Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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[352] Judg. i. 12, 13, 14, 15. Concerning Othniel and Calebs daughter. Othniel in this story is a type of Christ. As Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, obtained Caleb’s daughter, his first cousin, to wife, by war, and the victory he obtained over Caleb’s enemies, and taking a city from them to be a possession for Caleb and his heirs; so Christ, who, as nearly related to both God and us, is fit to be a Mediator between God and us, has obtained the church, God’s daughter, by war with God’s enemies, and the victory he has obtained over them, and by his redeeming a city, the spiritual Jerusalem, or Zion, out of their hands, to be a possession for God and his heirs. Achsah, Othniel’s wife, moves her husband to ask of her father a blessing, and an inheritance. So it is by the intercession of Christ that the church obtains of God the blessings and the inheritance she needs. She complains to her father that she inherited a south, i. e. a dry, desert land; she asks of him springs of water, and Caleb granted her request; he gave her freely and abundantly; he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs. And if men, being evil, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him! When Caleb’s daughter inhabited a south land, and dwelt in the quenched places of the wilderness, she asked springs of water, both the upper and the nether springs. So, when the souls of God’s people are in a droughty, pining, languishing condition, it is not a new thing for them to go to their heavenly Father through the mediation of Christ, for all such supplies as they need; he will give them springs of water like the upper and the nether springs. Godliness hath the promise of the things of this life, and that which is to come. God will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. Achsah improved that time to move her husband to intercede for her, when she came to him; which should teach us, when we are brought especially nigh to Christ, and have specially seasons of communion with him, to be careful then to improve our interest in him, and to seek his intercession for us with the Father for such blessings as we need.

But this probably has a special respect to some particular seasons of God’s blessings on the church, and the accomplishing a glorious alteration in the state of things for her sake; and particularly two seasons.

1. That glorious change that was made at and after Christ’s first coming. The church before that did as it were inhabit a south land, was held under weak and beggarly elements, was under the ministration of death, the letter, and not the spirit. But when Christ came nigh to the church, he took her nature upon him; he came and dwelt with us, and received his church into a much greater nearness to himself; and through his mediation was obtained of God a far more glorious dispensation, springs of water in abundance, a ministration of the Spirit, the Spirit was abundantly poured out upon her, and her inheritance was greatly enlarged. Instead of being confined only to the land of Canaan, she had the Roman empire given with all its wealth and glory, and so had the nether springs, as well as the upper.

2. That glorious change that will be accomplished in favour of the church at the fall of antichrist. Now the church of Christ does as it were inherit a dry land, and has so done for a long time dry both upon spiritual and temporal accounts; both as to the upper and nether springs, and is much straitened in her inheritance. But the days will soon come wherein Christ will come in a spiritual sense, and the church shall forsake worldly vanities, and her own righteousness, and shall come to Christ, and then God will gloriously enlarge her inheritance, and will bestow both spiritual and temporal blessings upon her in abundance.

[211] Judg. v. 20. “They fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” The learned Bedford, in his Scripture Chronology, p. 510. supposes that Sisera, with his army, had passed the river Kishon, and that when Barak came to engage him, God appeared against Sisera in a dreadful storm of thunder and lightning; and the battle continuing all day, and Sisera and his host being at last put to flight, the Israelites pursued in the night; and that the way that the stars fought for them was by shining with an extraordinary brightness to help the Israelites in their pursuing the enemy, who, when they came to the river Kishon, went in; but the storm having swelled the river, the swift stream carried them away; and that there was thunder and lightning. Then he argues from the 15th verse of the foregoing chapter., where it is said that the Lord discomfited Sisera and all his chariots, and all his hosts. He says the word in the original signifies to strike a terror by the noise of thunder and lightning, and the truth is, it is no where said that God discomfited the enemies of God’s people where this word was used, but that it appears that God fought against them with thunder and lightning. So 1 Sam. vii. 10. and Josh. x. 10. (vide Notes on Heb. iii. 11.) and 2 Sam. xxii. 15. Psal. xviii. 4.

There are several things that make this opinion of Mr. Bedford probable. This was an instance wherein God had extraordinarily appeared against the enemies of Israel, as appears by this song; and this verse of this song seems to intimate something miraculous of God’s appearing in it, and it was the more probable that there was something miraculous for a prophetess being at the head of the army of Israel, and then God had in this manner appeared from time to time fighting against the enemies of his people. So he fought against the Egyptians at the Red sea; so he terrified his enemies in all the neighbouring countries with amazing thunders and lightning, when he entered into covenant with his people at Sinai. So God fought against the Amorites before Joshua. So God fought against the Philistines in Samuel’s time. 1 Sam. vii. 10. So God fought for David. (See Notes on Psal. xviii. 7., &c.) So God seems to have fought against Sennacherib’s army in Hezekiah’s time, Isa. xxx. 30. “And so Hezekiah prophesied that God would appear against the enemies of his people.” 1 Sam. ii. 10. And the reason why Deborah begins this song with taking notice that God appeared with thunder and rain for his people in the wilderness, ver. 4, 5. as he had done at the Red sea and at mount Sinai, probably is because God never had so appeared for them in the deliverance that she celebrates in this song. God appeared so for his people when he took them first into covenant and made them his people; and now he had appeared in like manner again, and so appears to be still the same God; she therefore mentions it as celebrating his covenant faithfulness: and then it is in no wise to be supposed that the river Kishon, that is elsewhere called a brook, Psal. lxxxiii. 9. was by any means sufficient to sweep away and drown an army, unless extraordinarily swelled by rain. Again, it is probable, because the great battle in which the enemies of the church shall be destroyed, and that shall usher in the glorious times of the church that we read of in the 16th chap. of Rev. is represented as being accompanied with thunder, and lightning, and hail; but it is compared to this battle at Megiddo, and therefore the place where it is fought, is said to be in the Hebrew tongue, Ar-Megeddon, i. e, the mount of Megiddo, and it is probable that the way Mr. Bedford mentions was the way in which the stars fought against Sisera: it is most likely that the stars fought against Sisera the same way that the sun fought against the Amorites, viz. by giving light to Israel, that they might be avenged of their enemies, Josh. x. 13. As this that God wrought now was parallel with that in Joshua’s time, in that God fought against the enemies of Israel in a storm of thunder and lightning; so if we suppose the stars shone at night with miraculous brightness to help Israel against their enemies, it will in a good degree be parallel to another instance; for then the day was lengthened for them by the sun’s standing still, and now the day is as it were lengthened by causing the stars to shine in a miraculous manner to supply in a great measure the want of daylight; the sun fought then, and the stars now, and both by giving light, but only there is this difference, the sun fought standing still, but the stars fought in their courses or paths, as it is in the original. This instance is very parallel with that at the Red sea; for there God fought against their enemies with thunder and lightning, and drowned them in the Red sea; and here God fought against them with thunder and lightning, and drowned them with their horses and chariots in the river Kishon. Hence we may possibly see a reason why the great destruction of God’s enemies before the glorious times of the church is compared to this influence, rather than to either of those two great influences of God’s wonderfully destroying his enemies, viz. because this is parallel to both, and what is peculiar to both, is here comprised, viz. the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red sea, which is peculiar to the first, has here an equivalent in the drowning of the host of Sisera in Kishon; and the sun’s standing still and fighting, is here answered by the stars fighting in their courses; and the Holy Ghost might rather choose to compare it to this, because the sun’s standing still was a representation of Christ’s humiliation. (Vide Note on Josh. x. 12, 13, 14.) But Christ will be for them fighting as in a state of humiliation at that time when introducing the glorious times of the church, and Christ will not then personally appear fighting as he did in his state of humiliation, but he will fight by his Spirit in his saints, which are called the stars of heaven.

Christ will fight by increasing their light, and so their enemies shall be destroyed, and they shall fight in their courses, and in running the race that God hath appointed them; and it is compared to this rather than the instance at the Red sea, for the children of Israel, and Moses, and the pillar of cloud, being in the Red sea, was a type of Christ’s humiliation.

That there should be such things at the battle with Sisera, and yet not mentioned particularly in the history, is not strange; for so there was thunder and lightning at the Red sea, and in the day when the sun and moon stood still, and at Baal-Perazim, and yet it is not mentioned in the history.

[364] Judg. vi. 37, 38, 39, 40. Concerning Gideons Fleece. There being first dew on the fleece, when it was dry upon all the earth besides, and then dew on all the ground, but dry upon the fleece, was a type of the Jews being in the first place the peculiar people of God, and favoured with spiritual blessings alone when all the world besides were destitute, and then the Jews being rejected, and remaining destitute of spiritual blessings when the Gentile nations all around them were favoured with them. Gideon was a type of Christ; his overcoming that innumerable multitude of Gentile nations with trumpets, and lamps, and earthen vessels, typifies Christ’s conquering the Gentile world by the sound of the trumpet of the gospel, and by carrying the light of the gospel to them by ministers that are as earthen vessels; this event was accompanied with what was typified by the fleece. A sheep is a creature often used to typify Christ. The Jewish nation was as it were Christ’s clothing; they are sometimes represented as such; first they only had the word and ordinances, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit. It was remarkably poured out on them in the day of Pentecost: there was that plenty of dew, that was a bowl full of water, when the Gentile nations were destitute: but afterwards the Gentile nations received the gospel, and God’s Spirit was poured out on them, and the Jews were rejected, and have now remained dry for many ages.

[223] Judg. xi. 30, to the ends. Concerning Jephthahs vow and his offering up his daughter. That Jephthah did not put his daughter to death and burn her in sacrifice, the following things evince.

I. The tenor of his vow, if we suppose it to be a lawful vow, did not oblige him to it; he promised that whatsoever came forth of the doors of his house to meet him, should surely be the Lord’s, and he would offer it up for a burnt-offering. He was obliged no more by this vow than only to deal with whatsoever came forth of the doors of his house to meet him, as those things that were holy to the Lord; and by right burnt-offerings to God, were to be dealt with by God’s own law, and the rules that he had given. Supposing it had been an ass, or some unclean beast, that had come forth to meet him, as Jephthah did not know but it would, his vow would not have obliged him to have offered it in sacrifice, or actually to have made a burnt-offering of it, but he must have dealt with it as the law of God directed to deal with an unclean beast that was not holy to the Lord, and that otherwise must have been actually a burnt-offering to the Lord, had it not been for that legal incapacity of the impurity of its nature. All living things that were consecrated were to be as it were burnt-offerings to God, i. e. they were actually to be offered up a burnt-sacrifice, if not of a nature that rendered it incapable of this, and then in that case something else was to be done that God would accept instead of offering it up a burnt-sacrifice. The direction we have in Lev. xxvii. 11, 12, 13. “And if it be any unclean beast of which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the Lord, then he shall present the beast before the priest, and the priest shall value it whether it be good or bad; as thou valuest it who art the priest, so shall it be. But if he will at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth part thereunto of the estimation,” i. e. it should be valued by the priest, and the man should, after it was valued, determine whether he would redeem it, or no, and if not he was to break its neck, if an ass; Exod. xiv. 12, 13. or if other unclean beast, it must be sold according to the priest’s estimation; Lev. xxvii. 27. (as is elsewhere directed to be done to unclean beasts that were holy to the Lord, Exod. xxxiv. 20.) but if he would redeem it, if it were an ass, he was to redeem it with a lamb; Exod. xiv. 12, 13. if other unclean beast he was to add the fifth part to the priest’s estimation, that is, he was to give the value of the beast, and a fifth part more. And if Jephthah had done this in case an unclean beast had met him, he would have done according to his vow. If he had in such a case gone about to have offered an unclean beast a burnt-sacrifice, he would dreadfully have provoked God, his vow could be supposed to oblige him to no other than only to deal with the unclean beast that was consecrated as the law of God directed to deal with it instead of offering it a burnt-offering. And so when it was his daughter that met him, he might do to her according to his vow without making her a burnt-sacrifice, if he did that to her which the law of God directed to be done to a dedicated person, instead of actually making them a burnt-sacrifice, by reason of the incapacity which, by the mercy of God, attends a human person to be a burnt-sacrifice. For to offer either a man or an unclean beast in sacrifice to God, are both mentioned as a great abomination to God, and as what were universally known so to be. Isa. lxvi. 3. “He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood.” But the more fully to clear up the difficulties that attend this matter, I will particularly observe some things concerning the laws that related to persons that were consecrated, so as to become holy to the Lord.

1. Every living thing that was holy to the Lord, whether of men or beasts, was by right a burnt-offering to God, and must be either actually made a burnt-sacrifice, or something else must be done to it that God appointed to be in lieu of burning it in a sacrifice. Thus the first-born of men and beasts, they were all holy to the Lord, and must either be offered up a burnt-sacrifice, or be redeemed, the first-born of men and of unclean beasts were to be redeemed.

2. Persons that were devoted to God by a singular vow, unless they were those that were devoted to be accursed, (of which Lev. xxvii. 28, 29.) were to be brought and presented before the Lord, that the priest might estimate them, and they were to redeem according to the priest’s estimation. But beasts that might be sacrificed were to be sacrificed. Lev. xxvii. 7-9. (See §§§ on v. 2.)

3. Persons that were thus devoted to God by the vow of their parents, were yet to remain persons separate, and set apart for God after they were redeemed. This may appear from several things.

First. The redemption was only to redeem them from being slain in sacrifice; it was not to redeem them from being holy to the Lord, or persons set apart, and sanctified to him.

Secondly. The first-born were appointed to be given or consecrated to God. Exod. xiii. 2. and xxii. 19. And they were by God’s law holy to the Lord, in the very same manner as persons devoted to him by a singular vow, as is evident, because they were to be redeemed in the same manner, and at the same price, as is evident by comparing the beginning of the 27th chapter of Levit. with Numb. xviii. 15, 16. God, in giving the rule for the redemption of the first-born in the latter place, evidently refers to what he had before appointed in the former place, concerning persons devoted by a singular vow, and so likewise the firstlings of unclean beasts were to be redeemed in the same manner as unclean beasts that were devoted, as appears by comparing Levit. xxvii. 11, 12, 13. with v. 27. but yet the first-born still remained separated to God as his special possession, after they were redeemed. Hence the Levites were accepted for the first-born to a tribe separated to God after the first-born were thus redeemed.

Thirdly. Persons that were dedicated to God by the vow of their parents, were Nazarites, as well as those that were separated by their own vows; the word Nazarite, signifies one that is separated; they might be separated by their parents’ vows or their own. This is very evident in instances that we have in Scripture. Thus Samuel was a Nazarite by the vow of his mother. 1 Sam. i. 11. “And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” And so it was with respect to Samson, Judg. xiii. 5. But the Nazarite was to continue separated to God, as long as he remained under the vow by which he was devoted.

4. Those that were thus devoted to God to be Nazarites, were to the utmost of their power to abstain from all legal pollutions. Lam. iv. 7. With respect to defilements by dead bodies, they were required to keep themselves pure with greater strictness than the very priests, except the high priest alone, and were obliged to as great strictness as the high priest himself. Num. vi. 6, 7. compared with Lev. xxi. 10, 11. And though only some legal impurities are expressly mentioned, as what the Nazarite was to avoid, yet it is to be understood, that he is to his utmost to separate himself from all legal defilements, agreeable to his name, a Nazarite, or a separate person. The Nazarite was to abstain from all legal impurities in like manner as the priests, and even as the high priest; there are like directions given to one as to the other; the high priest was on no account to defile himself with the dead, and was forbidden to drink wine, or strong drink, when he went into the tabernacle of the congregation. Lev. x. 9. The priests were to abstain from all manner of legal defilement as far as in them lay. Lev. xii. at the beginning.

If it be objected against this, that the Levites who were accepted to be the Lord’s instead of the first-born that were holy to the Lord, were not obliged to such strictness, I answer, that this may be one reason why God did not look on the first-born as being fully redeemed by the Levites being substituted in their stead, but there were still extraordinary charges required of them for the maintenance of the Levites, much more than in proportion to the bigness of the bribe; and God might accept this as an equivalent for their not being so strictly separated, as he accepted extraordinary redemption money for the odd number of the first-born, that were more than the Levites. Num. iii. 46, 47. and xviii. 15, 16.

5. Those that were devoted to God to be Nazarites by a singular vow, were to devote themselves wholly to religious exercises, and to spend their lives in the most immediate service of God; for though this is not particularly expressed, but only some things are expressed that they should abstain from, yet this is implied in their being God’s, his being separated to the Lord, Num. vi. 11. his being holy to the Lord, Num. vi. 6. All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy; and ver. 8. all the days of his separation he shall be holy unto the Lord. In like manner as in the second commandment, there are only some things particularly mentioned, that we should abstain from on the sabbath, but it is only expressly said that the day should be spent in religious exercises, yet it is implied in that, that the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord our God, and that we are commanded to keep it holy. This was evidently Hannah’s intention in her vow, whereby she devoted Samuel to be a Nazarite, as was explained by her own words and practice. 1 Sam. i. 28. “Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord, as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord;” and accordingly she brought him and left him in the sanctuary, to dwell continually there, and there to spend his time in sacred business. 1 Sam. ii. 11. “And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house, and the child did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.” Ver. 18. “But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child girded with a linen ephod.”

6. It was necessary that a woman that was devoted to be a Nazarite (for a woman might be a Nazarite, Num. vi. 2.) should thenceforward avoid marrying, and refrain from all carnal intercourse with men. If she was a virgin when she was devoted, it was necessary that she should continue a virgin until her vow was ended; and if she was devoted for her whole life, she must continue a virgin for ever; and if she was a widow, she must continue in her widowhood, and that on two accounts.

First. Marrying would be contrary to the obligation that has been taken notice of, that the Nazarite was under, with the utmost strictness to avoid all legal defilements, for marrying unavoidably exposed to great legal impurities, and of long continuance. (See Lev. xii.) There were scarcely any legal impurities to which the children of Israel were exposed, except the leprosy, that were so great as those that marriage brought women into. Being therefore devoted to God to be holy to the Lord, in the utmost possible legal purity, she must avoid marrying, and then these legal impurities rendered her incapable of those sacred offices and services that she was devoted to. It incapacitated her from conversing on holy things, or drawing near to God in ordinances, as much as being defiled by the dead body of a man incapacitated a priest from his work and office. Lev. xii. 4. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days: she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purifying be fulfilled;” which, in all, for a son made up forty days, and for a daughter fourscore days, which must needs be very inconsistent with the circumstances of the Nazarite that was devoted wholly to attend on God, and holy exercises, in the way of the Jewish ordinances. If the Nazarite were a male, his marrying did not expose him to such legal impurities. The Nazarite was to observe as strict a legal purity, as the high priest himself, as has been observed; but he for the greater purity was allowed to marry none but a virgin: therefore doubtless the woman herself that was a Nazarite was obliged to continue a virgin.

Secondly. Marrying would utterly destroy the main design of her being dedicated in the vow of a Nazarite, which was, that she might be wholly devoted to the more immediate service of God in sacred things. If she was married, her time must unavoidably be exceedingly taken up in secular business and cares, in tending and bringing up children, and in providing for and taking care of a family, which exceedingly fills married women’s hands and hearts, and is as inconsistent as possible with the design of the vow of the Nazarite. Hence the woman that was devoted to the special service of God’s house in the primitive church (though not devoted to God so solemnly, nor in so great a degree as the Nazarite) must be one that was not married, and never like to marry, and it was looked upon and spoken of by the apostles as sinful in such to marry. 1 Tim. v. 11.; “But the younger widows refuse, for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;” and the reason that is given why they should be widows that were like ever to continue so, and free from all worldly care, was that they might be the more entirely at liberty for religious duties. Ver. 3, 4, 5. “Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents; for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.” Those widows in the primitive church, seem to be in some degree in imitation of the Nazarites in the Jewish church. Anna the prophetess was in all probability a Nazarite, or one that after her husband’s death had devoted herself to the service of God, by such a vow as that we have been speaking of, and therefore continued in widowhood to so great an age, because her vow obliged her to it, and therefore she, throwing by all worldly care, devoted herself wholly to the immediate service of God. Luke ii. 36, 37. “And there was one Anna a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” The like expression with that the apostle uses, concerning widows, 1 Tim. v. 5.

And therefore when we have an account that after Jephthah’s daughter had been let alone two months, to go up and down the mountains with her companions to bewail her virginity, we are told that she returned to her father, who did to her according to his vow. That which Jephthah did was, that he took her up to the sanctuary before the Lord, and presented her before the priest, that he might estimate her, then paid according to her estimation. Thus the Jews that came out of the captivity vowed that they would offer the first-born of their sons. Neh. x. 35. Whereby she was redeemed from being made a burnt-sacrifice, according to the law; and by thus presenting her in the sanctuary, and offering up that which is accepted instead of her blood, she was actually separated according to the vow; her separation began from that time, and thenceforward she was to begin her strict abstinence from all legal impurities, and to spend her time in sacred offices; and it is probable that Jephthah thenceforward left her in the sanctuary, to dwell there as long as she lived, as Hannah did to her son Samuel, whom she had devoted to be a Nazarite. 1 Sam. i. 22. “I will not go up till the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for ever; and as the other Hannah, or Anna, did with herself after she had devoted herself to perpetual widowhood as a Nazarite, of whom we read, Luke ii. 37. “That she was a widow of fourscore years old, and departed not from the temple.” And there probably Jephthah’s daughter continued in supplications and prayers, night and day, for she was eminently disposed and prepared for such duties by that remarkable spirit of piety that appeared in her resignation, with respect to the vow her father had made concerning her, and what time she did not spend in duties of immediate devotion, she might spend in making of priests’ garments; Exod. xxxv. 25, 26. in other business subsequent to the work of the sanctuary, as there might be enough found that a woman might do.

II. The nature of the case will not allow us to suppose that that was done that was so horrid and so contrary to the mind and will of God, as putting of her to death, and offering her as a burnt-sacrifice. God took great care that never any human sacrifice should be offered to him; though he commanded Abraham to offer up his son, yet he would by no means suffer it to be actually done, but appointed something else with which he should be redeemed; and though God challenged the first-born of all living things to be his, yet he appointed that the first-born of men should be redeemed, and so in all cases wherein persons were holy to the Lord, the law makes provision that they should not be slain, but redeemed. It is particularly forbidden in the law of Moses in the strictest manner, that the children of Israel should not worship God by offering up their children in sacrifice to him. Deut. xii. 30, 31. There God charges them not to worship him in the manner that the inhabitants of Canaan had worshipped their gods; and then mentions, as the most abominable thing in their worship, that they had offered up their children for burnt-offerings. And God, by the prophet Isaiah, declares such sacrifices to be abominable to him in the forementioned, Isa. lxvi. 3. See also Jer. vii. 31. with my note on that text. It would have been symbolizing with the abominable customs of the heathen nations around, especially that of offering human sacrifices to the idol Moloch, which God ever manifested a peculiar detestation of. Here particularly observe, Deut. xii. 29, to the end;. and the nature of the case will not allow us to think that Jephthah in this instance committed such abomination. It is not likely but that he, being a pious person, as he is spoken of by the apostle, would have been restrained from it by God, and then what was done was doubtless agreeable to the mind and will of God, for God otherwise would not in so extraordinary a manner have assisted her so quickly and readily to resign herself to it; there seems most evidently an extraordinary divine influence on her mind in the affair, for her resignation did not arise from insensibility or indifference of spirit, as is evident, because she desired time so to bewail what was to be done to her; and upon the supposition that she was to be slain, it would be impossible, without an extraordinary influence on her mind, for her to be so resigned. Her resignation was from pious considerations, and holy and excellent principles; as is evident from what she says to her father, when she sees him passionately lamenting the issue of his vow, of which we have an account in the 36th verse. “And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth, forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.”

If what he had vowed to do was so abominable a thing as to kill her in sacrifice, it would not have been her duty to say as she does, Do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; but she seemed to be influenced to express herself as she did, by the Spirit of God, and her resignation is recorded of her, as a very excellent thing in her.

III. Her being to be slain in sacrifice seems inconsistent with her request; to go up and down the mountains to bewail her virginity: it would have been rather to bewail her untimely end.

IV. It seems evident that she was not slain, by the 39th verse, where it is said that it came to pass, that at the end of two months she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow, which he had vowed, and the consequence of it is immediately added, and she knew no man. This clause seems evidently to be exegetical of the foregoing, viz. that he did to her according to his vow, or to explain what that was that he did, viz. devote her to God in a perpetual virginity.

If she had been slain it is not at all likely that it would have been mentioned that she knew no man, for that she had known no man before this, had been already expressed in her going up and down the mountains to bewail her virginity; and nobody would suppose that she would marry and have children after she was devoted to death, and it had been determined both by herself and her father that it should be put in execution; and besides, there would have been no occasion to mention her not knowing man as soon as the two months were out wherein she bewailed her virginity, and she had returned from going up and down the mountains; the vow was immediately executed.

V. It is no argument that Jephthah thought himself obliged to put her to death, that he so lamented when his daughter met him, as in verse 35. “And it came to pass when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas! my daughter, thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me, for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back;” for she being his only child, by her being devoted to be a Nazarite, his family was entirely extinct, he had no issue to inherit his estate or keep his name in remembrance, which in those days was looked upon as an exceedingly great calamity. Thou hast brought me very low, i. e. thou hast quenched my coal, and brought perpetual barrenness on thyself. (See Pool’s Synopsis, at the end of Judg. chap. xi.)

[139] Judg. xiii. 20. “For it came to pass when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. Christ, by thus going into the flame in which the kid was sacrificed, and ascending in it, signified that he was the great sacrifice that was to be offered up to God, and was to ascend as a sweet savour to God from off the altar in the flame of his holy wrath. That was the substance represented by these shadows, the sacrifices of kids and lambs, &c.

[377] Judg. xiii. xiv. xv. The History of Samson. Samson was charmed with the daughters of the uncircumcised Philistines, and, as it were, bewitched with them. These daughters represent those lusts, or objects of their lusts, with which men are charmed and infatuated. Samson’s uniting himself with these daughters of the Philistines, proved his ruin. He had warning enough to beware of them before he was utterly destroyed by them. First, he was deceived by one of them, and suffered great damage by her falseness, by the woman of Timnath; though he loved her, she proved an enemy to him, and treacherously deprived him of thirty sheets, and thirty changes of garments, and then she was taken from him; she proved false to him, and left him. So she served him as the objects of men’s lusts often serve them; they promise them a great deal, but never afford them any thins; they are like a pleasing shadow at a distance, that does us a great deal of damage in the pursuit, and when we come nigh them and hope to embrace them, and to be paid for our damages, they afford us nothing but disappointment. Samson’s being thus served by a daughter of the Philistines, might be a warning to him not to be concerned with them any more. But after this Samson was insnared again, and went in to a harlot at Gaza, which suddenly brought him into imminent danger of his life, so that he very narrowly escaped, as in the beginning of chap. xvi. But yet after this he unites himself with Delilah, and had sufficient from her to make him sensible that, she was his enemy time after time, had he not been utterly infatuated and bewitched; but vet he would not take warning, and at last she deprived him of the seven locks of his head, in which signified the consideration and sense of the mind; and bringing a person to a stupid and senseless state. (See Notes on Numb. vi. 5. concerning the Nazarite’s not shaving his head.) When persons’ sense, consideration, and watchfulness is gone, their strength will soon be gone. And then God departed from Samson, and he became the miserable condemned captive and slave of the Philistines, who tormented him, and insulted over him, and made themselves sport in his misery, and at last it proved his death.

[80] Judge. xvi. 25. When the Philistines had prevailed over Samson, and were making sport with him, he overthrew them. The devils thought to have had fine sport with God’s people when they had got him their captive, but this captivity to him was the occasion of one of them who represented the rest of his brethren, even Christ, giving of them a most dreadful overthrow; and when they had Christ their captive, and thought to have triumphed and made themselves merry over him, for he was for a time in a sort their captive, being the captive of his ministers, and being more especially delivered to his power to tempt and afflict, as the Philistines did Samson: Luke xxii. 53. “This is your time, and the power of darkness:” I say, while they thought to have had sport with him, yea, when they had actually brought him forth, and were making themselves sport with him as his instruments did, and doubtless the devil joined with them; he gave them a most dreadful overthrow at his death, as Samson did; he destroyed Satan’s kingdom, and overthrew Dagon’s temple.

[125] Ruth. The story of Ruth’s forsaking her own people for the land and people of Israel, typifies the calling of the Gentile church. Naomi is a type of the Jewish church, that is the mother of the Gentile church; not the Jewish nation that was rejected, but the true church of God in Israel, to whom Ruth says, in the 16th verse,. “Whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Naomi sets before her daughter the case of going with her, and the advantages of staying in her own land. So did Christ set before men the case of being his disciples, and so do his ministers in the church.

It typifies the universal church, and the conversion of every believer. We are all born in sin, as Ruth was born in Moab, and was born a Moabitess; a state of sin is, as it were, our father’s house, and sinners are our own people; when we are converted we forsake our own people and father’s house, as the church in the 45th Psalm.

[92] 1 Sam. i. and ii. chapters. By Hannah’s song after the birth of Samuel, I am ready to think that Peninnah and Hannah were designed for types of the church of the Jews, and the church of the Gentiles. The expressions are much like those that are used in the prophets, when speaking of the calling of the Gentiles. The whole song, and especially the verse, seems evidently to refer to gospel times, particularly these expressions, “The Lord shall judge the ends of.the earth, and shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” By God’s king and anointed, she did not mean any king that then ruled over Israel, for there was none, nor was it known that there ever could be one, there was no such design then on foot.

[64] 1 Sam. vi. 14. “And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord, and set it on the great stone.” The cart seems purposely to be stopped in this field, because of the name of the owner being the same with Christ’s, who was signified by the ark, and because of the great stone, which also represented Christ.

[93] 1 Sam. xvii. 25. David won the king’s daughter by victory over Goliath; so Christ wins the church by victory over Satan.

[94] 1 Sam. xxii. 2. “And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was bitter of soul, gathered themselves to him, and he became captain over them.” Herein he was a type of Christ.

[72] 1 Sam. xxv. 41. “And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” She was a type of the church, and herein speaks that which represents the disposition of a true Christian, according to Christ’s command and example. John xiii.

[198] 2 Sam. xii. It may be worth the while to observe the analogy there was between David’s sin in the matter of Uriah, and the judgments after. He was guilty of shedding of blood, and he was punished with this in his own family, one of his own children shedding the blood of another. Absalom’s shedding Amnon’s blood, and afterwards he, though his own son, seeking to shed his blood, and with Absalom the greatest part of his subjects that used to be loyal and have a good affection for him, had their hearts turned against him, and became his enemies, and sought to shed his blood, and afterwards Absalom’s blood was shed, greatly to the grief of David his father.

He was guilty of most aggravated uncleanness in his adultery with Bathsheba, and he was punished with uncleanness in his own family in a most aggravated manner, by the horrid incest and rape of his own son upon his own daughter, and afterwards Absalom his son, that was very dear to him, going in to his own concubines many of them, and that on the top of the house in the sight of the sun, and in the sight of all Israel, on purpose to render his father as odious and contemptible as possibly could be.

[216] 2 Sam. xxiii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. These last words of David seem to be wholly a prophecy of the Messiah; he begins as the prophets were wont to begin their mystical speeches about things to come. “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue; the God of Israel, the Rock of Israel spake to me.” He begins much after the manner that Balaam began his two last prophecies, Numb. xxiv. wherein he prophesied of Israel’s future happiness, and spake particularly of Christ. What is here rendered, ”he that ruleth over men must be just,“ might better be translated, ”he that shall rule over men shall be just.“ The words in the original are p’l* onus. The two first words are literally translated, the ruler over men, or the person ruling over men, reserved to time present, past, or to come, indifferently; must be, is supplied in our translation, the word just only is expressed in the original, and we may as well and better supply shall be just, than must be, for the verb is, or be, is more frequently understood in either of the tenses than must be, or ought to be. That he should rule in the fear of the Lord, is agreeable to the character of the Messiah given in Isa. xi. 1, 2. where he is prophesied of, as he is here, as the branch of the stock or house of David, and that prophecy is very parallel to this, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord, and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.” He is called He that is to rule over men, rather than He that is to rule over Israel, because when he comes, his kingdom should not be confined to that one people, but he should reign over all nations, and to the utmost ends of the earth; to him the gathering of the people should be, and men should be blessed in him; all nations should call him blessed.

It is the Messiah that is intended that shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, and as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Christ is both as the rain and the sun that causeth the grass to grow, and also as the grass itself that flourishes under the benign influence of those. The person of Christ as head of the church, is as the morning sun arising after a night of darkness, or as the clear sun breaking out of a thick cloud, showing in the tender grass Christ mystical; or Christ in his members is as the tender grass itself springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. This signifies both the glory and blessedness of his reign.

1. It signifies his prosperity and glory as a king; the springing and flourishing of grass is a simile elsewhere used to express glory and prosperity. Psal. xlii. 7. “Though the wicked do grow as the grass, and all the workers of iniquity do flourish,” &c. So Job v. 15. “Thou shalt know that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.” So here the same is promised of the seed or offspring of David. Christ in his state of humiliation was a tender plant, and a root out of a dry ground, having no form nor comeliness; but when he rose from the earth God made him to spring as the grass out of the earth, and after his resurrection he was a glorious, and flourishing, and most fruitful branch, as is prophesied of the branch of the stock of David. Isa. iv. 2. “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely.” Jer. xxiii. 5. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper.” And so in many other places wherein Christ is prophesied of, under the appellation of the branch, he seems to be spoken of as a flourishing Branch. David here in his last words comforts himself in the respect of the glorious prosperity of his offspring.

2. Hereby is signified the happiness of his kingdom, not only the glory of the King, but the happiness of those that enjoy the blessings of his reign, which is still the prosperity of Christ’s mystical body. Psal. lxxii. 6, 7. “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish.”

Verse 5. “Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” My house, that is, my offspring, my posterity, those of my family that are to succeed me in the throne. We often find the posterity of David called the house of David. Though my successors and offspring be not just, and do not rule in the fear of God, (as David by the Spirit foresaw that they would not,) though they are not as the light of the morning, and as the tender grass springing out of the earth, though he make it not to grow, i. e. my house, for that he was speaking of. It is the same in other words that was expressed in the first clause of the verse, though my house be not so with God; and there is special reference had to the last clause of the preceding verse, where it was foretold that the Messiah should be as the tender grass springing out of the earth. Though my house or offspring be not so, be not made to grow as the grass: the house or lineage of David seems to have been spoken of under the figure of the root or shoot of a plant, as a family or race is often so called in Scripture. Judge v. 14. “Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek.” Isa. xiv. 29. “Out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice,” i. e. the serpent’s race or offspring; and so verse 30. “I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay the remnant.” Dan. xi. 7. “Out of a branch of her root shall one stand up,” i. e. out of her posterity; and so Hosea ix. 16. “Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit; yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of the womb.” The family or lineage of Jesse, or David, is particularly in the prophecies of the Messiah compared to the root or stem of a plant, as in the forementioned, Isa. xi. 1, 2. “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

And to these last words of David all the prophets seem to refer when they prophesy of Christ under the name of the Branch, for he is here prophesied of, not as the tender grass springing out of the earth: and the lineage of David seems to be spoken of under the figure of a root or stock; and when it is said, Though he make it not to grow, the word signifies to grow as a branch, it might have been translated, Though he make it not to branch forth: the word here used is of the same radix as the word used when Christ is prophesied of as the Branch; the word that is translated branch is noi, and the word that signifies to grow, is nox, which is the verb here used. David here foresaw that God would not make his root or stock to grow in his successors that should reign in the kingdom of Judah, and therefore, with reference to this, the prophet Jeremiah foretelling of Christ, says, chap. xxxiii. 15. “In those days and at that time I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.” His being called a righteous Branch, and his executing judgment and justice in the land, seems to be with reference to David’s last words, where it is said, He shall be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord. So chap xxiii. 5. “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice on the earth.”

[191] 2 Sam. xxiii. 4, 5. “As the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain although he make it not to grow.” It is probable from this that David speaks of the Messiah, that Christ is called the branch or the sprout; he is compared in Isaiah to a tender plant.

[44] 2 Sam. xxiii. 16. “And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gates, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out before the Lord.” No doubt but this was ordered for a type of something evangelical; otherwise it is wonderful how and why it should happen that he should long for the water of that particular well, and for what reason he should esteem it unlawful for him to drink it. Bethlehem being the place of Christ’s birth, the waters of it may signify the same as the water of the sanctuary, the water of the New Jerusalem, or the water of life. This was the price of the blood of those three mighty men; so is the water of life of the blood of the mighty Son of God. They obtained it by conquering Israel’s enemies; so doth Christ by the conquest of the enemies of his spiritual Israel. David would not drink it, but poured it out before the Lord; so we ought to give all the glory of our salvation unto God; as God gives it unto us by the blood of Christ, we ought to give it all back again unto God in praise.

[215] 2 Sam. xxiv. 9. Concerning the seeming difference in the account of the number of Israel when David numbered them in Samuel, and in Chronicles. See Bedford, p. 559. Scripture Chronology.

The number of all Israel in the book of Chronicles, were eleven hundred thousand men. 1 Chron. xxi. 5. And the book of Samuel saith that they were only eight hundred thousand. 2 Sam. xxiv. 9. So that here are three hundred thousand difference. On the other hand the book of Samuel saith that the men of Judah were five hundred thousand. 2 Sam. xxiv. 9. And the book of Chronicles saith that they were only four hundred and seventy thousand. So that here also is thirty thousand difference. For the reconciling this great and double diversity, it is to be observed that there were four and twenty thousand soldiers and officers that attended David monthly, so many every month. 1 Chron. xxvii. 1-16. And these make in all, two hundred and eighty-eight thousand. These were like a standing guard about the king every month, and ready for any sudden expedition. There were besides these, the rulers of the tribes and the officers under them, and therefore allowing a thousand officers to every twenty-four thousand, (as we cannot well allow less,) there will be the twelve thousand wanting, which added to the two hundred and eighty-eight thousand, make just three hundred thousand, and these were not put into the account in Samuel. Thus in the tribe of Judah, if twenty-four thousand legionary soldiers, and a thousand officers over them, be added to the four hundred and seventy thousand, there will be but five thousand wanting in the number; and as this was David’s own tribe, which was faithful to him in all difficulties and troubles, it is no wonder if so many of them were employed in some other extraordinary offices. These Joab put into the account, because their number and list had been long known, and because the king would not put a tax upon his own servants.

[217]2 Sam. xxiv. 18, to the end,. and 1 Chron. xxi. 18, to the end,. and xxii. 1. The temple and altar where those sacrifices were to be offered that were typical of the sacrifice of Christ, were by God’s orders erected on a threshing-floor, a place where wheat was wont to be threshed, that it might become bread to support men’s lives. The wheat that was here threshed, or the bread that was made of it, seems to be typical of Christ, that bread which came down from heaven, who is often typically represented by bread, by flour, and wheat. Vide Note on 2 Kings iv. 45. And the threshing of this wheat to prepare it for our food, seems to represent the sufferings of Christ, by which he was prepared to be our spiritual food, and therefore this very wheat that was threshed on this floor was the first meat-offering that was offered to God on the altar that was built in this place. And the threshing instruments, that were typical of the instruments of Christ’s sufferings, in being the instruments wherewith the corn was threshed, are made use of as the fuel for the fire, in which David offers sacrifice in this place, and the fire in which that very wheat that they had threshed was burnt; and the same oxen that in that place were used to labour in treading out the corn, were the first sacrifice that was there offered; so that before they were sacrificed on the altar, they in their labours in that place were typical of Christ, who underwent such great labours to procure bread for our souls; and they were sacrificed for men, there, in that very place, where they were used to labour for the good of men; as Christ was crucified in that very land where he had laboriously spent his life for the good of men, and where his goodness had been so distinguishingly manifested for so many ages, and in that very city, Jerusalem, where he had especially laboured, and which city had been for many ages distinguished by his goodness above all others in the world. Those oxen were sacrificed on a fire that was made of their own instruments, their own yokes and other instruments that they had borne; 2 Sam. xxiv. 22. as Christ carried his own cross.

[281] 1 Kings iii. 1. Solomon’s marrying Pharaoh’s daughter seems to be a type of two things,

1. Of the calling of the Gentile church. The Egyptians were aliens from the nation of Israel, but now she that was an Egyptian is not only made an Israelite, but she is made the queen in Israel: so the Gentile church, when she was called, was not only received to like privileges that the Jewish church were used to enjoy, but to vastly greater privileges.

2. The union of Christ with his whole church in all ages is typified; for the church is made up altogether of those that were sinners by nature, aliens from God and Christ, and the children of the devil. Pharaoh is often used in Scripture as a type of the devil. She that is made the church and spouse of Christ, is naturally the daughter of the spiritual Pharaoh.

But especially does this seem to typify what shall come to pass in the last and most glorious times of the church, for the reign of Solomon is especially a type of those times. At that time especially will there be a great gathering of the Gentiles unto Christ; multitudes of nations, that until then were gross heathens, will be espoused unto Christ, and then will the grace and love of Christ be in a most remarkable manner exercised towards sinners, and great sinners, and those that were distinguished as the children of the devil; then will many nations be brought to the church that before were the church’s greatest enemies, as Pharaoh was a grand enemy of God’s church and people, but yet now his daughter is married to the prince of Israel. And particularly the nations that have been subject to antichrist, who is spiritually called Pharaoh, shall then be espoused by Christ; this type is fulfilled at the same time with those prophecies, Isa. xix. 24, 25. “In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt, and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.” Egypt and Assyria were remarkable enemies of Israel, and both in their turns held them in bondage and slavery. See also other prophecies of the calling of Egypt.

[6] 1 Kings vi. It appears that the temple was a type of Christ, inasmuch as Christ is said to be the temple of the new Jerusalem, in the Revelation, and because he calls himself this temple. So the tabernacle before. Hence the reason why they were commanded to sacrifice no where else; why they were commanded to look to it in their prayers, &c.

[148] 1 Kings vi. 7. “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was in building.” This temple represents the church of God, who are called God’s temple, or spiritual house; Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone, and all the saints as so many stones. Particularly, by Solomon’s temple is meant the church triumphant, as by the tabernacle, the church militant, by the exact finishing, squaring, and smoothing of these stones before they were brought thither, represents the perfection of the saints in glory; heaven is not a place to prepare them, they are all prepared before they come there; they come perfectly sinless and holy into heaven; this world is the place where God hews them, and squares them, by his prophets and ministers, by the reproofs and warnings of his word, which God compares to a hammer, and by persecutions and afflictions. There shall be no noise of those tools heard in heaven, but all the lively strains of this spiritual and glorious building are exactly fitted, framed, and polished before they come there.

[273] 1 Kings vii. 15., &c. Concerning the brazen pillars Jachin and Boaz. These pillars were set in the porch of the temple, or at the entry into the temple, which was a type of heaven, to show how strongly the entrance of God’s elect and covenant people into heaven is secured by God’s immutable establishment and almighty power; and also how certain their happiness shall be, when once they are entered; and that their happiness, which is supported by those pillars, shall be as perpetual and immovable as the pillars, as Rev. iii. 12. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.” Jachin, he shall establish, signifies both God’s decree and promise, for they, by the covenant of redemption, become the same: God’s decree of election is in Christ, an eternal promise and oath, and the promise made in time, is but an expression of that for the dependence and comfort of the saints; it is as it were a temporal decree a promise is but an expression of a purpose, it is that in words that a purpose is in heart. The chapiters were made of lilies and pomegranates the lilies especially denoting the honour, glory, and beauty of the saints. Lilies and flowers are used for a representation of honour, glory, and beauty, in Scripture. Isa. xxvii. 1. “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys,” &c. Cant. ii. 1, 2. “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley; as the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” The pomegranates signify the sweet fruit they shall bring forth and enjoy, the fruit of holiness that they shall bring forth, and the fruits of happiness, or that pleasure and satisfaction they shall enjoy. These spiritual fruits are often compared to pomegranates in Solomon’s Song, and more frequently than to any other sort of fruit, as chapter iv. 3, 13. and vi. 7, 11. and vii. 12. and viii. 2.

There was a very great number of those pomegranates on those chapiters, to signify the abundant happiness that is laid up for the saints. The fruits were hung on net-work and chain-work, to show how the graces of God’s Spirit, and the spiritual fruits of holiness and happiness are interwoven one with another, and are connected together, and depend one on another, as it were by a concatenation.

[249] 1 Kings xi. 3. “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines.” Solomon could not but know the law of Moses, in which it is prescribed concerning the king, Deut. xvii. 16. “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses, forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way, neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away, neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” But without doubt Solomon either put some wrong interpretation upon this law, or, on some account or other, thought himself exempt from the obligation of it: possibly because when God had appeared to him, and asked him what he should give him, and he requested a wise and understanding heart, and did not ask that earthly glory that other kings set their hearts upon; God told him that he would give him riches and honour, so that there should not be any among the living like unto him all his days, i. e. that God would give him outward state and glory above all that other kings valued themselves upon; but in those days it was looked upon among the kings of the earth as great part of the state and grandeur of a king to have a great number of wives and concubines, and horses, as well as to have a great deal of silver and gold. Solomon might look on this promise of God to him, as a dispensation from the obligation of the whole law of Moses, which was given to restrain the ambition, and set bounds to the earthly grandeur, of the king of Israel.

[154] 1 Kings xvii. 6. “And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning,” &c.; which typified the same thing as Samson getting honey out of the lion. “Out of the eater came forth meat.” It was also more miraculous that such a ravenous bird should bring him meat and not eat it himself.

[283] 2 Kings ii. 11, 12, 13. Concerning Elijahs translation. Elijah’s ascension into heaven seems to be a type of the ascension of Christ. Before he ascended, he asked his disciple Elisha what he should give him; so Christ when he ascended gave gifts unto men. When Elijah ascended, his mantle fell from him, which is a type of the righteousness of Christ, as righteousness is often in Scripture represented by a garment. Christ, though he himself went away, yet left his righteousness for his church and people here below. The efficacy of what he did and suffered, still remained for the justification of sinners here below, though he himself was gone; and the saving fruits and benefits of it were communicated more abundantly after his ascension than before. God exalted him with his own right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins. Elisha received a double portion of his spirit when he ascended; so when Christ ascended, he sent down abundant measures of his Holy Spirit on his disciples and followers. The condition of Elisha’s receiving a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, was his seeing him when he ascended; so it is by faith in the ascended Saviour, that we receive the Holy Spirit from him. We can receive no spiritual benefits from him any otherwise than as we see him in his glorious exaltation by an eye of faith.

[472] 2 Kings v. 19. “And he said unto him, Go in peace.” These words do not at all imply that the prophet approved of the design Naaman had just before declared of bowing in the house of Rimmon. There indeed seems here to be some difficulty; at first view, it looks as if these words of the prophet manifested an approbation of what he had expressed. But a particular consideration of the circumstances of the affair may serve wholly to remove the difficulty, and to make it manifest that they implied no such approbation. For it is to be considered that the Syrians were now at war with Israel. We have an account but a little before this, 1 Kings xxii. of a great battle of the king of Syria of his thirty-two captains with both the kings of Israel, and we have no account of any peace made after this; but, on the contrary, it appears by the 2nd and 3rd verses of this chapter., and by what we have an account of in the next chapter, that the war still continued, and Naaman was the chief actor in the war, and had been the chief instrument of the mischief that the Syrians had done Israel, for he was the captain of the host of the king of Syria, or general of his army, and a very valiant, successful general, and he by whom the chief exploits had been done, that had been accomplished by the Syrians in war, as is signified in the first verse of this chapter., and was probably, under the king, the chief general that led the Syrians in the battle forementioned, wherein Israel received that great defeat wherein their king was slain, which seems to be the thing aimed at in the first verse of this chapter, when it is said that by him he had given deliverance in victory (as it is in the margin) unto Syria. And those things were now fresh in memory, being but two or three years before; so that Naaman must needs know that it would be a remarkable thing if so great and terrible an enemy to Israel as he had been, and one that Israel had suffered so much from, and an enemy that they had now cause to fear above all enemies on earth (the war between the two nations yet continuing). I say he must be sensible that it would be a remarkable thing if he came into the midst of the land of Israel, and to that great prophet that was as it were the father of that people, and should be suffered to return again to his own country in peace; and there is reason to think that he did not come and go without a trembling fear, lest he should be troubled on this score. It was the manner among the heathen nations at that day, as the Syrians knew, for their augurs, diviners, magicians, and those who had immediate intercourse with their gods, which were their prophets, to interest themselves in affairs of their respective nations, and for the nations to have great dependence upon them in time of war. And they doubtless had heard the great things the prophets of Israel had done for them against their enemies, Moses, Samuel, and others, and how the prophets had assisted the Israelites against their nation, even in that generation. (See 1 Kings xx.) And the Assyrians appear apt enough to discern how this very prophet Elisha assisted the king of Israel in war. (See the next chapter.) And doubtless Naaman now looked upon this prophet who had healed him of his leprosy as a man of great power, and judged that he could easily destroy him, and though as yet he had received no hurt from his power, but great good, yet he seems to be full of fear and jealousy, as appears by this, that although Elisha had bid him go in peace, thereby signifying that no harm should be done him on account of the war with Syria, and for his being so great an enemy to Israel, yet when he sees Gehazi coming after him, his fears are excited anew. He was afraid that the prophet had a reckoning to require of him, and therefore, as soon as Naaman sees him, he immediately lighted down from his chariot to meet him, and his first question is, Is there peace? (for so it is in the Hebrew, verse 21.) The prophet was sensible what Naaman’s fears were, and probably knew that he made him the offer of a large present, partly for that end to secure his favour and friendship, that he might not hurt him, and that his fears were increased by his refusing his present. He was afraid that this was a sign that he would not be friends with him; for accepting of presents was looked upon as a token and seal of friendship and peace. And therefore Manoah’s wife says, “If the Lord had been pleased to kill us, he would not have accepted an offering at our hands.” And therefore Jacob urges Esau to accept his present, because he desired a seal of peace and friendship with Esau. And when after the prophet had utterly refused Naaman’s present, Naaman professes a design of changing his religion. This probably still is one thing he has in view, thoroughly to reconcile this great prophet to him. The prophet fully knowing Naaman’s circumstances and apprehensions, it is with respect to these things that he says to him, Go in peace, signifying no more than that he bid him farewell, and that though he had refused his present, yet he need not fear his troubling him, or taking the opportunity, now he was in the land of Israel, to do him any mischief on account of the war between Israel and Syria, or for his having been so terrible and destructive an enemy to his country, designedly avoiding making any reply at all to those things he had been saying to him, as his request that he would give him two mules’ burthen of earth, that he might offer sacrifice to God, or his design which he had taken occasion to signify to him of bowing in the house of Rimmon. He neither answers his request by commanding that any earth should be given him, or giving him leave to take it. He says nothing at all about it, nor does he make any observation on his intimated design, but only takes leave of him, and lets him understand that he may go in peace, without fear of any such mischief as he seemed to be guarding against. And Naaman seems to understand him. When the prophet spake of peace, there is reason to think that he understood him to mean what he himself means, when presently after he speaks of peace, saying to Gehazi, ”Is there peace?” fearing that the prophet now intended to molest him as an enemy. And the words themselves, according to the common use of such phrases, did not carry any more in them. Thus, when Judah, after the cup had been found in Benjamin’s sack, says to Joseph, “Behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also with whom the cup is found,” Joseph answers, Gen. xliv. 17. “God forbid that I should do so; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant, and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father;” as much as to say, I have no quarrel with you for your brother’s crime, but will dismiss you without doing you any harm. So “Let us make a covenant with thee, that thou wilt do us no harm, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace;” and ver. 31. “And Isaac sent them away, and they departed in peace.” So it is noted of Abner, 2 Sam. iii. 21. after he had been carrying on a war against David in favour of Ishbosheth, that he came and conversed with David, and David sent him away, and he went in peace, i. e. David did not do him any hurt for his having acted before as his enemy. So Josh. x. 20, 21. it is noted of the people of Israel, that after they had been carrying on a successful war against the Amorites, and had slain them with a great slaughter, the people returned to the camp in peace, and that none moved his tongue against the children of Israel. Many other places might be mentioned where such phrases are used in the same manner. But I shall now mention but one more in 2 Chron. xix. at the beginning. We are informed, that after Jehoshaphat had been to war with the Syrians, to assist Ahab, he returned to his house in peace; the meaning is only, that he was not slain, as Ahab was, and returned without receiving any hurt in the war; not that he returned under the divine smiles, and with his favour and approbation, for he did not so return, but, on the contrary, he in his return met with a severe rebuke from God, and denunciation of his wrath for the business he had been about.

Here, perhaps, it may be objected, that it is hardly credible that the prophet should make no reply to what Naaman had said, the occasion so naturally leading him to it, and duty obliging him to manifest his disapprobation of it, if it was sinful.

As to his not replying when the occasion naturally led to it, it may be observed, that the former part of Naaman’s speech seemed much more to lead to and require some reply, wherein he desires of the prophet that he would give him two mules’ burthen of earth; what he there purposes, is in the form of a request to Elisha. “Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given unto thy servant two mules’ burden of earth,” &c. As to what he says concerning bowing in the house of Rimmon, he therein indeed expresses his intention, but asks no request of the prophet. He does not ask his leave, or his opinion, or advice, nor does he ask him any question, or propose any thing to him for his opinion, or as though he expected any reply. But yet it is evident, in fact, that he makes no reply at all to the former part of his speech, that was evidently proposed to him for that end, that he might have a reply. He consecrates no earth for an altar for Naaman, he gives no orders to his servant to give him his two mules’ burthen of earth, nor does he say a word signifying that he consents he should take it, approving of his design of building an altar with it, but bids him farewell, without any reply at all. And therefore it is not incredible that he should make no reply to that part of his speech which comes in incidentally, that did in nowise so naturally lead the prophet to answer.

As to the latter part of the forementioned objection which relates to the prophet’s being bound in duty to forbid what Naaman declared to be his intention, or to have manifested his disapprobation of it, if it were unlawful, when so fair occasion was given him to express his mind concerning it: to this I would say,

1. The prophets spake under the immediate direction of heaven; they were to deliver God’s messages, and were only the agents to utter his words. In this whole affair of Naaman he acted in his character of a prophet, and Naaman is now addressing him as such, and God was not pleased to put any reply into his mouth.

2. God herein dealt with Naaman, as he commonly does with such hypocrites that pretend to be his servants, but are joined to idols. Hos. iv. 17. “Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.” Matt. xv. 14. “Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind.” It was just so with Naaman as it was with the elders of Israel in Chaldea, they pretend to worship the God of Israel alone, but yet living among idolaters, and in subjection to them, they thought they might comply with the people of the land, who now were their masters, in some of their idolatrous customs, seeing they must render themselves very obnoxious by refusing, and they came to the prophet Ezekiel to inquire of him something concerning this affair; but God replies by the prophet, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face, should I be inquired of at all by them?” Again, chap. xx. 1. certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. Ver. 3. “Thus saith the Lord God, Are ye come to inquire of me? as I live, saith the Lord, I will not be inquired of by you,” with ver. 31. “For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day; and shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? as I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.” That what was the especial reason of God’s treating them with such manifestations of abhorrence, and refusing any intercourse with them, was, that they joined idolatry with a profession of his name under a pretence of worshipping him, or had a disposition so to do, is manifest by ver. 39. “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God, Go ye, serve every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts and your idols.” And that the thing that was in their mind about which they came to Ezekiel to inquire, was whether they might not comply with the people they dwelt among in some of their idolatrous customs, though they professed in heart to serve the true God only, is plain from ver. 32. “And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.”

3. Though Elisha made no reply to what Naaman had said of bowing in the house of Rimmon, and so did not directly declare his dislike of it, yet his manner of treating Naaman on this occasion, (though no other than friendly,) if duly weighed, and rationally reflected upon by Naaman, would sufficiently show him the prophet’s disapprobation of it, and in a manner tending more to convince and affect him than if he had directly forbid it. Naaman made a proposal to Elisha of taking two mules’ burthen of earth of the land of Canaan, (as though he highly valued the very dust of that land,) to build an altar to Elisha’s God, doubtless expecting that Elisha would show himself much pleased with it, and desires to have this earth as given and consecrated by Elisha. But Elisha does not grant his request, he takes no notice of it, intimating that he looked on his pretences not worthy of any regard, and immediately, without saying one word to what he had said, sends him away, and takes his leave of him, as not thinking it worth his while to enter into any conversation with him about such a mongrel worship as he proposed, nor desiring any unnecessary communion with such an idolater.

[170] 2 Kings vi. 6. “And he cut down a stick and cast it in thither, and the iron did swim.” The iron that sunk in the water represents the soul of man that is like iron, exceeding heavy with sin and guilt, and prone to sink down into destruction, and be overwhelmed with misery, which is often compared to deep waters. The stick of wood that was cast in, represents Christ, that was of a contrary nature, light, and tended not to sink, but to ascend in the water and swim; as Christ’s being of a divine and perfectly holy nature, though he might be plunged into affliction, and misery, and death, yet he naturally tended to ascend out of it, it was impossible he should be holden of it. Christ was plunged into woe and misery, and the death that we had deserved for ourselves, to bring us out of it. The stick when that rose brought up the iron with it; so Christ when he rose brings up believers with him; they are risen with Christ, that they may walk in newness of life. Christ is the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ’s; he rose again for our justification, and hath thereby begotten us again to a lively hope.

[222] 2 Chron. xxii. 1, 2. “So Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, reigned; forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.” Here a great difficulty arises, for whereas Joram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem, and so he died when he was forty years old; and immediately the inhabitants of Jerusalem set Ahaziah upon the throne, who was his youngest son, yet this Ahaziah was forty-two yean old when he began to reign, and so he will prove to be two years older than his father.

Answer. The book of Chronicles doth not mean in this place that Ahaziah was so old when he began to reign, for the book of Kings tells us plainly that he was twenty-two at that time, so that those forty-two years have reference to another thing, particularly to the house of Omri, and not the age of Ahaziah, for if we count from the beginning of the reign of Omri, we shall find that Ahaziah entered into his reign in the two and fortieth year from thence. The original words therefore are not to be translated as we render them. Ahaziah was two and forty years old, but Ahaziah was the son of the two and forty years, and this was anciently observed in that history among the Jews, called Soder Olam, or the order of the world. Now the reason why his reign is dated differently from all the rest of the kings of Judah, is because he did according to all the wickedness of the house of Omri, for Athaliah his mother was Ahab’s daughter, and she both perverted her husband Joram, and brought up this her son, Ahaziah, in all the idolatry of that wicked house; and therefore Ahaziah is not thought fit to be reckoned by the line of the kings of Judah, (and of the house of David, and the ancestors of Christ,) but by the house of Omri and Ahab. Thus a particular mark is set upon Joram by the evangelist Matthew, who leaves out the three succeeding generations, viz. Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, and mentions Uzziah as the next. Here the three descents are omitted, according to what the psalmist saith, Psal. xxxvii. 28. “The seed of the wicked shall be cut off.” See the letter # which is the last letter of y\», the seed, and of yv\, the wicked. But out of that acrostical and alphabetical Psalm, in that very place, Dr. Lightfoot, vol. 1. p. 417. saith that this omission is most divinely done from the threatening of the second commandment, “Thou shall not commit idolatry, for I will visit the sins of the fathers on the children unto the third and fourth generation.” It is the manner of Scripture very often to leave out men’s names from certain stories and records, to show a distaste at some evil in them. Thus all Cain’s posterity is blotted out of the book of Chronicles, as it was out of the world by the flood. So Simeon is omitted in Moses’s blessings, Deut. xxxiii. for his cruelty at Shechem, and to Joseph. So Dan and Ephraim, at the sealing of the Lord’s people, Rev. chap. vii. because of idolatry, which began in the tribe of Dan. Judg. xviii. (and afterwards had its principal seat in the tribe of Ephraim). So Joab, from among David’s worthies, 2 Sam. xxiii. because of his bloodiness to Abner and Amasa. And such another close intimation of God’s displeasure at the wickedness of Joram, is to be seen, 2 Chron. xxii. 1, 2. where the reign of his son Ahaziah is not dated according to the custom and manner of the other kings of Judah, but by the style of the continuance of the house of Omri.

And Ahaziah alone, among all the kings of Israel, might be reckoned in this manner, because in his time the whole house of Ahab was cut off by Jehu, after the battle at the field of Naboth, the Jezreelite, where Joram, the last king of Israel, of the house of Ahab, or Omri, was slain, and Ahaziah was slain with him, and two and forty of his brethren perished with the house of Ahab. (This I suppose is from Bedford.) It is not unusual in Scripture to mention a number of years as a certain date, without expressing the epochs. So in Ezek. i. 1. and viii. 1. xx. 1. xxiv. 1. xxvi. 1. xxix. 1. xxxi. 1. xxxii. 1. chap. xxix. 17. xxx. 20. That Hebrew phrase, The son of (so many) years does not always signify the person’s being so old. As for instance, xiii. 1. Saul reigned one year; in the original it is, Saul was the son of one year. It may be noted further, that the Scriptures, in dating kings’ reigns, do not always make the person’s birth that epoch from whence the date is taken, as concerning Absalom, 2 Sam. xv. 7. See also Notes on 2 Kings xxiv. 8.

[278] 2 Chron. xxv. 9. “And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.” Amaziah seemed to look upon it a hard thing to part with so great a sum. But the words that the prophet spake to him were not vain words. Godplentifully rewarded Amaziah for obeying God’s command in this particular, for God gave him success against his enemies, that he was going to war with, and he obtained a victory over the children of Edom, as in ver. 11, 12. so that he obtained the same end without the help of the army of Israel that he aimed at, by paying the one hundred talents to hire their help, and therefore lost nothing by not taking them with him; and probably Amaziah was much more than paid for his hundred talents by the spoils of his enemies. But yet this was not all that God did in reward for his obeying his command by the prophet, for though he carried himself very wickedly after this, so as to bring God’s judgments on himself during his life, yet God seems to have remembered what he had done in his son Uzziah’s days; and Amaziah’s success in this very expedition against the Edomites was the occasion of vastly enriching his son Uzziah. For that which seems in times past to have been the principal source of the wealth of the kings of Judah, was the trade that they had by the Red sea to Ophir for gold, which was carried on from two seaport towns upon the Red sea, viz. Elath, and Ezion-geber, which places were in the land of Edom, as appears by 1 Kings ix. 26, 27. “And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Elath, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom;” and by means of this trade very much it was, in all probability, that Solomon so enriched the country in his time, so as to make silver as plenty as stones there. The principal sea-port that was made use of until Jehoshaphat’s time, was Ezion-geber; but Jehoshaphat having there left his fleet that he had prepared to send from thence to Ophir, his ships being broken to pieces on the rocks there, as 1 Kings xxii. 48. they seem after that to have made use of Elath instead of Ezion-geber, as being a safer harbour. The kings of Judah continued in the possession of this trade to Ophir, as long as they continued in the possession of the land of Edom, where those sea-ports were, which was until the days of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat; but in his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves, as 2 Kings viii. 20. And so the kings of Judah from that time lost Elath and their trade to Ophir, until the days of Amaziah, who conquered them, and brought them into subjection again in that expedition spoken of in the context, to assist in which he had given the one hundred talents to the army of Israel. But God gave him such success without this hired army, that he brought the country under, and so recovered Elath; and his son Uzziah rebuilt it, and so renewed the trade to Ophir from thence, as in the next chapter, ver. 1, 2. “Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father, Amaziah. He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, and by this means he became an exceeding wealthy prince, and filled the land with riches; and therefore Isaiah, who, in the beginning of his prophecy, prophesied in the days of Uzziah, says, Isa. ii. 7. “The land also is full of silver, and there is no end of their treasures.”

“This king lost one hundred talents by his obedience, and we find just that sum given to his grandson, Jotham, as a present, chap. xxvii. 5. Then the principal was repaid, and for interest, ten thousand measures of wheat, and as many of barley.” Henry.

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