Saint Matthew has fallen into a difficulty, from which he can in no way be extricated; for he places Joseph and his family in the Land of Israel, before he turns him aside: now if by the Land of Israel is meant Judea, then he could not turn aside, he was confined by the two seas, the Mediterranean to the West, and the Salt Sea to the East; he must have gone through the whole length of the Land of Judea before he reached Galilee. And if by the Land of Israel is meant any other part of the country, not Judea, he must in that case have already been in Galilee, and he must have come there in as circuitous a route as if he had been in Philadelphia, and went to Boston round the lakes Erie and Ontario, through Canada and Vermont, then wishing to avoid New-York, he turned aside into Massachusetts to Boston. I can see no other way to get over the difficulty. He must be sent through the Desert round the Salt sea, through Edom and Moab, and across the Jordan into Galilee, and this tiresome dangerous journey through the Desert is undertaken without any cause or reason, for he knows of no danger till he comes into the Land of Israel, then only "he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea." Let it also be kept in mind if this was the route he took, he went through an uninhabited country, a waste, howling, sandy desert; a country where indeed no human being can exist without a miracle; he must consequently have carried his provision and even his water along with him for a considerable part of the time he was on the way; and if he really went this route why is it not mentioned? The conclusion is, the writer had no knowledge of the geography of the country he was treating of, but supposed Joseph could take his choice when he came into the Land of Israel to go into Judea, or turning aside either to the right or left, go into Galilee; for no doubt he intended us to understand Joseph went the usual route, and only left it (turned aside) after he came into the Land of Israel, and heard Archelaus reigned in Judea, in the room of his father Herod.

I have stated the difficulty, and it is left for ......ians to explain, to inform us which road he took; whether he went by the sea or by the desert, for the text leaves us in the dark, since the only usual and direct road through Judea he did not take. I fear they will in no way get over the difficulty except by miracle, mystery, or faith; ...... ian faith, and which is itself the greatest mystery and the greatest miracle. I now hasten to the examination of the next

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text that offers for consideration, and which is in these words:

Matthew, chap. iii. v. 3. &c. "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

Supposed to be a quotation from Isaiah, chap. xl. v. 3. "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

קול קורא במדבר פנו דרך ה' ישרו בערבה מסלה לאלהינו :

"A voice crying in the desert, Clear ye the way of THE LORD, prepare, in Arabia Deserta, an highway for our God.-Literal translation.

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The first difference in the literal translation is in the word Bangarba, and which I render in Arabia Deserta; it is a word of several significations according to the context. I have given it its original signification, supposing the context requires it, the radix is

Arab, and it is applied to signify a desert, because Arabia is a desert country, a plain, sandy country; it has other significations, and is consequently differently translated many ho Solu larocheeb BANGARABOTH; "Extol him who rideth upon the Heavens," Ps. lxviii. v. 4. But here the sense of the context would, if not require, at least allow its being rendered in THE DESERT (of Arabia ;) for the Psalmist sings of his appearance on Sinai, in Arabia Deserta. Again, nay ban Vatagel ARABA. Isaiah, c. xxxv. v.1. And which the Bible has rendered, "And the desert shall rejoice; but why I cannot perceive, for here again the context requires the word to be left as a proper noun, and ARABIA shall rejoice; being that its desert is to blossom as a rose. "It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of THE LORD, and the excellency of our God." Is. xxxv. 2. The deserts of Arabia will become a flourishing country, and in consequence the Arabians will rejoice, even with joy and singing; for Ishmael is to dwell in the presence of all his brethren; they also will, at the restoration, become a flourishing people. Again, ny, Medereech HANGARABA, translated "through the way of the plain ;" (Deut. ii. 8.) but this is manifestly incorrect; for when they left Edom or Seir, they were in the desert of Arabia, for they were not allowed to go through Moab, and therefore they turned themselves, and instead of going North, in which direction their road lay, they went East into the desert of Arabia; and so

מדין הערבה

לצד צפון הפכנו פנים להלוך רוח מזרחית ,says Jarchi

"We turned our


faces from the North to go towards the East." D Masa BANGARAB, "The burthen of Arabia." (Is. xxi. 13.) And here David Levy is with ine, for he sayeth "This is Arabia Deserta," as also Is. xiii. 20, y De Lo yael Shem ARABE, "The

Arabian shall not pitch his tent there." I am aware that the word has other significations, but I contend this is its signification here, that the highway here spoken of is to be in Arabia D. serta, and not in the wilderness of Judea.

The next difference is in the word op MYSELA; this, with the translators of the Bible, I render an HIGH-WAY. St. Matthew has it THE PATH, meaning, I presume, a narrow foot path, and it must be left to our opponents, to explain to us how a Jew, whose vernacular tongue was Hebrew, could render MYSELA a path, the Hebrew word for which is ns Horach, the Hebraist will find it, Ps. xvii. 4. "The path of the destroyer," Gen. xlix. 17. “An adder in the PATH," and Ps. xvi. "The PATH of life." In all which places, and in innumerable others, the word is n Horach, and may indeed mean a road, such as is made by continual wear, but not a worked, artificial road, or high-way; and by Mang-gal is also a path, Ps. xvii. 5. "Thy path, cxl. 6. and innumerable others;" but the word op mysela only means a wide artificial cast up road or high-way, as MYSELATH Sidi Kobas, "The highway of the Fuller's field, Is. vii. 3. пhop nnm "And there shall be an high-way for the remnant of his people," Is. xi. 16. Nay its very root Salal, to cast up, shows its meaning to be a cast up, raised, artificial, if you please, turnpike road, and to none other will it apply, as 177 135 1 10 SALU SALU panu derech, "Cast up, cast up, prepare the way," Is. lvii. 14. that is, plough the road on each side, and throw the ground in the centre; so that no Mysela is such a road which is cast up and raised higher than the land adjacent, while a path is only worn plain, and is rather lower than the land contiguous thereto.

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But perhaps Saint Matthew did not intend to quote Isaiah, for he says Esaias, and in that case I have nothing to say, because I never saw the book of the prophet Esaias; indeed, I never read of such a prophet among the Jews, or the Ephraimites. Perhaps this Esaias was a Grecian prophet; nothing more likely, for Saint Matthew was mah kattan pand in the Greek than the Hebrew; and that

נחמו נחמו עמי

is very strange, but I suppose it was a miracle. And lest some one may say he meant Isaiah when he says Esaias, we will consider the scope, intention, and real meaning of the 3d verse, or the propheey whereof the 3d verse of the 40th chapter is a part-it begins "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God." The people of God, Israel, are commanded to comfort themselves. "Speak ye comfortably to (the heart of) Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." The people of Israel are commanded to speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry to Jerusalem that her warfare is accomplished, her warfare is done, is over, is past; there will be no more warfare for her, her iniquity is pardoned, her sin, her iniquity is forgiven; because she, Jerusalem, has been doubly punished for all her sins; so that she will thence forward have no more warfare; she has received her punishment, she will have no more punishment, all is now forgiven, and therefore the people are commanded to comfort themselves, and to comfort Jerusalem. The spirit appears to have in view the restoration and the time of the restoration of Israel, when judgment will return to the righteous, when Ephraim, as well as Judah, will be restored to their own country; when the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, will be set up, for after that time Jerusalem will have no more warfare.No stranger then will pass through her any more. "A voice of crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord: make straight in Arabia Deserta, a high-way for our God." This is not said of any particular man who will utter this voice: it is to be a voice, a loud, a crying voice, "Prepare ye." This is spoken of Ephraim, the voice is the coming of Ephraim, of the whole nation, the long lost to us, and at present not to a certainty known, ten tribes of Israel, our brothers, who were driven into captivity by Shalmanezzer; their coming into the wilderness, on their return to the land of their fathers, will occasion this voice, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord make straight in the desert, a high-way for our God." When speaking in chap. xi. of the restoration of Israel and Judah, from all the world, he makes use of the same language, (an high-way.) "And there shall be an high-way for the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was to Israel, in the day that he came out of the land of Egypt:" so that the high-way for our

God, means an high-way for the people; and these coming, as they came out of Egypt, in a national body, will occasion this voice in the wilderness; this will indeed be a comfort to the people of God, this will be a comfort to Jerusalem, for her warfare then will be accomplished, her iniquity will then be pardoned; she will be then certain, that she has received her punishment, in full tale, double for all her sins, as threatened in Jeremiah, xvi 18. "And first, will I recompense their iniquity, and their sin, double, because they have defiled my land; they have filled my inheritance with the carcases of their detestable, and their abominable things." This is the real, the literal meaning of the prophecy, or that part now necessary to be considered; this is the precise meaning of just so many words put together, in the order these words do stand in context. Now ......ians spiritualize these words to mean the promulgation of their gospel, and the voice to mean the preaching of John the Baptist; then, when John the Baptist preached, and the gospel was preached by Jesus of Nazareth, the warfare of Jerusalem was accomplished; the iniquity of Jerusalem was pardoned! Jerusalem had received of the Lord's hand the double for all her sins! How was the warfare of Jerusalem accomplished? Have not the people of the prince, the Romans, destroyed Jerusalem? Razed her foundations, and burnt up the sanctuary? Is not the mountain of the Lord's House in heaps? Is Judab restored? Had she received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins, when the gospel was preached 1800 years ago? What then can be the meaning of this long and doleful captivity? Is this the way of the Lord? the trouble had not yet begun! how then can it be said her iniquity was pardoned ?—— No, far was it from the intention of the Spirit of Holiness, to say any thing here of the promulgation of the gospel! or the preaching of John and John in the wilderness of Judea, was not this voice in the wilderness. The time for this voice was not, and is not yet come, because the warfare of Jerusalem was not, and is not yet accomplished; Jerusalem had not then,neither bas she as yet, fully received of the Lord's hands double for all her sins, (although the time hasteneth) and therefore her iniquity (the iniquity of Jerusalem, of the Jewish Church, if you please to have it so,) is not yet pardoned her warfare is not yet accomplished, as we see it daily before our eyes; and therefore this John your Saint Matthew speaks about, was not the voice spoken of by the prophet Isaiah! Whatever the

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