Why when he comes into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body have you prepared me:…
"In the volume of the book." In olden times books were not made out of sheets of paper folded into four, six, or eight, or twelve, and so forming one compact volume, with page following page from beginning to end, from left to right as now. A book was made of one very long strip of papyrus or parchment, rolled like a window blind on a roller; or rather, let me say, it was on two rollers, one roller was attached to the top of the strip, the other roller was fastened to the bottom. The strip of parchment paper-rush was many yards long. The book began at the very top of the long strip. There were no pages and no turning over of the leaf, but the reader read straight down the strip, his book was written all over the yards of material. As he read the top lines he turned the top roller, and it rolled them up, and unrolled some more of the material with the writing on it from off the bottom roller. And when the reader came to the end of the book, he had rolled it all off the bottom roller on to the top one. When he began his book it was all rolled on to the. bottom roller. When the words "volume of the book" are used, it means the roll of the book. A long book of several volumes was a book in several rolls. Our word volume is a Latin word and means a roll, such as a roll of calico or cloth at the draper's. This word was used before books were made as they are now, in blocks; when the fashion of making books changed the old name remained on, though it really applied only to books in rolls. When it is said by Christ of His life, "Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to fulfil Thy will, O God," it really means, "Lo, I come, to do Thy will, so it is written at the head of the scroll," At the head of every volume was written the title of the book. Now Christ is speaking of His life as if it were a book. As the title and heading of His life is this text, "I am come to do Thy will, O my God!" Many a book opens with a quotation which gives the key to the meaning of the book, just as a text stands at the head of a sermon. You may have seen how every chapter in Sir Walter Scott's stories begins with a piece of poetry, quotation from somewhere or other, and it has reference to all that follows. So the text, the heading of the chapter of our Lord's life, is "I am come to do Thy will, O God." That was why He was born of a Virgin — to fulfil the will of God. Why He was born at Bethlehem — to fulfil the will of God. Why He was circumcised — to fulfil the will of God. Why He fled into Egypt — to fulfil the will of God.
(S. Baring Gould, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: