The Fourth
refers to the books of Numbers and Samuel. The promise is, "to him will give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star" (Rev. ii.26-28).

Here again the literary order in the Apocalypse goes forward with the historical order: for it is in the book of Numbers that we have the basis of this promise given to the same People, who were the subjects of it there. For "there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall mite the corners (marg. princes) of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city" (Numbers xxiv.17-19).

This promise and prophecy had a first foreshadowing fulfilment in David; showing what was in store for David's Son and David's Lord: even for Him who was the "root and the offspring of David."

Luke i.31-33 tells of His conquest, and of His reign on David's throne.

David, we have said, foreshadowed it: for he could say in the words of his song, "thou hast girded me with strength to battle; them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.... Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street" (2 Sam. xxii.40,41,43).

This was the theme of David's song "in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies."

And this heralds the yet more glorious song in honour of David's Lord when the kingdoms of the world shall have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever (Rev. xi.15).

The promise is given in this fourth Epistle, because the prophecy of Numbers xxiv.17-19 has never yet been really fulfilled. "The day-spring (the morning star) did visit His people" (Luke i.78); but He was rejected; and therefore the fulfilment remains in abeyance, as well as that of Luke i.31-33.

In Rev. ii.26-28 the time is at hand for the fulfilment of it. Hence the promise is repeated; and in chap. xx.4 we see it accomplished; for the "morning star" shall then have risen (Rev. xxii.16), and the prophecy of Psalm ii. shall be fulfilled.

the third
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