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symbol, and the flesh of the animal was eaten by the worshippers after the animal had been slaughtered at the altar. But in the case of the burnt offering (ôlah, Kālîl) the entire animal was consumed by fire. In the early days of the Hebrew monarchy the sacra of the high place were closely bound up with the old clans of Israel, so that every sacrifice at a local ceptre, as at Beth-lehem, became a communal clan or tribal feast, and these would be held at special seasons, as at the new moon or once a year, Instructive examples of such sacrificial clan or tribal feasts may be found in the Books of Judges and Samuel (Judges ix. 27 ; 1 Şam. ix, 12-25, xx. 6). But at the close of the eighth century much of this clan and tribal lite had disappeared. The cultus of the high place remained in feature and type the same. The stone-symbol was there--the ashērah or sacred pole was there; so also the sacred tree, whether terebinth or poplar, and often the sacred spring. Moreover, the three annual festivals --especially the feast of ingathering-were celebrated as in the olden times, but the old clan and tribal life had gradually declined amid the storms and other changes affecting national life in the ninth century. In all probability some of the smaller sanctuaries had passed out of existence with the local clans which supported them, Worship thuş became more national and less local and exclusive. Probably there were relatively fewer local sanctuaries in Judah, owing to the dominating position of the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, than existed in the sister state of Ephraim, which was more subject to disintegrating tendencies and to foreign, Phoenician influence. All these slowly evolving conditions prepared the way for the Reformation in Josiah's reign which suppressed the local sanctuary and made Jerusalem the only centre of legitimate worship. The Book of Deuteronomy in its present form emerged out of that reforming movement, and the religious ideals of that code dominate the redactors of the Books of Kings, who never omit to denounce the
Israelite kings who tolerate or foster the worship of the high places. With the prophets of the eighth century it is far different. Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah clearly perceived the evils of the prevailing cultus of the high places, but they still stood at some distance from the age of Josiah, and do not censure the existence of high places but the impure character of the worship that existed there and closely approximated the character of the Canaanite cults. Hosea and Isaiah denounce Israel's unfaithfulness to Yahweh both in politics and religion. The unfaithfulness in politics was necessarily involved in any formal compact of alliance with a foreign state. These compacts were sealed by religious sacrificial rites-in other words, a covenant, in which the respective deities of the two nations were involved. But when, as in the case of Israel, a weaker and dependent state entered into a formal alliance with a stronger suzerain state like Assyria or Egypt, such political relationship could not fail to react prejudicially on the position and authority of Yahweh in relation to other national deities, especially when we remember how Yahweh's sphere and sovereignty were interpreted by the eighth-century prophets. Accordingly both Hosea and Isaiah emphasized the lesson of loyalty to Yahweh in political relations. Trust in Yahweh's love and power to protect His people meant in external politics that Israel should be self-contained and independent of foreign aid. Even the military use of horses and chariots, which had been long employed in Israel's wars and came into extensive use during the dynasty of the house of Omri, was also regarded as a foreign (Egyptian, Hittite, or Canaanite) importation and an act of disloyalty,
The unfaithfulness in religion consisted in the corruption of the primitive and simple worship of Yahweh (which Israel had derived from the early nomadic times) by the introduction of Canaanite as well as Eastern rites. Canaanite worship was sensuous in type. Its Baal and Ashtoreth worship, though connected with a hoary antiquity in which the sexual element played a large part", was nevertheless alien to Israel's ancient Mosaic religion which gave no place to a female consort by the side of Yahweh. The male and female attendants (the Ķedēshîm and Ķedēshộth) who pandered to sexual passion, which had from the earliest time's been connected with the cult of Baal and Ashtoreth, had become an unwholesome importation from the Canaanites into the sanctuaries of Israel. In this way Yahweh's 'holy name was polluted and profaned' (Amos ii. 7). This denunciation by the prophet Amos is directed against the northern kingdom. That it also applied to the sanctuaries of Judah is fairly clear from indications in Jeremiah (ii. 1, 2, 20-23, iii. 2, 3, 6-11, v. 8, vii. 18).
It is important for the student of Hebrew religion to draw as clear a distinction as possible between the standpoint of the Deuteronomic redactor of the Books of Kings and that of the prophets of Yahweh in the eighth century. The latter made no protest against the ancient and primitive cultus of the high places-the stone-symbol or the sacred pole, or even the use of the ephod (the plated image of Yahweh) and the teraphim (ancestral images). These formed part of the normal religious life of ancient Israel from the days of Samuel and David until Isaiah's time. Even the soothsayer is not denounced by Isaiah. He held an important position in the social life of the people from the earliest times. In the days of Saul no
A subject fully expounded in Barton's Semitic Origins. It is significant that while Phoenician (Canaanite) has not only El for God' but also its feminine elat (see Lidzbarski's Hand, buch der nordsemitischen Epigraphik, p. 219), Assyrian its ilu and iltu, the Hebrew has only the masculine form ēl. Though we cannot infer from this, as Bäthgen 'does, that earliest times the Semites had no goddesses, yet he is right in noting the remarkable fact that the Hebrews had no word for
goddess' and could only use Elohim for that purpose (1 Kings xi. 5). See his Beiträge zur semitischen Religionsgeschichte, p. 265.
war was conducted without the priest-soothsayer. Hence, in the enumeration of the chief props of the social fabric by Isaiah, the soothşayer takes his place by the side of the soldier, the judge, and the prophet (iii. 2). The legal system of Deuteronomy (B. C. 623) was far more strict (cf. Deut. xvi. 21, 22, xviii. 10-12). High place, sacred pole, and stone-symbol it laid under an interdict.
The invective of the prophet is directed against the foreign, ysages. The close of the eighth century was distracted by wars and rumours of wars. At such a time a terror-stricken people resorts to abnormal religious practices and borrows foreign rites. Ahaz was prone to the adoption of innovations in ritual (2 Kings xvi. 9, 10); and the tendency to adopt foreign modes of divination, borrowed from the Philistines and still more from the East, was denounced by Isaiah. Judah was full of Eastern soothsaying-practices derived from Babylonia or Northern Arabia, accompanied probably by incantations in which foreign deities were invoked (ii, 6). A still more serious evil 1l was th
the practice of necromancy, against which Isaiah directs his sternest rebuke (viü. 19, 20, xxviii. 18).
But the most serious evil of all was the immoral conduct of the priest and the ordinary professional order of prophets. Isaiah paints for us a revolting picture of a drunken priesthood and an intoxicated body of prophets making the sacrificial feasts scenes of their disgusting orgies, which rendered them utterly incapable of discernment and stolid in their resistance to the true words of God's messenger (xxviii. 7 foll.). It would be difficult to say which portrayal is more appalling--the picture just presented or the lurid spectacle of the murdering gangs of priests in Shechem or Gilead, who lay in wait for the pilgrims and left a track of blood behind them, which the oracles of Hosea present to us (Hos. vi. 8, 9). The root
· Micah also charges the priest and prophet with receiving bribes (iii. 11).
of the evil lay in the utter divorce of religion and morality. The sanctuaries were crowded with worshippers and the altars loaded with offerings, while injustice and even murder went on unchecked. Religious cultus had no effect on conduct. Conduct bore no relation to religious cultus. The result was a disordered state, a diseased society. "The whole head was sick-the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there was no soundness in it’ (chap. i. 5, 6, 11-15). The prophets of the eighth century, whose oracles have been preserved to us, were quick to perceive, or rather they instinctively realized what modern Europe only partially apprehends, that religion lies at the base of any effective morality. They would never have conceived of it as ‘morality touched with emotion, but as the very soul and essence of morality itself. And the only religion of which they knew, or would have cared to take cognizance, was not the conception of some dim universal metaphysical abstraction to which the conventional name God' is attached like a movable label, but the thrilling consciousness of the presence and power of a supreme personal and righteous will. On this basis they sought to reconstruct a religion which should embody ideas which would permanently quicken and inspire national morality, and thereby save the state from the disorders which threatened it with ruin.
§ 4. THEOLOGY OF ISAIAH. The religious conceptions of Isaiah form a synthesis of the ideas of the two prophets that preceded him, Amos and Hosea. It is easy to discern his debt to both.
The teaching of Amos, as Wellhausen has clearly shown', was the internal correlate of the great external fact which was then absorbing the attention of Western Asia, the advance of the Assyrian power. The overthrow
1 Enc. Brit., 9th ed., article • Israel.'