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David himself did not understand the promise to apply merely to Solomon. For we find in the passage which follows this, David was very much struck with the condescension of the Lord, saying, “ Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servants house for a great while to come.
And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?”* There is very little doubt that the latter part is not correctly translated. In Samuel, the passage may be translated, “ And this is the form (or law) of the man (or Adam) (who is] the Lord God.” And in Chronicles, “And thou hast regarded me according to or after the form of the man, the highest (who is), the Lord God.” Or if we consider it better to take the words Lord God in the vocative, as they occur more than once in the context, it would be 66 This is the law of the Adam, O Lord God.” David, even in the latter translation, expressly referring by the Holy Ghost to God having promised in this covenant that Redeemer who should stand as the woman's seed for the recovery of a ruined world.
But, not to press this interpretation of the passage it, is very clear, that David is looking a
* 2 Sam. vii. 18, 19.
long way beyond Solomon, for he is constantly speaking of his throne being established for ever, &c. So that he certainly did not understand the blessing of his son to be confined merely to Solomon; he looked upon it as extending infinitely beyond him. Look, then, at one or two more passages.
In Ps. lxxxix. 2, 3, we have these words: “ Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.” Then, again, verses 1937, we have as follows:
66 I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: with whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The
enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also will I make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.
My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.”
Now here is almost a repetition of the words of the covenant, but the promises are not to Solomon, but to a person of the name of David, who, it is evident, must be a son of the first David. And, is not this the David of the prophets, the Messiah, whom God will set over his people?
In 2 Samuel xxiii. 5, we find David once more speaking of this covenant as ordered in all things and sure, and he calls it the everlasting covenant, which was all his salvation and all his desire. In Ps. cxxxii. ll, we find the covenant brought
forward again: “ The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” There can be no question with us, after the comment of the Holy Ghost on this passage, that the Messiah, and not Solomon, is the person here referred to, of whom it was said to David, “ I will set him on thy throne ;" while in the verses which follow (17, 18), he says, “ There, i. e. in Zion, will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” He evidently implies the budding or germinating of the horn of David-after, that is to say, it had been drooping and almost withered; and specifies the Lord's anointed (Heb. Messiah) as the person in whom the glory should be revived, and perpetuated, and on whom the crown should flourish. Psalm lxxii., gives us a very extended comment on the glory of the kingdom of the Son of David. The language of the Psalmist is completely beyond anything that will apply to the literal Solomon, and evidently refers to the Messiah.
Let me now make a few remarks upon these passages, as a whole. First, it seems clear that they cannot be confined to Solomon; and, secondly, that they must be accomplished fully in the
Messiah. So far there is little or no difference of opinion. But here the question arises, “ Will the fulfilment of all this in the Messiah be literal or figurative ?" We therefore, remark, thirdly, that the house of David is essentially involved in the keeping of this covenant on the part of God; for, if this covenant be fulfilled in any way, irrespective of the house of David, it is not properly fulfilled. It is a covenant broken. No spiritual child will answer to the plain words here uttered. He must be the literal son of David of the house of David. Fourthly, we gather, also, from these passages, that he is to occupy the throne of David. This enters into the very essence of the covenant. Nay, it is in preparation for this that he must be of the family of David. I pray you to mark this. The covenant is not that David shall never want a son; this would have been fulfilled the moment the Messiah was born of his seed. But the covenant is, that David shall never want a son to sit on his throne ; i. l., in the language of Scripture, “Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” If now, thy body, means thy body literally, and the Messiah must be of the house and lineage of David, then thy throne must mean thy throne literally, and the Messiah must succeed to David in his kingdom on Mount Zion and at Jerusalem. Nay, the former was