Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

understand the meaning of the sacred writers; for we shall have only to consider, in each prophecy, what has not been fully accomplished by the events and consequences of the first advent. This, of course, we must note as belonging to the second. For, being fully persuaded that the Scripture tfannot be broken, but that " every jot and' every tittle" of God's revealed word will be fulfilled, we shall not seek to explain away as figures of rhetoric, or as beautiful fictions of Eastern poetry, what appears too great in the prediction to apply to the event that has been considered as its fulfilment; but shall assuredly gather, that the prediction properly belongs to something greater to come: and where the type, if such, it be, has fallen short in judgment or in the gift of grace, that this defect the antitype will, to the full amount, supply.

SECTION II.

The Prophecy of Enoch.

Restored to its chronological order, the prophecy of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, as preserved in the epistle of St. Jude, comes next to be considered; —

"Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of his saints," or " with his holy myriads, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all that are ungodly among men, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed; and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." i

This unquestionably has no relation to the first advent.

That was an errand of mercy, and not of judgment. The preserver of the prophecy is our expounder, that the particular objects of this judgment are " the mockers in the last time." The reader is requested carefully to bear in mind the contents and circumstances of this very ancient prophecy, since we shall often have occasion, as we proceed, to refer to it. It clearly ascertains that, in the most ancient times, the church possessed a prediction that the Lord would come with his holy owes, to execute judgment upon an apostate race of men that should be on the earth in the last days. It is certain, from the same exposition, that the sending of the flood upon the world of the ungodly, in the days of Noah, fulfilled not this prediction. Taught by this, we should be very careful, in our consideration of subsequent Scriptures, how we apply to any remarkable visitation of Providence the awful and tremendous prognostication, "The Lord cometh." Not the destruction of a world, with whatever agencies of angelic powers effected, had fulfilled Enoch's prediction of the Lord's coming, with his holy myriads, to execute judgment!

SECTION III.
Job's FaitR in the Redeemer.

Considering the high antiquity of the book of Job as established beyond all exception,* it is from the testimony of this patriarch we next gather the expectations of the first fathers of mankind respecting the coming of their future Redeemer; and that coming, it will appear,

• See Mr. Good and Dr. Magee. The date of Job's trial, according to Dr. Hales, is 3337 before Christ, and 184 before Abraham.

from the consequences anticipated, must refer to the second advent.

The passage to which I allude is Job, xix. 23, &c. Some of my readers will not be aware of the difficulty in the translation of this passage; but by those who are apprized of this circumstance, 1 shall be excused in the following attempt, The afflicted sufferer, driven almost to despair by the cruel insinuations and calumnies of his friends, as if elevating on a sudden his hopes, the hopes evidently of a dying man, exclaims: —

O! that my words were now written down!
O! that they were engraved on a tablet!

With a pen of iron on lead!
Were carved on a rock for ever!'

That I know my Redeemer liveth :'

That hereafter3 he shall stand upon the earth:4

1 Or, " for a testimony;" as "tyi signifies in the almost parallel place, Isa. xxx. 8, 9.

'Or," ever liveth."

'Or," at last." Good. "At the last (day)." Hales.

4 ty nl1p will admit of several renderings. Mr. Good says, " will ascend his tribunal as a judge;" but more correctly, <• will stand up as a Redeemer, a Deliverer, or Avenger, to redeem or rescue me from die hand of death, who is now seizing upon me." We frequently, find the terms to en? used of the rising or standing up of an adversary or avenger: as Amos, vii. 9. Isa. xxxi. 3.

I feel an uncertainty whether

isy is put for " the earth," on which the Redeemer stands up, or over which he will appear: or whether, taking isy in its more usual sense, " dust," we should consider it a parallel term to 'mw, denoting the state of the dead: the former in reference to the dissolved body, the latter in reference to the departed spirit. Compare Isa. xxvi. 19. Dan. xii. 2. Job, vii. 21. and also Hosea, xiii. 14. and Rev. xx. 14. lu this case we should render, " He shall arise against death."'

Schultens translates, " Hanc meain carnem inde umlicaturus, carcere mortis spoliato."

And after I awake' shall this also be brought to pass,2 That I shall see Eloah,* of my flesh.'

Inasmuch ass I shall behold him mine,

1 I take ,t» as the infinitive, with its suffix "-n excitari mcum:" a construction very frequent in the Hebrew language.

'Dividing the letters thus — nxn '|p3. If, however, we consider pps as used impersonally, nearly the same meaning may be adduced from the usual division of the words. "When I arise ' from the sleep of death,' shall this great event be brought to pass;" or "shall come," or " be brought round." Thus jsrpn is applied, cap. i. 5. We also find nsnpn used for a revolution of time; as Exod. waiv. 22. 1 Sam. i. SO. The Sy11:11. ~\nl t)p) often marks the commencing and proceeding of an action.

Parkhurst renders the line, ** And hereafter my «kin shall encompass this body." The Vulgate, "And I shall be encompassed with my skin." Mr. Good has a new and very ingenious conjecture: "Most versions regard ipo as an Arabic term." — nxn is an Arabic term,too, signifying disease. "And after the disease has destroyed my skin."

3 rrfjK, Eloah, the singular of smbtt, Elohim. The word is used both in the singular and plural of the supreme Being. Not, indeed,

in regard of his essential deity, which is properly expressed by the term mrr, Jehovah; but to denote hun as the. object of worship and religiou$ fear, " jj) rfnt, numen cultu religion) protequenihun, ijuia g.110 m'rta coliittr,"

Gjauharius and Schcltens* Sim. Lex. Heb.

nV» is therefore a relative term, having relation to a worshipping religious people, who do really make him their fear and their dread, and the object of their faith and trust. Hence God is Jehovah in respect of nil his creatures. The rebellious must be brought to know "that he is Jekatak ;" but he is Elohim only to his people. Heb. xi. 1{,, &c.—Compare Bishop Horsley on the derivation of the word crr6x.

Biblical Criticitm, vol. i.

4 *W3n, " ex came mea," of "my flesh:" i. e. of my nature :1ml kindred. See Gen. ii. 23. "Flesh of my flesh [«i«ao] is this."

5 "WK may be rendered since, when, becauie; but I question whether the construction will admit of whom, as the connecting clause, Tlrta Via, wants the conjunction.

6 -h," mihi," as my swn: "Quern ego videbo meum." — Schultens. •b often signifies possession; and it

And mine eyes shall see him, and not' as' a stranger,'
The desires ' of my heart •'• are fulfilled.

From these expressions of the apparently dying patriarch, we may, I think, safely deduce, that Job expected an incarnation of the object of his worship and religious trust, who was to appear in the character of his ReDeemer. A Redeemer, we must recollect, is properly the protecting or representative kinsman; one who prosecuted in behalf of his injured relative, in right of blood.* Job had lamented above the failure of all his brethren and kinsfolk; yet he knows he has a Redeemer, one who, though not then visible, was in existence; and would, at some future period, appear as his Avenger—his avenger from the power of the grave. He could, therefore, be no mortal kinsman; yet a kinsman he was to be. Job would arise to " see God of his flesh"—his God become his kinsman and his brother. And He, of whom these things are spoken, is called, in other Scriptures, "the first-born among many brethren." It is said of him, " He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified,

is used, G«n. xlviii. 5. in the par- 'rrrto, literally the reins; but

ticular sense required in this inter- figuratively, the secret and fervent

f1retntion, for the possession in the desires of the mind.— See Park

relation of kindred. Hurst.

'Tt is properly a foreigner, 3 Or >pra may be translated,

ttranger, or visitor; as is illns- "at my appointed time — in the

trated by the Arab, i.:, Tit, to decree concerning me" —" My

visit: the word is frequently used desires, in the time appointed roe,

of a stranger in regard of blood, shall be fulfilled." as Deut. xxr. 5.

* See Essay on the term Redeemer, published at the end of the Canticles, by the author of the present Work.

« AnteriorContinuar »