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are addressed! But how is that felicity augmented when they effectually reach the heart, and are followed by a believing approach to the Lord Jesus Christ! Let the men of the world enjoy its vain delights: such as have tasted that the Lord is gracious, can no longer relish them. Let the religious formalist satisfy himself with customary duties and services, the lively Christian seeks to obtain the provisions of God's graces through the medium of ordinances. He is not satisfied to neglect the means, but he cannot be comfortable till he enjoys the blessing promised to be thereby communicated.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF VARIOUS SCRIPTURES,
Genesis vi. 2.
By the sons of God, are here meant sons of princes or sovereigns; as when it is said, I have said ye are gods, Psalm lxxxii. 6. And by daughters of men, is to be understood, the daughters of inferior persons. So that the sense of the verse will be this; the sons of the great and powerful men saw the fair daughters of their inferiors; and took them wives, by force, of whom they pleased.
Genesis xliv. 5.
If this verse be made one period, without a point after the word divineth, it will take off the charge of Joseph's using unlawful practices.
Is not this it in which my lord drinketh? and whereby indeed he divineth that ye have done evil in so doing.
Genesis xlix. 6.
In their anger they slew a man. Man is here put for men; meaning the Shechemites. See chapter xxxiv. 26. One is often, in Scripture, put for many: as Exodus xxiii. 38, the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite; for the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites. Digged down a wall, is otherwise read smote a prince; or rooted out a chief; namely, Hamor; or Shechem his son; as before,
Exodus viii. 26. The meaning of sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians, is this. The Egyptians worship the ox, and the sheep, as gods: and the Israelites feared they would fall upon them, when they saw them kill those beasts for sacrifice which they worshipped as gods: therefore they desired to go three days journey into the wilderness, to sacrifice to the Lord.
Judges ix. 13. Wine is here very improperly said to cheer both God and man. It should be gods; that is, the heroe gods of the Heathen: for Jotham was speaking to men of an idolatrous city. Or it might be translated, cheer both high and low, both prince and people; for the meaning is, all conditions of men find themselves refreshed by wine.
2 Kings v. 18.
It has been proved, that the true translation of the verse should be; In this thing, the Lord pardon thy servant; that when my master went into the house of Rimmon to worship there; and he LEANED upon my hand; and I BOWED myself in the house of Rimmon; in that I HAVE WORSHIPPED in the house of Rimmon; the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said, go in peace: that is, God will accept thy repentance. Do as you have resolved: declare publicly that you will worship no God but the Lord; and the Lord will pardon you. No mention is made of Naaman after this: so that he probably was dismissed, because he would not worship the Idol any longer.
1 Chron. iii. 17. Jeremiah xxiii. 30. Matthew i. 12.
In two of these texts, Jeconiah is said to be childless: yet in the other he is said to have children. The meaning is: he had no child to succeed him; his children dying before him.
1 Chron. ix. 2.
Nethenims; that is, people given to God. These were the Gibeonites, who were given to God, to bring necessaries for the service of the altar; not slaves, but a kind of sacred servants; being the first fruits of the Gentiles.
Isaiah xx. 2, S.
This account of the prophet Isaiah's walking naked for three years cannot be understood literally, because of the indecency of it. The particular dress of a prophet was an outer garment of hair. Such was John the Baptist cloathed with, Matt. iii. 4. By walking naked, then, is only meant, going without the upper garment, or prophetical robe.
Matt. xxvii. 5. Acts i. 18. St. Matthew says, Judas hanged himself. St. Peter, that he burst asunder in the midst. Judas first hanged himself; and then, the rope breaking, he fell down; and bursting asunder, his bowels gushed qut.
Matt. xii. 40. Mark viii. 31. Three nights and three days are the same as three days; and these expressions are often used one for the other. But the words after three days are very full and expressive: yet the chief priests will inform us how we are to understand them. Sir, said they to Pilate, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Yet their demand is, that the sepulchre be made sure only till the third day, Matt. xxvii. 63, 64. Here is the authority of the chief priests and Pharisees, that after three days, and, till the third day, were equal expressions; and were so understood in the common language of that country. Just so, when Rehoboam had said to the people, come again to me after three days; it follows; so all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, come again to me on the third day, 2 Chron. X. 5, 12. The Jews used to reckon part of a day, and even one hour, for a whole day; particularly when they explained the law that orders children to be circumcised the eighth day.
Matt. xx. 23. Words are sometimes added by the translators, to make up the sense, as they suppose; Lut very impropcrly: üs lcre; the words, it shall be given, take away from Christ a power, which the original text allows him. It is truly this: to sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but to them, or unless to them, for whom it is prepared of my Father. He elsewhere promises to bestow this reward in his own right. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as Į also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne, Revel. iii. 21.
Mark xiv. 58.
The witnesses affirmed that Jesus Christ said, I will destroy this temple MADE WITH HANDS. The addition of these last words shews their false testimony: for it restrains Christ's words to the temple of Jerusalem, which might otherwise be understood of his body, which indeed he meant. Besides, Christ said not, I will destroy; but destroy, or do you destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Luke i. 69.
Among the Jews, a horn signified power. A horn of salvation, therefore, means, a powerful Savior.
Luke xiii. 33.
Not a prophet; but the Prophet; that is, the Christ: for it is not true that no prophet ever perished out of Jerusalem.
John ii. 4.
Woman, what have I to do with thee? This seems a very rough and disrespectful answer. But these words are very falsely translated. The literal translation is, what to me and thee? As if Christ had said; let them take