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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 writien. 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. § 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 11. Chap. IV. 1. In Judas, 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 all
TIONS :—against Nineveh under Hezekiah, Nahum ;modern editions of the Bible they are usually divided into
against Edom, Obadiah ;-against Arabia, Isaiah (axi.), two classes, viz. 1. The Greater Prophets, comprising the
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 (xlvii.), short. The order, in which the books of the minor prophets and Ammon (xlix.) ;-Moub, 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 T'he 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 Newsurrection of the Messiah, the calling of the Gentiles, the come and Mr. Blair, with a few variations;t and though the rejection of the Jews, the ruin of Jerusalem, and the abro- precise time, in which some of them delivered their predicgation 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, Idumæa, Egypt, ascertaining the chronology of their several prophecies.
i Qui propterea dicuntur Minores, quia sermones eorum sunt breves, in » Calmet, Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. 372–374.
• Bishop Gray's Key, p. 420.
close of Hezekiah's
ch. i. 1.
son of Amittai, who was a native of Gath-Hepher in the tribe
Kings of Israel.
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,
Lloyd; but Jerobo.
and 2 Kings xiv. 25.) He is supposed to have prophesied 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, Between 810 Amos, and 785. 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 Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz,
sublime ode in the second chapter, the book of Jonah is a Between 810 Hosea,
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 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 Between 810 Joel,
and 660, or
Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, to denounce
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
he might be swallowed up, but that, by his miraculous deBetween 720 Probably towards the Nahum,
liverance (preparing Jonah to preach more dutifully, and and 698. 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
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 reBetween 612 Probably in the reign
marked, the story was derived of Hercules having escaped of Jehoiakim.
alive out of the fish's belly." Between 606 During all the capti.
III. The Scope of this book is to show, by the very Daniel, and 531. 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, Between 588 Jerusalem by Nebu.
Jesus Christ takes occasion to reprove the perfidiousness of Obadiah,
chadnezzar, and the
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 cap. Ezekiel, tivity.
and the more convincing evidence of our Saviour's doctrine, continued obstinately impenitent. Some critics have imagin
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. 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,
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.
1. 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
BEFORE CARIST, 810-785.
I. 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 1. Title and author.-II. Occasion of the prophecy of Jonah.—of Judah, situate about four leagues to the south of JerusaIII. Scope.-IV. Synopsis of its contents.
lem. There is, however, no proof of his being a native of BEFORE CHRIST, 856—784.
this place, except his retiring thither when driven from Bethel 1. This book is, by the Hebrews, called mg90D (sePHER 9 Adversus Hæres. lib. iii. c. 22. JONAH), or the Book of Jonah, from its author Jonah, the 3 Roberts's Clavis Biblioruin, p. 667.
• See Grotius de Veritate, lib. i. c. 16. in notis. Huet, Demonstr. Evan1 Professor Jabn and Dr. Ackermann divide the prophets into four pe gelica, prop. iv. vol. i. p. 433. 8vo. edit. Bocharti Opera, tom. iji. 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 realiiy 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 Herincneuticæ, Vet. Tost. adopted, as being more simple and comprehensive.
tom. iii. pp. 399-407.
Abont 320 to
After the return from
From 320 to
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 know. describes the state of the kingdom of Israel, particularly in ledge,"s 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
11. 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 ele Uzziah 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
Many of the most elegant images employed by tribes the destruction of the neighbouring nations; do Warm Amos
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 verse
I. CONCERNING the family of Hosea, we have no certain bouring Gentile Nations: as the Syrians (ch. i. 145.), which see fulfilled in 2 Kings xvi. 9.; the Philistines (1. of his prophecy, which states that he was the son of Beeri, 6–..), 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. Rosenmüller delivered by him; viz.
and Jahn, after Calmet, are of opinion that the title of this DISCOURSE !. 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,
or at least wrote his predictions, before the year 725 before DISCOURSE 11. 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, luxurious ease, and sinful alliances with their II. 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. 5–23
. Rehoboam the son of Solomon to Jeroboam the son of Nebat, nounced are confirmed by several prophetic visions, contained in quently deprived themselves of the pure worship of Jehovah The certainty, nearness, and severity of the judgments thus de. who set up the two idol calves at Dan and Bethel, conse
chapters vii. viii,i 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.s Restoration of the Church by the Messiah, first, under the first sovereign of that name; and the Israelites were but too type of raising up the fall 12.); and, secondly, announcing magnificent temporal prone to follow the bad examples of their wicked kings,
blessings; viz. great abundance, return from captivity, of Jeroboam II. were. (Compare 2 Kings xiv. 25—27.) In 9, 10. foretells that, during their solemn festivals, the sun should be dark: convince them of their apostacy, and recover them to the
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 a mos prophesied, there were two opinion that Hosea's principal subject is that, which is the great eclipses of the sun, one at the seast of tabernacles, the other at the time of the passover. This prophecy, therefore, may be considered as one 3 Professor Turner's translation of Jahn's Introduction, p. 325. of those nunerous predictions which we have already shown have a dou- ; Hieronymi Præf. Comment. in Amos. ble meaning, and apply to more than one event. See Lowth's Commentary • Bishop Lowtli's Lectures, vol. ii. lect. xxi. p. 98. on the Prophets, p. 453. 4th edit.
• Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 656.
cular enumeration of the several causes. (iii)
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. 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 supposedo infidelity of the only generally: he enters not, like Isaiah, into a minute detail of the progress of the business. Nor does he describe,
prophet's wife is represented the spiritual infidelity of the Israin 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. (ii. l-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 Isaíah, 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: io the resurrection on the third day: he touches, but Discou RSE 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 itself!”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
to their own country is foretold. (xi.)5 Renewed denunciawhole Jewish nation in its two great branches; not the particular concerns (and least of all the particular temporal con- Discou RSE 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
(xiii. 9–16.), the prophet exhorts the Israelites to repentance, setting forth the vices of the people, the picture is chiefly
and furnishes them with a beautiful form of prayer adapted to taken, as might naturally be expected, from the manners of
their situation (xiv. 1-3.); and foretells their reformation the prophet's own times; in part of which the corruption,
from idolatry, together with the subsequent restoration of all in either kingdom, was at the greatest height; after the 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, ener, the 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 Dent 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
· Bishop Horsley's Hosea, Preface, p. xxvii. deed it makes no part at all, of the action (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. viil.—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,
s The prediction in Hosea xi. 10, 11., respecting the return of the Israelthe 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 extent, it
remains to be accomplished in the future restoration of the Jews to their 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 altogether laconic and sententious. “ But this very circum- | quality of their husbands. Although nothing further is stance, which anciently was supposed to impart uncommon recorded in the Scriptures concerning the wife of Isaiah, we force and elegance, in the present state of Hebrew literature, find two of his sons mentioned in his prophecy, who were is productive of so much obscurity, that although the general types or figurative pledges of God's assurance; and their subject of this writer is sufficiently obvious, he is the most names and actions were intended to awaken a religious attendifficult and perplexed of all the prophets. There is, how- tion in the persons whom they were commissioned to address ever, another reason for the obscurity of his style. Hosea, and to instruct. Thus, Shearjashub (vii. 3.) signifies "a we have seen, prophesied during the reigns of the four kings remnant shall return," and showed that the captives, who of Judah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah: the dura- should be carried to Babylon, should return thence after a tion of his ministry, therefore, in whatever manner we calcu- certain time; and Maher-shalal-hashbaz (viii. 1. 3.), which late it, must include a very considerable space of time. We denotes “ make speed (or, run swiftly) to the spoil," implied have now only a small volume of his remaining, which, it that the kingdoms of Israel and Syria would in a short time seems, contains his principal prophecies; and these are be ravaged. extant in a continued series, with no marks of distinction as Besides the volume of prophecies, which we are now to to the times when they were published, or of which they consider, it appears from 2 Chron. xxvi. 22. that Isaiah wrote treat. It is, therefore, no wonder if, in perusing the pro- an account of the Acts of Uzziah king of Judah: this has phecies of Hosea, we sometimes find ourselves in a similar perished with some other writings of the prophets, which, predicament with those who consulted the scattered leaves as probably not written by inspiration, were never admitted of the sybil.”?
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, 1 Bishop Horsley's Hosea, Preface, pp. vii. viii.
into the canon of Scripture. There are also two apocryphal
books ascribed to him, viz. “ The Ascension of Isaiah," and § 4. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH.
“The Apocalypse of Isaiah ;" but these are evidently forgeries
of a later date; and the Apocalypse has long since perished.5 1. Author and date.-II. Genuineness of Isaiah's prophecies.III. Scope.-IV. Analysis of the contents of this book.- was universally regarded both by Jews and Christians as the
II. Until the latter part of the eighteenth century, Isaiah V. Observations on its style.
sole author of the book which bears his name. Koppe was BEFORE CHRIST, 810—698.
the earliest writer who intimated that Ezekiel, or some other Though fifth in the order of time, the writings of the pro- prophet who lived during the exile, might have been the phet Isaiah are placed first in order of the prophetical books, author; as Doederlein was the first of the German commenprincipally on account of the sublimity and 'importance of tators and critics who expressed a definite suspicion against his predictions, and partly also because the book, which the genuineness of those predictions which were delivered bears his name, is larger than all the twelve minor prophets against the Gentiles, but especially the last twenty-seven put together.
chapters. Justi, Eichhorn, Bauer, Paulus, Rosenmüller, 1. Concerning his family and descent nothing certain has Bertholdt, De Wette, and others, have adopted the notions been recorded, except what he himself tells us (i. 1.), viz. of Doederlein; and by various arguments have endeavoured that he was the son of Amotz, and discharged the prophetic to prove that the chapters in question first originated during office in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the Babylonian captivity. These arguments have been copikings of Judah, who successively flourished between a. M. ously examined and refuted by Professor Jahn, whose obser3194 and 3305. There is a current tradition that he was of vations may be arranged under the following heads :- viz. the blood-royal; and some writers have affirmed that his 1. Proofs that all the prophecies ascribed to Isaiah are really father Amotz or Amos was the son of Joash, and, conse- his productions ;-2. An examination and refutation, in detail, quently, brother of Uzziah king of Judah. Jerome, on the of objections against particular predictions ;-and, 3. An exaauthority of some rabbinical writers, says, that the prophet mination of the questions whether Isaiah was the author of gave his daughter in marriage to Manasseh king of Judah ; chapters xxxvi.—xxxix. but this opinion is scarcely credible, because Manasseh did 1. PROOFS THAT ALL THE PREDICTIONS ASCRIBED TO ISAIAH not commence his reign until about sixty years after Isaiah ARE REALLY his Productions. had begun to discharge his prophetic functions. He must, i. “The Style differs scarcely any in the different prophe indeed, have exercised the office of a prophet during a long cies. We find every where the same descriptions of particuperiod of time, if he lived in the reign of Manasseh; for the lar objects, and the same images, taken from trees, especially lowest computation, beginning from the year in which Uzziah cedars, firs, and oaks; from the pains of childbirth, from died, when he is by some supposed to have received his history, and from the golden age. The beginning of the first appointment to that office, brings it to sixty-one years. prophecy constantly enters into the midst of the subject, and But the tradition of the Jews, which has been adopted by every where poetical passages are inserted ; as v. 1-6. xii. most Christian commentators, that he was put to death by 146. xiv. 4—20. xxv. 145.; so, exactly in the same manManasseh, is very uncertain; and Aben Ezra, one of the ner, xlii. 10–13. lii. 9. s. Ixi. 10. Ixiii. 7. lxiv. 11. Every most celebrated Jewish writers, is rather of opinion that he where the same clearness and obscurity, the same repetitions, died before Hezekiah; which Bishop Lowth thinks most and the same euphony of language, are observable. The probable. It is, however, certain, that he lived at least to visions are similar; comp. ch. xxi. and ch. xl. with ch. vi. the fifteenth or sixteenth year of Hezekiah ; which makes Even the same phrases occur repeatedly: e. g. Samen orp the least possible term of the duration of his prophetic office occurs in the first part seventeen times, in the second twelve to be about forty-eight years.
times. inin, which occurs in all the rest of the Bible only The name of Isaiah, as Vitringa has remarked after several nine times, is found in the first part of Isaiah four times, in preceding commentators, is in some measure descriptive of the second six. D'983, which is elsewhere only to be met his high character, since it signifies the Salvation-of-Jehovah ; with four times in the book of Job, is found here twice in the and was given with singular propriety to him who foretold first part, and five times in the second. me is used in Ixv. the advent of the Messiah, through whom all flesh shall see 10. just as in xxxiii. 9. xxv. 2.: 77 px, in xl. 1. xli. 7.21. the salvation of God. (Compare Isa. xl. 5. with Luke iii. 6. Ixvi. 9. just as in i. 11. 18. xxxiii. 10., instead of which the and Acts iv. 12.) Isaiah was contemporary with the pro- other prophets say nun 90, or 9. The expressions apphets Amos, Hosea, Joel, and Micah.
plied to the Sabæans, qe po stretched out, or tall, xviii. 2. 1., Isaiah is uniformly spoken of in the Scriptures as a pro- and 1790 OJN, men of measure, or tall men, are peculiar to our phet of the highest dignity : Bishop Lowth calls him the prophet, as well as many others, which we have not room prince of all the prophets, and pronounces the whole of his
3 Gray's Key, p. 365.
• Ibid. p. 372 book to be poetical, with the exception of a few detached • Ascensio enim Isaiae et Apocalypsis Isaiæ hoc habent testimonium. passages. It is remarkable, that his wife is styled a prophet- Jerom. Coinment. on Isaiah, ch. Ixiv. (Op. tom. iii. p. 473.) See also tom. ess in viii. 3., whence the rabbinical writers have concluded is p. 341. The anabaticon or ascension of Isaiah is mentioned by Epi: that she possessed the spirit of prophecy: but it is very pro- the Hieracites, in the fourth century. Hæres. 67. Dr. Lardner's Works. bable that the prophets' wives were called prophetesses, as vol. iii. p. 402. the priests' wives were termed priestesses, only from the
• The arguments of the various neologian objectors against the genuine. · Præf. in xii. Proph.
ness of Isaiah's predictions, and especially those of Professor Gesonius,
are also very fully and ably' renewed and refuted, first, by Professor Lee, Lowth's Prælect
. xxi. vol. ii. p. 96. Bishop Horsley differs in opinion in bis Sermons and Dissertations on the study of the Holy Scriptures from Bishop Lowth, as to the cause of the obscurity which is observable pp. 157—208.; and, secondly, by Dr. Hengstenberg in his "Christologie des in the prophecies of Hosea. Bishop Horsley ascribes it, not to the great Alten Testaments." (Christology of the Old Testament.) Thal part of Dr. antiquity of the composition, nor to any thing peculiar to the language of H.'s treatise, which relates to the genuineness of Isaiah's predictions, has the author's age, bui to his peculiar idioms, frequent changes of person, been translated into English by Professor Robinson of Andover (Massa. his use of the nominative case absolute, his anomalies of number and gen chusetts), and will be found in the Biblical Repository for the year 1831. ter, and the ainbiguity of pronouns. See the Preface to his version of (vol. i. pp. 700—733.) As the arguments of these learned writers do not admit Hosea, pp. xxix.- xliii
of abridgment, the reader is necessarily referred to their publications.