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frepter shall not depart from Judab, no a law giver
from between bis feet; until Shiloh come, and unto hin Jhall the gathering of the people be: On which place we have illustrious commentaries by the most excellent persons, which we judge foreign to our purpofe here to rehearse. The plain meaning seems to us to be this. It is foretold concerning Judah, thao his tribe should very much excel all the rest, both with respect to the ornament of the feeptre- and che fupreme government, and the fear of religion, the temple and schools, where sipping, the most fam mous dctors of the law, were to refide. It is also forerold, that 775'w, Shilo, which I translate, the quieter or peace-maker, Saviour, fron the root abw, to be quiet and safe. . As the Hebrew Swi and Latin falvis agree to it both in found and fense. This is doubtless the Meffab, to whom is promifed the gathering, or obedience of the people, who were to believe in him, and fubmit to his precepts. The event ratified this explication. For, in very many things the tribe of Judab had the preheminence above the others: from that the royal family arose, there, for a long time, was the feat both of empire and religion, and lastly, from the term Judah, the whole nation of Israel had its name. It is also evident and welt known, that our Lord Sprang out of Judah, Heb. 7. 14: about the time of whose birth, according to the intention of the oracle, the fceptre gradually departed, 1 When Judea was fubdued, by the victorious arms of Pompey and Jerusalem taken. 2. When Herod the Idumean was raised to the throne. 3. When Judea was reduced to a Roman province, and annexed to Syria. 4. and lastly, When the city and temple, and the whole jewish polity were destroyed and overturned hy Vefpafian. While in the mean time many nations fiocked with emulation, from all parts of the world, to the fiandard of salvation, which was then erected, and gave up their names to Christ.
Chap. 3. under ISA A C and JACOB. ? )
XXVIII. It will not be improper to enquire into The bler. the bleffing of the tribe of Napbtali ; to fee whether fing of the we may not possibly find fomething even there con
Napthali. cerning Chrift, Gen. 49. 21, 2x nun. 33120 73XSDI DW Naphteli is a bind let loose, be giveth godly words: for, so the paffage is commonly rendered. Whac the jewith as well as christian interpreters intendedi thereby, we leave others to find out. In words fó very obscure, we apprehend, chat he who conjectures beft is the bett interpreter: Jerome, after premiling fome things, says, it is better, that we refer the whole to the do&trine, which of our Saviour taughnfer the most party in the lot of Napthali; but he does not properly shew, how the words can be applied to that. Let us attempt it. We suppose, that a part of Galilee fell to the lot of Napthali; to which belonged the lake of Genesaret, and in the neighbouring territoryCapernaum Itood; as Lightfoot proves, Centuria chorograpbica, Matthæo premija, t. 71 and 80; and as appears from Mat. 4. 13, where it is faid to be a a town on the fea-coaft, in the borders of Zabuton and - Napihali ; that is in that part of Napthali bordering on Zabulon. In that town Chrift dwelt, and first preached the Gospel, as he likewise did in the adjacent country, according to Ifaiab's prophecy, there quoted by Matthew. And thither a great multitude came from their habitations; quitted their occuparions, and flocked with the greatest ardour to hear Christ preach. Let us now see, whether that truthi be not justly fignified by this prophecy of Jacob. A bind let loose, of what can this be a more proper emblem, than of some multitude running; with the greatest eagerness of mind, to fome place or other: especially, where they find fountains of living water to quench their parching thirft. As it is not unusual with the Holy Spirit, to compare believers to hinds. See Caut. 2. 7. Heb. 3. 19. Isa. 35. 6. And the Naphtbalites may be called'a hind let loose, be
cause they were formerly engaged in other pursuits, which could not querch their thirst; but now being ftirred up by the Gospel, which is the publication of liberty, and breaking thro' the entanglements of worldly pursuits, they focked to the Lord. Jefus. But by him, who giveth goodly words, who can more properly be understood than Christ, into whose lips grace is poured, Pf. -45. 2 ; whose mouth is most sweet, Caut. 5. 16; whose gracious words, that is, almost literally now mox, astonished the hearers, Luke 4.
Moreover, it often happens, that in Hebrew, the absolute state is put for the constructed ; as Buxtorf proves by several examples, Grammat. lib. 2. 6. 4. So that nothing hinders our construing the words thus . Napthali is num nbx, a bind of him, that giveib goodly words that is, devoted to the most lovely Jeius, and hanging on his gracious lips. What favours this interpretation is, that the two hemisticks do not otherwise appear to be well connected; it not being the property of a hind to give goodly words. But if we construe them, as I have said, nothing is forced into the text, nothing mean and low is expressed by the prophecy, nothing devised inconlistent with the genius of the Hebrew language; but every word has a signification, both proper and highly emphatical: and seeing they undoubtedly set forth the blessing of Napthalites, why should we not rather think of some fpiritual privelege, they had by the Meffiab, than offome external and momentary blessing under Barak and Deborah, in which Napihali had nothing diftinguishing above Zabulon? Nor is it so certain, that the Napthalites, as some would gather from this place, were more eloquent than the other Ifraelites. On the contrary, the people of Galilee, a part of which that tribe occupied, were fo: impure in their language, and rude in their manners, that they were the derision of the inhabitants of Jerusalem : as Buxtorf largely proves, especially of that part of Galilee, in which the Napthalites dwelt, Lex. Talme
voce 552. But Barak, fay chey, was a Napthalite, who, upon the defeat of Sifera, sung together with Deborah that excellent song of triumph, which we still have in the fifth chapter of Judges. As if it could follow, that the Napihalites itudied eloquence of language, from this fingle instance of a poem ; written not by Barak, but by Deborab the prophetess, who was descended not of the tribe of Napthali, but of Ephraim: as Bochart. Hierozoic. lib. 3. c. 18, has learnedly obferved. Mafius also in his commentaries on the book of Judges, Chap. 19. No. 35, proves by several arguments, that these things cannot be applied to Barak and Deborah; with whom Rivet on this place agrees. Nor should any scornfully reject this aplication, made to the doctrine of Christ, as if it was a modern invention, because besides Jerome, the fame application is made by Ambrose and Procopius, as, quoted by Cornelius à Lapide. To whom may be added Eucherius bishop of Lyons, and Peter Martyr: And if Isaiah prophesied concerning Christ's preaching in the country of Napthali, why may we not allow that Jacob prophesied concerning the same thing, when he foretold the fate of his children?
XXIX. It is not to be doubted, that these articles Remains of the saving doctrine, which were so carefully handed of the doc down by the fathers, were not only preferved in falvation Egypt, and inculcated upon their children, by these
among pious patriarchs: but also that, among the posterity fome of of Lot, of Ishmael, of Efau and others, as long as the the GenGentiles were not entirely rejected, the remains of tiles. the fame trutheminently shone forth, as appears from Job, from his friends, and from Balaan.
XXX. When Job, declared his confidence in Job's NotGod, he called him D787 7811, the NOTZER of Adam zer. the keeper or preferver af mens. Job. 7. 20, Christ uses the fame word, when he expresses his sollicitous care for his church, Isa. 27. 3, 771 730) JX, I Jebovah do keep it. . And the elect, whom Chrift bears, as it
,נצורי ישראלin his eyes and_hands
the preserved and the saved of Israel
, Ija: 49. 6. The denomination Nazarene comes nearest to this term in Hebrew, 1993; tho' it was given to Christ because he dwelt at Nazareth, yet we learn from Matthew that it was mystical, and belonged to the fulfillment of fome prophecy. Mat. 2:23. Interpreters endeavour to find this prophecy in more places than one. Some have recourse to the Nazarites of the Old Teftament. But these are not called '981), with a frade, as the jews constantly write the name, Nazárenebut brand, with a zain. Others' observe, that the Meliab is called Ifa. 11. i and Isa. 60.21, 5 the branch, from which the name of the town Nazareth is likewise derived. But amidst füch a diversity of opinions, it is astonishing, that but very few have recollected this passage of Job, where there is express mention of the Mefah, under the appellation 1873, Notzer. At least this passage of Job, and that of Ifaiah, with which we compared it, are with no less probability applied to this purpose, than any thing else I have mer with among interpretess. Job also profelles (excellent things concerning the person, offices and benefits of Chrift, Joh. 16. 25 Seq! But that paffage we have already discussed, Book III. Chap. II. Sea. 19. 2015
XXXI. Let us add Elihu's commendation of the commen- Meffiah, Job 33. 23, 24. If there be, 7x5p [an angel] dation of a messenger with bim, róbo,' an interpreter, one amonga the Mel- thousand, to fbiezo unto'man' bis uprightness: then bei iş .
gracious unto him, and faith, deliver [redeem] bin from going down to the pit, I bave found a ransom.' Elibu here speaks of a man, who was brought, by affii&tions and disease, almost to the gates of death; and thews, how he may be saved from death both of foul and body. If Elihu had any knowledge of the Meffab, certainly, this was the place to speak concerning him. And since every word is so framed, as to fuit none more properly than the Meffiah, to whom can they be better applied than to him? Elihu fets foreh, in a
2,1; 's concise