But in the last days it shall come to pass, [that] the mountain
of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the
It appears by the adversative but, with which these words are introduced, that they have a dependence upon and a connection with the last of the preceding chapter; signifying, that though "the mountain of the house", on which the temple stood, should become desolate, yet "the mountain of the house of the Lord", which is not literally the same, but what that was typical of, the church of Christ, should be greatly exalted and enlarged; and which, according to this prophecy, would be "in the last days": that is, as Kimchi rightly interprets it, the days of the Messiah; and it should be observed, that all this will be in the last of his days, or of the Gospel dispensation: the first of these days were the days of Christ in the flesh, the times of his ministry, and of John the Baptist his forerunner, and of his disciples; and were indeed the last days of the Jewish world, or of their civil and church state; and when also it must be allowed the mountain of the Lord's house, or the temple literally taken, became glorious by the presence of Christ in it, by his doctrine and miracles there, and by the effusion of the Spirit on his disciples in that place, and the ministration of the Gospel; but then all this was before the destruction of the second temple; whereas this prophecy follows that, and is opposed to it, and supposes it; besides, in those times there was not such an exaltation and stability of the church of Christ; nor such a flow of nations to it; nor such a settled and universal peace and security as here promised: this prophecy therefore respects times yet to come, as Aben Ezra observes; the last of the days of the Messiah, or the last times of the Gospel dispensation, when the reign of antichrist will be at an end; he will be destroyed, and the kingdom of Christ set up, established, and enlarged in the world. The Prophet Isaiah predicts the same things, and much in the same words, ( Isaiah 2:2-4 ) ; these two prophets were contemporary, and might converse together, and communicate to each other what they had received from the Lord upon this subject; but it is needless to inquire which might have them from the other, since they were both holy men of God, and moved by his Spirit, and were inspired by the same Spirit, with the same things, and to speak the same language; yet there is a diversity in words, though an agreement in sentiment nor does it appear a clear case that they borrowed, much less that they stole, their words from one other, as the false prophets did; for they do not always use the same words to convey the same idea; and there are some words which Isaiah has that Micah has not and there are others that Micah uses that Isaiah has not; though in the whole there is a most beautiful harmony of sense in their diversity of expression. By "the mountain of the house of the Lord" is not meant the temple built on Mount Moriah, where the divine Majesty resided; where were the symbols of his presence, the ark and mercy seat, and where he was worshipped, which has been destroyed long ago, and will never be rebuilt more; for a third temple hereafter to be built at Jerusalem is a mere fiction of the Jews; nor indeed is any material building here intended, and still less any such building to be erected in such an absurd sense, literally taken, as if mountain was piled on mountain, and hill on hill, to raise it higher; but, mystically and spiritually, it designs the church of God, called so because it is built by him, and built for a habitation for him; where he will, at the time here referred to, more manifestly dwell in a spiritual manner; and by whom, and by which spiritual and gracious presence of his, it will be made very beautiful and glorious: and it is signified by a "mountain", to denote its visibility, immovableness, and perpetuity; and is said to be "established in the top of the mountains", with respect to the kingdoms of this world, and especially antichristian churches, which, because of their eminence, and largeness, and national establishment, may seem like mountains; but, in the latter day, the true church of Christ, which now may seem like a mole hill to them, will be above them, and will be in a settled state and condition, and not be fluctuating, and tossed to and fro, and removing here and there, as now; but be fixed and stable, and continue so until the second and personal coming of Christ: and it shall be exalted above the hills:
by "hills" may be meant petty kingdoms, inferior to greater monarchies; or religious states, not of Christ's constitution; and the "exaltation" of the church above them denotes her power over them, to enjoy the one, and crush the other: it may respect the glory of the church, both as to things temporal and spiritual; for now will the kingdoms under the whole heaven be given to the saints of the most High; civil government will come into their hands, the kings and princes of the earth being now members of Gospel churches; so that the church will be in a glorious and exalted state, having riches, power, and authority, a large extent everywhere, and a multitude of members, and those of the highest class and rank, as well as of the meaner and lower sort; and all of them possessed largely of the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God, and enjoying the Gospel and Gospel ordinances in their power and purity: and the people shall flow unto it:
in great abundance, in large numbers, in company like the flowing streams of a river; and may denote not only their numbers, but their swiftness and readiness to join themselves with the church of God, to hear the word, and partake of the ordinances, and of all the privileges of the house of the Lord. It may be rendered, "they shall look unto it", as the word is translated in ( Psalms 34:6 ) ; and so the Targum here,
``and the kingdoms shall look (or turn their faces) to serve upon it;''and this sense is preferred by many learned Jewish writers F14; and the meaning may be, that multitudes, seeing the glory of the church, and the many desirable things in it, shall look to it with a look of love and affection, and with a wishful look, greatly desiring to be admitted into it. In ( Isaiah 2:2 ) ; it is said, "and all nations shall flow unto it": not the people of the Jews only, now converted; or a single and, on only, or some out of that; but all the nations of the world, at least great numbers out of all, by far the greatest in them; such an increase will there be of the churches in the latter day.
F14 R. Saadiah, Abu Walid, R. Tanchuma apud Pocock in loc.