on Amos 9 :15
I will plant them upon their land - They shall receive a permanent establishment there.
And they shall no more be pulled up - Most certainly this prophecy has never yet been fulfilled. They were pulled out by the Assyrian captivity, and by that of Babylon. Many were planted in again, and again pulled out by the Roman conquest and captivity, and were never since planted in, but are now scattered among all the nations of the earth. I conclude, as the word of God cannot fail, and this has not yet been fulfilled, it therefore follows that it will and must be fulfilled to the fullness of its spirit and intention. And this is established by the conclusion: "Saith the Lord thy God." He is Jehovah, and cannot fail; he is Thy God, and will do it. He can do it, because he is Jehovah; and he will do it, because he is Thy God. Amen.
on Amos 9 :15
And I will plant them upon their own land - The promises and threatenings of God are, to individuals, conditional upon their continuing to be of that character, to which God annexes those promises or threats. Theodoret: "The God of all often promises, when those who receive the promises, by joying in iniquity hinder those promises from taking effect. At times also he threatens heavy things, and they who for their offences were the objects of those threats, being, through fear of them, converted, do not in act experience them." The two tribes received some little shadow of fulfillment of these promises on the return from Babylon. "They were planted in their own land." The non-fulfillment of the rest, as well as the evident symbolic character of part of it, must have shown them that such fulfillment was the beginning, not the end. Their land was "the Lord's land;" banishment from it was banishment from the special presence of God, from the place where He manifested Himself, where alone the typical sacrifices, the appointed means of reconciliation, could be offered.
Restoration to their own land was the outward symbol of restoration to God's favor, of which it was the fruit. it was a condition of the fulfillment of those other promises, the coming of Him in whom the promises were laid up, the Christ. He was not simply to be of David's seed, according to the flesh. Prophecy, as time went on, declared His birth at Bethlehem, His revelation in Galilee, His coming to His Temple, His sending forth His law from Jerusalem. Without some restoration to their own land, these things could not be. Israel was restored in the flesh, that, after the flesh, the Christ might be born of them, where God foretold that He should be born. But the temporal fulfillment ended with that event in time in which they were to issue, for whose sake they were; His coming. They were but the vestibule to the spiritual. As shadows, they ceased when the Sun arose. As means, they ended, when the end, whereto they served, came.
There was no need of a temporal Zion, when He who was to send forth His law thence, had come and sent it forth. No need of a temple when He who was to be its glory, had come, illumined it, and was gone. No need of one of royal birth in Bethlehem, when "the Virgin" had "conceived and borne a Son," and "God" had been "with us." And so as to other prophecies. All which were bound to the land of Judah, were accomplished. As the true Israel expanded and embraced all nations, the whole earth became "the land" of God's people. Palestine had had its prerogatives, because God manifested Himself there, was worshiped there. When God's people was enlarged, so as "to inherit the pagan," and God was worshiped everywhere, His land too was everywhere. His promises accompanied His people, and these were in all lands. His words then, "I will plant them upon their own land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them," expanded with their expansion. It is a promise of perpetuity, like that of our Lord; "Lo! I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. The gates of hell shall not prevail against" the Church, the people of God. The world may gnash its teeth; kings may oppress; persecutors may harass; popular rage may trample on her; philosophy may scoff at her; unbelief may deny the promises made to her; the powers of darkness may rage around her; her own children may turn against her. In vain! Jerome: "She may be shaken by persecutions, she cannot be uprooted; she may be tempted, she cannot be overcome. For the Lord God Almighty, the Lord her God, hath promised that He will do it, whose promise is the law to nature."
Saith the Lord thy God - Rib.: "O Israel of God, O Catholic Church, to be gathered out of Jews and Gentiles, doubt not, he would say, thy promised happiness. For thy God who loveth thee and who from eternity hath chosen thee, hath commanded me to say this to thee in His Name." Rup.: "He turneth too to the ear of each of us, giving us joy, in His word, 'saith the Lord thy God.'" "They too who are plants which God hath planted, and who have so profited, that through them many daily profit, "shall be planted upon their own ground," that is, each, in his order and in that kind of life which he has chosen, shall strike deep roots in true piety, and they shall be so preserved by God, that by no force of temptations shall they be uprooted, but each shall say with the holy prophet, "I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever" Psalm 52:9. Not that every tree, planted in the ground of the Church militant, is so firm that it cannot be plucked up, but many there are, which are not plucked up, being protected by the Hand of Almighty God. O blessed that land, where no tree is plucked up, none is injured by any worm, or decays through any age. How many great, fruit-bearing, trees do we see plucked up in this land of calamity and misery! Blessed day, when we shall be there, where we need fear no storm!" Yet this too abideth true; "none shall be plucked up." Without our own will, neither passions within, nor temptations without, nor the malice or wiles of Satan, can "pluck" us "up." None can "be plucked up," who doth not himself loose his hold, whose root is twisted round the Rock, which is Thou, O Blessed Jesus. For Thou hast said, "they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of My Hand" John 10:28.
on Amos 9 :15