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ye people from far; Jehovah hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My Name. And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He hid Me; and said unto Me, Thou art My servant, O Israel, in Whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent My strength for nought, and in vain : yet surely My judgment is with Jehovah, and My work with My God.
And now, saith Jehovah, that formed Me from the womb, to bring Jacob again to Him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of Jehovah, and My God shall be My strength. And He said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him Whom man despiseth, to Him Whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of Jehovah that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose Thee.”
These words are the words of our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; and they are spoken primarily to us Gentiles : who were then described as “a people” “far” from Him; as Israel was described as a people near unto Him."1 And so the Apostle, speaking to us Gentiles says, He “came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” For "now in Christ Jesus ye who sometime,” i.e., some time ago, “were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ :
" Who hath reconciled both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." The call to listen to Him I pass over: as we have already considered this, in our Exposition of Psalm 1.
1 Psalm cxlviii. 14.
* Eph ü. 17, 18, 13, 16.
“Jehovah hath called Me,” says He, “from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My Name.” And was it not so ? For when “the angel Gabriel was sent from God" "to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph,” he said unto her, “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His Name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” And when Mary enquired of the angel how this should be, “the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” And so again, when "Joseph her husband" finding her “with child of the Holy Ghost," "while he thought on these things, behold, the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife : for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.'
“And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His head hath He hid Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He hid Me." In the preface to my first volume of “Outlines,” I have put in apposition a number of texts, wherein a comparison is made between “the Living word,” and “the Written Word."
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do."4
1 Luke i. 26, 27, 31-35.
Mat. i. 18, 20-22.
3 Page xiv.
- Heb. iv. 12, 13. " For
And when John saw Him in Patmos, he said, “ His voice was as the sound of many waters," "and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword." Hence when “Ephraim's" "goodness” was “as a morning cloud, and as the early dew” which “goeth away,” He said, " Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth." And when He comes again, “He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked one,"3 i.e., Antichrist. For then will it be said of Him, “Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, 0 most mighty, with Thy glory and Thy Majesty. And in Thy Majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee," "O God.” “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations : “and the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth : and all the fowls were filled with their
"And said unto Me, Thou art My servant, O Israel, in Whom I will be glorified.” This is how He is designated, as we have seen in the 42nd Chapter, and in many other places, as in Zech. iii. 8, “For, behold, I will bring forth My servant the BRANCH.” For He“ took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."6 whether is greater,” said He Himself to His disciples, “he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth ? is it not be that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.”? And His actions were in accordance with His words : for the Apostle John tells us, that “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded.” “So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord : and ye say well ; for so I am ; If I then your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord ; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."i Nay, He extends this service even into the future : for He says, “ Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”2
Rev. i. 15, 16.
* Hos. vi. 4, 5.
3 Isa. xi. 4; 2 Thes. ii. 8.
And you will observe, that in this connexion He is here addressed as Israel, the true “Prince," Who has“ power with God and with men;" and Who “prevails
as the surety of all, who are interested in the Divine Covenant of grace, on account of the work, which as the Father's servant, He thus accomplished on their behalf. For that this Name belongs to Jesus, as such, we have the testimony of other portions of the Word also. Thus, the declaration of the prophet Hosea, which would seem on the face of it to relate exclusively to the people of Israel, “ When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt,"4 is also applied by the Evangelist to Christ Himself. For he tells us, that after the wise men “were departed, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of
1 John xiii. 3-5, 12-17.
Luke xii. 37.
3 Gen. xxxii. 28.
4 Hos. xi. 1.
Herod : that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son." Now the Evangelist, by using the word "fulfilled” here, shews us that, although this declaration related primarily to the Israelitish nation; yet that it referred also to Christ Himself; and that it was not, therefore, fully accomplished until this event had taken place. It moreover proves to us, as also does the passage under review, that the name Israel also is one of our Lord's titles; and thus enables us to see the farther hidden meaning likewise of Hosea xii. 12, that “Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep:” for was not this true also of Jehovah Jesus? For did He not "serve for a wife”-“ the Bride, the Lamb's wife; and is He not "the good Shepherd,” Who "giveth His life for the sheep?" And was it not, on this account also, that He“ glorified” the Lord by “ finishing the work which He had thus given Him to do?"4
“Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent My strength for nought and in vain : yet surely My judgment is with Jehovah, and My work with My God.”
Why were these words spoken by Jesus to the Father, and when ?
We have seen that “after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God” to His own people the Jews," and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye, and believe the Gospel.” So when He had ordained His "twelve " disciples, He “sent them forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not : but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of the heavens is at hand.” So again, when “ Jesus departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon,' and " a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on Me, O Lord, Thou
1 Mat. ii. 13-15.
2 Rev. xxi. 9.
3 Jobn x. 11.