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by Jacob, is thus : Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf ; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. As delivered by Moses, it is thus : Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him, and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. When Jacob professes to declare what shall befal his sons in the last times, is it hard to say what must be understood by the morning and night in Jacob's prophecy concerning Benjamin ? The natural morning and night cannot possibly be understood here ; and what other morning and night can you suppose intended, but the morning and the night of the Jewish state 2? For this state is the subject of all Jacob's prophecy from one eod to the other ; consequently it is here foretold of Benjamin, that he should continue to the very last times of the Jewish state. And this interpretation is confirmed by Moses’s prophecy; for the prophecy of Moses is in truth an exposition of Jacob's prophecy. Benjamin, says Moses, Mall dwell in safety; the Lord shall cover him ALL THE DAY LONG, he shall dwell between his shoulders. What is this, all the day long? You see how Benjamin is distinguished; he is to dwell in Safety, under the cover of the Lord, and between his shoulders all the day long. Does not this import a promise of a longer continuance to Benjamin than to the other tribes ? And was it not most exactly fulfilled ?
2 Thus some Jewish interpreters, referred to by Bochart, underftood the expreffion. Manè, id eft primis Ifraelitici regni temporibus-Sub vefperam, id est post captivitatis Babylonicæ tempora. Hiccap. 10. pag
The learned Bochart, upon very flight grounds, supposes an inversion in the order of the words in Jacob's prophecy concerning Benjamin ; and by the morning and the night, he understands, the night and morning ; so that the time described is, in his sense, the whole night, and not the whole day. All this is built upon
property of the wolf, to which Benja_min is compared. It is the night wolf, says Bochart, which catches the prey in the night, and feeds on it in the morning. But I very much question whether the style of the Scripture will bear the test of such classic nicety and exactness. And though this imagination has been followed by considerable commentators, yet since Moses, in his own prophecy on Benjamin, has expounded this morning and night by all the day long, there is no room to make any further question about it.
I have nothing more to add, but to acquaint the reader, that the interpretation of Jacob's prophecy, now advanced, is not a mere invention of my own; it is, as to the main point, the same with that which is the fourth in Huetius, and by him rejected, but for such reasons as have been fully obviated in this
It is the same which Junius and Tremellius, and our own learned countryman Ainsworth, efpoused; and which, not many years ago, was revived and improved by Mr. Joncourt. This last mentioned gentleman published several letters upon obscure passages of Scripture, and among the rest one upon the sceptre of Judah, which are very well worth the reading. As to the letter upon the sceptre of Judah, if I had thought nothing wanting in it to clear this prophecy, I would not have troubled the world with this Differtation. But whether I have succeeded better in this attempt than those who have gone before me in the same argument, belongs not to me to judge.
Christ's Entry into Jerusalem.
THE circumstances of this piece of Scripture hiftory are well known, and not less to those who despise, than to those who receive the Gospel.
My intention is to consider the prophecy relating to this fact, as it stands in Zechariah, chap. ix. 9. And though the subject of this Dissertation has no immediate relation to the preceding discourses; yet it may not perhaps be improper to subjoin to them the explication of a passage, which is sure always to find its way into every conversation or controversy upon the subject of prophecy.
There is indeed no circumstance relating to the Messiah that has given occasion to more profane wit and ridicule than this now before us. We reckon an ass to be a contemptible creature ; and a man, especially a man of character, riding upon an ass, to be a ridiculous figure. These are prejudices of our time and country. And when they who look no further than to the manners and customs which are before them, examine this part of sacred story by the standard of modern prejudices, they see, or think they see, something quite inconsistent with the gravity and dignity of the personi pretending to be King of the