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not possibly be an historic and therefore, und. For it is said there; make thee a yo, serpent, that it must be declared ti Inreal. At the and set it on a pole. And then ver. 9, it proceeds: same:ime one must resolve to pa ounce what the and Moses made a muna url? and set it on a pole. he would only give a poem is neither inti- Again Deut. vii
. 15 .jmx vn, are found joined. In mated in the narrative itself
, nor does the charac- both places in Isaiah, we read fou? 770. ter of the entire book suggest it. The Prophets Therefore, 77 cvidently means the serpent, but are historians, even where they write poetry; only by an originally predicate description beThe Prophet speaks here as an historian. Did coming the designation of the chief concephe represent as an outward calling what was only tion. For originally 77y means “the burner,” invard, he would have arrogated an honor that did not become him, and this very arrogance
“to burn, burn up.” The burning would have deprived 'him of all claim to credi- smart of a wound occasioned this designation. bility. For countless ones have received an in- It is, moreover, not impossible that the burning Fard call. But precisely this outward call, just fire is designated by ihe word 7.1 because it that which Isaiah here beheld, heard and spoke, moves itself serpent fashion. And in so far the is so extraordinary, that only privileged men can roots épre!v, serpere and 6721 may agree; and Loast that they have experienced the like. Of Jeremiah (chap. i.) and Ezekiel (chaps. i. -iii.)
an original connection between 777, and serpens similar things are told. These men, as Isaiah might exist, only the meaning “to crawl,” would himself, would be guilty of wicked presumption not be the medium of this connection. For only did they invent a glorious, outward call. We the burning fire is thought of as crawling; but the must therefore hold the narrative of Isaiah to be serpent is called 977, not because it creeps, but historical
becauze it burns. On these grounds I do not beBut if real, was it a physical or spiritual reality? That is to say, did Isaiah behold all this lieve that tho angel name 777 has anything to with the eyes of the body or the eyes of the spirit do with the serpent. According to our passage (iv Tvebrett)? With the eyes of the body these indeed, the Seraphim have human form, for they things are not to be seen. Spiritual corporality have a countenanee, they have feet (ver. 2) and can only be taken notice of by the opened inward hands (ver. 6). But, GESENIUS, before this has kose (2 Kings vi. 17). Therefore something, real shown that the Seraph has nothing whatever to of course, but only inward, can be meant here, a do with the Egyptian Serapis, by the proof that spiritual beholding of spiritual reality (1 Kings this name has sprung from the names Osiris and xxii. 17 491.; Ezek. viii. sqq.; Dan. vii. 13 sqa.; Apis (Osar-Api). Comp. Thesaur. p. 1342. GERev. i. 10 sqq., etc.),
SENIUS, with whom recently HIERM. SCHULTZ To this is joined the inquiry: In which tem- agrees, takes the word in the meaning of the ple did Isaiah sec the Lord ?' In the earthly, at Arabic scharaph (nobilitas), schariph (sheriff, Jerusalem, or in the heavenly, the pattern of the princeps), comp. Dan. x. 13; viii. 25; which, former? It is no reason against the former, that however, hardly agrees with the use of the HeIsaiah was no priest, and therefore dared not go brew 779 given above. That the Seraphim beinto the temple. Amoe, also, was no priest, and long to the highest rank of the angel world, apyet saw the Lord in the temple (chap. ix. 1). pears from their relation to God and His throne The Prophet did not need to be in the temple bodi. as it is described in our chapter. For they aply in order to see what was present in the temple. pear here in immediate nearness to the divine Comp. Ezek. viii. 3.-But in the earthly temple throne, and beside them no others are named. the throne of the Lord was the ark of the cove- That the Seraphim are essentially identical with nant. On this account it is expressly called the Cherubim, has been maintained already by D'I790 20 " dwelling between the cherubim ” MAIMONIDES (in the DJ1217 77173 iii. 6). (2 Sam. vi. 2; 2 Kings xix. 15; Isa. xxxvii. 16; the dissertation De Seraphim a Cherubim in Bibliis
HENDEWERK, has tried to prove the identity in Ps. lxxx. 2; xcix. 1; 1 Chr. xiii. 16). Why should Isaialı, if he saw the Lord in the earthly in the Stud. u. Krit. 1810 Ilest. II. BOEHMER also
non diversis, Königsberg, 1836. So, too, STICKEL temple, not have named the ark of the covenant? takes this view (Herzog's R. Encycl. IV. p. 24). The expression " throne high and elevated ” does Of course the passage Rev. iv. 8 seems to favor not appear to point to the ark of the covenant. this view strongly. For there we find ascribed For it cannot be said that it is high and lifted up. We shall therefore have to place the vision in the of Ezekiel, (i. and x.), and on the other the six
to Cherubim on the one hand the animal forms upper, heavenly sanctuary (the original of the Tabernacle in the first place, Exod. xxv. 9, 40; wings and the Trishagion (thrice holy) of the xxvi. 30; xxvii. 8, and afterwards of the temple). John combine in themselves the traits of the
appears to me that the forms of Thither Ísaiah was transferred in spirit.
Cherubim and Seraphim, and if it is said that The Seraphiin are not mentioned anywhere the Seraphim of Isaiah differ from the Cherubim else in the whole Old and New Testaments ex- of Ezekiel so, too, do the Johannic Cherubim cept here. The word d'on is found Numbers differ from those of Ezekiel, and the Scraphim asi. 6, but as qualifying d'un? (God sent among of Isaiah are the mediating member. After all
If it is asked; why the people burning, fiery serpents). The singu
the question is an open one,
are the Seraphim called “the burning ones?'' lar 77ky occurs, too, Num. xxi, 8; Deut. viii. Philo answers: “ because they devour the un15; Isa. xiv. 29; xxx. 6, but always in the sense formedness of matter, bring it into form and orof " serpent.” In Num. xxi. 8, it is synonym of | der, and thereby render it a Cosmos." BOEHMER,
among others, calls them “fire beings, that burn that serves to fix e picture. We cannot supup everything unholy." LANGE (in the Art. pose that the cr ut continued while the ProZorn Gottes, HERZOG's R. Encycl. XVIII. p. 662 phet, and the aph and the LORD talked. sq.), distinguishes the revelation of wrath against TARG. JONATILAN happily translates ver. 2 b., universal human sinfulness and sin, and the re “duabus velabat," etc. With two (wings) each velation of wrath against the conscious revolt one veiled his face that he might not sce, and with against the revelation of salvation in law and two he veiled his body, that he might not be seen." gospel. The first degree seems to him symbolized by God's dominion over His Cherubim
It must not be concluded from 177 17i that (Gen. iii. 24; Ps. xviii. 11-15; civ. 4), the second there were only two Seraphim, but that there by His appearance between the Seraphim (Isa. were two choirs, say one on either side. Altervi.). “That the Seraphim represent a vision of native song is founded in the essence of comthe judgment of fire, in which, with the hardening munion. It is the musical expression of the of the people, the temple must burn up, is ex- daloylouoi that move the congregation. Therepressed also in the meaning of the word "the fore it is found in the heavenly congregation consumers.” When Isaiah received the call to
as well as in the earthly. But the Seraphim sing preach the hardening of the people, he saw, also, “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah Sabaoth; fullness in spirit the temple occupied by the fire angels of the whole earth is His glory." Thus they of God, and filled with smoke." Apart from the praise Him here as the Holy One, because in distinction between Seraphim and Cherubim, what follows (ver. 9 sq.), He makes known in which I do not think has sufficient motive, it what degree His holiness shall react against unholy only seems to me that their meaning is too nar.
Israel. DELITZSCH calls attention to the fact rowly construed in the above. They do not that Isaiah cherished his whole life through, a merely serve as a revelation of the wrath of God, deep, indelible impression of that holiness of the They belong, since there was a world, to the im- LORD that confronted him here so mightily in mediate organs of the divine revelation in the word and aspect. Fourteen times in the first part world generally They are ever with God, and does he use the expression v17p, “ Holy
rest neither day nor night,” and when they One of Israel,” which is, as it were, the concenceaselessly offer praise, honor, and thanksgiving trated expression of that impression; fifteen times to Him that lives from everlasting to everlasting, in the second (comp. at i. 4), whereas the expresand when they thereby give the tone, as it were, sion occurs beside only thrice in the Psalms, to the song of praise of the four and twenty elders (Rev. iv. 8 sqq.), so it is seen plainly, that they xxi. 22; lxxviii
. 41; Ixxxix. 19), twice in Jer. have not only a mission in relation to the wicked, (1.29; li. 5), and once in 2 Kings xix. 22 parallel
with Ísa. xxxvii. 23. but also in relation to the pious, even to God Himself. It does not decide the matter of their
But why this thrice repeated r17p? There significance in general, that they appear just here in a moment when wrath is revealed, and that al
are, to be sure, examples of such repetition that Seraph burns away the sin of the Prophet
. How. Ezek. xxi. 32; Nah. i. 2). In fact Calvin and
only aim at rhetorical emphasis (Jer, vii. 4; ever, this is not the place to penetrate deeper VITRINGA construe the thrice holy in this sense, into these mysteries (uvorýpia).
while, yet, they expressly say that they would The Seraphin stood is byor, “ above him. not exclude a deeper significance. HERM. By a very frequent usage 7py is joined with SCHULTZ, (Altest. Theol. 1. p. 345) says: "the
choir rests on a song and counter song, combiaed hy so that by this preposition the one standing in the double choir, therefore the threeness of the is represented, so to speak, as covering up the Holy.". But here we stand before the holiest of one before whom he stands, from the eyes of the all of the Godhead, that is opened up for a mospectator standing opposite; Gen. xviii. 8; xxiv. ment, and receive a glimpse into the Baon tov Osoj 3); Exod. xviii. 13; Jud. iii. 19; vi. '31; 2 (1 Cor. ii. 10, “the deep things of God”). The Kingz xxiii. 3 ; Jer. xxxvi. 21; 2Chr. xxiii. 13. Christian consciousness, from the remotest period, Even standing before Jehovah'is designated by has not been able to resist the impression that this this preposition Job_i. 6; 1 Kings xxii. 19"; thrice-holy is a reflex of the triune being of the Zech. iv. 14; vi. 5.—But in our passage it is not
Godhead. And in the New Testament sphere merely said why, but is Syon. This expression evangelist John (xii. 41) says expressly Isaiah
this impression is the more justified because the is so strong that we can do nothing else than saw the glory of Jesus when he heard the words represent the Seraphim to ourselves as hovering of ver. 10. In that John says nothing extraorabout the LORD, “and with two he flew,” so that dinary. Rather he quite accords with Peter who they stood, not indeed above his head, but rela- says (1 Pet. i. 11) that the Spirit that swayed in tively above hinn. Each Seraph had six wings. the Prophets of the Old Testament was the Spirit The imperfects manifestly serve to indicate a of Christ; and with Paul, who says (1 Cor. x. 4) continuous circumstance that is an essential part it was Christ that as a spiritual rock led Israel of the scene, whereas the perfects #pi and 1981, through the wilderness. This is only the con"and cried and said,” express an incident that firmation of what we have long known as the forms part of the transaction. For what the Sera- significance of the Son, viz. : that He is the phim did with their wings went on continuously medium, and therefore also the mediator of all and does not belong to the transaction. But the
and every revelation. crying out belongs to the transaction, yet does In regard to the second clause of ver. 3, the not go on continuously, but is only an incident Iquestion arises, first of all, what is subject ? Is
then earth is the principal notion, | Isaiah saw the Lord. It has been said, the smoke id here what fills it. Is igiap subject, came from the altar of incense (ver. 6) and symglor, of God is the principal notion and bolized the seraphic praise. There may appear clared here how comprehensive it is. The 8; viii. 3 sq. But it seems to me that the smoke
some truth in that from a comparison of Rev. v. alone corresponds with the context. But further inquiry arises: whether 913.a, “glory,” stitutes an antithesis to the light in which the
has still another meaning. In so far as it conto be taken in an active or a passive sense, i.e., Lord dwells, it seems to me, wherever it occurs a3 praise, or as majesty, glory. The two cannot in connection with the appearance of the divine be essentially disconnected. For as God's glory glory, to signify the reverse side of the same, the is everywhere, so in a certain sense also it is severity, the wrath of God. Thus here, too, the everywhere praised. For its very enemies even sinoke, with whose appearance is connected immust involuntarily do it honor (Ps. viii. 2, 3); mediately in ver. 5 the Prophet's confession of And I do not see why in our passage one should sin and mortal fear, introduces the words of conreparate the two.
Does it not then become those demnation which the Lord afterward speaks to who sing unceasingly the praise of God in His the Prophet as the manifestation of His holy inimmediate presence to declare that, not only they, dignation. Comp. iv. 5; ix. 17; xiv. 31 ; xxxiv. but the entire creation continually proclaims the 10; li. 6; Ixv. 5. praise of the Lord ? But it says only “all the 3. Then said I is purged.—Vers. earth.” Of course: for this song of praise sounds 5-7. After the Prophet had heard the Seraphim here primarily for one man and for men. It is just praise the holiness of the Lord, after he had bein respect to these that the truth is declared, on held them themselves in the splendor of their the one hand comforting, on the other appalling, holiness, and also had seen its conseqnence, the that the glory of the Lord is everywhere, and wrath, imaged in the smoke, he is seized with everywhere it makes itself known and felt. the feeling of his own sinfulness. Every creature Comp. xl. 5; Hab. iii. 3; Num. xiv. 21 ; Ps. that beholds or comes in contact with an immelxxii. 19.
diate trace of the divine Being, has a sense of not Ver. 4. rex signifies in Hebrew primarily the being able to exist under the burden of the absolute elbow-socket (Armgelenk-Mutter), i. e., the de- majesty (Gen. xvi. 13; xxxii. 31; Exod. xxxiii. 20; pression resembling the box screw (Schrauben- Jud. vi. 22 sq.; xiii. 22 ; 1 Sain. vi. 19 sq.; 2 Sam. mutter), in which the arm turns itself, the elbow. vi. 7). This sense must have made itself felt in the The word has this meaning, too, in the noted pas- Prophet in the highest degree, seeing he beheld sage 2 Sam. viii. 1, where it is said that David the divine Being in a greater proximity and cleartook from the Philistines 0PX7 no-rx. The ness, than, since Moses at least
, ever a man did. bridle of the elbow is the contrast of bing ano iost (xv. 1 ; Hos. iv. 6; x. 7, 15), for a man of
He cries, therefore: woe is me (comp. i. 4), I am Isa. xxxvii. 29, the bridle of the lips," a bridle unclean lips am I, and among a people of unclean attached to the elbows. The meaning of 2 Sam. lips do I dwell! That he emphasizes just the unviii. 1 is that the Israelites had the bridle of the clean lips comes from the fact that he had just Philistines, no longer in their mouths indeed, yet heard the Seruphim bring an offer of praise with still on their arms, so that they were hindered clean lips. In contrast with these circumcised from the free use of them. Therefore 1px is the lips he becomes conscious how his are uncircumelbow, from which the meaning "ell” is derived. cised (Exod. vi. 12); in contrast with these Accordingly D'ADN DIDX are the elbows of the calves of the lips (Hos. xiv. 3) and with this fruit sills. The sills are compared to the arms and of the lips (Prov. xviii. 20; Isa. Ivii. 19; Heb. the joints in the angle are the arm joints or xiii. 15) he feels that he is quite unfit for such an elbows. Because the sills, and in fact both the offering, both in respect to his own person, and upper and lower, and as well as the side beams, in respect to that totality to which he belongs; in are joined together in these, therefore they are
fact that this unfitness, when he has gone with the centre of motion, and every shock felt in such it into the jurisdiction of the highest King (xxxiii. a centre must be communicated to all the radii. 22; xli. 21 ; xliii. 15; xliv. 6) must bring upon npå occurs only here in this meaning. D'DP him the sentence of death. “Such is the confes(only here in Isaiah) are the sills, and primarily confession follows the forgiveness of sins, which
sion which the contrite Prophet makes; on this the under sills. For the upper sill is called is confirmed by a heavenly sacrament, and is exhipod and the side posts nirana (Exod. xii. 7, 22, tended to him by a seraphic absolution.” — DE23).' But in our passage D'DD as denominatio a potiori stands for all parts of the door-way. The The altar, which is mentioned, we must think verb ) occurs only in the first part of Isa. vii. of as an altar of incense, since any other kind of 2; xix. 1; xxiv. 20; xxix. 9; xxxvii. 22.- offering than incense in the heavenly sanctuary #up Sop (comp. xl. 3) is primarily “the voice cate an altar of 'incense. From this altar one of of the caller.” But in what precedes it speaks, the Seraphim took with the tongs a 195? “hot Dot of one, but of many criers. Thus we know coal.” That he took it with the tongs, not only that trip is to be taken collectively and as concr. corresponds to the usage of the earthly sanctuary pro abst.
(Exod. xxv. 38; Num. iv. 9; 1 Kings vii. 49), The house filled with smoke.-It was then but has in any case also its internal reasons, as Dot full of smoke from the commencement, and that even in the sphere of heavenly corporal exstill less did a cloud of smoke conceal the Lord istence such distinctions occur. or that the touches Exod. xl. 34; 1 Kings viü. 10. For (ver. 1) ling with the tongs has a symbolical meaning.
nar? (comp. 77. Hab. iii. 5; Song of Solo- of too tender stuff. Ezekiel, too, mon viii. 6) is something aglow, whether coal or wardly at least to have had no relish stone. The word occurs only here (in Isaiah. - taking the commission. For he is ext. Tr.] In the earthly sanctuary the burning of to be disobedient (Ezek. ii. 8), and, the incense was performed by taking coals from the does not express them, his doubts and fea altar of burnt-offering and pouring them on the disarmed (Ezek. ii. 6-iii. 9). _Jonah, the altar of incenze, and then upon these was scattered rebellious and self-willed of all 'Prophets, actua. the incense (Lev. xvi. 12; comp. x. 1). In the flees from the Lord. All these, who would not, ar heavenly sanctuary there was no altar of burnt not even asked if they will, but they must. Isaiah, offering. At all events 1793? designates the glow- who will, is asked. It appears, therefore, that ing body on which the incense was cast in order to the individuals. Where the Lord in His
the manner of the calling is regulated according to burn it. With such a glowing body, therefore, chosen and prepared instruments (Jer. i. 5) obthe Seraph touched the lips of the Prophet in order to reconcile him. The Prophet's lips are affords it the opportunity to manifest itself by the
serves also the subjective readiness of mind, He touched with fire therefore, and that with the same holy fire out of which procee is the cloud of question: “who will.” That the Lord, by this smoke. Thus from the place that occasioned in from Himself is manifest. For how can a thing
question, would not draw out something concealed him before the painful feeling of his uncleanness, be unknown to the Lord? There was, in fact, no must the holy fire penetrate and burn out the entire man. It must burn up all uncleanness. The His question. For, it could only be a man that
one there but Isaiah that could have replied to Seraph shows himself here right properly as could be in question for the undertaking of the
as burner. As water has primarily gener- prophetic office in Israel. No such person exating and fructifying power, but secondarily also cept Isaiah was present. The question is therea judging and destroying power (comp. creation, fore a form by which the Lord honors the the flood, and Baptism), so fire has primarily de 177'?? n17, “free spirit” (Ps. li. 14 (12) ), that vouring, and thereby judging, purifying, and secondarily warming and illuminating power.
He knew was present in the Prophet, in that He Omnia purgat edar ignis, vitiumque metallis erco- gave it opportunity to manifest itself. quit, says Ovid Fasi. iv. 785. Tò rūp kataipei, Who are the many for whom the service is to cò üswp eyviçel (Plut. quæst. rom. 1). Comp. be done? The plural is here as little as Gen. i. Num. xxxi. 23; HERZOG's R. Encycl. IX. p. 26; iii. 22; xi. 7 mere form (Plur.-majest). It is 717 sq.--As here the touching takes place for the rather, as DELITZSCH expresses it, communicapurpose of atonement, so Jer. i. 9 it is for the tively intended. Jehovah includes the whole purpose of inspiration; in Dan. viii. 17 sq.; x. 8 assembly. He honors thereby the assembled 899.; Rev. i. 17, it is for the purpose of imparting ones, by taking for granted that Ilis interest is strength.
theirs and their interest His. Isaiah at once re4. Also I heard-and be healed.-Vers. plies: “Behold, here am I; send me.” This 8-10. The Lord Himself now begins to speak. prompt offer quite corresponds with the strong Having seen Him (ver. 1), Isaiah now hears Him. and bold spirit of Isaiah. There is no need of “I heard” corresponds to the "and I saw” (ver. assuming that he had already been called, and 1). It is worthy of notice that the Lord asks: had already been in office for a time. He, the whom shall I send ? that He, therefore, as it mighty man, is at once conscious that this is his were, calls for volunteers. So we read, too, i aflair. He feels that he can do it, and he will do Kings xxii. 20, that the Lord in an assembly of it, too. We find here not a trace of fear or other heaven, portrayed very much as the one here, consideration. It was, however, no proud selfasks: "Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may sufficiency that led the Prophet. Ile has just been go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead ?" There it reconciled in fact as a sinner. The flame that appears, ver. 23 (from the circumstance that blazes in him and impels him must have been a Micaiah would have been a deceiver, if a real pure flame. He feels himself strong in Him that transaction were reported in vers. 19-22) that makes him mighty (Phil, iv. 13; Isa xl. 29 sq.). this prophet only narrates a fictitious vision. This “ here am î; send me" is, however, so But anyway the representation remains that the grand, in fact, when one reflects on the examples Lord not only gives His servants and messengers of other prophets mentioned already, it is so command and commission according to Ilis own unique in its way, that one understands whereelection, but al:o proposes the undertaking of a fore Isaiah would not put this history of his callcommission to the voluntary determination. Now ing quite in the beginning of his book, but rather when the Lord in our passage, as was said, calls makes it the third portal of his prophetic build. for volunteers, as it were, this is not to be ex. ing. He feared this intrepid ready-mindedness plained by the greater difficulty or danger of the would be found incomprchensible. He puts in mission. For Isaiah's mission was not as difficult advance of it therefore two other enirances, and dangerous as that of Moses or Jererniah. that the reader may learn thereby to know him Now Moses resists the commission all he can and thus come prepared to this scene of his call(Exod. iii.), though he was an
ing. And, in fact, he that has read chapters i.-“
v. must confess that here “is a Prophet” (Ezek. man,” az few were. LUTjier says of him (on the ii. 5; xxxiii. 33), a man that had the stuff in call of l.Ioses, Exod. iii.): “Moses begins, as it him, and the right to say, “Here am I; send were, a wrangling and disputing with God, and me." will not accept this office." Jeremiah refuses be In vers. 9, 10 follows out of the mouth of the cause he feels himself really too young and made Lord Himself the commission that the Prophet
able * אִישׁ חַיִל
must discharge. The manner of imparting this his task. And inasmuch as that judgmi nt is commission is directly the opposite of what is still only a transition point, and by the wonderusual among men in like circumstances. One ful wisdom of the Lord, shall become a forerunseeks, namely, in giving a servant or messenger ner of higher development of salvation, so the a hard commission, to represent it, at least, at servant of God can say this for comfort, that even first, in the most advantageous light. This the out of the judgment of hardening, that it is His Lord does not do. On the contrary, He plainly part to provoke, salvation shall grow.
God's emphasizes just the liardest part. He acts as if wrath, in fact, is never without love. The prethe Prophet were to have nothing joyous to an- liminary earthly judgments, as is well recognized, nounce, but only judgment and hopeless harden- are to be regarded as chastenings, that have a being. Isaiah is called the evangelist of the Old conring-better as their aim. And if a people like Testament. But there is not a trace of it found Israel suffers one judgment after another through here. It is not once said even that he shall warn, thousands of years, and still never becomes better, exhort, threaten. But, overleaping all interme- until at last the Lord Lreak-in pieces the econodiate members, only the sorrowful effect is em- my of the Old Testament, like one shivers an phasized, and that with such pointedness, that, earthen vessel by throwing it on the ground, so what in truth can be only an unintended effect. just this destroying of the old covenant is the preappears as directly designed. It is as if the Lord vious condition to the arising of a new one, that would give the intrepid man that had said "here attains to what the old one could not. But the am I, send me,” to understand at once, that he inclividuals themselves whose hardening and judgwould require all his boldness in order to carry ment is an example and beacon for the afterthrough the commission he undertook. Gram- world? Here we touch on a difficult point. Will matically the words offer almost no difficulty. those whose fall was the riches of the world The intf. absol. in ver. 9 cannot have an intensive (Rom. xi. 12) be eternally damned, or will their meaning, as though the Lord had said: hear and fall here below also for them become some time a see rell, with effort, zeal and diligence. For then means to their conversion and raising them up must they even attain to understanding. But the again? The answer to this appears to me to lie Lord would say: spite of the much, and ceaseless in Rom. ix.-xi But here is not the place to go hearing they shall still understand nothing. This into it more particularly.-Hcart, ear, eye (comp. ceaseless but still fruitless hearing is only the xxxii. 3, 4) are named as the representatives of correlative of that ceaseless but fruitless preach- the inward sense; the heart represents the will, ing, of which especially Jeremiah so often speaks eye and ear the knowing. The heart shall be(Jer. vii. 13, 25; xi. 7, etc.). Let it be noticed, come fat and covered with grease, and thereby be too, that Jeremiah every where points, as the made incapable of emotion. cause of this fruitless hearing, to the 3? ni???, the three organs, it is said what shall be guarded
After it is said what shall be done in regard to the hardness of heart," and the stiffening of the against by such doing; and here a reversed order neck (Dp077 Jer. vii. 26). The Prophet is observed in respect to the positive phrases. dever spoke to the people such words as we read What must be guarded against is something inmein ver. 9. Therefore it cannot be the meaning diate and something mediate. Immediately must of the Lord that He should so speak. But the seeing, hearing and observing be hindered; meLord would say: Whatever thou mayest say to diately the penitent conversion and being saved. this people, say it not in the hope of being under-. In the N. T. our passage is cited five times. stood and regarded, but say it with the conscious-" In Matth. xiii. 14; Mark iv. 12; Luke viii. 10 ness that thy words shall remain not understood it is applied to the fact that Jesus always spoke and not regarded, although they might be under- to the people in parables. Thereby was the prostood and regarded, and that consequently they phecy of our passage fulfilled. Jesus would mamust serve to bring out the complete unfolding of nifestly say: Were I not to speak in parables, that hardness of heart that exists in this people, then they would understand nothing at all; my and thereby be a testimony against this people discourse would outwardly rebound, and not peand a basis of judgment. Thus ver. 10 it is not netrate at all, and consequently effect no condition meant that the Prophet shall do what is the of responsibility on their part. But as I speak by devil's affair, that is, positively and directly lead parables, my discourse at least penetrates so far men off to badness and godlessness. Rather the that a certain relative understanding, and conseLord can ever want only the reverse of this. If, quently, too, a responsibility, is possible. But in then, it says: “harden the heart, deafen the ear, as much as they oppose themselves to the realiplaster up the eyes, that they may not see, nor zation of this possibility of understanding, they hear, nor take notice and be converted to their let it be known that evil has the upper hand in salvation,” still this form of speech seems to me them: thus they pronounce in a measure their to be chosen for the sake of the Prophet. There own judgment. Our passage is cited in John xii. is, namely, a great comfort for him in it. For 40 as explaining why the Jews could not believe what is sadder for a man of God than to see day in Jesus spite of the signs He did. To this end after day and year after year pass away without our passage is construed in the same sense in any fruit of his labor, in fact with evidence that which the Synoptists take it: even the signs of things grow rather worse than better? Is it not Jesus, no naiter how near they come, still do not for such a case a mighty comfort to be able to bring about faith, because the susceptibility is say: that is precisely what the Lord predicted, wanting. Finally in Acts xxviii. 25 sqq. Paul yea, expressly indicated as His relative and pre- makes use of our passage in order to prove genevious intention. Thus one sees that He has rally the unsusceptibility of the Jewish nation to Dot labored in vain, but that He has performed the preaching of the gospel.