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resurrection in the Old Testament theology. It first emerges as a Messianic idea in connection with the restoration of the nation as a nation. . . . The passage is quoted by Paul in Cor. xv. 55, and applied to the triumph of the individual believer over death. The application was a proper one. It is not, however, an interpretation of our passage, for it has in mind only the resurrection of Israel as a nation, and has no reference to the resurrection of the body."
In like manner he explains Ezekiel xxxvii. as having no reference to the resurrection of individuals. "It moves only in the sphere of national death and national resurrection." So also the prophecies of Isa. xxv. and xxvi, which he assigns to the period of the exile, and which he admits are a declaration that the shades of Israel will be quickened and brought out of sheol, he explains as a recurrence of "the same idea of national resurrection that we have found in Hosea and Ezekiel." page 308.
Now without claiming that these prophets grasped the full meaning of these words the Holy Ghost inspired them to speak, we do claim that it is essential to their right interpretation that we view them, as St. Paul did when he quoted them, as distinct promises of future salvation through a resurrection of the dead. The rehabilitation of Israel as a nation after the Babylonish captivity, or after their long dispersion which is not yet ended, would not at all fulfil these words. These promises were addressed to the men of that day, who had suffered in Israel's calamities; and covered the case of the larger part of the nation who had gone into captivity to death for their sins. The restoration of the nation at some remote period, the blessing of some remote generation of their descendants, would not fulfil these promises to them. God does not thus make good His words by proxy. A study of the passage in Hosea plainly shows that it was the Ephraim who had fallen by his iniquity, the Israel who had been destroyed, who was to be redeemed from sheol. It is not the grave of a national death which is in view, but the realm of death where the shades of Israel's past dead were gathered. These had died without the sight of the promised salvation, and were there imprisoned by the just judgment of God upon them for their sins. Prof. Briggs seems himself, on page 277, to confess as much when he says that this symbol of the resurrection of Israel as a nation
"Becomes associated in subsequent prophecy with the doctrine of a universal resurrection, because the restoration of Israel, that the prophet had in view, can be accomplished only in the resurrection of all mankind in the last great day, and their establishment in the new Jerusalem upon the new earth. But this wider outlook was not granted to Bzekiel."
Yes, but it is in his words. If he did not know their full meaning, this is what the Spirit of God uttered through him. This is the true meaning of his prophecy. Why then narrow these grand promises of subsequent blessing to Israel and to all nations, through their recovery from sheol, to a mere hope of national restoration? Why not confess that we have here God speaking to them that had ears to hear of this way of bringing blessing to Israel and to all nations, after death had done its worst upon them, through a Messiah who was to triumph over death and lead its captives captive? Are we not told that Christ was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures? (Luke xxiv. 45, 46. 1 Cor. xv. 4). The rationalistic school of interpreters, with whom Prof. Briggs has too much sympathy, would shut our eyes to the proofs which lie—oft-times just beneath the letter—all along the Old Testament pages, that " it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day" in order to confirm these promises made to the fathers, and to accomplish the restitution of all things, of which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. When one is brought to see that redemption through resurrection is the key to all these promises, and to the whole Bible, he will not be compelled to wait until Hosea's prophecy before he finds " the first appearance of the conception of a resurrection in the Old Testament theology." He will find it in Genesis, in the first promises made to Abraham. He will see it taught in parable to that patriarch when God told him to give up Isaac to death, from whence he received him back in a figure. He will see that it is the deepest secret in the Song and farewell words of Moses. And every page in the Psalms and Prophets will shine with new lustre in the light of this "hope toward God."
Some one, who evidently does not approve of our views of resurrection as essentially redemptive, and as bringing some order of blessing even to the unjust, has sent us a tract upon "The State of man in Death." Among other propositions it asserts that "The wicked will not be punished till the resurrection." Then follows a number of proof texts, among which are the following.
i. Matt. x. 15. "Verily I say unto you it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in (the)* day of judgment than for that city."
Are we then to understand that when God sent fire and brimstone out of heaven upon Sodom and " destroyed them all," those wicked men were not then punished? Not so thought Jude when in his epistle (vs. 7.) he tells us that Sodom and Gomorrah "are set forth as an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
2. Matt, xii 36. "And I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in (the) * day of judgment."
How does the writer know that men shall not meet this day of judgment until after their resurrection? There is not a word in the text or context which speaks of resurrection, or hints that this implied punishment will not be meted out until that remote crisis. Was not the rich man undergoing punishment when " in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torment"?
3. Matt. xxv. 41. " Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Here again there is not a word in this whole discourse which compels us to place this judgment-scene beyond the resurrection. On the contrary, in direct connection with words which describe the coming of the Judge, we are warned with a " Verily" not to regard it as far-distant. "I say unto you this generation shall not pass away till all these things be accomplished." (xxiv. 29-35.) The
* The article does not occur in the Greek
whole passage is much more naturally and easily explained as a pre-resurrection judgment of mankind upon which the Son of Man entered when God raised Him up to be both Lord and Christ, and which ripens into a consummating judgment of the nations living on the earth at the end of the age.
4. Mark viii. 38. "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also shall be ashamed of him, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
Here again the writer of this tract assumes that this coming of the Son of Man in His Kingdom is preceded by the resurrection of all the wicked dead. And yet the next verse reads, " Verily I say unto you, There be some here of them that stand by, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Kingdom of God come with power."
5. In John v. 28, 29, the tract again assumes that the "resurrection of judgment" spoken of is a resurrection of them that have done evil to be punished, whereas the object of the Father in thus giving all judgment into the hands of the Son, extending it even over the dead, is said to be "that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father" (vs. 21-23.) That the unjust will remain under judgment and subject to punishment so long as their character remains unchanged, is manifest. But instead of their entering then for the first time upon the just punishment of their sins, their whole bondage in hell ( hades ) was such a punishment. And that it_may