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PSALM cx, 7. He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall he lift up his
THESE words have been generally understood to relate to the passion, resurrection, and ascension, of Christ, * which will appear more evidently by taking into consideration the drift and design of the whole psalm, which is entirely prophetical of the Messiah, or Christ, and was understood to be so by the Jews, t as is manifest from our Saviour's
* “ Totum ministerium Christi recte ria dicitur, quia per hunc mundum iter facturus erat tanquam viator.' El hîc brevem subjungit ávaxsparaisois, et, quomodo a sacerdotio ad regnum illud pervenerit, ostendit, nempe per passionem ad exaltationem.” Calovius, &c. .
+ “ De Messiâ hunc psalmum interpretatur ad Danielem R. Saadia Gaon. Ita et veteres Rabbini, Barachias et R. Levi, citati a R. Mose Nahamanide.” Grotius, &c.
discourse with tie Pharisees on the first verse of it; for, though they could not bui acknowledge that those words, * the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thy foes thy footstool,” were spoken of the Messialt, yet they were at a loss to shew how they consisted with his being the son of David, and could not answer this pertinent question of the blessed Jesus: * If David, then, call him Lord, how is he his son ?*” And it may, perhaps, appear strange that they should be so little acquainted with the purport of this prediction, which pointed out the Messiah in so distinguished a manner, as not to know, assuredly, though so plainly told in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, that “ God had made that same Jesus, whom they had crucified, both Lord and Christ."
But they erred in this as in many other instances, because they knew not the Scriptures, i. e. they misunderstood and misapplied them :t for, in consequence of the gracious design of God's being manifested in the flesh for the redemption of mankind, the Messiah was, necessarily, to have two natures, the one divine and the other human, and two characters, the one of a triumphant, the other of a suffering, person. And this conjunction of so opposite natures and characters must, of course, involve the prophecies, concerning this extraordinary personage, in great obscurity. Yet, not so great, but that, if they had considered them with due attention, they might have discovered their true import, and not been subject to that severe, but just, rebuke of our blessed Saviour, “ Oh! fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not 'Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?" For, by his ascension into heaven, where he sitteth on the right hand of God, and in his mediatorial capacity maketh intercession for
* “ Inversa hic est locutio, ut sæpe directa locutio fuerat, si filius - est, quomodo Dominum, &c." Grotius.
« Non enim intelligebant duplicem Christi naturam. Padebat autem eos Christum interrogare. Noluit etium Christus explicare, &c. tum quia nollent ab ipso doceri, tum quia nondum adesset tempus opportunum palam prædicandi divinitatem fuam. Eam verò ità subindicavit ut aullus esset illis excusationis prætextus.” Brugensis. ·
us, he shall reign till he hath made his foes his foot-stool.* The kingdom of Christ was to be of a spiritual nature; but, as many of the predictions concerning it were couched in terms borrowed from temporal dominion, and alluding in particular to the marvellous deliverance of the Israelites from the oppression of Pharaoh, the carnal-minded Jews, looking no farther than to the mere literal sense of the words, understood them only of a Prince and Saviour who was to rescue them from the Roman yoke, Acts, i. 7, and wholly lost sight of the divinity of Christ, and his principal character of a High Priest, who by his own blood was to enter in once into the holy place, and to obtain eternal redemption for us. And, through this fatal error, their eyes were blinded, and even until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away, in the reading of the Old Testament; so that they continue in the dark in respect to the accomplishment of the prophecies concern, ing the Messiah, † and particularly of this most eminent one under our consideration, in which the twofold nature and twofold character of Christ are evidently displayed. Upon which principles I shall now proceed to a farther explanation of it.
In the first verse of this psalm we have the divinity and regal character of Christ plainly pointed out. For, if the Messiah was to be the Son of David, as was acknowledged on all hands, how could David call him Lord on any other account, but as being the eternal Son of God? And it is obseryable, that, as this prediction of David gives us the strongest intimation of the divinity of the Messiah, so the latter part of it, iespecting the conquest of his enemies, seems to refer us to that gracious promise made to our first parents, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head; which manifestly relates to
*" In scabellum pedum, phrasis est petita ex more victorum (in Oriente) qui hostium subjugatorym collis vel tergis insistere solebant; ut patet ex Jos. X. 24, Jud. i. 7, et ex historia Saporis Persæ Valerianum proculcantis, et Tamerlanis Bajazethum.” Gejerus.
+ " Causam assignat cur occæcati etiamnum sunt Judæi, nempe quia Christum, per quem solum tolli potest yelamen istud, non recipiunt.” Sclaterus, &c.
" Solus Messias Davidis Dominus erat (licet ipsius filius quoad carnem, Act. si. 50,) quà filius Dei æternus. Hinc ergo Messiæ divinitas apodictice demonstratur." Gojerus, &c. I 2
his humanity: * and both of them, considered and compared together, lead us to the full and clear sense of that remarkable prophecy of Isaiah, c. vii. 14; “ Behold a virgin (or rather, the virgin, as the arti. cle both in the prophet and the evangelist authorise,)ť shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel;" which, being interpreted, is, God with us. The psalmist, next of all, proceeds to point out the very place where the spiritual kingdom of Christ was to commence, in terms which probably bear an allusion to the first establishment of the Mosaical dispensation; and, as the deliverance of the Israelites from the oppression of Pharaoh, by the band of Moses, was an eminent type of the redemption of mankind from the thraldom of Sin and Satan, the prophet could not set forth the latter in a properer manner than by expressions descriptive of the former. Therefore, says he, “ The Lord shall send the rod of thy power out of Sion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” For, by the rod of his power, the holy psalmist seems manifestly to allude to the rod of Moses, which he made use of in his signal deliverance of the Israelites from Pharaoh and all his host: to which the prophet Isaiah alludes in those remarka
* “ Non caret emphasi quod singulare est semen. Nam hæc vere et proprie in solum Christum. competunt, qui recte et vere filius mulieris erat (non viri) rirginis.” Fagius, Bishop Sherlock, &c.
+ “'H taptivos. Matt. i. 23, Virgo illa. Articulus hîc est; ut in Hebræo, Esai. viie 14, nobyo, q. d. virgo insignis, ab æterno electa, et ad hoc destinata.” Schmidius, &c. And, if this version be admitted, it strongly supports the opinion of a great many very, eminent divines, (Calovius, Forerius, &c. in Poole,) who contend that this prediction of the prophet relates solely to Christ; and that the Jews understood it so may be collected from an observation of Dr Kennir cott, “ Quòd insigne vaticinium de partu Messiæ er virgine (Isai. vii. 14) Rabbini eludere conabantur, scribendo veans pro napitsvos.” Dissert. Gen. 69. But other commentators of great note have recourse to the twofold sense of prophecy, the literal and the mystical, (see Grotius, Hurd, Tillotson, Lowth, &c.) and Limborch on this passage remarks thus; “Certum'est sub sensu lilorali, præsertim in prophetiis, sæpe latere sensum mysticum, qui Christum respiciat, et ejus regnum; et nonnunquam prophetize verbis adeo expressis sunt conceptæ, ut in typo non nisi diluta admodum earum impletio reperiatur, verbaque sensu admodum angusto et significatione impropriâ sint accipienda, ut typo applicari possint. Item quod Esai. vii. 14, exstat, “ Ecce,' &c. olim quidem in typo impletum est, cum puella tunc adhuc virgo, postquam marito nupsit, gravida facta filium peperit, quem Deus voluit signum esse liberationis terræ Judaicæ a duobus regibus eam infestantibus, verbaque hæc, juxta propriam ac genuinam significationem demum impleta in Mariâ matre domini. Vide Ps. xvi. 10." C. xlii. 1..
ble words, C. Ixiij. 12;." That led them by the right hand of Moses, with his glorious arm, dividing the water beföre them.*" And many circumstances of both were so similar, exclusive of the place, that Moses and the apostle make use of almost the very same words. Tlie. former says, Deut. xi. 2,, " Know ye this day, for I speak, not with, your children, which have not known, and which have not seen, the chastisement of the Lord your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched-out arm, and his miracles and his acts which he did, in the midst of Egypt, upon Pharaolt, the king of Egypt, and unto. all his land." The latter, Acts, c. ii. 22, thus; “ Ye men of Israel; brear these words: Jesus of Nazareth,' a man approved of God' among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signis, wlrich God did by liim ini. the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.” And it is very remarkable, that, when the blessed Jesus made his appearance on earth, Satan, the spiritual Pharaoh, was permitted to exercise his fiercest tyranny both in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, and to extend his attacks cven to the Messiah himself, that his victory over him might be the more, conspicuous, and that this prediction of the psalmist, “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies, t” might have its fullest comple-: tion. And that it had is evident from these words of our Saviour; “I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven; behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. I" Which grant was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when, the law went forth out of Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem: and this in consequence of Christ's ascending up on high, and leading captivity captive. For as, in virtue of his mediatorial office,
“ Per dextram, i.e. per virgam, quam Moses dextrâ manu tenebat.” Munster.. + " In medio hîc emphasin habet; q. d. inter inimicos tuos, frementes et furentes, velint, no. lint.” Tirinus, &c. Compare also Exod. xiv. with Acts, iv. 27..
Serpents and scorpions, &c. “ Agarwi xai opis e Alxboaosa Vide Wolfii Cur. Phil. tom v. p. 8.15. - Ex eo consensu et affinitate quæ inter serpentes et dæmones et eorum ritus intercessit, eve. nisse censeo; quod calcare super serpentes, et calcare, super omnem Diaboli potestatem, tanquamphrases synonymæ usurpentur.” Spenc, tom.i. p. 432. And, here is a manifest allusion to the curse on the serpent, Gen. iii. 14, 15.,