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tion of the temple of Solomon, in the first book of Kings, with the most splendid 'accounts of the second temple, however adorned with costly stones and other magnificent decorations in after ages, must perceive, that the former, being wholly overlaid with pure gold, was incomparably more glorious than the latter in its greatest magnificence; and the Jews themselves allow, that the ark of the covenant, fire from heaven, the Urim and Thummim, the anointing oil, the Shechinah, or visible glory, and the Spirit of prophecy, which distinguished the former temple were wanting in this. (Taanith, fol. 56. 1.) In nothing, in fact, could the second temple excel the first in glory, except in the personal presence of the Desire of all nations,' He who is the glory of the Lord,' and the true temple ⚫in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,' and who was the true Shechinah of which that of Solomon's temple was merely a type. And if it be admitted that the presence of the promised Messiah was intended, then it will follow that Jesus of Nazareth' was He; for the second temple, in which as the Prince of peace' he preached peace and reconciliation with God, has been utterly destroyed for upwards of seventeen hundred years. This illustrious prophecy the ancient Jews correctly applied to the Messiah, though some modern writers have made objections to its exact fulfilment by the advent of Christ. It has been pretended, that the temple in which our Saviour appeared was in reality not a second, but a third temple, rebuilt by Herod; but it is certain, that whatever alterations and additions were made by Herod, it did not constitute an entirely new building. There was a temple for the worship of Jehovah according to the law, during all the forty-six years which were spent in repairing or rebuilding it; and consequently, one part must have been taken down at once, as far as was needful for the purpose, and no more; but the old foundations, and the most essential parts of the structure no doubt remained. In fact no nominal distinction between Zerubbabel's and Herod's temple was ever made by the Jews; but in popular language, both these structures were spoken of as the second temple. On one occasion, Josephus himself mentions only two buildings of the temple; a former in the time of Solomon, and a latter in that of Cyrus; and in the Chronicon Hebræum, &c. Vespasian is said to have destroyed the temple four hundred and forty years after it was built. The prophet, indeed, could not have used greater precision of language, consistently with his design of consoling the Jews; for had he adopted such a distinction, it would have led them to expect the demolition of the temple then building, and the erection of another in its stead. It is also undeniable, that the Jews did, in consequence of this prophecy, expect the Messiah to appear in this temple, till after its destruction by Vespasian; they then, in order to evade its application to Jesus of Nazareth, applied it to a third, which they expect at some future period. For the same purpose, other Jewish writers, who are followed by some modern commentators,
contend that , chemdath, 'desire,' which is in construction with a plural verb, 11, ooväoo, and they shall come,' should be read, N, chemdoth, desires,’—‘the desirable things of all nations shall come;' which they understand of the valuable and rich presents which various nations should bring into the temple. But this alteration, though apparently sanctioned by some of the ancient versions, is not acknowledged by any MS. yet collated; and it was evidently read in the singular by both the Targum and Vulgate, which have, any bɔ rm, and the Desire of all nations shall come,' Et veniet desideratus cunctis gentibus, ' and the Desired Person shall come to all nations.' It has also been justly objected to this interpretation, that it is inconsistent with the great solemnity of the introduction; and that the language itself, 'the desirable things of all nations shall come,' is highly improper, as it should rather have been, the desirable things of all nations shall be brought,' a sense which x, ba, never has in Kal, but only in Hophal. In fact, no alteration is needed to clear the grammatical construction; for it is a well known Hebraism for a verb or participle to agree with the latter of two connected substantives, though in sense it strictly relates to the former; and thus 1821, ooväoo, they shall come,' agrees, not with ♫, chemdath,' desire,' its proper nominative, but with, goyim, 'nations,' with which it is in construction. For similar instances the reader is referred to Gen 4. 10. Lev. 13. 9. 1 Sa. 2. 4. 2 Sa. 10. 9. 1 Ki. 17. 16. Neh. 9. 6. Job 15. 20; 29. 10; 32. 7. Prov. 29. 25. Eccles. 11. 1. Is. 25. 3. Jer. 2. 34, in the Hebrew. To nothing else indeed than the advent of the Messiah can this prophecy refer; and nothing but the presence of the incarnate Son of God could fulfil the prediction, and render the glory of this latter house greater than of the former.' This great event, and this alone, agrees with the whole of the context; with the political convulsions by which it was preceded and followed, and with the great and final religious revolution which it introduced.*
§ 6. The place of his birth, Num. 24. 17, 19; Mic. 5. 2. "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." The prophecy contained in ch. v. 1-5, says Dr. Hales, "is perhaps the most important single prophecy in the Old Testament, and the most comprehensive respecting the personal character of the Messiah, and his successive manifestations to the world. It crowns the whole chain of predictions descriptive of the several limitations of the blessed Seed of the woman to the line of Shem, to the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the tribe of Judah, and to the royal house of David, here terminating in his birth at Bethlehem, 'the city of David.' It carefully distinguishes his human nativity from his eternal generation; foretells the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season; their final restoration,
* Comprehensive Bible, Concluding Remarks to Haggai.
and the universal peace destined to prevail throughout the earth in the Regeneration. It forms, therefore, the basis of the New Testament, which begins with his human birth at Bethlehem, the miraculous circumstances of which are recorded in the introductions of Matthew's and Luke's Gospels; his eternal generation as the Oracle, or Wisdom, in the sublime introduction of John's Gospel; his prophetic character, and second coming, illustrated in the four Gospels and Epistles, ending with a prediction of the speedy approach of the latter in the Apocalypse. (Re. 22. 20.)"* That the ancient Jews understood this prophecy of the Messiah is evident, not only from the decision of the chief priests and scribes, (Mat. 2. 6.) but also from many of the Jewish writers which are now extant. Jonathan in his Targum expressly applies it to the Messiah; rendering it,' And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, art thou too little to be numbered among the thousands of the house of Judah? From thee before me shall come forth the Messiah to exercise dominion in Israel, whose name is declared of old, from the days of eternity.' JAD
In the Targum on the Pentateuch ascribed to the same author, on Ge. 35. 21, the tower of Edar, rendered in Micah, 'the tower of the flock,' and which Jerome says (Epist. 27.) was near Bethlehem, and the place where the birth of Jesus Christ was declared to the shepherds, is expressly affirmed to be the place from which the king Messiah shall be manifested in the
יפוק משיחא למהוי עביד שולטן על ישראל די שמיה אמיר מלקדמין מיומי עלמא
In Pirke אתרא דמתמן עתיד דאתגלי מלכא משיחא בסוף יומיא -.end of the days
Eliezer also, (c. 3.) the passage in Micah is referred to the Messiah; and his goings forth from the beginning,' is interpreted by boty 'when the world was not yet created.' See also Talmud Hieros. Berachoth, fol. 5. 1. In fact, nothing can be clearer or more undoubted than the application of this remarkable prophecy; which was fully verified in the birth of our Saviour, by a peculiar act of Providence, at Bethlehem.†
§ 7. That a messenger should go before him, Is. 40.3; Mal. 3. 1; 4.5. Malachi terminated the illustrious succession of the prophets, and sealed up the volume of prophecy, by proclaiming the sudden appearance of the Lord, whom they sought, in His temple, preceded by that messenger, who, like an harbinger, should prepare his way before Him; the fulfilment of which prediction, by the preaching of John the Baptist, and the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah, and the Lord of life and glory, during the existence of the second temple, fully attests the divinity of his mission, and the Divine inspiration of his prophecy. Compare the account of John the Baptist-his birth, Luke 1. 57;—his habit, Matt. 3. 1;-his testimony to Jesus, John 1. 15, 19; 3. 27; Mat. 3. 11; Mark 1. 7;—his preaching, Mat. 3. 1; Mark 1. 1; Luke 3. 3;—imprisonment by Herod, Luke 3. 19;—and death, Mat. 14. 1; Mark 6. 14; Luke 9. 7.§
§ 8. That he was to be born of a virgin, Gen. 3. 15; Is. 7. 14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." "Behold the virgin," byn, häûlmak, as the word uniformly signifies, (Gen. 24. 43. Ex. 2. 8. Ps. 68. 26. Pr. 30. 19. Ca. 1. 3; 6. 8,) shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel. So also St. Matthew, in recording the accomplishment of this prophecy, " Behold, a virgin," &c. or rather, as o жapłɛvoç, should have been rendered, as exactly corresponding with the Hebrew nobyn, häálmah,' the virgin,' the only one who ever was, or ever shall be, a mother in this way.*-Jer. 31. 22, "How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man." literally, A female (one who is only a woman, not a wife, namely a virgin,' says Cocceius,) shall encompass a man,' or male child: compare Job 3. 3. Which, together with the addition of a new creation, may well be understood to denote the miraculous conception. Hence the Jews have applied it determinately to the Messiah. In Bereshith Rabba, (Parash 89.) it is said, that as God punished Israel in a virgin, so would he also heal; and in Midrash Tillim, on Ps. ii. R. Huna, in the name of R. Idi, speaking of the sufferings of the Messiah, says, that when his hour is come, God shall say, 'I must create him with a new creation; and so he saith, This day I have begotten thee."*
renders, Behold my servant the Messiah,' &c. mesheecha; and it was amply fulfilled in the gentle,
§ 9. That he was to be worshipped by the wise men, Ps. 72. 10, 15; Is. 60. 3, 6 which was accordingly fulfilled when he was visited by the Magi, Matt. 2. 1, &c. ver. 11, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." This was according to the universal custom of the people of the East, who never approach the presence of a superior without a present in their hands. This was, as Dr. Doddridge remarks, a most seasonable, providential assistance, to furnish them for a long and expensive journey to Egypt; a country where they were entirely strangers, and yet where they were to stay for a considerable time.*
§ 10. That he should be carried into Egypt, Hos. 11. 1. This prophecy doubtless referred ultimately to this event, as it is applied by St. Matthew, ch. 2. 15.*
§ 11. That there should be a massacre at Bethlehem, Jer. 31. 15; Mat. 2. 16-18. See p. 113, supra.
§ 12. That he was to be distinguished by peculiar grace and wisdom, and by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon him, Is. 11. 2; 42. 1; 61. 1. This prophecy is expressly referred to the Messiah by the Targumist, who
• Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.
נקבה תסובב גבר
ha audi הא עבדי משיחא
and beneficent nature of Christ's miracles and personal ministry; his perseverance in the midst of opposition, without engaging in contentious disputation; and his kind and tender dealing with weak and tempted believers. And these prophecies received a full accomplishment by the effusion of the Holy Spirit when he was baptized, Matt. 3. 13; Mark 1. 9; Luke 3. 21; John 1. 32.
§ 13. That he should be a prophet, Deut. 18. 15; and that he should preach the word of the Lord, Ps. 2. 7; Is. 2. 3; 61. 1; Mic. 4. 2 ;—of the fulfilment of which the various discourses and parables of our Lord furnish an ample evidence, such as when taken to Jerusalem at twelve years of age, Luke 2. 42 ;—his conversation with Nicodemus, John 3.1, &c.;-with the woman of Samaria, 4, 1, &c. ;—his discourse on the mount, Mat. 5; 6; 7;—a similar one on the plain, Luke 6. 20;-his discourse with the Pharisees about fasting, Matt. 9. 14; Mark 2. 18; Luke 5.33; when walking in the corn fields, Matt. 12. 1; Mark 2. 23; Luke 6. 1; -to the twelve apostles, Matt. 10. 2; Mark 3. 13; Luke 6. 13;— about the sin against the Holy Ghost, Matt. 12. 24; Mark 3. 22; Luke 11. 15;-about John the Baptist, Matt. 11. 7; Luke 7. 24;-about the heavenly bread in the synagogue at Capernaum, John 6. 22, &c. ;-concerning his mission, 17;-concerning traditions, Matt. 15. 1; Mark 7. 1; -about a sign from heaven, Matt. 16. 1; Mark 8. 11; Luke 12. 54;— by foretelling his sufferings, Matt. 16. 21; 17. 22; Mark 8. 31; Luke 9. 18;-concerning humility and forgiveness, Matt. 18. 1; Mark 9. 33; Luke 9. 46;-by foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, Luke 13. 34; 17. 20; 21. 5; Matt. 24. 1, &c.; Mark 13. 1, &c. ;-his discourse with the Jews about his mission, at the feast of tabernacles, John 7. 11;-his address to the woman taken in adultery, 8. 1 ;—with the Jews about his being the light of the world, 12;-concerning Abraham's seed, 31;-about the Galileans slain by Pilate, 13. 1;-about humility and suffering in his cause, 26;-about his being the Messiah, at the feast of dedication, John 10. 22;-concerning divorces, Matt. 19. 1; Mark 10. 1;-respecting a rich young man, Matt. 19.16; Mark 10. 17; Luke 18. 18;-foretelling his sufferings a third time, Matt. 20, 17; Mark 10. 32; Luke 18. 31;-his lamentation over Jerusalem, Luke 19. 41 ;concerning his mission, 30 ;-concerning the baptism of John, Luke 20. 1;-about tribute to Cæsar, Matt. 22. 15; Mark 12. 13; Luke 20. 20;about the resurrection, Matt. 22. 23; Mark 12. 18; Luke 20. 27;about the great commandment, Matt. 22. 35; Mark 12. 28;--about the Messiah as the son of David, Matt. 22. 41; Mark 12. 35; Luke 20. 41; -against the Pharisees, Matt. 23. 1; Mark 12. 38; Luke 20. 45;-his observation on the poor widow's mite, Mark 12. 41; Luke 21. 1;—discourse on watchfulness, Matt. 24. 42; Mark 13. 33; Luke 21. 34; 12. 35;-description of the last judgment, Matt. 24. 31-46;-his censure of the contest among the disciples about who should be greatest, Luke