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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

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It is worth while to consider the Scripture sense and meaning of the word Nail; seeing God the Holy Ghost hath thought proper to describe the Lord Jesus by this figure. Ezra had an eye to Christ, no doubt, when he said, "The Lord God had given the church a nail in his holy place!" (Ezra 9:8) And the prophet Isaiah was commissioned to tell the church, that JEHOVAH would fasten him "as a nail in a sure place," when describing Jesus under the type of Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah. That all that is here said of Eliakim hath respect to Christ is evident, because Jesus himself so explains a portion of it, Revelation 3:7. And Ezra, who lived after the prophet Isaiah between two and three hundred years, evidently had an eye to what Isaiah had said in respect to Christ, in this beautiful description. (See Isaiah 22:20-25)

It is a delightful view of the Lord Jesus. He is a nail in a sure place, so that neither the nail, nor the place can give way. And it is JEHOVAH that hath fastened him. In his person, in his work, in his offices, characters, relations, what he is in the eye of God the Father; what he is in himself; what he is to his people in all things, and for all causes in time and in eternity; for all purposes, temporal, spiritual, and eternal; Christ is fixed to be the nail on which shall hang both his people's safety and welfare, "and all the glory of his Father's house." And what tends to endear this view of Christ still more is, that not only all, and every thing relating to the kingdoms of nature, providence, grace, and glory to the church at large, is so, but to every individual of that church, "the vessels of small quantity," meaning the lowest, the humblest, the least, and most inconsiderable of his people, all shall hang upon Jesus alike, "from the vessel of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons." Sweet thought to the humble timid believer!

But the prophet, in the close of this relation, saith, "that in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in a sure place be removed, and be cut down and fall." What is here meant? Not, surely, that what is fastened in a sure place shall lose his hold-fast, or the vessels that are hanging upon him lose their safety; but, on the contrary,"by the removal and the cutting down," secure the everlasting safety of all that hang upon him. For it should be observed, that there is nothing said of the vessels hanging upon this nail in a sure place being separated from the nail, or being injured by the nail's removal and the nail's being cut off, for the prophet adds, "that the burden that was upon it shall be cut off;" and what is this burden but the sins of Christ's people, "which he bore in his own body on the tree when he died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God!" (1 Peter 3:18) "He was wounded for their transgressions, and was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people (saith the Holy Ghost by this same prophet) was he stricken." (Isaiah 53:8)

I hope the reader will be enabled to make a nice and just distinction in what is here said, and he will then discover that so far is the close of this chapter, in the removal of this nail in a sure place, and the cutting of it down, any objection to this doctrine, that it tends to confirm it still more. Jesus is the nail on which his people hang their all, their persons, life, and salvation; so that between him and them there never can be a separation, for he saith himself: "Because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19) But while their persons, and their present and eternal all are secured in him, he is himself cut off and removed when bearing their sins, and consequently their sins are cut off never more to arise against them; "for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it;" while he himself riseth again as the nail fastened in a sure place, that he may appear with all his people, whose sins he hath borne, whose persons he hath redeemed, and who are enabled by his grace to hang all their high hopes of mercy and salvation upon him as the Lord their righteousness.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Nail'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​n/nail.html. London. 1828.
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