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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

In the face of facts, what are we to say to the testimony, that "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the House of Israel"?

Thus saith the Lord, "If ye can break my covenant of the day, that there should not be day in its season; then may also my covenant be broken with David, my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne".

What shall we say to this?

There has been no son of David reigning upon his throne since the dethronement of Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar five hundred and ninety-five years before the birth of Christ.

But it is not a question of uninterrupted succession; but of the everlasting occupation of the throne according to the covenant.

When the time comes for this to be fulfilled, noted by David's resurrection, from thenceforth shall his son fill the throne of Israel's kingdom for ever.

But what saith the scripture?

Just before the fall of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, the sins of Judah and its king had attained the full.

Zedekiah was then on the throne wearing the crown of David.

Ezekiel was commanded to say to him, "Thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this (Zedekiah) shall not be the same (son of David spoken of in the covenant): exalt him that is low (even Jesus), and abase him that is high'," -- that is, dethrone Zedekiah.

But then, what is to become of the kingdom of David?

Hear the Lord by His prophet -- "I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more until he (Shiloh) shall come whose right it is: and I will give it him".

According to this word so has it been to the letter.

The king's eyes were put out; Zion was ploughed as a field; and not a tribe remained in the land.

After seventy years' captivity, there was a restoration under Ezra, Zerubbabel, Joshua, and Nehemiah.

But until b.

165, the Israelites in Canaan were not even a kingdom, but a subject province of the Persian monarchy, and afterwards of the Macedonian.

About the year named they became a kingdom again, but not David's.

The throne was that of the Asmoneans, who were of the tribe of Levi.

Their dynasty was superseded by the Roman senate, which set up Herod's family instead.

He was an Idumean, and reigned till after the birth of Jesus, whom he sought to put to death.

He was succeeded by Archelaus, who was deposed by the Romans, and Judea reduced into the form of a province under a procurator; thus verifying, as is supposed, that the sceptre should depart from Judah when Shiloh came: and so it came to be when God called His Son Jesus out of Egypt.

From that time to this, there has been no kingdom, or throne of Israel, in Canaan.