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Messiah ; these words seem evidently meant, as descriptive of the Messiah's being put to death, in company with wicked men, and making his grave or sepulchre (not with rich men, but) with one rich man.
As to the Hebrew context of these words, I readily submit to men of learning, whether, at the close of so circumstantial a prophecy concerning the Messiah, the mention of his death and burial, in the same verse with the mention of wicked men and one rich man, do not almost compel the reader to refer to the two thieves, as the wicked men, with whom he ignominiously died ; and to refer to the rich Joseph of Arimathea, as the rich man, in whose sepulchre he was honourably buried.'
Kennicott's Hist. of the Heb. Text, second period. p. 371-373. Geier explains this difficulty in the following manner : Mens igitur prophetæ simplex erit hæc: Et dedit (nempe pater percutiens, ver. 5, et 10; vel ipse Messias propter populi mei scelera percussus, ver. 8 ; vel impersonaliter, datum est, juxta versionem Genevensem et Belgicam) sepulchrum ejus in morte ejus (seu postquam multiplici morte esset peremptus), cum impiis et cum divite; h. e. Messias non statim in cruce revirit, sed sepeliri prius debuit, et quidem eodem, cum impiis latronibus secum crucifixis, tempore, eodemque prout Judæi intendebant, sepulturæ genere, imo sepultus etiam est eodem cum impiis loco, quippe non solum in terra S. prope Hierosolymam cum impiis terræ ac civitatis sanctæ incolis, impie eum crucifigentibus, sed et cum vel non procul ab impiis seu facinorosis, in loco Calvariæ, (cui vicinus erat hortus) sepeliri solitis, passus est se tumulari. Sepultus tamen cum impiis est eo modo, ut non ignominiosa vel asini sepultura, prout optassent quidem Judæi, fuerit affectus, sed splendida ac nobili, a divite scil. senatore in suum delatus monumentum, a divite
7. We read in the Gospels, that Christ was preceded by a very remarkable character, who announced his speedy manifestation, and who discharged towards him the office of a herald or harbinger. He appeared, we are told, in the wilderness: his raiment was of camel's hair : his meat was locusts and wild honey: and the purport of his preaching was, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This
personage was not left unnoticed by Isaiah. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem ; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned : for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a high-way for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain : and the glory of Jehovah
Nicodemo instar divitis sumptuose compositus, ut ibi cum divite etiam maneret, nisi resurgendum fuisset huic splendido victuri. Facit huc glossa Dr. D. Calixti dedit cum impiis vel apud impios, nempe in vicinia loci, ubi supplicium a sceleratis sumi solitum, sepulchrum ejus, et cum divite vel apud divitem, scil. in horto divitis Josephi in mortibus cjus. Item Ds. D.
Danhaw : cxistimavit unusquisque, qui eum ridit supplicio cum sceleratis affectum, eodem quoque sepulchro cum sceleratis sepultum iri. At melius res cecidit, quia sepultus est cum divite, a quo honorifice conditus est in mortibus suis, hoc est, postquam mortuus fuit. Geier. Mess. Mors, Sepult. et Resurr.
shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.'
Now we are specially taught by the evangelists, that the voice, here predicted as crying in the wil-. derness, was John the Baptist: and John himself bears the same testinjony to his own character. But John was assuredly the harbinger of the Messiah. Therefore the Messiah must be the person, whose advent is announced by the voice. From these premises then we are brought to the important conclusion, that the Messiah is very Jehovah. For the voice announces the speedy approach of Jehovah the God of Israel : and the Baptist, whom we are instructed to identify with the voice, announces the speedy approach of Christ. Hence it will necessarily follow, that the Messiah announced by the Baptist is the same person as the Jehovah announced by the voice. Those consequently, who admit the Baptist to be the voice, stand pledged on their own principles to admit Christ to be Jehovah.
8. Nor are the miraculous powers of our Saviour foretold by the prophet with less exactneys than his sufferings ; while that Saviour is still set forth to us, as being indeed the God of Israel.
They shall see the glory of Jehovah and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak
* Isaiah xl. 1-5.
Matt. ii. 13. Mark i. 2-4. Luke iii. 1-6. John is 19--23.
hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not : behold, your God will come with vengeance; even God with a recompence ; he will cone, and sare you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the longue of the dumb sing : for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.'
III. We have recently seen the grounds, on which the Messiah is foretold under the symbolical appellations of a rod and a branch : a remarkable prophecy of Jeremiah may now therefore be advantageously brought forward without any further preparation.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous BRANCH : and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days, Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the name, whereby he shall be called, Jehovah-our-righteousness.
That the Messiah is here intended, is allowed both by Jews and by Christians, however they may differ as to the claims of Jesus the Nazarene: and, from the peculiar language used by the prophet, the former, no less than the latter, have deduced the all-important doctrine, that the Messiah is an incarnate manifestation of Jehovah himself. The Scripture, so the Rabbins rightly teach,
i Isajal xxxv. 2-6.
2 Jerem. xxiii. 5, 6.
[SECT. IV, calleth the name of the Messiah, Jehovah-ourrighteousness.' God called the Messiah by his own name ; and his name is Jehovah : as it is said, Jehovah is a man of war; Jehovah is his name. And it is written of the Messiah, This is the name which they shall call him, Jehovah-our-righteousness.
What is the name of the Messiah? R. Abba said, Jehovah is his name ; as it is said, This is the name which they shall call him, Jeho oah-our-righteousness. The grammatical rendering, adopted by the Greek interpreters, is somewhat different: but it still brings out the same result, as to Jehovah being a title of the Messiah. This is his name, by which the Lord shall call him, Josedek. What the authors of the Greek version express by the compound term Josedek, is manifestly the original Hebrew title Jehovah-Sedek or (with the pronominal suffix) Jehovah-Sedekna :' and I need scarcely remark, that the appellation Josedek is formed exactly in the same manner, as Jotham from Jehovah-Tham or Jonathan from JehovahNathan. There cannot therefore be a reasonable doubt, as the Rabbins have properly determined, that Josedek or Jehovah-Sedekna or Jehovah-ourrighteousness is a title of the Messiah. Whence it will follow, that the Messiah, though in fashion like a man, is in nature and essence no other than Jehovah himself.
Sepher Ikkarim. lib. ii. c. 8. apud Pearson.
Midrash Tillim in Psalm. xxi. apud Pearson. * Echa Rabati in Lament. i. 6. apud Pearson.