In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is
Not in the day of Israel's ruin, but in the famous Gospel day, so often spoken of by the prophets; and this prophecy is referred to the times of the Messiah by the ancient F17 Jews; and one of the names they give him is taken from hence, "Barnaphli" F18, the Son of the fallen. R. Nachman said to R. Isaac, hast thou heard when Barnaphli comes? to whom he said, who is Barnaphli? he replied, the Messiah; you may call the Messiah Barnaphli; for is it not written, "in that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen down?" and they call him so, not because the son of Adam; but because he was the son of David, and was to spring from his family, when fallen into a low and mean condition; yea, they sometimes seem by the tabernacle of David to understand the dead body of the Messiah to be raised, whose human nature is by the New Testament writers called a tabernacle, ( Hebrews 8:2 ) ( 9:11 ) ; see ( John 1:14 ) ; for, having mentioned F19 that passage in ( Jeremiah 30:9 ) ; "they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them", add, whom I will raise up out of the dust; as it is said, "I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen down"; but elsewhere F20 it is better interpreted of the Messiah's raising up Israel his people out of captivity; they say,
``her husband shall come, and raise her out of the dust; as it is said, "I will raise up the tabernacle of David" in the day the King Messiah shall gather the captivity from the ends of the world to the ends of it, according to ( Deuteronomy 30:4 ) ;''and which they understand of their present captivity, and deliverance from it, as in ( Amos 9:14 ) . Tobit F21 seems to have reference to this passage, when he thus exhorts Zion,
``praise the everlasting King, that his tabernacle may be built again in thee;''and expresses F23 his faith in it, that so it would be,
``afterwards they (the Jews) shall return from all places of their captivity, and build up Jerusalem gloriously; and the house of God shall be built in it, as the prophets have spoken concerning it, for ever;''agreeably to which Jarchi paraphrases it,
``in the day appointed for redemption;''and so the Apostle James quotes it, and applies it to the first times of the Gospel, ( Acts 15:15-17 ) . The Targum interprets this "tabernacle" of the kingdom of the house of David: this was in a low estate and condition when Jesus the Messiah came, he being the carpenter's son; but it is to be understood of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, the church; Christ is meant by David, whose son he is, and of whom David was an eminent type, and is often called by his name, ( Ezekiel 34:23 Ezekiel 34:24 ) ( Ezekiel 37:24 Ezekiel 37:25 ) ( Hosea 3:5 ) ; and the church by his "tabernacle", which is of his building, where he dwells, and keeps his court; and which in the present state is movable from place to place: and this at the time of Christ's coming was much fallen, and greatly decayed, through sad corruption in doctrine by the Pharisees and Sadducees; through neglect of worship, and formality in it, and the introduction of things into it God never commanded; through the wicked lives of professors, and the small number of truly godly persons; but God, according to this promise and prophecy, raised it up again by the ministry of John the Baptist, Christ and his apostles, and by the conversion of many of the Jews, and by bringing in great numbers of the Gentiles, who coalesced in one church state, which made it flourishing, grand, and magnificent; and thus the prophecy was in part fulfilled, as the apostle has applied it in the above mentioned place: but it will have a further and greater accomplishment still in the latter day, both in the spiritual and personal reign of Christ: and though this tabernacle or church of Christ is fallen to decay again, and is in a very ruinous condition; the doctrines of the Gospel being greatly departed from; the ordinances of it changed, or not attended to; great declensions as to the exercise of grace among the people of God; and many breaches and divisions among them; the outward conversation of many professors very bad, and few instances of conversion; yet the Lord will raise it up again, and make it very glorious: he will close up the breaches thereof, and will raise up his ruins;
the doctrines of the Gospel will be revived and received; the ordinances of it will be administered in their purity, as they were first delivered; great numbers will be converted, both of Jews and Gentiles; and there will be much holiness, spirituality, and brotherly love, among the saints: and I will build it as in the days of old;
religion shall flourish as in the days of David and Solomon; the Christian church will be restored to its pristine glory, as in the times of the apostles.
F17 Zohar in Exod. fol. 96. 2.
F18 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 96. 2.
F19 Zohar in Gen. fol. 53. 2.
F20 Zohar in Exod. fol. 4. 2.
F21 Ch. xiii. 10.
F23 Ch. xiv. 7.