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and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah, li, 11). For I am Jehovah, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed (Malachi, iii 6); and thus shall they be restored and blessed, for He was their saviour (Isaiah, lxiii, 8; xliii,
With regard to the frankincense which covered the twelve cakes, it must be borne in mind that by passing through the fire it derived an accumulative fragrance, and that consequently it bears a striking significance as an element of the meat offering, type of Christ offering himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. The covering of a sweet savour on the loaves offered to the eye of Jehovah the spotless character of the future offering of Him who should be accepted for Israel and of the purity wherewith He would clothe them.
GENESIS, III, 15.
“ It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
When Christ, the seed of the woman, was crucified, the serpent bruised his heel. Satan was proved to be the prince of this world, the prince of the powers of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience, for he it was that influenced the rulers of the Jewish nation, as well as the Gentile authorities, to crucify the Lord of glory; and at the end of this dispension, when Satan sees or knows the signs of Christ's second coming, he will endeavour by energising the man of sin, by false miracles, and by deluding the people whom he brings under his fatal fascination to make them believe that having succeeded once in şubduing Christ, ignorant, designedly or apparently, of the blessed fruits which Christ wrought by undergoing the penalty of the cross, that he may again produce the same effects and prevent the establishment of the millennium reign, and Christ's consequent glory, by fighting against him. See Revelations, xvi, 14, 16; xix, 19–21.
Satan may not be, and probably is not, deceived himself; he may know that eventually Christ will subdue all things under Him, bruise his head, and cause him, the prince of darkness, to be chained in the abyss; but he will
exert every effort to seduce the people, especially the Jewish race, and cause them to be swept away in the last great cataclysm of divine wrath.
2ND PETER, I, 20, 21.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture cometh of
private interpretation ; for prophecy was never sent after the will of man, but men had utterance from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost.”
It is a common occurrence in prophecy to make passing events subservient to future and greater developments of judgment. To the unobservant student, or to one biassed and prejudiced by early education, or blinded to his own views, partial and progressive predictions seem so to tally and harmonise with some historical event, that without further consideration it is at once concluded that the prophecy has been fulfilled. Some circumstances in history may doubtless bear a strong resemblance to a prophetical prediction, and it is quite possible, and indeed is often the case, that the passing events of some important crisis bearing on Jewish nationality may give a strong colouring to this opinion, but this by no means demonstrates that a prophecy touching on the subject is thereby exhausted. It rarely occurs that a prophecy is confined to a single passage. Some referring to our Lord's humanity are such, as those in Zechariah, xi, 12, 13; ix, 9; Psalms, xxii, 1, 18; xci, 11, 12, and others; but ordinarily they pervade and run through not one prophet only, but several, such as those touching on the second advent of Christ, the concentration of iniquity in the last days, the restoration of the Jewish tribes to their own land, the glories of the millennial reign, and numerous other great and sublime subjects; and if the searcher after truth would but dive deep into the mines of wealth the Scriptures open to eyes that will see and ears that will hear, he will find the historical development, though apparently conclusive, is very far from meeting all the exigencies of inspired predictions.
The whole scope and object of prophecy is obscured if we confine its completion to the circumstances of the event which may have called it into existence. We limit its aim
and intent. We dilute and cripple its predominating influence, and reduce it to a character more suited to man's intelligence than to Divine wisdom. We are told in the passage heading these remarks, that no prophecy is of private interpretation, meaning that if we narrow prophetic truth by some attenuated limitation to our finite understanding, and deny its extension to far off and grander scenes than those occurring in the passing histories of the age, we wholly miss, pervert, and undervalue the mind of the Spirit, and at once make the prophecy one of private interpretation.
Prophecy begins in the mind, counsels and self conceived purposes of God, and only ends at the time of the restitution of all things, when God shall have manifested His glory in the full display, dignity, and honour of that Holy thing born of a virgin, heir of all things, the sole and mighty king of this earth, which He has redeemed from the curse. Prophecy links together two things : the counsels of God, and their accomplishment in Christ. It is, consequently inconsistent and impossible to suppose that any prophecy not already fulfilled in Christ, can have a final solution prior to the end of this world's dispensation.
The Greek words employed by Peter are “idias, epiluseos,” private interpretation. The word “epilusis” is derived from a verb signifying to explain, expound, or unravel. It is said of our Lord that when they were alone he expounded (“epilue”) all things to His disciples : in Genesis, xli, 12, the same term is used by the Septuagint for the interpretation of the dream; and in Acts xix, 39, of the legal exposition of a difficult question in a judicial assembly
The words, as we find them in St. Peter, signify not an explanation put forth on the authority of private inviduals, but of Holy men of God, publicly and duly accredited, and who spake as they were moved by divine inspiration. Thus prophecy is regarded not as an enigma, but as a solution; not as a difficulty, but as the explanation of what, to the diligent searcher of God's Word, "might at first sight appear a difficulty.
In some instances, the prophecy may appear to answer so completely to some event which subsequently occurred, that those who read carelessly at once take it for granted that the prediction is fulfilled; but, when we come to examine the details, certain words, features, and allusions clearly demonstrate that though God, for wise purposes, makes use of the passing event to warn and instruct his people, has, still for deeper thoughts in view, reaching to the accomplishment of his full purpose and glory. Numerous passages might be adduced in corroboration of this view : the fall of Babylon, in the xiv of Isaiah: the plague of locusts in Joel: the destruction of Jerusalem, in xxiv of Matthew. These, and other instances, God uses to bring the consciences of the people before him at the moment; yet all have a much higher and more extended signification in events yet to come upon the earth.
Prophecy is not a mere proof of the truth of God's Word in some historical fulfilment, for history was not written in heaven, nor can we prove prophecy by history. The real object of prophecy to every believer, whether or not he be in the event himself, is to warn us to withdraw in spirit from all and every path which eventually brings down the judgments of God upon a sinful and corrupted world.
SONG OF SOLOMON, IV 4.
“ Thy neck is like the tower of David, builded for an armoury,
whereon they hung a thousand bucklers and shields of mighty men."
The neck is a place of honour, it is that part of the body on which orders and decorations are suspended ; it was round the neck of Joseph — type of Jesus — that Pharaoh put a gold chain (Genesis, xli, 42). The prophet Ezekiel (xvi 11), describing God's love to Jerusalem under the semblance of a woman, says—“I decked thee with ornaments : I put bracelets on thy head, and a chain on thy neck;" and Nebuchadnezzar, on his dream being interpreted, confers on Daniel a similar honour (Daniel, vii 16, 29. Solomon compares wisdom and instruction, the moral qualities of the heart when taught of God," as ornaments of grace unto the head, and of chains about the neck;" and again, "let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck, and write them upon the tables of thine heart.”
From this we gather, that as the tower of David, noble and majestic in its height, and embellished with the bucklers and shields of mighty men, was the pride of the mount on which it was erected, and elicited the admiration of all beholders, so, when girt about with gems and jewels, is the neck in its stately shape and beauty, rising from a body formed in the likeness of God; and that as the eye rests on the rich ornaments which decorate it, we are called upon to give glory to God, and to acknowledge Him as the author and finisher of every good and perfect work; even as the Jew, when he beheld the ribband of blue (Numbers, xv 38, 40,) was reminded that a colour representative of holiness and purity was to urge him to walk in newness of life, and ever live in the continual remembrance of God's exceeding grace.
The tower of David is called the stronghold of Zion (2 Samuel, v 7; 1 Chronicles, xi 5, 7), and as David took Jebus, “ the place trodden down, the threshing floor,” and called' it Jerusalem, “the foundation of peace," so will Christ, the real David, tread Antichrist under foot, and thresh the heathen in his anger (Habakkuk, iii 12). Then will the throne of David be established for ever (2 Samuel, vii 16; 1 Kings, ii 45). “He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth” (Psalms, xcvi, 13; xcvii, 2); “justice and judgment are the habitations of his throne,” lxxxix, 14. And as David was surrounded by mighty men of valour (1 Chronicles, ii, 10—47), who aided and supported him in all his long years of war and trial, for whom he may have built an armoury wherein to hang the shields of his devoted followers-trophies of their prowess, faithfulness, and affection—yet to God alone does David attribute all the praise, and in the fervour of his thankfulness exclaims “Î will love thee, O Jehovah, my strength; Jehovah is my rock and my fortress, my El, my strength, in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalms, xviii 1, 2; Heb.). He is indeed a buckler to them that walk uprightly (Proverbs, ii 7); he is a shield and exceeding great reward to all who' trust in him; and as David adorned his armoury with the shields of his friends and warriors, so all those who raise up a standard for Jesus, and war against the sin and corruption of an evil world, will, in the days of Christ's glory, be made to sit on thrones to judge the tribes