For he is our peace…
The author of peace between Jew
and Gentile: there was a great enmity of the Jew against the
Gentile, and of the Gentile against the Jew; and chiefly on account
of circumcision, the one being without it, and the other insisting
on it, and branding one another with nicknames on account of it;
but Christ has made peace between them by abrogating the ceremonial
law, which was the occasion of the difference, and by sending the
Gospel of peace to them both, by converting some of each, and by
granting the like privileges to them all, as may be observed in the
following verses: and Christ is the author of peace between God and
his people; there is naturally in man an enmity to God; sin has
separated chief friends; nor can man make his peace with God; what
he does, or can do, will not do it; and what will, he cannot do;
Christ is the only fit and proper person for this work, being a
middle person between both, and is only able to effect it, being God
as well as man; and so could draw nigh to God, and treat with him
about terms of peace, and agree to them, and perform them; and which
he has brought about by his blood, his sufferings and death; and
which is made on honourable terms, by a full satisfaction to the law
and justice of God; and so is a lasting one, and attended with a
train of blessings: moreover, Christ is the donor of peace, of
external peace in his churches, and of internal peace of conscience,
and of eternal peace in heaven: this is one of the names of the
Messiah with the Jews F2;
``says R. Jose the Galilean, even the name of the Messiah is
called (Mwlv) , "peace"; as it is said, (Isaiah 9:6) "the
everlasting Father, the Prince of peace";''
see (Micah 5:5) where it is said, "and this man shall be the peace";
which the Jewish F3 writers understand of the Messiah:
who hath made both one;
Jews and Gentiles, one people, one body, one
church; he united them together, and caused them to agree in one,
and made them to be of one mind and judgment by the above methods;
as well as he gathered them together in one, in one head, himself,
who represented them all:
and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
ceremonial law, which was made up of many hard and intolerable
commands, and distinguished, and divided, and kept up a division
between Jews and Gentiles: so the Jews call the law a wall, "if she
be a wall", (Song of Solomon 8:9) (hrwt wz) , "this is the law", say they F4: and
hence we read of (hrwth tmwx) , "the wall of the law" F5; and
sometimes the phrase, a "partition wall", is used for a division or
disagreement; so R. Benjamin says F6, that between the Karaites and
Rabbanites, who were the disciples of the wise men, there was (huyxm) ,
"a middle wall of partition"; a great difference and distance; and
such there was between the Jew and Gentile, by reason of the
ceremonial law; but Christ removed it, and made up the difference:
the allusion seems to be to the wall which divided the court of
Israel from the court of the Gentiles, in the temple, and which kept
them at a distance in worship.
F2 Perek Shalom, fol. 20. 1. Baal Hatturim in Numb. xxv. 12.
F3 Vid. Kimchi in loc.
F4 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 87. 1.
F5 Caphtor, fol. 95. 1. & 101. 1.
F6 Itinerar. p. 28.