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as Christ, his cross, the beloved son of his father, as CHRIST of God." Gen. xxii. 1-18.
The fortunes of his sons, that the elder should serve the younger, were revealed to their mother Rebecca, previous to their birth; (Gen. xxv. 23.) a circumstance which has afforded subject of complaint to the inconsiderate, who pretend that Esau was injured by this preference of his brother. Such persons do virtually 66 say to Him that formed them, why hast thou made me thus ?" (Rom. ix. 20.) there could be no injustice in forming one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour. The injustice lay with the parents of Esau and Jacob, who knowing the predetermined will of God respecting them, neglected to furnish them with the knowledge, habits, and dispositions, suitable to their allotted circumstances; Rebecca must have been deficient in trust in God's appointments, or she could not have sought to compass their accomplishment by fraud and deception. Isaac was equally culpable in his design of blessing Esau, contrary to the known and declared will of God, see the history, Gen. xxvii.. The birthright was, however Jacob's, predeterminately given him by God, (Gen. xx. 23,) and profanely sold to him by Esau, ver. 34; Heb, xii. 16.† Isaac was probably recalled to a sense
*This is not the observation of Christian divines only, the Jews themselves have so understood it: the lesser Beresheth, on the passage, “ and Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon his son," observes in a note, as a man carries his cross on his shoulders." Pearson, on the Creed, p. 200. Dr. Hales's Anal. vol. ii. p. 140.
+ The Apostle, Rom. ix. 11-16, explains the reason of this preference which may, indeed, be ranked amongst those allegories (Gal. iv. 21-31,) by which God was pleased to exemplify the doctrine of salvation, by the promise and free grace. Isaac was preferred before Ishmael, and Jacob before Esau: but this preference regarded them only as vehicles, by whom, the promises were conveyed to the spiritual seed of Abraham,] the faithful amongst "all the
of his duty by the troubles in which the competition of his sons, and its consequences, had involved him, (Gen. xxviii. 1-5,) and Esau seems to have acquiesced in the Divine decrees, for he attempted not to interfere with the inheritance of Jacob, but retired to the territory allotted to him in Mount Seir (Deut. ii. 5; Josh. xxiv. 4,) and which was named after him, the land of Edom, or Idumea. From him descended the Edomites. Gen. xxxvi. ; 1 Chron. i. 35-54.
Jacob, as well as his father and grandfather, had several special revelations from God relative to the establishment of the spiritual covenant in his family, and for guidance in his temporal affairs, (Gen. xxviii. 12-15; xxxi. 3, 11, 13; xxxii. 1, 24-30; xxxv. 1, 9-15; xlvi. 2-4;) and at his death, was enlightened to foretel the fortunes of his twelve sons, and their posterity, and to point out the MESSIAH as descending from the tribe of Judah.* Gen. xlviii., xlix. As typical revelations to Jacob, we may consider his Divine vision of the ladder, (Gen. xxviii. 10-18.)† and his myste
families and nations of the earth." Gal. iii. 7-9. It was not a temporal blessing, for, if we examine into the history of the excluded ones, we shall see that Ishmael, in this respect, equalled Isaac, Gen. xvi. 11, 12; xvii. 20; xxi. 13-20; xxv. 12-18; and Esau was in possession of great temporal wealth and honours, while Jacob was a hireling to his uncle. Compare Gen. xxxii. 3-13; xxxiii. 1-16, with xxxi. 38-42; xlvii. 9.
* Gen. xlix 10. "There are three things of great consequence mentioned, of which the first is, that the sceptre, or royalty, shall not fail in this respectable tribe till Shiloh, the MESSIAN, shall come; secondly, that a lawgiver, or rather, as most very properly express it, an expounder of the law, shall not fail; consequently, the law itself shall be in force, till the time of that divine person's appearance. Lastly, to Him shall be the gathering, or union, of the Gentiles." Bryant.
+ This ladder may be considered either 1st, literally, and so it represented to Jacob the providence of God, who, though he dwell in
rious wrestling with God in the form of a man.* Gen xxxii. 24-29.
Joseph was similarly enlightened at his death, to confirm the promises respecting the return to Canaan. Gen. L. 24, 25. The prophetic dreams of Joseph, Gen. xxxvii. 5-11, (compare xliii. 28.) of the servants of Pharaoh, (Gen. xl.) and of Pharaoh himself, (Gen. xli.) introduce us to the symbolic imagery of prophecy, and prepare us for those visions by which the revelations of God were afterwards made known to the Prophets.
After the death of Joseph, (B. C. 1635,) more than a century elapsed before any farther revelation was received, during the greater part of which time the Israelites sufered from Egyptian persecution, according to the revelation of God to Abraham, Gen. xv. 13, but when Moses,
heaven, extends his care and government to the earth, and particularly makes use of the angels as ministring spirits for the good of his people. And these angels do not appear idle, or standing still, but always in motion, either ascending to God, to receive his commands, or descending to earth for the execution of them, which was a most seasonable vision for Jacob, in his sad and sorrowful condition, that he might see, that though he was forsaken and persecuted by men, and forced to flee away secretly, for fear of his life, yet he neither was, nor should be, forsaken by God in this whole journey. Or, 2, mystically, and so it represents CHRIST, by whom heaven and earth are united, who is called the way to heaven, which this ladder was, who, as the head of angels, is perpetually sending them forth either to God, or from God to minister to the heirs of salvation, (Heb. i. 14,) and this explication, or accommodation of this vision, is warranted by our Saviour himself, John i. 51 Poole's Annotations.
"The successful struggle which Jacob maintained, was intended to convey to him an assurance of that deliverance from the hand of Esau, which he had piously entreated. St. Jerome understands it as figurative of spiritual conflicts which we are to maintain." Dr. Gray's Key to Old Testament, p. 89.
their destined deliverer, came to be eighty years of age the appointed servitude being ended, and the iniquity of the Amorites, and other Canaanitish nations arrived at the full, God brought them out with great substance, having judged the nation that had oppressed them, (B. C. 1491). Compare Gen. xv. 13, 14, with Exod. xii. 29-36.
FOURTH PERIOD, J.
To Moses, a new dispensation was given; one that should remain in force until the promulgation of that of which it was a figure. The law, comprehending the whole Mosaical economy, civil, as well as ecclesiastical, was, " a shadow of good things to come," (Heb. x. 1.) and formed in all its parts, a symbolic anticipation of the Christian church. As, the ark of the tabernacle, divided by the vail, the holy from the most holy place, concealing the spiritual signification of the Levitical ordinances, which vail has been removed by Christ's propitiatory sacrifice of himself. Heb. ix. The Jewish sacraments of circumcision, and the Passover, are replaced in the Christian church by Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, the former being the prescribed mode of regeneration or initiation into the privileges of the Christian covenant, the latter, the institute made of reno
vation, sanctification, and gradual perfection of Jewish the Christian life. See Hales's Anal. vol. ii. p. Festivals. 983. Of the Festivals, also, we remark that in the Passover,* the sacrifice of Christ, our Paschal Lamb,
"The Paschal lamb, in its first institution, had an expiatory efficacy, (Exod. xii. 13,) for God, by looking on that blood, averted the destruction from the Israelites, which seized on the Egyptians. This was the reason of the prohibition, that none should go out of the house till the morning, lest they should be struck by the destroying angel: not but that the Angel could distinguish the Israelites from the Egyptians abroad, but it was typical, to shew their security was in being, under the guard of the Lamb's blood, which
(Exod. xii. 5; 1 Cor v. 7, 8,) was typified, and is now commemorated in the Lord's Supper. Luke xxii. 8-20. John xix. 36. 1 Cor. xi. 23-25. 2, The Feast of Weeks, or of Pentecost, commanded to be held on the fiftieth day after the wave sheaf, or first fruits of the barley harvest, was offered, (Lev. xxiii. 10,) typified the effusion of the holy spirit upon the Apostles and first fruits of the Christian church, the fiftieth day after our LORD's resurrection, (Acts ii; 1 Cor. xv, xx.) and commemorated in our church on Whitsunday. 3d, The Feast of Tabernacles, (Lev. xxiii. 34-43,) in memorial of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, considered by the Jews as typical of future deliverance by the MESSIAH, when he should come in triumph, to restore the kingdom to Israel. Hence, we find our SAVIOUR refusing to attend it publicly with his disciples, who besought him to shew himself to the world. "Go ye up to this feast: I go not up yet to this feast; for my time is not yet full come." But he afterwards went privately, "and about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught." John vii. 2, 8, 14. " According to the Jewish traditions, founded on ancient prophecy, the grand defeat of Gog and Magog, the enemies of the church, shall take place on the Feast of Tabernacles, when the several months cleansing of the land shall expire, and the final restoration of the Israelites to their own land shall take place, (Ezek. xxxix. 12,) and they shall keep the Feast, Zech. xiv. 14-16." Hales's Anal. vol. ii. p. 270. See, also, Stanhope's Epis. and Gos. 1st Sunday in Ad
was shed to spare theirs. Thus, the Apostle Peter tells us, (1 Pet. i. 18.)" we are redeemed by the blood of the pure and perfect lamb." And he was represented by the red heifer, whose ashes, were the chief ingredient in the water of purification. For, if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ purge the conscience?" Heb. ix. 13, 14. Bates's Harmony of the Divine Attributes, p. 252.