Obrazy na stronie

this boy was called, and was de jure, and indeed | mined on the most glorious visitation of the peode jure divino, Immanuel, even though the king ple (Luke i. 78) in the person of the God-man, (or his mother) gave him no name at all, or ano- precisely for that time when the nation would lose ther name. (See addenda of TR. pp. 127, 128.] the last remnant of its independence in the em

But how shall we account for so unholy a trans-brace of the secular power. All the features must action being made the type of the holiest transac not be pressed; which is the case with ver. 15 tion of history? Here we must consider the re- sqq. especially. The prophetic word hovers freelation of our passage to Matt. i. 23. The sacred ly over present and future, combining both, yet history narrates that Mary, before Joseph took leaving both their peculiarities. It was God's her home, was found with child, and that Joseph providence that Isaiah should select these words had resolved not to denounce her, but to leave that at the same time fitted so wonderfully the her privately (Matt. i. 18 sq.). Ought it to sur event narrated Matth. i. 18 sqq., to whom the prise us if this part of the history of the fulfilment tongue of an Isaiah was just as subservient as that should be prefigured, too, in the period of the pro- of a Caiaphas (Jno. xi. 51). phecy? But why just so and then? If that event, 3. Butter and honey—the King of As. that the mother of the Lord was to be found preg- syria.-Vers. 15–17. Butter and honey is by no nant before marriage, was to be prefigured, could means a mean food. That appears from Deut. it be done otherwise than that there should hap- xxxii. 13, 14; Job xx. 17, where the words rather pen to a virgin in a natural way and in sinful fa mean a very noble food. Comp. 2 Sam. xvii. 29. shion what happened to Mary in a supernatural Nor do they appear in any passage of the Old way and without sin? Sinful generation occurs Testament, as children's food. Rather from ver. in the list of the ancestors of Jesus more than 21 sqq. it appears that butter and honey repreonce. Compare only the genealogy in Matthew sent natural food in contrast with that procured that calls especial attention to these cases by by art. For butter comes immediately from milk, naming the mother concerned. Remember Ju- and honey, too, may be had ready from bees in a dah and Tamar. And not to mention Rahab and form that men can enjoy. And as Palestine had Ruth, there is Solomon, born of David and the and still has many wild bees, on account of wife of Uriah. “Behold, I was shapen in ini- which it is called a land “flowing with milk quity and in sin did my mother conceive me," Ps. and honey”. (comp. Exod. iii. 8, 17, sqq. and the li. 7, applies to the whole genealogy, and, apart characteristic passage 1 Sam. xiv. 25 sqq. ; Jud. from the birth, we must apply to every individual xiv. 8), therefore we may suppose that wild of it the words: “there is none that doeth good, honey (Matth. jii. 4) is especially meant here. no, not one” (Ps. xiv. 3; Rom. iii. 10 sg.). Let Therefore the boy shall eat butter and honey on one call to mind the sins of a Jacob, a David, a to the time when he shall know evil and good Solomon, and one must say it depends on circum- (anni discretionis). If the ability to distinguish stances which was the more unworthy vessel, they good and evil is employed as marking a period of or this unfortunate virgin. In short, we here time, it can only be in a moral sense.

For even stumble on secrets of divine sovereignty that we

the smallest child distinguishes in a physical cannot fathom. The day shall declare it (1 Cor.

sense what tastes bad and what good. Moreover iij. 13).

the expression reminds one of Gen. ii. 9, 17; iii. Moreover Immanuel is only a transitory appa- 5, 22; comp. Deut. i. 39. Naturally the land rition. He is named only here and chåp. viii. must be deserted before the boy knows how to disIt is a single though significant point, that is visible tinguish between good and evil, in order that at above the horizon once and then disappears again. the time when this happens, his food may be reTherefore it is also to be noted that spite of Matt. i. duced to butter and honey. 23, and that the words of the angel Luke i. 31 re

The two kings of the land are Rezin and Pemind us of our text and of Gen. xvi. 11, Mary still kah. It may be seen from ver. 2 how great was did not receive command to call her son Immanel. the dread of these experienced by Ahaz. Had our passage the significance that is attributed

The Lord shall bring, etc. — It is to be to it; were it a direct prophecy of the birth of noticed here, first of all, that the Prophet adds Jesus from a virgin, then properly the name that these words roughly and directly, without any the son of Mary was to bear was already settled, particle connecting them with what goes before. and one can't comprehend why the angel (Luke This mode of expression is explained by the fact i. 31) gives another name. But Immanuel is not that the Prophet contemplates the transactions of Himself and immediately Jesus. He is only a

ver. 17 as immediately behind those of ver. 16. type, like many others. And, indeed, as a son of From his point of view he sees no interval bea virgin, He is a type of that reproach of antenup-tween them. That is not the same as saying that tial conception which the Saviour of the world there is no interval between. Prophecy sees all had to bear as a part of the general reproach that as if in one plane, that in the fulfilment is drawn was meted out to Him, and which He has now-a- apart in successive planes. Hence one may say: days to bear still. This is a point that prophecy Isaiah prophesies here the Assyrian and Babyloînight not pass in silence, and yet could touch nish exile. For the desolation that (ver. 16) is to only lightly.

befall Ephraim happened by the carrying away But by his name he points to the faithfulness of the Ten Tribes (comp. 2 Kings xyii. 6, 23 of God that will not forsake His people, even

sqq.). But what the Prophet predicts ver. 17 sqq.

was fulfilled by the captivity of Judah more than when they have become a D'NA?;?, and have 120 years later. Accordingly, the relation of the signalized their desertion of Him by the alliance prophecy to the fulfilment takes the following with the secular power. And this faithfulness is shape. Our prophecy must have happened in itself a pledge in turn of that which had deter-| the beginning of the reign of Ahaz, consequently

about the year B. C. 743. The first devastation, not there, there would be no hint as to who was and partial desolation of the territory of Ephraim to be the instrument of the judgment predicted by the Assyrians, i.e., by Tiglath-Pileser, hap- vers. 16, 17. The words connect very well with pened already in the time of Pekah (2 Kings xv. days” in apposition as being explanatory- for 29), who died B. C. 739. The boy, that was to be it is just as easy to say “bring days on a people” born according to ver. 14, in fact did not live to as “bring a king upon any one.” see any period of the desolation of his native 4. And it shall come to pass-tread. land, nor did he use butter and honey in the man- ing lesser cattle.- Vers. 18–25. These verses ner designated. This form of expression is trace connect very closely with ver. 17, as its amplifiable solely to contemplation of events together cation. This happens as follows: that in a section that in reality are far apart. For Judah suc- underlying which is a duality, there is described cumbed to such a devastation not till 130 years first, the means and instruments of the desolation, later. But if we may assume that a child awakes second the consequences of the desolation. The to moral consciousness in its third or fourth year, means and instruments are characterized in a twoand is consequently to be regarded as a personal- fold image. First, the destroyer is compared to ity, capable of distinguishing between good and flies and bees, second, to a razor. The flies mean evil, then that child was alive to see the first in Egypt, the bees Assyria. But both images merge road of the Assyrians into the territory of into one, into that of the razor, and Assyria apEphraim (and Syria according to 2 Kings xvi. 9) pears as the razor, by which we are to understand and consequently the beginning of the fulfilment not Assyria alone, but also Babylon. The conof our prophecy. But did it live to see the begin- sequences of the desolation, again, are portrayed ning, then the Prophet might regard it as one under a double figure, or rather by the presentathat had lived through the entire fulfilment, be- tion of two examples. The first example: a man cause, as remarked before, he does not distinguish has nothing of his cattle left but a little cow successive plains of fulfilment. And he has good (young cow). But he feeds on thick milk, for, in reason for this. For as all consequences are con consequence of the superabundance of food for tained in the principle, so in the first-fruits of stock, the remnant of the inhabitants will feed on fulfilment are contained the rest of the degrees of butter and honey. The second example is itself fulfilment. For him, who has an eye open to again divided in two: a.) a vineyard once well divine realities, all these degrees are ideally con, cultivatel, planted with noble vines, is so overtained, b'it just on that account divinely and grown with thorns and thistles, that no one venreally contained in the degree that is the first tures into it without bow and arrow; b.) all the fruits. For divine ideas bear the pledge of their once cultivated heights are so overgrown with reality in themselves. Therefore where a com thorns and thistles, that they are only fit for the plex of divine ideas is realized even in its begin- pasture of cattle. nings, there the whole is become real for Him who

Will hiss, etc.— Jehovah's might and sovecontemplates things with an eye divinely illuminated. Thus Jeremiah regards the world-domin- reignty will reveal itself here in the most gloriion of Nebuchadnezzar, the subjection of all na

ous manner. We only needs to whistle (comp. on tions under his power, and the seventy years of

v. 26; Zech. x. 8), and the flies of Egypt and the Julah's exile as realized practically by the bees of Assyria come obedient to His call. That battle at Carchemish, although, to human eyes,

Egypt was a land abounding in flies may be supNebuchadnezzar during several years did nothing posed from the warmth of its climate and the freto extend his kingdom on one side or other. Exod. viii. 12 sqq. If the flies at the extreme

quent overflows with their slimy sediment. Comp. Comp. my remarks on Jer. xxv. 11. So, too, the ends of the canals (see crit. note on 78') are called, Lor: say3 Matth. xxiv. 31; Luke xxi. 32, " This those that are nearer would not stay away. The generation shall not pass away till all this be fulfilled.” He could, with entire justice, say that expression then means that all the Égyptian flies,

even the farthest off, shall come on. -The Assyrthe generation then living would live to see the last judgment because they would witness the be- ians are compared to the bee as noble, martial, ginning of it, the destruction of Jerusalem. Comp. Comp. KNOBEL in loc. Therefore the entire land,

Assyria had many bees.

strong, dangerous. VAN OOSTERZEE on Luke xxi. 32. It is seen from the foregoing that, regarding brooks, and to the prickly thorn hedges and the

to the steep, rocky ravines and cliffs of the the passage in the light of its fulfilment, we understand the king of Assyria” ver. 17, to include trampled cattle pastures will be covered in the king of Babylon. But Isaiah could speak comp. a ver. 2) with the swarms of flies and bees. here only of the king of Assyria. For in the fore- Thus, extensively and intensively, an entire devasground of his tableau of the future he saw only tation of the land is predicted. The same appears the king of Assyria. He did not know, or did not by the second figure ver. 20. Ahaz, at a great need to intimate that the king of Babylon stood price, had hired the Assyrian king as an ally behind the former as continuer and accomplisher. against Syria and Ephraim. For this purpose The Assyrian king, this would-be-helper and pro- he had not only sacrificed great treasures but also tector, for whose sake A haz has so impiously con- the independence of his land. For he had caused temned the support of Jehovah (see on ver. 12), it to be said to Tiglath-Pileser: "I am thy serjust he must be designated as the instrument of vant and thy son, come up and save me out of the judgment.that was to burst in on unbelieving the hand of ihe king of Syria and out of the hand Judah and its equally unbelieving royal house. of the king of Israel." 2 Kings xvi. 7. For this Thus it appears how impossible it is to treat the purpose he sent the Assyrian the gold and silrer words "the king of Assyria” as a gloss, like that was in the house of Jehovah and in the KNOBEL and DIESTEL do. If the words were house of the king. The definite article in un

177950n, “the hired razor," was both historically row in order to hunt, or to protect himself? I justified and comprehensible to Ahaz, who must believe, with GESENIUS, both. He that goes in have felt the reproach that lay in the expression. will need his weapons for protection; he that Thou hast hired a razor to shave others, says would hunt needs only to go into the nearest Isaiah to him, but this razor will shave thee. in vineyard. The protecting fence is gone; beasts Lev. xiv. 8 sq. the shaving off all the hair on the wild and tame, penetrate inio it.

The vineyards body is prescribed as a part of the purification to of Israel are now a copy of what Israel itself as be observed by one recovered from leprosy. Per- the vineyard of Jehovah had become (ver. 5). haps the Prophet would intimate that this devas

[J. A. ALEXANDER on vii. 14-16. “The two tation was also an act of purification, by which interpretations that appear to me the most plausithe nation was to be purified from the leprosy of ble, and the least beset with difficulties are those sin, that therefore the punishment is intended for of Lowth and Vitringa, with which last the improvement of those that would accept the HENGSTENBERG's is essentially identical. Either chastisement (Prov. viii. 10; xix. 20). The the Prophet, while he foretells the birth of shaving bald evidently signifies the entire devas- Christ, foretells that of another child, during tation and emptying of the land in every quarter whose infancy the promised deliverance shall be and with regard to men, cattle and every other experienced; or else he makes the infancy of possession.

Christ Himself, whether seen as still remote or In vers. 21-25, the degree and extent of the not, the sign and measure of that same deliverdevastation is portrayed by two illustrative figures. ance.

While some diversity of judgment ought The first example shows that instead of skilfu! to be expected and allowed in relation to this cultivation, the grass shall grow rank. A man

secondary question, there is no ground, gramrescues from his stock a heifer, the Prophet sup- matical, historical or logical, for doubt as to the poses, (comp. xv. 5; Jer. xlviii. 34 ; Deut. xxi. main point, that the church in all ages has been 3; 1 Sam. xvi. 2) and two sheep. Because there right in regarding this passage as a signal, and is no regular cultivation, grass grows in every explicit prediction of the miraculous conception field. Therefore there is abundant pasture for and nativity of Christ.” On op?ynt

. "the Alma." the few cattle. Beside, the wild bees produce “ It is enough for us to know that a virgin or unhoney in abundance. Thus honey and butter are the food of that man and of all the remnant of married woman is designated here as distinctly the inhabitants still in the land. The second ex:

as she could be by a single word. That the word ample presents a still greater degree of unculti- means simply a young woman, whether married vated wildness; the whole land growing rank with

or unmarried, a virgin or a mother, is a subterthorns and thistles. And this greatest wildness fuge invented by the later Greek translators, who, appears in a double gradation : first, every place the old version raphbvos, which had its rise before

as Justin Martyr tells us, read veavis, instead of for growing wine appears covered with thorns and thistles (vers. 23, 24), and then the same is the prophecy became a subject of dispute beaffirmed of all the hills. "It is hard to find a dis 'ween Jews and Christians. "The use of the word tinction here, because wine grows on the hills, in this connection makes it, to say the least, exor mountains, too. It seems to me that the Pro tremely probable that the event foretold is somephet carries out completely in this last member thing more than a birth in the ordinary course

of nature.” the duality which, as was remarked, rules in the whole section. Everything is double. Already riage of Ahaz, or of Isaiah, or by the presence

“ To account for the Alma by a second marin ver. 18 we have flies and bees, meaning Egypt of a pregnant woman, or the Prophe's pointing and Assyria; ravines and clefts of the rock ; thorn-hedges and pastures. Only ver. 20 neglects

may be justly charged with gratuitously the rule, because the Prophet would designate assuming facts of which we have no evidence, the two enemies in an unity. But ver. 21° and and which are not necessary to the interpretation on, this rule of duality is carried out, and at the though they may afford a sign in one of the

“A further objection is, that close becomes emphatic. We observe two degrees of growing wild. In the first appear: one man

senses of the word, viz. : that of an emblem or and the entire remnant of the inhabitants, cattle symbol, they do not afford such a sign as the conand sheep, butter and honey. The second degree, probable, after the offer to Ahaz, which he re

text would lead us to expect. It seems very imsubdivides in two again, in which appears to me to lie the emphasis, and both are characterized jected, that the sign bestowed (unasked) would by the double notions of thorn and thistle, arrow

be merely a thing of every-day occurrence, or at and bow, a seeding place for cattle, and a tramp

most the application of a symbolical name. This ling place for sheep. The thousand vines and presumption is strengthened by the solemnity thousand shekels recall Song of Sol. viii. 11. In with which the Prophet speaks of the predicted Syria at the present time the vineyards are still birth, not as a usual and natural event, but as taxed according to the number of the vines; a

something which excites his own astonishment, good vine at one Piaster about four cents.

as he beholds it in prophetic vision.” Therefore, the price of one shekel = to about 25 Author's theory of the Alma being an unmarried

This last objection applies equally to the cents is high. Îhe construction of ver, 23 betrays princess detected in pregnancy. In addition to a certain luxuriance and rankness. The first or the last 77'7" "shall be" is certainly an excess.

all the other assumptions of this theory, which

are greater than those of any other, it must be Perhaps the Prophet would thereby express by assumed that the pregnancy was at a stage that word painting the rank growth of the weeds. could be kept secret from the scrutiny that ever Will one go into the property with bow and ar- 1 characterized the regime of the women's apart

at her,” ir

ניבטרם יֵדַע הַנַּעַר The chief dificulty is that in

ments in an oriental family. Otherwise it would | CHAELIS and others suppose (vid. J. A. ALEX. in be no sign in the Author's sense.

loc.); and ver. 16 is (with HENDERSON) to be The Author's threefold canon has its founda- understood of Canaan and its two kingdoms, tion in what are obviously conjectures. Whether Ephraim and Judah. This view encounters the sign was to be such as Ahaz was to test, fewer difficulties than any other, while such as it because he would see it accomplished, depended does encounter are felt as much by any other. precisely on the sign itself. It might be a sign On the other hand it is much in favor of this like that to Moses Exod. iii. 12, which could only view, that there is then in ver. 17 simply a conbe fulfilled after other events predicted, with tinuation and amplification of the theme begun in which it was associated as a sign, had come to ver. 16, and no such abruptness as the Author, with pass. Comp. Isa. xxxvii. 30. It may have most expositors, finds in what ver. 17 announces. been like those signs given by Christ to unbe

? lievers in His day, that were not meant to induce the 'I must be given the force of “but” (UMbelief in those that asked, but were the refusal of a sign to them. (vid.' Jno. ii. 18-22; Mat. BREIT). Yet '? may have its usual sense "for," xii. 38-40). If it was such a sign, then the and assign the reason why an Immanuel, that Author's first canon is an error.

Whether the knows good and evil, shall be needed. For before sign was meant for the whole royal family, ac- such a one comes, those that call good evil and cording to this third canon, depends wholly evil good (vid. v. 20), etc., shall have brought the on the “house of David” having the meaning inheritance of Jehovah to that extremity, by he gives it. Yet that meaning has no other their unbelief, where only such a deliverer can foundation than the conjecture that Isaiah had save.—TR. intruded on the private, domestic retirement of

On ver. 18. Assyria and Egypt are named Ahaz. The second canon, viz.: that the sign in as the two great rival powers, who disturbed the its form must be punitive, is only an assumption. peace of Western Asia, and to whom the land of The contrary is as easily assumed.

Israel was both a place, and a subject of contenThe connection of the words verg. 10-16 with tion. The bee cannot of itselfdenote an army, nor is the ver. 9 b is very close. The belief there chal- the reference exclusively to actual invasion, but to lenged is, by a second message, brought to the test. annoying and oppressive occupation of the country Ahaz does not stand the test. He does not believe, by civil and military agents of these foreign powor he would joyfully avail himself of the offered ers. It was not merely attacked, but

infested by sign, as Hezekiah did later 2 Kings, xx. 8 sq. flies and bees of Egypt and Assyria. Fly is underThereupon Isaiah proceeds to denounce the con- stood as a generic term, including gnats, mosquisequences already threatened ver. 9b, that must toes, etc., by HENDERSON, and bee as including follow unbelief. But first, as to unbelieving wasps and hornets, by Hitzig and UMBREIT.Saul was announced the man after God's own

On ver. 20. "The rabbinical interpretation heart that was to be raised up in his place, so to of 0.527 nyin is a poor conceit, the adoption of Ahaz is announced, in a clearer light than ever which by GESENIUS (and NAEGELSBACH-TR.), before, the promised "seed of the woman” who if nothing worse, says but little for the taste and would deliver Israel. But before that would the “æsthetic feeling" which so often sits in come to pass, the two kingdoms of which Israel judgment on the language of the Prophet. The was composed, Judah as well as Ephraim must true sense is no doubt the one expressed by suffer desolation. Thus the prophecy of Im- EWALD (von oben bis unten) [from head to foot] manuel relates to Christ alone, as J. H. Mi-I and before him by CLERICUS.” J. A. ALEX.]



CHAPTER VIII. 1-4. 1 MOREOVER the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great *roll, and write in it with 2 a man's open concerning 'Maher-shalal-hash-baz. And I took unto me faithful wit3 nesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I

’went unto the prophetess; and she conceived and bare a son. Then said the LORD 4 to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before the child shall have know

ledge to cry, My father, and my mother, $the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria

Heb. approached unto.

1 Heb. in making speed to the spoil, he hastencth the proy, or, make speed, etc.
3 Or, he that is before the king of Assyria shall take away the riches.

b stylus.

I will take,

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL. On ver. 1. Oyn (found only here and Exod. xxxii. 4), 1 (on particip.). „ can thus be taken only as a dedicais an instrument for cutting in, engraving in wood, tion or as stating the aim. Both there ways of explainmetal, wax, etc., the chisel, style. It stands here as sty- | ing it agree in not taking 7770 as intin., but as a verbal lus, metonymically as efficiens pro effecto, i.e., the writing adjective like Zeph. i. 14. (comp. Spa, ixp). But they instrument stands for the writing. VIIX on seems differ in sense. This can be no dedication in the comto me not to mean writing of the common man in dis mon sense. For there is no gift to be presented to tinction from that of men of higher degree, say, a popu

Maher-shalal, only the attention of the nation is directed lar as distinguished from priestly writing. (In an or

to him. The can define therefore only the reference dinary and familiar hand, J. A. ALEXANDER, BARNES.] or the destiny, the aim. It is thereby said that this For in the first place it is very doubtful if vijx tablet with its inscription concerns a Maher shalal

hash-baz, but of whom absolutely nothing is known, has this meaning. The word is distinguished from not even whether a person or a thing. Comp. Ezek. 07x comp. Ps. lxxiii. 5) but only by its poetic use. It

xxxvii. 16. The cas is different with Jeremiah xlvi. 2;

xlviii. 1; xlix. 1. Comp. on Jer. xlvi. sqq. occurs in Isaiah six times, here, and xiii. 7, 12; xxiv, 6; On ver. 2. 928 777'jlli the LXX. translates páptupáo Ixxiii. 8; li. 7; lvi. 2. In the second place we have no Mot troinoov, as if 7777! stood in the text. So, too, trace of there being two sorts of writing in use among the Syr., Chald. and Arae. in the London Polyglot the Hebrewe before the exile. The passages Hab. ii.

which HITzig follows. The VULG. translates: "et adhi2; Ps. xlv. 2, cited by some in support of the notion, bui ;” it therefore read 777X1; and so, too, would

TTTT prove nothing. I much rather believe that a contrast EICHHORN, DE WETTE, ROORDA, 'KNOBEL, and others read. of human and superhuman writing is meant,

For as

But, after ma'ure consideration, I find there is no ground Paul distinguishes between human and angel tongues for departing from the reading of the text.

1 Cor. xiii. 1) so we may distinguish between human | fectly supported by testimony. First of all it is the and angel writing. Of the latter, Dan. v.5 sqq. offers 118 more difficult reading, and both the others give evian example. Comp. Exod. xxxii. 32; Ps. Ixix. 29; dence of being attempts to relieve the difficulty by cor

Xxxix. 16; Dan. xii. 1; Rev. xix. 12; xx. 12, 15; xxi. rection. Then, too, Isaiah never uses the cohoriative 12, 27. For the prophets were not merely “ hearers of form with the weakened sense, as it occurs elsewhere the words of God," but also “men whose eyes were with the Vav consec. imperf. in the first pers., especially open,

," "who saw the vision of the Almighty " (Numb. in Dan., Ezra, and Neh.' Thus the form 77'yxi espeIXİV. 3, 4). The is variously explained. It is taken cially occurs Neh. xiii. 21 (along with Ty$ 'ibid. ver. as constructio periphrastica (acceleratura sunt spolin or ac 15). Why did not Isaiah write 7yx) as Jeremiah did celerationi spolia, comp. Gen. xv. 12; Jog. ii. 5; Isa. x. 32;

in precisely the same sense, chap. xxxii. 10? Comp. 1 . 28; xxxviii. 20, etc.), as depending on and in the Kings ii. 42. The form 777'yay is found Deut.xxxi. 28; sense of commanding (1 Chr. xxi. 17), as sign of dedica- Ps. 1. 7; lxxxi. 9; Jer. vi. 10, everywhere as cohortative. tion, or as stating the object. The first two explana

-07 777 like Jer. xxxii. 10, 25, 44.

On ver. 4. Xy' - "one will bear.' tions are inadmissible, because would then fit only of possession, riches, treasures is found beside here z. the first member (1779 as infinitive), not the second | 14; 1x. 5, 11; Ixi. 6.

It is per


in the sense חיל


1. Moreover the Lord said — the king Uriah and Zechariah shall act as witnesses. of Assyria.-- Vers 1-4. A con pound token! What they are to witness is as

stated as First, Isaiah is to take a large tablet (only found that Isaiah shall accomplish the will of the LORD beside iii. 23 ; here is meant certainly a tablet in regard to the witnesses and that he actually coated with smooth wax), and write on it with did this. The latter is assumed as being a matter human handwriting some words. It is therefore of course. This scantiness is too common in the asenmed here that there is a superhuman hand- prophetic manner of narrating to cause us any writing (see Text. and Gram.) and that the Prophet I surprise. The former is to be obtained from the could understand and make use of it (comp. context. For when we read immediately after : Dan, v. 5 sqq.). But Isaiah must not employ “And I went unto the Prophetess," etc., it is this superhuman, but common, human writing. plain that the witnesses should testify that Isaiah, Isaiah must write on the tablet “Maher-shalal- | at the time he set up the tablet, had communihash-baz." It is clear that when he wrote these cated to them that he would approach his wife, words they were not designated as the name of a and that she, in consequence, would become son to be expected. For, first, there is nothing pregnant and bear a son. But why, it may be of this in the text. Second, there is a two-fold asked, did not the Prophet declare this publicly? gradation of the prophecy wherein the first stage Not out of regard for propriety certainly; for gives a pledge of the second. The words on the there would not have been anything the least oftablet are the prophecy of a Maher-shalal-hash- fensive in doing so. But why must then the witbaz to be looked for; the appearance of the nesses receive this announcement? I can think latter is therefore the fulfilment of this prophecy, of no other reason than the enmity and vindicand so the guaranty that the event, to whicn the tiveness of Ahaz. He was, we may be sure, only significant name itself in turn refers, shall cer- half rejoiced at the quieting of his fears in retainly come to pass.

gard to the impending danger from Rezin and The Lord commands the Prophet therefore to Pekah. The way in which he, according to vii. set up a tablet with the inscription mentioned, 10 sqq., received that reassuring announcement, and at the same time makes known his will, that and what was connected with it as a further

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