Obrazy na stronie
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that in the Messianic time, the glorious central figure, whom he only briefly names ver. 1, will have also a suitable environment. Thus the point of this p e is directed against the magnates that surrounded the king. Instead of oppressing the nation as heretofore (i. 23; iii. 15; x. 2; xxviii. 15; xxix. 20), each of them (the princes) will himself be a protector of the oppressed, like a sheltering, covering place of concealment protects from wind-storm and rain. Yea, they will even afford positive refreshment to the poor and wretched, as water-brooks and dense shade do to the traveller in the hot desert. The eyes of them that see, the ears of them that hear (ver. 3), are eyes and ears that can see and hear if they will. It is well-known that there are ways of plastering up such eyes, and of making such ears deaf (i. 23; v 23; xxxiii. 15). The like of that shall not be with these princes. DELITzsch well remarks that, according to ver. 4, Israel shall be delivered also from faults of infirmity. I would only so modify this remark as to make ver. 4, like that which precedes and follows, refer, not to Israel in general, but to the princes. Thus the Donno) “the rash, reckless,” are such judges as are naturally inclined to judge hastily, and superficially (comp. on xxxv. 4). These will apply a reflecting scrutiny (comp. on xi. 2) in order to know what is right. The stammering are such as do not trust themselves to speak openly, because they are afraid of blundering out the truth that is known to them, and so bringing themselves into disfavor. Thus all the conditions for the exercise of right and justice will be fulfilled. The judges will be what d. ought to be in respect to eyes, ears, heart and mouth. 3. The vile person——shall he stand.— Vers. 5-8. From those in office the Prophet passes to the noble apart from office. In this respect there often exists in the present conditions the most glaring contradiction between inward and outward nobility. This contradiction will cease in the Messianic time. For then a fool will

no longer be called a noble. A fool, *2]. is, ac

cording to Old Testament language, not one intellectually deficient, but one that practises gross iniquity; for sin in its essence is perverseness, contradiction, nonsense. The wicked surrenders realities of immeasurable value for a seeming good that is transitory; whereas the pious surrenders the whole world in order to save his soul, and this is at the same time the highest wisdom (comp. Deut. xxxii. 6; Jer. xvii. 11; Jud: xix. 23 sq.; xx. 6; 1 Sam. xxv.25; 2 Sam. xiii. 12). —a"; [Eng. Bibl.; “liberal]" undoubtedly involves originally the notion of voluntariness (Exod. xxv. 2; xxxv. 5, 21, 22, 20, etc.). But he that does good from an inward, free impulse is a noble man. Thus gradually 5'72 acquires the sense of noble, superior man, and indeed so much without regard to inward nobility, that the word is used with a bad side-meaning (Job. xxi. 28). Isaiah uses it again only xiii. 2. One will not call a swindler baron, the prophet proceeds to sav, ver. 5 b. By the following causal sentence, ver. 6, the Prophet proves the sentence “the fool will no

more be called noble.” His argument may be represented by the following syllogism : In the Messianic time each will be called what he is. But in that time also there will be people that are fools. Therefore in that time these will also be called fools and not noblemen. | is not the Prophet's aim in ver. 6, to state what fools will do in that time, as if their doing then will be different from now, which obviously it will not be. He would say there will be fools, and they will be called fools, and nobles and they will be called nobles.—TR.]. Of course for the Prophet the only important thought is that in the last time falsehood will no longer reign as in the present, and that accordingly a man's being and name will no longer be in contrast, but in perfect harmony. One sees that it is a point with him to say to the cheats of his day and age how they ought to be called, if every man had his dues. The general thought of ver, 6 a, is particularized in what follows. One does and speaks folly when he practises unclean, shameful things (by which the land is defiled before God, xxiv. 5; Jer, iii. 1), and utters error, (what misleads) against Jehovah. This doing and speaking is for the purpose of enriching one's self by robbery of the poor and weak (i. 23). This is figuratively expressed: to make empty the soul of the hungry (i.e., to take away what can satisfy the need of the hungry, comp. xxix. 8) and to “cause

the drink,” etc. Do, ver. 7, are properly instrumenta. Not the physical implements are meant here, but the ways and means in general of which the swindler o use. [“He deviseth plots to destroy the oppressed (or afflicted) with words of falsehood, and (i. e., even) in the poor (man's) speaking right (i. e., even when the poor-man's claim is just, or in a more general sense, when the poor-man pleads his cause).”—J. A. ALEXANDER.J.

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perseveres in his noble thoughts, i. e., he not only conceives them, but he carries them out. In bestowing the name, men will not be influenced only by the thoughts that proclaim themselves; men will make the name o on one's steadily adhering to them his whole life. PP often has this sense of continuing, persevering. Comp. xl. 8; Lev. xxv. 30; xvii. 19.

4.—THE PRESENT PUNISHMENT OF THE PROUD WOMEN, AND THE FUTURE GLORY OF THE NATION.

CHAPTER XXXII. 9–20.

9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; Hear my voice, ye careless daughters; Give ear unto my speech.

10

'Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women:

For the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.

11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease;

Be troubled, ye careless ones:

Strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.

12 “They shall lament for the teats,

For the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.

13

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars;

*Yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:

14

Because the palaces "shall be forsaken;
The multitude of the city "shall be left;

The “forts and towers "shall be for dens forever,

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And the work of righteousness shall be peace;

And the “effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. g q

18

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation

And in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

19 20

And the city shall be in a low place.

‘When it shall hail, coming down on the forest;

Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters,

That send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

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Wer. 9. noa is here used absolutely as in Jud. xviii. 7, 10, 27; Jer. vii. 8; xii. 5—psv again vers. 9, 11, 18; xxxiii.20; xxxvii. 29.

Ver. 10. The singular m) of must be taken in the sense of one year, seeing there ionothing to indicate that it is a collective.—After the specification of time the sentence ought properly to proceed with the Wav. consec. and the perf. Yet there are also examples of the use of the impers, with Wau. (Exod. xii. 3; Jer. viii. 1 Kothibh) or without it (xxvii. 6; vii. 8 comp. xxi. 16; Jer. viii. 1 K'ri; Gen. xl. 13, 19). The accusative Dory" responds to the question “when,” to signify the point of time where the predicted event will intervene.— On *95 comp. at xiv. 6.

Ver. 11. In *Tnn we have the masculine as the chief

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masculine, with the cohortative He of motion toward. Thus these imperatives contain no individualized command, but one formed quite generally as to matter, without regard to person and number: similar to our way in giving words of command, wherein at least no regard is had to the number of those addressed as we use the infin., or past particip. [the illustration is drawn of course from the Germ. idiom.—TR.]. This ver. shows plainly how in Hebrew the gender of words is not so rigidly fixed as in classical and modern languages, and hence it not so consistently adhered to.— Isaiah uses totyp only here.—of nay “nudum esse" he uses the Piel xxiii. 13.

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1. As in chapter iii. so here, the Prophet addresses men and women separately, having in mind especially those of the higher, and highest ranks. According to the foregoing exposition, vers. 1–8, under the guise of a glorious Messianic prophecy, contain a sharp reproof for powerful ones in Jerusalem. The second part of the chapter, on the other hand, is directed against the proud, secure women, announcing a season of disaster for them (vers. 9–14), [“until by a special divine influence a total revolution shall take place in the character, and, as a necessary consequence, in the condition of the people.”— J. A. A., on ver, 15] (vers. 15–20).

2. Rise up——pasture of flocks.-Vers. 9–14. The form of the introduction calls to mind i. 2; xxviii. 23, but more especially the address of Lamech to his wives Gen. iv. 33. I do not think that “rise up” demands a physical rising up. Like our German “auf" “up,” it may signify the merely inward rousing of the spirit to give attention (comp. Num. xxiii. 18). JSU has elsewhere also the secondary meaning of proud ease: Ps. cxxiii. 4; Amos vi. 1; Zech. i. 15.

The specification of time in nut-by pop ver. 10, does not relate to the continuance of the desolation, as is evident from ver. 15 “until the spirit,” etc. According to xxix. 1, which is manifestly related to our passage both as to matter and time (see the exposition there), it is probable that the Prophet means an indefinite number of days added to a year. (See Tert. and Gram.). Evidently the Prophet has in mind women that have heretofore never known any want, but have continually lived in abundance and luxury. Just for this reason will trembling and dismay seize them. For they would assuredly not have dispensed with the products of the wine, and fruit harvest, had not the enemy occupied the territory about Jerusalem and made gathering and plucking impossible. Thus the scarcity of those noble products, felt as a sure token of the enemy's presence, most of all in the apartments of women of rank, will frighten the women out of their secure and proud repose. Comp. xvi. 7 sqq. Toxi, “the wine har

vest” (comp. xxiv. 13). Toš, elsewhere To (Exod. xxiii. 16; xxxiv. 22), is “the fruit harvest” (Mic. vii. 1). The word occurs again only xxxiii. 4, and there only in its fundamental sense. That which ver. 10 is presented as in prospect, is announced in ver, 11 as the command, the will of God. Hence it must happen. Strip you, etc. The command to disrobe is that garments of mourning may replace those before worn (Joel i. 13; Isa. xv. 3; xxii. 12). Though we may translate "3, ver, 13 b, by “yea” (immo), as more accordant with our speech, still there underlies it a causal relation. That the land is overgrown with thorns and thistles, will appear the more credible, when it is perceived that even the houses of pleasure, indeed the very capital grows rank with such weeds. (See Tert. and Gram.). The joyous city means Jerusalem (comp. xxii. 2; Zeph. ii. 15). roy, as Was shown at xxii. 2, has the secondary meaning “presumptuous joy.” The propriety of this sense here in reference to the women of careless ease is evident. (On the logical connection of ver. 14 see Tert. and Gram.). Inasmuch as “joyous city” and “multitude of the city,” (which expressions are conjoined xxii. 2), occur only in xxii. 2 and our text, one properly infers a relationship between these chapters both as re matter and time. As not every city has an Ophel, and thus Ophel may not be taken as a general attribute of cities, but as something peculiar to Jerusalem (though not in distinction from all cities, for Samaria had an Ophel, 2 Kings v. 24), so we may understand by it the locality mentioned, 2 Chron. xxvii. 3; xxxiii. 14; Neh. iii. 26 sq.; xi. 21, “the southern steep, rocky prominence of Moriah from the south end of the temple-place to its extremest point, the '06%, ’00%ic of Joseph Us.” (ARNoLD in HERzog's R. Ency. VIII., p. 632).-īnā (ät. Aey.) is anyway kindred to on 3 or "T3 (xxiii. 13) and must, according to the fundamental meaning of the verb na (probare, explorare, examinare) sig

nify a locality suitable for this, a watch-tower, look-out. But whether towers in general or a particular tower is meant, is hard to say. T2

does not occur elsewhere; yet the common word

for “tower,” bup, signifies also watch-tower (2 Kings iz. 17; xvii. 9, etc.), and wall-towers (Neh. iii. 11; xii. 38). Perhaps this would have been used here, were only towers in general spoken of. Hence it is rather probable that this word ina

named along with oy, and occurring only in this passage, signifies a tower especially designated by this name, located in Qphel; perhaps “the great tower” of Neh. iii. 27 that is mentioned in connection with Ophel. Ophel and ima

shall be pro speluncis or vice speluncarum. Ty:

which everywhere involves the notion of something separating, has here the meaning “for, ino; of.” For what intervenes for another, in a measure puts itself before it, and in this way forms a partition between it and the observer. Wild, lonely, and far remote from all human intercourse must be the caves in which the wild ass (8)3

only here in Isaiah) has as much joy as a man in his finely built dwelling (ver. 13). 3. Until the spirit and the ass.— Vers. 15–20. As all the preceding prophecies are double-sided, including as it were day and night, such too is the case with the present one. But here, too, the Prophet does not promise inmediate salvation. He sets the glorious Messianic last time over against the pernicious present time, yet in a way that overleaps the long centuries that intervene, and sees that future directly behind the present. Thus TV that begins ver. 15 is both a restriction of the hyperbolical

poly-Ty (immeasurable extent of time as e. g., lxiii. 16; Jer. ii. 20), and a bold bridge from the present into the remote future. He portrays the latter in that aspect that corresponds to the things he reproves in the present. Proud security now reigns, for which however there is no reason. But in that time there will reign security and repose, resting on the securest foundation. For Israel will then he filled with the spirit of God, and serve in this spirit, by which shall be assured to them God's protection and support against all enemies. The expression "V" is very strong, meaning properly: the spirit from on high will be emptied out on us, completely poured out (comp. xi. 9, and respecting the o Gen. xxiv. 20 comp. Isa. iii. 17; xxii. 6; liii. 12). How far-reaching and comprehensive is the gaze of the Prophet here ! He regards the spirit from on high not merely as an ethical and intellectual, but also as a physical life-principle. He speaks here, as he does xi. 2-9, of nature and of persons as wholly pervaded by spirit. And the wilderness will be a fruitful field, etc., which has a proverbial sound, must certainly be taken in another sense than that of xxix. 17. The latter passage speaks of retrogression; here progress is meant. There is a descending climax, Lobanon, fruitful field, forest; here an ascending, desert, fruitful field, forest, in which the Prophet manifestly treats the forest, not as representing absence of cultivation, but as representing the most prodigious development of vegetation. He would say: what is now waste will then be fruit

ful field, and what is now fruitful field will then be forest, i.e., will stand high as a forest. Then a very different, a higher principle of life, originating from the divine 66; a will penetrate even nature. Of course, then, the personal life of men also. And how beautifully the Prophet depicts this harmony of both ! IIe names again the wilderness and the fruitful field (ver. 16) in order to say that judgment and righteousness shall dwell in them (comp. i. 27; v. 16; ix. 6; x. 22; xxviii. 17). And the fruit of this spiritual right-being will in turn make its impress by a right glorious outward appearance, viz., in everlasting peace, rest and security. What a picture for the proudly secure women (ver, 9 sqq.). They may see why they are so called in a reproving sense. Their ease and security lack foundation. When it shall hail, etc. I can only regard ver. 19 as the sombre foil which the Prophet uses to enhance the splendor of that future which he displayed to his people. [Some think there is an allusion to the hail in Egypt while Goshen was spared; see Exod. ix. 22–26.-TR.]. We have had several such pictures of the future with a dark background (xi. 14 sq.; xxv. 10 sqq.; xxvi. 5 sq., etc.). Every one admits that 19 a. relates to Assyria. We had the forest as emblem of Assyria ix. 17; x. 18, 19, 34. This forest shall fall under a storm of hail. On TY' comp. Deut. xxviii. 52; Zech. xi. 2. It is not said that the forest shall break down by the hail, but that it shall hail when the forest breaks down. Thus this breaking down may be effected by something else, say by the blows of an axe. Anyway the forest will break down under a storm of hail, some phenomenon coming from on high and accredited as a divine instrument of judgment. Very many expositors understand the city in a low place to mean Jerusalem (HITzig, KNoBEI, CASPARI, DELitzsch, etc.). But why of a sudden this dark trait in the picture of light? Is not the abasement of Jerusalem sufficiently declared in vers. 13, 14? Why a repetition here? or, if not repetition, why thus suddenly a new judgment in the midst of the blessed, spiriteffected condition of peace? If the forest means the world-power generally, then the city must mean the centre of it, the world-city (comp. xxiv. 10-12; xxv. 2, 3, 12; xxvi. 5. It is worthy of remark that, xxv. 12; xxvi. 5, the Prophet uses

7"ston thrice in reference to the judgment on the world-city. That he does not elsewhere in xxviii.xxxiii., mention the world-city is no reason why he may not once mention it here. Why need he mention it oftener? Is it more probable that he would not mention it at all, than that he should do so once?

In ver, 20 the Prophet returns exclusively to Israel. In contrast with the desolations (near for Israel, remote for the world-power), he promises to his people the possession of the land in its widest extent, and the freest use of it for cultivation and pasture. Blessed are ye (comp. xxx. 18; lyi. 2) he says, who sow beside all waters, i. e., on all fruitful lands. Thus all well-watered and so fruitful land-stretches will be at Israel's service, and Israel shall cultivate them, and raising cattle shall be unhindered (comp. xxx. 23).

In fact the earth shall be theirs, and they may use as much land as they wish for either. Cattle may pasture in full freedom, unrestrained by fetters or fence. The whole land “shall be for the sending forth of oxen,” vii. 25.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL,

1. On xxxi. 1, 2, “Against the perverted confidence and fleshly trust in human wisdom, power and might, because the people doubt God's help, and because of such wicked doubt put their trust in human power, wit and skill. It is true the Scripture does not deny that one may use means and call in human aid in danger, yet so that even the heart looks rather to God, and knows that if IHe watches not and keeps not Israel, all other human help and means are in vain (Ps. cxxvii. 1; Jer. xvii. 5).”—CRAMER. 2. On xxxi. 3. “ Notetur diligenter sententia isthaec prophetae: Aegyptus homo et non Deus, adeoque symboli loco semper in ore habeatur et usurpatur tum ad doctrinam, tum ad consolationem (Ps. lxii. 10; lxxiii. 18 sq.).”—FoERSTER. 3. On xxxi. 4, 5. T. LoRD, on the one hand, compares Himself to a lion, that will not suffer his prey to be torn away from him, and means by th. that He will not suffer Himself to be turned from His counsel against Jerusalem by those false helpers, to which Jerusalem looks for protection against the punishments that it has deserved. But on the other hand the LoRD compares Himself most touchingly and fittingly to the eagle that stretches its feathers over its young to protect them (Deut. xxxii. 11) [see Tr's. note on ver. 5]. Blessed is he that sits under the shelter of the Highest, and abides under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. xci. 1; comp. Matt. xxxiii. 27). 4. On xxxi. 7. FoERSTER remarks on this verse, that it is used by the Reformed as a proofassage against the use of images in churches. He distinguishes between imagines superstitiosae, whose use is of course forbidden, and imagines non superstitiosae, the like of which were even permitted and used in the worship of Jehovah, e.g., the cherubim and other images of art in the Tabernacle and in the Temple. 5. On xxxi. 8. “God has manifold ways by which He can head off tyrants, and does not need always to draw the sword over them. Examples: Sennacherib, 2 Kings xix. 35; Nebuchadmezzar, Dan. iv. 30; Herod, Acts xii. 23.”— CRAMER. 6. On xxxi. 9. That the Lord has in Zion His fire and His hearth in Jerusalem is at once the strength and the weakness of the Old Covenant. It is its strength so far as, of course, it is a high privilege that Israel enjoys above all nations of the Gentile world, that the point of the earth's surface that the Lord has made the place of His real presence on earth is the central point of their land and of their communion. But it is its weakness so far as this presence is only a transient and outward one, which, when misunderstood, can minister only to an outward worship and a false confidence (comp. Jer. vii. 4) that affords only a treacherous point of support that is dangerous to the soul. How totally different is the real presence of the LoRD in

the church of the New Covenant To it the LoRD is organically joined as a member, as on the other hand the LoRD joins all members of His church really to Himself by His Spirit and His sacraments. 7. On xxxii. 1–8. “The picture which the Prophet paints here of the church of the last time is the picture of every true congregation of Christ. In it, the will of the LoRD must be the only law according to which men judge, and not any fleshly consideration of any sort. In it, there must be open eyes and ears for God's work and word; and if in some things precedence is readily allowed to the children of this world, still in spiritual things the understanding must be right and the speech clear. Finally, in it persons must be valued according to their true Christian, moral worth, not according to advantages that before God are rather a reproach than an honor. But the picture of the true congregation mirrors to us our own deformities. All this is not found in us. Everywhere appears worldly consideration, looking to the world, much weakness in spiritual judgment, and in speech far too much respect for the advantages that worldly position and wealth give the church member. May the Lord mend these things in us; and if only at the last He transforms the old church in its totality into the new, so let each of us pray the LoRD that still He would more and more transform each worldling into a true, spiritual man.”—WEBER. The Prophet Isaiah, 1875. 8. On xxxii. 1–4. Men of all times may learn from the Prophet's words what sort of persons true kings, noblemen and officials ought to be. Underlying the whole discourse of Isaiah is the thought that those in authority are there for the sake of the people [comp. Luke xxii. 25, 26.— TR.], and that truth and honor are the first conditions of flourishing rule (comp. HERz., R.Encycl. XI. p. 24). On ver. 8. Old FLATTIG once met the Duke of Wurtemburg on the latter's birth day. “Well, FLATTIG,” inquired the Duke, what did you preach on my birth-day ?” “Serene highness, what did I preach 2 I just preached that princes onght to have princely thoughts.” The Duke rode on without making any reply. Where there is no princely heart, there can come forth no princely thoughts. And only then does one have a princely heart when the Lord is the heart's prince. 9. On xxxii. 9. “One must not suppose that it was no part of the Prophet's office to reform women, seeing God includes all men under sin, and the proud daughters of Zion with their ostentation, were a great cause of the land being laden with sins (iii. 16).”—CRAMER. [“The alarm is sounded to women, -to feed whose pride, vanity and luxury, their husbands and fathers were tempted to starve the poor.”M. HENRY, in loc.].

HOMILETICAL HINTS.

1. On xxxi. 1–4. WARNING AGAINST CONFIDING IN HUMAN HELP. 1) It is insulting to }od. 2) It proves idle at last, for a, the power of men is in itself weak; b, it is wholly powerless against the strong hand of God.

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