to the office of a saviour and deliverer of God's people by the sovereign election and special designation of God; agreeably to many prophecies of the Messiah. He was endued with might, and upheld and strengthened immediately from God, and by the Spirit of God and the spirit of might resting upon him. Judg. vi. 14-16. 34. Agreeably to many prophecies of the Messiah. Gideon was as it were a root of a dry ground, of a poor family, and the least in his father's house; a low tree without form or comeliness. Judg. vi. 15. Agreeably to the prophecies of the Messiah. Gideon was not only the captain of the host of Israel, but was immediately appointed of God to be a priest to build the altar of God, and to offer sacrifice to God, to make atonement for that iniquity of Israel that had brought that sore judgment upon them, that he came to deliver them from. Judg. vi. 20—28. And he offered a sacrifice acceptable unto God, and of which God gave special testimony of his acceptance, by consuming his sacrifice by fire immediately enkindled from heaven. Ver. 21. And his sacrifice procured reconciliation and peace for Israel, ver. 24. These things are exactly agreeable to the prophecies of the Messiah. Gideon destroyed idols, abolished their worship, threw down their altars, and set up the worship of the true God. At this time that Gideon overthrew the idols and their worship, those idols and their worshippers were solemnly challenged to plead and make good their own cause. Judg. vi. 31–33. Agreeably to Isai. xli. 1–7, and 21–29. Gideon drank of the brook in the way, and was so prepared for the battle, and obtained a glorious conquest over the kings and the heads of many countries, and filled the place with the dead bodies, agreeably to Psa. cx. 5—7. “ The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath: he shall judge among the heathen: he shall fill the places with the dead bodies : he shall wound the heads over many countries : he shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall he lift up the head. The company with Gideon was a small remnant, that was left after most of the people departed. So is the company represented that shall obtain victory over their enemies in the Messiah's times. Isai. x. 20. &c. “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel shall stay upon the Lord, the holy one of Israel, in truth. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea; yet a remnant shall return. Therefore thus saith the Lord, O my people, be not afraid of the AssyrianFor the Lord shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian.” Mic. v. 8, 9. “And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forests, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be list

[ocr errors]

up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.” Gideon's company, with which he overcame his mighty enemies were not only small but weak, and without weapons of war. Agreeably to this is Isai. xli. 14, &c. “ Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men (or few men, as it is in the margin) of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shalt make the bills as chaff," &c. And Mic. iv. 7. “I will make her that halted a rempant, and her that was cast far off, a strong nation ;” with verse 13, “ Arise, and thresh, O daughter of Zion : for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thine hoofs brass; and thou shalt beat in pieces many people,” &c. Zeph. iii. 12. “I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.” Ver. 16, 17.“ In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not, and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack or faint,” (as it is in the margio.) “ The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save.” Ver. 19. “Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee, and I will save her that halteth,' &c. The representation of a cake of barley bread tumbling into the host of Midian, and coming unto a tent, and smiting it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along, signifying Gideon's destroying the host of Midian, Judg. v. 13, is not unlike that in Daniel ii. of a stone cut out of the mountains without hands smiting the image and breaking it all in pieces, that it all became as the chaff of the summer threshing floor. Gideon and his company overcame and destroyed the mighty host of their enemies, without any other weapons than trumpets and lamps. This is agreeable to the prophecies of the Messiah, which show that the weapons by which he should overcome his enemies should not be carnal but spiritual, and particularly that it should be by the preaching of the word. Psa. cx. 2. “ The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion : rule thou in the midst of thine enemies;" together with Isai. xi. 4. “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Isai. xlix. 2. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword." The word of God

” is in the Old Testament compared to a lamp and a light. Prov. vi. 23. “For the commandment is a lamp and the law is a light." Psa. cxix. 105. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light

. unto my path ;” and particularly it is so represented in the prophecies of the Messiah's times. Isai. li. 4. “A law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.” So preaching the word in the Old Testament is compared to blownig a trumpet. Isai. lviii. 1. “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet : show my people their transgression." Ezek.


xxxiii. 2, 3, &c. “ If the people take a man and set him for their watchman; — if he blow the trumpet, and warn the peo

ple,” &c.

Particularly it is so represented in the prophecies of the Messiah's times. Isai. xxvii. 13. “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come that were ready to perish,” &c. Psa. Ixxxix. 15. “Blessed is the people that know the joysul sound. They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.God destroyed the host of Midian by setting every man's sword against his fellow. Agreeably to this is Hag. ii. 22. “And the horses and their riders sball come down, every one by the sword of his brother.” Ezek. xxxviii. 14. “Every man's sword shall be against his brother.” Gideon led captivity captive agreeably to Psa. Ixviii. He led those kings and princes in chains that before had taken them captives; agreeably to Psa. cxlix. 7–9. “To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people : to bind their kings in chains and their nobles with fetters of iron : to execute upon them the judgment written. This honour have all the saints."

There is a no less remarkable agreement between the things said of Samson in his history, and the things said of the Messiah in the prophecies of him. His name Samson signifies Little Sun, well agreeing with a type of the Messiah, that Great Sun of righteousness, so often compared in the prophecies to the sun. The antitype is far greater than the type, as being its end. Therefore, when the type is called by the name of the antitype, it is fitly with a diminutive termination. Samson and other saviours under the Old Testament, that were types of the great Saviour, were but little șaviours. The prophets, priests, kings, captains, and deliverers of the Old Testament, were indeed images of the great light of the church and the world that was to follow. But they were but images: they were little lights, that shone during the night. But when Christ came, the great light arose and introduced the day.

Samson's birth was miraculous; it was a great wonder in his case, that a woman should " compass a man," as the prophecies represent it to be in the case of the birth of the Messiah. Samson was raised up to be a saviour to God's people from their enemies, agreeably to prophetical representations of the Messiah. Samson was appointed to this great work by God's special election and designation, and that in an eminent and extraordinary way, agreeably to the prophecies of the Messiah. Samson was a Nazarite from the womb. The word Na. zarite signifies separated. This denotes holiness and purity. The Nazarite was, with very great and extraordivary care and strictness indeed, to abstain from the least legal defilement; as appears by Num. vi. 6; and the reason is given in the Sth verse. "All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord:” and

with the utmost strictness he was to abstain from wine and strong drink, and every thing that apperi ained in any respect to the fruit of the vine; wine being the liquor that was especially the object of the caroal appetites of men. And he was to suffer no razor to come upon his head, any way to alter what he was by nature, because that would defile it, as the listing up a tool to hew the stones of the altar would defile it. The design of those institutions concerning the Nazarite, about his hair and about wine is declared, Num. vi. 5. “ He shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair grow.” This sanctity of the Nazarite representing a perfect holiuess both negative and positive, is spoken of in Lam. iv. 7. " Her Nazarites were purer than snow: they were whiter than milk: they were more ruddy in body than rubies: their polishing was of sapphire." Therelore Samson's being a Nazarite from the womb, remarkably represents that perfect innocence and purity, and transcendent holiness of nature, and life in the Messiah, which the prophecies often speak of. The great things that Samson wrought for the deliverance of Israel and the overthrow of their enemies, was not by any natural strength of his, but by the special influence and extraordinary assistance of the Spirit of God, Judg. xiji. 25, and xiv. 6. 19, and xv. 14. xvi. 20; agreeably to many prophecies I have already observed of the Messiah's being anointed and filled with God's Spirit, and being upheld, and helped, and strengthened, and succeeded by God. Samson married a Philistine, and all the women that he loved were of that people that were his great enemies. Agreeably to those prophecies that represent the Messiah as marrying an alien from the commonwealth of Israel: as Ps. xlv. : and his marrying one that was the daughter of the accursed people of Canaan, Ezek. xvi. 3. 3, &c., together with the latter end of the chapter, and the many prophecies that speak of Christ's calling the Gentiles and his saving sinners. Samson was a person of exceeding great strength; herein he is like the Messiah, as he is represented, Ps. Ixxxix. 19. “ I have laid help on one that is mighty.” Ps. xlv. 3. “Gird on thy sword on thy thigh, O most mighty, in thy glory and in thy majesty." Isai. lxiii. 1. - Who is this—travelling in the greatness of hisstrength ?" When Samson was going to take his wife, a young lion roared against him. So the enemies of the Messiah and his people are compared to a lion roaring upon him, gaping with his mouth ready to devour bim. Ps. xxii. 13. “ They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.” Ver. 21. “ Save me from the lion's mouth.” Samson rent the lion as the lion would have rent the kid; which is agreeable to the prophecies which represent the Messiah destroying his enemies as a strong lion devouring his prey. Gen. xlix. 0, &c., and the many prophecies that speak of his punishing leviathan VOL. IX.


with his great, and sore, and strong sword, his mightily and dreadfully destroying his enemies, treading them down as the mire, treading them in his anger and trampling them in his fury, sprinkling his raiment with their blood, &c. Samson is fed with honey out of the carcase of the lion, which is agreeable to what the prophecies represent of the glorious benefits of the Messiah's conquest over his enemies, to bimself and his people, his own ascension, glory and kingdom, and the glory of his people. Samson made a feast on occasion of his marriage, which is agreeable to Isai. xxv. 6. " And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things; a feast of wines on the lees of fat things, full of marrow; of wines on the lees well refined.” Isai. Ixv. 13, 14. “My servants shall eat—my servants shall drink-my servants shall rejoice-my servants sball sing for joy of heart ;” and innumerable prophecies that speak of the great plenty and joy of God's people in the Messiah's times ; and this accompanying the Messiah's marriage with his spiritual spouse. See Isai. Ixii. 4, 5.7-9, and Hos. ii. 19-22, and Cant. ii. 4, and v. 1. When Samson visited his wife with a kid, he was rejected, and her younger sister, that was fairer than she, given to him ; Judg. xv. 2. Which is agreeable to what the prophecies represent of the Messiah's coming to the Jews first, when he was offered up as a lamb or kid, and making the first offer of the glorious benefits of bis sacrifice to them, and their rejecting him, and the calling of the Gentiles, and the more glorious and beautitul state of the Gentile church than of the ancient Jewish church. In Judg. xvi. 1, 2, we have an account how Samson loved an harlot, and from his love to her exposed himself to be compassed round by his enemies. So the prophecies represent the Messiah as loving a sinful people, and from love seeking such a people to be his spouse, as that which occasions his suffering from his enemies. Isia. liii. taken with the following chapter. Samson, while his enemies are compassing him round, to destroy him, rises from sleep, and from midnight darkness, and takes away the strength and fortification of the city of his enemies, the gate of the city, which his enemies shut and barred fast upon him to confine him, and the two posts, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an bill. Judg. xvi. 3. So the prophecies represent the Messiah, when compassed round by his enemies, rising from the sleep of death, and emerging out of the thick darkness of his sorrows and sufferings, spoiling his enemies, and ascending into heaven, and leading captivity captive. Samson was betrayed and sold by Delilah, his false spouse or companion. So the prophecies do represent the Messiah as sold by his false and treacherous people. Samson was delivered up into the hands of his enemies, and was mocked and derided, and very cruelly treat

« ElőzőTovább »