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found among that holy number. May we meet Thee with joy, and not with grief. When this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, then, then, God of mercy, God of judgment, may that saying be accomplished in us, "Death is swallowed up in victory.-o death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ?”—O remove our sin, for it is the sting of death. O remove our guilt, for the guilt of our sin is the victory of the grave. O may our language rightly, justly, gratefully be, “ Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory over sin and death, through the Lord Jesus Christ.” So
may it be, that not in fear and terror, not with trembling and sorrow, not in agony and despair of Thy mercy, we look forward, O Lord, to Thy coming. In joy, and hope, and peace, and holy calmness of heart and spirit, may we expect the hour of death and the day of judgment; and now, and at the hour of death, patiently expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world
Constantly may we look for that blessed hope, and for the manifestation of the glory of the great God, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath loved us and given Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify ourselves to Him as His own, His peculiar people, zealous of good works.—Hear our imperfect petitions. Let us not pray to Thee in vain, but give us Thy grace, “ Almighty God, that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life of immortal happiness through Him, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, one God, world without end.”—In His name and words we sum up all our petitions, calling upon Thee as
Our Father, &c.
Note 1. On the place where the people of from it by the intervening peaks of the modern Israel assembled to hear the delivery of the Law. Horeb. No part of the plain is visible from the Exod. xix. 17.
summit; nor are the bottoms of the adjacent The Hebrew name denotes a district of valleys ; nor is any spot to be seen around cleft rocks, supposed to be situated in a moun- it where the people could have been assemtainous part of Arabia Petræa. The Sinaitic bled ?." On reaching the summit of Horeb, group is of great extent, but the name Sinai Dr. Robinson remarks,—“Our conviction was is more properly applied to any lofty ridge strengthened that here, or on some one of lying between the valleys of Sher and El-leja. the adjacent cliffs, was the spot where the The northern extremity is called Horeb, the Lord descended in fire,' and proclaimed the southern Sinai. It is difficult to determine law. Here lay the plain where the whole the exact spot in which the law was delivered. congregation might be assembled ; here was From Deut. i. 6; iv., xviii., &c., it would the mount that could be approached and appear to be Horeb. Sinai is generally re- touched, if not forbidden ; and here the mounputed to be the place, and the southern end tain brow, where alone the lightnings and the of the range is denominated Moses' Mount; thick cloud would be visible, and the thunders but this may have arisen from confounding and the voice of the trump be heard, when together two meanings of Sinai, as it denotes the Lord .came down in the sight of all the a district, and a particular part of that dis- people upon Mount Sinai.'”—“We gave our. trict. It was no doubt on Horeb, in the selves up to the impressions of the awful region of Sinai, that the law was promulgated. scene, and read with a feeling that will never In support of this view, Dr. Robinson says, be forgotten, the sublime account of the trans“ There is not the slightest reason for sup
action and the commandments there promulposing that Moses had anything to do with gated, in the original words, as recorded by the summit which now bears his name. It is the great Hebrew legislator 2.” three miles distant from the plain on which
I Biblical Researches in Palestine, vol. i. p. 154. the Israelites must have stood, and hidden 3 Ibid. vol. i. p. 158.
Note 2. On the giving the lar by the ministration of angels.
The fact of the existence of an order, or rather of many orders and degrees of beings, between God and man, is so plainly declared in the revelation which God has imparted to man, that neither the Sadduceeism of the Jews, nor the imagined superiority of modern philosophy over simple Christianity, have shaken the faith of the believer. The attempts that have been made to reduce the angels to mere phantoms of the imagination, to the simple elements of nature, or to unusual physical phenomena, have signally failed ; and all such attempts must fail so long as the contents of Scripture shall be honestly judged of by tested and correct principles of hermeneutics.
The names D'ange, and ayyeho, by which these superior spirits are designated, are indicative not of their nature but of their office 1. They are the messengers or servants of Jehovah, whose agency He employs for the revelation and execution of His will. They are represented as “ministering unto Him by thousands of thousands 2;" "standing before him to receive his high' behests3;" “ Mying with the utmost alacrity to perform his pleasure ";" "excelling in strength for the purpose of carrying into effect his wise and holy designs 5," and specially as letovpylkd a veúuara, “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation 6." Effects which God might have produced in a direct or immediate manner, without the intervention of secondary causes, He has been pleased, for the greater display of His infinite wisdom and goodness, to devolve upon the operation of their agency. Of the mode in which this agency is generally exercised, we are totally ignorant, it being conducted invisibly, imperceptibly, and upon principles belonging to a higher sphere of action than that with which we are conversant. Nor can any one reasonably be surprised at our ignorance on this head, who reflects on the deficiencies of our knowledge with respect to the manner in which even human spirits act on each other; of the very limited acquaintance which we possess with the nature and operations of our own intellectual powers.
We receive the fact on the authority of Him who cannot
deceive us, and leave the mode to be discovered, if it shall please Him to reveal it, in that world where we shall enjoy immediate intercourse with these celestial messengers, and where, as there is reason to anticipate, the history of their wondrous and greatly diversified ministrations, will furnish themes of exalted and ineffable delight.
Of the several remarkable instances of the agency of angels furvished by the sacred volume, that presented by the accounts therein contained of their personal appearance is most calculated to strike and interest the mind. Other instances in which their ministry was employed, exhibit the wonderful effects of their power ; but these effects were brought about in an invisible manner. And even when they revealed the will of God in visions or dreams, presenting themselves to view on such occasions as divine messengers, this appearance did not consist in any actual contact into which they were personally brought with the sense of vision; but solely in a scenic representation which they impressed upon the imagination of the persons to whom the revelation was made. But in the cases which we have here in view, real visible objects were presented to the organ of sight. They appear to have usually assumed for a time a material body, in which they held converse as man with man".
Of this we have examples in the xviiith and xixth of Genesis, where two angels appear to Abraham, as well as the Jehovah Angel of the covenant ; in the history of David (1 Chron. xxi.); of Zechariah (Luke i.); and of the resurrection, &c. The most eminent instance, however, of the permitted interference of angels in the transactions of man, is that of their taking part in the giving of the law from Mount Sinai. “In asserting that this transaction,” says the learned writer who has treated upon this subject so memorable in the History of the Hebrews, “exhibits a mixed character, we do it on the ground that it consisted partly in the exercise of the mediatorial agency of the Logos, and partly in that of angels ; and combined, in the entireness of the scene, a remarkable personal manifestation with the employment of invisible power, and the widely-extended production of audible and intelligible language.” The presence of an immense number of angels on that occasion can only be called in question by those who make light of the testimony of Scripture, or do not believe in the existence of such beings, or in their ministry in reference to human affairs. In direct allusion to this event, the author of Psalm lxviii. 17
non is derived from 7p, an obsolete Hebrew Toot, which is preserved in the Ethiopic and Arabic, and signifies, to send, to delegate; send or go as a Inessenger, render or perform any service.' See Gesen and Win. in Simon.–Angelos Aéyetan, dia το άγγέλλειν τοις ανθρώποις, όσαπερ βούλεται αυτοίς άγγείλαι ο τών όλων ποιητής. Justin Martyr, in Dial, cum Tryph. ap. Suicer. i. 20.
2 Dan. vii. 10.
4 Dan. ix. 21. 5 Ps. ciii. 20. 6 Heb. i. 14.
1 Divine Inspiration, or the Supernatural Influence exerted in the communication of Divine Truth, and its special bearing on the composition of the Sacred Scriptures, with notes and illustrations, by Rev. E. Henderson; London, 1836, lect. ii. p. 106, &c.
sings in the following strains : “ The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels : the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” In the poem composed by Moses, and delivered to the children of Israel immediately before his death, he thus commences in language of uncommon grandeur and beauty: “ Jehovah came from Sinai; He arose from Seir ; He shone from Mount Paran; He came with holy Myriads. In his right hand he had a fiery law, (Yet he loved the people). All thy holy ones were with thee, They bowed themselves at thy feet : Each conveyed thy oracles. A law Moses ordained for us, An inheritance for the congregation of Jacob. In Jeshurun he was king, When the chiefs of the people assembled, When the tribes of Israel were one 1."
Making every allowance for the poetic costume in which the facts here described are arrayed, it is unquestionable that it is the object of the Jewish legislator to celebrate the majestic descent of Jehovah on Sinai, the effulgence of which was reflected through the whole of the Arabian desert ; that, in this descent, he was accompanied by myriads of holy angels, that the object to be attained by it was the solemn announcement of his law, that these superior sprits prostrated themselves in his presence, and received the divine commandments to promulgate among the people ; that though the law was delivered under circumstances that were highly calculated to inspire the Israelites with alarm, it was, nevertheless, to be regarded as a signal proof of the love of Jehovah towards them, and, finally, that the law thus given became their peculiar and exclusive property.
That it was the Logos, or the Son of God, in his pre-existent manifestive character, whose glory was displayed on this occasion, is placed beyond dispute by the declaration of Stephen, that it was «THE ANGEL, του 'Ayyédov, who spake to Moses in the Mount Sinai ;" namely, the same angel whom he had just mentioned as having appeared to him in the bush, whom he designates the angel of the Lord, and who proclaimed himself to be the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
1 Deut. xxxiii. 2–5.
he rose up to them,' in our common version, clogs the passage. The dative of the pronoun is here, as frequently, redundant after an intransitive verb of motion. The Targum of Onkelos, the LXX., and the Syriac and Vulgate versions read 15, the first person plural; but the reading is clearly to be attributed to emendation. It is unsupported by manuscript authority. oyniapong? He came with holy myriads. The LXX., mistaking uiß, 'Kodesh,' for my, 'Kadesh,' renders the words thus, ou uvpiáo Kádns, ' with myriads at Kadesh;' but still, having an impression that reference was had to the angels, they add, εκ δεξιών αυτον άγγελοι μετ' αυτού. Aquila, however, Symmachus, the Venet. Greek, and the Syriac, agree with Onkelos in considering the term to be a substantive, signifying holiness ;' which, being governed by the preceding noun, has the force of an adjective, and is by Symmachus so expressed. That nia??, the fem. plur., should be employed of angels can excite no surprise, since this numeral is only used in the feminine. See among other passages, Neh. vii. 71: niay nu D'pio???. In fact, it is employed in the dual form of the fem. in the parallel passage, Ps. Ixviii. 17.
-have greatly per מִימִינוֹ אֵשְׁבָּת לָמוֹ The words
and Gesenius, in his Thesaurus, very ingeniously traces its etymology. The singularity of its occurrence in pure Hebrew is not greater than that which is exhibited in several other parallel instances. That the construction should be n7 ux, and not in na, according to rule, seems at first sight to present an obstacle to the rendering, law of fire,' or
fiery law;' but the prominence which the writer intended to give to the igneous phenomenon is sufficient to account for the anomaly. Winer's observation in Simonis Lex. is, “In loco Deut. xxxii, 2, ni din significare videtur ignem legis; h. e. legem igneam, media inter fulgura promulgatam." The ins, at the end of the verse, is the poetic singular, as in the preceding instance, only it is here used as the dative of possession.
Verse 3. In your there is an evident continuation of the third person from the foregoing participle, though the transition in the following word to the second person renders it necessary in a translation to adopt the change earlier. is quite idiomatic, and does not express more than the simple pre,
See Gesen. in voc. I, a a. The awaf neyóuevov (1728), signifies, 'to bend one's self, fall down, fall prostrate,' and is here used to express the deep reverence of the angelic hosts, on the occasion to which reference is made.nie, is taken partitively, as yox, Isa. xlv. 24, “ he," i. e. each, “saith." The verb has here all the preg. nance of its meaning: signifying not merely 'to take,' * take up,' but to take up so as to bear away,
Verse 5. That the king, mentioned in this verse, was Jehovah, and not Moses, as Abenezra interprets, seems past dispute.
plexed interpreters. The principal difficulty has been occasioned by the unusual combination, nprix, which, as it is found in upwards of a hundred of Kennicott and De Rossi's MSS., and in twenty-five printed editions, has been supposed to come from TT, TT, or even from the corresponding Arabic root, and interpretations agreeing with such derivations have been advanced, but they have all failed in affording satisfaction. Those who have most distinguished themselves for critical taste, regard the word as compounded of up and an opinion which is confirmed by the circumstances, that it is included by the rabbins in the number of fifteen words, which, though written as one, are nevertheless to be read as two, and that in a great number of the best MSS., the Keri exhibits no us, which several editors, both Jewish and Christian, have adopted as the textual reading. With respect to
the significa tion of 'law' is now pretty generally acquiesced in ;
.אֶת or the particle ,עם position
Jacob? (Acts vii. 30—38). Nor is the evi- less, did behold Him, who before his actual dence of this fact less convincing which is assumption of human nature, existed “in the furnished by Paul, in his Epistle to the He- form of God,” (év popoň Ocoû, the similibrewe. Warning that people against apos- tude, likeness of God), “and thought it no tasy, he reminds them of the punishment robbery to be equal with God." (Phil. ï. 7.) which had been inflicted upon those who re- The language of the whole passage is quite fused to obey Moses, who was merely of peculiar ; " And they saw the God of Israel ; earthly origin ; and contrasting with his the and there was under his feet, as it were, a superior dignity and authority of Christ, he paved work of a sapphire stone, and, as it adds, “WHose voice then shook the earth ?," were, the body of the heaven in his clearness. a statement which is allowed by the best com- And upon the nobles of the children of Israel mentators to identify our Saviour with Jeho- he laid not his hand : also they saw God, and vah, the God of Israel, whose voice convulsed did eat and drink.” (Exod. xxiv. 10, 11). Sinai, and filled the people with terror. In Most of those who have admitted the fact corroboration of this view of the subject, may of angelic ministration at the giving of the be adduced the circumstance, that soon after Law, confine that ministration to their attendthe promulgation of the decalogue, when, by ance in regular hosts or bands; while some special invitation, Moses with Aaron, Nadab, go further, and maintain that they were emAbihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, ployed in producing the awful physical pheascended the Mount, they were favoured with nomena which accompanied the event. The a vision of the God of Israel. It is com- former class endeavour to find support to their moni, indeed, to explain the object of this hypothesis by pressing the etymological meanvision, so as to make it signify nothing more ing of the words employed by Stephen and than a singular display of the divine glory ; Paul, when describing the transaction. In but such an interpretation is no less at vari- his address to the Jews, the proto-martyr ance with the usage of the phrase than it is states, that their ancestors, whom they rewith other parts of the sacred narrative. To sembled in obstinacy, “received the law by see God, in the language of the Pentateuch, the disposition of angels,” εις διαταγάς signifies either to have a view of his divine ảyyéwv (Acts vii. 53). And the Apostle essence, which is declared to be impossible writing to the Galatians (iii. 19), says, that it for mortals; or to have such a view of him as was ordained by angels, διαταγείς δι' αγγέwas afforded when he is said to have appeared iwv, in the hand of a mediator.” In the to any one, namely, in a certain visible form, passage in the Acts, the original term renmore or less glorious, according to circum- dered “ disposition," is derived from that stances. The Israelites saw the glory of the which, in the Epistle, is translated “ordained.” Lord (Exod. xxiv. 17), yet it is never affirmed And as both have been taken in a military of them that they saw the Lord himself. On sense to denote the marshalling, or arranging the contrary, Moses appeals to their own of troops in order of battle, and the divisions knowledge of the fact, that no similitude was or squadrons thus arranged, it had been inpresented to their view (Deut. iv. 12): “ The ferred that the idea intended to be conveyed Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the is, that of the regular order or arrangement fire : ye heard the voice of the words, but which obtained among the myriads of angels saw no similitude ; only ye heard a voice.” who were present at the promulgation of the It was a privilege, however, which Moses en- law. Now, though it is conceded that the joyed, as we are expressly informed, (Num. word diaráoow is frequently used in a milixii
. 8). “And the similitude of the Lord tary sense, yet the substantive diarayı) is shall he behold.” And there is reason to be- never so employed ; and as both are applied lieve, that though his elect companions were in common usage to acts of legislation, which not permitted to enjoy so fulla manifestation on is the subject of which the sacred writers are the occasion to which reference is here made, treating; it seems more reasonable to conclude as that conferred upon him, they, neverthe- that they used them in their current accep
tation, as it respects the act of promulgating Most of the fathers recognized the divine Logos
laws; than that they only meant to say, that, in the angel who appeared at the bush ; but none of when the law was given, the angels were them has expressed himself more explicitly than Theo- present in cohorts or troops, attending upon αστet : “Ολον το χωρίον, he says, δείκνυσι θεόν όντα τον όφθέντα κέκληκε δε αυτών και άγγελον, ίνα
the Divine Majesty. The one interpretation γνώμεν, ώς ο όφθείς ούκ έστιν ο Θεός και πατήρ is tame, and little to the point, the other is τίνος γάρ άγγελός ο πατήρ και άλ ο μονογενής υιός appropriate to the occasion. Nor does it
werálns Bovdnis angelos. Interr. v. in Exod. Opp. i. 78., edit, fol., Par. 1642.
seem the most natural construction to be put * Heb. xii. 25, 26. “Whose roice,” i. e. the voice of upon the passages in question, to restrict the Christ : so Michaelis, Stort, Cramer, Rosenmüller, meaning to anything like mere accessory subBoehme, Kuinoel, and Bloomfield. It is one of the
serviency; as if the angels only increased the many passages of the New Testament which ascribe to Christ the same things that are ascribed to Jehovah
external pomp, or, at most, produced the in the Old Testament. Stuart in loc.
thunders, lightnings, and tempest, but took
no direct or immediate part in announcing that though the passage already quoted from the law itself to the assembled Israelites. It Deuteronomy is not clothed in the simple style only requires a cursory glance at the parallel of history, but appears in the garb of poetry, it instances quoted by the critics, to perceive is, nevertheless, based upon historical facts ; that the terms here employed express actual and as we have already shown, unequivocally agency, with respect to the communication of teaches both the presence of those celestial the divine institutes; and that if anything beings, and the nature of their ministry at less had been intended, very different phraseo- the giving of the law. With respect to that logy would have been employed.
part of the objection which asserts to JehoBut what appears to set the question com- vah the exclusive enunciation of the decapletely at rest, is the positive manner in which logue ; it will not weigh with any who are the apostle speaks respecting it (Heb. ii. 2), familiar with the circumstance, that in the where he asserts that the word was spoken Bible, just as in other books, an individual by angels ο δι' αγγέλων λαληθείς λόγος. is frequently said to do that, which he really That it is the Sinaic law he means by "the effects through the instrumentality of another; word,” and not any of the other communi- or which they do conjointly. cations made through their instrumentality to The fact of the case seems to have been the ancients, is evident from the connection, this ;—God distinctly and audibly delivered from what is predicated of those who treated his law on the mountain, and each commandit with contempt, and from a comparison ment, as it was pronounced, was repeated in with chap. x. 28, 29, and xii. 25. And it is loud and thrilling tones by the vast company equally clear, from the identity of the mode of angels by whom he was surrounded, just in which the Law and the Gospel are here as afterwards, when the news of the Saviour's said to have been announced ; that it was a birth were announced to the shepherds, verbal ministration with which the angels “there was suddenly with the angel a mulwere occupied at Sinai : the law which was titude of the heavenly host, praising God, spoken by them being contrasted with the and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and message of “ salvation which at the first
on earth peace, good will towards men." began to be spoken by the Lord, and was after- It is not more difficult to conceive of the wards confirmed by them that heard him" transmission of the articulate sounds in (ver. 3). It has been objected to this view the one case, than it is in the other, of the subject, that no mention is made of though it is impossible for us to form any any articulate words enunciated by angels, adequate conception of the transcendently in the history of the transaction contained in powerful effect which must have been prothe Pentateuch ; but that, on the contrary, duced by the magnitude of sound proceeding whatever was spoken, is said to have been from the united myriads, whose service was spoken by God himself. But to this it is suf- employed on the solemn occasion. While ficient to reply, that the history makes no such a representation of the nature of this reference whatever even to the presence of great transaction at Sinai cannot, it is preangels on the occasion; and that we are war- sumed, give offence to any candid mind; it ranted to believe that they were actually en- has the advantage of harmonizing the othergaged in communicating the law to the people, wise conflicting circumstances, which press on the very same authority on which we be- upon our notice. It is advanced, of course, lieve that they took any part at all in the trans- purely as an hypothesis, as every statement action, namely, the express testimony of the necessarily must be which respects objects, New Testament'. Nor must it be forgotten, whose existence, but not the manner of
whose existence and operations, is revealed 1 The statements of the New Testament in regard
to us 1. to this subject are quite in accordance with the traditionary interpretation of the Jews. Thus Josephus κάλλιστα των δογμάτων, και τα όσιώτατα των εν puts the words into the mouth of Herod, when ad- τοις νόμοις δι’ αγγέλων παρά του θεου μαθόντων.dressing the Jewish army: Tών μεν Ελλήνων ιερούς Antiq. lib. xv. v. 3. και ασύλους είναι τους κήρυκας φαμένων, ημών δε τα · Henderson, ut supra, lect. iii. p. 123, &c.
SECTION CIII. EXODUS XX. 1-17.
Title.-Order to be adopted in the following Sections, till the death of Moses.
Archbishop Laud's Harmony of the Laws of Moses. No soul of man remains in covenant with God, but by the observance of the commandments, in prayer and intention, in resolution and action. The delivery of the Law by the minis