Posts Tagged ‘Hermeneutics’

The law of comparison and contrast is found in the New Testament also

IN the last chapter we pointed out that different aspects of Truth are frequently emphasized in the Scriptures by placing two incidents in juxtaposition in order to give point to various differences between them. We gave several illustrations from the Old Testament of the law of comparison and contrast: let us now show that the same principle holds good in the New Testament. Consider, first, the striking antitheses between what is recorded in Luke 18:35-42, and 19:1-9. That which is narrated in the former occurred as Christ approached Jericho (the city of the curse—Joshua 6:26), whereas the latter took p lace after He had passed through it. The subject of the first was a blind beggar, that of the second was “chief of the publicans.” Bartimaeus occupied a lowly place, for he “sat by the way side”; Zacchaeus assumed an elevated position, for he “climbed up into a sycamore tree.” The one was intent on seeking alms from the passers-by; the other was determined to “see Him” Christ. Bartimaeus took the initiative and cried “Son of David, have mercy on me”; Christ took the initiative with Zacchaeus, bidding him “come down.” The former supplicated for his sight; of the latter Christ made a peremptory request: “today I must abide at thy house.” The multitude rebuked Bartimaeus for crying to Christ; all “murmured” at Christ for going to be the guest of Zacchaeus.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures


The work of Elijah and Elisha formed two parts of one whole, the one supplementing the other, and though there are manifest parallels between them there are also marked contrasts

The work of Elijah and Elisha formed two parts of one whole, the one supplementing the other, and though there are manifest parallels between them there are also marked contrasts. Both of them were prophets, both dwelt in Samaria, both were confronted with much the same situation. The falling of Elijah’s mantle upon Elisha intimated that the latter was the successor of the former, and that he was called upon to continue his mission. The first miracle performed by Elisha was identical with the last one wrought by his master: the smiting of the waters of the Jordan with the mantle, so that they parted asunder for him (2 Kings 2:8, 14). At the beginning of his ministry Elijah had said to king Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand” (1 Kings 17:1), and when Elisha came into the presence of Ahab’s son he also declared, “As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand” (2 Kings 3:14). As Elijah was entertained by the woman of Zarephath, and rewarded her by restoring her son to life (1 Kings 17:23), so Elisha was entertained by a woman at Shunem and rewarded her by restoring her son to life (2 Kings 4).

Striking as are the points of agreement between the two prophets, the contrasts in their careers and work are just as vivid. The one appeared suddenly and dramatically on the stage of public action, without a word being told us concerning his origin or how he had been previously engaged; but of the other, the name of his father is recorded, and an account is given of his occupation at the time he received his call into God’s service. The first miracle of Elijah was the shutting up of the heavens, so that for the space of three and a half years there was neither dew nor rain according to his word; whereas the first public act of Elisha was to heal the springs of water (2 Kings 2:21, 22) and to provide abundance of water for the people (3:20). The principal difference between them is seen in the character of the miracles wrought by and connected with them: the majority of those performed by the former were associated with death and destruction, but the great majority of those attributed to Elisha were works of healing and restoration: the one was more the prophet of judgment, the other of grace. The former was marked by loneliness, dwelling apart from the apostate masses; the latter seems to have spent most of his time in the company of the prophets, presiding over their schools. The one was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire, the other fell sick in old age and died a natural death (22:9).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

But There are Many Interpretations!

By John Divito

Do you want to know what I consider a dangerous Christian? Someone who believes that he and his Bible with his personal relationship with Jesus are enough. This not only underestimates our sin but also neglects our need for our church family. God never intended for us to live the Christian life alone. So He provides for His church pastors and teachers to lovingly lead His people with the truth of His Word. He also provides faithful men and women to help us grow in our knowledge and understanding of Scripture.

Read the entire article here.

Many examples of this principle are to be found by observing closely the details of different incidents which the Holy Spirit has placed side by side in the Word

Many examples of this principle are to be found by observing closely the details of different incidents which the Holy Spirit has placed side by side in the Word. For instance, how sudden and strange is the transition which confronts us as we pass from I Kings 18-19. It is as though the sun were shining brilliantly out of the clear sky, and the next moment, without any warning, black clouds draped the heavens. The contrasts presented in those chapters are sharp and startling. In the former we behold the prophet of Gilead at his best; in the latter we see him at his worst. At the close of the one “the hand of the Lord was on Elijah” as he ran before Ahab’s chariot; at the beginning of the other the fear of man was upon him, and he “went for his life.” There he was concerned only for the glory of Jehovah, here he is occupied only with self. There he was strong in faith, and the helper of his people; here he gives way to unbelief, and is the deserter of his nation. In the one he boldly confronts the four hundred prophets of Baal undaunted, here he flees panic stricken from the threats of a single woman. From the mountain top he betakes himself to the wilderness, and from supplicating the Lord that He would vindicate His great name to begging Him to take away his life. Who would have imagined such a tragic sequel? How forcibly does the contrast exhibit and exemplify the frailty and fickleness of the human heart even in a saint!

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Twelve dissimilarities between the crossing of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan

It is both interesting and instructive to compare the supernatural passages of Israel through the Red Sea and the Jordan. There are at least twelve details of resemblance between them, which we will leave the reader to work out for himself. Here, we will consider their points of dissimilarity.

First, the one terminated Israel’s exodus from the house of bondage, the other initiated their entrance into the land of promise.

Second, the former miracle was wrought in order that they might escape from the Egyptians, the latter to enable them to approach and conquer the Canaanites.

Third, in connection with the one the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind (Exodus 14:21), but with reference to the other no means whatever were employed—to demonstrate that He is not tied to such, but employs or dispenses with them as He pleases.

Fourth, the earlier miracle was performed at nighttime (14:21), the latter in broad daylight.

Fifth, at the Red Sea multitudes were slain, for the Lord made the waters to return upon the Egyptians so that they

“covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them” (14:28), whereas at the Jordan not a single soul perished.

Sixth, the one was wrought for a people who just previously had been full of unbelief and murmuring (Exodus 14:11), the other for a people who were believing and obedient (Joshua 2:24; 3:1).

Seventh, with the sole exception of Caleb and Joshua, all the adults who benefited from the former miracle died in the wilderness; whereas the great majority of those who were favored to share in the latter “possessed their possessions.”

Eighth, the waters of the Red Sea were “divided” (Exodus 14:21), those of the Jordan were made to “stand upon an heap” (Joshua 3:13).

Ninth, in the former the believer’s judicial death unto sin was typed out; in the latter his legal oneness with Christ in His resurrection, followed by a practical entrance into his inheritance.

Tenth, consequently, there was no “sanctify yourselves” before the former, but such a call was an imperative requirement for the latter (Joshua 3:5).

Eleventh, the response made by Israel’s enemies to the Lord’s interposition for His people at the Red Sea was, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them” (Exodus 15:9); but in the latter,

“It came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites… heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan… their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more” (Joshua 5:1).

Twelfth, after the former, “Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore” (Exodus 14:30); after the latter, a cairn of twelve stones memorialized the event (Joshua 4:20-22).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

There are many points of contrast between the first two books of the Bible

There are many points of contrast between the first two books of the Bible. In the former we have the history of a family; in the latter the history of a nation. In the one the descendants of Abraham are but few in number; in the other they have increased to hundreds of thousands. In Genesis the Hebrews are welcomed and honored in Egypt, whereas in Exodus they are hated and shunned. In the former we read of a Pharaoh who says to Joseph, “God hath showed thee all this” (41:39), but in the latter another Pharaoh says unto Moses, “I know not the Lord” (5:2). In Genesis we hear of a “lamb” promised (22:8), in Exodus of the “lamb” slain and its blood sprinkled. In the former we have recorded the entrance of Israel into Egypt; in the latter the exodus of them is described. In the one we behold the patriarchs sojourning in the land which flowed with milk and honey; in the other their descendants are wanderers in the wilderness. Genesis closes with Joseph in a coffin, while Exodus ends with the glory of the Lord filling the tabernacle.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

It is indeed remarkable to find the twofoldness of things confronting us so frequently in connection with the plan of redemption

It is indeed remarkable to find the twofoldness of things confronting us so frequently in connection with the plan of redemption. Based upon the work of the great federal heads, the first Adam and the last Adam, with the fundamental covenants connected with them: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. The last Adam with His two distinct natures, constituting Him the God-man Mediator. Two different genealogies are given of Him, in Matthew 1, and Luke 3. There are His two separate advents: the first in deep humiliation, the second in great glory. The salvation He has provided for His people is twofold: objective and subjective or legal and vital, the one which He did for them, and the other which He works in them—a righteousness imputed to them, and a righteousness imparted. The Christian life is a strange duality: the principles of sin and grace ever opposing one another. The two ordinances Christ gave to His churches: baptism, and the Lord’s supper.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures