Obrazy na stronie

bring “the hire of a whore” into the house of God. I believe that the passage before us, which bears in this point a great resemblance to xix. 18 sqq., belongs to those utterances which must have been obscure to the Prophet himself, because the key to their interpretation is not furnished till they are fulfilled. . This fulfilment, however, seems to be afforded by the Christian Tyre, respecting which we shall say more immediately. [*Instead of a queen reinstated on the throne, Tyre appears as a forgotten harlot suing once more for admiration and reward. This metaphor necessarily imparts a contemptuous tone to the prediction. The restoration here predicted was to be a restoration to commercial prosperity and wealth, but not to regal dignity or national importance. . Notwithstanding the apparent import of the figure, the conduct of Tyre is not in itself unlawful. The figure, indeed, is now commonly agreed to denote nothing more than commercial intercourse, without necessarily implying guilt. In ancient times when international commerce was a strange thing, and nearly monopolized by a single nation, and especially among the Jews, whose laws discouraged it for wise but temporary purposes, there were probably ideas attached to such promiscuous intercourse entirely different from our own. Certain it is that the Scriptures more than once compare the mutual solicitations of commercial enterprise to illicit love. That the comparison does not necessarily involve the idea of unlawful or dishonest trade, is sufficiently apparent from ver. 18.” ALExANDER. D. M.].

4. In regard to the fulfilment of this prophecy we can get at the right view’ only when we attend carefully to the peculiarity of the prophetic vision. The Prophet does not see every thing, but only the principal matters, and he sees all the chief things which are essentially identical, not one after the other, but as it were on one surface beside each other. Hence it happens that that appears to him an immediate effect, which in reality is the result of a long course of development extending over thousands of years. Hence frequently the appearance is as if fulfilment did not correspond to the prophecy, while yet the fulfilment only happens in another way than it seemed from the point of view of the Prophet that it ought to happen. I have, to cite an example, shown in detail in my Commentary on Jeremiah, I. and li, that Babylon was never destroyed by the hand of man. It has been various times captured. The conquerors injured the city, the one on this, the other on that part, but none of them at once so entirely destroyed it, as, according to Jeremiah 1. and li., apparently should have been done. And yet the final result corresponds quite to the picture which Jeremiah draws of Babylon's destruction. The same is the case here. Isaiah affirms two separate things: 1) Tyre shall be destroyed, and that by the Chaldaeans; 2) It shall be restored after 70 years, and its wealth shall be serviceable to the kingdom of God. And these announcements have also on the whole been fulfilled; but because the separate constituents of the prophecy were accomplished at various times, widely apart from one another, the fulfilment, while it corresponds to the prophetic picture as a whole, is not evident

in its details. Our prophecy does not refer to the siege by Shalmaneser, because the Prophet (ver. 13) expressly declares that he has the Chaldeans in view as the enemies that would cause the ruin of Tyre. After what has been already said I cannot acknowledge that there is anything to justify an alteration of the text. But the conflicts of Shalmaneser with Tyre can have furnished the occasion for our prophecy. The olject at which the Assyrian, and afterwards the Babylonian rulers aimed for the extension and security of their kingdom towards the southwest, was the conquest of Egypt. The conquest of Syria, Phenicia, Palestine, Philistia and the adjoining territories of Arabia was only in order to the attainment of that end. The possession of Phenicia, that ruled the sea, was especially of the greatest importance for the war with Egypt, because Phenicia, with its fleet in the hands of the Assyrians, could be just as useful to them as, in the service of the Egyptians, it could be hurtful to them. For this reason the Prophet (ver. 5) depicts the terror which the capture of Tyre would produce in Egypt. For that party in Jerusalem that was disposed to rely on the alliance with Egypt against Assyria, the integrity of Tyre must for this reason be a matter of prime moment. We might say: they relied on Tyre as the right arm of Egypt. As now the Prophet combated the reliance on Egypt, he must also be concerned to destroy the false hopes that were placed on Tyre. He does this in our chapter, while he represents Tyre as a city devoted by the LORD to destruction (ver. 8 sqq.). Why should Judah trust in such a power and not rather in Him who is able to decree such a doom on the nations 2 To set this before his people for due consideration, was certainly the practical aim of Isaiah. But we must now inquire more precisely : Did Isaiah see himself prompted to this discourse before the campaign of Shalmaneser against Tyre, during the same, or after it? It is not indeed impossible for the Prophet to have uttered this prediction before the conflicts which Shalmaneser, according to the fragment of Menander in Joseph Us (Antiqq. IX. 14, 2), carried on with the Tyrians; but any ground in facts for making this, assumption is entirely wanting. It is also in itself not impossible for Isaiah to have composed the prophecy after the blockade of Tyre had been raised, perhaps at the same time with those prophecies against Egypt (xviii., xix., xx.), and against the nations whose subjugation was a necessary preliminary to attacking Egypt (xv., xvi., xxi.,11 sqq.). We might even appeal in support of this view to xx. 6, where under TT so it would be

proper to understand Phenicia and specially Tyre. But this prophecy belongs to the year 711 B.C.: consequently to a time when the blockade of Tyre by Shalmaneser was long past. For Shalmaneser was in the year 722 already dead. But now it is certainly less probable that a Prophet should make a matter the subject of a prophecy at a time when this matter has been partially disposed of and engages less the general interest, than that he "...". this at a time when the matter in question is going on, and is attracting the greatest attention. I therefore hold, it to be more probable that our prophecy was delivered before the year 722, and that it consequently belongs to a time when the conflict with Tyre was still lasting. The prophecy published at this juncture was, moreover, intended to tell the Israelites that the Assyrians would not conquer Tyre, as then seemed likely, but that the Chaldeans would do so. The prophecy then belongs to the same time as chapter xxviii. (comp. the introduction to xxviii.-xxxiii.), which first assails the Egyptian alliance, and, as we will there show, must have been composed before the capture of Samaria (comp. xxviii. 1), and therefore before the contemporaneous blockade of Tyre (comp. SCHRADER, ut supra, p.155). The blockade by Shalmaneser and his successor Sargon, although the expression & Kaprépmaav in Menander would warrant our inferring a final surrender, does not seem to have been attended with consequences particularly hurtful to the Tyrians. The Assyrians were themselves interested in sparing the resources of the Tyrians, that they might use them for their own advantage. From this time till the commencement of the Chaldean wars there is a complete gap in the history of Phenicia (Movers, II., I., p. 400). That Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre is now no more disputed by any one. That the siege lasted thirteen years has at least great internal probability. Joseph Us states it on the authority of Philostratus (Antiqq. X. 11, 1) and of the Tyrian Menander (although, without expressly mentioning his name, Contra Apion, 1, 21). We have, besides, the authority of the prophet Ezekiel (xxvi-xxviii., xxix. 16 sqq.). But the question is: Did Nebuchadnezzar also destroy Tyre? On this subject many needless words have been used by those who thought that the honor of prophecy absolutely required that Tyre should have been destroyed at once and directly by Nebuchadnezzar. This did not happen, and is by no means necessary to save the credit of prophecy. We know from IIERodotus (II. 161) and DioDoRUs (I.68) that the Egyptian king Apries, who was cotemporary with Nebuchadnezzar, undertook a successful expedition against the Phenicians who had hitherto been his allies. How would this be conceivable if Phenicia (to which doubtless Tyre is to be reckoned) had not been for the Egyptians the country of an enemy, i.e., a Babylonian province 2 According to the account already mentioned, which Joseph Us (Contra Apion I. 21) communicates from Tyrian sources, there arose difficulties in regard to the succession to the throne of Tyre after the thirteen years' siege. A king Baal ruled for ten years aster Itobaal, in whose reign the siege began. But then follow two judges, one high-priest, then again two judges, who govern in conjunction with a king. The duration of these governments was, in the case of some of them, very brief. At last the Tyrians procure for themselves a king from Babylon in the person of Merbaal, and after his death they obtain from the same place his brother Hiram. For, according to 2 Kings xxv.28, there were, beside Zedekiah, other captive kings in Babylon. If now Nebuchadnezzar brought the royal family with him to Babylon, is not that a K. of his having conquered Tyre? (comp.

OVERS, ut supra, p. 460 sqq.). So much is established, that Tyre, since the close of the conflicts with Nebuchadnezzar, ceased to be an independent state. Although it was not destroyed, which

would not have served the interests of the Chaldeans, it became a province of the Babylonian empire, whence it passed over into the hands of the Persians, Grecians and Romans, as Jerome on Ezek. xxvii. says: “Quod nequaquam ultra sit regina populorum mec proprium habeat imperium, uli habuit sub Hiram et ceteris regibus,8ed vel Chaldaeis vel Macedonibus vel. Ptolemaeis et ad postremum Romanis servitura sit.” The conquest by Nebuchadnezzar was the act in the world's history which originated the complete destruction of Tyre, though its ruin was not all at once effected. This act had involved in it what should take place in the future, and this future gradually unfolded the significance of that act which was such a beginning as presaged the coming end, as was the earnest of the final doom of Tyre. Its capture by Alexander the Great (333 B.C.; comp. CURT. iv. 7 sqq.; ARRIAN II. 24) was one of the chief events in the accomplishment of its predicted ruin. But Tyre outlived even this visitation. CURTIUs says expressly: “Multis ergo casibus defuncta et post ea c idium renata, nunc tamen longa

cuncta refovente sub tutela Romanae mansuetudinis acquiescit.” Who can help thinking here on the restoration which Isaiah, ver. 15 sqq., promises to the city? Isaiah indeed promises this restoration after 70 years. But these 70 years denote only the duration of the rule of the Chaldeans. The Prophet sees only one master of the Phenician capital—the Chaldeans (ver. 13). This is the relative defect in his vision. He sees too the restoration immediately after the disappearance of this one enemy. This is likewise a relative defect. For, as in reality the destruction of Tyre had many distinct stages, so also was it with the restoration. The occasion and starting point of the restoration is seen by the Prophet in the passing away of this one arch-enemy. But to Isaiah this flourishing anew of Tyre was only a revival of its commerce, and this was really the fact. Thus JEROME on Ezekiel xxvii. states that Tyre “usque o: ut omnium propemodum gentium in illa exerceantur commercia.” PLINY, however, remarks (IHist. Nat. V. 17) : “Tyrus olim clara..... nunc omnis ejus nobilitas conchylio atque purpura constat.” Tyre became afterwards a Christian city. When our Lord was upon earth, longing souls came from the borders of Tyre and Zidon to see and to hear Him; and He, on His part, did not disdain to honor these borders with His presence (Mark iii. 8; Luke vi. 17; Matth. xv. 21). Paul found there (Acts xxi. 3 sqq.) a Christian church. In the beginning of the fourth century Methodius was bishop of Tyre. In 315 a church erected there at great expense was dedicated by Eusebius of Caesarea. In 355 a Synod convoked by the Eusebians against Athanasius was held there. In 1125 it was taken by the crusaders and incorporated in the kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1127 it became the seat of an archbishop. William of Tyre, the celebrated historian, occupied the see of Tyre from the year 1174. Not till the end of the 13th century did the Saracens destroy the fortifications. After Alexander the Great had connected Tyre with the main land by means of a mole, it ceased to be an island, and it is now a village of fishermen's huts, with about 3,000 inhabitants (Sur). All that the Prophet announced has thus in fact been fulfilled. But in in such strangely different forms that only he can perceive the identity who understands how to combine the long-drawn lines of history into one picture in perspective. This picture will exactly correspond to that of the Prophet. [The remarks of our author, when carefully studied, vindicate the Prophet from the charge of even a relative error. The Prophet does not say that the predicted restoration of Tyre should all at once take place on the expiration of seventy years, or the close of the rule of the Chaldeans. The require. ment of the prophecy is satisfied if Tyre should begin to flourish after its deliverance from the Chaldean oppression. history, foreknow what is most remote as well as what is near at hand 2 And can He have no reason for causing the things that will take place at the end of the world to be predicted by the interpreters of His will, the prophets? There is just the same reason for His doing this which there is for prophecy at all. We ought to know that the history of the world is moving toward a certain goal fixed by God, in order that one class may fear, and that the other may have a firm support in every temptation, and the certain hope of final victory. And we ought therefore not to be astonished if Isaiah, the greatest of all the prophets, penetrates by the spiritual vision given to him into the most distant future. This only would with reason surprise us, if Isaiah should describe the distant future as one who had experienced it and passed through it. But this is not the case. For we clearly perceive that the pictures of the future which he presents to us are enigmatical to himself. He takes his stand in the present time; he is not only a man, but also an Israelite of his own age. He depicts the destruction of the earth in such a way that we can see that it appears to him as the occurrence on a grand scale of what was well known to him, “the wasting of cities and countries.” From his point of view he distinguishes neither the exact chronological succession of the different objects, nor the real distance which separates him from the last things. And he is so much an Israelite that the judgment of the world appears to him as the closing act in the great controversy of Israel against the heathen nations. For DELITzsch is perfectly right when he regards our chapters as the fitting finale to chaps. xiii—xxiii. The Prophet is, moreover, an Israelite of his own age. For, although he knows that the judgment will extend to all the nations that constitute the worldly power, nevertheless Assyria and Egypt stand in the foreground as its prominent representatives (xxvii. 12, 13). Only once, when he places the countries of the second exile over against those of the first, do the former appear in their natural double form as the countries of the Euphrates and of the Tigris, or, as it is there ex}. (xxvii. 1), the straight and the crooked

the language of prophecy and in the language of God's word and sacrament.” CRAMER. [This is its fulfilment, divine thoughts clothe themselves | quite too indiscriminate a censure of merchants

The Spirit of God again

and traders. CICERo (19e Off. Lib. 1) expresses a similar opinion as to the necessity for hucksters to practise deceit in order to make a profit. Happily the book of Ecclesiasticus is not inspired Scripture, and Christianity has so far improved the spirit of men of business that the language of the Apocrypha as quoted above and of CICERo would not now be tolerated, but would be universally regarded as most unjust and calumniatory.—D. M.] 2. On vers. 8 and 9. “This place affords us consolation. As the threatening of the Prophet against Tyre was not vain, so also the tyranny of our adversaries will come to an end. Neither the

saw in the capture of Tyre by, Nebuchadnezzar Pope nor the Turk believes that they can fall— the germinant force which would issue in its final but they shall fall, as Tyre fell.” LUTHER.

complete destruction, and accordingly foretells
that the ruin of Tyre would follow that event. Christ;
But whether this should happen at once, or in the jo.

course of time, is not declared. Nebuchadnezzar brought Tyre to ruin; for his capture of it led to its entire destruction, though there intervened a long line of operations and issues which it required many ages to develop. The remark of Abarbanel, that has been often quoted, is here in point, “that it is the custom of the prophets in their predictions to have respect at once to a near and remote period, so that prophecies pointing to very distant times are found among others which relate to the immediate future. Whence we may the more certainly conclude that God might threaten the Tyrians with the destruction of their city, though it might be brought on at different times and by gradual advances.” There is no mistake made by Isaiah in the picture which he drew. It fully served the object intended by God. The relative mistake is in the exponent of the prophecy.—D. M.]


1. On ver. 1 sqq. “Commerce and seaports are not in themselves evil—but where commerce prospers and is in full bloom, there God's gift and ordinance are to be recognised. Solomon engaged in commerce (2 Kings x. 28). When trade declines, this is to be looked upon as a punishment from the hand of God on account of the extortion ractised by merchants. For a merchant shall hardly keep himself from doing, wrong, and a huckster shall not be freed from sin (Ecclesiasticus xxvii. 29). Sin is committed not only where merchants deal falsely, but also where they are proud of their riches and magnificence, and move along as princes and lords, and forget the poor, and at the same time neglect divine service,

3. On ver. 18. “I’so intelligo de futuro regmo quod et ipsa Tyrus convertenda est ad DoDicit igitur, postguam reversa fuerit ad

sitas negociationes, imminebit regnum Christi, quod

Tyrus quoque amplectetur, sicut testatur Act. xxi.” LUTHER.

On ver, 18. They who dwell before the Lord— i. e., who believe on Him, will have: 1) their merchandise, 2) will eat and be satisfied, 3) will be well clothed. Therefore money and property, food and goodly apparel, are not to be condemned and renounced. This admits of practical application against monkery and the Anabaptists.” CRAMER. [The original Anabaptists of Germany maintained a community of goods. –D. M.]


1. [On vers. 1-14. Why did God bring these calamities on Tyre? Not to show an arbitrary and irresistible power, but to punish the Tyrians for their pride (ver. 9). Many other sins, no doubt, reigned among them : idolatry, sensuality and oppression—but the sin of pride is fastened upon as that which was the particular ground of God’s controversy with Tyre. Let the ruin of Tyre be a warning to all places and persons to take heed of pride—for it proclaims to all the world that he who exalts himself shall be abased. After HENRY.—D. M.]

2. [Vers, 8 and 9. An appropriate text for a discourse on God's moral government over the nations, Dan. iv. 3.-D. M.]

3. On ver. 18. Concerning the right use of worldly goods: 1) We ought not to gather them as a treasure, nor to hide them. 2. We ought to consecrate them to the Lord, and therefore apply them: a) to sacred objects, b) for the wants of the body according to the will of the Lord.


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eviathan. Under the latter we are to understand Babylon (see the Exposition). And in another place (xxv. 10 sqq.) Moab appears for a particular reason (see the Exposition) as the representative of all the nations hostile to the theocracy. The same criticism, which would make the Almighty get out of the way wherever IIe makes His appearance within our sphere, has endeavored in various ways to refer this prophecy to particular situations in the world's history. But here one interpreter is arrayed against the other, and one testimony destroys the other. After BERTHOLDT (Einleit., p. 1390), KNobHL is of the opinion (shared by UMBREIT) that the prophecy points to the time when Jerusalem, which had been captured by the Chaldeans, was completely destroyed by Nebuzaradan (2 Kings xxy. 8 sqq.). EICH HoRN (Hebr. Proph. III., p. 205 sqq.) refers the piece to the destruction of the empire of the Chaldeans, and assumes as its anthor a Hebrew dwelling in the ruined and desolate Palestine. RosPNMUELLER (Scholia 1 Ed.), GEseNIUs and MAURER represent the piece

as composed during the exile, at a time when the fall of Babylon was imminent (xxiv. 16 sqq.; xxvi. 20 sq.; xxvii. 1). BoETTCHER (de inf. & 435, 440) attributes the discourse to a merchant who, resident in the neighborhood of the country of the Moabites, journeyed on business between Assyria and Egypt, and appended his poem on the fall of Babylon (composed in the year 533) to that of another merchant on the fall of Tyre (xxiii.). EwALD refers the piece to the time “when Cambyses was preparing his Egyptian campaign.” These are the more important of the views of those who deny that Isaiah wrote these chapters. IIc who wishes to learn the other opinions may consult ROSENMUELLER, GESENIUS, HITZIG and KNOBEL.

There are four points which seem to me to prove to a demonstration that the Prophet has not in view ordinary events of history. First, the destruction of the globe of the earth announced, xxiv. 18–20. For, when it is affirmed of the

earth with a repetition of the word 'Ys five times,

that its foundations are shaken, that it is utterly broken, clean dissolved, moved exceedingly, and reels to and fro like a drunkard or a hammock, more is certainly intended thereby than a political revolution, or an occurrence in nature accompanying such a revolution. It is the shaking of the earth in a superlative sense—a shaking from which it will not rise again (ver. 20 b). Secondly, it is declared (ver. 21 sqq.) that the judgment will extend to the stars and the angelic powers, and that sun and moon will cease to rule the day and the night (Gen. i. 16), because Jehovah alone will be the source of light and glory (comp. the Exposition). Thirdly, xxv. 6–8, we have set before us in prospect the gathering together of all nations on Mount Zion, the removal of the covering from their eyes, the abolition of death and of every evil. This is no picture of earthly happiness. It points beyond the bounds of this world and of this dispensation.

Fourthly, the resurrection of the dead is foretold (xxvi. 19 sqq.) together with the last judgment which brings to light all hidden guilt. Every restriction of this prophecy to a mere wish involves a contradiction. For that this place really contains the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is acknowledged by all. But no one will af. firm, much less be able to prove, that this resurrection was expected in the time of the exile, and in order to the re-peopling of Palestine; or, if the latter is the case, then the resurrection of the dead is not the subject of discourse. For it would be an unheard-of assertion to affirm that the Israelites expected that their return to Palestine and the resurrection should take place at the same time. And how arbitrary is the exegesis which limits “the inhabitant of the earth” ver. 21, to any particular people, and puts into the latter part of the verse the thought: the earth will restore the blood of those who were slain in a certain time ! Passages can indeed be quoted in which we read of innocent blood that had been shed not penetrating into the earth (Job xvi. 1S ; Ezek. xxiv. 7 sq). But the bringing forth again of all shed blood, and the coming forth of all that had been killed out of the earth belong naturally to eschatology. For these are preliminaries to the realization of the final judgment. If the view which refers this prophecy to events in the world's history were correct, must there not be some mention of Nebuchadnezzar and of the Chaldeans, in order to justify the interpretation of BERTHOLDT, UMBREIT and KNobel? When we reflect what a mighty impression this worldly power made upon Jeremiah, and how, after the battle of Carchemish, he never comes forth as a Prophet without mentioning Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans, it is inconceivable how a Hebrew who was among those who suffered the crushing stroke from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, could speak only of Egypt and Assyria, and at most, allusively and covertly, of the Chaldeans (xxvii. 1) as enemies of the theocracy. But if our piece refers to the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, why is there no mention of the Persians? And the same objection avails against ail other interpretations which apply the passage to events in the history of the world. Against all of them the want of any specification of such events may be justly objected. In regard to the style, and to the range of thought that characterize this piece, the exact and minute investigation which lies at the basis of our exposition will show that the language is altogether that of Isaiah. If there are found in it manifold points of connection with other pieces which criticism has pronounced spurious, we have simply to say: in view of the large amount of words and expressions that we find here, undoubtedly germane to the authentic style of Isaiah, we are entitled to draw the reverse conclusion, and to affirm that those pieces must be genuine, because they resemble so much our prophecy which undoubtedly has proceeded from Isaiah. The accumulation of paronomasias, which are pronounced devoid of taste, has been made a cause of reproach to our piece. But it must be shown that these paronomasias are more tasteless than other such forms of speech, which we meet with in the acknowled:ed compositions of Isaiah, and that they are of a different kind. So long as this is not done, I venture to affirm that this ingenious facility in the management of language best corresponds to the eminent intellectual gifts of Isaiah, which we know sufficiently from other sources. Persons of such mental power, and possessing such a command of language, are at all times rare. According to our modern criticism there must have been dozens of them among the Israelites at the time of the captivity. But I fear that such a judgment is only possible when the critics, because they cannot, or will not perceive the divinely great in these works of genius, so degrade them by the aid of their intolerably petty and vulgar standard, that, in sooth, any bungler might have composed them. Further, against regarding Isaiah as the author of these chapters it has been objected that they contain many pe— culiar thoughts and expressions which occur only here. But what does this objection amount to 2 Do these thoughts and expressions contradict Isaiah's manner of thinking and speaking 2 No one has yet been able to prove this. But if this is not the case, the circumstance that they occur only here is of no significance whatever. For among the chapters of Isaiah that are acknowledged genuine, there is not a single one which

The number two lies at its basis.

does not contain thoughts and words that are new and peculiar to it alone. This is not surprising in a mind so inexhaustibly fertile as that of Isaiah. The objection drawn from the occurrence of ideas that are said to belong to a later age, might be of more weight. To this class of ideas is referred the curse of the law (xxiv. 6). But apart from Deut. xxviii.-xxx. (comp. espec. xxix. 19), that the curse should fall on transgressors of the law is so obvious an idea, that it is inconceivable that it should be regarded as the sign of a later time. That it happens not to occur in writings universally admitted to precede the age of Isaiah may appear strange, but is no proof of the later origin of these chapters. That gods are spoken of as protecting powers of kingdoms, xxiv. 21, is just as little established as that the sun and moon, xxiv. 23, are named as objects of idolatrous homage (comp. our Exposition). The cessation of death (xxv. 8), and the resurrection of the dead (xxvi. 19) are closely connected. Both are confessedly ideas which could not have entered clearly into the consciousness of the Israelites till they had attained an advanced stage of religious culture. But that the Israelites first received this doctrine when, in exile, from Parseeism is, as KLOSTERMANN says, “an unfounded, unproved, modern tradition.” . Von HoFMANN is certainly right when he sees in the first, and fundamental promise [Gen. iii. 15] the basis of the hope that “finally everything will have an end that has come into the world through the enemy of God— sin and death.” This does not prevent this passage from belonging to the oldest documents of the awakening consciousness of this hope of faith. As we cannot see in this a proof of the composition of this piece during the exile, so it appears to us equally improbable that this event, which belongs to the final history of the world, could escape the eye of an Isaiah. In regard to the time of composition, it is very difficult to say anything definite. More particular indications fixing the date are entirely wanting. The Prophet, as it were, soars high above his time, and as if cut loose from it, lives wholly in the future. Nevertheless, he beholds the theocracy in conflict with Assyria and Egypt; and even Babylon appears, although but dimly disclosed, among these foes. If we add that these chapters follow immediately the prophecies against the heathen nations, and appear as the winding up of the same, the supposition very readily suggests itself that they were composed in the time of Hezekiah, and as DELItzscii says as finale to chapters xiii.-xxiii. The manifold points of connection with later pieces by Isaiah, which we will particularly point out in the course of our exposition, favor this view. The structure of the piece indicates no little art. There are twice two chapters, of which the first and third have the final judgment of the world for their subject, the second and fourth the deliverance of Israel. Each of these four chapters again consists of two parts. We make out the following plan of the piece: 1) The beginning of distress; the destruction of the surface of the earth (xxiv. 1–12). 2) The destruction of the globe of the earth (xxiv. 13–23).

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