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Biblical Criticism,


DEUTERONOMY xviii. 15.-" The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken."

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DAVISON, in his "Discourses on Prophecy," a work of great value, says :—"The scope of this prophecy is strongly decided by the origin and occasion of it. The Israelites could not endure the voice and fire of Mount Sinai. They asked an intermediate messenger between God and them who should temper the awfulness of His voice, and impart to them His will in a milder way. In answer to this their prayer God declares they had well spoken, and that He would accordingly raise up unto them a Prophet conformable to their desire. How aptly the prophecy so modified agrees with the compassionate mildness and condescension of the Christian revelation, both in the spirit of that revelation, and the mode of its delivery, any one must immediately see; or St. Paul may lead him to see it in the contrast which he has drawn between the law and the gospel (Heb. xii. 18—24), in the principle of their terrific and attractive characters, opposed as they are the one to the other; or the sermon on the mount, which is Christ's promulgation of His law, compared with the thunders of Sinai, may satisfy him in the justness of the prophecy."

The great points of likeness between Christ and Moses are summed up by Payne Smith in his "Prophecy a Preparation for Christ thus:- "Moses was a legislator-the bringer in of a dispensation. So also was our Lord. On Moses the spirit of prophecy rested without measure (Numb. xii. 8); so it did on Christ (John iii. 34). Jehovah knew Moses face to face (Exod. xxxiii. 3; Deut. xxxiv. 10); 'the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared that God whom no man had seen at any time' (John i. 18). No prophet was like unto Moses in the signs and wonders which Jehovah sent him to do (Deut. xxxiv. 11). Christ wrought works which none other man did (John xv. 24). But that which Moses did by an authority delegated to him, Christ as the Son did by His own inherent power. Again, "Christ was the Prophet like unto Moses as being a legislator, but the legislator of a perfect and final law; like unto Moses as being the founder of a church, yet that church not local nor temporary but catholic, and with the promise that it shall endure till Christ come again."

On the subject of the general resemblance between Moses and Christ much might be said. We think with Davison, that it would

be "wise to discard them from the prophetic evidence;" still, at the same time it is exceedingly interesting to trace them out. To a recent work of Hugh Macmillan's we are indebted for most of the points of parallel. The infancy of Moses was associated with the ark of bulrushes, Christ's with a manger. In both the cruelty of the reigning monarchs is conspicuous, the destruction of the male children of the Israelites, and the massacre of the infants of Bethlehem. Then we have the retirement of Moses into the wilderness for forty years, and of Christ for forty days; the glory of the face of Moses on the mount, and the transfiguration of Jesus. At that transfiguration we are specially reminded of His prophecy, "Hear ye Him;" and the subject of their conversation, Christ's "decease," literally exodos, for such is the Greek word employed, carries us at once in thought to the exodus of which Moses was the leader. The scene witnessed by the one on coming down from Sinai may be compared with that witnessed by the other on descending from the holy mount. Moses led Israel through the Red Sea, Christ walked on the waters; the Israelites were fed on manna, Christ multiplied the loaves; Moses delivered the law from Sinai, Christ on a mountain preached the sermon which gave it fresh force and meaning. It may also be added, the institution of the passover by Moses, and the supper by Christ, both commemorative of a deliverance from bondage, the one from the slavery of the Egyptians, the other from sin and Satan. Moses lifted up the brazen serpent, Christ was lifted up on the cross; of both we have the lengthy and solemn farewell discourses preserved; with equal truth may it be said of both, " no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day" (Deut. xxxiv. 6); and after their death both appeared again on a mountain height. And lastly, Moses was powerful as an interceptor (Jer. xv. 1), so was Christ; Moses was meek, Christ "meek and lowly:" the one prominent feature in the character of Israel's leader was his disinterestedness (Exod. xxxii. 32); and what was the whole life of Christ but a comment upon the words, He "pleased not Himself"?-W. H. W.

MOSES THE SERVANT OF THE LORD. DEUTERONOMY xxxiv. 5.—" So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord" [lit. Jehovah].

THIS title, frequently given to Moses in the Old Testament, is one never applied by Moses to himself. It is virtually peculiar to him. Joshua being but once so called (chap. xxiv. 29). It is alluded to in the Epistle to the Hebrews (chap. iii. 5, 6), where the apostle draws the distinction between the relative positions of Moses and Christ. The changed institutions of our time make us lose much of the force of this comparison. Used to negro

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and predial slavery we carry our horrible notions into the Bible, and imagine that the Hebrew slaves held an analogous position. When we turn to Oriental commentaries we find altogether a different feeling. We read, for instance, in an exposition of the prodigal son, that in the household there are three grades of dependence; first, that of the son; next, that of the slave; last of all, that of the hired freeman, "the mean white" of modern days; and it is noted as a mark of humility in the repentant prodigal that he asks only for the lowest place. However this may be, we certainly find two things in the Bible: first, the entire recognition of the religious equality of the slave ;* and second, if there was no son, then the slave stood next. He was heir to the property (inst. Eliezer); on him devolved the tribal chieftainship; and if there were daughters, husbands were chosen for them from the slaves (1 Chron. ii. 34, 35). In the clan the head slave stood in all respects next in rank to the chief and his sons.

The same thing happens in Oriental countries now. The great officers of state, its prime ministers and treasurers, begin life often as slaves. And thus we can understand the meaning of this title given to Moses, by virtue of which he holds a place in Revelation inferior only to that held by our Lord. He is Jehovah's servant,-literally translated, Jehovah's slave; translated according to the sense, Jehovah's prime minister, His vicegerent and vizier. His it was to rule Jehovah's house as that servant who, in the family, the household of slaves, represented the master, and was invested with his authority, less than the son, greater than any besides, nearer to the master, yet not one with him in nature as is the son; he is the steward armed with all the master's power, and entitled to lay down the law, yet not by any plenary or inherent right, but by virtue of his office. Condensed from Dean Smith's " Prophecy Preparation for Christ."

MARK i. 15.-" Kingdom of God."

THE phrases "kingdom of God," "kingdom of heaven," are employed in three senses in the New Testament:-1. For true religion, or the reign of Christ in the heart (Luke xii. 31; xviii. 21; Mark x. 15; Rom. xiv. 17.) 2. For the visible church under the new dispensation. (See parables of the sower, tares, &c., Matt. xiii.; iv. 17; Mark i. 15). 3. The perfected Church in glory (Luke xiii. 29; 2 Pet. i. 11). It is evident that all these signify that one spiritual reign, also called "the kingdom of Christ."-Hodge's "Outlines of Theology."


*Vide Gen. xvii. 12, 13; Exod. xx. 10; xii. 44; Deut. xvi. 11, 14.
+ Biblical Treasury, viii., art. 1655.

Oriental Illustrations.

DEUTERONOMY viii. 10.-" When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.", Thanksgiving at Meals.-Gratitude for the blessings of Providence is one of the most manifest duties of those who enjoy them, and is very properly expressed by giving thanks on their reception. Such a practice we find to have prevailed equally amongst heathen, Jews, and Christians. Athenæus says that in the famous regulation made by Amphictyon, King of Athens, with respect to the use of wine, he required that the name of Jupiter, the Sustainer, should be decently and reverently pronounced. The same author quotes Hermeias, an author extant in his time, who mentions a people in Egypt, inhabitants of the city of Naucrates, whose custom it was on certain occasions, after they had placed themselves in the usual posture of eating at table, to rise again and kneel; the priest then chanted a grace, according to a stated form among them, after which they joined in the meal. Clement of Alexandria also informs us that when the ancient Greeks met together to refresh themselves with the juice of the grape, they sang a piece of music which they called a scholion. Livy, too, speaks of it as a settled custom among the old Romans to offer sacrifice and prayer to the gods at their meals. Trigantius, a Jesuit, in his narrative of the expedition of the Jesuit missionaries into China, says of the Chinese that "before they place themselves for partaking of an entertainment, the person who makes it sets a vessel, either of gold, or silver, or marble, or some such valuable material, in a charger full of wine, which he holds with both his hands, and then makes a low bow to the person of chief quality or character at the table. Then from the hall or dining-room he goes into the porch or entry, where he again makes a very low bow, and turning his face to the south, pours out this wine upon the ground as a thankful oblation to the Lord of heaven. After thus repeating his reverential observance he returns into the hall." As to the sentiments and behaviour of the Jews on this point, Josephus, detailing the customs of the Essenes, says that the priest begs a blessing before they presume to take any nourishment; and it is looked upon as a great sin to take or taste before

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