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reigned in Jerusalem on earth, 1 Chron. xxviii. 4.—7. 2 Kings viii. 19, 1 Kings xi. 36. 2 Chron. xxi. 7.; and then, chiefly, to the Messiah, for whose fake the promise respecting David's temporal house was given. In the first respect, this promise was some way conditional; in the second, it was absolute : in the first respect it was but temporal, reaching the full end of it, and having its issue, in the Messiah ; but as it respected him it was eternal : “ Thine house and thy “ kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy « throne shall be established for ever. I will settle him in “ mine house, and in my kingdom for ever, and his throne « shall be established for evermore."
And it is evident, that the promise of establishing David's temporal house and his sons upon that throne, had a reference to that which is eternal, and that seed of David emi. nently so called, even him who was to be settled in God's house and kingdom for evermore. , That promise spake of him through these, and David's temporal house and kingdom, with his successors on that throne, are set up in this promise as a pledge and a prefiguration of the Messiah in his throne and kingdom, which was the great thing intended in the pro. mise. Thus God foreshewed this great event by things as well as words. And there is no reason why God may not set up some things as pledges, and signs, and prefigurations or types of great events, and then plainly declare, that these events were intended in these signs and prefigurations of them.
David himself took up this promise as intending the Mes. fiah, and his eternal kingdom, through his temporal kingdom. For when he was a-dying, and could not have much fatif. faction in the promise as it was temporal, he ventures his de. parting soul with satisfaction on the eternal part of it; where. in he says, “ He has all his falvation, and all his delire, 6 whatever should become of his temporal house,” It will not be amiss here to consider those dying words of David, which we have recorded, 2 Sam. xxiii. from the beginning to the 8th verse. There is a translation of the first verse, which I suspect is not alien from the sense of the text. It is to this purpose : “ David, the man who was raised up to be “ instead of the Messiah of the God of Jacob in the sweet “ pfalms of Israel."
But whatever be in that, by the designations given unto him, and the intimation, that these are his last words, it appears, that we are called to take special notice of what' follows, as a thing most remarkable, and worthy of all attention; and the more, if we consider the folemn preface he himself puts to these his last words: for he plainly fays, that they are not his own words, but the words of God; and infinu. ates, that he is about to speak of that which was the scope of what he had delivered as an inspired prophet. Yea, it is more than probable, that he delivers his dying words in the name of the glorious persons of the Godhead, as the word of all the three : « The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, “- and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, “ the Rock of Israel spake to me.” He is to speak of that great business wherein these three divine persons are all gloriously manifested ; and he mentions'" the Rock of Israel," the Son, in the last place, because what follows immediately is of him. For it cannot be imagined, that all this solemnity was designed to no other purpose, but to usher in a description of the duty of ordinary rulers in the kingdoms of this earth, and of the happiness of their subjects under their right adininistration. And therefore those interpreters have done best, who have taken it for a prophecy of the Messiah; reckoning, that whatever be said here with respect to the government of the house of David, it chiefly points to the Messiah's king. dom. The words are variously rendered * but however they be translated, the kingdom of the Meffiah is their scope. And there is no reason that I know of, why they may not be rendered thus : “ To me spake the Rock of Il. “ rael, the ruler over men, just, the ruler of the fear of “ God;" or, “ The Rock of Israel that is to rule in or over
men, just, that shall rule the fear of God.”
* Our translation is thus : “ The Rock of Israel spake to me, " He that ruleth over men must be just,” &c.; taking it, as it would seem, for a description of the duty of rulers: yet, even according to this rendering, it may be a description of him that should rule in the church. Junius and Tremellius have it thus : Mibi locuta eft Rupes Ifraelis, Qui dominatur hominibus iftis, jusius efto, dominans in timore Dei: and for explication of hominibus iftis, fay, Israelitis. On our margin it is thus: “ Be thou ruker over « men.”
And some render the foregoing words thus :. “ The “ Rock of Israel fpake of me," i. e. David, who was a type of the Messiah. The Dutch translation has it thus : " The Rock “ of Israel spake to me, There shall be a ruler,” &c. And the notes say this ruler is the Messiah. The Vulgate version runs thus : Locutus eft fortis Ifrael dominator bominum, juftus dominator in timore Dei. And that of Arias Montanus is, Mihi locutus Peira Israel doaninans in homine, jujus dominator timoris Dei. VOL, I. B
Thus it is a prophecy of David's Lord, the Rock of Israel himself, his ruling in the church and kingdom of God. Of this ruler, it is said, that he is or shall be just; which may be explained by the words of Jeremiah, chap. xxiii. 5. 6. “I o will raise unto David a righteous branch ; and a king shall “ reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice “ in the earth.–And this is his name whereby he shall be « called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Thus he is the true Melchisedek, and a priest on his throne, Psal. cx. 4. Zech. vi. 13. Next, it is said, “ That he ruleth " the fear of God;" the worship and service of God, or the whole of religion. To this purpose speaks the prophet Isaiah, chap. xi. 1. 2. 3. and the Apostle, Heb. xii. 28.; where he says, “ Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom that “ cannot be moved, let us have grace to serve God accepta“ bly with reverence and godly fear.” Such is his governo ment, and the nature of his kingdom, and so it is distinguished from all the kingdoms of this world.
David proceeds, in the next verse, to describe, by simili, tudes, the government and kingdom of this ruler of the fear of God, which is as light out of darkness, increasing from small beginnings unto much greatness and glory, most benign and comfortable, and very beautiful and glorious," as the “ light of the morning," &c. And then, in ý 5. he professes his full satisfaction in the faith and hope of this, whatever should become of his temporal house, and the earthly kingdom in his family.
" Although my house” (my temporal house, and the king. dom in it, which also was spoke of in the promise)“ be not
so with God,” (as this kingdom of which I have been speaking shall be ; and though it do not answer to the de. scription I have given of God's ruler in the church, or do pot behavę suitably before God, as a type of that ruler and kingdom, and so do not abide with God); " yet he hath “ made with me an everlasting covenant,” (he hath promised to me, that of the fruit of my body he will raise up that glorious King, the Messiah, to sit on my throne, and that he will establish his kingdom before me for ever ; this is the everlasting part of his covenant made with me, establishing an eternal relation betwixt him and me), “ ordered in “ all things,” (to answer all the ends of God's glory, and all the necessities of the church), “and sure,” (depending on no condition that should any way make it void, as the pro: mise respecting my temporal house and kingdom; and lo it
can by no means fail) : “ for this is all my falvation, and “ all my desire,” (I seek no other salvation, no other happiness, but what is contained in this promise ; and now, when leaving all time's things, and having no more place in the earthly Israel, I have full satisfaction in the expectation of this heavenly and eternal kingdom, which shall be established before me, Heb xi. 13. 14. 10.)," although he make it not “ to grow :” (though my typical house shall be diminished, till it be cut off; though the sceptre depart from Judah, and the lawgiver from berween his feet, yet it is enough to me that Shiloh will come : though the tree of my royal family should be cut down to the ground; yet out of the roots shall spring that branch of righteousness: and in this am I satisfied, though this should be the final end of my temporal house, that it may never more flourish).
In the two following verses, which conclude those last words of David, he describes the enemies of this glorious King and his kingdom, their power, wicked enmity, and stubbornness, and their fearful end; shewing also, that the wicked shall have no abode in this kingdom of the Messiah : « But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away,
because they cannot be taken with hands,” &c. These are the last words of David; from which we may be satisfied, that the promise made to him did not only respect the temporal kingdom in his house, but, through that, refer unto the eternal kingdom of the Messiah, the Rock of Ifrael: for now, when he is leaving the world, he lets go the temporal part of the promise, and expects eternal salvation and happiness by that eternal part of it, that was the chief thing to which every other thing in it had a reference; and, in comparison of which, the raising of David and his house lo rule in that earthly kingdom, was indeed but a small thing; as he says, 2 Sam. vii. 19. “ And this was yet a small thing in " thy fight, O Lord God; but thou hast also spoken of thy “ servant's house for a great while to come ; and is this the
manner of man, O Lord God ?"
And this is that promise made to David, of Messiah the King, so much insisted on in the Psalms, and all the writings of the prophets that followed after David, which raised the expectations of the Jews, and of the accomplishment of which they were fill the more desirous after they saw David's temporal house brought low? But they wofully mistook it, imagining it to be a promise of a glorious earthly prince, and a iplendid worldly kingdom. Unto this purpose they made
use of those figures taken from David's temporal kingdom, and such other figures as the prophets made use of to set forth beforehand the spiritual and eternal things of the kingdom of Chrift; and under the influence of this fatal millake, they rejected Jesus, and delivered him up to Pilate.
is that fame King promised to the Jews, and by this we may know, from the prophecies, who he is.
For, 1. It behoved the Messiah, according to the prophets, to be of the fruit of David's body, a true man of the feed of David. The Jews knew well, from the prophecies, that the Christ was to be David's son; as appears from their anfwer to our Lord's question, " What think ye of Chrift? whose son “ is he?" for they “ say unto him, The son of David," Matth. xxii. 41. 42. ; and they that believed Jesus to be the Messiah, designed him The Son of David.
The prophecies pointed him out as thus to be of David when David's family should be diminished and brought very low ; they represented him as a branch springing out of the
root of Jesse,” If. xi. 1.: so that when he should come, he should be « as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry
ground, having nothing of that form or comeliness” that his despisers were locking after, Il. liii, 2.
The New Testament testifies of Jesus, that he is of the fruit of David's loins according to the flesh, and of the feed of David according to the feth; and thus explains the prophecies, declaring their accomplishment in him, Acts ii. 30.
This phrase, “ according to the flesh," seems to have more than one import, when applied to Jesus Chrift. For, 1. It plainly points out his human nature as distinguish. ed from his divine. 2. It also denotes human nature in its mortal state, with the miseries and infirmities of that ftate : for he took part with us in flesh and blood, that he might die, and was tempted in all things like us, yet without fin. 3. It further imports his being a Jew; for be
was a minister of the circumcision to confirm the promises 6 made unto the fathers," In this fenie the Apoitle says, 2 Cor. v. 16. Though we have known Christ after the 6 flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” Thus flesh is opposed to spirit, Gal. iii. 3. “ Having begon in the
spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh ? " 1 Tim. iii. 16. " God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit.”
Rom. i. 3.