Page images

division of the kingdom the name especially of that part which contained the ten tribes. Judah and Israel are the more neces-" sarily conjoined in this deliverance, because Jerusalem, though in the kingdom of Judah, was the public place of divine worship to all the twelve tribes. Moreover this prophecy is expressly called The words of Amos which he saw concerning Israel:" though the Prophet sufficiently intimates in the words following, that he well remembered the distinction of Judah and Israel "The words of Amos which he saw concerning Israel, in the days of Uzziah king of JUDAH, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of ISRAEL."s

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Next observe, that in this deliverance all the twelve tribes and the fulness of the Gentiles must be conjoined in a religious church union. For the Lord having said, (v. 11,) " I will raise up the tabernacle of David, &c." adds, "that they (the Jews) may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen which are called by name." This St. James fully applies in that sense; saying, "Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared, how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take "out of them a people for his name: and to this agree the "words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return "and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen 'down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and will set it "up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord and all the "Gentiles upon whom my name is called, &c." In this quotation St. James minds the sense of the Prophet, rather than his words; and what the Apostle spake at large, and most likely in his native Hebrew, St. Luke gives but the sum of, and in the Greek tongue, following also chiefly the Septuagint version of the Prophet. There may haply be some trifling difference in terms and reading, both from the Hebrew and the Septuagint; but none at all in the main intent and meaning. For whereas the translation of Amos says, "that they (the Jews) may possess the remnant of Edom, &c. WHICH are called by my name;" the original may be rendered "by whom my name is called upon, even by them :" and the word which, ( being in Hebrew as in English of all numbers and genders,) may either


s Chap. i, 1.

relate to that same they ;-that is to Judah and Israel, who shall possess the remnant of Edom, and being converted unto the gospel shall thereupon be Christians, and thus not only be called by the Redeemer's name, but also call upon God's name;- -or it may be referred to the remnant of the Edomites and of all the heathen, they being also converted to Christ. To whichsoever we may refer it, the main purpose of the prophecy will be the same: viz. that upon the eversion of the incurable enemies of Christ, there follows the conversion of them that submit to Christ, both Jews and Gentiles; who, being converted, shall incorporate into one Church and way of worship,"

If any require a more particular reconcilement of the Hebrew, Septuagint, and New Testament on this passage, here it follows.

,למען יירשו את שארית אדום The Hebrew of Amos ix, 12 is

that they may possess, or inherit the remnant of Edom. The Septuagint is, όπως εκζητήσωσιν οἱ καταλοιποι των ανθρωπων, that the remnant of men may seek after. The New Testament, in Acts xv, 17 is,-όπως αν εκζητήσωσιν οἱ καταλοιποι των av@pwpwv тov Kuplov that is, that the remnant of men may seek (or seek after) the Lord.t

Mr. Mede would reconcile these places thus. For the article, he would read the Lord: for 178 Edom, he would read Adam or man; and for that they may possess, that they may seek after: and he supposes the Septuagint, the Apostle, and the Evangelist, all to have followed some such copy; and so reads, "That the remnant of Adam, (or man,) may seek after the Lord." To this conjecture I can contribute a little: first, that some copies of the Septuagint have instead of Kvpɩov Lord, μe me, relating to the Lord; which is not only reported by Nobilius, but I have the like Greek copy by me. Secondly, that Edom is by the Hebrews commonly used to signify the nations that were not of their Jewish Church, and

* The great Hebrew critic, Mercer, Calvin also, and Dr. Mayer, admit that these prophecies have not been literally fulfilled; and they incline therefore to a spiritual sense. To me this says no more in plain English than this;—that because God hath not literally fulfilled it, therefore he never will nor can.

+ This is rather erroneously set down in Mr. Mede's Diatribæ, pars 4, p. 525. For there is no copy of the Septuagint, or variæ lectiones of them on Amos ix, 12, that I know of, that has Kvpiov, or тov Kvpiov, the Lord.

especially those under the Roman monarchy: and therefore the Jesuits have often expunged out of the Hebrew Rabbins' Commentaries the word Edom; as may be seen in Buxtorfe's great Hebrew Bible, with the Chaldee and Rabbins, compared with that of Bomberg. Thirdly, That some copies of Jerome's Latin translations have quarant me, may seek after me.


De Dieu saves the Hebrew text without any supply or alteration at all, by taking not as a note of the accusative case, but of the nominative, as it often is; and thus he renders it at once, "That the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen on whom my name is called, may possess the restored tabernacle of David." Neither have I any doubt that the Septuagint so took the words: for they turn them όπως εκζητήσωσιν οἱ καταλοιποι, &c. i.e. That the rest of men, and all nations, (Gentiles or heathens) may seek after :" which words have no sense, unless you supply what they are to seek after; to wit, that which but even now he had spoken of, viz. the tabernacle of David that was thrown down, but now restored. Instead of this, St. James does not ill substitute the words rov Kupiov, the Lord: for whether we say, that they should seek after the restored tabernacle, or after the Lord the restorer and master of that tabernacle, it comes to the same thing. To this add, that the Gentiles will seek after that tabernacle, not for its own sake, but for the Lord's sake.

Here also must be shown, why instead of that they may possess, the Septuagint says, ЄKŠTηowow, that they may seek after. Some think that for that they may possess, they read that they may seek after but I conjecture otherwise. Among the Orientals it is a rule, that words which signify to be do also signify about to be done; that is, to be moved towards that same being. Thus signifies to open, and to let loose; because loosening is a moving towards apertion. So also means to possess, and to buy, because buying is a moving towards possession. Again not only signifies to possess, but to move toward possession : as for example, Deut. ii, 24, bn begin, possess, nanba, and conflict with him in war.-They could not

t See his Animadv. in Act. Apostol. &c.

actually begin to possess, before they had conflicted and cast out the enemy; therefore the sense is, Begin to enter upon the possession. There are hundreds of similar instances. And so in this place that they may possess, the Septuagint conceived did signify, not the possession itself, but the endeavour to possess, which they happily enough expressed by a verb of seeking. Nor is it any wonder that they translated ΟΥΤΕ ΠΑΣ by οἱ καταλοιποι των ανθρωπων, the remnant of men for perhaps they read it Adam: or rather they took the word Edom in this place, as often elsewhere, to be of a larger signification than to note the people properly so called. For as Isaac, the younger of Rebekah's sons, typified the Church; so Esau (or Edom) the elder, typified all other men that were strangers from the Church. Wherefore in the writings of the Rabbins, the Roman empire was called O the kingdom of Edom; and all christians



sons of Edom.*

Whichever way therefore we take the Hebrew and Greek, they signify the conversion of the Jews and Gentiles, and their church-union.

OBADIAH, verses 17-21.

Our interpretation of Amos and St. James, just given, is well confirmed and enlarged upon by the very next prophet; viz.— Obadiah." But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and "there shall be holiness, and the house of Jacob shall possess

their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, " and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for "stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them : &c. "And they of the south shall possess the Mount of Esau, and they of the plain, the Philistines; and they shall possess the "fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria; and Benjamin 'shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites even



[ocr errors]

* Should any doubt if denotes sometimes the nominative case ;—or granting it in regard to passive verbs, should yet deny it to others;—let them consult 1 Sam. xvii, 34; 2 Kings vi, 5 and ix, 25; Neh. ix, 34; Jer. xxxiii, 5 and xxxviii, 16 and Ezek. xxxix, 14; xliii, 7; in which places it is thus construed with neuters and transitives.

"unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in "Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south; and saviours "shall come upon mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau, " and the kingdom shall be the Lord's." vv. 17-21. In these words we have such a character of the future happy state of the Church on earth, harmoniously and beautifully wreathed and interwoven of Jews and Gentiles converted unto Christ, as still lies upon the engagement of God's infallible truth to be fulfilled. For on the Gentiles' part, here expressed under so many names, they are not all to be destroyed, but possessed,* with a mixed cohabitation of Jews; according to the aforesaid place of Amos, that there shall be a remnant of Edom, and a remnant (for such is the grammatical sense of the word) of all the heathen, among whom and by whom the name of God shall be called upon. And on the Jews' part, both the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel must be here understood: else why doth the Prophet use one while such comprehensive words as the house of Jacob, and the house of Joseph ? and afterwards such distinctive terms, as the captivity of the host of the children of Israel, and the captivity of Jerusalem? And then that which is added at the close, as the coronis of this glorious salvation,-viz. that saviours (in the plural) shall come upon mount Zion to judge the enemies, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's,-is of that strength, that it bears down all limitations of the meaning to their return from Babylon, or the incarnation of the Saviour Christ: for the kingdom was then his no otherwise than it was formerly, when he ruled the world by his power, and his Church by his Word and Spirit; whereas this close-THE kingdom shall be the Lord's-must intend that it shall be answerable to the description from verse 17 downward; viz. a most holy kingdom, and withal a visible, extensive and glorious kingdom, and that on earth; all corporal, incurable, antichristian enemies sensibly falling before it.

The above is not only my opinion; Mercer also presents to us Lyranus commenting on this Prophet thus-" The hatred of

* The Author omits an important sentence in verse 18-"there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it." This does not necessarily signify that they are all destroyed; but it nevertheless apparently conflicts with his argument, and needs to be explained. ED.

« PreviousContinue »