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phetic month, and that shortly after the crucifixion Jerusalem was destroyed, we must admit, that the predictions were circumstantially fulfilled, and that the staff of brotherhood was completely broken by the dispersion of the nation. Christ asked them to give him “his price”-obedience to his word-belief in his doctrines: they rejected him, and weighed as his price to the traitor thirty pieces of silver. More fully to understand the abasement of the transaction, we must revert to Ex. xxi. 32. where we shall see, that he was estimated at the price of a servant.
The potter here mentioned is the one that worked for the temple; and on account either of the necessary quantity, or of the peculiar quality of the clay, his manufacture was situated in the valley of Hin
This will appear from a comparison of Jer. xviii. 1. 3—xix. 2. sqq. : hence the gate leading to the valley of Hinnom was called the Potter's Gate. This valley, on account of the idolatrous abominations that had been practised in it, was accounted infamous, and under the second temple was cited as a metaphor of hell. The words, “a goodly price,” are used ironically-egregium scilicet pretium! and may have referred to Deut. xxxii. 6; and as there was no potter in the house of the Lord, we must prefer to render the passage, and I cast them in the house of the Lord for the potter, i. e. that they might thence be taken to the potter. The law would compel their removal as unclean. The thirty pieces, or shekels of silver, were about two shillings and four-pence of our money, the price only of a slave in former days; and this prophecy was fulfilled, when Judas covenanted to betray the Son of God into the hands of the chief priests ; for he received this very price, which at last went to purchase the potter's field.
Every circumstance proves, that this prophecy could have only related to Christ. The small sum was indicative of the contempt of the priests and rulers; and the purchase of the potter's field in the valley of Hinnom not only fulfilled the prediction, . but expressed their knowledge, that the money (as the riun asparos ) was unclean. But we remark, that Judas literally cast the money“ into the house of the Lord,” and that it was thence taken as the prophet had described according to the above proposed translation; so that we may rank this among the clearest and most particularizing prophecies, which are to be found in the Old Testament.
CHAP. xii. 8-13.
John xix, 34–37.
In the eighth verse of this chapter is a clear refe
1 Matt. xxvii. 6.
rence to Ps. viii, 4, 5, and no obscure intimation of the Divinity of Christ, with a comparison of his guidance to that, by which the angel of the Lord, as the Shekinah is called, led the Israelites through the wilderness. The connection of this with the tenth verse is conclusive, as to the propriety of interpreting it respecting the Messiah ; for in it are characteristics, which can scarcely be mistaken. Here are expressions which show, that the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, and probably the fifty-third, were present to the prophet. The time is manifestly that of the conversion of the Jews', when they will be aware, that the murder was a national crime, and that by their hatred of the Messiah they have become participators of it. Of this event, some have accounted Luke xxiii. 48. a type. This prophecy is quoted, with a change of person not unusual in citations to be found in the New Testament, in John xix, 37; and there appears to have been a sort of retrospect to it in Acts ii. 23.
CHAP. xiii. 7.
Matt. xxvi. 31. xxvi. 5, 6.
The subject is pursued in the thirteenth chapter,
The words of Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xx. 30. are excellent commentaries on their purport.
“ Sicut diximus Judæis, vos occidistis Christum, quamvis hoc parentes fecerint, sic et ipsi dolebunt se fecisse quodammodo, quod fecerunt illi, ex quorum stirpe descendunt . non igitur dolebunt reatu criminis, sed pietatis affectu."
and the sufferings of the Messiah again are brought forward to the view: the first verse relating to the atonement; the sixth and seventh resuming the preceding theme. There can be no doubt that the shepherd, or man, adduced in the seventh verse, was united in the prophet's ideas essentially with the Divine Being, as in the eighth verse of the former chapter. For the word that expresses “ fellow” is manifestly taken from the Pentateuch, and passing upwards from its legal and human sense to God, in this place unequivocally proves, that the individual, to whom it is applied, could not be one of a mere earthly nature. The awaking or arising of the sword against a neighbour or fellow was directly contrary to the law; it must therefore relate to an extraordinary dispensation, such as the crucifixion; and it is observable that as the Divine nature is impassible, so here the prophet calls the Messiah a man, describing in the same verse, in strong expressions, the Divinity and Humanity of Christ. His words to Pilate' seem to bring the passage before us.
No argument can be founded against the introduction of the sword from the preceding reference to the piercing by the spear; because the instruments of death were not unfrequently mentioned one for the other by the Hebrews. Thus
Uriah, the Hittite, was said to have been slain with the sword', whereas he was killed by an arrow? and in the following verse, David mentions the sword, doubtless as the instrument of death Kat' étoxnu. It is, however, needless to multiply quotations in demonstration of the indefinite use of the term; nor would we here have noticed the particular, had not some persons raised a cavil on the change of weapon. But let us more closely examine the prophecy.
Our Saviour was repeatedly called the good Shepherd. Isaiah foretold, that He would feed his flock like a shepherd; and that He would gather the lambs with his arm. Jesus called Himself a shepherd, and his people his flock. “ I am,” said He, “ the good shepherd :” “ Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow," i. e. my equal. Here the Lord of Hosts acknowledges the Shepherd to be his fellow or equal, which proves, that the prophecy could only be fulfilled in the person of the Messiah. He was equal with God the Father, as touching his Divinity, but inferior as touching his humanity—“who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” The sheep of this Shepherd were scattered
2 Sam. xii. 9.
2 2 Sam. xi, 24.
3 Phil. ii. 6.