« AnteriorContinuar »
ALL THE TEXTS WHERE OLIM OCCURS, IS RENDERED BY
WORDS WHICH CONVEY THE IDEA OF "ENDLESS DURATION, AND
APPLIED TO PUNISHMENT, PARTICULARLY CONSIDERED.
In the preceding Section, we have seen the term olim, rendered perpetual, everlasting, and forever, and used to express the duration of the punishment of certain places, Isai. 34: 9-17. and Jer. 49: 3. We are now to bring into view the texts where it is used to express the punishment of persons, in whatever way it is rendered in the common version. Jer. 23: 39, 40. is the first we shall notice. Therefore, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.? comp. Jer. 20 : 11. It has been shown, in the Inquiry into the words Sheol, Hades, &c. that this passage refers to the punishment of the Jewish nation, and deserves no further notice here. See on 2 Thess. 2: below, and on Matth. 24, 25. Indeed few will question this.
Jer. 17:4. “For ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever. It is so evident from verses 1–4. that the prophet is speaking of Judah, the sin of Judah, and the punishment of Judah, and this punishment was of a temporal nature, that
it would be a waste of time to offer any remarks on this passage. This we think will not be disputed.
Isai. 33: 14. The sinners in Zion are afraid ; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites: who among us shall dwell with devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ?? Having considered this passage in my Inquiry into the words Sheol, Hades, &c. to it I refer the reader for an illustration.
Psalm 9: 5. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name forever and ever. It would be useless to spend time in showing, that this text has no reference to punishment in a future state. No sensible orthodox man would urge it, and no man who consults the context, can help seeing that it has no reference to such a subject.
Mal. 1: 4. Whereas Edom saith, we are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places ; thus saith the Lord of hosts, they shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, the border of wickedness, and the people against whom the Lord hath indignation forever. The prophet is here speaking of Edom as a people or nation, and it is plain from the context, that the indignation mentioned, is not in a future state, but God's temporal vengeance on that people. The meaning of the passage evidently is, the people against whom the Lord hath indignation from generation to generation, as explained frequently in the preceding Section.
Dan. 12: 2. • And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. The principal question to be considered from this passage is-Did Daniel here speak of the everlasting punishment of the wicked? If he did, he delivered it in plainer language than any other sacred writer,
and in a book which contains predictions clothed in highly figurative language. Our orthodox friends do not depend much on the Old Testament for proof of the doctrine of endless misery, and as this is the strongest, yea, I may say the only text, which they generally quote from it in proof of it, we shall give it a particular consideration.
The passage then says And at that time. At what time? Let the question be asked. The time evidently, of which Daniel had been speaking chap. 11. This will not be disputed, for it is plain that the first four verses of chap. 12. connect with the matters stated in the 11th chapter. The things mentioned are said to take place at the period called that time, chap. 12: 1. whatever time this may be. This time, we think, is easily ascertained, from considering of what people Daniel was speaking. It is plain he referred to the Jews, for in verse 1. they are iwice called “thy people,' or Daniel's people, who certainly were Jews. Let us then see how the events mentioned agree to Daniel's people. It is, then, said,
and at that time,' which time is called, chap. 11 : 40. the time of the end.' But this provokes the question-What end? I answer, the end of the Jewish age or dispensation. Is it asked, what proof have we of this? I answer, in chap. 11. verse 31. the abomination that maketh desolate' is expressly mentioned, which passage our Lord quotes, Matth. 24: 15. and applies it to the Romans, by whom the Jewish temple and city were destroyed at the end of the age. See the whole of chap. 11. for other circumstances which corroborate this. It will be shown afterwards, that the period called the end, chap. 11. and that time,' chap. 12:1. exactly agree to the end of the Jewish dispensation, which is repeatedly called the end of the world,' or age, in the New Testament. It is then said, at that time shall
Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people. It is dithcuit to say with certainty, who was referred to by Michael, nor is this necessary to be determined in the present discussion. The most probable opinion we have seen is, that Michael the great prince refers to Messiah, called the prince of the Jews in other parts of the book of Daniel, and the prince of life, and prince of the kings of the earth, in other parts of Scripture. It is supposed by Pierce and others, that certain angels presided over different parts of the world before the coming of Christ, but all of them now are put in subjection to him. During the period which preceded his coming, it is supposed he was the person who presided over the Jewish nation. But it would be aside from my present object to enter further into this question.
The passage proceeds to say— And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. Our Lord refers to these very words, Matth. 24: 21. and applies them to the great tribulations which came on the Jews in the destruction of their city and temple at the end of the age. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the veginning of the wor'l 10 this time, no nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.' Who can doubt, after reading this, that Daniel referred to the end of the age, and the tribulations which came on the Jewish nation ? He could refer to no other, unless it can be proved, that there have been two different times of such calamity, that the like had never been since there was a nation, or from the beginning of the world. We think this conclusively shows to what period, to what people, and to what calamities the prophet referred.
It is further said—“And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” It is not said, all Daniel's people, the Jews, shall be delivered " at that time," but only such as were found " written in the book.” What is meant by being blotted out of a book, or not to be found written in it, we may learn from Exod. 32: 32, 33. and comp. Rev. 20:15. On the contrary, what is meant by being found written in a book, may be learned from Phil. 3: 5. and Rev. 13:8. Comp. Isai. 4: 3. and Luke 10: 20. I shall only quote the following passages, which are a sufficient illustration of this phraseology. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous,” Psalm 69: 28. By consulting this Psalm any one may see, that David referred to the unbelieving Jews, who were ihe murderers of our Lord, for it is quoted in the New Testament and applied to them. It is implied, that the righteous are written in a book, and it is evident also, that to be blotted out " of the book of the living," or not to be written with the righteous,” are synonimous expressions. Who, then, were the righteous, written in the book, distinguished from the unbelieving Jews not written with the righteous ? What persons could they be, but our Lord's disciples? This, in the first place, agrees to the fact, for they were all delivered from the calamities which came on the Jewish nation at the end of the age. They left the city according to our Lord's directions, Matth. 24 : and went to a city called Pella, as shown by Macknight on that chapter. Second, It is in agreement with the prediction of Malachi, and the language he uses in reference both to Christ's disciples, and also the unbelieving Jews. Concerning the former, "a book of remembrance was written," chap. 3:16. and they were spared as a man spareth his only son which serveth him. Con