JESUS NOW UPON DAVID’S THRONE!
—IMPROVED VERSION—LOOSE QUOTATION.
“The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”—Gabriel
As a note appended to an “allusion,” or more properly an illusion, made in the seventh question of Mr. Campbell’s essay “No. 1,” on the Acts of the Apostles, in his Feb. Harbinger, is the following extraordinary specimen of the wisdom which distils from the alembic of Sacred History in a theological laboratory of the west.
“To prevent misconception of this allusion to the throne of David,” says Mr. C., “I simply remark for the present, to be developed, probably, more fully again, that the throne of David was, in fact, the earthly throne of God, in the midst of ancient Israel. David was his Viceroy, that is, the Lord’s anointed, a fact not well understood by the church, and still less by some untaught and unteachable dogmatists of the present day. It was necessary to the plans of Jehovah, which are all sublimely grand and wonderful, that he should have two thrones—one on earth and one in heaven—for a time occupied one above, by himself, and one below by his vicegerent, called and constituted by him; and therefore his solemn oath or covenant with David, that he would raise out of his person, in fulness of time, one that would occupy both thrones. Hence said the inspired bard of Israel, “Jehovah said to my Jehovah, sit thou on my right hand till I make thy foes thy footstool.” It is beautifully in accordance with this fact, that Mary the virgin was the last bud on the tree of David which could blossom and fructify, and bring forth a representative of David. So that if Jesus be not the heir of David’s throne, there never can be one born, and God’s covenant has failed. This is a death-blow to Jewish infidelity, if their eyes were not closed and their ears sealed. But Jesus was the son of David, and born to be a king, as he told Caesar’s representative. ON THE THRONE OF DAVID, as King of kings, HE NOW SITS, and also on the throne of God; for he has all crowns upon his head, and affirms that all authority in heaven and on earth is given to him.”
In the above our logical friend admits that the throne of David was the earthly throne of God, occupied by his anointed as his viceroy. We are glad he has learned so much as this, for it is a truth scarcely at all known to what he calls “the church.” That David’s was Jehovah’s throne in Israel, is a startling proposition to sky-kingdomers; and that it will be his throne there again, neither “the church,” nor the church’s illuminator, our sagacious friend, are able to comprehend. He professes to believe that David’s throne on Mount Zion was once Jehovah’s; but he has not faith enough to believe that it will be so again. This is just like our historical friend; —he can believe history, “sacred history,” any thing in short, but the written promises of God. The things set forth here do not accord with his reading and experience; they are too marvellous for his matter-of-fact organization, therefore he repudiates the things they declare with ineffable and sovereign contempt. How unlike Abraham, who “believed all things, and hoped all things,” and “therefore his faith was counted to him for righteousness!” But our unfortunate friend is not so. If justification be by faith, as it unquestionably is—faith in what God has done and promises to do—our didactic friend’s sacrae-historical creed will leave him in the lurch, the naked denizen of outer darkness. We beseech him therefore to look into this matter before it be “too late;” for even in our own time, “too late” has lost a kingdom.
Our “sublimely grand and wonderful” friend opines that the plans of Jehovah require that he should have “two thrones, one on earth, and one in heaven.” He has not vouchsafed to tell us what plan or plans necessitate this. In the absence of light, then, we would suggest that he is certainly mistaken. If Jesus in heaven have “many crowns,” as he says, why are only two assigned to Jehovah in heaven? The number of crowns indicate the number of thrones. The truth rather is, that Jehovah has as many thrones in the universe as there are inhabited spheres in boundless space; but on earth he has only had one, which was David’s, and since that was demolished he has had none; but he has revealed his intention not only to recover David’s, but also to take possession of every other upon the earth; so that His authority alone may be acknowledged here. Let our knowing friend ruminate upon this awhile!
Our critical friend favours his readers with an “improved version” of a sentence in the one hundred and tenth psalm. He quotes it, “Jehovah said to my Jehovah, &c.” we submit to our learned friend that David wrote no such thing. Great Hebraist as our friend may be, he must surely have been taking a siesta from which he had scarcely recovered when he penned it. He has been misled by the supposition that where “Lord” occurs in the English version, it is Yehowah in the Hebrew, and should therefore be rendered Jehovah. But this is incorrect, as proved in more places than one in the psalm before us. David’s words are, “Neum YEHOWAH la-ADONI,” Jehovah said to my Adon. In the second verse, “Lord” is Yehowah; also in the fourth: but in the fifth verse, David addressing Jehovah concerning “the Man of his right hand, even the Son of Man, whom he made strong for himself”—Psalm 80: 17, says “Adonai al-yeminekah, the ADON at thy right hand.” We are aware, that the Athanasian lexicographers, and perhaps Jewish too, who are opposed to the idea of “the Man Christ Jesus” sitting at the right hand of Jehovah, pretend that Adonai is exclusively applied to the Uncreated One. This, however, is mere Masoretic trifling. Adonai is the same word as Adoni in the first verse, only with a Kamitz under the Noon instead of a Chirick. Now, the pointing is very convenient for pronunciation, but of no authority in interpretation. We would therefore translate both words in the same way, rendering the fifth verse as the first, to wit, “My Lord at thy right hand (O Jehovah) shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath;” that is, when by Jehovah’s aid his enemies are made his footstool. We trust our learned friend will dig about and mellow the soil, hard-baked upon his Hebrew roots, before he undertakes to solve “the greatest question of the age,” as he facetiously styles, we suppose, the translation of the scriptures into the latest English! He must forsake his sky-kingdom before he, or the Bible Unionists, will be able to present the world with a version really improved, and beyond the reach of emendation.
Our valiant friend will pardon us for saying that with all his prowess in fight he is the last man in creation to deal “a death blow to Jewish infidelity.” If he strikes Judah home on the personal identity of Jesus with the son promised to David; they strike him into nonentity by saying, “granted; but if Jesus is not to sit upon the throne of David in our ancient city, as you affirm, then he is not the Messiah of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote; therefore we look for another.” Judah and “the Church” are both infidel, our galaxical friend among the number, the only difference between them is, the several points on which their unbelief is manifested.
In conclusion, the proof given by our demonstrative friend of the Lord’s present occupancy of his father David’s throne is, that “he has all crowns upon his head, and affirms that all authority in heaven and on earth is given to him.” All crowns! Ah, then must David’s be among them! But knowing how loosely our friend quotes the word, we cannot admit the proof until we look for ourselves. We find that he has not quoted the text correctly. It does not say, “all crowns were upon his head,” but it says “and upon his head many crowns.” Many is not all, therefore David’s may be among the missing. But we object to our friend’s hermeneutical chronology as well as to his philosophy. Jesus with many crowns upon his head is seen in a vision which represents events between the Battle of Armageddon in which Nebuchadnezzar’s Image is broken; and the complete subjugation of the nations, or reduction of the Image-fragments to impalpable dust. The “many crowns,” with David’s among the number, are acquired by the victory of Armageddon; all crowns, when “the kingdoms of the world become our Lord’s and his Anointed’s,” at the final overthrow of the Beast, the False Prophet, and Kings of the earth by the conclusion of the Post-Adventual war.
As to all authority in the sense of power in successful rule, being now possessed by the Lord Jesus, facts are against it on every side, whether we consider the state of “the church” or the world. Jesus said, All exousia, or power of doing as one pleases, in heaven and upon earth is given to me. He did not say this as proof that he was sitting upon any throne; but as the ground of his commanding the apostles to go and preach the gospel of the kingdom, and repentance and the remission of sins in his name. Though a king, and born to be king of the Jews, and to be the Prince of many kings and lords, his glorified brethren reigning with him over the whole earth, he has at present no kingly or political authority. If he have we would like our inventive friend to tell us where, that we may go and live under its just, merciful, and benevolent influence. We forbear to add more at present, except to commend the first article of this number on David’s throne to the calm, candid, and dispassionate consideration of our untaught, but, we trust, not unteachable contemporary.