Searching what, or what manner of time
The prophets made a very diligent inquiry into the exact time when Christ should come to work out the salvation of his people; to whom it was made known that his coming should be before the sceptre, or tribe of Judah, and all civil government in it, ceased; and before the second temple was destroyed, into which the Messiah, the messenger of the covenant, was to come, as the Lord and proprietor of it; and that it should be seventy weeks, or 490 years, from a date given in ( Daniel 9:24-26 ) as it was revealed to the Prophet Daniel; who particularly inquired, and diligently searched into this matter, and was eminently a man of desires this way, as he is styled, ( Daniel 9:23 ) and they not only searched into the exact time, but into the manner and quality of the time when the Saviour should come; and foretold that it would be, with respect to the nations of the world, a time of profound peace; with respect to the Jews, that it would be a time of great blindness, ignorance, unbelief, and hardness of heart; that such would be that generation, or age, for wickedness and barbarity, as could not be declared and expressed; and that few would believe the report of the Gospel; and that the Messiah would be rejected of men, and be wounded, bruised, and put to death; and with respect to the Gentiles, that the Gospel would be preached to them, and that they should seek to Christ, be gathered to him, and hope and trust in him; and that the followers of the Messiah should be persecuted, and greatly distressed, and yet comforted and sustained; and this should be the face of the times, and the state of things, when the salvation should be revealed: and all this, and much more,
the Spirit of Christ in them did signify;
or "make manifest": from whence it appears, that Christ then existed, as he did before there were any prophets, and even from everlasting, being the eternal God; and that the Spirit is from him, as well as from the Father; and as here, so he is often by the Jews F1 called (axyvm axwr) , "the Spirit of the Messiah", or "Christ"; and that the Spirit is truly God, since he could declare beforehand the exact time of Christ's coming, and the finality of the age in which he came, as well as bear a previous testimony to his sufferings and glory; as also, that he was in the prophets, and they were inspired by him, and spake as he moved and directed them:
when, it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the
glory that should follow.
The "sufferings of Christ" are what the Jews call F2 (xyvm ylbx) , "the sorrows of the Messiah". These are particularly testified of in ( Psalms 22:1-31 ) ( 69:1-36 ) ( Isaiah 53:1-12 ) ( Daniel 9:26 ) ( Zechariah 12:10 ) . The glory, or "glories", as it may be rendered, design his resurrection from the dead, his ascension to heaven, his session at the right hand of God, and having all power, authority, and judgment committed to him; and which are eminently and distinctly prophesied of in ( Psalms 16:10 ) ( 68:18 ) ( 110:1 ) ( Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:14 ) .
F1 Zohar in Gen. fol. 19. 3. & passim.
F2 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 118. 1. & passim.