8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
Let us, then, attend more particularly now to the relation subsisting between the king of Israel and his ten tribes, designated as "Ephraim," and "the remnant of Jacob in the word. Addressing them, the Lord says by the prophet, Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war; for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms: with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers" (Jer. 51:20-23).
This has never been the case since the prophecy was delivered; it remains, therefore, to be fulfilled. With Judah as his goodly war horse and well-strung bow, filled with the Ephraim-arrow, and wielding the Israel-battle-axe, "the Lord will go forth with the whirlwinds of the south."...
But, I have said, that this belligerent state of things between the King of Israel and the nations of Gogue's dominion, styled "the goats," will continue for forty years. The subjugation will be gradual as Israel is made to "go through" from kingdom to kingdom. "Feed thy people," saith the prophet, "with thy rod, the flock of thy heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old." In answer to this petition, the Lord replies,
"According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him (Israel) marvellous things."
This is forty years; for so long were they in passing from Egypt to Canaan, which was the type of their coming out from among the nations to the holy land under the generalship of Elijah, the Lord's harbinger, to the Ten Tribes. The "marvellous things" to be shown them will not be performed in private, but will be as notorious as the plagues of Egypt; for
"the nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth; they shall be afraid of the Lord the God of Israel, and shall fear because of thee" (Mic. 7:14-17).
The more immediate consequence of these exterminating wars will be the cessation of all further resistance in the north, which will have been thus compelled to "give up" the Israelites among them, and to let them go and serve in "the wilderness of the people." They will not march directly into the Holy Land, because the generation of Israelites who leave the north, will be no more fit for immediate settlement there than their fathers were who left Egypt under Moses. They would be as rebellious under the Government of Shiloh as that generation whose carcasses fell in the wilderness, and concerning whom "Yahweh sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest."
They must, therefore, be subjected to discipline, and trained up under the divine admonition. But, notwithstanding all the "marvellous things" they will have witnessed, they will prove themselves true to the character of their fathers, who were stiff-necked and perverse, and resistant always of the spirit of God; so that they will not be permitted to enter into the land of Israel. Their children, however, will come thither from "the land of the enemy," and attain to their own border (Jer. 31:15-17)...
While they are in this wilderness it is, that the Lord Jesus becomes "a stone of stumbling and rock of offence to the house of Israel," as he had before been to Judah; and the consequence is, that "the rebels among them" are excluded flom the blessings of Shiloh's government, and eternal life and glory in the then world to come. Nothing can be plainer than Ezekiel's testimony.
[See Ezk 20:33-38]
15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
The time for persuasives has passed away. The nations turn a deaf ear to everything which is not in harmony with their lusts. Hence, coercion can alone bring them to wait for the Divine law. For this reason it is testified of Christ -- "He shall break in pieces the oppressor," and "will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. And the nations shall see and be confounded at their (Israel's) might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the Lord, Israel's God, and shall fear because of Thee!"
This testimony shows the nations will be reduced to abject submission, even the most powerful among them. Their courage and means of resistance will have departed; for by the sword of the Lord and of Israel they will have been subdued. At this crisis, however, they will find a Deliverer in Him who hath overcome them (Rev. 17:14;19:11-21). "Look unto Me," saith He, "and be ye saved all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself," to Abraham, "the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, saying, surely in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to Him shall men come" (Isaiah 45:22, 23).
If we turn to this oath of subjection and future blessing, we shall see what is meant by every knee bowing to the Lord. "By Myself have I sworn," saith the Lord, "for because thou, Abraham, hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and thy Seed (Christ) shall possess the gate of His enemies; and in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice" (Gen. 22:16-18).
Elpis Israel 2.2.