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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 26

Carroll's Interpretation of the English BibleCarroll's Biblical Interpretation

Verses 1-46

XI

THE PROMISES AND THREATENINGS OF THE COVENANT

Leviticus 26


1. What is the lesson?


Ans. – Leviticus 26:1-46.


2. What is the theme?


Ans. – The promises and threatenings of the covenant?


3. What is the relation of this chapter to the entire covenant covenant?


Ans. – It is its proper conclusion.


4. Why then, another chapter?


Ans. – To show how vows not commanded in the covenant should be regulated if voluntarily made.


5. But as tithes are commanded in the covenant, why introduce a section on that in connection with voluntary vows?


Ans. – The section on tithes is introduced in that connection merely to regulate the voluntary feature of tithes, namely, how certain tithes may be redeemed at the option of the tithe giver, so that the insertion of the tithe matter just here does not vary from the voluntary feature of the chapter.


6. Show how his chapter of Leviticus becomes a remarkable apologetic.


Ans. –

(1) All the rest of the Old Testament and all the New Testament continue the notable prophecies in this chapter concerning the Jews as a people and their land, thus establishing the structural unity of the entire Bible. The later development of the line of prophetic thought in this chapter, in later books of the Bible, demonstrates the early writing of the book of Leviticus and the necessity of its having been a part of the Sinaitic covenant.


(2) History for more than 3,000 years has verified the promises of this chapter and still continues the verification.


7. Elaborate several points of this.


Ans. –

(1) The prophecies themselves are too remarkable to have been the subject of guessing by human foresight, or when fulfilled at any time, to be accounted for by mere coincidence.


(2) What is here said about the Jews, and its remarkable development or fulfilment in every succeeding stage of their history, would apply to no other nation in the history of the world, and this is equally true with reference to the destiny of the land which they occupied under the terms of the covenant. Nothing like this can be derived from the history of any other nation or land. It is egregious folly to try to get rid of the supernatural element in these prophecies by trying to date the writings of this book in the times of the exile, or even in Christian times, since these prophecies are not actually and evidently fulfilled at the present time and provide for a reach to the end of time. Nothing like this can be found in the books of any other religion. For example, suppose, for argument’s sake, we assume that the book of Leviticus was written in the time of the exile, or later, then how can the prophecies of Jeremiah alone be accounted for, touching the seventy years of bondage to Babylon, in order that the land might rest for the part demanded in the 490 years of antecedent history?


8. What was the express condition of all these promises and threatenings?


Ans. – Obedience, or keeping the covenant on the part of the people, insured the fulfilment of all the promises, while disobedience, or breach of the covenant on their part, was followed invariably and exactly by the vengeance threatened. This, in every stage of their national life, is there fully verified by history, or there is no such thing as history.


9. Analyze and summarize the promises.


Ans. – (1) Regular seasons and abundant harvests are promised to obedience; (2) internal peace; (3) safety from destructive beasts and pests, which are accustomed to destroy the flocks and herds and crops, and under certain conditions, man himself; (4) Absolute defense from external enemies, and supernatural victory over them on the field of battle; (5) Marvelous increase of population; (6) And most important, God’s tabernacle would be fixed among them and his abiding presence as covenant God, ever bestowing spiritual blessings, fully assured.


10. State some remarkable features of these promises and their spiritual application.


Ans. – (1) It was promised that the threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage unto the sowing time, and that they should eat old stores long kept, and then have a surplus to remove in order to make place for the new harvest. The spiritual application of these remarkable promises may be found in the prophecy of Amos 9:13, which says, "Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them." If you wish to see the spiritual significance of this prophecy of Amos, then study Spurgeon’s great sermon on revivals, which takes for its text Amos 9:13. The thought is that an obedient church living in connection and close with God, will live in a state of continuous revival. There will be no interval between sowing and reaping. Planting new seed and reaping harvest from seed already planted, will go hand in hand every Sunday. Like a tree whose foliage never dies and which continually bears buds, blooms, and fruit in every stage of development, and fruits fully ripe at any time.


(2) One of these promises is that five shall chase a hundred and a hundred shall chase ten thousand. The history of the Jewish people teems with illustrations of these remarkable promises. Gideon and his band of three hundred, with trumpets, lamps, and pitchers, discomfiting and putting to utter rout an army; Jonathan and his armor bearer coming by night on a great army and through a God-given panic sent among the enemy, put them to flight; the first book of the Maccabees shows many instances of like nature, under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus. We will compare these incidents with the saying, "One with God is a majority."


11. Analyze and summarize the threatenings.


Ans. –

(1) In general, they are the reverse of the promises; disease succeeds health; crops either fail or are eaten by the enemy; flocks and herds are destroyed by wild beasts or become the spoil of the adversary; God’s face is against them, and the enemy triumphs over them; instead of five of them chasing one hundred, they become panic-stricken and flee when none pursueth, and when in captivity the fall of a leaf shall strike them with sudden terror.


(2) These threatenings contemplate frequent or continuous breaches of the covenant, to be followed by four ascending series of vengeance ever increasing the extent and intensity of the punishment. These series alone as to the ascending grades of vengeance on those who continue incorrigible, are worthy of profoundest study. They are all characterized by the number seven, the sacred number of perfection, each series will have its seven strokes, the last culminating in a climax of unspeakable disaster. By turning to your Bibles you will find this first series in Leviticus 26:18-20; the second series in Leviticus 26:21-22, and this last is the climax, which will fill up the measure of both the iniquity and the punishment of the Jewish nation.


12. What follows this most remarkable denunciation of long continued tribulation upon the Jewish people?


Ans. – There is a glorious promise of their penitence brought about by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, followed by their restoration and salvation as a nation. The promises of this ultimate salvation of the Jewish people, as set forth in Leviticus 26:40-45 of this chapter, place their redemption entirely with God’s grace and his own remembrance of the covenant which they have so often broken. If we want to understand just how this most remarkable future event this side of the judgment seat of Christ will occur, we have only to study the following passages of Scripture: Isaiah 66:8, which foretells the unique event of a nation born in a day; Ezekiel 36-37, which, by a vivid illustration based on the imagery of the resurrection of the dead, show the power which brings about the marvelous event; then Zechariah 12:9; Zechariah 13:1. The New Testament passages are equally marvelous and confirmatory, for example, our Lord’s great prophecy shows when this tribulation of the Jews shall end, Luke 21:24, and in Paul’s still more remarkable discussion Romans 11:25-36. The last verse of chapter 46 shows that this is a proper conclusion to the Sinaitic covenant.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Leviticus 26". "Carroll's Interpretation of the English Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bhc/leviticus-26.html.
 
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