And their nobles shall be of themselves
Or, "his noble One" F4; Jacob's noble One, the Messiah, in whom all the promises centre; and whose incarnation and priesthood are the foundation of all the things above predicted. The Targum interprets these words of him;
``their King shall be anointed from them, and their Messiah shall be revealed from the midst of them.''And so it is applied to him in the Talmud F5, and in other writings of the Jews F6. Kimchi on the place says,
``it is known that the King Messiah shall be of Israel.''He may be called a "noble One", as he is a Nobleman in ( Luke 19:12 ) ; because he descended from illustrious persons; from David king of Israel, and from a race of kings in his line, as the genealogy of Matthew shows. Or, "his glorious One" F7, as it may be rendered; he is glorious in his nature, being the brightness of his Father's glory; glorious in his perfections, which are the same with his divine Father's; glorious in his names and titles, the King and Lord of glory; glorious in his works and worship, which are the same that are ascribed to God the Father; glorious in his office as Mediator, which he has so well performed; glorious when he was raised from the dead, and had a glory given him; and when he ascended on high, and sat down at his Father's right hand, crowned with glory and honour; glorious in the eyes of God, and of all his people; and, when his kingdom shall be in a more glorious condition, he will reign before his ancients gloriously; and when he comes a second time, he will come in exceeding great glory. Or, his "mighty One" F8; Christ is the mighty God, the mighty Mediator, the mighty Saviour; he is the most Mighty, he is the Almighty. Now, as man, his descent was from them, the Israelites; from Abraham, from Jacob, from Judah, from Jesse and David, and from the people of the Jews; see ( Romans 9:4 Romans 9:5 ) ( John 4:20 ) ; and their Governor shall proceed from the midst of them;
meaning the King Messiah, as before; who has the government of the church upon his shoulders; is worthy of all power and authority and has received it; has a power of making laws, and of obliging men to keep them; has a power of pardoning, justifying, and saving men; is the lawgiver that is able to save, and to destroy; and can subject all to his feet, as he will in a short time. This seems to refer to a law in Israel, that not a stranger, but one of their brethren, should be set as king over them, ( Deuteronomy 17:15 ) ; which is true of the Messiah; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me;
expressive of his priestly office; it being the business of a priest to draw nigh to God with the sacrifices of the people, and to intercede for them, ( Leviticus 10:3 ) ( 21:17 ) . Christ in eternity drew nigh to his Father, and offered himself as a surety for his people, and became one; and the Greek word for surety, (egguov) , has the signification of being "near": he drew nigh and interposed between them and his father, and became a Mediator for them; he proposed to do everything for them law and justice required, and whatsoever was his Father's will should be done: he drew nigh and struck hands, stipulated and agreed with him, about the salvation of his people; he asked them of him, and all blessings of grace and glory for them: he drew nigh in time, having assumed their nature, and offered himself a sacrifice unto God, made satisfaction to his justice for them, and redeemed them unto God by his blood; by which means they are made nigh to God, and draw near to him with humble boldness; and now he is gone to heaven, and has taken his place at the right hand of God, where he appears in the presence of God, and makes intercession for them, presenting himself, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice. Now this is ascribed unto God, as causing him to draw nigh; because he chose, appointed, and called him to be a priest, Mediator, and surety, to which he was entirely free of himself; and therefore it follows, for who [is] this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith
his drawing to God in the council and covenant of grace, to be the surety of his people, and his undertaking for them, were quite free and voluntary; he came of himself, and surrendered himself into the hands of justice at the time of his sufferings and death; and his intercession in heaven flows from his hearty love to his people; his heart has been, and is, engaged in every branch of his mediatorial work, which is a very singular and wonderful thing. No mere man could have engaged his heart to draw nigh to God, who is a consuming fire; no angel in heaven could have presumed to have done it on the behalf of sinful men; none but Christ himself could, and which is owing to the dignity of his person, and to his wondrous love; for this is a marvellous event. Now, though this is a prophecy of Christ's incarnation and priesthood, yet it is suitably introduced here; because, at the time of the Jews' conversion, he will be made known unto them, as being come of them, and as their Prophet, Priest, and King.
F4 (wryda) "praestans ejus", Montanus.
F5 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2.
F6 Midrash Tillim apud Galatin. de Cathot. Ver. l. 10. c. 1. p. 648.
F7 "Magnificus ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "dux ejus", V. L. "magnificus dux ejus", Munster, Tigurine version; "Rex eorum", Syr.
F8 "Fortis ejus", Pagninus; "potens ejus", Schmidt.