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(Leviticus xxvi., as quoted in Chapter V.)



Distinction of the tribe of Judah—Grant of the sovereignty to the house of David-Characters of the kings of Judah—Jehoiakim,

the last king—Difficulty of firing correct epochas—Genealogy of Christ, the legal heir to the throne—What David understood by the terms of the above grant —The Annunciation—Other prophecies relating to Christ as heir to the throne—The incorruption of his body— His resurrection and ascension—His second coming—The throne of Israel and Judah again re-united—The reign of Christ—Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the great tree—The Millennium.

If the chronological term of seven times, as it occurs in the twenty-sixth of Leviticus, and also as it is to be found in the fourth of Daniel, will bear the important signification which I have attached to it, there cannot be any doubt that its application ought not to be confined exclusively to the Ten Tribes; but that it must likewise have a special reference to the tribe and kingdom of Judah. Not but that it had an inchoate application to this tribe before; for in the same year that the kingdom of Israel was finally carried into captivity by Esarhaddon, the king of Judah was likewise taken captive and carried into Babylon. But the time was not arrived when the house of David was yet to be deprived of the throne; and therefore Manasseh, “when he was in affliction,

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besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself
greatly before the God of his fathers: and prayed
unto him, and he was intreated of him, and heard
his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem
into his kingdom,” on the throne of which his poste-
rity continued for about seventy-five years longer.
The tribe of Judah being that from which the
Messiah was to spring, was on all occasions pre-emi-
nently distinguished from all the other tribes. In
the blessing which Jacob pronounced upon his chil-
dren on his death bed, he said of Judah, “Thou art
he whom thy brethren shall praise: thine hand shall
be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's chil-
dren shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's
whelp ; from the prey, my son, art thou gone up : he
stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old
lion; who shall rouse him up 2 The sceptre shall
not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between
his feet, until Shiloh come ; and unto him shall the
gathering of the people be.” The whole of which
prophecy conveys the idea of the high distinction for
which this tribe shall be above all the others remark-
able; and most distinctly intimates that the “scep-
tre”—or, as it is more correctly translated by Bishop
Newton, the tribeship or the separate being of the
tribe—shall long continue after that of all the others
is departed.
In the manner of encampment, and in the order
of march during their forty years' journey in the

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wilderness, the post of honour was always assigned to this tribe. The camp of Judah, which was likewise most distinguished in point of number, always marched first; and its ensign or standard was erected in the centre of the east side, “toward the rising sun,” when they stood still ; that of Reuben was on the south ; Ephraim on the west; and Dan on the north; each having a tribe right and left, and thus making, in a square, the complete number of twelve.*

But its chief pre-eminence as the favoured tribe from which Christ after the flesh was to spring, was shown in the distinct and formal GRANT of the sovereignty, which, in the house and person of David, was assigned to it, in perpetuity and for ever. Exactly therefore, by the same kind of title that the land of Judea belongs to the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, does the throne belong to the tribe of Judah and the house of David. And therefore, exactly the same kind of promise that secures the restoration to, and permanently future possession of, the one, equally secures and demands that of the other. For if either the restoration to the land or to the throne could fail, then the promise, nay even the oath which God on both occasions hath sworn, fails likewise. But since the divine attributes forbid this thought— since God is declared to be the same “from everlasting to everlasting,” and since He hath declared of himself that He is the Lord that chANG ETH Not, I repeat that the terms of the gift, both as it regards the throne as well as the land, demand a restoration alike to both. The terms in which the latter were conveyed have already been fully brought forward :* those in which the former are given, are the following. Speaking of Solomon, the Lord says: “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever......And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”: “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. ...Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.”f It is therefore, with regard to the throne, that, in the present case, this prophecy of the seven times must have an application; because, for purposes essentially connected with the first coming of Christ, it being decreed that the tribeship should not depart from Judah until Messiah or the Shiloh came, it cannot, as in the case of the other ten tribes, have a reference to their dispersion, which did not take place until nearly six hundred years after their return from the Babylonish captivity, on the destruction of Jeru

* Numbers i.

* See chapters i. and v. + 2 Sam. vii. 13, 16. : Psalm lxxxix. 3, 4; 35–37.

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