ject, and the dignity of the kingdom of God so expressly revealed in his word.-The promises of God are yea and amen-not a tittle of them shall fail, but all things written in the prophets and the psalms concerning him, shall be fulfilled-even where the language in scripture is plainly and necessarily figurative as to part of its principal object, often it carries a double reference, and the literal is fulfilled, as well as the figurative.
The prophet proceeds to foretel the manner in which these great events are to be brought aboutThis was necessary, as it had been foretold, that previous to this glorious day, there should be a great falling away among the professors of the gospel, and that the enemies of Christ, and his faithful people, should greatly prevail, even so as to endanger the safety of the elect or church of God, had it been possible.
Zechariah therefore further informs us, that this "will be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that shall fight against JerusalemG
their flesh shall consume away, while they stand upon their feet-their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongues shall consume away in their mouths-There shall be a great tumult from the Lord among them, and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor; and his hand shalk rise up against the hand of his neighbor; and Judah shall fight at Jerusalem and the wealth of the heathen shall be gathered together, gold and silver and apparel in great abundance.-And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in their tentsAnd every one that is left of all the nations which shall come against Jerusalem, shall afterwards go up from year to year to worship the king, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles; and who so will not come up, of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the king the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."
The prophet concludes the descriptive scene, by declaring with great certainty of expression, that in that day which he had been speaking of, so greatly should a spirit of righteousness prevail," that holiness to the Lord, should be inscribed on the bells (or rather bridles, as it is in the margin of our bibles) of the horses." And I will here add in addition to these prophetic declarations under the old testament dispensation, that Malachi finishes his prophecy with, "behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful
day of the Lord; and he shall turn (or restore) the heart of the fathers to the children; and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
It is remarkable that John the baptist came in the power and spirit of Elias, and was the harbinger of Christ's first coming, but he did not restore the heart of the fathers to the children; and the heart of the children to the fathers-this is reserved for the real Elijah, the great harbinger of Christ's second coming in glory, here called the great and dreadful day of the Lord, when all that the prophet has predicted shall be literally fulfilled,
Our Saviour himself tells his disciples, in Matthew xvii. 11. after John was beheaded, "that Elias truly shall first come," and to distinguish him from John, as Malachi did, adds, " and shall restore all things."
In all these prophetic declarations, throughout the old testament, the coming of our Lord and Saviour is foretold indefinitely, without distinguishing in express terms between his first and second coming; but leaves the devout enquirer to the nature of the prophecies, and what their peculiar terms suggest,