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MATTHEW XXIV, XXV ; LUKE XXI,

NO,

NOR

EVER

SHALL

come

upon this people : and they shall 'to that same time." Matthew fall by the edge of the sword, and also declares of the tribulation inshall be led away captive into all stanced by him, that it is such as ' nations : and Jerusalem shall be was not since the beginning of the ' trodden down of the Gentiles until world to this time;"-and then adds the times of the Gentiles be ful

BE." ' filled.In these latter words the Thus in both places the tribulation tribulation is extended throughout is described as unprecedented; but the whole period of Jewish de- in Matthew it is stated besides, that pression and Gentile domination, the one referred to by him shall even down to the entire accom- never subsequently have a parallel. plishment of what is called "the How then, I ask, can the tribulation times of the Gentiles ;” a phrase the in Daniel follow that in Matthew ? meaning of which I shall more It might have preceded it, and that carefully examine presently. perfectly in consistence with truth;

But this is not all. In Daniel but I see not how it can xii, 1, 2, we read thus : “ And at after it. Had the notifications been that time shall Michael stand up, reversed, (so that of the Jeruthe great prince which standeth salem tribulation it had been said, ' for the children of thy people : it was such as never was since it

and there shall be a time of had been a nation; and of that at ' trouble, such as never was since the standing up of Michael, that it there was a nation, even to that was to be such as was not, neither same time : and at that time thy shall be, I should experience no people shall be delivered, every difficulty in reconciling the lanone that shall be found written in guage with modern expositions : the book, and many of them that but, as it now stands in Scripture sleep in the dust of the earth shall I am compelled either to reject the ' awake, &c.The words at that interpretation which would limit the timeare in the first instance im- tribulation of Matthew to the demediately connected with the rise struction of Jerusalem, or I must of the wilful king, whose exploits charge the word of God with exare described at verses 36-45 of aggeration and falsehood ! the previous chapter ; and with this Another consideration here pretime of trouble are likewise con- sents itself. The unprecedented nected the resurrection and glorifica- character of the tribulation spoken tion of many who sleep in the dust. of by Matthew is explained, by As the majority of commentators those who limit it to Jerusalem, have concurred in fixing the tribula- to consist in the sufferings and tion named in Matthew to the horrors experienced at the siege : overthrow of Jerusalem, so have specially in regard to the circumthey equally agreed in considering stance, that women were led by the time of trouble in Daniel to be hunger to devour their own children. yet future. But there is a remark- I readily grant, that the history of able notification attached to each of that event is sufficiently appalling ; these passages, by means of which but I greatly question if it be withboth periods of trouble may be out a parallel. The tribulation at clearly demonstrated to be connect- the former siege of Jerusalem was ed together. Daniel says, There very similar in this respect, and shall be a time of trouble such as therefore forbids us to say of the never was since there was a nation second siege, so far as this cha

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racteristic goes, that it was af- cendent in its character, as at once fliction « such as was not from the to distinguish it from all other

beginning of the creation which events. A careful perusal of Deut. · God created unto this time."e xxviii, 47–68 and Daniel ix, have Jeremiah says of the besiegement led me to conclude, that the unby the Chaldeans: “I will make paralleled character of the tribula' this city desolate and a hissing; tion, whilst it includes the dreadful

every one that passeth by shall be sufferings endured in the siege and astonished and hiss because of all straitness, does more immediately the plagues thereof. And I will respect their being led away capcause them to eat the flesh of their tive into all nations, and their besons and the flesh of their daughters, coming a by-word and reproach, and they shall eat every one the and suffering thus the wrath and flesh of his friend in the siege and vengeance of God for so long a straitness, wherewith their enemies period ;--so long, that the Spirit

and they that seek their lives shall saith of its conclusion, “ Jerusalem • straiten them."f And afterwards, hath received of the Lord's hand in his Lamentations over the de- double for all her sins."i I mean struction of the city, he shews that not that Moses and Daniel, in these things were actually fulfilled : the passages referred to above,

Behold, O Lord, and consider to speak of this second and great cap(whom thou hast done this. Shall tivity : for Moses (as is plain from the women eat their fruit and Daniel's reference to him v. 13)

children of a span long ?"6—“The primarily regards the Babylonish * hands of the pitiful women have captivity, and the dispersion of the sodden their own children; they ten tribes which then commenced ; were their meat in the destruction and Daniel perhaps exclusively reof the daughter of my people.”h gards it. Yet Daniel

, having dwelt Josephus informs us, that in the se- at verse 7 on the circumstance of cond siege of Babylon the inhabitants the men of Judah and Israel being strangled all their women and children scattered through all countries on to make their provisions last. And account of their trespass against horrible indeed have been the suffer- God, and then having in verse 11 ings endured on various previous viewed it as a fulfilment of the occasions; (as I might easily shew curse denounced by Moses,—adds from ancient Authors ;) and sub- concerning the Lord, He hath sequently also, as will clearly ap- confirmed his words which he pear from the perusal of Gibbon's

Gibbon's 'spake against us, and against our relation of the irruption of the judges that judged us, by bringing Goths and afterwards of the Turks upon us a great evil : for UNDER into the Roman empire. Lest I should be misapprehended, I would

as hath been done again observe, that I consider the upon Jerusalem.”

This it was vengeance which the Lord poured which constituted its unprecedented upon Jerusalem to have been very character—not the signal vengeance marked and signal :

but if we inflicted in the siege only ; but the limit it to the mere siege and its accumulation of plagues and sufferattendant circumstances, there is ings to be endured through a tedious nothing so pre-eminently trans- and miserable dispersion.

THE

WHOLE

HEAVEN

HATH

NOT

BEEN

DONE

و

e Mark xiii, 19,

f Jer. xix, 8, 9.

8 Lam, ii, 20.

h Ibid. iv, 10.

i Isa. xl, 2.

I have still to harmonize Daniel are not absolutely passed away :

it and Matthew. This I think may

This I think may is the last act, yea the last scene, of be done, in perfect accordance with the drama, in which occurs the grand the context of the Scriptures, by catastrophe of the whole. Probably considering the tribulation to com- Rev. xvi, 18, which describes a mence with the signal vengeance on

symbolical “ earthquake, such as was Jerusalem and the Jews then living; not since men were upon the earth, to continue, according to St. Luke, so mighty an earthquake and so “ until the times of the Gentiles be great,” has that notification of its fulfilled;” and to terminate with that unparalleled character inserted, for marked period of distress called in the purpose of enabling the studious Jer. xxx, 7, the time of Jacob's inquirer to connect it with other pastrouble : but he shall be saved out sages in which similar notices occur. * of it!" This termination of the 3. I would next offer a few obserperiod (which shall be more es- vations on the phrase times of pecially disastrous to the Gentiles, the Gentiles" in Luke xxi, 24, which as marking their overthrow, but may throw further light on the preduring which the Jews shall be de- vious argument. livcred.) is I believe symbolized by Various significations are attached the signs described in verse 29 of to the word time or times, when Matthew, and verses 25, 26 of spoken of a kingdom; which must Luke; for which I shall give my be determined by the word conreasons in their proper place. St. nected with either expression : and Matthew indeed says, “Immediately even the same word may have oppoafter the tribulation of those days site meanings, according to the conshall the sun be darkened ;" but text; as in the phrase "time of visitathis I apprehend is not intended to tion,which signifies in one place a denote a distinct tribulation, but visitation of wrath,k in another a only the climax of it; being the visitation of mercy. But when the termination of those days of venge- fulfilment of a time is spoken of, ance and captivity to the Jews, the immediate reference is frequent" the end whereof is with a flood.j ly, not to the character of the time This will be further evident from or period which has been fulfilling, the parallel place in Mark's Gospel, but to that immediately succeeding; which says—“But in those days, in which case it answers ratherto our after that tribulation”—thus in- phrase, “the time is come.” Thus in timating, that the days of the tribu- Mark i, 15—"The time is fulfilled lation, though drawn to their close, and the kingdom of God is at

j Dan, ix, 26.

k Jer. xi, 23.

1 Compare Luke vii, 16 and xix, 44.

* There are passages which seem to mark an inchoate fulfilment of the time of trouble ; and which consequently corroborate the view I have taken, that the tribulation commences with the Jews' captivity, continues throughout their dispersion, and is completed only at their deliverance. Such is the 8th verse of this chapter of Matthew ;—“These are the beginning of sorrows." Such also is Luke xxiii, 30 ;- —“Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us;" an imprecation which will be repeated at the consummation of the period; if Mr. Cuninghame's interpretation of the sixth seal be correct, which, as regards its principal features, I am fully disposed to believe.

Perhaps Dan. ix, 12 may be designed to connect that period also with the same tribulation ; in which case it commenced with the first captivity, which was also the beginning of the times of the Gentiles.

hand,”—the attention is directed to period of Babylonish tyranny, and the Gospel dispensation about to it is called the time of the heathen" be introduced; whilst the legal dis- or Gentiles.n. That this signifies the pensation, which was the period time, in which heathen Babylon just fulfilled, is only obliquely re- should with her vassal nations domiferred to. So in Luke i, 57, in the neer over others, appears from the words or

Elizabeth's full time came parallel place in chap. xxix, 12 : for that she should he delivered,” the there Egypt is threatened with a detime of deliverance is principally solation for forty years, during which regarded, though the time completed she is to be “scattered among the must be that of gravidation. And Gentiles;" (992) which exactly anthus, reasoning by analogy, I take swers to the dispersion of the Jews the fulfilment of the times of the during the Gentile times. I will Gentiles, to be the time of deliver- conclude this point by once more ance to the Jews; which is plainly quoting that passage, already twice implied by the expression Jerusalem partially appealed to, Jeremiah xxx, is to be trodden under foot till the 6-9 - Ask ye now and see, whether times of the Gentiles be fulfilled ; a man doth travail with child ? and this time of deliverance itself, Wherefore do I see every man forasmuch as it also (as we have with his hands on his loins, as a seen) is to be in a time of trouble, woman in travail, and all faces is compared in Jeremiah xxx, 6, 7, turned into paleness ?---Alas! for already quoted, to the time of tra- ' that day is great, so that there is vail. The times fulfilled must ne- none like it : it is even the time of cessarily be the ages of affliction ' Jacob's trouble ; but he shall be and oppression they will have passed saved out of it. For it shall come through; and by an obvious con- pass in that day, saith the Lord trast, as regards the Gentiles, whose of hosts, that I will break his yoke times they are called, they are the from off thy neck, and will burst period of their domination.

thy bonds, and strangers shall no We may perhaps get a further ' more serve themselves of him ; but clew to the meaning of this ex- they shall serve the Lord their pression by an example or two of God and David their king, whom the use made of it in respect to I will raise up unto them. others. Of the king of Babylon 4. There is one other point which the Lord says,

“ All nations shall I shall here anticipate, inasmuch as it serve him, and his son, and his proves a stumbling-block to many; son's son, until the very time of viz. verse 34.-" Verily I say unto his land come: and then-many you, this generation shall not pass, nations and great kings shall serve 'till all these things be fulfilled.' themselves of him.”m The words This is by many supposed to be

time of his land comeare here equivalent to Matt. xvi, 28— equivalent to the fulfilment of his There be some standing here time, during which he was to have « which shall not taste of death, unthe empire over the nations; and til they see the Son of Man comthen the scene was to be reversed, ing in his kingdom.” But the and they were to "serve themselves words are entirely different, and, of him.In Ezekiel xxx, Egypt though the one has an undoubted is specially threatened with this reference to the term of man's life,

to

in Jer. xxvii, 6.

1 Compare verses 3 and 26.

nation ;

the other has not necessarily such in its signification to the term of a signification.

man's life. I should therefore add I decidedly concur in the able to the passages from the Septuagint view of the word yɛvea or generation, such phrases as yeveal Evax and contained in an article under the

yɛveav Evax, Numb. xiii, 23, 33, signature of E. at page 53 of the both meaning the children or deInvestigator; and I purpose here scendants of Anak; also Genesis to maintain that view : viz.—that xliii, 7—The man asked us straitly the word generation does not in this of our kindred;" Numb. x, 30instance mean

a period of time I will depart to mine own kindequal to the life of man, but a red ;—and Lev. xx, 18—“ Both

and that in the text it shall be cut off from their people.means the Jewish nation.

So also the phrases sinfulIt is noticed by Mr. Begg, in a wicked-adulterous-crookedfaithTreatise recently published on this less-perverse generation, the gensubject, that in Beza's Latin trans- eration of the righteous, P &c. though lation of the New Testament, he I allow them to be ambiguous as generally renders the word yɛvea regards the term nation, do neverby gens or natio. I can confirm

theless express the characteristics of this observation from a careful re- the persons of whom spoken, and ference to Beza, and also to the have no relation whatever to a peversion of Tremellius.

It is re

riod of time. markable, that the principal ex- There are likewise additional ception to this rule is the passage testimonies which I have noticed of now under dispute, where Beza has a more direct character ; as in the ætas and Tremellius generatio. This Septuagintą“ Pour out thy fury shows that anti-millennarian preju- upon the families that call not upon dice weighed with them, and thus thy name :” wherein yɛveas is exerenders their translation of the word getical of the word heathen in the by gens in other places the more same verse. Again, “ Death shall free from suspicion. I learn also be chosen rather than life by all that from Mr. Begg that the earlier remain of this evil family which is English translations rendered yevea evidently, from the context, spoken nation in this place; and it may of the nation. Both in Matthew therefore be questioned, how far the and Luke's Gospels the men of later translators of the Bible were Nineveh,” or Ninevites, is the antiwarped in their view of the passage thetical phrase for men of this by millennarian antipathy, since generation," or Jews. So of Sodom,

, Mede's view of the subject was &c.s And the identical phrase transthen known.

lated or

a perverse generation in I do not think it needful to be so Matt. xvii, 17, is in Phil. i, 15 scrupulous as E. in regard to some rendered "

a perverse nation." of the Greek testimonies adduced It is likewise very important, as by him, and which he places in the respects the use of the word in this dubious class : for granting that prophecy, to observe, that the prethey may not prove the point in vious chapter thus concludes : Beregard to the word nation, yet they hold your house is left unto you show that yerɛa is not to be limited desolate : for I say unto you, YE

0 Mark viii, 38; Matt. xvii, 17. p Ps. xiv, 5. a Jer. x, 25.

s Matt. xii, 41, 42, 45 ; Luke xi, 31, 32, &c.

r Ibid. viii, 3.

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