Obrazy na stronie

Isaiah here produces a doctrine in an unhistorical way, that must remain hidden from himself. But I do say that the Spirit of God intimates here a relation of Jehovah to His Servant, which, of course, only presents itself to us in entire clearness in the New Testament history; but which, now we stand in this clear light, we can and ought thereby to detect in its Old Testament envelope. OEHLER begins the article Messios in HERz., R.-Enc, with these words: “According to the view of Old Testament prophecy, the completion of salvation is brought about by the personal coming of Jehovah in His glory. He Himself appears amid the rejoicing of the whole creation for the restoration of His kingdom on earth. Ps. xcvi. 10 sqq.; xcviii. 7 sqq.,” etc. It is remarkable that OEHLER, in support of his thought, cites precisely those Pss. which, as above shown, have such resemblance to our passage. It is admitted by expositors that these Pss. have generally a near relation to Isa, xl.-lxvi. (comp. MoLL on Ps. xcvi. sqq.). May we not have in Pss. xcvi., xcviii. the oldest commentary on our passage, a testimony that already in the time after the Exile our passage was referred to the Messiah, therefore that the unity of the Messiah and Jehovah was recognized? The Prophet, then, here describes the Servant of Jehovah from another side. He, the quiet, and meek. One, is at the same time El-Gibbor, and hence it may be said of Him: Jehovah goes forth like a mighty man.—But as being ElGibbor he is no more called Servant of Jehovah; for the El-Gibbor has laid aside the form of a servant. Further on this see below under Doc

trinal and Ethical, p. 461,49. An monop tox is a man that carries on many wars (comp. 2 Sam. viii. 10; 1 Chr. xviii. 10). The expression He shall stir up jealousy (sc. in Himself) recalls passages like Ps. lxxviii. 38; Dan. xi. 25; Hag. i. 14; Isa. lix. 17. The intensive is, comp. xliii. 7. The enemies against whom Jehovah goes forth are manifestly the same that as conquered, yet at the same time blessed, are to offer praise and thanks to the LoRD (vers. 10–12). The entire heathen world is meant. This is confirmed by ver. 17 that speaks of the confusion of those that persist in serving idols in spite of their knowledge of God. It is quite preposterous, with HAHN, to assume a dividing line between vers. 13 and 14. Wer. 14 sqq. first gives us light concerning what the LoRD intends according to ver. 13. They contain the words that announce the object of the expedition of Him that goes forth. From everlasting the Lord had kept silence—Did the text treat only of the deliverance of Israel from exile,

polyp might then be referred to the beginning of it, and then the Exile would be represented as an immeasurable period during which the LoRD had kept silence (comp. on lvii.11). But the reference is not merely to Israel's deliverance, but to a deliverance in which all humanity, the heathen included, and even all nature, shall participate, as appears most plainly from the rejoicing of the same vers. 10-12. For the same reason the “for-ever” cannot begin with the elevation of Israel into a nation, i.e., the departure out of Egypt. If the LORD has in mind the heathen world, then it

must be in reference to them that He has so long kept silence. How long was this Without doubt since in Abraham He separated a tiny little part of mankind to be a special sphere for a pre paratory revelation, while the great mass that was left He “suffered to walk in their own ways,” Acts xiv. 16. He had not, indeed, omitted now and then to remind the heathen of Himself, and the double exile of His servant, the people Israel, especially served this purpose. But, in general, the heathen world is that part of mankind that was actually to experience what must become of human nature when God surrenders it, uninfluenced by revelation, wholly to the free unfolding of its natural powers. In reference to these, the LoRD may well say: I kept silence from the remotest time. In contrast with this silence of milleniums will the LoRD, i.e., the Servant of Jehovah identical with Jehovah, enter finally upon His conquest of the heathen world. By this He effects something quite new. He calls into being a new covenant with mankind. Hence He represents this new, hitherto unheard of deed as a birth that is accomplished only by means of great effort and acute pains. And may not, in fact, the spread of Christianity among the heathen, with all the pains, dangers and conflicts that attended it, be compared with the painful breaking forth of a fruit from the womb of a mother? This is one of the passages where to Jehovah is imputed action proper to women, and particularly a mother (comp. xlvi. 3 sq.; xlix. 15).

If the heathen are intended here, then by I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up the rivers and pools, ver. 15, are meant heathen heights and heathen waters. Mountain heights are often enough representatives of the civilization of which they are the locality, and great waters representative of the populations that dwell about them. Therefore we must construe vers. 15, 16 figuratively, just as we did vers. 13, 14, and understand by mountains and rivers the heathen world. If by mountains and waters be understood the land of exile in a physical sense, would not that conflict with what was said xli. 18 sq. f. Would not the people of God suffer by tion; up” But what is meant by the Servant of Jehovah drying up the heathen world? I think that by that the LoRD means a spiritual drying-up. At the time the Servant of Jehovah goes forth into the heathen world, the latter will have survived itself. It will have become inwardly powerless and sapless. It will exist like a withered tree, like the bed of a stream having water only in its deepest places, whereas the shallower parts appear like islands—like a driedup lake. Only call to mind utterances like Pilate's “what is truth” (John xviii. 38) for proof of this cheerless, dried-up state of heathendom. I will make the rivers islands reminds of Ps. cwii. 33.

Wer. 16. I cannot understand Israel to be intended by the blind here; for they are not such in either a physical or a spiritual sense. Nor would blindness alone be mentioned to describe a general condition of misery (comp. xli. 17; xxxv. 5; xxix. 18). I think, therefore, that those heathen are meant, whom the Lord leads out of the shrivelled-up heathendom into the light which His Servant brings into the world.

These are opposed to the ones (ver. 17) that persist in idolatry. It is, therefore, spiritual and not physical blindness that is meant (comp. xliii. 8). The same Servant of Jehovah whose office and calling are to open eyes in general, will do this for the heathen too, leading them ways they knew not: for the knowledge of the true God and of His salvation had been shut up from them. But those that are so led cease to be blind. Hence the Prophet continues: I will make darkness light before them, i.e., the previous darkness shall give place to light, consequently they will have gained powers of sight. To this corresponds what follows: and (I will make) crooked things (ways) (comp. lix. 8) to a flat field. When this is done, they will no more go astray in crooked roads, but will walk straight and right ways. What I may call the imposing introduction vers. 10-12 having prepared us for

something great, the last clause of ver, 16 in turn testifies to the greatness and marvel of the things that have been held in prospect from ver, 13 on. Lest it be thought more has been promised than can be performed, the LoRD gives an express assurance of the contrary. Notice the definite *{ticle. Not things in general; no, it is the things. It is His whole, great work in nuce. His entire plan of salvation that is drawn in its fundamental features from ver, 13 on. Both the Perfects and the positive affirmation followed by

the negative (Donary sh) are meant to confirm the certainty of the eventual fulfilment. , Ver, 17, But this salvation will not be the portion of all blind heathen. Therefore it reads, too, ver, 16, Boy, not Donyo. Many will re. main blind. Of these it is said: They shall be turned back, etc.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

1. Is then the Servant of Jehovah ever reproached? And if Israel is deaf and blind toward the word of the Lord, can it as deaf and blind be called the servant of the LoRD? Indeed, according to his very being, the latter cannot shut himself up against the spirit and word of Jehovah. It was said, ver. 3, that the Servant of Jehovah will reveal the right and law of God by a discipline of lowliness and gentleness; according to ver, 7 He will open blind eyes and deliver from the fetters of sin and error. And shall, ver. 18 sqq., by the same expression “Servant of Jehovah”, he designated also Israel, that is even deaf and blind with respect to God's revelation ? Moreover how utterly disconnected an earnest complaint against the nation must appear here, after the glorious promise of vers. 13-17 | DELitzsch supposes that the blind to whom, ver. 16, freedom is promised, provoked not only the compassion but also the displeasure of the Lord, because it was their own fault that they did not see. To them is the call to rid themselves of the ban that rests on them. But the blind of ver. 16 do not stay blind. According to 16 b the

darkness becomes light before them. How does that accord with vers. 18-20? In my opinion the two strophes vers. 18-21 and 22–25 present the reverse side or descending climax of the chapter, of which the other, or light side of the Servant of Jehovah, was given in vers. 1–17. It is a new contrast that we observe here. He that opens the eyes of others is Himself blind. The crying mighty-man, ver. 13, corresponds to the quiet Servant of Jehovah, ver. 2; so here the Servant that is Himself blind, ver. 19, corresponds to Him that opens eyes for others, ver. 7. The strophes correspond crosswise; the first to the third, the second to the fourth, and each time it is contrasts that correspond. How entirely one misconceives the unity of this chapter who fails to recognize in the Servant of Jehovah ver. 18 the same that was already observed in vers. 1–9 The deaf and blind of the People of Israel, or rather the People Israel as consisting of deaf and blind, i.e., as one generally sick and wretched, is summoned (ver. 18) to give heed for its salvation to a double wonder that happens with the Servant of Jehovah. He

is Himself so blind and deaf that no one equals Him in blindness and deafness (ver. 19) . He that had healed many blind eyes, Himself observes nothing (ver. 20) I This is the first wonder. But in this one, apparently Himself so sick, the LoRD has pleasure for His righteousness' sake. By virtue of the same, He will give the world a new, glorious law (ver. 21); and this is the second wonder. 2. Hear ye deaf-honorable.—Vers. 1821. The deaf and blind here are, any way, such as hear and see if they will. Otherwise how can they be summoned to see and hear. And when (ver. 20) they are summoned to notice that He Himself does not hear, and yet opens ears, etc., and yet is an object of divine approval, and gives the world a new and more glorious law, then only those can be meant who should be witnesses of these marvellous contrasts in the life of the personal Servant of Jehovah. To these is intimated that in these contrasts is contained the mystery of their deliverance. But they are deaf and blind who will not see (vi. 9, 10; Matt. xiii. 13 sqq.). It is the hardened nation Israel which therefore fares as we read afterwards wer. 22.—

Roh, ver, 18, is to be referred to both the fore.

going verbs (zeugmatically) in the general sense of observing. As I find chapter xlii. draws the fundamental traits of the personal Servant of Jehovah in general, so here, as appears to me, those traits are especially sketched that are further developed in chapter liii. We remarked at ver. 16 a difference between blindness nientioned alone, and mentioned with other deficiencies. In the latter case the deficiencies named may be regarded as representing distress and wretchedness generally. Such is the case here. It is not meant that the Servant of Jehovah will be only blind and deaf, just as at ver. 7 it was not meant that He would only heal the blind and free the prisoner. It is natural that those deficiencies should be named as attaching to the Servant of Jehovah, from which He is said to free others. Accordingly, to correspond with ver. 7, He should be described as blind and languishing in prison. But the latter trait the Prophet does not observe in the image of the future presented to him. Indeed, he describes the Servant of Jehovah, as blind and deaf; thus as a man, as one on whom all heavy sorrows come down like a tempest, as a picture of grief, and beside as one who runs blindly into his destruction (comp. Matt. xvi. 22) and in the greatest danger remains dumb as a deaf man. He sees these defects attaching to the Servant of Jehovah in a degree unequalled by any other man. In a word: the Prophet beholds the Servant of Jehovah, not only as the one despised and forsaken of men, as the man of sorrows and acquainted with sickness (liii. 3), but at the same time as the physician that can heal others and not Himself (Luke iv. 23; xxiii.39; Matt. xxvii. 40, 42). And the reason for this strange appearance? Isaiah indicates it liii. 4 sqq. SEB. SchMIDT signifies it with the words: “coecus est atque surdus imputative.” Only here is the Servant of Jehovah called messenger, “angel of the Lord.” It calls to mind on the one hand “I will send my angel” Gen. xxiv. 7, 40,

[ocr errors]

curs only here as participle (as nom. propr. it occurs often: 2 Kings xxii. 3; xxi. 19, etc.), must

be construed according to the analogy of Down (Job v. 23), as in pacem, amicitiam receptus. The words of ver. 20 are difficult. Those that understand the People of Israel to be meant by the Servant of Jehovah must take D-2's TPP in the sense of “to have open ears.” Thus UMBREIT translates: “with open ears He hears not;” DELITzsch : “opening the ears still He does not hear;” W. F.R. (EHLER: “open ears has He, and He hears not.” But, in the first place, nPi, which only here is used of ears, being everywhere else used of eyes, never means “to have eyes.” But it must mean “to have" if

taken in antithesis to, you” son: for he that hears not, though he has ears, does not use his ears. But one who does not use the ears he has can never be called a D'JTN nP2. TPB elsewhere

always means to open the eyes of others or one's own eyes for the purpose of actual and intensive use. Thus Gen. iii. 5: “And your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall know good and evil;” comp. Gen. iii. 7 ; 2 Kings vi. 17, 20 “LoRD open His eyes that he may see.” Comp. 2 Kings iv. 35; xix. 16 (Isa. xxxvii. 17); Isa. xxxv. 5; Jer. xxxii. 19; Zech. xii. 4; Dan. ix. 18; Ps. cxlvi. 8; “LoRD open (make see) the blind;” Prov. xx. 13; Job xiv. 3; xxvii. 19. Finally, the adjective TP3 is one that opens his eyes well, a seeing person: Exod. iv. 11; xxiii. 8. From this it appears that bolts ripp and yovo No. would involve a contradiction if by “ears” be understood his own ears who opens them. For to open his own ears and yet not hear is impossible. In the second place, it may not at all be accidental that TP; only in our passage is used of opening ears. Already in ver. 7 we had it in reference to opening eyes; and it is affirmed of the Servant of Jehovah. May not the Prophet, by using TP; and not nni) in ver, 20, have intended, perhaps, to give a hint that the subject of Bois nPE is identical with that of Boy", nP52 Moreover the feminine n\al ver. 20 points back to nony ver. 7, and strengthens the conjecture that the Prophet would warn against referring ver. 20 to any other person than the subject of ver. 7. If we have correctly understood the second clause of ver. 20, we have gained the foundation for the understanding of the first. K'thibh is to be read Îy's", the K'ri nis). The latter is inf absol. Kal (like ning xxii. 13; niny Hab. iii. 13). Both of these forms only make sense when one takes 'N TDE) = “to have ears.” For then the form n"No must also some way signify “to have eyes” or “to see,” and both can be said of the servant of Jehovah only in the national

[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

iii. 24; i. 33; Exod. ix. 16, etc.). [The Author's labored exposition seems to originate and find its sole justification in the contradiction developed above: “to open one's ears and not to hear is impossible;” and then, if this be the sense, that one must understand the Servant of Jehovah in a national and not a personal sense, and thus surrender the identity of subject in the chapter. But the logical contradiction cannot be greater than that presented in vi. 9, and in (the exageration even of) the same language as quoted your Lord in Matt. xiii. 13. , While adhering to the Author's general view of the whole chapter, and of this “strophe" in particular, we may adhere also to the rendering of ver, 20 in the Eng. Version, with which UMBREIT AND DELITzsch (see above) agree. Why may not the contrasts of this chapter, that the Author points out (see e.g., under vers. 15, 16), be intensified into paradoxes and contradictions? If the Spirit of God in the Prophet has uttered the riddle of the identity of the Servant of Jehovah, and Jehovah Himself, the solution of which can only be seen in the clear light of the New Testament (see under ver. 12), why not also the riddle of ver. 20? Why (like the New Testament realizations to which the Author refers under vers. 19, 22) is not the verification of the paradoxes of ver. 20 to be found in, say, Acts i. 7, and Mar. xiii. 32. “Of that day and that hour knoweth no man— neither the Son, but the Father,” and in the mystery of Christ going intelligently to meet, death (Mar. viii. 31) and yet on the eve of its accomplishment praying to escape it like one that knows not (Luke xxii. 42; Heb. v. 7) 7–TR.]. Like one blind the Servant of Jehovah runs to His destruction, who yet causes so many others

to see. Although warned (Matt. xvi. 22), still He gives no heed to what may benefit or hurt

His own person. opy, has here, as often, the

meaning “observavit, attendit” (comp. Hos. iv. 10; 1 Sam. xxvi. 15; 2 Sam. xviii. 12, etc., according to the fundamental meaning of the word, “rectis et intentis occulis intuitus est,” “to gaze, stare at,” comp. "po, no, riguit, horruit. Yo “thorn,” see GESEN. Thes. p. 1442). The change of person is not unfrequent in Isa. i. 29; xiv. 30; xxxiii. 2, 6; xli. 1. Ver. 22. Thus the Servant of Jehovah seems to pay the penalty of His folly by a fate that makes Him appear as one despised of men and esteemed as of no value. But different is His relation to Jehovah, who has pleasure in Him for His righteousness' sake. The pronominal object in the third person is omitted, as often happens. The o discourse is brief and obscure. But it finds its echo, and at the same time its significance is cleared up in those passages of the New Testament, wherein the Father expressly points to the Son as the object of His approval (comp. ver. 1 and Matt. iii. 17 ; xvii. 5; Mark i. 11; Luke iii. 23; 2 Pet. i. 17). And why should not Jehovah take pleasure in Him whom no one could charge with sin, yet who, notwithstanding, surrendered His holy soul to death, in order to fulfil the Father's decree of salvation ? When it is further said : He will magnify the law and make it honourable, it is self-evident that not that Torah is meant whose end the Servant of Jehovah will be, but that which shall proceed from Him (ver. 4; li. 4; ii. 3). We will therefore take the Servant of Jehovah as the subject of “magnify” and “make honorable,” though the sense were not essentially different if Jehovah were regarded as subject. Great and glorious will the new, Zionitic Torah be ; as much greater and more glorious than the old Sinaitic, as its Mediator, means and object will be infinitely greater (Gal. iii.).

For the recurrence of words used in this strophe see List.


[blocks in formation]

25 Therefore he hath poured upon him

The fury of his anger, and the strength of battle:
And it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not;
And it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Heb. for the after time.

And. d did hearken.

GRAMMATICAL. from what precedes, and receives a demonstrative force. —ion anx sh is indeed not the usual construction (yet comp. xxx. 9); still not too unusual (comp. vii. 15; Jer. ix. 4; Mic. vi. 8, etc.). The object is emphatic prominence for the notion “going” which as insin. absol. appears more nearly a substantive. Ver. 25. The singular suffix in voy relates to a notion T singular, ideally present, i.e., the total of Israel, not previously named.—As the fundamental meaning of non is “aestus, heat, glow,” it may easily be taken for r -prepositive apposition. The assonance with nonbn seems to have had some influence. To take it as apposition with ins receives confirmation from the image being prolonged in the second clause of the verse, where not only the feminine forms intonon and nyon refer back to Tion, but also this glow is conceived of + -as an actual kindling fire (not as a mere image of intense anger). Accordingly I cannot take nonon as the subject of inton'on. nonop inty] I regard as an intervening thought that points the meaning of the figurative expression EN Tom. But npn still re

r mains the chief notion, and as such the subject of the two positive clauses of the second half of the verse.— nys, “igne consumsit, combussit,” is, as a rule, construed

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


1. In this fifth and last strophe the Prophet descends from the heights of most glorious hope of salvation attained in the third, down to the depths of a most mournful perspective of judgment, which, however, he applies as an awakening cry to his unbelieving countrymen. The future reveals none of the effects that ought to have followed a believing regard for what was announced ver. 18 sqq. On the contrary, the Prophet sees a robbed people languishing in h captivity (ver. 22). From this he knows that Israel has not accepted the Servant of Jehovah. He uses the mournful prospect to attempt to move Israel, by a wholesome alarm, to ward off that mournful future by a sincere repentance. With “among you” (ver. 23) he addresses the Israel of the ideal present, i.e., of the Exile. Who among you, he asks, gave heed to this impending visitation of the remote future? But there is little prospect of a cheering reply. For Jehovah has already given over Judah and Israel as a prey to their enemies for their sins (ver. 24). Yet even this they have not taken to heart (ver. 25).

1. But this—Restore.—Wer. 22. But this people is the antithesis of ver. 18. There

the deaf and blind were summoned to give heed to what was to be said of the Servant of Jehovah. But—and now we learn why Israel was called deaf and blind (ver. 18), Israel heeds not, and so the Prophet sees a robbed, etc., people. Thus ver. 22 shows the condition that will ensue as punishment for Israel's not knowing the Servant of Jehovah and the day of its visitation (Luke xix. 41–44). 3. Who among you—not to heart.— Vers. 23–25. But the Prophet knows that the impending judgment may be averted by . repentance. It is true there is little hope of suc repentance; but he attempts it. He asks: who among you——time to come 2 with 523

the Prophet, in contrast with those standing far off, to which, e.g., v. 18 relates, must have in mind Israel of the Exile. He puts it to these that they should hear, heed and hearken far off. What they ought to hear is primarily his word. But they ought to heed it, by lending an ear to the

remote times past (mns, see on xli. 23) that as it were, speak to them by the mouth of the Prohet. Because the old time is conceived of as ying before the Prophet (comp. B.R. p. xxiii.

« PoprzedniaDalej »