The LORD shall count, when he writes up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.
Keeping the associations with the times of Hezekiah, we may see, in this verse, a poetical representation of the revival of the nations, when the dread of Assyria was lifted off them. It was like a new birth to them. They entered on a new experience, and on new relations. And as Zion was regarded as the centre and source of the deliverance - Jehovah from Zion - the nations are, in a poetical way, said to have their birth in Zion. It was thought of as the city of the new birth of the nations. This figure may be applied to the spiritual birth of individuals. Be they white or black, bond or free, from whatever clime they come, they may properly be thought of as horn in Zion, where
"Our dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all." The Zion birthright belongs to every redeemed soul. "Salvation is of the Jews."
I. THE PRIVILEGES OF OUR NATURAL BIRTHPLACE. Curious is the admiration men have for the town and neighbourhood in which they saw the light. And the places of our birth have more to do with disposition, and with genius, than we are wont to think. Our early surroundings may waken poetic or artistic instincts. Our town and country may enjoy peculiar liberty, special advantages of education, etc. Illustrate by the claims of seven towns to be the birthplace of the poet Homer, partly because it honoured them to provide the first formative influences that reached the poet.
II. THE PRIVILEGES OF OUR ADOPTED BIRTHPLACE. If actual life begins where we were born, our individuality, our life work, our success, often begins somewhere else. We begin again, in some place of our selection and adoption. And as we look back in life, we can see how our surroundings and associations, in that new birthplace, have been privileges, helping to make us what we have become. Many of us, giving our birthplace, feel that we want to say, "We began to breathe at A, but we began to live at B, and B we think of as our true birthplace." Like these nations which felt they began really to live from the time of the Zion deliverance.
III. THE PRIVILEGES OF OUR SPIRITUAL BIRTHPLACE. The place where we began to live unto God - began to live the soul life. Many keep in dearest memory the time, the place, the incidents, of their first realization of the redeeming love and sufficiency. For us that is Zion. The place where God met with us is our Zion. And, in one sense, it is always Zion, for it is always in the presence of the cross on which Jesus died. We feel we live by his "decease accomplished at Jerusalem." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.