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cording to divine declaration, an ox and ass are, I will not say contrasted with us, but preferred to us because they do their duty toward their lord? Shall we not observe our duty toward God? . This is expressly the wisdom and piety of men, that they are more stupid than an ox and ass, although in their own eyes they fancy they are wiser than all men. For what sort of wisdom can be left when one does not know God?” HEIM and HoFFMANN, “The great prophets according to Luther.” 5. On ver, 4. “A sinful people is one that altogether sticks in sin (Jno. ix. 34), that makes of sin a real trade, and its best amusement;-of the people that is loaded with iniquity, the impostures and trespasses are so great and so many, that they load their conscience therewith as with a burden (Ps. xxxviii. 5); the evil seed (Jno. viii. 39), has not the disposition of Abraham, but is of Cain's and the serpent's kind.” STARKE. In peccato originali, etc. “In original sin are two evils: evil itself and punishment (AUGUSTIN, Decin. Dei. xxii. 24). Parts of sin itself are imperfection and concupiscence (AUGUSTIN), as GERson says: “impotent toward good, potent toward evil.” For RSTER. 6. On vers. 5–9. “God has two ways by which to bring His ill-advised and disobedient children to obedience; goodness and severity (Rom. xi. 22).--That many men become only worse and more hardened is the divine judgments comes about, not from God, but from their own guilt (Jer. ii. 30; Rom. ii. 5). The desolation of whole cities and lands is the result of sin, hence there is no better means against it than true repentance (Jer. ii. 19 ; xviii. 7, 8).-God is gracious even in the midst of wrath (Ps. cxxxviii. 7), and does not utterly consume (Lam., iii. 22). The true Church must not be judged by outward appearance, for often things look very bad within it (1 Kings xix. 14).-God is never nearer His own than in cross and misfortune (xliii. 2; Ps. xci. 15).”—STARKE. 7. On vers. 10–15. “We learn here plainly, that God did not command them to offer sacrifices because of pleasure He had in such things, but because He knew their weakness. For as they had grown up in Egypt, and had learned there to offer sacrifices to idols, they wished to retain this custom. Now in order to divert them from this error, God put up with the sacrifices and musical instruments Yi. in that He overlooked their weakness, and directed their childish disposition. But here, after a long course of years, He forbids the entire legal observance.”—THEoDoRET. “Hostiae et,” etc. “Sacrifices and the immolation of victims are not principally sought by God, but lest they may be made to idols, and that from carnal victims we may, as by type and image pass over to the spiritual sacrifice.”—JEROME. 8. On ver, 10. JEROME observes: “Aiunt Hebraei,” etc. “The Jews say that Isaiah was slain on two accounts: because he had called them |. of Sodom and people of Gomorrah, and ecause the Lord having said to Moses, ‘thou canst not see my face,’ he had dared to say, ‘I saw the Lord sitting' (vi. 1).” 9. Vers, 10-15. “What Isaiah says here is just as if one in Christendom were to say: What is the multitude of your assemblies to me? I don't want your Lord's suppers. My soul loathes your
feast days; and if you assemble for public prayer, I will turn my eyes from you. If one were to preach so among us, would he not be regarded as senseless and a blasphemer because he condemned what Christ Himself instituted ? But the prophet condemns that which was the principal matter of the law, and commanded by God Himself, viz., sacrifices; not as if sacrifices in themselves were evil, but because the spirit in which those people sacrificed was impious. For they cast away reliance on the divine compassion, and believed they were just by the sacrifice, by the performance of the to: work. But sacrifices were not instituted by God that the Jews should become righteous through them, but that they might be signs through which the pious testified that they believed the promises concerning Christ, and expected Christ as their Redeemer.”-—HEIM and HoFFMANN. The Great Prophets, according to Luther. 10. Vers. 16–20. “A generali reformatione,” etc. “He begins with a general reformation, lest, having finished with one part, they might think it opposed a veil to God. And such in general must be the treatment of men alienated from God. Not one or other of the vices of a morbid body is to be dealt with, but, if one cares to have a true and entire recovery, they are to be called to renovation, and the contagion thoroughly purged, that they may begin to please God, who before were hateful and nauseous. And by the metaphor of washing there is no doubt but that they are exhorted to cleanse away inward filth; a little later indeed he adds the fruits of works.”— CALVIN. 11. Ver. 18. “My art is wonderful. For, whereas the dyers dye rose-red, and yellow and violet and purple, I change the red into snow white.” — THEoDoRET. “Opera crucris,” etc. “Works of blood and gore are exchanged for a garment of the Lord, which is made of the fleece of the Lamb whom they follow in the Revelation (iii. 5; vi. 11), who shine with the whiteness of virginity.”—JEROME. 12. Vers. 21–23. “From the condition of Jerusalem at that day, one may see how Satan often exercises his lordship in the Church of God, as if all bands were dissolved. For if anywhere, then the church was at that time in Jerusalem. And yet Isaiah calls it a den of murderers and a cave of robbers. If Satan could so rage in it, we must not wonder if the same thing happens in our day. But we must take pains that we be not seduced by so bad an example.”—HEIM and HoFFMANN. 13. Ver. 23. “It is great consolation for pious widows and orphans that God knows when rulers and judges will pay no heed to their want (Ps. lxviii. 6).-STARKE. 14. Vers. 24, 25. “God proceeds very unwillingly to punishment (Gen. vi. 3).-Not only those are the enemies of God that defiantly reject His word, but those also who hypocritically glory in it.—Although one may not carnally rejoice at the misfortune of his enemies, yet it is allowable to praise the righteousness of God in it (Ps. lviii. 11).-If God wishes to avenge Himself on His enemies, every thing is ready for the exercise of His will (Ecclus. xxxix. 5 sq.).-It is a blessing when God by persecution purifies His church from dross (Matth. iii. 12).-What is tin and what silver can be easily found out by fire. So by the fire of affliction is soon made plain who has been a hypocrite and who a true Christian.” —STARKE. 15. Ver. 26. Regarding the fulfilment of this
prophecy, many, e.g., MUSCULUS, have found in it the promise of a return of the days of the Judges, i.e., the days of a Jephtha, Gideon, Samuel, etc. Others understand the language of the restitution of the kingdom. Others again refer the language to the return out of the Babylonish captivity under Zerubabbel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah. Still others see the Apostles in the promised judges. But all these explanations are evidently too narrow and one-sided. The fulfilment has its degrees. And if Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah are justly regarded as the representatives of the first feeble beginnings of the great restitution of Israel; if, further, the Apostles are justly regarded as the founders of the new Zion on a higher plain, still by all this the prophecy is not at all fulfilled. It will only then be fulfilled when the Lord comes “into His kingdom” (Luke xxiii. 42).
16. Ver. 27. The happiness of a o is not secured by sword and spear, nor by horse and chariot, nor even by industry, flourishing commerce or any sort of outward institution. Only justice and righteousness in Christ's sense can give true peace and true well-being.
17. Vers. 27–31. “Precisely from that quarter shall ruin come upon the godless, where the looked for salvation. For their images and idols are the tinder for God’s wrath by which an un
uenchable conflagration shall be kindled.”— #: and HoFFMANN.
1. Vers. 2–9. The judicial process of the Lord is no secret one, but public. Yea, He gives it the greatest publicity that can be imagined. He invites heaven and earth, and all creatures that are in it, to attend theÉ. trial. He has with His
:ople.—He is a true Father. He has let it cost #. a great deal to bring up His children. . He has raised them from small beginnings to a high degree of honor and dignity.—For that they ought .. grateful to Him.—How God wrestles for human souls: 1. He nourishes and trains them with true paternal love. 2. They reward His love with ingratitude and apostasy. 3. He chastises them as they deserve. 4. They become little in order renewedly to grow up to true greatness.
4. Vers. 27-31. “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” Prov. xiv. 34. Therefore every policy that is contrary to the commands of God, can only have God for opponent.—Now wherever the chastisements of God are disregarded, there will His judgment also go forth until He exterminates those that F. Him. “Then it goes on to the judgment of being hardened, and sin itself must become the man's scou so that he is as the tow and his work as the spark, that it may consume himself.” (THoLUCK, Hours of Christian Devotion, p. 131). False and true progress. 1. False progress is in fact a retrograde, for a) it consists in turning back from God's command (mostly under guidance of over-shepherds); b) it necessarily occasions out
ward ruin. 2. True progress is a) apparently a going backwards, in that it first of all rests on a return to the eternal foundations of salvation; b) in fact, however, is a genuine movement forward; a) to a deeper comprehension of the truth; b) to an inalienable possession of true salvation.
From M. HENRY on the whole chapter.
[Ver. 4. “Children that are corrupters.” If those that are called God's children, that are looked upon as belonging to His family, be wicked and Yile, their example is of the most malignant influence. Vers. 11-15. When sinners are under the judgments of God they will more easily be brought to fly to their devotions, than to forsake their sins and reform their lives. “Your sacrifices.” They are your sacrifices and none of mine; I am full of them, even surfeited with them. Dissembled piety is double iniquity. Hypocrisy in religion is of all things most abominable to the God of heaven. Vers. 16–20. Let them not say that God picks quarrels with them; no, He proposes a method of reconciliation. “Cease to do evil; learn to do well.” 1. We must be doing; not cease to do evil and then stand idle. 2. We must be doing good, the good which the Lord requires, and which will turn to good account. 3. We must do it well, in a right manner, and for a right end; and 4. We must learn to do well ; we must take pains to get the knowledge of our duty, etc. “Let us reason.” 1. Religion has reason on its 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 those who contradict Him, and find fault with His proceedings, for He will be justified when He speaks. Ps. li. 4. The case needs only to be stated (as here it is, very fairly), and it will determine itself. Vers. 21–23. Corruptio optimi est pessima. That which originally was the best, when corrupted becomes the worst, Luke xi. 26; Eccl. iii. 16; Jer. xxiii. 15–17. This is illustrated 1, By similitudes, ver, 22. 2, By some instances, ver. 23. Vers. 24-26. Two ways in which God will ease Himself of this grievance: 1. By reforming His church and restoring good judges in the room of those corrupt ones. 2. By cutting off those that hate to be reformed, that they may not remain either as snares or as scandals to the faithful city. Ver. 30. Justly do those wear no leaves that bear no fruit: as the fig tree that Christ cursed. Ver. 10. “There could have been no more sewere or cutting reproof of their wickedness than to address them as resembling the people whom God overthrew for their enormous crimes.”—BARNEs. Ver. 11. “Hypocrites abound in outward religious observances just in proportion to their neglect of the spiritual requirements of God's word. Comp. Matt. xxiii. 23.−BARNEs. Ver. 31. “The principle in this passage teaches us the following things. (1). That the wicked, however mighty, shall be destroyed. (2). That their works shall be the cause of their ruin—a cause necessarily leading to it. (3). That the works of the jo. that they do and all on
which they depend—shall be destroyed. That this destruction shall be final.
(4). power of men, or devils shall pot out the fires Nothing which the works of the wicked shall enkindle.”—
shall stay the flame. No tears of penitence, no l BARNES.
THE SECOND PORTAL.
Chapters i.-v. contain the second introduction, the second portal, so to speak, of the majestic cathedral of the prophecies of Isaiah. This ortal is the greatest as regards the extent of it. t is meant to afford us a more exact insight into the contents, the power and the reach of Isaiah's prophecies. The first introduction proceeds from the mournful condition of the present, speaks of the means of securing a better future, and closes with a #. survey of past, present and future, from which it appears that, for the believing part of the people, the end shall correspond to the beginning as its much more glorious antitype, whereas, for the unbelieving part, there is only the prospect of a wretched and total destruction. In that chapter, therefore, threatening constitutes the key-note, the promise appears, as it were an interlude. But that chap. i. gives onl brief outlines. Particularly the future is indicated only by a few, albeit significant words, vers. 26, 27. The second introduction looks entirely away from the past. It treats only of future and present. It does this, however, in such a way that the Prophet, as it were, with arms reaching out far before him, holds, one after another, two lights out into the remotest future, that make it appear as a time of the greatest glory. These two prophetic lamps, however, must serve at the same time to show in so much the more glaring light the distress and also the nothingness of that present time that precedes that period of glory. Involuntarily the eye turns oi, from it to the circumstances of the present, and these appear all the more gloomy because the eye has beheld before such bright light in the future. But just the inward nothingness and emptiness of the bad present is, in some sense, the first step to the revelation of the divine glory. For the bad bears, indeed, the judgment in itself. But this ideal judgment must i.e real, and then is the moment come wherein the majesty of the only true God, hitherto hidden and ignored, bursts forth in its full splendor We must remark in advance that this second introduction is built upon the fundamental number two. It divides into two principal parts. At the head of each of these parts stands a prophetic announcement of glorious contents relating to final events of history, the first of which portrays more the future, outward glory, the second more the inward glory of Israel, that which lies at the base of the first, and is identical with holiness.
These two announcements extend far into the future to the very end of history. Each of these lamps is followed by a look at the present, taking this expression in a relative sense, so that by it everything is understood that recedes the future events lighted up by the two amps. Each of these two looks at the present divides again into two parts that differ from one another in their structure. The first look resolves itself into a general (ii. 5–11) and a particular part (ii. 12—iv. 1); the last again falls into two subdivisions, of which the first portrays the judgment in the extra-human sphere, the second that in the human sphere. The judgment in the . extra-human sphere, then again, subdivides into . two halves, of which the first embraces all. that is beneath mankind (ii. 12–17), the second all that is above mankind, i.e., idols (ii. 18–21). The judgment of things belonging to the human sphere also subdivides into two halves, the first of which (ii. 22—iii. 15) has men for its subject, the second (iii. 16—iv. 1) the women. The se– cond lamp (iv. 2–6) has an attendant section (v.) that again is composed of two members. The first is a parable (v. 1-7) which, though as to form it departs surprisingly from iv. 2–6, still in sense joins closely on to it. For as iv., 2–6 treats of the glorious rod, and the glorious fruit of the future, v. 1 sqq. treats of the mournful fruits of the resent. he second part specifies more particuarly the bad fruits of the present and their consequences in a sixfold woe, which again subdivides into two chief parts. The first two woes, namely, evidently refer back to the first principal part of the whole discourse (ii. 2–iv. 1) and contain relatively to it an appropriate conclusion; whereas the last four woes refer more to the se— cond principal part of the discourse (iv., v.) and contain the definitive chief conclusion of the discourse. In regard to the date of the composition of this discourse, I must first of all warn against the petty and superficial way of viewing this thing, that ignores the grand, comprehensive glance of prophecy, and restricts to a special point of time what concerns the whole and the general. Thus I challenge the right of exegesis altogether to draw conclusions regarding the date of composition from single exhortations, warnings, threatenings or promises, if those are not quite decidedly of a specific nature. If, for example, the Prophet speaks against idolatry, the injustice and oppressions of the great intemperance and licen
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 haye |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. * whole * * the i. book. demption that terminates history. lf, on the The structure of our pas is made clea ...; hand, the Prophet speaks of boy and wo- the following scheme. passage r by 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 OF ITS FINAL GLORY. an abnormity, that even in the times of deepest degradation does not always happen. Where such a reference is made, one may reasonably infer that the Prophet has in mind quite special and k actual circumstances of his own time. It may . makes known the things falsely eminent therefore be assumed with a degree of probability of the present time, ii. 1—iy. 1. -(for certainty is not to be thought of) that chap. 1. The first prophetic lamp itself, ii. 2-4. iii. was composed under Ahaz. But I shall show 2. The falsely eminent things and their abase
A. The Superscription, ii. 1.
hereafter 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, H. 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 k 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 light of the glorious divine fruit of the last introduction, as overture, as preface the passage pre- time, makes i. the bad fruits of the presupposes the whole book. The comprehensive son, iv 2—v. 30. character of our passage, which surveys the entire -
resent and the F. into the remotest distance,
as long been recognized, and with that it has been admitted that it has essentially and generally the same extension as the whole book; thus
1. The second prophetic lamp itself, and the glorieus divine fruit displayed by it, iv. 2–6. 2. The bad fruits of the present in the light of 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 arable 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 GLORY.
CHAPTER II. 1. 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL. The formula “the word which saw,” is found only The expression “concerning Judah and Jerusalem." cre. 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 no's ninn, 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 "l) o: non– this similarity of sound in the second half, where we Concerning nin in this connection comp. i. 1. would not omit to point out a second time that the difr-
ference between ii. 1 and i. 1 in expression quite corres
onds to the difference of the position of either chapter. §. as the expression “concerning Judah and Jerusalem,” ii. 1, helps connect with i. 1, so it does in like fashion with the following chapters ii.-W. For, as was
remarked i. 1, it is a fact not to be overlooked that the expression “Judah and Jerusalem” occurs relatively the oftenest in these chapters. . It occurs iii. 1, 8, and v. 3, whereas in all the rest of the book of Isaiah, it occurs 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.
To the house of the God of Jacob ;
And he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the LoRD from Jerusalem.
It is now admitted by almost all expositors that this passage is borrowed from Micah. It is old orthodox opinion that the passage may be original as well with Isaiah as with Micah. This view occurs in AbARBANEI, with the additional notion that the passage is inioi older in Isaiah, but taken from Isaiah, not by Micah himself, but that it was brought to him in the way of inspiration from the older prophet. (Micha visionem suam enarravit illis verbis, quae tune or Jesaja ori insius crant indita). , That the passage is original with Isaiah and borrowed from him by Micah is maintained by CALMET, Beckhaus (Inteqr. d. proph. Schr.d. Alien Bundes. iToš), UMBRErr. Some recent expositors (Koppe, RosPN. MUELLER, Hitzig, MAURER, Ewald), are of the opinion that our passage is the expression of a third person, from whom Isa. and Micah }. drawn in common. Hitzig and EwAlp even indicate Joel as the third per. son, and Joel iv. 10 as the source of our text. If there were an expression of essentially the same import in any o this hypothesis might have some
round. But such a passage is not to be found. Joel 'iy, 10 contains in fact precisely the opposite. For there Israel is summoned to forge its mastocks into swords, and its pruning hooks into spears, for a war of destruc.
• award sentence.
tion against the heathen. In as much as a third place from which both may have drawn, is actually non-existent, this hypothesis is in itself superfluous and null. The question can only be, which of the two contemporaries has drawn from the other? And there everyth ng favors the view that Micah is original. In the first place the form of the text in both points that way. For the text of Isaiah, although in the main sounding the same, has still some modifications that characterize it as a free citation, drawn, not from the manuscript original, but from memory. “All nations shall flow unto it,” ii. 2, certainly comes from the harder, “people shall flow unto it,” Micah iv. 1, and not the reverse. And if