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strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. 26. So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, there was not the like in Jerusalem. 27. Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven.” Chap. xxxi. 20: “And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. 21. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” Chap. xxxii. 23: “And many brought gifts unto the Lord to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah, king of Judah, so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.” 33. “And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David : and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.” If, as is declared by Trinitarians, the child promised in ch. vii. 14, be the same that is alluded to in ch. ix. 6, and ch. x. 17, it is quite evident from the context, that
he was to be the deliverer of the Jews from the hands of .
the king of Assyria, and was to be distinguished by the excellence of his administration and the respect in which he was to be held by all the nations. Making allowance for the hyperbolical style of Eastern nations, nothing can more aptly apply as prophecy than these passages do to the reign of Hezekiah, as described in the above extracts from Kings and Chronicles. But what, it may be asked, had the birth of Christ to do with the destruction of the king of Assyria or how could it be said that before he “knew to refuse the evil and choose the good,” the land of Syria and of Israel should be deserted of their resK
pective kings, Rezin and Pekah, who were gathered to their fathers many years before his birth 2 This illustrious son of Ahaz was not the only king among the select nation of God, that was honoured with such names as Hezekiah or “God my strength,” and “Emmanuel” or “God with us; ” and also with such epithets as “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.” We find several other chiefs of that tribe that used to walk in the way of God, dignified in Scripture with epithets of a similar import. Genesis xxxii. 28: “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel, (Prince of God:) for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Psalm lxxxix. 18: “For the Lord is our defence; and THE HOLY ONE of Israel is our king. 19. Then thou spakest in vision to thy Holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty : I have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:” 27. “Also I will make him MY FIRST BORN, higher than the kings of the earth.” As to the word “a virgin,” found in the English translation, I request my readers to advert to the original Hebrew mphyr “the virgin,” as well as to the Greek both of the Septuagint and the Gospel of Matthew, jrapSévos, “the virgin,” leaving it to them to judge, whether a translation which so entirely perverts the meaning preserved throughout, by men whom we cannot suspect of ignorance of the original language, must not have proceeded from a previous determination to apply the term “virgin,” as found in the Prophet, to the mother of Christ, in order that the high titles applied to Hezekiah might in the most unqualified manner be understood of Jesus. The Evangelist Matthew referred in his Gospel to Isaiah vii. 14, merely for the purpose of accommodation; the son of Ahaz and the Saviour resembling each other, in each being the means, at different periods, though in different senses, of establishing the throne of the house of David. In the same manner he referred to Hosea xi. 1, in ch. ii. 15, of his Gospel, and in many other instances. How inconsistent is it that a sect, which maintains the omniscience and omnipotence of Jesus, should apply to him a passage, by which he is made subject to such a degree of ignorance, as not to be able at one period to distinguish between good and evil! (Isaiah vii. 16: “ For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good,” &c.) Admitting that these quotations in Isaiah were originally applicable to Jesus, they cannot assist in proving the Deity of the Messiah; just as they fall short of proving the divinity of Hezekiah when applied to him :—for we find in the sacred writings the name of God, and even the term of Jehovah, the peculiar name of God, applied as an appellation to others, without establishing any argument for asserting the Deity of those to whom such names are given. Jeremiah xxxiii. 16: “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” In the English version, the word Jehovah is rendered “Lord,” in this and in other passages. Eacodus xvii. 15: “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi, or “JEHOVAH MY BANNER.’” It is fortunate that some sect has not hitherto arisen, maintaining the Deity of Jerusalem, or of the altar of Moses, from the authority of the passages just mentioned. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. i. 8, 9, reference is made to Psalm xlv. 6, 7 : “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, &c. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee,” &c. I have frequently noticed that the term “God” in an inferior sense is often applied in the Scriptures to the Messiah and other distinguished persons; but it deserves
particularly to be noticed in this instance, that the Messiah, in whatever sense he is declared God, is in the very same sense described in ch. i. 9, (“God, thy God,”) as having a God superior to him, and by whom he was appointed to the office of Messiah.
Supposed application of the term “Jehovah” to Jesus in references made to the Old Testament.
Luke i. 16, 17: “And many of the children of Israel shall he (John the Baptist) turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”—compared with Isaiah xl. 3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God:” and also in Malachi iii. 1, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in : behold, he shall come, saith Jehovah of Hosts.” From this, it is concluded by Trinitarians, that because the Prophet John is described as the forerunner of Jehovah, and in the evangelist as the forerunner of Jesus, therefore Jesus must be Jehovah.
In reply to this, it may be simply observed, that we find in the Prophet distinct and separate mention of Jehovah and of the Messiah as the messenger of the covenant; John, therefore, ought to be considered as the forerunner of both, in the same manner as a commander, sent in advance to occupy a strong post in the country of the enemy, may be said to be preparing the way for the battles of his king or of the general whom the king places at the head of his army.
They also refer to Isaiah vi. 5, “For mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts”—comparing it with John xii. 41 : “These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” The passage in the evangelist is more correctly explained by referring to John viii. 56 : “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day;” which cannot be understood of ocular vision, but prophetic anticipation; whereas the glory seen in the vision of Isaiah was that of God himself in the delivery of the commands given to the Prophet on that occasion. 1 Corinth. i. 30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness,” &c., is compared with Jeremiah xxiii. 6, “He shall be called Jehovah our righteousness.” In reply to which I only refer my reader again to the passage in Jeremiah xxxiii. 16, in which Jerusalem also is called “Jehovah our righteousness,” and the phrase “is made unto us of God” found in the passage in question, and expressing the inferiority of Jesus to God; also 2 Cor. v. 21, “That we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” where St. Paul says, that all Christians may be made the righteousness of God. Mr. Brown, a celebrated Trinitarian Commentator, retains the common version of Jeremiah xxiii. 6, and applies it to Jesus, whom he supposes to be “Jehovah our righteousness.” But in ch. xxxiii. 16, where the construction in the original Hebrew is precisely the same, he alters the version, and thus renders it in the margin, “he who shall call her is Jehovah our righteousness,” instead of applying the phrase “Jehovah our righteousness” to Jerusalem, in the same manner as he had applied it to Jesus in the former passage.—I therefore deem it necessary to give the original Hebrew of both texts, and a verbal translation of them. The reader will judge how strongly the judgment of the learued Commentator was biassed in support of a favourite doctrine. Jer. xxiii. 6: isop' own pop m riba? pp. ox-wn rimm vonn von lipTx mn, “In his days shall be saved Judah, and Israel