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For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards
have spoken of another day,
$1--3. (I.) The interpretation of the words. $4. (II.) Observations,
1. There is no true rest for the souls of men but only in Jesus Christ by the gospel. $5, Improved. $6. %. The gospel church state is a state of spiritual rest in Christ. $7, 3. It is a great privilege to have a day of rest.
$1. (I.) In this verse the apostle gives a farther confirmation to his argument, by a particular application of it to the special matter in hand; and withal preventeth an objection, that might probably be raised against one part of his discourse. “For if Jesus had given them rest, &c.” (HLTETUUTEV) caused them to rest. The apostle even in this chapter useth this word both in a neutral and active signification, ver. 4. God rested; here “caused them to rest,” or “given them rest.” The word properly, and usually in other authors, signifies (finem imponere, cessare facere) to put an end, or to make to cease; as rest puts an end to labor. So the word is used, ver. 10, “Hath ceased from his works."-(18585) Jesus; that is, Joshua; and by so calling him, the apostle also declares what was the true Hebrew name of Jesus Christ; the Greek names being alike, so were the Hebrew ones. Now as persons on great occasions had their names, as to their significations, wholly changed;—for instance, when in the Old Testament Jacob was called Israel, and Solomon, Jedediah; and in the New Testament Simon was called Peter, and Saul was called Paul; and as divers had double names occasionally given them, as Esther and Hadussa, Daniel and Belteshazzár: so God was pleased sometimes to change one letter in a name, not without a mystical signification; as the
name of Abram was changed into Abraham; and that of Sarai into Sarah, Gen. xvii, 5–15; and here the name of Hosea is changed into Jehoshua, by the addition of one of the letters of the name of God increasing the signification; which name was given him as he was a type of Christ, or the typical Savior of the people. It is plain, that the reason of the name is taken from its signification of saving; he shall save, or, be the savior; and all the attempts that some have made to derive it from other words, are vain and frivolous; so also are theirs who would deduce the Greek name (1808s) Jesus, from (iów, iáow) to heal; for (€686) Jesus, is of no signification at all in the Greek tongue, it being only their manner of pronouncing (18) Jeshua, which is a Savior; and which was given to the Lord Christ because of the work he had to do; and to this Jesus, the son of Nun, his type, for the same reason.
$2. “He would not have spoken concerning another day.” The apostle having described the rest he speaks of by the special day of rest that was in the several states of the church peculiarly to be observed, now (by a synechdoche) he expresseth the whole rest itself, and all the concernments of it, by the name of a day. “He would not have spoken;" that is, either God absolutely, or the Holy Ghost, whose immediate work the inspiration of the psalmist was, whose words these are—“After these things;" the things which befel the people in the wilderness, and what they afterwards attained under the conduct of Joshua. The objection laid down, by way of anticipation, is plain in the words, “Although the people which came out of Egypt entered not into the promised rest of God, by reason of unbelief and disobedience, as you have proved; yet the next generation, under the conduct of Joshua, entered and enjoyed it; therefore, what ground have you to
propose another rest to us?” This is the force of the objection; and the reason of his denial is, that five hundred years after, God, by David, proposeth another rest, or, another day of reșt, and invites the people to an entrance, after they were so long fully possessed of all that Joshua conducted them into. And whereas there was no new rest for the people to enter into in the days of David, and the psalm, wherein these words are recorded, is acknowledged to be prophetical of the days of the Messiah, it unavoidably follows, that there is yet a rest, and a day of rest remaining for the people of God, as ver. 9.
$3. This interpretation of the words perfectly satisfieth the argument in hand; but I yet judge there is more in them than a mere answer to the objections mentioned, though expositors look no farther, viz. That the apostle also designs to teach the Hebrews that all these things, which were spoken about the rest of God in the land of Canaan and Mosaical institutions, had not the reality or substance of the things themselves in them, Heb. x, 1; so that absolutely neither did God rest, nor were the people to look for rest in them: they had no other end or use, but to teach them to look out after, and to prepare for that rest which was promised of old; so that Joshua did not give them real rest, but only that which was a typical instruction for a season. And therefore in David the same matter is still carried on, and direction is still given to look out after the future rest.
$4. (II.) Obs. 1. There is no true rest for the souls of men, but only in Jesus Christ by the gospel. Notwithstanding all that was done for the Israelites by Joshua, yet he gave them not rest, he brought them not into the full and complete rest of God; “having provided some better things for us, that they without
us should not be made perfect:" and the grand reason hereof is, because God himself resteth not in any thing else; and in his rest alone it is that we can find any; yes, utterly vain is it for us to seek rest in that wherein God resteth not. Trouble and disquietude entered into the whole creation by the sin and apostasy of Adam; God no more rested in the works of his hands, but cursed the earth, Gen. iii, 17—19, made the whole creation subject to vanity, Rom. viii, 20, and revealed his wroth from heaven against the ungodliness of men, Rom. i, 18. And hereof he hath in all ages since given signal instances; as in the deluge, wherewith he drowned the old world; the fire from heaven wherewith he burned Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. Man hath also utterly lost his rest in that first rest of God; and though he several ways seek after it, yet, like the unclean spirit cast out of his habitation, he can find none. Some seek it in the world with its pleasures and profits; some in the gratification of their sensual lusts; some in their own goodness and self-righteousness; some in superstition, and vain ways of religious worship invented by themselves; but all in vain. Man hath lost his rest by falling from God, and nothing will afford him the least quietness, but what brings him to him again, which none of these ways
will do. It is in CHRIST ALONE our lost rest may be recovered, for in him alone, as declared in the gospel, doth God rest, who is our examplar.
$5. It is surely, therefore, our wisdom in our inquiry after rest, (which, whether we take notice of it or not, is the main design of our lives) that, in all we project or execute, we do not take up with any thing beneath him, or without Him. The enjoyments of the world, the righteousness of the law, the outward ordinances of divine worship, say openly and plainly, that rest is not in them. If all those in conjunction had been satisfactory to that end; then had Joshua given the people rest, and there had been no mention of another day. Yea, whatever rest they may afford, lawfully used, it is none in comparison of that which is to be obtained in Christ Jesus; hence he himself invites us to him under this very notion, of giving “rest to our souls,” Matt. xi, 28; and in him there is no want, no defect, no fadingness, no disappointment. He that rests in the world, in himself, in his own righteousness, or even in God's ordinances, will never come to true rest until he be deprived of all expectation from, and confidence in them.
$6. Obs. 2. The gospel church state is a state of spiritual rest in Christ. How many pretend to an interest in this church state, who plainly and openly seek after their rest in other things; many in their own duties, but most in their lusts, and the pleasures of the world. Where is the privilege of such persons as these, above that of the Israelites under Joshua? Can they say that the Lord Christ hath given them rest for their souls in the gospel? Alas! they have no rest at all; in what they pursue, the gospel hath no concernment. Did Christ come, think you, to give you rest in your lusts, in your sins, in your, lawless and carnal pleasure? God forbid; he came to give you rest from these things, in HIMSELF.
$7. Obs. 3. It is a great mercy and privilege to have a day of rest and worship given us. The tle doth not say, that after these things he speaks of another rest, but of another day; for from the foundation of the world we were taught our rest in God by a day of rest given us. When by sin we forfeited our interest in that rest itself, God might have justly deprived all the world of the knowlege of that day of