And hath made us kings and priests
The Alexandrian copy, and Complutensian edition, read, "a kingdom, priests"; and the Vulgate Latin version, "a kingdom and priests"; and the Arabic version, "a kingdom of priesthood"; reference seems to be had to ( Exodus 19:6 ) : "and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests"; which the Jerusalem Targum renders, "ye shall be unto me", (Nynhkw Nyklm) , "kings and priests"; and so the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel paraphrases it thus, "and ye shall be before me", (Nyklm) , "kings" crowned with a crown, (Nynhkw) , "and priests" ministering. Hence it is a common saying with the Jews, that all Israelites are the sons of kings F15; and sometimes their doctors are called (hrwt yklm) , "kings of the law" F16: and they ascribe the same thing to the word of the Lord as is here attributed to Jesus Christ: so the Targum of Jonathan on ( Deuteronomy 28:13 ) paraphrases the words;
``the word of the Lord shall appoint or constitute you kings, and not private persons.''Likewise they say F17
``that even a Gentile, if he studies in the law, is (lwdg Nhkk) , "as an high priest".''All which may serve to show to what the reference is had in the text, and from whence the language is taken. But the words are used in a higher and greater sense. The saints are made "kings" by Christ; they are so now; they have received a kingdom of grace, which cannot be taken away; and they have the power of kings over sin, Satan, and the world, and all their enemies; and they live and fare like kings, and are clothed like them, in rich apparel, the righteousness of Christ; and are attended as kings, angels being their lifeguards; and they will appear much more so hereafter, when they shall reign on earth with Christ a thousand years, shall sit upon the same throne, and have a crown of life and righteousness given them, and at last be introduced into the kingdom of glory. And they become such by being the sons of God, which power and privilege they receive from Christ, and so are heirs of God, and joint heirs with him, and by being united to him. And he also makes them "priests" to offer up the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, and those of a broken heart, and of a contrite spirit, and even their souls and bodies, as a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice unto God, by anointing and sanctifying them by his Spirit: and they are made such by him
to God, and his Father;
not to men, nor to angels. Now to him that has shown so much love, and bestowed such high favours and honours, is the following ascription made,
to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen.
The glory of his deity, and of all his offices; of his being the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth; and of all the benefits and blessings, favours and honours, received from him by his people: and "dominion"; over all creatures, and over all his saints, and especially in his kingdom, in the last days, which will be an everlasting one; and which is continually to be wished and prayed for, that it would come, and come quickly. "Amen"; so let it be, and so it shall be.
F15 Misn. Sabbat, c. 14. sect. 9. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 67. 1. & 111. 1. & 128. 1. Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. xii. 1.
F16 Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 1. 2. Vid. Jarchium in. Psal. lxviii. 14.
F17 T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 38. 1.