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Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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[88] Levit. xii. 6. “She shall bring a young pigeon or a turtle dove;” which typifies repentance as well as love. Ezek. vii. 16. “They shall be as doves in the valleys, each one mourning for his iniquity.” This is a proper sacrifice for original sin that the child brought into the world with it by the parents’ means, a sacrifice both for the parents’ and children’s sin.

[204] Levit. xxiii. 34, 35, 36. Matt. i. Luke ii. The feast of tabernacles The birth of Christ Lords day. Bedford, in his Scripture Chronology, makes it appear exceeding probable that Christ was born on the feast of tabernacles; as also Mather on the Types. And besides what Mr. Mather on the Types observes of this feast, and of the time of Christ’s birth, there are the following things observed by Mr. Bedford.

1. He shows that in this month, about the same time of the year that Christ was born, the world was created; thus the beginning of the new creation and the old, the creation of the first Adam and the second, are at the same time of year.

2. That Moses, this type of Christ, came down from mount Sinai, which was a type of heaven, on the first day of this month, and declared that God was appeased, and the people pardoned, and his face shone as if the divinity had inhabited the manhood, so that the Israelites could not look upon him; and he then gave directions that they should immediately set about building the tabernacle, (which was hitherto hindered by, and because of, the golden calf,) seeing that God would now dwell among them, and forsake them no more: upon this the people bring their offerings, which were viewed and found to be sufficient. And then immediately they pitch their tents, knowing that they were not to depart from that place before the divine tabernacle was finished. And thus they set about this great work with all their might, at this time of the year. Hence the fifteenth day of this month, and seven days after, were appointed for the feast of tabernacles, in commemoration of their dwelling in tents in the wilderness, when God dwelt in the midst of them.

3. That Christ was not only born at the feast of tabernacles, and so circumcised on the last day, or eighth day of that feast, which was a great day, and probably appointed out of respect to the circumcision of Christ that was to be on that day; but also that the feast of tabernacles in which Christ was born fell out on the first day of the week, and so the eighth day of the feast, on which he was circumcised, also fell on the same day of the week.

4. That the feast of the dedication of the temple of Solomon, (which was a type of the body of Christ, as well as the tabernacle,) was not only held on the feast of tabernacles, the feast on which Christ was born; but also that that feast happened to be on a Sunday, as the day of Christ’s birth was, and so the last and great day of the feast was also held on a Sunday. Vide Scripture Chronology, book iv. chap. iv.

5. I would further observe, that on that day the Godhead did, in a sensible manner, descend in a pillar of cloud, to inherit the temple, as in the incarnation of Christ, the Godhead descended to dwell in flesh. See No. 396. Note on Zech. xiv. 16., &c.

[315] Num. x. 10. Concerning the festival of the new moon. The change of the moon at her conjunction with the sun, seems to be a type of three things.

1. Of the resurrection of the church from the dead by virtue of her union with Christ, and at the coming of Christ; for the moon at her change, that lost all her light, and was extinct, and seemed to die, revives again after her conjunction with the sun.

2. Of the conversion of every believing soul, which is its spiritual resurrection. The soul in its conversion comes to Christ, and closes with Christ, as the moon comes to the sun, into a conjunction with him. The soul in conversion dies to sin, and to the world, crucifies the flesh with the affections and lusts, dies as to its own worthiness, or righteousness, whereby it is said in Scripture to be dead to the law, that it may receive new life, as the former light of the moon is extinct at its conjunction with the sun that it may receive new light. In order to our coming to Christ aright, we must not come with our own brightness and glory, with any of our own fulness, strength, light, or righteousness, or happiness, but as stripped of all our glory, empty of all good, wholly dark, sinful, destitute, and miserable. As the moon is wholly divested of all her light at her conjunction with the sun, we must come to Christ as wholly sinful and miserable, as the moon comes to the sun in total darkness. The moon as it comes nearer the sun grows darker and darker; so the soul, the more it is fitted for Christ, is more and more emptied of itself that it may be filled with Christ. The moon grows darker and darker in her approach to the sun; so the soul sees more and more of its own sinfulness, and vileness, and misery, that it may be swallowed up in the rays of the Sun of righteousness.

3. The change of the moon at her conjunction with the sun, signifies the change of the state and administration of the church at the coming of Christ.

The sun is sometimes eclipsed in his conjunction with the moon, which signifies two things: vis.

1. The veiling of his glory by his incarnation; for as the sun has his light veiled by his conjunction with the moon in its darkness, so Christ had his glory veiled by his conjunction or union with our nature in its low and broken state: as the moon proves a veil to hide the glory of the sun, so the flesh of Christ was a veil that hid his divine glory.

2. It signifies his death. The sun is sometimes totally eclipsed by the moon at her change; so Christ died at the time of the change of the church, from the old dispensation to the new. The sun is eclipsed at his conjunction with the moon in her darkness; so Christ, taking our nature upon him in his low and broken state, died in it. Christ assumed his church and people, in their guilt and misery, and in their condemned, cursed, dying state, into a very close union with him, so as to become one with him; and hereby he takes their guilt on himself, and becomes subject to their sin, their curse, their death, yea, is made a curse for them; as the sun as it were assumes the moon in her total darkness into a close union with himself, so as to become one with her, they become concentred, and become as it were one body circumscribed by the same circumference, and thereby he takes her darkness on himself, and becomes himself dark with her darkness, and is extinct in his union with her. The moon, that receives all her light from the sun, eclipses the sun, and takes away his light. So Christ was put to death by those that he came to save; he is put to death by the iniquities of those that he came to give life to, and he was immediately crucified by the hands of some of them, and all of them have pierced him in the disposition and tendency of that sin that they have been guilty of; for all have manifested and expressed a mortal enmity against him. It is an argument that the eclipse of the sun is a type of Christ’s death, because the sin suffered a total eclipse miraculously at that time that Christ died.

The sun can be in a total eclipse but a very little while, much less than the moon, though neither of them can always be in an eclipse; so Christ could not, by reason of his divine glory and worthiness, be long held of death, in no measure so long as the saints may be, though it is not possible that either of them should always be held of it.

The sun’s coming out of his eclipse is a figure of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As the sun is restored to light, so the moon, that eclipsed him, begins to receive light from him, and so to partake of his restored light. So the church, for whose sins Christ died, and who has pierced Christ, rises with Christ, is begotten again to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, is made partaker of the life and power of his resurrection, and of the glory of his exaltation, is raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in him. They live; yet not they, but Christ lives in them, and they are married to him that is risen from the dead. God having raised Christ, Christ quickens them who were totally dark and dead in trespasses and sins, and they are revived by God’s power, according to the exceeding greatness of his power that wrought in Christ Jesus, when he raised him from the dead.

The moon is eclipsed when at its full in its greatest glory, which may signify several things.

1. That God is wont to bring some great calamity on his visible church, when in its greatest glory and prosperity, as he did in the Old-Testament church, in the height of its glory in David and Solomon’s times, by David’s adultery and murder, and those sore calamities that followed in his family, and to all Israel, in the affairs of Amnon, and especially Absalom, and in the idolatry of Solomon, and the sore calamities that followed, and particularly the dividing the kingdom of Israel. So he did also on the church of the New Testament after Constantine, by the Arian heresy, &c. God doth thus to stain the pride of all glory, and that his people may not lift up themselves against him, that he alone may be exalted.

2. That it is often God’s manner to bring some grievous calamity on his saints, at times when they have received the greatest light and joys, and have been most exalted with smiles of heaven upon them; as Jacob was made lame at the same time that he was admitted to so extraordinary a privilege as wrestling with God, and overcoming him, and so obtaining the blessing. And so Paul, when he was received up to the third heaven, received a thorn in the flesh, lest he should be exalted above measure, he had a messenger of Satan to buffet him; so grievous a calamity it was that he laboured under, that he besought the Lord thrice that it might be taken from him. Sometimes extraordinary light and comfort is given to fit for great calamities, and sometimes for death, which God brings soon after such things; so when God gives his own people great temporal prosperity, he is wont to bring with it some calamity to eclipse it, to keep them from being exalted in their prosperity, and trusting in it.

[337] Numb. xi. 10, 11, 12., &c. “Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent, and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly. Moses also was displeased; and Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant, and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people; have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?” Ver. 15. “If thou deal thus with me, kill me out of hand, and let me not see my wretchedness.” Moses, though God gives this testimony concerning him, that he was very meek above all men upon the face of the earth, yet could not bear the perverseness of the congregation of God’s people. How much therefore does Christ’s meekness go beyond that of Moses! Moses was not willing to bear the burden of all that people upon him; but Christ, the angel of God’s presence, is willing to bear them all with all their frowardness and perverseness. Moses said, “Have I conceived this people, have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth a sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?” But Christ willingly thus carries his people in his bosom unto the promised land, for they are his children; he has begotten them, and he never casts them off for their frowardness; he willingly obeys his Father when he commands him, saying, Carry this people, &c. Isa. lxiii. 8, 9. “For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie; so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction, he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Deut. i. 31. “And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son in all the way that he went, until ye came into this place.” Isa. xl. 11. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead, those that are with young.” Moses said, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? but Christ was willingly afflicted and tormented for the sake of a perverse people, his enemies. Moses desired to be killed, to be delivered from the burden of bearing the people to the land of promise, rather than bear it. But such was Christ’s love to them, that he desired to be killed that he might bear them to the land of promise.

[118] Numb. xii. 6, 7, 8. “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make known myself to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream: my servant Moses is not so; with him will I speak apparently, and not in dark speeches.” It is evident from this that it was God’s common manner to speak to the prophets in words that they did not understand themselves. Therefore, in reading the prophets, we read not such an interpretation as would be natural for the prophets themselves to put upon the prophecy; for the Holy Ghost spake in what words he pleased to employ, and meant what he pleased, without revealing his meaning to the prophets. The prophecy of Scripture is not of a private interpretation, but they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

[307] Numb. xix. The ashes of the red heifer of which was made the water of separation for the purification of those that were legally unclean. This heifer, being a female, doubtless does more directly signify the church of Christ, than Christ himself. She was a heifer without spot, having no blemish, because it was the church of saints that are pure and upright ones, those that are not defiled with any pollution, showing hypocrisy, or want of evangelical perfection; they are Israelites indeed in whom is no guile, and those in whom God does not behold iniquity or see perverseness. The slaying and burning of this heifer signifies the sufferings and persecutions of the church of Christ, and the fiery trial which she was to undergo. The persecutions of the church of Christ have mainly been carried on by burning. The purifying with the ashes of this heifer, signifies that the church and people of God should be purified by her sufferings, and as it were by the ashes of the martyrs. The purifying of God’s people, and taking away their sins, and refining them as silver, and making them which, is often declared to be the end of the suffering and persecutions of God’s people, and it is the way in which it pleased God to lay the foundation of the purity of his church, viz. by continuing it for many ages under extreme persecutions, first under the tyranny of Rome heathen, and nextly under antichrist, and so to fill up, as the apostle expresses himself, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ: for Christ does as it were suffer in his members, in all their affliction he is afflicted; the church is his body, and in this sense the slaying and burning this heifer represents the sufferings of Christ, as they represent the sufferings of his people, whereby they are made conformable to Christ’s death, and partakers of his sufferings. It pleases God to lay the foundation of the spiritual purity and prosperity of his church, in the first place, in his eldest Son, even Jesus Christ, and secondarily in the blood of the martyrs, Christ’s younger brethren, that are as it were God’s youngest son. See Notes on Joshua’s prophecy concerning the rebuilding of Jericho.

This was not to be a cow, but a heifer, and also without spot or blemish, which is very agreeable to the description that is given of the church of Christ in Revelation, in the time of their persecution. Rev. xiv. 4, 5. “These are they which were not defiled with women, for they are virgins And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

And it must be a red heifer, which signifies the militant state the church is in under those sufferings, conflicting with her enemies. The colour red, is often so used in Scripture. So Christ, while he is warring with his enemies, is represented as being red in his apparel, Isa. lxiii. and as being clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, Rev. xix. 3. So God’s saints are clothed in red until they have got through their sufferings, and are in a triumphant state; then they are represented as having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, Rev. vii. 14.

It was to be a heifer on which never had come yoke; which most fitly represents the Spirit and practice of God’s true church in the time of persecution from her enemies, which refuses to submit to the yoke, that they would oppose whatever cruelties they exercise them with. She will not call any man on earth master or lord will not be subject to their impositions will not forsake the commands of God, nor be subject to the commandments of men will follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth will not worship the beast, nor his image, nor receive his mark in their forehead, nor in their hand. They stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, not submitting to the yoke of bondage, Gal. v. 1.

This heifer was sacrificed to God; so are the martyrs represented as sacrificed. They offer up themselves a sacrifice to God through the Holy Spirit, and the souls of the martyrs are represented as souls under the altar. She was to be burnt without the camp, as the martyrs, especially those suffering under antichrist, are rejected and cast out of the communion of their persecutors, as not being of the church of Christ.

Her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with the dung, were to be burnt: the suffering of the martyrs burns up their carnality and corruption, and cleanses all their filthiness.

The peculiar use of the ashes of the red heifer was to purge from pollutions by dead bodies. So the use for which God designs the suffering and persecutions of his church, is to rouse his people from coldness and deadness in religion, and from carnality, and worldly or fleshly mindedness, whereby some become as dead carcasses; for he or she that liveth in pleasure, is dead while he liveth. Carnal things are well compared to dead carcasses, for they are fleshly, and they are filthy and loathsome like stinking flesh.

[73] Numb. xxiii. 23. “According to this time shall it be said of Jacob, and of Israel, What hath God wrought?” That is, God shall do a very strange and wonderful thing for Jacob and for Israel. Such interrogations denote the wonderfulness of the thing about which the interrogation is, as Isa. lxiii. “Who is this that cometh from Edom?” &c. And Ps. xxv. “Who is this King of glory?” See Notes on that Psalm. “According to this time;” that is, what he hath done at this time, is a shadow and representation of it. He hath now redeemed out of Egypt, with the strength of an unicorn, and there is no enchantment against him, as in the words immediately foregoing; and hereafter he shall send Jesus Christ to redeem them out of spiritual Egypt; with a greater strength shall he redeem them from the power of the devil.

[418] Numb. xxiv. 17. “And shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” It would be unreasonable on many accounts to suppose that this Sheth is the same with Seth the son of Adam, and so that by the children of Sheth is meant all mankind. But the Sheth here mentioned is a founder of one of the chief families of the Moabites; probably one of the sons of Moab. The father of the people called from him Shittim, as the posterity of Heth are in Scripture from him called Hittim, which we translate Hittites; whence that part of the land where those people dwelt was called Shittim, which was the part of that land in which the people now were, where Balaam beheld them when he blessed them; he beheld them in the inheritance of the people of Sheth, or the land of the Shittim, or Shittites, as appears by the first verse of the next chapter, and Josh. ii. 1. and iii. 1. and Mic. vi. 1. All that renders this doubtful is, that the radical letters in Seth and Shittim are not the same, as in one is Greek or Hebrew, and the other Greek or Hebrew

[468] Deut. vi. 13. “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and swear by his name.” It might have been rendered swearing in the name, or into the name, in the original Bishmo. And the thing chiefly intended here by it seems to be, the making that public, solemn profession of faith in the name of God, of being the Lord’s, and being dedicated to his honour and glory, and that covenanting and avowing to be the Lord’s, and serve him, that is very often in Scripture called by the name of swearing. A public profession of religion has respect to two things.

It has respect to something present, viz. their belief, or faith: this is the profession God’s people make of their faith. It has respect also to something future, viz. their future behaviour in the promises or vows that are made in a public profession.

It is evident that the profession that is made in the latter, viz. in the promises and vows of the covenant, is often called swearing; but the profession that is made in the former, which relates to their faith, is a no less solemn profession. In the public profession they make of religion, they profess what is present with the same solemnity as they promise what is future. They declare what their faith is with the same solemnity with which they declare their intentions. Both are declared with an oath one an assertory oath, and the other a promissory oath; and the whole profession is called swearing in, or into, the name of the Lord. In the former part of it, they swear their faith in the name of the Lord, and swear that they are God’s; that their hearts are his, and for him. In the latter part they swear to live to his honour and glory, which is often called his name. And by the whole they appear by their profession to be God’s people, which in Scripture is often expressed by being called by God’s name; and so by this swearing they come into the name of God, as persons when they make profession of religion by baptism, are said to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

The former part of this profession of religion, viz. the profession of faith in God, is called saying, or swearing, the Lord liveth. Jer. v. 2. “And though they say, The Lord liveth, surely they swear falsely.” They have sworn by them that are no God, i. e. had openly professed idol worship. Chap. iv. 2. “And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.” That this saying that the Lord liveth was in their profession of faith in the true God in the public profession they made of his name, is confirmed by Jer. xliv. 26. “Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the Lord, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord liveth:” i. e. they shall never any more make any profession of the true God, and true religion, but shall be wholly given up to heathenism. And Jer. xii. 16. “And it shall come to pass if they will diligently learn the way of my people, to swear by my name, The Lord liveth, as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of my people.” Here is a promise to the heathen, that if they would forsake their heathenism and turn to the true God, and the true religion, and make an open and good profession of that, they should be received into the visible church of God. Jer. xvi. 14, 15. “Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of the north:” i. e. God’s people, in their public profession of their faith, shall not so much insist on the redemption out of Egypt, as on a much greater redemption that shall hereafter be accomplished. We have the same again. Jer. xxiii. 7, 8. Hos. iv. 15. ” Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye into Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The Lord liveth.”

This has respect to that public profession of religion which the ten tribes made at Bethel, (here called Bethaven,) the place of their public worship before the calf that was set up there, by which they pretended to worship Jehovah. Amos viii. 14. “They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth.” They had also places of public worship at Dan (where was one of their calves) and at Beersheba. See chap. v. 5.

The words, Jehovah liveth, summarily comprehended that which they professed in their public profession of religion. They signified hereby their belief of a dependence upon that all-sufficiency and faithfulness that is implied in the name Jehovah, which will appear by the consideration of the following places, Josh. iii. 10. “Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you.” 1 Sam. xvii. 26. “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Ver. 36. “Seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.” 2 Kings xix. 4. “It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria hath sent to reproach the living God.” Also ver. 16. and Isa. xxxvii. 4. “The stock is a doctrine of vanities But the Lord is the true God (Heb. the God of truth). He is the living God.” “He is the living God, and stedfast for ever.” “The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” So 2 Sam. xxii. 47. Other places showing that by Jehovah’s living and being the living God, is meant his being all-sufficient and immutable, and faithful. Gen. xvi. 49. Deut. v. 26. Josh. iii. 10. compared with Exod. iii. 14. and vi. 3. with the context. 1 Sam. xvii. 26, 36. 2 Kings xix. 4, 16. Ps. xlii. 2. and lxxxiv. 2. Isa. xxxvii. 4. Jer. x. 10. with the context. Jer. xxiii. 36. Hos. i. 10. 2 Sam. xxii. 47. Ps. xviii. 46. Job xix. 25. Matt. xvi. 16. John vi. 69. Acts xiv. 15. Rom. ix. 26. 2 Cor. iii. 3. and vi. 16. 1 Tim. iii. 15. and iv. 10. and vi. 17. Heb. x. 31. and xii. 22.

The things professed in a public profession of religion are two, faith and obedience. The faith that was professed, was called believing in God and believing in the name of God (Beshem, with the prefix Beth). Gen. xv. 6. “And he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Exod. xiv. 31. “And the people believed the Lord” (in the original believed in the Lord). 2 Kings xvii. 14. “Did not believe in the Lord their God.” 2 Chron. xx. 20. “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established.” Ps. Ixxviii. 22. “They believe not in God.” Dan. vi. 23. “Because he believed in his God.” The other thing is a believing obedience. This is called a walking in the name of God (still with the same prefix Beth). Mic. iv. 5. “All people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name (Beshem) of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” And that solemn professing or swearing wherein both these were professed by a like idiom of speech, was called a swearing in the name (Beshem) of the Lord.

Agreeably to this way of speaking, in the New Testament, when persons solemnly profess the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and are devoted to them in their baptism, they are said to be baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Making a public profession of religion or of faith in God, is often called making mention (Zakar) of the Lord, or of the name of the Lord; and this in the original commonly is making mention in the Lord, or in the name of the Lord, with the prefix Beth, as they are said to swear in the name of the Lord. Thus, Amos vi. 10. “Hold thy tongue, for we may not make mention of the name of the Lord,” (in the original Beshem, in the name,) i. e. we may not make profession of our God, being under the dominion of the heathen. Ps. xx. 7. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God;” in the original, we will remember or make mention (for the word is the same as before) in the name of the Lord our God, with the prefix Beth, i. e. we will openly profess and declare our faith and trust in the Lord, &c. Isa. xxvi. 13. “O Lord, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us, but by thee (Beka, in thee) only will we make mention of thy name, i. e. we will forsake all other lords, and renounce our profession of idolatry, and profess and worship thee alone. They that professed the worship of false gods, are said to make mention in their name. Hos. ii. 17. “I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered (or mentioned, for still the word is the same) by their name,” (Bishmain, in their name,) i. e. their name and worship shall no more be professed. So Josh. xxiii. 7. neither make mention of the name (in the original, in the name) of their gods, nor swear by them.

This abundantly confirms that swearing by or in a God, signifies what was done in the public profession of his name and worship, which is signified by making mention in his name. This also may evidently appear in Isa. xlviii. 1, 2. “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name (Beshem, in the name) of the Lord, and make mention of the God ( Belohei, in the God) of Israel, but not in truth and in righteousness, for they call themselves of the holy city.” By their profession they were visibly of the church of God, were called by the name of Israel, and called themselves of the church.

That profession which in the law of Moses and many other places, is called swearing by the name or in the name of the Lord, with the prefix Greek or Hebrew, is evidently the same with swearing to the Lord, with the prefix Greek or Hebrew Isa. xix. 18. “In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts. (Laihovah.) In 1 Kings xviii. 32. it is said that Elijah built an altar in the name of the Lord, Beshem, that is, to the name of the Lord. Here the prefix Beth is evidently of the same force with Lamed in 1 Kings viii. 44. “The house that I have built for thy name,” or to thy name. Here Leshem is plainly of the same signification, in speaking of building a house to God, with Beshem in the other place, that speaks of building an altar to God.

In and to, or the prefixes Beth and Lamed, are manifestly used as of the same signification in the case of swearing to a God, or an object of religious worship, in the same sentence in Zeph. i. 5. “That swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham.” The words are thus, that swear to the Lord, (Laihovah,) and that swear in Malcam (Bemalcam). In Gen. xxiii. 8. “Entreat for me to Ephron, the son of Zoar. To Ephron, in the original, is Be Ephron, with the prefix Beta.

What is meant by swearing to the Lord, (Laihovah,) we learn by 2 Chron. xv. 12, 13, 14. with the context, viz. publicly and solemnly acknowledging God, and devoting themselves to God by covenant. Deut. xxix. 10-15. “And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul and they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice.” Deut. xxix. 10-15. We also may learn what is meant by swearing to the Lord, by Isa. xlv. “Unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength;” together with the apostle’s citation and explication of this place, which instead of the word swear, uses confess, in Rom. xiv. 11. and Phil. ii. 10. which, in the apostle’s language, signifies the same as making open and solemn profession of Christianity. Rom. x. 9, 10. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe with thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In that place in the 45th of Isa. ver. 23. it is said, “Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” This is the profession of their faith in Christ, and is the same with what is called making mention of God’s righteousness. Ps. lxxi. 16. “I will go in the strength of the Lord God, I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” The phrase make mention, as was observed before, is used for making a public profession; and here in this place in Isaiah glorying in God, and blessing themselves in him, (or in his righteousness and strength,) are joined with swearing to him, as they are in Jer. iv. 2. “And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness, and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory;” and Isa. lxiii. 11. The king shall rejoice in God, every one that sweareth by him shall glory.”

The prefix Beth is put for into as well as in. See innumerable instances of this in places referred to in the Concordance, under these words, enter, put, brought, Judg. ix. 26. went over to Shechem, in the Hebrew Beshechem. To choose other gods, is in Judg. x. 14. expressed by choosing in them, with a prefix Beth. Agreeably to the manner of speaking among the Hebrews, confessing Christ before men, Matt. x. 32. is, in the original, confessing in him. “He that shall confess in me, Greek or Hebrew, before men, I will confess in him, before my Father, and before his angels.”

Judg. xvii. “Ask counsel now of God,” Belohim, with the prefix Beth.

[144] Deut. xii. 20. “When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy borders and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh, thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.” That is, thou mayest so eat it at home, without carrying it to be sacrificed; as appears from the context.

[121] Deut. xxi. 23. “For he that is hanged is accursed by God.” The instances we have of those that were hanged, are agreeable to this. Thus the heads of the people that joined themselves to Baalpeor were hung up before the sun, that the fierce anger of God might cease. Numb. xxv. 3, 4. So the seven sons of Saul were hanged, to remove God’s wrath from the land. Ahithophel, who was cursed by David in God’s name, hanged himself. Absalom was hanged in an oak for his rebellion against his father: “For it is written, Cursed is every one that setteth light by father or by mother.” The kings of the cursed cities of Canaan were hanged. Haman was hanged, for he was a type of antichrist. Judas hanged himself, having been declared accursed by Christ before.

[113] Deut. xxxii. 50. “And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people.” God ordered that Aaron and Moses should go up to the tops of mountains to die, to signify that the death of godly men is but an entrance into a heavenly state. It is evident that heaven is sometimes typified by the tops of the mount by Heb. viii. 5. compared with xii. 22. So Christ was transfigured in the mount, and appeared in glory with both Old-Testament and New-Testament saints, and the glory of God in a cloud, to be a type of the heavenly state. Vide Note on Exod. xxiv. 18. No. 71.

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