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that people, by checking those crimes which were pregnant, nature, are inserted in the historical books, together with with ruin.1
their fulfilment. Such appears to have been the case with VII. ANTIQUITY AND SUCCESSION OF THE PROPHETS. Elijah, Elisha, Micaiah, and others; but those who were Prophecy is one of the most striking proofs of the true gifted with the spirit of prophecy in its most exalted sense, and religion; and as religion has existed in every age, prophecy were commissioned to utter predictions, the accomplishment equally subsisted from the commencement of the worla. of which was as yet far distant, were directed to write them, or
The Jews2 reckon forty-eight prophets, and seven prophet- cause them to be written, in a book. Compare Isa. viii. 1. esses; Clement of Alexandria enumerates thirty-five prophets xxx. 8. Jer. xxx. 2. xxxvi. 2. 28. Ezek. xliii. 11. Hab. ii. who flourished subsequently to Moses; and Epiphanius, 2, &c.). The predictions, thus committed to writing, were sixty-three prophets and twelve prophetesses. Witsius, and carefully preserved, 'under a conviction that they contained some other modern critics, divide the series of prophets into important truths, thereafter to be more fully revealed, which three periods, during which God at sundry times and in divers were to receive their accomplishment at the appointed manners spake unto the fathers of the Jewish nation (Heb. i. periods. It was also the office of the prophets to commit to 1.); viz. 1. Prophets who flourished before the giving of writing the history of the Jews;' and it is on this account the Law of Moses;—2. Prophets who flourished under the that, in the Jewish classification of the books of the Old Law;—and, 3. Prophets who flourished under the period Testament, we find several historical writings arranged comprised in the New Testament.
among the prophets. Throughout their prophetic and hisI. Prophets who flourished before the giving of the Law of torical books, the utmost plainness and sincerity prevail.
Moses were, Adam, Enoch, Lamech (Gen. v. 29.), Noah, They record the idolatries of the nation, and foretell the Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, and his friends, and judgments of God which were to befall the Jews in conseBalaam. The prophetesses in this period were Sarah, quence of their forsaking his worship and service; and they Hagar, and Rebecca.
have transmitted a relation of the crimes and misconduct of II. Prophets who flourished under the Law, of whom there are their best princes. David, Solomon, and others,—who were four series.
types of the Messiah, and who expected that he would 1. Prophets in the Desert :-Moses, Aaron, the prophetess descend from their race, regarding the glories of their seve
Miriam, the seventy elders. (Num. xi. 16, 11. 24— ral reigns as presages of His,-are described not oniy with30.)
out flattery, but also without any reserve or extenuation. 2. Prophets in the land of Canaan :-Joshua; an anony- They write like men who had no regard to any thing but
mous prophet (Judg. vi. 8–10.), another anonymous truth and the glory of God. prophet who denounced the divine judgments to Eli (1 The manner in which the prophets announced their preSam. ii. 27–36.); the prophetesses Deborah and Han- dictions varied according to circumstances. Sometimes they nah; Samuel, Nathan, Gad, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, uttered them aloud in a public place; and it is in allusion to David, Solomon, Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings xi. 29. this practice that Isaiah'is commanded to "cry aloud, spare xiv.), Shemaiah (2 Chron. xi. 2. xii. 5. 16.), Iddo (2 not, lift up his voice like a trumpet, and show the people of Chron. xii. 15. xiii. 22.), the man of God who went God their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins." from Judah and prophesied against the altar erected by (Isa. Iviii. 1.) Sometimes their predictions were affixed to Jeroboam at Bethel, and the old-prophet who dwelt at the gates of the temple, where they might be generally read Bethel (2 Kings xiii. 19.), Azariah the son of Oded (2|(Jer. vii. 2.); but, upon important occasions, " when it was Chron. xv. 1.), Oded (2 Chron. xv. 8.), who, perhaps, necessary to rouse the fears of a disobedient people, and to is the same with Iddo above mentioned, Hananiah the recall them to repentance, the prophets, as objects of universeer (2 Chron. xvi. 7.), Jehu the son of Hananiah (2 sal attention, appear to have walked about publicly in sackKings xvi. 1. 2 Chron. xix. 1.), Elijah, Micaiah the son cloth, and with every external mark of humiliation and of Imlah (2 Kings xxii. 25.), an anonymous prophet sorrow. They then adopted extraordinary modes of expresswho rebuked Ahab for suffering Benhadad king of Sy- ing their convictions of impending wrath, and endeavoured ria to escape (1 Kings xx. 35–13.), Jahaziel the son of to awaken the apprehensions of their countrymen, by the Zachariah (2 Chron. xx. 14.), Eliezer the son of Doda- most striking illustrations of threatened punishment. Thus vah (2 Chron. xx. 37.), Elisha, Zachariah the son of Je- Jeremiah made bonds and yokes, and put them on his neck hoiada (2 Chron. xxiv. 20, 21.), an anonymous prophet (Jer, xxvii.), strongly to intimate the subjection that God who dissuaded Amaziah the son of Joash from under- would bring on the nations whom Nebuchadnezzar should taking an expedition against the Edomites, with an auxi- subdue. Isaiah likewise walked naked, that is, without the liary army of Israelites (2 Chron. xxv. 7.), Obed (2 rough garment of the prophet, and barefoot (Isa. xx.), as a Chron. xxviii
. 9.), Urijah the son of Shemaiah, of Kir- sign of the distress that awaited the Egyptians. So, Jerejath-Jearim (Jer. xxvi. 20.), Jonah, Hosea, Amos, Joel, miah broke the potter's vessel (xix.); and" Ezekiel publicly Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah, Zepha- removed his household goods from the city, more forcibly to niah, Jeremiah, and the prophetess Huldah. (2 Kings represent, by these actions, some correspondent calamities xxii. 14.)
ready to fall on nations obnoxious to God's wrath ;6 this 3. Prophets during the Babylonish Captivity :-Ezekiel and mode of expressing important circumstances by action being Daniel.
customary and familiar among all eastern nations." 4. Prophets after the return of the Jews from the Captivity : Sometimes the prophets were commanded to seal and shut
-Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who was the last of up their prophecies, that the originals might be preserved the prophets as it respects the prophetic office, but not until they were accomplished, and then compared with the as respects the gift of prophecy, if we may credit what event. (Isa. viii. 16. Jer. xxxii. 14. Dan. viii. 26. and xii. Josephus relates of the high-priest Jaddus or Jaddua, 4.) For, when the prophecies were not to be fulfilled till and the relation of the author of the second book of after many years, and in some cases not till after several Maccabees concerning Judas Maccabæus. (2 Macc. xv. ages, it was requisite that the original writings should be 12.)
kept with the utmost care; but when the time was so near III. Prophets who flourished under the Period comprised in the at hand, that the prophecies must be fresh in every person's
New Testament :-Zacharias, Simeon, and John the Bap- recollection, or that the originals could not be suspected or tist, until Christ; and after his ascension, Agabus (Acts supposed to be lost, the same care was not required. (Rev. xi. 28. xxi. 11.), the apostles Paul, and John the author xxii. 10.) It seems to have been customary for the prophets of the Apocalypse, besides other prophets who are to deposit their writings in the tabernacle, or lay them up mentioned in 1 Cor. xii. 28. xiv. 29–32. Eph. ii. 20. iii. before the Lord. (1 Sam. X. 25.) And there is a tradition, 5. and iv, 11., of whom it is not necessary to treat in this that all the canonical books, as well as the law, were put part of the present volume, which is appropriated to the into the side of the ark. consideration of the writings of those prophets who flou
5 1 Chron. xxix. 29. 2 Chron. xii. 15. xiii. 22. xx. 34. xxvi. 22. xxxii. 32. In rished under the Old Testament dispensation, which have addition to the information thus communicated in the sacred volume, we been transmitted to us.
are informed by Josephus, that, from the death of Moses until the reign of VIII. The early prophets committed nothing to writing : to writing the transactions of their own times. Josephus cont. Apion.
Artaxerxes king of Persia, the
prophets who were after Moses committed their predictions being only, or chiefly, of a temporary lib. i. c. 3.
6 Ezek. xii. 7. compared with 2 Kings xxv. 4. 5., where the accomplishment of this typical prophecy
is related. Vide also Ezek. xxxvii. 16—20. Tappan's Lectures, p. 203.
- Megillah, c. 1. Bp. Gray's Key, pp. 333-335. 3 Stromata, lib. i. (Op. tom. i. pp. 384–388. edit. Potter.)
8 Josephus confirms the statement of the sacred historian. Ant. Jud. • Calmet, Preface Générale sur les Prophètes, Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. lib. iv. c. 4. $ 6. 305-307. Witsii Miscell. Sacr. lib. i. cc. 16-21. pp. 161-323. Carpzovji 3 Epiphanius, de Ponderibus et Mensuris, c. 4. Damascenus de Fids Introd. ad Libros Biblicos Vet. Test. pars iii. pp. 68 69.
Orthodoxå, lib. iv. c. 17. VOL. II.
It is certain that the writings of the ancient prophets were , Moab, and Ammon. These memorials of events are the carefully preserved during the captivity, and they were fre- more valuable, as very few of them are noticed in the sacred quently referred to, and cited by the later prophets. Thus, history, and profane history is almost totally wanting for the the prophecy of Micah is quoted in Jer. xxvi. 18. a short periods which they comprise. The writings of the minor time before the captivity; and, under it, the prophecy of Jere- prophets, therefore, may be regarded as a kind of supplemiah is cited in Dan. ix. 2., and the prophets, generally, in ment for the history of their own times and the age immeix. 6. Zechariah not only quotes the former prophets (i. 4.), diately following 2 but supposes their writings to be well known to the people. Much of the obscurity, which hangs over the prophetic (vii. 7.) The prophet Amos is cited in the apocryphal book writings, may be removed by perusing them in the order of of Tobít (ii. 6.), as Jonah and the prophets in general are in time in which they were probably written. Different schemes xiv. 4, 5. 8. It is evident that Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, of arrangement have been proposed by various biblical critics. Zechariah, and the other prophets,
who flourished during the Van Til, whose order was adopted by Professor Franck, dicaptivity, carefully preserved the writings of their inspired vides them into the four following periods ; viz. predecessors; for they very frequently cited and appealed to I. Prophets who delivered their Predictions during the Continuthem, and expected deliverance from their captivity by the
ance of the Jewish Polity. accomplishment of their predictions.
1. In Judah and ISRAEL, under Uzziah, Hosea, Amos, Although some parts of the writings of the prophets are clearly in prose, instances of which occur in the prophecies
Isaiah (ch. i.-vi.);—under Jotham and Ahaz, Hosea, of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, and Daniel, yet the
Micah, Isaiah (vii.—xii.) ;—under Hezekiah, Hosea, Micah, other books, constituting by far the larger portion of the
Isaiah. (ch. xviii.--xxii.) prophetic writings, are classed by Bishop Lowth among the
2. Prophets, who delivered predictions against other NApoetical productions of the Jews; and (with the exception
TIONS :-against Nineveh, under Pul, Jonah ;-against Paof certain passages in Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Ezekiel, which lestine, towards the commencement of Hezekiah's reign, appear to constitute complete poems of different kinds, odes
Isaiah (xiv. 28. xxxii.) ;-against Moab (xv. xvi.) ;as well as elegies) form a particular species of poesy, which against Damascus (xvii.), and Egypt. (xix. xx.) he distinguishes by the appellation of Prophetic. On the II. Prophets who delivered their Predictions between the carrynature of which see Vol. I. Part II. Chap. II. S VI. 1.; ing of the Israelites into Captivity by the Assyrians, and the and for some Observations on the Interpretation and Accom- first Expedition of Nebuchadnezzar. plishment of Scripture Prophecies, see Part II. Chap. IV.
1. In Judah, under Hezekiah, Hosea and Isaiah (xxiv. lvi.) ; of the same volume.
—under Manasseh, Joel and Habakkuk;-under Josinh, IX. The prophetical books of the Old Testament are six
Zephaniah and Jeremiah. teen in number (the Lamentations of Jeremiah being usually
2. Prophets who delivered predictions against OTHER NAconsidered as an appendix to his predictions); and in ați
TIONS :-against Nineveh under Hezekiah, Nahum ;modern editions of the Bible they are usually divided into two classes, viz. 1. The Greater Prophets, comprising the
against Edom, Obadiah ;-against Arabia, Isaiah (xxi.),
and Tyre. (xxxiii.) writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel ; who were thus designated from the size of their books, not be- III. Prophets during the Babylonish Captivity who delivered
their Predictions. cause they possessed greater authority than the others.?. 2. The Minor Prophets, comprising the writings of Hosea, 1. Concerning the Jews, in Judæa, Jeremiah; in Babylon, Joel, Amos, Jonah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Daniel ; in Chaldæa, Ezekiel; in Egypt, Jeremiah. Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. These books 2. Against the ENEMIES OF THE JEWS, viz. against Babylon, were anciently written in one volume by the Jews, lest any Jeremiah (1. li.); Egypt and Ethiopia, Jeremiah (xlvi.); of them should be lost, some of their writings being very and Ezekiel (xxvi.—xxviii.) ;-Moab, Jeremiah (xlviii.), short. The order, in which the books of the minor prophets and Ammon (xlix.) ;-Moab, Ammon, Edom, and the are placed, is not the same in the Alexandrian or Septuagint Philistines, Ezekiel. (xxv.) version as in the Hebrew. According to the latter, they stand IV. Prophets who delivered Predictions in Judæa after the as in our translation ; but in the Greek, the series is altered
Captivity. to the following arrangement : -Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Under Darius, Zechariah and Haggai;-afterwards, Malachi.3 Zechariah, and Malachi. But this change is of no conse- Although the preceding arrangement has its advantages quence, since neither in the original, nor in the Septuagint, as exhibiting the order of the prophets, and the kingdoms are they placed with exact regard to the time when their or nations concerning whom they prophesied, yet it cannot sacred authors respectively flourished.
be conveniently adopted for the purpose of analyzing the The writings of the twelve minor prophets are particularly writings of each prophet. The annexed table of Bishop valuable, not only because they have preserved a great num-Gray commodiously exhibits the prophets in their supposed ber of predictions relating to the advent, life, death, and re-order of time according to the tables of Archbishop New surrection of the Messiah, the calling of the Gentiles, the come and Mr. Blair, with a few variations ;4 and though the rejection of the Jews, the ruin of Jerusalem, and the abro- precise time, in which some of them delivered their predic. gation of the ceremonies of the Mosaic law; but especially tions, cannot, perhaps, be traced in every instance, yet it is they have recorded numerous events, concerning the history hoped that this table will be found sufficiently correct for of the kingdoms of Judah, Israel, Babylon, Idumea, Egypt, ascertaining the chronology of their several prophecies.
1 Qui propterea dicuntur Minores, quia sermones eorum sunt breves, in - Calmet, Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. 372–374. eorum comparatione qui Majores ideo vocantur, quia prolixa volumina : Franckii
Introductio ad Lectionem Prophetarum, pp. 39–42. condiderunt. Augustin. de Civ. Dei, lib. xviii. c. 29.
• Bishop Gray's Key, p. 420.
Kings of Judah.
destruction of the
son of Amittai, who was a native of Gath-Hepher in the tribe Before Christ.
Kings of Israel.
Jehu, and Jehoahaz, of Zabulon, which formed part of the kingdom of Israel, Between 856
according to Bp. and afterwards of Galilee. (Jon. i. 1. with Josh. xix. 13. Jonah, and 784.
Lloyd; but Jerobo
and 2 Kings xiv. 25.) He is supposed to have prophesied am II. according to Blair. (2 Kings xiv.
to the ten tribes according to Bishop. Lloyd, towards the close of Jehu's reign, or in the beginning of Jehoahaz's
reign; though Witsius, Blair, and Bishop Newcome, Jahn,' Amos, Uzziah, ch. i. 1. Jeroboam II. ch. i. 1. and others, with greater probability, place him under Jero
boam II. about forty years later. With the exception of his
sublime ode in the second chapter, the book of Jonah is a Between 810 Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hosea, and 725.
the third year of He. Jeroboam II. ch. i. 1. simple narrative.
il. It is very probable, that, at the time Jonah promised
the restoring and enlarging of the coasts of Israel in the days Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Between 810 Isaiah, and Hezekiah, chap.
of Jeroboam II. (2 Kings xiv. 25.), when both the king and and 698. i. 1. and perhaps Ma
people were exceedingly wicked, he also invited them to repentance and reformation. But the Israelites still continuing
impenitent and obdurate, God took occasion to send him to Joel, and 660, or Uzziah, or possibly
Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, to denounce Manasseh.
the impending divine judgments against its abandoned in
habitants. Jonah, declining the commission, was cast into Micah, Between 758 Jotham, Ahaz, and He.
Pekah and Hosea. the sea from the vessel in which he was sailing to Tarshish, zekiah, ch. i. 1.
and was swallowed by a large fish; not, says Irenæus,2 that
he might be swallowed up, but that, by his miraculous deBetween 720 Probably towards the Nahum, close of Hezekiah's
liverance (preparing Jonah to preach more dutifully, and reign.
the Ninevites to hear more effectually), the people of Israel
might be provoked to repent by the repentance of Nineveh.3 Zephaniah, Between 640 In the reign of Josiah,
The time of Jonah's continuance in the belly of the fish was ch. i. 1.
a type of our Lord's continuance in the grave. (Luke xi. 30.) Between 628 In the thirteenth year
The fame of the prophet's miraculous preservation was so Jeremiah, of Josiah.
widely propagated as to reach even Greece: whence, as
Grotius, Huet, Bochart, and other learned men have reHabakkuk, Between 612 Probably in the reign
marked, the story was derived of Hercules having escaped of Jehoiakim.
alive out of the fish's belly. Daniel, Between 606 During all the capti
III. The Scope of this book is to show, by the very vity.
striking example of the Ninevites, the divine forbearance
and long-suffering towards sinners, who were spared on their Between the taking of
sincere repentance. From the conduct of the Ninevites, Jerusalem by Nebu. Obadiah, chadnezzar, and the
Jesus Christ takes occasion to reprove the perfidiousness of
the Jews. (Matt. xii. 41.) The evidence offered by Jonah Edomites by him.
was sufficient to convince and lead the former to repentance;
while the Jews, who had the greater evidence of miracles, Between 595 During part of the capEzekiel, tivity.
and the more convincing evidence of our Saviour's doctrine,
continued obstinately impenitent. Some critics have imaginAbout 520 to After the return from
ed that the prophecy of Jonah is a parabolic history; but Haggai, Babylon.
from the manner in which the sacred historians and Jesus
Christ speak of him (2 Kings xiv. 25. Matt. xii. 39. 41. xvi. Zechariah, 518,or longer.
4. and Luke xi. 29.) it is evident that this book is a true
narrative of a real person, and that Jonah was a prophet of Between 436
considerable eminence.5 Malachi, and 420.
IV. The book of Jonah consists of two parts; viz.
Part I. His first mission to Nineveh, and his attempt to flee According to this table, the times when the prophets flou- to Tarshish, and its frustration, together with his delivery rished may be referred to three periods, viz. 1. Before the from the stomach of the great fish which had swallowed Babylonian captivity ;—2. Near to and during that event; him. (ch. i. ii.) -and, 3. After the return of the Jews from Babylon. And Part II. His second mission, and its happy result to the if, in these three periods, we parallel the prophetical writings Ninevites, who, in consequence of the prophet's preaching, with the historical books written during the same times, they repented in dust and ashes (iii.); and the discontent of will materially illustrate each other. The second volume of Jonah, who, dreading lest his veracity as a prophet should Mr. Townsend's Harmony of the Old Testament will be be questioned in consequence of God's merciful change of found of considerable service in studying the writings of the purpose, repined at the sparing of the Ninevites whose prophets.
destruction he seems to have expected.
(iv.) No reproof For a sketch of the profane history of the East, from the can be more gentle than that given by God to the murmurtime of Solomon to the Babylonian captivity, illustrative of ing prophet (10, 11.), or present a more endearing picture the Prophetic Writings, see the articles Assyria, Babylon, of Him whose tender mercies are over all his works.” Egypt, Media, and Persia, in the Historical and Geographical Index in this volume.
§ 2. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET AMOS.
I. Author.-II. Occasion of his prophecy.—III. Its scope.SECTION II.
IV. Synopsis of its contents.-V. Observations on its style. OF THE PROPHETS WHO FLOURISHED BEFORE THE BABYLONIAN
1. Amos is the third of the minor prophets, according to $1. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET JONAH.
the order adopted in our modern Bibles: he is supposed to
have been a native of Tekoah, a small town in the kingdom I Title and author.-II. Occasion of the prophecy of Jonah.- of Judah, situate about four leagues to the south of Jerusa
IIL Scope.-IV. Synopsis of its contents. lem. There is, however, no proof of his being a native of
this place, except his retiring thither when driven from Bethel 1. 'This book_is, by the Hebrews, called 731 700 (SEPHER JONAH), or the Book of Jonah, from its author Jonah, the 3 Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 667.
* See Grotius de Veritate, lib. i. c. 16. in notis. Huet, Demonstr. Evan1 Professor Jahn and Dr. Ackermann divide the prophets into four pe gelica, prop. iv. vol. i. p. 433. 8vo. edit
. Bocharti Opera, tom. iii. p. 742. riods; viz. 1. Those who prophesied under Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and et seq. Pfeiffer in Difficiliora Loca Scripturæ, Centuria 4. Locus lxxxvi. Hezekiah ;-2. Prophets
whose age has not been recorded; 3. Prophets, Opp. tom. i. pp. 447, 448.) from the age of Josiah to the end of the captivity; and, 4. Prophets who * The reality of the history and prophecy of Jonah is fully proved against lived after the captivity. The arrangement above given is preferably the modern
neologians by Alber, Institutiones Hermeneuticæ, Vet. Tost. adopted, as being more simple and comprehensive.
tom. iii. pp. 399-407.
From 520 to
% Adversus Hæres. lib. iii. c. 22.
by Amaziah, the high-priest of Bethel. (Amos-vii. 10. 13.) | and re-establishment in their own land, all of which were Calmet thinks he was born in the territories of Israel. Wé prophetic of the blessings to be bestowed under the reign have more certain information of his rank and condition in of the Messiah. (ix. 13—15.) life; for he himself tells us that he was “no prophet, neither In order to illustrate the supernatural character of the prea prophet's son:" in other words, that he was not educated dictions contained in this book, they ought to be compared in the schools of the prophets, but was called to the prophetic with the history of the times; from which it appears, that, office from being a herdsman and a gatherer (or cultivator) when they were made, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah of sycamore fruit. That he prophesied during the reigns of were in a very flourishing condition. See 2 Kings xiv. 1–17. Uzziah king of Judah, and of Jeroboam 11. son of Joash, xvi. 1–7. 2 Chron. xxv. xxvi.; also 2 Kings xiii
. 1—9. we are not only informed from the first verse of his predic- 23. 10—20. 25. 2 Chron. xxv. 17–24. and 2 Kings xiv. tions, but we also have internal evidence of it from the 23—28.2 argument or subject-matter of his book. For the prophet V. Jerome calls Amos “rude in speech, but not in knowdescribes the state of the kingdom of Israel, particularly in ledge," applying to him what St. Paul modestly professes chap. vi. 12–14., to be precisely such as is recorded in of himself." (2 Cor. xi. 6.) 2 Kings xiv. 23. et seq. We further learn from Amos i. 1., Calmet and many others have followed the authority of that he began to prophesy in the second year before the Jerome, in speaking of this prophet as if he were indeed earthquake, in the reign of Uzziah ; which is, by Josephus quite rude, ineloquent, and destitute of all the embellishments and most commentators, referred to that prince's usurpation of composition. The matter, however, as Bishop Lowth has of the sacerdotal office when he attempted to offer incense. remarked, is far otherwise :-“ Let any person who has canConsequently Amos was contemporary with Hosea (though dour and perspicuity enough to judge, not from the man, but he is supposed not to have lived so long as the last-mentioned from his writings, open the volume of his predictions, and prophet), with Jonah, and probably also with Joel. he will, I think, agree that our shepherd is not a whit be
II. The Occasion on which Amos delivered his predictions, hind the very chief of the prophets.' (2 Cor. xi. 5.). He will was the oppression of the Jews and Israelites by the neigh- agree, that as, in sublimity and magnificence, he is almost bouring nations, and the state of the two kingdoms under equal to the greatest, so, in splendour of diction, and eleUzziah and Jeroboam II. (Amos i. compared with 2 Kings gance of expression, he is scarcely inferior to any. The same xiv. 25 — 27. and 2 Chron. xxvi. 6— 15.) But as the celestial spirit, indeed, actuated" Isaiah and Daniel in the inhabitants of those kingdoms, especially the Israelites, court, and Amos in the sheepfolds : constantly selecting such abandoned themselves to idolatry, effeminacy, avarice, and interpreters of the divine will as were best adapted to the cruelty to the poor, contrary to the divine command, the occasion, and sometimes . from the mouth of babes and suck prophet takes occasion thence to reprove them with the lings perfecting praise,' -constantly employing the natural utmost severity for their wickedness.
eloquence of some, and occasionally making others elo III. The SCOPE of the book is to certify to the twelve quent.”+ Many of the most elegant images employed by tribes the destruction of the neighbouring nations; to alarm Åmos are drawn from objects in rural life, with which he those who were at large in Zion,” living in a state of carnal was, from his avocations, most intimately conversant. security, by the denunciation of imminent punishment, to lead them to repentance; and to cheer those who were truly penitent with the promise of deliverance from future captivity,
§ 3. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HOSEA. and of the greater prosperity of the Messiah's kingdom, of 1. Author and date.-II. Occasion and scope of the prowhich we have a particular prediction in ch. ix. 11.
phecy.—III. Synopsis of its contents.-IV, Observations IV. The book of Amos contains nine chapters or discourses,
on its style. of which Calmet thinks that the seventh is first in order of time: it may be divided into three parts; viz.
BEFORE CHRIST, 810—725. PART I. The Judgments of God denounced against the neigh-information, except what is furnished to us by the first
I. CONCERNING the family of Hosea, we have no certain bouring Gentile Nations : as the Syrians (ch: i. 1-5. of his prophecy, which states that he was the son of Beeri, which see fulfilled in 2 Kings xvi. 9. ; the Philistines (i. 6–8.), recorded as accomplished in 2 Kings xviii. 8. Jer. whom some Jewish commentators confound with Beerah, xlvii. 1. 5. and 2 Chron. xxvi. 6.; the Tyrians (i. 9, 10.); a prince of the Reubenites, who was carried into captivity the Edomites (i. 11, 12. compared with Jer. xxv. 9. 21. with the ten tribes by Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria. He xxvii. 3. 6. and i Macc. v. 3.); the Ammonites (13—15.); prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz, and the Moabites. (ii. 1-3.)
and in the third year of Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and Part II. The divine Judgments denounced against Judah and during the reign of Jeroboam II. king of Israel; and it is Israel (ii. 4. ix. 1-10.); and herein we have,
most probable that he was an Israelite, and lived in the kingSect. ì. The divine judgments against Judah (ii. 4, 5.) which chiefly directed against their wickedness and idolatry. But,
dom of Samaria or of the ten tribes, as his predictions are were literally executed about two hundred years afterwards. with the severest denunciations of vengeance, he blends Secr. 2. Against Israel, to whom the prophet's mission was promises of mercy; and the transitions from the one to the chiefly directed, and to whom we have four distinct sermons other are frequently sudden and unexpected. Rosenmi ller delivered by him ; viz.
and Jahn, after Calmet, are of opinion that the 'title of this DISCOỤRSE 1. A general reproof and aggravation of their various sins book is a subsequent addition, and that Hosea did not proDISCOURSE 11. A denunciation of the divine judgments, with a parti- phesy longer than from forty to sixty years, and that he died, cular enumeration of the several causes. (iii)
or at least wrote his predictions, before the year 725 before DISCOURSE 111. A reproof of the Israelites for their luxury and oppres- the Christian æra. His writings unquestionably were, DISCOURSE IV. A lamentation over the house of Israel, with an earnest originally, in a metrical form, although that arrangement is exhortation to them to repent, and to seek the Lord; and to aban. now, perhaps, irrecoverably lost. don their idolatry, luxurions ease, and sinful alliances with their 11. The ten tribes (whom this prophet often collectively idolatrous neighbours. (v. vi.) In ch. v. 6; the carrying of the Israel terms Ephraim, Israel, and Samaria) having revolted from announced: see its fulfilment in 2 Kings xv. 20. and xvii. 5–B. Rehoboam the son of Solomon to Jeroboam the
son of Nebat, The certainty, nearness, and severity of the judgments thus de who set up the two idol calves at Dan and Bethel, consenounced are confirmed by several prophetic visions, contained in quently deprived themselves of the pure worship of Jehovah
chapters vii. viii.. and ix. 1–10. PART III. Consolatory or Evangelical Promises describing the Jeroboam II. the son of Joash was equally wicked with the
at Jerusalem, and speedily fell into the grossest idolatry.5 Restoration of the Church by the Messiah, first, under the first sovereign of that name; and the Israelites were but too blessings; viz. great abundance, return from captívity, of Jeroboam 11. were. (Compare 2 Kings xiv. 25–27.) In
12.); and, secondly, announcing magnificent temporal prone to follow the bad examples of their wicked kings, 9, 10. foretells that, during their solemn festivals, the sun should be dark convince them of their apostacy, and recover them to the principal subject of all the prophets, viz. “ the guilt of the judgments which were to fall, and accordingly have fallen Jewish nation in general, their disobedient refractory spirit, upon the two distinct kingdoms of Israel and Judah, typified the heavy judgments that awaited them, their final conversion by Lo-ruhamah and Lo-ammi.”2 to God, their re-establishment in the land of promise, and The Scope of this prophet's prediction is, 1. Partly to their restoration to God's favour, and to a condition of the detect, reprove, and convince the Jewish nation generally, greatest national prosperity, and of high pre-eminence among and the Israelites in particular, of their many and heinous the nations of the earth, under the immediate protection of sins, especially of their gross idolatry; the corrupt state of the Messiah, in the latter ages of the world. He confines the kingdom is also incidentally noticed ;—2. Partly to dehimself more closely to this single subject than any other nounce the imminent and utter rejection, final captivity, and prophet. He seems, indeed, of all the prophets, if I may so destruction of the Israelites by the Assyrians (if the former express my conception of his peculiar character, to have been persisted in their wicked career), notwithstanding all their the most of a Jew. Comparatively, he seems to care but vain confidence in the assistance to be affordeď them by little about other people. He wanders not, like Isaiah, Jere- Egypt;—and, 3. Partly to invite them to repentance with miah, and Ezekiel, into the collateral history of the sur-promises of mercy, and evangelical predictions of the future rounding heathen nations. He meddles not, like Daniel, restoration of the Israelites and Jews, and their ultimate conwith the revolutions of the great empires of the world. His version to Christianity.3 own country, seems to engross his whole attention; her privi- III. The prophecy of Hosea contains fourteen chapters, leges, her crimes, her punishment, her pardon. He predicts, which may be divided into five sections or discourses, excluindeed, in the strongest and clearest terms, the ingrafting of sive of the title in ch. i. 1. ; viz. the Gentiles into the church of God. But he mentions it Discourse 1. Under the figure of the supposedi infidelity of the only generally: he enters not, like Isaiah, into a minute de
1 An eminent commentator is of opinion that the prophet Amos in viii. his days, therefore, Jehovah raised up the prophet Hosea, to ened by an eclipse, which in those days was accounted ominous, and worship of the true God. Bishop Horsley, however, is of (A. M. 3213.), about eleven years after Amos prophesied, there were two opinion that Hosea's principal subject is that, which’is the great eclipses of the sun, one at the feast of tabernacles, the other at the time of the passover. This prophecy, therefore, may be considered as one 2 Professor Turner's translation of Jahn's Introduction, p. 325. of those numerous predictions which we have alrea'y shown have a dou- 3 Hieronymi Præf. Comment. in Amos. ble meaning, and apply to more than one event. See Lowth's Commentary • Bishop Lowtlı's Lectures, vol. ii. lect. xxi. p. 98. on the Prophets, p. 453. 4th edit.
's Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 656.
prophet's wife is represented the spiritual infidelity of the Isratail of the progress of the business. Nor does he describe, in any detail, the previous contest with the apostate faction
elites, a remnant of whom, it is promised, shall be saved (i. 2 in the latter ages. He makes no explicit mention of the
-11.), and they are exhorted to forsake idolatry. (i. 1–11.) share which the converted Gentiles are to have in the re
Promises are then introduced, on the general conversion of the establishment of the natural Israel in their ancient seats:
twelve tribes to Christianity; and the gracious purposes of
Jehovah towards the ten tribes, or the kingdom of Israel in subjects which make so striking a part of the prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai, and, occasionally, of the
particular, are represented under the figure of the prophet other prophets. He alludes to the calling of our Lord from
taking back his wife on her amendment. (ii. 11–23. iii.) Egypt: to the resurrection on the third day: he touches, but DiscouRSE 2. The prophet, in direct terms, inveighs against the only in general terms, upon the final overthrow of the Anti- bloodshed and idolatry of the Israelites (iv. 1-14. 17–19.), christian army in Palestine, by the immediate interposition
against which the inhabitants of Judah are exhorted to take of Jehovah; and he celebrates, in the loftiest strains of tri- warning. (15, 16.) In chap. v, 1-14. the divine judgments umph and exultation, the Saviour's final victory over death are denounced against the priests, the people, and the princes and hell. But yet, of all the prophets, he certainly enters of Israel, to whom are held out promises of pardon in v. 15. the least into the detail of the mysteries of redemption. We which are continued through verses 1-3. of chap. vi. The have nothing in him descriptive of the events of the interval metaphors used by the prophet on this occasion are remarkbetween the two advents of our Lord. Nothing diffuse and ably strong and beautiful. The resurrection, the morning, and circumstantial, upon the great and interesting mysteries of the refreshing showers, in their season, supply them; in a the incarnation and the atonement. His country and his more immediate sense they denote a speedy and gracious dekindred is the subject next his heart. Their crimes excite liverance, but in a remote sense they refer to the resurrection his indignation; their sufferings interest his pity; their future of Christ (compare Hosea vi. 2. with 1 Cor. xv. 4.) and the exaltation is the object on which his imagination fixes with blessings of the Gospel. delight. It is a remarkable dispensation of Providence, that DiscoURSE 3. The prophet's exhortations to repentance proving clear notices, though in general terms, of the universal re- ineffectual, God complains by him of their obstinate iniquity demption, should be found in a writer so strongly possessed and idolatry (vi. 4-11. vii, 1–10.), and denounces that Israel with national partialities. This Judaism seems to make the will be carried into captivity into Assyria by Sennacherib, notparticular character of Hosea as a prophet. Not that the ten
withstanding their reliance on Egypt for assistance. (vii. 11tribes are exclusively his subject. 'His country is indeed his 16. viii.) particular and constant subject; but his country, generally, Discourse 4. The captivity and dispersion of Israel is further in both its branches, not in either taken by itselt!"i
threatened (ix. x); the Israelites are reproved for their idolAccording to this view of the subject, the general argu
atry, yet they shall not be utterly destroyed, and their return ment of Hosea's prophecy " appears to be the fortunes of the whole Jewish nation in its two great branches; not the par
to their own country is foretold. (xi.) Renewed denunciaticular concerns (and least of all the particular temporal con- DISCOURSE 5. After a terrible denunciation of divine punish
tions are made on account of their idolatry. (xii. xiii. 1-8.) cerns) of either branch exclusively. And to this grand opening the whole sequel of the prophecy corresponds. In
ment, intermixed with promises of restoration from captivity setting forth the vices of the people, the picture is chiefly
(xiii. 9–16.), the prophet exhorts the Israelites to repentance,
and furnishes them with a beautiful form of prayer adapted to taken, as might naturally be expected, from the manners of the prophet's own times; in part of which the corruption,
their situation (xiv. 1-3.); and foretells their reformation in either kingdom, was at the greatest height; after the
from idolatry, together with the subsequent restoration of all death of Jeroboam, in the kingdom of Israel; in the reign
the tribes from their dispersed state, and their conversion to of Ahaz, in the kingdom of Judah. And there is occasion
the Gospel. (4–9.) ally much allusion, sometimes predictive allusion, to the IV. The style of Hosea, Bishop Lowth remarks, exhibits principal events of the prophet's times. And much more to the appearance of very remote antiquity; it is pointed, enerthe events in the kingdom of Israel, than to those in Judah. getic, and concise. It bears a distinguished mark of poetical Perhaps, because the danger being more immediately immi- composition, in that pristine brevity and condensation which nent in the former kingdom, the state of things in that was is observable in the sentences, and which later writers have more alarming, and the occurrences, for that reason, more in some measure neglected. This peculiarity has not escaped interesting. Still the history of his own times in detail in the observation of Jerome, who remarks that this prophet is either kingdom is not the prophet's subject. It furnishes similes and allusions, but it makes no considerable part, in- 2 Bishop IIorsley's Hosea, Preface, p. xxvii. deed it makes no part at all, of the aetion (if I may so call 3 Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 656. it) of the poem. The action lies in events beyond the pro- that the prophet's marriage was a real transaction, and a type of the whole
• Bishop Horsley contends at great length, contrary to most interpreters, phet's times; the commencement, indeed, within them; but | Jewish nation, distinct parts of which were typified by the three children the termination, in times yet future; and although we may Jezräel, Lo-ruhamah, and Lo-ammi. hope the contrary, for aught we know with certainty, remote. Hosea, pp. viii.--xxv. Witsius,
however, has shown that the whole was
a figurative representation. Miscell. Sacr. lib. i. pp. 90-92. The deposition of Jehu's family, by the murder of Zedekiah,
* The prediction in Hosea xi. 10, 11., respecting the return of the Israel. the son and successor of Jeroboam, was the commencement: ites to their own country, was partly fulfilled in consequence of Cyrus's the termination will be the restoration of the whole Jewish decree (2 Chron. xxxvi
. 22, 23. Ezra i. 1-4.); but, in its fullest exient, it nation under one head, in the latter days, in the great day own land. This is one instance, among many, in which the language of the of Jezräel; and the intermediate parts of the action are the prophets is adapted to two or more events. We have the authority of an
inspired writer to extend this remark to another part of the same chapter.
(Compare xi. 1. with Matt. ii. 15.) Smith's Summary View of the Prophets, · Bishop lorsley's Hosea, Preface, pp. vii. viii.