« AnteriorContinuar »
their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows" Balak had sent for Balaam for the purpose of cursing Israel, but instead of cursing, when he lifted up his eyes and saw Israel abiding within their tents, according to their tribes, the spirit of the Lord obliged him to bless the people, and say: How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and, thy tabernacles O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, ;is gardens by the river's side, as the trees of ligti-aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar-trees beside the waters. lie shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him forth out of Egypt: and he hath as it were, the strength of an Unicorn: he sh til eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.
In all this blessing where arc there the words quoted by the writer of the book of St. Matthew ?" Out of Egypt have I called my son!" not even the least distant hint or allusion concerning Jesus of Nazareth, as coming, or being called out of Egypt. Balaam spoke of Jacob, of Israel, whom God brought forth out of Egypt. And of Jacob, of Israel, were all these blessings, and of no particular man whatever. Israel was then in sight of the prophet Balaam, and of whom he was speaking to Balak, and this is the third time these blessings were*repeated, and each subsequent time plainer than the former; but in fact, the same blessing an the first, xxiii. 9. " From the top of the rocks I see him, from the hills I behold him. Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and" not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourt part of Israel? Let, (or may) my soul die the death of the righteous, and my finale be like his."'
Balaam was on the high places of Baal, so that he had a full view of the Israelites, of the people of Israel, and this makes him say: "From the top of the rocks I see him, (Israel) from the hills I behold him, (Israel.) Lo, the people (Israel) shall dwell.alone."—'Tis surprising! He foretels here the latter end of Israel, the final glory of the kingdom of Israel, of the kingdom which shall never be destroyed. "Lo, the people (Israel) shall dwell alone!" shall rule, shall govern the world supreme! They, the people Israel, shall govern the universe alone: no other nation shall partake, none other shall participate: they alone shall dwell, shall be in authority, and shall not be reckoned among the nations (Gentiles.) As one of the rest, so is Israel a Gentile, but still he shall not be so recokned or accounted: but shall be reckoned and accounted alone by himself, ami the rest of the nations apart. They, the people, will be reckoned Israel, and the rest of the nations of the world Gentiles. "Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel :"—so numerous will Israel be when their roign, their horn, their kingdom is exalted, that there will be no enumerating them. This is the Crst blessing. But Balak, not being satisfied with this, brought the prophet to another place, to Zophim, to the top of Pisg.'.h; whereupon he might look down on them, and not being high enough, he might only see the utmost, or farthest part of them, and not see them all. And here Balaam was obliged to repeat the blessing on Israel, for thus was he ordered and obliged to say to Balak: "Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor. God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen pe^erseness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; he hath, as it were, the strength of an Unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought 1"
The above is the introduction, then follows the blessing. "Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain."
The second blessing in other language is the same as the first. It foretels the conquests of Israel and Jacob in the latter times, when the kingdom shall be theirs. And in the introduction there is to be noticed, the language of Aim, and them, pronouns of different numbers, refering to one and the same noun. Israel, or Jacob, either of which is a noun of multitude, and being so, either the singular or plural will apply. 2ndly. "God brought them out of Egypt:" here is the plural noun, them, applied and refered to Israel, as being brought by God out of Egypt. 3dly. "According to this time," that is, as the world is now surprised and confounded, and as it is now said of Jacob and Israel: "What has God wrought?" so will it in the latter day be said in the same manner, of this same people, what has God wrought 1 Who has believed our report ?" And unto whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Isiah lis. 1. Balak, not yet satisfied, still hoping Balaam might be wrought upon (as indeed he really wished) to curse Jacob, to defy Israel, and that God might change his purpose concerning his people, he brought Balaam to the top of Peor, superstitiously hoping that God would be bribed, and permit Balaam to curse the people from that place. But instead of cursing, the spirit of God obliged him again further, and yet more particularly to bless the people, repeating the same blessing, foretelling the same events, but stronger and more pointed than at either of the two former. And in this third blessing he introduces the verse which is the text under consideration. He first foretells the beauty of their possesions: "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign-aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar-trees beside the waters." These are all beautiful! ever flourishing and green! So will be the possessions of Jacob and Israel. He next sings of his power, that is to say, the power of the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, as they are called in Daniel; the kingdom of the stone cut out of the mountain without hands; the kingdom of Jacob and Israel, after| the war of Gog, under the Messiah. "He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his. kingdom shaK be exalted." Water is people, buckets towns and cities ; he shall send his armies, into many nations, is the literal meaning. "God brought him forth out of Egypt:" the pronoun him, in this verse means the same as them in the 22d verse of the former chapter; it is part of the introduction to the former blessing, but is now incorporated in the blessing: it means Israel, to whom either him or them will equally apply. God had brought Israel out of Egypt: he (Israel) hath, as it were, the strength of the Unicorn, he shall eat the nations his enemies, and break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows." The meaning of this is, that Israel finally shall conquer his enemies under the Messiah, and have the rule and government of the whole world. "The stone will become a mountain and fill the whole earth." Govern the whole world! not that they will, cannibal like, eat the nations.
(To be continued.)
A JewIndeed is informed we can have nothing to do with societies. As there is no king in Israel, every man does that which is right in his own eyes.
Moses may have known all about what he writes. Our master Moses, (to whom be peace,) knew nothing about it. God refused to show him any thing except all his goodness.
jV. is received, will appear in our next.
Published by L. Emanuel, No. 265 Broad-way.
BEING A DEFENCE OF JUDAISM AGAINST ALL ADVERSARIES, AND PARTICULARLY AGAINST .THE INSIDIOUS ATTACKS OF
-. xin aem naa o iaso nnsw -wn oiwrjo oaS iSin
•• Cease ye from THE MAN, whose breath — in his nostrils; for whereof shall HE be accounted."—ha. ii. 22. To A. S. M. C. J.
Vol. J. First day of the sixth month ELLUL, Aug. 6583. No. 6.
The Jewish Expositor for May, 1823,* has inserted a communication signed Charles, in answer to a pretended Jewish communication under the signature of nniomx Hohab Emeth (A Lover Of Truth) inserted in the Expositor of March preceding. This Expositor is sent to me, I must suppose, as an answer of my explanation of Isaiah vii. 14. in No. 2 of the Jew. I must notice, that by a note contained in the Number, it appears to have been in the hand of a transcriber of some religious work; and the name of F. W. Porter is on the cover. I rather am inclined to think it has gone the rounds of all the ian religious publications in New-York, none however have had manly daring sufficient to notice Charles. Indeed, if the Jews in London dared write plain, even Charles would not have had the temerity to appear thus in print. I, however, will consider it, and trust with God's blessing to confute all his objections to my explanations of the 14th verse of the 7th chapter, (supposing it sent to me for that purpose.) The first objection is in these words:
"In the first place, observe the end for which the prophecy was. delivered. Ft was to assure Ahaz and the house of David, that God would preserve them from the present danger of invasion by Rezin and Pekuh. The nature and extent of this alarming evil are declared in verse 6, wherein these confederate kings are represented as saying, 'Let us go up against Judah, and vex it; and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a Icing in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal.' They designed to remove the family of David from the throne, and to introduce another dynasty. This would be contrary to various declarations, whereby the supreme authority in Judah fa' ; Published in London.
promised to the Davidical line. Ahaz was the representative of the house of David, and, although a wicked prince, was assured of the divine purpose to prevent the accomplishment of the designs of his enemies. The security of the family of David depended upon the covenant which God had made with David himself, to render their enjoyment of the throne perpetual. 'I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant; Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.' Ps. Ixxxix. 3,4. Now the Messiah, in whom the promise of eternal dominion is to be fully verified, had not appeared, and therefore nothing could prevail to deprive that family of the supreme power. Isaiah consequently gives, in the first place, an express assurance of divine protection in the present emergency. 'Thus saith the Lord, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.' Verse 7. He declares next, that God would confirm this assertion by a sign, either in heaven or in the earth, provided Ahaz should supplicate such an attestation; 'Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.' Verse 11. This the king refused to do; and then, in the last place, the prophet refers to the grand and principal hope of the Jews in all their distresses, and declares that God himself would hereafter give them a sign, even the miraculous conception of a virgin, who should bring forth a son, and call his name Immanuel, God with us.
"The promise of Messiah was indeed the source of consolation to the family of David and the people of the Jews, in their various national distresses. They were told, on occasion of the Assyrian invasion in the reign of Hczekiah, that the Lord would defend Jerusalem for his own sake, and for his servant David's sake. Under the Roman yoke, they comforted themselves with the expectation of this promised deliverer. And, even to this very day, the hope of Messiah's coming hath been indulged by them, and formed the only cheering ray to light their gloomy path through the various countries in which they have wandered.
"From the end and object of the prophecy before us, we conclude the fitness and suitability of a prediction of the Messiah. He is mentioned last by Isaiah in his conference with Ahaz, because the Davidical covenant had peculiar reference to him, as the Branch, the King, the Ruler, for whose sake, and until the time of whose appearance, the family of David should continue to possess, in a greater or less degree, the regal power."
All this fog will, perhaps, condense to a small mist, and if we can only be fortunate enough to gather it without losing the particles by exhalation, we may possibly get a single drop to moisten our parched tongue; we may, perhaps, discover what Charles has in view with all this froth. Then "the end of the prophecy was to assure Ahaz, and the house of David, that God would preserve them from the present danger, and that there should be no other dynasty introduced till the Messiah should come;" and the reason assigned is, because " this would be contrary to the various declarations, whereby the supreme authority in Judah was promised to the Davidical line." "Now the Messiah, in whom the promise of eternal dominion is to be fully verified, had not appeared; and therefore nothing could prevail to deprive that family of the supreme power."—" From the end and object of the prophecy before