the city: for when it is in the hands of the enemy, he then "goes forth and fights against the assembled nations, as when he fought in the day of battle" -- he goes forth from Teman, and having been victorious at Botzra, "he stands upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east," and also before and above the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
Here then is a manifest interval of time and space; of space, between Teman and the Mount of Olives; and of time, between the completion of the development of the One Yahweh-Elohim Angel-Man ready for action and his arrival at the Mount of Olives. How does he occupy his time in this interval; and what means does he employ to cause "the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable" to "come out as a whirlwind to scatter him" (Hab. 3:14)? In other words, how doth he put hooks into Gog's jaws, by which he brings him forth, and all his army, horses, and horsemen, against the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 38:4, 8)?
It may be remarked here, that there will have been a considerable gathering of Israelites upon the mountains of Israel before the invasion of the country by Gog, and his capture of Jerusalem. This appears from the Spirit's address to Gog in the eighth verse of this chapter. In this place he says, "In the latter years thou shalt come into the land brought back from the sword, and gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been continually waste; but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them". Gog also is represented in the eleventh verse as admitting that it is a land of unwalled villages, whose inhabitants are at rest and in safety; for an evil thought comes into his mind, and he says, "I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell confidently, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places now inhabited, and upon the people gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land".
It is evident from these last words, that "the land brought back from the sword" is not the land according to the original Abrahamic grant; but only that "tenth part" of it which Isaiah was informed in ch. 6:13, "shall return and be grazed". This tenth in the midst of the land is the locality of Armageddon; and not at all connected with Teman, which lies considerably to the south of it. The return of security and prosperity to this tenth of the land, must either precede the development of the "One Yahweh" man; or be concurrent with the operation in the recesses of Teman: or it may be in progress both then and before. It seems to me that the movement of the Anglo-Indian Merchants of Tarshish upon Abyssinia, and the formation of the Suez Canal, are preliminary to the return of the tenth. How long a time may elapse from the arrival of the Lord Jesus at Sinai, to the perfected development of the Echad Yahweh "One Yahweh" Name (Zech. 14:9; Deut. 6:4) does not appear from the record: the interval however, will I conceive, afford time enough for the development of the Divine purpose with respect to the tenth of the land. From the present occupation of Abyssinia to the finished preparation of the Lamb's Bride, whose perfected readiness for action is the subject of the "Hallelu-Yah" of her great constituent multitude (ch. 19:6-9) will afford all the time so facile an international arrangement, in these days of political and scientific miracles, may require. Sardinia became the kingdom of Italy in two months: the kingdom of Naples was annexed in less time; Austria was expelled from Venetia and the Quadrilateral in a few days: how soon, then, could a convention between England, Turkey, France, Russia, Austria and Prussia, for the sake of advancing a step in the peaceful solution of the Eastern Question, give population, security and prosperity to the tenth of the land.
Bearing upon some arrangement of this kind, is a remarkable passage in Isa. 43:3, 4. The reader can take it as it stands in the English Version, or according to my rendering as follows: "I have given Egypt, Cush, and Seba, thy covering in return for thee; since that thou hast been precious in my eyes; thou shalt become renowned: and I have loved thee; I will therefore give men in return for thee, even to peoples in return for thy life". Here is the Giver, who, being the proprietor of the earth, and distributor of the nations upon it according to certain bounds (Acts 17:26), establishes a new relation of things in the East, in consideration of Israel's return under cover, or protection, of some particular power. Israel is, as it were, transferred to the Divine Purchaser, that is, to the midst of His land, by a power, whose sway is Providentially extended over Egypt, Cush, and Seba, or Abyssinia, Nubia, and Egypt; so that it obtains command of the Red Sea, from the Straits of Babelmandel to Suez; and from thence to the Mediterranean. Having thus command of both sides of the Straits, being already settled at Aden in Sheba, and possessed of Perim, the highway to India is controlled, and assured to the covering or protecting power.
The building of the Suez Canal was a joint undertaking by the French and Egypt, then under control of Turkey. It was officially opened at the close of 1869, but did not immediately prove to be the financial success anticipated, and which it afterwards became. The project was strongly opposed by Britain as she saw it as a threat to her then commercial supremacy. The Khedive (Turkey) forced by financial stress, offered its shares for sale, and they were purchased on behalf of Britain by Prime Minister Disraeli (of Jewish descent). In 1882, circumstances again forced Britain to reluctantly intervene in the Middle East, and to occupy Egypt, bringing Turkish domination to an end. In 1914-17 war, Turkey joined the Central Powers (Germany, Austria etc.) and Britain saw the desirability of a power friendly to its interests on the north-eastern side of Egypt and the Canal, and this, contributed to the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration inviting Jews to establish a national home in Palestine. So world politics and intrigue played their part in fulfilling the Divine purpose.
But what country doth the Scripture indicate will extend the shadow of its political protection over the tenth, in the midst of the land of Israel? Whatever land is therein indicated will, I conceive, obtain supremacy in the Abyssinian Ethiopian or Cush; Seba, or Nubia; and Mitzraim, or Egypt; whereby it will find it to be promotive of its commercial and political interests to obtain the resettlement of the central tenth of the Holy Land under the guarantee, perhaps, by the great powers, of neutrality. This would be in the sense of the text, receiving Egypt, Cush, and Seba, in return for the resettlement of the tenth.
The answer to the question proposed is revealed in Isa. 18:1, 2, 7, which I translate thus: "Ho! land of widely o'ershadowing wings extending from beyond to rivers of Cush; which sendeth by sea whirling things even upon vessels of fleetness on the surface of waters! Go swiftly, ye fleet messengers, to a nation carried away and oppressed; to a people terrible from this and onward; a nation prostrate and trodden down, whose land rivers have spoiled -- to the dwelling-place of the Name of Yahweh T'zvaoth, Mount Zion" -- Herald, Vol. III., p. 103.
A land of widely o'ershadowing wings is representative of a government of widely extended colonial dominion. It is hailed in the prophecy, which was delivered in Jerusalem, as a power located east of the rivers of Cush, or "extending from beyond;" and in its amplest Asiatic development, extending "to the rivers of Cush". The reader must bear in mind, that there are two separate and distinct regions known in Scripture by the name of Cush; the one, in Asia and now called Cushistan: the other, in Africa, styled Abyssinia and Ethiopia. The latter is at the southwest extremity of the Red Sea; while the Cush of our text is at the north end of the Persian Gulf, where it is watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, and now lying partly in Persia, and partly in Turkey.
The overshadowing power is "from beyond" these rivers. By sea, the communication is direct from Hindostan to Cush, where there is well known to be a power, of widely extended dominion, whose navy is largely composed of fleet, or swift vessels propelled by "whirling things". Ezekiel styles this power "Sheba, Dedan, the Merchants of Tarshish, and all the young lions thereof" (ch. 38:13). This is the power to which Egypt, Cush, and Seba, the country of the Sabaeans, "men of stature" (Isa. 45:14) are given as the price for the resettlement of the tenth in the midst of the land. It is the British Indian Lion of Tarshish, which even now commands the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and is prepared for any advance northwestward towards Syria or Egypt, deemed necessary by the home government for the satisfying of its interests.
How then doth "Yahweh, the Man of War," so styled by Moses in Exod. 15:3, occupy his time after his development as the "One Angel" is complete? Let the following testimonies enlighten us. "Behold," saith the Spirit of Christ in Isa. 43:19, "I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The living things of the plain shall glorify me, swirl things and the daughters of voracious ones (the wild Arabs, figuratively "dragons" and "ostriches"): because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people I have created for myself: they shall show forth my praise". This implies the subjugation of the freebooters of the Arabian desert, and its fertilization, which will make its people glorify the conqueror, and sing for joy.
"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon (the cedar) shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall be the glory of Yahweh, and the excellency of our Elohim" (Isa. 35:1, 2). And again in ch. 41:18-20, "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of waters, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together; that they may see, and know, and consider, that the hand of Yahweh hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it". And "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof exult, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of the rocky country (Arabia Petraea) sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto Yahweh, and declare his praise in the habitable lands" (ch. 42:11).
Now it must be evident to every one, that before the wild, untamed marauders, who inhabit Arabia Deserta, Arabia Petraea, and Paran, Horeb, Sinai, and the tents and villages of the Kedarite Arabs, can glorify Yahweh, and rejoice with joy and singing, and become the intelligent, happy, and contented population of this newly created Paradise, they must have been subjected to the severe discipline of the sword; to subsequent instruction, as to the true character of the New Power so recently developed in Teman; and made witnesses of the wonderful transformation of their section of Asia from an arid, sandy and rocky wilderness, into a well-watered park of choice, odoriferous, trees and shrubs! And such is the testimony of the prophets. Isaiah, in speaking of the crisis of Messiah's accession to David's throne, declares it to be "a day of Midian". His words are "thou hast broken the yoke of his (the Assyrian's) burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of the oppressor upon him, as a day of Midian: for every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but she shall be for a burning fuel of fire" -- the Bride shall be (ch. 9:4, 5).
The original and appropriate district of the Midianites was on the east side of the Elanitic Bay of the Red Sea. They spread themselves northward along the desert east of Mount Seir, to the vicinity of the Moabites; and on the other side also, they covered a territory extending to the neighbourhood of Mount Sinai. Midianites and Ishmaelites are different names of the same people. They are separated from "the tents of Cushan" by the northern extremity of the Arabian Desert.
Midian had a terrible day when, by a panic from Yahweh, they destroyed themselves in the presence of Gideon and his three hundred torch-bearing trumpeters. Another similar day is in reserve for Midian and Cushan, when "Eloahh shall come in from Teman and the Holy One from Mount Paran". "From before him shall go the pestilence, and flaming fire shall go forth from his feet. He stood, and shall shake the earth: he beheld, and shall cause the nations to tremble; and the mountains of antiquity shall be dispersed; the ancient hills were humbled; the ways of Olahm are for him". In consequence of this terrible manifestation of supernatural power, Habakkuk informs the reader, saying, "I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble". The lands of Cushan and Midian being within the limits of the land granted to Abraham are among the first to feel the sword of the King who begins his conquering career in Teman. Like his father David, he executes judgment upon the inhabitants of the South, before he obtains the sovereignty over the house of Judah in the midst of the land.
But, it cannot be supposed that, in our time of this, or the rising generation,