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Noah, to the sinful antediluvians. It was he whose Spirit, in other ancient prophets, testified beforehand of the sufferings in the flesh, and of the glory that should follow : 1 Pet. i, 11.* It was he who as a “ spiritual rock” accompanied the Israelites during their perilous journey, and miraculously supplied all their wants : 1 Cor. x, 4.7 It was he whom they tempted in
suffered for sins .. being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit; by which also he went and preached (i. e. simply preached, comp. Eph. ii, 17, vide, Macknight in loc.) unto the spirits in prison, (i. e. unto the spirits who are now in prison) which sometimes were disobedient....in the days of Noë,” &c. There is surely nothing in the construction of this difficult passage which renders it necessary for us to interpret it as conveying the singular and apparently antıscriptural notion, (comp. Luke xxiii, 43) that Christ, after his death, descended into the infernal regions, in order to preach to the spirits of the wicked, reserved in prison unto judgment. I conceive that o`g& in this passage signifies his human nature, in which our Lord suffered death, (comp. John i, 14)—that ay sürese (as in Rom. i, 4; 1 Cor. xv, 45;) denotes his divine nature or power (vide Schleusner in voc. no. 10) which could not be holden of death, and by which even his mortal body was raised again to life; (comp. John x, 18;) and that the apostle is here conveying the doctrine, that in this his divine nature and power, Christ (through the instrumentality of Noë, or by an immediate spiritual influence) preached to the rebellious antediluvians. These rejected his divine teaching, and are therefore now źv qundun—in prison. Macknight explains the passage on the same principle: except only that he understands fysúMati as denoting the Holy Spirit-a sense which it can scarcely bear in the present instance, because it is governed by no preposition, and, according to the best readings, is preceded by no article : see Middleton in Gr. Art. p. 618; comp. Pearson on the Creed, and Poole's Syn. in loc.
* 1 Pet. i, 10, 11. “ Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently...... Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow : vide E. Sim. Ger. in Poli Syn. “ Dicit ergo Spirilus Christi, ut innueret divinitatem Christi, qui ipse jam olim Spiritu suo prophetas afflavit; simulque diceret Spiritum sanctum a Filio procedere.” As " the Spirit of God” uniformly signifies the Spirit which is God's, and which proceeds from God, so we cannot with any reason interpret " the Spirit of Christ” as importing any thing less than the Spirit which was Christ's, and which Christ sent: see Matt. iii, 16; 1 Pet. iv, 14, &c.
More especially compare Rom. viii, 9, where we again read of πνεύμα Χριστού, and where the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God are plainly identified.
1 1 Cor. Χ, 3, 4. Και πάντες το αυτό βρώμα πνευματικών έφαγον κα πάντες το αυτό πόμα πνευματικών επιον έπινον γάς εκ πνευματικής ακο2 culouons régres ndè nréter av ő Xgrotós. “ And they (the Israelites) did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual (or divine) rock which followed hem: and that rock was Christ.” Many commentators conceive the
the wilderness to their own destruction : 1 Cor. x, 9.* It was he who selected, governed, and possessed, them as his peculiar people; for it is declared, in apparent reference to the Jews,
doctrine of the apostle to be simply this that the Israelites all partook of the manna with which they were miraculously supplied ; that they all partook also of the water which was, by especial divine favor, made to gush out of the rock; and that the rock which afforded them this supply, and which accompanied them on their journey, represented or typified Christ. That the spiritual meat and the spiritual drink, here mentioned, were the manna from the sky and the water from the rock, both of which were afforded them ayeu, u Atixws, that is, by a supernatus ral exertion of the divine power, may, I think, be freely granted, and appears to be generally allowed by critics. But, that the spiritual Rock which followed, or rather accompanied, the Israelites, was not the outward rock, I cannot avoid concluding, from two considerations; first, because, though the water was miraculously supplied, and was therefore arveUPATIxòv zróped, the rock from which it came was, as far as we learn from the Mosaic history, an ordinary rock, and could not therefore reasonably be denominated a veureditixn; and secondly, because neither that rock nor the stream proceeding from it accompanied the Israelites on their journey. For, although the Rabbins have constructed a tale of that description, no countenance is given to such a notion in the Old Testament; and the contrary is amply evinced by the fact, that the miracle of bringing water out of a rock was repeatedly performed for the benefit of the Israelites, during the course of their journey: vide Exod. xvii, 6; Numb. xx, 5–8: comp. Numb. xxi, 5. 16; xxxiii, 14. What, then, was the divine or spiritual Rock of which the Israelites drank—from which they received the miraculous supply of all their wants? The apostle answers, “ that Rock was Christ.” Now, although the verb substantive sometimes denotes only to represent or to typify, (vide Schleusner, v. eiub, no. 13) there does not appear to be any solid reason why iv should not here be constructed in its literal and usual sense of 6 was." The Divine being is often metaphorically described as a Rock; vide Deut. xxxii, 4, &c. ;) and Christ-the Son of God—was the spiritual Rock who led, supported, and protected, tho journeying Israelites. Such is the interpretation given of this passage by the great majority of ancient Greek critics and cominentators: see for example, Athanasius de Hum. Nat. Suscept. Ed. Colon. i, 607; Epiphanius, Hær. lib. I, tom. iii, Ed. Petav. i, 358; Gregory Nyssen, De adventu Dom. Ed. Paris, 1638, tom. ii, 162; Chrysostom, Hom. xi, Ed. Ben. tom. xii, 397 ; Theodoret, Theophylact, Ecumenius, Damascenus, in loc. The same view of the passage is ably supported by Rosenmiiller, Schol. in loc.
* 1 Cor. X, 9. Μηδε εκπειράζωμεν τον Χριστόν, καθώς και τινες αυτών επείρασαν, και υπό των όφεων απώλoντο. "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted (him) and were destroyed of serpents." It is evident, that the pronoun avtoy is, in the Greek text, understood after the verb éreigas av, and, therefore, that in an English version of the passage, the pronoun “him” ought to be expressed. A similar construction in Greek is very common; vide, for example, verse 6, of this very chapter-είς το μή είναι ημάς επιθυμητάς κακών, καθώς κακείνοι $T 8úpencev; where the pronoun aütd, or the noun xáxd, must be sup
that, when the Son of God came into the world, “ he came unto HIS OWN :'* John i, 11.
Nor can it with any reason be imagined that such things should be predicated of the Son of God on any other principle than that of his real divinity ; for the ancient Israelites lived under a theocracy, and Jehovah alone was their King. It was his own province to work miracles for their preservation—to punish them for their iniquities, and to inspire their prophecies.
Here I would remark, that if the reader would form a coniplete view of this interesting branch of our subject, it is indispensably necessary that he should peruse and digest the history of that mysterious angel of Jehovah, who is so often mentioned in the Old Testament as visiting, protecting, and delivering, the people of God—the divine messenger, who comforted Hagar in the desert; (Gen. xvi, 7--13:) who conversed with Abraham on the plains of Mamre; (Gen. xviii, 1:) who afterwards, by a call from heaven, arrested his bloody sacrifice; (xxii, 12 :) who redeemed Jacob from all evil: (xlviii, 16;) who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush ; (Exod. iii, 2:) who guided the Hebrews in the cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night; (Exod. xiv, 19 :) who withstood the perverse and eager Balaam; (Num. sxii, 22--35:) who strengthened Joshua for his combat with the Lord's enemies; (Josh. v, 13:) who was sent of God to expel the idolatrous nations from the
plied after the verb ¿zebúungav: so Luke xxiv, 39. A precisely parallel passage to 1 Cor. x, 9, will be found in the Septuagint version of Deut. Vi, 16, ουκ εκπειράσεις Κύριον τον Θεόν σου όν τρόπον εξεπεράσαθε εν τω Teleacuộ. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted (him) in the provocation.” For şov Xgroter in this passage, some authorities read To Kúgiov, which does not alter the sense of the passage; for, with the apostle Paul, ó Kúgios is a distinguishing and proper name of Christ; but the evidence in favour of the commonly-received reading greatly preponderates: vide Griesbach. in loc.
* John i, 10, 11. “ He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own (Ta idex) and his own (oi i8101) received him not.” Verse 10 may be described as the moutd upon which verse 11 is formed. Verse 10 declares that Jesus Christ was in the world, and that, although the world was made by him, the world knew him not. In verse 11, this declaration is fol. lowed up by the farther but similar statement, that Jesus Christ was manifested in that country which he had chosen for his own especial inheritance—that he came to that people whom he had consecrated as his own possession,—and that even by them he was rejected: vide Rosenmuller in loc. Grotius, on this passage, observes, “Docent jurisconsulti, id maxime naturuliter nostrum esse, quod nos ut existerent effecimus."
land of promise; (Exod. xxiii, 23 :) who pleaded at Bochim with the unfaithful Israelites; (Jud. ii, 1:) who gave to Gideon his high commission ; (vi, 11, 12:) who promised to Manoah the birth of his son Samson; (xiii, 8, 9 :) who was manifested in the visions, and inspired the prophecies, of Amos and Zechariah: Amos vii, 7: Zech. i, ii.
On the various narrations now alluded to, it may, in the first place, be remarked, that such is the close resemblance which they bear one to another, and such the singular and characteristic features under which they unitedly depict the mysterious messenger of the Almighty, that it is scarcely possible not to understand them as all relating to a single individual.
In the second place, that this individual was no other than the Son of God, may be reasonably concluded, first, from the striking and very exact analogy which subsists between the history of the angel--that representative of the Father, that image of the invisible God, that ever-present and operating protector of God's people--and the account given in the numerous passages already cited from the New Testament, of Jesus Christ preexistent; secondly, from the evidence of Mal. ii, 1, in which prophecy (as is allowed by the generality of Christian, and by some Jewish, commentators) the Messiah is described as the Messenger or Angel of the Covenant, comp. Jud. ii, 1 ; and thirdly, from the unquestionable fact,) as the writings of Philo, of the Targumists, and of Ben Jochaï, show it to be) that this wonder-working angel of Jehovah was the very person whom the ancient Jews (the apostle John, doubtless, among the rest) were accustomed to describe as the Word and Son of God.*
* In the Targum of Onkelos, the Angel of Jehovah, as he was manifested to Jacob and to Balaam, appears to be described as the Word of Jah : comp. Onk. on Gen. xxviii, 20, with Heb. Text, Gen. xxxi, 11. 13, and Onk. on Numb. xxiii, 3, 4. 16, with Heb. Text, Numb. xxii, 35. In the Jerusalem Targum, the same title is given to him in reference to his communications with Hagar (Gen. xvi,) Abraham (Gen. xviii, 1,) and Moses (Exod. iii, 14.) In the Targum of Jonathan on Isaiah lxiii, 7-10, the Word and the Angel are again evidently identified. With respect to Philo, he frequently denominates the Word or Son of God, the Angel or Archangel, and much of his doctrine respecting the personality and powerful operations of the Word is evidently derived from the history of the Angel of Jehovah, as it is stated in the Old Testament-a history to which he makes frequent references. For example, after describing (in a passage already cited) the pastoral care exercised by the Word or First-born Son over the “fock" of created things he confirms his doctrine by a reference to one of the principal passages of Scripture relating to this mysterious Angel : " for,” says he, “it is somewhere written, Behold I am he: I will send mine Angel before
Lastly, if the Person, of whose power and offices these narrations testify, was indeed the Son of God, the doctrine of the deity of Christ preexistent will be found to derive a clear and substantial confirmation from the history of the angel, who constantly assumes the character, and is as constantly designated by the titles, which appertain only to the Supreme Being. Thus, when he was manifested to Hagar in the wilderness, he said to her, “ I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, &c. ....and she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, “ Thou, God, seest me :" Gen. xvi, 10. 13. When he visited Abraham on the plains of Mamre, he not only revealed the designs of his own providence, but was frequently addressed by Abraham, as the Supreme Being : Gen. xviii. When, again, he called aloud to the patriarch out of heaven, he said, “ Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from ME:" Gen. xxii, 12. When he spake to Jacob in a dream, he said, “ I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto ME." Gen. xxxi, 11–13. When he called to Moses out of the burning bush, he spake in the character of God, and said, “ I AM THAT I AM:” Exod. iii, 6. 14. When the Father Almighty declared him to be the Person whom he had graciously appointed to drive out the Canaanites from before the children of Israel, God said, “Beware of him and obey his voice; provoke him not: for he will not pardon your transgressions : for MY NAME is in him ;” (Exod. xxiii, 21;) and in precise accordance with these remarkable expressions, when the angel, on a subsequent occasion, addressed the children of Israel at Bochim, he spake to them as follows : “I made you go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break My covenant with you : ....but ye have not obeyed my voice .... Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you,”' &c. : Jud. ii, 1–3. When his appearance to Gideon is mentioned, he is described as the Divine Being looking upon the warrior and saying, “ Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have not I sent thee ?” Jud. vi, 14. When he displayed his glory to Manoah,
thee to keep thee in the way:" vide Exod. xxiii, 20. Philo de Agricult. Ed. Mang. vol. i, p. 308. Lastly, with regard to the Zohar, Schoettgen has adduced abundant evidence that the Son, Image, or Word, of God-the divine Messiah of Israel-of whom the author of that book so often speaks, was, in his estimation, no other than the Angel of Jehovah, whose history is recorded in the Old Testament: De Messiä, pp. 6. 125. 145. 149. 195. 911