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the Church, just as Boaz purchased the field of Naomi, so that he may redeem it for Ruth and become her husband. Christ buys the Church by his blood, to redeem the inheritance; so that she becomes His bride, and co-heir of grace.
In its primary sense Ruth, as a figure, applies to the remnant of Israel, who at the close of this dispensation and after the destruction of the Antichrist is brought under grace.
2ND KINGS, xiv, 25.
“He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto
the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher.
From this passage we learn that Jonah was the earliest of the twelve minor prophets, but the exact date of his public ministry is uncertain. Jeroboam II, in whose time he lived, began to reign 825 B.C., and lasted 41 years, to B.C. 784.
In the first part of this verse we learn that Jeroboam restored the coasts of Israel, and we learn from 2nd Kings X, 32, that it was in the days of Jehu that “the Lord began to cut Israel short." Jehu began to reign B.C. 884, and within two years of his accession sent presents to the then reigning monarch of Assyria, thereby provoking the hostility of Hazael, king of Syria, who was allowed by God to afflict and dismember the kingdom of Israel, so that we have nearly 100 years wherein this prophecy of Jonah may have been delivered, that is from 884 to 784 B.C.; and it must have been within this period that Jonah was commissioned to denounce judgment against Nineveh, though who was the monarch who at that time held sway over exceeding great city,” requiring three days to go through, has not yet been clearly settled. By some, Pul, who invaded Israel in the days of Menahem (2nd Kings, xv, 19, 20), is thought to be the potentate alluded to; but all is conjecture.
From the verse heading this note we learn that Jonah was a recognised prophet in his own country, and that he foretold the restoration of a certain portion of the sea-board
of Israel; but finding his preaching unavailing, and God's word dishonored, it is probable from his subsequent disinclination to obey the mandate of God—that he shrank from further warning a people so irretrievably sunk in idolatry; and it is probable that in this frame of mind he was called by God to proceed to Nineveh, thereby foreshadowing the time when the Jews as a nation were cut off, and the Gentiles were grafted in. Acts xviii, 6; Romans xi; Acts xiii, 46.
Jonah signifies “dove," typifying the gentle influences of divine grace, mercy, and peace on those who received in their hearts “ Jesus and him crucified.” Jonah, as we know from Matthew xii, 40, was a type of Christ, but he may be further considered as one when the dove descended on the Saviour's head, and lo, a voice from heaven, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Jesus, like Jonah, went through the land of Judea preaching repentance, but not with the same result that followed the mission of the latter to Nineveh, for these repented at the preaching of Jonah; but Jesus, though a far greater prophet, was spurned, rejected, and crucified. Jesus, though sent to the lost sheep of Israel, turned at last to the Gentiles; an instance is seen in the Canaanitish woman (Matthew xv, and at the end the joyous sound went forth, “ go ye, make disciples of all the nations,” so that by the fall of the Jews salvation came unto the Gentiles, and equally so, though in a far less degree, did salvation come to the Ninevites. God is ever waiting to be gracious, and as he spared Nineveh on their repenting, so will he spare us, till, like the Amorites, our iniquity (nationally) shall be full (Genesis xv, 16), and then will the wrath of God be poured upon all those who have not entered into the cleft of the rock and received Jesus as their Saviour.
Jonah is traditionally supposed to be the son of the widow of Sarepta, raised from the dead by Elijah (1st Kings xvii, 23), which is not improbable, considering he came from Gath-hepher, on the borders of Zebulon.
Another circumstance connected with Jonah may be cited, that of making mention of his father's name, Amittai. This, according to rabbinical testimony, is equivalent to the fact that his father was also a prophet, a point generally conceded. A reference to the prophetical writers will substantiate the fact that some record their genealogy,
22), others do not. These latter, like Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahun, Habbakkuk, and perhaps others, were designedly appointed by God for special purposes.
The Song of Moses on the Destruction of Pharoah's host.
Moses' song of triumph, inaugurating the deliverance of Israel from Pharaoh and land of bondage, expresses faith's estimate of their glorious deliverance by God's power, the security of His counsels in their behalf, and their confidence in His guidance through the wilderness. Contrast verse 14 with the cowardly fear of the Israelites to enter into the promised land on the report of the spies, and mark how little the Israelites had benefited by God's gracious dealings with them, and how their truth and faith. at the beginning had, by the lapse of time and the rebellion of their hearts, been turned to distrust and unbelief.
LUKE XVI, 1–16.
The Parable of the Unjust Steward. Without entering into a lengthy disquisition of the wondrous wisdom of the parable of the unjust steward, I wish to examine more particularly the purport of the 8th and 9th verses, so little comprehended and so often perverted.
In the Authorised Version the translation is, "and the Lord commanded," whereas it should be "and his Lord," &c., meaning the steward's master. He was so struck with his servant's shrewdness, that he could not help commending it; not that it was just or proper, but because it manifested a vast amount of worldly calculation and sagacity. Our Saviour does not and cannot countenance such furtive conduct, but turning to his disciples He exclaims," I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it shall fail they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles” (Alford), meaning so use the unrighteous mammon or riches of this world by employing it on the poor, the needy, the distressed, that ye
may make real friends with it; call not thy rich neighbours when thou givest a feast, but call the poor, the maimed, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed at the resurrection of the just (Luke xiv, 12—14).
Sell that ye have and give alms, provide yourselves bags that was not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth (Luke xii, 23.) The friends ye shall have made by this mode of employing the wealth entrusted to you will be your reward in the eternal tabernacles, for God repays you in their name; a cup of cold water given to a little child in His name will meet its reward. The saints in heaven, those whom your love and charity for Christ's sake may have cheered and comforted in this vale of tears, will receive and welcome you in the mansions of the blessed ; they will be your joy, your crown of rejoicing in the presence of the Lord at His coming (1st Thessalonians ii, 9), and they will be your boast, even as you will be theirs, in the day of the Lord Jesus (2nd Corinthians i, 14).
We may gather from this and similar passages that the proper employment of the riches entrusted to our care will secure to us friends out of the unjust mammon," for naked came man into the world, and naked must he go out of it;" we brought nothing into the world, neither can we carry any out (Job i, 21; 1st Timothy vi, 7). If riches are given us in this life, we must feel and acknowledge that they ought not to be wasted in clothing ourselves in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day (Luke xvi, 19), but in making such a use of them as may conduce to the glory of God and our own peace and happiness, realising the responsibility of being God's steward in the things committed to our trust, and if God so honours us it is because He desires to glorify himself in us. He wills that we undo the heavy burdens, let go the oppressed, and break every yoke, deal bread to the hungry, receive in our houses those that want shelter, cover the naked when we see him, and not to hide ourselves from our own flesh (Isaiah, lviii, 6, 7).
There is a striking remark in Luke xvi, 9. Speaking of the employment of the unrighteous mammon, a contingency of its failing is alluded to. “ When it fails," as all riches must eventually to the owner, for death is no respecter of persons, yet if the riches entrusted to us be employed in the service of the meek and lowly of the earth, the recipients of our bounty will welcome us with joy into the eternal tabernacles, for there is joy in heaven over every child of Adam that subdueth the world, its lusts and its passions, and esteems the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt (Hebrews xi, 26; Luke xv, 7-10). So do we find in Luke xii, 33, and ist Timothy vi, 18, that we should be liberal, ready to distribute, and provide ourselves with bags that wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not,” a beautiful contrast to the riches that fail and to those that never fail.
The reward is great to those who employ God's gifts to his honour. “They shall break forth as the morning, their health shall spring up speedily, and their righteousness shall go before them; the glory of the Lord shall be their rereward, their light shall rise in obscurity, and their darkness as the noon day. The Lord shall guide them continually, satisfy their soul in drought, make fat their bones, and they shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not (Isaiah lvii, 8—11; Hosea vi, 3; Psalms xxiii, 6, &c.).
JUDGES, XIX, XX.
The History of the Levite and his Concubine, and explanation of
The awful tragedy related in these two chapters is, perhaps, the most harrowing of any recorded in the Bible. În verse 30, chap. xix, it is written, " there was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day,” and yet what grievous sins had not the Israelites been guilty of? Witness the golden calf in the wilderness, the rebellion of Korah and his company, who aspired to the priesthood; the constant and ever-returning rebellion of the people against the Lord, who had done such marvellous things in the land of Egypt and in the field of Zoan; who led them through the howling and terrible wilderness with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (read Psalms lxxviii), they had caused their children to pass through the fire to Molech