prophetic messages.

Semitic names afford scope for these significant appellations. Babylonian names are often nothing but a pious wish or ejaculation', probably considered to have a magic potency for good.

From a very early stage of his prophetic ministry Isaiah, who himself bore a name which summed up his message and career, gave a prophetic name to his eldest son, Sheār-yāshtbh, 'a remnant shall return,' i.e. be converted to Yahweh. It is certain, therefore, that as early as 738 B. C., or even earlier still, Isaiah had foreseen the remedial effect of discipline. The pride of Judah was to receive condign chastisement, yet all would not be lost ; a remnant would survive, disciplined by suffering. Though Zion had been faithless (i. 21), and one man oppressed another (iii. 5), and dire poverty with desolation would befall all ranks of society (iii. 1–3, 6–8), yet this purifying trial would purge Zion of her dross. The judges of the land would no longer accept bribes as of old (v. 23), but would be as they were in the nobler primitive past (i. 26), and Zion would once more be called 'the city of righteousness,' 'the faithful city.'

This conversion of the remnant' should be connected with the special relation of Yahweh to Zion, which is probably involved in the other prophetic name 'Immanuel.' Whatever else might be destroyed, Zion should be preserved from destruction, and this immunity is connected with the special relation of Yahweh to Zion in which He dwelt and where His central and most imposing shrine stood. There (as Prof. G. A. Smith points out) ' lived... the little band of disciples to whom Isaiah committed his testimony and revelation' (cf. viii. 16 foll.).

For the present Judah's chastisements would continue. Assyria is clearly indicated as the instrument which would inflict them—the 'razor hired in the parts beyond the river' (vii. 20). .

See the list in Schrader, COT., ii. p. 225 foll.

This seems to be all that the prophet could say by way of comfort to his countrymen in the dark days of Aḥaz.

The death of Sargon and the awakening of Palestine and Egypt which resulted seem to have roused the prophet to new utterance. Now for the first time Assyria is threatened, and the prophecies respecting Zion assume a more definite form. Of this we have already spoken under (3) Faith, see especially chap. xxviii. 16, 17. Faith in the Holy One of Israel, who would preserve Zion and a faithful remnant amid all the storms that surrounded it, was destined to receive a signal vindication by the issue of the siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C. Jerusalem escaped capture and Sennacherib withdrew his armies.

This exercised a profound influence both on the prophet and on later times. Its influence on the prophet is to be seen in the series of Messianic utterances that came from him, beginning with Isa. ix. 1–7 (Heb. viii. 23ix. 6) and closing with ii. 2-4. In this last passage the great universal function of the unconquered Zion, now towering above all other hills, and the centre to which the nations flock, is celebrated in verses of serene beauty which were probably the last utterance of the prophet.

In Isa. ix. 1-7 and xi. 1-9 we have the completed portraiture of Immanuel. He is no longer a vague abstraction, but we see him now as a personality. Sennacherib's armies had withdrawn, but the danger of another attack still hovered on the political horizon. Thus the portraiture of the Messiah in ix. 1-7 is that of a Divine warriorhero who would break the Assyrian yoke in a great battle. We have here an echo of the somewhat earlier oracle (xxx. 27–33), perhaps delivered in the very crisis of the siege, in which we learn that God would cause 'His majestic voice' to be heard, and display the descent of His arm in fierce wrath and the flame of devouring fire, destruction, rain-storm and hail-stones' (XXX. 30). The human instrument of this victory over Israel's foes, as we now learn, shall be a 'Prince of Peace sitting on David's

throne, upholding his rule by justice and righteousness. The same theme is the subject of a still later oracle in which the martial traits disappear (xi. 1-9). Probably the fear of an Assyrian invasion had then quite passed, and the shoot of Jesse's stock’ appears as the ruler of a kingdom of which the centre is God's 'holy mountain,' Zion. His rule extends its benign influence over the earth, which becomes full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea, and all antagonisms are reconciled (xi. 1-9).

We have another oracle of similar tenor, but briefer, in which the rule of the Messianic king is represented as a refuge for the storm-stricken and the weary (xxxii. 1-5). It may have been conceived at a time when it was necessary to allay certain anxious forebodings respecting the future.

Throughout all these oracles there is heard one everrecurring theme-first uttered by Amos, but permanently enforced by the more powerful personality of his successorthat the diseased state can be saved by righteousness alone.

* Behold, I have founded in Zion a stone, a stone well tested, a córner-stone of precious solid foundation .. and I will make judgment the measuring line and righteousness the plummet' (xxviii. 16, 17).

Isaiah was the first of a succession of prophets (which ends with Christianity as its consummation) who taught that 'the best is still to be.' aradise does not lie behind us. This secured him his unique position.

The events of the year 701, the deliverance of Jerusalem, so largely wrought by the prophet's discourses and personality, exercised an immense influence over the seventh century, and served to establish the higher teachings of prophecy. It actually gave rise to the false confidence of the Jewish people in the days of Jeremiah, that Jerusalem would never be captured. So deeply had Isaiah's pronouncement, that Zion was inviolable (xxix. 7, 8, &c.) because it was Yahweh's abode, sunk into the


minds of the people, that Jeremiah suffered all the dire penalties of anti-patriotism because he dared to oppose a belief that had come to be regarded as a fundamental article of faith. On Hezekiah's Reforms see note on chap. xxxvi. 7.

§ 5. CRITICAL PROBLEMS OF ISAIAH. It has long been ascertained by the careful examination of the discourses contained in the sixty-six chapters of the Book of Isaiah that we have here rather a collection of prophetic literature, to which the name of the great prophet of Jerusalem has been appended, than the work of any single mind. Quite apart from the linguistic facts (not only individual words, but also phraseology and style) which present an irresistible body of evidence', a careful study of the contents clearly reveals that the entire mass of this literature is very far from being homogeneous. In Germany, from the days of Gesenius (more than eighty years ago) downwards, it has been increasingly felt that the hypothesis that different authors living in different ages wrote these discourses is the only possible solution of the complex problems presented by the literature. In Great Britain as well as America that is now the unanimous opinion of all Old Testament scholars. With out such an hypothesis to guide us we have no key to the interpretation of a considerable portion of the literature. Scientific, i. e. true historical, exegesis becomes

1 The character of this work precludes us from dealing with Hebrew words and idioms, which can only be presented intelligibly in the original. The best authority on this subject in English is, in a compact form, Driver's Literature of the Old Testament, and, in fuller detail, Cheyne's Introduction to Isaiah. For the English reader who is not conversant with Hebrew, Driver's Isaiah, his Life and Times (Nisbet), will be found exceedingly useful. The facts of style and the differences which in this respect characterize different sections of the literature are there clearly presented. We have also in the course of this commentary indicated these characteristics of word, phrase, and style in the introductory remarks to the various chapters or sections.

impossible. It is this key to an intelligent appreciation of the meaning of these prophecies which the Higher Criticism (a term much misunderstood, especially by those who assail it) endeavours to furnish. And this hypothesis of diverse authorship in these larger collections called Books has been applied successfully to other books, such as the prophecies of Jeremiah, the books of the Pentateuch, and also to the Psalter, as well as to smaller collections like the prophecies of Zechariah. In all these cases, great names like Moses, David, or Jeremiah cover large collections, of which only a small portion consists of the work of the eminent personage whose name is attached to the collection.

The general results of a careful critical analysis have shown that the prophecies of Isaiah fall into two main divisions.

1. Chaps. i–xxxix.

2. Chaps. xl-lxvi, formerly called the Deutero-Isaiah ; but recent criticism has made it probable that this collection falls into two portions: (a) The Deutero-Isaiah proper, chaps. xl-lv, all of which belong to the Exile period, i.e. 550–38 B. C., and (6) the Trito-Isaiah, chaps. lvi-lxvi, composed in Palestine after the return from Exile, reflecting not only the yearnings and hopes, but also the disappointed expectations of the prophet and signs of declension exhibited in the young community.

We are here concerned with chaps. i–xxxix. Those who have read the introductions to the several chapters and sections in the commentary will note the varied character of these chapters. They may be grouped thus:

A. Chaps. ixii. This collection concludes with later non-Isaianic matter. Chap. xii is a song of thanksgiving and hope in the style of the late exilian and early postexilian literature in chaps. xl-lxxvi. This collection is made up of smaller collections of Isaianic oracles made by the prophet's disciples.

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