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5. Then said I -substance thereof.- phet on the Assyrian dominion, the Babylonian Vers. 11–13. The announcement of the judgmert embassy in Hezekiah's time (chap. xxxix.) on of hardening in vers. 9, 10 sounds quite absolute. that of Babylon. Although, even under A haz Yet the Prophet hears underneath all that it is and Hezekiah, there were wars and great distress not so intended. It is impossible that the Lord by means of the Syrians and the Eplıraimites, as should quite and forever reject His people, and also by the Assyrians, still the destruction was abrogate the prornises given to the fathers. He graciously postponed. asks, therefore, “How long, Lord?” (comp. Ps. In that time, therefore, when the theocracy bevi. 4; xc. 13; Hab. ii. 6). He would say: What gan to show its relations to the worldly powers in are to be quantitively and qualitatively the limits à decisive way, there appeared a prophet, who, of that judgment of hardening? The answer is: thoroughly cultivated under the prosperous peFirst there must be an entire desolation and de- riod of Uzziah and Jotham, could recognize the populating of the land; and when at last still a portentous characteristics of the time of Å haz and tenth of the inhabitants is in the land, that tenth Hezekiah, and see deep into the signs pregnant part also must be decimated till nothing is left with the future; and who could reveal their but the stump of a mot or stem. That shall then meaning with such wisdom, power and art as are be the seed of a holy future. The meaning of the seen in the book of Isaiah. When Uzziah died, words is perfectly clear.
Isaiah was just old enough and far enough adThe construction is as follows: and still there vanced in training to begin the prophetic career; is in it (the land) a tenth part, and this is again under Ahaz he had attained manly maturity; and decimated-after the manner of or in resemblance under Hezekiah, with glorified vision, like one to the terebinth and oak, in which, when felled, a near his death, he beheld the glories of restump remains, its stump (of the tenth) is holy seed. demption. Therefore a stump always remains, and that suf 2. On ver. 1. Jerome inquires: how could Isaiah fices to guarantee a new life and a new glorious have seen the Lord, seeing John says (John i. 20) future. This has been steadily verified in the “No man hath seen God at any time," and God people Israël, both in a corporeal and spiritual Himself said to Moses: “Thou canst not see my respect. After every overthrow, yea, after the face; for there shall no man see me and live, most fearful visitations, that aimed at the very Exod. xxxiii. 20? He replies to the question: extinction of the people, a stump or stem was still that not only the Godhead of the Father, but also always left in the ground. This people is even that of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, are invinot to be destroyed. There is nothing tougher sible to bodily eyes, because one essence is in the than the life of this everlasti Jew. And in Trinity.
But the eye
of the spirit are able to spiritual respects it is just the same. Though behold the Godhead according to the saying: every knee seems to bow to the old or the new blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see Baal, yet the Lord has preserved always a frag- God,” Matt. v. 8. And Augustine cites this sayment (7,000 it is called, 1 Kings xix. 18) in ing of Jerome approvingly, and comments on it faithfulness.
(Epist. ad Fortunatianum) Addendo ergo, etc.:
Therefore by saying in aridition, but the eyes
of the spirit,' he makes vision of this sort totally DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL.
different from every kind of bodily vision. But On ver. 1. The question: why this vision in the lest any might think he spoke of the present year of Uzzial's deatlı? coincides evidently with time, he subjoins the testimony of the Lord, wishthe question: why an Isaiah any way, and why was ing to show what he had called eyes of the spihe needed just at this time? If prophets were to rit: by which testimony the promise is declared, be, then must prophecy at some time culminate; not of a present, bit of a future vision.” and that happened in Isaiah, the greatest of all 3. On ver. 2. FOERSTER explains the fact of the prophets that have written. Thence Isaialı the Seraphim covering their feet with their wings can stand neither at the beginning, nor at the as proof that they would confess that their holiclose. Not at the beginning, for he is far in ad- ness was imperfect and impure in comparison vance of the elementary stadium; he represents with the absolute holiness of God. For this he the summit. Not at the close, for in the days of cites Job iv. 18, “ Behold, IIe put no trust in His decline art cannot flourish. It needs quiet times servants; and His angels He charged with folly," for its develop:nent. Such a quiet time (rela- and xv. 15, “ Behold, He putteth no trust in His tively) was that of the four kings under whom saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in Hie Isaiah labored. Caspari (Beitr. p. 218) says of sight." the Uzziah-Jotham period, that for the kingdom 4. It was even the opinion of many Rabbis of Judah it was 1) a time of great power and that a trace of threeness of the divine essence was prosperity, 2) besile the time of Jehoshaphat (2 contained in the three times holy of the Seraphim. Chr. xvii. 18, 20), it was the greatest period since PETER GALATINUS (Italian, baptized Jew, Franits existence by the rending away of the Ten ciscan monk) in his Arcinis catholicae veritatis II. Tribes from the house of David, 3) the longest 1, has proved this especially of RABBI SIMON continued pro-perity during its existence, 4) the Jochai and JONATAN BEN UFiEL (the Targulast that it had till it fell, 5) the only period of mist). Comp. RAYMUNDUS MARTINI in the prosperity during Isaiah's prophetic ministry. pugio fidei, and especially Jou. MEYER in the But this period of prosperity was, so to speak, Dissertatio theologica de mysterio sacrosanctae trinitaonly the spring-time, the youth and formative pe- tis ec solius V. Ti, libris demonstrato. Harderwich, riod of the Isaiah prophecy. It was under Ahaz 1712. especially that it had to make trial of itself. The On the ground of this recognized reference to league with Assyria fastened the gaze of the Pro- the Trinity, this song of the Seraphim has ob
CHAP. VI. 1-13.
tained great significance in Christian liturgies to , is of God heareth Gol's words: ye therefore hear the present time. “Its introduction into them has them not because ye are not of God.” been ascribed to IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch
Therefore where the word of God comes in († 116), and already in a letter of CLEMENT, Bi- contact with a heterogeneous pole, it is repelled. shop of Rome († 100), there is found a hint of it
. And not only that, but that negative pole becomes Pope Sixtus I. :+ 130) is said to have adopted more intensely negative by the exercise of its neit into the Romisl mass.” SCHOEBERLEIN, Schatz gative power. And the stronger the power that des liturg. Chor. und Gemeindegesangs I. p. 333. provokes its energetic reaction, and the oftener [On the Trislagion comp. a Bib. Encycl. or this provocation occurs, so much the more is it BINGHAM'S Antiquity of the Christian Church, Book strengthened in that negation till it becomes quite XIV. ii. & 3, 4, and Book XV. iii. & 10]. hardened. The magnet loses its power by disuse,
5. On ver. 4. If a typical meaning of the shak- whereas frequent use strengthens it. Thus we ing of the door-posts is insisted on, it must be find that every where the most glorious, clearest, sought in that power of the revelation of divine loveliest testimonies to divine truth are not reglory that affects and moves everything, impress: ceived where the will is wanting to receive them, ing
both personal and impersonal creatures; and i.e., where, to speak biblically, the flesh is stronger an example must be found in the events attend- than the spirit. Therefore must all prophets of ing the death of Christ (Matth. xxvii. 50 sq.). the Lord be hated and persecuted in proportion
6. On ver. 5. “God does not put angels into as they announced the truth mightily and penethe pulpit, but poor, weak men. not know how sinful men are affected; but miniso tratingly; and that hate must attain its climas
opposing Him who was Himself the truth. ters of the Church, chosen from men, know that
8. On ver. 13. “Paul, also, when he represents well.”-FOERSTER. 7. On ver. 8. VITRINGA remarks here that
the rejection of the Jews in Rom. xi., calls the Christian expositors, GROTIUS excepted, explain vered branches that God will again graft'in.”
race, ver. 16, a holy root, and, vers. 23-25, sethe change from the singular to the plural num
STARKE. ber, in “whom shall I send, and who will us" as implying the Trinity. “CALVIN, too,” he says," and PiscaTOR, usually more cautious than others in observations of this sort, here plainly 1. On ver. 3. The thrice holy of the Seraphim ntter this sentiment.” (“This explanation is the a revelation. 1. Of the holiness of God. 2. Of only one that accounts for the difference of num- His glory. 3. Of the Trinity. ber in the verb and pronoun.”—J. A. ALEXAN 2. On vers. 5-8. The way of reconciliation to DER.-TR]: The opinion of the Jews, however, God prefigured by the example of the Prophet is that God is represented metaphorically here, as Isaiah. 1. The beginning of this way is the taking counsel with His family, i. e. the angels. knowledge of sin: a. occasioned by the knowledge VITRINGA remarks also that SANCTIUS attributes of the holiness of God, b. manifesting itself by the to Thomas and Hugo the important emphasis laid confession of sin, c. constraining one co cry for on the plural “for us,” which involves the mean- deliverance (woe is me). 2. The end of this way ing “who will go for us and not for himself." is the forgiveness of sins: a. made possible by the
8. On vers, 9 and 10. What God says to the sacrifices to which the altar points, b. applied by Prophet here rests on a law that may be called the word and sacrament (the address of the angel the law of the polarity of the will. For every and the live coal), c. appropriated by faith (the thing here concerns the will, i. e., that will-do Prophet yields himself to the action of the anthat is conditioned by the will-be (comp. my book, gel). Der Gottmensch, p. 46 sqq.). As in electricity si 3. On ver, 8. Installation address. Whom milar poles repel one another, and dissimilar at- shall I send ? etc. Herein lies: 1. The divine tract, which depends on the principle of deep in- call to office. 2. The high importance of the ward relationship and mutual completion, so in office. 3. The joyful inspiration for the office. like manner it happens in spiritual life. The Hahn. Lord says, John viii. 37: “My word hath no 4. On vers. 9-13. The fruit of preaching. 1. place in yon," and again, ver. 43: “Why do ye It is gratifying only in a small portion of the not understand my speech ? even because ye can hearers (ver. 13b; Matt. xxii. 14). 2. In most not hear my words;" which question he proceeds to learers it is rather mournful, because by preachanswer himself (ver. 44): "ye are of your father ing: a. they are only moved to the full unfolding the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do;" of their enmity; b. they are made ripe for judgand immediately after He says, ver. 47: "He that ment (vers. 11-13a).
THE PROPHET ISAIAH.
II.—THE FIRST GRAND DIVISION.
Israel's Relation to Assyria as Representative of the World-Power generally in
its Destructive Beginning and Prosperous Ending. Chapters vii.-xii. deal wholly with the rela- | against the apparent danger that threatened from tion of Israel to Assyria. They show how the Syria and Ephraim, the ideal figure of a child, way was opened for this relation by the unhappy that finds its type in the half-frightful, half-comleague that Ahaz concluded with the king of As- forting phenomenon of the virgin's son Ímmanuel, syria for protection against Syria and Ephraim. partly in the form of a son born to the Prophet The Prophet announces first that the fear of the himself: types that at the same time are earnest Syrians and of Ephraim is groundless: but Assy- of a preliminary deliverance. ria is to be feared. Taking with Assyria a com In the second part (chap. ix. 7-X. 4) the Proprehensive view of all later developments of the phet turns to the Israel of the Ten Tribes, with a world-power, he announces to Israel a second ex- 'short, as it were, passing word. Prompted by ile, corresponding to that of Egypt as the first, but their proud words, as if it were a little thing for also a second return, corresponding to that glo- them to make good the loss so far sustained from rious return in which Moses led them. This de- Assyria, the Prophet announces to Ephraim that liverance will be brought about by a Branch that what they regarded as the end was only the first is to be expected from the house of David, that of many degrees of ruin that they were to suffer shall spring as son of a virgin from the apparently from Assyria. dried up root of this house, and, in the might of the In the third part (chap. x. 5-xii. 6) the ProSpirit of God, will found a kingdom of peace that phet turns against Assyria itself. Because it sball embrace and have dominion over all nature. would not be the instrument of the Lord in the
This prophetic cycle divides in three parts. In Lord's sense, 10 it is announced its own destructhe first part (chap. vii. l--ix. 6) the Prophet op- tion, but to Israel deliverance and return by the poses to the false reliance on the aid of Assyria Messiah the Prince of Peace.
A.-THE PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVE OF THE TIME OF AHAZ.
CHAP. VII. 1-IX. 6. In the beginning of the reign of Ahaz Judah the Prophet must set up a public tablet with the was seriously threatened by the league between inscription, Maher-shalal-hash-baz. When the Syria and Ephraim. Thereupon Isaiah received boy was born, he received these words as his the commission from Jehovah to say to Ahaz that name. And it was revealed as the meaning of the there was nothing to fear from Syria and Ephraim. words, that before the boy could say father and Ahaz being summoned to ask for a sign as pledge mother, the spoil of Damascus and Samaria would of the truth of this announcement, refused to do be carried away by the king of Assyria. By this
In punishment a sign is given to him. He second child, then, substantially the same thing must hear that a virgin of the royal house, proba- was predicted as by the first, the son of the virbly his daughter, is pregnant, and will bear a gin. Both prophecies must in general have oc
But this son of a virgin shall receive the curred in the same period, in the beginning of the exceeding comforting name, “Immanuel.” Be- reign of Ahaz (743 B. C.). Only the announcefore he will be able to distinguish between good ment of Immanuel precedes somewhat that of and evil, the lands of Syria and Ephraim shall be Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Wherefore this double forsaken and desert. But danger threatens from prediction of the same thing? It seems to me that side from which Ahaz hopes for help and de- that the announcement of Immanuel was intended liverance—that is, from Assyria. For Assyria immediately for the royal family. For it was a will turn the holy land into a desert. Shortly af- sign involving punishment (comp. comment on ter, the Prophet announces that a son will be born vii. 14). But the people, too, were mightily conto himself. He does not do this publicly, how- cerned in this affair. Therefore there was given ever, but 10 two reliable men. At the same time to them a special sign by Maher-shalal. Such is
the extent of the two prophecies at the beginning to his disciples, then we may well conceive why of Ahaz's time. It is seen that each has for its it is introduced just here. First, it has the same central point the future birth of a child. From obscure prophetic background that was given by viii. 5 on follows a series of short utterances, all the perspective of the abandonment of Israel to of which relate to the same subjects. The words the power of Assyria; and then, like both the viii. 5-8 are a warning directed primarily to chief prophecies described above, it makes the Ephraim, not to despise the kingdom of Judah, dispersion of that obscurity by the clear light of nor to over-estimate the power of Syria and salvation proceed from the person of a child that Ephraim, for Assyria will overflow the latter like is to be looked for. a strear, and then, of course, Judah too. Chap. We may accordingly sketch out the division viii. 9–15 contains a threatening proclamation to of our section as follows: the nations of that time that conspired against Judah, and a warning to Judah not to fear these I. The two chief prophecies concerning the birth conspiracies, but rather to let the Lord be the of the virgin's son and the Prophet's son. vii. only subject of fear. Finally a conclusion follows
1-viii. 4. (viii. 16-ix. 6) which sounds almost like the 1. The prophecy of the virgin's son Immanuel. testament of the Prophet to his disciples.
vii. 1-25. after a brief prayer to Jehovah to seal the law and a) Isaiah and Ahaz at the conduit of the testimony in the hearts of his disciples, he sets
upper pool. vii. 1-9. forth himself and his disciples as living signs and b) Isaiah in the bosom of the royal family wonders that exhort men to have faith in Jeho
announcing a sign: the Virgin's Son vah, warns against the temptation to superstitious
Immanuel. vii. 10-25. divination, and exhorts to cleave to the law and 2. Isaiah giving the whole nation a sign by the testimony. For only therein, in the troublous days birth of his son Maher-shalal-hash-baz. viii. to come, may be found comfort and restoration. 1-4.
And now that the prophet's testament may be also a prophetic testament, prayer and exhortation II. Supplements. merge into a prophetic vision. The gaze of the 1. Those that despise Shiloah shall be punished Prophet is directed to the remote future. Dark by the waters of the Euphrates. viii. 5–8. lies the future before him. But just in the quar 2. Threatening against those that conspire ter that the darkness is deepest, in the least re against Judah, and against those that fear garded northern border of the holy land, he sees these conspiracies. viii. 9-15. a bright light arise, which marvellously (one in 3. The testament of the Prophet to his discisoluntarily calls to mind CORREGGIO's painting of ples. viii. 16-ix. 6. the Nativity) has its origin in the person of a a) Prayer and exhortation merging into child, that proves to be the promised Branch of prophetic vision. viii. 16–23 (ix. 1). David, and restorer of David's kingdom to ever b) The light of the future proceeding from Jasting power and glory. If our conjecture is
a child, that is to be born of the race of correct, that we have here the Prophet's testament David.' ix. 1-16 (2–7).
1.-THE TWO CHIEF PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE BIRTH OF
THE VIRGIN'S SON AND OF THE PROPHET'S SON.
CHAPTER VII. 1–VIII. 4.
1. THE PROPHECY OF THE VIRGIN'S SON IMMANUEL.
CHAP. VII. 1-25.
a) Isaiah and Abaz at the conduit of the upper pool.
CHAP. VII. 1-9. 1 AND it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah,
king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not "prevail
against it. 2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria 'is confederate with Ephraim.
And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are 3 moved with the wind. Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz,
thou, and 'Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the 4 'highway of the fuller's field; and say unto him,
Take heed, and be quiet;
For the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah,
Have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 6 Let us go up against Judah, and bd vex it,
And let us make a breach therein for us,
And set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal : 7 Thus saith the Lord God,
It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Syria is Damascus,
And the head of Damascus is Rezin ;
And the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son.
3 That is. The remnant shall return.
Heb. let not thy heart be tonder. 6 Heb. from a people.
1 Heb. resteth on Ephraim.
• Before these two smoking torch-ends.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL. CHAP. VII. Ver. 1. 775y is used not only of motion | the Niph. pwy occurs in Isaiah only hero. 720. Niph. towards a place that is conceived of as higher (e. g., 1 of 3737; with the exception of Ps. lv. 22, it always occurs Kings xii. 27 sqq.; 2 Kings xxiv. 1, and 777 of the oppo- in connection with 375 3) in the sense of besite, e. g. 1 Kings xxii. 2 ; 2 Kings viii. 29) but also of any coming weak, timorous (Deut. xx. 3; Jer. li. 46; 2 Ki. hostile proceeding, entering on a plan (1 Sam. xvii. 23, xxii. 19; Job xxxiii. 16); it does not occur again in Isa. 26 ; Mich. ii. 13; Neh. ii. 2, etc). — changed 2 Kings Only once he uses the Pual i. 6. 331 (according to Isa. xvi. 5 to 357, comes from the preceding by, and from ix. 13, 14; xix. 15) " the tail, the end piece.” TIX (found the additional idea, perhaps, that Rezin was the chief beside only Am. iv. 11; Zech. iii. 2) is the charred stick Ver. 2. 1943 is never used in the sense of niti, confidere. “smoking,” only here in Isaiah, and Exodus xx. 18.
of wood that may have been used to stir the fire. pero But it is used of swarms of birds, grasshoppera and flies, 111 98 inna, to understand the prefix ? to be of that settle down somewhere (ver. 19; Exod. x. 14; 2 Sam. xxi. 10). Such is its meaning here: the army of
time = "while glowing" (DRECHSLER, DELITZSCH, KyoSyria has settled down like a swarm of grasshoppers on BEL, GESENTU8) seems to me unsuitable. 1? marks the the spot where the army of Ephraim was encamped. object of fear. 3 following rather distributes the comComp. 2 Sam. xvii. 12. On the fem. nn) after 78
mon notion "smoking firebrands” to the two so-named, 2 Sam. viii. 5; x. 10; coll. xiv. 15, 18.
as I often stands after general expressions of number, occurs again in Isaiah only xxxvi. 2.
(especially after 13). Comp. Exod. xii. 19, “ whosoever abon Isaiah used often beside here: xxxvi. 2; xi. 16; eateth leaven shall be cut off y?N? 177X? 7:23." xix. 23; xxxiii. 8; xl. 3; xlix. 11; lix. 7; lxii. 10. Das Gen. vii. 21; ix. 2, 10. Comp. Ewald, 217 sq. The LXX. only here and xxxvi. 2, in Isaiah.
translates singularly όταν γαρ οργή του θυμού μου γένηVer. 4. After pun should follow properly a nega ται, πάλιν ιάσομαι. Και ο νιος του Αράμ και ο υιός του tive notion, whence the word always has atter it the 'Ponediov, etc. GESENIUS correctly conjectures that the conjunctions 1.9 or 48
The fundamental fore a negation must be supplied out of the following
, "take heed of (unbelieving, thus sinful) dis- meaning is : "to experience a shaking, a shock.” From quietude, but rather be quiet.” The direct causative quaking," (ver. 16, Exod. i. 12; Num. xxii. 3); b) taedere,
this are derived the meanings a) timere, “trembling, Hiphil M207 has evidently the meaning that Ahaz fastidire
. Disgust brings about a shock (comp. " es must control his anxiety, quiet himself. The word oc schüttelt mich ") which, when it is powerful, occasions curs in Isaiah again xxx. 15; xxxii. 17; lvii. 20, whereas I vomiting (Rip) (comp. e. g. Gen. xxvii. 46; Num. sui.
or rather ,ארפאבן reads אפרצין translator instead of