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recorded in the Scriptures concerning the wife of Isaiah, we find two of his sons mentioned in his prophecy, who were types or figurative pledges of God's assurance; and their names and actions were intended to awaken a religious attention in the persons whom they were commissioned to address and to instruct. Thus, Shearjashub (vii. 3.) signifies "a remnant shall return," and showed that the captives, who should be carried to Babylon, should return thence after a certain time; and Maher-shalal-hashbaz (viii. 1. 3.), which denotes "make speed (or, run swiftly) to the spoil," implied that the kingdoms of Israel and Syria would in a short time be ravaged.
altogether laconic and sententious. "But this very circum- quality of their husbands. Although nothing further is stance, which anciently was supposed to impart uncommon force and elegance, in the present state of Hebrew literature, is productive of so much obscurity, that although the general subject of this writer is sufficiently obvious, he is the most difficult and perplexed of all the prophets. There is, however, another reason for the obscurity of his style. Hosea, we have seen, prophesied during the reigns of the four kings of Judah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah: the duration of his ministry, therefore, in whatever manner we calculate it, must include a very considerable space of time. We have now only a small volume of his remaining, which, it seems, contains his principal prophecies; and these are extant in a continued series, with no marks of distinction as to the times when they were published, or of which they treat. It is, therefore, no wonder if, in perusing the prophecies of Hosea, we sometimes find ourselves in a similar predicament with those who consulted the scattered leaves of the sybil."2
4. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH.
I. Author and date.-II. Genuineness of Isaiah's prophecies.—
BEFORE CHRIST, 810-698.
THOUGH fifth in the order of time, the writings of the prophet Isaiah are placed first in order of the prophetical books, principally on account of the sublimity and importance of his predictions, and partly also because the book, which bears his name, is larger than all the twelve minor prophets put together.
I. Concerning his family and descent nothing certain has been recorded, except what he himself tells us (i. 1.), viz. that he was the son of Amotz, and discharged the prophetic office in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, who successively flourished between A. M. 3194 and 3305. There is a current tradition that he was of the blood-royal; and some writers have affirmed that his father Amotz or Amos was the son of Joash, and, consequently, brother of Uzziah king of Judah. Jerome, on the authority of some rabbinical writers, says, that the prophet gave his daughter in marriage to Manasseh king of Judah; but this opinion is scarcely credible, because Manasseh did not commence his reign until about sixty years after Isaiah had begun to discharge his prophetic functions. He must, indeed, have exercised the office of a prophet during a long period of time, if he lived in the reign of Manasseh; for the lowest computation, beginning from the year in which Uzziah died, when he is by some supposed to have received his first appointment to that office, brings it to sixty-one years. But the tradition of the Jews, which has been adopted by most Christian commentators, that he was put to death by Manasseh, is very uncertain; and Aben Ezra, one of the most celebrated Jewish writers, is rather of opinion that he died before Hezekiah; which Bishop Lowth thinks most probable. It is, however, certain, that he lived at least to the fifteenth or sixteenth year of Hezekiah; which makes the least possible term of the duration of his prophetic office to be about forty-eight years.
The name of Isaiah, as Vitringa has remarked after several preceding commentators, is in some measure descriptive of his high character, since it signifies the Salvation-of-Jehovah; and was given with singular propriety to him who foretold the advent of the Messiah, through whom all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Compare Isa. xl. 5. with Luke iii. 6. and Acts iv. 12.) Isaiah was contemporary with the prophets Amos, Hosea, Joel, and Micah.
Isaiah is uniformly spoken of in the Scriptures as a prophet of the highest dignity: Bishop Lowth calls him the prince of all the prophets, and pronounces the whole of his book to be poetical, with the exception of a few detached passages. It is remarkable, that his wife is styled a prophetess in viii. 3., whence the rabbinical writers have concluded that she possessed the spirit of prophecy: but it is very probable that the prophets' wives were called prophetesses, as the priests' wives were termed priestesses, only from the
1 Præf. in xii. Proph.
Lowth's Prælect. xxi. vol. ii. p. 96. Bishop Horsley differs in opinion from Bishop Lowth, as to the cause of the obscurity which is observable in the prophecies of Hosea. Bishop Horsley ascribes it, not to the great antiquity of the composition, nor to any thing peculiar to the language of the author's age, but to his peculiar idioms, frequent changes of person, his use of the nominative case absolute, his anomalies of number and gender, and the ambiguity of pronouns. See the Preface to his version of Hosea, pp. xxix.-xliii
Besides the volume of prophecies, which we are now to consider, it appears from 2 Chron. xxvi. 22. that Isaiah wrote an account of the Acts of Uzziah king of Judah: this has perished with some other writings of the prophets, which, as probably not written by inspiration, were never admitted into the canon of Scripture. There are also two apocryphal books ascribed to him, viz. "The Ascension of Isaiah," and "The Apocalypse of Isaiah," but these are evidently forgeries of a later date; and the Apocalypse has long since perished. II. Until the latter part of the eighteenth century, Isaiah sole author of the book which bears his name. Koppe was the earliest writer who intimated that Ezekiel, or some other prophet who lived during the exile, might have been the author; as Doederlein was the first of the German commentators and critics who expressed a definite suspicion against the genuineness of those predictions which were delivered against the Gentiles, but especially the last twenty-seven chapters. Justi, Eichhorn, Bauer, Paulus, Rosenmüller, Bertholdt, De Wette, and others, have adopted the notions of Doederlein; and by various arguments have endeavoured to prove that the chapters in question first originated during the Babylonian captivity. These arguments have been copiously examined and refuted by Professor Jahn, whose observations may be arranged under the following heads :-viz. 1. Proofs that all the prophecies ascribed to Isaiah are really his productions;-2. An examination and refutation, in detail, of objections against particular predictions;-and, 3. An examination of the questions whether Isaiah was the author of chapters xxxvi.-xxxix.
1. PROOFS THAT ALL THE PREDICTIONS ASCRIBED TO ISAIAH ARE REALLY HIS PRODUCTIONS.
i. "The STYLE differs scarcely any in the different prophecies. We find every where the same descriptions of particular objects, and the same images, taken from trees, especially cedars, firs, and oaks; from the pains of childbirth, from history, and from the golden age. The beginning of the prophecy constantly enters into the midst of the subject, and every where poetical passages are inserted; as v. 1-6. xii. 1-6. xiv. 4-20. xxv. 1-5.; so, exactly in the same manner, xlii. 10—13. lii. 9. s. lxi. 10. lxiii. 7. lxiv. 11. Every where the same clearness and obscurity, the same repetitions, and the same euphony of language, are observable. The visions are similar; comp. ch. xxi. and ch. xl. with ch. vi. Even the same phrases occur repeatedly: e. g. w w occurs in the first part seventeen times, in the second twelve times. n, which occurs in all the rest of the Bible only nine times, is found in the first part of Isaiah four times, in the second six. DNNs, which is elsewhere only to be met with four times in the book of Job, is found here twice in the first part, and five times in the second. is used in lxv. 10. just as in xxxiii. 9. xxv. 2.:, in xl. 1. xli. 7. 21. lxvi. 9. just as in i. 11. 18. xxxiii. 10., instead of which the other prophets say ", or " The expressions applied to the Sabæans, won stretched out, or tall, xviii. 2. 7., and as, men of measure, or tall men, are peculiar to our prophet, as well as many others, which we have not room 3 Gray's Key, p. 365.
• Ibid. p. 372.
5 Ascensio enim Isaiæ et Apocalypsis Isaiæ hoc habent testimonium. Jerom. Comment. on Isaiah, ch. Ixiv. (Op tom. iii. p. 473.) See also tom. iv. p. 344. The anabatieon or ascension of Isaiah is mentioned by Epiphanius, among the books received by Hierax, founder of the sect of the Hieracites, in the fourth century. Hæres. 67. Dr. Lardner's Works.
vol. iii. p. 402.
ness of Isaiah's predictions, and especially those of Professor Gesonius, The arguments of the various neologian objectors against the genuineare also very fully and ably renewed and refuted, first, by Professor Lee, in his Sermons and Dissertations on the Study of the Holy Scriptures, pp. 157-208.; and, secondly, by Dr. Hengstenberg in his "Christologie des Alten Testaments." (Christology of the Old Testament.) That part of Dr. H.'s treatise, which relates to the genuineness of Isaiah's predictions, has been translated into English by Professor Robinson of Andover (Massachusetts), and will be found in the Biblical Repository for the year 1831. (vol. i. pp. 700-733.) As the arguments of these learned writers do not admit of abridgment, the reader is necessarily referred to their publications.
here to specify. The sublimity of the style does not vary more throughout all the prophecies, than is usual in poems which are written by the same author at different times, as for example, the different Psalms of David; and the style in all is such as could by no means be expected from writers of the age of the Babylonian captivity. It is granted that style does not depend entirely upon the age, but in some measure upon the cultivated genius of the writer; yet it does not, therefore, become probable that such poems should be composed in the age of the Babylonian captivity, so that we may assert this without any historical testimony or tradition: more especially as we find nothing similar in the writings of Jeremiah or Ezekiel, who wanted neither genius nor polish.-The language itself is not the same as that observable in Jeremiah and Ezekiel: it is not probable that any one could have cultivated the knowledge of the Hebrew during the captivity more thoroughly than they, nor is such a state of the language discernible in Zechariah, who is usually cited as an instance of it.-Lastly, the arrangement and method of treating the subject are the same in all these prophecies. Chap. vii. contains a prophecy interwoven with a history, which is followed, ch. viii.-xii. by prophecies without titles; so also in ch. xxxix. the prophecy is woven into the history, and prophecies without a title follow. As in the first part there are several prophecies concerning Sennacherib; so also in the second, there are several concerning the overthrow of the Chaldean monarchy, and the return of the Hebrews from captivity. As in the vision in ch. vi. we read, that the prophet's efforts should not be accompanied by a happy result; so the prophet, ch. xlii. 16. 23. xliii. 8. xlv. 4., and especially xlix. 4. lix. 6., complains that his endeavours had been
ii. "What is said in ch. lxvi. 1-6. of the temple, does not suit the latter part of the period of exile, in which Haggai and Zechariah speak altogether differently on the same subject. Much less could any one during the captivity write, as in xlviii. 4-8., that the ruin and utter destruction of the city of Babylon had not yet been foretold, when Jeremiah 1. li. had plainly predicted it; or speak, as in lii. 4., of the Egyptians and Assyrians as the only enemies of the Hebrews, and pass over the Chaldæans.-The severe reproofs, lvi. 9.-lix. 20. lxv. 11-16., especially those denounced against the shepherds, i. e. the kings, lvi. 11, &c.; the reproaches not only on account of idolatry, but also of the immolation of children, lvii. 1-13., and of enormous corruption of morals, lviii. 6-9. lix. 1-8., are entirely at variance with the times of the captivity. Then, we might rather expect mention to be made of the prophecies of Jeremiah, as in Dan. ix. 2. and that more should be said respecting the Magians or worshippers of Ormuzd, than that one allusion to the two principles of things, xlv. 7., which certainly were maintained by very many in an age older than that of the captivity.
iii."Jeremiah shows that he had read these prophecies, seven years before the destruction of Jerusalem, Jer. li. 4964.; for the connection of the prophecy of Jeremiah contained in Jer. 1. li. with the predictions of Isaiah is evident: nor can it be said, that the author of the controverted prophecies of Isaiah, living toward the end of the captivity, had read the book of Jeremiah; for he is an original and independent author, drawing entirely from his own resources, and never imitating others; while, on the contrary, it is well known that Jeremiah had read the older prophets, and borrowed much from them, especially in his prophecies against foreign nations. Some passages have been observed in other prophets also, which have been taken from the controverted prophecies of Isaiah: as Zeph. ii. 14, &c. from Isa. xiii. 21, &c.; Ezek. xxxiv. from Isa. lvii. 10, &c.; Ezek. xxvi. 20. xxxi. 14-17. xxxii. 18-33. from Isa. xiv. 8-28.; Ezek. xxvi. 13. from Isa. xxiii. 25.; Ezek. xxxviii. xxxix. from Isa. lxvi. 6-9. 24. That Habakkuk is indebted to Isaiah, has been long since observed: compare Hab. i. 6. with Isa.
iv. "Cyrus, in his written proclamation (Ezra i. 2.), says, that the God of heaven had given him all kingdoms of the earth, and had charged him to build to Him a temple at Jerusalem.These words, as well as the acts of Cyrus, namely, his dismission of the Jews to their own country, his grant of a sum of money for the building of the temple, and his restitution of the valuable holy vessels, can only be explained on the supposition that he had seen the prophecies of Isaiah concerning him, as Josephus states, and was nduced, by their manifestly divine origin, to confer such
great benefits upon the Jews. Nor was Cyrus the man to suffer recent prophecies scarcely yet published to be palmed upon him for ancient; not to mention that there were many who would have been glad to discover to him the fraud, if any had existed. Neither would Cyrus the Magian, who built nothing but pyres to Ormuzd, have been so easily led to construct a magnificent temple to the God of the Jews. "It may, indeed, seem strange that the prophet should say so much concerning the return from Babylon, and yet make no express mention of the carrying away. But he certainly does say something concerning this subject, as xxxix. 4-7. vi. 11-13. v. 5-9. xi. 11-16.; and Micah, the contemporary of Isaiah, speaks clearly of this carrying away, and of the overthrow of Jerusalem; so that it would seem probable that Isaiah had said more on this subject, which has not been preserved to us. If this were the case, the prophet who sings the glad return would no more con tradict himself by predicting the carrying away, than Jeremiah does, who has predicted both events. To all this, analogy is said to be opposed, according to which, it is thought, prophets do not foretell such remote events as those concerning the Chaldæans, the Medes and Persians, Cyrus, and the return of the Hebrews, which Isaiah has predicted. But this analogy is by no means universal. Besides, in this objection it is supposed that the Chaldæans, Medes, and Persians, were in the age of Isaiah obscure nations, or entirely unknown; whereas, in fact, the Medes, almost 100 years before Isaiah and Hezekiah (826 before Christ, 149 after the division), had, under their king Arbaces, joined an alliance with Belesis the governor of Babylon, and overthrown the first Assyrian monarchy. It is true that the Median anarchy of seventy-nine years followed, but in the tenth of Hezekiah (728 before Christ, 257 after the division), they elected Dejoces king, who founded Ecbatana, and whose son Phraortes (665-643 before Christ, 310332 after the division), attacking the new kingdom of the Assyrians, was slain while besieging Nineveh; and under Cyaxares I., Zoroaster found the kingdom of the Medes again flourishing.2-Elam was a celebrated kingdom even in the most ancient times, Gen. ch. xiv., and it is always by the ancient_name by, Gen. x. 22. xiv. 1. that Isaiah mentions it, and never by the modern appellation D, which is given it, Dan vi. 28. Ezra i. 1, 2. iv. 5. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22. s. The Elamites are mentioned as a part of the army of the Assyrians, Isa. xxii. 6., which prophecy is certainly Isaiah's, as appears from v. 8-11. compared with 2 Chron. xxxii. 2-5. Esarhaddon sent some Elamites among his other colonists to Samaria. (Ezra iv. 9. s.) At a later period Jeremiah, chap. xxv. 25. xlix. 24, &c. mentions Elam among the powerful kingdoms which should be conquered by the Chaldæans, and Ezekiel, ch. xxxii. 24. beholds Elam overthrown. It is only by a long succession of time and victories, that nations are enabled to conquer the surrounding people, and spread themselves so widely as to obtain sufficient celebrity to entitle them to an eminent place in history. It was not, therefore, in a short space of time that the Chaldæans, Medes, and Elamites or Persians, emerged from their obscurity into so great a light as to become conspicuous to the world when before they had been utterly unknown. If, then, Isaiah foretells the overthrow of the Chaldæans by the Medes and Elamites, his prophecy in that age would have been neither more nor less obscure than Zechariah's (ix. 13.) concerning the wars of the Jews against the Greeks in Syria. Isaiah might easily have used the name Cyrus, vn (or Koresh), xliv. 28. xlv. 1., since it means nothing more than king; for in the language of the Parsees KHOR means the sun, and SCHID splendour, whence is compounded KORSCHID, the splendour of the sun, and with the addition of the word PAE or PAI, habitation, KORSCHIDPAI, the habitation of the splendour of the sun, which was a customary appellation of the kings of Persia. This appellation corrupted into (Koresh), might become known to the Hebrews by means of merchants travelling between Judæa and Persia; and Isaiah, who did not hesitate to call Cyrus the anointed, no, may have called him by the appellative of the kings of in announcing future events. 1 Prophets are not, like historians, confined to the order of chronology This is plain from their writings, which always give perspective views. Zechariah predicted a kingdom for the high-priest, without noticing the destruction of the Persian monarchy and ites from the Assyrian captivity, without saying any thing of the interventhe division of the Greek power. Isaiah foretold the return of the Israeling revolutions by the Chaldæans, Medes, and Persians. In prophecy the more remote events are often introduced, while the intermediate are unno2 Comp. Prideaux, Conn. Part I. Book I.
Persia, which became afterwards the proper name of that | because the same devastation is predicted by Jeremiah xlix. particular king."
2. EXAMINATION AND REFUTATION OF OBJECTIONS AGAINST PARTICULAR PREDICTIONS OF ISAIAH.
These may be referred to three heads; viz. i. Prophecies against the Egyptians, Elamites, Idumæans, &c.;-ii. The prophecies against Tyre;-and, iii. The prophecy concerning the subversion of the Chaldæo-Babylonian empire, and the return of the Hebrews from captivity.
i. Prophecies against the Egyptians, Elamites, Idumæans, (1.) "Some have said that the passage in Isa. ii. 2-4. is inserted by mistake by the person whom they suppose to have collected the several prophecies into this one book, about the end of the Babylonish captivity; but others have already remarked that this passage may have been taken by Isaiah from Micah iv. 1-3., or by Micah from Isaiah, or by both from some more ancient prophecy.
(2.) "Chapters xi. and xii. have been supposed not to belong to Isaiah, because in ch. xi. 11-16. the very distant event of the return of the Israelites from Assyria and Egypt and other regions is predicted. But this return was predicted also by Micah, the contemporary of Isaiah, by Hosea, and by Amos.
(3.) "The prophecy in chapters xv. xvi. is thought to have been written three years before the devastation of Moab by Nebuchadnezzar, xiv. 13, &c., because Zephaniah, ii. 8, &c. and Jeremiah, ch. xlviii., threaten the Moabites with the same calamity. But who can show that Isaiah did not speak of another calamity to be inflicted upon them by the Assyrians? or who would suppose that the Assyrians spared the Moabites? Their country was devastated, therefore, as Isaiah foretold, by the Assyrians, and then again by the Chaldeans, of whom Zephaniah and Jeremiah prophesied. That this prophecy of Isaiah was much older than the time of Jeremiah, is certain; for Jeremiah, ch. xlviii., borrows many ideas from it, as must be evident to every one who compares the two. That it is the production of Isaiah himself is shown by the time of its fulfilment being stated, which is according to Isaiah's usual practice. See vii. 1417. viii. 4.
(4.)") "No other reason is brought to prove that the passage ch. xix. 18-25. is not Isaiah's, than this, that in the same chapter, ver. 1-15., a prophecy of the calamity of Egypt had preceded, whereas ver. 18-25. predict prosperity. But this is nothing more than is common with the prophets-to promise better fortune after predicting calamity. As the Egyptians are called, ver. 25., the people of JEHOVAH, and the Assyrians, the work of the hands of JEHOVAH, the prophecy must necessarily have been the production of a Hebrew, and it is much more probable that Isaiah should have written it, than any more modern author.
(5.) "Isa. xxii. 1-11. is rejected as spurious, because the Elamites are mentioned, ver. 6.; but from a comparison of ver. 8-11. with 2 Chron. xxxii. 2-5. and Isa. vii., it appears that the subject is the irruption of Sennacherib: the mention of the Elamites, therefore, must be at least as old as the time of Isaiah: why, then, seek for any other author than Isaiah, who is mentioned in the title of the prophecy?
(6.) They who contend that it is not natural that Isaiah should have uttered so many prophecies concerning the irruption of Sennacherib alone, do not consider that this event was one of great importance, and contributed very much to confirm the Hebrews in their religion, so that it well deserved a multitude of prophetic notices. The style and construction, too, confirm the opinion that they are productions of Isaiah, since they do not differ more from each other in this respect, than do the various Conferences of Hariri, or the different Psalms of David.
(7.) "The prophecy, Isa. xxiv.-xxvii., is referred to a more recent date, on account of the frequent occurrence of paronomasia. Now we know that these are considered singular beauties in the Oriental style, and that Micah, the contemporary of Isaiah, makes frequent use of them, so that they are no proof of a recent date. Besides, Isaiah himself elsewhere frequently uses paronomasia. See Isa. i. 7. 23. iii. 1. 5. vii. 7, 8. 22. s. xxix. 16.; compare Hos. i. 4. s. v. 1. and Mic. i. 14. s. iii. 12. iv. 10.
(8.) "The xxxivth chapter of Isaiah, in which the devastation of Idumæa is predicted, is thought to be of later origin,
Prof. Turner's and Mr. Whittingham's translation of Jahn's Introduction, pp. 346-350.
7. ss., and by Ezekiel xxv. 12. ss., and after a long time was first effected by Nebuchadnezzar, which is thought to be too distant from the time of the prophet. But it has not been disproved that Isaiah is speaking, ch. xxxiv., of another calamity, to be inflicted on Idumæa by the Assyrians, of which Amos, ch. i. 11-15., had spoken before him.
(9.) "The xxxvth chapter of Isaiah is entirely destitute of any thing which could give countenance to the supposition of a more recent origin, and ver. 8. compared with 2 Kings xvii. 25. proves it to belong to the age of Hezekiah."2 ii. The Prophecy against Tyre. Isa. xxiii.
"The prophecy concerning the destruction of Tyre by the Chaldeans, Isa. xxiii., points out its own age in ver. 13., where the Chaldæans are said to be a recent nation, to whon a district of country lying on the Euphrates had been assigned by the Assyrians, who must, consequently, have been at the: time the prevailing power. For as Habakkuk also, who lived under Manasseh, asserts (i. 6.) that the Chaldæans were a late people, who were endeavouring to possess themselves of the territories of others, it is plain that the time of the delivery of the prophecy in Isa. xxiii. could not have been far distant from that of Habakkuk. It is, indeed. uncertain whether Isaiah lived till the reign of Manasseh; but as the Chaldæans made frequent irruptions out of their own settlements in the eastern and northern parts of Armenia into the more southern territories, during a long period of time, without doubt these incursions had begun as early as the latter years of the reign of Hezekiah, since the kingdom of Assyria was at that time so much weakened by the assassination of Sennacherib and the intestine tumults which followed that event, as to afford a sufficient inducement for such expeditions.-Without sufficient reason also is it asserted that the 70 years mentioned Isa. xxiii. 10. are a prophetic number taken from Jeremiah xxv. 11, 12. xxix. 10., and that therefore the whole prophecy must be later than the time of Jeremiah. If either of the prophets borrowed this number from the other, it is certainly more reasonable to conclude that Jeremiah, who, we know, has borrowed from prophets more ancient than himself, took it from the prophecy of Isaiah, than that the author of this prophecy, who every where else appears to rely solely upon his own resources was indebted for it to Jeremiah. What confirms this conclusion is, that particular specifications of time are altogether in character with Isaiah's manner. The distance of the event predicted is no objection; for Amos had before the time of Isaiah, denounced the destruction of Tyre. The Chaldaisms, Isa. xxiii. 11. my, will disappear, if we
point the words my ph, to destroy her weakened or expelled ones."3
iii. Prophecies concerning the Subversion of the Chaldæo Babylonian Empire, and the return of the Hebrews from Captivity. (Isa. xiii. 1-14. 23. xxi. and xl.—lxvi.)
These predictions, it has been affirmed, must have been written in the time of the Babylonish captivity, for the following reasons; viz.
(1.) The difference of style: for in the last twenty-seven chapters, the better part of the people is distinguished as the servant or worshipper of JEHOVAH, xli. 8, 9. xlii. I, &c. xliv. 1. xlviii. 12. 20. xlix. 7. lii. 13., which is not the case in the former part of the book.-Idolatry is exposed to derision and contempt, xl. 19, 20. xliv. 9—17. xlvi. 5-7., an exhibition not to be found in those passages of the former part; e. g. ii. 19., wherein idolatry is reprehended. The accomplishment of former prophecies is frequently noticed, xli. 21-24. 26-29. xliv. 6. s. xlv. 21. xlviii. 5., which argues a modern author, and is not to be found in the first part.-Lastly, words and phrases of frequent occurrence in the first part are not discoverable in the second."
To this objection Professor Jahn replies, that "the language, style, and composition are certainly not such as must necessarily be referred to the time of the captivity, and could not have been produced by Isaiah. On the contrary, the purity of the language, the sublimity of the style, and the elegance of the composition, are such as could not be expected from the leaden age of Hebrew literature; but show their origin to have been in the silver age. The difference of style in the two parts is not greater than the difference of Micah i.—v. from vi. vii., and is less than that which may be observed in Hosea i. iii. compared with ii. iv.-xiv., or
2 Jahn's Introduction by Prof. Turner and Mr. Whittingham, pp. 352, 353. s Ibid. p. 354.
in Amos i. vi. compared with vii. viii., or in the different part, was itself exceedingly distant from the end of the Baby psalms of David. The concurrence of some words or phrases lonian captivity; so that even allowing, for argument's sake, not to be found in the other writings of the age of Isaiah the hypothesis concerning the recent origin of these prophe proves nothing: for it is not to be expected that in the small cies to be correct, there will yet remain a prophecy verified remains of Hebrew literature, all the words and phrases of in a remote posterity, the Hebrew people, and more particuany particular age should repeatedly occur. Yet there are larly the better part of that people, being pointed out as the in the writings in question exceedingly few words or phrases instruments of its completion. It is certainly true that the of this kind. On the contrary, the accustomed vehemence prophét discerns the hostile kingdom of the Chaldæo-Babyof Isaiah, the same dismemberment of objects, and the same lonians, the cities of Judæa overthrown, the ruins of Jerusa antithesis between Jacob and Israel, are observable in both lem, and the downfall of the Chaldæan monarchy, and parts of these prophecies. All the difference is, that the names not only the Medes and Elamites, but even Cyrus prophet, who in the first part was censuring wickedness, in himself. But that Isaiah, receiving such revelations in the the latter endeavours rather to teach and console, as the na- time of Hezekiah or Manasseh, might so totally have lcst ture of his subject required: yet even here he sometimes himself in the contemplation of a very distant period, as to inveighs against different vices, lvi. 9.-lvii. 12. lviii. 1-7. forget the present and write only of the future, will not be lix. 1-8. xv. 11-14. If Isaiah wrote these prophecies in denied by any one who has observed that Micah, Joel, Ilathe latter years of his life, it is easy to conceive that the bakkuk, and Nahum are altogether conversant with far disprophet, now old (in the time of Manasseh, as appears from tant ages. And Isaiah himself warns his reader of this, every part of these prophecies), filled with consolatory pros-ch. xl. 1. xli. 7. 21. lxvi. 9., by the expression, the pects, chose rather to teach than to rebuke: but it was pecu- LORD WILL say. Compare Isa. xliv. 5." liarly proper for a teacher to address the people as the servant of God, to distinguish the better part of the nation, and to illustrate the madness of idolatry; which last, however, he had done in the first part, not only ch. ii. 18. s., but also ii. 8. viii. 19. 21., although with more brevity than in the latter part. The notice of the fulfilment of former prophecies was especially adapted to convey instruction, whether the author refers to the carrying away of the ten tribes, or to the deliverance of the Jews from the Assyrians, or to some other more ancient predictions: this, therefore, is no proof of a modern date. Such remarks do not occur in the first part of the book, because there the prophet neither teaches nor consoles, but reproves.-The occurrence of certain phrases in one part which are not to be found in the other might prove a difference of authors, if the genius of Isaiah were dry and barren; but not otherwise."
(2.) The particularity of the prophecies, and the distance of the events from the time of their prediction.
"In the age of Isaiah there was no Chaldæan monarchy, nor were the Medes and Elamites, who are predicted to be the destroyers of the Chaldæan monarchy, nations of any celebrity. From the fourteenth year of Hezekiah to the founding of that monarchy was ninety years: it was one hundred and fifteen to the birth of Cyrus, who was appointed general of the Median army in the one hundred and fiftyfifth year after Hezekiah, and it was not until the one hundred and seventy-sixth year that he overthrew the Chaldæan monarchy. Yet our prophet so long before sees Judæa and Jerusalem devastated by the Chaldæans, xlv. 26-28.; discerns the kingdom which had brought such destruction upon Judæa verging to its ruin, and its enemies already rushing from the north, xlii. 14. xli. 2. 25.; and even designates Cyrus twice by his very name as the deliverer of the Hebrews, xliv. 28. xlv. 1."
In answer to this objection, it is urged by Jahn, that "the particularity of the predictions to be accomplished at a period so distant is indeed extraordinary: but the prophet frequently recommends this very circumstance to the attention of the reader as something remarkable; whence it appears that even in his age it seemed incredible to many, and therefore the fact that the remoteness of the fulfilment is noticed in these prophecies is a proof of the antiquity of their author. It has already been shown that the Chaldæans, Medes and Persians, or Elamites, were not in the time of Isaiah such obscure nations as that the prophet, when speaking of them, could not have been understood as far as was necessary. That the prophets have sometimes spoken of very remote events has been already proved by several examples, some of which were even afforded by Isaiah himself: to these may be added, that in this same second part, Jesus the Messiah is predicted, ch. lii. 13.-liii. 12., a passage so clear that all attempts to explain it of any other are perfectly vain and fruitless. Compare also ch. lv. 1-5. Indeed, in his very first vision, ch. vi., the prophet foresees the entire devastation of Judæa, and the subsequent restoration. Lastly, the propagation of religion, predicted in the same second In his larger German Introduction, Prof. Jahn "declares that after repeated perusals, he can find only two such words: 3, ch. lvi. 14. lxiii. 1. which occurs elsewhere only in Jer. ii. 20. xxviii. 12. but yet is not Aramean; and DD, which is found in Isa. xli. 25. and elsewhere only in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, but which cannot be a very modern word, as it was in use among the Assyrians. See Ezek. xxiii. 6. 12. 23.Einleit. S. 485." Notes of Prof. Turner and Mr. Whittingham. 2 L
(3.)" The prophecies of events as far as the time of Cyrus are clear and perspicuous; but those which refer to later times are obscure; hence it may be concluded that the author was contemporary with Cyrus.-For if it had pleased God to grant such very clear prophecies in times so far remote, and even to reveal the name of Cyrus; why is it said, ch. xlv. 14., that the Hebrews, after their return to their country, should participate in the commerce of the Cushites and Sabans, when, as is evident from Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi, the event was not so? Nor were the great promises made, ch. lx. 6—10., ever fulfilled. The contemporaries of Isaiah certainly never could have been able to discern that those things which were prophesied concerning Cyrus should be literally fulfilled, but the others only in part, and figuratively." To this objection Jahn answers, That the prophecies relating to times anterior to Cyrus should be the more perspicuous, but those referring to more distant periods the more obscure, is not to be wondered at; for in visions, as in prospects, the more distant objects appear the more indistinctly marked. That the Cushites and Sabæans formerly carried on a considerable commerce and brought merchandise to the Hebrews even after the captivity, cannot be doubted: nor were the Hebrews of that time so universally poor as is pretended; for, Hag. i., they built ceiled houses, and supplied funds for the building of the temple, and, in the time of Nehemiah, even for the fortifications of Jerusalem. Besides, these passages relate not so much to commercial intercourse with these people, as to their conversion to the worship of the true God. That not a few of them did embrace Judaism, and visit the temple of Jerusalem, as is predicted ch. lx. 6-10., is certain from Acts ii. 10, 11. and viii. 27."2
3. EXAMINATION OF THE QUESTION WHETHER ISAIAH WAS THE AUTHOR OF CHAPTERS Xxxvi.-xxxix.?
These "chapters agree verbally in most respects with 2 Kings xviii. 13.-xx. 19. ; yet in some they differ. Thus the song of Hezekiah, Isaiah xxxviii. 9-20., is wanting in 2 Kings: on the contrary, the reconciliation of Hezekiah with Sennacherib, 2 Kings xviii. 14-16., is wanting in Isaiah. What we read, 2 Kings xx. 7. s., concerning the lump of figs to be placed upon the boil of Hezekiah, is, in Isa. xxxviii., introduced where it does not belong: its natural place would have been after ver. 6. There are also some other discrepancies of less moment, which it is unnecessary to adduce. From all this it appears that the text of these two passages is so different and yet so similar, that both would seem to have been taken from one common source, namely, from the history of Hezekiah, which Isaiah wrote, 2 Chron. xxxii. 32. The speeches of the ambassadors of Sennacherib, of Hezekiah, and of Isaiah, and the attention paid to minute circumstances, show that the narration was written by a contemporary witness who was himself concerned, as it is certain that Isaiah was, in the transactions which he has recorded. The words лn and , which occur in the narration, are not more recent than the time of Isaiah, and even if no were of Aramæan origin, that would not be a proof of a modern date, since some exotic words had already been introduced into the Hebrew language, in the time of Isaiah, as may be observed in the writings of Hosea and Amos. The word has not in this place the signification which it acquired after the captivity, but 2 Jahn's Introduction by Prof. Turner and Mr. Whittingham, pp. 355
ANALYSIS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
vivid colours and with images that are truly pathetic and sublime.'
8. ON THE BOOK of the PROPHET ZEPHANIAH.
I. Author and date.-II. Scope and analysis of this book.
I. THIS prophet, who was "the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah" (i. 1.), is supposed to have been of the tribe of Simeon; but, though he has mentioned his ancestors for no less than four generations, nothing certain can be inferred from thence, as to the family to which he belonged. We learn, however, from his prophecy, that he delivered his predictions in the reign of Josiah; consequently he prophesied about the time that Jeremiah entered on his prophetic office, and in method and subject he greatly resembles him.
[PART V CHAP. III discharge the duties of his function with unremitting dili gence and fidelity during a course of at least forty-two years reckoned from the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign. In the course of his ministry he met with great difficulties and opposition from his countrymen of all degrees, whose persecution and ill usage sometimes wrought so far upon his mind, as to draw from him expressions, in the bitterness of his soul, which many have thought difficult to reconcile with his religious principles; but which, when duly weighed, may be found to demand our pity rather than censure. He was, in truth, a man of unblemished piety and conscientious integrity: a warm lover of his country, whose miseries he pathetically deplores; and so affectionately attached to his countrymen, notwithstanding their injurious treatment of him, that he chose rather to abide with them, and undergo all hardships in their company, than separately to enjoy a state of ease and plenty, which the favour of the king of Babylon would have secured to him. At length, after the destruction of Jerusalem, having followed the remnant of the Jews into Egypt, whither they had resolved to retire, though contrary to his advice, upon the murder of Gedaliah, whom the Chaldeans had left governor in Judæa, he there continued warmly to remonstrate against their idolatrous practices, foretelling the consequences that would inevitably follow. But his freedom and zeal are said to have cost him his life; for there is a tradition, that the Jews at Tahpanhes were so offended at his faithful remonstrances, that they stoned him to death, which account of the manner of his decease, though not absolutely certain, is at least very likely to be true, considering the temper II. In consequence of the idolatry and other iniquities pre- and disposition of the parties concerned. Their wickedness, vailing in the kingdom of Judah, whose inhabitants had dis- however, did not long pass without its reward; for, in a few regarded the denunciations and admonitions of former pro- years after, they were miserably destroyed by the Babylophets, Zephaniah was commissioned to proclaim the enormity nian armies which invaded Egypt, according to the prophet's of their wickedness, and to denounce the imminent desola-prediction. (xliv. 27, 28.)3 Some Jewish writers, however, tion that awaited them; to excite them to repentance, to fore-affirm that he returned to Judæa, while others say that he went tell the destruction of their enemies, and to comfort the pious to Babylon, and died there; and a third class are of opinion Jews with promises of future blessings. that he died in Egypt, far advanced in years, and broken by the calamities which had happened both to himself and his country. This prophet's writings are all in Hebrew, except the eleventh verse of the tenth chapter, which is Chaldee. His predictions concerning the seventy years of the captivity were known to and read by the prophet Daniel. (ix. 1.)
On this account Zephaniah has been considered as the abbreviator of Jeremiah; but it is evident that he prophesied before Jeremiah, because the latter (Jer. ii. 5. 20. 22.) seems to speak of those abuses as partially removed, which the former (Zeph. i. 4, 5. 9.) describes as existing in the most flagitious extent. From his account of the disorders prevailing in Judah, it is probable that he discharged the prophetic office before the eighteenth year of Josiah; that is, before this prince had reformed the abuses and corruptions of his dominions. The style of Zephaniah is poetical, though it is not characterized by any striking or uncommon beauties.
His prophecy, which consists of three chapters, may be divided into four sections; viz.
SECT. 1. A denunciation against Judah for their idolatry. (i.) SECT. 2. Repentance the only means to avert the divine vengeance. (ii. 1-3.)
SECT. 3. Prophecies against the Philistines (ii. 4-7.), Moabites, and Ammonites (8-11.), Ethiopia (12.), and Nineveh. (13-15.)
SECT. 4. The captivity of the Jews by the Babylonians foretold (iii. 1-7.), together with their future restoration and the ultimate prosperous state of the church. (8-20.)
II. The idolatrous apostasy and other criminal enormities of the people of Judah, and the severe judgments which God was preparing to inflict upon them, though not without a distant prospect of future restoration and deliverance, form the principal subjects of the prophecies of Jeremiah; except the forty-fifth chapter, which relates personally to Baruch, and the six following chapters, which respect the fortunes of some particular heathen nations.1
It is evident, from various passages of this book, that there were four distinct collections of Jeremiah's prophecies. The first was that mentioned in chap. xxxvi. 2. and made by divine command in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim.
›N THE PROPHETS WHO FLOURISHED NEAR TO AND DURING THE In this collection were contained all the predictions which he
§ 1. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH.
had delivered and published, to that time, as well against other nations as against the Jews: the prophecies against I. Author and date.-II. Occasion of his prophecies.-Differ-end of the book, as being in some measure unconnected with the Gentiles are, in our Bibles, placed by themselves at the ent collections of them.-III. Synopsis of their contents. those denounced against the Jews; but in the present copies IV. Prophecies concerning the Messiah.-V. Observations
on their style.
BEFORE CHRIST, 628-586.
of the Septuagint, they follow immediately after the thirteenth verse of the twenty-fifth chapter. This first collec tion comprised chapters i.-xx. xxv. xxvi. xxxv. xxxvi. xlv.
1. THE prophet Jeremiah was of the sacerdotal race, being-li. inclusive. (as he himself records) one of the priests that dwelt at Anathoth (i. 1.) in the land of Benjamin, a city appropriated out of that tribe to the use of the priests, the sons of Aaron (Josh. xxi. 18.), and situate, as we learn from Jerome, about three Roman miles north of Jerusalem.2 Some critics have conjectured that his father was the same Hilkiah, the highpriest, who found the book of the law in the temple, in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah (2 Kings xxii. 8.): but for this opinion there is no better ground than that he bore the same name, which was of frequent occurrence among the Jews; for, if Hilkiah had really been the high-priest, he would doubtless have been distinguished by that title, and would not have been placed on a level with priests of an ordinary and inferior class. Jeremiah appears to have been very young when he was called to the exercise of the pro-xxxii.-xxxiv. and xxxvii.—xxxix. phetical office, from which he modestly endeavoured to excuse himself, by pleading his youth and incapacity; but being overruled by the divine authority, he set himself to
The second collection is that mentioned in chap. xxx. 2., and contained chapters xxvii.-xxxi. inclusive: it was made in the reign of Zedekiah, and, as may be inferred from xxviii 1., after the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah.
1 Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 99.
2 Hieronymi Comm. in Jer. cc. i. xi. and xxxi. Eusebil Onomast. voce.
The third collection was made soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, as is plainly indicated by the prophet himself in the general preface to his book, where he says that the word of Jehovah came to him "in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign; and came in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, until the completion of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem into captivity in the fifth month." (i. 1-3.) Consequently, this third collection included chapters xxi.-xxiv
Dr. Blayney's Translation of Jeremiah, pp. 221, 222. 2d edit.
4 Ibid. p. 222.
the Hebrew and the Septuagint, in the order of Jeremiah's prophecies; and has given a table illustrating those variations. See his Introd. ad Libros Biblicos Vet. Test. pars iii. c. iii. § 4. pp. 144-152.
s Carpzov has written an elaborate disquisition on the variations between