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on earth peace, and good will to men ?' 'Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.' Some translate, obedience of the people. The translation of Onkelos runs thus: “There shall not be taken away from Judah one having the principality, nor the scribe from the sons of his children, till the Messiah come.'
The circumstances connected with this passage are of a very interesting character. The patriarch Jacob is at last brought to the close of an eventful life. And he called unto his sons, and said, 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. What a moment! The fate of every tribe now stands before the vision of the patriarch. He beholds with a prophet's eye the future condition of the whole Jewish nation,-moral, political, and spiritual. In the midst of all, the Messiah stands before him. And beyond all, and above all, he beholds the vast ingathering of a world !
And, as time rolled on in its rapid flight, the great theme of the coming Shiloh and the gathering of the people unto him, becomes more full, till even the time, the place, the ministry, the miracles, the rejection, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus, all successively appear before the prophets; and, beyond all, they see him given as a light to the Gentiles, that he may be salvation unto the ends of the earth. Then they exclaim, 'Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth.' 'Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, * * let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.' And, at last, the silence of prophecy was broken by the songs of angels, proclaiming the birth of Shiloh: "Glory to God in the highest; on earth peace, good will to men.' To the disciples he said, 'All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.'*
"Therefore, as all these things, foretold by the prophets, were accomplished at the coming of Christ, it must be admitted as indubitable proof that he, to whom all the prophets gave testimony, was the true Messiah who was to come: the Serpent-Bruiser of Moses, the Shiloh of Jacob, the Root of Jesse, the Lord of David, the Immanuel of Isaiah, and the Saviour of men.'
An objection has been urged against this prophecy, which seems to deserve, at least, a passing notice. It has been said, because the Jews were governed by the Romans, that the sceptre did depart from Judah before Shiloh came. But a writer, who now lies before me, says, 'It was not till the eighth year of Christ that Judea became a Roman province, upon the deposition of Archelaus, when Quirinius or Cyrenius, (as St. Luke and Josephus, writing in Greek, name him,) became president of Syria, and Coponius, as his deputy, was appointed procurator of Judea, then made a district of the Syrian presidency. Upon this revolution, the Jewish civil polity ceased, and the Roman, with its necessary magistracy, was introduced in its stead. Taxes, with the power of life and death, were from that period no longer in the disposal of the Jews : and at that period may very properly be fixed the precise fulfilment of Jacob's
* Luke xxiv. 44.
prophecy concerning the sceptre. The high-priesthood, however, or spiritual supreme authority among the Jews, (which may be implied by the law giver, considering the spiritual designation of their whole economy,) certainly did not cease till after the advent of Christ; when Jerusalem itself, as was prophesied of it, soon became heaps, and the mountain of God's temple as the high places of the forest.'* And yet the Jew looks for the promised Messiah. In all his wanderings, he turns to Jerusalem in expectation of his coming. But how vain his hope! For eighteen hundred years there has not been any regal power in Judah, no king, no prince, no governor, no lawgiver, no judicial authority. The poor Jew has been governed and driven by foreign monarchs, even to the most remote corners of the earth. And yet, even to this day, he looks for his Messiah. In all his wanderings, he still hopes for his coming. To this hope he clings with a fondness and tenacity unequalled by any sect or class of men upon the globe. But how vain his expectations. His very rejection proves his own Scriptures, and Jesus to be the Shiloh; for one was as clearly predicted as the other. But it will not be always so. Shiloh has come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.' He commenced his great work in Judea, and he will go on till all nations shall be brought home to the fold above : for God 'hath purposed in himself, that, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he will gather ogether in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.'
Horæ Solitariæ; or Essays upon some remarkable Names and Titles of Jesus Christ. Vol. i., p. 133. Phil.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and
behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye him.' Matt. xvii. 5.
We approach now a very important and interesting title; one which all admit applies to the Saviour, however much they may differ respecting the meaning of the various passages where the word occurs.
The word itself occurs four hundred and thirtyeight times. Jesus is called a Son simply twentyseven times; Son of the living God, once; Son of God, thirty-eight times; Son of man, sixty-nine times; Son of David, eleven times; Son of Joseph, once; Son of the Father, once; carpenter's Son, once; only-begotten Son, four times; beloved Son, eight times.
This was a favorite term among the Hebrews, and was employed by them to designate a variety of relations. To explain and illustrate the various significations of the word, we present the views of an able critic: "The son of anything, according to oriental idiom, may be either what is closely connected with it, dependent on it, like it, the correspondence of it, worthy of it, etc.' This view may be illustrated by a variety of examples in the Scriptures: 'The son of eight days, that is, the child that is eight days old; the son of one hundred years, that
is, the person who is one hundred years
the son of a year, that is, a yearling; the son of my sorrow, that is, one who has caused me distress; the son of my right hand, that is, one who will assist or be a help to me; son of old age, that is, begotten in old age; son of valor, that is, bold, brave; son of Belial, [lit. son of good-for-nothing,] that is, a worthless man; son of wickedness, that is, wicked; son of a murderer, that is, a murderous person; son of my vows, that is, son that answers to my vows; son of death, that is, one who deserves death; son of perdition, that is, one who deserves perdition; son of smiting, that is, one who deserves stripes; son of Gehenna, that is, one who deserves Gehenna; son of consolation, that is, one fitted to administer consolation ;'* etc.
The term Son of God is throughout the Scriptures applied to human beings to denote some happy relation in which they stand towards God: thus, 'I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty't 'And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born.'I Kings are sometimes called, by way of eminence, sons of God:
“I have said, Ye are Gods;
Psa. Ixxxi. 6.
* Prof. Stuarı's Letters to Rev, Dr. Miller. Letter V. Also Universalist Expositor, vol. i. p. 313; where the reader will find several more illustrations as found in the Syriac and Arabic. Gerard's Institutes of Biblical Criticism, No. 984.
+ 2 Cor. vi. 18.