페이지 이미지

nuine, and of Divine Authority, being written by him who had so many ways given Evidence of his Dis vine Commission.

¿CH A P. V.

Of the. Predi&tions or Prophecies contain’d in

the Books of Moses. IT T was foretold by God himself, upon the Fall of

our First Parents, That the feed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, Gen. iii. 15., a Maimonides is observd to take particular notice, that it was the Seed of the Woman, and not of the Man; and the Jews, in their Targums, are observd to apply this Text to the Messias, which was fulfill'd in our Saviour Christ, who was born of a Woman, that was a Virgin, and had no Man to his Father : And therefore this Prediction, express’d thus precisely concerning the Seed of the Woman, could be fulfill'd in no other Person ; and no other Person ever gain'd such Vi&ories over the Enemy of Mankind, who had so long tyrannized over the Sons of Men. God reveaľd the precise Time of the Flood to Noah; who thereupon built an Ark, and foretold the Destruction of the World to that wicked Generation, and was a Preacher of Righteousness and Repentance to them, Gen. vi. 3. After the Flood, Noah, by a Prophetick Spirit, foretold the Fate and Condition of the Pofterity of his three Sons, Gen. ix. 25. That Canaan should be Servant to Shem; which was accomplish'd, when the Children of Israel, the Pofterity of Shem, fubdued the Canaanites, and possess’d their Land, about Eight hundred Years after this Prophecy : That Japhet should dwell in the Tents of Shem; which was fulfil'd in the Greeks and Romans, descended from Japhet, when they conquer'd Apa : That Canaan should likewise be the Servant of Japhet, as well as of Shem. Upon which Mr. Mede observes, b that the Pofterity of Cham never fubdued the Children either of Japhet, or of Shem; tho' Shem hath subdued Japhet, and Japhet hath conquer'd Shem: which made c Hannibal, descended from Canaan, cry out, with Amazement of Soul, Agnofco fatum Carthaginis.

a Maim. More Nevoch. Par. 2. C..30.


God promiseth Abraham a Son, in his old Age, by Sarah his Wife, who was likewise of a great Age ; and declares, that his Posterity, by this Son, should be exceeding Numerous; that they should inherit the Land of Canaan, after they had been afflicted in a ftrange Land Four hundred Years, Gen. XV. 13. and that then they should come out of that Land with great fabstance ; but that God would judge the Nation that had oppress'd them; or, that he would procure their Deliverance, by signal Judgments upon their oppreffors; and that in the fourth Generation they should be brought back again to the Land of Promise, ver. 16. (the Bounds whereof are described, -ver. 18.) which agrees exactly with the Deliverance of the Children of Ifrael out of Ægypt, computing the Years from the time that the Promise was made to Abraham, (Exod. xii. 40. Gal. ii. 17.) and reckoning the Four Generations to be betwixt Isaac the Son promised to Abraham; and Mofes, in whom the Prediction was fulfilled. Or if we reckon, as divers .d Rabbins do, from the time when the Children of Israel came into Ægypt, from Levi to Moses, and from Judah to Caleb, were Four Generations inclusively. And whereas in our Tranflation we read, the children of Israel went up harnefjed, or five in a rank, out of the Land of Ægypt, Exod. xiii. 18. In the Septuagint Version it is rendred,

+ Mede, Book 1. Difc. 48.

e Liv. 1. 27. d Menafs. Ben. Ifr. conciliat. Qu. in Gen. xlii. $ 1.


They went out of Ægypt in e che Fifth Generation: Or, if we compute from the First Generation born in Ægypt, Moses and Aaron were of the Third Gence ration, and their Children of the Fourth entred in the Promis'd Land. To compute from the Fourth Generation of the Amorites, may feem precarious; because we have no other Means to know the Number of their Generations, than by an Estimate made from the Generations of the Hebrews. But whatever way we compute the Generations which we find re corded of the Hebrews; the Prophecy was certainly fulfilled. This Promise made to Abraham and his Seed, was renew'd several times, and repeated again to him, and to Ifaac and Jacob, Gen. xxvi. 3. and xxviii. 14. and was all along depended upon by the Hraelites. God foretold of Abraham, That all the na tions of the earth ifbould be blefed in him, Gen. xviii. 18. which was fulfill'd, in that God made Abraham's Posterity his Meffengers to communicate his Will to the reft of Mankind, and more efpecially in that Blefa sing which all Nations receivid in the Birth of Chrift. This is a remarkable Prophecy concerning the greateft of Blessings, and is often

repeated. The Bleffing promised to Abraham for Homael, was no less punctually fulfill'd : And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply bim exceedingly. Twelve Princes fhall ke beget, and I will make him a great Nation, Gen. xvii 20. fulfilled, Gen. XXV. 12. i Chron. i. 29.

The Prophecy of Isaac, conceming Efau and Jacob, Gen. xxvii. 4o. first, That the Pofterity of Esau fhould serve Jacob's Porterity, was fulfilld, in David's Vidories over the Edomites, 2 Sam. viii. 14. 1 Kings xi. 15. 1 Chron. xviii. 13. and by Amaziah, 2 Kings xiv. 7. and then that part of it, That the Edomites should break the yoke from off their neck; was accomplish'd, 2 King. viii

e Déutily fusaides vélonae. Exod. xiii. 18. LXX. Interpr. c. 19.

Vofl. de Tranll.


. 20. 2 Chron. xxi. 8. Foseph's own Dream and his Interpretation of the Dream of Pharaoh, when none of the Magicians or Wise-men of Ægpyt were able to interpret it, had remarkable and publick Circumstances, that could neither be mistaken nor forgotten in the Accomplishment. Jacob prefers Ephraim the younger Son of Joseph, before his elder Brother Manasseh, and foretels, that tho? Manasseh should be great, yet Ephraim should be greater than he, and his seed should become a multitude of nations, Gen. xlviii. 19. Accordingly we find, that after the Division of the Ten Tribes under Jeroboam an Ephrathite, those Tribes were denominated

from Ephraim, as the two remaining Tribes had their Denomination from Judah ; and the Royal Seat of the Kings of Israel was at Samaria, in the Tribe of Ephraim. Jacob afterwards describes the Borders of their several Possessions in the Land of Canaan, tho it were so many Years after divided among the Tribes by Lot, Gen. xlix. 13. He foretold the different State and Condition of the rest of his Sons ; and particularly prophesy'd, That Judah should bebecome very honourable among his brethren, and victorious over his enemies; and that the sceptre should not depart from. Judah until Shilo came, i.e. until the Mellias came, as the Jewish Targums explain it. And upon the fulfilling of this and other Prophecies in the Pentateuch, not only the Jews, but the Samaritans, who receivd no other Prophecies as they did these, expeeted the Messias at the time in which our Saviour appear'd in the World; and believ'd on him, because they saw the Prophecies fulfill'd in Him, Joh. iv. 25, 29, 39, 42. Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, Saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence, Gen. 1. 25. which they did accordingly, Exod. xiii. 19. Facob had desir'd to be buryed in the Land of Canaan ; insomuch that he caus'd Foseph to swear to him, that he would bury him there,


[ocr errors]

and not in Ægypt; and Joseph and his Brethren went into Canaan to bury their Father, because that was the Land where Abraham and Isaac had been bury'd, and the Land which their Posterity was afterwards to pofsess : But Joseph, as a farther token of Aflurance to the Ifraelites, that they should inherit that Land, would not have his own Corps carry'd thither, at his Death, but order'd his Bones to be kept, and carry'd up by their Pofterity, at their leaving Ægypt; and in the mean time, they were a perpetual Monument and Representation to them of the Promise made to their Fore-fathers, and a Ground and Motive for their Trust and Confidence in God for the Accomplishment of it.

The Remembrance of Balaam's Prophecy was preserv'd in the East; and the Wise-men, upon the Appearance of the Star, knowing it to be fulfill'd, came to Jerusalem, to enquire where they might find the King of the Jews, then newly born, Num: xxiv. 15 Mat. ii. 2. He prophesy'd likewise of Agay by Name, saying of Israel, And his king hall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted, Num. xxiv. 7. thereby foretelling the Government of Israel by Kings, and the Destruction of Agag by Saul; who being the first King that ever Ifrael had, overcame Agag King of the Amalekites, 1 Sam. xv.8. The same Balaam foretold the Conquests of Alexander, in these words, And ships fall.come from the coasts of Chittim , and shall affli&t Ashur, Num. xxiv. 24.

By the Coasts of Chittim, are to be understood the Coasts of Greece; from whence Alexander's Army was transported into Afia; for Alexander came out of the Land of Chettim, or Chittim, i Mac.i. 1. and. Perseus was King of the Citims, or Macedonians, chap. viii. 5. He foretold the Fate of the Moabites, the Edomites, the Kenites, and the Amalekitės ; and the Conquest of the Asyrians, as well as the Success and Victories of the Israelites,

{ Hieron. ad Ezek. Xxxvji.



« 이전계속 »