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if Judah had not always a king of the Davidic line, there was Legislature in the tribe to which it belonged. This pre-eminence commenced when the sceptre was transferred front the family of Saul to that of David. Some have given the sceptre to Judah as early, indeed, as the commencement of the tribe *; but they seem rather to have anticipated God's conveyance: For the oracle itself expressly declares, that it refers to the Latter Days. Others have with-held the sceptre till the revolt of the ten tribes from Rehoboam'f. But the Jewish sceptre was far more glorious in the hands of David and Solomon, than in those of Rehoboam: It is certainly absurd to suppose, that the enjoyment of the sceptre commenced
tribe: That staff being the badge of distinction for the Prince. And, in this, they are followed by J. AltinGius, Bishops Sherlock and Newton.—Calvin and Mede understands of the majesty of government, under whatever form. Nor is Waginseil much otherways minded. He reckons the 1 before mechokek may as well be understood disjunctively as a copulative: In which cafe the sceptre may denote the royal government, and the lawgiver that form which obtained under Zerubbabel. These two forms nearly divide the whole time of Judah's government into two equal parts: There being near five centuries in each of them. This fense, which approves itself to me, is defended by Heidegger, Owen, Patrick, &c.
* Eusebius and his followers, above mentioned.
t Cuneus de Republica Heb. Abrah. Scultet. Exercit. Evangel. These are refuted by Leidekker de Repub. Heb. Lib. VII. cap. vi.
at a time when the splendor of it was greatly tarnished in the hands of a weak prince. The sceptre and the throne were certainly both given to David, and secured, by this covenant, to his Seed. As this Seed was two-fold, as we have already seen, so there was a two-fold Koyalt Y in like manner. The ordinary feed was secured of succession to the earthly throne, and the extraordinary Seed in the enjoyment of that glorious authority which was prefigured by it: The throne being put for all the ensigns of royalty and majesty, comprehending all the glory of the Hebrew monarchy, in the type; and all the exaltation of the Messiah, in
the substance. Finally, We may notice the
duration of this Honour. This perpetuity is often mentioned in the text: Not fewer than three times, to denote the importance of it *. There is a two-fold perpetuity mentioned in Scripture, and meant in this promise: The duration intended is suited to the kingdom to which it is ascribed. The worldly kingdom continued under monarchy until the Babylonish captivity: and preserved its civil polity (tho' sometimes tributary), and also its sacred rites, until the fulness of time. As to the antitypical kingdom, absolute eternity, in the fullest emphasis of the word, is intended. In other kingdoms, their sceptres have been frequently unrighteously managed, and the thrones
* 2 Sam. vii. i:. and 16.
rushed down into ruin: But, as the glory of this sceptre can never be tarnished by iniquity, so the throne can never be shaken: "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from, hence forth even for ever *«" This promise
connected connected the external preservation of the family of David, and his kingdom, with their eternal salvation; as the coming of the Messiah depended upon it.
* Is. ix.7. "St Paul's remarkable comparison, by way of antithesis, between Adam and Christ (Rom. v. 12. 1 Cor. , Jtv. 2t.)', whom he calls the second Adam, or Man, is well known. But 1 do not know th.'.t the commentators fend us to the Old'Testament for any thing that may serve to justify the great Apostle in this comparison. And yet, I think, there is a passage in the prayer of David (2 Sa'in.vii. 19. and 1 Chron. xvii. 17.) which shews, that the Messiah was expected under this very character.— Upon David's pious resolution to build a house for Goil; which, as appears from his way of expressing himself, he intended mould be very magnificent: The prophet Nathan was so pleased with it, that he concluded God would be pleased with it too; and " said to the king, go and do all that is in thine heart: for the Lord is with thee." 2 Sam. vii. 3. He was in the right to think that God would be pleased with the thing: But it seems the time for it was not yet come: And, therefore, Nathan is sent the next day, with a message from God, forbidding it; but, at the lame time, with a very gracious promise to David, the chief part whereof we have from verse 12 to verse 16, in these words: "And when thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. Ho shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne os his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and lie shall be my son: If he commit iniquity I "Vv-III chastise him with the rod of men, and with the * Ddd stripes
2. God promised to make his kingdom of Large Extent, as well as of long duration: " I will set his hand in the sea; and his right hand in the river." These words refer unto the Messiah, at first instance; but they contain also an allusion unto the worldly kingdom: For, as the sacred historian remarks, in it the prediction
was was also verified: "And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms, from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt*." The kingdom of the Messiah is far more extensive, however, than that of Solo* mon: "All ^nations, people, and languages, shall serve him "j"." The spiritual monarchy of Jesus Christ is the only universal monarchy that ever was, or will be in the world.
stripes of the children of men. But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee : thy throne shall be established for ever." Here are plainly some things that relate to Solomon; and some things of a higher nature, relating to a throne and a kingdom that mould be established For Ever.—The repetition of this last particular is very observable: "I will establish the throne of his kingdom For Ever." Again, " And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established For Ever before thee: thy throne shall be established For Ever." —It was this that struck king David, as may be seen from the prayer he otters upon this occasion: For, as soon a.3 Nathan had delivered his menage, verse I7> "According to all these words, and according to all tins vision, so did Nathan speak unto David." We are told immediately,, verse iS. " Then went king David in, and fat before the Lord#ancl he said, who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto >." Verse 19. " And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord Cod; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come: And Is
THIS THE MASKER OF MAN, O LORD GoD ?"—It IS thl*
last * 1 Kings iv. 21. f Dan. vii. 14.
3. God promised to set his Kingdom secure from enemies. The first part of David's reign
last clause I must dwell upon a little, "Is this the manner of man?" &c. There is no interrogation in the Hebrew, but a direct afl'ertion; ve-zoth torath ha-Adam, Adonai Jehovah—literally, et ista lex Adami, Domine Jehovah: This is the law of the Adam; or the Man, (for the n is demonstrative and emphatical) O Lord Jehovah.—David could not but observe, from the whole turn of the nieslage, that it-was prophetical. It related to his feed after him, that mould proceed out of his bowels, whose kingdom mould be established: "He shall build an house for my name," (says God) this Solmon did, " and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for , ever." Not in Solomon's hand surely ; this could never
be the meaning—nor could David apprehend it so.
In the next verse, Solomon's defection is foretold; but with a gracious promise, however, that God.'s mercy should not depart from him, as " he took it from Saul:" but that the kingdom should be still continued to his posterity. And, lastly, It was foretold in the strongest
terms, "Thine house and thy kingdom mail be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever."—li' the Jews, either of former or of D d d 2 later