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another, depends merely on the sole good pleasure of God. No man in these things makes himself to differ from another, neither hath he any thing that he hath not received. God hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. And this discrimination of all things by the supreme will of God, especially spiri. tual and eternal, is the spring, fountain and rule of all that glory which he will manifest, and be exalted in unto eternity.
Ver. 5.–Tue apostle proceedeth to the confirmation of his proposition concerning the pre-eminence of the Lord Christ above the angels, and of his proof of it from the excellency of the name given unto him. And this he doth by sundry testimonies produced out of the Old Testament; two whereof are conjoined in this verse, as the verses are divided in our Bibles.
Τινι γαρ ειπε ποτε των αγγέλων υιος με ει συ, εγω σημερον γεγεννηκα σε.
Eitt mots; Vulg. dixit aliquando, said he sometimes ; for, at any time. Syr. 8738 728 Dina , from at any time, said God. Eloah, God, is supplied; needlessly, though better than those who would render, uti, impersonally ; was it said at any time. For it is express in the Psalm from whence the words are taken, 7x 77117", the Lord said. The Lord said unto me, 787 Onn 38 nnx 2, thou my Son, this day have I begotten thee. The ellipsis of the verb substantive in the original which is perpetual, is supplied by the apostle, with s, thou art my Son. 'Further difficulty in the grammatical sense of the words there is not. And here we shall close this verse, or at least consider this testimony by itself. Ver. 5.-Unto which of the angels did he at any time (or ever)
say, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Two things are considerable in these words.
1. The manner of the apostle's producing the testimony which he intended to make use of. “ Unto which of the angels said he at any time.”
2. The testimony itself; “ Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
In the former, three things may be observed.
First, That the testimony which in a matter of faith he in. sisted on, is that of the Scripture. He refers the Jews unto that common principle which was acknowledged between them. Men had not as yet learned in such contests to make that cavilling return, which we are now used unto; how do you know those Scriptures to be the word of God? Nor indeed is it suitable unto common honesty, for men to question the credit, and prostitute the authority of their own most sacred principles, for no other end, but to prejudice their adversaries. But our apo
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stle here confidently sends the Hebrews to the acknowledged rule of their faith and worship; whose authority he knew they would not decline, Isa. viii. 21.
Secondly, That the apostle argues negatively from the authority and perfection of the Scripture in things relating to faith and the worship of God. It is no where said in the Scripture to angels; therefore they have not the name spoken of, or not in that manner wherein it is ascribed to the Messiah. This argument, saith an expositor of great name in this place, seems to be weak, and not unlike unto that which the heretics make use of in like cases. And therefore answers, that the apostle argues negatively, not only from the Scripture, but from tradition also. But this answer is far more weak than the argument is pretended to be. The apostle deals expressly in all this chapter from the testimony of Scripture; and to that alone do his words relate; and therein doth he issue the whole controversy he had in hand; knowing that the Jews had many corrupt traditions expressly contrary to what he undertook to prove; particularly, that the law of Moses was eternally obligatory, against which he directly contends in the whole epistie. An argument then taken negatively from the authority of the Scripture in matters of faith, or what relates to the worship of God, is valid and effectual, and here consecrated forever to the use of the church by the apostle.
Thirdly, That the apostle either indeed grants, or else for argument's sake condescends unto the apprehension of the Hebrews, that there is a distinction of degrees and pre-eminence amongst the angels themselves. To confirm, therefore, his general assertion of the dignity and pre-eminence of Christ above them all, he provokes them to instance in any one of them, who either indeed, or in their apprehension, was promoted above others, to whom such words as these were ever spoken. “ To which of the angels said be;" his assertion respects not only the community of them, but any, or all of the chief, or princes among them. There are D'Ux70 D90, Dan. x. 13. chief princes among the angels. And of them Michael, the prince of the people of God, is said to be 77x, One; that is not in order, but the chief in dignity, their head and leader. Now saith the apostle, to which of any of these, or of the rest of them, were these words spoken ?
We proceed now to the testimony itself produced. Three things are required to make it pertinent unto his purpose, and useful unto the end for which he makes mention of it.
First, That be of whom he speaks was peculiarly intended therein.
Secondly, That there be in it an assignation of a name unto
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him made by God himself, which thereon he might claim as his peculiar inheritance.
Thirdly, That this name, either absolutely, or in its peculiar manner of appropriation unto him, is more excellent than any that was ever given unto angels, as a sign of their dignity, authority and excellency.
And these things, for the clearing of the apostle's argument, must particularly be insisted on.
First, The words produced do peculiarly belong to him to whom they are applied. That is, it is the Messiah who is prophecied of in the second Psalm from whence they are taken. This with all Christians is put beyond dispute, by the application of it in several places to him, as Acts iv. 25–27. xii. 33. Heb. v. 5. It is certain also, that the Jews always esteemed this Psalm to relate to the Messiah ; they do so to this day. Hence the Targum on the Psalm expressly applies it to him, thus rendering these words, · 0 beloved, as a Son to his Father, thou art pure to me as in the day wherein I created thee.' So are the words perverted by the l'argumnist, not knowing what sense to ascribe to them, which is frequent with him. But it is manifest that the constant opinion of the ancient Jews, was that this Psalm principally intended the Messiah, nor did any of them of old dissent. Some of their later masters are otherwise minded, but therein they discover their obstinacy and iniquity.
Thus Rabbi Solomon Jarchi, in his comment on this Psalm, in the Venetian edition of the great Masoretical Bibles, affirms, that whatever is sung in this Psalm, our masters interpreted of Messiah the King ; but,' saith he, according to the sound of the words, and for the confutation of the heretics,' (that is Christians,) • it is convenient that we expound it of David.' So wickedly corrupt and partial are they now in their interpretations of the Scripture. But these words are left out in the Basil edition of the same notes and comments, by the fraud, it may be, of the Jews emploved in that work, so to hide the dishonesty of one of their great masters. But the confession of the judgment of their fathers or predecessors in this matter, is therein also extant. And Aben Ezra, though he would apply it to David, yet speaks doubtfully whether it may not better be ascribed to the Messiah.
But this was not enough for the apostle, that those with whom he dealt acknowledged these words to be spoken concerning the Messiah, unless they were so really, that so his argument might proceed ex veris, as well as ex concessis, from what was true, as on what was granted. This then we must next inquire into.
The whole Psalm, say some, seems principally if not only to intend David. He having taken the hill and tower of Sion,
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and settled it for the seat of his kingdom, the nations round about tumultuated against him, and some of them, as the Philistines, presently engaged in war against him for his ruin, 2 Sam. v. 17. To declare how vain all their attempts should be, and the certainty of God's purpose in raising him to the kingdom of Israel, and for his preservation therein against all his adversaries, with the indignation of God against them, the Holy Ghost gave out this Psalm for the comfort and establishment of the church in the persuasion of so great a mercy. And this is borrowed of Rashi.
But suppose the Psalm to have a farther respect than to David and his temporal kingdom, and that it doth point at the Messiah under the type of David, yet then also whatever is spoken in it, must first and properly be understood of David. So that if the words insisted on by the apostle do prove that the Lord Christ was made more excellent than the angels, they prove the same concerning David also, concerning whom they were spoken in the first place.
Answ. 1. There is no cogent reason why we should acknowledge David and his kingdom to be at all intended in this Psalm. The apostles we see apply it to the Lord Christ without any mention of David, and that four several times : twice in the Acts, and twice in this epistle. The Jews acknowledge that it belongs to the Messiah. Besides there are sundry things spo. ken in the Psalm, that could never truly and properly be applied to David. Such are the promises, ver. 8, 9. and the invi. tation of all men to “ put their trust and confidence in him," ver. 12. And we have a rule given us by the Holy Ghost, that where any thing seems to be spoken of any one, to whom it doth not properly belong, there the person is not at all to be understood, but the Lord Christ himself immediately. This rule Peter gives us in his interpretation of the sixteenth Psalm, and his application of it to the Lord Jesus, Acts ii. 29–31. So that there is no necessity to grant that there is any reference in these words to any type at all. But,
Secondly, We grant that David was a type of Christ, and that as he was king of the people of God. Hence he is not only often signally called the Son of David, but David also, Jer. xxx. 9. Ezek. xxxvii. 24, 25. Hos. iii. 5. And the throne and kingdom promised to David forever and ever, that it should be as the sun, and established for ever as the moon, Psal. Ixxxix. 36, 37. that is, while the world endures, had no accomplishment but in the throne and kingdom of bis Son Jesus Christ. Thus also many other things are said of him and his kingdom, which in propriety of speech can no way be applied unto him, but as he was a type of Christ, and represented him to the cburch. We may then grant, as that about which we will not contend, that in this Psalm, consideration was had of David and his kingdom, but not absolutely, but only as a type of Christ. And hence two things will follow.
First, that some things may be spoken in the Psalm, which no way respect the type at all. For when, not the type, but the person or thing signified, is principally aimed at, it is not necessary that every thing spoken thereof, should be also applicable properly unto the type itself; it being sufficient that there was in the type somewhat that bare a general resemblance unto him, or to that which was principally intended. So, on the contrary; where the type is principally intended, and an application made to the thing signified only, by way of general allusion ; there it is not required that all the particulars assigned unto the type, should belong unto, or be accommodated unto the thing typified ; as we shall see in the next testimony cited by the apostle. Hence, though in general, David and his deliverance from trouble, with the establishment of his throne, might be respected in this Psalm, as an obscure representation of the kingdom of Christ; yet sundry particulars in it, and among them this mentioned by our apostle, seem to have no respect unto him, but directly and immediately to intend the Messiah.
Secondly, If it be supposed that what is here spoken, “ Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” is also to be applied unto David; yet it is not ascribed to him personally and absolutely, but merely considered as a type of Christ. What then is principally and directly intended in the words, is to be sought for in Christ alone. It being sufficient to preserve the nature of the type, that there was in David any resemblance or representation of it.
Thus, whether David be admitted as a type of Christ in this Psalm or not, the purpose of the apostle stands firm, that the words were principally and properly spoken of the Messiah, and unto him. And this is the first thing required in the application of the testimony insisted on.
Secondly, It is required that in the testimony produced, a signal name be given unto the Messiah, and appropriated unto him, so as that he may inherit it forever as his own; neither men nor angels having the same interest with him in it. It is not being called by this or that name in common with others, that is intended; but such a peculiar assignation of a name unto him, as whereby he might forever be distinguished from all others. Thus many may be beloved of the Lord, and be so
Jedidiah; and by that name was distinguished from others. In this way it is that the Messiah hath this name assigned unto him. God decreed from eternity that he should be called by