And he shall judge among the nations
Or, "it shall judge"; either the mountain of the Lord's house, as Abarbinel thinks, that is, the church; for in the spiritual reign of Christ, in the latter day, the judgment shall be given to the saints of the most High, and they shall possess the kingdom; the power of civil government will be in their hands, and they shall judge the world; for kings will then be nursing fathers to them, and queens nursing mothers. Or the law and word of the Lord, the Gospel, which judges men now, and declares who are condemned, and who are not; and will judge them at the last day: or, "he shall judge", that is, the Messiah, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech interpret it; he shall be King over all the earth; the kingdoms of this world will become his, and his dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the end of the earth:
and shall rebuke many people;
either the church shall rebuke by her ministers, whose work it is to reprove and rebuke for and to convince of both immorality and error; or, the word preached by them, which is the means of the conviction and conversion of sinners; or, Christ by his Spirit, whose office it is to reprove and convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. It is a prophecy of numerous conversions among the Gentiles, in the latter day:
and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their
spears into pruning hooks:
instruments of war shall be no more used, but shall be turned into instruments of husbandry, much more advantageous and useful to mankind.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they
learn war any more.
This clearly proves that this prophecy belongs to future times; for this has never yet had its accomplishment in any sense; not in a literal sense; for though there was an universal peace all the world over, at the birth of Christ, in the times of Augustus Caesar, yet there afterwards were, as our Lord foretold there would be, wars, and rumours of wars, and nation should rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and so it has been, more or less, ever since; nor in a spiritual sense, for though Christ has made peace by the blood of his cross, and came and preached it by his ministers, and wherever the Gospel of peace takes place, it makes men of peaceable dispositions, and reconciles them, as to God and Christ, and the way of salvation by him, so to one another; and it is peace saints are called to, and, when grace is in exercise, it rules in their hearts; and yet there have been sad contentions and quarrels among the people of God, and which yet still continue; but in the latter day glory, or spiritual reign of Christ, this prophecy will be fulfilled in every sense; for after the hour of temptation is over, that shall try all the earth, after the slaying of the witnesses and their rising, after the battle at Armageddon, when the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire, there will be no more wars in the world, nor any persecution of the saints; and then will the peaceable kingdom of Christ appear, and all his subjects, and the members of his church, will live in the utmost unity and harmony together; they shall no more envy and vex one another; and of this peace there will be no end, ( Psalms 72:7 ) ( Isaiah 9:7 ) ( Isaiah 11:6-8 Isaiah 11:13 ) these words are applied to the times of the Messiah, both by ancient F17 and modern F18 Jews.
F17 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 63. 1.
F18 R. Nachman. Disputat. cum fratre Paulo, p. 41. R. Isaac. Chizzuk Emuna, par. 1. cap. 1. p. 43, 44. Kimchi in Isa. lxv. 19.