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Chapter 8 Verse 10
am a wall, and my breasts like towers:
then was I in his eyes as one that found favor.
are either, the words of the Jewish church, asserting herself to be what her little sister was not; namely, that she was a wall well fenced, and firmly established, was indulged with ordinances, and blessed with ministers; whilst the Gentiles lay open, were “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world,” (Eph. 2:12), as also confirming what Christ had said in the former verse; as well as assuring her little sister, the Gentile church, that she should also find favor in Christ’s eyes, when she came into the same state and condition: unless we should rather choose to consider them as expressing that additional glory; peace and prosperity, which should accrue to the church by the calling of the Gentiles; which would not be inconsiderable, and no small indication of her finding favor or peace in Christ’s eyes; who would then “extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.” Though I rather think, that they are the words of the little sister herself, the Gentile church; either signifying her desire to be in such a well-settled state and condition, “O that I was a wall!” etc., or else, asserting herself to be in such a case,10191019Hoc est, nolite dubitare utrum murus sum, Ambros. Enarrat, in Psal. cxviii. oct. on. 22. p. 1087. which Christ had intimated in the former verse,
I.She asserts herself to be a wall.
II.That her breasts were like towers. And,
III.Being so, was in his eyes as one that found favor.
I.She asserts herself to be a wall; that is, 1. Well walled; God himself is a wall of fire about his people; Christ’s salvation is appointed for walls and bulwarks to them; nay, faithful ministers and Christian magistrates may in some sense be said to be so, being placed for the protection and &fence of the church. 2. She is one of those two walls, to which Christ is the comer-stone, as he is called (Eph. 2:20), the Jewish church is one, and the Gentile the other; which both meet and make up one building in Christ, the middle wall of partition being broken down. 3. She is a wall built up of lively stones, cemented together in love: the elect of God, by nature, lie in the same quarry, are taken out of the same pit, and hewn from the same rock, as others are; but being separated from them by distinguishing and efficacious grace, are hewn and fitted for the building by the Spirit of God, where they are laid by him, and knit together in the bond of love. 4. She was firmly built on Christ, the foundation; which God has laid in Zion, and is sure, firm, and lasting, against which the gates of hell can never prevail; and which will be sufficient to bear up and support the church and all believers, who lay the whole stress of their persons, and the salvation of them upon it. 5. She was well established in the doctrine of faith: the Gentiles received the gospel with all readiness of mind, when the Jews rejected it; and though it was in much affliction, yet it was with much joy in the Holy Ghost; and when they once got it, they could not be moved away from it, by all the frowns and flatteries, promises, and threatenings of men; Which, to their adversaries, was an evident token of perdition, but to them, of salvation, and that of God; so the Targum and R. Solomon Jarchi interpret these words of the steadfastness of the congregation of Israel; in the religion and laws of God. 6. She was constant and immoveable in her love to Christ; she was a wall; she was proof against all temptations and insinuations, and not a door, that easily let into her affections every one that knocked: she loved Christ dearly, and kept her love inviolate and pure for him; nothing could separate her from it; the greatest pleasures and profits of life could not tempt her to desert him; nor the most dreadful sufferings and torments deter her from expressing her affections to him; she was like a wall that stood invincible and impregnable.
II.She says, that her breasts were like towers; which may in general denote her ripeness for marriage; her breasts were fashioned; were round and plump, and rose up high like towers; she was now marriageable; the time of her being presented as a chaste virgin to Christ, and of her open espousals to him, was come. Or else more particularly,
1st, By her breasts, may be meant the ministers of the gospel; who, like nurses (1 Thess. 2:7), give the breast to “newborn babes,” and feed them with the “ sincere milk of the word;” and, like towers, are set for the defense of the gospel: such ministers the first church among the Gentiles had; whose ministry was not only edifying and nourishing, but they themselves also were faithful, zealous, and courageous in the discharge thereof; and could not be moved, from their station, nor be made to desist from their work, by all the violence and oppression of men. Or else,
2dly, By these breasts, may be meant the two Testaments, the Old and the New; which are both full of the milk of excellent doctrines and precious promises; which are all useful for the comfort, edification and instruction of God’s people; and from whence, as from towers, they may be supplied with all needful armor, to repel Satan’s temptations, refute, erroneous doctrines, and defend the gospel; and though efforts have been made by Satan and his emissaries to remove them out of the world, yet they still remain impregnable and invincible: now with these breasts the Gentile church is blessed.
3dly, The two ordinances, of baptism and the Lord’s supper, may be intended; which are peculiar to the church under the New Testament dispensation; and are as breasts of consolation to believers, especially when they have the presence of Christ in them, and his love at the same time manifested to them; these are like towers, have stood firm and immoveable against all the efforts of men, to, change, deface, subvert and abolish them. The Jews10201020T. Bah. Bava Bathra, fol. 8. 1. & Pesachim, fol. 87, 1. interpret the wall of the congregation of Israel, and the “breasts as towers,” of the synagogues and schools; also the former of the law, and the latter of the scholars.
III.Being so, she says, she “was in his eyes as one that found favor;” which may either respect,
1st, The time10211021Vid. Alcuin. in loc. of her becoming a wall, and having breasts like towers; then was I, or “from the time that I was in his eyes, as one that found favor or peace;” that is, I became a wall, was firmly built on Christ, established in the doctrine of faith, and formed into a church-state; had breasts, a settled ministry, and gospel-ordinances; which have continued with me ever since I found peace with Christ, which he made for me by the blood of his cross. Now this is certainly matter of fact, that from the time that Christ became “our peace,” (Eph. 2:14), the ceremonial law, which is there called “the middle wall of partition,” which stood between Jew and Gentile, was removed; so that they both coalesced in one church-state, verse 14-16 and equally shared in all gospel-ordinances find privileges, verses 17-22, from that time the Gentile church began to be a church in gospel-order. Or else,
2dly, It may respect the time of the open manifestation of Christ’s love, which was when she became a wall, and had breasts. It is true, he loved her before, even from eternity, with an everlasting love; but that was hidden and secret both to herself and others: but now her “breasts are fashioned;” he looked upon her, and her “time is the time of love;” he openly espouses her to himself, and lets all the world know, as well as herself, what favor she found in his sight: and it manifestly appears that she was sensible of it; and by expressing it, would signify, 1. That her being a wall and having breasts, were instances of his kindness to her; and indeed, it is an unspeakable mercy to have a gospel-ministry and gospel-ordinances (Ps. 148:19, 20), “He shewed his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel: he hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments, they have not known them: praise ye the Lord:” if it was so great a favor for the people of Israel to have the law, on the account of which, they were called a “great nation:” what an instance of surprising and distinguishing grace is it, that we Gentiles should have the gospel and the ordinances thereof! The church here esteemed it a favor, and so should we. 2. She ascribes all these blessings and privileges which she was possessed of, to his grace and favor: Was she a wall? it was owing to him; and had she breasts? she acknowledges it as an instance of his regard to her; and was ready to say, with the apostle (1 Cor. 15:10). “By the grace of God, I am what I am:” an excellent example for us to follow. 3. This phrase may be expressive of her gracious acceptation with Christ; thus Noah is said to have “found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” (Gen. 6:8), the Gentiles, who were proselyted to the Jewish religion before the coming of Christ in the flesh, were like Esther, “standing in the court” alone, for they might not worship with the Jews; whom, when Christ looked upon, they “obtained favor in his sight;” and he held out the golden scepter of his grace, and admitted them to nearer communion with him; built them into a church-state, furnished them with gospel-ordinances, and graciously accepted both them and their services; he “took pleasure in these his people, and beautified the meek with salvation.” 4. The enjoyment of the presence of God and Christ, is a very considerable instance and evidence of finding favor in his eyes: Moses desired to be ascertained of his having found grace in God’s sight, by the enjoyment of this blessing (Ex. 33:15, 16), which he was graciously indulged with; and perhaps it is this which the church here had particularly in view; and a great mercy it was to have ordinances, and .the presence of Christ along with them, than which nothing can be more desirable and delightful. 5. The words may be rendered, “then was I in his eyes as one that found peace;” meaning that inward peace of conscience, and tranquillity of mind, which “passeth all understanding;” which she enjoyed in the midst of all her tribulations and sufferings for Christ; which he only gives, and which the world cannot take away; for if he “giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?” 6. This word “favor or peace,” may comprehend all these spiritual blessings, wherewith she was blessed in Christ Jesus; such as peace, reconciliation, justification, pardon of sin, sanctitication, adoption, etc., for he is “a sun and shield; he will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” (Ps. 84:11). 7. The manifestation of Christ’s love, which is the greatest blessing in life, may be here intended: hence says the Psalmist (Ps. 106:4), “Remember me, O Lord, with the favor that thou bearest unto thy people;” and no wonder that he should be so desirous of it; for “in his favor is life;” but not to enjoy it is death: O! how miserable will those be to all eternity, in whom that scripture will be verified (Isa. 27:11), “He that made them, will not have mercy on them; and he that formed them, will shew them no favor!”
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