« PoprzedniaDalej »
3) Israel's song of praise for the deliverance 6). The resurrection of the dead, and the con
experienced (xxv. 1–5). cluding act in the judgment of the world (xxvi. 4) Zion as the place of the feast given to all 11–21). nations in contrast to Moab that perishes inglo-|.7). The downfall of the worldly powers and riously (xxv. 6–12). Zion's joyful hope (xxvii. 1-9). 5) The judgment as the realization of the idea 8) The fall of the city of the world and Israel's of justice (xxvi. 1-10). glad restoration (xxvii. 10–13).
1. THE BEGINNING OF DISTRESS: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH. CHAPTER XXIV. 1–12.
1 : BEHOLD the Lord maketh the earth empty, And maketh it waste, And 'turneth it upside down, And scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, As with the people, so with the “priest; As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress; As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3 The "land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: For the Lord hath spoken this word. 4 The earth mourneth, and fadeth away, The world languisheth and fadeth away, The "haughty people of the earth do languish. 5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, And they that dwell therein are desolate: Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, And few men left. 7. The new wine mourneth, The vine languisheth, All the merry-hearted do sigh. 8 The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, The noise of them that rejoice endeth, The joy of the harp ceaseth. 9 They shall not drink wine with a song; Strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. 10 The city of "confusion is broken down: Eyery house is shut up, that no man may come in. 11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; All joy is darkened, The mirth of the land is gone. 12 In the city is left desolation, And the gate is smitten with destruction.
* Heb. perrerteth the face thereof. * Or, prince. * Heb. the height of the people. * earth. b emptiness.
1. The Prophet transports himself in spirit to the end of all things. He describes the destruction of the world. He sees, however, that this destruction will be gradually accomplished. He here depicts the first scene: the destruction of all that exists on the surface of the earth. This destruction bears the closest resemblance to such desolations of countries and cities as even now occur in consequence of wars. Hence the Prophet borrows the colors for this his first picture of the destruction of the world from such oc-. currences in actual history. Jehovah empties, devastates, depopulates the surface of the earth (ver. 1), and the inhabitants are without distinction of person swept away (ver. 2); and this work of emptying and devastation is thoroughly accomplished (ver. 3). In consequence, inaninate nature appears mourning, and every height and glory of creation has vanished (ver. 4); and this too is quite natural, for the earth has been defiled by the sins of men (ver. 5). Therefore the curse has, as it were, devoured the earth; therefore men, with the exception of a small remnant, are destroyed from the earth (ver. 6). Therefore the precious productions of the earth that gladden the heart of man have vanished, and with them all joy on earth (vers. 7–9). The head of the earth, the great city of the world is a chaos of ruins, its houses no man enters any more (ver. 10). In the streets nothing is heard save lamentations over the loss of what gladdens the heart of man. All joy has departed (ver. 11). Nothing remains in the city but solitude and desolation. The gates are broken to pieces (ver. 12).
Deuteronomy (comp. iv. 27; xxviii. 64; xxx. 3), is found besides in Isaiah only xxviii. 25; xli. 16. The LoRD knows no respect of persons. When the great forces of nature by God's command assail our race, then all are alike affected. In a desolation wrought by human hands the case can be different. Then the more distinguished persons are often treated otherwise than the poor, and are reserved for a better fate (comp. 1 Sam. xv. 8 sq.; 2 Kings xxv. 27 sqq.). When “people” and “priest” are put in contrast, and not “ people” and “prince” or “king,” the reason is to be song.ht in the fact that the priests in the theocracy form properly the nobility. The place, moreover, is a quotation from Hos. iv. 9. Any citizen may become a king; but he only can be a priest who is of the priestly race. Comp. Lev. xxi.; Ezek. xliv.15 sqq.; Joseph Us CoN. Ap. I, 7; Mishna Kiddushin iv. 4. [The rightful King of Israel must according to the divine appointment be of the house of David.—D. M.] The sentence ver. 2 contains six comparisons. As in the first half of the verse, the second and third comparisons are not specifically distinct from one another, so is it too in the second half of the verse. With a repetition of assonant sounds, which like waves or shocks succeed one another, the Prophet paints the emptying and plundering of the earth. We have already remarked that he depicts the devastation of the surface of the earth in colors which are borrowed from the devastation of a single country by an earthly enemy. For that the subject treated of is the devastation of the earth, and not merely of the land of Palestine, appears from the whole scope of chapters xxiv.–xxvii., which are intended to depict the judgment of the world; and this point comes ever more clearly to light in the course of the prophecy. It might be asked: if YYR is the earth, who then are the plunderers? But this is an idle question. For the Prophet sees in spirit an occurrence which appears to him at the first sight quite like the devastation of a country in war by a hostile military force. He sees great confusion, men shouting and fleeing, houses burning and falling down, smoke rising to heaven, etc. He sees no particular country; he sees no definite persons in the plundering enemies. . It is a question if he really perceives plundering persons. For the whole representation is at first a comparatively indistinct picture which gradu
ally attains greater clearness and definiteness, On the expression “For the LQRD hath spoken,” which occurs more frequently in Isaiah than in the other Prophets, comp. on i. 2. The addition “ this word ” is found only here. It is evidently used in order to continue in the second half of the verse the play with words by means of lingual and labial sounds. The effect of the devastation is that the land appears mourning and exhausted (ver. 4). Here too the Prophet
heaps together assonant words. %2s to mourn,
is used by Isaiah iii. 26; xix. 9; xxxiii. 9. The description in Joel i. 9 sq. seems to have been
here before his mind. *2]. to all off, from being withered, is used by Isaiah i. 30; xxviii. 1, 4; xxxiv. 4; lxiv. 5. hon, the earth (either as terra fertilis, or as ookovuévm, never as designation of a single country) is a current word with Isaiah. Comp. on xiii. 11. Ynsm by, an expression
which Isaiah does not elsewhere employ, seems to denote here the inhabitants of the earth in general. This is the rather possible, as our place is the first and oldest in which the expression occurs. It has not here the specific sense of “common people,” plebs, in opposition to people of rank, in which sense it afterwards occurs. Comp. my remarks on Jer, i. 18. Dino is the abstract
for the concrete, the height for the high and eminent. Not only inanimate creation, man too presents the sad look of decay. What among men blooms and flourishes, as well as the fresh green vegetation, becomes withered and languid.
3. The earth also is defiled covenant. —Ver, 5. This verse must be regarded as related to what precedes as the statement of the cause. For here the sins of men are pointed out. But sin has punishment for its necessary consequence. We must say, therefore, that there lies a causal power in the wav with which this verse begins; as is not unfrequently the case. That the land is defiled through blood-guiltiness and other sin is declared Numb. xxxv. 33, which place Isaiah has probably in his eye, (comp. Jer. iii. 1, 2, 9). TTIA is to be taken in the local sense. The
earth lies as a polluted thing under the feet of its inhabitants. How could such polluted ground be suffered to exist? It is an object of wrath, it must be destroyed. The second half of the verse tells by what the earth has been defiled ; men have transgressed the divine laws, have wantonly slighted the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant (xxx. 8; ly. 3). nonin only here in Isaiah, is frequent in the Pentateuch : Gen. xxvi. 5; Exod. xvi. 28; xviii. 16, 20 et saepe.
on of the law only here. Mark the assonance with on. The radical meaning of the word is “to change,” comp. on ii. 18; viii. 8; ix. 9; xxi. 1. Not only to the people of Israel has God given a law, not merely with this people has God made a covenant; the Noachic covenant is for all men; yea, in a certain sense for all creatures on the earth (Gen. ix. 1 sqq., and ver, 9 sqq.). God has given witness of Himself to all men (Acts xiv. 17), and made it possible for all to perceive His invisible power and godhead
(Rom. i. 20). The Prophet indicates here the deep moral reason why our earth cannot forever continue in its present material form. 4. Therefore hath the curse—drink it.— Vers, 6–9. On the statement of the cause, ver. 5, follows anew with “therefore ” the declaration of the consequences, so that ver, 5 serves, as a basis both for what precedes and what follows. The same condition is described in the main by vers. 6–12 as by vers. 1-4. Only in so far are vers. 6–12 of a different import, as they prominently set forth not only the general, but the special experiences of men through the withdrawal of the noblest fruit, wine, and as they from verse 10 direct the look to the great centre of the earth, the city of the world. Jeremiah has our place in general before his eyes (xxxiii. 10. The curse is conceived as the devouring fire of the divine wrath (Exod. xxiv. 17; Deut. iv. 24; ix. 3; Isa. x. 16 sq.; xxix. 6; xxx. 27-30;
xxxiii. 14). The expression n°5x nox (mark the assonance with ver. 4) occurs only here. Eg's (in Isaiah only here) denotes in this connection, not “to be guilty, to contract guilt,” but “to suffer the punishment of guilt.” Comp. Hos. x. 2; xiv. 1 et saepe. The effect of that burning wrath which devours the guilty, extends first to men. These are parched by it, their sap is dried up (Ps. xxxii. 4). But where the sap of life is dried up, death ensues, and, in consequence, but few people, remain on the earth. This surviving of a small remnant is confessedly a very significant point in Isaiah's prophecy (iv. 3; vi. 13; x. 19 sqq.; xi. 11, 16; xvii. 6). Isaiah uses the word vils more frequently than the other Prophets. He employs it six times beside the case before us; viii. 1; xiii. 7-12; xxxiii. 8; li. 7; lvi. 2. Of the other Prophets only Jeremiah uses it, and but once. In the book of Job the word occurs 19 times. To is found only in Isaiah; x. 25; xxix. 17; xvi. 14. Yo also is found only Isa. xxviii. 10, 13, and Job
Isaiah, after having foretold, ver. 7, the destruction of the vine, the noblest fruit of the ground, depicts its consequence, the cessation of joy which wine produces (Ps. civ. 15). 5. The city of confusion—destruction. —Wers. 10–12. In these. three verses the Prophet proceeds to describe the destiny of the great worldly city, the head and centre of the kingdom of the world. It is not surprising that he gives particular prominence to it, when we consider how largely Babylon figures in prophecy (comp. my remarks on Jeremiah 1. and li. Introduction). I would not, however, be understood as affirming that our Prophet had o specifically before his mind. Isaiah intends just the city of the world kar’ for ov, whatever name it might bear. I do not think that noP is to be taken collec
The Prophet declares that the inward chaos would
also be outwardly manifested. Everything here is in accordance with the style of Isaiah. Yet, is used very often by Isaiah (viii. 16; xiv. 5; xvii. 25, 29; xxvii. 11; xxviii. 13; xxx. 14, et saepe). TP is found sixteen times in the pro
phets; of these, ten times in Isaiah (i.21, 20; xxii. 2; xxiv. 10; xxv.2, 3; xxvi. 5; xxix. 1; xxxii.
13; xxxiii. 20). Tin occurs twenty times in the
O. T.; of these, eleven times in Isaiah ; one of the places is admitted to be genuine (xxix. 21); the other places where it occurs are assailed by the critics. We might wonder how one could speak of closed houses in a destroyed city. We may not understand this, with DRECHSLER, of some
houses that remained uninjured. It was rather the falling of the houses that rendered them in
capable of being entered into. In the street too (ver. 11) the lamentation at the loss of wine and the departure of all joy is repeated (comp. xvi. 7
-10). By occurs only twice in the O. T.; viz.:
Judges xix. 9 and here. Its meaning is nigrum esse, obscurari, occidere. When all joy and life
have fled from the city, nothing remains in it but
desolation (ver. 12). If I am to state what future
events will correspond to this prophecy of the first act of the judgment of the world, it appears to me that the description of the Prophet, as it refers solely to occurrences which have for their theatre the surface of the earth, corresponds to what our Lord in His discourse on the last things says of
the signs of His coming, and of the beginning of
sorrows (Matt. xxiv. 6-8; Mark xiii. 7-8; Luke xxi. 9 sqq.). And the beginning of sorrows corresponds again to what the Revelation of John represents under the image of seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials (chap. vi. sqq.).
2. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE GLOBE.
13 *When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, There shall be as the shaking of an olive-tree, And as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.
14 They shall lift up their voice,
They shall sing for the majesty of the LoRD,
They shall cry aloud from the sea.
15 Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the "fires, Even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. 16 From the "uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs,
Even glory to the righteous. But I said,
‘My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me !
The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously;
Yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. 17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee,
O inhabitant of the earth. 18 And it shall come to pass,
That he who fleeth from the noise of the fear
Shall fall into the pit;
And it shall fall, And not rise again. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day,
That the LoRD shall “punish the host of the high ones that are on high, And the kings of the earth upon the earth. 22 And they shall be gathered together, "as prisoners are gathered in “the pit,
And shall be shut up in the prison,
And after many o shall they be 'visited.
23 Then the moon shall be confounded, And the sun ashamed,
When the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem,
And “before his ancients gloriously.
Ver. 13. The impersonal expression n°n" ni) is to be understood as Tony Xvii. 5.
ver. 19. ny" is a substantive as Tl2 in ver, 16 and
* Heb. with the gathering of prisoners,
* Heb, leanness to me, or, my secret to me. • Or, dungeon.
• Shake like a hammock.
with nEDN; but "h"DN is really in apposition to the T -- -: -
subject involved in *Eps. The singular nops need not
cause surprise; comp. xx. 4. The case before us comes
TEDN in ver. 22; three examples in this chapter of the under the category of the ideal number treated of, NAEr ---. infin. abs. being represented by a substantive formed GElsbach Gr., 361, 1 sq. by stands in the signification
from the same stem. Ver. 22. Many would connect hops of 98. Comp. on x. 3.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
1. The Prophet depicts here the second stage of the world's destruction. This consists substantially in the shattering of the globe of the earth itself. The transitioni is o by the thought, ver. 13, that only few men, a i. ning, as it were, will survive the first catastrophe. But these saved ones are the pious, the elect of God. These flee to the promised land, to Jerusalem. From the sea, i.e., from the west, the prophet hears the song of praise (ver. 14). He answers by calling on east and west to praise the name of the Lord (ver. 15). This summons is obeyed. We perceive from this, that the elect of God are hidden in a safe place (ver. 16 a). But that is just the occasion for the signal to be given for the occurrence of the last and most frightful catastrophe. The Prophet announces it with an exclamation of anxiety and terror. At the same time he declares why it must be so; the sin of men provokes the judgment of God (ver. 16b). He characterizes beforehand the catastrophe as one which shall take place in different successive acts, each more severe than the preceding, so that he who has escaped the first blow will certainly fall under the second or the third (vers. 17, 18 a). For, as at the deluge, the windows of heaven will be opened, and the foundations of the
earth will be broken up (ver. 18 b). The globe of the earth will then rend, burst, break (ver. 19), reel like a drunken man. The earth cannot bear the load of sin. It must, therefore, fall to rise again no more (ver. 20). But the judgment of God is not confined to the earth: The angelic powers that are hostile to God will, as well as the representatives of the worldly power on earth, be cast into the abyss, and there shut up for a time; but after a certain term has expired, they will again be liberated (vers. 21, 22). Sun and moon, too, will lose their brightness, so that only in one place of the world can safety be found, namely, in Zion. For, although the rest of the earth be shattered, Zion, the holy mount, remains uninjured. For there Jehovah rules as king, and through the heads of His people there gathered round Him will He communicate His glory to His people also (ver. 23). 2. When thus it shall be—treacherous– ly.—Vers. 13–16. In the olive and grape harvest the great mass of the fruit is shaken or pool off and cast into the press. Only few erries remain on the olive tree or vine. The few remaining olives are struck off with a stick. The few grapes remaining on the vine are after