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Hermeneutics Unit One

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A survey of hermeneutical theory discussing  how author, text, and reader work together as meaning emerges from a text. These insights will then be applied to the Bible, giving the student an interpretive strategy for exegete biblical texts and bringing their meaning into the modern world

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      There are many things in the Bible which are conveyed to our minds, not in didactic language, nor yet in figurative language, properly speaking. They are figures of thought, rather than figures of speech. Indeed, some of the figures of speech might have been presented as figures of thought. This is true of most of the proverbs, and a large part of the poetry of the Scriptures.

      But several features of interpretation remain to be brought out which we can not consistently denominate figures of speech. Hence we have introduced the term that heads this chapter, not knowing what else to say.

      SEC. 77. ANTITHESIS.--This is from the Greek anti, against, and thesis, a setting. Of this word Webster says:

      "An opposition of words or sentiments occurring in the same sentence; contrast; as, 'When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves we leave them.' 'The prodigal robs his heir, the miser robs himself.' 'Excess of ceremony shows want of breeding.' 'Liberty with laws, and government without oppression.'"

      If we had two pillars of equal dimensions and height, one set opposite the other, with a compass on top, with one leg resting on each pillar, we would have a mechanical antithesis. There would then be no difference between these, except one would be on the north and the [346] other on the south, the right hand or the left, black or white, etc. But the two legs are supposed to be exactly equal, except in that respect in which the author has seen proper to make them to differ. A rhetorical antithesis has the same ground--thought and purpose. Hence, if at any time there shall be one member of the antithesis which we can understand, we can know what is intended by the other, by knowing that it is the opposite of the one we have described. If we know that one is on the right hand, we know just as certainly that the other is on the left hand; if one is North, the other is South-for such opposites inhere in the figure. If, at any time, we should be in doubt about what faith is, we may get its opposite, or its opposites, and understand it by the things which it is supposed to antagonize.

      The question of how faith comes, may be settled in the same way. If we can know all the causes of unbelief, and put them into one pillar, knowing that faith is the opposite, we will know that the causes directly opposite to these of unbelief will be the power, or the powers, that produce faith.

      In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we have several uses of the antithesis. Jesus says, "Ye have heard that it was said by them in old time," etc.; "but I say unto you" (vers. 21, 27, 33, 34, 38, 39, 43, 44). In all this, Christ shows that the righteousness which He should require of His followers was higher than that which was demanded by the Pharisees, or even that of the law.

      The duration of the punishment of the wicked can be settled by this law of antithesis (Matt. xxv. 46):

      "And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life." [347]

      The duration which is the measure of the one of these, must of necessity be the measure of the other, unless the author of the antithesis has seen proper to make a difference in that respect. In this case, so far from making any difference, He has used the same word on both sides; if the eternal life of the righteous is life without end, so is the punishment of the wicked. This is absolutely demanded by the law of antithesis.

      In Romans ii. 7-10, there is more of the need of close attention to this law; hence I quote the whole passage:

      "To them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek."

      In this antithetical statement there is glory and honor and peace, put over against wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish. It is easy to see that these are the opposites; but there is one other word used that is liable to be missed-to those that do well, eternal life shall be the reward. This is, in that place, put as the antithetical thought, but in the rehearsal the other things are mentioned, which might not be eternal; but as we understand that the eternal life means eternal glory, honor and peace, so we are compelled to regard the wrath, indignation, tribulation and anguish as eternal. We have no right to suppose that one leg of the antithesis passes through eternity, and to regard the other as limited to time.

      "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it [348] is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body" (I. Cor. xv. 42-44).

      In the interpretation of this passage, it should be remembered that the only point in the antithesis is between the body as it lived and moved in the world, and what it would be in the resurrection. With that fact clearly in the mind, it will be easy to see the point of comparison. Corruption, dishonor, weakness, animal, are on one side, and incorruption, glory, power, spiritual, are on the other side. The former denotes the body as the man lived in this world, the latter as he may live in the world to come. These expressions mutually explain each other.

      The most perfect antithesis to be found in the whole Bible is to be read in II. Cor. iii. 5-13. As this has been cited already for the teaching contained in the passage, we will not quote it again, but would ask the reader's attention to it as a most instructive lesson on this subject.

      SEC. 78. SYMBOLS. This is from the Greek sumbolon, a sign by which one knows a thing or infers it, from sun, with, and ballein, to throw, to throw with, or throw together. Webster's first definition fairly exhausts its meaning:

      "1. The sign or representation of something moral or intellectual, by the images or properties of natural things; and emblem, a representation; as, the lion is the symbol of courage; the lamb is the symbol of meekness or patience."

      It may be said that types were representatives of thought, but they always represented a thought yet to be, or fact in the scheme of redemption. A symbol may tell the conditions existing at the time, or it may relate [349] to something to occur in the future; in that case they become typological prophecy--they symbolize the events beforehand and in that way foretell them.

      We can better examine the subject under three heads, or classes: The miraculous, the material, and the visional--those seen in visions, or in dreams. Several other subdivisions would be allowable, but for our brief space it is not well to introduce them.

      SEC. 79. THE MIRACULOUS SYMBOLS.--The first we come to is in Gen. iii. 24, and exhibits cherubim and a flaming sword at the East of the garden in Eden. It is emblematic of the fixedness of the word of Jehovah. Whether man had been separated from the tree of life to prevent him from living forever in sin and misery, into which he had then fallen, or for some other reason, the one thought is everywhere to be seen that the heavens and the earth are all put under tribute to keep the commandments of God.

      When Moses saw the burning bush (Ex. iii. 2), God's, glory was made to appear; it was not so much intended to tell of any future fact, as of the present majesty and dignity of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

      So the pillar of a cloud and the pillar of fire that went with the Israelites, (beginning Ex. xiii. 21), was to them a constant symbol of God's presence and watchfulness.

      In Ex. xvi. 10, we are informed of an appearance similar, in the glory of the Lord seen as the people looked towards the wilderness. Just what was then seen, may not be known, but we are certain that God made them to understand His glory by what they saw. This was seen in the display made at the Mount of Commandments, when the Lord appeared on the [350] summit in the smoke and the fire, and all the divine manifestation that accompanied the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai (Ex. xx.). Often during the wandering of Israel the Lord manifested His presence in this symbol of His glory. The acknowledgment of the Son at the time of His baptism, and at the transfiguration (Matt. iii. and xvii.), may be regarded in the list of miraculous symbols. So also was the coming of the Spirit from the heavens on the day of Pentecost (Acts ii.). The apostles had known of its coming, and for it they were waiting. As it had been previously interpreted for them, its meaning was clear. So, when the same symbol was present at the house of Cornelius, Peter was at no loss in understanding it. These divine or miraculous symbols were not prophetic; they did not tell of some future event, but of present truth.

      SEC. 80. MATERIAL SYMBOLS.--In selecting representatives of this kind of divine instruction, it is very difficult to make any clear and satisfactory distinction between symbols and types, and many commentators do not seem to have noted any difference. Like many of the figures of speech between which the distinction is not clear, symbols and types frequently seem to overlap each other. It should be remembered that the symbol is supposed to relate to the present, and only concerns the future as the same things will continue to be true; or that the symbol is employed to represent a thought that shall be true in time that is to come. But this is just where the type begins. It gathers its power of expression from the condition of things at the time, and images beforehand the things that are to come. Many things are clearly symbols, and others are clearly types; while others seem to have the two thoughts and purposes [351] combined. Many of the most beautiful and instructive of types had, at the time they were given, a symbolic truth to present of very great importance. In all the sacrifices by which sin was to be removed, there was the then present truth upon the face of all the services required that man, by his sin, had lost his right to live. There was also the thought of divine mercy in the acceptance of the sacrifice, in the place of man who deserved to die. But these become the most powerful and instructive of types as they tell of the coming of that Saviour that should suffer death for all men. In the same way we might go through the tabernacle and the temple, and find the beauty and force of symbolic truth in everything that the Lord had given them, for they were object-lessons, containing present and valuable truth; but they have an answer still to be made, in the coming of Christ and His grand accomplishments in behalf of the children of men.

      But there are enough left, that are symbols purely, for a careful study. The "testimony," as applied to the tables of the law (Ex. xxv. 16-21; xxxi. 18), and also called the tables of the covenant (Deut. ix. 9), because on the basis of these God made a covenant with Israel (Ex. xxxiv. 27, 28; Deut. iv. 13), served as a symbol as God's judgment against sin. The offering of incense from the golden altar symbolized the thought of worship, or the prayers of God's children. And while the worship of the heart is more prominent now than then, it was true then that God required them to draw near to Him in the loftiest devotion of which they were capable. And while the cherubim, stretching their wings on high, overshadowed the mercy seat, and gazed intently at the same place on the mercy seat below, there was ever presented [352] to the Jewish mind the thought that God and the angels are attentive to their worship. And as the tables of the covenant were in the ark, it was necessary that the mercy seat should overlay the ark, for the race judged by that law would all be lost; but mercy rejoices against judgment.

      In Isa. vii. 4, the prophet calls Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel, two tails of smoking firebrands. Of course, in the form in which this comes to us, it is a metaphor; but it should be remembered that a symbol is in action, or being what a metaphor is in speech.

      This is true of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper (Matt. xxvi. 26-28). "This is my body," "This is my blood," etc., is metaphorical language; but the bread and the wine are symbols of the body and blood of the Saviour.

      The bow that was set in the cloud (Gen. ix. 13), was a token or a symbol of the covenant. When Abraham treated with Abimelech, he told the king of the well his men had taken from them, and then symbolized his innocence in the matter by seven lambs (Gen. xxi. 28-30). Circumcision was a symbol of the lopping off of sin.

      SEC. 81. BUT THE GREAT NUMBER OF SYMBOLS ARE VISIONAL.--They were seen in vision, in dream or in the wakeful hours, but by the power of God. They are employed as object-lessons by which to make the man of God understand some present truth, or some event to come. Jeremiah foretold many things by the use of these forms. He has sometimes been denominated the acting prophet, on that account.

      "Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond [353] tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I watch over my word to perform it" (Jer. i. 11, 12).

      The almond tree was the first to blossom--in fact, it seemed never to sleep--and consequently it was regarded as a symbol of wakefulness, or watchfulness.

      Then, in the two following verses, there is a symbol of a prophetic character:

      "And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething caldron; and the face thereof is from the north. Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land."

      A seething caldron, tilted so much as to enable a man to look into the mouth, would be a symbol of a thorough scalding. And the Lord uses it to show what was about to come upon them. The families of the kingdoms of the North should come and sit on the thrones at Jerusalem, and make war with the cities of Judah.

      In Gen. xl. 1-20, we have the two dreams of the men in prison with Joseph, in Egypt. Each had a dream: the one saw what, in symbol, meant that he should be restored--the three branches of grapes were an omen of good; but the other dreamed of the three baskets of white bread, and of the birds picking the meats from the upper, which meant that within three days his head should be lifted up from off him.

      Two symbols were presented to Pharaoh in a dream, by which he was to know what was in store for them in the days to come. (See chap. xli.) The seven fat kine, and the seven lean, that ate them up, and the seven full ears of corn, and seven thin ones, that devoured them, told of seven years of plenty, and then seven other years in which they should not be able to gather food. In a [354] dream quite similar to this, Nebuchadnezzar was made to know of the four universal monarchies, himself being at the head (Dan. ii. 1-45). In the first chapter of the book of Revelation we have several beautiful symbols. There are seven golden lamp-stands; One, like unto the Son of man, walking in the midst of them, who holds seven stars in His right hand. We learn that the lamp-stands were the seven churches, and that the seven stars were the seven messengers of the seven churches.

      In the tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we are introduced to a symbol furnished for the education of the apostle Peter. He had gone upon the top of the house to pray, and fell into a trance, and saw a vessel, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the four corners, and full of all kinds of animals. And as he gazed upon the object-lesson, he was told to arise, and kill, and eat. But he said, Not so. He had kept the law as it related to food, and did not know that it was removed. This was the first lesson in the series by which he was to know that the Gentiles were to be fellow-heirs and of the same household with the Jews. At first it seems strange that an apostle has to be taught in this way; and yet, when we come to study the matter, we find that they had to learn very much as the rest of us. While the Lord used their organs of speech for the purpose of presenting truth to the world, they did not always understand it themselves. Peter had said, on the day of Pentecost, that the promise was to them, and to all, even as many as the Lord should call. There was a great truth that would embrace the ends of the earth; but it was several years later before its meaning was clear to him.

      SEC. 82. SPECIAL RULES FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF SYMBOLS.--These rules are few in number, yet we feel [355] that they are needed. So many different things have been made to appear in the unfolding of some of the symbols, that there is certainly no rule in the minds of many interpreters. Each man feels, that he must find something like the symbol, in the interpretation, that will fit the theology which he favors. If he is skillful in cutting and fitting history, he will doubtless succeed.

      Rule 1. Many of the symbols have been interpreted, in whole or in part, by their authors. In such a case, we have nothing to do but to accept the interpretation just as far as it goes.

      Rule 2. Other symbols have been interpreted by other inspired authors. This, again, must stand as the interpretation.

      Rule 3. Sometimes the symbol has been given in a manner that is difficult, but another writer or speaker has used the same illustration in such a way that there is no doubt as to its meaning. In that case, that which is perspicuous must declare the meaning of that which is doubtful.

      Rule 4. The names of symbols are to be understood literally. While they tell us what they saw and heard, we are to understand them as telling these things in the plainest and most direct manner possible. Many times, too, there is peculiar significance to be found in the etymology of the names or words employed. Hence the words used should be subjected to the same rules as if they were found in other composition.

      Rule 5. There must be found a resemblance, more or less clear, between the symbol and the thing signified. If this relation were not intimate, it is probable that the author would have selected some other. [356]

      Rule 6. The condition of those to whom the symbol was given must be known, if possible, for the meaning which they would be most likely to get out of it is the meaning that the author intended to put into it.

      The valley of dry bones (Ezek. xxxvii. 1-14) was to teach the restoration of the Jews from their captivity. The lesson given to Jeremiah (xviii. 1-10) at the potter's by the vessel that became marred in the hands of the potter, meant the house of Israel. And notwithstanding these have been explained by divine authority, they have been as lavishly interpreted as any other symbols; so that almost everything has been made out of them. In Jer. xxiv. we have a symbol of two baskets of figs. After the description of the figs--that one basket was very good, and the other very bad--it is explained to mean that of those who had gone away into captivity those who were true to the Lord, were good figs, and should be brought back again; but the bad people, including Zedekiah, their king, should be too bad for any use, and therefore should be tossed to and fro from Egypt to Babylon, until they should be utterly destroyed. Now, if there was only some particular opinion to assist, this might be paralleled till it would have no meaning whatever. God has interpreted it, but that does not always protect the symbol from abuse.

      In Isa. xxii. 22, there is a prophecy concerning Christ, in which it is said that on Him should be laid the key of the house of David. The word key, of course, means that he should not only be in the line of kings, but that he should sit upon the throne of David, and that he should have the power that would of right belong to Him as David's descendant. The same word, when the Saviour said to Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys [357] of the kingdom," contained the authority to open it, with all its advantages, to the world. Keys are for the purpose of opening, and it was left for men to tell the world what they were to do to be saved.

      When Jacob said, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah" (Gen. xlix. 10), every one would understand it at once to refer to the symbol of power to rule or control. It is its natural and easy interpretation, and about it there has never been any difficulty. But the point with me is to induce men to use the other symbols in the same way.

      In Zech. iv.-vi., there are several symbols that have had about as many interpretations as there have been interpreters. Every genius has found room for his skill. And yet the interpretations that are given in the text are never followed. This is to suppose that when the Lord tells what He means by the use of object-lessons, His statements are not reliable. That splendid lamp-stand, and the two olive trees that supply with oil, were symbols of the watchfulness and helpfulness of the Lord, which assured Zerubbabel that he should succeed in rebuilding the temple. And so the flying roll was God's condemnation of thieves and false swearers. Now, when the Lord gives the meaning of the symbol, and the purpose of its exhibition, it is a sin to refuse to accept it. Speculations are excusable when the meaning has not been announced.

      In Daniel ii., we have a symbol which is partly interpreted. So there are some things which we know about the dream of the king, and some things that we must interpret by rules. We know that the four several sections in that image were four universal empires; we know that the head was the Babylonian government; we [358] know that the three others followed in the order of the silver, the brass, and the iron; we know that during the time of these kings, the God of heaven should set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed. And when we use the divine interpretation as far as it goes, the meaning of the rest is easy to be found.

      The whole of the book of Revelation, or nearly the whole of it, is presented by the use of symbol. Prophets have gone to that book to prophesy, and then compel the apostle John to sanction their imaginations. Every man succeeds. Not wishing to enter this field, I have only to say that we must take every statement of meaning and purpose found in the book for its face. After that, we must remember where and when the symbols have been used, beforetime; for if they may be found in any clearer light, that usage may help in the interpretation. We must remember to whom these symbols were shown, and therefore what he would likely get out of them. We must be careful not to demand too many points of analogy, lest we shall have eisegesis, and not exegesis.

      SEC. 83. TYPOLOGY.--Of course, we mean by this a discourse about types. But then comes the question, What is a type? It is from the Greek tupos, from tuptein, to strike. Hence Webster's first definition. His first, second and fourth definitions relate to religious truth, and we quote them:

      "1. The mark or impression of something; stamp; impressed sign; emblem.

      "2. Impressed form; stamp; kind; sort.

      "4. A figure or representation of something to come; a token; a sign; a symbol; correlative to antitype.

      "'A type is no longer a type, when the thing typified comes to be actually exhibited.'--SOUTH." [359]

      It is necessary to remark, concerning types--

      (1.) That the original meaning of the word is not that which is generally found in the Scriptures.--It does not generally mean to strike, nor yet the result of striking. We say that we have seen a horse's foot in the clay, when we have only seen the impression of his foot, which would be the type. But when we take the track of the foot for the foot, we really have just the opposite of the foot. So if a man should strike his fist into a ball of putty, he would leave there, not his fist, but the type of it. Though this is not the meaning it generally has in the Bible, yet to remember this original import will be of service in the interpretation of types.

      (2.) We must never expect the type and the antitype to be the same, for that would not be type and antitype, but identity. We shall find, therefore, that it is utterly impossible to find something in the antitype that is analogous to every feature of the type, or that the type has perfectly prefigured the antitype.

      (3.) Let us remember that for one purpose generally the type has been selected, and, finding that purpose, the application will be easy.

      (4.) It must foretell something.--When it is a representation of a present truth or duty, it is a symbol, and not a type.

      (5.) It must not simply happen to represent something in the future and therefore do as an illustration--it must have been intended to represent that thought or fact when it was given. It must be as old in design as the antitype it presents.

      (6.) The Scriptures should be made to interpret them, as far as possible; and with such definition we must be content. [360]

      (7.) While we are always safe in calling anything a type that is so denominated in the word of God, it is not necessary to suppose that we are limited to these statements. It would not be reasonable that they should have gone through the whole Bible, and descanted upon every type.

      (8.) As in the interpretation of symbols the similarity between type and the antitype will lead, in most cases to the true meaning.

      (9.) Any thing, to be a type, must have been a real person, thing, event, or office.--Not so with the symbols. All the visional symbols were unreal--they were seen by assisted or superhuman sight--they were not present, though they appeared to be. But the type is real. Adam was a type of Christ; so were the sacrifices from the foundation of the world; the kings, priests, and prophets, in that they were anointed; the serpent in the wilderness, Solomon, and Joshua, etc. These were as real as the Saviour.

      (10.) The antitype is always superior to the type.--If this were not the case, there would be no reason in the type. The type is always visible at the time it is given, because it is material; but the antitype contains divine or spiritual thought. However, many times there are two or more of them in one line, and one seems to look to another as its fulfillment; yet they are all looking to the final object for their meaning.

      (11.) Sometimes figurative, language is employed in giving a typical event.--The figure should be treated as it would be if given under any other circumstances.

      (12.) The rules for the interpretation of symbols apply as well to types.--They have several features in common. In so far as the type becomes a prophecy, history should [361] be carefully examined, that we may have all the facts on both sides.

      SEC. 84. THE SEVERAL KINDS OF TYPE.--We do not mean, by this heading, that there are differences in the construction of types, or in the rules by which they shall be interpreted, but the different sources from which instruction is drawn.

      (1.) Typical persons.--No person, as such, can be regarded as a type. It must be because of some relation, office, or characteristic, that typology is possible. Adam is generally regarded as a type, in that he is the several head of the race (Rom. v. 12-19; I. Cor. xv. 22, 45). But the features of typology, as they are mentioned by the apostle, are opposites. He represents the Christ by presenting just the antithesis of what Christ was and did. He was at the beginning, and Christ at the ending of sin; he was disobedient, Christ was obedient; he brought death, Christ brought life from the dead; he made many sinners, Christ makes many righteous; he was natural, Christ was spiritual; he was from the earth earthy, Christ was the Lord from heaven. All this, however, is according to the original intent of the word.

      Moses was a type of Christ, in that he was a leader and mediator between God and the people (Deut. xviii. 15-18).

      But this language looks to Joshua for its first and partial fulfillment. Joshua was like Moses, in that he led the people. But its meaning is not satisfied till the Saviour has come (Acts iii. 22-24). It is safe to say, then, that both Moses and Joshua were types of the Messiah. Moses prefigured Him, in that he was a leader, a lawgiver, a prophet, and a mediator. Joshua was a type, in that he led the people--in that he took them across [362] the Jordan into Canaan, which in itself was a type of entering into heaven.

      Melchisedec was a type of Christ. (Gen. xiv. 18-20; Ps. cx. 4; Heb. v. 5-10, vi. 20, vii. 1-17). He prefigured Christ in his priesthood, in his excellent character, and in that he was king and priest at the same time.

      David was a type of Christ (Acts xiii. 33-35; Isa. ix. 6). He was not only a king, but was a model for his people, and, in that respect, about as complete a type as could be found.

      Solomon was a type of the Messiah though a more feeble one (II. Sam. vii. 13-15; I. Kings viii. 18-20; Rom. i. 1-4). When God promised to establish the house of David, it looked directly to Solomon, but eventually to Christ, as the greater Son of David.

      Zerubbabel was a type of Christ (Hag. i. 1-12; Zech. iv. 1-10; vi. 12, 14). He was not only a deliverer of the people, but he built the temple of the Lord, and returned the people to the pure worship of the Father.

      Cyrus, king of Persia, was a type of Christ (Isa. xliv. 27, 28; xlv. 1-4). He was the anointed of the Lord. He was not intended as a representative of the Saviour's character, and yet in that respect he would do as well as many others; but he was a deliverer. He gave the people liberty, and even helped them to return to Jerusalem.

      Ahithophel was a type of Judas (II. Sam, xv. 30-35; Psa. xli. 9; II. Sam. xvii. 23; Psa. lv. 12, 13, 20; Acts i. 16-20) Here is the intimacy of friendship, the heartlessness of greed, followed with suicide.

      Elijah was a type of John the Baptist (Mal. iii. 1, iv. 5, 6; Isa. xl. 3, 4; Matt. iii. 1-3; Luke i. 17; Matt. xvii. 10-13). [363]

      The similarity between these men was known beforehand, and stated by the prophets. Indeed, John is called "Elijah, which was to come."

      (2.) Typical things.--Things, as well as persons, have represented the coming of the Saviour and the work which he has accomplished for men. They are not types on their own account, but because divinely appointed to represent the Deliverer to come.

      The serpent in the wilderness (John iii. 14; Num. xxi. 9). It was not because of the material out of which--it was constructed, but because it was to remove the sting of the serpent, and that for that purpose it was lifted up.

      In this way the lambs slain from the foundation of the world represented the Saviour--"the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world." The altar in front of the tabernacle, represents the beginning services in becoming Christians, and the laver stands for baptism (Titus iii. 5-7; Heb. x. 22). So is there a symbolico-typical import in the animals seen in Dan. vii. They were not only symbols of certain characteristics, but they represented those men and traits that were yet to be manifested. They not only looked to the future, but they were so intended. They are not fairly types, for they were not really present, and were only seen in visions.

      (3.) Typical institutions. The sacrifices in the time of the patriarchal times, and in the times of the law, all looked either to the atonement of the Saviour, or to that spiritual worship which Christians should render the Father. The tenth day of the seventh month, which was the day of atonement, with all its services, was typical of that sorrowful night before the crucifixion, and the atonement that followed. The Sabbath was a type [364] of the Christian's rest in Christ, and of the eternal rest in heaven (Heb. iv. 1-10). The cities of refuge appointed for the man-slayer (Num. xxxv. 9-34), were a type of Him to whom we may flee for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us (Heb. vi. 18-20). The feast of the Passover is full of the thought that we are spared from death by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, who is our paschal sacrifice (Ex. xii.; I. Cor. v. 7).

      So were the other annual feasts of the Jews--the Pentecost (Lev. xxiii. 15, 16), and the feast of the tabernacles--in the divine economy, representatives of coming thought in the scheme of salvation. The law was probably sent forth on the fiftieth day after leaving Egypt; and as it always occurred on the first day of the week, it seems to typify the great Pentecost, at which the perfect law was first announced to the world, and the purer and higher worship of the Father, through the Lord Jesus (Acts ii. 1-38). The feast of tabernacles had in view the greater joy of the Church of Christ (Zech. xiv. 16).

      The Jubilee called for the great deliverance from debt and bondage, and represented the Saviour's work (Luke iv. 16-21). Indeed, the whole of the tabernacle services were regarded by Paul as being representative of the worship in the New Covenant (Heb. ix. 9, 10). They were a shadow, type, or parable (New Version) figure.

      (4.) Typical offices.--We have already seen that men do not, of themselves, serve as types, but because of some position they occupy, or work they may perform. In this way we have found that Moses and Joshua, and others, have been types. We have called them personal, because they were represented by peculiar persons [365] pointed out as such. But we now come to notice that office answers to office. Every prophet, priest and king of the Old Testament served a purpose that answered to some particular work to be accomplished by the Saviour. These services grew out of the wants of the race. The first want is that of knowledge, and it was supplied by the man of God called a prophet, because he was to be God's man in speaking to men. Our next want was the removal of sin, and this was accomplished by the offering made by the priest. In the third place, we are in need of government and protection. This want was met by a king. Each one of these not only performed an office that was a part, though an imperfect part, of the Master's work, but they came to their position by being anointed of the Lord. The word in the Hebrew is messiah; in the Greek it is christos; in the English it is anointed. Every prophet, priest and king of ancient times was anointed or christed. Before he performed the duties of his office he became a Christ, or a christed one. Jesus was the Christ--a name above every name that had been named (Phil. ii. 9, 10)--for he represented in Himself all the qualities of these dignitaries; being to us a prophet, priest and king, by being the Christ. Those men were anointed with oil, but He with the Holy Spirit (Luke iii. 21, 22-iv. 18; Acts x. 38; Ps. ii. 6; Heb. iv. 14-16, ix. 12, v. 4).

      (5.) Typical conduct.--This, in a general way, partakes largely of the nature of symbol, and yet when it clearly related to the future, and that by divine purpose, the action becomes a type. In this sense Abraham is a type of all believers, and in that he offered up his only son, he signified the gift of God's only Son for the sins of the world (Heb. xi. 17-19). When Isaiah walked [366] naked and barefooted (xx. 2-4), he not only symbolized conditions of the people, but he foretold a future event. It seems, therefore, to have the double import. So it was with Jeremiah, when he took his girdle and went and hid it in a rock on the Euphrates, and afterwards found it rotten; that was symbolic and prophetical (Jer. xiii. 1-11). While the action of Jonah lad nothing in it but an unwillingness to do the thing that God ordered, yet it was probably the means of getting a hearing at Nineveh. It symbolized nothing at that time that we know of, but it did point to the Son of man going into the heart of the earth (Matt. xii. 39). When Jeremiah (xviii. 1-10) went to the potter's house to see a work wrought on the wheel, and when the vessel became marred in the hand of the workman, there was a symbol of the then present condition of the nation of Israel, but it was employed as the means of a teaching respecting the future. His wearing a yoke for the nations (xxvii. 1-14) is sometimes interpreted as a type, but it is better to regard it as a prophecy in action.

      (6.) Typical events.--From I. Cor. x. 1-10, we have the fact that the passage through the Red Sea was a type of Christian baptism; that the escape they thereby accomplished from their former oppressors was typical of the escape of the sinner in being baptized unto Christ; and that the rock from which water was supplied, represents Christ. From John vi. 36, we are assured that the manna that fell in tie wilderness could only faintly represent the true bread of life. In Heb. iii., iv., we are made to understand that the passage of Israel through the wilderness was typical of our journey through the world; that the good news that was presented to them of entering a land of their own did not profit them being [367] not mixed with faith in them that heard it, and so there may be in us an evil heart of disobedience in departing from the living God. He therefore warns us that we also may fall after the same example of unbelief. The whole journey through the wilderness is full of typical instruction, even to crossing the Jordan, leaving twelve stones piled up in the midst of the river, and taking twelve other stones and heaping them up at Gilgal, seems to have something to do with the witnesses of the resurrection. Peter held the view that in the ark of Noah we have a type of the sinner's salvation in baptism (I. Pet. iii. 18-22).

      (7.) Typical places.--In the shadowy representation of divine things found in the tabernacle, the outer court stands for the world, the first veil for the church on the earth, and the holiest of holies for heaven itself (Heb. ix.). Egypt is made to typify bondage in sin, since fleeing from there represents deliverance from sin. The wilderness of wandering becomes the journey of life; the Jordan represents death; and the land of Canaan tells of heaven, the final and perfect rest of all who look for the glorious appearing of our Saviour. Egypt, Sodom and Babylon typify a fallen church, with all the iniquity that comes as the result (Hos. vii. 11; viii. 13; ix. 3, 6; Zech. x. 10; Rev. xi. 8; xiv. 8; xvi. 19; xvii. 5; xviii. 2, 10, 21). This seems appropriate. After the salvation which God provided for His people in saving them out of the land of Egypt, they went away backward, and kept not the covenant of the Lord, and were sold into Babylon, hence no other word seemed to be quite so appropriate to indicate the condition of the people who had been saved in the Christ, and then had gone away from that service which He had directed, as to [368] speak of them as having gone into Babylon. And when it was seen that this delusion should be finally lifted from the hearts of the people, and that it would lose its power, it was proper to announce the event by saying that "Babylon is fallen."

      In this brief outline of types we have aimed at nothing more than a beginning for the student of the Bible. We have not thought of being exhaustive in their treatment. This would not have been possible. But having these outlines and the rules fairly well in our minds, there will be but little difficulty in dealing with any type that may appear in the investigation of any Scripture. And I conclude this section by renewing the request that all exegetes be careful to not make types of the mere circumstances of human history. And also that when we are certain that we have typical language, we guard against demanding too many points of analogy. Remember that the type has been selected for one point, or, at most, for but a very few features of similarity. [369]




      In the chapter on Figurative Language we have given a number of rules for the interpretation of prophecy, not because it is a figure of speech or a figure of thought, but because so large a part of this manner of divine communication is in figurative language, and so much of it has been given by the use of symbol and type.

      SEC. 85. THE DUTY OF THE PROPHET.--Our word prophet is from the Greek prophetees and is compounded of pro, before, and phanai to speak. Hence it is one who speaks before another or for another. Webster says of this word:

      "1. One who prophesies, or foretells events; a predicter; a foreteller.

      "2. (Scripture) A person illuminated, inspired, or instructed by God to speak in His name, or announce future events, as Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, etc.

      "3. One who explains or communicates sentiments; an interpreter.

      "'School of the prophets (Ancient Jewish History), a school or collection in which young men were educated and qualified for public teachers. These students were called sons of the prophets.'"

      His definition of prophecy throws no additional light on the subject.

      (1.) We are limited to the Hebrews and Christians for [370] examples of that spiritual ecstasy that enables one to communicate the mind of the infinite respecting the things that are to come. Among the nations of antiquity we have the augurs, the diviners, and the oracles; but these were nothing more than the guesses of the men who gave the information. Sometimes the guesses were reasonably founded in the appearance of things; at other times, the prophecy was because of a personal wish in the matter, or to get the praise of the king and the people. But because of the uncertainty of the future, they usually clothed their prophetic utterances, if we should denominate them by such a term, in language that could be interpreted one way about as easily as another. If the king is told to go to battle, and succeeds, then the praise is given to the oracle; but if he fall before the enemy, they return, and find that the utterance was entirely misinterpreted. The king lost, but the oracle stood firm.

      But the Hebrew prophets foretold the things that they did not wish--that were disagreeable to the king and the people, and that were very little likely to occur. Their warnings were not the soothing symphonies of sycophants, but the condemnations of the invisible Jehovah issuing from the secret chambers of the thunder. He does not necessarily foretell future events, but gives God's message to the world, whether it relates to the future or the present. Abraham was a prophet, in that he spoke for God (Gen. xx. 7). Aaron was to be prophet to Moses, by speaking the things that Moses would tell him (Ex. vii. 1; iv. 16).

      The Hebrew word nabi, generally used for prophet, means one who boiled forth, or who ran over. The cause of this strange vociferation, however, was regarded [371] as of divine origin; they supposed that God caused the man to speak in that way. It has been supposed that when Saul was numbered with the prophets (I. Sam. x. 11), and afterwards, when his three companies and himself were all made to prophesy at Naioth, that the language means no more than that they were caused to act the prophet (I. Sam. xix. 20-24); that no more is meant than that they acted like prophets sometimes did, and not that they foretold any future event, or that they delivered any message from God to men.

      (2.) The prophetic office of Elijah was to convey the word of God to the court of Ahab, and to condemn the wickedness of his people. This was largely true of Jeremiah and Isaiah.

      Rightfully enough they were called men of God (I. Kings xiii. 1, 2; II. Kings iv. 7, 8; Hos. ix. 7). They were thus denominated, because they came with God's message and to attend to God's business.

      Since the fall of man, and the communion between God and man was clipped because of sin, it has been necessary that some one divinely appointed should be the teacher of the race. Hence, God has raised up for men seers, revelators, prophets, and has sent them with messages, as the world has had need.

      Philips (Commentary of Rom. xii. 6) urges that "the New Testament idea of the prophetic office is identical with that of the Old Testament. Prophets are men who inspired by the Spirit of God, and impelled to theopneustic discourse, partly removed the veil from the future (Rev. i. 3; xxii. 7-10; John vii. 52; Acts xi. 27, 28; xxi. 10, 11; Comp. I. Pet. i. 10), partly make known concealed facts of the present, either in discovering the secret counsel and will of God [372] (Luke i. 67; Acts xiii. 1; Eph. iii. 5), or in disclosing the hidden thoughts of man (I. Cor. xiv. 24, 25), and dragging into light his unknown deeds (Matt. xxvi. 68; Mark xiv. 65; Luke xxii. 64; John iv. 19); partly dispense to these hearers instruction, comfort, exhortation, in animated, powerfully impassioned language, going far beyond the wonted limits of the capacity for teaching, which, although spiritual, still confines itself within the forms of reason (Matt. vii. 28, 29; Luke xxiv. 19; John vii. 40; Acts xv. 32; I. Cor. xiv. 3, 4, 31).

      (3.) It should be noticed that the prophet is of great value as a historian, and that the prophecies of the Old Testament should be read in connection with, the history of the people.--In the history we have ordinarily the hull--nothing more. We have the condemnation of God upon the people, but we do not see the justice. A great reformation has taken place, and we wonder why the condemnations of Jehovah must continue. But if we turn and read the prophets of those times, they show us that the reformation was only on the surface. While they came with their offerings to Jerusalem, and spread their hands before the Lord in prayer, God would not hear them (Isa. i. 16-18). Their hands were red with innocent blood, and their hearts were hard toward the poor in the land, whom they continued to oppress. They give us the inside of history, and make us to know the causes of calamity as we never could know it in any other way.

      (4.) Persons are called prophets who interpreted the Scriptures and exhorted the people to faithfulness in the service of God.--There has not always been a necessity for a revelation. We would think that to be the condition of the church in Antioch. Paul and Barnabas had [373] been there, and had wrought a great work in that city. No doubt that they had made known to the church the whole counsel of God. And yet (Acts 13: 1) Barnabas, Simeon, Manaen and Lucius are mentioned in that roll. In xv. 32, Judas and Silas are mentioned as prophets, and in the fulfillment of their duties as such they exhorted the people. In I. Cor. xiv. the prophet was supposed to edify the church, and in ver. 24, prophesying was regarded as that gift by which sinners would be converted. This was not a foretelling of future events, for that would not at the time convert any one. It would have to be fulfilled before it would be evident to them that God was directing the affair. It was, therefore, most probably an interpretation of Scripture truth. That gift was, therefore, more desirable than the gift of tongues.


      (1.) Sometimes it was like history written beforehand.--Samuel (I. Sam. x. 3-6) tells Saul what would occur as he would return home; whom he would meet; and what they would have; and what they would propose; where he would meet the prophets, and what would come of it all. If he had waited till it was all over, he would have found it necessary only to change the tense in order to give a correct history of the matter. In one of the efforts of Balaam to curse Israel (Num. xxiv. 14-24), he tells what Israel should do to Moab, and to Amalek. Though the language is figurative in a high degree, yet the history of those events is fairly related. Beginning with the thirteenth chapter of Isaiah, and reading to the close of the twenty-third chapter, we have the burdens of Babylon, Moab, [374] Damascus, Egypt, the Wilderness of the Sea, and of the Valley of Vision. These denunciations are intensified with trope more than is generally found in history, but the evils were told in about as plain language as could be selected. Ezek. xxv.-xxxii. gives the denunciations of the man of God against several nations. Amon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre: by whom slaughtered, the effect, the weeping, the bitter lamentation, the injury to commerce; Zidon, and how they should treat Israel after they should return; Egypt: the sword to visit that people, and all the calamities that were to come upon them. In narrating these things, there are many highly-wrought figures employed, but the style is that of the historian of the Oriental type. It seems to the reader that the prophet saw the events beforehand as they really occurred, and spoke of them in the language of the people. The place where the Saviour should be born (Micah v. 2), was foretold with all the certainty of a historical record. The time of His birth is clearly announced (Dan. ix. 24-27). Also the maltreatment that He received while on trial at Jerusalem (Isa. l. 6). His resurrection, too, is stated in language susceptible of but one interpretation (Psa. xvi. 8-10). The part that Cyrus took in behalf of the children of Israel is very clearly stated (Isa. xliv. 28; xlv. 1).

      (2.) Many times the thoughts respecting the future are presented in figurative language, so that it is difficult to get the meaning.--When the prophet was sent to condemn the sins of the people, he used very burning words; and the interpretation of such passages is attended with some difficulty. But by the rules already agreed to, we can proceed in safety. The symbols that have been employed for the purpose of foretelling the future, are subject to the [375] rules that govern symbolic language. When Jeremiah (xxvii. 8; xxviii. 14), made a yoke to show the rule of the king of Babylon, the meaning is so easily gathered that no one has ever been in doubt of its import. When Agabus (Acts xxi. 11) took Paul's girdle, and bound his hands and feet with it, every one expected to hear of some one being bound; and when he said that it was to be the owner of that girdle, and that the Jews at Jerusalem should bind him, the brethren at once began to try to dissuade Paul from going there. The symbolism in the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh would seem to be easily interpreted, and so the hand-writing on the wall at Babylon. And still the meaning was hidden from the wise men of the times. Dream-books were of no value whatever. Nothing less than inspiration from the Lord would do.

      (3.) The peculiarities of the prophets are maintained in their writings.--It is clear, to every attentive reader, that they differ as much in their manner of stating things as other men. We conclude, therefore, that in most instances the Lord has furnished the needed intelligence by inspiration, and trusted them with the presentation of it to the people.

      Occasionally, of course, there were thoughts that a Hebrew prophet could not get into his mind. In such a case, God had to give him words (I. Pet. i. 11; II. Pet. i. 21; Acts ii. 4). While they did not know the time of the fulfillment of their own predictions, or when the Messiah should come to bless the world, they could understand enough of the history of their own people to present it with clearness and force. But a common error among all Jews, that their Messiah would establish a temporal kingdom, and reign forever without seeing [376] death, would not enable any one of their prophets to know that Christ was to die. It would be as difficult for them to get that thought as it was for the apostles to learn the same lesson, and they could not understand it till it had occurred; and even then it had to be explained to them before they could comprehend it (Luke xxiv. 44-49; John xx. 9; xii. 34). And yet the prophets did certainly teach that the Christ should die. Hence, as this thought could not have been understood by them, the language must have been given by the Lord directly. Another thought would be about as difficult as that for any Hebrew prophet to understand--that was, that the Gentiles were to have a part in the great salvation of the Lord. This was many times foretold by them, especially by the prophet Isaiah; and I must believe that at such a time he was directed by the Lord in a way above the ordinary manner of inspiration.

      (4.) Much of the language of the prophets is very literal.--This is especially true of those portions which were delivered to the people concerning the sins of the hour. When Jeremiah stood in the gate of Jerusalem, and delivered them a discourse containing a message from the Lord (vii. 10), he gave them the fact in a plain manner. So with John the Baptist, a man sent of God with a divine message, who came preaching in the wilderness of Judea. I suppose that there never was a plainer preacher than he. This was true with Elijah. Indeed, it was true with all the prophets of the Lord-when they came to men with a message for that people and that age, it was plainly stated. Some way it has gotten into the minds of many persons that the language of any prophet must necessarily be in symbolic form. When [377] they told their own, or the dreams of others, and gave the meaning, it was in language very easily understood.


      (1.) God has used the best material for any given purpose that could be found.--The supernatural is never employed till the natural is exhausted. When Jesus fed the five thousand, or the four thousand, He used the loaves and fishes on hand, as far as they would go. And when they were done eating, the fragments were taken up, "that nothing be lost." When He healed the daughter of Jairus, He told them to give her something to eat. Of course He could have furnished the strength that she needed, but that was not His way. She was then able to take food, and that was the natural way of obtaining strength. So in all that He did, and all that the apostles did, natural resources were employed as far as they would be of service. The same law is found in nature. There is no redundancy. Everything has its place and power; it has its own work to accomplish, and has been assigned to that task. So it is with the history of the dealings of God with men. When He has had work to perform, He has selected the best men that could be found for that work. If they have lacked the qualification necessary to the task, He has sent them to school till they were prepared for the work. He had Moses in school for nearly eighty years, that be should be able to do forty years of good work. The schools of the prophets had the divine approval. They were to prepare young men, as far as they could, for the work to which the Lord might select them. The apostles were not entrusted with any work by themselves, till they had been in the school of the Master for nearly three years. And they were not then prepared for the [378] work of the ministry under the great Commission. After the resurrection of the Saviour from the tomb, He continued with them for forty days, speaking to them concerning the kingdom of God; and even then they were in need of a new teacher to "guide" them "into all truth." With all these facts before us, and many more that might be presented, we feel certain that when God made choice of a man as a prophet, He selected the best man that could be found.

      (2.) The prophets were good men.--This does not say that they were faultless. They were men, and not only so, but they lived under circumstances in which the development of character was not an easy task. It was an age of ignorance, coarseness and lust. And yet it is fair to say that they were the best men that could be found. David, with all his imperfections, was one of the grandest characters of that age. He was not perfect, but far above the average for purity, integrity and piety. When God inspired his songs, that he might tell of the coming of the Lord's anointed, He employed the heart and the pen of the man whom we would select as the best man of the time. It will be said that Balaam, who prophesied, was not a good man, and yet the probabilities are that he had done well in most of his life before his temptation and fall; and then God simply used the man's mouth to say the things that were to stand for a rebuke for those who opposed the children of Israel. Balaam's ass reproved him, and was in no need of character. If Caiaphas said what he did not intend to say respecting the need of one dying instead of all the people, it was not to his praise, nor did God select him as a representative to the race. From all we can learn from the Old Testament and the New Testament prophets, [379] they were among the best men that could be found on the earth at the time. They were not only the best men in point of goodness and firmness, but their qualifications were of the very best. There is no evidence that God has chosen unworthy men for His work. Hence, when we find men making claims to inspiration and divine communications, it is fair to examine the characters of the men. If they are not among the best men of the age in which they live, we may know at once that they are not prophets.

      (3.) Women prophesied.--The woman is not as well fitted to this work as the man, but it has sometimes been the case that good men were scarce, and then the Lord has called good women to do the work that men ought to have done. Even when there were good men, very excellent and godly women have assumed this work. Miriam (Ex. xv. 20-21) was a prophetess in leading the women in their holy joy at the time of deliverance from their bondage in Egypt. From Judges iv. 4, we learn of Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, who judged Israel for forty years. When that people were being overrun by Jabin, king of Hazor, for a period of twenty years, purity and piety seemed to be wanting; real men became scarce, and a woman was selected to judge the people and to make known to them the word of the Lord. In II. Kings xxii. 14-20, we have an account of Huldah, the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, who lived in the second quarter of the city, to whom Josiah sent his chief of staff to know what would become of that nation for having so long neglected the right ways of the Lord. This, too, it should be remembered, was in the time of the prophet Jeremiah; and for a woman to rank him, in the estimation of the king, shows a wonderful [380] confidence in her communion with God. In Isa. viii. 3, we have the prophetess spoken of, but the language means no more in that case than that she was the wife of the prophet Isaiah. The trouble in the time of Nehemiah (vi.), with Sanballat and Tobiah, needed the wisdom that cometh down from the Father of Lights. A number of the prophets seemed to have been hired by these men to fill Nehemiah with fear, and among them was the prophetess Noadiah. From this it will appear that a woman may be a prophetess, and not only so, but she may be false, just as a man.

      The prophet Joel looked forward to the coming of the kingdom of the Christ, when the Holy Spirit should be given to the saints, and their young men should see visions, and their old men should dream dreams, and on the servants and the handmaids of the Lord the Spirit should be poured, and they should prophesy (Acts ii. 17-21). Philip, the evangelist (Acts xxi. 9), had four daughters that prophesied; and in I. Cor. xi. 5-16, Paul gives directions for the attire of women when they should prophesy.

      From this, it is certain that God selects prophets generally from among men; but because of unusual fitness, He has sometimes selected godly women for this responsible work. Of course, in the exercise of these gifts, their speaking had to be public; for the time, they were God's teachers of the multitude. And this would be true whether the prophecy should relate to the foretelling of future events, the condemnation of some present sin, or the explanation of some Scripture, or an exhortation founded upon anything which God had revealed.

      (4.) Guilt of pretending to prophetic knowledge not possessed.--The man who would change a landmark, or in any way deceive the unsuspecting, was held a very [381] guilty man. When the blind lead the blind, all fall into the ditch. But when one pretends to have a communication from the heavens, which he has not received, he purposes to mislead the world to a far greater extent. It is partly on this account that God has been so particular respecting the character of those whom He would send to the world as its teachers. There would be necessarily some rules by which to know the true from the false prophets. If any truth that has been clearly attested shall be contradicted by a pretended prophet, then it should be known that such an one was a false prophet. If one should say, Let us go and serve other gods, and ask a following on account of some vision or pretended revelation, it should be disregarded, and the man put to death (Deut. xiii. 1-6). So if any should preach any other gospel than that which the apostles had preached, he should be accursed; not even an angel from heaven would be at liberty to do such a thing (Gal. i. 6-10). When one should presume to speak in the name of the Lord that which the Lord had not commanded, he should not be followed nor feared, but put to death; and they were to know whether the Lord had directed him or not by the fulfillment of his prediction (Deut. xviii. 20-22). Compare Jer. xiv. 14, 15; xxiii. 9-35)--for misleading the people in that way, they should be punished, and their houses with them (Ezek. xiii. 1-16). We have a case of the punishment of one Hananiah, who prophesied falsehood in the days of Jeremiah. See Jer. xxviii. 1-17. God has been thus careful of His word, lest men should follow false lights to their injury. It was understood by the ancients, that if a man had that communion with God which would enable him to reveal new truth to the world, he would be [382] enabled to do wonders. They got that thought from their history, for the men who brought to them intelligence not known before, did possess that power. Though John did not work any miracle, yet it was in the mind of even Herod Antipas that he had risen from the dead; and Nicodemus regarded the Saviour as having come from God, because of the signs which He wrought (John iii. 1, 2). In this way pretended revelators in the time of the apostles might be detected (I. John iv. 1-6; Rev. ii. 2; Amos ii. 11).


      (1.) The seed of Abraham should be a bond people for four hundred years (Gen. xv. 1-14).--And after the affliction, they should be delivered with great substance. The fulfillment of this will be found by reading Ex. ii. 23-xii. 40.

      (2.) The flood of Noah was threatened (Gen. vi. 9-22).--And it came (vii. 6-viii. 14).

      (3.) The land of Canaan promised to the seed of Abraham by that power by which prophetic wisdom is had (Gen. xii. 7).--And it came true, as it may be read in the book of Joshua.

      (4.) Isaac promised and given (Gen. xviii. 10; xxi. 1).

      (5.) Esau should serve Jacob, and afterwards break the yoke from off his neck (Gen. xxvii. 39, 40).--So we find that David entirely subdued Edom in his reign (II. Sam. viii. 14); but in the time of Joram, the son of Jehoshaphat, they broke away from Israel (II. Kings viii. 20-22).

      (6.) Jacob's vision at Bethel (Gen. xxviii. 10-12) was made good in his preservation and return to that land in peace (Gen. xxxii. 9-12; xxxiii. 1-20). [383]

      (7.) Joseph dreamed that he should have the rule over his brethren (Gen. xxxvii. 5-8); which came to be true (Gen. xlii. 6).

      (8.) In Gen. xlix., Jacob foretells the things that were to occur in the latter times.--He gives a good outline history of each of the tribes; and we need only to study their after history to see that the patriarch said these things by the word of the Lord.

      (9.) Moses foretold the utter corruption and ruin of the children of Israel (Deut. xxxi. 28, 29).--No one who knows their history can deny that the statement he made came true to the letter. The Scriptures are replete with the fulfillment of this prediction.

      (10.) In Josh. vi. 26, after the taking of Jericho, Joshua told them that any one who would attempt to rebuild the city, should do so by the loss of his first-born, and that he should set up the gates in his youngest son. This was fulfilled in one Hiel, more than four hundred years after that (I. Kings xvi. 34).

      (11.) The death of the two sons of Eli in one, day (I. Sam. ii. 34).--This was literally kept (I. Sam. iv. 11).

      (12.) In I. Sam. x. 1-13, we have the account of the prophecy of Samuel concerning Saul, and the fulfillment of the prediction.

      (13.) Saul's defeat and death made known (I. Sam. xxviii. 19); and was fulfilled (I. Sam. xxxi. 2-7).

      (14.) David invited evil upon him and his house, in causing the death of Uriah, and in taking his wife; and for it the sword should not depart from his house, and one of his house should rebel against him and take his wives, in the presence of all the people in the daytime (II. Sam. xii. 7-12). This is fulfilled in the defiling of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon (xiii. 6-22); in the [384] killing of Amnon by the command of Absalom, two years later (23-30); and in the rebellion and death of Absalom (chaps. xvi.-xviii).

      (15.) The prophecy of Ahijah concerning the division of the ten tribes from Judah and Benjamin, by parting his new garment into twelve pieces, and giving Jeroboam ten of them (I. Kings xi. 26-34).--All this came true (xii. 1618), when the ten tribes revolted with their chosen leader.

      (16.) Ahijah prophesies of the destruction of the house of Jeroboam (I. Kings xiv. 10-13).--See its fulfillment in vers. 17-18.

      (17.) The destruction of the house of Baasha (xvi. l-12).

      (18.) The three years of drought (I. Kings xvii. 1-xviii. 41).--Elijah had said that it should not rain except at his word for that time, and the statement was made true by the facts.

      (19.) Elijah foretold rain, and it came (I. Kings xviii 44-46).

      (20.) The king of Syria, after having been defeated by Ahab, and Israel made to feel safe, the prophet came and told the king to prepare for the return which would occur at the end of the year; and it was so (I. Kings xx. 22-26).

      (21.) Death of Ahab (I. Kings xxi. 19; xxii. 38; II, Kings ix. 34; x. 11).--For his murder of Naboth, he was told by Elijah that he should perish, and his house. And so he came to his death in a strange way, and came to the place where he had done the wrong to the innocent man in robbing him of his vineyard. And when Jehu came to the throne, all the house of Ahab was destroyed.

      (22.) The victory of Jehoshaphat over Moab, Ammon, and Edom (II. Chron. xx. 14-25).-When it was told [385] the king that these forces were at En-gedi, or between Tekoah and the Dead Sea, he was afraid; and the people came together, and, while they worshiped, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, who told them that the Lord would fight for them. So they went out with the singers, and while they praised the Lord, the battle was fought for them, as the Edomites and the Moabites fought each other, and both armies were destroyed.

      (23.) The Moabites delivered again to Jehoshaphat and Jehoram, by a miraculous freshet of waters, according to the word of the Lord by Elisha (II. Kings iii. 17-24).

      (24.) Plenty supplied in Samaria, according to the word spoken by Elisha (II. Kings vii. 1-18).

      (25.) The sons of Jehu were to sit on the throne to the fourth generation, because he had destroyed Baal-worship out of the land (II. Kings x. 30); and it was fulfilled (xv. 12). This was certainly a prophecy. Jehu was not the man to receive direct communications from the Lord.

      (26.) The ruin of Damascus seen by Amos (i. 5) in the days of Uzziah, and fulfilled in the fourth year of the reign of his grandson, Ahaz (II. Kings xvi. 9).--This also was foretold by Isaiah, three years before its occurrence (Isa. viii. 4).

      (27.) The destruction of the army of Sennacherib, and his murder at the hand of his own sons (II. Kings xix. 7-37).--This occurred in the time of Hezekiah, and was foretold by Isaiah. He had this vision in whole or in part a good many times. But in this chapter it can be read in prophecy and history. He had spoiled the land, and now loses 185,000 men by the destroying angel, and escapes with 15,000 to his home, to be killed in the temple of Nisroch.

      (28.) Josiah destroys the altar of idolatry, according [386] to the statement of the man of God that went down from Judah to Bethel, in the time of Jeroboam (I. Kings xiii. 1-4; II. Kings xxiii. 15-17).

      (29.) The captivity in Babylon (II. Kings xx. 17-19; xxiv. 8-16; xxv. 8-13).

      (30.) The time of that captivity (Jer. xxv. 1-11; xxix. 10).--This began in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and seventy years reaches the first year of Cyrus (II. Chron. xxxvi. 22; Ezra i. 1), when the edict went forth that the Jews should return.

      (31.) The destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar.--It should be remembered that there were two cities by that name: the one was on the shore, and the other was built out into the sea, and away from the continent. Sometimes the prophecies. relate to the one of these, and sometimes to the other. With this fact in the mind and the knowledge of the place the city held in the commercial world; that, while it was the daughter of Sidon, it was the great maritime city of the world, trading with Egypt--valley of the Nile, Sihor--and supplying the isle of Kittim, or Cyprus, and trading even as far west as Tartessus, in Spain. It will be seen in the prophecies we refer to, that the city should not only be thrown down, but rebuilt, and sing again like a harlot, and even traffic in holy things, and that the time of her prostration should be seventy years, according to the years of a king or kingdom (Joel iii. 5; Amos i. 9; Isa. xxiii. 1-18; Ezek. xxvi. 7-11; xxvii. 3; xxix. 18). The whole of chaps. xxvi.-xxix., can be studied with profit on this subject. It would be an easy task to show the fulfillment from history. Nebuchadnezzar was thirteen years in leveling down the walls of this mighty city; and even then he found that the spoils had been removed, when the people [387] had flowed like a river away from the doomed place. It is certain, too, from history, that it was in desolation for a period of seventy years. The same thought can be had from reading Zech. ix. 1-3. It will be seen by this text that the city had been rebuilt, and by referring to i. 1; vii. 1, we find that it was written in the fourth year of Darius Hystaspes.

      (32.) The destruction of Babylon (Jer. l. 17, 18; Jer. li.; Isa. xiii. 19-22; xliv. 28, xlv. 1; Dan. v. 16-31).

      It would be easy to continue to notice these prophecies and the fulfillment, as they relate to Egypt, Damascus, Arabia, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Assyria, Ethiopia, etc., etc. But we have aimed rather at a sample of these predictions, that we might discover the clearness and force with which they are presented. These men were not telling the things which they wished to have come to pass-not the things which, judged according to human wisdom, were likely to occur. These countries and cities were never in better condition than when their destruction was foretold. These fulfillments can be verified by history, as well as by the statements of the Scriptures.

      SEC. 89. NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECIES, AND THEIR FULFILLMENT.--We have seen already that there were New Testament prophets; that the Spirit of the Lord would not only enable men to dream dreams and see visions, and to prophesy, but that women should have the same enduement. In the giving of the new law, some time would necessarily pass before it would be possible for the whole will of God to be put to record. During the time there was a partial revelation within the reach of the churches, but they would need something to take the place of a revelation; hence the promise that the [388] Spirit of the Lord would give this wisdom, to the extent of their need.

      "So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are budded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (Eph. ii. 19-22).

      Also the following chapter, vers. 5, 6:

      "Which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to wit, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel."

      The gospel could not all be given at once in all its bearings nor could it be written fast enough to supply the demand of the newly-organized churches. But these prophetic gifts supplied the need for the time. We want to notice a few of these prophetic teachings and warnings, to see in what manner the Lord directed His people.

      (1.) The well-known Agabus (Acts xi. 27, 28), went down from Jerusalem to Antioch, and warned them of the great dearth that was to come upon the whole land, which came in the time of Claudius Cęsar.

      (2.) The imprisonment of Paul (Acts xxi. 10,11).--This was foretold by the same Agabus, who met the apostle at Cęsarea, at the house of Philip. He first fastened his own feet and hands with Paul's girdle, and in that way illustrated what was about to befall its owner.

      (3.) The persecution that should come upon the disciples (Mark xiii. 9-11; Luke. xxi. 12-15; Acts iv. 3; xvi. 23; xii. 1-4; vi. 10-viii. 3). [389]

      (4.) Many shall stumble (Matt. xxiv. 10).--See the fulfillment I. Tim. i. 6; vi. 10; II. Cor. xi. 13; II. Tim. ii. 17, 18.

      (5.) Mark ix. 11: "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There be some here of them that stand by, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power."

      This kingdom has been expected by the apostles for some time, and now they are glad to know that it is soon to come. They did not know the nature of it, nor the sorrows that would sweep over them before it should be established. Just before the Master ascended into the heavens, He came and told the disciples that all authority in heaven and in earth had been given into His hands (Matt. xxviii. 18). Still the kingdom had not come. But on the Pentecost, the prophecy was fulfilled (Acts ii.). Then they were at liberty to announce that He had risen, to occupy the throne of His father David, and that the world must now submit to Him, in order to be saved.

      (6.) The Holy Spirit would be given to the disciples in a manner not yet enjoyed (John vii. 37, 38; Luke xxiv. 46-49; Acts i. 4; ii. 1-5).

      (7.) Jesus foretold His death (John ii. 19; Matt. xvi. 21). See chaps. xxvii. and xxviii. Nothing could have been taught more plainly than the death, burial and resurrection of the Saviour.

      (8.) Acts ii. 16-21

      "But this is that which hath been spoken by the prophet Joel;
      And it shall be in the last days, saith God,
      I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh
      And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
      And your young men shall see visions,
      And your old men shall dream dreams [390]
      Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days
      Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
      And I will shew wonders in the heaven above,
      And signs on the earth beneath;
      Blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke
      The sun shall be turned into darkness,
      And the moon into blood,
      Before that day of the Lord come,
      That great and notable day
      And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

      This is not a prophecy made in the New Testament, but a prophecy applied in the New Testament. It is found in Joel ii. We quote it here that we may have an application of it, and from it get a rule for the interpretation of prophecies that are confessedly difficult. So far as we have gone, in both Testaments, the interpretation has been easy. Indeed, they have been but little else than history written beforehand. They have been susceptible of but one meaning. But in the one just quoted we have room for much speculation. And the manner of exegesis adopted by many is little likely to give any assurance of the meaning of the passage.

      Peter says: "This is that which hath been spoken." Hence there is a question of veracity involved, to begin with. If we take the language, and apply it to something in the future, or remove it from that day and the things then occurring, we set aside Peter as an exegete.

      Some way it is in the mind of most commentators that this prophecy demands such a wonder for its fulfillment as the world has never seen. But this is a great mistake. This language is highly figurative, and must have applied to it the rules which such language would have if found in other compositions. Now let us turn back to [391] the first verse of the chapter, and see now much of this language had its certain fulfillment on that day:

      1. I will pour forth of my Spirit.--That had occurred.

      2. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.--And that also was being fulfilled. While we do not know if the daughters were then engaged in that work, we do know that they were afterwards, and that, too, because of the coming of this gift.

      3. The Spirit given to the servants and the handmaidens.--That is answered.

      4. I will show wonders in heaven.--The Spirit had come from heaven that morning, and the rushing sound of the mighty wind did not move horizontally, but came down, and that sound pointed out the place of meeting to the multitude. No greater sign had been exhibited since the world began.

      5. And signs on the earth.--And there was the sign of all the signs that had ever been seen-a few unpretending and unlearned men speaking in nine or ten different languages and dialects.

      6. Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.--These were all present that day. That was Pentecost; it Was nine o'clock in the morning, and therefore the time at which the great sacrifices were to be offered. They were largely free-will, and the number of people present assures us that it was unusually well attended, and therefore that the sacrifices were many. The blood is running, the fire is burning, the smoke is rising; nay, more-the vapor of smoke, for it comes from the burning of flesh.

      7. The sun darkened, and the moon given the appearance of blood.--This was certainly the appearance of things that morning. Hence there is no need of going [392] into some far-fetched and imaginary interpretation of the prophecy. It was then being fulfilled, or Peter over-talked the facts in the case.

      If we are not at liberty to differ from the conclusions of an inspired man, the question is settled, and the passage is interpreted. This is by far the safer plan--indeed, it is the only one in which there is any safety. The conclusion: "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved," gave hope to the crowd that, though they had crucified the Lord's Anointed, still they could be saved; therefore they ask, "What shall we do?"

      In the predictions of the Saviour, and in the symbolic prophecy of the Apocalypse, there is work for a large book. But these should be interpreted in the light of history--those that have been fulfilled, and the rest without such advantage. It is not possible for us now to enter so large a field. We will notice one more prediction, or promise, of the Saviour.

      8. Matt. xvi. 13-20:

      "Now when Jesus came into the parts of Cęsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God, And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he the disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ." [393]

      From this language, a few things are evident to every careful reader:

      (1.) Christ was going to establish a kingdom.

      (2.) The words kingdom and church are used in this passage as synonyms.

      (3.) Peter was to have the keys, or serve as gate-keeper.

      (4.) He could not be the rock on which this kingdom should be built, and be the gate-keeper at the same time.

      (5.) From many other Scriptures, we know that Christ was that rock (Psa. cxviii. 22; Isa. xxviii. 16; Matt. xxi. 42; Acts iv. 11; Eph. ii. 19-21).

      (6.) The authority of Peter in that kingdom was just that which belonged to the other apostles (Luke xxiv. 46-49; John xx. 21-23).

      (7.), After the kingdom had been established, Peter never claimed any superiority over the other apostles, and they never hinted that he had any position above the others.

      Hence the meaning of the promise, or prophecy, of the Saviour is clear, that, in the near future, He would build his church, or organize his kingdom; that in the establishment of that institution Peter would serve as spokesman, and hence it would be his place to announce the terms of admission. This was fulfilled on the first Pentecost after the ascension of the Saviour.

      The value of these predictions of the Saviour to the apostles was very great. They are of supreme importance to us; as they are fulfilled before us, we have a continued line of evidence of the clearest and strongest character (John xiii. 19; xiv. 29; xvi. 4).

      SEC. 90. PROPHECIES CONCERNING CHRIST.--These prophecies, as we would expect, are the most complete of all the subjects treated by the prophets of the Lord. [394] And yet the men that gave them never fully understood their meaning. Hence it is very evident that many times they told more than they knew. They have seen the character of the Christ in the distance, with all they did to Him, and have told what they saw and felt and heard. Sometimes it would seem that they must have been directed to say the things which God put into their mouths. They tell of the cross, and yet not one of them ever saw any such an instrument of torture and death.

      (1.) He was to be the seed of the woman (Gen. iii. 15; iv. 2; Matt. i. 18).

      (2.) He would be the Son of God (Psa. ii. 7; Luke i. 32-3 5).

      (3.) He would overcome the serpent (Gen. iii. 15; Heb. ii. 14).

      (4.) The seed of Abraham (Gen. xii. 1-3; xvii. 7; xxii. 18; Gal. iii. 16).

      (5.) The seed of Isaac (Gen. xxi. 12; Heb. xi. 18).

      (6.) The seed of Judah (Gen. xlix. 10; Heb. vii. 14).

      (7.) The seed of David (Psa. cxxxii. 11; Jer. xxiii. 5; Acts xiii. 23; Rom. i. 3).

      (8.) The time of His coming and death (Dan. ix. 24-27; Luke ii. 1).

      (9.) Born of a virgin (Isa. vii. 14; Matt. i. 18; Luke ii. 7).

      (10.) He was called Immanuel (Isa. vii. 14; Matt. i. 22, 23).

      (11.) Born in Bethlehem of Judea (Mic. v. 2; Matt. ii. 1; Luke ii. 4-6).

      (12.) Great men shall come and bow down to Him (Psa. lxxii. 10-15; Matt. ii. 1-11).

      (13.) Children slaughtered, that he might be killed (Jer. xxxi. 15; Matt. ii. 16-18). [395]

      (14.) Introduced by John the Baptist (Isa. xl. 3; Mal. iii. 1; Matt. iii. 1-3; Luke i. 17).

      (15.) Was anointed by the Holy Spirit (Psa. xlv. 7; Isa. xi. 2; lxi. 1; Matt. iii. 16, 17; John iii. 34; Acts x. 38).

      (16.) He was a prophet like unto Moses (Deut. xviii. 15-18; Acts iii. 20-22).

      (17.) Was sent as a deliverer to the people (Isa. lxi. 1-3; Luke iv. 16-21, 43.

      (18.) He is the light to Zebulun and Naphtali (Isa. ix. 1-3; Matt. iv. 12-16).

      (19.) He comes to the temple and cleanses it (Hag. ii. 7-9; Mal. iii. 1; Luke xix. 45; John ii. 13-16).

      (20.) His poverty (Isa. liii. 2; Mark vi. 3; Luke ix. 58).

      (21.) He was meek, and without ostentation (Isa. xlii. 1, 2; Phil. ii. 7-9).

      (22.) His compassion (Isa. xl. 11; xlii. 3; Matt. xii. 15-20; Heb. iv. 15).

      (23.) Was without guile (Isa. liii. 9; I. Pet. ii. 22).

      (24.) Great zeal for the house of God (Psa. lxix. 9; John ii. 17).

      (25.) He taught by the use of parables (Psa. lxxviii. 2; Matt. xiii. 34, 35).

      (26.) He wrought miracles (Isa. xxxv. 5, 6; Luke vii. 18-23.

      (27.) Rejected by His brethren (Psa. lxix. 8; Isa. liii. 3; John i. 11; vii. 5).

      (28.) Hated by the Jews (Psa. lxix. 4; Isa. xlix. 7; John xv. 24, 25).

      (29.) Rejected by their rulers (Psa, cxviii. 22; John vii. 48; Matt. xxi. 42). [396]

      (30.) A stone of stumbling and rock of offense (Isa. viii. 14; Rom. ix. 32; I. Pet. ii. 8).

      (31.) Betrayed by a friend (Psa. xli. 9; Iv. 12-14; John xiii. 18-21).

      (32.) Forsaken by His disciples (Zech. xiii: 7; Matt. xxvi. 31-56).

      (33.) Was sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. xi. 12; Matt. xxvi. 15).

      (34.) This money was given to buy the potter's field (Zech. xi. 13; Matt. xxvii. 7).

      (35.) He was patient and silent in all His sufferings (Isa. liii. 7; Matt. xxvi. 63; xxvii. 12-14).

      (36.) Smitten on the cheek (Mic. v. 1; Matt. xxvii. 30.

      (37.) His sufferings were intense (Psa. xxii. 14, 15; Luke xxii. 42-44).

      (38.) Was scourged and spit upon (Psa. xxxv. 15; Isa., l. 6; Mark xiv. 65; John xix. 1).

      (39.) His visage was greatly marred Isa. lii. 14; liii. 3; John xix. 1-5).

      (40.) He suffered, that he might bear away our sins (Isa. liii. 4-6; Dan. ix. 26; Matt. xx. 28; xxvi. 28).

      (41.) The rulers, Jews and Gentiles, combine against Him to put Him to death (Psa. ii. 1-4; Luke xxiii. 12; Acts iv. 27, 28).

      (42.) He was extended upon the cross, and His hands anti His feet were nailed to the wood (Isa. xxv. 10, 11; Psa. xxii. 16; John xix. 18; xx. 25).

      (43.) This agony was increased by being numbered among thieves (Isa. liii. 12; Mark xv. 28).

      (44.) They gave him gall and vinegar (Psa. lxix. 21; Matt. xxvii. 34). [397]

      (45.) He was cruelly mocked (Psa. xxii. 7, 8; xxxv. 15-21; Matt. xxvii. 39-44).

      (46.) He suffered alone; even the Father's presence was withdrawn (Isa. lxiii. 1-3; Psa. xxii. 1; Matt. xxvii. 46).

      (47.) They parted his garments among them, and cast lots for his vesture (Psa. xxii. 18; Matt. xxvii. 35).

      (48.) He thus became a curse for us, and bore our reproach (Psa. xxii. 6; lxxix 7; ix. 20; Rom. xv. 3; Heb. xiii. 13; Gal. iii. 13).

      (49.) He made intercession for the murderers (Isa. liii. 12; Luke xxiii. 34).

      (50.) After his death they pierced him (Zech. xii. 10; John xix. 34-37).

      (51.) But did not break a bone of his body (Ex. xii. 46; Psa. xxxiv. 20; John xix. 33-36).

      (52.) He was buried with the rich (Isa. liii. 9; Matt. xxvii. 57-60).

      (53.) His flesh did not see corruption (Psa. xvi. 8-10; Acts ii. 31.)

      (54.) He rose from death the third day, according to the Scriptures (Psa. xvi. 8-10; xxx. 3; Luke xxiv. 6, 31, 34).

      (55.) He ascended into the heavens (Psa. lxviii. 18; xxiv. 7-9; Luke xxiv. 51; Acts i. 9).

      (56.) He became a priest after the order of Melchizedek, who was king and priest at the same time (Psa. cx. 4; Heb. v. 5, 6; Zech. vi. 12, 13).

      (57.) He received for Himself a kingdom that embraces the whole world (Psa. ii. 6; Luke i. 32; Dan. ii. 44; vii. 13, 14; John xviii. 33-37; Matt, xxviii. 18, 19; Phil. ii. 9, 10).

      (58.) His law went forth from Zion and his word [398] from Jerusalem (Isa. ii. 1-3; Mic. iv. 12; Luke xxiv. 46-49; Acts ii. 1-40).

      (59.) The Gentiles should be admitted into his service, (Isa. xi. 10; xlii. 1; Psa. ii. 8; John x. 16; Acts x. 44-48; Rom. xv. 9-12).

      (60.) The righteousness of His reign (Isa. ix. 6, 7; Psa. xlv. 6, 7; John v. 30; Rev. xix. 11).

      We have sketched through these prophecies, not thinking of furnishing all that might be said of them, or of giving all of them. What we have given is to show what a large portion of the prophecies refer to the coming Saviour. When salvation is proposed for the Gentiles, we may be sure that the statements were from the Lord.

      Jewish prophets were incompetent to understand any promise made to any other people than those who were of the seed of Abraham. Because they had been the peculiarly favored of the Lord, they looked for all excellence in Judah, and all blessings and favors to be extended to that people. But God had a different view of the matter, and when he gave promises to the race, they were upon the basis of character. We greatly misunderstand the Bible if we suppose that the Hebrews were the only people that received the revelations of God. Because they were more cultured than those about them, they were put in charge of holy things, and used as a vessel for the preservation of the divine records. God must necessarily bring the Saviour into the world through some line, and it would be as well to select that line as any other, and better, for they were the best prepared to furnish the world with the evidences of God's faithfulness in keeping his promises.

      We have now seen that all truth centers in the Christ; [399] that He is our prophet, priest, and king; that all the types and ceremonies and symbols that were before the crucifixion looked forward to that event; and that since that time, all ordinances and teachings and promises, look to Him for meaning and fulfillment. [400]



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