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Doctor of Phil, and Theol. and Professor of the latter in the University of Berlin.


Professor in the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary of Virginia.







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836,

By Reuel Keith,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Columbia.


The basis of the present work is formed of prelections respecting
the subject of which it treats. The author held them with peculiar
pleasure, and with the conviction, how necessary it is, and how salu-
tary it would be to Christianity and Theology, for the Old Testa-
ment to regain its ancient and well grounded rights ; and the wish to
contribute something to this in a wider circle also, induced him to
revise and enlarge his work ; without intending however that all tra-
ces of the mode in which it originated should be effaced.

Although the author is conscious of having labored with honest
and persevering diligence, yet he is very far from not perceiving the
imperfections of his work. It was the object here, where old and
new theological prejudices stand in opposition to each other, to strike
out a new path ; and in the very outset always to find the right course,
and satisfy all requisitions, was a task difficult in itself, and impossi-
ble for him to perform. Yet he believes that the work, even in its
present form, can serve in some manner to relieve the pressing neces-
sity, and at the same time prepare the way for the appearance of one
more complete. He proceeds upon the principle, that before the
erection of the new edifice, the rubbish must be thoroughly removed
and the ground cleansed ; hence his work receives an irregular form
and a temporal character; but perhaps the author of the more com-
plete one, will give him some thanks, when he finds he can now
commence the new structure without hindrance.

At the same time, however, he entertains a firm and unshaken
conviction, that the principles he has followed are the only true ones,
and that the essential doctrine of his work, not indeed by the force


of his arguments (for the most specious refutation of these would
leave the former untouched) but by its intrinsic truth must prevail, as
it has done in all ages of the church. All assaults directed against
that, will leave him entirely uninjured, as not affecting what is prop-
erly his own. On the other hand, he will gratefully receive every
correction relating to particulars, and adopt it, if after deliberate ex-
amination, he finds it well founded. That this instruction should
always be imparted in the proper tone, judging from what himself
and others have often experienced he dares not expect, indeed he
would contradict his own fundamental views in theology if he only
greatly desired it. As his concern is with the subject alone, it will
not be difficult for him to separate what relates to that, from what
relates to the person. It is only the former that he will notice, either
in the way of acknowledgment, or refutation. May the Lord of the
church bless a work begun and completed in dependance on him,
and make it the means of confirming the faith of at least some indi-


It would be superfluous for the translator to speak in commenda-
tion of this work, since he has given the highest expression of his es-
timation of its value, by bestowing upon it the labor requisite to make
it accessible to those who are unacquainted with the language of the

It may however be satisfactory and useful to the reader to be in-
formed, that it has been my object to present him with (what the
work professes indeed to be) a translation ; to put him fairly in pos-
session, not of my own thoughts, but those of the author; so that the
translation shall be to the English reader, what the original is to the
German. I am very sensible, that I have not been able to reach the
standard o^ perfection at which I aimed ; but trust that I have not al-
together failed in the accomplishment of my object. This hope, I
may add, is strengthened by the opinion expressed by more compe-
tent judges than myself, who have done me the favor to examine por-
tions of the work.

The translator feels himself greatly indebted for the general cor-
rectness of the typography, to the gentlemen at Andover, to whom,
in his absence, the supervision of the press was entrusted. Some
errata, however, of considerable importance, have escaped their vi-
gilance. These, at least so far as they have fallen under my notice,
are printed at the close of the volume. I can only commend them to
the notice and the candor of the reader. From those who are at all
acquainted with the difficulty of attaining entire correctness in the
printing of books, a censorious judgment is certainly not to be reared.

vi translator's preface.

Hoping that this translation may serve to promote the great ob-
ject for which, I am persuaded, the original was composed by its
highly gifted author, the glory of Christ and the salvation of man-
kind, and with an earnest prayer that it may be attended with His
blessing, I present as an humble contribution to the theological lite-
rature of my country, and bespeak for it the indulgence of the criti-
cal reader towards its many imperfections.


Thcol. Sem. near Alexandria, D. C.
July 15, 1836.


General Introduction.

Chapter First. — Preliminary Observations, .... 9
Chap. Second. — History of the Messianic Prediction among
the Hebrews.

1. Messianic Predictions in the Pentateuch, . . 25

a. In Genesis : 26

The Protevangelium. Gen. 3: 14, 15, . 26

Gen. 9:26, 27, 41

Promises to the Patriarchs, ... 46

Gen. 49: 10, 50

b. In the remaining Books of the Pentateuch, . 63

Num. 24:17, 63

Deut. 18: 15—18, 67

2. The Messianic Psalms, 73

a. Psalms in which the Messiah in his glory is de-
scribed, 76

Psalm II, 76

Psalm XLv, . . . . . . 86

Psalm Lxxii, . . . . . .98

Psalm ex, 107

b. Psalms in which the suffering Messiah is descri-
bed, 121

Psalm XVI, 121

Psalm XXII, 130

Psalm XL, 148

3. Predictions of the Messiah in the Prophets, . . 152
Chapter Third. — The Deity of the Messiah in the Old Testa-
ment, ........... 161

Chap. Fourth. — A suffering and atoning Messiah in the Old

Testament, 187



Chap. Fifth.— The nature of Prophecy, . . . .217
Chap. Sixth. — The means of proving the reference of particu-
lar prophecies to the Messiah, 245

Chap. Seventh. — Literature of the Messianic Predictions, . 259


Introductory Remarks,

Chap. II — IV,

Chap. VII,

Chap. 8: 23— 9: 6,

Chap. XI, XII,

General Preliminary Remarks on Isa. xl — lxvi, .
Genuineness of Isa. xl — lxvi, ....
Contents of Isa. xl — lxvi,

Chap. 42: 1—9,

Chap. 49: 1—9

Chap. 50:4— 11,

Chap. 52: 12 — liii, .... . .







The fall of man rendered necessary divine institutions for his sal-
vation. Having thereby broken off his vital connexion with God, and
lost the favor bestowed upon him in his creation, man still retained
indeed faint traces of the Divine image, consisting in an obscure re-
membrance of his original happy condition, and an earnest desire to
regain it ; yet this was insufficient of itself to effect the great end of
his being, a reunion with his Maker. It was of value only as it made
him capable of receiving the aid afforded from above ; it rendered
his return to God possible, but could not be its efficient cause. The
need of a Divine interposition for the restoration of fallen man,
who was no more able of himself to regain his lost communion with
God than to establish this communion at first, is evident from experi-
ence and observation, which show that he is averse to good, inclined
to evil, and incapable of fulfilling by his own strength the demands
of the holiness and justice of God. But with respect to the way in
which God should interpose, we could determine nothing without
experience. No speculative reason could have decided before the
establishment of the Divine Institutions for man's salvation, that they
must be precisely what they are ; nor can it prove by a priori argu-
ments that the method adopted was the only one that was possible,
was necessary, and founded in the nature of God. We learn its ne-
cessity rather from the fact of its having been adopted, for God does
nothing which is unnecessary and has not its foundation in His na-
ture. We are moreover taught it in Scripture, which represents the
method revealed as necessary, and the only one that was possible.
And this testimony is confirmed by our own experience ; since in
proportion as we appropriate to ourselves the means of salvation


wliich God has provided, we learn, not merely from human reason,
but from the witness of the Spirit, that these means, and these only,
are efficacious to heal the diseases of our souls.

The revelation contained in Holy Scripture teaches us, that the
centre of all divine institutions for our salvation, is a manifestation
of God in the flesh, the mission of a divine Redeemer, who by his
perfectly innocent life, his undeserved sufferings and his expiatory-
death, delivered from original sin and the actual sins which flow
from it, (the consequences of the transgression of Adam, with whom
all his descendants are mysteriously connected,) and justified before
God all those, who through faith in Him are made partakers of all
the blessings which He procured, and become one with Him ; a Re-
deemer who vanquished the prince of this world, and despoiled Him
of that right which He had gained by their voluntary submission to
His sway ; who presented to them in their own nature an image of
the divine holiness, which they might affectionately embrace, and at-
tain a growing conformity to it in the present life, to be perfected in
that which is to come ; and supplied them with strength for this
through the Holy Spirit, procured again for mankind by His death,
who as a new source of life implanted in man reunited him to God
in the bonds of life and love and became the mediating principle be-
tween them both ; a Redeemer who in opposition to that kingdom of
darkness established on earth with the fall of man, of which Satan
was the head and all natural men the subjects, founded an extensive
kingdom of God, of which He was himself the Head, and whose sub-
jects should be all those who should suffer themselves to be delivered
by Him from their former bondage, and become incorporated with
Him, united with their Head and with one another by the bond of
the Holy Spirit, as the members of the kingdom of darkness are con-
nected with their head and with each other by the bond of the spirit
of the world, which their own strength cannot break ; who finally
when the present course of the world shall have ended, will abolish
even the outward consequences of the fall, the evil which sin has
occasioned, and, after the utter extinction of the kingdom of dark-
ness, glorify his divine kingdom on the renovated earth.

Why the sending of this Divine Redeemer and Restorer, which
had been purposed from eternity,* did not immediately succeed the
fall — why four thousand years must first elapse, and in the meantime
diseased humanity seek in vain to heal itself, in the absence of the

^ See Knnpp Dogm. II. p. 120.


divine Physician who alone could give relief; is a question too pro-
found for human wisdom, which in this life is imperfect, and even
when it has humbled itself under the mighty hand of God, receives
from Him only the light it needs for sanctification. From the late-
ness of his advent we can only with certainty conclude, that He
could not have been sent at an earlier period, if the resultsof his mis-
sion were to be, in all respects, the same as at present. We can
however with great probability assign t^ reason existing in the hu-
man race for this delay, if we consider tfie nature and condition of
fallen man, and God's dispensations towards him, from the time of
his apostasy to the coming of the Redeemer. We perceive that God
could send his Son into the world, only when the way was first suffi-
ciently prepared for his advent. The design of this preparation could
be none other than to produce among an important portion of the hu-
man race, such a state of things as is requisite in order to the accep-
tance of the divine aid when proffered. For although man has noth-
ing positively good to present to God, when he returns to him, but
must receive all at his hands, yet he must have a susceptibility for
the divine blessings, before he can enjoy them. With the heathen
and the Jews God pursued very different methods, in order to qualify
them for the reception of his mercy.

The heathen were in general left to themselves. God suffered
the disease, which had poisoned their whole nature, to put forth all
its power, that when the Physician should appear, they might not de-
ceive themselves respecting their true condition. The fundamental
evil of fallen man is pride — the feeling that he possesses powers and
advantages, which, even before his apostasy, he enjoyed only in con-
sequence of his fellowship with God. Pride, however, is never more
effectually humbled, made to feel its weakness, and look beyond it-
self for aid, than when left to make a trial of its strength. At the
time of the Messiah's advent this trial had been fully made by the
most distinguished people of the heathen world. They had already
wearied themselves sufficiently long in their own ways, and had
learned by degrees that they could lead to nothing firm and sure.
Their religions, the offspring of human invention, had outlived their
influence ; and the illusion which once blinded the eyes of their vo-
taries had passed away. In vain were the efforts to restore their an-
cient authority by new embellishments. The true religion only car-
ries within itself the principle of a perpetual' renovation. The self-
made systems of the Philosophers had run their course ; one had



supplanted another, until at last, just in consequence of their multi-
plicity, men had become distrustful of their truth, and of all human
science, and longed, though often perhaps unconsciously, for higher
certainty. They had seen the transient nature of all human great-
ness and glory, that the bloom of nations as well as of individuals
faded away, and that even what was most exalted and seemed estab-
lished for thousands of years was hastening to its overthrow ; — they
beheld Greece and Rome themselves assailed by domestic and for-
eign foes, and on the brink of ruin. Hence arose in the minds of
men, an earnest, though indistinct desire to obtain some sure resting-
place, some haven of security amidst the storms of time ; to fasten
themselves to something not subject to this constant alternation of
growth and decay ; to be able to labor for objects which did not con-
tain within themselves the germ of their destruction. — And in a
moral point of view also, how easily would history dissipate the proud
dreams of the natural man, did he not entirely avoid its light. The
attractive garb, which vice had assumed in former times, was laid
aside, and it now appeared in its native and hideous deformity.
Pretended virtues also were stripped of their disguise. " Certatur in-
genti quodam nequitiae certamine." Seneca, de Ira. II. 8. And
thus an undefinable anxiety was awakened to be rescued by a higher
hand from the power of natural corruption, to be delivered from the
monstrous embrace of the reigning wickedness. This longing after
something stable in theory and practice, after redemption from sin
and evil, was enlightened and satisfied by the preaching of the gos-
pel of Jesus Christ.*

We have already said that a different method was adopted to pre-
pare the Jews for the Redeemer's advent. Among them the prepa-
ration was made by a direct influence. It was in the first place the
conditio sine qua nan of the appearing of the messenger that the
knowledge of Him by whom He was sent should not be entirely lost,
at least among those to whom He should manifest himself at the ap-
pointed time. This, however, required an immediate divine interpo-
sition; so prone is man, when left to himself, to the senseless wor-
ship of idols. God therefore separated from his kingdom, Abraham,
the father of that people among whom the Saviour was to appear,
allured him to his service by blessings and promises, and by conde-

• See Neander, Kirchengesch. Bd. 1. Tl)oIuck, Uber das Wesen und den
sittliclien Einflusades Heidenthums rait hinsicht auf das Christenih. in Nean-
der's DenkwUrdigkeiten, Bd. I.


scending to his weakness raised him by degrees to himself. He af-
terwards pursued the same course, not only towards the immediate
descendants of the patriarch, but the whole people who derived their
origin from him. Besides his general relation to all mankind, He
sustained toward them the peculiar relation of King. He establish-
ed all their institutions, of which he made himself the centre ; He
sought, in a manner suited to affect their senses, to bind them to
Himself, and ensure their fidelity by the law of visible retribution
manifest in all the events of their history, according to which, faith-
ful devotion to His service was rewarded by prosperity, revolt and
perfidy punished by adversity. He strengthened their faith by a vis-
ible sign of His presence, and by many wonderful works ; and made
known to them his will, exhorted, warned and threatened them by
sending continually new ambassadors clothed with his own authority
and power. — Further, the promulgation of the law especially contri-
buted to prepare the way for the coming of the Redeemer. The
moral law is, indeed, imprinted on the heart of fallen man, and en-
nobles his corrupt nature. But then he possesses no living principle
to bring his sinful inclinations under subjection to this law. The
law is dead, while the inclinations to evil are full of life. The con-
flict between conscience and the love of sin is insupportable ; and as
man finds it to be impossible by his own power to subdue the latter
and secure to himself true peace of mind, he seeks a false and unsub-
stantial peace by suppressing the voice of the former. In order to
effect this purpose he brings down to his own standard the attributes
of God and the demands of His holy law. But that it might not be
in the power of the Hebrews to pursue this course, God gave them
an outward revelation of his law. And now the opposition between
the will of God and the will of man was too obvious to be concealed ;
and as mere semblance of peace could no longer be maintained, it
became necessary, that true peace should be sought. " By the law
is the knowledge of sin," and where this knowledge truly exists, there
also will be found the desire to be freed from sin, or in other words,
the feeling of the need of redemption.

But though God, in his wisdom and holiness, had purposed that
many centuries should elapse between the fall and the redemption of
man, yet immediately after the former and at subsequent periods he
was pleased to make known that great salvation and deliverance from
the consequences of the first transgression, which should be accom-
plished in future times.


The knowledcre of this original Revelation is not entirely lost
even among heathen nations. As, on the one hand, the doctrine of
a happy primeval condition of mankind is diifused through all anti-
quity, so that even Voltaire himself in his " Philosophy of History"
is obliged to confess, " that the fall of degenerate man is the founda-
tion of theology among nearly all ancient nations," so, on the other
we meet with hopes more or less definite of a time of restoration.*
It is true that several of the Fathers, and especially Clement of Alex-
andria, have considerably exaggerated this fact, from a mistaken de-
sire to render the christian religion acceptable to the heathen ;t and
indeed these expectations are often so general, as to seem not so
much the remains of an original revelation, as the aspirations of a
mind dissatisfied with the present, and hoping that its conceptions
would be realized at some future period ; — expecting in the progress
of time the return of that happy condition, which according to the
obscure indwelling consciousness of man, existed at the origin of the
human race. Much however remains of so definite a character, that
in all jirobability it was derived from an ancient revelation; especial-
ly when we consider this doctrine in connexion with those of the
creation, the fall, and the curse which sin has brought upon the world,
and which undeniably owe their origin to tradition. This is partic-
ularly the case with the doctrine of the Persians on this subject,
whose religion is in general distinguished from that of other nations
of antiquity by more worthy conceptions of God, and loftier repre-
sentations of a future life. The Persians expected the present
course of the world, in which a conflict is carried on between the
kingdoms of Ormuzd and Ahriman, which produces that strange
mixture of physical and moral good and evil, which we witness, to
be succeeded by a time of restoration, in which Ahriman is to be
entirely destroyed, and men are to be purified from sin, and enjoy a
perfectly happy and peaceful life on the glorified earth. An impor-
tant passage on this subject is found in Plutarch, {De Iside et Osi-
ridc, c. 47. ed. Ilutten, I. 9, p. 168) : " Ormuzd, born of the purest

• V'gl. die .Sanimelungen bei Stolberg, Religionsgesch. 1. Beilage 4. '* Ober
dio Qiiellcn der inorgcnlllndischen Ueberlioferuiiiren." Rosenindller, Altes
und Neues M<)r;;enl. 1. p. 13 S(j. Tholurk, von dcr SOndc und voin Vorsoh-
ncr p 271 sq. Schniitf, Grundidee des Mythus. Frank. 182G. (An uncritical

♦ Vgl. Eckhardi, non Christianorum de Christo testimouia. Quedlinb.
1726, p. 63 Beq.


light, and Ahriman, the offspring of darkness, fight against each oth-
er. But a predestinated time will come, when Ahriman, after hav-
ing filled the earth with famine and pestilence, shall thereby be en-
tirely destroyed and extirpated. Then shall the earth be smooth and
level ; all men shall be happy, speak but one language, and be unit-
ed in the same mode of life and the same political condition. But
Theopompus says, that according to the doctrine of the Magi ^hese
two gods are alternately to triumph and to be subdued, each for three
thousand years, and that during the next three thousand years they
will mutually contend, and the one will make war upon the other and
destroy what he had accomplished. But finally, the god of the lower
world, Ahriman, shall be entirely vanquished. Men will then be
happy ; they will need no more nourishment, and cast no more shad-
ows." See the Commentary on this passage by Anquetil du Perron,
in Kleuker's Zendavesta, Anh. I. p. 127 — 144. We find in the
Zend books and the Bundehesch a similar representation of the hap-
piness of mankind after the renovation of the earth, which is to take
place when the world shall have existed twelve thousand years.
" Then there will be no night, no cold nor hot wind, no corruption,
no fear of death, no evil caused by Dews;* and then the fiend, the
ambitious prince, shall exalt him no more." Anq. du Perron, 1. c.
p. 138. If, however, such passages only as these existed, it might
appear probable that this expectation was of human origin ; but we
see it in other instances connected with the appearance of a person
of more than human power and dignity. We will not here appeal to
the doubtful testimony of Abulfaradsch, who, (in his historia dynas-
tiarum p. 54,) asserts that Zoroaster taught, that in the last times a

Online LibraryErnst Wilhelm HegstenbergChristology of the Old Testament (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 61)