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Note [E] p. 204. Yet we should beware of violating rational probability, by attributing too little religious knowledge to the early subjects of revelation. “ As to the degree of light and knowledge," Bishop Sherlock observes, “ contained in this passage, and which seems disproportionate to the age of Job, there is this to be said : There might possibly be, among the few faithful in the world, a traditionary exposition of the promises of God, grounded upon more express revelations, made either before, or soon after, the flood, than have come down to our times; or, as Job was tried in a very extraordinary manner, he might have as extraordinary a degree of light to support and maintain him in the conflict. There is nothing, in either of these suppositions, but what is conformable to the methods of divine Providence; nothing that intrenches upon our blessed Lord's office who was appointed to bring life and immortality to light through the gospel.' It is by Christ, and by him alone, that we have God's covenant of immortality conveyed to us; but yet the ancient prophets had a sight of the blessing at a distance, as is evident from many of their predictions.” Dissert. i. annexed to the Use and Intent of Prophecy. The whole disquisition (p. 225—246) on this passage of Job is eminently deserving of attention.
MESSIAH, SON OF GOD.
1. Why rage the nations ?
And the peoples contrive vanity?
And the princes are firmly fixed together,
“ Let us burst their bands,
The Lord will hold them in derision.
And, in his burning anger, he will alarm them.
But I have anointed my King,
I will declare the decree: 15. Jehovah hath said to me,
My Son art thou; “I this day have begotten thee. “ Ask from me, and I will give the nations, thine inheri
tance ; “And thy possession, the uttermost bounds of the earth. 20. - Thou shalt break them with an iron sceptre:
“ As the vessels of a potter thou shalt dash them.”
Now, therefore, ye kings, have understanding :
Serve Jehovah with reverence, 25. And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, lest he be angry,
Blessed are all who trust in Him !**
Apostolic authority permits us not to hesitate in regarding this Psalm as a prophecy of the Messiah's opposed, but invincible, empire.f This is made the subject of a scenic representation, maintained with exquisite energy and beauty. The views which it gives of the Messiah are, that he should be, in a peculiar sense, the Son of God; that he should be entitled to the homage of the world ; that, pursuant to the appointment of the Almighty Father, he should support his own throne by the righteous exercise of authority and power; and that the only way of safety and happiness would lie in submission to him and confidence in him.
* L. 3. pos often denotes the land of Judea, and this sense is assigned to it in this place by N. T. authority: Acts iv. 27. L. 10. rebuke, the sense suggested by the Pihel form, which expresses strength and efficiency added to the action of the verb. L. 28. wyn in reference to time, as Ps. xxxvii. 10.
+ The Chaldee Targum refers this Psalm to the Messiah. So do the Bereshith Rabba, the book Jalkuth, and others of the Talmudical writings. "Our masters have expounded this Psalm] of the King Messiah : but, according to the letter, and for furnishing answer to the Minim [heretics, i.e. the Christians], it is better to interpret it of David himself.” Sol. Jarchi, ap Pocock, in Porta Mosis, Not. p. 307. Venem. in Psalm, tom i. p. 49. See Note [A] at the end of this Section.
I See Note [B] at the end of this Section.
The expression, “ Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee,” is adduced by the apostle as having some reference to the resurrection of Christ.* But as, in the Hebrew idiom, the simple form of a verb is sometimes used to express the declaring, proclaiming, or foretelling the action of the verb,t it is allowable so to understand the expression here, if we have other evidence that such an acceptation is requisite. Now Christ is undoubtedly designated as the Son of God, previously to his resurrection and on grounds independent of it: and it is plainly asserted that he was “ declared to be the Son of God, with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead."! So that it is sufficiently manifest that this application of the clause under consideration expresses, not the effecting, but the annunciation of the Messiah's sonship. In another part of this work, the inquiry will be instituted into the true meaning of the term, Son
The last clause of the Psalm merits particular attention, as demanding that trust and confiDENCE in the Messiah, which other parts of scripture direct to be reposed only in the everlasting God.
Acts xiii. 33.
g. Lev. xiii. 3, 8, 13, 17. Jer. i. 10. Is. vi. 10. I Rom. i. 4. § Jer. xvii. 5. Ps. xl. 4. Mic. vii. 5–7.
Note [A] p. 213.
Of thee, Messiah, it is said, Kiss the Son; thou art my Son. And he is the Prince of Israel, the Lord of the lower world, the Lord of the ministering angels, the Son of the Most High, and the Indwelling of grace.” Zohar, apud Kuinæl in Libros N. T. Histor. vol. iii. p. 84. Lips. 1817.
Note [B] p. 213.
It is obvious at first view, that the high titles and honours ascribed in this Psalm, to the extraordinary person who is the chief subject of it, far transcend any thing that is ascribed in scripture to any mere creature: but if the Psalm be inquired into more narrowly, and compared with parallel prophecies; if it be duly considered, that not only is the extraordinary person here spoken of called the Son of God, but that title is so ascribed to him as to imply, that it belongs to him in a manner that is absolutely singular, and peculiar to himself, seeing he is said to be begotten of God, v. 7, and is called, by way of eminence, the Son, v. 12; that the danger of provoking him to anger is spoken of in so very different a manner from what the scripture uses in speaking of the anger any mere creature · Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little:' that when the kings and