They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,
&c.] In the Church, so called, in allusion to the holy hill of Zion; in the latter day, after the destruction of antichrist, there will be no more persecution of the saints; they will be no more injured nor harassed by wicked men, comparable to the above mentioned creatures, either for their cruelty or cunning; the reason follows: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the
waters cover the sea:
full of the Gospel, the means of conveying the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, of his person and office, of his grace and righteousness, of peace, pardon, life, and salvation by him. The phrase denotes the abundance and depth of the knowledge of divine things, and the large spread of the Gospel, and the multitude of persons that shall be blessed with it, and a profound knowledge of it; so that there will be none to molest, disturb, and distress the people of God, see ( Habakkuk 2:14 ) this has had some appearance of accomplishment at several times; as at the first times of the Gospel, when the sound of it, by the apostles, went into all the earth, and diffused the savour of the knowledge of Christ in every place; and in the times of Constantine, when Paganism was abolished, and the whole empire became Christian, persecution ceased, and peace ensued, as before described; and at the Reformation, when whole nations embraced the Gospel of Christ; but the full accomplishment of it is yet to come, when the angel shall fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to all men, and the earth shall be lightened with his glory; when men shall run to and fro, and knowledge be increased, and all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. This passage is applied to the times of the Messiah by the Jews, ancient and modern F4.
F4 Zohar in Exod. fol. 28. 3. Kimchi in Joel 2. 28. Maimon. Melachim. c. 12. sect. 1. Caphtor, fol. 57. 2. and 93. 1. and 108. 1.