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declared. Sometimes, though rarely, it is applied to express a priest of false gods ; as of Dagon, 1 Sam. v. 5. of Egypt, Gen. xli. 45. Joseph married the daughter of Potiphera 1x 707 priest of On, that is, of Heliopolis, the chief seat of the Egyptian religious worship. Nor is there any colour why the word should here be rendered prince, as it is $27 by the Targum. The Latin version renders the word here by sacerdos, and the LXX. by isgavs; for the dignity of priests, especially of those who were eminent among them, was not less at that time in Egypt, and in other parts also of the world, than that of princes of the second sort; yea, we shall consider instances afterwards, wherein the kingly and priestly offices were conjoined in the same person, although none ever had the one by virtue of the other, but for some special reason. It was therefore intended by Pharaoh, as an honour to Joseph, to be married to the daughter of the priest of On. For the man, according to their esteem, was wise, pious and honourable ; seeing the wisdom of the Egyptians at that time consisted principally in the knowledge of the mysteries of their religion; and they who excelled in this knowledge, were exalted, and esteemed honourable. Nor can it be pleaded against this exposition, that Joseph would not marry the daughter of an idolatrous priest, for all the Egyptians were no less idolatrous than their priests. And he might as soon convert one of their daughters to the true God, as the daughter of any other Egyptian, which most probably did happen, and she would thus become a mother in Israel. In other places where, by 1770, an idolatrous priest is intended, the Targum renders it by $7017, Comara, whence are Chemarin. Yet the Syriac translator of the Epistle to the Hebrews calls a priest, and a high priest, even when applied unto Christ, Nan and 27 N70, though elsewhere in the New Testament he useth NINJ Chahana constantly. The reason hereof I have declared elsewhere.
$ 10. It is confessed that this name is sometimes used with respect to princes of a second rank or degree, but is never once applied to a chief supreme prince, or a king, though some kings, by virtue of some special warrant, were Cohanim also. The Jews therefore, after the Targum, offer violence to the text, Psal. cx. 4. where they would have Melchisedec to be called a Cohen, because he was a prince. Bụt it is said expressly he was a king: Now no king on account of his kingly office was ever called Cohen. But unto those of a second rank it is sometinies accommodated, 2 Sam. xx. 26. Ira the Jarit was 7973 1972 a chief ruler (say we) about David. A priest he was not, nor could be ; for as Kimchi on the place observes, he is called the Cohen of David; but a priest was not a priest to one man, but to all Israel. So David's sons are said to be Cohanim, 2 Sam. viii. 18. 921 1 093773 797, and the sons of David were Cohanim, that is princes; though the Vulgate render it sacerdotes. So also Job xii. 19. we translate it princes. And in those places, the Targum useth N37, Rabba : the LXX. sometimes avacexas, a principal courtier, and sometimes ovvetos, a counsellor. It is granted then, that princes were called b'977), not properly however, but by way of allusion, as being persons of dignity; for the most ancient dignity was that of the priesthood. And the same name is therefore used metaphorically to express especial dignity, Exod. xix. 6. 04772 saa 3°20, and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, speaking of the whole people. This Peter renders, Bacidstev iegateupest, 1 Pet. ii. 9. a kingly or royal priesthood. The name of the office is -73777, Exod. xl. 15. isgateur, pontificatus sacerdotium, the priesthood. Allowing therefore this application of the word, we may inquire what is the first proper signification of it. I say therefore that 7073, Cohen, is properly Jutas, a sacrificer; nor is it to be expounded otherwise in any passage, unless it is obvious that it is there used in a metaphorical sense.
$ 11. He who is first mentioned as vested with this office, is Melchisedec, Gen. xiv. 18. 7by he's 170 171, and he was a priest unto the most high God. The Targumists make a great difference in rendering the word 9775. Where it intends a priest
, . Where it is applied to a prince or ruler, they render it by N37, Rabba ;
, . But in this matter of Melchisedec they are peculiar. In this place they use town,
, , before the high God. And by this word they express the ministry of the priests, Exod. xix. 22. ** D7p xunuh 72 7279977), the priests who draw nigh to minister before the Lord; whereby it is evident that they understood him to be a sacred officer, or a priest to God. But in Psal. cx. 4. where the same word occurs to the same purpose, they render it by N27, a prince or great ruler : • Thou art a great ruler, like Melchisedec,' which is a part of their evident corruption of that Psalm, with the design of applying it to David. For the author of that Targum lived after they knew full well how the prophecy in that Psalm was applied in our books, and by Christians to the Messiah; and how the ceasing of their law and worship was from thence invincibly proved in this Epistle. This led them to a malicious perversion of the words in their paraphrase, although they durst not violate the sacred text itself. But the text is plain : Melchisedec was Cohen to the high God; that is, he was a priest, or one that was called to the office of solemnly sacrificing to God; for he that offereth not sacrifices to God, is not a priest to him, for this is the principal duty of that office, from which
,כומרא and where an idolatrous priest
and he was a minaster ,והוא משמש קדם אל עלאה ,Meshamesh
the whole receives its denomination. That he offered sacrifices, those of the church of Rome would prove from those words, Gen. xiv. 18. 797 Oral N377, he brought forth bread and wine. But neither the context nor the words will support them in this; nor if they could prove what they intend, would it serve their purpose. Coming forth to meet Abraham, (as our apostle expounds this passage, ch. vii. 1.) he brought forth bread and wine for the relief and refreshment of himself and his servants, as a supply, supposing them wearied by their travel. So dealt Barzillai the Gileadite with David and his men in the wilderness, 2 Sam. xvii. 27–29. They brought out necessary provision for them, for they said, “ The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.” And Gideon punished them of Succoth and Penuel for not doing the like, Judges viii. 5.8. 16, 17. But the aim of these men, is to find some countenance to their pretended sacrifice of the mass, which yet is not of bread and wine, for before the offering, they suppose them to be quite changed into the substance of flesh and blood. The weakness of this pretence shall be elsewhere more fully declared. At present it
may suffice to observe, that 1'377 is no sacréd word, or that it is never used to express the offering of any thing to God. Besides, if it were an offering he brought forth, it was a 7777an, or meatoffering, with a 703, or a drink-offering, being of bread and wine. Now this was only an acknowledgment of God the Creator as such, and was not an immediate type of the sacrifice of Christ, which was represented by those offerings alone, which being made by blood, included a propitiation in them. But that Mel. chisedec was by oflice a sacrificer, appears from Abraham's delivering up unto him, 773 2013, Gen. xiv. 20. the tenth of all; that is, as our apostle interprets the place, twy oxçadoriwr, of the spoils he had taken. 7017 is a sacred word, and denotes God's portion according to the law. So also those who had only the light of nature, and it may be some little knowledge of what was done in the world of old, whilst God's institutions were of force among men, did devote and sacrifice the tenth of the spoils they took in war. So Camillus framed his vow to Apollo, when he went to destroy the city of Veii, Tuo ductu Pythice Apollo, tuoque numine instinctus, pergo ad delendam urbem Veios, tibique hinc decimam partem prædæ voveo.
The like instances occur in other authors. 'Argobivece is not used for the spoils themselves any where but in this place. In other authors, according to the derivation of the word, as it signifies the top or uppermost part of a heap, it is used only for that part or portion of spoils taken in war, which was devoted and made sacred, Herod. lib. 1. site de argobovoce talu καταγιειν θεων οτεδη. And again, lib. 8. πρωτα μεν νυν τοισι θεοισι εξειλον ακρο1966: They took out the dedicated spoils for the gods. And the reason why our apostle useth the word for the whole spoils, whence a tenth was given to Melchisedec, is, because the whole spoil was sacred and devoted unto God, whence an honorary tenth was taken for Melchisedec; as the priests had afterwards out of the portion of the Levites, for all Levi was now to be tythed in Abraham. Among those spoils, there would, without doubt, be many
clean beasts meet for sacrifice. For the principal riches of those days consisted in flocks and herds, and these of course were the principal spoils of war, Num. xxxi. 32, 33. And because Saul knew that part of the spoils taken in lawful war was to be given for sacrifices unto God, he made that his pretence of saving the fat cattle of the Amalekites, contrary to the express command of God, 1 Sam. xv. 15. Abraham therefore delivered these spoils unto Melchisedec, as the priest of the high God, to offer in sacrifice for him. And although the pre-eminence of Melchisedec, and his being the first and only priest in office, by virtue of a special call from God, was the principal consideration, yet perhaps Abraham was induced to give him the tenth ot' the spoils, from this consideration also, namely, because as he had just come from the slaughter of many kings, and of their numerous army, he was not yet prepared for this sacred service. For even among the heathen, they woull abstain from their sacred offices after the shedding of blood, until they were one way or other purified to their own satisfaction. So in the poet:
Tu Genitor cape sacra manu patriosque penates;
$ 12. The matter is made yet more evident, by the solemn erection of a priesthood among the ancient people of God, or the church in the wilderness. Sacrificing had, from the foundation of the world, been hitherto left at liberty. Every one who was called to perform any part of solemn religious worship, was allowed to discharge that duty also. But it pleased God, when he reduced his church into a peculiar order, to represent more conspicuously, by the appointment of a peculiar order by priesthood, what he would afterwards really effect in Jesus Christ. And although this respected in general, ta agos toy Osov, all things that were to be done in the service of God on the behalf of the people, yet the especial work and duty belonging unto it was sacrificing. The institution of this office we have, Exod. xxviii. whereof afterwards. And now the right to offer sacrifices was restricted to the priests, as soon as the office began to be discharged by them. And these two things are to be observed rez. specting the office of the priests :
1. That they were sacrificers. And,
2. That they only were so. Which answers all that I intend to evince from this discourse ; namely, that a priest is a sacrificer. Whereas therefore it is foretold that the Messiah should be a priest, and he is said so to be, the principal meaning of it is, that he should be a sacrificer; one that had right, and was called, to offer sacrifice to God. This was that for which he was principally and properly called a priest; and when he did act as a priest, then the right of sacrificing is confined to himself alone.
This is the general notion of a priest amongst all men throughout the world; and a due consideration hereof, is of itself sufficient to repel all the vain imaginations of the Socinians about this office of Christ, whereof we shall treat afterwards.