shall gently lead those that are with young." Moses said, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? but Christ was willingly afflicted and tormented for the sake of a perverse people, his enemies. Moses desired to be killed, to be delivered from the burden of bearing the people to the land of promise, rather than bear it. But such was Christ's love to them, that he desired to be killed that he might bear them to the land of promise.

[118] Num. xii. 6, 7, 8. "If there be a prophet among you, the Lord will make known myself to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream; my servant Moses is not so; with him will I speak apparently, and not in dark speeches." It is evident from this that it was God's common manner to speak to the prophets in words that they did not understand themselves. Therefore, in reading the prophets, we read not such an interpretation as would be natural for the prophets themselves to put upon the prophecy; for the Holy Ghost spake in what words he pleased to employ, and meant what he pleased, without revealing his meaning to the prophets. The prophecy of scripture is not of a private interpretation, but they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

[307] Num. xix. The ashes of the red heifer of which was made the water of separation for the purification of those that were legally unclean. This heifer, being a female, doubtless does more directly signify the church of Christ, than Christ himself. She was an heifer without spot, having no blemish, because it was the church of saints that are pure and upright ones, those that are not defiled with any pollution, showing hypocrisy, or want of evangelical perfection; they are Israelites indeed in whom is no guile, and those in whom God does not behold iniquity or see perverseness. The slaying and burning of this heifer signifies the sufferings and persecutions of the church of Christ, and the fiery trial which she was to undergo. The persecutions of the church of Christ have mainly been carried on by burning. The purifying with the ashes of this heifer, signifies that the church and people of God should be purified by her sufferings, and as it were by the ashes of the martyrs. The purifying of God's people, and taking away their sins, and refining them as silver, and making them white, is often declared to be the end of the suffering and persecutions of God's people, and it is the way in which it pleased God to lay the foundation of the purity of his church, viz. by continuing it for many ages under extreme persecutions, first under the tyranny of Rome, heathen, and nextly under Autichrist, and so to fill up, as the apostle expresses himself, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ; for Christ does as it were suffer in his members, in all their affliction he is afflicted, the

church is his body, and in this sense the slaying and burning this heifer represents the sufferings of Christ, as they represent the sufferings of his people, whereby they are made conformable to Christ's death, and partakers of his sufferings. It pleases God to lay the foundation of the spiritual purity and prosperity of his church, in the first place, in his eldest Son, even Jesus Christ, and secondarily in the blood of the martyrs, Christ's younger brethren, that are as it were God's youngest Son. See Notes on Joshua's prophecy concerning the rebuilding of Jericho.

This was not to be a cow, but an heifer, and also without spot or blemish, which is very agreeable to the description that is given of the church of Christ in Revelation, in the time of their persecution. Rev. xiv. 4, 5. "These are they which were not defiled with women, for they are virgins-And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God."

And it must be a red heifer, which signifies the militant state the church is in under those sufferings, conflicting with her enemies. The colour red, is often so used in scripture. So Christ, while he is warring with his enemies, is represented as being red in his apparel, Isai. Ixiii., and as being clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, Rev. xix. 3. So God's saints are clothed in red until they have got through their sufferings, and are in a triumphant state; then they are represented as having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, Rev. vii. 14.

It was to be an heifer on which never had come yoke; which most fitly represents the Spirit and practice of God's true church in the time of persecution from her enemies which refuses to submit to the yoke, that they would oppose whatever cruelties they exercise them with. She will not call any man on earth master or lord-will not be subject to their impositions-will not forsake the commands of God, nor be subject to the commandments of men-will follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth-will not worship the beast, nor his image, nor receive his mark in their forehead, nor in their hand. They stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, not submitting to the yoke of bondage, Gal. v. 1.

This heifer was sacrificed to God; so are the martyrs represented as sacrificed. They offer up themselves a sacrifice to God through the Holy Spirit, and the souls of the martyrs are represented as sols under the altar. She was to be burnt without the camp, as the martyrs, especially those suffering under Antichrist, are rejected and cast out of the communion of their persecutors as not being of the church of Christ.

Her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with the dung, were to be burnt: the suffering of the martyrs burns up their carnality and Corruption, and cleanses all their filthiness.

The peculiar use of the ashes of the red heifer was to purge from pollutions by dead bodies. So the use for which God designs the suffering and persecutions of his church, is to rouse his people from coldness and deadness in religion, and from carnality, and worldly or fleshly mindedness, whereby some become as dead carcasses; for he or she that liveth in pleasure, is dead while he liveth. Carnal things are well compared to dead carcasses, for they are fleshly, and they are filthy and loathsome like stinking flesh.

[73] Numb. xxiii. 23. "According to this time shall it be said of Jacob, and of Israel, What hath God wrought?" That is, God shall do a very strange and wonderful thing for Jacob and for Israel. Such interrogations denote the wonderfulness of the thing about which the interrogation is, as Isai. Ixiii." Who is this that cometh from Edom ?" &c. And Ps. xxv. "Who is this King of glory?" See notes on that Psalm. "According to this time;" that is, what he hath done at this time, is a shadow and representation of it. He hath now redeemed out of Egypt, with the strength of an unicorn, and there is no enchantment against him, as in the words immediately foregoing; and hereafter he shall send Jesus Christ to redeem them out of spiritual Egypt; with a greater strength shall he redeem them from the power of the devil.

[418] Numb. xxiv. 17. "And shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." It would be unreasonable on many accounts to suppose that this Sheth is the same with Seth the son of Adam, and so that by the children of Sheth is meant all mankind. But the Sheth here mentioned is a founder of one of the chief families of the Moabites; probably one of the sons of Moab. The father of the people called from him Shittim, as the posterity of Heth, are in scripture from him called Hittim, which we translate Hittites; whence that part of the land where those people dwelt was called Shittim, which was the part of that land in which the people now were, where Balaam beheld them when he blessed them; he beheld them in the inheritance of the people of Sheth, or the land of the Shittim, or Shittites, as appears by the first verse of the next chapter, and Josh. ii. 1, and iii. 1, and Mic. vi. 1. All that renders this doubtful is, that the radical letters in Seth and Shittim are not the same, as in ♫, and the other .



[468] Deut. vi. 13. "Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and swear by his name." It might have been



rendered swearing in the name, or into the name, in the original Bishmo. And the thing chiefly intended here by it seems to be, the making that public, solemn profession of faith in the name of God, of being the Lord's, and being dedicated to his honour and glory, and that covenanting and avowing to be the Lord's, and serve him, that is very often in scripture called by the name of swearing. A public profession of religion has respect to two things.

It has respect to something present, viz: their belief, or faith this is the profession God's people make of their faith. It has respect also to something future, viz: their future behaviour in the promises or vows that are made in a public profession.

It is evident that the profession that is made in the latter, viz: in the promises and vows of the covenant, is often called swearing; but the profession that is made in the former which relates to their faith, is a no less solemn profession. In the public profession they make of religion, they profess what is present with the same solemnity as they promise what is future. They declare what their faith is with the same solemnity with which they declare their intentions. Both are declared with an oath-one an assertory oath, and the other a promissory oath; and the whole profession is called swearing in, or into the name of the Lord. In the former part of it, they swear their faith in the name of the Lord, and swear that they are God's; that their hearts are his, and for him. In the latter part they swear to live to his honour and glory, which is often called his name. And by the whole they appear by their profession to be God's people, which in scripture is often expressed by being called by God's name; and so by this swearing they come into the name of God, as persons when they make profession of religion by baptism, are said to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

The former part of this profession of religion, viz: the profession of faith in God, is called saying, or swearing the Lord liveth. Jer. v. 2. "And though they say the Lord liveth, surely they swear falsely." They have sworn by them that are no God, i. e. had openly professed idol worship. Chap. iv. 2. "And thou shalt swear the Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness, and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory." That this saying that the Lord liveth was in their profession of faith in the true God in the public profession they made of his name, is confirmed by Jer. xliv. 26. "Behold I have sworn by my great name, saith the Lord, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord.

liveth" i. e. they shall never any more make any profession of the true God, and true religion, but shall be wholly given up to heathenism. And Jer. xii. 16. “And it shall come to pass if they will diligently learn the way of my people, to swear by my name, The Lord liveth, as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of my people." Here is a promise to the heathen, that if they would forsake their heathenism and turn to the true God, and the true religion, and make an open and good profession of that, they should be received into the visible church of God. Jer. xvi. 14, 15. "Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of the north" i. e. God's people, in their public profession of their faith, shall not so much insist on the redemption out of Egypt, as on a much greater redemption that shall hereafter be accomplished. We have the same again, Jer. xxiii. 7. 8. Hos. iv. 15. "Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye into Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The Lord liveth."


This has respect to that public profession of religion which the ten tribes made at Bethel, (here called Beth-aven) the place of their public worship before the calf that was set up there, by which they pretended to worship Jehovah. Amos viii. 14. "They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth, and the manner of Beersheba liveth." They had also places of public worship at Dan (where was one of their calves,) and at Beersheba. See chap. v. 5.


The words, Jehovah liveth, summarily comprehended that which they professed in their public profession of religion. They signified hereby their belief of a dependence upon that all-sufficiency and faithfulness that is implied in the name Jehovah, which will appear by the consideration of the following places, Josh. iii. 10." Hereby ye shall know that the living God among you." 1 Sam. xvii. 26. "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" Ver. 36. Seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God." 2 Kings xix. 4. "It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria hath sent to reproach the living God." Also ver. 16, and Isai. xxxvii. 4. Jer. x. 8, 9, 10. The stock is a doctrine of vanities- -But the Lord is the true God (Heb. the God of truth.) He is the living God." Dan. vi. 26. "He is the living God, and steadfast for ever." Ps. xviii. 46. "The Lord liveth, and blessed Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted." So



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