Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

his pofterity, in a few years, ended in Zedekiah; nor can I fee how he can well be called the Prince of Peace, who was frequently diftreffed and oppreffed by his enemies, his reign was chiefly spent in war, and can be fuppofed only to enjoy peace towards the close thereof.

"But now the whole prophecy, and the several names given to this child, well agree with the Meffiah; it is he, whofe converfation in Galilee of the nations would make it glorious, as has been elsewhere observed, at whose coming light would fhine upon the inhabitants thereof; whofe birth would produce a joy like the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil; whofe deliverance of his people from the yoke of flavery, would not be effected in a common way, but as in the day of Midian, when Gideon, in fuch an incredible and extraordinary manner, delivered the Ifraelites: for this victory which he, the Meffiah, was to obtain over all his enemies, would not be, like the victory of other warriors, attended with confused noife, and garments rolled in blood, but would be wa bom like to the burning of devouring fire, effected fuddenly, in a moment, and without any noise, blood, or wounds; which fame perfon, being placed upon the throne of David, would bear the government upon his fhoulder, wield the fcepter in righteousness, and increafe. the peace of all his fubjects. He might well be called Wonderful, because he was to be born of a virgin, Ifai. vii. 14. Counsellor, because the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, was to rest upon him, Ifai. xi. 2. the mighty God, because the Adon, the mighty Lord, who fits at God's right hand, and rules in the midst of his enemies, having obtained a compleat victory over them, Pfal. cx. 1, 2, 5, 6. the everlasting Father, because he was to fee his feed, and to prolong his days, Ifai. liii. 10. the Prince of Peace, because he was to be the man, the peace, who was to speak peace to the Heathen, abundance of which was to be in his days, Mic. v. 5. Zech. ix. 10. Pfal. lxxii. 3, 7.

Now, how well also these names fuit the Meffiah, Jefus, is easy to observe, who may well be called Wonderful, on the account of his extraordinay and wonderful conception and birth, as well as on the account of the many furprifing miracles which were wrought by him; and if we regard him both as God and man, having two natures, human and divine, united in one perfon, he will appear to be 5, a wonder, a miracle. With as good reafon also may he be called Counsellor piyans Burns ayline, the angel of the great counsel, as the Septuagint render it, who was always with God; was privy to all his designs, counfels, and purposes; was confulted by him in all the works of his hands, as creation and redemption; is the wisdom of God, and has all the treasures of wifdam

wifdom and knowledge hid in him, and therefore a very proper person to give advice and counfel to his people. No lefs does he deferve the title and character of the mighty God, who has Spoiled principalities and powers, fubdued all his and his people's enemies, procured everlasting falvation for finners, and is able to fave, to the uttermoft, them that come unto God by him; very agreeably may he be called, the everlasting Father, or the Father of the age to come, walny wy παλης το μλhor] α, as the words are rendered by the Septuagint : for the Nan by the world to come, God has not put in fubjection to angels, but has made it the care and charge, and put it under the government and conduct of his Son, Jefus Chrift, at whofe coming this new age, or world, began, and therefore he may well be called the Father of it: And, to conclude this, nothing can more fully and aptly exprefs the temper of his mind, the nature of his work, and the diffusive bledings of his goodness to the fons of men, than when he is called the Prince of Peace.

These things being confidered, the author of The Scheme of Literal Prophecy, with Grotius and the Jews, will have little reafon to conclude, that thefe "words are manifeftly spoken of Hezekiah," but rather conclude, that they are manifeftly fpoken of Jefus the Meffiah; nor will the Jew have any reason, in that audacious and infulting manner, to fay, as he does, "That "it is impoffible that Jefus fhould be called by thofe names; for, fays he, how "can his name be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, when a foolish disciple of "his knew his counfels, even fo as to deliver him unto his enemies? And "how can he be called the mighty God, who was flain? Moreover, how can he "be called the everlasting Father, who died before he had. lived out half his days? Befides, how can he be called the Prince of Peace, in whofe days there was no peace, for as he himself testifies, faying, I am not come to give peace "on earth, but a fword?" all which, with what fpite and malice, want of truth, as well as with what folly and ignorance they are spoken, may easily be collected from what has been already faid concerning Jefus, and the application of this prophecy to him. I proceed,

[ocr errors]

Secondly, to confider, Jer. xxiii. 6. where we have an account of another of the Meffiah's names, the words are these, In his days Fudah shall be faved, and Ifrael fhall dwell fafely, and this is his name, whereby he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. The perfon intended in those words, is undoubtedly the fame, who in the preceding verfe is called, The righteous Branch, and is promifed to

y Heb. ii. 5.

be

z R. Ifaac Chizuk, Emun. par. 1. c. 21.
Much to the fame purpose
objects the author of the old Nizzachon, p. 86.

be raised up unto David, which not only the Targum understands of the Meffiah, and therefore thus paraphrases it, I will raise up unto David, Meffiab the righteous, but also many other Jewish writers. Grotius, indeed, would have Zerobabel intended, but that cannot be, for though Zerobabel was a branch of David's family, yet he never was king over Judah and Ifrael; nor were those people in fuch a very safe, secure, and profperous condition, in his days; and though he was, no doubt, a righteous perfon, yet was he not fo by way of eminency, nor was his name The Lord our righteousness, neither can any reafon be given, why he should be called fo. But every thing agrees well with the Messiah, who was frequently promised, and always expected as a king, in whose band, the pleasure of the Lord fhould profper, and by whom justice and judgment should be executed in the earth; for righteousness was to be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of bis reins; Ifrael was to be faved in him with an everlasting salvation; he was to be just, or righteous, in himself, and to bring in everlasting righteousness for others, whereby he was to justify many; fo that it is no wonder, that his name fhould be called, The Lord our righteousness, which name the Meffiah Jefus well deferves, feeing he is become the end of the Law for righteousness, to every one that believes, and is of God, made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and fanctification, and redemption.

Abarbinel thinks that pyn, The Lord our righteoufness, is not the name of the Meffiah, but the name of God, who calls the Meffiah the righteous Branch; but this fenfe is contrary to the natural pofition of the words, and can never bjefupported without a violent torturing of the text. R. Saadiah Gaon is for feparating the Lord, from 1p our righteousness; he is willing to allow, that pTY our righteousness, is the name of the Meffiah, but then he would have n Jehovah to be the name of God, who calls him fo; but fuch a divifion of the words is contrary to the accents, which R. Aben Ezra oppofes unto him, and fays, that he would never have attempted fuch a divifion of the words, had he observed that the accent Tiphea is upon p, he shall call him, or be fhall be called, which divides it from T, Jehovah, and that the accent Merca is upon, Jehovah, which unites it to 1p, our righteousness; this obfervation fufficiently confirms our version of this text.

There

• Kimchi & R. Sol. ben Melech in loc. R. Ifaac Chizuk, Emun. par. 1. c. 42. who also interpret The Lord our righteousness, of the Meffiah in ver. 6. and so it is likewife understood by R. Jochanan in Talmud, Baba Bathra, fol. 75. col. 2. by R. Aba bar Cahana in Echa Rabbati, fol. 58. col. 2. by R. Saadiah Gaon in Dan. vii. 13. and by Bereshith Rabba in Gen xxv. 6. in Galatin de Arcanis, C. V. lib. 8. c. 3.

There is one thing more I would just observe, before I difmifs this prophecy, and that is, that the word "p, which we translate paffively, shall be called, is in the active form, and may be rendered, shall call him, as it is both by the Targum and Septuagint, though, as has been obferved on the preceding prophecy, verbs active of the third perfon, when the nominative to them is not expreffed, as here, are often ufed paffively; but if the active fenfe should be infifted on, it is eafy to fupply it, either thus, every one shall call him, &c. or thus, God fhall call him, &c. or thus, as Kimchi and others, Ifrael shall call bim, The Lord our righteoufnefs. From the whole it appears, that this prophecy belongs to the Meffiah, and admits of a very easy application to Jesus.

Thirdly, The next prophecy of this kind, which I fhall confider, is Zech. vi. 12. And speak unto him, that is, to Joshua the fon of Jofedech, the high priest, faying, Thus fpeaketh the Lord of Hofts, faying, Behold the man, whose name is the Branch, and he shall grow up out of his place, and be fhall build the temple of the Lord. The fame perfon is spoken of under the fame title and character in chap. iii. 8. For behold I will bring forth my fervant the Branch, which the Targum paraphrafes thus, Behold I will bring forth my fervant the Meffiah; and has been fo understood by many Jewish interpreters. I have, in confidering the former prophecy, obferved, that the Meffiah is called the righteous Branch in Jer. xxiii. 5. as he is also in chap. xxxiii. 15. and in Ifai. iv. 2. it is said, In that day fhall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious; which the Targum renders thus, At that time the Meffiab of the Lord fhall be for joy and glory; and fo Kimchi expounds it of him. Once more, the Meffiah is in Isai. xi. 1. called, a Branch, which should grow out of Jeffe's roots. Thus we fee, that this name, the Branch, is very frequently given to the Meffiah; and perhaps, fome reference is made to this name in Pfal. cxxxii. 17. where it is said, There will I make the horn of David to bud; I have ordained a lamp for mine Anointed. And it is certain the Jews have fo understood it, who, in their prayers for the Meffiah's coming, frequently express themselves after this mannerd, "O God make the horn of thy fervant David to bud, and ordain a lamp for the son of Jeffe, thy Meffiah, in hafte, in our days." The author of The Scheme of Literal Prophecy indeed fays, from Grotius and White, "That Efay, Jeremy, and Zechary, do not, by their use of the term branch, mean

b Vid. Kimchium & Aben Ezram in loc.

< Vid. R. Sol ben Melech. in Miclol Yophi in loc. & Kimchium in loc.

to

Seder Tephillot, fol. 278, 1. & 285. 2. See Bishop Chandler's Defence of Chriftianity,

[merged small][ocr errors]

Page 288.

[ocr errors]

"to fignify the Meffias; but the Jews in captivity in one place, namely Ifai. iv. 2. Hezekiah in another, namely, Ifai. xi. 1. Zerobabel in three other places, namely, Jer. xxiii. 5. Zech. iii. 8. and vi. 12." though he offers nothing in proof thereof. As to Ifai. iv. 2. it is much more likely that the Meffiah is intended than the Jews in captivity; for what great beauty and glory appeared in them, even when they returned from thence? Nay, this branch of the Lord, and fruit of the earth, is manifeftly distinguished from them that are escaped from Ifrael, and him that is left in Zion. The beauty and glory predicated of this branch, beft agrees with the Meffiah; as do alfo the bleffings promised in the following verses; such as the fanctification, washing away the filth, purging the blood of God's people, and the protection and glory of them. That Hezekiah cannot be intended in Ifai. xi. 1. I have already proved in a preceding chapter; for he must be born fome years before this prophecy was given forth; and that Zerobabel is not Jeremy's righteous Branch in chap. xxiii. 5. I think I have fufficiently made appear; and fhall now attempt to prove, that the Meffiah, and not he, is intended by Zechary, when he fays, Behold the man, whose name is the Branch. The Targum reads it, Bebold the man, whose name is the Meffiah. Jarchi fays, there are fome who interpret it of the king Meffiah; which interpretation R. Abendana ftrenuously contends forf; and which is the fenfe of fome of their ancient writers; and that it is the true fenfe, may be pretty easily collected from the context. This perfon was to be both a king and priest; he shall fit and rule upon his throne, and he fhall be a priest upon his throne. Zerobabel was neither king nor priest, the Meffiah both. This perfon was to build the temple of the Lord, and to bear the glory. Not a third temple, which the Jews vainly expect; nor the fecond temple, built by Zerobabel, from whence fo much glory did not arise to the builder of it, it being mean and contemptible, in comparison of that of Solomon's; but the church of God, which is the temple of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, which was to be built in a very glorious manner, in the days of the Meffiah, and was to confift of Jews and Gentiles; for they that were afar off, that is, the Gentiles, were to come and build in the temple of the Lord, and fo the counsel of peace was between them both; that is, Jew and Gentile, which was exactly fulfilled by the Meffiah Jefus, who made peace between them both, incorporated them both into one building, of which he himself is the corner-ftone, in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an boly temple in the Lord: in whom ye alfo, that is, ye Ephefians, ye Gentiles, R. Joshua in Echa Rabati, fol. 58. col. 2. Eph. ii. 14, 17, 20—22.

In not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.

« AnteriorContinua »