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Full text of "Biblical Commentary Old Testament. Keil and Delitzsch.6 vols.complete.Clark'sFTL.1864.1892."

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CLARK'S 



FOEEIGN 



THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY. 



NEW SEEIES. 
VOL. XLIl. 



Silt ^tttflfttlta of l0a{8^ 

VOL. L 



EDINBURGH: 

T. & T. CLARK, 88 GEORGE STREET. 

1892. 



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PRINTED BY MORniKON AND OIBB, 
FOR 

T. & T. CLARK, EDINBURGH. 

LONDON, MAHILTON, ADAHS, AND CD. 

DfBLlN, (JBOSOB HERBERT. 

NEW YORK, CHARLES SCRIBNER'h KONU. 



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BIBUCAL COMMENTARY 



THE PROPHECIES OF ISAIAE 



FRANZ DELITZSCH, D.D., 

LKirzia. 



TUANSLATED FROM THE FOURTE EDITION. 



"QOKtb an Sntroductlon 

BY 

Teofessok S. R DHIVER, D.D., Oxfobd. 



VOL. L .-*.. ;. :••- : 

EDINBURGH: 

T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET. 

1892. 

[Tliu Tratulation is Copyright, by arrangemenl with the AiUhor.] 

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DKK 

OXFOBDKB MHSTERN ALTTKTAMENTUCHEE FORSCHraO 

T. K. CHEYNE und S. R. DRIVER 

ALS DANK TCR BEWAHBTE LIKB' UND TKBUE 
GEWIDMET. 



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^ 

^ 



AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 



This fourth edition of my Commentary on Isaiah contains 
the fruit of continued labour since the appearance of the 
third in 1876, and, after the latter was out of print, a 
thorough revisal of the whole has been made in preparation 
for a fourth appearance. 

To the commentary in the form it has hitherto presented, 
the objection has been made that it contained too much 
etymological matter and too many curious details far removed 
from the proper object of an exegetical work. The com- 
plaint was not without foundation, and I have taken care 
that it cannot be raised against the commentary in its present 
form, especially since, apart from this consideration, I had 
thought to make the greatest possible curtailment, and my 
taste is opposed to unnecessary repetitions. In former 
editions of my commentaries, however, I always leave so 
much that is peculiar to each, that they do not quite become 
antiquated by later ones. 

The illustrative essays contributed by my friends Fleischer 
(d. Feb. 10, 1888), Wetzstein, and Von Strauss- Tomey are 
to be found in the second and third editions ; those who 
consider these contributions of importance may still have 
access to them, at least in libraries.* The excursus by 
Wetzstein on the Gable mountain - range in Batanea (Ps. 

' These papers are those of Victor v. Stranss-Tomey, " Can D'3*D, in 
Isa. xlix. 12, be the Chinese !" and of Wetzstein, in the second edition, 
" On Isaiah, chap. zzL ; " "On the Kabl (1)3}) and kindred stringed 

instruments, chap. v. 12;" "On nrnDS, chap. v. 26 ;" "On npD3 and 
ix^£, and matters of agricultural botany generally, chap. xxviiL 26 ; '' 

T 

371501 

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VI PRKf ACE. 

Ixviii. 16), which was published separately in 1884 as a 
supplement to the fourth edition of my Commentary on the 
Psalms (1883), but which has not yet been appreciated as it 
deserves, was the last conjoint production which I could 
obtain from him. 

In the correction of typographical errors appearing in this 
edition of my Commentary on Isaiah, I have been somewhat 
fortunate ; perhaps I may venture to hope that it will be 
found as correct as could possibly be expected. And yet 
even this book, after it is finished, will sooner or lat«r, in my 
eyea, shrink into a very imperfect and insignificant produc- 
tion ; of one thing only do I think I may be confident, that 
the spirit by which it is animated comes from the good Spirit 
that guides along the everlasting way. 



F. D. 



Leipzig, Augtut 7, 18S9. 



"On miO and rirp, chap. iix. 24" There are also, in the third 

edition, papers, "On mn in Isa. xi. 8, and mvy in Josh. xix. 34;" 

" On vf'D in Isa. xvi. 1, xlii. 11, and iriva in xxxiv. 6 and Ixiii. 1." 

The contents of these essays are much more varied than the titles lead 
one to expect 



PUBLISHER'S NOTE. 



The translation of chaps. L to iv., and from page 436 to 
end of this volume, is by the Kev. Jahes Kennedy, B.D., 
New College, Edinburgh. The Eev. William Hastie, B.D., 
and the Bev. Thomas A. Bickerton, B.D. (Examiners in 
Theology, Edinburgh University), have translated chaps, v. 
to XX. and chap. xxL to page 435 respectively. 



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INTRODUCTORY NOTICE 

Bt Pbofkssoe S. E. driver, D.D., Oxford.' 



The death of Professor Franz Delitzsch, which took place on 
March 4, 1890, deprived Christian scholarship of one of its 
most highly gifted and influential representatives. Though 
known probably to the majority of English students only by 
his commentaries upon parts of the Old Testament, these 
writings represent, in fact, but a part of the literary activity 
of his life, and, except to those who can read between the 
lines, fail entirely to suggest the wide and varied practical 
interests to which his energies were largely dedicated. The 
outward story of his life may be told briefly. He was born 
at Leipzig, February 23, 1813 ; and, having graduated at the 
University of his native city in 1835, he became Professor at 
Eostock in 1846, at Erlangen in 1850, and at Leipzig in 
1867, the last-named Professorship being retained by him till 
his death. From his early student days he devoted himself 
to the subject of theology, and laid the foundation of his 
knowledge of Hebrew literature (including especially its post- 
Biblical development in the Talmud and cognate writings), as 
well as of Semitic philology generally, under the guidance of 
Julius Fiirst, editor of the well-known Concordance (1840), 
and H. L, Fleischer, who was destined in future years to 
become the acknowledged master of all European Arabic 
scholars. What may be termed the two leading motives of 
his life, the desire, viz., to make the Old Testament better 
known to Christians, and the New Testament to Jews, were 
first kindled in him by the apparent accident of his meeting 
in these early years two agents of the London Society for 
Promoting Christianity among the Jews. His earliest publi- 
* Reprinted from The Expository Timtt, June 1890. 

vit 



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VllI INTRODUCTOKY NOTICE. 

cations, which appeared during the time that he was Privat- 
docent at Leipzig, were, however, philological or historical. 
The first of all was a learned and interesting work on the 
history of post-Biblical Jewish poetry, Zur Oesehichte JUdiseher 
Poesie, 1836, followed, in 1838, by Wisseiischaft, Kunst,Jvden- 
thiim, Schilderungm v/id KrUiken, and Jesurun, seu Isagoge 
in grammaticam et lexicographiam linguae Hebraeae, in wliich, 
following his teacher, Fiirst, he developed etymological prin- 
ciples which were far from sound, and which afterwards, at 
least in great measure, he abandoned. In 1841 he edited a 
volume of Anekdota in illustration of the history of mediaeval 
scholasticism among Jews and Moslems. The next work 
which deserves to be mentioned is of a different kind — a 
devotional manual bearing the title of Das Sacrament des 
wahren Leibes und BltUes Jesxi Christi, which attained great 
popularity in the Lutheran Church, and has passed through 
several editions (the seventh in 1886). In 1842 there 
appeared a Dissertation on the life and age of Habakkuk, 
which was followed in 1843 by the first of his exegetical 
works, consisting of an elaborate philological commentary on 
the same prophet — part of a series of commentaries which 
was projected by him at this time in conjunction with his 
friend, C. P. Caspari, but of which the only other volume that 
was completed was the one on Obadiah (by Caspari). A 
treatise on Die Piblischprophetische Theologie, published in 
1845, closes the list of works belonging to the years during 
which he was Privatdocent at Leipzig. 

Not much of importance was published by Delitzsch during 
the Eostock period (1846-50) ; he was probably at this time 
engaged in preparing lectures, and also in amassing that store 
of materials which was to be utilized more fully in future 
years. The seventeen years of his Erlangen Professorship 
were more prolific. 1851 saw Das Hohdied untersucht und 
ausgelegt; 1852, the first edition of his Genesis — interesting 
from the fact that he already clearly recognised the composite 
structure of the book ; 1855, his System of Biblical Psychology, 
remarkable for original but difiBcult thought and subtle specu- 
lations ; 1857, a Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, to 
which Bishop Westcott, in his recent edition of the same 
epistle, acknowledges gratefully his obligations ; 1 8 5 9-6 0, the 



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INTBODOCTOET KOnCK. IX 

first edition of a Commentary on the Fsalms; 1861-62, a 
monograph, entitled, ffandschriftliehe Funde (notices of the 
textual criticism of the Apocalypse, and an account of the 
re-diacovery by himself of the famous Codex Beuchlini, — a 
MS. of A.D. 1105 containing the Hebrew Text, with Targum, 
of the prophets, — which bad been used by Erasmus, but had 
since been lost); 1864 and 1866, the first editions of his 
Commentaries on Job and Isaiah respectively (in the series 
edited by himself and C. F. Keil conjointly). The Eriangen 
period was closed by a second edition of the Psalms (1867 — 
incorporated now in the series edited with Keil), and the two 
instructive descriptive sketches of life in the time of Christ, 
entitled, Jesiis and Hillel (directed against Renan and the 
eminent Jewish writer Abraham Geiger), and Artizan Life in 
the time of Jesus. 

The literary activity of the last period of bis life, the 
twenty-three years passed by him in his Professorship at 
Leipzig, shows even greater versatility than that of his earlier 
years. His inaugural lecture is a study on Physioiogy and 
Music in their relation to Grammar, especially Hebrew Orammar. 
The studies on the age of Christ, just mentioned, were followed 
before long by others of a similar nature, viz. A Day in 
Capernaum (graphically written and learned), Sehet welch ein 
Menseh I and Josi and Benjamin, a tale of Jerusalem in the 
time of the Herods. In 1869 he published his System der 
Christlichen Apologetik, in 1873 and 1875 Commentaries, 
likewise in the series edited with Keil, on Proverbs, and on 
the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes, respectively. In 1871, 
1878, and 1886 there appeared three monographs, full of 
minute and interesting researches, entitled, Studies on the 
Origin of the Complutensian Polyglott ; in 1874, in honour of 
his former teacher and present colleague, Fleischer, Jiidiseh- 
Arabische Poesien aus Vormuhammedischer Zeit ; Ein Speci- 
men aus Fleischer's SehuU als Beitrag zur Feier seines silbemen 
Jubildums ; in 1885 a short Biblical study, Der ifessias als 
VersOhner ; in 1889 another, Sind die Juden wirhlich das 
auserwdhlte Vblk t The publication of Wellhausen's Gesehiehte 
Israels in 1878 stirred him deeply: he was alternately pained by 
the boldness with which it treated sacred things and impressed 
by its brilliancy and the frequent cogency of its argument 



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X INTBODUCTOBY NOTICE, 

The immediate result was the series of twelve papers, called 
Pentatetich-kritisehe Studien in the Zeitsehrift filr Kirehiiche 
Wissenschaft imd Kirchliches Ze&«n for 1 8 8 0. In these papers 
Delitzsch discusses critically certain prominent questions 
(such as the laws respecting the Passover, the Tabernacle, 
Deuteronomy, the " Law of Holiness ") on which Wellhausen's 
conception of the history of Israel turns, and, while fre- 
quently repudiating particular points in Wellhausen's argu- 
ment, recognises in his conclusions a large element of truth. 
Six other papers on cognate topics followed in the same 
periodical in 1882. About this time also two courses of his 
lectures were published in English from notes taken by one 
of his pupils — Messianic Prophecies and The Old Testament 
History of Redemption (1880, 1881). Meanwhile he had 
been busy in the preparation of new and improved editions 
of many of his commentaries. Thus the fourth edition of his 
Genesis appeared in 1872, the fifth, incorporating the results 
to which his recent critical studies had led him, under the 
title Mn neiur Commentar ilber die Genesis, in 1887 ; Job 
reached a second edition in 1876, the Psalms a fourth 
edition in 1883, Isaiah a fourth edition in 1889. In 1888 
a number of discourses and articles were reprinted by him in 
a volume called Iris ; Farbenstudien und MumenstUcke ; here 
he gives freer scope than usual to his imagination, and treats 
a variety of topics half playfully, half in earnest, with inimit- 
able ease and grace. Professor Delitzsch's last work was 
Afessianische Weissagungen in Geschichtlicher Folge, the preface 
to which is dated only six days before his death. In this 
volume, which contains bis lectures on Messianic prophecy in 
the form in which they were last delivered by him in 1887, 
his aim, he tells us, was to state the results of his lifelong 
study — " eine Spatlingsgarbe aus alter und neuer Frucht " — 
in a clear, compendious form, as a last bequest to those 
engaged in missionary work. 

One department of Delitzsch's literary labours remains still 
to be noticed. As remarked above, it was a guiding aim of 
his life to make the New Testament better known to Jews. 
This first bore fruit in the missionary periodical called Saat 
auf Roffnung, — " Seed in hope," — which was edited by him- 
self from 1863, and to which he was a frequent contributor. 



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INTRODUCTOBT NOTICK. jd 

In 1870 it assumed a still more practical shape in an edition 
of the Epistle to the Bomans in Hebrew, accompanied by a 
most interesting introduction, containing an account and 
criticism of existing translations of the New Testament into 
Hebrew, and valuable illustrations of the thought and phrase- 
ology of the apostle from Babbinical sources. He did not, 
however, rest here. A series of Talmudiscke Stvdien, chiefly on 
linguistic points connected with the New Testament, which ulti- 
mately extended to seventeen papers, had already been begun 
by him in the Zdtsehrift filr die gesammte Lutherische Theo- 
hgie und Kirehe (1854-77);' and in 1876-88 these were 
followed in the same periodical by another series of papers, 
Horat Hdrraicae et Talmudicae, supplementary to Lightfoot 
and Schoettgen, on the Hebrew equivalents of various New 
Testament expressions. These were, no doubt, " chips " 
from the great work on which he was at this time busily 
engaged ; for the desire of his heart, a new Hebrew version 
of the entire New Testament, was now on the point of being 
realized, the British and Foreign Bible Society having en- 
trusted him with the revision of the version published by 
them. This revision was completed in 1877. The improve- 
ments which it contained were very numerous ; nevertheless, it 
was capable of more ; and these, due partly to himself, partly 
derived from the criticisms and suggestions of other scholars 
(which Delitzsch always generously welcomed), were incor- 
porated by him in the editions which followed (the 9th, in 
1889). It was in consequence of some suggestions tendered 
by him for this purpose that the present writer first made 
the acquaintance of Professor Delitzsch, and began a literary 
correspondence with him, which was continued at intervals 
to the period of his last illness. An interesting account of 
Professor Delitzsch's labours in connection with this subject 
has been written by himself in English in a pamphlet called 
The Hebrew New Testament of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society (Leipzig 1883). In its successive editions Delitzsch's 
Hebrew New Testament has enjoyed a very large circulation, 
partly among Christian scholars, on account of the exegetical 
interest attadiing to it, and partly among Jews, for many of 

*■ See the snbjects and dates in The Siimw New Tatament of the BritiA 
and Foreign Bible Society, p. 35 t 



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XII INTEODUCrOEY NOTICK. 

whom the primaiy documents of Christianity, set forth in 
their own language, have been found to possess a peculiar 
attractiveness. During the later years of his life, Delitzsch 
spent much time in the successive revisions of this work, 
and was unwearying in the effort to make it correspond more 
completely with the ideal which he had set himself.* At the 
time of his death he had nearly completed his preparations 
for a tenth edition, which was to include such extensive im- 
provements as to entitle it to he termed, in a certain sense, a 
"new" translation.* The translation, even in the editions 
which have already appeared, shows great scholarship and 
accuracy, and every page evinces the care that has been 
bestowed upon it 

Such is the record, though even so not told quite fully,' of 
Professor Delitzsch's wonderfully busy literary life. It can 
afford no cause for surprise that one who knew him well, 
and who found him working whilst lying propped up in bed 
daring his last illness, should have remarked that he had 
never known a man who made uniformly such a careful use 
of his time. His nature was a richly-gifted one ; and he had 
learnt early how to apply to the best advantage the talents 
entrusted to his charge. And yet he was no mere student of 
books. He had a singularly warm and sympathetic dis- 
position ; he was in the habit of meeting his pupils informally 

1 See, most recently, his short papers in the ExpotUor for February, 
April, and October 1889 ; twelve others, written by him during his last 
illness, and published in the Theologiichei LiUraturblatt, 1889, Nos. 46-62, 
1890, Nos. 1 and 2; and Saat auf Hoffnwng, February 1890, pp. 71-74. 
The first of those in the Expositor is of importance as evidence of the 
friendly spirit in which Delitzsch and Salkinson, the author of another 
modem Hebrew version of the New Testament, which has sometimes 
been placed in rivalry with Delitzsch's, regarded personally each other's 
work. On the characteristics of these two Hebrew New Testaments, the 
writer may be permitted to refer to an article by himself in the ExpotUor 
for April 1886 (though it should be stated that some of the grammatical 
faults there pointed out in Salkinson's translation have since been 
corrected). 
» See Saat au/Soffnung, February 1890, pp. 67-70, 74 
• For some minor writings, as well as several other articles in periodi- 
cals, and his contributions to Herzog's Beal-Eneyelopiidie (Daniel, Heilig- 
keit Oottes, Hiob, etc. ; see the list in voL zviiL p. 726 of the second 
edition), have, of necessity, been left unnoticed. 



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INTRODUCTORY NOnCK. XIU 

in both social and religious gatherings ; and he loved to make, 
and succeeded in making, many friends. His personality was 
an impressive one, and exerted a wonderful charm upon all 
who came within reach of its influence. He loved England ; 
and there are many both in this country and in America who 
still retain the vivid memory of kindnesses received from him 
in past years, while they were students at Leipzig, and who 
have heard with sorrow the tidings of his death. The present 
writer never had the privilege of meeting him personally, but 
he has received from him many most genial and friendly 
letters, besides experiencing in other ways tokens of his re- 
gard. The depth and reality of his convictions are attested 
by many passages of his writings. His personal religion was 
devout and sincere. Mission work, especially among the 
Jews, interested him warmly ; he was much attracted by the 
movement among the Jews of South Bussia in the direction of 
Christianity, headed by Joseph Eabinowitzsch, and published 
several brochures illustrating its principles and tendencies. 
Of his pamphlet, Emste Fragtn an die Cfebildeten jildischer 
Religion, more than 4000 copies were disposed of in three 
months. The anti-Semitic agitation which broke out in 
Grermany a few years ago deeply vexed him ; the injustice of 
the charges and insinuations brought against the Jews by a 
Roman Catholic writer in 1881 he exposed in a pamphlet, 
entitled, BoUin^s TtUmtuiJude beleitehUt, which was followed 
by other publications having a similar aim. 

As a thinker and author, though he is apt to be less suc- 
cessful in his treatment of abstract questions, and sometimes 
does not sufficiently hold his imagination in check, Delitzsch 
is forcible, original, and suggestive. His literary style is 
altogether superior to what those who know it only through 
the medium of translations would suppose to be the case. 
His commentaries and critical writings are distinguished not 
less on account of the warm religious feelii^ which breathes 
in them than for the exact and comprehensive scholarship 
which they display. Thoroughness is the mark of all his 
works. His commentaries, from their exegetical complete- 
ness, take rank with the best that Germany has produced. 
He brings out of his abundantly furnished treasury things 
new and old. Among Christian scholars his knowledge of 



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XIV nmiODUCTOET NOTICK, 

Jewish literature was unsurpassed. Jewish views — though 
these, it is true, are often only of interest as curiosities — are 
noticed in his commentaries more fully than in those of any 
other modem scholar. In difficult and controverted passages, 
the interpretations adopted by different authorities, from the 
earliest times, are compactly stated. The successive editions 
of his commentaries invariably bear witness to the minute 
and conscientious labour bestowed upon them. It is not the 
least valuable of their characteristics that they incorporate, or 
contain references to, the latest notices or researches which 
have any important bearing upon the text History, philo- 
logy, criticism, travel, archaeology, are equally laid under con- 
tribution by the keen-eyed author. One never turns to any 
of his commentaries without finding in it the best information 
available at the time when it was written. His exegesis, if 
occasionally tinged with mysticism, is, as a rule, thoroughly 
sound and trustworthy, attention being paid both to the mean- 
ing and construction of individual words, and also to the 
connection of thought in a passage as a whole. The least 
satisfactory of his commentaries is that on the Song of Songs, 
the view taken by him of the poem as a whole obliging him 
in many cases to adopt strained interpretations of the text 
Delitzsch appreciated scholarly feeling and insight in others, 
and acknowledges gracefully (in the Preface to the second , 
edition of Jdi) his indebtedness to the exegetical acumen of 
that master of modern Hebraists, Ferdinand Hitzig. In the 
matter of etymologies, however, Delitzsch never entirely dis- 
owned the principles which he had imbibed from Fiirst ; and 
hence, even to the last, he sometimes advocated derivations 
and connections between words, which are dependent upon 
questionable philological theories, and cannot safely be accepted. 
Critically, Delitzsch was open-minded ; and with praise- 
worthy love of truth, when the facts were brought home to 
him, did not shrink from frankly admitting them, and modi- 
fying, as circumstances required, the theories by iirhich he had 
previously been satisfied. As was remarked above, he had 
accepted from the beginning, at least in its main features, the 
critical analysis of Genesis ; and in the earlier editions of his 
Commentary on Isaiah he had avowed that not all the argu- 
ments used by rationalists were themselves rationalistic. But 



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INTRODUCTORY NOTICK XT 

as late as 18*72 he still taught that the Pentateuch, as we have 
it, was virtually a product of the Mosaic age. A closer study 
of the subject, however, which he was led to undertake by the 
appearance of Wellhansen's History, convinced him that this 
view was not tenable; and in the papers noticed above, 
written by him in 1880-1882 (the substance of which is 
stated in a condensed form in the Introduction to his New 
Commentary on Genesis), he embraced the critical view of the 
structure of the entire Hexateuch, treating Deuteronomy as 
being, in form, the work of a prophet of the age of Hezekiah, 
and allowing that the ceremonial law was not probably cast 
into its present shape until a later date still. While accept- 
ing these conclusion.s, however, he holds rightly that each of 
the main Pentateuchal codes embodies elements of much 
greater antiquity than itself, and rests ultimately upon a 
genuine Mosaic basis. The importance of this change of 
position on Delitzsch's part is twofold : it is, firstly, a signi- 
ficant indication of the cogency of the grounds upon which 
the critical view of the structure of the Old Testament rests ; 
and, secondly, it is evidence of what some have been disposed 
to doubt, viz. that critical conclusions, properly limited and 
qualified, are perfectly consistent with a firm and sincere 
belief in the reality of the revelation contained in the Old 
Testament. In the matter of the authorship of the Psalms, 
though there are signs in his last edition that he no longer 
upheld so strenuously as before the authority of the titles, he 
did not make the concessions to criticism which might per- 
haps have been expected of him. In the case of the Book of 
Isaiah, the edition of 1889 — which, by what was felt by 
both to be a high compliment, was dedicated conjointly to 
Professor Cheyne and the writer of this notice — is accommo- 
dated throughout to the view of the origin and structure of 
the book generally accepted by modem scholars. 

Such is a sketch, only too inadequate and imperfect, of 
Franz Delitzsch's life and work. He has left a noble example 
of talents consecrated to the highest ends. May his devotion 
to learning, bis keenness in the pursuit of truth, his earnest- 
ness of purpose, his warm and reverent Christian spirit, find 
many imitators I 

8. B. DRIVER. 



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INTRODUCTION 



TO THB 



PROPHETICO-PREDICTIVE BOOKS OF THE 
OLD TESTAMENT. 



In the Canon of the Old Testament the prophetico-historical 
are followed by the prophetico-predictive books. Both to- 
gether, under the name of &*K*?^, form the middle of the three 
divisions in the collection, — the first, in accordance with their 
position, being designated the "Former Prophets" (D*K'?>'i 
D'alnnn), while the second are named the " Later Prophets " 
(n'ilnnNn O'K'ajn). In the Masora this middle division is 
sometimes called NnWB'K, " tradition," ' because the Torah is 
regarded as the fundamental revelation of God, and post- 
Mosaic prophecy as tradition {^^^., for which the Aramaic is 
•'^P^f?, from o7^»^ tradere) flowing from this original source 
in a continuous stream ; the Former Prophets are then, under 
the title of W'^D'Ji? ^wdt^K, distinguished from the Later 
Prophets, which are called WJJn Knp»^. 

It is true that the Torah also is a prophetical work, and is 
cited as such in Ezra ix. 11; for Moses, the mediator of the 
revelation of law, is, as such, the prophet to whom no other 
was like, Deut. xxxiv. 10 ; but it was not becoming that the 
Pentateuch, which is separated from the Book of Joshua 
under the name of mwn (idd), should be included in the 
division of the Canon which is designated " the Prophets ; " it 
is certainly the unique record of the fundamental revelation 
which has ever conditioned the existence and life of Israel as 
the nation pre-eminently associated with the history of re- 

' Begarding this Masor«tic title, see Johannes Delitzsch, De Iiupiratioru 
Scripturae Sacrae, 1872, p. 7 f. 

VOL. L A 



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2 ISAIAH. 

demption, and from which, moreover, all prophecy in Israel 
has been derived. And this holds true, not merely of 
prophecy, but of all later writings. Not only the prophetic 
style of writing history, but also the non-prophetic, — t.e. the 
priestly, the political, the popular styles, — has its model in 
this Torah. The former follows the Jehovistico-Deuteronomic 
type, the latter the Elohistic' 

The opinion that the historical works found among the 
Hagiographa were placed there merely because of their later 
origin, but should properly have been ranged among the 
" Former Prophets," ' rests on a misconception concerning this 
variety in the style of writing history. Ezra, — whom we have 
good ground for regarding as the author of the great " Book 

* With reference to the Pentateuchal criticism, we purposely remark 
here, in a conspicuous position, that the acknowledged Isaianic discourses 
present parallels to all the constituent portions of the Pentateuch. (1) 
The Jehovist : jn tnpnn Wd, xxx. 29, of. mOD, xxxi. 6<>^Ex. xiL 13, 23, 
27 (only here in Jehovistic context is the name of the festival referred to 
the verb HDB); nffvh • • • n35{D, xix. 19 'V/ Gen. xxviil 18, 22, xxxi. 13 
(as, inasmuch as the law forbids the erection of a nsVD, not only as a tadxut 
of heathen worship. Lev. xxvi. 1, but also absolutely, Deut xvL 22, the 
view which the prophet reveals appears to be shaped by a reference to the 
naSD of Jacob at Bethel).— (2) The Law of the Two Tables : »3B rAvrh 

Hi '>o»3B"nK rrttnS Ex. xxxi v. 24 (also Deut. xxxi. 1 1).— <3) Deuteronomy, 
i. 2i>sw.the beginnin<; of the Song U'jKn, Deut. xxxii. I. — (4) Deuteronomy 
together with the Iaw of Holiness : i. 7, 0008* OayiK'v^Lev. xxvi. 33, 

noaef oariK nnTn; tnn nerw oanyx^Lev. xxvi. 31, 33, v?r canjn 
nain ; nnw uhsm oni astiJ} oanonK'x.Deut xxviiL 33 (cf. ei ; Lev. 
xxvi. 16) ; ont roBnoa nDDW^Deut xxix. 22, mojn mo rOBTOa (cf. 

the reference to Sodom and Gomorrah in ver. 10 ff.). Add also xxxvi. 7, 
according to which Hezekiah abolished the high places, and centralized 
the worship in the Temple of Jerusalem : the restriction of worship to 
one place, accordingly, does not date from Josiah's time. — (5) The Elohist : 
iv. 6, rnJV M131 "Vj Gen. i. 1 (though I would not adduce this parallel, if 
Wellhausen did not pronounce (Ps to be the late production of theological 
abstraction, and the passage in Isaiah corrupt); i. 14, D3*Bnn'v>Num. 
X. 10, xxviii. 11 ; topo, i. 13 (which occurs with the Klohist and else- 
where also, but not with the Jehovist^ and m^ in the same verse 'v^ mvPi 
Num. xxix. 36 (and elsewhere also, but not with the Jehovist) ; n*lt3p iu 
the same verse -x. Lev. ii. 2, ix. 16, v. 12, vi. 8, pan TtSprn (vix. the 
DiaTM). And is not the altar in heaven, vi. 6, the antitype of the rOTO 
mopn in Ex. xxx. 27, etc 1 

* This view has been maintained, e.g., by B. Anger, Oetehiehte der 
messianuchm Idee (edited by Max Kienkel, 1873X p. 9. 



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iNTBODuonoir. 8 

of Kings" to which the Chronicler (2 Chron. xxiv. 27) refers 
under the title D'?7?? ''?? ''^??> & collection bearing on the 
history of Israel, to which he had appended, as the concluding 
portion, the history of the time of the Bestoration, — is no- 
where called a " prophet " (<<*??), and, in fact, he was not one. 
The Chronicler also — who, besides the Books of Samuel and of 
Kings, both of which have been arbitrarily divided into two 
parts, had - also before him that work of Ezra as his main 
source of auUiorlty, and thence produced the historical com- 
pendium lying before us, the conclusion of which was made 
up of the memorabilia of Ezra (now, however, in separate 
form as the Book of Ezra) — makes no claim to be a prophet. 
Nehemiah, too, — from whose memorabilia our Book of 
Nehemiah is an extract, arranged in the same fashion as the 
Book of Ezra, — ^was not a prophet, but a Tirshatha, ie. a 
provincial governor under the king of Persia. The Book of 
Esther, however, through its relegation of the religious element 
to the background, is as far as possible removed from the 
prophetic style of writing history ; from the latter, indeed, it 
differs as characteristically as the Feast of Purim, the Jewish 
Carnival, differs from the Passover, the Israelitish Christmas. 
But it must seem strange that the Book of Buth stands 
among the Hagiographa. This little work so closely resembles 
in character the closing portion of the Book of Judges (chaps, 
xvii.— xxi.) that it might have been placed between Judges 
and Samuel, and probably did actually stand there originally ; 
only for liturgical reasons has it been placed beside the so- 
called five MegiUoth (festival rolls), which succeed one another 
in accordance with the festival calendar of the ecclesiastical 
year ; for the Book of Canticles forms the lesson read on the 
eighth day of the Feast of Passover, Buth is read on the second 
day of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), Kinoth (Lamentations) 
on the ninth of the month Abib, Koheleth (Ecclesiastes) on 
the third day of the Feast of Tabernacles, while Esther is 
read in the Feast of Purim, which falls in the middle of Adar. 
This is also the simplest answer to the question why the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah are not appended to the collection 
of Jeremiah's prophecie& The Psalms, however, — though 
David may be called a prophet (Acts iL 30), and Asaph is 
named " the seer " (n^), — stand first among the Hagio- 



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4 ISAUH. 

grapha, inasmuch as they do not belong to the literature 
of prophecy (ntoaj), but of that of sacred lyric poetry (tc 
mrr). Their prophetic contents are entirely lyric in their 
origin, whereas the lyric contents of the Lamentations through- 
out presuppose the official position and public announcements 
of Jeremiah as a prophet Among the canonical books of 
the prophets (d'K'33) are found only the writings of those who, 
in virtue of special gifts and calling, were commissioned 
publicly — whether by word of mouth or by writing — to pro- 
claim the word of God ; and this they did freely, not being 
fettered, like the priests, by legal forms. For, though the name 
K*33 denotes one who announces, publishes, proclaims, i.e. (as 
we must further conceive of him) one who speaks as the organ 
(HD, "mouth," Ex. iv. 15 f.; Jer. xv. 19) of God; and though 
the earliest application of the term (see Gen. xz. 7 ; cf. xviii. 
17-19 ; P& cv. 15), which is revived in the writings of the 
Chronider, is far wider than the later ; yet here, in designat- 
ing the middle division of the Canon of the Old Testament, 
the word is certainly not so restricted as in Amos vii. 14, 
where it indicates one who, having gone through a school of 
the prophets, or at least having been educated through inter- 
course with prophets, had wholly devoted himself through life 
to prophetic teaching. It has, however, a specific sense that 
has been incorporated into the organism of the theocratic life : 
here it is the designation of one who comes forward, on the 
basis of a divine vocation and divine revelations, as a public 
teacher, and who thus professes not merely the gift of predic- 
tion, but also by preaching and writing exercises the office 
of a prophet, — an office which, at least on Ephraimitish soil, 
had further received a distinct and characteristic impress 
through the institution of the schools of the prophets. This 
explains the fact that the Book of Daniel could not find a place 
among the d'K'oj. For Daniel was not a prophet in this 
sense : he received and became the medium of divine revela- 
tions, but he was not a divinely commissioned public teacher 
like Nathan and Gad, Ezekiel and Zechariah. As remarked 
by Julius Africanus (in his letter to Origen concerning 
Susanna), not only did the way and manner in which the 
divine disclosures were made to him differ from the iiriirvoia 
wpo<f»}TiKij, but he did not hold the ofHce of a prophet, so that 



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nrrEODUCTioir. 5 

the Talmud (Megilla 3a), speaking of the post-exile prophets 
ia relatioa to him, says, " They stood above him, for they 
were prophets, but he was not a prophet " (mro 'ony inj'K 

It is thus because of a fundamental distinction between 
literary productions of a prophetic character properly so called, 
and those which are not prophetic in the same strict sense, — 
a distinction that holds alike in the domain of history and in 
that of prediction, — that all the books of historical and pre- 
dictive content, which stand among the Hagiographa (D*2in3, 
which the grandson of Sirach renders by the expressions -rh 
SHiXa varpia fiifixia and tA Xoiirh t&v fiifiXlmv), have been 
excluded from the middle division of the Old Testament 
Canon entitled b>»'<23. Distinction was made between the 
historical books from Joshua to Kings, and the predictive 
books from Isaiah to Malachi, as works of men who exercised 
the prophetical office, and thus as works of a prophetic 
character ; and such books, on the other hand, as Chronicles 
and Daniel, which, though recognised as having been written 
imder the guidance of the Holy Spirit, were not written on 
the occasion of a call to make prophetic announcements 
through speech and writing, and did not thus originate from 
true prophetic inspiration. The two dififerent styles of writing 
history are also really unmistakable. Each of them has its 
own peculiar history. The non-prophetic — considering its 
history Eind remains — ^we would call the national or annalistic. 
It is evidently quite possible that a prophetic historical work 
like the Books of Kings and an annalistic work like the Books 
of Chronicles, may have borrowed certain elements from the 
other historical style; but when once the distinguishing 
features of the two styles have been discerned, those elements 
which are foreign to the peculiar nature of each work, and 
which have merely been utilized for carrying out its design, 
nearly always admit of being made out with certainty. 

The oldest type of non-prophetical historic composition 
is found ia the priestly-Elohistic style of writing in the Penta- 
teuch, as distinguished from the Jehovistic-Deuteronomic style. 
These two styles are continued in the Book of Joshua, and 
this, too, in such a way that, generally speaking, the latter 
appears in those portions which narrate the history of the 



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6 ISAUH. 

conquest, while the former occurs in those sections which 
describe the division and apportionment of the land. The 
Book of Judges, at the very beginning, which holds up the 
history of the judges as a mirror in which one may see and 
learn of God's dealing in salvation, bears the impress of a pro- 
phetic historical production ; while the concluding portion, 
like the Book of Buth, deals with Bethlehemitish stories, which 
point to the Davidic kingdom, the promised kingdom which 
formed the centre of prophecy. And though the main portion 
of the book is founded upon oral and even written forms of 
the stories regarding the judges, there are also introduced 
extracts from a more complete work, in which the prophetic 
pencil of a man like Samuel had combined into an organic 
whole the accounts of the judges, not merely down to the 
times of Samson, but even to the complete overthrow of the 
Philistine oppression. That the Books of Samuel are a pro- 
phetico-historical work is expressly attested by the Chronicler 
in a passage which refers to the main body of these books ; in 
those pieces, however, which record the encounters with the 
four Philistine children of the giants, 2 Sam. xxL 15 ff. 
(= 1 Cbron. xx. 4 ffi), and those which tell of David's heroes 
(Dnjjl) who stood nearest to him, 1 Sam. xxiiL 8 ffi (= 1 Chron. 
xi. 11 K), they contain at least two remnants of national or 
popular historical composition, which delights in the repetition 
of the same words at the beginning and the end, after the 
manner of a refrain, and touches on the domain of an epic or 
national ode, reminding us, as Eisenlohr has fitly said, of the 
legend of Boland and Artus, and the Spanish Cid. More of 
such remains are found in the Chronicles, as the list of those 
who joined David during the time of persecution by Saul, 
1 Chron. xii. 1—22, beginning with the words : " Now these are 
they who eame to David at ZUdag, while he was still hard 
pressed by SaiU the son of Kish ; and they belong to the heroes 
who are ready to help in war, armed vnth bows, vnth the right 
hand and the left using stones and arrows by means of the bow." 
Some of these pieces may have fallen into the hands of the 
later historians separately, and may have been incorporated 
without any change ; but, so far as they are tabulated, the 
Chronicler leaves us in no doubt regarding their main source. 
After giving a census of the Levites from the age of thirty 



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niTHODOcrnoir. 7 

years and upwards, in 1 Cbron. xxiiL 2-2 4a, he adds in ver. 
245 and other verses following, in a sketchy manner, that 
David, considering afterwards that the heavy work of former 
days had now ceased, reduced to twenty the age at which 
service should begin ; for " t» the last words of David (TVi ^y^ 
0'?^''DJ5'|') the deseendanis of Levi are numbered from the age of 
twenty." He here refers to the last part of the history of 
David's life in the "book of the Kings of Israel" (^^o iDp 
V*'!) which lay before him ; and we learn from 1 Cbron. 
xxvii. 24, regarding the other work from which such lists bad 
been transferred into this his leading source. There, after 
giving the list of the princes of Israel, he remarks concerning 
a general census that David had intended to make, " Joab, the 
ton of Zeruiah, began to count, but he did not finish ; and there 
arose because of this an outburst of wrath upon Israel, and this 
numbering was not put into the numbering (-)bd03, but read 
1BD3, ' into the book'} of the Chronicles (own nn) of David." 
Hence the Annals or Chronicles of David contained such 
tables, which bore the character of national historic writing ; 
and from these Annals they were transferred into the large 
Book of Kings lying before the Chronicler. 

These official annals began with David. The kingship of 
Saul rose into little more than a military supremacy ; and 
the kingdom, as reunited under him, did not develop beyond 
the first stages of a military constitution. Under David, 
however, king and people entered into a mutual relationship 
of the most extensive kind, and the thorough organization of 
the kingdom was necessarily followed by the multiplication 
of public servants of various kinds and degrees. We see 
David, as supreme head of the kingdom in all respects, even 
in matters of religion, acting on his official supremacy ; and 
we meet with several entirely new offices instituted by him. 
Among these was the post of the "''?|P, t.e. " recorder," or, as 
the LXX. often designatively renders the word, inrofunjiiaTo- 
ypa^oi, or (as in 2 Sam. viiL 1 6) o eirl t&v xnroiivrifuiTwv 
(Jerome, in genuine Boman fashion, "a commentariis "). 
The Targums similarly render K'?!?!"^ N|PO, "the officer 
over the memorabilia" (=K»3i3n ibd bo. over the annals, 
2 Chron. xxxiv. 8 ; c£ Ezra iv. 15 ; Esth. vi. 1). The -I'aro 
had to keep the national annals, and his office was di£ferent 



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8 ISATAH. 

from that of the ib^d, or chancellor. The •«» had to prepare 
the public docaments ; the fon had to presei-ve them, and to 
incorporate them in the connected history of the nation. 
That it was David who instituted the office of national 
annalist in Israel is proved by the fact that references to the 
annals begin with the Chronicles (D»D'ii *i3n) of David, 
1 Chron. xxyiL 24, and are afterwards continued in the 
" Book of the Chronicles of Solomon " (rtchv nm iBD, which 
is an abbreviation from ntJyt^ nnD»n »i3n nOD), 1 Kings xL 41. 
Thereafter, references to them are carried on in Judah to the 
end of Jehoiakim's reign, and in Israel to the end of the 
reign of Pekah. Under David, and also under Solomon, the 
office of national annalist was filled by Jehoshaphat, the son of 
Ahilud. The fact that, apart from the annals of David and 
those of Solomon, nothing bat the annals of the kings of Judah 
and those of the kings of Israel are ever cited,is easily and simply 
explained. When we view the national annals as a whole, 
they naturally divide themselves into four parts : the first two, 
the annals of David and of Solomon, set forth the history of 
the still united kingdom ; while the last two, the annals of 
the kings of Judah and of Israel, presented the history of the 
nation as divided. The original state archives doubtless 
perished in the flames when Jerusalem was burnt by the 
Chaldeans. Copies made from these documents, however, 
were preserved ; and the histories of the reigns of David and 
Solomon in the historical books which have been handed 
down to us, particularly rich as they are in annalistic material, 
show that diligence in copying and distributing was specially 
directed to the annals of David and of Solomon, and that these 
probably were circulated separately, like single decades of 
Livy. 

Bichard Simon thought the ienvains publics were prophets, 
and in more recent times also the annals have occasionally 
been regarded as prophetic historical compositions. L Appeal 
is made to the statements of the Chronicler regarding prophetic 
materials in the work which formed his main source, the great 
Book of Kings; and it is assumed that this great Book of 
Kings contained the combined annals of the kings of Judah 
and of Israel But (a) the Chronicler cites his chief source 
under various designations, as a Book of the Kings, once 



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ETTEODUCTION. 9 

(2 Chron. zzxiiL 8) as ^^t. (i.e. res gestae, or historice) of the 
kings of Israel, but never as the annals of the kings of 
Judah or Israel ; he even designates it once as ">Bp Bnnp 
O^ST&n, commenUarius libri regum, and thus, as an explanation 
and elaboration of our canonical Book of Kings, or — what we 
leave undecided — of an older Book of Kings altogether, 
(i) In this Midrash there were, of course, inserted numerous 
and extensive pieces of a prophetico-historical character, for 
the purpose of illustrating the history of the kings ; but the 
Chronicler expressly states, on several occasions, that these 
were incorporated materials (2 Chron. xx. 34, xxxiL 32). 
Among the documents which were taken into the annals, 
there must also have been pieces of a prophetic character, 
and not merely those referring to priestly and Levitical 
matters, military affairs, and such like ; but it would be the 
greatest literary blunder to imagine that such pieces as 
the histories of Elijah and Elisha, which are plainly of 
Ephraimitish and prophetic origin, have been taken from the 
annals, especially because Joram of Israel, during whose 
reign Elisha flourished, is the only monarch of the northern 
kingdom in whose case there is no reference to the annals. 
The character of the documents which were chiefly utilized 
in the annals, and Incorporated into the connected history, 
may be perceived from an instance found in 2 Chron. 
XXXV. 4, where the arrangement of the Levites into classes 
is referred to the " writing of David " (yf\ ara) and the 
" writing of Solomon " (nb'PB' anpp), which passed for royal 
writings, either because they were drawn up by order of the 
king, and confirmed by him, or because records actually 
written by the king's own hand formed the basis of the 
sections in the annals (cf. 1 Chron. xxviii. 11-19). When 
we further bear in mind that the accounts given by the 
Chronicler of the arrangements made by David regarding the 
priests and the Levites, point to the annals as the original 
source, we have — at least in 2 Chron. xxzv. 4 — a confirma- 
tion of the governmental and (so to speak) royal character of 
these annals. 

II. A second reason for regarding the annals as prophetic 
historical works is the consideration that otherwise, especially 
in the kingdom of Israel, they could not have been written in 



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10 ISUAH. 

the theocratic spirit. But (a) the official or state origin of 
the work is implied in the very fact that they end just where 
the work of a prophetic historiographer would properly have 
begun. For, of references to the annals in our Rook of 
Kings, there are fourteen (counting from Rehoboam and 
Jeroboam) in the history of the kings of Judah (references 
being wanting only in the cases of Ahaziah, Amaziah, and 
Jehoahaz), and seventeen in the history of the kings of 
Israel (the case of Joram being the only one in which no 
reference is given) ; in neither line do the annals come down 
to the last monarch in the two kingdoms, but only to 
Jehoiakim and Pekah, from which we must infer that the 
writing of the national annals ceased with the approaching 
fall of the two kingdoms, {b) When we look more closely 
at the thirty - one references, we find that sixteen of these 
merely state the rest of the acts of the king mentioned are 
written in the annals: 1 Kings ziv. 29; 2 Kings viiL 23, 
xil 20, XV. 6, 36, xvL 19, xxi 25, xxiiL 28, xxiv. 5; 
1 Kings XV. 31, xvL 14; 2 Kings L 18, xv. 11, 21, 26, 31. 
In the case of four Israelitish kings, it is merely stated 
further that their >TJ<M (heroism, t.e. their brave conduct in 
war) is described in the annals, 1 Kings xvi. 5, 27 ; 2 Kings 
X. 34, xiii. 8. More definite statements, however, regarding 
what was to be read in the annals, are found in the case of 
Abijam, whose war with Jeroboam was there described, 

1 Kings XV. 7 ; in the case of Asa, xv. 23, all whose bravery, 
and all that he did, and all the cities that he built, being 
there related ; in the case of Jehoshaphat, xxii. 46, where 
reference is made to the heroic deeds that ho performed, and 
the kind of wars that he carried on ; in the case of Hezekiah, 

2 Kings XX. 20, where mention is made of all his heroism, 
and how he made the pool and the aqueduct, and brought 
the water into the city; in the case of Manasseh, xL 17, 
all that he did, and the sin whereby he sinned ; in Uie case 
of Jeroboam, 1 Kings xiv. 19, what kind of wars he carried 
on, and how he ruled; in the case of Zimri, xvL 20, his 
conspiracy that he formed ; in the case of Ahab, xxiL 39, 
all that he did, and the ivory house that he constructed, and 
the cities that he built ; in the case of Joash, 2 Kings xiiL 
12, xiv. 15, his heroism, how he warred with Amaziah, 



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IMTBOD0CTION. 1 1 

king of Judah; in the case of Jeroboam, 2 Kings xiv. 28, 
his bravery, how be warred, and how he recovered Damascus 
and Hamath, that belonged to Judah, for Israel ; in the case 
of Shallum, xr. 15, his conspiracy which he formed. These 
references furnish plain proof that this annalistic history was 
not prophetico-pragmatictd in its character. It recorded out- 
ward events, it had its roots in the popular mind and its 
sphere of action in the national life and institutions ; com- 
pared with the prophetic history, it was more secnlw than 
sacred, more a history of the people than a history of 
redemption. 

The numerous references of the Chronicler to historical 
writings by prophetic authors show the constant literary 
activity in the field of history which was displayed by the 
prophets generally, after the time of Samuel, with whom, 
properly speaking, b^'ns the era of the prophets in Israel as 
a nation settled and constituted under the law (Acts iiL 24). 
That writer, at the dose of the history of David, refers 
(1 Chron. xxix. 29) to the words of Of?) Samuel the seer 
(p^), of Nathan the prophet (K'^iC), and of Gad the seer 
(nriin); at the end of the history of Solomon (2 Chron. 
ix. 29) to the words of (T!??) the prophecy of (nifftaj) Ahijah 
the Shilonite, and the visions of (nitn) Jedi (or Jedo) the 
seer; in the case of Behoboam (2 Chron. xiL 15), to the 
words of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer ; in the 
case of Abijah (2 Chron. xiii. 22), to the commentary of (t^*)?) 
the prophet Iddo; in the case of Jeboshaphat (2 Chron. 
XX. 24), to the words of Jehu the son of Hanani, which were 
included in the Book of the Kings of Israel ; in the case of 
Uzziah (2 Chron. xxvi 22), to a complete history of that 
king, which was composed by Isaiah the son of Amoz ; in the 
case of Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxxii. 32), to the vision of (fitn) 
Isaiah, as an account that could be found in the Book of the 
Kings of Judoh and Israel ; in the case of Manasseh (2 Chron. 
xxxiii 19), to the words of Hozai There is certainly room 
for doubting whether, in these citations, ^^n does not rather 
(as, for instance, in 1 Chron. zxiii. 27) denote the historical 
account of such and such a person. The following reasons, 
however, prove that, in the mind of the Chronicler, historical 
accounts written by the person named were meant, (a) From 



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12 ISAUH. 

2 Chron. xxvi 22 we see how easy and natural it was for him 
to think of prophets as historians of particular epochs in the 
history of the kings. (6) In other places also, where *!>3^ is 
combined with the name of a prophet (as in 2 Chron. xxix. 
30, zxxiiL 18), the latter ia the genitive of the subject or 
author, not of the object (c) In the citations given above, 
^nria is used interchangeably with *?3'!"?y, an expression which 
still more decidedly requires us to understand it as referring 
to authorship ; and (d) this view is put beyond all doubt 
by the interchange of ^ Bhto, in 2 Chron. xiii. 22, with 
iiy 'nsf, in 2 Chron. xii. 15. That these accounts, how- 
ever, which are named after prophets, were not lying before 
the Chronicler as separate writings along with his main 
source, is evident from the fact that, except in 2 Chron. 
xxiii. 18 f., he never refers to both together. They had 
been incorporated in " the commentary of the Book of Kings " 
(2 Chron. zxiv. 27) lying before him, where, along with the 
annalistic sources of the work, they could easily be distin- 
guished as prophetic productions. And inasmuch as it is 
conceivable that the author of our canonical Books of Samuel 
and Kings should not have made use of these sources com- 
posed by prophetic authors, it is legitimate to ask whether it 
be still possible for critical analysis to discover these sources, 
either in whole or in part, — just as one may with certainty say 
that the list of officers used as a boundary-stone in 2 Sam. 
XX. 23-26, and the survey given in 1 Kings iv. 2-19 of 
Solomon's ministers and his court, together with the details 
as to the requirements of the royal kitchen (1 Kings v. 2 S.), 
the number of stalls for the king's horses (1 Kings v. 6), and 
similar matters, have been derived from the annals. 

This is not the place to enter more minutely into such an 
analysis. It is enough for us, through the references given in 
Chronicles, to have cast light on the restless activity of the 
prophets, from the time of Samuel onwards, engaged in writing 
history, — an activity which, even without the express references, 
is obvious from the many historical extracts in the Book of 
Kings from the writings of prophet-historians. Both authors 
draw, directly or indirectly, from annalistic and prophetic 
sources. But the Book of Kings and the Chronicles them- 
selves also, taken as a whole — when we look at their authors. 



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INTBODUCTION. 13 

and thus at the mode in which the historical materials are 
arranged and wrought into shape — represent two different 
styles of historical composition ; for the Book of Kings is the 
work of a prophet, and is pervaded by the prophetic spirit, 
while the Book of Chronicles is the work of a priest, and 
bears a priestly character. The author of the Book of Kings 
has taken Deuteronomy and the prophetic literature as bis 
models, whereas the Chronicler so closely imitates the old 
style of the on^n *vxn, that his own is often nndistinguish- 
able from the style of the sources from which, directly or 
indirectly, his material was derived ; the work, accordingly, is 
a strange mixture of very ancient and very modem phraseology. 
From the view of history which is inserted in 2 Kings xvii. 
7 t, one may see the spirit and the purpose of the author in 
writing the book. Like the author of the Book of Judges, 
who wrote in a similar spirit (see Judg. ii. 1 1 ff.). he seeks 
to show, in his history of the kings, how both the king- 
doms of Judah and Israel, by despising the word of God borne 
to them by the prophets, and particularly through the great sin 
of idolatry, had fallen from one stage of inward and outward 
corruption to another till they reached the depth of misery in 
the Exile. Judah, however, with its Davidic government, 
was not without hope of rising again from the depths, if the 
hearts of the people were not closed against the prophetic 
preaching from their own past history. The Chronicler, on 
the other hand, permits his love for the monarchy and 
priesthood, which were chosen from the tribes of Judah and 
Levi, to be felt even in the annalistic surveys forming the 
preface to his work ; and, starting at once with the sad end 
of Saul, wastes not a word on the course of suffering through 
which David reached the throne, but hastens on to the joyful 
beginning of bis reign, which is pictured to us in a style at 
once popular, military, and priestly, as in the case of the annals. 
Then he sets before us — almost quite apart from the history of 
the northern kingdom — the history of Judah and Jerusalem 
under the rule of the Davidic family, and this with special ful- 
ness when he is able to praise the care of the monarch for the 
temple and its service, and his co-operation with the Levites 
and the priesthood. He displays a preference and partiality 
for the brighter portions of the history ; whereas, in the case 



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14 ISAUH. 

of the author of the Book of Kings, the law of retribntion, 
which prevails in the historical matter, demands at least equal 
prominence for the darker parts. 

Both of them, nevertheless, equally afford us a deep insight 
into the laboratory of the two modes of writing history, and 
the historical works of both are rich in discourses by prophets, 
which deserve closer consideration, because, equally with the 
prophetico-historical writings from which citation is made, 
they are to be regarded as the preliminary and occasional 
exercises of the prophetic literature, properly so called, which 
afterwards assumed a more or less independent position, and 
to which the " Later Prophets " (D-nntJ W»^^) belong. The 
Book of Kings contains the following utterances and discourses 
of prophets : (1) Abijah of Shiloh to Jeroboam, 1 Kings xL 
29-39 ; (2) Shemaiah to Behoboam, xii. 22-24 ; (3) a man 
of God to the altar of Jeroboam, xiiL 1 f. ; (4) Abijah to the 
wife of Jeroboam, ziv. 5—16 ; (5) Jehu the son of Hanani to 
Baasha, xvi. 1-4 ; (6) a prophet to Ahab, king of Israel, 
XX. 13 f., xxii. 28 ; (7) a pupil of the prophets to Ahab, 
XX. 35 £f. ; (8) Elijah to Ahab, xxl 17-26 ; (9) Micaiah the 
son of Imlah to the two kings, Ahab and Jehoshaphat, 
xxii. 14 ff. ; (10) Elisha to Jehoram and Jehoshaphat, 2 Kings 
iil 11 ff. ; (11) a pupQ of Elisha to Jehu, 2 Kings ix. 1-10 ; 
(12) a " burden " or message concerning the house of Ahab, 
ix. 25 f. ; (13) Jehovah to Jehu, x. 30 ; (14) Jonah to Jero- 
boam II., — indirectly, — xiv. 25-27 ; (15) a general message 
of the pi-ophets, xviL 13 ; (16) Isaiah's addresses to Hezekiah, 
chaps, xix. and xx. ; (1 7) warning prophecy on account of 
Manasseh, xxi. 10-15 ; (18) Huldah to Josiah, xxii. 14 ft; 
(19) message of warning from Jehovah concerning Judah, 
xxiii. 27. Of all these prophetic utterances and discourses, 
only Nos. 2, 9, and 18 are found again with the Chronicler 
(2 Chron. xi. 24, xviii., xxxiv.), partly because he relates 
merely the history of the kings of Judah, and partly because 
he aimed at supplementing our Book of Kijigs, which doubt- 
less lay before him. The following prophetic utterances and 
addresses, not found in the Book of Kings, meet us in the 
Chronicles : (1) The words of Shemaiah in the war between 
Behoboam and Shishak, 2 Chron. xii. 7, 8 ; (2) the words of 
Azariah the son of Obed before Asa, xv. 1-7 ; (3) Hanani to 



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INTKODUCnON. 15 

Asa, xvj, 7-9 ; (4) Jahnziel the Asaphite in the assembling 
of the nation, xx. 14—17 ; (3) Eliezer the eon of Dodavabu 
to Jehosbapbat, xx. 37 ; (6) the letter of Elijah to Jeborani, 
xxi. 12-15 ; (7) Zecbariah the son of Jehoiada in the time 
of Joasb, xxiv. 20 ; (8) a man of God to Amaziah, xxv. 7-9 ; 
(9) a prophet to Amaziah, xxv. 15, 16 ; (10) Oded to Pekah, 
xxviiL 9-11. To extend still more widely the sphere of our 
examination, we add (1) the address of the " messenger of 
Jehovah " in Bochim, Judg. il 1-5 ; (2) the address of a 
prophet to Israel, in Judg. vL 8—10 ; (3) the address of a man 
of God to Eli, 1 Sam. ii. 27 ff. ; (4) Jehovah's words to 
Samuel concerning the bouse of Eli, 1 Sam. iii 11—14 ; (5) 
Samuel's words to Israel before the battle at Ebenezer, 1 Sam. 
viL 3 ; (6) Samuel's words to Saul in Gilgal, 1 Sam. xiii. 
ISt; (7) Samuel to Saul after the victory over Amalek, 
1 Sam. XV. ; (8) Nathan to David in view of his intention to 
build the Temple, 2 Sam. vii ; (9) Nathan to David after his 
adultery, 2 Sam. xil ; (10) Gad to David after the nambering 
of the people, 2 Sam. xxiv. 

Ait6r taking a general survey of these utterances and 
addresses, and comparing one with another, we are warranted 
in assuming that some have been preserved to us in theii 
original form, such as (in the First Book of Samuel) the 
addresses of the man of God to Eli, and tJie words of Samuel 
to Saul after the victory over Amalek : this we infer from 
their peculiar character, their snblimity, and the difference 
between their style and that of the historian who gives them, 
as this is seen elsewhere in bis writings. In other cases, at 
least the essential features have been preserved, as in the 
addresses of Nathan to David : this is proved by their echoes 
which reverberate in later history. Among the addresses 
handed down veriatim by the author of the Book of Kings 
may be reckoned those of Isaiah (2 Kings xix. 6 ff., 20 f., 
XX. 1, 6 f., 17 f.) ; the " burden " (Kfcp) in 2 Kings ix. 25 t. 
of primitive and peculiar form, together with some other brief 
utterances of prophets. Possibly also the words of Huldah 
are given in all essential respects, for it is only in her mouth 
(2 Kings xxii. 19; 2 Chron. xxxiv. 27), in the mouth of 
Isaiah (2 Kings xxii. 19), and in the "burden" to which 
reference has just been made, that we find the prophetic 



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16 ISAUH. 

expression " declareth Jehovah " (fjJT Dtu), which likewise 
meets us in 1 Sam. iL 30 with other tokens of its being 
original, and whose high antiquity is fully attested by the 
Davidic Psalms and 2 Sam. xxiil 1 (cf. Gen. xxiL 16). In 
some of these utterances the historian does not at all concern 
himself about giving the original words ; they are prophet- 
voices which sounded forth at one time or another, and whose 
leading tone he seeks to give, as in Jndg. vL 8-10 ; 2 Kings 
xvil 13, XXL 10-15. Beproductions of prophetic testimonies 
in such general form naturally bear the impress of the 
reproducing writer ; thus, in the Books of Judges and Kings 
there is visible the Deuteronomic style of thought of their 
final editor. But we will go farther, and must affirm 
generally that the predictions in the Books of Samuel, Kings, 
and Chronicles bear marked traces of the narrator's own hand, 
and of the influence exercised by indirect sources. The dis- 
courses which are common to the Chronicles and the Book of 
Kings, are almost literally the same in both ; the remainder, 
however, have quite a different look. The addresses in the 
Book of Kings almost always begin with, "Thus saith 
Jehovah" (n}n^ new nb), or, " Thus saith Jehovah, the God of 
Israel" (so also in Judg. vi. 8, and in 2 Kings xix. 20 before 
the addresses of Isaiah) ; and there is nothing that occurs in 
them more frequently than the phrase "Wtt jp; (« because 
that "), and Deuteronomic expressions like Ofvsn^ '''?J?,!?i T? V)}, 
and others ; to which may be added a liking for similes, in- 
troduced by 12^ ("as"), 1 Kings xiv. 10, 15; 2 Kings 
xxi. 1 3. Tlie idea of God's " choice " of Jerusalem recurs 
in the same words in 1 Kings xL 36 ; 2 Kings xxiil 27 ; 
and the idea " that there may always remain a light to 
David " (ypjp T3), 1 Kings xi. 36, is an exclusive peculiarity 
of the author among Old Testament writers. The words, 
"I have raised thee up from among the people, and set 
thee for a prince over my people Israel," occur not merely in 
the second address of Ahijab (1 Kings xiv. 17), but also 
slightly altered in the address of Jehu (xvi. 2). The words, 
" Him that dicth in the city shall the dogs eat, and him that 
dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat," are found in 
substantially the same form in the second address of Ahijah 
(xiv. 11), in Jehu's address (xvi. 4), and in that of Elijah to 



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INTBODUCnOM. 17 

Ahab (xxL 24). The threatenings, "I will destroy every 
man child, him that is shat up and him that is left at large 
in Israel, and will sweep behind the house of Jeroboam," is 
found, with slight variation, in the second address of Ahijah 
(xiv. 10), in the address of Elijah to Ahab (xxL 21), and in the 
second address of Elijah to Jehu (2 Kings ix. 8) ; while it is 
clearly seen from 1 Kings xvi 11 and 2 Kings xiv. 26, that 
the form of these threatenings is the style of the narrator. 
It is therefore undeniable that almost all these prophet- 
utterances, so far as a common impress is possible at aU, 
are of similar type, and that the common bond which 
unites them is no other than the subjectivity of the Deutero- 
nomic narrator. A similar condusion must be drawn 
regarding the prophetic addresses in the Chronicles, which 
likewise so extensively bear the unmistakable traces of the 
Chronicler's own treatment, that Caspari, in his treatise on 
the Syro-Ephraimitish war (p. 53 ff.), acknowledges, even 
regarding what seems to be the most original of all the 
addresses (in 2 Chron. xv. 2-7), that it recalls the peculiar 
style of the Chronicler. In the case of the Chronicler, how- 
ever, whose chief source of material must have resembled the 
spirit and style of his own, — an assumption which the Book 
of Ezra especially warrants us in making, — ^it is less easy to 
say how far he exercised a free hand than it is in the 
case of the author of the Book of Kings, who seems to have 
found the most of the addresses merely indicated in outline, 
and to have freely reproduced them from such sketches. 

If these discourses had come down to us in their original 
form, we should possess in them an exceedingly important 
source of information for the history of the development of 
prophetic ideas and forms of expression. We should then 
know that Isaiah's favourite phrase, "for Jehovah hath 
spoken it " C*?^ 'ijn*, *3), so far as we have information, was 
first employed by Ahijah (1 Kings xiv. 11); that Joel, when 
he prophesied " in Jerusalem shall be deliverance " (Joel iii. 
5), had been preceded by Shemaiah (2 Chron. xii 7) ; that 
Hosea, in iii 4 (cf. v. 15), took up again the utterance of 
Azariah the son of Oded, " And many days shall Israel con- 
tinue without the true God, and without a teaching priest, 
and without law ; but when they turn in their distress "... 

vou i. B 



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18 ISAIAH. 

(2 Chron. xv. 3 f., where, as the parallel proves, the perfects 
in ver. 4 are to be understood in accordance with the pro- 
phetic context); that in Jer. xxxL 16 we have an echo of 
an utterance by the same Zechariah, in the words, " ibr there 
is a reward to thy work;" that Hanani, in saying, " The eyes 
of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth" 
(2 Chron. xvL 9), is the precursor of Zechariah (iv. 10); and 
there are other similar instances. But, considering the influ- 
ence which the idiosyncrasies of the two historians exercised 
upon the discourses which they communicate (cf. for instance, 
2 Chron. xv. 2 with 1 Chron. xxviii. 9 ; 2 Chron. xiL 5 
with xxiv. 20; also ver. 7 with 2 Chron. xxxiv. 21, and 
the parallel in 2 Kings xxiL 13; and 2 Chron. xv. 5, "In 
those times," with Dan. xL 14) ; considering also the difficulty 
in finding out the original elements of these addresses (pos- 
sibly, for instance, the idea that a light will remain to David, 
1 Kings XV. 4, 2 Kings viiL 19, was really first expressed by 
Ahijah, 1 Kings xL 36), one will be able to make of them 
for this purpose only a cautious and sparing use. It is 
doubtful whether such expressions as, " to put my name 
there," 1 Kings xi. 36, and " he shall root out Israel from 
this good land," 1 Kings xiv. 15, have received the Deutero- 
nomic form (see Deut xiL 5, 21, xiv. 24, xxix. 27) from 
the prophet or from the author of the Book of Eangs (cL 
1 Kings ix. 3 and the parallel passages in 2 Chron. viL 20, 
ix. 7 ; 2 Kings xxi. 7 f.). There remains, however, in the 
predictions of those older prophets, a sufficient amount of 
original matter for enabling us to see in them the prefigura- 
tions and predecessors of the later ones. Thus Shemaiah, 
with his threat (gainst Behoboam and its later modification 
(2 Chron. xii. 5-8), reminds us of Micah opposing Hezekiah 
(Jer. xxvi. 17 K). The position assumed by Hanaui towards 
Asa, when he invoked the aid of Syria, is precisely the same 
as that of Isaiah in relation to Ahaz, — as there is also a close 
resemblance generally between both events. like the man 
of God in Bethel, Hosea and Amos prophesied against the 
" high places of Aven " (Hos. x. 8), and the " altars of Bethel " 
(Amos ill 14, ix. 1). When Amos, in consequence of the 
divine call (Amos vii 1 5), leaves his home and betakes him- 
self to Bethel, the chief seat of the Israelitish image-worship. 



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IMTBODUCnOK. 19 

in order to prophesy against the idolatrous kingdom, is 
there not in this a repetition of the history of the prophet 
in 1 Kings ziii.? And when Hanani, in consequence of 
denouncing Asa, is thrown into prison, is this not a kind of 
prelude to the subsequent fate of Micaiah the son of Imlah 
(1 Kings xxii), and of Jeremiah (Jer. xxxii.)? Moreover, 
Ahijah's sjmbolization and confirmation of what he predicted, 
by rending into twelve pieces a new garment (a symbol of 
the kingdom still undivided and strong), has its analogies in 
the history of the earlier prophets (1 Sam. xv. 26—29) as in 
that of the later (Jer. xxiL). It is only such signs (oviBto) 
as that by which the prophet who came from Judah to Bethel 
confirmed his prophecy (1 Kings xiii 3), that almost wholly 
disappear from the later history of the prophets, though even 
Isaiah does not disdain to ofifer King Ahaz a sign in verifica- 
tion of his prophetic testimony (Isa. vii. 11). 

No essential difference exists between the prophecy of 
earlier and that of later times ; in particular, we see it is the 
same spirit which from the first, and all through, unites the 
prophets of both kingdoms, notwithstanding the diversity of 
action which was necessitated by different circumstances. 
But differences do present themselves. The earlier prophets 
are exclusively occupied with the internal affairs of the king- 
dom, and do not as yet draw within their range the history 
of other nations in the world with which that of Israel was 
closely interwoven ; their predictions are exclusively directed 
to the king and people of both kingdoms, and not yet to a 
foreign nation, — one of the neighbouring peoples, or what we 
might expect, the Egyptians and Syrians ; the Messianic 
element still lies in a non-transpatent chrysalis state ; and 
the poetry of thought and language, which afterwards ap- 
peared as the result of prophetic inspiration, announces itself 
only in some striking figures of speech. As we have seen, 
it is perhaps scarcely possible to pronounce a decided opinion 
regarding the style of delivery of these older prophets ; but, 
from a general impression of a sufficiently reliable kind, we 
may distinguish prophecy, down till about the time of King 
Joash, as the prophecy of overmastering action, from the 
later prophecy, which was that of convincing speech: as 
remarked by 6. Baur, in the case of the older prophets it is 



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20 iSAiAa 

only as a confirmation of clear inward conviction that concern 
is shown aboat words, — ^tbe modest attendants of powerful 
external action. Just for this reason they could not very 
well produce prophetic writings in the highest sense of the 
word. But even from the time of Samuel, the prophets as a 
body had made it a part of the duties of their calling to treat 
the history of their time in a theocratic-pragmatic way. The 
cloistral, but by no means quietistic, retirement of the life in 
the schools of the prophets was specially favourable in the 
northern kingdom to this literary occupation, and secured for 
it unquestioned liberty. From 2 Chron. xx. 34, however, we 
perceive that prophets in Judah likewise occupied themselves 
with the writing of history ; for the prophet Jehu belonged 
to Judah, and, as may be inferred from 2 Chron. xix. 1-3, 
lived in Jerusalem. 

The literature of predictive writings, however, properly so 
called, had begun in the time of Jehoram king of Judah 
with the " visi(»i " (l^W) of Obadiah, — for we think we have 
proved elsewhere' that this pamphlet against Edom was 
occasioned by the calamity mentioned in 2 Chron. xxL 16, 
17, to which also Joel and Amos refer. Obadiah was 
followed by Joel, who had before him the prophecy of the 
former, introducing into the wider and fuller circle of his 
own publication, not only matter, but also expressions, found 
in the prophecy of Obadiah. Here again the prophetic 
literature, in the higher sense, shows how it grew out of the 
prophetico-historical literature; for Joel informs us of the 
result of the penitential worship which had been brought 
about through his appeal, in a historical passage (IL 18, 19a) 
connecting the two parts of his writings. It is now the 
fashion to bring him down into post-exilic times, but this is 
one of the worst fruits of the forced consistency of Penta- 
teuch - criticism : nothing is more certain than that he 
flourished during the first half of the reign of Joash the king 
of Judah.* Obadiah and Joel were contemporaries of Elisha. 

' In the essay, "When did Obadiah Prophesy?" Zeittchri/i /Ur da* 
gesamtnte bUheritehe Thtohgie uml Kirche, ISfil, p. 91 ff. 

* See my essay, " Two certain Results regarding the Prophecy of Joel," 
in the same jonmal, 1861, p. 306 ff. ; cf. Le Prophiu Joel nach E. Le 
Savoureus, ron Ant J. Baurogartuer, Paris 1888. 



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IKTBOD0CTION. 21 

Elisha himself wrote nothing ; but from the schook under his 
guidance there proceeded, not merely prophetic deeds, but also 
prophetic writings; and it is significant that the writings which 
bear the name of Jonah, whom an ancient Haggada describes 
as one of the "sons of the prophets" (DtJ'ain yn) of the 
school of Elisha, do not so much belong to the prophetic 
literature, in the higher sense, as rather to the prophetico- 
histozical, and, in fact, to the historical writings by prophets. 
An approximation to the time when Jonah was sent to 
Kineveh may seem from 2 Kings xiv. 25 — according to which 
Jonah the son of Amittai, of 6ath-hepher, in the tribe of 
Zebolun, had predicted the restoration of the kingdom of 
Israel to its promised extent — a prediction which was 
fulfilled in Jeroboam the son of Joash, the third of his house 
after Jehu, and which thus was issued in the beginning of the 
reign of Jeroboam II., if not even under Joash. The mission 
to Nineveh may belong to an earlier period than this predic- 
tion. A glance at the Book of Amos, on the other hand, 
shows us that at the time when this prophet flourished, 
Assyria was about to arise again. The indication of time, 
" two years before the earthquake " (Amos i 1), fixes nothing 
for us. But if Amos prophesied " in the days of Uzziah king 
of Judah, and of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel," 
then — assuming that, according to 2 Kings xiv. 23, Jero- 
boam II. had reigned forty-one years, from the fifteenth year 
of Amaziah, and was thus for fourteen years contemporary 
with Amaziah, and for twenty-seven years with IJzziah — bis 
period of activity lay in the last twenty -seven years of 
Jeroboam's reign. When he appeared, the kingdom of Israel 
was still at the height of its power which had been secured 
through the efforts of Jeroboam, while the kingdom of Judah 
was yet in the low estate into which it had fallen under 
Amaziah ; for both, he predicts a common fate to befall them 
at the hands of Assyria, which, though not mentioned, is never- 
theless clearly meant The beginning of the public ministry 
of HosEA. comes into contact, at most, with the close of the 
ministry of Amos. The symbolical portion (chaps. i.-iii) 
with which his book begins takes us to the last five years of 
Jeroboam's reign, and the subsequent prophetic discourses are 
not out of accord with the statement in chap. i. 1 (which is 



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22 ISAIAH. 

ftx>m a later hand), according to which this prophet continued 
to prophesy under Hezekiah, and thus till the fall of Samaria, 
in the sixth year of Hezekiah. After Hosea, the Ephraim- 
itish Jeremiah, appeared Isaiah, who according to chap. vi. 
was called in the last year of Uzziah, about twenty-five years 
after the death of Jeroboam IL His younger contemporary 
was MiOAH, of Moresheth, who, according to chap. L 1, did 
not appear till some time within the reign of Jotham, and 
whose book, according to the inscription " concerning Samaria 
and Jerusalem," must have been composed after the fall of 
Samaria in the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign (with which 
also the narrative in Jer. xxvL 17 IT. agrees), so that 
his ministry thus began and ended within the far longer 
ministry of Isaiah. The same remark holds good of Nahum, 
the Elkoshite, whose " burden of Nineveh " closes the pro- 
phetic writings of the Assyrian period: he prophesied after 
the defeat of Sennacherib, when the power of Assyria was 
broken; but the yoke on Judah's neck (L 13) was to be 
viewed as broken only if Assyria did not rise again. Nahum 
was followed by Habakkok, who, among the twelve minor 
prophets, was the last of the Isaianic type, and began to 
announce a new era of judgment, — the Chaldean. He 
prophesied before Zephaniah and Jeremiah,* during the reign 
of Josiah, and possibly even as early as Manasseh's time 

With Zephaioah, then, begins the series of prophets of the 
type of Jeremiah, whom he resembles in following older 
prophets, and reproducing their materials and words in a 
kind of mosaic Jkbemiah, according to the opening verse 
in his prophecy, was called in the thirteenth year of Josiah's 
reign ; hence he began his public ministry before Zephaniah, 
— ^for internal grounds * compel us to place the prophecies of 
the latter after the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign. Jere- 
miah's ministry in Judaea, and iSnally in I^ypt, lasted more 
than eighty years. In his last prophetic discourse (chap, zliv.) 
he gives a pledge of the certain fulfilment of its threats, in 
the approaching fall of Pharaoh-Hophrah, who in the year 
570 B.C. lost throne and life in the same place where his 
great-grand&ther Psammetichos, a century before, had seized 

*■ See my Oommentsry on these prophets. 1843. 

* See my article on Zephaniah in Henog'a Oydopoedia. 



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niTEODUCTlON. 23 

the Egyptian crown. Contemporaneously with Jeremiah, 
though without knowing him personally, so far as we are 
aware, "RzinrTHT. wrought in the same spirit among the exiles 
of Judah. According to chap. L 1, 2, his call took place in 
the thirtieth year, i.e. of the era of Nabopolassar, which is 
nearly the fifth year after the captivity of Jehoiakim, 
595 KG. The latest date associated with his ministry (xxix. 
17) is the twenty-seventh year of the captivity, which is the 
sixteenth after the destruction of Jerusalem, — the period 
between Nebnchadnezzar's raising of the si^e of Tyre and 
his expedition against Egypt. We thus know of a ministry 
of twenty-two years on the part of this prophet, who, when 
called, may have already been older than the stUl very youth- 
ful Jeremiah. Jeremiah and Ezekiel are the two great 
prophets who spread their praying and protecting hands over 
Jerusalem as long as possible, and when the catastrophe was 
inevitable, saved it even in its fall Their announcements, 
together with the prophetic sermon in Isa. chaps. xL-lxvi., 
have bridged over the chasm of the exile, and laid the 
foundation of the restored national church of post -exilian 
times. This community was cheered and encouraged by 
Hagoai, in the second year of Darius Hystaspes, through his 
prediction of the glory in store for the temple, now rising 
anew from its ruins, and for the house of David, which was 
again coming to honour in Zerubbabel. Only two months 
later Zechabiah appeared: his last predictive discourse 
belongs to the third year of Darius Hystaspes, the year after 
the promulgation of the edict requiring the building of the 
temple to be continued. The predictions of the second 
portion of his book (chaps, ix.— xiv.) are thoroughly eschato- 
logical and apocalyptic, and make use of older circumstances 
and utterances of prophets as emblems of the final future. 
Prophecy was now silent for a considerable time, until the 
last prophet-voice of the Old Covenant was heard in Malachi. 
His book accords with the state of things found by Nehemiah 
on the occasion of his second stay in Jerusalem under Darius 
Nothus ; and it was his peculiar calling in connection with 
the history of redemption to predict the speedy advent of the 
messenger appointed to precede the coming of the Lord, — 
namely, El^ah the prophet, — and that the foremnner would 



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24 ISAIAH. 

then be followed by the Lord Himself, as " the Angel of the 
Covenant " (n*!?'? Wt"?), the Messenger or Mediator of a New 
Covenant 

This survey shows that the arrangement of the "later 
prophets" in the Canon is not strictly chronological The 
three " greater " prophets, who are so called because of the 
extent of their books of prophecy, stand tc^ether; and the 
twelve " minor " prophets, because of the smaller extent of 
their books of prophecy, are conjoined in a /ttovojSt/SXo?, as 
Melito calls it, which is named ">fe'y D*3B', in the Masora "Vy? 
(="'?? T?"), in the Hellenistic dialect ol SmSexa (Wisd. 
xlix. 10 ; Josephns, e. Apion, L 8 ; of Ensebius, Hist. EecUs, 
iii. 10), but also r^ Bt»SeKaivp6<j>t)Top (the Book of the Twelve 
Prophets). Within this collection of Jbhe smaller prophetical 
books, chronological order is so far observed as that they fall into 
three groups, representing three periods of prophetic literature, 
viz. prophets of the Assyrian period (Hosea to Kahum), pro- 
phets of the Chaldean period (Habakkuk and Zephaniah), and 
prophets of the post-exilian period (Haggai to Malachi). 
There is, moreover, an evident desire to join, as far as possible, 
a prophet belonging to the kingdom of Israel with one belong- 
ing to the kingdom of Judah, — thus, Hosea with Joel, Amos 
with Obadiah, Jonah with Micah, Nahum with Habakkuk. 
Besides this, however, Hosea stands first, not so much because 
the opening word in his book (viz. n^nR, " beginning ") made 
this an appropriate one with which to begin the collection, — 
still less because (as is stated in Bathra 146) of the four 
prophets, Hosea and Isaiah, Amos and Micah, he was the first 
to be called, — ^but (in the same way as, among the Pauline 
letters, the Epistle to the Bomans is placed first) because his 
book is the largest; and this principle of arrangement becomes 
more prominent in the Septuagint, in which Hosea comes first 
with fourteen chapters, while Amos follows with nine, then 
Micah with seven, Joel with three, Obadiah with one ; a new 
series next begins with Jonah. The reason why, in the 
Hebrew Canon, Joel immediately follows Hosea, may lie in 
the contrast between the complaint of Joel over the all-parch- 
ing heat and the all-devouring swarms of insects on the one 
hand, and the illustrations from vegetable life — bright, fresh, 
and fragrant — at the dose of Hosea on the other. Ahos 



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INTBODUOTION. 25 

then succeeds Joel, because, taking up again the announcement 
of judgment with which the latter concludes (Joel iv. 16), he 
opens his book with the words, "Jehovah will roar out of 
Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem." Obaduh follows, 
on account of the mutual relation between Obad. 19 and 
Amos ix. 12. ^nd Jonah comes after Obadiah, for the latter 
begins, " We have beard tidings from Jehovah, and a messenger 
is sent among the nations," and Jonah was such a messenger. 
Similar reasons of a more accidental character aided in the 
combination of a Judaic with an Israelitish prophet. The 
fact that Zepbaniah follows Habakkuk is explained on such a 
ground, which happens also to accord with the chronological 
order ; for a catchword in the prophecy of Zephaniah (L 7), 
" Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God," is taken 
from Habakkuk (ii 20). The post-exilian prophets (called in 
the Talmud D^3inKn D^^n^n, " the last prophets ") then form 
the close, necessarily following in the order of time and in 
accordance with the contents of the books ; for, like the trans- 
position of Joel into the post-exilian period, the transposition 
of Malachi into the time before Ezra is one of the evil results 
of forced consistency in Pentateuchal criticism.' 

We now return to the so-called Greater Prophets. These 
immediately follow the Book of Kings, which is now divided 
into two parts ; and at the head, in the Hebrew as well as in 
the Alexandrian and Syriac Canon, stands Isaiah. Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, — such is the Masoretic arrangement,^ in 
accordance with the chronological order of their appearance. 
In the manuscripts, particularly the Crerman and French, an- 

* From the &ct that no trace of any reference to the Priest-code is found in 
HaUchi, but rather, on the other hand, more reference to Deuteronomy, — 
for to him the Levite is identical with the priest (ii. 4-7), his proscribing 
of mixed marriages (ii. II) rests on Deut rii. 3 (but cf. also Ezra iz. 14), 
and his requirement of the tithe and the heave-offering (iiL 8-12) is stated 
in Deuteronomic language in Deut. zii. 6, si. 17, — one must draw another 
inference than that folse conclusion of Pentateuchal criticism. 

* In Oehla vie-oehla, indeed, the citations from Isaiah follow those from 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel ; but when the Masora reckons Isa. xviL 3, ^n 

D>tra3n, «.«. the middle verse of the division called the D*K*a}i it ia 

understood that Isaiah is the first prophet following after the series from 
Joshua to Kings. 



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26 I6AUH. 

otW arrangement is occasionally found, — Kings, Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, Isaiah : this is the order laid down in the Baraitha 
(i.e. the collection of treatises not taken into the official 
Mishna) regarding the consecution of the Biblical books and 
their authors, and the regulating principle here was, as shown 
in the Gtemara,' affinity of contents. Jeremiah follows the 
Book of Kings because his prophecies almost wholly relate to 
the Chaldean catastrophe, with which the Book of Kings con- 
cludes ; and Isaiah follows Ezekiel, whose book ends with 
consolation, because the hortatory portion of Isaiah is consola- 
tion throughout* In opposition to this Talmudic arrangement, 
— ^which Lagarde (Symmieta, p. 142) and others, following 
Eichhom, erroneously regard as meant to be chronological, but 
which Comill (Jeremia und seine Zeit, 1880) thinks was in- 
tended to express progressive estimation of the worth of the 
several works, — the order given in the Masora, for which 
better reasons can be assigned, and which is further attested 
by the earliest ecclesiastical writers (Melito, Origen, and 
Jerome), has justly maintained its superiority. 

1 The explanation is not a folse one, but neither is it exhaustive. The 
Baraitha regards Jeremiah as the author not merely of the book contain- 
ing his prophecies but also of the Book of Kings, so that " Kings" and 
"Jeremiah" inseparably cohere, forming the linkp uniting the "former 
propheta" with the "later prophets ;" see Marx (Dalman), Traditio Bab- 
binorum vdtrrima d» librorum V. T. ordine atqut origxTU, 1884, pp. 34-37. 

* It is precisely with reference to chaps. xL-lxvi that Isaiah is regarded 
as the prophet of comfort xor' i^tx')' i ^ ^^^^ according to Berachoth &7i, 
whoever sees Isaiah in a dream may look for consolation ; and according 
to the Midrash on the Lamentations, all the ill that Jeremiah predicted 
was by Isaiah turned beforehand into good. 



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INTRODUCTION 

TO 

THE BOOK OP ISAIAH, 

SSPECIALLT THE FIBST PABT, CBAPS. L-XXXIX. 

i 1. The Time of the Prophet. 

The first reqaisite for an xuderstanding and appreciation of 
the prophecies of Isaiah is the knowledge of his time, and of 
the periods during which he exercised his ministry. The 
first period embraces the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham. The 
starting-point is determined in accordance with the view 
taken of chap, vl ; but, in any case, Isaiah appeared about 
the end of Uzziah's reign, and thereafter laboured continuously 
through the sixteen years of Jotham's reign. The first twenty- 
seven years of the fifty-two during which Uzziah reigned run 
parallel with the last twenty-seven of the forty-one during 
which Jeroboam II. ruled. The kingdom of Israel, under 
Joash and his son Jeroboam II., and the kingdom of Judah, 
under Uzziah and bis son Jotham, each passed through a 
season of outward splendour greater in height and duration 
than had ever been previously experienced. In proportion 
as the glory of the one kingdom faded, that of the other 
flourished ; the bloom of the northern kingdom grew fainter 
as that of the south grew brighter and excelled the other. 
But outward splendour, in this case as in the former, carried 
within it the seeds of ruin and decay ; for prosperity degene- 
rated into luxury, and the worship of Jehovah stiffened into 
idolatry. It was during this last and longest season of pro- 
sperity in Judah that Isaiah appeared, called to the sad task 

n 



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28 ISAIAH. 

of vainly preaching repentance, and therefore also of announc- 
ing the judgment of hardening and devastation, of the ban 
and banishment The second period of his ministry extends 
from the accession of Ahaz to that of Hezekiah. Daring these 
sixteen years three events occurred, all combining to bring on 
a new and momentous turn in the fate of Judah. In place 
of the worship of Jehovah, which had been conducted under 
Uzziah and Jotham with regularity and in external con- 
formity to the law, open idol-worship of the most varied and 
abominable character commenced with the reign of Ahaz. 
Then were resumed and continued the hostilities already 
begun under Jotham's reign by Fekah the king of Israel, and 
Bezin the king of Damascene Syria : the Syro-Ephraimitish 
war threatened Jerusalem with the express purpose of destroy- 
ing the Davidic kingdom. lu this distress, Ahaz invoked 
the aid of Tiglath-Fileser the king of Assyria ; he made flesh 
his arm, and thereby entan^ed the people of Jehovah with 
the kingdom of the woiid in a manner unknown before, so 
that they thenceforward completely lost their independence. 
The kingdom of the world is the Kimrodic form of the 
heathen state. Its characteristic feature is the constant 
endeavour to burst beyond its natural boundaries, not merely 
for purposes of self-defence or revenge, but for conquest, and 
to throw itself upon foreign nations like an avalanche, that it 
may become an ever-growing and world-embracing colossus. 
Assyria and Some are the first and the last members of the 
world-kingdom that brought enslavement and oppression on 
Israel throughout her history. The times of Isaiah saw the 
approach of the calamity. Placed thus on the verge of this 
new and important change in history, and embracing the 
whole with bis far-seeing eye, Isaiah is, so to speak, the 
universal prophet of Israel The third period of his active 
ministry extends from the beginning to nearly the end of 
Hezekiah's reign. Under this king the nation rose almost in 
the same d^ree as it had fallen during the reign of Ahaz. 
He forsook the course of his idolatrous father, and restored 
the worship of Jehovah. The mass of the people, indeed, 
remained at heart unchanged, but Judah had once more an 
upright king who listened to the word of the prophets at his 
side, — two pillars of the state, men of might in prayer 



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I 1. THE TIME OF THE PROPHET. 29 

(2 CfaroD. xxxii 20). When it came therefore to a breaking 
off from the .AissTtian domination, this was certainly an act 
of unbelief on the part of the nobles and the mass of the 
people, since they relied on help from Egypt, — an expectation 
which caused ruin to the northern kingdom in the sixth 
year of Hezekiah's reign, — but, on the part of Hezekiah, an 
act of faith in Jehovah (2 Kings xviii. 7). When Senna- 
cherib then, the son and successor of Sargon, was coming 
against Jerusalem, conquering the countiy and laying every- 
Uiing waste, while Egjrpt did not bring the help that had 
been promised, the carnal defiance of the magnates and the 
mass of the people brought its own punishment But Jehovah 
averted the worst of the impending calamity ; the flower of 
the Assyrian host was destroyed in a night, so that, as in the 
Syro-Ephraimitish war, now also there was no proper invest- 
ment of Jerusalem; thus the faith of the king and of the 
better portion of the people received a reward for their quiet 
resting in the word of promise. There was still a power in the 
state that preserved it from ruin ; and the coming doom, 
shown in chap, vi to be inevitable, was yet once more delayed 
when the last annihilating blow was to have been expected. 
It was in this miraculous deliverance, which Isaiah predicted, 
and for which be prepared the way, that the public ministry 
of the prophet reached its calmination. Isaiah is the Amos 
of the kingdom of Judah ; for, like the latter, he has the 
dreadful vocation to see and proclaim the fact that the time 
of forgiveness for Israel as a people and kingdom is gone for 
ever. But he was not likewise the Hosea of the kingdom of 
Judah, for the dreadful call to accompany the fatal course of 
his coontty with the knell of prophetic announcements was 
not assigned to Isaiah, but to Jeremiah. This is the Hosea 
of the southern kingdom ; for to Isaiah was granted what 
was refused to his successor Jeremiah, once more to restrain, 
through the might of his prophetic power, arising from the 
deep and strong spirit of faith, the coming of the night, which 
threatened at the time of the Assyrian judgment to engulf 
his peopla The Assyrian oppressions ceased, and, so far as 
Judah was concerned, were not to be renewed. The view 
beyond Assyria was clear, and prophecy was about to be 
concerned with the next world - kingdom, now cautiously 



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30 ISAIAH. 

approaching. Beyond the noon-tide of his public ministry 
there remained the evening of life, which he cannot have 
idly spent, devoid of word or deed. But though he no 
longer took part in public affairs, he lived to the beginning 
of Manasseh'a reign, when, according to credible tradition ^ 
to which allusion is made in Heb. zi. 37 (" they were sawn 
asunder"), he fell a sacrifice to the heathenism which had 
once more become predominant. 

I have purposely refrained from assigning numbers which 
might indicate the length of reign of the four (or, including 
Manasseh, five) kings of Judah under whom Isaiah exercised 
Iiis ministry. It is certainly difficult enough to make a 
thoroughly harmonious and consistent arrangement of the 
dates given in the Book of Kings and also in the Chronicles ; 
but at present, after the monument literature of Babylonia 
and Assyria has also come forward as a witness, it is un- 
deniably certain that the Biblical numbers assigned to the 
reigns of kings occasionally need correction, though in other 
respects they are proved to be true by indubitable Assyrio- 
logical testimonies. 

The founder of the received Biblical chronology was James 
Ussher (Usserius), in his AnnaUa Veteris et Novi Teetamenti, 
1650-54,' a work at which he had laboured for sixty years. 
We give here a tabular view of his reckoning in that portion 
of the history of the kings under whom those prophets flour- 
ished who committed their prophecies to writing. The 
Biblical reckoning of this section rests on trustworthy 
tradition, but in a number of instances it is uncertain how 

' According to tHe Talmudic treatise, Jebamoth 496, it was found in a 
genealogical liat of a Jerusalem family ; and according to Satihedrin 1036 
in a Targum on 2 Kings xxi. 16 (published by Assemani, OaUd. Vatic 
i. 4S2X it is amplified in a Jerusalem Targum which the Oodex ReudUin 
puts in the margin, Ixvi. 1 ; and appears in simpler form (compared with 
the Targum) in the Apocryphal "Ascension of Isaiah" (edited in the 
Ethiopia text by Rich. Laurence in 1819, and by Aug. Dillmann in 
1877 ; in Greek, from a MS. in the National Library at Paris, by 0. von 
Qebhanlt in Hilgenfeld's Zeittchrift, xxL 330 if-X to which Origen appeals. 
Begarding a Persian form of this "Ascension," or rather the kindred 
" Vision of Isaiah," see Spiegel, Literatur der Panen, p. 128 ff, 

* Gustav Baur also made Ussher's system the basis of his TabelUn Uher 
die OeickidUe de$ uraeL Voiktt, 1848, except where Prideaux (on Ezra and 
Neheraiah) and Bunsen (on Egypt) offered something better. 



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I 1. THE TIME OF TUB PROPHET. 



31 



the Scripture historian himself counted the begiuning and the 
end of the reigns, and the mutual relation of these in both 
kingdoms. Alongside of Ussher's calculations, accordingly, I 
place, by way of example, those of my friend Aug. Kohler 
(in the appendix to his Biblische Oeschichte des A. T., 1884). 
The figures within parentheses beside the name of the king 
indicate the duration of his rule, and the large numbers give 
the year in which the monarch in question ascended the 
throne. 



JUDAH. 


Ussher. 


Kohler. 


Israel. 


Uasher. 


Kohler. 




B.C. 


B.C. 




B.C. 


B.C. 


Atbaliah (6), . 


884 


881 


Jehu (28), 
Jehoanaz (17), . 


884 


881 


Joash (40), 


878 


875 


856 


853 


Ainaziah (29), . 


839 


836 


Jehoash (16), . 
Jeroboam 11.(41), 


839 


838 


Uzziah (52X . 


810 


807 


825 


822 


1 






Zediariah {^\ . 


773 


769 






Shallum (^X • 


772 


768 


Jotham (16X ' 






Menahem (10^ . 


772 


768 


Sole ruler, . 


758 


755 


Pekahiah (21 . 


761 


758 


Ahaz (16). 1 


742 


739 


Pekah (20), 


759 


756 


Hezekiah f29), .j 
Manasseh (55^ . 


726 


724 


Interregnum . 




736 


698 


695 


Hoshca (9X 


730 


727 


Amon (2), . 


643 


640 


FallofSamaria, 


722 


719 


Josiah (31X 


641 


638 









This table is merely intended to render the computation of 
the Books of Kings and Chronicles as objective as possible. 
Doubt remains especially as to the interregnum between 
Pekah and Hoshea ; perhaps such a blank should be excluded, 
and the reign of Pekah made to extend to 727 B.c. No 
account is taken in the table of the Assyrian chronology : 
Kohler himself is of opinion that it helps us in several 
instances to the actually correct dates. He has already 
shown ^ that what is narrated in Isaiah, chaps, xxxviii., xxxix., 
occurred in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign ; and, on 
the other hand, what we read in Isaiah, chaps, xxxvi., xxxvii., 
happened in his twenty-fourth year (701 Rc). 

The following durations of reigns are definitely fixed by 
the testimony of the Assyrian monuments : — 

Shalmaneser II., .... 860-824 b.c. 
Tiglath-Pileser II., . . . 745-727 „ 

* In the Zeittehrift fiir luaieritche Theologie, 1874, pp. 96-98. 



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32 ISAIAH. 

Shalmaneser IV. 727-722 KC 

Sargon, 722-705 „ 

The following names and dates are also given : — 
Ahab (battle at Karkar between Aleppo and 
Hamatb, against the kings of Damascus and 
Hamatb, with their allies ; unless, as Well- 
haasen and Kamphausen suppose, Ahab is 
erroneously named instead of his son, 
Joram), ..... 854 RC. 

Jehu (tributary) 842 „ 

Azariah (i.e. Uzziah, in connection with Tig- 

latb-Pileser IL), . . 740 „ 

Menahem (made tributary by Pul, w. Tiglath- 

Pileser IL*), . . . . 738 „ 

Pekah (dethroned by Tiglath-Pileser), . 734 „ 

Fall of Samaria, 722 „ 

Campaign of Sennacherib against Samaria, 701 „ 

See the thorough investigations of Schrader's Cuneiform In- 
scriptions and the Old Testament, 2nd edition ; ' and the sum- 
maries of Friedrich Delitzsch, under the article, "Sanherib,"in 
Herzog's Real-Encydop., continued by Hauck, Band xiL (1884). 
To these Assyrian synchronisms regard is shown, either 
entirely or in great measure, in the calculations of Well- 
hausen in his article on " The Chronology of the Book of 
Kings after the Division of the Kingdom," in the Jahrbilcher 
fur BeuiseJu Theologie, 1875, pp. 607-640 ; cf. Kamphausen, 
in Stade's Zeitschrift, iii. (1883) pp. 193-202, and in his 
work, The Chronology of the HArew Kings, 1883 ; and of 
Duncker in his Hidory of Antiquity, 5th edition, 1878. 
Following S. R Driver in his Isaiah, his Life and Times 
(1888, p. 13), we give here the estimates of these three 
writers, passing over the otherwise important article in The 
Church Qtiarterly Review for Jan. 1886, pp. 257-271, inas- 
much as the author is unknown to us, and an anonymous 
authority is of no weight 

* His name was probably Pulu (Puru) before he rose to be ruler of the 
Babylono- Assyrian kingdom. 

' Translated into English by the Bev. Professor Owen C. Whitehouse, 
London 1886-88, 2 vols.— Tr. 



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§ 1. THE TIME OF TEE PROPHET. 



33 



JUDAH. 


i 


i 


i 


ISRAEU 


4 


a 


i 




^ 


^ 


<s 




^ 


^ 




B.C. 


B.O. 


B.C. 




B.a 


B.C. 


B.C. 


Athaliah (6X . 


84? 


843 


843 


Jehn (28X 
Jebuanaz (17), . 


84? 


843 


843 


Joash (40), . 


83? 


837 


837 


81? 


815 


815 


Amaziah (iff), 


800 


797 


797 


Jehoash (16), . 
Jeroboam II. (41X 


801 


798 


798 


UKiah(32X . 


791 


778 


792 


786 


782 


790 










Zechariah (J), . 


746 


741 


749 










Shallum (-^X • 


745 


741 


749 


Jotbam (16), . 
Sole niler, . 


(760) 


(761) 




Menahem (10^ . 
Pekahiab (2i . 


744 


741 


748 


740 


736 


740 


wanting 


738 


738 


Ahaz (16X . 


735 


736 


734 


Pekah (20X 


734 


736 


736 


Hezekiah (29), 
Manasseh (66), 


715 


716 


728 


Hosbea (9), 


733 


730 


734 


686 


686 


697 


Fallof&maria, 


722 


722 


722 


Ainon (2), 


641 


641 


642 










Josiah (31), . 


639 


639 


640 











Tlie figures do not give here the year of accession to the 
throne, but the complete first year of the reign of the monarch 
which followed his accession. Those of Duncker prefer, in 
seven places, instead of the Biblical figures, other numbers, 
which make Jeroboam II. to have come to the throne 
earlier than Uzziah, and Jotham earlier than Pekah, — an 
unfounded conjecture, as even Kampbausen thinks. A 
strange feature in Wellliausen's arrangement is the elimina- 
tion of Pekahiah (but cf. his Prolegomena, p. 475). Kamp- 
bausen, in six instances, lengthens or shortens the numbers of 
the years indicating the duration of reigns (Amaziah, 19 ; 
Uzziah, 42 ; Ahaz, 20 ; Manasseh, 45 ; Menahem, 3 ; Pekah, 
6) ; but, without claiming mathematical exactness for these 
corrections, he is rather on the whole convinced that, in the 
Biblical chronology of the period of the kings, we are on 
really historical ground. It may thus perhaps be necessary 
also to maintain, with W. Kobertson Smith (2%e Prophets in 
Israel, pp. 413-419), that the year of Samaria's fall was 
not one of the last years of Ahaz, but one of the first of 
Hezekiah. 

If we place the death of Uzziah in the year 740, and the 
defeat of Sennacherib before Jerusalem in the year 701, 
then Isaiah's public ministry embraced a period of forty 
years. 

VOL, L C 



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34 ISAUH. 

§ 2. 7^ Arrangement of the Collection. 

The collection of Isaiah's prophecies is, on the vhole, 
chronologically arranged. The dates in vL 1, viL 1, xiv. 28, 
XX. 1, xxxvi 1, are points in a continaous line. The thre^ 
main divisions also form a chronol<^cal series; for chaps. 
i-vL set before us the ministry of Isaiah under Uzziah and 
Jotham; chaps, vii-xxxix., his ministry under Ahaz and 
onwards to the last years of Hezekiah ; while chaps. xL-lxvi 
— their authenticity being assumed — are in any case the 
latest productions of the prophet. In the middle division, 
likewise, the group in chaps. viL-xiL, belonging to the time 
of Ahaz, chronologically precedes the prophecies in chaps; 
xiii.— xxxix., belonging to the days of Hezekiah. In several 
instances, however, the chronological arrangement is set aside 
in favour of an arrangement according to the subject-matter. 
Thus the discourse in chap. L is not the oldest, but is placed 
first as an introduction to all the rest ; and the account of 
the prophet's consecration, given in chap, vi, which should 
stand at the beginning of the group which belongs to the 
reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, is placed at the end, where it 
looks backwards and forwai-ds, like a prediction in the process 
of being fulfilled. The Ahaz group, which follows in chaps, 
vii.— xiL, is a whole moulded at one casting. But in the 
group belonging to Hezekiah's time (chaps. xiiL-xxxix.) the 
chronological order is again interrupted several times. The 
predictions against the nations, from xiv. 24 to chap, xxii., 
which belong to the Assyrian period, are introduced by a 
" burden " concerning Babylon, the city of the world-power 
(chaps. xiiL-xiv. 23), and closed by one concerning Tyre, the 
city of the world's commerce, which was to be destroyed by the 
Chaldeans (chap. xxiiL) ; while a shorter " burden " concerning 
Babylon, in chap, xxi 1-10, divides the cycle into two halves, 
and a collection of prophecies regarding the nations converges 
in the great apocalyptic epilogue (chaps, xxiv.— xxvii.), like 
streams discharging themselves into a sea. Accordingly, the 
first portion of the Hezekiah group, of pre-eminently ethnic 
contents, is interwoven with Babylonian pieces which belong 
to divers points in the life of Isaiah. Another such piece is 
the great epilogue in chaps, xxxiv., xxxv., forming the last 



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S S. THE AKBANGEMENT OF THE COLLECTION. 35 

echo of the second portion of the Hezekiah group. This 
second portion is mainly occupied with the fate of Judah, the 
judgment which the Assyrian world-power executes upon 
Judah, and the deliverance that awaits it (chaps. xxviii.-xxxiii.): 
these announcements are closed with a solemn declaration, in 
chaps, xxxiv., xxxv., of the judgment of God on the world of 
Israel's enemies on the one hand, and the redemption of Israel 
on the other. This Babylonian portion is followed by the 
historical section in chaps. xxxvL-xxxix., which form the 
historical frame of Isaiah's predictions delivered near the 
time of the Assyrian catastrophe, and furnish us with the key 
for understanding not merely chaps. viL-xxxv., but also chaps. 
xL-lxvL 

If we take the Book of Isaiah, then, as a whole, in the 
form in which it lies before us, apart from critical analysis, it 
falls into two halves, chaps. L-xxxix., and chaps, xl.— Ixvi. 
The former subdivides into seven parts, the latter into three. 
The first half may be called the Assyrian, inasmuch as the 
point at which it aims and in which it terminates is the fall 
of Assyria ; the second may be called the Babylonian, as its 
final object is the deliverance from Babylon. The first half 
is not purely Assyrian, however; but among the Assyrian 
portions are inserted Babylonian pieces, and generally such as 
apocalyptically break through the limited horizon of the 
former. The seven portions of the first half are the following: 
1. Prophecies on the growth of obdura^ in the mass of the 
people (chapa ii.-vi.). 2. The consolation of Immanuel in the 
Assyrian oppressions (chaps, vii.— xiL). These two portions form 
a syzygy, ending with a psalm of the redeemed (chap, xii.), 
the last echo of the song at the Red Sea ; and are separated 
by the consecration of the prophet (chap, vi.), which looks 
both backward and forward : the opening discourse (ch^ffTl.), 
as a kind of prologue, forms the introduction to the whole. 
3. Prophecies of Judgment and salvation of the heathen (chaps. 
xiii.-xxiii.), chiefly belonging to the period of the judgment 
on Assyria, but enclosed and intersected by Babylonian pieces. 
A prophecy concerning Babylon (chap. xiii.-xiv. 23), the city 
of the world-power, forms its introduction ; while a prophecy 
concerning l^re (chap, xxiil), the city of the world's com- 
merce, which received its death-blow from the Chaldeans, 



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89 ISAUH. 

forms its conclusion ; and a second propbecy concerning the 
desert by the sea, i.e. Babylon (chap. xxL 1-10), forms the 
centre. 4. Then follows a great apocalyptic prophecy eon- 
eerning the judgment of the vxrld and the last things (chaps, 
xxiv.-xxvii,), affording a grand background to the cycle of 
prophecies concerning the nations, and with it forming a 
second syzygy. 5. A third syzygy begins with chaps. 
xxviii-xxxiiL : this cycle of prophecy is historical, and treats 
of the revolt from Assyria and its results. 6. With it is 
combined a far-reaching eschatological prophecy on the 
avenging and redemption of the Church (chaps, xxxiv., xxxv.), 
in which we already hear, as in a prelude, the keynote of 
chaps. x1.-lxvi. 7. After these three syzygies we are carried 
back (by chaps. xxxvL-xxxix.) in the first two historical 
accounts to the Assyrian period, while the other two show us, 
afar off, the entanglement with Babylon, which was then but 
about to begin. These four historical accounts, with the 
indications of their chronological order, are peculiarly arranged 
in such a way that half of them look backwards, half of them 
forwards ; they thus also fasten together the two halves of 
the whole book. The prophecy in chap, xxxix. 5-7 stands 
between the two halves like a sign-post, tjearing on its arm 
the inscription " Babylon " (^M). Thither tends the further 
course of Israel's history ; there is the prophet henceforward 
buried in spirit with his people ; there (in chaps. xl.-lxvi.) 
does he proclaim to the mourners of Zion the approaching 
deliverance. The trilogical arrangement of this book of con- 
solation may be regarded as proved ever since it was first 
observed and shown by Eiickert in 1831. It falls into three 
sections, containing three times three addresses (chaps. 
xl.-xlviii., xlix.-lvii., Iviii.— IxvL), with a kind of refrain at 
the close. 



§ 3. The Critical Questions. 

The collection of Isaiah's prophecies is thus a united whole, 
whose several parts have been skilfully and significantly 
arranged. This arrangement is worthy of the prophet 
Nevertheless, the present form of the work is not to be 
attributed to him, if (1) the prophecies in chaps. xiiL-xiv. 23, 



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S 8. THE CBITICAL QUESTIONS. 37 

xxi. 1-10, xxlii., xxiv.-xxvil, xxxiv. and xxxv. cannot Lave 
been composed by him ; and (2) if the historical accounts in 
chaps. xxxvi.-xxxix., which we find again in 2 Kings xviiL 13 
to XX. 19, are not records from Isaiah's pen. For if those 
prophecies be taken away, the beautiful whole, especially the 
book against the nations, tumbles to pieces into a confused 
qiiodlibet ; and if chaps. xxxvL-xxxix. were not directly com- 
posed by Isaiah, then neither can the arrangement of the 
whole be directly the work of Isaiah; for it is precisely 
chaps, xxxvl-xxxix. which form the clasp binding the two 
halves of the collection together. 

The critical treatment of Isaiah began in the following 
manner : — ^The commencement was made with the second part, 
Koppe first of all expressed doubt regarding the genuineness 
of chap. 1. ; then Doderlein expressed his decided suspicion 
as to the genuineness of the wliole ; and Justi, followed by 
Eichhorn, Paulus, and Bertholdt, raised the suspicion into 
confident assurance of spuriousness. The result thus attained 
could not possibly remain without reaction on the first part 
Kosenmiiller, who was always very dependent upon predeces- 
sors, was the first to deny the Isaian origin of the prophecy 
against Babylon, in chaps. xiii.-xiv. 23, though this is attested 
by the heading ; Justi and Paulus undertook to find further 
reasons for the opinion. Greater advance was now made. 
Along with the prophecy against Babylon in chaps, xiii.- 
xiv. 23, the other, in chap, xxi 1-10, was likewise condemned, 
and Bosenmiiller could not but be astonished when Gesenius 
let the former fall, but left the latter standing. There still 
remained the prophecy against Tyre, in chap. xxiiL, which, 
according as the announced destruction of Tyre was regarded as 
accomplished by the Assyrians or the Chaldeans, might either 
be left to Isaiah, or attributed to a later prophet imknown. 
Eichhorn, followed by BosenmuUer, decided that it was 
spurious; but Gesenius understood the Assyrians as the 
destroyers, and as the prediction consequently did not extend 
beyond the horizon of Isaiah, he defended its genuineness. 
Thus was the Babylonian series of prophecies set aside. The 
keen eyes of the critics, however, made still further dis- 
coveries. In chaps, xxiv.-xxvii., Eichhorn found plays on words 
that were unworthy of Isaiah, and Gesenius an allegorical 



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38 ISAUH. 

announcement of the fall of Babylon: botli accordingly 
condemned these three chapters, and Ewald transposed them 
to the time of Cambyses. With chaps, xxxiv., xxxv., on 
account of their relation to the second part, the procedure 
was shorter. Bosenmiiller at once pronounced them to be 
" a poem composed during the Babylonian exile, near its 
close." Such is the history of the origin of the criticism of 
Isaiah. Its first attempts were very juvenile. It was 
Gesenius, but especially Hitzig and Ewald, who first raised it 
to the eminence of a science. 

If we take our stand on this eminence, then the Book of 
Isaiah is an anthology of prophetic discourses by different 
authors. I have never found anything inherently objection- 
able in the view that prophetic discourses by Isaiah and 
by other later prophets may have been blended and joined 
together in it on a definite plan. Even in that case the collec- 
tion would be no play of chance, no production of arbitrary 
will Those prophecies originating in post-Isnian times are, 
in thought and the expression of thought, more nearly akin to 
Isaiah than to any other prophet ; they are really the homo- 
geneous and simultaneous continuation of Isaian prophecy, 
the primary stream of which ramifies in them as in the 
branches of a river, and throughout retains its fertilizing 
power. These later prophets so closely resembled Isaiah in 
prophetic vision, that posterity might on that account well 
identify them with him. They belong more or less nearly 
to those pupils of his to whom he refers, when, in chap. 
viiL 16, he entreats the Lord, "Seal instruction among my 
disciples." We know of no other prophet belonging to the 
kingdom of Judah, like Isaiah, who was surrounded by a band 
of younger prophets, and, so to speak, formed a school 
Viewed in this light, the Book of Isaiah is the work of his 
creative spirit and the band of followers. These later prophets 
are Isaian, — they are Isaiah's disciples ; it is bis spirit that 
continues to operate in them, like the spirit of Elijah in 
Eltsha, — nay, we may say, like the spirit of Jesus in the 
apostles ; for the words of Isaiah (viii. 18), "Behold, I and 
the chUdren whom God hath given me," are employed in the 
Epistle to the Hebrews (ii 13) as typical of Jesus Christ. In 
view of this fact, the whole book rightly bears the name of 



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{ 8. THE CBinCAI. QUXSTIOKS. 89 

Isaiah, inasmuch as he is, directly and indirectly, the author 
of all these prophetic discourses ; his name is the correct 
common-denominator for this collection of prophecies, ■which, 
with all their diversity, yet form a unity ; and the second 
half particularly (chaps. xL-lxvi.) is the work of a pupil 
who surpasses the master, though he owes the master every- 
thing. 

Such may possibly be the case. It seems to me even prob- 
able, and almost certain, that this may bo so ; but indubitably 
certain it is not, in my opinion, and I shall die without 
gettii^ over this hesitancy. For very many difficulties arise, 
— this first of all, that not a single one of the canonical 
books of prophecy has a similar phenomenon to present, ex- 
cepting only the Book of Zechariah, with chaps, ix.-xiv. of 
which the same is said to be the case as with Isaiah, chaps. 
xL-lxvi., with this difference merely, that whereas the latter 
are ascribed to a prophet who lived during the exile, chapa 
ix.— xiv. of Zechariah are attributed to one or two earlier 
prophets of pre-exile times. Stade has proved the post- 
exilian origin of Zechariah, chaps. ix.-xiv., also; and we 
may still continue to assume that it is the post-exilian — ^bnt, 
after chaps, i.— viii, much older — Zechariah himself who, in 
chaps, ix.— xiv., prophesies concerning the last days in figures 
borrowed from the past, and purposely makes use of older 
prophecies No other book of prophecy besides occasions like 
doubts as to ite unity of authorship. Even regarding the Book 
of Jeremiah, Hitzig allows that, though interpolated, it con- 
tains no spurious pieces. Something exceptional, however, 
may have happened to the Book of Isaiah. Tet it would cer- 
tainly be a strange accident if there should have been preserved 
a quantity of precisely such prophecies as carry with them, in 
so eminent a degree, so singularly, and in so matchless a 
manner, Isaiah's style. Strange, {^in, it would be that 
history knows nothing whatever regarding this Isaian series 
of prophets. And strange is it, once more, that the very 
names of these prophets have suffered the common fate of 
being forgotten, even although, in time, they all stood nearer 
to the collector than did the old prophet whom they had taken 
as their modcL Tradition, indeed, is anything but infallible, 
yet its testimony here is powerfully corroborated by the rela- 



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40 ISAUH. 

tion of Zeplianiab and Jeremiah — the two most reproductive 
prophets — not merely to chaps. xL— bcvL, but also to the 
\mdisputed portions of the first hal£ To all appearance thej 
had before them these prophecies, making these their model, 
and taking out passages for incorporation in their own pro- 
phecies, thus forming a kind of mosaic, — a fact which has 
been thoroughly investigated by Caspari, but which none of the 
modern critics as yet has carefully considered, and ventured, 
with like citation of proofs, to disprove. Further, though the 
disputed prophecies contain much that cannot be adduced from 
the remaining prophecies, — material which Driver, in his Isaiah 
(1888), has carefully extracted and elucidated, — ^}'et I am not 
convinced that the characteristically Isaian elements do not pre- 
ponderate. And, thirdly, the type of the disputed prophecies, 
which, if genuine, belong to the latest period of the prophet, 
does not stand in sharp contrast to the type of the remainder, — 
rather do the confessedly genuine prophecies lead us in many 
ways to the others ; the brighter form and the riclier eschato- 
logical contents of the disputed prophecies find their preludes 
there. And if the unity of Isaian authorship is actually given 
up, how many later authors, along with the great anonymous 
writer of chaps. xL-lxvl, have we to distinguish 1 To this 
query no one has yet given a satisfactory reply. Such are 
the considerations which, in the Isaian question, assuredly do 
not allow me to attain the assurance of mathematical certainty. 
Moreover, the influence of criticism on ex^esis in the Book 
of Isaiah amounts to nothing. If any one casts reproach on 
this commentary as uncritical, he will at least be unable to 
charge it with misinterpretation. Nowhere will it be found 
that the exposition does violence to the text in favour of a 
false apologetic design. 

When John Coleridge Patteson, the missionary bishop of 
Melanesia, undertook his last voyage of supervision among 
the islands, — a voyage which ended with his martyrdom 
on September 29, 1871, — he was studying, on board the 
schooner, the Book of Isaiah, with the help of this com- 
mentary, regarding which he wrote before on one occasion, 
" Delitzsch helps me much in Isaiah." His last letter speaks 
at the close about this commentary and Biblical criticism. 
Miss CL M. Yonge, in her biography, has not given this 



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S 4. EXPOSITION IN ITS PRESENT STATE. 41 

passage.* But doubtless it expressed bis deep and absorbing 
interest in the Divine word of prophecy, which at present 
almost completely disappears behind the tangled thorns of 
an overgrown criticism. Meanwhile, if we hold ourselves 
warranted, on the one hand, in objecting to that direction of 
criticism from which a naturalistic contemplation of the world 
demands foregone conclusions of a negative character, — on 
the other hand, we are certainly far from denying to criticism 
as such its weU-founded rights. 

§ 4 Exposition in its Present State. 

When the Chiirch, at the time of the Beformation, began 
to examine and sift its possessions that had been handed 
down by tradition. Biblical criticism also took its rise. At 
the same time,' Scripture exposition on historico-grammatical 
principles, conscious of its task, endeavoured to reach the one 
true meaning of Scripture, and put an end to the legerdemain 
of the " manifold sense of Scripture " which had been developed 
in accordance with tedious examples ; this advance was made 
imder the influence exerted by the revival of classical studies, 
and by the help of increased knowledge of Hebrew derived 
from Jewish teachers. For Isaiah, however, the Beformation- 
period itself did not accomplish mncL 

Calvin's Commentaries answer the expectations with which 
one goes to consult them ; on the other hand, Luther's Scholia 
are a second-hand and poor performance. The productions of 
Grotius, important enough in other fields, are in Isaiah, as 
throughout the prophets generally, of little consequence ; he 
mixes up the sacred with the profane ; and being unable to 
follow prophecy in its flight, be clips its wings. Aug. 
Varenius, of Bostock, one of the orthodox Lutherans, wrote 
a Commentary on Isaiah which is not to be despised even 
now ; but, though learned in many ways, it is the confused 
production of an undisciplined mind. But Camp^us 
VUringa (who died in 1722 as professor of theology at 
Franequer), by his Commentary in two folio volumes, which 
appeared in 1714, threw all the works of his predecessors 
into the shade. It is he who originated the historical 

I life of J. 0. PaUttm, vol iL p. 379 (c£ 268X 6th edition (1875X 



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42 ISAUH. 

method of expounding the prophets, and in this he has 
given us his own work as a model ; ^ but^ though starting with 
the correct principle that it does not exhaust the meaning of the 
prophet's words, he nevertheless, in the allegorical explanation 
appended to the grammatico-historical, shows that he is not 
yet quite free from the Cocceian method, which, without con- 
sidering the complex-apotelesmatic character of prophecy, 
reads in the prophets the most minute allusions to the 
history of the world and the Church. The shady sides of 
the commentary usually come before the reader first ; but the 
more he uses it, the more highly does he learn to value it^ 
There is deep research throughout, — nowhere a superabund- 
ance of dead and dry learning. The author's heart is present 
in Ids work. At times he pauses in the path of toilsome 
investigation, and gives vent to his thoughts in rapturous 
expressions. He sees and feels more deeply than Bishop 
Lowth, who keeps to the surface, alters the Masoretio text 
according to his taste,* and does not get beyond sesthetic 
admiration of the form. 

The era of modem exegesis begins with that destructive 
theology of the latter half of the eighteenth century which 
pulled down but could not build. This destruction, however, 
was not unproductive of good : the denial of the divine and 
eternal in Scripture has helped us to recognise its human 
and temporal aspects, the charm of its poetry, and — what is 
of still greater consequence — the concrete reality of its 
history. RoaenmilUer't Scholia (3 vols.; last edition, 1811— 
1820) are an industrious, clear, and elegant compilation, 
chiefly from Vitringa ; the sobriety of judgment displayed in 
selecting, and the dignified earnestness — far removed from all 
frivolity — deserve our praise. The Commentary of Gesenitis 
(in three parts, or with the translation, four parts, 1820- 
1821), which is more decidedly rationalistic, is also more 
independent in its exegesis, careful in its historical expositions, 
and especially distinguished for its pleasing and perspicuous 
style and the stores of learning gathered from all the literature 
on Isaiah, especially the new sources of grammatico-historical 
knowledge opened up since Yitringa's time. The Commentary 

1 See Diestel, GexhvMe da A. T. in der chrialichm Kirch*, 436-438. 
* Against hini, Eobler vrrote Vindiciae Uxtut Heb. Eiaiae, 1786. 



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I 4. EXPOSITION Ur ITS PKESENT STATE. 43 

of Hiizig (1833) remains his best work, eminent for its 
precision, acuteness, and originality of grammatical perception, 
its fine tact in discovering the train of thought, its pith and 
exactness in stating carefully considered results ; but it is 
also disfigured by reckless and pseudo-critical assertions of an 
arbitrary character, and by a designedly profane style of 
thought that remains unaffected by the spirit of prophecy. 
The Commentary of Hendewerk (2 vols. 1838-1843) is in 
-philological and historical exposition often very weak; the 
style is diffuse, and the eye of the disciple of Herbart is too 
dull to distinguish between Israelitish prophecy and heathen 
poetry, between the politics of Isaiah and those of Demos- 
thenes. Nevertheless, the careful dUigence and earnest 
endeavour to point out in Isaiah the germs of eternal verities, 
are unmistakeable. In the work of Ewald (translated into 
English; London 1875-1881) there is universally recognised 
his natural penetration, and the noble enthusiasm with which 
he throws himself into the contents of the prophetic books, 
in which he finds a perpetual present ; and his endeavour 
to attain a deep apprehension is in some degree rewarded. 
But it is provoking to observe the self-sufiiciency with which he 
ignores nearly all bis predecessors, the dictatorial confidence of 
his criticism, the false and often nebulous pathos, and the com- 
plete identification of his opinions with truth itself. lu setting 
forth the characteristics of the prophets, he is a master ; his 
translations, on the other hand, are stiff, and hardly according 
to the taste of any one. Umbreit's Practical Commentary 
(2nd edition, 1846) is useful aud stimulating; a profound 
issthetic and religious conviction of the glorious character 
of the prophetic word reveals itself in highly poetic language, 
heaping one figure on another, and almost never descending to 
an ordinary level. The other extreme is the prose of Knobd 
(died 1863). The precision of this scholar, the third edition 
of whose Commentary on Isaiah (1861) was one of his last 
works, deserves the most grateful recognition for its excellence 
in philological as well as in archaeological matters ; but his 
almost affected commonness of style prevents him from seeing 
the depth of nieauing, while his excessive desire to find 
historical realization everywhere conceals from him the poetry 
of the form. The Commentary of Dnehder was a real 



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44 ISAIAH. 

advauce in the exposition of Isaiah. It was edited by himself 
only as far as chap, xzvii., and then completed (2 vols. 
1845-57) by me and by H. A. Hahn of Greifswald (who died 
in 1861), from his notes, though these afforded little that 
could be used in the exposition of chaps. xl.-xlvi. Since the 
time of Yitringa, this is comparatively the best Commentary 
on Isaiah, chaps. L-xiL,^ and especially on chaps. xiiL-xxviL 
Its excellence does not lie in the exposition of details, — for 
this is inadequate, through the fragmentary and glossatorial 
style of its exegesis, and, though diligent and thorough, 
especially in a grammatical point of view, is not homogeneous 
or productive, — but in the spiritual and spirited conception of 
the whole, the profound perception of the character and the 
ideas of the prophet and of prophecy, the vigorous penetration 
into the inmost nature of the plan and contents of the whole. 
Meanwhile (1850, 2 vol&) there appeared the Commentary of 
Peter Schegg, which follows the Vulgate, and contains valuable 
remarks in connection with the history of translations, but 
also displays free and profound insight into the genesis and 
meaning of the prophecies; at the same time there also 
appeared the Commentary of Ernst Meier, the Tubingen 
orientalist, which did not get beyond the first half. If any 
one was specially called to advance the exei:;etical study of the 
Book of Isaiah, it was C. P. Caspari of Christiania ; but of his 
Norw^ian Commentary all that has appeared reaches only to 
the end of chap, vi.,' and its progress has been hindered not 
only by the exhaustive thoroughness of investigation at which 
he aimed, but Jilso by the Grundtvig controversy, which 
involved him in very extensive studies in the field of Church 
history. Wealth of material for the following prophetic dis- 
courses is also afforded by his " Contributions to the Intro- 
duction to the Book of Isaiah, and to the history of Isaiah's 
time," which appeared (1 848) as vol. u. of our Studies in BMiad 

* See the review by Franz Dietrich in Reuten Rqtertorium, voL xlviiL 
pp. 1-26. In the same year, 1846, Schroring in Wismar began his Studie$ 
wt Itaiah, three parte of which (1846, 1862, 1867) have appeared. 

' Commentar til de tolv fSnte Capitler of Propheten Jesaja, Christiania 
1867. Cf. also the treatise on the Seraphim in Isaiah in the Theological 
Tidsskrifi for 1869, and the Essay on the position and meaning of Isaiah 
viiL in the History of the Kingdom of God, in the BiMtke AfhandKnger, 
1884. 



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i 4. EXPOSITION IN ITS FBESENT STATE. 45 

Theology; his "Programm" on the Syro-Ephraimitish war (pub- 
lished iu 1849); and his treatise, not by any means obsolete; 
on "Jeremiah a witness to the genuineness of Isaiah,chap. xxxiv., 
and hence also to that of Isaiah, chaps. xL-lzvL, chaps. xiiL— 
xiv. 23, and xxi 1-10 " (with an Excnrsus on the relation of 
Zepbaniah to the disputed prophecies of Isaiah), which appeared 
in the Zeitsehrifif. d. ges. liM,. Thedogie u. Kirehe, 1843. 

Among Jewish CJommentaries, two roust be mentioned ; the 
work of M. L Malbim (who died at Kiew 1879), which 
(published at Erotoschin 1849) especially deals in a concise 
style with the exact meaning of synonymous words and ex- 
pressions ; and the learned, subtle, and ever-stimulating work 
of Samuel David Lvzzaito, of Padua (died 1865), part of 
which, from the beginning to chap, xxxviii., was published by 
himself under the title Profeta Isaia volgarvezato e eommerUato 
ad uso degli Israeliti, while the remainder was edited after 
his death from the materials he had left (Padua 1855—1866). 



Of additional literature that has been published since the 
appearance of the second and third editions of this Com- 
mentary (1869, 1879), the following, arranged in chronological 
order, is worthy of notice : — 

Cheyse, T. K (Oriel Professor at Oxford, and Canon of 
Colchester) : The Book of Isaiah chronologically arranged. 
An amended version, with historical and criticifil introductions 
and explanatory notes. London 1870. 

There had previously been puUUhed, by the same writer, Notes 
and Criticisms on the Hebrew text of Isaiah (London 1868): 
frequent reference was made to this work in the second edition of 
our Commentary. 

Seinecke, L. (Pastor at Hevensen, near Nordheim): Der 
Evangelist des Alten Testaments. Erklarung der Weissagung 
Jesaia's, Kap. xl.-lxvL Leipzig 1870. 

See the review by Ed. Richra, in Studien u. Eritiken, 1872, 
pp. 553-578. 

BiRKS, T. R. : Commentary on tlie Book of Isaiah. London 
1871. 



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46 ISAUR. 

•vyv ISO, Liber Jesaiae. Textum masoreticum accnratissime 
expressit, e fontibus Masorae vane illustravit, notis criticis 
confirmavit S. Baer. Praefatus est edendi operis adjator Fr. 
Delitzsch. Leipzig 1872. 

DiESTKL, Lddwio (died at TttbiogeD, 1879): Der Prophet 
Jesaia, erklart von Aug. Kuobel (who died 1863); Aufl. 4. 
Leipzig 1872, 

BiEHM, Ed. (died at Halle, 1888): Das erste Buch Mo.«e 
nach der deutschen Uebersetzuug Dr. Mart Lathers iu 
rediviertem Text mit VorbemerkuDgen und Erlauterungen, 
und einem die Berichtigungen des Jesaja enthaltenden Anhang 
im Aaftrag der zur Revision der Uebersetzang des A. T. 
berufenen Conferenz herausgegeben. Halle 1873. 

Stade, Berxhabd (Professor in Giessen): De Isaiae 
vaticiniis Aethiopicis diatribe Leipzig 1873. 

See the notice by Aug. DiUmann in the Liter. Centralblatt, 1874^ 
Nr.9. 

Strachet, Sir Edward: Jewish History and Politics ia 
the time of Sargon and Sennacherib. An inquiry into the 
historical meaning and purpose of the prophecies of Isaiah. 
Second edition, revised. London 1874. 

Weber, Ferd. (died at Polsingen, 1879): Der Profet 
Jesaja in Bibelstanden ausgelegt. 2 vols. Nordlingen 
1875-76. 

Klosteemann, Adg, (Professor in Kiel) : Jesaja, cap. xL— 
Ixvi Eine Bitte um Hiilfe in grosser Noth. In Zeitschrift 
fiir luth. Theologie, 1876; pp. 1-60. 

KoHUT, Alex. (Chief Eabbi in Funfkirchen) : Antiparsische 
Ausspriicbe im Deuterojesajas. In Zeitschrift der Deutschen 
MorgenL Gesellschaft, 1879, pp. 709-722. 

Neteleb, B. : Das Buch Isaias aus dem Urtext tibersetzt 
und mit Beriicksichtigung seiner Gliederung und der anf 
seinen Inhalt sich beziehenden assyr. Inschriften erklart 
Miinster 1876. 

See the notice by W. Baudissin in the TlieoL Literaturzeitung, 
1876, Nr. 19. 



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I 4. EXFOSmOK IN ITS PBESEMT STATS. 47 

Bbcss, Ed. (Professor in Strasburg) : Lea Prophfetes (form- 
ing Part 2 of his work oa the Scriptures), 2 vols., the former 
of which contains the translation and exposition of the old 
Isaiah portions, while the latter contains the decidedly later 
portions. Paris 1876. 

The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah according to the Jewish 
Intcipreters. I. Texts edited from printed books and MSS. 
by Ad. Neubauer. II. Translations by S. R Driver and Ad. 
Neubauer. With an introduction to the translations by Prof. 
E. B. Pusey. Oxford and London 1876-77. 

See the notice by Hermann Strack in the Theologische Liteiatur- 
leitung, 1877, Nr. 21. 

Le Hir (formerly Professor in the Seminary of Saint- 
Sulpice, Paris): Les trois grands proph^tes, Isaie, J^r^mie, 
Ez^chiel; analyses et commentaires. Paris 1877. 

See the notice by W. Baudissiu in the Theologische Literatur- 
zeitung, 1877, Kr. 11. 

Nagelsbach, C. W.Eduabd (died at Gunzenhausen, 1880) : 
Der Prophet Jesaja, theologisch-homiletisch bearbeitet (Theil 
14 des Lange'schen Bibelwerks). Bielefeld u. Leipzig 1877. 
[Translated into English, with additions, by Samuel T. Lowrie 
and Dunlop Moore. New York and Edinburgh 1878.] 

See the notice in the Beilage zar Luth. Eirchenzeitung, Nr. 1, 
and that by Em. Eautsch in the Theologische Literaturzeitung, 
1878, Nr. 25. 

Strack, Heem. (Professor in Berlin): Zur Textkritik 
des Jesaias. In Zeitschrift ftir luth. Theologie, 1877, pp. 
17-52. 

Studer, 6. L. (Professor in Berne) : Beitrage zur Textkritik 
des Je-saja. In the Jahrbiicher fiir protest Theologie, 1877, 
pp. 706-730. 

Fehr, Fredrik : Profeten Jesaja : Ett gammaltestamentligt 
TJtkast. Upsala 1877. 

De Lagakde, Paul (Professor in Gottingen): Semitica. 
Aus dem 23. Bande der Abhandl. der kgL Gesellschaft der 
Wissensch. in Gottingen. Gottingen 1878. 



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48 ISAIAH. 

Pages 1-32 contain critical remarks on Isaiah, chaps. L-xvii. : see 
the notice by Eberh. Nestle in the TheoL Litereturzeitung, 1878, 
Nr. 11. 

LOhr, Fc. (Pistor in Zirchow a/Usedom): Zur Frage iiber die 
EchtheitvonJesaias 40-66. DreiHefte. Berlin 1878-80. 

See the notice in the Liter. Beilage der Lather. Eirchenzeitung, 
1879, Nr. 17. 

KosTLiN, Friedeich : Jesaia und Jeremia. Ihr Leben und 
ihr Wirken aus ihren Scliriften dargestellt. Berlin 1879. 

Bartu, J. (Professor in Berlin): Beitrage zur Erklarung 
des Jesaia. Karlsruhe 1855. 

ScHOLZ, Anton (Professor in Wiirzburg) : Die alexandrin- 
ische Uebersetzung des Buches Jesaios. Wiirzburg 1880. 

Cheyne, T. K: The Prophecies of Tsaiah. A new trans- 
lation, with commentary and appendices. 2 vols. London 
1880-81. [Fifth edition, 1889.] 

See my notice of the first edition in The Academy, 1880 (Ap. 10); 

Knabenbaueb, a. (Jesuit priest) : Erklarung des Propheten 
Jesaia. Freiburg i. B. 1881. 

Distinguished for the very extensive use made of the older exposi- 
tory literature (certainly \vith no great profit)^ and for beneficial 
regard to the more inodei-n. 

GuTHE, Herm. (Professor in Leipzig): Das Zukunftsbild 
des Jesaia. Leipzig 1885. 

Bredenkamp, C. J. (Professor in Greifswald) : Der Prophet 
Jesaia erklart. Drei Lieferungen. Erlangen 1886—7. 

This author has also published Vaticinium guod de ImmanueU 
edidit Jesaias. Erlangen 1880. 

"Von Orelij, Conr. (Professor in Basle): Die Propheten 
Jesaja und Jeremia ausgelegt. Nordlingen 1887. [Trans- 
lated in Clark's For. TheoL Lib., Edinburgh 1889.] 

[Driver, S. K. (Regius Professor of Hebrew in Oxford 
University): Isaiah, his Life and Times. London 1888.] 

[Sayce, a. H. : The Life and Times of Isaiah. London 1889.] 

[Smith, George A. : The Book of IsaiaL 2 vols. London 
1889-90.] 



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THE SUPERSCRIPTION OP THE BOOK OP 
ISAIAH. 



L The exUmal title at handed down is >^y(^f The LXX. 
always modifies the form of the prophet's name into HSAIAS 
(see Frankel, Vorettidien, p. Ill); on the other hand, it 
renders the name Tvyv in Ezra viii. 7, 19 l^^ 'JvattK (but in 
other places in many other ways *), both paroxytone, inasmuch 
as a9 in prosody is long ; Lat laaias (JEsaias), in Prudentius 
with accented a and short i (but, on the other hand, JeremVu, 
because in this case the e, which is short in accordance with 
the Hebrew, is not suited for bearing the accent of the vrotd). 
In the book itself, and throughout the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures, the prophet is called vr^ne^, (in the Bal^lonian Codex, 
dating from the year 916, V^y^^ according to the old style of 
writing) ; on the other hand, in the Books of Chronicles, 
Ezra, and Nehemiah, the shorter form designates other per- 
sons. Though the shorter form of such names was in ancient 
times current along with the longer, it came to be exclusively 
used in more recent days ; hence its employment as the 
usual title. The name is a compound word, signifying " Jahu 
(Jah) has wrought salvation," — yv* being equivalent to ye'^n 
(in n^'"'), as am in njam is equivalent to ^rrvi — not 
" salvation of Jahu " (as explained, for instance, by Kliper, 
with Caspari) ; for, as Kohler has shown, in the banning of 
his Commentary on Zechariab, the number of the names of 
persons compounded of a substantive and n^ is exceeded by 

* 'Hnitif (or even 'HtiuiK, following the analogy of 'Hvttiitct 'H«t!x<*() 
is essentially a modification like ' lantai. ■ There are some other proper 
names b^inning with eft, biit the LXX. renders none of these by H» 

or U, like this one. In Ezra viii. 7, 19, r cyer is modified into the fornt 
Utttttf, and in 1 Chron. ilL 21, Neh. xL 7, into 'Iw/o;,— a worse form. 
VOU L D 



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50 ISAIAH. 

that of those which are formed from the perfect of the Qal, 
and this, too, with the meaning of a derived conjugation, 
especially the Piel and HiphiL Combined with Wl, how- 
ever, the name would probably take the form ^f^J^f*. (like 
",•!??'", "J?j^, "V^IV), and signify, " Jahu is my salvation ; " 
hence f^^^ like nnar, rnat, rrsriJ, will lie an exclamation of 
thankfulness to God made into the name of the ohild.^ The 
prophet shows he is conscious that it was not by accident he 
bore this name ; for T^'^, V?^, and T\^^, are among his 
favourite words, — nay, we may say, he lives and moves in the 
coming salvation : but mrr> is the God of salvation ; this is 
the peculiar redemptive designation of God. The name in- 
dicates the Being who exists absolutely (i.e. eternally and 
independently), who bears witness to Himself (Ex. iii. 14), as 
freely and according to His own counsel determining His 
ways, ruling throughout the course of history, and fixing its 
form. This work of free graoe has for its end that salvation 
which, beginning with Israel and working outwards, embraces 
and includes all mankind. The element vv (tv) in the prophet's 
name has been shortened from the " tetragrammaton " tw by 
rejecting the second n. From this abbreviation we see that 
the vowel a stood at the beginning of the divine name. 
According to Theodoret, it was pronounced 'Jafie by the 
Samaritans ; this is also the pronunciation given in the 
Archontic list of the divine names found in Epiphanius. 
Jacob of Edessa, as we leara from an excursus to his Syriac 
translation of the Aoytn iiridpomoi of Severus of Antioch, 
was under the erroneous impression that the name in Hebrew 
was pronounced rrn* like rrnx ; moreover, this OT-iOU, in the 
Codex Curzonianius of the Syro-Hexaplar Isaiah, is tran- 
scribed in Greek characters HEHE (Zeitschrift der deuischen 
morgenl. GeseUachaft, xxxii. 465 ff.). The testimony hereby 
borne to the conclusion of the word in n-^ is confirmed by the 
abbreviation into >% which, after the analogy of similar 
abbreviations, has come from nirn, through an intermediate 
form ^^. The modified form ^Ala (found in Theodoret) does 
not point to the divine name mrr (which must have been 
represented by ^la^d), but n»; 'lam with its by-forms is 
VTJ, and 'latold (in Origen, contra Celmm, i. 656) ia the 
' Sec Friedr. Delitzsch, ProUgomtna, pp. 206-208. 



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TBK SUPERSCRIPnOK OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH. 5 1 

condensed Tr>\rr>} The pronunciation Jehovah (Tehovah) has 
arisen from a combination of the Qeri and Kethib, and did 
not become current till after the sixteenth century ; Galatinus, 
abont 1518, in his work de arcanis cathalicae veritatis, was 
the first who remarked that the " tetrRgrammaton," read as it 
is pointed, sounds Jehovah {Ye?u>vah) ; from that time people 
began to pronounce it so, but Genebrard, who died in 1597, 
in his Commentary on the Psalms, continues against Beza to 
oppose it as an intolerable innovation : Impii vetustatis 
temeratores et nominis Dei ineffabUis prqfanatores aique adeo 
trans/omiatores JovA vel Jehovah legurU, vocdbulo novo, barbaro, 
JklUio, irreligioso et Jovem geniUium redolenle. 

II. The title of the book, given by itself. Ver. 1 : "The 
vision of Yeshayahu, son of Amoz, which he saw concerning 
Jitdah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziyahu, Jotham, Ahaz, 
Yehizkiyahu, kings of Judah." Isaiah is here called )^OK~]|f. 
The Jewish doctrine, known even to the early Fathers of the 
Church, that when a prophet's father is named, the latter also 
was a prophet (Megilla 15a), is unfounded. But there is at 
least some sense, though no historic basis, in an old tradition 
repeated in the Midrash (Pesikta de-Rob Cahana 111b) and 
the Talmnds (Megilla 10b, cf. Sota 10b), that Amoz was the 
brother of Amaziah, the father and predecessor of Uzziah, and 
that Isaiah was thus, like the Davidic kings, a descendant of 
Jttdah and Tamar. The nature and appearance of Isaiah 
make a thoroughly royal impression. He speaks to kings 
like a king. With majestic bearing he goes to meet the 
magnates of his people, and of the world-power beyond. In 
his style, he is among the prophets what Solomon was among 
the kings. In all ciroumstances and moods, he is master of 
his materials, a master of language, — simply magnificent, 
sublime without affectation, splendid though unadorned. But 
this regal character had its roots somewhere else than in 
blood. Only this much may be said with certainty, that 
Isaiah was born in Jerusalem. For the character of his 
prophecy betokens closest intimacy with the capital : accord- 
ing to Chagiga 13b, he stands in relation to Ezekiel as a 
native of the chief city to a native of the provinces ; notwith- 
standing his exceeding manifold prophetic missions, we never 
■ Cf. Baudissin, Studien ntr temt. ReliffiotugeiehiehU, i. 163 f. 



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62 ISAIAH. 

find him outside of Jerusalem; here, too, as may be seen 
from chap. xxii. 1, and the style of his intercourse with king 
Hesekiah, he lived with his wife and children in the lower 
part of the city ; here he carried on his ministry under the 
fonr kings named in ver. 1, who are enumerated without " vav 
copulative ; " there is the same unconnected enumeration as 
in the titles of the Books of Hosea and Micah. There 
Hezekiah is called >^% — almost the same form as here, — 
but with the simple rejection of the toneless t The 
Chronicler especially prefers the complete form, — full both at 
the beginning and the end, — though he also uses the rarer 
form vrpra Eoorda is of opinion that tiie Chronicler took 
this malformation from the three titles, where it is a copyist's 
error for ^^\^. or fi^i??r". ; but it is also found in Jer. xv. 4 
and 2 Kings xx. 10, where such an error in transcription 
could not possibly have taken place. Accordingly, it is not 
au irregular form ; we must not, however, with Boorda, derive 
it from the Piel, but from the Qal of the verb (" strong is 
Jehovah"), with a connecting t, which occurs pretty frequently 
in proper names derived from verb-roots with a vowel in the 
middle, such as 'yvayin^ from B^, 1 Chron. iv. 36. 

Under the kings already mentioned Isaiah exercised his 
ministry, or, as it is expressed in ver. 1, saw the vision which 
he committed to writing in the book before us. Among the 
many Hebrew synonyms for seeing, nrn is the general ex- 
pression regularly used for prophetic perception, whether the 
form in which the divine revelation was made to the prophet 
was a vision or an audible communication ; in both cases he 
" sees " it, — distinguishing this divine message, in its super- 
natural objectivity, from his own conceptions and thoughts by 
means of the inner sense, which is designated by the term 
used to denote the noblest of the five external senses. The 
prophet accordingly is called nrn, «a seer" (at an earlier 
period in the language, nx\ l Sam. ix. 9), and prophecy is^ 
called I^tn ; the term fiwaj, which is the cognate of K'M, appearSi 
only in the latest period (thrice in Chronicles and Nehemiah). 
The noun l^tn, indeed, is also applied to individual visions (cf. 
Jer, xxix. 7 with Job xx. 8, xxxiii. 15), like ffV} (const. I^rn), 
which is formed from in by euphonic doubling, and is more 
frequently used in this sense ; but here, in the title to the 



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TOE SOPEBSCRIPTION OP THK BOOK OF ISAIAH. 53 

Book of Isaiah, the abstract meaning passes over into the still 
more closely related collective, indicating the whole of what 
is seen, i.e. the contents of the vision. We may not conclude, 
therefore, that the first part of ver. 1 was originally the 
superscription merely of the first prophetic address, and that 
it was only through the addition of the latter part that it was 
changed into a general title for the whole book: Vitringa 
held this view, and perhaps it may even be correct, but with 
the Chronicler (2 Chron. zxxii. 32) this VTVB^ pm appears 
as the general title of the collection. 

Along with Jndah, Jerusalem is further specially mentioned 
as the object of the vision. The " perpetual Qeri " to xhtrf 
(DTBTi'^ is DTBTi'^ which is hardly to be regarded as a " broken 
dual," i.e. as formed through internal change of sound, but — 
like rifP for friDP, 2 Chron. xiii. 19, and the Aramaic XPS^Uff — 
a later form in which the diphthongal ajim or aim has been 
resolved from the original im, am,, an. Cheyne finds in the 
particularizing, from Judah to Jerusalem, an indication of the 
fact that Isaiah was a city-prophet But the object of the 
prophecies of the provincial prophet Micah is also (i. 1) 
marked by the mention of the capitals of both kingdoms. 
The advance from " Judah " to " Jerusalem " is a centralizing 
step ; and if pm is meant to indicate the totality of what was 
seen by Isaiah, this designation of the object of Isaiah's 
prophecies by " Judah and Jerusalem " is centralizing. For 
his vision extends far beyond Judah, not merely to the sister 
kingdom of Ephraim, but also to the Gentile nations. Within 
the widest circle of the nations of the world there lies the 
smaller one containing the peoples bordering on the Hebrews ; 
and within this, again, there is the still smaller one of all 
Israel, including Samaria ; within this, once more, there is the 
yet smaller circle of the kingdom of Judah ; and all these 
circles include Jerusalem, because the whole history of the 
world, regarded in its inmost working and its final purpose, is 
the history of the Church of God, which has Jerusalem, the 
cit^ of Jehovah's temple and the kingdom of promise, for its 
peculiar site. In this sense, the expression "couceming 
Judah and Jerusalem " is also suitable for the whole book, in 
which everything that the prophet sees is seen from Judah 
and Jerusalem, and for the sake of both, and in the interests 



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54 ISAIAH. 

of both. It is more probable, however, that the latter part of 
ver. 1 is a more receut addition, so that the words from prn to 
ehwf thus formed the original superscription of the first 
address, and could only indirectly (like the names of the 
Books of the Pentateuch) be used as the designation of the 
whole book. For it is inadmissible, with Luzzatto, to take 
10( as nominative instead of accusative (^ut instead of juam, 
8C. vigionem), in order to stamp the words " The Vision of 
Isaiah, son of Amoz," as the superscription of the first dis- 
course, in chap, i ; the suggestion is contrary to the sjmtax, 
for nrn netc fm is the usual Hebrew construction of the verb 
with its own substantive (Ges. § 138. IX 



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FIRST HALF OF THE COLLECTION OF 
PROPHECIES. 

CHAPS. I.-XXXTX. 



PART I.— PEOPHECIES RELATING TO THE COURSE OF THE 
MASS OF THE PEOPLE ONWARDS TO HARDENING OF 
HEART, CHAPa L-VL 

Opening Discotjhsk, regasdino Jehovah's way with His 
Ungrateful and Eebellioto People, I. 2 fp. 

The prophet is standing on the fateful boundaiy-line between 
the two halves of the history of Israel. Neither by the riches 
of divine goodness which they experienced during the times 
of Uzziah and Jotham, which closely resembled those of 
David and Solomon, nor by the chastisements of the divine 
displeasure which inflicted wound upon wound, have the people 
allowed themselves to be brought to repentance and reflection ; 
the divine means of training have been exhausted, and it only 
remains that Jehovah should let His people in their present 
condition be consumed in the fire, that a new people may be 
formed out of the gold which has stood the fiery test. At 
this period, so pregnant with storms, appear the prophets, like 
birds upon the sea, presaging the tempest, and more active 
than at any other epoch, — ^Amos in the days of Jeroboam, 
Micah in the reign of Jotham, but above all Isaiah, the 
prophet KUT efop^v, standing midway between Moses and 
Christ. 

Conscious of this his exalted position in the history of 
salvation, be begins his opening address in Deuteronoroic 
fashion, like the grand Song of Moses in Dent xxxii. This 
form has been shown by the investigations of Klostennann 



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56 ISJIUH. 

(Siudien u. Krit. 1871) to have passed current in Hezeltiah's 
time, at latest, as a prophetic testimony reaching back to Moses, 
so that it may actually be regarded as such (see No. X. of my 
" Studies in Pentateuchal Criticism," in Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 
1880, p. 503 ff.). This song is the compendious programme 
and the common watchword of all prophecy, to which it stands 
in the same fundamental relation as the Decalogue to all other 
laws, and the Lord's Prayer to all other prayers. The law- 
giver therein sets before the eyes of his people their whole 
history to the end of time. This history falls into four great 
periods : the creation and exaltation of Israel ; the ingratitude 
and apostasy of Israel ; the surrender of Israel into the hands 
of the heathen ; lastly, the restoration of Israel, — sifted but not 
destroyed, — and the accord of all nations to praise Jehovah, 
who has revealed Himself in judgment and in mercy. This 
fourfold division is not merely preserved in every part of the 
history of Israel, but'it forms the distingoishing mark of the 
history as a whole to its remotest end. Every age of Israel 
has thus in that song a mirror of its present condition and 
future destiny. This mirror the prophets held up before 
their contemporaries. Thus did Isaiah. He opens his 
prophetic address as Moses begins his Song. Moses begins 
(Deut xxxL 1): "Hear, ye heavens, and I will speak, 
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth." In what 
sense he calls on heaven and earth he himself tells us in 
Deut xxxi 28 £, He foresees in spirit the future apostasy 
of Israel, and takes heaven and earth, which will endure 
beyond his earthly life now drawing to a close, as witnesses 
of what he has to say to his people with such a prospect. In 
like manner, — only with the interchange of the parallel verbs 
VXf and jwn, — Isaiah begins, "Hear, heav im^ mid give atr,"^ 
earifi: ftrr /ffi/mah i fpfal-jt'^ The ground of the demand 
IS put in a general way : they are to hear because Jehovah 
is speaking. But what Jehovah speaks substantially agrees 
with that address of Jehovah which is introduced in Deut. 
xxxii. 20 by the expression " And he said." What Jehovah, 
according to the statement there, will one day have to say in 
His wrath. He now says through the prophet, whose present 
corresponds to the future of the Song of Moses. For the time 
has now arrived when heaven and earth, — ^which always exist 



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CHAPTEE I. 2. 57 

and are always tbe same, which have continued through the 
past history of Israel iu all places and at all times, — should 
fulfil the duty laid on them by the lawgiver to be witnesses ; 
and this is just tbe special, true, and ultimate sense in which 
they are required, as they were by Moses, to hear. They 
were present and shared in the proceedings when Jehovah 
gave the Law to His people ; t he heavens, according to Deu t. 
iv. 36. as the place from wh icfi the voice of God issued, and 
_the earth as the place wheiS- His great fire appeareH] They 
were solemnly admitted to the dcene when Jehovah gave to 
His people the choice between a blessing and a curse, life and 
death (Deut. xxx. 19, iv. 26). They are now, therefore, to 
hear and bear witness regarding what Jehovah, their Creator 
and the God of Israel, has t^ say, aiid what complaints He 

' aautd.mS^tn^Mve reoM^a^dmi^ Me. ^TliougE'^i^eris^ 
meant, Israel is not named, but the historical facts are 
generalized into a parable, in order that the astounding and 
appalling state of matters may be made more prominent. 
Israel is Jehovah's son (Ex. iv. 22 f.); all the membere of 
the nation are His chj ldlSP (Deut. xiv. 1, xxxii. 20); He_is_ 
the Father of Israel, whom He has begotten (Deut xxxiL 
6, 18). The existence of Israel as a nation, like that of 
other nations, is effected, indeed, by means of natural repro- 
duction, not by spiritual regeneration ; but the primary 
ground of Israel's origin is the supematurally efficacious 
word of grace addressed to Abraham (Gen. xviL 15 f.) ; and a 
series of wonderful dealings in grace has brought the growth 
and development of Israel to that point which it had attained 
at the Exodus from Egypt It is in this sense that Jehovah 
has begotten IsraeL This relation of Jehovah to Israel as 
His children has already, in Isaiah's time, a long time of 
grace behind it in the past, — the time of Israel's childhood in 
Egypt, the time of youth in the desert, the time of growing 
manhood from Joshua to Samuel ; and now Joshua can say 
in the days of Isaiah, " I have brought up children, and 
exalted them." The opposite of i'i^| is ibi^, that of tr\ is 
-w. The Piel i^l signifies to " make great," and when applied 
to children (as here and in 2 Kings x. 6, etc.), to " bring 
up" in the sense of natural growth; and the Pilel ocrt\ 



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58 ISAIAH. 

which is used also in xxiii. 4, Ezek. xxxL 4 (cf. the proper 
names in 1 Gliron. xxv. 29-31), as the parallel to i?.|, signifies 
to "exalt" in the dignitative sense of raising to a high 
position, to which wise love of a father gradually advances a 
child. The two verses depict the condition of mature man- 
hood and high honour which Israel had reached under the 
monarchy of David and Solomon, and which has again been 
enjoyed under Uzziah and Jotham. But how ungrateful 
were they towards God for what they owed to Him, — " but 
they have broken away from me ! " Instead of an adversative 
particle (baK possibly), there is merely i copulative, used 
energetically, as in vL 7 (cf. o>}\ Hos. viL 13). Two things 
that ought never to have been conjoined, — the gracious and 
filial relation of Israel to Jehovah, and Israel's base apostasy 
from Jehovah, — these, though utterly contradictory, were now 
actually combined. The verb V^f, cJmJ (hei-e with retracted 
tone,^ from the presence of the following *a), in accordance 
with its radical idea, signifies to " break away, break loose " 
(Lat. dirumpere, as in amicitiam dirumptre)^ and is followed 
by a with the object forming the completion of the action ; 
it means violently and determinedly to break connection with 
any one, and is here used of the inward severance from God, 
and renunciation of His claims, which forms the climax of 
nK»n (Job xxxiv. 37), and of which the full outward mani- 
festation is idolatry. From the time that Solomon, towards 
the end of his reign, gave himself up to idolatry, the worship 
of idols had never wholly ceased, even in public, down to the 
days of Isaiah. Two attempts had been made to put an end 
to it, — the reformation begun by Asa and completed by 
Jehoshaphat, and afterwards the one accomplished by Joash 
during the lifetime of the high priest Jehoiada, who had 

' Only in the following cases is there no retraction of the tone : 

(1) When the syllable to which it would be retracted is a closed syllable ; 

(2) When the former of the two logically connected words ends with a 
lieavy suffix ; (3) When the final syllable of this word is closed and 
accented, as in v D'i??. 

* In Arabic, t_"-* originally had a purely sensuous meaning, and it is 
expressly remarked that it received an ethical sense only through Islam ; 
it is the proper word for breaking the fruit by bursting open the 
husk. 



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CHAPTER I. 8. 59 

preserved him and brought him up ; the first, however, had 
uot been able wholly to abolish idolatry altogether, and what 
had been removed byJoash returned with redoubled abomina- 
tions as soon as Jehoiada was dead. Hence the expression, 
" they have broken away from me," which sums up the whole 
of Israel's ingratitude in the one culminating sin, applies to 
the entire history of the nation from the zenith of glory under 
David and Solomon down to the time of the prophet 

In ver. 3 Jehovah now complains of the apostasy' with 
which His children have rewarded Him as inhuman, — nay, 3 

ox knomth his owner, and an ^wTa^ crib of tts rpjister;- — ^f* • 

Israel doth not mmxfmy^'pto^lam^ nm'cm^ 

ing ox has a knowledge of its purchaser and" owner ('"'jf'), to C^? fU,>, 

whom it willingly submits ; and an ass, the domestic animal 
of proverbial stupidity (in the East also ; see Zeitschrift der 
deutseken morgenl. Chsellschaft, xL 266 f.), has a knowledge 
at least of the crib of its master OvW, a plural of excellence, 
as in £xod. xxL 29, — a degenerate species of the " extensive " 
plural, as distinguished from the " multiplicative " plural), 
i.e. it knows that it is its master who puts its fodder into 
the manger (W3K — from D3K, to fatten cattle — with — instead 
of — , like the forms pDK, pDK). No such knowledge has 
Israel, — neither direct, like instinct, nor indirect, acquired by 
reflection (R^ann). The expressions jn» \ih and piann \ih can- 
not be taken here (as for example in Ivi 1 ; Ps. IxxxIL 5) 
in an objectless sense, and as indicating a state or condition, — 
— as if the meaning were, "they are ignorant end inconsiderate," 
but the object is implied in what precedes, and the words 
mean "they know not, consider not what, on their side, 
corresponds to the owner and to the manger which the roaster 
fills," — namely, that_the)y_are the children and the property of 
Jehovah, and their existence and prosperity solely^ depend, 
on the grace of Jebomh— (Jer. v. 24, cf. Hos. ii. 10). The 
IMifallel, with its many contrasts, like the similar one in Jer. 
viiL 7, where animals are again introduced, explains itself even 
through the employment of " Israel " and " my people." 
Those who, in knowledge and gratitude, are far surpassed and 
put to shame by the brutes, are not a nation like any other 
nation among men, but " Israel," descendants of Jacob, who 



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f 



60 ISAUH. 

wrestled with and overcame the wrath of God, and by 
wrestling also obtained the blessing for himself and his pos- 
terity ; they are " my people " too, — those whom Jehovah has 
chosen out of all peoples to be the people of His possession, 
and most especial care and direction. This people, bearing 
the honoured name — bestowed by God Himself — of one who 
was a hero of faith and prayer, — this favoured people of 
Jehovah lowered itself far beneath the level of the brutes. 
Such is the complaint poured out before heaven and earth by 
the noble speaker. 

The piercing cry of complaint by the deeply-pained Father 
is at the same time the heaviest impeachment But the cause 
of God is to the prophet the cause of a friend who feels the 
grief of his friend as he would feel his own (v. 1). Hence 
the complaint of God now changes into strong invective and 
threatening on the part of the prophet ; and in conformity 
with the deep indignation by which he is moved, his discourse 
in verse 4 moves rapidly along like a lightning storm, giving 
forth flash upon flash. The address consists of seven mem- 
bers, not formally connected, but so arranged as to form a 
climax, and each is composed of Imt two or three, wordsT/ 
" Woe to the sinful nation, the guilt-tac^'^eople,t^ inM^ww 
race, the children acting corruptly ! They have forsaken J^ehowah, 
blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, turned away bachoards!" 
The distinction attempted between ^n and itt> making the former 
to signify " Ohl" and the latter " Woe!" is untenable ; for, with 
some doubtful exceptions, in also is an exclamation of pain, 
and here not so much a calling down of woe {vas genti, as 
Jerome renders it), as a lamentation (vae gentem), but one 
that is filled with wrath. The appellations of Israel which 
follow point to what the nation ought to be in accordance 
with the divine choice and determination, and express what, 
through its own choice and self-determination in opposition 
to God, it has become. (1.) According to the divine choice 
and determination, Israel should be a "holy nation," Ex. 
xix. 6, but it is a "sinful nation" (gens peeeatrix, as the 
Vulgate correctly translates) ; for KOh here is not so much 
a participle as a participial adjective, signifying what is 
habitual, — the usual singular to the plural O'mn, afiap- 
ToiKol, the singular of which is not in common use, and occurs 



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CHAPTEB I. 4. 61 

only once (Amos ix. 8) in the feminine as an adjective. 
" Holy " and " sinful " are sharp contrasts, for v'n^ signifies 
that which is separated from what is common, unclean, sinful, 
and superior to it. At the same time, the alliteration in ^3 
*in (with Pasek, to preserve the independence of the two 
words, whose sound is so similar) is intended to produce the 
impression that the nation as sinful is a nation of woe. (2.) 
In the Law, besides being called vS^i^ 'ia, Israel is called 
Thxv D? (Num. xvii. 6), the people chosen and highly favoured 
by Jehovah ; but it is |^ ^33 oy, a people heavy with iniquity. 
133 is the construct from 133, "heavy," like TTtf from T^; 
the form 133 is usually employed with the meaning of 
"clumsy" (Ex. iv. 10); and besides, the dissyllabic form 
sounds more rhythmically. Instead of employing the readiest 
descriptive expression, "a people of heavy iniquity," the 
property of the iniquity (the weight) is attributed to the 
people themselves upon whom it lies as a burden, — in accord- 
ance with the view that he who carries a heavy harden is 
himself so much the heavier (cf. gravis oneribus in Cicero). 
fiV is always the word employed whenever sin is meant to be 
indicated as heavy and coarse (e.ff. in xxxiiL 24 ; Gen. xv. 
16, xix. 15), and when there is farther included the idea of 
the guilt incurred by it. From being the people of Jehovah, 
they have become a people heavily laden with the guilt of 
sin. In this way the true nature of Israel has been crashed, 
and changed into its opposite. We translate ii by " nation," 
and Dp by " people," because the former (from ^) is the mass 
of individuals who have been joined together through one 
common descent, language, and country, whereas DP (from 

opf, ^, " to combine ") is the people joined together by unity 

of government (cf. for instance Pa cv. 13); hence we always 
read of the " people of Jehovah " ("Jn^ op), not the " nation of 
Jehovah " (njn^. il) ; and ij, free from every slur, occurs only 
twice (Zeph. iL 9 ; Pa cvL 5), with a suffix referring to 
Jehovah, but here it is used as in Mai. iii. 9. (3.) Israel 
elsewhere bears the honourable title of the seed of the patri- 
arch (xli 8, xlv. 1 9, cf. Gen. xxi. 12); in reality, however, 
it is a seed of evil-doers (xiv. 20, cf. xxxi 2). The idea of a 
similar descent, contained in rit. goes back to that of a like 



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62 KAIAH. 

iuherited nature (Ixv. 23 ; Prov. xi. 21); and 0*^0 does not 
mean the fathers, but the contemporaries of the prophet 
(the genitive being intended to be taken attributively), — a 
race consisting of miscreants. The singular of the noun DT!!9 
is IT!?, with the sharpening of ino with Pathach, vhich 
is usual in m verbs with guttural radicals; jno (with 
Kamez in pause, ix. 16, which see) is a Hiphil participial 
uoun. (i.) Tlie children of Israel are, in virtue of the 
divine act, " children of Jehovah," D^ut xiv. 1 ; but through 
their own doings they are Dwrete D'33, "children acting 
corruptly;" what the Law had dreaded and predicted had 
thus come to pass : Deut iv. 16, 25, xxxL 29. In all these 
passages the Hiphil is found, and in the parallel passages of 
the grand song, Deut xxxiL 5, the Piel T\nv, both of which 
conjugations contain within themselves the object of the 
action (Ges. § 53. 2): these verbs thus signify to do some- 
thiug destiMictive, to act in such a way that one becomes a 
cause of ruin to himself and others. That the degeneration 
of the children is meant to be regarded in relation to Jehovah, 
and not to their forefathers, — the opinion of Bosenmiiller, 
who follows Vitringa, — is evident from the latter part of 
ver. 2, cf. xxx. 1, 9. After the four exclamatory clauses, 
there follow — making up the saddening seven — three de< 
claratory clauses describing Israel's apostasy as complete. 
There is apostasy in disposition: " they have forsaken Jehovah." 
There is apostasy in words : " they blaspheme the Holy One 
of Israel." fW (properly, " to sting," then " to mock, treat 
with contempt"), used of blasphemy, is an old Mosaic 
word; see Deut. xxxi. 20; Num. xiv. 11, 23, xvi. 30. 
" The Holy One of Israel " is a title designedly applied to 
Ood here ; it is the keynote of Isaianic prophecy, and first 
sounded in this passage (see under vi. 3). To mock what is 
holy is in itself sinful ; it is doubly a sin to mock God the Holy 
One ; it is trebly a sin that Israel mocks God the Holy One, 
who has set Himself to be the SanctiGer of Israel, and who, 
as He is the holiness of Israel, so also, in conformity with 
His holiness, seeks to be sanctified by Israel (Lev. xix. 2, 
eta). And lastly, their apostasy is also apostasy in their 
way of acting : " they have turned away backwards." In the 
Niphal i^n, which occurs only here, there is contained the 



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CnAPTEB L & C3 

idea of deliberaleness in their estrangement from God : the 
expression of this is still further intensified by employing 
"Arm (which is added emphatically, instead of '^ip?'?). Their 
conduct should be an imitation of Jehovah's ; but they have 
turned the back to Him, and entered on the path chosen by 
themselves. 

In ver. 5, which now follows, it is, first of all, doubtful re- 
garding the meaning of np'i'J' (po, as in Ps. x. 13, iv. 3, with 
-^ even in cases where no guttural follows, after ??, as after 
^P, Ps. iv. 3 ; J?!, Hag. v. 9 ; and thrice '""p^, 1 Sam. L 8 ; see 
on Prov. xxxi. 2 ; cf. Kcinig, Lehrgeb. p. 143), whether it 
signifies " why," as the LXX., Targum, Syriac, Eashi, Kimchi, 
Hitzig, and now also Cheyne take it, or " on what," i.e. " on 
which part of the body " (Jerome, Saadias), a view for which 
Ewald, Knobel, and Schroring (in Part 2 of his Jesaian. Stvdien) 
decide. Eeuss also translates, cyk vous frajipera-t-an encore ? 
Luzzatto considers the latter rendering insipid, especially 
because a member of the body that has already been smitten 
can be repeatedly struck again ; but he thinks the meaning is 
that there is no judgment which had not already fallen on 
Israel, so that it is no longer far from utter ruin. Never- 
theless, we decide with Caspari for the meaning " to what " 
(».«. for what end) ? For in all the other (fourteen) 
passages in which no'^y occurs, it has this meaning, once 
even along with fisn, Num. xxii. 32 (cf. Prov. xviL 26), and 
the people do not come to be viewed as a body till ver. 6, 
whereas the interrogative, " upon what," would require the 
reader or hearer to presuppose it even here. But in translat- 
ing np"?y by "to what end," we do not understand it (as 
Malbim does, for instance) in the sense of cut bono ? with 
the idea underlying the question, that it would certainly be 
fruitless, as all smiting hitherto has proved, — for this thouglit 
is not, as we should expect, directly expressed, — but after the 
ar.alogy of questions with neb (Ezek. xviii. 31 ; Jer. xliv. 7 ; 
cf. the comment, on Eccles. v. 5, vii. 16 f.), qua de causa ? with 
the underlying thought that this continual calling forth of 
divine chastisement is certainly a mad desire for one's own 
destruction. Accordingly, we render the first part of ver, 5 : 
" WTiy do you unsh always to he smitten, increasing your re- 
hellion t " *riy (with Tiphclia, a stronger disjunctive than 



/ 



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64 ISAIAH. 

Tebir, cf. Ezek. xix. 9) belongs to '2n ; but <3B without 'tis 
would make it appear as if they bad not yet been smitten for 
their apostasy hitherto. There are not two interrogative 
clauses on the same plane (as Lnzzatto tliinks), as if the mean- 
ing were, " Why do ye wish to be smitten afresh ? Why do 
ye add revolt ? " Nor is the second clause the answer to the 
first, to which it assigns the reason (as Nagelsbach thinks), 
" For what (for what purpose) should ye be smitten still more ? 
Ye heap rebellion on rebellion ; " but the second clause is 
subordinated to the first, an adverbial secondary clause more 
closely defining the main proposition, as in v. 11, xxx. 31, 
cf. Ps. Ixii. 5 (" delighting in lies "), iv. 3 (" while ye love 
vain show"); also Ps. v. 10, xxvii 27 ; see Ewald's Hebrew 
Syntax, § 341* [Eng. transl. pp. 240, 241]. The LXX. has 
•irpoim0evT6<t avofiiav, '"nD (a fem. partia used as a noun, 
with neuter sense) is deviation from truth and rectitude ; 
here, as pretty frequently elsewhere, it means disloyalty to 
Jehovah, who is the absolutely Good and absolute Goodness. 
It is difficult to decide whether B'Kn-i>3 and ^a^a signify 
" every head," " every heart," or, as Ewald and others think, 
" the whole head," " the whole heart" i>b, followed by an 
indeterminate singular, sometimes signifies completeness, as iu 
ix. 11, " with whole mouth ; " Ezek. xxxvi 5, " with joy of the 
whole heart ; " 2 Kings xxiii. 3, " with whole heart and with 
whole soul ; " also Ezek. xxix. 7, " the whole shoulder . . . 
the whole loins." More usually, however, hb, with an indeter- 
minate genitive of parts of the body, signifies " each," " every" 
(quiaqtu, not tottts), xv. 2, xlv. 23 ; Jer. xlviiL 37 ; Ezek. vii. 
17 f., xxi. 12. It is thus most natural, syntactically, to 
translate the latter part of ver. 5, " every head is diseased, 
and every heart is sick ; " this rendering is also most in accord 
with the circumstances, inasmuch as the words in the first 
part of the verse are not addressed to the people as a whole, 
but as a multitude made up of individuals. The i> at the 
beginning of ^n?, indicates the state or condition into which a 
person or thing has come : " every head is in a diseased con- 
dition;" see Ewald, § 217 d : lachOli (this, in spite of Kouig, 
Lehrgeb. p. 106 f., is the pronunciation intended), without the 
article, as in 2 Chron. xvL 18; cf. '?»3, 1 Sam. i. 11 ; the 
form with the article would need to be 'pn?. What is meant 



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CHAFTIB L 6. %S 

is disease arising from a wound caased by a blow (as in Jer. 
X. 19, V. 3). The prophet asks his fellow-ooantrymen why 
they are so mad as to continne calling f(»th the judgments of 
6od, which have already fallen on them stroke upon strokej 
through their heaping one apostasy on another. Are matters 
already so far gone with them l^at, among the many heads 
and hearts, there is no longer a head that has not fallen into 
a diseased condition, and no heart which is not thoroughly 
sick (yn, an intensive form, from nn) ? Head and heart are 
named as the noblest portions of the outer and the inner man : 
outwardly and inwardly, every individual of the nation has 
already been smitten by the wrath of God, so that they have 
enough, and might have been brought to bethink themselves. 

Considoing this utterly miserable condition of every 
individual of the nation, the view (in ver. 6) of the whole 
pe(^le as a miserably diseased body does not come on us 
unexpectedly : " From the sole of the foot to the head, there is 
nothing aownd in it, — scars, and weals, and fettering wounds i 
theif have not been pressed out, or lound up, nor has there been 
any softening with oil." In the body of the nation, to which 
(or to the people as a whole) reference is made by ia, " in it," 
—the address now passing into objective form, — there is 
nothing healthy {Oho from O^, not, as in Judg. xx. 48, from 
no with the root nno) ; it is covered with wounds of various 
kinds, inflicted at different times; and for the healing of 
these many and manifold wounds, which all together, dose on 
one another, one on the other, cover the body of the nation, 
no kind of means has been employed. V9f (from jnn, to 
cleave, tear open) is a wound made by tearing the fledi, as 
by a sword-stroke : this required binding up (Eaek. xxx. 21), 
that the gaping Sesh might close again ; n'nin (&om *>3n=j^^ 
to be striped) is a swollen stripe or lump, such as is caused 
by the stroke of a whip or a blow of the fist ; this required 
softening with oil, in order that the coagulated matter or the 
swelling might disperse ; ipo nsp is the still fresh and bleed- 
ing wound, which needed pressing out to cleanse it, and thns 
fooilitate healing. The three predicates, in relation to the 
ideas presented in the subjects, show an approximation to a 
chiasm. The predicates are plural in form, owing to the 
subjects being taken collectively ; the expression jofi ms^ tfy^ 

vou I. £ 



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which, as regards its meaniog, refers to man, is accordingly 
to be understood as a neuter construction, and to be rendered, 
" nor has softening with oil been effected." Considering the 
Pual near it, vif might also appear to be of the same conjuga- 
tion, but actually is not, because, according to the accentuation 
(with two Pashias, the first of which, as in *^, Gen. L 2, 
marks the place of tone, so that the form here is to be pro- 
nounced aku), it has the tone on the penult, — a fact for 
which (in spite of what Stade says, § 41 5) no reason could be 
perceived, if the form were from the verb nTt. For the 
assumption that the tone is retracted in order to prepare us 
for the heavy incidence of the tone in ^Bran (Ewald, § 194<;) 
is quite arbitrary; for, though the influence of the Pause 
sometimes reaches to the second last word, it does not extend 
to the third last Moreover, according to the usage of the 
language, inf signifies " to be -dispersed," not " to be pressed 
out," whereas *m and tit are commonly used in the sense of 
pressing together, and pressing out Hence )*)! (like vffii) is 
either the Qal of a middle-vowel intransitive verb "ist, or (more 
probably)— because the middle-vowel verb nf in Ps. Iviii 4 
has another meaning •(" they are estranged ; " cC y^^ above, in 

ver. 4) — the Qal of "nr (= jj, eonatringere), which is here in- 
flected as an intransitive verb, and in a measure corresponding' 

to the Arabic passive of the Qal \jjj (OlsL § 245. 1); c£ 
Job xziv. 24, xeh, and Gen. xlix. 23, the actively used tah. 
The surgical treatment, so highly necessary for the nation, is 
a figurative representation of the pastoral address of the 
prophet, which, though certainly published, was as if it had 
not been published, inasmuch as its salutary effect was con- 
ditioned by repentance on the part of the nation. The people 
despised God's offer of service like that of the good Samaritan 
(Luke X. 34). They did not like the radical cure of which 
the prophets made offer. The view of the body as diseased 
within and wholly lacerated without was thus all the more 
calculated to excite compassion. The prophet speaks of the 
existing condition of things. He says that it has already 
come to the worst with the people, and this is precisely the 
ground and the subject of his inculpatory complaints. 
Hence, when he passes in ver. 7 from figurative to literal 



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CDAPIBS I. 7, 07. 

language (like ver. 23 after 22), it is to be perceived that he. 
is there also speaking of what was then present. 

The body thus internally and externally disorganized was, 
properly speaking, the people and the country in the frightful 
condition described in ver. 7, which begins in the most compre- 
hensive manner, and closes in the same way : " Your country 
— a toatU ! your cities — himed with firt I your arable land — 
before your eyes strangers are devouring it, and a desert like an 
overthrowing by strangers." Caspari (in his BeitrOge zur Mnl. 
in das Buck Jesaia, p. 204) has pointed out how nearly every 
word here corresponds to the threatenings of a curse in Lev. 
xxvL and Deut xxviil (xxix.). The designation given by 
the prophet to the foes who have devastated the country 
reduced its cities to ashes, and seized its harvest, is simply 
O^J, " strangers," or barbarians (cf. Festns : hostis apud antiquos 
peregrinus dicebatur), without mentioning their nationality. 
He abstracts from the historic definiteness of the present, in 
order the more impressively to show that it bears the character 
of the curse which was predetermined. The climactic ex> 
pression for this is, that — as stated in the noun-clause at the 
end of ver. 7, which goes back to repeat what was previously 
said — ^there has been wrought a desolation, Ofnit rDBnp3, '< like 
an overthrow of foreigners." This emphatic repetition of a 
catchword in a verse, seen here in the case of 0^4> '^ * figure 
of speech (called tpanaphora) common to the two halves of 
the collection : Ewald, Studer, Lagarde, and Obeyne, reading 
0*10 nsBHsa, mistake this peculiarity of Isaiah's writings. It 
is a question, however, whether, with Caspari, Knobel, and 
Nagelsbach, D^T is to be taken as a subjective genitive, in 
which case the clause would mean " like an overthrow such 
as barbarians usually cause ; " or whether we should, with 
Hitzig. Luzzatto, and others, regard the word as an objective 
genitive, and render the expression, " like an overthrow such 
as is wont to befall barbarians.'' As n^BTip, in conformity 
with the primary passage in Deut. xxix. 22, in all other 
places where it occurs, designates the overthrow of Sodom, 
Qomorrah, etc. (xiii 19 ; Amos iv. 11 ; Jer. L 40), that was 
accomplished by God, and seeing that Isaiah also, as ver. 8 
shows, has this catastrophe in his mind, we decide for the 
view that onr, like 0*jwn in Prov. xii. 7, is the objective 



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6^8 ISAIAH. 

g^nitiTe : this view is farther rendered more probable by the 
form of the noun, which points to a state or condition rather 
than an action (c£ ^fT^, Jw??, "P?^) ; in this way also 
the 3, marking the comparison, becomes more significant 
The prophet means to say that the desolation which has 
befallen the countiy of the people of God is like such com- 
plete ruin (mbvenio) as God sends on nations which stand 
outside of the covenant-relation (cf. £ph. ii 14), and which, 
like the people of the Pentapolis, are utterly destroyed by 
Him, leaving no trace behind. 

But, as declared in vers. 8, 9, there is merely similarity, 
not identity. Jerusalem is still preserved, but in how sad a 
condition ! There is no doubt that in ver. 8 " the daughter 
of Zion " means Jerusalem. The genitive in the expression 
t^vra is that of apposition, so that "daughter of Zion" is 
equivalent to " daughter Zion ;" cf. fnr^ '^f, xxxvil 22, 
where annexion comes in twice, instead of apposition (Gres. 
$ 128. 2<2). Zion itself is represented as a daughter, ie. as 
a woman. Such ia the name applied, first of all, to the 
townspeople dwelling round the fortress of Zion, to which the 
individual inhabitants of the city are related as children to 
their mother, inasmuch as the community sees its members 
from time to time coming into existence and growing up, and 
those who are thus bom within her are, as it were, bom of 
her and brought up by her ; but, in the next instance, the 
name is also applied to the city itself, either including at 
excluding (c£ Jer. xlvi 19, xlviiL 18; Zeoh. iL 11) the 
inhabitants, — here, however, as shown in ver. 9, these are 
included. This is precisely the point of the first two com- 
parisons. "And the daughter of Zion is left remaining like a 
booth in a vineyard, like a night - hut in a cucumiier -field." 
The vineyard and the cucumber field are considered by the 
prophet in their condition before the harvest (not e^ler, as the 
Targums represent it), during which they need to be watched ; 
hence the point of the comparison is this, that throughout the 
vineyard and the cucumber field not a single human being is 
to be seen, and that, nothing but the booth and the night 
hut' show, nevertheless, thait such a being has his abode here. 

* The pictare of "a lodge in a garden of cacumbera," in Thomson'i 
Land <md the Boek, shows four polen covered above with boughs, and with, 



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CHAPm I. 8. 69 

So stands Jerasdem in the midst of a far-reaching desdlation. 
— a sign, however, that the country was not wh<^y de- 
populated. 

But what is the meaning of the third of the comparisons f 
Hitzig renders, " like a watch-tower;" Elnobel, " like a guard- 
oity;" BeuSB (who, however, would raUier expunge the words, 
which he considers a gloss), " oonune nn lien de garde;" Imt 
though n-nv3 may mean a guard, a watoh, "VV cannot mean a 
tower. Anid for the rendering which most readily presents 
itself, "like a guarded city" {i.e. a city preserved ttwm 
danger), the 3 of comparison is unsuitable. Nor is it ad- 
missible to take the first two a in the sense of 9i«wt, and 
the third in the sense of tie; for this correlative 3 is usual 
only in clauses indicating identity, not in those properly 
signifying comparison. Weir's conjecture, that the reading 
ehould be nvna Tys (Prov. xxv. 28; 2 Cbron. xxxii, 6), is 
ingenious: this would make &e clause mean "like a city 
(with walls) broken through," — hence, defenceless ; but there 
is no need for this conjectura We translate, "like a blockaded 
cily," deriving nrim here, as in Prov. viL 10, from ">», — not, 
with Luszatto, from "nv, Ni if^, fern, n-rno (which is not in 
use, and, moreover, in this obscured feminine form, cannot 
be proved to exist; see Stade, § 78a), and after the LXX., 
with Strachey, rendering the words " like a besieged city." "i^ 
signifies to observe with keen eye (ct. Tvyto, and Uj, obsenmn, 

with ia}, euttodire), with good intention, or (as in Job viL 20) 

with hostile design ; it may thus, like the 83monymous terms 
in 2 Sam. xi 16, Jer. v. 6, be used of the investment of a city. 
Jemsalem was not aotually blockaded when the fnuphet 
uttered his predictions, but it was just like a blockaded oi^, 
inasmuch as between such a town and the Uockading enemy 
there is a desdate and uninhabited space, in the nticbt of 
which the city lies in silence and solitude, shut up within 
itsel£ The citizens do not venture fortii ; while the enany, 
tm account of the missiles of the dtiiens, do Hot hazard aa 
approach into the near vicinity of the walls ; in the suburbs 

a floor for the watcher, taiaed somewhat ahove the gtotmd : the whda 
thus forms a hot open on all sides. A fuller description is ^yea by 
Wetzstein in our Commentary on Job (2nd edition)^ |>. 34B. 



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70 ISAIAH. 

eveiything has been laid waste, partly by the dtizens, that 
the enemy may not find anything nsefol, — ^partly by the enemy, 
who, for instance, fell the trees. Thus, in spite of all the joy 
that might be felt at the preservation of Jerusalem, the city 
wears a cheerless aspect ; it looks as if it were in a state of 
blockade That we must explain the passage in this way, 
with Caspari, is shown by Jer. iv. 16 fl, where the actual 
storming of Jerusalem is predicted, and the enemy — probably 
with reference to this comparison by Isaiah (see Hitzig on the 
passage in Jeremiah) — are called 0^1^. 

For the present, Israel has stUl been spared the worst : the 
omnipotence of God has graciously prevented it. " Unless 
Jehovah of Hosts had left us a little of what escaped, we shotUd 
have become as Sodom, we should he like Gomorrah," ver. 9. 
*T^iB> (for which the LXX. and Bom. ix. 29, with a regard to 
vi 13, has <nrip/M) is also in. Deut. iL 34, etc., what 
escapes by flight from defeat and destruction : and, accord- 
ing to the accents, oyo3 is to be taken with *i^^, so that 
these two words will mean "an escaped remnant, which is 
nothing more than a trifle:" on this noun-use of cpo, cf. 
xvi 14 ; 2 Chron. xii. 7 ; Prov. x. 20 ; Ps. cv. 12. Looking at 
Pa IxxxL 14 f., cf. Job xxxii 32 (where the conditional 
clause is easily supplied), one might be inclined to place 0^? 
in the apodosis, and render it " we would almost . . . ;" but 
considering the accentuation actually before us, the inference 
is more strictly logical The designation rntov mrr occupies 
a strongly emphatic position in the front It would have 
been all over with Israel long ago but for the compassion of 
God (cf. Hos. xi 8) ; and because it is the omnipotence of 
Grod which set in motion the will of His compassion, He is 
called rrtKM rfn^, "Jehovah (the God oO the heavenly hosts," 
-> — a title in which >^tay is a governed genitive, — not, as 
Oheyne and Luzzatto think, in accordance with the analogy of 
0*r6tt, an independent name of God.* The prophet says " us " 
and " we :" he is himself an inhabitant of Jerusalem ; and 
even if he had not been such, he is, nevertheless, an Israelite : 

* That fritOV does not indicate the hosts of Israel (which was the view 
of R. Jos6 in Shabuoth 36b), bnt the powers of nature subject to God, I 
think I have shown in the essay, Dtr OMunamt JcJuot Zebaoth, in ^e 
XiitA«r. .ZettnAri^ 1874, p. 217 fit. . 



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CHAPTSB L 10, 11. 11 

be therefore associates himself with his nation, like Jeremiah 
in Lam. iiL 22. As he has come to experience the wrath of 
Qoi along with them, so he now also celebrates the mighty 
compassion of God which he has experienced with them. But 
for this compassion, the people of God would have become 
like Sodom, from which only four human beings escaped: 
they would have been like Gomorrah, which was utterly 
annihilated. 

The address of the prophet has now reached a resting- 
point That it is here divided into two sections is shown 
even to the eye by the space left between vers. 9 and 10. 
The prophet pauses after he has declared that nothing but 
divine compassion for Israel has prevented the utter destruc- 
tion it has well deserved. He hears in spirit the remon- 
strance of his audience. They would fain represent the 
accusations which he had just uttered as unfounded, by appeal- 
ing to their exact observance of the divine law ; but in 
opposition to this ground of self-vindication which the pro- 
phet has read out of the hearts of those impeached, he but 
proceeds to prove the divine arraignment, which he begins in 
vers. 1 0, 1 1 : " ffear the word of Jehovah, ye Sodom-judges ! 
listen to the law of our God, Gomorrah-nation ! For what 
fmrpote is the multitude of your slain offerings to met saith 
Jehovah. I am sated with burnt-offerings of rams, and the 
suet of fatted calves ; and the llood of buttocks and lamis antl 
he-goats, I do not like." The second attack in the prophet's 
address begins, like the first in ver. 2, with " hear ye I " and 
" listen 1 " The summons to hear is in this instance (just 
as in the case of Isaiah's contemporary, Micah, — cha(. ill) 

addressed to the OVit> (from Wij, ^.a*, deeidere, with the 

noun -ending f^, see Jeshurun, p. 212 fil), ijt. men with 
decisive authority, the rulers in the fullest sense, and to the 
people who are subject to them. It is of the mercy of God 
that Jerusalem still exists, for Jerusalem is nrviHiuvnK&i 
Soho/ia, as is said regarding Jerusalem in the Apocalypse 
(xi. 8), with reference to this passage in Isaiah. According to 
Ezek. xvi. 49, pride, the lust of the flesh, and want of mercy 
were the chief sins of Sodom ; and of these, the rulers of 
Jerusalem and the multitude subject to them and worthy of 



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72 ISAIAH. 

tbem were not less guilty now. But they think tbey do not 
by any means stand in such disfavour with God, because out> 
wafdly they render satisfaction to the law. The prophet, 
therefore, summons them to hear the law of the God of Israel 
which he wishes to declare to them, — for the prophets were 
called to be the expounders of the law, and to announce what 
was truly the will and good pleasure of God ; and what He 
requires is, not external acts of worship with no corresponding 
homage of heart, not ceremonial performances at all in the 
first instance, but freedom from sin and a course of life that 
flpws. from obedience to Him and loving sympathy with other 
men. " For what purpose is the multitude of your slain- 
ofiferings to me ? saith Jehovah." The prophet purposely says 
"lOK*, not *1DM, to indicate that what he declares is the constant 
language of God in opposition to the heartless show of rever- 
ence and the hypocritical ceremonial righteousness of Israel 
The multitude of Q^nnr, i.e. sacrifices of animals which they 
slaughtered, has no value in His eyes. As the whole worship 
is here examined in detail, O'ror appears to denote the 
D'ppe', «.«. the " peace-offerings " or communion-offerings, with 
which a meal was associated, for Jehovah vouchsafed to the 
offerer a share in the enjoyment of what be offered. Bat it 
is better to take O^nst as a general name for the bloody 
sacrifices, which are then divided into rriV^p and ^^n ; for they 
are. partly whole-offerings, which ace wholly (though piece 
by piece) laid on the altar and there consumed by fire, and 
partly those sacrifices of which only the pieces of fat were 
burned on the altar, viz. sin-offerings and trespass-offerings, 
and especially peace-offerings. Of the sacrificial animals 
mentioned, D'^B (bullocks) and D'K'TO (fatted calves) are species 
of *>iJ3 (large cattle), while B'^M (lambs) and onwy (young 
he-goats as distinguished firom "i*^, the older long-haired he- 
goat, the animal taken as a sin-offering) together with the 7IK 
(ram; the usual whole-offering of the high priest, the tribe- 
prince, and the nation on all high feast-days) are species of 
fix (smaller cattle). The blood of these sacrificial animals 
(such as, for example, the young bullocks, sheep, and he-goats) 
was, in accordance with the requirement of the law, dashed 
Sgaiost the altar round about, in the case of the whole-offer- 
ing, the peace-o£fering, and the trespass-offering ; in the case 



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CHAFTSB I. 12. 13 

of the sia-offering, it was smeared on the horns of the altar, 
poured out at the toot of the altar, and in some instances 
sprinkled on the side of the altar or towards the vessels of 
the inner sanctuary. With such offerings Jehovah is sated, 
and no longer cares for them. (The two perfects here indi- 
cate what has long been and still is going on at present.) ' 

What Jeremiah (viL 22) says of sacrifices — that Qod never 
properly wished them — Isaiah now says, in ver. 1 2, regarding 
visits to the temple : * When ye come to appecer be/ore my 
face, who kath asked this at your hand, — to tread my courts f " 
rAsrh is a contracted infinitive Niphal for rtionp, as in Ex. 
xxxiv. 24; Deut xxxi 11; cf. the similarly contracted 
Hiphil forms in iil 8, xxiiL 11 ; on the other band, i^ in 
Deut xxvi 12 = 1!??^ (c£ Neh. x. 39); as r?i»TO, Dan. 
ii 35, iv. 34 ■>• T^Pi^. ^^, ""if '"'^1? is the standing expression 
for the appearing of all male Israelites in the temple, in 
accordance witii the law, at the three great feasts, but it also 
oame to be used in speaking of visiting the temple generally 
(c£ Pa xlii 3, Ixxxiv. 8). According to Ewald (§ 279e), 
*jf indicates the subject connected with the passive verb 
C to be seen by the face of God ") ; but why is it not rather a 
local accusative with prepositional meaning, "before the face of" 
(as NSgelsbach thinks), seeing that it is used interchangeably 
with the prepositions f, HK, and ?M ? It is probable that 
fltei^ has thus been pointed here and in Ex. xxxiv. 24, Deut 
xxxL 11, instead of rfMrf? (like WJ!, Ex. xxiii. 15, xxxiv. 20, 
instead of ^to*), in order to avoid speaking of " seeing God," — 
an expression which is so apt to be misunderstood as meaning 
a vision with the eye of sense (cf. Ex. xxiv. 11, LXX. &^ti- 
aav) ; unquestionably, however, lite Niphal perfect stands in 
xvi 12 ; 1 Sam. i 22 ; and also nsr (not HKn^) in Ex. xxiii 
17; moreover, the expression, "to see the face of God," i«. 
of Him who reveals Himself in His sanctuary, is not opposed 
to the rel^ious ideas of the Old Testament, Ps. xi 7, xxvii 4 ; 
and in the Mishna, appearing before God at the great feasts 
is called nnn and jl'in {Hagiga i. 1-, Pta i. 1). Cheyne 
eonsiders that the expression " to see the face of God " is a 
remnant of the old Semitic worship of God by means of 
sensible figures which has been transferred to the language of 
revealed religion : this is possible, but there is no proof that 



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71 ISAIAH. 

such transition has actually occurred. Those whom Jehovah 
here addresses through His prophet certainly visit the temple 
diligently ; but who has required this of their hand (t.«. asked 
this performance from them) t Jehovah certainly has not 
" To tread my courts " stands in apposition with " tiuB," 
which it more closely definea Jehovah has not desired them 
to appear before Him ; He has not asked for this lifeless 
and undevotional tramping thither (vii. 25, xxvi. 6 ; Ezek. 
xxvi. 11), this senseless optia operatum, which would better 
be left unperformed, as it merely desecrates the holy places, 
by wearing out the floors for no purpose. 

Because they do not perform what Jehovah has commanded, 
as He has commanded it. He directly forbids them in ver. 13 
to go on : " Contintu not to bring lying meat-offerings: abomino' 
tum-ineenae is it to me." It is but rarely that nrao denotes an 
offering in general (Gen. iv. 3-5; 1 Sam. ii 17, xxvL 19); here, 
however, as throughout Malachi, the " meat-offering " (meal- 
offering) ia meant, as is shown by the more specific term fnbp 
following, which, without such an addition as is made in Ps. 
Ixvi 15, cannot be understood in the same way as the expres- 
sion in the law, ■^naion TDj^n (to consume in smoke upon the 
altar). The meat-offering of the people of Jerusalem is called 
NIB' nroo (the second nonn being derived from trtB'=nKe^, to 
be waste, desolate, and of like form with rno), as being a 
lifeless and hypocritical performance, having behind it nothing 
of the mental disposition which it appears to express (c£ Job 
XXXV. 13X In the second half of the verse the LXX., 
Jerome, Oesenius, Umbreit, Knobel, and Nagelsbach trans- 
late thus: "incense, — it is an abomination to me," — ^the 
term " incense " being here used as the name of what was 
offered daily on the golden altar of the Holy Place (Ex. 
XXX. 8). But in no place where the prophets denounce 
heartless ceremonial worship is mention made of the offering 
of incense by the priests, and in any case it is more simple 
and natural to take nnbi», not as a bare absolute case, but — 
what is quite allowable — in conformity with the Darga 
marking it, as a construct The meat-offering is called 
"incense" because of the so-called "memorial" (^3?t(), i.e. 
that portion of it which brought the grateful offerer in 
remembrance before God, and which the priest burned on the 



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CHAPTEB L 14. 75 

altar, — an act which was called '"^"JSJ^ "''PP'!' (see Lev. ii. 2 ; 
cf. Jer. xxxiii 18); with this "memorial" also there was 
regularly combined incense, which was wholly — not merely in 
part — ^burned on the altar. The meat-offering, with its sweet 
odour, is merely the form in which gratitude for God's bless- 
ing, and earnest prayerful desire for this, manifest themselves; 
but in the case of these worshippers, there was only the form, 
without the inner spirit ; the form with which they thought 
they have satisfied God is empty, and therefore an abomination 
to Him. 

As little pleasure has God in their punctilious observance 
of the feasts : " New moon and Sabbath, the calling of an 
assembly — I cannot hear iniquity and a festal crowd." The 
first object-ideas, which are logically governed by »^K"i6 
(properly the imperf. Hopbal, " I am unable," viz. to bear, — 
an ellipsis which must be supplied in the same way as in 
Ps. cL 5 ; Jer. xliv. 23 ; Prov. xxx. 21), become absolute 
cases, inasmuch as 73)K~t<7 assumes another and a different 
object in the following rnvjl f». When three things are 
enumerated, the conjunction is readily dropped by the third, 
and stands only with the second: see also Deut xxix. 22; 
Ps. xlv. 9 ; Job xlii. 9 ; Eccles. viL 26. As to new moon and 
Sabbath (which, when joined with ^j\, always signifies the 
weekly Sabbath), and generally the convocation of assemblies 
of the whole community on the weekly Sabbath and high 
festivals, as required in Lev. xxiii., — Jehovah cannot endure a 
festival associated with wickedness, tt^ (from 1W, to press, 
squeeze together) is synonymous with ^^, as shown by 
comparing Jonah L 14 with 2 Kings x. 20, to which it is 
related in the same way as vavij^vpi^ to iKK\ii<rla ; ^ and QK 
(from ]4K, to breathe) is moral vileness, as the utter absence of 
all that has essence and value in God's sight. These two 
nouns are purposely placed together by the prophet A closely 
packed festive gathering, and inward barrenness and emptiness 
on the part of those assembled, — this is a contradiction that 
God cannot endure. 

* In tHe language of the law, the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles 
(Lev. zziii. 36 ; Num. xxix. 36) and the Beventh day of the Feast of 
Unleavened Bread (Deut. xvi 8) is called n*)VP, not from i^, cokiber*, 

claudtre, bat eonitipare (cf. Jer. ix. I). 



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76 ISAIAH. 

In ver. 14 He gives still stronger expression to His 
aversion : " Tvwr new moons and your fatal seeuotu my sovl 
hates ; they have become a burden to me ; I am weary of bear- 
ing them." As the soul of man, viewed as the bond between 
his spiritual and his bodily life, is, though not the principle 
of his self-consciousness, yet the centre from which he draws 
the circle of this self-consciousness, in order to comprehend 
the sum-total of his whole being, and attach it to the thought 
of himself as a person ; so — to take a designation from man 
who has been made in the image of God — the " soul "of God, 
as indicated by ^c'U, is the centre of His being, encircled and 
penetrated by self-consciousness : hence, whatever the soul of 
God hates (cf. Jer. zv. 1) or loves (xliL 1), that He hates or 
loves in the inmost depths and in the whole extent of His 
being. (See Bibl. Psychology, p. 258 of £ng. transl.) Thus He 
hates each and all of the festivals that are kept in Jerusalem ; 
the beginnings of the months and the onjito ("appointed 
feasts," — here, as in Ezra iii. 6, applied to all the feasts on 
which, or on the most solemn days of which, a " holy convoca- 
tion " took place) during the course of the month. These have 
long been to Him, who bears them, a burden, nnb? (mb 
being synonymous with Kto, Dent L 12), so that He can no 
longer endure them ; His patience is tired of such religious 
service. Kin (in Isaiah, found also in xviiL 3, for nttfe' or 
DMb', and here for HKb?) has for its object the festal celebra- 
tions mentioned. like the great variety of offerings, this 
variety of sacred seasons (cf. Hos. iL 13) presupposes the 
existence of a law of correspondingly large extent 

Their self-righteousness, inasmuch as it rested on sacriGce 
and observance of feasts, is now put to shame ; in ver. 15 the 
last and innermost bulwark of the seemingly holy nation was 
destroyed : " And when ye stretch out your hands, I hide mine 
eyesfivm you: even when you pray much, I do not hear, — your 
hands are full of hlood." Even their prayer is an abomination 
to God. Prayer is something common to man ; it is the inter- 
preter of religious thought and feeling, coming as a mediator 
between God and men ; it is spiritual sacrifice. The law does 
not command prayer ; apart from Deut zxvi, it contains no 
form of prayer : but prayer is so natural to man as such that 
there was no need of any precept for this fundamental 



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CHATTEB I. 1& 77 

expression of oar relation to Ood. Hence the prophet oomes 
to prayer last of all, in order to reduce to its nonentity their 
self-rigbteonsuess, which is rotten even to this last foundation. 

tna (=fcCDjfi), ^J>) or Piel '^'9? 'T!! (used in xxv. 11 of 

swimming), here with « instead of e in a closed syllable, as 
in XXV. 1, lii. 12, etc, is the gesture of one in prayer, who 
spreads out his hands (the expression nowhere means "to 
break the hands " = wrestle), and stretches them, thus spread 
out, upwards to heaven or the Most Holy Place in the temple; 
mcHreover, — as if under a feeling of emptiness and need, and 
through the desire to receive God's gifts, — it is the inner 
surfaces of the hands, o*B3 (cf. tmdert palmas, e.g. in Virgil's 
^neid, xiL 196, tenditque ad tidera palvuu), that are held 
up, though often enough on^ is interchanged with the word. 
If they stand before Him in this suppliant attitude, or lie upon 
the ground, Jehovah hides His eyes, i«. His omniscience wants 
to know nothing of this ; and though they pray ever so much 
and so long (^ D», etiamsi; cf. the simple ^ in Jet. xiv. 12), 
He is as if He were deaf to it alL We would now expect a ^a 
to introduce the ground or reason ; but the more excited the 
speaker is, so much the more brief and disconnected is his 
speech. The plural Q^ always denotes human blood shed, 
especially by force, and then also the bloody deed and blood- 
guiltiness itself ; the plural points neither to the quantity nor to 
the separate drops, but is rather plural of the product, like 0^, 
oyS, etc. For the sake of emphasis the dreadful o^ stands 
before its govoning verb UCD, which points to many acts of 
murder committed, and deeds of violence resembling these. 
Blood did not indeed actually adhere to their hands stretched, 
out in prayer ; but before God, from whom no outward show 
conceals the true nature of things, they drip with blood, 
though washed ever so clean. 

The protest of the people against the accusations of God 
has now been given negatively in vers. 11-15; their work- 
tigbteous worship, defiled through unrighteous deeds and 
even murder itself, Jehovah will not have. The divine 
arraignment is next proved positively also, in vers. 16, 17, 
where the true righteousness which the accused had not is 
(qppoqed to the false righteousness of which they boastb 



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78 ISAIAH. 

Overwhelming denanciation here changes into hortatory 
appeal, and already there is proclaimed the love that is 
concealed behind the wrath, and would gladly break through. 
There are eight exhortations. The first three refer to the 
removal of evil, the other five to the performance of what is 
good. 

The first three verses run thus: ver. 16, " Waak yourulves, 
purify yourselves ; remove the evil of your deeds from be/are 
mine eyes ; cease to do evil." This is not merely an advance 
from figurative language to the most literal, it is also an 
advance even on what has been already declared. The first 
exhortation requires first of all, and above all, purification 
from the sins that have been committed, through forgive- 
ness sought and obtained. )Vn is here used in the frequent 
middle sense, Xovevdai; and ^n, ^vith the tone on the final 
syllable, is not the Niphal from ^3T ^for the 2nd per& plural 
imperat Kiphal of verbs y^ usually and natundly has the. 
tone on the penult, see liL 11, xviL 10), but the Hithpael 
from list, for u^Tn, with the same assimilation of the pre- 
formative n as in the Hithpael OOtiM (= errMMm), xxxiiL 10. 
In conformity with the difference between the two synonyms 
(to wash one's self, to purify one's self), the former is to be 
referred to the great act of repentance on the part of one 
who returns to God, the latter to the daily repentance of one 
who is converted. The second exhortation requires that they 
shall place themselves in the light of (Jod's countenance, and 
put away the evil of their deeds that cannot be endured by 
pure eyes (Hab. i. 13). They are to wrestle against and' 
overcome the vicious disposition to which actual sin had 
grown, that it may at last wholly disappear. According to 
its root-idea, *U} (from iu, tX^, to be elevated, opp. jU, to be 
depressed, sunk) signifies prominence (cl Arab. lUgd, elevated 
country, visible from afar), conspicuousness, so that *i^p is thus 
properly equivalent to e eonspeetu, as fii is in co7ispectu : regard- 
ing y?Sp, see under iil 4. 

The five exhortations pointing to the practice of what is 
good, are in ver. 17 : " Zearn to do good, take an interest in 
judgment, set the oppressor right, pronounce the sentence of the 
orphan, plead the cause of the widow." The first exhortation 
is the fundamental one: they are to learn to do good, — a 



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CHAFTIB L 17. 79 

difficult art in which one does not become a master merely 
through good intentions. The inf. absol. a^D^n is regarded as 
the accusative of the vipV; and n? in ver. 16 (for which 
we might also have TT!.^) similarly takes the place of the 
object : such employment of this infinitive as a noun is not 
very rare, see vil 15 f., xlii. 54, Ivii. 20 ; Jer. ix. 4. That 
this primary exhortation now branches out into four minor 
ones referring to the administration of justice, is accounted 
for by the fact that no other prophet directs so keen an eye 
upon affairs of state and judicial proceedings as Isaiah. In 
this respect he differs from his younger contemporary Micah, 
whose character is more generally ethical, while Isaiah's is 
largely political Hence the exhortations : " apply yourselves 
to judgment," — •J^'i signifying to devote one's self zealously 
and carefully to a thing ; then : " bring the oppressor to the 
right way." So we must render the words ; for Y^on (from 
T'on, to be sharp in taste, dazzling in appearance, violent or 
furious in disposition) cannot well mean him who is 
oppressed, injured in his rights, as most of the old translators 
have rendered it (LXX. aBiKovftevw, Targ. D*3tn, "who is 
oppressed"). The form Mdj certainly may have a stative 
meaning closely connected with the passive, and marking 
a high d^ree (as shown by I'jn, "provided with a girdle," 
in relation to i«n, " girded ; " plur. *Ti3n, Ezek. xxxiii. 16); 
but more frequently it has an active sense, like l^on (see ver. 
31), "rtaa, Jer. iii 7, 10 ; t^Wl, Jer. xxii. 3, and the Qamez is 
then unchangeable (hence fem. ^^33), after the manner of the 
Arabic form J^U (/« "0- Such is the meaning here ; for 
the Piel ">?'« signifies neither to make happy nor to 
strengthen (Luzzatto renders rianimate ehi i oppresso), — nor 
is the latter its meaning in the Talmud, where it rather 
signifies to confirm or ratify, — but either to pronounce a 
person happy or fortunate (the verb being in this case a 
denominative from 1B^, ^^B^, like /uiKapi^ew), a meaning 
which is quite unsuitable here ; or, as in iii. 2, ix. 15 (cl Prov. 
xxiii 19), to lead in the right way; or, to make any one 
keep the straight course. In this way, then, )it3n will have 
the intensified signification of f^n, Ps. Ixxi 4. ie. it will 
mean a violent, regardless, heartless man ; and }ion r^ will 
signify, " show the violent man the way of righteousness : " the 



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80 iSAua 

expression does not point so much to punishment and render- 
ing harmless, as to correction and improvement, Ps. Ixxii. 4.^ 
Next follow two exhortations referring to widows and orphans : 
these, with the stranger, are under very special protection, 
the objects of care by God and His law; see Ex. xxil 21, 
cf. 20. " Pronounce the sentence of the or[^an " (ODB', as in 
Deut XXV, 1, is abbreviated from 'b OBBto Me*) ; for, if n<> 
decision and verdict is pronounced in their case, this is the 
most outrageous unrighteousness, inasmuch as not even the 
form and appearance of justice are preserved. " Plead the 
cause of the widow," the imperative 3^, with the accusative 
of a person (a construction which is further found only in 
11 22), is a condensed expression for 'b sn a'^, to plead and 
maintain the cause of any one. Thus the reasonings adduced 
in self-defence by the hearts of the accused are refuted, both 
negatively and positively. They are thunderstruck and pat 
to shame. The law announced in ver. 10 has been preached 
to them. The prophet has thrown aside the husks of their 
dead works, and revealed the moral kernel of the law in its 
universal application to all mankind. 

Jehovah has been addressing His people in anger, but 
even in the exhortations of vers. 16, 17 His love had begun 
to move. This love, which seeks not the destruction of 
Israel, but their inward and outward salvation, now breaks 
forth in ver. 18 : " Come ncno, and let ua reason together, saith 
Jehovah : if your sins come out like scarlet clothes, they dudl 
become white like snow : if they be red like crimson, they shall 
come out like wool." Cheyne translates: "let us bring our 
dispute to an end," and thus interprets away the offer of free 
grace, but without giving any reason for the possibility of 
this rendering. Wellhausen also sets it aside by taking the 
latter part of ver. 18 as a question (" If . . . should they 
become white ? "). But it is always a very precarious make- 
shift to regard such clauses as questions without any inter- 
rogatory sign, when there is no necessity for a resort to 
this expedient; the Hiphil rrain certainly may signify to 

* It is an instractiTe fact, throwing light on the meaning of the word, 
that in the Talmud (Joma 396) a person who had nBurped not merely 
his own inheritance hut that of another, hore the nickname of pttsn {3 

through life. 



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CHAPTBR I. 1& 81 

"decide;" the Niphal rq\i, however, does not mean to 
" bring a lawsuit to an end," but to carry on litigation 
with another, Job xxiii 7 (in post-Biblical Hebrew, navtn), 
syn. OSS'], xliiL 26. In this litigation it will be made clear 
that no kind of guilt lies on the side of Jehovah, but that the 
righteousness which Israel could vindicate for themselves is 
but a semblance of righteousness, and this seeming righteous- 
ness, properly regarded, is blood-stained unrighteousness. It 
is assumed that the investigation can have no other result 
than this ; hence Israel is worthy of death. Jehovah, how- 
ever, does not wish to deal with Israel in accordance with 
His retributive justice, but according to His free mercy and 
compassion (c£ the expression pointing to " grace alone " in 
xliiL 25, and further, Micah vii. 18 f.). He is willing to 
remit the punishment, and not merely to r^ard the sin as if 
it were not, but even to change it into its opposite. Sin of 
the brightest red dye is by His grace to become the purest 
white. On the two Hiphils indicating colour, see Gesen. 
§ 53. 2, where the signification was formerly stated to be, to 
assume a colour, or rather to give out (or emit rays of) colour, 
— not eolorem aeeipere, but cclorem dare. '?B' signifies clear or 
bright red (from Ta^=\j^, to be bright, glisten), not Sl^a(f)ov 
(from 'IJB', to do twice, viz. to dye twice; for it is in the 
case of purple that the double dyeing can be proved, not in 
the case of crimson). B'jf (cf. our remarks on Prov. xxxi. 21) 
are not materials which have been dyed twice, but those which 
have been dyed with ''iV, " bright red." j6iH (here and in 
Lam. iv. 5), a worm = worm -dye, is the name of the same 
dye-stuff, — ^that of the crimson obtained from the coccus- 
insect of the quereiis cocci/era and other plants, — the color 
eocctTUfUS. In the middle books of the Pentateuch the colour- 
ing matter is called '?«' nj;^ ; and where mention is made of 
wool dyed this colour, the expression used is nj^n '•yf (Lev. 
xiv. ; Num. xix.): here and in Prov. xxxL 21, O'JB' are scarlet 
clothes, — the plural from the singular which is used in the 
same sense in 2 Sam. 1. 24, Jer. iv. 30, along with which 
}h^F^ (worm-dyed cloth) is employed.* Jerome has translated 

> The later name, found only in the Chronicles, is b^DtS (from the 
Persian kirm, kirim), Rom. earmin, carminio; see my essay on red dye-stnfls 
VOL. I. F 



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82 ISAIAH. 

the term correctly ; but Luther, in order to give it a more 
popular turn, has " rose-colour ; " the red of the rose, indeed, 
represents all the shades of red from a pale red to a dull and 
almost dark red to a fiery red, but the rose is unsuitable in 
the present passage. The representation of the work of grace, 
which God promises, as a change from red to white, is founded 
on the symbolism of colours, quite as much as when, in the 
Apocalypse, the garments of the saints are said to be of a 
bright white (xix. 8), while the clothing of Babylon is purple 
and scarlet (xvii. 4). Bed, and this of a scarlet hue (ie. 
bright red, or yellowish red), is the colour of fire, of anger, 
and therefore also of sin : white is the colour of light, of grace, 
of righteousness and holiness. White and scarlet are corre- 
lated as light and fire. Fiery red is the colour of sin, as the 
selfish, greedy, passionate life, which goes out of itself in order 
to destroy : sin is called red, inasmuch as its nature consumes 
and destroys the man in whom it dwells, and when it breaks 
forth, also consumes other men. According to the Biblical 
view, sin and piety, anger and love or grace are mutually 
related as fire and light, hence as red and white, or also as 
black and white ; for red is the colour of the fire that shines 
up out of the darkness and returns into it, while white, with- 
out any mixture of darkness, sets forth the pure, absolute 
triumph of light What we read here in Isaiah is a deeply 
significant symbolical representation of the act of justification. 
Jehovah offers Himself to Israel for the performance of a 
forensic act, out of which, though the people have merited 
death on account of their sins, they are to go forth justified 
by grace. The righteousness, white as snow and wool, with 
which Israel goes forth, is a gift which, without being con- 
ditioned by the performance of a..legal requirement, becomes 
theirs through pure compassion displayed towards them. 

But after Israel has been completely restored to its former 
state through such an act of grace, the conduct of the people, 
of course, comes into consideration, not, however (as Cheyne 
thinks), as the condition on the fulfilment of which the pro- 

in the Zeittdmft der deiUtck. marg. GeteUichaft, xviL 676 ff., and the article 
" Colours in the Bible" in Herzog's Cyclopaedia (English translation, 
edited by Schaff, toL i. p. 514 f.}, also my " Iris : Studies in Colour and 
Talks about Flowers " (English translation, Edinburgh 1889). 



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CBAFTBR I. 19, SO. 83 

mised change would take place, but as prospectively, its 
morally certain and necessary result. According as Israel 
accepts the proffered grace of God and afterwards acts in 
accordance therewith, Jehovah decides the future of Israel, 
vers. 19, 20 : " If yt will consent and hear, ye shall eat the good 
of the land ; hut if ye will refuse arid rebel, ye shall be devoured 
by the sv!ord,for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it." K they 
assent to the act of grace which God offers them, and accept 
this discharge from the guilt of sin, then certainly there again 
lies before the justified once more a blessing and a curse, in 
the same way as the law had already announced both (in 
connection with ver. 19i, compare Deut xxviii. 33 f. ; Lev. 
xzvL 3 ff. ; and on the threat of the avenging sword in 205, 
see Lev. xxvL 25). The promise speaks of eating, viz. the 
enjoyment of abundant domestic blessings, and thus points to 
settled and peaceful home-life ; for here the subject of the 
purification from sin is not (as in Ps. li.) a person, but the 
nation. The opposite of this is the curse, — not of eating the 
sword (cf. Arab. aXama. es-sifa, to give any one the sword to 
eat, t.e. to kill him), as Aug. Miiller {Hebr. Syntax, £ug. 
transl. § 47, Bern, a) thinks, rendering, " ye shall be made to 
devour the sword," — but (as /3K elsewhere also is a simple 
passive, not a causative passive of the Qal), as shown in 
Gesen. § 121. 3, "ye shall be devoured by the sword." 
3^n is the accusative of manner, in the sense of the means 
(instrumental accusative), as in P& xvii 13, 14 ; standing in 
this way, without genitive or adjective or sufiBx (as also, e.g., 
in Ex. XXX. 20), this adverbial accusative is rare, and in this 
passage is a bold construction which the prophet allows him- 
self to make for the sake of the paronomasia, instead of saying 
oajQKh nnn. - in the conditional clauses, the two imperfects are 
followed by two perfects (cf. the mode of expression in Lev. 
xzvi 21, which is more consonant with our Western usage), 
inasmuch as obeying and rebelling equally result from an act 
of the will : " if ye will consent, and, in consequence of this, 
hear ... if ye will refuse, and show yourselves obstinate : " 
we have thus here true " consecutive perfects." nSK, which 
is elsewhere used fifty-two times with t6, or in a native 
question (Job xxxix. 9), is used only here in a positive mean- 
ing, — perhaps to chime with aio ; like ^'p^ with '^«tK 



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64 ISAIAH. 

The second half of the address begins with ver. 21, and 
like the first it opens with the lamentation of God over the 
apostasy of His people. To the Piska after ver. 20 corre- 
sponds a long pause in the mind of the speaker. Will Israel 
tread the saving path of forgiveness of sins, now offered them, 
and enter on a life of new obedience, and will it thus be 
possible for them to be brought back by this way ? Some 
may perhaps return, but not all ; hence the divine address 
becomes a mournful complaint So peaceful a solution of the 
discord between Jehovah and His children is not to be hoped 
for; Jerusalem is far too deeply depraved. " Hcrw is she 
become a harlot, the faithful citadel, — »he that teas full of 
judgment, and wherein righteousness used to lodge, — hut now 
murderers ! " The keynote here sounded is that of an elegy. 
nyK (properly, " how thus ? " — for 'K gives an interrogative 
sense to demonstrative words), only seldom in the shortened 
form Tl*, is an expression indicative at once of complaint and 
astonishment This longer form, more like a sigh, is a word 
characteristic of the ni'p or lamentation ; thus, while the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah begin with ns^K, and receive their 
usual designation (in Hebrew) from this word, — on the other 
hand, the shorter Tlf, used in mockiug complaints, is a 
word characteristic of the pf^ or proverb, see xiv. 4, 12; 
Micah ii. 4. From this word, which gives the keynote, every- 
thing runs on softly, folly, evenly, and slowly, in the manner 
peculiar to an elegy. That such forms, moreover, as 'J?^ 
for nsjD (on the so-called "Hirek compaginis," see the 
introduction to Ps. cxvi.), softened through lengthening, are 
adapted for elegiac productions, is at once evident from the 
first verse of the Lamentations, which begin with the elegiac 
keynote struck by Isaiah. Jerusalem was formerly nnp 
™P???, a faithful city, ie. one that stedfastly adhered to the 
alliance of Jehovah with her (cf. Ps. IxxviiL 37). This 
alliance was a marriage-alliance ; but she has broken it and 
has thereby become a njit, « harlot," — a prophetic view, the 
outlines of which have already been given in the Pentateuch, 
Israel's worship of idols being there called a whoring after 
them, e.g. in the law of the two tables, Ex. xxxiv. 1 6 ; 
Num. xiv. 33, etc. (in all, seven passages); ct Ps. xvL 4, 
IxxiiL 27. It is not merely gross outward idolatry, however. 



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CHAFTEB I. SI. 85 

that makes the Church of God a "harlot," but the defec- 
tion of the heart, however this may at any time express 
itself ; for which reason Jesus also could call the generation of 
His time yeveh /tot;^a\('9, in spite of the strict worship of 
Jehovah carried on in Pharisaic spirit For, as shown by the 
verse before us, the basis of that marriage-relation was justice 
and righteousness in the widest sense : Off?, i.e. a realization 
of righteousness corresponding to the will of God as positively 
made known ; and P^, i.e. a righteous state of things regu- 
lated by that will, a righteous line of conduct in accordance 
with it (different from the more attributive ^i^). Jerusalem 
was formerly full of such justice ; and righteousnesa was not 
merely like a passing guest in the city, but she who came 
down from above had there fixed her permanent abode ; there 
she used to tarry day and night, as if it were her home. 
When the prophet refers to former days, he has in his mind 
the times of David and Solomon, but especially those of 
Jehoshaphat, who (about one hundred and fifty years before 
Isaiah appeared) restored the administration of justice which 
had fallen into neglect since the latter years of Solomon and 
the days of Behoboam and Abijah, — a point to which the 
reformation of Asa had not extended, — and who reorganized 
all in the spirit of the law. Those institutions of Jehoshaphat 
which fell into decay under his three godless successors may 
possibly have been re-established by the high priest .Tehoiada 
under the rule of Joash ; but even in the second half of the 
reign of Joash the administration of justice had already fallen 
once more into the fearful disorder in which — compared at 
least with the times of David and Solomon, and afterwards of 
Jehoshaphat — it still remained even in Isaiah's days. The 
whole point and weight of the complaint concentrate upon 
nnjn, " but now," which expresses the contrast In correct 
codices and editions (e.g. Brescia 1494) OBvp has not Zaheph, 
but Bebia ; and 33, which ought to have Zakeph, has Tiphcha, 
on account of the shortness of the succeeding clause. In this 
way the declaration regarding the former state of things 
is duly distinguished from that concerning the present 
Formerly righteousness, now D'rnnp, "murderers," and that 
too (as distinguished from Q^ri^) by profession, who form a 
band, like King Ahab and his son Joram, 2 Kings vi 32. 



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86 ISAIAH. 

The contrast is as great as it could possibly be ; for murder 
is the extreme opposite of righteousness, its grossest violation. 

From the city generally, the complaint now turns to the 
rulers, and first of all is couched in figurative language, ver. 
22 : " Thy silver has become dross, thy drink adulterated with 
water." This passage is the basis of other two in which like 
figurative language abounds, Jer. vL 27 fif. ; Ezek. xxii. 18—22. 
The silver represents the princes and lords, viewed with 
reference to the nobility of mind associated with their nobility 
of birth and rank ; for silver — sterling silver — is a symbol of 
all that is noble and pure, and it is the purity of light which 
shows itself in it, as in the pure white of byssus and of the lily. 
The princes and lords formerly possessed the virtues which to- 
gether are in Latin called candor animi, — the virtues of magna- 
nimity, courtesy, impartiality, and freedom from the influence 
of bribes ; now, this silver has become dross, such base metals as 
are separated or thrown aside (yp, pL 0<m, D'jp, D*jp, from jio, to 
withdraw ; refuse removed in smelting, dross ; cf. Prov. xxv. 4, 
xxvL 23). In a second figure, the leading men of Jerusalem 
in former days are compared to K3b, " choice wine," such as 
drinkers like, — for this must have been the meaning of the 
word (from K3p, to carouse, Arab. Ax^, to purchase wine for a 
carousal) in Isaiah's time (cf. also Nah. i. 10) among educated 
circles. This pure, strong, and costly wine is now adulterated 
with water (castratum, according to Pliny's expression in his 
Natural History ; cf. juffitlare Falemum, in Martial, L 1 8), or 
weakened ; i.e. through this addition, its strength and flavour 
are diminished. The present is but the dregs and the shadow 
of the past 

In ver. 23 the prophet explains himself ; he repeats in 
plain language what has been already stated under a figure : 
" Thy rulers are rebellious, and associates of thieves ; every one 
loves a bribe, and hunts after payments ; the orphan they judge 
not, and the cause of the widow has tio access to them." The 
utter and contemptible meanness of the rulers (Q^^) of the 
people is here depicted by the alliterating O^o in relation 
to God, " rebellious, stubborn," and by D*?J| '^an in relation to 
men, " associates of thieves," in that they allow themselves 
to be bought over, by a present of part of the plunder, to 
connive at the theft, and to deal unjustly towards those who 



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OBAPTKBI ti. 87 

were robbed. Snch bribes are not merely wUIingly (ani*) 
accepted by thera, — and that, too, by the whole body of the 
princes, ia every single one of them (153 with, neuter suffix, 
synon. TSf}, all), — ^but they even greedily go after them Cn*^). 
It is not 'BSbf ("peace") they hunt after (Ps, xxxiv. 15), but 
D'Jbfe ("payments," recompense for their trouble; cf, o^W, 
Micah vii 3) ; and thus not peace, but something to satisfy 
their avarice and partiality.. 

Such is the case of Jerusalem, which will hardly enter on 
the path of grace opened up to it in ver. 18 ; Jehovah will 
therefore employ another means of correction (ver. 24): 
" Therefore, declaration of Jehovah, of Jehovah of Hosts, of the 
Strong One of Israel, Ah! I shall enjoy myself on mine 
adversaries, and will avenge myself on mine enemies." Salva- 
tion through judgment is still and ever the only means of 
improving and preserving the congregation that takes its 
name from Jerusalem. Therefore Jehovah seeks to satisfy 
the demands of His holiness, and to sift Jerusalem through 
judicial dealing. Such on accumulation of divine names as 
occurs here is nowhere else found in Isaiah; cf. xix. 4, iiL 1, 
X. 33, xvi 3, 15. The irrevocable decree concerning the 
sifting judgment is sealed with three names which iudicate the 
irresistible omnipotence of God. The title V?^. "''?^i " the 
Mighty One of Israel," is derived from Gen. xlix. 24, though 
the name of the nation is changed. In accordance with the 
deep and earnest pathos of the address, instead of iptt there is 
here used otu, from DKl, for which the form in the Mishna 

is cm ; cognate is Dni, Arab. *U, to speak softly, groan ; «j, 

to whisper quietly. All these verbs indicate the emission of 
a dull and hollow groan ; hence D^tu means that which is 
spoken significantly and secretly, solemnly and softly. The 
word occurs only in genitival connection with a following 
subject indicating the person who speaks, particularly in the 
expression nin* DKi ; it always forms a noun-clause (" declara- 
tion of Jehovah," ie. Jehovah speaks). It is first found in 
Gen. xxii. 16 ; in the writings of the prophets, it is found 
even so early as in Obadiah and Joel, most frequently in 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, usually at the end of a sentence, or 
parenthetically in the middle of it, — rarely, as here and in 



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88 ISAUH. 

Ivi. 8 (see our commentary on Ps. ex. 1), at the beginning. 
The utterance commences with in, the painfiilness of pity 
commingling with the outburst of wrath that has been 
determined. Along with the Niphal p o^i (" to avenge one's 
self on ") there stands the allied Niphal on (properly, " to 
console one's self "), the latter with g, the former (in accord- 
ance with the so-called Assyrian system of pointing) with t 
under the preformative, which is sometimes found elsewhere 
also, e^. in Gen. xvL 2, xzi 24; Num. xxiii. 15 ; Ezek. 
XX. 36 ; 1 Sam. xiL 7. Jehovah is going to relieve Himself 
of His enemies by letting out on them the wrath that had 
hitherto burdened Him (Ezek. t. 1 3) : thus does He now call 
the mass of the people in Jerusalem by their right nam& 

Ver. 25 declares wherein consists the revenge to which 
Jehovah has been inwardly constrained : " Arid I toUl bring 
mine hand upon thee, and toill smelt out thy dross as with 
alkali ; and I will remove all thy pieces of lead." As long as 
God leaves any man's actions or sufferings alone. His hand 
is said to rest "^ y^\! followed by i^P signifies the turning 
of the hand which has hitherto been at rest, either for 
punishing (Amos L 8; Jer. vi. 9; Ezek. xxxviii. 12; Ps. 
Ixxxi. 15), or even, though but seldom, for saving (ZecL 
xiiL 17) tlie person mentioned. Here the reference is to 
dealing towards Jerusalem, in which punishment and salva- 
tion are combined — the punishment as the means, salvation 
as the end. Jehovah's intervention is compared to a smelting 
which will sweep away, not Jerusalem, but the ungodly who 
dwell there. These are compared to dross or drossy ore, 
and — inasmuch as lead is removed in all refinement of silver 
— to those commingled pieces of lead which Jehovah will 
speedily and thoroughly separate ""io, " like the alkali," — the 
abbreviated mode of comparison, instead of "i^s, " as with the 
alkali." 0')fn2 (from ??a, to separate) are the pieces of tin or 
lead (lead-glance)^ containing the silver, which, inasmuch as 

' Pliny {Hisl. Nat. 24. 16) Bays that plumbum nigrum sometimes occurs 
alone, sometimes combined with silver : ejut qui primus fluii in fomacibut 
liquor ttannum appeUatur. What is here meant is the litharge which, 
in the process of obtaining silver from the lead-glance containing the 
precious metal, separates itself till it comes to be the so-called silver- 
glance. This dross, in the form of powder, is called ^la, and the pieces 



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CHAPTES L 26. 89 

all the baser metals are distinguished from the precious ones 
by the fact that they are combustible (oxidisable), are sepa- 
rated by smelting. Both nb, i.e. potash (an alkali obtained 
from the ashes of wood and of land-plants generally), and iw, 
■Le. natron or soda (which is either mineral, or obtained from 
plants), which dissolves in water (see on Prov. xxv. 20), were 
employed from the earliest times, when one wished to extract 
a metal from its ore, as a means of accelerating the process of 
smelting. The conjecture of a dififerent reading, naa ("WS?, " in 
the crucible "), is thus superfluous. 

As the threat against Jerusalem, put in this allegorical 
form, does not refer to destruction, but to smelting, there is 
nothing strange in the fact that in ver. 26 it clianges into 
pure promise, the meltingly soft, ardently mournful conclusion 
of the clauses in T.T, which is the keynote of the later songs 
of Zion, being continued : " And I will restore thy judges as 
in the olden time, and thy counsellors as in the beginning; 
afterwards thou shall le called the city of righteousness, a faith- 
ful citadel." Even the threatening itself was relatively a 
promise, in so far as what could stand the fire in Jerusalem 
would survive the judgment, the specific object of which was 
to bring back Jerusalem to the precious metal of its true 
nature. But after this has been accomplished, still more 
than this shall also come to pass. The imperishable kernel 
that remains becomes the centre to which all elements of 
excellence are attracted, — Jerusalem again receiving from 
Jehovah its judges and counsellors, whom, from the time that 
it became the city of David and the seat of the temple, it 
had possessed in the best days of the kingdom, — not, indeed, 
the same persons, but men of like excellence. The two 
time-limitations have the force of accusatives attached to the 
predicate : " as in the beginning," i.e. of the same character as 
they were before, njb'jnn signifies, in a neuter sense, what is 

D'^a ; o& the other hand, niB^ is the name of the solid lead which is 

obtained by melting down lead -glance which does not contain silver. 
Bat that >na signifies lead (ptum&um nigrum), Zech. iv. 10, as well as 

tin (p2um&um aOnvm), Nam. xxxL 22, is accounted for in the same way 
OS the homonymy of iron and basalt, oak and terebinth : the two metalt 
are called by the same name on account of external resemblance and 
common properties,— softness, flexibility, colour, and specific gravity. 



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90 iSAun, 

temporally or locally (Ix. 9) the first; and the fact that, 
in lUytOM, a second preposition follows 3, is not without 
example elsewhere, as Gen. xxxviiL 24 ; Lev. xxvi 37 ; 
1 Sam. xiv. 14 (also x. 27, if we read Bhnoa, which is sug- 
gested by the LXX.); cf. also pS3, Fs. cxix. 14 ; Isa. lix. 18, 
IxiiL 7 Under such divinely commissioned leaders, Jerusalem 
will then become what it had been, and will be what it 
ought to be ; and the names by which the city is called are 
the expression of the effect produced on the minds of others 
through the manifestation of its true nature and character 
(cf. Zech. viii 3). With Isaiah the giving of a name is the 
perception and recognition of the real existence of what has 
come into outward manifestation. The second designation 
applied to Jerusalem is without the article : this term nnp, of 
such weighty and definite purport, is never used in Isaiah 
with the article, and, indeed, never occurs with it anywhere 
except in 1 Kings L 41, 45. 

Jehovah has thus announced the course irrevocably fixed, 
and leading to salvation, which He will pursue with Israel : this 
is the leading principle of God's dealings henceforth, the law of 
Israel's history. Its purport, briefly and tersely put, is thus 
expressed in ver. 27 : " Sion vnll be redeemed through judg- 
ment, and her returning ones through righteousness." DBBis and 
n^ are in other places called divine gifts (xxxiii 5, xxviiL 6), 
lines of conduct on the part of men that are well-pleasing to 
God (i. 21, xxxii. 16), royal and Messianic virtues (ix. 6, 
vi. 3-5, xvi. 5, xxxii 1). Here, however, the idea is not 
this peculiarly human one (as Cheyne thinks), but, as 
shown by parallel passages like iv. 4, v. 16, xxviii. 17, it is 
to be referred to Jehovah, and the words are to be regarded 
as meaning God's justice and righteousness in their primarily 
judicial self-fulfilment A judgment of God the Kighteous 
One will be the means through which Zion, — so far as it has 
remained faithful to Jehovah, — and those who in the midst 
of the judgment return (^T^r, instead of which Luther read 
iT3B'), will be redeemed. This judgment will fall upon sinners 
and sin, and wiU be the means of breaking that power which 
has restrained and impeded the nature and workings of Zion, 
as these were designed of God ; it will further be the medium 
through which those who turn to Jehovah are incorporated 



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OHAPTKB L S9. 91 

into His true Church. When God therefore reveals Himself 
in His punitive righteousness, He is working out a righteous- 
ness which is bestowed as a gift of grace on those who escape 
the former. The idea of " righteousness " (Stxatoo-vi^) is here, 
as in Hob. iL 2 1, on New Testament lines. In front, there 
is the fire of the law ; behind, there is the light 'of the gospel. 
Behind the wrath is hidden love, as the ultimate motive- 
power, like the sun behind the thunder-clouds. Zion, as far 
as it is truly Zion and is becoming Zion, is redeemed ; only 
the ungodly are destroyed, but these without mercy, as is 
added in ver. 28 : " But the destruction of the transgressors and 
sinners \shall he] together, and those who forsake Jehovah shall 
perish." In this way even the judicial aspect of the ap- 
proaching act of redemption is expressed in a manner that 
can be understood by every one. The impassioned exclama- 
tory clause in the first half of the verse is explained by the 
declamatory verb-clause of the second. 0*;%^ are those who 
in heart and in outward conduct have broken away from 
Jehovah ; D'Kon are those who spend their lives in open and 
prevailing sins ; njrp '•yf) are those who have become estranged 
from God in one or other of these ways. 

Ver. 29, beginning with an explanatory '3, declares how 
God's judgment of destmction falls upon all these : " For they 
shall he ashamed of the terebinths in which ye delighted, and ye 
mtist WksA because of the gardens in which ye had pleasure." 
The terebinths and gardens (this second word with the article, 
as in Hab. iii. 8 first onnja, then c^nja) are not referred to 
as objects of luxury (as Hitzig and Drechsler suppose), but as 
unlawful places of worship (see Deut xvi 21) and objects of 
worship : both of them are frequently mentioned by the 
prophets with this meaning, Ivil 5, Ixv. 3, Ixvi 17. *ipn and 
'ina are the usual verbs employed in speaking of Gentile will- 
worship (i0e\o6pi]o-K£la), as in xliv. 9, xlL 24, Ixvi 3 ; and 
]p V\2 is the customary phrase for indicating the shame that 
comes over idolaters when the helplessness of their idols proves 
that they are nothing. Eegarding B^^a (to be disturbed, lose self- 
command) and IB" (to be covered over, become covered with 
shame), see our commentary on F& xxxiv. 6, xxxv. 4; c£ 
WUnsche on Sosea, i. p. 54. The LXX. and other ancient 
versions incorrectly render ofyvt by ttSmXa, though the feeling 



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92 IBkUS. 

by which they were prompted is correct : the placea of worship 
here (cfl Jer. xlviiL 13) stand for the idols {O*^, for which the 
form Dv'S is never written when Dii is the meaning). The 
abrupt transition from plain statement to direct address shows 
how excited the prophet is here at the close of the discourse. 

In this animated strain he continues ; and, led by the 
association of ideas, he makes terebinths and gardens the 
future figures of the idolaters themselves. Ver. 30 : " For ye 
shall be like a terdnnth with withered leaves, and like a garden 
in which there is no water." Their prosperity is being 
destroyed, and they are thus like a terebinth fjVy rfeai. This 
last expression does not mean " withered its foliage," i.e. whose 
foliage is withered (for n?^ is masc.), but " which is withered in 
its foliage "^ (genitival construction, as in xxx. 27 ; see Ewald's 
Syntax, § 288c); their sources of help are dried up, and thus 
they resemble a garden that has no water, and is therefore waste. 
The terebinth (turpentine-pistacia), a native of southern and 
eastern Palestine, casts its leaves (which are small, and resemble 
those of the walnut-tree) in the autumn. In this dry and 
parched condition, terebinth and garden, to which the idolaters 
are compared, are readily inflammable. There is but needed 
a spark to kindle, and then they are consumed in the flames. 

Ver. 31, in a third figure, shows the quarter from which 
this kindling spark will come : " And the wealthy one leconus 
tow, and his work a spark ; and both shall hum together, and 
no one extinguishes them." The form v^^ primarily suggests a 
participial meaning, " he who prepares it ; " but l^onn would 
be an unusual epithet to apply to the idol. Besides, the 
figure, on this view, becomes distorted, for certainly the 
natural order is that the idol is what kindles or inflames, 
while man is the object to be kindled, — not the converse. 
Hence '^V^ here means " his work " (as in the LXX., Targum, 

' The noim r6v is a collective, and not till we come to Nehemiah do 
we find the plur. D^^i just as it is not tUl we reach the post-Biblical 
Hebrew that a plur. n^iB is formed from the collective v^b- We might 
have expected rl^ instead of n^,— like nib' in 8 Kings viiL 3 ; but such 

nouns firam verbs n!> are mostly combined with the suiBxca ehu, ^ha {e.g. 
ntOO for rIKlO, Lev. xiiu 4, xx. 25), the termination ii=ai having an 

influence on the choice of the suffix-form (Qesen. § 91, note 16). 



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OHAPTEB I. 81. 93 

and Vulgate): the forms li'^B and l^fc (cf. lii. 14; Jer. 
xxiL 13) are two equallj possible modifications of the funda- 
mental form v!)Q OV?)- -^^ ^*''' 29 referred to the worship 
of idols, 7$b does not here mean work in the general ethical 
sense (as Gesenius thinks, Thcs.), but the idol, as something 
made (cf. ii 8, xxxviL 1 9, etc.). The wealthy idolater, who 
out of the abundance of his possessions ({Dh, xxxiii. 6) could 
afford gold and silver for making idols, will become tow (Talm. 
'inm bv mm, " refuse of flax," from iw, to shake out, viz. in 
the swingling and combing ; and, on the other hand, !0H is 
the Talmudic word for flax that is still uncombed and un- 
dressed), and the idol will be the spark that sets this mass of 
fibres on fire, so that both will bum without anj possibility 
of being saved (regarding "i??, see the remarks on iv. 4).' For 
the fire of judgment that consumes sinners does not need to 
come from without : sin carries within itself the fire of wrath. 
But the idol is the corpus delicti, — the sin of the idolater, as 
it were, set forth and embodied in visible form. 

The time when this first prophetic discourse was composed 
is a difficult problenu Caspari, in his CotUribuiions, has 
thoroughly examined all possible dates, and has finally decided 
in favour of the view that it belongs to the time of Uzziah, 
on the ground that vers. 7-9 do not relate to an actual, but 
merely to an ideal present But this view is, and must con- 
tinue to be, arbitrary. Every unprejudiced reader will receive 
from vers. 7-9 the impression that what is there depicted is 
something actually present Moreover, during the period of 
Isaiah's ministry the land of Judah was actually laid waste 
on two occasions, on both of which Jerusalem was spared only 
through the miraculous protection of Jehovah, — once during 
the reign of Ahaz, in the year of the Syro-Ephraimitish war ; 
and the second time during Hezekiah's reign, when the Assyrian 
host laid waste the country, only to be finally dashed to pieces 
at Jerusalem. Gesenius, Maurer, Movers, Knobel, Driver, and 

* Thia ph IB an old Hcbiew word preserved in the Mishna {Shabbatk 
iL 1). Babbi Joseph there explains it, with reference to the present 
passage, pw V&i p'm ton'3, flax which has been broken, but iiot yet 
combed ; and it seems to be assamed there that Isaiah, when he calls 
the idolater pDnn, alludes to ph : "As the Tywyi proceeds from the {DID, 

so will the idolatrous pon become ntipj." — (Dr. H. Ehientreu.) 



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94 ISAIAH. 

others decide in favour of the year when the Syro-Epbraimitish 
war took place ; while Hitzig, Umbreit, Drechsler, Luzzatto, and 
Ktiper hold that the time was that of the Assyrian oppressioa 
Whichever view we may take, there ever remains, as the test 
of its admissibility, the di&icult question. How has this pro- 
phecy come to stand at the beginning of the book, if it belongs 
to the times of Uzziah and Jotbam ? This question we shall 
endeavour to answer when we reach chap. vL 

The path of General Judgment, showing the course of 
Israel from False to True Glory, Chaps. II.-IV. 

The limits of this discourse cannot be mistaken. From 
the beginning of chap, ii to the end of chap. iv. a complete 
circle is formed. After frequent changes between exhortation, 
reproach, and threatening, the prophet reaches the object of 
the promise with which he began. On the other hand, chap. v. 
commences with a wholly new subject, forming an indepen- 
dent discourse, though connected with that which precedes 
by the superscription in iL 1 : " The word which leaiaJi, the son 
of Amos saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem." Chaps, ii.— v. 
may possibly have already existed under this heading before 
the whole collection was formed : this superscription was then 
taken over into the entire work, in order to call attention to 
the transition from the prologue to the body of the book. 
What the prophet utters concerning Judah and Jerusalem he 
calls " the word which he saw." When men speak one to 
another, the words are not seen, but heard ; but when God 
speaks with the prophet, this is done in a supersensuous 
manner, and the prophet sees it in this way, — for thounh the 
spirit of man has neither eyes nor ears, yet when enabled to 
perceive the supersensuous, it is altogether eye. 

The way in which Isaiah begins this second discourse is 
without a parallel ; there is no other prophetic address whatever 
that commences with n*rn (for Ezek. xxxviiL 1 is not a begin- 
ning, but a continuation). It is easy to tell the reason, however. 
This " consecutive preterite " receives the meaning of a future 
only from the context; whereas ^T!! (with which historical 
books and sections very commonly begin) shows its character 
by its very form. It is further to be noted that the copu- 



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CHAPTEB n. I. 95 

lative meaning of the i in the " consecutive imperfect " retains 
less of its living force than in the "consecutive perfect" 
The prophet accordingly begins with " and ; " and that n^n is 
meant to bear a future sense is to be made out, not from 
what precedes, but from what follows. This, however, is not 
the onlj strange thing here ; for there is, further, no other 
case in which a prophetic address — especially one like this, 
which runs through all the phases of prophetic discourse 
(exhortation, reproof, threatening, promise) — ^begins with a 
promise. We are in a condition, however, to see clearly the 
reason of this remarkable phenomenon; for vers. 2-4 are 
not at all the words of Isaiah himself, but the words of 
another, taken out of their connection. " Every one of the 
prophets," says the Pesikta de-Sab Cahana 125b, "follows 
the precedent set him by those who have gone before (((*33 
waj *Bo) ; but thou, Isaiah, dost prophesy under the direct 
influence of the divine majesty" (miajn 'do). This is a 
grand testimony to the originality of Isaiah, yet it does not 
exclude his falling back on his predecessors. For we also 
find the words of vers. 2-4, in a slightly diCTereut form, in 
Micah iv. 1—4 ; and whether Isaiah took the words of this 
prediction from Micah, or whether both prophets derived 
them from a common source, in any case they are not Isaiah's 
originally.^ Nor was it at all intended that they should 

* The statement in Jer. zxvi 18, that Micah uttered the threatening 
recotded in Micah iiL 12 (the counterpart of which is the promise in Micah 
iv. 1-4 and Isa. iL 2-4) during the reign of Hezekiah, seenia to niiHtate 
i^inst the idea that Isaiah borrowed from Micah. Independently of 
each other, Ewald (ProjAeU of the Old Tettament, Eng. trans, vol. iL pp. 
27, 314) and Hitzig (Commentary on Itaiah and Mieah; Studien und 
Kritikm for 1829, 2) have conjectured that both Micah and Isaiah repeat 
what was first uttered hy a third and earlier prophet, whom Hitzig 
farther supposes to have been Joel ; Cheyne also (1868) thinks this prob- 
able. The passage in question has actually many points in common 
with the Book of Joel, such as the picture given of the reforging of the 
0*nK and nnOtO (iv. lOX the combinations of 3*1 and DWP« of \Bi and 
rUKn (cf. with Micah iv. 4). In Micah, however, it forms the obverse 
side of the threat of judgment that preceded ; ver. 3 also reminds us ol 
Micab's style (see the remarks on that verse) ; and the statement in Jer. 
xzvL 18 is quite compatible with the supposition that Isaiah borrowed 
these words of promise from Micah (see the closing remarks on chaps. 
L-vL)i Cf. Caspari on Micah, p. 444 ff. 



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d6 ISAIAH. 

seem to be his. Isaiah has not fused them into the general 
current of his own address, as prophets are elsewhere wont to 
do with the predictions of their predecessors. He does not 
reproduce them, but, as we are meant to observe, from the 
abrupt beginning, he quotes them. This certainly does not 
seem to agree with the heading, according to which the 
succeeding declarations are the word of Jehovah which Isaiah 
saw ; but there is no real disagreement It is just the spirit 
of prophecy which here brings into Isaiah's remembrance a 
prophetic utterance already recorded, and makes it the starting- 
point of the series of thoughts which follow. The borrowed 
promise is not by any means cited for its own sake, but serves 
merely as a basis for the following exhortation and threat of 
judgment, through which, after the borrowed introduction, 
Isaiah's discourse aspires to a conclusion of its own. 

The subject-matter of the borrowed words of prophecy is 
the future glory of Israel. Ver. 2 : " And it comes to pass 
at the end of the days, the mountain of the hotise of Jehovah 
will be established on the top of the mountains, and exalted over 
hills, and all nations stream unto it." The expression " the 
last days," or " end of the days " (p'vm nnw), which does not 
occur anywhere else in Isaiah, may either, in contrast with 
the time of commencement, signify the time of the end, or, 
in contrast with the present, the time that follows (as in 
Deut xxxi. 29; Jer. xxiii. 20); according to preponderating 
usage, however, this expression is applied to the future that 
forms the close of history. Whether we render it by iv 
itrxdraK ^fiipaii or (as in 1 Tim. iv. 1) by ev i<rrepo« 
«a{ji>o(9, . the idea it presents is eschatological, but this in 
relation to the horizon of the speaker. This horizon is very 
varied ; and the history of prophecy is just the history of its 
gradual extension and completion. In the blessing of Jacob, 
Gen. xlix., the occupation of the land of Canaan stands in 
the foreground of the "last days," and regulates the per- 
spective ; but here, in Isaiah, " the last days " mean the time 
of the end in the most simple and literal sense. The prophet 
predicts that the mountain on which the temple was built 
will one day visibly tower above all the heights of the earth, 
and be enthroned like a king over his subjects. At present, 
the south-eastern hill on which the temple is built is sur- 



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en AFTER n. J. 6V 

passed in height hy the south-western hill; and the basaltic 
mountains of Bashan, rising in bold peaks and columns, look 
down with scorn and contempt on the little limestone-hill 
which Jehovah has chosen (Pa Ixviii. 16 f.X — a wrong re- 
lation which the last times will remove, by making the out- 
ward correspond to the inward, the appearance to the reality 
and intrinsic worth. That such is the prophet's meaning is 
confirmed by Ezek. xl 2, where the temple-monnt appears 
gigantic to the prophet, and by Zech. xiv. 10 (parallels, 
which Cheyne also compares), according to which all Jeru- 
salem will one day, as the actual centre and apex (cf. Ezek. 
V. 5), tower above the country round about, which shall have 
become a plain. If this be the meaning of the passage, there 
still remains doubt regarding the sense attaching to B^tths. 
Is it meant that Moriah will come to stand " upon the top " 
of the mountains surrounding it (C'k'i3 being vendered as in 
P& Ixxxil 16), or that it will stand "at the head" of tbem 
(the expression being used as in 1 Kings xxi. 9, 12; Amos 
vL 7 ; Jer. xxxi. 7) ? The former is the view of Hofmann 
(in his Weisaag. und Erfidlvng, ii 217): his opinion is, not 
that the mountains will be piled up, one on the top of the 
other, with the temple-mount over all (as it is said in Pesikta 
de-Eab Cahana 1445, that God will bring together Sinai, 
Tabor, and Carmel, and erect the temple-building upon the 
top of them), but that Zion will seem to float on the summit 
of the other mountains : this is also the explanation given by 
Ewald. But inasmuch as the expression |^, " established," is 
not favourable to this mode of getting rid <^ a wonderful 
phenomenon, and because B^hs, in the sense of "at the 
head," occurs still more frequently than with the meaning 
" on the top," what is meant is the exaltation of Zion by 
means of lifting, yet this in such a way that the physical and 
visible elevation is but a means to the dignitative and moral, 
and easily changes &om the literal sense to the ideal Raised 
to a position towering over everything besides, the mountain 
chosen of God becomes the place of meeting and the centre 
of unity for all nations. It is the temple of Jehovah which 
now, visible to the nations from afar, exercises such magnetic 
powers of attraction, and with such results (of. Ivi 7 ; Jer. iil 
17 ; Zech. viii 20 fit). Now, it is but a single nation, Israel, 
VOL I. G 



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98 ISAUH. 

that makes pilgrimages to the temple-mount on great festivals, 
— then it will be otherwise. 

Ver. 3 : "And peoples in multitudes go and say. Come and 
let us go up to ihe mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the 
God of Jacob : let Him instruct us out of His ways, and we wiU 
walk m His paths." This is their watchword for the starting, 
this is their song on the way that they go (cf. Zech. viii. 
21 f., iL 15). What urges them is the desire of salvation. 
Desire for salvation expresses itself in the name thej give to 
the goal of their journey: they call Zion (= Mount Moriah, 
2 Cbron. iiL 1) the " mountain of Jehovah ; " they call the 
temple built on it " the house of the Grod of Jacob ; " " Israel," 
as the name of the people of God, has by frequent use become 
common, so they employ the more refined name " Jacob," — ■ 
the name dear to Micah, of whose style (see iv. 11, 13, v. 6 t) 
we are further reminded by the expression " many nations." 
Desire of salvation shows itself in the object of their journey ; 
they wish Jehovah to teach them " out of His ways " C?T!9) 
— rich material for instruction with which they would like to 
be gradually intrusted {p is here osed in a partitive sense, 
— "out of the fulness of this material for instruction," cf. 
xlviL 13, and the somewhat different IP in Ps. xciv. 12) : " the 
ways of Jehovah " are those in which He Himself walks and 
in which He conducts men, the revealed ordinances of His 
government and His will Desire of salvation also shows 
itself in their resolution to set out : they not merely wish to 
learn, but they have made glad resolve to act in accordance 
with what they have learned : " so will we walk in His paths," 
— the cohortative, as frequently is the case (e.g. Gen. xxvii 4), 
being used as the expression of the subjective purpose, or the 
subjective inference. 

Here end the words of the multitude of the heathen who 
are going up to Zion ; but the prophet, at the end of ver. 3 
further adds the reason and motive of this holy pilgrimage 
of the nations : " For from Zion wiil a law go forth, and the 
word of Jehovah from Jerusalem." Zion * was originally the 
name of the south-eastern hill (not, as is now acknowledged, 
of the south-western hill which was erroneously considered 

' On the meaning of the word, see Wetstein in my Cmvaumtary on 
Ometis, 4th edition (English translation, Edinburgh 1889)i 



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CHAFTEB n. 4 99 

Zion) on which, at several successive stages of descent, were 
built the temple, the palace of Solomon, and the city of 
David ; ^ then it came to be specially applied to the height 
on which the temple stood, and by synecdoche to the whole 
of Jerusalem, the true centre of which is the sanctuary. The 
greatest emphasis is laid on the expressions " out of Zion " 
and " out of Jerusalem," which indicate a feeling of triumph, 
and remind us of John iv. 22, ^ atvnipia iK tov 'lovSa^v 
iariv. From Zion-Jorusalem will go forth frtn, i,e. instruc- 
tion regarding the questions which man has to ask at God ; 
and " the word of Jehovah " is that by which the world was 
created and by which it is spiritually transformed. Hence, 
what makes the nations truly prosperous comes from Zion- 
Jerusalem. Thither assemble the nations, thence they carry 
away a blessing with them to their homes, and tlTus Zion- 
Jerusalem becomes the source of all-embracing good; for, 
from the time that Jehovah chose Zion, the sanctity of Sinai 
(according to P& IxviiL 18) was transferred to Zion; and 
what was begun at Sinai for Israel is completed from Ziou 
for all the world. This was fulfilled at that Feast of Pente- 
cost when the first-fruits of the Church of Christ proclaimed 
the law of Zion, ie. the gospel, in all the languages of the 
world. It is fulfilled, as Theodoret here remarks, in the fact 
that the word of the gospel, beginning at Jerusalem olov airo 
Tivtm vriyrj^, ran through the whole inhabited world (cf. Luke 
xxiv. 47, ap^dftevov airb ' lepovvaX'^/i). 

All these fulfilments, however, were but preludes to an 
end still to be expected, and forming their completion. For 
there is no fulfilment yet of what is predicted in ver. 4 : 
" And St will judge letween the nations, and pronounce judg- 
ment to many nations ; and they forge their swords into coulters, 
and their spears into pruning-hooks : nation lifts not up the 
sword against nation, neither do they learn war any more." 
When the nations thus betake themselves as pupils to the 
God of revelation and to the word He has revealed. He 
becomes among them the supreme judicial tribunal When 
dispute arises, it is no longer decided by force of arms, but 
by the word of God, to which they all bow with willing 

' See Klaiber in the ZeiUckrifi da DeuUehen PaUMina- Vertins, m. 
201. 



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100 IBAIAH. 

sabinission. D*31, used in this way by itself (without the 
parallel D*P^, found in Micah iv. Z), signifies " many," not 
" great" When this power of the peace-producing word of 
Qod is in active exercise (Zech. ix. 10), there is no longer 
need for iron weapons: these are re-forged into tools for 
works of peace, — into O^tm (instead of which we find D'OK in 
1 Sam. xiii. 21, from JVik, to break), "coulters" which pre- 
prepare the furrows while the ploughshare turns them up, 
and into rfiOj?, " pruning-hooks " or " bills," with which the 
vine is pruned, in order to increase its fruit-bearing power. 
Neither is there any more need for military exercises, for 
there is no need in learning what can no longer be applied : 
it is useless, and men turn from it in disgust There is 
peace ; yet not an armed peace, but a full, true, and God-sent 
peace. The true humanity that was overwhelmed and choked 
by sin now gains the mastery, and the world observes its 
Sabbath. What is set forth in Ps. xlvi 9 f., IIos. ii 20, 
was seen more fully by Isaiah, Micah, and Zechariah, is a 
moral postulate laid down in Scripture, the goal of the history 
of redemption, the predicted counsel of GSod. 

Isaiah comes before his contemporaries with this older 
prophecy regarding the noble and world-embracing calling of 
the people of Jehovah ; he holds it up to them like a mirror, 
and exclaims (ver. 5) : "0 house of Jacob, come ! and let us 
walk in the light of Jdurvah ! " This exhortation is formed 
under the influence of the context from which vers. 2-4 are 
taken (as may be seen from Micah iv. 5), and of the cited 
words themselves ; Micah prefers 3i?K to -'?fj^j though the 
former name is not unusual in Isaiah (see viii. 17, x. 20 f., 
xxix. 23), and in chaps, xl.— Ixvi. comes into prominence. 
With the words " house of Jacob " he turns to his own 
nation, for whom, because Jehovah has shown Himself 
graciously present among them, so glorious a future is in 
store ; and he calls ou them to walk in the light of such a 
God, unto whom, in the end of the days, all nations shall 
come in crowds. The summons, " Come, and let us walk," is 
the echo of the summons, "Come, and let us go up," in 
ver. 3 ; and Hitzig quite correctly remarks, " Like Paul in 
Ham. xi. 14, Isaiah seeks to rouse his fellow-countrymen to a 
noble jealousy by pointing to the example of the heatlien." 



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CHAITEB II. 6. 101 

" The light of Jehovah " (an expression in which there is a 
not unintentional reference to ^'}^'] in ver. 3 ; ct Proy. 
vL 23) is the knowledge of Him that has been revealed. 
It is now high time to walk in the light of Jehovah, i.e. to 
turn this knowledge to regulate dailj life ; and the exhorta- 
tion to this is highly necessary for Israel just now, when the 
nation, because it did the contrary, had been given over to a 
perverse mind. 

This sad thought, which the prophet is constrained to 
make the basis of his warning cry, comes from him in ver. 6, 
in the form of a prayer breathing sighs : " For Thou fuut 
rejected Thy people, the htnue of Jacob; hecanse they have 
been ^filled from the East, and are sorcerers Wee the Philistines, 
and with the children of foreigners they go hand in hand." 
Once more we have twice ^, in immediate succession ; the first 
gives the reason for the warning cry, the second introduces 
the justification of this reason. The address is directed to 
Jehovah, not to the people. Of early commentators, Saadia 
and Gecatilia (cf. also Bashi), and among modern writers, J. 
D. Michaelis, Hitzig, and Luzzatto take the first words to 
mean, " Thou hast given up thy nationality " (Wi being 
taken for 1©? nfc^). But Dp signifies " people," not " nation- 
ality ; " and this interpretation would not have been thought 
of if the sudden introduction of the address to God had not 
been considered strange. But in il 9, ix. 2, etc., the 
prophecy also assumes the form of a prayer ; moreover, the 
combination of <s^3 with D? as an object, recalls such passages 
as P& xciv. 14; 1 Sam. xii. 22. Jehovah has cast away His 
people from Him {i.e. rejected them), and left them to them- 
selves (^); the perfect is not a prophetic one (as Gheyne 
thinks), but speaks of what has actually occurred, as is shown 
by the various symptoms pointed out : (1) They are full from 
the East (Q*^ : here 1? indicates the source from which the 
filling comes, Ezek. xxxil 6 ; Jer. li. 34 ; and see my com- 
mentary on Eccles. L 8), i.e. full of Oriental manners and 
fashions, particularly idolatrous usages, tnj^ is the name given 
to Arabia dovm to the peninsula of Sinai, together with the 
Aramean countries adjacent to the Euphratea Under Uzziah 
and Jotham, whose dominion extended as far as Elath, the sea- 
port of the Elanitic Gulf, the influence of the south-western 



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*lOa'':''" ' • •••■• •• ISAIAH. 

Orient predominated ; but under Ahaz and Hezekiah, on 
account of their relations to Assyria, Syria, and Babylon, that 
of the north-east was predominant. The conjectural reading 
DO^ (suggested by Gesenius in his Thesaurus) at Dopp 
(supported by Ewald and Bottcher) would remove the name 
of the extensive region from which Judah's disposition to 
imitate received its impulse and material ; but perhaps Isaiah 
wrote mpD DDP (" fullhrj of sorcery from the East "). (2) 
They are Q'J^Jj (a form which is interchanged with the more 
complete CJ'apVp, Deut xviii 14, etc., from the Poel 0i>, Lev. 
xix. 26 ; 2 Kings xxi. 6), not " Tagewahler," as Luther 
renders it — for the form ia opposed to the derivation from 
<^^V, "time" (see Sanhedrin 656; and c£ Bashi on Lev. xix. 
26), but those who observe the clouds for signs of the future 
(a rendering which Aben-Ezra also very properly prefers), or 
— more in accordance with the meaning of the Poel — those 
who bring clouds and storms ^ like the Philistines (who were 
subdued by Uzziah, and afterwards by Hezekiah), among whom 

' There is no ground for the explanation "concealing "(*.«. practising 
secret arts) ; for the meaning "to cover" is arbitrarily transferred to the 
verb pp from the roots [33 and pa (see on Ps. lixx. 16) with which it is 

said to be allied. But as a denominative from py (" a cloud," as meeting 
the eye)^ piy might mean " he gathered auguries from the clouds." Or — if 
we take pj; as synonymous with {jp, Qen. ix. 14 (for, in the Targums, gp 
and |3jn3 interchange with the Hebrew p^j; and glypi &V^- piv) — ^^ means 
" to cause a storm ; " we would then have the rendering " storm-raieers," 
tempestarii, pt^tiianTmi. (On storm-raising through incantations, especially 
among the Turanian nations by means of the " rain-stone," see Bernstein's 
edit of Eirsch's Syriae (^retUmathy, p. Ill, line 9 S. ; Wiistenfeld's edit 
of Kazwtnt, L p. 221, line 10 ff. ; Hammer - Purgstall's Getckickte der 
goldenen Horde in Kipttehak, pp. 206 f., 435-438.) The derivation of 
JJ^P from py in the sense of Uie Arab, 'dna (imperif. ja'tnu), — as it were 

" to ogle," in modem Greek iftfutri^u; oeulo maligno petere et fasdnare 
(see the Journal of the German Oriental Society, xxxL 639),— though in 
itself philologically possible, founders on the Targumic ^y (to practise 

sorcery), which cannot possibly be traced to pjj. From a purely philo- 
logical standpoint, however, another explanation still remains possible. 
From the idea of " coming to meet," 'dna obtains the transitive sense of 
holding back, preventing, restraining (as it were ccmirarier), especially to 
rein in the horse with the bridle Ctn4n), in application to sexual rela- 
tions. 



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CBAFTEB U. 7, 8. 103 

sorcery was practised by incorporated guilds (1 Sam. vi. 2), while 
a famous oracle of Beel-Zebiib existed at Ekron (2 Kings i. 2). 
" And with the children of foreigners they make themselves 
familiar ; " such is the rendering we must give this expression, 
following Gesenius, Knobel, and Nagelsbach : PfiD with O^aa 
signifies to clap hands (Job xxvii 23) ; the Hiphil is used only 
here with 3 in the sense of striking hands with a person. On 
the other hand, the LXX. and Syriac render the expression in 
accordance with the idea of abundance or fulness elsewhere pre- 
sented in peo (or ptiff) ; but whether it be translated " in the 
children of foreigners they find satisfaction," or "with the 
children of foreigners they provide themselves abundantly," the 
tendering is equally opposed to the usage of the language, which 
nowhere points to this construction with f . But the Hiph. 
PVO!} may be compared with the Arab. «_&&«, IV., to give the 
hand (as a token of agreement and approval) ; it is here com- 
bined with a after the analogy of 3 ]»B, foedua pangere cum 
aligito. Jerome, following Symmachus, here translates puerit 
alienis adhaeseruiU ; but D»T33 npj is equivalent to "03 '33 
(Ix. 10, Ixi. 5), only with stronger emphasis on the un- 
sanctified birth, the heathenism inherited from their mother's 
womb. The prophet means to say it is with bom heathens 
that the people of Jehovah make themselves common, — ^make 
common cause in the ordinary business of life. 

He now goes on, in vers. 7, 8, to describe how, in con- 
sequence of this, the land of the people of Jehovah is crammed 
full of objects of luxury, self-trust, and estrangement from 
God : " And their land it JUUd with silver and gold, and there it 
no end to their treaturea ; and their land is filled with horses, 
and there is no end to their chariots. And their land is filled 
with idols ; to the work of their hands they how dovm in worship, 
to thai which their own fingers have made." The glory of 
Solomon's days, which revived under Uzziah's reign of fifty- 
two years, and was maintained during Jotham's reign of 
sixteen years, carried within it the curse of the law ; for the 
law regarding the king, in Deut xvii 14 fT., forbids both the 
multiplying of horses and the multiplying of gold and silver. 
Standing armies and stores of national treasures, like every- 
thing that lends support to carnal self-trust, are opposed to 
the spirit of the theocracy. Nevertheless Judea is immeasur- 



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104 ISAIAII. 

ably full of those things which entice to apostasy (WiJ, from 
ivp, according to Abulwalid and otheis, like naa, fun ; cf. ^), 
and not only so, but also of things that openly show it; 
DTft? are " idols " (in the Pentateuci only found in Lev. xix. 
4, xxvi. 1 ; in the singular T'pR, " empty, worthless," Assyr. 
ulalu, from 7?*, to be weak, decaying, null ; * not, as Heiden- 
heim thinks, from ?^, " a false god ; " nor, as Movers supposes, 
s diminutive, meaning a little god, a small image of a god). 
The condition of the country is thus at variance not merely 
with the law regarding the king, but also with the decalogue. 
The existing splendour is the most offensive caricature of 
what had been promised ; for the nation whose God will one 
day become the desire and salvation of all nations had 
exchanged Him for the idols of the nations, and vied with 
them in the appropriation of heathen religion and practice. 

This was a condition of affairs ripe for judgment, and from 
which the prophet can at once proceed to the proclamation of 
the judgment, ver. 9 : " Thus, then, men are lowed dotcn, and 
masters brought low; and forgive them — nay, this thou shalt 
not ! " The moods of the verbs mark the judgment &s one 
that arises through an inward necessity from the worldly and 
ungodly glory of the present; this use of the verb-forms 
frequently occurs, as in ix. 7 ff. It is a judgment through 
which small and great, i.e. people of all classes, are brought 
down from their false eminence, ne*^, as in xxix. 4 (cf. Eccles. 
xii. 4), might be the imperfect Niphal (cf. hi\ "OS; 7B»), and 
Gesenius regards it as such; it is probably, however, the 
intransitive imperfect Qal (Stade, § 490a), for nne^, ree^, 
nne' hardly ever have formed a Niphal ; the Qal in itself 
signifies to be bowed down, depressed, as b^f signifies to be 
humble and to be humbled. DTiH and V^^ are not mere inter- 
changeable terms, without any essential difference (as Nagels- 
bach thinks), but differ as in v. 15 ; P& xlix. 3 (cf. iv. 3 ; 
Isa. liii. 3) ; Prov. viii. 4, and as in Attic Greek dvdpmrro^ 
differs from aviip, — ordinary human beings who disappear in 
the crowd, and men who rise out of it,* — all (Rev. vL 15) are 

' See Friedrich Dclitzoch, Prolegomena, p. 133. 

* In the Axabio of Syria, D*1K is strangely used in the latter seme ; 
" people of importance " are called atodtftm, or n&$ awdddm (Jonrnal of the 
German Oriental Society, xxiL 164). 



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CHAPTER H. 10, IL 105 

thrown down to the ground by the judgment, and that with- 
out mercy. The prophet expresses the conviction (7M being 
used as in 2 Kings vi. 27) that God can and will no longer take 
away their sin (this noun being the object we must regard as 
following the verb Kb^, Fs. xzxiL 1 ; viffi is applied to God, 
and signifies to forgive, as in Hos. i. 6). 

No other coarse is now left open for them but to follow 
the sarcastic command of the prophet in ver. 10 : " Creep 
into the rock, and bury thyself in the dust, before the dread look 
o/JehoveA, and before the glory of His majesty ! " The forms 
Kta and |o^n are imperatives ; the inf. constr. of the Niphal 
ia sometimes indeed used instead of the infin. absolute (Num. 
XV. 31 ; 1 Kings xv. 39), but there is no instance of the latter 
form being employed as an imperative. The nation that was 
supposed to be a glorious one shall and must creep away and 
hide itself ignominiously, when the glory of God which it had 
rejected, but which alone is true glory, is judicially mani- 
fested. It must conceal itself in holes of the rocks as if 
from a host of foes (Judg. vi 2 ; 1 Sam. xiiL 6, xiv. 11), and 
bury themselves with their faces in the sand, as from the 
deadly simoom of the desert, that they may but avoid the 
necessity of enduring this intolerable sight When Jehovah 
reveals Himself thus in the fiery glance of judgment, there 
follows the result summed up in ver. 11:" The haughty 
looks of the people are brought low, and the pride of the lords 
is bowed down, and Jehovah,, He alone, stands exalted in that 
day." The result of the judicial process is expressed in 
perfects; 3|bo is the 3rd pers. of the pi-eterite, not the 
participle : " Jehovah is exalted," ie. shows Himself exalted ; 
while the haughty demeanour of the people is abased (p^ is 
a verb, not an adjective, in agreement, by attraction, with the 
genitive, instead of its governing word ; see also 2 Sam. i. 21; 
Lev. xiii 9 ; Ps. cxl. 10, Kethib; Dan. iii. 19, Kethib),«DA the 
pride of the lords is bowed down (nB* = nriB', Job ix. 13). 
Here ends the first strophe of the proclamation of judgment, 
appended to the borrowed prophetic passage in vers. 2-4. 
The second strophe extends as far as ver. 17, where ver. 11 is 
repeated as the conclusion. 

Looking at the expression, " on that day," we ask ourselves, 
what kind of day is this ? To this question the prophet 



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106 iSkUB. 

replies in the second strophe, first of all in ver. 12: "lor 
Jehovah of Hosts has a day over everything, totoering and high, 
and over everything lofty, and it beames low." tS<^ Oi», 
" Jehovah has a day " (xxii 5, xxxiv. 8), which even now forms 
part of what He has freely and independently determined and 
appointed beforehand (Ixiii 4, xxxvii. 26 ; cf. xxii. 11), the 
secret of which he makes known to the prophets, who, from 
the time of Obadiah and Joel, announce this day, in terms 
ever Uie same, like a watchword. But when the time 
appointed for this day arrives, it passes into the history of 
time, — a day for the judgment of the world, which, through 
the omnipotence by which Jehovah rules over the highest as 
well as the lowest spheres of all creation, passes upon all 
worldly glory. With kS'?"^ the accent used is Tiphtiha 
(Luzzatto, Baer) ; but certainly Athnaeh would be more 
suitable, as in Lev. xiiL 18. As the future is spoken of, the 
perfect TBC^ acquires the force of a future {pret. eonsee.), " and 
it shall be brought low (or, sink down)." 

The prophet now enumerates all the high things on which 
this day falls, arranging them together two by two, and com- 
bining them in pairs by a double correlative \. The day of 
Jehovah falls, as the first two pairs declare, on everything 
lofty in nature (vers. 13, 14): "As upon all cedars of Lebanon, 
the lofty and exalted, so upon all the oaks of Bashan ; as upon 
ail mountains, the lofty ones, so upon aU hills, the exalted ones." 
But why upon all this mtyestic beauty of nature ? Has this 
language a merely figurative meaning ? Knobel understands 
it figuratively, and regards it as referring to the grand build- 
ings of Uzziah and Jotham, for the erection of which like timber 
had been brought from Lebanon and Bashan, on the western 
slope of which the old shady oaks (svndidn and ballut) still con- 
tinue to grow luxuriantly. But that trees may mean the houses 
built of them cannot be proved from ix. 9, where the reference 
is not to houses made of sycamore and cedar wood, but to the 
trunks of such trees; nor again from Nah. ii. 4, where 
D^nan mean the fir lances which are brandished about in 
eager desire for the fight As little can mountains and hills 
mean the castles and fortresses upon them, especially because 
ver. 15 expressly refers to these, in literal terma In order to 
understand the prophet, we must bear in mind what sacred 



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CHAPTZB n. It, IC 107 

Sci-iptnre assumes thronghout, that all nature is joined with 
man to form one common history ; that man and the whole 
world of nature are inaepacably connected as centre and 
circumference ; that this circumference likewise is under the 
influence of the sin which proceeds from man, as well as 
under the wrath and the grace which proceed from God to 
man ; that the judgments of God, as proved by the history of 
nations, bring a share of suffering to the subject creation, and 
that this participation of the lower creation in the corruption 
and the glory of man will come into special prominence at the 
close of this world's history, as it did at the beginning ; and 
lastly, the world in its present form, in order to become an 
object of the unmixed good pleasure of God, stands as much 
in need of a regeneration (iraTijfffeveaia) as the corporeal part 
of man himself. In accordance with this fundamental view 
of the Scriptures, therefore, we cannot wonder that, when the 
judgment of God goes forth upon Israel, it extends to the 
land of Israel, and, along with the false glory of the nation, 
overthrows everything glorious in surrounding nature which 
had been forced to minister to the national pride and love of 
display, and to which the national sin adhered in many ways. 
What the prophet predicts was already actually beginning to be 
fulfilled in the military inroads of the Assyrians. The cedar 
forest of Lebanon was being unsparingly shorn : the hills and 
vales of the country were trodden down and laid waste, and, 
during the period of the world's history beginning with 
Tiglath-Pileser, the holy land was being reduced to a shadow 
of its former predicted beauty. 

From what is lofty in nature, transition is now made in 
vers. 15, 16 to what is exalted in the world of men, — the 
fortresses, commercial structures, and the works of art that 
minister to the lust of the eye : " As upon every high Unoer, so 
upon every precipitous tcalL As upon all ships of Tarshish, to 
upon all works of curiosity" By erecting lofty and precipi- 
tous, ie. difficult of ascent (*W(3), fortifications for defence and 
offence in war, Uzziah and Jotham particularly desired to 
render service to Jerusalem and the country generally. The 
chronicler (2 Chroa, chap, xxvi.) states that Uzziah built 
fortified towers over the corner-gate, the valley-gate, and the 
southern point of the cheese-makers' ravine, and strengthened 



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108 ISAIAH. 

these places (till that time, possibly, the weakest positions in 
Jerusalem) ; also that he built towers in the wilderness 
(perhaps in the wilderness extending from Beersheba to Gaza, 
for increasing the safety of the country, and its vast flocks 
that were pastured in the '"•JOS', ie. the western portion of 
Southern Palestine). The Books of Kings (2 Kings xv. 
32 f.) and Chronicles relate of Jotham that he built the 
upper gate of the temple ; and the Chronicles, moreover, 
record (2 Chron. xxvil) that he still further fortified tho 
Ophel, i^ the southern spur of the temple-mount ; that he 
founded cities in the hill -country of Judah, and erected 
strongholds and towers in the forests (for watching and 
repelling hostile attacks). Hezekiah also distinguished him- 
self by such building enterprises (2 Chron. xxxii 27-30). 
But the mention of ships of Tarshish points to the times of 
Uzziah and Jotham (as Ps. xlviii 8 points to the time of 
Jehoshaphat), for the seaport of Elath, which, according to 
2 Kings xiv. 22, was recovered by Uzziah, was once more 
lost to the kingdom of Judah under Ahaz (2 Kings xvi. 6). 
From this Elath (Ailath), Jewish ships, following in the wake 
of the Phenicians, used to sail through the Bed Sea and 
round the coast of Africa, landing at the harbour of Tartessus, 
the ancient Phenician emporium of the maritime district 
abounding in silver and watered by the Baetis (i.e. the 
Guadalquivir), which was itself also called Tdprfiiraoi : they 
returned through the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gib- 
raltar, so called after the landing of Tarik in 711 : Gibraltar 
= Gdel-Tdrik). The expression tt'TJNn rt«3« was primarily 
applied to these vessels sailing to Tarshish, then probably to 
merchant-ships generally.' The following expression rt»3fc' 
nronn is taken in too restricted a sense if we confine it, with 
the LXX., to the ships, or, with Gesenius, understand it as 
meaning beautiful flags. Jerome has correctly rendered the 

* Jerome, on the verse we are now considering (where the LXX. 
renders M rit vXoio* tcPi.»cinK), gives it as a Jewish opinion that {^enn 
is the proper Hebrew name for the sea, while Q« was originallj derived 
from the Syriac ; and in conformi^ with this, Luther says that the 
Hebrew has two words for indicating the sea, D' and 1^1^11% the latter 
being nsed specially to indicate the ocean. Perhaps this view is meant 
to reconcile i Chron. ix. 21, zx. 36 with 1 Kings iz. 26 £ (Kamphausen 
in Jemw Literaturmtung, 1876, p. 170.) 



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CIIAPTKB n. 17. 109 

clause et super omnt quod vim pukJirum est. ^'^t from 
fot, to see, behold (see my commentaries on Job xxxviii 36 
and Gen. iiL 6), is sight in a quite general sense (Oia) ; while 
rnpn is nsed here in something of the same way as in Ezek. 
xxvi. 12, but without the need of understanding it, as in that 
passage, to mean splendid buildings, with the additional idea 
of wEitcbing, or outlook, in accordance with the Targumio 
noD = neSD (Ewald, Cheyne) ; the proper place for men- 
tioning these would rather have been after ver. 15, before 
the ships of Tarshish. What is meant, therefore, is every 
kind of works of art, made of stone or metal, and painted 
(n»3B«, Biafui, display ; cf. Lev. xxvi. 1 ; Ezek. viii. 1 2), 
which delight the beholder by their imposing and tasteful 
appearance. 

Ver. 17 now concludes the second strophe of the an- 
nouncement of judgment appended to the earlier prophetic 
passage : " And the pride of the people is bowed down, and the 
haughtiness of the lords brought low ; and Jelwvah, He alone, 
stands exalted on that day." This refrain- verse only slightly 
differs from ver. 11. The subjects of the verbs in ver. 17a 
have been transposed. It is almost a rule to put the predicate 
at the banning of the sentence in the masculine (nei, but 
nnri in Ps. xliv. 26), though the subject following is a 
feminine noun, when this denotes a thing or things (see 
Gesenius, § 145. 7, a). 

The refrain-verse of the two following strophes (in vers. 
19-21) is based on the closing portion of ver. 10, and runs 
out into the concluding words rjKri fyp. The announcement 
of judgment now turns to the idols, which were mentioned 
before (in vers. 7, 8), but last in order, as the root of evil, 
among the things with which the land abounds. In a brief 
verse, consisting of one member and but three words, their 
future is declared (ver. 18) as if with a swift lightning- 
flash : " and the idols pass utterly away." The combination 
of the plural nominative with the verb in the singular is 
intended to signify that the idols, one and all, are a " mass of 
nonentity " which will be reduced to annihilation : they will 
disappear 773, i.e. either they will utterly perish, or (seeing 
that 7*p3 is not elsewhere nsed adverbially) they will all 
perish (Judg. xx. 40, a passage which shows that one might 



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110 ISAIAH. 

also say obhm ^p^), — ^their images, their worship, even their 
names and their memory, Zeoh. xiL 2. 

In ver. 19 is declared what the idolaters will do when 
Jehovah has so thoroughly deprived their idols of all 
divinity, hy rising from His heavenly throne, while His glory 
revealed in heaven returns to earth and manifests itself as a 
judicial fire : " And they mU creep into eaves of rocks, and into 
ceUars of earth, before the dreadful look of Jehovah, and "before the 
glory of Sis majesty, when He rises to put the earth in terror." 
n^^ (from -f\y, to go down deep, to be sunk down) is a cave 
naturally formed, and npno (from i^n, to bore through, or bore 
out) is an artificial excavation underground: in this way, 
apparently, — ^to judge from the added genitives, — ^we must 
distinguish between the two synonyms, r}?'? "tw is a sig- 
nificant paronomasia which admits of being easily rendered in 
Latin: ut terreat terrain. The judgment thus falls on the 
earth without limitation,— on men, its inhabitants, and on 
all nature, intimately associated with human history, — a 
whole in which sin, and therefore wrath, has gained the 
mastery. 

The fourth strophe begins with ver. 20 : "On that day will 
man cast away his idols of geld and idols of silver which they 
made for him to worship, to the moles and to the bats." The 
traditional text separates nf'^B ibnp into two words, without 
giving us to understand what they are intended to signify.^ 
The division was due to the fact that in early times pluri- 
literals were misunderstood, and r^arded as compound words ; 
cf. IxL 1 ; Hos. iv. 18 ; Jer. xlvL 20. The word as uttered 
by the prophet was certainly rrtiBnan^i (see Ewald, § 157c); 
and •n91?D (a form similar to tfiB"jDB', the dawn) would appear 

I Abulwalid, Farchon, and others regard the double word as the singu- 
lar of a noun which signifies a bird (perhaps a woodpecker)^ as an animal 
that pecks fruits Di^fX Kimchi prefers to take *ibr6 as an infinitive 
(c£ Josh. iL i), signifying " to dig holes," comparing the Talmudic TB, 
a pit or hole, a grave. No one renders the expression " into the mouse- 

hole," because mB> mouse =».li, more exactly i\j (from /a'ara, to dig, 

dig ap), is not a Hebrew word, and was taken from the Aiabic only at a 
late period (hence the Hebraeo-Arabic m^Bi a mouse-trapX The name 

of the mole in Aisbio is ^ac^ iU, *■«■ the blind mouse (ratX 



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CnAPTBR n. 20. Ill 

to be the mole, and to have received the name as an animal 
that digs and throws np the soil with its shovel-like forefeet, 
Lat talpa (as translated by Jerome and explained hy Basht). 
Against this view, Gresenius and Knobel make the objection 
that the mole does not live in honses ; but it actually burrows 
underneath the floors of houses, bams, etc., forming its holes 
beneath them. And are we obliged to think that the shamed 
idolaters throw their idols into lumber-rooms, instead of rather 
hiding them outside, thrusting them into holes and crevices ? 
Along with the mole is named " the bat," ^?BS (the sound of 
which is but accidentally similar to talpa) : this name, since the 
time of Bochart and Schultens, has been regarded as a com- 
pound of ^p = nobn and *\S (cf. wtcrepK, vespertilio, ItaL 
nottola, etc.).* Moreover, the mole, the shrew-mouse, and the 
bat are regarded by ancient and modem naturalists as closely 
related. The bat is among birds what the mole is among 
smaller predatory animals. Even in the LXX. we find 
n^nfiOT? conjoined with these two words : Malbim and Luz- 
zatto likewise make this connection, — as if the idolaters would 
descend to the most absurd forms of animal-worship. The 
accentuation, however, which does not make the division of 
the verse at St^I!^ starts from a correct understanding of the 
meaning: the idol-worshippers, convinced by God's judicial 
manifestation that their idols are nonentities, and furious 
over their unfortunate deception, will throw away with im- 
precations their gold and silver images which artist hands 

' The Semitic arrangement of the words would certainly be ^oy C|P, as 
the bat ie in Arabic called not merely wafviM, but also fir el-Ul : the 

order tfg JOV ia like that of the Persian name of the bat, j^=i 

j>^ I-. '« *' (ie. night-flyerX Journal of the Germ. Oriental Soc. zxxii 241. 
Fleischer says that " Fiirsfs caU;, oecuZtare— put in this general way — 
is a fiction. The probable etymology, as correctly explained in Frcyta^ 

ft f r I 

^ Jt--', jVi r, applied to the heavens, and night. From this comes 

■ .-\V>A, one in the dark, tendrw, i.t. wolf; and this form resemble* 
*(?av, alike in its quinqueliteral form and in its general etymological 
meaning. See Berieht der kSn. $achs. Gtt. der Wiu. Band L 1846 and 
1847, pp. 430, 431." 



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tl3 ISAIAH. 

made to their order, and thrust them like smuggled goods in 
bat-holes and mole-heaps to hide them from the eyes of the 
Judge, that, after casting away the useless burden that would 
condemn them, they may then betake themselves to flight 

Ver. 21: "To creep into the hollows of the stone-Mocks, and 
into the defU of the rocks, before the dreadful look of Jehovah 
and before the glory of Sis majesty, when He arises to put the 
earth in terror." Instead of rniVOS, in ver. 19, there is here 
found rrtnpJa, " into the hollows " (from ip5. to dig a hole) ; 
and instead of nej? ni^nna, there is here D'??f [i '??93, " into the 
crevices of the rocks " (j6d, a rock, properly a cleft, like rapes, 
from rumpere). Thus ends the fourth strophe of this " dies 
irae dies ilia" appended to the quotation from the earlier 
prophet. 

Now follows a closing nx>ta bene in ver. 22 : " then, let 
man go, in whose nose is a breath ; for at what is he to be 
valued t " The LXX. leaves this verse wholly untranslated : 
was it not to be found in their copy of the Hebrew ? Cheyne 
regards it as a marginal note, dating from post-exilic times, 
which breaks the connection; but it is the moralizing condnsion 
drawn from what precedes, and the basis of the proclamation 
of judgment (introduced by '2) which follows with the opening 
of the next chapter. Instead of noa, Jerome (like Berachoth 
14a) read no3, giving the strange rendering, excelsus reputatas 
est ipse ; and it appears that Luther also allowed himself to be 
misled by this. If we look both backwards and forwards, we 
cannot possibly miss the proper meaning of this verse, which 
must be regarded as not only giving the result of what precedes, 
but as forming the transition to what followa What has 
gone before is the prediction of utter ruin to everything of 
which men are proud, and of which they boast ; and in the 
beginning of the following chapter the same prediction is 
resumed, with more special reference to the Jewish state from 
which Jehovah is taking away every support, so that it is 
falling into a state of collapse. Accordingly, ver. 22 exhorts 
to renunciation of trust in man and all that is human, as in 
Ps. cviii. 8 f., cxlvL 3 ; Jer. xvii. 5. The view taken is as 
general as in a gnome or apothegm. The ethical dative 03? is 
in this case also the dative of advantage: out of regard for 
yourselves, for the sake of your own salvation, do cease from 



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CHAFTEB n. S3. 113 

man, ie. from trust in him, in whose nosis (in eujits nato, as 
in Job xxvii 3 ; on the other hand, in Oen. ii 7 is found 
the equivalent ^BKS, tn nares efiui) is a breath, a breath of 
life, which God has given him, and can take from him again 
as soon as He pleases (Job xxxiv. 14 ; Ps. civ. 29). Upon 
the breath which goes out and in through his nose depends 
his earthly existence, which, once lost, is gone for ever 
(Job vii 7). On this breath, therefore, there also depends 
all the trust that is placed on man — ^how weak a foundation 1 
Under these conditions, and in view of this transitoriness, the 
worth of man as a basis of trust is as nothing. This idea 
is here expressed in interrogatory form: "At {or for) what 
is he reckoned (or to be reckoned) ? " The passive partic. 
ac^ combines with the idea of actuality (aeatinuUm) that of 
necessity (aestimandwi) and that, of' possibility, or what is fit 
and becoming {cuatimahilia). The 3 is here that of price or 
value, corresponding to the Latin genitive (^uarUt) or 
ablative {quanta), — a species of the instrumental 3, the price 
being represented as the means of exchange or purchase: 
hence the meaning is, " At what is he reckoned 1 " not, " With 
what is he compared ? " — an idea which would be expressed by 
JlK (liiL 11 ; cf. lura in Luke xxii. 37) or 0? (Ps. Ixxxviii. 5). 
There is here used noa, not noa, because this looser form is 
usually found only when a relative clause follows (eo quod, 
see Eccles. iiL 22), and not noa ; because the long final vowel 
in this case is employed only when the succeeding word begins 
with M, or when noa stands in pause (as in 1 Kings xxiL 21) ; 
under all other circumstances ^Qa is used. The question 
thus introduced cannot be answered with a positive fixing of 
value; the worth of man, considered in himself, and apart 
from God, is as nothing.' 

At this porism a pause is made in the announcement of 
judgment, but only for the purpose of gathering new strength. 
In four strophes, concluding in the same way, the prophet has 
proclaimed the divine judgment on every exalted thing in the 
world that has fallen from commuuicm with God, just as 

' In a fragment of Aeschylus preserved in Plutarcb, De ExiL, Tantalus is 
represented as saying of himself : " My courage, which formerly reached 
to heaven, now sinks to earth, and cries to me, Learn not to esteem too 
highly what is of man." 

VOL. L B 



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;114 ISAUH. 

Amos begins his book with a roand of judgments, forming 
seven strophes which begin in the same way, and bursting 
forth like seven thunder-peals upon the nations on the stage 
of history ; the seventh stroke falls on Judah, on whom, as on 
its proper object, the storm of judgment remains. Similarly with 
Isaiah here, the universal proclamation of judgment concen- 
trates itself more especially on Judah and Jerusalem. The 
current of discourse now bursts the banks confining it in 
strophic form, — though otherwise it flows with freedom, — and 
the exhortation in ii. 22 not to trust in man, which rests on 
what has gone before, becomes the stepping-stone from the 
universal proclamation of judgment to the more special one in 
iiL 1, while the prophet assigns a new reason for the exhortation: 
" For, Idiold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, remotes from Jerusalem 
and from Judah support and means of support, every support of 
bread, and every support oftoater." That the announcement of 
judgment here begins anew is evident even from the name of 
God, rtK3V nin». fnwy, with which Isaiah everywhere (L 24, x. 16, 
33, xix. 4) introduces the judicial dealings of God. Trust in 
man was the great sin especially prevailing in the times of 
Uzziah and Jotham. The national glory at that time carried 
within it the wrath of Jehovah, which began to break out 
even in the days of Ahaz, and during Hezekiah's reign was 
merely restrained, not changed. This outburst of wrath 
Isaiah here proclaims, describing how Jehovah is throwing 
down the Jewish State into ruins by removing from it the 
supports of its existence and the pillars of its fabric. In t.V^ 
T\i^erg\ the full idea is placed in the foreground; the two 
nouns, which are but one and the same word in different 
forms, and these determined by the gender (cfl Micah ii 4 ; 
Kah. ii. 11; Zeph. L 15, ii. 1; Ezek. xxL 3; Ewald, 
§ 172b), serve to generalize the notion: fulcra omne genus 
(omnigena). Both are " instrumental " forms, and signify that 
which is used in giving support, whereas I'^fO means what 
supports: hence the three perhaps correspond to the Latin 
fulcrum, fuUura, fulcimen. Of the various means of support, 
bread and water are first named, not in a figurative sense, 
but as the two absolutely indispensable conditions, and the 
basis of human life. Life is supported by bread and water (\SV 
being synonymous with ^OT)^ ^^' ^^'^- ^ ^« *^) i ^' S^^> ^ **• 



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CffAFTEfi m. S, 8. 115 

wete, on the crutch of bread, and " to break the staff of bread " 
(Lev. xxvL 26 ; Ezek. iv, 16, v. 16, xiv, 13 ; Ps. cv. 16) is 
thus equivalent to physical destruction. The fall of the 
Jewish State accordingly begins with the withdrawal from it 
by Jehovah of all support afforded by bread and water, all stores 
of both. And this was actually fulfilled ; for, both in the 
Chaldean and in the Boman periods, Jerusalem perished under 
dreadful famines such as were threatened in Lev. xxvi. and 
especially Deut. xxviii., — ^both chapters filled with curses to 
follow the commission of sin ; on both occasions, the inhabit- 
ants were reduced to such extremity that women devoured 
their own children (Lam. il 20 ; Josephus, Bell. Jud. vL 3. 
3, 4). No real objection, therefore, can be made against the 
opening of the enumeration with " every support of bread, and 
every support of water." Nevertheless these words are 
regarded by Hitzig, Knobel, Meier, Gheyne, and Beuss as a 
gloss. We grant that the transition ^m these words to 
what follows ("hero and man of war") shows a certain 
abruptness and want of homogeneity, and that this fact, 
of course, arouses suspicion ; on the other hand, if they be 
omitted, we regretfully miss the arrangement of ver. 1 into 
two members (c£ xxv. 6). 

Vers. 2 and 3 continue the enumeration of the supports 
which Jehovah takes away : " Heron and men of war, judges, 
and prophets, and soothsayers, and elders : captains of fifty, and 
highly respected men, and counsellors, and masters in art, and 
those skilled in muttering." As the State, under Uzziah and 
Jotham, had become a military one, the prophet in both verses 
b^[in8 with the mention of military officers : "fiSA is a com- 
mander who has already proved himself brave ; npn5>p B''K is 
the common soldier who is armed, and had been well trained 
(see Ezek. xxxix. 20); Q'Bton "iv is the leader of a company 
consisting of fifty warriors (see 2 Kings i. 9, etc. ; similar 
officers were also found in the Assyrian army). Moreover, 
the leading members of the State are mixed together, so that 
the picture here given presents great variety of colour: 
ttdte is the officer appointed by the government to administer 
justice and carry out the law ; |^ is the oldest member of his 
family, and the senator appointed by the city corporations; f^* 
is the counsellor standing nearest the king ; D*3B v^in (properly. 



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116 ISAIAH. 

one whose face (ie. personal appearance) is accepted — «.«. one 
who is beloved and respected : Saad. todgth, from wdgh, the 
face, appearance) is a person held in esteem, not merely in 
virtue of his office, but also on account of his wealth, age, 
benevolence, etc ; Q'P'^n D?n is in the LXX. rendered ero^ 
apxureKTav, and very well explained by Jerome as in artUms 
meehanieis exercUatua easque collide traetana. In the Chaldean 
captivities, skilled artisans especially were carried away 
(2 Kings xxiv. 14 S. ; Jer. xxiv. 1, xxix. 2) ; hence there can 
be no doubt that Q'B^H, from the sing, vhn (different from 
D'B'^n, workmen, the singular of which is ^^, for B'^n, — 
though in 1 Gbron. iv. 14, of. Neh. xL 35, we find the vocaliza- 
tion D»Bnn in this personal sense also, from Bnn^ following the 
analogy of the form Qsn). is intended to mean mechanical 
arts (not "magical arts,'* as Gesenius, Hitzig, and Meier 
affirm), and the B'?^n D?n therefore does not signify, as Ewald 
formerly rendered the expression, a sorcerer or wizard. The 
masters of the black art are introduced under the designation 
B'n? 1133: B'n? is the whisper, the muttering of magical 
formulas. Moreover, the master of the black art farther 
comes before ns under the name Qpl', a term which (from the 
radical idea of making fast — as seen in op ; Vp, — swearing, 
conjuring), together with K*33, the false prophet of Jehovah 
whose predictions are also merely Qbp (Micah iii. 11 ; Ezek. 
xxii. 28), signifies a soothsayer that cherishes heathen 
superstition: the word is found as early as in Deut. xviii. 
10, 14. After bread and water, these are the supports of the 
State. They are here intermingled thus, without any attempt 
at arrangement, because the mighty and magnificent State, 
properly regarded, is but a heterogeneous mixture of Judaism 
and heathenism, and the godless glory will become a mass 
of utter confusion when the wrath of Jehovah bursts forth. 

Deprived of its proper foundation and torn from its grooves, 
the kingdom of Judah falls a prey to the most audacious 
despotism, as shown in ver. 4 : " And I give them hoys as 
princes, and childish caprices shall rule over them." The 
revived glory of Solomon is thus anew followed, as before, by 
Behoboam-times. The king is not expressly mentioned, — 
intentionally so : he has sunk to the mere shadow of a king ; 
it is not he who niles, but the party of aristocrats around 



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OHAFTIB m. fi, 117 

bim, who move bim aboat like a puppet as they choose, 
treating him like one of themselves. Now, if it is in itself 
generally a misfortune when the king of a conntiy is a lad 
0!?, Ecdes. z. 16), it is doubly so when the princes or 
magnates surrounding and advising bim are also youths (O^) 
or youngsters, in the bad sense of the term : this produces a 
government of omiim. None of the nouns of this form has a 
personal meaning. According to the root-idea of the verb- 
stem, it is possible that the word may be explained (with 
Ewald, § 167i) as signifying " childishness," and this as being 
equivalent to " little children " (the abstract being used for 
the concrete, like t^ iratBued). But there is no need for 
supposing that ahibvn stands for tr6^9 (or tr6^ii]» ; see under 
ver. 12); or, what is comparatively more admissible, that it 
is an adverbial accusative (the opinion of Cheyne, who trans- 
lates the passi^, " and with wilfuluees shall they rule over 
them"); for ^?(rp^ does not necessarily require a personal 
subject (c£ Ps. xix. 14, dii 19X The form oMm (which 
occurs only in the plural, and is formed like D^^run) takes its 
meaning &om the reflexive ^gP^^, which signifies to meddle 
with, make sport of, give vent to one's caprice ; hence this 
noun signifies "vexations, annoyances" (IxvL 4). Jerome, 
who translates the word by effeminati, appears to have been 
thinking of i>^n in an obscene sense ; better is the rendering 
of the LXX. which gives i/ivaiKTeu, though ifinravfitaTa would 
be more exact ; here, in association with ansn, it denotes out- 
bursts of youthful caprice, which, whether in joke or in 
earnest, do injury to others. It is not law and righteousness 
that will rule, but the very opposite of righteousness, — a 
course of conduct which treats the subjects as the helpless 
plaything, at one time of their lust (Judg. xix. 25), atanoUier 
of their cruelty. Varying humour, utterly unregulated and 
imrestrained, rules suprema 

Then the people become like tlra government : passions are 
let loose, and all restraints of modesty are burst asunder. 
Ver. 6 : " And the people oppress one another, one this and 
another that ; the boy breaks out furiously upon the old man, 
and the despised upon the honoured." As shown by the cknse 
describing the mutual relation of the persons, is*!? is a Niphal 
with reciprocal meaning (cf. txhi, xix. 2) ; this verb, followed 



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118 ISAUH. 

by 2, signifies to tre&t as a tjrrant or taskmaster (see iz. 3). 
The meanest selfishness then stifles all nobler motives ; one 
becomes a tyrant over another, and rude insolence takes the 
place of reverence, which, by the law of nature, as well as 
the Torah (Lev. xix. 32) and custom, is due to the aged and 
superiors from boys and those in the humbler ranks, n?^} 
(from npi?, which is synonymous with ?P0, viiL 23, xxiii 9 ; 
cf. xvi. 14 ; the root of which is ^p, to be light, small) means 
one who belongs to the lowest stratum of society (1 Sam. 
xviii 23), and is the opposite of ^^^? (from ^3^, to be difficult, 
weighty): the LXX. well renders o artyuov nrpo^ top evrifiov. 
When there is this disregard of the distinctions due to age 
and rank, the State in a short time becomes a wild and waste 
scene of confusion. 

At last, there is no longer any authority bearing rale; 
even the desire to govern dies out, for despotism is followed 
by mob-rule, and this by anarchy in the most literal sense ; 
distress becomes so great that he who has a coat (cloak), so as 
to be still able in some degree to clothe himself respectably, 
is besouglit to undertake the government Vers. 6, 7 : 
" When a man shall lay hold of his brother in his father's 
house [and say], ' Thou hast a cloak ; thou shall ie our ruler, 
and take this ruin vmder thy hand,' he will cry out on that day, 
saying, ' I do not want to be a surgeon, when there is in my 
house neither bread nor cloak ; ye cannot make me ruler of the 
people.' " The population will have become so lean and 
dispirited through hunger, that, with a little energy, it would 
be possible to decide, within the narrow circle of a family, 
who is to be ruler, and to carry out the decision. The 
father's house is the place where (n*3 being here the local 
accusative) one brother meets the other ; and one breaks out 
into the following words of urgent entreaty, which are here 
introduced without ibW (cf. xiv. 8, 16, also xxii. 16, 
xxxiii 14). W is a rare mode of writing ^p, found also in 
Gen. xxviL 37 ; *^^ indicates the assumption, without any 
ceremony, that be will agree to what is expected. In Zeph. 
i. 3, Iwp? means that through which one comes to ruin ; here 
it means the thing itself that has been overthrown, and this 
because TB's (not merely to stumble, trip, slip, but actually to 
tumble over after being thrown off the equilibrium by a 



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CHAPTER m. 8. 119 

thrust from the outside) is not used of buildings that fall into 
ruin, and with a reference to the prosopopeia which follows in 
ver. 8. He who has the advantage over many, or all others, 
of still being able to clothe himself respectably (even though 
it were merely with a blouse) is to become supreme ruler or 
dictator (cf. 17^, Judg. xi. 6), and the State, now lying in a 
wretched state of ruin, is to be under his hand (t.«. bis 
dominion, his protection and care: 2 Kings viii 20; Gen. 
xlL 35 ; cf. xvi. 9, where, instead of the more usual singular 
T, the plural is found). With ver. 7 begins the apodosis to 
the protasis introduced by *3 as a particle of time. The 
answer given by the brother to the urgent request of those 
who make the appeal is introduced by the words, " he will 
raise (viz. his voice; see xxiv. 14) on that day, saying:" it 
is stated in this circumstantial manner because it is a solemn 
protest. He does not like to be Bbn, ie, a binder (viz. of the 
broken arms and legs and ribs of the ruined State, xxx. 26, 
i 6, Ixi 1). It is implied in the form njnK that he does not 
like it, because he is conscious of his inability. He has no 
confidence in himself, and the assumption that he has a coat 
is false ; not merely has he no coat at home in his house (in 
view of which we must remember that the conversation is 
carried on in his father's house), but he has no bread ; hence 
what is expected from him, almost naked and starving as he 
is, becomes impossible. "When the purple of the ruler," 
says the Midrash on Esth. iii. 6, " is offered for sale at the 
market, then woe to the buyer and the seller alike ! " 

Tliis deep and tragic misery, as the prophet proceeds to 
show in vers. 8-12, is righteous retribution. Ver. 8 : 
"For Jerusalem is overthrown and Jvdah is fallen, because 
their tongue and their doings are against Jehovah, to defy the 
eyes of His glory" The name of the city of Jerusalem is 
regularly (Gesen. § 122. 3a) treated as feminine, the name of 
the people of Jndah as masculine ; names of nations appear 
as feminines only when there is a blending of the two ideas, 
the country and the people (as, for instance, Job L 15). 
The two preterites nbe*3 and TU express the general fact 
which will prove the occasion of such scenes of misery as 
have just been described. The second clause (a substantive 
one), on the other hand, beginning with^a, assigns already 



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120 ' IBAUH. 

present sin, not sin still future, as the reason o( the coming 
judgment ^t is employed to indicate hostile direction, as 
in il 4 ; Oen. It. 8 ; Kum. xxxii 14 ; Josh. x. 6. The 
capital and the country are in word and deed against 
Jehovah Waa 'jp rfrioi". Here 'i?? = 'T9 and rhob (as in 
Ps. Ixxviii. 17) is the syncopated HiphQ int for rtnpr6 
(cf. the syncopated forms in xxiiL 11, i. 12). The Qal 
n^. which is likewise pretty often construed with the 
accusative, means to reject in a contumacious manner, and 
the Hiphil fnon to treat contumaciously, — properly, to 
oppose strenaously, ammlveiv, dbniH : the root is no, j^ 
ttringere, and this is connected with ^o, the name of anything 
bitter, as being astringent, though there is no warrant for the 
rendering in the LXX. of tid, mori, ton, Ex, xxiii. 21, by 
vapavucpaiveiv. The ? is a somewhat shortened expression 
for \0O^, Amos u. 7 ; Jer. vii 18, xxxjL 29. But what does 
the prophet mean by " the eyes of His glory " ? The con- 
struction is certainly just the same as is " the arm of His 
holiness " (liL 10), and a reference to the divine attributes is 
thus intended. The glory of God is that eternal manifesta- 
tion of His holy nature in its splendour which man pictures 
to himself anthropomorphically, because he cannot conceive of 
anything more sablime than the human form. It is in this 
glorious form that Jehovah looks upon His people. In this 
is mirrored His condescending yet jealous love. His holy love 
which breaks forth into wrath against all who requite His 
love with hate. 

But Israel, instead of living in the consciousness of being 
a constant and favoured object of these majestic and earnestly 
admonishing eyes, is studiously defying them in word and 
deed, not even hiding its sin through fear of them, but 
exposing it to view all unabashed. Ver. 9 : " The appear' 
anee of their faces tettifies against them, and their sin they 
declare like Sodom, without concealing it; woe to their soul! for 
they do evil to themselves." In any case, what is meant is the 
insolent look which their sinfulness is stamping upon their 
faces, without the self-condemnation which in others takes 
the form of dread to commit sin (Seneca, ds vita leata, 
c. 12). The constroct form ffy^''}, if derived from Tsn (Jos. 
Kimchi and Luzzatto), would follow the anal<^ of rnjja 



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CHAPTES m.' 10, u. 121 

in Ezek. xxxir. 12. But nan » Arab, hakara (hakira), 
affords no suitable meaning ; t^^ is the active noun formed 
from the Hiphil T?". The common expression D'JB Tan 
signifies to look searchingly, inquiringly, keenly into the 
face of a person, to fix the eye upon him ; and, ^vhen used 
of a judge, to take the side of a person, by showing undue 
r^ard to him (Deut i. 17, xvL 19). This latter meaning, 
however (" their respect of persons," " their partiality," Prov. 
xxiv. 23, xxviii. 21), though supported by Hitzig, Maurer, 
and Gesenius, is inadmissible here, simply because the words 
do not refer to judges specially, but to the whole nation. 
" The appearance of their faces " is to be understood here in 
an objective sense, their look (to elSov, Luke ix. 2 9), as the 
agnitio of Jerome is also to be taken as meaning id quo se 
agnoseendum dot miltus eorum. This is probably the usual 
Hebrew designation for what we call physiognomy, — the 
meaning indicated by the expression of the face, and then 
the latter itself. The expression of their countenance testifies 
against them (3 njp as in lix. 12) ; for it is the distorted and 
troubled image of their sin that cannot and will not hide 
itselt They do not even content themselves, however, with 
this open though silent display; they further speak openly of 
their sin, making no concealment of it, like the Sodomites 
who proclaimed their fleshly lost (Gen. chap. xix.). Jerusalem 
is, in fact, spiritually Sodom, as the prophet called it in i. 1 0. 
Through such shameful sinning they do themselves harm 
(b^, allied to i^, signifies to complete, then to carry out, to 
show by actual deed) : this is the undeniable fact, the actual 
experience. 

But seeing it is the curse of sin that the knowledge of 
what is perfectly clear and self-evident is just what is marred 
and even obliterated for man, the prophet dwells still longer 
on the £act that all sin is self-destruction and self-murder, 
presenting this general truth with its opposite in palilogic 
fashion, like the Apostle John, and calling to his contem- 
poraries in vers. 10, 11 : " Say of the just, that it is well with 
him ; for they will enjoy the fruit of their doingt, Woe to the 
wicked! it is iU; for what hia hand* hate wrought will he 
done to him." What is declared in Prov. xii. 14 is here 
re-echoed in prophetic form. We cannot, with Yitringa and 



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122 isAua 

some mudera commentators, translate " Praise the righteous 
one;" for, though lOM is sometimes construed with the 
accusative (Ps. xL 11, cxlv. 6, 11), it never means to 
praise, but to utter, express (see also Ps. xL 11). We have 
here the transposition familiar to us even from Gen. i 4, — 
simple and natural in the case of the verbs n»n (c£ also 
xxil 9 ; Ex. ii 2), jnj (1 Kings v. 17), and IDK (like Xeyeiv, 
John ix. 19): dieiie Justum quod bonus =dieite justum esae 
honum (Ewald, § 3366) : the object of seeing, knowing, or 
saying is first mentioned generally, and then what qualifies 
it or defines it in some way. 3ft3 and, in ver. 11, y^(V^ when 
not in pause) might both be the 3rd sing, perfect of their 
verbs, used in a neuter sense : aita, " it is well," viz, to him 
(as in Deut v. 30; Jer. xxii. 15 f.); and JH (from J>?^),"it 
is ill " (as in Ps. cvL 32). But Jer. xliv. 17 shows that we 
may also say wn 3^0, wn jri, in the sense of xaXw; e;^e*, 
Kaxm Sxet, and that both expressions have been so regarded, 
and hence in both cases do not need i^ to be supplied. The 
form of the first favours this, while in the second the accentua- 
tion vacillates between *im with Ti/cha, jnhh with Munack, 
and IK with Merkah, ji^h with Ti/cha; the latter mode of 
accentuation, however, which favours the personal view of jn. 
is presented by important editions (such as those of Breschia, 
1494; Pesaro, 1516; Venice, 1515 and 1521), and rightly 
preferred by Luzzatto and Baer. The summary statements, 
" the righteous is well," " the wicked is ill," are established 
by the latter end of both, in the light of which the previous 
misfortune of the righteous appears as good fortune, and the 
previous good fortune of the wicked as misfortune. With 
reference to this difference in the eventual fate of each, the 
call " say," which is common to both clauses, summons to a 
recognition of the good fortune of the one and the ill fortune 
of the other. that Judah and Jerusalem recognised this 
for their salvation, ere it becomes too late ! For the state of 
the poor nation is already sad enongh, and they are very 
near destruction. 

Ver. 12:" My people, — its oppressors are boys, and women 
rxde over it ; my people, thy leaders are mideaders, and they 
have swallowed the way of thy patlis." The idea that ^Pp 
signifies those who maltreat or abuse others, is opposed by 



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CBAPTZR m. IX 128 

the parallel B*i^ ; moreover, the notion of despotic treatment 
is already contained in t^p. Along with women, one expects 
to find children ; ^ and this, too, 77^DO means, but not a suck- 
ling (Ewald, § I6O0), like 5»«f and ^ (see our commentary 
on Job xvi 11), for the active form requires an active idea; 
bat ^ does not mean "to suckle" (rather to support, 
nourish), much less then "to suck," so that it would thus 
need to signify the suckling in the sense of one who is 
nourished. This is improbable, however, for the simple 
reason that it occurs in Jer. xliv. 7 and Lam. ii 11 along 
with P3f\ and thus cannot have exactly the same meaning as 
the latter word, but, like tAv and 5Wjf (the former of which 
may have been contracted from ^VO), signifies a boy as 
playful and wanton {latcimim, protervum): see the remarks 
on ver. 4 (where By'^SR occurs with 8*7??), and c£ the 
Bedouinic V*^XP, plur. 'awdlU, with the sense of Juvencus (a 
young bull, three or four years oldX Bottcher correctly 
renders the word by pueri (luaores) ; iinj», however, is not, as 
he supposes, in itself a collective form, bat the singular is 
used collectively ; or perhaps better still, the predicate is 
meant to apply to every individual included in the plural 
idea of the subject (cf. xvi. 8, xx. 4 ; Gresenius, § 145. 5), 
so that the meaning is, — ^the oppressors of the people, every 
one without exception, are (even though advanced in years), 
in their way of thinking and acting, like boys or youths, who 
make all those subject to them the plaything of their 
capricious humour. The person of the king — v^:i being 
understood by Hitzig, Ewald, and Cbeyne as a plural of 
excellence — ^is here also placed in the iMuskgroond ; but the 
female sway, afterwards mentioned, points us to the court 
This must have been the state of the case when Ahaz, a 
young spendthrift, twenty years of age (according to the 
LXX., twenty-five), came to the throne, after the end of 
Jotham's reign. Once more the prophet, with deep pain, 
repeats the words " my people," and, addressing them directly, 
passes from the rulers of the nation to the preachers, — for the 
□ne^KO are prophets (Micah iii. 5) ; but what characters 1 

> An Arabic proverb (Cot Codd. Lip*, p. 373) runs thtu: "I flee to 
God in order to eacape (ix>m tlie domination of boya and the government 
of women." 



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124 ISAUH. ' 

Instead of leading the people on the straight road, they lead 
them astray (iz. 15; of. 2 Kings xxL 9); for, as we know 
from the history of this gang of prophets, they ministered to 
the godless interests of the court, making themselves the 
slaves either of the dynasty or the demagogaes; or they 
pandered to the desires of the people, which were of no 
higher tone. Moreover, " the way of the path " of the people 
(i.e. the main-road or highway, hy the branches of which the 
people were to reach the goal designed by God) have they 
" swallowed " (t«. taken away the eyes and feet of the people), 
so that they cannot find it and walk in it. Nagelsbach 
renders this passage differently, — " they drag down thy path of 
life into destruction ; " but the solemn nature of the expression 
rather points to the conclusion that " way" means law, or the 
path of duty (Theodoret, Jerome, Luther). Whatever is 
swallowed is invisible ; it has disappeared without leaving a 
trace behind. "To swallow," in the sense of degltUire, is 
expressed by the Qal, as in xxviiL 4 ; the Piel V?^ signifies 
absorption, in the sense of annihilation. The way of salva- 
tion shown in the law is no more to be seen or heard ; it has 
perished, as it were, in the preaching of the false prophets 
with their misleading doctrines. 

Such is the state of matters. The exhortations of the 
prophet have no great range or breadth of view, for he must 
ever recur to the announcement of judgment. The judgment 
of the world comes anew before his mind in ver. 13 : 
" Jehovah ia standing to plead, and has stepped forward to 
judge the nations." When Jehovah, wearied of exercising 
patience, arises from His heavenly throne, this is called tnp, 
as in IL 19, 21, xxxiiL 10; when He sits down on the 
judgment-seat before the eyes of all the world, this is called 
3B^, as in Ps. ix. 5 ; Jonah iv. 12 ; when He descends from 
heaven (Micah i 2 ff) and comes forward as accuser, this is 
called 3X3 or lop, Ps. Ixxxii. 1, — the latter word signifies to 
go forward and stand, in contrast with sitting; while the 
former means to stand, with the additional idea of being firm, 
fixed in purpose, ready. But Jehovah's pleading (3^., Jer. 
zxv. 31) is likewise judging (H), because His accusation, 
which cannot possibly be denied as false, is at the same time 
the sentence of condemnation; and this sentence, which 



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CHAFTEB m: u. u. 126 

irresistibly operates, is at the same time also the execution of 
the paoishmeDt. Thus God stands — Accuser and Judge and 
Executioner in one Person — in the midst of the nations 
(Ps. vii. 8). But among the nations it is Israel specially, 
and among the Israelites it is particularly the leaders of the 
poor misguided and neglected people against whom He stands, 
as shown in vers. 14, 15 : "Jehovah will enter into judgment 
with the elders of His people and their princes, — and you, ye 
have eaien up the vineyard; the plunder of the sufferer is in 
yontr houses. What do you want, that you crush my people, 
and grind the face of those in suffering f Declaration of the 
lord Jehovah of hosts." With the first part of ver. 14 c£ 
Ps. cxliii 2. The address of God begins with DijiK); the 
clause to which this " and ye " (or " but ye ") forms the 
contrast is wanting, just as in Ps. iL 6, where the address of 
God begins with "?», "and I" = «but I." The suppressed 
clause, however, is easily supplied in some such way as this : 
" I set you over my vineyfutl, but ye have eaten up the 
vineyard." The question has been asked whether it is God 
Himself who silently passes over this clause, or the prophet ; 
but certainly it is Jehovah Himself. The majesty with 
which He comes before the rulers of His people of itself 
practically and undeniably declares, even without express 
statement in words, that their majesty is but a shadow of 
His, and that their office is held from Him and under Him. 
But their office is owing to God's having committed His 
people to their care ; the vineyard of Jehovah is His people, 
— a figure which the prophet, in chap, v., forms into a 
parable. Jehovah appointed them to be keepers and pre- 
serves of this vineyard, but they have themselves become the 
cattle 07?) which they were to drive ofT; the verb i?2 is 
used in speaking of the cattle that utterly devour the stalks 
of what grows in a field, or the tender vines in a vineyard 
(Ex. xxii. 4). The property of which their unhappy fellow- 
countrymen have been robbed is in their houses, and 
attests the plundering that has been carried on in the vine- 
yard. 'Jyn forms an explanation of D^an ; for a lowly and 
distressful condition is the usual lot of the community which 
God calls His vineyard ; it is an oppressed Church, but woe 
to the oppressors I In the question 03^ there is implied the 



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126 ISAIAH. 

want of understanding and the bold insolence of the begin- 
ning tbey have made: no is here, after the manner of a 
prefix, fused into one word with cup, as in Ex. iv. 1 ; Ezek. 
viiL 6 ; MaL i 13. The Qeri, by resolving the KdMb, helps us 
to understand the meaning. tnpD should properly be followed 
by *3 {ffuid est vdbis quod atteritis poptUum meum, as in 
xxii 1, 16), but the discourse hurries on (as in Jonah i. 6) 
because it is an outburst of wrath. Hence also the expres- 
sions setting forth the conduct of the rulers of the people 
are the strongest possible. K3^ occurs also in Prov. xxiL 22, 
but *i>B |no is a strong metaphor of which no other example 
is found. The former signifies to beat (or pound), while the 
latter (the extreme opposite of *jB npn) means to grind small 
(to powder), as the millstone grinds the grain. They beat 
the face of those who are already bowed down, repelling them 
with such merciless harshness that they stand as if they were 
annihilated, and their face becomes pale and white, from 
oppression and despair, — or even (without any reference to 
the loss of colour) so that their joyful appearance is ex- 
changed for the features and gait of men in despair. Thus 
far, language still affords figurative expressions fitted in some 
measure for describing the conduct of the rulers of Israel, but 
it lacks the power of adequately expressing the boundless im- 
morality of this conduct ; hence the greatness of their wicked 
cruelty is set before them for consideration in the form of a 
question : " What is it to you ? " ie. what kind of unutterable 
wickedness is this you are beginning ? Thus the prophet 
hears Jehovah speak, — the majestic Judge whom he here 
calls rttav rrtn» >p» (to be read AdOnd* SldMm ZebaOth, 
according to the traditional vocalization). This threefold 
name of God, which pretty frequently occurs in Amos, and 
also in Jer. iL 19, first appears in the Elohistic psalm 
Ixix. (ver. 7), — as this judgment-scene generally is painted 
with psalm- colours, and especially reminds us of Pa Ixxxii. 
(Elohistic, and a psalm of Asaph). 

But though the prophet has this judgment - scene thus 
vividly and dramatically before him, yet he cannot help 
breaking off, even after he has but begun the description ; for 
another message of Jehovah comes to him. It is for the 
women of Jerusalem, whose sway is now, when the prophet 



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CHAPTEB m. 16, 17. 127 

is deliveriug his burden, not one whit less influential in the 
capital (see ver. 12, beginning) than that of their husbands, 
who had forgotten their calling. Vers. 16, 17: "And 
Jehovah JuUh spoken : Because tlie daughters ofZion are haughty, 
and vxilk with necks stretched forth and twinkling with the eyes, 
walk with tripping gait, and tinkle wUh their foot ornaments ; 
therefore the Lord maketh the crown of the head of Zunis 
daughters scabbed, and Jehovah will make bare their secret 
parts." Their pride of heart (iUl is used as in Ezek. xvl 50, 
cf. Zepb. iii 11) reveals itself in their outward conduct 
They go with outstretched neck, i.e. bending back the fore 
part of the neck, seeking to make themselves taller than they 
are, since thej think themselves exceedingly great. Cornelius 
k Lapide here remarks : instar gruum vel eygnoram ; habitus 
hie est insoUntis ac proeaeis. (The Qert here substitutes the 
usual form n^Qji, but Isaiah perhaps intentionally employed 
the more rare and rugged form nliQJ, for this form actually 
occurs in 1 Sam. xxv. 18, as also its singular ^tii for fVS3 iu 
Job XV. 22, xli 25.) Moreover, they go twinkling (rtn^ffo, 
not rti??'?, " falsifying ") the eyes (like iii|, the accusative of 
closer specification), ie. in pretended innocence casting wanton 
and amatory glances about them (LXX. vevfiara d<f>0a\iJMv) : 
this participle comes from *ii?^~'^?D, not in the sense oifucare 
(Targum, Shahbaih 626, Yoma 96, Luther), properly " to dye 
reddish-yellow" (Pesikta, ed. Buber, 132a, "with red coUy- 
rium;" Talm. jnv, paralL hra, Kethvboth 11 a) ; but secondarily 
to paint the face. This derived sense is in itself not probable 
here, from the simple fact that the painting of the eyelids 
black with powdered antimony (ipa, liv. 11) was not con- 
sidered a piece of vanity, but regarded as an indispensable 
item of female adornment The verb is rather used in the 
sense of nictare (LXX. Vulgate, Syriac, cf. Saad. "making 
their eyes flash"), syn. wn, cf. "ipp, Syr. to squint, Targ. 
= *Sf, Job XX. 9. Compare also the Talmudic witticism, 
" God did not create the woman out of Adam's ear, lest she 
might become an eavesdropper C^^^^^V); nor out of Adam's 
eye, lest she might become a winker (n*3"jpp)." * 

' Cf. alM Sola 476 .■ "Since there has been increase in the number of 
women with extended neck and winking ejes, there has also been increase 
of the cases in which the curse- water (Num. v. 18) had to he used." To 



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128 I8AUB. 

The third descriptive clanse states that they walk ineedmdo 
et seUiendo : the second infinitive absolute is here, as asoal, 
that which gives the definite colour to the expression, while 
the other keeps before the eye the occurrence that would be 
denoted by the verb in its finite form. They go skipping 

along Clbo, et i_jbL yt, to spring, so called &om drawing the 

feet together ; hence *|C, the skipping little family), ie. taking 
short and tripping steps, almost always placing the heel at the 
great toe, as the Talmud everywhere says. The LXX. gives 
a rendering of interest for the history of luxury in dress: 
Koi T§ iropeif r&v voB&p Sfta tripoweu to^ p^tTuva?. Quite 
as appropriate, but contrary to the meaning of the words, is 
the rendering of Luther, " they walk along and waggle," ie. 
dtmibuB agitatis, a meaning for which the Semitic has other 
expressions (see ZeiUchrifi der deittseh. morgerd. Oesellsehaft, 
xvi 587).* But the rendering should rather be "tripping;" 
for only such little steps can they take, owing to their pace- 
chains, which join together the costly foot-rings (Q'P?5) that 
were placed above the ankle. With these pace-chains, which 
perhaps even then as now, were sometimes provided with little 
bells, they make a tinkling sound, — an idea which is here 
expressed by the denominative verb Mj> ; with their feet they 
make a tinkling sound, clinking the ankle-ornaments, by placing 
the feet in such a way as to make these ankle-rings strike one 
another. In view of this fact, Dn^f]3 for IJ^^l? is perhaps 
not an unintentional interchange of gender; they are not 
modest virgines, but bold viraginea, and thus in their own 
persons display a synallage generis. This coquettish clinking, 

such an extent, indeed, did the evil grow, as is well known, tbat Jobanan 
ben Zaccai, the pupil of Hillel, completely abolisbed tbe ordeal of the 
Seta ({.«. the woman Eu^>ected of adultery) ; his contemporaries were 
thoroughly adulterous (jtux»>^l:). Synonymous with riPptStS is jtaetOy 
a Latin epithet of Venus, which Philoxenus glosses by /tv«n^ roi; Sfi/tctvt ; 
but a different meaning is conveyed by iypa, which also is a term having 
reference to the eyes. 
* The translation of the Targum ]B^ )TinB34 is explained in the same 

way by Qesenius {Thttaurm, p. 664) to mean elunei agitanUt, but more 
correctly by Rashi to signify "putting on false hair-toupees," KnB=nnKB 

(riKBn). See Levy's Targwmic Didunwry, under (|p] I. and KDMB- 



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CHAPTER m. 18-28. 129 

though forbidden by the Qoran, is still the delight of women 
in Moslem Oriental countries at the present day, as the 
women of Jerusalem enjoyed it in Isaiah's days. Great is 
the attractive influence of natural charms, especially when 
enhanced by lavish employment of art; but the prophet, 
blind to this display of splendour, sees only the filthiness 
within, and announces to the women of rank a foul and by 
no means aesthetic fate. The Almighty will smite with scab 
the crown of their head, from which long hair now flows 
down (nebl has l consecutive, and, at the same time, forms 
the apodosis; the verb is a "denominative" from nnsp, 
which means the scab or scurf which deposits itself on the 
skin) ; and Jehovah, by delivering them over to the violation 
of and insult of coarse enemies, will uncover their nakedness, 
— the greatest disgrace in the eyes of a woman, who covers 
herself as carefully as possible from every stranger (xlvii 3 ; 
Kah. iii 5 ; Jer. xiii 22 ; Ezek. xvi 37). The noun nb is 
derived from a verb rna (Arab, faut, tefdvxut, signifying inter- 
eapedo), so that tnna or innb (of. Stade, § 353(, and, farther, 
intt for ^ in Ezek. xzxiv. 31) is thus a designedly disrespectful 
term ; cf. iinb, plur. n^, a Kblical and Talmudic word signi- 
fying cardo femina. The Babylonians read pn? from na, 
which is rather derived from nna (ct |3T ; also nriB in the 
sense of wlva, in Pesaehim 87a; and in explanation of this 
passage, Skahbath 62b)} 

The prophet now proceeds in vers. 18—23 to describe 
further how the Lord will tear from them their whole toilet 
as plunder for their foes : " On that day will the lard remove 
the tpUndour of the ajikle-clasps, and of the forehead-hands, and 
of the crescents ; the ear-drops, and the arm-^Aains, and the 
light veils; the tiaras, and the stepping-chains, and the girdles, 
and the tmdling-bottles, and the amtUets ; the finger-rings and 
the mae-rings ; the gcUa-dresaes, and the sleeved-frocks, and the 
vrrapping-doaks, and the pockets; the hand-mirrors, and the 

> Lnzzatto explains nb by the Aram. (tn^B, "forehead;" but thi* word, 
the full form of which is KTnBK, is equiralent to kbK K*BK, the faee or 
countenance ; moreover, the Syriac /tU (whence comes I'fAt =:<C^X which 

Bernstein regards as a collateral form from/itni, tnB> the " mouth," is the 
apocopated apit = apai. 

VOL. L I 



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130 ISAIAH. 

Sindu-covers, and the turlans, and the gauze-mantles'' The 
oldest commentary on this passage, important for the infor- 
mation it affords regarding ancient costumes, though itself 
needing explanation, is found in the Jerusalem Talmud, 
Shabbath vL 4. Later writers who have industriously treated 
of these articles of female dress are Nic. Wilh. Schroder, in 
his Commemtarius de vettitu niulierum Hebraearum ad Jet. 
iiL 16-24 (Lugd. Batav, 1745, 4to), and Ant Theod. Hart- 
uiann (sometime Professor in Bostock), in his work entitled. 
Die Hehraerin am Putztische und als Braut, 1809—10 (3 vols. 
8vo); of. Saalschiltz's Arehaologie (1885), chap. 3 of which 
treats of the dress of men and women ; and Sal. Ruhin, ptu 
D^^Tl rmn* (on the luxury, love of show, and mode of living 
among the Hebrew women referred to in the Bible), in vol. L 
of the monthly magazine called iriB'n (also published sepa- 
rately, Vienna 1870). [See also Keil's Biblical Archaeology 
(English translation, Edinburgh 1888), vol. ii. 142.] It is 
not customary elsewhere with Isaiah to he so detailed in his 
descriptions; among all the prophets, Ezekiel most displays 
this style of writing (see, for example, chap. xvL) ; nor do we 
find anything similar again in other prophecies against women 
(cf. xxxii 9 ff.; Amos iv. 1 S.). Here ends the enumeration 
of articles of female finery and show ; and while it forms a 
trilogy with the enumeration of the props of State in iii. 1-3, 
and the enumeration in iL 13—16 of persons and things lofty 
and exalted, it has its own special ground in the boundless 
love of ornament which had become prevalent especially 
during the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, it is intended to 
make a serious impression, and yet show the ridiculous cha- 
racter of the unrestrained luxury actually existing ; for it is the 
prophet's design in this address throughout to draw a sharp 
contrast between the titanic, party-coloured, .noisy, worldly 
glory, and the true glory, which is spiritual, gitmdly simple, 
and shows itself in working outwarda from within. Indeed, 
the subject of the whole address is the course of universal 
judgment from false glory to the true. The general idea of 
" splendour " or " glory " (iTiKBn), which stands at the head 
and forms the foundation of the whole, already points to the 
contrast which follows in iv. 2, with quite another kind of 
glory. 



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CHAPTER in. 18-S8. 131 

In explaining each particular term, we must content our- 
selves with stating what is most necessary and comparatively 
most certain regarding the words which here occur. 0^P3}| 
(from D3P, fj^A (jlXfi, to bind, see the remarks on liz. 5) 
are rings worn round the ankles, and made of gold, silver, or 
ivory: hence the denominative verb D3J? (used in ver. 16), 
to make a clinking sound with these rings. 0*0^ (from 
02f=f2V, to weave) are bands woven of gold or silver thread, 
worn on the forehead and under the hair-net, and extending 
from one ear to the other ; plausible, but less probable, is the 
explanation current since Schroder's time, that the word means 
son-like balls (Q^p'DB'), worn as ornaments round the neck 
(Arab, himeisa, hibeisa, a little sun). O'i'iA^ are bullulae of 

this kind, moon-shaped ornaments (Arab, j^, Aram, -ino, 

moon), fastened round the neck, and hanging down on the 
breast (Judg. viiL 26 ; cf. 21, royal ornaments), half-moons or 
crescents (hildlat), like those of which an Arabic girl usually 
possesses several kinds, for the hil^ (new moon) is an emblem 
of increasing good fortune,* and, as such, the most approved 
means of warding oflf the evil eye.* rteo: are ear-drops 
(found in Judg. viii. 26 as a designation of the ornament worn 
by Midianite kings); hence the Arab, munattafa, a female 
adorned with ear-rings, rtitp (from 'HB', to twist) are chains, 
and these, too (according to the Targum), chains for the arms, 
or spangles for the wrists, corresponding to the spangles for 
the ankles ; the arm-chain or bracelet is still at the present 

day called siivdr (hence the denominative jy^, to present or 
adorn with a bracelet). rti)»n are veils (from ?in, Aram. 

' In this Bcnse the crescent is the sign (mum) with which the tribe of 
the Ruwale mark their herds as their property. 
* "Amulet" and "talisman " are both words derived from the Arabic ; 

the former comes from ilju«». instead of the plural JjU»- (from 

J.4A., to bear, carry), which is more usual in this sense, — see, however, 
Qildemeister (in the Zeit*ehrift der dmUteh. morgenL QttUtchafi, xxxriiL 
140-142), who considers amoUtwm an old Latin word : the latter is from 

>...ii ' , the Arabic form of ritMfim. 



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132 ISAIAK 

^^:' cK,** J*" J^' *" ^ loose and flaccid, to hang down or 
hang over loosely); these were more costly and of better 
quality than the ordinary veil worn by maidens, which is 
called 1'yv, 0*iSB are tiaras ; the term occurs elsewhere in 
Scripture only in passages in which the word is applied to 
coverings for the heads of men (the priests, the bridegroom, 
and persons of rank). ^^W are the stepping-chains (from 
rnys, which primarily means a step or pace ; then the little 
chain which makes the pace short and elegant). or«^ (from 
iB'P, to gird) are dress girdles, such as the bride wears on the 
marriage-day (cf. Jer. ii 22 with Isa. xlix. 18) ; the Targum 
wrongly renders "JWCffi?? hair-pins (/caXa/uSe;). V&i 'Tia are 
holders of scent (WO being used only here in the sense of the 
breath of an aroma). Luther appropriately renders the ex- 
pressiota " musk-apples," i.e. capsules filled with musk. D'K'rp 
(from vrh, to whisper, to work magically) are amulets worn 
either as charms or as a protection against witchcraft, perhaps 
something like the later nijnsp {Shahbath 60a), i.e. small 
plates with an inscription, or small bunches of plant- 
roots with sanative powers, nlyap (from 530, to sink into, 
seal) are signet-rings worn on the finger, corresponding to the 
orrtn worn by men on a string hanging down over the breast 
1^? *??? are the nose-rings in common use from patriarchal 
times (Gen. xxiv. 22) till the present, generally put through 
the right nostril, and hanging down over the mouth ; they are 
different from nn (a word occurring seven times), which is the 
ring put through the nose of animals, though this term is also 
found along with an in Ex. xxxv. 22 as the designation of an 
ornament.' ^*^ are garments such as a person of rank 
brings out and presents to another, — gala-dresses, robes of 
honour (from pn, ^1^*-, to draw out ; as a denominative verb 

it signifies to put on a gala -dress); the Aralx is <ul^ 

(usually pronounced ifiji-, whence our "gala," Spanish gala; 
it does not come from Jl^. =Yn, n^n, jewellery, ornaments). 

' This on signifies also an ear-ring, vLich afterwards came to be called 
V'JP by way of distinction ; see the essay on " Obrgehange (COB) »1» 
gbtzendienerisches Gcrdth," in Oeiger's Zeittckn/l, x. (1872) pp. 46-48. 



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CEAPTEB m. 1»-3S. 133 

ncD^ is the second tunic or frock, which was worn over the 
ordinary one, — the Boman stola. nlnaop (from nee, to spread 
out) are wrappers or broad wrapping - cloths,^ like the one 
which £uth wore when she crept close to Boaz in her best 
attire (Euth iiL 15). O'P^n (here written D'D*inn with the 
article, according to the Masora) are pockets into which 
people put money (2 Kings v. 23), which at other times is 
carried in the girdle or in a purse (D*?). Q^s^J (according to 
LXX. ButifMvrj "Knucwvuca, sc Iftdria) are Lacedaemonian gauze 
or crape dresses, which reveal rather than conceal the naked- 
ness (from n^3 in the sense of laying bare) ; Eimchi (in his 

Lexicon, under mi) compares the Arab. «ji«>-, a transparent 
dress ; but the word is more certainly mirrors with handles, 
polished plates of metal (from n)>|, !>., ^j^-. in t^e primary 
sense of making smooth), for )1*^ elsewhere signifies a smooth 
table, as in the later Hebrew it means the empty space on 
the page of a book, the margin.* Q'?'"!? are veils or coverings 
made of the finest linen, perhaps of Sindu or Hindu texture 
(o-tvSove?) ; for Sindu, the country of the Indus, is the ancient 
name of India (see our commentary on Prov. zxxi. 24).' 
nlB^sy (from *|?y, to roll up) are the turbans or headbands 
formed of cloths of various colours, twisted round the head. 

^ The term nnstSO is veiy commonly used in the Mishna and the 

Gemaia to signify a wrapping-doth, such as a bath-sheet, or a cloth in 
which articles (e.g. the Levitical utensils) are wrapped up, a cloth for 
wiping off (such as a hand towel or bath towel) ; see, for example. 
Kdim zziy. 13, zxviiL 6. On the other hand, m^no has no connection 
with the Mishnic term nibvTID, which means plaited mats for covering 
and laying on the top of an object, but not for folding round anything. 

* The Jerusalem Talmud everywhere explains D'j^i by n«bi^3, and in 
Bereichith rabba c 19, p^^j occurs as a specific article belonging to the 
dass of rrin, corresponding to the articles of male attire named J>ch\p, 

galeae; Levy accordingly renders it by "headband," and derives it &om 
'fyi=\fyi. But, as shown by the use of the word in other passages, the 
root does not mean to roU or wind, but to make smooth, or lay bare. 

* The Mishna (Kelim zziv. 13) distinguishes between three kinds of 
n^O, the material used for bed-clothes, the material used for curtains, 
and that used for embroidering. The Sindon is pretty often mentioned 
as a covering for the body ; and in Menachoth 41a we read KD^P^ K^ID 
MITID^ K^31D1) "the sindon is summer clothing, the sarbal (cloak) is 
winter clothing," — a passage which explains Mark xiv. 61 1 



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134 ISAIAH. 

BfT! (from *TTi = Tn, to spread oat) are wide manUes, 
light and loose, for throwing over the shoulders and the 
body. 

No mention is made of stockings and pocket-handkerchiefs ; 
the former were not introduced into Western Asia from 
Media till long after Isaiah's time, and a ladj of Jerusalem 
needed a pocket-handkerchief as little as one of Greece or 
Home. The <rovBdpia koI ctiiucivdui mentioned in Acts 
xix. 12 were not used for cleaning the nose. Kor did the 
veil {Jnirhob), now commonly used for muffling the face, except- 
ing the eyes, form a portion of female dress among the ancient 
Israelites.* The prophet mentions together twenty-one articles 
of personal adornment, a threefold evil seven, especially for 
the husbands of these State dolls. In the enumeration there 
is no order observed, — from above downwards, or from 
without inwards ; there is as little arrangement in it as in 
the whole array of attire itself. 

When Jehovah now will take away all this grandeur with 
which the women of Jerusalem are laden, they will become 
wretched - looking captives, disfigured by iU - treatment and 
dirt. Ver. 24 : "And instead of Icdmy fragrance there will he 
a movldy smell, and instead of a sash a rope, and instead of 
artistic dressing of hair a baldness, and instead of a wide cloak 
a frock of sackcloth, branding instead of bea%ty." Then, in 
place of the D^ (i.e. the odour arising from the powder of 
balsam, and aromatic powder in general) there comes mouldi- 
ness (PO, as in v. 24, the dust of things that have rotted or 
moulded away) from which a dust may be raised, and the 
smell of which cannot but be felt ; and in place of the fTiljn 
(the beautifully embroidered girdle, Prov. xxxL 24) there shall 
be napJ. This word signifies neither a " wound " (as inter- 
preted by the Targum and Talmud) nor "rags" (the opinion 
of Knobel in his first edition), — views which find some 
support in the derivation from ^i?i as meaning to smite through, 
cut through, — but it denotes the rope (as rightly rendered in 

* Bashi remarks on Shabbath 65a, " Tbe Israclitisli women in Arabia 
go out veiled (rfSjH, wearing a veil that muffles the countenanceX while 
those in India go out n^Q^IB (with a cloak fastened together above, about 
the mouth)." 



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CIIAPTEE in. 24. 135 

the LXX. Vulgate, and Syriac) which is thrown over them as 
prisoners : the word is derived from *li», to turn round, revolve, 
and is thus the feminine of a masc. ^p.3 or ^^3 : it is un- 
necessary to assume the existence of a verb 'i?p=njP, signifying 
to twist (as is done by Meier, and by Enobel in his second 
edition).^ A baldness takes the place of fB'iJp ^f^ (not 
^^^, so that the second noun is in apposition, as in the case 
of two indeterminate notions ; see also Ezek. xxii. 18 ; 
1 Chron. xv. 19, etc.; cf. also the remarks on xxx. 20), i.e. 
not (as the LXX. renders) a golden head -ornament, though 
TVPpo in other passages signifies embossed or carved work in 
metal or wood: by " artificial turned- work" is here meant 
hair either crisped with the curling-iron, or artificially plaited 
and set up, which custom compels them to cut off in times of 
mourning (xv. 2, xxii. 12), or which falls off from them 
through grief. A P?* n"ilnp, i.e. a smock of coarse hair-cloth, 
comes in place of the -'TO^, ie. dress cloak (from ina, the root 
of which is ne, to be open, spreading, with the noun -ending 
il: Targ. iriB=tna?, HP; hy the old interpreters, beginning 
with the Talmud, the word was misunderstood, as if it were a 
compound of 'nB and ?'?) ; and in place of beauty comes '?, a 
branding mark (= 13, the cognate form being fi>i3^ which 
occurs in the legal enactment, Ex. xxi 25 ; the word is 
derived from ""03, Arab. .^, which is especially used of 

cauterizing with the J^U, *.«. red-hot iron, as practised by 

surgeons), which is burnt by the conquerors into their fore- 
head, though proud and beautiful as Juno's. For '3 (Arab. 

« 

i) is a noun, not a particle, as in Jer. ii. 34 ; iu correct 

codices it stands without Maqqeph, and with Tifcha, but nnn 
with Mercha, and the first letter of this word with Dagesh. 

' Of c<^ate origin perhaps is the Arab, nvkha (explained in Zamach^ari, 
Mdkaddima, Wetstein's edition, p. 62, by the Persian mijAn-hend, a waist- 
belt), a kind of apron fastened by means of a drawing-string, according to 
the Turkish K&m(is.— ia 

' In Arabia the application of the fce; by means of a red-hot piece of 
iron {mikuidh) plays an important part in the medical treatment of man 
and beast One sees many people who have been burned, not merely on 
the Ie(^ and arms, but also on the face ; and the most beautiful horses are 
generally disfigured by the Jg. 



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136 ISAIAH. 

The form of the word is like % 'Jf, % *i, Job xxxviL 1 1 ; 
along with ^., Simson ha-Nakdaa also compares ^i in £zek. 
xxviL 32. The inverted arrangement of the words in the 
last of the five clauses is very effective. In the fivefold 
exchange, shame and sadness take the place of the haughty 
rejoicing of luxury. 

The prophet now, by a sudden transition, directly addresses 
the people of Jerusalem ; for the " daughters of Zion " are the 
daughter Zion in her present degenerate state. The daughter 
Zion loses her sons ; the daughters of Zion thereby lose their 
husbands. Ver. 25 : " Thy men vnll fall by the sword, and 
thy heroism in the loar." The plural D^np (the singular of 
which — in Ethiopic, mU, " man " in the sense of husband, the 
Latin maritva — ^is still found only in the form tfip, with the 
union-vowel <t, as a constituent part of proper names) is a 
prose-word in the Pentateuch, especially Deuteronomy ; else- 
where it is a poetic archaism. ^*np is changed for ^niuj, 
" thy heroic power," an abstract expression meaning the 
inhabitants of the city, in the same way as robwr and 
robora are also used in Latin ([»-obably in like manner Jer. 
xlix. 35). 

What the prophet here predicts for the daughter Zion be 
sees in ver. 26 as fulfilled on her : " Then will her gates lament 
and mourn ; and she is made desolate, sits down on the earth." 
The gates where the husbands of the daughter of Zion, now 
fallen in the war, used at one time to assemble in such 
numbers, have been deserted, and in this condition one as it 
were hears them complain and sees them mourn (xiv. 31 ; 
Jer. xiv. 2; Lam. i. 4); and the daughter Zion herself is 
quite vacated, thoroughly emptied, utterly stripped of her 
former population. In this state of saddest widowhood, or 
bereavement of her children, brought down from her former 
exalted position (xlvii. 8) and princely adornment (Jer. 
xiii 18), she sits on the ground in the manner shown on 
Boman commemorative medals, struck after the destruction of 
Jerusalem, which represented Judea as a woman utterly 
crushed and in despair, sitting under a palm-tree before a 
warrior standing erect, while there is inscribed at the side, 
Judaea capla (or devicta). The LXX. translates in accord- 
ance with the general sense, xal KaTa\et^ij<rif /tovfi koX e»« 



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CHAFTSB IT. i. 137 

T^j' y^v iSa<f>UT0i^<r^ (cf. Luke xix. 14), — only 3e'a is not the 
second, but the third person, as also nn^p is third person perfect 
Niphal (for >^^), a pausal form, such as is often found also 
with smaller distinctive accents than Silluk and Athnach 
(here in connection with Tifeha, as also in v. 9, xxiL 14 ; 
1 Kings V. 31 ; Amos iiL 8). The clause ae^n }nt6 follows 
without any connecting particle, as is pretty frequently the 
case when one of the two verbs stands in relation to the 
other as a closer specification which would otherwise be 
expressed adverbially, as for instance in 1 Chron. xiii. 2, and 
with inverted arrangement of the words, Jer. iv. 5 ; cfl xil 6 : 
in her depopulated and therefore isolated condition, or her 
deprivation also of even the most necessary articles of house- 
hold furniture (cf. xlviL 1, 5, and the Talmudic VD930^p3, 
" robbed of his property "), Zion sits on the earth. 

When war shall have thus unsparingly swept away the 
men of Zion, then will arise an unnatural state of things : 
women will not be sought by men, but men by women. 
Chap. iv. 1 : " Arid seven women shall lay hold of otie man on 
that day, saying. Our oum bread vnU we eat, and in our own 
garments will we clothe ourselves ; only let thy name he named 
upon, us, take away our reproach." The division of the chapters 
is wrong, fur this verse is the closing one of the prophecy 
against the women, and the concluding portion of the whole 
discourse only begins with iv. 2. The present pride of the 
daughters of Zion, every one of whom deems herself the 
greatest, as the wife of so-and-so, and whom many men now 
woo, comes to an end with the self-humiliating fact that seven 
of them offer themselves to one man, — any one, — and that, 
too, with a renunciation of the claim, legally resting on the 
husband, for food and clothing (Ex. xxL 10). It is enough 
for them to bo allowed to bear bis name (i>V is employed, as 
in Ixiii 19 : the name is put upon what is named, because 
giving it its definiteness and its character); he is to take 
away their reproach merely by letting them be called his 
wives (viz. the reproach of being unmarried, liv. 4, as in Gen. 
XXX. 23 the reproach was that of being childless). Grotius 
appropriately compares Lucan (Pharsalia, il 342) : Da tantum 
nomen inane connubii, liceat tumulo scripsisse Catonis Marcia. 
The number seven (seven women to one man) is explained by 



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138 ISAIAH. 

the fact that there is an evil seven as well as a sacred seven 
(for example, Matt. xii. 45). 

With iv. 1 endit the threatenings addressed to the women 
of Jerusalem. It is the side -piece which accompanies the 
threatenings against the rulers of the nation. Both scenes of 
judgment are but parts of the picture showing the doom about 
to fall on Jerusalem and Judah as a State or commonwealth. 
And even this again is but a part^ namely, the central group 
in the picture of a much more comprehensive judgment about 
to fall on everything lofty and exalted on the earth. Jeru- 
salem is thus the centre and focus of the great judgment-day 
for the world. In Jerusalem there is concentrated the un- 
godly glory now ripe for judgment ; here, too, will concentrate 
the light of the true glory in the latter days. To this pro- 
mise, with which the discourse returns to its starting-point, 
the prophet now passes directly. But indeed no transition- 
stage is needed ; for the judgment in itself is the medium of 
salvation. Jerusalem is sifted by being judged ; and by being 
sifted it is delivered, pardoned, glorified. In this sense the 
prophet proceeds, with the words " on that day," to describe 
the one great day of God at the end of time (not a day of 
twenty-four hoars any more than the seven days of creation) 
in its leading features, as beginning with judgment but 
bringing deliverance. Ver. 2 : " On thai day will the sprout of 
Jehooah become an ornament and glory, and the fruii of the 
earth pride and splendour for the saved ones of Israel" The 
four terms signifying glory, here combined in pairs, confirm 
us in the expectation that after the mass of Israel have been 
swept away together with the objects of their worthless pride, 
mention will be made of what will become an object of well- 
grounded pride for the " escaped of Israel " (i.e. those who 
have escaped destruction, the remnant that has survived the 
judgment). According to this interpretation of what is pro- 
mised, it is impossible that it can be the Church of the future 
itself that is called " the sprout of Jehovah " and " the fruit 
of the earth " (the opinion of Luzzatto, Malbim, and Beuss) ; 
moreover, considering the contrast drawn between what is 
promised and what is set aside, it is improbable that njn» nov 
and n?'? 'I? (not " fruit of the ground," "oiKn ns) mean the 
blessing of harvest bestowed by Jehovah, the rich produce of 



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CHAPTKn IV. 2. 139 

the land. For though " the sprout of Jehovah " may possibly 
signify this (Gen. xix. 25 ; Ps. civ. 14), and though fertility 
of the land is a permanent feature in the promise regarding 
the latter days (as seen in xxx. 23 S. ; Zech. ix. 16 t ; cf. the 
close of Joel and Amos, also the end of Hos. ii.), while it is 
also said that the fruitful fields of Israel will become famous 
in the eyes of the nations (£zek. xxxiv. 29 ; Mai. iiL 12 ; 
cf. Joel ii 17X yet this earthly, material good, of which, more- 
over, there was no lack during the times of Uzziah and Jotham, 
was wholly unsuited for forming a contrast that would quite 
outshine the worldly glory hitherto prevailing. Even after 
granting what Hofmann says, " that the blessing which comes 
from the fields, as the natural gift of God, may form a con- 
trast with the studied works of art and articles imported from 
abroad of which men had hitherto been proud," yet what 
Bosenmiiller had previously remarked remains true, "that 
the grandeur of the whole discourse is opposed to this inter- 
pretation." Let any one but compare xxviii. 5, where 
Jehovah Himself is in like manner called the glory and 
ornament of the remnant of Israel. Bat if nlrp ncx is neither 
the delivered remnant itself, nor the fruit of the field which 
Jehovah causes to sprout, it will be the name of the Messiah : 
such is the view given in the Targum, and such also is the 
opinion, among modem commentators, of Eosenmiiller, Heng- 
stenberg, Steudel, Umbreit, Gaspari, Drechsler, Strachey, and 
de Lagarde.' The great King coming in the future is called 
npy (avaroKij in the sense of Heb. vii 14), as a Sprout arising 
from soil which is at once earthly, human, and Davidic, — a 
Sprout that Jehovah has planted in the earth, and causes to 
burst through and sprout up as the pride of His congregation, 
which was waiting for this heavenly Child. In the parallel 
member of the verse, this Child is likewise called IT}^^ *1P, as 
the fruit which the land will bring forth, — just as Zedekiah 
is called }^s<n JHT in Ezek. xvii 5, because the same reasons 

' In his Semitiea (i. 178) on this passage, this writer explains rnV HOY 
as avnftiras 0vh and ei»udit liiafinftifoi), SO that, taken in conjunction 
with Jer. xziii. 6, xxxiii. 16, it points to a descendant of the house of David 
whom Jehovah causes to be bom in a time of darkness and distress, in 
contrast with the natural descendant that had become utterly nselesa and 
worthless. 



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1-10 ISAIAH. 

for which njfi*^ npv cannot mean the blessing of the fields 
apply with like force to rj.?? 'If • instead of which there 
would be used the expression <^1^ *ib, if the produce of 
agriculture were intended, — for whenever the former expres- 
sion occurs instead of the latter, there is always a probable 
reason for the choice, as in Num. xiiL 20, 26 ; Deut. L 25 ; 
of. Lev. XXV. 18 f. Here, however, it was necessary to say 
" the fruit of the ground " in order to make clear the mean- 
ing of the expression " the sprout of Jehovah," for it is 
self-evident that noiK means the land of Israel In this way 
therefore will the Messiah be the " fruit of the earth " as the 
noblest fruit of the land in the future, — ^fruit in which all 
growth and bloom in the history of Israel reaches the end 
that has been promised and appointed of God. 

Without importing New Testament ideas into the passage, 
we may nevertheless account for this double designation of the 
Coming One merely on the ground of the endeavour to describe 
the twofold aspect of His origin : on the one side, He comes 
from Jehovah, and yet on the other side He is also of earthly 
origin, by His going forth from Israel We have here the 
passage on the basis of which np^ has come to be adopted in 
Jeremiah (xxiiL 5, xxxiii 16) and Zechariah (iiL 8, vi. 12) 
as a proper name of the Messiah. There is much that com- 
mends itself, however, in Bredenkamp's interpretation : " The 
prophet here depicts the circle of light forming part of the 
future glory, but not its centre. The Sprout of Jehovah — an 
expression which points to the silent and mysterious power 
of creative grace — and the frait of blessing with which the 
land is clothed, is the same as is called in Hos. iii. 5, ' the 
goodness of Jehovah,' the good things of the last days, which, 
as the gift of God, will present themselves on the ruins of the 
glory that has passed away." Nagelsbach also understands 
what is promised in the sense of the declaration in IxL 11. 

Connecting itself with the expression -'K'jfe'^ no^pB in ver. 2, 
ver. 3 goes on to describe the Church of the future : " And it 
shall come to pass, whoever is left in Zion and remains in 
Jerusalem, — holy vrill he be called, every one who is wrilten 
down for life in Jentsalem.." The kejmote of the whole 
verse is given by the word " holy." Whereas formerly, in 
Jerusalem, persons were distinguished according to their 



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CHAFTKBI7. & 141 

rank and their fortune, without regard to their moral worth 

(iii 1-3, 10 f. ; ct xxxii 5), " holy " will then be the one 

chief name of honour befitting every individual, inasmuch 

as the national vocation of Israel (Ex. xix. 6, etc) would 

now be realized in every one. . Hence the expression " he 

shall be called " is not, of course, equivalent to " he shall be," 

but it presupposes this, as in i. 26, IxL 6, Ixii. 4. "Holy" 

(tPVl^) means what is separated from the world and superior 

to it; the congr^ation of the saints, or holy ones, who 

now inhabit Jerusalem, are what remain after a smelting ; 

their holiness is the consequence of a washing. The term 

nwin is interchanged with "irtji? : the former word contains the 

idea of intention as a part of its meaning, and thus signifies 

what has been purposely left behind ; the latter points more 

to the simple fact, and signifies what remains over or is left. 

The latter part of ver. 3 declares the character and the 

numbers of those who will constitute this " remnant of grace." 

This apposition - clause means something more than those 

who are entered as living in Jerusalem ; for f 3n3 signifies 

not merely " to inscribe as " something, but (like sns with 

the accusative, Jer. xxii 30) "to inscribe as destined for" 

something. Whether we translate D'^n? "for life" (as in 

Dan. xii 2), or — a less probable meaning, however, as the 

form is not O'jn^ — " for living ones " (cf. Ps. Ixix. 29 ; 

1 Sam. XXV. 29), there is always contained in the expression 

h 3tf)3n the idea of predestination, the presupposition of a 

divine " Book of life " (Ex. xxxii 32 f. ; Dan. xii 1 ; cf. Ps. 

cxxxix 16 ; Bev. xx. 12, etc.), and thus a meaning like that 

which is contained in the words of Acts xiii. 48, wot ^av 

rerarfftivot eli ^ctijv alwvutv. The reference is to persons 

who, on account of the good kernel of faith which is in 

them, have their names standing in the book of life as those 

who are to be partakers of the life in the New Jerusalem, 

and who, in accordance with this divine purpose of grace, 

have been spared amidst the sifting judgment For it is 

only by passing through the judgment, which sets free this 

kernel of faith, that such a holy community can be formed. 

Whether ver. 4 belongs to ver. 3 and specifies the con- 
dition and the time of the fulfilment of what is there indicated, 
is a question as difficult to decide as the similar case in 



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142 IS&IAH. 

Ps. Ixiii. 7a. It seems more likely and natural, however, tiiat 
ver. 4 is a Iiypothetical protasis to ver. 5 : the combination of 
clauses will then be like what is found in 2 Sam. xv. 33 f.: 
" When tJie Lord shall have vxtshed avmy the fiUh of the 
daughter of Zion and purged away the blood-guiltiness of 
Jerusalem from the midst of her, hy the spirit ofjvdgment and 
the spirit of sifting ; then Jeihovah creates "... Here, as in 
xxiv. 13, OK followed by a preterite forms the futurum 
exactum (Gesen. § 106. 3c), and introduces that through 
the preceding occurrence of which the other is conditioned. 
The imperfect rnj (Hiphil, to wash or rinse away, as in 
2 Chron. iv. 6 ; Ezek. xL 38, to rinse off; from iwi, to push 
away) likewise obtains the meaning of a futurum eocactum 
through the preterite Y^Tl (cf. the very same consecution of 
tenses in vi 11). The double purification corresponds to the 
two scenes of judgment described in chap. iiL The filth of 
the women of Zion is the moral pollution bidden under 
their showy and coquettish finery ; and the bloody deeds of 
Jerusalem are the judicial murders committed by its rulers 
on the poor and innocent This filth and these spots of 
blood the Sovereign Euler washes and purges away (see 
2 Chron. iv. 6) by the pouring out of His Spirit or breath 
(xxx. 28) over the men and women dwelling in Jerusalem. 
This breath is called MB^ ran, inasmuch as it punishes what 
is evil, and i]?3 TOi, inasmuch as it sweeps it away or removes 
it. lya is to be explained, as in vi 13, in the same way as 
in Deut. xiii. 6, etc. ; cf. especially xix. 13, xxi. 9. The 
rendering of the LXX. (which is followed by the Vulgate), 
iv irvevMart Kavo-eoK, is based on another meaning of the 
verb, which not merely signifies to cut away, sweep away, 
depasture (iiL 14, v. 5, etc.), but also to bum, consume by 
fire (xliv. 15, etc.). The "spirit" is in both cases the Spirit 
of God, which pervades and works throughout the world, not 
merely giving and sustaining life, but also destroying and 
sifting, as seems good (xxx. 22 f.); and such is the case 
before u& 

In ver. 5, the imperishable glory is described as breaking 
forth : " And Jehovah creates over every spot of Mount Zion, 
and over her festal gatherings, a cloud by day, and smoke, and 
the brightness of a Jlaming fire by night ; for over all the glory 



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CHAPTKE TT. 6. 143 

comes a canopy." As the Israelites who had been redeemed 
from Egypt were led and screened by Jehovah through the 
day in a smoke-cloud and through the night in a iire-cloud, 
which moved before them in the form of a pillar and floated 
over them as a roof (Num. xiv. 14, etc.), — the continued 
manifestation of His self -revelation at Sinai, — so will He 
also shield the Israelites of the final redemption-days, who, 
because they have no longer to wander, no longer need the 
pillar of cloud, but only the roof of cloud. Such a cloud- 
roof Jehovah will create, as the " consecutive perfect " K'JM 
declares. The verb tn^ (for the pre-exilian use of which, in 
the sense of " creating," we have vouchers in such passages 
as Ex. xxxiv. 10 ; Num. xvi 30 ; Amos iv. 13 ; Deut 
iv. 32) always indicates a miraculous divine production 
having a beginning in time, for even when God does any- 
thing natural, such action is in itself always supernatural ; 
here, however, the reference is to a new manifestation of His 
gracious presence, in a sphere exalted above the present 
course of nature and the world. This manifestation takes 
the form, by day (Cheyne thmks that OdC has by an over- 
sight been taken from ver. ^, of a cloud, and this too (as is 
designedly made prominent by the hendiadys IK'yi ^y, viz. cloud 
as regards form, and smoke as regards substance) in a cloud 
of smoke (not a watery cloud, like those which naturally 
cover the sky), and by night in a fiery splendour, and this, 
too, not a calm brightness resembling fire, like that of the 
sunset, but, as shown by n3r6, which here follows (as in 
Lam. iL 3 ; Ps. cv. 32), a brilliantly flaming and therefore a 
real and living fire. The purpose of the cloud is not merely 
to afford a shade, but also to serve as a protecting wall (see 
Ex. xiv. 1 9) to withstand opposing influences ; and the fire 
is not merely for the purpose of giving light, but also by 
flaming and sparkling to ward off hostile forces. But the 
cloud and fire are above all meant to serve as a token of the 
near presence of God and of His goodwilL In the most 
glorious times of the temple, a smoke-cloud of this kind 
filled the Holy of Holies, and only once (namely at the dedi- 
cation of Solomon's temple, 1 Kings viiL 10) the whole 
building; but now the cloud, whose smoke, moreover, still 
changes into flaming fire by night, spreads over every spot 



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144 ISAIAH. 

(1^30 used as the more poetic word instead of O^po) of Moont 
Zion and Zion's festal gatherings. The whole mountain has 
thus become a Most Holy Place, and is holy, not merely to 
the extent of its being the dwelling-place of Jehovah, but 
wholly sacred as the meeting-place of a congregation of the 
saints. The word v^^TJi^, or according to another mode of 
writing, ■iJK'ipp (a defective plural form, as in Jer. xix. 8), 
refers to Zion. There is no need for taking this noun (as is 
done by Gesenius, Meier, Hitzig, Ewald, Luzzatto) in the 
sense of " meeting-halls " — a meaning which it has nowhere 
else ; it may, however, also signify (as in i 13) the meetings 
or assemblies [iKKKrialaC). 

Though ambiguity rests on the explanatory clause "vS"?? 's 
nan liss, this is no reason for holding (as Cheyne does) that 
the text has been mutilated ; rather may we suppose these 
words, as a general statement, to be a gloss. Schegg and 
others regard the clause in this way, as a locus eommunis, 
and render it : " because, for everything glorious, protection 
and covering are seemly ; " and certainly non bears the mean- 
ing of covering and concealing generally. As a noun, nan 
in Ps. xix. 6, Joel iL 16, does not signify, as in post-Bibliual 
Hebrew, the nuptial canopy, but the bridal chamber, from its 
being concealed. But the verb-forms nan, neru also signify 
to cover, to clothe for adornment ; and in this way the Han 
here will also serve, not merely for a guard or protection, 
but also as an honour to the object covered. A doud of 
smoke and a blaze of fire floats over Mount Zion like a 
canopy. (It is thus unnecessary to take nan as the 3rd pers. 
Pual, inasmuch as n\npi, which immediately follows in ver. 6, 
readily suggests itself as a word to be supplied.) The only 
question is whether *rt33"73 means " every glory," or, as in 
Ps. xxxix. 6, xlv. 14, " pure glory, nothing but glory." There 
is much that commends itself in the view of Hofniann, that 
Jerusalem is now all glory, as its inhabitants are all holiness, 
and that therefore this screen is spread out over pure glory ; 
nevertheless we prefer the former view, as more in accord 
with the noun -clause. The glory of which Zion has now 
become a partaker no longer suffers any decay; Jehovah 
acknowledges it by tokens of His gracious presence, for 
there will henceforth be nothing glorious in Zion over which. 



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CHAPTKE JV. & 145 

in the way indicated, there will not be a canopy to affoAl . 
shade and light, to cover, protect, and adorn. 

In this way, Zion becomes a safe retreat and shelter against 
all adversities and misfortunes. Yer. 6 : " And there wiU be 
a hooth for a shade hy day from the htai of the sun, and a 
refuge and hiding-place from storm and from rain.'' Just as 
in this passage, the place of concealment and safety is also 
called "30 in Ps. xxxi 21, Ixxvil 5. The subject of the verb 
rrnn is not the miraculous roofing, for IJ? (cloud) is masculine ; 
and to say of a nan (canopy) that it will be a nsD (booth) is 
absurd. But n*nn is either used in a pregnant sense (as in xv. 
6, xxiiL 13), 80 as to mean "and there will be a booth;" or 
" Zion " in ver. 5 is the subject. Considering that " Zion " is so 
far away, we prefer the former alternative ; the preservation 
naturally applies to the dwellers in Zion. Hitzig, with whom 
Niigelsbach agrees, thinks the end of ver. 5 should be read in 
undivided connection with ver. 6 (" for over everything glorious 
will arise a canopy and a booth for a shade by day," ije. 
serving as such, etc.). But the combination of the synonymous 
terms nsoi nen is not in Isaiah's style, and the preservation 
from the glowing heat of the sun does not properly accord with 
the inanimate object Ti33"i>|. With noTO (ie. not fiDTO) from 
non, which is allied to irtn (cf. the Assjrrian hasili, and Msu), 
"to flee for refuge,"* "ilnpD is combined (only here in the 
Old Testament), for the sake of alliteration, instead of inp, 
which is more frequently used by the prophets in other 
passages, as xxviiL 17, xxxiL 2. The temporal adjunct DOf*, 
" by day " (which stands in construction with 7p ; cf. Ezek. xxx. 
16), is purposely left without a corresponding ^yh, « by night," 
because what is meant is a place of safety and concealment 
at all times, whether by night or by day. Instead of speci- 

1 This word is shown by the round of its initial letter (} not J^) to be 

different from the Arab, ^u.^, from which comes _<»^\ *U, the water 

that is preserved under or by means of a covering of sand, or by means of 
the rock below, from evaporating or oozing away. In a biography of 
Mohammed (MSS. in the Boyal Library at Berlin, Seti. Wetztt. ii. Nr. 

31 IX it is said in the section on the battle at Mfita : " ^^,m^\ (hitd or 

h<ud) is a sandy spot under which there is a rocky bottom ; if rain falls 
upon this sand, the water dries up, but the rock prevents it from running 
VOL. L K 



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149 tSAUH. 

'fying the most manifold dangers, the burning beat of the 
sun, storm, and rain are mentioned as examples; but it is 
a striking fact that the rain, which certainly is a benefit 
earnestly desired by one in a state of 3nh, m, drought and 
burning heat, is also mentioned. At the present day, when 
rain falls in Jerusalem, the whole city leaps for joy. But 
the effects of rain, especially of the winter rain which suddenly 
pours down, are certainly very often destructive. The Jeru- 
salem of the latter days is like Paradise restored (Glen. E 5 £) ; 
one will not then be any longer exposed to the destructive 
chaises of the weather. In this way the end of this pro- 
phetio address runs into the beginning. This Mount Zion, 
roofed over with a cloud of smoke by day and the shining of 
a flaming fire by night, is no other than the mountain of the 
house of Jehovah, which is exalted above all mountains, and 
to which the nations make their pilgrimage ; and this Jeru- 
salem, which is holy within and all-glorious without, is no 
other than the place from which one day the word of Jehovah 
will go out into all the world. But what kind of Jerusalem 
is that ? Is it the Jerusalem which is to see the glorious 
days of the people of (Jod in this present life (Rev. xii), or is 
it the Jerusalem of the new heavens and the new earth (Bev. 
XX.) ? The proper answer is. Both in one. In the vision of 
the prophet, the Jerusalem of the latter days on earth and 
Jerusalem of the life beyond — the glorified Jerusalem of 
earth and the glorified Jerusalem of heaven — are fused to- 
gether as one. For it is a characteristic of the Old Testa- 
xnent that it views the closing period of the present life and 
the eternity that lies beyond as forming one continuous line, 
and looks upon the whole as if its character were that of 
^rtL The first cross-line was drawn by the New Testament 

away, and the sand keeps the heat of the sun from drying it up ; if any 
one therefore digs under this sand, he finds water." According to this, 
it might appear that non originally means to " hide one^s self." But the 

proper signification of the old Arabic i<«<^ lS""*' ^ ^ ^"^^ °^^ 

(water), to exhaust, empty, and, metaphorically, to find out something 
secret, to draw secret thoughts out of any one by questions, etc The 

water of a - n v rr- is gradually taken out from under the aand, hence the 
luune. 



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OBAPTKB T. 1. 147 

TflK Jdogmrmt of Devastation upon Jehovaq's Yinetard, 

Chap. V. 

Conducting Discourse of the First CycU of Propluey. 

The foregoing discourse, at the close of chap, iv., has run 
through all the phases of prophetic address; and it has so 
completely worked out its fundamental thought, — ^the over- 
throw of the false gloiy and the establishment of the true 
glory of Israel, which is realized through judgment, — that 
chap. T. cannot be regarded either as a continuation or as a 
completion of it. Unquestionably chap. v. contains various 
allusions to chap, ii— iv. The parable of the Vineyard in 
chap. V. 1—7 grows as it were out of chap. iii. 14 ; and in 
chap. V. 15 the recurrent verse or refrain of chap, ii 9 is 
repeated, but varied in a similar manner as in chap, iu 17. 
Yet these and other points of contact with chap. ii.-iv. do 
not prove that chap. v. was not independent, but only that 
the two were written about the same time. The contem- 
porary circumstances or situation of the two discourses is the 
same; and the range of the prophet's thought from its 
relation to his surroundings at the time, is therefore closely 
related. Nevertheless the fundamental thought which is 
carried out in chap. v. is an entirely different one. The 
basis of the discourse is constituted by a parable of 
Israel as the Vineyard of Jehovah, which, contrary to all 
expectation, was bringing forth bad fruit, and therefore was 
given up to devastation. What sort of bad fruit this was, is 
described in a sixfold woe ; and what kind of devastation it 
wad to.be, is told in the gloomy night-like close of the dis- 
course, which is wholly without a promise. 

The prophet began the first discourse in chap. L like 
another Moses, and the second not less intensely with the 
text of an older prophecy; and now he begins this third 
discourse like a player who has a crowd of people around 
him, and who with alluring words addresses and rouses up 
himself and his hearers. Ver. la ; " Come, I will sing of my 
beloved/ a soTig of my dearest about his vineyard!" The 
winged rhythm, the musical euphony, and the graceful 
assonances of this invocation are inimitable and cannot be 
reproduced in a translation. The '> of TTJ" and to"0^ 



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148 IBAUH. 

indicates the reference : the song refers to his Beloved ; it is a 
song of his dearest one himself about his vineyard (not of 
his cousin, pairudis, as Luther, following Jerome, translates it, 
for TIT signifies patruvs, uncle, but here the meaning is deter- 
mined by "VT a^awijToi). The song of the beloved one is more 
definitely designated a song of the beloved one himself ; it is 
not a song composed about him or composed for him, but a 
song as he himself has sung it and has to sing it. Knaben- 
bauer rightly says: "The prophet recites it out of the 
thoughts of God." Cheyne, with Lowth, conjectures the 
reading O'vn TWZf ; but this is not appropriate, for it is not 
a " love-song." The little song is short, and runs thus, lb-2 : 
"My Beloved had a vineyard on a fatly nourished mount. 
And he dug it up and cleared U of stones, and planted it with 
noble vines, and built a tower in it, and also heiced out a wine- 
press therein, and he hoped for grape-iringing, hit it hrougJU 
vnldings." The vineyard DT3 (originally meaning hill, like 
the Assyrian karmu, c£ Talm. D13, to heap, to heap up ') lay 
upon a rj5, i«. a mountain peak projecting like a horn, and 
consequently open to the sunshine on all sides ; for " apertos 
Bacchus amat colles," as Virgil says (Georg. iL 113). This 
mountain-horn or peak was l^fl^, a child of fatness ; fatness 
was innate in it, it belonged to it by nature. 19F, ^ ^^ chap, 
xxviii 1 , is used to indicate the richness of a soil capable of 
cultivation. On this vineyard the possessor bestowed all 
possible trouble and care. On account of the steep side 
of the mountain, the plough could not bo used ; and therefore 
he dug it up, i.e. the soil, which was to become the vineyard, 
with a hoe (i^, to hoe, t.«. with th^ hoe ; Arab, mtzak, mizaka, 
to hand hoe in order to make fertile; Mishn., to draw a 
trench around something, whether a plant or a place, which 
is followed by the LXX., cf. Mark xiL 1 : xaX ^pafy/top 
irepU0TjKa, see Kimchi's Diet under pry). And as he found 
it covered over with stones and debris, he proceeded to get rid 
of this rubbish by throwing it out (bgD, privative PL; lit taking 

to do with stones, to clear of stones, like ^JOJ^, removing 

sickness, healing, cf. casting the skin, scaling off, and such like). 

* The Oemara, ShMath 88ft, says of the verb D*a •' "it has the sense of 
heaping, gathering ' (wn V3Xn WB^X 



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CHAPTEBV. 2. 149 

After the soil had been brought under cultivation, he planted it 
with Fp, the finest kind of eastern vine with bright-red grapes ; 
for it is a colour word, not (like the Arab, naine of wine, 
a-zerkd, the bright-blue, the bright) indicating the colour of 

the drink, but that of the grapes (pi.fe' = j^, to be suffused 

with red, t.«. to be dark red, different from j&Jt>, signifying to be 
light red). Then, in order to protect and adorn the vineyard, 
planted at such cost, he built in the midst of it a tower. 
Wi sets prominently forth that he also hewed out a wine- 
press trough in it (35J, the trough into which runs the must 
pressed out in the wine-press n|, locus in distinction from 
toradar) ; using a rocky portion of the soil in order that the 
trough may be the more immoveable and lasting. ^3 3vri has 
not the accent retracted, as e.g. njm anh, Prov. xiL 1, xvii. 19, 
and *3 fon, Ps. xviii. 20, because a Beth would thereby easily 
become inaudible, and hence there is also more firmness 
given to avn by the pronunciation avn ; and in like manner 
in chap. x. 15 we have ^3 avhn and *iraa for inaa, chap. 
xL 14; cf. Gomm. on Ps. cxxxii. 10. This was a dif&cult 
piece of work, as the ax\ gives us to understand; it was 
difiBcnlt, and for that reason gave evidence of surest expecta- 
tion. But how utterly was this deceived ! The vineyard 
brought forth no such fruit as is expected from a sorek- 
planting ; it brought forth no Q^ajjr at all, i.e. no berries or 
clustera such as a cultivated vine bears, but it brought D'T^3, 
wildings. Luther at first translated this word as wild grapes, 
and latterly as harsh or sour grapes; but they come to the 
same thing. The wild and the noble vine are only qualita- 
tively different ; the vUis vini/era is, like all cultivated plants, 
assigned to human nurture, under which it becomes ennobled, 
whereas growing in its wild state it falls short of its destina- 
tion. Hence 0TK3 designates the small sour berries of the 
wild vine (Rashi : lamhruches, i.e. berries of the labrusca), as 
well as those berries of the noble vine which have remained 
unripe and stunted (but which are not like '^D^, which are 
only not yet ripe).* Such berries as these were brought forth 
* In the Jerusalem Talmud auch stunted berries are called r?^'*> 
and in the Mishna {Mdatercth i. 2, SheMith iv. 8), B^Kan is the word 
used r^pilarly of grapes that have become half-ripe. 



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150 jatiAS. 

by that vineyard; they were such as are prodaced by the 
wild vine, but not such as are to be expected from the most 
carefully cultivated vines of the noblest sort. 

The Song of the Beloved One, so sorely deceived, thus ends. 
The prophet recites it, and not his dearest one himself ; but 
because the two are one heart and one soul the prophet can 
continue thus in vers. 3 and 4 : " And now, ye inkaJbiUmtt of 
Jerusalem and, men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and 
my Vineyard I What toas there further to do for my Vineyard 
which I did not do for it t Why hoped I for the bringing of 
grapes, and it brought wildings I " The person of the Beloved 
may already be discerned, from the fact that the prophet 
speaks as if he were the beloved himself. The Beloved of 
the prophet and Lover of the prophet, *i^ and ih, is 
Jehovah, with whom he is so united through a unto myetiea, 
elevated above earthly love, that, like the Angel of Jehovah 
in the primeval histories, he can speak as if he were Jehovah 
Himself (see especially Zech. ii. 12—15). To one who has 
insight, the parabolical meaning and purpose of the song, 
therefore, betrays itself already here ; and even the inhabit- 
ants of Jerusalem and men of Judah (3X?\'' and V^, taken 
collectively, as in chap. viiL 14, ix. 8, xxii. 21, cC xx. 6), 
who are appealed to as adjudicators or umpires, are not so 
utterly stupefied by sin that they should not perceive at what 
the prophet was aiming. They are called upon to decide on 
which side the guilt of this unnatural issue lies, of this nfis'^ 
of the Vineyard, so contradictory to the ntfe^ of the Lord : 
that instead of the bringing of grapes, which was hoped for, 
it has brought wildings. On ntb^rnp, quid faciendum eat f 
see Comm. on Hab. i. 17 ; Ges. § 132. 1. Instead of (ne^) 
no?, we have the more appropriate $^o ; for the latter asks 
for the causa effieiens, or the cause, whereas the former asks 
for the eauaafinalis, or the purpose. The parallel passage in 
chap. 1. 2 resembles this passage, both in the use of the vrro, 
and also in the fact that there, as well as here, it relates to 
both clauses, and especially to the latter of the twa This 
paratactical construction is also found in the case of other con- 
junctions, as in ch8p.xii. 1, Ixv. 12. They are called upon to 
decide and answer as to this whai and wherefore ; but they are 
silent, just because they clearly see that they would have to 



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CHAPTKB V. 5, 8. 151 

condemn themselves (as David similarly condemned himself 
on the occasion of Nathan's parable, 2 Sam. xii. 5). The 
Lord of the vineyard, therefore, again proceeds to speak. He, 
its accuser, will now also be its judge. — Ver. 5 : " Now then, I 
vnll let y<m know what I will forthwiih do to my vineyard : take 
away its hedge, and it shall be for yraziruf ; pull down its wall, 
and it shall he for trampling upon." Before W{?^, aa, in chap, 
iii 14, we must imagine a pause ; the Lord of the vineyard 
breaks the silence of the umpires, which betrays their con- 
sciousness of guilt They shall hear, then, from Him what 
He is going to do to His vineyard (> in *9^??, as, for example, 
in Deut. xi. 6). nfc^ 'jk, fut. inUans, equivalent to fattwrua 
sum (Ges. § 134. 2 b). In the following inf. ahs. the content 
of the iBV n«, id quod, is unfolded. On this explicative use 
of the inf. abs., see chap. xx. 2, Iviil 6, 7 ; in such cases it 
represents the place of the object, as elsewhere of the subject, 
but always in an abrupt, stiff manner. He will take away 
the nznfe'D, i,*. the green thorny hedge (Prov. xv. 19 ; Hos. 
iL 8 = fi?wp, Micah viL 4 fr. 1?fc'=?pie>, tpo, 3W, to hedge round), 
with which the vineyard is enclosed, and will pull down the 
T!|, i.e. the low stone wall (Num. xxii. 24; Prov. xxiv. 31 ; cf. 
Ezra ix. 9 ending, according to Cheyne, in allusion to Isaiah's 
parable), which had been surrounded by the hedge of thorn- 
bushes to make a better defence, as well as for the protection 
of the wall itself, more especially against undermining, so tliat 
the vineyard, in consequence of this, is exposed to grazing and 
trampling down (LXX. KaTatrdnifia), ie. becomes an open way 
and resort for men and beasts. 

Thus the unthankful vineyard comes to an end, and indeed 
to a hopeless end. Ver. 6 : " And I vnll utterly ruin it : it 
shall not be pruned, and it shall not be hoed, and it shall shoot 
up in thorns and thistles ; aiid I will command the clouds not 

to rain rain over it." nri3=nFQ fr. Twa=nn3 (^^ ^i, akin to ins, 

j*j), ahsdndere, signifies the sharply cutting off, and, as the 
action is viewed as a quality : what is sharply cut off, ahsdssum 
proeruptum, vii. 1 9, or it is also transferred to the result of 
the action : the sudden total destruction.^ This is the 

' In the Arabic, tjj\\, tlhatla (Vulg. haVbatt), from the meaning 
axwifut; (absolutely), cornea to be commonly used for " surely." 



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iS^Sr ISAIAE. 

f 

meaning here, where nna n^ is a more refined expression for 
the more usual n^3 nfc>^, both being construed with the accusa- 
tive of the thing which is brought to a total end. Further, 
pruning (not) and hoeing (iny, different from another "ny, to 
put in order, 2 Chron. xii 33, 38) with the weeding-hoe 
C^??, vii. 25), would not improve it, but only bring new 
disappointments : it is the will of the Lord, therefore, that the 
deceitful vineyard shall shoot up thorns and thistles (iv? is 
applied to the soil, as in chap, xxxiv. 13 and Prov. xxiv. 31 ; 
of. noy, Eccles. iL 6, with ace. of the object, according to Ges. 
§ 138, 1, 2, applied here to the exclusively and peculiarly 
Isaianic ^.^ "'*??'). And in order that it may remain a 
wilderness, the clouds receive commandment from the Lord 
not to rain upon it. There can now be no longer any doubt 
who the Lord of the vineyard is. He is the Lord who gives 
commands to clouds (cf. Gen. iL 16), or in respect to the 
clouds (c£ 2 Sam. xiv. 8, according to the old interpretation, 
to the angels), and therefore the Lord of heaven and of earth. 
It is He who is the prophet's Beloved and dearest One. The 
song which opened in so loving and harmless a tone, has now 
become sharply severe, and terribly repulsive. The husk of 
the parable, which has already been broken through, now falls 
completely off (cf. Matt. xxiL 13, xxv. 30). What it sets 
forth in symbol is true. This truth the prophet establishes 
by an open declaration in ver. 7 : " For the vineyard of Jehovah 
of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the 
plantation of His delight ; he waited for jtistiee, and hehdd 
rapine; for righteousness, and lehold an outcry." The 
conception is not that the Lord of the vineyard lets 
no more rain fall upon it, for this Lord is Jehovah 
(which is not indeed said in what follows *?) ; but more 
generally : this is how it stands with the vineyard, for 
all Israel, and especially the people of Judah, is this vine- 
yard, which so bitterly deceived the expectations of its Lord, 
and, moreover, it is the vineyard of Jehovah of hosts, and 
therefore of the omnipotent God, whom even the clouds 
must serve when He punishes. The ^3 justifies, as in Job 
vi 21, not only the truth of what was last stated, but the 
truth of the whole simile, including this ; it is '3, explic., which 
opens the ^mythion. " The vineyard of the Lord of hosts " 



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CHAPTEB V. 7. tSS 

(rA»yx 'n D-13) is the predicate. " The house of Israel " 
^inb| n^a) is the whole nation, which is also symbolically 
represented in other passages under the same figure of a 
-vineyard (chap. xxviL 2 sqq. ; Ps. Ixxx., etc.). But because 
Isaiah is prophet in Judah, he applies the figure more parti- 
cularly to Judah, which is called Jehovah's favourite planta- 
tion, inasmuch as it was the seat of the divine sanctuary and 
of the Davidic kingdom. VPji conct along with vpi, like VJ 
in Num. xi. 7, Ew. § 213a, and D'V^jB', an abstract plural form : 
the delighting, from the Pilpel, occurring in chap. xL 8, in the 
sense of delightful playing, literally, stroking or cares^ing; 
Luther has seine zarte Feser, a term applied to the vine-shoot 
which is planted. This makes it easy enough to interpret the 
details of the simile. The fat mountain-peak is Canaan, 
flowing with milk and honey (Ex. xv. 17) ; the digging up 
of the vineyard, and clearing it of stones, is the clearing of 
Canaan from its former heathen inhabitants (Ps. xliv. 3); 
the sorek-vines are the holy priests and prophets and kings 
of Israel of the better early times (Jer. u. 21) ; the protecting 
and ornamental tower in the midst of the vineyard is Jeru- 
salem as the royal city, with Zion the royal fortress (Micah 
iv. 8) ; the winepress-trough is the temple, where, according 
to Pa. xxxvi 9 (8), the wine of heavenly joy flows in streams, 
and by which, according to Ps. xlii. and many other pass- 
ages, all the thirst of the soul is quenched. The grazing and 
trampling down are explained in Jer. v. 10 and xii. 10. The 
bitter deception experienced by Jehovah, is expressed in a 
play upon two words, indicating the surprising change of 
what was hoped for, into its opposite. The explanation which 
Gesenius, Gaspari, Knobel, and others give of riabv, as 
" shedding " = bloodshedding, does not commend itself; for 
even if ncD occurs once or twice in the Arabizing book of 
Job (chap. XXX. 7, xiv. 19) in the sense of effundere, like 

,^vi-»i y«t this verbal root is otherwise strange to the Hebrew 

(and the Aramsean). Moreover, noto in any case would only 
mean pouring out, or shedding, and not shedding of blood ; 
and although the latter might indeed be possible in reference 
to the Arabic aaffdh, aaffdk (blood-shedder, blood-man), yet it 
would be an ellipsis such as cannot be substantiated anywhere 



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154 tSAlAH. 

else in Hebrew usage. Oa the other hand, hsfev, rendered 
"leprosy," does not yield any appropriate sense, as (inap) 
nriBop is never generalized anywhere else into the general 
meaning of " dirt " (Luzzatto : aaatura), nor does it appear as 
an ethical conception. We therefore prefer to connect it 
with a meaning assuredly belonging to the verb nco (see Eal, 
1 Sam. il 36 ; Niphal, xiv. 1 ; HUhpad, 1 Sam. xxvL 19), 
viz. " to associate or to join," of violent annexation, or from 
the root-conception of " snatching," and specifically " carrying 
forcibly away," etc ; c£ 1PJ, 1D«, tpo, noo. Hence we regard 
the word as denoting the grasping appropriation and unjust 
heaping up of worldly possessions ; certainly a suitable anti- 
thesis to DBtTD, as n^^ vox oppressorum (not sanguinis, which 
would be said) to nfjv. The prophet depicts, in full-toned 
figures, how the expected noble grapes had turned into wild ■ 
grapes, with nothing more than an outward resemblance 
to grapes. The introduction to the prophecy goes thus far. 

The prophecy itself follows next, a sevenfold discourse 
composed of the sixfold woe contained in the following vers. 
8-23, and the announcement of punishment in which it 
issues. In this sixfold woe the prophet describes the bad 
fruits individually. Confirming our explanation of nato, the 
first woe relates to wXeove^la, covetousness and avarice, as 
the root of all evil. — ^Ver. 8 : " Woe unto those joining house 
to house, who lay fidd to field, tiU there is no more room, and 
ye are made to dvxU alone within the land." yii, as also aip, is 
construed with n in Judg. xix. 13 and Ps. xcL 10. The 
participle, because equivalent to a relative clause, is continued 
in the finite verb, as in ver. 23 and x. 1 ; the r^fular 
syntactical construction in cases of this kind (Ges. § 134^ 2). 
The preterites after 1^ (there being two such preterites, for 
DDK is an intensified f^ including the verbal idea) correspond 
to future perfects : they, the insatiable, rest not till, after all 
the smaller landed properties have been swallowed up by 
them, the whole land has become their possession, and no one 
besides themselves will be settled in the land (Job xxiL 8). 
Such covetousness was all the more condemnable, as the law 
of Israel had provided very stringently and carefully, that as 
far as possible there should be a proper proportional distribution 
of the ground and soil (Num. xxxiiL 54), and that hereditary 



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CBATTEB V. 9, la 165 

family property should be inalienable. The curse in Deut. 
xxvii, 17 was directed against the displacing of a boundary 
(in the language of the Boman law, Crimen termini motiy, 
All landed property that had been alienated reverted to the 
family every fiftieth year, or year of jubilee ; so that aliena- 
tion had reference only to the usufruct of the land till that 
time. But how badly the law of the jubilee year was 
observed, may be inferred from Jer. xxxiv., according to which 
the law of the manumission of Hebrew bondsmen in the 
Sabbatical year had fallen entirely into neglect The same 
complaint which Isaiah makes is brought forward by his con- 
temporary Micah, in chap. ii. 2 (cf. P& xlix. 12 ; Job xxii. 8). 
The announcement of punishment is also there expressed in 
terms similar to what we have here in vera 9 and 10: 
"Into my ears Jehovah of hosts: Truly many houses shall 
become a desolation, large and beautiful ones without any in- 
habitants. For ten yokes of vineyard land will yield one 
pailful, and a quarter of seed com will bring forth a bushel." 
How the prophet thinks of the nominal clause. Into my 
ears (or literally in my ears) is Jehovah - Zebaoth, is made 
clear from chap. xxii. 14 : He is revealing Himself there to 
me. ^ITKS, pointed with Kamez along with Tifcha, as in that 
parallel passage, reminds us of what is to be interpolated in 
thought In Hebrew, to say into the ears did not mean to 
speak secretly and softly ; but, as Gen. xxiii 10, 16, Job 
xxxiii. 8, and other passages show, it means to speak in a 
manner that is distinct and intelligible, and which excludes 
all misunderstanding. It is true that the prophet has not 
Jehovah now locally external to him, but he has Him 
notwithstanding objectively over against his own ego, and he 
is able to distiugnish distinctly the thoughts and words of 
his own ego from the inspeaking of Jehovah which rises aloud 
within him. This inspoken word tells him how it will go 
with the rich insatiable landowners. l6*0t( introduces an 
oath' of an affirmative sense (the complete form being ''}'* *n 
'^'^^)> just as BK, e.g. Num. xiv. 23, introduces an oath of 
a negative sense. A universal desolation will ensue; 0*3*2 
signifies not less than all, for the houses (pronounced bdttim) 
form altogether a great number (cf. O^an, chap, ii 3, and 
iroXKol, e.g. Matt xx. 28). Tf9 is double, and is thus abso- 



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156 ISAUH. 

lately negative (so that there is not no inhabitant). How 
such a desolation of the houses will come about, is explained 
by *3, beginning in ver. 10 : failure of crops brings famine, 
and this brings depopulation of the country. Ten '^.<f>V (with 
Bajg. lent, Ewald, § 212&) of vineyard laud are ten pieces as 
large as can be ploughed daily with a yoke of oxen, as is 

shown by the analogous \^ (^m), Pr®' H?. which signifies 

the plough-span with belongings, and then the field, and 
particularly (in accordance with the Turkish Elamus) a culti- 
vated field of the extent of 400 roods. On the assumption 
that vineyards, on account of their many curves, are difficult 
to calculate by yokes, and that they were never ploughed, 
Noskowyj (in his treatise, De valle Hadhrartuiut, 1866) under- 
stands the meaning to be ten pieces of yoke-like espaliers of 
vines trained on cross-laths (called vina jugata in Varro). 
But 1 Sam. xiv. 14 decides iox jugum (jugerum) as a measure 
of land. D'DT3 is also applied to vineyards lying in the plain, 
and 10V may be a measure of corn-land transferred to vine- 
yard land, which undoubtedly was not worked with the 
plough but with the hoe. Moreover, we want the inter- 
mediate links requisite to furnish the proof that the ancient 
Israelites had the same chief field-measure as the Homans.* 
Thus, then, ten days' work will only produce a single n?. 
This measure of liquids, which first appears in the time of 
the kings, was equivalent to n&'>t( as a dry measure (Ezek. 
xlv. 11). According to Josephus (Antiq. viiL 2. 9), it con- 
tained 72 Boman sextarii, or a little more than 33 Berlin 
quarts. The "loh (perhaps an ass's burden,' cf. I'on, 1 Sam. 
xvi 20), a dry measure generally called lb after the time of 
the kings, contained (according to Josephus, Antiq. xv. 9. 2) 
about ten Attic fiiSi/ivoi* a fUSinv<K being a little more than 
15 pecks. If any one sowed 150 pecks of grain, not more 
would be reaped from it than 15 pecks: the harvest there- 

I See on tha jugerum, Hnltscli, Grieehuehe und rSmitehe Metrologie, 
1862, p. 68 £ 

* It bas been objected to me tbat, according to Mexia 80a, a T^ is 
already equal to ^ lb°*lori, the amount of a normal ass'8 burden. 

* Or rather 7^ Attic MedinmialO Attic Metreti « 4Q Roman Modii ; 
Bee BOckh, MetrologitAt UnUmuihungen, p. 269i 



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CHAPTER V. 11, 12. 157 

fore would only yield the tenth part of the seed sown, for 
the nQ*M is the tenth part of non, or three seahs, the usual 
minimum for one baking {e.g. Matt xiii. 33). In the trans- 
lation, these relations of measure could not be exactly re- 
produced. 

The second woe, to which the curse falling upon the vine 
cultivation (ver. 10a) leads by association of ideas, is directed 
against the revellers who carry on their indulgence in carnal 
security into the day. Ver. 11:" Woe to those who rise up 
in the earhf morning to run after strong drink, who continue 
till late in the evening, loine inflaming them." "<5^ (from 
ip3, hakara, to slit, tear up, split) is the break of day, and ^vi 
(from 1?^, to blow, sigh) the evening twilight (Berachoth 36), 
when it begins to become cool (1 Sam. xxx. 17), and the 
night into which it passes (chaps, xxi. 4, lix. 10). ins, to 
continue till late, as in Prov. xxiii. 30 ; the construct state 
before words with a preposition, as in chaps, ix. 2, xxviii. 9, 
and often elsewhere (Ges. § 116. 1). "O??, standing with C!, 
is the general name of all other strong drinks, especially of 
"wines made artificially from fruit, honey, raisins, dates, etc., 
including barley - wine, olvo<i KplOtvo<!, or beer (ix lepiO&v 
lUOv in jEschylus, Suppl. 930, elsewhere called ^pvrov 
^pvTov, ^vOoi ^vOoi, and various other names), acquaintance 
with which goes back to Egypt, which was half a wine 
country and half a beer country, and is traceable up to the 
time of the Pharaohs. The form tsc' is formed like 33^ 
(Arab, 'inab), fix)m ^3?*, to intoxicate ; according to the Arabic, 
literally to dose by stopping up (T?p, njp), i«, to stupefy 
(cl Hos. iv. 11). The clauses after the two participles 
indicate the circumstances (chap, i 5a) under which they 
run out already in the early morning, and remain sitting 
till late into the darkness at these tempestiva eonvivia (Cicero, 
De Sen. 14) ; they hunt after mead, they heat themselves 
with wine, particularly in order to lull the conscience amid 
their deeds of darkness. ' 

Ver. 12 describes how these blind ones carry on their 
music-making and carousing : " And guitar and harp, kettle- 
drum andflvie and wine is their carouse; but the work of 
Jehotah they regard not, and the purposing of His hands they 
do not see." Their carouse (OJi'RB'p, only plural in appearance, 



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158 ISAIAH. 

rather a singular, as in Dan. L 10, 16, and frequently with a 
softened ' of the ground form 'n^=nne*D ; c£ on ^V, chap. L 
30, and <^^, chap. xxii. 11, Ges. § 93, 9) is that and that, 
■Le. it consists of such things, it is composed of intoxicating 
music and wine. Enobel construes it thus : " And there is 
guitar, etc., and wine is their drink ; " but the sentence thus 
divided becomes feeble, and the other mode of expression is 
employed in the Semitic to the widest extent, e^. Ezek. 
xxxviii 5, " they all are shield and helmet," ie. they appear 
in this armour. "lU?, guitar (an onomatopoeic word like '^i'^, 

cataract, jlxo, spindle), is the general name of the instru- 
ments which have their strings drawn (upon a bridge) over 
the sounding-board ; and 73] (harp and lyre) is the general 
name of those instruments which have their strings swinging 
freely, so that both hands could at the same time seize the 
strings; (|in (Arab, duff.) is the general name for the 
tambourine, the drum, and the kettledrum; T?n (bored 
through) is a general name for the flute and double flute. 
In this rioting and revelling they have no perception and uo 
eye for the work of Jehovah and the project of His handa 
This expresses in idea God's eternal counsel (chap. xxxviL 26, 
ver. 19), which leads to salvation by the circuitous ways of 
judgment (chap. x. 12, xxviii. 21, xxix. 23), in so far as that 
counsel is realized in history which is shaped by the invisible 
interposition of God's hands. In their carousing and revel- 
ling they have no sense for the moving and working of God 
in history ; nor do they at all observe the judgment which 
is being prepared in the present. And therefore will the 
judgment fall upon them in this blind, dull, stupid, animal 
state. 

Ver. 13 : " Therefore my people goes into lanishmevi from 
waiti of knowledge ; and its glory turns into hungry ones, and 
its tumult into men vnth burning thirst." As ]•>> (as in chap. 
L 24) opens the threat of punishment, >h^ (to emigrate, 
properly, to lay bare, i.e. the land) is a prophetic preterita 
Israel must vacate his laud, must go into exile, and moreover 
n}n"^ao. The 19 of i>aD is causative as in npnn 720, Deut. 
ix. 28, cf. Num. xiv. 16, and also in Hos. iv. 6 : fit>m want 
of knowledge ; and to regard it here as the negative (as in 



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CHAPTEB V. 14. 159 

rttp), becaose run is indeterminate, is not justified ; and 
besides, our view is supported by njn »ii3D, being iminedi- 
atelj joined to 12i as a fundamental statement Moreover, 
nin '^ao does not signify " unawares," but unknowingly = un- 
designedly, and yet more frequently " in non-understanding," 
Job XXXV. 16, xxxvL 12, cf. iv. 21. The knowledge which 
they lack, according to 12(, is knowledge of the ruling of 
God and of the moral order of the world, according to which 
calamity is the necessary consequence of wrong-doing. In 
the sequel, Sitis and ^^ion are, as the predicates show, collective 
terms used in a personal sense ; the former signifies the Slite 
of the people (cf. Mic. i. 15), and the latter the crowd that 
lived in riot and revelling. The former become a^ *np, men 
of famine {"rto, as in Gen. xxxiv. 30 ; Job xi. 11 ; otherwise 
'triM, 2 Sam. xix. 29, or "•:}, 1 Sam. xxvL 16); and the latter 
spy nny (sing, as the subj.), parched with thirst. Instead of 
*np, the LXX. and Jerome read *np (dead ones) ; but the 
reading adopted by Hitzig, Eoorda, Ewald, and Bottcher, *n|> 
(".tP), after Deut. xxxil 24, and exactly corresponding to the 
parallel nm, is more probable; it signifies sucked out or 
emaciated by hunger, nnv (air. Xe7.) is formed like oVk, 
''i??, ^:n, and other adjectives which express defects; the 
place of the i is represented in such forms of verbs n^ by an 
a that has arisen out of ay. The debauchees of rank must 
starve, and the low boon companions must thirst to death. 

The threat of punishment commences again with |3? ; it 
has not yet satisfied itself, and therefore reaches deeper still. 
Ver. 14 : " There/ore tlu wider-world opens wide its throat, 
and stretdies its mouth immeaturably wide ; and the pomp of 
Jerusalem, goes down, and its tumult and uproar, and those 
who are jubilating in it." The verbs which follow t?b are 
propbetio preterites, as in ver. 13. The feminine suffixes 
attached to what the lower world swallows up, do not refer 
to ^KB', but, as expressed in the translation, to Jerusalem, 
which is necessarily required by i'? tTjn ; 7<KC^ has, accord- 
ing to the rule, JDag. forte conj. The withdrawal of the tone 
from >^ to the penidtimate (cf. fpn in Ps. xviil 20, xxil 9, 
Ezek. xxiL 25, whereby the Zere, which cannot be shortened 
into Segol, gets the checking Metheg) is here omitted ; the 
rhythm thereby becomes more picturesque : one bears the 



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160 ISAIAH. 

falling object rolling down, and at length striking upon some- 
thing. A mouth is ascribed to the under-world, also a B%], 
i«. a greedy soul, in which sense VBi is applied metonymicaliy 
sometimes to a thirst for blood (Ps. xxvii. 12), and sometimes 
to devouring greed (chap. IvL 1 1), and even, as in the present 
passage and Hab. il 5, to the throat or gullet which the soul 
opens "without measure" (of. MaL iii. 10, ^"'i'fny, to insuf- 
ficiency), when its craving knows no bounds (Psychol, p. 204). 
One is reminded here of Cerberus, whose original was Egyptian : 
the devourer in Amenthes (nether-world).* The prophet ap- 
pears to connect Mkb^ (which is feminine, like the names of 
countries) in thought with the verb b^f (of. Hab. ii. 6 ; Prov. 
XXX. 15): the God-ordered accursed power which calls for 
and swallows up all that is upon the earth. The idea of 
" decision " appears to be really connected with the Assyrian 
iueUu* But the view always still recommends itself, which 
holds that the Hebrew word starts from the idea of sinking 
or depth ; for the fundamental meaning of the V^ is x"^^' 
not to be hollow, as it might appear after 7^ (hollowing, 
properly deepening of the hand), >ipfp (hollow way, properly 
a sinking of the ground), -'WB' (excavator = eavorum habitator, 
properly deepener, one who digs himself in). The desig- 
nation corresponds to the notion, universal in antiquity, which 
assigned Hades to the depths below the upper world. As 
God reveals Himself in heaven among blessed spirits accord- 
ing to the light of His love, so does He reveal Himself in 
She61, in the darkness and fire of His wrath. And, with the 
exception of Enoch and Elijah in the Old Testament, with 
their singular departure from this life, the way of all mortals 
went hither, until Jesus Christ changed the dying of all 
believers on Him from a descent into Hades into an ascension 
to heaven. But even under the Old Testament the believer 
might know that whoever hid himself on this side the grave 
in Jehovah the living One, would retain his eternal germ of 
life even in Shedl in the midst of the shades, and would taste 
the divine love even in the midst of wrath. It was this 
postulate of faith which lay at the foundation of the fact, 

^ See Lndw. Stem, UOer dot Og. TodtengeridU, Ausland 1870, Nr. 46. 
* See Alfred Jereraias, DU babyl-assyr. VoriUUungen wm Ldm naeh 
dm Tode, 1887, p. 62. 



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CIIAFTSR V.'IS, 1& 161 

that already ander the Old Testament the all-compi-ehending 
range of the idea of InKtr begins to be contracted into the 
narrower notion of a limbo or fore-hell (see Psychol, p. 415). 
This is the case in the passage before us, where Isaiah 
predicts of everything of which Jerusalem was proud, 
and in which it revelled, including the jubilating persons 
themselves, descent into Hades ; just as the Korahite author 
of P& xlix. wrote (ver. 14) that the pomp of the godless 
will be given up to Hades to be consumed, without having 
hereafter a place in the upper world, when the righteous 
will have dominion over them at some future time. Hades 
even there is almost equivalent to the New Testament 

The prophet now repeats a recurring thought of the second 
prophetic discourse (chap, ii 9, 11, of. ver. 18). It acquires 
here a much deeper sense, from the connection in which it 
stands. Vera. 15, 16 : " Then are mean men lowed down, and 
lords humiled, and the eyes of lofty m,en are humbled. And 
Jehovah of hosts shows Himself high in jtidgment, and God tJie 
Holy One hallows Himself in righteousTiess." What had exalted 
itself above earth to heaven, must go down earthwards into 
belL The consecutive imperfects exhibit the future, here 
represented as historically present, as the direct sequel of what 
is also represented as present in ver. 14 : Hades opens up, 
and then both low and high in Jerusalem sink down, and the 
soaring eyes now wander about in a horrible depth. It is 
the will of God, who is both exalted and holy in Himself, 
that as the exalted One He shall be exalted, and that as the 
Holy One He shall be sanctified. But Jerusalem has not 
done this ; and He therefore proves Himself the exalted One 
by the execution of justice, and sanctifies Himself (C'^?? is to 
be rendered as a reflective verb, as in Ezek. xxxvi. 23, 
zxxviii. 23, whereas the reading tr^E^i is the expression of a 
resulting fact), by the manifestation of righteousness, in con- 
sequence of which the people of Jerusalem must give Him 
the glory against their will, as Kaja-)(06vio<{ (Phil. iL 10). 
Jemsalem has been thus swallowed up twice by Hades : once 
in the Chaldean war, and again in the Boman war. But the 
invisible background of the outward event was the fact that 
it had already fnllen under the accursed power of hell. Even 
VOL. I. L 



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162 ISAIA.H. 

in its outward teality, ancient Jerusalem, like tbe company of 
Korah (Num. xvL 30, 33), has become subterraneaa Just 
as Babylon and Nineveh, the ruins of which axe dug out of 
the inexhaustible mine of their wide-stretching foundation 
and soil, have sunk into the earth, so do men walk about 
in the present Jerusalem over ancient Jerusalem, which has 
sunk beneath the ground ; and many an enigma of topography 
will remain an enigma so long as ancient Jerusalem is not 
scraped out of the earth again. 

And considering that the Holy Land is at the present 
time a great pasture-ground for tribes of Arab shepherds, and 
that the modern Jerusalem, which has been built out of 
rubbish, is a Mohammedan city, what ver. 17 prophesies has 
been literally fulfilled : " And lambs feed as upon their pasture, 
(f,nd nomad shepherds enjoy the waste places of the bloated ones." 
There is no necessity to supply an accusative object to the 
verb 'jni (Knobel and others), namely, the devastated lands 
mentioned in the second clause (•'^in, to pasture, as in chap. 
XXX. 23), nor is ^^f that accusative (Caspari) ; but the 
place is determined by the context thus : Where Jerusalem is 
sunken, there lambs feed in the manner of their own pasture- 
ground, i.e. just as if they were in their old accustomed 
pasture pa"', as in Micah ii. 1 2, from nan, the Targum word 
for jnj in Exod. iiL 1, is to drive, and D'ja'Jf' is equivalent to 
Dnnnnp). The lambs meant are those of the Q^| mentioned in 
the second clause, which word, used so substantively as here 
in distinction from D^3, indicates strangers putting up any- 
where yet settled down, those roaming inconstantly about or 
leading a nomadic life. Were O^i (cf. chap. xi. 6) referred to 
the lambs themselves, it would be an idle word. The LXX. 
translation has apvev, and therefore there must have been 
read D'"]3 or O'ni (which is approved by Ewald, Knobel, Beuss, 
and Bredenkamp). But one of the lines in the prophecy, 
which is authenticated by the historical fulfilment, is thereby 
obliterated. D'TO nbnrt are the lands of those who were 
formerly full of marrow (i.e. full-fed, and strutting about in 
fulness of enjoyment), which lands have now become wastes. 
With ver. 17 the second woe closes. It is the longest of 
the woes. This also confirms the fact that luxury was the 
chief vice of Judah under Uzziah and Jotham, as it was of 



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CHAPTBS T. Id 163 

Israel ander Jeroboam IL (see Amos vL, whete the threat of 
punishment is also the sameX 

The third woe is pronounced upon the supposed strong- 
imnded men who challenge the judgment of God by 
presumptuous sins and blasphemous sayings. Ver. 18 : 
" Woe nnto those who draw criminality with cords of un- 
righteousness, and sin as vrith the cart-rope^' As ^B^ is also 
used in Dent xxL 3 in the sense of drawing at the yoke, 
that is to say, drawing a plough or cart, and as the cart or 
waggon, npjJl (the word commonly used for a transport waggon, 
as distinguished from •*i33'io, the state-carriage or even the war 
chariot), is here expressly named, the figure might appear to be 
the same as that which underlies the New Testament enpo- 
l^vyeiv (2 C!or. vL 14), and to mean : Evil-doing is the burden 
which they draw behind them with cords of K^e', and sin the 
waggon to which they are harnessed as with (Ewald, § 221b) 
a thick cart-rope (Hofmann, Drechsler, Nagelsbach, Cheyne, 
and Knabenbauer). But this is hardly the meaning of the 
prophet The '5fO thus put without D?'"?!!)* presupposes the 
signification attrahere in itself, as in Ps. x. 9 ; Job xl. 25 
(Knobel and most commentators), and it means this in what 
is regarded as the closest parallel, Hos. xi. 4 : I drew them 
(».& to myself) with man's bands, with cords of love. Breden- 
kamp says rightly : The actual drawing to, is in contrast to 
the implied famess. v^^ means desolation and emptiness 
(see Comm. on Ps. xxvi 4, and especially on Job xv. 31), 
and in the ethical sense : irreligiousness, unconscientiousness, 
characterlessness. The cart-rope is an image of the coarse 
boldness with which they diligently draw to them the sin, 
which is here considered as making them liable to punish- 
ment* They sin forgetful of duty and boldly, because they 
set themselves in their unbelief above the prophetic threaten- 
ings, and look upon the day of Jehovah as an idle terror. 

> From this Isaianic verse, which is cited in Sanhedrin 09b as n^3p3 
({.«. to be found in the prophetic division of the Holy ScriptureV springs 

the proverb nvnaw Tvcn'? 1D1D b^n N'3i3 5>B' c^rh non wrr Non pe' trfyn 

nbvm i Bee Sifri 33a, ed. Friedmann. Hesba Stretton has made it 
the motto of her novel, Cobtnela and Cables, 1882, where it is rendered : 
SiTu are at first like cobv>ebs, at last like eaMee. The English oob corre- 
sponds to the Talmudic K^a^s. 



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164 ISAIAH. 

Ver. 19:" Who tay. Let him hasten, let him then speed on his 
work that vx may see ; and let the counsel of the Holy One of 
Israel Turw draw luar and come so that we may experience it* 
They doubt that the day of Jehovah will ever come (Ezek. 
xiL 22 ; Jer. v. 12 f. ; cf. 2 Pet ilL 3 £) ; and they go so far 
ia their unbelief as to wish for what they cannot and will not 
believe, and challenge it to come so as to see it with their 
own eyes and experience it (Jer. xviL 15 ; otherwise than in 
Amos V. 18 and Mai. ii 17— iii. 1, where this wishing does 
not proceed from scorn and defiance, but from impatience and 
littleness of faith). As the two verbs denoting haste are 
used both intransitively (Judg. xx. 37, to make haste, to 
hasten) and transitively, the passage may also be translated: 
let his work haste, hurry itself on (Hitzig, Ewald, Umbreit, 
and Drechsler) ; but we prefer the transitive sense in accord- 
ance with chap. Ix. 22. The forms ff^rr (fli from Bin= 

Beduin i^\»., to move oneself quickly, to drive along; 

DMZ. xxii, 159 f.) and fwrtan are, along with Ps. xxiv. and 
Job xi 1 7, in fact the only examples of a voluntative in the 
third person, strengthened by the ah of summons or challenge ; 
for the imperfects in ah in Ezek. xxiiL 20 and Job xx. 21 
are double feminine forms (Gres. § 48, 3). The fact that the 
freethinkers call Grod ^xifc" V\1\), while they yet scoff at His 
self-attestation actually authenticating this name, is explained 
from chap. xxx. 1 1 : They take this name of Grod out of the 
mouth of the prophet, so that their scorn applies to both God 
and His prophet at the same time. 

The fourth woe is expressed in ver. 20 : " Woe to those who 
call evil good, and good evil ; who give out darkness for light, and 
light for darkness ; who give out hitter for sweet, and sweet for 
hitter." The previous woe had reference to those who made 
the facts of sacred history the butt of their naturalistic doubt 
and ridicule, especially so far as they were the subject of 
prophecy. This fourth woe relates to those who adopted a 
code of morals that completely overturned the first principles 
of ethics, and was utterly opposed to the law of God ; for evil, 
darkness, and bitter, with their opposites, represent funda- 
mental moral principles that are essentially related (Matt 
vL 23; Jas. iiL 11). Evil, as antitheistic, is dark in its 



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CHAFTEK T. Sl-SS. 165 

nature, and therefore loves darkness, and is exposed to the 
punitive power of darkness. And although it may be sweet 
as regards its material enjoyment, it is nevertheless bitter, 
inasmuch as it produces abhorrence and disgust in the godlike 
nature of man, and, after a brief self-deception, is turned into 
the bitter woe of miserable consequences. Darkness and light, 
bitter and sweet, therefore, are not tautological metaphors for 
evil and good ; but designations of evil and good according 
to their essential natures, and their necessary and internal 
effects. The D'pfc', with following '?, parallel to D'^P*<*f (with 
Mercha, not Darga), has a subjective meaning, as in Job 
ivii. 12. 

The fifth woe, ver. 21 : "Woe unto those who are wise in their 
own eyes, and who are prudent in their own sight." The third 
woe had reference to the unbelieving naturalists, the opponents 
of prophecy, nwaa ; the fourth woe referred to the moralists, 
who brought ideas into confusion ; and to this woe is attached 
by a closely-connected thought the woe denounced upon those 
whom want of humility makes inaccessible for the nosn, which 
goes hand in hand with the n«l33, — that wisdom of which the 
fear of Jehovah is the basis (Ps. cxi 10 ; Prov. i 7 ; Job 
xxviiL 28; Eccles. xii 13). "Be not wise in thine own 
eyes," is a fundamental rule of this wisdom (Prov. iii. 7). 
Upon this wisdom rests the prophetic state - policy, whose 
warnings, as we read in chap. xxviiL 9, 10, they rejected so 
contemptuously. That in this woe the prophet had specially 
in view the untheocratic state-expediency, is shown by the 
sixth woe, which is directed to the administration of right in 
the State. 

The sixth woe, vers. 22, 23 : " Woe unto those who are heroes 
to drink loine, and bold men to mix strong drivJc, who acquit evil- 
doers for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous 
from everybody." We see from ver. 23 that the drinkers in 
ver. 22 are unjust judges. The threatening of these is every- 
where Isaiah's ceterum censeo ; and accordingly it is also here 
the content of the sixth and last woe. They are heroes, yet 
not in avenging wrong, but in drinking wine; they are 
famous men, yet not for deciding between guilt and innocence, 
but for mixing strong drink, tliat is to say, with spices (so 
Cheyne, Knabenbauer, and others; cf. vinum aromatites. 



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166 ISAIAH. 

myrrhinum, dbsynthUea, etc in Pliny).* The wine of the 
Jews of the present day in Jerusalem and Hebron, Guthe 
tells me, is always spiced, and it thereby acquires great power 
of heating, and passes violently into the blood, a fact which 
agrees with the vphv in chap. v. 11. But it always remains 
questionable (cf. on Song of Sol. vii. 3) whether it is not 
mixing with water that is meant It was an old custom to 
temper or dilute wine and other spirituous liquors ("O?', e.g. 
date wine and cider) by an addition of water, and to make 
them more agreeable for drinking (Maimonides' rvsa\ yi^n roa^n, 
viL 9), which is called Ipo (in the Mishna are, Aloda zara 586), 
wherefore this verb also comes to mean to pour in, to fill 
up, chap. xix. 14 (in Mishn. jto), e.g. Pesachim x. 1, and else- 
where, and the classical Kepawwai and tcmperare. Accord- 
ingly ^oo, 'HDDp, or 3JO signifies any kind of fine tasting wine 
which has been made palatable by spicing or diluting (Arab. 
ckamr memzUga). In such preparation of intoxicating drinks 
they are praiseworthy and strong, and therefore the more 
accessible to bribery for acquitting the guilty and condemning 
the just (Deut xxv. 1; Prov. xvii. 15); beclouding them- 
selves with strong drink, they become blind to right, and get 
bold for wrong, chap, xxviii. 7 f. ; Prov. xxxi. 5, aij» (Arab. 
'ulcb, whereas ai?^, a heel = 'cM)) is an adverbial accusative : 
in compensation for, or for pay ; and iJsp (which, as one is 
tempted to read D^, belongs, according to the Masora, to the 
misleading uod) refers back distributively to D'i3'«nf; as, for 
example, in Hos. iv. 8. 

In the three denunciations of woes in vers. 18-21, Isaiah 
confined himself to the mere unexplicated ^n. On the other 
hand, the first two woes denounced upon the covetous and the 
revellers were already expanded into a detailed announcement 
of punishment. But now, when the prophet has reached the 
bad judges, the announcement of punishment breaks out so 
vehemently that a return to the form of the mere expression of 
woe is not to be thought of. To the two therefores, ???, in vers. 
13, 14, a third is now added in ver. 24 : " Therefore as fire's 
tongue devours stubble, and hay collapses in fiame, their root 

* The Assyrian Syllabaries enumerate several kinds of such spiced 
wines, such as karanu Idni = Absinth wine (karauu ={Unp, Aboda zara 
30a. CL Noldeke in DMZ. xxxiiL 331). 



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CHAPTBB V. 24. 167 

vnll leeome as mould, and their blossom fiy wp as dust ; for 
they have despised the Torah of Jehovah of hosts, and scom- 
fttlly rg'eeted the proclamation of the Holy One of IsratL" 
The persons primarily intended are those described in vers. 
22, 23, but with an extension of the range of view to Jadah 
and Jerusalem, the vineyard of which they are the bad fruit. 
The sinners are compared to a plant which moulders both 
above and below, and therefore altogether, into dust (cf. 
chap. xxxviL 31; Job xviiL 16; Amos ii. 9; MaL iii 19; 
and the expression, " let there not be to him root below and 
fruit above," in the epitaph on the sarcophagus of the 
Fhenician king iTpjoe^K, E^mun'azar). Their root moulders 
in the earth, and their blossom (n^B, the same as in chap, 
xviii 5) turns to fine dust which the wind carries away. And 
this transformation of root and blossom takes place very 
suddenly as through the force of fire. In the expression fejQ 
B'B'ni B'K ;^e6 cp, which consiste of five short words with five 
sibilants (cf. Ja IL 5), one hears the crackling sparks, the 
lambent flame. When the infinitive construct is connected 
with both subject and object, the subject generally stands 
firat, as in chap. Ixiv. 1, but here it is the object, as in chap. 
XX. 1 (with reference to the former, compare the similar 
Arabic form Jcatlun Zeidun 'Amran). The infinitive con- 
struct passes in the second clause into the finite verb just as 
in the similarly constructed passt^, chap. Ixiv. 1. As "3"]^ 
has the intransitive meaning eolldbi, either nsn? is aee. loci, or 
nxv? e^n is the construct state, and means flame-bay, ie. hay 
destined for the flame, or going up in flames.* As the reason 

' In Arabic also, Atdt/ signifies hay ; but in common usage (at least in 
Syriac) it is applied not to dried grass, but to meadow-green grass or 
green barley : bence the expression yahuU here gives green fodder. Here, 
however, in Isaiah, v^vn is equivalent to hatti ydbii, and this is its tme 

original meaning. In the time of the kings, as is evident from Amos 
vii. 1, the growth of grass was twice mown, specially in order to be used 
as fodder for cattle ; (S'p? there is hay in the proper sense, i.e. grass for 

fodder after the first cropping. In our day it is only in March and April 
that grass and green barley are cut and used as fodder ; during the rest of 
the year the fodder is made up of barley and chopped straw (pn, 1 Kings 

V. 28). When grass is otherwise cut, it is used for firing. Stubble and 
wild growths, when dried by the heat of the sun, are set on fire and burnt 
to ashes (see James Neil in Jewish Intelligenee, 1886, pp^ 66-^), 



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16d ISAUR. 

vrhj the plantation of Judah so suddenly dies out, instead of 
certain particular sins, there is at once named the sin of all 
sins, the rejection of the word of God with the heart (0*5°), 
and in word and deed (I'M). The twofold ri« and riKl give 
prominence to the object, and the bunt* V\tp, changing with 
'n, makes the sin appear all the greater, the more exalted 
and holy the God is who reveals Himself in His word, and 
who has, moreover, revealed Himself to Israel as His own 
peculiar people. No sooner has the prophet named the 
guilty sin of Judah, than the proclamation of punishment 
has also got new fuel, and it flares forth anew in ver. 25 : 
" Wherefore tfie anger of Jehovah is kindled against His people, 
and He stretches His hand over it and smites it ; then the 
mountotns tremile, and its carcase becomes like outsweepings in 
the midst of the Greets, — with all this His anger is not stilled, 
and His hand remains stretclud out." The last words are 
repeated in chaps, ix. 11, 16, x. 4, as a refrain. Cheyne 
thinks with Ewald, that vers. 25-30 had a place originally 
within chap. ix. 7-x. 4; and Bredenkamp expounds chaps. 
V. 24, 25, ix. 7-11, 12-16, 17-20, x. 1-4, as fivef con- 
nected strophes. But what could have occasioned their 
separation from each other? As chap. iiL 14 is a prelude 
to chap. V. 1—7, this passage from vers. 25—30, with the 
formula, " with all this His anger is not stilled . . . ," may 
also he a prelude to chaps, ix. 7— x. 4 ; and further, in chap. 
V. 15 there is repeated chap. iL 9, 17, without chap. v. and 
chap. ii. sq. therefore being a whole. The judgment upon Judah 
which stands here before the soul of the prophet, is certainly a 
future and not a past judgment ; for the verbs after IS'?}' are 
like those after the three previous p?, praett. prophetica. It 
is therefore impossible to interpret the phrase, " then the hills 
tremble," as a reference to the earthquake in the time of 
Uzziah (Amos i. 1 ; Zech. xiv. 5). This judgment in the 
near future will consist in Jehovah stretching out His hand 
over His people, or, as it is elsewhere said, swinging it over 
them (Luther: swaying or moving it hither and thither), 
chaps, xi. 15, xix. 16, xxx. 30, 32 ; and bringing it down 
upon Judah with a blow, the violence of which gets to be 
felt by the surroundings of nature as well as by men. What 
sort cf blow this will be, may be inferred from the fact that 



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CHAFTEIt T. 26. 169 

the corpses lie anbaried upon the streets like the common 
sweepings. The reading niltn is to be rejected, for either 
rtvn^ as the Complut., or nnnn, which has the Masora on 
Num. XX. 39 in its favour. It at once occurs to compare 
nraDS with the Arabic kusd^a, sweepings, scourings, from 

.^^, to sweep, to scour (see on chap, xxxiil 12); but htsdfyi 

is the common form for such refuse (e.g. kvidma, nail-paring), 
while nrnE)3 must mean swept out, and then as there was no 
reason for using here the form rRB3, any more than P9n, 
fnn, h\iiV, nmoa had to be written. Hence the a is to be 
taken as that of comparison, and nmo is to be derived from 
IBD (yerrere), as 'np from nnp (V^u synonymous with ,^\^). 

It will therefore not be a pestilence (which, moreover, as a 
stroke of God is indicated not by nan, but ^X), but a carnage 
of war ; and in reference to the still more fearful judgment 
threatened in vers. 26 sqq., which is to proceed from the 
world-power, it cannot be doubted that the spirit of pro- 
phecy here indicates the bloodshed brought about by the 
Syro-Ephraimitic war in Judah (see 2 Chron. xxviii. 5, 6). 
The mountains may well have then trembled under the 
marching of troops and the clashing of arms, and the felling 
down of trees, and the shrieks of woe, and nature in any case 
had to suffer along with what men had incurred ; for nature 
is related to man according to God's creative order, as the 
body of man to his souL Every infliction of the wrath of 
God which falls upon a people, smites at the same time the 
land which has deteriorated with it; and in this sense the 
mountains of Judah then quaked, although only to the hear- 
ing of initiated ears. But for all this (3, notwithstanding, in 
spite of, as in Job L 22), Jehovah's anger, as the prophet 
foresees, will not turn away as it does when He is satisfied, 
and His hand will remain always still stretched out over 
Judah in order to strike again. 

Jehovah does not take the human instruments of His 
further strokes anywhere from Israel and the neighbouring 
peoples, but from the peoples in far-ofiT lands. Ver. 26: 
" And H« lifts up a hawner for the distant peoples, and hisses 
to it from the end of the earth ; and behold hurrying hastily it 
comes hither." What the prophet here prophesies already 



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170 ISAIAH. 

began to be fulfilled in the time of Ahaz. Bat tbe propbecy 
which starts with this verse bears in it all tbe possible marks 
of being tbe opposite of a vaticinium post eveiUum. It is 
properly only what was threatened in Deut xx\'iii 49 sqq. 
(of. chap. xxxiL 21 sqq.), which is here presented in a more 
plastic form, but which yet appears to tbe perception of tbe 
prophet as if emerging out of mist. God summons the far-off 
peoples; P^nno is here and in chap. xlix. 1 virtually an adjective, 
as Jer. xxiil 23 it is virtually a substantive. It combines 
the meanings from afar, as e.g. in chaps, xxv. 1, xliii. 6, and 
far away, as e.g. in chaps, xxil 3, xxiil 6, cf. chap. xvii. 1 3, 
as in Homer, IxaOev, from far, may have the sense of far away 
(so with the opposite, eyyi^dev, near) ; the measure of length 
being determined from the terminus ad quem backwards, 
instead of from the terminus a quo forwards. In this passage 
and elsewhere p^mo has become fixed into an expression of 
distance, with the whence and whither lost sight of (see on 
chap, xxxvii. 26). The visible working of God presents 
itself sensibly to the prophet in two figures. Jehovah plants 
a banner or standard which, like an optical telegraph, tells 
the peoples still at a far distance, like the battle-horn, 'id^B', 
that they are to band themselves together for war. Dl is a 
high staff with a fluttering banner (chap, xxxiii. 23), set np 
upon a bare mountain-top (chap, xiii 2) ; K^, in this favourite 
figure of Isaiah, alternates with D^?. The peoples through 
whom this was first fulfilled, were those of the Assyrian 
empire. These peoples are regarded as far off, dwelling at 
the end of the earth (chap, xxxix. 3), not merely inasmuch as 
the Euphrates formed the boundary to the north-east between 
what was geographically known and unknown to the Israel- 
ites (Ps. Ixxii. 8 ; Zech. ix. lU), but also inasmuch as the 
prophet has in his mind a complex body of peoples stretching 
away into further Asia. The second figure is taken from a 
bee-master, who entices the bees with hissing or whistling to 
come out of their hives and settle on the ground ; as Virgil 
{Oeorg. iv. 54) says to the bee-master who wants to make the 
bees settle down : " Baise a tinkling sound, and beat the 
cymbals of Cybele round the quarter." ' Thus does Jehovah 

' This tinkling with acythes and cymbals is now regarded as of no nse ; 
Ke Gedde's Apiarixm AngUeum (1721), xv. § 13^ 



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CHAPTBB T. r, 88. 171 

entice the banded peoples, like swarms of bees (chap. vii. 1 8), 
who now swarm hither, hurrying rapidly. The plural passes 
into the singnlar, for those who are approaching appear at 
first as an indistinguishable agglomerated mass ; but it is also 
possible that the ruling people among the many is fixed upon. 
The perception and the expression are both misty, and this is 
quite characteristic Witli nan the prophet points to those 
who step into his circle of vision ; ?? n^TO, they are coming 
on, t.«. in the shortest time, with quick feet, and the nearer 
they come within his view, the more distinctly can he describe 
them. — Ver. 27: " There is none wearied, and no otu stuvMing 
among them ; they give themselves no slximher and no deep, and 
to none is the girdle of his hips loosed ; and to none is the thong 
of his shoes rent asunder." Notwithstanding the long, far 
march, there is no one fatigued, *l"5?, who had been obliged to 
fall out singly and remain behind (Deut. xxv. 18 ; Isa. 
xiv. 31). There is no P?*^3; for they march on, pressing 
incessantly forwards, as if on a levelled road (Jer. xxxi. 9). 
From their eagerness for the conflict they do not slumber 
(du, mimetic of audible breathing), to say nothing of them 
sleeping (iB^) : they do not slumber in order to repose, and 
they do not allow themselves the usual night's rest The 
girdle of his armour-shirt or coat-of-mail in which the sword 
is inserted (Neh. iv. 12), is lacking in none; not even the 
shoe-thong of any one, with which the sandals are fastened 
and knotted, is rent asunder (pw, disrumpitur). The descrip- 
tion of their wanting rest forms a climax descendens, while the 
representation of the tightness and lastingness of their armour 
is a climax aseendens ; the two statements follow each other 
after the manner of a chiasmits. 

The prophet now describes their weapons and war-chariots. 
Ver. 28 : " He whose arrows are sharpened, and all his hows 
strung ; the hoofs of his horses are accounted like to flint, and 
his wheels to the whirlwind" As perceived by the prophet, 
they are moving always nearer. For they have brought with 
them pointed arrows in their quivers (chap, xxii 6). But all 
their bows are already trodden (which implies that, as they were 
in length as much as the height of a man, this was done by 
means of setting the left foot upon the inner bend) ; and the 
fact shows that they find themselves near their goal The 



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172 ISAUH. 

right reading is f^ft?, with Dag. dirimms (Gesen. § 20. 26X 
as, according to Abulwalid, Kimchi, and other witnesses, it is 
also in Ps. xxxviL 15. As the horses in ancient times were 
not shod, firm hoofs, SrrXai Kaprepal, were, according to 
Xenophon's Hippikos, a prime quality of a good horse. The 
horses of the enemy now drawing near to Judah have hoofs 
which must be found like flint (">¥, air. \67.=Arab. zirr, Syr. 
tarana), hard, sharp-cornered or sharp-pointed stone. Homer 
calls such horses x''^'"^'''^'^^ brass-footed. And the two 
wheels of each of the war-chariots, in front of which the 
horses are harnessed, turn with such rushing rapidity, and 
throw everything down before them with such violence, not 
merely as if the whirlwind drove, but as if they were the 
whirlwind itself (chap. IxvL 15 ; Jer. iv. 13). Naham com- 
pares them to flashes of lightning, chap, ii 5. — ^Thus far the 
description of the prophet moves on as if in double quick 
marches, through clauses consisting of from two to four words. 
Now the description becomes heavy and stealthy, and then 
springs, in a few sentences, like a carnivorous beast upon its 
prey. Ver. 29 : "A roar he raises like the lioness ; he roars 
like the lions arid growls low, — seizes the prey, carries it off, and 
no one rescues." The imperfects (Kert, JKf*), with the preced- 
ing r? ^i^f, which is equivalent to a future (according to which 
also Chethib, 3Kfi, is, therefore, admissible as per/, consec.), hold 
fast every separate factor of the description for consideration. 
The lion roars when he longs eagerly for prey, and such now 
is the battle-cry of the bloodthirsty enemy, which the prophet 
compares to the roar of the lioness C'??, Copt laioi, with the 
feminine form, nop <), and with the roar of young lions full 
of strength (D'T??). In place of the roaring there succeeds 
a growling (pm^ fremitus, Prov. xix. 12), when the lion makes 
himself ready, and prepares to fall upon his prey.' And so 
the prophet hears, in the army thus ready for battle, a low, 
evil-foreboding hum. But he immediately also perceives how 
the enemy seizes his booty and drags it irrecoverably away 
(DvB!, properly, how he makes it slip away, ie. brings it into 

* In Arabic, en-ruhem is used to signify greediness (see Ali's Proverbt, 
No. 16). 

' The Indo-Qermanic names of the lion appear to be connected with 
tmh, perhaps also k^^; see Curtius, Qriedt. StymoL No. 643. 



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CHAFTIB V. 8a 173 

a place of safety; cf. Micah vi. 14). This prey or booty 
is Judah. And it adds to the weird, gloomy character of the 
prophecy that the prophet does not name Judah. As if he 
was not able to let it pass his lips, this object still remains 
unexpressed in ver. 30 : "And there is a deep moaning over 
it in that day, like the moaning of the sea; and he looks to the 
earth, and behold darkness — tribulation and light — it becomes 
night in the clouds of heaven over there." The roar of the 
lion and the surging of the sea are so like each other in the 

impression they make, that Sierra Leone (Sierra = Arab. i\j^, 

mountain chain) took its name from the fact that those who 
first landed there took the noise of the waves breaking on the 
steep shores for the roaring of lions. The subject of Dii3^ is 
the mass of the enemy; and in the expressions v?^ and 
033 (with the Pi used only here instead of the usual Hi. 
t3*3n) the prophet has the people of J.udah in view as the 
enemy falls upon them with a roar like the sea, and thus 
rushes as in sea-billows over them. And when the people 
of Judah looked to the earth, and therefore to the land in 
which they dwelt, darkness presents itself to them, — a darkness 
in which is swallowed up every friendly and smiling aspect 
formerly exhibited by it And what further ? "^KJ "iv have 
been explained as moon (="1TO) and sun (Jewish expositors), 
and as stone and gleam = hail and lightning (Drechsler) ; 
but these and similar explanations depart too far from the 
ordinary usage. And the separation of the words 1V and 
T<K, proposed by Hitzig, Gesenius (Thesaurus), Ewald, Elnobel, 
Umbreit, Schegg, Meier, Luzzatto, Nagelsbach (who refers to 
Job xviil 1 6), and Bredenkamp, so that the one word closes a 
sentence (" darkness of tribulation ") and the other opens one 
(Cheyne : " yea, the light is dusk through the clouds thereof"), is 
against the impression of the connection made by the two 
monosyllables, and which is supported by the punctuation. 
However, we thus obtain a connected thought, as in the 
Valg. : et ecee tendn-ae tribulationis et lux dbtenebrata est in 
ealigine gns (Jer.). But if lisj iv are left together, a still 
more expressive meaning results, i^tn iy are tribulation and 
lighting up, the one following the other and passing over 
into the other, like morning and night, chap. xxi. 12. This 



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176 IBAUH. 

as the preacher of the judgment of hardening;" and if chap. vi. 
stands in its true historical place, it would contain the result 
or sequel of the preceding prophetic preaching. But true as 
it is that the whole of the central portion of Israel's history, 
which lies midway between the commencement and the close, 
is divided into halves by the contents of chap, vi, and that the 
significant importance of Isaiah as a prophet consists especially 
in the fact that he stood upon the boundary between these 
two historic halves, yet there are serious objections which 
present themselves to such a view of chap. vi. It is possible, 
indeed, that this distinctive importance may have been given 
to Isaiah's calling and appointment at liis very first calL 
And what Umbreit says — namely, that chap. vL must make 
the impression upon every unprejudiced mind of its being the 
prophet's inaugural vision — cannot really be denied. But 
the position in which chap. vi. stands in the book itself 
exercises an influence contrary to this impression, unless that 
position can be accounted for in some other way. The im- 
pression, however, still remains (just as at chap. i. 7-9), and 
recurs again and again. We will therefore proceed to chap, 
vi. without labouring to efface it It is possible that we may 
discover some other satis&ctory explanation of the enigmatical 
position of chap, vi in relation to what has preceded it 

Thb Prophbt's Account of his Divine Mission, Chap. VI. 

The time of the occurrence narrated in the following 
words : In the death-year of the king Uzziah, is important as 
regards the prophet himself. The statement thus made in 
the naked form in which it is here prefixed, makes a much 
sharper impression than if it commenced with W (cf. Ex. 
xvi 6 ; Prov. xxiv. 27). It was the year of the death of 
Uzziah (as he is also called in 2 Kings xv. 13, 2 Chron. 
chap, xxvi, whereas he is called Azaria in 2 Kings xiv. 21, 
1 Chron. xii. 12, and in cuneiform inscriptions). It was 
therefore the year in which Uzziah was still reigning, although 
his death was at hand ; not the first year of Jotham's reign, 
bnt the last of Uzziah's ; for it is more than highly probable 
that in the calculation of the regnant years of the kings, the 
year of the accession of one king was reckoned to his prede- 



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CHAPTIR T. to. 175 

from afar is couched in sach nameless and general terms, and 
is 80 vague and misty, that we cannot but say that everything 
that was to happen to the people of God on the part of the 
world-power during the five great and extended periods of 
judgment that were now so soon to commence (viz. the 
Assyrian, the Chaldean, the Persian, the Grecian, and the 
Soman), is here unfolding itself out of the mist of futurity, 
and presenting itself to the prophetie eye of the seer. Already 
in the time of Ahaz the character of the prophecy changes in 
this respect It is then that the eventful relation of Israel 
to the imperial power assumes its first concrete shape in the 
form of a relation to Assur (Assyria). And from that time 
forth the imperial power in the mouth of the prophet is no 
longer an unknown quantity ; for although the notion of the 
world-power was not yet embodied in Assur, yet it is called 
Assur, and Assur represents it. It also necessarily follows 
from this, that chaps. iL-iv., v. belong to the time anterior to 
Ahaz, i«. to that of Uzziah and Jotham. But several puzzling 
questions suggest themselves here. If chaps. iL— iv., v. were 
uttered under Uzziah and Jotham, how could Isaiah begin 
with a promise (chap, il 1-4) which is repeated word for 
word in Micah iv. 1 sqq., where it is the direct antithesis of 
the threat in chap, iii 12, which was uttered by Micah, 
according to Jer. xxvL 18, in the time of Hezekiah ? Again, 
if we consider the advance made in this threatening prophecy 
from the general expressions with which it commences in 
chap. L to the close of chap, v., in what relation does this 
discourse in chap. i. stand to chaps, ii.— iv., v., seeing that 
vers. 7—9 are not ideal, but have a contemporary historical 
reference, and therefore at least presuppose the Syro-Ephraim- 
itish war ? And lastly, if chap, vi does really relate, as it 
apparently does, to the calling of Isaiah to the prophetic 
office, how are we to explain the singular fact that three 
prophetic discourses precede the history of his call, which 
ought properly to stand at the opening of the book 7 
Drechsler and Caspari have attempted to explain this by 
maintaining that chap. vL contains an account of the call 
of the prophet, who was already installed in his ofiBce, to a 
particular mission. The proper heading to be adopted for 
chap. vL would therefore be, " The consecration of the prophet 



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178 isAUH. 

man, and bis limitation by the present life. Tliis is the mode 
of revelation characteristic of ecstatic vision (ip iKoraaei. or 
ip TTpevfMTt). Isaiah, then, is here transported to heaven; 
for although elsewhere prophetic ecstasies have the earthly 
temple as the place and object of the seeing (Amos ix. 1 ; 
Ezek. viiL 3, x. 4, 5 ; Acts xxii. 1 7) ; yet here the high exalted 
throne (to which and to Him sitting on it, chap. IviL 15, 
K^l D*} is to be referred) is the heavenly counterpart of the 
earthly throne of the mercy-seat ; and therefore ?a'? (properly, 
spacious hall, a name of the temple as the palace of God the 
King), as in Ps. xL 4, xviii. 7, xxix. 9, and frequently else- 
where, is not the Jerusalem temple (Beuss and others), but 
the heavenly temple. There he sees the universal ruler, or, 
as we prefer to translate this name, formed from n?=P^,* the 
All -Lord sitting (3?'' is an accusative predicate, for the 
Hebrew expression is like the Latin form vidi te ambulantem), 
and, moreover, in human form (Ezek. i. 26), as is shown by the 
trailing robe, of which the floating ends or skirts fill the hall 

(obw, as in Ex. xxviii. 33, from ^B'=JL, med. 0, and 

JU, med. Y, to hang down loose, see on chap. v. 14). The 

LXX., Targum, Jerome have obliterated the figure of the 
trailing robe as too anthropomorphic. But John in his 
Gospel is bold enough to say that it was Jesus whose glory 
Isaiah beheld (John xii. 41); for the incarnation of the 
Logos is the truth of all the Biblical anthropomorphisms. 
The heavenly temple is the super - terrestrial place which 
Jehovah, by giving Himself to be beheld there by angels and 
saints, makes into a heaven and a temple. In giving His 
glory to be beheld. He must at the same time veil it, because 
the creature cannot bear it But what veils it is not less 
splendid than what of it is made manifest It is this which 
is symbolized to Isaiah in the long trailing robe. He sees 
the Lord, and what he further sees is the all-filling splendid 
robe of the indescribable One. As far as the look of the seer 
reaches, the ground is covered everywhere with this splendid 
robe. There is therefore no place to stand there. In accord- 
ance with this, the vision of the seraphim is determined in 

I Conip. Dor WdUende as applied to (3od by the Old German and Anglo- 
Saxon poets. 



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CHAPTEB VL S. 179 

ver. 2 : " Seraphim stood over Him, eadi one of which had six 
wivgs; vnth two he covered his face, and wUh two he covered his 
feet, and with two hefleruo." v >P?D is not to be explained as 
near to bim ; for although the mode of expression that one in 
standing finds himself hv, over one sitting, Ex. xviii. 13, or 
even ?po, above him, Jer. xxxvi. 21 (2 Chron. xxvL 19, 
niDpn naiDj) 7?o, above the altar of incense), is also used of 
spirits, Job i. 6 ; 1 Eangs xxiL 19 ; Zech. vL 5 ; and of men, 
Zech. iv. 14, in relation to God upon His throne, where an 
actual towering above is not to be thought of ; yet 'h hvt/0, 
that strongest expression for supra, cannot be otherwise than 
literally meant ; and hence the Targum and Bashi explain it 
" above, for His service." The sequence of the accents can be 
taken as in favour of this view (Luzzatto) ; it is the same as 
in Gen. i 5a. How Isaiah thinks of this standing above Him 
who is on the throne, is to be inferred from the use made of 
the wings of the seraphim. The imperfects do not state what 
they are accustomed to do (Bottcher and others), but what the 
seer saw them do ; he saw them fiy with two of their six 
wings (2!?Jfi, dual, instead of tbe plural, as also elsewhere in 
the case of words used for what is presented in pairs, 
DMZ. xxxii. 33). They therefore stood flying, that is, they 
hovered (cf. Toy, Num. xiv. 14), as is said of the earth and the 
stars : they stand although in free space. Job xxvi 7 ; and as 
Apuleius says of the eagle when fixing his prey : Tolatn paemt 
eodem loco pendtila eircumiuetur. It is true that the seraphim 
(how many not determined ') are not to be regarded as tower- 
ing over the head of Him who is sitting on the throne, although 
i? applies to Him, and not to the throne (Jer. super Hind, 
scil, solium) ; but they hovered over His robe that filled the 
hall, being supported by the two outspread wings, while with 
two other wings they covered their faces in awe before the 
divine glory (Taig. n« videaiU), and with two wings they 
covered their feet in the feeling of the deep distance of the 
creature from the Holiest of all (Targ. ne videantur), as the 
cherubim in Ezek. L 11 do their bodies. This is the only 

* Nestle draws my attention to the fact that Origen only accepts two 
seraphim, and refers the suffix of VJD and v^D to God. The LXX. 
favour this view, for they have merely tc »?e»«x»» and tw; tsSx; (without 
»ir«i>, as in the imperfect text of the Stier-Thcil Polyglott). 



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180 ISAIAH. 

passage in the Holy Scripture where the seraphim are 
mentioned. The representation of the Church, which took its 
rise from Dionysius Areopagita, represents them as at the 
head of the nine choirs of angels ; the first rank or order is 
formed by the seraphim, cherubim, and throni, for which view 
it may be addujced that the cherubim in Ezekiel bear up the 
chariot of the divine throne, whereas here the seraphim hover 
round the seat of the divine throne. In any case the 
seraphim and cherubim are heavenly beings, different in kind ; 
the attempts to prove their identity have only an apparent 
support in Rev. iv. 8. Further, tnr\\^ certainly does not 
mean merely spirits as such, but if not the most exalted of all, 
yet such as have a separate place before the others ; for the 
Scriptures really teach a gradation in their rank, MtranMa 
eoeUstis. As the cherubim of Ezekiel are three-fourths in 
animal form, and the writer of the Apocalypse gives animal 
forms to three of the tour l^&a, which are six-winged, like the 
seraphim here (Rev. iv. 7, 8), the seraphim thus appear, apart 
from what was human shaped in them, necessarily to be 
represented as winged dragons ; for the serpent lifted up by 
Moses is called 1'ifc' in Num. xxL 8, and the flying dragon in 
xiv. 29, IP^J® (rib, from fpb (to bum, and particularly to 
cause burning wounds, whereas serpens is related to Spireiv, 
repere '). In any case the name seraphim includes the idea of 
burning, and in any view the sensible externality in which 
they appear to the seer is an emblematic embodiment of their 
supposed nature. While the seraphim hover above on both 
sides of the throne, and thus form two semicircular choirs 
hovering over against each other, they worship Him that sits 
on the throne as in a responsive hymn. Ver. 3 : " And one 
cried aloud to the other, and spake : Holy, Jwly, holy is JehovaJt 
of hosts, filling the whole earth is His glory." The meaning is 
not that they raised their voice in concert at the same time 
(Luzzatto); nor is ?^ used in Ps. xlii. 8 iu this sense as 
= 1J39 ; but it was an antiphonal song proceeding without 
interruption. Some of them commenced and others responded, 
whether they repeated the whole Trisagion or continued the 

> Cheyne, like Riehm, sees in the clierab of the original extia- Israelite 
representation, the personified thunder-cloud, and in the seraph the 
jiersonified serpent-like lightning. 



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OHAPTKR VI. 8. 181 

}^p B^np e¥ip with rraa pKir^a k^ Isaiah hears this anti- 
phonal or hypophonal song of the seraphim, not merely to 
learn that endless worship of God is their blessed occupation, 
bnt it is with this doxology as with the doxologies of the 
Apocalypse : like the whole scene, its significance lies in its 
reference to the history of salvation. God is in Himself the 
Holy One VS''?,, i.e. He that is separated ; that is, from the 
world of the finite and also of sin, and who is exalted above 
it His glory *ri3ii, as Oetinger and Bengel have formulated 
it, is His disclosed holiness, as His holiness is His inner 
glory. That God's holiness should become universally 
manifest, or what is the same thing, that His glory should 
become the fulness of the whole earth, is what was already 
brought into view in Num. xiv. 21 as the end of the work 
of God (cf. chap, xi 9 ; Hab. ii 14). This end of the work 
of Crod stands eternally present before God ; and the seraphim 
also have it before them in its final completion as the theme 
of their song of praise. But Isaiah is a man in the midst of 
the history which is striving to this end ; and the exclama- 
tion of the seraphim, as now thus precisely expressed, gives 
him the means of knowing to what it will eventually come 
on earth ; and the heavenly forms which now present them- 
selves visibly to him enable him to conceive the nature of 
the divine glory with which the earth is to become fulL The 
whole Book of Isaiah bears traces of the impression of this 
ecstasy. The favourite name of God in the mouth of the 
prophet 'Nnb^ t'in^, is the echo of this seraphic Sanetus ; and 
the fact that this name of God is already expressed in the 
discourses in chap, i 2-iv. 5, and thus used by way of pre- 
ference, is a further confirmation of the view that Isaiah is 
here narrating his first calling. All the prophecies of Isaiah 
bear this name of God on them as their stamp ; it occurs thir- 
teen times (and including chaps, v. 16 and x. 17, fifteen times) 
in chaps, i.— xxxix. ; twelve times (and including chaps. xliiL 1 5, 
xlix. 7, c£ also IviL 15, fourteen times) in chaps. xl.-lxvL ; and 
therefore twenty-nine times in all in the whole Book of Isaiah. 
On this Lnzzatto remarks : " The prophet, as if foreseeing that 
the second part of his book would be denied to be his, has 
impressed the name of God, ^b^ e^p, as his seal on both 
parts, i^caa lomn onn." The word elsewhere occurs, apart 



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182 ISAIAH. 

from Hab. L 12, only three times in tbe Psalms (Ps. IxxL 22, 
Ixxviii. 41, Ixzxix. 19), and twice in Jeremiah in two pas- 
sages (chaps. L 29, IL 5), which the hypothesis of interpolation 
regards as introductions of their Isaiah IL It belongs to 
Isaiah's peculiar prophetic signature, puD. Here we find 
ourselves at the very source of this phenomenon. Does the 
thrice holy indeed refer to God the Triune ? ^ Knobel con- 
tents himself with remarking that the expression serves for 
strengthening. No doubt men are accustomed to say thrice 
what they wish to say exhaustively and satisfyingly ; for 
the three is the number of disclosed unity. But why is this 
so ? The Pythagoreans said that number is the principle 
of all things ; but the Scripture, according to which God 
creates the world in twice three days by ten words of power, 
and completes it in seven days, teaches that God is the prin- 
ciple of all numbers. That the three is the number of un- 
folded and self-enclosed unity has its ultimate ground in this, 
that it is the number of the threefold being of God ; and that 
being admitted, the Trisagion of the seraphim (as well as that 
of tbe cherubim in Sev. iv. 8) therefore applies in tbe con- 
sciousness of those spirits to God the Triune, and it is called 
in the language of the Church, not without right, Hymnua 
Trinitatia. 

Isaiah, hearing this, stands enraptured at the farthest dis- 
tance from Him that sat on the throne, namely, under the 
door of the heavenly palace or temple ; and what he there 
further felt and saw is related by him in ver. 4 : " And 
the foundatiojis of the thresJiolds shook at the voice of those 
who cried ; and the house became full of smoke." By rtB* 
trasri the LXX. Jer. Syr. and others understand the posts 
of the lintels, the supporting beams of the I^Pf^ closing the 

door at the top (Mishn. *fi?f, Arab. iiLJ), This may be 

taken as correct ; for that Q^bd means not merely the thres- 
holds, but also the horizontal beam which closes the frame- 
work of the door above, is proved by Amos ix. 1, where the 

I Galatinus asserts that he saw a Targum in Lecce (a town in the 
Neapolitan province of the same name), in which the Trisagion was trans- 
lated : Ktmp nn WCnp »-\2 Wenp ttSK Wtrnp, doubtless an inter- 
polation by a Christian hand. 



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CHAWKB VI. 4. l83 

commancl is given to smite tbe chapiters of the temple of 
Bethel that the D^fio may tremble, and to smash the upper 
beams, supported by tbe pillars, down upon the head of those 
assembled. Hence Bottcher^s view (Lehrb. i. 428) recom- 
mends itself ; he understands o^BD to mean the upper and 
lower threshold together, as distinguished from the upright 
door-posts. nwM, however, does not mean, as Nagelsbach 
holds, " the nght-angled frames, like the bend of the arm " 
(for which no parallel can be quoted), but the basis of the 
upper beam ; noM being related to bk as matrix to mater, 
and being used of the receiving basis (e.g. Talmudic ktiqm 
^ITTi, the frame or box of the hand-mill, Berachoth 186, and 
tvao noK, the woodwork which runs along the back of the 
saw and holds it stretched, Kdim xxi. 3 ; cf. the German 
Scraubenmutter, literally, screw-mother or female-screw, which, 
with its hollowed windings, receives and holds the cylindrical 
screw).^ As often as the choir of the seraphim began their 
song (»«1!?P?, cf. the collective singular ^l'*"?, the ambush, in 
Josh, viii 1 9 ; P?"!?, the men of war, in Josh. vL 7 and elsewhere ; 
and *|BMon, the rearguard, in Josh. vL 9 and elsewhere), the 
lower and upper crossbeams of the portal which Isaiah stood in 
shook. The building was seized, as it were, with devout awe. 
At the same time it was filled with smoke. Seference in this 
connection has been made to 1 Kings viii. 10 ; but there God 
attests His presence by the cloud of smoke behind which He 
conceals Himself, whereas here such a self-attestation was not 
required, nor does God dwell here in cloud and mystery ; and 
the smoke is not represented as the e£fect of the presence of 
God, but of the songs of praise of the seraphim. The material 
for producing smoke on the altar of incense is thereby set on 
fire. From this point some light begins to fall upon the name 
D'ETjfc', which, when derived from a verb, 1"}^', in the sense of 
the Arabic iarafa (iarufa), to tower forth, to be set high, or 
highly honoured (Gesenius, Hengstenberg, Hofmann, Kurtz, 
Cheyne, Schultz, Bredenkamp), gives a sense which expresses 

1 Friedr. Delitzsch, Proleg. 107-110, carries back the cognate terms Qs, 
noK, niDK to the fundamental notion of width (roominess), according to 
which matt in this passage would mean the holder which receives into it 
the beam or post. 



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184 ISAIAH. 

little. On the other hand, to follow Knobel, who reads O^niB', 
servants of God (Targ. fve^, would be a venturesome contri- 
bution of a new word to the lexicon. The verb tpb means 
urere and eomburere ; and if the name is explained therefrom, 
then the wtriff are fire-spirits of a burning nature, and efficient 
in setting on fire or burning away. And in any case there 
exists a connection between the name of these heavenly beings 
and the name of the serpents, wtHv, in Num. xxL 6, especi- 
ally as Isaiah himself uses f|ib in chap. xiv. 29 as the name 
of a serpent Why should not the seraphim be heavenly 
antitypes of that which the serpent was, which, apart from 
sin and the curse, belonged to the good creation of God, and 
even appears in Num. zxL 6—9 as ayaOoBai/juav (cf. John 
iii. 14) ? Like winged dragons, the seraphim hover round the 
throne of God as a crowning lustre. But it is only their 
being, which is invisible in itself to sensuous eyes, that thus 
makes itself visible to the seer. 

At first, overwhelmed and intoxicated by the majestic 
spectacle, the seer now becomes conscious of himself. Ver. 5: 
" Then I said, Woe to me, for I am lost ; for a man of undean 
lips am I, and I am dwelling among a people of unclean lips i 
for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of Hosts." It is a 
fundamental view of the Old Testament that man cannot see 
God without dying (Ex. xix. 21, xx. 19, xxxiiL 20 ; Deut. 
xviii. 16 ; Jndg. xiiL 22). He must die, — not, as Bitschl and 
Schultz, in their theory of sacrifice, suppose, as a creature 
standing at a deep distance from Grod, but as an impure one 
and a sinner, — because the divine holiness is for the sinner a 
consuming fire, chap, xxxiii. 14. But besides, it is true that the 
infinite distance between the Creator and the creature exercises 
of itself a prostrating effect, which even the seraphim cannot 
sustain without veiling their faces, but not a death-producing 
effect Here, in Isaiah, the two facts meet : he is a man, and, 
moreover, a sinful man. Therefore, as he has come to see 
God, he regards himself as undone, annihilated On^*)?, like 
SXxoKa, peril, the preterite of the fact viewed as complete for 
the individual's consciousness) ; and so much the more since, 
as regards his own person, he is unclean of lips, and at the 
same time is a member of a people of unclean lips. The nn- 
holiness of his own person, in virtue of the solidarity of the 



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CHAPTEB VI. 6, 7. 183 

natural coonection, is doubled by the anboliness of the people 
to which he belongs. This anboliness be calls uncleanness of 
lips, because he sees himself transported into the midst of 
choirs of l)eings who praise the Lord with clean or pare lips ; 
and he calls Jehovah the King, for he has in fact not seen 
Jehovah face to face, but he has seen the throne, the all- 
filling talar, and the seraphim hovering around the enthroned 
One and doing Him homage. — He has therefore seen the 
heavenly King in manifest majesty, and he designates what 
was beheld by the impression he received. Here, however, to 
stand in sight of Jehovah of Hosts, the King exalted above 
all, to whom everything pays homage : to stand here and, in 
the consciousness of deep uncleanness, to be compelled to 
remain dumb — this excites in liim the annihilating anguish 
of self-condemnation. And this finds expression in the con- 
fession which is made by the contrite seer. 

This confession is followed by forgiveness of sins, which is 
guaranteed to him through a heavenly sacrament, and is appro- 
priated as his through a seraphic absolution. Vers. 6, 7 : 
" And then flew to me otu of the seraphim, with a ghvaing coal 
in his hand ; vrith the tongs he had taken it away from off the 
altar. And with it he touched my motUh, and said : Behold, 
this has Uniehed thy lips and away is thine iniguity, and thus 
tliy sin is expiated," One of the seraphs hovering about the 
Lord flies to the altar of incense, the heavenly type of the 
golden altar of incense of the earthly tabernacle, which was 
reckoned as belonging to the Holiest of all, and in his hand a 
nari, which he had taken ni»=rin5^, with tongs from the altar. 
•WYi is either a red-hot stone (Aq. S. Th. V*^^, Jer. ecUculus) 
from the structure of the altar, or a red-hot coal (LXX. 
&v6pa^ The Masora distinguishes scholastically * ncri, 
mosaic pavement (see Norzi on Ezek. xl. 17),* and nnn, 

' Comp. Ndldeke, Syritche Gramm. p. 18. An analogooa example is 
the distinction bcitweeen )£t\ and \s!\, of which the former means a 
natnial fiither, the latter a spiritual father (see Payne Smith, under 

' In the sense of burning coal or burning stone, nBYl iB related to 



c / 



D^yn (ruyX ^ Kings xix. 6, as n. unUatit, Also in Arab. \_i^j (not 



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186 tSAUH. 

glowing coal ; and the latter mast be what is here meant, as 
the seraph would not have torn a stone out of the structure 
of the altar ; and it is far from being natural to think of the 
heavenly altar as constructed of stones, according to the direc- 
tions in Ex. XX. 25 (cf. Josh, viil 31), which, moreover, refers 
to the altar of burnt-oSering, and not to the altar of incense. 
With a pair of tongs he has taken it off from the altar, 
because even the seraph's hand does not immediately touch 
the structure consecrated to God, and the sacrifice belonging 
to God ; and now he flies with this burning coal to Isaiah, 
makes it come into contact with his mouth (W, Hi. in 
the causative sense as in chap. v. 8 ; Ex. xii. 22), of whose 
uncleanness above the other members of the body he had 
complained (cf. Jer. i 9, where the prophet's month is touched 
by Jehovah's hand, and is thereby made divinely eloquent), 
and assures him of the forgiveness of his sins, coincident with 
the application of this sacramental sign (cf. Zech. iii. 4). 
The 1 connects as simultaneous what is s(dd by Vii and ^D ; 
the fiT in the neuter refers to the burning coal ; and "ifsn is a 
mode of sequence separated from its l, because the notion of 
the subject has to be made prominent For it is really im- 
possible that the removal of the guilt of sin is to be thought 
of as momentary and the expiation as taking place gradually : 
the very fact that the guilt of sin is done away, shows that 
the expiation is also completed, i*?, with the accusative or 
7S of sin, signifies to cover up, extinguish, or wipe out this 
sin (see for the fundamental meaning, chap, xxviii. 18), so 
that it has no existence for the punitive justice of God. The 
sinful uncleanness is burned away from the prophet's moutL 
The seraph therefore does here by means of fire from the 

AfiJ,) is the name used for the stone made red-hot, which serves for 
roasting by : it and the flesh, wrapped up in leaves, being covered over. 
Two verbal stems of the form (jyi are to be distinguished. The one, 
from which is derived DDV^, pavtmentum, means to lay firmly on or beside 

one another, Assyr. rjfdpu (whence, e.g., artip, I erected, used of piling 
building-stones on one another), Arab. ■. «"], and the cognate word in 
Mishna, r|Vl, to join in rows, connect The other meaning is to glow, 
Arab. ujLo;, cognate r|en. This distinction ie correctly made by Miihlau- 
Volck. Stone, eakulu*, yf^^t't, as a part of the flooring, is a meaning 
erroneously adopted by Aquila and others. 



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CHAPT£B VL & 187 

altar, and therefore by means of divine fire, what his name 
denotes : he bums up, yet not in a destructive way, but in a 
wholesome way : he bums away as likewise from the elevated 
17^ in Num. xxL 6—9, there proceeds a healing power which 
makes the deadly poison ineffective. As the smoke which 
fills the house comes from the altar, and arises in consequence 
of the adoration of the Lord on the part of the seraphim, the 
incense-offering upon the altar and this adoration are thus 
closely connected. A fire-glance of God, and, moreover, as 
the seraphim are sinless, a pure fire-glance of love, has kindled 
the sacrifice. Now, if the fact that a seraph by means of this 
love-fire purges the seer of sin, presents an example of the 
historical calling of the seraphim in relation to salvation, the 
seraphim ate the bearers and mediators of the fire of divine 
love, as in £zekiel the cherabim are the bearers and mediators 
of the fire of divine wrath. For as in this instance a seraph 
takes the fire of love from the altar, so in that case 
(Ezek. X. 6, 7) a cherab brings forth the fire of wrath from 
the throne-chariot ; and the cherabim therefore appear as the 
bearers and mediators of the wrath which destroys sinners ; 
or at least of the doxa which has its fiery side tumed towards 
the world, as the seraphim appear as the bearers and mediators 
of the love which purges away sin, or of the doxa which is 
tumed on its side of light to the world.^ 

After Isaiah is purged of sin, it becomes manifest what is 
the special purpose of the heavenly scene. Ver. 8 : " Then 
I heard the voice of the All-Lord saying : Whom shall I send, 
and who will go for us t Then I said : Behold me lure ; send 
met" According to Knobel, the plural ^ is the plural of 
majesty, by which God frequently speaks of Himself in the 
Koran ; but the Holy Scripture furnishes no certain example 
of this. It is rather the plural of inner reflection or of self- 
consultation (Hitzig), but the Biblical representation of the 
relation of the heavenly beings to the heavenly God decides 
for the view that the seraphim are included in the idea, as 

^ Seraphic love is the expression used in the language of the Church to 
denote the ne plui vUra of holy love in the creature. The Syriac fathers 
regarded the bnming coal as the symbol of the incarnate Son of Qod, who 
is often designated in poetry as the " live or baming coal " (femutid denvri) : 
liiiZ. 1890^ pp. 679, 681. 



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188 ISAIAH. 

they form along with the Lord an assembled coandl (*rt3 
0*B^^, Ps. Ixxxix. 8), as in 1 Kings xxiL 19—22 ; Dan. iv. 14, 
and elsewhere (see comm. on Gen. i 26). The mission for 
which the right man is sought is not only a divine mission, 
but generally a heavenly mission ; for it is not only a matter 
that concerns God that the earth shall become full of the 
glory of Qod, but it is also a thing incumbent on the spirits 
who serve Him. But Isaiah, whose longing to serve the 
Lord is no longer suppressed by the feeling of his sinfulness, 
has no sooner heard the voice of the Lord than he exclaims 
in holy self-consciousness : 'P!???' '???« 

There now follows the terms of the mission and the sub- 
stance of the message. Vers. 9, 10 : " Se spake, Ch and say 
to this people : Sear always, and tmderstand not ; and but see ever 
and perceive not. Make the heart of this people greasy, and its 
ears dull, and its eyes sticky ; lest ii see with its eyes, and hear 
wiih its ears, and its heart vmderstand, and it Is converted, and 
one britiff about its healiry." ntn 0^ points back to the 
people of unclean lips, dwelling among which Isaiah had 
complained, and which the Lord cannot call *Q9 (cl Judg. 
ii. 20 ; Hagg. i. 2). He is called to go to this people and 
to preach to it, and therefore he is called to be the pro- 
phet of this people. But how sad does the divine commission 
sound ; it is the terrible opposite of the seraphic mission 
which was experienced by the prophet in himself. The 
seraph had purified Isaiah from sin by the burning coal, in 
order that he now as prophet may not purify his people from 
sin, but harden them by his word. They are to hear and see, 
and, moreover, as the added intensive infinitives say, on and 
on, by having the prophetic preaching actu directo always before 
them, but not to their salvation. The two prohibitives u*3n~i}K 
and ^(!i'?K express what, according to Grod's judicial will, is 
to be the result of the prophetic preaching. And the im- 
peratives in ver. 10 commission the prophet not merely to say 
to the people what Grod has determined ; for the proposition 
saepe prop/ietae facere dicuntur quae fore pronuneiant (for 
which reference is made to Jer. i 10, cf. xxxL 28 ; Hos. 
vi 6 ; Ezek. xliiL 8) has its truth not in a rhetorical figure, 
but in the very nature of the divine word. The prophet is 
the oi;gan of the divine word, and the divine word is the 



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CHAPIXB VL 9, 1& 189 

comprebension of the divine will, and the divine vill is an 
intra-divine act, a divine act that has only not yet become 
historical For this reason it may be said that the prophet 
executes what he proclaims as fnture : God is the eaum 
effieima principalis; the word is the causa media, and the 
prophet is the causa ministerialis. There are three figurative 
expressions for hardening : r^?f!}, to make fat, pinguem, i.e. to 
make without feeling for the operations of grace (Ps. cix. 7) ; 
Tsan, to make heavy, and especially heavy or dull of hearing 
(chap. lix. 1); W^ or S?*? (whence imper. V^, also in p. 
V^), to spread thickly, to smear over, to do to any one what 
happens to diseased eyes when their sticky secretion daring 
the night becomes a closing crust (from V^, syn. n^D or nnp, 
chap. xliv. 1 8 ; Arab. J^, illinere coUyrium in the sense of 
oeeaeeare ; related to \P^, with which nno is translated in the 
Targum). The three future clauses with )■ point back in the 
inverse order to the three demands. Spiritual sight, spiritual 
hearing, spiritual feeling are to be taken from them, their 
eyes becoming blind, their ears deaf, and their hearts covered 
over with the grease of insensibility. Baled by these im- 
perfects, the two preterites v KBTi 36* say what might have 
been the result, but what will not be the result, if this 
hardening had not taken place. ? KCn is always elsewhere 
used transitively (e.g. Hos. vii. 1), for to heal any one or to 
heal a disease, and never subjectively, to become whole ; here 
it gets a passive sense through the so-called impersonal con- 
struction, " and one heal it = and it be healed," according to 
which it is paraphrased in Mark iv. 12, whereas the three 
other New Testament quotations of it (in Matthew, John, and 
Acts) reproduce the KaX tdtrtafun avrov^ of the LXX. The 
commission which the prophet receives, sounds as if it were 
quite incompatible with the fact that Qod as the Good only 
wills the good. But it is not only God's will of love that is 
good, but also His will of wrath, into which His will of love 
is transformed when He is obstinately rejected. There is a 
self-hardening of man in evil which makes him absolutely 
incorrigible, and which is not less a judicial infliction of God 
than self-produced guilt of man. The two are involved in 
each other, sin bearing its punishment already essentially in 
itself, as a punishment which consists in the wrath of God 



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190 leAuo. 

excited, by it Israel has delivered itself over to this wrath 
by obstinate sinning. Hence the Lord now closes the door 
of repentance to His people. But that He nevertheless has 
repentance preached to the people through the prophet, takes 
place because the judgment of hardening, while decreed upon 
the mass of the people, is yet not without the possibility of 
the saving of individuals. 

Isaiah has heard with sighing, but with obedience, what the 
mission to which he has so joyfully offered himself is to 
consist in. Ver. 11a: " Then I said. How long, AU-Lordt" 
He asks how long this service of hardening and this state of 
hard - heartedness were to continue, — a question which bis 
sympathy with the people to which he himself belongs forces 
from him (cf. Ex. xxxii 9—14), and one which is justified 
by the certainty that God, who is faithful to His promise, 
cannot cast off Israel as a people for ever. The divine answer 
follows. Vers. 11—13 : " UntU cities are made desolate, with- 
out inhaJntaiUs, avd houses without men, and the ground shall 
le laid waste, a wilderness, and Jehovah shall remove men far 
away, and there shall he many forsaken places within the land. 
And if there is stUl a tenth therein, this is again given up to 
extermination ; like the terebinth, and like the oak, ofwhicJi, when 
they are felled, there only still remains a root-stock — a holy seed 
is such a root-stock." The answer intentionally begins, not 
with '?'*'?, but with DK iB^ ng (which is only elsewhere found 
in Gen. xxviiL 1 5 and Num. xxxii. 7), — an expression which, 
without dropping the conditional DK, means that the end of 
the judgment of hardening is only coming after the condition 
is realized that the cities, houses, and soil of the land of 
Israel and its surroundings have been first laid waste (pret. 
and imperf., thus in the sense of fut. ex. as in chap. iv. 4 ; 
cf. Num. xsiii. 24) ; and, moreover, utterly and thoroughly as 
the three successive accompanying determinations declare 
(without inhabitants, without men, wilderness). PCH is a still 
wholly vague designation of the exile (cf. Joel iv. G ; Jer. 
xxvii. 10), for which chap. v. 13 already presents the proper 
designation in using npj. Instead of some national designa- 
tion, the expression here employed is general, n"]Kn"nK, along 
with the process of depopulation, its consequence, the lack of 
men, being thus expressed. Like PCn], "^T, is also a perf 



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CHAPTKB VL U-18. 191 

eotuee. vith accent on the last syllable (Olsh. p. 482); and 
rutt^i^, " the forsaken," embraces the idea of places which \rere 
formerly full of life, with the life now extinct and fallen into 
ruins (chap. xviL 2, 9). This judgment will be followed by 
a second, which will also subject the remaining tenth of the 
people to a sifting; n^rn 2f, to become again (Ge& § 142, 3); 
"i??^ "'?. not as in chap. v. 5, but as in chap. iv. 4, after 
Num. xxiv. 22, the feminine refers to the tenth. Up to 
ij?37 the announcement is a threatening one ; but from that 
point up to 03 a comfortiDg prospect already begins to dawn, 
which in the last three words lines the horizon of this gloomy 
announcement like a distant streak of light. It will fare 
with them as with the terebinth and the oak. These trees, 
with which a multitude of associations from the early times of 
Israel were connected (see on Gen. zil 6), have (like certain 
others, as, for instance, the beech, the nut tree, and the alder) 
the property of renewing themselves again from the root-> 
stump even when their trunk has been felled. As the forms 
T\fsi (dryness), n;m (fever), rnjjf (blindness), neng' (consump- 
tion) designate certain conditions, and especially faulty ones, 
so roW is not the throwing down or felling as an act, but the 
condition of a tree which is thrown down or hewn down : the 
state of &llenness, not (which would here be too little) that of 
defoliation (Targum) or of the falling of the fruit from the 
stalk (Syr.). Perhaps also the name of the gate of the 
temple, TOfV 1S^, points to trees which formerly stood there, 
and bad been felled down. 03 . . . irtt goes together in guibus ; 
3 has its primary significance of cleaving to something. Of 
the felled terebinth or oak, deprived of its trunk and its 
crown, there is still a naifp (collateral form of "ajfo), i.e. there 
is a root-stock, tnmcus (a cippus, which the word otherwise 
signifies, but it is a natural cippus, and capable of shooting), 
fast fixed in the ground, — an image of the remnant surviving 
the judgment, which becomes a Bn{) jnj from which a new 
Israel shoots out after the old Israel is exterminated. In a 
few weighty words the way is thus sketched upon which God 
will henceforth go with His people. It presents an outline of 
the history of Israel to the end of time. It is repeated in 
Zech. xiii. 8, 9, where instead of the tenth we have a third, 
and they are therefore both to be taken as the symbolical 



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192 ISAUH. 

designation of a fraction, but not as its arithmetioal measnre- 
ment Israel as a people is imperishable in virtue of divine 
promise ; but the mass of the people is henceforth destined for 
destruction in virtue of a divine decision, and only a remnant 
which is converted will finally propagate Israel's prerogative 
as a people, and inherit the glorious future. 

Now, if the impression which we have received from vers. 
5—8 is not a false one, — namely, that the subject of chap. vi. 
is the inaugural vision of the prophet, and not his calling ad 
unitm speciaUm actum officii, as Sebastian Schmidt holds, — ^this 
impression will be verified by the fact that the discourses in 
chaps, i— V. do not merely give a picture of the state of the 
people ripening for the fatal event in chap vi., as Strachey 
holds, but that these discourses already contain the elements 
here conveyed to the prophet in the way of a revelation, and 
that the prophet is there already found executing his fateful 
commissioa The impression also actually stands the applica- 
tion of this test For the vety first discourse, after it has 
shown to the people as such the gracious way of justification 
and sanctification, takes in the consciousness of its being all 
in vain, the turn indicated in chaps, xi-xiii. The theme of 
the second discourse is that it will only be after the overthrow 
of the false glory of Israel that the promised true glory will 
be realized, and that after the extermination of the mass of 
the people, only a small remnant will live to experience its 
realization. The parable with which the third discourse 
begins, rests upon the supposition that the measure of the sin 
of the people is full, and the threatening of judgment which 
is introduced by this parable agrees actually, and in part 
verbally, with the divine answer received by the prophet to 
his question, *rio~lj>. From all sides, therefore, we have the 
view confirmed, that Isaiah in chap, vi relates his consecra- 
tion as a prophet. The discourses in chaps. ii.-iv. 5, which 
belong to the time of Uzziah and Jotham, do not fall earlier 
than the death-year of Uzziah, from which date the whole time 
of Jotham's sixteen years' reign is open for them. Now Micah 
appeared on the scene under Jotham ; but his book, by work- 
ing up the proclamations he delivered in the time of Jotham, 
Abaz, and Hezekiah, has taken the form of a chronologically 
indivisible summary, which, ns we may learn from Jer. xxvL 



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CHAPTBB VL U-19. 193 

18, he recited or published in the time of Hezekiah ; and 
hence Isaiah may thus quite well have taken the word of 
promise in chap. iL 1-4 (certainly borrowed from some source) 
from Micah's lips, though not from Micah's book. 

Further, the position of chap, vi is not inexplicable. 
Havemick has already observed that the prophet in chap. vL 
is justifying, on the ground of a divine commission, the manner 
and st^le of his previous proclamation. But this only serves 
to explain the intention from which chap. vi. was not made 
to stand at the commencement of the collection, and not why 
it is found exactly in this and no other place. Prophecy and 
fulfilment are brought together ; for, on the one hand, chap. 
viL brings manifestly forward the judgment of hardening 
suspended over the Jewish people in the person of king Ahaz ; 
and, on the other hand, we find ourselves in the middle of the 
Syro-Ephraimitish war, which forms the transition to the judg- 
ments of extermination prophesied in chap, vl 11—13. It is 
only the position of chap. i. which still remains obscure. If 
the verses chap. i. 7-9 are meant to have a historical reference 
to the times, then chap. I was composed when the danger of 
the Syro-Ephraimitish war was averted from Jerusalem, while 
the land of Judah was still bleeding from the opened wounds 
which this war, aimed at its annihilation, had inflicted npon 
it. Accordingly chap. i. is more recent than chaps, ii.— v., and 
also more recent than the connected chaps. viL— xii It is 
only the comparatively more indefinite and general character 
of chap, i which seems to tell against this view. This 
objection, however, is removed, if we assume that chap. L is 
not, indeed, the first spoken discourse of the prophet, but the 
first of his discourses that was written down, and that it was 
primarily designed to form the proemium to the discourses 
aud historical narrations in chaps, ii.-xii, the contents of 
which are ruled by it^ For chaps, ii.— v. and viL-xii are 
two cycles of prophecy; chap. L is the portal which leads 
into them, and chap. vL the band which connects them 

> A different view is taken by ▼. Hot&nan {Hermeneutik, heransgef;. 
Ton Volck, p. 133), who regards chap. L as the ■pre&ce to chaps. ii.-xxxT. 
Nagelshach again holds chaps. L S-v. 6 to be the threefold introitus of the 
whole book in its two divisions, chaps. viL-xxzix., xL-IxtL, and chap. L to 
be the portion of the collection which was written last. 

VOU I. K 



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19 i ISAUH. 

together. The cycle of prophecy in chaps. ii.-v. may, with 
Caspar!, be called the Book of hardening, and chaps. vii.-xii., 
after the example of Chr. Aug. Crusius, may be called the 
Book of Immanud. For in all the stages through which the 
proclamation in chaps, vii— xii passes, the future Immanuel is 
the banner of consolation which the proclamation lifts up amid 
the judgments which are now breaking in, in consequence of 
the doom pronounced in chap. vL 



PART II.— CONSOLATION OF IMMANUEL IN THE ASSYRIAN 
OPPRESSIONS, CHAPa VII.-XIL 

TuE Divine Sign of the Wondrods Son of the Virgin, 
Chap. VII. 

As the following prophecies cannot be understood without 
reference to the contemporary historical events into which 
they entered, the prophet begins historically. Ver. 1 : "It 
came to pass in the days <tf Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the 
son of Uzziah, the king of Judah, that Bezvn, the king of 
Aram, and Pekah, the son of Jiemaliah, the king of Israel, 
went up towards Jerusalem to war against it; and was not 
aUe to war upon it" We read the same words again, only a 
little varied, in the history of the reign of Ahaz in 2 Kings 
xvL 5. That the author of the Book of Kings takes them 
from the Book of Isaiah, is betrayed by the fact that he inter- 
prets them. Instead of " and he was not able to war upon 
it," he says particularly : " and they besieged Ahaz, and could 
not war upon him." The singular 7b^ in Isaiah is transformed 
into the simpler plural ; and the iaaX. that the two allies could 
not assault or storm Jerusalem (which must be the meaning 
of 7? QH^i here) is more exactly determined by saying that 
they vainly besieged Ahaz (ft i^V is the usual expression for 
obsidione claudere, cf. Deut xx. 19). This et dbsederunt 
Ahazum cannot merely mean obsidere conati sunt, although we 
know nothing in detail about this siege, and 2 Kings xvi 5, 
from the secondary relation of this passage to Isa. viL 1, cannot 
be regarded as a historical source. But happily we have 



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CHAPTER vir. % 195 

two acconnts regarding the Syro-Ephraimitish war, in 2 Kings 
xvi. and 2 Cbron. xxviiL The Book of Kings relates that 
the incursion of the two allies into Jadah began already at 
the end of the reign of Jotham (2 Kings xv. 37); and apart 
from the statement taken from Isa. vii. 1, it mentions that 
Bezin reconquered for Edom the port of Elath which belonged 
to the kingdom of Judah (in 2 Kings xvi. 6 read DiK^ instead 
of tnvh) ; and the Book of Chronicles relates that Bezin 
brought a multitude of Jewish captives to Damascus ; and that 
Pekah conquered Ahaz in a bloody battle, in which his forces 
were destroyed. However unquestionable the credibility of 
these events is, yet it is as difficult to bring them into an 
indubitably certain connection in relations of fact and chrono- 
logy, as Caspari has attempted to do in a monograph on the 
Syro-Ephraimitish war, published in 1849. If we could 
assume that 16, ?b' (not *^3'), is the authentic reading, and 
that the thwarting of the attempt to take Jerusalem, related 
here, had its ground, not in the intervention of Assyria, but in 
the strength of the city, — so that accordingly 16 would not be 
an anticipation of the ultimate thwarting of the whole under- 
taking, although such summary anticipations are in the 
manner of the Biblical mode of writing history, and likewise 
also in the manner of Isaiah, — then the course of events 
might be so represented that while Bezin marched to Elath, 
Pekah wished to deal with Jerusalem, but did not attain his 
purpose ; but that Bezin was more successful in his easier 
undertaking, and that after the conquest of Elath be joined 
his allies. 

It is this which may thus be taken to be referred to - in 
ver. 2 : " And it was told the hmise of David : Aram ha* 
settled down upon Ephraim, — then his heart shook, and the heart 
of his people, as the trees of the forest shake before the wind." 
The ?S no indicates here the coming down of the one army 
after the other in order to strengthen it ; whereas ver. 19, 
2 Sam. xvii. 12 (cf. Judg. viL 12), indicates a hostile attack, 
and 2 Kings iL 1 5, a spiritual Kara^alveiv. D^'^bm (feminine, 
like the names of countries, and of the peoples thought along 
with their countries, see chap. iii. 8^, as the name of the chief 
stock of Israel, is used as the name of the whole kingdom, 
and here of the whole military power of Israel. Following 



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196 ISAUH. 

the combination indicated above, we find that the allies now 
prepared themselves for a second united march against Jeru- 
salem. In the meantime, Jerusalem was in the condition 
indicated in chap, i 7-9 : like an invested city in the midst 
of a land overrun by a plundering enemy setting everything 
on fire. Elath had fallen, as Rezin's opportune return from 
it showed ; and it was quite natural, humanly regarded, that 
in the face of his approaching junction with the united army 
of the allies, the court and people of Jerusalem should 
tremble like aspen leaves. Vi^ is a contracted impf. Qal 
ending in a, not in short o, on account of the guttural, as in run, 
Ex. XX. 11, and such like ; and ^J, otherwise the form of the 
infin. ais. chap. xxiv. 20, is here and only here inf. constr. 
instead of V^ (cf. rri3. Num. xi. 25; 2V, Josh. ii. 16; 
D^o, Fs. xxxviii. 17, and frequently). 

In this time of terror, Isaiah received the following divine 
instructions. Ver. 3 : " Then said Jehovah to Isaiah, Come, 
go otU to meet Ahaz, thou and Shear-Jashvi, thy son, to the end 
of the aqueduct of the wpper pool hy the road of the fvlUri fM." 
The fullers,' i.e. cleaners and thickeners of woollen stufia, 
received as workmen the name ts>pis from D33, related to 
^??> lH^> 'x^<''<> which is related to f^n, as ifk&veiv, likewise 
specially used in reference to clothes washing, is related to 
XoCew. The D3b rnir, so called as 'being their washing and 
bleaching place, lay, as Bobinson, Schultz, von Itaumer, 
Thenius, Unruh, Schick, and most expositors hold, upon the 
western side of the city. Zimmermann, in his maps and 
plans of the topography of ancient Jerusalem (1876), places 
the two great pools on the west of the city, the lower pool 
and north-west therefrom the Mamilla pool, eastward from 
which in the same line lies the Hezekiah pool, through which 
an aqueduct led the water of the upper pool to the upper 
city. On the other hand, Williams, Kraft, Meier, and Hitzig 
transfer the upper pool with the fullers' field to the north- 
east of the city, beside the monument of the fuller (Joseph. 

' In the Aramaic of the Talmud and Targums the fuller is called ixp 

as in Arab, we have aleo hau&r and mOcfar, the cylindrical round fuller's 
club, which, according to Hegesippus (in Euteb. U. E. iL 23X was the 
instrument by which James the Just was beaten to death. A D3U 
appears in the controversial dialogue with a Christian in Sanhedrin 3Sb. 



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CHAPTKK YD- 4. 1&7 

Wan, V. 4. 2). But Sabshake encamping by the upper pool 
(chap. zxxvL 2) comes from Lachis, and therefore from the 
south-west Furrer (in the Bibd-Lex. IL 464) also recognises 
the Mamilla-pool as the "upper pool in the fullers' field." 
Explorers have not yet succeeded in discovering a living 
spring on the west side ; * both pools were probably even in 
former times only fed by rain, for catching which the lie of 
the land is very favourable.' If the upper pool was the 
Mamilla-pool, then the road pfPp, which ran past this fullers' 
field, was the road which led from the western gate to 
Joppa. Here in the west of the city, outside the enclosing 
wall, king Ahaz now found himself engaged in preparations 
for the event of a siege of Jerusalem, which received the most 
part of its water supply ftoux the upper pool ; and here, 
according to Jehovah's direction, Isaiah with his son was to 
meet him. These two are like a blessing and curse in person, 
offering themselves to the king for him to make his choice. 
For the name 3At^ ikb', %.«. remnant is converted (chap. x. 
21, 22), is a kind of abbreviation of the divine answer which 
had been given to the prophet in chap. vL 11-13, and is, 
moreover, at once threatening and promising, but in such a 
way that it has the curse, as it were, before it, and the grace 
behind it. The prophetic name of the son of Isaiah is 
intended to urge the king by threat to Jehovah, and the 
prophetic announcement of Isaiah himself, whose name points 
to salvation, VB^ is designed to entice him by promise to 
JehovaL 

No means remain untried. Ver. 4 : " And say to him. 
Take heed, and keep thyself quiet ; fear not, and let nat thy 
Juart become soft from these tvjo smoking stumps of fwrtbrands, — 
aJt the himing anger of Besin and Aram, and the son of Bema- 
liah." The imper. " take heed " is regularly pointed "iD^ 
(see especially, Ex. xxiii 21 ; Job xxxvi. 21), and thus *>o^ 
0^fiy\ will accordingly be infinitives absolute in the sense of 
ui^ent imperatives (Hitzig): take heed, and keep at rest I = 

* Schick believed he had discovered it in 1866 about ten minntea^ 
walking distance from the Jaffa gate ; see Ansland, Nr. 38, 1865. 

* This is entirely different from the Gihon, a running, although inter- 
mittent spring, probably the same as the Mary-spring at the east foot of 
Ophel, and therefore in the eastern aide of the city. 



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198 ISAIAH. 

be on your guard, and do not act precipitately, rather keep at 
rest. The first is a warning against self-willed acting ; the 
latter is an exhortation to undismayed equanimity. Calvin 
correctly renders it : utet exteriua amtiiuat sese et intus paeato 
sit animo. The explanation given by Jewish expositors of 
ipB'n, conside super faeces ivas (Luzzatto, vivi riposato), 
according to Jer. xlviil 11 and Zeph. i. 12, gives an unseemly 
sense to the exhortation. The object of terror before which 
and at which the king's heart is not to be dismayed, is first 
introduced with p, and then with 3, as in Jer. li. 46. The 
two allies are at once designated as what they are before God, 
who sees through things in the future. They are two tails, 
i.e. nothing bat the fag ends of wood pokers ("ntt, properly 
turners, namely, fire-turners, an Arabic figure for a warrior, 
Ges. Tfus. p. 1575),* half-burned off and wholly burned out, 
so that they do not bum any longer, but only still keep 
smoking. Certainly they are not this yet at the time in 
question as regards outward reality, where, as ^"3 does not 
conceal, their anger has not yet been long kindled, but they 
are such before God, who makes the prophet o^isant with 
Himself of His counsel. Along with \T] (in cuneiform in- 
scriptions BasHna % in order not to honour it with the name 
of a king, D'W is specially named, and Pekah is called 
^T7pi-|a, to recall the lowness of his descent, and the want of 
any promise in the case of his house. 

The "^ C! which now follows does not belong to ver. 4, as 
might appear in consideration of the Sethume after it (fear 
not on this account that), cf. Ezek. xiL 12, but it gives the 
motive of the following sentence of judgment as in chap, 
iii. 16. Vers. 5-7: "Because that Aram has resolved evil 
against thee, Ephraim, and the son of Bemaliah, saying. We 
toill march against Judah, and strike it with terror, and conquer 
it for ourselves, and make the son of Tabel king in the midst of 
it : thus saith the JU-Lord Jehovah, It shall not com* about, 
and not take place." The promise to Ahaz is founded upon 
the wicked design with which the war has been begun. 
How far the allies had already advanced on the way to their 

* Cf. Schwtrtzlose, Waffm der alten Araber, p. 38. 

* Schnder, Die KeUintchnfim wnd dot AUe Tutament, 2nd ed. 1883, p. 
260 aqq. 



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CHAFTEB Vn. 8, 9. 109 

oltimatd goal, the overthrow of the Davidic kingdom, it does 
not say. Bat we know from 2 Kings xv. 37 that the 
invasion had already b^un before Ahaz had ascended the 
throne, and we may see from ver. 16 of Isaiah's prophecy 
that the "IV'pS (from fv. taedere, pavere, for which the Syrian 
translator has niy;?] from ft?^ absdndere) had been snccessfully 
attained. The Vi?3n, i«. cleaving, forcing of the passes and 
fortification (2 Kings xxv. 4 ; £zek. xxx. 16 ; 2 Chron. xxi 17, 
xxxii 1) can therefore not be regarded as pertaining to the 
future. For history knows nothing whatever of a successful 
resistance of Judah in this war. Only Jerusalem has not yet 
fallen, and this, a» PdiTB ifTO shows, is what is specially referred 
to under fnv^, just as "^^ in chap, xxiii. 13 refers to- Nineveh. 
Here they intend to appoint as king a favourite named ^^^ 
(see Ezra iv. 7, in p. intentionally ^M3D, a vocalic change 
which the tone -long e o{ i^ does not otherwise admit; 
cf. J>MZ. xxxiii. 30, but which here separates the name of 
God from the name of " this good-for-nothing fellow ") ; but 
the intention remains a mere wish, the thing wished does not 
come about (cf. Prov. xv. 22), and is not realized (cl Zech. 
xiv. 8). 

The allies will not succeed in altering the course of history 
as the Lord has ordered it Vers. 8-9 : " For head of Aram 
is Damasciu, and head of Damaseut Besin, and in other sixty 
and five years Ephraim will he broken to pieces as a people. 
And head of Ephraim is Samaria, and head of Samaria the 
ton of Remaliah ; if ye helieve not, verily you will not remain." 
It naturally occurs to regard 8& as a later interpolation 
(Eichhom, Gresenins, Hitzig, Maurer, Knobel, Meier, Dietrich, 
Cheyne, Benss). The prophecy here becomes divination, and 
one might hold that an indefinite expression of the near 
future would have been more effective than this fixing of a 
considerably distant terminus, and it is, in fact, probable that 
instead of roB* Btem B'Ste* TiVM there stood in the original 
text the expression of what was only but a short delay 
(chap. xvi. 14, xx. 3, xxi. 16), and that a later band glossed 
the unprecise expression by a reference to the history of the 

1 The name has not yet been traced out in the cuneiform inscriptions; 
■ee Schroder, «.*. p. 384, and eomp. hia KeiUiuchriften «. Qttehiditt- 
fonhung, p. 386L 



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200 ISAIAH. 

fulfilment of the propbecj. If 6b be left out, the whole idea 
is only this, that the two hostile powers will temain in tiieir 
previons relationships without an annexation of Judah. If 
8b is retained (under the supposition of such a phrase as 
" within a short time " instead of the " within sixty-five 
years "), then 8a and 9a similarly say that the old condition 
of things will remain ; bat 85 states that while Syria gains 
nothing, Ephraim, which had become involved in an unnatural 
and irreligious league with it, will lose its national inde- 
pendence, and 9b, that Judab, although Samaria's attempt to 
take away its independence fails, yet if it gives up its trust in 
Jehovah and makes flesh its arm, it will have no continuance, 
i.e. will lose its national independence Yer. 8b is a prophecy 
announcing the destruction of Ephraim; 95 is a warning, 
threatening Judah with destruction in so {iu as it rejects 
the promise from unbelief. The colour of the style of 8b is 
entirely Isaianic (cf. on "^V^, chap, xxi 16, xvL 14; and on 
D^, away from being a people ^ so that it is no more a 
people, cf. chap. xvii. 1, xxv. 2, and Jer. xlviii 2, 42). 
But it cannot be asserted that the sixty-five years are false, 
and that they are in contradiction with chap. vii. 16. 
Certainly they do not come out if we refer the prophecy to 
what happened to Ephraim in consequence of the Syro- 
Ephraimitish war carried on by Tiglath-Pileser, and to what 
was done to it by Salmanassar in the sixth year of Hezekiah's 
reign, to which events, and more especially to the former, 
chap. vii. 16 relates. But there is another event through 
which the existence of Ephraim, not merely as a kingdom, 
but also as a people, was broken, namely, the carrying away 
of the last remnant of the Ephraimitish population, and the 
planting of East Asian colonists upon the soil of Ephraim. 
While the land of Judah remained desolate after the deporta- 
tion to Gbaldea, and a new generation grew up there, which, 
being in exile, might again return, the land of Ephraim was 
occupied by heathen settlers, and the few who remained 
behind were fused with these into the mixed people of 
Samaritans, those in exile being lost among the heathen. 
This is the view which was already held by Malvenda, 
Calmet, and Usher as to the terminus ad quem. Bosanquet 
reckons the sixty-five years from the year 736 as the con- 



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cnAPTZR vn. 8, 9. 201 

jectnral date of the meeting of Isaiah with Ahaz, and as 
extending to 671, founding upon the fact that even after the 
fall of Samaria, a kingdom of Samaria continues to be always 
mentioned in the inscription, bat it is found for the last time 
in one that dates from 681 to 673. This calculation by the 
Assyrian monuments has, however, meanwhile become doubt- 
ful by more correct reading of them. Nevertheless the 
fact remains that the populating by Esarhaddon (2 Kings 
xvii 24, Ezra iv. 2, and his successor Asnappar = Asur- 
banipal, Ezra iv. 10) of the land of Ephraim with colonists 
from Eastern Asia is the fulfilment of the D^ T\iv, • and if it 
was Esarhaddon under whom Manasseb was carried away to 
Babylon about the middle of his reign (2 Chron. xxxiii. 1 1), 
then we get just sixty-five years from the second year of the 
reign of Ahaz to the final ending of the existence of Ephraim 
as a people (fourteen years of Ahaz + twenty-nine of Heze- 
kiah -I- twenty-two of Manasseb = sixty-five). Then was ful- 
filled what is here unconditionally predicted, oyp nrr (certainly 
not 3 imp/. Qal, but M. nru, Mai. ii. 6), just as the condi- 
tionally threatened upKn K? was fulfilled on Jadah by the 
Babylonian exile. For jotti signifies to have a fast hold, and 
rPftn to prove fast holding. If Judah does not holdfast to 
his Qod, he will lose his fast hold by losing the country in 
which he dwells, the ground beneath his feet The same 
play on words is found in 2 Chron. xx. 20. The suggestion 
that the original reading was '•n U^DMTl K^ DM, but that *3 
appeared objectionable and was altered into ^, is improbable.' 
Why should it have been objectionable when the words form 
the conclusion of a solemnly introduced direct discourse of 
Jehovah ? On this ^, which has passed from the confirmat- 
ive into an affirmative meaning, and here opens the conse- 
quence of the hypothetical clause, cf. 1 Sam. xiv. 39 ; Ps. 
cxxviii. 4 ; and (as used in the formula nn^ *3) Qen. xxxi 42, 
xliiL 10 ; Num. xxii 29, 33 ; 1 Sam. xiv. 30. Their con- 
tinuance is conditioned by faith, as this «3 surely asserts.* 

^ Qeiger in DMZ. 1861, p. 117, and pKrioualy in tbe Review fhim, 
1860, p. 89. 

* It is worth quoting wliat Augustine remarks on this subject in his 
De doetrvM ChriHiana, iL 11 : Niti eredideritis, turn tittelligetit [so LXX. 
and Itala]. Alius [Jerome] interpretatus est : Niii erediderUi$, noti per- 



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202 ISAIAH. 

Thus Isaiah speaks, and thus Jehovah speaks through him, 
to the king of Judah. We are not informed as to whether 
he replied or what he replied. He is silent, for in his heart 
he hides a secret which consoles him better than the word of 
the prophet. The invisible assistance of Jehovah and the 
distant prospect of the fall of Ephraim are not sufficient for 
him. His mind is already made up. His trust is in Assur 
(Assyria), with whose help he will be superior to the kingdom 
of Israel, as that kingdom had been to the kingdom of Judah 
through the help of Damascene Syria. The pious theocratic 
policy of the prophet comes too late. He therefore lets the 
enthusiast talk, and thinks he knows what it is worth at the 
best. Nevertheless, the grace of God does not give up the 
unhappy son of David as lost Vers. 10, 11 : "And Jehovah 
continued to speak to Ahaz as follows : Ask thee a sign from 
Jehovah thy Ood, going deqa down to Hades or high up to the 
height above." Jehovah continued, — what a deep and firm 
consciousness of the identity of the word of Jehovah and the 
word of the prophet is expressed therein ! It occurs also in 
chap. viiL 5. According to an astonishing eommunicaiio 
idiomatum which runs through the Old Testament books of 
prophecy, the prophet speaks at one time (as, e.g., in Zech. 
it 13 and 15) as if he were Jehovah, and at another time, 
as in this passage, Jehovah speaks as if He were the prophet. 
Ahaz is to ask a sign from Jehovah his God. Jehovah does 
not scorn to call Himself the God of this son of David who 
80 hardens himself. Perhaps the holy love which pulsates 
in this T^^lf may yet move his heart ; or perhaps he may 
reflect upon the covenant promises and covenant duties 

manebUit. Qois horam vera secutns sit, nisi exemplaria linguae praece- 
dentia legantar, incertum est Sed tamen ex utroque magnum aliqtiid 
insinoatur scienter legentibus. Difficile est enim ita diTersoa inter se 
interpretes fieri, ut non se aliqua vicinitate contingant. Ergo qnoniam 
intellectus in specie sempitema est, fides yero in rerum temporalium 
quibusdam cunabulis quasi lacte alit parvulos, nunc autem per fidem 
ambulamns, non per speciem, nisi antem per fidem ambulaverimtu, ad 
speciem pervenire non poterimus, quae non transit, sed permanet per 
intellectum purgatum nobis cohaerentibas veritati : propteiea ille ait : 
Nisi aredideritit non permanebitit. Ille vero: Nid crtdiirriUi, non 
inUUigetis. Et ex ambiguo linguae praecedentis plemmque interpres 
fallitur, cui non bene nota sententia es^ ct earn significatiouem transfert, 
quae a sensu scriptoris penitus aliena est 



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CHAPTKK Vn. 10, IL 203 

vhich this yrhti recalls to xaind. He is to ask for a rriM 
from this his God. niK (from nw, to indicate) is a thing, 
event, or act which may serve to guarantee the divine cer- 
tainty of some other thing, event, or act This happens 
partly through sensible miracles presently performed (Ex. 
iv. 8, 9), or through fixed symbols of the future (chap. 
viiL 18, XX. 3), and partly through prophesied events, which, 
whether miraculous or natural in themselves, are not to be 
humanly foreseen ; and therefore if they occur, they authentic- 
ate either the divine causality of other events retrospectively 
(Ex. iii. 12), or their divine certainty prospectively. The 
thing to be here guaranteed is what the prophet has just 
prophesied with great definiteness : the preservation of 
Judah with its kingdom, and the fruitlessness of the wicked 
enterprise of the two allied kingdoms. If this was to be 
guaranteed to Ahaz in a manner that would break down 
his unbelief, it can only be done by a sign, niM, which 
breaks through the regular course of natur& As Hezekiah, 
when Isaiah announces his recovery and a prolongation of 
life for fifteen years, requires a tint, and the prophet gives 
him it (chap. xxxviiL), so does Isaiah here meet Ahaz with 
the offer of such a sign, and, moreover, by laying before him 
heaven, earth, and Hades as the sphere of the miracle. poVin 
(P?5?p) and na^n are either in/in. dbs. or imper., and n'aitf is 
apparently imper. : 7HV with the fle of challenge, which is 
given here instead of n^K^ as npKe^ (as likewise elsewhere 
with distinctive accents, as in Dan. ix. 19, and even without 
any pause in xxxiL 11, q.v.); but in no case do we need to 
read, with Hupfeld, "?^ with the tone upon the last, in the 
sense of npse? j and thus : in profundum descende (or descend- 
endo) precare. But n7^f may also be a pausal collateral 
form for np'<B», which is allowable in itself (cf. Tf% always in 
p. for fferp, and other examples. Gen. xliiL 14, xlix. 3, 27),' 
and here it appears to be preferred on account of its con- 
sonance with n5yo5' (Ewald, § 93. 3). We give the preference 
to this latter possibility, with Aq. Sym. Theod. Jer. (jSadwov 

1 The pasaing of the o into a (o) likewise produces the infinitive form 
^mnibt 1 Sam. zv. 1 ; ^nnf) (according to Norzi), 1 Sam. xxiv. 11 ; 
^piDVi Obad. ver. 11. On corresponding impeiative forma, see on chap, 
xxxviii. 14. 



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204 I8AIAH. 

C(t f^v), against the Targom ; it corresponds to the antithesis 
(cf. Job xi. 8), and if the words before us were unpointed, 
this would first suggest itself. The challenge, accordingly, 
amounts to this: Descend down deep (in thy asking) to 
Hades, or ascend high up to the height ; but more probably 
(as the closer construction is more pleasing, and nnin as 
imper. would be well distinguished from the inf. by the form 
''?|i''7, cf. niJin, Ezek. xxiv. 10, with a gerundive acceptation of 
PDVn and nnin.Ewald, § 280a): going deep down to Hades, or 
Ik, from fiJK, as vel, from velle) going high up to the height 
J^his offer of the prophet of any kind of miracle in the upper 
or lower world cannot but perplex the adherents of the 
modem view of the world. The prophet, says Hitzig, is here 
playing a dangerous game, and if Ahaz had closed with the 
offer, Jehovah would certainly have left him in the lurch. 
So Meier observes : it cannot have at all come into the mind 
of an Isaiah to wish to do a miracle. And de Lagarde says : 
If he had done it, he would have been an enthusiast whom the 
failure of such a mK would have subjected to punishment for 
lying, or whom an artificial performing of it would have made 
a deceiver. None of these commentators can recognise the 
miraculous power of the prophet, because they do not at all 
believe in miracles ; whereas Ahaz knows the miraculous power 
of the prophet, but is not to be constrained by any miracle 
to renounce his own plans and believe on Jehovah. Yer. 12: 
" But Ahaz answered, I may not ask, and may not tempt 
Jehovah." How pious this sounds, and yet his self-hardening 
culminates in these pious - sounding words ! Hypocritically 
he hides himself under the mask of Deut vL 16, in order not 
to allow himself to bo disturbed in his Assyrian policy, and 
he is so unthinking as to call the acceptance of what Jehovah 
Himself offers him a tempting of God. He studiously draws 
down upon himself the fate indicated in chap, vl; and not 
merely upon himself, but upon all Judah. For under the 
successor of Ahaz, the host of Assyria will stand upon this 
same fullers' field (chap. xxxvL 2), and demand the surrender 
of Jerusalem. In this hour when Isaiah stands before Ahaz, 
the fate of the Jewish people is decided for more than two 
thousand years. 

The prophet might now be sUent, but in accordance with 



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CHAPTEB Vn. 19-16. 205 

the comniand in chap. vi. he must speak, although his woni 
be a savour of death unto death. Ver. 13 : "He spake. Hear, 
then, house of David : Is it too little for you to make men 
weary, that ye also weary my God } " He spake. Who spake ? 
The speaker, according to ver. 10, is Jehovah, and yet what 
follows is given as the word of the prophet Here again the 
statement proceeds on the assumption that the word of the 
prophet is the word of God, and that the prophet himself, 
even when he distinguishes himself and God, is the organ of 
God. The address is directed to ITI ^"h i.e. to Ahaz, indud- 
ing all the members of the court D^K is the plural of the 
category, and by it the prophet indicates himself. The prophet 
would, indeed, well have borne that those of the house of 
David should yield no results to his zealous human efforts, 
but they are not satisfied with this (of. on the expression 
mimts quam voe - quam ut vobis sufficiat, Num. zvi 9 ; 
Job XV. 11); they also weary the long-suffering of his 
God by letting Him exhaust all the means of their correction 
without effect* They will not believe without seeing ; and 
when signs are about to be given them to see in order that 
they may believe, they will not even look at them. 

Jehovah, then, will give them a sign against their will 
after His own choic& Vera 14, 15: "Therefore the All- 
Lord, He will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin* is with 
child, and bears a son, and calls his name Immanuel. Butter 
and honey vnll he eat when he knows to reject the bad and to 

* Perhaps \tlhn and ^n^K form an intended enantiophony ; «ee the 
collection of examples in the Review y^TVn, Jahrg. 2 (1853X pp. 94-99. 

* [As will he seen by what follows, " virgin " is not strictly the correct 
rendering of Tfdyf, according to Dr. Delitzsch's own view ; but as he 

retains Jungfirav in the German, it has been thought better in like 
manner to retain the usual English term rather than introduce " damsel,', 
"maid," or "maiden." Cbeyne renders no^ipn, "the young woman," 

"so Hitzig, R. Williams, Nagelsbach, and (in effect) Oesenius ;" gives the 
rendering of Ewald and Delitzsch (Jungfirav) as " the maiden ; " and 
quotes the late Professor Weir of Qla^ow as retaining "virgin," while 
observing : " But the Hebrew, strictly speaking, does not correspond to 
our 'virgin.'" Dr. Kay in his comm. on laaiah in the Speaka'i Com- 
mentary, $.1., says : " Our English word " maiden " comes as near, pro- 
bably, as any to the Hebrew word." " Or nuuden " is added in the margin 
of the Be\-i8ed Version. Profl Drever remarks : " Probably the English 
word damtel would be the fairest rendering" {Imtiah, p. 41). — Te.] 



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206 UAIAH. 

choose the good." In its form the prophecy recalls Gen. xvi. 
11:" Behold, thou art with child, and wilt bear a son, and 
call his name IsbmaeL" Here, however, the words are not 
addressed to her who was afterwards to bear the child, 
although Matthew gives this form to the prophecy ; * for r«ni> 
is not 2 p. but 3 j». = HKT^ (ground form kara'cU, which 
occurs for nnjJ, " it takes place," Deut. xxxi. 29 ; cf. Gen. xxx. 
11 ; Lev. XXV. 21 ; Ps. cxviii. 23).* The question as to 
whether the clause is to be translated : Behold, the virgin is 
with child, or shall be with child, ought not to have been 
raised, mn with the following participle (here participial 
adjective ; cf. 2 Sam. xi. 5) is always presentative, and the 
thing presented is always either a real thing, as in Gen. xvi. 
11 and Judg. xiiL 5 ; or it is an ideally present thing, as is 
to be taken here ; for except in chap, xlviil 7, f^}^ always indi- 
cates something future in Isaiah. This use of ran in Isaiah 
is of itself opposed to the view of Gesenius, Knobel, Fried- 
mann {De Jesaiae vaticiniis Achaso rege editis, 1875), S. 
Davidson, and others, who understand •^fV^ to apply to the 
already pregnant young wife of the prophet, and who, like 
Saven (see on chap. viii. 3) and Beuss, identify Immanuel 
and MahershalaL* But it is already very improbable that 
it is the wife of the prophet who is meant; for if he 
meant her, one cannot well see why he did not rather say 
HK^Mn. Further, the meaning and use of nobv are against the 
reference of the nw to the prophet's own household. For 
while ninna (from ^a, related to ina, to separate, sejungere) 
signifies the virgin maiden living retired in her parents' 
house, and still a long while from marriage (Assyr. has also 
batillu, a youth), TOj'P (from a?V, to be strong, full of sap and 
vigour, arrived at the age of puberty, V ^y, Ji, to swell) is the 

* Jerome discasaes thia difference in an exemplary manner in Ms Up. 
ad Pammachium de optima genere irUerpretandi. 

* The pointing makes a distinction between nittp (she calls) and ntOp 

(as Qen. xvL 11 shoald be pointed), thou callest (see Abenczra's Zaduith, 
7a, and Jckuthiel ba-Nakdan on Qen. xvL 11) ; and Olshausen (§ 356) is 
wrong in pronouncing the latter form of writing the word a mistake. 

* Another view is taken by the expositor to whom Jerome refers : 
Quidam de nostria Judaizans Esaias duos filios habuisse contendit Jasub, 
et EmraanueL Et Emmanuel de prophetiasa uxore ejus esse guneratum 
in typum Domini aalvatoria, etc 



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CHAPTEfi Tn. U, t& 207 

mature woman vho is near marriage.^ Both names may be 
applied to a female who is betrothed or even married (Joel 
L 8; Prov. zxx. 19 ; see Hitzig on these passages). It must 
also be admitted that the idea of immaculate virginity is 
not necessarily connected with nobp (as in Gen. xxiv. 43, 
cf. 16), since in such passages as Song of SoL vL 8 it can 
hardly he distinguished in sense from the Arab. Surriya-. It 
must also be admitted that it might be said of one who has 
a still youthful fresh wife, that he has a vxhv for his wife ; 
but it is inconceivable that in a religiously earnest and well- 
weighed style a woman who has been already for a long time 
married, like the prophet's wife, could be called absolutely 
rrdysn without qualification.* On the other hand, the ex- 
pression warrants the assumption that the prophet by nobyn 
means one of the rrio^ of the royal harem (Luzzatto) ; and if 
we consider that the birth of the child in the view of the 
prophet is to take place in the near future, his look might 
have been directed to that Abijah (AM) bath-Zechariah (2 Kings 
xviii. 2 ; 2 Chron. xxix. 1) who became the mother of king 
Hezekiah, to whom the virtues of his mother appear to have 
been transmitted in contrast with the vice of his father. 
But while the expression might admit this view, reference to 
Hezekiah and his mother is excluded by the fact that he was 
born to the young king Ahaz before lus accession to the 
throne, and therefore he cannot be meant either here or 

1 Vercellone, in a lecture (in Ms DUsertazUnU aeeademiehe, Boma 1864X 
has defended at considerable length the assertion of Jerome : HAraicum 
TKhv nwtjuam fiiii de vkgine icribitw, tignifkat enim piteUam viryinem 
abicouditttm ; bat his defence is untenable. The root is not o^y> to con- 
ceal, according to which Aq. translates Qen. xxiv. 43, ixwcpv^ai. Luther, 
in 1523, expressed himself to better effect thus : " WeU, then, to oblige 
the Jews, we shall not translate the word Alma as virgin, but as a maid, 
although in German maid means a woman who is still young, and wears 
her crown with honour, so that it is said : she is still a maid and not a 
wife. Thus, then, the text of Isaiah is most properly translated : Behold, 
a maid is with duld." In fact, the translation q nin; (Aq. S. Th.) is more 
exact than q ntpiitts (LXX. Syr.). In medieval sermons Christ is called 
" the son of the maid." 

* A young and newly-married wife might be called n^3 (as in Homer, 

rvfi^^nubiluH-ainupta; Eng. bride); but even in Homer a married 
woman, if young, is sometimes called nuvfiltn ih»x/H, but not utipn 
nnm). 



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208 ISillAH. 

in chap. ix. 5.^ But, in any case, even if the prophet tboaght 
of one of the tnchp of the then royal house, the child thus 
prophesied of is the Messiah, that wondrous heir of the 
Davidic throne whose birth is exultingly greeted in chap. ix. 
It is the Messiah whom the prophet here beholds as about 
to be born, then in chap. ix. as bom, and in chap. xL as 
reigning, — three stages of a triad which are not to be wrenched 
asunder, a threefold constellation of consoling forms, illuminat- 
ing the three stadia into which the future history of his people 
divides itself in the view of the prophet Or is nohvn no 
determinate person at all, or not any single person ? Duhm 
asserts that wife and son are merely representative ideas ; and 
Benss holds that by the virgin is meant la femtne eomnu 
telle. Kueuen thinks that some particular woman of the time 
was meant ; and Henry Hammond as early as 1653 expounded 
this view, maintaining that the prophecy has found in Jesus 
Christ a fulfilment which goes beyond its immediate sense, 
that in its pi^mary sense pregnancy, birth, and maturity are 
only parabolicaTlacts subservient to the chronological measure- 
ment of time. But all this is opposed by the address in 
chap, viii 8, which demands a definite and highly significant 
personality. And, further, the view is not to be accepted which 
holds that the house of David is the nchv, and that her son is 
a future new Israel (Hofmann, Ebrard, Kohler, Weir) ; for 
while it is true that in contrast to the widowhood of the 
community of Israel a youthful age of it, D^p^^jr, is spoken of 
in chap. liv. 4 (cC Jer. iL 2), yet the community of Israel is 
never absolutely called nobyn or njunan, and the text is here 
thoroughly individual in its reference, and does not point to a 

' According to 2 Kings xvi. 2, Abast on ascending the throne was twenty 
yean old, and according to 2 Kings xviii. 2, Hezekiah on his ascending 
the throne was twenty-fire years old. Now, as, according to 1 Kings xvi 
2, Ahaz reigned sixteen years, he thus died in his thirty-sixth year, and 
would thus have to be regarded as father of Hezekiah when eleven years 
old. According to the LXX. and Pesh., in 2 Chron. xxviii. 1 he was 
twenty-five years old on ascending the throne, and therefore died when 
forty-one years old, so tliat Hezekiah, according to this reckoning, would 
have been bom to him in his sixteenth year. This might have been 
possible. But however Hezekiah's accession to the throne may be 
regarded (see the tables on pp. 32-33X the result is always reached that 
Hezekiah was already bom when his father succeeded to the govern- 
ment (ct Driver, Jtaiah, p. 40). 



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CHAPTER Vn. 14, IB, 209 

twofold periona moralis. The prophet would have said I^^vtItI ; 
no^jr in this kind of personification is unheard of, and the 
house of David, as then before the view of the prophet, was 
not at all deserving of such a designation. There is therefore 
no other alternative left but to accept the view that the 
prophet means by nobpn a particular virgin, and one, more- 
over, belonging to the house of David, as the Messianic 
character of the prophecy desiderates. She who is meant is 
the same as is named by Micah v. 2, nT?\ It is the virgin 
whom God's spirit presents before the prophet, and who, 
although he cannot name her, yet stands before his soul as 
selected for something extraordinary (cf. the article in i?in 
in Num. xi. 27 and similar passages). How exalted this 
mother appears to him, is seen from the fact that it is 
she who gives the son his name, the name >kuqv (here to 
be written as one word).^ The purport of this name is 
purely promissory. But if we look at the @p and the occasion 
which preceded it, the n^K can be no mere promise and no 
pure promise ; we expect (1) that it will be an extraordinary 
fact which the prophet announces, and (2) a fact with a 
threatening presentative side. Now a humiliation of the 
house of David is already included in the fact that the Gk)d 
it will not recognise nevertheless shapes its future as the 
emphatic wn says : He (avrof) from His own impulse and 
out of His own choice. But this shaping of the future must 
also be as threatening for the unbelieving bouse of David as 
it is promising for the believers of Israel. And the threaten- 
ing of the n^K cannot be to be sought exclusively in ver. 1 5, 
seeing that both 9? and nin transfer the central bearing of 
the rm to ver. 14; and further, the externally unconnected 
addition of ver. 15 shows that what is said in ver. 14 is the 
main thing, and not conversely. In ver. 14, however, a 
threatening element of the niM can only lie in this, that it is 
not Ahaz and not a son of Ahaz, or generally of the house of 
David as then hardening itself, through whom God saves His 
people, but that a nameless virgin of humble rank, whom God 
has chosen, and whom He shows to His prophet in the mirror 
of His counsel, will bring forth the divin* deliverer of His 

' See on thU the tractate Sofrim iv. EaUuHui 8, and pp. 67, 68 of the 
edition by Joel Miiller, I87a 

VOL. I. 



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210 ISAIAH. 

people in the midstr of the impending tribulations. And by 
this it is indicated that He who is the pledge of the continued 
existence of Judah does not come until the present degenerate 
house of David, which is bringing Judah to the brink of 
destruction, is removed even to the stump (chap. xL 1). 

But now comes the further question. Wherein consists 
the extraordiuary characteristic of the announced fact? It 
consists in this, that according to chap. is. 5, Immanuel Him- 
self is a WB, — He is God in bodily self-presentation. If, how- 
ever, the Messiah is ?MUQV in the sense that, as the prophet in 
chap. ix. 5 (cf. chap. z. 21) expressly says. He is Himself 
Ttt, His birth must also be a wonderful or miraculous one. 
The prophet, it is true, does not say that the no^y whom no 
man has yet known will bear Him without that happening, 
so that He is bom not so much out of the house of David, 
as into it, a gift of heaven ; but this nehyn was and remained 
in the Old Testament an enigma or mystery, powerfully inciting 
to the ipevvav mentioned in 1 Pet L 10—12, and waiting 
for its solution in a historical fulfilment Thus the nlK is on 
the one side a mystery staring threateningly at the house of 
David, and on the other side it is a mystery rich in comfort 
to the prophet and all believers ; and it is couched in such 
enigmatic terms in order that they who harden themselves 
may not understand it, and in order that believers may so 
much the more long to understand it It is the result of the 
self-hardening of Ahaz, that the tAh withdraws itself from his 
comprehension, just as the proclamation of the kingdom of 
heaven, according to Matt xiii 10-17, was wrapped in the 
veil of parable to the benefit of the disciples, but for the 
punishment of the hardened masses. 

In ver. 15 the threatening element of ver. 14 then becomes 
alone predominating. It would not be so if thickened milk 
and honey were meant here, as the usual food of the tenderest 
age of childhood (as maintained by Gesenius, Hengstenberg, 
and others). But the reason on which it is grounded in the 
following verses, 16, 17, conveys another view. Thickened 
milk and honey, the food of the desert, will be the only 
provisions which the land will furnish in the time con- 
temporaneous with the ripening youth of ImmanueL >^^P'^ 
(from Kpn, Uc;., to be thick, clotted) is butter including the 



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CnAPTEB Vn. 16, 17. 211 

cream (both included in Arab. ^^4^), as ^3*33 means cheese 

including the curd. The object to jn' is expressed in vers. 
15, 16 by inf. absolvti (cf. the more usual mode of expression 
in chap. viiL 4). The h in Vivrh is that of time (Spurrel on 
Gen. iiL 8) ; it is. used in a somewhat vaguer manuer than "iV, 
as in "f^, Amos iv. 7 ; '^\>^'>, Deut xvi 4, where all the 
three parallel passages, Ex. xii. 10, xxiiL 18, Num. ix. 12, 
have "IJ? ; ^f? in Lev, xxiv. 12 is a designation of the terminus 
ad quern, as it also interchanges in reference to space in 
Ps. lix. 14 with 7$ and "Vl. The incapacity to distinguish 
between bad and good belongs characteristically to the age of 
childhood (Deut L 39 and elsewhere), and to old age when it 
relapses into childish ways (2 Sam. xix. 36). The commence- 
ment of the capacity to distinguish things is equivalent to 
entering into the so-called anni discretionis, into the riper age 
of conscious free self-determination. The notion implied in 
the expression is not purely ethical, and therefore the f is not 
to be taken as the ^ of purpose. By the time when Immanuel 
has advanced to this age, all the blessings of the land 
will be reduced to this, that a land full of luxuriant corn- 
fields and vineyards would have turned into a great wooded 
pasture land, only furnishing milk and honey and nothing 
more. The fact that traT^ 2bn ror jns ia used in the Torah 
as the characteristic designation of Canaan, ought not to 
disturb this view. The desolation of the land is the reason 
of. the limitation of Immanuel to that most rample and 
uniform kind of food, a food which is also most meagre and 
insipid when compared with the fat of wheat and the 
exhilaration of wine. 

This limitation thus finds its reason in vers. 16, IT ; there 
are two successive and causally connected events which bring 
about that universal desolation. Vers. 16, 17: "For before 
the, hoy shaU understand how to reject the evil and choose the 
good, laid waste will he the land hefore whose two kings thou art 
in terror. Jehovah will hring upon thee, and upon thy people, 
and upon thy father's house, days suth as have not come since 
the day when Ephraim tore himsdf from Judah — the king of 
Assfwr." The land of the two kings, Syria and Israel, is first 
devastated by the Assyrians who are called hither by Ahaz. 



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212 IBAUH. 

Tiglath-Pileser conqnered Damascus and a part of the kingdom 
of Israel, and took away a large portion of the inhabitants of 
both regions into captivity (2 Kings xv. 29, ztL 9). Jndah 
is then also devastated by the Assyrians as a punishment for 
having scorned the help of Jehovah and having preferred 
their human help. Days of misfortune will come upon the 
royal house and the people of Judah, such as 0?^> ivaU$, as 
in Ex. X. 6) have not come upon them since the days of the 
calamity of the falling away of the ten tribes (D^*Pf with prefixed 
p, the vague expression of direction in time, as in Judg. xix. 
30 ; 2 Sam. viL 6 ; for which elsewhere is also used D^^TIPf* 
with following infin., Ex. ix. 18 ; 2 Sam. xix 25). The calling 
in of Assur laid the foundation for the overthrow of the king- 
dom of Judah not less than for that of the kingdom of Israel. 
Ahaz thereby became a tributary vassal of the Assyrian king, 
and although Hezekiah again became free from Assyria 
through the miraculous help of Jehovah, nevertheless what 
Nebuchadnezzar did was only the accomplishment of the 
frustrated undertaking of Sennacherib, "nts^ "^QO riK stands 
with incisive force at the end of tlie two verses. The ntt is 
frequently placed where to an indelinite object is appended 
the more particularly defined object (Gen. vi. 19, xxvL 34). 
Clieyne thinks that the closing words ly^n i^ nK weaken the 
enei^ of the expression, and that their ultra - distinctness 
betrays the fact of their being an interpolation. Like Knobel 
and others, he rejects them as a gloss. But even if 1^03 
yient in ver. 20a be a gloss, here the words appear to me to 
be like the arrow point of vers. 16, 17. The very king to 
whom Ahaz has. recourse in his terror will bring Judah to the 
brink of destruction. Besides, the entirely loose unconnected 
succession of ver. 17 after ver. 16 is very efiectivc. The hope 
which ver. 16 gives rise to in Ahaz, is suddenly transformed 
into bitter deception. In the view of such catastrophes, 
Isaiah prophesies the birth of Immanuel. At the time when 
he will understand aright what is good and bad, he will eat only 
thickened milk and honey ; and this fact has its reason in the 
desolation of the whole of the old territory of the Davidic king- 
dom which will precede his maturer youth, when he would choose 
other kinds of food if they were to be found. Consequently 
the birth of Immanuel in the vision of the prophet occurs in 



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CHAPTEB Vn. 18. 213 

the interval between that present time and the Assyrian 
oppressions, and his earliest childhood runs parallel with 
the Assyrian oppressions. In any case, their consequences are 
still lasting during the time of his riper youth. This cannot 
be taken away from the prophecy; nor does Bredenkamp 
(who takes injn^ as determining a purpose " in order that he 
may know what Ahaz has not known : to reject the evil and 
to choose the good ") succeed thereby as he intends in separat- 
ing the birth of Immanuel from being interwoven with the 
Syro-Ephraimitish war. We shall afterwards see how, not- 
withstanding this involvement, the truth of the prophecy 
nevertheless continues to exist 

What now follows in vers. 18-25 is only the development 
in detail of ver. 17. The promising side of the ms remains 
in the background. In the presence of Ahaz the promise 
must be dumb. So much the more eloquent is the threatening 
of judgment expressed from ver. 18:" And it comes to pass 
in that day, Jehovah shall hiss for the fly that is at the end of 
the Nile-arms of Egypt, and the bee that is in the land of 
Assur ; and they come and settle down all of them in the 
valleys of the declivities, and in the clefts of tlie rocks, and in 
all tJu thorn thickets, and in all the meadows." The prophet 
already said in chap. v. 26 that Jehovah would hiss for dis- 
tant peoples, and now he is able to name them by name. 
Bees and swarms of flies are also used as a Homeric image 
for swarms of peoples, II. iL 87 : "^vre e0vea tlcX fiekiacawv 
ahivatov, B.n6. 469: ^re fiviaav aZmdav eOvea voXKa.. Here 
the images are likewise emblematic. The Egyptian people, 
being unusually numerous, is compared to the swarming fly 
(3^31, j_,\_, j, from ,_,j, to move much and inconstantly hither 
and thither) ; and the Assyrian people, being warlike and eager 
for conquest, is compared to the stinging bee, which is so difiicult 
to turn away (Deut L 44 ; Ps. cxviiL 12) ; n"jin from nan, jii, 
to be behind one another, to follow one another, drive, swarm. 
The emblems also correspond to the nature of the two countries ; 
the fly to slimy Egypt, which, from being such, abounds in 
insects (see chap, xviii. 1),* and the bee to the more moun- 

1 Egypt abounds in midges, gnats, gadflies, and especially mtucariae, in- 
cluding a species of siuall flies {fM%.<\j> so called from their humming, 



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214 I8AUH. 

tainous and woody Assyria, where bee-cultnre still constitutes 
one of the principal branches of trade in the present day. 
*<((!, pi. onk\, is a name of the Nile and of its arms ; the word 
is Egyptian (ifaro, with the art phiaro, plur. yarSu), but also 
Semitic (Friedr. Delitzsch, Rebr. Language, p. 25). The end 
of the Nile-arms of Egypt, from a Palestinian point of view, 
was the farthest comer of the land. The army of Egypt 
marches out of the whole extent of the country, meets with 
the Assyrian army in the Holy Land, where both settle down 
(ym, according to the Masoretic evidence, MUra, like ipn, chap, 
xix. 1 ; 1D31, Lev. xxvL 36, and other instances), and cover it 
in such a way that ntaan »?ra, the valleys of steep overhanging 
heights (cf. on chap. v. 6), and O'vysn 'g'jjj, clefts of the rocks, 
all D'V*''!?, thorn hedges, and Dwru, pastures (from >?3, accord- 
ing to the Assyr., related to n^jn, r?''.'?> **> make to conch, 
to bring to rest), are covered over with their swarms. Just 
such places are named as afford the flies and bees suitable 
shelter and abundance of nourishment, and this shows the 
faithfulness to nature with which the figure is depicted. If 
we look at the historical fulfilment, it also corresponds to the 
literal terms of the prophecy ; for no collision of the Assyrian 
and Egyptian forces took place in the time of Hezekiah ; 
and it was not till the time of Josiah that a collision took 
place between the Chaldean and Egyptian powers in the 
eventful battle fought between Pharaoh-Necho and Nebuchad- 
nezzar at Carchemish, which was decisive for the fate of Judah. 
That the spirit of prophecy points to this eventful occurrence, 
is shown in ver. 20, where there is now no further reference 
to Egypt, because it succumbed to the Eastern Asian empire. 

Ver. 20 : "In that day the All-Lord vnll shave ivith a razor 
that is for hire on the hanks of the river, with the king of Assur, 
the head and the hair of the legs ; and also the heard vnll it take 
away." Knobel takes the hair-growth as figurative of the 
vegetable produce of the country ; but the allegation that the 
flora, as the hair-covering of the soil, is a Biblical representa- 
tion, has only limited support in the use of 1*^ as a name of 

DMZ. xiL 701, 702, Anm. 3), and they are a great plague to men in the whole 
region of the Nile (see Hartmann, NtUttrgetchiehtlich-mediciniiehe Skizze der 
NUlUndar, p. 204 f., 1865). The wasp is found as a hieroglyphic sign, in 
Lower Egypt (see Ebers, Aegypten utui die Bikher, Moii$ i. 73 i.). 



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CHAPTEB Vn. SO. 215 

the QDcnltivated vine left to itself (Lev. xxv. 5).^ The people 
of Jadah are viewed here, as chap, i 6, as a stripped and 
naked man, who has not only the hair of his head and parts 
i^'Tfi, euphemistically of the place where the two legs separate) 
shaved off, but, what is most shameful of all, also the hair of 
his beard, which is the sign of manly vigour, manliness, and 
manly dignity. For this purpose the AU-Buler uses a razor, 
which is more exactly designated as eonduditia in liioribu* 
(see on "^y^, 1 Sam. xiv. 4), Euphratis ("inj here instead of 
'*'i'?l')> *ind yet more precisely as the king of Asshur, although 
this meat 1^3 may be an elucidative addition not belonging 
to the original text* "".'Sfef? might mean, as the genitive of 
a neuter, eonductUii, or of an abstract term, eonduetionis, as it 
seems to have been so taken by the accentuation ; but we take 
it rather adjectively : with a razor, that is to say, that which 
is for hire in the regions on both sides of the Euphrates — the 
king of Asshur. "lyn is mate, in Num. vi 5, but may be /em. 
in the same way as "lun in Hos. viL 4, and as ?aw and DSrm^ with 
same nominal prefix ta, always is ; and that it is thus understood 
here is shown by "BDR. The verb fiBD has here its proper 
meaning, to shave off, radere (cf. JSD, abstergere, whence 3<DD, 
avoYio<s, <r<^0770?, a sponge), which also takes on the special 
sense of scraping together, gathering ia In •vi'Sfe'f} there is 
involved the bitterest sarcasm for Ahaz ; the cheap knife which 
he had hired for the deliverance of Judah is hired by the 
Lord in order to shave Judah wholly and most shamefully. 

I In the Arabic (Pereian and Turkish) we frequently find the hair of 
the liead compared to long leaves (DMZ. viL 373), to the foliage of vines 
(de Sacy, Chratom. iiL 54Xor to the branches of palms (Amrulkais, Muall. 
V. 33). In the classical usage, figurative terms like at^^n, ^ifiti, eoma 
(eat$arie$) are commonly applied to woods and trees. In the Mishna, Penh 
ii. 3, the branches of two trees beating on each other are designated lyb 

trnia. 

' ^ji\ also signifies the tract along the banks of a river (aa the place for 

i>jlc> passing over), and *»t ii, that of the Euphrates, the whole tract of 
land stretching from the east bank of the Euphrates to the Tigris, and 
from the west bank to the Arabian desert {bartjet-tl-'arab), from which, 
according to the Turkish Eftmfls and Ltx geographieum, ii. 232-3, is derived 
'Ibri or 'Ibrdni, the name of the Jewish people, as having come from the 
land stretching from the bonk of the Euphrates to the Tigris. 



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216 ISAUH. 

Thus shaved Jadab is a depopulated and desert land, in which 
men nourish themselves no longer by cultivating com and 
wine, or by trade and commerce, but exclusively by the rearing 
of cattle. Vers. 21, 22 : "And it will come to pass in that 
day that a man keeps a little cow and a couple of sheep. And 
it comes to pass, on accourU of the quantity of the milk produce, 
he vnll eat cream, for butter and honey shall every one eat who 
is left within the land." The former prosperity has gone down 
even to scantiest housekeeping. One man keeps carefully 
alive (•ijn, like n*nn elsewhere) a diminutive milch cow (only 
a heifer, for the strongest and finest of the cattle that are full 
grown have fallen as spoil to the enemy) and two bead of 
smaller animals, ^^f, not \]^, because two female sheep or 
goats in milk are meant, and all the same this is enough ; 
there are but a few men now in the country, and since all the 
land is pasture, the few beasts give milk in abundance ; for, 
as a rural proverb says, " the cow is milked through the Jnouth." 
Bread and wine are unprocurable. Whoever has escaped the 
Assyrian razor eats thickened milk and honey; this, and 
nothing but this, without change ad nauseam ; for the hills, 
formerly covered with vines and corn-fields, are now over- 
grown with thorns. 

The prophet repeats this three times in vers. 23-25 : "And 
it wUl come to pass in that day, every plcux where a thousand viTUS 
stand at a thousand silver pieces, thorns and thistles wiU it he- 
come. With arrows and with hows vnll men go ; for the whole 
land will become thorns and thistles. And all the hills which are 
womt to be hoed with the hoe, thou wUt not go to them, from fear 
of thorns and thistles ; and it becomes a gathering place of gxen, 
and a treading place of sheep." The 103 1?N, ie. 1000 shekels 
of silver, recall to mind Song of SoL viiL 1 1 ; but there that 
is the value of the yearly produce. Here the thousand 
shekels are the value of a thousand vines, the designation of 
a peculiarly valuable bit of vineyard. In the present day the 
value of a vineyard in Lebanon and Syria is still reckoned 
according to the value of the separate vines, and usually one 
vine is reckoned as worth one piastre, a little more than two- , 
pence each, just as in Qermany a Johannesberg vine is valued 
at a ducat Every piece of land where such precious vines 
stand will become a prey to thorny brushwood. People go 



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CHAPTER vn. S8-a>. 217 

there {p^ ^y, retraction of the tone, with following Milel) * 
with ari-ow and bow, because the whole ground will have become 
thorns and thistles (see on chap. v. 6a), and therefore wild 
beasts will make their abode among them. And thou, — thus 
does the prophet address the dweller in the country, — thou 
comest not to all the hills which have been hitherto most 
carefully cultivated,' thou comest not to them in order to make 
them again fertile, from fear (ikt in the accusative = rnn>p) 
of thorns and thistles, i.e. because the thick undergrowth 
frightens thee from attempting to reclaim such a fallow. 
Jerome, Yitringa, Ewald, and others interpret otherwise: 
timor veprium non veniet illuc, but nac' idari'to has a personal 
meaning ; if riKT were the subject, the expression would have 
been DK^^n. Thus, then, they give the oxen free course there, 
and let what grows be trodden down by sheep and goats. The 
description is intentionally tautological and pleonastic, heavy 
and dragging. It aims at giving the impression of a waste 
heath, of a dull uniformity. Hence the repetitions of n^n and 
'^'^]1. In vers. 23-25, whatever is intended as historically 
future may be also in every case translated by the future ; 
the impf. DB^'iTn'^ ver. 23a, expresses the condition of things 
at the breaking in of the devastation (" where when this breaks 
so and so many vines will stand"); only pinjr in ver. 25a has 
not a future, but ^ present signification ; not sarruntur, and 
still less mrriebantur, but aarriuntur, as expressing the culti- 
vation going on at present The indefinite subject of njm in 
ver. 255 is all that lies round about. 

Thus far does the discourse of Isaiah to king Ahaz go. 
~ He does not say expressly when Immanuel will be born, but 
only what will have happened before he enters upon the 
riper years of boyhood : namely, first the devastation of Israel 
and Syria, and then the devastation of Judah itself by the 
Assyrians. But when he represents Immanuel as eating 
thickened milk and honey as well as all those who survive 
the Assyrian oppressions in the Holy Land, he manifestly 
^beholds and thinks of the childhood of Immanuel as coincid- 
ing with the time of the Assyrian calamities. In such a 

* In the Codices the remark is expressly made on {n3> : ^*]^ opoi 'a 
p) p jn7irt\ i.e. twice occurring as Milel, here and in Deut. i 3& 

* Compare the reminiscence in the Mislina, Peak ii. § 8. 



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218 ISAIAH. 

combined perspective view of events whicli lie far apart, 
consists \rhat Ghr. A. Crusius has designated the complex 
character of the prophecy.* The ground of this complex 
character of it is the human limitation attaching to the far 
look of the prophet, which limitation the Spirit of Grod allows 
to exist and makes subservient to Himself. If we cleave to 
the letter of the prophecy, it is possible on account of its 
complex character to find fault with its truth ; but if we look 
upon the substance of what it contains, it will be found that 
its truth is not thereby destroyed. For the things which the 
prophet sees together are also essentially connected although 
not in time. If Isaiah here, in chaps. viL-xii., looks upon 
Assyria absolutely as the universal empire (cf. 2 Kings xxiiL 
29 ; Ezra vi. 22), this is so far true, seeing that the four 
empires from the Babylonian to the Eoman are really only 
the unfolding of the beginning which had its beginning in 
Assyria. And if, here in chap. viL, he thinks of the son of 
the virgin as growing up under the Assyrian oppressions, this 
is also so far true, since Jesus was actually bom in a time in 
which the Holy Land, deprived of its earlier fulness of bless- 
ing, found itself under the supremacy of the universal empire, 
and in a condition which went back to the unbelief of Ahaz 
as its ultimate cause. Besides He, who in the fulness of time 
became flesh, does truly lead an ideal life in the Old Testa- 
ment history. The fact that the house and people of David 
did not perish in the Assyrian calamities is really, as chap. viiL 
presupposes, to be ascribed to His presence, which, although 
not yet in bodily form, was nevertheless active. Thus is 
solved the contradiction between the prophecy and the history 
of its fulfilment. We do not need to have recourse to the 
expedient of Bengel, Schegg, Schmieder, and others, who hold 
that the JTIK consists in an event just about to happen, which 
points typically to the birth of the real Immanuel ; nor do we 
require the expedient of Hofmann, who takes the words of the 
prophet as an emblematic prophecy of the rise of a new Israel 
which will come to spiritual understanding in a troublous 

> Ed. Konig (Qffenbarungibegnff da A. T. iL 388, 389, 1882) thinks 
this subject can be more correctly formulated thus : " God makes what 
was announced by prophecy separate itself in reality into different 
stages." 



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CBAPTEB VUL 1, t. 219 

time, due to the want of understanding in the Israel of that 
present time. Eather is the view of Yitringa, Haneberg, 
Eeusch, Vilmar, and others to be adopted, namely, that the 
prophet makes the stages in the life of the Messiah of the 
for future to be time-measures of the events of the immediate 
future. This he actually does ; but in prophesying, without 
holding the birth of Immannel to be an event of the distant 
future, he combines him who is seen in vision with the 
approaching tribulations. Far sight and near sight are com- 
bined with each other in his prophecy; the prophecy is ^/ 
divine within human limits. 

Two Signs of the Immkdute Fdtube, Chap. VIII. 1-4. 

In the midst of the continued turmoils of the Syro- 
Ephraimitish war, Isaiah receives God's instruction to perform 
a peculiar prophetic action. Vers. 1, 2 : " Then Jehovah said 
to Tne, Take thee a large tablet, aTid write thereon in common 
legible lines : In speed trophies, booty hastens} And I will 
take for Tne trustworthy witnesses : Uriah the priest and 
Zecharich the son of Jeberechiah." The tablet (cf. iii. 23, 
where the same word signifies a metal mirror), perhaps a 
smoothed tablet of wood, is to be large, in order to produce 
the impression of its being monumental; and the writing 
upon it is to be 6*^3*1 D^n, the stylus of thg people, i.e. writing 
in the usual popular character, consisting of inartistic lines 
easily read (cf. Eev. xiii. 18, xxL 17). What is to be written 
is introduced with ? of dedication, as in Ezek. xxxvil 16, or, 
more generally, of relation, as, e.g., jq Jer. xxiii. 9. But as it 
is not a personal name which the ^ introduces, but a thing, 
"•nop will have to be taken, as Luzzatto does, for fut. instans, 
according to Gen. xv. 12 ; Josh, il 5 ; Hab. L 17 (see remark 
upon it) = accelerattira sunt spolia, spoils are about to be 
hastened. Most of the commentators confuse the nature of 
the thing by taking these words at once as the name 
of a person (Ewald, § 288c) ; they are not yet this at the 
outset, but only become such afterwards. At first they are 
an oracular announcement of what is future : trophies, booty, 
are at hand, — but who is the conquered one ? Jehovah and 
I [Maher-shalal-hash-'baz.] 



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220 ISAIAH. 

His prophet, although not initiated into the poh'cy of Ahaz, 
know. But their knowledge is intentionally shrouded in the 
veil of mystery. For the inscription is not to predict any- 
thing to the people. It is only to be a means whereby 
publicly to announce that the course of events was one that 
was foreknown and pre-indicated by Jehovah. Accordingly, 
when what is said by the inscription on the tablet occurs, 
men will know that it is the fulfilment of this inscription, 
and therefore an event predetermined by Gk)d. On this 
account Jehovah takes to Himself witnesses. It is not 
necessary to read eitlier >fyv^\, with Elnobel and others (and 
I got to testify), nor rn'yn), with LXX. Targ. Syr. Hitzig 
(and get to testify). The relation is the same as with P*iK 
instead of Pjn ^ Ezek. v. 3. Jehovah says what He will do, 
and the prophet knows without its being necessary to be told 
him that it was to be done instrumentally through him. Uriah 
is doubtless the same person who afterwards set himself to serve 
the heathen desires of Ahaz (2 Kings xvL 10 sqq.). Zechariali 
ben Jeberechiah (Berechiah), of the same name as the post- 
exile prophet, was perhaps the Asaphite mentioned in 2 Chron. 
xxix. 13. The two are reliable witnesses as being persons of 
high distinction whose testimony is of great authority with the 
people. Accordingly, when the history of the time itself solves 
the enigma of that inscription, these two will tell the people how 
long before it had been written down by the prophet as such. 
In the meantime something occurred whereby the place of 
the dead tablet was taken by a more eloquent living one. 
Vers. 3, 4: "And I approached the prophetess; and she con- 
ceived, and hear a son. Then said Jehovah to me : Call his 
name Swiftly — Trophies — Booty hastens; for be/ore the boy 
will learn to cry my father and my mother, they mil carry the 
property of Damascus and the trophies of Samaria before the 
king of Assur." How entirely dififerent does ver. 3 sound 
from chap. viL 14 1 The nx^a: is not the nthv there ; for if the 
son of the virgin is the Messiah, he is born into the house of 
David, and not into the house of the prophet Besides, the 
prophet has already a son from his young wife, and she was 
no longer no^.' To his son Shearjashub, in whose name the 

1 J. J. Raven (Cambridge), in liis Estay on Jiaiah vii.-ix. 7, observes 
on chap. viii. 3 : " New to acconiplish the sign that was given to Ahaz, 



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CHAPTER Vm. 8, 4. 221 

law of the history of Israel was fonaulated to the prophet on 
the occasion of his call in chap, vi., there is now added 
another son, to whom the inscription on the tablet (with 
omission of the ^) is given as a name, apd who therefore 
symbolizes the approaching chastisement of Syria and of the 
kingdom of the ten tribes. Before this boy learns to lisp the 
name of father and mother, they will carry away (k6^., not 
3 imperf. Ni. which is k!?'1^ but Kal with the latent un- 
determined subject KWjn, Ges. § 137. 3) the treasures of 
Damascus and the trophies (ie. spoils taken from the flying 
or slaughtered enemy) of Samaria before the king of Assyria, 
and he will therefore leave the territory of the two capitals 
as a conqueror. It is true that Tiglath - Pileser only 
conquered Damascus and not Samaria; but he wrested 
from Pekab, the king of Samarin, the land beyond the 
Jordan and also a part of the land on this side. The trophies 
which he took home from there to Assyria were not less tTV 
fnd)} than if he, as Sbalmanasar-Sargon afterwards did, had 
conquered Samaria. The birth of Mahershalal took place 
about three-quarters of a year later than the preparation of 
the tablet (for there is no need to take ^J^^, in the sense of 
a plupf.) ; and the interval defined from the birth of the boy 
till the chastisement of the allied kingdoms amounts to about 
one year. Now, as the Syro-Ephraimitish war did not begin 
later than in the first year of Ahaz, and as the chastisement 
by Tiglath-Pileser occurred during the lifetime of the allies, 
whereas Pekah was murdered soon thereafter (2 Kings xt. 30), 
there elapsed from the beginning of the war to the chastise- 
ment of the allies at most three years, and the setting forth 
of the tablet cannot consequently be assigned a much later 
date than the scene with Ahaz. The inscription on the tablet 
adopted as the name of the child was not a purely consolatory 
prophecy, since the prophet had shortly before prophesied that 
the same Assyria would devastate Judah as well as the two 
allied countries. It was only a practical proof of the omni- 
scient omnipotence of Jehovah shaping the history of the 
future. The prophet has indeed the melancholy vocation of 

the prophet takes to wife the young woman epoken of;" but this and 
other forced hypothetical explanations — such as that Ahaz may have 
adoptecl Mahershalal— convict themaelvea. 



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222 ISAIAH. 

having to make obdurate, to harden. Hence his discoursing 
and acting are so enigmatical in relation to both the king and 
the people. Jehovah foreknows the consequences which the 
calling in of the help of Assyria will have for Syria and 
Israel. This knowledge He writes down with the certification 
of witnesses. If this is fulfilled, it is at the same time a 
termination to the rejoicing of the king and people in their 
self-obtained deliverance. 

But Isaiah does not find himself surrounded merely by the 
very wide circle of an incorrigible people ripe for judgment 
He does not stand alone, but is surrounded by a small band 
of believing disciples, who need consolation, and are worthy of 
it. It is to these that the promising other side of the prophecy 
of Immanuel belongs. Mahershalal cannot comfort or con- 
sole them ; for they know that when Assyria has done with 
Damascus and Samaria, the troubles of Judah are not over, 
but are only really about to begin. The prophecy of 
Immanuel is destined to be the stronghold of the believers in 
the terrible judgment time of the worldly power which was 
then commencing ; and to turn into the light and unfold 
the consolation it contained for the believers, is the purpose 
of the discourses which now follow. 

The Esotkrio Discourses, Chaps. VIII. 5-XIL 

A, — ImmanvLel's consolation in the coming darknesses, 
chap. viii. 5-ix. 6. 

The beading and introduction: "And Jehovah continued 
further to speak to me as follows" extends to all the following 
discourses as far as chap. xiL They all tend to consolation. 
But consolation presupposes need of consolation. Hence the 
prophet must also begin here with threatening of judgment. 
Vers. 6, 7 : " Forasmuch as this people despises the vxiters of 
SUoa that go softly and hold with delight to Sezin and the son 
of Remaliah — therefore behold ! the All-Lord Iringeth up upon 
them, the loaters of the river, the mighty and t/te great ones, the 
king of Asrnr and all his host ; and it rises up over all his 
diannels. and goes over all his hanks." The Siloa has the 
name oV, or, according tp a well - supported reading, npe' 



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CHAPTER VUI. 9,7. 223 

(the resolved open form like pi^v, "ib*!? is interchangeable with 
the sharpened fona like k^j>0, ■>iiy, ni»3, and the full writing 
with the defective as in "VVff, ■>in»t5'), ab emittendo, either in an 
infinitive sense as shooting forth, or in a concretely coloured 
partici^ sense (after the form "i^aj) as emisms (airearaXftevtxi, 
John ix. 7), bubbling forth ; cf. Talm. i^rlxm D'a, land to be 
artificially irrigated (oppos. b'ari n»3, fertilized by rain).' The 
"waters of Siloa" streamed from what is now called the 
Mary - spring, and they were brought from there to the 
western city by means of a canal sunk in the rocks; and 
they served besides for watering the gardens lying at the 
outlet of Tyropoeon and the valley of Kedron (see Muhlau, 
Art " Siloah " in Iliehm's Diet.). The canal had a slight slope ; 
the fall, therefore, was moderate ; and, further, the spring was 
intermittent These still-flowing waters * present an image of 
the invisible ruling of God which does not always appear 
sensibly to the eye, — that God whom Israel and the royal 
house with which He had connected His promise might call 
their own. The beautiful figure was the more appropriate, 
that the Siloa passage ran through tiie Ophel from the north- 
east to the south-west, and the Siloa water therefore to a 
certain extent streamed from Zion. But Zion and the mount 
of the temple are one, and hence Jerome has good ground 
for representing the forts Siloe as flowing ad radices montitt 
Sum, and again m radieibus montis Moria. The reproach of 

* Since Athias, the written form I^VSn (without Dagesh) has come in. 

But all the editions from Soncin and the Complutensian to the Venetian 
of 16S1 (aa well as Nissel, Lombroso, and Hutter) have tfp^- The 

Cod. BabyL aleo writes it thus with Dagesh (although a later hand has 
erased it), and the Targum has mJihuff- It is true that Eimchi also 
erroneously quotes (under the form \^ytt) rriW; hut there is not a 

single text which presents this double flena icripUo with ^ rajJuUwn. 

* Babban Simon b. Gamaliel — as we read in Eraehin lOfr— taught that 
the Siloah poured forth water onlj to the extent of an a«, that is, bo that 
the opening of the spring had only the circumference of an a«. Then the 
king ordered that it (the Siloah) was to be enlarged, that it might give 
more water. But, on the contrary, it gave less, so that they again made 
it smaller, and it then ran as before ; in order thus to confirm what is said 
in Jer. ix. 13 : " Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let 
the mighty man glory in his might" 



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224 ISAIAH. 

despising the waters of Siloah applies to Judah as well as 
to Ephraim, and not to the latter only (ITagelsbacb) : to the 
former, because it trusts in Assyria and despises the less 
tangible but surer help which the house of David — if it 
remained faithful — had to expect from the God of promise ; 
to the latter, because it had allied itself with Aram to over- 
throw the house of David. And yet the house of David, 
although sunken and deformed, is the Grod-chosen fountain- 
head of the salvation which is realized in secret still course. 
The second reproach applies more especially to Ephraim. 
DK is a prep. : and (because) delighting (is felt) with (see on. 
the form of connection before a following preposition, Ges. 
§ 116. 1), i.e. in and by the fellowship with Bezin and 
Pekah, nt< b^fc> like D}> nrj. The substantive clause is pre- 
ferred to the verbal clause fc'fe'l on account of the antithetical 
consonance of bnbo with dko. Knobel and others refer tlie 
reproof to dissatisfied Jews who were secretly favourable to 
the undertaking of the two allies. But although there may 
have been such under the misgovemment of Ahaz (to which 
Luzzatto refers the D'!Wt| rtxpn), yet chap. vii. 2 speaks of the 
people of Judah without exception, and W D{«i, which in 
Isaiah mostly applies to Judah {e.g. chap. xxix. 13), but 
sometimes also to the whole people, with special reference 
to Ephraim (chap. ix. 15, cf. chap. ix. 7, 8), will consequently 
in attachment to chap. viiL 4 comprehend Ephraim. This is 
also confirmed by ver. 8 ; and chap. ix. 7 sqq. may be cited 
in support of it, M'here sin and punishment are also appor- 
tioned to Ephraim and Judah. An explanation which would 
allow the immediate reference of ntn tisn to Judah would be 
welcome. Such an expedient is furnished by Kohler (CfeseL 
11 1, p. 2), who refers 6a to Judah and explains 6b thus : 
" And because nothing but jubilation prevails with Hezia and 
the son of Remaliah about the previous succeeding of their 
plans." But dk after Mtfa\ makes the impression that it 
indicates the object of the delighting. Perhaps Dlop is to be 
read with Meier and Bredenkamp, following which Eeuss 
also translates : et perd courage au sujet de Re^n ; DiDO, melt- 
ing away (chap. x. 18), for fear is perhaps pregnant for 
fearing, and is in virtue of a bold construction, irpov to 
aijltaivoftevov (like brb, chap. Ixv. 18), connected with the 



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CBAPTEfi VIIL a 325 

Accnsative of the object This melting away would corre- 
spond to the trembling like aspen leaves in chap. vii. 2. 
But however the text is to be taken, what is threatened in 
vers. 7, 8 must be referred to Ephraim and JudaL The 
image of the invasion of Assyria is, as in Jer. xlvii. 2, taken 
from the periodic overflowings of the Euphrates. The over- 
flow of the Assyrian host pia3 here used of a heavy massive 
multitude) strikes Ephraim first, in whose territories it flows 
over eveiything. P^bk is the channel holding the water, and 
nnj the bank ; Fhi is abbreviated from rrtns. The threat of 
punishment is introduced by ]?^.; ] is like the Arab. 
^_j, the mark of sequence (Ewald, § 348&). The words 
■ns's 1^"nK we take as an elucidation by the prophet himself, 
as in chap. viL 17. 

Not till then, but certainly then, and irresistibly, this 
overflowing reaches on to Judah. Ver. 8 : " And presses 
fonoard into Judah, overflmos, and streams farther, till it 
reaches to the neck; and the spreadings out of its wings fill 
thy land, as iroad as it is, Immanuel ! " Ephraim is put 
wholly under water by the river ; it perishes entirely. But 
in Judah the river rolling on (■>?}?, driving farther or there- 
over, Hab. i 11) and pressing forwards (1?n), really reaches 
the most dangerous height ; yet if a deliverer is found, there 
is still a possibility of being saved. Such a deliverer is 
ImmanueL To him the prophet complains that the land 
which is his land, and not merely the land of his birth (Gen. 
xil 1 ; Jonah i 8) but of his dominion (cf. chap. ix. 6), is 
almost swallowed up by the world-power ; the land has become 
filled in its whole breadth (cf. on <^., Ges. § 147<i) by the 
ontspreadings (rritso, a Hophal noun; cf. similar nominal 
forms in ver. 23, chap. xiv. 6, xxix. 3, and especially 
Ps. IxvL 1 1 *) of the wings of the stream, w. of the masses of 
water covering the land, pouring from the main stream like 
two equally broad wings, on either side of the trunk The 
figure of wings of the stream is introduced by the fact that 
the stream represents the army of Assyria, and the wings of 
the stream are the *B3K, the wings of the army of Assyria. 

' 71D3> to Bpread itself out, applied to a river, corresponds to the Arab. 
vuMii, yamuddu, which is also said of the water passing over its bank 
and the surroundings, and flooding them. 

VOL. L P 



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229 ISAIAH. 

But it also naturallj occurs from the nature of the subject 
to compare the onward hurrying stream to a bird shooting 
thither; 'Aero^ is an old name of the Nile.' Immanuel, 
whether it be written masoreticallj as one word or as two, is 
here in any case used as a proper name, as in chap. viL 14 
(as Jerome remarks, nomen proprium non interpretatum). 
Brodenkarap makes the apostrophe of Immanuel into an 
apostrophe of the people of Judah, and takes ^ UDy as the 
watchword : With us is God. But we cannot let this Old 
Testament invocation of the name of the future Christ 
(Acts iz. 14 ; 1 Cor. L 2) be so easily wrested from us. 

The upturned look, imploring help, does not remain un- 
answered. The lamentation over the threatening destruction 
is immediately transformed into the jubilation of holy defiance. 
Vera 9, 10: "Exasperate yowsehes, peoples, and break to 
pieces ; and learn it, all distances of the earth ! Gird yourselves, 
and break to pieces; gird yourselves, and break to pieces! 
Counsel council, and ii comes to naught ; speak speech, and it 
does not become real : for vxith us is God." The second imperat- 
ives in ver. 9 are threatening words of authority, having a 
future signification, and alternating in ver. 10 with imper- 
fects : Go on exasperating yourselves (^ with the tone on the 
penult, and therefore not Pu. of *^^ eonsodari, as the Targum 
translates, but the Qal of W], malum esse), go on equipping 
yourselves; nevertheless ye are about to fall in pieces (vih 
from nnn, related to nn|, confringi, c&nstemart). The prophet 
classes together all the peoples that are rushing on against 
God's people, pronounces upon them the sentence of annihila- 
tion, and calls upon all the distant lands to hear this ultimate 
fate of the kingdom of the world spoken to them. The 
world - kingdom must be shattered to pieces in the land of 
Immanuel ; for with us — as the watchword of believers runs 
in reference to Him — with us is God I 

> A. v. Q. in the Lit. CBl. 1889, Nr. 6, puts forward the conjecture that 
Atyvsrsf, which is also used as an original name of the river, is equiva- 
lent to alyvrUi, because the powerful many -armed river made the 
impression on the first Hellenes of a bird of prey with powerful pinions. 
IliiTKftif is hardly to be derived from rir-tftcn, but rather from «-< — 
n[E]T— «, and is therefore synonymous with l[i{V (see A. Kolbe in the 
Zeittehri/t fur d. Oymnatialweun, xz. 927X 



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CHAPTKR Vra. 11, 11 227 

There now follows in ver. 11 an explanatory proposition. 
It seems at first sight to turn away to a different theme, bnt 
it stands in the closest connection with the triumphal words 
of vers. 9, 1 0. Immanuel is the stronghold, the fortress of 
the believers in the approaching time of Assyrian judgment 
He and in Him God, and not any kind of human support. 
This is the connection of vers. 11, 12: "For Jtkaoah has 
thus spoken to me, overpowering me vnth ChSs Juind, and pressing 
it upon me not to walk in the way of this people, saying : Call 
not conspij'ocy all that this people calls conspiracy, and what is 
feared by it fear not, and do not think terrible." I^f?, the 
hand, is the absolute hand which, when it is laid upon a man, 
overpowers all his perception, feeling, and thinking ; IJ? njrn 
(that is to say, ^^, Ezek. iii. 14) is therefore the condition in 
which God's hand shows itself peculiarly strong on the pro- 
phet, the state of a peculiarly pressing and impressive working 
of God. Luther, like the Syriac, erroneously interprets it : 
as if he takes me by the hand ; n^ is related to the Kal, 
invalescere, not to the Ri. apprehendere. This circumstantial 
statement, and not the main verb ^QK, is what is carried on in 
*?l?n ; *<" ^^^ latter term is not 3 p. prf. Pi., which would 
have to be '?"iB!i, as Ps. cxviii. 18 C??71^", Josh. ii. 18, is the 
form of address to a woman, with 4 instead of i), nor does it 
need to so be corrected ; rather is this 3 p. imperf. Kal (without 
suffix ">i3'., Hos. X. 10, whereas impf. Pi. iB^) closely con- 
nected with Tn nptra, according to the analogy of the usual 
passing of the participial and infinitive expression into the 
finite form. With overwhelming influence and instructively 
warning against going in the way of this people, Jehovah spake 
to the prophet as follows. The warning runs to the effect that 
the prophet and those who stand on his side are not to call "^^ 
what the mass of the people call ie^ (cf. the cry of Atbaliah, 
nefp -vffp, 2 Chron. xxiii. 1 3). The combination of Sezin and 
Pekah does not appear to be meant, for that was, in fact, an 
actual conspiracy or league against the house and people of 
David. Still less can the warning mean that believers, when 
they see how the unbelieving Ahaz brings the people into 
misfortune, ought not to enter into conspiracy against the 
person of the king (Hofmann, Drechsler) ; they are not 
warned, in fact, against making nrp, but from joining in the 



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228 ISAUH. 

popular cry wben tbe people say ne^'pi. Eoorda is therefore 
perhaps right when he explains it thus : sermo hie est de eon- 
juratione, quae dieebatur propftetae et discipvXorv/m qus. The 
same thing happened to Isaiah as to Amos (Amos vii. 10) 
and Jeremiah ; when the prophets were zealous against calling 
in foreign assistance, they were treated as being in the 
service of the enemy, and as having conspired for the over- 
throw of the kingdom. Those who were honest were not to 
share in this confusion of ideas. But this explanation of 
Eoorda is seen to be impossible, by the fact that the warning 
is introduced as addressed to the prophet himself ; and even 
if it is to be regarded as applying mainly to the disciples 
gathered around him, yet it cannot exclude himself. No 
solution of the enigma justifies the transformation of the nts'p 
into cnf', as held by Seeker, Gratz, and Cheyne; for that 
Isaiah with his disciples is warned against making the 
religion of the people theirs, is a thought quite foreign to the 
connection, nor is it so expressed that the warning could be 
understood according to ver. 19. We are therefore thrown 
back upon the explanation which has been commonly adopted 
since Jerome : noli dvMrum regum timere conjuraiionem. The 
prophet and his followers are not to call the enterprise of 
Sezin and Pekah conspiracy ; and they are generally not to 
join with cowardly political newsmongers (Nagelsbach) in the 
worldly ways of judging and speaking of the people who 
look upon things apart from God, nor in the hue and cry 
(2 Kings xL 4) of the rabble who deny the higher hand in 
all things (Knabenbauer) ; they are not to fear O^T^O) what 
is to the people an object of fear (with subj. suffix, which is 
applied objectively in 1 Pet ili. 14), nor are they to regard 
it as terrible, or feel it as terrible (n?|7, as in chap. xxix. 23 ; 
Deut. I 29, and in the Jewish TefiUa WV^., " we shudder 
before thee "). 

The object of its fear was a very different one. Vers. 
13-15: "Jehovah of hosts. Him sanctify; and let Him be 
your fear, and let Him be your terror ; so will He beconu a 
sanctuary, but a stone of stuvMing and a rock of offence to both 
the houses of Israel, a snare and trap to the inhabitarUs of Jeru- 
salem. And many among them wiU stumble and wUl fall, and 
break to pieces, and be snared, and taken." With n|^", commences 



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ciiAPTEB ■Via. IS-IS. 229 

tlie logical apodosis to ver. 13. If je actually confess 
Jehovah the Holy One as such a one (b^?'"?, as in chap. 
xzix. 23, for which there is only once Pi. in Dent, xzxii. 61), 
and if it is He whom ye fear, and who fills you with terror, 
(r^, used of the object of the terror as *r^ of the object 
of the fear, and therefore it is that which terrifies in a 
causative sense), then He will become a B'npp. tr^jsp may 
indeed also denote the sanctified object or the object to be 
sanctified, as £nobel understands it here according to Kum. 
xviiL 29 (o£ the plural in Lev. xxL 23 ; Ezek. xxviii. 18, 
res aanetae) ; but keeping to the idea of the word, this gives 
an unmeaning apodosis. Usually ehpD means the sanctified 
place, the sanctuary, with which the idea of an asylum is 
easily associated, because the temple was also regarded among 
the Israelites as an asylum, and was also generally respected 
as such (1 Kings I 50, ii 28 ; 1 Mao. x. 43 ; cf. Ex. xxi. 14). 
This is the explanation given here by most expositors ; and 
the punctuators also took it in this sense, seeing that they 
have divided the two halves of ver. 14, as antithetical, by 
athnaeh ; and thus enpc is to be understood really, and to be 
translated sanctuary (Driver), and not asylum or refuge, which 
would bo too narrow. The temple is not only a place of 
shelter, but also of grace, of blessing, of peace. Whoever 
sanctifies the Lord of lords, him He encompasses like temple 
walls ; He hides him in Himself whUe death and tribulation 
dwell without, and He comforts, feeds, and blesses him in his 
fellowship. enpD^ mm must thus be explained, as I still 
always think, according to such passages as chap. iv. 5, 6 ; 
F& xxvlL 6, xxxi 21, and Prov. xviii. 10 ; for the sequence 
makes us expect the expression of what Jehovah will become 
for those who sanctify Him. Another view is held by Benss, 
who understands enpD to mean an itnapproachable ahvrov 

(J;»>) (see Baudissin, Studien, ii. 89), and similarly Breden- 

kamp, and v. Orelli : " Sanctuary, He showing Himself as 
the destroying one whom one does not profane unpunished ; " 
Cheyne, "and He shall show Himself as holy." But this 
gives an idea that is not germane to the following series of 
synonyms, and a thought that is not to be expected in relation 
to ver. 13. One expects the statement that He will become 



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230 muAM. 

8 sanctuary to those who sanctify Him, also on His side. The 
antithesis follows : to the two bouses of Israel, on the con- 
trary, i.e. to the mass of the people of the two kingdoms 
as a whole, which neither sanctifies nor fears Jehovah, He 
becomes a rock and snare.' The synonyms are intentionally 
accumulated (comp. xxviiL 13) in order to make the impression 
of a manifold but always inevitable fate of death. The first 
three verbs of ver. 15 refer to \M (stone) and iKS (rock), and 
the last two to na (snare) and B'g'o (springe).* All those 
who do not give the honour to Jehovah are dashed to pieces 
by His ruling as on a stone, and they are caught in it as in 
a trap. Accordingly, D3 might refer to pK and nix (on them, 
as Gesenius, Hitzig, and Cheyne explain it); but why then 
not U on Him ? We take D3, with Ewald and Kagelsbach, 
partitively like 13 in chap. x. 22. 

The words that follow in ver. 16 : " Bind up the testimony, 
seal the doctrine among my ditdfles," is eiUier a prayer of the 
prophet addressed to Gk)d (Drechsler and others), certainly 
not to Immanuel (Vitringa), or a command of God to the 
prophet. As the word of God to the prophet has preceded 
this, and as God is not expressly addressed, it is such an 
instruction as we find in Dan. viiL 26, xiL 4, 9, Kev. 
xxiL 20, and elsewhere, addressed to the seers of things in the 
far futura The explanation of Bosenmilller, Knobel, and 
others, namely, by bringing in God-taught men {adhibiiis viris 
pits et sapientibus), is grammatically impossible. As keep- 
ing safely requires a place, the immediate local significance 
of the 3 has to be maintained. People tie together C^iv, imper. 
nfv, instead of n^, the more orthographic mode of writing it, 
not infin. absolute, which would be '^'^v) what they wish not 
to get separated and to be lost ; men seal (QDC) what is to be 
kept secret, and is only to be opened by one entitled to do it 

' As Jerome on this passage informs ns, the " two houses " were referred 
by Jewish Christians (Nazaraei qui ita C%m(um recipiwU vt obsarvatione* 
legis veteris non admittarU) tx) the schools of Shammai and HilleL 

* Malbim correctly remarks : " DB catches but does not injure ; eps 
catches and injures [e.g. by breaking off the legs or by crushing the nose. 
Job zl. 24] ; the former is the simple snare [like the simple snare or gin 
for catching fleldfiires] ; the latter is the springe [a rod bent like a bow, of 
a flexible nature, which easily springs back], and the snare which catches 
by means of th<! springe (Amos iii C)." 



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OHAPTEB Vm. 17, 1& 231 

And so the testimonj of the prophet which relates to the future, 
and his instroction designed to prepare for this future — that 
•rnjm and nT^n which the great mass in their obduracy do 
not understand, and spnm in their self-hardening — has to be 
deposited bj him well secured and well preserved, as if by 
band and seal, in the hearts of those who with believing 
obedience receive the prophetic word (TQ?, of the same form 
as nt]>, ready to learn and learned, common to both halves of 
the collection of prophecy, chap/ L 4, liv. 13). For it would 
be all over with Israel unless a commanity of believers con- 
tinued to exist ; and it would be all over with this community 
if the word of God, which is the ground of their life, escaped 
from their heart There is here already announced the great 
idea which the second part of the Book of Isaiah carries out 
in the grandest style. The command in ver. 16 stands un- 
connected without nnm like the beginning of a new discourse, 
and in ver 17 the prophet continues to speak of himself 
without V?,l ; V^^. is the perf. of sequence. Ver. 1 7 : 
" / wait then upon Jehovah who conceals Sis face from the 
house of Jacob, and I hope on Sim," There is a lacuna per- 
ceptible between vers. 17 and' 16, and the supposition that 
something has fallen out (Cheyne) suggests itself, nan gets 
from the fundamental meaning of " making fast " the mean- 
ing of firmly directing, of straining the mind towards some- 

thing future, just as rnj), ^jy, originally means to be strained, 

firm, strong, and rn? therefore signifies strained expectation, 
confident hope. With the i form '0'?"], the older i form 
wp| interchanges (Ges. § 75, 9). A time of judgment has 
now commenced which will last for a long time yet ; but the 
word of God is the pledge of Israel's continuance in the midst 
of it, and of Israel's renewed glorification beyond it 

The prophet therefore hopes in the grace which has now 
hidden itself behind the wrath. The future is bis home, and 
he also serves it with his whole house. Ver. 18 : " Behold, 
I and the ehUdren whom Jehovah has given me for signs and 
types in Isradfrom Jehovali of hosts, who dwelleth upon Mount 
Zion." He presents himself to the Lord with his children ; 
he devotes himself with them to Him. His bodily children 
ere meant, not his spiritual children (his disciples, as Jerome 



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232 JSAIAH. 

Calvin, Yitringa, and Bredenkamp explain itX It is not 
the latter, for the obvious reason that it would then be 
expressed by tfian, according to the analogy of D-K^ajn ya and 
03, the " my son " of the Proverba They are indeed 
Jehovah's gift, and certainly given for a higher purpose 
than the common everyday happiness of the family. They 
serve as signs and types ministering to the purpose of the 
history of salvatiou. rriK is a preindication and token, 
(TJi/telov, in word and deed, which (whether it is itself 
something miraculous or natural) points to the future and is 
a pledge of it neto (after the form "irtn = "iwto and Rtto, 

from Tim, or after the form ^J?iD, E'g^D from nej = nsK, i^^l 



% 



=^Bn, iiXi^) is a miraculous work, repav, which refers to a 

supernatural cause or type, TiJiros {prodigium=poiridigium), 
which points beyond itself to something future and concealed, 
literally turned round, that is, opposed to the common, para- 



<.% 



doxical, striking, standing out ; Arab, u^l, res mira, Beiv6p ri. 

His children are signs and enigmatic images of the future, 
and that from Jehovah of hosts who dwells on Zion. In 
accordance with His counsel (to which the 0^ in Ofio points), 
He has set up these signs and types. He who can realize the 
future which they represent as certainly as He is Jehovah of 
hosts, and who will realize it as certainly as He has chosen 
the hill of Zion for the place of His gracious presence on 
earth. Shear-jashub and Mahershalal are indeed figures of 
future wrath no less than of future grace, but the name of 
their father ^n,*)'^, declares that the salvation of Jehovah is 
the ultimate end. Isaiah and his children are figures and 
emblems of the redemption which is making way for itself 
through judgment The Epistle to the Hebrews in chap. iL 13 
puts the words of Isaiah into the mouth of Jesus, because the 
spirit of Jesus was in Isaiah, — the spirit of Jesus which 
in this holy family, bound together by bands of the shadow, 
pointed to the New Testament community, bound tc^ether by 
bands of the substance. Isaiah and bis children, together 
with his wife, and the believing disciples gathered around 
this family, form upon the ground and soil of the. present 



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CHAPTBB Vni. 18. '233 

masaa perdita of Israel the stock of the community or church 
of the Messianic future. 

To this eedesiola in eeeUsia is directed the admonition of 
the prophet in ver. 19: "And when they shall say to you, 
Inqtiire ye of the necromancers and of the soothsayers who chirp 
and whisper — shall nU a people inqtiire ai their God 1 for the 
living at the dead!" It is unnecessary to take 19a as an 
anacolouthon (as Cheyne does) : 195 is the apodosis, as ^^D^<n nb 
0^^ easily .completes itself. Those who are demanding are 
Jews of the existing stamp ; for, from chaps, il 6, iii 2, 3, 
we know that all kinds of heathen superstition had found 
their way into Jerusalem, and were practised there as a trade. 
Those to whom the prophet assigns the answer are his chil- 
dren and disciples. The circumstances of the time were 
critical People were going to wizards to obtain information 
about the gloomy future. 3^k (from 3ik, to be bellied or hollow, 
to sound indistinctly) means primarily the spirit of sorcery or 
witchcraft, then the possessor of such a spirit = a^K ^3, and 
more especially the necromancer or conjurer of the dead. 
*3)rp, means primarily the possessor of a spirit of soothsaying 
(irvffap or wptvfia tov irvQavo^), Syr. jadHa (after the inten- 
sive form 7WB with unchangeable vowels), then also the 
soothsaying spirit itself (Lev. xx. 27 ; Deut. xviii. 11), which 
may have been called Wt'j just as Zalfuav is, according to 
Plato, = BaijfiMv. These people, designated by the LXX. 
here and elsewhere as ^aarpoftndoi, i.e, ventriloquists (ot i>c 
T^9 KoiXla^ <lKovovfftv), imitated (as Isaiah ironically intro- 
duces into the summons itself) the chirp which was ascribed 
to the shades of Hades, whose voice as well as their whole 
being had become a mere phantom, according to Homer a 
rpi^eiv, II. xxiiL 101, Od xxiv. 5-9; and, according to the 
Assyrian descent into hell of Istar, a bird-like existence (cf. 
the Arabic name for magicians, zamdzimu, whisperers ; Anidi, 
trao, S.V.)} What an unnatural thing that Jehovah's people do 

I The Mishna, Sanhedrin 65a, defines it thus : "31K ^]D ia the Python 
(DID^B), *'•«• soothsayer (=xiiivjK» xitutos Ixf*), who speaks from his arm- 
hole ; <]|]riN he who speaks with bis mouth." The aiK ^3, in so far as 
he deals with the bones of the dead, is called in the Talmnd M*DO tt3lK< 

T- I T 

e.g. the witch of Endor, Shabbath 125i. On the history of the etymological 
explanation of the wonl, see Bottcher's De inferii, g 209-217. 



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234 ISAIAH. 

not go to ask their God, bat such beatbenish demqniacal 
deceivers and deceived ones 1 (^K vvi, to turn oneself to 
any one to inquire, chap. xL 10, synonymoos with 3 7Kf, 
1 Sam. xxviii 6). What blindness to consult the dead in the 
interest of the living 1 The word of the prophet is the echo 
of the divine prohibition in Lev. xix. 31. O'mn here do not 
signify the idols, as in P& cvi 28, but tiie dead, as is proved 
by Dent xviii. 11; ct 1 Sam. chap, xxviii. ; and *i^ is to be 
taken neither here nor elsewhere as equivalent to the substi- 
tutive nnn, "instead" (Knobel), but, as in Jer. xxL 2, as 
" for " = for the benefit of, as " for " elsewhere is equivalent 
to " on account of," Prov. xx. 1 7. The nekyiomancy (necro- 
mancy, medieval nigromatia, whence black art), which makes 
the dead teachers of the living, is a gloomy deception. 

In opposition to such a falling away to miserable super- 
stition, the watchword of the prophet and those who stood 
with him is thus given in ver. 20 : "To the doctrine of God 
and to the testimony I Or shall they not thus speak v^ are 
vnthoiU a davmt" The summons : To the instruction and to 
the testimony, that is to say, to those of Jehovah of which 
His prophet is the medium, ver. 17, is like a watchword 
formed in time of war, Judg. vii. 18. In this formation 
the following »<?"DK gives the presumption of a conditional 
sense : he who has not this word is to be regarded as 
Jehovah's enemy, and will suffer the fate of such a one. 
This is to all appearance the meaning of the apodosis ifK 
"ifw ^TTK, Luther has given the rendering correctly thus: 
If they will not say this, they will not have the morning 
dawn ; or, as he previously translated it, keeping more closely 
to Jerome : they shall never overtake the morning light, 
really, they are those for whom no dawn risea But if we 
take 'ui t(b DK as a conditional protasis, then *iit^, as opening 
the apodosis, is and remains hard in style whether it is taken 
relatively : thns they are a people to whom, etc. (cf. 2 Sam. 
ii. 4), or as an alternative for the affirmative and recitative 
^3, of which there is no certain example (cf. 1 Sam. xv. 
20). On the other hand, t6 BK also signifies "truly" (Ps. 
cxxxl 2), according to which Luzzatto and Cheyne and 
Driver explain it: truly they shall speak thus when (ntwe, 
guum, as, e.g., in Deut xL 6) no dawn shows itself to them : 



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CHAPTER Yin. 21, 22. 235 

but this watchword is not saited for the people which is too 
late in thinking of something better, and that assertative 
meaning is got by vif DM only by means of the suppression of 
a principal clanse (Ges. § 155. 2 f.), which would be insipid 
here. But it also means annon, numne; and this meaning 
suggests itself the more readily here since there is a pre- 
ceding question with J<?ij (cf. chaps, x. 9, xl. 28); and 
accordingly we adopt the explanation given by Enobel and 
Beuss : Or, will those who are without a dawn not agree with 
this word, this people whose present and future is surrounded 
by night, and which can hope for no breaking of light which 
could benefit them, inasmuch as they do not turn themselves 
to God's teaching and God's testimony, of which His prophet 
is the bearer ? * 

There now follows the description of the people which is 
without a dawn, and the description proceeds in the singular, 
into which the plural of the interrogative clause has changed 
(the individuals being thrown together into one mass). Vers. 
21, 22: "And they will enter thereinto hard pressed and 
hungry ; and it comes to pass when hunger comes upon it, it is 
roused to anger and curses hy its Icing and by its God, and it 
turns itself upwards and looks down to the earth, and, behold, 
digress and darkness, the anguish of night around, and thrust 
out into darhness." Cheyne, agreeing with Siegfried, changes 
the order of these verses (arranging thus, vers. 20, 22, 21, 
23). Diestel and NSgelsbach begin, without changing the 
order, by taking ver. 21 as the apodosis to ver. 20. Accord- 
ing to the syntax this is possible, but it more naturally occurs 
to take it so that the description of those who are without a 
dawn is fnrther carried on by 'i3|n : those who are without a 
dawn, and who will enter into . . . The singulars attach 
themselves to ^ in ver. 19 ; na refers in the neuter to the 
land, as n^V in Job vi 20 to the place. The people roam 
about in the land — so far will it come in the approaching 
Assyrian oppressions — ne'iJJ, pressed by hard misery, and 
3]r>, hungry, for all provisions are gone, and the fields and 
vineyards are laid waste. As often as it again becomes 

' Strangely enough, vers. 19, 20 are regarded in Lm. lUMa, c. 16, as 
words of Beeri, the father of the prophet Hosea, incorporated in the Book 
of Isaiah. 



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236 ISAIAH. 

sensible of hnnger, ifc falls into rage Cl?^!!", with i of tbe 
apodosis and pausal a with Rebiah), and curses by its king 
and by its God, i.e. by its idoL We must thus explain the 
passage according to 1 Sam. xrii. 43 and Zeph. L 5, if we 
would keep by the authenticated usage of the language, 
which shows no 3 7?i> corresponding to the Latin execrari in 
aliquem (Gresenius, Gheyue, and others, following LXX. Symm. 
and Jer.) ; the object of the cursing is rather everywhere 
expressed in the accusative. The connection, king and God, 
refers to oue and the same object, as in P& v. 3 and Ixxxiv. 4 
(otherwise than in 1 Chron. xxix 20): they curse by the 
idol who is regarded by them as king and God ; * they curse 
with, as they consider it, this most effective curse their 
unhappy condition, without recognising in it the just punish- 
ment of their apostasy, and bumbling themselves penitently 
under the all-powerful hand of Jehovah. Ckinsequently, all 
this reacting of their exasperation and of their rage avails 
nothing — whether they turn themselves upwards to see if the 
black sky is not unclouding itself, or look down to the earth, 
there meets them everywhere only distress and darkness, only, 
as n^v c|4yp expresses in a sort of summary, a surrounding 
night of anguish OIV^, a connective form of I^VO ^^"^ W> 

-<^\ obtegere, the veiling round, darkening). The judgment 

of God does not convert them, but only heightens their bad- 
ness; just as in Eev. xvi. 11, 21, after the pouring out of the 
fifth and the seventh vials of wrath, men utter blasphemies 
and do not penitently cease from their works. After this 
statement of what the people sees when it turns up its eyes or 
casts them down, the participial closing clause of ver. 22 fin. 
tells how it sees itself: in ccUiginem propvlmm. There is no 
need to supply a completing tnn, but from the preceding •*^n 
there is easily repeated iJfi or wn, en ipmm ; f/Btf, ace loci, 
stands with emphasis first, as in Jer. zxiiL 12, ^BKa. What 
next follows would be directly connected if msD rbetn could 
mean at caligo diepellitur (more exactly, eat aliquid quod dit- 
pdlitur). This is the view of Hitzig and of Chr. A. Crusius. 
But the verb rru, the part. Pual, the shrill interruption of the 
I Menahem b. Sernk in his Lexicon (written c 950), under the word 
}B{(, assumes the reading \Jyoy 



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CHAPTEE vm. 28. 237 

gloomy night -image whose close is expected, is altogether 
opposed to this interpretation. And yet the reason -giving 
•<o, which now follows, assumes the thought that it will not 
always continue thus ; but as it remains unexpressed we 
must seek to get it by looking back to nnt^ "h r« 1B^ 

The prophet gives the reason for the assumption involved 
in the words he has used, namely, that a renewed dawning of 
light is to be expected, although not for that present genera- 
tion. Ver. 23 : "For it does not remain dark where there is 
now distress : at the first time he has Irought into ignominy the 
land of Zdmlon and the land of Naphtali, and in the last he 
hrings to honour the road hy the sea, the other side of the Jordan, 
the circle of the heathen." Is i6 ^ to be understood as inter- 
rogative with Abravanel and Luzzatto ? (cf. 2 £ings v. 2C) ; 
for is it not surrounded with night . . . ? Such a form of 
address expressed by vh with the accent of interrogation, is 
the style of Hosea, but not of Isaiah. Or is O, by supplying 
the intermediate clause, " it will not so continue," to be trans- 
lated by "but" or "nay, rather, imww," Ewald, § 3306 
(Cheyne, 1870, "nay" novr," surely "}1 This would be a 
harsh ellipsis. We have not to read between the lines what 
is grounded by *3; but the statement that the unbelieving 
people of Judah is passing into a night without a morning, is 
grounded on the fact that a morning is coming whose light, 
however, does not rise first over the land of Judah, but over 
other regions of the land. The transition is harsh, how- 
ever explained. Beuss remarks: Transition hrusgue (chap, 
iv. 2, vi \Z) ilia prediction d^vn changement heurevax. *l^ 
and p^, because formed from p^ and pw, cannot have arisen 
from 1?)P and PV)0 (as ni>«D, a tube for pouring through, from 
^i^). and are therefore to be regarded as Hophal nouns, like 
nso in chap. viiL 8. They indicate that which (S, rt) is 
darkened, oppressed, and then also that (Sri) it is darkened, 
oppressed, and therefore the fact or circumstance of darkening 
and oppression; and they thus pass into the meaning of 
abstract verbal terms, being darkened, being oppressed. The 
meaning is that there is not, i.e. there does not continue, a state 
of surrounding night on the land (i^, like as in ver. 21, to be 
referred to J^K) which is now in a state of distress, and, 
moreover, those very regions which God formerly made to 



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238 ISAIAH. 

experience deep hnmiliatioiis, vill be bronglit hy Him in the 
future to honour ('Pt?=?2n, opp. Ta^n, as in chap. xxiiL 9). 
The height of the glorification will correspond to the depth 
of the ignominy. The noun t\g, however it be construed, 
is used as masculine, although it is originally feminine, how- 
ever it may be derived. It is not correct to translate with 
Knobel : as in the former time, etc., so that n? is <tec temp., 
and 3=ie^ for 3 is never used conjnnctionally in this way 
(see on Ps. xxxviii 15) and in chap. IxL 11, Job vii. 2, the 
verbal clauses after s are elliptical relative clauses. The 
rendering adopted by Bosenmiiller and many others is also 
wrong : sieut tempus prius vilem reddidit, etc. Hence, too, 
the ] of ti^^C*^, is not the ioaw of sequence used in place of |3 
of comparison, Ewald, § 360a. Both ptnnn njQ and pnnKn 
are adverbial determinations of time. The prophet intention- 
ally designates the time of ignominy with 3, because this is a 
period in which the same fate should occur again and again. 
And, on the other hand, he indicates the time of the glorifica- 
tion with cux. temp., because it comes in at once in order to 
continue unchangingly. It is undoubtedly possible also that 
rnnicn is regarded as the subject, but the antithesis thereby 
become iucongruent The region ('^^f^, loealis, with the 
signification obliterated, as in Job xxxiv. 13, zxzvii 12, 
cC Ezek. xxi. 31) of Naphtali is the later Upper Galilee, and 
the region of Zebulon is the later Lower Galilee. In the 
antithetical parallel clause what is meant by the two regions 
is specialized : (1) cm rQ'n is the tract of land on the western 
side of the htj? d; (Kashi, s^l?? ^^ '^) ; (2) ^rl^^ "•??. the 
country east of the Jordan ; (3) oi^in yoi, the northern border 
district of Palestine, only a part of the later so called 
Fe^Xaia. All these regions were exposed from the time of 
the judges, by their local position, to the disintegration of 
heathen influences, and to subjection by heathen enemies. 
The northern tribes on this side, along with those on the 
other side, suffered most in the almost incessant war of Israel 
with the Syrians and in the later war with the Assyrians ; 
and the deportation of their inhabitants went on increasing 
under Phul-Tiglathpileser and Shalmanasar until it gradually 
came to utter depopulation (Caspari, Beitr. pp. 116-118). 
It is these very regions which will be remembered before all 



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CHAFTEB IX. 1. 239 

Others when that dawn of glory arises. How this has been 
fulfilled in the commencement of the Christian era, is stated 
in Matt. iv. 13 sqq. On the ground of this prophecy of 
Isaiah, and not, as Benan in chap. xiii. of his Lift of Jema 
says, of a "considerably erroneous exposition of it," the 
Messianic hope of the Jewish people was actually directed to 
Galilee.^ The Nazarenes, indeed, according to Jerome on this 
passage, referred ver. 2 Si to the light of the gospel spread 
in ttrmiiios gentium et viam univerai maris by the Pauline 
preaching. In the time of the crusades, the via maris was 
still the name of the way passing by the Mediterranean from 
Acco to Damascus ; but it is impossible to take D^n here as 
referring to the Mediterranean, for it was the Philistines and 
Phenicians who inhabited the o^n pi in this sense. But the 
prophet intends to designate the regions belonging to the 
Israelitish people which have suffered ignominy and aHUction 
above all others. 

The prophecy now takes together the inhabitants of those 
rejected and degraded regions, while at the same time the 
range of vision is widened. Chap. ix. 1 : " The people who 
walk in darkness see a great light ; they who dweU in a land 
of tlie shadow of death — a light shines forth over them." The 
horizon is enlarged, not, however, to the heathen, but to the 
whole of Israel Salvation does not break forth till it has 
become entirely dark along the horizon of Israel, as in chap. 
V. 30, till the land of Jehovah, on account of the falling away 
of its inhabitants from Him, has become a land of the shadow 
of death. ^)fi^ is modified ' in the manner of a composite 

* It is a Jewish tradition that the Messiah wUI appear in Galilee, and 
that the redemption will break forth from Tiberias ; see LitereUurblatt dt$ 
OrienU, 1843, Col. 776 ; cf: Eisenmenger, iL 747. 

* The shadow, ^, Arab, fill (radically different from tall =^D, dew^ gets 

its name ab obUgcndo ; and, according to the idea attached to it as the 
opposite of beat or of light, it was used as a figure of what is beneficial, 

shading (chap. zvL 3 — tZJytl\ Jio in a poetical passage of the J&kdt of 
the thick terebinth-shadow of a valley), or of what was dark and horrible 
{et Tug. <}^D, a night-demon). The Verb Q^, in the sense of the Arabic 

talma, bears the same relation to ^ as ona to nn3U OVI, to be naked, 
to iTip. Another verbal stem is the oby, from which comes obv- 



1 



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24a ISAIAB. 

word (/^=7i as, e.g., in H*???), like the proper name njotp in 
2 Sam. xxiii. 31, being modified from rno^ according to the 
form nvTJP (from thi, Aetb. salgma, Arab, zalima, to be dark). 
The apostate mass of the people is to be regarded as swept 
away ; for if death has cast his shadows over the land, it 
must be quite desolate. In this state of things those remain- 
ing in the land behold a great light which breaks through the 
sky hitherto covered with blackness. The people which 
turns its eyes upwards in vain, because with cursing, chap, 
viii. 21, is no more ; it is the remnant of Israel which sees 
this light of spiritual and material redemption rise above their 
heads. 

The prophet, in what follows, tells what this light consists in, 
first describing the blessings and then the star of the new time. 
He tells it in a thanksgiving of prayer and praise. Ver. 2 : 
" Them makest the nation numerous, preparest for it great joy ; 
they refoiee be/ore thee like the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when 
they divide spoil." *iin is doubtless the Israel that has melted 
down to a small remnant. That God makes this again into 
a numerous people, is a leading feature in the picture of 
the time of glory (chap, xxvi 15, Ixvi. 8; Zech. xiv. 10, 11), 
which in this respect is a counterpart of that of Solomon in 
1 Kings iv. 20. If our explanation is so far correct, then the 
Chethib s6, taken negatively, can only be understood if we 
translate, with Hengstenberg, Hitzig, and Schegg, thus : Thou 
increasest the nation to which Thou formerly didst not give 
great joy, which must signify per litoten, which Thou hast sunk 
into deep sorrow. But it is unnatural to take one of the 
prophetic preterites commencing with *'*3-i' in chap, viiu 23 
in any other than a future sense. "We must therefore give 
the preference to the Kert 'h^ and translate : magnum fads 
nuvrt/erum geidis, et ingens gaudium paras. S'p stands first 
without special emphasis, as in chap. xlv. 24 ; Lev. viL 7—9 ; 
1 Sam. iL '6,Ken; Job xxix. 21; Ps. vil 14, cxxxix. 17; 
Dreschler gives it such emphasis, rendering thus:. To i^, in 
which there was not any appearance at all of such an issue. 
And it is intentionally that Iji^Jv' and Jvarv} stand beside each 

' On the passages in which t(b Chelktb is 'h Kert, see commentary on 
Ps. c 3, and in Job xiiL 16. nb'jn is an ingenious conjecture by Selwyn 
and otherfffor f/h 'Un (n'nn). 



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CHAFTBU 'IX 8, 4. 211 

otiier, in ortl6r te co-ordinate the intensity of joy ' vitU the 
extensiveuess of the multitude. This joy is a holy joy, as 
TJB^ indicates ; the expression is the one used in Deuteronomy 
for the joy that is experienced at the meals connected with 
the sacri6ces and tithes (chap. xiL 7, xvl 11, xiv. 23, 26). 
It is a joy "i^V?? "0°^, like the joy in the harvest-time (the 
temporal intpa operates here as a virtual genitive), just as men 
exult when they divide spoils. It is therefore joy over good 
things that have been obtained, and, moreover, in consequence 
of evil that has departed. For the division of spoil is a thin^ 
that is done by conquerors. This second figure is not merely 
a figure. The people so gladdened is actually a victorious 
and triumphant people. Ver. 3 : " For the yoke of its iurden, 
and the stick of its neck, the stick of its driver, thou hast hroken 
to pieces, as in the day of Midian." The suffixes refer to Ofn^, 
Instead of vao from 33b, the more vigorous form TOD is inten- 
tionally used with Bag. dirimens and Chateph-Kamez, under the 
influence of the previous u. The rhythm of the one-membered 
verse is anapaestic. vSD and fa ^p both recall the Egyptian 
bondage (Ex. ii. 11, v. 6). The future deliverance which the 
prophet celebrates is the counterpart of the Egyptian deliver- 
ance. But as at that time the whole of the great people of 
Israel was redeemed, whereas only a remnant participates in 
the final redemption, he compares it to the day of Midian, when 
Gideon broke the seven years' dominion of Midian, not with 
a great army, but with u handful of undismayed wari-iors 
strong in God (Judg. vii.). One asks here : Who is the hero, 
Gideon's antitype, through whom this is to happen? The 
prophet does not say this yet, but building a clause with ^3 
upon the others, he first of all gives a reason in ver. 4 for the 
ceasing of the despotic sway of the world-power from the 
annihilation of all the equipments of war. Ver. 4 : " For every 
hoot of hooted tramplers in the tumvlt of battle, and cloak rolled 
in blood — all is for burning, a food of fire." The complex 
subject stands first in the way of a protasis, for the predi- 
cate begins in the way of an apodosis with nn^m ; cf. chap, 
xliv. 12 ; Ex. xxx. 33, 38 (Driver, § 123a). AU the equip- 
ments of war are meant, wherever they may be found; but 
while in Zech. ix. 10 the representation referring to the fratri- 
cidal wars between the separated kingdoms applies primarily 
VOL. I. q 



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242 isaiab: 

to tbe whole of iRrael, here it is applied b^ reference to the 
previous subjugation by the universal power primarily to the 
foreign enemies from whom the possibility of conquering 
Israel henceforth shall be withdrawn. What becomes ^"3^^ 
e^ rlp^ is not merely kindled and burned out, but 
entirely burned away; it is consumed by tbe fire until it 
disappears without leaving a trace behind. This closing state- 
ment requires for I^md the concrete sense of a thing that can 
be burned ; and this at once excludes the meaning, noise or 
din (~t^, Jer. Syr. Bashi, Malbim, and others). On the 
other hand, the meaning, equipment of arms, given by Enobel 
and others, is admissible ; it is obtained by comparison of the 
derivatives of the Aramean pt, {TM and the Arabic zdna, Impf. 
yadn (to deck, to equip) ; nevertheless the interchange of d 
aiid T in this word cannot be philologically established by the 
dialects. Jos. Kimchi has rightly referred to the Targumic 
pp too (Syr., also saHn), which means shoe (see Bynaeus, De 
ealceo Rebraeorum, p. 83), which is rather an Aramean than 
a Hebrew word, and the application of which in this place 
is explained from the fact that the prophet has in his mind 
the annihilation of the Assyrian forces. One would, indeed, 
rather expect pKO (saAn), aavSaKov/tevot}, instead of )t<b ; but 
tiie denominative verb |KD may mean the appearing or coming 
up in the soldier's shoe or soldier's boot, caiigatum venire, 
although the primary meaning is undoubtedly calceare se (Eph. 
vi. 15 ; Syr.). Accordingly we translate it : Every boot of 
the booted strider in the tumult of battle. Thus we do not 
take vs^ (which Gratz, after the Targum, would transform 
into Jffin), with Drechsler, as indicating the noise of the warrior 
proudly tramping in his war-boots, nor do we take it, with 
Luzzatto and Nagelsbach, as applying to the war-boot itself, 
for which, notwithstanding the elavi ctUigares of Pliny, IT. If. 
ix. 8, the word is too strong ; but we take it as referring to 
the noise of battle (as in Jer. x. 22), amid which the warrior, 
booted for military service, appears. {Mb is genitive and 
rA^tap is attributive ; rolled in DW, that is, in violently shed 
blood, in which the mortally wounded wamor rolled about. 
The prophet intentionally names boot and cloak. Tbe destruc- 
tion of the hostile weapons is viewed as a matter of course, 
when even every single, shoe which a soldier of tbe enemy 



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CnAPTEB IX. 5. 243 

has worn, and every soldier's cloak lying on the battle-field, ia 
given np to the fire. 

The prophet upon the two sentences with 'a now rears a 
third. The ground of the triumph is the deliverance, and 
the ground of the deliverance is the annihilation of the enemy, 
and the ground of all the joy, of all the freedom, of all the 
peace, is the new great king. Ver. 5 : " For a child is lorn 
to us, a son is given id us, and the government rests upon His 
shoulder, and they call His name : Wonder, Counsdlor, Strong 
God, Eternally Father, Peau Prince." He whom the prophet 
foretells in chap. viL as the Son of the virgin, who was to 
grow up in a troublous time, is here beheld by him as bom 
(but the words do not say that this is now seen only in the 
vision of the prophet), and as having entered upon possession 
of the government In the former passage he appeared as a 
sign, and here as a gift of grace. The prophet does not say 
expressly here, any more than in chap, vii, that he is a 
descendant of David. But this follows of itself from the fact 
that he bears nnfc'Bn (from •"'■ife'=Tife', -vto), the government 
with its official right, chap. xziL 22, upon his shoulder; for 
the promise of eternal kingship, of which the new-born child 
is the fuIGlment, has been bound up with the seed of David 
in the course of the history of Israel since 2 Sam. vii. In 
chap, vii it is the mother who names the child ; here it is 
the people, or any one who rejoices in him, t^^P!?, " they 
name, he is called," as Luther correctly translates, but under 
the mistaken idea that the Jews, in order to e£face the 
Messianic sense of the passage, had altered the original K^ 
into K^iw. The active mpn has, in fact, been misused by 
Jewish expositors with this object in view, as Hashi, Eimchi, 
Malbim, and others, following the example of the Targum, 
explain the passage thus: The God who is called, and is 
TP^3K "yoi-^ yvi' Ki>B. calls his name uh»^b\ but this 
explanation evidently tears asunder the connection in the 
clause from a motive or tendency. And Luzzatto rightly 
observes that one does not here expect attributes of God, but 
such as characterize the child ; and therefore he translates 
thus : God, the Strong, the Eternally-Father the Peace-Prince, 
resolves upon something wonderful. He thus persuades 
himself that the wltole of this long clause is meant to be the 



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244 n&UH. 

proper name of the child, as, indeed, other proper names thus 
consist of whole verbal clauses, not merely in Arabic (as, for 
example, the giant's name, baraJjca nahruhu, his collar-bone 
flashes), but also m the Hebrew, as, for instance, the names 
of the two sons of the prophet But granting such a 
sesquipeddian proper name to be possible, how unskilfully 
would it be formed, since the long-winded sentence, which 
yet should have to be spoken in one breath, would resolve 
itself in this form into separate clauses which are again 
names, and, moreover, contrary to expectation, names of God ! 
l^is holds also against Gbeyne, who maintains that what 
follows yofff is one name, although not, as Lnzzatto thinks, in 
the form of a connected proposition. There are, however, in 
any case five, or if, with Cheyne, Wonderful-Counsellor is 
taken together, four names, forming one name. According to 
Luzzatto's way of taking it, the name would also be one 
name as regards its form. Lnzzatto frankly confesses what 
prompted him to bis view. He formerly attempted, like 
Aben Ezra, to take the words from (6e to ol^e^ir as the 
name of the child, regarding ntu b» as well as njnsM as a 
hyperbolical expression, like the words applied to the king 
in P& xlv. la ; but afterwards he could not help taking the 
view that it was absolutely impossible for a human child to 
be called itU 'nt, as God Himself is in chap. x. 21. The 
accentuators likewise appear to have shrunk from making 
nvu 'ft/t be regarded as a human name. For if nss' vrip^ was 
to be the introduction of the following string of names, then 
\a^ would not have been marked with geresh, but with zakepk 
It is inter-punctuated as if Di^JB^b ijT'nK were the name of 
the child, and what precedes from K^B were the name of the 
God who assigns to him these two names of honour. But 
wherefore should there be just here in connection with the 
naming of the child such a periphrastic designation of God, 
seeing that this is not Isaiah's habit elsewhere, and generally 
it is unexampled, especially in this form, without a prefixed 
'n ? Moreover, the names of God, in order to mark them off 
in contrast to the two names of the child, should at least be 
determined thus : "^ain b»n lOf )^»n. Supposing then that, 
according to the acoentnation, the translation would be : " And 
He who is a Wonder of a Counsellor, or (as in this case we 



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CITAFTKB IX. 5. 245 

expect a conneofive accent instead of the tdisha, although the 
least separative accent) He who resolves upon something 
wonderful, the Strong-Gtod, calls his name: Etemally-Father, 
Peace-Prince : " we must jet reject it as resting upon mis- 
understanding and misinterpretation. We take the whole 
from M^D — as the connection, expression, and syntax require 
— as a governed accusative predicate to the yav inp<i, which 
stands at the head : " they call his name " (cf. top, they name, 
it is called. Gen. xL 9, xvL 14; Josh. vii. 26, and supra 
chap. viiL 4, Mic^, they will carry; chap, vii 24, they will 
come, Ges. § 137. 3). If it be objected to the Messianic 
interpretation of chap, vii 14, 15, that the Christ who 
appeared has not been called Immanuel, but Jesus, this 
objection is removed by the fact that neither did He bear as 
a proper name the five names by which He is to be called 
according to this second prophecy. Moreover, this objection 
does not less apply to the interpretations adopted by Jewish 
expositors, such as Bashi, Aben Ezra, Eimchi, Abravanel, 
Malbim, Luzzatto, and others, and also by such Christian 
expositors as Grotius, Gesenius, and Hendewerk, who are in 
favour of referring the prophecy to Hezekiah, — a view which is 
chronologically untenable, as has been shown in connection 
with chap, vii 14. The name Jesus is a combination of all 
the Old Testament designations of the one to come, according 
to His nature and works. The designations given in chap, 
vii 14 and chap. ix. 5 have not, however, disappeared in it ; 
they continue to be in the mouth of all believers from Mai; 
downwards ; and there is none of these names under whiclt 
worship and homage have not been paid to Him. The first 
name is K^f or K?B,' which is not to be taken along with )^', 
as might seem recommended according to chap, xxviii. 29, 
rwj? iri>Bn. This is the view of the LXX., A S*: Baviuurrh 
avfifiovXm* Theodoret : davfuurrm fiovKevmp. Explaining it 

^ To be written here with zere, according to Abulwalid, Rikma, p. 67, 
and Kimchi, Michlol, S02a. The codices vary (see Norzi). 

' The fiiyAknt /Sot/Xq; Ayy0,t( of the LXX. is evolved out of ^ fy^ K^ 
from the view that not only trn^K *33 »nd 0*^t< '33, but also D'n^S in Pa. 
viii 6, and ^ in Job xx. 15, can mean " angels." In A and 5* there ii 
interpolated after fLf/Akns j3avx«r ilyytXe; a new independent translation 
of the five names : tavftmcric avftfitulits Ifrxupit i^m/nturif AfxP» tlfifn; 
xMT^/i r»v fuMiorT»( mtirof. S* has also tti{ before l»x^fi;, which again ia 



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-246 I8AIAH. 

in this waj, ftn* v&t may be T^;arded as an inverted form for 
t^B fffi* : One connselling wonderful things ; and the possi- 
bility of this inversion is proved by chap. xxii. 2, mho nwrn, 
ix. fall of tumult Or we may, with Ewald, § 287^, after the 
analogy of q*ik mo, Gen. xvL 12, take tha connection as genitive 
or appositional (Nagelsbach) : a Wonder of a Counsellor ; in 
which case the separating teltska gedda in K^ would have to 
be exchai^ed for a connecting mahpach. Both combinations 
have their weak points, and their meaning would rather lead 
tis to expect nv^ K7E1P ; whereas to take ttbfi and ypf> as two 
separated names has nothing opposed to it (not even the 
accentuation, which, in this combination of pathta with telt^ia 
gedola, is without a parallel elsewhere, and is therefore unique). 
As the Angel of Jehovah answers Manoah in Judg. xiii. 18, 
when he asks how he is . named, that his name is y^ C^j*?)* 
and therefore that his nature is incomprehensible by mortals, 
so the God-given Buler is K^B (^ 50, to split, separate) a 
phenomenon lying beyond human comprehension and natural 
occurrence. Not merely is this or that in him wonderful ; 
he is himself entirely a wonder, irapaBo^aaii6<i, as Symmachus 
translates it. The second name is fVf*, Counsellor, because in 
liis royal office (Micah iv. 9), by virtue of the spirit of counsel 
which he possesses (chap. xi. 2), he always knows how to 
find and to bring counsel for the best good of his people ; he 
does not need to surround himself with counsellors ; but 
without being counselled he counsels those who are without 
counsel, and he is the end of all lack of counsel for his people. 
The third name, ifiiii 7», ascribes to him a certain divine 
nature. This indeed is not so if we translate the words with 
Luther : " power, hero ; " ^ or with Meier : " hero of strength ; " 
or as Hofmann formerly did : " a God of a hero ; " or with 
Ewald : " hero-God," i.e. he who combats and conquers like an 
invincible God. But all these and similar renderings break 

a double translation of ^t This interpolation of the LXX. is older than 

Irenaens and Origen ; see Field's Hexapla, m loc 

i Lather would have "power" understood in the sense of abeolate 
flight, but translated it more correctly in 1542 as De^ /ortis. His 
accepted rendering i* like the Ivx/nfit lutmitit of Aquila and Symmachna, 
and Theodotion's lcx,i>f»( ivtmnnt- Only Syr. and Jerome give ^ its 
gleaning " Qod ; " and S* has, as stated, ft itxff^t iiavti»m(. 



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CHAFTKU IX. t. 247 

down in connection with chap. x. 21, where he to whom the 
remnant of Israel again penitentlj turns is called ^^31 V. 
Moreover, we cannot take <i< (which in the sense of " mighty" 
only occurs in the plural, with the exception of Ezek. xxxi. 
11, where the Orientals write 7K) in this name of the Messiah 
otherwise than in '*f^?. And, in addition to this, 7X in 
Isaiah is always a name of God, and he is strongly conscious of 
the contrast between 7M and ciK, as is shown by chap. xxxi. 3 
(cf. Hoe. xi. 9). Finally, ifai ^ is everywhere else a designa- 
tion of God, as in Deut x. 17 ; Jer. xxxii. 18 ; Neh. ix. 32 ; 
and the noun il3i is used in the designation adjectively, like 
♦nc' in *nB' i>K. The Messiah is therefore here called " Strong 
God " (and so the designation is understood by Enobel and 
.others), but he is thus named as a hero equipped with divine 
power ; or according to Kuenen, who compares Zech. xiL 8, 
as a mighty God surpassing the children of men, and not as 
a supernatural ruler. We compare "opn pm> in Jer. xxiii 6 
— a Messiah name which even the synagogue cannot call in 
question (see Midrash Mithe 57a, where it is cited as one of 
the eight names of the Messiah), and whose significance for the 
conscious faith of the Old Testament was that the Messiah 
would be the image of God as no other man (cfl ?M, Ps. Ixxxii. 
1), and would have God dwelling in him (ci Jer. xxxiii. 16). 
Who shall lead Israel to victory over the hostile world but 
God the Strong ? The Messiah is the bodily presence of this 
Strong Grod ; for He is with him. He is in him, He is in him 
with Israel From the third name arises the fourth name : 
i]n3H (according to (khla weoehla and some manuscripts 
*ir-^t in one word), Etemally-Father; for it is just what is 
tiivine that is etemaL He is thus named not merely as the 
possessor of eternity (Hengstenberg) in the same sort of 
way that the pre-Islamio Arabians called their time - god 
^jt ^\} nor as creating a continued existence (Junilius, 
JmtUuta regvl. l 15: Cauaa et genitor hecUUudinis nottrae), 
but as the tender, faithful, and wise trainer, guardian, and 
provider of his own in eternity (chap. xxii. 21). He is 
Etemally-Father as the eternal loving King, as P& Ixxii. 
describes Him ; the primitive word for king is Sanskr.ysmaibi, 
begetter, ix. father (see Max Mttller^s Chipt, vol ii.)L He is 
> 8e« T. Orelli, ZeU md Evigknt, p. 107. 



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248 ISATAH. 

Strong God, as the man in whom God exhibits Himself, and he 
uses his divine strength in a philanthropic gentle manner for 
ever for the good of his people. And he is accordingly, as the 
fifth nime says, triT^b, a Prinee who removes all peace- 
distorblDg powers, and secures peace among the peoples, Zech. ix. 
10, as it were the embodied peace which has come down to the 
world of the nations (Micah 7. 4). If TjnaK signified, accord- 
ing to Gen. xlix. 27, "father of booty" (as held by Hitzig, 
Knobel, Knenen, Schnltz, and others), then the advance to 
ahtf—itr would only express that ha leads through a conflict 
ridi in booty (Micah t. 3, 4 ; Isa; liiL 12) to peace; but 3K 
has, when a ruler is in question, presumptively the same sense 
in its favour as in chap, xxii 21, and in genitive connections 
tv always represents the adjective aettmus (e.g. chap. xlv. 17, 
IviL 15).^ He will therefore be thus named on account of the 
devoted protection and tender provision which he bestows 
apon his people, and which he indeed vouchsafes to them for 
ever. But the goal and the fruit of his dominion is peace. 
Intentionally the five names die away in ubv, like the three 
utterances of the Aaronic blessing. To elevate the Davidie 
government to a government of eternal peace is the end iat 
which he is bom, and for this end he proves himself to be 
what he is named and is.— Ver. 6 : " For increate of the 
gaoemment, and for peace without end upon David^a throne and 
over his kingdom, to establish and tupport it through judgvient 
and righteousness from now onwards for everlasting — the 
jeaiomy of Jehooah of hosts will aeeomplith this." ^^^ (with 
rxnrm d^q)' is here not a participle but a substantive, according 

I Among the namea of persons compounded with <aM (see Nestle, 
iHgennamen, pp. 182-188), hardly one is found elsewhere in which the 
relation ia genitival and the genitive has an attributive sense, for D^^3t(i 
tn^ie^iCnieans, in fact, not iatber-of-peace, but the Father (God) is peace. 

* In the Talmud the Mem elatuum if represented as a mystery. When 
Bar-Kappara says (Sanhedrin 94a) that God designed to make Hezekiah 
the Messiah, and Sennacherib Oog and M^^, but that Hezekiah was 
not found worthy of this, and therefore the M«m of ny)iJy was closed 
lltFinp], there is so far some sense in this, since the Messianic hopes really 

could cleave for a certain time to Hezekiah ; whereas the assertion of a 
certain Hillel {ib. 986), that Hezekiah was actually the Messiah of Israel, 
and no other was to be expected, is an absurd (perhaps antiehristiaB) 
idea. Compare the beautiful Midrash on Meh. iL 18r 0'vr\t Dl, that 



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CHAPTEK IX. 6. '249 

to the fonn fwno nfc^, and not from ^y} but from nyj, an 
infinitive noun expressing abstract action or its actual resolt 
The august king's child brings -an always more widely extend- 
ing dominion and endless peace when he sits upon David's 
throne and rules over David's kingdom. He is a temper 
Auguatui, i.e. one always inere&sing the kingdom, yet not by 
war, but by peaceful spiritual weapon& Internally he gives 
the kingdom tsaep and n^, as the foundations and pillars 
of its continuing existence : legal right which he pronounces 
and Ordains, and justice which he himself practises and 
transmits to the members of the kingdom. This new time of 
the Davidic monarchy is as yet still a thing of faith and of 
hope, but the jealous zeal of Jehovah guarantees its realiza- 
tion. The accentuation is here misleading, since it gives the 
appearance as though the words cmyn^fi Tm^ belonged to the 
closing clause, whereas the perspective which they open 
applies directly to the government of the great descendant of 
David, and only indirectly to the work of the divine jealousy, 
n^i? (properly glow, cf. Deut iv. 24) is one of the deepest 
eoDcqytions of the Old Testament* It is double-sided ; the 
glow of love has for its obverse the glow of wrath. For 
jealousy is jealous for the object of its love in opposition to 
ieverything which trenches upon it and this love. Jehovah 
loves His people. That He leaves it to such bad Davidic 
kings as Ahaz, and gives it up to the world - power, is not 
compatible with this love in the long run. His love flames 
np, consumes all that is adverse to it, and gives His people 
the true king, in whom that which was typified iii David and 
Solomon culminates as in its antitype. With this same 
expression : the jealousy of Jehovah of hosts, etc., Isaiah seals 
the promise in chap. xxx. 32. 

the broken walls of Jeruealem will be closed in the d&y of salvation, and 
that the government will then be opened, which has been closed up to the 
time of King Messiah (rreisn "jte Iff noviD> 

* See my Introduction to Ferd. Weber's treatise on the Wrath of Qod, 
1862, p^ XXXV. 



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250 ISAIAH. 



B. — The punishing hand reaching out to inflid still mate strokes, 
chap. «. 7-x. 4. 

The great light will not arise before the darkness has 
reached its deepest The gradual increase of this darkness is 
prophesied in this second section of the esoteric discourses. 
Many difficult questions rise in connection with this section : 
(1) Is it directed only against the northern kingdom, or 
against the whole of Israel? (2) What is the historical 
standpoint of the prophet in time? Most commentators 
answer that the prophet is here only prophesying against 
Ephraim, and particularly after Syria and Ephraim had been 
already chastised by Tiglathpileser. The former position is 
incorrect; the prophet indeed starts from Ephraim, but he 
does not stop with Ephraim. The fates of both kingdoms, 
causally connected as in reality they are, flow into one 
another here, as in chap. viiL 5 sqq. And it is not merely 
this or that point, but all that is expressed historically in this 
section which the prophet has lying behind him from the 
standpoint he occupies. We know from chap. ii. 9, v. 25, 
that he uses the imperf. eons, as the preterite of the ideal past 
We translate here in the present throughout, for our mode of 
representation is familiar with making a past event present, 
but not with this historicizing of the future. In its external 
arrangement, no section of Isaiah is so symmetrical as this one. 
We have had approximations to strophes with the same ban- 
ning in chap, v., and with the same ending in chap. iL In 
this section chap. v. 255 is made the recurring refrain of four 
symmetrical strophes. In translating we shall always take a 
whole strophe at once. 

Strophe 1, vers. 7-11: "The AU-Zord sends out a xoord 
against JaecA, and it descends into Israel. And the people 
altogether must make expiation, Ephraim and the inhabitants of 
Samaria speaking in arrogance and pride of heart. 'Bricks 
have fallen, and we build up with hewn stones ; tyeanwre trees 
are hevm down, and we put cedars in their place.' Jehovah 
raises high Eezin's oppressors over him, and goads on his ene- 
mies. Aram from east, and Philistines from west, they devour 
Israel with, full moxUh, — for all that His anger does not turn 



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OBAPTEK IZ. 7-11. 2fil 

avxiy, and His hand ia stretched out stiU." The word *un is 
the messenger of the Lord in nature and history; it runs 
quickly through the earth (Ps. cxlviL 15, 18); sent by the 
Lord, it comes to men to destroy or to heal (Ps. evil 20), and 
never returns to its sender with its object unaccomplished 
(chap. Iv. 10, 11). Thus does the Lord even now send a 
word against Jacob (3f^,!, not used otherwise than in chap^ 
ii. 5). And this heavenly messenger passes down into Israel 
(TBI, as in Dan. iv. 28, and like the Arab. nmcUa, the term 
used of the coming down of divine revelation), turning to 
lodge, as it were, in the soul of the prophet Its first com- 
mission is directed against Ephraim, which is so little humbled 
by the misfortunes experienced under Jehu (2 Kings x. 32) 
and Joahaz (2 Kings xiiL 3), that they are presumptuous 
enough to substitute for bricks and sycomores (Jicus sycomonis} 
which furnishes an excellent wood for building, but is a very 
common tree, 1 Kings x. 27) hewn building stones (n^, Ck)d. 
BabyL n*^ from ns, like n*n!i from Tia) and cedars. Ti>nn 
is not used here as in Job xiv. 7, where it means nova germina 
emittere, but as in ohap. xL 31, xli 1, where it means, with 
nb, novas vires assumare, so that in this passage, where the 
object is something external to the subject, it means substi' 
titers, like the Arab, achlafa, to restore, to replaca The 
poorest style of building in the country is contrasted with 
the best, for " the sycomore is a tree which only flourishes in 
the plain, and there the most wretched dwellings are still built 
in the present day of bricks dried in the sun, and of knotty 
beams of sycomore." * If the war has destroyed these, then 
more lasting and stately dwellings will be raised in their 
place. Ephraim is to be brought to feel this defiance of the 
judgments of God (jnj as in Hos. ix. 7 ; Ezek. xxv. 14). Jeho- 
vah gives to the adversaries of Rezin supremacy over Ephraim 
(^^), and spurs on the enemies of Ephraim. i|D3p, as in 
chap. xix. 2, from ^30, in the root meaning, which is dialeo- 
ticdly guaranteed, means to prick, ^ere (which has nothing 
to do with the meaning to plait and to cover^; from which 

I As diBtingaiahed fh>m rviti/Mftt or tunifuttt, the sjeomore, TKFU mean* 
the molheny-tiee, fnonu; see Imm. Ldw, Arcm. Pflataennamm, Nos. 332 
and 338. 

* Boten, " Topogt^hiaches aoi Jenualem," in DMZ. 1860, xiv. 618. 



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252 ISAIAH. 

we Lave 1|#, ^D, «^, a prickle, a nail, p^, and the Aramaeo- 

Heb. r?^, ^^J^, a knife : and theiefore the pilpel ia to be 

translated to goad, to incite, according to which the Targum 
translates this passage and chap. six. 2 and the LXX. chapi 
xix. 2. It is not necessary to adduce the Talmudic ^D3p, to 
kindle (by friction), which never occurs in the metaphorical 
sense of to excite; our idsd would be better taken as an 

inteusiTe form of TI?D, in the sense of the Arab, (jj^, " to 

provide oneself vrith weapons, to arm;" but this is properly 
a denominative £rom that iUcka which means an offensive 
weapon, from stabbing and spearing, from which the transition 
is easy to the meaning of spurring on and instigating. The 
" oppressors of Bezin " (tTi ^V. like 'li ^n in chap. L 4) are 
the Assyrians who were called in by Ahaz against Eezin. 
The indirect designation of them is peculiar, but neither does 
the striking out of the nx (Lagarde) nor its transformation 
into nv (Ewald, Cheyne) commend itself; most in its favour 
has the conj. xnrt with pn expunged (Bredenkamp), so fbat 
vmrt (rnv) and VTm are specialized in ver. 11. The range of 
-vision here widens to the whole of Israel ; for the northern 
kingdom has never had to suffer from the Philistines, whereas 
an invasion of Philistines into Judah actually belonged to the 
punitive judgments of the time of Ahaz, 2 Chron. xxviil 16-19. 
Ephraim is overrun by Aram, that is to say (if jn is not 
expunged), by Aram as subjugated by Assur, and now tribu- 
tary to it, and Judah is invaded by the Philistines, and 
becomes a fat prize of both. But this extreme distress is still 
far from being the end of God's punishments. Because Israel 
does not turn (3b^ vh), God's wrath also does not turn (s^ v6). 
Strophe 2, vers. 12—16 : " But the people tumeth not unto 
Him that smiteth it, andthey seek not Jehovah of hotts. There- 
fore Jehovah rooteth out of Israel head and tail, paiwriranch 
and rush, in one day. Eldert and the right honourable, this is the 
head ; and prophets, teachers of lies, this is the tail : the leaders 
of this people have become mis-leaders, and their followers 
swallowed up ones. Ther^ore the AU-Lord wUl not rqoies 
in their young men, and vfill not have compassion on their 
orplians and widows : for altogether they are impious and evil- 



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CBAPTBE Cr. 1S-1& 263 

doers, and every mouth tpeaketh Uatphemjf, — imih all this Sis 
anger is not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still." 
The ^ of nyn corresponds to tiie Latin autem. IV ^ is 
used of tborottgfa conversion that does not stop half way. 
^^?^!i> the smiter of it, or he who smiteth it, is Jehovah (com- 
pare, on the other hand, chap. x. 20, where Assnr is meantX 
The arUcle and suffix are used as in chap. zxiv. 2 ; Prov. 
xvi. 4, and elsewhere. It might be thought that the 1 of 
viaon was inadvertently appended from the following nm; 
but the article conld rather be dispensed with than the suffix ; 
the case is similar to what we have in 0^ t3?von, chap. LdiL 
11, f.v. There is now coming a great day oi punishment, 
like several which Israel has experienced in the Assyrian 
oppressions and Judah in the Chaldean oppressions ; and in 
it head and tail, at, according to another proverbial ex- 
pression, palm branch and rush are rooted out One might 
think that by this is meant the uppa: and the lower classes, 
high and low; but ver. 14 makes another application of the 
first double figure by giving it a turn di£ferent from its 
popular sense (cf. Arab, er-rv^is v^al-edndb = high and low, 
in Dietrich, p. 209). Since Koppe this ver. 14 has lieen 
almost universally held to be a gloss (Hitzig, Ewald, Dietridi, 
Knobel, Cheyne, Diestel), and, moreover, a sotte glose (Reuss). 
But in opposition to this is to be put the habit of Isaiah 
(chap. i. 22, 23), and also of the other prophets and poets of 
interpreting their figures themselves (Hos. xiiL 15 ; Ps. xviii. 
17, 18, cxliv. 7); against it also is the Isaianic conception in 
chap.iiL 3,xxx. 20; against, too, is the mediating relation of this 
verse to ver. 1 5 ; and a^nst it further is the wit of the inter- 
pretation. The chiefs of the people are the head of the people 
as a body; and behind it sit the prophets, like the wagging tail of 
a dog, flattering the people, — prophets who love, as Persius says 
(iv. 15), blando caudam jactare popello. The prophet drops the 
figure of HBS, the paln^ branch forming the crown of the palm 
(which has its name from the fact that it is formed like the palm 
of the hand, instar palmae maniui), and jtoSK, the rush which 
grows out of the marsh.' It signifies the rulers of the people 
I The noun OM is used in the Old Testament as well as in the Talmud 
to signiify both a manhy place (see Afezla 366, and more especially Ahoia 
tara 38a, where jnjjn n^J signifies the laying bare of the marshy soil 



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2S4 JBAIAH. 

and the rabble of the people. Accordingly, the demagogic 
prophets form the ignoblest extremity. For so far has it 
come, says ver. 15, that those who promise to lead by a 
straight way 0?'*') lead astray, and they who allow them- 
selves to be led by them are as good as already swaUowed np 
by hell (cf. chap. v. 14, iiL 12). Therefore the All-Rnler 
will not rejoice over the young men of this people, i.e. He 
will let them be smitten by their enemies without going 
forth with them into the conflict, and he will deny his 
wonted compassion even to widows and orphans, for they 
are all utterly corrupt on all sides. The alienation, obli- 
quity, and dishonesQr of their heart is indicated by ISfJ^ (from 
tpn, which has in itself the indifferent root-idea of inclina- 
tion, whence, in the Arabic, hanSf conversely signifies one 
who is decided for right) ; the badness of their conduct is 
indicated by jno, a sharpened form, as in Prov. xvii 4, for 
n?> makjiats' and the vicious infatuation of their words is 
indicated by rra}. This they are and this they continue to 
be ; and consequently the wrathful hand of God continues 
stretched out over them for the inflicting of new strokes. 

Strophe 3, vers. 17-20 : "For the toickednets blaza up likt 
fin : it eoTisumes thorns and thisUu, and kindles in the thickets 
of the wood; and they roll upwards in a high whirl of smoke. 
Through the tarath of Jehovah of hosts the land is cJiarred, and 
the people has become like the food of fire : one does not spare 
his brother. They hew on the right, and are hungry; and 
devour on the left, and are not satisfied : they devour the fiesh 
of their own arm : Manasseh, Ephraim ; and Ephraim, Man- 
asseh : these together over Judah, — with ail this His anger is 

by the burning up of the reeds), and also the marsh grass (Sh<Math llo, 
" if all the onSJK were kalams, Le. writing reeds, or pens ; " and KiddA- 
Mn 626, where DIM ngnifies a stalk of marsh-grass or reed, a rush or 
bulrush, and is explained, with reference to Isa. IviiL 6, lU^iXUI tovh 
inn, "it means a tender, weak stalk"). The noun poJK, on the 
other hand, means only the stalk of the marsh-grass, or the marsh-grass, 

like the Aramaean KDB^n, the marsh-growth, from (^Isl., to rot, to 



/ / 



t 



fast=UK. *»-1. 
1 On the extra-biblical nse of the rpn, see J)MZ. xxiii. 635, 63& 
* The reading jnp is wrong ; the Masoretie reading is jnD* and the 

interpretation i» rotvfov is therefore excluded. 



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CHArriB ccir-so 255 

tua lumed away, and His hand is stretched out still" The 
standpoint of the prophet is at the farthest end of the course 
of judgment, and from there be looks back ; consequently this 
link of the chain is also past in his view, and hence the con- 
secntiTO imperfects. The curse, which the apostasy of Israel 
carries within itself, now breaks fully out Wickedness 
'T^BH, tje, the constant willing of evil, is a fire which man 
kindles in himself. And when the grace of God, which stifles 
and checks this fire, is at an end, it breaks forth ; the wicked- 
nese flames forth like fire p^a, as in chap. xxx. 27, is used of 
Good's wrath). So it stands with the wickedness of Israel, 
which now consumes first thorns and thistles, i.e. the indivi- 
dual evil-doers who are the most ripe for judgment on whom 
the judgment begins, and then the thicket of the wood (^330 
or '330, as in chap. x. 34, from il?p. Gen. xxii. 13 = 
^), that is to say, the mass of the people knit together by 
bands of iniquity, is set on fire (nxni, not reflexive Niphal, as 
in 2 Kings xxii. 13, to kindle, but Qal: to kindle into 
something = to kindle up, from nr, related to 3V^, literally to 
set on [fire]). The distinction which the two figures intend 
is therefore not the high and low (Ewald), not the useless 
and useful (Drechsler), but the individuals and the whole 
people (Vitringa). The fire into which the wickedness breaks 
out seizes individuals first, and then like a forest-conflagration 
it seizes the people in all its ranks and members who wliirl 
up (roll forth) the ascending of smoke, i& they roll forth 
in high ascending smoke. ^?Kn'?, iir. Xey., a synonym of 
^9?9'^, Judg. viL 13, to turn oneself or roll (cf. Assyr. aMku, 

to turn) ; the smoke itself has the name tf^, ^^, from the 

pillars of smoke curling into one another (cf. ^i^aac, used 

of the felted beard of the camel). This fire of wickedness is 
nothing else but God's rns^, for so wrath is called as breaking 
forth from within and spreading itself inwardly more and 
more, and then passing outwards into word and deed ; it is 
God's own wrath ; for all sin carries this within itself as its 
own punishment By this fire of wrath the soil fA the land 
is gradually and wholly burnt out, and the people of the 
land entirely consumed ; Dn{>, air. Xey., to glow (LXX. av^Ki- 



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756 ISAIAR 

Kavrai, and similarly also in Taigam), and to be -darfc, 
black (Arab, 'otoma, late ni^t), for what has bamed oat 
becomes black (cf. mn, Aram. 0*ne^ Fire and darkness are 
correlates throughout the whole of Scripture. Thus &ic do 
the figures go in which the prophet unveils the inner nature 
of this stage of judgment In its historical manifestation it 
consists in the most inhuman self-destruction during an 
anarchical civil war. Devoid of any gentler feeling (?M ?pn 
for /f, as in Jer. li. 3), they devour each other without being 

satisfied ; *>», to cut, to hew into (whence the Arab. ^>; the 
butcher), ^jnt, according to Jer. xix. 9 = <nyn, a member 
of his family and tribe, who, as being a natural defence and 
support, is figuratively called his arm, Arabic 'adud (see Ges. 
Tlieg. p. 433). The Talmud in reading iTj! testifies to tlie 
defective mode of writing vnt (see Norzi). This ii^rminable 
self- slaughtering and the king-murder conjoined with the 
jealousy of the tribes, shook the northern kingdom again to 
its destruction. And how easily the unbrotherliness of die 
northern tribes towards each other can turn into united 
hostility against Judah, has been sufficiently proved by the 
Syro-Ephraimitish war, whose consequences are always still 
going on, even now when the prophet is prophesying. This 
hostility of the brother kingdoms will still increase. But 
even this is not yet the end of the judgments of wrath. 

Strophe 4, chap. x. 1—4 : " Woe unto them that ordain 
godless ordinances, and to the toriten who prepare trouble ; to 
force away the needy from demanding justice, and to rob the 
suffering of my people of their rightful claim, that widows may 
become their prey, and they plunder orphans. And what will 
ye do in the day of visitation, and in the storm that cometh 
from afarf To whom will ye flee for help, and where will ye 
deposiU your glory f There is nothing left but to crouch down 
under captives, and tliey fall under the dain — witfi all this Sit 
anger is not turned aioay, but His hand is stretched out stiU" 
This last strophe is directed against the unjust authorities and 
judges. The woe upon them, as we have already several 
times seen, is £he ceterum eenseo of Isaiah. P^ (to cut in, 
originally to mark, chap. xxx. 8 ; Job xix. 28) is their 
deciding of decrees ; and ^ns (Piel occurring only here, and 



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CHAPTER X. 1-4. 257 

in the perf. according to Ges. § 126. 3) is their official sub- 
scribing and writing (not scribbling, scrawling, Ewald, § 1205). 
Their decrees are IJK 'iJpn (an open plural from a principal 

form pn=pn, as in Judg. v. 15, cf. '^3, '^in, »Dpy, "h'ri)^ 
inasmuch as their content is nothingness, i.e. is the direct 
opposite of moral reality : and what they write out is boy, 
trouble, i.e. unjust (cf. -n-ovois, ttoj/tj/jo?) oppression of the 
people.* Poor people who wish to enter upon legal proceed- 
ings are not allowed by them to do it ; widows become their 
prey — that is, the object of their spoil, and they plunder the 
orphans entirely (compare on the diversion into the finite 
verb, chap. v. 24, viii. 1 1, xlix. 5, Iviii. 5). For this the 
judgment of God cannot be escaped by them, and this is told 
them in ver. 3, the statement being clothed in three questions 
(beginning with nci, quid igitur). The noun >r^ of the first 
question always means simply a visitation of punishment, 
ntrtt? from fiSB* is empty and waste, emptiness and wasteness, 
then the rtimbling of what has fallen down into an empty 
deep ; and more generally it is a catastrophe, destruction, 
and here "coming from afar," because a distant people 
(Assur) is God's instrument of wrath. The second question 
runs thus : Upon whom will ye throw yourselves when 
seeking refuge (>9 D^, constr. praegnans only here) ? Third 
question : Where, i.e. in whose hand, will ye deposit your 
wealth in money and property (1^33, what is weighty in value 
and imposing in its appearance) ? 3]? with ^K, as in Job 
xxxix. 11, or j>, Job xxxix. 14, is to leave anything with a 
person as property in trust No one receives from them 
their wealth as a deposit ; it is irretrievably lost. To this 
negative answer there is attached the following 'nba, which as 
a preposition after a preceding negation signifies praeter, as a 
conjunction nisi (0« 'Wa, Judg. vil 14), and when it governs 
the whole proposition, as in this case (cf. Gen. xliiL 3 ; Num. 

^ On the punctuation of >ppr\ with vocal Shebd (without metheg) see 

Kimchi, MiclM, 796. In like manner Dent. xxxiiL 17 has rri33i, not 

aiithcuticated like rA2T\ in Num. x. 36. 

* The current accentaatioD, D^3n3Q1, tnereha, ^p, tiphehah, is wrong. 
The correct accentuation is D'anpo^, tiphehah (and metheg), ^y, mercha; 

then una hoy is an attributive clause. 

VOL. I. R 



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25S ISAIAH. 

xi. 6 ; Dan. xi. 1 8), nid quod ; and here, where the previous 
negation is to be supplied iu thought, it signifies nil reliquum 
est nisi quod. The singular jns is used contemptuously, the 
high persons being taken together in the mass ; and nnn does 
not mean aeqru etc or loco (Ewald, § 217/j), but infra in its 
primary local sense (cf. ^na, Ezek. xxxii. 20). Some crouch 
down in order to find more room at the feet of the prisoners 
Avho are crammed closely together iu the prison ; or if this 
is to be taken as referring to a scene of deportation, they 
sink under the feet of the other prisoners, being unable to 
bear their hardships. The others fall in war; and as the 
carnage lasts long, in such a way that when corpses them- 
selves they are covered by the corpses of the other slain 
(cf. chap. xiv. 19).' And even with this God's wrath is 
not yet satisfied. The prophet, however, does not follow 
out the terrible gradation further. The exile to which this 
fourth strophe points also actually forms the close of a 
period. 

C. — The annihilation of the imperial kingdom of the world 
and the rising of iJie kingdom of Jehovah in Sis 
Anointed, chap. x. 5— xii. 

The law of contrast which rules in the history of salvation 
also holds good in prophecy. When distress culminates, the 
course of events takes a turn and it is changed into help ; 
and when, as in the previous section, prophecy has become 
black as night, it suddenly becomes as bright as day, as iu 
the section which now begins. The in spoken over Israel 
now becomes a nn over Assyria (Asstir)} Assyria, proud of 
its own power, after having served for a time as a rod of 
the wrath of Jehovah, itself now falls under the power of that 
wrath ; its attack upon Jerusalem becomes its overthrow, and 

* Lagarde (Symmieta, L 105 ; Mittheilungen, i. 210) reads njni) 'nVa 

TDK nn '' " Beltis sinks down, Osiris in crushed " (according to xlvL 1 ; 

Jer. 1. 2> But the following "tf D'mn nriTO has then no connection ; 
and I still hold that it cannot be shown that Egyptian gods were 
worshipped in Jndah in the time of the kings. 

* [Dr. Delitzsch uses " Assur" rather than Assyria, and it is retained in 
the renderings of the Hebrew text — Tr.] 



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cnAPTEE X. 5-xn. 259 

on the ruins of this imperial kingdom of tlie world there 
rises up the kingdom of the great and righteous son of David, 
who rules in peace over his redeemed people and over the 
people who rejoice in him. This is the counterpart of the 
redemption from Egypt, and one rich in material for songs of 
praise, like that which happened on the other side of the lied 
Sea. The Messianic prophecy, which in chap. vii. turns the 
side of its curse towards unbelief, and the substance of whose 
promise breaks through the darkness in chap, viil 5-ix. 6, 
like a great light, is standing now upon its third and highest 
stage. In chap. viL it is like a star in the night ; in chap. 
viiL 5-ix. 6 it is like the breaking in of the morning ; and now 
the sky becomes entirely cloudless, and it appears like the 
noonday sun. The prophet has now penetrated to the fringe 
of the light of chap. vL The name Sbear-jashub, having 
emptied itself of the curse it contained, is now transfigured 
into a pure promise And it now becomes as clear as day 
what the name " Immanuel " means, and what Jmmanuel's 
name •v\2i ^ declares : the remnant of Israel turns itself to 
God the Strong, and God the Strong is henceforth with His 
people in the sprout of Jesse, who has the seven spirits 
of God dwelling in him. As regards the date of the com- 
position of this third section of the esoteric discourses, most 
modern commentators agree in assigning it to the time of 
Hezekiah, because chap. x. 9-1 1 represents the conquest of 
Samaria as having already taken place. Now if the prophet 
had, in fact, already foretold in chap. vii. 8 and viii. 4, 7 
that Samaria, and with Samaria the kingdom of Israel, 
would succumb to the Assyrians, he might presuppose 
it here as ideally a pa.st But vers. 9-11 really require 
us to assign the composition of this section, at least in 
its existing form, to the time of Hezekiah, and is opposed 
to the view tliat would assign its composition to the time 
of Ahaz, whether before or after the punishment inflicted 
on the two allies by Tiglath - pileser (Vitringa, Caspari, 
Drechsler). 

The prophet begins with »in, which is always used as an 
expression of indignant pain in opening a proclamation of 
judgment over the party named ; although this proclamation, 
as in the present case (cf. chap. L 4, 5-9), does not always 



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260 isAiAn. 

immediately follow, but there may be prefixed to it a state- 
ment of the sin by which the judgment is brought about. 
First of all, Assyria is more definitely indicated as the chosen 
instrument of divine judgment upon all Israel. Vers. 5, 6 : 
" Woe to Assur, the rod of miru anger and a staff is he in their 
hand — min^ indignaiion. Against a reprobate nation will I 
despatch them, and against the people of my displeasure will I 
direct them to prey prey, and to spoil spoil, and to make it 
trodden down like street mire'' What follows *in is not 
necessarily vocative, but it may be the designation of the 
object (without f, -"K, 7^), as shown by chap. L 4. *??! is 
either permutative of the predicative jon, which is placed 
emphatically in front (cf. the wn-nriK, similarly with 
makkeph, in Jer. xiv. 22), as we have translated it; or 
DT3 wn stands elliptically for orn wn ib'K, the staff which 
they use is my indignation (Aben Ezra, Gesenius, Bosen- 
iniiller, and others), in which case, however, we should rather 
expect »Djn tnn d*T3 ntDOt It cannot, however, be rendered : 
" And a staff is he, in their hand is my indignation," as 
Knabenbauer gives it, for this breaks up the half verse too 
much. Nor is it permissible, following Knobel's view, to 
take 'DVT as a separated genitive to noo, and to punctuate 
nop, which is altogether without an example in the Hebrew 
language.' Hitzig, Ewald, Diestel, and others eliminate 
DT3 Kin as a gloss ; but a glossator would have written ne'K 
DT3, and what remains would be a tautology. Instead of 
iD'fc'pi the 2Cert gives Su^v?*, as the infinitive combined with a 
suffix appears everywhere else ; compare, on the other hand, 
2 Sam. xiv. 7. Further, the manuscripts waver between 
Bp^p and opnp like neap (Ewald, § 160c). Assyria is to be 
a means of inflicting the divine wrath on Israel ; for Israel, 
and particularly (in accordance with the standpoint of this 
prophetical discourse) Judah, is the reprobate nation, the 
people which had become the object of the overflowing divine 
wrath. 

The instrument of punishment, however, exalts itself and 

* In Arabic this separation of the governed word from the governing 
word with a genitive relation (even apart from the allowable interposi- 
tion of a word expressive of an oath) is a poetical licence ; see de Sacy, 
Gramm. t. ii. § 270. 



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CHAPTIE X 7-11. 261 

makes itself out of a mean into an end in itself. Yer. 7 : 
" Neverthekaa he meaneth not thus, nor doth his heart think 
thus : for to destroy is his striving, and to cut off nations not a 
few." Assyria thinks P~t6, not as he ought to think, in 
consequence of the fact that he is conditioned in his power 
over Israel by Jehovah. For what filled his heart 0*^?^? 
instead of the usual ^^p^^?') is the striving peculiar to the 
imperial power, not tolerating any independent people beside 
itself, to destroy peoples not a few (pvo JO in apposition, as 
in Neh. iL 12, cf. Num. ix. 20), i.e. as many peoples as pos- 
sible, in order to extend the range of its dominion, and to 
deal with Judah as with all the rest; for Jehovah is to 
Assyria only as one of the idols of the peoples. Vers. 8—11 : 
" For he saith. Are not my generals all kings ? Is not Calno 
as Carchemish, or Hamath as Arpad, or Samaria as Damascus t 
As my hand has readied the kingdoms of the idols — and their 
graven images tcere more than those of Jerusalem and Samaria 
— shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, likewise 
(to to Jerusalem and her idols ? " The king of Assyria bore 
the title of the great king (chap, xxxvi. 4) ; in Assyrian 
sarru rahbu, or even (cf. Ezek. xxvL 7) of the King of kings ; 
in Assyrian, sar sarrdni (sarru, not malik, because the former, 
in the political linguistic usage of the Assyrian,^ is a higher 
title than the latter). Tlie generals in his army he can call 
kiugs, because the satraps ' who led their contingents were like 
kings in the extent and splendour of their dominion, and 
some of them were also really subjugated kings (cf. 2 Kings 
XXV. 28). He proudly asks whether one of the cities named 
was not as incapable of resistance as the other, and yet had 
fallen before him. B^PfHI (even after a connecting accusative, 
not e'^31??, but Cnsaias,* on account of the incompatibility of 

> In the titular designations of the godx, kmru (iarratu) and malUc 
(malkatu) interchange, as Schrader has shown against Stade. 

* Z«r»«tTiif (cf. aitr^M in the Persian sense in the Achamanians of Aristo- 
phanes), in Theopompus i^arfAxits, in inscriptions i^xiiftmitiii, is the old 
Persian (cuneiform) kkAatra pdvan, i.e. goTcmraent-keeper (pdvan, in neo- 

Persian abridged as ^\j in ^^U^, larbdn, city-keeper, yj^Vi hdghbdn, 
garden-keeper), plor. Hebraized into D^SB'ne'nK. 

» Cf. on the rule, Luih. Zeittchrifi, xxiv. (1863) p. 414. The punctuation 
adopted is as, 33, even after YHK ; whether D3 may also be adoptiid 



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262 iSAiAn, 

the aspirates) is not Circcsium nor Mabug, but tbe ruined 
site Girbas (plur. Gerabis), lying to the north-east of Aleppo, 
a name coiTupted from Evpair6<; ('Upmroi), or tbe right bank 
of the Euphrates, right over against the town of Biredgik 
(Assyr. GarkamiS), lying on tbe left bank, to?? is nsutdly 
regarded as the later Ctesiphon, on the left bank of the 
Tigris.* (Was it the same as nra, Gen. x. 10, and >^p3, 
Amos vL 2 ?) As to Arpad, which is now an uninhabited 
heap of ruins named Tel Erfdd, in the Pashalic of 'AzSz, 
about three German miles north from Haleb, see BMZ. xxv. 
258, 239, 655. Ham^tb = Epiphania, on the river Orontes 
(which is now called ^Ull, el-'Ast), is still a large and rich 
2)lace. The king of Assyria had also conquered Samaria at 
the time when the prophet introduces him speaking. Samaria 
received its death-blow in 722 through Salmanassar, who 
died during the siege, and through Sargon, who succeeded in 
his place after the kingdom had been shorn of a great part of 
its territory in 734 by Tiglath-pileser. Damascus had been 
taken and plundered in 732 by Tiglath-pileser; and Car- 
chemis, and with it the kingdom of the Hittites, whose capital 
it was, was subdued by Sargon in 7 1 7.* Neither, then, will 
Jerusalem hold out against him. As he had got idolatrous 
kingdoms into his power Q NXp, to attain, as in Ps. xxi. 9, 
and W>sn with the generic article), which had stronger idols 
than Jerusalem and Samaria, he will likewise overcome Jeru- 
salem like Samaria, Jerusalem having equally powerless idols. 
IP, prae, implies only a " more than " (as e.g. in Ezek. v. 6), 
which may be either a more in number, or, what is more 
directly suggested, a more in power (compare the similar 
question in Amos vi. 2). Note here that ver. 1 1 is the apo- 
dosis to ver. 10, and that the comparative clause of ver. 10 
is repeated in ver. 1 1 in order to bring Samaria and Jeru- 
salem specially into comparison^ The king of Assyria calls 
the gods of the peoples by tbe name of idols without the 
prophet transferring to him his Israelitish standpoint On 
the contrary, the chief sin of the Assyrian lies in this. For 

(cf. Pa. xxtL 12, ctL 7, cxxix. S, ed. Baer) is questionable ; aee Strock, 
ProUg. p. 116, Liber P$alnMrum Hebr. atqiie Lat. p. ix. 

> See on this Chald. Gtnttit, p. 29a Paradia, p. 225, 

* See ScLrader, KAT. 2 Auf. p. 385. 



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CHAPTER X. 11 263 

while lie recognises no other gods than his own national gods, 
he places Jehovah along with the idols of the heathen cults 
which had been introduced into Samaria and Jerusalem. 
For the worshippers of Jehovah this fact brings the consola- 
tion that such blasphemy of the one living God cannot remain 
unavenged. For the idolaters, however, it brings a bitter 
teaching ; for their gods really deserve nothing better than to 
be spoken of with scorn. The prophet has now characterized 
Assyria's sin. It is ambitious self-exaltation above Jehovah, 
carried even to blasphemy ; and yet he is only Jehovah's rod, 
which it was in His power to use. 

And when He has used this rod so far as He would. He 
throws it away. Ver. 12 : " And it will come to pass, when the 
All-Lord shall bring to an end all His work upon Mount Zion and 
in Jerusalem, I will come to punish on the fruit of the pride of 
Juart of iJte king of Assur, and on the haughty glancing of his 
eyes." The statement about the Lord suddenly changes into 
a direct utterance of the Lord. When He will consummate 
His whole work, a work which, as in chap, xxviii. 21, is 
punitive (Cheyne, Orelli, and Bredenkamp), this will be done 
in Ziou and Jerusalem, where He calls to Assyria " thus far 
and no farther," with the judgment on Assyria, the instru- 
ment of punishment which has become presumptuous and 
further unusable. J?*?, ahsindere = absolvere, Lam. ii. 17, 
Zech. iv. 9, is a metaphor derived from the loom, as in chap. 
xxxviiL 12. There is no reason for taking Wt3>^ as fut. ex- 
actum, which would be expressed in the perfect in accordance 
with chap. iv. 4. The " whole work " is that which has been 
carried out to the utmost The end of the work of punish> 
ment passes into the judgment upon the instrument of punish- 
ment, and therefore into the deliverance of Jerusalem from 
extreme distress. The *1B of the pride of the heart of Assyria 
is his vainglorious blaspheming of Jehovah, in which his whole 
disposition is concentrated, as the internal quality of the tree is 
in the fruit which hangs aloft amid the branches, fn^sn, as 
in Zech. xiL 7, is the self-glorification which expresses itself 
in the lofty look of his eyes (Prov. xxL 4). A considerable 
number of genitives are intentionally brought together in 
order to express that Assyria is greatly puffed up, even to 
bursting. But Jehovah, towards whom humility is the soul 



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264 ISAIAO. 

of all virtue, will visit and punish this pride. When He has 
punished so far that by further punishing He would annihilate 
Israel, which is inconsistent with His grace and truth. He 
then turns His punishing against the instrument of punish- 
ment, which falls under the curse of all that is selfishly 
opposed to God. Vers. 13, 14: "For Jie has said: By the 
strength of my own hand I have aecomplished it, and hy my 
oivn wisdom, for I am prudent, and removed the boundaries of 
the peoples, and I plundered their stores, and, as superior, put 
doum enthroned ones, and my hand took out the possessums of 
the peoples like a nest ; and as men gather forsaken eggs, I have 
gathered up the whole earth, — there was no one who stirred a 
wing and opened the mouth and chirped." The imperfects 
ruled by the preterites express what happened several times. 
The second of these preterites, 'nfeiB' (= 'n'oic), is the only 
example of a perf. Poel of verbs n*^, and is only In appearance 
a mixed form from DpiB' (Po. of 008*) and ^Bp (PL of npe^). 
The object to this is rf^nj; {Chethib) or niivij; {Ken), which 
means parata in the sense of rk luKKovra (Deut xxxii. 35), 
or, as here, rk inrdp^oina. According to the JTert, it is 
further to be translated : and put down, a mighty one, en- 
throned ones; t??, as in Job xxxiv. 17, 24, and xxxvi. 5. 
The Mishna (Yadayim iv. 4) has Dn^nmnp (Chethib), WDIB', 
and T33 (Keri). But the Chethib "i'?»?3 is suitable if the 
a is taken, as in chap. xiiL 6, as a veritatis: as a strong 
one (superior in strength), not : as a bull (Bredenkamp) ; for 
"i»3K can be shown to have this meaning only in the plural 
(Ps. Ixviii. 31, xxiL 13, L 13), although it would give a 
relevant sense. It is possible, however, that what is indicated 
by T3K, according to Ps. IxxviiL 25, is a superhuman power 
(Cheyne), as the bull-god {cdpt, and also xar' i^. iidu) ap- 
pears in the inscriptions as a power marching through the 
enemy's lands and trampling everything down. In ver. 14 
the stifTer i consec. appears before the 3rd pers. fern. The 
kingdoms of the peoples are here compared to birds' nests, 
which the Assyrian seizes upon and harries (IP?, as in Hub. 
ii. 5 ; cf. nssff in chap. v. 7) ; and their possessions are com- 
pared to lonesome eggs, the mother bird being away. And 
thus there is not even an appearance of resistance, and in the 
nest not one of the little birds stirs a wing to defend itself, 



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CIIAPTEB X. IS. 265 

nor does any one open its beak to scare away by its cbirping. 
Seb. Sclimid correctly renders it thus : nulla alam movet ad 
de/endendum aut os aperit ad terrendum. Thus proudly does 
Assyria look back upon bis course of victory, and thus con* 
temptuously does be look down upon the subdued kingdoms. 

This self-exaltation is a senseless sin. Ver. 15:" Dare 
the axe boast itsdf against him who hews with it, or the saw 
magnify itself against him who draws itt As if a staff were 
sufinging those who lift it up, as if a stick were to lift vp not- 
wood'' What madness lies in this self-deification is indicated 
by the two questions. The boosting of the Assyrian is the 
bragging of an axe against (literally, over) him who hews with 
it (13 y^, without moving back the tone, which is not 
usual, especially in participles of Kal, excepting n*^ and v!h), 
or of a saw pllsp from "ifc^, »j, Aramean 103, in Misbna "ipj, 

serr-are) against him who wields it (V?!7, to move rhythmically, 
i.e. to and fro according to a determinate measure and time). 
Then follow two exclamations of astonishment at the absurdity 
of such a conceit of greatness ; 3 represents here a whole 
clause, as in the Arabic \^ : it is the same as that, ... it 

is as if. IT^^ is one word, as in chap. xxxi. 8.' The stick 
is wood, and nothing more, a thing that is motionless in 
itself; the man is not-wood, an incomparably higher living 
being. In order to lift up wood there must be not-wood ; 
and in like manner, where a man accomplishes something 
extraordinary there is always a superhuman cause behind, 
namely, God, who stands in the same relation to the man as 
the man to the wood. The plural vono points to the fact that 
by him who lifts up the stick there is symbolized Jehovah, 
the Cause of all causes, the Power of all powers.* 

Kext follows the punishment provoked by sncb self-deifica- 

* Cf. rVii a as not-speech. There b used even the expression el-la- 

ildhiya, the not-deity ; the ) is to be regarded as pars vocabuK. 

* The reading accepted by Baer, VO'IDTIW. notwithstanding the im- 
posing evidence in its favour, is certainly not the original one ; it can be 
explained only in a vay by taking ^ as explicative : as if a staff were to 
swing, and indeed (were to swing) those who raise it ; see my treatise, 
Complvtetuitche Varianten sum alttat. Texte, 187<). 



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266 IS.UAH. 

tion (cf. Hab. i 11). Ver. 16 : " Tliertfore xtriU the Lord, the 
All-Lord of hosts, send forth consumption against his fat me)i, 
and there bums under Assur's glory a brand like a fire-brand" 
There are three designations of God used hero according to 
His unlimited, all-ruling omnipotence : l^''?v'» which in Isaiah 
is always used in connection with manifestations of punitive 
power; 'l^Kf^t 'j'lK, a combination not met with elsewhere, 
similar to the. expression found in the Elohimic Psalms, 
niK3V Ci'n*>K; cf. on the other hand, chap, iii 15, x. 23, 24. 
However, the expression nitav 'ns wants the evidence of the 
Masora,' while many codices and editions give niscv 'n. |in 
(chap. xviL 4) is a disease contained in the register of curses 
in Lev. xxvi. 16; Deut xxviiL 22. Galloping consumption 
comes like an angel of punishment upon the fleshy lumps of 
the well-fattened Assyrian gmndees; B'IPfp 1$ personal, as 
in Ps. IxxviiL 31. And under the glory of Assyria, i.e. its 
expensively equipped army (TiM, as in chap. viii. 9), He who 
makes His angels flames of fire, puts fire so that it passes 
away in flames. This is expressed in such a way that one 
seems to hear the crackling and cracking, the spluttering and 
hissing of the fire as it lays hold round about. This fire, 
whatever it may be in its natural phenomenal appearance, is 
essentially the wrath of Jehovah. Ver, 17 : "And the light 
of Israel becomes a fire, and its Holy One a flame, and it sets on 
fire and devours its thistles and thorns in one day." God is 
fire, Deut ix. 3, and light, Ps. xxvii. 1 ; 1 John i. 5 ; and in 
His self-life the former is taken up into the latter. Bnii? 
stands here parallel to nitj ; for that God is holy, and that He 
is absolutely pure light, is essentially one and the same thing. 
The nature of all creatures, and oT the whole cosmos, is a 
mixture of light and darkness. The nature of God alone is 
absolute light But light is love. In this holy light of love 
He has given Himself to Israel to be its own, and He has 
taken Israel to Himself as His own. But He has also in 
Himself a principle of fire which sin stirj up against itself, 
and which now breaks forth as a flaming fire of wrath against 
Assyria, when committing sin against Him and His people. 
* For this passage is not included among the 134 instances of px^i^ 

rnnmerated by the Masora, i.e. "real" instances of 'jnjt (not merely in- 
stances to be read, but actually written). 



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cniArTEn x. is, 19. 267 

To tbis exterminatinnr power of His penal righteousness tho 
splendid host of Assyria is nothing but a crop of thistles and 
a tangle of thorns (here this pair of words, peculiar to 
Isaiah, JVKi "''OB', is given in reversed order), and as such they 
deserve to be burned, and are easily made to burn. According 
to the external appearance it is a forest and a park, but yet 
irretrievably lost. Vers. 18, 19 : "And the glory of hUfore^ 
and of his garden fUld it shall destroy, both soul as well as flesh, 
that it is as when one mortally sick dies ; and the remnant of the 
trees of his forest will let themselves be nunibered, and a boy 
could write tlum." A forest, "^T., and a gardenfield, 70")?, repre- 
sent the army of Assyria, which resembled the former in being 
composed of many and various peoples, and the latter as glitter- 
ing in the beauty of its men and armour ; it is a forest of men 
and a park of men, and hence the idea of penittis is expressed 
by the proverbial ife'3"'?] K'BSP (which is to be understood in 
accordance with Gen. xiv. 23 ; Deut. xxix. 10 ; Num. v. 3 ; 
1 Sam. XV. 3). Tbis gives occasion for a leap to the figure 
of the pining away of a odi (air. Xey., the wasting one, from 
DW, which comes from the same root-idea in ciJ, WX, Assyr. 
inehi). Bredenkamp puts tho words from vwo to DD3 after 
pn, and thus obtains two figures tliat are more distinct from 
each other (consumption and forest-burning). Tlie two words 
DDb Db03 depict the melting away, i.e. the dying out in the 
consuming fire of fever, and the representation is not only 
indicated by their slpw movement, but also by their conson- 
ance and their accumulated sibilants, in which heavy-breathed 
expiring life becomes audible. By resuming the first figure 
the prophecy leads us from the death-bed to the scene of the 
burning of the forest The proud beautiful forest is burned 
down, and only here and there does an isolated tree still tower 
over the desolate surface. Only a few trees of the forest, easily 
countable (^B9?> *^8 i" Deut, xxxiiL 6 ; cf. Isa. xxL 17), will 
remain ; a boy could count up their numbers, and write 
them down (compare the lad who is represented as doing 
much more in writing in Judg. viii 14). as would be the 
figures representing the lai^er cedars of Lebanon which still 
remain. And so it actually came about ; only a remnant of 
the army that marched against Jerusalem escaped. 

The prophet now contrasts with tills remnant of a large 



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268 ISAIAU. 

destroying power the remnant of Israel, which is the seed of 
a new power that is rising. Ver. 20 : "And it will come to 
pass in that day : Hie remnant of Israel and wliat has escaped 
of tlu house of Jacob loill not continue to stay itself upon its 
ehastiser, and mil stay itself upon Jehovah, the Holy One of 
Israel, in truth." Behind the judgment on Assyria lies the 
restoration of Israel, viso Is the Assyrian. Supporting itself 
upon the Assyrian, Israel was smitten, Jehovah making 
Israel's supporting stick the rod of His wrath. Thereafter, 
however, Israel will sanctify the Holy One of Israel by putting 
its trust in Him and not in man ; Dp|f|, purely and faith- 
fully, and no longer with hypocrisy and wavering. Then will 
be fulfilled what the name Shear-jashub promises after there is 
fulfilled what He threatens, as is seen in the following verse. 
Ver. 21 : " The remnant will turn itself, the remnant of Jaxob, 
to Ood the Strong." '^^ ?*< is He who has become historically 
manifest in the heir of David, chap. ix. 5. Whereas Hosea 
(chap. iii. 5) puts Jehovah and the other David side by side, 
Isaiah thus beholds them in each other. 

So then the remnant of Israel will return, but only the 
remnant to the God who dwells in that son of David (accord- 
ing to the New Testament mode of expression, to God in 
Christ). Vers. 22, 23 : " For although thy people were as the 
sand of tlie sea, the remnant thereof will turn itself : extermi- 
nation is strictly determined, flowing in righteousness; for a 
thorough and strictly determined finish the All-Lord, Jeliovah of 
hosts, executes within the whole earth," As there is no pre- 
ceding negation, OK *3 do not go together in the sense of 
sed or nisi ; but, as belonging to two clauses, the words mean 
nam, si. Were the highest number of the people of Israel 
attained according to the promise, yet will only the remnant 
among them or of them (la, partitively, like aa in Zech. xiii. 8 ; 
2 Kings ix. 3 5) be converted ; or seeing that the more 
definite determination ad Deum is wanting, come again into 
their right position. With regard to the mass, extermination 
is irrevocably decided (D", rifiveiv, and then to determine 
Bometliing avoroftui, 1 Kings xx. 40) ; an extermination 
which is overflowed by righteousness, or better, which flows 
along (lols', as in chap, xxviii. 18), t.«. which flowing brings 
along righteousness, and therefore comes like a swelling 



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OHAFTEB X. 3i. 269 

billow of divine righteousness, i.e. penal justice. It is not 
(as Luther translates) uprightness as the fruit of the penal 
judgment, — a thought which, tliough appropriate in itself, 
would not be expressed merely by one word, and it is excluded 
by the reason given in the following clause. On IPf' with 
the ace, see Ges. § 138. 2. That I^'Va, as in Deut. xxviii. 65, 
is not used in the sense of perfecting, is shown by ver. 23, 
where n^3 (fem. of fi73, that which vanishes, then the vanishing, 
the thorough ending) interchanges with it, and '^^^. designates 
the judgment as a thing inexorably decided (as in chap, 
xxviii. 22, and borrowed thence in Dan. ix. 27, xi. 36). 
Such a judgment of extermination the Almighty Judge is 
about to execute (>^^ in the sense of a fut. instans.) within 
the whole land (^'ipa, within, not il^na, in the midst of), or 
rather of the whole earth (LXX. iv ry otKov/jLevj) o\]j) — a 
judgment of the nations of which the judgment on Israel is a 
central constituent. 

In these esoteric discourses it is not, however, the intention 
of the prophet to threaten and terrify, but to comfort and 
encourage. Therefore he turns to that portion of the people 
which is in need of consolation and is receptive of it, and he 
draws the inference from the element of consolation in what 
has been prophesied that they may be consoled. Ver. 24: 
" Therefore this saith the All-Lord, Jehovah of hosts : Fear not, 
my people, which inhabitest Zion, before Assur if it will smite 
thee xoith the rod and lift up its stick against thee in tJu manner 
of Egypt." I?? never means in Hebrew, nor consequently 
here, attamen (Gesenius, Hitzig), but propterea. Already the 
address contained in the words : My people which inhabits 
Zion, is indirectly encouraging. Zion is, in fact, the site of 
the divine gracious presence, and of the kingdom which is 
imperishable according to the promise. Those who dwell 
there, and who are God's people (God's servants), not merely 
by their calling but by their inner qualities, are also heirs of 
the promise ; and if the Egyptian bondage becomes renewed in 
an Assyrian bondage, they may be certain of this to their 
consolation, that the redemption of Egypt will also be renewed. 
^TTP T}!?, in the way, i.e. in the manner of the acting of the 
Egyptians. TT?. is the course both of active procedure and 
also (as in ver. 26 and Amos iv. 10) of passive endurance. 



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270 ISAIAH. 

The encouraging address is now based npon new reasons by 
taking up again the grounds of consolation from which the 
15^ derives it Vei-s. 25, 26 : " For yet a very little, then ia the 
indignation past, and my wrath turns to destroy them, and 
Jehovah of hosts shakes over him the scourge as He smote Midian 
xit the rock of Orel, and His staff reac?ics out over the sea, and 
He lifts it up in the manner of Egypt." The phrase : a very 
little (as in chap. xvi. 14, xxix. 17), is meant from the point 
of view of the ideal present, when Israel is threatened by 
Assyria with destruction. Then will the indignation of 
Jehovah at His people .suddenly have an end (oyi nVa, 
borrowed in Dan. xi. 36, and to be interpreted according to 
chap, xxxvi. 20) ; and Jehovah's wrath becomes or goes forth 
DWari"?}?. Luzzatto recommends the conjectural reading : 
tih\ plFTPV 'BW : and my wrath against the world will cease ; 
bzn being taken, as in chap. xiv. 1 7, with reference to the 
oiKovfievt) as enslaved by the empire. It would be better 
explained as : " and my wrath at the world will fulfil itself," 
i"?? being taken for the sinful world represented by the 
empire. But the traditional text gives an easier connection 
Ibrver. 26. We are not, however, to be misled by the ^? into 
explaining it as : my wrath (burns) at the destruction inflicted 
by Assyria on the people of God, or at the destruction endured 
by that people. It is the destruction of the Assyrians to 
wliich Jehovah's wrath is now directed ; ?? is used here, as 
frequently, of that to which the look is directed, that to 
which the intention points (Ps. xxxii. 8, xviii. 42). When 
taken thus, ver. 256 leads on to ver. 26. The destruction of 
Assyria is here prophesied in two antithetical figures founded 
on facts of the olden time. The almighty criminal judge 
will brandish the scourge over Assyria (Till'', agitare, as in 
2 Sam. xxiii. 1 8, in assonance with the following 3'?.^), and 
will smite it after the manner of the smiting upon Midian, 
chap, xxvii. 7, or of the blow (overthrow) which Midian 
experienced. The rock of Horeb is the place where the 
Ephraimites slew the Midian king Oreb (Judg. vii. 25). 
Then will His staff be over the sea, i.e. will be stretched out, 
like the miraculous staff of Moses, over the sea of tribulation 
into which the Assyrians have driven Israel (DJ, an emblem 
borrowed from the type, see Koliler on Zech. x. 1 1 ; cf. Vs. 



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CHAPTER X. 27. 271 

Ixvi. 6), and He will lift it up, commauding tlie waves of the 
sea that they swallow Assyria. onfO T^^, a Junus-word, as 
Cheyne calls it, indicated in ver. 24 how the Egyptians 
raised it, but here how it was raised over the Egyptians. 
The expression is intentionally conformed to that in ver. 24 : 
Because Assyria bad raised the rod in the Egyptian manner 
over Israel, Jehovah will also raise it in the I^ptian manner 
over Assyria. 

The yoke of the world-power must then burst asunder. 
Ver. 27 : " And it will come to pass in that day, its burden 
will remove from thy shoulder and its yoke from thy neck, and 
the yoke vrill be destroyed from the pressure of the fat.' There 
are two figures here : in the first (cessaiit onvs ejus a cerviee 
tua), Israel is represented as a beast of burden ; in the second 
{et jtigum ejus a collo tita), as a beast of draught ; and this 
second iigure divides again into two divisions. For "I'OJ only 
states that the yoke, like the burden, will be taken from 
Israel ; but 7Sn, that it will itself spring the yoke by the 
counter pressure of its fat strong neck. Knobel, who alters 
the text, remarks against this view that the yoke was a cross 
piece of wood and not a collar. And undoubtedly the simple 
yoke is a cross piece of wood, but it lies upon the back of 
the neck of the ox (usually of two beasts yoked together, 
jumeiUa=jugmenta, like jugum, from jungere), where it often 
rubs deep broad wounds on the nape, and is fastened under 
the neck by means of a cord, which at the same time connects 
it with the beam of the plough.' It is derived from ^/^ = ^V, 

inire, U, immitlcre, to let in and close (as by a sort of 

stoppel, which the Kam&s explains by ti^-, to stop up). The 

conj. 79 i'^ni is therefore in accord with the thing. But that 
JOB' '» means " face of the fat," and refers to the head of the 
fat bnllock, is contrary to the linguistic usage, according to 
which *;3Bp must designate that before which the yoke must 
yield (cf. e.g. Ts. IxviiL 3). We therefore do not get away 

* Professor Schcgg wrote to me after his return from a visit to Palestine, 
in the year 1866, in these terms : " I saw many oxen at the plough in 

Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and at Ephesus ; and the yoke {Si) was always a 
cross piece of wood laid on the back of tlie neck of the Xxaxt, and con- 
nected by a rope under the neck with the bvara of the plough." 



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272 ISAIAIL 

from tlie view that what is expressed is a bursting of tbe 
yoke produced by the increasing fatness of the ox, the yoke 
being a cross piece of wood with its connecting rope or strap. 
Undoubtedly ?an is not the most natural word for it; it 
means a eorrumpi, but such as has been produced by means 
of a disrumpi, which has resulted, lit, if we compare the Arabic 

jj^^, by means of a crumpling, a crushing together, a wrench- 
ing. Probably the word was chosen by reference to ^n, the 
yoke-rope, although there is no denominative Ptud in the 
privative signification of being unroped (Nagelsbach). Kimchi 
makes the striking remark on this passage, that the yoke 
usually becomes hurtful to the fat flesh of the ox by pressure 
and rubbing, but that here the converse case occurs, that the 
fatness of the ox becomes the means of destroying the yoke 
(compare the figure of grafting in Eom. xi. 17, to which 
Paul there also gives a turn irapii ^vtrtv). There is no need 
for a correction of the text by removing ^3n (Robertson 
Smith, BredenkampX The deliverance comes from within 
(21b) and from without (27a). It is no less a consequence 
of the world-overcoming power which is at work in Israel 
than a miracle performed for Israel upon tbe enemy. 

The prophet now describes how the Assyrian army advances 
against Jerasalem without halting, and spreading terror around ; 
and how, like a towering forest planted there, it breaks to 
pieces before the omnipotence of Jehovah. Eichhorn and 
Hitzig declare this prophecy to be a vaticinium post eventum, 
because it is too special for any other view. But the Assyrian 
army when it marched against Jerusalem did not come directly 
from the north, but from the way to Egypt out of the south- 
west Sennacherib had conquered Lachisb, then besieged 
Libnah, and marched thence against Jerusalem. The prophet, 
however, does not mean to give a piece of military history, 
but to present vividly the future fact that the Assyrian will 
advance to Jerusalem after devastation of the land of Judah. 
One need not object to calling the description ideal, or even 
poetical (see Driver, Isaiah, p. 73). It is not, however, on 
that account a chimera ; for ideas are the essential roots of 
the real, and reality is their historical and e.xtemal form. 
This external formation, their essential manifestation, may. 



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CHAPTER X. J8-84. 273 

without detriment to their essentialitj, he presented in par- 
ticular momenta either in one form or in another form. The 
Assyrian has really come with the storm strides of a conqueror 
from the north, and the cities named have been really strack 
by the dangers and terrors of war. The description here 
given, when looked at aesthetically, is one of the most pictur- 
esque and magnificent representations that human poetry has 
ever produced. Vers. 28-34 : " He comes upon Ayyath, vy 
marches through Migron, in Michmash he leaves his baggage. 
They march right across the ravine ; — let Geba he our night- 
quarters ! Bamah trembles ; Oibeah of Saul flees ; Scream 
loud, daughter of Oallim f only listen, Laysha I Poor 
Anathoth ! Hurries Madmena, the inhabitants of Cfdnm rescue. 
To-day he still makes a halt in Nob, — swings his hand over the 
mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. — Be- 
hold, the All-Lord, Jehovah of hosts, lops down the branches with 
terrible force, and those of towering growth are hewn dovm, and 
the lofty are laid low. And He fells the thiekets of the forest 
roith the iron; and Lebanon, by a majestie One it falls." The 
Assyrian suddenly assails njy, or as the two St Petersburg 
MSS, write it, n;? (=njj, i Chron. vil 28, Vf^, Neh. xi 31, 
usually Vp\ or ^?), about six German miles to the north-east of 
Jerusalem (^ tda comes hostilely upon, in the same sense as, 
e.g., Judg. xviiL 27), and iu doing so he here steps for the 
first time upon Benjamite territory that was under the sway 
of Judah. The name of this *At, which means a heap of 
stones, agrees with the name of Tdl el-hagar (van de Velde), 
which lies at the distance of forty-five minutes' walk south- 
east from Beittn = Bethel ; but such Arabic translations of 
the original names of a place as reproduce their recognised 
original meaning are not to be expected from tradition. 
Scb^^,' who made a three days' excursion from Jerusalem 
for the sake of exploring this Assyrian marching route, and 
who returned by Teyyiba. Michmash, Geba, Anata, and 
Isawiya, puts Ay more probably (as the march would then be 
straightforwards) on the site of the present Teyyiba, six hours' 
journey to the north of Jerusalem, 2700 feet above the sea, 
upon an isolated hill from whence a wide view opens up 

' See the notice of my Commentary in Beusch's Theolog. LUeraturblatt 
Jahrg. ii. 80, 81. 

VOL. L B 



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274 ISAIAH. 

towards the lowlands of Jaffa, to the hill of the Franks, over 
the Gor, and a great part of the Dead Sea, so that the deep 
blue mirror of its waters and the limestone hills encompassing 
it are seen nowhere else to such extent from one point of 
view. The hill, upon which lies the Christian village with 
about one thousand inhabitants, contains many ruins and the 
strong foundation walls of ancient fortresses and deep vaults, 
which point back to early pre-Boman antiquity. We give 
the preference to this determination of the situation of the 
place, 88 there is found in the neighbourhood of Teyyiba a 
small village with the name of Chirhet 'At. At this point 
the Assyrian army could survey the whole of the land yet to 
be conquered to the south. Instead of turning to the usual 
great north road (the " Nablus road "), the army marches 
straight by Michmash to Jerusalem without allowing itself to 
be delayed by the difficulties of the unlevelled way which led 
over mountain and valley. From Ay they pass Migbox, the 
name of which appears to be preserved in the ruins of Burg 
Maerin, which lies some eight minutes' walk from Beitin. 
MicHHASH (t^-)p, according to Norzi, but in 1 Sam. xiii. 
fc«30, while in" Ezra ii 27 and Neh. xL 31 it is ooap, 
with d) still exists as a small village with ruins on the 
eastern side of the Migron valley under the name of Michm&s. 
Schegg says of Michmis : " It lies, like Jerusalem, upon a 
neck of land between two valleys, the one of which separates 
it from the tableland on the west and the other from that on 
the south, on which Geba lies and over which the road to 
Jerusalem goes. The latter valley running from west to east 
is not narrow, but it is difficult to cross, deep, and so furrowed, 
especially near the bottom of the valley, that it requires effort 
to pass over it. The stream of this Wadi es-Suweinit has 
scooped through the rock a deep narrow frightful bed about 
ten minutes' walking to the esst of Michm^. On the right 
and left, rocks — some of them 100 feet high, perpendicular, 
naked, and dingy red — form such a narrow outlet that the 
foaming waters of the winter torrent must still, it appears, 
struggle to escape. The rocky clefts of Kedron at Mar Saba 
are roomy valleys compared with this Suweinit. I did not see 
a rock outlet like it even on Lebanon with all its numerous 
ravines. Hence this Wadi has been called from of old i3Vp 



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CHAPTEB X. 28-84. 273 

6*030, as in 1 Sam. xiii 23." After the Assjrians had de- 
posited (^i?B'!i, Jer. xxxvL 20) in Michm&s as much of their 
baggage as thej coald dispense with — whether in order to 
leave it there or to have it sent after them by the easier road 
— they passed over the ford (^3^, as in chap. xvL 2), 
namely, that of the Wadi ks-Suwbinit. If they had marched 
through this rocky valley lengthwise, this would have led 
them to the Dead Sea ; but they wished to go to Jerusalem, 
and therefore they cut through the valley and river crosswise. 
On their difficult march they encourage each other by saying, 
" Geba be our night-quarters I " " The beautiful tableland 
between Geba and Hizma," Schegg further remarks, "was 
thoroughly fitted for this, and quite inviting ; for it is large, 
fruitful, and even to-day is well cultivated. For the first 
time I saw here in Judah wide -stretching wheat -fields and 
beautiful groups of trees which picturesquely shade the 
surroundings of the little village of Greba." This Geba is 
now almost universally regarded, according to the view given 
by Gross, as not the Gibeah of Saul ; but the latter is 
recognised in the towering Tell (Tuleil) el-Ful which lies 
more to the south (Robinson, Yalentiner, Keil, and others). 
And rightly so. For this mountain, the name of which signifies 
" bean-hill," presents a strong position suiting the Gibeah of 
Saul ; and for the view that there were two Benjamite places 
of the name of i?ai, nyaa, or npaj, there is the evidence of 
Josh, xviii. 21-28, where 931 and rijDi are distinguished from 
each other. Besides, tliis mountain, which lies to the soutli 
of er-Mm, and therefore between ancient Bamah and 
Anathoth, fits into the marching route of the Assyrian 
as here indicated ; and it is at least improbable that Isaiah 
should have named one and the same place first V3a and 
then (without any visible reason) Smb' nyns. The Assyrian 
army therefore took up its night quarters in Geba, which 
still bears this name ; and from there it spread terror 
to the west and east, and especially to the south. In the 
morning, having emerged from the deep valley between 
Michmash and Geba, they leave on their flank the Benjamite 
Bama, now er-K&ro, which lay half an hour's march west 
from Geba, and which, trembling, sees them march on. The 
inhabitants of Gibeath of Saul, lying on the summit of the 



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276 ISAIAH. 

" bean-hill " commanding the whole surrounding region, take 
to flight as they march past Every station on their route 
brings them nearer Jerusalem. The prophet lives through it 
all in the spirit. It is so objectively present to him that it 
puts him into anguish and pain. The cities and villages of 
the region are lost He calls upon the daughter, i.e. the 
inhabitants of Gallim, to set up a far shrilling cry of woe 
with their voice (adv. ace. Ges. § 138. 1, R 3); and to the 
near-lying Laysha (cf. on the two places which have now 
disappeared, Jndg. xviii. 29 ; and on the personal names, 
D'jap la's B*vT3 'UPD, l Sam. xxv. 44) he calls out sympa- 
thetically : 0, only listen, nearer and nearer come the enemy ; 
and over Anathoth (the still existing 'Andtd, which lies three- 
quarters of an hour's walking to the north-east of Jerusalem, a 
name which Cheyne regards as that of the Babylonian goddess 
Anat, the wife of Anu) he makes this lamentation, taking its 
name as an omen of its fate: "0, for the poor, Anathoth!" 
No change of the text is required. ^*iS, as in chap. liv. 11, is 
an exclamation, and n^njj follows according to the same order 
of words as in chap, xxiii 12; it is a prefixed apposition - 
as in Jer. iiL 6, ^^^. ''?^ (compare in the Persian text 

\j\s^ gj6~\i ^\, 0, noble Buchftra, DMZ. xxxviii. 330, 331). 
Ever nearer now to Jerusalem draws the crisis so much to 
be feared. Madmena ("dung-heap," see on Job, pp. 62, 63) 
flees in anxious haste ; the inhabitants of Gebin (" water- 
pits ") run off with their belongings ; fyn from W, JU, to flee 
(cf. e^n, and also "on),^ and therefore to carry away in flight, 
to bring hastily into safety, Ex. ix. 19, cf. Jer. iv. 6, vL 1, 
synonymous with O'jn, Ex. ix. 20, Judg. vi. 11; diflerent 

from Wn (Prov. xxL 29, vii. 13), from ttjf, J*, to be firm, 
strong, defiant, from which is derived ttiD, md'dz, a fortifica- 
tion, in distinction from the Arabic jbc<, ma'dd, refuge; 
cf. chap. XXX. 2, " to flee to Pharaoh's fortress," a W, like 
t—> jlc. Neither of these places has left any certain trace 

» Hardly, however, e'W John iv. 11, which probably means, according 
to LXX. and Targ., congregari, and with which Gesenius compared the 

Arab. litx. in the erroneously accepted sense of " to hasten." 



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CBAPTEB X. S8-34. 277 

behind.' The passage is usually held to mean further that the 
army rested another day in Nob. But this is not conformable 
to the intention of sorprising Jerusalem by the suddeimess of 
the destroying blow. Hence we explain it thus : Even to- 
day he will make a halt in Nob {in eo est ut svhsistat, Gres. 
§ 132. B. 1) in order to gather up new strength in sight of 
the city doomed to destruction, and to arrange the plan of 
attack. The view held, that Nob is the still inhabited village 
of el-Isawtya to the south-west of Anata, fifty-five minutes to 
the north of Jerusalem, is at variance with the situation as 
described by Jerome : Statu in oppidvlo Nd et proeul urbem 
conspieiens Jerusalem. " 'Isawlya," says Scbegg, " lies at the 
commencement of the valley of that name, which is turned 
towards the Dead Sea ; it is a very lovely place, but is so 
sunk in the valley, and surrounded on three sides by 
mountains, that one cannot think at all of identifying it with 
Nob." Perhaps what is meant is the height which rises on 
the north of Jerusalem, and which is called $adr from its 
breast-like prominence or convexity. From this height the 
way leads down into the valley of Eedron, and the city 
spreads out at a short distance before one going down. It may 
have been here where the Assyrian is represented as halting 
in the vision of the prophet Nor is it long (which is ex- 
pressed by the 16i*, which follows auruviera^) till, stretching 
out his hand for a blow, chap. xL 15, xix. 16, he swings it 
over the mount of the daughter of Zion (chap, xvi 1, not Tfi, 
in connection with which the writer has thought of rniT n^a *in), 
over the city of the holy hilL What will Jehovah then do, 
the only one who can save His threatened dwelling-place 
from such a host? — Up to ver. 32a the discourse has moved 
in rapid stormy steps ; then it begins to linger, and, as it 
were, to beat with anxiety, and now it breaks forth in 
dactylic vibrations like a long rolling thonder. The hostile 
army stands before Jerusalem like a broad thick forest Then 
it is shown that Jerusalem has a Gkxl who does not allow 
Himself to be taunted with impunity, nor does He leave His 
city at the decisive moment in the lurch, like the gods of 

* A writer in the PaUstint Exploration Fund, 1880, p. 108, rappoees 
that Oebim ie in the neighbourhood of the cavea of the six hundred 
Benjamitea (ilugh&ret-el'Gai). 



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278 ISAUH. 

Carchemish and Calno. Jehovah is the Lord, the God of the 
spiritual and starry hosts. He smites down the branches of 
this forest of an army ; <|]DD is a so-called Piel privativum : to 
lop off (literally, to deal with the branches, cf. ?§?, chap. v. 2), 
and iTjKB = rnNB (in Ezekiel rnsb) means, like the Latin frons, 
both branch and foliage, the leafy branches as the adornment 
of the tree, or the branches as adorned with leaves. His 
instrument is nyjjjo, His terrifying crushing power (compare 
the verb in chap, il 19, 21). And even the lofty stems of 
the forest, thus stripped of branches and foliage, do not 
remain standing ; hewn down, they lie there, and the tall ones 
must go dowa It goes with the stems, i.e. the leaders, as with 
the branches and the foliage, i.e. with the great crowded 
mass. The whole thicket of the forest (as in chap. ix. 1 7) 
He hews down (^|3, 3 p. Pid, although it may be also Niphal), 
and Lebanon, i.t. the army of Assyria, which now stands over 
against Mount Zion, like Lebanon with its forest of cedars, 
falls down through a gloriously powerful One, I'^K, i.e. 
through Jehovah (chap. xxx. 21 ; Ps. Ixxvi 5, xciii. 4). In 
the history of the fulfilment given in xxxviL 36, the 'ii iltj^o 
is this nntt as the organ of the present divine government. 

So it goes with the imperial kingdom of the world. 
When the axe is laid to it, it falls without hope But 
in Israel it becomes spring. Chap, xi 1 : " And there goes 
forth a sprout ov4 of the stump of Jesse, and a shoot out of 
its roots brings fruit." If the world-power is like the cedar 
forest of Lebanon, on the other hand the house of David, on 
account of its falling away, is like the stump of a felled tree 
(VM, truncus, from JW, truTicare), like a root stock without stem, 
branches, or crown. But while the Lebanon of the world- 
power is overthrown so as to remain lying, the house of David 
becomes young again ; and while the former, when it has 
reached the height of its glory, is suddenly laid low, the 
latter, when it has reached the utmost danger of destruction, 
is suddenly exalted. What Pliny says of certain trees in 
L. xvi. 44 : inarescwU rursusque adoleseunt, senescunt quidem, 
sed e radieibus repvllvXant} is fulfilled in the tree of the 

' The cedar is unlike the oak in that when it is felled it does not send 
op any shoots. The pine lesembles the cedar in this respect according to 
Herodot vi 37 ; "to destroy like a pine-stem." 



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CHAPTER Xt 2. 279 

Davidic dominion, which has its root in Jesse. Out of the 
stamp of Jesse, i.«. out of the remnant of the chosen royal 
family, which had sunk down to the insignificance of the 
house from which it sprang (" the fallen tahemacle of David," 
as Amos expresses it in chap. ix. 11 '), there goes forth a 

sprout, iph ( U^ , from "ion, to swing, to sway, lalancer), which 

promises to fill up the place of the stem and crown ; and 
below in the roots, covered by the earth and only rising a 
little above it, there shows itself a *ntl, a little fresh green 

twig (from "i-O, -^, to glance, to blow)L The history of the 

fulfilment has here alluded even to the sound or ring of the 
prophecy ; the at first insignificant and undistinguished i^., 
was a poor despised Nazarene (Matt il 23). But that this 
lowliness of the beginning will not continue is already 
indicated by the rnp^, from mo, to break out and up, to 
unfold itself, to be or become fruitful, Ex. xxiii. 30. In the 
humble beginning there lies a power which carries it up to 
the height with certain progress (Ezek. xvii. 22, 23^ The 
sprout shooting out below the soil becomes a tree, and this 
tree gets a crown with fruits ; and thus a state of exaltation 
and completion follows the state of humiliation. 

Jehovah acknowledges him and consecrates and equips him for 
his high work with the seven spirits. Ver. 2 : " And the spirit 
of Jehovah descends upon him, spirit of wisdom and of under- 
ending, spirit of counsel and of power, spirit of the knowledge 
and fear ofJehomth." '•"• nn is the Divine Spirit as the bearer 
of the whole fulness of divine powers. Then follow in three 
pairs the six spirits comprehended by 'n rm, the first pair of 
which relate to the intellectual life, the second to the practical 
life, and the third to the direct relationship to God. For 
no3n is the faculty for recognising the essence of things 
through their appearances, and >*u^ is the faculty for recognis- 
ing the distinctions of things through their appearances ; the 
former is ao^la, the latter Stdxpurn or trweiTK. >^T/}) is the 
gift which enables man to form right resolutions, and n^ 

^ The Messiah is therefore emblematically called ^^ 13, Sanhedrin 
99b: "when will Bar najli cume?" Cf. Dalman, Der leidende und 
tttrbende Matia* der Synagoge (1888), p. 13. 



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280 isAua 

that of putting them energetically into action, 'n nri is the 
knowledge that is founded in fellowship of love, and ''"i ntn» 
is the fear of Jehovah giving itself up to adoration. There 
are seven spirits which are enumerated from above down- 
wards ; for the spirit of the fear of God is the basis of all 
(Prov. L 7 ; Job xxviii. 28 ; Pa cxi. 10), and the spirit of 
God is absolutely the heart of all ; it corresponds to the 
shaft of the seven-flamed candlestick, and the three pairs to 
the arms that stretched out from it In these seven forms 
(see my Psychology, pp. 188, 203) the Holy Spirit descends 
upon the second David for abiding possession ; as is expressed 
here by the perf. consee. nrai, which is accented on the last 
syllable oa account of the following guttural in order to 
guard against its indistinct pronunciation (cf. Gen. xxvi 10); 
nu, like Karafialvetv xal fihmp, John i. 32, 33. The seven 
torches before God's throne in Eev. iv. 5, cf. i. 4, bum and 
illumine in his soul. The seven spirits are his seven eyes 
(Rev. v. 6). 

His royal mode of ruling is then also determined according 
to this his divinely produced, spiritual equipment for his 
office. Ver. 3 : " And fear of Jehovah is /nuance to him, 
and he judges not according to outward seeing, and he determines 
justice not according to outward hearing." The translation 
should not be : His smelling is smelling of the fear of God, 
i.e. the penetrating of it with deep judicial insight (Hengsten- 
berg, Umbreit, and others);* nor: His breathing is in the 
fear of Jehovah (Cheyne), for nn? does not mean " to breathe," 
and with 3 it does not mean " to smell something " (as with a 
following accusative), but " to smell with pleasure " (v. Orelli), 
like 3 n»n, to see with pleasure, or as in Gen. xxix. 32, to see 
with inward sympathy (Ex. xxx. 38 ; Lev. xxvL 31 ; Amos v. 
21). It is not meant that he has as regards himself pleasure 
in fear of God, but that fear of God when he perceives it in 
men is fragrance to him (nfvj tyn^ Qen. viii. 21) ; for the fear 
of God is a sacrifice of adoration, continually ascending to God. 
Brilliant or repellent external qualities do not determine his 
favour or disfavour; he judges not by the external appear- 

> So also in Sanhedrin 93b, whereas R. Alexandri combines in^n with 
Q«m,and explains it : He (God) has loaded him with duties and sufferings 
as with millstones (see Dalman, op. eit. p. 38)b 



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CHAPTEB XI. 4, 8. 281 

ance, bat by the relationship to his God in the depths of the 
heart 

This is the standard according to which he will judge in 
saving and will judge in punishing. Vers. 4, 6 : " And jvdyes 
with righteousness the insignificant, and passes sentence with 
equity on the humble in the land, and smites the earth with the 
staff of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he slays the 
transgressor. And righteousness is the girdle of his loins, and 
faithfulness the girdle of his hips." The main thing in ver. 4 
lies in the objects there presented. He will do right to the 
D71, the weak and helpless, by incorruptibly just procedure 
against their oppressors; and he will decide with straight- 
ness for the humble or meek of the land ; U{r, like ^PP, from 
ny^, to bend, the latter meaning one who is bowed down by 
misfortune, the former one who is bowed down inwardly or 
emptied of all selfness ; ^ ^^<^, as in Job xvL 21. The wrw^oi 
and itfxfwt will be the very special object of his royal care ; 
just as the first beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount really 
apply to them. But the earth, i.e. the antichristian world and 
the wicked one (VK^, not collective, but used as also in Ps. 
IxviiL 22, ex. 6, Hab. ill 13, 14, of one in whom the 
hostility against Jehovah and His Anointed One satanically 
culminates),^ will come to experience the force of his punitive 
righteousness. The very word of his mouth is already a 
staff which shatters to pieces (Ps. iL 9 ; Bev. L 16), and the 
very breath of his lips, no further means being required, 
exercises an annihilating influence (2 Thess. ii 8) — a feature 
in the Bible which, as Cheyne remarks, brings the Messiah 
near the Deity. As the girdle around the loins, D?3np (LXX. 
T^o ha^xni), and forward on the hips, D^fj (I^X. tA? 
itKEupa<i), holds the clothes together, — the unity of the designa- 
tion, "^nt, showing that it is not two kinds of girdles that are 
meant, — so all the qualities and activities of his person have 
as their connecting bond ''^f^, which follows the inviolable 
norm of the divine will, and ^^^t^l?, which keeps immovably 
to the relationship which is instituted by Ood, and in accord- 

1 In this sense the Targum translates DlVtSIK, ArmH'\u, {.e. 'Po^tvXo;, 
BatMAut (DMZ. xxxiz. 343), and according to another reading in the 
Cod. ReuehUn, pi^iK (Duinsitt), which perhaps, as Bucher suppose?, 
means the incarnated Agramainyut (AhriinanX 



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282 ISAIAH. 

ance with the promise (chap. xxv. 1). The n3«x is specially 
made prominent by the article : he is the true and faithful 
witness (Rev. L 6, iii. 14). 

The trilogy of the prophetic figures of the Messiah — as 
about to be bom, as born, and as ruling — is now complete. 
Isaiah was not the creator of Messianic prophecy, as Gnthe 
(in his Das Zukunftsbild des Jesaia, 1885) tries to prove, 
forcing the proof by negativing all the Messianic prophecies 
before Isaiah. An ideal king was hoped for before the 
expectation was attached to the house of David. But Isaiah 
and his contemporary Micah raised the outline to a living 
richly-coloured picture, for which the opening period of the 
secular empires furnished the basi& With the virgin's son, 
the five-named king's chUd, the son of David anointed with- 
out measure with God's spirit, there begins a new time in 
which this king's righteousness attains to a world-conquering 
position, and finds a home in a humanity which, like him, has 
risen up out of deep humiliation. 

The fruit of righteousness, however, is peace, which now 
reigns under the government of the Prince of Peace, not only 
in humanity, but, without being disturbed from any quarter, 
also in the animal world. Vers. 6-9 : " And the tcolf dwells 
with the lamb, and tJu pard lies down with the kid, and the 
calf and lion and faUerud ox together — a little boy drives 
them before him. And cow and bear go to the pasture, 
their young lie down together; and- the lion dewurs chopped 
straw like the ox. And the smMing plays on the hole of the 
adder, and the weaned child stretches his hand to the pupil 
of the basilisk-viper. They will not become bad, and will not 
commit destruction in all my holy maumiain : for the land has 
become full of knowledge of Jehovah liki the uxUers covering 
the sea." The SibyUines, iii. 766 sqq., paraphrase this, 
and Virgil in his Eclogue perhaps stands unconsciously 
under the influence of Isaiah through the medium of that 
paraphrase (Cheyne). The Church Fathers, Luther, Calvin, 
Yitringa, Schmieder, regard these images from the animal 
world as symbolical Bationalistic expositors take them 
literally, but as a beautiful dream and wish. In the Midrash 
on Ecclesiastes at chap. i. 9, a real transformation of the 
animal world is already rejected with e^trn nnn vhn ptt ; but 



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CBAPTEB XI. 6-9. 283 

we bare here really a prophecy before ns the full realization of 
which is certainly conditioned by a re-creation, and it there- 
fore belongs to the new earth under the new heaven. Even 
Beuss refers here to Som. viii 1 9 sqq., remarking that " the 
idea, at once poetical and sublime, of nature sighing for its 
glorification, is at bottom only a more ideal form of this same 
conception." There now reigns in irrational nature, firom the 
greatest beings in it down to the invisibly least, a malevolent 
strife and fierce delight in carnage. But when the son of 
David shall have entered upon the full possession and exercise 
of his royal inheritance, then will the peace of Paradise be 
renewed, and the truth contained in the popular legends of 
an aurea aetas will be authenticated. It is this which the 
prophet depicts in charming images. The wolf, formerly 
scared away from the flock, now keeps good neighbourhood 
(i|) with the lamb ; the leopard lets the frisky kid lie down 
beside it The lion between calf and fatted ox neither seizes 
upon the weak neighbour nor lusts after the fat one ; a little 
boy rules the whole three together with his driving staff (jnj, 
according to Stade, */ S3, stimiUo propdlere). Tbe cow and 
bear graze with each other, while their young lie together on 
the meadow. The lion thirsts no more for blood, but, like 
the ox, is satisfied with chopped food, t.«. with cut and 
crashed straw. The suckling has its delight, i.e. enjoys 
itself (Filpel in the same reflexive sense as in Ps. cxix. 70, 
from VSf, to stroke, to caress, to smoothen, mideere) on the 
hole of the adder ; and the child hardly yet weaned boldly 
and safely stretches his hand to 'J'J®? rrpKO.^ From Jer. 
viii 17 it is clear that >y(SKt is the name of a species of 
snake ; it is, according to Aquila and Jerome in the passage, 
the PcurOUffKot, serpens regvlua (with which also agrees the 
Taignm and Syr. lo'jvi, cAarmana), according to Schnltens 

from PBV= - fl ,... to singe by means of the hot breath, but 

according to Gesenins and Fiirst from V «|y, to pipe, to hiss, 
for which Isidore {Origg. xii. 4), siibUua idem est qui et 
1 This tndt of the Hessiaiiic time baa been borrowed by a tradition 
dted by Damire under tbe mbric ^juJ^o- (serpent) : " till it come to this 
that the child puts his band into the mouth of the serpent wiUiout its 
banning him." 



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284 ISAIAH. 

regxdus ; aSnlo mim oceidit, anteguam mordeat vel exurai. It 
is hardly equivalent to *?^V3y, as it appears according to 
Saadia, who translates it er-rakdl, the spotted (speckled). 
rnrt is a air. \ey., and the meaning of it is secured by the 
Arabic ^jjb, dirigere, tendere ; it is cognate in root vdth "T, 

projicere, from which comes 1J (hand). So much the more 
uncertain is the meaning of the av. Xey. miKD. Correspond- 
ing to the parallel *>", it appears to mean the hole (Syr. 
Jerome, LXX. Koinj), whether from *i)K — "WS, from which 
comes <r^, i ,U^ (there is no word in Arabic of this meaning 

from a verb beginning with \); or from i1k, the light-hole 
(as 'rtKO occurs in the Mishna, OhcUoth xiii. 1), or the opening 
where the hole appears. But it is more probable that rrvnm 
is something that exercises an attractive power on the child, 
such as the play of colour, or better, the apple of the eye 
(Taigum), as the fern, of "rtttp, the light of the eye (EruUn 556 
== power of seeing). The glance of snakes, and not merely 
that of the basilisk-lizard but also that of the basilisk-viper, was 
regarded as having a paralysing and fascinating power. But 
this terrifying hurtfidness of snakes has now ceased, chap. 
Ixv. 25 ; the basilisk has become so gentle that he lets 
children catch at his sparkling eyes as if they were precious 
stones. The prophet thus represents as in an idyl the state 
of peace of the glorified time which was about to come, and 
it is requisite to take the thought of the promise in a spiritual 
sense without adhering literally to the media through which 
it is expressed. But the representation is more than a drapery 
thrown around the object ; it is the refraction of the beheld 
future in the soul of the prophet But are the animals 
still to be taken as the subject in ver. 9 1 The subject most 
naturally suggested is the animals, some of which have just 
been named as terrible and destructive to men ; and that 
they are actually thought of as the subject is confirmed in 
chap. Ixv. 25, where chap. xL 6— 9a is compendiously 
repeated. That vn* requires men as the subject is refuted 
by the usual n^ n*? (compare the parallel promise in Ezek. 
xxxiv. 25, which rests upon Hos. ii 20). That vrne'; can 
be said of animals is evident from Jer. iL 30, and is at once 
understood. But if the animals aro the subject, then ^^ in 



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CHAFTBK XI. 10. 286 

here is not the hill of Zion (Cheyne), upon which wild 
beasts never had their lair in historical times, but, as hs 
indicates, the holy mountain land of Jehovah ; and this is just 
ihe sense of nehp in in chap. Ivii 13 ; of. Pa Ixxviii 54; 
Ex. XT. 17. Further, the fact that peace prevails in the 
animal world, and that there is also peace between the 
animals and man, is founded upon the imiversally prevailing 
knowledge of God, in consequence of which has ceased that 
destmctiveness of the animal world in relation to man by 
which alienation from God and apostasy had been previously 
so often punished (2 Kings xvii 25; Ezek. xiv. 15, and 
other passages ; see also remarks on chap. viL 24). The 
meaning of H(hp nn'^as also determines the extent of the 
signification of pttn ; it is the land of Israel, the more 
restricted domain of the government of the son of David, that 
is meant (Hofmann), which is henceforward, like the para- 
disiacal centre of the whole earth, a prelude of its future total 
and perfect glorification (chap, vi 3, ptbT^). It has become 
full of 'miK n^, of that experienced knowledge of Jehovah 
which consists in fellowship of love (njn like •'n?, a collateral 
form of ntn), like to the waters covering the sea, i.e. the bottom 
of the sea (cf. the borrowed passage in Hab. iL 1 4, where n^ 
is a virtual accusative : full of the knowing), f nD3 (like 
f ^D in Ps. xcL 4) means to afford covering to something ; 
the Lamed with a participle readily comes in as a designation 
of the object, particularly (in Arabic it holds regularly in this 
case) when it precedes the participle (Ewald, § 292e). The 
omission of the article in the case of D*D30 is an immediate 
consequence of the inverted order of the words ; and generally 
the attributive participle, when it is in any way more closely 
determined, can dispense with the articla 

The prophet has now described in vers. 1-5 the just 
ruling of the son of David, and then in vers. 6-9 the peace 
which under his government extends to the animal world, 
and which is the consequence of the living knowledge of God 
having become univeisal, and which therefore follows from a 
spiritual transformation of the people subject to him. The 
matter here indicated is variously enigmatic, and the detail of 
what it contains and presupposes is unfolded in what followa 
Ver. 10 : " And it will eome to pass in that day, the root- 



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286 ISAIAH. 

sprout of Jes8e tohieh dands a* a banner of the peoples, for it 
shall nations ask, and its resting-place is glory" The proad 
tree of the Davidic kingdom is hewn down, and only the root 
has still remained ; the new David is ^. Bny, and therefore 
in a certain sense that root itself, because it would have long 
since perished if it had not borne within itself from the 
beginning Him who now springs forth out of it But when 
he who was the One hidden in the root of Jesse as its sap 
and its power shall have become himself the rejuvenated root 
of Jesse in the springtide (cf. Eev. xxii. 16), he will be 
exalted out of this lowly beginning and raised B^? PJf, as a 
banner, attracting the peoples and uniting them around him- 
self. Thus visible to all the world, he will draw the atten- 
tion of the heathen to himself ; they will turn zealously to 
him ; and his nnuD, ie. the place where he has settled down 
to dwell and reign (for the word in this local sense, see Num. 
X. 33 ; Ps. cxzxii. 8, 14 ; the Vulgate, et sepulchrum gus, is 
contrary to connection and to history), is glory, t.e. the dwell- 
ing and reigning seat of a king who shines over all, and rules 
all, and gathers all the nations around him. The people, 
however, from which and for which this One is primarily 
king, will, according to the revelation in chap, vi., be scattered 
away from its native land to a far distance. 

How will he be able to reign in the midst of this people ? 
Vers. 11, 12 : "And it will come to pass in that day : again 
wiU the AU'Lord a second time stretch out His hand to ransom 
the remnant of Hit people which will be Uft remaining, out of 
Assur, and out of Egypt, and out of Pathros, and out of 
Ethiopia, and out of 'Blam, and out of Sin'ar, and out of 
Hamdih, and out of the islands of the sea. And He lifts up a 
banner to the nations and fetches home the outcasts of Israel, 
and the dispersed of Judah will He gather from the four 
borders of the earth." Assyria and Egypt stand first as the 
two great powers of the time of Isaiah, and side by side 
(cf. viL 18-20). The following were dependencies of B^ypt : 
1. Dhna, in the hieroglyphics tores, and with article petorls, the 
southland, i.e. Upper Egypt, so that D^^P in the narrower 
sense thus signifies Lower £^pt (see, on the other hand, Jer. 
xliv. 1 5) ; and 2. e^, the country lying still farther south 
than Upper Egypt on both sides of the Gulf of Arabia. The 



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\ 



CHAPTER XI. 18. 287 

following were dependencies of Assyria : 1, Of"}), the high 
land (Assyr. elamu), the old Eran (Old Pers. Airyama, 
Aryama) to the east of the Tigris; and 2. y/^J^, the old 
SumSr, from which the Assyrian kings designated themselves 
as kings of SumSr and AJckad (southern and northern Baby- 
lonia). These are followed by the Syrian Hamath at the 
northern foot of the Lebanon, and last of all by o;n »«k, the 
islands and coast lands of the Mediterranean with the whole 
island part of the world (Targ. K©! nu3, or merely 1U3, cf. 
Assyr. nagH, district, laud). There was not yet any such 
diaspora of Israel at the time when the prophet prophesied, 
nor even after the dissolution of the northern kingdom ; the 
specialization is prophetical The redemption which the 
prophet here prophesies is, in fact, a second redemption, after 
which there is no third ; the banishment therefore out of 
which Israel is redeemed is the final form of what is 
threatened in chap. vi. 12 ; cf. Deut. xxx. 1 sqq. It is the 
second redemption, the counterpart of the Egyptian one. He 
will then again stretch out (V0\ supply: n?E?) His hand, 
and as He once delivered Israel out of Egypt, so will He now 
ransom and reacquire it (nip, opp. ^p) out of all the countries 
named. The V? of the names of countries is to be construed 
with rt:p?, which the LXX. translate tow ^TfX&aai (to kutu- 
Xei^ev tnroXotvov tov \aov), by which it is meant that He 
will be zealous in His care for the diaspora ; but in the sense 
of this ^■qXovv Tiva (2 Cor. xL 2), KJjJ is not used seq. ace., but 
^ K|p. In ver. 12a it is indicated that the conversion of the 
heathen becomes the means of the redemption of Israel : the 
heathen will at Jehovah's beck let His people free and 
accompany them (chap. xlix. 22, Ixii. 10), and thus He will 
again gather (HPK with reference to the one gathering point, 
and fsj? referring to the dispersion of those who are to be 
gathered) even from the uttermost four ends of the world, 
rrn.T rtxw^ i>K-ib». 'rns (= -rnj, with the Bag. dropped before the 
following guttural as in ^njjn, ^npB'), the outcasts of the 
kingdom of Israel, and the dispersed of the kingdom of 
Judah, men and women. This recalls the fact of the present 
rupture in the unity of the people ; but the people brought 
home again will be a single people in brotherly union. 
Ver. 13:" And the jealousy of Ephraim is removed, and the 



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288 ISAIAH. 

adversaries of Judah are extirpated; Ephraim will not act 
jealously against Judah, and Judah wiU not be hostile- to 
Ephraim." As a suffix and genitive after "'I'if are elsewhere 
always objective {e.g. Amos v. 12), n"J^n<_ nnV does not mean 
those who are hostUe in Judah (Ewald, Enobel, and others), 
but those who are hostile to Judah (Umbreit and Schegg). 
On the other hand, the genitive after HK}^ may be the gen. 
dbj. as well as the gen, snihj. ; but to understand D^nfiK nvap 
of the disinclination of Judah against the more powerful 
Ephraim (N^ehbach and Cheyne) is yet hardly possible, as 
ntup with the objective genitive is only found in the sense of 
zeal about something (chap. zxvL 11 ; Ps. Ixix. 10), and not 
in the sense of zeal against something. Accordingly we 
render it thus : the jealousy (passionate hostility) of Ephraim 
will cease, and if there should nevertheless be found those 
who oppress (are hostile to) Judah, they fall under the 
punishment of the nnan, ».«. God's immediate judgment vrts\ 

Another question turns upon the relationship of this Israel 
of the future with the neighbouring peoples : with the war- 
like Philistines, the predatory nomad tribes of the East, the 
unbrotherly Edomites, the boastful Moabites, and the cruel 
Ammonites. Will not these disturb and contract the new 
Israel as they did the old? Ver. 14: "And they fly upon 
the shoulder of the PhUistiius seavmrds, unitedly they plunder 
the sons of the east, of Edom and Moah they take possession, and 
tlu sons of Amman are subject to them." *ins is the proper 
name of the coast land of Philistia sloping seawards (JosL 
XV. 11, ii")?^ I??); but here alluding thereto it is repre- 
sented as the shoulder of the body of the Philistine people 
(li??? - 10??. see on the cause at chap. v. 2), on which Israel 
sweeps down from the height of his mountain-land like an 
eagle. " Object of the outstretching of their hand " is the 
same as object of their seizure. Whenever henceforth any one 
of the neighbouring peoples here named attacks Israel, Israel 
will act in common. But how does this warlike prospect 
accord with the previous promise of paradisiacal peace, and 
the end of all war presupposed by it (c£ chap. iL 4) ? This 
is a contradiction, the solution of which lies in this, that they 
are only figures, — figures drawn from the present relations 
of the peoples and their warlike actings, in which the 



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CHAPTEB Xr. 16,' 16. 289 

dominion of the future united people over the neighbouring 
lands comes into the vision of die prophet 

He lingers still upon the miracles in which the antitypical 
redemption will resemble the tTpical one. Vers. 15, 16 : 
"And Jehovah pronounces the ban upon the sea- tongue of 
Egypt, and swings His hand over the Euphrates in the glow 
of His breath, and strikes it asunder into seven brooks, and 
makes it that men pass through in shoes. And thits a road 
is made for the remnant of His people which will have 
remain^ out of Assur, as there was mMe for Israel on the 
day of its marching out of the land of Egypt." The two 
countries of the diaspora which are here first named are 
Assyria and Eg3rpt To those who are returning from both 
and through both, Jehovah miraculously makes a way. The 
sea -tongue (ptt^, as in Josh. xv. 5) of Egypt ("aj with a 
retained in the construct state, as is mostly the case),* 
stretching between Egypt and Arabia, is the Bed Sea (sinus 
Heroopolitamis, the Gulf of Suez, not as Cheyne supposes, 
simis Aelaniticus, i.e. the Gulf of Akaba). This he lays under 
the bau (O'lpj!?, corresponding in meaning to the pouring out 
of the vial of wrath in Bev. xvL 12, and a stronger expres- 
sion than ">^, e.g. Ps. cvL 9), the consequence of which is that 
it furnishes a dry passage for those who are returning. As 
0*TJ|!3 ^°™ ^"^ ~ Cj^ (with the radical meaning to cut ofiF, 
to separate, to consecrate), gives a meaning that is unobjection- 
able, it is unnecessary to read 3'nnn from 3"!n = t_,^, or to 
follow Meier and Enobel, who take 0*1"^ in the meaning of 
to split (from onn. Lev, xxL 18 = *p-). And in order that 

the cleaving of the Jordan may also have its antitype, 
Jehovah swings His hand to smite the Euphrates, while He 
breathes upon it at the same time with glowing breath, so 
that it is split into seven shallow brooks through which one 

1 The rule is already found in Kimchi, Michlol, SOfio, and following 
him in Luzzatto (Gramm. § 870)i The following are the fomis both 
written and spoken, D'OB^B D% D'lSD'D', mSSTJ*, nbtWOS whereas it 
is tl^O'D* on account of the immediately following tone • syllable. It 
would certainly be correct according to rule to write instead of "DN "D' 

with Metheg ; see Norzi on Gen. iv. 25 ; Num. xxziv. 3 ; and on the 
placing of Metheg, § 11. 

VOL. L T 



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290 ISAIAIL 

can go in sandals. B^ stands, according to tlie law of 
euphony, for D'?3, and the air. Xey. D,'^ (with fixed Kamez) 
from tty = wn, Don, to glow, means a glow, a meaning which, 
besides, is so well supported by the two Arabic verbs med. Ye 

Ac and Ap {inf. 'aim, gaim, inner glowing, burning thirst, 

also violent n^ing), that the conjecture of cnt^a (Luzzatto, 
Gesenius, and Cheyne) is not required. The LXX. translate 
irvevfMTi piaiijt as if it was written D'K3; the Syriac renders it 
only according to the general sense by VvMdna, with a display 
of might Saadia, however, renders it with etymological cor- 
rectness by suhUn, from sahana, to be hot, kindled. Thus in 
the (singeing, parching) hot glow of His breath, transforming 
the Euphrates into seven shallow Wadis, Jehovah makes a 
free way for His people who come out of Assyria. This is 
the idea which thus presents itself to the prophet 

Kow, as the Israel that was redeemed from Egypt raised 
songs of praise on the other side of the Bed Sea, so likewise 
does the Israel of the second redemption when brought not 
less miraculously over the Bed Sea and Euphrates. Chap. 
xn. 1, 2: "And thou toUt say in that day: I thank Thee, 
Jehovah, that Thou wast angry against me, | Thine anger has 
turned itself away, and Thou hast comforted me. | Behold, the 
Ood of my salvation, | / tmst, and am not afraid ; | for Jah 
Jehovah is my pride and song, | and He became salvation to 
m«." The address is directed to the people of the future as 
contained in the people of the present They give thanks for 
the wrath experienced, inasmuch as it was followed by all 
the richer consolation. The formation of the sentence after 
*3 is paratactic ; the principal tone falls upon lb (see on Job 
iv. 2), where 3Wj is equivalent to 3B»i, or, more correctly, 
where this modal form, followed by V9^-!.^> has included 
ill it a past meaning (of. Deut. xxxiL 18 ; Ps. xviiL 12). 
Driver, § 1 75, maintains that it is to be translated as an 
optative : May Thy anger turn away, and mayest Thou com- 
fort us ; but it is not till 2b that the object for which thanks 
are given comes to be fully expressed. As ^! in Hos. vL 1 
means " he struck," ruled by *I[JD, so here both imperfects are 
ruled by nuK, as Cheyne translates : " Thy wrath turned back, 
and Thou comfortedst me." We hear the sound of the ex- 



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CHArTEB Xn. 8-6. 291 

pressions in Pa xc. 1 3, xxvii 1, breaking through here, but 
2b is an echo of Ex. xv. 2 (from which also comes Ps. cxviii. 
14). iV (a collateral form of ')^) means here the lofty self- 
consciousness that is combined with the possession of power : 
pride and its expression, glorification; nnor is the extended 
ground form of Tnot = rnor, and is therefore only in sense 
equivalent to Tmci, the suffix of the first word also holding 
for the second (cf. Jfn in 2 Sam. xxiii. 5 = Tf^). Peculiar 
to this echo of Ex. xv. 2 is the doubling of the i^^ into 
nvr nj, which corresponds to the surpassing of the type by 
the antitype. 

Attaching itself to the introduction in ver. 1, a prophetic 
promise again appears. Ver, 3 : " And ye will draw vmter 
with rapture out of the wells of salvation." As Israel drank 
miraculous water in the wilderness, so will the God of 
salvation, who has become your salvation, also open to you 
springs (*i?)?p, with auxiliary Pathach instead of the otherwise 
usual '3'?o, as we have frequently «^?! for '''fV!) of salvation, 
many and manifold, in order to draw therefrom with and 
according to the heart's delight njne^ is repeated three times 
as the most striking and comprehensive designation of what 
arises out of the gracious work of the future for Israel, and 
through Israel for all the world. For, having attained to the 
possession of salvation, Israel seeks to put the other nations too 
into this same blessed possession, and in this sense the pro- 
mise contained in ver. 3 changes into the psalm tones of the 
next three verses. Vers. 4—6 : " And ye will say in that 
day, Praise Jehxyvah, proclaim His name, | make known among 
the nations His deeds, \ boast that His nume is exalted, | harp 
to Jehovah, for He has displayed majesty, | let this be known in 
all lands. \ Shout and jubilate, inhaintress of Zion, | for great 
within thee is the Holy One of Israel." The first hymn of six 
lines is followed here by a second of seven lines, a prophetic 
word of promise introduced between them separating the one 
from the other. This second hymn of praise also begins with 
the well-known tones of a psalm ; the passage on which ijmn 
vn^^ D'oya is founded is Ps. ix. 12, which has rrjn for ijnin. 
The form in which it is put by Isaiah is repeated in Ps. 
cv. 1, and in the mosaic of 1 Gbron. xvi. 8. The phrase ^2 
'n cfz means to make the name of Jehovah the medium of 



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293 ISAIAH. 

calling (Ges. 138. 1, R 3*), iA to call to Him, or, as here, to 
call out, exclaim. Tn»i is high-towering sublimity ; here used 
of God, as in chap, xxvi 10, with nb^: to prove such in fact, 
as with 6*37 in Ps. xciii 1, to show oneself publicly in such 
sublimity. For the Cfhethib ny^ in ver. 5, the K^eri substi- 
tutes the more appropriate Hophal form njrno ; yw means 
the known = familiar one. According to the previous ap- 
peals, the sentence is to be taken as expressing a wish that 
the glorious self-attestation of the God of the history of sal- 
vation may be introduced into the consciousness of the whole 
of the population of the earth, i.e. of mankind. When God 
redeems His people. He has in view the salvation of all the 
peoples. It is the Holy One of Israel, the knowledge of 
whom is spread by the word of proclamation, who becomes 
salvation to them all. How, then, may the Church of Zion 
rejoice at having such a God dwelling in its midst 1 Thus 
closes this second psalm-hjrmn of the redeemed people, and 
with it the Book of Immanud. The name of God, ^fc" ;^p, 
with which it closes, is, as it were, the anagram of the author. 



part iil— collection of oracles concerning the 
heathen, chaps. xiii.-xxiil 

The Oraclb concerning thb Chaldeans, the Heirs of thb 
Assyrians, Chap. XIII. 1-XIV. 27. 

Just as in Jeremiah, chaps. xlvl-lL, and in Ezekiel, chapa 
XXV.— xxxii., so likewise in Isaiah the oracles concerning the 
heathen stand tc^ether. In this respect the three great books 
of prophecy have the same kind of arrangement. In Jere- 
miah these oracles disjoined from their introitus in chap. xxv. 
form the concluding part of the collection. In Ezekiel they 
fill up that interval of time when Jerusalem at home was 
lying at the last extremity, and the prophet had become 
speechless on the Eebar of Chaldea. Here in Isaiah these 
prophecies indemnify us for the interruption which his public 
labours appear to have undergone in the latter years of Ahaz. 



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CHAPTER XIII. 1. 293 

Moreover, this was their most suitable position, following chaps, 
vii,— xiL ; for the great consoling thought of the prophecy of 
Immanuel, that all the kingdoms shall become the kingdom of 
Gk>d and of His Christ, is here unfolded. And as the prophecy 
of the Immanuel is given on the threshold of the period of 
the great empires in order to rule this whole period with its 
consolation, the oracles concerning the heathen peoples and 
kingdoms properly belong to it and go with it 

The fact tliat with chap. xiiL there begins a new part of 
the whole book, is indicated by the superscription or heading 
given in chap. xiii. 1 : " Oracle concerning Babel which Isaiah, 
son of Amos, has beheld." Kfe"? from KfeO, efferre, then effari, 
Ex. xz. 27, means, as is evident from 2 Kings is. 25, 
effatvm, the utterance, particularly the sentence of God ; and 
the term (without introducing the idea of onus, according to 
which it is translated by the Taigum, Syr. Jer. and Luther, 
although, according- to Jer. xxiii. 33, they were only scoffers 
who connected this idea with the word) commonly, although 
not always, indicates the judicial sentence of God. We see 
from this superscription that the ^33 Kfev originally formed a 
whole by itself, and that it was handed down to the redactor of 
the Book of Isaiah as Isaianic, or, at least, that he had grounds 
for holding it to be Isaianic. And, in fact, the mode of 
exposition and the whole external character impressed upon 
it accords in many respects with those prophecies which are 
undoubtedly Isaianic; and Zephaniah and Jeremiah appear 
to stand in a relation of dependence to this ^33 vCiro, a re- 
lation which cannot be inverted without conflicting with the 
admittedly mosaic work in Zephaniah and the imitative 
character of Jeremiah (see on this, Caspari in the Lath. Zeit- 
schri/t, 1843, 2). Ezekiel, too, in chap. xxxL, where he holds 
up before the land of Pharaoh the fate of the Asiatic empire 
as a mirror, appears to fuse together recollections of this ttiPO 
^33 and of other prophecies which are recognised as the 
genuine productions of Isaiah (cf. e.g. chap. xxxL 16 with 
Isa. xiv. 8 ; and chap. xxxL 10-14 with Isa. x. 33-34). 
The lamentation and the funeral song over the king of 
Egypt in Ezek. xxxil is regarded by Ewald and Cbeyne as 
the original, which has been imitated by the author of the 
^33 Kiro. But there are reasons for holding to the originality 



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294 I8AUH. 

of the ^3 ttbD : Ezekiel may be said to pick particular pas- 
sages out of it (compare chap. xxxiL 7, 8 with Isa. xiii. 
10; and chap. xxxiL 28 vrith Isa. xiv. 19), and these he 
expands in his own way of working details into more com- 
prehensive pictures. However, we do not overlook the weight 
of the one ground opposed to this view, namely, that this 
prophecy concerning Babylon (Babel) has no historical con- 
temporaneous attachment in Isaiah's own time. It is true 
that Isaiah had become certain in the time of Hezekiah (as 
chap, xxxlx. shows ; cf. Micah iv. 10) that it was not Assyria 
that would be the executor of the final judgment on Judah, 
but Babylon, which was already at that time the second 
capital city of the Assyrian kingdom and the seat of depen- 
dent kings who were striving for independence, and that it was 
thus a Chaldean kingdom. But that Jehovah, as in the case 
of Assyria, would avenge His people on Babylon through a 
Median (Medo-Persian) empire, which was to arise after the 
Chaldean empire, and that He would thus redeem the exiles, 
is a consolatory hope for which a prophet of the beginning of 
the Babylonian exile is better fitted to be the organ than 
Isaiah, for whom, as for Micah, Babylon, as the mistress of the 
world, formed the farthest bound of his horizon, and who did 
not yet proclaim the fall of Nineveh, as Nahum and Zepha- 
niah afterwards did for the first time. 

The prophet hears a summons to war. From whom it 
proceeds, and to whom or against whom, — still remains secret ; 
but this makes the anxiety the more intense. Ver. 2: "On 
unwooded mountain lift ye up a banner, call to them with 
lovd-sounding voiix, shake the hand, that they may enter into 
gates of pnncet." The pronoun onp precedes, and the naming 
of those to whom it refers follows, as, for instance, in Deut 
xxxiii 2, 3. The summons is pressing, and hence a threefold 
signal : the staff of the banner planted in order to be widely 
visible on a " bared " mountain ("60, from which comes 'Bf, 
only found in Isaiah and Jeremiah) ; the voice raised high ; 
and the waving of the hand, which implies a violent beckon- 
ing — all three signs being favourite ideas with Isaiah. The 
destination of this arrOre-ian is the marching into a city of 
princes (D'S'IJ, freemen, nobles, princes, Ps. cvii 40 ; cf. cxiii. 
8), that is to say, they were to march in as conquerors ; for 



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CHAPTKB XIII. 8-8. 295 

it is not the princes who call them thither, but He who 
summons them is Jehovah. Yer. 3: " I have summoned my 
consecrated ones, also called my heroes to my lerath, my proudly 
exulting OTies." 'BK? is to be explained in accordance with 
chap. X. 5. To execute his wrath, he has commanded his 
WV^, i.e. (according to Jer. xxii. 7 ; cf. the dependent pas- 
sage, li. 27, 28) those who were already solemnly consecrated 
to march to battle, and called his heroes whom he had taken 
into his service, and who, even while exulting in the intoxicating 
pride of victory, are his instruments (apparently borrowed in 
Zeph. i 7; cf. iii. 11). r?y is a word peculiar to Isaiah 
(xxii 2, xxiv. 8) ; and the combination ™t|j T^ is so unusuol 
that it is hardly to be expected in two writers who stand out 
of relation to each other. 

The command of Jehovah is speedily executed. The 
great army is already moving down from the mountain. Vers. 
4, 5 : " Sark, tumult upon the mountains after the manner 
of a great people ; hark, uproaring of kingdoms of nations met 
together ! Jehovah of hosts musters an army. Those have come 
out of a far land from the end of the heaven : Jehovah and His 
instruments of wrath, to destroy the whole earth." ^p opens 
an inteijectional proposition, and thereby becomes itself almost 
an interjection (compare liL 8, Ixvi. 6, and on Gen. iv. 10). On 
the mountains there is a rumbling uproar (chap. xvii. 12, 13); 
for they are the peoples of £ran, and at their head the Medes, 
who inhabit the very mountainous part of Eran to the north- 
east of Babylonia, who descend over the lofty Shahu (Zagros) 
and the mountain chains lying towards the Tigris and stretching 
down to the Babylonian lowlands ; and not merely the peoples 
of Eran, bat generally the peoples of the mountainous north of 
Asia (Jer. IL 27). It is an army under the guidance of Jehovah, 
the God of the hosts of spirits and stars, whose wrath it is 
about to execute on the whole earth, i.e. on the kingdom of 
the world ; for the fall of Babylon is a judgment, and it is 
accompanied with judgments upon all the peoples under the 
Babylonian government 

Then must all sink into anxious and painful terror. Vera 
6-8 : " Hold, for the day of Jehovah is near, like a destroying 
force, from the Almighty it comes. Therefore all arms hang 
slack down, and every human heart melts away. And they 



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296 ISAIAH. 

become dislurhed, (hey fall into cramps and pangs, like a tratail- 
iwj tcoman they writhe ; one stares at (he other, their faces are 
faces of flame." The outcry, '^^n (not defectively, ^i^|>n), LXX. 
oKoKv^ere (cl Jas. v. 1), is founded on the expression " the 
day of Jehovah is near," which, from the time of Obadiah 
and Joel, was the watchword of prophecy. The 3 in ifa 
is the so-called a verUatis, i.e. of the comparison of the con- 
crete with its idea (chap. xxix. 2 ; Song of SoL viii 1 0), or of the 
individual with the universal or common which is manifested 
in it(see Ezek. xxvL 10; Zech. xiv. 3; 2 Sam. ix. 8; Neh. vii. 2); 
it is a destroying by him who possesses unlimited power to 

destroy (nl? from "nc', j^^ to ram, to attack in a violently 

destructive way, from which we have 'W, according to the 
form ^3ri from un). In this play of sound the prophet repeats 
words of Joel (L 15). He himself uses "^^ nowhere else as 
a name of God. On that day men let their hands hang 
down from despondency and helplessness, and the heart, the 
seat of life, dissolves (chap. xix. 1) in the heat of anguish. 
Universal consternation ensues, as is here expressed by the 
^bnsn standing in half pause (shalsheleth, with the mark of 
separation after it). The following paragogic imperfects in- 
crease the energy of the description by their anapaestic rhythm. 
Men (this is the subject) are seized by cramps and pangs (as 
in Job xviiL 20, xxi. 6), the force of events compelling them 
to enter into these states (cf. chap. xxxv. 10). The cramps 
are called on^ from "i^ = ""IS, like tormina, from torgnere, and 

the pangs and throes Di>3n from the 73n, Ja»-, which is related 

in meaning to ny (cf. Ja»., to be pregnant, literally, aemen i» 

se constrictum habere). The pains are indicated in their order 
of succession, which is here expressed by p^'n'. (from ^'n = 7V\, 

JU., to turn oneself, to writhe). Further, their iaaeB are 
faces of flame. What is here meant is the fever glow of 
anguish, which drives the blood into their face, so that it 
becomes deep red and gloMring hot (compare the expression 
for deadly paleness in Joel il 6). 

Jehovah's day of wrath is coming, — a starless night, a 
night-like, sunless day. Vers. 9, 10: "Behold, the day of 



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CHAPTKa Xm. 9, 10: 297 

Jehovah comes, a cnul one, and indignation and glovring wratk, 
to turn the earth into a toildemesa ; and its sin it abolishes frmn 
it. For the stars of the heaven and Us Orions will not let their 
light gleam ; the siwn darkens itself at its rising, and the moon 
does not let its light shine." The day of Jehovah comes, cruel 
and severe (^f^, an adj. rdat., it. the elative form ""IpK), aa 
the overflow of inner excitement and as sheer glowing wrath. 
tfkh is carried on in the finite verb. It is, indeed, not the 
judgment of the world which the prophet is describing, but a 
historical catastrophe of the nations drawing the whole earth 
afar into sympathetic suffering ; r^Kn is here not merely the 
land of Babylon (Enobel), but the earth. That the day of 
Jehovah is a day of wrath is established in ver. 10. Even 
nature clothes itself in the colour of wrath, the opposite of 
which is light The heavenly lights above the earth are 
extinguished ; the moon does not shine ; the sun in the act of 
rising changes its mind. That 7<p3, in the sense of " the . 
fool = foolhardy one," indicates Orion, which is according to 
the old translations (LXX. o ^ilplav, Targum j^nT^B) from 
t9*B3, in the same astrological sense), is more probable ^ than 
that it indicates in the sense of " the tardy one," suM, i.e. 
Canopus (see on Job ix. 9, xxxviiL 3 1), although the Arabic suhil 
occurs as the generic name for stars of prominent splendour 
(see on Job xxxviiL 7). The comprehensive signification of 
the term is similar to the use of Q^pVan in Hos. ii 15, 19, as 
applying to Baal, Astarte, and the bull images taken together ; 
or as when in Arabic (according to a figure of speech which 
is called )_. ■,}\i', i.e. the letting the pars potior predominate) 
" the two late evenings " are used for evening and late even- 
ing; "the two Omars" for Omar and Abubekr (J)MZ. vii. 
180-81), and Sibaweihs for Sibaweih and the grammarians 
like him, exactly as in Latin we have Scipiones = men of the 
greatness of Scipio. Even the Orions, i.e. the stars, which at 
other times beam most brightly (cf. aelpui nrafupavoema in 

* So when the astronomical R Samuel of Nehardea, Beraehot 68i, aays : 
" Were it not for the heat of the VdS, the world could not exist on account 
of the cold of the anpy (Scorpion) ;" and, conversely, he mefing by ^ds 
Orion. The sense of the saying is that the constellations Orion and 
Scorpio, of which the one appears in the hot season and the other in the 
cold, maintain an equilibrium in the relations of the temperatoie. 



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298 ISAUH. 

a fragment of Ibykos), withhold their light ; for when God is 
angry, the principle of anger stirs also in the natural world, 
and indeed primarily in the stars which were created nink? 
(compare Gen. i. 14 with Jer. x. 2). Instead of i?'?', Ezekiel 
, ' in chap, xxxii. 7 says tkJ. 

The prophet now hears again the voice of Jehovah, which 
reveals to him what is His purpose — a visitation punishing 
the wicked, humbling the proud, and depopulating the lands. 
Vers. 11, 12 : "And I visit on the world the evil, and upon 
evil-doers their guilt, and sinJc into silence the pomp of the 
inflated, and the show of the tyrants I throw to the ground. I 
make men more costly than fine gold, and people than Ophit' 
jewels." The verb ^2B is, as in Jer. xxxii. 2, construed with 
the accusative of what is punished, and with 79 of him who 
is punished. Instead of J^K we have here ban, which is 
always used in the manner of a proper noun (never with the 
article, nor in plural) of the earth without limitation. Instead 
of O'anj we have here DTI?, like ^''Sf^, in Job xxi. 28 ; the 
former means only princes, having only sometimes the collateral 
sense of despots ; the latter signifies primarily ferocious men 
or tyrants, and it occurs frequently in Isaiah. The typical 
impress of Isaiah is here unmistakable. "What is high is 
thrown down " is one of the chief themes of Isaiah's pro- 
clamation. It is one of the fundamental thoughts of Isaiah, 
that the judgment only leaves a remnant C^f); and this 
thought also runs through the oracles concerning the heathen 
(chap, xvi 14, xxL 17, xxiv. 6), and is variously represented 
(chap. X. 16-19, xvii 4-6, xxiv. 13, xxx. 17). Here the 
thought is expressed by indicating that men will be as scarce 

as the finest kinds of gold. DTia from ont = j;^, to conceal, 

is literally hiding, and then, what is kept hidden on account 
of its preciousness. Isaiah is fond of painting in tones, and 
the ■''E^'*, which resembles I'ijlK in sound, is — according to 
what is still always the most probable view — the gold region 
of India, which lay nearest the Phoenicians, the coastland of 
Ahhira, east of the mouths of the Indus (see Comra. on 
Gen. X. 29 ; Job xxii. 24 ; and as to the Egyptianized 
Sov<l>lp of LXX., see Comm. on Job xxviii. 16). 

The wrath of God thus rules on earth among men, thus 



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CHAPTER Xra. 13-16. 299 

casting down and rooting out ; and the natural world above 
and below cannot remain unaffected by it. Ver. 13:" There- 
fore I set the heavens a-guaking, a-nd the earth trembles avxiy 
from its place, becatise of the fury of Jehovah of hods, and 
because of the day of His glowing anger." In 13a there is 
an echo of Job ix. 6 (cf. xx. 27). The two 3 (of. ix. 18) are 
used causatively. They correspond to the I?"?]!? as its explica- 
tion. Because God's wrathful judgment is inflicted upon 
men, every creature which is not the object of that judgment 
of wrath must yet become a means of carrying it out It is 
the thought of ver. 9a which is here repeated in a sort of 
refrain (similarly as in chap. v. 25). Now follow the several 
fatalities. The first is flight Ver. 14: " And it happens as 
with a gazelle which is scared, and as with a flock without a 
gatherer, they turn every one to his people, and they flee every one 
to his land." The subj. of f »ril is a instar : there happens the 
like of, or the same as with a scared gazelle. Babylon, the 
" shopkeepers' city of the merchants' land " (Ezek. xvii. 4), was 
the world market of inner Asia, and therefore a gathering place 
of the most diverse nationalities (Jer. I. 16 ; cf. li. 9, 44), the 
rendezvous of a irdfifUKTOi SxKo<{, as Aeschylus says in his 
Persae, v. 52. This great and motley mass of strangers 
scatter hurriedly away on the fall of the imperial city (chap. 
xlviL 15; Jer. I. 16, li. 9). The second fatality is violent 
death. Ver. 15 : "Every one who is found is thrust throtigh, 
and every one who is overtaken faUs by the swvrd" K^3f} are 
those who are found in the city by the inrushing conquerors ; 
and nepan are those who are caught by them in flight C^??, 
chap. viL 20, to snatch away). All are slaughtered. The 
third and fourth fatalities are plundering and ravishing. Ver. 
16 : " And their sucMings are dashed in pieces before their eyes, 
their hmises plundered, and their wives ravished." Instead of 
nj^JBfn, the Kert has here and in Zech. xiv. 2 euphemistically 
njMBfn, eoncvJntum patientur, a passive which, like the Pual of 
the Kert of Jer. iil 2, nowhere appears in the Old Testament 
text itself (see Geiger, Urschrift, pp. 407, 408). The queen's 
name, «?', and the odalisque's name, n^JC?, in Dan. v. 2, 3, 
show that hvt^ was not regarded as ignoble in the ancient 
period of the language. 

With ver. 17 there begins a new turn of the prophecy in 



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300 ISAIAU. 

vrhicli the obscurity thus far lying upon it is completely 
broken through. We now learn the name of the conquerors. 
Ver. 17 : "Behold, I rouse upon them the Mede», who regard 
not silver, and have no pleasure in gold." The Medes are 
called *^, the old Bactrian MMa, the Assyrian Mada-a-a 
(without marking of the first syllable as long). The Persians, 
who are first named by Ezekiel and Daniel, are not mentioned 
here; the prophet who ascribes the fall of Babylon (538 B.c.) 
to the Medes, prophesies, as the statement shows, before 
Gyrus made himself the master of the Median empire 
(549 B.C.) by conquering Astyages. The Medes lived till 
about the end of the reign of Hezekiah, in country districts 
containing regions (villages) organized in a constitutional 
way. After they had broken away, in 714 B.a, from the 
Assyrians, they put themselves, in 709-8 B.C., under a 
common king, named Deyoces, or more correctly, under a 
common monarch. But the proper founder of a Median 
kingdom was Cyaxares, 633-593 B.C., who was followed by 
Astyages (593-549 B.C.). The " kings of Media" appear, in 
Jer. zxv. 25, among those who must drink the cup of revel- 
ling, which Jehovah presents through Nebuchadnezzar to the 
peoples. Their expedition against Babylon was thus an act 
of revenge for the disgrace of servitude brought upon them. 
The fact that they did not esteem silver and gold (p^, 
aestimare, and indeed magni, as in chap, xxxiii 8, and 
frequently elsewhere) is not meant to mark them as a rude 
uncivilised people, but the prophet means it in the same way 
as Cyrus in Xenophon, Cyrop. v. 120, when he says to the 
Medes : ov jfptjftdrmv Beonevoi ciiv iftol i^TdBere. Bevenge 
incites them on even to ignore all morality and humanity. 
Ver. 18 : "And bows smite down young men; and on the fruit 
of the body they have no compassion, on children their eye has 
no pity." The bows do not stand exactly for the bowmen 
(see chap. xxL 1 7) ; but the bows of the latter smite down 
the youths by means of the shot arrow. The fruit of the 
body they do not spare, since they kill the sucklings, and 
even rip up the bodies of women with child (2 Kings viii 12, 
XV. 16, and elsewhere). They feel no emotion of pity or 
consideration even towards children ; no such emotion is 
keeping them back or expressing itself in their look (Prov. 



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CHAPTEE Xin. 19-29. 801 

XXL 10); tMH, related to j_^U., from which comes (_^JiU-, 

aitsit = fVyfJ, here, as in Ezek. v. 11, used of the eye aa the 
mirror of the soul (cf 1 Sam. xxiv. 11, where ^yy is to be 
supplied).' With such inhuman excesses on the part of the 
enemy, the capital of the empire becomes a scene of terrible 
conflagration. Yer. 19 : "And Bahd, the omamerU of king- 
doTns, the glory of the pageantry of the Chaldeans, becomes like 
Mohim's judicial overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah." The 
ornament of ^^/oo is so called because it is the centre of 
many subjugated kingdoms which now take their revenge 
upon her, ver. 4 ; and she is called the gloiy or pride (cf. 
xxviii. 1) because the ancient seat of a mighty and far-ruling 
people. Its present catastrophe is compared to that of 
Sodom and Gomorrah ; the two ntt are in the accusative ; 
naanp, Acataor/oo^, is used like n|ri in chap, xl 9 with a 
verbal force (to KaraaTph^aC), and the LXX. render it well 
hv rpotrov KaTetrrpe^ev 6 6e6<i (cf. on the arrangement of the 
words, Ges. § 133, 3). 

Babylon, like the cities of the Fentapolis, is now an ever- 
lasting wilderness. Vers. 20-22: "She remains unoccupied 
for ever, and uninhabited to generation of generations ; and an 
Arab does not pitch tent there, and shepherds do not make lie 
down there. And beasts of the desert lie down there, and hyenas 
fill their houses, and ostriches dwell there, and field-devils hop 
about there. And jackals houi in her castles, and wiid dogs in 
palaces of pleasiwre : and her time is near to come, and her days 
will not be prolonged." A city sits and dwells when it is 
settled and inhabitable, and has therefore a settled population 
(cf. e.g. Zech. ix. 5). Babylon thus becomes a ruin. The 
conclusion is similar to the conclusion of the prophecy against 
Edom in chap, xxxiv. 16, 17 ; there the certainty of what is 
prophesied is asserted to the most individual details; here 
the nearness of the fulfilment is asserted. The fulfilment, 
however, did not take place so soon as may appear from 

• Thi8 is not connected with A* ^jAttl^ ai^ j. (Hariri, p. 140^ 

Comment.), in which «MtI1 is not <fen. nihjecti, but n. act., and which 
means : Anxiety lest his sons should be smitten by the evil eye ; literally : 
Anxiety of ogling for his sons (see the remark above on ii. 6). — Fl. 



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302 ISAIAH, 

the words of the prophecy. According to Herodotus, Cyrus, 
the leader of the Medo-Persian army, left the city still stand- 
ing with its double ring of walls. Darius Hystaspis, who was 
forced to conquer Babylon a second time in 518 B.C., had the 
walls taken away all but 50 ells. Xerxes gave the last 
blow to the glory of the temple of Belus. Conquered by 
Seleucus Nikator (312 B.a), Babylon fell in proportion as 
Seleucia arose, and Seleucia even inherited the name of the 
city it surpassed.* Bahylon, says Pliny, ad aolitudincm rediit 
exhausta vicinitate Sdeudae. In the time of Strabo (bom 
60 B.C.), Babylon was a complete desert; and he applies to it 
(xvi. 1 6) the words of the poet : iptjfiia fieydXij 'artv ^ 
neydXi) iroKtf. Consequently prophecy shows itself here too 
as subject to the law of perspective foreshortening. But the 
curse, to the effect that Babylon should never come again to 
be settled and inhabited (a poetical expression, as in Jer. 
xvii. 25, xxziii. 16), proved itself effective when Alexander 
wished to make Babylon the metropolis of his empire; he 
was carried off when engaged at it by an early death. Ten 
thousand workmen were at that time employed for two months 
in clearing away the rubbish from the foundation of the 
temple of Belus (the Nimrod Tower). The fact that there is 
now found, not far from the Birs Nimrud, a considerable and 
pleasant town named Hilla, is not contrary to 20a; for the 
prophecy means Babylon, the city of imperial power. In 
ver. 206 it is said that no Arab ('aTIj, from the old Semitic 

na'ip,, ijjS, a steppe, used here for the first time, and then in 

Jer. iii 2 = ,_*j*J. Bedouin, from jX;, a desert) pitches his 

tent there (p^l, different from ?!!i' in chap. xiii. 10 and Job 
xxxi. 26, is syncopated from p\}^], tentorium figet, like the 
Assyrian ^K=^nK, to settle down, to camp), is the natural 
consequence of the great field of ruins which is supplied only 
with scanty vegetation. General Chesney found at the foot 
of the Birs Nimrud a tribe of Arabs encamping there ; and this 
is indeed against the letter of the prophecy, but not against 
its sense; — the field of ruins is not a pasture-land where 
' Stephanus Byz. : B«|3vX«» Ili^ix^ x«Ai; ^nr^oVoXi; 2(Xivx«« ku. 



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CHAPTER Xm. 80-22. 303 

nomads could remain. In depicting this desert field the 
prophet names all sorts of beasts of the desert and of waste 
places that make their haunts there. The series opens with 
D'?y (from % dryness = ^V, or from '^, adj. relat. of the noun 
>'), ic. inhabitants of the desert, here not men, but, as in most 
instances, beasts, yet without its being possible to determine 
those which are specially so designated. It was a plausible 
conjecture of Aurivillins, that D'nit meant long - eared owls 
(Uhu's); but the Assyrian d^H {syn. barbaru) is in favour of a 
four-footed beast* Ou njjji*. nlaa, see Comm. on Job xxxix. 

13—18 ; Wetzstein combines wy^ with Jucj, a desert; Ewald, 
on the other hand, compares the Syriac wv*, greedy, devour- 
ing. The feminine plural includes the ostriches of both sexes, 
just as the D'^K (sing. 'N = 'IN from nw, ^^, to howl), i.e. 
jackals, are called in Arabic, without distinction of sex, ci.*Uj 
t^^T, and in the vulgar dialect ^i^V \^ (see Kohler on 
Mai. i. 3) has also been regarded since Pocock and Schnurrer 
as a name of the jackal ; for which the Arabic name for the 
wolf, tindn (which is only incidentally so used), gives less 
authority than the Syriac translation by tfj^ij (e.g. in Jer. ii. 
24, where the Targum has 'H^''*) ;* it may designate a variety 
of the species canis aureus, from the characteristic mark of its 
being stretched out long (whether from length of the trunk, 
or of the snout, or of the tail).* The animals named, the 
quadrupeds (J*?!) as well as the birds (l?f). ^re actually still 
found there on the ground and soil of ancient Babylon. When 
Ker Porter was approaching the Nimrod Tower, lions were 
sunning themselves quietly upon its walls, and they came 
down leisurely when alarmed by the cries of the Arabs. And, 
as Bich heard in Bagdad, the site of the ruins is still regarded 
as a rendezvous for ghosts ; Tyk*, in distinction from "^va, 
signifies the full-grown shaggy he-goat, but here D^VB' (as in 

* Sec Friedr. Dvlitzscb, Hebrew Language (1883), p. 34. 

* Just as strange is the way in which i and i interchange in the 
Talmudic ^^3X, and the Palestinio-Aramaean inav (a bit, a little). The 
ti-ansition of the 2 tpirans into r is also found in the sphere of the Arian 
languages, VMZ. xsxvi. 135, 136. 

' W. Bobertson Smith mentions in the accounts of his journey to Hijaz 

that the fox is there called abu-hotein, and the jackal ^ „i),j^j, 



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304 ISAIAH. 

chap, xxxiv. 14) are demons in the shape of goats to which 
the heathen offered sacrifices (Lev. xvii. 7 ; cf. 2 Chron. xi 15). 
Virgil, like Isaiah, calls them saltantes Saiyros. In the present 
day the nightly howling and yelling of jackals {<^^ after 
IPH, as in 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 7) still produces its weird discon- 
certing effect upon the traveller there. These are the future 
inhabitants of the royal rt30"iK, which the prophet (cf. Targ. 
Ezek. xix. 7) with a sarcastic touch calls fi^^p^K, on account 
of their witheredness and desolation (although njD^K is shown 
to be only different in sound from njtns by the Assyrian 
almattu = almantu)} These are to be the inhabitants of the 
mV '^3'?}, the luxurious villas and chateaux or pleasure 
mansions, with their hanging gardens. The fulfilment is put 
in prospect in ver. 22b as in the near future, ny (hardly 
contracted out of njp from nw = ruK, to meet, a meaning for 
fuy which has no certain support, but out of rnp from ''JJ, 
to determine)* signifies the final term of fulfilment Tlie 
Apocalypse in chap, xviii. 2 takes up this prophecy of 
Isaiah and applies it to a then existing Babylon, which 
lias to look at itself in the mirror of the Babylon of old. 

It is love to His own people which drives the God of Israel 
to suspend such a judgment of eternal destruction over 
Babylon. Chap. xiv. 1,2: " For Jehovah vnU have nurey on 
Jacob, and u-ill once more choose fsrael, and vrill settle them on 
their native soil ; and tlie foreigner will associate himself with 
them, and will attach themselves to the house of Jajedb, And 
peoples take them and accompany them to their place, and the 
house of Israel makes them its own on the soil of JehovaJi as 
servants and maid-servants, and they hold captive those who led 
them away captive, and become lords of their oppressors." We 
have here in mice the comforting substance of chaps, xl.— 
Ixvi. Babylon falls in order that Israel may rise. God's 
compassion brings this about. He chooses Israel Tiy, iierum 
(as in Zech. i. 17, ii. 16), and therefore concludes with it 
a new covenant. Then follows restoration to the possession 
of their country (DnpiK), of the land of Jehovah ('n Wx», as 

' See Friedr. Delitzsch on Bacr's Ezekid, p. xL 

' Similar to this pair of derivatives, np and IjrtD, are nvy and nxjto, 
•rtp' and n^o ; cf. v. Orelli, Zeit und Etrigkeit, pp. 47-49. 



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CHAriKB XCV. «, 4. 305 

in Hos. ix. 3). The proselytes from the heathen who had 
attached themselves to Israel (pvi, as in Zech. ii. 1 5, parallel 
to napj), march with them as Buth went with Naomi. 
Heathen accompany the exiles to their locality and place. 
And the relation between them is now reversed. Those who 
accompany Israel are now taken possession of by them for 
themselves ('Wnn, used reflexively, like ™?Bnn in chap. lii. 2 
\vea6ai) for servants and maid-servants, and they (the 
Israelites) become leaders into captivity of those who led them 
captive (>, with the participle, as in chap, xi 9), and they will 
rule over those who were their oppressors (3 hti, as in Ps. 
xlix. 15). The promise literally refers to this world, in 
accordance with the national form of the Old Testament 
community, and will not be realized in this its literal sense. 
Israel, indeed, will be restored as a people ; but the essence 
of the Church which is raised above all national distinctions 
does not return to the national limit which it has broken 
through. The fact that the prophecy moves within this 
limit here is explained at once from the fact that it is 
primarily deliverance from the Babylonian exile that is 
promised. 

The song of the redeemed is a song on the fall of the king 
of Babylon.^ Vers. 3, 4a : " And it aymes to pass on the day 
when Jehovah Irings thee rest from thy torment, and from thy 
anguish, and from the heavy servUvde wherewith thou wast 
Tnade to serve, then thou raisest stich a triumph-song over the 
king of Babd, and sayest." Instead of the Hiphil fTI'? (to let 
down, to set down, as in Gen. ii 15) of ver. 1, we have here, 
as in the original passage in Deut. xxv. 19, the more usital 
form H'in, in the sense of to give rest, to procure rest. 3SiJ is 
trouble which torments (as ^^ is trouble which presses 
heavy), and M\ agonizing restlessness (Job iii. 26 ; cf. £zek. 
xii. 18). The assimilated V? before Ui is not o, as in 3VVo, 
but p, with a virtual duplication (MiehM, 54a), as elsewhere 
before n, n, and also before i in 1 Sam. xxiii. 28 ; 2 Sam. 
xviiL 16. In the relative clause ^3"'?^ "iB'K, tfH is not the 
Hebrew causus adverb., corresponding to the Latin ablative, 

* In Bungener's Un sermon $ovt Lout* XIV., Bossuet is lepresented as 
saying : "What beauty I Were the author a poet, I would say : that is 
his masterpiece 1 " 

VOL. I. U 



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306 iSAun. 

qtid serviiute servo te usi sunt ; it is conceived as ace. dbj., 
according to Ex. i. 14 and Lev. xxv. 39, qu'on t'a fait 
servir, as in Num. xxxii. 5, qu'on donne la terre (Luzzatto). 
Delivered from sach a yoke of servitude, Israel will raise a 
?B*D. TB'Oj according to its primary general meaning, is 
exposition or representation, i.e. oratorical exposition (from 

'?'? = JjU, to exhibit, put oneself forward), thoughtful and 

pregnant speech, figurative speech, and generally poetry, but 
more particularly gnomic poetry, with a liking for what is 
emblematic and piquant ; and from this the idea of the 
satirical is easily combined with the term. 

The song is addressed to the Israel of the future in the 
Israel of the present, as in chap. xiL 1. The former will then 
sing and say, vers. 4&-6 : " Sow it is over noio with the tyrant, 
over with tJte place of torture / Jeliovali has broken to pieces the 
rod of the wicked, the nder-daff which smote peoples fiercely with 
blows without ceasing, wrathfully subjugated natioiis with pur- 
suing that never pauses." The air. \ey. fiJiTJ? is derived, by 
Parchon, Kimchi, Ben-Melech, Vitringa, Aurivillius, and 
Eosenmiiller, from the Aramaean 3!?^, aurum ; but this was 
never thought of by any of the ancients. Tlie latter all 
translate the word as if it were •^ptT^p (arrogant, violent 
treatment, from am, chap. iii. 5), as it has been mostly cor- 
rected since J. D. Michaelis. But we come to this result 
without changing a letter, if we take 3^^ = 3*w an, meaning 
to flow away, to pine away. The D is the local o, as in 
™P"?9, chap. xxv. 10, and therefore the place where they 
reduce to pining away, i.e. Babylon, as a house of servitude 
where Israel has been made weary to death. The ruler-staff 
in ver. 5 is the Chaldean imperial power concentrated per- 
sonally in the king of Babylon (cf. t53B' in Num. xxiv. 17); 
the ruler is termed 7^, as standing upright and bearing the 
sway (kdim bi-l-mulki), just as the parable is called iJC^, as a 
(comparative) exhibition or exposition. Here the associated 
idea of the tyrant is connected with ??*D. That tyrant-sceptre 
smote peoples with incessant smiting and hunting of them ; 
with '"130 is connected, as the accusative of manner, the 
derivative nap, and with f"^ is connected in cognate 
sense iy.P, that which (o, rt) is hunted, then this that 



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ClIAPTEB XIV. 7, 8. 307 

(oTt) there is hunting, and as the meaning of the passive 
participle passes into that of the verbal abstract : the being 
hunted, a Hophal noun, as in chap. viiL 23, xxix. 3. Dijder- 
lein's conjecture of htio is ingenious but unnecessary. 

Unceasing continuance is expressed first by w?, which is 
used as a preposition, and is followed by nnp, which is a 
participial noun like n?3, and then it is expressed by va, 
which is construed as in Gen. xxxi. 20, Job xli. 18, with a 
finite verb ; for ^BTi ^a is an attributive clause : with a 
" being hunted " which did not liold itself in, made no halt, 
and therefore did not spare. But it is not Israel only and 
other subjugated peoples that now breathe again. Vers. 7, 8 : 
" The whole earth is quiet, is at rest ; they break forth into 
jtibilation. Even the cypresses refoice because of thee, the 
cedars of Lebanon : ' since thou hast fallen asleep, there will not 
come up one who lays the axe to us.'" The preterites indicate 
inchoatively the circumstances into which the whole earth 
has now entered. The want of a subject with ^nva gives the 
greatest generality to the bursting out of jubilation ; ni"! IXB, 
erumpere gaudio, is an expression exclusively Isaianic (e.g. 
in chaps, xli v. 23, xlix. 13). tttp also in historical prose 
signifies " since " in a relative conjunctional sense (e.g. Ex. v. 
23); and it is peculiar to our prophet to draw the trees of 
the forest into the general joy as living and speaking beings 
(cf. Iv. 12). Jerome understands the trees here figuratively as 
prindpes gentium. But the disposition to allegorize not only 
destroys the reality of the contents, but also the colouring of 
the poetry. Cypresses and cedars rejoice, because the Chal- 
dean has behaved so badly when among them in employing 
the almost imperishable wood of both for building ornamental 
structures, for carrying on sieges, and for constructing fleets. 
They even made ships of them, as Alexander, for example, 
built for himself a fleet of cypress wood, and the Syrian ships 
had masts of cedar. Of the thousand -year -old cedars of 
Lebanon, which at a moderate height are distinguished by the 
circumference of their trunk (being about 14*56 metres at 
breast high), there are only some seven still remaining, while 
the number of all the trunks goes considerably beyond 350. 
The old botanist Eauwolff, in the year 1573 (according to 
the account of his travels published in 1583), counted only 24. 



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308 ISAIAH. 

Wliile it has now become quiet on eartb, on the other hand 
the nether world is found in the most violent agitation. Ver. 
9 : " T/u kingdom of the dead helow faU» into uproctr on account 
of thee at thy comivg ; it stirs vp for thee the shcutes, all the 
he-goats of the earth ; it raises vp from their throne-seats all 
the kings of the nations." The mythological idea of Hades 
proceeds on the twofold truth, that what and how man has 
been in this world is not obliterated in the other world, but 
becomes essentially manifest, and that there is an immaterial 
self-formation of the soul in which all that the individual 
man has become through his own self-determination under 
God-given relations is reflected as in a mirror, and that in 
an abiding figure. This image of the soul, to which the dead 
body is related as the shattered form of a mould, is the 
shadowy corporeity of the inhabitants of Hades, in which 
they appear essentially, although in the condition of spirits, 
as what they were in this life. The prophet depicts this 
poetically ; it is truly a hfo which he here inweaves in his 
prophecy. The greatest astonishment and excitement lay 
hold of the whole of Hades now when the king of Babel 
approaches, the invincible ruler of the world, who was not 
expected, or, at least, not so soon. From "^^V onwards, TiVSff^ 
although feminine, might be the subject, since the verb turns 
from the feminine form into the original masculine form ; 
but it is better to take the subject as neuter, a nescio quid, a 
nameless power ; for were ^HE' to be taken as the personified 
Sheol with allusion to the heathen god of the nether world 
(such as Nergal, the for apsi, king of the water deep. Job 
xxvi. 5), then M3T would have to be altered into Tri \DMZ. 
xxvL 793). A sudden shock runs through the inhabitants of 
the still land, especially those who were formerly the leading 
goats or bell-wethers of the herds of peoples, so that they 
bound up from astonishment. 

And what do they call out to the lofty new-comer as he 
approaches? Ver. 10: "They ail begin and say to thee: 
Thou also hast been made weak the same as we ; thou art become 
like us!?" This verse only contains the address of the shades. 
The Pual npn, only used here, meaning to be made sickly or 
powerless, signifies the being transposed into the state of the 
D'KD"; (a word occurring in Phenician inscriptions, from KB'J = 



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CHAPTEB Xrv. II, 11 309 

nan, to be slack, weary) ; for tbe life of tlie shades is only a 
shadow of life (cf. etBmXa, okikik, and Kanovret in Homer). 
We cannot expect more than this expression of highest amaze- 
ment in Hades. Why should they taunt their new associate ? 
From ver. 11, accordingly, tbe singers of tbe Mashal again 
take up the song. Ver. 11 : " Thy splendour ia hurled down 
to the realm of the dead, the sounding of thy harps ; maggots 
are spread under thee, and they wJto cover thee are vjorms." 
We learn from the Book of Daniel the nature of the Baby- 
lonian music, which was rich in instruments, partly of a 
foreign kind. Maggots and worms — a bitter sarcasm — now 
take the place of the artistic and costly Babylonian carpets as 
tlie pillows and coverings of the noble corpses. 1'^ might be 
a 3rd pers. imperfect Hophal (Ges. § 71), but here between 
perfects it is 3rd pret. Pual, like l?' in chap. ix. 5 (Aben 
Ezra), noi, which is preceded by the verb in a masculine, 
and, to some extent, indifferent form, is the collective name of 

small worms which corruption brings with it (from cp"i, 

to be rotten, putrid), LXX. <r^t?. With T??, the catchword 
of the Mashal, it goes on in ver. 12 : "How art thou, fallen 
from the heavens, thou shining star, son of the dawn, smitten 
down to the earth, who threw nations down from above ! " ??'(! 
(which elsewhere as the imp. Hiphil of the verb 7T means 
ejvia) here means the glittering star (from the quadriliteral 
^\i, hailala, an intensive form of ^n, to shine), i.e. tbe morn- 
ing star, which Babylonians and Assyrians personified in the 
feminine as Istar,' but of which they said : " Istar is feminine 
at sunset and masculine at sunrise."* To the idea of the 
morning star as a male messenger of the sunrise, corresponds 
the surname inB*"!?; just as according to the Greek myth he 
is son of Eos, because he rises before the sun and swims in 

> Iitar is originally goddess of the morning star (like t_0*ii of the 
ancient Arabians, DMZ. zli. 710) ; and not till later, after the suppression 
of Sin, did she become the Moon-goddess and the planet Venus was 
thenceforth represented by Bilit {Baaltis), the ancient goddess of the even- 
ing star (see Schrader in Stud. u. Krit. 1874, 337, 340 ; DMZ. xxvii. 403 ; 
JahrbUcher fur prolat. Theologie, i. 127). On the mythus of inDD'8 being 
transferred to the Pleiades, see DMZ. xxxi. S25-229. 

* See Friedrich Delitcsch on Smith's Chald. Gencti*, p^ 271. 



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310 iSAUir. 

the morning red, or latlicr in the morning grey (for tliis is 

the literal meaning of the tnr, jA^t in distinction from ^f^, 

the red dawn), as if ho were born out of it Lucifer, the 
name of the devil, is derived from this passage, the reference 
of which to Satan is designated by Luther as insignia error 
totiits papalm ; but it is found already in Jerome and other 
Fathers. The designation is exceedingly appropriate for the 
king of Babylon, because of the Babylonian culture going 
back to the grey primeval time, and on account of its astro- 
logical character. The additional name assigned to him, v^n 
^'^*^, arises from the idea of the ivflvxus siderum ; v^n 
means laying low, as in Ex. xvii. 13, and with TV, bringing 
overthrow i*^^) upon ; . . . whereas the Talmud (iSutbbath 
1496) takes it in the sense of bfO ^BD {prqjidens aortem), and 
explains the (Wh (= lOW, lot) of the Mishna by it. 

A look is now thrown back at the self-deification of the 
king of Babylon, in which he is the antitype of the devil and 
the prototype of Antichrist (Dan. xL 36 ; 2 Thess. ii. 4), a self- 
deification which has found its reward. Vers. 13-15 : "And 
thou, thou hast spoken in thy heart : ' The heavens will I ascend, 
high above the stars of God exalt my throne, and sit down on 
the mountain of the assembly of gods in the comer of the north. 
I will mount up to doud-heights, make myself equal to the Most 
High' — nevertheless thou art hurled down into the realm of the 
dead, into the comer of the pit." With wiKl there begins, as 
in ver. 1 9, an antithetical circumstantial clause : whilst thou, 
whereas thou. The Ij?^t3ii i'"? cannot be Zion, as Schegg and 
others suppose, misled by Ps. xlviii. 3 ; Zion was certainly 
neither a north point of the earth, nor did it lie in the north 
of Jerusalem. The prophet makes the king of Babylon speak 
according to the ideas of his people, who had not, like Israel, 
the seat of the Deity in their midst, but transferred it to a 
mountain-range in the farthest north, the Ard.l{i, as the Hindus 
transfer it to the fabulous northern mountain Kailftsa lying 
beyond the Himalaya, and the Eranians to the Alburg which 
bounds the earth to the north. There in the north, on the Arftlft, 
the mountain of the lands Qad mAtdti), i.e. at whose feet lie the 
lands or countries of the earth, according to the Babylonio- 
Assyrian notion, the gods bad their home, their habitation, 



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CHAPTKn XIV. 16, 17. 311 

the seat of their dominion.' D??'?'^! (from nan* with suffix 
IroT) are the two sides of a thing into which it sunders, the 
two legs of an angle, and then the apex where the legs 
separate. So here fOf *npT is the farthest point of the north 
from whence the northern mountain chain stretches fork-like 
into the land ; and "rt3"'n3T is the inmost part of the pit into 
which it slopes with its two walls, and from which it gapes or 
widens. All the foolhardy purposes of the Chaldean are em- 
braced ultimately in JIyJ^ TO^K, just as the Assyrians (which, 
however, is not yet established by the inscriptions) according 
to Ktesias, and the Persians according to the Persae of 
Aeschylus, called their king God, and the Sassanidae actually 
call themselves bag &EOC on coins and inscriptions, nofntt 
is Hithpael=nBnnN, with the usual assimilation of the pre- 
formative n. With ^N, in ver. 14, a contrast is drawn 
between the pride of the Chaldean flying to the far lofty 
mountain range towards the north, and to the heavens above, 
and his inflicted punishment dragging him deep down to 
the pit ^K, originally affirmative and then restrictive (ns 
n is originally restrictive and then affirmative), passes here 
to an adversative meaning, as in Ps. xlix. 1 6 and Job xiii. 1 5 
(a transition which |3K shows still more frequently) : never- 
theless thou wilt be hurled down ; nothing but that will 
occur, and not what thou proposest. This prophetic Tiin is 
not appropriate either in the mouth of the inhabitants of 
Hades or in the mouth of the Mashal-singer. The address 
of Israel has here imperceptibly passed into the words of the 
]>rophet, who has before him, but still in the future, what the 
Mashal sings of as already past. 

The subject is also carried on in the tone of prophecy. 
Vers. 16, 17: "Those who ue thee look tlumghtfully, hole 
meditatively at thee : ' Is this the man who set the earth 
quaking, kingdoms shaJdng? He who made the world a 
wilderness, and threw down its cities, and did not let away 
his captives to their home f ' " The scene is no longer in 
Hades (Knobel, Umbreit). Those who thus speak have the 
Chaldean before them, not as a weary shade, but as an unburied 
corpse that has passed into corruption, "''f"? means the 

' See Friedr. Dclitzsch, Paradiet, p. 118. Alfred Jeremias, BabyL 
auyruche Vorttellungen vom Lden nack dem Tcdc, p. 59 sqq. 



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312 IBAIAH. 

thoughtful fixing of one's attention upon something. As 73n 
is feminine, the suffixes in yer. 17 refer, according to a eon- 
stmctio ad sensum, to the oUovfiiiif] as transformed into ^^*ip. 
nriB, to open, namely, lock and fetters, here joined with 
nn^a, is equivalent to releasing and letting away (syn. 
'7^?', Jer. 1. 33). Among the captives the Jewish exiles are 
particularly referred to ; and it was their release that had 
never entered the mind of the king of Babylon. 

The prophet, into whose own words the words of the 
spectators have passed, then tells of the state in which tlie 
tyrant now lies, a state which calls forth such earnest reflec- 
tions. Vers. 18, 19 : " All the kings over nations, all of them 
are laid away in honour, every one in his house ; bttt thou art 
cast away far from thy sepulchre like a shoot hurled forth, 
clothed over with slain ones, those thrust throtiyh by the sword, 
those that go down to stones of the pit — like a carcase trodden 
under foot," Every other king lies after his death in*33, in 
the confines of his residence, but the Chaldean ' lies far from 
the hereditary vault which seemed destined for him. The V? 
in ^1^^ means away therefrom, as in Zeph. iii. 18 ; cf. 
Prov. XX. 3 ; Num. xv. 24. He lies there like a aj'n? "<». i.e. 
like a side shoot cut o£f from the tree and thrown away with 
disgust, because ngly, useless, and only prejudicial to the 
development of the tree ; 3Pn?, pregnant : cum aJxminatione 
abjectus. The Targnm takes nv3 figuratively, and translates 
"vao errs as a buried abortion (Job iii. 16). The scene which 
here rises before the mind of the prophet is the field of 
battle. In order to clear it, a hole has been made, and 
stones are thrown upon it without the trouble being taken 
of shovelling it up pl3"'53K); but the king of Babylon 
remains lying like a branch which, when a tree is pruned, 
is let lie aside unheeded, and is trodden into the mire. 
The following B'ap is also a participle ; he comes to lie in a 
common grave deep below other bodies gathered from the 
battle-field. There he lies then like a carcase O^B), trodden 
down and deserving nothing better than to be trodden down 
(D3TO, part. Hophal from W3, concukare). He is not buried 
with other kings and like other kings. Yer. 20 : " Thou art 
not united with them in burial, for thou hast ruined thy land, 
murdered thy people ; seed of evil-doers is not named for ever." 



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CHAPTEH XIV. 21-23. 313 

With them, ie. the on) ^J?o of ver. 18a. He does not come 
to lie where kings are entombed with royal honours, not in 
" his grave," ver. 19a, the royal place of burial Vengeance 
is thus taken because he has tyrannically spoiled and 
exhausted his country, and because he has made his people 
the mechanical instrument of his lust of conquest, and sacri- 
ficed them. And it is not merely with himself that all is 
over for ever ; it is also so with his dynasty. The prophet, 
the messenger of the punitive righteousness, and the mouth 
of the omnipotence which shapes history, commands it 
Ver. 21:" Prepare for hit sons a slatighter-house because of 
the iniquity of their fathers. They shall not rise up and con- 
quer lands, and fiU the face of the world with cities." The 
exhortation is addressed to the Medes, if the prophet is to be 
considered as having particular persons in his mind. After 
they stormed Babylon by night, the new Babylonian kingdom 
and royal house of Nabopolassar disappeared from history ; 
the last shoot of the royal house of Nabopolassar was slain 
when a child by conspirators ; and the second Nebuchad- 
nezzar " deceived the people by declaring : I am Nabuku- 
dracara the son of Nabunita " — as Darius says in the great 
inscription of Behistan. ^3 (poetical for 7K, like ^3 in 
xiv. 6, for t6) is the expression of a negative wish (as 
IB is of a negative intention). A Babylonian kingdom shall 
never arise again. Hitzig (Psalms, ii. 89) corrects 0^^ into 
D^y, '• heaps of ruins," which is approved by Cheyne, who 
renders it " heaps ; " Ewald makes it orfriV (tyrants) ; Meier, 
O^S, which is made to mean conflicts ; and Maurer, like Knobel 
(in editions 2, 3, whereas in ed. 1 he preferred to read D'jn), 
gives on^, which is to be taken, not in the sense of cities, but of 
enemies (see on Fs. cxxxix. 20). Nothing of all this, however, 
is necessary. Nimrod built cities in order to strengthen his 
monarchy. The king of Assyria built cities for the Medes in 
order to keep them better in check. It is this building of cities 
as a means of subserving tyrannical government that is meant. 
Thus far the prophet speaks as from God. The prophecy 
concludes with a word of God Himself given forth through 
the prophet Vers. 22, 23 : " And I will arise against them, 
saith Jehovah of hosts, and root out in Babel name, and remnant, 
and gprout, and shoot, saith Jehovah. And I make it the 



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314 ISAIAH. 

j)osses8ion of hedgehogs and ioater-mardus, and sweep it avmy 
with tlie besom of destruction, saith Jehovah of hosts." itlt?** or 
and *1331 r? are two alliterating proverbial pairs of words in 
the alliterative style, and they express the whole without 
exception. Jehovah rises against the descendants of the king 
of Babylon, and entirely exterminates Babylon root and 
branch. The destructive powers, which Babylon hitherto 
could control by artificial protection, are let loose. The 
Euphrates, now undyked, lays the territory of Babylon under 
water. Hedgehogs then take the place of men, and morasses 

the place of palaces. BJK, ^\ {Ias^\), means here stagnating 

marshy waters, see chap. ix. 13. *ib? appears indeed in chap, 
xxxiv. 11 and Zeph. ii 14 associated with birds, but it 
signifies in all the Semitic dialects the hedgehog (LXX. ipunov 
Surre KaToixeiv ij(lvox;^), which can roll itself together (>J C|p, 
(_ii, eomprehendere, eomprimere), and which, although it can 
neither fly nor climb very well, being a plantigrade, yet it can 
easily get on the capital of an overturned pillar (see Zeph. 
iL 14). The concluding threat makes a tabula rasa of 
Babylon. From the Pilpel nbkd (or, according to Kimchi, 
Michlol, 150a b, Nt?st3, according to which the codices and 
old editions read n'riKOKDi), MQKDD means something with 
which one drives forth or sweeps away — a besom (a word 
which was preserved in the popular speech of Palestine, 
according to Rosh ha-shanah 26b). Jehovah treats Babylon 
as sweepings (D'?, Babylonio-Assyrian titu), and sweeps it 
away, ''Pf ? (a substantively used infinitive absolute) serving 
him as besom. 

There now follows a short passage about Assyria, which 
apparently stands unconnected here. Vers. 24-27: "Sworn 
has Jehovah of hosts, saying. Surely as I have thought, so shall U 
be ; and as I have resolved, it takes place : to break Assur to 
pieces in my land, and upon my mountains I vnll tread him 
down : then departs from, them his yoke, and his burden will 
depart from their neck. This is the purpose which is purposed 
concerning the whole earth ; and this the hand which is stretched 
out over all the nations. For Jehovah of hosts has resolved, and 
who could bring to naught ? And His hand that is stretched 
out, wJio can turn it back i" It is a quite different judicial 



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CHAPTER XIV. 28. 316 

catastrophe that is presented here from that \i'hich is pro- 
phesied in chaps. xiiL 2-xiv. 3. The world-power which it 
falls upon is likewise also called, not " Babel " or " Kasdim," 
but " Assur," which cannot be taken as a name of Babylon 
(Abravanel, Lowth, and others). Babylon falls by the Medes. 
Assyria, on the other hand, perishes in the mountain land of 
Jeliovah, which it seeks to subdue ; so it was fulfilled. Only 
when this had taken place did a time come for a prophecy 
against Babylon, the heiress of the broken Assyrian empire. 
The two prophecies against Babylon and Assyria therefore 
form, as they here stand, a hysteron-proteron. The thought 
which occasioned this conjunction of them, and which it is 
intended to set forth, is expressed by Jeremiah thus : " Behold, 
I punish the king of Babel and his land as I have punished 
the king of Assur " (Jer. 1. 17, 18). The one event is the 
precursor and guarantee of the other. This prophecy against 
Assyria is, as it were, the pedestal upon which the ^33 Kfens is 
placed. For this it was doubly appropriate, on account of its 
epilogical tone from ver. 26 onwards. 

The Obacle concerning Phoistia, Chap. XIV. 28-32. 

The punishments enumerated in 2 Chron. xxviii. 5-21 as 
falling upon king Ahaz, also included the one represented 
here of the Philistines invading the low country (fij'Bf) and 
the south land (3JJ), taking several cities, of which the chro- 
nicler mentions six by name, and settling therein. This 
aggressive rising of the Philistines against the government of 
Judah was probably a consequence of the oppression of Judah 
by Syria and Ephraim, or of its continued weakness from its 
sufferings in the Syro-Ephraimitish war. However it be, the 
fact suffices of itself to enable us to understand the following 
minatory prophecy. 

This prophecy belongs to those wliich are dated. Ver. 28 : 
" In the death - year of king Ahaz, the following oracle went 
forth." The death - year of Ahaz is (as in chap, vi 1) the 
year in which the death of Ahaz occurred. The Philistines, 
without being again humiliated, were still holding possession, 
a fact which was shameful to Judah. But this year was 
also a turning-point. For Hezekiah, the successor of Ahaz, 



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316 ISAIAH. 

uot only wrested from them the conquered cities, bnt also 
smote them completely within their own territory (2 Kings 
xviiL 8). 

It was therefore a very decisive year in which Isaiah began 
thus to prophesy. Ver. 29^: ".Rejoice not so eomjdetely, 
Philistia, that the staff which smote thee is broken to pieces : for 
out of the serpent's root goes forth a basilisk, and its fruit is a 
flying, dragon." Tlie death -year of Ahaz was exactly the 
death-year of Tiglatb-pileser (726 B.C.), or it was dose to it. 
Hence Earth, with Noldeke assenting, understands by the 
broken staff the castigating rod of Tiglath-pileser ; whereas 
Bredenkamp, on the other hand, takes it to refer to Sbal- 
manassar. On that view, the basilisk and the flying dragon 
would have to be understood to be kings of Assyria, as Cheyne 
and Driver take them to be. Philistia had really to suffer 
from Sargon and Sennacherib, according to the evidence of 
the inscriptions. But the supei-scription of the prophecy 
does not run (ncsuoi>B') noN^ban i?on mo rueo, but nio tovz 
tnet l^a Shall we then hold it to be an erroneous marginal 
addendum written by some one or other (as Cheyne and 
G. A. Smith* hold), and thus support one hypothesis by 
another hypothesis ? No. The point at issue stands in the 
same position as that in chap. zv. 9. What Philistia suffered 
through Sargon and Sennacherib stands only in a preparatory 
relation to the lasting subjection under Judah which the 
prophet hopes for. ^30 036', teipio feriens te (not ferientis te, 
which is less suitable), is the Davidic sceptre which held the 
Philistines in subjection under David and Solomon, and in 
later times since Uzziah (2 Chron. xxvi. 6). This sceptre is 
broken to pieces ; for the Davidic kingdom is broken by the 
Syro-Ephraimitish war, and it has not yet recovered itself, 
and it has fallen to pieces in so far as it had extended its 
power over the neighbouring peoples. It is about this that 
Philistia is wholly filled with joy ; but this joy is at an end 
now. The power from which Philistia had withdrawn itself 
was a common serpent, ^n, which, besides, is now cut to pieces, 
or has died down to the root. But out of this root, i.e. out 
of the house of David, which had been reduced to the lowli- 

In the first volume of his work, 7%e Book of Isaiah (London, Hodder 
and Stonghton, 1888), which has just reached me (Jan. 1889). 



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CnAPTKE XIV. 80. 817 

ness of its origiual stem, there grows forth JBV (see chap. 
xi. 8), a basilisk regulrts (Jerome and other old translators) ; 
and this, which is already dangerous and deadly in itself, will 
when matured bring as fruit a winged dragon — a benst of the 
popular mythology, although Herodotus (ii. 75) speaks of 
winged serpents in Egypt and Arabia. The basilisk is Heze- 
kiah, and the flying dragon is the Messiah (such is the 
explanation of the Targum) ; or what is the same thing, the 
former is the Davidic kingdom of the immediate future, and 
the latter the Davidic kingdom of the ultimate future. The 
figure may appear inappropriate, because the serpent is a 
symbol of evil ; but it is not a symbol merely of creaturely 
evil, but also of the divine curse ; the curse, however, is the 
energy of penal justice, and as the executor of this justice as 
a judgment of God on Philistia, the Davidic king is here 
called a serpent in a climax rising through three stages. 
Perhaps the choice of the figure was suggested by Gen. 
xlix. 17 ; for the saying concerning Dan was fulfilled in 
Samson the Danite, the sworn enemy of the Philistines. 

The coming Davidic king is for Israel peace, but death for 
Philistia. Ver. 30 : " And the poorest of the poor will feed, 
and needy ones lie down in peace ; and I kill thy root by hunger, 
and thy remainder he lays low." Drfi *nta3 is an intensified 
form of 0''jn «]3, the latter meaning those who belong to the 
race of the poor, the former (cf. Job xviiL 1 3, mors dirissima) 
those who occupy the first rank in this race ; it is a designa- 
tion for Israel as deeply, very deeply reduced and at present 
threatened on all sides, but as afterwards enjoying his country 
in quiet and peace (Zepb. iiL 12, 13). In this sense ^Jni is 
used absolutely, and the conjecture of Lowth, *^te|, or of 
Koppe and Hupfeld, '^33, is not required. Israel again comes 
up, but Philistia goes down to its root and remainder, and even 
this falls on the one hand under the penal infliction of God 
(famine), and on the other hand under the punishment in- 
flicted by the house of David. For the change of persons in 
305 is not a synallage ; JVjl has for its subject the basilisk, the 
father of the flying dragon, and not the hunger (as Nagelsbach 
holds) ; for the hunger is only one of the means of punish- 
ment which take efiect upon Philistia. 

The Massa consists of two strophes. The first threatens 



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318 iSAun. 

judgment from Judah, and the second, beginning here, 
threatens judgment from Assyria. Ver. 31: "Howl, gate! 
Cry, city ! Thou art getting to vult away, Phiiistia, entirely ; 
for from the north comes smoke, and there is no isolated one 
among its lands." "^^ elsewhere is always masculine, but 
liere (of. Song of SoL viL 6) it is used in the feminine as a 
local name. The world-renowned strong gates of the Philis- 
tine cities (especially of Ashdod and Gaza), and the cities 
themselves, shall lift up a cry of woe (cf. Lam. iL 18 if 
the text there is uncorrupted), and Phiiistia, which was 
hitherto all joy, must wholly perish in the fire of anguish 
(chap. xiii. 7); JtoJ is the inf. abs. Niphal (cf. lis. 13; 
Konig, Lehrgeb. p. 473) with subject following, as in Ezek. 
i. 14 with it preceding. It falls into the state of complete 
dissolution, for from the north there comes a singeing and 
burning fire which already announces itself from afar by the 
smoke ; it is an all-devastating army out of whose bands 
(i^D, after the form ^^'^, is the mass assembled at the I?'©, 
i.e. the deterniiDed place, Josh. viiL 14 ; 1 Sam. xx. 35, for a 
determinate object) no one separates himself from weariness 
or self-will (cf. chap. v. 27); and therefore it is an army 
without a gap, animated by one striving, namely, the desire 
of conquest. And this it cannot possibly have only with a 
view to the Philistine strip of coast, the conquest of which is 
rather merely a means for securing possession of the countries 
on the right and left The question then rises, what will 
happen to the land of Judah from the fire which is rolling 
along from the north ? For the fact that the prophet of 
Judah threatens Phiiistia with that fire, presupposes that 
Judah is not also consumed by this fire. 

It is this which is expressed in ver. 32: "And what 
answer do tlie messengers of the peoples bring ? — That Jehovah 
has founded Zion, and that the afflicted of His people are 
hidden tliercin." The *iJ"'3??po are the ambassadors of the 
several ueighbouruig nations who were sent to Jerusalem 
after the Assyrian army was destroyed before Jerusalem, to 
ascertain for themselves how it had fared with that city. 
The question may be explained : And what answer is given 
('"•.Jif. with the most general subject) to the messengers of the 
nations ? or, and what do they proceed to say, i.e. what 



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CHAPTER XV., xn. 319 

information do Uie messengei'S of the nations bring (singular 
of the predicate with the plural of the subject, as in chap. 
XXX. 20 ; Ezek. xiv. 1 ; Esth. ix. 23, and elsewhere) ? but 
however it is explained, there is always a certain hardness in 
the expression. The answer, however, is to this effect : Zion, 
protected by its God, has remained unshaken ; and the people 
of this God, the poor and despised community of Jehovah 
(cf. Zech. xi. 7), exists and knows that it is concealed in Zion. 
The prophecy is enigmatical and oracular. Prophecy speaks 
to the other peoples otherwise than to Israel To the former 
its language is dictatorially brief, self-consciously elevated, 
loftily poetical, and peculiarly coloured, according to the 
special character of the people to which the oracle refers. 
The following prophecy against Moab makes it clear to us 
that in the view of the prophet the judgment which Assyria 
executes on Fhilistia prepares for the subjugation of Philistia 
again under the sceptre of David. By the wreck of the 
imperial power of Assyria at Jerusalem, the house of David 
again recovers its old supremacy round about. And so it 
actually happened. But the fulfilment was not lasting and 
not exhaustive. Jeremiah therefore (Jer. xlvil) takes up 
the prophecy of his predecessor anew in the time of the 
Chaldean judgment of the nations. But he only takes up its 
second strophe; the Messianic element of the first is con- , 
tinned by Zechariah (Zech. ix.). 

The Oracle concerning Moab, Chaps. XV., XVI. 

Looked at in its relation to the neighbouring peoples, the 
kingdom of Israel began victoriously and gloriously. Saul 
made them richly compensate for their previous offences 
against Israel (1 Sam. xiv. 47), and the Moabites among them. 
David subdued the Moabites completely (2 Sam. viii. 2). 
After the division of the kingdom, the northern kingdom 
entered into possession of Moab. The Moabites delivered 
tribute of their flocks to Samaria. But when Ahab died, 
Mesha, the king of Moab, withdrew from this obligation to 
pay tribute (2 Kings I 1, iii. 4 sqq.). Tlie memorial stone 
found among the rubbish on the field of Dibon is dedicated to 
tlie commemoration of his struggles for the independence of 



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320 ISAIAH. 

Moab. It has an inscription of thirty - four lines in the 
language and character of the ancient Hebrew, and it contains 
at least seven of the Moabite names of places which appear 
in tliis Kira.' Ahaziah of Israel did nothing to subdue 
Mesha again. In the meantime the Moabites, allied with 
other nations, made an attack upon Judah also; but the 
allies destroyed each other; and Jehoshaphat celebrated in 
the valley of Beracha the victory which he gained without a 
battle, aud which is sung in several Psalms. When Jehoram 
of Israel proceeded to siibdue Moab again, Jehoshaphat made 
common cause with him. The Moabites were defeated, but 
the fortress, the Moabitish Kir, which lay on a lofty and 
steep chalk cliff, remained unsubdued. The interminable 
struggles with the Syrians rendered it impossible for the 
northern kingdom further to retain Moab, or generally the 
country east of the Jordan. In the time of Jehu the 
country east of the Jordan in all its breadth and length, as 
far down as the Arnon, was taken possession of by the 
Syrians (2 Kings x. 32, 33). The peoples that were now 
no longer subject to the kingdom of Israel rose again, 
oppressed the Israelitish population, and revenged on the 
weakened kingdom the loss of their independence. Jeroboam 
II., as Jonah the prophet had prophesied (2 Kings xiv. 23), 
was the first to re-conquer the territory of Israel from near 
Hamath to the Dead Sea. That he also again subdued 
Moab is indeed not expressly said, but as Moabitish bands 
in the time of his predecessor Joash disturbed even the 
country on this side the Jordan (2 Kings xiii 20), it may 
be supposed that he also sought to keep Moab within bound& 
If the Moabites had then, as was very probable, extended 
their territory beyond the Amon to the north, war with 
Moab would have been absolutely inevitable. Further, in 
the time of Jeroboam II. on the one hand, and of Uzziah- 
Jotham on the other, we read nothing of risings of the 
Moabites ; and statements like those in 1 Chron. v. 1 7 and 
2 Chron. xxvi. 10 show that they kept themselves quiet. 
But the appeal to Assyria by Ahaz conjured up again the 

' The Moabite stone has been reproduced with the most painstaking 
exactness, and translated in the best possible manner, in Smend-Socin's 
Die Inichrift det KSnig$ Mem von Moab, Heft i. 1888. 



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CHAPTEE XV, 1. 321 

hostility of Moab and of the neighbouring peoples, Tiglath- 
pileser repeated in 754 B.C. what had been done by the 
Syrians ; he took possession of the northern part of the 
country on this side the Jordan, and almost the whole of it 
on the other side, and depopulated it The Moabites thereby 
found room for settling themselves again in their primeval 
dwelling-places to the north of the Aruoa This is how 
circumstances apparently stood at the time when Isaiah 
prophesied.' The misfortune comes from the north, and 
therefore strikes chiefly and primarily the region that lay 
to the north of the Amon, which appears to be in the posses- 
sion of the Moabites after having been previously peopled by 
the tribes of Reuben and Gad (1 Chron. v. 26). 

There is no prophecy in the Book of Isaiah in which the 
heart of the prophet is so painfully moved by what his 
spirit beholds and his month must prophesy. All that he 
prophesies ia felt as deeply by him as if he belonged to 
the poor people whose messenger of misfortune he is com- 
pelled to be. He begins at once with a feeling of dismay. 
Ver. 1 : " Oracle concerning Moab : for in a night is 'Ar-Modb 
devastated, destroyed ; for in a night is Kir-Modb devastated, 
destroyed." The '3 is both times expressive of a reason. 
The prophet justifies the superscription of his prophecy by 
the horrible vision which it is given him to see, transporting 
us at once into the heart of it as in chap. xvii. 1, xxiii. 1. 
3KiD -^^ (in which i? is Moabitish for TP in Num. xxil 36 ; 
cf. Jer. xlix. 3, where, instead of iP which is expected, *9 is 
written) is the name of the capital of Moab, lying in the 
river valley of the Amon (Deut. ii. 36 ; Josh. xiii. 9, 16). 
It is Grecised into ^ApeovoXi^, city of 'Aprji = BnD3 from 
Bpa = 6*33, in the present day a large field of ruins with a 
village of the name of Eabba. 3W0 T? (in wliich l*i? is 
Moabitish for n^?), the same as fcnn n»p in chap. xvL 11, 
Jer. xlviii. 31, 36, is the chief fortress of Moab, situated to 
the south-east of Ar, now called Kerek, still a city with a 
fortress on rocks, which is visible in clear weather with a 
telescope from Jerusalem, and which forms so completely one 
mass with the rock that Ibrahim Pasha in the year 1834 

> See Wolf Wilh. Graf Baudissin, « Zur Erklarung des B. Jesaia Kap. 
15 11. 16," in Stutlien u. Kritiken, 1888, 509-521. 

VOL. L X 



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323 isAun. 

was compelled to give up his intention of demolishing it 
This identity of Kir with Kerek (Targum asrtD"! tfarva) is 
indubitable, whereas the identity of 'Ar with £abba has 
been disputed by Dietrich (in Merx* Archiv, L 320 sqq.X 
For (1) the Old Testament and its versions do not mention 
any Moabitish Babba ; it is Eusebius who first mentions it ; 
and it appears in consequence of the destruction of 'Ar by 
the etirthquake, mentioned by Jerome in commenting on this 
passage, to have become the capital of the country, and to 
have obtained the name ' ApeoiroXK along with that of 
Babbath Moab ; (2) At lay on the Amon boundary, whereas 
the ruins of Rabba are 6^ hours' walk to the south of the 
Arnon, and do not lie on the northern boundary of Moab, but in 
its midst The statement in Num. xxi. 15 makes it probable 
that Ar lay near the confluence of the Legum and Mugvb, 
perhaps (at least the fortification that lay " on the heights of 
the Amon," as mentioned in Num. xxi. 28) on the ruined 
site jjfiLeJl »\ (mother of lead), to the south-east of the con- 
fluence on the eastern mountain wall of the Amon as it here 
winds southwards. The two names of the cities are used as 
masculine, like pfcisT in chap. xviL 1 and -fs in chap. xxiiL 1, 
though it cannot be said here, as in Micah v. 1, that the city 
stands for the inhabitants. In a night it is all over with the 
two pillars of the might of Moab. J'ba might be taken as 
subordinating to itself what follows ; in which case "^v would 
not be an infinitive (Baudissin), since such an inf. constr. 
Pual (except in Ps. cxxxiL 1) is without authority, but it 
would be 3 pret : " in the night when," — but where would 
the apodosis begin ? Not with npi? (Ewald), for "^^ and 
TXpTi almost coincide in meaning (cf. Jer. xlviL 4, 5) ; nor 
with fyf (Hitzig), for the solemn anadiplosis is not favourable 
to the dependence of the two clauses on ^p3. We therefore 
take i**? absolutely, as in chap. xxL 1 1, and the arrangement 
of the words is like that in Hos. x. 15 (Olsh. § 1426). In 
the space of a night, and therefore most suddenly (chap. 
xviL 14), Moab is lost As if fixed to the terrible spectacle, 
the prophet says twice over what is sufiiciently said once 
(cf. on the asyndeton, chap, xxxiii. 9 ; and on the anadiplosis, 
ver. 8, chap. viiL 9, xxL 11, xviL 12, 13). His firat feeling 
is that of horror. 



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CHAPTER XV. 8-4. 823 

But as horror, when it begins to reflect, is dissolved in tears, 
the thunder-daps in ver. 1 are now followed by universal 
weeping and lamenting. Vers. 2-4 : " They gti up to the templi 
house, and Dvbon unto the heights to weep; upon Nebo and 
upon Medeba, Moah vxiils; on all heads baldness, every beard 
mutikUed-. On Moab's markets they gird on sackcloth ; on the 
country's roofs and in its streets everything vxiils, meltmg down 
into weeping. Heshbon cries and Male, to Jahas they hear 
their howling, — wherefore even Moab's armed men break out in 
lam,entations ; his soul quakes in him." Seeking for help 0?i?> 
ad fl^um), the people (the subject to ^y^) ascend the moun- 
tain with the temple of Kemosh, the central sanctuary of 
the country. This temple is called n;3n, not (which is unex- 
ampled) some particular Moabite place, such as Beth Dibla- 
thayim in Jer. xlviii 22 (as Knobel and Baudissin suppose), 
but rather the Beth-Bamoth mentioned in the inscription. 
Sibon, which lies, like all the places named in vers. 2-4, 
above the Amon (Wadi Mugib), is now a heap of ruins 
situated a short hour's walk to the north of the middle Arnou 
in the magnificent plain of el-Kurah. It had heights for 
worship in the neighbourhood (cf. Josh. xiii. 1 7 ; Num. xxii. 
41), and is therefore turned towards them. The style of 
ver. 2a is similar to that in chap. xliiL 146. Moab laments 
on Ncbd and MideM. tt;'. (for which W^iT. stands in chap. Hi. 5), 
with a double preformative, is used intentionally for W'. (cf. 
similar forms in Job xxiv. 21 and Fs. cxxxviil 6 ; Ges. § 70s). 
bv is to be taken in a local sense, for Nebo was undoubtedly 
a place on a height of the mountain of that name, south-east 
from Heshbon (the ruined site of Nabo, Nabau, of the Onom., 
now Ui) ; and Medeba (in StepL Byz., according to Uranios, 
TroXt9 T&v Nafiaraltiv, now a mined site with the same 
name) lay on a round hill about two hoars to the south-east 
of Heshbon. According to Jerome, there was an image of 
Kemosh in Nebo ; and among the ruins of Medeba, Seetzen 
recognised the foundation walls of a peculiar temple. There 
now follows the description of the expressions of pain. We 
read here VB'Kh with reference to what has become the stand- 
ing collective phrase B^"i>2 (Amos viil 10 and frequently 
elsewhere), instead of the otherwise usual VB*jn. Instead of 
njmi, abscissae, Jeremiah, in chap, xlviii. 8 7, has nyii, decurtatae; 



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324 ISATAH. 

and the reading attested by the Masora on the passage is riinra. 
Everything (n^ written as in chap. xvL 7, whereas we have 
\?s in chap. iz. 8, 16) runs down in weeping; elsewhere it is 
said of the eyes that they run down (Ti|) in tears, waters, 
water-brooks, but here it is said still more boldly of the whole 
man that he flows down to the ground, running, as it were, 
into a stream of tears, ffeshbon and EldU are still visible in 
their ruins, situated on hills only half an hour's walk apart, 
and are known by the name of EuiAdn and el-Al (JU!1). 
Both places lay on heights commanding a wide view. There 
the cry of woe produced an echo that could be heard far 
and wide, even to JaTiaa (JaJita), the city where the king of 
Heshbon made a stand against Israel in the time of Moses 
(Deut. ii. 32). The general mourning is so great that even 
the equipped men of Moab (I^^, expeditus, ready for striking, 
frequently used in the account of the seizure of the land east 
of the Jordan, Num. xxxii. 21, etc. ; Deut iii. 18), i.«. war- 
riors (Jer. xlviiL 41), seized by the pain of despair, cried out 
(the same element in the figure as in chap, xxxiii. 7) ; W^, 
thereat, that is to say, on account of this universal lamentation. 
The lamentation is therefore a universal one without exception, 
and ^z^3 applies to Moab as a whole peopla The soul of 
Moab quakes in all the members of the national body; n{rv 

(forming a play of sound with Vf^ from jnj = c jj, to quake, 
to waver, to flutter, from which comes ny*n'^ a fluttering tent 

curtain, and e|^, reeds waving back and forward (see 

Fleischer in Levy's Neu Hebr. WB. il 446 sq.). Nagelsbach 
and others erroneously take jnj as a secondary verb to Jljn, 
imperf. jn', to be pained, 'h, as in Ps. cxx. 6, cxxiii. 4, is an 
ethical dative throwing the action or the pathos inwards (as 
\h}j elsewhere). In this pain quivering through Moab the 
heart of the prophet shares ; for, as Bashi observes, the pro- 
phets of Israel are distinguished from heathen prophets like 
Balaam in this, that the calamity which they announce to the 
Gentile peoples goes to their own hearts (compare chap. xxi. 34 
with chap, xxil 4). 

The difficult words in which the prophet expresses this his 
sympathy in ver. 5a we translate thus : " My Jieart towards 



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CHAPTEK XT. 5. 325 

Moah it cries out, its fugitives even to Zo'ar, the three-year-old 
heifer." The p in ^^^Of, both here and in chap. xvL 11, as in 
chap. xiv. 8, 9, means turned to Moab. 3t(lD, which was 
masculine in ver. 4, is feminine here. From this it may be 
inferred that ipi~ip nnna is an expression concerning Moab 
as a land. Now, wherever D'n*ia elsewhere occurs, it means 
the " bolts," according to which Jerome translates vectea ejus 
risque ad Segor ; but everywhere else we read only of the bolts 
or bars of a city, as in Lam. ii. 9 and Jet. IL 30 ; cf. Jonah 
IL 7. Hence I now prefer to follow the prevailing interpre- 
tation, according to which Zoar is named as the south point 
as far as which rolls the stream of the fugitives flying froni 
the enemy pressing on from the north. Zoar lay (as the 
Excursus on Zoar by Wetzstein in the 4th ed. of my Comm. 
on Genesis shows) south-east from the Dead Sea in 'Odr 
es-Sdfia ; the Safia is a wall of sandstone almost smooth, and 
about 1000 feet high, which is formed by the Moabite moun- 
tain range dipping down there perpendicularly to the 'O&r. 
njB"^ ni>jiy is tiien to be the name of a place by Graf (on 
Jer. xlviiL 34), Dietrich in Merz' Arehiv, L 342-346, and 
others, and signifying " Eglath the third." But (1) in favour 
of an appellative meaning is the fact that it stands in 
Jer. xlviiL 34 in like manner aawSira^, after Hbronayim ; 

(2) here, in that case, what would be expected is TC^^^ (n'B'*i>^); 

(3) there are indeed found names of places like LjUil^^juoS »\, 

" Urn Kuseir the second," but a place with the surname of 
" the third " has not yet been shown to occur. We therefore 
hold by the view that n>^^ rhiV is in apposition either to 
"^1^ or to 3tt{o. In any case it is a distinguishing designation : 
a head of cattle of three years old, or literaUy, in its third 
year (cf. 057?? i" C^en. xv. 9), i.e. a three-year-old beast 
(Ges. § 112, Eem. 1), which is still in full fresh strength, and 
not yet used up by prolonged bearing of the yoke. The refer- 
ence of the term to the Moabitish people (LXX. Targum, 
Jer. Luther) is supported by reference to Jer. xlvi 20, where 
Egypt in the same sense is called «"<JB"nD', ^^ ; and Babylon 
is similarly designated in Jer. L 11; cf. Hos. iv. 16, z. 11. 
But the reference to Zoar is more in accordance with the 
immediate suggestion of the syntax and the accentuation ; 



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326 iSAtxn. 

and it is supported by Jet. xlviiL 34, where, along with Zoar, 
Horonayini receives this surname. So then : Zoar the beau- 
tiful, strong, and hitherto unsubdued city, is now the goal of 
a wild flight before the enemy tliat is coming from the north. 
A blow so terrible as this has never struck Moab before. 

In brief co-ordinated clauses the prophet brings before as 
the several scenes of mourning and desolation. Vers. 5h, 6 : 
" For the mountain slope of Luhith with vueping they aaeend ; 
/or on the road to fforonayim they lift wp a cry of despair, for 
the waters of Ifitnrim are deserts henceforth ; for toiihered is the 
grass, the vegetation toaates away, gone is the green." The way 
to Luchith (according to the Onom., lying between Ar-Moab 
and Zoar, and therefore ip the centre of Moabitis proper) led 
up a height^ and the road to Horonayim (according to Jer. 
xlviii. 5) led down a declivity. Weeping, they run to the 
mountain city to hide themselves there (la, as in Ps. xxiv. 3, 
for which, in Jer. xlviii. 5, there is miswritten pa) ; raising a 
hue and cry, they stand before Horonayim, which lay below, 
and was more exposed to the enemy. ^piT (perhaps in order 
to be more an echo of the sound) has arisen from v^^r^, like 
33^9 from 3333, by a compensatory extension, just as '^3 from 
"y^ by compensative duplication. The LXX. renders the 
phrase well thus : Kpaxr/ifv mnirpin/toO i^ewayepovatv, a pecu- 
liar expression which is foreign to us ; it indicates a strained 
and always renewed outcry in view of a danger threatening 
utter destruction 0W> ^ ^° chap. L 28, xxx 26), and its aim 
is to procure relief and help. The description is now trans- 
ferred from the extreme south to the farthest north of the 
Moabite country, to as far as the Moabites had extended their 
territory; for Nimrim, as in fact identical with Beth-Nimra 
in Josh. xiiL 27 (Talmud, pD), and Peah iv. 5, iDl n^S), lay, 
according to Wetzstein (Comm. on Genesis, pp. 572-574), three 
and a half hours' walk to the east of Jordan, still within the 
Persean range on the Wadi Soeb, and more particularly on the 
south-east bank of the stream from whose abundance in water 
it is called ano). The waters there have been choked up by 
the enemy, and will now assuredly lie waste for ever (an 
expression similar to that in chap. xvii. 2). The enemy have 
been marching through the land, firing and burning, so that 
all its vegetati(»i has in a manner disappeared. On these 



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CUAPTKB XV. 7-9. '327 

miniatnre-like short sentences, compare chap. xxiz. 20, xxxiii. 
8, 9, xxxii. 10 ; and on ^JJ k>, it is not existing, or also it has 
hecome nothing, k^ (like Assyrian id), see Ezek. zzL 32, 18 ; 
Job tL 21 ; cf. Dan. iv. 32. 

The Moabites then thns cross the border and flee to Idumea. 
The prophet gives the reason for this by contianing to link on 
farther statements with 'a. Vers. 7-9 : " There/ore what was 
taved, what was gained, and their store, they carry it over the 
wiUow-hrook. For the ery of woe has gone the round in the 
territory of Mbab ; to Eglayim sounds Modl/s wailing, and to 
Beer-Elim his wailing. For the waters of Dimon are full of 
Hood; for I hang over Dimon new calamity, over the escaped 
f(f Modb a lion, and over the remnant of the land!' n^n* is 
the superfluity which goes beyond the immediate need, and 
rn^ (literally a laying np, depositio) what is carefully stored ; 
nb*^ (in the same sense as Gen. xiL 5) is, as the borrowed 
passage in Jer. zlviii 36 shows, an attributive clause (although 
the accentuation of our whole ver. 7 starts from another con- 
ception ; see Bashi) : what one has made, acquired, or gained. 
All these things they carry over D'?^ 5™, which does not 
mean the desert brook (Hitzig, Maurer, Ewald, Knobel), 
as the plural of n3n^, desert, is ni^n^ ; but it is either the 
Arab-brook (LXX. Saadia), or the willow-brook, torreTis saiieum 
(Vulg.). The last meaning is more suitable in itself; and 
amoi^ the streams flowing to the south of the Amon from 
the mountains of the Moabitish highlands to the Dead Sea 
there is actually one which is called Wddi Safsdf, ie. willow- 
brook (as also we have the ^^y, "willow"); it is the 
northern arm of the Seil d-Kerek. This may be considered 
to be what is meant here ; but Wetzstein, on the contraiy 
(on Gmeais, pp^ 667, 568), identifies the Arab-stream better 
with the Z«red (^3)= Wddi el-Ahsd (W. el-Basd), the 
boundary river on the south, which separates Moab and 
£dom, and which in its eastern course bore this name. On 
emerging from the ravine of the high plateau, in the 'G&r — in 
which the 3n^ (populus FuphrtUica, see on chap. xliv. 4), 
which requires a very hot climate, is exclusively at home — 
it there has got the name tynpn hra. Wading through this 
Arab-stream, they carry their possessions across, hurrying to 
the land of ESdom ; for their own land, in its whole extent, 



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1 1 



328 ISAIAH. 

has fallen a prey to the enemy, and within it the cry of 
lamentation goes from Eglaylm on the south-west of Ar, and 
therefore not far from the south end of the Dead Sea (Ezek. 
xlviL 10) as far as to (IV to be supplied) Beer-Elim (Num. 
xxi. 16 — 18), in the north-east of the land towarcls the 
wilderness, and therefore — if a diagonal is drawn through it 
— from one end of the land to the other. Even the waters of 
J)ibon (which here, in order to make it assonant with in, is 
called l^D*^), by which may be understood, as Hendewerk does, 
the Amon lying less than an hour's walk therefrom (just as 
by ''^o 'D, in Judg. v. 19, is meant the Kishon), are full of 
blood (0*1 ^K^) ; the enemy has therefore carried devastation 
and death to the heart of the country. But what drives them 
over the Arab-stream is not merely this ; it is as if they fore- 
boded that what has hitherto happened is not yet the utmost 
and last Jehovah suspends n'B* (as in Hos. vi. 11) over 
Dibon, whose waters are already reddened with blood, niBDl], 
a something more coming, i.e. a still further judgment in 
punishment, namely, a lion. Moab's measure of misfortune is 
not yet full. After the northern enemy a lion will come 
upon those who have escaped by flight, and those who have 
been spared at home (compare on the expression, chaps, x. 20, 
xxxvii. 32). Beuss, who refers the prophecy to the second 
subjection of the land east of the Jordan under Jeroboam II., 
finds it consequently " difficult to say what the prophet means 
by the lion." This lion, however, is no other than the basilisk 
in the prophecy against PhiUstia, only with the difference that 
the basilisk is a definite Davidic king, whereas the lion is 
Judah generally, which had, according to Gen. xlix. 9, the lion 
I as its emblem. 

Just because Judah, with its sovereignty, is this lion, the 
summons now goes forth to the Moabites who fied to Edom, 
and particularly, as it appears, as far as )>?D, ie. Fetra ( Wddi 
JIMsd), near Mount Hor, in Arabia Petrea, so called from it ; 
and tiiej are summoned to turn, seeking protection, to Jeru- 
salem. Chap, xvi 1 : " Send a land - lord^s tribute of lambs 
out of the cliffs desertwards to the mountain of the daughter of 
Zion." This verse is like a long trumpet blast The prophecy 
against Moab takes here the same turn as in chaps, xiv. 32, 
xviil 7, xix. 16 sqq., xxiii 18. The judgment produces 



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CHiLPrEB XTI. 2. 329 

davish fear, whioh then becomes refined into loving attach- 
ment Submission nnder the house of David is Moab's onlj 
deliverance. This is what the prophet, weeping with those 
who weep, calls out to them to their hiding-comer, where they 
have concealed themselves in such long - breathed, hurried, 
and urgent words. Usually by vbp is understood the Sdd of 
£dom (see on l6p = Petra, Strabo, xvi 4. 21); a citadel, 

^L<, was strll standing in the Middle Ages in the W. M&sd 
of the Edomito mountains (i\j£i\ ; see Noldeke in DMZ. xxv. 
259, 260, and compare Blau, JDMZ. xzvii 324). However, 
Wetzstein (in the third German edition of this commentary, 
p. 698) is right in saying that all the attempts to explain 
how the Moabites come to be sending lambs out of the Fetra 
of Edom are unsatisfactory, — the ^rkv^ necessarily being taken 
as indicating voluntary obligation for the future, — and he 
understands by )6o the ravines of the 1^ {Main) which 
run into the Dead Sea, and especially that of the Amon, in 

which (now called ^^1, the rock recess) extensive recesses are 

formed by perpendicular walls, mostly several hundred fathoms 
in height It is true that }ho does not mean ravine or cleft, 
but rather, in distinction from *nx (mass of rock), the rock 
as deft ; and there is reason for following Barth ^ in explaining 
it, according to Jer. xlviii 28, as : from the rock (the rocky 
region) where you have concealed yourselves. The tribute 
of lambs due to the prince of the country is briefly called 
jHK'^Vto t3 ; this tribute, which Mesha, the king of the pastoral 
country which was so rich in flocks (Num. xxxii 4), formerly 
sent to Samaria (2 Kings iiL 4), they ought now to send to Jeru- 
salem, to the " mountain of the daughter of Zion " (as in chap. 
X. 32, cf. chap, xviii 7), to which the way which passes through 
the desert lying at the north end of the Dead Sea leads. 

The counsel does not fail to make an impression; they 
embrace it eagerly. Yer. 2: "And there, too, are found, like 
hirds guttering abmU, a seared nest, the daitghters of Moab at 
the fords of the Amon." a^to ni33 are like rnyp rta, e.g. in 
Ps. xlviii. 1 2, the inhabitants of the cities and villages of the 
land of Moab. They are, because fleeing from their country, 
* BairUgt zur ErkUirung da Jetaia (188S), pp. SO-83. 



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330 ISAIAH. 

already themselves like wandering birds (Prov. xxviL 8) ; bnt 
here, as >^>^ . . . f^>J) indicates, this comparison is used to 
depict the condition into which the advice of the prophet 
throws them. Both the figure (c£ chap. x. 14) and the 
expression (cf. chap. xviL 2) are Isaianic. It is a state of 
anxious and timid inesoluteness, resembling the fluttering to 
and fro of birds that have been driven out of their nest, and 
that wheel anxiously around without venturing to return to 
the old dwelling-place. Thus do the daughters of Moab, 
coming out of their distant and near hidhig - places, now 
show themselves at the fords of the Amoa 1^"^ rrtnapo we 
should take as in apposition to 3KlD nf]3 if miajna signified 
coastlands (like ^3^ in chap. viL 20), and not invariably 
fords; it is locative in meaning, and it is accentuated 
accordingly. 

There — away at the point where their land formeriy 
reached before it passed into the possession of Israel, on its 
utmost boundary, in the direction towards Judah, which was 
seated above it — they show themselves ; and they take heart 
and send suppliant petitions over to Zion. The description 
is ideal. Vers. 3, 4a : " Bring counsel, give decision, make thy 
ahadow like night in the midst of noon; conceal outcasts, 
discover not wanderers ! Let my outcasts tarry in thee ! MoeA 
— le a sfielter to it from, the devastator." In their perplexity, 
supplicating Zion for counsel, and submitting the decision of 
their fate to the men of Judah (so according to the Keri *), 
they stand most fervently bespeaking Zion's shelter and 
protection — they who were formerly the proud Moabites, 
but are now completely humbled before Zion. Their anxiety 
after the dire distress of war, which has hardly yet been com- 
pletely realized, is so great, that in the sunshine of noon they 
wish to be encompassed by Zion's protecting shadow as by 
black night, in order that the enemy may not be able to see 
them. To the anxious urgency of their supplicating request, 
correspond the short propositions in which they are expressed 
(c£ xxxiiL Sy. lyvB (of. n^pB, chap, xxviii. 7) is the decision 
of a judge (^B), the figure of the shadow is the same as in 
chap& XXX. 2, 3, xxxiL 2, and elsewhere ; T!^) is the same as 

1 So Eimclii, Yen. 1521, and Codd : n^^ %\rv nsv ^K^SH. 



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CHAPTEB XVL 4, 5. 331 

in cLap. zxl 14 ; ^fPli, the same as in cbap. xi. 12 ; yvi is 
the same aa in chap. zxxiL 2 and elsewhere; Tile* is the 
same as in cbap. xxxiii. 1 ; ^w? ia the same as in chap. xxL 
1 5, — it is all word for word Isaianic. It is not necessaiy in 
ver. 4 to read W3 for a«<to »rrn3, and still less is ay a collec- 
tive ending, as in chap. xx. 4. Nor does the expression : 
" My ontcasts ... of Moab," belong to the tyntams m-ruda 
(cf. chap, xril 6) ; rather is such a mode of expression here, 
where the speaker is speaking of himself, utterly impossible. 
We keep to the existing interpunction, according to which 
*n^? (zdkeph) closes the first clause of ver. 4a, and 3K^d {tebir, 
which subordinates itself to the following tipheha, and with 
this to the athnaeh), not used as a vocative (Nagelsbach), but 
as a nominative, opens a nominal clause, so that the pro- 
position is translated as above : " Moab — be a shelter to it" 
(without taking lo? = St). 

Ilie question now arises, by what means has Zion come to 
awaken such trustful respect and commanding reverence in 
Moab 7 The answer to this is given in vers. 4&, 5 : " For the 
extortioner has an end; desolation has disappeared; treaders 
under foot are away from, the land. And a throne is estaUished 
through grace ; and there sits thereon in truth in the tent of 
David one who judges, and who is zealous for right, and who is 
skiUed in righteoumess." The imperial power which pressed 
out the marrow and blood (fo in the form of r2, a pressor, 
like r? in Prov. xxz. 33, pressure), which devastated and 
trod down everything (chap. xxix. 20, x. 6, xxxiiL 1 ; cf. 8), 
is swept away from the land on this side of the Jordan, and 
Jerusalem has not fallen under it, but has come forth more 
glorious than ever out of her oppressions. The collective 
subject is here preceded by ^, as in Ps. xi. 7, Piov. xxviiL 1, 
cf. Job viii 19, where the plural of the predicate follows. 
And the throne of the kingdom of Judah has not fallen, but 
by divine grace is anew established (tS^n, as in Zech. v. 11) ; 
there sits upon it no longer a king who disgraces it and en- 
dangers his kingdom ; but the tent roof of the fallen, yet now 
again erected, tabernacle of David (Amos ix. 11) is arched 
over a king who makes truth the criterion of his action, while 
realizing right and justice by his government "f^ designates 
one who masters a thing externally and spiritually with ease. 



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332 ISAUIL 

It is therefore the Messianic time which has dawned (accord- 
ing to which the Targum renders the passage ; and Cheyne, 
Driver, and G. A. Smith agree with ns in thus explaining it, 
while Baudissin histoiicizes it) ; for ipw npn and njjTTn oae^ 
are the divine-boman insignia of this time, and as it were 
its kindred geniL And who could fail here to recall chap, 
ix. 6 (cf. chap. xxxiiL 5, 6) ? If, bat only if, Moab sabmits 
to the king on the re-established throne of David, will it 
escape the judgment. 

Bat if Moab does this, and if the law of the history of 
larael, whidi is ^v^ "^f, is then in this way reflected in 
Moab's history, ver. 6 cannot possibly be an answer going 
from Zion to Moab (Beuss, Baadissin, and others) ; but the 
prophecy begins here a new stage, starting from Moab's sin, 
and always more elegiacally describing Moab's penal fote. 
Ver. 6 : " We have heard of Moah'a pride, the exceedingly over- 
toeening, his haughtinets, and hit pridt, and his indignation : the 
untruth of his sayings." With the future self-humiliation of 
Moab, which will be the fruit of its penal sufferings, is con- 
trasted its previous self- exaltation, whose fruit these penal 
sufferings will be. ^T^f, says the prophet^ including himself 
along with his people (Cheyne). Boastful inflatedness was 
hitherto the distinguishing characteristic of Moab in relation 
to that people (see chap. xxv. 1 1). The accumulated words of 
the same verbal stem (cf. chap, iil 1) are intended to express 
how very haughty (M from "Kl, chap, ii 12, the nominal form 
of the faults) their haughtiness, and how entirely possessed 
Moab was by it Jeremiah in chap. xlviiL 29 retains this 
paronomasia as strengthening the meaning and exhausting tihe 
idea (cf. Prov. viii 13; Job xL 10; and above, on chap, 
iil 1). Moab bragged, and was at the same time full of rage 
against Israel, to which, so far as it remained conscious of the 
truth of Jehovah, Moab's pratings Q*^^, from 1^3 = 103, to 
think out something strange or new and to begin it ; cf. 
mentirissnunte fingtre) must appear as }3~Ki, as not right, 
and contrary to the relation of things. The adjective or 
adverbial p-yb of 2 Kings vii. 9 stands here substantively, 
like |3 in Prov. xL 19. Such expressions of sentiment have 
been heard by God's people, and, as Jeremiah adds in chap. 
xlviii. 29, 30, also by Israel's God. 



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CDAPTBR XVI. 6-8. 833 

Therefore is the delightful wine-land mournfully laid 
waste. Vers. 6-8 : " Therefore will Moah wail for Moab, 
everything will wail : for the grape-cakes of Kir Hareseth vrill 
ye whine, utterly crushed. For the finiit -fields of MeMton 
have faded away, the vine of Sebma — lords of peo]^ its nMe 
grapes smote down, they reached unto Ja'xer, tunned through the 
desert ; its branches spread themselves out wide, they crossed over 
the sea." The ^ in 3K^op is the same as in chap. xv. 5, and 
in the here following '5''5'K^. Kir-Hariseth (in ver. 1 1 and 
in Jeremiah Kir-H6res; at 2 Kings iii. 25, where the vocali- 
zation appears to be erroneous, is'^n or r^nn perhaps referring 
to glazed tiles or stones dressed for joining) is the chief 
fortress of Moab, which, according to chap. xv. 1, is destroyed, 

and therefore ^?^ appears to signify foundations, i.e. ^j„^, 

(jmL)^^ as laid bare or in ruins, like Tfc^ in Jer. L 16, and 
kjb'k in Ezra iv. 12 and elsewhere (synonymous with nrto in 
chap. Iviii. 12), with which Kimchi compares it. But the 
word, wherever it elsewhere occurs, means a kind of cake ; 
and seeing that the devastation of the vineyards of Moab is 
what is further bewailed, it means here, as in Hos. iii. 1, 
grape -cakes, which consisted of grapes pressed together 
into the form of a cake (DMZ. iii 366). Such cakes may 
have been a specially abundant article of the trade of Kir. 
Jeremiah has altered ""^f^. into '?0K in chap. xlviiL 31. njn 
is to be understood according to chap, xxxviii 14, lix. 11 (of 
the cooing of the dove) ; ^tfs is to be taken according to Deut. 
xvL 15. On the construction of the plural form Tivsv^, com- 
pare Hab. iii l7. D*i?^, assuming that it is connected with 
Vp, *^^ICP (chap. v. 2), means the beautiful red grapes of the 
noble vine which is named from them; for it is a colour 
word (Zech. I 8). The clause with 0^ 'hs^ has been trans- 
lated by us with the same amphibole as it presents in the 
Hebrew ; it may mean : lords of peoples or nations, domini 
gentium, smote down its vine-shoots, namely, those of the 
vine of fiD3|? (with gaya, in order that the two labials 

1 
' Tlic word in the Beduin is (_/mw, in diminutive ij^y^t Su^$, the 

name of the well-known port, which designates it as having risen on the 

foundations of old harbour structures {DMZ. xxii. 176). 



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334 ISAIAH. 

luay be separated), thn as in chap. xli. 7 ; or its vine-shoots 
smote down, i.e. intoxicated, the lords of nations, — dominot 
gentium ; chn being used as in the undisputed Isaianio pro- 
phecy in chap, xxviii. 1. As the prophet launches out here 
on the excellence of the wine of Moab, it is rather the latter 
that is meant. The wiile of Sibma was so good that it came 
to the table of monarch^ and so strong that it smote down 
such drinkers as were accustomed to good kinds of wine, t.e. 
it irresistibly intoxicated them. This Sibma wine, as the 
prophet says, was cultivated far and wide in Moab : north- 
wards unto Jazer (now a ruined site,^;ju>), between Samoth 

=:Salt, and Heshbon,^ eastwards into the desert, and south- 
wards over 0\, ie. (as in Ps. Ixviii. 23 and 2 Ghron. xx. 2) over 
the Dead Sea, which, being hyperbolical, is equivalent to till 
close to it Jeremiah determines Q^ more precisely in chap, 
xlviil 32 as TJy! DJ, by which the hyperbole disappears. But 
what sort of sea is the sea of Jazer ? Probably a celebrated 
large pool like the pools of Heshbon, a pool in which the 
water of the Wddi {Ndhr) Sir, which rose close by, was 
gathered. Seetzen found some pools still existing there. 
That w is also used of large artificial basins of water, is shown 
by the D^ of Solomon's templa In the present day in Dam- 
ascus the marble basins of flowing water iu the balls of the 
houses are still called bahardt ; and in like manner the public 
reservoirs in all the streets of the city, which are fed by 
an ancient network of aqueducts from the Barada river, are 
also thus designated.* The expression la'iD \yn is also a bold 
one ; it probably points to the fact that there were trailing 
vines which did not require staking, but crept on the ground, 
and thus strayed into the desert, ie. which extended into the 
pathless wilderness (U^, mild, to favour the consonance witli 
WJ3, c£ the milel forms 'i*? in Ps. xxxviL 27 ; ''(?, Job xxiv. 1 ; 

* The Targums render ntJT by yqo (laaoX *•«• Machaenis, which is 

approved by Aug. Parent in his monograph, Madvuroui, Paris 1868 (the 
fmit of a journey to the east of the Dead Sea) ; but this is an erroneous 
view. The ancient Machaeros, but not likewise the primeval Ja'zer, lay 

where Seetzen in Jan. 1807 found the ruined site j<f^t Makaur (in the 
Attarus range of mountains on the south side of the Zerka-Matn). 

* Wetzstein, "Der Markt in Damaskus," in DMZ. 1857, pp. 476, 477. 



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CnAPTE£ XTI. ft 835 

Wf v^V, Pb. cxxxviL 7 ; and the putting forward of the tone 
for the same purpose in )i>B, chap, xxviii. 7). 

The natural beauties and the fertility of the land which 
has fallen to a people are gifts out of the riches of divine 
goodness, remnants of the paradisiacal commencement of the 
history of man and types of its paradisiacal end, and for this 
reason they are not things without interest to tlie spirit of 
prophecy. Nor, for the same reason, is it unworthy of the 
prophet, who prophesies the renovation and perfecting of 
nature to paradisiacal beauty, to mourn elegiacally over 
such devastations as those of the wine-land of Moab now 
present before his mind (cf. xxxii. 12, 13). Ver. 9 : (// 
" There/ore I weep with Jazer's weeping for Sibma's vines ; 
I flood thee with my tears, Heshhon and Male, that upon 
thy fruit harvest and upon thy vintage hidad has fallen." 
This is a tetrastich, in measure and movement resembling 
a Sapphic strophe. The prophet mingles his tears with 
Jazer's tears; as Jazer weeps for the devastated vines of 
Sibma, so does he also weep. ^^M is transposed out of ^,1K 
= ^'}lf. Heshbon and Elale (see on this name DMZ. xxv. 
560), these cities lying adjacent to each other with luxuriant 
fields ntoiB' (ver. 8), and which are now de-^troyed to the 
ground, are watered by the prophet with tears, because that 
IT*'!? has fallen upon the fruit harvest and wine harvest of 
both the sister cities. "H^ is elsewhere used for the wheat 
harvest, but it is here preferred to the more exact Tsa for 
the sake of the alliteration wiUj Ti? (cf. e.^. ^1nDD for tdd in 
chap. iv. 6). It is apparent from the figure indicated in trn 
that it is not the wheat harvest that is meant, but the vin- 
tage, which nearly coincided with the fruit harvest, which is 

called r.i?, as in chap, xxviil 4. "n'f? (from "n^^ ji*, to crack, 

to burst forth, after the form 1^3 and also ?3'n, jiom; cf. b'y'n, 

chap. xiv. 12) is not a battle-cry, like the Indo-Germanic 
a\a\d, but the self-regulating call at which the wine-pressers 
in the trough raise their legs and let them fall in order to 
squeeze the grapes (ver. 10; Jer. xxv. 30). Sucli a h4dad 
has fallen upon the rich plains of Heshbon-Elale, inasmuch 
as they have been pressed or trodden down by enemies, — 



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336 ISATAH. 

•n'n to *TTn, a hSdad and yet no hSdad, as Jeremiah in chap. 
xlviiL 33 reproduces it in a beautiful oxymoron, ie. there is 
no merry shout (Luther's Sovg) of proper grape-treaders. 

The prophet, «'.«. Isaiah, to whose favourite words and 
favourite figures ^3 belongs as the name of a place and the 
name of a thing, now proceeds further in his description, 
and is plunged still deeper into mourning. Vers. 10, 11 : 
" And joy and jubilation is taken away from the garden land, 
and in the vineyards there it no rejoicing, no glad shouting ; 
the grape-treader does not tread out wine in the troughs ; to the 
h£dad I put an end — therefore my iowels sound for Modb like 
a harp, and my interior for Kir-Heres^ Jehovah says 'RSB'n, 
and accordingly the words : therefore my bowels sound like a 
harp (or as Jeremiah expresses it in chap. xlviiL 36, like 
flutes), might also appear to be the expression of the feeling 
of Jehovah. Nor do the Scriptures actually shrink from 
attributing V^, viscera, to God, as e.g. in chap. Ixiii. 1 5 and 
Jer. xxxi. 20. But as the prophet is the sympathizing 
subject throughout the whole prophecy, it is appropriate even 
on the ground of its unity to take the words here also as 
expressing his feelings. Aa the hand or plectrum moves the 
strings of the harp so that they vibrate with sound, so does 
the terrible thing which he presents Jehovah as saying con- 
cerning Moab move the strings of his inward parts, so th&t 
they sound in tones of deep pain. By the entrails are 
specially meant heart, liver, and kidneys — the noblest organs 
of the psyche — which, according to the Biblical idea, are the 
seat of the tenderest emotions, as it were the sounding-board 
of those " hidden sounds " to be found in every man. God 
converses with the prophet iv in«v/MTt; but what occurs 
there takes form in the domain of the soul, in individual 
impressions in which the bodily organs of the psychical life 
sympathetically participate. Thus does the prophet in the 
spirit perceive God's purpose concerning Moab, in which he 
neither can nor would alter anything ; but his soul is thrown 
by it into the restlessness of pain. 

The ultimate reason of this restlessness is that Moab does 
not know the living God. Ver. 12 : "And it urill come to pass ; 
when Moai appears, wearies himself on the mountain height 
and enters into his sanctuary to pray — he will obtain nothing" 



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CHAPTEE XVI. 18, 14. 337 

nxVp risnj, a picturesque assonance such as Isaiah delights 
in. HK-i? (from it in chap. i. 12, rAsrh, Talmud mKTi>) is 
transferred from the Israelitish worship (the appearing 
before God in His temple, Talmud >^vr\, f^vr^, after the form 
I^'JP) to the heathen worship, syntactically: ai apparuerit, with t 
before the apodosis. It will go with the Moabites as with 
the priests of Baal in the time of Elijah (1 Kings xviii. 
26 sqq.). Ewald supplies another apodosis: then will Moab 
give up his Eemosh and be converted to Jehovah. This 
thought would not be impossible before Jeremiah (Baudissin), 
but it remains unexpressed, and to interweave it (Cheyne) is 
unnecessary and unjustified. 

The Massa is now at an end, and there follows an epilogue, 
which in conformity with the horizon of the history as moved 
forward assigns the term of the fulfilment of what is not 
now prophesied for the first time. Vers. 13, 14 : " This is 
the utterance which Jehovah uttered concerning Moab lort/f ago. 
And now Jehovah speaks thus : In three years, as the years of 
a hired labourer, then is the glory of Moab dishonoured, together 
with all the midtitude of the great, and a remnant miserably 
small, not great at all ! " The determination of the time is 
the same as in chap. xx. 3. Of the working time the hiring 
master remits nothing, and the hired labourer adds nothing 
to it The statement of time is therefore to be taken exactly 
83 three years and not longer, rather somewhat short of it than 
over it. Then will the old word of God concerning Moab be 
fulfilled. Only a remnant, a petty one, will remain (syntac- 
tically, as we have punctuated it, an exclamative clause) ; for 
all the history of the peoples is the shadow of the history of 
Israel. 

The Massa, in chaps, xv. 1-xvL 12, is therefore a word 
that had gone forth from God before, TKD. This statement is 
capable of being taken in three different senses. (1) Isaiah 
may mean that older prophecies already announced the same 
thing in reference to Moab. But which ? The answer to 
this may be derived from Jeremiah's prophecy concerning 
Moab in chap, xlviil Jeremiah there reproduces the Kb'D 
aWD of the Book of Isaiah, but interweaves with it remini- 
scences (a) from the Mashal concerning Moab in Num. xxi. 
27-30 ; Q>) from Balaam's prophecy concerning Moab in 
VOL. I. T 



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338 ISAIAH. 

Num. xxiv. 17 ; (c) from Anios's prophecy concerning Moab 
in Amos iL 1-3 (see Caspari in Luth. Zeiiachrift, 1843). 
Isaiah might mean these older words of prophecy, as Haver- 
nick, Drechsler, and others hold. This, however, is very 
improbable, as there is no echo of these older pieces found in 
the Massa, which would be expected if Isaiah bad them in 
mind. (2) Isaiah may mean that chap. xv. 1 sqq. is the pro- 
phecy of an older prophet which he only brings to remem- 
brance in order to combine with it the term of its fulfilment 
as revealed to him. This is the view which prevails at 
present Hitzig, in a special treatise on the subject (1831) 
and in his commentary, has endeavoured to make it probable 
on the ground of 2 Kings xiv. 25 that Jonah was the author 
of the oracle which is here taken up again by Isaiah. 
Knobel, Maurer, G. Baur, and Thenius agree with Hitzig ; 
de Wette, Ewald, Umbreit, Beuss, and Kuenen regard it at 
least as borrowed from an older prophet by Isaiah from the 
terms of his postscript ; and Cheyne assigns the author to 
the beginning of the reign of Uzziah. It is hardly possible 
to think of Jonah as the author. Jonah belongs to the 
prophets of the type of Elijah and Elisha, in whom the 
eloquence of prophetic address still falls entirely behind the 
energy of the prophetic act His prophecy of the bringing 
back of the kingdom of Israel to its ancient extent, fulfilled 
by the victories of Jeroboam II., is not to be thought of as 
so picturesque and so highly poetic as the 3tnD Kbo is, which 
would only be a part of that prophecy. And, moreover, that 
Jonah went into the sulks about the sparing of Nineveh, also 
accords badly with the elegiac softness of this prophecy and 
its flood of tears. Nor is it anywhere indicated that the 
conquerors to whom Moab succumbs are of the kingdom of 
Israel ; and the hypothesis completely breaks down upon the 
call addressed to Moab to send tribute to Jerusalem. My 
young friend Oscar Vallette, who died in Paris on the l7th 
April 1883, after a richly blessed activity in the ministry, 
in a Thise of the year 1864, ably brought together the 
reasons against this view. But the fact that the oracle must 
be derived from some other older prophet is an inference 
from grounds which are worthy of consideration, but are not 
sufficient to establish it It is acknowledged that not only 



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CHAPTER XVI. It, 14. 339 

the epilogue but also chap. xvi. 5b, 6 included in the Maosa, 
are thoroughly Isaiania If the view of Cheyne is not 
adopted, who regards chap. zvL 56, 6 as an expansion of the 
older original Massa by Isaiah, then there undoubtedly 
predominates in the rest of it expressions which are not 
discoverable elsewhere in Isaiah ; yet they are not on that 
account un-Isaiania The expressions which are not found 
elsewhere in Isaiah are a^i '%, ITf . ^^)']' ^^> "1^'. "^"'^9. YP. 
niDD^J, m^B (provision, possession). There is something 
peculiar in the circular movement of the discourse in the 
relation of reason and consequence carried out, as it is, to such 
length, and in the monotonous combination of clauses by ^3 
and W'hv 0?^), of which the former is repeated twice in chap. 
XV. 1, thrice in chap. xv. 8, 9, and even four times in 
succession in chap. xv. 5, 6. But, in fact, there is no Isaianic 
prophecy which does not contain expressions exclusively used 
in it by the prophet ; and as regards the conjunctions ^3 and 
i3~^? (!?p)> Isaiah accumulates them also elsewhere, but here 
it is done even till it becomes monotonous as a natural 
consequence of the elegiac mood which prevails throughout. 
And is not chap. xv. 6b in form just like chap. xvL 4& ? 
And if it is true that in Isaiah there is not found elsewhere a 
prophecy which is elegiac through and through, yet is not 
chap. xxii. 4 an approach to the Mna ? The third possible 
view will therefore be the real one. (3) Isaiah intends to 
say that the fate of Moab jnst proclaimed was already long 
since revealed to himself, but now in addition to this it was 
revealed that it will be realized in exactly three years. Tttp 
does not necessarily point to a time before Isaiah (compare 
chap. xliv. 8, xlviii 3, 5, 7, with 2 Sam. xv. 34). If we 
assume that what Isaiah prophesies down to chap. xvL 12 
was already revealed to him in the death-year of Ahaz (at all 
events after Tiglath-pileser's invasion of the country east of 
the Jordan, in consequence of which, according to the evidence 
of inscriptions, the king of Moab became a tributary vassal), 
and that the epilogue is to be reckoned from the third or the 
teuth year of Hezekiah, in either case the interval is long 
enough for the TKD. We indeed do not know anything certain 
about the time at which the three years up to the fulfilment 
commences. The question whether Shalmanassar, or Sargon, 



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340 ISAUH. 

or Sennacherib is to be thought of as the king who treated 
the Moabites so hardly, cannot be answered. In Herodotus 
(ii. 141), Sennacherib is called fia<n\ei>i 'Apa^lmv re Koi 
' AiTwp'uov. Moab might be included in the Arabians 
{'Apafiuov). In any case there remained of Isaiah's prophecy, 
when it had been fulfilled in the Assyrian time, a further 
part or surplus whose fulfilment, according to Jer. xlviii., 
was reserved for the Chaldeans. 



The O11AC1.E coNCERNiKG Damascus and Isbael, 
Cdap. XVII. 

From Philistia, the neighbouring people on the west, and 
Moab, the neighbouring people on the east, the prophecy 
now proceeds northwards to the people of the Damascene- 
Sjrria. The curse pronounced upon it falls also upon the 
kingdom of Israel, because it has allied itself with the 
heathen Damascus against their brethren in the south and 
the Davidic kingdom, and by this unnatural alliance with 
a ">! has itself become a "ij. From the reign of Hezekiah, 
to which the xmo »\ffD belongs, according to its epilogue 
at least, we are here carried back to the reign of Ahaz, 
and indeed back far beyond the death-year of Ahaz (chap, 
xiv. 28) to the boundary line of the i-eigns of Jotham and 
Ahaz, soon after the conclusion of the league which aimed 
at Judah's destruction, by which revenge was taken for the 
similar league of Asa with Benhadad ogainst Israel (1 Rings 
XV. 9). When Isaiah incorporated this oracle in his collection, 
its threats against the kingdoms of Damascus and Israel had 
long been fulfilled. Assyria had punished both of them, and 
Assyria had also been punished, as the fourth strophe of the 
oracle sets forth. The oracle therefore stands here on account 
of its universal contents, which are instructive for all time. 

The first strophe. Vers. 1—3 : " Behold, Damascus must 
away ottt of the number of cities, and becomes a heap of fallen 
ruins. Forsaken are the cities of Aroer ; to flocks they are given 
np, which lie down there without any one scariry them away. 
And abolished is fortress from Ephraim, and kingdom from 
Damascus : and to those left of Aram it happens as to the glory 



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CHAPTER XVn. 1-3. 341 

of the sons of Israel, saith Jehovah of Hosts." ' njri, with the 
following participle, points, as it does everywhere else, to 
what is just about to happen. Damascus is removed i^{np 
(="i'y nl'np, cf. 1 Kings xv. 13), out of the sphere of existence 
as a city. It becomes, in fact, npep '{(o, a heap of fallen 
ruins. The word -form 'V? (=mjnD, mdawi), of which no 
instance elsewhere occurs, is deleted by de Legarde as " ditto- 
graphy ; " but the striving after word - painting in tones 
produces strange forms, and so here *V? appears as if it would 
be an echo to i^^, of which it is an apocope: Damascus 
becomes the fragment of a city. The same thing happens to 
Israel, which has made itself an appanage of Damascus. The 
cities of Aroer {jen. appos. Ges. § 114. 3) represent the 
land to the east of the Jordan in which the judgment on 
Israel, executed by Tiglath-pileser, began. There were, in fact, 
two Aroers : an old Amorite Aroer, which fell to the tribe of 
Reuben, situated on the Arnon (Deut IL 36, ill 12, and else- 
where) ; and an old Ammonite Aroer, which fell to the tribe 
of Gad — Aroer before Babba (Rabbath Ammon, Josh, xiii 25), 

The site of the ruins of the former ia jC.\jC, 'Ardir, on the high 

northern bank of the Muyib ; the situation of the latter has 
not yet been ascertained with certainty (see- Keil on Josh, 
xiii. 25). The "cities of Aroer" are these two Aroers along 
with the cities on the east of Jordan like them, just as the 
" Orions " in chap. xiii. 1 are Orion and stars like it We 
again find here in i}>i!| ^^ a significant play of sound : the 
name of Aroer is ominous. It will happen to the cities of its 
circuit as its name indicates ; "^T^y signifies to lay bare, to 
tear down (Jer. li 58), and "ijny (p^^) signifies being in a 

stark-naked state, in desolation and solitude (/ys, juniperus, 

and as its plur. fractus, ijmj?, the name of the place may be 
explained as "juniper bushes," as is done by de Lagarde). Job 
xi. 19 (cf. Zeph. iii. 13) is the original passage on which 
chap. xvii. 2b /3 is founded. After ver. 1 has threatened 

* Before ver. 3 there ia found in the Codd. the remark : D'S'33n 'Vn 
D'p1DB2, also Bibl. rabbin.: 0'K*33n »vn. The Masora reckons from 
Joshua to lea. xvii. 3 the number of verses to be 4647, the half of the 
9204 verses of all the Nebiim. 



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-( 



342 ISAIAH. 

Damascus in particular, and ver. 2 lias threatened Israel in 
particular, ver. 3 takes them both together. Ephraim loses 
the strong cities which served it as protecting walls, and 
Damascus loses the rank of a kingdom. Those of Aram who 
remain and who do not fall in the war, become like the proud 
citizens of the kingdom of Israel — they are dragged away 
captive. All this was fulfilled by Tiglath - pileser. The 
accentuation draws D'JK ^KB' to the first half of the verse ; but 
the meaning remains the same, as the subject to w is in any 
case the Aramaeans. 

Second strophe. Vers. 4-8 : " And it comes to pass in that 
day, then the glory of Jacob wastes atoay, and the fat of his 
_fiesh becomes lean ; and it trill be as when a reaper grasps tlie 
stalks of com, and his arm mows off the ears ; and it will be as 
with one %cho gathers ears in the vaUeij of Rephaim^ Tet a 
gleaning remains thereof, as at the olive beating: ttoo, three 
berries above at the top ; four, five in its, the fruit tree's, branches, 
saith Jehovah, the Ood of Israd. In that day man wiU glance 
up to his Creator, and his eyes will look to the Holy One of 
Israel. And he will not glance round to the altars, the pnh 
duct of his hands, and what his fingers have made he will not 
regard, neither the Astartes nor the Sun-gods." This strophe 
does not speak of Damascus, but only of Israel, and, moreover, 
of all Israel, the range of vision widening out from Israel in 
the narrower sense to this total view. It will diminish to a 
small remnant, but this will return. a^S'j "i^y is thus the law 
of the history of Israel, which is here applied first on its 
threatening side, and then on its promising side. The 
reputation and prosperity to which the two kingdoms were 
raised by Jeroboam II. and Uzziah will pass away. Israel is 
ripe for judgment, like a field of com in the car for the 
harvest ; and it will therefore be as when a reaper grasps the 
upright stalks and cuts off the ears, "i^i? is not used ellipti- 
cally for I'V^ B^K (Gesenius), nor is it a determination of time 
(Luzzatto, Nagelsbach), nor the accusative of the object 
(Knobel), but an intensive active noun in the sense of a 

reaper, formed like K*23, t?b, fna (otherwise f^, Arab. JLaS 

from J^ = lyp). The figure here indicated is expanded in 
John iv. and Eev. xiv. There will hardly any one escape 



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CHArTER XVII. 4-^. 843 

the judgment, just as in the wide plain of Bephaim, covered 
with precious wheat fields, sloping down from Jerusalem 
towards the south - west to Bethlehem, the reapers scarcely 
leave an ear lying here or there. Nevertheless a {^leaning is 
left over of Israel (la, i.e. 3^^., ver. 4, chap. x. 22); just as 
when the branches of the olive tree, which have been already 
plucked by the hand, are again further shaken with a stick 
{^\^?, like a shaking off = just as with . . . Gres. § 118. 3 
Bem.), there still remain a few berries hanging on the highest 
branch (two, three, cf. 2 Kings ix. 32), or hidden under 
the foliage of the branches. " Its, the fruit-tree's, branches " 
(iVByD, not iVB?D) is an elegant expression, as e.g. Prov. xil 4, 
xiv. 13; the drawing over of the n to the second word is 
natural in both passages, but the same mode of expression is 
also found where this removal is impracticable, as in 2 Sam. 
xxiL 33 ; Ps. Ixxi. 7 (see comm. on the passage) ; cf. chap, 
xvi. 4a. This small remnant will turn with undiverted look 
to the living God, as is becoming in man as such (Ql^^n), and 
not consider the idols worth a look, least of all a devout look : 
neither the D*}Qn nor the onmn, the two 1 being correlative. 
D'JBn are here images of the sun -god, pn bja, well known 
from the Phoenician monuments (see 2 Chron. xxxiv. 4),* 
as in Himyaritic inbistr, his sun is used for his sun- 
sanctuary ; and so or>v« (for which we find more rarely 
J^"*???) may be images of the f'^.?'??, and this may be a name of 
Astarte ; a view supported by 2 Kings xxiiL 4, " Baal, Ashera, 
and the whole host of heaven," and 1 Kings xv. 13, ni^Bts 
'1^?'*?^. "H?^ 1**3 DOW actually been shown to be a name of 
Astarte in the form Airatu? The name signifies the blessed, 
the saving (salvation-bringing), holy one. Of the same root are 
the Assyrian plurals aSrS (from ahu) and aSrdti (from dsirtu), 
which mean places of grace (temples).* The proper name of 
the goddess is litdr, or corresponding to the Hebrew n'^he^, 

' Sanchnniathon professes to have drawn his information from ixixpv^m 
' Ki*i*wftitt yfininwctt. ' Kufitiinm are pillars or temples of the jDn 7^3. 
The Or. Venetv* translates D^JOD, Lev. xxvi 30, with reference to ixttintK 
iliXitf, ingeniously by the similar sounding AxifimrTii. 

* By the Phoenicio-Assyrian Abd-Ashera-teibl« of Tell-el-Amarna, see 
Schrader in the Zeittekrift fiir Auyriologie, Bd. iii. 363, 364. 

* See on this, Friedrich Delitzsch, in his Excursus on the name of 
Tiglath-pilcser, in Baer's edition of the LUm Chroniwrum, 1868, 



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344 ISAUH. 

lUdrtu} B*i?i< (1^"'?'*) is the name applied to her con- 
secrated places, particularly pleasure groves {bosquets) or trees 
(Deut. xvi 21 ; cf. the verbs ru> nns, VT^, used of removing 
them); but here probably her statues or images (2 Kings 
xxL 7 ; compare the n?.?DD in 1 Kings xv. 13, which 
is meant to apply to an obscene representation). For these 
images of the sun-god and of the goddess of the moon or 
morning star the remnant of Israel purified by the furnace of 
judgment has no longer an eye. Their look is exclusively 
directed to the one true Gk>d of mankind. The promise, 
which begins to dawn at the close of the second strophe, is 
now again swallowed up in the third strophe, only to break 
forth again in the fourth with double and triple intensity. 

Third strophe. Vers. 9—11 : "In thM day wUl his forti- 
jUd cities be like the i-uins of the forest and of the mountain- 
top, which they evacuated before the tons of Israel : and there 
arises a vxiste. For thou luist forgotten the Ood of thy salvation, 
and of the rock of thy fortress Hum hast not thought, therefore 
didst thou plant pleasant plantations, and didst set them with 
strange vine slips. In the day that thou plantedst, thou didst 
draw a hedge, and with the morning daton thou broughtest thy 
seed to the blossom, — a harvest heap in the day of deep wounds 
and deadly pain." What was said in ver. 3, that the fortress 
of Ephraim is abolished, is repeated in ver. 9 in a more de- 
scriptive way. To the strongly fortified cities of Ephraim it 
happens as to the old Canaanite forts which were still visible 
in their antiquated remains in the depths of woods or on the 
heights of mountains. The word n3)T||, which was not under- 
stood by the old interpreters, means, as in chap, vi 12, 
desolate places that have become ruined. Instead of tsnhn 
TDKrn, the LXX. read nottm nnn (which is approved by 
de Lagarde), but in the translation they transpose the two 
names thus, ol 'AfjLoppaXoi, xcd oi Evaioi. 1'OKri undoubtedly 
means elsewhere the top of a tree, which is not suitable here; 
but as in this sense it goes back to '^, extollere efferre (see 
on Ps. xciv. 4), the Hiphil of which in the Mishna {S<^a 

1 Schlottmaim, in DMZ. xxiv. 668 sqq., derives the name, starting 
from the Deuteronomic jtwn TWimff)}, Deut vii. 13 et al., from "ypy, 
to connect, to beget. Fried. Delitzsch also regards Iitart4 as a triliterate 
with inserted n {Astyr. Gramm. § 65, No. 40). 



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cuAPTEtt xvn. 0-u. 345 

ix. 14) means " to top " (tcw ipi'n, the dearness will reach 
its highest degree), it may also mean the top of a mountain, 
as the contrast to the hase of a mountain (Job xxviiL 9), and 
therefore the summit of the mountain.' The name of the 
people, ^P^\} (signifying those who dwell high up in the 
mountains), proves the possibility that the prophet had this 
name in his mind, and was determined by it in his choice of 
the word. It is not necessary to read ^ for UR^ ; the sub- 
ject of Ul]; is evident of itself. It is only ruins in woods and 
mountains that are mentioned, because other places lying on 
the lines of intercourse merely changed inhabitants when the 
Israelites took possession of their country. The reason that 
the same fate is to overtake Ephraim's strong forts as fell on 
those of the Amorites then lying in ruins, was because, as is 
said in ver. 1 0, Ephraim had turned away from his true rock- 
fast fortress, his stronghold of Jehovah. It is a consequence 
of this estrangement from God that Ephraim planted "V^i 
D'?P?J ('ysfi, with Dag. compensativum, and not the ambiguous 

^jnpn), plantations of lovely kind of things = lovely plantations 

(as in Sur. S6. 90, gmndtu na'imin, see on Ps. IxxviiL 49), 
i.e. they made for themselves all kinds of sensuous cults in 
conformity with their heathen inclination. Perhaps d*3DJ0 
points to a particular cult, such as that of Adonis.' And 
further, it is a consequence of this estrangement from God 
that Ephraim planted these garden grounds (to which the 
sufifix mmt belongs) with strange vines; or since iTibr 
signifies the setter of the vine, he has set it with them, that 
is to say, by concluding an alliance with a 1T, the king of 
Damascus. On the very day of the planting Ephraim care- 
fully fenced it in (this is what the PUpel i^'?^ from nb = :^D 
signifies, not : to bring up, as I'fc' = Kjr, tup, cannot be estab- 
lished) ; that is to say, he insured tlie continuance of those 
sensuous cults in the manner of a State - religion with the 
prudence of a Jeroboam (see Amos viL 13), and what had 
been sown was already brought into blossom in the morning. 
"•» 

' Cognate is iyt\, which means a beap of stone, a way-mark (sign- 
postX and also anilL 

' De Lagarde, with whom Cheyne agrees, combines ;c]n as an Adonis- 
name (cf. Ewald, § 287a) with the name of the Anemone. 



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346 ISA.IAH. 

The foreign slip has shot up like a hothouse plant, ie. the 
alUance has rapidly become a happy agreement, and has also 
already shot forth a blossom which is the common plan 
directed against Judah. But this planting, which has been 
80 flattering and so full of promise for Ephraim, and which 
flourished rapidly and seemingly so happily, is a harvest heap 
for the day of judgment. The modem expositors almost all 
take I? ■ (for which LXX. have np, and Syr. tj = yoke), 
according to the Targum and Jer., as the 3rd person, accord- 
ing to the form n? : the harvest flees ; but the 3rd pers. of 
TM must be "ij, like the part in Gen. iv. 12 ; whereas the 
meaning cumulvs, which it has elsewhere as a substantive, is 
quite appropriate, and the statement of the prophet is like 
that of the apostle in Som. ii. 5. The day of the judgment 
is called day of ihm (npnj), in no case = ?n?, river, stream 
(Luzzatto : in giomo di fiumana), as in Ps. cxxiv. 4, the 
accent being on the last syllable is opposed to this ; nor is it 
on the day of the possession (Rosenmiiller, Meier, Drecbsler, 
and others, following LXX. and Jer.), which, as expressing 
nothing of itself, would require more precise definition ; but it 
is the feminine of fwro^ and written shortly for rvTO nsD in 
Jer. xiv. 17, x. 19, Nah. iii 19, inasmuch as it inflicts 
grievous and deadly wounds. On this day Ephraim's planta- 
tion becomes manifest as a harvest heap. What he has 
heaped up is in that day brought home (cf. f^^, a harvest of 
punishment, Hos. vi. 11 ; Jer. IL 33), and the hope set upon 
this plantation is changed into tt'US 3K3, a despairing, in- 
curable heart-sorrow (Jer. xxx. 15). The organic connection of 
what now follows in vers. 12-14 with the oracle concerning 
Damascus-Israel has been either entirely misunderstood on 
the one hand or not properly appreciated on the other. The 
relation is this : As the prophet sets before himself how 
Ephraim's sin is punished by Assyria, and how the latter 
sweeps over the Holy Land, the promise which appears in 
the second strophe now breaks fully through: the world- 
power is Jehovah's instrument of punishment, but not for 
ever. 

Fourth strophe. Vers. 12-14 : " Woe to the roaring of 
many peoples ; like roaring of seas they roar, and to the 
mmbling of nations like the rumbling of mighty waters they 



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CHAPTEK xvn. W-M. 347 

rumhle. Nations like the rumllivg of many waters they rumble 
and He threatens it — then it flies far away, and is chased like 
chaff of mouniains "before the wind, and like straw haulms 
before tlie whirlwind. At eventide — behold, there is consterna- 
tion ; even before morning dawn it is annihilated — this is the 
portion of our plunderers and the lot of our rai>bers." It is the 
annihilation of Assyria which the prophet prophesies here, as 
in chaps, xiv. 24-27, xxix. 5-8, and elsewhere ; but not of 
Assyria as Assyria, but of Assjrria as the empire, which 
embraces a multitude of peoples (chaps. xxiL 6, viii, 9, 10, 
xiv. 26, xxix. 7, 8) under one will for a common combating 
of the Church of God The relation of this fourth strophe to 
the third is entirely like the relation of chap. viiL 9, 10 to 
chap. viii. 6-8. The exclamation of woe, ^n, is, as in chap. 
X. 1, an expression of the pain of wrath, which is then 
followed by the proclamation of the judgment of wrath. The 
description of the billow of peoples is as picturesque as the 
well-known description : ille inter sese, etc, of the Cyclopes in 
Virgil. " It spreads and stretches out ; it is as if it would 
not cease to swell, and to roar, and to surge, and to sound " 
(Drechsler), In ia, in ver. 13a, the many surging peoples 
are kneaded together as into one mass. The onomatopoeic 
word lyj (in Ethiopic, to cry, to lament) signifies a commanding 
influence bringing about silence and yielding. It costs God 
only one threatening word, and then this mass flees far away 
(prneo, like PiiriD in chap. xxiL 3 ; see on chap, v, 26) ; it is 
scattered and whirled asunder like chaff from high -lying 
threshing-floors, and as tvi before the storm. The Chddee 
"?? ('?') and Arabic gill, gidl, gall, demonstrate the meaning 
of ^ji>j to be : stubble, dry blades of straw, Vbi,U} be round, 
and to roll, to move easily and quickly. The judgment 

begins to execute overthrow nn^2 (from a^3, iL, to get out of 

control, to be out of oneselO in the evening. It rages in 
the night, and before the break of the morning the host of 
peoples belonging to the imperial power is annihilated (com- 
pare chap. xxix. 9, 10, and the fulfilment in chap. xxxviL 36). 
The fact that this particular oracle concerning Damascus is 
so comprehensive on this fourth stage, and is so promising 
for Israel, is explained on the ground that Syria was the 



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348 ISAUH. 

precursor of Assyria in the attack on Israel, and that 
the alliance of Israel with Syria had become the cause of 
the complications with Assyria. If the matter of the f^ffa 
pevi had been restricted to what the name Mahershalal 
expresses, then the element of promise which is characteristic 
of the prophecies against the peoples of the world (the 
Gentile nations) would be entirely lacking in it But the 
shout of triumph, 'ui pbn nr, supplied a terminal point which 
the Kirs cannot pass beyond unless it is to sacrifice its unity. 
We are therefore justified in taking chap. zviiL as a prophecy 
by itself, although at the same time this last strophe of the 
oracle concerning Damascus forms the ring linking into which 
the following prophecy concerning Ethiopia is immediately 
( attached. 



ErmopiA's Submission ukdee Jehovah, Chap. XVIIL 

The view which holds that chap, xviii. 4-6 contains a 
description of the judgment inflicted on Ethiopia by Jehovah 
is untenable. The prophet prophesies the annihilation of the 
army of Sennacherib in his usual way, and as it was fulfilled 
in chap. xxxviL 36. Equally untenable, however, is the old 
Jewish and Christian view, which has been taken up again 
by Hofmann, that the people so strangely described at the 
beginning and close of the prophecy is the people of Israel. 
The borrowed passage in Zeph. iiL 10 should not mislead as, 
for it fuses together references to Isa. xviiL and IxvL The 
people here peculiarly described are the Ethiopians, and the 
prophet prophesies the effect on Ethiopia of the judgment con- 
cerning Assyria which Jehovah executes, as Drechsler has con- 
vincingly proved (Studien u. Krit. 1847, and Komm.), and as 
is now universally recognised. But it is not probable either 
that the prophecy falls later than the Assyrian expedition 
against Egypt (Scbegg), or that the Ethiopian ambassadors 
whom it mentions are dispatched to Judah to offer it friend- 
ship and help (Ewald, Knobel, Meier, and Thenius). No ; 
the expedition against Egypt, including Ethiopia, is only 
in prospect, and that against Judah is a means to this end. 
And the ambassadors do not go to Judah, but, as Drechsler 
apprehends the situation, with the most active despatch they 



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CHAPTER XVIIL 349 

carry commands to all the regions under Ethiopian rule. The 
Ethiopian kingdom is, in view of the impending Assyrian 
invasion, in the greatest excitement, and the envoys are sent 
forth to call out the available military force. From the fact 
that in the trilogy contained in chaps, xviii.-xx., Ethiopia and 
Egypt are specially treated, and are carefully kept apart in 
chap. XX., it appears that we must conclude that at the time 
when the prophecies in chaps, xviii., xix. went forth, and in 
the time of &irgon, Egypt and Ethiopia were not yet one 
kingdom. Moreover, Sennacherib, in the prism-inscription 
(translated in Friedr. Delitzsch's Assyr. LeaestUeken, xii.-xvi.), 
still distinguishes kings of Egypt (sarrdni ' mdtu Musuri) and a 
king of Ethiopia (lar mdtu Meluhht), whom he boasts of having 
defeated near Eltekg OP^i^, Josh. xix. 44). Egypt and Ethi- 
opia did not actually become a single kingdom till the time 
of Fsammetichus the son of Necho, whose son, Necho II., 
on his march against Nabopolassar encountered Josiah. In 
the Delta, the two chief dynasties, the Saitic and the Tanitic, 
still contended with each other ; but in Thebes the Ethiopian 
supremacy always gained more in power, and the kings of the 
Delta were not able to make a stand against it Shebek {Sa^a- 
KtDv) the tno (K7.p), on whom Hosea, the last king of the northern 
kingdom, depended (2 Kings xvii 4), was the beginner of the 
new (25th) dynasty, consisting of Ethiopian kings, which, 
from 725 B.C., reduced the lesser kings to vassals. It was 
he whom Saigon overthrew at Baphia in 720 ac. His suc- 
cessor was ShabatoTe, whom Taharhi, who encountered Senna- 
cherib's expedition against Jndah, removed out of the way in 
672 B.C. ; and Taharka himself was subdued by Esarhaddon 
in 672 B.C., and this was the end of the Ethiopian dynasty. 
At this time, then, when the prophecies in chaps, xviii, xix., xx. 
were given forth, Egypt was not yet a single kingdom. The 
local princes of Lower Egypt were not yet removed; the 
Ethiopian dynasty had the supremacy, but only in so far as 
it asserted itself by force and craft The separating of Egypt 
and Ethiopia in Isaiah is founded on the same political ground 

' Of the texts of tbe two copies of the prism-inscription one has tarrdni, 
and tbe other tar. On the place of the hattle of EltekS, in the order of 
the details of the Jewish campaign, see Friedrich Delitzsch's art "San- 
herib" in the Herzog-Hauek BE. xiii 



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330 ISAIAH. 

as that of the kings of Egypt and of the king of Meluhhi in 
the prism-inscription of Sennacherib. Moreover, it cannot 
be exactly determined how near or far from the time when 
the Assyrian army entered on the expedition through Judah 
to Egypt the prophecy in chap, xviii. was composed. What 
it sets forth in prospect, namely, that the judgment of Jehovah 
upon the empire will have as its consequence the submission 
of Ethiopia to Jehovah, did occur at least in a preliminary 
way after the catastrophe of Assyria (2 Chron. xxxiL 23). 

The prophecy begins with in, which never means heus, but 
always vae. Here, however, it differs from chap. xviL 1 2 in 
being rather an expression of compassion (cf. Isa. Iv. 1 ; Zech. 
il 10) than of anger; for the fact that the more mighty 
Assyria is coming against the mighty Ethiopia, is a humiliation 
prepared for the latter by Jehovah. Vers. 1, 2a: "Woe, land 
of the whirring of wings, which is hegond the rivers of Kui, 
which sends messengers to sea, and in papyrus hoots over the face 
of the waters." The land of Kush begins, according to Ex. 
xxix. 10, cf. XXX. 6, where Upper Egypt ends. The njip 
{Aswdn) mentioned by Ezekiel is the boundary point where 
the Nile enters Q?iyp proper, and which is still in the present 
day a depot of the products that come by the Nile from the 
south. The B'O'nnj^ which are to be sought to the south of 
that point, are chiefly those that flow round the Kushite K3S 
(Gen. X. 7). This latter name is applied to the insular or 
interfluvial land of Meixw which is enclosed by the White 
and Blue Nile (the Astapos of Ptolemy, now Bohr el-Abyact, and 
the Aslaboras of Ptolemy, now £ahr el-Azrak), the present 
Seniidr, which, as such, is called ijfj^^ (like Mesopotamia). 
Besides, the multitude of tributaries which in its long course 
bring always new masses of water to the Nile, might be 
well known generally to the prophet. The land "beyond 
the rivers of Kush" is the land bounded by the upper 
streams of the Nile, ie. the land lying farther to the south 
under the Ethiopian rule, including Ethiopia proper; it is 
the land of its African auxiliaries, whose names (including 
probably the later Nubians and Abyssinians) are mentioned 
in 2 Chron. xii. 3 ; Nah. iii. 9 ; Szek. xxx. 5 ; Jer. xlvi. 9. 
To this Ethiopia, designated according to its farthest limits 
(cf. Zeph. iiL 10), the prophet gives the peculiar name rj^ 



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CHAPTER XVIII. 1, a. 351 

D*d:3 pvps. This has been explained as the land of the wings 
of an army with clanging arms (Gesenias and others) ; but 
D*U3 has not, even in chap. viii. 8, immediately the same 
sense as Q^b?K in Ezekiel. Or, again, it is explained as " laud 
of the noise of waves " (Umbreit) ; but Q^bis cannot be said 
of waters out of snch connection as in chap. viii. 8. Besides, 
TxTit is not an appropriate onomatopoeic word for the noise of 
weapons and waves. Or, again, it has been explained as " land 
of the double shadow " (Grotius, Vitringa, Knobel, and others). 
But however appropriate this epithet {dfjuft(aKio<s) is for the 
southmost part of Ethiopia as a tropical country, yet it is 
hazardous to take TiCTV in a meaning which is not sustained 
by the usage of the language ; and the same objection holds 
to Luzzatto's interpretation, " land of the far and wide shadow- 
ing defence" Schelling has also correctly remarked against 
this view, that the shadow in countries between the tropics 
is not a double shadow at the same time (thrown now to the 
north and now to the south), and therefore that it cannot be 
figuratively called double- winged. D'W3 TV^ is the whirring 
of the wings of the insects with which Egypt and Ethiopia 
swarm on account of their climat« and abundance of water ; 
???y, eonstr. TSTt, tinnitus stridor,^ its primary meaning from 
which the three other meanings of the word : cymbal, har- 
poon (ie. a whirring dart), and grasshopper,* are derived. 
The Egyptian power was called, in chap. vii. 18, the fly from 
the end of the rivers of Egypt Here Egypt-Ethiopia is called 
the land of the whirring of wings, inasmuch as the prophet, 
in association with the swarms of insects, has in his mind the 
motley swarms of people of this great kingdom, which were 
fabulously strange for an Asiatic. Within this great kingdom 

1 The meaning stridere becomes more particularly to sink down with 
a whirling motion, and in the Talmud, to have settled down, to be cleared 
Ohs, limpidua). 

T 

' Tgaltzalya in the language of the Gallasi, Ttetse in the language of the 
Bechuanas, is the name of the most dreaded insect (diptera) of the tropical 
interior of Africa, a species of glostina ; see Hartmann, Skuae der NiUdnder, 
i. 205 ; Ausland, 1865, p. 960, and Merinsky, Beilriige zur KemUniss Siid- 
Afrikas, 1876, pp. 23-25 (where it is stated that the poison of the tsetse 
has a fatal effect only on the domestic animals, the ass being an exception). 
Bruce first brought this insect to England, and the first account of tlie 
" Tsaltsalya-fly " is found in voL v. of Bruce's Select Specimeni (1790). 



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352 ISAIAH. 

messengers are now passiug to and fro upon its great waters 
"Pi Y??, in boats of papyrus (see about K^, explained by 

Saadia by tjtij, in my comm. on Job, chap. viiL 11); in 

Greek fidpiSe^ (Ionic in Herodotus, ii 96, /8a/>(ef) irairvpiveu 
(fiapk, after the Egyptian bari, hali, barge), cf. Lucan, Phars. 
4. 136 : conserUur bUmla Memphitis eymia papt/ro. In such 
canoes, ex papyro et scirpo et harundine (Plinius, vii. 206, xiiL 
72, ed. Jan.), they skimmed along the Nile, and ventured evea 
as far as Taprobane (Ceylon). They were made for folding 
together (plieatUes), so that they could be carried past the 
cataracts (rapids), Arab selldldt (see Parthey on Plutarch de 
Iside, p. 198 f.). 

It is to the messengers in such paper boats that the appeal 
of the prophet is directed. He bids them go and summon 
the mighty Ethiopian people to the combat : to a combat, 
however, which Jehovah will in their place take upon Him- 
self. Vers. 26, 3 : " 6o, fleet messengers, to the nation long- 
stretched and leautifully polished, to the terrible people far avoay 
on the other side, to the nation of command on command and 
treading down, wliose land rivers cut through. All ye possessors 
of the world and inhabUants of the earth, when a banner rises 
on mountains, look thither, and when they blow the trumpet, 
then hear!" They are to go to the powerful people which 
will not be the prey of Assyria, but the prey of Jehovah ; for 
He Himself will save the world from the conquering might 
of Assyria, against which the Ethiopian kingdom summons 
all the means of self-help. That to which the looks of 
Ethiopia and all the peoples of the earth are directed is made 
known to us by what follows : it is the destruction of Assyria 
by Jehovah. And they who look are particularly to attend 
and mark when they perceive the two signals of the banner 
and the trumpet blast: these are decisive moments. The 
people which is called to arms is described as being so 
glorious a people, not because it will actually join in the 
combat, but because it will be Jehovah's own people. It is 
^Btop, long-extended, tall (LXX. edvot ftereapov), by which 
the Sabeans are likewise designated in chap. xlv. 14 (cf. 

jji'^*^, in the sense Hand, from j:^, to extend long) ; 



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CHAPTEB XVUI. 2, 8. 353 

and then t3"jto = an^op,* polished, politus, especially by depila- 

tion (cf. iij^\, imberbis, of a youth), and therefore not marred 

by a disfiguring growth of hair. To these first two predicates 
corresponds the description of the Ethiopians in Herodotus, 
iii 20, as fteyiaTot koX KaWtarot avOpdnrav irdvrav ; and as to 
the glittering of their skin see also Herodotus, iii. 23.' They 
are further called the terrible people, by reference to the 
wide extent of their kingdcmi to the remotest south, wn-io 
^?ri71» i^oia here (compare the vulgar Arabic min henne, 
hitherwards), where the prophet meets with the messengers 
further and always further out; cf. 1 Sam. xx. 21, 22 (but 
not 1 Sam. xviii. 9, where the expression has a temporal 
meaning, which is less suitable here, where everything is so 
picturesque ; and, besides, it is to be rejected, because NVrp 
cannot be equivalent to iftn "^f^, cf. Nah. iL 9). In 
Homer they are also rriXoff' iovre^, those dwelling far off. 
Nagelsbach connects the mention of place with mu : feared 
far from its boundary ; but then wn-jo would be superfluous. 
What ^i> (with a connecting accent and before Makkeph li?), 
a measure or criterion, means, when used by the prophet in 
the reduplicated form in which it is presented here, is shown 
by chap, xxviii. 10, 13 ; or if these parallels are rejected by 
Ps. xix. 5, it is a commanding people that conquers region on 
region, or (according to Ewald, Knobel, and Cheyne) a people 
" of strength strength," m. terribly strong ; and this view 

would recommend itself were lij = iy, strength, established as 

a meaning in the Hebrew (the radical idea being stiff, com- 
pact), nwap is a second genitive to ^l : a people of treading 
down, namely, of others, i.e. which subdues and tramples down 
wherever it appears, as had been conspicuously shown since 
Pianchi, about 766 B-C." The Tirhaka (Teapxav) is called by 
Megasthenes in Strabo, xv. 1. 6, a great conqueror who pressed 

' So, too, anv^ in Jer. xxix. 17 is equivalent to unv'^p, abhorred, 

abominable. 

* See on this also the description of the Bitrdbira (plur. of Berbert), 
probably epigons of the ancient Ethiopians, in the Zeitschrift Jiir allg. 
Erdkunde, xviL 7. 

' See Stade's monograph, De Isaiae vaticiniU aethioplcit, 1873. 

VOL. I. Z 



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354 ISAUH. 

forward to the pillars of Hercules. These are purely predi- 
cates of distinction : an imposingly beautiful people, a ruling 
aud conquering people. The last predicate Htra tf» extols 
their fruitful land. We do not take Kta in the sense of 
diripere = H?, as D«p, to melt == ODD, but in the sense of 
Jmdei'e = Vf^, as MM, to sip = »?» ; for it is no praise to say 
that a land is carried off or washed away by rivers. Bottcher 
aptly compares the phrase used by Herodotus, ii. 108, icare- 
Tft^dtj ij AtyvirTo<{. There is a divine irouy lying in the 
circumstance that a people so great and glorious, and (looking 
at its natural gifts) not without reason so full of self-feeling, 
falls into such violent excitement in presence of the threaten- 
ing danger and makes such violent efforts to meet it, while 
Jehovah, the Grod of Israel, will Himself annihilate the power 
that threatens the danger in a night, and consequently that all 
the anxiety and labour of Ethiopia is utterly useless. 

The prophet knows this for certain. Vers. 4-6 : " For thus 
hath Jehovah spoken to me: I will be still, and will look on 
upon my throne during clear heat in sunshine, during dew- 
clouds in the harvest glow. For hefore the harvest, when the 
blossom fades off and the bud becomes a ripening grape, tlwn 
will He cut off the vine shoots with vvne-pruners, and He removes, 
breaks off the tendrils. Left are they altogether to the birds of 
prey of the mountains, and to the cattle of the land, and the 
birds of prey summer thereon, and all tlie cattle of the land wUl 
winter thereon^" The prophecy expounds itself here ; for the 
unfigurative ver. 6 undoubtedly enables us to understand what 
it is that Jehovah without interposing will let develope pro- 
sperously under favourable circumstances till He suddenly 
and violently puts an end to it just as it is approaching per- 
fect maturity. It is the power of Assyria. Jehovah calmly 
looks on from the heavenly seat of His glorious presence 
without disturbing the progression of what is intended. This 
rest of His is not neglectf ulness ; it is, as is indicated by the 
cohortatives (the second of which is provided with if under 
the half-guttural p; of. Num. xxiii. 25), well considered 
resolution. The two Caphs (3) in ver. 4 are not comparative, 
but are indicative of time. The noun 3y, thickness, darkness, 
cloud, is in the construct 3^, or even ^V, as D) is sometimes 
D^, sometimes D!, being the latter according to the mode of 



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CHAFTKB XVIU. 4-4. 355 

derivatives from y*T). Jehovah keeps Himself at rest while 
there is bright heat with sunshine ('^J|, of a continuing state, 
as in Jer. viii. 18, 1 Sam. xiv. 32, and elsewhere), and whilst 
there is dew-cloud, 175 '"^ (LXX. Syr. erroneously ova), i-e. 
in the midst of that warmth which is favourable for the 
harvest, so that the plant thus heated through by day and 
refreshed at night by the falling dew shoots up rapidly and 
luxuriantly, and ripens. The plant thought of is the vine, as 
is shown by ver. 5. It is erroneous to take *i*Vi^ in the sense of 
TXa (see xvi. 9) : it is the grain harvest at whose approach the 
vine blossom fades and the berry sets, with which the summer 
heat, during which the grapes ripen (Hofmann), coincides. 
3 is also here indicative of time. When the blossom has 
become complete, so that it now fades off, and the set fruit- 
bud (^s?, according to the Masora here, in distinction from 
Gen. xl. 10 with n ra/atum) becomes a ripening grapelet 
("iDb, the still unripe grape, ifufxii, so called from its hardness 

and sourness, as^^ is the unripe date), lie cuts away the 

vine branches, Ojhi (from ^, to swing to and fro ; cf. Arabic 
ddliya, grape, from dald, to hang long and loose), on which 
the grapes thtct will soon be quite ripened hang; and the 
tendrils (rrtiT'BJ, as in Jer. v. 10, from b'dj, to stretch far 
down, Niphal, to twine for a long way, chap, xvi, 8 ; cf. Jer. 
xlviii. 32) he removes, nips ofif (tnn, a pausal form for Win, as 
^30 is for bR3D in chap. vii. 6, Olsh. § 9 Id, from IW, Hiphil 
in Talmud, rnn, to break off, to break in two, to weaken ; cf. 
VVPi), an intentional asyndeton with a picturesque sound. 
The discourse of Jehovah concerning Himself has here passed 
imperceptibly into a discourse of the prophet about Jehovah. 
The ripening grapes are, as is elucidated in ver. 6, the Assy- 
rians now not far from the summit of their power, and the 
fruit-branches that are lopped off and broken to pieces are 
their corpses, which are now summer and winter through the 
garbage of swarms of summer birds and of the beasts of prey 
that remain through the winter. (T^ is a denominative from 
ri?. glowing heat = summer, and *l"?™?> denominative, from 
(|in, plucking off = harvest) This is the divine act of judg- 
ment to which the approaching planting of the banner and 
the approaching blare of trumpets is about to call the atten- 



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356 ISAIAH. 

tion of the people of Ethiopia. What effect this act of 
Jehovah if it now takes place will exercise upon the people 
of Ethiopia is now described. Ver. 7: "At that time will 
there be offered as a homage to the Lord of hosts a people long- 
stretched and beautifully polished, and from a terrible people far 
away on the other side, a nation of command upon command and 
treading down, whose land rivers cut through, to the place of the 
name of Jehovah of hosts, the mountain ofZion." To the difficult 
tISO the op at the beginning does not require to be accommo- 
dated (for which Knobel indeed reads ^70); that which is offered 
is the Ethiopian people itself, just as it is Israel in chap. Ixvi. 
20 ; Zeph. iii. 10. Along with DP and ^j, nominatives of the 
subject, D^ can only have a local signification : the people 
brings itself as a present, and presents are brought from it 
(Nagelsbach) ; but for what purpose is this weakening altera- 
tion made ? It is probable that oi is an inadvertent " ditto- 
graphy," and should be deleted. Cheyne translates twice : 
from the people ; but the former DP is guaranteed by parallels, 
as in Zeph. iii. 10. Ethiopia is offered or presents itself as 
an offering to Jehovah, being impelled irresistibly to this by 
the force of the impression made by the great deed of Jehovah, 
or as the Titan among the Psalms says (Ps. IxviiL 32) : " There 
come thither the splendid ones out of Egypt, and Gush hastily 
stretches his hands to Elohint" In order that the greatness 
of this spiritual conquest may be fully appreciated, the de- 
scription of this strangely glorious people is here repeated. 

The Oracle concerning Egypt, Chap. XIX. 

The three prophecies in chaps. xviiL, xix., xx. form a 
trilogy. The first (chap, xviii., which, like the introitus, 
chap, i, is without any special superscription) treats of 
Ethiopia in language of the sublimest pathos. The second 
(chap, xix.) treats of Egypt in language of calmer description, 
which is expanded to some length ; and the third (chap, xx.) 
treats of Egypt and Ethiopia in a setting of plain historical 
prose. The kingdom to which all the three prophecies refer 
is the same, namely, the i^ypto-Ethiopian kingdom ; but it 
is so dealt with that chap, xviii. refers to the ruling people, 
chap. xix. to the ruled people, and chap. xx. embraces them 



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CHAPTKR XIX. 1-4. 367 

both together. The reason why the prophecy occupies itself 
80 particularly with Egypt is that no people of the earth was 
so closely interwoven with the history of the kingdom of God 
from the patriarchal time as Egypt And because, as the Thora 
impresses it, Israel must never forget that it long resided in 
Egypt, and there grew great, and enjoyed much good; so 
prophecy, when it C9mes to speak to Egypt, is not less zealous 
in promising than in threatening. Accordingly the Isaianic 
Kb^ falls into two distinct halves : one threatening, vers. 1-15, 
and one promising, vers. 18-25 ; and between judgment and 
salvation thete stands the terror in vers. 16, 1 7, as the bridge 
from the former to the latter. And just as is the great- 
ness of the coil of punishments which the prophet unfolds, so 
in just as many stages is the promise which is carried on in 
ever new grooves, and which here rises so far that at last, 
breaking through the temporary historical veil and the Old 
Testament limitation, it speaks the spiritual language of the 
world-embracing love of the New Testament. 

With a short introduction — ^in the use of which Isaiah was 
a master — which concentrates the whole of what is contained 
in the first half in a few weighty words, and three times 
naming Egypt, the land unequalled in the world, the oracle 
thus begins. Ver. 1 : " Bduid, Jehovah rides along upon a 
light cloud, and comes to Egypt ; then the idols of Egypt shake 
lefore Rim, and the heart of Egypt m^Us within it." Jehovah 
rides upon clouds when He is about to reveal Himself in 
judicial majesty (Ps. xviii 11), and here He rides upon a 
light cloud, because it is to happen rapidly. ?S signifies light 
and quick ; what is light moves itself quickly ; and even the 
light, because tliin doud, is relatively 3^, literally, dense, 
opaque, dark. The idols of Egypt shake QPi, as in chap. vL 4, 
viL 2), for Jehovah comes over them to judgment (cf. Ex. 
xiL 12 ; Jer. xlvL 25 ; Ezek. xxx. 13). They must shake, for 
they are about to be thrown down ; their shaking from fear is 
a shaking to their fall (^, as in chap. xxiv. 20, xxix. 9). 
The 1 of V)y\ (praet. eonaec with tone on the last) connects 
cause and effect, as in chap, vi 7. 

In what judgments the judgment is about to be executed 
is now declared by the majestic Judge Himself. Vers. 2-4 : 
" And I goad Egypt against Egy^, and they go to war every 



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358 ISAIAH. 

one with his brother, and every one with hit neighbour ; eitt/ 
against city, kingdom against kingdom. And the ^rit of Egypt 
is emptied out within it, and I swallow up Ua readiness in counsel, 
and they go inquiring to the idols, and to the mutterers, and to the 
oraele-spirits, and to the soothsayeii. And I shut up Egypt in 
the hand of a hard government, and a violent king will rule ocer 
them, saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts." , Civil war will rage 
in Egypt (on ^psp see at chap. iz. 10). The people usually 
so prudent will not be able to deliberate ; their spirit is quite 
poured out (J^P^,, with the dropped reduplication for n^3J, as 
"303 = nau, Ezek. xli. 7, ct oomm. on Gten. xL 7), so that 
nothing of insight or resolution remains to them. Then in 
their blindness they turn for help in counsel and action to 
where none is to be found — to their nothings of gods, and to 
the manifold demoniacal arts of which I^ypt could boast that 
it was the primeval abod& On the names of the practisers 
of the black art see chap. viii. 19. DI^K, mutterers, from 

tsptt = LI, to squeak (used of a camel's saddle, especially when 

it is new), to nimble (of the empty stomach), and such like 
(see Lane's Lexicon). But all this avails them nothing. 
Jehovah gives them up (lap, syn. '^'vsn, ovyKKeieip, and "op) 
to be under a hard-hearted, severe king. The prophecy does 
not refer to a foreign conqueror, so as to lead us to think 
of Sargon (Enobel, Kuenen, Schrader, Cheyne, Driver) or 
Cambyses (Luzzatto), but to a native despot In comparing 
the prophecy with the fulfilment, we must above all keep firmly 
to the view that ver. 2 prophesies the national revolution 
which broke out in Sais, in the midst of which the Ethiopian 
dynasty, which ruled from 725, was overthrown, and the 
federal Dodekarchy, which sprang out of the national rising. 
Hitzig denies this, but only because he holds it to be im- 
]iOssible that the prophetic glance of Isaiah could extend to 
events after bis death. Stade' refers the prophecy to the 
subjection of Middle and Lower E(>ypt, and especially of the 
Saitic prince and conqueror, Tafnecht, by the Ethiopian 

^ Op. eit, pp. 31-33 ; cf. " Die Si^esinschrift Konlgs Pianchi von 
Aethiopien, iibera. von H. Bmgsch," in the NachrieKten der Kgl. GUtHnger 
OtteUtehaft d. W. 1876, Kr. 19. Wiedemann, At^^iftM** Ge»chiehU, 
TeU 2 (1884), pp. 666-676. 



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CHAI'TSB XIX. fi-10. 359 

riancIii-Meremen, which he dates between 729 and 722. 
But with this interpretation of the Isaianic prophecy would 
there not rather be expected, according to the stele of Mount 
Barkat, instead of onxoa onxo, rather onasa DHro? The 
naPDOa napoo (LXX. vofun iirX vo/t6v) does not apply nearly 
so well to the time of Tafnecbt and Fianchi as to those twelve 
small kingdoms into which Egypt was divided after the 
removal of the Ethiopian dynasty, till Fsammeticbus, the 
Dodekarch of Sais, again united these twelve States into one 
monarchy, a result which Pianchi was not able to bring about 
Shabaka (the Sabakon of Manetho), the Biblical tno, under- 
took not only a victorious campaign to "Egypt, like Pianchi, 
and not only made it tributary, but remained there, and was 
the first Egyptian Pharaoh of Ethiopian race (founder of the 
XXV. dynasty).^ Psammetichus I. (604-610) was the first 
to restore the unity of the kingdom. He (and generally the 
royal house of the Psammetichidse) is the hard ruler, the 
ruthless despot After long struggles, and by the aid of 
mercenaries of Ionia and Caria, he attained sole undisputed 
dominion over Egypt From him onwards the characteristic 
Egyptian system appears already much broken by the 
admixture of Hellenism, which led in consequence to the 
emigration of a large portion of the military caste to Meroe 
(Herod, ii 30 ; Diod. i. 67). How oppressive this new 
dynasty was came to be felt by the I^ptian people, when 
Necho (616-597), the son and successor of Psammetichus, 
took up anew the project of Bamses Miamun to construct a 
connecting canal between the Mediterranean and the Bed Sea, 
and tore away 120,000 natives from their homes and wore 
them out in toilsome drudgery (Herod, ii 158). A revolt of 
the native troops which, being sent against the rebelling 
Cyrene, were driven back into the desert, brought about, after 
losing a battle, the fall of Hophra' (Avplrfi of Herodotus and 
Diodorus), the grandson of Necho, in 570, and put an end to 
the hated government of the house of Psammetichus (Herod, 
ii. 161 sqq., iv. 159). 

The prophet now prophesies another calamity which is 
coming upon Egypt : the Nile dries up, and with it vanishes 
the fruitfulness of the land. Yera 5-10: "And the waters 
^ See Wiedemann, op. eil. p. 581. 



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360 ISAIAa 

will dry up from the sea, and the river hecomes parched and 
dried. And the arms of the river ^read a stench ; the canals 
of Masor become shallow and parched ; reed and rush shrivel up. 
The meadows hy the Nile, at the mmtth of the Nile, and every 
seed-field of the Nile dries up, scatters in dust and disappears. 
And the fishers groan, and all who throw ho(^-nets into the 
Nile mourn, and they who spread out the net on the face of the 
water languish away. And confouTided are the workers of fine- 
combed flax and the weavers of cotton fahrics. And the pillars 
of the land become crushed to pieces, all who work for hire grieved 
in soul." The Nile in ver. 5 (as well as in chap, rs'iii. 1 ; 
cf. Nab. iii. 8) is called Q^, just as Homer calls it a>Keav6<t. 
which, as Diodoras (i. 19) observes, is the native name of 
the river, the Egyptiau oham ; the corresponding Aiabic 

name is ^^ ; tts here it ie called yam in the Begawlya idiom 

of Besharin. The Nile is really more like an inland sea 
than a river from that point where the main stream in 
consequence of the swelling of the two great Abyssinian 
tributaries of the Blue Nile and the Atbara overflows the 
delta of Lower Egypt, assuming this appearance in conse- 
quence of its breadth and of its stagnating in the dry season. 
It is not till the beginning of the tropical rains that the 
swelling river begins to flow more rapidly, and the DJ becomes 
inj. But when, as is threatened hei-e, the Nile sea and the 
Nile river of Upper Egypt fall together and dry up (VBb, 
Niphal, either from nriB', V nB>, to set, to place = wi?^, to set 
oneself, to become shallow ; or rather from Tm, since chap, 
xli. 17 and Jer. li. 30 warrant us assuming such a secondary 
verb), then the arms of the mouth of the Nile (O'lviJ), which 
flow through the delta and the many canals (D'l'<^) wliich 
convey to the NUe valley the blessing of the overflow, 
become stinking pools (iri'jmn, a half nominal, a half verbal 
Hiphil, unexampled elsewhere ; to spread a stench, formed 
from the elative TOW or tow, which is not found, perhaps in 
order to distinguish it from rvJTn, which means to abhor, to 
make an abhorrence). Probably it is not without intention 
that Isaiah says "^to, seeing that he distinguishes "li^ and 
oSne in chap. xi. 11 as Lower and Upper Egypt, Egyptian 
sa-hit, lower land, and sa-ris, upper land (together forming 



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OHAPTEB SIX. 5-10. 361 

DnV9). And we are warranted in taking D*ii«^. (standing 
beside nhnp) as a name for the canals of the Nile. The 
canals and irrigation system of Egypt are older than the 
invasion of the Hyksos. On the other hand, i^K) in ver. 7 
(thrice written jdene, as also in ver. 8) is the Egyptian name 
of the Nile generally (aur, river, or avr-da, great river), which 
is thrice repeated with emphasis like the name B!^^ in 
ver. 1. On e|4D, a reed, Egyptian sebe, see comm. on Ps. 
cvi. 9. Parallel with V}to, but different from it, stands niip 
from <P^, nudum esse, which, like several derivatives of the 
synonymous verb ^^, signifies open places, and here grass 
Hats situated beside the water, and therefore meadows. Even 
the meadows close to the mouth of the river (see on Prov. 
viiL 29), i.e. where it flows to the neighbouring sea, and all 
the fields become so dry that they go off in dust like ashes. 
The three chief sources of the nourishment of Egypt thus fail 
also, viz. the fishing, the manufacture of linen which supplied 
the dresses of the priests and bandages for the mummies, and 
the manufacture of cotton which provided all who were not 
priests with material for clothing. In ver. 8 no objection 
need be taken to the view which assumes an inversion for 
"itra nan ''shvo; this obstruction is less striking where the 
governing word has Chirek eompaginis in chap, xxil 16 ; 
Gen. xlix. 11. rtpnb might be adj. to the feminine d*RB'b 
from •vip'B, but it is according to the accents the accus. of 
manner : by means of repeated careful combing (cf. P^^p, wool- 
combers, Kelim xiL 2). The mode of working the flax is 
shown us on the monuments; and in the Berlin Museum 
there are some of these Egyptian combs with which they 
carded the flax. The fabrics of the Egyptian looms were 
celebrated in antiquity ; *T^n, literally, white stuff (a singular 
only with the old termination ay), from "wn or w, eandidum 
esse (cf. *iin, eandere), is the collective name for cotton stuffs or 
the different kinds of byssus which were woven there (cf. 
fivaalvwv odoviav of the Rosetta inscription).^ All the castes 
from the highest to the lowest fall into the pain of despair. 

' Luzzatto and Finaker (Einleitung im das babyl. Punktationuyttem, 
p. 133) correct as follows : " And the flax-workers are pnt to shame 
lathiuteh), the carden (but would not that be nlpb*?) and weavers 

become pale." 



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362 ISAIAH. 

Tbe n^ne^ (a designation perhaps suggested by the thought of 
'JiB^, the warp of the web, Syr. 'nfK, to weave), ue. pillars of 
the land (with a feminine suffix relating to ^f*?, see on 
chap. iii. 8, and constraed as masculine, as in P& xL 3). are 
the highest castes who directly support the edifice of the 
State ; and I3b ^Vjl cannot mean the citizens engaged in trade 
or the middle class of the people, but those who, being hired 
to those who provide labour, live not on their own property 
but on wages ps^, as in Prov. xl 18, according to Kasbi on 
this passage ; cf. comm. on Prov. xxvi. 10 = "OD : the danuuers 
of water for the purpose of fishing, like psp, Kelitn xxiiL 6).' 
The prophet now pauses to describe the punishment 
inflicted on the pillars of the land. Vera 11-13: " Utter 
fooh do the princes of Zoan become, the wise connsellors of 
Pharaoli ; readiness in counsel is stupefied. How can ye toy 
to Pharaoh : I am a son of wise men, a son of kings of the 
early time t — Where are they, then, thy wise men t Let them 
then announce to thee and know what Jduyoah of hosts hat 
resolved concerning Egypt ! The princes of Zoan are stultified, 
the princes of Memphis deceived ; they have led Egypt astray, 
who are the comer -stone of its castes." The two constructs 
"^^ ^pan do not stand in subordination but in co-ordination 
(see comm. on Ps. IxxviiL 9 ; Job xx. 17, and compare 
2 Kings xviL 13, Ken), the wise men, counsellors of Pharaoh, 
80 that the second name is the explanatory permutative of 
the first ipi is = Tanis, lying between the Sebennytic 
and the Pelusian arm of the Nile, anciently (Num. xiii 22) 
a capital of the Hyksos, emd restored after their destruction 
by Eamses II. It was the parent seat of two dynasties. 
eii per aphaer. = tlio, coitir. e|b in Hos. ix, 6, is Memphis,' 
which was raised by Psammetichus to be the metropolis of tbe 
whole kingdom. On its ruined site now stands the village of 

So Rashi, understanding ■oe^ ^cy to be used of dyke laboarera, 
nuderstands B'W 'DJN to be fish - ponds, which is untenable. On the 
other hand, the view of Ehrentreu is probable, that the choice of the 
word ^JK 'V7M occasioned by D%]K (water tanks formed by means of 

confining dykes) ; see above at chap. i. 31. 

* With Uiis Qreek form of the name the Assyrian name agrees : 
MS-im-pi, Mi-im-pi (Paradiei, p. 314). The original Egyptian form is 
Men-nefer (Plutarch, de 1$. 20 : 5fi*t( Ayttiu). 



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CHAPTKB XIX. 14, IJk 363 

MUrMru (according to Seetzen), and to the north-west of it is 
the Serapeum. Princes of Zoan and Memphis were therefore 
princes belonging to the most distiuguisbed cities of the 
conntiy, and, as may be assumed, of primeval pedigree ; they 
were probably priest-princes ; for the wisdom of the Egyptian 
priests was of world-wide renown (Herodotus, il 77, 260), 
and out of the priest caste sprang the oldest kings of Egypt 
Even in the time of Hezekiab, when the military caste had 
long become the ruling one, the priests again succeeded in 
raising one of their own number, Setbos, to the throne of 
Sais. These magnates of Egypt with their wisdom will be 
made fools by the history of Egypt in the immediate future, 
and — this is the meaning of the sarcastic TOiOn tj»k — they 
will not trust themselves further to boast of their priestly 
hereditary wisdom or their royal hereditary nobility when 
counselling PharaoL ^J> does not mean here " east " as in 
1 Kings V. 10, but primeval time. They are the comer- 
stone of the B*t33e^, ix. of the castes of Egypt (not of the 
districts or divisions, voiutl, Krops, as it is rendered in the 
Targum). But instead of supporting and protecting their 
people, as it now appears, they have plunged it into error. 
^JJnn has here — as is observed by the Masora on ver. 14 — no 
VMVJ cop. 

This state of disorder is now more minutely described in 
vers. 14, 15 : "Jdwtah hat poured into Egyp(s heart a spirit 
of giddiness so that they have led Sgypt astray in all its doing 
as a drunken man vnnders about in his vomit. And there is 
not doM of Egypt a work which worked, of head and tail, palm 
branch and ntsh." The spirit which Qoi pours into them is a 
spirit of judgment, and has for its judicial penal result D^V)]^, 
which is formed from ^^ny (V ijj, to curve), and is abridged 
from D^^y, or points back to a singular f^Jf. The sufifix of 
Pia-i^a refers to Egypt The divine punitive spirit makes use 
of the fancied wisdom of the priestly caste, and by it throws 
the people, as it were, into the giddiness of Intoxication. 
The prophet uses the Hiphil n^npn of the carefully meditated 
doings of the leaders of the people, and the Niphal n^ of 
the state of the drunken man when he is no longer free nor 
master of himself. The people is made so perverse by false 
counsels and hopes that it lies there like a drunk man in his 



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364 ISAIAH. 

own vuiuit, and, not being able to extricate itself, it gropes and 
rolls about therein. A work which worked or was effective, 
t.e. which brought it out of the disorder (J^„ as frequently of 
persons, e.g. in Dan. viiL 24), is brought to a successful result 
by no one ; neither by the heads of the people, nor by the 
common people and its flatterers ; neither by the upper classes 
nor by the masses. 

The result of all these plagues which come upon Egypt is 
fear of Jehovah and of Jehovah's people. Vers. 16, 17: 
" In tfiat day the Egyptians become like toomen, and they trenMe, 
and they shudder iefore the twing of the hand of Jehovah of 
hosts, which Hie sets into swing against them. And tlie land of 
Judah becomes a dread to Egypt: as often as they mention 
this against Egypt, it slitcdders, — on account of the decree of 
Jehovah of Itosls which He suspends over it." The swinging, 
nEfljn, of the hand (chap. xxx. 32) points back to the fore- 
going judgments as they smite li^pt with blow after blow. 
These humiliations make the Egyptians as soft and timid as 
women. The accent on Tim is separative {Mehuppach 
Legamuih). Further, the sacred ground and soil of Judah 
(TO1?J, as in chap. xiv. 1, 2, xxxii. 13), which Egypt has so 
often made the scene of war, throws them, whenever it is but 
mentioned (IB^ iib, cf. 1 Sam. ii 13 ; Gen. iv. 15 : literally 
whoever, but = as often as any one), into frenzy, into an 
excitement of terror (Mn, with K instead of n, like KTJ in 
Num. xL 20, Krn^ in Ezek. xxxvil 31 ; cf. «s»3, Ezek. 
xxxvL 5, and similar in form with morrah in Prov. xiv. lOX 
The originator of the plagues is known to them. Their faith 
in the idols is shaken, and the wish naturally rises in them 
to avert new plagues by propitiation of Jehovah. 

At first there is only slavish fear, but it is the beginning 
of a turn for the better. Ver. 18 : "In tluxt day there teiil 
be five cities in the land Egypt speaking the language of Canaan 
and swearing by Jdumah of hosts, ' Ir ha-Heres wUl one be 
called.' " Five cities are few for Egypt,* which is sowed over 
with cities (townships) ; but this is only a fractional begin- 
ning of the future complete conversion of Egypt. It is an 

' Herodotus (iL 177) gives the number of tbem as 20,000 in the time of 
Amasis ; Diodorus (i. 31) gives their number as 18,000 in ancient times, 
and under Ptolemy Lagi, 30,000. 



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CHAPTER XIX. 18. 365 

external sign of this conversion that the converted begin to 
speak the language of Canaan, i.e. the holy language of the 
worship of Jehovah (cf. Zeph. iii. 9), and that they devote 
themselves with a sworn vow to the God of Israel in words 
of this language. ? VSf^ (dififerent from a Papj, chap. Ixv. 16, 
as chap. xlv. 23 shows) means to swear to any one, to pro- 
mise him fealty, to give oneself up to him. One of these 
five win be called cnnn T». As this must be a proper name, 
nntt^ thus means not unicuique, as in Judg. viiL 18, Ezek. 
L 6, but uni. It is the habit of Isaiah to express the 
nature of a thing in the form of a future name of it (chap, 
iv. 3, xxxii. 5, Ixi 6, IxiL 4). This name must therefore 
liere have a distinguishing meaning in accordance with the 
promise. But what does D"inri vy mean ? The LXX. has 
changed it into iroXts ocreBeK, pW Ty, in honour of the 
Jewish temple, which was founded by Onias IV., the son of 
the high priest Onias III., when he emigrated to Egypt, and 
found a friendly reception from Ptolemy VL Philometor and 
his wife Cleopatra (about 160 B.C.). The o^n, handed down 
in the Masoretic text, can mean nothing else than destruction, 
and it naturally occurs to read for it D"jnn Ty (which is 
also given in some codices,* but is contrary to the Masora). 
It is unnecessary to interpret this according to the Arabic as 
meaning city of protection (Rosenmiiller, Ewald, Knobel, 
Meier) = i^^y^i^S, divinitut prolecta. Di_nn t]» means city of 
the sun (D^n, as in Job ix. 7 ; Judg. xiv. 18), as the Talmud 
in the leading passage concerning the ran n'3 (the Onias 
temple) in Menachoth 110a considers that the traditional 
reading is to be understood in accordance with Job ix. 7 {VQ&h 
K'n KBtow, " it is a designation of the sun ").' " Sun-city " 
was actually the name of one of the most famous old Egyp- 
tian cities, namely, 'H\ioviroXi,<t, situated to the north-east of 
Memphis, the city of the sun-god Ba, which elsewhere in the 

* On the other hand, no Greek Cod. reads xixi( tixip's, into which the 
CompL has emended it after the Vulgate, see the Vocabularium Hrbr. 37a 
belonging to the Compl. A Hebrew MS. in St Petersburg has the reading 
T"?? *'*!' transcribed in inverted order from the Greek, see DMZ. xx. 459. 

• In this sense of " sun-city will one be called," these words are the 
device on the coat of arms of the Andalusian city Ecija ; see von Vincenti, 
In Glut vnd Ext, Bd. ii. 166. 



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366 tBkUtt. 

Old Testament is called jftt,* a name which Ezekiel (chap. 
xxz. 17) modifies into QW, in order to brand the idolatry of 
the citj. If the well -attested reading vmn is retained, it 
can only be taken as meaning " tearing down of the previous 
heathen sanctuaries" (cnn, as in Judg. vi. 25; 1 Kings 
xviii. 30, xix. 10, 14), and tlie meaning of the prophecy will 
be that the city, which was hitherto onnn Ty, the chief city of 
the sun-worship, will, become the city of the deatniction of 
idolatry (Caspari, Drechsler, Herzfeld), as Jeremiah prophesies, 
chap, xliii. 13: "Jehovah will break in pieces the obelisks 
of the sun-temple in the land of Egypt" Dinn fv, with this 
interpretation, has essentially the same relation to Dinn "vv 
as pK n*3 to ^ rP3, and, so far as this is interpreted according 
to Hos. X. 8, cf. xiL 12, means: the sun-city becomes a city 
of ruins. The prophet is here thinking of the temples and 
altars, and also in particular of the i^^^Jip, obelisks (see Jer. 
xliii. 13), which stood there on the spot where Ea was 
worshipped. 

Vers. 19, 20: "In that day there stands an altar con- 
secrated to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and an 
obelisk near the boundary of the land eonsecraied to Jeliovah. 
And a sign and a witness for Jeliovah of hosts is this in the 
land Egypt : when they cry to Jehovah because of oppressors. He 
wiU send them a helper and comiatant, and save them." This 
is the passage of Isaiah (not ver. 18) to which Onias lY. 
appealed when he sought permission from Ptolemy Philometor 
to build the temple of Jehovah in Egypt. He built it in 
the nome of Heliopolis, 180 stadia to the north-east of 
Memphis (Jos. BeU. viL 10. 3), and particularly on the ground 
and soil of the oxvpctfia in Leontopolis which was consecrated 
to Bubastis (AtU. xiii. 3. 1, 2).' This temple, built like a 

1 'Hxtai/xoX/; corresponds to tlie sacred name Pe-ra, house of tbe sim- 
god, which is borne by the city otherwise called fi^ old Egyptian Anu ; 
nevertheless Cyril also explains this name thns : 'iln li ini n,ar aiirtit i 
$X/«f, that is Ain, Otit, Oni, the eye as emblem of the sun. Perhaps with 
reference to this Heliopolis is called in Arabic ' Ain-ei-kmt, see Arnold, 
CKretlom. arab. p 66 f. Edrlsi (iii. 3) calls this Ain-ei-lemi, " the plea- 
sure seat of the Pharaoh, whom may Ood curse," just as ibn el-Faravn 
is an insulting designation of the Coptic fellah. 

* Perhaps the present Tel el-Jehftdi points to the site of the old 
Jewish temple (Ebeis, Durch Goten zum Sinai, p. 497). 



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CHAPTiB XIX. 19, sa 867 

fortress, was externally nnlike that of Jerusalem ; it stood for 
more thaa two hundred years (160 B.C.-72 A.D., when it 
was closed by command of Vespasian). It was magnificently 
eqnipped and much frequented, yet its recognition was a 
subject of dispute in Palestine and even in Egypt itself. It 
really lay DHV? T^ ^I^ ; bnt it is not feasible to see in that 
temple the fulfilment of the Isaianic prophecy ; for this reason 
of itself, that it was built by Jews and for Jews. And where 
then would the obelisk have been which, as Isaiah prophesies, 
was to stand on the boundary of Egypt, i.e. on the side 
of the desert and of Canaan ? The altnr was not to be 
in fact a place of sacrifice, but, like the altars in Josh, 
xxii 26, 27 and Ex. xviL 15, was to be rriK, a monument 
that there were worshippers of Jehovah in Egypt, and the 
obelisk was to be a i? that Jehovah had proved Himself for 
the salvation of Egypt to be the God of the gods t>f Egypt. 
And if those who erected this place of worship and this 
monument now cry to Jehovah, He will show Himself ready 
to help them, and they will no more cry in vain as they 
formerly did to their idols (ver. Z). What is here spoken of 
is therefore the beginning of the conversion of the natives 
of Egypt The fact that since the Greek period Judaism 
became a power in Egypt is certainly not out of relation 
to this. The Therapeutae, scattered through all the vofioi 
of Egypt as described by Philo (0pp. il p. 474, ed. Mangey), 
were of a mixed Egypto-Jewish nature. It was a victory of 
the Jehovah religion that Egypt was already covered in the 
pre-Christian period with Jewish synagogues and coenobia. 
Further, Alexandria did become the place where the law of 
Jehovah was rendered into Greek and became accessible to 
the heathen world, and where the religion of Jehovah created 
for itself the forms of speech and thought in which as Chris- 
tianity it was to become the religion of the world. So, when 
Christianity had entered into the world, there were already 
towards the end of the first century more than one nasD to 
be found by any one coming from Palestine to Egypt, and 
more than one roTD to be found by any one when he had 
arrived in the middle of Egypt Alexandria and the 
monachism and anchoritism of the Sinaitic peninsula and of 



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368 ISAUH. 

Egypt 1)ecatne of the greatest importance in tbe history of 
the spread of Christianity.' 

When I^ypt became the prey of Islam in the year 640, 
there had been, at least in magnificent prelude, a fulfilment 
of what the prophet prophesies in vers. 21, 22: "And 
Jelurvah gives Hirnadf to be known to the Egyptians, and the 
Egyptians know Jehovah in thai day; and they seit've with 
shin-offerings and meat-offerings, and vow vows to Jehovah, UTid 
pay them. And Jehovah smites Egypt, smiting and healing ; 
and when they return to Jehovah Se lets Hinuelf be entreated, 
and h^als them." From that beginning of the five cities, and 
the solitary altar, and the one solitary obelisk, it has come to 
this, that Jehovah extends knowledge of Himself to the whole 
of I^Tpt (inl), reflexive, se eognoseendum dare, or neuter, 
innoteseere), and throughout all Egypt there arises the know- 
ledge of "the God made known in the history of salvation, 
and this knowledge shows itself in practic& This practice is 
described by the prophet, as was naturally to be expected, 
according to the views of the Old Testament, as consisting in 
the presentation of bloody and bloodless, legal and freewill 
ofiferiugs. ^^3Jr|, viz. 'rrriK, and therefore ^?? with the double 
accusative, as in Ex. x. 26 ; cf. Grea xxx. 29 : or perhaps 
directly in the sense of to sacrifice (Hitzig), as iu the 
Phoenician, cf. nb'^ (e.g, in Ps. IxvL 15), and the classical 
epSeiv, pe^eiv, faeere, operari; and even when thus taken it 
is no evidence against the authorship of Isaiah (cf. chap, 
xxviii. 21, xxxil 17). Egypt, though converted, is still 
always a sinful people, but Jehovah smites them, trtB'ii «ii3 (cf. 
1 Kings XX. 37), so that in the smiting the intention of 
healing prevails, and healing follows it, since the chastisement 
of Gtod has the effect of leading them to repentanea i^pt 
therefore stands now under the same order of salvation as 
Israel (e.g. Lev. xxvi 44 ; Deut. xxxii. 36). 

As8]rria is not less humiliated, as we know from chap, xviil 
Accordingly the two great powers, which hitherto only met as 
enemies, now meet in the worship of Jehovah, which unites 
them. Ver. 23 : "In thai day a road will lead from Egypt to 
Assur, and Assur eonus unto Egypt, and Egypt to Assur ; and 

* See my Ecclesiastical Chronicle of Arabia Pctrea in the LuA. Zeit- 
ichrift, 1840, 4, and 1841, 1. 



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CHAPTEB XIX. S4, SS. 369 

Egypt vnHh Atmr atrves {the Lord)'' HM is not a sign of 
the accusative, for there can be no more mention of a sub- 
jection of Egypt under Assyria; but it is a preposition of 
fellowship, and vis^ is not intended to mean that the two 
great powers which are now contending for the government of 
the world will then have become subservient (Hof mann) ; but 
it is to be understood, as in ver. 21, where the accusative of 
manner puts the object out of doubt In this passage as 
well as in that one it has the sense of worship. The friendly 
intercourse between Egypt and Assyria is brought about by 
both peoples being converted to the God of revelation. The 
road of communication between them passes through Canaan. 

Thus is prepared the highest that the prophet prophesies 
in vers. 24, 25 : " In that day will Israel be a third to Egypt 
and Assur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, inasmuch as 
Jehovah of hosts blesses it, saying: Blessed thou, my people, 
Egypt, and thou icork of my hands, Assur, and thou, mine 
inheritance, Israel." Israel joins the covenant or federation 
of Egypt and Assyria, so that it becomes a tripartite con- 
federation, in which Israel is ^'jvvf, tertia pan (like np'?^ in 
chap. vL 13, decima pars). Israel, the seed of the patriarch, 
is now at the goal of its calling : a blessing K^kh yvp^, in the 
whole circuit of the earth, the peoples of which are here 
represented by Egypt and Assyria. Hitherto Israel lay to its 
own misfortune between Assyria and I^pt. The history of 
the kingdom of Ephraim, as well as that of Judab, proves 
thi& When Israel leaned on Egypt, it deceived itself and 
was deceived; and when it leaned on Assyria, it became 
Assjrria's slave, and had Egypt as its enemy. Thus Israel 
found itself confined in painful straits between the two great 
powers of the world. How this will now be altered I Egypt 
and Assyria become one in Jehovah, and Israel is the third 
party in the alliance or covenant Israel then is no longer 
alone God's people, God's creation, God's inheritance, but 
Egjrpt and Assyria are each a third sharer with Israel. In 
order to express this, Israel's three names of honour are 
mixed together, and each of three peoples receives one of the 
precious names, of which wH] is assigned to Israel as point- 
ing back to the banning of its history. This essential 
equalization of the heathen peoples with Israel is no degrada- 

VOL. L 2 a 



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S70 ISAIAH. 

tion to the latter ; for although henceforth there exists no 
essential distinction of the peoples in their relation to God, it 
is nevertheless always Israel's God who attains recognition, 
and Israel is the people which, according to the promise, has 
become the medium of blessing to the eartL Hence it is 
unnecessary to take the sufiSx of bia distributively ; it applies 
to Israel, which is blessed by Jehovah since in blessing Egypt 
and Assyria He takes them along with it There is thus 
fulfilled what was promised from of old, that in the seed of 
Abraham all the kindreds of the earth should bless themselves 
(Jer. iv. 2), and therefore be blessed ; that seed has now 
really become a naia to all the world. 

Thus has the second half of the prophecy ascended step by 
step from salvation to salvation, just as the first descended 
step by step from judgment to judgment The culminating 
point in ver. 25 corresponds to the lowest point in ver. 15. 
Every step of the ascending half is marked with a KVin Di>a. 
Six times within vers. 16-25 do we read this finger-post 
pointing to the future. Generally speaking, this tnnn DV3 is 
almost as characteristic of Isaiah as Q*K3 0*p^ 'isn is of 
Jeremiah (cf. e.g. Isa. viL 18-25). And it is just the 
promising Messianic parts of the prophecy which love this 
fugue -like arrangement (chap. xi. 10, 11, xii. 1 ; cf. Zech. 
xii, xiii., xiv.). Nevertheless the genuineness of vers. 16-25 
has lately been called in question, especially by Hitzig. But 
Caspari in a special dissertation (Luth. Zeitschrift, 1841, 3) 
has convincingly refuted the reasons put forward for question- 
ing the genuineness of this passage. Cheyne and Driver 
both leave this whole prophecy to Isaiah as really belonging 
to him. The two halves of the prophecy are like the two 
wings of a bird. Moreover, it is only in virtue of its second 
half that the prophecy becomes the significant middle of the 
Ethiopic-Egyptian trilogy, for chap, xviii. prophesies the saving 
effect of the catastrophe of Assyria upon Ethiopia. And that 
Egypt and Assyria will also be spiritually overcome is 
prophesied in chap. xix. with its eschatological dose, in which 
Egypt and Assyria are the representatives of the two halves 
of the heathen world. 



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CHAPTEB XX. 1, & 371 

The SrMBOL of the Fall of Egypt and Etiiiopia, and its 
Interpretation, Chap. XX. 

This third part of the trilogy, beginning in historical prose, 
introduces itself thus. Vers. 1,2a: " In the year when Tartan 
came to Ashdod, Sargon, the king of Assur, having sent him, and 
he made war against Ashdod, and took it : at that time spake 
Jehovah through Isaiah, son of Amos, as follows," i.e. He gave 
forth the following revelation through the medium of Isaiah 
p!3, as in chap, xxxvii. 24 ; Jer. xxxvii. 2, and frequently), a 
revelation which was attached to a symbolical acting of it. 
T3 refers to what is to be announced by the prophet through 
the medium of what was enjoined upon him, and therefore to 
ver. 3, and only indirectly to ver. 2b. Dn?5 does not begin the 
apodosis to roe's ; it would then necessarily have been Dn)>? ; 
but the infinitive construction is thus carried on (cf. Ps. xxxiv. 
1, lii. 2, liv. 2,lix. 1), so that v^nn nja therefore takes up again 
and universalizes the nxf2. Tartan appears in 2 Kings xviii 1 7 
as the chief general of Sennacherib ; the name (in Assyrian 
tur-ta-nu) is not a proper name, but the official title of the 
commander-in-chief of the army. An Assyrian king, l^siD, — 
or, according to the Masoretic correct writing, i^JiD, — is not 
named eLi^where in the Old Testament; but we know now 
that Sargon was the successor of Shalmanassar.^ The Book 
of Kings, indeed, names Shalmanassar as the conqueror of 
Samaria; but the form of expression used in 2 Kings xviiL 10 
(Ts??'^). which generally makes the Assyrians the conquerors, 
leaves open the possibility that what Shalmanassar begun was 
brought to an end under the command of another. The 
Eponym-lists which we now possess put it out of doubt that 
Shalmanassar IV. reigned as the successor of Tiglath-pileser II. 
from 727 to 723-2 B.C., and that Sargon, the successor of 
Shalmanassar IV., reigned from 722 to 705 B.c. It was 

' On the transition here taking place from the Assyrian D into the 
Hebrew gJ, and the Assyrian B* into the Hebrew d, see Complutemitche 
Varianten zum alUest. Ttxte (1878X p. 34, cf. 22 (on Hos. x. 14). The name 
in the inscriptions is *Sar-«-W«, sometimes also Sa-nt-kina (with d). The 
interpretation wavers between " the king he commanded " (uikInX i.e. God, 
or " king by right" (Wnu). The prefixing of the object in 'Sanikin is not 
surprising in Assyrian syntax (Friedr. Delitzsch, p. 142X but the subject 
is missed ; and therefore the latter interpretation is to be preferred. 



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872 ISAUH. 

Longperrler wlio first established the identity of the monarch 
of the palaces of Ktiorsdhdd, which form the north-east comer 
of ancient Nineveh with the Biblical Sargon. These ruins seem 
to have been called, down to a late time, ^^f-j-o, and the old 
Assyrian name of the city was DUr-SarrvMn (Sargon's Castle). 
We still possess a considerable number of inscriptions on 
bricks, harems, votive tablets, and in other forms, which bear 
the name of this king, and contain all kinds of testimonies by 
him to himself.* Sargon became the founder of a new 
dynasty,' and appears, after the death of Shalmanassar, to 
have incorporated the military exploits of the dead monarch 
in his own list of fame, as if he already had been at that 
time king. After the fall of Samaria in 722, according to 
his own annals in the inscriptions, ten years were spent in all 
sorts of wars with Merodoch Baladan of Babylon, Jahubi'di of 
Hamath, etc., before he again, in the eleventh year of his reign 
(711), took up the plan of subduing Egypt. The attack upon 
Ashdod was only a means to this end. As the Philistines 
were led by their situation, and probably also by their kin- 
ship, to take the side of Egypt, the conquest of Ashdod (a 
fortress so strong that, according to Herodotus, ii. 157, Psam- 
metichus besieged it for twenty-nine years) was an indispensable 
preliminary of the expedition against ^ypt. Alexander the 
Great, when he marched against Egypt, had to do the same 
with Gaza. How long Tartan needed is apparently to be 
inferred from ver. 1. The conquest of Ashdod, according to 
the terms of ver. 1, took place in the year of the attack. The 
humiliation of Egypt must have followed not long thereafter, 
which, at least, is so far in accord with ascertained fact, that, 
as the annals of Sargon relate, soon after the fall of Ashdod, 
and in the same year, the king of Ethiopia tendered his sub- 
mission. But in vers. 3, 4 this submission is dated three years 
later, reckoning from the time when Isaiah had to go stripped 
and barefooted. Hence the direction given by Jehovah to 
Isaiah must have gone forth three years earlier, and the 
vague trnn njQ points back to that time. Or otherwise, it 

> Enumerated bjrSchrader in hlBJT/l 7*, pp. 394-396. [Die KeOiiuekrifUn 
wtd dot alte Tettammt, 2nd ed. Oiessen 1883.] 

' First recognized by Oppert, Le$ Intariptioa* Astyrienna det Sargonidei 
It la F<ute$ d* Ninive, VerBailles 1862. 



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CHAPTEB XX. i-i. 873 

belongs to lotn, if the punctuation is pot thus: In that time 
after Jehovah had spoken ... He said. The latter view is the 
more probable, since T? ''i '^. does not introduce a prophecy, 
but a direction, and therefore what begins with t¥>nn np3 points 
to ver. 3. 

The direction received ran thus. Yer. 2b : " Go and loosen 
the frock from thy loins, and, draw thy dioes from thy feet I 
And he did so, went stripped and barefooted." We see from 
this that Isaiah was dressed in the same way as Elijah in 
2 Kings L 8 (of. Zech. xiii. 4 ; Heb. xi 37), who wore a fur 
coat ; and like John the Baptist, who had on a garment of 
camel's hair, with a leather girdle around it (Matt. iiL 4) ; for 
Pir is a coarse linen or haiiy overcoat of a dark colour (Rev. 
vi 12; cf. Isa. 1. 3), such as mourners wore either on the 
bare body C'fc'an^?, 1 Kings xxL 27 ; 2 Kings vi. 30 ; Job 
xvi. 15) or over the tunic, in both cases fastened by means 
of a girdle ; and hence not B*??, but ""Jn, is the usual word em- 
ployed to indicate the putting of it on. That the former was 
the case here is not to be inferred from t)1">f (see, on the contrary, 
2 Sam. vl 20, cf. 14 ; John xxL 7). Owiug to the great 
importance which is attributed to clothing from the stand- 
point of Oriental culture and manners, any one who appears 
without the upper garment is already regarded as naked and 
bare. Isaiah has to lay off the garment of the preacher of 
repentance and of the mourner, so that only his tunic, runs, 
remains ; and in this dress, and moreover barefooted, he has 
to appear in publia It is the costume of a man who had been 
robbed and disgraced, of a beggar, it may be, or a prisoner of 
war. ]3 is followed by the inf. abs., which develops the 
meaning as in chap. v. 5, Iviii. 6, 7. 

The meaning and duration of this unclothing of himself is 
not learned by Isaiah until after he has acted according to the 
divine direction. Vers. 3, 4 : " Then said Jehovah, Even as my 
servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefooted, three years low/ 
a sign and type concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia : so 
toill the king of Assur lead away the prisoners of Egypt and 
the exiles of Ethiopia, children and old men, nxiked and bait- 
footed, and with bared seat — a shame of Egypt." This address 
of Jehovah, the word of Jehovah '\rv<}i^ Ta, prepared for by 
ver. 2, took place after the lapse of three years (Cheyne), when 



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374 ISAIAH. 

the fate of Ashdod was decided. The unseemly strange dress 
of the prophet, if he appeared through the whole three years 
in the exercise of his office, was a token and type (p^^, 
as in Ezek. xxiv. 24) of the fall of the Egjpto-Ethiopian 
kingdom, which occurred after the lapse of these three years. 
Egypt and Ethiopia were then one kingdom, so that the 
shame of Egypt is at the same time the shame of Ethiopia. 
nj'ij/ is shameful bareness, and DHVP "57? ^ ^ apposition to 
all that precedes it in ver. 4. How prisoners are deprived of 
clothing and shoes is shown, for example, in 2 Chron. xxviii 
15. TVff is the seat or buttocks (see Bernstein in DMZ. ix. 
872), as in 2 Sam. x. 4, being derived from nw, to set a 
nominal form, like ja, TK, T}j ^W, with the third radical letter 
dropped. *P^ has the same ay as the words in chap, 
xix. 9, Judg. V. 15, Jer. xxii. 14, but they are hardly to 
be taken as construct forms (although '— of the construct 
undoubtedly has arisen from 't); they are rather singular 
forms with a collective signification. The emendations ^Bitfn 
(Olshausen, Nagelsbach) or 'P'^n, with the i of connection 
(Meier), are unnecessary. 

If, then, Egypt and Ethiopia are so shamefully humbled, 
what sort of impression will that make upon those who proudly 
and securely trust to the great power which is supposed 
to be unapproachable and invincible ? Vers. 5, 6 : " And 
they are terrified, and see themselves deceived hy Ethiopia, to 
which they looked, and by Egypt, of which they vaunted. And 
the inhabitant of this coastland says on that day, Behold, thus 
it happens to those to whom roe looked, whither we fled for help 
to save us from the king of Assur, and how should vx, we 
escape?" With nnKDn, show, splendour, cap is parallel, which 
is a synonym of noap, according to which the Taigum renders 
it. On 7? ^^ compare chap. L 29, Jer. il 36. The question 
with Tt$ is quite the same as in 2 Kings x. 4. Ht, which 
means both island and coastland, is in Zeph. ii. 5 a name of 
Fhilistia, and in chap, xxiii. 2, 6 a name of Phoenicia ; and 
hence Enobel and others understand it here as meaning the 
former with inclusion of the latter. But as the Assyrians, 
when they marched against Egypt, liad already measured 
themselves with the Phoenicians and Philistines, Isaiah has 
doubtless the Jews chiefly in his mind (Ewald, Drechsler, 



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CHAPTEE XXL 1-10. 375 

Meier, Luzzatto), as Jerome already remarks : Jvda speravit 
in Aegyptiia et Aegyptus destruatur. The expressions are also 
entirely the same as those in which we shall afterwards hear 
Isaiah scathing the Egyptianizing policy of Judah. However, 
njri ^Kn ae'* signifies the inhabitants of the Palestinian coast- 
land in general, among whom Judah is included, because it 
denies so untheocratically the character of the Jehovah-people. 
The profane designation divests the people and land of their 
holiness. 

The conquest of Samaria falls in the first year of Saigon 
(722 B.C.). In the second year, according to his Annals, he 
put the Egyptian ruler (SiUannu) Sabi (Sevech) to flight at 
Haphia, and took his ally HanUn, the king of Graza, prisoner. 
In his eleventh year he deposed the rebellious king Azuri of 
Ashdod; and when the people of Ashdod expelled Ahimit, 
the brother of Azuri, whom he had put in his place, and 
raised a certain Jaman to the throne, he marches against 
Ashdod and conquers it in the self-same year. Jaman fled 
to Egypt, to the confines of Ethiopia, but was delivered up to 
Sargon by the ruler of that region. The voluntary antici- 
pative submission of the Ethiopian ruler was a commencement 
of what Isaiah prophesies, but the subjection of the Nile-land 
did not come till the time of Asarhaddon and Asurbanipal, 
his son, the conqueror of Thebes (Nah. iii. 8—10). The 
hope of Judah in Egypt turned out for Judah's destruction, 
as Isaiah prophesies. But the catastrophe before Jerusalem 
was not yet the end of Assyria. Nor did the campaigns of 
Sargon and Sennacherib yet bring about the end of Egypt, 
nor were the triumphs of Jehovah and of the prophecy con- 
cerning Assyria yet the means for the conversion of Egypt 
In all this the fulfilment shows in the prophecy an element 
of human hope drawing the distant into immediate nearness, 
and this element it eliminates. For the fulfilment is divine, 
but the prophecy is divine and human. 

The Oracle concxbning thb Desert of the Sea (Babtlon), 
Chap. XXI. 1-10. 

Ewald's explanation of this and similar headings is that 
they are additions made by the ancient readers. Even 



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376 ISAIAH. 

Yitringa ascribed tbem at first to the collectors, thongb later 
he saw that this was inadmissible. As matter of fact, it is 
not possible to understand bow the title 0^3*10 could be 
derived from the prophecy itself, for 0^ (everywhere the west) 
cannot mean the south (-^.^), and there is no mention of a 
sea in the prophecy. The heading is symbolical The four 
Massas, xxL 1—10, 11-12, 13—17, xxii., in virtue of their 
symbolical titles (cf. xxx. 6), as also their visionary form 
and the numerous points at which their contents come into 
contact, unite closely to form a tetralogy. The representation 
of the prophet as a watchman is common to the first and second 
Massas, while in the fourth Jerusalem is called the valley of 
vision, because in it is the watch-tower whence the prophet 
views the future destinies of Babylon, Edom, and Arabia. 
As in the first two Elam and Madai march against Babylon, 
so in the fourth (xxii. 6) do Eir and Elam {^inst Jerusalem ; 
even the mode of expression is strikingly similar in both (cf. 
xxii 6 sq. with xxi. 7). As r^rds the symbolical headings, 
it is to be noted that Isaiah is fond of symbolical names, 
xxix. 1, XXX. 7, and D'"^3'TO for Babylon and its surroundings 
is one such. Chap. xxi. 1—10, especially in the framework 
of a tetralogy, impresses one strongly with the idea that it is 
Isaianic. This impression is so strong that Gheyne, Driver, 
G. A. Smith, following Kleinert's example (1877), hold 
that this second ^33 KbV, as distinguished from the first, 
xiiL-xiv. 23, is the work of the original Isaiah. This they 
do by referring it, not to the conquest of Babylon by the 
Medes and Persians under Cyrus in 538, but to the conquest 
of Babylon, the seat of Merodach Baladan's government, by 
the Assyrians under Sargon in 710 (not the first conquest in 
721, but that in 710, the twelfth year of Sargon's reign, who 
from that time calls himself king of Babylon). Though once 
beaten by Sargon, Merodach Baladan had again established him- 
self in Babylon, and, having sought helpers since his defeat, he 
tried not only to be the independent ruler of North and South 
Babylon, but also to contest with the Assyrians the position 
of ruler of the world. If the messengers of Merodach Baladan 
to Hezekiah (Isa. xxxix.) are some of the commissioners 
whom for the space of twelve years Merodach Baladan was 
constantly dispatching, the pain expressed in this prophecy 



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CHAPTEE XXL 1-lOt 877 

becomes all the more intelligible. The prophet is announcing 
the fall of that Babylon with the hope of having which for a 
bulwark against Assyria his people are deceiving themselves 
— the city of the secret confederate falls a prey to Assyria, 
and now Judah has to expect its vengeance. Nevertheless, I 
am of opinion that this historical setting of the oracle does 
not suffice for the purpose of retaining the Isaianic author- 
ship. The Babylon whose fall he prophesies is the very 
same torment of the peoples as is mentioned in chap, xiv., 
the threshing-floor is the exile, and it may be asked how can 
Elamite and Median contingents be expected in the army of 
Assyria that marched against Merodach Baladan, seeing that 
Elam was the hereditary enemy of Assyria, and both by 
nature and in fact, the nearest ally of Merodach Baladan ? ' 
Moreover, while in this way, on the one hand, an original 
composition of Isaiah is reclaimed by these three English critics 
from being assigned as hitherto to a later date, on the other 
hand the prophecy, xxxix. 6 sq., which foresees in Babylon 
the future mistress of the world, becomes to them unintel- 
ligible, and on this account open to suspicion.' Bather than 
pay 80 dearly for maintaining Isaiah's authorship in the case 
of xxi. 1-10, we hold that this piece is Deutero-Isaianic, but 
emphasize at the same time that the criticism of the Book of 
Isaiah, far from having attained finality, is still in constant flux. 
We return to the heading. The continent on which 
Babylon stands is a '^^'jO, a great plain running south-west- 
wards into Arabia deserta, and it is so broken up by the 
Euphrates as well as by marshes and lakes that it floats as 
it were in the sea. The low land on the Lower Euphrates was 
in a manner wrested from the sea, for before Semiramis con- 
structed the dams the Euphrates used to overflow the whole 
like a sea (TreKarfi^eiv, Herod. L 184). Abydenus even says 
that at first the whole of it was water, and was also called 
BoKcuraa (Euseb. Praep. ix. 41); and the monuments call 
South Babylonia simply mdi tdmtim, the sea land, and its king 
Sar (mdt) tdmtim, the king of the sea. The prophet's reason 

1 Schroder, KAT*, pp. 846, 361, 363. 

* [Professor Driver haa pointed oat that this is an oversight so far as he 
is concerned ; see his Itaiah in the " Men of the Bible " series, pp. 96, 127. 
— Tb.] 



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378 ISAUH. 

for using this roandabout name may be inferred from xiv. 
23 ; the origin and natural features of Babylon are made 
into ominous prognostics of its ultimate fate. Jeremiah 
(li. 13, 1. 38) gives the correct interpretation. 

The power which first brings destruction on the city of 
the world, is a hostile army representing various peoples. 
Vers. I, 2 : " lAkt storms, which sweep along in the south, it 
coTnes from the desert, from a terrible land. A hard vision it 
made known to me: The robber robs and the waster wasteth. 
Go up, JSlam ! Surround, Madai I I put an end to all their 
sighing." 33J3 JitoD (cf. xxviiL 21 ; Amos iiu 9) are storms 
which rise in the south, and therefore, in the case of Babylon, 
proceed out of the south or south-east, and which, like all 
winds coming from open steppes, are exceedingly violent 
(Job i. 19, xxxviL 9, see this; Hos. xiii. 15). Accordingly 
it lies to hand to connect ifTpo with ^vnb (Knobel, Umbreit), 
but the objection to this is the arrangement of the words. 
'I^-'D?, " in the act of pressing forwards," instead of "P"! (see 
Gesen. § 132, Bern. 1, and in fuller detail note onHab. i. 17) 
— the conj. periphrastica, in order to express the violent rush 
associated with the onward movement — has great weight at 
the conclusion of the comparison. Of course the Medo- 
Persian army, if it advanced by the same road as did Cyrus, 
could not be said to come i?"]??. For, according to Herod. 
L 189, he came over the Gyndes, and therefore descended 
into the Babylonian lowlands by the road described bj 
Isidor of Charax in his Itirurarium} i.e. over the Zagros pass 
through the Zagros gate to the upper course of the Gyndes, 
and along this stream which he crossed before its junction 
with the Tigris, through Chalonitis and Apolloniatis. If the 
Medo-Persian army, however, at least the Median part of it 
proper, descended into the lowlands of Chuzistan by follow- 
ing the course of the Choaspes {KerTcha) — the route passed 
over by Major Eawlinson with a Guran regiment * — and so 
advanced from the south-east against Babylon, it could be 
regarded in several respects as coming nsTtSD, chiefly because 
the lowlands of Chuzistan form a broad open plain, a *u*io. 

^ See C. Maason's " Illagtration of the Ronte from Seleucia to Apobatana, 
OS given by laid, of Charax," in Atiatie Jour. xii. 97 sqq. 
* See Rawlinson's route in Hitter's Erdkunde, ix. 3 (West Asia), p. 397 tqq. 



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OIIAFTER XXI. 8, 4. 879 

The comparison with the storms of the south seems really 
to presuppose that the hostile army advanced from Chuzistan, 
or (since it is not to he supposed that geographical distinc- 
tions are strictly observed) from the direction of the desert 
of ed-Dahna, the portion of Arabia dessrta which bounds the 
lowlands of Chaldaea on the south-west The Medo-Persian 
land itself is called hk^)} )ntt, because it lies outside the circle 
of civilised nations by which the land of Israel is surrounded. 
After the opening statement of his theme in ver. 1, conform 
to Isaianic custom, the prophet makes as it were a fresh start 
with ver. 2. n^n has the same meaning here as in xxix. 1 1 
(not, however, as in xxviil 18) ; neij ratn is the object of the 
passive that follows (Gesen. § 143. lb). The prophet calls 
the glance into the future vouchsafed him by divine inspira- 
tion nrij, hard or heavy (in the sense of difficUis however, not 
of gravis, ^?^), on account of the repellent, hardly endurable, 
and so to speak hardly digestible impression which it makes 
on him. The contents are wide-spreading spoliation and 
devastation (the expression like xxxiii. 1, cf. xvi. 4, 
xxiv. IC : fi^, tegere, then teete agere, of faithless, deceitful, 
then thievish action), and summons of the peoples on the 
east and north of Babylonia to the conquest of Babylon (*](«, 
Milra, see on li. 9) ; for Jehovah brings to an end ('Piaf n, as 

in xvi 10) all their sighing (nnroK with accented vit., and 

therefore n raphatum pro mappicato, as frequently in the 
Book of Isaiah, see on xlv. 6 ; cf. 1 Sam. xx. 20 ; Job 
xxxi. 22 ; Hos. ii. 8), t.«. all the lamentation which the 
oppressor has wrung out on every hand (an abridgment of 
xiv. 3-6). 

Here, as in the case of the prophecy concerning Moab, the 
humanity of the prophet is affected by the contents of the 
vision vouchsafed him ; it acts on him like a horrible dream. 
Vers. 3, 4 : " There/ore are my loins full of cramp ; pangs 
have taken hold of me, like the "pangs of a woman in travail : I 
writhe so that I hear not, I am overcome vnth fear so that I see 
not. Wildly beats my heart, horror has disturbed m<, the 
darkness of night that I love he hath turned for me into 
quaking." The prophet does not carry out into detail the 
description of what he sees, but we may infer how horrible it 



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380 ISAIAH. 

is from the exceeding violence of the effect it produced, r^n?*? 
is spasmodic writhing, as in Nah. ii. 1 1 ; on^ is properly 
used of birth-pangs ; >^., to bow oneself, to bend, also used 
of convulsive manifestation of pain ; n{in (otherwise than in 
Pa xcv. 1 ; cf., however, Ps. xxxviiL 11) is used of insular 
feverish beating of the pulse. ptoBto and ^vno are equivalent 
to negative consequential sentences as everywhere else ; once 
only, Eccles. L 8, does Sbeto occur in another than a n^ative 
sense. The darkness of evening and night, which the prophet 
so loves (PB'n, desire from inclination, 1 Kings ix. 1, 19) and, 
as a rule, wishes for, in order that he may give himself over 
to contemplation or to rest from outward and inward work, 
is changed for him by the frightful vision into quaking. 
According to Herod. L 191, and Xenophon, Oyrop. vii 23, it 
was during a nocturnal feast that Babylon was stormed. As in 
Dan. V. 30, cf. Jer. li. 39, 57, so in ver. 5 something of the 
kind is pointed to. They spread the taUe, watch the waUk, 
eat, drink — Arise, ye princes ! anoint the shield I This is not 
a scene from the hostile camp, where they are bracing them- 
selves for the attack on Babylon, for instruere mensam is 
intended to convey the impression of a secure careless life of 
pleasure, and the summons " anoint the shield " (cf. Jer. Ell) 
presupposes that they are not expecting to have to fight 
What the prophet sees therefore is a feast in Babylon. Only 
one of the vividly pictorial infinitives (Gres. § 131. 46), vit 
rCBin nbv, seems not to square with this. Hitzig's explana- 
tion, " they spread carpets out " (as in Talmud KB7, *<™*, 
mat, storea), has no support in the language of the Bible, and 
on this account we prefer, along with the Targum, PesL 
Jerome (LXX. does not translate the words at all), to under- 
stand the air. Xcy. n^BV of sentinel - duty, — sentinel - duty 
(from HBV DBV, speeulari) is attended ta Content with this 
one precaution, they all the more wildly gave themselves up 
to their debauch (cf. xxiL 13). The prophet mentions this 
matter, because it is by the sentinels that the cry, " Up, ye 
princes," etc, is addressed to the revellers. It was customary 
to oil the leather of the shields in order that it might present 
a shining surface and not suffer from damp, in particular, 
however, that blows might glance off (cf. laeves dypeos in 
Virgil, Aen. viL 626). The foolish self-confidence of the 



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CHAPTBE XXI. e, 7. 381 

chief men of Babylon shows that they needed this sammons ; 
they think themselves so safe behind the walls and waters of 
the city that they have not even got their weapons ready for 
use. 

The prophecy is now continued with ^P ; this is what is 
doing in Babylon, for the destruction of Babylon is decreed. 
This thought appears in the form of an instruction to the 
prophet in a vision that he should station a navo on the 
watch-tower to look out and see what more happens. Yer. 6 : 
" For thus said the Lord to me : Oo, place a watchman ; what 
he sees, let him declare" The introduction runs as in xviii. 4, 
^, as in XX. 2. Elsewhere it is the prophet himself who 
stands on the watch-tower (ver. 1 1 ; Hab. ii 1 sq.) ; in this 
vision he is distinguished from the person whom he stations 
on the watch-tower {specula). The first thing that presents 
itself to the view of the occupant of the watch-tower is a long 
long procession — the army of the foe in orderly, silent, 
caravan-like, self-confident march. Yer. 7: "And he saw a 
cavalcade, pairs of horsemen, a train of asses, a train of camels; 
and he listened sharply, as sharply as he could listen." 33n, here 
as in ver. 9 the leading idea, and placed accordingly, means, in 

general, a cavalcade, just as in Arabic *.^j means a caravan 
monnted on camels. In front, then, there was a cavalcade of 
horsemen (D'Bha from cna = ijmJS, rider on horseback) 

arranged two and two — for Persians and Modes fought either 
on foot or on horseback (in the latter way from the time of 
Cyrus at least, Cyrop. iv. S). Next came trains of asses and 
camels, a large number of which accompanied the Persian 
armies for various purposea They not only carried baggage 
and provisions, but were also taken into battle in order to 
throw the enemy into confusion. Thus Cyrus carried the 
battle against the Lydians by means of the great number of 
his camels (Herod. L 80), and Darius Hystaspis a battle 
against the Scythians by means of the great number of his 
asses (iv. 129). Some of the subjugated peoples rode on 
asses and camels ; the Arabs in the army of Xerxes on 
camels, the Caramanians on asses. What the watchman sees 
is therefore the Persian army. Bat he only sees, and though 



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382 ISAIAH. 

he listens, and that " listening, greatness of listening " (pfft>, 
as in 1 Kings xviii. 29; whereas in 2 Kings It. 31, ^ 
should be written with Abulwalld on MS. authority), ix. he 
strains, straining to the very utmost stretch (3*}, substantive, 
as in Ixiii. 7 ; Ps. cxlv. 7 ; and ^T?!?, in accordance with its 
radical idea " to stiffen," se. the ear), still he hears nothing, 
because the long train moves on in deathly silence ; at last the 
long train too disappears, he sees nothing and hears nothing, 
and impatience takes possession of him. Ver. 8 : " Then he 
cried with the voice of a lion, ' Upon the watch-tower, AU-Lord, 
I stand continually by day, and at my post I keep my stand all 
the nights.' " His patience fails, and he roars as if he were a 
lion (cf. Bev. x. 3) ; with a like angrily sullen voice, with 
a like long deep full-drawn breath, he complains to God that 
he has now stood so long at his post without seeing anything 
except that inexplicable vanished train. But just as he was 
about to have his say out, the complaint died away in his 
mouth. Ver. 9 : " And iehold there came a cavalcade of men, 
pairs of horsenun, and began and spoke: Fallen, fallen is 
Babylon, and all the images of its gods he has dashed to the 
ground." It is now clear to him where the long train went 
to when it vanished. It has entered Babylon, has made 
itself master of the city, and established itself there. Now 
after a long time a smaller cavalcade appears to announce 
the news of victory, and the watchman hears them trium- 
phantly call, " Fallen, fallen is Babylon." The subject of "lar 
(thus, out of pause for '^SC', Ex. ix. 2 5) is Jehovah ; even the 
heathen conquerors are compelled to acknowledge that the fall 
of Babylon and its B^PB (cf. Jer. \l 47, 52) is the work of 
the God of Israel 

The gloomy vision of the prophet is intended to comfort 
Israel. Ver. 10 : " thou my threshing and child of my 
threshing-fioor I what I have heard from Jehovah of hosts, the 
God of Israel, that I have announced to you." Threshing, eM, 
is a figure that expresses crushing subjugation, xlL 1 5, Micah 
iv. 12 sq., and judicial punishment, Jer. li. 33 (a parallel, 
which we must not allow to mislead us, seeing that Jeremiah 
in this case as frequently has given another turn to the 
Isaianic figure), or as in the passage before us disciplinary 
scourges, in which wrath and good intention mingle. Israel, 



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CHAPTEB XXL 11, l^ 383 

under the tyrannical supremacy of the world-empire, is called 
'nenp (this, not 'Oe^'p, is the reading), i.e. the grain which he 
threshes, but under limitations (xxviii. 28). It is also called 
r^'if, inasmuch as it is considered fit for the threshing-floor 
(cf. nian ja, one who deserves scourging, Deut xxv. 2), and is 
transported thither in order after enduring punishment to 
come out threshed and winnowed. Babylon is the instru- 
ment employed by the divine wrath to thresh with. But 
love takes part also in the work of threshing, and restrains 
the action of wrath. A picture likely to give comfort to the 
grain lying for threshing on the floor, ie. to the people of 
Israel which, mowed down as it were and removed from its 
native soil, had been banished to Babylon, and there sub- 
jected to a tyrannical rule, — that is what the prophet in his 
vision has perceived C??^. ^ i" xxviii 22), 

The Oeacle concerning the Silence of Death (Edom), 
Chap. XXI. 11. 12. 

This oracle consists of a question addressed to the prophet 
from Se'ir, and of the prophet's answer. Seir is the hill 
country in the south of Palestine which was taken possession 
of by Edom after the expulsion of the Horites. Thus fon of 
the heading cannot be any of the places of this name elsewhere 
with which we are acquainted. It is not the Judean non. Josh. 
XV. 52 ; nor the Duma in the Damascene •Outa; nor one of the 
Dumas {Dauma) in the district of the Euphrates and Tigris. It 
is not even the Ddma of the Eastern Hauran, but, supposing 
that the word is the name of a place, the Duma (Gen. xxv. 14) 
in the lowest district of the Syrian Nufud country, the so- 
called uJ^>- (Gdf). It was situated on the great Nabataean 
line of traffic between the northern ports of the lied Sea and 
'Ir&k, and was called more exactly D&mat el-gendel, or " the 
rocky Dftma," because lying in a basin surrounded on every 
side by rugged sandstone hills.* This Arabian Duma lies 
eastwards from the mountains of Seiir (now 'Serdh), and was a 
settlement {hadira) for a time at least loosely united with 

* Duma itself is also called (_J«^f ; nu/tki are tracts of loose sandy 
ground. See DMZ. x. 828 sq., 74i* 



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384 ISAIAH. 

Edom. That the name of this ripn ^ should appear in the 
heading of the oracle, is due to the circumstance that tbis 
very name lent itself to symbolical treatment npvi from 
cm, to smooth, to still, is entire deep silence, and therefore the 
land of the dead (Ps. xciv. 17, cxv. 17). The name on», by 
the removal of the sound at the beginning to the end of tbe 
word, is made the emblem of the fate of Edom. It becomes 
a land of deathly silence, of deathly sleep, of deathly gloom,' 
To this the inquiry from Seir corresponds. Ver. 11: " A try 
comes to me from Seir: Watchman, how far i» it in the night t 
Watchman, how far in the night f" Those making this 
inquiry are not Israelites (Hitzig), the cry proceeds from Seir; 
an oracle occupying a place between oracles concemiDg 
Babylon and Arabia, in virtue of its very position refers to 
the inhabitants of Seir. Luther translates ^ rightly " they 
cry " (man rufl), for it is a participial present with a perfectly 
general subject (as in xxx. 24, xxxiii 4). It is only for the 
purpose of bringing out to some extent the change from 
'"^P??^ to yvo that, as regards the rest, we have departed from 
Luther's excellent translatioa The more winged form of the 
second question expresses heightened anxious urgency ; they 
would like to hear that already the night is well through, and 
will soon be over, p is used partitively (Saad.) — ^What part 
of the night is it now f Just as a sick person wishes for the 
end of a sleepless night, and is constantly inquiring as to tbe 
hour ; so the inquiry comes to the prophet from Edom whether 
the night of trouble will not soon be past. It must not, how- 
ever, be supposed that messengers from Edom really, as matter 
of fact, came to Isaiah. The event possessed only a spiritual 
reality. What now is the prophet's answer ? He lets the in- 
quirers see, St' iffowrpov iv alv^/um, in ver. 12 : " Watchman 
tays, Morning cometh and also night. If you will inquire, inquire ! 
Betum, come." The answer intentionally takes a kind of foreign 

* The C!odex of Eabbi Meir had for non the reading nsn (*t3n\ Jerus. 
Talm., Taanith i. 1 (by the people Edom was regarded as equivsJent to 
Rome), cfl Jerome on our passage, Qitidam Htbraeorum fro Dv/ma Bamam 
UgMvt, 

* By Arabian poets a wildemus is mentioned, called tju^/^, ''be 
silent 1" 



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CnAPTEK XXI. 18-17. 385 

form, though Nagelsbach goes too far when he says, " the prophet 
mocks them with Edomitic sounds." khk (with K at the end, 
like \3\ = atawa, according to another reading nns, as in Deut 
xxxiii. 2, Arab. ^\ = ataya) is the Aramaic word for trta, 
while ny? (K^) is the Aramaic word for 7KB', and from *?3, 
^Jo, the fundamental form of the latter, are formed here the 
imperfect tib'dyHn (as in xxxiii. 7) and the imperative Vayu. 
The analogous imperative from nriN (»nK) is vriK ; here, how- 
ever, it is pointed in Syrian fashion, as in Ivi. 9, 12, vnt«. 
What is the meaning of the verse? Ewald {Gram. § 354a) 
gives D?i here the meaning of " and yet " (o/ioj? Se). Morning 
comes, and yet it remains night, inasmuch as the dawning 
morning will be at once swallowed up again by night. 
There is a difference between the cases of Edom and Israel, 
for the night of Israel's history has for irrevocably fixed close 
a promised dawn. The prophet therefore sends the inquirers 
home. If they wish to make further inquiries, they may do 
so, they may return and come. There is a significant hint in 
OB'. The prophet has a comforting answer for them only if 
they return, come, Le. only if they come converted. So long 
as there is no change on them, their future is enveloped in 
endless night for the prophet as much as for themselves. 

The Oracle in the Evening, Chap. XXI. 13-17. 

The heading, when pointed 3'^J'a Nfe*?, means (according to 
Zech. ix. 1, cf. Isa. ix. 7) oracle against Arabia. But why 
have we not ^"^V. K^, seeing that in the three other headings 
the simple genitive follows ttfev ? Is this the only heading of 
the four that is not symbolical ? The object of the a, by which 
it is distinguished, is almost certainly to make it symbolical. 
The prophet undoubtedly pronounced it 3^^3 (Cheyne), and 
the LXX. Targum, Syr. Jerome, and Arab, thus read the 
second 3i)n, though there was no necessity for their doing so. 
Even without this change on S'^p the oracle begins with an 
evening scene, and on this ground the Massa received its 
symbolical title. Just as D^N becomes npn, because a night 
without a morning falls on the mountain land of Seir, so 3i)Q 
will it soon be ^nvs, seeing that the sun of Arabia is sinking, 

VOL. L 2 b 



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386 ISAIAH. 

the darkness of evening is settling over it, and the land of 
the Orient is becoming a land of the Occident. Vers. 1 3—1 5 : 
" In the wilderness in Arabia ye mttat pass the night, caravans 
of the Dedanites. To the thirsty bring vxUer ! The inhabitants 
of the land of Tema come with his bread before the ftigitive. 
For before swords they are fleeing, before a dravm sword, and 
before a bent bow, and before oppressive war." There is the 
less call for making any alteration on 3^^ ny^a, that the 
second 3 (wilderness in Arabia = of Arabia) corresponds to 
Isaianic usage (xxviii 21, ix. 2, cf. 2 Sam. 121; Amos 

iii 9). 3^?^ ^-^. Ezek. xxviL 21 (in pause, ^TR, Jer. 

XXV. 24), is the collective for D'?"^ (xiii. 20), j^jaj;*. 

inhabitants of the 'Arabs deserticola,^ and yfl is here the 
solitary barren wilderness as distinguished from the land 
covered with cities and villages. Wetzstein * remarks, that 
to say they will have to flee from the steppe into the wood 
would be a promise rather than a threat — a shady tree is the 
most delightful dream of the Beduin; in the wood he finds 
not only shade, but a constant supply of green pasture, and 
fuel for his hospitable hearth, — and so he explains it : " Ye 
will take refuge in the w'ar of Arabia," i.6. the open steppe 
will no longer afford you protection, and so yon will be forced 

to hide yourselves in the war. x.j is the name applied to 

the trachytic district of the Syro-Hauranitic volcanoes which 

is covered with a layer of stones. Undoubtedly in tsf, as 

used here, the idea of a wilderness is more prominent than 

that of wood. The meaning then is : the trading caravans 

(rtmk, wandering troops, like li^l")?, bannered troops, Cant 

vi 4) of the Dedanites journeying from east to west, probably 

to Tyre (Ezek. xxvii. 20), whom the war in its progress from 

north to south has driven from the ordinary route followed 

by such traders, must encamp in the wilderness. The prophet, 

/ / / 

' It was only at a later time that hj&, 'Apafiim, was used as the name 
of the deserts of the Arabian peninsula regarded as a whole. Se« 
Wetzstein, Zeiticknfi fur VSlkerptychologie und SprachwUiauchaft, vol. vii 
pp. 463-465. 

* ZeittchriftfUr allgemeine Erdhmde, 1869, p. 123. 



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CDAPTEB XXI. 18-16. 387 

whose sympathy in this instance mingles itself also with the 
revelation, asks water for the panting fugitives, vnn (accord- 
ing to the Eastern reading, vri'n), as in Jer. xii. 9, is the 
imperat =vnKri=vnKn (Ges. § 76. 2c); cf. 2 Kings il 3, and 

cjU> give. ^P., which is more suited to the p&rallelism, is 

read by Targum, Ewald, Biestel ; but 'twp increases the vivid- 
ness of the picture. " His bread," itsn?, refers to Tib ; it is the 
bread which was needful for him, the fugitive, in order to 
save him. The request is addressed to the Temanites. It is 

open to discussion whether tw'9 (''W^) means the trans- 

Hauranitic T^md, three-quarters of an hour from which there 
is a DuTiia} or the Timd, situated on the pilgrim-road from 
Damascus to Mecca between TeMk and Wddi-el-kord, almost 
equally distant (four days) from both these places and from 
Chaibar* and lying forty hours in a southerly direction from 
the Duma of the Syrian desert The latter is the more 
probable. Just as uncertain is it whether by the caravans of 
the Dedanites are meant those of the so-called Cushites (Gren. 
X. 7), who, according to Wetzstein, lived in North-Eastern 
Africa, and provided for the transport of caravans between 
Egypt and Ethiopia on the one hand, and Syria and the 
Tigris - Euphrates districts on the other ; or those of the 
Keturean Dedanites, whose name, according to Wetzstein, is 

preserved in that of the ruined city ^^^JjjJ^ (Yakut, ii, p. 636), 

which he places at the eastern base of the mountains of 
Hisml While it seems as if Ezek. xxvil 15, 20, xxxviiL 13 
must be understood of the Cushite Dedanites, there can be no 
doubt that Ezek. xxv. 13, Jer. xxv. 23, xlix. 8 have in view 
the Keturean Dedanites, to the borders of whose district the 
land of Edom stretched. Our prophet also seems to refer to 
these. While on their way to the Euphrates regions, especially 
Babylon, they were driven by the bursting of the war-cloud 
southwards into the parched sandy desert as far as T^md, to 
which the prophet appeals on behalf of these thirsty and 
hungry ones for kindly and hospitable treatment Drechsler 

» See Wetzstein, Seitebericht, p. 202. 

* See Sprenger, Post vnd Beiieroutcn de* Orientt, part L (1864) p. 118 sq. 



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388 ISAIAH. 

well remarks, How mortifying to be forced to show hospitality, 
that on which the Arab most prides himself, in so restricted 
a manner, and with such indecent secrecy ! But no other 
course is open ; for, as the four times repeated ^pBO shows, 
without pause the arms of the foe press forward (nB'»t33, \xaed 
of the sword, and in SanJiedrin 95b of the sickle, like nmna, 
in the sense, drawn for the pui-pose of cutting at, EzeL xxL 33), 
and, without pause, the war, like an overwhelming Colossus, 
rolls on its onward way. 

Thus is realized and pictured by the prophet the impend- 
ing fate of Arabia, which is revealed to him in vers. 16, 17; 
" For thus hath the All-Lord spoken unto me : Within a year as 
the years of a hireling, it is over with all the glory of Kedar. 
And the remnant of the number of bows of the heroes of tlie 
Kedarenes will be small, for Jehovah the Ood of Israel has spoken." 
Here the noun I'JS (Assyr. Kidru) is a general name for the 
Arabian tribes. In its narrower sense, Kedar, like the neigh- 
bouring Nebaioth, is a tribe of Ishmaelite nomads, whose 
camping-ground extended to the Elanite Gulf. In a yeai-'s 
time, calculated as exactly as is the custom between employers 
and employed, Kedar's freedom, military strength, numbers, 
and wealth (these together being its Tias) shall have vanished. 
Only a small remnant is left of the brave archer sons of 
Kedar. They are numbered here, not by heads, but by bows, 
so specifying the fighting men — a mode of numbering 
common, for example, among the Indians of America. The 
noun ISC' is followed here by five genitives (just as *7B is by 
four, X. 12; see Ges. § 114. 1), and the predicate 1B{?D' is in the 
plural because of the fulness of content of the subject. The 
time specified for the ful61ment of the prophecy apparently ties 
us down to the Assyrian period — though Wetzstein connects 
the oracles concerning Edom and Arabia with that concerning 
Babylon, the fall of which threatens Edom and the tribes of the 
desert with bloody subjection to the new Medo-Persian world 
monarchy. We have no exact information as to the fulfil- 
ment. In Herodotus (il 141, cf. Joseph. ArU. x. 1. 4) 
Sennacherib is called l3curiXev<s ^Apa^Uov re Kal ^Aaavpimv, 
and both Sargon and Sennacherib, in the annals of their 
reigns, boast of the subjugation of Arab tribes. Jeremiah, 
however, prophesies in the Chaldean period similar things 



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CHAPTKB XXn. 1-14. 389 

against Edom and against Kedar (cbap. xlix., where xlix. 
30 sq. is in reciprocal relation to the oracle in Isaiah). After 
a short glimmer of morning, night has fallen for the second 
time on Edom, evening for the second time on Arabia. 

The Oracle concebnino the Valley of Vision (Jebusalem), 
Chap. XXIL 1-14 

The mtn concerning Babylon, and the no less visionary 
prophecies concerning Edom and Arabia, are followed by a 
Massa, the object of which is the l^^^n IC| itself. Of course 
these four prophecies did not originally form a group of 
four as they now stand side by side. Only at a later date 
were they collected into such a group, and to this, notwith- 
standing that the cycle of prophecy in chaps. xiL— xziiL 
referred to the nations of the world, was attached this 
prophecy against Jerusalem, resembling them as it did in 
having a symbolical heading, and in being of the nature of a 
vision. The internal arrangement of this group was not 
determined by the chronological sequence of composition, but 
by the idea of a storm advancing from the distance, and at 
last breaking over Jerusalem. The time of Sargon (Cheyne, 
Nowack) docs not correspond to this, for although it is the 
case that Sargon calls himself once in the Nimrod inscription 
(Lay. xxxiiL 8) mtiiaknii mdi Ya-u-dv, (he who has subjugated 
the land of Juda), still the annals of his reign are silent on the 
matter.* This being so, the occasion of the Isaianic oracle must 
be sought in the time of Sennacherib, at some point or other in 
the campaign which he entered on against Fhenicia, Philistia, 
and Juda, 701. The mention of Jerusalem under the name 
pnn vn may cause wonder, for aini) {nrep Svo 7uo4>tov dvri- 
irpoaairo^ etcrivro, iiia^ ^dpayyi hi^prnuvav, eU ffv iiroKKtikoi 
KareXtjyov al oUla* (Joseph. Wars, v. 4. 1). But it is quite 
in place, in so far as round Jerusalem there are mountains 
(Ps. cxxv. 2), and the very city, which in relation to the 
country occupied an elevated position, in relation to the 
mountains of the immediate neighbourhood appeared to stand 
on a low level (irpo<i 8k rh ^ofteva Tavnyi ytjoXo^a ')(BaiM- 
'Kxfy.TM, as Phocas says). Because of this twofold aspect 
^ See Winckler, KtiltchnJIUxte Sargont (1889), p. zvi aq. 



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390 ISAIAH. 

Jerusalem is called (Jer. xxi. 13) the "inhabitant of the 
valley," and immediately on the back of this the " rock of the 
plain " and (Jer. xvii 3) the " mountain in the fields," whereas 
(Zeph. ill) not all Jerusalem, but a part of it (probably the 
ravine of the Tyropaeum), is called BTiao, the mortar, or as we 
say, basin. If we add to this that Isaiah's house was 
situated iu the lower city, and that therefore the point of 
view from which the epithet was applied was there, the 
expression is perfectly appropriate. Furthermore, the epithet 
is intended to be more than geographicaL A valley, K)l, is a 
lonely, quiet depression, shut in and cut off by mountains. 
Similarly is Jerusalem the sheltered peaceful place closed against 
the world, which Jehovah has chosen in order to show there 
to His prophets the secrets of His government of the world 
On this holy city of the prophets, Jehovah's judgment is 
coming, and the announcement of the judgment upon it has 
place among the oracles concerning the nations of the world ! 
From this we see that at the time when the prophecy was 
uttered, the attitude of Jerusalem was so worldly and 
heathenish as to call for this threat, so dark and unrelieved 
by any gleam of promise. Neither the prophecies dating from 
Ahaz's reign, however, and referring to the Assyrian age of 
judgment, nor those uttered in the midst of the Assyrian 
troubles, are at the same time so entirely without promise and 
so peremptory as this one. This Massa falls then in the 
interval, probably in the time when the people under the 
influence of freedom had grown light-headed, and, trusting to 
an alliance with Egypt, wei« cherishing the hope of being 
able to bid defiance to Assyria. The threat harmonizes with 
xxviii 1—22. The prophet gives expression to the confidence 
of the time, and also its worthlessness, in vera 1—3 : " What 
aileth thee then, thai tlwu art wholly ascended to the house-tops f 
full of uproar, thou noisy city, joyously shoviing fortress, thy 
slain are not slain with the sword nor killed in battle. All thy 
chief men, making their escape together, are made prisoners with- 
out haw ; all those of thee who are seized are made prisoners 
together, while they are fleeing far away." From the flat house- 
tops they are looking out, the whole of them at once (H^ for 
^3, xiv. 29, 31 ; Ges. § 91. 1, Bemark 2), eager for the fight 
and sure of victory, at the approaching army of the enemy. 



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CHAPTES XXU. 4, 6. 891 

They are so confident, cheerful, and defiant because they have 
no suspicion of what is threatening them. nS/O rS^^n is an 
inversion for niSOTi mho, like rnso rh&K in viit' 22. 'nfpJJ is 
used of self - confident rejoicing, as in Zeph. iL 1 5. How 
terribly they deceive themselves ! Not even the honour of 
falling on the field of battle would be theirs. Their chief 
men {rf^, judge, and then generally person of distinction), one 
and all, would depart from the city and be made prisoners 
outside If^o, without the bow needing to be bent against 
them (iO, as in Job xxL 9 ; 2 Sam. L 22 ; Ewald, § 2176). 
All, without exception, who are met with (T|^KTOJ, as in xiil 15) 
in Jerusalem by the invading foe, would, while trying to 
escape (per/, de eonatu, corresponding to the classical presens 
de eonatu) to a distance (see note on v. 26), be made 
unresisting prisoners. The conative clause cannot be trans- 
lated who had fled from a distance, i.e. to Jerusalem, in order 
to find refuge there, for this thought is not evident enough to 
remain unexpressed. The city would be besieged (indirectly 
stated), and in consequence of the long siege hunger and 
pestilence would destroy the inhabitants, and every one who 
tried to reach the open would become the prize of the enemy, 
and, because exhausted by hunger, without venturing on resist- 
ance. The prophet on realizing the fate of the infatuated 
Jerusalem and Judah is seized with inconsolable anguish. 
Vers. 4, 5 : " There/ore I say. Look away from me that I 
may weep bitterly ; press not on me with comfort for the 
destrxiction of the daughter of my people ! For a day of uproar, 
and of treading down and of confusion, eometh from the All- 
Lord Jehovah of hosts, in the valley of vision, dashing walls into 
ruins, and a cry of woe is echoed from against the mountains." 
Isaiah here adopts the Ktna style, the same that we meet 
with later in the Lamentations of Jeremiah. This prophet 
uses 135^ for ^y (Lam. iii 48), and 'B?TT3 is there inter- 
changed with 1^'V''? and nTirrria. '333 Tip is more than 
"ID naa (xxxiii. 7) ; it means to give up oneself with full 
consent of the mind to bitter weeping, to take one's fill of 
weeping. The day of the divine judgment is called (ver. 5) 
a day in which bodies of men surge, raging through each 
other (ne^no), in which Jerusalem and its inhabitants are 
trodden down ("P'^o) by enemies and thrown into wDd con- 



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392 I8AIA.H. 

fusion C^r^^o). This is one of two plays upon Bounds in the 
passage. The other strikes on our ears like the crash of the 
walls overthrown by the siege - engines. ">? "•iT,?? is to he 
explained as nieanin<T he tears down walls according to Num. 
xxiv. 17, and like the phrases occurring in the Palestinian 
Talmud and Midrash, Drrns nn^ DninpD, they tore down the 
walls of their houses, and u ip-ip, to demolish a thing (see 
Levy, Neuheb. Wdrtarhueh, iv. 391). When that happens 
which is stated in ver. 5, then ''v'v'^ ^^> there sounds at 

the mountain a cry of woe (^^B* like S'B', V\^ ; cf. «^^, help, 

cry for help), i.e. it strikes on the mountains surrounding 
Jerusalem, and returns as an echo. Against the translation, 
Kir undermineth and Shoa is at the mount (Cheyne, following 
Fried. Delitzsch, Parodies, p. 235 sq.), is the arrangement of 
the words in li? i?^i?o, and the lack of clearness in nnn-^ jnea 
The description does not move forward step by step as 
would an historical narrative. Ver. 5 at once depicts the 
day of Jehovah in the light of its final cause and efiect, and 
only in vers. 6 and 7 is described the advance of the be- 
siegers, leading at last to the destruction of the walls. " And 
Mam has taken the quiver together with chariots with men, 
horsemen, and Kir has uncovered the shield. And then it comes 
to pass that thy choice valleys are filled with chariots, and the 
horsemen firmly establish themselves in the direction of the gate." 
Of the nations in the Assyrian army there is mentioned 
'Elam, the Semitic nation of Susiana (Chuzist&n), whose ori- 
ginal habitation is the series of valleys between the moun- 
tain chain of Zagros and the chain of outlying mountains 
that bound the plains of Assyria on the East They were 
greatly feared as archers (Ezek. xxxii 24; Jer. xlix. 35). 
Though this people appears here as a contingent of the Assy- 
rian army, there is no instance of this in the inscriptions 
(Parodies, p. 237); but it is to be remembered that the 
testimonies of the inscriptions and of the Bible are mutually 
illustrative. I'i? also is fully proved by the Bible to have been 
a land under Assyrian rule (2 Kings xvL 9 ; Amos i. 5, ix. 7), 
and yet down to the present it has not been possible to illus- 
trate this from the inscriptions ; for the tract of land through 
which the river Cyrus flows can surely not be meant, since 



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CHATTER ZXn. 8-11. 393 

tbe river Kvlt, wliich joins the Araxes and debouches into the 
Caspian, is written with k, not k. The readiness for battle, 
characteristic of the people of Kur, is expressed by 139 nn]», — 
what Caesar (Bell. Gall, iL 21) calls scutis tegimenta detrdhere, 
for the Talmudic meaning applicare (Buxtorf, Lex. eol. 1664) 
is not to be thought of. These nations, whose custom it was 
to fight on foot, are accompanied (3, as in 1 Kings x. 2) by 
Dntc 331, chariots filled with men, i.e. war-chariots (as dis- 
tinguished from ^yp), and, as is added a<rwScT<B?, by d1^,b, 
horsemen (i.e. riders trained to arms). The historical tense 
is introduced by 'np (ver. 7), but in a future sense. It is 
only for the sake of the arrangement of the words here pre- 
ferred thflt the sentence does not proceed w^ (i.e. vav 
consec.). T.??? are the valleys by which Jerusalem is en- 
circled on the east, west, and south : the valley of Kidron on 
the east, the valley of Gihon on the west, the valley of 
Kephaim, stretching along on the right of the road to Beth- 
lehem (xviii. 5), on the south-west, the valley of Hinnom 
meeting the Tyropaeum in a south-eastern comer, perhaps 
also the valley of Jehoshaphat, running on the upper side of 
the valley of Kidron in the north-east of the city. These 
valleys, especially the southern and finest ones, are now cut 
up by the wheels and hoofs of the enemies' chariots and 
horses, and already have the enemies' horsemen taken up 
position, t.«. firmly established themselves (n'B' with T\v, to 
strengthen it, as in Ps. iii. 7 ; D'fc', 1 Kings xx. 12 ; cf. 1 Sam. 
XV. 2) in the direction of the gate, in order that on the signal 
being given they may gallop at the gates and press in at 
them. 

When Judah now, after having so long given itself up to 
the intoxication of hope, becomes aware that it is in extreme 
danger, it adopts wise measures, but without God. Vers. 
8—11 : " Then does he draw atoay the covering of Judah, and 
thou lookest on that day to the ttore of arms of the forest -house, 
and the breaches of the city of David ye see, that there are viany 
of them, and ye collect the waters of the lower pool. And the 
houses of Jerusalem ye count, and pull doum the houses in order 
to fortify the waU. And a basin ye make between the tioo walls 
for the waters of the old pool ; and ye do not look to Him who 
done it, and Him who formed it from afar ye do not regard." 



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394 ISAUH. 

^DO is the curtain or covering which made Judah blind to the 
threatening danger. Their eyes now turn first of all to the 
forest-house on Zion (it may have stood in the middle of the 
outer court of the royal palace) which had been built by 
Solomon for the storage and display of valuable weapons and 
implements (P^., or, according to the Masora on Job xx. 24 and 
old editions, P^), and bore this name because it rested on 
four rows of cedar pillars that ran all round. They notice 
also in the city of David, the southern and highest part of 
the city of Jerusalem, how ruinous is the wall, and begin to 
think of repairing it With this end in view they examine 
the houses of the city, in order to obtain building material for 
the strengthening of the walls and the repair of their breaches 
by pulling down buildings likely to be useful in this way and 
capable of being dispensed with (cf. Jer. xxxiiL 4). The com- 
pensative duplication in VOvn from YDl is dispensed with in 
spite of the inconvenient combination of sounds, ^, in order 
that the two t may not coalesce into one (cf., on the other 
band, Vthrt, Deut vii. 5, and also wwi, Ezek. xxiL 22, where 
the duplication remains on account of the aspirated a). The 
"old pool" has hitherto been held to be the same as the 
upper Gihon (2 Chron. xxxiL 30) = the upper pool (vii. 3) 
= Birhet-el-Mamilla, in the west of the city, the tank of the 
ni>»n, or conduit (mentioned vii 3), through whose artificial 
channel the water of the tank was carried into the interior of 
the city to the so-called pool of Hezekiah or the Patriarehsw 
This conclusion, however, is based on the identification of the 
upper pool (Isa. vii. 3) with the Gihon. This identification 
is at present rightly universally given up ; for, according to 
1 Kings L 33, cf. 45 (" from the royal castle on Zion down to 
Gihon"), 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14, eta, the Gihon coincides rather 
with the present Spring of the Virgin on the eastern slope of 
the temple-hill. Thus, if we found on 2 Chron. xxxiL 30 
(explanatory of 2 Kings xx. 20), a passage also claiming 
attention in connection with 9& and 11a of Isaiah's pro- 
phecy, Hezekiah's peculiar work consisted in stopping (ono) 
the discharge (>WfiD) of the waters of the upper Gihon, i«. 
in diverting the Gihon spring, so that it no longer ap- 
peared above ground, but sent its waters towards the west 
side of the southernmost part of the temple-hill, which lay 



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CHAFTEB XXn. 8-lL 395 

inside the city wall, throagh a covered subterranean rocky 
channel, i.e. through the Siloah channel, which at present 
opens into the Siloah basin, lying thirty metres below the 
level of the Spring of the Virgin. This excludes the possi- 
bility of the intention expressed in ver. 11 having anything 
to do with the pool of the Patriarchs {Birhet-el-Batrak), the 
Amygdalon of Josephus, for during the rainy season it is 
served by a small conduit descending from the upper pool 
along the surface of the ground under the wall at or near to 
the Jaffa Gate. On the contrary, the " basin for the waters of 
the old pool " must be sought in the neighbourhood of the mouth 
of the Siloah channel, where also, in reality, lies the place 
' between the two walls," i.e. between the independent ram- 
parts of the city of David and the old city, which extended 
along both sides of the Tyropaeum.* The " old pool," which 
supplied the water for the new basin in the valley of the 
Tyropaeum, was therefore one of the several old water-basins 
of the Tyropaeum Valley,' and Hezekiah's new channel con- 
ducted the waters of this "old pool" into the new basin 
" between the two walls." But what is meant here by the 
" lower pool " ? Formerly it was thought to be the Birket-es- 
Sultdn, situated below the upper pool. Since, however, the 
Gihon lies on the east side of the city, and the bringing into 
use {Anapannurtg, literally " yoking," Heb. j»3p) of the lower 
pool is certainly connected with the waterworks at the end of 
the Siloah channel, the lower pool also must be sought in the 
lower part of the Tyropaeum valley. It therefore gets this 
name in order to distinguish it from another upper pool than 
that mentioned in vii. 3. It is perhaps the same as Tobler's 
" lower pool of Siloah," which lay dose to the city wall, and 
is now called Birket-d-Hamrd. In no other passage than 
this one do we meet with the " lower pool " under this name. 
The collection also of the waters of this lower pool is one of 

' C£ the digest of the most recent views as to the locality "between the 
two walls," in Bertheau-Ryssel's Convmmiary on Ezra, Nekmiah, and Either, 
pp. 195, 206, 216. 

* There is a basin at the month of an old (now blocked-np) channel, 
which led down from the Spring of the Virgin, i,t. the Qihon, on the 
eastern border of Ophel, and is older than the channel constructed by 
Hezekiah. Perhaps this channel is the pre-Hezekian Siloah (iz. 6), and 
this basin the " old pool ; " cf. EysscI, ioe. at. p. 213 eqq. 



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396 ISAIAH. 

the prudent measures which will be resorted to in Jemsalem 
in view of the impending siege. This will happen, however, 
too late, and in self-reliant alienation from God, with no 
regard to Him who, in accordance with a plan adopted long 
ago before its realization, both executes and gives form to the 
fate which by these measures they are seeking to ward off 
As in chap. liv. 6, n^ might be plural, but the parallel 
aix^ favours the singular ; cf. as to the form (from "^ — nbV) 
xliL 5, and the note on v. 12, L 30. Here, as in xxxvii 26 
(cf. Eccles. iil 1 1), we have the same doctrine of ideas as is 
an underlying prevailing note of the second part of Isaiah. 
Whatever is realized in time exists long before as a spiritual 
image, i.e. as an idea in God. God discloses it to His prophets, 
and prophecy in foretelling the future thereby proves that the 
fulfilment has been the work as also the long predetermined 
counsel of God. Thus in the passage before us the punish- 
ment that befalls Jerusalem is said to have been fashioned 
beforehand in God. Jerusalem might avert its realization 
by repentance, for it is not a decretum absolvium. As soon as 
Jerusalem repented, the realization would proceed no farther. 
The realization, therefore, so far as it has gone, is a call by 
Jehovah to repentance. Vers. 12—14 : " Tlie All-Lord Jehovah 
of hosts calls in that day to weeping, and to mourning, and to 
thepvlling out of hair, and to girding with sackcloth, and behold : 
jog and gladness, daiightering of oxen and killing of sheep, 
eating of flesh and drinking of wine, eating and drinking, for 
' to-morrow we die.' And Jehovah of hosts hath revealed Him- 
self in mine ears ; Surely this iniquity shall not be expiated to 
you until ye die, saith the All-Lord Jehovah of hosts." The 
first antecedent condition of repentance is the feeling of 
pain caused by the punishments of Grod. In the case of 
Jerusalem, however, they produce the opposite effect The 
more threatening the future, the more callously and madly do 
the people give themselves up to coarse sensual enjoyment of 
the present. As harmonizing with Dfne^, nlne^, the feminine 
form of the infin. abs., takes the place of ^T\v (for nhe', as in 
vi. 9, XXX. 19, lix. 4). A similar case occurs in Hos. x. 4.' 

' Similarly there stands in the Pesach-Haggada (in the prayer ip^fi^ 
0*3>n uruK) between ips^ and tkjh tlie incorrect infin. rhiA (to laisei 



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CUAPTEE XXll. 12-U, 397 

Elsewhere also, for the sake of sound-play, the author ventures 
what is unusual (see iv. 6, viii 6, xvi. 9, xxxii. 7, xxxiiL 6 ; 
ct Ezek. xliiL 11, and the Kert, 2 Sam. iil 25). Flesh and 
wine stand side by side, as in Pro v. xxiii 20, The absolute 
infinitives sketch the conduct of the revellers ; their own 
statement of the reason for this conduct follows ^3. What is 
expressed there is not a joyful welcome of death, but a love 
of life that scoffs at death. Then the unalterable will of the 
all-commanding God is announced to the prophet in a way 
that he can clearly understand. Such disdainful defiance of 
God's chastisements will not be otherwise expiated than by 
the death of those bidding defiance. To be covered and so to 
be expiated is the meaning of ^BS (from ncj, yS, tegere). 
This is effected for sin, either by God's justice, as here, or by 
God's mercy (vL 7), or by God's justice and mercy combined 
(xxvii 9). In all three cases it is divine holiness that 
demands the expiation. This holiness requires a cover or 
covering between itself and the sin, in virtue of which the 
sin becomes as though it were not In this particular case 
the act of blotting out consists in punishing. That punish- 
ment may also be called expiation is shown by Num. xxxv. 33 ; 
uncovered blood (xxvi 21) is just unexpiated blood. So here, 
the sin of Jerusalem will not be expiated until the sinners 
meet death. The verb tvion stands without qualification, and 
is therefore all the more dreadful (cf. airoBaveiaSe, John 
viii 21). The Targum renders: tiU ye die the second 
(eternal) death (wjan ktiId). 

So far as this prophecy holds forth the threat of Jeru- 
salem's destruction by Assyria, it was not fulfilled. Still the 
prophet did not withdraw it. For, in the first place, it is a 
monument of divine mercy which, on the manifestation of 
repentance, departs from or lessens the threatened judgment. 
The revolt against Assyria was accomplished, but, on the part 
of Hezekiah and many who had taken to heart the announce- 
ment of the prophet, as an affair which had been surrendered 
into the hands of the Grod of Israel, and with regard to which 
nothing was hoped for from their own strength or from the 
help of the Egyptians. In the second place, it stands here 
as the announcement of a judgment which, though deferred, 
was not revoked. God's declared counsel remains, and the 



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398 ISAIAH. 

time will come by and by when it will be realized. It 
remains hovering over Jerusalem like an eagle, and in the 
end, sure enough, Jerusalem becomes its carrion. 



Against Shebna, the Stewabd, Chaf. XXIL 15-25. 

(Appendix to the Tetralogy, xxL-xxiL 14.) 

Shebna (wae^; 2 Kings xviii 18, 26, n«B»>) bears the 
official designation n.'30"^ "'5'??-' This is the name of a high 
office of state in both kingdoms (1 Kings iv. 6, xviiL 3), ia 
fact of the very highest, and it was so superior in rank to all 
others (xxxvi. 3, xxxvii. 2) that even the heir to the throne 
sometimes held it (2 Chron. xxvi 21). The office is that of 
minister of the household, and resembled the Merovingian 
office of major domus (maire du palais). The nj3rp5>p ^W< 
had under his care the whole domestic efiairs of the king, 
and was, on this account, also called pis? (from pp, Assyr. 
pC, whence kiknu, governor*), the administrator, as being the 
official next to him in rank. In this high office Shebna 
showed that he united in extraordinary degree that haughty 
self-security and forgetfulness of God in pursuit of enjoyment 
for which the people of Jerusalem had just been threatened 
with death (cf. chap. vii. in relation to chap, vi ; in the one 
a judgment of hai-dening is proclaimed, in the other Ahaz 
appears as a conspicuous example of it). He may also have 
been a leader of the party of notables whose sympathies lay 
on the side of Egypt, and so in connection with a policy 
foreign to the spirit of a theocracy the opponent of Isaiah in 
advising the king. Therefore the general content of xxii 

> The brother of the celebrated Hillel was bo named (Sota 21a) ; in 
the full form of the name TY'iTfff (also PhoenicianX which is intetchange- 
able with TT'iOV {vioinut Dei), piif ie equivalent to p^ (constr. of psO, 
cf. Aram. 22V, MB', vicimu. Nestle supposes that n'33B' from pv= 

*!», donare, largiri, is a ^nonym of iTjnj, nnst. and such like 

names. 
* Cf. 2 Chron. xxsiv. 22, 7|i)Qn itWI. the popular rendering of the 

Aramaic KS^U fituihiitol. 

« Cf. Fried. Delitzsch, § 46, p. 108. 



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CHAPTER XXn. 15-19. 399 

1-14 takes the specific form of a prophecy against this 
Sbebna. The time when this happened is the same as in 
xxiL 1—14 Defiance is being bidden to what is threatening, 
and the great dignitaiy not only drives about in magnificent 
eqnipages,but is engaged superintending the erection of a family 
tomb. Vers. 15-19 : " 2%ia spaJce the All-Lord, Jehovah of 
hosts, Go, get thu urUo this adminvUrator, to Shebna the steward. 
What hast thou here, and whom hast thou, here, thai thou hewesl 
thee out here a grave, hewing out his sepulchre on high, digging 
out in the rode a dwelling for himself f Behold, Jehovah 
hurleth thee hurling with a man's throw, and graspeth thu 
grasping. Clewing, he dews thee a dew, a hall into a land far 
and wide ; there shalt thou die, and thither the chariots of thy 
glory, thou shame of the house of thy lord ! And I thrust thee 
from thy post, and from thy station he puMeth thee down." ?K 
after xS»"ti^ (repair to, as in Gen. xlv. 1 7 ; Ezek. iil 4) is 
changed into ?? (used commonly of attack by the stronger, 
1 Sam. xii 12). The expression W jabn points contemp- 
tuously to the subordinate though high position of the 
court servant We already feel from this introduction of the 
divine address that ambition is a leading feature of Shebna's 
character. What Isaiah is to say to Shebna follows rather 
abruptly, but the LXX. insertion koX ehrov ain^ at once 
suggests itself. The question. What hast thou to do here, 
and whom hast thou to bring here ? is put in view of the 
fate awaiting Shebna. This building of a sepulchre is useless : 
neither will Shebna ever lie there, nor will he be able to bury 
those connected with him there. The triple nb is forcible in 
the extreme : here where be is acting as if he were at home 
it is not fated that be shall remain. The participles '^^n and 
'jjph (with hireq eompaginis, see note on Ps. cxiii.) are still 
part of the address ; the third person which comes in here is 
syntactically correct, although the second person is used also 
(xxiii. 2 sq. ; Hab. iL 15). There were rock -tombs, i.e. 
tombs in the form of rock-hewn chambers, for the reception of 
several bodies on the south of the valley of Hiunom, and on 
the western slope of the Mount of Olives, and in the north- 
west of the city beyond the upper pool The rt"io, however, 
when we keep before us the triple na and the contemptuous 
•""JD i?^i?, points to the city of David (1 Kings ii 10), or 



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400 IS.UAH. 

TTn32 nap rhw (2 Chron. xxxii. 33), i.e. the east slope of 
Zion, in the rock of which from the top downwards the tombs 
of the kings were hewn. So high a position does Sheboa 
occupy, and so great does he think himself, that he hopes 
after his death to be laid to rest among kings, and bj no 
means far down. 

How he deceives himself I Jehovah throws him far away 

(^0, Jie, to be long, Pilp. to throw or stretch far '), 13| f^^- 
Either this expression is equivalent to ia| npepo nboTO, with 
a man's throw (Kosenmiiller), or ^M is in apposition to nvT 
(Geseu. Knobel) : throw, a man, i.e. throw of a man, like 
D^3"i3 D^D, water, measure of the knees, i.e. reaching to the 
knees (of. note, xxx. 20). The vocative rendering, " O man" 
(Syriac, Bottcher, Cheyne), is contrary to custom and styla 
Jerome gives the strange rendering, " as they carry off a 
cock " (•>a3=iJU3nri), which he had from the lips of his Hebraeus. 
The verb ntDj; means in Jer. xliiL 12 to be covered (Iki), not 
to roll up; in 1 Sam. xv. 19, xxv. 14, xiv. 32, to fly or 
rush upon anything (with 3, ?K) ; here, like Ike, to grasp, to 
lay hold of (Michaelis, liosenmuller, Knobel, and others). 
And as t\y<t means to roll into a ball or clew, nwy, the dew 
or roll, so "WRS means that which Shebna becomes by being 
rolled up. For a is not to be taken as the particle of com- 
parison, "IW3, as we see from the Talmud (cf. note on Job 

C/ 

XV. 24), being used in the sense of globus, sphaera, while ^^J 

(cf. J^4i) means only gyrm, periodvs. Shebna becomes a clew, 

a ball, which is thrown into a land stretching far out on both 
sides, where with nothing to stop it it flies farther ever farther. 
Thither he goes to die, — the man who had degraded his own 
oflice and the Davidic court as well by an undue exercise and 
misuse of his power, — and with him his splendid equipages. In 
order to prepare for the transition to the installation of another 
into Shebna's office, the punishment of deprivation of his oflice 
is put at the end of the first half of the prophecy, though it 
cannot be otherwise conceived of than as preceding the punish- 
1 In later usage this verbal root means generally " to move on," whence 
in»a, movement, walk ; p^oboo, movables, personal property. 



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CHAPTEE XXn. 20-24. 401 

ment of banishment In 1 9h not the king (Luzzatto), but, as 
in 19a, Jehovah (cf. x. 12) is the subject. First of all, be 
gives him the push that makes him stagger in his place, then 
he pulls him completely down from this lofty station of his. 

The object of this, that he may make way for a worthier 
man, is stated in vers. 20-24: " And it will come to pass in 
that day that I call to my servant MiaMm, son of Hilkiah, 
and clothe him with thy robe, and with thy sash I bijid him 
round, and thy autlun-ity I give into his hand, and he will 
become a father to tlie inJiabitanis of Jerusalem and to the house 
of Judah. And I place the key of David upon his shoulder, 
and when he opens no man shuts, and when he shuts no ma7i 
opens. And I strilce him as a peg into a sure place, and he 
becomes a seat of honour to his father's house. And tlie whole 
body of (the members of) his father's house hangs on him, the 
descendants and the offshots, all the small vessels, from the vessels 
of the basins to all the vessels of the pitchers." Eliakim is called 
'n ^ap, as being the servant of God in his heart and conduct, 
to which official service is now first added. Usually this 
title of honour includes both kinds of service (xx. 3). In- 
vestiture is the means by which the transfer of office is 
carried through (cf. 1 Kings xix. 19). Ptn, with the double 
accusative of the official girdle and the person, means here to 
tie firmly, to tie round (cf. p]^, ^^ cJj»'), to put the girdle 
round him, so that the whole dress sits firmly without any 
looseness. From inpe'po we see how almost kingly dignity 
attaches to the office forfeited by Shebua. The word 3N like- 
wise shows the same, for elsewhere it designates the king as 
the father of the land (ix. &). Key means here the power of 
the keys, and therefore it is not placed in the hand, but on 
the shoulder (ix. 5) of Eliakim. It is used by the king 
(Rev. iii. 7), by the steward only in his stead. The power of 
the keys consists not merely in supervision of the royal 
chambers, but also in the decision as to who was and who 
was not to be received intO' the king's service. Similarly in 
the New Testament the keys of the kingdom of heaven are 
handed over to Peter. There, the mention of binding and 
loosing introduces a metaphor related to the other in sense ; 
here, in nriB and ^Jp, the metaphor of the key is retained. 
The comparison of the settlement of Eliakim in his office with 

VOL. I. 2 c 



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402 ISAUH. 

the driving in of a tent-peg was all the more readily avail- 
able that in^ is in general the designation of a nation's rulers 
(ZecL X. 4), who stand in the same relation to the community 
as a tent-peg to the tent which it holds firmly and keeps up. 
As the tent-peg is driven into the ground iu such a way that 
a person can, if necessary, sit on it, so by development of the 
metaphor the peg is changed into a seat of honour. As a 
splendid chair adorns a room, so Eliakim graces his hitherto 
undistinguished family. The closely connected thought, that 
the members of his family in order to attain to honours 
would sit on this chair, is expressed by a different figure. 
Eliakim is once more presented to us as a inj, now, however, 
as a high one, somewhat like a pole on which coats are hung 
up, or as a peg driven into the wall at a distance from the 
ground. On this pole or peg they bang (vR), i.e. one hangs, 
or there hangs *ii33 ?b, i.e. the whole heavy lot (as in viiL 7) 
of the family of Eliakim. The prophet proceeds to split up 
this family into its male and female components, as the juxta- 
position of masa and fem. nouns shows. The idea in O'liV??? 
and niyDV (from VBV, by straining and pressure to bring forth 
and form, cf. JTPy. dung, with nsv, filth) is that of a wide- 
spreading and undistinguished connection. The numerous 
metaphorical collection of refuse is made up of nothing but 
vessels of a small kind (tc^n v^, like "^i?? ?*", xxxvi. 2, 
75b nyy, xxviii. 4, combinations in which the genitive expresses 
the genus). None of them are larger than n^3W (Arab. 
i^gdria, imjdna, wash-hand basin), basins like those used by 
the priests for the blood of the sacrifices (Ex. xxiv. 6), or in 
a house for mixing wine (Cant viL 3) ; most of them are only 
DvaJ, leathern pitchers, earthenware bottles (xxx. 14). The 
whole of this large but as yet plebeian set attaches itself to 
Eliakim, and through him rises into distinction. At this 
point the prophecy that hitherto has spoken of Eliakim most 
respectfully suddenly assumes a tone in which there is an 
element of satire We are impressed with the idea that the 
prophet is now dealing with nepotism, and ask ourselves, 
" What propriety is there in letting Shebna hear that ? " 
Eliakim is the peg, that beginning so brilliantly comes to an 
ignominious end. Ver. 25: "In that day, saith Jehovah of 
hosts, mil the pry that is struck into a sure place give way, and 



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CHAPTEB xxin. 403 

it is knocked doum and falls, and the burden that it carried 
perishes : for Jehovah hath spoken." In this verse the prophet 
does not revert to Shebna (Gesen. Ewald, Driver), he could 
not more dearly express the identity of the object of his 
threat with Eliakim (Cheyne, G. A. Smith). Eliakim also 
comes to ruin in the exercise of the plenary power attaching 
to his ofiBce by giving way to nepotism. His family makes 
a wrong use of him, and with an unwarrantable amount of 
good nature he makes a wrong nse of his official position for 
their benefit. He therefore comes down headlong, and with 
him all the heavy burden which the peg sustains, i.e. all his 
relations, who, by being far too eager to make the most of 
their good fortune, have brought him to ruin. 

Hitzig says that vers. 24 sq. are a later addition. It may 
be so, but it is also possible that the prophet wrote down 
xxii. 15-25 at one sitting, after the fate of both dignitaries, 
revealed to him at two different times, had found its fulfilment 
We know nothing but that in the fourteenth year of Heze- 
kiah's reign the nj3ri-?y ^B'■N was no longer Shebna, but 
Eliakim (xxxvL 3, 22, xxxvii. 2). Shebna, however, also 
fills another high office, that of iBio. Was he really made 
prisoner by the Assyrians and carried away ? This is con- 
ceivable even without an Assyrian captivity of the nation. 
Or did he prevent the threatened judgment by penitence and 
self-abasement ? To these and other questions we have no 
answer. 



The Oracle concerning Tyre, Chap. XXIII. 

As the series of prophecies against the nations began with 
Babylon, so it ends with the other leading type of the pride 
and power of heathenism. So says Stier. Babylon is the city 
of the empire of the world, Tyre the city of the trade of the 
world ; the former is the centre of the greatest land power, the 
latter of the greatest maritime power ; the former subjugates 
the nations with an iron hand, and secures its rule by means of 
deportation ; the latter carries off as peaceably as possible the 
treasures of the nations, and secures its interest by colonieq 
and factories. The Phoenician cities formed at first froni 
six to eight independent States, the government of which was 



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404 ISAIAH. 

in the hands of kin^s. Of these Sidon was older than Tyre. 
The ethnological table (Gen. x.) mentions Sidon only. Tyre's 
celebrity dates first from the time of David. In the Assyrian 
ei-a, however, Tyre had already attained to a kind of supremacy 
over the rest of the Phoenician cities. It lay on the coast, 
rather more than twenty miles from Sidon ; but being hard 
pressed by enemies, it had transferred the real seat of its trade 
and wealth to a rocky island,* three miles farther north, and 
only 1200 paces from the mainland. The strait that sepa- 
rated this insular Tyre {Tvpos:) from ancient Tyre (IlaXai- 
Tvpcn) was, upon the whole, shallow, and the ship channel in 
the neighbourhood of the island was only about eighteen feet 
deep, so that a siege of insular Tyre by Alexander was carried 
out by the erection of a mole. Luther refers the prophecy to 
this attack by Alexander. But earlier than this event was 
the struggle of Tyre with Assyria and Babylon, and first of 
all the question arises. Which of these two struggles has the 
prophecy in view ? In consequence of new disclosures, for 
which we are indebted to Assyriology, the question has 
entered a new phase. Do»wn to the present, however, it still 
permits of only a hypothetical and unsatisfactory solution. 
The point that continues to call for the exercise of ingenuity 
lies in ver. 13. Let us therefore content ourselves until 
such time as we come to try our skill on this verse with the 
knowledge that it is the dominant world-power to which Tyre 
succumbs. 

The beginning of the prophecy places before us homeward- 
bound Phoenician trading vessels, which are appalled by the 
evil tidings of their country's fate. Ver. 1 : " Mourn, ye ships 
of Tarsliish, for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no 
entrance any more ! From tJu land of the Kittaeans it is made 
knoum to them." Even while at sea they hear it as a rumour 
from ships that meet them. For they have long and far to 
sail ; they come from the Phoenician colony on the Spanish 
Baetis, the Guadalquivir, as it has been called since the days 
of Moorish rule, trcnn rrt«36« (cf. ii. Ifi) are ships that sail to 
Tartessus (LXX. inaccurately irXola Kapxv^ovosi). These are 
to howl OTb^n, instead of the fem. as in xx.xil 1 1), for the 
hand of the devastator has been at work {sc. on Tyre, easily 
^ See Socin in Baedeker's Paledina und S'jrien, 2nd ed. p. 324. 



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CHAPTEn XXIII. 2, 8. 405 

tinderstood), and now home and city, to entering wLich tlie 
returning travellers were looking forward with joy, are swept 
away. Cyprus ia the last station on this return journey. 
D'ro are the Ktrtet?, the inhabitants of the Cyprian port Kir lov 
and its district Cyprus, the principal Phoenician emporium, 
is the last place of call. As soon as they put in here, what 
they had heard as a rumour on the high sea is disclosed to the 
crews ij^}}), i.e. it becomes clear, undoubted certainty, for they 
are now told of it by eye-witnesses who have escaped hither. 
What follows is addressed to the Phoenicians at home, who 
have the devastation before them. Vers. 2, 3 : " Be horror- 
struck, ye inhabitants of the coast ! Sidonian merchants, sailing 
over the sea, replenished thee once on a time. And on great waters 
the seed of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, vxts brought into her 
(lit her ingathering), and she became gain for the nations." The 
feminine suffixes of K?o (to fill with merchandise and riches) 
and nM3R (ingathering, i.e. into barns and storehouses) refer 
to the name of the country, — *s, applied to the Phoenician coast, 
including insular Tyre. Sidonian merchants are, as in Homer, 
Phoenician merchants in general, for the ancient and great 
Sidon (nai i^TV, Josh. xL 8, xix. 28) is the mother city of 
Phoenicia, which stamped its name on the whole people so 
deeply, that on coins Tyre is called d?*tV DK. The meaning 
of ver. 3rt is not that the revenue of Tyre, which was pro- 
duced on the great barren sea, was like a Nile-sowing, an 
Egyptian harvest (Hitzig, Knobel). This would be a fine 
comparison ; but as matter of fact the Phoenicians were in the 
habit of buying the corn stores of Egypt, the granary of 
the ancient world, and of gathering up in the warehouses of 
their cities what was brought in 0'3t D^pa (on the great Medi- 
terranean). The name inc' (in Dionys. Perieg. and Pliny, Xlpii, 
the native name of the Upper Nile) means the black river 
{MeXat, Eust on Dion. Per. 222), the dark-grey, almost black 
mud of which gives such fertility to the land. ""K^ I'xp is added 
more by way of amplification than explanation. The Nile 
valley was the field where this invaluable grain crop was 
sown and reaped, the Phoenician coast its granary. Phoenicia 
being thus the basis for further trade in grain and other 
articles of commerce, became a gain (const of ^np, meaning the 
same as in ver. 18, xlv. 14; Prov. iii 14, xxxL 18), i.e. a 



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406 ISAIAH. 

means of gain, a scarce of profit and subsistence for many 
entire peoples. Others translate the word " emporium," but 
inp has not this meaning. Moreover, foreigners did not come 
to Phoenicia, but the Phoenicians went to them (Lozzatto). 

From addressing; the whole coast land, the prophet now 
titms to address the ancestral city. Ver. 4 : " TremUe, O 
Sidon, for the sea speaJceth, even the stronghold of the sea; I have 
not travailed nor hnrnght forth, and have not reared young men, 
broughi up virgins." The sea, not this itself (Nagelsbach), but 
more specifically the stronghold of the sea (H])D, with unchange- 
able pretonic vowel, like HD, ^pp), i.e. the rocky island on 
which New Tyre, with its lofty strong dwelling-houses, stores, 
and temples stood, lifts up its voice in lamentation. Sidon, 
the ancestress of Canaan, must bear what cannot but cover 
her with shame, — the lament of her own daughter Tyre, that 
robbed as she is of her children, she is like a barren woman. 
Because her young men and virgins have been done to death 
by war, she is in the very same case as if she had never 
brought forth or reared them (cf. L 2). The fate of Phoenicia 
causes dismay even in Egypt Ver. 5 : " When the report 
comes to Egypt, they writhe at the report of Tyre." The ex- 
pression DnvD^ in 5a requires us to supply in thought a verb, 
ti3* (cf. xxvL 9) ; the 3 in 52i means " at the same time as," 
"simultaneously with," as in xviiL 4, %\x. 19 (Gesen. Thesau- 
rm, p. 650). In 5a the report is not defined, in 5b it is 
specially referred to the fall of Tyre. The genitive after vov 
and n^DB^ (e.^. 2 Sam. iv. 4) is almost always (except in liiL 1 ) 
the genitive of the object. Then anxiety and horror lay hold 
of the Egyptians, because along with Tyre, to which they sold 
their grain, their own prosperity is ruined, and a similar fate 
awaits themselves, now that such a bulwark is fallen, vriv is 
the imperfect Kal of 'npn in ver. 4. 

The inhabitants of Tyre, however, who wish to avoid death 
or deportation, must make their escape to the colonies, the 
more distant the better ; not to Cyprus, nor to Carthage (as 
when Alexander attacked insular Tyre), but to Tartessus, the 
farthest west and most difficult to reach. Vers. 6—9 : " Pass 
ye over to Tarshish ; mourn, ye inhabitants of the coast ! Fareth 
it thus with you, joyous one, whose origin is of ancient days, 
whom her feet carried afar of to settle t Who hath determined 



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CUAPTKK XXm. 6-9. 407 

such a (king concerning Tyre, the giver of crowns, whose tner- 
ehanis are princes, whose traders are the honourable of t/ie earth f 
Jehovah of hosts hath determined it, to desecrate the magnificence 
of every ornament, to disgrace all the hotwurabU of the earth." 
The call <^^n implies that they had a right to give themselves 
up to their grief. Elsewhere complaint is unmanly, but here 
(of. XV. 4) it is justifiable. In 7a it is doubtful whether nr^ 
is a nominative of predication, as it is explained by most (" Is 
this, this deserted heap of ruins, your formerly so joyous one?"), 
or a vocative. We prefer the latter, because in this case the 
omission of the article is not strange (xxii 2 ; Ewald, 327a) ; 
whereas in the other case, although the omission is possible (see 
xxxii. 13), it is harsh (cf. xiv. 16). To nTj"? attaches itself the 
descriptive attributive sentence — the beginning of whose exist- 
ence (p<^i^, Ezek. xvL 55) dates from the days of olden time — 
and also a second — whose feet carried her far away (Oyjn, mas&, 
as e.g. in Jer. xiii. 16) to dwell in foreign parts. Deportation 
by force into the land of the enemy is not intended. Luzzatto 
rightly remarks against such a view, that n^JT w3' is the very 
strongest expression for voluntary migration, with which also 
'^ agrees, and also that this interpretation makes us feel the 
want of an antithetical f^V\. What the words refer to are 
the trading journeys (whether by sea or land) to a distance 
(see as to pifTjp, note on xvii. 13) and the colonies, i.e. 
settlements abroad (for which i^J is the most suitable word). 
This fundamental characteristic of the Tyro-Phoenician people 
is expressed by ^?^, gyiam portdbant. Sidon is no doubt 
older than Tyre, but Tyre is also ancient. It is called by 
Strabo the oldest Phoenician city after Sidon (jierh SiB&va) ; 
by Curtius, vetustate originis insignis ; while Josephus {AiU. 
viii. 3. 1 ; cf. Herod, ii. 44) estimates the interval between 
the foundation of Tyre and the building of Solomon's temple 
at 240 years. Tyre is called <vi»Di|en, not as wearing a crown 
(Jerome : quondam coronata), but as conferring crowns (Tar- 
gum). As matter of fact, both meanings are suitable; but the 
latter answers better to the Hiphil (since nj?'"?, o^^, which 
expresses production from within, cannot be brought into 
comparison). In the colonies, such as Kition, Tartessus, and 
at first Carthage, the government was in the hands of kings, 
appointed by, but independent of, the mother city. Her mer- 



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408 iSAun. 

chants were princes (cf. x. 8), the most honoured ones of the 
earth. ^?p? acquires a superlative force from standing in the 
genitive. Because the Phoenicians had the commerce of the 
world in their hands, a merchant was called simply V.^3|, the 
merchandise fiyp?. The plural formation IJ'jy?? corresponds 
to the sense in which it is intended the word should be 
taken (that of a common noun), her merchants. The question, 
ver. 8, serves only to give prominence to what the answer, 
ver. 9, states. '?f^ I'W, like nr^, has an Isaianic ring. 
The verb ?F7> to desecrate, causes us, on the mention of " mag- 
nificence of every ornament," to think specially of the holy 
places of continental and insular Tyre, among which the 
temple of Melkart, in insular Tyre, was celebrated on account 
of its great antiquity (cf. Arrian, Anab. ii. 16 : iraXcuoraTov 
vw nvriiiri avOpairivti iuurm^tsrai). These glories, which were 
supposed to be inviolable, Jehovah profanes, bpn?, ad igiu- 
miniam deducere (Jerome), as in viiL 23. 

The consequence of the fall of Tyre is that the colonies, of 
which Tartessus is mentioned by way of example, achieve 
their independence. Ver. 10: "Overflow thy land like the 
Nile, daughter of Tarshish! No girdle confines thee any 
more," The girdle, nip, is the supremacy of Tyre, which has 
hitherto restrained all independent action on the part of the 
colony. Now they no longer need to wait in the harbour for 
the ships of the mother city, no longer need as her bond- 
servants to dig in the mines for silver and other metals ; they 
have full and free possession of the colony's territory, and can 
freely spread themselves over it, like the Nile, when, leaving 
its bed, it overflows the land. 

The prophet next relates, as if to the Phoenicio • Spanish 
colony, the daughter, t.e. the population of Tartessus, what has 
befallen the mother-country. Vers. 11, 12: "His hand hath 
He stretched over the sea, thrown kingdoms into trembling; 
Jehovah hath given command concerning Canaan, to destroy 
her fortresses. And He said. Thou shalt not rejoice any longer, 
thou dishonoured one, virgin daughter of Sidon ! Set out 
for KUtim, -pass over; there also thou wilt not find rent." 
Jehovah has stretched His hand over the sea (Ex. xiv. 21), 
in and on which Tyre and its colonies lie ; He has thrown 
into a state of anxious excitement the countries of anterior 



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CnAPTEE XXIII. X3, 14. 409 

Asia and the Eaypto - Ethiopian quarter, and with regard to 
Canaan (->«, like ?P, Esth. iv. 5) has commissioned instru- 
ments of destruction. The Phoenicians themselves called their 
country \^3, but in the Old Testament the name occurs in 
this most restricted application only here. I'Pf? for I'OB'np 
is the same syncope as in iii. 8 (cf. i. 12) ; Num. v. 22 ; Amos 
viii. 4; Jer. xxxvii. 12, xxxix. 7. The form i^'JWO (Babyl. 
n^jryo) is stranger, but it is not amorphous (Knobel, Meier, 
Olshausen, Niigelsbach) ; there are other examples of this 
way of resolving duplication and transposition of letters (it 
stands for f^'J???). ^''z. wpl?. Lam. iii. 22, cf. on Ps. Ixiv. 7, and, 
at least according to Jewish grammarians (see, however, 
Ewald, § 2506), i33ij. Num. xxiii. 13.' " Virgin of the daughter 
of Sidon," equivalent to virgin daughter of Sidon (two 
epexegetical genitives, Ewald, § 289c), is synonymous with 
\S33. The name of the ancestral city (cf. xxxvii. 22) has 
here become the name of the whole people that has sprung 
from it Hitherto this people was untouched, like a virgin ; 
now it resembles one who has been ravished and overpowered. 
If, now, they flee over to Cyprus (O'Pi? ; according to the 
Oriental reading, D^'ns, Kdhib ; D'l??, Kert), there will be no 
rest for them even there ; because the colony, emancipated 
from the Phoenician yoke, will be glad to rid itself also of the 
unwelcome guests from the despotic mother-country. 

The prophet proceeds, vers. 13, 14, to relate the fate of 
Phoenicia : " Behold the land of tke Chaldeans, this people that 
has not been (Assyria — it hath prepared the same for desert 
beasts) — they set up their siege - towers, destroy the pcdaces of 
Canaan, make it a heap of ruins. Mourn, ye ships of Tarshish, 
for your fortress is laid waste" So taken, the text which has 
been handed down says that the Chaldeans have destroyed 
Canaan, in fact Tyre. <o'i?n is to be referred to the plural 
idea, and VJina (Kethtb, vrna) to the singular idea in 
oyji fiT ; the feminine suflBxes, on the other hand, to Tyre, — 

* PerliapB, however, the j is part of the suffix, and the form an 
intentional imitation of Phoenician, like vmy, their helper, D33K, their 
father, and like the dialectic *3Dt^=*ptS' (my nameX ChiUlin 51a, Erubin 

646. Bei&nann in Maggid, p. 360, compares n'Jty. Lev. xv. 13 = tiV' 
Kelim, xvii. 15. The conjecture of Abianisohn, iTU TVO (tVo)> coujilea 
two indisparate words. 



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410 ISAUH. 

they (the Chaldeans) have laid bare the palaces (nl30*]M from 
rob^N) of Tjrre, i.e. have pulled or burned them down (TPP, 
here not from nv, but from i^P = nny, Ps. cxxxvii. 7, like 
^FlVi Jer. li. 58) to the foundations, it (the Chaldean people) 
has made her (Tyre) a rubbish-heap. If this were all, the 
text would be clear and free from difficulty. But in the group 
of words D'fJip i^p' i^tSfN is Assyria subject or object ? If the 
former, the prophet, in order to describe the instruments of 
divine wrath, points to the land of the Chaldeans, calls them 
a people njn to, which up to this point has not been, and 
explains this by the statement that Assyria at the first laid 
for them, the wild hordes (Ps. Ixxii. 9), the foundations of the 
land which they (the Chaldeans) at present inhabit, or better 
(seeing that 0'^ can hardly be supposed to mean mountain 
hordes), that Assyria appointed it (this people, DP, fem. as at 
Jer. viii. 5 ; Ex. v. 16) inhabitants of the steppe (so Knobel) 
This can convey only the idea that Assyria settled the 
Chaldeans, whose place of abode was among the mountains of 
the north, in the land now bearing the name of Chaldea, and 
so made the Chaldeans a people, i.e. a settled civilised people, 
and a people by conquest playing a part in the history of the 
world (at first, according to Knobel, as a part of the Assyrian 
army). But that the Assyrians brought down the Chaldeans 
from the mountains to the lowlands (Calvin), and that about 
the time of Shalmaneser (Gesenius, Hitzig, Knobel, Segond, 
and others), is an unhistorical, untenable hypothesis, nothing 
but an inference from this passage. On this account I have 
tried in my Commentary on Hahakktik, p. xxii., to give 
another meaning to D'!V^ H"ip', "vshi ; Assyria, i.e. Nineve — it 
has assigned the same to the desert beasts. For the transference 
of the name of the country to the chief city there are many 
examples, as Sham = Damascus, Misr = Cairo {Zeitschrift deut. 
morgenl. Gesdlschaft, xxxiz. 341): D'^ is commonly used of 
beasts of the desert, e.g. xiiL 21, and D*n6 npj may be 
explained in accordance with Ps. civ. 8 (cf. MaL i. 3, rrtjnp nv, 
to make over to the jackals) ; while the form of the parentheti- 
cal sentence would be like that of the concluding sentence of 
Amos 111. This passage, however, would be the only one 
where Isaiah prophesies, and that only in passing, how the 
transition from an Assyrian to a Chaldean world-empire will 



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CHAFTEK XXIIT. 13, U. 411 

come about ; the drawing of this connecting-line is the business 
of Nahum and Zephaniah. For this reason Cheyne, Driver, and 
others, as already Riehm, refer 13a to the subjugation of the 
land of the Chaldeans by Assyria. This leaves us a choice. 
We may think either of the conquest of Babylon (Babel) by 
Sargon in 709, or by Sennacherib in 703, and again in 696/5. 
The translation would run, See the land of the Chaldeaus, 
this people is no more ; Assyria has assigned it to the desert 
beasts. We would then need to refer i^D'^ to Babylon 
(Babel), which is not mentioned ; since, however, of course, 
conquest of Babylon (Babel) and devastation of Babylonia do 
not coincide, and since "'the Assyrians" is the subject of 
vypn, we must suppose that p points to their irresistibility as 
proved in the case of Babylon (Babel). This is so forced, so 
unprepared for, so destructive of the unity of the prophecy, 
that my own translation, given above, according to which the 
land of the Chaldeans is the population of Chaldea and 
Assyria is the city of Nineveh, which had been reduced to ruins 
by them, appears in comparison much more natural, although it 
does not admit of our maintaining Isaiah's authorship. Ewald's 
and Schrader's conjecture, that the text originally ran H^ \\> 
Q^?9p.? is still the best way of escape. The first sentence read 
thus runs : See the land of the Canaanites, this people has 
perished (literally, has come to nothing), Assyria has prepared 
it (their land) for the desert beasts, n'n i^^ it is true, usually 
means, not to be in existence (Obad. ver. 16), not to have 
been, but since t6 is used with a slightly substantive force 
(cf. Jer. xxxiiL 25), it has also the sense to come, or to have 
come to nothing, Job vi. 21, Ezek. xxL 32, and perhaps also 
Isa. XV. 6. By this alteration of onfcon into wwon all 
objections to Isaiah's authorship are removed. But the 
traditional text as it runs makes it necessary for us to suppose 
that a later prophet was the author. As the destroyers of 
the palaces of Tyre he names the Chaldeans — this people 
which hitherto, notwithstanding its great antiquity (Jer. v. 15), 
has not distinguished itself as a conqueror of the world (cf. 
Hab. i. 6), but was subject to the Assyrians, which now, how- 
ever, after it has destroyed Assyria, i.e. Nineveh, has risen to 
power. The summons to lamentation addressed to the ships 
of Tarshish (ver. 14) brings the prophecy back to its starting- 



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412 ISAIA.H. 

point (ver. 1). The fortress is here, as ver. 4 shows, insular 
Tyre. 

Since in this way the prophecy is a completely closed 
circle, vers. 15-18 may appear to be a later addition. Here 
the prophet announces that Tyre will once more rise to 
prominence. Vers. 15, 16: "And it will come to pass in 
that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years like the days 
of one king — after the expiry of tJie seventy years it will fan 
tcith Tyre according to the song of the harlot : ' Take the lute, 
roam throtigh the city, forgotten harlot. Play bravely, sing 
zealously, that thou mayest be remembered.' " The da3'S of one 
king are a period that is characterized throughout by same- 
ness and absence of change ; for, especially in the East, all 
circumstances are then determined by one sovereign will, and 
so stereotyped. The seventy years are compared to the days 
of one king in this sense. In itself seventy is a suitable 
number to designate such a uniform period, for it is 10 
multiplied by 7, and so a completed series of heptads of 
years ninae'. If a Deutero-Isaiah is taken to be the author, 
we will have to understand by the seventy years the seventy 
years of Chaldean rule, Jer. xxv. 1 1 sq., cf. 2 Chron. xxxvL 
21. During these Tyre has against its will to give up the 
traffic which hitherto had been carried on over the whole 
world, nnprai is not the perfect consec (for "il^ff?)) with the 
original fem. termination n, which occurs only in the case of 
verbs t^ and n^, vii. 14, Ph. cxviii 23, but the participle 
following the same syntax as in Ps. Ixxv. 4, Prov. xxix. 9, 
Lat. oblivioni tradita Tyro . . . ew)iiet Tyro. After the 
seventy years the harlot once more finds acceptance. It fares 
with her as with an alma or ba3'adire, who moves through 
the streets singing and playing, and so draws attention again 
to her charms. The prophecy at this point passes into the 
strain of a street song. As in the popular song it fares with 
such a common musician and dancer, so fares it with Tyre. 
Then, when it begins again to play the harlot with all the 
world, it will get rich again from the profit of such traBic 
with the world. Ver. 17:" And it will come to pass at tltt 
end of seventy years, Jehovah wUl visit Tyre, and she comes again 
to the wages of prostitution, and plays the harlot loith all king- 
doms of the earth on the broad face of the earth." In so far 



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CHAPTER XXIIL 1& 413 

as commercial activity, thinking only of earthly advantage, 
does not recognise a God-appointed limit, and carries ou a 
promiscuous traffic with all the world, it is called rfJf, as being 
a prostitution of the soul ; and, moreover, at markets and fairs, 
especially Phoenician ones, prostitution of the body was an 
old custom. For this reason tiie trades-profits now once more 
enjoyed by Tyre are called IjnK (Deut xxiii. 19). The fern, 
suffix to this word, according to the Masora, has no Mappik, 
whereas the same authority writes in ver. 18 nMntO. Here 
nacn is Milra ; in vL 1 3, on the other hand, Milel ; this is au 
inconsistency in punctuation (cf. on xi. 2). 

This resuscitation of the trade of Tyre is called a visitation 
of Jehovah ;