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XL. I refer also to the crucifixion the following words in Zechariah :h" And they shall look upon me whom "they have pierced." This expression includes not merely what was done by the soldier's spear, to which John applies it ; but also that which was done by the nails, or instruments of the crucifixion, which is attributed to the people at large, in other passages as well as this. The accomplishment of the prophecy directs us to this interpretation. When Peter, after the effu
Dr James Alting, unquestionably the most distinguished Hebrew grammarian of the present age, appears to me to have determined the matHe shows that the translation commonly received among Christians may be defended without making the least alteration of a letter or point in the authentic text. This he does in the following manner. He says that is the masculine plural of the present participle in Kal, and signifies fodientes, digging, piercing. The Root is , a word not to be found indeed in the Lexicons, (with the exception that Foster has it in his Dictionary, p. 373.) but corresponding in its signification to ; which appears from its derivatives
a measure, and a platter; both of which vessels are formed by excavation or digging. Besides, the middle radical, is frequently changed into ; as in Hos. x. 14. xp, Zech. xiv. 10. 77, Prov. xxiv. 7. ; and in many other words of that sort. But the addition of the letter & in quiescent verbs having for the last radical, is shown by no satisfactory instance. From the root therefore, in the participle plural is very conveniently derived, instead of which 7 without the letter Mem is used here. For, as Kimchi observes in his Grammar, several plurals are used with the Chirek only, without the Mem. As 2 Sam. xxiii. 8. whwn wx`, "chief among the captains;" Ezek. xxxii. 30. 27 b, "all the Zi"donians." Thus, as is noted in the Masora, and from it by Elias Levita, occurs thrice instead of y; to which Alting has added other instances that are similar, or even less doubtful, and which incontestably confirm the remark. And what should hinder us from adding the word under consideration to the number? It may then be retained and read exactly as it is written, without any prejudice to the signification and sense.
h Ch. xii. 10.
* John xix. 37.
sion of the Spirit of grace, had reproved the Jews in these terms; "Him," that is, Jesus, "have ye taken, "and by wicked hands have crucified and slain ;"—
they were pricked in their hearts, and said,-Men "and brethren, What shall we do?"k-and, according to the exhortation immediately addressed to them, "they "looked" unto Him whom they had crucified. They turned, by faith, from every vain hope, to the true Rock of salvation, acquiescing in Him alone.
XLI. The BRAZEN SERPENT which Moses, at the command of God, erected on a pole, that the Israelites, wounded by the envenomed bite of the serpents, might by looking upon it be healed, was an eminent type of the crucifixion of Christ, which our Lord expressly applies to himself.m The Serpent, we may remark, was a figure of Christ, who, although entirely without sin, yet came "in the likeness of sinful flesh;"" and, in consequence of his voluntary undertaking, stood in the place of those, who, in common with others, were " "generation of vipers." The lifting up of the serpent on the pole, Jesus himself being Interpreter," signified the lifting up of Christ,—not his glorious exaltation to heaven, but his being ignominiously lifted up on the cross. It was the will of God, also, that the serpent should be lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, because Christ was nailed to the cross by virtue of the curse denounced by the law which was given by Moses. But on this topic we recollect, we have elsewhere spoken at large.*
The Author here alludes to the Economy of the Covenants, Book iv. ch. 10. sect. 62-70.
J Acts ii. 23, 36.
1 Num. xxi. 6-9.
k Verse 37.
m John iii. 14, 15.
• John xii. 32, 33.
XLII. The whole burnt-offerings, also, which were called y, elevations, because they used to be raised up, and ascended entire on the altar, intimated that Christ, when offering himself for our sins, should ascend and be lifted up on the cross.
XLIII. Nor is it altogether without reason, that learned men have observed, from the Commentaries of the Jews, that the Paschal lamb was wont to be hung by iron nails fixed in a wall or pillar, that thus it might be flayed; that it was also transfixed with a wooden spit, and, fire being put under it, was suspended to roast in the midst of an oven. This might have a reference to Christ's hanging on the cross; particularly if the statement be correct which Justin makes in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. One spit, he says, was thrust from the lowest parts up to the head, and another again at the place betwixt the shoulders, to which the hinder feet of the lamb were hung-which somewhat exactly represents the figure of the cross. Yet, since this ceremony was not of divine appointment, but merely a part of Jewish order, it is wrong to seek in it a divine type.
XLIV. The crucifixion was immediately succeeded, 1st, By the GUARDING, which appears also to be comprehended in the words quoted above from the sixteenth verse of the twenty-second Psalm: "For dogs have "compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have in
closed me;" they have surrounded me, as if by forming a circle, that I might find no way of escape. 2dly, By REVILINGS; which were expressly predicted, together with the ignominious draught of vinegar. 3dly, By DEATH, of which we find very frequent and expli
cit predictions, as the following: "Thou hast brought me into the dust of death;"" He was cut off out of "the land of the living."s Deaths in the plural number are ascribed to him, because his corporeal death was accompanied with the pains of spiritual and of eternal death: Yet exempt from sin and from despair, and also from the eternal duration which attend the death of the damned:-from the former, on account of the holiness of the person suffering-from the latter, on account of his dignity. We read further in Isaiah, “Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin ;” “He “hath poured out his soul unto death." The Prophet Daniel had a revelation not merely of the death of the Messiah, but of the time of his death, and even the very hour of the day in which he died: “ And after "threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off."w It is to be observed that this communication was made to Daniel by Gabriel" about the time of the evening "oblation;" at which time Christ expired. Paul, therefore, justly affirmed, "that Christ died for our sins,
according to the Scriptures."z
XLV. To predictions types were added. The ancient HIGH-PRIESTS, whose death gave liberty to refugees to return to the homes which they had deserted. SAMPSON, who effected a greater destruction of his enemies at his death, than in the whole course of his heroical life. The SACRIFICES, whose death and blood" sanc"tified the unclean to the purifying of the flesh;"c
* Ps. xxii. 15.
.9 .Is. liii במתיו :
▾ Verse 12.
* Verse 21.
1 Cor. xv. S.
• Is. liii. 8.
u Verse 10.
w Dan. ix. 26.
y Mat. xxvii. 46.
a Num. xxxv. 28.
and which were offered in the morning, at the hour at which Christ was nailed to the cross, and in the evening, at the hour at which he died. In particular, the PASSOVER.d
XLVI. From all that has now been stated, it is clear, that the whole of these sufferings befel Christ according to "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of "God;" and that nothing was done to him by his enemies but what "God's hand and counsel determined "before to be done." They thus acted the part of guilty instruments in accomplishing the holy and wise purpose of God;-who fulfilled by means of them, notwithstanding their ignorance and wickedness, "those things which he had shewed before by the mouth of "all his prophets that Christ should suffer."s
XLVII. Let us now see how GRIEVOUS those sufferings were which befel Christ, and how hard and dreadful to endure. SCOURGING often presented itself to the sorrowful mind of Jesus as an important part of his Wo. They shall deliver him," said he, " to the Gen"tiles to scourge him;"h and again," they shall scourge him, and put him to death." Nor was it without cause that he viewed it thus; for scourging was a punishment at once ignominious and extremely painful. It was contrary to all law, to beat Roman citizens, or freemen. The vilest of slaves were denominated the fellows that were whipped and scourged.* Yet he who is not a citizen of the earthly Rome but of the heavenly Jerusalem, not a citizen merely but the
Mastigiæ et Flagriones.
d 1 Cor. v. 7.
f Acts iv. 28.
h Mat. xx. 19.
¡ Acts xvi. 37. xxii. 25.
e Acts ii. 23.
& Acts iii. 18.
i Luke xviii. 33.