56. The passages from the Prophetic Word, where the Israelitish Church is treated of, in which "vastation," "desolation," and "breaking," and also a "desert" are mentioned, are the following:
O inhabitant of Jerusalem, and man of Judah,... what should I do to My vineyard that I had not done? I looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes... I will make it a desolation, it shall not be pruned nor weeded, that the briar may come up;... and houses shall be a devastation; for they regard not the work of Jehovah, neither see the operation of His hands (Isa. 5:3-12).
Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trampled My field, they have reduced the field of My desire to a desert of solitude; he hath made it a solitude.... O desolate, desolate is the whole land, because no one layeth it to heart. The vastators came upon all hills in the desert;... they have sown wheat, but have reaped thorns (Jer. 12:10-13).
A nation hath come up upon My land,... and hath reduced My vine to a waste (Joel 1:6-7).
The field is devastated; the land mourneth, for the corn is devastated; the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth (Joel 1:10):
by "vineyard" and "field" in these as in other passages of the Word, is signified the Church.
In all your dwelling-places the cities shall be devastated, and the high places shall be desolated; that your altars may be devastated and desolated,... and your idols may cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished (Ezek. 6:6; see also ver. 14).
My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity,... to make the land a waste (Jer. 18:15-16);
"land," here denotes the Church.
The high places of Isaac shall be vastated, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be desolated (Amos 7:9).
Go and say to this people, Hearing hear ye, but understand not; and seeing see ye, but know not; make the heart of this people fat, and shut his eyes: (Isa. 6:9-10).
then said the prophet,
Lord, how long? and He said, Until the cities be devastated, and the hand reduced to a solitude: Jehovah will multiply deserts in the midst of the land (Isa. 6:11-12).
Behold, Jehovah maketh the land empty, and maketh it void; the land shall be utterly emptied;... because they have transgressed the laws, passed by the statute, and made void the covenant of eternity. Therefore... in the city there shall be a waste, and the gate shall he smitten even to devastation (Isa. 24:1, 3, 5, 12).
The paths are devastated, the wayfarer hath ceased, he hath made void the covenant.... Conceive ye chaff, bring forth stubble (Isa. 33:8, 11).
I have kept silence from eternity.... I will desolate and devour together. I will vastate mountains and hills (Isa. 42:14-15).
Thy destroyers and devastators shall go forth out of thee. For as for thy vastations and desolations, and the land of thy devastations,... the devourers shall be far away (Isa. 49:17, 19).
Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.... They set an asp's eggs, and wove the spider's webs.... Vastation and breaking are in their paths.... We look for light, but behold darkness;... we grope for the wall like the blind;... we stumble at noon-day as in the twilight (Isa. 59:2, 5, 7, 9-10).
The cities of Thy holiness are become a desert, Zion is become a desert and Jerusalem a waste. Our house of holiness... is become a burning of fire, and all our desirable things are become a waste (Isa. 64:10-11).
The young lions roar against Israel;... they reduce his land to a waste (Jer. 2:15).
Woe unto us! for we are devastated. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness.... How long shall thoughts of iniquity tarry within thee? (Jer. 4:13-14).
As a fountain maketh her waters to gush forth, so Jerusalem maketh her wickedness to gush forth. Violence and vastation is heard in her.... Admit chastisement,... lest I reduce thee to a waste.... O daughter of My people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thee in ashes;... for the vastator shall suddenly come upon us (Jer. 6:7-8, 26).
A voice of wailing is heard in Zion, How are we devastated! because we have deserted the land (Jer. 9:19);
"land" denotes the Church.
My tent is devastated, all its ropes are plucked out,... for the shepherds have become foolish, and have not sought Jehovah (Jer. 10:20-21):
"tent" denotes worship.
The voice of a tumult; behold it cometh, and a great commotion from the land of the north, to reduce the cities of Judah to a waste, a habitation of dragons (Jer. 10:22).
The whole land shall be a desolation, a devastation (Jer. 25:11);
"land" denotes the Church.
The voice of a cry from Horonaim, devastation and great breaking;... the vastator shall come upon every city (Jer. 48:3, 5, 8-9, 15, 18):
these things are about Moab, by whom is meant confidence in one's own works and in self-intelligence (as is manifest from verse 29 of that chapter).
That they may want bread and water, and be desolated, a man and his brother, and pine away for their iniquity (Ezek. 4:17):
"bread" and "water" denote good and truth.
Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of devastation and desolation (Ezek. 23:33).
Woe unto them! for they have wandered; devastation unto them! (Hosea 7:13).
The land shall be a desolation, because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings (Micah 7:13).
Besides many other passages, as Isa. 7:18-19; 17:4-6, 9-14; 22:4-9; 29:10-12; 2:19: Jer. 19:8; 25:9-11,18; 44:2, 6, 22: Ezek. 9:1 to end; 12:19-20; 33:24, 28-29: Hosea 10:14; 12:2: Joel 2:20: Amos 5:9: Micah 6:13, 16: Hab. 1:3: Hag. 1:4, 9: Zech. 7:14; 11:2-3.
From all these passages may be seen what "vastation" and "desolation" are; and that it is not a vastation and desolation of the peoples of a land and of cities, but of the goods and truths of the Church, in consequence of which there is nothing left but evils and falsities.