« السابقةمتابعة »
history as one continued figure or allegory. We are told that there is another spiritual Israel of God, other children of Abraham, and heirs of the promise, another circumcision, another Egypt, from the bondage of which they are redeemed, another wilderness, through which they journey; other dangers and difficulties, which there await them; other bread from heaven, for their support; another rock to supply them with living water; other enemies to overcome; another land of Canaan, and another Jerusalem, which they are to obtain and possess for ever." Bishop Horne's Com. on the Psalms. Preface, vol. i. p. 35.
Such were the typical prophecies in the time of Moses; of the oral ones which he was inspired to utter, we observe those relating to the conquest of Canaan, the defeat of the Moabites and Edomites, the settlement of the Israelites in the land of promise, (Exod. xv. 14-17; xxiii. 22, 23,) and the protection of their property during their attendance at the three great festivals,* Exod. xxxiv. 23, 24. These were given in the first year of the departure out of Egypt, (B. C, 1491); at his death, (B. C. 1451) he was inspired to furnish the Jews with an anticipated history of their posterity, to the end of time, as the blessings, (Lev. xxvi. 2-13; Deut. xxviii. 114; the temporal being also figurative of the spiritual) and judgments, (Lev. xxvi. 1-14; Deut. xxviii. 15-31) conditionally pronounced upon their obedience or apostasy, gradually advancing in severity, in proportion to the resistance made to them; their captivities, under the Assyrians and Babylonians, (Lev. xxvi. 23-35; Deut. xxviii. 32-48,)
Prophecies of Moses.
* Observe here, that God does not merely promise to protect the property of His people, but to protect it by governing the hearts of their enemies, "neither shall any man desire thy land." What an encouragement is this to "trust in the Lord, and be doing good," certain that nothing shall harm us if we be followers of that which is good. (1 Pet, jii. 12, 13.) and "if God be for us, who can be against us?" Rom, viii. 31; Psalm xlvi. 7-11; lvi. 4; cxviii. 6-9.
and under the Romans, (Deut. xxviii. 49-68); their dispersion into all nations, and falling into general and proverbial contempt, (Deut. xxviii. 64-68); their return to their own land, a pledge of their final conversion and restoration, (Lev. xxvi. 44; Deut. xxx,) and the punishment of their enemies, ver. 7. In the last blessing of Moses, (Deut. xxxiii.) we find a circumstantial confirmation of the dying blessing of Jacob respecting the twelve tribes. Gen. xlviii, xlix. "Moses was himself an eminent type of CHRIST: and, between his character, and that of the MESSIAH, there is so. exact a parallelism, that it cannot fail to strike even the most superficial observer. As Moses was delivered, when an infant, from the slaughter of the Hebrew children, so was Christ delivered, during the period of his infancy, from the slaughter of all the male children of a certain age that were in Bethlehem. As Moses conversed with God face to face, an honour granted to no other prophet; so did Christ, in an especial manner, receive illumination from his Father. As Moses was appointed a lawgiver, to conduct his people from the slavery and misery of Egypt into the land of Canaan so, Christ is our lawgiver, with supreme power to lead us from the Egypt of sin, and from the bondage of Satan, into the heavenly Canaan, where there is fulness of pleasure at the right hand of God for evermore. As Moses stood in the gap, between the Lord and the people, in order to avert the wrath of heaven, (Psalm cvi. 23,) so does Christ intercede for us before the throne of God, that his fearful indignation may be turned away from us. Moses was meek above all men, so Christ, when reviled, reviled not again, but prayed even for his murderers. When Moses was in the Mount, he fasted forty days; when Christ was in the wilderness, he also fasted during the same space of time." Faber's Hora Mosaicæ, vol. ii.
This typical resemblance of Moses to Christ is established by God himself, (Deut. xviii. 18, 19,) "I will
raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, LIKE UNTO THEE, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosever will not hearken unto my words, which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
The prophecies of Balaam were nearly contemporaneous with those of Moses. Though himself a most wicked and impious person, he was yet a very remarkable witness against the heathen nations; proving, that in their idolatries and immoralities, they sinned wilfully, and not through ignorance of the Divine laws and attributes. Numb. xxiii. 19-24; xxiv. He points out to the Moabites, and other enemies of the Jews, the distinguishing characteristics of that people; their separation (by the peculiarity of their civil and ecclesiastical laws*) from all other nations. (Numb. xxiii. 9); their innumerable increase; their happy prospects in death, ver. 10; the truth and immutability of God's promises, ver. 19; the safety of Israel, under his protection, ver. 23; their pre-eminent power and strength, symbolized by "a great lion" and a young lion," (the ensign on the standard of the tribe of Judah,) (ver. 24, and again, ch. xxiv. 9, in the very words of Jacob, Gen. xlix. 9.) The supremacy of Jacob over Esau (in his descendants the Amalekites, described by Agag,† the name common
* It was not, however, entirely or even principally owing to the peculiarity of the Jewish law, that the individuality of the nation was preserved; for, we find the Jews" dwelling alone, and not reckoned among the nations," though they occasionally "mingled among the heathen, and learned their works," and neglected the laws and statutes of Moses. Their separation, therefore, was a standing proof of God's truth and power, and of the Divine inspiration of this prediction of Balaam, confirmed by Moses. Deut. xxxiii. 28.
+ A different exposition of this part of Balaam's prophecy is propounded by several authors; Dr. Hales inserts Gog where the
to their kings) Numb. xxiv. 7, in confirmation of the original revelation to their mother Rebecca before the birth of the brothers, (Gen. xxv. 23.) and ratified afterwards, by the blessing of Isaac, ch. xxvii. 28-40. Balaam proceeds to point out the coming of the " Star out of Jacob," (David,) and his conquests over Moab, Edom, Amalek, and the Kenites; the Assyrian captivity of the latter with the Israelites; the succeeding subjection of Asshur, and Eber, by the Grecians and Romans, (Chittim,) and the final destruction of the two latter powers. Numb. xxiv. 17-24.
Various opinions have been expressed as to the object alluded to by Balaam, by the title of "a Star out of Jacob;""but most Jewish, as well as Christian writers, ́apply it primarily, perhaps to David, but, ultimately, to the MESSIAH, as the person chiefly intended, in whom it was to receive its full and entire completion. Bishop Newton's Discourses, vol. i. p. 82. The same author, adds, (page 84,) “ And it must be acknowledged, in favour of this opinion, that many prophecies of Scripture have a double meaning, literal and mystical, respecting two events, and receive a twofold completion. David, too, was in some things a type and figure of the MESSIAH. If, by de-. stroying all the children of Sheth, be meant ruling over all mankind, this was never fulfilled in David. A star did really appear at our SAVIOUR's nativity, and, in Scripture, he is styled "the day star," (2 Pet. i. 19); "the morning star," (Rev. ii. 28); " the bright and morning star, (xxii. 16,) perhaps, in allusion to this very prophecy."
Mr. Faber calls these prophecies, "the last voice of Patriarchism: for, the Levitical dispensation, having been ordained in the wilderness, was now on the point of being nationally established in the promised land, and of being thus set forth to the Gentiles, as the future organ by which
English text reads Agag. "His king shall be higher than Gog," ap plying the prophecy to the northern nations alluded to by Ezekiel xxxviii. 1-17.
God would communicate with man. The last true prophet, therefore, of the general house of Seth and Noah, was constrained by the Holy Spirit, with whatever reluctance, to pronounce the inauguration of a new system, to dissolve, consequently, the former system; and yet, by announcing the future appearance of a victorious Saviour, to leave the haply penitent Gentiles neither in despair, nor in ignorance. Accordingly, we find that a lively expectation of some potent deliverer and reformer, the conqueror of the serpent, and the progeny of the High Supreme, derived, partly, from the long remembered discourse of Balaam, and, partly, from still more ancient Abrahamic, or Noetic, tradition, never ceased to prevail, with more or less distinctness, throughout the entire Pagan world, until the eastern Magi, guided by a preternatural meteor, came to seek the Star, who was destined to rise out of Israel, and to exterminate all the Tymphonian votaries of Idolatry. From this time, however, except through the medium of God's chosen people, the apostate children of Noah, who had adopted the worship of the creature, rather than that of the Creator, had no intercourse with heaven: so that, when at length the day-spring from on high visited them, they were found, notwithstanding some feeble scintillations of old patriarchal light, walking in gross darkness, and dwelling in the very land of the shadow of death." Hora Mosaicæ, vol. ii. p.
After the death of Moses, the medium of communication with the Deity, was by Urim and Thummim ;* and no
* The method of consulting God, by Urim and Thummim, was as follows. The high-priest, wearing “the breast-plate of judgment," (a principal part of the pontifical dress, on which was inscribed the words Urim and Thummim, signifying "lights and perfections," emblematical of Divine illumination, as the inscription on his mitre "Holiness to the Lord" was of sanctification, (Exod. xxxix. 30-37; Levit. viii, 8-9.) presented himself before THE Lord,