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There is no legitimate application of an Old Testament passage, which does not rest upon a foundation of solid reason, though that may be sometimes far from obvious, and may exist under limitations. Perhaps there are no instances that may be regarded as more completely accommodations than Matt. ii. 15, 18, and John xix. 36. But when is considered that “ Israel, called out of Egypt,” contained the promise, the covenant, and the ancestry of the Messiah, and that this measure in the providence of Heaven would not have taken place, but with a view to that future Messiah ; that the sorrows of the bereaved mothers of Ramah would never have been occasioned, had not the covenant of Israel been violated, and that the massacre of Bethlehem was a repetition of the same sorrows, and on the same description of persons ;—and that the Paschal Lamb, whose bones were to be so solicitously preserved from being broken, was a designed emblem (according to the ancient practice of recording knowledge by symbolical actions) of Christ our passover being sacrificed for us ;'
- it will appear that these applications were not arbitrary, not made because of a fortuitous coincidence, not a compliance with a vicious Jewish practice, but possessing a real and just connexion, formed by the comprehensiveness of the Divine plan, and the Providential disposal of events, in themselves very minute and apparently very inconsiderable. Yet I would not call these and similar instances, prophecies of the Messiah, but pre-arranged allusions.
DR. J. P. SMITH.
He shall be called a Nazarene. A threefold interpretation is given of these words. Some read the words, 1, He shall be called a Nazarite. The Nazarites were a religious and separate rank of persons among the Jews, who abstained from wine, and came not near the dead for fear of pollution. Christ was a holy person, but no Nazarite, in a strict sense ; for he drank wine, and touched the dead. 2. Others read the words, He shall be called a Netzer, a Branch, in allusion to Isai. xi. 1. where he is called a Branch of the root of Jesse. Christ was the true branch of which the prophets had so often spoken. 3. Others will have the word Nazarene refer to the city of Nazareth, where Christ was conceived, and lived most of his time. He shall be called a Nazarene, because he dwelt at the city of Nazareth. Hence his disciples were called a sect of the Nazarenes ; that is, the followers of him that dwelt at Nazareth: and Christ himself is pleased to own the title, (Acts xxii. 8,) I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest! Learn from hence, the great humility of mind that was found in our Saviour. He was born at Bethlehem, a little city; he lives at Nazareth, a poor, contemptible place: he aspires not after the grandeur of the world, but is meek and lowly in spirit. May the same humble mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus ! Rev. W. BURKITT.
And Elijah arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat
forty days and forty nights, unto Horeb, the mount of God.—1 Kings xix. 8. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So
Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with boils, from the sole of his foot unto his crown.—Job ii. 6, 7.
AND Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him saying, It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou, therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot
against a stone. And Jesus answering, said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.—Luke iv. 1-14.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE.
Our Lord's temptation has been a subject of much discussion among learned men : but the whole history of our Saviour is wonderful and miraculous from beginning to end; and I cannot find in any part of this narrative of the temptation, the slightest or most distant intimation that it is nothing more than a vision.
There is an observation which has been made, and which has great weight in this question :— it is this ; — all the prophets of the Old Testament, except Moses, saw visions, and dreamed dreams : and the prophets of the New did the same. St. Peter had a vision ; St. John saw visions ; St. Paul had visions and dreams : but Christ himself neither saw visions nor dreamed dreams. He had an intimate and immediate communication with the Father ; and he, and no one else in his days; had seen the Father. The case was the same with Moses ; he saw God face to face. 66 If there be a prophet among you,” says God to Aaron and Miriam, “ I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house : with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches ; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold.” — Num. xii. 6-8. Now Moses, we all know, was a type of Christ; and the resemblance holds between them in this instance, as well as in many others. They neither of them had visions or dreams, but had both an immediate communication with God. They both saw God “face to face.”—Exod. xxxiii. 11. This was a distinction and a mark of dignity peculiar to those two only,to the great legislator of the Jews, and the great legislator of the Christians. It is therefore inconsistent with this high privilege, this mark of superior eminence, to suppose that our Lord was tempted in a vision, when we see no other instance of a vision in the whole course of his ministry.
It is an ingenious observation of a learned friend of mine, that the temptation of Christ in the wilderness bears an analogy to the trial of Adam in Paradise, and elucidates the nature of that trial in which the tempter prevailed and man fell. The second Adam, who undertook the cause of fallen men, was subjected to temptation by the same apostate spirit. Herein the tempter failed, and the second Adam, in consequence, became the Restorer of the fallen race of the first. St. Paul, in more places than one, points out the resemblance between the first Adam and the second; and the temptation in the wilderness exhibits a most interesting transaction, where the second Adam was actually placed in a situation very similar to that of the first. The secrets of the Most High are unfathomable to