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ted to the exercise of their holy functions ; for all these functions were accounted holy among the Israelites. As this consecration was considered as adding a sacredness to their persons, it served as a guard against violence from the respect had to religion. Its efficacy this way was remarkably exemplified in David, who acknowledges that, when he had it in his power to avenge himself of Saul his enemy who sought his life, he was, principally by this consideration, restrained from killing him. The Lord forbid“, said he, that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. The word here translated anointed is, as in other places, in Hebrew Messiah, and in the Greek of the Seventy, Christ. It was a term, therefore, in its original use, applicable to all the succession of kings and high-priests, good and bad, of the people of Israel.
§ 2. But, as the king and the high-priest were the heads of the whole nation, the one in civil, the other in religious matters, the term anointed, that is Messiah or Christ, might, not improbably, serve, by a figure, to denote the head, chief, or principal of any class or people. So thinks the learned Grotius. Thus the high-priest is sometimes distinguish. ed from ordinary priests by the title the anointed priest; in the Septuagint ó lepeus ó xpisos; though
40 1 Sam. xxiv. 6.
this, I own, is not a proof of the point, since he was literally so distinguished from the rest“. But that the word is sometimes applied, when, in the literal sense, no anointing had been used, cannot be
questioned. In this way it is applied to Cyrus the Persian monarch by the Prophet Isaiah “, Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus; yet Houbi. gant, differing from his usual manner, renders the words, de uncto suo Cyro. But whether the import of this expression be, that Cyrus was a chief among kings, a most eminent sovereign, as Grotius seems to imagine, or that he was selected of God for the restoration of Judah, and the rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem, the only temple dedicated to the true God, may be made a question. For my part, I am inclinable to think that it is rather this latter in. terpretation which conveys the Prophet's idea, and the meaning intended by the Spirit of God. And to this interpretation the context entirely agrees. The word was also employed to denote those specially favoured of God, as were the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; concerning whom he is represented by the Psalmist “3, as having said, Touch not mine anointed. The word is in the plural number, twv xpigwv us, in the Vulgate Christos meos,
41 The sons of Aaron were indeed all anointed, in their father's lifetime, by the express command of God; but it does not appear, that this practice descended to other ordinary priests. 42 Is. xlr. 1.
43 Psal. cv. 15. 1 Chr. xvi. 22.
which, in our idiom, is not distiguished from the singular. Now there is no ground from Scripture to believe that any of them was in the literal sense anointed.
$ 3. But the most eminent use and application of the word is when it is employed as the title of that sublime Personage typified and predicted from the beginning, who was to prove, in the most exalted sense, the Redeemer and Lord of God's people. He is spoken of by the Prophets, under several characters, and, amongst others, under this of God's anointed, the Messiah, or the Christ. Those of the Prophets, who seem more especially to have appropriated this title, formerly more common, to the Mediator of the New Covenant, were the royal Prophet David “4, Isaiah “5, and Daniel 6. The first represents him as anointed of God King of God's heritage, the second as set apart and consecrated to be the Messenger of good tidings to the inhabitants of the earth, the third as appointed to make expiation for the sins of the people.
§ 4. It deserves to be remarked that, in the Eng. lish translation of the Old Testament, the word is always rendered anointed, to whomsoever applied, except in the two verses of Daniel quoted in the margin, where it is translated Messiah. In the New
44 Psal. ii. 2.
45 Isaiah lxi. 1, &c.
46 Dan, ix, 25, 26,
Testament, the corresponding Greek word is always rendered Christ, and commonly without the article. In this our interpreters have been so uniform, that they have even employed the word Christ, where the passage is a quotation and literal translation from the Old Testament, in which the Hebrew word, though perfectly equivalent, had been by themselves rendered anointed. Thus, the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ, κατα τε Χρις8 αυτ8. The words are quoted from the second Psalm, where they had said, against his anointed. The change here is the more remarkable, as there is a plain reference to the meaning of the word in the very next sentence: For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, ov expioas, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and people of Israel, were gathered together.
5. In the Vulgate, in all the places of the Old Testament above referred to, it is translated Christus. So it is also in Houbigant, except where it is applied to Cyrus, as mentioned § 2. Whereas, in regard to Cyrus, it is in the Vulgate, Hæc dicit Dominus Christo meo Cyro. The same appellation is also given to King Saul, Dixitque David ad viros suos, Propitius sit mihi Dominus, ne faciam hanc rem domino meo, Christo Domini, ut mittam manum meam in eum, quia Christus Domini est. In the
Psalms, Nolite tangere Christos meos, and adversus Dominum et adversus Christum ejus.
In Daniel also the word is in the same way rendered. Here indeed, and in the last-mentioned passage from the Psalms, as no Christian can well doubt the reference to the Messiah, there is not so great an appearance of impropriety ; yet, when applied to the high-priest, they have not said christus, but unctus, giving the import of the word as it was literally applicable to him. Otherwise the term Christus might have been used, at least, as properly of the high-priest, who was, in one respect, a figure of our Lord, as either of a heathen prince, or even of a bad king of Israel. All the other Latin translators, except Leo de Juda, if I remember right, use unctus, not only in speaking of the priest, but also in relation to Cyrus and Saul; and wherever they have not observed a direct reference to the Lord Jesus. Leo, in the passage above quoted from Samuel, uses both words, messias and unctus, in relation to Saul, where he probably introduces the latter word for explaining the former. Servet me Dominus, ne rem istam designem contra dominum meum messiam Domini, ut scilicit inferam ei manum ; est enim unctus Domini. To Cyrus also he applies the word messias. In Daniel, Leo, Castalio, and Houbigant, ail use the word messias: Junius chuses christus with the Vulgate, both there and in the second Psalm, in which last mentioned place Leo also uses christus. About other modern translations it is not necessary here to inquire. It is sufficient to observe that, at the time of