Home > Covenant Theology > The Covenants-Chapter 5g-The Covenant of promise in Christ to Abraham

The Covenants-Chapter 5g-The Covenant of promise in Christ to Abraham

The facts in history contradict this interpretation. David transmitted the kingdom of Israel to Solomon, and Solomon to Rehoboam. This last king, by he haughtiness of his bearing, and the cruelty of his measures, forfeited the attachment of his people. Ten of the tribes revolted under Jeroboam, became completely dissevered from their brethren, and were never afterwards recovered to the government. Here the reign of the family of David over all Israel, actually, and forever ceased. Indeed, from beginning to end, it continued at most, but three generations, or about one century. Over Judah alone, his descendants continued to reign for several centuries more. At length however Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered the nation, destroyed Jerusalem, burned the temple, carried the people into captivity, and desolated the whole land. With this overthrow, which occurred five hundred and eighty nine years before the coming of Christ, ended finally, the reign even over Judah itself, of the family of David. His literal throne existed no more. It is true that after the Babylonish captivity, which continued seventy years, a remnant of the people returned, and Judah was ruled a hundred and twenty eight years, by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The first of these was of the house of David, but both the others, were of the tribe of Levi. None of them however, were kings in any sense, but simply governors under foreign authority. During the two hundred and forty two years next succeeding, Judah was governed by her High Priests, all of whom were of the house of Aaron. Mean time the nation was tributary successively, to the Persians, the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Syrians. From the close of this period until Judea became a Roman province under Herod, and Christ was born, the Jews were under the government of the Asmonean family, known as the Maccabees, all of whom belonged to the priestly tribe. History thus rebukes the interpretation in question. Does the covenant promise David, that his natural sons should reign upon his literal throne, until the coming of Messiah? If so, then it was not fulfilled. But “God’s word cannot be broken.” It was fulfilled. Therefore the promise is to be understood not in a literal sense, but as a metaphor.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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