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livered'; being the only perfect character that ever appeared in a human form, and the only legislator wlio set the first example to all his laws. Having made fome observations on the evident relation this prophecy bears to Jesus, by comparing eyents with the prediction, and how inexplicable it must have been before the completion of it in him, he properly remarks, that the captious ought to suspend their cenfures of some dark passages in the Prophets at present, since one of the most obscure and perplexed is by the events, in the due dispensation of Providence, made so clear and intelligible, that he that runs may read and understand it.From hence he takes occasion to recommend to their second thoughts this very evidence, once so perplexed and obscure, now so manifest; which on the one hand has not been weakened by all that the Jews have been able to bring against it, and hath been powerful enough, on the other, to make some extraordinary converts.
Who, indeed, can read this oracle, and not allow Isaiah to have been, what he is sometimes called, the evangelical Prophet? For the prophecy in every part is as applicable to Jesus, as the account given of him by the holy Evangelifts. It is undeniable that this prediction was extant in our Saviour's time, because he refers expressly to it, as foretelling what was to happen to him ; and it was impossible for him or his disciples, by any contrivance whatever, to have made his birth and life, his character and office, his death and burial, and the glorious consequences of his sufferings and death, so exactly to correspond with the oracle delivered by Isaiah.That he should be numbered with the transgreilors ; and, though perfectly innocent, die as a criminal on the spot where the most wicked offenders suffered; that he should be laid in the monument or repulchre of a certain rich man, were circumstances that could not be foreseen by any not endued with the spirit of prophecy ;--but his subsequeiit resurrection and exalted dominion, are circumstances fo peculiar to Jefus the Christ, that they cannot be applied to any other being.– And this Writer's critical observations and reasonings upon the whole series of predicted incidents, and its exact correspondence to the faéts recorded in the Gospel History, are so pertinent and judicious, that we chuse rather to refer our Readers to a careful examination of what he hath offered at large in this Chapter, than detain his attention here with any defective representation.
The The Doctor having observed, that as much stress ought to be laid on such prophetical parts of the Old Scriptures, as have a manifest relation to the Meffiah, very justly adds, that much care should be taken not to injure the cause of truth, by improper and fallacious applications.
That the CXth Psalm is applicable to none but him, is generally allowed ; and the evidence of such an a'cription is attempted upon such principles, as a literal version and genuine unperverted criticiím will fully fupport. Father Houbigant, he observes, hath taken very censurable liberties with the text, in order to adapt such a construction of it as is most favourable to an arbitrary and precarious hypothesis. But Dr. Sharpe freely disclaims and explodes every alteration of the original text in those oracles, which are produced by way of evijence. The Author of Nizzachon, or Victory, the Jewish Chainpion, applies this Psalm to Abraham ; but Aben Ezra truly remarks, that it could never be said of him, that God shall send the sceptre of thy strength out of Sion. The Chaldee Paraphrase, and Aben Ezra indeed apply it to David, but with great impropriety ; for David cannot properly be called COHEN, or Priest, much less an ETERNAL Priest: Nor could David say of himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, fit thou on my right hand. If we compare the declarations of this Psalm with Ifaiah lii. liii. it will appear that the fame person is referred to, and that Jesus is the Meliah. In both he is described as one extolled, and exalted, and very high,-is said to have kings and nations against him, whom he is to subdue and convert;- they are to become silent through astonishment, and shut their incuths before him.He is to rule in the midst of his enemies; he shall judge among the Hea:hen; he shall inake and convert the h ads over many countries. His feed is to increase; his people to exceed the drops of the dew of the morning: yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. He is to drink of troubled waters; and therefore, because he hath poured out his soul unito death, shall he be exalted or lift up the head. That we may obtain the full meaning of the expresfions used in this Pfalm. our Author thinks it neceilary that it should be con parid with the Oriental dialects, particularly the Arabic- because the grammar of the Hebrew dialect was certainly taken from the Arabians, and the book of Job was written in old Arabic; and they who are skilled in that copious language, wiil allow, that without a competent knowlege of it, many pafiages in the Hebrew Scriptures will remain inexplicable.
The Prophet David, in this Pfalm, proclaims the dignity of the Meffiah, as sitting at the right hand of JEHOVAH, with power to rule in the midit of his enemies. In the third verse he describes his attendants and followers: Thy people thall be egregious for worth and readiness, eminently zealous in the day of thy army ;---the clouds of witnesses, the apostles and their disciples which constitute thy armiy, shall Mine forth with resplendent sanctity, or in beautiful array of holiness ;they shall exceed in multitude the drops of the dew from the womb of the morning : those are thy progeny, they who are born unto thee. Ifaiah liii. Thy feed fhall increase, be numerous and fertile as are the early drops of dew from heaven. Kimchi apprehends that the beauty of holiness refers to the temple. Should this be admitted, it is evident that Jesus was found there, as himself says, “I fat daily with you, teaching in the temple, Matth. xxvi. 55. If with others we suppose an allusion made to the beautiful and holy city of Jerusalem, in this sense, the rod of his power came from thence; and the Gospel, which is the “ Power of God unto salvation,” was first preached there. The word rendered thy progeny, is derived from a verb in the Oriental dialects, which expresses this character and relation; and Aben Ezra refers to these words in the beginning of the verse, by the personal pronoun, “ Thou shalt see THEM, (illim, populum tuum) and they shall come to thee like dew.”— Concerning this metaphor of dew, the Chaldee Paraphrase, in commenting upon this Psalm, explains it by these words : They shall hasten unto thec like descending dew. Aben Ezra, whom Dr. Sharpe applauds as an excellent Grammarian, refers to Psal. Ixviii. 9. " Thy people shall come unto thee like A PLENTIFUL Rain.” Dew is not only an image for fertility and multitude, but readiness, as may be seen in Miçah v. 7. " And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people, as a dew fiom the Lord, as the showers upon the grass that tarricth not for man, nor waiteth for the fons of men.”
Verse 4. Jehovah hath sworn and will not repent, thou art a pricft for ever after the order of Melchizedeck; a name that imports a righteous King, the Prince of Salem, or of Peace. Jerom thinks that this alludes to the last Supper of our Lord, because Melchizedeck, King of Salem, brought forth bread and wine, and he was the Priest of the most high God. Gen. xiv. 18. Heb. v.6, 10. vii. 1, 2, 3, &c. This Divine Buing, buth King and Priest, was to be a Priest for
Divine Gen. xiv. 18. and he was the
ever, and not of the Levitical order, which was confined to the service of the temple; and therefore to perish with it.
Verses 5, 6, describe what shall be done by this Prince and Priest, and Leader-forth of the arıny of the Saints : The Lord on thy right hand, Jehovah, shall hake, not without reforming, Kings in the day of his indignation; he shall execute judgment in the nations, surrounded with his army; he shall · shake, fo as also to convert, the chief over, many countries, or much land. The greatest difficulty in the interpretation of this Pixim, the Docior thinks, is to give the sense of the words; which, in our English Bible, are rendered, He shall fill the places with dead bodies: and which he hath translated, as if, in the execution of his judginent, he was surrounded with his host or army. In the original no word is to be found for THE PLACES; it is supplied by our Translators: and if by changing a letter, the word VALLEYS may be introduced by Houbigant, the dead bodies disappear indeed, and all sense with them. If we derive the word which is translated by “ dead bodies," from a similar word in the Arabic, it may then signify tents or armies ; and our Author takes notice that Aben Ezra explains it by sabbaoth, or hosts. His words are, “ Being thou art a just King, as we find it written, and David was doing judgment and justice to all his people.” The sense is, You shall fight valiantly, for Jehovah will strengthen thy right hand, and bruise in the day of his wrath, Kings by thy hand. The word who is wanting, as we find, 2 Chron. xvi. 9. (WHOSE heart is perfect.” And so it is here: “ He will judge in the nations, he who is full of bodies ; that is, To him is a GREAT ARMY: he will execute judgment in the nations upon much (or the great) land, Israel, and Media, and Persia, or upon RABBAH (the sons of Ammon) of the Ammonites.”_ If this interpretation of the word BODIES, given by the most learned Grammarian of the Jews, be right, the Pralm is more applicable to Jesus, as the Christ or Mefliah, than in the sense given it by Mr. Green, who fpeaks of “ the Youth of thy army” and of " filling the FIELD OF BATTLE with dead bodies.”
The late Dr. Sykes, as our Author here observes, was mirtaken in his interpretation of this Pfalm, taking the dead bodies to have been those of the Saints and Martyrs ; which conAtruction seems forced, and does not suit with the context, To fight with an army of dead bodies, is very Itrange language: and if to drink of the brook in the way is, as some have in
terpreted it, to drink of a torrent of blood *, it is a strange cup. “ I do not deny (lays the Doctor) the propriety of this expression, an army of Martyrs, meaning the blessed SPIRITS of those who laid down their lives for Christ; but the Hebrew word Guioth, is not supposed to signify SpiRits: it fignifies here, we are tald, DEAD Bodies. And the authority of that great Rabbi, Aben Ezra, for the meaning of an Hebrew word, is not to be slighted; and he interprets FULL OF Bodies, by A GREAT ARMY. And we may ask, Where is the difference between MANY BODIES OF MEN, and an ARMY OF MEN? In Nehem. ix. 37. and Ezek. i. 11, 23. the word Guioth signifies BODIES, LIVING Bodies, not carcasses. And from the Latin word CORPUS we have two words, the one Corpse, signifying a DEAD BODY; the other, Corps, a Body, or company or regiment of men. And GUIOTH not only signifies Bodies, but the MIDDI E. of things; which latter fignification may be frequently found in the Syriac.
The Pretorian Band among the Romans, like the Janizaries among the Turks, formed the centre or MIDDLE of the army, MEDIUM AGMEN. And if GUIOTH signifies bodies and the middle, it might well be made use of to express the hosts which furround the Lord. In the common Translation we are forced to supply VALLEYS, or PLACES, to make room for the carcallis of the sain; whereas, in Jerem. xxxi. 40. a valley of dead borlies is expresled in very different terms, as it also is in xxxiii. 5.
The last verse in the Pfalm, which in the English Translation is, He mall drink of the Brook in the way, should, agreeable to all the ancient versions t, be rendered, “ OF the TORRENT in the way shall he drink,” - surely not of blood; for that cannot he faid of Jesus the Christ, neither can his way or life be compared with the calm Itate of him
* Fundetur tantum fanguinis, ut etiam liceat vi&tori bibere e tor: renie sanguinis cælorum, dum persequetur bostes.-Rob. Stephan. in Psalmos Davidis,
Cruorem tantum occisorum, quasi torrentem, per vias emanaturum cfie, ut de eo bibere Chriftus tranfeundo, et victoriam proseguendo posit. Annotat, Brixiani.
+ I observe hey render b y, by a word that signifies a TORRENT, Ex yeupec pou. -The Syriac word, Erpenius renders TORRENS, Tro. fius vallis. It may therefore signify fuch foods as are formed in the valleys, by the rains that rush down the hills in winter; and will, . conlequently, convey a strong image of dittress.