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K3| *"J| ""H iKSf JfSSf y~"* 




frebtndary o/ St. PauV Cathedral; Preacher of Lincoln's Inn; Principal tf 

Kin ft College, London; Honorary Chaplain to the Queen; and 

Chaplain to the Archbishop o/ Canterbury, 



THE VOLUME herewith presented to the reader con* 
tains the Lectures delivered during the years 1 880-84 
in the Cbapel of Lincoln's Inn on the foundation of 
Bishop Warburton. Its object, as expressed in the 
Will of the founder, is ' to prove the truth of re- 
vealed religion in general, and of the Christian in 
particular, from the completion of those prophecies 
in the Old and Few Testaments which relate to the 
Christian Church, especially to the apostacy of Papal 

From the wide range of subjects thus opened, 
it was necessary to select one and naturally that, 
which would most directly meet the present phase 
of theological discussion, and so best fulfil the pur- 
pose for which the Lectureship had been instituted. 
Not, indeed, that the primary object should be nega- 
tive, either in the defence of Catholic truth from its 
assailants, or in the refutation of objections brought 
against it. For all proper defence of truth must 


aim after this positive result : more clearly to define, 
and more accurately to set forth., that which is cer- 
tainly believed among us. And this, in the good 
guidance of our God, is the higher meaning and 
issue of theological controversy. As every schism 
and separation indicate some truth which had been 
neglected, or temporarily ignored, by the Church, 
so each controversy marks some point on which 
the teaching of the Church had been wanting in 
clearness, accuracy, or fulness. And so every con- 
troversy, however bitter or threatening in its course, 
ultimately contributes to the establishment of truth 
-not merely, nor even principally, by the answer 
to objections which it calls forth, but by the fuller 
consideration of what had been invalidated, and the 
consequent wider and more accurate understanding of 
it. Thus, long after the din of controversy has ceased, 
with all of human infirmity attending it, and the never- 
ending conflict between truth and error has passed to 
another battle-field, the peaceful fruits of the contest 
remain as a permanent gain. In the end it may be so, 
that much that has proved indefensible and which 
all along had only been held because it was traditional, 
and had never before been properly considered 
may have to be given up ; and that the old truth 


may have to be presented in new forms, as the result 
of more accurate investigation and more scientific 
criticism. Yet still every contest, whatever its trials 
or the seeming loss, ultimately issues in what is better 
than victory in real advance. But to each of us, 
who in loving loyalty has sought to contribute, ac- 
cording to his capacity, to the defence and further 
elucidation of what we cherish as the Eevelation of 
God to man, comes this comfort of no small inward 
reassurance. We may have only partially succeeded 
in our effort ; we may have even failed of success. 
But every defence and attempt at clearer elucidation, 
unless wholly ungrounded in reason or criticism, at 
least shows that defence and a clearer and higher 
position are possible, even though we may not have 
reached to it ; and it points out the direction which 
others, perhaps more successful than we, may follow. 
Thus here also 'both he that soweth and he that 
reapeth may rejoice together/ For, the end is 
certain not that full and free criticism may be sup- 
pressed, but that it may be utilised, that so on the 
evening of the battle there may be assured peace, 
and the golden light shine around the old truth in 
her new garments of conquest, revealing the full 
.perfection of her beauty. 


Some contribution, however humble, towards this 
end, has been the object of these Lectures. Their 
form and limits prevented anything like the com- 
plete and scientific treatment which I could have 
wished. Yet the main questions concerning the Old 
Testament and its Messianic hope have been faced, 
and, in some respects, viewed under a new aspect. On 
Prophetism, as essentially distinguished from heathen 
divination ; on Prophecy, as distinct from prophecies ; 
on its wider relation to fulfilment ; as well as on other 
cognate subjects, the views here expressed will, I 
venture to think, be found different from those 
hitherto presented. It need scarcely be stated, that 
at the present time the questions connected with the 
Old Testament occupy the foreground of theological 
discussion. Whether, or not, there is in the Old 
Testament any prophecy in the true and, as we had 
regarded it, the Scriptural sense ; whether there were 
of old any directly God-sent prophets in Israel, with 
a message from heaven for the present, as well as for 
the future; whether there was any Messianic hope 
from the beginning, and any conception of a spiritual 
Messiah ; nay, whether the state of religious belief 
in Israel was as we had hitherto imagined, or quite 
different ; whether, indeed, there were any Mosaic 


institutions at all, or else the greater part of what we 
call such, if not the whole, dated from much later 
times the central and most important portion of 
them, from after the Exile ; whether, in short, our 
views on all these points have to be completely 
changed, so that, instead of the Law and the Pro- 
phets, we should have to speak of the Prophets 
and the Law ; and, instead of Moses and the 
Prophets, of the Prophets and the Priests ; and the 
larger part of Old Testament literature should be 
ascribed to Exilian and post-Exilian times, or bears 
the impress of their falsifications : these are some of 
the questions which now engage theological think- 
ers, and which on the negative side are advocated by 
critics of such learning and skill, as to have secured, 
not only on the Continent, but even among our- 
selves, a large number of zealous adherents. 

In these circumstances it would have seemed 
nothing short of dereliction of duty on the part 
of one holding such a lectureship indeed, incon- 
sistent with its real object to have simply passed 
by such discussions. For, in my view at least, 
they concern not only critical questions, but the 
very essence of our faith in ' the truth of revealed 
religion in general, and of the Christian in par- 


ticular.' To say that Jesus is the Christ, means 
that He is the Messiah promised and predicted in 
the Old Testament ; while the views above referred 
to respecting the history, legislation, institutions, and 
prophecies of the Old Testament, seem incompatible 
alike with Messianic predictions in the Christian 
sense, . and even with real belief in the Divine 
authority of the larger portion of our Bible. And, 
if the Old Testament be thus surrendered, it is 
difficult to understand how the claims of the New, 
which is based on it, can be long or seriously 
sustained. Hence, while attempting to show the pro- 
phetic character of the Old Testament and its fulfil- 
ment in Jesus Christ, it seemed necessary to secure 
our position against attack both in front and rear. 
For the latter purpose I have sought to establish 
(in Lecture HI.) what the . primitive belief of the 
Church really was, by a reference to those portions 
of the Gospel-narratives which the most extreme 
negative criticism admits to be an authentic record 
of the faith of the early Christians, and by making 
similar examination of the apostolic testimony to 
the Gospel-facts in such of the apostolic writings 
of which the genuineness is not called in question. 
Having thus ascertained what was the earliest 

PREFACE. xill 

tradition of the Church concerning the Christ, say 
about thirty years after the Crucifixion, I pro- 
ceeded to inquire what light was thrown upon it 
by references in Talinudic writings, at the same time 
describing the earliest recorded intercourse between 
Jewish Teachers and Christians. By the side of 
this, there was a second, and, as running parallel 
to the first, a confirmatory line of evidence from 
witnesses, not only independent, but hostile. Here 
it has been sought to ascertain, on the one hand, the 
full import of the account given by Josephus of 
John the Baptist, which is generally admitted to 
be genuine; and, on the other, what light the well- 
known Epistle of Pliny the Younger about the 
Christians reflects upon the observances and the un- 
derlying belief of the Early Church. While thus the 
testimony of Josephus was seen to flash light upon 
the beginning of Christianity, that of Pliny reflected 
it back to about the year '80 or 90 of our era, the 
intermediate period say, from about 60 of our era 
being covered by what is admitted to have been 
the universal tradition of the Primitive Church. 

Having thus secured my position in front, I also 
endeavoured to establish it in the rear, by an ex-, 
animation of -the theories of recent criticism in regard 


to the structure and order of the Old Testament, 
more especially of the Pentateuch legislation and 
the historical books, for the purpose of vindicating 
the Mosaic authorship of that legislation, and its 
accordance with the notices in the historical books. 1 
Here an account was first given (in Lecture VIE.) 
of the history and progress of recent criticism of 
the Pentateuch, from its inception to the present 
time, together with certain general objections to 
the latest theory of Wellhausen, and an indication 
of the wide-reaching sequences to which such views 
would lead. Next (in Lecture VIII.), the theory 
of Wellhausen was examined more in detail. The 
general position on our side of the question having 
been indicated, it was sought to show, by an analysis 
of the condition of Israel during the course of its 


history, that the Mosaic authorship of the Penta- 
teuch legislation is accordant with the notices in 
the historical books of the Old Testament. Then 
the theory of our opponents was further combated, 
first, by certain fundamental objections to it, alike 
in principle and in detail ; secondly, by some argu- 
ments intended to show the primitive and Mosaic 
character of the legislation and institutions of the 

Lectures VII. and VHI. 


Pentateuch ; and, lastly, by a consideration of what, 
from an historical point of view, we should have 
expected to find or else not to find in the 
Pentateuch, if its date and construction had been 
as modern negative criticism asserts. The argu- 
ments in these respects are supported and supple- 
mented by two longer Notes (at the end of Lecture 
Yin.), and by two Appendices, embodying chiefly 
the results of the critical labours of some German 
scholars. The second Note to Lecture VIII. will 
be found of great interest and importance to the 
critical student, giving, as it does, a revised list of 
the passages by which Dr. Hoffmann has proved 
that Ezekiel had before him, and had quoted from, 
those portions of the Pentateuch, the publication 
of which Wellhausen ascribes to the time of Ezra. 
Similarly, Appendix II. furnishes an abstract of the 
summary of Kleinert, giving a general analysis of the 
Pentateuch ; stating its own witness, and that of the 
other parts of the Old Testament, to its composition ; 
the various phases through which recent Pentateuch 
criticism has passed, and the reasons by which it 
is supported ; also an enumeration of the passages 
which are supposed to form what is regarded as 
the latest portion of the Pentateuch ; and, finally, 


an account of some of the modifications which the 
Rabbis found it necessary to introduce in that part 
of the legislation, in order to adapt it to the practical 
requirements of later times, 

After this detailed statement only a brief account 
appears necessary of the general argument followed 
in these Lectures. At the outset, it was felt that 
no good purpose could be served by endeavouring 
once more to follow the line of reasoning which 
previous lecturers had so ably and learnedly traced. 
Besides, the general position taken as to the relation 
between Prophecy and prophecies, between fulfilment 
and prediction, and as to the order in which they 
should be studied, forbade any such attempt on my 
part. On the other hand, I wished, first, to study 
anew, and clearly to define, the points just men- 
tioned, and then to trace the history of the great 
Messianic hope in the Old Testament, through all 
its stages, from its inception in the Paradise-promise 
to the last prophetic announcement by John the 
Baptist. Thus, 'Prophecy and History in relation 
to the Messiah ' was to form the subject of the 
course. In pursuance .of this, the first Lecture 
is intended to indicate the general ground taken 
up ; tracing the origin of Christianity to the teach- 

PREFACE. xvii 

ing of the Old Testament, and showing that the 
great Messianic hope, of which Jesus presented the 
realisation, could not have originated in His time, 
nor close to it, nor yet in the centuries which had 
elapsed since the return from the Exile. Lecture II. 
carries the argument a step further, by showing that 
4 the Kingdom of God ' had been the leading idea 
throughout the whole Old Testament. At the same 
time, the form in which prophecy of old was pre- 
sented to successive generations, and the relation 
between prophecy and fulfilment, are discussed, while 
the character of prophetism is defined, and the 
development of heathenism by the side of Israel, 
and the ideal destiny of the latter, are traced. In a 
Note appended to Lecture IE. the ordinary interpre- 
tation of Genesis xii. 3 is defended against the 
criticism of Professor Kuenen. Lecture HI. esta- 
blishes the position, that the ISFew Testament presents 
Christ as the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy, 
by showing that this is borne out by unquestioned 
Christian, and by most important Jewish and hea- 
then testimony (the Eabbis, Josephus, Pliny). Lec- 
ture IV. defines and lays down some fundamental 
principles in regard to ' prophecy ' and ' fulfilment,' 

and discusses certain special prophecies. It also 


xviii PREFACE. 

explains the Biblical terms applied to the prophets, 
and the functions of 'the sons of the prophets ; ' 
and, lastly, refers to some prophecies in the New 
Testament Lecture Y. distinguishes between pro- 
phetism and heathen divination ; exhibits the moral 
element in prophecy ; and discusses the value of the 
two canons which the Old Testament furnishes for 
distinguishing the true from the false prophet. Lec- 
ture VI. treats both of the progressive character 
of prophecy, and of the spiritual element in it, and 
shows how both prophecy and the Old Testament 
as a whole point beyond themselves to a spiritual 
fulfilment in the Kingdom of God marking also the 
development dnring the different stages of the his- 
tory of Israel, to the fulfilment in Christ. Lectures 
YII. and YIIL are devoted to a defence of the views 
previously set forth concerning the Old Testament, 
and contain an examination of recent negative criti- 
cism, in regard to the Pentateuch and the historical 
books. Lecture IX. resumes the history of the 
Messianic idea. It discusses the general character 
of the post-exilian literature, and gives an analysis 
of the Apocrypha and of their teaching, of the new 
Hellenist direction, and of the bearing of ah 1 on the 
Messianic hope. A doctrinal and critical comparison 


is also made between the Apocrypha and the Old 
Testament, and the points of difference are marked 
and explained. Li Lecture X. the various movements 
of Jewish national life are traced in their bearing 
on the Messianic idea especially the ' Nationalist ' 
movement, of which, in a certain sense, the so- 
called Pseudepigraphic writings may be regarded 
as the religious literature. Lecture XI. gives an 
account and analysis of these Pseudepigraphic writ- 
ings, marking especially their teaching concerning 
the Messiah and Messianic times. Lastly, Lecture- 
"XTT. sets forth the last stage in Messianic prophecy 
the mission and preaching of John the Baptist, and 
the fahihnent of all prophecy in Jesus the Messiah 

To this analysis of the general argument, little of 
a personal character requires to be added. The liter- 
ature of the subject has been sufficiently indicated 
in the foot-notes ; it is not so large as to have made 
a special enumeration necessary at the beginning 
of this Yolume. For obvious reasons I have, so far 
as possible, avoided all reference to living English 
writers, whether on one or the other side of the 
questions treated Lastly as regards the manner 
in which the subject has been treated in this book, 
every writer must be fully conscious, and, where the 


highest truth is concerned, painfully sensiblej ol 
shortcomings in his attempt to realise the ideal 
which he had set before himself. In the present 
instance there were special difficulties- first, as 
already stated, from the form of these Lectures, and 
the space to which they were necessarily confined, 
which prevented that more full discussion which, in 
some parts, I could have desired. Besides this, I must 
mention at least one other disadvantage under which 
I laboured. From the circumstance that this course 
of Lectures not only extended over four years, but 
that the Lectures in each year had to be delivered 
at periods widely apart, occasional repetitions of the 
argument could not be avoided. 

That the statement and defence of views so 
widely differing from what may be described as the 
current of modern criticism, may call forth strong, 
perhaps even violent, contradiction, I must be pre- 
pared to find. This only will I say, that, within the. 
conditions prescribed by this course, I have earnestly 
sought to set forth what I believe to be the truth of 
Revelation concerning Jesus the Messiah, as the ful- 
filment of Old Testament prophecy, and the hope of 
Israel in all ages. To Him I would now commend 
this volume on its way to its unknown readers. As 


the motto for it I would fain choose the opening 
sentence with which the first Gospel introduces the 
history, and on which it grounds the Messianic 
claims, of Jesus : .BijSXos yevecrecus 'Irjcrov Xptcrrou, 
viov Ja/3tS, viov 'A/Spadf*. And as my concluding 
words, I would transcribe these of the Yenerable 
Bede: 'Si autem Moyses et prophetae de Ohristo 
locuti sunt, et eum per passionem in gloriam in- 
traturum prsedixerunt, quomodo gloriatur se esse 
Christianum, qui neque qualiter Scripture ad Chris- 
tum pertineant, investigat ; neque ad gloriarn, quam 
cum Ohristo habere cupit, per passionem attingere 



January 6, 1885. 



MENT f I 1 





THE KINGDOM op GOD ..... 160 

mm ITS EESULTS , , , 191 







AND MESSIANIC TIMES . . . . . 337 


us CHRIST . . . 853 




Jbr 0be more Oemanlo) 'PrieeWtoder,* 





What think ye of the Christ ? Whose Son is He ? 

ST. MATT. xxii. 43. 

IT requires little consideration to convince us that 
the question which we propose to discuss in the 
present course of Lectures, is, from the religious 
point of view, of supreme interest and importance. 
In truth, it concerns no less than the very origin of 
Christianity. Passing "beyond the modifications and 
development which contact with the varied culture 
of many nations or outward events have effected in 
the course of these eighteen centuries ; passing also 
through the obscurity around the early age of Chris- 
tianity, due to insufficient or inexact records, we can 
happily reach clearer light. We know the period of 
the rise of Christianity, and, as it seems to me, we 
can better understand its connection with that which 
preceded its birth than with that which followed it, 



and surrounded its infancy. Accordingly, it is in tHs 
manner that we here propose to study its origin : 
inquiring into its connection with that which had 
gone before, and of which it is the outcome, rather 
than treading our uncertain steps through the intri- 
cate mazes of often dubious tradition and apparently 
conflicting evidence up to the circumstances of its 
birth. . Thus, the great question before us is this : 
Christianity, whence is it ? The answer will in mea- 
sure also decide that other : Christianity, what is it, 
divine or human ; a revelation from heaven, or the 
outcome of determining circumstances ? And its 
issue: is it the Church Universal, or only a new 
school of thought? 

The difference to which we have referred as 
regards the mode of conducting our inquiry into the 
origin of Christianity, is the necessary sequence of 
the standpoint which we occupy in it, and connected 
with the results which we have in view. From 
earnest times the historical Church has traced its 
origin to that which had preceded it. Accordingly 
it has declared that Christianity was not indeed the 
counterpart, but the unfolding and the fulfilment of 
the Old Testament, and it has claimed that the 
Church was the true Israel of God. It has regarded 
the whole history of Israel as big with the promise 
of the world's salvation, and its institutions and pro- 
mises as pointing to the establishment of a universal 


kingdom of God upon earth by means of the Messiah. 
Hence it has set forth, in no hesitating language, that 
there is unity, continuity, and progress in the teaching 
of the Old Testament, and that all in it is prophetic 3 
of the Christ. As against this view, which admit- 
tedly is both grand in its conception and logically 
consistent in its application, a certain school of 
modern criticism has followed a different mode of 
inquiry into the origin of the Church, and reached 
almost opposite results. Seeking to track the stream 
upwards, it has been declared that Christianity, as 
at present we know it, has been shaped by the cir- 
cumstances, the people, and the culture with which 
on its introduction it was brought into contact ; that 
its origins were very simple, and due to natural, local 
and temporary causes ; in fact, that it is the result of a 
gradual accretion of different elements, all historically 
explicable, around a small and not very important 
nucleus of facts. 

The theory just indicated has, it must be con- 
fessed, many attractions. It promises to destroy or 
supersede the miraculous by tracing to the operation 
of ordinary causes what otherwise would seem due 
to direct Divine agency, finding for it what is called 
' a rational explanation,' that is, one level with our 
ordinary perceptions. And the contention is the 

1 I am here using the term in the ordinary sense, not in that which 
will be explained in the sequel. 

B 2 


more important since the Church view of the origin 
of Christianity implies, if correct, also unquestionable 
inferences about the Divine character of the Old 
Testament. Moreover, the new view is in seeming 
accordance with the general spirit of modern inves- 
tigation, which everywhere discards preconceived 
purpose and unity of design, and explains that 
which is by the gradual operation of inherent 
forces, adapting themselves under the influence of 
surrounding circumstances. Lastly, it has the ad- 
vantage of being set forth by writers not only of 
acknowledged learning, but of exceeding skill in 
pleading their case. By the weight of their autho- 
rity, they too often set forth as undoubted results 
of critical research what others, even of their own 
school, have called in question, and which therefore, 
on any theory, cannot be grounded on indubitable 
or even clear evidence. Still more frequently, wide- 
reaching conclusions have been reared on what, after 
all, is a very narrow basis of facts ; most weighty con- 
siderations on the other side being either overlooked 
or ignored. In this manner it has become possible to 
construct a wholly new theory of the genesis of the 
Old and New Testament which presents the attrac- 
tion of unity and consistency, is capable of re- 
moving all difficulties, whether real or suggested, 
and, in fact, is devised to meet them. But strange as 
it may seem, it is this very facility of explaining and 


arranging everything which awakens our doubt and 
suspicion. In real life things do not move in precisely 
straight or rectangular lines, nor yet with the order 
and regularity of a tale. Many and varied influences 
are always at work, and the theory which professes 
precisely to fit, and exactly to explain, all phenomena 
though they had to be reconstructed for the purpose, 
resembles rather the invention of a speculator than 
the observed course of history. 1 

Happily we shall avoid in our present inquiry all 
speculation, whether critical or metaphysical, seeking 
to answer what in the first place is an historical ques- 
tion by means of historical investigation. As a pre- 
liminary step, we purpose in the present Lecture to 
make it clear that the New Testament really points 
back to the Old. To put it more precisely : we hold 
that Christianity in its origin appealed to an existing 
state of expectancy, which was the outcome of a 
previous development ; and further, that those ideas 
and hopes of which it professed to be the fulfilment 
had not first sprung up in the immediately preceding 
period that is, in the centuries between the return 
from the Babylonish exile and the Birth of Christ 

1 It is exceedingly interesting to me to find that a distinguished critic 
belonging to a very different school (Professor Noldeke) has similarly 
expressed his objection to the new arrangement of the Pentateuch, proposed 
by Wellhausen. He denies any ' development along- a straight line.' 
(' In der gesetzlichen Litteratur ist keine geradlinige Entwickelung zu 
erkennen.') Oomp. Herzog, Real-Encyld., 2nd edition, vol. xi. p. 444.. 


but stretched back through the whole course of 
Old Testament teaching. 

If we were to view the introduction of Christianity 
into Palestine, and its spread throughout the heathen 
world, as an isolated fact, it would seem simply and 
absolutely inexplicable. For it cannot be conceived 
that One should have arisen and claimed to be the 
Messiah ; appealed in confirmation to Moses and the 
prophets ; professed to institute a kingdom of God 
upon earth ; and in so doing gained the ear of the 
multitude and gathered devoted disciples ; that, more- 
over, the temporal and spiritual rulers of Israel should 
have entered into controversy with Him, not as to 
the foundation, but merely as to the justice of His 
claims : and yet that all this should have represented 
an entirely new movement. "We would at least have 
expected some reference to this circumstance. In 
thus describing in general outline what Christ pro- 
fessed, did, and experienced, I am not asserting what 
even the most negative criticism will deny. For even 
if we were to eliminate from our Synoptic Gospels any 
part that is called in 'question by the most extreme 
criticism, and banish the fourth Gospel to the end of 
the second century, regarding it as a tissue of eccle- 
siastical symbolism sufficient would still remain to 
establish this position, that Christ professed to be the 
Old Testament Messiah and to bring the Kingdom of 
God ; that He gathered adherents ; and that the justice 


of His claims was resisted by the Jewish authorities ; 
while at the same time the fact of a Messiahship, and 
the expectation of a Kingdom of God, were never 
called in question. I am warranted in going a 
step farther and saying, that the unquestioned 
facts in the Gospel history not only imply the ex- 
istence of Messianic ideas and expectations, but their 
depth and intenseness. Only such a state of feeling 
could explain how One Who taught such evidently 
unwelcome doctrine was so widely listened to and 
followed. And the argument as to this Messianic ex- 
pectancy at the time would only become stronger in 
measure as we denied the claims of Jesus. For, if 
even the minimum of such ideas had been a novelty 
if no Messianic expectations existed at the time^ 
surely the maximum as formulated by Jesus, and so 
opposed to Jewish prejudices, could never have been 

All this seems almost self-evident. Yet, to make 
sure of our position, let me here remind you of what 
may be termed the most superficial, as certainly they 
are the least questionable, facts in the Gospel history. 
Surely, the crowds which from all parts of the 
country, and from all classes of society, flocked to 
the preparatory preaching of the Baptist, and sub- 
mitted to the rite which he introduced, as not only 
the New Testament but Josephus attests, at least 
indicate that the proclamation of the Ejngddm of 


God had wakened an echo throughout the land. 
And again, as we watch the multitudes which every- 
where followed the preaching of Jesus ; remember 
how they would fain have proclaimed Him King ; 
and how even at the close of His ministry they greeted 
Him with Hosannas at His entry into Jerusalem, 
and this in face of the danger threatening .them in 
such a movement from the presence of one so anti- 
Jewish and so suspicious as Pilate, we cannot but 
feel convinced not only of the existence, but of the 
intenseness, of the Messianic hope among the people 
at large. 

It is, indeed, true that all such ideas and hopes are 
influenced, at least in their intensity and expression, 
by the circumstances of the time. They gain in 
depth and earnestness in proportion to the national 
abasement and suffering. Never did the Messianic 
hopes of the inspired Prophets rise higher; never 
was their faith wider in its range, or brighter in its 
glow ; never their utterance of it more passionately 
assured, than when Israel had sunk to the lowest 
stage of outward depression. Because the conviction 
of the prophets and of Israel was so unshakably 
firm as regarded the glorious future, therefore it was 
that in such times they most deeply felt and most 
earnestly expressed the need of fleeing into the strong 
refuge of a certain future, the realising expectancy 
of which put a song into their mouth in the night 


time. So also was it in the long centuries of dis- 
appointment, and of apparently increasing unlikeli- 
hood that the Hope of Israel should ever become a 
Beality, that the Apocalyptic visions of the Pseudepi- 
graphic writers gained in vividness and realism of 
colouring. Similarly, the most pathetically expectant 
elegies of mediaeval Eabbinism date from the times 


of persecution. In truth it scarcely seems exaggera- 
tion to say, that throughout the history of Israel we 
can trace the times of bitterest sorrows by their 
brightest Messianic expectations, as if that golden 
harvest waved richest where the ploughshare had 
drawn the furrows deepest, and the precious seed 
been watered by blood and tears. And so the 
Talmud connects the coming of the Messiah with 
the time of bitterest woes, when Galilee would 
be laid waste, and the very mangers turned into 
coffins, when war and famine had desolated the 
land, and all righteousness and truth disappeared. 1 
Similarly, the mystic Midrash 2 sees in the dove 
in the clefts of the rocks, to whom comes the 
call, * Let me hear thy voice,' a picture of Israel as, 
fleeing before the hawk, it descries, in the rock- 
cleft, a serpent, and in agony of fear and distress 
beats its wings and raises piteous cries, which presently 
bring it the help and deliverance of its Lord. But 
this intensification of the Messianic hope in times 

1 Sanh 97 o. z On Cant. ii. 14. 


when national glory seemed farthest removed, is only 
another evidence of the universality and depth of 
the Messianic hope. And if final proof were re- 
quired of its existence, it is surely to be found in 
the circumstance that such hopes were independent of 
Jesus of Nazareth ; that they equally attached them- 
selves to false Messiahs, of whom not less than about 
sixty are mentioned, and who, despite the absurdity 
of their pretensions, carried after them such large 
numbers of the people ; and, in the case of so clumsy 
an impostor as Bar Kokhba, even some of the lead- 
ing Kabbis, kindling fanaticism to the extent of a 
conflict which severely tasked the resources of im- 
perial Eome. Nay, is it not so that this hope has 
survived eighteen centuries, not only of bitter perse- 
cution, but of chilling disappointment ? Though dis- 
owned by the nerveless rationalism of modern Jews, 
it kindles up in every service of the Synagogue ; it 
flings its many-coloured light over every product of 
Eabbinic literature ; and as year by year each family 
of the banished gathers around the Paschal table, 
the memorial of Israel's birth-night and first deliver- 
ance, it still rises in the impassioned plaintive cry 
of mingled sorrow and longing which rings into the 
desolate silence of these many centuries : ' This year 
here next year in Jerusalem ! ' 

A hope so wide-reaching, so intense and endur- 
ing cannot, I submit, have been the outcome of one 

1ECT. I. 


particular phase in the history of the people. Its 
roots must have struck far deeper than one period of 
the nation's life ; it must be the innermost meaning 
of their history, the final expression of that long 
course of teaching in the Law and in the Prophets 
which, all unconsciously to themselves, has become 
the very life-blood of Israel's faith. 

But on a point of such importance we are not left 
to general inferences. Even at this preliminary stage 
of our inquiry, we can appeal to unquestionable evi- 
dence that the ideas and hopes which Jesus of Naza- 
reth professed to realise did not arise at His period, 
nor yet close to it. More than this, we are prepared 
to show grounds for maintaining that the great Mes- 
sianic expectation did not originate in the period 
between the close of the Old Testament Canon and 
the Birth of Christ. In such case the plain inference 
would be, that it must be traced up to the Old Testa- 
ment itself, in the course of whose teaching we must 
seek its origin, growth, and gradual development. 

In regard to the first point just referred to, it 
may, I think, be fairly argued, that if the idea of the 
Messiah and His kingdom had originated in the period 
of Christ, if indeed it had been new, the teaching of 
Jesus would have either reflected this, at least in its 
main features, or else indicated and vindicated the 
fact and the grounds of divergence from the past. 
In this respect it is most significant, that while Christ. 


so emphatically accentuated the differences between 
His own and the teaching of the Pharisees, as re- 
garded the most important matters of the Law, He 
never referred to any such as subsisting between His 
own and the Messianic ideas of his contemporaries 
at least, in their general conception. On the con- 
trary, all implies that, so far from these Messianic ex- 
pectations first emerging at or near that period, they 
had been long existing, and indeed had lost their 
definiteness in a more vague and general expectancy 
which assumed the colouring of the times. A similar 
inference conies to us from a consideration of the 
preparatory Messianic announcement by the Baptist, 
the questions which it elicited, and the indefinite form 
of his answers. It represents a very strong but a 
general expectancy, rather than such definite ex- 
pectations as one would associate with their recent 
origination. On the other hand, it is quite evident 
that Jesus of Nazareth, as He is presented to 
us in the Gospel history, did not meet the special 
form which the Messianic thiriking of His contem- 
poraries had taken, when called upon to assume a 
concrete form in accordance with the general direc- 
tion of the time. For not only did they reject His 
teaching, denounce Him as an impostor, and crucify 
Him as a blasphemer, but even His own disciples 
and followers neither anticipated nor fully understood, 
in many respects even misunderstood, His doctrine, 


were utterly unprepared for His death, and had no 
expectation of His resurrection. In other words, each 
of the three great elements in His history came as a 
surprise upon them. 

Whatever outward agreement may therefore be 
traced between the sayings of Christ and contem- 
porary thought, this at least is quite evident, that He 
did not embody the precise Messianic ideal of His 
time. And here we must observe an important dis- 
tinction. In one sense Jesus Christ certainly was a 
man of His time : He spoke the language of His time, 
and He addressed Himself by word and deed to the 
men, the ideas, and the circumstances of His time. 
Had it been otherwise, He would not have been 
an historical personage, nor could He have been a 
true Christ. The more closely therefore we trace 
the features of His time in His words and actions, in 
the people introduced on the stage of the Gospel 
history, and in the general mise en scene, the more 
clearly do we prove the general historical truthful- 
ness of the narrative that it is true to the time. 
But in another and higher sense Jesus Christ was 
not the man of His time, spake not, acted not, aimed 
not, as they ; and hence the great body of the people 
rejected, denounced, and crucified, while even His 
own so often misunderstood and were surprised by 

What has just been stated naturally leads to the 


last point in our present inquiry. It has been shown 
that the Messianic idea could- not have originated 
in the time of Jesus Christ, nor presumably in that 
immediately preceding. But between the time of 
Jesus Christ and the close of the Old Testament 
Canon or, to avoid controversy, let us say the time 
of Ezra roughly speaking, four and a half centuries 
intervened. Could it be that the great hope of Israel 
had sprung up during any part of the troubled his- 
tory of that period? Without at present entering 
into detailed examination, sufficient reasons can be 
shown to make this the most unlikely hypothesis. 

First. It is impossible, to believe that such a hope 
could have newly sprung up without leaving at least 
some mark of its origin, and some trace of its growth 
in the history and literature of the time. Whatever 
darkness may rest on certain aspects in the develop- 
ment of thought and religion at that period, espe- 
cially at the beginning of it, or on such questions as 
the institution of the so-called ' Great Synagogue,' 
or the influence and development of the new direc- 
tion of external legalism, or of the national and anti- 
Grecian party, yet all these tendencies are marked 
in the history and literature of that period. And it 
seems unthinkable that the one great, the all-domi- 
nant idea in the religion of Israel, the hope of a 
Jewish Messiah-King, who would bear rule over a 


world converted to God, should have originated with- 
out one trace of its birth and gradual development. 
But as a matter of fact there is not in the history, nor 
yet in the literature of that period any appearance 
of a small commencement, a growth, or a gradual 
development of the Messianic idea, such as would be 
requisite on the theory in question. On the other 
hand, it deserves special notice that such a develop- 
ment is very clearly traceable throughout the Canon 
of the Old Testament, and that pari passu with the 
progress of Israel's history. It is needless to say 
that this tells its own most important lesson, both 
as regards the internal unity of the Old Testa- 
ment and the origin and development of the Mes- 
sianic idea. But at present we are only so far 
concerned with it as to mark that no such pro- 
gression appears either in Apocryphal, Pseudepi- 
graphic, Alexandrian, or Eabbinic literature, In 
some respects, indeed, there is retrogression rather 
than progression in this matter, and this not only 
in the writings of Philo, where the Messianic idea is, 
so to speak, sublimated into generalities, but in the 
Apocrypha, where it is only obscurely referred to. 
But alike in the one case and in the other, not only 
is its existence implied, but a previous fuller deve- 
lopment of it. 

As regards Eabbinic literature, it is universally 
known that any references to the great Messianic 


hope of Israel occurring in its pages appear in the 
most developed form. The only question, therefore, 
can be in reference to that special kind of literature 
which bears the name of Pseudepigraphic "Writings/ 
and which may in general be described as Apoca- 
lyptic in character. Naturally we expect to find the 
Messianic hope most fully expressed in such works. 
But although we mark variety and addition of detail 
in the various books, there is no trace of any develop- 
ment in the underlying conception of the Messiah 
and His kingdom. As a crucial instance we may 
here refer to the Book of Daniel, the authorship and 
date of which are in controversy. According to the 
testimony of the Church, the Book of Daniel or at 
least the greater portion of it dates from the time 
of the Exile ; according to a large section of modern 
critics, from about that of Antiochus Epiphanes 
(175-164 B.C.). In the one case it would belong to 
the Biblical, in the other to the Pseudepigraphic 
writings. We have our own decided convictions ^on 
this point. But for the present argument it mat- 
ters not which of the two views is the correct one. 
Clearly in the Book of Daniel we have the idea of 
the Messiah and His kingdom in its full development. 

1 The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, in contradistinction to the Apo- 
crypha, are a series of spurious writings mostly professing to be derived 
from Old Testament personages or else dealing with Old Testament events, 
"but all of them Apocalyptic, though in varying measure, and "bearing 
distinctly, though in different degree, on the Messianic Kingdom. For 
their fuller characterisation and enumeration, see Lecture X. 


If the Book of Daniel belongs to the Canon, then the 
idea must have existed fully developed in Biblical 
times ; if, on the contrary, it should be regarded as 
the earliest of the Pseudepigraphic writings, it affords 
undoubted evidence that the Messianic idea did not 
gradually develop, but existed in its fullest form in 
the earliest literary monument of that class. But we 
can go back farther than this. For, 

Secondly. If the Messianic hope had sprung up 
during or immediately after the exile, we should 
scarcely have expected it to cluster round the House 
of David, nor to centre in the ' Son of David.' 
For nothing is more marked than the decadence 
and almost disappearance of the House of David 


1 in that period. A national hope of this kind 
I could scarcely have sprung up when the royalty 
of David was not only matter of the past, but 
when its restoration was comparatively so little 
thought of or desired, that the descendants of the 
Davidic house seem in great measure to have become 
lost in the mass of the people. And the argument 
becomes all the stronger as we notice how, with the 
lapse of time, the Davidic line became increasingly an 
historical remembrance or a theological idea, rather 
than a present power or reality. Throughout the 
Old Testament Davidic descent is always the most 
prominent element in all Messianic pictures, while 
in later writings it recedes into the background, as 



-somethiiiag in the long past which must be brought 
{forth anew. In this respect, also, it is characteristic 
that the name ' Son of David ' was the most distinc- 
tive title claimed by, and given to Jesus, while in the 
<case of all spurious Messianic movements this occupied 
only a subordinate, if any, place. 

Thirdly. We may press the argument yet one 
step farther, and express a strong doubt whether, 
if this hope had originated in the post-exilian period, 
it would have connected itself with any distinctly 
monarchic aspirations. The general genius of Judaism 
is against it, and throughout the whole post-exilian 
history and literature there is certainly not a trace 
of any wish for the restoration of the old, or the 
establishment of any new monarchy. This silence 
is of itself significant. On the other hand, we have 
on at least three critical occasions in the time of 
Pompey, during the governorship of Gabinius 
(about 66 B.C.), and after the death of Herod the 
distinct expression of objections to monarchical rule 
and of preference for an oligarchy as conformable to 
ancient traditions. 1 And if it be supposed that such 
objections mainly applied to the Herodian house, the 
attentive student of that period cannot fail to observe 
that the rapid change of public opinion in regard to 
the Maccabees from that of unbounded popular en- 
thusiasm to the extreme of general hatred may be 

1 Jos. Ant. xiv. 3. 2 ; comp. xiv, 5. 4 ; War, ii. 6. 2. 



dated from their permanent assumption of the royal 
along with the high-priestly dignity. But, be this 
as it may, the Davidic house and royalty at any rate 
may be said to have disappeared from the horizon of 
practical politics. 

It were, indeed, an interesting speculation for 
which the elements are not wholly wanting, to inquire 
to what kind of personality the Messianic hope 
would have attached itself if it had first originated 
in the post-exilian period. Certainly not to a 
scion of the Davidic house, probably not to any 
king. The Messiah would have been a conqueror. 
This was a political necessity, and in accordance 
with national thought and ambition, not to speak 
of the hope of the realisation of a grand contrast 
between Israel's past and their future. The Messiah 
would certainly have been a proud and avenging 
conqueror, whose rule of the conquered would have 
been anything but that of peace, liberty, and happi- 
ness to them. But he would have been a conqueror 
with whose administration the office of a Chief Eabbi 
would have strangely blended. He would have been 
first a Eabbi, then a conqueror, and then again a 
Eabbi ; or his conquests would have been dictated and 
shaped by the requirements of Eabbinisrn, and applied 
and utilised in its service. 

We remember that, according to the latest theory 
which, at least for the present, finds most favour 



on the Continent, if not among ourselves, the largest 
and most important part of the Pentateuch, embra- 
cing, roughly speaking, the sections from Ex. xxv. to 
Numb, xxxvi., dates from after the Babylonish exile. 
As containing the great body of the ritual laws and 
ceremonial observances, it is called the ' Priest- 
Codex,' and it is supposed to have been introduced by 
the influence of the priesthood, and to mark in many 
respects an entirely new departure in, and transforma- 
tion of, the old Israelitish religion. 1 If the priesthood 
had such power as to bring in a wholly new document, 
which initiated a new direction, and if they could 
gain for it the recognition, ever afterwards unques- 
tioned, of forming the fundamental part of the ancient 
legislation and religion of Israel a supposition suf- 
ficiently exacting, and which would seem to require 
the weightiest proofs we are surely warranted in 
expecting that some mark of this tendency should 
have appeared in that Messianic idea which formed 
the great hope of the people, if it had originated at 
that time. If they were able to transform the past 
in the interest of the present, would they not have 
exercised the same influence as regards the future ? 

But here, as on so many other points, the theory 
in question signally fails. The priestly element, which 
is said to have transformed the Pentateuch legislation, 
does not appear as in any way connected with the ideal 

1 The Pentateuch question is discussed in subsequent Lectures. 



goal of Israel except from the Christian, theological 
point of view of the ideal Priesthood of Christ. This, 
surely, is a very strange phenomenon which demands 
an explanation, whatever view may be taken of the 
origin of the Messianic idea. If it originated in 
strictly Old Testament times, those who could intro- 
duce the Priest-Codex into the Mosaic legislation 
would have had no difficulty in finding a place for 
the expression of their views in connection with the 
grand hope of Israel's religion ; and if it originated 
in the exilian or immediately post-exilian period, these 
views could scarcely have failed to impress themselves 
upon it. 

But, truth to say, this is only one of the historical 
difficulties of the theory about the late origin of the 
Priest-Codex. The great objection to it is, that, 
while it explains certain phenomena in the past reli- 
gious history of Israel at least, as these are presented 
by the advocates of the theory it not only leaves 
unaccounted for, but seems inconsistent with, the 
whole subsequent religious development. And the 
more carefully the grounds are examined in detail on 
which the late origin of the ' Priest-Codex ' is inferred, 
the more incompatible with the undoubted facts of 
the subsequent history will the conclusions be found. 
Not the origin of the idea of an exclusive central 
place of worship, but the institution of synagogues 
everywhere ; not drawing together ^ but expansion, 


and provision for the ' dispersed,' who not only were, 
but, it must have been felt, would remain at any 
rate, to Messianic times the majority of the people; 
not privileges and rights for the priesthood, whom 
the whole history shows to have been as an order an 
uninfluential minority, shorn even of some of its 
ancient prerogatives in short, -not Sacerdotalism but 
Rabbinism : such was the outcome of the exilian and 
post-exilian period. And although this transforma- 
tion was in the first place necessarily carried out by 
the priests and Levites, there can be no doubt that, 
even in the case of Ezra, the title ' priest ' falls into 
the background behind that of ' scribe,' 1 and that his 
activity and tendency have been rightly indicated 
when he is designated as ' the father of all the Mishnic 
doctors.' 2 

But, here we return from our digression: Kab- 
binism, which is the true outcome of the post-exilian 
period, is, in its inmost tendency, not only anti- 
monarchical and anti-sacerdotal, but, strange as it 
may sound, even anti-Messianic. The Eabbis found 
Messianism,just as they found the Aaronic priesthood 
and sacrifices ; and they adopted it. They were 
patriotic and imaginative, and their Haggadists, 
preachers, and mystics elaborated the idea with every 
detail which legend, an unrestrained Eastern fancy, 
or national pride, could suggest. But when we pass 

1 Ezra vii.; Net. viii. 8 Otho, Lex, Rabb., p, 173. 


beneath the surface, we find that Babbinism does not 
well know what to make of this doctrine ; that it is a 
foreign element in it, which may be added to, but will 
not amalgamate with, the system. The latter is a hard 
and dry logical development of the Law to its utmost 
sequences. Beyond the four corners of its reason- 
ing, Babbinism acknowledges no authority whatever, 
on earth be it priestly or royal or in heaven. 
And when Babbi Eliezer appealed, and that success- 
fully, in favour of his doctrines to the Voice from 
Heaven (the so-called Bath Qol\ the assembled Babbis 
were not silenced by it, but declared that, since the 
Law had been given on Mount Sinai, it was 'not 
in heaven ;' 1 to which, therefore, no appeal could be 
made. Apart from its somewhat profane witticism, 
this answer meant that there was finality about the 
Law as interpreted by the Babbis by which even the 
Almighty Himself was bound. 

It certainly affords evidence, were such needed, 
that Babbinism recognised no authority, not even 
that of an audible voice from heaven, outside its own 
hard and dry logic. The only place which the Mes- 
sianic doctrine could hold in such a system was, that 
it furnished hope of a temporal deliverance, or even 
of the national supremacy of Israel, which would 
make Babbinism dominant ; or else that it opened 
the prospect of a new law. And this essential anta- 


* Deut. xxx. 12. 


gonism between the Messianic idea as embodied by 
Christ, and Eabbinism, explains the life and death 
contest which from His first manifestation ensued 
between Jesus of Nazareth and the leaders of His 

Briefly to sum up the conclusions to which the 
foregoing reasoning points : Christianity in its origin 
appealed to a great Messianic expectancy, the source 
and spring of which must be sought not in the post- 
exilian period, but is found in the Old Testament 
itself. The whole Old Testament is prophetic. Its 
special predictions form only a part, although an 
organic part, of the prophetic Scriptures ; and all pro- 
phecy points to the Kingdom of God and to the Mes- 
siah as its King. The narrow boundaries of Judah and 
Israel were to be enlarged so as to embrace all men, 
and one King would reign in righteousness over a 
ransomed world that would offer to Him its homage 
of praise and service. All that had marred the moral 
harmony of earth would be removed ; the universal 
Fatherhood of Grod would become the birthright of 
redeemed, pardoned, regenerated humanity ; and all 
this blessing would centre in, and flow from, the 
Person of the Messiah. 

Such at least is the promise of the Old Testament 
which the New Testament declares to have been ful- 
filled in Christ Jesus. And if it were not so, then 
surely can it 'never more be fulfilled. Eor not even 


the most fanatic Jew would venture to assert, that 
out of the Synagogue could now come to our world 
a King reigning in righteousness, a Son of David, a 
Branch of Jesse ; and that the present Synagogue 
would so enlarge itself as to embrace in its bosom all 
nations of the earth. And thus, unless the old hope 
of the kingdom has been realised in Christianity, it 
can never be realised at all. Then also is the Old 

Testament itself false in its inmost principle, and false 
the hope of humanity which it bears. 

Or otherwise, if it be maintained that ours is not 
the true meaning of these prophecies, but that they 
pointed to a great Jewish King and a great Israel- 
itish kingdom, to which all nations were to become 
subject then, in such case, the Old Testament that 
is, if we take it as seriously meaning what it says 
could not be of (rod. If it had only nattered Jewish 
national pride ; if . it had held out only the wretched 
prospect of a victorious Jewish King, not one in 
righteousness and peace ; if, instead of the universal 
Fatherhood of God in Christ, it had only spoken of the 
universal dominion of Israel over men then would 
it not have brought good news, and be neither Divine 
nor yet true. And so it still is, that the New Testa- 
ment without the Old, and the Old Testament with- 


out the New, is not possible. Novum Testamentum 
in Vetere latet, Veins in Now patet. And so we all feel 
it, when in our Christian services we not only sing 


the Psalter and read the Old Testament, as of present 
application, but speak of Abraham as our fore- 
father.' To compare the colourless, declamatory and 
unspiritual ancient Accadian or Babylonian hyinn- 
ology with the Psalms seems, even from the literary, 
much more from the religious point of view, utterly 
impossible. Conceive our highest spiritual aspira- 
tions and our best services expressing themselves in 
the language of these compositions, or of any possible 
development of them ! No, the Old Testament ele- 
ment could not in this nineteenth century have kept 
its place in our theology and our worship, otherwise 
than by an inherent fitness ; because the New Testa- 
ment is the organic development and completion of 
the Old. 

And on this Advent Sunday 1 we realise all this 
anew. In the winter's gloom the leafless trees 
stretch their bared arms towards the coming spring ; 
and as they sway in the winter's storm we seem 
to hear their cry for the new light and the new 
life. So in the world's Advent-time did the leafless 
tree of heathenism stretch its arms, in unconscious 
longing and with tin-understood moaning, towards 
where the Sun of Eighteousness was to rise in the 
Golden East. He has risen, and with healing in His 
wings. Anon it will be Christmas on our earth. 
Heaven's choirs greeted its first coming with pro- 

> This Lecture was delivered on the first Sunday in Advent, 1880. 


phetic jubilee; and, in happy type, did the worship of 
Jewish shepherds and the votive offerings of heathen 
sages mingle their homage with angelic song 'For 
unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given : and 
the government shall be upon his shoulder.' 1 


In connection "with what has been said at pp. 17, 18 about the 
gradual fading out of religious thought as attaching to the Davidic 
line, -we mark the manner in which it is referred to in the 
'Wisdom of the Son of Sirach' (Ecclus.). Generally, its praise 
falls far below that of the Aaronic line. But, specifically, we 
notice that in Ecclus. xlv. 25 we read that the Divine promise to 
David is ' the inheritance of the King from son to son only ' 
(vlov tZ, vlov fiovov), while that of Aaron is ' to his seed ' that is, 
as we understand it: the direct Davidic line having probably 
become extinguished with Zerubbabel, the promise to David is 
now declared to have only applied to his direct line : ' from son to 
son only,' while that to Aaron extended in any line : ' to his seed,' 
generally. (See Geiger in vol. xii. of the Zeitschr. d. deutsch. 
Morgenland. Gesellsch., p. 540). 

1 Is. ix, 6. 




Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, "We have found Him of 
whom Moses in the law, and the prophets 5 did write, Jesus of Nazareth, 
the son of Joseph. ST. JOHN i 45. 

APAET from its intrinsic interest and its connection 
with the narrative of which it forms an episode, this 
answer of Philip to Nathanael has an important 
bearing on our present inquiry. It expresses the 
conclusions at which we have arrived in our former 
Lecture, and so shows that we have not misrepre- 
sented the meaning of the New Testament in saying 
that it looked back for its origin to the Old Testament. 
Even in the Fourth Gospel, which a certain school 
of critics regards as anything but a Judaic docu- 
ment, the early disciples present the claims of Jesus 
as of Him, * of whom Moses in the Law, and the 
Prophets did write.' But although the New Testa- 
ment writers, and, as we may now say, the Jewish 
people generally, founded their Messianic expectancy 
on the Old Testament, it is another question whether, 
in so doing, they rightly understood its meaning. 


In other words, does the Old Testament really em- 
body such a hope of a universal spiritual kingdom 
of God upon earth through the Messiah, as the New 
Testament writers, rightly or wrongly, saw fulfilled 
in Jesus of Nazareth ; or is this view of the Old 
Testament only a later gloss put upon it by Chris- 
tianity? This must be the subject of our next 

In one respect we might here content ourselves 
with appealing to the facts established in the prece- 
ding Lecture. Evidently the Messianic hope existed 
at the time of Christ, and that not only among one 
section, party, or school, but among all classes, 
thoroughgoing Sadducees perhaps excepted. We 
might even go farther and assert that the highest 
springs of the great Nationalist movement, which 
finally issued in the war with Rome, lay not so much 
in the aspirations of patriotism and love of indepen- 
dence, as in a misunderstanding and misapplication of 
the Messianic expectancy. And in proof we might 
even appeal to the circumstance that some of the 
disciples of Jesus, notably * Simon the Zealot,' seem 
originally to have belonged to the Nationalist party, 
the focus of which was in" Galilee. But apart from 
this, we have also direct evidence, that not only the 
New Testament writers and later Eabbis, but the people 
generally, traced the Messianic expectation to the 
teaching of the Old Testament. Even so Unscrupu- 


Ions a partisan as Josephus can in this instance be 
cited as a witness on our side, whose testimony is the 
more important for the manifest reluctance and in- 
directness with which, in works intended for Eoman 
readers, he refers to the Messianic hope. I am not 
here thinking of the controverted passage about 
Christ, 1 but of such (among other) allusions to Mes- 
sianic prophecies in the Old Testament, as when 
referring to the predictions of Balaam he infers from 
their partial fulfilment, even in his own time, ' that 
the rest will have their completion in the time to 
come ; ' 2 or when, commenting on Daniel's interpre- 
tation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, 3 he evades giving 
an interpretation of the fate of the fourth kingdom, 
which he evidently identifies with Rome, on the 
ground that he had undertaken to describe the past 
and the present but not the future, for the under- 
standing of whose ' uncertainties,' ' whether they will 
happen or not,' he refers the curious to the Book of 
Daniel itself, which they would find among the sacred 
writings. 4 Evidently, then, there was in the view of 
Josephus, as well as of his contemporaries, a pro- 
phetic future for Israel after the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, and the stone cut out without hands predicted 
to destroy the iron empire of Eome, of which he 
refused to give the interpretation, must have been 

1 In Antiq. xviii. 3. 3. 2 Ant. iv. 6. 5. 

3 Dan. ii. * Ant. x. 10. 4. 


the Messianic kingdom. 1 Thus, there was universal 
Messianic expectancy, and that expectancy was 
traced to Old Testament prophecy. And, recalling 
our previous arguments as to the extreme unlikeli- 
ness of such a hope springing up in the period be- 
tween Ezra and Christ, we might content ourselves 
with challenging those who deny its Old Testament 
origin to point out the period and the circumstances 
of its beginning and development. 

Still, it is at least conceivable, whatever the pre- 
sumption to the contrary, that the whole Jewish 
nation may have been mistaken in their Messianic in- 
terpretation of the Old Testament. Yet we have here 
something beyond an unbroken consensus of Messianic 
interpretation. If the present historical arrangement 
of the Old Testament Canon may be trusted not, 
indeed, in reference to the precise date and author- 
ship of each book (which are here not in question), 
but as regards the general chronological succession 
of the Law and the Prophetic writings it seems almost 
impossible to deny that the Old Testament in its dif- 
ferent parts is organically connected ; and that, as 
previously stated, alike the connecting, the impelling, 
and the final idea of it is that of a universal kingdom 
of God upon earth ; and that this idea unfolds together 

1 For a full discussion of the Messianic allusions in the -writings of 
Josephus, I take leave to refer to my article on ' Josephus ' in Smith and 
Wace's Dictionary of Christian Biography, vol. iii. p. 458. 


with the development of religious knowledge and life 
in Israel. 

The distinction of terms just made is of such 
importance in the argument as to warrant a seeming 
digression. Man's life and understanding develop ; 
God's purpose unfolds. The term ' purpose ' is indeed 
anthropomorphic, and in its strict meaning could 
not be applied to God, 1 since ' purpose ' not only 
implies a reference to the future, but thinking 
of the future with the view of acting upon it in 
a certain definite manner. On the other hand, 
strictly speaking, we cannot associate (either meta- 
physically or theologically) the idea of ' future ' with 
the Divine Being, nor yet such planning as implies 
uncertainty about the future and adaptation to its 
eventualities. If, therefore, we use the term, it is for 
convenience' sake, and with the reservations just 
made. What we know is, that, so far as regards 

1 In the popular use of the term ' purpose/ it is only less objectionable 
than the words ' plan ' and ' scheme ' which are so often applied by 
theologians to the Divine Being. In our A. V. the word ' purpose ' occurs 
in reference to God both in the Old and the New Testament. In the former 
it occurs only in Isaiah and Jeremiah (Num. xiv. 34, margin, is a wrong 
rendering). The equivalents for it in Isaiah are ^y to counsel, or take 
counsel, and -^i to form in this aspect : to form ideally, to predestine, 
of which usus Is. xxii. 11, xxxvii. 26, xliii. 7, xlvi. 11, are instances. In 
Jeremiah the word used is 1SJT! to think, with the solitary exception of 
Jer iv. 28, where it is DOT which has more the meaning of meditating. 
In the New Testament it only occurs in the Pauline writings, where it 
uniformly stands for rrpodea-is (or its verb) in the sense of placing before 
one's self. It seems to me best explained by the expression els OVTO TOVTO 
in Rom. ix. 17. But neither in the Old nor the New Testament does 
it mean what we call ' purpose.' 

ECT. it, THE 


God, all is from the first before Him ; and that, in 
history, it opens up unfolds to man's understand- 
ing, in the course of his development. This may be 
illustrated from the first intimation of the great Old 
Testament hope, the so-called Prot-Evangelion, in 
Genesis iii. 14, 15. The substantial accuracy of our 
translation, 'He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt 
bruise his heel,' stands,! think, firm on critical grounds. 
The rendering advocated by Professor Kuenen, 1 
' This shall lie in wait for thy head, and thou shalt 
lie in wait for his heel,' would, irrespective of linguistic 
considerations, yield such feebleness of meaning as 
almost to transform the pathos of God's final judg- 
ment upon sin into bathos. It does not seem worthy 
of record in what professes to be a Eevelation, nor yet 
accordant with the solemnity of a Divine punitive 
sentence, to decree and declare that in the physical 
contest between man and the serpent the former is 
to aim at the head of the serpent, while the latter 
would, in its stealthy approach, aim at his heel. But 
if the words mean, as the Church has always under- 
stood thein, that there must ever be a great con- 
flict between Humanity and the principle of evil, as 
represented by the Serpent, and that in it Humanity 
will be ultimately victorious, in and through its Ee- 
presentative : crush the head of the Serpent, although 
in this not without damage, hurt, and the poison of 

1 Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, p. 376. 


death -all is changed. In that case the sentence., is 
full of meaning. It sets forth a principle ; it ennobles 
our human nature by representing it as moral ; it 
bears a promise ; it contains a prophecy ; it introduces 
the Golden Age. It is the noblest saying that could 
be given to Humanity, or to individual men, at the 
birth of their history. In it the Bible sets forth at its 
very opening these three great ethical principles, on 
which rests the whole Biblical teaching concerning the 
Messiah and His Kingdom : that man is capable of 
salvation ; that all evil springs from sin, with which 
mortal combat must be waged ; and that there will be 
a final victory over sin through the Eepresentative of 
Humanity. And this first promise does not afterwards 
develop ; it contains initially all that is to be unfolded 
in the course of the fullest development, so that we 
might exclaim, with an ancient writer : ' Here begins 
the book of the wars of the Lord ; ' or with Luther : 
' Here rises the Sun of Consolation.' 

This gradual unrolling in the sight of men, as they 
were able to read it, of what from the first had been 
written on the prophetic scroll accounts for the pecu- 
liar form in which the future is so often presented in 
prophecy. It explains how so many of the predictions 
concerning the kingdom of God are presented under 
a particularistic and national aspect. It was necessary 
alike as regarded the people and the prophets ; and 
it belonged to the Old Testament standpoint, quite as 


much, as its sacrifices, rites, institutions, and ceremonial 
laws. We believe they had a deeper and an eternal 
meaning which at that time and to that people could 
only be set forth in such manner. Similarly, the pre- 
dictive descriptions of the kingdom and the king came 
to Israel in that nationalistic form in which alone they 
could have been intelligibly presented. Zion, Israel 
Moab, or else the then present enemies of the people 
of God, and their conquest, had to them a meaning 
which our later, Christian, ideas could have never 
possessed, and which, indeed, it would have been im- 
possible to convey otherwise than in such form. And 
this also .must be kept in view, that all these pro- 
phecies did historically start from Israel, and that 
those nations did at that time actually represent the 
enemies of the kingdom of God. Nor is it meant that 
all such predictions applied to the kingdom of God. 
Many of them were what is called temporal : that is, 
they applied only to those times and to the circum- 
stances and nations there mentioned. But, just as 
the type is always based on the symbol the appli- 
cation to the future on the meaning in the present 
so are the prophecies of the kingdom presented in: 
the forms of, and with application to, the then present 
And in evidence that this view is not arbitrary, we 
point to the circumstance that so often these pro- 
mises, couched in the particularistic form, alternate 
with, or merge into others where the horizon is tern- 


36 , PROPHECY AND HISTORY. ractt. li. 

porarily enlarged and the application is universalistic. 
This evidences that the world-wide idea of the 
kingdom was present to the mind of Israel as matter 
of faith and hope, even though it would ordinarily be 
clothed in the forms of the time. 

Prom this point of view we perceive the higher 
need of some facts which recent criticism has esta- 
blished, although a certain school has derived from 
them inferences adverse to the prophetic character 
of the Old Testament. First, we perceive that 
generally, though not always, 1 the fulfilment must 
not be expected to correspond literally with the 
prophecy. This was the idea of prophecy enter- 
tained by the old supra-naturalistic school, and was 
strictly connected with its mechanical views of in- 
spiration generally. Were it not for our sincere 
respect for the earnest though ill-directed faith 
which 'prompted these notions, we would seriously 
complain of the misrepresentation of Biblical truth 
which was their consequence, affording an easy vic- 
tory to its opponents. But we object, with good 
reason, that a certain school of critics argues as if 
the view referred to were the only one possible, and 
that it directs all its arguments to disprove what we 
do not, and, in the nature of it, could not hold. It 

1 The chief exceptions are when not a general sketch of, but a special 
feature in the great prophetic future is set before us (such as Mic. v. 1, 
in the A. V. v. 2, or certain parts of Ps. xxii.) In such cases we would 
naturally expect absolute literality. 


is not controversially merely in answer to our oppo- 
nents but positively, as the outcome of the views 
previously explained, that we would formulate these 
principles in regard to *the fulfilment of Messianic 
prophecy -, 1 that prophecy can only be properly under- 


stood from the standpoint of fulfilment ; that prophecy 
always starts from historical data in the then present ; 
and that the fulfilment in each case not only covers 
but is wider than the mere letter of the prophecy 
wider than either the hearers, or perhaps the speaker 
of it, had perceived. All this in a preliminary way 
to be further explained in the sequel. 

Secondly. This view of ' fulfilment ' leads up to 
another point, on which we must enter more fully. 
Here also our opponents have rightly apprehended 
the facts, while they have laid upon us wrongful 
inferences from them. Eor these three things follow 
from the premisses previously stated : that prophecy 
is not predicted history which, indeed, would be a 
quite unworthy view of it ; that prophecy had always 
a present meaning and present lessons to those who 
heard it ; and that, as this meaning unfolded in the 
course of history, it conveyed to each succeeding 
generation something new, bringing to each fresh 
present lessons. Nay, even in its final fulfilment each 
prophecy has lessons to them who have witnessed its 

1 Subject, of course, to the exception mentioned in the previous 
note. ' 


accomplislinient. In short, prophecy cannot be com- 
pressed within the four corners of a fact : it is not 
merely tidings about the future. It is not dead, 
but instinct with undying life, and that life is divine. 
There is a moral aspect in prophecy to all genera- 
tions. Under one aspect of it, it prepares for the 
future, and this is the predictive element of it. 
Under its other aspect it teaches lessons of the pre- 
sent to each generation ; and this is its moral aspect. 
It is therefore not discordant with our belief in 
prophecy, but the reverse, when our attention is 
called to the fact that, as presented in Scripture, 
the Prophets were not merely perhaps not even 
primarily foretellers of future events, but that their 
activity also extended to the then present : that they 
'were reprovers, reformers, instructors. Certainly: 
for they were God's messengers. But from this it 
does not follow that the futuristic element had no 
place in their calling. There is no inconsistency 
between the two. On the contrary, it was the 
underlying view of the future which gave meaning 
and emphasis to their admonitions about the present. 
I am quite aware that I must be prepared to furnish 
a formula which will equally cover, and give unity 
to, these two parts of their activity. My answer is 
that, when the prophet foretells, he presents the 
future in the light of the present ; and, when he 
admonishes or reproves, he presents the present in 


the light of that future wMcli he sees to be surely 
coming. Thus he is always, and in all aspects of it, 
the messenger of God to every generation. 

It will now be perceived what was meant by the 
statement that the kingdom of God was the connect- 
ing, pervading, and impelling idea of the Old Testa- 
ment. On the supposition of the trustworthiness 
of the arrangement of the Old Testament into the 
Law and the Prophets, Divines of all schools have 
traced the unfolding both extensively and inten- 
sively of this idea in the progressive development 
of the history of Israel through its three stages : the 
patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the prophetic. 1 And so 
the history and institutions of Israel would lead up 
to the doctrinal teaching of the New Testament. It 
might, indeed, be objected, that in our view of the 
arrangement of the Old Testament as Law and 
Prophets there was not progression but retrogression, 
since the prophetic writings seem to set forth more 
simple and primitive notions as regards sacrifices 
and ritual ordinances than those which underlie the 
directions and arrangements of the ' Priest-Codex/ 
And it has been argued that this also proves that 
the right order would be : the Prophets and the 
Law, not the reverse, and that the Priest-Codex itself 

1 So it may he said, without enumerating them by all writers. 'But, 
as instances, Oehler (Theologie d. A. Test.) may be mentioned as an in- 
stance on the one side, and Anger (Vorles. u. d, Gesch. d. Mess. Idee), on 
the other side. 


must be of late date. But these are ill-grounded 
inferences. Seeming retrogression may be real pro- 
gression, because correction, where principles had 
been misunderstood, misapplied, or lost from view. 
If two or three thousand years after this, and in the 
absence of historical details of the change, it should 
be argued that, instead of Medievalism and the 
Eeformation, the historical succession should be the 
Eeformation and Medievalism, because, as regarded 
the priesthood, the centralisation of worship, ritual 
ordinances, and the like, the Eeformation marked 
the more simple and primitive, and must therefore 
have preceded Medievalism, the inference would 
be both fallacious and false. May we not say the 
same in regard to this argument for the inversion of 
the order, Law and Prophets ? 

Let us try to mark the unfolding of the great 
idea which the Bible places in its forefront, and 
which, as we have stated, infolds all the religious 
truth that has come to man in the course of his 
development. Closely considered, the primeval pro- 
mise already set before man the outlook on the 
Kingdom of God in its ethical character. And that 
kingdom was not placed on a particularistic or Judaic, 
but on a universalistic basis. From this point of 
view we can observe where the one spring divided, 
and follow the parting streams of Jewish and heathen 
development as they issued from the one source. A 

IECI. ir. 


new meaning here attaches, not only to the fact and 
the response of conscience to the demands of right, 
but also to the (however imperfect or even mis- 
directed) 'striving after the right in the heathen 
world. We can now understand the appeal to the 
evidential force of God's works in nature, and much 
more to that for God in the conscience, as made, not 
only in the well-known passage of St. Paul's Epistle^ 
to the Eomans (ii. 14, 15), but also in the Old Testa- 
ment, as in the sublime appeal to the heathen in 


Is. xl. 21-26, in regard to the works of creation, and 
in that derived from conscience in Ps. xciv. 9, 10 : 
' He that planted the ear, shall He not hear ? 
He that formed the eye, shall He not see? He 
that chastens the nations (viz. inwardly, through 
their consciences), shall He not punish He that 
teacheth man knowledge ? ' The creator of the 
human eye and ear must be the living God, Who 
sees and hears. He Who implanted reason and 
conscience in man is thereby evidenced as the,, 
Rewarder of good and evil, and shall He not eventu- 
ally so manifest Himself? 

It is thus that the Old Testament, starting with a 
universalistic object, can and does make its appeal to 
heathendom, both concerning God and for God. And 
what was the response made both to the first and to 
the second of these appeals ? Only this : In its search 
after God, the ancient world reached, indeed, beyond 

42 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. laser, ir. 

the gods many, and came very near, almost touched, 
the idea of Unity. But this Supreme Unity, to which 
ultimately men and gods were subject, was not a Per- 
sonality, not the Living and True God, our reconciled 
Father but Eate, blind, impersonal, immovable ; and 
in this struggle between Eate and Virtue lay the mys- 
tery, and the misery, and the ultimate self-despair of 
heathenism. Or again, as regarded the second appeal 
of the Old Testament to heathendom that for God 
in the conscience, we recall the despairing expressions 
of a Tacitus, 1 and the idea of a Cicero, 2 that if ever 
the ideal of goodness and virtue, for which Humanity 
had longed, and hitherto with such bitter disappoint- 
ment, were to appear on earth, all men would fall down 
before it in universal homage. We recall it to mark 
the sad contrast of history. Just as the Ideal of Old 
Testament expectation, for which universal Judaism 
in its highest aspirations had longed, came to His 
own, but only to be rejected of them, so did the 
ideal of all goodness and virtue, the One universally- 
admitted perfect Man for whom heathenism in its 
highest aspirations had yearned receive, not uni- 
versal homage, but universal rejection, when Jesus 
was nailed to the cross. 

In truth, the Jewish and Gentile developments are 

1 Annal. iii. 18, iv. 1, xvi. 16. ; JEKst.ilL 72. 

2 Dejinibus Ion. V. 24, 69. Cbmp. Bellinger's Heidenth. u. Judenth. 
p. 732, and, rrenerally, the admirable section pp. 728-734. 


not so far apart as we sometimes imagine. They were 
at one in their beginning, and they are at one in their 
ending. And the course of their development also 
was closely parallel, although in heathenism the issue 
appeared in the negative ; in Judaism, on the other 
hand, in a positive form. But the unconscious cry of 
both was after the life, the Light, the real, the true : 
after moral deliverance and the Kingdom of God. 

Turning from the course of heathen to that of 
Jewish development, we recall the apt observation, 
that the Biblical conception of Eevelation really looks 
back upon the account of the Creation, when our 
world was called into being by the Word, and its life 
imparted by the Spirit of God. This internal connec- 
tion between the Word or Eevelation and Creation 
also implies that in Eevelation we shall find the same 
general order which we observe in the physical 
world especially the law of historical progress that 
is, as we now understand it, progression in history. 
The one underlying idea of Eevelation is, as we have 
seen, the great ethical prospect in that primeval pro- 
mise which the Bible places at its forefront the out- 
look on a universal Kingdom of God. This primeval 
promise and principle alike forms the beginning and 
is the goal ; it is the heading and the summary of 
Eevelation. And it was this foundation-truth which 
unfolded throughout the course of Israel's develop- 
ment in their history, rites, and institutions, as well 


as in tlie more direct communications through the 
Prophets. We can only indicate this here in briefest 

The ideal object of Israel's calling, and hence of 
their history and institutions, seems expressed in the 
first promise to their father Abraham : ' In thee and 
in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be 
blessed.' 1 This promise is so fundamental as to be 
thrice repeated to Abraham 2 ; it is renewed to Isaac 3 ; 
and reiterated to Jacob. 4 If this promise had any real 
Divine meaning, it must have been intended to mark, 
as it were, the planting-ground for the Kingdom of 
God, whence in the fulness of time and of prepara- 
tion it would be transplanted into the heathen world ; 
in other words, the blessings of that kingdom were 
to be imparted through Israel to the world at large. 
There is nothing narrow or particularistic, but a 
grand universalism, even about this earliest presenta- 
tion of the promise in a concrete form. And that 
such was the object and mission of Israel, is clearly 
indicated on the eve of the Sinaitic legislation : ' Ye 
shall be My property from among all nations, for all 

1 The rendering of lliia passage seems sufficiently established. See 
Note at the end of this Lecture. 

2 Gen. xii. 3 ; xviii. 18 ; xxii. 18. This relation of Abraham to the 
world at large seems, as Dr. Bacher rightly infers, implied in the Tal- 
mudic statement (Baba S, p. 91 a), that at the death of Abraham all 
the great ones of the world stood as mourners, and exclaimed : ' Woe to 
the world which has lost its guide ; woe to the ship which has lost its 
helmsman ' (Bacher, Die Agada d. Bab. Amorceer, p. 13). 

3 Gen. xxvi. 4, - . 4 Gen. xxviii, 14, 


the earth is mine ; ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of 
priests and a holy nation.' l As Israel was ideally, so v 
all nations were through their ministry to become 
really the possession of God : a kingdom of priests, a 
holy people ; for all the earth, as well as Israel, was 
God's. And the realisation of this would be the 
kingdom of God on earth. 

All the institutions of Israel were in strict ac- 
cordance with this ideal destiny. Alike the laws, the 
worship, the institutions, and the mission of Israel 
were intended to express these two things : acknow- 
ledgment of God and dependence upon God. Thus 
viewed, the whole might be summed up in this one 
term, which runs through the whole Old Testament : 
' The Servant of Jehovah.' The patriarchs were the 
Servants of the Lord ; Israel was the Servant of the 
Lord ; and their threefold representative institutions 
expressed the same idea. The Priest was to be wholly 
the Servant of the Lord. Hence the smallest trans- 
gression of the ordinances of his calling involved his 
destruction or removal. The King was not to bear 
rule in the manner of heathen princes, but to be the 
Servant of the Lord, in strictest subordination to 
Jehovah. Hence Saul, despite his nobler qualities, was 
really the Antichrist ; and David, despite his grievous 
faults, the typical Christ of Israel's royalty, because of 
his constant acknowledgment of God's kingship. And 

1 Ex, six. 5. 


the Prophet was simply the Servant of the Lord, telling 
nought but God's Word, in such strict adherence to 
the letter of his commission, that its slightest breach 
brought immediate punishment. And the Messiah, 
as summing up in Himself ideal Israel its history, 
institutions, mission, and promises was to be the 
Servant of the Lord. Hence the prophecies which 
most clearly portray Him those of Isaiah might be 
headed by this title: The Book of the Servant of 
Jehovah ; the idea rising, through people, prophet, 
king, even through a foreign instrumental doer of His 
behest, up to Him as the Servant of the Lord, the 
ideal Sufferer by and for the unrighteousness of man, 
the ideal Sacrifice and Priest for his sins, the ideal 
Teacher in his ignorance, Comforter in his sorrow, 
Eestorer in his decay, and Dispenser of all blessing to 
the world at large the Spirit-anointed One, out of 
Whose fulness all were to receive, and Who would 
fulfil all that Israel had meant and prepared. Or, going 
backwards, He was to be the Son of Man, the Second 
Adam, whose victory would restore what sin had 
lost : the true Son of God, God manifest in the flesh. 
This, we believe, the Old Testament meant, and Jesus 
of Nazareth came to fulfil. 

In saying this, I am at least not misrepresenting 
what the Gospels indicate as the meaning of the Old 
Testament, and as that which stood out before the 
Christ as the object of His Mission. I cannot express it 


better than in the language of one who belonged to a 
school of critics from which I widely differ, but whose 
deep insight and spiritual appreciativeness contrast 
markedly with the levity of others of the same direc- 
tion. 'The call of Jesus,' he writes, 1 'points back, 
first to John, and then, much further, into the Old 
Testament. The conception of the Kingdom of God, 
which to our modern consciousness seems somewhat 
obscure ... is one of the fundamental ideas of 
the Old Testament. It was the pride of Israel, riot 
merely because Israel believed in the privileges it 
would confer on themselves, but because alone of 
all nations Israel was capable of believing in the 
possibility of a covenant between heaven and earth, 
between God and man, in a welding of Divine pur- 
poses with the counsels of earth, and in the fact that, 
even within the modest boundaries of a small nation, 
the rule of earthly affairs was not unworthy of God. 
To be sure, this also constituted Israel's sorrow and 
source of suffering in the course of history ; the limit- 
ation not only of its free political and purely human, 
but even of its religious development ; the appointed 
bitter criticism of a Keality which ever fell short and 
ever contradicted the Ideal. But in this very sorrow 
and never-ceasing criticism of earthly lamentation and 
limitation, Israel became the guide and leader in that 
infinite striving which, by believing in and seeking 

1 Keim, Jem von Nazara, ii. pp. 35, 36. 


after the coming Kingdom of God, and by the final 
real Advent of the Messiah upon earth, would and 
did join Idea and Keality the life of God and that 
of man, heaven and earth. The one pervading and 
impelling idea of the Old Testament is the royal reign 
of God on earth. . . . Almost a thousand years before 
Christ rises the longing cry after the future King- 
dom of God a kingdom which is to conquer and to 
win all nations, and to plant in Israel righteousness, 
knowledge, peace, and blessing that Kingdom of God 
in which God, or his Vicegerent, the Messiah, is to 
be King over the whole earth, and all generations are 
to come up and worship the Lord of Hosts.' 

On this only too brief extract I might have been 
content to rest the case. But I must not forget, even 
in this preliminary statement, that, since the eloquent 
words just quoted were written, the study of the Old 
Testament has entered into an entirely new phase at 
any rate so far as its influence on English theological 
thinking is concerned. The critical conclusions ar- 
rived, or at least aimed at, are of the most wide- 
reaching character. As stated in the previous Lecture, 
they have this advantage, that they promise to explain 
every difficulty though to our mind this is anything 
but evidence of their truth ; that they are propounded 
by men of great critical learning, and presented by 
them as the undoubted outcome of the best critical 
research ; and that they are supported by arguments 


which, to those unacquainted with the details of 
the controversy, must appear most specious. While 
reserving for another occasion 1 such answer as 
may be necessary for the general argument of these 
Lectures, I must be allowed, even at this stage, to 
express some general objections. It is not said to 
create a prejudice, but as a matter of fact, that 
critics even of the same school are still in hopeless 
contradiction, not as to minor details, but on such 
primary questions as the authorship of different 
parts of the Pentateuch, or their respective dates, 
on both of which divergent conclusions are advanced 
and with equal certitude. From which, I think, 
we may at least infer that no sure ground has yet 
been reached in regard to them. Further, some of 
the arguments are, almost admittedly, unsatisfactory, 
such as that which would infer the age or com- 
position of certain parts of the Pentateuch from 
linguistic peculiarities. And the conclusion seems, 
at least to me, quite clear that the whole question 
will have to be decided mainly on internal grounds. 
Lastly, the arguments are not unfrequently mixed up 
with such extraordinary speculations as not only to 
weaken the force of the general reasoning, but to 
make us distrustful of the whole direction. 2 

Indeed, primdfade, some of the main conclusions 

1 See Lectures VII. and VIII. and A.ppendix II. 
a For some instances of this, see Lecture VHI. 



propounded by that school of critics seem to involve 
the strongest improbabilities. Most of us are in 
some measure cognisant how books are written. Let 
us compare with this, for example, the account which 
Wellhausen the representative of that school best 
known among us gives of the origin of the Pen- 
tateuch. 1 Truth to say, it is so complicated that 
it would be impossible to compress it in one sentence, 
and so involved as to make it difficult to present it 
in a quite clearly intelligible manner. Suffice it that 
the Pentateuch (or rather Hexateuch) is made up of 
a number of books which themselves have under- 
gone several ' redactions,' and been successively 
incorporated into yet other books, with still other 
' redactions.' Each of these is represented by a 
special letter, indicative of its authorship or cha- 
racteristics. Thus we have sources respectively 
initialed, E, E 2 , J, J 2 , D, JE 2 , PC, and Q, besides the 
final redaction of them all. Some of these have not 
only undergone revisions, but P, for example, is c a 
conglomerate, the work of a whole school ; ' while D 
consists of a centrepiece that had undergone two 
editions, with additions, respectively, before and after 
it. As we try to realise the multiplicity of books not 
consulted, used, or quoted, but incorporated in the 
composition of the Pentateuch ; remember, that of 

1 In his various writings, especially in the Geschichte Israel's, and 
in the article ' Israel' in vol. xiii. of the present edition of the Eneyclop. 


some of these books only small fragments are pre- 
served, and even those in small pieces cunningly 
distributed here and there ; and finally think of the 
various additions they have received, and redactions 
to which they have been subjected the mind be- 
comes bewildered. No other book has ever been 
composed in this manner. It may be as Wellhausen 
says ; but in that case the Pentateuch is certainly, 
from a literary point of view, a unique production. 
We know that in the composition of a work many 
sources may be used and various authorities quoted, 
yet literary history would be searched in vain for 
another patchwork of the kind in which half-a-dozen 
or more books are cut up and pieced together in so 
cunning a manner. Viewed as a purely literary 
question, the story of the Pentateuch, as told by some 
of these critics, is not only unparalleled, but trans- 
parently improbable. 

It need scarcely be said that this post-dating and 
inversion of the Pentateuch has most important se- 
quences. In the first place, it presents the ancient 
religion of Israel as something quite different from 
what we had been formerly led to regard it ; indeed, 
as a form of nature-religion, barbarous, and kindred 
to those of the nations around. And so the most fun- 
damental questions, such as in regard to human sacri- 
fices, the worship of Baal, and other points of the 

B 2 


kind, have to be discussed anew. 1 On the other hand, 
if the previously received order has to be inverted 
and we are henceforth to write, the Prophets and 
the Law if the Pentateuch, viewed as Mosaic legis- 
lation, is, to speak plainly, a deception, we cannot 
wonder if the so-called Prophets are a delusion. I 
do not misrepresent Kuenen when I state this as the 
outcome of the book already referred to, that there 
is no such thing as Prophetisni or Prophets in the 
sense which the Church attaches to these terms ; that 
what are called fulfilled prophecies are simply a mis- 
take ; while unfulfilled prophecies are a delusion. But 
not only was the future towards which the Prophets 
looked a delusion, 2 but their activity in the then 
present did not advance the welfare of the people, 
and Prophetism was alike ignorant of State policy 
and dangerous to the State. These self-appointed 
enthusiasts must, according to the new theory, be 
placed far below the Eoman tribunes of the people. 3 
Their only contribution was an ethical monotheism, 
although, as Professor Kuenen adds, 'Even without 
their aid Polytheism would, perhaps, have made way 
for the recognition and the worship of one only God.' 
And with strange historical boldness, the commence- 
ment of such a reformation is discerned in the 

1 On these points see the recent very interesting tractate by Konig, 
Die Hauptprobleme d. altisr, JReligionsgesch. 

2 Kuenen, u. s., p. 568. 3 Kuenen, u. s.. pp. 587, 588, 


Eoman Empire at the beginning of the Christian era, 
although Kuenen declares it doubtful whether the 
monotheism of the people, not of the philosophers, 
would have been what he calls ' ethical.' 1 

But in cutting away all ground in Old Testament 
prophecy for an expectation of the kingdom, Pro- 
fessor Kuenen's theory surely condemns itself. For, 
as a matter of fact, this expectancy did exist, not 
only in the time of Jesus, but certainly two centuries 
before. And even Kuenen hesitates to accept the 
view of Schultz, that many of the Messianic interpre- 
tations originated among ' the Jews among whom 
the Prophet of Nazareth laboured.' But if so, what 
explanation of them can be offered ? Only this : ' In 
the centuries which preceded the establishment of 
Christianity a new conception of the words of the Pro- 
phets and Psalmists must have been formed, which, 
in distinction from the actual meaning of these men, 
could be called the second sense of Scripture.' 2 Pro- 
bably few persons would call such perversion of the 
real meaning its second sense. But it is surely, a 
strange use of language when Professor Kuenen 
calls this the ' allegorical exegesis,' and adds that 
' allegorical exegesis is the inseparable companion of 
the process of the clarification of religious views ' 3 
Most students would reverse this epigrammatic 

1 Kuenen, u. s. pp. 589, 590. 

2 The words are those of Schultz, but adopted by Kuenen, u. s., 
p. 540. 3 U, s., p. 543. 


generalisation, and characterise such ' allegorical 
exegesis ' as contributing rather to the process of 
darkening than that of ' clarifying ' religious views. 
But the point to which I wish at present to call 
special attention is, that, when challenged to show 
how these Messianic interpretations had originated, 
Professor Kuenen has no better answer to offer than 
the assertion, that a new conception must have been 
formed in the centuries which preceded Christianity. 

It is perhaps well that all the sequences of so 
bold and thoroughgoing a theory should clearly 
appear. And it will afford yet other evidence of the 
internal and inseparable connection between the Old 
and New Testament. Nor has Professor Kuenen 
denied that such did exist, at least, in the mind of 
Christ and His Apostles. But he declares that in this 
they had wholly misunderstood and misinterpreted 
the real and primary meaning of the Old Testament. 
To quote his own words : ' If they [Jesus Christ and 
the Apostles] had continued still to occupy altogether 
th,e standpoint of the old prophets and poets, Jesus 
of Nazareth would not have been accepted as the 
Messiah.' Then must the Synagogue have been right 
in rejecting the claims of Jesus, and in crucifying 
Him as a Deceiver of the people ! 

Surely, this is a startling conclusion. And yet, 
we repeat, it is well that the issue should be so nar- 
rowed, and the real alternative stand out in plain 


NOTE ON GEN. XH. 3. 5 

language. With belief in the Christ as presented in 
the New Testament, the prophetic character of the 
Old Testament is also established; with the rejection 
of prophecy in the Old Testament the claims of Christ, 
as set forth in the New Testament, fall to the ground. 
Which of these shall it be ? Let history decide. 

NOTE ON GEN. xii. 3. 

Professor Kuenen has maintained, in the most unhesitating 
manner, that the usual rendering of this verse is incorrect, and that 
it should read, ' The families of the earth shall bless themselves 
with Abraham,' i.e. ' Shall wish for themselves, or for one another, 
the blessing which Jahveh bestowed upon him.' He grounds this 
interpretation on the fact that, in three out of the five passages in 
which the word occurs, 1 the verb * blessing ' is in the Niphal, 
while in two of the passages 2 it is in the Hithpael. He holds 
that, if it meant 'be blessed,' the Pual form ought to have been 
used. Even if it were so, Kuenen's final inferences would be un- 
warrantable, as appears from the circumstance that so orthodox a 
commentator as Delitzsch holds the same view as to the meaning 
of the verb, and yet firmly retains the Messianic interpretation, 
which indeed rests, not upon the verb, but upon the words ' in 
thee and in thy seed.' Let me try to put this in a clearer light. 
First. Despite the authority of Kuenen, Delitzsch, and others, I 
must still hold the grammatical admissibility of the rendering 
' shall be blessed.' This has been ably vindicated by Professor 
Stanley Leathes in his "Warburton Lectures. 3 It is the rendering 
of the LXX, substantially that of the Targum Onkelos ("]^"n, on 
thy account), and the Jerusalem Targum ("jn'DTl, by thy merit), 

1 Gen. xii. 2, 3 ; xviii. 18 ; xxviii. 13, 15. 
2 Gen. xxii. 16-28 ; xxvi. 3, 4. 3 Pp. 34, 35. 

56 NOTE ON GEN. XH. 3. EECT. ir. 

which certainly cannot be accused of any Christian leaning, as 
well as that of Kimchi, as regards the Niphal form, and among 
modern Jewish writers notably of Kalisch. These authorities may 
at any Vate be taken as evidence of the admissibility of such a 
rendering. Secondly. But the main difficulty of Kuenen's inter- 
pretation lies in this, that he regards the expression ' to bless in ' 
as equivalent to ' bless with anyone,' in the signification ' to wish 
for oneself or for others the blessing which the person in question 
enjoys.' Now this view must be incorrect, if we are to judge of it 
by the instances quoted by Kuenen. In Is. Ixv. 16, Jer. iv. 2, the 
expression is ' blessing themselves in God,' where certainly it cannot 
mean : to wish for oneself the blessing which the person in question 
enjoys, but the blessing which proceeds from a person. In Deut. 
xxix. 18 it cannot of course have the meaning for which Kuenen 
contends. In Ps. lxxii.*17, even if we reject its Messianic appli- 
cation, it cannot possibly mean that all nations ' shall wish for 
themselves the blessing which Solomon enjoyed,' but rather that 
of which Solomon was the medium of communication. All the 
passages, therefore, quoted by Kuenen go against Mm. The ' usual 
meaning of the phrase ' cannot be determined by Gen. xlviii. 20 
(' in thee shall Israel bless '), where the expression is used almost 
figuratively, as appears from the explanation which immediately 
follows, ' Elohim place thee like Ephraim and like Manasseh ; ' 
not, as in our A.Y., ' make thee ' but ' set thee ; ' viz. in the 
same favourable position. Generally, then, it will appear that 
the rendering for which Kuenen contends is, as regards the crucial 
word, ' in thee and in thy seed," inadmissible. Besides, I would 
remark that, if the writer had meant to convey that the nations 
should wish for themselves the blessing which Jehovah bestowed 
on Abraham, he might have chosen a less ambiguous mode of 
expression than this, 'shall bless themselves with Abraham.' 
Lastly. It must be evident that, even if Kuenen were correct in 
explaining ' they shall wish for themselves the blessing which God 
bestowed on Abraham,' it would not by any means prove that this 
blessing refers to outward things, such as either the possession of 

NOTE t>N frm Xit'8,' 67 


the land, or any similar good. It can scarcely be imagined that at 
any later 'period of Israelitish history a writer would have put into 
the mouth of the nations as their highest wish that of sharing 
the outward fortunes of Israel, unless, indeed, he looked forward 
to a prophetic future. But in that case the interpretation would 
be that of a prophetic blessing, or in principle come back upon 
the view for which we have contended. On the linguistic, as well 
as the general critical aspect of the question, compare also the 
interesting remarks of Hoflmann, Schrift-Bew. ii. 1, pp. 103, 
104, fec. 




Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am ? And they said : Some say 
that Thou art John the Baptist ; some Elijah, and others Jeremiah, or 
one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am ? 
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of 
the living God. ST. MATT. xvi. 13-16. 

IT cannot be regarded as a real digression from 
the line of our argument if, before proceeding, we 
guard ourselves against a preliminary objection, since, 
if it were established, our whole reasoning would be 
disposed of. Hitherto we have contended that the 
New Testament in its origin looks back upon the 
Old ; that the one all-pervading idea of the Old 
Testament is, that of the Kingdom of God through 
the Messiah ; and that the Apostles and primitive 
disciples saw the realisation of it in the mission, the 
history, and the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. But 
what if this point were called in question, and 
there be no real ground for believing that the views 
which we impute to them were held by the primitive 
Christians ? And the inquiry into the primitive belief 


of the Church, gains in importance as we remember 
that the primitive records in the Gospels have been 
assailed on many sides : their date and authorship 
have been disputed ; they have been described as 
partly spurious, partly interpolated ; as exaggerated, 
or else coloured by prevailing superstitions ; and as 
designed to foist later ideas upon primitive teaching, 
and to bring professedly apostolic authority to bear 
on existing controversies. Besides, what evidence 
is there outside the four Gospels (or some allusions 
in the Epistles) all of them being in the nature of 
interested witnesses that these supposed facts really 
formed the data on which primitive Christian belief 
rested? It is evident that these questions concern 
the very existence of the citadel to which we have 
been seeking to trace the avenues. 

Some of the points just mentioned lie, indeed, 
outside our present inquiry. Our argument only 
requires us to make sure of the primitive belief of 
.the Church in the facts recorded in the Gospels, and 
on which the conviction was grounded that Jesus of 
Nazareth was the Messiah of Old Testament pro- 
phecy. It does not require us to establish that this 
belief was well founded, nor yet that the facts them- 
selves on which it rested were absolutely and lite- 
rally true. We have at present to deal with the 
authenticity of the Gospel-records only as expressive 
of the primitive faith, not with the grounds on which. 


that faith rested. The latter inquiry is, indeed, of 
the deepest importance, nor would we shrink from 
making it were this the right place for it. 1 But our 
present business is only to show that the primitive 
disciples believed certain facts (whether true or false), 
on the ground of which they regarded Jesus as the 
Messiah. Nor is it even necessary for our argument 
to prove that all that is recorded in the four Gospels 
represents the primitive tradition and belief of the 
Church. This also is a most important question, but 
it forms not the subject of our present inquiry. For 
our purpose it is enough if sufficient is established 
on which to ground the conviction that Jesus was the 
Messiah : sufficient that looked back into the past 
of Old Testament prophecy, and forward into the 
future of New Testament history. 

But even in this narrowed aspect of the question 
an affirmative answer will advance us a long way. It 
will establish the historic continuity of the New with 
the Old Testament ; it will make quite clear what 
the primitive Christians did certainly believe about 
the Christ, why they regarded Jesus as the Messiah, 
and how far their primary belief led them. And 
more than this, and beyond the scope of our present 
argument, it will afford presumptive evidence of the 
reality of the facts on which primitive belief rested. 

1 Perhaps I may be allowed to say that this is a task which I have 
in view, in another Tbook. 


For, if it were proved by the general consensus of 
primitive tradition that certain facts concerning Jesus 
were universally held to have occurred, and that 
certain doctrines were founded on them as inferences 
from these facts, and certain rites introduced as 
memorials of them or, conversely, if certain doc- 
trines or rites can be historically established as 
primitive which look back upon certain Gospel facts 
as their necessary basis then we have such pre- 
sumptive evidence in their favour that it will be 
requisite for negative criticism not only historically 
to prove their incorrectness, but also historically to 
account for this general consensus of belief regarding 
them in the primitive Church, and for the origin of 
the doctrines and rites which were their outcome. 

And here, as already stated, we are not limited 
to the mere historical record of these facts in the 
Gospels or Epistles. We have other, and quite as 
strong, evidence that they formed part of the primi- 
tive faith of the Church in the doctrines and rites 
which demonstrably looked back upon them. If we 
can prove from undoubted and even non-Christian 
testimony that certain doctrines were held and certain 
rites practised, which necessarily refer to certain 
facts recorded in the Gospel-history, we have pro 
tanto confirmation of the reception of these facts 
that is, that they formed part of the primitive belief 
of the Church. We have thus two lines of evidence : 


that from the unquestioned record of primitive tra- 
dition in the Christian writings, and that from the 
unquestionable evidence of the existence of certain 
doctrines and practices in the primitive Church. The 
one will rest on Christian, the other on non-Christian 
documents ; and as regards the latter, it may be found 
sometimes to stretch beyond the evidence of doctrines 
and rites to that of some of the facts recorded in the 

If in the view of some we needlessly narrow the 
evidence in favour of primitive doctrines and rites 
by confining it to non-Christian (Jewish and heathen) 
testimony, there is in the present argument good 
ground for so doing. It is, indeed, not likely that 
those possessing at once sufficient information on the 
subject and calmness of judgment would regard the 
picture of the primitive Church, or rather of the two 
fundamentally dissimilar Churches, which M. Eenan 
has painted in his ' Conferences d'Angleterre,' 1 as a 
portraiture of the original state of matters ; still less, 
that they would accept his views as to the 'post- 
humous ' conciliation of what he calls the Church of 
St. Peter with that of St. Paul the Church of Eome 

1 See especially the second and third ' Conference,' and notably pp. 134, 
etc. I may he allowed here to quote a sentence from a well-known Jewish 
writer which seems to me apposite: 'It is certainly no exaggeration if 
I say that from, one aspect I prefer the orthodox representation of the 
origines of Christianity to that of Renan ' (Joel, Bl. in d. Relig.-Gesch. 
ii. p. 9). He then proceeds to show the self-contradictory character of 
some of Renan's views. 


with that of Jerusalem and of their union, which 
the ' Book of Acts ' is supposed, by a pious fraud, to 
represent as accomplished from the first. The histo- 
tical assumptions are here too evident, the facts on 
the other side too numerous, and the explanatory 
hypothesis is too ingenious, to allow ourselves to be 
carried away by the brilliant diction and the epigram- 
matic generalisations of the eloquent Frenchman. It 
would require far more than this to lead us to attri- 
bute to the simple-mindedness of the early Christians 
such an act of haute politique in what to them was 
matter of deepest spiritual conviction ; or to ascribe 
to them deliberate fraud in that for which they were 
ready to pour forth their life's blood. And the more 
you accentuate as is the wont of that school the 
supposed fundamental differences between Petrine 
and Pauline teaching ; the more you insist on the 
intensity with which each party clung to its principles, 
the less likely does a 'reconciliation,' such as that 
described, appear. Not a peaceful fusion that covered 
the differences, but a life-and-death struggle, would be 
the likely result with such combatants. But while 
the line of defence is on all sides good, yet there is 
such difference of views and such contention about 
the apostolic, and, on many points, such unclearness 
about many things in the post-apostolic, Church, that 
we willingly forego in our present argument all 
reference to either, so as to avoid what, after all would 

64 i>ROPHECY AM) MlSTORY. Edi. in. 

be a needless complication. We shall, therefore, not 
go beyond the period of the Gospels ; and appeal for 
the rest to non-Christian evidence, in proof that the 
main facts, on "which the conviction rested that Jesus 
was the Old Testament Messiah, formed part of the 
primitive belief of the Church. 

In other respects, also, it is equally interesting 
and important to draw the line of distinction between 
Evangelic and Apostolic times, and between Evangelic 
and Apostolic literature the latter including 'the 
Book of Acts.' The doctrine (StSa^iJ) which is the 
outcome of the one we may designate as the faith and 
rites of the primitive Christians ; that of the other, as 
the dogmas and practices of the Apostolic Church. 
In regard to the latter, we may say that the one 
grand principle underlying all is that of Apostolicity. 
I hasten to add that I use the term, not in the sense 
which in recent theological discussions has been at- 
tached to it, but in what is its real meaning Christ- 
sentness. In this sense, apostolicity has a twofold ap- 
plication : as apostolicity of office and apostolicity of 
teaching. Whatever diversity of gifts or of adminis- 
tration may have existed or been tolerated, above them 
all was apostolicity of office, which St. Paul, as well 
as St. Peter, St. John, and St. James, energetically vin- 
dicated for themselves against all gainsayers. What- 
ever was not apostolic or apostolically sanctioned was 
to be repudiated. And by the side of this supremacy 

iisbx. lit THE TWO PEEIODS. 65 

of the apostolic office we have that of apostolic teach- 
ing. Whatever differences in views or practices may 
have been tolerated and there is evidence of the 
most wide-hearted liberality in both respects yet, 
what of doctrine or practice was apostolic must be 
absolutely received, while the opposite was absolutely 
banned. Evidently, we have already passed, or at 
least are passing, out of the formative into the his- 
toric period. The age of historic memorial has 
already begun, when appeal is made to the teaching 
and the practice of Apostles, apostolic men, and apo- 
stolic Churches. Not so during the first or formative 
period of the Church. Then the teaching was directly 
that of Christ, and the rites and practices were simply 
the outcome of that teaching. And this also is dis- 
tinctive. Under the Old Testament, doctrine was in 
great measure the outcome of rites ; under the New, 
rites are the outcome of doctrine. The relation is in 
accordance with the character of each : in the one 
case, from without inwards ; in the other, from within 
outwards. The application of these principles is wide- 
reaching, and, as will appear in the sequel, closely 
bears on our present argument. 

To the Christian heart it must at all times be most 
painful to follow in detail the criticism of the Gospels 
as made by the more advanced negative school. 
Quite irrespective of the valid answer which, we are 
fully convinced, can, on scientific grounds, be given 



to their objections, and the good defence which can 
be made of the positions taken up by the Church, 
there are preliminary considerations which will, with 
good reason, weigh with thoughtful persons more 
heavily than merely logical arguments and ingenious 
hypotheses. The school in question proceeds in its 
criticism of the Gospels on the avowed principle, that 
where they do not preserve the original tradition, they 
interpolate or intentionally falsify for a definite pur- 
pose that purpose bearing mainly on the supposed 
two hostile tendencies in the Church of Judaic and 
Gentile Christianity, the supposed object being to 
advocate either the one or the other tendency, or 
else to conciliate them. To adopt the expressive 
term of German critics : where our present Gospels 
deviate from the original traditions, they are mainly 
Tendenz-Schriften 1 (tendency- writings). But, to my 
thinking, it seems inconceivable, from the intellectual, 
and still more from the moral point of view, that the 
early Christians and, indeed, it must have been the 
leading men among them should have deliberately 
falsified facts and invented incidents, and that in con- 
nection with the Personality of Jesus, Who to them 
was the all in all. That the writers of our Gospels 
should have so altered the original traditions and 
documents (which, according to our opponents, they 
elaborated into their works), seems, to say the least, 

1 Comp. Witticlxen^ Leben, Jesu, p. 47. 


intellectually highly improbable, and morally abso- 
lutely incredible. That they who so thought of the 
Christ should, for ecclesiastical purposes, or to bring 
about a * conciliation' which in itself seems psycho- 
logically and historically an unlikely undertaking 
have falsified and invented, constitutes the very climax 
of improbabilities. They may have been misinformed ; 
they may have been mistaken ; they may have viewed 
things from the standpoint of their time ; they may 
have exaggerated : all this is conceivable, though his- 
torical proof would be required for it but to asso- 
ciate with them 6 Tendency -Literature ' seems morally 
impossible. 1 

But our argument is not merely a priori. We have 
quite a series of witnesses who give incidental confir- 
mation to much in the Gospels. St. Paul, who became 
a Christian some years after the Crucifixion, must 
have been acquainted with the traditions and views 
about Jesus current among those early believers 
whom he had persecuted. And there is evidence 
throughout his writings, that after his conversion he 
had taken pains further to acquaint himself with the 

1 The argument is in no way affected "by the undoubted existence of 
religious interpolations in early -writings, and the introduction of spurious 
ones, or other ' pious frauds.' For neither was this done hy Apostolic 
men, nor yet did they set forth foundation-facts or truths which were 
universally and unquestioningly received, nor yet were their authors pre- 
pared to stake their lives on the veracity of their accounts. But the 
main element is the moral that Spirit of Truth sent hy the Father into 
the hearts of the Apostles to lead them into all truth. 


historical grounds, that is, with the facts in Christ's 
history, on which the belief of the Church rested. 
Indeed this must have been a primary necessity to a 
nature so logical as his, and to one who had to advo- 
cate among Greeks and philosophers a doctrine so 
inherently unlikely as the Divine Mission, the atoning 
Death, and the Eesurrection of Christ. And his 
teaching even limiting ourselves to those epistles 
which the most , severe negative criticism admits as 
genuine, 1 is in every point grounded upon the data of 
the Gospels, and hence pro tanto a confirmation of 
them. Besides, the bases of his doctrinal system also 
rest on the teaching of Jesus, as we gather its spirit 
from the reports in the Gospels. We remind our- 
selves here of such teaching as concerning the value- 
lessness of mere outward observances ; concerning the 
Law as presented by the Leaders of Israel ; concern- 
ing the opening of the Kingdom of God to the Gen- 
tile world ; concerning the insufficiency and inefficacy 
of outward distinctions and advantages ; concerning 
the rule of the Spirit within the heart, and His trans- 
formation of our nature ; concerning the need of 
absolute self-surrender to God, like that of Christ ; 
concerning the character and purpose of Christ's 
Death ; His institution of the Last Supper ; His 

1 According to Wittichen (u. s., p. 14) these are, Romans (with the 
exception of the greater part of the two last chapters), Corinthians, 
Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, parts of Colossians and of 2 Timothy, Phile- 
mon, and Philippians. 


Besurrection, and His coming again. AH this, and 
more that could be mentioned, carries with it a 
train of obvious sequences evidential of the historical 
character of the Gospels. 

But even this is not all. The reference of St. 
Paul to the Twelve Apostles, 1 and to the t brethren 
of the Lord,' are not the only direct references to 
incidents in the Gospel narrative. Even on the 
admission of negative critics, we have in the un- 
doubted Pauline epistles direct verbal references to 
passages in the Gospels. Thus, St. Matt. v. 39, &c., 
is the basis of Bom. xii. 17, 21 ; we are reminded of 
St. Matt. xiii. in Gal. v. 9 ; of St. Matt. xxii. 40 in 
Gal. v. 14 ; of St. Mark xi. 23 by 1 Cor. xiii. 2 ; of 
St. Mark xiii. 26 by 1 Thess. iv. 17 ; of St. Luke vi. 
27, &c., by 1 Cor. iv. 12, &c. ; comp. Bom. xii. 14 ; 
and of St. Luke xii. 40 in 1 Thess. v. 2. 2 These 
.verbal as well as real coincidences are of the most 
important evidential bearing on the Gospel narratives. 
And to these might, be added similar references in 
the other epistles of St. Paul, which have not been 
here adduced, because their authenticity has been 
questioned by certain critics, our present object 
being to present only such evidence as is undisputed. 

1 1 Cor. xv. 6. 

a I have taken (and re-arranged) these references from Wittichen 
(u. s., p. 60), whom, in general, I have followed in his argument, and that 
the more readily because he represents the very extreme of negative 
criticism. I have thus sought to support my argument on grounds taken 
from our most pronounced opponents, and based it on their admissions. 


Suffice it to state that references to St. Matthew, 
St. Mark, and St. Luke have been traced in the 
Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians. 1 

Similar references to the Synoptic Gospels to 
which we here confine ourselves occur in other 
apostolic writings, notably in the Epistle of St. James 
and the Book of Eevelation. In the former class we 
mention the following : St. Matt. v. 3 as compared 
with St. James i. 9 ; St. Matt. v. 7 with St. James 
ii. 13 ; St. Matt. v. 9 with St. James iii. 18 ; St. Matt, 
v. 12 with St. James i. 2, and also v. 10 ; St. Matt, 
v. 34-37 with St. James v. 12 ; St. Matt. vi. 19 with 
St. James v. 2 ; St. Matt. vii. 24-27 with St. James 
i. 22 ; 2 St. Matt. xii. 7 with St. James ii. 13; 
St. Matt. xxi. 21, 22 with St. James i. 6 ; St. Matt. 
xxii. 39 with St. James ii. 8 ; and St. Matt, -raiii. 12 
with St. James iv. 6, 10. 8 

The references in the 'Book of Eevelation' are 
not confined to the Gospel according to St. Matthew, 
but extend to the other two Synoptists. Thus, we have 
reference to St. Matt. x. 32 in Eev. iii. 5 ; to St. Matt, 
xi. 15, and to xiii. 9 and 43 in Eev. ii. 7 ; to St. Mark 

1 Holtzmann, Kritik d. Eph. u. Col. brief, pp. 248-250. Most of the 
instances there mentioned are certainly very striking, although a few 
seem strained. 

8 These references to the Sermon on the Mount are peculiarly 

3 "Wittichen, u. s. p. 64. For other instances, see Canon Westcott, 
Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, p. 174, Note 2. In general comp. 
ib. pp. 173-179. 


xni. 22 in Eev. xiii. 13, 14 ; to St. Mark ami. 24, &c., 
in Eev. vi. 12 ; to St. Luke xii. 36-38 in Eev. in. 20 ; 
to St. Luke xii. 39, 40 in Eev. iii. 3, and Eev. xvi. 15 ; 
and to St. Luke xxiii. 30 in Eev. vi. 16. 1 

But all this presents only a small part of the 
evidence at our disposal. We can appeal to the 
simplicity, vividness, and naturalness of so many 
of the Gospel narratives; to their psychological 
truthfulness, their internal connection and reference 
one to another ; to the utter impossibility of account- 
ing for them by notions or expectations prevailing 
at the time ; to the agreement between the narratives 
in the different Gospels ; to the accordance of the 
persons and surroundings with what we know of the 
history and the manners of the time, and to. many 
little traits which can scarcely be described, but to 
which the student of history is sensitive, all bearing 
their witness to the Gospels. And beyond it all 
stands out the Figure of the historical Christ, as He 
was in the days of His Flesh, and as He is to all time 
and now : Himself the best evidence of the Gospel 

And when from this we descend to the position 
which even negative criticism concedes to us, we 
remember that, according to its admissions, the 
earliest document, or documents, in which primitive 
tradition found expression dates from less than thirty 

* Wittichen, u. 8. 


years after the Crucifixion, and was derived from eye- 
witnesses of these events and disciples of Jesus. 1 And 
we feel that this canon of our opponents has a far 
wider application than they give it : that ' doubt is 
only warrantable where scientific reasons can be 
asserted for it.' Further, when we examine what, 
with frequent forgetfulness of their own canon, the 
most advanced of that school have selected out of 
our Gospels as the original narrative, 2 we perceive 
that, while much more might be inferred from their 
own admissions, they have left us quite sufficient to 
establish the grounds on which the primitive Church 
recognised Jesus as the Messiah promised in the Old 

2. From this we turn to a far different class of 
evidence : that from the testimony of avowed enemies. 
We cannot, indeed, expect that either Jews or Romans 
would furnish us with details about Christian doc- 
trine, unless, in the case of the former, for contro- 
versial purposes. But to a certain extent they bear 
testimony as to facts and practices, and if their wit- 
ness bears out what we find in the New Testament, 
this may surely be regarded as giving important 
support to the fuller account of such persons, prac- 

1 Wittichen, p. 47. 

8 I refer here especially to the detailed compilation which Wittichen 
has made, while at the same time I would use the strongest expressions 
in my power to indicate my absolute disagreement with the conclusion! 
at which this critic has arrived. 


tices, or doctrines in the Few Testament itself. We 
can only in the briefest manner follow this line of 

A. The Talmud though containing very early, 
even pre-Christian notices, is, as a whole, of much 
later date than the New Testament. Moreover, its 
statements are utterly unhistorical, and it is charged 
with bitter enmity to the new faith. Accordingly 
we cannot look for any positive testimony in its 
pages. But there are important admissions, ascribed 
to Eabbis belonging to the Apostolic or Early Post- 
Apostolic age, which are at least negatively of great 
evidential value. Thus miracles on the part of Jesus 
seem to be admitted, and they are not accounted for 
either by delusion or imposture. However accounted 
for, we find the belief in the miraculous power of 
Jesus confirmed. Indeed, miraculous cures are also 
attributed to the disciples of Christ, and the strict 
prohibition to avail one's self of them, even if life 
itself were in danger, only affords additional evidence 
of the general credence of them. Again, we have 
undoubted reference to early Christian writings. 
Whether allowed or forbidden to be saved from- the 
fire and there were voices on either side these 
writings had evidently been intended for the read- 
ing of Jews, and must therefore have been written 
in the Aramaean. Nor can we be mistaken in sup- 
posing that they were either documents treating of 


the history and claims of Christ, or at any rate con- 
nected with the original primitive Christian docu- 
ments. A distinct quotation, or rather misquotation, 
of St. Matthew v. 17 occurs in Shabb. 116 5, as from 
the ' Evangilyon ' which in the word-play not un- 
common in Talmudic writings is styled the Aven or 
else Avan Gilyon, ' mischief of blank (empty) paper ' 
(fi^a Jiy, or else pfc). 1 This testimony reaches up into 
the first century, and it is comparatively unimportant 
for our argument whether the quotation was from 
St. Matthew or from a document earlier or later than 
our Gospel. 2 Similar remarks apply to what we regard 
as a reference to the Gospel of St. John on the part 
of Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrqanos. 3 In both cases we 
.have to take the lowest standpoint confirmation, 
that what we read in the Gospels as the teaching 
and mission of Christ formed part of the primitive 
belief of the Church. And we feel that in so far 

1 Shabb. 116 a. The quotation appears in a curious connection: A 
Christian philosopher (judge) under the influence of bribery first arguing 
' since your dispersion from your land the Law of Moses has been taken 
away and another law given/ and then next day, having received a larger 
bribe on the other side, reversing his decision and saying that in the pas- 
sage at the end of [following in] the book (the Gospel) he saw it was 
written, ' I have come not to diminish from the Law of Moses, nor yet 
have I come to add to the Law of Moses.' Professor Delitzsch, Arilag. d. 
ersten Evang. p. 22, seems to adopt the reading *D1N? fcOX instead 
of x!? 1 !, which would alter the meaning to 'but to add to the Law of 
Moses have I come.' 

2 See, in general, the brochure of Professor Delitzsch just quoted, 
which has much of interest on these points. 

3 I must here refer the reader to the quotations and the discussion of 
the point in my Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. ii. pp. 193, 194. 


they also afford confirmation of the Gospels them- 

The whole subject is so interesting and novel at 
any rate to English readers that we may be allowed 
to present it, at least in outline, following, so far as 
may be, the arguments and admissions of Jewish 
writers, 1 in order to avoid controversy. 

It is the contention of certain Jewish writers that 
at first there was not the same separation between 
the Synagogue and the primitive disciples as at a 
later period, and that such would not have ensued 
had it not been for the Pauline direction and the Anti- 

1 I refer here to Joel, JBlicke in d. Relig. Gesch. i. and ii., but especially 
to Friedlander, Patrist. u. Talmud. 8tud., whose reasoning I have tried 
to follow. I may here he allowed specially to refer to a statement by Joel, 
u. s. p. 58, of some interest as regards the criticism of the Synoptic 
Gospels, although tinged with that spirit of hypercriticism which cha- 
racterises so many writers of that school. Joel maintains that the Talmud 
derived its knowledge of the origines of Christianity from such parts of 
Evangelic tradition as had reached it, and from what had been witnessed in 
the second century. He regards Sanh. xi. 4, and Tos. Sanh. xi. 7, which 
enacted that one who had incited to apostacy was to be brought before 
the great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, kept there till one of the great feasts, 
and executed on the Feast-day, as an ex post facto Halachah, due to this 
that Rabbi Akiba had known from the synoptic tradition that Christ had 
been crucified on the Passover Day, and that he had wished to give the 
Law for it. This seems to me very doubtful (comp. Siphre on Deut. xxi. 
22). Still more so is the explanation that what he regards as a younger 
Mishnah Sanh iv. 1, which orders that a process involving life or death 
was not to be begun on the eve of a Sabbath or of a feast day, was brought 
in, because the fourth Gospel places (according to Joel) the death of Christ 
on the day before the feast. This is quite too ingenious besides being 
wholly unsupported. But even if the theory of the origin of those 
Mishnahs were correct, Sanh. iv. 1 might as readily be ascribed to the 
desire of controverting the Evangelical tradition about the death of Christ, 
as to any regard for the supposed chronology of the fourth Gospel. 


Jewish Gentile movement which was its sequence. 
We mark the concessions which this implies, while 
we emphatically deny that what is called the ' Pauline 
direction ' is correctly represented in them. And we 
recall the account in the Book of Acts of the bitter 
hostility to the infant Church, and the consequent 
persecutions, which preceded the so-called ' Pauline 
direction,' and in which, indeed, Saul of Tarsus was 
himself a principal agent. But we also know that 
this enmity actually preceded the Death of Christ, 
and was the cause of it. And as regards the teaching 
of St. Paul, we are prepared to maintain that, through- 
out, it had its root and spring in the teaching of the 
Master concerning traditionalism and Pharisaism. 
But this in their contention is certainly true, that at 
first there was much more close religious intercourse 
between Jews and Christians. Nay, to quote the 
words of a recent Jewish writer l j ' It cannot be 
denied that the movement which originated within 
Judaism, and attached itself to the Name of Jesus, 
drew for a short time also many of the Teachers of 
the Law into the vortex.' 

As a further fact against the Jewish assertion, 
that Judaism stood in close peaceful relation to the 
primitive Church, we must here take note of their 
own admission, that Gentile and Jewish Christian con- 
troversialists received far different treatment at the 

1 Friedlander, u. 0. p. 78. 


hands of the Synagogue. The former were treated 
with a kind of benevolent pity; the. latter provoked 
the bitterest hostility, 1 to such extent that the 
people were warned against all intercourse with 
those who were regarded as blasphemers. 2 At the 
same time we mark differences in the statements of 
the Eabbis concerning such intercourse, and this, 
not only on the part of different teachers", but even 
of the same teachers, apparently on different occa- 
sions. In general, the principle prevailed that no 
intercourse of any kind should be held with those 
heretics ; and that even the preservation of life might 
not be sought by their healing. 3 Sacred as the occur- 
rence of the Divine Name was to the Jew, the Eabbis 
would have deemed it duty to burn the Gospels and 
similar heretical books, even though containing the 
hallowed mention ; nay, they would rather have 
fled into a heathen temple for protection from a 
murderer or a serpent, than taken refuge among 
Christians. 4 

In other circumstances, however, opinions would 
appear changed. At the end of the third and be- 
ginning of the fourth century, when Christianity had 
already become a power, we find that the celebrated 
Eabbi Abbahu not only called in Christian medical 

1 Friedlander, u. s. pp. 62, 67, 68. 

9 So even Tryphon in Justin's Dial., c. 38. 

8 Ab.Z.276. 4 Shablb. 116 a. 


aid, though his colleagues happily averted his 
purpose, which the Talmud declares would have led 
to his being killed ; but that, when asked whether the 
writings of the heretics might on the Sabbath be saved 
from the fire, he replied sometimes affirmatively, 
at others negatively. But then this Eabbi Abbahu 
was a sort of ideal personage : handsome, liberal, 
who favoured Grecian culture, lived at Cassarea, and 
was in favour with the Eoman authorities. While 
the Jewish Patriarchate had sunk very low under 
Gamaliel IV., Abbahu was a sage among sages, 
and, what was most meritorious, he knew how to 
inflict the most crushing defeats upon the JSTazarenes. 1 
No wonder that, according to Talmudic story, the 
Christians would fain have done away with him a 
fate which, as we have seen, was only averted by 
the timely intervention of his colleagues. 

To be sure, they must have been very peculiar 
controversialists those Christians, if we are to credit 
the Talmudic accounts of their ratiocination. But, 
although neither the Christian philosopher nor yet 
the Jew Tryphon in Justin's ' Dialogue' seems power- 
ful in argument, it is scarcely possible to conceive 
that statements so utterly puerile as the Talmudists 
report should have been urged in serious contro- 
versy. ISTo wonder the Midrash applied to them the 
opening words of Eccl. i. 8, declaring these argu- 

1 Abb. Z, 28 a. 


ments wearisome, wearing ; l nor yet, that when the 
colleagues of another noted Kabbinic controversialist, 
Joshua ben Ohananyah, 2 mourned, as he lay dying, 
that now there would not be any to resist the daring 
of the Christians, the dying teacher should have 
comforted them by saying, that if their council had 
perished, the wisdom of their opponents had become 
rotten. 3 But the Midrash on Eccl. i. 8 tells us many 
things which seem to indicate that the words of these 
heretics must have been more weighty than the 
arguments reported by the Eabbis. Thus, we find 
the great Eliezer ben Hyrqanos 4 was so gravely sus- 
pected as to be actually arraigned before the civil 
magistrate on the charge of Christianity, from which 
accusation he only escaped by a misunderstanding on 
the part of the magistrate. 5 In truth he made certain- 
important admissions in regard to it. Thus, when 
his disciples in vain endeavoured to comfort him 
in his deep sorrow, the Great Eabbi Akiba at last 
suggested, that Eliezer might on some occasion have 
listened with pleasure to an exposition by the 
heretics. The Talmud relates this interpretation, 
which will scarcely bear repetition. But in view 

1 Qohel. R. ed. Warsh, p. 80 a. 

2 Comp. on this point also Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. ii. 
p. 194. 

3 Chag. 55. * u. s. pp. 193, 194. 

5 Ab. Z. 16 6. The words of Eliezer which gave rise to the mis 
understanding have been differently rendered by Jewish scholars. Comp. 
Toettermann, Eliea. b. Hire. p. 21. 


of what we have recorded in another place con- 
cerning Eliezer, and what we regard as his refer- 
ences to St. John's Grospel, 1 we may be allowed 
to doubt whether it represents the whole that had 
passed. We can scarcely suppose an Eliezer affected 
by discussions, concerning many of which the Eab- 
binic students could question their teacher in such 
terms as these, that he had driven back his oppo- 
nents with a straw, but what had he to say to 
them ? 2 And in truth the remark of these disciples 
as to the insufficiency of such replies seems well 
founded, and, at least on the occasion here referred 
to, the Christian argument must have turned on the 
most important points. 3 

Eliezer was the brother-in-law of Gamaliel II., 
and nourished in the first century. He may have 
been acquainted with Saul of Tarsus. His citation 
before the magistrate for suspected Christianity took 
place during the Trajan persecution. This brings 
us to the period of Pliny, whom we shall presently 
adduce as a witness in our favour. It thus connects, 
in a most interesting manner, the story of the Jewish 
Rabbi with the evidence of the heathen governor. 
Meanwhile, I can only express my personal belief 

1 See the account in my Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. ii. 
pp. 193, 194. 

8 Ber. R. 8, ed. Warsh. p. 18 a ; Comp. Sanh. 38 b. 

8 It seems, in fact, to have "been a Scriptural discussion on the 
Plurality of Persons in the Divine Being. 


that tlie excommunication which the Eabbis laid 
upon Eliezer, and their opposition to his teaching, 
must have been due to far weightier causes than 
such differences of teaching as are recorded, and 
which were never otherwise visited with such punish- 
ment. 1 But Eabbi Eliezer was not the only great 
teacher affected by the Christian movement, nor 
yet Eabbis Abbahu and Joshua ben Ohananyah the 
only Jewish controversialists. Eabbi Saphra, whom 
Abbahu had praised to the Jewish Christians in most 
extravagant terms, was apparently worsted by them 
in an argument based on Amos iii. 2, which, I 
presume, they must have quoted by way of urging 
that some great national sin must rest on Israel to 
account for the sufferings that had come upon them. 2 
But we can ascend to an earlier age for evidence 
of Christian influence on Jewish teachers. As a 
Jewish writer argues, 3 Akiba would not have sug- 
gested to Eliezer the possibility of such a cause of 
his misfortunes, if intercourse and discussions with 
Jewish Christians had been of only exceptional 
occurrence. Eabbi Ishmael belonged to the illus- 
trious circle of sages who flourished after the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem. In his hatred of Jewish Christians 

1 The whole of this subject is very ably discussed by Toettermann. 

2 Ab. Z. 4 a. This inference is, of course, my own. In the Talmud 
Abbahu is represented as giving by a parabolic illustration a satisfactory 
explanation of the verse. 

3 Friedlander, u. s., p. 77. 



and desire to see their sacred writings burned, he 
yielded nothing to his colleague, Tarphon. 1 Never- 
theless, his almost equally learned nephew, Ben 
Dama, solicited his permission to study ' Grecian 
wisdom ' [nw ntsan] may it not have been Christian 
writings? and was in such relationship towards 
Jewish Christians, that, when bitten by -a serpent, 
he would fain have availed himself of the miraculous 
healing by one of them, appealing to Scripture for 
its lawfulness, but was prevented by his uncle, and 
so perished. 2 A similar story is told of Eabbi 
Joshua, one of the most celebrated teachers, and 
who, in his youth, was said to have been among 
the Levite singers in the Temple. 3 His nephew, 
Chanina, came under the influence of the Chris- 
tians of Capernaum ; and, to withdraw him from it, 
his uncle had to send him to Babylonia, where he 
afterwards exercised the greatest influence. 4 The 
same Eabbi Joshua is said to have also rescued a 
disciple of Eabbi Jonathan from the toils of the 
heretics. The details of the story will scarcely bear 
repetition. If true, the Christians, by whom the 
young Eabbi had been entangled, must have been 

1 Comp. Shabb. 116 a. 2 Oomp. Abh. Z. 27 b, Midr. on Eccl. i. 9. 

3 In general, see the collation of passages giving his history in the 
Seder Haddoroth, ed. "Warsh. 1878; part ii. p. 93 a, col. b. 

4 Midr. on Eccl. i. 9. And yet Ber. 63 a shows that he was not in 
good relations with Palestine, while the conjunction of his name in 
that passage with those of Abbahu and Saphra may have a peculiar 

. in. 


Mcolaitans. But there is more than this to be told. 
The ordinance of the patriarch Gamaliel (II.), which 
directed that thenceforth admission to the Academy 
should only be allowed to such whose 'interior' 
was like their exterior,' * has been understood to 
refer at least in part to the fact that many who 
frequented the Eabbinic schools were under the 
influence of the new faith, and would have spread 
the new opinions. 2 This affords striking evidence of 
the effect which Christianity exercised at its rise upon 
very many of the best Jewish minds, and gives con- 
firmation to the account of the spread of the faith in 
the opening chapters of the Book of Acts. Nay, there 
is evidence that ' heretical,' that is, Christian, prayers 
were sometimes actually introduced into the worship 
of the Synagogue by those who led the devotions, 
against which the sharpest precautions were to be 
taken. 3 Surely, then, Christianity must have had 
many and most influential adherents among the Jews" 
at its rise. 

But even so the evidence is not complete. We 
find that the same Gamaliel put to the assembled 
sages the question, which of them could compose a 
prayer against the new faith which should be inserted 
in the most solemn part ol the worship the so-called 

* Bar. 28o. 

a Oomp. Freudenthal, p. 78, and especially p, 141, note 11. 

8 Ber. 29 a, 33 , 34 a. 


eighteen benedictions. It has been well argued that 
while the necessity for, and the introduction of such 
a prayer in the liturgy are in themselves most sig- 
nificant, the appeal of the patriarch to the sages must 
have implied the challenge not which of them 
could, but which of them would, compose such a 
prayer. And, indeed, the correct repetition of this 
formula was henceforth made a test of orthodoxy. 1 
But perhaps the best practical proof of the existence 
of such intercourse and influence is this, that appar- 
ently there were meeting-places for regular religious 
discussions, and that a special literature seems to 
have been the outcome of them. The former are 
mentioned under a twofold name : probably desig- 
nating assemblies of different character. It is not 
easy to understand the precise meaning and distinc- 
tion of these two designations. We read of the Be 
Abhidan (' House of Abhidan '), and of * the writings 
of the Be Abhidan ; ' and we also read of the Be 
Notsrephi or Nitsrephi (* House of Notsrephi '). 2 Both 

1 Ber. 28 5, 29 . la connection with this there is a curious and 
enigmatic story about the author of this formula having forgotten it next 
year, and requiring several hours to recall it. The contest also is some- 
what mysterious, and almost seems to point to hesitation about the 
whole matter. The remarks of Joel on the subject (ii. 93, 94) are not 
quite satisfactory. 

3 See here Delitzsch, u. s. pp. 19, 90 ; Fiirst, Kultur u. Lit. Gesch. 
p. 235, note 741 ; Dukes, Ralib. Slumenlese, p. 163 ; Levy, Neuhebr, 
Worterb. vols. i. and iii. sub voc. ; and especially the Aruch, ed. Kohut, 
vol. ii. pp. 45-47. Joel, u. s. ii. pp. 91, 92, strongly maintains that the 
Be Abhidan referred simply and exclusively to Ebionite meetings. On 
this occasion he makes an interesting and not unlikely suggestion as 


names seem corruptions of other words, or, rather, 
as the custom was, word- puns by which a name was 
converted into an opprobrious epithet. 1 They are 
universally regarded as having been places for re- 
ligious discussions between Jews and Christians of 
different parties. The Be Abhidan is supposed to 
represent a corruption of Ebionites (pa=3V3), 
although the Ebionites were also known by their 
proper name ; 2 or it may possibly refer to a Gnostic 
sect, such as the Ophites. 3 On the other hand, it is 
easy to recognise in the Be Notsrephi a perversion of 
the term Be Notsri, Christian, and to see in it a desig- 
nation of the Church. The subject is not, however, 
wholly free from difficulty. The Talmud describes 
one sage (Samuel) as going to the Be Abhidan, but 
not to the Be Notsrephi, while another (Eabh) would 

to the origin of the name Minim (heretics) for Christians. He supposes 
that the original designation for those Jews who believed in Jesus was 
Maaminim, which he regards as equivalent to Trto-roi, and that, when the 
hostility towards the Christians began, the first part of the word was 
dropped, and the Christians were called Minim, which would mean the 
adherents of a falsehood. 

1 This is not the place to speculate as to the words from which these 
puns may have been derived. No doubt they were intended as opprobrious 

2 In Baba K. 117 a, R,. Huna is said to have arrived Wltf ^1?. 

3 In the Targum pTQ stands for nvdav. Bat as in one of the 
three Talmudic passages in which Be Abhidan is mentioned (Shabb. 152 a ; 
the other two are Shabb. 116 a, Abh. Z. 17 b}, the Emperor (Hadrian) is 
said to have questioned R. Joshua why he did not attend those dis- 
cussions, the inference seems suggested that general religious disputations 
may also have been held in those places. For the reason stated by 
Levy (vol. i. p. 9 5), it seems impossible to suppose that Parsee doctrines 
were there discussed. 

86 JPROMECi? AND HISTOftt. IBOT. rrt. 

not attend the former, much less the latter. 1 Other 
Eabbis plead age and fear of suffering bodily injury as 
excuse for their absence from such meetings. And 
we can readily believe that gatherings for discussion 
may, among hot-blooded Easterns, have often ended 
in scenes of violence. Indeed, one Eabbi tells us that 
he had agreed with his theological opponents that 
the victor in controversy should be allowed to take 
bloody vengeance on his adversary, which the. suc- 
cessful Eabbi had also done, although this seems to 
have required considerable effort whether of the 
theological or physical kind, does not clearly appear. 
To sum up at least some of the results of this long 
digression. While admitting that Talmudic writings 
are utterly untrustworthy as regards historical ac- 
curacy, this much at least seems established from 
them, that miraculous power of healing was attri- 
buted to Jesus and to the early Christians ; that their 
sacred writings presumably in Aramasan existed, 
were known, and circulated ; that there was exten- 
sive religious communication between the disciples of 
Christ and the most eminent Teachers of the Law, 
and frequent, if not regular, discussions with them ; 
and that many of the leaders of the Jewish world, 
and naturally many more of the people, were affected 
by the new movement. In fact, it was supposed that 
Divine punishment had visited a great Eabbi who 

1 Shato. 116 a. 


confessed to having derived pleasure from their in- 
terpretations ; while others had to flee or to die, in 
order to escape the dangerous heresy. Even to hold 
intercourse with these heretics, who were for ever 
excluded from eternal life, was regarded as already 
the first step towards becoming a Christian convert, 
and was to be carefully avoided. 

Thus far all accords with the impressions derived 
from the Christian records. But we have other and 
more direct evidence to produce. 

B. From the Talmud we pass to the Jewish his- 
torian Josephus, whom we may describe as in early 
life the contemporary of St. Paul. Indeed, there 
is ground for believing that, as a young man, Josephus 
was in Rome during St. Paul's first imprisonment 
there.- 1 His systematic ignoring of Christianity will 
scarcely seem strange when we remember the cha- 
racter of the man, the ulterior object of his writings, 
and the relations between Christianity and Judaism, 
on the one hand, and heathenism, on the other. But 
there are three passages in the works of Josephus, 
occurring in all existing manuscripts, which bear 
testimony respectively to John the Baptist, 2 to James 
the brother of Jesus, 3 and to Christ Himself. 4 With- 
out entering on detailed criticism, suffice it to say 

1 On the life, writings, and testimony of Josephus I must take leave 
to refer to my article in Smith and Wace's Dictionm'y of Biography 
vol. iii. pp. 441-460. 

* Ant. xviii. 5. 2. 8 Ant. xx. 9. 1. * Ant. xviii. 3. 3. 

AND HISTORY. user, nt 

that, while the passage about Christ must have had 
some genuine substratum, 1 it appears to be so altered 
and interpolated in its present form as for all prac- 
tical purposes to be spurious. More credit attaches 
to the passage about James, the Lord's brother. 
But even this is in its present form so doubtful 
that we prefer leaving it unnoticed, as, in any case, 
not affecting the present argument. On the other 
hand, sober-minded critics of all schools are now 
generally agreed that the passage in Josephus con- 
cerning John the Baptist is genuine and trustworthy. 2 
For evidential purposes 3 it may be described as 

1 This is substantially the conclusion of most modern critics, such as 
Ewald, Renan, Joel. The latter (u. s. ii, p. 52) says, not without pre- 
sumptive good reason, that the writings of Josephus may originally have 
contained more than our present copies. But he goes beyond the 
bounds of the likely when he suggests extensive falsifications, especially 
in regard to the Pharisees. 

8 Even Wittichen, Leben Jesu, p. 4, declares it, 'without doubt 
authentic ; ' so also Dr. Mill in his classical work on the Myth. 
Interpret, of the Gospels, p. 289, note 36, and Lardner, in hia Coll. 
of Jewish and Heathen Testim. (Works, vol. vii. pp. 113-119). In 
general, the remarks of Dr. Mill on those passages in Josephus (u. s. pp. 
289-292), and the whole chapter in Lardner 's great work (pp. 113-137, 
ed. 1788) should be carefully considered by students. 

3 The passage in Josephus concerning the Baptist reads as follows : 
But to some of the Jews it appeared that the destruction of Herod's 
army came from God, and, indeed, as a just punishment on account of 
what had been done to John, who was surnamed the . Baptist. For 
Herod ordered him to be killed, who was a good man and had called 
upon the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one 
another and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism. For so would 
the baptising be acceptable to Him if they made use of it, not for the 
putting away (remission, expiation) of some sins, but for the purification 
of the body after the soul had been previously cleansed by righteousness. 



bearing testimony on these four points: 1st, the 
exalted character of John and his preaching of re- 
pentance ; 2ndly, his baptism and its relation to the 
forgiveness of sins; Srdly, the crowds which from 
all parts flocked to him and were deeply moved by 
his preaching ; and, lastly, that John was executed by 
Herod, because he feared that the preaching of the 
Baptist might issue in a new movement or rebellion 
against himself, since the people ' seemed ready to do 
anything by his counsel.' 

This fourfold testimony covers, with one excep- 
tion, all the main facts recorded in the Gospels about 
the Baptist, although with such variations as we 
might expect from the standpoint of the Jewish his- 
torian. Thus far, then, it affords important confirma- 
tion of the Gospel history. And even the notable 
omission to which we have referred, that of any 
allusion, to the announcement by the Baptist of the 
coming Messianic Kingdom, is rather apparent than 
real. For this rebellion which Herod is said to have 
dreaded, in consequence of the people's readiness to 
do anything by John's counsel, must have referred 
to his proclamation of the near Advent of the Mes- 

And when others came in crowds, for they were exceedingly moved by 
hearing these words, Herod, fearing lest such influence of his over the 
people might lead to some rebellion, for they seemed ready to do any- 
thing by his counsel, deemed it best, before any new movement should 
happen through him, to put him to death, rather than that when a change 
in affairs (revolution) had come he might have to repent the mischief 
into which he had fallen (when it should be too late). 


sianic Kingdom and King. Josephus does not give 
a hint of any political element in the preaching of 
John ; on the contrary, he sums it up as enjoining 
* righteousness towards one another, and piety to- 
wards God,' ' and so to come to baptism.' If there- 
fore a new political movement was apprehended from 
such preaching, the inference seems almost irre- 
sistible that John had announced the near Kingdom. 
And here we remember that the claims of Jesus to 
the Messiahship gave rise to the charge of setting 
up another King, and that the bare suggestion of 
the birth of such a Messiah so excited the fears of 
Herod's father as to lead to the murder of the Inno- 
cents at Bethlehem. And, even at the last, when 
such a claim might seem almost impossible, Pilate 
discussed it with Jesus ; and such deep hold had it 
taken, that at a later period Domitian summoned the 
relatives of Jesus to his presence, to see whether their 
appearance betokened danger to his sovereignty. 
Hence we can readily believe that this would, under 
Pharisaic instigation of his fears, be the deeper motive 
in Herod's conduct towards the Baptist, and that 
the reproof about Herodias would only represent the 
climax of offence, and the final occasion of the Bap- 
tist's imprisonment. 1 Thus viewed, the silence of 
Josephus on what would have obliged him to refer to 
Christianity is itself of evidential value. 

1 Comp. Schiirer, Neutest. Zdtgeseh. pp. 238, 239. 


But there is even more to be learned from the 
testimony of Josephus. It not only attests, and that by 
a witness hostile to Christianity, the exalted character 
of the Baptist, and implies his announcement of the 
near Messianic Kingdom, but it affords at least in- 
direct evidence that Jesus brought something new, in- 
stituted a new kingdom, such as we know it from the 
Gospels. We infer this not only from what Josephus 
records as the subject-matter of John's preaching, 
but from the rite of baptism which, according to his 
testimony, John had instituted. We need not here 
discuss the historically untenable suggestion that 
the Baptist or his baptism were connected with 
Essenism. Suffice it to say, that the baptism of the 
Essenes was not for the people generally, but for the 
initiated ; not once for repentance, but daily for 
superior sanctity. Indeed, Essenism had nothing to 
say to men, except to come out and join the Sect ; 
and it fundamentally differed, on almost all important 
points, from the teaching of John. But if the preach- 
ing and baptism of John were not Essene, neither 
were they Judaic. Kabbinism knows no preaching 
of repentance such as that to which John called his 
hearers, or, as Josephus describes it, wherein what 
the Eabbis would have denounced as sinners the 
unlearned, soldiers, and publicans would have been 
allowed to continue in their condition, only with 
changed minds and conduct. Nor was any such 


baptism either practised or known in Judaism. 
There were the legal washings connected with Levit- 
ical defilements, and the baptism of heathens on be- 
coming Proselytes of Bighteousness. But a baptism 
of Jews as connected with repentance was "wholly 
unprecedented. It inaugurated something different 
from all the past, something new. Whether viewed 
in connection with the typical purification prepara- 
tory to Israel's reception of the Law at Mount Sinai, 
or as symbolic of the better washing in the language 
of Josephus, ' after that the soul had previously been 
cleansed by righteousness ' it marked the commence- 
ment of a new development, the preparation for a 
new kingdom, in which righteousness would reign. 
And in this respect also the silence of Josephus is 
most significant. Thus, when read in connection 
with the Gospel narrative, the language of Josephus 
not only implies the Baptist's proclamation of the 
coining Messiah, but also that He would found a new 
kingdom for which baptism was the appropriate 

0. One step still remains. We have had testimony 
from hostile, and certainly not impartial Jews ; we 
shall now have it from, a hostile but impartial heathen. 
We have been carried to the threshold of the history 
of Jesus, and have had a look forward into it; we 
shall now be transported to the period after His 
death, and from that standpoint have a look back- 


wards on the Gospel narrative. The testimony of 
Josephus covers the period from the time of St. Paul 
to that of Trajan more exactly from A.D. 37 or 38 
to after the year 100 of our era. But before that 
period expires the testimony of another unimpeached 
and unimpeachable witness begins. I allude here to 
the well-known Epistle which Pliny the Younger ad- 
dressed to the Emperor Trajan, 1 The facts are briefly 
as follows. Under the reign of Trajan (98-117), the 
younger Pliny, who had already filled the highest 
offices, became Governor of Bithynia. The precise 
date of his governorship, and consequently of his 
Epistle to the Emperor about the Christians, is not 
quite certain, though the possible difference is only 
that of a few years say, between 106 and 111 A.D. 
But this does not adequately represent the state of 
the case. Eor, as some of those by whose examina- 
tion Pliny ascertained the tenets and practices of the 
Christians had left the Christian community so long as 

1 The evidential value of the statements of Tacitus (Ann. xv. 44) has 
been very moderately set forth by Wittichen (comp. Lardner, u. s. pp. 
253-255). They attest the origin of Christianity in Judaea by Christ; 
the crucifixion of Christ by Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius ; the 
revival of the movement which seemed suppressed ; its transplantation to 
Rome, its separation from the Synagogue ; and its opposition to heathen- 
ism. [Wittichen accentuates, although on insufficient grounds, that the 
Christians are charged not with scelera, or crimes, but -w'rihjlagilia.~] On 
the epistle of Pliny comp. Lardner, u. s. pp. 287-318. The Latin text 
is given at the end of this Lecture. Joel (Blicke in d. Heliff. Gesch. ii, 
passim, but especially Sect, v.) has, in my view, without sufficient reason, 
denied the existence of a sharply-defined distinction between the 
Synagogue and the Church at the time of Nero. 


twenty years previously, tlie testimony of the younger 
Pliny concerning Christianity really reaches up to 
between 86 and 90 of our era that is, to more 
than ten years before the death of Josephus. 1 The 
two witnesses are, therefore, so to speak, historically 

The chief points in the information supplied by 
the Epistle of Pliny may be summarised as follows : 
The Governor applies to the Emperor for guidance, 
being in doubt what conduct to pursue towards the 
Christians. He had not previously been present at 
any judicial examination of Christians (which at least 
shows that they were well known), and did not well 
know with what strictness to bear himself in the 
matter. Hitherto his practice had been to question 
the accused, and if they professed themselves Chris- 
tians, to repeat the question a second and third time, 
threatening the punishment of death. Those who 
remained constant were forthwith punished ; this, not 
so much on account of their opinions, of which he 
seemed still in doubt, as for their obstinacy. But 
Christianity only spread, and Pliny was beset with 
anonymous as well as regular information against 
many, of all ages, of every rank, and of both sexes. 
Of the persons thus brought before Pliny's tribunal, 
many denied being Christians, when he applied the 

1 The supposed silence of Josephus can, therefore, not be of any 
evidential force against Christianity. 


crucial test of making them offer heathen worship, 
and revile the Name of Christ ; neither of which, as 
he had learned, Christians would do under any com- 
pulsion. Others admitted having been Christians, 
but professed to have left the community three or 
more, and some even more than twenty years before. 
Although these persons had no hesitation in per- 
forming heathen rites, and reviling Christ, they main- 
tained that even while Christians their practices had 
been wholly harmless, such as Pliny proceeds to 
describe. And, to be quite sure of it, Pliny next 
subjected two of the actual Deaconesses to torture, 
but elicited nothing beyond c a depraved and excessive 
superstition' (superstitionem pravam et immodicarri). 
In these circumstances, and finding that the number 
of those who would have to suffer was far greater 
than he had imagined, and that the new faith had 
not only taken hold on the towns and villages, but 
even spread to the country districts, Pliny applies to 
the Emperor for direction. 

Putting aside our natural feeling of indignation 
at the conduct of Pliny towards those of both sexes, 
and of all ages and ranks, who were faithful to their 
convictions unto torture and death, let us see what 
light this unquestioned historical document which 
takes us, say, to about half a century after the death 
of Christ casts on the New Testament record. 

1. It tells us of a vast number of believers, in all 


ranks and of all ages, in the province over which 
Pliny ruled. According to his account, ' the temples 
had been almost forsaken ; ' their sacred solemnities 
intermitted, and it was the most rare thing to find 
purchasers for the victims (rarissimus emptor inveni- 

2. As regards the tenets, or rather the observances, 
of the Christians, we cannot, indeed, expect to derive 
precise dogmatic statements from criminal informa- 
tions laid before a heathen judge. The confession of 
the two Deaconesses under torture may have contained 
an account of their faith. Pliny describes it as a 
' debased and excessive superstition.' But the account 
given by apostates bore reference to the practices of 
Christians. It deserves special notice that even these 
persons had nothing evil to say of their former co- 
religionists. But what they report of their practices 
is most instructive. 

a. The Christians are described as meeting for 
worship on a stated day. It is impossible to avoid 
the inference that this was the first day of the week ; 
and as its corollary, that this day was observed as the 
memorial of Christ's Eesurrection. Thus, the Sunday 
worship and the underlying belief in the Eesurrection, 
are attested within about half a century of the death 
of Jesus. 

b. They are said on these occasions to have offered 
Divine Worship to Christ, and this, whether we 


understand the language of Pliny as denoting speci- 
fically the singing of hymns or the offering of prayer, 1 
to Christ as to a God (quasi Deo). Let it be remem- 
bered that Pliny here reports the testimony of former 
Christians, and hence cannot be understood as meaning 
that the Christians worshipped Jesus as a God in the 
same sense in which Pliny would offer worship to the 
Emperor. Moreover, it must be kept in view that, 
according to Pliny, it was distinctive of these same 
Christians rather to suffer martyrdom than to offer 
even the supposed inferior homage to the Eoman 
Emperor, although they fully owned his supreme 
civil authority. Hence the Christian worship of Jesus 
must have been consciously and literally offered to 
Christ as a Divine Person. We have, therefore, 
testimony that the central point in their worship 
that which these former Christians singled out as the 
distinctive characteristic, was worship of Jesus, with 
the underlying tenet that He was the Son of God, 
Yery God of Very God/ 

c. They are said on these occasions to have bound 
themselves ' by an oath ' (sacramento), against the 
commission of all crime or sin, and to all truthfulness 
and uprightness. We would suggest that this ' oath,' 
at their solemn meetings, must bear some reference to 
moral obligations undertaken at the Holy Communion. 
In any case, we have here testimony of the distinctive 

1 See here Lardner, u, &, p. 808, 


holiness of the early Christians, as organically con- 
nected with their worship and belief ; in short, to 
the moral theology of the New Testament as the 
outcome of its dogmatic teaching. 

d. Lastly, we have in the account of these former 
Christians a notice of certain common meals not in 
the worship of the Christians, but after it referring 
probably to the love-feasts or agapes of 1 Corin- 
thians. "We are the more confirmed in this view, 
since these common meals, seem to have been re- 
garded as not of vital importance, for they are said to 
have been intermitted after the publication of Pliny's 

The importance of the historic testimony just 
analysed can scarcely be overrated. It not only gives 
historic reality to the picture of the early Church, 
such as from the New Testament we would trace its 
outlines ; but it fully confirms the power and spread of 
the new faith, as the Book of Acts and the Apostolic 
Epistles set them before us. Moreover, it presents, in 
regard to the Eesurrection as the great central truth 
of Christian faith, the Person of Christ as the grand 
central Object of Christian worship, and the Holy 
Eucharist as the main part of Christian ritual, the 
exact counterpart of the New Testament account. 
The Christianity of the year 86 or 90 of our era is, so 
to speak, the coin which bears the device of the mint 
of the New Testament. If we were to translate into 


fact the history which closes with the four Gospels 
say in the year 30 of our era we would have pre- 
cisely Pliny's account of the Christians in the year 
86 or 90. We have here the Sunday worship, with 
its look back on the Eesurrection, and therefore 
upon the Crucifixion, the Incarnation, and Messianic 
activity of Jesus ; the Divine Worship of Christ, with 
its upward look to the Saviour at the Eight Hand of 
the Eather, having all power ; the earnest, conscious 
striving against all sin and after all holiness, amidst 
the corrupt, festering mass of heathenism around a 
new creation in Christ Jesus by the Holy Ghost, whose 
living temples Christians are, and this as an integral 
part of their worship, the outcome of their faith ; then, 
the simple common meetings for prayer and the Holy 
Sacrament, and, when possible, love-feasts of brotherly 
fellowship ; finally, the enduring perseverance of the 
Church, even to the loss of all things and to death itself. 
Narrow as the line of evidence may seem which 
we have followed, it has, we trust, fully established 
the main proposition of this Lecture. What we have 
learned about the Gospels has not in any part been 
invalidated, but in many respects confirmed, by such 
trustworthy notices as we have gathered from Tal- 
mudic writings. Then, the testimony of Josephus 
concerning John and his Baptism has flashed light 
forward on the beginning of Christ's Ministry, on its 
object and character ; whilst the testimony of Pliny 



has flashed light backwards to the end of Christ's 
Ministry, to His Eesurrection, and to the faith and 
practice of the early Church. John the Baptist and 
Jesus Christ are true historical personages, and the 
influence of their activity is precisely such as the New 
Testament describes it. And what we have learned 
about the power of Christianity and its spread, about 
the life of Christians, and their readiness to be faithful 
unto death, sets before us in vivid colouring an his- 
torical picture of that primitive Church which saw 
in Jesus of Nazareth the fulfilment of the Old Testa- 
ment promises, and the reality of that kingdom which 
had been the hope of the Fathers. 

Text of the letter of Pliny the Younger to the Emperor Trajan. 1 

0. Plinius Trajano, Solemne estmihi, Domine, omnia, deiquibua 
dubito, ad Te referre. Quis enim potest melius vel cunctationem 
meam regere, vel ignorantiam instruere ? Cognitionibus de Chris- 
tianis interfui nunquam : ideo nescio, quid et quatenus aut puniri 
soleat, aut quseri. Nee mediocriter hsesitavi, sitne aliquod dis- 
criraen setaturn, an quamlibet teneri nihil a robustioribus differant : 
deturne pcenitentise venia, an ei, qui omnino Christianus fuit, 
desisse non prosit: nomen ipsum, si flagitiis careat, an flagitia 
cohcerentia nomini puniantur. Interim in iis, qxii ad me tanquam 
Christiani deferebantur, hunc sum secutus modum. Interrogavi 
ipsos, an essent Christiani : confitentes iterumactertio interrogavi, 
supplicium minatus : perseverantes duci jussi. Neque enim dubi 

1 Plinii,lib. x. epist. 96 [al. 97], THE EPISTLE OF PUN5T. 101 

tabam, qualecunque esset quod faterentur, pertinaciam certe et 
inflexibilem obstinationem debere puniri. Fuerunt alii similis 
amentias : quos, quia cives Romani erant, annotavi in urbem 
remittendos. Mox ipso tractatu, ut fieri solet, diffundente se 
crimine, plures species inciderunt. Propositus est libellus sine auc- 
tore, multorum nomina continens, qui negarent, esse se Christianos 
aut fuisse. Cum prseeunte me Deos appellarent, et imagini Tuse, 
quam propter hoc jusseram cum simulacris numinum afferri, 
thure ac vino supplicarent, prseterea maledicerent Christo, qxiorum 
nihil cogi posse dicuntur, qui sunt revera Christiani, dimittendos 
esse putavi. Alii ab indice nominati, esse se Christianos dixe- 
runt, et mox negaverunt : fuisse quideni, sed desisse, quidam 
ante triennium, quidam ante plures annos, non nemo etiam ante 
viginti quoque. Omnes et imaginem Tuam, Deorumque simulacra 
venerati sunt : ii et Christo maledixerunt. Affirniabant autem, 
hanc fuisse summam vel culpse suse, vel erroris, quod essent soliti 
stato die ante lucem convenire, carmenque Christo, quasi Deo, 
dicere secum invicem : seque sacramento, non in scelus aliquod 
obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria committerent, 
ne fidem fallerent, ne depositum appellati abnegarent; quibus 
peractis morem sibi discedendi fuisse, rursusque coeundi ad capi- 
endum cibum, promiscuum tamen et innoxium ; quod ipsxim facere 
desisse post edictum meum, quo secundum mandata Tua hetserias 
esse vetueram. Quo magis necessarium credidi, ex dnabus ancillis, 
quse ministrse dicebantur, quid esset veri, et per tormenta qneerere. 
Sed nihil aliud inveni, quam superstitionem pravam et immodi- 
cam : ideoque dilata cognitione ad consulendum Te decurri. Visa est 
enim mihi res digna consultatione, maxime propter periclitantium 
numerum. Multi enim omnis setatis, omnis ordinis, utriusque 
sexus etiam, vocantur in periculum, *et vocabuntur. Neque enim 
civitates tantum, sed vicos etiam atque agros superstitionis istixis 
contagio pervagata est. Quse videtur sisti et corrigi posse. Certe 
satis constatj prope jam desolata templa coepisse celebrari, et sacra 
solemnia diu intermissa repeti, pastumque venire victimarum, cujus 
adhuc rarissimus emtor inveniebatur. Ex quo facile est opinari, 
quse turba hominum emendari possit, si sit pcenitentisB locus. 




He shall grow as a root out of a dry ground. Is. liii. 2. 

I pray thee, of whom speaketh the Prophet this ? ACTS viii. 34. 

IN the preceding Lecture I have endeavoured to 
meet an objection which, if established, would have 
been fatal to our whole reasoning. Having thus, so 
to speak, cleared the ground before us, we can pro- 
ceed with our main argument. Nor could we rest it 
on better foundation than the two Scripture passages 
just quoted, of which the one points to the grand 
central Figure in Old Testament prophecy ; while 
the other refers to the question of its counterpart in 
the Person of Jesus Christ. 

It is not difficult to transport ourselves into the 
scene of the interview between the Ethiopian eunuch 

1 In revising this Lecture for publication I found that some parts of 
the argument had been more fully set forth in a Sermon preached 
before the University of Oxford. As the latter has not been published, 
and the two Lectures treat, in some parts of them, of substantially the 
same subject, I have thought it best to incorporate in this such portions 
of my University Lecture as more fully expound the views which I 
wished to present. At the same time, in now elaborating an argument 
which had been indicated in a former Lecture, it -was impossible to avoid 
occasional repetition of what had been previously stated. 

tBOT.iv 1 . 


and the Evangelist Philip. We have only to follow 
the most southern of the three anciently, perhaps, 
only two roads, which led from Jerusalem to Gaza. 
Beyond Eleutheropolis it passed through the ' desert,' 
that is, through a tract, now and, as there is 
reason to believe, in New Testament times unin- 
habited. Close by the road, in Wady el-Hasy, is 
a sheet of water, possibly the place of the eunuch's 
baptism. It can scarcely surprise us that this stranger, 
who had just been to Jerusalem to worship, should 
on this lonely road have busied himself with the Old 
Testament, nor yet that, in his peculiar circumstances 
and near the boundary of the Land of Promise, he 
should in preference have turned to its prophecies, 
especially to that section in the roll of Isaiah where 
those boundaries were enlarged till they became wide 
as the world itself. Nor does it seem strange that, as 
in thought he climbed the sacred height and stood 
before the great central Figure of that mysterious 
Sufferer, he could not recognise His features. To this 
day has Israel failed to see in that Face marred more 
than any man's its Messiah-King, the Crown of its 
glory only seen in it the impress of its own troubled 
history. And how could this stranger know it, who 
had but lately stood wondering in that gorgeous 
Temple, thronged by thousands of worshippers, and 
looked, as the crowd of white-robed priests ministered 
at the great altar of burnt-offering, and beyond it, 


from out the inner Sanctuary, floated the cloud of 
incense and shone the light 'of the ever-burning 
golden candlestick, while the voice of Levite-psahns 
filled the house with solemn melody. To lift one's 
eyes from that scene to the sin-burdened Sufferer, as to 
the ideal of it all Who, in His stripes, bore the sin 
of the world, and so was the crowned Servant of 
Jehovah implied a contrast which only Divinely- 
guided history could resolve, and only God-taught 
faith comprehend. 

We do not wonder then at his question : Of whom 
does the prophet speak ? It is the same which in its 
ultimate idea, as the mystery of suffering, has engaged 
all thinking. Yery really, it is the same which these 
eighteen centuries and more has divided us; which 
the Jew has sought to answer as he stood before the 
prophetic picture of Isaiah, and the Christian as he 
gazed on the crucified Christ. How perplexing it has 
proved to the Synagogue appears not only from the 
widely-divergent rather absolutely contradictory 
interpretations which the most learned of the Eabbis 
have given to this prophecy, but even from their own 
admissions after they had attempted to solve its 
mystery. The philosophic Ibn Ezra speaks of this 
Parashah as one ' extremely difficult.' Isaac b. Elijah 
Cohen says : ' I have never in my life seen or heard 
of the exposition of a clear or fluent commentator, 
in which my own judgment and that of others who 


have pondered on the same subject might completely 

And, to make only one other quotation from 
Dr. Pusey's Preface to the Catena of Jewish Inter- 
pretations on the 53rd of Isaiah, Ibn Amram says : 
' There is no little difficulty in giving a sense to those 
most obscure words of Isaiah in the present ; they 
manifestly need a prophetic spirit.' That, from the 
Jewish standpoint, such should be the case, every un- 
prejudiced student will readily understand. And we 
may further remark, that the latest attempt of a cer- 
tain school of critics to add to the Christian and the 
Jewish a third interpretation, in some sense more 
Jewish than that of the Jews, has only resulted in 
another, and yet more manifest, exegetical impossi- 
bility. But amidst these perplexities there seems at 
least one clear guiding light. The prophecy speaks 
not only of suffering, but of conquering, 'and of 
conquering by suffering. Now suffering is human ; 
conquering is divine : but to conquer by suffering is 

But amidst all our diversity there is, we are 
thankful to know, substantial agreement on one and, 
as it might seem, the most important point. There is 
no fundamental divergence between Jew and Chris- 
tian as regards the translation of this chapter. In this 
it differs from certain other passages designated as 
Messianic, such as Genesis xlix. 10, Psalm ii. 12, or the 

106 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. tsar, it. 

proper meaning of the word almah in Isaiah vii. 14 
which are respectively rendered in the Authorised 
Version by, * Until Shiloh come ;' l Kiss the Son lest he 
be angry ;' and ' Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and 
bear a Son.' We would go a step further. Even as 
regards the so-called Messianic prophecies generally, 
there is, with few exceptions, a similar general agree- 
ment as to the translation of the words ; or at least 
generally little that is fundamental is involved in the 
divergences. In other words, if it were only a ques- 
tion of the meaning of the original, we might hope 
soon to be at one. More especially is this the case 
as regards the climax of all Messianic predictions, the 
53rd chapter of Isaiah. In the words of Dr. Pusey: 
' Next to nothing turns upon renderings of the 
Hebrew. The objections raised by Jewish contro- 
versialists ... in only four, or at most five words, 
turn on the language.' And the matter seems, at first 
sight, the more perplexing that there is substantial 
agreement, not only as regards the wording, but also 
the main contents of this prophecy. All admit that 
the subject of this prophecy is portrayed as lowly in 
His beginnings ; suffering sorrow, contempt, and death ; 
that He would be accounted a transgressor, yet that 
His sufferings were vicarious, those of the just for the 
unjust, and this by God's appointment ; that in meek 
silence and willing submissiveness He would accept 
His doom ; that His soul was an offering for sin which 


God accepted ; that He made many righteous ; that He 
intercedes for trangressors ; that He is highly exalted 
in proportion to His humiliation ; and that kings 
would submit to Him, and His reign abide. To quote 
once more the language of Dr. Pusey : ' The question 
is not, " What is the picture?" in this all are agreed; 
but, " Whose image or likeness does it bear ? " ' To 
put it otherwise : the question is not as to the meaning 
of the passages, but as to their application. 'Of 
whom speaketh the prophet this ? ' of himself? of 
his contemporaries, or some part of them? or of some 
other One, who sums up in Himself the leading features 
of all, and yet passes beyond them, just as all fruit 
in the reality of its fulfilment passes beyond its visible 
germ-promise, unfolding all its indicated possibilities. 
How then are we to account for the differences 
existing between us ? The truth is, we start, indeed, 
from the same premisses, but into widely different 
directions. We all start not without preconceived 
opinions, as some would call them or guiding prin- 
ciples, as I would designate them. The Jew starts 
with his preconceived opinions as to what must or 
must not be in accordance with his general views of 
the teaching of the Old Testament. The Christian 
starts with the historical facts concerning Christ and 
Christianity in his mind. To the one this, to the other 
that, is the guiding principle in the application of 
what both have agreed to be the meaning of the. 


words and the contents of a prophecy. And it can- 
not well be otherwise. The honest inquirer can only 
seek to know which of the two directions is the 
right one. This question, indeed, is of widest appli- 
cation. It covers the entire range of prophecy, and 
is decisive in the controversy between the Synagogue 
and the Church, on which, we would here remind 
ourselves, depend far graver issues than merely in- 
tellectual victory. But in answering this question as 
to the guiding principle in the interpretation of pro- 
phecy, it is evident that we must get behind individual 
prophecies consider them not merely as isolated, 
but as a whole, trying to ascertain whether or not 
the Old Testament, as a whole, is prophetic of the 
Messiah, and whether or not the historical Christ 
and Christianity present the real fulfilment of that 

It is not, I hope, too fine a distinction to make 
between prophecy as referring to Christ, and pro- 
phecy as fulfilled in Christ. The two mark different 
standpoints in our view of prophecy, the one being 
the prospective or speculative, the other the retro- 
spective or historic view of it. But it seems to me 
that Christian divines have not only quitted their 
high vantage-ground of historical fact, but acted 
contrary, alike to sound reasoning and the example 
of the New Testament, in disputing whether or not 
certain individual prophecies referred to Christ, 


instead of first presenting their actual historical ful- 
filment in Trim. Had ibhey begun with this, they 
would have exhibited the fundamental principle 
which underlies all prophecy, and shown the true 
sense in which these predictions must refer to Christ. 
It is altogether a narrow principle which has 
been applied to the study of prophecy, and which 
too often results in disputes about words instead of 
presenting the grand and indubitable facts of fulfil- 
ment. There are persons who argue very strangely 
in regard to this matter. It is sometimes supposed 
that those who uttered a prophecy, perhaps even 
those who heard it, must have understood its full 
meaning, its complete Messianic bearing, or at least 
have had full conception of the personal Messiah as 
now in the light of fulfilment we know Him. 1 And 
when it is shown that this could not have been the 
case, it is forthwith rashly concluded that the Mes- 
sianic application for which we contend is erroneous. 
But it is a kind of Jewish literalism which lies at the 
basis of this erroneous view of prophecy, a narrow 
and utterly unspiritual view of it, a mechanical view 
also, which treats fulfilment in its relation to pro- 
phecy as if it were a clock made to strike the 
precise quarters of the hour. But it is not so. The 

1 Thus G. Baur in his very thoughtful Geschichte d. Messianischen 
Weissagungen a hook which contains the substance of much that a very 
large proportion of a certain class of critics have since had to say only in 
more moderate language than theirs. 

110" EROfflECY AND HIStfOBt. tEcr. tfr. 

fulfilment is always both wider and more spiritual 
than the prediction. It contains it and much more, 
and it can only be properly understood when viewed 
in its relation to prophecy as a whole. For it is 
evident that, if we were to maintain that those who 
uttered or who heard these predictions had possessed 
the same knowledge of them as we in the light of 
their fulfilment, these things would follow: First. 
Prophecy would have superseded historical develop- 
ment, which is the rational order, and God's order. 
Secondly. In place of this order we would introduce 
a mechanical and external view of God's revelation, 
similar to that which in theology has led to the fatal 
notion of a mechanical inspiration, and which in 
natural science (viewed from the theological stand- 
point) scouts the idea of development, and regards 
all as absolutely finished from the beginning views 
which have been the bane of much that otherwise 
would have been sound in Natural Theology and 
Apologetics, and which have proved destructive to 
the old supernaturalism, involving in its fall much 
that was true, and which has now to be digged 
out of the ruins and built up anew. Thirdly. It 
would eliminate from God's revelation the moral 
and spiritual element that of teaching on His part, 
and of faith and advancement on ours. Fourthly. 
It would make successive prophecies needless, since 
all has been already from the first clearly and fully 


understood. Lastly. Such a view seems in direct 
contradiction to the principle expressly laid down in 
1 Pet. i. 10, 11, as applicable to prophecy. 

On the other hand, the principle that prophecy 
can only be fully understood from the standpoint of 
fulfilment, seems not only in accordance with all that 
one would expect since otherwise prophecy would 
have been simply foretold history, without present 
application and teaching but it must be evident that, 
if such had been the object in view, it would have been 
more natural, and, as it would seem, have secured 
the purpose more fully, to have told it out plainly, 
without the use of figure or metaphor, in language 
that could not have been misunderstood or mis- 


interpreted. And so it almost seems as if some 
persons would fain have it, and that not only in 
regard to prophecy, but they complain that the ISTew 
Testament should have told them everything plainly, 
giving every particular, even to the minutest direc- 
tion as to the modes of our organisation, the order 
of our services, and the details of our Church life. 
But it is not so, and it never can be so, if, as we 
believe, our religion is of God. What in these 
demands is true has been granted, though not in 
the way in which it was expected. The history of 
the Church has taught us much of that which the 
New Testament contains, and the enlightened Chris- 
tian consciousness has learned, as through bilingual 


inscriptions, to read the characters and the language 
in which much of the past was written. History 
has unfolded much that the New Testament had in- 
folded, and under the ever-present guidance of the 
Holy Spirit we have learned to understand it. NOT 
does the objection hold good, that in such case they 
of old must in measure have been ignorant of the 
truth. In their measure they were not ignorant 
of it, but their measure is not ours. We believe 
in development and progress, rightly understood. 
Divine truth and revelation are, indeed, always the 
same : one, full, and final ; and nothing can be added 
thereto. But with the development of our wants 
and with our progress its meaning unfolds, and it 
receives ever new appli cations. We understand 
things more fully if you like, differently from our 
fathers, not because they are different, but because 
we are different, because questions have arisen to us 
which had not come to them, because mental and 
moral wants press upon us which had not presented 
themselves to them. And what is this but to assert 
the constant teaching of Grod ? We bring not a new 
truth, but unfold the old ; and from its adaptation, 
ever fresh and new to all times, to all men, to all 
wants, we gather fresh and living evidence of its 
Divine origin. 

It is in this manner that prophecy in its appli- 
cation to Christ should be studied : first, the living 

. it. 


Person, tlien His portraiture ; first, the fulfilment, 
then the prophetic reference ; first, the historical, 
then the exegetical argument. These remarks are 
not intended to deprecate the application of indi- 
vidual prophecies to Christ ; only to correct a one- 
sided and mechanical literalism that exhausts itself 
in fruitless verbal controversies in which it is not 
unfrequently worsted, and to give to our views the 
right and, as we believe, the spiritual direction. For, 
even an exegetical victory would not decide that 
inward direction of heart and life which makes the 
Christian. We fully and gladly add that even in 
strict exegesis many special predictions can be only 
Messianically interpreted. But we believe still more 
that the Old Testament as a whole is Messianic, and 
full of Christ ; and we wish this to be first properly 
apprehended, that so from this point of view the 
Messianic prophecies may be studied in detail. Then 
only shall we understand their real purport and 
meaning, and perceive, without word-cavilling, that 
they must refer to the Messiah. 

And in this, as in all other things, we take our 
best guidance from the New Testament. When we 
ask ourselves whence those quiet God-fearing persons 

a Simeon, Anna, Zacharias, Elisabeth, a Joseph, 
and, with reverence be it added, the Virgin-Mother 

took their direction before the manifestation of 
Christ ; and, during its course, His disciples and fol- 



lowers, we unhesitatingly answer, from the Old Tes- 
tament. But from the Old Testament as a whole ; 
not, in the first place, from individual predictions, 
since in the nature of things these could only be ful- 
filled in the gradual development of His history. 
Nay, even when a prediction was actually fulfilled, as 
that of Zechariah in Christ's entry into Jerusalem, 
the reference to it is followed by this significant 
explanation of St. John (xii. 16) : ' These things 
understood not His disciples at the first : but when 
Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these 
things were written of Him, and that they had done 
these things unto Him.' And this also explains how 
that which to our minds constitutes the central point 
in all Messianic predictions the sufferings of the 
Christ so far from being prominent in the minds of 
His disciples, was ever that which they could not 
understand. It was only after His Eesurrection, on 
that blessed evening-walk to Emmaus, that He could 
say to those two simple-hearted disciples, who were so 
sad at the things which had come to pass : ' Oh fools 
and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets 
have spoken ! Ought not Christ to have suffered these 
things and to enter into His glory? And beginning 
at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded unto 
them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Him- 
self.' And it was again after that that He more fully 
taught His Apostles : ' These are the words which I 

tixrt. iv. THE ITOETLMEiifT o PROPHECY. 

have spoken unto you, while I was yet with you, that 
all things must be fulfilled which were written in the 
Law of Moses and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms 
concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, 
that they might understand the Scriptures.' They 
could not recognise any one single feature, however 
salient, till the whole Figure stood before them 
bathed in the heavenly light. Then could each one 
of them -be recognised as it had been portrayed by 
the prophets. They learned fulfilled prophecies in 
the light of fulfilled prophecy. And so shall we 
also best learn it. 

Two things here strike the observant reader of 
the New Testament : first, the sparseness of prophetic 
quotations in the Gospels ; and, secondly, their pecu- 
liarity. So far as I remember, only the one prophecy 
concerning His birth at Bethlehem was ever adduced 
to guide men to the Christ. And this predicti.on, 
itself a locus classicus universally accepted, was logi- 
cally necessary. But even so, it had nothing special 
to direct to Jesus as the Christ. In all His teach- 
ing, except when in the Synagogue of Nazareth, He 
pointed to His message of the kingdom as fulfilling 
the prophecy of Isaiah, He did not base His Messianic 
claims on any special prophecies. He ever based 
them on what He was, on what He said, on what He 
did ; on the message of love from the Father which 
stood incarnate before them in His Person, on the 


116 PROPHECY AOT> HISTORY. ran. iv, 

opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers, on 
the forgiveness, the peace, and the healing to body 
and soul, which He brought. That was the fulfilment 
of Old Testament prophecy ; this the kingdom for 
which all had been preparing, and which all had 
announced. And because He was the fulfilment of 
all, therefore was He the Messiah promised: the 
desire of all nations, towards which their conscious 
and unconscious longings had tended, and the glory 
of His people Israel, the crowning glory of all 
their spiritual teaching. Because He was the fiilfil- 
ment of the Old Testament ideal, the deeper reality 
of its history and institutions, therefore did all the 
prophecies refer to Him. And when that stood fully 
out, then could His Apostles (as in their preaching in 
the Book of Acts) point to the prophecies as referring 
to Him. This is the zmfolding in the New, of what 
was mfolded in the Old Testament. 

Secondly, the observant reader of the New Tes- 
tament will be struck by the peculiarity of the Old 
Testament quotations in the Gospels. As regards 
their form they are mostly neither exactly from the 
original Hebrew nor from the Septuagint. This in 
accordance with universal custom. For popular use 
the Scriptures were no longer quoted in the Hebrew, 
which was not spoken, nor from the LXX, which was 
under Eabbinic ban, but targumed, rendered into the 
vernacular ; the principle being very strongly ex- 


pressed that, in so doing, it was not the letter, but 
the meaning of the passage which was to be given. 1 
But as regards the substance of these quotations, 
we feel as if mostly those passages had been ad- 
duced which we would least have expected to be 
quoted. The reason of this lies in the well-known 
fundamental principle of the Synagogue, that { all the 
prophets only prophesied of the Messiah ' nay, that 
all events in the history of Israel and all their insti- 
tutions were prophetic, and pointed forward to a 
fuller realisation in the Messiah. To whatever ex- 
travagance of detail this may have been carried, 
I have no hesitation in saying that the underlying 
principle is not only tenable, but both sound and 

This may be the proper place for some remarks 
on Prophecy in general, in the Biblical sense of the 
term, and on the Prophets in the Old Testament 
application of the designation. 

1. Prophecy, in general perhaps I should have 
said Prophetism may, in the Biblical sense of the 
term, be denned as the reflection upon earth of the 
Divine ideal in its relation to the course of human 
affairs. According as the one or the other of these 
is the primary element, it refers to the future, or 
else to the present or the past. In the one case it 
is mainly predictive, in the other mainly parenetic. 



This from our human standpoint, where we view 
things as future, present, or past not from that of 
Divine reality where all is present. 

In this general statement regarding prophecy, 
nothing has been said as to the medium through 
which this reflection of the Divine Light is to be 
made upon earth whether institutions, events, or 
persons and in the latter case, both through those 
who are in harmony, and those who are out of har- 
mony with the Divine : true or false prophets. In 
point of fact, prophecy, or the reflection of the Divine 
upon earth, may be, and really was, through each 
and all of these media. And the more fully we con- 
sider it, the more appropriate and even necessary will 
it appear to us that such should have been the case. 
For so will history which is not a fortuitous suc- 
cession of events, but their orderly evolution from 
certain well-defined causes towards a Divinely willed 
end most properly attain its destined goal. 

It may seem a bold statement, and yet, to me at 
least, it seems logically clear, that our view of pro- 
phecy implies only one premiss which is indeed a 
postulate. It is that of the Living and the True God 
But this is precisely what the Old Testament teaches 
us concerning Jehovah. By the Living and the True 
God, I mean, not an abstraction, but a Person, a 
Moral Being ; the Creator and Owner of all ; the 
Centre of all, with Whom all is in living connection ; 


or, in the words of St. Paul's quotation, He c in Whom 
we live and move and have our being.' I am aware 
that if the view of prophecy here indicated can be 
historically established, it would, on the other hand, 
lead by induction to historic evidence of such a God. 
But I leave this for the present aside, and put my 
argument, or rather my mode of viewing it, on this 
wise. The presence of a Living and True God in 
living connection with His creatures, seems to imply, 
as a necessary corollary, a Divine ideal in reference 
to the course of human events. From this again it 
would seem to follow, that there is at least strong 
presumption in favour of a Eevelation, which is the 
communication to men of the Divine ideal. And 
Eevelation and miracles are only different aspects of 
such Divine communication. But there can at least 
be no question that, if there be a Divine ideal with 
reference to the course of human events, that ideal 
must in the end, and as the goal of history, become 
the real ; and, according to Holy Scripture, which in 
this respect also answers to our former definition of 
Revelation, this is and will be the Kingdom of God, 
when the Divine ideal in reference to man shall have 
become the real. And so it. is that all Scripture is 
prophetic ; that all prophecy has its ultimate fulfil- 
ment in the Kingdom of God ; and that all prophecy 
points to it, or is Messianic in its character. 

Wide-reaching as these statements are in their 


sequences, they must appear reasonable, at least to 
every Theist, and they are in accordance with 
what Holy Scripture sets forth as its object and 

2. From these more abstract considerations we 
turn, somewhat abruptly, to the concrete manner in 
which Prophetisni is presented in the Old Testament. 
From one point of view, three classes are there desig- 
nated as Prophets : Those who were avowedly the 
prophets of other gods, as of Baal or Ashtaroth ; 
those who, while professedly the prophets of Jehovah 
(or Jahveh), were not really such some conscious, 
some apparently not conscious of imposture; and, 
Lastly, those who were really * sent ' by Jehovah. As 
all these, however widely differing in character, 
bear the same name of * prophets,' it follows not, as 
some would have it, that the Old Testament considers 
them all as equally prophets (which would be the 
heathen view of it), but that the title { prophet ' must 
be regarded as simply a generic designation, which 


implied no judgment either as to the character or the 
claims of those who bore it. More light comes to us 
from the root-meaning of the terms by which these 
' prophets ' are designated in the Hebrew. To a cer- 
tain extent they show us what ideas originally attached 
to the functions of a prophet, although we should 
always keep in view how easily and quickly a word 
moves away from its original meaning to its common 

. iv. 


application. Leaving aside such descriptive appella- 
tions as 'man of God,' 'messenger of God,' or the like, 
which afford no help towards the definition of the 
term ' prophet,' there are three words by which that 
office is chiefly described in the Hebrew, Nabhi, Roeh, 
and Chozeh. The etymology and meaning of the word 
Nabhi have been in dispute. According to some, it 
means primarily a spokesman ; according to the major- 
ity of critics, it is derived from the verb nabha, which 
means to ' well forth' or ' bubble up.' Although the 
latter seems the more correct, yet there is practically 
little difference between the two interpretations. The 
idea which we necessarily attach to this 'bubbling 
up,' or ' welling forth,' is, that the prophet was so 
filled with Divine inspiration that it 'bubbles up* 
out of his speech, that he ' wells it forth ; ' x in which 
sense the New Testament also speaks of believers, in 
virtue of their reception of the Holy Spirit, as those 
out of whom ' flow rivers of li ving water/ 2 It will 
be perceived that this description of the prophet as 
'welling forth' the Divine truly or falsely is so 
general as to be universally applicable ; and, in- 
deed, the term seems kindred to those used by other 
nations of antiquity. 

Thus viewed, the Prophet is the medium of sup- 

1 The use of the word in 1 Ohron. xxv. 1-8 deserves special con- 
sideration as implying a wider and more general application. 
8 St. John vii. 38. " 

122 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. laser. -iv. 

posed or real Divine communication from whatever 
Deity it be and the 'weller-forth' is also 'the spokes- 
man.' It is in this sense that, when Moses was sent to 
bear the Divine communication to Pharaoh, Aaron 
was promised to him as his Nabhi his weller-forth, 
spokesman, or medium of communication. 1 This may 
also help us to understand the meaning of an institu- 
tion and of a designation in the Old Testament which 
is of the deepest interest : that of ' schools of the pro- 
phets ' and 'the sons of the prophets. 3 I would suggest 
that ' the sons of the prophets ' stood related to the 
prophets as the prophets themselves to the Divine. 2 
They were the medium of prophetic communication, 
as the prophets were the medium of Divine com- 
munication. And the analogy holds true in every 
particular. As the prophet must absolutely submit 
himself to God, and be always ready to act only as the 
medium of Divine communication, so must the ' son 
of the prophet ' be ready to carry out the behests of 
the prophet, and be the medium of his communi- 
cation, whether by word or deed. As a prophet 
might be divinely employed temporarily, occasionally, 
or permanently, so the sons of the prophets by the 
prophets. God might in a moment raise up and 
qualify suitable men to be His prophets or means of 

.... * Ex. vii. 1 ; comp. iv. 16. 

3 1 ain here only treating of one aspect of the question; but, as it 
seems to me, the most important. 


communication, since only inspiration was required 
for this. But the prophets could not exercise such in- 
fluence in regard to their ' sons.' Accordingly, special 
institutions, ' the schools of the prophets,' were re- 
quired for their training and preparation. Besides 
this primary object, these establishments would serve 
important spiritual and religious purposes in the land, 
alike as regarded their testimony to Prophetism, their 
cultivation of the Divine, their moral discipline, 
readiness of absolute God-consecration and implicit 
submission to Him, and general religious influence 
on the people. But the analogy between prophets 
and sons of the prophets went even farther than 
we have indicated. For the moral qualifications for 
the two offices, however fundamentally differing, were 
in one respect the same. For both offices the one 
condition needful was absolute obedience ; that is, 
viewed subjectively, passiveness ; viewed objectively, 
faithfulness. Alike the prophet and the son of the 
prophet must, in the discharge of his commission, 
have absolutely no will or mind of his own, that so 
he may be faithful to Him "Whose medium of com- 
munication he is. Hence perhaps sometimes pur- 
posely, to preach this to an unbelieving generation 
the strange symbolisms occasionally connected with 
the prophetic office, and, on the other hand, the 
severe and, as it might otherwise seem, excessive 
punishments with which the smallest deviation from 


the exact terms of the commission was visited. For, 
not only each special prophetic mission, but the very 
meaning and basis of the prophetic office, depended 
on the exact transmission of the communication. 

But we remember that the designation Ndblii is 
not the only one by which the prophetic functions 
are described in the Old Testament. Of the two 
other terms employed, Eoeh describes the prophet as 
a seer, while Chozeh presents him rather as one who 
gazes. Although etymological distinctions are apt 
to run into each other, and in the present instance 
have actually done so, I would venture to suggest 
that, originally, the Eoeh or seer may have been the 
prophet as seeing that which then existed, although 
unseen by ordinary men ; while the Chozeh or gazer 
would represent the prophet as, in rapt vision, gazing 
on the yet future. In any case, the term Nabhi would 
not only be the more general and generic designation, 
but indicate a higher standpoint, as implying that 
the prophet acted as the medium of Divine communi- 

Very interesting and instructive is the progres- 
sion from the one to the other designation as marked 
in 1 Samuel ix. 9. Erom this it appears that he who 
in the time of the writer was called Nabhi had pre- 
viously been designated as Roeh or seer. A rash 
inference has been drawn from the circumstance that 
nevertheless the term Nabhi appears in the Pentateuch 


as applied, not only to Aaron in regard to Moses, 1 
but to Abraham in regard to God, 2 and that, indeed, 
it repeatedly occurs in the Books of Numbers and 
Deuteronomy. 3 But this does not necessarily imply 
that the Pentateuch was written after the term Nabhi 
had taken the place of Roeh, for, in point of fact, it 
never really did take that place ; and the writer of 
1 Samuel does not assert that the term Nabhi had 


previously been unknown, but that before the time 
of Samuel the designation of the prophet in common 
use had been that of Roeh or seer. This seems to us 
to mark a lower religious standpoint, when the pro- 
phet was chiefly regarded as a seer of what was 
unseen by others. Thus, it would be in character 
with the period of spiritual decay from the time of 
Joshua to that of Samuel. But with the ministry of 
Samuel there was a return to the original idea of 
the prophet as the medium of Divine communication, 
when the functions of Roeh or Chozeh were either 
subsidiary, or only special aspects of the prophetic 

2. Leaving aside, for the present, the question of 
the means indicated in the Old Testament for dis- 
tinguishing the true prophet of Jehovah from the 
pretended, or from prophets of Baal, it will be seen 

1 Ex. vii. 1. * Gen. xx. 7. 

8 Num. xi. 29; xii. 6; Deut. xiii. 1, 3, 6; xviii. 15, 18, 20, 22 3 
xxxiv. 10. 


tli at the generic term Nabhi might be equally applied 
to these three classes. They were all Nebhiim, or 
organs of communication, of what professed to be the 
Divine. Further, this definition of the Nabhi will help 
us to understand the real functions of the prophetic 
office. We no longer regard the prophet as merely 
the foreteller of future events, nor yet identify 
prophecy with prediction. This would introduce a 
heathen and mantic element, contrary to the whole 
spirit of the Old Testament, and foreign to it also in 
this, that it withdraws from its most important in- 
stitutions the moral and spiritual, which is the pri- 
mary principle of the Old Testament. Nor do we, on 
the other hand, so accentuate the recorded facts 
concerning the work of the prophets as to regard 
them merely as those who announced to their age 
the Mind and Will of Jahveh taught, admonished, 
warned (the parenetic element). This would lead up 
to the gradual effacement of the distinctive idea of 
Prophetisni. No, nor yet do we see in it a combi- 
nation of the two elements, the predictive and the 
parenetic, but a welding of them into one. The pro- 
phet is the medium of Divine communication. When 
he preaches he does not merely refer to the present ; 
nor yet when he foretells does he refer exclusively 
to the future. He occupies, with reverence be it 
said, in a sense, the Divine standpoint, where there 
is neither past, present, nor future. 


And here we must come back upon explanations 
in a former Lecture. The Prophet, as preacher, 
views the present in the light of the future ; as fore- 
teller, the future in the light of the present. He 
points out present sin, duty, danger, or need, but all 
under the strong light of the Divine future. He 
speaks of the present in the name of God, and by His 
direct commission ; of a present, however, which, in 
the Divine view, is evolving into a future, as the 
blossom is opening into the fruit. And when he fore- 
tells the future, he sees it in the light of the present ; 
the present lends its colours, scenery, the very historic 
basis for the picture. 

This, as we have seen, will help to explain alike 
the substance and the form of the prophetic message. 
To the prophetic vision the present is ever enlarging, 
widening, extending. These hills are growing, the 
valley is spreading, the light is gilding the mountain 
tops. And presently the hills are clothed with green, 
the valleys peopled with voices ; the present is merging 
into the future, although exhibited in the form of the 
present. The prophet is speaking of Moab, Ammon, 
Tyre, Assyria ; and these are gradually growing into 
the shapes of future foes, or future similar relations. 
And in the midst of such references here and there 
appears what applies exclusively to that Messianic 
Kingdom which is the goal and final meaning of all, 
and of all prophecy. It is an entire misunderstand- 


ing to regard such prophecies as not applying to 
the Messianic future, because they occur in the 
midst of references to contemporary events. As 
the rapt prophet gazes upon those hills and valleys 
around him, they seem to grow into gigantic moun- 
tains and wide tracts, watered by many a river 
and peopled with many and strange forms, while 
here and there the golden light lies on some 
special height, whence its rays slope down into 
valleys and glens ; or else, the brightness shines out 
in contrasted glory against dark forest, or shadowy 
outline in the background. And the Prophet could 
not have spoken otherwise than in the forms of 
the present. For, had he spoken in language, and 
introduced scenery entirely of the future, not only 
would his own individuality have been entirely 
effaced, but he would have been wholly unintelligible 
to his contemporaries, or, to use the language of 
St. Paul, he would have been hke those who spoke 
always in an unknown tongue. 

To make ourselves more clear on these points, 
let us try to transport ourselves into the times and 
circumstances of the prophets. Assume that the 
problem were to announce and describe the Messianic 
Kingdom to the men of that generation, in a manner 
applicable and intelligible to them, and also pro- 
gressively applicable to all succeeding generations, 
up to the fulfilment in the time of Christ, and beyond 


it, to all ages and to the furthest development of 
civilisation. The prophet must speak prophetically 
yet intelligibly to his own contemporaries. But, on 
the other hand, he must also speak intelligibly, yet 
prophetically to the men of every future generation 
even to us. We can readily understand how in such 
case many traits and details cannot have been fully 
understood by the prophets themselves. But we are 
prepared to affirm that all these conditions are best 
fulfilled in the prophecies of the Old Testament, and 
that, if the problem be to announce the Messianic 
Kingdom in a manner consistent with the dogmatic 
standpoint then reached, the then cycle of ideas and 
historical actualities and possibilities, and yet suitable 
also to all generations, it could not have been better 
or equally well done in any other manner than that 
actually before us in the Old Testament. As a matter 
of fact, the present generation, and, as a matter of 
history, all past generations admittedly the whole 
Jewish Church and the whole Christian Church 
have read in these prophecies the Messianic future. 
and yet every successive generation has understood 
them, more or less clearly, and in a sense newly. If 
I might venture on an illustration : the reading of 
prophecy seems like gazing through a telescope, 
which is successively drawn out in such manner as 
to adapt the focus to the varying vision. 

And yet the telescope is the same to all gene- 


rations. We do not propose the' clumsy device of 
a twofold application of prophecy, to the present and 
to the future, but, taking the prophetic standpoint, 
we regard the present as containing in germ the 
future, and the future as the child of the present, so 
that it can be presented in the forms of the present ; 
or, to revert to a statement in a previous Lecture, it 
is not a progression, nor even a development, but an 
unfolding of the present. Viewed in relation to the 
Messianic Kingdom, it is one and the same thing, 
which to the eye of the prophet now is, and ever 
shall be. We might almost apply to prophetisin this 
in the Epistle to the Hebrews : ' Jesus Christ, the 
same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever/ Canaan is a 
prophetic land, and Israel a prophetic people, of whom 
God says to the world : ' Touch not Mine anointed, 
and do My prophets no harm.' And their whole 
history is prophetic. It is not merely one or another 
special prediction that is Messianic : everything 
every event and institution is prophetic and Messia- 
nico-prophetic, and what we one-sidedly call special 
predictions are only special points on which the 
golden light rests, and from which it is reflected. And 
it is in this sense that we understand and adopt the 
fundamental principle of the Synagogue, repeated in 
every variety of form, that every event in Israel's his- 
tory, and every prophecy pointed forward to the Mes- 
siah, and that every trait and fact of the past, whether 


of Mstory or miracle, would be re-enacted more 
fully, nay, in complete fulness, in the times of the 

We repeat, that this fundamental view of the Old 
Testament prophecy, or rather of the prophetic cha- 
racter of the Old Testament in contradistinction to 
the theory of merely isolated predictions in single 
verses or clauses, or even in isolated chapters, must 
not be misunderstood as if it implied that there are 
not absolute and definite predictions in the Old Testa- 
ment. Unquestionably there are such, that .had no 
basis in the then present as when a sign was .to 
be given, or an immediate judgment or deliverance 
enounced. But the principles which we have laid 
down are most wide-reaching in their bearing. They 
find their application also to what are called the / 
typjjs of the Old Testament, which are predictions 
by deed, as prophecies are predictions by word, and / 
in the study of which the reference to the future 
must be learned from their teaching in the then pre- 
sent: their typical from their symbolical meaning. 
And the same principles also apply to what of pro- 
phecy we have in the New Testament. This bears 
chiefly on these three points : the Second Coming of 
Christ, the Antichrist, and the visions of the Apoca- 
lypse. The subject is so interesting, that without 
applying in detail the principles laid down in this 
Lecture, we may be allowed at least to indicate 


their bearing on each of these three groups of pro- 

As regards the Second Coming of Christ, it will 
scarcely be questioned that it was somehow connected 
with statements, which we now see to have primarily 
referred to the destruction of Jerusalem and the 
Temple. Equally there can be no doubt, that the 
men of Christ's time expected His Advent, and also 
that every age since has done the same ; and, indeed, 
was intended to do so. The application of our prin- 
ciples seems to introduce harmony into all this. It 
was the all-engrossing and all-influencing fact, to be 
viewed through the telescope of prophecy. And the 
destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple was not 
only a symbol, but in an initial sense the very coming 
of Christ into His Kingdom. That coming of Christ 
into His Kingdom, which had been denied in explicit 
words, and negatived by public deed, when by wicked 
hands they slew Him, was vindicated, and, so to speak, 
publicly enacted when the Roman soldier threw the 
torch into the Temple, and when afterwards Jeru- 
salem was laid level with the dust. As regards the 
men of that land and generation, it was the public 
proclamation, the evidence, that the Christ Whom 
ibhey had rejected had come into His Kingdom. By 
the lurid light of those flames no other words could 
4>e read than those on the Cross : ' This is the King 
of the Jews.' I say, then, the burning of Jerusalem PROPHECIES IN TfllS NEW TESTAMENT. 

was to that generation and whatever kindred events 
successively came within the focus of the telescopic 
vision of following generations, were to them, the 
fulfilment of that prophecy, of which the final com- 
pletion will be the Personal reappearance of Christ at 
the end of the jEon. 

Similar inferences come to us when we turn to the 
prophecies concerning the Antichrist. In that gene- 
ration the mystery of iniquity was already working. 
Antichrist had already come, in those Gnostic here- 
sies, defacements and displacements of Divine truth, 
and in the political antagonism, which almost threat- 
ened the extinction of the Church. And in every 
generation does ' the mystery of iniquity ' work ; and 
it worketh now nay, as the holy Apostle explains, it 
shall work in the children of disobedience, and so 
long and wherever there are such, till that which 
now letteth is taken away, and the dammed -up waters 
rush into those ready channels, from which they had 
so long been held, and so Antichrist be fully revealed. 
Or, lastly, as regards the prophetic visions of the 
Apocalypse, it is not difficult to perceive that the 
forms and imagery so to speak, the groundwork 
are taken from the then present: either from the 
Temple and its services, or from current Apocalyptic 
imagery, or else from the political history of the 
time, from JSTero, and the events then occurring. But 
because critics recognise, for example, Nero and that 


period, it would surely be a very rash conclusion 
that these visions are so jejune as to present merely 
an Apocalyptic description of that time. 

To sum up in practical conclusions what has been 
stated in this Lecture. It is in the light of the wider 
view of fulfilled prophecy which, as a whole and in 
all its parts, refers to the Kingdom of God upon earth, 
that we must study individual predictions. They 
pass far beyond anything actual at the time of their 
utterance to the underlying ideal. They are not 
exaggerated Orientalisms for simple facts, but there 
was one grand moving idea set forth with ever un- 
folding clearness : the hope of a great Fatherhood of 
God, of a great brotherhood of man, in which the 
grand connecting link, alike with God and man, should 
be the One Who embodied all that was ideally pos- 
sible in man, and Who manifested all that could be 
manifested of God ; Who united the highest point in the 
human with the utmost condescension of the Divine 
God and man ; Who brought God's reconciliation to 
man, and by it reconciled man to God, combining in 
Himself these two : the suffering of man and the con- 
quering of God, and organically united them in con- 
quering by suffering ; One Who, by so doing, made 
possible, and introduced the Messianic Kingdom of 
God, through the willing submission of man. Thus 
the God-Man fully realised the theanthropic idea of 
the whole Old Testament. 


As each event in His history kindled into light, 
it shone, upon the individual prophecies, and made 
them bright. And here let us -mark the inward con- 
nection of these Messianic prophecies. If, putting 
aside controversial criticism, we range them side by 
side, and in their order, we perceive that which 
modern philosophic science seeks, in all its depart- 
ments : a grand unity. This unity cannot be accounted 
for on the modern negative theory, which treats the 
prophecies as disjecta membra^ having each sole appli- 
cation to some one historical event of the past. Even 
as regards the older view of prophetisrn, which I 
have disclaimed, Kuenen himself has admitted at 
least its attractiveness and grandeur. But further, 
there is not only unity, but manifest progression. 
The fundamental idea does not change, but it unfolds, 
and applies itself under ever-changing and enlarging 
circumstances, developing from particularism into 
universalism ; from the more realistic preparatory 
presentation to the spiritual which underlay it, and 
to which it pointed ; from Hebrewism to the world- 
Kingdom of God. And, lastly, this Messianic idea is 
the moving spring of the Old Testament. It is also its 
sole raison d'etre, viewed as a revelation. Otherwise 
the Jewish people and their history could only have 
an archaeological or a political interest for us. He- 
brewism, if it had any Divine meaning, was the reli- 
gion of the future, and Israel embodied for the world 


the religious idea which, in its universal application, 
is the Kingdom of God. 

Or, else, if we discard this view of prophecy 
altogether, then must we also surrender the Old Tes- 
tament itself as of any Divine authority, or as other 
than a form of ancient religion. For we can never be- 
lieve that a narrow, national, and exclusive creed and 
institutions could have been Divine in the strict sense, 
or intended to be permanent ; for it is not possible 
that the blood of bulls or of goats should take away 
sins.' * But if you remove the Old Testament, then the 
New Testament which is built on it must also fall. 
For not only do Christ and His Apostles avowedly 
stand upon Old Testament ground, but the Church 
itself is built ' upon the foundation of the Apostles 
and Prophets.' 2 This issue we can safely leave to the 
arbitrament of time, or rather, as Christian believers, 
in the hands of our God. Modifications of form and 
of presentation may, and will come other perhaps 
than we either expect or fear. But we have re- 
ceived a kingdom that cannot be shaken 3 the 
revelation of which, whether as prophecy under the 
Old, or fulfilment under the New Testament, is, with 
reverence be it said, worthy of God to have given, 
worthy of Christ to have manifested, worthy of 
humanity to be received and submitted to ; worthy 
also, let us add, to be accepted by us in the rever- 
ence of a humble, earnest, and personal faith. 

1 Heb. x. 4. a Eph. ii. 20. Heb. xii. 28, 



And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while 
I was with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in 
the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning 
Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand 
the Scriptures. ST. LUKE xxiv. 44, 45. 

WE may almost be pardoned the wish that St. 
Luke had, at least in this instance, not so closely 

1 An explanation may be allowed as to the difference as regards fulness 
of treatment between some of these Lectures and others which follow. 
In the more detailed Lectures I had to proceed upon lines that were 
new, setting forth views derived from fresh study of the great subject. 
These required therefore to be fully explained and vindicated. In the 
other Lectures I travelled, perhaps necessarily, along lines which, more 
or less, others had followed. Hence the treatment could be more concise. 
And, indeed, a fuller discussion of all the subjects referred to would have 
necessitated a treatment quite beyond the plan and scope of this course 
of Lectures. For a similar reason I have made large use of the works 
of the ablest writers on the various branches of the subject, such as 
Oehler (Theol. d. A. Test. 2 vols.) ; Konig (d. Offenb. Begr. d. A. Test.), 
and his last very able book,<Z. Hauptquellen d. Isr. Relig.-Gesch., without, 
however, adopting his views on the Pentateuch ; Kiiper (Prophetenthum 
d. A'. Bandes) ; Biehm (d. Mess. Weissaff.') ; Kohler (Prophet, d. Hebr. 
u. d. Mantik d. alien Griecheri) ; and, besides others which will be 
incidentally mentioned, Bredenkamp (Gesetz u. Propheteri). To the 
latter I am specially indebted in tbis and the following Lecture. This 
general acknowledgment must suffice instead of burdening the pages with 

138 PROPHECY AM) HISTORY . item, f* 

adhered to his plan of narration, and told us in detail 
to what special lines of prophetic thought Christ had 
pointed the niinds which He opened, and what special 
prophecies, dimly apprehended of old, He had now 
illumined with the radiance of His risen glory. Yet 
it is perhaps best for the Church that to all time only 
these gigantic measurements should have been laid to 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament : that they form 
one organic whole, being bound together by the pro- 
phetic element which is common to them all ; that 
their prophecy is of the Christ, that He should suffer 
and rise again, and that repentance and remission of 
sins should be preached in His name to all nations 
in other words, that they tell of His humiliation, 
exaltation and reign ; of the story of sin, righteous- 
ness, and judgment'; of man, Christ, and God ; or, 
in more scientific language, that they contain the 
anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology in short, 
the history of the Kingdom of God. 

But whatever prophetic Scriptures Christ may 
have opened at that time, their Messianic interpreta- 
tion would, to judge by the Old Testament quotations 
in the Gospels, not have been according to the 
strait-ness of the letter, which regarded a prophecy 
as exhausted by one special event, but in the expan- 
siveness of the spirit, which, starting from a definite 
event as the terminus a quo of fulfilment, followed the 
prophetic element in it through its unfolding to its 


finality in the Kingdom of God, which is the goal / 
of. .all prophecy. As the words of our Lord imply, 
the whole Old Testament is prophetic, not only in 
its special predictions, but even in its history, from 
the ' Out of Egypt I have called My Son,' to ' A 
prophet like unto Me shall the Lord your God raise 
up unto you.' Thus the Old Testament pointed be- 
yond itself to the perfectness which it announced 
and for which it prepared. That perfectness consists 
in the removal of all the evil which sin has wrought, 
in the restoration of man to God, and in the fulness 
of blessings which flows from fellowship between 
God and man. This is the Kingdom of God. To 
announce it and to prepare for it, was the object of 
the Old Testament. More especially was Prophetism 
the moral and spiritual element in the Old Testa- 
ment, which was intended to meet the people in their 
successive stages of development, to point out to 
them the lessons of the past, to explain the mean- 
ing of the present, and so to prepare them for that 
future which it announced. God's dealings with 
Israel in the past were ever on the lips of the prophets. 
In their hands the Law lost its deadness of the letter 
and became instinct with a new life. Circumcision, 
sacrifices, the priesthood, and all the other religious 
institutions in Israel and what institution in Israel 
was not religious ? were shown to have a spiritual 
background, to point to spiritual realities, and to 


have a spiritual counterpart in that blessed future 
which the prophets were specially commissioned to 
announce, that so through the lessons of the past and 
the discipline of the present they might prepare men 
for that future which was the end and goal of all. 

To this moral element in prophetism as its inmost 
characteristic the present Lecture will be devoted, 
leaving another aspect of it for future consideration. 

1. All prophecy has the moral and spiritual 
element, I shall not say for its aim, but as its basis 
and essential quality. The distinction seems important 
in this, as in the case of miracles, especially those of 
our Lord. An endeavour has sometimes been made 
to vindicate for them what is called a moral object. 
"But this would be to transfer our human modalities 
to what is Divine. The Divine has no object out 
side its own manifestation. The moral is its quality, 
not its aim. And it is the moral and spiritual in 
man, the remnant of the Divine in him, and that 
which renders him capable of restoration, which, 
consciously or unconsciously, stretches forth its hands 
towards Grod, rises towards its spring, tends heaven- 
wards. Consciously or unconsciously, it underlies 
not only the idea of, but all the great institutions 
that are common to all religions. It forms the fun- 
damental idea of sacrifices, priesthood, prayers, pro- 
phetism, and of that grand thought of a reign of 
universal peace and happiness which, in one form or 


another, exists in all religions. In part these may be 
regarded as the result and survival of a primeval 
tradition ; and, in part, they are the outcome of the 
deepest aspirations, and (why should I not say it ?) of 
the true Divine instincts of the human spirit. 

Even that which in some respects is farthest from, 
and yet is also nearest to, prophecy heathen divi- 
nation was not destitute of this moral element. 1 It 
were a narrow and mistaken view, judging it by its 
later development, to regard heathen divination as 
merely imposture or delusion. In its fundamental 
idea it represented deep consciousness of distance 
from God ; a longing to know His will, to be guided 
by it, and to have fellowship with Him ; and, finally, 
a feeling that God was indeed near to man, that He 
cared for him, and guided the events of his life. 
These are also among the premisses on which the 
Old Testament proceeded. Only, starting from the 
same premisses, the Old Testament pointed in a 
totally different direction, and accordingly reached the 
opposite results from heathenism. Heathenism en- 
deavoured to attain its desire by divination (mantic)? 
which sought all either in nature or from man ; while 

1 It is, therefore, only in a modified sense that I can adopt the saying 
of Riickert, that all prophecy moves around these three words guilt, 
judgment, redemption. It touches the human at these three points 
hecause there the moral in man, consciously or unconsciously, stretches 
forth its hands towards God. 

2 Compare here generally the very thoughtful essay by Dr. K. Kohler, 
d. Prophet, d. Hebr. u. d. Mantik d. alien Griechen. 


the Old Testament pointed for all to the living God. 
Heathen divination was either by means external^ 
such as signs, auguries, the stars, conjuring the 
dead ; or else by means internal, such as dreams, 
visions, and the ecstatic state. But neither in the 
one nor the other case did it seek its satisfaction 
in spiritual fellowship with God. That element was 
wholly wanting. The direct opposite of this is cha- 
racteristic of the Old Testament and its prophecy. 
Here everything is spiritual, comes from, and points 
to God. Divine revelation meets the moral wants of 
man, and directs him to God. This one thing appears 
most clearly throughout the whole Old Testament: 
that there is absolutely no power in any outward 
things to produce prophecy, nor yet has the prophet 
himself any power to produce it within himself by any 
means of his own, but that in all cases it comes 
straight from God, to whom, when,, how, and where 
He pleases ; that a man becomes a prophet as God 
gives him the message, and is such only and so long 
as God continues to send it. On the other hand, 
God did meet this deep want and longing of His 
children by sending His prophets and putting His 
Word into their mouths. Hence to receive or else to 
resist them could not be matter of indifference, since 
they were the direct ambassadors of God; but it 
involved either obedience to Him, or else guilt. 
And in the New Testament we have in this also 


progressed to the finality of widest fulfilment. Of 
old there were intermittent springs, now we have a 
perennial fountain ; then the Holy Spirit fell on in- 
dividuals at special times, now He dwells permanently 
in all His people ; then there were prophets, now 
we have One ever-living Prophet, an everlasting link 
that binds us to God, One Who not only brings the 
promises, but in Whom they are Yea and Amen. 1 

Otherwise, also, the points of contact between 
heathenism and revealed religion are most important. 
They seem to start from the same point (as terminus a 
quo), for the outgoings of the human spirit are ever 
the same. But the road they take, and hence their 
end (the terminus ad quern), are widely different, 
for they are under very different guidance. These 
common underlying ideas : a sense of guilt, longing 
after the Divine, and belief in His connection with 
our earth, equally express themselves in heathen and 
in Jewish sacrifices, in the belief in the Golden Age, 
and in the expectation of the Kingdom of God. A? 
regards the latter, there is indeed this characteristic 
difference, that, except as directed by the Jewish Sibyl, 
the Golden Age is past, while in Eevelation it is the 
goal towards which all God's manifestations and all 
man's developments tend. But these institutions and 
ideas were the outcome of the common consciousness, 

1 Compare the article 'Prophet' by Kleinert in Riehm's Hand- 
tyorterl), d. Sill. ATjt, vpl, U. pp. 1230, &c. 

144 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. vsffs. v. 

wants, aspirations, and expectations of all mankind, 
and, as we believe, the result of a common original 
tradition. But how differently they were developed, 
and to what different goal they led in heathenism 
and under the Old Testament, appears best when we 
compare the final outcome of the two : in the one 
case Jesus Christ, in the other the heathen world. 
And, as regards this period of comparison, Hoffmann 
has well expressed it, that what Caesar Augustus is for 
the understanding of Eoman history, that Jesus Christ 
is for that of the history of Israel. And the absolute 
contrast of final results between the two developments 
starting from the same point is due to this, that, as St. 
Paul indicates, heathenism sought not the realisa- 
tion of its wishes and wants by seeking it from God 
they retained not God in their knowledge nor glori- 
fied Him whereas revelation in the Old Testament 
pointed to the living and true God, to simple faith 
or receptiveness, and to submission to His Word and 
Will, and then met that faith by a reality which bound 
heaven to earth, made sacrifices a type of Christ, 
prophecy a direct message from God, and the great 
hope of the future a Kingdom of God on a ransomed 
earth. And to go one step further : Even as regards 
the knowledge of God, heathenism closely approxi- 
mated to, yet remained at infinite distance from the 
Old Testament. In its highest outcomings heathenism 
reached to a unity, but it was the unity of a principle, 


or an abstraction an It, not He ; Fate, not Jehovah. 
And even under the Old Testament the standpoint of 
present knowledge was only that of Jehovah as the 
God of all the earth and the Father of His people 
Israel. It was prophecy which pointed beyond this 
to the finality of all in the Christ, and to God as in 
Him the God and Father of all His people. In a 
world of which politically and religiously the one 
great characteristic was the most rigid nationalism, 
it stood alone in the moral grandeur of setting forth 
the brotherhood of humanity, the sonship of adoption, 
and the universal Fatherhood of God. 

It is this moral element as leading up to God, 
whereas heathenism led away from God, which is 
characteristic of Eevelation and of the Old Testament 
in every one of its institutions, and which also clearly 
marks the difference between m antic and prophecy. 
And this leads back to a question left unanswered in 
the former Lecture. It will be remembered that, so 
far from seeing anything incompatible a dilemma in 
which we must make our choice between the pro- 
phet as preacher to his times, or as the predicter of 
future events, we perceived in these two aspects a 
deeper unity. We are now prepared to go further, 
and to recognise the necessity of this union of the 
preacher and the predicter in the prophet. It is due 
to the moral element in prophecy. Moreover, we 
have here the means of understanding and applying 



that test by wMch the Old Testament would have us 
distinguish the true from the false prophet. Com- 
monly two passages are quoted for this purpose. 
But, as generally interpreted, it must be admitted 
that the tests which they are supposed to supply 
would be vague and unsatisfactory. For in Deut. 
xiii. 1-5, we have only this characteristic of the false 
prophet, that he leads the people away from Jehovah 
and after other gods ; while in Deut. xviii. 9-22, the 
canon is laid down, that if the thing predicted did not 
come to pass, the prophet had not spoken from God, 
but presumptuously and from himself. At first sight 
it might seem as if both these tests were practically 
worthless. For, this test that the false prophet led 
away from God, might, from the standpoint of Anti- 
Jehovahisni, seem to involve a petitio principii ; while, 
as regards the test of a prediction by its fulfilment, 
many years might have to elapse before it could be 
applied, so that it would scarcely afford the means 
for present discernment whether a prophet spoke 
from the Lord or from himself. 

But further consideration will correct this super- 
ficial view. For, first, we mark in these two canons 
a distinction between prophet and prophecy. The 
latter might be either prediction in the narrowest 
sense, or else prophecy in the wider sense. If pre- 
diction in the narrower sense, it would, with rare 
exceptions, which mark special high-points in pro- 


phetism, be a sign or an announcement of immediate 
judgment or deliverance. In that case, the second 
canon that of fulfilment or non-fulfilment 1 would 
naturally apply. On the other hand, prophecy in 
the wider sense would grow out of exhortation, 
warning, or consolation, and, in the nature of it, 
form part of, or be connected with, a whole group 
of teaching. To it the first Canon about leading 
away from God would, as we shall presently show, 
be applicable as a moral test. And that the second 
Canon in Deut. xviii. 22, chiefly referred to pre- 
dictions of signs or judgments in the immediate 
future, appears from this, that the words, ' if the 
thing follow not, that is the thing which the Lord 
hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it 
presumptuously,' are immediately succeeded by these, 
' Thou shalt not be afraid of him (or, of it).' Mani- 
festly this addition would only have meaning if the 
prediction referred to the immediate future. 

But what of predictions in the more distant 
future ? The test of these is, as already hinted, fur- 
nished by the first canon (Deut. xiii. 1-5), which, 
be it carefully marked, applies not to prophecy, but 
to the prophet. Israel is emphatically warned, that 
even if signs or wonders were wrought, the guidance 
of a prophet was not to be followed if he led 
away from the Living and True God. This canon 

1 Deut. xviii. 9-22. 



embodies most important and wide reaching prin- 
ciples, distinctive of the Old Testament as compared 
not only with heathenism, but we had almost said 
with every other school of thought. It sets forth 
the dominance of the moral and spiritual over every 
other consideration. Power, even that of working 
miracles, is but of inferior consideration : truth, right, 
God the Divine, the spiritual are everything. This 
is a height not only far beyond the ideas which we 
commonly attach to the Old Testament, but, I ven- 
ture to add, beyond the horizon of modern society, 
which worships power as such, whatever its origin 
or character may be. It is the spirit of that Pan- 
Jehovahism which found utterance in the sublime 
proclamation, unique in its meaning and bearing; 
equally marvellous as coming from little Judasa and 
down-trodden Israel, and as spoken at that age into 
all the world; marvellous as a dogma, a prayer, a 
call, and a prophecy ; marvellous also as a summary 
of the Law and the Gospel, of Providence and Grace ; 
of the past, the present, and the future : ' Jehovah 
reigneth, let the earth be glad ; let the multitude of 
isles be glad thereof.' 1 The words of the original, 
in their rugged grandeur, seem like steps hewn in 
the eternal ice, leading up to some Alpine height. 
We need not quote this Psalm further, nor compare 
it with the others in the Ps aim-range, among which 

1 Ps. xcvii. 1. 


it rears its crest. But I venture to assert that none 
but a Jehovahist, an Old Testament prophet, could 
have so written, because none but he had the living 
burning conviction that Jehovah He is God. Such 
a history as that of the Old Testament produced 
such belief; and such belief produced such expec- 
tancy and utterance. -It produced a Moses, an Elijah, 
a Daniel, and, even when crumbling into decay, had 
its unnumbered. martyrs. Such utterances could not 
have been those of uncircumcised heathen lips, nor 
can we conceive them as the conviction or outcome 
of heathen minds, whose highest speculations have 
nothing of the true Divine life pulsating in them. 

Eirst God, then everything else : be it man, king- 
doms, demons, power, even Word as from God, or 
signs and miracles ! This is the truth which Israel's 
history had evolved, which Israel's institutions em- 
bodied, which Israel's prophecies set forth, and by 
which, in turn, according to Deuteronomy, Israel's 
prophecy was to be tested. This then is the meaning 
of the canon in Deut. xiii. : Try the prophet by his 
confession of God. And similarly, we read it in the 
New Testament : ' Try the spirits, whether they are of 
God. . . . Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus 
Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit 
which confesseth not Jesus is not of God ; and this is 
the spirit of the Antichrist.' l 

1 St. John iv. 1, 2, 3. 

150 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. iasac. v. 

rJor was the application of this canon so difficult 
as at first sight it may appear. In the case of a 
prophet or a prophecy which, avowedly, led away 
from God, there could be neither doubt nor question. 
But even in the case of a prophet, professedly of 
God, who brought a message as from Him, the mode 
of decision is indicated. The Old Testament offers 
a leading case, hitherto too much overlooked, which 
furnishes, so to speak, a supplement and an explan- 
ation of its canon. In the 28th chapter of Jeremiah, 
a prophet is introduced, who prophesied differently 
alike from his predecessors and from Jeremiah. It 
is after the deportation to Babylon, and Hananiah 
is within the sacred precincts of the Temple, in the 
presence of priests and people, and in that of Jere- 
miah himself, predicting the speedy restoration of 
the holy vessels, of the king and the people, that 
had been carried to Babylon. Apparently Jeremiah 
does not charge him with being only and always a 
false prophet. But the question arose, whether in 
this special instance Hananiah, differing from all 
others, acted as a true or was a false prophet? To 
apply the canon in Deuteronomy : would it lead to, 
or away from, following Jehovah, the Living and 
True God ? The answer could not be difficult. It was 
the Will of God, frequently expressed, that in the 
then state of the people, their captivity, and the ces- 
sation of the Temple-service, should not be of short 


duration ; and that Judah should willingly submit to 
God in this judgment, and to the instruments which 
He had appointed to execute it. But the prediction 
of Hananiah was in precisely the opposite direction 
from this leading of God, and to have given cre- 
dence to it would have led away from God. It is 
this to which Jeremiah referred when, after expressing 
as a patriot Israelite his intense desire that the pro- 
phecy of Hananiah might prove to have been God- 
sent, he added: 'Nevertheless hear this. . . . The 
prophets that have been before me and before thee 
of old, prophesied both against many countries, and 
against many kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of 
pestilence.' This, in the then state of Israel and the 
world, was evidently in accordance with the mind of 
God ; there was moral evidence that it was of God. 
' But,' continued the prophet : ' the prophet which 
prophesieth of peace, when the word of that prophet 
shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, 
that Jehovah hath truly sent him ' (verses 6-9). In 
other words, such prophesying, as leading away from 
Jehovah, wanted the moral evidence. Let it be tried 
by the test of fact. 

Looking back upon it, I shall not call this the 
vindication, but the manifestation and assertion of 
the moral element in prophecy. This self-limitation 
of prophetism, this submission of itself to the criterion 
of God-obedience, not only contrasts with all divina- 


tion, but is absolutely grand in its moral elevation, 
and affords yet another evidence of its Divine cha- 
racter. Once more we come, as we might have 
expected, on New Testament lines. For it was this 
moral element which our Lord presented to His ene- 
mies as evidence of His own Prophetic Mission, when 
He said : * If any man will do His will, he shall 
know of the teaching, whether it be of God, or 
whether I speak of Myself. He that speaketh of 
himself seeketh his own glory ; but he that seeketh 
His glory that sent him, the same is true. 1 

Closely connected with this moral test, there is 
another aspect of the moral element in prophetism, 
another self- limitation and submission to God. In 
heathenism, prediction was absolute ; in the Old 
Testament, prophecy was never absolute, but always 
subject to moral conditions. Commenting on the 
33rd chapter of Ezekiel, which declared that the 
prediction of death to the wicked and life to the 
righteous were not absolute, but would be reversed 
on their moral change, St. Jerome aptly observes: 
' Nor does it follow that because a prophet foretold, 
that which he foretold should come to pass ; for he 
does not foretell in order that it might take place, 
but lest it should take place (' nee statim sequitur ut 
quia propheta prcedixit, veniat quod prcedixit. Non 
enim prcedicit ut veniat, s.ed ne veniat'). It is in this 

1 St. John vii. 17, 18. 


sense that Holy Scripture, taking the human point of 
view, so often speaks of God's repenting. All the 
prophets who announced judgment also called to re- 
pentance, and all such calls as so many in the pro- 
phecies of Isaiah ; in Jer. iv. 3-5 ; Ezek. xviii. 30-32 ; 
Joel ii. 12-14, and in other passages were accom- 
panied by the promise that in case of obedience the 
predicted -judgments would be averted. More espe- 
cially do we here recall the words of Jeremiah (xviii. 
7-10) : ' At what instant I shall speak concerning a 
nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to 
pull down, and to destroy it if that nation against 
whom. I have pronounced turn from their evil, I will 
repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. 
And at what instant I shall speak concerning a 
nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build, and to 
plant it: if it do evil in My sight that it obey not 
My voice, then I will repent of the good wherewith 
I said I would benefit them.' 

It is not fate that presides over prophecy, nor 
does fatality follow it. But there is a Living and 
True God Who reigneth, and the moral is the rule 
and characteristic of all prophecy. The Old Testa- 
ment has settled, or rather anticipated, this great 
theological problem of so many ages : the combina- 
tion and compatibility of God's sovereignty and decree 
with man's liberty and responsibility not by either 
of our two clumsy devices or modes of cutting the 


knot that from above in what is called Predesti- 
narianisin, or that from below in what is known as 
Arininianisra.---but by putting the two in juxta- 
position. And this lesson of what may be called the 
moral conditionalness of prophecy is specially indi- 
cated in that marvellous allegorical history, the Book 
of Jonah, which more than any other reaches beyond 
the Old Testament standpoint, and anticipates the 
lessons and facts of the New Testament. Nor, I 
trust, will it be considered presumptuous to suggest 
that this moral conditionalness with all the possi- 
bilities resulting in this case would, in part, be the 
answer to such a question as this : What, if the Jews, 
instead of rejecting and crucifying, had received 
Jesus as the Messiah ? And it is in this sense that 
I would understand the words in which our Lord ex- 
plained the true position of the Baptist : ' And if ye 
are willing to receive (it, or him), this is Elias, which 
was for to come.' l 

But even thus I have not yet given a full view of 
the moral element in prophecy. For this purpose 
I must refer to at least two other points. For, 
first, prophetism, while confirming the historical 
reality of all the institutions of the Law, presented 
their spiritual bearing, without which it declared the 
observance of the letter to be not only meaningless, 
but an absolute perversion of their Divine purpose. 

1 St. Matthew xi. 14. 


Beyond the opus operatum and the letter were the 
Spirit and the spiritual reality to which they pointed. 
Circumcision of the flesh pointed to that of the lips 
and the heart ; by the side of Israel after the flesh was 
Israel after the Spirit ; by the side of the Levitical, 
another Priesthood, to which ' Holiness to the Lord ' 
was the consecration. Sacrifices were meaningless 
without brokenness of heart and spirit, and they 
pointed to one great sacrifice of suffering. Festivals, 
fasts, and all other rites were a perversion and an 
abomination, unless pervaded by the moral and 
spiritual element. 

Secondly. Prophetism emphatically presented it- 
self, not as a finality, but rather as a preparation for 
a higher, better, and more spiritual state of things. 
Even as in the New Testament we are told that those 
miraculous Charismata of the Spirit : prophecies, 
tongues, and knowledge, belonged to a still imperfect 
or preparatory state of the Church, so did prophecy, 
while with one hand pointing back to the Law of 
Moses, and with the other to prophetism, tell of a 
time when God would make a new Covenant with 
His people, and give them a new Law, not graven 
on stone, but written on the heart, of which the seal 
would be circumcision of the heart : a Covenant of 
which the fundamental fact would be a new deliver- 
ance, not from the bondage of Egypt, but from that 
of sin, when He would forgive their iniquities and 


remember their sins no more or, to quote the 
imagery of another prophet, when He would sprinkle 
clean water upon them and they would be clean. 1 
Then would prophecy indeed cease ; no man would 
any more teach his neighbour, for they would all 
know Him, from the least to the greatest of them. 
Nor would the spirit of prophecy rest then only upon 
a few chosen individuals, but the wish of Moses of 
old would be fulfilled concerning all Israel, and the 
Holy Spirit be outpoured on all their sons and daugh- 
ters, nay, even on the slaves and handmaidens, so that 
all would prophesy 2 for in those days would He 
cause the Branch of Eighteousness to grow up unto 
David, Who would execute judgment and righteous- 
ness in the land. 

Thus prophecy pointed beyond itself, and to a 
spiritual fulfilment connected with the Advent of the 
promised Messiah. And not only so, but it also 
pointed to that period as that of the Kingdom oi 
God, not now of narrow Judaic dimensions, but 
wide as the world ; not of national .glory, but of 
spiritual righteousness. This is the highest moral 
element, the moral climax in prophecy, and in that 
sense is Jesus the Messiah also most fully the Prophet. 
But this line of argument stretches too far to be 
followed to its end in the present course of Lectures. 

In conclusion we may gather together the threads 

> Ezek. xxxvi. 25. 3 Joel ii. 28, 29. 


of this argument in a few plain and easily-answered 
questions. Is it not so that the goal which the 
Old Testament indicated when pointing beyond itself, 
beyond its rites, institutions, and prophetism, to a 
spiritual fulfilment, has, as a matter of fact, been 
attained in the New Testament and in Christ ? In 
His own language : is it not so, that the salvation 
which is of the Jews has come to all men, since, not in 
Jerusalem only, but everywhere, the true worshippers 
worship the Father in Spirit and in truth ? And is 
not all this because of, in, and through Jesus of 
Nazareth ? Then ' Is not this the Christ,' the 
Messiah ? and did not Philip truthfully say it, ' We 
have found Him of whom Moses in the Law, and the 
Prophets did write ' ? And, lastly, have not all things 
been fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, 
and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning 

Here we might, under ordinary circumstances, 
have paused for the present. But the terrible circum- 
stances in which we find ourselves at this time, not only 
require language the most explicit and emphatic, but 
excuse that which is most impassioned. A great crime 
is being enacted over the world, which cries to Heaven 
for vengeance, and to the Church for testimony and 
self- vindication. While we speak of that salvation 
which is of the Jews, and of the joyous fulfilment of all 
promises in Christ, other thoughts obtrude themselves, 


and, like heavy clouds, crowd our horizon, and darken 
out the light of our gladness. For once more has the 
wild howl of unchained passion against Israel risen 
above the sweet music of the dying Saviour's last 
prayer : * Father, forgive them, for they know not what 
they do.' Once more has the blood-stained hand of 
rapine, lust, and murder sought to shake from out 
the jewelled memorial cup, in which the Church had 
gathered and held up in a constant Prayer of Inter- 
cession, the tears which Jesus had shed over the 
Jerusalem that would not receive Him tears, that 
can never be dried up. And once more has the 
white raiment of the. Church been fouled with blood; 
her fair name been made a byword, and her hymn 
of charity drowned by wild orgies. The hand raised 
to point to the Cross drops in anguish. How 
can we strike Judah's lyre when her captives lie 
murdered, mangled in our streets ? How can we 
respond with the Antiphony of Fulfilment to the 
Hymn of Promise made to the virgin daughter of 
Zion when her maidens are outraged, her old men 
murdered, and her dwellings plundered by those who 
bear the Name of Him in Whom all these promises 
are Yea and Amen? The Church veils her face 
in mourning ; a thrill of horror, a pang of anguish, a 
cry of indignation pass through universal humanity. 
Whether and what in the wonder- working Providence 
of Him who brings good out of evil may be the out- 


come of this to Israel, we cannot say. But in the 
name of God, let us clear ourselves of all complicity in 
this sin and shame. We who do believe in Christ, and 
because we believe in Hun, as the true Messiah we 
protest with one heart and mind against this and all 
like movements ! In the name of Christianity, in the 
name of our Church, in the name of this land of 
liberty and light, in the name of universal humanity, 
we abhor it, we denounce it, we protest against it. 
And yet more, as we believe, so we pray : Come, 
Lord Jesus, come quickly, and by Thy glorious reign 
put an end to bloodshed, rapine, and sin ! x 

1 It should be explained that this Lecture was written and delivered 
when the so-called Anti-Semitic movement was at its height (Feb. 1882), 
and a thrill of horror passed through us all, as day by day we read of 
those deeds of cruelty and bloodshed inflicted upon innocent, suffering 
Israel. No language could be too strong to express abhorrence of such 
a movement. The passage is retained in this book not only as a standing 
protest, but because an agitation, which is equally the humiliation of the 
Church and a foul blot on the civilisation of this century, has not 
yet passed away, and even finds encouragement where other than this 
might have been expected. 




Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, 
who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching 
what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them 
did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings -of Christ, and 
the glory that should follow. 1 80?. PETER i. 10, 11. 

IT needs not a detailed analysis of these verses to 
show how closely their teaching agrees with the 
record of St. Peter's preaching. For, in his first 
sermon on the day of Pentecost, and especially in his 
second on the occasion of his healing the lame man 
in the Temple, his argument addressed to the Jews 
was, as might have been expected, to this effect:. 
There is nothing new or unexpected in what you 
see and hear ; it is simply the fulfilment of pro- 
phecy, for c all the prophets from Samuel, and those 
that follow after, as many as have spoken, have 
foretold of these days/ 

But the Apostolic statement which we have 
chosen as text for this Lecture goes farther than this. 
It implies: Firstly, That all prophecy was the out- 


come of the Spirit of Christ in the prophets ; secondly, 
that it pointed to the sufferings of the Messiah, 
and the glory that should follow; and, lastly, that 
while the prophets understood the general Messianic 
bearing of their prophecy, the details of the manner 
and time of its fulfilment were not understood by 
them, but remained reserved to the historical unfold- 
ing of the latter days. 

This takes us another step in our argument. It 
sets before us the historical character of prophecy, 
as progressing pari passii with the history of Israel, 
till at last its meaning fully appears in its fulfilment. 
Accurately considered, this forms indeed part of 
that moral element which in the last Lecture was 
shown to be the great characteristic of Prophecy. 
For it was not something mechanical and dead, 
thrust upon the world, as it were, but an active 
power for good, which grew with the moral growth 
of the people, and unfolded with their capacity for 
receiving and understanding it. Erom the first all 
was present as St. James puts it : 1 ' Known to God 
from the first beginning,' or, in St. Paul's language, 2 
' part of the mystery hid from all ages in God,' and 
finally made known in Christ. And each advance in 


history was preceded by Prophecy, of which the 
object was not only the announcement of events, 
but preparation for them. And because the prophets, 

* Acts xv. 18. Eph. iii. 9, 10. 


although they knew that their prophecies pointed 
to the end, understood not the time nor the manner 
of their fulfilment, therefore do we find so often 
the beginning and the end, the immediate and the 
final fulfilment, laid quite closely together, without 
apparent connection or transition the Assur or 
Edom of the then present by the side of the final 
foes of the Kingdom ; the Israel of the present along 
with that of the future ; the restored services of the 
Temple beside the renewed worship of a Temple 
made without hands, and the heavenly beside the 
.earthly Jerusalem. All this awaited the ' Let there 
be light ' of the last days. Meantime that which was 
known to God from the beginning was successively 
revealed by Him through His prophets, for the 
spiritual training of His people. In the language of 
Amos (hi. 7), 'Surely Jehovah God will do nothing, 
but He revealeth His secrets to His servants the 
prophets;' and in that of Isaiah (xlii. 9), 'Behold, the 
former things are come to pass, and new things do 
I declare ; before they spring forth I tell you of 
them.' And so Prophecy and History proceeded, 
the one as the forerunner of the other, the Spirit 
of Christ in the prophets ever pointing forward to 
the period of fulfilment. Then would all the great 
lines of prophecy meet, and in their meeting would 
their meaning become manifest. 

If this historical view of prophecy characterised 


the preaching of St. Peter as the Apostle of the Jews, 
it is not less apparent in what may be termed the 
Biblical representatives of the opposite, or Alexan- 
drian, direction : St. Stephen and the Epistle to the 
Hebrews ; and in St. Paul, who in a marvellous 
degree combined the Palestinian and the Grecian 
direction. This explains how the largest part of St. 
Stephen's address to the Council was occupied by an 
historical sketch of God's Eevelation, and of Israel's 
progressive disobedience thereto. Similarly, in the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, after a general introduction, 
chapters iii., iv., and xi. trace the prophetic view 
of Israel's history, while the intermediate chapters 
give that of Israel's institutions and so the main 
proposition in chapter ii. is carried to its practical 
application in the concluding part of the Epistle. 
Lastly, we mark the same line of argument in the 
preaching of St. Paul to the Jews. Thus, in his 
first sermon in the Synagogue of Antioch, in Pisidia, 
the prophetic history of Israel from the Exodus to 
David is passed in review ; then the predictions are 
referred to, which accompanied and explained this 
history, and pointed from David, nay from Moses 
and the Law, to Christ, the conclusion being an 
application of the prophetic warnings of Isaiah and 
H^'aJdmk to their contemporaries, as that of which 
th", %/{/ijia#iit threatened St. Paul's hearers. 1 There 

1 Acts xiii. 17-41. 



is, indeed, another line of thought regarding pro- 
phecy, followed by St. Paul, and, so far as I know, 
by him alone, in which the absolute or dogmatic 
view of it is taken, the Law with its demands being 
presented as the schoolmaster unto Christ, while the 
provisions regarding sin and satisfaction sacrifices 
and atonement are shown to point to Christ as their 
fulfilment. To this aspect we shall refer in the 

We may safely assume that the historic and 
prophetic character of the Old Testament, as prepar- 
ing for, and pointing to, the Messiah, would not be 
seriously questioned by the Synagogue at least, by 
the orthodox part of it however strenuously the 
fulfilment of the prophetic Scriptures in Christ might 
be denied. But if the Divine authority of the Old 
Testament is accepted, it appears to me only possible 
to challenge the New Testament conclusion on one 
of three grounds : First, it might be contended that 
the Old Testament must be taken in an exclusively 
literal sense. We have already shown that this 
could not have been the case in reference to the 
prophecies of the coming Kingdom of God. But 
it might be argued against our general view of the 
prophetic character of the Old Testament, that at 
least the ordinances and institutions of the Old 
Testament had no further meaning beyond them- 
selves, no absolutely spiritual bearing were merely 


external, and not intended to be superseded by a 
new and spiritual dispensation to which they pointed. 
Or else, secondly ', it might be maintained that what 
may be called the Christian view of the Messianic 
idea in the Old Testament is entirely imaginary and 
erroneous. Or, thirdly., it might be said that even if 
that view were correct, the Old Testament picture 
of the Messiah was essentially different from that 
presented by Jesus of Nazareth. 

As concerns these three objections, I think I may 
say that the last may be dismissed without discus- 
sion. For, if it were proved that the Old Testament 
pointed beyond itself to a larger and a spiritual Law, 
rites, and institutions, and if, besides, it were shown 
that the Christian view of the Messianic idea in the 
Old Testament is correct, few would, I suppose, be 
disposed to question the inference that Jesus Christ 
did embody the Old Testament ideal as conceived 
by the Church. In such case we would have only 
to appeal to history, and it would almost seem logic- 
ally impossible to resist the argument from, the his- 
torical Church. And if it were further objected that 
a great majority of Christ's contemporaries did not 
recognise in Him the Old Testament picture of the 
Messiah, this answer would be sufficient, that these 
men had no longer the proper Messianic ideal before 
their minds ; that their conception of Him was no 
longer true to the Old Testament, nor yet spiritual, 


but that traditionalism had overgrown and crushed 
out the Old Testament teaching in its higher bear- 
ing : in one sentence, that the religion of the Old 
Testament had already become transformed into Ju- 
daism. Our Lord indeed bade them search the Old 
Testament Scriptures as bearing testimony to Him, 
but their eyes were holden by the hand of their 
Pharisaic leaders, and their heart was hardened not 
to perceive their meaning. And this : that the con- 
temporaries of Christ, or at least a majority of them, 
under the teaching of traditionalism, did not any 
longer occupy the Old Testament standpoint in its 
spiritual presentation of the Messiah, we are pre- 
pared to affirm as a substantive proposition. Ac- 
cordingly, we have here to deal really with only 
these two questions : Did the Old Testament in its 
ordinances and rites point to something spiritual, 
and indicate that its observances were only tem- 
porary, intended to merge into a new and spiritual 
dispensation ? And, again, as quite kindred, and, 
indeed, connected with it : Is what may be called 
the Christian view of the Messianic idea and ideal 
in the Old Testament the correct one ? The first of 
these questions has in part been touched upon in 
the previous Lecture, but it must now receive more 
systematic and detailed consideration. 

I. The Old Testament embodies not only a code 
of outward observances, but points beyond their letter 


to a deeper spiritual meaning in the present, and to a 
higher spiritual fulfilment in the future. This does 
not involve, even in part, the old principle of allego- 
rical interpretation which characterised Alexandrian 
Judaism or Jewish Hellenism, although I am ready 
to admit that this embodied a certain aspect of 
truth, as is even witnessed by the manner in which 
it prospered and bore good fruit. But Alexandrian 
allegorism was not only exegetically ungrounded ; it 
had no historical basis, and was purely imaginative 
in its origin and character, with all of attractiveness, 
but also of logical defect, which this implies. It 
invented or at least discovered the interpretation 
for the sake of the truth which it wished to teach. 
Not so the mode of interpretation which we propose 
to adopt. Method is not fanciful, but historical, 
inasmuch as it proceeds on that which actually was, 
and seeks to explain institutions, not by what they 
may be supposed to mean, but by the meaning which 
in other parts of the Old Testament, notably in the 
prophetic writings and the Psalms, is expressly at- 
tached to them. This will appear as we pass in 
review the principal institutions of the Old Testa- 
ment. 1 

We have already seen that the initiatory rite 
of the Covenant, circumcision, was, even in the Pen- 
tateuch, presented in its symbolic aspect, and shown 

1 On what follows, see specially Bredeakamp, u, s* 


to point to another circumcision, that of the lips 
and the heart, which in the future would become a 
great spiritual reality to all men. It is in this view 
of circumcision that Moses speaks of himself as of 
{ uncircunicised lips,' that is, as unprepared for great 
spiritual work, 1 while in Lev. xxvi. 41 we read of 
4 uncircunicised hearts,' and in Deuteronomy the com- 
mand to circumcise the heart is explained as equi- 
valent to being 'no more stiff-necked.' 2 Quite in 
accordance with this view, Jeremiah expresses his 
call to repentance in the words : ' Circumcise your- 
selves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your 
heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jeru- 
salem.' 3 And that this was intended to point to some- 
thing very real, appears from the circumstance that it 
forms the great Divine promise of the latter days: 
* Jehovah thy God will circumcise thine heart ... to 
love Jehovah thy God with all thine heart and with 
all thy soul.' 4 Circumcision then was not a merely 
outward rite, but symbolic of a spiritual reality ; and 
it pointed beyond itself to the time of its spiritual 
accomplishment. Accordingly we find that in the 
prophetic writings it is associated with the glory of 
the latter days. Thus Isaiah calls on the Holy City 
to awake and put on her beautiful garments, for that 
henceforth the uncircumcised and the unclean would 

1 Ex. vi. 12. Deut.x. 16. 

* Jer. iv. 4 * J)eut. xxx. 6, 


no more enter her gates. 1 And that the outward rite 
could not have been referred to, appears from this, 
that Jeremiah foretells that the days would come 
when Jehovah would equally punish the circumcised 
with the uncircurncised, for that while the Gentiles 
were uncircurncised, ' all the house of Israel were 
uncircurncised in the heart.' 2 But what is this other 
than the New Testament argument of St. Paul : ' He 
is not a Jew which is one outwardly ; neither is 
that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. 
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly ; and circum- 
cision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in 
the letter ; whose praise is not of men, but of God.' 8 
And as in regard to circumcision, so, and per- 
haps even more emphatically, as to sacrifices. The 
spiritual, as distinguished from the merely external, 
view of sacrifices is always prominently brought for- 
ward. Even the well-known (and too often misap- 
plied 4 ) words of Samuel to Saul : * To obey is better 
than sacrifices, and to hearken than the fat of rams,' 6 

> Isaiah Hi. 1. 3 Jer. ix. 26. 

8 Rom. ii. 28, 29. We may here note as an illustrative passage per 
contra, Ber. R. 48, where Abraham is said to be seated at the gate of 
Gehenna, so as to prevent those of Israel who were circumcised falling 
into its flames. But, as regards grievous sinners in Israel, he puts upon 
them the foreskins of such children as have died before they could be 
circumcised, and then casts them into Gehenna. 

4 1 Sam. xv. 22. 

8 Fairly interpreted they only convey that in the alternative between 
obedience and the mere opus operatum of sacrifices, the former is the more 
important ; but they do not imply any depreciation of sacrifices such as 


not only imply that sacrifices had a deeper meaning 
and bearing than the mere outward act, but that this 
was generally known and admitted. But when we 
pass beyond this to the prophetic writings and the 
Psahns, which, as Professor Delitzsch well reminds 
us, must be taken into account in all such discus- 
sions, the teaching of the Old Testament unmis- 
takably is, that sacrifices pointed to a higher reality . 
Psalm 1. reads like a withering irony on the mere opus 
operatum of sacrifices, as if God would eat the flesh 
of bulls or drink the blood of goats. In Psalm li. 
the penitent pleads : ' Thou desirest not sacrifice, 
else would I give it : Thou delightest not in burnt- 
ofFering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. 1 
It is in the same spirit and manner that Isaiah, 1 
Jeremiah, 2 Amos, 3 Hosea, 4 and Micah 5 speak of sacri- 
fices as in themselves of no value. And we are 
carried beyond this chiefly negative view in this most 
important retrospect of the Prophet Jeremiah, C I 
spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them 
in the day that I brought them out of the land oi 
Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices. But 
this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, 
and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.' 6 
It almost seems as if it were intended to teach the 

some critics contend for. The critical exaggeration in this case resembles 
that in regard to the Pauline teaching ahout the Law. 

1 i. 11-14 a vi. 20. s v. 21, 22. 4 ri. 6. 

6 TJ. 6-8, yii. 22, 23. 



absolute worthlessness of sacrifices, viewed by them- 
selves, and to point to the substitution of a spiritual 
worship in their room. We seem to be catching a 
faint whisper of these words in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews : ' It is not possible that the blood of bulls 
and of goats should take away sins.' And beyond this 
did the prophets speak of another sacrifice which 
would be of intrinsic value. Thus we read it in 
Psalm xl., 'Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not 
desire. . . . Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume 
of the book it is written of me, I delight to do Thy 
wiH, oh nry Grod.' However the exegesis of this pas- 
sage may be disputed, we believe that it presents this 
threefold view of sacrifices : their symbolical and 
transitional character ; the moral element in them ; 
and the great Sacrifice of inherent value by the self- 
surrender of the Eighteous One and that it points 
forward to, and finds its fullest explanation in, the 
great prediction of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. 

The argument, which we have sought to set forth, 
gains greatly in cogency as we remember that these 
utterances were not caused by any depreciation, on 
the part of the prophets, either of sacrifices or of 
the other ritual observances of the Old Testament. 
On the contrary, if we read in Psalm li. that the 
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, we find it 
immediately followed by this : ' Then shalt thou be 
pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with 


burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings ; then shall 
they offer bullocks upon thine altar.' And, again, it 
is the same Psalmist who so earnestly pants after 
spiritual fellowship with the Living God, who also 
longs to go up to the hill of God, to His tabernacle 
and altar. 1 

Most important in this respect are the references 
in the prophecies of Daniel and Malachi, but espe- 
cially those in the book of Ezekiel, to ritual and 
Levitical ordinances. They prove beyond question 
that the prophetic standpoint did not imply any 
depreciation of the ordinances and institutions of the 
Law. And yet by the side of all this we find what 
some have, in perhaps exaggerated language, termed 
an anti-ritual direction. The solution of this seeming 
difficulty must not be sought in the supposed priority 
of the Prophets to the Law, but in another considera- 
tion which forms one of the main points in prophecy. 
Ultimately all prophecy points to ' the last [latter] 
days,' or the end of days (the Acharitk hayyamim}. 
This was to be the goal of the religious development 
and of the history of Israel. Thus we read it in the 
prophecy of Hosea, 2 that after many days in which 
Israel would be without king or sacrifices true or 
false they would return and seek Jehovah their God 
and David their king, and fear Jehovah and His 
goodness in the latter days (the Acharith hayyamim). 
1 Ps. xlii., xliii. 3 iii. 6. 


It was not for a gradual development into a more 
spiritual worship that the Prophets looked; their 
gaze was bent on the Acharith hayyamim. They 
expected not a religious reformation but a reno- 
vation, not the cessation of sacrifices but the ful- 
filment of their prophetic idea in the latter days, 
which were those of the expected Messiah and of 
His Kingdom. But, for the reason previously indi- 
cated, that they knew not the manner nor the time 
of fulfilment, these two the present and the future 
lay as yet in close, and to them, though not to us, 
undistinguished, contiguity. Thus Jeremiah intro- 
duces the sacrificial services into a restored Jeru- 
salem, the starting point of his prophecy being the 
return from the Babylonish captivity, and its goal- 
point that from the final dispersion of Israel, or the 
latter days. 1 The same undistinguished conjunction 
appears in the prophetic Book of Isaiah. In the 56th 
chapter of it we have a burning description of ' the 
latter days.' Then would the sons of the strangers 
join themselves to Jehovah and be brought to the 
Holy Mountain, and their burnt-offerings and sacri- 
fices be accepted on His altar, because His house 
would be called a house of prayer- for all nations. 
It is not an enlargement but a transformation of the 
Jewish dispensation which is here anticipated ; not a 
conversion to Israel, but to Israel's God ; not a merg 

1 Jer. xvii, 26 ; xxxi. 14 ; xxxiii. 10, 11-16. 


ing of all nations into Israel, but a breaking down of 
separating walls ; not a universal Synagogue, but a 
universal Church, in which all that had been national, 
preparatory, symbolic, typical, would merge into the 
spiritual reality of fulfilment. But what is this pro- 
phecy from the Book of Isaiah other than a pre- 
diction of the words of Christ concerning those other 
sheep of His, not of the Jewish fold, whom He must 
bring, and who should hear His voice, that so there 
might be one flock and one Shepherd words l which 
He consecrated by His latest prayer. 2 Assuredly, 
it seems as difficult to understand how the fourth 
Gospel which records this can be regarded as un- 
Jewish, as how these prophecies of Isaiah can be 
represented as merely Jewish and anti-Gentile. 

To pass over other and kindred prophetic utter- 
ances, those in the 60th chapter of the Book of Isaiah 
must claim our attention, as specially illustrative 
in our present argument. Here we find in strange 
juxtaposition two apparently contradictory series of 
facts. The prophecy opens with what almost seems 
a denunciation of Temple and sacrificial worship. 
Heaven was God's throne, and earth His footstool : 
where then was the house which man would build 
for Him, unless it were in the heart of the humble 
and contrite ? Similarly, as regarded sacrifices, he 
that offered a lamb or an oblation was in the view of 

1 St, Jolin x. 16, a St. John XTii. 20, 21. 


.the prophet as if he had killed some unclean animal. 
And yet, by the side of these apparent denunciations, 
we have a glowing description of the restoration of 
that very Temple and of its sacrifices, yet of such 
kind that the Gentiles would, not as proselytes of 
righteousness, but as proselytes to God, have their 
part in all, by the side of spiritually converted Israel. 
Surely, clearer evidence than this could not be given, 
that the present was ever 'regarded as prophetic of 
the future ; that the future was presented in the 
language and forms of the present ; and that the 
sacrifices, which symbolised spiritual realities, were 
also typical of that future in ' the latter days,' when 
around the Great Sacrifice, and in the great World- 
Temple of the Church, all nations would be gathered. 
To the same effect is what the Old Testament says 
.concerning the Levitical priesthood. It is not the 
Epistle to the Hebrews only, but the Old Testament 
itself, which teaches that, beyond the letter, there 
was a deeper significance attaching to the Old 
Testament idea of the priesthood ; and that, beyond 
the present institutions and ministry in the outward 
Temple, it pointed to higher spiritual realities, of 
which it was both symbolic and prophetic. Even the 
circumstance that the Levites were appointed in place 
of the first-born in Israel, 1 is most significant. Like 
the claim to the first-fruits, it indicated the claim of 

1 Num. viii. 16, 17. 


Jehovah upon His people. This fundamental prin- 
ciple includes all detailed instruction that was after- 
wards given. Accordingly, we find that in Exodus 
xix. 5, 6, all Israel are designated Jehovah's peculiar 
possession, although only on condition of being 
faithful to the covenant. It is in this sense also 
that we understand it, that all Israel ' shall be to 
me a kingdom of priests.' The same view of the 
meaning of the priesthood, as typical of God-con- 
secration, is expressed in the Book of Deuteronomy 
(vii. 6 ; xiv, 2 ; xxxii. 9), in the Psalms, 1 and in the 
prophetic books. 2 But the final fulfilment of this 
fundamental idea was reserved for the future and is 
presented in that mysterious priesthood after the 
order of Melchisedec, 3 and in that prophecy con- 
cerning ' the latter days,' when, with reference to a 
far other than the Aaronic priesthood, one probably 
including the Gentiles also, this promise was to be- 
come true : ' And I will also take of them for 
priests and for Levites, saith Jehovah.' 4 And as we 
recall the circumstances of Israel in relation to 
Babylon, and the stage of revelation when these 
words were uttered, and compare, or rather contrast 
them with the narrow Judaism, of the time of Christ, 
we can in some measure realise the spiritual altitude 
of these prophecies, and feel that we must look in 

1 Ps. cxxxv. 4. 3 Is. xli. 9 ; xliii. 1. 

Ps. ex. 4. Isaiah Ixvi. 21. 


the pages of the New Testament for their fulfil- 

But it is not only one or another institution, but 
the whole Old Testament, which points beyond itself 
and to a higher fulfilment in the future. Here we 
specially mark how frequently and emphatically the 
Law is referred to, not as a code of outward com- 
mandments, but in its deeper and spiritual bearing 
on the inward man. This especially in the Book of 
Psalms, which may be described as being equally 
of the Law and the Prophets, converting the teaching 
of both into spiritual life-blood. Here we would 
refer, as a most characteristic instance, to the teaching 
of the Psalms in regard to holiness and forgiveness, 
which, as in the New Testament, are conjoined. A 
prominent influence in reference to these two is 
ascribed to the Law necessarily, not as a code of 
outward commandments, but in its spiritual aspect. 
Thus in Psalm xix. the Law of the Lord is spoken 
of as ' converting the heart,' the prayer being imme- 
diately added for forgiveness of secret sins. Similarly, 
in Psalm li. the prayer for forgiveness is joined to 
one for the creation of a new heart by the Spirit. 
This conjunction of the prayer for forgiveness with 
that for regeneration is exceedingly characteristic of 
the spirituality of religious aspiration. Psalm cxix. 
may be described as a grand eulogy of the Law 
in this aspect of it. And when, with the time of 



Israel's completed inward departure from God, came 
that of their greatest outward need, the Prophet was 
not commissioned to give them any new command- 
ment, still less to admonish to strict observance of 
the old, but to bring the promise, which character- 
istically was to this effect, that God would give them 
a new heart to know Him that He was Jehovah. 1 And 
that it was not in any wise connected with igno- 
ration of the Law, nor, on the other hand, expected 
in conjunction with a return to its merely outward 
ordinances, appears from this, that the great promise 
of ' the latter days ' of the Messianic time of com- 
pletion was, that Jehovah would then make a new 
covenant with Israel, not according to that when 
He brought them out of Egypt, but one in which 
He would put His Law in their inward parts, and 
write it on their hearts. And most important as 
adding yet another element : then would one man no 
longer teach his neighbour, but all be taught directly 
of God. 2 This indicates the existence of the old ele- 
ments, while at the same time it points to an entire 
change in the future. Then would not only the old 
Covenant and the old Law, but even prophetism be 
superseded, or rather fulfilled. All this in the ' latter 
days,' or Messianic time, when, as Zechariah predicts, 
all ritual ordinances would merge in that universal 
consecration to God, in which ' Holiness unto Jeho- 

1 Jer. xxiv. 7. 8 Jer. xxxi. 31-34. 


vah,' the inscription on the High-Priest's mitre, would, 
so to speak, be that on all vessels in common use 
in Jerusalem. 1 But what does all this mean, when 
translated into the prose language of history, but the 
fulfilment of the Law in its spiritual aspect, such as 
we find it described in the Epistles of St. Paul and, 
indeed, throughout the whole New Testament ? 

But even this is not all. If Psalm li. had com- 
bined these two, the spiritual renewal of the heart 
and the forgiveness of sins, we are told that in the 
days of the promised New Covenant this would be 
the gift of God to all His people. Thus Jeremiah 
connects with the prediction of the new Law, which 
was to be written on the heart when man's teaching 
would give place to universal knowledge of God, 
this promise deeply significant, even if in its then form 
it applied to Israel : ' For I will forgive their iniquity, 
and I will remember their sin no more.' 2 Simi- 
larly Ezekiel, the priest-prophet, speaks of the time 
when God would sprinkle clean water upon them, 
and cleanse them from their filthiness, give them a 
new heart, put His Spirit within them, take away 
their stony heart, and make them to walk in His 
statutes. 3 And that these promises would find their 
fulfilment in the time of the Messiah, the Son of David, 
is thus expressly stated by the same prophet in the 
folio/wing chapter of his predictions : ' And David my 

1 Zech. xiv. 20, 21. a Jer. xxxi. 34. s Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27. 

180 PKOPHECY AND HISTORY. tsar. vt. 

servant shall be king over them : and they all shall 
have one shepherd : they shall also walk in My judg- 
ments, and observe My statutes, and do them.' l And 
this is what Ezekiel emphatically designates as the 
covenant of peace, the everlasting covenant which 
God would make. 2 Lastly, with this also agrees both 
the saying of Zechariah (xiii. 1) : 'In that day there 
shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and 
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for un- 
cleanness,' and this of Micah (vii. 19, 20), that God 
would cast all their sins into the depths of the sea, 
and thus ' perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy 
to Abraham ' which He had ' sworn unto our fathers 
from the days of old.' 

Detailed as these references have been, they have 
only brought us, as it were, to the threshold. Eor 
beyond all these individual predictions we have the 
glowing descriptions by all the prophets, but espe- 
cially in the Book of Isaiah, of the time of the new 
covenant, with its blessings to Israel and to man- 
kind. That these bear reference to a spiritual 
world-wide dispensation in the Messianic days needs 
scarcely argument, any more than that all the 
conditions of it have been fulfilled in that dis- 
pensation which was introduced under the New 
Testament. It could scarcely be imagined that at 
any future period Judaism, whether of the Bab 

1 Ezek. xxxvii, 24, * Ezek. xxxvii, 26-28. 


binic or the Eationalistic kind, would unfold into 
such a universal religion and Kingdom of God, as the 
Prophets describe. In such case the alternative must 
be, either to renounce the Old Testament "hope, or 
to translate it into the platitudes of a vapid Deism. 
Or else if we cling to the spiritual hope set before 
us by the Prophets, then must we look for the wider 
fulfilment of all in that dispensation which is set 
before us in the New Testament, even though it may 
not yet appear as a concrete reality, but as that 
towards which we are tending, and which forms the 
promise and the goal of the present development. 

From Judaism, which is either an anachronism, 
or a revolt against the inmost idea of the Old Testa- 
ment, we turn again to the Old Testament, and in 
regard to it claim to have established these positions : 
that the Old Testament itself pointed to spiritual 
realities of which the external and the then present 
were confessedly and consciously the symbols. And, 
secondly, that in this it pointed for the fulfilment of 
all to the ' latter ' or Messianic days. 

Another, and a kindred argument, comes to us 
from what we have previously referred to as the 
absolute or dogmatic view of the prophetic character 
of the Old Testament, as taken by St. Paul. In this 
aspect he regards the whole Old Testament as pro- 
phetic of the New, the righteousness of Grod with- 
out the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the 


Law and the Prophets.' 1 From what might be called 
the purely rational standpoint, it might- be argued, 
and, indeed, was argued in the Epistle to the He- 
brews, that the ceremonial and ritual Law could not 
have been intended as permanent, nor its provisions 
have been regarded as sufficient for the atonement 
of sin. But St. Paul takes even higher ground than 
this. As he explains it, the Law could not reach 
within, and, therefore, did not remove, rather did it 
call out, that sin on which it pronounced the sen- 
tence of death. Accordingly, the object of the Law 
could only have been to call forth longing after 
salvation. It follows, that the Law could only have 
been intended as a temporary institution and to be a 
schoolmaster unto Christ. But the grace to which it 
pointed was from the first, and long before the Law, 
conveyed unto the fathers in the promise which 
could not have been annulled by that which came 
after, and which was only intended for temporary 
purposes and to serve as preparation for the future. 
Such is the argument of the Epistle to the Kornans, 
of a portion of the 2nd to the Corinthians, and espe- 
cially of that to the Galatians, the main position 
being summed up in these words : ' Is the Law then 
against the promises of God ? God forbid ; for if 
there had been a law given which could have given 
life, verily righteousness should have been by the 

1 Rom. ill. 21. 


law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under 
sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might 
be given to them that believe. But before faith 
came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the 
faith which should afterwards be revealed. Where- 
fore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto 
Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But 
after that faith is come, we are no longer under a 
schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God 
by faith in Christ Jesus.' l 

31. The detailed answer which we have sought 
to give to the first question we had proposed to 
ourselves, in measure also implies that to the second 
great inquiry : whether or not what may be called 
the Christian view of the Messianic idea and ideal is 
true to the Old Testament. What we have still to 
say, may perhaps be best presented in the form of a 
rapid review of the historical development through 
which the fundamental religious ideas passed in 

The ante-patriarchal age may be described as the 
stage of infancy. During its course the general 
foundations were laid, and that condition of things 
was established to which the provisions of the Divine 
Covenant would in the future apply. The grand 
facts which then emerged to view were these : Man's 
original God-relation, as God-created, and still God- 

1 Gal. iii. 21-26. 

184 t>ROPHfcCY AND HISTORY. ifioc. vt 

like ; law, sin, death, and the promise of final re- 
covery. But sin was not only an outward trans- 
gression of an outward command. Springing from 
evil thoughts within, sin would progress to its fur- 
thest limits, and that which had begun in disobedience 
to the Divine Father would end in murder of the 
human brother. Yet by the side of sin appeared 
also from the first, and on the ground of the Divine 
promise, the origines of worship ; Divine warning 
also, and Divine acknowledgment, as well as Divine 
judgment. Next emerged the grand outlines of the 
distinction between those who called upon God, and 
who followed the merely material, and with the in- 
crease of the latter, the corruption of the former, 
and thereupon a universal judgment, yet with pre- 
servation of the believing righteous. Erom this 
sprung a new order of society, still bearing, however, 
the Cain seal of judgment, which resulted in the 
confusion of tongues, and the severance of mankind 
into separate nations. By the side of these origines 
might range, as their counterpart, the historic ful- 
filment in the New Testament, beginning with the 
Incarnation of the Christ, and ending with the out- 
pouring of the Holy Ghost. 

What here distinguishes and gives such unique 
grandeur to the Old Testament narrative, is that 
it professes to give not the physical, philosophical, 
literary, nor political, but the purely moral and 


spiritual history of our origines, at the game time 
laying the foundations of the most distant future. 
Even the hope of such a future is significant, since 
heathenism as such had no Acherith hayyamim. To 
the Old Testament the future is everything : the con- 
dition of its existence, the rationale of its aim, the 
impelling power of its development. It comes into 
our world, young, fresh, and tending towards a Divine 
manhood. And, dim as the primaeval promise may 
be, it is the Gospel. For it tells us that man is not to 
be for ever oppressed by sin, but that sin is in the end 
to be utterly crushed, and that out of the moral con- 
test between the Kepresentative of humanity and 
that of sin, of which the condition is suffering to the 
former, victory and universal deliverance would come. 
The next period was the patriarchal stage, or the 
age of childhood. It is characterised by all a child's 
simplicity of faith, and absoluteness of obedience. 
The great future now appeared mainly through its 
contrast to the present. The lonely wanderer was to 
become the father of all nations ; the homeless pil- 
grim, the heir of all the land, nay, of all the earth. 
This sets forth another feature in the development 
of the Kingdom of God : that of the contrast between 
the seen and the unseen, the present and the future, 
appearance and reality. And this also is most fully 
exhibited in the history of Christ and His Church. 
Moreover, on further consideration, it will be per- 


ceived that this must be the necessary outcome of the 
prevalence of evil, and of that contest of suffering 
which is the characteristic of the Kingdom of God, 
when introduced into the world. But at the same 
time the original promise began also to assume more 
definite form. These two things were now clearly 
marked in the further unfolding of the promise : 
that its starting-point was to be in the individual, 
* in Thee ; ' and that its goal-point was ' all nations,' 
which were to be blessed in Him. But to mark 
this starting-point was to enter into covenant, as 
God did with Abraham, as father of the faithful. 
The sign of it was circumcision, which indicated that, 
while this covenant was to be transmitted from father 
to son, its transmission was not to be merely by here- 
ditary descent, but that it also implied personal sub- 
mission to God's ordinance, and voluntary taking up 
of the covenant obligations. From this point on- 
wards alike the starting and the goal-point are 
marked with ever increasing clearness. 

The period which we next reach, and which, may 
be designated as that of Israel's youth, was the con- 
stituent period of the Covenant history. The promise 
which had found its location in an individual, and 
then in the patriarchal family, was now to enter the 
field of the world, being, so to speak, embodied in a 
nation, whose life, history, and predictions were to 
be identified with the Kingdom of God, The idea, 


which was symbolically and typically presented in 
the history and institutions of Israel was as we have 
seen that of the Servant of the Lord, in opposition 
to that service of sin which was unto death. This, 
with all of struggle and suffering, but also with the 
ultimate victory, attaching to it. The whole sub- 
sequent history of Israel was the outcome and de- 
velopment of that in the patriarchal and ante-patri- 
archal period. Alike the ceremonial, the ritual, and 
the moral Law, as well as the promises, have their 
explanation and starting-point in the idea of the 
Servant of the Lord. The same contrast between 
the seen and the. unseen, the present and the future, 
which had emerged in patriarchal history, charac- 
terised that of Israel in their relation to the other 
nations of the world. And the varying events which 
befell Israel were determined by their faithful ad- 
herence, or the opposite, to the Divine idea which 
they were intended to embody. 

Another stage, and we reach the period of the 
monarchy, which was that of Israel's manhood and 
maturity. To the idea of priesthood and of pro- 
phetism, which had during the previous period been 
expressed in outward form, that of royalty was now 
added, but still with the underlying principle of the 
King as ' the servant of the Lord.' The great promise 
connected first with the patriarchs as God's anointed, 
and then with Israel as a royal nation, now attached 

188 pKoraEcrsr AND HISTORY. 

itself to Israel's king, and became, so to speak, 
individualised in David and his seed. The picture 
presented in the history of David is still that of the 
suffering servant of Jehovah. But, by the side of it, 
that of the reigning servant of God is also placed. 
And as we follow the outward history of Israel, its 
great spiritual lessons appear with increasing clear- 
ness. The fate of the people is more distinctly shown 
to be dependent upon faithfulness to the covenant; 
the prophets point out with growing clearness the 
spiritual character of the Law and its institutions; 
above all, the great hope of Israel in regard to the 
spiritual kingdom and the king over all nations, is 
presented with ever-increasing particularity and de- 
finiteness as being the goal of fulfilment. 
. The prophetic line which indicated the starting 
point was now well-nigh completely traced ; that in 
regard to the goal-point yet remained to be more 
fully marked. This was done in the last stage of 
Israel's history before the great pause of expectancy 
that of the exile. It was the period of Israel's 
decay ; but, as always, the casting off of Israel was to 
become the bringing in of the Gentiles. Israel was 
now placed in closest contact with the great world- 
monarchies, and those new relations gave rise to 
another stage, in which the grand hope entered, so 
to speak, on its world-mission and history. Israel 
was to become a John the Baptist to the heathen 


world ; a voice in the wilderness crying to them of 
the coming Christ. Once more did Providence and 
grace work together. The greatest miracle was 
accomplished without sign of outward miracle. The 
Jewish dispersion, the spread of Grecian culture, and 
the establishment of the rule of Imperial Eome, were 
the three great factors, acting independently yet 
harmoniously towards one great object. Then, after 
the pause of expectancy, when, as regarded literary 
preparation, Grecianisin, and, as regarded political 
preparation, the rule of ancient Eome, had united . 
all mankind, the Old Testament in its Greek ren- 
dering, and the New Testament in its old and new 
world-meaning, could go forth into the arena of the 
world. And so the days of Csesar Augustus became 
those of the coming of Christ, and of the final fulfil- 
ment of prophecy. 

Clearly as, from the standpoint of fulfilment, we 
perceive all this, we can readily understand how till 
after the coming of Christ it would appear only 
dimly even to those who believed. But there is one 
book in the Old Testament which, more than any 
other, must have kept alive these thoughts and hopes 
in Israel. It is the Book of Psalms. Let it be borne 
in mind that this was at the same time the liturgy, 
the hyinnody, and in great measure the dogmatics 
of the Old Testament Church. Then realise that its 
first beginnings date from the primitive and, in some 


respects, barbaric times of Saul. And yet, in a 
sense, it has been, and still is to the Church and to 
individuals, what it had been to Israel during the 
changeful periods of their troubled history. Its 
grandeur of God-conception, its intense pathos of 
suffering, its sweet tenderness of feeling, its child-like 
simplicity of faith, and the absoluteness of its trust- 
fulness, still best express our deepest religious expe- 
rience. And, beyond these subjective characteristics, 
are the objective earnestness of its God-proclamation 
into the wide world, its view of the City of God as 
the ideal State, its expectancy of the fdlnlment of all 
the promises, and of the beatification of the world. 
Above all does it set forth in clear lineaments the 
portraiture of the Messiah-King. Thither all the lines 
of thought run up. The wail of the righteous ' Suf- 
ferer leads up to the agonies of the Cross ; the shout 
of the king to the gladness of the Eesurrection-morn- 
ing. Over and above the noise of many waves and 
the rebellion of heathen nations rises loud, clear, and 
for ever, the God-assertion of His kingdom, upon earth, 
and the God-proclamation of the Christ into all the 
world. The answering voices of the Church and of 
ransomed nations, that stretch forth their hands to- 
wards Him, respond : ' He hath made us, and for 
Himself; we are His flock and the sheep of Bis pas- 
ture ; ' all nations shall worship Him ride forth pro- 
sperously, and reign for ever, 'David's greater Son !' 




But we hoped that it was He which should have redeemed Israel. 

ST. LTTKE xxiv. 1. 

WE have reached that stage in the inquiry proposed 
in these Lectures, when we might have been expected 
to gather together the individual predictions in the Old 
Testament, with the view of presenting in them a pro- 
phetic picture of the Messiah. But the exigencies of 
the time, and indeed of the present argument, impose 
on me another duty than once more to attempt what, 
in one or another part of it, has been so often and so 
well done by my predecessors. In truth, it must have 
been felt in the course of this argument, that those 
great questions regarding the dates and component 
parts of the Pentateuch, or rather of the Mosaic 
legislation, and its relation to the Prophets, which are 
at present so largely engaging the attention alike of 
scholars and of general readers of the Old Testament, 
are of vital importance in our present inquiry. 

Notwithstanding the interest awakened in the 


subject, it may be doubted whether the history and 
progress of this question are sufficiently known, intel- 
ligently to follow its discussion. Accordingly, I pro- 
pose to give a brief sketch of its history, before 
considering the results arrived at avoiding, so far 
as possible, merely technical details. 1 

What may be called the traditional or Church- 
view of the Mosaic date and authorship of the 
Pentateuch (entertained not only by the Eoman 
Catholic, the Greek, and by all the Protestant 
Churches, but also by the Synagogue) prevailed with 
but little and not influential exception or dissent 2 
till the second half of the last century. The first 
systematic attempt to trace different documents, in 
the first place, in the book of Genesis (inclusive of 

1 In the historic part of this outline I have largely availed myself of 
the contributions of Professor Straok in Zockler's Handb. d. Theol. Wis- 
sensch. vol. i., and in the article ' Pentateuch ' in vol. xi. of the 2nd ed. 
of Herzog's Heal-ThicyTdop., as well as of other works especially the 
various Introductions to the Old Testament, and Reuss, Gesch. d. h. Schr, 
d. A. T. (passim for the history, pp. 71 &c., 452 &c., 476 &c.). 

2 In that number the following may be reckoned : Isaac Israeli (in 
the tenth century) ; Luther, in his Table-Talk, implies, if not the possi- 
bility of doubt, yet the unimportance of the question of Mosaic authorahip 
(Diestel, Gesch. d. A. Test. p. 250) ; Karlstadt (unfavourably known in 
Luther-history : de canon. Ser. S. libris, 1520); A. Masius (ob. R. G.),Comm. 
on Josh, in Crit. S. vol. i. (died 1573) ; Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) ; La 
Peyrere, Syst. Theol. ex Prtsadam. hyp. (1655) ; Spinoza, Tract. TheoL- 
pol. (1670) ; R. Simon, Hist. Crit. du V. Test. (1678) the two latter re- 
markable works, specially that of Simon (comp. Diestel, u. s., pp. 352 &c., 
357, 640, 541) ; Le Clerc (Clericus, 1657-1736), Sentim. de quelques Theol. 
de Soil., and then specially in the Diss. de Script. Pent. ; Vitringa (1659- 
1722), Observ. S. lib. i. ; Fleury, Maun des Isr., 1760; andLe 
Preuves de la Iteliy. Chrlt, i. 2. 


Exod. i. and ii.) was made by Jean Astruc (1684- 
1766), a French physician, the son of a Protestant 
pastor, and afterwards a convert to Roman Catho- 
licism. His work, ' Conjectures sur les memoires 
originaux dont il paroit que Moyse s'est servi pour 
composer le livre de la Genese,' appeared anonymously 
at Brussels in 1753, when the author was nearly 
seventy years old. 1 Starting from the exclusive use 
in different parts of Genesis of the terms Elohim and 
Jehovah, he ascribed the portions in which either the 
one or the other designation occurred to separate 
documents, which he respectively marked by the 
letters A and B. Those parts in which there were 
repetitions of the same narrative, and the name of 
God did not occur, he ascribed to another document 2 
which he called C. Finally, those narratives which 
seemed to him foreign to the history of the Jewish 
people he ranged in yet a fourth column, D, which, 
Ihowever, really comprised various documents (eight 
in number), and which he marked by the letters E 
to M. Thus the book of Genesis was composed of 
eleven documents (A, B, 0, and E to M). 3 

The investigations of Astruc soon found a more 
.congenial soil, and received fuller development, in 

1 A very full analysis of the work is given by Bohmer (article 
* Astruc ' in Herzog's Real-Encykl. (2nd ed., vol. i.). 

2 Comprising Gen. vii., xx., xxiii., xxiv. 

3 These letters do not, however, mark their respective dates and suc- 



Germany. Here (after a few not influential prede- 
cessors) 1 we have specially to name J. G. Eichhorn, 2 
whose * Introduction to the Old Testament ' (in 5 
vols.) appeared at Leipsic in 1780-1783, and rapidly 
passed through several editions. 3 The work of Eich- 
horn lays down the main principles and lines which 
have since been followed in German criticism of the 
Pentateuch. After stating ,the various reasons for 
his distinction of the two documents which he traces 
in Genesis, Eichhorn endeavours to prove that each 
of them is again based upon a previous document, 
arriving at the final conclusion that the Jehovah- 
document had finished with the death of Joseph, the 

1 Jerusalem, Brief e u. d. Mos. Schr., 1762. 

2 However we may differ from his views, Eichhorn was one of the 
most learned and brilliant, and happily also one of the most successful 
theological writers of Germany. He became Professor at Jena in 1775, 
when only twenty-three years of age ; he lectured twenty-four hours (and 
more) every week even at the close of his life, eighteen hours a week ; 
treated of and wrote on a great variety of historical subjects not connected 
with theology, and died in 1827 at the age of seventy-five. His investi- 
gations are thorough, lucid, and able. He may not only be designated the 
father of modern German criticism, but his investigations have been of 
such permanent influence that, until the latest development of Pentateuch- 
criticism, the remark of Diestel (u. s. p. 610) held true that, apart from 
questions about authorship and date, criticism has not since advanced any 
really new element. And, however we may dispute some of his conclu- 
s ions, or differ from the direction which criticism b as since taken, we cannot 
but agree with Bertheau (Herzog's Rcal-Encyhl. iv. p. 115) that Eich- 
horn's main object was apologetic, in defence as he conceived it of the 
Bible against the Deists and Materialists of his time. This, indeed, 
impresses itself on my own mind in almost every part of his ' Introduc- 
tion,' and he has even anticipated and answered objections which E. Reusa 
(u.s.) has lately restated and urged as if they had never been met. 

3 The edition from which I quote is the fourth (1823, 1824). 


Elohim-document with the public appearance of 
Moses, 1 and that these two documents may have been 
put together by someone before Moses (p. 94) 
although not in their completeness, but often in frag- 
mentary form, in accordance with the plan of the 
compiler, and with not unfrequent glosses and inter- 
polations. These three elements (the Elohistic, the 
Jehovistic, and glosses) Eichhorn traces in detail 
through the Book of Genesis (pp. 107-110). The 
author next proceeds to vindicate the genuineness of 
Genesis 2 and to defend its high antiquity (pp. 135- 
172) by arguments well worthy of consideration. 
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Eich- 
horn regards as older than all the other books in the 
Old Testament, proving this both from their language 
and contents (pp. 187-193), and from later history. 
These books cannot be post-Mosaic, notably they 
have neither been written nor compiled by Ezra, 
although these Mosaic documents have passed through 
many hands and received glosses and additions. But 
all this before the time of Ezra, since otherwise the 
Samaritans would not have accepted the Pentateuch 
(pp. 204-205). Other reasons confirmatory of this 
view are given. It is further shown that these books 
could not have been composed at the time of Josiah, 3 
nor yet between that of Joshua and David, but must 

1 Eichhorn, vol. iii. 91. 

8 This is vindicated in detail, pp. 110-135. 2 Kings xxiL 



have originated from documents by Moses and some 
of his contemporaries, although (as already remarked) 
not without la.ter interpolations, alterations, and 
additions. The notices of these by Eichhorn mark 
the points of departure for later and more destructive 
criticism. The arguments by which all these views 
are supported in .detail are very interesting and 
deserve the attention of modern critics. Emphatic is 
the testimony of Eichhorn in favour of what is now 
known as the ' Priest-Code,' * and very detailed the 
examination of Numbers, which is followed (p. 322) 
by a refutation of objections and a demonstration of 
the authenticity of the Pentateuch which, it is de- 
clared ' not even the most boundless scepticism 
could regard as fictitious ' the analysis closing with 
the literary history of the subject. 

I have been thus detailed in the analysis of Eich- 
horn's argument, as not only the beginning of modern 
criticism, but because it deserves more serious atten- 
tion than it has of late received. To complete this 
part of our account, we add that K. D. Ilgen 2 sought 
to show the existence of a second ' Elohist,' against 
which Eichhorn protested, and that the contention 
of Ilgen was further followed out by Hupfeld, 3 and 
by Ewald in his 4 History of Israel.' To mark yet 
another step De Wette 4 claimed a separate author- 

1 Specially Lev. i. 1. to xxvii. 34. 

8 Urkunden d. Jerus. Tempel-Arch,, 1798. 

8 Die Quellen d. Gen., 1853. 4 eitr. z. Eiril. ind. A. Test., 1806. 


ship for Deuteronomy ; Bleek 1 showed, that the Book 
of Joshua really formed part of what originally was 
a Hexateuch ; while Ewald and others extended the 
proposed criticism to all parts of this work. The 
denial of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch 
was, as might be expected, further developed by 
successive critics, whose special views it were out 
of place to describe in detail the final result being 
briefly this, that the existence in Mosaic times of 
almost any part of the Pentateuch was denied. 

2. From this review of the history, we pass to 
a sketch of the present state of the controversy. 
Generally speaking, the various views advocated may 
be grouped under three headings : 

A. The first of these bears the name of the * Frag- 
ments-hypothesis.' According to its advocates, we 
can discover so many interpolations, glosses, and 
repetitions in the Pentateuch, that the work must 
be regarded as a collection of separate documents, 
thrown together without order or care by one or 
more redactors, with the view of preserving all the 
literary remains of the past. "With this theory, which 
is now generally abandoned, the names of Vater,' 2 
of our own countryman Dr. A. Greddes, and of A. 
Th. Hartmann, 3 are connected. 

B. According to the second theory, which is 

1 First in Rosenmiiller's JBibl. Repertor. 1822. 

9 Comm. z. Pent., 1802-1805. 8 Hist. Krit. ForscK, 1810. 

19& t>EOPHECY AND HISTORY. 'racr. vtt, 

designated the ' Supplement-hypothesis,' the work of 
the Elohist was the oldest in the collection, and then 
supplemented by that of the Jehovist, Deuteronomy 
having been added at a later period. With this view 
the names of Tuch, 1 Bleek, Lengerke, 2 and formerly 
also of Delitzsch, 3 are identified. This hypothesis 
also has been virtually abandoned by modern 

0. The third theory, known as the ' Document- 
hypothesis,' is that which at present is most gene- 
rally received. According to its advocates the whole 
or most of the Pentateuch consists of various docu- 
ments, which have been redacted by two or more 
persons the original documents themselves being 
classed as the ' First Elohist,' the ' Second Elohist,' 
the ' Jehovist,' and the ' Deuteronomist.' 

It will be noticed that, in its outline, this hypo- 
thesis is both general and vague. It leaves room for 
the widest differences in regard to the documents, all, 
or some, of which may, in our Pentateuch, appear in 
their original or in an altered form ' redacted ' and 
' re-redacted ; ' or may have been incorporated in a 
previous work, and then re-incorporated in another. 
Moreover, the theory itself does not settle the ques- 
tion as to the date of the composition, emendation, 
redaction, or incorporation of the various documents 
leaving all these points undetermined, or rather in 

1 Comm, ii. d. Gen,., 1838. 2 Kanaan, 1844. s Comm. u. d. Gen, 


dispute, between tlie various critics. And yet, mani- 
festly the most important question is that about the 
date of the contents of the Pentateuch : whether, 
broadly speaking, it truly represents, as a whole, the 
Mosaic legislation, or else must be pronounced, in 
regard to any such pretension, as in the main a later 
forgery. On this point it seems, to me at least, 
difficult to understand how the alternative and ques- 
tion at issue can be misapprehended, although it is 
only fair to say that there are scholars, both on the 
Continent and among ourselves, who hold the late 
date and non-Mosaic composition of so large a part 
of the Pentateuch, and yet utterly refuse the se- 
quences which seem to me the logical inference from 
these views. Lastly, it should be added that there 
are still scholars in Germany and, no doubt, in our 
own country, who defend the unity and Mosaic 
authorship, or at least redaction, of the whole Penta- 
teuch. It must, however, be admitted that their op- 
ponents have justice on their side in charging them 
with want of consistency in their views. 1 

We have said that there was room within the 
document-hypothesis for the most divergent views 
on many important questions. Till lately it might, 
indeed, have been boasted that, although many, 
and, as we should have thought, serious differ- 
ences prevailed on matters of detail, there was sub- 

1 Comp. Diestel, u. s. pp. 616-618 ; and Strack, Real-Encyk, xi. p. 442, 


stantial agreement on all leading points, such as the 
relative age of the chief documents composing the 
Pentateuch ; the existence of certain sections which 
are older than any of the documents of which the 
Pentateuch is composed j 1 and the combination of the 
other principal documents into one work which was 
completed before the time of the Deuteronornist. But 
this agreement no longer exists, so far as the most 
important points are concerned, unless it were in this, 
that only small fragments in the Pentateuch are dated 
from Mosaic times, and that even these have been ar- 
ranged and rearranged in strangest manner. But, 
by the side of this, there are on many questions ab- 
solute and irreconcilable differences between various 
critics. These concern: the number of documents in 
the Pentateuch, and the number of ' redactors,' who, 
in a certain sense, may be regarded as additional 
writers ; the relation, order, and succession of these 
documents and of their redactions ; and, lastly, the 
respective date or age of some of these documents 
and redactions. In evidence of the differences pre- 
vailing, the various views on the supposed age of 
the documents composing the Pentateuch have been 
arranged in seven, or, more strictly speaking, ten 2 
separate classes, to each of which the name, or 

1 Such as the Decalogue, the Book of the Covenant : Ex. xx. 22-xxiii., 
the principal part of Ex. xv., and other pieces. 

8 The former in the Real-EncyU., the latter in Zb'ckler's Handbuch, 

ttttt. Tir. THE THEORY OF WELLHAUSEN. - 201 

names, of distinguished critics are attached. In 
other words, on the important question of the 
arrangement and relative age of some of the docu- 
ments composing the Pentateuch, seven, or, more 
properly, ten, diverging views prevail ; * while in 
regard to some of them it may be said that opposite 
conclusions have been derived by equally competent 
scholars from the same data. From all this the 
impartial observer will derive at least this in- 
ference, that, where these conclusions so differ, they 
cannot rest on irrefragable grounds, but must to 
a large extent have been influenced by subjective 

But all other differences pale into insignificance 
by the side of the fundamental divergence intro- 
duced by what is popularly known as the theory 
of Wellhausen. We call it by his name, not because 
it originated with him, but because of his lucid and 
popular advocacy, and his thorough application of 
it to all questions connected with Hebrew history 
and literature ; and because its recent presentation, 
both in Germany and in this country, has identi- 
fied the theory with his name. On the other 
hand, it is only fair to state, even at this stage, 
that many scholars whose names are identified with 
Hebrew learning have, on critical grounds, refused 
to accept his conclusions. The genesis of the theory 

1 See the points of agreement and disagreement in Zb'ckler (u. s.), pp. 


is not without interest. Vatke 1 and George 2 con- 
tended, chiefly on philosophical grounds, that the 
Book of Deuteronomy, which was supposed to date 
from the time of Josiah, was older than the legislation 
of the other books in the Pentateuch. This position 
was next advocated on critical grounds by other 
writers. Thus E. Eeuss (since 1833) laboured to 
establish that the notices in the historical books 3 
implied what was contradictory to the provisions of 
the so-called Mosaic law, and hence that the latter 
could not have existed at the time ; 4 that the prophets 
of the eighth and ninth centuries B.C. knew nothing 
of a Mosaic code ; that Jeremiah was the first pro- 
phet who spoke of a written Law, and that his refer- 
ences were exclusively to Deuteronomy ; and, lastly, 
that Deuteronomy (iv. 45 to ch. xxviii.) was the oldest 
portion of the Pentateuch-legislation, being the very 
book which the priests in the time of Josiah pretended 
(pretendaienf) to have found in the Temple ; while 
Ezekiel (xl.-xlviii.) was anterior to the redaction of 
the ritual code and of the laws (the 'Priest-Code') 
which the Jewish priesthood afterwards introduced 
into the Pentateuch. 

The most important argument on which this 
theory rests is the supposed ignoring of the Mosaic 
Law in the historical books, and the inconsistency of 

1 Die Bibl. TheoL 2 Die Aelter. Jud, Feste both, works in 1855. 
8 Judges, Samuel, and partly Kings. 

* See Reuss, Gesch. d. h. Schr. pp. 87, 92, 231, 249-254. The details 
I do not care to reproduce. 


its provision with the state of matters then existing. 
Full reference will be made to this in the sequel. 
At present .we only add, that this argument was 
capable of wide appli cation, notably to all the re- 
ligious institutions referred to in the Pentateuch : 
sacrifices, the priesthood, "the central place of 
worship, and the great festivals. The theory just 
described broke with all the past. For, whereas 
Deuteronomy had formerly been regarded as being, 
on any supposition, the latest book in the Pentateuch, 
it was now declared to be the earliest, while the 
Levitical legislation in the Pentateuch was relegated 

to the times of the Exile. It follows that there must 
have been an immense difference between the times 
before, and those after, Josiah, when Deuteronomy 
first emerged. It would further follow that the 
earlier period of Jewish history was one of religious 
barbarism, confusion, and mostly worship of nature, 
when the voice of the prophets brooded over the 
moral chaos, and sought to introduce order in it. 
To other sequences of a theory so destructive, and 
which, even at this stage, I venture to designate 
as utterly incompatible with the facts of the case, 
reference will be made in the sequel. 

The theory of Eeuss was at first coldly received, 
and only gained adherents when developed by his 
pupils. One of them, K. H. Graf (1869), maintained 1 
that the ' original document ' [the old historical work 

1 Die GescJt. Bucher d. A, T.. 1866. 


of the Elohist] had been successively recast by the 
Jehovist and the Deuteronomist, while the code of 
the middle books in the Pentateuch l was certainly 
post-exilian. This view he afterwards modified, 
retracting what he had said about the ' original 
document ' (the Grundschriff), which, in direct con- 
tradiction to his former contention, he now declared 
to have been post- exilian, and, indeed, to form the 
latest part of the Pentateuch. Graf was followed 
in much the same direction by Kayser. 2 

We have now, lastly, to sketch the system of 
Wellhausen, which may most conveniently be studied 
in his ' History of Israel,' 3 of which only the first 
volume has as yet appeared ; 4 and in the article 
' Israel ' in the ' Encyclopedia Britannica,' 5 where it 
is presented with much greater moderation of lan- 
guage and form than in the ' History.' 6 To avoid the 
possibility of personal bias in our account of Well- 

1 Ex. xii. 1-28, 43-51; xxv.-xxxi. ; xxxv.-xl. ; all Levit. ; Numb. 
i.-x. 28 ; xv. ; in part xvi. and xvii. ; xviii. ; xix. ; xxviii.-xxxi. ; 
xxxv. 16-xxxvi. 2 Das Vorexil. B. d. Urgesch. Isr., 1874. 

3 Gesch. Israels, Berlin, 1878. 

* 442 pages. . 5 Vol. xiii. pp. 396, &c. 

a To these two works must now be added the Prolegomena sur 
Gesch. Isr. (1883), which is only a second edition, with quite unimportant 
changes, of the ' History,' and with a new Preface, the tone of which, 
irrespective of theological opinions, even the most ardent admirers of 
Wellhausen must deplore ; and, lastly, the hook called Skizzen und 
Vorarleiten (1884), of which the first fasciculus is devoted to an abstract 
of Israelitish history. This is, in reality, a slightly altered form of the 
article in the Encycl. Brit. But a curious literary question arises in con- 
nection with it. While the article in the Encycl, is apparently a trans- 
lation of the German original now given, there are, as I have found on 


hausen's views, we propose, so far as possible, to 
follow the sketch of Professor Strack, verifying it by 
constant reference to Wellhausen's writings. 

At the outset we are warned not to look in the 
Pentateuch for anything really Mosaic. Even the 
Decalogue is not Mosaic; in truth, the song of 
Deborah, in Judges v., may be the oldest historical 
monument in the Old Testament. 1 It is indeed true 
that the foundation-document which "Wellhausen calls 
the ' Priest-Code,' 2 assumes the guise of the Mosaic 
age, seeking, so far as possible, to mask itself 
(p. 9), and that it seriously pretends to be the legisla- 
tion of the wilderness, assuming an archaic appear- 
ance so as to hide the real date of its composition 
(p. 10). But the true critic has no difficulty in seeing 

comparison of some parts, modifications in the wording, some of them 
slight, but all producing a decidedly softening effect as regards the argu- 
ment in its English garb. To one important alteration I -will here 
call attention. In the JEncycl. Brit., p, 398 b, we read of the Ark of 
the Covenant, ' It was a standard [the italics are always ours] adapted 
primarily to the requirements of a wandering and warlike life; bi'ought 
back from the field, it became a symbol of Jehovah's presence, the central 
seat of His worship.' In the Skizzen u. Vorarb., however, the passage reads 
thus : ' It [the Ark] was an idol, which was primarily intended 
[berechnet] for a wandering and camp-life ; brought back from the field, 
it still remained, as token of the presence of Jehovab, the central point 
of His worship.' Is the difference between the two passages due to a 
later modification or to a fuller expression of his views by Wellhausen ? 
The difference between them is, at least, sufficiently marked and im- 

1 Gesch.-p. 309. 

8 Note that ( the original document,' or ' the first Elohist,' is Well- 
hauseu's Priest-Code ; the ' second Elohist ' is his E, while the Jahvist 
(not Jehovist, who is JE) is J. 


through this disguise. The * book of the Covenant ' * 
is ' Jahvistic.' The Jehovist (JE) who must not 
be confounded with the Jahvist (J) dates from the 
golden age of kings and prophets, before the Assyrian 
conquest of Israel or Judah. The substance of the 
two works, J and E, of which that of the Jehovist 
is composed, dates from before the prophets, but each 
of them has been repeatedly re-edited before the work 
appeared in the form of JE, or the Jehovist. We 
are bidden to remark that J presents more of the real 
original state of things, and shows less trace of pro- 
phetic influence than E (p. 371). The document J 
breaks off suddenly at the blessing of Balaam, 
although there may be traces of the work in Numb, 
xxv. 1-5, and Deut. xxxiv. But when we speak of JE 
(the Jehovist work), we must remember that, as 
already stated, the documents do not appear in their 
original form, but have been edited and re-edited 

O ' 

with additions ; in fact, they are J 3 E 3 . Deuteronomy, 
or rather the original D, appeared shortly before the 
eighteenth year of Josiah, when it only contained 
chapters xii.-xxvi. Then, ' not before the exile,' D 
underwent a twofold redaction, of which the first 
prefaced D by Deut. i.-iv., and tacked to it chapter 
xxvii., while the next redaction added at the be- 
ginning chs. v. xi., and at the end chs. xxviii. xxx. 
combination of these two editions and the in- 

1 Ex. XX.; xxi.-xxiii. 19. 


sertion of the work into JE was probably made at the 
same time and by the same Deuteronoinist as the 
combination of J and E into JE (p. 370). 

But this is not nearly all. The section Lev. 
xvii.-xxvi. is said to represent what originally was 
a separate and distinct code of laws, the writer of 
which made manifold use of previous documents. It 
dates from the close of, or after the Exile, and is 
more cognate to Ezekiel than to the 'Priest-Code,' 
into which, after due redaction, it was inserted. In 
fact, the redaction was made by the same hand as 
the Priest-Code (pp. 388, 391, 396). Putting aside 
JE and D, we have still to consider the ' Priest-Code ' 
itself, which embraces the legislation of the middle 
books of the Pentateuch. 1 It is posterior to 
Ezekiel (his supposed legislation: Ezek. xl.-xlviii.), 
and must be viewed, not as the product of one 
person, but * as a conglomerate, as it were, the out- 
come of a whole school.' In its language and con- 
tents, as well as by direct references, it is interwoven 
with an historical document Q (the book of the 
four quatuor covenants), to which originally the 
following had belonged : Ex. xxv.-xxix. ; Lev. ix. ; 
x. 1-5 ; 12-15 ; xvi. ; Numb. i. 1-16 ; i. 48 iii. 9 ; 
in. 15 x. 28 ; xvi. in part ; xvii. ; xviii. ; xxv. 6-19 ; 
xxvi. ; xxvii. ; xxxii. in part ; xxxiii. 50 xxxvi. The 

1 Ex. xxv.-xxxi. ; xxxv.-xl. ; Levit. ; Numb. i.-x. ; xv.-xix. j xxv.- 
xvi.j with, few exceptions. 


whole Pentateucli unknown as such till then was 
finally published by Ezra in or about the year 444, 1 
c although many minor amendments and considerable 
additions may have been made at a later date. 2 It 
should, however, be added, that other critics of that 
school, such as Reuss, Graf, Kayser, hold that only 
the work P, or even its main part, was published by 
Ezra, the rest at a later period. But, as Strack rightly 
objects : in that case it seems impossible to explain 
how D, which is supposed, in many points, to con- 
tradict P, could have remained ' latent ' for a con- 
siderable period after the Exile ; and still more, to 
understand how the Samaritans had accepted the 
Pentateuch at a period not later than Nehemiah. 3 
These objections might evidently be applied and 
extended to many other points in the system. 

3. Probably the first impressions derived from the 
analysis of the system of Wellhausen will be that of 
its extreme elaborateness and intricacy. Indeed, we 
fear that with all our care we have failed to make it 
quite intelligible in its details the main fact only 
standing out, that the great body of Mosaic legisla- 
tion, such as we have been wont to regard it, is 
declared to be post-exilian. The theory reflects great 
credit on the industry, and especially the ingenuity 
of its author ; but common sense instinctively rejects 

1 Neli. viii. 1-x. 40. 

2 Enaycl. Brit. xiii. pp. 418 b, 419 a ; Gesch. pp. 423-425. 

3 Neli. xiii. 28 ; Jos. Ant. xi. 7. 8. 


it as incredible. A work so elaborately tesselated, 
into which so many different documents, redacted 
and re-redacted, have been so cunningly inserted, 
that one piece breaks off in the middle of a chapter, 
or even of a verse, to which a piece from a different 
document is joined, and so on, till the mind becomes 
bewildered amidst documents and redactions : such a 
piece of literary mosaic has never been done, so far 
as we know, and we refuse to believe that it could 
have been done. Whatever objections may be raised 
against what is called the ' traditional ' view, what- 
ever difficulties may attach to the conciliation of the 
supposed differences between notices in the historical 
books and the enactments of the Mosaic code, the 
theory of Wellhausen is not the thread to lead us out 
of, rather that to lead us into, the labyrinth. Viewed 
quite from the outside, it only adds to our difficulties. 
Indeed, although the distinction between the two 
great documents known as those of the Elohist and 
the Jahvist does not depend merely on the distinc- 
tive use of the designations Elohim and Jehovah 
being supported by other and weighty considerations 
it makes us almost doubt what weight should be 
attached to this fundamental distinction. We put 
aside this, that the different use of the two Names 
has been explained as expressing a difference of 
meaning, each presenting a special relation of God 
to man because, to our thinking, this explanation 



does not fully meet the case. But, supposing the 
"workmanship of the composition and redaction of 
the Pentateuch to have been so manifold and so 
cunning as Wellhausen's theory implies indeed, in 
almost any case of multiple composition, unless of 


the most clumsy Mud it seems almost impossible 
to believe that one of the later writers or redactors, 
into whose hands E and J had come, might not 
sometimes have interchanged, for reasons of his 
own, the two designations ; or else himself have used 
them promiscuously, as he leaned towards one or 
the other document, or the exigencies of the narra- 
tive pointed to the use of either one or the other. 
Hence it seems extremely difficult entirely to rely 
on the great test, with which the absolute separ- 
ation of documents originally started. 

And more than this requires to be taken into 
account. Ewald had long ago remarked, 1 that the 
last writer or redactor of the Pentateuch could not 
have thought that it contained any mere repetitions 
or contradictory accounts of the same facts. This 
most reasonable canon gains immensely in application 
as we recall, on Wellhausen's theory, the elaborate- 
ness of workmanship, the immense skill displayed in 
it, and the multiplicity of composition and redaction 
in the Pentateuch . Only a very clumsy litterateur would 
have left so many contradictions and inconsistencies 

1 TheoL Stud. u. Krit. 1831, p. 604. 


unnoticed, if indeed they existed. And it seems 
utterly inconceivable nothing short of impossible 
that, in a work which had passed through so many 
hands, all of them admittedly able, and which, on 
Wellhausen's supposition, was, at least in great part, 
designed shall we not say, falsified for a definite 
purpose, so much should have been left, which was 
transparently inconsistent with, and opposed to, the 
purpose in view. And when we go a step further, 
and recall that the historical books which contain 
the notices that are said to be in direct contradiction 
to the Pentateuch legislation, 1 were at least manipu- 
lated by those to whom we owe the Pentateuch, it 
seems still more impossible to believe that these 
notices could have been considered, or, indeed, could 

1 I am. quite aware that the earlier historical "books are only supposed 
to have heen recast Deuteronomistically, i.e. in the spirit of Deuteronomy, 
while Chronicles is said to have heen done in that of the Priest-Oode. 
But "Wellhausen himself says, in regard to Judges, Samuel, and Kings, 
that in them ( the fact of a radical difference between the ancient practice 
and the [Deuteronomic] Law as a whole is not denied, although in some 
instances the past is recast (umgedichtef) in conformity with the ideal/ 
so that the existence of the contrast side hy side is admitted. Besides, it 
seems to me impossible to believe that those who were influential enough 
to manufacture and introduce the Priest-Code and Chronicles not to 
speak of so much else would have heen unable to remove from the other 
historical books what was grossly inconsistent with the assertions 
on which their whole system was based. And Wellhausen himself 
admits a reference to the Priest-Code in the account of the Temple 
(1 Kings vi.-viii.), which, for reasons which do not clearly appear, he 
declares to be full of corrections and interpolations, and from which in 
1 Kings viii. 64 and 2 Kings xvi. 14, 15, the notice of Solomon's altar of 
brass had been removed, ' in order to avoid collision with the altar of brass 
[earth?] of Moses (p. 294). Similarly 1 Sam. ii. 22 is a Priest-Code 


212 PEOPHEOY AKD fltSTOElT. ttsci. vii. 

have been, quite inconsistent * with the arrangements 
introduced by the Pentateuch. These writers must 
have seen some mode of conciliating the seeming 
discrepancies, or else and this seems not too bold a 
statement, on Wellhausen's theory they would have 
unhesitatingly removed them. 

These considerations cannot, we feel assured, be 
overlooked when thinking of such a theory as that 
under review. There are others which must weigh 
with every serious mind and every critical student. 
I have previously expressed, with all gravity, my 
personal feeling that, if the theory in question, with 
all that it implies, were true, it would seem logically 
impossible to maintain the claims of Christ as the 
Old Testament Messiah of Moses and the Prophets, 
and the Son of David. This is not said with the 
view of foreclosing inquiry, or influencing its results. 

interpolation, because it speaks of the 'tabernacle,' which, according to 
Wellhansen, never existed, and was only an invention of the Priest- 
Code. The notices 1 Sain, iv.-vi. are even represented to be inconsistent 
with the existence of the Tabernacle, while the reference in 1 Kings viii. 4 
is manipulated in a particular manner (pp. 43-46). Such notices as, for 
example, Josh. ix. '27 are declared ' anachronisms.' 

1 It is even more difficult to believe that a twofold account, grossly 
inconsistent with each other, should have been placed side by side in the 
historical books. Such, however, Wellhausen finds in the Song of 
Deborah as compared with the preceding historical account of the event, 
and in the narrative about Gideon closing Josh. viii. 1-8 a& compared 
with that which he supposes to open with Josh. viii. 4. I venture to 
assert that unprejudiced readers will not discover any such inconsis- 
tencies between the supposed twofold narratives as the hyper-ingenuity 
of Wellhausen has discovered. Naturally, it will be otherwise if the 
narratives are approached with Wellhausen's theory on the mind. 


On the contrary, I would insist, as strongly as our 
opponents, that every question should be examined 
on its own merits, irrespective of preconceived 
opinions or possible consequences. In fact, I claim 
for our side equal, if not greater, independence, since 
those acquainted with the controversy will scarcely 
deny that much of the reasoning on the other side 
has been prompted by, and grounded, on a priori 
conclusions about the possibility of the miraculous, 
prophetism, the supposed relation between God 
and Israel, and similar matters. But, while not 
wishing to prejudice inquiry by the consideration 
of the consequences involved, these are sufficiently 
grave to render extreme care and caution imperative. 
When we read, as the outcome of the theory we are 
combating, that ' what has gained for the history of 
Israel pre-eminently the designation of sacred is 
mostly -due to what a later period has painted over 
the original picture,' x we feel that the whole basis of 
our religion is being seriously shaken. For, if the 
largest portions of the Old Testament are myths, 
legends, and forgeries, it would be difficult to retain 
any belief in the trustworthiness of the rest. And, 
in truth, this school of criticism has spoken with 
sufficient plainness on the subject. We are assured 
that we do not owe to Moses any of the laws or 
historical notices in the Pentateuch ; nor yet, in aU 

1 Wellhausen, Qesch. p. 809. 


probability, to David any of the Psalms, nor to Solo- 
mon any of the Proverbs. The historical books are 
often recast and retouched in the spirit of the later 
Law, and indeed unreliable. 1 And here I must add 
that the manipulations of passages in the historical 
(and in the prophetical) books which appear inconsis- 
tent with the new theory of the date and authorship 
of the Pentateuch, 2 are sometimes, to say the least, 
peculiar. It is easy to get rid of such passages by 
declaring them interpolations or corrupted texts, 
but solid reasons of an absolute character must 
be adduced for the assertion, and not merely such 
a priori assertions as that they are inconsistent with 
the proposed Pentateuch theory. It were easy 
in this manner to cut off, so to speak, the head 
of every opponent so soon as he emerges ; but the 
justice of the procedure has in each case to be 

1 See page 212 and the notes. 

2 See the notes above referred to. Many instances of critical vio- 
lence might here be quoted. Thus it is difficult to understand how 
Exod. xx. 24 can be quoted in proof that there was no central place of 
sacrifice, but that these might be offered in any place, or to accept this 
explanation of the expressly limiting words, ' in all places where i record 
My Name ' : ' This means no more than that people did not like it to 
appear that the place where the intercession between heaven and earth 
took place had been arbitrarily chosen, but regarded it as somehow 
(irgendwie) selected by the Deity itself for its service' (Gesch. p. 31). 
Similarly to mention only one other instance it seems difficult to discover 
in Neh. viii.-x. any warrant for the statement that the Pentateuch had 
been unknown till then, and was now for the first time published and 
introduced. There are many other similar instances of critical violence, 
but these cannot be examined in detail in this book. 


vindicated before the tribunal of criticism. And, 
although the impression made by the accentuation 
of difficulties and seeming inconsistencies, which are 
all removed by the new theory, may be that of a 
brilliant discovery, we distrust it from its inception, 
not only for the reasons already adduced, and for 
those which will be stated in the sequel, but for 
its very brilliancy, and the ease with which every- 
thing may be fitted into its Procrustes-bed. 

Similar violence is done to much in the pro- 
phetic writings and the Psalms by the new school 
of criticism. 1 More especially is this the case in 
regard to EzekieL A careful investigation, 2 the 
results of which have not yet been met by the school 
of Wellhausen, has established that EzeMel reflects 
back upon the Pentateuch, and not the reverse. 
Nor can we even at this stage for a moment hesitate 
not only to dissent from the theory of Wellhausen 
with regard to the post-exilian date of the legislation 
in the Priest-Code, but also to express our con- 
viction that Deuteronomy could not have been 
composed so late as about the time of its recovery 
in the reign of King Josiah. To begin with, the 

1 Oomp. Strack in the Real-EneyU. p. 453, and the authorities there 
referred to. 

2 Comp. Hoffmann, Mag. fiir d. Wissemch. d. Judenth., 1879, pp, 
210-215. The remarkable series of articles of which this forms part, and 
the special relation between EzeMel and the Priest-Code, will be referred 
to in the next Lecture. 


statement that the account of its finding l means 
that it had not previously existed, but been just 
written, is merely an a priori gloss upon the text 
a suggestio mali, for which the text itself affords 
no warrant. It might seem almost as reasonable 
to deny the truth of the whole narrative as that 
of the part which speaks of the finding of the Law. 
Moreover, this view of 2 Kings xxii. 8 is not only 
inconsistent with what is expressly characterised 
in v. 13 as the sins of their fathers in not formerly 
obeying ' the words of this book,' but the whole 
account about the finding of the Book of the Law 
presupposes a general knowledge and belief in the 
existence of such a code, which it would be most 
unreasonable to assume could have been palmed 
off by Hezekiah as Mosaic, or received by the people 
as such, if no one had ever heard of the existence 
of a written Mosaic legislation. Lastly, there are 
many provisions in the so-called Priest-Code incon- 
sistent with the idea of its post-exilian origin, 2 just 
as there are notices in Deuteronomy incompatible 

1 2 Kings xxii. 8. 

2 Among these Strack mentions the Urim and Thummim (Ex. xxviii. 
30 ; Ley. viii. 8 ; Numb, xxvii. 21 as comp. with Ezra ii. 63 ; Neh. 
vii. 65) j the year of Jubilee (Lev. xxv. 8, &e.) ; Levite cities (Numb, 
xxxv. 1, &c.) ; and the law concerning spoil (Numb. xxxi. 26, &c.) ; while 
Bredenkamp (u. s. p. 186) points out this inconsistency in "Wellhausen's 
theory, that the ' Priest-Code' orders only the functions of the Levitea 
during the wanderings in the wilderness, but makes no reference to sucb 
when settled in the land of Palestine. 


with the theory of its composition in the time of 
Josiah. 1 But to these points we shall have to refer 
at greater length in the sequel. 

Let it not be said that the line of argument which 
WQ have hitherto followed proceeds, in great measure, 
iupon a priori considerations, which we have contended 
our opponents must not bring to that criticism of the 
facts on which their theory rests. For there is great dif- 
ference between establishing an hypothesis on a priori. 
considerations which determine our criticism of facts, 
and proving by a priori considerations that such an 
hypothesis is not only highly improbable but, morally 
impossible. The latter method is lawful ; not so the 
former. If a document, such as a will, were pro- 
pounded in a court of law, it would not do to argue 
that its provisions were spurious introduced by a 
later falsifier because they seemed to the advocate 
incredible, such as that such a person could not have 
made certain charitable bequests ; or, to apply it 
in the present argument, that miracles, prophetism, 
direct revelation, and the like, are contrary to our 

1 Among these Strack mentions: the friendly reference to Egypt, 
Deut. xxiii. 8, as compared with the later views in Is. xxx. 1, &e. ; 
xxxi. 1 ; Jer. ii. 18, 36 ; the friendly reference to Edom in Deut. xxiii.. 8;; 
and the hostile reference to Moah and Ammon in xxiii. 4, 5 as compared 
with the opposite in Jer. xlix. 17, 18 ; xlviii. 47 ; xlix. 6 ; and as regards 
Edom, also Joel iv. 19 ; Obad. ; and Is. Ixiii. 1-&, Similarly, he points 
to the ordinances, Deut. xx. 16-18 ; xxv. 17-19 ; xx. 10-15 ; xx. 19-20, 
as unsuited to the time of Josiah, and hence incompatibly with the idea 
of their invention at that period. 


ideas. In both cases direct evidence would be re- 
quired. And if such direct evidence were offered 
from the incompatibility of these provisions with 
certain supposed indications in the document, it 
would not do to brand as spurious and falsified 
other indications in the same document which are in 
accordance with the provisions invalidated, on the 
ground that they accord with provisions which, on 
the hypothesis of the advocate, are spurious. 1 This 
were vicious reasoning in a circle, and evidence on 
which a jury would not pronounce against a docu- 
ment. On the other hand, it would be quite lawful 
for the advocate who defended the document to 
show, that the opposition to it proceeded on a theory 
and on grounds intrinsically so improbable and so 
inconsistent as to involve moral impossibility. 

But the issues of this controversy are so important 
that I must emphasise what, from fear of seeming to 

1 In the preface to his Prolegomena (page v.) Wellhausen gives 
a peculiar reply to the charge that he ' first arranges for himself the 
basis on which he proceeds, by an arbitrary treatment of the text from 
which he quotes, in which he introduces alterations according to 
his pleasure.' To this he answers: 'I decide d, potiori, and then seek 
to estimate in accordance with it every such instance.' But this 
answer only involves another vicious begging of the question, and aggra- 
vates instead of removing the charge brought against him. Indeed, it 
seems a strange process to found charges against the Pentateuch upon 
certain notices in the historical books, and then to brand as spurious 
other notices which run counter to his theory. Why are these not the 
potius, or, at least equally ' berechtigt ' (warranted) as the others ; and 
may there not be a higher conciliation of what at first sight seems incon 
eistent, without resorting to the declaration that one or the other must be 
spurious ? 


prejudge the question, may have been too lightly 
touched. There are, no doubt, many, scholars 
and general readers, who would earnestly refuse 
to attach to the theory in question the absolutely 
destructive sequences which seem to me logically 
involved in it. But quite irrespective of this, that 
Christ and the Apostles, in appealing as so often they 
did to Moses and the Prophets, must, on the theory in 
question, have been in such grave and fundamental 
error as cannot be explained on the ground of popu- 
lar modes of speaking, and seems incompatible with 
the manner in which the New Testament would have 
us think of them there are other and most weighty 
considerations. If there really is no Mosaic legisla- 
tion ; if the largest, the central, and most important 
part of what professes to be such, was the invention 
of the priesthood about the time of Ezra, foisted 
upon Moses for a specific purpose ; if there was not 
a ' Tabernacle,' in our sense of it, with its specific 
institutions, nor a central place of worship, nor the 
great festivals, nor a real Aaronic priesthood ; and if 
the so-called historic books have been coloured and 
elaborated deuteronomistically, or in that spirit ; if 
they are full of spurious passages and falsifications 
as, for example, in the history of Solomon ; and if 
every now and then * a prophet is put in ' (eingelegt 
wird) who expresses himself in the spirit of Deu- 
teronomy and in the language of Jeremiah and 


Ezekiel;' 1 if the 'anoynmous prophets of 1 Kings xx. 
have all been afterwards inserted for the purpose of 
a detailed vaticinium ex eventu, because Israelitish his- 
tory is never complete without this kind of garnish'; 2 
if, in short, what has gained for the history of Israel 
pre-eminently the designation of sacred is mostly due 
to what a later period ' has painted over the original 
picture : ' then, there is in plain language only one 
word to designate all this. That word is fraud. 
Then, also, on the supposition that, what we had re- 
garded as the sacred source of the most sacred events, 
was in reality the outcome of fraud, must the Gospel 
narratives and the preaching of Christ lose their his- 
torical basis, and rest in large measure on deception 
and delusion. For Holy Scripture, as the communi- 
cation of God to man by man, does indeed contain 
a distinctively human element, but that element can- 
not have been one of human imposture. 

In thus arguing we are not setting up any ex- 
travagant theory of Inspiration, nor are we ignoring 
either the repeated redactions which the Old Testa- 
ment has undergone, nor yet the fact that scarcely 

1 Gesch. p. 299. 2 P. 308, note 2. 

8 I cannot help expressing how painfully such language affects one aa 
this in the same note, which I prefer to give in the original : ' Die 
reah'stisehe YergroberangdesprophetischenEinflusses tritt am plumpsten 
in der Legende, 2 Reg. i. auf, wo Elias zu einem iibermenschlichen 
Popanz entstellt ist.' The reader will now understand what I meant by 
the difference between the language held in the Eneycl. Brit, and in the 


any religious documents of that period can be ex- 
pected to have coine down to us without bearing the 
marks of redaction. We are simply proceeding on a 
broad line of demarcation, visible to all men : that 
between falsehood and truth. Nor is it to the point to 
argue that pseudonymic literature was so common in 
antiquity. Even were this the case in regard to what 
we call the ' canonical ' writings, there is clearly a 
great difference between the assumption of a spurious 
name and the assertion of spurious facts, such as 
that to have been given or ordered of God by Moses, 
which was the invention of the priesthood in the time 
of Ezra. ' Every literary untruth,' writes one of the 
distinguished modern historians, * brought forward 
for the purpose of deception, was treated in the first 
centuries of the Church, by all those Fathers whose 
writings have come down to us, as an abominable 
sin.' The Apocrypha and the so-called Pseudepi- 
graphic Writings form no part of the Canon, and 
therefore cannot be quoted as instances in point. 
Such books in the Old Testament as we sometimes, 
though erroneously, associate with certain names, 
will, on examination, be found not strictly to claim 
such precise authorship. Besides, as already stated, 
the Old Testament Canon has undergone repeated 
investigation and discussion. 1 And we know suffi- 

1 For particulars about these re-visions, and about the Canon generally, 
see Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, -vol. ii. pp. 684^-690. 


cient of the discussions in those early Jewish assem- 
blies which fixed the Old Testament Canon, to assure 
us, that a book would not have been inserted which 
was known to be false in its title still less, one that 
was fraudulent in its object. And these assemblies 
at least the earlier of them sat close on, if not in the 
very time, that the fraud is supposed to have been 
published ! Or, to go back a step, and to Old Testa- 
ment times, how can we reconcile the introduction 
of such a fraud as the ' invention ' of the Book of 
Deuteronomy in the time of Josiah with the denun- 
ciations of his contemporary Jeremiah, who inveighs 
in such stern language against the Prophets that 
prophesied lies in God's Name, when He had not sent 
them, neither had commanded them, nor spoken unto 
them, but they prophesied a false vision, a thing of 
nought, the deceit of their own hearts, and so caused 
the people to err ? l 

We have yet another consideration to urge before 
closing this prehminary part of our inquiry. If we 
were to accept the views of the school of criticism 
to which we have referred, much more than what has 
already been stated would seem, logically to follow. 
When we have relegated the so-called Levitical legisla- 
tion to the time of Ezra, and resolved all that is really 
distinctive in the Biblical history of Israel into legends 
and myths, a blank remains which must be filled up. 

1 Jer. xiv. 14 ; xxiii. 16, 81, 32. 



What was tlie history of Israel, and what their reli- 
gious institutions ? Take away all the sacred element, 
and Israel appears as only a horde of barbarians and 
of slaves, lately emancipated, and not distinguish- 
able from the Canaanites around. In such case their 
religion was really the old indigenous nature-worship 
(as they call it ' naturwtichsig '), in which Jahveh is 
really Moloch and Baal ; sacrifices, often those of 
human beings ; and where all the abominations of 
the races in Palestine have their place. In drawing 
such sequences we are not making inferences of our 
own. We do not, indeed, impute them to Wellhausen, 
although he designates the Ark as ' an idol;' 1 but the 
sequences mentioned have been made ; they are stated 
in the most pronounced manner ; and they have, in 
consequence of the new theory, become present and 
pressing questions, 2 which are being discussed as ' the 
chief problems of ancient Israelitic religious history.' 3 
Moreover, they really are the logical sequences of the 
new treatment of Jewish history, although they had 
been propounded before that theory was broached. 
Such statements as those of Kuenen, 4 that the religion 

1 SJdzsen u. Vorarb. zu d. Bibel, 1884, p. 11. 

2 See the Introduction to Konig's Hawptprobl. d. altisrael. Relig.- 
Gesch., 1884. 

3 This, indeed, is the exact title of the little "book referred to in the 
previous note, in which these questions are very ably treated, although 
I must guard myself against heing understoood as accepting all the con- 
cessions which the learned writer makes. 

4 In his principal works, De Godsdienst van Israel, 1869. Sea 
Konig, u. a. 


of Israel was only one of the old religions neither 
more nor less ; and that Judaism and Christianity 
belong, indeed, to the principal religions, but that 
between them and all others there is not any specific 
difference point out the direction which has been 
followed. And such titles of books as ' The Fire and 
Blood Service of the Ancient Hebrews, the ancestral, 
legal, and orthodox Worship of the Nation,' 1 'The 
Human Sacrifices of the Ancient Hebrews,' 2 My- 
thology and Revelation,' 3 ' Mythology among the 
Hebrews ' 4 or the attempt to show that the original 
sanctuary of Mecca was founded by emigrants from 
the tribe of Simeon in the time of David, and that 
the religion there enacted was that of Abraham 5 
point out the manner in which this direction has 
been followed. 

I have mentioned the titles of these books, of 
which many are not recent, because they most readily 
present to the general reader the character of the 
views which, as before stated, are undoubtedly at 
present among the burning questions in connection 
with the new theory of the history and religion of 
ancient Israel. It is distinctly asserted, that 'the 
worship of Moloch was that of Abraham, Moses, 
Samuel, and David,' and that ' the idolatry inveighed 
against was the primeval national religion of Israel. 1 

1 Daumer, 1842. 2 Ghillany, 1842. 3 Noack, 1853. 

* Goldziher, 1876. 6 Docy, 1864. 


One of the latest writers of the Wellhausen school, 
Stade, 1 seems even to doubt (although in this against 
Wellhausen), whether there had ever been any 
Hebrew clan in Egypt, while Jahveh is represented as 
a national deity by the side of other gods, and much 
in the worship and religious life of the ancient 
Hebrews as kindred to that in the cognate nations. 
I have stated the case briefly, because, without affec- 
tation, it is painful to state it at all. The curious 
reader must be referred to the works of Kuenen, 
Stade, and others, to learn how such views are 
carried out, by different writers to different lengths, 2 
and by what strange Scriptural references they are 

But to what extremes a perverted ingenuity may 
lead a critic, will appear from the following instance. 
There is not a name among modern scholars which 
deservedly stands higher, as regards Semitic learning 
and literature, than that of Paul de Lagarde. Yet 
this is one of the conclusions propounded, and these 
are the grounds on which it has been arrived at, by 
perhaps the greatest living Semitic scholar. 3 De- 
riving the term Levite from the verb lavah, to cleave 

1 GescJi. d. Folk. Isr., 1881, pp. 5, 113, 114, 128. 

9 Thus, for example, Kuenen controverts the Oanaanitish derivation 
of the name Jehovah, but he denies the Mosaic origin of the prohibition 
of image-worship. 

3 In the Abhandl. d. 'Konicjl. Gesellsch. d. Wissensch. zu Gottingen, 
vol. xxvi. (1880), ErTdiirwng hebr. Worter, pp. 20 &c. 



to another, to accompany him, Lagarde refers to 
Is. xiv. 1, and Ivi. 3, in both of which this verb (ren- 
dered in the A. V. 'joined to') is connected with 
' strangers.' From this he infers, that the Levites 
were those who, according to Exod. xii. 38 (Numb, xi. 
4 ?), had 'joined ' themselves to Israel on their exodus 
from Egypt the ' mixed multitude,' which Lagarde 
regards as Egyptians. The latter notice he accepts 
as historical, on the ground that otherwise the Jews, 
the most vainglorious of men and conceited of 
nations, would not have admitted that theirs was not 
pure ' blue blood.' On the other hand, he pronounces 
the account in Exod. ii. 1-10, which gives the Israelit- 
ish genealogy of Moses, as not worthy of more serious 
notice than the fable of the Persians that Alexander 
the Great was the son of Darius. And Lagarde 
further argues that, regarding Moses not as an 
Israelite, but as an Egyptian, we can understand how 
he sought and found support from the Levites, his 
Egyptian compatriots [why not, if they were hi$ 
Israelitish tribesmen ?] ; how the Levites, as the- 
better educated Egyptians, could undertake the in- 
tellectual training of the Israelites [where is this, 
stated ?] ; why the Levites did not appear in the 
promised land as a real tribe [as if no other reasons 
had been given for their scattering] ; while, lastly, 
it also explained the manner in which the exodus 
was referred to in Egyptian documents. And as in 


ancient times the Ark of the Covenant had marched 
before the Israelites, those who * accompanied ' it 
were the Levites. 1 

I have reproduced in detail an hypothesis so mani- 
festly untenable, and supported by such flimsy reason- 
ing, because the great name of Lagarde attaches to 
it, and because it affords a convenient example, how 
sweeping, and yet how unsatisfactory, in many 
instances, is that criticism which is destructive of 
the history and sacred legislation of the Old Testa- 
ment. As an almost parallel instance of critical 
violence we might refer to Wellhausen's treatment of 
the history of Solomon in 1 Kings xi 1-1 3. 2 But 
in view of the issue before us in this great contro- 

1 Oomp. 1 Sam. vi. 15 ; 2 Sam. xv. 24. By the side of this we may 
place the hypothesis of Mayhaum (Entvrickel. d. altisr. Priesterth. p. 11) 
as to the origin of the later 'legend' ahout the descent of the priesthood 
from one tribe, traced up to one ancestor. The explanation is, that 
groups of families had gathered around the great religious centres in 
the land. In these families the priesthood hecame hereditary. We are 
asked to trace this in the family of Kohath. We know that Hebron 
was a priest-city ; hut, according to Ex. vi. 18, Hebron was also a son of 
Kohath. Here is the origin of the Kohathites. As for the Gershonites, 
according to Ex. vi. 16, Gershon was a son of Levi ; but, according to 
Judg. xviii. 30, Gershon, the son of Moses [so, after the better reading], 
was the father of that Jonathan who founded a priest-family in Dan. 
Thus, we are assured, the son of Moses was turned into a son of Levi, in 
order to trace back all the Levites to three family groups ! And this is 
serious criticism ! According to Wellhausen, the ancient tribe of Levi, 
and also its territory, disappear in the time of the Judges, but the ancient 
name was somehow taken up again by a priestly caste which originated 
several centuries later (comp. Hoffmann, Mag. fur d. Wissensch. d. Jud. 
1880, p. 156). 

* Gesch. pp. 298, 299. 



versy, supported by such arguments, a certain degree 
of warmth of language may be excused on the part 
of those who hold and cherish the truth of the Old 
Testament. Much more will have to be done, before 
they shall have shaken from their hinges those ' ever- 
lasting doors ' by which Christ the King of Glory has 
entered in. As we think of the blessings of life 
with which His coming has enriched the barrenness 
of our earth, or of the spring of hope with which 
it has gladdened the winter of our hearts, we tremble 
as we realise what the hand of science, falsely so 
called, might have taken from us. For if, indeed, 
they were words, not of Divine truth, but of de- 
lusion or of deceit, when, on that Sabbath even- 
ing walk to Emmaus, ' beginning at Moses and all 
the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the 
Scriptures the things concerning Himself,' then may 
we fold up within our hearts that pang of bitterest 
disappointment : ' But we trusted that it had been 
He which should have redeemed Israel.' But, thank 
God, it is not so. As with a thousand chimes from 
heaven, the voices of the Law and Prophets ring it 
out into all the world on this Advent Sunday : 1 Eing 
out the old, Eing in the new as on a thousand altars 
we worship the mystery of the Incarnation, and ten 
thousand hearts are filled with the joyous assurance 

1 The Lecture was delivered on an Advent-Sunday, and the reference 
to it is retained to explain the special expressions employed. 


that their sins are forgiven. For Christ has come : 
the reality of all types, the fulfilment of all promises, 
the Son of David, the Saviour of the world. c For 
unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and 
the government shall be upon His shoulder ; and 
His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the 
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of 
Peace 1 * 




But neither so did tlieir witness agree together. ST. MAEK xiv. 59. 

IT will, I trust, not be deemed an entirely unwar- 
rantable application of these words, when we recall 
them in connection with the great controversy about 
the date and authorship of the Mosaic legislation. 
For if the witness of critics on the other side could 
be established, no reasonable appeal for the Mes- 
siahship of Jesus could be made to Divine prophecy, 
in a book where even human history was so men- 
dacious, and where the pretensions as to the origin 
of so-called Divine institutions and laws were so 
fraudulent. At most and we hesitate as we express 
it we would have to apologise for Jesus and His 
Apostles as occupying a lower critical standpoint. 
But it would seem, a strange postulate to regard Him 
as the Christ, the Son of God, or His Apostles as 
divinely inspired. 

And yet this inference would be carried too far, if 
it were supposed necessarily to imply what may be 
called the old traditional standpoint, either as regards 


inspiration or the authorship and composition of the 
Pentateuch, with which alone we are here concerned. 
The traditional view errs by excess perhaps as much, 
though not with such fatal consequences, as the new 
by deficiency. As regards the mode of Divine com- 
munication in the Holy Scriptures, or, to narrow it : 
objectively, revelation; subjectively, inspiration the 
human element must be taken as fully into account 
as the Divine, And specifically, in reference to the 
Pentateuch or rather, the Hexateuch it is not 
requisite, nor in any way implied, that it represents 
one homogeneous work. As the history of our Lord 
is derived from four different Gospel-sources, which, 
in turn, look back upon the universally accredited 
tradition of the Church and on special sources of 
information, and as the Grospels view the same Divine 
Life from different standpoints, and mutually supple- 
ment each other so may the Pentateuch consist of 
several original documents or sources, welded to- 
gether by one or more redactors. And there may 
even be emendations and additions glosses, if you 
like to call them so 1 by redactors, revisers, or final 

1 I might not, in principle, shrink from even such, a word as ' inter- 
polations ' if I had only space and time to define what may be meant 
by that term, with what important explanations and limitations it may 
be applicable, and to what portions in the Old Testament it might be 
referred. In general I must here remind the reader, that I am not 
definitely stating my views of the composition of the Pentateuch, which, 
even considering the space at my command, could not be done, but only 
marking the delimitations of my standpoint. 


editors. This is simply the historical aspect of the 
Book as it presently exists, and with which criticism 
has to busy itself. It concerns the human element in 
it, but is in no wise inconsistent with, nor yet invali- 
dates, the higher and Divine element in revelation 
and inspiration. But what we have to insist upon is 
the general truthfulness and reliableness of the Book, 
alike as regards its history and legislation : that it is, 
what it professes, an authentic record of the history 
of Israel, and. a trustworthy account of what was 
really the Mosaic legislation. This is to draw a suffi- 
ciently broad line of demarcation, and to take up a 
sufficiently intelligible position, with which, I believe, 
all the facts of the case will be found to accord. 

In order better to understand this, it is necessary 
to transport ourselves, more fully than is generally 
done, not only into Mosaic times, but into those 
which followed the occupation of Canaan by the 
Israelites. Let us first state the general position 
taken up by us in this argument. It is held, that the 
legislation of the Pentateuch is of Mosaic authorship 
and of Divine authority ; 1 that the settlement of 

1 This, so far as regards the kernel of the Mosaic legislation, is energe- 
tically maintained also by Kbuig ( Offenbar. Bcgr.d. A. Test. vol. ii.p. 333), 
although that writer is an adherent of the Wellhausen theory, so far as it 
applies to the date of the Priest-Codex. Konig insists on the super- 
natural revelation of God to Moses, on the miraculous exo.dus from 
Egypt, and on the reality of the Covenant made by God with Israel on 
Sinai. All this, as well as that the Prophets reflected upon a preceding 
common, basis, as against Kuenen, Stade, and others (u. 8. pp. 334-336). 

izfeor. -vim &ENERAL STATEMENT. 233 

Israel in the land was followed by a period of 
religious decay and decadence, which called for the 1 
interposition of the Prophets, who pointed back to 1 
the Law, and explained and applied its deeper 
spiritual meaning ; that this decadence continued, 
with brief interruptions, throughout the period of 
the Kings, thus further calling for the continued 
activity of the Prophets, and making it intelligible 
how, in the utter breakdown of the Law with its 
provisions, they should have pointed forward to 
another Law to be written in the heart ; and that, 
in the decadence of Israel and its conformity to 
heathenism, instead of the transformation of heathen- 
ism into a kingdom of God, through the chosen race, 
the Prophets, should have set before them the coming 
of the Messiah and the establishment of God's king- 
dom upon earth as the great hope of Israel and of 
the world. 

But probably this is to state the case in too 
general terms. We are apt, unconsciously to our- 
selves, to transport our modern and Western ideas 
into the premisses from which our conclusions as to 
the earlier history of Israel are drawn. Let us re- 
member that the Israelites, at the time of their 
entrance into Canaan, were the wilderness-generation, 
a purely nomadic race, with all of intellectual disad- 
vantage indeed, infancy which this implies. During 
their years of wandering they had not been brought 


into fructifying contact with any of the cultured 
nations of antiquity. What they had inherited from 
their fathers was, morally, mostly of the evil gotten in 
Egypt. The intellectual culture derived from them 
may, indeed, have become more generally spread in 
that second generation, to which the results of that 
culture, and the general ideas awakened by it, would 
come as an heirloom. But, from the nomadic habits 
of the people and the general circumstances of the 
sojourn in the wilderness, this inherited culture would 
decrease in intensity, even if it increased in extent. 
And this decline, once begun, would be furthered, 
rather than hindered, by the close contiguity of the 
mass of the people at their halting-places, by - the 
briefness of their sojourn at each of them, and by all 
the circumstances attending an Eastern progress from 
one station to another. Morally viewed, we have 
to deal with a people semi-barbarous, and, therefore, 
prone to all superstition and excess, whose newly 
re-awakened religion had been tainted by Egyptian 
idolatry, and deteriorated by the educational influence 
of the evil example of their fathers and mothers. We 
have before us an Eastern nation, sensuous and sensual 
by nature, lately emancipated, with declining culture, 
and which, as we have abundant evidence, is ready 
at the first temptation to lapse into gross idolatry, and 
to pass into the most unbridled licentiousness, which, 
in turn, formed part of that idolatry which was essen- 


tially a nature-worship. Licentious nature-worship 
was alike physically, mentally, and morally the 
natural religion of the races inhabiting those lands. 

When we realise these various elements, we feel 
what absolutely Divine truth and power must have 
been about the religion of the Pentateuch the direct 
Divine element of Revelation in it to make of such 
a people and in such circumstances what, after all, 
Israel was ; still more, what Israel might have become, 
and what, even in its miserable failure, it has become 
to mankind at large. The evidential force here is 
analogous to that from the influence of the Gospel 
on the Jewish and heathen world, perhaps even 
stronger. And the production of such moral eifects 
seems necessarily to imply direct Divine guidance, 
such as appears in what are called the miraculous 
portions of Israel's earlier history. Here also the 
Divine wisdom if, consistently with reverence, the 
expression may be employed appears in the special 
religious institutions of Israel. Let it be remembered 
that the special legislative, religious (and even politi- 
cal) institutions of the Pentateuch bear reference to 
what was then future, rather than to what was then 
present to the settled, rather than the migratory, 
state of the people. Many I had almost said, most 
of these institutions had no place in the wilderness. 
This holds specially true in regard to what constitutes 
the central and really all-determining institution of 


the Mosaic religious legislation : sacrificial worship. 
On its existence depend in great measure the appoint- 
ment of one exclusive central place of worship, the 
institutions connected with the priesthood, as well as 
those about the great annual festivals. Take away 
sacrifices, and most of the distinctive peculiarities 
attaching to these three institutions cease ; suspend 
them even partially, and the other three great insti- 
tutions will also be partially suspended, or require 
extraneous supplementation, such as we find it in the 
historical books. Indeed, the religious institutions 
of the Pentateuch might be likened to the wood laid 
in order on the altar, and the actual observance of 
the Pentateuch sacrifices as the fire significantly 
sent from heaven at the consecration of the Temple 
which is to set the whole in flame. 

But there is not any point which, to my mind, 
is better established, than that sacrifices were not 
offered in connection with the Tabernacle during the 
pilgrimage in the wilderness. 1 The only sacrifices 

1 Comp. Amos v. 25. See here D. HoSmann in the Magaz.fur d. 
Wissenscli. d. Judenth. (Jahrg. vi., 1879, pp. 7 &c.). The two occasions, 
Ex. xvii. 15 and xxiv. 4, were special and exceptional, and before the setting 
up of the Tabernacle. Similarly, we have the sacrifices of Jethro (Ex. 
xviii. 12), in the feast of which Moses, Aaron, and the elders took part. 
But all these instances bear evidence of their exceptional character. But 
the contention of Wellhausen (Gesch. pp. 58 &c.), that the polemics of 
Amos v. 22 &c., and of the other prophets, prove that they knew 
nothing of any Mosaic and Divine institution of sacrifices as the central 
part of worship, seems to me based on wrong reasoning. Their polemics 
are not against sacrifices, but against sacrifices brought as a meritorious 


mentioned in connection with the Tabernacle are 
those brought at its consecration and at that of the 
priesthood, and the offering of incense. It requires 
little consideration to understand that it could not 
have been otherwise. Hence the name, which the 
Tabernacle bears, is not 'Tabernacle of sacrifices,' 
although these were really to form the central part 
of its worship ; but its common designation is 
* Tabernacle of Meeting ' (OM Moed 1 ) that is, 
between God and Israel, the place where God would 
meet with His people, as expressly stated in Ex. xxv. 
22; xxix. 42, 43 ; xxx. 6, 36 ; Numb. vii. 89 ; xvii. 4. 
To this designation the other ' Tabernacle of Wit- 
ness,' or ' Testimony ' (as in Numb. ix. 15 ; xvii. 8 ; 
xviii. 2) is subsidiary, although parallel. It fol- 
lows that, during the wilderness period, the sacrificial 
worship although existing initially (in the consecra- 
tion services), and institutionally (in the altar of 
the Tabernacle and throughout the legislation), and 
also symbolically and by anticipation present (in the 
burnt incense) would not stand out before the people 
as a real, de facto, service ; and that, in the absence 

opus operatum by an impenitent and law-breaking 1 people. It is against 
the externalisation, nay, the perversion of sacrifices, that they protest. If 
a Puritan inveighed, as has not unfrequeutly been done in Scotland, 
against the crowds that thronged the Communion Table, and against the 
pomp of solemnity by which its celebration was surrounded, it would not 
follow that the Holy Communion had not been regarded as of New Testa- 
ment institution. 

1 Really = Ohd hivvaed (Pappenheim), misleadingly rendered in the 
A. V. ' tabernacle of the congregation.' 


of it, this bond, which held together all the other 
fundamental institutions, would likewise be loosened. 
For without such sacrifices the idea of one exclusive 
sanctuary could scarcely have been truly carried out 
(indeed, it would have no present real meaning), nor 
yet that of one priesthood, nor yet that of great 
central festivals. Thus we have, even at this stage 
of our inquiry, to accentuate, in most emphatic lan- 
guage, that, when the Israelites took possession of 
the land, they were unaccustomed to a sacrificial 
worship in the great central sanctuary. They did 
not bring this great idea with them into the land, as 
an actual reality and this, as we remember, must 
have involved the loosening of all the ideas connected 
with the other great institutions, organically con- 
nected with sacrifices. Even the manner in which 
this central sanctuary was spoken of, might further 
contribute to loosen the hold which the idea itself 
might have had upon the people from its Divine 
institution, and from the actual existence among 
them of the Tabernacle, constructed, consecrated, 
and divinely honoured as it was. Such general refer- 
ences as : ' in all places where I record My Name, 
I will come unto Thee ; ' l and, ' the place which the 
Lord your God shall choose,' so frequent in Deuter- 

1 Exod. xx. 24. I accept the common reading, azkir : not that pro- 
posed, tazkir. The RahMs regard the passage as prohibiting the use of 
the name Jehovah, outside the Temple (Mekhilta, ed. Weiss, p. 80 5). 


onomy, 1 might, especially in the circumstances after 
the conquest of Canaan, rather tend to decentralise 
the idea of the Sanctuary. For, while directing that 
sacrifice should be offered only in the place which 
God had selected, it was not stated that this would 
to all time be one and the same place. 2 

As we recall that this non-observance of sacri- 
fices in the regular services of the Tabernacle during 
the wilderness period was, unquestionably, a neces- 
sity imposed by the circumstances, we feel the 
more deeply the wisdom by which, notwithstanding 
the present impossibility of realisation, the idea of 
sacrificial worship in the sanctuary was fixed in the 
popular mind as the central fact in their religious 
institutions. And this, together with what has 
already been stated about the condition of the new 
generation in Israel which entered into Canaan, will 
show the need of a repetition of the Law in Deuter- 
onomy but now, with modifications and special 
adaptation to the new circumstances of territorial 
settlement. And realising the whole condition of 
things on the entrance into Canaan, we see the ab- 
solute value of the two great sacraments of the Old 

1 Oomp., for example, Deut. xii. 

2 According to the Talmud, sacrifices on heights and by the firsthorn 
were only forbidden after the erection of the Tabernacle ; the former 
was again allowed till they came to Shiloh, and once more, when the 
Tabernacle was at Nob and at Gibeon, but wholly prohibited when it 
came to Jerusalem (Zebhach. 112 b, about the middle). 


Testament : circumcision and the Sabbath (with their 
kindred domestic institutions of tithing, as God- 
consecration of property, the sabbatic year, &c.). 
These fixed the permanent landmarks of Israel in 
the period of unsettledness and confusion which 
followed to some extent, necessarily after the 
death of Moses. 

What has been stated in regard to the intellectual 
and moral condition of the people, and the non- 
existence of regular sacrificial worship in the Taber- 
nacle, must now be applied to the actual state of 
things in the period following. In general we must 
repeat, that the religious institutions of Israel were 
adapted not to what Israel then was, but rather 
to what Israel was intended to become. If Israel 
had developed in the right direction, if it had come 
up to its institutions, then but only then would 
these institutions have been possible, and have be- 
come a practical reality. But it will not be denied 
that, so far from rising to them, the next period 
witnessed a great and growing religious decline 
among the people. 

It is not difficult to transport ourselves into the 
circumstances of the time. The first necessity of 
Israel was to fight, so to speak, for existence. They 
had to obtain possession of the land ; and they 
could only achieve this by continual warfare. For 
they were not confronted by merely one, nor even 


by a few hostile nations. The land was divided 
among a large number of independent clans, 'each 
under its own king. They might, at least in part, 
combine against Israel, but for all practical purposes 
they were separate nations. A victory might be 
decisive in one locality ; but an advance of only 
a few miles would bring Israel into new territory 
where the whole contest had once more to be gone 
through. Accordingly, this period must have been 
one of constant preoccupation, constant movement, 
and constant contact with new elements. And the 
absolute removal of the heathen elements from the 
land would have been most difficult well nigh 
impossible, since they would spring up behind the 
Israelites on leaving a district, and before them 
as they advanced into another territory. It was 
certainly not a period when new institutions, which 
had never before been actually carried into practice, 
could be established. And to this must be added 
the gradual spiritual decline of the people, and the 
influence upon them of the surroundings of that 
heathenism, towards which, as we have seen, they 
were so predisposed intellectually, sensuously, and 
sensually. And here we can in some measure realise 
the religious importance and the necessity of such a 
religious ceremony in the centre of the land as the 
renewal of the covenant on Ebal and Gerizim. 1 

1 Josh. viii. 30-35, 



We have seen that the circumstance that the 
great religious institutions of Israel were not imme- 
diately introduced in practice, must have tended to 
weaken their hold iipon the people, to whom they 
were as yet rather a theory than a reality. Indeed, 
it would render their future establishment, at least, 
in their integrity and purit}^ increasingly improbable. 
This, even irrespective of the ever growing reli- 
gious decay already referred to. Every month that 
passed, and every additional contact with the heathen 
world, would render the absolute prevalence of the 
Mosaic institutions practically more difficult, or rather 
render it increasingly likely that these institutions 
would appear tinged and modified by the circum- 
stances around. And when the tribes were finally 
settled, they presented the appearance of so many 
separate republics, not even joined together into a 
Confederation, but consisting of as many independent 
States. There was not any central authority nor 
bond. Everywhere we mark tribal jealousies and 
hostilities. Foreign invasions and wars specially 
affected individual tribes, and only on rare occasions 
did a sense of common danger unite even a few of 
them to a common resistance. The c judges ' were 
only of districts, not of the whole land. Such a 
state of things could not contribute to the establish- 
ment of a central Sanctuary, with exclusive sacrificial 
worship, one universal priesthood, and the observ- 


ance of great national festivals in the Sanctuary. 
Tt must have tended in quite the opposite direction, 
and been a mighty factor in preventing the establish- 
ment of the Mosaic religious legislation. Even the 
strict law of inheritance, which confined the tribal 
lands to members of the tribe, must, in the cir- 
cumstances, have helped this disintegration of the 
nation, and, with it, increased the difficulty of central 
religious institutions. The other civil institutions 
of the Mosaic code, such as the rule of local authori- 
ties elders, and heads of families and clans would 
tend in the same direction. And in this growing 
religious disintegration, to which so many elements 
were constantly contributing, we perceive the im- 
portance indeed, the necessity of the succession 
of unnamed prophets, to whom reference is made 
in the historical books, and who were the pre- 
decessors of the great prophets of later times. In 
truth, it seems almost impossible that, without 
Divine interposition, even the remembrance of 
Mosaic institutions could have been preserved in 

And it did continue, although these institutions 
now appeared in forms increasingly tinged by sur- 
rounding circumstances, while Israel settled to still 
lower and lower depths. Even if we were to concede 
to our opponents that the Canaanitish term for the 
national Deity, Baal, was at that period applied to 


Jehovah, that un-Jewish rites mingled in the worship 
of Israel, and un-Jewish notions appeared in the 
popular expression of religion, what is this but to 
own the existence of those influences for which we 
have accounted on historic grounds? For it will 
not be denied that these Canaanitish elements did not 
exist alone, nor even as primary and prevailing, but 
that by their side there was what we may call Jeho- 
vahism as the leading principle only tinged and 
tainted, on some occasions even overgrown, by these 
foreign elements. Indeed, to contend for more than 
this would be to prove too much, since, according 
to our opponents, the historical boots, which contain 
all these notices, have undergone a revision which 
would not have left in them an entirely heathen 
presentation of the religious state of Israel. And 
we find a precisely parallel case in the history of 
the Christian Church, which at one period was 
similarly tainted and overgrown by heathen elements. 
Without entering into details, it is sufficiently known 
that many purely heathen practices were, so to 
speak, Christianised, and that many notions of pagan 
origin mingled with the religious belief and observ- 
ances of the Church in early ages. Their presence 
would not lead us to infer that the idea of the 
Christianisation of certain tribes and countries was 
an after-invention, but rather that in certain circum- 
stances, and , at a certain stage of civilisation and 


religious condition, the retention or introduction of 
foreign elements by the side of the purer teaching of 
Christianity was possible, and even natural, however 
i-ncongruous the two may seem. 

But we have to go further. It is evident that 
tribal separation, tribal jealousies, and local interests 
would contribute to the decentralisation of the Sanc- 
tuary during the period before David and, similarly, 
also after the secession of the ten tribes, and the con- 
sequent rivalry and hostility of the two kingdoms. 
We can only repeat that all this would not have hap- 
pened, if Israel had lived up to its institutions, which, 
in a sense, were intended to form and mould the 
people into a political as well as religious unity, for 
the higher purposes of tjje Theocracy, in which 
politics and religion were intended to coincide. But 
Israel did not rise to the level of its institutions ; 
rather brought them down to its own ever lowering 
standpoint, although there were individuals, let us 
hope not a few, who aimed after the higher con- 
formity. Besides these tribal, even communal, separ- 
ations and jealousies, we have to remember, that 
intercourse between different parts of the country 
was more rare and difficult than we can well imagine 
As we infer from many notices in the historical 
books, a journey of a few miles into a neighbouring 
tribe, still more into a comparatively remote part 
of the country, was contemplated, and prepared for. 

246 KOPHECT5r AND mSTdnl?. MOT. 

with the same solemnity, as half a century ago a 
removal to one of our most distant colonies, or a 
continental tour. 

When in all these circumstances we try to realise 
the religious condition of the tribesmen before David, 
the picture may seem strange to modern eyes, but 
it will be true to the historical notices in the books 
of Joshua, of the Judges, and of Samuel. We think 
of the people as arranged in quite separated little 
communities, between which the intercourse was both 
rare and difficult, while tribal rivalries and jealousies 
converted separation into isolation. Iij, each of these 
little communities, or even districts, a sparse and sta- 
tionary population tilled the soil. They had been 
there for generations, and they inherited the traditions, 
the prejudices, the superstitions, the habits of their 
forefathers often without knowing their origin ; still 
more frequently, without perceiving or even suspect- 
ing their real meaning, or their possible inconsistency 
with their ancestral religious principles and ordi- 
nances, which in measure were to them a dim sacred 
tradition. In each district the tone for good or for 
evil was given by the ' great ' people, who were well- 
to-do farmers or sheepmasters on their own land, 
without much money, but also with few and simple 
wants, which their own resources or those of the dis- 
trict could supply. There were good and earnest, and 
there were corrupt and idolatrous ' great ' men and 


women ; simple, primitive, almost idyllic districts, 
like Bethlehem in the Book of Ruth ; and corrupt, 
debauched places like the Gibeah of Benjamin, of 
the 19th and 20th chapters of the Book of Judges. 
The departure of a member of the community, or 
the chance arrival of a stranger, was a great event. 
Yet, despite this isolation and separation, they were 
also conscious of the higher, though too often ideal 
unity of Israel ; and so far under the influence of its 
legislation, that on great political emergencies all 
Israel gathered at the Central Sanctuary or some- 
times, to a well-known chieftain ; and that the more 
earnest in Israel, like the parents of Samuel, appeared 
annually before the Lord, probably at the Feast of 
Passover. Even these are theocratic institutions 
which look back upon the Mosaic legislation. But 
far more than in any single notice or reference 
does this connection with theocratic institutions, and 
hence with the Mosaic legislation the two being in- 
separably connected, even on the theory of our oppo- 
nents impress itself on the mind "by the tout ensemble 
presented in the historic books. It is not one or 
another fact, but everything there, which seems to 
look back on the theocratic past. We instinctively feel 
that, whether for good 'or evil, everything is viewed 
in connection with it. Every personality, every 
speech, every action, every event is presented from 
the standpoint of accord with, or opposition to, the 


theocratic past. The books as a whole breathe the 
spirit of the Mosaic history and legislation, and lean 
upon it ; and, surely, it is a sound canon that 
individual passages, even though seemingly difficult, 
must be interpreted by the spirit of the whole book. 
And as we enter yet more fully into the cir- 
cumstances of the time and people, the religious 
condition of these communities, and of the families 
composing them, stands out more distinctly in our 
view. We can perceive how the great Central 
Sanctuary, with the institutions depending upon it, 
was, to most men, rather an ideal than a practical 
reality. And yet the two sacraments of circumcision 
and the Sabbath kept it ever before them, and became 
a permanent and unsurmountable wall of separation 
from that heathen world which was in such close 
proximity. And here we perceive the immense 
importance of the Mosaic arrangement, by which 
the Levites were scattered throughout the country, 
while, at the same time, they had, or might have 
had, in their Levite- and priest-cities, centres which 
ought to have kept alive the spirit and traditions of 
their order. Even this, that the Levites were, ac- 
cording to the ancient arrangement, as a tribe and 
hereditarily, to be dependent for support on their 
religion, would tend to keep the old faith alive. In 
every district or community the Levite was the living 
impersonation of it in the sight of all men. He con- 


nected in the present the past with the future. Thus 
we find him hired as a kind of domestic chaplain 
in a wealthy, religious, or superstitious household ; 
while, on occasions, he emerges into view in connec- 
tion with some event or undertaking. He belongs to 
all Israel, and all Israel not his tribesmen must 
take care of him, or avenge his wrongs. He does not 
often appear, nor yet prominently, because in reality 
no prominence belongs to him. ISTo doubt some of 
his distinctive functions were occasionally usurped 
by others, without their thinking of usurpation in 
what they did. All this is quite natural. A sacrifice 
might be killed by any one : it was the sprinkling of 
the blood on the great altar of the Tabernacle, which 
was the distinctively priestly function. Family or 
communal feasts would naturally be sacrificial ; and 
even if it were proved that these sacrifices were 
offered by laymen, there would not necessarily have 
been an infraction of the old order ; or if there was 
such a generalising of the old order would not sur- 
prise us, in the peculiar circumstances of the people, 
the land, and the Central Sanctuary, as we have 
described them ; far less would it prove the theocratic 
order and Mosaic legislation to have never existed. 

And if it be still urged that the Mosaic priesthood 
ought to have occupied a more distinctive place in 
history, we have only to picture to ourselves the 
country Aaronite or Levite, as he was ; for, in the 


circumstances, the distinction between the two would 
naturally be, to a great extent, effaced. He is 
poor, expropriated, alone without possessions (unless 
through marriage) in a community of more or less 
well-to-do peasant-proprietors, mainly dependent for 
support on hospitality and charity. He is not even 
like the friar in an Italian or Spanish village, but 
rather like the Greek ' pope ' in a remote district 
of Boumania or of one of the Turkish provinces ; and 
in the history of those countries the village ' pope ' 
would not form a distinguished or prominent figure. 
And yet the ' pope ' has great advantages. True, he 
has not any training or education to speak of, but 
at least there is a religious literature, not quite in- 
accessible to him. In any case, he has the service- 
books and the lectionaries of his Church. But, from 
the circumstances previously described, we do not 
wonder at what seems implied in 2 Chron. xvii. 9, 
that, in the great reformatory movement under 
Jehoshaphat, the priests and Levites, deputed to 
traverse the country with the princes, had to take 
with them from Jerusalem the book of the Law. 
This seems to convey that, even in the more religi- 
ous southern kingdom of Judah, and in the time of 
Jehoshaphat, this primal religious document was only 
rarely found in country districts. In other words, 
we have a state of general ignorance and absence of 
religious literature, except in the capital. But why 



this piece of gratuitous information in the Book of 
Chronicles, if there was no Mosaic Law in existence, 
since the compilers of Chronicles are supposed, at 
least, to Kave belonged to the same school which 
produced the Priest-Code ? l People do not generally 
go out of their way gratuitously to inform us, that 
a work, which has been palmed off as the original 
and fundamental constitution of their religion, was 
unknown in the country districts so long as five 
hundred years ago. 

And the Priests and Levites were at still further 
disadvantage in the country-districts, since neither 
services nor places of worship were provided for 
them. We can scarcely wonder that the ancient 
sacred places, 'the heights,' were reconsecrated as 
centres of communal worship. One has said that these 
* heights ' took the place of the synagogues of a later 
period, and that they stood related to the Central 
Sanctuary as the synagogues to the Temple. This is 
an exceedingly practical mode of putting it ; and we 
again recall that in ancient times former heathen 
temples and ceremonies were similarly Christianised. 
Nor yet can we wonder at the non-observance of the 
great festivals, far less infer from it that they had not 

1 Wellhausen's date for Chronicles three hundred years after the Exile 
is manifestly impossible. Even if we regard Chronicles, Ezra, and 
Neheniiah as originally one book, it could not be dated later than (with 
Dillmann) about 330. And the supposed final additions (after 440) to 
the Pentateuch would bring it close to that date. 


been Mosaically instituted. 1 We have already seen 
that their observance was dependent on universal 
resort to a great Central Sanctuary. And when it 
was established, and the people finally settled, these 
feasts had already fallen into desuetude. As regards 
the Feast of Tabernacles, some indication of it may 
possibly be traced in Judg. xxi. 19. And this also 
would be significant. But from ver. 21 the feast seems 
to have been chiefly of a local character, and its 
observances remind us more of the later festivities on 
the 15th of Ab (Taan. iv. 8) than of the Biblical 
festival. 2 Naturally, it could only have been cele- 
brated after the entrance into Canaan, when, accord- 
ing to an historical notice, it seems to have been 
observed in the days of Joshua the son of Nun. 3 
After this, we find it again celebrated by Solornon.- 
Subsequently, the times of religious reformation and 
unification were too brief and troubled, the intrusion 
of foreign religious elements of too long standing and 
too general, and the people as a whole in too great 
measure religiously denationalised, to admit of so 

1 That the great festivals were connected with the seasons of the 
year, had its deep symbolism, just as we connect Christmas with winter, 
Easter with the bursting forth of spring, and Trinity with the ripening 
of the rich harvest. 

2 I cannot see any reference to the Feast of Tabernacles in 1 Sam. i. 
20 (marg.). For the feast of the 15th of Ab, see The Temple and its 
Services, pp. 286, 287. The same dances are stated to have been held 
on the Day of Atonement. 

* Neh. viii. 17. 

* 2 Chron. vii. 8-10 ; comp. 2 Kings viii. 65, 66, 


radical a change, as would have been implied in a 
national celebration of that feast. Indeed, we might 
almost say that the Feast of Tabernacles would, in 
the then state of the people, have been a moral 

It was otherwise with the Feast of Passover, with 
which we may reasonably suppose that of Weeks 
to have been connected. Manifestly, this would be 
the first and most natural to be re-introduced. 
Accordingly we find notices of it, not only in the 
time of Joshua, although, as we mark, before the 
possession of the land, 1 but in that of King Heze- 
kiah, 2 and of King Josiah. 3 Several points strike us 
as peculiar in these last notices more especially this, 
that they seem to imply a kind of observance of these 
feasts in the days of the Judges, specifically in those 
of Samuel, 4 as well as in the days of the kings of 
Judah and of Israel. Another point seems even more 
noteworthy. In 2 Chron. xxx. 21 the Passover 
under Hezekiah is recorded, although, significantly, 
only on the part of those children of Israel that were 
in Jerusalem, 5 consisting (according to verse 25) of 
worshippers from Judah, Priests and Levites, a 
number of persons from the northern kingdom, and 

1 Josh. v. 11. 2 2 Chron. xxx. 21. 

3 2 Chron. xxxv. 18, 19 ; 2 Kings xxiii. 21, 22. 

4 2 Chron. xxxv. 18. 

5 2 Chron. xxx. 21 ; comp. here vii. 1-11. 


proselytes ('strangers' both out of Judah and Israel). 1 
Yet, a few chapters afterwards, the same Book of 
Chronicles, in recording the Passover under Josiah, 
has it, that no Passover like it had been kept since 
the days of Samuel the Prophet.' 2 Similarly, while in 
rJehemiah viii. 17 the Feast of Tabernacles then cele- 
brated is said to have been unique at least in its 
mode of observation since the days of Joshua, 2 
Chronicles vii. 8, 10, which, even according to our 
opponents, is kindred to Nehemiah, records the cele- 
bration of this seven- days' feast with extraordinary 
pomp in the time of Solomon. From every point of 
view, these seemingly conflicting statements appear 
at first sight incomprehensible. On the theory of 
our opponents as to the date and character of these 
books, it seems inexplicable that such inconsistent 
statements should have been inserted, or left in the 
text, and that the writers should have gratuitously 
gone back a thousand years to the time of Joshua 
for the Feast of Tabernacles, and to the time of 
Samuel for that of the Passover, when in the one case 
they might have mentioned the Solomonic observ- 
ance, and in the other that of Hezekiah, and when, 
on the theory under review of the introduction of 

1 On the historical character of this Passover-notice, comp. Bertheau, 
SucJier d. Chron. pp. 386-388 ; and Zb'ckler (ad loo.') in Lange's Bibel- 
WerJt, vol. viii. 

2 2 Chron. xxxv. 18. 


these observances, it would have been their manifest 
interest to make the gap as small as possible. 1 

To these difficulties we can, on our view of the 
case, offer what seems to us a sufficient and a natural 
solution. The passages in question do not affirm 
that there had not been any celebration of the Pass- 
over between Josiah and Samuel, nor of the Feast of 
Tabernacles between Nehemiah and Joshua, but that 
there had not been any of the same kind since those 
days. We are allowed to infer that there may have 
been others less national or less truly Mosaic ; we 
may even speculate, that while, and when, there 
was a Central Sanctuary, a certain number of the 
people may have been wont to attend them, even 
though the observances may have become more 
local or undergone modification, perhaps owing to 
the very circumstance that they were no longer kept 
as general national festivals. With this agrees, not 
only the notice about the annual attendance at Shiloh 
of Samuel's parents, 2 but also the institution by Jero- 
boam in the northern kingdom of festivals rival to 
the great annual Mosaic feasts. 3 This, indeed, is only 
expressly affirmed in regard to the Feast of Taber- 

1 I ought here to state, that with reference to the harmony of the 

different parts of the Pentateuch JE, PC, and D in regard both to 
sacrifices and the festivals, I must refer the reader to the full argumen- 
tation of D. Hoffmann in the Magaz. fur d. Wissensch. d. Judenth. vol. 
Ti., 1879, pp. 91-114. Aa I cannot here enter into details, I must 
content myself with the results of the discussion. 

8 1 Sam. i. 3. 3 1 Kings xii. 27, 33. 


nacles, which Jeroboam transferred from the seventh 
to the eighth month. But this notice is evidently 
connected with the account of the dedication of the 
house of high places, which Jeroboam combined with 
his spurious Feast of Tabernacles, no doubt, in imita- 
tion of what Solomon had done on a similar occasion. 
Manifestly, if there had not been a more or less 
common observance of that feast in Judah, Jeroboam 
would not have dreaded the resort of his subjects 
to the Temple, nor instituted a rival feast. Moreover, 
the expression used at the setting up of the two 
calves : ' Behold thy gods, Israel, which brought 
thee up out of the land of Egypt,' seems to point 
to the observance of a kind of Passover feast an 
institution which is not likely to have been wholly 
neglected, when a substitute was sought for the Feast 
of Tabernacles. 

Without entering into particulars, I think I am 
warranted in saying that the historical notices about 
the festivals are exactly as might have been expected 
in the circumstances of the land and people. And 
our reasoning regarding the scanty mention of the 
great national festivals seems supported by the fre- 
quent references to domestic and communal celebra- 
tions, such as the observance of Sabbaths and JSFew 
Moons, which evidently seems to have been general, 
because it did not involve the necessity of any 
central national attendance. And the general con- 


elusion which we derive from a review of the actual 
state of matters in Israel is to the effect that, so far 
from the notices in the historical books being in- 
consistent with a previous Mosaic legislation, they 
are not only compatible with it, but even presuppose 
its existence, and that, without such previous religious 
institutions, the principal events and the leading 
personages in Jewish history not only a Boaz, a 
Samuel, or a David, but even a Gideon, a Saul, 
or a Joab would be unintelligible. 

On the other hand, the theory of our opponents 
implies premisses which, on consideration, it will be 
found difficult to accept. Let us still bear in mind 
that Israel came out of Egypt, a land most advanced 
in literature, and where religious institutions were 
settled and established. It seems scarcely credible, 
on purely historical grounds, that their leaders 
should not have attempted to introduce something 
of the same kind in Israel some religious legislation 
and order ; the more so, as this would constitute a 
bond of national union, and a distinctive badge of 
their newly-acquired nationality, which would effect- 
ually separate them from that heathen world, active 
hostility to which was the primary 1 condition of their 
existence. To this antecedent likelihood of a Mosaic 
legislation and religious order, we have to add other 
considerations in the same direction. Can we believe 
that Israel was settled for centuries in their land; 



had developed from federal to monarchical in- 
stitutions, and been brought into contact with so 
many neighbouring races, and yet that up to their 
4 golden age ' they had possessed only a rudimentary 
code of religious legislation ; that it then suddenly 
appeared developed at the period of commencing 
decay, while its greater part was constructed during 
the banishment of Israel, when the people were so 
scattered that even the remembrance of the location 
of the Ten Tribes was lost ? Assuredly, that does not 
seem the fitting moment for a great part of the reli- 
gious institutions to have been invented, or even for- 
mulated, nor for the history of the nation to have been 
recast, and most of its religious poetry composed. 
We are asked to believe that so many of the priestly 
and Temple arrangements, which had not existed 
while Israel was in their own land, and worshipped 
in their Temple, originated when Israel was scat- 
tered, and had neither centre of religious unity nor 
of worship ; further, that the comparatively small 
minority which returned to Palestine, and to whose 
lamentable condition the books of Ezra and Nehemiah 
bear abundant witness, could impose a fictitious and, 
in many respects, new, Mosaic law on the great ma- 
jority of the people and they the more educated, 
who, as we know, remained behind in the lands of 
the dispersion ; and, lastly, that this new law, which 
they introduced, contained, as we ,shall show, so 

. vrtt. QUESTIONS BAISEft. 259 

much that was impossible in the new circumstances 
of the land and people, while it omitted reference to 
much that we would have expected in a legislation 
originating in those times. 

At the risk of repetition, I must further urge one 
part of this argument, leaving the other for the sequel. 
Let it be kept in view, that it was only a small and 
comparatively uninfhiential minority which returned 
with Ezra and Nehemiah. The rest remained behind, 
and rapidly spread over the face of the world. Yet 
the legislation, supposed to have been then introduced, 
made no provision for, took not the slightest notice 
of, the wants of the great majority, not even to the 
provision of synagogues, which we know to have been 
among the first requirements of the ' dispersed ' nay, 
even of those who returned to Palestine. Surely, 
this seems so strange as to be almost incredible. 
In times which called for the widest comprehension, 
they concocted the narrowest conceivable legislation, 
and that, in the interest of the small number of 
priests who returned to Palestine ; and they not only 
succeeded in introducing it as the Mosaic Law, but 
in imposing it upon the educated majority, without 
eliciting a single contradiction, or raising a single 
question as to its authenticity until the ingenuity 
of critics more than two thousand years later dis- 
covered the forgery ! Was there not a single in- 
dividual, among those outside the circle where this 



fraud was perpetrated, wise enough to discover, or 
honest enough to expose it no one, priest or layman, 
of those who did not return to Palestine ? And what 
had all this time become of JE, or of Deuteronomy, 
which in some form must have existed, and the 
provisions of which are supposed to be inconsistent 
with this new Priest-Code ? Were these documents 
latent, lost, or unknown, except within the small 
circle of the priestly forgers ? 

There are other questions connected with what 
is called the Priest-Code of Ezekiel, 1 so important, 
that we shall have to refer to them separately. 
Meantime we would challenge evidence of the extra- 
ordinary literary activity attributed to the exilian 
period. We are acquainted with the literary activity 
of the Prophets at the beginning of that period ; but 
these Prophets had their root in the past, not in the 
new development. What we know of the undoubted 
post-exilian literature does not encourage belief in 
any extraordinary and novel literary activity of the 
exilian age, and it seems absolutely incompatible 
with it, that no chronicle or record has been kept of 
that period. We know actually less of the history of 
the Jews during that time than of their condition 
while in Egypt, and before they became a people, 
insomuch that, as already stated, the very tracks of 
the Ten Tribes have been lost. 

1 Ezak. xl.-xlviii. 


This is the proper place to refer of necessity 
quite briefly to an argument which has been ad- 
vanced on the other side, although it is not easy to 
understand that it should be so confidently used. It is 
to the effect, that the age of the various portions in 
the Pentateuch may be distinguished by linguistic 
differences. This pretension, which in any case 
would necessitate extreme delicacy of literary tact, 
has been initially discredited by the circumstance 
that scholars of admittedly equal competence have, 
on linguistic grounds, declared certain parts to be of 
latest date, which others have, for the same reason, 
adjudged to be earliest. 1 It is, indeed, possible to 
distinguish, at least with approximate reliableness, 
the style of different authors, and to determine with 
general accuracy whether a book belongs to one 
or another period of literature, although a clever 
forger of what was intended to be passed as an ancient 
work (as in the case of the ' Priest-Code ') might easily 
mislead critics more than two thousand years later, 
and who had such scanty data by which to judge 
as the small compass of Biblical literature which we 
possess. In point of fact, according to Wellhausen's 
theory, the forgers did so succeed, and that not only 
in inducing their own contemporaries 'to accept as 
archaic what was quite recent, but they similarly 

1 There are not a few instances of this ; but I have here in my mind 
such contentions as about Genesis, certain parts of which Fiirst ascribes 
to pre-Mosaic times, "Wellhausen to the exilian period. 


eluded the vigilance of succeeding generations, of all 
the Eabbis, of all the Church, and of all critics none 
of whom, till the present century, discovered, or even 
suspected, the exilian composition of the Priest-Code. 
And this scantiness of Biblical literature for com- 
parison is admitted, at least by many on the other 


side, 1 to make it almost impossible to determine whe- 
ther an expression is old or modern, and whether 
an ancient usus of expression may not have been 
continued or taken up anew, or vice versd, or else 
what may be due to local or educational circum- 
stances. All this has of late been practically illus- 
trated. By a careful examination of the language, a 
competent scholar, E. Eyssel, set himself to prove 2 
the high antiquity of certain portions in that part 
of the Pentateuch known as the work of the Elohist. 
Next, and in answer to him, another competent 
scholar, F. Giesebrecht, 3 endeavoured by a fresh ex- 
amination to show, that it was of much later date ; 4 

1 See, for example, Dr. S. Maybaum, Entwickel. d. altisr. Priesterth. 
p. 2. But I must specially refer those interested in the question to the 
more exhaustive treatment of this point "by Maybaum in the Zeitschr.fiir 
Volkerpsychol. u. Sprachwiss. (vol. xiv. 1883, Heft 3, pp. 193, &c."). I 
regret that want of space prevents my giving even the barest notion of 
his argument, which Konig (Hawptprobl. p. 16) has too lightly set aside 
in a single sentence. 

2 De Elohistce Pentateuchiri Sermone, 1878. Ryssel contends that, 
with the exception of traces in certain sections, belonging to the second 
period of the language (700-540 B.C.), all else ' ad origines litterarum 
gentis Israeliticas ref'erendas esse.' 

3 F. Giesebrecht in the Zeitschr.fiir d. Alte Test., 1881, pp. 177-276. 
* I cannot but think that Konig has treated this subject too cursorily, 


while, lastly, one of our own scholars, Professor 
Driver, has, I think, conclusively established, 1 that 
those linguistic peculiarities, on which Giesebrecht 
relies, do not necessarily prove such a late date as 
he contends for. From all which the . impartial ob- 
server will at least conclude, that the arguments on 
either side cannot be of absolute stringency, and 
that no certain deduction as to the date of compo- 
sition can be derived from linguistic considerations. 
And this inference of common sense is remarkably 
illustrated by the very interesting comparison which 
Professor Stanley Leathes has made of the usus of 
certain words by English writers, 2 which will be 
found in a note at the end of this Lecture. 

Before submitting some considerations which 
seem to me incompatible with the theory of our 
opponents, it may be well to take a brief retrospect 
of the argument, as advanced by them. We have 
already indicated that we have assigned only a very 
secondary place to the supposed inconsistencies and 
contradictions within the Pentateuch-legislation itself : 
firstly, because they depend on an often arbitrary 
separation of documents and notices, and the assign- 

and that his support of the theory of Reuss on linguistic, as well as 
generally on other, grounds is not satisfactory nor convincing (see the 
argument in his work: Der Offenbarungsbegr. d. A. Test., 1882, pp. 

1 In the Journal of PhUol for 1882, vol. xi. pp. 201-236. 

2 Stanley Leathes, Witness of the Old Testament to Clirist, p. 
282, &c. 


inent to them of dates ex hypothesi, while there is no 
real inconsistency between them ; and, secondly, be- 
cause it would involve detailed discussions for which 
this is not the place. Indeed, it seems to nie that, 
without the second branch of the argument as to 
the alleged inconsistencies of the Mosaic legislation- 
with the condition of things, as set forth in the his- 
torical books the first, which seeks to prove essen- 
tial differences within the Pentateuch itself, and on 
that ground to separate it into documents, widely 
differing in date the most important being post- 
exilian would lack any historical basis, and degene- 
rate into discussions, in which critical and speculative 
ingenuity on the one side might be pitted against the 
same qualities on the other. In fact, however Well- 
hausen may, in the Introduction to his 'History,' 
strive to give prominence to the demarcation of the 
various layers of which he supposes the Pentateuch 
to be composed, the account which he gives of the 
genesis of his own convictions regarding the character 
of the Pentateuch shows, that he was mainly led by 
a review of Israel's history, derived from the histo- 
rical books, to that disintegration and classification 
of the Pentateuch, which seemed to him to accord 
with the data he had gathered from the historical 
books. For, otherwise there would not seem any- 
thing in the results of modern criticism inconsistent 
with the supposition, stated at the outset of this Leo- 

LECT. Tin. 


ture, of different sources or documents in the Penta- 
teuch, yet all embodying Mosaic legislation, adapted to 
the varying conditions of different periods, or to cir- 
cumstances arising in the history of Israel especially, 
when we take into account later redactions of the 
book as a whole. It seems to me, therefore, that, 
in an argumentative defence of the Mosaic origin of 
the Pentateuch-legislation, main consideration should 
be given to its relation to the notices derived from 
the historical books. 

This has been the object of our detailed analysis 
of the condition of Israel in Canaan, with the view 
of showing that, what might seem inconsistencies, 
are in reality rationally accounted for by in fact, 
the natural outcome of the then existing state of 
things. To this it may be added, that in general 
the argumentum ex silentio, even if circumstances 
could not be otherwise satisfactorily explained, can 
never be satisfactory or convincing. It may raise 
doubts, but it cannot establish any facts. The non- 
observance of a law does not prove its non-existence. 
Thus, to repeat an oft-quoted instance, in Jeremiah 
xvi. 6, the practice is referred to, without special 
disapprobation, of cutting and making themselves 
bald for the dead ; while it is expressly interdicted in 
Deuteronomy (xiv. 1), which yet, according to our 
opponents, existed in the time of that prophet. 

On the other branch of the argument I have still 


some considerations to offer, which shall be presented 
in popular form. I venture to suggest that, if there 
is one fact more clearly established than another in 
the history of civilisation, it is, that the earliest 
period in the life of all nations is what may be de- 
signated as the theological, or else mythological ; and 
that the first on the scene for guidance, rule, and 
instruction, are the priests. These are in due time 
followed by what may be generally classed as 
teachers, or prophets. Nor is this order infringed, 
either in the Old Testament, or in the later history 
of Israel. There also we have first the legislation 
connected with the Sanctuary, and Priests. And 
these are afterwards followed by the period of the 
Prophets. In turn, after the cessation of prophecy, 
the Prophets give place to teachers and Kabbis. But 
the theory of our opponents requires us to invert 
this universal order. It asks us to believe, that in 
Israel alone it was not first Priests, then Prophets ; 
but first Prophets, then Priests. And the difficulty 
of such inversion is all the greater since, according 
to these writers, the period when the Prophets began 
was one of religious barbarism in Israel, while they 
were surrounded by nations, such as the Phoenicians, 
Egyptians, and Assyrians, whose religious rites and in- 
stitutions were not only fixed, but in a very advanced 
stage of development. Moreover, the question natu- 


rally suggests itself: If the so-called Mosaic legislation 
was of much later date and very different author- 
ship ; and if the history in the historical books has 
been painted over in the interest of later institutions, 
does it not seem a strange and unaccountable blunder 
to have left the picture of religious society in such 
colouring as to have suggested the objection, that 
the Mosaic legislation could not the,n have existed ? 
We can understand that, if there had been a Mosaic 
legislation, it might have been followed by a period 
of such decay as is implied in the books of Joshua, 
the Judges, and Samuel. But what we cannot under- 
stand is, how those who introduced a legislation so 
fundamentally different from, and a religious order 
and ritual so discordant with, much that characterises 
society in these books, and who wished to ascribe 
that legislation and ritual to Moses, could have 
allowed so incongruous a state of society to appear 
in histories which owed to them, if not their origin, 
yet their redaction. 

This leads up to another point to which previous 
reference has been made from a different point of 
view. It has been argued that the references by the 
Prophets, and in the Psalms, 1 to sacrifices, ritual 

1 How this contention can "be made to agree with Wellhausen'sview 
that few, perhaps none, of the Psalms date from before the Exile, it is not 
for me to say. 


observances, feasts, and such like, are antagonistic 
to those, at least, in the Priest-Code. 1 And it has 
been answered, that the views expressed by the Pro- 
phets presuppose the existence of such institutions, 
and that their polemics were directed not against 
these institutions, but against their externalisation, 
and the separation of their outward observance from 
their inward meaning, by which their Divine purpose 
was perverted to opposite results. But the argu- 
ment admits of further application. Taking the Law 
simply by itself, and those sayings of the Prophets 
by themselves, it will be admitted that the latter 
mark a progress upon the bare text of the former. 
Their views of the Law, as spiritual and inward ; of 
the priesthood, as one of holiness ; of circumcision, as 
of the heart ; and of sacrifices, feasts, and fasts, as 
not merely outward observances, unconnected with 
a corresponding state of mind, mark an advance on a 
former state of externalism. We can understand it, 
if the Mosaic Law had already existed ; but not, if 
the main part of the so-called Mosaic legislation 
originated afterwards. Eor, in that case, it would 
mark a retrogression from the more spiritual stand- 
point of the Prophets to that Law, which yet was 
evidently connected with their activity. 

This connection will at least not be denied in 

1 The references to the Law, both in the historical books and in the 
prophets, are enumerated in App. H. at the end of this volume. 

kji. vtit. EZEKlEL AND *fHEl ' PRlEST-CODE/ 

regard to Ezekiel. What has been called his * Priest- 
Code ' * may be viewed as a symbolical and ideal 
presentation of the ' New Jerusalem' the form of the 
vision being determined, on the principle explained 
in a former Lecture, by the peculiar modes of think- 
ing and the then circumstances of the Prophet and the 
people. But even so, and still more viewing it, from 
the standpoint of our discussion, as a piece of legis- 
lation, it bears reference to the Pentateuch order, 
and more especially to that portion of it known as 
the ' Priest-Code.' Historically speaking, it stands, 
according to our opponents, midway between the 
Jehovist and the Deuteronornist on the one hand, 
and the Priest-Code on the other. Indeed, it is said 
to have formed the model, and in part the kernel, 
of the ' Priest-Code.' This is a decisive position to 
take up, but also one which has been proved in- 
defensible. No other part of the controversy has 
been more exhaustively treated than this of the rela- 
tion between Ezekiel and the Priest-Code, whether 
Ezekiel looked back on the Priest-Code, or the Priest- 
Code on Ezekiel. The contention of Wellhausen is 
the latter ; but it has been shown on conclusive evi- 
dence that Ezekiel looks back on the Priest-Code, 
which, therefore, must have been prior to the Pro- 
phet. But, in that case, we shall have to put the 
Priest-Code a long way back, since, according to 

1 Oh. xl.-xlviii. 

270 PROPHECY AND HIStOBlf. " EEC*. tlit 

OUT opponents, there is the widest difference between 
it and the other documents in the Pentateuch, which 
mark a very different stage and a very different date 
from the Priest-Code. The detailed proof for the 
assertion that Ezekiel looks back upon the Priest- 
Code, and not the reverse, cannot be attempted in 
this place, and the reader must be referred to where 
it is specifically discussed. 1 But it would be unfair 
to the argument, not at least to state the evidence 
which Hoffmann has adduced in proof that Ezekiel 
had known the Priest-Code. He quotes not fewer 
than eighty -one passages from the Priest -Code, 
which have exact verbal parallels in eighty-three 
passages in Ezekiel. 2 These prove, even if we were 
to make some deductions from them, that the one 
document must have referred to the other. And 
this is further confirmed by the peculiar use of a 
particle (Khi-v 'when'), which only in the Priest- 
Code in the Pentateuch, and, with few isolated ex- 
ceptions, only in Ezekiel, is placed after the subject 
which it determines. In evidence, that Ezekiel had 

1 I must here specially refer to Hoffmann in the Magas. f. Wins, 
d. Judenth., 1879, pp. 209, &c. His argument Strack states to have 
never been really met. In a previous article (u. s. pp. 90, &c.) Hoffmann 
discusses, among other things, the bearing of sayings in the other 
prophets and in Ezekiel upon the Priest-Code, so far as regards 
sacrifices and the festivals. 

2 As a comparatively small numher of readers may have access to 
Hoffmann's Articles, I give, in Note 2 to this Lecture, Hoffmann's com- 
plete list, adducing, however, only the passages, as any reader of the 
Hebrew Bible will be able to see the parallelisms for himself. 


E^EKiEL AftD 0E ' PRIEST- CODE.' 27l 

derived all this from the Priest-Code, and not the 
reverse, Hoffmann adduces these two facts : first, 
that Ezekiel employs a number of other expressions 
which occur in writings that are undoubtedly older 
than his prophecies, 1 while the Priest-Code contains 
no other passages in which such parallelism with 
other portions of Scripture occurs ; and, secondly, 
that the Priest-Code has merely such parallelisms 
to Ezekiel as occur only in the latter, but none of 
those which Ezeldel has in common with other 
writings such as Jeremiah and Deuteronomy. 

We have to submit yet another consideration, 
which, indeed, is not new, 2 but will, we believe, have 
its due weight with those who view the subject, 
not so much from the technical standpoint, as from 
that of general considerations and common sense. 
Let it be remembered that the ritual portion in 
Ezekiel differs in many and important particulars 
from the laws and arrangements of the so-called 
Priest-Code. We can understand such modifica- 
tions by a prophet in his vision of the future, if the 
arrangements of the Priest-Code had been already 
in existence ; but a later composition by priests of 
a Code, professedly Mosaic, which contravened the 
arrangements of an acknowledged Prophet, seems 
incredible. And this the more, when we remember 

1 The list of these is also given in Note 2 to this Lecture, 
8 See it in Strack. u. a. 


that, according to our opponents, the arrangements 
of the Priest Code were also inconsistent with an 
earlier legislation, which also professed to be Mosaic 
so that the priests who, to speak plainly, foisted 
the Priest-Code upon Moses, also made Moses con- 
tradict himself as well as EzeMel. And yet it is 
admitted on all hands that the 'redaction,' which 
welded into one whole the various parts of which the 
Pentateuch is composed, displays extraordinary skill. 
Indeed, the dilemma becomes even more acute. Let 
it still be borne in mind, that the difference between 
the earlier legislation and that of the Priest- Code is 
said, on certain points, to be very great. If so, how 
are we to account for the introduction of the Priest- 
Code as the Law of Moses, long after the differing 
institutions of the earlier legislation had been re- 
ceived as Mosaic? Or, again, if the Priest-Code 
which modified the earlier legislation was the latest 
production, and intended to be finally binding, how 
is it that the Priest-Code was not placed after Deu- 
teronomy in the Pentateuch, when they had the 
arranging of it? We can understand that Deu- 
teronomy may have been a second and popular 
version of the earlier Law, when, in view of the 
immediate entrance into the land, certain of the or- 
dinances, given thirty -eight years before, had to be 
modified, or, rather, adapted to the new circumstances 
of the people. But we cannot imagine the publication 


by the later priesthood of a code professedly Mosaic, 
by the side of one more ancient, and also professedly 
Mosaic, which taught differently. Why retain the 
older code at all, after it had become antiquated for 
so long a time ? why call it Mosaic ? why insert it 
in the Pentateuch ? If the priests were able to intro- 
duce such an entirely new code, in which the privi- 
leges of their order and other arrangements were so 
much more emphasised than in the old legislation, 
why retain the latter, and insert it into the Canon ? or 
why should Ezra, for example, have read it in the 
hearing of all the people or, did he read it ? and 
why should he have told them, that the exile had 
been the punishment of their transgression of the 
Mosaic ordinances, when, according to our opponents, 
he was himself bringing in a new code, on many 
points inconsistent with the old one ? 

Such questions might easily be multiplied. But 
I have still to add to the argument some considera- 
tions bearing, not exclusively on the date of the Priest- 
Code, but on my general position, that the Pentateuch 
as a whole must be considered as embodying the 
Mosaic legislation. Eor, 

1. The laws and arrangements of the Pentateuch 
are only adapted to an agricultural people. Trade 
and commerce, except of the most primitive kind, 
are not even contemplated. Not only is there an 
entire absence of strictly commercial laws, but some 



of the institutions seem almost incompatible with 
trade. Among these we only name the prohibition 
of charging interest on loans or debts, and the arrange- 
ment by which all real property, houses as well as 
lands, reverted to their original owners after a certain 
number of years, and, indeed, as I infer, could never 
have passed from the possession of members of one 
tribe to that of another. It is impossible to conceive 
that, in a developed state of national Me, arrangements 
should originate which would make the possession of 
capital absolutely valueless, by depriving the capitalist 
of all interest and the trader of almost any profit, or 
by which, within a limited time, at longest fifty years, 
every house and piece of ground would be restored 
to the family of the original settlers in the land, so 
that a family could not have acquired a freehold, 
although it had been in their actual possession pos- 
sibly for nearly two generations, 1 unless it could be 
shown that their ancestry had been the original settlers 
in the place. Such arrangements could not have 
been introduced even after the separation of the two 
Kingdoms of Israel and Judah ; they seem incredible 
as proposed in the time of King Josiah, and impossible 
as originating, or reproduced, 2 in or after the Exile, 

1 The essential differences between this and the law of entail, under 
which property may indeed "be mortgaged, hut can never pass out of the 
possession of the head of a family into that of another owner, lie on the 

2 This must always he kept in view in regard to what are admitted to 
have been the earlier parts of the Pentateuch. 

. Yin. 


considering that only two of the twelve tribes returned 
to Palestine. 

2. The same, character of primitiveness appears 
in regard to the administration of justice. In 
some respects it differed materially, although not 
in the sense of our opponents, from the arrange- 
ments introduced at a later period by the Kings. 
According to the Pentateuch, the 'elders' of a 
place would act as judges. Apparently they were 
the men of greatest repute, dignity, and age, and 
selected by each community from its own members. 
They sat in the gate, and heard and decided 
causes. From this primitive tribunal the parties 
in a case had not the right of appeal. This lay only 
with the judges. If any cause were too hard for 
them, they might refer it to the central authority in 
the Sanctuary, no doubt to the High Priest and those 
around him, who were the religious or national leaders 
of what was intended to have been a tribal federa- 
tion. When the nation became consolidated, and 
monarchy was introduced, we find, indeed, the 
ancient institution of the eldership continued. But 
the elders now administered chiefly communal affairs. 
They were the political or the religious representa- 
tives of a district, who would act for the community at 
large, only in cases of urgency or danger, or punish a 
criminal, if his delinquency involved the community 
as a whole. But the general administration of justice 

i 2 

276 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. zaso*. Vitt 

Beems to have devolved on regular judges appointed 
by the king, of which new order we have distinct 
mention, if not in the time of David, 1 yet in that ol 
Solomon and of Jehoshaphat. 2 But if the Pen- 
tateuch legislation was posterior to that period, if it 
even dated in part from the time of Josiah, it could 
not have been proposed to discard the more orderly, 
and go back to the primitive rude mode of administer- 
ing justice by an eldership sitting at the entering of 
the gate. In point of fact we find under Ezra judges 
by the side of the primitive institution of ' elders.' 3 

The argument which has just been urged in re- 
gard to the Pentateuch arrangements about judges 
would equally apply to the very primitive mode of 
punishments proposed, or allowed, in the Mosaic 
legislation. Some of these, such as the right of 
blood-vengeance, or the executing of a rebellious son, 

<-/ ' * f 

could not have been introduced, or renewed, scarcely 
been allowed to continue, at an advanced period in 
the life of a nation. To the same class belong those 
Divine punishments of 'cutting off,' so 'frequently 
threatened, which we would not expect to find in a 
legislative code that had originated otherwise than 
that of the Pentateuch. 

3. But, indeed, it is not in one direction only nor 
another that we find it impossible to reconcile the 
theory of a late, in part exilian, origin and date of it 

1 1 Chron. xxiii. 4. * 2 Chron. i. 2 ; xix. 5. 8 Ez. x. 14. 

. tin; PRIMlTlVEtfEgS OF LAWS, 277 

with the character of the Pentateuch legislation. The 
same conclusion is constantly forced upon us. We 
find it difficult to believe that in any but the most 
primitive legislation 1 an arrangement would have been 
introduced, which rendered it imperative on all males 
three times in the year to quit their occupations, and 
undertake a pilgrimage to the Central Sanctuary, 
however remote their habitations from it. In point 
of fact, these three annual attendances seem never to 
have been exactly observed. And we remember that 
the kings of Israel, immediately after the separation 
of the two kingdoms, made the inconvenience of 
such an ordinance one of the grounds for setting up 
a rival worship. A similar remark applies, and even 
more strongly, to the laws which enjoined the offering 
of a sacrifice in the Central Sanctuary, on the many 
occasions in the life of every family which called for 
'purification.' We can understand the introduction 
of such laws in the infancy of Israel, but not at an 
advanced period. Least of all can we comprehend how 
they could have been enacted, or renewed, after Israel 
was ' dispersed,' and the observance of such laws to 
the vast majority matter of absolute impossibility. 

I might prosecute this argument in reference to 
the provision for the poor, and some of the ritual and 
Levitical laws of the Pentateuch ; but a striking evi- 

1 "Wellhausen assigns even Ex. xx.-xxiii. to a period when the people 
were not only settled in the land, but had become a thoroughly agricul- 
tural nation. (See S track, Real-Encykl. p. 446.) 


dence, that some at least of those arrangements could 
not have originated during and after the Exile, comes 
to us from the later Synagogue. We know that the 
traditional law was intended not only to develop and 
protect, as by a fence around it, the Law of Moses, 
but also to apply and supplement it. One of the 
avowed reasons for this 'second law' was that, in the 
state of matters which had evolved in the course of 
time, and especially since the return from the Capti- 
vity, new circumstances had emerged, to which the 
primitive Law of Moses no longer applied, or which 
it had apparently not contemplated. And there was, 
as we can see, reason for this contention. It is most 
curious and instructive to watch the ingenuity with 
which traditionalism sought to reconcile the old with 
the new, and to show that there was essential agree- 
ment, even identity, between the Law of Moses and 
the ordinances of the Scribes. For it was the theory 
of traditionalism that all these cases had been Divinely 
foreseen, although not expressed, and provided for by 
oral, although not by written, legislation. One in- 
stance although in regard to the Deuteronomic legis- 
lation l may illustrate our meaning. The Mosaic Law 
had directed the absolute extinction of debt on every 
Sabbatic or Jubilee year. This, because the Mosaic 
legislation recognised not the ordinary commercial 
relations of debtor and creditor, but treated the bor- 

1 For the later Eabbiuic modifications of the ' Priest-Code," see App. IL 

; titi. 1ATE& fcAMNlC MODIFICATIONS. 279 

rower as one who in his need had received charitable 
assistance from his richer brother. The Kabbinic Code 
sought to alleviate the inconvenience of this primitive 
arrangement by ruling that the remission of debt was 
to take place, not at the beginning, but only on the 
last day of the seventh year. And it added this 
curiously characteristic provision, that while the 
creditor intimated to the debtor the remission, he 
might at the same time hold open his hand for the 
receipt of payment. 1 But even so it was found that 
all needful business transactions were so hindered, 
that the great Hillel introduced what in Eabbinic 
Law is called the Prosbul (77/305 fiovXfj, before the 
Council), which was a document, duly attested, bearing 
these words : I, A B, hereby declare before you, 
the Judges of C, that I shall have the right to claim 
at any time payment of whatever debt may be due 
to me by D? This curious provision, dating nearly 
half a century before our era, may help to show how 
impossible it would have been to originate at any later 
period so primitive a legislation as that of the Penta- 
teuch. Indeed, as previously stated, even the Deutero- 
nomic legislation, introduced just before the entry into 
Canaan, seems already to mark a widening and adap- 
tation of the earlier code. And we may reasonably 
assume that, if Israel had been faithful to its mission, 
and developed in accordance with its institutions, 

1 Shel). x. 8, and the Jer. Talm. Sheb. x. 3, 4 ; Gitt. 36a. 

PROPHECY ANi) HtSTOUY. tec*, vnt. 

the central authority at the Sanctuary, whether the 
priesthood or the Prophets, would have been able to 
adapt the primitive legislation to the growing wants 
of the people. 

To these considerations of what we would not 
have expected to find in the Pentateuch, if its legis- 
lation had been other than primitive and Mosaic, 
we shall, in conclusion, add a few others, indicating 
what we might reasonably have expected to find, if 
any considerable part of it had dated from a late, but 
especially from the exilian or post-exilian, period. 

1. In such a legislation the fact of the exile 
could not have been wholly ignored. We cannot 
conceive a complete, and minutely detailed, code of 
religious arrangements, in which no provision what- 
ever had been made for, not even notice taken of, 
the wants of the great majority, dispersed in all 
lands. We know that the institution of the Syna- 
gogue originated in the necessities of the period of 
the exile ; and we also know how rapidly that insti- 
tution spread, as meeting the most pressing religious 
requirements. Is it possible then to imagine a legis- 
lation introduced at that very time, which would com- 
pletely ignore the institution of the Synagogue, and 
the felt need from which it sprang? Yet the greatest 
critical ingenuity has failed to discover a reference 
to it, either in one or another part of the Pentateuch 
legislation. On the other hand, we ask ourselves 

tfcoi. Tin. tATEfc ELEMENTS. 2&t 

what could be the meaning, in those times, of the 
Urim and Thummim, which no longer existed ; of all 
the fictions about the Ark of the Covenant, which 
also no longer existed ; of the laws about the Levitical 
cities, about the spoil taken in war, and, as regards 
the Deuteronomist. of the laws about the Ammonite 
and the Moabite, which in those days could have no 
application, and whose relations to Israel seem, in- 
deed, in later times, to have completely changed? 1 

2. A legislation originating in later times must 
have embodied, if not avowedly, yet really, the re- 
sults of the past development. The whole religious 
history of a people cannot be effaced. Many things 
will here occur as products of the past, to which we 
would have expected some reference in the new 
legislation. It is the primal position in the theory 
of our opponents, that the Law was after the Prophets. 
Yet, admittedly, there are in the Law only faint 
references to what was the constant and great theme 
of prophetic preaching, the Messianic hope. There 
is enough to show that the thought was not absent ; 
nothing, to convey what place it occupied in Jewish 
thinking. Similarly, we would have expected, if not 
more distinct, yet different references to royalty ; nor 
can we understand how every indication of a monarchy 
of such long duration, and of so significant a character 

1 Oomp. 2 Ghron. xxvi. 8, and the fact that David was of Moabitish 


as that of the Davidic line, could have been entirely 
blotted out of the record. 

Lastly, even our opponents contend that, during 
the Babylonish captivity, the theological views of 
the exiles underwent development. With certain 
important reservations, we are prepared to admit the 
correctness of this statement. As might be expected, 
these new elements came to occupy, in the centuries 
immediately following, the most prominent place in 
Jewish teaching. We specially allude here to four 
points. To the period of the Exile we have to trace : 
the institution of the Synagogue ; the real com- 
mencement of traditionalism ; the development of 
certain doctrines, notably those concerning angelic 
and demoniac influences ; and the wider application 
of the religion of Israel to the nations of the world, 
consequent on the new relation of the people to the 
world-monarchies. Such development would, as we 
can readily see, naturally commence during the ban- 
ishment of the Jews in the Assyrian Empire. On 
the other hand, the influence of these new elements 
proved, in a sense, entirely transforming in the re- 
ligious history of Israel. And yet no trace of fac- 
tors, which so powerfully affected the nation, can 
be discovered in the code of religious legislation, of 
which a large part is said to have originated at, or 
after, that period. 

We must bring to an abrupt termination a discus- 

teat, via. 

KOTE 1. T?0 LECT. Vlfl. 283 

sion wliicli has, perhaps, been prolonged beyond the 
bounds proper in this course of Lectures. On a 
review of the whole, we are the last to" deny the 
ingenuity and brilliancy with which Professor Well- 
hausen has applied and popularised the theory of 
Eeuss and Graf. He has the merit, not only of de- 
veloping, but of applying it in all directions. In 
fact, he has wholly reconstructed, on the basis of 
it, the history of Israel, and resolved its problems in 
accordance with it. But in this very thing lies, 
in our view, the fatal flaw of the theory. We do not 
profess to be able to explain every difficulty that 
may be urged ; nor, indeed, do we believe that, with 
the materials at our command, it is possible to do so. 
But with all deference for the learning and ability of 
the scholars who have adopted the views of Well- 
hausen, we must be allowed to express, in plain lan- 
guage, our conviction that their theory lacks the one 
element which is primary: it lacks a reliable historical 


e ... It may be interesting to observe from the following in- 
stances the possible diversity of language which may obtain in 
works, known to be from the same author. 

*"L' Allegro" is a poem of 152 lines; it contains about 450 
words. " II Penseroso " is a poem of 176 lines, and contains about 
578 words. "Lycidas" is a poem of 193 lines, which are longer 
than those of either of the other two, most of them being heroics ; 
its words are about 725. 



'It is plain, therefore, that Milton must have used for "H 
Penseroso" 128 words not in "I/ Allegro," and for "Lycidas" 275 
not in " L' Allegro," and 147 not in " II Penseroso." 

' But what is much more remarkable, is the fact that there are 
only about 125 words common to "L' Allegro" and "II Pense- 
roso;" only about 135 common to "Lycidas" and " L' Allegro;" 
only about 140 common to "Lycidas" and " II Penseroso ;" only 
about 61 common to all three. 

'That is, Milton must have used for "II Penseroso " 450 words 
not in "L'Allegro;" and for "Lycidas," 590 not in " L' Allegro." 
He must have used for " Lycidas " some 585 words not in " II 
Penseroso," and more than 660 not occurring in both together. 

' Also, there must be in " L'Allegro " some 325 words not in 
" II Penseroso," and 315 not in "Lycidas;" and there must be in 
"II Penseroso" nearly 440 words not in "Lycidas." 

' Again : Tennyson's "Lotos Eaters" contains about 590 words; 
" (Enone " has about 720. Thus the latter nrust contain 130 words 
not in the former ; but a comparison shows that there are only 
about 230 words common to the two poems. That is, there must 
be 490 words in " OEnone " which are not in the " Lotos Eaters," 
and there must be in the " Lotos Eaters " about 360 words not 
occurring in " CEuone." That is, the shorter poem has 360 words 
which the longer one does not contain.' 

The foregoing is an estract from Professor Stanley Leathes' 
book ' The Witness of the Old Testament to Christ ' (Boyle Lec- 
tures for 1868), pp. 282, 283. It should be stated that Professor 
Leathes uses the above analysis in defence of the unity of the 
Book of Isaiah. In the present argument, however, it is not 
quoted with reference to the Book of Isaiah, on which I am not 
called here to express any opinion. Accordingly, the lines of 
Professor Leathes, making application of the analysis to the Book 
of Isaiah are omitted (marked by dots). His analysis is adduced 
as a practical illustration of the position, that no stable argument 
as regards a book more especially, as regards its precise date or 
authorship can be derived from the use (or non-use) of words 
occurring in it. 

LECT. vm. 




Passages collated by Dr. D. Hoffmann to exhibit the parallelism 
of expression in the Priest-Code and the prophecies of Ezekiel 
(" Magazin fur die Wissenschaft des Judenthums," vol. vi., 1879, 
pp. 210-213). l 


1. Gen. i. 21 







vi. 11 

vi. 18 
vii. 14 
ix. 14 
xvii. 7 

xvii. 23 (and in other 

10. Gen. xxxvi. 7 (and in other 


11. Ex. i. 7 

12, 13, Ex. vi. 3, 6 
14, 15. Ex. vi. 6, 8 
16. Ex. vi. 8 

vi. 7 (and in other 





vii. 5 

xii. 11 
xii. 12 

22. xii. 20 


1. Ezek.xlvii. 9 






xxix. 5 (comp. xxxiii. 
27; xxxiv. 5 ; xxxix. 4) 
viii. 17 (comp. vii. 23) 
xvi. 62 
xvii. 23 
xxxviii. 20 
i. 28 

xvi. 60 
ii. 3 (and 

10. Ezek. xx. 38 

in other 

11. ix. 9 

12. xx. 5 (comp. v. 9) 

13. xx. 6 

14, 15. Ezek. xx. 28, 42 

16. Ezek. xx. 38 (and in other 


17. xi. 15 (comp. xxv. 10 ; 

xxxiii. 24) 

18, 19. Ezek. xiv. 9, 13 (and in 
other places) 

20. Ezek. xxiv. 23 

21. v- 10 (and in other 


22. 23. Ezek. vi. 6, 14 (and in 

other places) 

1 "Where the same verse is adduced several times, the reference is to 
different expressions in the same verse, "which have to he compared with 
parallel expressions in Ezekiel, marked hy the same number. I have 
compared the references, and corrected some mistakes in Hoffmann's text, 
due, of course, only to slips or errors of the press. The convincing force 
of this argument will he felt on comparison of the passages, and is 
enhanced hy the close contiguity of so many of the parallelisms in EzeMeL 





23. Ex. xiii. 12 

24. xxv. 8 

25. xxvi. 3 

26. 27. Ex. xxviii. 17, 18, 20 
2d. Ex. xxxi. 13 

29. Lev. i. 6 

30. v. 15 
81. x. 9 
32. x. 10 

xi. 44 (and in other 

xiii. 45 
xvi. 12 
xvii. 8 (and in other 

xvii. 13 
xviii. 5 
xviii. 6 (and in other 

xviii. 19 
xix. 7 
xix. 13 
xix. 16 
xix. 26 
xix. 36 
xx. 6 

47. xx. 9 

48. xx. 10 J 

49. xx. 27 f 

50. 51, 52, 53. Lev. xx. 10, 12, 

54. Lev. xxi. 1-3 












xxi. 10 
xxi. 14 
xxii. 2 
xxii. 8 
xxv. 14 
xxv. 36, 87 

xxv. 46 
xxv. 48 

24. Ezek. xx. 26 

25. xliii. 9 

26. i. 9 

27. xxviii. 13 

28. xx. 12 (comp. v. 20) 

29. xxiv. 6 

30. xiv. 13 

31. xliv. 21 

32. xxii. 26 (comp. xiii. 20; 

xliv. 23) 

33. .. iv. 14 

34. xxiv. 17 

35. x. 2 

36. 37. Ezek. xiv. 4, 7 

38. Ezek. xxiv. 7 

39. xx. 11 (comp. v. 13, 21) 

40. xxiii. 10 (and in other 


41. xviii. 6 

42. iv. 14 

43. xviii. 18 

44. xxii. 9 

45. xxxiii. 25 

46. xiv. 10 

47. xiv. 8 (comp. xv. 7, and 

other places) 

48. xviii. 13 

49. xvi. 38-40 ) 

50. xxiii. 45-47 | 

51. 52. Ezek. xxii. 9, 11 

53. Ezek. xliv. 25 
64. xliv. 20 

55. xliv. 22 

56. xiv. 7 

67, 58. Ezek. iv. 14; xliv. 31 
69. Ezek. xviii. 7 

60. xviii. 8 (comp. xviii. 

13, 17 ; xxii. 12) 

61. xxxiv. 4 

62. xi. 15 





63. Lev. xxvi. 2 

64. xxvii. 10 

65. Numbs, v. 12 

66. xiv. 34 

67. xiv. 34 (and in other 


68. xiv. 30 


63. Ezek. xxiii. 38 

64. xlviii. 14 

65. xx. 27 

66. iv. 6 

67. 68. Ezek. xiv. 10 ; xliv. 10 





xiv. 35 

xv. 21 

xv. 31 

72. xv. 39 

73. xvi. 9 

74. xviii. 4, 5 

75. xviii. 13 

76. xviii. 14 

77. xviii. 20 

78. xix. 13 

79. 80. Numbs, xxvii. 14 ; Deut. 

xxxii. 51 

81. Numbs, xxxi. 35 

82. xxxiv. 6 











). Ezek. xliv. 12 (and in othel 


v. 13 (and in other 

xliv. 30 
xvi. 59 (comp. xvii. 16, 

18, 19) 
vi. 9 
xliv. 11 
xl. 45, 46 
xliv. 30 
xliv. 29 
xliv. 28 
xxxvi. 25 

80, 81. Ezek. xlvii. 19 ; xlviii. 28 

82. Ezek. xxvii. 13 

83. xlvii. 20 

2. List of passages adduced by Dr. Hoffmann, showing the pas- 
sages in which expressions used by Ezekiel occur in other Books of 
the Old Testament : 


1, 2. Ezek. ii. 6 ; iii. 9 

3. Ezek. iv. 13 

4. v. 11 (and other places) 

5. vi. 11 

6. vi. 13 

7. vii. 18 

8. vii. 19 

9, 10. Ezek. xi. 16, 17 (and in 
other places) 

11. Ezek. xiv. 3 

12. xvi. 53 (and in other 



1. Jer. i. 17 

2. xxiv. 9 (comp. Deut. 

xxx. 1) 

3. Deut. xiii. 9 

4. Jer. xxiv. 10 

5. Deut. xii. 2 

6. Psalm Iv. 6 

7. Zeph. i. 18 

8. Deut. xxviii. 64 

9. xxviii. 37 
10. xxx. 3 



1ECT. Tin. 


13. Ezek. xvi. 60 
14,15. Ezek. xviii. 2,4 
16,17. xx. 6, 15 

18. Ezek. xx. 33 








xxii. 7 
xxii. 12 
xxii. 26 
xxii. 27 
xxiii. 46 

xxiv. 6 
xxv. 16 
xxvi. 13 
xxviii. 25 
xxx. 2, 3 
xxxvi. 30 
xxxvii. 23 

81, 32. Ezek. xxxix. 23, 94 
83. Ezek. xliv. 24 


11. Jer. ii. 2 

12. xxxi. 28, 29 

IS. Deut. vi. 3 (and in other 

14. v. 15 (and in other 


15. xxvii. 16 

16. xxvii. 25 

17. Zeph. iii. 4 

18. iii. 3 

19. Deut. xxviii. 25 (comp. Jer. 

xv. 4, and in othei 

20. Nahum iii. 1 

21. Zeph. ii. 5 

22. Amos v. 23 

23. Deut. xxx. 3 

24. Joel i. 15 

25. ii. 19 

26. Deut. xxix. 16 

27. n xxxi. 17 

28. xri. 6 




For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and with- 
out a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and with- 
out an ephod, and without teraphim. Afterward shall the children of 
Israel return, and seek tha Lord their God, and David their king, 
and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days. Eos. iii. 
4, 5. 

FROM the consideration of Prophecy and of its teach- 
ing, and from the vindication of its place in the Old 
Testament Canon, we proceed to follow the history of 
the Messianic idea in Israel after the strictly prophetic 
period. And as regards the condition of Israel during 
one part, or the great hope set before them in the 
other part, of this period, a more accurate prophetic 
description could not have been given than that by 
Hosea. 1 

We have reached the age of the Exile. The last 
notes of the old prophetic voices followed the wan- 
derers into their banishment ; the last glow of the 
torch which they had held aloft threw, amidst the 
encircling gloom, its fitful light on the future But 

1 Hosea iii, 4, 5* 


soon it was extinguished, and silence and darkness 
fall upon the scene. Eor a brief time this was once 
more broken and yet scarcely broken at the time 
of the return of the exiles into Palestine. Broken : 
for we have such prophetic utterances as those of 
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, 1 the redaction of 
certain portions of the Old Testament canon, and 
the beginning and groundwork of such historical, 
didactic, 2 and prophetic works, as, with later addi- 
tions and insertions, may have been edited at a subse- 
quent period. And yet we say that the silence and 
darkness were scarcely interrupted; for (1) The 
whole tone and style of the post-exilian period differs 
from that of the pre-exilian. A comparison of the 
prophecies of Malachi, for example, with some of 
those of the earlier prophets will impress us that we 
are no longer in the golden age of prophetism. In 
this I am not referring to their prophetic character, 
nor to the inspiration of their writings. My remarks 
apply to the form the human media through 
which the Divine Eevelation was communicated. 
And further, while I do not feel called upon here to 
express an opinion as to the precise date of the 
groundwork, or of the final redaction, of those his- 

1 These are only mentioned as instances, and no attempt is here made 
.to indicate the compass of the post-exilian Biblical prophetic writings. 

2 For the same reason as that indicated in the previous note, only a 
general indication of the literature is given, -without specifying the books, 
or parts of books, which, I have in view. > 



>torical, didactic, and prophetic writings to which I 

.have referred, it seems to me that they must date 

either from the end of the exilian or the beginning of 

the post exilian period ; or else, from a much later 

time the close of the Persian, and the beginning 

of the Macedono-Grecian period, about the end of 
the fourth century before Christ. For, from the 
purely literary point of view, and thinking of their 
writers, we would expect such a renewal of religious 
literature only in a period of general religious re- 
vival and enthusiasm, such as at the return from the 
Exile ; or else "in one of rejuvenescence, such as that 
which marked and followed the accession of Alex- 
ander the Great that Napoleon of the ancient world, 
whose conquests re-formed and transformed not only 
the political, but the social and intellectual condition 
.of the world. But there are, to my mind, conclusive 
grounds against the later date of any integral part of 
the Old Testament canon^ 1 But whether or not the 
final redaction of such works as Chronicles, Ezra, and 
Neheniiah not to speak of others, such as Esther, 
Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes belong to the earlier 
period, or to the Alexandrian, it is at least remark- 
able, that the first known revival of Jewish religious 
literature I mean the earliest of the Apocrypha 
| dates from the period soon after Alexander the Great. 

' - ' I would here mention, not only the difference in tone of the 

Apocrypha, hut their, exclusion from the Canon, especially that of The 
Wisdom of the Son of Sirach, not to speak of the conaewww of tradition. 

292 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. user. ix. 

We may here be allowed a brief digression, if 
such it be, to note three, to me at least, deeply 
interesting inferences. The oldest book among the 
Palestinian Apocrypha is 4 The Wisdom of Jesus the 
Son of Sirach' (Ecclesiasticus). This, whether, accord- 
ing to my view of it, we place its composition not 
its translation into Greek, which was later at the 
end of the third century before Christ, or, according 
to that of others, regard it as a century younger. 
It is, as already stated, Palestinian. But about the 
same time (somewhere about 280) we place the 
beginning of the Greek (LXX) version of the Old 
Testament that of the Pentateuch. This translation 
would, in the nature of things, be speedily followed 
by that of the other portions of the Canon, existing at 
the time, and which, in the prologue to Ecclesiasticus, 
are already distinguished as * the Law, and the Pro- 
phets, and the other books of our fathers ' (the 
Hagiographa). Such speedy further version is also 
otherwise likely. We know that in the second, and, 
most probably, even in the third century before 
Christ, there was considerable literary activity among 
the Jews of Alexandria. Not less than six names of 
Jewish writers, with notices or extracts of their 
works, are preserved, 1 all of them, whether historical 

1 For the names of these writers, the character of their works, and 
translations from them, I take leave to refer to my History of the Jewish 
Nation, pp. 370-372. 


or poetic, connected with religious subjects. In such 
circumstances it is not credible that the translation 
into Greek of the historical, poetic, and prophetic 
portions of Scripture should have been neglected. 
And when we turn to the Book of Sirach we find that 
its language is borrowed in places, not only from 
that of the Pentateuch version of the LXX, but from 
their rendering of the Books of Proverbs, of Jere- 
miah, and of Isaiah. 1 We might go even a step 
farther, and call attention to certain peculiarities in 
the Greek rendering of Sirach. 2 For the use of any 
one marked peculiarity, evidently derived from the 
LXX rendering, on the part of one so capable of 
writing Greek as the Son of Sirach, not only implies 
the existence of this LXX version, but leads up to the 
supposition of its recent introduction. Now, if we 
suppose the younger Sirach to have arrived in Alex- 
andria some time after 247 B.C., there would remain, 
roughly speaking, about half a century after the 
LXX version of the Pentateuch (about 280 B.C.) for 
the translation of the other parts of the Canon. And, 
as before stated, the existence of a religious Jewish 
literature in Alexandria about the end of the third 
century before Christ seems necessarily to imply a 

1 See this in Bohl, Forsch. nach e. Volkslibel, pp. 82-84. But the whole 
of the section about the Septuagint is very interesting and deserves care- 
ful consideration. 

2 Oomp. especially Ecclus. xlviii. 18 with the LXX of Is. xxxvii. 8 ; 
also Ecclus. xlviii. 24 with Is. xl. 1. 


previous translation of the portions of the Canon then 
existing. We have dwelt at such length on this point,' 
not only from its intrinsic interest, but for its obvious 
important bearing on questions connected with the 
Old Testament Canon. We hasten to add that, about 
a century after the ' Wisdom of Sirach,' the earliest 
Palestinian Apocryphon, we have (somewhere about 
150 B.C.) the earliest preserved Alexandrian Apocry- 
phon, the Book of Wisdom. Alike the original com- 
position of the Book of Sirach (between 310 and 
291 B.C.) and the fact of the Alexandrian Pentateuch 
version (about 280 B.C.) not to speak of later works 
impress us with the conviction that they could not 
have stood isolated. By this I mean, that they cannot 
have been the first outburst of a religious literature 
after a long period of silence. They must have been 
immediately preceded in Palestine by .a revival of 
religious literary activity. The most cursory reading 
of Ecclesiasticus will convince that this is not a first 
religious book. It expresses, so to speak, not a fresh 
and primitive, but a developed religious state of a 
certain character. Aphorisms of this kind are, so 
to speak, the sediment, or else the precipitate^ of a 
religious development. It seems therefore inherently 
not unlikely, that the redaction, not the composition, 
of the latest Old Testament literature may date from 
the revival at the beginning of the Alexandrian 

tfior. if. EARLIEST APOCKYPHA. 29 

I have said only the redaction, and this leads me 
to my second inference. For if we compare the old- 
est Palestinian Apocryphon the Book of Sirach 
or the spirit that underlies the LXX version of the 
Pentateuch, with what are the youngest portions of 
the Old Testament, say with the prophecies of Daniel, 

or, to place side by side works that are kindred, 

such as The Wisdom of the Son of Sirach and the 
Book of Proverbs or Ecclesiastes we instinctively 
feel, that there is a great gap between them a differ- 
ence not only' of degree but of kind. From this we 
again argue, that the youngest Old Testament liter- 
ature cannot, so far as its groundwork is concerned, 
date from the period of the revival of Jewish religious 
literature, although its redaction may. But in that 
case even this groundwork of the youngest portions 
of the Old Testament must date from the beginning 
of the post-exilian period. During the interval be- 
tween it and the Alexandrian period there was 
nothing in the political situation to rouse intellectual 
activity, nothing in the social, to encourage it* 
nothing in the religious, to be reflected in it no 
outstanding event, no outstanding personality, with 
which to connect it. On that period rest silence and 
darkness. We may call it the formative age, corre- 
sponding to that of infancy and childhood in the life 
of the individual, when, so to speak, the physical 
basis was laid for the Hie of the nation. ,. : i -.-I 

296 ttaopHECY AHi> HISTOKY. 

Yet a third remark seems here in place. From 
the period succeeding the return from the Exile 
which, so far as regards the form of Old Testament 
literature, we would designate as its silver, if not iron 
age to the Alexandrian period, roughly speaking, 
about a century intervened. This interval, which can 
scarcely be said to have a history, in the true sense, 
nor, so far as we have certain evidence, a literature of 
its own, was, as just stated, the formative period of 
the nation in its new circumstances. Its certain out- 
come, as apparent in the next period, was something 
quite different from what had preceded it in, what 
may be called, Old Testament times. In religious 
literature its outcome was the Apocrypha and the 
Pseudepigraphic writings ; in religion and life, that 
new direction which, in distinction to that of the 
Old Testament, is best characterised as Judaism^ 
which in its full development we know as Tradi- 
tionalism and Eabbinism. And yet, in, or near to, a 
period, the outcome of which is admittedly so differ- 
ent, a certain school of critics would have us place 
a large portion of the legislation, and of the historical 
and didactic, if not the prophetic writings of the 
Old Testament ! 

But we must turn aside from the many and in- 
teresting questions which here occur, and limit our 
remarks to these three points : (1) What bearing 
had the period beginning with the Exile on the great Dfifi fOEMATlVE PERIOD. 297 

Messianic hope ? (2) What monuments of it are left 
to us as its outcome, especially in Apocryphal litera- 
ture? And (3) What influence did this literature 
produce on the people in regard to their spiritual 
training ? 

1. What bearing had the period beginning with 
the Exile on the great Messianic hope ? It seems a 
defective, if not a false, view of it to regard the 
Babylonish exile as simply a Divine punishment for 
the sins, especially the idolatry, of Israel. I venture 
to assert that there is nothing merely negative, or 
exclusively punitive, in the Divine dealings in history, 
especially in what bears on the Kingdom of God. 
Every step taken is also a step in advance, even 
though, in making it, something had to be put down 
and crushed. It was not otherwise with the Baby- 
lonian exile. Assuredly, one aspect of it was 
punitive of Israel's sin. But that, by which this 
punishment was effected, also brought Israel a 
step nearer the goal of its world-mission. In the 
first great period of its national history Israel had, 
so to speak, been gathered into a religious unity by 
the Law. Its watchword had been holiness, or God- 
separation ; its high-point, the priesthood ; its charac- 
ter, a symbolism, that ultimately bore reference to 
the Messiah and His kingdom. In the second period 
of its history Israel had been under special and 
constant Divine teaching. Its watchword had been 


the great hope of the future, or spiritual conquest 
for God; its high-point, prophetism; its charac- 
ter and object,, the formation of spiritual concep- 
tions, with ultimate outlook on the Messiah and His 
kingdom. And if in the first period Israel was eon-- 
stituted with reference to its great typical object, 
and, in the second, it was brought within, view-point 
of the nations of the world, as indicating its spiritual 
mission and goal-point it was placed in the third 
and last period in actual contact with them. That 
period ran to some extent parallel with the previous 
one, which had begun with the establishment of 
monarchy in Israel. For, the idea of the kingdom 
of God could scarcely have been realised without 
an historical basis in the kingdom of Israel, and the 
very defects and failures of it, as well as its contests 
with the kingdoms of this world, would the more 
clearly point to an ideal reality, set before its view 
in the grand hope of a universal kingdom of God. 
But with the deportation to Babylon that stage had 
not only ended, but was completed. It was now no 
longer Israel within view of the kingdoms of the 
world, and in sight of its object and mission ; but 
Israel amidst the kingdoms of the world, where it 
could best learn what was the meaning of a universal 
world-kingdom of God. If Israel had been faithful 
to its mission, it would have widened to embrace the 
kingdoms of the world. Israel unfaithful to it, was 

. IX. 


merged in them, subdued by them. Yet even so, it 
also fulfilled, in its punishment, its mission in dying 
gave up its pearl bringing mankind a step nearer 
to the truer realisation of the kingdom of God in its 
world-wide bearing. 

Yet here also Israel had failed. It was the be- 
ginning of its last fatal failure. Not only did Israel 
not understand its mission ; but it had not heart for 
it. In the first of the three periods that of the Law 
holiness, priesthood, and symbolism Israel had failed 
through a bare externalism. In the second of the 
periods that of teaching, prophetism, and the 
prospect of conquest of the world for God Israel 
had failed, on the one hand, through apostasy to 
heathenism, and on the other, through national 
pride, selfishness, and vain-glory. And in the third 
and final period of completion, Israel utterly and 
finally failed misunderstood the teaching of God, 
and perverted its mission : failed, even in its repent- 
ance of past sins, which was not godly sorrow that 
needeth not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the 
.world which worketh death. Israel's final apostasy 
in the time of Christ began not at His appearance ; 
this, was only the logical outcome of all that had 
preceded. And Israel's final rejection also began not 
with the subjection to Koine, still less with the 
burning of the City and Temple, but with the 
return from the Exile. : 


When Israel went into Babylon, it was once more 
like the going into Egypt. The* return to Palestine 
was another Exodus. But, oh, how different from 
the first ! That had been marked by the glowing 
religion of the Old Testament ; this, by what we 
know as Judaism. Israel returned from the Exile 
-not as Israel, but as the Jews ; such as history has 
ever since presented them. They expanded not to 
the full meaning of their mission in relation to the 
world ; they shrivelled, and became mummified into 
the narrowest particularism, alike mental, national, 
and religious. Israel was baptised in the wilderness 
unto Moses to a new and promising spiritual life ; 
it was ossified in the Exile to a religion of Pha- 
risaism, exclusiveness, and national isolation and 
pride. No wonder that new forms had to be created 
for the Divine Spirit, and that no longer Palestinianisni 
but Hellenism, became the great factor and connecting 
link between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms 
of the world. Thus the old fig-tree withered at its 
roots. The Diaspora, rather than the Palestinian 
minority, became the missionaries of the world ; Hel- 
lenist thought, culture, and modes of presentation, 
not Pharisaism or Eabbinism, became the medium 
through which the kingdoms of the world were to 
be made the Kingdom of God. And so we can 
in some measure understand the meaning of the 


Diaspora, and of that large and ever- widening circle. 


of Hellenist thought, as well as its mission in the 

2. I have spoken of Israel as emerging on the 
other side the Babylonian flood, not as Israel, but 
as the Jews. And of this their later literature bears 
ample evidence. We have here to reckon with three 
different tendencies. We notice, first, the working of 
the old spirit, which in due time would appear as 
traditionalism and Eabbinism. This means reaction. 
Next, we have the new spirit, which in due time 
would appear as Hellenism. This means renewal 
and re-formation. Lastly, we have the ideal spirit, 
which, grasping the great hope of the future and of 
the Messianic Kingdom, would in due time appear 
either as Jewish Nationalism in the great Nationalist 
party (or in close connection with it) or else, as a 
pure Apocalypticism. But as yet these three tend- 
encies lay in great measure unseparated in the chaos 
over which the spirit of the future was brooding 
waiting till outward events would differentiate them. 

Two centuries had passed since the return from 
Babylon. At the end of them we find ourselves 
suddenly in the midst of a new-born activity in 
religious literature. We have suggested this, as 
possibly the period of the final redaction not com- 
position of some, though perhaps not of all, the 
youngest portions in the Old Testament Canon. 
The new literature springs forth in Palestine, but 


chiefly in Alexandria. It is debased in literary 
character, chiefly imitative of the Old Testament 
writings, and, as we would naturally have expected, 
of the youngest portions among them, so that one 
might almost infer the comparative lateness of an 
Old Testament book from its imitation by one or 
more of the Apocrypha. Briefly to characterise them 
from this point of view : 1st (HI.) Esdras is mainly 
a compilation from 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehe- 
miah ; 2nd (IV.) Esdras must not come into account, 
as it really belongs to the Pseudepigraphic writings. 
Tobit reads almost like a Judaic and apocryphal 
counterpart of the story of Job, not unmixed with 
others. Judith contains reminiscences of Deborah, 
Jael, and even Ruth, but seems modelled on the Book 
of Esther. The additions to the Book of Esther con- 
nect themselves with that work. The Wisdom of 
Solomon seems to me, in the conception of its ideas, 
often to present a counterpart to the Book of Job 
only that in the one case the philosophy is Eastern 
and Jehovistic, in the other Western and Grecian. 
At the same time it also presents, in many of its 
leading elements, a Grecian development of the two 
great Solomonic books. The Book of Sirach is con- 
nected chiefly with that of Proverbs, but also with 
Ecclesiastes. Baruch, together with the Epistle of 
Jeremy, connect themselves with Lamentations, and 
partially also with Daniel ; the Song of the Three 


Children^ and the Stories of Susanna, and of Bel and 
the Dragon, are connected with Daniel ; the Prayer of 
Manasses with Chronicles. The First Book of the 
Maccabees reminds us more of Neherniah than of 
Ezra. The Second Book of the Maccabees is chiefly 
an epitome of a larger work by one, Jason of Gyrene. 
It is Alexandrian, as 1st Maccabees is Palestinian 
and Hebrew. It must be understood that our re- 
marks refer to the cast and tone, not to the contents 
of these books. In regard to the former, they seem 
counterparts, or else continuations, of the later por- 
tions of the Old Testament Canon. But, in thought 
and direction, the differences between them and any 
parts of the Old Testament are so numerous and 
great, as to afford indirect evidence of the canonicity 
of the latter. Indeed, one of the earliest Apocrypha 
expressly laments the absence of Prophets and of 
Inspiration. 1 

The collection of Apocrypha, as we have it in 
our English Version, is not only ill translated in many 
parts, but ill thrown together, being arranged neither 
according to country, contents, nor age. Their num- 
ber is really only thirteen, and our collection both 
contains what should not, and omits what should, have 
a place in it. Such portions as the Song of the Three 
Children, the History of Susanna, and that of the 
Destruction of Bel and of the Dragon, are really only 

1 1 Mace. iv. 46 ; ix. 27 ; xiv. 41. 


an apocryphal addition to the Greek version of the 
Book of Daniel. As regards country or perhaps 
more accurately language, the Apocrypha should 
be arranged into Palestinian and Alexandrian. The 
former comprise the Hebrew original, of which our 
present Book of Sirach is a translation, Judith, the 
First Part of Baruch, 1 the First Book of Maccabees, 
and, to judge by its contents, perhaps Tobit. I have 
enumerated them, chiefly, in the probable order of 
their composition, although considerable doubt at- 
taches to the subject, especially as regards the age of 
Baruch and of Tobit. But it deserves notice, and it 
confirms the views previously expressed, that all these 
books date after the national revival to which we 
have referred : the Book of Sirach, as I believe, from 
after the Alexandrian age ; the rest probably from 
the Maccabean period the 1st of Maccabees from 
the beginning of the first century before Christ. As 
to the others, nothing certain can be predicated. 
Baruch and Tobit breathe the spirit of later Judaism, 
although as yet in a more free form than when tra- 
ditionalism had finally laid its yoke upon the people. 
With the exception of the books just mentioned, 
the other Apocrypha were written in Greek. The 
oldest of them seems the Book of Wisdom, which 
dates about a century, or probably a .century and 

1 Ch. i.-iii. 8. A very striking parallelism has been noted between 
Baruch and the Pseudepigraphic Psalter of Solomon. 


a half, before Christ. It implies a considerably 
advanced state of intellectual life preceding it. 
In truth, it forms an advanced post on the road 
of that Hellenism which may generally be charac- 
terised as the attempt to reconcile the Old Testament 
with Greek thought. From this there was only 
a further step both easy and natural : to seek to 
combine what had been shown to be harmonious. 

To complete this brief review of the Apocryphal 
writings, it seems appropriate to group them, not 
only according to country and age, but according to 
their contents. The task is, however, one of extreme 
difficulty. Generally speaking, they might, indeed, 
be distinguished as historical (or pseudo-historical), 
didactic, and pseudo-prophetic, or rather parenetic, 
since their object was, under prophetic pretension, 
to convey admonition or consolation, always with 
marked reference to the circumstances of the time, 
the condition of heathenism, and the relation of 
Israel to it. This anti-heathen element is a very 
marked characteristic of the Apocrypha, which, 
variously applied, might serve the purposes of con- 
troversy, of apologetics, of confirmation in the faith, 
of proselytism, and even of Messianic anticipation. 
More important still is what we gather from the 
Apocrypha to have been the doctrinal views pre- 
valent at the time. 

A brief reference to the differences between 


106 -. ? MOPflECY AND 

them and the Old Testament may here be in place.*' 
To begin with : a very marked distinction is made 
between such writings and the canonical, which 
are not only designated, in the Prologue to Ecclesi- 
asticus, as ' the Law, the Prophets, and the other 
books of the fathers,' but for which exclusively 
inspiration is claimed. Quite in accordance with 
this is the exceptional manner in which Biblical 
writers and Biblical works are referred to, 2 or 
quoted. Thus the Apocrypha themselves mark 
their line of separation from the canonical books. 
And this is the more noteworthy, that the Book of 
Sirach is often quoted in Rabbinic writings in a 
manner similar to that in which citations are made 
from canonical books. The distinction in favour of 
the Old Testament is fully vindicated, the more 
closely we examine the teaching of the Apocrypha. 
The presentation of the Divine Being is no longer 
as in the Old Testament. Sometimes it is Grecian 
in its form, as chiefly in the Book of Wisdom, and, 
in minor degree, in some portions of Ecclesiasticus ; 
in other books, as in Judith and Baruch, it is Judaic, 
narrow, and nationalistic ; while in Tobit we have 
almost the later Eabbinic view of the propitiation 
of God by alms. Similar remarks apply to the 

1 See the full and clear analysis in the Introduction to Dr. BisselTs 
Comment, on the Apocrypha, pp. 43-49. 

2 Comp. here Ecelus. xxiv. 23-27 ; xlviii. 24 ; xlix. 2, 4, 7, 10 ; 1 Mace, 
xii. 9 ; 2 Mace. ii. 13 j 2 Mace. vi. 23 ; 1 Esdr. i. 28 ; vi. 1 ; Bar. ii. 21. 



presentation of the doctrines of Creation and of Pro- 
vidence. As regards the doctrine of Angels, the 
Apocrypha have much more developed teaching, 
which in the case of Tobit descends to the low level 
of superstition. 1 

As might be expected, both Grecianism and 
Hebrewism appear even more markedly in what such 
books as Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus have to tell us 
of man. The pre-existence of the soul, and its fall 
and degradation through its connection with the body, 
are taught side by side with a reluctant and almost 
solitary reference to the fall of man as presented in 
the Bible, But of the doctrine of original sin, as 
fully expressed in the New Testament, the Apo- 
crypha, as Eabbinism, have nothing to tell us. In 
regard to moral duties, the tone of the Book of 
Proverbs is now absolutely secularised. A respect- 
able religiosity and a sort of common-sense decency 
take the place of fervour of love and entireness of 
devotion. Eeward in this life, or at most either 
in the Messianic world or in the life to come, are 
the leading motives ; externalism of work, rather 
than deep inward spiritual views, characterises the 
righteousness described. By the side of this we find in 
the Apocrypha of Grecian cast (Wisdom and partly 
Ecclesiasticus) a classification of the virtues after 

1 TV 

The sneer of Noldelie (Alttest. later, p. 105) on this point seems to 
me singularly unjust," as well as out of taste. 

SOS PROPHECY AND ffiSTOElf. tEcr. tfc 

the philosopliic model ; while the Judaic Apocrypha 
(Judith and Tobit) represent on many points a low 
standard, not only in the story of Judith, but gene- 
rally in regard to the relation between man and God. 
In Ecclesiasticus we find throughout a twofold, some- 
what incompatible, direction : the Hellenistic by the 
side of the Judaic. This strange eclecticism may 
have been due to the original authoi of the book, 
or, as seems more likely, been introduced by the 

As regards the ' after death ' the characteristics of 
the Grecian Apocrypha, already noted, once more 
appear. Ecclesiasticus is not only less pronounced 
on these subjects than some of the canonical books, 
but is, to say the least, strangely silent on the " after 
death." The Book of Wisdom, while acknowledging 
the immortality of the soul and the judgment, so sys- 
tematically ignores the resurrection of the body as 
to lead to the inference of its denial. The same may 
even more strongly be predicated of 1st Maccabees, 
which, indeed, has been regarded as representing the 
views of the Sadducees ; while 2nd Maccabees, in this 
respect, markedly reproduces the views of the Phari- 
sees. 1 In reference to the Messianic hope, we can 
only say that its personal aspect, as regards the 
Messiah, if present at all, 2 recedes behind that of 

1 Comp. on this, Bisseli, u.s, 

2 Possibly, Ecclus. xlvii. 11 ; more probably, xlviii. 10, 11 ; doubt- 
fully, Bar. iv. 22. 


Israelitish, national prospects. Of these, alike in the 
anti-Gentile sense, 1 and in the exaltation of Israel, 2 
there is the fullest anticipation. 

Thus we have in the Apocrypha which, as already 
stated, must be regarded as embodying the outcome 
of the previous period a marked divergence, on all 
main points, from the lines followed in the Canonical 
Books of the Old Testament. The latter, as has 
been well remarked, 3 led up to the manger of Beth- 
lehem ; the Apocrypha may, as regards dogmatic 
views, be considered only a kind of preface to later 

The other peculiarities of the Apocrypha can 
only be lightly touched in this place. They are 
such as to interest the student, and may open up 
wider questions. We mark the tone of self-consci- 
ousness which Judaism assumes towards a decrepit 
heathenism, and this, in face of a hostile and un- 
scrupulous political majority. There is something 
truly noble in this conscious superiority and defiance, 
when, on the eve of the coming battle, the despised, 
defeated minority speaks in the haughty language 
of assured victory. It is the Old Testament spirit, 
even though it be cramped in narrow, nationalistic 
forms. We are here thinking of much in the Pales - 

1 As in Ecclus. xxxvi. 1-10 ; xxxix. 23 ; Bar. iv. 25, 31-35. 
8 As in Ecclus. xxxvi. 11-17 j Bar. iv. 22-25, 36, 37; v.; comp, 
Tob. xiii. ; xiv. (passim). 
Bissell, p. 48. 


tinian Apocrypha. But this element is not wanting 
in any of the other Apocrypha, although naturally 
it least appears in those of Grecian tone. Other, 
and minor, points are also interesting. Thus the 
story of Susanna, which some writers have regarded 
as most strongly anti-Sadducean, is in fundamental 
contradiction with Eabbinic law. According to the 
Mishnah, 1 false witnesses were to suffer the punish- 
ment of death, in obedience to the Law of Moses, 2 
only if an alibi could be proved against them that 
they had been in another place than that where 
they had sworn to have witnessed the crime. But in 
the Book of Susanna the perjured elders are put to 
death simply on being convicted of false witness.? 
Another interesting question is as to the alterations 
which, whether from misunderstanding, or in a 
Grecian sense, the younger Sirach may have made 
when translating into Greek the Hebrew work of his 
grandfather. Of suck even a comparison with the 
Syriac translation of the book gives evidence; 4 the 
latter although containing many needless and jejune 

1 Mace. i. 4. So in all other Talmudie references to the question. 
See Bahr, Ges. it. falsche Zeugen, pp. 29 &e. 

2 Deut. xix. 19, 21. 

8 The 'Daniel come to judgment' of The Merchant of Venice is the 
Daniel of the Book of Susanna that is, the Biblical Daniel, although at 
a very early, pre-hihlical, period of his li r e. 

4 Comp., for example, the form of the prayer in Eeclus,.!. 22-24, with 
that in the 'Syriac version, which evidently gives the Hebrew original. 
See Geiger, in the Zeitechr. d. deutsch, mwgenl. Gesellsch. vol. xii. pp. 
636 &e. 


paraphrases having evidently been made with a 
copy of the Hebrew original before the translator. 
3. From these points of chiefly critical interest 
we turn to the third great question which we had 
proposed to ourselves : that of the spiritual influence 
which this apocryphal literature exercised upon the 
people. They were, indeed, Apocrypha ' Sepharim 
genuzim ' hidden books, books withdrawn ;' but 
we have evidence that they largely circulated among 
the people. 1 And while they were really the out- 
come of the development during the preceding 
period, they must also have truly reflected, though 
in part they may have helped to form, the spirit of 
their own time. And it is the general ' spirit of 
the time' (the Zeitgeist), which we encounter and 
recognise throughout this literature as appear- 
ing in alliance with Judaism: a s time- spirit' that 
would fain believe, it could be Jewish. In the new 
contact with the outer world of Grrecianism, it could 
not be otherwise than that Grecian, philosophical or 
philosophising, ideas should perhaps sometimes un^ 
consciously intrude into Jewish religious thinking. 
But there they would appear not as metaphysical or 
speculative, but rather as a rationalistic element. What 
we call rationalism is never philosophy; it is an at- 
tempt to pervade religion with the philosophy of what 

. * Ecclesiasticus is often quoted in Talmudic writings ; and 1 Mace., 3 
Esdr., and the additions to Esther by Joseplms. 


Is misnamed common sense. A jejune, but popularly 
attractive, treatment this of the great questions of 
life, which are to be reduced to a kind of arithmetical 
problems, easily to be solved by well-known rules; 
an attempt to turn all things in heaven and on earth 
into ponderable quantities and measurable substances, 
to which the common Philistine standards can be 
applied in utter ignorance that the spirit had long 
fled from the dead substances which are to be so 
weighed and measured. This kind of philosophic 
religion, or religious philosophy, strongly tinged with. 
Eastern elements alike the sensuous, contemplative, 
ironical, and blase view of life had in some measure 
appeared in the Book of Ecclesiastes only there as 
ultimately overcome by the Divine. In the Book of 
Ecclesiasticus we have mostly the bare prose of all 
this. Similarly, the rationalistic, or rationalising, 
tendency in religion, impregnated in Alexandria with 
Grecian philosophic elements, explains much in the 
Book of -Wisdom, although this is by far the loftiest 
of these productions, and a long way off from such 
a work as the so-called Fourth Book of Maccabees. 
And we have enough, and more than enough, of it 
in the philosophico-religious platitudes of a Josephus. 
It is this same 4 time-spirit ' in the Apocrypha 
which, according to circumstances, appears in his- 
torical, apologetic, or controversial form. It is an 
attempt at vindication of the Old ; vindication, as 


regards those that are without ; vindication also, as 
regards existing ideas, with which the Old has to be 
conciliated, and that, whether these ideas be Grecian 
or Judaic. Thus, the First Book of Maccabees, which 
is really historical, is also apologetic, in its long 
speeches and Jewish reasonings ; while the object of 
2nd Maccabees seems partly to be eirenical, with the 
view of preventing a schism between the West and 
Jerusalem, and partly apologetic of the Old in its 
Palestinian form, in such legends as about the hiding 
of the sacred fire, and the mode in which it was 
rekindled on the altar. 3rd (I.) Esdras is certainly 
apologetic: the story about the intellectual contest 
of the three young men, 1 in which Zerubbabel came 
out victorious, being intended not only to fill up a 
gap in the history, but to supply a rational motive 
for the decree of Darius (1 Esdr. iv. 42 &c.). Similar 
remarks apply to the apocryphal additions to the 
Book of Esther. Of Ecclesiasticus and the Book of 
Wisdom we have already spoken. Tobit is a hagga- 
dic Midrash, conceived in the spirit of the Judaism 
which was assuming a definite shape. Judith is partly 
controversial, partly consolatory. Both Baruch and 
the Epistle of Jeremy are parenetic, apologetic, and 
strongly controversial; and so are the additions to 
the Book of Daniel. 

1 The common quotation, 'Magna est Yeritas, et pwevaleW V i 
8 (I.) Esdr. iv. 41. 


We cannot pursue this inquiry farther, nor yet 
close it without at least stating that there was yet 
another, and a very powerful, element in the spirit 
of the time, which found expression in its literature. 
This element was the all-engrossing anticipation of 
the prophetic future, set before Israel throughout the 
Old Testament, but especially in the visions of Daniel. 
The literature to which it gave birth is represented 
by such of the Apocalyptic or, as they are called, 
Pseudepigraphic writings as have been preserved. 
This must form the next subject for consideration. 
For the present we only notice, that the spirit of the 
Apocrypha apparently also influenced the Pseud- 
epigraph a. The Messianic future portrayed in their 
visions is Juclaso-national, not universalistic. And 
this marks one essential difference between these 
Apocalyptic visions and the inspired prophecies of 
the Old Testament. We have observed the same in 
the Apocrypha, only with wider application. There 
the Messianic hope had quite lost its definiteness, 
and been transformed into a Jewish hope. The 
central figure in the picture of the kingdom is the 
Jewish nation, not the Person of the Messiah. 

All this, in connection with the general religious 
views which, as the outcome of the past and the pre- 
paration for the future development, find their ex- 
pression in the Apocrypha. The religion of the Old 
Testament was that of the great prophetic future; 


the religion and hope of the Apocrypha are of the 
Israelitish past, which vain-gloriously seeks in the 
future a realisation, commensurate to its past disap- 
pointment. The hope of the Old Testament centred in 
the Person of the Messiah ; that of the Apocrypha, 
in the nation of the Jews. It is Judaism and the 
Synagogue with which we have henceforth to do. But 
not thither had the finger of prophecy pointed. Not 
to the Jews but to the spiritual Israel; not to the 
Synagogue but to the Church, belonged the inherit- 
ance of the promises and the future of the world. 




And now I stand here for the hope of the promise made of God 

unto our fathers ; unto which promise our twelve tribes, earnestly 
seeking God night and day, hope to attain. ACTS xxvi. 6. 

IT were a serious mistake to infer from the post- 
canonic literature, which we call the Apocrypha 
the leading characteristics and contents of which 
have been briefly sketched in the previous Lecture 
that the Messianic idea had died out in Israel after 
the close of the Old Testament Canon, or even that 
it had not existed, and indeed, constituted the very 
life of the nation. It is true that the Apocrypha 
preserve silence about the Person of the Messiah. 
But this, not because the Messianic idea was ignored, 
but because it was apprehended and presented in 
another form. It was now no longer the Person of 
the Messiah, but the Messianic times, which engaged 
the expectancy of the people. This, perhaps, partly 
from want of real faith in such a Person ; partly, to 
avoid what might issue in politically dangerous move- 

. *. *HE MESSIANIC JEOt>S. 317 

ments. In part it may also have been due to the out- 
ward condition of Israel, alike in Palestine and in ' the 
Dispersion.' The hope of the people may, in the 
pride of self-consciousness, have perhaps rested the 
more eagerly on the rapt visions of Israel's future, as 
presented by the Prophets, that it stood in such felt 
painful contrast to a present, which depended on 
only brute material force, but could in no way be 
vindicated from the Divine, or absolute, point of 
view. But chiefly it also arose from this, that the 
altered aspect of Messianic expectancy was in accord- 
ance with the Hellenist spirit, which some of the 
Apocrypha represent, and from which scarcely any 
of them are wholly free. But, for all this change of 
form, the Messianic hope itself burned none the less 
brightly that it was concentrated on the Messianic 
times, when Israel's enemies would be vanquished, 
and Israel's day of glory arise and when, so far as 
this was possible, Israel's blessings would be shared 
by the nations, although in vassalage to the chosen 
people. I have called attention to the marked anti- 
heathen element in the Apocrypha. In measure, 
it was also necessarily an anti-Gentile element, and 
it gave its colouring to the Messianic idea. The 
Messiah was no longer a Prince of peace and the 
Reconciler of the world. The Messianic times were 
still those of ' the kingdom 'but of one of conquest, 
of the reinstatement and triumph of Israel, and of 

318 HlOPHEOt AHi) ffiSTOKlr. EECT. *. 

the subjection of tlie Gentile world. And the more 
we consider the condition of things, the less shall we 
wonder that a people which had grown unspiritual 
should, in the pride of their religious superiority, 
have no longer dwelt on the Messianic aspect so 
constantly presented by the Prophets, and, instead 
of it, accentuated that prophetic future which they 
now interpreted as belonging to Israel after the flesh, 
not to the world. The difference between the Mes- 
sianic hope of the Old Testament and of the later 
time was that between the utterances of inspired men 
who spoke the message of God, and uninspired men 
who spoke of it with the feelings of personal in- 
jury burning in their hearts, and the thoughts of the 
times dominating and moulding the expression of 
their views. It was still ' the kingdom' but Judaic, 
not universalistic : the beginning of that, which 
was afterwards developed by Eabbinism to all its 

Thus viewed, the Messianic idea underlies all 
the Apocrypha. Nay, it is found, though in highly 
elevated, not materialistic, form, even in the extreme 
representative of Hellenism Philo as much as in 
the utterances of the most bigoted Eabbis. In their 
realistic mode of viewing, and their Oriental manner 
of expressing, it, the Eabbis said, that in Messianic 
days the wheat would grow in Palestine to the height 
of palm-trees, and that a Jerusalem would rise with 


walls of gold and precious stones, and 'in which all 
manner of jewels would be strewed about for the 
use of every Israelite ; that this new Jerusalem would 
be wide as all Palestine, and Palestine as all the 
world, while the Holy City would be the capital of 
all nations. But, after all, the underlying idea al- 
though in a materialistic form, suited to their stand- 
point and training was the same which, not only 
the Apocrypha, 1 but Philo wished, in elevated and 
philosophic manner, to convey when he described 
that future, in which all Israel or perhaps all 
who owned Israel's Law would be suddenly con- 
verted to virtue. Upon this their masters, ashamed 
to hold those in bondage who were so much better 
than themselves, would release them. Then would 
all the banished be freed in one day, and, as by 
one impulse, 'the dispersed' throughout the world 
would assemble, and return to Palestine, led by a 
Divine, superhuman apparition, invisible to others, 
but visible to themselves. In Palestine the waste 
places and the wilderness would be inhabited, 
and the barren land transformed into fruitfulness. 2 
And in another treatise, 3 Philo speaks of that happy 
time in a manner peculiar to himself. The happier 
moral condition of man would ultimately affect the 
wild beasts, which, relinquishing their solitary habits, 

1 Tok xiii. 16-18. 

2 Philo De Execrationibus, par. 8, 9 (ed. Mangey, ii. 435, &c.). 

3 De Prcemiis et Pcenis (ed. Mangey, ii 421-428). 


would first become gregarious ; then, imitating the 
domestic animals, gradually come to respect man 
as their master, nay, become as affectionate and 
cheerful as ' Maltese dogs.' This is evidently an 
anticipation of the literal fulfilment of the Isaiah 
prophecy about the wolf and the lamb dwelling 
together. All this would react on the condition of 
ftian. There would be universal peace through the 
subdual of all enemies of some in supernatural 
manner, anticipated in a realistic form (by divinely 
Sent swarms of hornets) and extraordinary wealth, 
health, and vigour would be the boon of Messianic 
times. Thus, strictly viewed, there was really not. 
an absolute gulf between the realism of the Eabbis 
and the most advanced of philosophising Hellenists. 
And, indeed, it might be argued that the Eabbis 
had only intended to make use of symbolic language, 
but meant no more by it than Philo although it 
seems difficult to suppose that, in the expectancy of 
the unlettered masses, the descriptions of the Mes- 
sianic bliss would be taken otherwise than literally. 
And such was the spell of the Messianic idea, such the 
hold it had upon the- genius and life of the Jewish 
nation, that as we have seen even so unscrupu- 
lously selfish a writer as Josephus could not suppress 
all reference to it and this, in works intended for 
his Eoman masters. 

And how could it be otherwise ? The Jew must 


cease to be a Jew in any other than the negative 
sense of opposition to other creeds if he gives up 
the Messianic hope which is the central idea of 
his religion. In this aspect of it, the Messianic 
application of Genesis xlix. 10 seems a priori esta- 
blished and incontestable. The sceptre could not 
depart from Judah, nor the staff of command from 
between his feet before,, nor yet could they remain 
after, the willing obedience of the nations to God. 
The particular must then given place to the general ; 
the national to the universal. This, and nothing 
else, is of God. We have followed the history of 
the great promise through its stages of inception, 
presentation, and development, till it had reached 
its largest circumference, when the kingdom of 
God was shown to be the world-monarchy, with out- 
look upon the Great Throne, the judgment of the 
Ancient of Days, and the coming of the Son of 
Man. Then the period of promise had run its 
course, and merged into that of expectancy. 

That period really commenced with the Babylonish 
captivity. It seems difficult fully to realise the changes 
wrought during its course. In the round numbers 
of prophetic language, we call it the seventy years' 
captivity. But it was both of longer and shorter 
duration than this. From the deportation of the 
ten tribes, after the destruction of Samaria in 
721 B.C., one hundred and eighty-five years elapsed 


PKOPHECY Attb fitSTOBtf. rasctt. t. 

to the decree of Cyrus, about 536 B.C. The first 
taking of Jerusalem by the Ohaldees and the de- 
portation of Joiachim and of a number of the Jews 
took place in 598 B.C., that is, sixty-two years before 
the decree of Cyrus ; the second taking of Jerusalem, 
the death of Zedekiah, and the second depor- 
tation of Jews, in 588, that is, fifty-two years be- 
fore the decree of Cyrus ; and, lastly, the final de- 
portation of the Jews dates from the year 584 B.C., 
or forty-eight years before Cyrus. But even as 
regards the longest of these periods, that of sixty- 
two years, the change which Israel underwent 
seems disproportionate to the time especially as we 
remember "that, with the cessation of the Temple- 
services, the main institutions of the Mosaic religion 
had become impossible. We can only conjecture 
that the exiles from Judah may have found in the 
land of their captivity new religious institutions, 
which had been established, or at least commenced, 
by the earlier exiles under prophetic direction, and 
that these institutions proved capable of adaptation 
to the religious wants of the people. At the same 
time the former temptations to idolatry were not only 
removed by the Exile, but the new circumstances 
in which Israel found themselves, the sufferings of 
banishment, and the longing for their own land 
and the services of their beautiful Sanctuary, which 
would be kindled, together with what they wit- 


nessed around all this would crush and wholly re 
move any leaning towards that great national sin ; 
which had brought on them such Divine judgment. 
This course of things seems at least much more likely 
than the theory that the Jews, who were deported 
in a state of idolatrous apostacy, had derived from 
Babylon so many entirely new elements of their 
religion. If a real change, and not a revival of the 
old, had taken place, we should have expected it in 
another direction ; and post- exilian Judaism would 
have been very different from that rigid Mono- 
theism and purism which we find alike in the 
Pentateuch and in the practice of those who returned 
into Palestine. 

But, in the nature of them, these can be only 
conjectures. For silence and darkness rest upon the 
period of the Exile. The bands of exiles disappear 
in the vast Assyrian empire, and though we hear 
echoes of the prophets' voices from the banks of 
its rivers, and distant dirges of psalmody from harps 
that had been hung on their willows, we know abso- 
lutely nothing of the people itself. When after the 
dark night morning once more breaks, we per- 
ceive, as the mist gradually lifts from valley and 
hillside, new forms and scenes. Only a small part 
of the nation and that chiefly the poorest and 
least advanced, though religiously the most earnest 
has returned, and on those who have remained 



behind, the mist has again fallen for a time. And 
they who have returned seem quite other than those 
who had gone into exile. Not only has every trace 
of idolatry disappeared, but a fresh v and almost a for- 
mative, religious activity has sprung up. The Canon 
of Scripture is revised and completed ; the old insti- 
tutions are adapted to the new circumstances. Yet 
so far from any alteration even in the letter of the 
old, it is developed to the uttermost, and enforced 
with a rigour that knows no mercy. And a new 
national life has also commenced not under the rule 
of the house of David, to which, despite the intense- 
ness of national feeling, it bore no longer any rela- 
tionship. This new life fundamentally differed, in one 
aspect, from that before the Exile, when, speaking 
generally, religion was dominated by political con- 
siderations, whereas political considerations were now 
dominated by religion. That which then opened 
was, if I may make the comparison, a kind of 
Old Testament Puritan period, or rather a Judsean 
Covenanter period : so truly does history repeat itself 
in its fundamental tendencies. Those early ' Nation- 
alists,' who resisted the foreigner, and ultimately 
gathered around the Judsean Martel the 'hammer 
of God' Judas the Maccabee, were the Chasidim, 
or s pious ones.' Intensely religious, intensely Jiidsean 
also, they forsook the Maccabees when the religious 
element receded behind the political, even though 

. x. 


the latter was Judsean. And increasingly they went 
into opposition to their Jewish rulers, till, at last, 
forsaking or despairing of the national aspect of 
their cause, they became only a religious party, 
the Pharisees. But, after this religious secession, 
there still remained a strictly 'Nationalist' party. 
Its adherents obeyed, indeed, the religious direction 
and ordinances of the Pharisees, but they refused 
to be confined within the bounds of a purely 
religious sect, and cherished other and wider aims. 
It is true that this party afterwards, when driven 
to bay, ran into wild excesses, and during the last 
siege of Jerusalem into a kind of fanatical Kobes- 
pierreism. Josephus, through whose representa- 
tions, or rather misrepresentations, we chiefly know 
them, was utterly incapable of sympathising with 
their loftier ideas, and he denounced them as rob- 
bers and sicarii. Still, they represented, although 
in grievously perverted form, much of what was 
noblest in the national and religious aspirations of 
Israel. Of this there is evidence even in the 
circumstance, that in the immediate family circle 
of our Lord, and among His earliest followers, 
there were those who had belonged to the nationalist 
party. Thus to some at least, perhaps to many, 
in Palestine the nationalist direction was, what Hel- 
lenism afterwards became to so many in the West : 
a schoolmaster unto Christ. We recall here the 


name of Simon Zelotes, the Cananean, wlio evidently 
had been a member of the Nationalist party ; and that 
of Jude, the brother of our Lord, in so far as his 
general epistle contains one, or more probably two, 
quotations from that class of writings known as the 
Pseudepigrapha, which seem to be, in one direction, 
closely connected with the nationalist movement, 
or rather with the spirit which underlay it. 

To this class of religious literature, and to the 
tendencies which it represents, viewed in connection 
with the history of Israel, our attention must now be 
directed, in the present Lecture, in only a general 
manner. The Pseud epigraphic writings represent a 
peculiar phase in Jewish religious thinking. They 
express the Messianic hope in its intensest, as well as 
its most external I had almost said, realistic form. 
They differ in their direction from Pharisaism with its 
worship of the letter, as issuing in Traditionalism and 
Eabbinism, as widely, as from the reaction against it in 
rationalising and supercilious Sadduceeism. Nor have 
they anything in common with the partly mystical, 
partly Parsee direction of Essenisin, which, in one 
aspect of it, might almost be designated as a Judasan 
Stoicism. But the element most closely kindred to 
the Pseudepigraphic writings is that which is pre- 
sented by the nationalist movement ; perhaps we might 
rather have said, in the nationalist direction. For 
its deepest underlying thought was, that Palestine was 


the land of God, and Israel the people of God ; that 
Jehovah, and Jehovah alone, was King ; that His 
was the sole universal kingdom, against which those 
outside Israel were in high-handed rebellion. All 
else even their excesses were their inferences 
from this fundamental position. It will be perceived 
that this thought lies very close to that ide& which 
formed the foundation of our Lord's teaching and 
mission the kingdom of God ; or, to put it more 
specifically, the sole Kingship of our Father in 
Heaven. Only, the Nationalists of Palestine, like the 
Eoundheads or the Scottish Covenanters of our own 
history, would have made it an outward reality by 
means of the sword, and have upheld it by the 
sword. They would have hewn its way through all 
opposition, and, if need were, written their own 
formula of that kingdom in letters of blood on the 
eternal rocks of history and in the inmost shrine of 
their sanctuary. But, according to the Word of the 
Lord, which, in this respect also, is significant in 
regard to this movement: taking the sword, they 
perished by the sword. Not so did the God-sent 
Christ understand, nor yet would He so establish 
the kingdom of His Father in Heaven. Christ was* 
King but as meek and lowly, and as, symbolically, 
making His Eoyal entry into Jerusalem riding on 
an ass, the foal of an ass. In view of the opposition 
of a hostile world, He also must found His kingdom 

PROPHECY Aftl) HISTORY. tiSor. i. 

in blood but in His own Blood, which His enemies 
shed ; not in theirs, which He shed. He also 
must conquer all enemies, and subdue them to His 
kingdom ; yet not by outward means, but by the 
moral power of the Truth, and by the constraining 
influence of His Spirit, working inward and willing 
submission. His kingdom was not of this world ; 
therefore did His followers not fight for it. The true 
kingdom of God was within: it was righteousness, 
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Such was 
the Christ, as presented in the Gospels. 

We pause to mark the historical contact with 
and in this, all the more, the contrast to the men 
and parties of His time. In its highest aspirations, 
the Nationalist movement stood perhaps nearest to the 
fundamental thought of Christ's mission. Yet, as 
regards the direction and expression of that thought, 
it was in absolute contrast to Him. Similarly, His 
teaching embraced, in its absolute reverence for, and 
implicit obedience to, the Law, all that was ideally 
and potentially highest in the direction of Pharisaism. 
Yet it was in fundamental opposition to the false 
and unspiritual direction of the Pharisees, in their 
worship of the letter and bondage of externalism. 
Or, to pass to the other pole wide as were the 
sympathies of Christ, and absolute as was the eman- 
cipation from the rule of man, and the liberty of the 
individual, which He proclaimed, yet His were prin- 


ciples of positive freedom in inward subjection to 
God, not of mere opposition and negation, such as 
found expression in the gainsaying, the indiffer- 
entism, and the superciliousness of the Sadducees. 
And, again, in the guardianship of the Sanctuary of 
the Soul, in its consecration to God, in the avoidance 
of all that defiled it, or hindered its aspirations and 
communing with God, in contempt of the world and 
renunciation of its attractions, Christ touched all 
that was true and high in Essenism. Yet He was at 
infinite distance from its foreign and heathen elements, 
its mysticism, and depreciation of matter, associated 
as this was with materialistic views of the soul and of 
all good. His was another way to purity and God- 
fellowship than theirs ; His, other views of the body 
and of matter : not its contempt, but its God-conse- 
cration. And as we thus view the historical Christ 
the unlettered carpenter's Son from far-off Nazareth- 
it is surely impossible not to recognise the transcen- 
dent greatness of that contest for the ideal which He 
sustained, untainted by the thoughts of His time, un- 
influenced by its motives and ambitions, undeterred 
by its threats and tortures pure, holy, and spiritual 
And so all ages look up to the absolute light, the 
infinite loneliness, the unspeakable grandeur of His 
Divine Majesty. 

But to the Nationalist, as we have learned to know 
him, every embodiment, every outward manifestation 

330 PROPHECY ANl) HISTORY. riscrr. i. 

of what contravened his deepest idea and highest ideal, 
was absolutely intolerable. What business had the 
Roman in Palestine ; how dared the idolater profane 
by his presence the sacred soil that was God's ; how 
could he claim to rule the people, whose sole King 
was the Jehovah of the mighty Arm and outstretched 
Hand, that erst had cloven the sea, and Whose breath 
would subdue nations under Him? Even to admit 
it as a fact, nay, to tolerate it, was an act of un- 
faithfulness to God, of deep unbelief, of apostacy. So 
patriotism and religion both in abnormal forms 
mingled. They whetted their daggers to the sound 
of psalms, and sharpened their swords to the martial 
music of prophetic utterances, which to them seemed 
only denunciations and imprecations on the enemy. 
And they laid them down to dream in those Apoca- 
lyptic visions, which form the subject-matter of so 
much in the Pseudepigraphic writings. 

To be sure, these were the visions of Latter-Day 
Prophets, not the deeds of the men of action. But 
the Nationalists sought, in their own rough way, to 
translate them into history. Yet they contained much 
besides that which these men heard in them. For, in 
some respect, the nationalist idea had burned deep 
into the soul of the Jewish people. In one sense, 
every true Jew was a Nationalist, and could not help 
being such, so long as he was a Jew. Nay, it clung to 
him with all the instincts of centuries of descent, and 


hereditary disposition ; with all the remembrances of 
his upbringing and surroundings ; and with all the 
latent enthusiasm of his Eastern and Jewish nature 
and that, even if he tried to shake off his Judaism. 
We see it in that knotty problem, which gave every 
Jew a pang of conscience : whether it was lawful to 
pay tribute unto Cassar ; we hear it in the proud 
answer with which they would fain have silenced 
themselves as well as Christ : ' We be Abraham's 
children, and have not been in bondage to any man.' 
Kay, so mighty was it, that St. Paul, appealing from 
argument to the irrepressible voice of the heart, could, 
in a Eoman assembly and in presence of the Pro- 
curator himself, appeal to that Eomanised voluptuary, 
Agrippa, and his un-Jewish sister Berenice, in such 
words as these concerning the great common hope : 
' King Agrippa, believest thou the Scriptures ? I 
know that thou believest ! ' 

It was this deeper appeal to the Scriptures, or 
rather to the great Messianic hope contained in them, 
which in these Apocalyptic Pseudepigraph a presented 
an element, that found a response in many that were 
quiet in Israel, and also in some measure kept before 
their minds the great hope of the future, as so-called 
Millenarian books do in our generation. Just as 
many a one must have listened to the stern preaching 
of the Puritan in his conventicle, or of the Covenanter 
on the hill-side, who yet would not have sent a Eound 


head to battle nor a claymore to the field even 
although their hearts might beat faster, and their 
cheeks flush, at the tale of their deeds ; so were there 
many in Israel under the shadow of its glorious 
Temple, in the lonely towns of the Judssan wilderness, 
and in the far-off places of Galilee to whom, these 
Apocalyptic visions would bring thoughts, remem- 
brances, hopes of the Messiah and the Messianic Day : 
of Israel's deliverance, of God's reign, and of the con- 
version of the world. And all the more dangerous 
might such thoughts become from their conjunction 
with Nationalist aims and deeds. Thus we can per- 
ceive a new meaning in, and an absolute and press- 
ing need for, the warnings contained in the last Dis- 
courses of Jesus about the danger of false Christs. 
And so the Nationalists, in the frenzy of their de- 
spair, plunged with the one hand the dagger in the 
hearts of supposed 'trimmers,' 'backsliders,' and secret 
enemies of God whose very existence and presence 
among them turned aside the interposition of the 
Lord while they lifted the other hand on high, 
appealing to, and expecting at every moment, the 
visible help of the God of Israel, Who would rive 
the heavens, and in some terrible catastrophe anni- 
hilate the enemy in the very hour of his triumph 
and pride. But mark the contrast. In the same 
hour did the Disciples, who so well knew how sted- 
fastly to believe and calmly to die, warned and 


directed by Christ, withdraw from the doomed City 
to the quietness and retirement of Pella. And there 
and then, in the orderly course of God's trackless 
Providence, was that effected which, if it had been 
done immediately after the Death of Christ, would 
have been a violent and dangerous disruption ; but 
which was now a peaceful, natural, and necessary 
separation of the Church of the New Testament from 
the ancient Synagogue. And this also was of God 
and is to us evidential of the Mission of His 


What has been stated will in measure explain the 
object and the subject-matter of the so-called Pseud- 
epigraphic writings. They take up, and further 
develop in a peculiar direction, the predictions of 
the Old Testament ; they present them in visions of 
the future, shaped in that peculiar imagery and lan- 
guage which we call Apocalyptic ; and they do so, 
not as the outcome of the inferences or speculations 
of their writers, but as bringing direct communica- 
tions from Heaven, connected with such names as 
Enoch, Moses, Isaiah, Baruch, or Solomon. This, 
however, with notable exceptions ; since perhaps the 
most interesting of these books is that which em- 
bodies the so-called Sibylline Oracles. 

This describes one aspect of these writings. An- 
other, is their intensely Jewish character not merely 
as setting forth, the advantages and the future bliss 


of Israel, but in their references to the nations of 
the world : either hortatory, we might almost call it 
missionary, or else denunciatory ; sometimes scornful, 
but always triumphant in tone. There are other 
tendencies, and of a party character, in these writings 
mostly, as it seems to me, in opposition to the 
Pharisaic direction. Some of them are certainly of 
Hellenist origin that is, they were the work not 
only of Western Jews, but are the outcome of Hel- 
lenist thought. But even those which may be re- 
garded as springing from the soil of Palestine, 
have not a Pharisaic cast. On the contrary, they 
all breathe, more or less, the new spirit. This is 
very remarkable, and further bears witness to what 
has already been stated as important in the study of 
the origines of Christianity : that, with all its parade 
and pomp of Messianic assertion, Traditionalism 
and Eabbinism had no heart for, and very little 
sympathy with, the great Messianic hope of Israel. 
Theirs was another and, in many respects, anta- 
gonistic direction, in which the Messiah could only 
bear the part of a political deliverer. Yet another 
noteworthy point, of a different character, may here 
be mentioned. All the canonical books of the Old 
Testament have come down to us in Hebrew or 
Chaldee. But, as in the case of the Apocrypha, none 
of the Pseudepigraphic writings have been preserved 
in that language, although some of them were no 


doubt written in the tongue of Palestine. We have 
them either in the Greek, or else in Ethiopia, in 
Latin, or other version. This also forms a line of 
demarcation, not to be quite ignored by those who 
would dispute the canonicity of some of the Old 
Testament writings. 

The Pseudepigraphic writings cover the period 
from about 170 before, to about 90 after Christ. 
Those preserved to us are eight in number : The 
Book of Enoch, the Sibylline Oracles, the Psalter 
of Solomon, Little Genesis, 4th Esdras (our 2nd 
Esdras), the Ascension and Vision of Isaiah, the 
Assumption of Moses, and the Apocalypse of Baruch. 
Although, in their present form, some of them con- 
tain interpolated portions of a much later date, they 
are all deeply interesting and instructive. For, 
first, they give us an insight into the thoughts and 
expectations of the time away from Pharisaism, 
Sadduceeism, and Essenism. Secondly, they pre- 
sent to us the continuance of the great Messianic 
hope. If certain of the Apocrypha, such as the story 
of the Maccabees or of Judith, would to the old 
Jewish world have been what Foxe's 'Book of 
Martyrs' is to many of us, some of those visions 
of Israel and of the kingdom may have been eao-erly 
read in Israel as a kind of apocalyptic 'Pilgrim's 
Progress.' We can imagine a Nationalist poring, with 
burning cheeks, over these visions and predictions ; 


or some in the far-off lands of the Dispersion dwelling 
with intense delight on what presented such a blessed 
contrast to all they saw, and were constrained to ex- 
perience, in the heathen world around. But our 
thoughts ever recur to those quiet, deeply pious ones 
on Palestine's sacred soil, who may have thought 
with rapt anticipation of the prophetic truths which 
these works recalled, and the happy possibilities which 
they suggested. We know that an Apostle quotes 
from two of these writings the Book of Enoch 1 and 
the Assumption of Moses. 2 And it awakens a scarcely 
less deep interest to find, that such of the Pseud- 
epigraphic writings as date after Christ bear evident 
mark of St. Paul's influence, and this, notwithstanding 
their own decided anti-Christian tendency. 

But what, above all else, appeals to us, is the pic- 
ture of the Messiah and of the Messianic kingdom 
which these works present. To this our attention 
must next be directed as also to the relation which 
the Pseudepigrapha bear, on the one hand, to the 
prophecies of the Old Testament, and, on the other, 
to the reality, as first heralded by the Baptist, and 
then fully set forth in Christ. 

St. Jude, TV. 14, 15. * St. Jude, ver. 9. 




And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites 
from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou ? .... He said, I am the. 
voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the 
Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. ST. JOHN i. 19, 23. 

THESE words and, still more, the thoughts, of him 
who uttered them, seern to transport us into an atmo- 
sphere, different from that of the writings to which 
attention has been called in the two preceding Lec- 
tures. In truth, from the Apocryphal and Pseud- 
epigraphic writings to John the Baptist, there is an 
immense step backward, as well as forward a retro- 
gression to the Old Testament : yet not merely to 
rekindle the old light, but to kindle a new one by 
its flame. 

That this may appear more clearly, we shall have 
to give a more detailed account than in the last- 
Lecture of the Pseudepigraphic writings describing 
their character, titles, and general contents. 1 

1 I refer here only to such of the Pseudepigrapha as exist in a more 
or less complete form, not to those of which we have only fragments. 


1. There cannot, I fear, be any doubt but that 
many works belonging to this class of literature have 
perished. It is natural to suppose that writings of 
this kind would exercise a peculiar fascination on 
many minds. They were about that future into 
which we so eagerly peer, and about Israel and its 
relation to those hateful dominant Gentiles, whose 
pride was so soon to be laid low. That future 
belonged to those Jewish readers, who were the 
1 elect,' and it was painted in such wondrous outline, 
and with such bright colouring. Even the mystical 
symbolism of the language and imagery was an 
additional charm. It implied a peculiar knowledge, 
which would form an inner select circle among the 
1 elect,' who would daily make proselytes, as they 
unfolded the wonders of their discoveries, or pro- 
duced a new book a rare acquisition in those days 
or discussed the different interpretations offered. 

But of all this literature only the following eight 
books have remained none of them (as already 
stated) in Hebrew or Aramsean, and most of them 
only in first, or even second translation. 

Comp. the literature of the subject especially the edition of the 
Pseudepiyrapha by 0. F. Fritzsche, Lips. 1871 ; J. A. Fabricins, Codex 
Pseudepigr. Vet. Test., 2nd ed., 1722 ; Hilgeufeld, Messias Judceorum, 
Lips. I860; and Drunimond, The Jezvish Messiah. For later Hebrew 
Pseudepigrapha though not in the strict sense of the term see Jellinelr, 
Beth ha Midrash, 6 Parts, 1857-73. But, indeed, the literature of 
the subject is large, and, comparatively spealdug, not always easy to 


a. Probably the oldest of them is the so-called 
Book of Enoch,' numbering 108 chapters. It con- 
sists, besides a Prologue and an Epilogue, of five por- 
tions, giving an account of the fall of the angels, of 
Enoch's rapt journeys through heaven and earth, 
together with certain apocalyptic portions about the 
Kingdom of Heaven and the Advent of the Messiah. 
The oldest part of it is supposed to date from about 
150 B.C. ; the second oldest from the time of Herod 
the Great ; the date of the others cannot be fixed. 

b. ' The Sibylline Oracles,' in Greek hexameters, 
consist in their present form of twelve books. They 
are full of interpolations the really ancient portions 
forming part of the first two books, and the largest 
part of book iii. (vv. 97-807). These sections are 
deeply imbued with the Messianic spirit. They date 
from about 140 before our era, while another small 
portion of the same book is supposed to date from 
the year 32 B.C. 

c. The small collection known as the < Psalter of 
Solomon ' consists of eighteen Psalms, and probably 
dates from more than half a century before our era. 
The work, which I regard as fragmentary, breathes 
ardent Messianic expectancy. 

d. ' Little Genesis,' or ' The Book of Jubilees,' 
dates probably from about the time of Christ. It 
is a kind of supplement to the Book of Genesis, 
and breathes a strong anti-Eoman spirit. 

340 PROPHECY AND HISTORY. rams. xi. 

e. From about the same time, or a little earlier, 
dates the so-called ' Assumption of Moses ' unfortu- 
nately only a fragment of twelve chapters. It con- 
sists of an historical and an apocalyptic portion, and 
is strongly anti-Pharisaic in spirit, especially as re- 
gards purifications. This is very remarkable ; nor is 
it less interesting to find that this is one of the works 
from which St. Jude quotes (ver. 9), the other being 
the Book of Enoch (vv. 14, 15) ; and even more so, 
that St. Paul seems to have been familiar with it. 
His account of the corruptness of the men in ' the 
last times ' * so clearly corresponds with that in the 
'Assumption of Moses' (vii. 3-10), that it is difficult 
to believe the language of the Apostle had not in 
part been borrowed from it. 

f. and g. On the other hand, there are two of the 
Pseudepigrapha which bear evident reference to the 
writings of St. Paul. Both of them date after the 
destruction of Jerusalem ; but * The Apocalypse of 
Baruch ' is probably older than 4 Esdras (our apocry- 
phal 2 Esdras). The ' Apocalypse of Baruch ' is also 
unfortunately not quite complete. It consists of 
eighty-seven chapters. Our interest is stirred by 
noticing how closely some of its teaching runs along- 
side that of St. Paul either controversially, as in 
regard to the doctrine of justification ; or concili- 
atorily and intermediately, as in regard to the con- 

2 Tim. iu. 1-6. 

ttsoi. it $HE PSEUDEPIGRAPHA. B4l 

sequences of the fall in original guilt ; or imitatively, 
as in regard to the resurrection of the body. If the 
author of the 'Apocalypse of Baruch' must have 
read the Epistles of St. Paul to the Eomans and the 
First to the Corinthians, the influence of Paulina 
teaching appears even more strongly, almost exag- 
geratedly, in the statements of 4 Esdras in regard 
to the fall and original sin. 

h. Lastly among these works, we have to men- 
tion the so-called ' Ascension and Vision of Isaiah,' 
describing the martyrdom of the prophet, and con- 
taining certain Apocalyptic portions about what he 
saw in heaven. Although based on an older Jewish 
document, the book is chiefly of Christian heretical 

2. Such are the monuments left us of the ancient 
Apocalyptic or, as from their assumption of spuri- 
ous authorship it is called, Pseudepigraphic litera- 
ture. Its interest is threefold. 1st. Historical. They 
set before us another direction than either in the 
Apocrypha or in Hellenism; As previously stated, 
the Apocrypha are either historical including the 
legendary or else philosophising. They carry us 
back to the glories of Judaism, or else seek to re- 
concile it with present thought and philosophy __ 
which, indeed, is the final object of Hellenism. But 
this Apocalyptic literature represents a quite dif- 
ferent tendency. It lays, so to speak, one hand 

342 PROPHECY AM) HISTORY. Lfecr. ii. 

on the Old Testament hope, while with the other 
it gropes after the fulfilment in that dim future, 
of which it seeks to pierce the gloom. 2ndly. The 
Pseudepigrapha are of theological interest, as show- 
ing what the Jews before and about the time of 
Christ or at least one section of them were ex- 
pecting concerning the Messiah and Messianic times. 
One might indeed long to know something more 
of the personal views and feelings of yet another 
class that represented in New Testament history by 
such names as Zacharias, Elizabeth, Anna, Simeon, 
and even Joseph and the Virgin Mother, But beyond 
the thought that their steadfast gaze was bent on the 
Eastern sky, where sure prophecy taught them that 
the Sun of Righteousness would rise, we have not 
the means of associating with them anything more 
definite than intense, simple, and receptive expect- 
ancy. Srdly. Yet another, and only in one sense 
inferior, interest attaches to these writings. We 
may designate it as exegetical. For, if these books 
represent the symbolism and the form in which 
Apocalyptic thoughts presented themselves to a 
large portion of the Jewish people, it will readily be 
understood, that knowledge of it must also be of 
great importance in the study of the Apocalyptic por- 
tions of the New Testament not, indeed, as regards 
the substance, but the form and imagery of them. 
Eor our present argument, however, we only re- 


quire to present a general account of the teaching of 
these writings concerning the Messiah, and the Mes- 
sianic kingdom. Here we are not obliged to limit 
our review to such of them as are strictly pre-Chris- 
tian, since the views on this subject entertained in the 
first century of our era could not have been materially 
different from those in the preceding century. 1 

1. As regards the promise of the Messiah. Here 
we turn in the first place, and with special in- 
terest, to the ' Sibylline Oracles.' In the third book 
of these, which (in such portions as I shall quote 
from) dates from about 140 B.C., the Messiah is de- 
scribed as ' the King sent from heaven,' who would 
' judge every man in blood and splendour of fire.' 2 
And the vision of Messianic times opens with a refer- 
ence to ' the King whom God will send from the 
Sun.' 3 We cannot fail here to perceive a reference 
to Psalm Ixxii., especially as we remember that the 
Greek (LXX) rendering, which must have been pre- 
sent to the Hellenist Sibyl, fully adopted the Messianic 
application of the passage to a premundane Messiah. 
We also think of the picture drawn in the prophecies 
of Isaiah. According to the Sibylline books, King 
Messiah was not only to come, but He was to be 
specifically sent of God. He is supermundane, 

1 On this subject generally, I must refer to my book on The Life 
and Times ofJesws the Messiah, which -I have naturally followed in thia 

8 vv. 286, 287. Some have, however, referred this to Cyrus 
3 ver. 652. 


a King and a Judge of superhuman glory and splen- 
dour. And, indeed, that a superhuman kingdom, 
such as the Sibylline Oracles paint, 1 should have a 
superhuman King, seems only a natural and neces- 
sary inference. One other remark though some- 
what aside from the subject must be allowed. If, 
as certain modern critics contend, the Book of 
Daniel is not authentic, but dates from Maccabean 
times and refers to the Maccabees, it may well be 
asked to what king the Sibylline Oracles point, 
which certainly date from that period ; and what is 
the relationship between the supposed Maccabean 
prophecies of the Book of Daniel, and the certainly 
Messianic anticipations of the undoubted literature 
of that period ? 

Even more distinct than the utterances of the 
Sibylline Oracles are those of the so-called { Book 
of Enoch,' the oldest portion of which dates, as 
already stated, from about the year 150 B.C. Our 
difficulty here is, that a certain class of critics have, 
although I believe wrongly, assigned a portion of 
the book, which is full of the most interesting refer- 
ences to the Messiah as ' the Woman's Son,' ' the Son 
of Man,' the Elect,' ' the Just One,' to Christian 
authorship and interpolation. In order not to occupy 
any controverted ground, I propose to omit all refer- 
ences to these portions. But even in the admittedly 

1 vv. 652-807, passim. 


oldest part the Messiah is designated as c the Son of 
God,' l not, indeed, in the Christian sense of Eternal 
Sonship, but as indicating superiority over all crea- 
tures ; and this is further expressed by a symbolic 
description of the Messiah as He Whom * all the 
beasts of the field and all the fowls of heaven dread, 
and to Whom they cry at all times.' 2 

A still more emphatic testimony conies to us from 
tne ' Psalter of Solomon,' which dates from more than 
half a century before Christ. The King who is to 
reign is described as of the house of David. 3 He is 
the Son of David, Who comes, at a time known only 
to God, to reign over Israel. He is a righteous King, 
taught of God. He is Christ the Lord ; He is pure 
from sin, and thus can rule His people, and banish 
His enemies by His Word. God renders Him strong 
in the Holy Ghost, wise in council, with might and 
righteousness. This is the beauty of the King of 
Israel, Whom God hath chosen to set Him over the 
house of Israel to rule it.' And yet we remember 
that no descendant of David was in view in those 
dark times. 

2. I must be even more brief in my account of 
the teaching of the Pseudepigrapha about the blessed- 
ness which Israel would experience in Messianic days. 
In the Book of Enoch 4 Israel is represented as in the 

1 cv. 2. a xc. 37. xvii. 5, 23-25, 32 -So, 38, 47. 

4 Ivii., comp. xc. 33. 


Messianic days coining in carriages, and borne on 
the wings of the wind from East, and West, and 
South. Again, the Jewish Sibyl connects these three 
events : the coming of the Messiah, the rebuilding of 
the Temple, and the restoration of the Dispersed, 1 
when all nations would bring their wealth to the 
house of God. 2 The Psalter of Solomon bursts into 
this strain : s Blessed are they who shall live in those 
days in the reunion of the tribes which God brings 
about.' Then ' the King, the Son of David,' having 
purged Jerusalem and destroyed the heathen, would 
by His Word gather together a holy people and rule 
over it with justice, and judge the tribes, allotting 
to them tribal possessions, when ' no stranger would 
any longer dwell among them.' 3 In the ' Book of 
Jubilees' we are told, that God would gather 
all Israel 'from the midst of the heathen, build 
among them His Sanctuary, and dwell with them.' 
That Sanctuary was ' to be for ever and ever,' and 
God would appear in view of every one, and every 
one would acknowledge that He was 'the God of 
Israel, and the Father of all the children of Jacob, 
and King upon Mount Zion from everlasting to ever- 
lasting.' 4 We pause for a moment at these words 
of perhaps a contemporary of Christ, to realise what 
indignation it must have called forth in the hearts 

1 iii. 652-735. 2 iii. 766-783. Ps. xvii. passim. 

* i. j comp. xxxiii. 


of those who expected all this, when the charge, 
however false, was spread that He Who professed 
to be the Messiah, but was really only the carpenter 
of Nazareth, had actually proposed to destroy the 
Temple, instead of bestowing upon it eternal glory. 

On the utterances of the 4th Book of Esdras it is 
not necessary to speak at length, as the work forms 
part of our collection of Apocrypha. This only will 
we say, that if ch. xiii. 27-50 is carefully examined, 
it will be seen how deeply tinged is the prophetic 
description which it contains with the teaching of 
the Gospels and the Words of our Lord concerning* 
' the last things ' although, not as He put it, but in 
a Judaic form. In fact, it seems impossible to avoid 
the conclusion, that the writer had been acquainted 
with the Discourses about the 'Last Things.' The 
inference to which this leads as to the date of the 
Gospels of SS. Matthew and Luke need scarcely be 

3. What has been said about the * Last Things ' 
reminds us of another point connected with the Mes- 
sianic reign, to which these Pseudepigrapha refer. 
In common with all Jewish writings, they speak of a 
period of woe, commonly called the ' Sorrows of the 
Messiah.' This was to precede the Advent of the 
Christ. But it would not be difficult to point out 
the essential differences in regard to this between 
Jewish thinking and the Discourses of Christ on 


the subject, much misunderstood as they have 

We can only notice the account given in the 
Pseudepigrapha of the ' signs ' which were to usher 
in the Advent of the Messiah. Among thes*e, the 
Sibylline Books mention a kind of warfare visibly 
going on in the air, 1 swords in the starlit sky, the 
falling from it of dust, the extinction of the sun, and 
the dropping of blood from the rocks. In 4th 
Esdras 2 we find the expression of distinctly Judaic 
views, although once more tinged by New Testament 
'influence, especially as regards the moral aspect of 
these ' signs.' The Book of Jubilees 3 gives a detailed 
description of the wickedness and physical distress 
then prevailing upon earth. According to the Sibyl- 
line Books, 4 when these signs in air and sky would 
appear most fully, and the unburied bodies that 
covered the ground were devoured by birds and wild 
beasts, or swallowed up by the earth, God would 
send the King Who would put an end to all unright- 
eousness. After this would the last war against Jeru- 
salem ensue, when God would fight from heaven 
against the nations, and they ultimately submit them- 
selves to Him. 6 

Substantially the same views appear in the Book 
of Enoch expressed in symbolic language. 6 We are 

: iii. 795-806. 8 v. 1-3 ; yi. 18-28. 8 xxiii. 

iii. 633-652. s w. 660-697. 6 xc. 16-38, passim. 


told that, in the land, now restored to Israel, the Mes- 
siah-King would reign in a new Jerusalem, purified 
from all heathen elements, and transformed. That 
Jerusalem had been shown to Adam before his fall, 
but after that withdrawn, as well as Paradise. It had 
been again shown to Abraham, to Moses, and to Ezra. 
Its splendour baffled description. As regards the 
relation of the heathen nations to that kingdom, views 
differed according to the more or less Judaic stand- 
point of the writers. In the Book of Jubilees, Israel 
is promised possession of the whole earth, and ' rule 
over all nations according to their pleasure.' In the 
' Assumption of Moses ' this ascendancy of Israel is 
conjoined with vengeance upon Borne. On the other 
hand, in the Sibylline Oracles the nations are repre- 
sented as, in view of the blessings upon Israel, turning 
to acknowledge God, .when perfect mental enlighten- 
ment, absolute righteousness, as well as physical well- 
being, would prevail under the rule (literal or moral) 
of the Prophets. This, as we know, was the Hellenist 
Messianic ideal. Lastly and this marks another 
point of divergence from the New Testament the 
Pseudepigrapha uniformly represent the Messianic 
reign as eternal, and not broken by any apostasy. 
Then would the earth be renewed, and the Eesur- 
rection follow. The latter would, at least according 
to the Apocalypse of Baruch, be under the same 
conditions in which men had died, so as to prove 


that it was really a resurrection of the old. Only 
after that would the transformation of the risen take 
place the just appearing in angelic splendour, while 
the wicked would fade away. 

After this brief review, it will, I hope, be admitted 
that the evidence is complete of the existence of 
a Messianic hope during the interval between the 
close of the Canon and the corning of Christ and 
this, alike in the Grecian and the Palestinian Jewish 
world. To say that it had grown out of Old Testa- 
ment prophecy, and was intertwined with the life 
of the Jewish people, seems now only a truism. On 
the other hand, it must also be clear, that the Old 
Testament Messianic idea had undergone great, I 
had almost said terrible, modifications. As regards 
its form of presentation, it had become external and 
almost ossified. The figurative language of the Pro- 
phets had been perverted into a gross literalism, 
which gave its colouring to the picture of the Mes- 
siah and of His kingdom and reign. As regards the 
substance of the prophetic hope, we remark that 
there was not any enlargement, nor spiritual develop- 
ment, of the Old and preliminary dispensation, nor 
yet any reference to the new law to be written in 
the heart, and to the new spiritual blessings in for- 
giveness and righteousness. In short, we perceive 
not any outlook on a new state and condition of 
things : only an apotheosis of the old. The grand 



universalism, when all mankind would become chil- 
dren of the Heavenly Father, is lost behind a mere 
triumph of Judaism, thus giving place to an exclusive 
and narrow nationalism. Lastly, the moral elements 
regarding sin, repentance, spiritual preparation, and 
universal mercy in short, the distinctively Christian 
and, we may add, eternal elements, are wanting. Not 
so did the Old Testament present the Messianic hope ; 
not so could it have presented it as good tidings to 
all men. 

Before proceeding to point to the period of ful- 
filment in Christ, we may here pause to mark the 
contrast between the Messianic idea, as presenced in 
almost contemporary literature, and the preaching 
of the Baptist, and still more, that of the Christ 
"Whom he announced. We think of that herald-voice 
in the wilderness calling to repentance and spiritual 
preparation ; still more, of the Christ Himself, with 
the words, f Our Father ' ever on His lips ; with 
the deeds of eternal compassion and eternal mercy 
ever in His life ; with the love of absolute self-sur- 
render and self-sacrifice in His death ; and we realise 
this as the meaning and outcome of His Mission that 
He has opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all be- 
lievers. We think of His world-Mission and of the 
regeneration of man, and of His teaching to all 
mankind, whether Jews or Gentiles, We remember 
that, of the many hopes which He kindled, of the 


many expectations of which He brought the realisa- 
tion, He, a Jew and the Jewish Messiah, was only 
silent on one, but this the only one which occupied 
His contemporaries the glorification of Israel, and 
its exaltation. His kingdom was to be within the 
soul : of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the 
Holy Ghost. Surely, this Christ, Whom the Gospels 
present to us so Jewish, and yet so utterly un- 
Jewish this King of Israel and Desire of all nations, 
was in very truth the fulfilment and the completion 
of the Old Testament promise the Sent-of-God 
not merely Jeshua, the Carpenter's Son of Nazareth 
in Galilee, nor yet the outcome of the Messianic 
thoughts and expectancy of His time and of its con- 
ceptions. And as we realise the essential difference 
between this Christ of all humanity, Who meets the 
inmost wishes and the deepest craving of our hearts 
and that of the Jewish ideal, we feel that both He 
and His teaching must have been of God. 




And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou 
shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways. ST. LUKE i. 76. 

THE more we succeed in transporting ourselves into 
those times, the less shall we wonder that multitudes 
flocked to the preaching of the Baptist, from ' Jeru- 
salem and all Judea, and all the region round about 
Jordan.' It was, indeed, in more than the barely 
literal sense, 'A Voice crying in the wilderness.' 
Never before in the history of Israel had there been 
such absence of every prospect of a new life. If, 
on the eve of the rising of the Maccabees, heathen 
opposition had been more systematic and cruel, im- 
perilling the very existence of Judaism, there was at 
least a reaction in Israel, a conflict, and the pos- 
sibility, if not the prospect, of national deliverance. 
But only wild fanatics could, unless maddened by 
despair, have hoped to shake off the rule of Eome, 
represented by the insolence and tyranny of a Pilate. 
With such a governor in place of the Son of David, 
with the High Priesthood almost hereditary in the 

A A 

354 PEOPHECY AND flISTOElf. riser, xii 

proverbially corrupt and avaricious fumily of Annas, 
the condition of tilings seemed hopeless; while with- 
in Israel itself the life-blood of the Old Testament 
could scarcely pulsate any longer through the ossified 
arteries of Traditionalism and Babbinism. The self- 
righteousness and externalisrn of the Pharisees, the 
indifference and pride of the Sadducees, the semi- 
heathen mysticism of the Essenes, the wild extrava- 
gance into which Nationalism was running, all this 
was, indeed, making the once pleasant land a moral 

And now, of a sudden, ' the Yoice' was heard in 
the wilderness ! It was not that of Pharisee, Sad- 
ducee, Essene, or Nationalist and yet the Baptist 
combined the best elements of all these directions. 
He insisted on righteousness, though not in the sense 
of the Pharisees ; nay, his teaching was a protest 
against their externalism, since it set aside the 
ordinances of Traditionalism, though not after the 
manner of the Sadducees. John also practised 
asceticism and withdrew from the world, though not 
in the spirit of the Essenes ; and as regarded Nation- 
alism, none so zealous as the Baptist for the Kingship 
of Jehovah and the rule of heaven, though not as 
the Nationalists understood it. The Baptist was an 
altogether unique personality in that corrupt age. 
Even a Herod Antipas heard him ; even a Josephus 
recorded his life and woik; even the Pharisees 


and priests from Jerusalem sent a deputation to 
inquire nay, to ask him (so truthful was he, and so 
little suspected of mere fanaticism) whether he was 
'the coming One,' or .Elijah, or one of the prophets. 
Let us see what light his history and preaching 
reflect on the great Messianic hope of old, and on its 
fulfilment in the New Testament. 

1. The character and life of the Baptist prove 
him to have been sent of God. It is not easy to speak 
of him in moderate language. Assuredly, among 
those born of women there was none greater than he. 
We can picture to ourselves his child-life : how, speci- 
ally God-given, he was trained in the home of those 
parents whom Holy Scripture describes as ' righteous 
before God, walking in all the commandments and 
ordinances of the Lord, blameless.' When he had 
attained the legal age, he would (or might) take 
part in the services of the Temple as a priest ; 
and he must have witnessed them, long before that 
period. In Jerusalem he must have been brought 
into contact with the world of Jewish thought and 
religious life. But neither of. these could hold, nor 
'yet turn him aside from that calling for which at his 
Annunciation the Angelic message had designated him. 

What the years of solitude and meditation in 
the wilderness, that followed, were to him, we can 
only infer from his after-life and preaching. That 
they were years of self-discipline, we learn from his 

A A.2 


self-abnegation, which rises to the sublimity of en- 
tire self-forgetfulness. That they did not issue in 
mental and moral hardening, to which such ascetic 
life might naturally lead, we infer even from his 
openness to doubt, and from the intense sensitiveness 
of his conscience, which appears in that sublimely 
heroic and most deeply touching incident of his 
closing life the embassy of inquiry which he sent 
to Christ from his dungeon. And that he was most 
true and most truthful, who can doubt that considers 
what it must have cost such a man at the close, 
nay, near the martyrdom, of such a life, openly to 
have stated his difficulties, and to have publicly sent 
such a message. That he was simple, absolutely 
self-surrendering, and trustful, almost as a child, 
every act of his life testifies. That he feared not 
the face of man, nor yet courted his favour, but 
implicitly acted under a constraining sense of duty 
as in the sight of God, his bearing alike towards the 
Pharisees and before Herod amply proves. But 
above all, it is his generosity, and his unselfishness, 
and absolute self-abnegation, which impress us. In a 
generation pre-eminently self-righteous, vain-glorious, 
and self-seeking, when even on the last journey to 
Jerusalem the two disciples nearest to Christ could 
only think of pre-eminence of place in the kingdom, 
and when, in the near prospect of suffering to the 
Master, a Peter could ask: What shall we have? 



when, even at the last nieal, the disciples marred the 

solemn music of this farewell by the discord of their 

wrangle about the order of rank in which they were 

to be seated at the Supper the Baptist stands alone 

in his life and in his death : absolutely self-forgetful. 

Here we would specially remind ourselves of the 

two high-points in the personal history of John. 

The first of these is marked by the events recorded 

in St. John iii. 25-30. Nay, the ascent to it had 

begun even before that. It was on the very first 

Sabbath of John's emphatic testimony to Jesus as 

the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the 

world, that the two who stood beside him, his 

most intimate and close disciples shall we not also 

call them his friends John and Andrew, following 

the heavenly impulse that drew their souls, forsook 

their master for the yet silent Christ. It was only 

the beginning of a far wider defection. Not long 

afterwards his remaining disciples and we almost 

love them for this generosity of their wrongful zeal 

of affectionate attachment came to him with these, 

to them, so distressing tidings : ' Master, He who 
was with Thee beyond Jordan to Whom thou bearest 
witness, behold, the same baptiseth, and all men 
come to Him.' So then it seemed as if every tangible 
token of success in a life of such self-denial and 
labour were to be utterly taken away ! The multi- 
tude had turned from him to another, to Whom 


he had borne witness ; and even the one solitary 
badge of his distinctive mission baptism was no 
longer solely his. But immediately we have the 
sublime answer which the Baptist made to his 
disciples : ' Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I 
said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before 
Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom ; 
but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth 
and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the 
bridegroom's voice : this my joy therefore is ful- 
filled. He must increase, but I must decrease.' JSTot 
to murmur, but even to rejoice in his seeming failure 
of success, so that his preparatory work merged 
in the greater Mission of the Christ ; and not in 
the hour of exaltation, when most of us feel as 
if we could find room for nobler sentiments, but in 
the hour of failure, when we, mostly all, become 
intensely self-conscious in our disappointments to 
express it, not in the resignation of humility, but 
with the calm of joyous conviction of its rightness 
and meetness : that he was not worthy to loose 
the latchet of His sandal this implies a purity, 
simplicity and grandeur of purpose, and a strength 
of conviction, unsurpassed among men. And, to 
me at least, the moral sublimity of this testimony 
of John seems among the strongest evidences in 
confirmation of the Divine claims and the Mission of 


There was yet another high-point in the life of 
the Baptist though in a very different direction. 
Here evidence comes to us from the opposite pole 
in his inner life: not from the strength, but from 
the trial of his faith. Months had passed since his 
dreary imprisonment at Macchaerus, and yet not 
one step would, or perhaps could, the Christ 
take on behalf, or for the vindication, of him who 
had announced Him as the coming King. And the 
tidings which reached the Baptist in his lonely 
dungeon about the new Christ, as One Who ate and 
drank with publicans and sinners, were seemingly 
the opposite of what he had announced, when he 
had proclaimed Him as the Judge Whose axe would 
cut down the barren tree, and Whose fan would 
throughly sift His floor. Or oh, thought too 
terrible for utterance ! might it all have been only 
a dream, an illusion ? In that dreadful inward 
conflict the Baptist overcame, when he sent his 
disciples with the question straight to Christ Him- 
self. For such a question, as addressed to a pos- 
sibly false Messiah, could have had no meaning. 
John must have still believed in Him when he sent 
to Christ with the inquiry reported both by St. 
Matthew (xi. 2-6), and St. Luke (vii. 18-23) : ' Art 
Thou He that should come, or do we look for 
another?' But at what cost of suffering must it 
have been that the Baptist did overcome, and what 

360 PEOPHECY AND HISTORY. racrr. xnr. 

evidence of truthfulness, earnestness, and nobility of 
heart and purpose does it reveal ! And there is yet 
another aspect of it. Assuredly, a man so entirely 
disillusioned as the Baptist must have been in that 
hour, could not have been an impostor, nor yet his 
testimony to Christ a falsehood. Nor yet could 
the record which shows to us such seeming weak- 
ness in the strong man, and such doubts in the great 
testimony-bearer, be a cunningly devised fable. I 
repeat, that here also the evidential force of the 
narrative seems irresistible, and the light most bright 
which the character and history of the Baptist shed 
on the Mission of Christ. 

2. In what has been said we have already in part 
anticipated the next point in our argument. And 
yet something remains here to be added. For the 
character and life of the Baptist cannot be viewed as 
isolated from his preaching. On the contrary, they 
reflect the strongest light on it, even as, conversely, 
his preaching reflects light on his character and life. 
One who was, and lived, as the Baptist must also 
have been true in his preaching ; one who believed, 
and therefore preached, as the Baptist must have 
been true in his life. And both his preaching and 
his life shed light on the great Old Testament hope, 
and on its realisation in Christ. 

When we ask ourselves what had determined 
the Baptist, after so many years of solitude in. the 


wilderness, to come forth into such blazing light of 
publicity, to which his eyes had been so unaccus- 
tomed, and to face those multitudes, to whom he 
had so long been a stranger, with a message so novel 
and startling, his own account of it leaves us not in 
doubt of the motive for a change so complete, and, 
as we view it, so uncongenial to him. Unhesita- 
tingly, to every kind of audience and inquiry > and 
with unwavering assurance, he tells it yet not 
in fanatical language that a direct call had come 
to him from God ; a direct mission and definite mes- 
sage had been entrusted to him from heaven. It 
was to announce the Christ, and to prepare for Him, 
His public appearance, his call to repentance, his 
proclamation, his warnings, his baptism, his instruc- 
tion to his converts all imply, that in his inmost 
soul he felt, and that he acted, as sent directly from 
God. And not only so, but he also expressly tells us 
that he had a sign Divinely given him, by which 
actually to recognise Him, Whose near Advent was to 
be the burden of his preaching. 'And I knew Him 
not ; but He that sent me to baptise with water, the 
same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the 
Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same 
is He which baptiaeth with the Holy Ghost.' From 
this it at least follows, that the Baptist himself enter- 
tained no doubt oi his Divine commission to his 
special work. < 


One theory in explanation of his assertion we 
shall, I think, all dismiss almost instinctively. Cer- 
tainly the Baptist did not speak conscious falsehood ; 
certainly, he was not an impostor. Of the other 
alternative remaining we may, with almost equal 
confidence, put aside the supposition that his had 
been the dream of a fanatic. This is contradicted 
by all the facts of his life. There is not anything 
connected with it which we could designate as 
fanatical. And there is much to be urged in the 
opposite direction. To begin with : it were difficult 
to understand how fanaticism could at once attach 
itself to One Whom, as he tells us, he had not even 
known before He came to him for baptism, and 
Whose life had hitherto been one of the utmost 
privacy, and under so unpromising circumstances as a 
carpenter's home in the far-off Nazareth of that Galilee, 
which the Judaeans held in such supreme contempt. 

Other considerations also are opposed to the 
theory of fanaticism. A fanatic would, in the cir- 
cumstances, have at once identified himself with, and 
attached himself to Him, Whom he proclaimed as 
the Messiah ; and he would have appeared promi- 
nent in His following. John remained alone, content 
to do his humble work, and willing to retire from the 
scene when he had done it. Again, a fanatic would 
have been alienated by the loss of his own adherents, 
and disappointed when he had to retire into obscurity 


and forsakenness. John accepted it, and rejoiced 
in it, as the goal of his mission. A fanatic would, 
in the peculiar circumstances, have been thoroughly, 
and also irretrievably, disillusioned by imprisonment 
and the prospect of martyrdom. And the Baptist was 
disillusioned of many of the expectations which he 
had apparently connected with the kingdom, when he 
had announced that the axe was already laid to the 
root of the tree. He was disillusioned of these, and 
therefore he sent his final inquiry to Christ ; but he 
was not disillusioned of the Christ, and therefore he 
sent his disciples to Him. But why should we hesitate 
to believe what so naturally suggests itself in view of 
the character and life of the Baptist : that this good, 
true, unselfish, strong man, spoke what was real, and 
therefore acted what was true, when he declared 
himself to have been Divinely commissioned to an- 
nounce, and to prepare for, the coming Saviour ? 

And, as we further look at it, is it not quite 
opposed to the theory of fanaticism, and quite 
accordant with belief in his true Divine commis- 
sion, that what the Baptist enjoined as preparation 
for the kingdom was so simple and unfanatical. He 
preached not asceticism, nor long days of fasting 
and devotion ; not enforced poverty, nor prescribed 
sacrifices, but repentance, and then a return into 
ordinary life, only with a new moral purpose, and 
a new resolve to sanctify every occupation, however 


lowly or full of temptation, by a simple and earnest 
walk with God. It is not thus that a Jewish fanatic 
of those days would have spoken to the soldiers of 
Herod, nor to the publicans of Borne, nor to sinners, 
nor even to the self-righteous who gathered to his 
baptism, and asked his direction. Nor is it in such 
manner that a Jewish fanatic of those days would 
have spoken nor yet even the most advanced in 
what represents the extreme opposite, or Hellenist, 
direction when he addressed the Jewish people as 
a ' generation of vipers,' or referred to them as a tree 
to the root of which the axe was laid. We cannot 
find anything elsewhere, in any sense, parallel or 
even analogous to it. For such language we must 
go back to an Isaiah or a Jeremiah. Nor yet would 
a Jewish fanatic of those days have said to the 
Jewish people : ' Begin not to say within yourselves, 
We have Abraham to our father : for I say unto 
you, That God is able of these stones to raise up 
children unto Abraham.' Eroin all that we have 
learned of the history of Israel ; from all that we 
have gathered of its literature, whether in the Apo- 
crypha or the Pseudepigrapha, we can at least draw 
this one unassailable conclusion that anything more 
un-Jewish than what John preached, or more unlike 
his times, could not be imagined. Assuredly, it 
must have come to him as a new fact, and a new 
message, directly from heaven. 


And, lastly, as we compare the descriptions in 
the Pseudepigrapha, the utterances of the Eabbis, and 
the well-known expectations entertained by the people, 
with what John the Baptist announced concerning the 
coming kingdom, as one not of outward domination 
and material bliss, but of inward righteousness and 
acknowledgment of God even the most prejudiced 
must admit, that if he were a Jewish fanatic, it was 
at least not in the language of Jewish fanaticism 
that he spoke by the banks of Jordan. 

A similar conclusion is reached when we approach 
the subject from the opposite direction, and ask our- 
selves what light the preaching of the Baptist reflects 
on his character and life. Here the one clear out- 
standing fact is, that the burden of John's preach- 


ing was the announcement of the Advent of the 
kingdom and of its King. And this, not as some- 
thing new, nor yet, on the other hand, as answering 
to the expectations of his contemporaries, but solely 
as the fulfilment of the Old Testament promise. 
All else in his work and preaching was either pre- 
paration for, or the sequence from, this announce- 
ment. At the very outset of his mission this is 
placed in the forefront: 'As it is written in the 
book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, 
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare 
ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.' 
And this key-note of his preaching is heard in almost 


every recorded utterance of Ms. It would be diffi- 
cult, without a detailed examination, to convey how 
constantly the Baptist recurs to Old Testament pro- 
phecy, and how full his language and its imagery 
are of it. His mind seems saturated with the Old 
Testament Messianic hope, especially as presented in 
the prophecies of Isaiah, and we cannot but con- 
clude that, during those many years of his solitary 
life in the wilderness, this had been the very food 
and drink of his soul. If with reverence be it said 
the Mission of Jesus Christ might be summed up 
in the words : c Our Father which art in heaven,' that 
of His forerunner is contained in these : Lo, the 
kingdom of Grod, promised of old to our fathers ! 

To make this statement more clear, let us think 
of the Old Testament sources of the few recorded 
sentences in the Baptist's preaching. For such ex- 
pressions of his as : * generation of vipers,' we refer 
to Isaiah lix. 5 ; for the ' planting of the Lord,' of 
which he speaks, to Isaiah v. 7 ; the reference to 
these 'trees' recalls Isaiah vi. 13; x. 15, 18, 33; 
xl. 24 ; that to the ' fire ' reminds us of Isaiah i. 31 ; 
ix. 18 ; x. 17 ; v. 24 ; xlvii. 14 ; the ' floor ' and the 
' fan ' are those of Isaiah xxi. 10 ; xxviii. 27, &c. ; 
xxx. 24 ; xl. 24 ; xli. 15, &c. ; the duty of the peni- 
tent to give e bread and raiment to the poor ' is that 
enjoined in Isaiah Iviii. 7 ; while ' the garner' of which 
John speaks is that of Isaiah xxi. 10. Besides these we 



mark the Isaiah reference in his baptism (Isaiah lii. 15 ; 
i. 16), and especially that to * the Lamb of God' 
(Isaiah liii.) ; while, lastly, in reply to his final inquiry 
through his disciples, Christ points to a solution of his 
doubts,' in accordance with the prophecies of Isaiah, 
xxxv. 5, 6 ; Ixi. 1 ; viii. 14, 15. 

^ n( j ,to sum up in one sentence this part of our 
argument if what has been stated in detail is incom- 
patible with the theory that John spoke and acted as 
a Jewish fanatic, it is, on the other hand, the fact, 
that his character, life, and history, as set before us 
in the Gospels, are absolutely consistent with the 
declaration which he so solemnly made, and upon 
which he died, that he had been directly sent of 
God to announce the near fulfilment in Christ Jesus 
of that great Messianic hope of the Old Testament 
which had set his own soul on fire. 

One step in the argument still remains although 
I almost shrink from taking it. I have in the pre- 
ceding course of Lectures endeavoured to show how 
the great hope of the Old Testament gradually un- 
folded ; I have followed its progression through the 
long ages to the period when the last prophet came, 
who summed up all Old Testament prophecy, con- 
centrated and reflected its light, and pointed to Him 
in Whom was the fulfilment. If I were to attempt 
describing how completely the Eeality answers to the 
portraiture by the Prophets, I would have to pass 


in review the entire history of ' the Man of Sorrows, 7 
the Sacrifice of the Great High Priest, the teaching 
of the Prophet of the New Covenant, the spiritual 
glory of the King in His beauty, and the provision 


which He has made, to which, not they of that gener- 
ation, but all the faithful and true-hearted, from East 
and West, and North and South, are bidden welcome, 
together with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Here we must pause since any attempt at com- 
parison between our Lord and even those who stood 
closest to Him, and were most transformed into 
His likeness, seems almost irreverence. This only 
will I say, that if we think of the Baptist, or of his 
utterances, by the side of those of Christ, we feel that, 
however pure and elevated, they still occupy merely 
Old Testament ground. Christ stands alone in His 
Kingdom. John is within the porch ; Christ has 
stepped forth into the free air, into the new light 
and the heavenly life. And He has brought it to us 
and to all men. 

In conclusion, I desire simply to indicate three 
great points which seem to mark the fulfilment of 
all in Christ. They are : First, the finality of the 
New Testament. We are no longer in presence 
of preparatory institutions, nor do we expect any 
further religious development in the future. All is 
now completed and perfected. Secondly, we mark 
the universality of the New Testament dispensation 


and Church, as no longer hemmed in by national 
boundaries, or narrowed by national privileges, nor 
yet hindered by any limitation, intellectual or spiri- 
tual.- It is a universal Church : for all men, for all 
times, for all circumstances. Thirdly, we are in view 
of this great characteristic spirituality. To every 
one of us the Kingdom of God, with its blessings, 
comes directly from God ; everyone is to be taught 
from above, and taught by the Holy Spirit ; and to 
each the teaching is in its principle, perfect ; in its 
character, heavenly; and in its nature, a spiritual 
life planted within the heart, unfolding and develop- 
ing even to the completeness of the better state, and 
the ' many mansions ' of the Father's house. If 
Christ had taught mankind no more than this, ' Our 
Father, which art in heaven,' if He had opened no 
other vision, given no other hope than that of the 
4 many mansions,' He would have reflected the 
light of heaven upon earth, removed its woes, light- 
ened its burdens, sweetened its sorrows, and smoothed 
its cares. Even so would He have been to mankind 
the fulfilment of the great Messianic hope of a uni- 
versal brotherhood of peace and of holiness. But 
He has been more than this. He hath done what He 
hath said ; He hath given what He hath promised. 
In Him is the Keality of all, and to all ages. In the 
fullest meaning of it, He is ' the Light to lighten the 
Gentiles, and the Glory of His people Israel.' 




Passages -with the Name 
of Elohim 

Farts Intercalated 

Passages with the Name 
of Jehovah 

Gen. i. 1-ii. 3 


v. 30-32 


-vii. 11-16 (with- 
out the three 
last words) 

vii. 18 

vii. 19 (perhaps) 

vii. 20-22 

vii. 24 
viii. 1-19 

ix. 28, 29 

xl 10-26 

Gen. ii. 4-iii. 24 

Gen. iv. 1-26 

vi. 5-8 

vii. 1-9 

vii. 16 (the three 

last words) 
vii. 10 

i iv 

vu. 17 

vii. 19 (perhaps) 

vii. 23 

viii. 20-22 
ix. 18-27 

x. 1-32 
xi. 1-9 

B B 2 



Passages with the Name 
of Elohim 

Parts Intercalated 

Passages with the Name 
of Jehovah 

Gen. xi. 27-32 

xvii. 1-27 

xix. 29-38 
xx. 1-17 

xxi. 2-32 
xxii. 1-10 

xxii. 20-24 
xxiii. 1-20 

xxv. 7-11 
xxv. 19, 20 

xxvi. 34, 35 
xxviii. 1-9 

xxviii. 12, 17, 
18-22 (partly) 

xxx. 1-13 

xxx. 17-19 

xxx. 20 (the 

xxx. 21-24 (in 

the middle) 

M xxxi, 2 

xxxi. 4-48 

xxxi. 50-64 

xxxii. 1-33 

xxxiii. 1-17 

xxxiii. 18-34 

Gen. xiv. 

Gen. xii.-xiii. 18 

n : 


xviii.-xix. 28 

xx. 18 

xxi, 1 

xxi. 33, 34 

xxii. 11-19 

xxiv. 1-67 

xxv. 1-7 

xxv. 12-18 

xxv. 21-34 

xxvi. 1-33 

xxvii. 1-46 

xxviii. 10-22 

,, xxix. 135 
xxx. 14-16 

xxx. 20 (the 

zxx. 24 (the 

n xxxi. 1 

xxxi. 3 



Passages with the Name 
of Elohim 

Parts Intercalated 

Passages -with the Name 
of Jehovah 

Gen. xxxiii. 31 

I xxxv. 1-29 

xxxvi. 1-36 


xlviii. 1-22 

xlix. 29-33 



Perhaps Gen. xxxiii. 
18, until xxxiv. 31 

Gen. xxxvi. 1-43 

xlix. 1-27 

Gen. xxxviii. 1-30 
,, xxxix. 1-23 

xlvii. 28-31 
xlix. 1-28 





A GENERAL sketch, by way of analysis of the Pentateuch 
and of its criticism, may be helpful, if not to the student, 
yet to the general reader. For the materials of it I am 
indebted to Kleinert, 'Abriss der Einleitung zum Alten 
Testament.' To this analysis I propose to add an enumera- 
tion of the passages, which Wellhausen designates as com- 
posing QP ; and, lastly, a brief notice of some of the 
Laws especially in the 'Priest-Code' which the Eabbis 
found necessary to modify, for the purpose of adapting 
them to the later circumstances of the people. 

I. Analysis of the Pentateuch-Legislation (according to 

Bertheau and others'). 

The Pentateuch-Legislation forms one connected whole, 
which consists of these three parts : 

1 . The fundamental Institutions of civil and religious 
life : Exod. xx.-xxiii. ; and Lev. xviii.-xx. Closely connected 
with these are the sections: Exod. xxxiv. 11-26 ; xiii. 2-16 ; 
Numb, xxxiii. 51, &c. The (first) Exodus group of Laws 
(xx.-xxiii.) is based on the manifestation of Jehovah, as the 
Deliverer from Egyptian bondage ; the Leviticus-group on 
that of Jehovah as the Holy One. 

2. The Laws relating to Worship (the Sanctuary, priest- 
hood, sacred observances and seasons), which constitute the 
main portion of the legislation between Exodus xxv. and 


lumbers xix. They involve a detailed system of symbol- 
ism as regards objects, measurements, and numbers. Such 
notices as Lev. vii. 37, 38 ; xi. 46, 47 ; xiii. 59 ; xiv. 54, 
55; xv. 32, 33, show, that the groups of Laws to which 
they are attached must have circulated as rubrics among 
the priesthood, 

3. The Deuteronomio Laws, Deut. v.-xxvi., referring to 
the civic relations of the people. In part they reproduce 
the legislation of the middle books of the Pentateuch but 
with the special object of making religion more matter of 
the heart, and of softening manners ; while, in part, they 
are intended to adapt the former legislation to the settle- 
ment of the people in Canaan. This part of the Pentateuch 
was intended for popular instruction ; it contains a sort of 
popular * constitution ; ' and lays special stress on one central 

The legislation of the middle books is arranged in sec- 
tions, grouped, especially, around the numbers 7 and 10 ; 
and, whereas in Deuteronomy it is generally Moses who is 
introduced as the speaker, in the middle books it is almost 
always Grod Who speaks. 

II. Testimony of the Pentateuch itself as to its Authorship. 
The Pentateuch ascribes its authorship to Moses. Here 
we note the following, as expressly attributed to him : 

1. The Book of 'The Covenant ' (Exod. xxxiv. 10-26), 
in Exod. xxiv. 4, 7; comp. xx. 1. 

2. 'The Covenant' (Exod. xx. 2-xxiii. 33), in Exod. 
xxxiv. 27. 

3. The account of 'the Journeys ' (Numb, xxxiii. 3-49), 
in Numb, xxxiii. 2. 

4. The 'Book ' concerning Amalek 1 in Exod. xvii; 14. 

1 Supposed to le referred to in Deut. xxy. 17-19. 

376 APPENDIX n. 

5. 'The Book of the Law ' in Dent. xxxi. 9-11 ; 24-26. 

6. e The Song ' of Moses (Deut. xxxii.) in Dent. xxxi. 22. 
All these notices apply to particular sections of the 

Pentateuch, except Deut. xxxi. 911; 2426, which may 
refer to the whole Law. 

III. References to the Pentateuch in other parts of the 

Old Testament. 

1. The Law [Thorah] of the Lord is referred to as in 
actual existence, and as well known : Ps. xii. 6 ; xvii. 4 ; 
xviii. 22 ; xix. 7 ; xxxvii. 31 ; and in Ps. cxix. ; Amos ii. 4 ; 
Hos. iv. 6 ; vi. 7 ; viii. 1 ; Jer. ix. 12 ; xi. 2 ; xvi. 11 ; xviii. 
18 ; xxxi. 32 ; xliv. 10, 23 ; Zeph. iii. 4; and in the follow- 
ing passages in the historical books : 2 Sam. xxii. 23 ; 1 
Kings vi. 12 &c. ; ix. 4 ; xi. 33 ; 2 Kings x. 31 ; 1 Chron. 
xxii. 12 ; 2 Chron. xv. 3 ; xix. 10; Ezra vii. 10. 

(The above are irrespective of verbal references, and 
allusions to notices and events in the Pentateuch.) 

2ndly. There are references to the Pentateuch as written, 
or a 'book,' in Ps. xl. 7, 8 ; Hosea viii. 12 ; Jer. viii. 8 ; 
comp. xxxi. 33. And in the historical books : Josh. i. 8 ; 
viii. 31 ; xxiv. 26 ; 2 Kings xi. 12 ; xiv. 6 ; xxii. 8 ; xxiii. 
3, 21, 24 ; 2 Chron. xvii. 9 ; Neh. ix. 3. 

3rdly. There are references to the Law as specifically 
that of Moses in Mai. iv. 4; Dan. ix. 11, 13; and in the 
historical books : Josh. i. 7 ; viii. 31 ; xxii. 5 ; xxiii. 6 ; 

1 Kings ii. 3 ; 2 Kings xiv. 6 ; xviii. 6, 12 ; 2 Chron. 
xxiii. 18; xxv. 4; xxxiv. 14; xxxv. 12; Ezra iii. 2; vi. 
18 ; vii. 6 ; Neh. viii. 1, 14. 

(The Commandments, as commanded by the Prophets 
Ezra ix. 11 are distinguished from the Law of Moses in 

2 Kings xvii. 13 ; Zech. vii. 12 ; comp. Dan. ix. 10, 11 5 

6kftioix>x VIEW. 87? 

tbat of the Pentateuch being specifically designated as * the 
Law, ' Neh. x. 34. 

IV. Testimony of Tradition concerning the Pentateuch. 

1. The earliest testimony of the Synagogue and the 
Church is to the effect, that Moses wrote the whole Penta- 
teuch, with the exception of the last eight verses, which 
were added by Joshua. So in Babha B. 14 6. According 
to Josephus l and Philo, 2 the last eight verses are also 
Mosaic. According to Ber. 12 6 ; Meg. 22 a ; Taan. 27 ct, 
the division into Parashahs and verses is also due to Moses. 

2. The later Judseo-Christian tradition is thus expressed 
by Tertullian : 3 f Hierosolymis Babylonica expugnatione 
deletis ornne instrumentum Judaicse literature per Esdram 
constat restauratum esse.' 4 

Y. Modern Orthodox View. 

The whole Pentateuch, with the exception of the closing 
section, was written by Moses. This closing section is vari- 
ously denned as commencing at Deut. xxxi. 1 ; Deut. xxxi. 
24; Deut. xxxii. 44; Deut. xxxii. 48 ; and Deut. xxxiii. 1. 
The view just described is supported by the following 
arguments : 

1. That it is that of the Synagogue and of the New 

2. That it is borne out by the references in the Old 
Testament which we have already quoted. 

3. That the Pentateuch has a unique literary character 
of its own, differing from that of the other books in the Old 

1 Ant. iv. 8. 48. De VM Mosis, iii. 39. 

De Sab. Mulieb. Si. * Oomp. 4 Esdr. xiv. 18 &c. 

378 APPENDIX it 

4. That the historical notices, as also the subsequent. 
books, of the Old Testament necessarily presuppose the 
existence of the Pentateuch. 

5. That the account in the four last books of the 
Pentateuch gives the impression of having been written by 
an eye-witness, and that Genesis could not have been com- 
posed posterior to these books. 

6. That the theory which treats the Pentateuch as con- 
sisting of different documents, dating from different periods, 
is unproved, unsatisfactory, and open to many objections, 
and leaves room for every variety of differing opinions, 
thus showing its unreliableness. 

(The difference in the use of the Names of (rod, and 
other supposed marks of different authorship are explained 
as intentional. At the same time, many writers on the 
orthodox side have admitted the existence of later glosses in 
the Pentateuch.) 

VI. General Objections of Negative Criticism to the Mosaic 
Authorship of the Pentateuch. 

1. Moses appears in the Pentateuch as belonging to a 
period of history that is past; his character is discussed, 
and his death related. 1 " 

2. Not only the pre-Mosaic, but the Mosaic history is 
told not in a regular manner, but incompletely, and not always 
clearly, while large periods of it are altogether omitted. 

3. There are in the Pentateuch twofold relations of the 
same events, contradictions, and also narratives which ex- 
pressly refer to other sources. 

4. From the geographical point of view, the notices are 

1 Oomp. here Exod. vi. 26, 27; xi. 3; Deut. xxxiii. 4; Numb, xii 
3, 6 ; Deut. xxxiv. 


such as to show that the Pentateuch dates after the settle- 
ment in Canaan ; while, from the historic point of view, 
there are references to the time of Moses as one already 
past, and to events and names which imply a later date. 

5. The legislation of the Pentateuch is not only ex- 
clusively adapted to the settlement in Canaan, but seems to 
imply a lengthened development following upon the latter. 

These and similar objections have, it is hoped, been 
sufficiently met in Lectures VII. and VIII., or, at least, 
principles have been laid down which are of easy applica- 
tion to such objections ; while reasons have been adduced 
which render the theory of a late composition of the Penta- 
teuch untenable. 

VII. Analysis of the supposed Structure of the 

The modern (more or less negative) School of Critics, to 
which frequent reference has been made, supposes the Pen- 
tateuch to embody, besides certain ancient pieces, three 
great, and some subsidiary, documents the whole having 
been afterwards ( redacted ' into one work. 

A. The supposed very ancient (partly Mosaic) pieces 
and fragments in the Pentateuch are stated to be the 
foll6wing : 

1. The Decalogue, Exod. xx. 1-17. 

2. The substance of the song, Exod. xv. 

3. A number of legislative and dogmatic utterances, and 
remains of ancient popular poems. 

4. The main body of ritual laws : Lev. i.-vii. ; xi.-xvii. ; 
Numb. xix. 

5. The sketch of the tabernacle, Exod. xxv.-xxxi. 

6. Diverse fragments of popular books, chiefly bio- 


7. The ' Book of the Covenant, ' Exod. xxi.-xxiii. 

8. The law about the Amalekites in Dent. xxv. 17-19. 

9. The main body of the Laws in Lev. xviii.-xx. 
10. The basis of Dent, xxxiii. 

B. But the main body of the Pentateuch is supposed to 
consist of the following three documents : 

1. The work of the Elohist, also called the * 1st Elohist,' 
' the original document,' ' the Book of the Origins,' ' the 
Annalist,' &c. This document is supposed to embrace the 
main body of ritual laws (all Leviticus), and a continuous 
historical narrative, from Genesis i. to Deut. xxxiv., although 
scanty in extent and details. The historical narrative 
marks three stages. In the first, Grod is designated as 
Elohim ; in the second, as El Shaddai ; and only from the 
Exodus onwards as Jahveh. Corresponding to these are 
three stages of the Covenant: that of peace with the 
world ; of promise to the fathers ; and of the Law with 
Israel. No ritual observances appear enjoined previously 
to the Legislation on Mount Sinai, although the principal 
epochs are marked by theocratic institutions. The style and 
conception of the work are easily distinguishable : in older 
times, simple and reverent; in Mosaic times, priestly. 
The legislation is carried out almost upon a system hence, 
frequently of an abstract character. The genealogies are 
marked by a regard for special numbers. 

(The widest differences prevail as to "the date of the 
historical and the ritual portions of this work, and whether 
they are due to one or two authors ; as also which of the 
two is the older. On these points details would be here out 
of place. We only remark that opinions differ as to the date 
of the composition of one or another part of the work, the 
differences being so great as to vary from the time of Saul 
to that after the Exile.) 


2. The work of f the Jehovist ; ' or the * Supplementer ; ' 
the ' fourth ' or else ' fifth narrator ; ' the * prophetic nar- 
rator,' &c. In this document the name Jahveh appears from 
the first. An observance of Theocratic ordinances is said to 
be assumed in it as from the first ; the style is vivid ; the 
views expressed concerning the nature of man and revelation 
are of a developed character -in short, the book is declared 
to bear the prophetic impress. According to some, these 
Jehovist portions do not form part of an independent work, 
but are only intended to supplement the work of the Elohist ; 
while, according to others, the work of the Jehovist was an 
independent and original composition. Some also hold that 
the work was mainly a compilation from materials already 
existing. The work is described as mainly historical, and 
containing the oldest civil laws and old national hymns. 
It was composed after the separation of Judah and Israel 
(between 975 and 775 B.C.), and by a Judsean. 

3. The work of the Deuteronomist, variously dated from 
the time of the Judges to that of Manasseh or of Josiah. 
The writer is supposed to have known the work of the 
Jehovist. To these three must be added : 

C. Certain subsidiary documents in the Pentateuch : 

1. ' The Book of the Wars of Jehovah ' (Numb, xxi 14). 
According to some this was a very ancient collection of 
war- and popular poems; according to others, a larger 
historical work which the Jehovist incorporated into his own 

2. 'The Younger Elohist,' or the 'third,' or else the 
'theocratic narrator,' whose work is supposed to comprise 
those parts of Genesis which accord with the original 
Elohist in the use of the name Elohim, but have not any of 
the other peculiarities of this writer, as well as some other 
portions in the other books of the Pentateuch. According 

382 APPENDIX n. 

to some, the author was an Ephraimite. Certain critics 
place its composition in the time of Hezekiah, and sup- 
pose that it formed a kind of basis for the labours of the - 

3. According to some critics, the ritual portions in the 
book of Ezekiel (xl.-xlviii.) form the basis of the ritual 
legislation in the work of the Elohist, especially in that part 
of it beginning with Lev. xvii. 

4. Some critics speak of a Deuteronomer (in distinction 
to the Deuteronoinist), who completed the work in the 
spirit and style of the Deuteronomist, but at a later time and 
tinder different circumstances, adding Deut. xxxiv. 10-12 ; 
xxix. 21-27; xxx. 1-10; xxxi. 24-29; perhaps also xxviii. 
28-37 and 49-57, as well as the address, Deut. i.-iv. 

D. Finally we have the Redaction of the whole work. 
There had been a preliminary redaction by the Jehovist. 
According to some, the final redaction of the Pentatench 
was made by the Deuteronomist, while others regard it as 
posterior to Deuteronomy, and variously place it in the time 
of Josiah (Ewald) ; shortly before the Exile (Kuenen) ; under 
Ezra (Bertheau); or after Ezra (Graf, Kayser). In this 
redaction the plan of the Elohist is supposed to have been 
followed, and extended to the whole Pentateuch. 

VIII. The Document QP according to Wellhausen. 

This document is said to consist of the following sections 
and verses in the Pentateuch : * Gren. i.-ii. 4 a ; v. (omit- 
ting ver. 29); vi. 9-22; vii. 11-viii. 5 (omitting vii. 12, 
166, 17, 22, 23, viii. 26); viii. 13-] 9; ix. 1-17,28, 29; 

1 The letters a and b indicate the first or the second half of a verse. 
Comp, for this analysis Jahrb. fur Deutsche TheoL, 1876 ; Straclj, in 
Herzog's UncyM., vol. xi. p. 457 ; and Hoffmann in the Magazinfur d. 
Wissensch. d. Judenth., 1879, p. 4. 


x. 1-7, 20, 22, 23, 31, 32 ; xi. 10-32 (omitting ver. 29) ; 
xii. 4 6, 5 ; xiii. 6, 11 6, 12 ; xix. 29 ; xi. 30 ; xvi. 3, 15, 16; 
xvii.; xxi. 2 6-5; xxiii.;.xxv. 7-17 (omitting lla), 19, 20, 266; 
xxvi. 34, 35 ; xxvii. 46 xxviii. 9 ; xxix. 24, 29 (? ?) ; xxxi. 18 
(beginning with * and all his goods ') ; xxxv. 9-15 (omitting 
the word ' again ' in ver. 9), 22 6-29 ; xxxvi. 6-8 ; xxxvi. 
40 to the words 'these are the generations of Jacob' in 
xxxvii. 2; xlvi. 6, 7 (probably also 8-27); xlvii. 5-11 
(omitting 66), 276, 28; xlviii. 3-6 (perhaps 7); xlix. 
(ver. 28 ?) 29-33 ; 1. 12, 13. Exodus i. 1-5, 7 (omitting the 
words 'multiplied and waxed'), 13, 146, and the first half 
of 14 a ; ii. 23 (beginning at ' the children of Israel 
sighed ')-25; vi. 2-vii. 13, 19, 20 a, 216, 22, 23; viii. 
1-3, 116-15; ix. 8-12; xii. 1-20, 28, 37 a, 40,41; xii. 
43-xiii. 2, 20 ; xiv. 1, 2 and in 4 the words ' and they did 
so,' 8 6, 9 (omitting the word ' all ' before ' the horses,' and 
ending with 'and his army'), 10 (containing, however, 
only the words ' and the children of Israel cried out unto 
the Lord'), 15 (omitting the words 'Wherefore criest 
thou unto me?'), 28 (??); xvi. 1-3, 9-13 a, 16 6-18 a, 
22-26, 31 35 ci; xvii. 1 (omitting the words 'there was no 
water for the people to drink ') ; xix. 1 (a supplementation), 
2 a ; xxiv. 15, from ' and a cloud covered the mount ' to the 
words ' Moses went into the midst of the cloud 'in 18 ; xxv. 
1-xxxi. 17, 18 (?) ; xxxiv. 29-32, 33-35 (?); xxxv.-xl. All 
Leviticus. Numbers i. 1-x. 28 ; xiii. 1-17 a, 21, 25, 26 a. and 
first half of 6, 32 to ' and all the people that we saw in it,' 
&c. ; xiv. la, 2 a, 5-7, 10, 26, 27, 28, 29 (?), 34-36; xv. ; 
xvi. 1, 2 (in part), 8-11, 16-22, 35 ; xvii.-xx. 1 a, 2, 3 6, 6, 
12 (probably), 22-29 ; xxi. 4 (the beginning), 10, 11 (?) ; 
xxv. 6-xxxi. ; xxxii. 16-19 (leaving out the word 'ready- 
armed' in 17), 24, 28-33; xxxiii.-xxxvi. Deut. xxxii. 
48-52; xsxiv. la, 7a (?), 8, 9. Josh. iv. 19; v. 10-12; 


ix. 1721, 156; xiii. 15-33 (secondarily); xviii. 1 (inserted 
here) ; xiv. 1-5 (3 secondarily) ; xv. (excepting 13-19 and 
some other things) ; xvi. 4-8 ; xvii. 1-4, 7, 9 (leaving out 
the words ' these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of 
Manasseh') ; xviii. 11-25 ; xix. (leaving out 47, 49, 50, also 
the enumeration of the names of cities and perhaps other 
parts) ; xx. (the Deuteronomic additions to it are very late) ; 
xxi. 1-42 ; xxii. 9-34. 

(In this analysis no notice has heen taken of R ie. the 
Eedactor, to whom certain connecting words or verses are 
attributed notably these five : in G-en. xxxv. 9 the word 
'again'; Exod. xvi. 6-8, 36 ; xx. 11; in Josh. ix. 27 the 
words * for the congregation and ' ; and Josh. xvi. 9. 

The reader will now, in some measure, understand what 
was meant when, in the text of these Lectures, the Penta- 
teuch, as reconstructed by Wellhausen, was described as the 
most curiously tesselated, or rather mosaic, piece of work- 
manship ; and when it was asserted that there exists no 
parallel instance of any such composition; nay, that, from 
a literary point of view, such construction of it seems in- 

IX. Later Rabbinic Modifications and Adaptations of 
specific Laws, especially in the ' Priest-Code* 

These modifications and adaptations are (at least in part) 
here enumerated, chiefly because they afford presumptive 
evidence that what we know as the Mosaic Legislation 
could not have been of late date, since, in many points, it 
was so little adapted to the circumstances of later times, 
that the Eabbinic Law had to introduce modifications and 
additions to render the old Mosaic Law practicable. Gene- 
rally, also, the reader may be interested in having placed 


before Mm some of these Kabbinic adaptations of the Mosaic 
Law. Not to speak of the original sources in the Talmud 
and Midrashiin, as well as in dogmatic works, from which 
our knowledge must here be derived, even such literature of 
the subject as is generally accessible to the student is scat- 
tered over many tractates, brochures, and articles, or else 
incidentally treated in books on kindred subjects, so that a 
fall apparatus criticus would be very difficult. But the 
following may be mentioned as most easily accessible: 
Saalschiitz, d. Mos. Recht; Hamburger's Real^Encyklopcedie; 
and, in reference to certain points .bearing on the criticism of 
the Pentateuch, the Articles by Hoffmann in the Magazin 
fur d. Wissensch. d. Judenthums (as regards the Sacrificial 
Laws, vol. iv., 1877, pp. 1-17 ; 62-76 ; 125-141 ; 210-218 ; 
as regards the Law of Witnesses, vol. v. pp. 1-14; and as 
regards the theory of Wellhausen and of his school, vol. vi., 
1879, pp. 1-19 ; 90-114 ; 219-237 ; vol. vii., 1880, pp. 137- 
156 ; 237-254) ; and especially D. Castelli, La Legge, 1884. 
To the latter I am here especially indebted, although my 
standpoint is the opposite of his ; and I have followed the 
lead of Castelli in the brief and general review, which was 
all that could be attempted in this place. 

1. The * Priest-Code.' In the text of these Lectures 
the view has been expressed that the Mosaic arrangements 
must have been prospective, and that at the time of their 
introduction, the services of the Tabernacle could not have 
been regularly carried out. On the opposite theory of the 
introduction of the Priest-Code at the time of Ezra, and for 
the purposes of the priesthood, we would have expected 
detailed arrangements. But, as a matter of fact, such are 
not found in the Priest-Code, while they are supplemented 
at a later period. Thus, as regards the sacrificial functions 
of the High-Priest, no distinction is apparently made be- 


386 APPENDIX n, 

tween him and ordinary priests, and only the services of the 
Day of Atonement are assigned to him in Lev. xvi. 2, 3, 
whereas, in Eabbinic Law, he had, besides other functions, 
the precedence of officiating every other day in the Sanc- 
tuary (Yom. 14 a). Similarly, the Pentateuch is silent 
about the order and succession of the various priestly families 
in the ministry of the Sanctuary. We remember that this 
was only fixed by the arrangement of the priesthood into 
twenty-four courses in the time of David, while tradition 
ascribes to Moses an arrangement into eight or else sixteen 
'courses,' which relieved each other every week. But it 
seems incredible that, if the Priest-Code had dated from 
the time of Ezra, it would not have contained some such 

Again, it militates against the supposed later origin 
of the Pentateuch, that whereas Lev. xxi. 7 forbids the 
marriage of a priest, among others, with one who is gene- 
rally designated as ' profane,' the Talmud explains this, quite 
in the spirit of the times of Ezra and later, as one who was 
the offspring of an unlawful marriage by a priest, adding 
prohibition of marriage with a proselyte, one who had been 
a slave, had previously contracted an unlawful marriage, or 
been divorced, according to the provisions of the law of 
Levirate. Of all this the Priest-Code says nothing, although 
we would certainly have expected it on the theory in contro- 

In the opposite direction evidence of the older date of the 
Mosaic legislation comes to us from the later Eabbinic modi- 
fication of the ancient law that ordered a sinning daughter 
of Aaron to be burned and this, alike as regards the mode 
of her execution, and the cases to which the law applied. On 
the other hand, the same later spirit, as compared with the 
Priest-Code, appears in the permission of summary vengeance 


on priests who officiated in a state of Levitical defilement. 1 
Similarly, the early Mosaic code, which fixed the commence- 
ment of the Levitical ministry at thirty, and its termination 
at fifty, years of age, 2 was already modified in 1 Chron. xxiii. 
24, 27, 3 while the Talmud adds that the limitation to 
fifty years of age applied only to the wilderness-period, 
when the severe work of the transport of the Tabernacle 
required full strength. 4 But these modifications seem 
utterly incompatible with the origination of the Priest^Code 
in the time of Ezra. Lastly, on this point, it is evident that 
if the Priest-Code had been of such late date if, indeed, it 
had not been quite prospective it would have provided for 
all those priestly officials whose services were afterwards 
found requisite, and who, according to Eabbinic Law, 
formed a staff of hierarchic officers attached to the Temple. 5 
From the priesthood we naturally pass to the provision 
made for its support. Here also the details and pro- 
visions found necessary in later legislation prove the early 
date and prospective character of the Pentateuch-legislation. 
Thus, whereas Numb, xviii. 12 assigns to the priesthood 
the first-fruits of the wheat, the later Law extends this to 
seven kinds of grain, to dates, and fruits, and pomegranates. 6 
Similarly, the general statement that the first of the dough 
was to be offered to the Lord, is interpreted in the Mishnah 
as meaning that it was to be given to the priests. 7 And 
from the direction in Numb. xv. 19, together with that in 
Deut. xviii. 4, it was further inferred that firstfruits of every- 
thing were to be given to the priest before any other offering, 

1 Lev. xxii. 2-9 ; comp. Sanh. 81 b. 

* Numb. iv. 3, 23, 30, 39 see, however, Numb. viii. 24. 

* Oomp. Ezra iii. 8. * Choi. 24 a. 

5 On the various Temple officials, see The Temple, its Ministry and 
Services. y 

6 Bikkur. i. 3. Ohall. ii. 5, 7 } comp. Jos. Ant. ii. 4. 4. 


or before any use was made of the produce 1 . Indeed, strict- 
ness in this respect was one of the distinctive marks of the 
Pharisee. This was called the Terumah gedolah, the pro- 
portion of which was not fixed, but supposed to amount to at 
least one-sixtieth. 1 On the other hand, the Talmud limits 
the provision of Lev. xxvii. 32, which seems to assign to the 
priesthood the tenth of the herds and flocks, by declaring 
that the proprietors were to make of these a sacrificial meal, 
in which the fat was to be burned on the altar, and the blood 
sprinkled, while only that part of them was to go to the 
priests which was theirs in votive offerings. 2 Moreover, the 
Rabbis fixed, in connection with Deut. xiv. 22-29, what was 
called a second tithe, of which a festive meal was to be 
made in Jerusalem every year, while every third year it was 
to be given to the poor (the poor's tithe). 3 And in connec- 
tion with all this the Mishnah has those elaborate pro- 
visions collected in the tractate Demai, which fix the ordi- 
nances in reference to the produce, concerning which it is 
doubtful whether tithes had been given or not. 

A slight consideration will convince that, if the priest- 
arrangements had originated in later times, some provision 
would have been made to secure that the High-priests should 
possess revenues larger than those of the common priests. 
This, especially in the period after Ezra, when the civil 
government mainly devolved upon them. Accordingly we 
find that the Talmud directs that, if the High-priest had not 
property of his own, the other priests were to contribute so 
much, that his income should exceed that of any single 
common priest. Similarly, the High-priest was to have pre- 
cedence over every other priest in regard to the sacrifices 
and gifts offered in the Sanctuary. On the other hand, the 

Ter. iii. 6 ; iv. 3. 2 Zebhach. 56 5. 

3 Koslx ha-Sh. 12 1. 


Pentateuch makes no difference between the High-priest and 
common priests as regards property or revenues. 

If we were to read the Pentateuch without fully entering 
into the symbolic meaning of sacrificial worship, we could 
only wonder at the absence of any mention of public prayer 
in its services. We can understand it from the standpoint of 
the Pentateuch, as the original Mosaic legislation, but not 
from that of later times, especially those which witnessed 
the institution of Synagogue-worship. Accordingly, the 
Rabbinic law fixed, not only certain times for prayer, but 
also introduced prayer in the services of the Temple. 

A somewhat similar development appears in the Rabbinic 
enlargement of the prohibition in Lev. xxii. 8 into special 
directions how animals were to be slaughtered for human 
food. 1 "We mark similar enlargements, showing the altera- 
tions of later times as compared with the primitive arrange- 
ments of the Pentateuch, even in regard to the preparation 
of the incense, which, according to Exod. xxx. 34-38, was to 
consist of four ingredients, while the Talmud adds to these 
other seven perfumes, besides salt and other materials. 2 The 
preparation is said to have been a secret, hereditary in one 
family. The same inferences come to us when comparing 
the detailed rubrics concerning the mode of sacrificing, and 
the various rites at the festivals, with the very primitive and 
general directions of the Pentateuch. We mark in them 
what a later time required, when all these observances were 
carried into constant and universal practice. Even so simple 
an arrangement as that which regulated the annual Temple- 
tribute, had not been provided for, but was fixed by the 
Rabbinic law. 

Evidence as to the later requirements of more detailed 
ordinances than those in the Pentateuch in regard to festive 
1 Choi. 27 a ; 82 a. Kerith. 6 a ; Jer. Yom. 41 d. 


sacrifices and especially what was known as the chagigak-^- 
multiplies upon us as we compare the directions of the 
Rabbis with the provisions of the Mosaic Law. They indi- 
cate further need, due to the circumstances of later times. 
In any case, some more detailed provisions must have been 
made, if the Priest>Code had been of late origin. And be- 
yond all this we may here refer to the rites in the admission 
of proselytes, to the details about what rendered an animal 
fit or unfit for sacrifices, and to other ritual questions, the 
difficulties of which would occur in later practice. Even as 
regards the supposed new institution, or at least transforma- 
tion, of the festivals of the first and fifteenth day" of the 
seventh month, we mark how entirely different, or at least 
how largely elaborated, they appear in Kabbinic tradition 
that is, as actually observed in later times. The same might 
be predicated of the observances of the Day of Atonement. 
Nor to extend our view beyond the Priest-Code do we 
here require to remind ourselves of the similar transforma- 
tion in regard to the Sabbatic law, while we might almost 
ask ourselves why there should not have been in the Priest- 
Code, if it were of later date, some allusion to such a festival 
as that of Esther (Purim), or any, however disguised, refer- 
ence to the taking of Jerusalem by the enemy, which might 
have been introduced in some connection with the Day of 

Evidence in the same direction comes to us as we com- 
pare the principles laid down in the Mosaic Legislation as to 
the dedication of animals, things, or persons to the Sanc- 
tuary, as also concerning vows, with those of later times, as 
explained in the traditional Law. The same remarks might be 
made in regard to the mode of trying a woman suspected of 
adultery ; in regard to the directions given about phylacteries, 
and the fringes to be worn on the garments, the Sabbatic 


year, that of Jubilee, and other ordinances, in all of -which 
the Kabbinic Law marks the practical requirements or ques- 
tions arising in later times as compared with the simplicity 
of the earlier Mosaic Law. 

2. Very partial as this review has necessarily been, it 
is hoped that it may effectually support the argument in 
favour of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch legisla- 
tion. And it might have been extended, to show that other 
portions of the Pentateuch also must have been of earlier 
date than recent criticism has assigned to them. Even 
Castelli admits the existence of such a difference between 
the Pentateuch legislation generally and that of tradition, 1 
and that the latter must, in many respects, be regarded as 
an adaptation of the ancient Law to later circumstances and 
to questions then arising. 2 But it may, I think, be most 
reasonably argued that . such further development and con- 
ciliation would, in very many cases, not have been requisite 
that the new wants would have been at least initially in- 
dicated if the introduction and teaching of the Pentateuch 
had dated from the year 444, and if it had received so many 
further accretions after that period. 3 

1 Castelli (La Legge, pp. 90, 91) marks retrogression upon the Bible 
in the multiplication and aggravation of observances and commandments ; 
andp'o^rresszVminthe mitigation of the primitive civil, and criminal code. 
In truth, it is neither the one nor the other but evidence of the ancient 
date of the Pentateuch legislation, which was afterwards adapted both 
to new circumstances and new forms of thought. 

3 By the side of this element there is that other of unceasing elabora- 
tion of the Law, with the view of preventing any possible breach of it, 
and, in fact, adding to its requirements, so as to ensure a perfect obedi- 
ence .of them. 

For the criticism of the objections raised by Wellhausen from a 
comparative view of the contents of the Pentateuch, I can in this place 
only once more refer to the Articles of Hoffmann, previously mentioned.