Imatges de pÓgina
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nances of heaven and earth (if) I have not appointed; Then will I caft off the feed of Jacob, and David my fervant, fo as not to take of his feed to be rulers unto the feed of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob: for I will reverfe their captivity, and I will have mercy upon them." Thefe words, we may observe, (fays Abarbanal) are the regular inference of a Syllogifm, the minor of which is fuppreffed, but may be fupplied thus, But my covenant is daily and nightly, and I have appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, Therefore I will not caft off the feed of Jacob, &c. He alfo informs us how and when this will be, by faying, "for I will reverse their captivity, and will have mercy upon them," Which is, as if he had faid, True, in their captivity, they have neither king, nor prince: but I will reverfe their captivity at the time of the future redemption; and then, fhall a king of the line of David reign over them; and there fhall not be a failure in the line of the pricfts the Levites &c. as mentioned verfe 18th.

From the explanation here given of this important prophecy, the four following fundamental principles, are clearly deducible.

First, that God will perfectly heal the wound of Ifrael and Judah, which they have received in this long and dreadful captivity; and redeem them from it; as is faid, ver. 6.-26. "Behold, I will make it perfectly found and whole, and will heal them "For I will reverse their captivity, and I will have And which agrees mercy upon them." with the third principle of the prophecies of Ifaiah.

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Second, that at the future redemption, not only Judah and Benjamin will return, as they did to the fecond temple, but the house of Ifrael alfo; as mentioned ver. 7th." And I will bring back the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Ifrael, And I will build them as at the first." And which agrees with the fourth principle of Isaiah.

Third, that at the future redemption, a king of the feed of David is to reign over them; as mentioned, ver. 15th. "In those days, and at that time I will cause to grow up of the line of David a branch of rightcousness." &c. And which agrees with the tenth principle of Isaiah.

Fourth, that after the future redemption, they shall not go into captivity more as

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mentioned ver. 17th. &c. "There shall not be a failure in the line of David of one fitting upon the throne of the houfe of Ifrael, neither shall there be a failure in the line of the priests the Levites," continually. •If ye can make void my covenant of the day, &c. Then fhall my covenant be made void

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with David my fervant," &c. fervant," &c. And which agrees with the eleventh principle of Ifai

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Now it is clear from all hiftory, both facred and profane, that none of these glorious promises have ever been fulfilled. Not at their return from Babylon; for then they did not receive a perfect cure for the wound of the captivity; as they were in almost continual fubjection to the Perfians, Greeks, and Romans; neither did the ten tribes return to the second temple: and during the continuance of which, David was without a defcendant of his family fitting on the throne of Judah or Ifrael, in any fense whatever; as the kings that they had, were of the race of the Afmoneans, and Herodians. And from the destruction of Jerufalem by the Romans to the present time, they have neither had a king, nor a regular priesthood offering burnt

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offerings &c. before the LORD; fo that it is manifeft, that hitherto there has been a failure and interruption both in the royal line. of David, and in the facerdotal one of Levi. This is a plain proof that the prophecy alludes not to any time that is already past, but refpects that which is to come and is alfo a demonstration, that this prophecy, was not fulfilled in the perfon of Jefus; for he did not restore the ten tribes; nor did he heal the wound of their captivity. On the contrary, it is well known that, a few years after his death, according to the prediction of Daniel, their temple was burnt, their chief city deftroyed, and their country laid waste. Thoufands and tens of thousands of them were deftroyed by the fword, and by famine, &c. and the remainder carried into this long and woful captivity; where they have suffered fuch dreadful perfecutions, as no nation ever suffered. So that instead of procuring for them, the great and exalted happiness mentioned in this prophecy, they have experienced nothing but shame and mifery, fince the time of his appearance on earth: and which is a demonftration, that he could not be the Meffiah, promised to the nation. VOL. II.

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As to the fpiritualizing fcheme of the Chriftians, who pretend that in a fpiritual fense the kingdom of Chrift, the fon of Da vid, has been for fome time established over those whom the Apoftle calls "the Ifrael of God," (Gal. vi. 16.) and the “children of Abraham," (Gal. iii. 7.) meaning thereby what Chriftians call true believers, whether of the Jews or Gentiles. And also, that in the Church of Christ there hath been a constant and uninterrupted fucceffion of perfons appointed to perform the public offices of religion, although not taken out of the family of the priests and Levites. And the perpetuity of this kingdom and this priesthood, is, in the opinion of many learned Christian expofitors, looked upon as a full and authentic completion of the intention of this prophecy. But this, (as a learned Christian commentator* obferves) "feems to be spiritualizing too far." Too far indeed, when there is not even the leaft thadow of reason, to support this falfe and abfurd hypothefis: for the Ifrael, of which the Prophet speaks, are thofe that have been

* Dr. Blaney. See his Note on this place.

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