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GIVER OF REST.
Gen. v. 28, 29. « And he called his name Noah [i. e. Repose),
saying, This shall console us from our toil, and from the " pain of our labours [Heb. hands], from the ground which « Jehovah hath cursed."
LAMECH, worn down with toils and griefs, and having, from some cause unknown to us, the idea that his child was destined to an extraordinary station in the economy of providence, expresses a fond hope that the child would prove the promised Deliverer from the sorrows of the world, the curse denounced on the fall of our first parents. If the words be admitted to have any reference to the great object of expectation, we can infer only that the patriarchs looked for him as a human being, one of their own descendants, who should deliver them from the sufferings which the first sin had induced.
DESCENDANT OF ABRAHAM.
Gen. xxii. 18. “ And in thy seed all the nations of the « earth shall be blessed.”
This distinguished promise was several times given to Abraham, and was solemnly repeated to Isaac and to Jacob as the capital article of their family inheritance. It is also quoted in the New Testament with an explicit application to the Messiah.* Some have objected, that the term “ seed” denotes a collective posterity, and not an individual. It is sufficient to reply, that, in the Jewish idiom, the term was used in the latter sense ;t that the ancient Jews applied it to the Messiah ;£ and that neither to the Jewish nation at any period of its history, nor to any individual of that nation, except Jesus Christ, can this divine
* Gal. iii. 16.
+ See Gen. iv. 25. xxi. 13. The Targum on Ps. xviii. 26, says, understanding the declaration to relate to Abraham,
with his seed which is Isaac.” The LXX. translate 72 son, in Deut. xxv. 5. by onépua, seed.
I In three passages quoted by Wetstein, from the Bereshith Rabba and Ruth Rabba, the singular ve seed, put to denote a son, is affirmed to signify“ the King Messiah.” Wetstenii N. T. tom. ii. in Gal, iïi. 16.
declaration be with any plausibility applied. There is no just and extensive sense, in which either the Jewish nation generally, or Moses, David, or any other prince or prophet of that people, can be said to have been a blessing to all other nations; if we exclude any reference to Him who “ came of them, with regard to the flesh.” The only conclusion that can be drawn from this text, with relation to our present inquiry, is that the Messiah should be a man, of the posterity of Abraham, and the instrument of extensive benefits to the world at large. What extent of knowledge Abraham might have of the Messiah, we have not the means of knowing. We are assured that, in some manner which Jesus plainly represents as distinguished and important,* he “ saw the day of the Messiah, and rejoiced.” It is not improbable that the striking scene of his anticipated sacrifice of his son was a lesson, as well as a trial, to his faith : and it
may reasonably be supposed that, in the divine communication which was immediately after made to him, and of which the passage before us is a part, some more extended information might be afforded, to gladden the heart of the father and pattern of believers with a prophetic view of his great Descendant, who was to be “ manifested, at the close of the ages, for the putting away of sin, by the sacrifice of himself;" and in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed, since “he is the
propitiation for the sins of the whole world.”
John viii. 56--58,
Gen. xlix. 10. “ A sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor
a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh shall come; and " to him [shall be) the homage of nations.”
The application of this passage to the Messiah rests upon the evident impossibility of assigning any event correspondent with the terms, except the cessation of a native government in Judæa on the deposition of Archelaus, and the admission of the gentiles to the blessings of the Messiah's reign.*
Difficulty rests on the interpretation of the principal term in the text. Shiloh
Shiloh may be an appellative, and then it most probably denotes The Pacificator : or, it
may be a pronominal compoundt denoting He whose it is, that is regal and legislative authority.
The gracious and munificent reign of the Messiah is here affirmed, but nothing certain can be concluded from it with respect to his person.
* See Note [A] at the end of this Section. + See Note [B] at the end of this Section.
Note [A] p. 179.
Soine of the German infidel critics (assuming very modestly that this, which is expressly declared (v. 1.) to be the dying farewell and prophetic monition of Jacob, is a composition of the age of David), interpret Shiloh as the name of the town so called near the mountains of Ephraim, and render the clause" till he come to Shiloh.”—“ The tribe of Judah, which had occupied the chief place in the marches and encampments in the wilderness, shall not lay aside that honour till the tribes shall disperse from the common standard, each to its own allotment; which dispersion shall take place in Shiloh.' See Josh. xviii. and xxii. -To this interpretation the following objections occur. (1.) The terms of the passage do not accord with any facts in the march through the desert, or the occupation of Canaan. Judah
possessed no more authority than any other tribe. The sceptre and legislation were in the hands of Moses, a Levite, and the subsequent command was conferred on Joshua, an Ephraimite. To translate pprn (a lawgirer) by a banner, as attempted, does not materially alter the case; but such a rendering would ill suit other passages where the word occurs, particularly Is. xxxii. 22. (2.) The standard of Judah had departed from the army before the transaction at Shiloh : see Josh. xv. (3.) On the hypothesis assumed, that the passage was written ex post facto, the writer