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cording to divine declaration, an ox and ass are, I feast days; and if you assemble for public prayer, will not say contrasted with us, but preferred to us I will turn my eyes from you. If one were to because they do their duty toward their lord? Shall preach so among us, would he not be regarded as we not observe our duty toward God? This is senseless and a blasphemer because he condemned expressly the wisdom and piety of men, that they what Christ Himself instituted ? But the proare more stupid than an ox and ass, although in phet condemns that which was the principal mattheir own eyes they fancy they are wiser than all ter of the law, and commanded by God Himself, men. For what sort of wisdom can be left when viz., sacrifices; not as if sacrifices in themselves one does not know God ?" HEIM and HOFF were evil, but because the spirit in which those MANN, " The great prophets according to Luther." people sacrificed was impious. For they cast
5. On ver. 4. “A sinful people is one that alto- away reliance on the divine compassion, and begether sticks in sin (Jno. ix. 34), that makes of lieved they were just by the sacrifice, by the persin a real trade, and its best amusement;-of formance of the bare work. But sacrifices were the people that is loaded with iniquity, the impos- not instituted by God that the Jews should be tures and trespasses are so great and so many, come righteous through them, but that they that they load their conscience therewith as with might be signs through which the pious testified a burden (Ps. xxxviii. 5); the evil seed (Jno. that they believed the promises concerning Christ, viii, 39). has not the disposition of Abraham, and expected Christ as their Redeemer."--HEIM but is of Cain's and the serpent's kind.” STARKE. and HOFFMANN. The Great Prophets, according In peccato originali, etc. “In original sin are to Luther. two evils: evil itself and punishment (AUGUSTIN, 10. Vers. 16-20. “A generali reformatione," Decio. Dei. xxii. 24). Parts of sin itself are im- etc. “ He begins with a general reformation, lest, perfection and concupiscence (AUGUSTIN), as having finished with one part, they might think GERSON says: “impotent toward good, potent to it opposed a veil to God. And such in general ward evil." FOERSTER.
must be the treatment of men alienated from God. 6. On vers. 5–9. “God has two ways by which Not one or other of the vices of a morbid body is to bring His ill-advised and disobedient children to be dealt with, but, if one cares to have a true to obedience; goodness and severity (Rom. xi. and entire recovery, they are to be called to re22).- That many men become only worse and novation, and the contagion thoroughly purged, more hardened by the divine judgments comes that they may begin to please God, who before about, not from God, but from their own guilt were hateful and nauseous. And by the meta(Jer. ii. 30; Rom. ii. 5). The desolation of whole phor of washing there is no doubt but that they cities and lands is the result of sin, hence there are exhorted to cleanse away inward filth; a is no better means against it than true repent- little later indeed he adds the fruits of works."ance (Jer. ii. 19; xviii. 7, 8).-God is gracious CALVIN. even in the midst of wrath (Ps. cxxxviii. 7), and 11. Ver. 18. “My art is wonderful. For, does not utterly consume (Lam. iii. 22). The whereas the dyers dye rose-red, and yellow and true Church must not be judged by outward ap- violet and purple, I change the red into snow pearance, for often things look very bad within it white." THEODORET. Opera crucris," etc. (1 Kings xix. 14).—God is never nearer His own “Works of blood and gore are exchanged for a than in cross and misfortune (xliii. 2; Ps. xci. garment of the Lord, which is made of the fleece 15)."-STARKE.
of the Lamb whom they follow in the Revelation 7. On vers. 10–15. “We learn here plainly, (iii. 5; vi. 11), who shine with the whiteness of that God did not command them to offer sacri- virginity.”--JEROME. fices because of pleasure He had in such things, 12. Vers. 21-23. “From the condition of Jerubut because He knew their weakness. For as they salem at that day, ore may see how Satan often had grown up in Egypt, and had learned there to exercises his lordship in the Church of God, as offer sacrifices to idols, they wished to retain this if all bands were dissolved. For if anywhere, custom. Now in order to divert them from this then the church was at that time in Jerusalem. error, God put up with the sacrifices and musical And yet Isaiah calls it a den of murderers and a instruments (sicl) in that He overlooked their cave of robbers. If Satan could so rage in it, we weakness, and directed their childish disposition. must not wonder if the same thing happens in our But here, after a long course of years, He forbids day. But we must take pains that we be not sethe entire legal observance.”—THEODORET. duced by so bad an example."-HEIM and HoFF"Hostice et," etc. “ Sacrifices and the immolation MANN. of victims are not principally sought by God, but 13. Ver. 23. “It is great consolation for pious lest they may be made to idols, and that from carnal widows and orphans that God knows when rulers victims we may, as by type and image pass over to and judges will pay no heed to their want (Ps. the spiritual sacrifice."-JEROME.
Ixviii. 6).-STARKE. 8. On ver. 10. JEROME observes : " Aiunt He 14. Vers. 24, 25. “God proceeds very unwilbræi," etc. “The Jews say that Isaiah was slain lingly to punishment (Gen. vi. 3).- Not only on two accounts: because he had called them those are the enemies of God that defiantly reprinces of Sodom and people of Gomorrah, and ject His word, but those also who hypocritically because the Lord having said to Moses, “thou glory in it.-Although one may not carnally recanst not see my face,' he had dared to say, 'I joice at the misfortune of his enemies, yet it is saw the Lord sitting' (vi. 1)."
allowable to praise the righteousness of God in 9. Vers. 10-15. “What Isaiah says here is just it (Ps. lviii. 11).-If God wishes to avenge Himas if one in Christendom were to say: What is self on His enemies, every thing is ready for the the multitude of your assemblies to me? I don't exercise of His will (Ecclus. xxxix. 5 sq.).— It is want your Lord's suppers. My soul loathes your la blessing when God by persecution purifies His
church from dross (Matth. iii. 12).-What is tinward ruin. 2. True progress is a) apparently a and what silver can be easily found out by fire. going backwards, in that it first of all rests on a So by the fire of affliction is soon made plain who return to the eternal foundations of salvation; b) has been a hypocrite and who a true Christian.” in fact
, however, is a genuine movement forward; -STARKE,
a) to a deeper comprehension of the truth; b) to 15. Ver. 26. Regarding the fulfilment of this an inalienable possession of true salvation. prophecy, many, e. g., MUSCULUS, have found in it the promise of a return of the days of the Judges,
From M. HENRY on the whole chapter. i e., the days of a Jephtha, Gideon, Samuel, etc. [Ver. 4. “Children that are corrupters.” If those Others understand the language of the restitution that are called God's children, that are looked of the kingdom. Others again refer the language upon as belonging to His family, be wicked and to the return out of the Babylonish captivity un- vile, their example is of the most malignant inder Zerubabbel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah. Still fluence. others see the Apostles in the promised judges. Vers. 11-15. When sinners are under the judgBut all these explanations are evidently too nar ments of God they will more easily be brought to row and one-sided. The fulfilment has its de- fly to their devotions, than to forsake their sins grees. And if Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah and reform their lives. are justly regarded as the representatives of the
“ Your sacrifices.”
They are your sacrifices and first feeble beginnings of the great restitution of none of mine; I am full of them, even surfeited Israel; if, further, the Apostles are justly regarded with them. as the founders of the new Zion on a higher plain, Dissembled piety is double iniquity. Hypocstill by all this the prophecy is not at all fulfilled. risy in religion is of all things most abominable It will only then be fulfilled when the Lord comes to the God of heaven. "into His kingdom” (Luke xxiii. 42).
Vers. 16–20. Let them not say that God picks 16. Ver. 27. The happiness of a people is not quarrels with them; no, He proposes a method secured by sword and spear, nor by horse and of reconciliation. chariot, nor even by industry, flourishing com Cease to do evil; learn to do well.” 1. We must merce or any sort of outward' institution. Only be doing; not cease to do evil and then stand idle. justice and righteousness in Christ's sense can 2. We must be doing good, the good which the give true peace and true well-being.
Lord requires, and which will turn to good ac17. Vers. 27-31. “Precisely from that quarter count. 3. We must do it well, in a right manner, shall ruin come upon the godless, where they and for a right end; and 4. We must learn to do looked for salvation. For their images and idols well : we must take pains to get the knowledge are the tinder for God's wrath by which an un- of our duty, etc. quenchable
conflagration shall be kindled.” - “ Let us reason." 1. Religion has reason on its HEIM and HOFFMANN.
side: there is all the reason in the world that we should do as God would have us do. 2. The God
of heaven condescends to reason the case with HOMILETICAL HINTS.
those who contradict Him, and find fault with 1. Vers. 2-9. The judicial process of the Lord His proceedings, for He will be justified when He is no secret one, but public. Yea, He gives it speaks. Ps. li. 4. The case needs only to be stated the greatest publicity that can be imagined. He (as here it is, very fairly), and it will determine invites heaven and earth, and all creatures that itself. are in it, to attend the great trial He has with His Vers. 21-23. Corruptio optimi est pessima. That people.—He is a true Father. He has let it cost which originally was the best, when corrupted Him a great deal to bring up His children. He becomes the worst, Luke xi. 26; Eccl. iii. 16; has raised them from small beginnings to a high Jer. xxiii. 15–17. This is illustrated 1, By simidegree of honor and dignity.-For that they ought litudes, ver. 22. 2, By some instances, ver. 23. to be grateful to Him.—How God wrestles for hu Vers. 24-26. Two ways in which God will ease man souls: 1. He nourishes and trains them Himself of this grievance: 1. By reforming His with true paternal love. 2. They reward His church and restoring good judges in the room of love with ingratitude and apostasy. 3. He chas- those corrupt ones. 2. By cutting off those that tises them as they deserve. 4. They become little hate to be reformed, that they may not remain in order renewedly to grow up to true greatness. either as snares or as scandals to the faithful city.
4. Vers. 27-31. ""Righteousness exalteth a na Ver. 30. Justly do those wear no leaves that tion; but sin is a reproach to any people.” Prov. bear no fruit: as the fig tree that Christ cursed. xiv. 34. Therefore every policy that is contrary Ver. 10. “There could have been no more seto the commands of God, can only have God for vere or cutting reproof of their wickedness than to opponent.--Now wherever the chastisements of address them as resembling the people whom God God are disregarded, there will His judgment also overthrew for their enormous crimes." —BARNES. go forth until He exterminates those that oppose Ver. 11. “Hypocrites abound in outward reliHim. “Then it goes on to the judgment of being gious observances just in proportion to their nehardened, and sin itself must become the man's glect of the spiritual requirements of God's word. scourge, so that he is as the tow and his work as Comp. Matt. xxiii. 23.-BARNES. the spark, that it may consume himself.” (Tho Ver. 31. "The principle in this passage
teaches LUCK, Hours of Christian Devotion, p. 131). us the following things. (1). That the wicked, False and true progress. 1. False progress is in however mighty, shall be destroyed. (2). That fact a retrograde, for a) it consists in turning back their works shall be the cause of their ruin--a from God's command (mostly under guidance of cause necessarily leading to it. (3). That the over-shepherds); b) it necessarily occasions out- I works of the wicked-all that they do and all on
which they dependshall be destroyed. (4). / power of men or devils shall pilt out the fires That this destruction shall be final. Nothing which the works of the wicked shall enkindle.”shall stay the flame. No tears of penitence, no BARNES.
THE SECOND PORTAL.
Chapters ii.-v. contain the second 'introduc- | These two announcements extend far into the tion, the second portal, so to speak, of the majes- future to the very end of history. tic cathedral of the prophecies of Isaiah. This Each of these lamps is followed by a look at portal is the greatest as regards the extent of it. the present, taking this expression in a relative It is meant to afford us a more exact insight into sense, so that by it everything is understood that the contents, the power and the reach of Isaiah's precedes the future events lighted up by the two prophecies. The first introduction proceeds from lamps. Each of these two looks at the present the mournful condition of the present, speaks of divides again into two parts that differ from one the means of securing a better future, and closes another in their structure. The first look resolves with a grand survey of past, present and future, itself into a general (ii. 5–11) and a particular from which it appears that
, for the believing part part (ii. 12–iv. 1); the last again falls into two of the people, the end shall correspond to the subdivisions, of which the first portrays the judgbeginning as its much more glorious antitype, ment in the extra-human sphere, the second that whereas, for the unbelieving part, there is only in the human sphere. The judgment in the the prospect of a wretched and total destruction. extra-human sphere, then again, subdivides into. In that chapter, therefore, threatening consti- 'two halves, of which the first embraces all that tutes the key-note, the promise appears, as it is beneath mankind (ii. 12–17), the second all were an interlude. But that chap. i. gives only that is above mankind, i. e, idols (ii. 18-21). The brief outlines. Particularly the future is indi-judgment of things belonging to the human cated only by a few, albeit significant words, sphere also subdivides into two halves, the first vers. 26, 27.
of which (ii. 22-iii. 15) has men for its subject, The second introduction looks entirely away the second (iii. 16-iv. 1) the women.
The sefrom the past. It treats only of future and pre-cond lamp (iv. 2-6) has an attendant section (v.) sent. It does this, however, in such a way that that again is composed of two members. The the Prophet, as it were, with arms reaching out first is a parable (v. 1-7) which, though as to form far before him, holds, one after another, two lights it departs surprisingly from iv. 2-6, still in sense out into the remotest future, that make it appear joins closely on to it. For as iv. 2-6 treats of as a time of the greatest glory. These two pro- the glorious rod, and the glorious fruit of the fuphetic lamps, however, must serve at the same ture, v. 1 sqq. treats of the mournful fruits of the time to show in so much the more glaring light present. The second part specifies more particuthe distress and also the nothingness of that pre-larly the bad fruits of the present and their consent time that precedes that period of glory. In- sequences in a sixfold woe, which again subdivoluntarily the eye turns backwards from it to the viđes into two chief parts. The first two woes, circumstances of the present, and these appear all namely, evidently refer back to the first principal the more gloomy because the eye has beheld be part of the whole discourse (ii. 2–iv. 1) and confore such bright light in the future. But just the tain relatively to it an appropriate conclusion ; inward nothingness and emptiness of the bad pre-, whereas the last four woes refer more to the se sent is, in some sense, the first step to the revela- cond principal part of the discourse (iv., y.) and tion of the divine glory. For the bad bears, contain the definitive chief conclusion of the disindeed, the judgment in itself. But this ideal course. judgment must become real, and then is the mo In regard to the date of the composition of this ment come wherein the majesty of the only true discourse, I must first of all warn against the God, hitherto hidden and ignored, bursts forth in petty and superficial way of viewing this thing, its full splendor
that ignores the grand, comprehensive glance of We must remark in advance that this second prophecy, and restricts to a special point of time introduction is built upon the fundamental num- what concerns the whole and the general. Thus ber two. It divides into two principal parts. At I challenge the right of exegesis altogether to the head of each of these parts stands a prophetic draw conclusions regarding the date of composiannouncement of glorious contents relating to tion from single exhortations, warnings, threatfinal events of history, the first of which portrays enings or promises, if those are not quite demore the future, outward glory, the second more cidedly of a specific nature. If, for example, the the inward glory of Israel, that which lies at the Prophet speaks against idolatry, the injustice and base of the first, and is identical with holiness. I oppressions of the great intemperance and licen
OF ITS FINAL GLORY.
tiousness, one is not justified in concluding there. How could they previously be known to Isaiah? from that he spoke these words under a godless Therefore if ii. 2-4 presupposes the time of Heprince, an Ahaz or Manasseh. He could have zekiah, then this agrees with our assumption that spoken them under an Uzziah or Hezekiah, for the chapters ii.-v. only then originated as a the prophet may have had in his mind the entire whole, when the prophet compiled his whole present, i. e., the whole time preceding the re- book. demption that terminates history. li, on the The structure of our passage is made clear by other hand, the Prophet speaks of boy and wo- the following scheme. man government (iii. 4, 12) that is not necessarily something general. That is not a standing ISRAEL OF THE PRESENT TIME IN THE LIGHT and abiding characteristic of rebellious Israel, but an abnormity, that even in the times of deepest degradation does not always happen. Where A. The Superscription, ii. 1. such a reference is made, one may reasonably in- B. The first prophetic lamp, which in the light fer that the Prophet has in mind quite special and
of the divine eminence that shall finally apactual circumstances of his own time. It may
pear makes known the things falsely eminent therefore be assumed with a degree of probability
of the present time, ii. 1-iv. 1. (for certainty is not to be thought of) that chap.
1. The first prophetic lamp itself, ii. 2-4. ii. was composed under Ahaz. But I shall show 2. The falsely eminent things and their abasehereafter that this chapter betrays the marks of ment in general, ii. 5–11. another sort of origin in the form of its transi a. The judgment against the things falsely tions and combinations: i. e., it gives evidence of eminent in the sub-human and superhubeing an older piece, already prepared, that is man sphere, ii. 12–21. only put in here as in a suitable place.
b. The judgment against the falsely eminent Now if we consider that our passage (ii.-v.) things in the human sphere, ii. 22-iv. 1. as second portal belongs to the introduction to
a The judgment against godless men, äi. the entire book, then we must say, the obvious
22-iii. 15. date of its origin is that time when the Prophet B. The judgment against godless women, compiled his book into a whole. He could then
iii. 16-iv. 1. very well make use of older discourses already c. The second prophetic lamp which, in the on hand for introduction, but on the whole, as introduction, as overture, as preface the passage pre
light of the glorious divine fruit of the last
time, makes known the bad fruits of the presupposes the whole book. The comprehensive
sent, iv. 2-v. 30. character of our passage, which surveys the entire present and the future into the remotest distance,
1. The second prophetic lamp itself, and the has long been recognized, and with that it has glorious divine fruit displayed by it, iv. 2–6. been admitted that it has essentially and gener
2. The bad fruits of the present in the light of ally the same extension as the whole book, thus
the glorious divine fruit of the final period, it possesses the qualities that belong to an intro v. 1-30. ductory preface. With this correspond the chro a. The bad fruits of the present shown in the nological indications that appear in ii. 2-4, as parable of the vineyard, v. 1-7. related to Mich. iii. 12; comp. Jer. xxvi. 18. b. The bad fruits of the present and their
From Jer. xxvi. 18 we receive the impression consequences more nearly described in a that Micah spoke the words iii. 12 (that are sixfold woe, at the same time, double conclosely connected with iv. 1 sqq.), under Hezekiah. clusion of the whole discourse, v. 8-30.
ISRAEL OF THE PRESENT TIME IN THE LIGHT OF ITS FINAL
CHAPTER II. 1.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL. The formnla “the word which saw," je found only Tho expression “concerning Judah and Jerusalem" Icre. It does not occur again either in Isaiah or in any
connects i. 1 with ii. 1, because it occurs in no other other prophet. The form of expression 1277, superscription. The likeness that exists between i. 1 beside this place, is only found in Jeremiah, where, and ii. 1 in reference to the first half, is completed by however, it is regularly followed by 101 Son this similarity of sound in the second half, where we Concerning in in this connection comp.
would not omit to point out a second time that the dif
ference between il. I and i. l in expression quite corres. remarked i. 1, it is a fact not to be overlooked that the ponds to the difference of the position of either chapter. expression “ Judah and Jerusalem” occurs relatively Now as the expression “concerning Judah and Jerusa- the oftenest in these chapters. It occurs iii. 1, 8, and v. lem," ii. 1, helps connect with i. 1, so it does in like 3, whereas in all the rest of the book of Isaiah, it occurs fashion with the following chapters ii.-7. For, as was only three times, viz., xxii. 21 ; Xxxvi. 7 ; xliv. 26.
B.-The first prophetic lamp, which in the light of the divine eminence that shall
finally appear, makes known the things falsely eminent of the present time.
CHAPTER II. 2-IV. 1.
1. THE FIRST PROPHETIC LAMP.
CHAPTER II. 2-4.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days,
That the mountain of the LORD's house
And all ”nations shall flow unto it.
ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations,
And shall 'rebuke many people:
1 Or, prepared. • peoples.
2 Or, scythes. b nations.
• award sentence.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL. It is now admitted by almost all expositors that this tion against the heathen. In as much as a third place passage is borrowed from Micah. It is old orthodox from which both may have drawn, is actually non-ex opinion that the passage may be original as well with istent, this hypothesis is in itself superfluous and null. Isaiah as with Micah. This view occurs in ABARBANEL, The question can only be, which of the two contempowith the additional notion that the passage is indeed raries has drawn from the other? And there everything older in Isniah, but taken from Isaiah, not by Micah favors the view that Micah is original. In the first place himself, but that it was brought to him in the way of the form of the text in both points chat way. For the inspiration from the older prophet. (Micha visionem suam text of Isaiah, although in the main sounding the same, enarravit illis verbis, quae tunc ex Jesaia ori ipsius erant in- has still some modifications that characterize it as a dita). That the passage is original with Isaiah and bor-free citation, drawn, not from the manuscript original, rowed from him by Micah is maintained by CALMET, but from memory. "All nation shall flow unto it, BECKHAUS (Integr. d. proph. Schr. d. Alten Bundes, 1798), ii. 2, certainly comes from the harder, “people shall UMBREIT. Some
recent expositors (KOPPE, ROSEN- flow unto it,” Micah iv. 1, and not the reverse. And if MUELLER, Hitzia, Maurer. Ewald), are of the opi: ii. 4 is compared with Micah i«. 3, the unusual D'PRY, son, from whom Isa and Micah have drawn in common strong, and the still more unusual pinz-zy, afar off, son, and Joel iv. 10 as the source of our text. If there certainly do not make the impression of being addiwere an expression of essentially the same import in tions. Rather the language of Isaiah, “And he shall any older prophet, this hypothesis might have some judge among the nations, and rebuke many people," ground. But such a passage is not to be found. Joel appears as an abbreviation that reproduces only what iv. 10 contains in fact precisely the opposite. For there is essential. In the second place the passage in Micah Israel is summoned to forge its mattocks into swords, stands in the closest connection with what precedes. and its pruning hooks into spears, for a war of destruc- ! For with the threatening prophecy that for the sake of