And it shall come to pass in that day
Before spoken of, and which includes the whole Gospel dispensation: [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time;
which refers to a first, in which the Lord exerted his power in the recovery of his people out of the hands of their enemies; and that was the deliverance of them out of Egypt, and which was typical of the deliverance of the Lord's people in the times of Christ; and it is usual with the Jews F9 to call Moses the first redeemer, and the Messiah the latter; wherefore this "second time" refers to the times of the Messiah, and not to the time of the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity; for that, as Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi observe, was not a perfect redemption; only Judah and Benjamin returned, not the ten tribes, and so did not answer to the first time, when all Israel came out of Egypt; and much less can it be understood of the return of those, in the times of Hezekiah, carried captive by Tilgathpilneser and Shalmaneser: or the first and second time may be distinguished thus; the first time may intend the calling of a large number, both of Jews and Gentiles, through the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles; and the second time the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews, in the latter day; or the first time may respect the calling of the Gentiles, and the second the gathering in of the Jews: or both may intend later times; the first time, the reformation from Popery; the second time, deliverance from Babylon, or the antichristian yoke, under which all nations will again be brought, before the destruction of the man of sin: to recover the remnant of his people;
or to "obtain", or to "possess" F11; for this is not to be understood of the recovery or redemption of them by the price of Christ's blood, but of the calling and conversion of them, when the Lord claims them, possesses and enjoys them, as his own; and as they are but a remnant whom God has chosen for his people, and Christ has redeemed by his blood, so they are no other that are called; though here they may be called a remnant, or what remains, with respect to those who have been called already: which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt;
Egypt, and other places following, being joined with Assyria, show that this cannot be understood of the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity; but designs the several places where Christ would have a people in Gospel times, and who would be found out, and called by grace; some of which already have been, as in Babylon and Egypt, ( 1 Peter 5:13 ) ( Acts 2:10 ) and others will be hereafter, according to the prophecies, ( Psalms 68:31 ) ( Psalms 87:4 ) ( Isaiah 19:18-25 ) and as Assyria and Egypt are now in the hands of the Turks, it may design the call and conversion of many in those parts, when the Turkish empire shall be destroyed; or else the deliverance of God's people from the tyranny of the Romish antichrist, called Egypt and Babylon, at the time of his ruin: from Pathros;
by which some understand Parthia, as Manasseh ben Israel F12, and Calvin thinks it probable; many of this country were converted in the first times of the Gospel; the Apostle John's first epistle is called by the ancients the Epistle to the Parthians, see ( Acts 2:9 ) and very likely there will be more of them in the latter day: others think Arabia Petraea is intended; it seems to be a part of Egypt last mentioned, as appears from ( Ezekiel 29:14 ) and is mentioned with some cities in Egypt, ( Jeremiah 44:1 Jeremiah 44:15 ) and had its name very likely from Pathrusim, a son of Mizraim, ( Genesis 10:14 ) . Thebais is here meant, the extreme part of Egypt, next to Ethiopia, which is designed by what fellows, according to Sir John Marsham F13, and Bochart F14, and Vitringa after them: and from Cush;
or Ethiopia; from whence some have been called, see ( Acts 8:27 ) and others will, according to prophecy, ( Psalms 68:31 ) ( 87:4 ) and in part of this country now live the Abyssines, who profess Christianity: or rather Arabia, see ( Galatians 1:17 ) . The Targum renders it,
``from India:''and from Elam;
a province in Persia, ( Daniel 8:2 ) the inhabitants of this place are called Elamites, ( Acts 2:9 ) some of these heard the apostles speak the wonderful things of God in their own language, and were converted: and from Shinar;
in Chaldea, in the plain of which the tower of Babel was built, ( Genesis 10:10 ) ( 11:2 ) wherefore the Targum renders it,
``from Babylon:''and from Hamath;
meaning either Antiochia, as some, or Cilicia, as others. Cocceius says it is a country which lies towards the Mediterranean sea, over against Cyprus, above Mount Libanus, where now is Tripoli: and from the islands of the sea;
or of the west; the European islands, particularly England, Ireland, and Scotland, and others. Aben Ezra refers this prophecy to the times of the Messiah, and so does Manasseh ben Israel.
F9 Midrash Koheleth, fol. 63. 2.
F11 (twnql) "ad possidendum", Grotius; (tou kthsasyai) , Aquila.
F12 Spes Israelis p. 72.
F13 Canon. Chron. p. 25.
F14 Geograph. l. 4. c. 27. col. 276.