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this boy was called, and was de jure, and indeed de jure dirino, Immanuel, even though the king (or his mother) gave him no name at all, or another name. [See addenda of TR. pp. 127, 128.]

But how shall we account for so unholy a transaction being made the type of the holiest transaction of history? Here we must consider the relation of our passage to Matt. i. 23. The sacred history narrates that Mary, before Joseph took her home, was found with child, and that Joseph had resolved not to denounce her, but to leave her privately (Matt. i. 18 sq.). Ought it to surprise us if this part of the history of the fulfilment should be prefigured, too, in the period of the prophecy? But why just so and then? If that event, that the mother of the Lord was to be found pregnant before marriage, was to be prefigured, could it be done otherwise than that there should happen to a virgin in a natural way and in sinful fashion what happened to Mary in a supernatural way and without sin? Sinful generation occurs in the list of the ancestors of Jesus more than once. Compare only the genealogy in Matthew that calls especial attention to these cases by naming the mother concerned. Remember Judah and Tamar. And not to mention Rahab and Ruth, there is Solomon, born of David and the wife of Uriah. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me,” Ps. li. 7, applies to the whole genealogy, and, apart from the birth, we must apply to every individual of it the words: “there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Ps. xiv. 3; Rom. iii. 10 sq.). Let one call to mind the sins of a Jacob, a David, a Solomon, and one must say it depends on circumstances which was the more unworthy vessel, they or this unfortunate virgin. In short, we here stumble on secrets of divine sovereignty that we cannot fathom. The day shall declare it (1 Cor. iii. 13).

Moreover Immanuel is only a transitory apparition. He is named only here and chap. viii. It is a single though significant point, that is visible above the horizon once and then disappears again. Therefore it is also to be noted that spite of Matt. i. 23, and that the words of the angel Luke i. 31 remind us of our text and of Gen. xvi. 11, Mary still did not receive command to call her son Immauel. Had our passage the significance that is attributed to it; were it a direct prophecy of the birth of Jesus from a virgin, then properly the name that the son of Mary was to bear was already settled, and one can't comprehend why the angel (Luke i. 31) gives another name. But Immanuel is not Himself and immediately Jesus. He is only a type, like many others. And, indeed, as a son of a virgin, He is a type of that reproach of antenuptial conception which the Saviour of the world had to bear as a part of the general reproach that was meted out to Him, and which He has now-adays to bear still. This is a point that prophecy might not pass in silence, and yet could touch only lightly.

But by his name he points to the faithfulness of God that will not forsake His people, even

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mined on the most glorious visitation of the people (Luke i. 78) in the person of the God-man, precisely for that time when the nation would lose the last remnant of its independence in the embrace of the secular power. All the features must not be pressed; which is the case with ver. 15 sqq. especially. The prophetic word hovers freely over o and future, combining both, yet leaving both their peculiarities. It was God's providence that Isaiah should select these words that at the same time fitted so wonderfully the event narrated Matth. i. 18 sqq., to whom the tongue of an Isaiah was just as subservient as that of a Caiaphas (Jno. xi. 51). 3. Butter and honey—the King of Assyria.-Vers. 15–17. Butter and honey is by no means a mean food. That appears from Deut. xxxii. 13, 14; Job xx. 17, where the words rather mean a very noble food. Comp. 2 Sam. xvii. 29. Nor do they appear in any passage of the Old Testament, as children's food. Rather from ver. 21 sqq. it appears that butter and honey represent natural food in contrast with that procured by art. For butter comes immediately from milk, and honey, too, may be had ready from bees in a form that men can enjoy. And as Palestine had and still has many wild bees, on account of which it is called a land “flowing with milk and honey” (comp. Exod. iii. 8, 17, sqq. and the characteristic passage 1 Sam. xiv. 25 sqq.; Jud. xiv. 8), therefore we may suppose that wild honey (Matth. iii. 4) is especially heant here. Therefore the boy shall eat butter and honey on to the time when he shall know evil and good (anni discretionis). If the ability to distinguish good and evil is employed as marking a period of time, it can only be in a moral sense. For even the smallest child distinguishes in a physical sense what tastes bad and what good. M. the expression reminds one of Gen. ii. 9, 17; iii. 5, 22; comp. Deut. i. 39. Naturally the land must be deserted before the boy knows how to distinguish between good and evil, in order that at the time when this happens, his food may be reduced to butter and honey. The two kings of the land are Rezin and Pekah. It may be seen from ver, 2 how great was the dread of these experienced by Ahaz. The Lord shall bring, etc. — It is to be noticed here, first of all, that the Prophet adds these words roughly and directly, without any particle connecting them with what goes before. This mode of expression is explained by the fact that the Prophet contemplates the transactions of ver. 17 as immediately behind those of ver. 16. From his point of view he sees no interval between them. That is not the same as saying that there is no interval between. Prophecy sees all as if in one plane, that in the fulfilment is drawn apart in successive planes. Hence one may say: Isaiah prophesies here the Assyrian and Babylonish exile. For the desolation that (ver. 16) is to befall Ephraim happened by the carrying away of the Ten Tribes É. 2 Kings xvii. 6, 23 sqq.). But what the Prophet predicts ver, 17 sqq. was fulfilled by the captivity of Judah more than 120 years later. Accordingly, the relation of the prophecy to the fulfilment takes the following shape. Our prophecy must have happened in the beginning of the reign of Ahaz, consequently

about the year B. C. 743. The first devastation and partial desolation of the territory of Ephraim by the Assyrians, i.e., by Tiglath-Pileser, happened already in the time of Pekah (2 Kings xv. 29), who died B. C. 739. The boy, that was to be born according to ver. 14, in fact did not live to see any period of the desolation of his native land, nor did he use butter and honey in the manner designated. This form of expression is traceable solely to contemplation of events together that in reality are far apart. For Judah succumbed to such a devastation not till 130 years later. But if we may assume that a child awakes to moral consciousness in its third or fourth year, and is consequently to be regarded as a personal: ity, capable of distinguishing between good and evil, then that child was alive to see the first in: road of the Assyrians into the territory of Ephraim (and Syria according to 2 Kings xvi. 9) and consequently the beginning of the fulfilment of our prophecy. But did it live to see the beginning, then the Prophet might regard it as one that had lived through the entire fulfilment, because, as remarked before, he does not distinguish successive plains of fulfilment. And he has good reason for this. For as all consequences are contained in the principle, so in the first-fruits of fulfilment are contained the rest of the degrees of fulfilment. For him, who has an eye open to divine realities, all these degrees are ideally contained, but just on that account divinely and really contained in the degree that is the firstfruits.” For divine ideas bear the pledge of their reality in themselves. Therefore where a complex of divine ideas is realized even in its beginnings, there the whole is become real for Him who contemplates things with an eye divinely illuminated. Thus Jeremiah regards the world-dominion of Nebuchadnezzar, the subjection of all nations under his power, and the seventy years of Judah's exile as realized practically by the battle at Carchemish, although, to human eyes, Nebuchadnezzar during several years did nothing to extend his kingdom on one side or other. Comp. my remarks on Jer. xxv. 11. So, too, the Lord says Matth. xxiv. 34; Luke xxi. 32, “This generation shall not pass away till all this be fulfilled.” He could, with entire justice, say that the generation then living would live to see the last judgment because they would witness the beinning of it, the destruction of Jerusalem. Comp. AN OosterzEE on Luke xxi. 32. It is seen from the foregoing that, regarding the passage in the light of its fulfilment, we understand “the king of Assyria” ver. 17, to include the king of Babylon. But Isaiah could speak here only of the king of Assyria. For in the foreground of his tableau of the future he saw only the king of Assyria. He did not know, or did not need to intimate that the king of Babylon stood behind the former as continuer and accomplisher. The Assyrian king, this would-be-helper and protector, for whose sake Ahaz has so impiously contemned the support of Jehovah (see on ver. 12), just he must be designated as the instrument of the judgment.that was to burst in on unbelieving Judah and its equally unbelieving royal house. Thus it appears how impossible it is to treat the words “the king of Assyria” as a gloss, like KNoBEL and DIESTEL do. If the words were

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cation. This happens as follows: that in a section

underlying which is a duality, there is described first, the means and instruments of the desolation, second the consequences of the desolation. The means and instruments are characterized in a twofold image. First, the destroyer is compared to flies and bees, second, to a razor. The flies mean Egypt, the bees Assyria. But both images merge into one, into that of the razor, and Assyria appears as the razor, by which we are to understand not Assyria alone, but also Babylon. The con: sequences of the desolation, again, are portrayed under a double figure, or rather by the presentation of two examples. The first example: a man has nothing of his cattle left but a little cow (young cow). But he feeds on thick milk, for, in consequence of the superabundance of food for stock, the remnant of the inhabitants will feed on butter and honey. The second example is itself again divided in two: a) a vineyard once well cultivated, planted with noble vines, is so overgrown with thorns and thistles, that no one ventures into it without bow and arrow ; b.) all the once cultivated heights are so overgrown with thorns and thistles, that they are only fit for the pasture of cattle.

Will hiss, etc.—Jehovah's might and sovereignty will reveal itself here in the most glorious manner. He only needs to whistle (comp. on v. 26; Zech. x. 8), and the flies of Egypt and the bees of Assyria come obedient to His call. That Egypt was a land abounding in flies may be supposed from the warmth of its climate and the freuent overflows with their slimy sediment. Comp. 5xod. viii. 12 sqq. If the flies at the extreme ends of the canals (see crit. note on "R") are called, those that are nearer would not stay away. The expression then means that all the Egyptian flies, even the farthest off, shall come on.—The Assyrians are compared to the bee as noble, martial, strong, dangerous. Assyria had many bees. Comp. KNobel, in loc. Therefore the entire land, to the steep, rocky ravines and cliffs of the brooks, and to the prickly thorn hedges and the

trampled cattle pastures will be covered (on:

comp. a ver. 2) with the swarms of flies and bees. Thus, extensively and intensively, an entire devastation of the land is predicted. The same appears by the second figure ver, 20. Ahaz, at a great price, had hired the Assyrian king, as an ally against Syria and Ephraim. For this purpose he had not only sacrificed great treasures but also the independence of his land. For he had caused it to be said to Tiglath-Pileser: “I am thy servant and thy son, come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria and out of the hand of the king of Israel.” 2. Kings xvi. 7. For this purpose he sent the Assyrian the gold and silver that was in the house of Jehovah and in the

house of the king. The definite article in Tyn Tinoton, “the hired razor,” was both historically justified and comprehensible to Ahaz, who must have felt the reproach that lay in the expression. Thou hast hired a razor to shave others, says Isaiah to him, but this razor will shave thee. in Lev. xiv. 8 sq. the shaving off all the hair on the body is prescribed as a part of the purification to be observed by one recovered from leprosy. Perhaps the Prophet would intimate that this 'devastation was also an act of purification, by which the nation was to be purified from the leprosy of sin, that therefore the punishment is intended for the improvement of those that would accept the chastisement (Prov. viii. 10; xix. 20). The shaving bald evidently signifies the entire devastation and emptying of the land in every quarter and with regard to men, cattle and every other possession. In vers. 21–25, the degree and extent of the devastation is portrayed by two illustrative figures. The first example shows that instead of skilful cultivation, the grass shall grow rank. A man rescues from his stock a heifer, the Prophet supposes, (comp. xv. 5; Jer. xlviii. 34; Deut. xxi. 3; 1 Sam. xvi. 2) and two sheep. Because there is no regular cultivation, grass grows in every field. Therefore there is abundant pasture for the few cattle. Beside, the wild bees produce honey in abundance. Thus honey and butter are the food of that man and of all the remnant of the inhabitants still in the land. The second example presents a still greater degree of uncultivated wildness; the whole land growing rank with thorns and thistles. And this greatest wildness appears in a double gradation: first, every place for growing wine appears covered with thorns and thistles (vers. 23, 24), and then the same is affirmed of all the hills. It is hard to find a distinction here, because wine grows on the hills, or mountains, too. It seems to me that the Prophet carries out completely in this last member the duality which, as was remarked, rules in the whole section. Everything is double. Already in ver. 18 we have flies and bees, meaning Egypt and Assyria; ravines and clefts of the rock; thorn-hedges and pastures. Only ver. 20 neglects the rule, because the Prophet would designate the two enemies in an unity. But ver, 21 and on, this rule of duality is carried out, and at the close becomes emphatic. We observe two degrees of growing wild. In the first appear: one man and the entire remnant of the inhabitants, cattle and sheep, butter and honey. The second degree, subdivides in two again, in which appears to me to lie the emphasis, and both are characterized by the double notions of thorn and thistle, arrow and bow, a seeding place for cattle, and a trampling place for sheep. The thousand vines and thousand shekels recall Song of Sol. viii. 11. In Syria at the present time the vineyards are still taxed according to the number of the vines; a good vine at one Piaster = about four cents. Therefore, the price of one shekel = to about 25 cents is high. The construction of ver. 23 betrays a certain luxuriance and rankness. The first or

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row in order to hunt, or to protect himself? I believe, with GESENIUS, both. He that goes in will need his weapons for protection; he that would hunt, needs only to go into the nearest vineyard. The protecting fence is gone; beasts wild and tame, penetrate into it. The vineyards of Israel are now a copy of what Israel itself as the vineyard of Jehovah had become (ver. 5).

[J. A. ALEXANDER on vii. 14-16. “The two interpretations that appear to me the most plausible, and the least beset with difficulties are those of Lowth and VITRINGA, with which last HENGSTENBERG's is essentially identical. Either the Prophet, while he foretells the birth of Christ, foretells that of another child, during whose infancy the promised deliverance shall be experienced; or else he makes the infancy of Christ Himself, whether seen as still remote or not, the sign and measure of that same deliverance. While some diversity of judgment ought to be expected and allowed in relation to this secondary question, there is no ground, grammatical, {i}. or logical, for doubt as to the main point, that the church in all ages has been right in regarding this passage as a signal, and explicit prediction of the miraculous conception

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“It is enough for us to know that a virgin or unmarried woman is designated here as distinctl as she could be by a single word. That the wor means simply a young woman, whether married or unmarried, a virgin or a mother, is a subterfuge invented by the later Greek translators, who, as Justin Martyr tells us, read vealto, instead of the old version Taptiévoc, which had its rise before the prophecy became a subject of dispute between Jews and Christians. The use of the word in this connection makes it, to say the least, extremely probable that the event foretold is something more than a birth in the ordinary course of nature.” “To account for the Alma by a second marriage of Ahaz, or of Isaiah, or by the presence of a pregnant woman, or the Prophet's pointing at her,” “may be justly charged with gratuitously assuming facts of which we have no evidence, and which are not necessary to the interpretation of the passage.” “A further objection is, that though they may afford a sign in one of the senses of the word, viz.: that of an emblem or symbol, they do not afford such a sign as the context would lead us to expect. It seems very improbable, after the offer to Ahaz, which he rejected, that the sign bestowed (unasked) would be merely a thing of every-day occurrence, or at most the application of a symbolical name. This presumption is strengthened by the solemnity with which the Prophet speaks of the predicted birth, not as a usual and natural event, but as something which excites his own astonishment, as he beholds it in prophetic vision.” This last objection applies equally to the Author's theory of the Alma being an unmarried princess detected in pregnancy. In addition to all the other assumptions of this “theory, which are greater than those of any other, it must be assumed that the pregnancy was at a stage that could be kept secret from the scrutiny that ever characterized the regime of the women's apartments in an oriental family. Otherwise it would be no sign in the Author's sense. The Author's threefold canon has its foundation in what are obviously conjectures. Whether the sign was to be such as Ahaz was to test, because he would see it accomplished, depended recisely on the sign itself. It might be a sign É. that to Moses Exod. iii. 12, which could only be fulfilled after other events predicted, with which it was associated as a sign, had come to j Comp. Isa. xxxvii. 30. It may have een like those signs given by Christ to unbelievers in His day, that were not meant to induce belief in those that asked, but were the refusal of a sign to them. (vid. Jno. ii. 18–22; Mat. xii. 38–40). If it was such a sign, then the Author's first canon is an error. Wh. the sign was meant for the whole royal family, according to this third canon, depends wholly on the “house of David" having the meaning he gives it. Yet that meaning has no other foundation than the conjecture that Isaiah had intruded on the private, domestic retirement of Ahaz. The second canon, viz.: that the sign in its form must be punitive, is only an assumption. The contrary is as easily assumed. The connection of the words vers. 10–16 with the ver, 9 b is very close. The belief there challenged is, by a second message, brought to the test. Ahaz does not stand the test. He does not believe, or he would joyfully avail himself of the offered sign, as Hezekiah did later 2 Kings, xx. 8 sq. o Isaiah proceeds to denounce the consequences already threatened ver. 9 b, that must follow unbelief. But first, as to unbelieving Saul was announced the man after God's own heart that was to be raised up in his place, so to Ahaz is announced, in a clearer light than ever before, the promised “seed of the woman’’ who would deliver Israel. But before that would come to pass, the two kingdoms of which Israel was composed, Judah as well as Ephraim must suffer desolation. Thus the prophecy of Immanuel relates to Christ alone, as J. H. MI

CHAELIS and others suppose (vid. J. A. ALEx. in loc.); and ver, 16 is (with HENDERSON) to be understood of Canaan and its two kingdoms, Ephraim and Judah. This view encounters fewer difficulties than any other, while such as it does encounter are felt as much by any other. On the other hand it is much in favor of this view, that there is then in ver. 17 simply a continuation and amplification of the theme begun in ver. 16, and no such abruptness as the Author, with most expositors, finds in what ver. 17 announces. The chief difficulty is that in Yy3D yi. DY33"> the "2 must be given the force of “but” (UMBREIT). Yet "2 may have its usual sense “for,”

and assign the reason why an Immanuel, that knows good and evil, shall be needed. For before such a one comes, those that call good evil and evil good (vid. v. 20), etc., shall have brought the inheritance of Jehovah to that extremity, by their unbelief, where only such a deliverer can save.—TR. On ver. 18. “Assyria and Egypt are named as the two great rival powers, who disturbed the eace of Western Asia, and to whom the land of srael was both a place, and a subject of contention. The bee cannot of itself denote an army, nor is the reference exclusively to actual invasion, but to annoying and oppressive occupation of the country by civil and military agents of these foreign powers. It was not merely attacked, but infested by flies and bees of Egypt and Assyria. Fly is understood as a generic term, including gnats, mosquitoes, etc., by HENDERSON, and bee as including wasps and hornets, by HITZIG and UMBREIT.” On ver. 20. “The rabbinical interpretation of poin Yyt is a poor conceit, the adoption of which by GESENIUs [and NAEGELSBACH-TR.], if nothing worse, says but little for the taste and the “aesthetic feeling” which so often sits in judgment on the language of the Prophet. The true sense is no doubt the one expressed by EwALD (von oben bis unten) [from head to foot] 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 "pen concerning 'Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

And “I took unto me faithful wit

3 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. 4 to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

Then said the LORD 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. in making speed to the spoil, he hastencth the prey, or, make speed, etc. }. the king of Assyria shall take away the riches.

b stylus.

8 Or, he that is bo * tablet.

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r Eich HoRN, DE WETTE, Rooh DA, KNobel, and others read. But, after ma'ure consideration, I find there is no ground for departing from the reading of the text. ... It is perfectly supported by testimony. First of all it is the more difficult reading, and both the others give evidence of being attempts to relieve the difficulty by correction. Then, too, Isaiah never uses the cohortative form with the weakened sense, as it occurs elsewhere with the Vav consec, imperf in the first pers., especially in Dan., Ezra, and Neh. Thus the form TTE'N) espe- r r

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1. Moreover the Lord said—the king

of Assyria.-Vers 1–4. A compound token First, Isaiah is to take a large tablet (only found

Uriah and Zechariah shall act as witnesses. What they are to witness is as little stated as 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

assumed here that there is a .." hand- prophetic manner of narrating to cause us any

writing (see Tert. and Gram.) an

could understand and make use of it (comp. context.

Ioan. v. 5 sqq.). But Isaiah must not employ this superhuman, but common, human writing. Isaiah must write on the tablet “Maher-shalalhash-baz.” It is clear that when he wrote these words they were not designated as the name of a son to be expected. For, first, there is nothing of this in the text. Second, there is a two-fold gradation of the prophecy wherein the first stage gives a pledge of the second. The words on the tablet are the prophecy of a Maher-shalal-hashbaz to be looked for; the appearance of the latter is therefore the fulfilment of this prophecy, and so the guaranty that the event, to whicn the -ignificant name itself in turn refers, shall certainly come to pass. The Lord commands the Prophet therefore to set up a tablet with the inscription mentioned, and at the same time makes known his will, that

that the Prophet surprise. The former is to be obtained from the

For when we read immediately after: “And I went unto the Prophetess,” etc., it is plain that the witnesses should testify that Isaiah, at the time he set up the tablet, had communicated to them that so would approach his wife, and that she, in consequence, would become pregnant and bear a son. . But why, it may be asked, did not the Prophet declare this publicly 2 Not out of regard for propriety certainly; for there would not have been anything the least of fensive in doing so. But why must then the witnesses receive this announcement? I can think of no other reason than the enmity and vindictiveness of Ahaz. He was, we may be sure, only half rejoiced at the quieting of his fears in regard to the impending danger from Rezin and Pekah. The way in which he, according to vii. 10 sqq., received that reassuring announcement, and what was connected with it as a further

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