The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings
by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920
The Old Testament was called the Covenant, for it contains the agreement, or contract, between God and the Hebrews. At the death of the Saviour it was extended to all mankind. We will use only the Old Testament texts in the following pages for the New Testament did not exist at the time of Christ.
The Jews divided the Old Testament into the Law, the Prophets, and the Sacred Writings. The Law was composed of the first five books of the Bible which were writ ten by Moses, viz., Genesis : " The Generation " or " Beginning " of all things; Exodus: " The Going out" of Egypt; Leviticus: Regulations relating to priests and Levites; Numbers, called by the Hebrews Bemidbar : " In the desert," from the leading word of the opening sentence; Deuteronomy, a Greek word meaning the " Second Law," giving what happened in the wilderness from the be ginning of the eleventh month, for five weeks, to the seventh day of the twelfth month, forty years after the Hebrews went out of Egypt. These works, written by Moses, form the sacred Torah," the Law," among the Jews.
The Prophets comprise the books of Josue, Judges, Kings, or Samuel, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel; the poetic books Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the twelve minor prophets from Osee to Malachias, with the " Five Rolls " formed of Canticles, called Solomon's Song, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, then came Daniel, etc., comprising the rest of the Old Testament.
There is no doubt but these books were written by the persons whose names they bear, although some writers in our day, following what; is called Higher Criticism, try to make out that they were composed by writers long after their time, because they contain words, expressions, and things which took place ages after they were written. They do this in order to prove that God never spoke by the prophets, or foretold what would come to pass in the future. But this is all false.
If the Five Books of Moses were written long after his day, how could the Jews have known or practiced his religion ? How could they have been deceived regard ing him or the prophets and their history ? The only solution is to say, that these sacred books of the Hebrews were composed by the persons whose names they bear, and at the times given in Jewish history.
Christians and Jews receive these Books of the Old Testament as being inspired, that is " breathed into " by God himself. In that the Bible differs from all other writings: "Because having been written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and have been delivered as such by the Church herself." (Vat. Sess, III.) From Christian countries to pagan lands mill ions of copies of these Books are sent each year. In every place where he has passed the Jew comes carrying with him these holy writings.
For sublimity of ideas, poetic feeling, difficulty of under standing, these Books are incomparably superior to any other writings. They have various meanings. You must read between the lines, you must penetrate beyond the literal sense, and there you will find that they all point to a future glorious age, to a great Personage called the Messiah, the King of Israel, the Shilo, the Prince, God born of a Virgin, the Prince of David's dynasty, who will come and establish an empire over all the earth. It would take too long to go deep into this matter.
In these Books, hidden in names of places, men, and things, run revelations Jehovah gave of the coming of this Messiah, the glories of His kingdom, but hidden in such a way that you will find them only after deep study. Many are lost in translations, hidden to the ignorant, but shine forth with such wonderful clearness as to startle the reader learned in Hebrew and divinity. Behind the writings seem to scintillate the face of the Holy Spirit,
Learned men are discovering wonders in the Bible, cryptograms are seen, and perhaps all its treasures will never be discovered. No human mind could write even a page and fill it with such mysteries.
The original Hebrew, in which most of the Bible was written is most lofty. The writers are filled with the wonders, importance and holiness of the truths they pour forth with an intensity of feeling, magnificence of style, sublimity of poetry and grandeur of subject, no one can dream, who has not read the original.
The burden of their story is the Christ, the sins of the Jews, the destruction of their government, the scattering of the whole race into every quarter of the globe, for the crime of killing their Messiah. Every one of the prophets who foretold most clearly the coming of the Redeemer was persecuted and suffered martyrdom, because he told his countrymen what God, through his Shekina, had revealed.
The Shekina comes from a Hebrew word, Shekina, "to dwell," "habitation," meaning to "appear," and you will find it in hundreds of places in the Talmuds, and in Hebrew writings. (Talmud, Baba Bathra, fol, 23 a.) It means "the Majesty of God," "The Divine Presence," "the Holy Spirit," " resting," "dwelling" in tabernacle and Temple. Said the Lord: "I will appear in a cloud over the oracle." (Levit, xvi, 2.) The term is first found in the Targums as the " Word of the Lord." The Rabbis say it was the " Spirit of God." The word Shekina is not found in the Bible, but in all the ancient Jewish writings. They tell us that the Shekina spoke to Adam before the fall, and condemned him after his sin, guided the patriarchs before the flood, directed Koe, called Abraham out of Ur, (Gen xii) spoke to him in Palestine, and four centuries later for the first time spoke to Moses from the burning bush." "And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush." (Exod, iii 2.)