She hath killed her beasts
Or, "her sacrifice" F4: a crucified Christ, the principal of the provisions in Wisdom's house, or the church of Christ. The death of Christ was prefigured by the slaying of beasts for sacrifice under the old law; was foretold in prophecy, and is expressed by "killing" him in the New Testament; and which shows his death not to be natural, but violent. It is commonly ascribed to the Jews as a wicked action of theirs; but was not without the counsel and determination of God, and the will and consent of Christ; and this death was as a victim to justice, by way of sacrifice and satisfaction for sin, and was vicarious; was offered up in the room and stead of his people, to make atonement for their sins; and which is no other than himself, his soul and body, as in union with his divine person; a sacrifice voluntarily offered up by himself, exceeding acceptable, and well pleasing to God; effectual to the purposes for which it was offered, and so never to be repeated: and his death, being a sacrifice, becomes a feast; a crucified Christ is suitable food for faith, as he is the Lamb in the midst of the throne, as though he had been slain; he is evidently set forth in the Gospel as crucified, and as such is spiritual and savoury food to his people, nourishing and strengthening, quickening and comforting, and extremely satisfying: thus the Gospel feast, in which the slain Lamb of God makes the chiefest part, is expressed in the same language as here, "my oxen and my fatlings are killed", ( Matthew 22:4 ) ; she hath mingled her wine;
which also makes a considerable part in a banquet or feast, ( Esther 5:6 ) ; and the church is called a banqueting house, or a house of wine, ( Song of Solomon 2:4 ) . The love of Christ is compared to wine, ( Song of Solomon 1:2 Song of Solomon 1:4 ) ; to old wine for the antiquity of it, being more ancient than ours to him, or than ourselves, even as old as eternity; to wine, on the lees well refined, for the purity of it, being free from all motives and conditions in the creature; to strong generous wine, which exhilarates and refreshes the weak, the weary, and distressed. The Gospel of Christ is also compared to wine, ( Song of Solomon 7:9 ) ; to old wine, for the ancient doctrines of it; and to neat wine, for the purity of it; and to generous wine, for the pleasure, joy, and comfort it gives: the blessings of grace which it exhibits may be so called from their comforting and refreshing nature, which are had freely, ( Isaiah 55:1 ) ; and so are the joys of heaven, ( Matthew 26:29 ) . Now the "mingling" of this wine is in allusion to the mixture of wine, either with something richer, as spice, ( Song of Solomon 8:2 ) ; or rather with water, as Jarchi observes, which was usual in those hot countries, to make it fit and suitable drink for the bodies of men: the mixture was no doubt according to the strength of the wine; the wine of Sharon, being strong wine, was mixed two parts water and one wine F5; which, with the ancients F6, before three parts water and two wine; though, according to Plutarch F7, they had three ways of mixing, which they called by three different names; the one was three parts water and two wine, the other three parts water and one wine, the third was one wine and two water; the first of them was reckoned the best mixture F8: one Cerassus is said to be the inventor of mixing wine with water F9; others ascribe it to Melampus F11, and others to Amphictyon. And this, spiritually understood, does not design any impurity or degeneracy, such as is complained of, ( Isaiah 1:22 ) ; for the love of Christ is pure and sovereign; the Gospel of Christ is free of all mixtures of human doctrines; the blessings of grace are all of free grace, without the mixture of men's works, and so is eternal life; salvation is all of free grace, and not by works of righteousness done by men mixed with it. But this may design the various displays of the love of Christ in the several acts of it, before time, in time, and now in heaven; or the joint display of the love of Father, Son, and Spirit, in the salvation of men, and the harmony and agreement of the divine perfections therein; and the publication of the Gospel, and the accommodation of the truths of it to the capacities of men: and perhaps some respect may be had to the blood and water that issued from the side of the slain Lamb of God, here prophetically and figuratively held forth; she hath also furnished her table;
which seems to design the ministration of the word, and the administration of ordinances in Gospel times; especially the ordinance of the supper, called the table of the Lord, ( 1 Corinthians 10:21 ) ; a well-furnished table has a variety of excellent provision upon it: and such is the ministry of the Gospel, which is signified by various sorts of food, as bread, meat, milk, honey, and delicious fruits; and Christ, who is the sum and substance of it, is expressed by several things that are eatable, as by a slain lamb, a fatted calf, the hidden manna, the bread of God and of life, whose flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed; and so is he held forth in the ordinances, particularly in the ordinance of the supper; the tame he sits at, and welcomes his guests; encourages them to eat and drink, and sups with them himself. Here his broken body, and his blood shed, are presented to the faith of his people, to be eaten and drank in a spiritual manner; a table richly furnished indeed!
F4 (hxbj) "victimam suam", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Baynus, Mercerus, so Ben Melech.
F5 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 77. 1. & Nidda, fol. 19. 1.
F6 Suidas in voce (poma) .
F7 Apud Philander. in Vitruv. de Architect. l. 16. c. 5. p. 281.
F8 Aristoph. Equi, Act. 3. Sc. 1. p. 355. & Scholia in ib.
F9 Hygin Fab. 274.
F11 Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 2. c. 6. p. 45. & l. 4. c. 27. p. 179.