God’s judgments to apply to the nations:
Le. 18.3: “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.” Le. 18.26-27 [after naming the abominations]: “Le. 18:26-27 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)”
Le. 20.22-23: “Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”
De. 18.9-12 “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”
N1 to Is. 14.26, p727 “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.” (This universality is significant and marks the whole passage as referring, not merely to a near judgment upon Assyria, but in a yet larger sense to the final crash of the present world-system at the end of the age. (See “Times of the Gentiles,” Lu 21:24; “Re 16:14; Da 2:44-45 “Armageddon,” “Re 16:14; 19:17. No other such universal catastrophe on the nations is known to Scripture.)
Is. 34. The day of the Lord. Armageddon. Is. 34.2-3 “For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.”
Je. 9:25-26 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”
Je. 25 (whole chapter)-God will judge Israel & Judah as well as all the nations of the earth. Some sample verses: “26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. 29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts. 31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.”
Ez. 5.6 [The nations refused God’s judgments and statutes and have not walked in them] To Israel God said: “And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. [see verses following]”
Ez. 5.8-9 “Ezekiel 5:8-9 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.”
Jl. 3.2-8 The judgment of the Gentile nations after Armageddon. “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
N1 to Mt. 25.32, p1036 “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left…” (Mt. 25:32-46). (This judgment is to be distinguished from the judgment of the great white throne. Here there is no resurrection; the persons judged are living nations; no books are opened; three classes are present, sheep, goats, and brethren; the time is at the return of Christ (Mt 25:31); and the scene is on the earth. All these particulars are in contrast with Re 20:11-15. The test in this judgment is the treatment accorded by the nations to those whom Christ here call “my brethren.” These “brethren” are the Jewish Remnant who will have preached the Gospel of the kingdom to all nations during the tribulation. See “Remnant” Isa 1:9; Ro 11:5. The test in Re 20:11-15 is the possession of eternal life. See, for the other six judgments: Cmt. on Joh 12:31 Cmt. on 1Co 11:31 Cmt. on 2Co 5:10 Cmt. on Eze 20:37 Cmt. on Jude 1:6 Cmt. on Re 20:12).
N2 to Mt. 21.44, p1029 “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Christ as the “Stone” is revealed in a threefold way: (1) To Israel Christ, coming not as a splendid monarch but in the form of a servant, is a stumbling stone and rock of offence. Isa 8:14-15; Ro 9:32-33; 1Co 1:23; 1Pe 2:8; (2) to the church, Christ is the foundation stone and the head of the corner 1Co 3:11; Eph 2:20-22; 1Pe 2:4-5; (3) to the Gentile world-powers (see “Gentiles,” Lu 21:24; Re 16:19 He is to be the smiting-stone of destruction Da 2:34. Israel stumbled over Christ; the church is built upon Christ; Gentile world- dominion will be broken by Christ. See “Armageddon” “>Re 16:14; 19:19. Margin: Or, Whosoever falls on this stone shall be crushed together i.e. the Jews Isa 8:14; Ro 9:32-33; 1Co 1:23 but on whomsoever it may fall, he will be scattered as dust (Gr. “winnowed,” i.e. the Gentile nations, Da 2:34-35,45 Cmt. on Da 2:35.)
God uses Gentile nations and kings: II Ki. 23.28-30; II Chr. 35.20-27. He will use Assyria to judge Israel (Is. 8, 10.5-11). Then God will punish Assyria because… Is. 10.12-16.
N7 to Ge. 10.1-5, p17-18 “Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (1 Gomer 2 Magog 3 Madai 4 Javan 5 Tubal 6 Meshech 7 Tiras: 1 Progenitor of the ancient Cimerians and Cimbri, from whom are descended the Celtic family. N2 From Magog are descended the ancient Scythians, or Tartars, whose descendants predominate in the modern Russia. Eze 38:2; 39:6; Re 20:8. N3 Progenitor of the ancient Medes. N4 Progenitor of those who peopled Greece, Syria, etc. N5 Tubal’s descendants peopled the region south of the black Sea, from whence they spread north and south. It is probable that Tobolsk perpetuates the tribal name. A branch of this race peopled Spain. N6 Progenitor of a race mentioned in connection with Tubal, Magog, and other northern nations. Broadly speaking, Russia, excluding the conquests of Peter the Great and his successors, is the modern land of Magog, Tubal, and Meshech. N7 Progenitor of the Thracians. From these seven sons of Japheth are descended the goyim, or Gentile, nations, trans. “heathen” 148 times in the A.V. The name implies nothing concerning religion, meaning simply, non-Israelite, or “foreigner.”)
N1 p19 to Gen. 11.10 “These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:” (Genesis 11. and 12. mark an important turning point in the divine dealing. Heretofore the history has been that of the whole Adamic race. There has been neither Jew nor Gentile; all have been one in “the first man Adam.” Henceforth, in the Scripture record, humanity must be thought of as a vast stream from which God, in the call of Abram and the creation of the nation of Israel, has but drawn off a slender rill, through which He may at last purify the great river itself. Israel was called to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deut. 6.4; Isa. 43.10-12); to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God (Deut. 33.26-29); to receive and preserve the divine revelations (Rom. 3.1,2; Deut. 4.5-8); and to produce the Messiah (Gen. 3.15; 21.3; 28.10, 14; 49.10; 2 Sam. 7.16, 17; Isa. 4.3, 4; Mt. 1.1.
“The reader of scripture should hold firmly in mind: (1) that from Gen. 12. to Mt. 12.45 the Scriptures have primarily in view Israel, the little rill, not the great Gentile river, though again and again the universality of the ultimate divine intent breaks into view (e.g. Gen. 12.3; Isa. 2.2, 4; 5.26, 9.1, 2; 11.10-12; 42.1-6; 49.6, 12; 52.15; 54.3; 55.5; 60.3, 5, 11-16; 61.6, 9; 62.2; 66.12, 18, 19; Jer. 16.19; Joel 3, 9, 10; Mal. 1.11; Rom. 9., 10., 11.; Gal. 3.8-14); (2) that the human race, henceforth called Gentile in distinction from Israel, goes on under the Adamic and Noahic covenants; and that for the race (outside Israel) the dispensations of Conscience and Human Government continue. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in Rom. 1.21-32, and its moral accountability in Rom. 2.1-16. Conscience never acquits: it either “accuses” or “excuses.” Where the law is known to the Gentiles it is to them, as to Israel, “a ministration of death, “ a “curse” (Rom. 3.19, 20; 7.9, 10; 2 Cor. 3.7; Gal. 3.10). A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel (John 3.18, 19, 36; 15.22-24; 16.9; 1 John 5.9-12).”
N2 p. 23 to Gen. 14 “18,. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” “‘Most High’ or ‘most high God’ (Heb. E; Elyon). ‘Elyon’ means simply ‘highest.’
- “(1) The first revelation of this name (v. 19) indicates its distinctive meanings. Abram, returning from his victory over the confederated kings (Gen. 14.1-17), Is met by Melchizedek, King of Salem . . . the “priest of the most high God” (El Elyon), who blesses Abram in the name of El, Elyon, “possessor of heaven and earth.” This revelation produced a remarkable impression upon the patriarch. Not only did he at once give Melchizedek ‘tithes of all’ the spoil of the battle, but when the King of Sodom offered other of that spoil to Abram, his answer was: ‘ I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD [Jehovah], the most high God (El Elyon], the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet,’ etc. (Gen. 14.18-23).
- “(a) The LORD (Jehovah) is known to a Gentile king (Melchizedek) by the name ‘most high God’ (El Elyon); (b) a Gentile is the priest of El Elyon and (c) His distintive character as most high God is ‘possessor of heaven and earth.’
- “Appropriately to this Gentile knowledge of God by His name ‘Most High,’ we read that ‘the Most High divided to the nations [i.e., Gentiles] their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam,’ etc. (Deut. 32.8). As ‘possessor of heaven and earth,’ it was the prerogative of the Most High to distribute the earth among the nations according to whatever principle He chose. That principle is declared in Deut. 32.8 (“When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”). To the same purport is the use of the name in Daniel, the book of Gentile prophecy (Dan. 3.26; 4.17, 24, 25, 32, 34, 35; 5.18, 21).
- “(2) As ‘possessor of heaven and earth,’ the most migh God has and exercises authority in both spheres: (a) the heavenly authority of El Elyon (e.g., Deut. 4.35, 37 [“35 Unto thee it is shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is note else beside him. 37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;]; Isa. 14.13, 14 [“13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” 14 I will ascend above the heithts of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”]; Mt. 28.18); (b) the earthly authority of El Elyon (e.g., Deut. 32.8 [“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”]; Psa. 9.2-5 [“”I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. 3 When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at they presence. 4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. 5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.”]; 21.7; 47.2-4; 56.2, 3; 82.6, 8; 83.6, 7, 16-18; 91.9-12; 2 Sam. 22.14, 15; Dan. 5.18). See, for other names of Deity: Gen. 1.1, note; 2.4, note; 2.7; 15.2, note; 17.1, note; 21.33, note; 1 Sam. 1.3, note.”
De. 9:4-29 “4 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. 5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people….”N2 to Is. 42.6, p750 “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;” (The prophets connect the Gentiles with Christ in a threefold way: (1) as the Light He brings salvation to the Gentiles Lu 2:32; Ac 13:47-48; (2) as the “Root of Jesse” He is to reign over the Gentiles in His kingdom. Isa 11:10; Ro 15:12. He saves the Gentiles, which is the distinctive feature of this present age. Ro 11:17-24; Eph 2:11-12 He reigns over the Gentiles in the kingdom-age, to follow this. See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Ge 1:26-28; Zec 12:8. (3) Believing Gentiles in the present age, together with believing Jews, constitute “the church which is His body.” Cmt. on Eph 3:6)
- “THE PROPHETICAL BOOKS [P711]. Prophets were men raised up of God in times of declension and apostasy in Israel. They were primarily revivalists and patriots, speaking on behalf of God to the heart and conscience of the nation. The prophetic messages have a twofold character: first, that which was local and for the prophet’s time; secondly, that which was predictive of the divine purpose in future. Often the prediction springs immediately from the local circumstances (e.g. Isa 7:1-11 with Isa 7:12-14).
- “It is necessary to keep this Israelitish character of the prophet in mind. Usually his predictive, equally with his local and immediate ministry, is not didactic and abstract, but has in view the covenant people, their sin and failure, and their glorious future. The Gentile is mentioned as used for the chastisement of Israel, as judged therefore, but also as sharing the grace that is yet to be shown toward Israel. The Church, corporately, is not in the vision of the O.T. prophet (Eph 3:1-6). The future blessing of Israel as a nation rests upon the Palestinian Covenant of restoration and conversion (De 30:1-9, refs.), and the Davidic Covenant of the Kingship of the Messiah, David’s Son (2Sa 7:8-17, refs.), and this gives to predictive prophecy its Messianic character. The exaltation of Israel is secured in the kingdom, and the kingdom takes its power to bless from the Person of the King, David’s Son, but also “Immanuel.” …
- “Gentile powers are mentioned as connected with Israel, but prophecy, save in Daniel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Nahum, is not occupied with Gentile world-history. Daniel, as will be see, has a distinctive character….”
II Chr. 35.20-24: Necho, King of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish and Josiah went out against him. God had sent Necho, & Necho told Josiah he wasn’t coming against him and that he was told to do what he was doing by God. Nonetheless, Josiah, King of Judah went to fight against Necho and was killed.
Headnote to Is., p712: “Isaiah is justly accounted the chief of the writing prophets. He has the more comprehensive testimony and is distinctively the prophet of redemption. Nowhere else in the Scriptures written under the law have we so clear a view of grace. The New Testament Church does not appear (Eph 3:3-10), but Messiah in His Person and sufferings, and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full vision…. [Part IV] The blessing of the Gentiles….”
- N1 to Is. 11, p723 (The order of events in Isa. 10., 11., is noteworthy. Isa. 10. gives the distress of the Remnant in Palestine in the great tribulation. Ps 2:5; Re 7:14 and the approach and destruction of the Gentile host under the Beast. Da 7:8; Re 19:20. Is. 11. immediately follows with its glorious picture of the kingdom-age. Precisely the same order is found in Re 19., 20. (See “Kingdom,” O.T., Ge 1:26-28; Zec 12:8 N.T. Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28. Also Cmt. on Mt 3:2 Cmt. on Mt 6:33.
- That nothing of this occurred at the first coming of Christ is evident from a comparison of the history of the times of Christ with this and all the other parallel prophecies. So far from regathering dispersed Israel and establishing peace in the earth, His crucifixion was soon followed (A.D. 70) by the destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter scattering of the Palestinian Jews amongst the nations.)
N2 to Is. 13.1, pp. 724-5 “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.”, p724 (The city, Babylon is not in view here, as the immediate context shows. It is important to note the significance of the name when used symbolically. “Babylon” is the Greek form: invariably in the O.T. Hebrew the word is simply Babel, the meaning of which is confusion, and in this sense the word is used symbolically. (1) In the prophets, when the actual city is not meant, the reference is to the “confusion” into which the whole social order of the world has fallen under Gentile world-domination. (See “Times of the Gentiles,” Lu 21:24; “Re 16:14 gives the divine view of the welter of warring Gentile powers. The divine order is given in Isa. 11. Israel in her own land, the centre of the divine government of the world and channel of the divine blessing; and the Gentiles blessed in association with Israel. Anything else is, politically, mere “babel.” (2) In Re 14:8-11; 16:19 the Gentile world-system is in view in connection with Armageddon “Re 16:14; 19:21 while in Re 17. the reference is to apostate Christianity, destroyed by the nations Re 17:16 headed up under the Beast Da 7:8; Re 19:20 and false prophet. In Isaiah the political Babylon is in view, literally as to the then existing city, and symbolically as to the times of the Gentiles. In the Revelation both the symbolical-political and symbolical-religious Babylon are in view, for there both are alike under the tyranny of the Beast. Religious Babylon is destroyed by political Babylon Re 17:16 political Babylon by the appearing of the Lord Re 19:19-21. That Babylon the city is not to be rebuilt is clear from Isa 13:19-22; Jer 51:24-26,62-64. By political Babylon is meant the Gentile world-system. (See “World,” Joh 7:7; Re 13:8) It may be added that, in Scripture symbolism, Egypt stands for the world as such; Babylon for the world of corrupt power and corrupted religion; Nineveh for the pride, the haughty glory of the world.).
N1 to Is. 13.19, p725 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Verses 12-16 look forward to the apocalyptic judgments (Re 6.-13.). Verses 17-22 have a near and far view. They predict the destruction of the literal Babylon then existing; with the further statement that, once destroyed, Babylon should never be rebuilt (cf) Jer 51:61-64. All of this has been literally fulfilled. But the place of this prediction in a great prophetic strain looks forward to the destruction of both politico-Babylon and ecclesio-Babylon in the time of the Beast shows that the destruction of the actual Babylon typifies the greater destruction yet to come upon the mystical Babylons. Cf. Cmt. on Isa 13:1. Margin: Babylon See note #2; Cmt. on Isa 13:1.).
Is. 13:11 “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
N1 p725 to Is. 13.19 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Verses 12-16 look forward to the apocalyptic judgments (Re 6.-13.). Verses 17-22 have a near and far view. They predict the destruction of the literal Babylon then existing; with the further statement that, once destroyed, Babylon should never be rebuilt (cf) Jer 51:61-64. All of this has been literally fulfilled. But the place of this prediction in a great prophetic strain looks forward to the destruction of both politico-Babylon and ecclesio-Babylon in the time of the Beast shows that the destruction of the actual Babylon typifies the greater destruction yet to come upon the mystical Babylons. Cf. Cmt. on Isa 13:1. Margin: Babylon See note #2; Cmt. on Isa 13:1.)
N1 p727 to Is. 14. 26 (18-27) (This universality is significant and marks the whole passage as referring, not merely to a near judgment upon Assyria, but in a yet larger sense to the final crash of the present world-system at the end of the age. (See “Times of the Gentiles,” Lu 21:24; “>Re 16:14; Da 2:44-45 “Armageddon,” “>Re 16:14; 19:17. No other such universal catastrophe on the nations is known to Scripture.).
N2 p727 to Is. 15.1 “The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence;” (This “burden” had a precursive fulfilment in Sennacherib’s invasion, B.C. 704, three years after the prediction Isa 16:14 but the words have a breadth of meaning which includes also the final world-battle. (Cmt. on Re 19:17, Isa 16:1-5 which is a continuation of this “burden,” shows the “tabernacle of David” set up, the next event in order after the destruction of the Beast and his armies. Cf. the order in Isa 10:28-34; 11:1-10; Ac 15:14-17; Re 19:17-21; 20:1-4. Margin: burden See note #1; Cmt. on Isa 13:1.)
Is. 15-17. The burden of Moab. Is. 19. The burden of Egypt. Vs. 19-25. The LORD will bless Egypt. Is. 23. The burden of Tyre: desolations preceding the final deliverance of Israel.
Is. 24.21; 26.20-21. Destruction of the Gentile world-power. Is. 26.20-27-13. Retrospect: order of events in establishing the kingdom. (1) The Gentile world-power destroyed. (2) Israel regathered (vs. 12-13). Is. 28. The woe of Ephrraim. Prediction of the Assyrian captivity of Ephraim (2 ki. 17.3-8). Is. 26.20-27-13. Retrospect: order of events in establishing the kingdom. (1) The Gentile world-power destroyed. (2) Issrael regathered (vs. 12-13). vs. 14-29: The fate of Ephraim a warning to Judah.
Is. 34. The day of the Lord. Armageddon. Is. 34.2-3 “For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.”
N1 to Is. 41.2, p748 “Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.” (The reference here seems to be to Cyrus, whose victories and rapid growth in power are here ascribed to the providence of God. Isa 41:5-7 describe the effect upon the nations of the rise of the Persian power. They heartened each other, and made (Isa 41:7) 7) new idols. At verse 8 the prophet addresses Israel. Since it was their God who raised up Cyrus, they should expect good, not evil, from him (Isa 41:8-20). Isa 41:21-24 form a contemptuous challenge to the idols in whom the nations are trusting.)
N1 to Is. 42.1, p750: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” (There is a twofold account of the Coming Servant: (1) he is represented as weak, despised, rejected, slain; (2) and also as a mighty conqueror, taking vengeance on the nations and restoring Israel (e.g. Isa 40:10; 63:1-4). The former class of passages relate to the first advent, and are fulfilled; the latter to the second advent, and are unfulfilled.)
N2 to Is. 42.6, p750: “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;” (The prophets connect the Gentiles with Christ in a threefold way: (1) as the Light He brings salvation to the Gentiles Lu 2:32; Ac 13:47-48; (2) as the “Root of Jesse” He is to reign over the Gentiles in His kingdom. Isa 11:10; Ro 15:12. He saves the Gentiles, which is the distinctive feature of this present age. Ro 11:17-24; Eph 2:11-12 He reigns over the Gentiles in the kingdom-age, to follow this. See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Ge 1:26-28; Zec 12:8.(3) Believing Gentiles in the present age, together with believing Jews, constitute “the church which is His body.” Cmt. on Eph 3:6.)
N2 to Is. 45.1, p753 “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;” (The only instance where the word is applied to a Gentile. Nebuchadnezzar is called the “servant” of Jehovah Jer 25:9; 27:6; 43:10 This, with the designation “My shepherd” Isa 44:28 also a Messianic title, marks Cyrus as that startling exception, a Gentile type of Christ. The points are: (1) both are irresistible conquerors of Israel’s enemies. Isa 45:1; Re 19:19-21; (2) both are restorers of the holy city Isa 44:28; Zec 14:1-11; (3) through both is the name of the one true God glorified Isa 45:6; 1Co 15:28.)
Is. 49.22-26: Judgment on Israel’s oppressors (Gen. 12:3; 15:14). Is. 51. (6) Israel to be redeemed: oppressors punished. Is. 61:11: “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Is. 62.2 “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.”
N1 to Je. 25.29, p799 “For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.” (The scope of this great prophecy cannot be limited to the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar. If Jehovah does not spare His own city, should the Gentile nations imagine that there is no judgment for them? The prophecy leaps to the very end of this age. (See “Day of the Lord,” Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21 “Armageddon,” “>Re 16:14; 19:11-21.Margin: I will call Cmt. on Isa 2:12.).
N1 p816 to Je. 39.7 “Jeremiah 39:7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.” (Here began the “times of the Gentiles,” the mark of which is that Jerusalem is “trodden down of the Gentiles,” i.e. under Gentile overlordship. This has been true from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to this day. See “Times of the Gentiles” Cmt. on Lu 21:24. Cmt. on Re 16:19.).
Prophesies against Gentile powers (Jer. 46.1-51.64).
N1 to Je. 46.1 p822 “The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles;” (A near and a far fulfilment of these prophecies against Gentile powers are to be distinguished. In Chapter 46, the near vision is of a Babylonian invasion of Egypt, but verses Jer 46:27-28 look forward to the judgment of the nations. Cmt. on Mt 25:32, after Armageddon “>Re 16:14, Cmt. on Re 19:17 and the deliverance of Israel (“Israel,” Ge 12:2-3 Cmt. on Ro 11:26). Jer 50:4-7 also looks forward to the last days.)
Ez. 25.1-7. The prophecy against the Ammonites. Ez. 25:3-4 “And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity; Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk.” Ez. 25:6 “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel;”
Ez. 25.8-11. The coming judgment upon Moab. “Ez. 25:8 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen;” [N1 to Ez. 25.8, p868: The prophecies upon Gentile powers, extending to Eze 32:32 have doubtless had partial fulfilments of which history and the present condition of those cities and countries bear witness, but the mention of the day of Jehovah Eze 30:3 makes it evident that a fulfilment in the final sense is still future. See “Day of Jehovah” Isa 2:10-22. Cmt. on Re 19:19. Also “Armageddon” 9Re 16:14. Re 19:17, note). Those countries are once more to be the battle ground of the nations.]
Ez. 25.12-14. The coming judgment upon Edom. Ez. 25:12 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;”
Ez. 25.15-17. The coming judgment upon Philistia. Ez. 25:15 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;”
Ez. 26. The coming judgment upon Tyre. Ez. 26:2 “Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste:”
Ez. 27. The lamentation for Tyre (cf. Rev. 18.1-24).
Ez. 28.1-20. The rebuke of the king of Tyre. Ez. 28:2-6 “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;”
Ez. 28.20-24. The judgment of Zidon.
Ez. 29. The prophecy against Egypt. Ez. 29:6-8 “And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee.” …
Ez. 30.1-19. Egypt in the day of Jehovah.
Ez. 30.20-26. Jehovah against Pharaoh in the war with Babylon.
Ez. 31. The prophecy against Pharoah. Ez. 31:10-11: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.” …
Ez. 32.1-16. The lamentation for Pharoah.
Ez. 32.17-32. Lamentation for Egypt.
Ez. 33:20. This is the key verse to Part IV of Ez. which ends with this verse. “Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.”
Ez. 35. The prophecy against Mount Seir. Ez. 35:5 “Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:” Ez. 35:10 “Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there:” Ez. 35:15 “As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
PART VI [OF EZEKIEL]. GENERAL THEME: RESTORATION OF ISRAEL; THE DAVIDIC KINGDOM; JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS; CHAPTERS 37.1-39.29.
Ez. 38-39.24. The prophecy against Gog.
N1 to Ez. 38.2, p883 “Ezekiel 38:2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” (That the primary reference is to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. The whole passage should be read in connection with Zec 12:1-4; 14:1-9; Mt 24:14-30; Re 14:14-20; 19:17-21, “gog” is the prince, “Magog,” his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel, and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants (e.g. Cmt. on Ge 15:18 Cmt. on De 30:3 that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem. The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future “day of Jehovah” Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21 and to the battle of Armageddon “>Re 16:14 Cmt. on Re 19:19 but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the kingdom-age. Re 20:7-9.)
- Headnote to the Book of Daniel. Daniel, like Ezekiel was a Jewish captive in Babylon. He was of royal or princely descent (Da 1:3). For his rank and comeliness he was trained for palace service. In the polluted atmosphere of an oriental court he lived a life of singular piety and usefulness. His long life extended from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel (Da 12:13), Joshua, the high priest of the restoration, Ezra, and Zerubbabel.
- Daniel is the indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy, the themes of which are, the apostasy of the Church, the manifestation of the man of sin, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord, the resurrections and the judgments. These, except the first, are Daniel’s themes also.
- But Daniel is distinctively the prophet of the “times of the Gentiles” (Lu 21:24), Cmt. on Lu 21:24. His vision sweeps the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its end in catastrophe, and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom.
- Daniel is in four broad divisions: I. Introduction. The personal history of Daniel from the conquest of Jerusalem to the second year of Nebuchadnezzar, 1.1-21. II. The visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results, 2.1-4.37. III. The personal history of Daniel under Belshazzar and Darius, 5.1-6.28. IV. The visions of Daniel, 7.1-12.13.
- The events recorded in Daniel cover a period of 73 years (Ussher).
- Margin: Jehoiakim Daniel was deported 8 years before Exekiel. 2Ki 24:1-2; 2Ch 36:5-7; Jer 25:1; 52:12-30.
- N1 p900 to Daniel 2.31 “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.” (The monarchy-vision. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as interpreted by Daniel, gives the course and end of “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21.24; Rev. 16.19, note), that is, of Gentile world-empire. The four metals composing the image are explained as symbolizing (vs. 38-40) four empires, not necessarily possessing the inhabited earth, but able to do so (v. 38), and fulfilled in Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece (under Alexander), and Rome. The latter power is seen divided, first into two (the legs), fulfilled in the Eastern and Western Roman empires, and then into ten (the toes) (see Dan. 7.26, note). As a whole, the image gives the imposing outward greatness and splendour of the Gentile world-power.
- The smiting Stone (2.34, 35) destroys the Gentile world-system (in its final form) by a sudden and irremediable blow, not by the gradual processes of conversion and assimilation; and then, and not before, does the Stone become a mountain which fills “the whole earth.” (Cf. Da 7.26, 27). Such a destruction of the Gentile monarchy-system did not occur at the first advent of Christ. On the contrary, He was put to death by the sentence of an officer of the fourth empire, which was then at the zenith of its power. Since the crucifixion the Roman empire has followed the course marked out in the vision, but Gentile world dominion still continues, and the crushing blow is still suspended. The detail of the end-time is given in Dan. 7.1-28, and Rev. 13.-19. It is important to see (1) that Gentile world-power is to end in a sudden catastrophic judgment (see “Armageddon,” ” Rev. 16.14; 19.21); (2) that it is immediately followed by the kingdom of heaven, and that the God of the heavens does not set up His kingdom till after the destruction of the Gentile world-system. It is noteworthy that Gentile world-dominion begins and ends with a great image (Dan. 2.31; Rev. 13.14, 15.)
- Da. 2.37-8, (a) The first world-empire: Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. (Cf. Dan. 7.4).
- (b) The second world-empire: Media-Persia. (Cf. Dan. 7.5).
- (c) The third world-empire: Greece. (Cf. Dan. 6).
Da. 2.39 “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.”
Da. 2.40-43. (d) The fourth world-empire: Rome. (Cf. Dan. 7.7.) Da. 2:40 ‘And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.” …
N1 p901 to Daniel 2.41 “Daniel 2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.” (From the “head of gold” (Da 2:38) to the “iron” of the “fourth kingdom” (Rome) there is deterioration in fineness, but increase of strength (Da 2:40). Then comes the deterioration of the “fourth kingdom” in that very quality, strength. (1) Deterioration by division: The kingdom is divided into two, the legs (Eastern and Western empires), and these are again divided into kingdoms, the number of which when the Stone smites the image will be ten toes, Da 2:42; cf. Da 7:23-24. (2) Deterioration by admixture; the iron of the Roman imperium mixed with the clay of the popular will, fickle and easily moulded. This is precisely what has come to pass in the constitutional monarchies which, the Republic of France and the despotism of Turkey, cover the sphere of ancient Roman rule.).
Da. 2.44-45. The final world empire: the Kingdom of heaven. (See Mt. 3.2, note.). Da. 2:44-45 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
N1 to Da. 2.44, p902 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (The passage fixes authoritatively the time relative to other predicted events, when the kingdom of the heavens will be set up. It will be “in the days of those kings,” i.e. the days of the ten kings (cf. Da 7:24-27 symbolized by the toes of the image. That condition did not exist at the advent of Messiah, nor was it even possible until the dissolution of the Roman empire, and the rise of the present national world system. See “Kingdom (O.T.)” Ge 1:26; Zec 12:8 “Kingdom (N.T.)” Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28, Cmt. on Mt 3:2 note (defining “kingdom of heaven”). Verse 45 repeats the method by which the kingdom will be set up. (Cf) Cmt. on Da 2:31 Ps 2:5-6; Zec 14:1-8,9.)
N2 to Da. 3.1, p902 “Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.” (The attempt of this great king of Babylon to unify the religions of his empire by self-deification will be repeated by the beast, the last head of the Gentile world-dominion Re 13:11-15 See note on “Beast, the” Cmt. on Da 7:8 Cmt. on Re 19:20. It has repeatedly characterized Gentile authority in the earth, e.g. Da 6:7; Ac 12:22 and the later Roman emperors.)
N1 to Da. 4.1, p904 “Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.” (Nebuchadnezzar, first of the Gentile world-kings in whom the times of the Gentiles Lu 21:24; “>Re 16:14 began, perfectly comprehended the universality of the sway committed to him Da 2:37-38 as also did Cyrus Ezr 1:2. That they did not actually subject the known earth to their sway is true, but they might have done so. The earth lay in their power.)
- N1 to Da. 5.31, p907 “And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.” (The biblical order of the monarchs of Daniel’s time, and of the period of the captivity and restoration of Judah, is as follows:
- Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 604-561) with whom the captivity of Judah and the “times of the Gentiles” Cmt. on Lu 21:24, Cmt. on Re 16:19, began, and who established the first of the four world monarchies. Da 2:37; 7:4.
- Belshazzar (prob B.C. 556), the Bel-shar-uzzar of the inscriptions, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, and son of the victorious general Nabonidus. Belshazzar seems to have reigned as viceroy.
- Darius the Mede Da 5:31; 6:1-27; 9:1. Concerning this Darius secular history awaits further discoveries, as formerly in the case of Belshazzar. He has been conjectured to be identical with Gobryas, a Persian general. This Darius was “the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans” Da 9:1 “Ahasuerus,” more a title than a name, the equivalent of the modern “Majesty,” is used in Scripture of at least four personages, and is Persian rather than Median. That Darius the Mede was the “son” (or grandson) of an Ahasuerus proves no more than that he was, probably, through the seed of his mother, of the seed royal not only of Media, but also of Persia. There is but one Darius in Daniel. (See Da 9:1.)
- Cyrus, with whose rise to power came fully into existence the Medo-Persian, second of the world-empires # Da 2:39 7:5. In Daniel’s vision of this empire in “the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar” Da 8:1-4 the Median power of Darius is seen as the lesser of the two horns of the ram; the Persian power of Cyrus, under whom the Medo-Persian power was consolidated, as the “higher” horn which “came up last.” Under Cyrus, who was prophetically named more than a century before his birth. Isa 44:28-45:4, the return to Palestine of the Jewish remnant began. Ezr 1:1-4. See Da 11:2, marg. ref. Cmt. on Da 11:2.)
- Da. 7.3 “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
- The world-empire of Nebuchadnezzar. (Cf. Dan. 2.37, 38.). Da. 7:4 “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”
- The world-empire of Media-Persia. (Cf. Dan. 2.39.). Da. 7:5 “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
- The world-empire of Greece under Alexander. (Cf. Dan. 2.39; 8.20-22; 10.20; 11.2-4.). Da. 7.6 “”After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
- The Roman world-empire. (Cf. vs. 23, 24; Dan. 2.40-43.)
- The ten kings (v. 24) and the “little horn” (vs. 24-27). See v. 14, note. Da. 7.8 “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things..”
N1 to Da. 7.8, p910 “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things..” (The vision is of the end of Gentile world-dominion. The former Roman empire (the iron kingdom of Da 2:33-35,40-44; 7:7 will have ten horns (i.e. kings, Re 17:12 corresponding to the ten toes of the image. As Daniel considers this vision of the ten kings, there rises up amongst them a “little horn” (king), who subdues three of the ten kings so completely that the separate identity of their kingdoms is destroyed. Seven kings of the ten are left, and the “little horn.” He is the “king of fierce countenance” typified by that other “king of fierce countenance,” Antiochus Epiphanes, Da 8:23-25 the “prince that shall come” of Da 9:26-27 the “king” of Da 11:36-45 the “abomination” of Da 12:11; Mt 24:15 the “man of sin” of 2Th 2:4-8 and the “Beast” of Re 13:4-10. See “Beast” Da 7:8; Re 19:20.)
N2 to Da. 7.13, p910 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” (This scene is identical with that of Re 5:6-10. There the ascription of praise of the “kings and priests” (cf. Da 7:18, 18, ref. a) ends with the words, “and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev. 6. opens the “vexing” of Ps 2:5 introductory to setting the king on Zion Ps 2:6; Re 20:4. The vision Da 7:9-14 reverses the order of events as they will be fulfilled. Verse 13 describes the scene in heaven (cf) Re 5:6-10 which, in fulfilment, precedes the events which Daniel sees in vision in Da 7:9-12. The historic order will be: (1) The investiture of the Son of Man with the kingdom Da 7:13-14; Re 5:6-10 (2) the “vexing” of Psa 2.5, fully described in Mt 24:21-22 Re 6.-18. (3) The return of the Son of Man in glory to deliver the “smiting” blow of Da 2:45; 7:9-11; Re 19:11-21. (4) The judgement of the nations and the setting up of the kingdom Da 7:10,26-27; Mt 25:31-46; Re 20:1-6.)
N3 to Da. 7.14, p910 “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Da 7:13-14 is identical with Re 5:1-7 and antedates the fulfilment of Da 2:34-35. Da 7:13-14; Re 5:1-7 describe the investiture of the Son of Man and Son of David with the kingdom authority, while Da 2:34-35 describes the crushing blow (Armageddon, “Re 16:14 which destroys Gentile world-power, thus clearing the way for the actual setting up of the kingdom of heaven. Da 2:34-35; Re 19:19-21 are the same event.
N4 to Da. 7.17, p910 “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” (The monarchy vision of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) covers the same historic order as the beast vision of Daniel, but with this difference: Nebuchadnezzar saw the imposing outward power and splendour of the “times of the Gentiles” Lu 21:24; Re 16:19 while Daniel saw the true character of Gentile world-government as rapacious and warlike, established and maintained by force. It is remarkable that the heraldic insignia of the Gentile nations are all beasts or birds of prey.)
N1 p911 to Daniel 7.26 “Daniel 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” (The end of Gentile world-power. (1) In the beast vision of Daniel 7. the fourth beast is declared to be “the fourth kingdom,” i.e. the Roman empire, the “iron” kingdom of Dan. 2. The “ten horns” upon the fourth beast (Roman empire), Da 7:7 are declared to be “ten kings that shall arise” (Da 7:24) answering to the ten toes of the image vision of Dan. 2. The ten kingdoms, covering the regions formerly ruled by Rome, will constitute, therefore, the form in which the fourth or Roman empire will exist when the whole fabric of Gentile world-domination is smitten by the “stone cut out without hands” == Christ Da 2:44; 7:9. (2) But Daniel sees a “little horn” rise up and subdue three of the ten kings Da 7:24-26. His distinguishing mark is hatred of God and of the Saints. He is not to be confounded with the “little horn” of Dan. 8.–a prophecy fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes. Cmt. on Da 8:9. In Rev. 13, additional particulars of the “little horn” of Dan. 7. are given. Cmt. on Re 13:1.).
Da. 7.25-28 “25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.”
N2 to Da. 8.1, p911 “In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.” (The eighth chapter gives details concerning the second and third world-kingdoms: the silver and brass kingdoms of Dan. 2.; the bear and leopard kingdoms of Dan. 7., viz., the Medo-Persian and Macedonian kingdoms of history. At the time of this vision (Dan 8.1) the first monarchy was nearing its end. Belshazzar was the last king of that monarchy. Margin: third year About B.C. 530.)
N1 to Da. 8.19, p913 “And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.” (Two “ends” are in view here: (1) historically, the end of the third, or Grecian empire of Alexander out of one of the divisions of which the little horn of verse 9 (Antiochus) arose; (2) prophetically, the end of the times of the Gentiles Lu 21:24; “>Re 16:14 when the “little horn” of Da 7:8,24-26 the Beast, will arise–Daniel’s final time of the end. Cmt. on Da 12:4.)
- N1. to Da. 9.24, p914 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (These are “weeks” or more accurately, sevens of years; seventy weeks of seven years each. Within these “weeks” the national chastisement must be ended and the nation re-established in everlasting righteousness (Da 9:24). The seventy weeks are divided into seven == 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (vs. 25-27). In the seven weeks == 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in “troublous times.” This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks == 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Da 9:25). This was fulfilled in the birth and manifestation of Christ. Da 9:26 26 is obviously an indeterminate period. The date of the crucifixion is not fixed. It is only said to be “after” the threescore and two weeks. It is the first event in Da 9:26. The second event is the destruction of the city, fulfilled A.D. 70. Then, “unto the end,” a period not fixed, but which has already lasted nearly 2000 years. To Daniel was revealed only that wars and desolations should continue (cf. Mt 24:6-14.) The N.T. reveals, that which was hidden from the O.T. prophets Mt 13:11-17; Eph 3:1-10 that during this period should be accomplished the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven Mt 13:1-50 and the out-calling of the Church Mt 16:18; Ro 11:25. When the Church- age will end, and the seventieth week begin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfilment. Da 9:27 deals with the last week. The “he” of Da 9:27 is the “prince that shall come” of Da 9:26, whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70. He is the same with the “little horn” of chapter 7. He will covenant with the Jews to restore their temple sacrifices for one week (seven years), but in the middle of that time he will break the covenant and fulfil Da 12:11; 2Th 2:3-4. Between the sixty-ninth week, after which Messiah was cut off, and the seventieth week, within which the “little horn” of Dan. 7. will run his awful course, intervenes this entire Church-age. Da 9:27 deals with the last three and a half years of the seven, which are identical with the “great tribulation.” Mt 24:15-28 “time of trouble” Da 12:1 hour of temptation” Re 3:10. (see “Tribulation,” Ps 2:5; Re 7:14). Cmt. on Ps 2:5. Cmt. on Ex 7:14.
1 make reconciliation.
- There is no word in the O.T. properly rendered reconcile. In the A.V. the English word is found # 1Sa 29:4 2Ch 29:24 Le 6:30 8:15 16:20 Eze 45:15,17,20 Da 9:24 but always improperly; atonement is invariably the meaning. Reconciliation is a N.T. doctrine # Ro 5:10 Cmt. on Col 1:21
- Margin: thy people Cf. # Ho 1:9 The Jews, rejected, are “thy people,” i.e. Daniel’s, not Jehovah’s though yet to be restored.
- Margin: reconciliation Heb. kaphar, atonement. See this verse note 1, and see note, # Ex 29:33 Cmt. on Ex 29:33)
N1 to Da. 11.2, p916. “And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” (The spirit of prophecy here returns to that which more immediately concerned Daniel and his royal masters–the near future of the empire in which he was so great a personage. Four kings were yet to follow in Media-Persia. Then will come Alexander the “mighty king” of Grecia (v.3). The division of Alexander’s empire into four parts (v.4) as already predicted # Da 8:22 is foretold. The troublous course of affairs in two parts of the disintegrated Alexandrian empire, Syria and Egypt, is then traced down to verse 20. Here Antiochus Epiphanes, the “little horn” of Chapter 8., occupies the vision down to verse 36. His pollution of the sanctuary is again mentioned. (Cf) Cmt. on Da 8:9. From verse 36 the interpretation is of the final “little horn” (Dan. 7:8,24-26). See Dan. 11:35, note.) Margin: three kings Ahasuerus, Ezr 4:6, Artaxerxes, Ezr 4:7, and Darius called “Hystaspes” Ezr 4:24. Margin: fourth Xerxes, who invaded Greece BC 483-480.
N1 to Da. 11.35, p918 “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.” (Here the prophetic foreview, having traced the history of the two parts of Alexander’s empire which had to do with Palestine and the Jews, viz. Syria and Egypt, to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and having described his career, overleaps the centuries to “the time of the end,” when he of whom Antiochus Epiphanes was a type, the “little horn” of # Da 7:8 the “Beast out of the sea” of Re 13:4-10 shall appear (cf) Cmt. on Da 7:8. Prophecy does not concern itself with history as such, but only with history as it affects Israel and the Holy Land. Antiochus Epiphanes was insignificant as compared with historical personages whom the Bible does not mention, but he scourged the covenant people and defiled God’s altar, thus coming into prophetic light. From verse 36 the “little horn” of Da 7:8,24-26 fills the scene. His prosperity lasts until “the indignation” (the “time of trouble” of Da 12:1; Mt 24:21 is accomplished (Da 11:36). This is parallel with Re 17:10-14; 19:19-21. Da 11:37-45 supply details not mentioned in the N.T. The expression “God of his fathers” (Da 11:37) has been held to indicate that the “king” is an apostate Jew, but this does not accord with Da 9:26 which was fulfilled by the Gentile armies of Rome. The “little horn” is an apostate, but from Christianity, not Judaism (cf) 1Jo 2:18-19. Da 11:38-45 describe his career. Substituting “the god of forces” (i.e. forces of nature) for the true God (Da 11:38-39), he soon presents himself as that god (cf) 2Th 2:3-4. While his career lasts he is an irresistible conqueror Da 11:40-44). He established his palace in Jerusalem, probably at the time of his supreme act of blasphemous impiety Da 9:27; 12:11; Mt 24:15; 2Th 2:4. From this time begins the great tribulation Da 12:1; Mt 24:21 which runs its course during the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week, viz. three and one half years Da 7:25; 12:7,11; Re 13:5. See Re 19:20, note.)
N1 to Da. 12.4, p919. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (The “time of the end” in Daniel. The expression, or its equivalent, “in the end,” occurs, Da 8:17-19; 9:26; 11:35,40; 12:4,6,9. Summary: (1) The time of the end in Daniel begins with the violation by “the prince that shall come” (i.e. “little horn,” “man of sin,” “Beast”) of his covenant with the Jews for the restoration of the temple and sacrifice Da 9:27 and his presentation of himself as God Da 9:27; 11:36-38; Mt 24:15; 2Th 2:4; Re 13:4-6 and ends with his destruction by the appearing of the Lord in glory. 2Th 2:8; Re 19:19-20. (2) The duration of the “time of the end” is three and one half years, coinciding with the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel. Da 7:25; 12:7; Re 13:5. (3) This “time of the end” is the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” Jer 30:7 “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” Da 12:1 “great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world. . . nor ever shall be” Mt 24:21. The N.T., especially the Book of the Revelation, adds many details.)
- N1 p930 to Joel 1.4: “* * * The whole picture is of the end-time of this present age, of the “times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21.24; Rev. 16.14); of the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16.14; 19.11-21); of the regathering of Israel (Rom. 11.26, note), and of kingdom blessing. It is remarkable that Joel, coming at the very beginning of written prophecy (B.C. 836), gives the fullest view of the consummation of all written prophecy.
- “The order of events is: (1) The invasion of Palestine from the north by Gentile world powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet (Joel 2.1-10; “Armageddon,” Rev. 16.14, refs.); (2) the Lord’s army and destruction of the invaders (Joel 2.11; Rev. 19.11-21); the repentance of Judah in the land (Joel 2.12-17: Deut. 30.1-9, note); (4) the answer of Jehovah (Joel 2.18-27); (5) the effusion of the Spirit in the (Jewish) “last days” (Joel 2.28, 29); (6) the return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom (Joel 2.30-32; Acts 15.15-17) by the regathering of the nation and the judgment of the nations (Joel 3.1-16); (7) full and permanent kingdom blessing (Joel 3.17-21; Zech. 14.1-21; Mt. 25.32, note).
Jl. 3.2-8: The judgment of the Gentile nations after Armageddon.
- Headnote to Jona. “The historical character of the man Jonah is vouched for by Jesus Christ Mt 12:39-41 as also that his preservation in the great fish was a “sign” or type of the Lord’s own entombment and resurrection. Both are miraculous and both are equally credible. 2Ki 14:25 records the fulfilment of a prophecy by Jonah. The man himself was a bigoted Jew, unwilling to testify to a Gentile city, and angry that God had spared it. Typically he foreshadows the nation of Israel out of its own land; a trouble to the Gentiles, yet witnessing to them; cast out by them, but miraculously preserved; in their future deepest distress calling upon Jehovah-Saviour, and finding deliverance, and then becoming missionaries to the Gentiles. Zec 8:7-23.
- “He typifies Christ as the Sent One, raised from the dead, and carrying salvation to the Gentiles. The chapter divisions indicate the analysis of Jonah.”
Hag. 2.20-23: The future destruction of Gentile power.
- Headnote to Zec.: “Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet to the remnant which returned after the 70 years. There is much of symbol in Zechariah, but these difficult passages are readily interpreted in the light of the whole body of related prophecy. The great Messianic passages are, upon comparison with the other prophecies of the kingdom, perfectly clear. Both advents of Christ are in Zechariah’s prophecy Zec 9:9; Mt 21:1-11; Zec 14:3-4. More than Haggai or Malachi, Zechariah gives the mind of God about the Gentile world-powers surrounding the restored remnant. He has given them their authority Da 2:27-40 and will hold them to account; the test, as always, being their treatment of Israel. Cmt. on Ge 15:18 note 3, clause 6; Zec 2:8.
- “Zechariah, therefore, falls into three broad divisions: I. Symbolic visions in the light of the Messianic hope, 1.1-6.15. II. The mission from Babylon, 7., 8. III. Messiah in rejection and afterwards in power, 9.-14.”
Jl. 3.2-8. (7) The judgment of the Gentile nations after Armageddon. (See Mt. 25.32, note.). “2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. 3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. 4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; 5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: 6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. 7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: 8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.”
Jl. 3.17-21. Full kingdom blessing. (Zech. 12.8, note.). Jl 3.19-20 “Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.”
Amos 1. Judgments on surrounding peoples (Amos 1.1-2.3).
N1 to Amos. 1.2 p934 “And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.” (“Roar,” etc. Cf. Isa 42:13; Jer 25:30-33; Ho 11:10-11; Joe 3:16. It will be found that wherever the phrase occurs it is connected with the destruction of Gentile dominion (see “Times of the Gentiles,” Lu 21:24. Cmt. on Re 16:19 and the blessing of Israel in the kingdom. Without a doubt a near fulfilment upon Syria occurred 2Ki 14:28 but the expression, “the Lord will roar,” looks forward to a vaster fulfilment. Cmt. on Joe 1:4.)
Other nations mentioned in Am. 1.1-2.3, but the following are given specific punishments with reasons given:
- Am. 1.3 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:”
- Am. 1.6 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:”
- Am. 1.9 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:”
- Am. 1.13 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:”
- Am. 2.1 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:”
N3 to Am. 3.2, p935 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (It is noteworthy that Jehovah’s controversy with the Gentile cities which hated Israel is brief: “I will send a fire.” But Israel had been brought into the place of privilege and so of responsibility, and the Lord’s indictment is detailed and unsparing. Cf. Mt. 11:23; Lk. 12:47-48.)
HEADNOTE TO OBAD.: “…The book is in four parts: I. Edom’s humiliation, vs. 1-9. II. The crowning sin of Edom, vs. 10-14. III. The future visitation of Edom in the day of the Lord, vs. Ob 1:15-16, (Isa 34.). Isa 63:1-6. IV. The inclusion of Edom in the future kingdom, Ob 1:17-21; Nu 24:17-19.”
HEADNOTE TO JONAH: “The historical character of the man Jonah is vouched for by Jesus Christ Mt 12:39-41 as also that his preservation in the great fish was a “sign” or type of the Lord’s own entombment and resurrection. Both are miraculous and both are equally credible. 2Ki 14:25 records the fulfilment of a prophecy by Jonah. The man himself was a bigoted Jew, unwilling to testify to a Gentile city, and angry that God had spared it. Typically he foreshadows the nation of Israel out of its own land; a trouble to the Gentiles, yet witnessing to them; cast out by them, but miraculously preserved; in their future deepest distress calling upon Jehovah-Saviour, and finding deliverance, and then becoming missionaries to the Gentiles. Zec 8:7-23. He typifies Christ as the Sent One, raised from the dead, and carrying salvation to the Gentiles. The chapter divisions indicate the analysis of Jonah.”
Mi. 4.11-13 (g) How the kingdom is set up: the gathering of the Gentile nations against Jerusalem, and battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16.14; 19.17, note).
N2 to Mi. 5.7, p949: “7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. 8 And the remnant of Jacob shall 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.” (The ministry of the Jewish Remnant (Isa. 1.9; Rom. 11.5, note) has a twofold aspect, “a dew from the LORD”; “a lion among the beasts.” Turning to the Lord in the great tribulation (Psa. 2.5; Rev. 7.14. note), the remnant takes up to the beautiful gospel of the kingdom (Rev. 14.6, note) and proclaims it under awful persecution “unto all nations, for a witness” (Mt. 24.14). The result is seen in Rev. 7.4-14. This is the “dew” aspect, and is followed by the “day of the LORD” (Isa. 2.10-22; Rev. 19.11-21), in the morning of which the kingdom is set up in power. Again there is a world-wide preaching to Jew and Gentile, but now it is the word that the King is on His holy hill of Zion (Psa. 2.), and the unrepentant will be broken with His rod of iron (Psa. 2.6-9. The preaching is given in Psa. 2.10-22. this is the “lion” aspect of the remnant’s testimony (Rev. 2.26-28). The full kingdom-age of blessing follows the “rod of iro”n” aspect.)
Mi. 7.16-17: “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 our God, and shall fear because of thee.”
HEADNOTE TO NAHUM: “Nahum prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah, probably about one hundred and fifty years after Jonah. He has but one subject–the destruction of Nineveh. According to Diodorus Siculus, the city was destroyed nearly a century later, precisely as here predicted. The prophecy is one continuous strain which does not yield to analysis. The moral theme is: the holiness of Jehovah which must deal with sin in judgment.”
- N1 to Na. 1.1, p952. “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.” (Nineveh stands in Scripture as the representative of apostate religious Gentiledom, as Babylon represents the confusion into which the Gentile political world-system has fallen Da 2:41-43, Cmt. on Isa 13:1, Under the preaching of Jonah, B.C. 862, the city and king had turned to God (Elohim), Jon 3:3-10 But in the time of Nahum, more than a century later, the city had wholly apostatized from God. It is this which distinguishes Nineveh from all the other ancient Gentile cities, and which makes her the suited symbol of the present religious Gentile world-system in the last day. Morally, Nineveh is described in Ro 1:21-23. The chief deity of apostate Nineveh was the bull-god, with the face of a man and the wings of a bird: “an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts.”
- The message of Nahum, uttered about one hundred years before the destruction of Nineveh, is, therefore, not a call to repentance, but an unrelieved warning of judgment: “He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Na 1:9; see, also, Na 3:10. For there is no remedy for apostasy but utter judgment, and a new beginning. Cf. Isa 1:4-5,24-28; Heb 6:4-8; Pr 29:1. It is the way of God; apostasy is punished by catastrophic destruction. Of this the flood and the destruction of Nineveh are witnesses. The coming destruction of apostate Christendom is foreshadowed by these. (Cf) Da 2:34-35; Lu 17:26-27; Re 19:17-21. Margin: burden See note #1, Cmt. on Isa 13:1.)
N2 to Na. 1.2, p952. “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” (The great ethical lesson of Nahum is that the character of God makes Him not only “slow to anger,” and “a stronghold to them that trust Him,” but also one who “will not at all acquit the wicked.” He can be “just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” Ro 3:26 but only because His holy law has been vindicated in the cross.)
N2 to Hab. 2.3, p956. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (To the watching prophet comes the response of the “vision” Hab 2:2-20). Three elements are to be distinguished: (1) The moral judgment of Jehovah upon the evils practised by dispersed Israel (Hab 3:19,19). (2) The future purpose of God that, practised by dispersed Israel (Hab 2:5-13,15-19). (2) The future purpose of God that, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14). That this revelation awaits the return of the Lord in glory is shown (a) by the parallel passage in # Isa 11:9-12 and (b) by the quotation of verse 3 in Heb 10:37-38 where the “it” of the “vision” becomes “he” and refers to the return of the Lord. It is then, after the “vision” is fulfilled, that “the knowledge of the glory,” etc, shall fill the earth. But (3) meantime, “the just shall live by his faith.” This great evangelic word is applied to Jew and Gentile in Ro 1:17 to the Gentiles in Ga 3:11-14 and to Hebrews (especially) in Heb 10:38. This opening of life to faith alone, makes possible not only the salvation of the Gentiles during the dispersion of Israel “among the nations” Hab 1:5; Ga 3:11-14 but also makes possible a believing remnant in Israel while the nation, as such, is in blindness and unbelief, Cmt. on Ro 11:1 with neither priesthood nor temple, and consequently unable to keep the ordinances of the law. Such is Jehovah! In disciplinary government His ancient Israel is cast out of the land and judicially blinded 2Co 3:12-15 but in covenanted mercy the individual Jew may resort to the simple faith of Abraham Ge 15:6; Ro 4:1-5 and be saved. But this does not set aside the Palestinian Cmt. on De 30:3 and Davidic Cmt. on 2Sa 7:16. Covenants, for “the earth shall be filled,” etc. (Hab 2:14),and Jehovah will again be in His temple (“Hab 2:20). Cf. Hab 2:14,“20; Ro 11:25-27.)
N1 to Hab. 2.14, p957 “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Cf. Isa 11:9 which fixes the time when “the earth,” etc. It is when David’s righteous Branch has set up the kingdom. (See “Kingdom (O.T.),” 2Sa 7:9; Zec 12:8 also, “Kingdom (N.T.),” Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28. Habakkuk’s phrase marks an advance on that of Isaiah. In the latter it is “the knowledge of the Lord.” That, in a certain sense, is being diffused now; but in Habakkuk it is “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,” and that cannot be till He is manifested in glory Mt 24:30; 25:31; Lu 9:26; 2Th 1:7; 2:8; Jude 1:14. The transfiguration was a foreview of this. Lu 9:26-29.)
- HEADNOTE TO ZEPHANIAH, P959. “This prophet, a contemporary of Jeremiah, exercised his ministry during the reign of Josiah. It was a time of revival (2Ki. 22), but the captivity was impending, nevertheless, and Zephaniah points out the moral state which, despite the superficial revival under Josiah (Jer 2:11-13), made it inevitable.
- Zephaniah is in four parts: I. The coming invasion of Nebuchadnezzar a figure of the day of the Lord, 1.1-2.3. II. Predictions of judgment on certain peoples, 2.4-15. III. The moral state of Israel for which the captivity was to come, 3.1-7. IV. The judgment of the nations followed by kingdom blessing under Messiah, 3.8-20.”
N1 to Zep. 1.7, p959 “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.” (As in the other Prophets, the approaching invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is treated as an adumbration of the true day of the Lord in which all earth-judgments will culminate, to be followed by the restoration and blessing of Israel and the nations in the kingdom. See “Day of the Lord” Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21 “Israel” Ge 12:2-3; Ro 11:26. CF. Joel 1.,2.).
Zep. 2.4-15. Part II. Judgments on certain nations.
Zep. 3.6-7 “I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.”
Zep. 3.8-13. Part IV. (1) The judgment of the nations. (Cf. Zech. 14.1-21; Mt. 25.32, note.)
N1 to Zep. 3.9, p961 “Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” (In Zephaniah the conversion of “the peoples” is stated out of the usual prophetic order, in which the blessing of Israel and the setting up of the kingdom precedes the conversion of the Gentiles. Cmt. on Zec 12:1. Cmt. on Zec 12:8. But the passage gives clear testimony as to when the conversion of the nations will occur. It is after the smiting of the nations. Cf. Isa 11:9 with context; Da 2:34-35; Ps 2:5-8; Ac 15:15-17; Re 19:19-20:6.)
Hag. 2.20-23. Part V. The future destruction of Gentile power. “20 And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, 21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.”
HEADNOTE TO ZEC. “Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet to the remnant which returned after the 70 years. There is much of symbol in Zechariah, but these difficult passages are readily interpreted in the light of the whole body of related prophecy. The great Messianic passages are, upon comparison with the other prophecies of the kingdom, perfectly clear. Both advents of Christ are in Zechariah’s prophecy Zec 9:9; Mt 21:1-11; Zec 14:3-4. More than Haggai or Malachi, Zechariah gives the mind of God about the Gentile world-powers surrounding the restored remnant. He has given them their authority Da 2:27-40 and will hold them to account; the test, as always, being their treatment of Israel. Cmt. on Ge 15:18 note 3, clause 6; Zec 2:8.
“Zechariah, therefore, falls into three broad divisions: I. Symbolic visions in the light of the Messianic hope, 1.1-6.15. II. The mission from Babylon, 7., 8. III. Messiah in rejection and afterwards in power, 9.-14. Margin: eighth month i.e. November.”
Zec. 1.12-16. Jehovah displeased with the nations.
N1 to Zec. 1.18, p966 “Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.” (A “horn” is the symbol of a Gentile king Da 7:24; Re 17:12 and the vision is of the four world empires Da 2:36-44; 7:3-7 which have “scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem” (v.19))
N2 to Zec. 1.20[-21], p. 966 “Zechariah 1:20-21 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.” (The word charash, trans. “carpenter,” is lit. carver, engraver. Zec 1:21 makes it plain that, whatever the four carvers may be, they are used to “fray,” or carve away (Heb. charad) in the sense of diminishing, enfeebling, the great Gentile world-powers. They may stand for Jehovah’s “four sore judgments,” the sword, famine, evil beasts, and pestilence Eze 14:21 the four horses of Rev. 6.)
1st time the Lord ministers to a Gentile. Mt. 15.21-28; Mk. 7.24-30. Jesus does not receive these Gentiles: John 12.22-27 & N1 p1132.
N3 to Zec. 2.1, p966 “I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.” (As in Zec 1:8-11, the “man” of Zec 2:1 1 is “the angel that talked with me” of Zec 1:3. The measuring-line (or reed) is used by Ezekiel Eze 40:3,5 as a symbol of preparation for rebuilding the city and temple in the kingdom-age. Here also it has that meaning, as the context (Zec 2:4-13) shows. The subject of the vision is the restoration of nation and city. In no sense has this prophecy been fulfilled. The order is: (1) The Lord in glory in Jerusalem, Zec 2:5 (cf. Mt 24:29-30) (2) the restoration of Israel, Zec 2:6; (3) the judgment of Jehovah upon the nations, Zec 2:8, “after the glory” Mt 25:31-32; (4) the full blessing of the earth in the kingdom, Zec 2:10-13, See “Kingdom (O.T.)” Ge 1:26. Cmt. on Zec 12:8. “Israel,” Ge 12:2; Ro 11:26.)
Zec. 2.4-13. Jerusalem in the kingdom age. Zec. 2.8-9: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.”
Zec. 12.9 “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
Zec. 13.8-9. Result of the Gentile invasion under the Beast “8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
N1 to Zec. 13.8-9, p978. “8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”” (Zech. 13 now returns to the subject of Zec 12:10. Zec 13:8-9 refer to the sufferings of the remnant Isa 1:9; Ro 11:5 preceding the great battle. Zech. 14. is a recapitulation of the whole matter. The order is: (1) The gathering of the nation, Zec 13:2 (see “Armageddon,” “>Re 16:14 Cmt. on Re 19:11 (2) the deliverance, Zec 13:3; (3) the return of Christ to the Mount of Olives, and the physical change of the scene, Zec 13:4-8; (4) the setting up of the kingdom, and full earthly blessing, Zec 13:9.)
N2 to Zec. 14.4, p978 “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 toward 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 it toward the south.” (Zec 14:5 implies that the cleavage of the Mount of Olives is due to an earthquake, and this is confirmed by Isa 29:6; Re 16:19. In both passages the context, as in Zec 14:1-3 associates the earthquake with the Gentile invasion under the Beast Da 7:8; Re 19:20. Surely, in a land seamed by seismic disturbances it should not be difficult to believe that another earthquake might cleave the little hill called the Mount of Olives. Not one of the associated events of Zech. 14 occurred at the first coming of Christ, closely associated though He then was with the Mount of Olives.)
Zec. 14.16 “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
N1 to Lk. 2.1, p1075 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” (Gr. “oikoumene”= “inhabited earth.” This passage is noteworthy as defining the usual N.T. use of oikoumene as the sphere of Roman rule at its greatest extent, that is, of the great Gentile world-monarchies Da 2:7. That part of the earth is therefore peculiarly the sphere of prophecy. <)
N2 p1106 to Lk. 21.24. “Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (The ‘times of he ‘Gentiles’ began with the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chr. 36.1-21), since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile overlordship).
N2 to Mt. 11.28, p. 1011 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (The new message of Jesus. The rejected King now turns from the rejecting nation and offers, not the kingdom, but rest and service to such in the nation as are conscious of the need. It is a pivotal point in the ministry of Jesus.)
N2 p1012 to Mt. 12.18[- 21]: “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Matthew 12:19-21: He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” (This too is most significant. The rejected King of Israel will turn to the Gentiles (cf.) Mt 10:5-6. In fulfilment this awaited the official rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, and the final rejection of the risen Christ. Lu 24:46-47; Ac 9:15; 13:46; 28:25-28; Ro 11:11.)
N2 to Mt. 12.46, p1013 “While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.” (Rejected by Israel, His “kinsmen according to the flesh” (cf) Ro 9:3 our Lord intimates the formation of the new family of faith which, overstepping mere racial claims, receives “whosoever” will be His disciple. Mt 12:49-50; Joh 6:28-29.) Mt. 12:50 “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
N1 to Mt. 15.21-28, p1020 “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (For the first time the rejected Son of David ministers to a Gentile. It is a precursive fulfilment of Mt 12:18 Addressed by a Gentile as Son of David, He makes no reply, for a Gentile has no claim upon Him in that character. Cmt. on Mt 2:2 Eph 2:12. Addressing him as “Lord,” she obtained an immediate answer. Ro 10:12-13).
N1 to Mt. 21.43, p1029 “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”] “Note that Matthew here as in verse 31 uses the larger word, kingdom of God. (Cf. Mt.6.33, note.) The kingdom of heaven (Mt. 3.2, note 1 Cor. 14.24, summary) will yet be set up. Meantime the kingdom of God and His righteousness is taken from Israel nationally and given to the Gentiles (Rom. 9.30-33).
N3 to Mt. 21.44, p1029 “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Christ as the “Stone” is revealed in a threefold way: (1) To Israel Christ, coming not as a splendid monarch but in the form of a servant, is a stumbling stone and rock of offence. Isa 8:14-15; Ro 9:32-33; 1Co 1:23; 1Pe 2:8; (2) to the church, Christ is the foundation stone and the head of the corner 1Co 3:11; Eph 2:20-22; 1Pe 2:4-5; (3) to the Gentile world-powers (see “Gentiles,” Lu 21:24; Re 16:19 He is to be the smiting-stone of destruction Da 2:34. Israel stumbled over Christ; the church is built upon Christ; Gentile world- dominion will be broken by Christ. See “Armageddon” “Re 16:14; 19:19. Margin: Or, Whosoever falls on this stone shall be crushed together i.e. the Jews Isa 8:14; Ro 9:32-33; 1Co 1:23 but on whomsoever it may fall, he will be scattered as dust (Gr. “winnowed,” i.e. the Gentile nations, Da 2:34-35,45 Cmt. on Da 2:35.)
- N2 to Mt. 24:3, p1032 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Mat 24 with Lu 21:20-24 answers the threefold question. The order is as follows: “when shall these things be?”–i.e. destruction of the temple and city. Answer: Lu 21:20-24. Second and third questions: “And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?” Answer: Mt 24:4-33. Verses 4 to 14 have a double interpretation: They give (1) the character of the age–wars, international conflicts, famines, pestilences, persecutions, and false Christs (cf) Da 9:26. This is not the description of a converted world. (2) But the same answer (Mt 24:4-14) applies in a specific way to the end of the age, viz. Daniel’s seventieth week. Da 9:24-27. Cmt. on Da 9:24. All that has characterized the age gathers into awful intensity at the end. Verse 14 has specific reference to the proclamation of the good news that the kingdom is again “at hand” by the Jewish remnant Isa 1:9; Re 14:6-7. Cmt. on Ro 11:5. Verse 15 gives the sign of the abomination, Cmt. on Da 9:27, the “man of sin,” or “Beast” 2Th 2:3-8; Da 9:27; 12:11; Re 13:4-7.
- This introduces the great tribulation Ps 2:5. Cmt. on Re 7:14, which runs its awful course of three and a half years, culminating in the battle of Cmt. on Re 19:19 at which time Christ becomes the smiting Stone of Da 2:34. The detail of this period (Mt 24:15-28) is: (1) The abomination in the holy place (Mt 24:15); (2) the warning (Mt 24:16-20) to believing Jews who will then be in Jerusalem; (3) the great tribulation, with renewed warning as to false Christs (Mt 24:21-26); (4) the sudden smiting of the Gentile world-power (Mt 24:27-28); (5) the glorious appearing of the Lord, visible to all nations, and the regathering of Israel (Mt 24:29-31); (6) the sign of the fig-tree (Mt 24:32-33); (7) warnings, applicable to this present age over which these events are ever impending (Mt 24:34-51). Phm 1:25. Careful study of Da 2, 7, 9, and Re 13 will make the interpretation clear. See, also, “Remnant” (Isa 1:9; Ro 11:5).)
N1 p1036 to Mt. 25.32 “Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” (This judgment is to be distinguished from the judgment of the great white throne. Here there is no resurrection; the persons judged are living nations; no books are opened; three classes are present, sheep, goats, and brethren; the time is at the return of Christ (Mt 25:31); and the scene is on the earth. All these particulars are in contrast with Re 20:11-15. The test in this judgment is the treatment accorded by the nations to those whom Christ here call “my brethren.” These “brethren” are the Jewish Remnant who will have preached the Gospel of the kingdom to all nations during the tribulation. See “Remnant” Isa 1:9; Ro 11:5. The test in Re 20:11-15 is the possession of eternal life. See, for the other six judgments: Cmt. on Joh 12:31 Cmt. on 1Co 11:31 Cmt. on 2Co 5:10 Cmt. on Eze 20:37 Cmt. on Jude 1:6 Cmt. on Re 20:12.)
N1 p1132; John 12.23 (20-32). “And Iesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” (He does not receive these Gentiles. A Christ in the flesh, King of the Jews, could be no proper object of faith to the Gentiles, though the Jews should have believed on Him as such. For Gentiles the corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die; Christ must be lifted up on the cross and believed in as a sacrifice for sin, as seed of Abraham, not David (vs. 12:24,32; Gal. 3:7-14; Eph. 2:11-13). Margin: Son of man Cmt. on Mt 8:20.
The gospel for the 1st time give to the Gentiles. Acts 10.
N1 p1169. Dispensationally, Acts 15.13 et. seq. is the most important passage in the NT. It gives the divine purpose for this age, and for the beginning of the next. (1) The taking out from among the Gentiles of a people for His name, the distinctive work of the present, or church-age. The church is the ecclesia—the “called-out assembly.” Precisely this has been in progress since Pentecost. The Gospel has never anywhere converted all, but everywhere has called out some. (2) “After this [viz. the outcalling] I will return.” James quotes from Amos 9.11, 12. The verses which follow in Amos describe the final regathering or Israel, which the other prophets invariably connect with the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (e.g. Isa. 11.1, 10-12; Jer. 23.5-8). (3) “ And will build again the tabernacle of David,” i.e. re-establish the Davidic rule over Israel (2 Sam. 7.8-17; Lk. 1.31-33)/ )4) “That the residue of men [Israelites] may seek after th Lord” (cf. Zech. 12.7, 8; 13.1, 2). (5) “And all the Gentiles,” etc. (cf. Mic. 4.2; Zech. 8.21, 22). This is also the order of Rom. 11.24-27.
The relation of the Gentiles to the law: N1 p1170 to Acts 15.19. The scope of the decision goes far beyond the mere question of circumcision. The whole question of the relation of the law to Gentile believers has been put in issue (v. 5), and their exemption is declared in the decision (vs. 19, 24). The decision might be otherwise stated in the terms of Rom. 6.14. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Gentile believers were to show grace by abstaining from the practices offensive to godly Jews (vs. 20, 21, 18, 19; cf. Rom. 14.12-17; I Cor. 8.1-13).
Luke 2:32 “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Ac. 13.46-49 “46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.”
N1 to Ac. 15.13, p1169 “Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:” (Dispensationally, this is the most important passage in the N.T. It gives the divine purpose for this age, and for the beginning of the next. (1) The taking out from among the Gentiles of a people for His name, the distinctive work of the present, or church-age. The church is the ecclesia–the “called-out assembly.” Precisely this has been in progress since Pentecost. The Gospel has never anywhere converted all, but everywhere has called out some. (2) “After this viz. the out-calling I will return.” James quotes from Am 9:11-12. The verses which follow in Amos describe the final regathering of Israel, which the other prophets invariably connect with the fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant (e.g.) Isa 11:1,10-12; Jer 23:5-8. (3) “And will build again the tabernacle of David,” i.e. re-establish the Davidic rule over Israel 2Sa 7:8-17; Lu 1:31-33. (4) “That the residue of men Israelites may seek after the Lord” cf Zec 12:7; 13:1-2. (5) “And all the Gentiles,” etc. cf Mic 4:2; Zec 8:21-22. This is also the order of Ro 11:24-27.)
Ac. 15,13-18. James declares the result [at the Council at Jerusalem]: (1) the outcalling of the Gentiles agrees with the promises to Israel. vs. 19-27. (2) The Gentiles are not under the law. vs. 28-35 (3) The Gentile believers must not give offense to godly Jews.
Ac. 18.5-6 “And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”
Ac. 28.17-30. vs. 17-24: Paul in Rome: his ministry there to the Jews. vs. 25-30: Paul turns to the Gentiles.
- Introductory Notes to The Epistles of Paul, p1189: “The Epistles of the Apostle Paul have a very distinctive character. All Scripture, up to the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, looks forward to the cross, and has primarily in view Israel, and the blessing of the earth through the Messianic kingdom. But “hid in God” Eph 3:9 was an unrevealed fact–the interval of time between the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ and His return in glory; and an unrevealed purpose– the outcalling of the ecclesia, the church which is Christ’s body. In Mat. 16, our Lord announced that purpose, but wholly without explanation as to how, when, or of what materials, that church should be built, or what should be its position, relationships, privileges, or duties.
- All this constitutes precisely the scope of the Epistles of Paul. They develop the doctrine of the church. …”
Ro. 1.21-23. (1) The seven stages of Gentile world apostasy.
Ro. 1.24-32. (4) The result of the Gentile world apostasy.
Ro. 2.1-16. (5) The Gentile pagan moralizers no better than other pagans. Ro. 2.9: “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;” Ro. 2.12 “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;”
Ro. 2.17-29. The Jew, knowing the law, is condemned by the law.
Ro. 3.1-8. (7) The advantage of the Jew works his greater condemnation.
Ro. 3.8-20. (8) The final verdict: the whole world guilty before God. Ro. 3.9 “Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” Ro. 3.20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Ro. 3.21-5.11. Part II. Justification by faith in Christ crucified, the alone remedy for sins (Rom. 3.21-5.11). Ro. 3.23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Ro. 4.16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” (Barnes: “… The father of us all. Of all who believe, whether they be Jews or Gentiles.” Clarke: “… Of the Gentiles there can be no doubt, for the promise was given to Abraham while he was a Gentile; and the salvation of the Jews may be inferred, because they all sprang from him after he became an heir of the righteousness or justification which is received by faith; for he is the father of us all, both Jews and Gentiles. …” See also Burkitt, FBN, Geneva, PNTC, Poole, Wesley)
Ro. 4.17 “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Barnes: “Of many nations. The apostle evidently understands this promise as refering not to his natural descendants only, but to the great multitude who should believe as he did.” Burkitt: “… Observe here, 2. That as Abraham’s faith exceedingly honoured God; so God highly honours Abraham’s faith, making him like himself, a father of many nations. As God is an universal Father, not of one, but of all nations, so was Abraham; as God is their spiritual father, not by carnal generation, so was Abraham: God made faithful Abraham like himself, a father, not of this or that nation only, but universally of all believers, among all nations, believing after his example. Thus Abraham’s faith honours God, and God honours Abraham’s faith, styling him the Father of the Faithful throughout all generations.” Clarke: “… i.e. he was constituted the head of many nations, the Gentile world, by virtue of the covenant, which God made then with him. …” See other commentaries as well.)
Ro. 11.11-12 “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”
Ro. 11.13-25. (9) The Gentiles warned.
N2 to Ro. 11.25, p1205: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (The “fullness of the Gentiles” is the completion of the purpose of God in this age, viz. the outcalling from among the Gentiles of a people for Christ’s name, “the church which is His body” (Eph. 1.22, 23). Cf. Acts 15.14; Eph. 4.11-13; 1 Cor. 12.12, 13. It must be distinguished from “the times of the Gentiles.” (Lk. 21.24).)
Ro. 15.4-13 Jewish and Gentile believers are one in salvation.
(6) The Abrahamic Covenant is a by-faith covenant (Cf. Rom. 4.1-22). Ga. 3.6-9: “6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
(8) Christ has borne our law-curse that we might have the faith-blessing. Ga. 3.13-14 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Ep. 2.1-10. (4) The method of Gentile salvation.
Ep. 2.11-13. (5) The Gentile position by nature. “11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
Ep. 2.14-18. (6) Jew & Gentile one body in Christ: “14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
N1 to Eph. 3.6, p1252 “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (That the Gentiles were to be saved was no mystery Ro 9:24-33; 10:19-21. The mystery “hid in God” was the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing–“the church, which is his Christ’s body,” formed by the baptism with the Holy Spirit 1Co 12:12-13 and in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears Eph 2:14-15; Col 3:10-11. The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold, but not explained by Christ Mt 16:18 was committed to Paul. In his writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.)
N3 to Ep. 4.24, p1253 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (The new man is the regenerate man as distinguished from the old man Cmt. on Ro 6:6 and is a new man as having become a partaker of the divine nature and life 2Pe 1:4; Col 3:3-4 and in no sense the old man made over, or improved 2Co 5:17; Ga 6:15; Eph 2:10; Col 3:10. The new man is Christ, “formed” in the believer Ga 2:20; 4:19; Col 1:27; 1Jo 4:12. Margin: righteousness Cmt. on Ro 10:10.)
Ep. 4.17-29 “17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: …”
1 Th. 2.14-16 “1 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”
(3) The “times of the Gentiles” to end in forty two months. Re. 11:1-2 “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”
The last form of Gentile world-power. See N2, 3 to Rev. 13.1, 2, p1341 “1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 3 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” “( N2: Daniel’s fourth beast, Cmt. on Da 7:26, The “ten horns” are explained in Da 7:24; Re 17:12 to be ten kings, and the whole vision is of the last form of Gentile world-power, a confederated ten-kingdom empire covering the sphere of authority of ancient Rome. Re 13:1-3 refers to the ten-kingdom empire; vs. Re 13:4-10 to the emperor, who is emphatically “the Beast.” Cmt. on Re 19:20. N3: The three animals, leopard, bear, and lion, are found in Da 7:4-6 as symbols of the empires which preceded Rome, and whose characteristics all entered into the qualities of the Roman empire: Macedonian swiftness of conquest, Persian tenacity of purpose, Babylonish voracity.).
N1 to Re. 13.3, p1342. “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Fragments of the ancient Roman empire have never ceased to exist as separate kingdoms. It was the imperial form of government which ceased; the one head wounded to death. What we have prophetically in Re 13:3 is the restoration of the imperial form as such, though over a federated empire of ten kingdoms; the “head” is “healed,” i.e. restored; there is an emperor again–the Beast. Margin: world ge = earth. Joh 7:7, Cmt. on Re 13:8.)
N1 to Rev. 16.19, p1345. “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” (Summary: The Times of the Gentiles is that long period beginning with the Babylonian captivity of Judah, under Nebuchadnezzar, and to be brought to an end by the destruction of Gentile world-power by the “stone cut out without hands” Da 2:34-35,44 i.e., the coming of the Lord in glory Re 19:11,21 until which time Jerusalem is politically subject to Gentile rule. Lu 21:24. Margin: kings “Times of the Gentiles” Re 16:19; Lu 21:24. Margin: Babylon Cmt. on Isa 13:1.
Re. 17.8-18. The last form of Gentile world-power. “8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”