A hundred years after the Talmud Hierosol was composed the Babylonian Talmud, by R. Ase, A.D. 440, by the universal consent of all the Jews, who are necessarily obliged to observe all that is contained therein.
The addition of R. Ase is called the Gemara, that is to say, the “commentary” on the Mischna.
And the Talmud includes together the Mischna and the Gemara.
If does not indicate indifference: Malachi, Isaiah.
Is., Si volumus, etc.
In quacumque die.
Prophecies.—The sceptre was not interrupted by the captivity in Babylon, because the return was promised and foretold.
Proofs of Jesus Christ.—Captivity, with the assurance of deliverance within seventy years, was not real captivity. But now they are captives without any hope.
God has promised them that even though He should scatter them to the ends of the earth, nevertheless if they were faithful to His law, He would assemble them together again. They are very faithful to it, and remain oppressed.
When Nebuchadnezzar carried away the people, for fear they should believe that the sceptre had departed from Judah, they were told beforehand that they would be there for a short time, and that they would be restored. They were always consoled by the prophets; and their kings continued. But the second destruction is without promise of restoration, without prophets, without kings, without consolation, without hope, because the sceptre is taken away for ever.
It is a wonderful thing, and worthy of particular attention, to see this Jewish people existing so many years in perpetual misery, it being necessary as a proof of Jesus Christ, both that they should exist to prove Him, and that they should be miserable because they crucified Him; and though to be miserable and to exist are contradictory, they nevertheless still exist in spite of their misery.
They are visibly a people expressly created to serve as a witness to the Messiah (Isaiah, xliii, 9; xliv, 8). They keep the books, and love them, and do not understand them. And all this was foretold; that God’s judgments are entrusted to them, but as a sealed book.
Proof of the two Testaments at once.—To prove the two at one stroke, we need only see if the prophecies in one are fulfilled in the other. To examine the prophecies, we must understand them. For if we believe they have only one meaning, it is certain that the Messiah has not come; but if they have two meanings, it is certain that He has come in Jesus Christ.
The whole problem then is to know if they have two meanings.
That the Scripture has two meanings, which Jesus Christ and the Apostles have given, is shown by the following proofs: