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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

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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

As Christ sent forth His apostles in pairs, so all through the Bible two individuals are more or less closely associated: in a few instances the one complementing the other, but in the majority there being a marked contrast between them

As Christ sent forth His apostles in pairs, so all through the Bible two individuals are more or less closely associated: in a few instances the one complementing the other, but in the majority there being a marked contrast between them. Thus we have Cain and Abel, Enoch and Noah, Abraham and Lot, Sarah and Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Moses and Aaron, Caleb and Joshua, Naomi and Ruth, Samuel and Saul, David and Jonathan, Elijah and Elisha, Nehemiah and Ezra, Martha and Mary, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod, Paul and Barnabas. Sometimes a series of marked antitheses meet together in the life of a single individual. Notably was this the case with Moses.

He was the child of a slave, and the son of a princess. He was born in a but, and lived in a palace. He was educated in the court, and dwelt in the desert. He was the mightiest of warriors, and the meekest of men. He had the wisdom of Egypt, and the faith of a child. He was backward in speech, and talked with God. He had the rod of the shepherd, and the power of the infinite. He was the giver of the law, and the forerunner of grace. He died alone on mount Nebo, and appeared with Christ in Judaea. No man assisted at his funeral, yet God buried him” (I. M. Haldeman).

A. T. Pierson pointed out that another series of striking paradoxes is found in that remarkable prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 53. Though the Son of God, yet His report was not believed. He appeared to God as “a tender plant,” but to men as “a root out of a dry ground.” Jehovah’s Servant, in whom His soul delighted, but in the esteem of the Jews possessed of no form or comeliness. Appointed by the Father and anointed by the Spirit, yet despised and rejected of men. Sorely wounded and chastised by sinners, yet believing sinners healed by His stripes. No iniquity found in Him, but the iniquities of many were upon Him. Himself the Judge of all, yet brought before the judgment bar of human creatures. Without generation, yet possessing a numerous seed. Cut off out of the land of the living, yet alive for evermore. He made His grave with the wicked, nevertheless He was with the rich in His death. Though counted unrighteous, He makes many righteous. He was spoiled by the strong, yet He spoiled the strong, delivering a multitude of captives out of his hand. He was numbered with and mocked by transgressors, but made intercession for them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Truth itself is ever twofold, and hence the Word of God is itself likened to a two-edged sword

As pointed out on a previous occasion, Truth itself is ever twofold, and hence the Word of God is itself likened to a two-edged sword. Not only is it, first, a revelation from God, and, second, addressed to human responsibility; but a great many passages in it have a twofold force and meaning, a literal and a spiritual; many of its prophecies possess a double fulfillment, a major and a minor; while promise and precept, or privilege and corresponding obligation, are ever combined. Cases of pairs are numerous. The two great lights (Genesis 1:16); two of every sort entering the ark (6:19). The two tables on which the Law was written. The two birds (Leviticus 14:4-7); the two goats (16:7); the twotenth deals of fine flour and the two loaves (23:13, 17). The repeated miracle of water from the smitten rock (Exodus 17, Numbers 20), as Christ also duplicated the feeding of a great multitude with a few loaves and fishes. The two signs to Gideon (Judges 6). The two olive trees (Zechariah 4). The two masters (Matthew 6:24); the two foundations (7:24-27). The two debtors (Luke 7:41); the two sons (15:11); the two men who went into the temple to pray (18:10). The two false witnesses against Christ (Matthew 26:60); and the two thieves crucified with Him. The two angels (Acts 1:10). The two “immutable things” of Hebrews (6:18). The two beasts (Revelation 13).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The law of comparison and contrast

27. The law of comparison and contrast. While this rule is much less important to the expositor than many of the others, it is of deep interest; and though little is known, yet this principle is accorded a prominent place in the Word. And in view of what has been termed “the pair of opposites” which confront us in every sphere, it should occasion us no surprise to find this canon receiving such frequent illustration and exemplification in the Scriptures, and that in several ways. God and the Devil, time and eternity, day and night, male and female, good and evil, heaven and hell, are set one over against the other. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth has its two hemispheres, the northern and the southern. So also there are the Old and New Testaments, the Jew and the Gentile, and after the days of Solomon the former were split into two kingdoms; while throughout all Christendom we find the genuine possessor and the graceless professor. Whatever be the explanation, we are faced everywhere with this mysterious duality: the visible and the invisible, spirit and matter, land and sea, centrifugal and centripetal forces at work, life and death.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Now it is obvious that if the temporal things lasted forever there could be no contrast between them and the things which are eternal

The connections in which the Holy Spirit has employed the word aionios leave no room whatever for any uncertainty of its meaning in the mind of an impartial investigator. That word occurs not only in such expressions as “eternal destruction,” “everlasting fire,” “everlasting punishment,” but also in “life eternal” (Matthew 25:46), “eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9), “eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10); and most assuredly they are timeless. Still more decisively, it is linked with the subsistence of Deity:

“the everlasting God” (Romans 16:26). Again, the force and scope of the word are clearly seen in the fact that it is antithetical to what is of limited duration:

“the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Now it is obvious that if the temporal things lasted forever there could be no contrast between them and the things which are eternal. Equally certain is it that if eternal things be only “age long” they differ not essentially from temporal ones. The contrast between the temporal and the eternal is as real and as great as between the things “seen and unseen.” Again, in Philemon verse 15 aionios (rendered “for ever”) is set over against “for a season,” showing that the one is the very opposite of the other — “receive him for ever” manifestly signifies never banish or turn him away.

Before leaving this subject it should be pointed out that the absolute hopelessness of the condition of the lost rests not only on the fact that their punishment is said to be eternal, but on other collateral considerations which are equally final. There is not a single instance recorded in Scripture of a sinner being saved after death, nor any passage holding out any promise of such. On the other hand, there are many to the contrary.

“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1),

which would not be the case if, after “ages” in purifying fire, he was ultimately admitted into heaven. To His enemies Christ said, “ye… shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come” (John 8:21) death would seal their doom. That is equally certain from those fearful words of His, “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29), which excludes every ray of hope for their recovery in the next life. For the apostate “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).

“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy” (James 2:13).

“Whose end is destruction” (Philippians 3:19). Therefore is it written at the close of Scripture,

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still” (Revelation 22:11)

—as the tree falls, so will it forever lie.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

As a means for interpreting the Scriptures lexicons are greatly overrated…. To us it seems very unsatisfactory, yea, profane, to turn to heathen poets and philosophers to discover how certain Greek words were used

26. The origin of words. An enormous amount of time, research and study has been devoted thereto, and men of great erudition have embodied the results of their labor in volumes which are massive and expensive. Yet in the judgment of the writer they are far from possessing that value which has often been attributed to them, nor does he consider they are nearly as indispensable to the preacher as many have affirmed. Undoubtedly they contain considerable information of interest to etymologists, but as a means for interpreting the Scriptures lexicons are greatly overrated. A knowledge of the derivation of the words used in the original Scriptures cannot be essential, for it is unobtainable to the vast majority of God’s people. Moreover, the attempts to arrive at such derivations are often not at all uniform, for the best Hebraists are far from being agreed as to the particular roots from which various words in the Old Testament are taken. To us it seems very unsatisfactory, yea, profane, to turn to heathen poets and philosophers to discover how certain Greek words were used before they were given a place in the New Testament. But what is still more to the point, such a method breaks down before the Holy Spirit’s actual employment of various terms.

In view of what was said under the eighteenth canon of exegesis, we do not propose to write much on this one. Instead, we will confine ourselves to a single example, which illustrates the closing sentence of the preceding paragraph, and which will at the same time give the lie to an error which is very widespread today. Many of those who deny that the wicked will be punished everlastingly appeal to the fact that the Greek adjective aionios simply signifies “age lasting,” and that eis ton aiona (Jude 1:13) and eis aionas aionon (Revelation 14:11) mean “to the age” and “to the ages of ages” and “for ever” and “for ever and ever.” The simple reply is, Granted; yet that is nothing to the point at issue. True, those Creek expressions are but time terms, for the sufficient reason that the minds of the ancients were incapable of rising to the concept of eternity. Therefore the language employed by those who were destitute of a written revelation from God makes nothing either pro or con concerning the endlessness of the bliss of the redeemed or of the misery of the lost. In order to ascertain that we must observe how the terms are used in Holy Writ.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures