We’re willing to bet that you haven’t heard of Charles Henry Mackintosh or his Notes on the Pentateuch. That’s okay! In full transparency, we didn’t know much about him either before we started working on making his best-known writings available in the Olive Tree Bible App. Before we look at Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch, let’s find out a little more about C. H. Mackintosh.

Who Was C. H. Mackintosh?

Charles Henry Mackintosh (known as C. H. Mackintosh or just C. H. M.) was the son of a captain in a Scottish Highland regiment. He was born in Ireland in 1820 and not much is known of his early years. After having a conversion experience at the age of 18, he worked in Limerick for a short time then moved to Dublin where he joined the Plymouth Brethren. He spent the next decade teaching classical language in a small private school he started before trying his hand at farming after the great famine in the late 1840’s. It was shortly thereafter that he sensed the call to dedicate himself to Christian ministry. That is when his preaching, writing, and speaking ministry really took off.

Between the publication of his first tract in 1843 entitled “The Peace of God” and his final extant manuscript in 1896 entitled “The God of Peace,” he wrote thousands of pages on a variety of subjects. The most well-known of these is his Notes on the Pentateuch. Mackintosh wrote six volumes on the first five books of the Bible totaling more than 2500 pages combined.

Why Study Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch?

We’ve told you a little about C. H. Mackintosh, but you still need to know why his Notes are worth studying. We can’t put it any better than Andrew Miller did in his preface to the volume on Genesis. He earnestly recommends these notes “to all who love and relish the simple gospel of the grace of God.” He writes, “Man’s complete ruin in sin, and God’s perfect remedy in Christ, are fully, clearly, and often strikingly, presented.” These Notes are where you “will find this most blessed subject fully, frequently, and pointedly stated, and many other subjects of deep practical importance.”

To put it simply, if you love Christ and the gospel, then you’ll love Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch. See how Mackintosh describes the power of the blood of Christ in his meditation on the day of atonement:

The one solitary pedestal upon which the stupendous fabric of glory shall rest forever, is the blood of the cross – that precious blood, dear Christian reader, which has spoken peace – divine and everlasting peace – to your heart and conscience, in the presence of Infinite Holiness. The blood which is sprinkled upon the believer’s conscience has been sprinkled ‘seven times’ before the throne of God . . . In heaven His blood forever speaks, in God the Father’s ears.”

What Can You Expect from Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch?

Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch are best described as devotional. While his Notes cover most of the chapters in the Pentateuch, he avoids verse-by-verse exposition and rarely engages in making exegetical arguments. Instead, he reflects on the meaning of passages in light of what the rest of the Bible says about the topic. He doesn’t get bogged down in details or excessive information, but writes to address the heart and affections of his readers. His style is simple to understand, which makes him accessible and endearing for everyone.

Here’s an example from the first paragraph of his explanation of the law of God in Exodus 21–23. He writes,

The study of this section of our book is eminently calculated to impress the heart with a sense of God’s unsearchable wisdom and infinite goodness. It enables one to form some idea of the character of a kingdom governed by laws of divine appointment. Here, too, we may see the amazing condescension of Him who, though He is the great God of heaven and earth, can, nevertheless, stoop to adjudicate between man and man in reference to the death of an ox, the loan of a garment, or the loss of a servant’s tooth.

‘Who is like unto the Lord our God, who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on earth?’ He governs the universe, and yet He can occupy Himself with the provision of a covering for one of His creatures. He guides the angel’s flight and takes notice of a crawling worm. He humbles Himself to regulate the movements of those countless orbs that roll through infinite space, and to record the fall of a sparrow.”

Exodus, Notes on the Pentateuch

Study Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch in the Olive Tree App

Why is the Olive Tree App the ideal place to study Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch? There are a multitude of reasons, but let’s just give you several. First, you can study Mackintosh’s Notes alongside your favorite Bible translation. Just open the Study Center and read the Notes in the Resource Guide or Parallel tab. The benefit of this split-screen study is that the Notes will be synced to the passage you have open in the Main Window.

Second, you can study Mackintosh’s Notes in the Main Window. This is perfect if you just want to read through the Notes without having the Bible opened. All the Scripture references and footnotes in his Notes are hyperlinked so you can view those in a popup window without losing your place. This is a great way to experience his Notes. Since they are not verse-by-verse expositions, you don’t really need to follow along all that closely with the biblical text.

Third, the Search function of the Olive Tree App allows you to search key words or phrases in Mackintosh’s Notes. For instance, you can search his Notes on Leviticus for the word Christ and see that he mentions Christ 423 times! That one example shows how Christ-centered Mackintosh’s Notes really are!

Get Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch Today

Now that we’ve introduced you to C. H. Mackintosh and his Notes on the Pentateuch, why don’t you pick up a copy from our store today? You can get any of his volumes on the first five books of the Bible or the entire set! Get your copy today and start seeing how Christ is present in the Pentateuch!


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