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Fig. 138.

preserved, which some might deem completely destroyed. The truth taught here is similar to that referred to in Romans xi., in which Paul declares that there was still among unbelieving Israel a remnant according to the election of

grace. A distinction is made here between the teil-tree (elah) and the oak (allon). The oak has already been fully noticed (vol. i. p. 302). Are we in the other passages in which elah occurs, to render it by “terebinth” (Pistacia terebinthus)? Or, may there not be good reason for the proposal made by some, to render elah in this verse by “lime" or "linden tree?”—(Fig. 138.) The lime, which is a tree of great beauty, grows luxuriantly in Lebanon and Bashan, where such a scene as that described by the German poet has often impressed travellers“Linden blossoms drunk with moonlight

Fly about in fragrant showers;
And the nightingale's sweet music

Fills the air and leafy bowers." Lady Calcott and others plead for “lime-tree,” as the best translation of elah in this place;

Lime-tree (Tilia Europea). but it is more in keeping with its use in other passages to retain "teil” or “terebinth."

Chapter vii. forms the first of several (vii.-xii.), which contain a series of prophecies, uttered during the reign of Ahaz. In the opening words, the king is warned of the approaching invasion of the land by Rezin and Pekah. He is, however, informed that their counsel shall not stand. Ahaz continued incredulous. Thus the proposal of the prophet in regard to the sign (ver. 11). The king refused, and the prophet said—“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” (ver. 14, 15). The general scope of this passage is admitted by most to be a clear statement of the miraculous conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ—the true Immanuel, “God with us.

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“God with us.” No doubt great difficulty meets the interpreter, when he tries to lay his hand on the precise historical incidents referred to by the prophet for the encouragement of the people. It is evident that the people, to whom his words were addressed, would ascribe a meaning to them bearing intimately on their present experience. But whatever that may have been, it was in complete harmony with the grander and more glorious bearing of the words on the incarnation of the Messiah. Yet here, as in innumerable portions of the word of God, it is necessary that we have a well-defined view of the context, before such expressions as specially demand our attention in this work can be explained. Regarding the 15th verse from the point of view of the whole prophecy, two interpretations may be attached to it. First, It may be held to imply, that two children are spoken of by the prophet. The circumstances connected with one of these, born in the reign of Ahaz, may have been the fulfilment of the prophecy, and the type of Him who was to be born “God with us.” Second, It may be held that the words distinctly foretell the birth of Christ, and intimate that the circumstances connected with it would resemble the great deliverance promised to Ahaz and his people. But this question of the first bearing of the prophecy is a subordinate one. “While some diversity of judgment ought to be expected and allowed, in relation to this secondary question, there is no ground, grammatical, historical, or logical, for doubt as to the main point, that the church in all ages has been right in regarding this passage as a signal and explicit prediction of the miraculous conception and nativity of Jesus Christ.”

It has been the custom to explain the reference to the food of the promised child, in a way to make it imply plenty, and the best of its kind. But the opposite is the case. In this chapter another allusion to food occurs :—“ It shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow and two sheep; and it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give, that he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land” (ver. 21, 22). The land was to be depopulated. Its agricultural operations were to cease. The inhabitants were to be cast back on the natural products of the country. But God would bless even their scanty supply. One cow and two sheep would yield abundance. The point of the expression “butter and honey” in verse 15, lies in this. It does not mean "food of the rich,” nor“ best of food,” nor “luxurious food,”

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F. Calebs - Chaffinch.

WALLOW HATH FOUND A NEST FOR HERSELF.-Pe. Ixxxiv. 3.

Alauda

4. triensis. Shulark

THE TIME OF SINGING BIRDS.-CANT. II. 12.

WIAM MACKENZIE CLASIO. EDINBURCM,ONDON X NEW YORK

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