|« Prev||SECT. XIV. That he is already come, appears from…||Next »|
SECT. XIV. That he is already come, appears from the time foretold.
DANIEL, a testimony of whose great piety Ezekiel affords us,619619 xiv. 14. xxviii. 3. Josephus concerning Daniel, at the end of the tenth book, says, “That the spirit of God was with him.” And afterwards, “That he was endued with every thing in an incredible manner, as being one of the greatest of the prophets. In his life-time he was had in great honour and esteem, both by the kings and the people; and after his death he was had in everlasting remembrance; the books wrote by him, and left to us, we read at this day, and their testimony convinces us that he had a communication with God.” could neither deceive us, nor be deceived himself by the angel Gabriel: and be, according to the direction of the angel, has left us upon record, chap. ix. that there should not pass above five hundred years between the publication of the edict for rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Messiah.620620 The great Hebrew doctors, such as Salomon Jarchi, rabbi Josue, quoted by Abenesdras and Saadias, agree, that the Son of Mau in Daniel is the Messiah: thus rabbi Josue, who saw the raising of the temple, said that the time of the Messiah was then past, as R. Jacob in Caphthor testifies. But there are above two thousand years passed, since that time to this day, and he, whom the Jews expect, is not yet come; neither can they name any other to whom that time will agree. But it agrees so well to Jesus, that a Hebrew teacher, Nehemiah,621621 Grotius ought to have told us whence he had this. If I remember right, in some epistle of his to his brother William Grotius, he says, he received it from a Jew. Le Clerc. who lived five hundred years before him, said openly then, 205that the time of the Messiah, signified by Daniel, could not be deferred above five hundred years. There is another mark before hinted at, which agrees with this of the time; and that is, that a government over all nations should be appointed from heaven,622622 R. Levi Ben Gerson tells us, that that stone, by the blow whereof that image which represented the empires should be broken to pieces, was the Messiah. Rabbi Solomon, r. Abenesdras, and r. Saadia, say, that that kingdom, which would consume the rest of the kingdoms, was the kingdom of the Messiah. R. Levi Ben Gerson and Saadia affirm the Son of Man in Daniel to be the Messiah. after the posterity of Seleucus and Lagus should cease to reign;623623 See the annotations upon this in the first book. the latter of which ended in Cleopatra, not long before Jesus was born. A third token is in the fore-mentioned chap. ix. of Daniel; that after the coming of the Messiah, the city of Jerusalem should be razed; which prophecy of the destruction of that city, Josephus himself refers to his own age.624624 Book x. chap. 12. “Daniel wrote concerning this time, and concerning the Roman empire, and that (our nation) should be destroyed by it. God having discovered all these things to him, he left them us in writing; so that whoever reads them, and considers what has come to pass, cannot but admire the honour God did to Daniel.” Iacchiades also upon Dan. ix. 24. tells us, that the seventy weeks of years were finished in the destruction of Jerusalem. From whence it follows, that the time limited for the coming of the Messiah was then past. To this may be referred that of Haggai, chap. ii. where God comforts Zerubbabel, a heathen prince, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high-priest, upon their sorrow because the temple built by them did not answer the greatness of the former temple, with this promise, that there should be greater honour done to that temple, than to the former: which could be said neither of the bigness of the work, nor of the materials, nor of the workmanship, nor of the ornaments, as is very plain from the history of those times in the sacred writings, and in Josephus, compared with that of the temple of Solomon: to which we may add, which is observed by the Hebrew 206teachers, that there was wanting two very great endowments in the latter temple, which were in the former, viz. a visible light, as a token of the divine Majesty, and a divine inspiration.625625 In the title concerning instruction, and the Jerusalem Gemara, chap. 3. But wherein this latter temple was to exceed the former, God briefly declares, when he says, that he would establish his peace,626626 We must observe what goes before. “The desire of all nations shall come and I will fill this house with glory.” Which wonderfully agrees with what we have taken out of Malachi: so that these two prophets may serve for interpreters of each other. Rabbi Akiba, and many others, as rabbi Solomon testifies, were of opinion, that the Messiah ought to come in the second temple. that is, his favour and goodwill, in that temple, as it were, by a firm covenant. This is further prosecuted by Malachi, chap. iii. Behold, I will send my messenger, who shall prepare my way; and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple,627627 This place of Malachi, the Jews commonly explain of the Messiah. (now Malachi lived after the latter temple was built), even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in. Therefore the Messiah ought to come while the second temple stood; in which account is reckoned by the Hebrews all the time from Zerubbabel to Vespasian;628628 As in the Talmud, chap. the last, concerning the council; anti that entitled Juma, and that entitled Rosch Haschana. for the temple in the time of Herod the great was not rebuilt from the foundation, but only gradually renewed by parts;629629 Philo concerning the world: “That is not corruptible, all the parts of which are corrupting gradually but that, all the parts of which are destroyed together at the same time.” Add to this, L. Proponebatur. D. de Judiciis, et L. quid tamen. Sect. in navis. D. quibus modis ususfructus amittatur. notwithstanding which alteration, it might be called the same temple. And, indeed, there was so firm an expectation of the Messiah at that time amongst the Hebrews, and their neighbours, that Herod was thought by some to be the Messiah,630630 These were the Herodians, Matt. xxii.16. Mark iii. 6. viii. l5. xii. 13. Tertullian in his enumeration of heretics: “Amongst these were the Herodians, who said that Herod was the Christ.” And Epiphanius says the same of them: agreeable to which, is that of the ancient scholiast on Persius; “Herod reigned amongst the Jews, in the time of Augustus, in the parts of Syria; therefore, the Herodians keep the birth-day of Herod, as they do the Sabbath, upon which day they put lighted candles crowned with violets on their windows.” Judas 207Gaulonita by others,631631 See Josephus xviii. 1. Acts v. 37. and some more by others, who lived about the time of our Saviour.632632 Acts xxi. 38. Josephus has many instances in the time of Felix, and some after the destruction of Jerusalem.
|« Prev||SECT. XIV. That he is already come, appears from…||Next »|
►Proofing disabled for this book
► Printer-friendly version