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3. THE TESTAMENT OF THE PROPHET TO HIS DISCIPLES.
CHAPTER VIII. 16–IX. 6.
And I will look for him. 18
Are for signs and for wonders in Israel
Behold, I and the children whom the LoRD hath given me
From the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.
19 And when they shall say unto you,
*Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards
“It is because there is 'no light in them,
And it . selves,
And curse their king and their God,
And look upward.
And they shall look unto the earth;
shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry:
And behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish;
*And they shall be driven to darkness.
CHAP. IX. 1 (23). "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation,
"When at the first he lightly afflicted
The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali,
1 Heb. no morning.
• Bind up testimony, seal law in my.
On ver. 16. Tryn beside here and ver. 20 occurs only Ruth iv. 7. The meaning is “testifying;" in the passive sense, “that which is testified,” which then may be taken in various senses. The divine will which the prophets testify to men (Exod. xix. 21, 23; Deut. viii. 19; 1 Sam. viii. 9; Jer. xi. 7; xlii. 19; Am. iii. 13, etc.) has for contents both what men ought to do and what God has resolved to do. Y imper, from now constringere, colligare (xi. 18); pnn (in Isaiah again only xxix. 11) is “to seal."—o, occurs only Isa. l. 4; liv 13 and Jer. ii. 24; xiii.23. It means doctus, eruditus; and is used both of spiritual and of physical relations.
On vers. 17, 18. According to our construction it might be expected that there would be "X" before "non.
On ver. 19. `YN means an inflated leather bottle (occurs only Job xxxii. 19, and as a proper name Num, xxi. 10; xxxiii. 43), then the distended body of the ventriloquist, and then, not only the ventriloquist himself, (1 Sam. xxviii. 3, 9; 2 Kings xxiii. 24; Isa. xix. 3; and the passage previously cited) but the pretended spirit of the dead that spoke by him (1 Sam. xxviii. 7, 8; Is. xxix. 4; 1 Chr. x. 13). In many of these passages it is indeed doubtful which of these two meanings the word may have; or if it does not have both. Elsewhere the word seems to mean the secret art, necromancy, divination itself (2 Kings xxi. 6; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 6). The plural is always n\inft. Because this plural occurs also Job xxxii. 19, it cannot for that reason be concluded that only women were possessed of this necromancy (DYN noyn, 1 Sam. xxviii. 7, the witch of Endor). Still it is surprising that air by: (masc.) is found only in the Talmud (vid. GEsEN. Thes. p. 35). "y" never occurs alone, but always joined with six. It means “the knowing one, wise one, or wizard.” DELitzsch, very much to the point, compares 8atuov according to Plato — Samuov, “the much knowing being”—assy Pilpel, found only in Isaiah. The word primarily is used of the chirping of birds (x.14; xxxviii. 14), then of the voice proceeding out of the ground (xxix. 4).-silm is likewise a word
that imitates a sound (comp. ach. dichsen). As AxBx represents a high, shrill sound, so Tiln does a low one; for it is used for the growling of a lion (xxxi. 4), of the rolling of the thunder (Job xxxvii. 2), of the low murmuring of the dove (xxxviii. 14; lix. 11). It occurs again in Isa. xvi. 7; xxxiii. 18; lix. 3, 13. In classic antiquity, too, we find a gentle, chirping, whispering voice ascribed to the dead. Comp. Iliad XXIII. 101, where it is said of the soul of Patroclos“ oxero terptyvia;" Odyss. xxiv. 5-9, where rpigetv stridere is equally ascribed to the souls of the dead suitors and to the whirring of the bats in the dark caves. Other examples see in GrseNIUs, in loc. In our passage the necromancers are said to hiss
of need? Others (KNobel, DELItzsch) take it as an interrogative particle, referring it back to son ver. 19: “Or will not they accord in this word that are without dawn 7” But from the context it appears that this is just what they will not do. I construe *o-px simply - nisi, and begin the apodosis with ninyl ver, 21 (so, too, Disstel)-nny (comp. xix. 12) occurs xlvii. 11; lviii. 8, as figure of the dawning revelation of salvation.
On ver. 21. na is referred by VitriNGA, MAURER, DE
r LITzsch, etc., to Yns understood as a matter of course, ver, 22. But this Yns is not so a matter of course, because it first appears after; and hay cannot be said only --r in relation to the notion “land.” Rookda, DREchsles refer it more correctly to the condition intimated by "nu so I's-ngp) is the in a y. It no means durum esse, “to be hard, heavy," then mtD) is “treated hard, grieved, oppressed."—Byn (ix. 19; xxix. 8: • r xxxii. 6; xliv. 12; lviii. 7, 10) adds to the notion of outward pressure that of incapacity to bear, that is occasioned by hunger. The full (Deut. xxxii. 15; Ps. lxxviii. 29; Prov. xxx. 9) has easily too much, the hungry too little strength.-Huthp. As Inn only here Kal. xlvii. 6; iv. 9; vii. 16, 17; Xiv. 4.8—5%p I construe with 3 in the sense of “curse against one.” Elsewhere it is construed with the accusative, and the following B signifies the higher power by which one swears, i. e., by whose mediation one imprecates evil on the object of his wrath (1 Sam. xvii. 43; 2 Kings ii. 24). But with that construction there would be wanting here an object of the cursing (D1EstEL). And it is much more natural that one enraged should curse the cause of his sufferings than the sufferings themselves. loop may be construed with E after the analogy of verbs that mean striving (xix. 2; xxx.32, etc.) and being angry (Deut. iii.26; Ps. lxxviii. 62; Gen. xxx. 2; xliv.18, etc.).--On ver. 22. bon Hiph. xviii. 4; xxii. 11; xlii. 18; li. 1, 2, 6, etc. n-vjny nox, “ distress and darkness,” vid. comment. on ver. 30.Typ caligo “obscurity,” &m. Aey.—TDY found again r xxx. 6; Prov. i. 27—noes (again lyiii. 10; lix 9) is + ... -: used for thick darkness, e.g., Exod x. 22.—n-Jo some take in the sense of “scared away,” so that the transition would begin here. “As to this time the nation will have been rejected, so from now on shall misfortune, as it were, be exiled " (DREchsler). But the words on 'Ex are so completely co-ordinate with both the foregoing members of the sentence, and on the other hand the transition is so utterly without anything to indicate it, that this meaning cannot be satisfactory. Others (KNobel, DELITzsch) explain after the analogy of Jer. xxiii. 12, as if it read notyp Non Hopso, or - ... : r --- or
(o) (EN:3 on). But this also seems too artificial. The omission of the subject, when it is especially looked for on account of its generic difference from the subjects of both the foregoing members, must raise a doubt. But not) has by no means only the signification “to scatter, iisperse." In Deut. xx. 9 it means impellere (securim), 2 Sam. xv. 14, propellcre, immittere (miserian) Prov. vii. 21 depellere, “drive away; seduce.” Why then may not ntro noer mean tenebrae immissae, whereby, because the notion dispellere undoubtedly lies in the word, it may be taken in the sense of ab omni partetnamissae, longe lateque diffusae 7 So substantially SAADIA, KocHER. As regards the incongruity of gender, it need give no surprise. The predicate is to be construed as neuter: tenebrae immissum, expansum aliquid. It is apparent that in the three members of ver. 22 b reigns the law of unity in manifoldness. For evidently these three members are so far alike that in all of them the words are in pairs, and the notion of darkness recurs as the chief one. But in the first member occurs hendiadys (distress and darkness-obscuring distress, or distressing obscurity), in the second both are merged into one notion, dimness of anguish; in the third the predicate is added in an adjective, i.e., participial form. On wer. 23. I construe the words x', too wer. 20 on to TT)n ver.22 as a parenthesis, and refer (11) Typ 8', 's to nomynon mino ver.20. where law and testimony live in men's souls, there, spite of distress (DX37) only here in Isaiah; comp. Job xxxvi. 16; xxxvii. 10), is no darkness. Ayop x', &m. Aey. notice in Mu-aph a rer verse vowel pointing from Ma-uph, ver. 22, a play of words that reflects the contrast of thought -—no anti
T cipates the idea of “land” contained in next clause.—
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
1. I cannot help thinking that in this section we have a farewell address of the Prophet; as it were, his spiritual will. That it speaks of “disciples,” whereas there is no mention of them elsewhere, is a hint that here lies before us a written archive specially meant for them. What, then, could the Prophet have given his disciples in this written form, but something that must be valuable to them for the time, when he could no longer communicate with them by word of mouth as he could at that moment? Then, too, the prayer to the LoRD, to seal in the disciples law and testimony, the emphatic reference to the pledges of faith given in the persons of himself and his sons, the warning against future seductions, and the reference to that which could give light and comfort in the troublous days to be expected,— all this brings me to the conviction that here we have actually the spiritual testament of Isaiah to his disciples.
2. Bind up —— my disciples.—Ver. 16. The opening words of this will connect appropriately with the LoRD's words of exhortation ver. 13. I have no doubt that the words ver. 16, are addressed to Jehovah. For only the LoRD can do this binding up and sealing. The prophets might seal a ... roll, or declare that the meaning of a prophecy is to be shut up till a certain time (vid. Dan. viii. 26; xii. 4, 9; Rev. x: 4; xxii. 10; Isa. xxix. 11; Jer. li. 60 sqq. and my comment); but they cannot seal the ji. revelation in the hearts of men. Moreover, in all the following verses the Prophet is the speaker, and the change from the words of God to the words of the Prophet must certainly have been more distinctly marked than by the imple
before "non. The mention of binding up and sealing in a spiritual sense was perhaps occasioned by the actions appropriate to the real documents (vid. Jer. xxxii. 9 sqq.). Having so dis
of the writing that contained his own will, the Prophet prayed the LoRD to do still better, and enclose and seal up his testament
with him. This is si
in the hearts of his disciples. For the proprie of the metaphor, vid. Prov. iii. 3; vii. 3; Jer. xxxi. 33. They are the same as “are written to life,” Isa. iv. 3. As primarily “the law” means the Mosaic law, which was the basis and norm of all prophetic announcements (Deut. xiii. 1 sqq.; xviii. 18 sqq.), and which the Prophets ever and again had to reimpress (Jer. xxix. 19), so Isaiah must mean by “the testimony”, all additional prophetic testimony, especially all threatenings and promises that referred to the future. In the prayer he makes for his disciples, he does not intend the preservation of the divine testimony unto the proper time for its revelation, but he would thereby give to themselves the only true support and comfort for the evil days to come. As, according to ver. 17, his faith in the word of God was his own sole comfort, so (ver. 20) he directs his disciples to the law and testimony, warning them against every false comfort (ver. 19). Though Isaiah had primarily disciples and scholars in mind, we need not suppose he was at the head of a school of prophets. What he would teach them was religious truth, not to prophesy. And thus about this group of scholars, as about a nucleus, would gather all in Jerusalem and Judah that had any heart for the spiritual jewels of Israel. 3. I will wait——in mount Zion.—Wers. 17, 18. This affords a touching insight into the personal life of the Prophet. He enforces the prayer just made by confessing that he holds fast to the LoRD, and waits (vid. v. 4; xxv. 9; xxvi. 8; xxxiii. 2; li. 5; lix. 9, 11; lx. 9; lxiv. 2), notwithstanding the LoRD seems to have forsaken the house of Jacob (he evidently means “this people,” the fleshly Israel) and hidden His face (comp. l. 6; liii. 3; liv. 8: lix. 2; lxiv. 6). But he does not hope alone. His children hope ificant. We know, indeed, nothing about the age of the children. That our passage follows close on viii.,1-4; is no proof that it originated in that period. Isaiah would hardly at that time have designated his children (plural) as companions of his faith. For Maher-shalal was hardly yet born, and this circumstance speaks rather for later composition. Isaiah knows that his children are not only children of his body, but of his spirit too. They are miraculous children, products, not only of nature, but of the divine effective power. (Rom. ix. 7 sqq. : Gal. iv. 28 sq.). Therefore, not only are his an their names prophetic, but their birth, too, is such ; at least that of Maher-shalal. Thus they are by their existence as by their names nins, signa, rirot Toi ut/Aovrog (Rom. v. 14) “finger boards,” and D'nPip, miraculous pledges of miracles. “Which Jehovah has given me;” by these words Isaiah points to the support of his hope. For why should not we hope in God who has done such wonders? Our passage, moreover, recalls the words of Joshua . xxiv. 15: “I and my house will serve the LoRD "
4. And when they shall say——to the dead.—Ver. 19. The Prophet now adds a warning against seduction to idolatrous necromancy. An does not this warning give the impression of proceeding from a man who is on the point of leaving his own, and who, before his departure, seeks to protect them against impending danger? “And when they shall say,” presents the superstition as at hand and to be |. From ii. 6; iii. 2 sq., we see that various sorts of superstitious divination were practised among the Jews at that time. Such were expressly forbidden in the law. Comp. Lev. xix. 31; xx. 6, 27; Deut. xviii. 10, 11. In all these passages miRN “familiar spirits” and D'Jy" “wizards” are named together, and Deut. xviii. 11 the words B'non-ox Uni “necromancer" are expressly added: so that Isaiah seems to have had this passage in mind. The second clause of the verse, “should not,” etc., is usually regarded as the reply of the believing disciples to those who tempted them [J. A. ALExANDER). But this seems to me unnecessary. It is primarily the answer that Isaiah himself gives, and it is to be understood that the disciples are to reply to the same effect. According to the Prophet, those seductive temptations are to be met by two arguments. First, he urges that every nation must inquire of its god as the chief disposer of its destiny. Therefore Israel onght to turn to Jehovah. It appears from this that the Prophet assumes the position that Jehovah is the national god of Israel, without challenging the existence of other gods, and that he assumes that those tempters recognize Jehovah as the proper national god. (God of the fathers). The second argument Isaiah takes from the reresentation of the ancients of the relation of the ead to the living. Only he that lives in the body lives really. By death he sinks deep down. Comp. FRIEDR., NAGELsBACH, Homer. Theol. VII. 3 14 sqq. Nachhomer. Theol. VII. Ž 14 sqq. But how nearly Hebrew representations approach those of classic antiquity, may seen from passages like xiv. 9 sqq ; Ezek. xxvi. 20 sq.; xxxi. 14 sqq.; xxxii. 17 sqq.; Isa. xxxviii. 18 sq.; Ps. vi. 6: lxxxviii. 4 sqq.; Job xiv. 10 sqq. It is therefore folly, nonsense, to seek any help for the living among those gone down deep.
Thus the words 2) TV5 are to be construed interrogatively: “For the living (shall one inquire of) the dead?” 4. To the law—Galilee of the nations. —Vers. 20–23 (ix. 1). Now Isaiah refers his disciples to the divine source of light and comfort, which alone can keep them upright in the impending evil days. Whoever does not find these his support, will undoubtedly be destroyed. Who shall say: “To the law and the testimony?” All that have no dawn. They are such as nowhere see in any outward relations a ray of light, that announces the day of salvation. When such see no inward comfort and support by means of God's word, they wander oppressed and hungry, etc. As hunger smarts, it readily happens that such fall into a bitter rage and curse their king and God, thus both the heavenly and earthly government, as being to blame for their suffer
ings. Most expositors understand by 15%p “his king” that a divinity is meant; and only differ as to whether, according to Ps. v. 3; lxviii. 25, Jehovah is meant, [so J. A. ALEXANDER and BARNEs] or, according to Am. v. 26; Zeph. i. 5, the idols; agreeing that “king” and “God” mean the same person. But against this speaks: 1. 3 occurring twice; 2. the following “he
looks upward and to the earth he looks.” Similar blasphemy is described as a symptom of the anti-Christian time Rev. xvi. 9, 11, 21. Wherever the wretched look, above or to earth, everywhere presents itself only the mournful sight of dark distress. About the first time, etc.—Ver. 23 (ix. 1). The Prophet now intimates what sort of light shall arise to the believing from the law and testimony. He shall know from the prophecy, which the Prophet with these very words, gives to his own (to which however, others still are added later), that the North of Palestine, which heretofore was little regarded compared with the South, shall attain to great honor, and become a place of great blessing to the whole land. He evidently refers to the Messianic time, and intimates that the glory of it will illuminate in an eminent way that northern region of Palestine. More particularly as to the how 7 and when P the Prophet does not know. If it is asked why he predicts this just here, we may see the ground for it in the fact that at that time, it was just from that northern quarter of the Ten Tribes, that §. danger threatened Judah. The war with Syria and Ephraim was the occasion of this whole series of prophecies. The gaze of the Prophet is emphatically fastened on the North. What wonder if on this occasion he not only predicts the impending judgment of this northern land, but also the glory in store for it! Zebulon was bounded on the North by Naphtali, eastward by the sea of Galilee, westward by Asher and Phoenicia (comp. Josh. xix. 10 sqq.). Naphtali possessed the north-east of Canaan west of Jordan, for it touched the base of Antilebanon, was bounded on the east by the sea of Galilee, on the south by Zebulon, and on the west by Asher. (Josh. xix. 32 sqq.). As “the way of the sea,” according to the context, must be a land inhabited by Israelites, it cannot be the coast of the Mediterranean, as some have
bent, the circuit, circulus, annulus, comp. 32)
and was a part of Naphtali. Comp. Josh. xx. 7; xxi. 32; 1 Chr. vi. 61; 1 Macc. ii. 63. The region is called also bon Yo: (1 Kings ix. 11), and no on (2 Kings xv. 29). In Jud. i. 30–33 we are told that, as elsewhere, the Canaanites were not exterminated from this region. From the nature of things, in a region so distant from the national sanctuary, the heathen element would increase more than elsewhere. . The continual intercourse with neighboring heathen in war and peace, moreover, the depriving the land of its Israelite inhabitants by Tiglath-Pileser (2 Kings xv. 29) may have gradually given the heathen element a preponderance. From the New Testament, we know that the Jews looked down on the Galileans with a certain contempt (Jno. i. 46; vii. 41, 52; Acts ii. 7). When, Jno. vii. 41 the Jews questioned whether the Messiah would come out of Galilee, when they, ver. 52, asserted, too, that not even a Prophet was to come out of Galilee, it is the more remarkable that, as DELITzsch quotes, Talmud and Midrasch say: that “the Messiah
shall be revealed in Galilee, and from out Tiberias shall the redemption dawn.” But Matthew sees in the fact that Jesus “came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim " a fulfilment of our prophecy, and justly (vid. Matt. iv. 13 sqq.). For that the Prophet notices such special traits of the Messianic picture of the future as the ante-nuptial conception, and the going forth from Galilee will not surprise those who reflect that these special matters are no trifles, but of greatest importance, and thus in a high degree worthy of prophetic notice For they belong essentially to that fundamental character of the plan of redemption, whereby the Redeemer and His kingdom shall rise out of the depth of humility and ignominy to honor and glory. [J. A. ALEXANDER with HENDERSON, CocCEIUs and others regard the words ver. 16 as spoken to the Prophet “by God, or, as some suppose, by the Messiah, the opp mentioned in the foregoing verse; and likewise vers. 17 and 18, because there is no intimation of a change in the speaker, and because Heb. ii. 13, v. 17 is quoted as the words of the Messiah, not as an illustration, but as a proof that Christ partook of the same nature with the persons called His children. DELITZSCH and v. HoFMANN (vid. their comment on Heb. ii. 13), who agree in treating these words of vers. 16–18 as the Prophet's, and yet recognize a typical and prophetic reference to Christ, explain the use made of this in Heb. l.c. by the canon: “it admits of no doubt that the writers of the New Testament, allow themselves to quote utterances of typical Old Testament personages concerning themselves as utterances, and words of Christ.” DELITzsch.-TR.].
b) The light of the future proceeding from a child that is to be born of the race of David.
CHAPTER IX. 1–6.
They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light
shined. 3 (2) Thou hast multiplied the nation, And 'not increased the joy:
They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, And as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 (3) “For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden,
And the staff of his shoulder,
5 (4) “For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise,
And garments rolled in blood;
*But this shall be with burning and "fuel of fire.
6 (5) For unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given :
And the government shall be upon his shoulder:
And his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,