Elder Ah'yal spoke of this in one of his sermons.
The subject of this chapter is introduced with a concise view of the expulsion of the ten tribes from the promised land. The ten tri bes revolted from the house of David, early in the r eign of Rehoboam, son and successor of king Solomon. They received from this young prince treatment, which was considered impolitic and rough; upon wh ich they separated themselves from that branch of the house of Israel, who, from that time, have been distinguished by the name of Jews. The revolting ten tribes submitted to another k ing, J eroboam. And this breach was never after healed. Jeroboam, to perpetuate and widen this breach, and appr ehending that if the Jews and ten tribes amicably met for publ ic worship, according to the l aw of God, the ruptur e between them would probably soon be hea led, set up two golden calves, one in Dan, and one in Bethel; and ordered that the ten tribes of Israel should meet there for their public worship. He thus “made Israel to sin.” And woul d to God he had been the l ast who has made the professed worshippers [sic] of Jehovah “to sin,” by assigning them different places of worship, from moti ves not more evangelical than those of Jeroboam. [p.48] The ten tribes thus went off to idolatry. A line of kings succeeded Jeroboam; but none of them, to the time of expulsion, were true worshippers [sic] of the God of Israel. By their apostacy [sic], folly, idolatry , the ten tribes were preparing themselves for a long and doleful rejection, an outcast state for thousands of years. This Moses had denounced; Deut. x xviii. And this God fulfilled. Tiglah-Pilnezer, kin g of Assyria, captured the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manassah, who lay east of the Jordan, and placed them in Halah, Harah, and Habor, by the river Gozen.--1 Chro. v. 26. About twenty y ears after, (134 years before the Babylonish captivity of the Jews, and 725 years before Christ,) the r est of the ten tribes continuing impenitent, Shalmanezer, the succeeding king of Assyria, attack ed Samaria, took the r emainder of the ten tribes, in the rei gn of Hoshea, k ing of Israel, carried them to Assy ria, and placed them with their brethren in Hal ah and Habor, by the river Gozen in Media--2 Kings xvii. This final expulsion of Israel from the promised land, was about 943 y ears after they came out of Egypt. The k ing of Assyria pl aced their stead, in Samaria, people from Babylon, Cutha, Ava, Hama, and Sapharvaim. Here was the origin of the mongrel Samaritans. From this capti vity the ten tribes were never r ecovered. And they have long seemed to have been lost from the earth. They seem to have been i ndeed “ou tcast,” from the social world and the knowledge of civi lized man. The Jews, long a fter, were dispersed among the nations; but have ever been k nown as Jews. Bu t not so with Israel. They have seemed strangely to disappear from the world; and for 2500 y ears to have been utterly lost. [p.48 - p.49] What are we to believe concerning the ten tribes? Ar e they ever again to be restored and known as the natural seed of Abraham? Are they now in existence as a distinct people? If so, wh ere are they to be found? All parts of the world are now so well known, that one would conceive the commonwealth of Israel cannot now be found among the civilized nation s. Must we look for them in a savage state? If so, the knowledge of their descent must be derived from a variety of broken, circumstantial, traditionary evidence. Who, or where, then are the people who furnish the great est degree of this kin d of evidence? [p.49] An answer, relative to their restoration, will be involved in this chapter; and an answer to the other questions may be expected in the chapter follow ing. That the Jews are to be restored to Palestine as Jews, seems evident from a variety of considerations. And that the ten tribes of Israel will there be untied with them, seems also to be pl ainl y pr edi cted in the prophets. Let the foll owi ng things be considered: 1. The preservation of the Jews, as a distinct people, among the many nations whither they have been dispersed, now for nearly eighteen hundred y ears, affords great evidence, to say the least, that the many predi ctions whi ch seem to for etel [sic] such a restoration are to have a literal accomplishment. This their preservation is a most signal event of providence. Nothing lik e it has ever, in any other instance, been known on earth; except it be the case with the ten tribes of Israel. Other dispersed tribes of men have amalgamated with the people where they have dwelt, and have lost their distinct existence. And nothing but the special hand of God could have prevented this in the case of the Jews. The event then shows, that God has great things in stor e for them, as Jews. What can these things be, but the fu lfillment of those many prophecies whi ch predi ct their restoration to the land of their fathers, as well as their conversion to the Christian faith? [p. 49 - p.51] 2. That people have never, as y et, possessed all the l and promised them; nor have they possessed any part of it so long as promised. Hence their restoration to that land is essential to the complete fulfillmen t of those ancient promises. They wer e to possess the land to the river Euphrates, and forev er; or to the end of the world. God promised to Abraham, Gen. xv. 18--“Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great ri ver, the river Euphr ates.” Exod. xxii . 31--“And I wil l set thy bounds from the Red Sea, even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river (Euphrates;) for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and thou shalt drive them out before thee.”--Deut. xi. 21--“Every place wher eon the sole of thy feet shall stand, shall be yours, from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the ri ver Euphr ates, even unto the uttermost sea, shall your coast be.” Here then, are the boundaries of this ancient divine grant to Abr aham and his natur al seed. Beginni ng at the ri ver of Egypt, (a river not far fr om the north-east corner of the Red Sea, and running into the Mediterr anean.) Thence northward, on the shore of the said sea, as far as the point due west of Mount Lebanon. Thence eastward, over said mou ntain, away to the river Euphrates. Thence southward, as far as the north line of Ar abia. Thence westwar d, to the first named river. The whole of this territor y , the natur al seed of Abraham were to possess “for ever.” The inhabitants “should be driven out before them.” But this people anciently possessed but a small part of this territory . There was indeed a kind of ty pical possession of it in the r eign of Solomon;--wh ich r eign was a ty pe of the Millennium. (See Psalm [xxii.) David in h is wars which wer e typical of the wars that will introduce the Millennium, subdued and put under tribute the Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites, and most of the nations dwelling in the above named territories. And they continued in subjection in the reign of Solomon. (See 1 Kings iv. 21.) But those nations were not then driven out; nor was their land possessed by the childr en of Abraham. T hey afterward threw off their y oke, and were extremely troublesome to the people of God. They were only made tributary during a part of two reigns. But God promised--Exod. xxii i. 31--“I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river (Euphrates.) For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land i nto y our hands, and thou shalt driv e them out before thee.” The land east of Canaan , and away to the river Euphr ates, wa s never possessed by Israel. Their liter al possession of that ex ten t of territory mu st be an event still future. [p.51] The promised land was given to Israel “for an everlasting possession;” Gen. xvii. 8. Surel y this must mean a longer time than they did in ages past possess it. This promise remains then to be y et fulfill ed. It must mean an undisturbed possession of it, so long as the possession of it on earth may be desirable; or to the end of the world. We accordingly find that people, at the time of the introduction of the Millennium, expostulating with God, and pleading that ancient grant; Isa. lxi ii. 17, 18; “O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy way , and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servant’s sake, the tribes of shine inheritance. The people of thy holiness have possessed it (shine inheritance) but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. We are thine. Thou never bearest rule over them; they are not cal led by thy name.” Here is a plea put into th e mouths of the ancient people of the Lord, at the time of their restoration, not long before the battle of the great day, with a description of which battle this chapter begins. They expostulate relative to the sovereignty of God, in the resting of the veil of blindness and hardness so long on their hearts, during their long rejected state. Th ey plead that they are God’s servants, according to the ancient entail of the covenant. They plead for a restoration;--and plead that their nation had enjoyed, that their everlasting inheritance, but a little w hile; but that a people not called by God’s name, nor governed by his word, had trodden down the sanctuary; a description exactly fulfilled by the Turks. This fully implies the entering again of the Jews upon their ancient inheritance, in the last day s. [p.51 - p.53] 3. I shall now adduce some of the numerous express predictions of this event. In the prophecy of Ezekiel, the restoration of the Jews and of Israel to their own land, as well as their conversion in the last days, is clearly predicted. In chapter xxxvi. we have their long dispersion, and their guilty cause of it. But God, in the last day s, works for his own name’s sake, and recovers them. God say s, “And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen; and the heathen shall k now that I am the Lord--when I shall be sanctified in y ou before their ey es. For I will take y ou from among the heathen, and gather y ou out of all countries, and will bring y ou into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon y ou and y e shall be clean; from all y our fi lthiness, and from all your idols wil l I cleanse y ou. A new heart also will I give unto you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I wil l give y ou an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within y ou, and cause y ou to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements and do them. And y e shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and ye shall be my people, and I will be y our God. Then shal l y e remember your own evil way s--and shall loathe y ourselves. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it k nown unto y ou. Thus saith the Lor d God; in th e day that I shall have cleansed you from all y our iniquiti es, I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the w astes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be ti lled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all the heathen that passed by. And they shall say, this land that wa s so desolate is become lik e the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced and are inhabited. Then the heathen who are left round about y ou, shall k now that I the Lord build the rui ned places, and plant that wh ich is desol ate. I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.” Here is their regeneration; having a new heart; being cleansed from all sin. And beside this, we find expressly promised, their being reinstated in the l and of their fath ers, which had long lain waste. They rebuild their ancient cities. That this is in the last day s, connect ed with the introduction of the Millennium, the connexion [sic] of the whole passage, and the following chapters, fully decide. Both houses of the descendants of Abraham, (vi z. Israel and Judah,) are recovered, as will be seen. Those predictions cannot be fulfilled merely by the conversion of that people. For over and above their express conversion, they are established in the l and of their fath ers. [p.53] The prophet proceeds further to predict and il lustrate the wonderful events, by the resurrection of a valley of dry bones, chap. xxxvii. which figure God thus explains: “Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, our bones are dried, and ou r hopes lost; we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophecy , and say unto them; thus saith the Lord God; behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And y e shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened y our graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your gr aves, and shall put my spirit in y ou, and y e shall live, and I shall pl ace you in your l and. Then shall y e know th at I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lor d.” [p.53] The re-union of the two branches of that people follows, by the figure of the two sticks taken by the prophet. Of the one he writes, “For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions.” Upon th e other; “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, an d for all the house of Israel his companions.” [p.53 -