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the tax in question, the Roman governor, and Herod :-not “ the kings of the earth” at large, as usually but irrelevantly understood.
In the same limited sense also, is to be understood that remarkable decree issued by Augustus Cesar, απογραφεσθαι σασαν την οικεperm *, " that all the inhabited [land] should “ be enrolled,” Luke ii. 1.—Meaning Herod the Great's dominions of Judea and Galilee.
“ The confederacy" of Pontius Pilate and Herod, is also thus described by the Evangelist: “ The same dag (6 UT Tp Hee) were
“course, be many things said on the subject, which had “ been better unsaid: Nay, even the best commentators “ may have their particular opinions, which may often “ mislead their interpretations: Let the student therefore, “ with his best judgment, endeavour to find out where “ the commentator trifles, where he refines ; or, above " all things, where he deviates from COMMON SENSE, “ which should always guide our interpretations of Scrip
,x8a&mוס מץ ,ארץ נושבת
* The word, Oixeuem, was anciently used in the limited sense of “ inhabited;" “ thus Canaan, is styled
an inhabited land,” as distinguished from the wilderness, Exod. xvi. 35, and also by the first-rate classical authority, Xenophon : -OIX®LLEVN xwpa, “ an inhabited country" distinguished from epaian, “ a desert.”
Pilate and llerød made friends together: for before they were at enmity with each “ other.” Luke sxiii. 12.
“ And the Rulers were assembled together"
(יסד) from ,נוסדו Where the force of the verb
The MESSIAH is introduced, Ps.xxxi. 14, thus complaining of the railings and threatenings of his foes, “ while they conspired “ together, and plotted to take away my
, (') is well expressed by the Alexandrine copy of the Septuagint, ETLOUUNZO Yoav :-And the Evangelist also has expressed its full import. Matt. xxvi. 2-4.
“ Then were the chief priests and the “ scribes and the elders of the people, assem“ bled together (ournxomo av) at the palace of “ the high priest, called Caiaphas: and they “ consulted together, (ouve&AEUSAVTO) to seize “ Jesus by subtilty, and put him to death."
Verse 3. Let us break, &c. These words express the rebellion and apostacy of the Jews, in rejecting the Theocracy; or the dominion of THE LORD and his vicegerent THE MESSIAH : so remarkably fulfilled in the declaration of the chief priests to Pilaté :
* We have no king but Cæsar" John xix. 15. And in the imprecation of all the people, instigated by the chief priests : His blood 66 be on us and on our children !". Niatt. xxvii. 25.
Verse 4. “He that sitteth in the Hcavens shall smile,
or And The Regent shalt deride them."
The permanent majesty of TIE SuPREME Lord is here finely described, sitting in the Heavens ; who “ smiles" contemptuously at the impotent rage and vain rebellion of his Foes, without deigning to speak.
This imagery is customary in sacred and profane classics :
“ Because, I called, and ye refused
« I stretched out my hand, and none regarded ** *** I also, will sinile at your calamity, -in >
And deride, when your consternation cometh.” : 0; letist
Proverbs. : Γελα δ' ο Δαιμων επ' ανδρι θερμαργω. “The Deity smiles at a passionate man.
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by the ,ארני and יהוה the significations of
Verse 5. “ Then shall He speak," &c.
THE REGENT is represented as the speaker in this and the following verses : to suppose as usually, the Supreme LORD to speak on this occasion, miserably embarrasses the connexion, and seems to have originated from that unfortunate confusion of
' , same ambiguous rendering, Kupios, LORD, throughout the Septuagint and other versions. And this led no less than sixty-one MSS. of Kennicott's, and thirty-one of De Rossi's collations, to substitute here a false reading 77777', for the true '978; which are contrasted in this Psalm, as well as in the parallel Psalm, cx. 1, “ The Lord (1717) “ said to the REGENT (378)” where there can be no doubt of the distinction; and of the application of the latter to Jesus Christ, Matt. xxii, 44.
Verse 6. Nevertheless, I was ordained King
On Sion my Holy Mount. -i, e. Notwithstanding your rejection of me for your King, I was ordained or consecrated King, on my holy mount Calvary (a part of Sion): the scene of my crucifixion, was made the scene of my exaltation *.
* The present state of Sion and Calvary, is curious and awfully instructive, as described by the most intelligent modern travellers, Sandys, Muundrel, and IIasselquist.
According to Maundrel, “ The Church of the Holy
Sepulchre is founded upon Mount Calvary, which is a “ small eminency, or hill, upon the greater mount of “ Moriah, [2 Chron. iii. 1, Ps. xlviii. 2.] It was anciently
appropriated to the execution of malefactors, and there“ fore shut out of the walls of the city, as an execrable 5 and polluted place. But since it was made the Altar
on which was offered up the precious and all-sufficient "sucrifice for the sins of the whole world, it has reco“ vered itself from that infamy; and has always been re“ verenced and resorted to, with such devotion by all “ Christians, that it has attracted the city round it, and • stands now in the midst of Jerusalem: a great part of “ the bill of Sion being shut out of the walls, to make “ room for the admission of Calvary."
But by a most disastrous reverse, the once" Iloly hill of Sion, that “ pleasant place," " the delight of the
whole Earth,” as it is styled in Scripture, " we learn from Hasselquist) a desurt, flat and level; “ situated immediately without the ramparts. It is occu
pied by, and left to the Christians for u burial-place, "? where all denominations of thein bury their dead !"
" Is now (as