The Kingdom is offered to an elect nation, viz.: the Jewish nation.
PROPOSITION 24. The Kingdom is offered to an elect nation, viz.: the Jewish nation.
This election is so plainly stated in Scripture, and it is so currently admitted in our theological works, that it needs no proof. Such passages as Deut. 7:6 and 14:2; Rom. 11:28 and 9:11, etc., are decisive, that the sovereignty of God chose in the descendants of Abraham, the Jews, a people through whom should be manifested his Divine purpose in the salvation of man. Kurtz (Sac. His., p. 71) has aptly said, in view of children being raised up to Abraham against the course of nature: “He, therefore, chose in Abraham a people which was called into existence only by his almighty creative power.” This election is not to be regarded, as some tell us, an act of favoritism, but as founded in that wisdom which adopted it (as the end will manifest) as the best means, under the circumstances in which fallen humanity was placed, to reach, consistently with moral freedom, the largest portion of mankind, having in view the ultimate establishment and triumph—in opposition to depravity—of God’s Kingdom.
The Kingdom was offered to this chosen, elected nation, as is evinced, e.g., in Ex. 19:5, 6, where it is declared that if faithful and obedient, it should be God’s “peculiar treasure above all people,” and it should become “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”[*]
Note. The reason for such election is given, e.g. Deut. 7:7–11, and the assurance of its perpetuation is also presented in God’s love and oath. The reader ought not to overlook this, as it has an important bearing on the subject of the Kingdom, as developed more fully hereafter. Some infidels ridicule the smallness of the Jewish nation in this connection, as if it was unworthy of Deity to stoop so low and exhibit such interest to a few people; but the Spirit expressly asserts that the nation was not chosen “because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all the people.” God thus forestalls the wretched attempt at witticism so current in recent books. In reference to the passage Rom. 9:11, Schmucker (Pop. Theol., p. 117) justly argues that it does not relate to personal salvation, but has a national aspect. But he, with many others, emasculates the force of the election when he only makes this nation God’s “external, visible people, whom He determined to separate from the rest of mankind and make the depositories of His religion.” This, as the reader will see, is only a small portion appertaining to their election.
Obs. 1. The Kingdom itself thus offered to them is a divine-political (church and state united) dominion, over which God Himself, as an earthly Ruler, presides or rules as the Supreme. Moses and the Prophets clearly show this by constantly uniting the divine and the political in their instructions; by making God’s commands, both civil and religious, the sovereign law; by stating that the object of the nation’s call, and the bestowment of peculiar privileges and power, was the overruling and superseding of all earthly governments, thus exalting their God and King over all; and by teaching that through the Kingdom thus established, all nations should ultimately be brought under the subjection and allegiance of the great King.[*]
Note. As we proceed, the Scriptures teaching this will be abundantly adduced; for the present it is sufficient to direct attention to the beginning and end of God’s plan. Who doubts that this was the purpose (i.e. to make it a universal dominion over the earth) when God determined this kingdom from the foundation of the world? Theologians justly tell us that anything less would have been derogatory to the honor, the sovereignty of God. Why, then, gloss over Dan. 2:44 and 7:14, 18, 27, etc., and deny that God ever contemplated for this Kingdom such a union of church and state, a political dominion wholly under divine control? It is a refreshing omen to see men hostile to our views still admit, as Neander, etc., that God’s purposes in relation to this Kingdom must inevitably—if Scripture is fulfilled—exhibit itself in a great, outward political world dominion, under divine rule and guidance. Hundreds of quotations (some will be given hereafter) from eminent men attest that such is the scriptural idea. Men, too, like Dr. Arnold, feel that the biblical idea of such a dominion has been kept in the background, and they strive to revive it, but mistake the time and manner of its manifestation, attributing to this dispensation and to present means what Holy Writ ascribes to the following dispensation and to Jesus the Christ. Such deep thinkers as Rothe are nearer the truth, and coincide with prophecy, when they make the church, as now existing, but a temporary institution, making it to be united with the state in one great theocratic ordering, and the realization of such a permanent union depending on the future personal manifestation of the Saviour Jesus. Look at the end contemplated, as predicted by the prophets (e.g. Zech. 14:9, etc.), and given in the last testimony of Jesus (Apoc. 11:15, etc.), and this is the grand position that the Kingdom of God is to attain: absolute control over all the kingdoms of the earth—such a world-wide dominion that all nations shall bend in joyful, blessed obedience to its behests. This was the Kingdom offered to the Jewish nation.
Obs. 2. The attention is now directed to the fact that the Jewish nation is an elect nation to whom a Kingdom is offered—which election, although occupying an important place in the consideration of the Kingdom, is passed over or ignored in many theologies, even in recent Bib. Theologies, just as if it was not reconfirmed by the apostles. Explain it as we may, this election is a fundamental fact, which (as will be proven hereafter) has a deep and permanent significancy in relation to the Kingdom.[*]
Note. The infidel, of course, rejects the claim, and makes it the subject of ridicule. The extreme Calvinist finds here a very tender place, in which (as e.g. Pres. Edwards, etc.) he manifests a glaring inconsistency. With his views of election in reference to the individual, viz.: that it is fixed and eternal, he cannot possibly explain this election of the Jewish nation, so long as he claims that it was transient, failed, etc., and takes the blessings promised to this elect nation and heaps them upon Gentiles. Hence it is that for the sake of theory he wisely (?) passes it by as a discordant element. The low Arminian, who makes all election to consist in foreknown belief, etc., finds in this subject some stubborn facts, indicating that God’s ultimate purposes are not invariably thus conditioned, and he, too, turns from it as unwelcome. The student willing to receive—whether Calvinist or Arminian, irrespective of previously formed opinions—the teachings of Scripture, will not turn away from this point.
Obs. 3. Briefly, let some of the reasons underlying the Prop. be presented. (1) The Jewish nation, as a nation, was thus chosen; for the Kingdom having in view, as intimated, a divine political world dominion, it is pre-eminently suitable that a nation—alone susceptible of kingly government, etc.—should be selected for its acceptance and final realization. God in His Sovereignty and mercy raised up this nation. It is customary with some writers to designate this election “a historical claim,” which, indeed, may be allowed, but has no particular signification. (2) Admitting cheerfully the historical connection as indispensable, we see in it a deeper design, out of which history itself arises. The election embraces a nationality, viz.: the natural descendants of Abraham in their associated capacity. It includes them all, so far as descent in a certain line is concerned (as well as those who may be adopted by the nation), which is clearly seen by what some term “exclusiveness” (but actually necessary, indispensably so, to preserve a unity in the intended dominion), or by “the middle wall of partition” which divided them from other nations, or by the declaration of Paul (Rom. 9:4 and 11:28), that even to the unbelieving Jews pertained “the adoption,” i.e. this election in view of national connection, and that, although “enemies” yet, “as touching the election (i.e. this choice of the nation), they are beloved for the father’s sake.” In other words, none but a member of this nation, being a Jew, had this Kingdom offered to him until the election—unmistakably enlarged—embraced others by way of adoption as the seed of Abraham. (3) This election of the Jewish nation was an absolute, unconditional (i.e. relating to the Purpose of God) election so far as its national descent from Abraham is affected, i.e. the kingdom is solely promised to the descendants of Abraham in their national aspect (which is verified, as we shall see hereafter, by the covenants, confirmed by oath); and hence arises the necessity of Gentiles (as we shall show), who shall participate in this Kingdom, being grafted in, becoming members of, the commonwealth of Israel. (4) The unbelief and sinfulness of the nation may, indeed, for a while remove the mercy and favor of God, but it does not remove the election; for when the children of Abraham, composing this nation, are gathered out, both natural and engrafted, the election, never set aside, conditions the restoration of the nation in order that the promises to the nation, as such, and to the faithful Jews, as members of the nation, may be fulfilled. Hence the restoration of the nation is invariably linked with the setting up of the Kingdom. (5) The Scripture indicative of this continued election will be brought forth as our argument advances. It is amply sufficient at this stage to direct the earnest attention of the reader to the last, solemn, most intensely impressive words of Moses, Deut. 32:1–43, in which the elect condition of the nation is delineated, then a deep and long-continued apostasy is represented as pertaining to this favored nation, followed by prolonged punishment; but this does not vitiate the nation’s election, for God’s Purpose in reference to it still stands good, and the promise of the Eternal, Unchangeable is recorded, that the same elect nation, chastened and scourged, scattered and dispersed, shall be recalled and exalted in glory. (6) While the nation, comprising the natural descendants of Abraham, is thus chosen, it does not follow that every individual in it is thus personally elected. The election is twofold—in its reach after the nationality, and in its application to the individual member of the nation. It, in the latter case, only pertains to the believing, obedient portion of the nation. This Paul, in Rom. 9 and 11, distinctly teaches. The nation in its corporate capacity may reject the truth, but God, when for a time punishing the nation, instead of raising up children to Abraham out of stones (Matt. 3:9) to keep up a seed unto Abraham, gathers them out from among the Gentiles, grafting them in, adopting them with preceding believers as the nation, restores the Jewish nationality as predicted, and gives to them the Kingdom—His Divine Purpose is carried out; His election fails not. But with the individual it is far otherwise: God chooses him conditioned to faith and obedience, and if these fail, if the conditions are unfulfilled, then God has no other purpose; the individual fails to become of the elect, the chosen, the predetermined number, to whom the Kingdom is given. In the case of the nation the ultimate Divine Purpose is unalterable; even if the nation for a time prove unfaithful, that Purpose is assumed by the Saviour (e.g. Matt. 19:28) as unchangeable; but this is not so with the individual, for in this particular the assumption is, that he may not receive the Kingdom—some other one (Rev. 3:11) may obtain the crown. (7) The election is made in view of this kingdom, so that it can be established and manifested. Through the elect Jewish nation, in its restored Davidic throne and Kingdom, under the personal rule of David’s Son in glorified humanity, and through the elect (natural and engrafted) Jews, who are “chosen in Him (Christ) from the foundation of the world” (i.e. they being predetermined associated rulers with Christ), shall this divinely constituted world dominion be exhibited. These particulars, thus epitomized, will be fully confirmed by the Propositions following, the Scripture proof being given and the various objections answered.
Note 1. Baldwin (Armageddon, p. 88) totally misapprehends the elect condition of the nation in the Divine Purpose, and hence gives place to such ideas as the following: “The sole and simple secret of their (Jews) existence, as a distinct people, is their infidelity. And God has no further interfered in this preservation than may be implied in His making their sin their curse.” According to this new theory—advanced by various writers and held by some sects—unbelief is a most excellent national preservative! Those who deny the future restoration of the nation are met in their denial by this election and its design.
Note 2. Reference is made to the doctrine of election to distinguish between that pertaining to the nation and personal election or choice. How the latter is produced, etc., does not fall within our discussion. The temperate view of Horne (Introd., vol. 1, p. 23, footnote) is ours; to which we may add, that persons discussing the subject of personal election too much overlook the foundation of this term as seen in the predetermined number of inheritors of this very Kingdom. In this conection it may also be said, that some of the Jews recognizing the election of the nation, so distinctively taught, made it cover the personal election of the individual—thus relieving him of responsibility, and making birth a sufficient test and merit. Thus e.g. Turretin (quoted by Horne, Introd., vol. 1, p. 394) gives a passage from the Codex Sanhedrin, which affirms: “that every Jew had a portion in the future world,” and another from the Talmud, which says: “that Abraham is sitting near the gates of hell, and does not permit any Israelite, however wicked he may be, to descend into hell.” The mere sign of circumcision, although a sign pertaining to the elect people, did not in its outward application make one of the elect unless accompanied by a corresponding moral and religious spirit. So Jesus teaches, John 7:34–44. But still the elect were circumcised as a sign of covenant relationship. The same is now true of baptism; the outward, unless accompanied by the inward, avails nothing, although every believer receives it as indicative of covenant relationship.
Obs. 4. Recent writers (e.g. Fairbairn, On Proph., p. 60) speak very disparagingly of reckoning the natural descent from Abraham as part of the election, stating that the election had sole reference to a higher, viz.: a spiritual distinction and significance. But this is antagonistic to the Word and the facts as given. How comes it, then, that the covenants are given to the Jewish race? That this election is confined to the Jewish race and those adopted into that race? That the election is traced directly through the descendants of Abraham and those incorporated as Abraham’s seed? That all the prophets, all the inspired teachers, Jesus and the apostles, are Jews? That the election of the nation is recognized by Jesus and the apostles, and that the Gentiles were only afterward admitted by special revelation, and then only as the acknowledged children of Abraham? These and similar questions must first be answered before we can possibly accept of such a theory. The misapprehension arises from not discriminating that the true seed are faithful Jews, or become such by faith, being the actual descendants of Abraham, or accounted such—part of the race to whom the covenants are given. It does not follow, because God designs to exalt and bless the nation, that a disobedient Jew will obtain the blessings of election; for while the race, as a race, is chosen, it is not said that every individual of the race is also ultimately chosen. The fact is, that very few, comparatively, may avail themselves of the opportunity afforded; but that does not vitiate the election of the portion of the race that is faithful, and it does not alter God’s final purpose in reference to the nation itself. If we reject this, then we surround the calling and separation of the Jewish race with insurmountable difficulties. The effort to spiritualize it away is not sustained by a single fact. Let the reader but consider: if the election only embraced the pious, irrespective of Jewish descent, why was the election hedged around by the restriction of descent? why was the calling of the Gentiles postponed to a definite time? why forbid the first preachers of the Gospel of the Kingdom to go to the Gentiles, etc.?[*]
Note. Theologians speak most depreciatingly of this election, and of the Jewish view based on it. It is true that some Jews perverted it to the extent, that personal salvation, no matter what the life, was deduced from it. But the perversion does not affect the doctrine. Dr. Knapp (Ch. Theology, p. 319), misapprehending the election in its reference to the Jewish nation, thus endeavors to rebuke Jewish belief: “The national pride of the Jews led them into the mistake that God had a special regard for them; that they were more agreeable to him than other nations; that they exclusively were his children; and that the Messiah was only designed for them,” etc. That God had “a special regard for them,” that He esteemed them beyond other nations, that they were specially under His fatherly care, that the Messiah was from them and for them, etc., is specifically asserted, and the Jewish covenant relationship conclusively proves it. Even Knapp himself, if ever saved with perfected Redemption, will be saved as an adopted son of Abraham’s. Knapp’s references to sustain his rebuke have no force argumentatively, for the one based on the rejection of the Kingdom by the Jews, and the other on the foreknown rejection of the nation and call of the Gentiles, overlook the predictions and promises that such a rejection is only temporary—the nation is punished for its unbelief and sinfulness. Gentiles, alas, forget the relationship that they sustain, as believers, to this very nation; and such rebukes fall, unjustly, upon the foundations of our hope. On he other hand, it is a matter of surprise that Jews are so unappreciative of their most honorable extraction, that some foolishly endeavor to conceal their Jewish origin, even to the changing of their names, as e.g. from Abraham to Braham, etc. The day will come (comp. Prop. 114) when such conduct will be reprobated.
Obs. 5. The saying of Augustine, quoted with such evident approbation by Fairbairn, “The faith of Abraham is the seed of Abraham,” has been received by multitudes as containing the whole sum of truth, when, in point of fact, it simply grazes the truth. If Augustine is correct, why confine the election to a certain period exclusively to the Jewish race, and why, when afterward the election embraced the Gentiles, have the believing Gentiles held as grafted in and adopted as one with that same Jewish race? This at once removes volumes of sophistical reasoning on this subject. The Jew, if faithful, was of the election; the Jew, if unfaithful, was reckoned as a heathen; but it was still the Jew, the actual descendant of Abraham, that was saved. Why the Jew? Because God made a covenant with their ancestor, and gave certain promises through that covenant pertaining to that ancestor’s seed. If any one says (as, alas, many do), perverting the language of Paul applicable to another feature, that the having the blood of Abraham in their veins amounted to nothing (which is true, when accompanied by unbelief, as Jesus taught), he simply fails to recognize the plain fact that Jews were called, and not Gentiles; a covenant was made with Jews, and not with Gentiles; the promises were given to Jews, and not to Gentiles; that salvation is of the Jews, and not of the Gentiles; that this salvation is yet to be openly manifested through the Jews, and not through the Gentiles; and that Gentiles receive and inherit with the natural descendants of Abraham only as they are incorporated. If some, or many, of the Jews made themselves unworthy to receive the promises, that does not alter the unchangeable fact, that the worthy descendants, and engrafted ones, of Abraham do obtain them. Hence we dare not say: “Their condition did not essentially differ from that of the heathen,” because facts are against it.
Obs. 6. Therefore it is inconsistent to make (as e.g. Fairbairn, Whately and others) this elect people a type of others—the type of a future people—thus misapplying the word “Israel.” The reason is apparent: a type prefigures or foreshadows something that is to be accomplished or realized in the future, but the election made out an accomplished, constantly realized fact; for they themselves were chosen, and not typically chosen to represent some future choosing; and hence, as we shall show, the elect in the future, i.e. in this dispensation, are held up to us as a continuation of the elect nation—of the same divine purpose in selecting a people who, ancient and modern, are to be constituted members of the same covenanted people, and thus, by virtue of their relationship, the inheritors of God’s Kingdom. If they are such members and heirs, it is folly, destructive to a proper apprehension of much Scripture, to make them types.[*]
Note. The typical arrangements (“the shadow of things to come”), which were designed to sustain the faith of these elect, are unnecessarily confounded with the elect themselves, and this introduces confusion, breaking the unity of the Word. If a Moses, or Aaron, or Joshua, in their official capacity sustained the relation of types, it does not follow that their election is also typical, for if it were, then the natural result of types would appear, viz.: that when the antetype is revealed the type itself must vanish, thus destroying the hopes, etc., of these ancient worthies. It is therefore misleading to say, as Martensen (Ch. Dog., p. 233), that the Jewish nation is “the typical people.” The nation is no type, for it composes the real Kingdom of God when the Theocracy is manifested within it; and, hence in view of this relationship, the necessity of incorporation with it. If it were merely typical of another people (viz.: Christian believers in the church), why must such a people also become Abraham’s seed? The only Scriptures adduced by Martensen in support of his opinion, say nothing of the typical character of the nation, but refer to certain acts (1 Cor. 10:11) that were typical, and (Heb. 10) that even in the Theocratic ordering some incorporated religions rites were only a foreshadowing of “good things to come.” Nowhere is the nation itself made a type, for this, if done, would be fundamentally opposed to covenant and promise. This misapprehension of an important fact by so careful a writer as Martensen, and which necessarily colors the interpretation of much Scripture, only reminds us how careful man ought to be when dealing with the things of God. Even Macknight (Com. Rom. 9:8) declares: “The natural seed (is) the type of the spiritual, and the temporal blessings the emblems of the eternal.” Our argument, as we proceed, will conclusively show that the Theocratic ordering alone, inseparably joined to the nation, proves the nation no type.
Obs. 7. Pressense (The Redeemer, p. 61) says: “The election of a family and of a people has not for its object to create a privileged race.” This against Deut. 7:6; Rom. 9:3–5 and ch. 11, and a host of passages, besides the important part this people is yet to play (Prop. 114) in the world’s history. He endeavors to show that the election is a ministry by which others are to be blessed. While most cheerfully and reverently acknowledging that the present and ultimate purpose of this election is to bless all the families of the earth, yet to effect this very design one object is to raise up a privileged class, through whom this shall be effectually and permanently accomplished. This will be seen under the Propositions relating to the Covenants, the Kingship and Priesthood of the saints, etc. Even Pressense contradicts himself when afterward he speaks of the Jews’ isolation, receiving revelations, promises, etc., above all other nations, which certainly indicates them to have been a highly privileged people. Failing to perceive that the election itself is bound up in and part—outwardly expressed—of the Divine Purpose, he boldly adds the following: “A transient (?) fact (viz.: election) having a special object is converted into a permanent fact. They (certain interpreters) make the church a satellite of Judaism, called to shine in the future only (?) with the brightness which it borrows from that system. That there are blessings reserved (why?) for this people, we cordially concede, but that their destiny shall forever be as if it were the axis of universal religious history, we deny, even in the name of Abraham’s election.” Alas! when the stock upon which we are grafted is thus slightingly treated! How largely it affects the interpretation of God’s Word and Purpose! Our reply to this—as well as to the expression: “Humanity exists only for the Jews, and not the Jews for humanity”—will be found under the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants and the calling of the Gentiles, for our reliance is upon Scriptural evidence.[*]
Note. It is proper to refer to this matter in this connection, that the reader may clearly see the fundamental questions that must, preparatively, be discussed. Theology, departing from the Primitive Church view, has too often grossly misconceived and perverted the election of the Jews, because all the purposes contemplated by that election have not yet been made manifest. And some deny that it any longer exists, being, as Pressense asserts, “a transient” matter. Our faith in this national election must be like Paul’s (Rom. 11), that, cut off from its realization for a period, it is still sure, and will be openly shown by their being re-engrafted, because God’s purposes are unchangeable, and cannot be defeated by man. If the election is “transient” and not continued in engrafting Gentiles, who are to inherit the promises given to the elect Jews; how do Pressense and others indulge the hope of inheriting the promises with the Patriarchs? It is still true to-day, if we properly apprehend the foundations of our hope, what God puts in the mouth of man, as a suitable, comprehensive petition in Ps. 104:4, 5. It is vain to interpose our own systems, as if they were God’s arrangements.
Obs. 8. “The middle wall of partition” proves both the election and the elevation to a privileged class. But many writers (e.g. Hodge, Sys. Div., vol. 3, p. 810) boldly and self-confidently assert, without the least Scripture to sustain it (being sheer inference), that this “middle wall” was broken down between the Jewish nation and other nations. This is a grave mistake, as every one can readily see by a comparison of passages relating to it. The Scriptures simply declare, that the “wall” is broken down between natural Jewish and Gentile believers, so that all of every nationality, when exercising faith in Jesus, become one in Christ. Instead of being broken down between nations, the fact is asserted only respecting believers; and this is proven by the additional fact, that no other nation sustains the same relationship to God that the Jewish does, i.e. is a covenanted nation, etc. We are informed, however, by our opponents, that the expression means that all the restrictions between Jew and Gentile were removed. The Word teaches the exact reverse, that some still remain. Thus e.g. to the natural descendants of Abraham is exclusively given a covenant with certain promises; only those who are identified with the nation—this distinctive race—have any right to the covenanted blessings. The nation is chosen not merely as a depositary of the truth, but as the vehicle or medium through which the Saviour is to come, and finally completed Redemption in a manifested Kingdom under the reign of that Redeemer; for, somehow, all the prophets link the glory of the Messianic Kingdom with the Jewish race. The individual Jew, on the principle of faith, can only justly claim the promises given by covenant to his people. But now an emergency arises to test the validity and perpetuity of covenant relationship. The nation proves unfaithful, and now God, to fulfil this same covenant and the identical promises given to this people to be realized through them, extends this principle of faith to the Gentiles, not by demolishing the covenant and promises and election, not by taking the same away from the race (for then the election, confirmed by oath, would prove a nullity, and God had undertaken what He could not accomplish), but, as Paul expressly informs us, by grafting the Gentile into the Jewish stock, by adopting him (in law) as a veritable child, legally constituted descendant of Abraham, and entitled by virtue of such adoption to the privileges and blessings promised, through Abraham, to his seed, the Jewish race. If there is no restriction, why is it necessary to become a child of Abraham’s, and thus inherit the promises with the faithful Jews? This very incorporation, so much insisted on and regarded as essential, proves that “the wall” is only broken down between believers; and to facilitate this incorporation or engrafting, the rampart itself, i.e. the Mosaic ritual, was removed, giving Gentiles better access wherever they are. The Mosaic economy—likened also to a wall or fortification—introduced to preserve intact the elect nation, owing to its separating and exclusive injunctions, is not the election; it is only a temporary outgrowth from it, and hence may be abolished without in the least affecting the foundations, which lie beyond it in the Abrahamic covenant. This will be seen as we proceed with the argument.[*]
Note. This most effectually answers the objections urged by Hengstenberg in The Jews and the Christian Church, when he makes “the type of Jewish nationality stamped on all nations that entered into the Church of Christ,” so that, at the Christian era, “their true nationality terminated.” The Church of Christ is not composed of nations, but of individuals out of the nations, and those very individual believers are incorporated into the commonwealth of Israel, i.e. they are by faith engrafted, and this, now accepted by faith as in God’s purpose, will be openly manifested at the restoration of the Davidic throne and kingdom. And then it will be seen, that instead of “their original nationality having become the common property of all Christians” in the sense of “Christian nations,” it belongs exclusively to believers. The objections urged against our view, and the resultant restoration of the Jewish nation, which inevitably must follow, are inferential, and are chiefly drawn from the present state of the nation, overlooking that this period is “the times of the Gentiles,” which are to end so that God’s purposes concerning the Jewish nation may be manifested. The simple fact is, that in this respect Hengstenberg, and others, look at the Record in the light of a preconceived idea of the Christian Church being the properly covenanted Kingdom of God, and this influences the interpretation of election, covenant, and prophecy.
Obs. 9. In this connection, most briefly we say, that the election of the Jewish nation, and the tender of the Kingdom to it, positively requires, if the purposes of that election are ever carried out, the perpetuation of the Jewish nation, even if it be in a very reduced form, comprising a mere remnant. The natural seed itself must be preserved, in order that God’s faithfulness in promise may be exhibited in and through the nation. Hence, this is most strikingly represented in Isa. 6:9–13, where, after predicting the unbelief of the nation and the consequent devastation and removal for a time from the land, this giving up “to destruction (is) like the terebinth and like the oak, of which when they are cut down, only a root stump remains: such a root-stump is a holy seed.” That is, it is regarded sacred, and will ultimately become holy. Following Propositions will, at length, indicate why and how this is done. God will never utterly forsake them, but will remember what He has so often declared, as e.g. 2 Sam. 7:24. The punishment, the scattering and desolation, of the Jewish nation is itself proof of their election as, e.g. Amos (ch. 3:2), declares: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” This casting off is only temporary, as evidence e.g. Zech. 10:6, etc.