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Hezekiah; very likely by the “flying dragon,” he means the Messiah. For what is said ver. 30 of the happy circumstances of Israel, plainly recalls the representation of the Messianic salvation xi. 4 sqq.--—But if the Prophet compares the typical and anti-typical king of Judah to serpents, we must consider that they must be sernts only for the hated enemies. God says of imself that He will be the plague and destruction of death (Hos. Xiii. 14). First-born of the lowly it says ver. 30; not the first-born.” I do not think that the "Y22
Don here are the Jews. The Prophet lives quite in the sphere of the ideas of chap. xi. There it is said (ver. 4 sqq.), that the Messiah shall
judge the lowly (bon) with righteousness, and that wild and tame beasts shall pasture peacefully together. In our passage the Prophet unites both these thoughts, in that he draws from the one his subject and from the other his predicate. But, according to xi. 4, he means the lowly and poor in an individual sense. He is not thinking of political lowliness of the nation. It shall be a sign of the glory and blessedness of His kingdom, that people, that otherwise were poor and wretched, shall move in rich pasture and rest there securely. He means of course Jewish poor, but not the Jews as the poorest people. It appears to me, moreover, that Isaiah has before his mind a passage from Job (xviii. 12, 13) where it says: “Be hunger his power, and destruction stand ready at his side; devour the members of his skin, devour his members the first-born of death.” In contrast with the rich pasture that the poor of Israel shall find under their king, the Messiah, and in contrast with the glorious fruit that the root of the royal house of David shall produce, the Philistines shall be destroyed to the root of their existence by hunger and want, yea, the last remnant of them shall be strangled by this grim enemy. 3. Howl, O gate—trust in it.—Vers. 31, 32. The Prophet describes in ver. 31, how Philistia will suffer and feel the destruction, which, according to 29 b and 30 b, is in prospect. The gates shall howl (comp. xiii. 6; Jer. xlviii. 20) and the entire population of the cities shall cry (comp. Ezek. xxi. 17) the whole land shall dissolve in anguish and fear, i.e., shall be without courage, counsel, defence (comp. Exod. xv. 15; Josh. ii. 9, 24, and D22 x. 18; xiii. 7). The reason for these utterances is assigned : for there shall come from the north a smoke. —It is plain enough that neither clouds of dust nor fire borne in advance of troops can be intended here. For neither of these would occasion terror like the smoke of towns already set on fire. Most expositors understand the Assyrian to be meant by the approaching enemy. But that is much too narrow a construction. According to ver. 29 b. and 30 b. the LoRD announces Himself, and His anointed as the enemy that will destroy Philistia. And if ver. 30 a., Messianic salvation is proclaimed to Israel, then the reverse of this for the Philistines is naturally Messianic destruction. But Philistia will have, too, its part to endure in the great judgments that the LoRD will bring on the world of nations, and by which He will re
deem His people. In chap. xi. 14, which is so nearly allied to our passage, the Philistines are, in fact, expressly named among the nations out of whose power the LoRD will deliver His people. Therefore, the Prophet means here the final judgment on Philistia, though, of course, this d. not exclude that this final judgment has its preliminary stages, and that one of these, too, may be an Assyrian invasion, to which, in fact, “from the north’’ refers. The army of the enemy will be a compact and powerful body—no one runs away, no one strays off (comp. v. 27). The Prophet having said to the Philistines in general, what the reality of the future will be in contrast with the hopes of their malicious rejoicing, comes at last (ver. 32) to speak of the special fact that prompted him to this prophetic declaration. Ambassadors had come who ostensibly would manifest friendly sympathy, but, in fact, spy out how matters stood in Jerusalem. The Prophet knows that. It is important to give them an answer that is worthy of the Theocracy. Whether or not the powers that were were competent and willing to do this we know not. Any way the Prophet of Jehovah considered it as belonging to his office to express what, from the genuine theocratic point of view,
ought to be said to these ambassadors—-op "l, messengers of a nation, stands significantly without article. "l, nation, designates here very expressly a heathen people. He says therefore: what sort of answer have messengers of a heathen people to get, who come with such a purpose as these Philistines now do? None other than the curt: Jehovah founded Zion, (xxviii. 16) and therefore the wretched of His people (x. 2) can hide themselves with confidence in this divine foundation. [“The very absence of the article (i.e., with "l) implies that the expression (“messengers of a nation”) is indefinite, and that the whole sense meant to be conveyed is this, that such may be the answer given to the inquiries made from any quarter.”—J. A. A. This judicious remark may suffice to call attention to the very slender foundation there is for the conjecture which yet gives much of the coloring to the foregoing comment. If no special Philistine delegation is meant by Isaiah, then all that is said about pretended condolence, malicious satisfaction, spying, etc., is misplaced fancy. Much as we may desire to detect the historic facts connected with prophecy, we must be content without them if they are not supplied. The tendency of modern exposition is as much to license in conjecturing the historical basis of prophecy, as formerly it was to license in detecting the fulfilment of it. On ver. 29, J. A. A., comments: “All interpreters agree that the Philistines are here spoken of, as having recently escaped from the ascendancy of some superior power, but at the same time threatened with a more complete subjection.” Everything historically specific, beyond this obviously sure statement, is conjecture with no broader foundation than that pointed out above. Another commentater (DR. B.NETELER, Das Buch Isaias—mit Berücksichtigung—der auf seinen Inhalt sich bezieenden assyrischen Inschriften erklärt, Münster, 1876), who reads the text in the light of recent interpretations of Assyrian inPhilistines very seriously was Sargon. The basilisk proceeding out of the root of the serpent is Sennacherib, who, in his third expedition, conquered various Philistine cities. . The flying dragon is Esarhaddon, who, in the beginning of his reign, undertook an expedition toward the sea coasts, and whose war against Egypt was doubtless a considerable burden for Philistia.” “The messengers of the nation (ver. 32) that came on like a devastating fire, and overcame the nation of Philistines with little trouble, must acknow
scriptions identifies the reference of the symbols ledge that worldly-power comes to grief against
as follows: “The staff that repeatedly smote the Zion.
Sargon and Sennacherib had that experience.” BIRKs makes the rod = the serpent = Tiglath-Pileser, etc.—TR.]. DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL.
1. On xiv. 32. It is to be remarked here that Isaiah holds out as a shield, the truth that the LoRD has founded Zion. But when the Jews founded on this truth a wicked hope, in that they saw therein a passport for every sort of godlessness, then it is said: “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LoBD, are these.” Jer. vii. 4.
2. AGAINST MOAB.
Concerning the relation of Moab to the Israelites, comp. the remarks prefixed to Jer. xlviii. The present prophecy is a double address. For it consists of an older discourse (xv.1—xvi. 12), which, as appears, was not published immediately on its origination, but was given publicity by
iah only when he could announce definitely that the beginning of its fulfilment would occur after three years. Some have therefore conceived the notion that the older address is not Isaianic. Koppe, AUGUSTI, BAUER, BERTHold, have re
rded Jeremiah as the Author, which is quite impossible. HITzig (comp. his Des Propheten Jonas Orakel úber Moab, Heidelberg, 1831,) even holds that Jonah is the author, and has found followers (KNobel, MAURER, etc.,) in this singular view, whereas HENDEWERK decidedly controverts him. It is regarded as decisive for the view that this is not Isaianic, that it betrays a tender-hearted sympathy for an otherwise hated foreign nation. But this sympathy is not as tender-hearted as it appears. It rather serves as a measure by which to estimate the fearfulness of the judgment. Further appeal is made to a number of “peculiar, and in a measure, singular thoughts and turns.” Some of these are that mourning garments are put on in the street (xv. 3)—yet #. went into the temple clothed in sackcloth, and a deputation from him to Isaiah went in sackcloth (2 Kings xix. 1, 2)—; further that crying encircled the land (comp. my comment). Sibma's vine spread itself over whole regions—only a bold figure worthy of Isaiah (see the comment)—; its branches make drunk, (which the Prophet does not say, see the comment on xvi. 8), the heart cries for Moab and sounds like a harp, the tears of the writer bedev Heshbon (also figures quite agreeing with Isaiah's style). Moreover a number of unexampled phrases are pointed to with doubtful suspicion:
CHAPTERs XV., XVI.
partly the Prophet intentionally imitates Moabite forms of speech. At all events, the little peculiarities, which in no case witness directly against Isaiah, and which are natural to such originality as his, are not to be considered in comparison with the great mass of decidedly Isaianic modes of expression which we shall prove in particular below. I therefore hold decidedly that Isaiah is the author. As regards the time of the composition of xv. 1 —xvi. 12, the text seems to me to present two points of limitation. According to these chapters not only Dibon, but also Jahas, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah, Medeba are in the hand of the Moabites. But according to 2 Kings xv. 29; 1 Chr. v. 26, these regions were only depopulated by TiglathPileser, and thus only afterward occupied by the Moabites. That expedition of Tiglath-Pileser, according to universal opinion, occurred in the year 741, thus in the third year of the reign of Ahaz. From xvi. 1 it j appears that at that time the Edomites were still subject to the Jews. This relation was changed under Ahaz. For, according to 2 Chr. xxyiii. 17, the Edomites during his reign made an incursion into Judah. It is not conceivable that after this time Isaiah ve the Moabites counsel to send tribute from eba to Jerusalem. For the Edomites would not allow that, and the Moabites who looked for refuge to Edom would never have dared to do so. Unfortunately we are not informed as to the time when that incursion of the Edomites took place. But it occurred in the time of Ahaz, and thus this prophecy xv. 1–xvi. 12 must be referred to the period of this king's reign, and that between the two events 2 Kings xv. 29 (1 Chr. v. 26) and 2 Chr. xxviii. 17. Unfortunately we do not know which Assyrian king accomplished (or began to accomplish) Isaiah's prophecy to the Moabites. Therefore we cannot know when he subjoined the two concluding verses and published the entire oracle. The prophecy evidently subdivides into four parts. #. the old, first prophecy easily subdivides into three sections, of which the first (xv. 1–9) announces Moab's terror and flight, the second (xvi. 1–5) the condition of deliverance, the third (xvi. 6–12) Moab's haughty refusal to fulfil these conditions and his consequent entire ruin. Finally, the later supplement determines definitely the beginning period of the fulfilment (xvi. 13, 14).
a) THE OLDER PROPHECY. CHAPTER XV. 1–XVI. 12.
CHAPTER XV. 1–9. 1 THE BURDEN OF MOAB. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and 'brought to silence; Because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and 'brought to silence; 2 *He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep. "Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: On all their heads shall be baldness, And every beard cut off. 3 “In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: On the tops of their houses, and “in their streets, every one shall howl, *Weeping abundantly. 4 And Heshbon “shall cry, and Elealeh: Their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz: Therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; His ‘life shall be grievous unto him. 5 My heart “shall cry out for Moab; *His fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: For by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; For in the way of Horonaim they “shall raise up a cry of “destruction. 6 For the waters of Nimrim shall be "desolate: For the "hay is withered away, the 'grass faileth, There is no green thing. 7 Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, 'Shall they carry away to the “brook of the willows. 8 For the cry is gone around about the borders of Moab; The howling thereof unto Eglaim, And the howling thereof unto Beer-elim. 9 For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: For I will bring 'more upon Dimon, Lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, *And upon the remnant of the land. 1 Or, eut off.
s Or, To the borders thereof, even as an heifer. * Heb. desolations.
* They go up to the house.
j omit shall.
* Heb. Descending into weeping, or, coming down with weeping.
* Heb. breaking. ° Or, valley of the Arabians. 7 Heb. additions. • In his streets they gird.
TEXTUAL AND ver. 1. "2 may of course be made to relate to "p stop, and one may find in the latter phrase the sense that is elsewhere expressed by *in or "Yo (comp. vi. 5). But this does not suffice. For (p Riop is everywhere else nothing but superscription, and is nowhere connected with the beginning of the discourse. As in chaps. xv. xvi. there is made a surprisingly frequent use of the particle "3—it occurs nine times in xv., and five times in xvi-so, too, the "2 of ver. 1 is surely to be interpreted according to this usage. No where else is ssa. wont to multiply this particle in a surprising way. It seems to me that he had here a particular aim. Perhaps he imitates Moabite language. The same is the case
in the parallelism, perhaps, too, as mimicking the dialect of Edom and as reminiscence of Exod. xii. 42. But
itic word for ny (comp. SchlorTMANN, l.c., p. 607). For it is used only of the capital of Moab and of the territory immediately belonging to it. It is, indeed, used in the latter sense alone (Num. xxi. 15; Deut. ii. 9, 18, 29, comp. Schiott., p. 608); but in the former sense in the connection DNYp ny (Num. xxi. 8 and here).--np") r r T : is subjoined davvöerws, with an emphasis that makes an impression of shuddering, (comp. xxxiii. 9; Jer. ix. 9; l. 3). The word occurs in Isaiah again vi. 5. The repetition, too, of the phrase in the second clause (anadiplosis) is a rhetorical device that serves to make the impression stronger. Isaiah often resorts to this: ver. 8; viii. 9; xvii. 12 sq.; xxi. 11. Comp. on xi. 1–YP means in Hebrew “the wall" (xxii. 5; Ps. lxii. 4; Ezek. xiii. 12 sqq., and oft). But in Moabitic it stands for Ti"D. - r : i. In the inscription of Mesa on D occurs four times in the sense of “city”: Line 11, 12, 24 bis.-"p "y and ‘no np although names of cities, are construed as masculines. The reason of this appears to me to be, that in the Prophet's representation the notion Moab predominated, and the names of nations are prevalently used as masculine. Ver. 2. noy is used impersonally, “there goes up,” or r r “one goes up" (comp. xiv. 30, 32).--NY) after Non"n is genitive to the latter, and not nom. to 9-5's. MedbaMoab is a combination that does not occur elsewhere, but which the Prophet perhaps made because he thought he saw in N-Try, Moabitic Ronn, a kindred notion - r : . . T : to in NY) (DN: "p, and an allusion to the origin of the r T -nation (Gen. xix. 30 sqq.):--5", comp. ver. 3; lii. 5; lxv. 14.—The words ñmp "UNY-555 are quoted from Amos viii. 10, where we read nnn. Ukh-oo-hy T : i-r r (comp. Jer. xlviii. 37; Ezek. vii. 18; xxix. 18). The pointing YoujRon instead of "toxin, for which some Cor . - - ... r. r dices read ofton, it fron, DUN n, is found only here. It T is possible that in the mind of the Prophet, citing from memory, the o sound, which the word has in the original passage, had its effect.—TTTD, does not elsewhere T : I r occur as the name of a city. Isaiah uses it again as appellative, iii. 24; xxii. 12. There lies in it an allusion which the inscription of Mesa suggests to us. For, according to lines 21–26, this one built Koreha Gimp. : ir i.e., “a cleared place at or in Dibon (according to line 24) that had as yet no wall ” (DIESTEL, Die Moabitische Gedenktafel, Iahrb. f. deutsche Theol., 1871, Heft. II. p. 237), and transferred thither the royal residence (line 23).By quoting the words of Amos, the Prophet seems to intend derision: if all heads are bald, then, of course, baldness (nnnn) reigns over Moab.-nylol comp. r : I r ix. 9; x, 33; xiv. 12; xxii. 25; xlv. 2.—Jer. xlviii. 37 has nyin), as, according to GeseNius and Delitzsch, the Masor A and many Codd. and older editions read in the present passage, whereas in Jeremiah only 10 Codd. have nyloil.—yol designates regular shearing, Jol irregular hewing or cutting off in haste (clipping). The difference in the reading corresponds to the character of both prophets, whence in neither of the two passages perhaps, is the received reading to be altered.
Wer. 3. Notice here the interchange of gender and number according as Moab comes before the Prophet's mind as a nation or land, as a whole, or as a totality of
individuals—ribo, which occurs again in Isa. only xvi. 7, seems likewise to be a mimicry of Moabitio form
of speech. For in the inscription of Mesa is found the suffix form n- exclusively (about 12 times). The name Nebo also is written mill, not as in Hebrew \D).— oã3 no in the sense of “flowing down, dissolving in tears” would be, as KNoBEL, too, confesses, without example in the Old Testament. The simple Accusative would be required for that as Jer. ix. 17; xiii. 17; Lam. i. 16 ; iii. 48, and often.
Ver. 4. Ty" comp. xlii. 13; xliv. 23.—The Praet. J)Y" occurs only here. Many expositors (GEs EN., KNo
-r bel, Delitzsch), on account of the word ny", tremulum, “curtain,” take this word to mean “to tremble, shake." But it is not to be overlooked why the Perfect should not be taken here in the same sense in which otherwise the Imperfect is used, i. e., in the sense of malum., miserum., afflictum esse. The Prophet intends a play on the word ly"Y", therefore he employs the otherwise unused perfect, without meaning to use it in any other sense than that in which imperfect occurs, which has besides passed over to the service of the kindred root yy". Therefore Yo myth" will has the same meaning as 55% yo. 1 Sam. i. 8; Deut. xv. 10; compare
- T : --
ñtyp', yo Ps. cwi. 32.
". : r:-
ver. 5. Fivot; noy is construed likenyonnn nity Jer. xlvi. 2; li. 59, i.e., annus quarti scil. numeri ; bets? "ns Lev. xxiv. 22, insons 2 Kings Xii. 10. But is it
T ... r . -: designative of a locality or appositive to such MAURER, EwALD, KNoHEL, DBEclisler, DIETRIch (Zur bibl. Geogr. in Merz' Archiv I., p. 342 sqq.) see in it a “ third Egla,” in proof of whose existence they appeal to JosePH.Us Ant. XIV. 1, 4, where, beside Zoar, Oronai and other places, an "Aya AAa is mentioned. But how uncertain is this assumption of a “third Egla,” since we do not otherwise hear of a single one, not to speak of three, for that "Aya AAa of Josephus can just as well he bols (ver. 8)! DoEDERLEIN and KostER (Stud. and Krit, 1832's, p. 113 sqq.) take Zoar, Horonaim and Egla to have been a Tripolis whose chief name was Egla. But of such a city, which must, too, have had a considerable circumference, there is to be found no trace. We must therefore take ‘to ‘ly as appositive. It cannot be referred to Moab on account of its position in the sentence. It must then be referred to nys, and that in a sense in which it may be joined also to the city Horonaim as predicate, as is done Jer. xlviii. 34. But we must take (to fly as having the same meaning with nvolvin Holy Gen. xv. 9, along with which are named
‘. . . . ; r to." a nujovip ty and a topjp ox. Now these, as is ac
-- ". : - r ... : -
knowledged, are three years old, as it were beasts raised
an essential analogy—no occurs only here in Isa. : •r r : elsewhere Jer. xxv. 36; Zeph. i. 10; Zech. xi. 3. Ver. 9. In the first clause of this verse the Prophet accumulates the sound of m ; hence Dimon for Dibon, which change might happen the more easily as JERome informs us that “usque hodie indifferenter et Dimon et Dibon hoc oppidum dicitur.”—So far as I can see, all expositors refer fill not "3 to what follows, which they - T think justified especially by nob") additamenta. But in that case ) and not "B must stand before In"too. By *2) the phrase is connected with the foregoing. ny with hy like Ruth iii. 15; Exod. xxi. 22; Num, xii. 11. —n)ED)) occurs only here in this sense.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
1. The Prophet portrays the desolation of the territory of Moab, pointing out the fate of many particular localities, and what the inhabitants experience, say and do (vers. 1–4). Therewith he does not conceal his own sympathy (ver. 5 a.), and signifies that the Moabites shall be driven out of their land, and be crowded out over their borders on every side (vers. 5 b–8). But alas, flight will not help them much, for a mournful fate will overtake also those that escape, who will either become a prey to wild beasts, or lie unburied on the bare ground (ver. 9).
2. The burden — silence.—Ver, 1. The superscription is like xiii. 1, which see. In the night: i.e., at an unfavorable hour. For night adds increased terrors to the storming of a city. The city Ar-Moab, according to most recent investigations (comp. SCHLOTTMANN, l.c. p. 608 and DIETRICH in MERx' Archiv. III. 320 sqq.), lay close by, indeed (according to Num. xxii. 36; Jos. xiii. 9, 16) partly in Arnon. In the last named passages it is also by the Hebrew writers called Ty, “a city.” From the Moabitic
Ar comes the Greek name 'ApećTožić (JEROME, in loc., in the L. V. p. 184 sq. Ed. Vallars.). The name Rabbat-Moab does not occur in the Old Testament. It may be that this designation, which was not a name but an official title, was transferred to the later Rabbah, which lies several [German] miles south of Arnon, and was a bishop's residence in the 5th and 6th centuries !comp. RITTER, Erdo. XIV. p. 115 sq.; XV. p. 1210 sqq.) —Kir-Moab (to distinguish it from the Assyrian Kir, xxii. 6) is mentioned by Isaiah under this name only here. Yet Kir-Haresh or Kir-Haresheth (xvi. 11, 7) are identical with it. The place was a strong fortress, on a high, steep mountain, visible from Jerusalem. It lay about three hours south of Rabbat-Moab, and about the same distance from the Dead sea. In the Chaldee it is called Bop" so, i. e., “castle, wall of Moab.” The Greeks callel the city Xapáč (so probably 2 Macc. xii. 17), Xapákapa (PTOL. v. 17, 5), Xapakuà:3a, Xaparadosła (STEPH., BYz., and THEoDoRET in loc., who moreover appears to identify Ar-Moab and Kir-Moab). The name i.preserved in the form Kerek until the present
#. He is gone up grievous unto him. —Wers. 2–4. In ver. 1 Moab entire is indicated in its two halves, represented by a northern and a southern city. From ver. 2 on follow specifi
Nebo and Medeba is to be construed locally, for before and after there is only the description how each place gives expression to its grief. Moreover Nebo and Medeba are elevated spots. Of Nebo this is in itself probable. For if it even does not mean the mountain, it does the city that was situated on top of, or on that mountain: as | in Num. xxxii. 3, 38; Jer. xlviii. 1, and in the inscription of Mesa line 14. That Medeba was situated on a hill is testified by the site of ruins which BURKHARDT (ii. 625) found a little distance southeast of Heshbon. Medeba is also mentioned in the inscription of Mesa, line 8,
under the name so np, Mo-Debah, as a city conquered by Omri. Ver. 3. Wearing sacks or sackcloth as a badge of mourning and distress is often mentioned by Isa. iii. 24; xx. 2; xxii. 12; xxxvii. 1 sq.; l. 3; lviii. 5. It has been overlooked that "Dili, TT, descending with weeping [see in Tert. and
Gram.] should form an antithesis to *55% noy, “goeth up to weep,” ver. 2. They went up on the high places at Dibon and Beth-Bamoth to weep; they howled on the high places of Nebo and Medebah; but they came down also from these high places with weeping; they weep be