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lates the passage:—"There shall not be taken away one having the principality from the house of Judah, nor a Bribe from his children's children, till Messiah's come, whose is the kingdom.” The other Targums and Talmoods of the Jews, take the same view of the passage.
The idea is, that Judah should keep the supremacy until the sceptre should be put into Shiloh's hands. This tribe did retain its supremacy, even after the return from Babylon, and when under the Romans ; but on the appearance of Christ, this natural and temporal supremacy passed into a spiritual and everlasting reign. The lion of the tribe of Judah and the root of David, had appeared to order and establish his throne forever.
4. The prediction of Balaam, is the next that claims attention.
His words are none the less true, because he was not of the Jewish nation, for God evidently took cognizance of the whole transaction. How sublimely this Eastern seer bre eks forth in his poetical predictions !
" I shall see him-but not now:
And shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.”
undermine, as in Isaiah 22: 5, and hence in the Chaldee and Syriac the verse is translated, “He shall subdue all the sons of Seth, and rule over all the sons of men.”
Onkelos, in his Targum, thus paraphrases :—“ When a Prince shall arise of the house of Jacob, and Christ shall be anointed of the house of Israel, He shall slay the princes of Moab, and rule over all the sons of men.” As the children of Seth comprised the human race, the prediction could not refer to any one less than Him, who was to subdue all men to himself.
The wise men who came to worship the infant Saviour came from the East, the identical country of Balaam, and they were guided on their way by this star which was the Redeemer's emblem.
Peter applies the term star to Christ, when he exhorts Christians to adhere to the more sure word of prophecy,' until the day dawned, and the day-star arose in their hearts; and in the book of Revelation, the Saviour takes the appellation to himself, “ I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”
5. The prophecy of Moses may next claim our attention.
“ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken ;” (Deut. 18:15;) and again, in the 18th and 19th verses, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass
that whosoever will not hearken unto the words which
be shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. That this prophet was not Joshua, as some have supposed, is evident from Deuteronomy 34: 10. " And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face."
It is also evident from Numbers 12: 6, 7, 8. “If there be a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefere then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses ?"
God would speak to an ordinary prophet in visions, but Moses and Christ were prophets who enjoyed the freest intercourse with God.
All the ancient Jewish writers, understood this prophet to be Christ, and it was so understood, especially, in the days of our Lord. After the miracle of the loaves, the people exclaimed, “This is of a truth that Prophet."(John 6: 14.)
Stephen also applies the term to Christ. (Acts 7: 37.) " This is that Moses which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me, him shall ye hear;" and Peter declares that this prophet was identical with Jesus whom God sent to turn away men from their iniquities.
Thus we have gone through with the leading types and predictions of the Pentateuch, respecting the Messiah.
As with the types, so we might trace these prophetic glimpses through the other historical books, the psalms,
and the prophets, and from thence into the New Testament, where we should find every prophetic ray converging in Jesus of Nazareth ; but the mind, already inspired by the increasing light, irresistibly rushes forward to the grand completion of this heavenly drama. We set out from Eden, and now we have arrived at Bethlehem, and here all the predictions and types of the Old Testament are centering in one personage. He is the Seed of the woman and of Abraham, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Shiloh, the Star of Balaam, and the Prophet of Moses. He is both the root and the offspring of David, and will sit upon his throne forever. Heaven and earth join in celebrating this glorious fulfilment of prophesy. Wise men come to seek him and to worship him. Angels celebrate the occasion with their loftiest songs of joy. Shepherds catch the sound, and hasten to do homage at his feet. Aged Anna gives thanks; while old Simeon, who had long been waiting for the salvation of Israel, clasped him in his arms, and holding him in whom centred every ray of light that had shone from the creation, he could exclaim, "Now let thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” But who can dwell upon this glorious scene? Here converges a light which bedazzles our vision, and we are bewildered by the sweet and unearthly strains of Angels! The great mystery which has been hid from ages, and from generations, begins to be revealed in Jesus Christ, and the glory of God appears in the face of his only begotten Son!
Well may the heavenly choir sing, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and good will towards men," and let all the inhabitants of earth echo back the sound.
Shall we now ask :
II. What practical benefit to ourselves, may result from a contemplation of such a subject ?
1. Certainly a subject that has employed the attention of God, angels, and holy men, is worthy our attention. Shall we say that such a subject is merely speculative, and refuse to engage in its contemplation ?
2. A subject that is frought with such wisdom, is worthy of our consideration. God made us, and endowed us with intelligence that we might study his wisdom, and learn his nature from his various works; and what works so fully develope his wisdom as this great plan of redemption ?
This subject shows that there is a connection between the Old Testament and the New, and thus evinces the truth of the Bible. Jesus Christ is not a Divinity, unceremoniously introduced to the world, but a long process of shadows and prophecies is requisite to introduce him. Who would have known him to be the Messiah, had it not been for the Old Testament? We have been told to throw the Old Testament aside. Perish such a thought! Hell never gave birth to one more infidel in its character.
4. We learn God's method of instruction. It is to teach truth as men are able to bear it. It
be asked, why was not plainer language used in the predictions respecting the Messiah, in the earlier ages. We answer, that that language was used which was best calculated to teach the glorious doctrine of salvation by Christ to the gradually developing intellects of men.
Had plainer language been used, it must have been language of a more modern type, which the patriarchs could