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the following from Macknight on Math. chap. xxiv. He says :-“ besides, in the progress of the siege, the number of the dead, and the stench arising from their unburied carcasses, must have infected the air, sioned pestilence. For Josephus tells us that there were no less than six hundred thousand dead bodies carried out of the city, and suffered to lie unburied.” It should be recollected, that the valley of Hinnom was in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem.--We see then this part of Jeremiah's prediction literally and minutely fulfilled.
2d, Jeremiah further predicts, “that their carcasses also should be meat for the fowls of heaven and for the beasts of the earth." If the fowls of the air, and beasts of the field, did not feed on their carcasses, it was not for want of opportunity, for six hundred thousand of their carcasses lay unburied. This part of the prediction was also literally fulfilled.
3d, Jeremiah also predicts, that “in the straitness of the siege, they should eat the flesh of their children.” This was also fulfilled in the siege of Jerusalem, as Josephus, their historian, testifies.
4th, He further predicts, that “their land should be desolate.” This it soon became after the destruction of the city and temple, and in this state, in a great measure, it remains until this day.
5th, Again, the prophet predicts, " that their city should be as tophet.' We have seen, that he said before, “the valley of Hinnom should be to them the valley of slaughter, and that they should bury in tophet till there should be no place to bury.” It is evident, from the prophet's prediction, that the city of Jerusalem should be as tophet or like unto tophet. Tophet, is used as an emblem, to describe the misery in which it was to be involved by the judgments of God. And why, it may be asked, was tophet made an emblem of those temporal miseries, rather than any thing else?
examine carefully, if Gehenna in the New Testament, can mean a place of endless misery. We ought not to take this for granted; but be sure we correctly understand the passages which speak of Gehenna. This has been too long believed without any examination. The admitted fact, that Gehenna has no such sense in the Old Testament, ought to create the suspicion, that the sense of Gehenna is misunderstood in the New.
2d, It is also a fact, that those who believe Gehenna, designates a place of endless punishment in the New Testament, entirely overlooked its meaning in the Old. All admit, its literal original signification to be, the valley of Hinnom. But not one of them takes the least notice, that Gehenna was used also by Jeremiah, as a source of imagery, or emblem, to describe the punishment God threatened to the Jewish nation. But why overlook this sense of Gehenna in the Old Testament? Is it not possible, yea, is it not probable, that this may be its sense in the New? All critics admit, the language of the New Testament is derived from the old, and ought to be interpreted by it.
3d, The fact is also notorious, that those who believe Gehenna in the New Testament, designates a place of endless punishment, give it this sense on mere human authority. Dr. Campbell above, says, Gehenna came gradually to assume this sense, and at last came to be confined to it. But no divine authority is referred to, for the origin of this sense attached to the term Gehenna. Professor Stuart, refers to the later Jews, the Rabbinical writers, as authority. And finally tells us -“ Gehenna came to be used as a designation of the infernal regions, because the Hebrews supposed that demons dwelt in this valley.” But who can believe, the term Gehenna in the New Testament, is used in a sense which originated in a silly superstitious notion ?
4th, Another fact is, the word Gehenna only occu twelve times in the New Testament. The following are
all the texts, Math. v. 22, 29, 30, and xviii. 9. Mark ix. 43—47. Luke xii. 5. Math. x. 28, and xxiii. 15, 33. James iii. 6. The rendering of Gehenna in these texts, is uniformly hell in the common version. The fact, that Gehenna, is only used twelve times, in the New Testament deserves notice, for Dr. Campbell and others say, this is the only word in the Bible, which designates a place of endless punishment. Now, supposing this to be true, do most Christians know, that their place of endless punishment, is only mentioned twelve times there? But correctly speaking, Gehenna was not used even twelve times originally. It occurs eleven times in the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, which all know, are only three histories of the same discourses in which Gehenna was used by our Lord. Viewing the subject in this light, few words of such importance, occur so seldom in the New Testament as the word Gehenna. I notice this, to show the difference, between our Lord and modern preachers as to the frequency of their use of the word hell, which is the rendering of Gehenna. Allowing it used twelve times in the New Testament, this is not so often, as many preachers use it in the course of a single sermon. That they never ought to use the texts, in which Gehenna occurs, in proof of a place of endless punishment,
ow ards. 5th, The fact is also indisputable, that the word Gehenna is used by our Lord, and by James, but by no other person in the New Testament. Any person who can read English, may satisfy himself of the correctness of this fact, by reading the texts referred to above. John, wrote the history of our Lord, as well as Mathew, Mark, and Luke, but he never speaks of Gehenna, either in his Gospel or Epistles. What is more remarkable, Luke, though he uses Gehenna once in his Gospel, never uses it in the Acts, which contains the history of the Apostles' preaching for thirty years.
Paul, Peter, and Jude, are entirely silent about Gehenna, which is very strange, if it designated a place of endless punishment to the wicked. The writings of those persons, who have never mentioned Gehenna, form two thirds of the New Testament. But surely, it is a very natural expectation, warranted by the frequency of other important subjects mentioned, that all the writers in the New Testament should often speak of Gehenna, if it did mean a place of endless misery. And if they did believe this, yet were silent about it, they were not so faithful to their hearers as most modern preachers. But can any man believe, our Lord's disciples understood him to mean by Gehenna a place of endless misery, yet most of them never said a word about it in their preaching, or in their letters to the churches ? 'Is it at all propable, that they would lay aside the term Gehenna, used by their Lord to designate a place of endless misery, and adopt some other language to express it? We strongly doubt this.
6th, But another striking fact is, all that is said about Gehenna in the New Testament, was spoken to Jews, and to Jews only. No Gentile, is ever threatened with Gehenna punishment. This fact is indisputable, which every person can satisfy himself about, by simply reading the texts where Gehenna is used, with their respective contexts. It is of no consequence to decide, to whom the Gospels were originally addressed, for in the eleven places where our Lord used the term Gehenna, it is certain he was speaking to Jews. And in the only other place where Gehenna occurs, it is certain, James wrote to the twelve tribes which were scattered abroad. James i. 1, Comp. Chap. iii 6. It forms no objection to this fact—"That our Lord's ministry was among the Jews, and not among the Gentiles, hence could not say to the Gentiles as to the Jews
- how can ye escape the damnation of hell, (Gehenna).” The Apostles' ministry was among the Gentiles;
but they never say any thing to them about Gehenna in any shape whatever, which shows, that “the damnation of Gehenna," only concerned the Jews. This fact, is of great importance in the present investigation, and is beyond all dispute. Let us then attach what sense we please to the term Gehenna, it is certain, Jews are the only persons addressed about it, or concerned in its punishment. As proof of this, it may be observed that Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are thought to have written their Gospels, for the use of the Jews, and in them Gehenna is used. It seems certain, John wrote his Gospel for the use of the Gentiles, for he explains Jewish places, names, and customs, altogether unnecessary, had he wrote it to Jews. But it deserves special notice, John never mentions Gehenna, and omits all the discourses of our Lord, in which he spoke of Gehenna. If the damnation of Gehenna, or hell, only concerned Jews, we see a good reason for such an omission ; but if it equally concerned the Gentiles, how shall any man account for the omission, on rational and scriptural principles. If Jews and Gentiles, were alike concerned in the punishment of Gehenna, why were not both alike admonished concerning it? How, I ask, could the Gentiles avoid the punishment of Gehenna, seeing no sacred writer said any thing to them about it? Does not this very omission prove, that the New Testament writers, did not mean by Gehenna a place of endless misery, but that it designated the temporal punishment which Jeremiah predicted to the Jewish nation.
To the above, it may possibly be objected—“ were not all the scriptures written for the benefit of mankind ? Why then make this distinction between Jews and Gentiles ?" Answer. Whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our instruction. But notwithstanding this, who does not make this very distinction ? As Gentiles, we may derive much instruction from Math. Chaps. 23 and 24th, but who does not allow, these two Chap