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chapter. The prophet is here exulting in a great change. The captive daughter of Zion is being released. It is a prediction of the time in which we dwell. In the past,“ God's people have been made to howl by them that rule over them.” This is greatly the case still, in many nations of Christendom. Now is the coming change. The knowledge that the holy city has relation to earth will extend, and ultimately overthrow those who now rule and fulminate their anathemas, and who thus “God's name continually every day blaspheme.” The future is announced in the opening words of the chapter: “Awake, awake; put on thy beautiful garments, 0 Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no
come unto thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”
The term “ daughter” is used in Scripture to designate the younger, or second, or succeeding state, or the antitype. Daughter of Zion means the second, or Christian, dispensation, as the daughter of Babylon means the spiritual Babylon. The term is repeatedly employed, and is used to distinguish the antitype from
“Daughter of Jerusalem " is in this way employed by Jeremiah in the Lamentations. The Lamentations refer to the captive daughter of Zion, or the condition of Christendom.
That Isaiah is prophesying, in the 52nd chapter, of God's holy city on earth will be seen, if the preceding and succeeding chapters are examined. They will be found to declare the past oppression of God's people by those who call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel, but not in
truth nor in righteousness.” They show that when Zion's light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon her, “her people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of God's planting, the work of God's hands, that He may be glorified.” Those who, as a class, have been previously afflicted and despised, shall now reign, and be called “ The city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
In the 54th chapter will be found the call of the Gentile or second Israel, in which similar images are employed to those used in the description by St. John of the holy city. Both prophets declare that she shall be built up of precious stones. In this chapter God is declaring His favour towards His people, and that His holy city shall be established; that “no weapon that is formed against her shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against her in judgment she shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. ... In a little wrath God had hidden His face from her for a moment, but now with everlasting kindness will He have mercy upon her.”
The holy city of St. John is preceded with the declaration, that he saw a new heaven and a new earth; “for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Isaiah writes also of a new heaven and a new earth.
Heaven, earth, and sea are employed by the sacred writers as figures for God's true kingdom, God's nominal kingdom, and Paganism. St. John employs them frequently in the Apocalypse in these senses. Isaiah also so uses them. In the 51st, the 65th, and 66th chapters will be found examples. In the 60th
- is an example of the sea being so used : “ The :
abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.”Paganism shall be converted to true Christianity.
In the two last chapters of Isaiah, the prophet is predicting the change from Judaism to Christianity, and God herein declares, “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." The new heavens and new earth are the new creation in Christ.
In like manner John uses these terms. John saw the city “ prepared as a bride adorned.” He had just before predicted the extinction of Paganism. In the matured state of Zion she is adorned as a bride. There “ is no more sea.” Paganism is extinct.
The holy city is styled the New Jerusalem. The ancient Jerusalem, God's chosen city, surrounded by heathen idolatry, was a type of Christianity. The term Jerusalem is, therefore, employed by all the prophets as a figure to denote God's kingdom. When used without an adjective it means the nominal, or general kingdom; when with, the sense is determined by the adjective, or by the passage, or the context where used.
In the opening chapter of Isaiah is a vision concerning “Judah and Jerusalem.” Judah and Jerusalem are terms for Christianity, “ the daughter of
, Zion." Christians are followers of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Isaiah's prophecies concern Christianity. He proclaims the sinful course of Christendom, the punishments that follow, and the overthrow of its sinful form. In the two last chapters is gathered up, in few words, the rejection of the Hebrews, the calling of the Gentiles, and final victory of Christianity over all the earth. Herein Jerusalem is “a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”
When Jerusalem becomes a rejoicing," when “the uncircumcised pass through her no more,” the peaceable kingdom will be seen and known of men. The wolf and the lamb herein will feed together. Men of opposite dispositions live together harmoniously. In her “the voice of weeping” shall be no more heard, nor the “ voice of crying.” Or, as it is stated of the holy city of St. John, “ God shall wipe all tears from all eyes.” The curse is not found herein. Lamentations, and weeping, and woe, belong to the estranged from God. All who enjoy God's presence have joy and peace.
The holy city shown to be on earth by the prophet Zechariah.
This prophet was present at the rebuilding of the ancient Jerusalem, after the return from the Babylonish captivity. This rebuilding was a type of the raising up, or rebuilding, after a captivity of the people of the second Israel, the spiritual Jerusalem. Zechariah's writings are, therefore, especially directed to this subject. Their meaning is centred in this, a primary truth of the Scriptures.
When the prophet writes in the first chapter, “ Therefore thus saith the Lord, I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem :" it is the spiritual Jerusalem intended. This is apparent in the next chapter, where it is written, “ Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, for the multitude of men and cattle therein; for I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her." That these declarations have
reference to the spiritual Jerusalem, is shown by the words of the 10th verse. “ Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.”
In the last chapter is declared, that “living waters shall go out from Jerusalem.” These living waters are the waters of the river of life, which flow out from the throne of God and the Lamb. (Rev. xxii.)
At the close of Zechariah's prophecies is the declaration, that “every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." Zechariah, like Isaiah, at the close of his predictions gives a comprehensive prediction, beginning with the destruction of the Hebrew polity (chap. xiv. 1), the overthrow of the ancient Jerusalem, the establishing upon its ruins the spiritual Jerusalem, and final victory of Christianity over all heathenism. The victory is not achieved, until “every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord.” Or, in other words, until the holy city is recognised as pertaining to earth, and the church is discovered to be “without spot or blemish,” nothing entering her that defileth.”
The holy city shown to be on earth by other prophets.
In Joel we read, 66 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem ; and the
2 heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain ;