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reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel." Accordingly, we read, that immediately after Solomon's death, when Rehoboam, his son, ascended the throne, ten of the twelve tribes revolted from him, at the instigation of Jeroboam; that Rehoboam sent a messenger to remonstrate with them; that they seized his messenger, and stoned him to death; that Rehoboam then "assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and four-score thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, (whatever individuals of the ten tribes had adhered to the cause of the royal family of David,) saying, Thus saith the Lord, ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren, the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me."* Thus was the distinction established between Israel and Judah; and we read of them, for three centuries afterwards, as distinct kingdoms, under distinct lines of kings.
This distinction is fully recognised by the prophets. Thus saith the Lord, by his servant Hosea, "Though thou Israel play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend." And after Judah had offended, the Lord said to Jeremiah, "Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? . . . . And her treacherous sister Judah saw it; and I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also." The same subject is dilated by the prophet Ezekiel, xxiii.; where the names Aholah, and Aholibah, are given to the two kingdoms. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem, Aholibah." And Isaiah is very clear, and says, "The Lord shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel; and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth."
The predicted dealings of God, with these two kingdoms, are widely different. Concerning Israel, it was declared that they should be outcasts; totally cut off from all visible interposition in their behalf; not only put away from their divine husband, but divorced also; not only scattered among the nations, but also losing one important feature of their distinguishing identity, in that they would serve the strange gods of the nations, wood and stone: yet still, with a final clause, that in * 1 Kings xi. and xii.
the end, God, who seeth not as man seeth, will bring them back again. Concerning Judah, on the contrary, it was declared, that they should be dispersed only, not outcast; put away only, not divorced; scattered indeed among the nations, but never losing the distinguishing badge of their identity as a separate people, the worshippers of the God of Abraham; and, finally, that they should be restored, with the whole house of Israel, to the land of their fathers. This diversity of treatment in the interim, and similarity of treatment in the end, might be verified by a multitude of quotations. When, therefore, we speak of final restoration, we include both kingdoms; but when we speak of a perpetuity of manifested separation, we of course contemplate the kingdom of Judah only.
That objection, therefore, to our general statement, which is grounded upon such passages as Hosea i. 6, For I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away, falls to the ground. We have only to proceed with the quotation of the context to support and confirm our view; but I will have mercy upon the house of JUDAH, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, nor by horses, nor by horsemen. These expressions, says Bishop Horsley, are too magnificent to be understood of any thing but the final rescue of the Jews from the power of Antichrist, in the latter ages, by the incarnate God destroying the enemy with the brightness of his coming; of which the destruction of Sennacherib's army, in the days of Hezekiah, might be a type; but it was nothing more. It may seem, perhaps, that the prophecy points at some deliverance peculiar to the house of Judah, in which the ten tribes will have no share, such as the overthrow of Sennacherib actually was; whereas the destruction of Antichrist will be an universal blessing. But in the different treatment of the house of Judah, and the house of Israel, we see the prophecy hitherto remarkably verified. After the excision of the kingdom of the ten tribes, Judah, though occasionally visited with severe judgments, continued, however, to be cherished with God's love, till they rejected our Lord. Then Judah became Lo-ammi*
* Horsley on Hosea, Preface pp. xvi.-xxiii., where the typical import of the names of the three children of the prophetess (Hosea's wife) is ably argued. The three children represent certain distinct parts of the Jewish nation, of the whole of which the mother was the emblem. Jezräel (the seed of God) signified the election, consisting progressively of a beloved remnant, and eventually of the whole nation. Compare the 5th and 28th verses of Rom. xi. Lo-ruhamah (unpitied oux nλanμvn. 1 Pet. ii. 10) signified the ten tribes, during the whole interval, till the final restoration. And Lo-ammi (not my people) signified the kingdom of Judah during the times of the Gentiles. Till both Lo-ruhamah and Lo-ammi having run their course, the whole twelve tribes become the Jezreel, and great shall be the day of Jezreel.
(not my people); but still continues to be visibly an object of God's love, preserved as a distinct race, for gracious purposes of mercy. Perhaps in the last ages, the converts of the house of Judah will be the principal objects of Antichrist's malice. Their deliverance may be first wrought, and, through them, the blessing may be extended to their brethren of the ten tribes, and ultimately to the whole world. This order of things the subsequent prophecy seems to point out.*
Thus we have cleared our way one step. The kingdom of Israel is, in reference to our present subject, dismissed out of our view. They are lost to the eye of man, and were so, be it observed, many centuries before the time of Christ. God withdrew them from the recognised scene of his providence, and they are now no where to be found, except in the revealed purpose and plan of Jehovah, who has caused their name to be clearly written as co-heirs in the prophetic entail of the land.
But with JUDAH it is far otherwise. They have been held forth, by the hand of God, to the observation of men in all ages: the curtain has never for one moment dropped, to hide them from the view of either the church or the world; but they have stood prominent, from generation to generation, as God's witnesses in the earth. Witnesses, indeed, of the desperate iniquity of their fathers, and the infatuated obstinacy of the children; but witnesses, also, whose testimony can never be invalidated, of the righteousness and truth of the Lord their God. It is admitted that the language of our text was strictly applicable to the Jews till the time of Christ; but Israel was carried captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assryia, outcast and lost, seven hundred years before Christ, consequently, during that interval, the language of our text was applicable to Judah only. Concerning Judah we now speak, and allege the perpetuity of this application, "Lo! the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations."
If it be urged, in opposition to this view, that in the New Testament the apostles speak of Israel, not Judah: the answer, I think, is, that the ten tribes, as a kingdom, being lost sight of for ages, and individuals of many, perhaps of all of them, having come up with Judah from Babylon, or afterwards mingled among them, the general name of the whole nation, in its earlier ages, from Jacob to Rehoboam, is used generally, without any special recognition of a distinction between the two kingdoms, which had been long practically obsolete. A proof of this is, that St. Paul calls himself an Israelite, in the same sentence where he specifies the tribe of Benjamin as his pater* Horsley on Hosea, i. 6. See note B, in the Appendix.
nal tribe. (Rom. xi. 1.) Similar is the answer to the objection, grounded upon the mention of the twelve tribes by the apostles. (Acts xxvi. 7, To dadanapo par; James i. 1.) That individuals of each tribe are intended, is clear from the fact that St. James, who addressed his Epistle to the twelve tribes, writes as to Christians throughout; not arguing doctrinally, to convince his nation of the messiahship of Jesus, but urging the experience and practice of true disciples of Christ. Will it be asserted that the Apostle addressed his countrymen nationally, as confirmed believers in the Lord Jesus? Surely not; and if
not, to whom is his Epistle addressed? Obviously to individual believing Jews, of whatever tribe they might be; some, perhaps, of every tribe.
II. It is further necessary to our proof, to mark the distinction between Judah, considered nationally, and certain individuals selected out of that nation, in each succeeding age, since the promulgation of the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul states this distinction pointedly, in Rom. ii. 28, 29. In one sense, all were Jews, who were circumcised in the flesh; they belonged to the nation: in another sense, those only were Jews who were circumcised in the heart also; they belonged to the election. This distinction between the nation and the election, is again strongly marked by the same Apostle; who, speaking of grace and salvation in Christ, saith, "The nation hath not obtained the blessing; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.' Again he saith, "Hath God cast away his people? (without exception?) God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin." Then follows, in the next verses, the distinction between the nation and the remnant which God foreknew. This was not a novel distinction; it had existed at all times; specially the Apostle referred to the days of Elijah the prophet, when this distinction is a clear matter of sacred history; the nation having been idolators, with the exception of seven thousand individuals, who constituted the reserved remnant. The same distinction existed in the days of Paul; the nation being cast away from God, with the exception of a remnant, the number of individuals composing which is not told us. This remnant formed the original stem of the Christian church-Jesus Christ, himself a Jew, being the root. This remnant composed, and still composes, some of the branches of the Christian tree. Into fellowship with this remnant, into participation with these branches, the first converted Gentiles
* If some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.-Rom. xi. 17.
were admitted; and all converted Gentiles have been successively introduced. There is no such thing as a Gentile church: there is no such thing as a Jewish church: but elect Jews and Gentiles compose one church in Christ.
This distinction being thus clearly and scripturally established, it will follow that many statements may be true concerning the nation generally, which, if applied specially to these selected individuals, would not be true: and, that many statements may be true concerning these individuals specially, which, if extended to the nation, would not be true. This will admit of a familiar illustration. We say concerning the British nation, that it is an educated nation; and this is true: but if this be applied specially to certain individual Englishmen, who do not know the letters of the alphabet, it becomes false. Again, we say concerning certain Englishmen, that they are ignorant; and this is true: but if this saying be extended generally to the nation, it becomes false. Now, substitute Judah for England, and separation for education, and you have these propositions. The Jews are a separate people; true: but apply this to those individual Jews who have been converted to Christianity, and it becomes false. Again, some Jews have received Jesus as the Messiah, believed the Gospel, mixed with Gentile Christians, and lost their separate character; true: but extend this to the nation generally, and it becomes false.*
This distinction meets, and, I think, fully answers, the objection already alluded to, grounded upon the language of the apostles respecting the unity of the church in Christ.
One of the peculiarities of the mystery, which St. Paul was specially commissioned to proclaim to the world, was, "that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body (ouroux) and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel." Accordingly, his language to Gentile converts is, "Ye are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. In whom all the building, (obviously including the Jewish saints,) fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple (one building) in the Lord. In whom ye (Gentiles) also are builded together for an habitation of God, through the Spirit."t
* Other individual Jews, besides those converted to the Gospel, may have mingled with the surrounding population, without invalidating this statement: so that, granting those instances which Dr. Buchanan mentions to have been of the kingdom of Judah, still our general position holds good.-See Christian Researches.
† Eph. ii. 19-22, and iii. 1-6.