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Messiah, wherever it occurs, is associated with his sufferings and atonement. (Compare the passages in Glaesener, p. 22 sqq.; Corrodi i. p. 284 seq.; and De Wette, p. 66). It is true, De Wette asserts (p. 63) that the notion of the Messiah being already born, was founded upon certain calculations, which led to the conclusion that the Messiah must have come already. But of all the passages mentioned, the whole of which are taken from Glaesener, p. 15 sqq., who quotes them for a different purpose, there is not a single one at all conclusive, or even one which bears upon the subject. The question discussed in all these passages, is not why the Messiah must be already born, but why he has not yet appeared. The cause is traced to the want of penitence and good works on the part of the Israelites, and with this explanation every calculation that failed to be verified could be easily disposed of, and therefore there was no necessity to resort to the theory that the Messiah was already born, a loophole, moreover, which is nowhere to be met with. Our explanation of the origin of the hypothesis respecting the birth of the Messiah, is also confirmed by the period fixed upon for that event. It is affirmed with tolerable unanimity, that it occurred in connection with the conquest of the city, and in fact on the day when the temple was destroyed. (Consult the passages in Glaesener, p. 25). The destruction of the temple prevented the possibility of the sacrifices being continued, and, as the interruption of the means of reconciliation with God which had hitherto existed, was naturally the cause of great lamentation. In order to obtain a substitute, the birth of the Messiah, which it was thought necessary to assume, in order to gain time for his sufferings, was transferred to the very time when the former ceased, and it was then that his sufferings and atonement were supposed to commence.

The result, then, which we have obtained is this: the doctrine. of a suffering and atoning Messiah existed among the Jews from the very earliest times, and was not the result of Christian influence, but derived from the Old Testament. So much, at least, may be granted, that this doctrine was more widely spread, and met with a more ready reception among the Jews subse quently to the time of Christ. This may possibly be accounted for, in part, on the ground that the prominenco given to the

doctrine of a suffering Messiah among the Christians, caused the attention of the Jews to be more particularly directed to this point in their own doctrines concerning the Messiah. But the true cause is certainly to be found in the fact, that, after the destruction of the temple had deprived the Jews of their apparent sufficiency, their attention was more closely directed to the Messiah. This is obvious from a passage which is quoted from the Sohar in Sommer's theol. p. 94, "while the Israelites were in the Holy Land, they got rid of all these diseases and punishments by means of holy works and sacrifices; but now (the Levitical worship having ceased) the Messiah must take them away from men," a passage from which De Wette, p. 66, rashly attempts to prove, that the doctrine of a suffering and atoning Messiah originated with the destruction of the temple. Does it follow, however, from the fact that in later times so much importance was attached to that which had disappeared, that the same importance must have been attached to it while it was still standing? The sacrificial worship, even while it lasted, could never satisfy the longings for redemption, which were felt by the more earnest minds; and we have already seen, that they were looking with eagerness for the higher satisfaction, which the Old Testament promises set before them.



The study of the Messianic prophecies was pursued with great interest from the very earliest times. The true principle, that Christ was the central point of the whole of the Old Testament, and especially of prophecy (Origen on Matt., vol. iii. of his works, p. 272), was falsely applied, and the attempt was frequently made to discover direct allusions to Him, where conten. and the usages of the language were both unfavourable, eith It by literal or historical interpretation. In adducing proofs frene the New Testament, the first glance was frequently though sufficient, and the fact was entirely overlooked, that the treatment of the Old Testament in the New is of a very refined and spiritual character. Very frequently the opinion was openly expressed, that it is better to look for Christ ten times where he is not to be found, than to omit to seek him once where he is to be found. In the case of passages which were correctly regarded as Messianic, commentators often allowed themselves to resort to forced interpretations, for the purpose of giving to the allusions to Christ a thoroughly individual character, or with a view to increase the number of arguments brought against the non-Messianic expositors. Moreover, justice was not done to the historical interpretation. The historical starting point of the Messianic announcements was not thoroughly investigated. In the time of the Fathers this was the prevalent mode of exposition. And even in the churches of the Reformation, in the Reformed no less than the Lutheran, it soon gained the upper hand, although Calvin had made the attempt to pave a new

way, and had even frequently gone too far in the opposite direction, by denying a direct Messianic allusion, even where it rests upon the surest foundation. But the Lutheran and Reformed theologians are superior to the Fathers in this respect, that they entirely renounce the allegorical interpretation, or at least keep it within more limited bounds, and that they have not only a great dread of mere caprice, but impose upon themselves the task of thorough demonstration.

Of the works which give the results of the church-theology in a condensed form, the most important is the Nucleus prophetiae of Anton Hulsius (Leiden 1683. 4), in which the Jewish interpretations are diligently collected and carefully refuted. Of much less worth are the two works of the Cocceian Abr. Gulich, theologia prophetica (Amsterdam 1675. 4 Ed. 2, 1690. 4), and Nicol. Gürtler, Systema theologia proph. (Amsterdam 1702. Ed. 2, Frankfort 1724). Professor Oporin, of Göttingen, (in his work "die Kette der in den Büchern des A. T. befindlichen Sorherverkündigungen von dem Heilande, Göttingen 1745), neoposes to trace the connexion between the four "solemn premotions" in Gen. iii. 15, Gen. xii., Deut. xviii., and 2 Sam. vii. lond all the other prophecies, and to point out the constancy with



1 That Calvin was influenced by his dislike of forced explanations, and not by any rationalistic tendencies, is everywhere apparent. Thus, for example, after quoting the opinion of those who understand by the seed of the woman (in Gen. iii. 15) Christ, he says: "Eorum sententiam libenter meo suffragio approbarem, nisi quod verbum seminis nimis violenter ab illis torqueri video. Quis enim concedet, nomen collectivum de uno tantum homine accipi?" In opposition to such as suppose the expression in Jer. xxxi. 22 (see vol. ii. p. 426), a woman shall compass a man," to refer to the birth of Christ from Mary, he observes, "merito hoc ridetur a Judæis." And again, on Is. liii., "Hoc caput violenter torserunt Christiani, quasi ad Christum hæc pertinerent: cum propheta simpliciter de ipso deo pronuntiet: atque finxerunt hic rubicundum Christum, quod sanguine proprio madidus esset, quem in cruce fuderit." He opposes the interpretation of Hag. ii. 7 as alluding to a personal Messiah on this ground: "Quia statim subjungitur: meum argentum et meum aurum, ideo simplicior erit sensus, venturas gentes et quidem instructas omnibus divitiis, ut se et sua omnia offerant Deo in sacrificium." The work of Aug. Hunnius, entitled Calvinus judaizans (Wittenberg 1595), must be regarded as in the main incorrect. In most cases in which Calvin differs from the current interpretation he is in the right, and when he goes too far, the fault is not so much his own as that of the orthodox party, whose dogmatic narrow-mindedness and arbitrary exposititions excited a wellgrounded mistrust in his mind. It is impossible to hit the true medium in every case, when such errors as these render a thorough revision and reform imperatively necessary.

which references to the earlier prophecies occur in those of a later date.

It could not possibly be expected that this mode of interpretation would remain without opposition. And it was also a very natural thing, as one extreme produces another, that it should not make its way without exaggeration. In the early church Eusebius of Emesa first attempted to sift the passages, which were supposed to refer to the Messiah, and to distinguish those which could only be made to apply to him by means of allegorical interpretation, from those which literally referred to him, (Hieronymus catal. script. eccles. c. 119). Diodorus of Tarsus trode in his footsteps, and set down many passages which were applied by others exclusively to Christ, as only admitting of being so applied in a higher sense. He also maintained that there were very few passages which referred directly to Christ, póvov Kai κυρίως, κατὰ ῥητὸν and καθ ̓ ἱστοριάν. Theodorus of Mopsuestia, the pupil of Diodorus, who wrote a book against those who followed Origen's method of interpretation, went further still. His own method was pronounced heretical, and condemned. It found therefore but few adherents, who went so far as he. One of these was Cosmas Indicopleustes, who divested of their meaning even the most obvious of the Messianic prophecies, such, for example, as Zech. ix. 9, 10, which he referred primarily to Zerubbabel. Theodoret and Chrysostom attempted to discover a middle way, which should combine all that was true in these two opposite systems. Grotius went far beyond all his predecessors in the early church. It was not quite honest on his part to state, as he did in his preface to the Old Testament, that he had referred "a few passages" (locos nonnullos) which are usually supposed to apply to Christ, to events which were nearer to the prophets' own times. For there are only six or seven passages, more especially Gen. xlix. 10, Dan. ix. 24, Hag. ii. 7, 8, Mal. iii. 1, in which he finds any direct and literal allusion to Christ. Not a single passage of Isaiah is regarded by him as, strictly speaking, Messianic. The hostile attitude which he thus

1 For a fuller account see Ernesti's learned narratio critica de interpretatione prophetiarum Messianarum, in Ecclesia christiana in his Opuscul. p. 495 sqq.

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