And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares…
Ever since the fall, our world has exhibited much of degradation and misery; and it is lamentably true, that a vast amount of its wretchedness has been produced by the active agency of its own inhabitants. Man has hated and oppressed his fellow man But how delightful is it to think that we have been assured by the word of Divine inspiration, that it is the design of the great Creator of all things, to reclaim our earth from its state of degradation and wickedness and misery, and to make it again the scene of holiness and harmony and happiness!
I. THE NATURE OF THE EVIL TO BE REMOVED. This evil is represented to consist in the lifting up of the sword, and in the learning of the art of war.
II. THE CHARACTER OF THE CHANGE TO BE PRODUCED. "They shall beat," etc. The period is to arrive, in the history of our world, in which the operation of those unholy passions by which so much destruction and misery has been produced, shall be subdued; and in which the principle of love to God and to men shall be delightfully predominant within the human bosom.
III. THE MEANS BY WHICH THE HAPPY TRANSITION IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. Swords are to be beaten "into" ploughshares, and spears to pruning hooks, and war is no more to be learned, when many people shall go and say, "Come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, for He will teach us of His ways." Hence, it appears that the change is to be produced by the agency of the Gospel. There may be other instrumentalities era subordinate nature brought into operation, such as the commercial intercourse of nations with each other, and the knowledge which they may acquire of their mutual interests and dependencies; but the religion of Jesus is to be the principal cause of the termination of hostilities in our world, and the introduction of the reign of universal peace and felicity. The Gospel of Christ informs us of the source whence all our enmities and contentions proceed, even from the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of our hearts. The Gospel of Christ first of all reconciles man to his God, and then works within him the dispositions which lead him to be reconciled to his fellow man, and to "love him with a pure heart fervently." The Gospel of Christ inculcates those principles of peace and goodwill, the recognition of which composes differences, softens down resentments, inspires with forgiving and kindly feelings, and prompts, to deeds of beneficence. It is the testimony of experience, moreover, that nothing but the Gospel of Christ has ever opposed the system of war, and diminished in any degree the amount of the evil which it occasions. The ancient philosophy dignified with the name of virtues the unholy passions from which it arose, and the poets of the olden times made it the theme of their highest admiration, and of their sweetest praise. The classical heathenism of Greece and of Rome had its god and goddess of war, and represented its deities as mingling in the fray and delighting in the carnage of the battlefield. But Jesus appeared in our world as the Prince of Peace; and one of the most delightful precepts of His meek and gentle faith is, "Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God." What was it but the spirit of Christianity which put an end to the cruel gladiator ships of the amphitheatre of Rome? What was it but the spirit of Christianity which subdued the fierceness of the Huns, the Goths, and the Vandals of former times, and made so many of them the soldiers of the Cross and the followers of the Captain of our salvation?
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
WEB: He will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.