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danger of being broken, and indeed destroyed ; particularly when Athaliah conspired to murder all the seed royal, and proceeded so far in its accomplishment as to imagine she had actually accomplished her purpose. (2 Kings xi.) And also in the instance of the confederacy formed by the kings of Syria and Israel (see the “Second Period”) to dispossess Ahaz and his family of the throne, and set up in their place another family, even the son of Tabeal (Isa. vii. 6). On both these occasions the house of David seemed to be on the very brink of destruction, but the blessing that was in it saved it; and in these, as well as in every threatened danger, it was preserved up to the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion, when, with the nation in general, it went into captivity.
In the consideration of the “ Third Period" we have seen that there were two commencements from which this captivity is to be dated -namely, the years 606 and 588 B.c.: it must, therefore, be somewhere between these two points of time, from whence the loss of this regal and sovereign authority is to be reckoned. I consider that the last independent act of sovereignty exercised by Jehoiakim, the last king of Judah, must have been what is related in 2 Kings xxiv. 1 : “In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years : then he turned
and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom.”
The consideration of this part of the subject will, however, be found in the “ Second Application” of this “Period,” which immediately follows.
turally descended from Solomon and his successors, as we have an account in Matthew's genealogy. Jesus Christ, though he was not the natural son of Joseph, yet by the law and constitution of the Jews he was Joseph's lawful heir; he was the lawful son of Joseph's lawful wife, conceived while she was his legally espoused wife. The Holy Ghost raised up seed to him. A person by the law of Moses might be the legal son and heir of another whose natural son he was not; as sometimes a man raised
up seed to his brother: a brother in some cases was to build up a brother's house ; so the Holy Ghost built up Joseph's house. And Joseph being in the direct line of the kings of Judah, the house of David, he was the legal heir to the crown of David ; and Christ being legally his first-born son, he was his heir; and so Christ, by the law, was the proper heir of the crown of David, and is therefore said to sit upon the throne of his father David.” (President Edwards.)
The grant of sovereignty, therefore, which was entailed upon the house of David, is thus graciously accepted, in His person as God-man Mediator, by Him who conferred it, and who is at once the root as well as the offspring of David. When we reflect on this great and infinite condescension, we shall not be surprised that David, who as a prophet well knew the import of the blessing that was conferred upon him, should exclaim in overpowering gratitude: “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 servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?... For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel, to be a people unto thee for ever : and thou, Lord, art become their God. And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee” (2 Sam. vii.). The original language expresses much more fully than our translation, the idea that David's chief joy arose, in this acknowledgment, from his knowledge of its being the Messiah, the promised Saviour, that was to sit upon his throne ; accordingly Peter says, Acts ii. 30: “ Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.”
Though there may be, and undoubtedly are, as appears from Zech. xii. 12, some of the royal house of David yet in existence—they
In the manner of encampment, and in the order of march during their forty years' journey in the wilderness, the post of honour always was assigned to this tribe.
The camp of Judah (which was the most distinguished also in point of number) always marched first; and its ensign or standard was erected in the centre of “the east side, towards the rising of the sun,” when they stood still; as that of Reuben was on the south ; Ephraim on the west; and Dan on the north: each of these having a tribe on the right and the left (See Numbers chap. ii.). It is named (in Rev. chap. vii.) as the first in the mystical number of the tribes which are said to be sealed during the suspension of the awful commotions of the sixth seal.
But its chief pre-eminence was in its being the chosen tribe from which Messiah, after the flesh, was to descend, and to which A GRANT OF THE SOVEREIGNTY was distinctly and formally given.
There have been two separate and most re*markable grants given to the posterity of Abraham; both of which are expressed, with regard to the time of their continuance, in similar strong language. The first is the grant of Canaan, which is common to all the tribes; the second is the grant of the throne, which is confined to the tribe of Judah and the house of David. The terms in which the former was