of the Hebrews substitutes the word ?body,? as the general instrument of doing God?s will? (Com. on <581005>Hebrews 10:5-7).
(c) The freedom of these inspired interpretations, however, does not warrant us in like freedom of interpretation in the case of other passages whose meaning has not been authoritatively made known.
We have no reason to believe that the scarlet thread of Rahab (Josh. 2:18) was a designed prefiguration of the blood of Christ, nor that the three measures of meal in which the woman hid her leaven ( <401333>Matthew 13:33) symbolized Shem, Ham and Japheth, the three divisions of the human race. C.H.M., in his notes on the tabernacle in Exodus, tails us that ?the loops of blue = heavenly grace; the taches of gold = the divine energy of Christ; the rams? skins dyed red ? Christ?s consecration and devotedness; the badgers? skins ? his holy vigilance against temptation?! The tabernacle was indeed a type of Christ ( <430114>John 1:14 ? ejskh>nwsen . 2:19, 21 ? ?in three days I will raise it up? but he spake of the temple of his body?); yet it does not follow that every detail of the structure was significant. So each parable teaches some one main lesson, ? the particulars may be mere drapery; and while we may use the parables for illustration, we should never ascribe divine authority to our private impressions of their meaning.
<402501> Matthew 25:1-13 ? the parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins ? has been made to teach that the number of the saved precisely equals the number of the lost. Augustine defended persecution from the words in <421423>Luke 14:23 ? ?constrain them to come in.? The Inquisition was justified by <401330>Matthew 13:30 ? ?bind them in bundles to buns them.? Innocent III denied the Scriptures to the laity, quoting <581220>Hebrews 12:20 ? ?If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned.? A Plymouth Brother held that he would be safe on an evangelizing journey because he read in <431936>John 19:36 ? ?A bone of him shall not be broken.? ? ?they saw no one, save Jesus only? ? has been held to mean that we should trust only Jesus. The Epistle of Barnabas discovered in Abraham?s 318 servants a prediction of the crucified Jesus, and others have seen in Abraham?s three days? journey to Mount Moriah the three stages in the development of the soul. Clement of Alexandria finds the four natural elements in the four colors of the Jewish Tabernacle. All this is to make a parable ?run on all fours.? While we call a hero a lion, we do not need to find in the man something to correspond to the lion?s mane and claws. See Toy, Quotations In the New Testament; Franklin Johnson, Quotations of the New Testament from the Old Testament; Crooker, The New Bible and its New Uses, 126-136.
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