And when ye see this
All the above things prophesied of come to pass; the conversion of the Jews; the peaceable and prosperous condition of the church of Christ; and perceive, feel, and enjoy the comforts of God in an experimental manner: your heart shall rejoice;
for nothing can be matter of greater joy than these; these cause an inward, hearty, and sincere joy, and not mere outward expressions of it: and your bones shall flourish like an herb;
in a well watered garden, or on which the dew lies; which revives, lifts up its head, and is green and flourishing: so the hearts of God's people are comforted and filled with joy, it renews their spiritual strength; the bones that were dried up with sorrow become fat and flourishing and like a garden of herbs, whose springs fail not; see ( Proverbs 17:22 ) ( Isaiah 58:11 ) . The people of the Jews, in their present state, are like dry hones; but these dry bones shall live at the word of God, and through the power of his grace, and stand upon their feet, and which will cause great joy to others, and be is life from the dead. This passage Abarbinel and other Jewish writers interpret of the resurrection of the dead; for they believe the same body will rise, and the same bones revive. They have indeed a fabulous notion of the bone "luz", which they say is never consumed, and from which the rest will be restored; but, letting this pass, it may be observed that they use these words with others at the funeral of their dead, and when they return from the grave, thereby expressing their faith in this article. The ceremony used by them is this,
``as they return from the grave, everyone of them plucks up grass from off the ground twice or thrice, and casts it over his head behind him, saying those words of the psalmist, "and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth", ( Psalms 72:16 ) and this they do, to signify their hopes of the resurrection of the dead, who shall flourish as the grass, as the prophet says, "your bones shall flourish as the herb" F2,''or tender grass; as that springs up after it is cut down, so will the bones of the dead revive again, after they have been reduced to dust in the grave; and if that experiment is fact, said to be made by chemists, that herbs may be caused to grow up out of their ashes, it will serve very much to illustrate the words taken in this sense; which is done in the following manner,
``they take a rose, gillyflower, or any other plant, in the spring, in its full consistence, and beat the whole of it in a mortar to a paste, and extract a kind of ashes or salt out of it, which they put up in glasses, stopped and sealed; and, by applying a candle or a soft fire to them, the herbs or plants are perceived, by little and little, to rise up again out of their salt or ashes, in their several proper forms, as they did in the field F3.''And the hand of the Lord shall be known towards his servants:
in making them thus joyful, prosperous, and fruitful; in protecting and preserving them, and, in supplying all their wants; his hand of power, which is not shortened that he cannot save; and his hand of grace, which is opened to distribute to the necessities of his people: and his indignation towards his enemies;
the worshipper, of the beast, the followers of antichrist, who will drink deep of the wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, he will put into their hands; whose indignation is such as is intolerable, there is no standing before it, or sustaining it, or abiding under it; see ( Revelation 14:9 Revelation 14:10 ) . Kimchi says this will be fulfilled in the war of Gog and Magog.
F2 Vid. Buxtorf. Jud. Synagog. c. 49. p. 702, 703. Leo Modena, History of the Rites of the present Jews, part 5. c. 8. sect. 6. p. 237, 238.
F3 See Gregory's Notes and Observations c. 26. p. 122, 123. and his Posthumua, p. 70. (This sounds like a wild fable to me. Editor.)