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The University of Connecticut 
Libraries, Storrs 

%it l^i^totital Bible 





Professor of Biblical Literature in Yale University 


I. The Heroes and Crises of Early Hebrew His=" 

tory. From the Creation to the Death of 
Moses. (.Ready.) 

11. The Founders and Rulers of United Israel. 

From the Death of Moses to the Division 
of the Hebrew Kingdom. {Ready.) 

Ill, The Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah. 

From the Division of the Kingdom to the 
Babylonian Exile. (Ready.) 

IV. The Makers and Teachers of Judaism. From 
the Fall of Jerusalem to the Death of 
Herod the Great. (Ready.) 

V. TheLifeand Teachings of Jesus. Accord- 
ing to the Earliest Records. (Ready.) 

VI. The Work and Teachings of the Apostles. 

From the Death of Jesus to the End of 
the First Century. 










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Copyright, 1909, bt 

13 134. 


The three centuries and a half, which began with the division of the 
Hebrew empire and extended to the Babylonian exile, were in many ways 
the most important period in Israel's history. It was during this epoch 
that the Israelites ceased to be a provincial people, limited in their out- 
look to the narrow horizon of Palestine. Events over which they had 
little control brought them into close contact with the great world powers 
of the day, thereby vastly broadening their faith, as well as their vision 
of history and of their relation to the human race. It was a period 
marked by supreme pohtical, social and religious crises, which funda- 
mentally transformed Israel's religion and institutions. These crises 
called forth the great ethical prophets of the eighth and seventh centuries 
B.C.; and their work and teachings made Israel's experience during 
these trying years one of the most significant chapters in human history. 

These prophets were the conscience of their nation, its guides in the 
hour of peril, and the heralds of those great ethical and social principles 
which are the eternal foundations of law and society. The social evils 
with which they dealt were in many ways startlingly similar to those 
which still survive in our modern Christian civilization. Interpreted into 
the language of the twentieth century, their messages anticipate the 
conclusions and teachings of our keenest and most progressive social 
teachers. In pointing out popular errors in the existing social system, 
and in placing the responsibility for the prevailing evils squarely on the 
shoulders of the rich and powerful, who were using their authority and 
influence, not in behalf of the common welfare, but rather for their own 
personal advantage or for that of their class, they spoke to the present 
as well as to their own age. In their character and life-work, as well as 
in their words, they embodied the noblest ideals of intelligent, unselfish 
and effective patriotism. They were men who not only saw the truth 
but were equally able and effective in proclaiming it by word and deed. 
When once their aims and real character are understood, these peerless 


patriots of ancient Israel will inspire anew the live men and women of to- 
day, to devote themselves patiently, unselfishly, and persistently to elim- 
inating the civic and social evils which disgrace our modern civilization, 
and to realizing in city and state the eternal ideals of justice and common 

The Hebrew prophets did not work for a new social order, but they did 
demand that each individual and each class should contribute their part 
to the common good. They also closely blended religion and ethics, 
and declared that a faith which did not find expression in justice and 
mercy was mere hypocrisy. Thus they both ethicized and socialized 
religion, adjusting it squarely to the universal needs of society and the 

In the experience of the prophets and of their nation during these try- 
ing years, it is also possible to trace more clearly than in any other 
period of human history the process by which the Divine Father revealed 
and still reveals his character and will to men. That revelation was 
neither abstract nor mechanical, but rather a gradual opening of the 
mental and spiritual vision of certain men who were ready to learn and 
to act. They correspond in the realm of morals and religion to the 
world's great scientists and inventors. The Hebrew prophets were men 
who, like the shepherd Amos, had been taught by occupation and ex- 
perience to be ever on the watch, to interpret each significant sign, to 
see facts as they were; and then, when conviction deepened into cer- 
tainty, to act courageously yet tactfully, and with a supreme unconcern 
for their personal interests. To such men God revealed his laws and 
purposes, sometimes through the great crises which overtook their 
nation, sometimes through the personal experience of the men who were 
thus called to be prophets — the spokesmen and interpreters of Jehovah 
to his race. 

The wealth of historical and contemporary biblical literature has 
made the process of selection diflScult; and yet the aim has been to leave 
out no really vital and significant passages. The larger literature and 
the reasons for the selections which have been made will be found in the 
corresponding volumes of the author's Student's Old Testament. There 
the student may also trace the textual basis for the renderings which 
have been adopted. In endeavoring to reproduce in an alien language 
the powerful literary figures and immortal messages of the Hebrew 
prophets, every translator must be deeply impressed by the inadequacy 
of his results. Often later scribes also failed to catch the meaning of 
the original or to transcribe it accurately, so that any translation based 



simply on the present Hebrew text does not in many cases convey 
the thought of the ancient writers. In these cases, the evidence of the 
context and the testimony of the early translations, such as the Greek, 
Syriac and the Latin, are of the greatest value. 

Later Hebrew scribes have also paid their tribute to the importance 
of the original writings of the prophets by amplifying them at many 
points. This is especially true, for example, in the book of Jeremiah, 
where the total Hebrew text is one-eighth longer than that of the older 
version represented by the Greek translation. In such cases, the shorter 
Greek version, which contains all the essential facts without the obscur- 
ing repetitions found in the Hebrew, has in general been followed, with 
a corresponding gain not only in clearness and literary beauty but also 
in economy of space and fidelity to the original. 

The endeavor has been made to correct a fundamental defect in the 
current translations by indicating the poetic character of the prophetic 
addresses. With the exception of the priest-prophet Ezekiel, the pre- 
exilic prophets apparently always spoke in the language of poetry. The 
poetic form added vastly not only to the beauty and effectiveness, but 
also to the clear understanding of their addresses ; for, in keeping with 
the fundamental characteristics of Hebrew poetry, the second line of 
each couplet repeats the same thought in similar or opposite terms, or 
else develops still further the idea presented in the first line. Hence, if 
the meaning of one line is obscure, it is illustrated or interpreted by that 
of the corresponding member of the couplet. 

In addition to this parallelism or rhythm of ideas, Hebrew, like Eng- 
lish poetry, is characterized by symmetry in the number of beats or 
accented syllables in each succeeding line. The three-beat measure is 
the one most commonly used. Sometimes, to express great excitement, 
as when the approach of an enemy is announced, the quick two-beat 
measure is employed. In appealing to the reason, or in more dehber- 
ative passages, the calmer, more formal four-beat measure is used. To 
express deep emotion, whether that of sorrow, as of the mourners la- 
menting over the bier of the dead, or great joy and elation, the five-beat 
measure is introduced. This consists ordinarily of a sentence of three 
beats followed by a clause of two beats, suggesting the catching of the 
breath or an exclamation under the influence of overwhelming feeling. 

That the reader may distinguish at a glance these different metres, 
lines of the five-beat measure have been printed so as to begin at the 
extreme left of the page, those of the four-beat measure have been in- 
dented the equivalent of two or three letters, the three-beat a space 



equivalent to four or five letters, and the two-beat to seven or eight 

In the present volume the biblical passages are taken from so many 
different books that references have been introduced in connection with 
the side-headings, to aid the student in readily identifying these quo- 
tations. As in the preceding volumes, detailed verses can be distin- 
guished by referring to the Student's Old Testament to which references 
are given under each chapter heading in the Table of Contents. The 
attention of the teachers is also called to the general questions and to the 
subjects for special research in the Appendix, where suggestions and 
directions are given for additional and more technical study. 

It is impossible to indicate in detail my indebtedness to the scores of 
Old Testament scholars, whose work has revealed the true character 
and messages of the Hebrew prophets. The names of the more impor- 
tant English and American contributors are found in connection with 
the list of books for reference in the Appendix. I owe a more personal 
debt to Professor Irving F. Wood, of Smith College, and Professor J. F. 
Genung, of Amherst College, who have generously read the proof of the 
present volume and offered many practical suggestions. 

C. F. K. 

Yale Universitt, 
April, 1909. 



§ LXI. The Division of the Hebrew Empire. 



I KgS. 122- 1- 3b-20. 25-32, 1419. 20 (St. O. T., II, §§ 59, 60, 


I. The Records of Northern Israel's History.— II. Re- 
hoboam's Fatal Policy.— III. The Underlying Causes 
of the Division. — IV. Events of Jeroboam's Reign. 
— V. Jeroboam's Religious Policy. — VI. Character 
of Jeroboam's Reign.— VII. Effects of the Division. 

§ LXII. The Military Dynasties of Northern Israel 8 

I KgS. 1525- 27-29a. 33. 32, 165,7,6^8-12a. 15-18. 21-24, 27-34, 201-'" 

(St. o". T., II, §§ 63-68, 74-76). 

I. The Dynasty of Baasha. — II. Omri's Accession. 
III. Omri's Foreign Policy.— IV. Ahab's War of Inde- 
pendence. — V. Ahab's Character and Policy. — 
VI. The Dangers of Ahab's Policy. 

§ LXIII. Elijah's Work as a Religious and Social 

Reformer 17 

I KgS. 171-24, 181-30, 32b-46, 191-21, 211-20- 23. 27 (St. O. T., 

II. §§ 69-73). 

I. The Elijah Stories.— II. Elijah, the Tishbite.— 

III. Elijah's Demand of Loyalty to Jehovah. — IV. 
Elijah's Appeal to the Nation. — V. The Revelation 
at Horeb.— VI. The Call of Elisha.— VII. Elijah's 
Condemnation of Ahab's Tyranny. — VIII. The 
Significance of Elijah's Work. 

§ LXIV. The Decline of the House of Ahab 30 

I KgS. 221-'lO- 61. S3, II KgS. 12-8. 17, 31 2. 4-27 (St. O. T., 

II, §§ 77-80, 88). 

I. The Advance of Assyria. — II. Micaiah and the 
Four Hundred False Prophets.— III. The Proto- 
type of Satan. — IV. Ahab's Death.— V. The Reign of 
Ahaziah. — VI. The War Against Moab. 



§ LXV. Jehu's Revolution and Its Consequences . . 

II KgS. 91-6- lOb. n-28. 30-37^ 10^ -27- 32-36^ 131-11- 22-25^ I415. 
16. 23-29 (St. O. T., II, §§ 93-97). 

I. The Prophetic Guilds. — II. The Jehovah Party 
in Israel. — III. The Anointing of Jehu. — IV. 
Jehu's Bloody Reform Measures. — V. Jehu's Trib- 
ute to Assyria. — VI. The Cruel Oppression by the 
Arameans. — VII. The Revival of Northern Israel 
under Joash and Jeroboam. 



§ LXVI. Amos's Arraignment of Northern Israel. . . 

Am 13-8- 13-15 21-2<:- 2a b. d. 3. 6-8. 10. 9. 11-16 (gt Q T , 

HI, §§2, 3).' 

I. Political Conditions in Northern Israel under 
Jeroboam II. — II. Society and Religion in Israel. 
— III. Date of Amos's Appearance. — IV. Amos's 
Personal History. — V. The Personality of the 
Prophet. — VI. Amos's Method of Securing a 
Hearing. — VII. The Universal Principles Estab- 
lished in Amos's Opening Address. — VIII. The 
Application to Northern Israel. 


§ LXVII. The Fatal Errors and Crimes of the Israel- 
ites 62 

10-21. 22b 23-27 

, 61 

Am. 31-15, 41-7. 8b-12. 13e, 51-7. 

12-14 (St. O. T.. Ill, §§ 4-9). 
I. The Literary Form of Amos's Prophecy. — II. 
The Prophet's Credentials.— III. The Crimes of the 
Ruling Classes. — IV. The Uselessness of Mere Cere- 
monial. — V. The Call to Repentance. — VI. Amos's 
Ideal of Righteousness. — VII. The Impending 

§ LXVIII. The Inevitable Consequences of Israel's 

Am. 71a t>- 2-17, 81-2- *• 5- 60. 7-9. 3. 10. llb-14, 9I-4. 7. Sab (gt. 

O.-f., III. §§10-13). 

I. The Visions of Impending Judgment. — II. The 
Reception of Amos's Message. — III. Amos's Con- 
clusions Regarding Israel's Future. — IV. The 
Later Appendix to the Book. — V. Amos's Concep- 
tion of Jehovah. — VI. Amos's Social Teachings. 


§ LXIX. The Beginning of Jehovah's Revelation by 

Hosea 80 

HOS. 12b c. 3-6. 8. 9 22b c. 4. 6a b, 31-4, 22a d e. 3. 5c e. 6. 7a-c. 
8-10. 12. U. 13-17. 18e. 'l»-23 (gt. Q. T., Ill, §§ 15, 16). 

I. The Book of Hosea. — II. Hosea's Date and Na- 
tionality.— III. The Prophet's Private History. — 
IV. The Unfaithfulness of his Wife.— V. The 




Truths which Hosea Learned from his Tragic Ex- 
perience. — VI. The Application of his own Experi- 
ence to That of his Nation. — VII. Hosea's Mes- 
sages to the World. 

Jehovah's Charges Against Guilty Israel. . 88 

HOS. 41-6, 51-3, 515-6IO, 6"b-715^ 8<- 6b ca. 6-9b^ 13I-I6 (St. 

0. T., Ill, §§ 18-22, 28). 

1. The Background and Literary Form of Hosea's 
Later Prophecies. — II. The Guilt of Israel's Proph- 
ets, Priests and Rulers. — III. The Fatal Lack of 
True Repentance and Character. — IV. The Evi- 
dences of National Degeneracy. — V. Hosea's Atti- 
tude toward the Kingship and Idolatry. — VI. The 
Inevitable Fate Awaiting the Nation. 

§ LXXI. Jehovah's Tender Love for His People. . . 97 

Hos. 111-9, 141-8 (St. O. T., IIL §§ 26, 29). 

I. The Revelation of Jehovah's Love in the Past. — 

II. God's Passionate Desire to Forgive. — III. The 
Prayer of True Repentance. — IV. The Divine Re- 
sponse. — V. Hosea's Personality. — VI. Hosea's 
Teachings Regarding God. — VII. Hosea's Place 
Among the World's Religious Teachers. 

§ LXXII. The Fate op Northern Israel. 


II KgS. 158-10- 13-16. 19-23. 25-27. 29-31^ I7I. 3. 4^ 189-11, l?^^- 
34. 41 (St. O. T., II, §§ 98-102). 

I. The Invasion of Tiglath-pileser IV.— II. The 
Reign of Hoshea and the Fall of Samaria. — III. Fate 
of the Northern Tribes.— IV. The Origin of the 
Samaritans. — V. Causes of the Downfall of North- 
ern Israel. — VI. Northern Israel's Contributions to 
the Faith of Mankind. 

§ LXXIII. From Rehoboam to Uzziah 112 

I KgS. 1421-28. 30. 31^ 151. 2. 7b-13. 15-24, 22«-«, II KgS. 
g25-29, 927. 28, 111-9. 11-21, 121-2- 4-18. 20. 21, I4I. 2. 5. to. 7-14. 
"-21 (St. O. T., II. §§ 103-117). 

I. General Characteristics of Judah's History. — II. 
Rehoboam's Reign. — III. Asa's Policy. — IV. The 
Priestly Reformation in Judah. — V. The Early Ju- 
dean Prophetic History. — VI. The Reign of Ama- 

§ LXXIV. The Reign of Uzziah and the Call of Isaiah 123 

II KgS. 151-4, 1422, II Chr. 266-10, II Kgs. 155-7- 32-35. 37. 
36 38, Is. 61-13 (St. O. T., II, § 117; III, § 30). 

I. Uzziah's Victories. — II. Uzziah's Home Policy. 



—III. The Political and Social Effects of Uzziah's 
Reign.— IV. The Death Year of Uzziah.— V. The 
Young Isaiah. — VI. The Account of Isaiah's Vi 
sion. — VII. Its Meaning. — VIII. Isaiah's Commis 

§ LXXV. Isaiah's Early Social Sermons 131 

Is. 51-U. 17-24^ 26-8, 312.17. 24-26^ 41^ QS-Jl^ 101"?, 5»-"- »C, 

(St. O. T., Ill, §§ 31-33).' 

I. The Present Form of the Book of Isaiah. — II. 
The Different Periods of Isaiah's Activity. — III. 
His First Address. — IV. The Song of the Vineyard. 
— V. The Crimes of Judah's Leaders.— VI. Jeho- 
vah's Judgments upon Israel and Judah. 

§ LXXVI. Isaiah's Advice to King and People in 735 b.c. 141 

II Kgs. 161-6, Is. 7«-2s, 8' -4, 171-6, 85-18, II Kgs. 16^ -20, 
181-3 8 (St. O. T., II, § 119; III, §§ 34-37). 
I. The Political Situation. — II. Isaiah's Advice to 
Ahaz. — III. Isaiah's Sign to Ahaz. — IV. Effects of 
the Assyrian Advance. — V. Isaiah's Object Lessons. 
— VI. The Consequences of Ahaz's Policy. 

§LXXVII. The Great Crisis of 701 b.c. 




Is. 201-6, II Kgs. 201*19, Is. 28^-18, 301-17, 3V-*, l*-» 
II Kgs. 1813-16 (St. O. T., II. §§ 120-123; III, §§ 39- 
44, 47). 

I. The Spirit of Unrest in Palestine. — II. Isaiah's 
Activity in 711 b.c. — III. The Embassy of Mero- 
dach-baladan. — IV. Isaiah's Counsels in the Years 
703-1 B.C.— V. Judah's Fate. — VI. Isaiah's Mes- 
sage to his Afflicted Countrymen. 

Micah's Sermons and Hezekiah's Reforma- 
tion 161 

Mi. 12-16, 31 .6». 6-12, 66-8, n Kgs. 18* (St. O. T., Ill, §§ 

I. The Prophecies of Micah.— II. The Date of Mi- 
cah's Work.— III. The Personality and Aims of 
Micah. — IV. The Judgment Awaiting Guilty Jeru- 
salem.— V. The Guilt of the Leaders of the Nation. 
—VI. The Reformation of Hezekiah.— VII. The 
Essentials of Religion. 

Jerusalem's Deliverance Through Isaiah's 
Counsels 171 

Is. 105-11- 13b-15. 27. 24b c, 32-34 H KgS. 181" "37,, 191-7- 21-28. 8. 

9..* 36. J7, 2020 21 (St. O.'t., II, § 124; III, §§ 56-58). 
I. The Evidence that Sennacherib Invaded Judah 
about 690 b.c. — II. Isaiah's Counsel. — III. Isa- 



iah's Confidence in Jehovah's Protection. — IV. The 
Nature of the Deliverance. — V. Isaiah's Work as 
Reformer, Statesman and Theologian. 

§ LXXX. The Reaction Under Manasseh and the De- 
cline OF Assyria 181 

II Kgs. 211-26, Nah. l"- », 21- 3-3i9 (St. O. T., II, § 125; 
III, § 60). 

I. Causes of the Religious Reaction under Manasseh 
—II. The Real Nature of the Reaction.— III. The 
Prophetic Party. — IV. Events in the Assyrian Em- 
pire. — V. The Decline of Assyria. — VI. The Date 
and Theme of Nahum's Prophecy.— VII. Its Ob- 
ject. — VIII. The Great Teachings of the Prophets 
of the Assyrian Period. 



§ LXXXL Zephaniah's Reform Sermons 192 

II Kgs. 221- 2, Zeph. 11- 7. 2-6. 8-18, 21-7- 12-15, 31-7 (St. 

0. T., Ill, §§ 62-64). 

1. The Accession of the Young Josiah. — II. Zeph- 
aniah's Ancestry. — III. The Historical Background 
of his Work.— IV. His Prophecies.— V. The Com- 
ing Day of Jehovah. — VI. Zephaniah's Ultimate 

§ LXXXn. Jeremiah's Call and Early Reform Sermons 199 

Jer. l'*-19 22- 3. 20-22. 26. 27. 29-35, 312b. 13. 19. 20, 45-8. llb-13. 
16-18. 14. 19-23, 51 -3b, 4. B, 610-H. 16. 22-26 (gt. Q. T., Ill, §§ 


I. Jeremiah of Anathoth. — II. His Call to be a 
Prophet. — III. His Demand for a Fundamental 
Reformation.— IV. The Foe from the North.— V. 
Jeremiah's Literary Figures. — VI. His Early Mes- 
sages to his People. 

§ LXXXHL The Great Reformation under Josiah. 



II Kgs. 223-16. 18-20, 231 -3ac. 4-15. 19-25, Dt. 121 -4, 1621. 

22., 172-7 (St. O. T., II, §§ 126, 127: IV, § 140). 
I. The Reformers of Judah.— II. The Finding of 
the Law in the Temple. — III. The Detailed Reforms. 
—IV. The Basis of the Reformation.— V. The Pres- 
ent Form of Deuteronomy. — VI. Its History. — 
VII. Its Characteristics. 

Ceremonial, Civil and Philanthropic Regu- 
lations OF the Deuteronomic Code 218 

Dt. 121'- 1^- 27, 1521, 1217-6 18. 15. 16, 143.6 9-11. 19-21a, 2122. 
M. 1-5, 1519-22, 261-11,' 1422-27, 2321-23,' 216b, 248, 202-», 181«- 
C. 3-8^ 5I2-I6 IQl. 2. 4b-7. 3. 4a. 8-11. 13-17, 151-3, 3110-12, IglS^ 




» 25^-3, 178-13, 1915-21, 177, 19<-", 17"-2», 25*, 22«, 24» 
12. 13. 6. 14. 15^ 2318- 16, 1512-18, 2417- 18, iQisb- !», 2410- ", 2319' 
20, 157-11, 2419-22, 2612- 13 (St. O. T., IV, §§ 172-4,* 181, 
188-90, 193, 149-151, 210-5, 45-53, 37, 93-112). 
I. The Value of the Deuteronomic Laws. — II. The 
Laws Regarding Sacrifice and Ceremonial Cleanli- 
ness. — III. Duties and Income of the Levitical 
Priests.— IV. The Pre-Exilic Sacred Calendar.— V. 
Judicial and Civil Organization. — VI. Humane Reg- 

fLXXXV. Jeremiah's Experiences as Patriot and 

Preacher under Jehoiakim 236 

II KgS 2329-35, Jer. 2210-19, III8-23, 71-15. 28-34, 268-2*, 191- 

10. ua. 12a. 14. 15, 201-10- "-18 (St. O. T., II, §§ 128-132; 
IIL §§ 72-77, 86, 87). 

I. The Reign of Josiah. — II. The Death of Josiah 
(about 608 b.c). — III. Necho's Asiatic Campaign. 
— IV. The Accession of Jehoiakim. — V. Jeremiah's 
Experience at the Hands of his Fellow-Townsmen. 
— VI. The Temple Discourse. — VII. The Prophet's 
Impeachment and Trial. — VIII. Jeremiah's Public 

§ LXXXVI. The First and Second Collections of Jere- 
miah's Sermons 247 

Jer. 36 (St. O. T., II, § 133; III, $ 88). 
I. The Reasons which Led Jeremiah to Write. — II. 
The Method of Writing. — IIL Contents of the First 
Edition of Jeremiah's Sermons. — IV. The Second 
Edition of Jeremiah's Prophecies. — V. The Struct- 
ure of the Book of Jeremiah. — VI. The History of 
the Book of Jeremiah. 

§ LXXXVII. Events Leading to the First Babylonian 

Captivity 256 

Jer. 461-12, Hab. li-*- i2»- i3, 2^-*, 15-i2b- "-is, Jer. 25i- »• 

6. 7a-10, II KgS. 2336, 241a- 7. lb. 2, Jgr. 351-7- >0b-13. 16-19, 

12^-12, II Kgs. 246- 8-10, Jer. 1315-", 22«-3o, II Kgs. 24"- 
»8, Jer. 241-10, 291a- 3" (St. O. T., II, § 134; III, § 89- 
99). I. Necho's Defeat at Carchemish. 11. The Proph- 
ecy of Habakkuk. — III. The Chaldean Conqueror, 
Nebuchadrezzar. --IV. Jehoiakira's Rebellion Against 
Nebuchadrezzar. — V. The First Captivity. 

§ LXXXVIII. Ezekiel's Messages to the People of Judah. 

Ezek. 11- >\ 21-39- "-*!, 41-3, 51 -w, 11"-", 121-1^, 131-', 

181-14. i7b-23 (St. O. T., IIL §§ 104-108, 112. 114, 115, 


I. The History and Personality of EzekieL — II. His 

Call and Commission. — III. His Advice Regarding 



the Crisis in Judah. — IV. Causes of Judah's Over- 
throw. — V. Ezekiel's Doctrine of Individual Re- 

LXXXIX. Jeremiah's Activity in the Reign of Zede- 

Jer. 239''- "• "-l^- "• 21-29^ 271-12a, 14b. -16. 18a. 19a. c. 20a. 22a 
281 -3a- 4a. c. 6-14a. 15-17, jf KgS. 2420b, 251- 2, JCF. 211-^'' 
348-lOa. c. llb-22, 373-3828a, BQIS-IS, 321-15 (St. O. T., II, 

§§ 135-137; III §§ 101-103, 125-130). 
I. The False Prophets in Judah's History. — II. 
Distinction Between the False and True Proph- 
ets. — III. Rebellion Against Nebuchadrezzar. — IV. 
Events During the Siege. — V. Jeremiah's Belief in 
the Future of his Race. 



§ XC. The Final Capture of Jerusalem and the 

End of the Hebrew State 293 

Jer. 3828b-397, II Kgs. 258-i6. 18-21, jer. 5228-30, 3911-14, 
40»-8, II. Kgs. 2522, Jer. 40^-437, 3127-34 (St. O. T., II, 
§§ 138-141; III, §§ 129, 132, 134). 
I. The Final Destruction of Jerusalem. — II. The 
Remnants of the Nation. — III. Gedaliah's Brief 
Rule. — IV. Jeremiah's Tragic Fate. — V. His Abid- 
ing Message to the Race. 

APPENDIX I. A Practical Biblical Reference Library 309 

APPENDIX II. General Questions and Subjects for 

Special Research 312 


Hebrew Contemporary Chronology from the Beginning of 

THE Hebrew Empire to the Babylonian Exile. .Frontispiece. 

Israel and Judah After the Division of the Hebrew Em- 
pire to face page 1 

The Assyrian Empire to face page 105 


Longitude East 



Now as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard [that i.jero- 
Solomon was dead] — for he was still in Egypt, whither he retum^ 
had fled from the presence of King Solomon, and he dwelt d k- 
in Egypt — he returned at once to his native town, Zeredah ^ 
in Mount Ephraim. 

And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come 2. De- 
to Shechem to make him king. And they said to Reho- ^^^^^ 
boam, Your father made our yoke intolerable. Now there- north- 
fore make the intolerable service of your father and the (™b^) 
heavy yoke he laid upon us lighter, and we will serve you. 
And he said to them, Go away for three days, then come 
again to me. So the people went away. 

And King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men who s.Coun- 
had stood before Solomon his father during his lifetime, J^eoW 
saying. What answer do you advise me to give this people? men 
And they said to him. If now you will be a servant to this 
people, and will serve them, and give them a favorable 
answer, then they will be your servants forever. 

But he rejected the counsel which the old men had given 4.coun- 
him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown l§^^^ 
up with him and had stood before him. And he said to them, young 
What answer do you advise us to give to this people, who ^^ 
have spoken to me, saying, 'Make the yoke that your father 
put upon us lighter*? And the young men who had grown 
up with him said to him. Thus must you answer this people 
who have said to you, *Your father made our yoke heavy, 
but you make it lighter for us' ; thus must you say to them, 
*My little finger is thicker than my father's loins! And 
now, whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I 
will make your yoke heavier ; my father chastised you with 
whips, but I will chastise you with scourges.' 



5. Re- So when all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, 
am^s" as the king bade, saying, Come to me the third day, the king 
^y^^^f answered the people harshly, and did not follow the counsel 
reply which the old men had given him, but spoke to them ac- 
^* "^ cording to the counsel of the young men, saying, My father 

made your yoke heavy, but I also will make your yoke stili 
heavier; my father chastised you with whips, but I will 
chastise you with scourges. So the king gave no heed to 
the people; for it was a thing brought about of Jehovah 
to confirm his word, which Jehovah spoke by Ahijah the 
Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 

6. Re- And when all Israel saw that the king gave no heed to 
if'^Re^ them, the people answered the king, saying, 


the What share have we in David? 

north- -^g jj^^g ^^ claim in the son of Jesse! 

l^^ To your tents, O Israel! 

Now care for your own house, David! 

So the Israelites went to their homes. Then King Reho- 
boam sent Adoniram, who was over the men subject to 
forced labor; but all Israel stoned him to death. There- 
upon King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot in order 
to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house 
of David to the present day. 

7. Eiec- And as soon as all Israel heard that Jeroboam had re- 
j'ero-°^ turned, they sent and called him to the assembly of the 
kfn™ people and made him king over all Israel. None remained 
(so°i) loyal to the house of David except the tribe of Judah. And 

Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, 

and dwelt there. Afterwards he went out from there and 

fortified Penuel. 

s.Es- Then Jeroboam said to himself. Now the sovereignty will 

Sent ' revert to the house of David. If this people go up to offer 

?oyai sacrifices in the temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem, then will 

sanct- the heart of this people turn again to their lord, even to 

"^"i^. Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me. So the 

" "^ king took counsel with himself, and made two calves of 

gold, and said to the people. You have gone up to Jerusalem 

long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, which brought 


you up from the land of Egypt! And he set up the one in 
Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin 
to Israel, for the people went to worship before the one, even 
to Dan. 

And he made houses of high places, and made priests 9. Ap- 
from among all the people, who were not of the sons of SSSJ" 
Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, of .^^^ 
on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in W-'^) 
Judah, and he went up to the altar; so he did in Bethel, 
sacrificing to the calves that he had made; and he placed 
in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had 

Now the other acts of Jeroboam, how he carried on wars, 10. 
how he ruled, they are already recorded in the Chronicles beam's 
of the Kings of Israel. And the time during which Jero- j^ign 
boam reigned was twenty-two years. Then he slept with ") 
his fathers, and Nadab his son became king in his place. 

I. The Records of Northern Israel's History. From the period 
of the division onward, the late prophetic editor of the books of Kings 
weaves together the history of the two Hebrew kingdoms. For the first 
two centuries he devotes his chief attention to Northern Israel. His 
method is that of the earlier Hebrew historians. Where ancient his- 
tories were available, he quotes verbatim the sections adapted to his 
purpose. In addition to the state annals of Northern and Southern 
Israel, to which he frequently refers, he evidently had access to certain 
originally independent biographies of the more important kings and 
prophets, such as Jeroboam, Ahab, Jehu, Hezekiah, Elijah, Elisha and 
Isaiah. The result is that his history is very brief and incomplete at 
certain points and very full and detailed at others. Fortunately the 
more important epochs are those most fully treated. 

The citations from the older sources are incorporated by the editor 
in a stereotyped framework, which gives the date of the accession of 
each king, the length of the reign, and certain other important facts 
which he seems to have drawn from the state annals of the two king- 
doms. To these data he adds his own estimate of the character and 
policy of each ruler. His basis of judgment is that of the Deuteronomic 
law which makes Jerusalem the only centre where Jehovah could be 
rightly worshipped. Hence all the kings of Northern Israel, and most 
of the kings of Judah, who regarded the local sanctuaries outside 


Jerusalem as perfectly legitimate, are condemned by him as traitors 
to the religion of their race. 

The historical records in the books of Kings are richly supplemented 
by the sermons of contemporary prophets like Amos and Hosea. These 
sermons are like mirrors, reflecting in detail the many-sided life of the 
nation, and make it possible to view political, social, and moral condi- 
tions in Israel through the eyes of its most enlightened statesmen and 
leaders, and to interpret the real significance of facts and forces with the 
aid of their inspired insight. 

The voluminous contemporary literature which has been discovered 
in the ruins of ancient Babylonia and Assyria also furnishes the data 
for studying Israel's history from the point of view of the conquerors, 
whose approach aroused the prophets to speak and precipitated the great 
crises which made Israel's history forever significant. 

II. Rehoboam's Fatal Policy. The immediate cause of the di- 
vision of the Hebrew empire was the short-sighted policy of Solomon's 
successor, Rehoboam. According to Hebrew usage, a king could not 
be finally established on the throne until his choice was approved by 
his subjects. Thus David had been chosen by the elders of Israel, and 
his son Solomon had been introduced to the people to receive popu- 
lar acceptance and approval. Resting on their constitutional rights, 
the tribes of the north demanded that Rehoboam should meet them at 
the leading northern city of Shechem; and to their demand he was 
obliged to accede. Before accepting him as their king, they asked him 
to give them a definite assurance that he would not continue his father's 
policy of onerous taxation and forced labor. Unfortunately, Reho- 
boam did not listen to the counsel of his oldest and most experienced 
advisers, but followed instead the advice of the young men w^ho, like 
himself, had been brought up in the enervating and artificial atmos- 
phere of Solomon's court, and who were ignorant of the actual condi- 
tions and the dominant forces in the empire. His blunt assertion that 
he would rule as an absolute despot naturally led to his rejection by 
the northern tribes. He also committed the fatal error of sending 
Adoniram, who had charge of the forced labor, to treat with them. 
The result was that Rehoboam was obliged to flee ignominiously back 
to Jerusalem, king only of Judah and of the territory of Benajmin 
lying immediately adjacent to his capital. 

III. The Underlying Causes of the Division. The division was 
but the reopening of the old breach between the northern and southern 
tribes. In the earlier days of the setdement, each group of tribes had 



independently fought its own battles and conquered its own territory. 
A zone of Canaanite cities, with Jebus (Jerusalem) as its centre, had, 
even to the days of David, separated the north and the south. The 
physical characteristics of the land and the natural products of Northern 
Israel were so different from those of the south that they produced a 
distinct type of life and civilization. The broad fertile fields of the 
north supported a prosperous, luxury-loving people. Their highways 
of commerce were open wide to the traders who came from the ad- 
jacent lands, bringing the products, the customs, and the ideas of the 
neighboring Semitic nations. Judah, on the contrary, faced toward the 
desert and kept in closer touch with the life and thought of its nomadic 
ancestors; while its rocky, barren hills produced a more austere and 
hardy type of civilization and religion. 

The strong ancient rivalry between the tribes of the north and of the 
south had repeatedly found expression in the days of David. Solo- 
mon's policy, however, crystallized the jealousy latent in the north into 
bitter discontent. In refusing to accept Solomon's son as king, the 
northerners evidently had the support of their prophets. Ahijah's 
act in tearing his mantle asunder, in order to give ten parts to Jero- 
boam, symbolizes the deliberate conviction and choice of the prophets. 
With their profound insight into the politics of their age, they could not 
have been blind to the dangers and disadvantages which would inevi- 
tably result from the disruption of the empire; yet they chose it as the 
lesser of two evils. Solomon's policy threatened to wrest from the 
people the hereditary rights of the individual and to crush that noble 
democratic spirit which Israel had inherited from its nomadic past. 
It also meant disloyalty to Jehovah; for, in the minds of his people, he 
was fast being placed on an equality with the gods of the neighboring 
nations. To preserve their faith and freedom, the religious and political 
leaders of the north were therefore ready to turn their backs upon the 
splendor and glories of a united Israel and to face the hostile world 

IV. Events of Jeroboam's Reign. Having rejected the house of 
David, the northern tribes naturally turned to their most prominent 
leader. Jeroboam, although of humble origin, had already shown him- 
self the champion of the people against Solomon's despotic policy. 
Like Saul and David, he was called by popular choice to lay the founda- 
tions of the kingdom over which he ruled. Shechem, the largest city of 
central Israel, was at first made the capital of the new kingdom. It 
was beautifully situated in the broad valley which separated Mount 


Gerizim from Mount Ebal, and was watered by the rushing streams 
which gushed forth from the overhanging mountain to the south. It 
was impossible, however, to defend it from hostile attack. Although 
the biblical narrative is silent, it is clear from the Egyptian records that 
both Northern and Southern Israel, early in the reign of Jeroboam I, 
were overrun by an army led by Shishak, king of Egypt, whose con- 
quests extended to the plain of Esdraelon on the north and Mahanaim 
east of the Jordan. The object of this invasion was plunder rather than 
conquest, and both of the Hebrew kingdoms appear to have suffered 
severely (c/. § LXXIII "). The statement that Jeroboam "went out 
from Shechem and fortified Penuel" may reflect the fact that he was 
forced in the presence of this Egyptian invader to transfer his capital to 
the famous old sanctuary east of the Jordan. 

V. Jeroboam's Religious Policy. The late prophetic editor of the 
books of Kings bitterly condemns Jeroboam because he set up two 
calves of gold at the ancient sanctuaries of Bethel and Dan. The act, 
however, was undoubtedly commended by the political and religious 
leaders of his day. In so doing he was but following the precedent 
of Gideon and Solomon. The calves or bulls overlaid with gold were 
probably similar in form to the cherubim which guarded the ark in the 
temple at Jerusalem. The bull appears to have been a common ob- 
ject in ancient Semitic symbolism. Whether they were intended to 
represent the clouds on which Jehovah was borne, as he came to de- 
liver his people, or symbolized the strength and creative power of the 
Deity, it is clear that Jeroboam had no intentions of setting aside the 
national worship of Jehovah. In selecting two sanctuaries, one in the 
north and the other in the extreme south of his kingdom to suit the con- 
venience of his subjects, and in making these sacred places national 
shrines, he showed his zeal for the worship of Israel's God. Many 
other sanctuaries continued to exist in the land; but henceforth those 
at Dan and Bethel were provided with special priests appointed and 
doubtless supported by the king. They stood in the same relation to 
the other high places of Israel, as did Solomon's temple to the sanctua- 
ries of Judah. In offering the public sacrifices in behalf of the nation 
on the great feast days, Jeroboam, like Solomon before him, was simply 
discharging one of his duties as the religious head of the nation. 

VI. Character of Jeroboam's Reign. Analyzing the later biblical 
testimony in the light of contemporary customs and conditions, it seems 
clear that Jeroboam was devoted to the welfare of his kingdom. The 
oft-repeated condemnation of the later prophetic author of the books of 



Kings is from the point of view of the southern kingdom and the Jeru- 
salem temple which this writer regarded as the one legitimate sanctuary. 

Jeroboam's dynasty, however, enjoyed none of the prestige which 
had gathered about the house of David. His kingdom also lacked 
coherence and natural defences. Instead, on every side its broad val- 
leys invited the attack of foreign invaders. Chance references indicate 
that the Philistines again renewed their intermittent attacks upon 
Northern Israel. Hence, to maintain his position and to hold together 
the loosely connected tribes of the north, Jeroboam was obliged to con- 
tend constantly with difficult problems within, as well as with foes 
without his kingdom. The proof of the strength of his character and 
policy is the fact that for over two decades he maintained himself 
against these many odds, and was able at his death to hand down his 
kingdom intact to his son Nadab. 

VII. Effects of the Division. The division of the empire was one 
of the great turning points in Hebrew history. By one stroke it largely 
undid the work of Saul and David. The old breach between the north 
and the south, thus opened, was never again permanently closed. 
The Hebrews never ceased to dream of world-wide conquest; but the 
actual course of history bore them to a very different goal. Each of 
the two Hebrew kingdoms, weakened by civil war, was henceforth ex- 
posed to almost constant attack from strong foes. As a result of these 
protracted wars, their strength was exhausted and they became weaker 
and weaker until they were ground down under the iron heel of the As- 
syrians and Babylonians. 

The division ultimately meant for the Hebrews political ruin and 
exile; but to each of the kingdoms in turn it brought tragic yet pro- 
foundly significant experiences, which opened the eyes of the race to 
new visions of Jehovah's character and demands, and impressed in- 
delibly upon their consciousness the great ethical and spiritual prin- 
ciples which made them a prophet nation. In the bitter school of ex- 
perience, they learned at last to pity and succor the afflicted. Victims 
of injustice and greed, they became the champions of ethical righteous- 
ness. Disappointed in their national and political hopes, they found 
the eternal God of love and those spiritual joys which far transcend all 
material glories. 





1. Na- And Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king in the second 

afsas- y®^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^S o^ Judah, and he reigned over Israel two 

sina- years. And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of 

(Fk. Issachar, conspired against him, and Baasha smote him at 

Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab 

and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. So in the 

third year of Asa king of Judah Baasha slew him, and 

became king in his place. But as soon as he became 

king, he smote all the house of Jeroboam. He did not 

leave of Jeroboam^s house a single soul which he did not 


2.Baa- In the third year of Asa king of Judah Baasha the son 

con* of Ahijah became king over all Israel in Tirzah, and reigned 

demna- twcuty-four years. And there was war between Asa and 

and Baasha king of Israel all their days. Now the other acts 

^1^5^32 of Baasha, and what he did and his mighty deeds, are they 

»6»») not recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 

Moreover, by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani the word 

of Jehovah came against Baasha and against his house, 

because of the evil that he did in the sight of Jehovah, to 

provoke him to anger with the work of his hands, in being 

like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he smote the 

house of Jeroboam. And Baasha slept with his fathers 

and was buried in Tirzah, and Elah his son became king in 

his place. 

3.zim- In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah Elah the 

col. son of Baasha became king over Israel in Tirzah, and 

|pi^racy reigned two years. And his servant Zimri, commander 

llah^ of half his chariots, conspired against him. While he 

hSuse" was in Tirzah drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, 

(' ''"i the royal chamberlain in Tirzah, Zimri went in and smote 

and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of 

Judah, and became king in his place. But as soon as he 

became king and had seated himself on the throne, he smote 

all the house of Baasha ; he left him not a single male, either 

of his kinsfolks or of his friends. Thus Zimri destroyed 

all the house of Baasha. 



In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri 4, Eiec- 
reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were be- omr?^ 
sieging Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. And ^^s 
the people who were engaged in the siege heard the report, 
Zimri has conspired and has also smitten the king; there- 
fore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, 
king over Israel that day in the camp. So Omri went up 
from Gibbethon and all Israel with him, and they besieged 
Tirzah. When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went 
into the castle of the royal palace, and burnt the royal palace 
over him. Thus he died. 

Then the people of Israel were divided. Half of the 
people followed Tibni the son of Ginath and made him king, "o^y ^^' 
and the other half followed Omri. But the people with over his 
Omri were stronger than the people with Tibni the son of ™3) 
Ginath. So Tibni and his brother Joram died, and Omri 
became king. In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah 
Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned twelve years; 
six years he reigned in Tirzah. 

Then he bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two e. His 
talents of silver; and he built on the hill and named the [f^^^, 
city which he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the ") 
owner of the hill. Now the rest of the acts of Omri, and 
all that he did and his mighty deeds, are they not recorded 
in the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? So Omri slept with 
his fathers and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son 
became king in his place. 

Now in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah 7 
Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel; and mar- ^ 
Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty- jjff^f 
two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did that which dis- J^ebei 
pleased Jehovah more than all his predecessors: he took »ib-33.) 
as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sido- 
nians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. 
And he erected an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which 
he had built in Samaria. And Ahab also made the asherah. 

In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho. He laid its s. Re- 
foundation with the loss of Abiram his eldest, and set up in"g 
the gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, as Je- •Js^J'''^" 
hovah had spoken by Joshua the son of Nun. 

ble de- 


g.Ben-^ Then Ben-hadad the king of Aram gathered all his host 
together, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and 
horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria 
mands and fought against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab 
(201 6) jj-j^g qj Israel into the city and said to him, Thus says Ben- 
hadad, ' Your silver and your gold are mine ; your wives 
also and your children, are mine.' And the king of Israel 
answered and said. As you say, my lord, king : I am yours 
with all that I have. And the messengers came again 
and said. Thus says Ben-hadad, *I sent to you, saying, 
"You shall deliver to me your silver and your gold and your 
wives and your children"; but to-morrow I will send my 
servants about this time and they shall search your house 
and the houses of your servants ; and whatever is attractive 
to them, they shall take in their hands and bear it away.' 
10. Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land 

refSs^ai ^^d said, Mark, I pray, and see how this man is seeking 
to com- to make trouble, for he sent to me for my wives and my 
f7-^2) children and for my silver and gold, and I did not refuse 
him. And all the elders and all the people said to him. Do 
not hearken nor consent ! Therefore he said to the messen- 
gers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, 'All that you de- 
manded of your servant at the first I will do, but this I can- 
not do.' So the messengers departed and brought him word 
again. Then Ben-hadad sent to him and said. Let the gods 
do to me what they will, if the dust of Samaria shall sufiice 
for handfuls for all the people who follow me! And the 
king of Israel answered and said. Tell him, *Let not him who 
is girding on his sword boast himself as he who is putting it 
off.' Now when Ben-hadad heard this message — he was 
drinking together with the kings in the pavilions — he said 
to his servants. Set yourselves in array. And they set them- 
selves in array against the city. 
11. His But just then a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel 
J^'e^r^ and said. Thus saith Jehovah, * Hast thou seen all this great 
Je^ multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into thy hand to-day, 
means and thou shalt know that I am Jehovah.' And Ahab said, 
^""^') By whom? And he said. Thus saith Jehovah, *By the 
joung men under the provincial commanders.' And he 
said, Who shall begin the battle? And he answered, Thou. 



Then he mustered the young men under the provincial 
commanders, and they were two hundred and thirty-two. 
And after them he mustered all the people, even all the 
IsraeHtes — seven thousand. And at noon they made the 
attack, while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in 
the pavilions, together with the thirty-two kings who had 
come to help him. And the young men under the pro- 
vincial commanders went out first. And Ben-hadad sent 
out messengers and they reported to him saying. Men have 
come out from Samaria. And he said, Whether they have 
come out with peaceful intent, take them alive ; or whether 
they have come out for war, take them alive. So these 
(the young men under the provincial commanders) went 
out of the city, and the army which followed them. And 
they slew each his man, so that the Arameans fled. And 
the Israelites pursued them, but Ben-hadad, the king of 
Aram, escaped on a horse with horsemen. Then the king 
of Israel went out and captured horses and chariots, and 
slew a great number of the Arameans. 

And the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said i2.Ben- 
to him. Go, strengthen thyself, and mark and see what p^pa-^ 
thou wilt do, for a year from now the king of Aram will come [Jj^^"^ 
up against thee. And the servants of the king of Aram second 
said to him. Their gods are hill-gods, therefore they were pa^^ 
too strong for us ; but let us fight against them in the plain, ^*^ '') 
and surely we shall be stronger than they. And do this: 
take the kings away each from his place, and put command- 
ers in their place, and assemble an army, like the army that 
you have lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot; 
then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we 
shall be stronger than they. And he listened to their ad- 
vice and did so. 

Now when the year had come around Ben-hadad mustered i3. 
the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel, ^cond 
And the Israelites were mustered and provided with pro- ^^^^^ 
visions, and went against them. And the Israelites en- C'^-^") 
camped before them like two small flocks of goats, while 
the Arameans filled the country. Then a man of God came 
near and said to the king of Israel, Thus saith Jehovah, 
^Because the Arameans think, "Jehovah is a hill-god but 



not a god of the valleys," therefore I will deliver all this 
great multitude into thy hand, that ye may know that I am 
Jehovah.' So they encamped opposite each other seven 
days. But on the seventh day the battle was joined; and 
the Israelites slew of the Arameans a hundred thousand 
footmen in one day. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the 
city; and the wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand of the 
men who were left. Ben-hadad also fled, and came into 
the city, into an innermost chamber. 
14 .Lib- And his servants said to him. Behold now, we have heard 
te?ms that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings; 
to Ben- ^®* ^^ therefore put sackcloth about our loins and ropes 
hadad about our heads and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps 
Ahab he will save your life. So they girded sackcloth about their 
^*'""> loins and put ropes about their heads, and came to the king 
of Israel and said. Your servant Ben-hadad says, *Let me 
live.' And he replied. Is he yet alive? He is my brother. 
Now the men began to divine his thought and quickly caught 
it up from him and said, Ben-hadad is your brother. Then 
he said. Go, bring him! And when Ben-hadad came out 
to him he took him up to himself in the chariot. And Ben- 
hadad said to him. The cities which my father took from 
your father, I will restore, and you may establish streets 
for yourself in Damascus as my father established in Samaria. 
And Ahab said, I will let you go with this agreement. So 
he made an agreement with him and let him go. 
i5.The Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets at the com- 
proph- niand of Jehovah said to his fellow. Smite me, I pray. But 
and its *^® °^^° refused to smite him. Then he said to him. Since 
appii- you have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, as soon as you 
(2^«)° have gone away from me, a lion shall slay you. Accord- 
ingly, as soon as he had gone away from him, a lion found 
him and slew him. Then he found another man, and said. 
Smite me, I pray. And the man smote him so as to wound 
him. Then the prophet departed and waited for the king 
by the way and disguised himself with a covering over his 
eyes. And as the king was passing by, he cried to the king 
and said. Your servant had gone out into the midst of the 
battle, when suddenly a man turned aside, and brought a 
man to me and said, * Watch this man; if by any means he 



be missing, then must your life be for his life, or else you 
must pay a talent of silver !' And as your servant was look- 
ing here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel 
said to him. Such is your verdict: you yourself have de- 
cided it. Then he quickly took the covering away from 
his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized that he was one 
of the prophets. And he said to him. Thus saith Jehovah, 
^Because thou hast let go out of thy hand the man whom I 
had condemned to destruction, therefore thy life shall go 
for his life and thy people for his people.* And the king of 
Israel went homeward in ill-humor and sullen, and came to 

I. The Dynasty of Baasha. After the death of Jeroboam the in- 
stabiUty of the kingship in Northern Israel was speedily demonstrated. 
Nadab, the son of Jeroboam I, after a reign of only two years, fell a 
prey to a conspiracy led by Baasha. Baasha is one of the two or three 
men mentioned in Israelite history who came from the central tribe of 
Issachar. The prophetic historian has little to say about this dynasty, 
which was founded by bloodshed and maintained by the sword. The 
chief event was the war with Judah. Asa, the king of the southern 
realm, was so closely pressed that he appealed for help to Damascus. 
Thus was inaugurated that protracted series of wars between the 
Israelites and Arameans which drained the resources of both kingdoms 
and prepared the way for the later Assyrian conquests. 

The history of Baasha's dynasty well illustrates the truth that "they 
who take the sword shall perish by the sword." Elah, his son, after a 
brief reign, was slain in a drunken debauch by one of his military com- 
manders, and all the members of the royal family shared his fate. 

II. Omri's Accession. The Hebrew army in the field forthwith 
proclaimed their commander, Omri, king, and marched against the 
capital, which was then at Tirzah, a little to the northeast of Shechem. 
Omri quickly overthrew the forces of the assassin; but his position on 
the throne of Israel was not firmly established until he had vanquished 
another rival, Tibni, the son of Ginath. Northern Israel was thus 
torn by civil war, until finally the strong hand of Omri united all the 
rival factions and inaugurated a new era of prosperity and strength 
for the greater Hebrew kingdom. 

In certain respects Omri was the David of Northern Israel. Follow- 
ing the example of the founder of the Hebrew empire, he secured a fer- 



tile hill, northwest of Shechem, named it Samaria, and made it his 
capital. Its strength, like that of Jerusalem, depended not upon its 
elevation but upon its being surrounded by deep valleys and therefore 
capable of easy defence. On the top of the hill was ample room for a 
large and strong city. The fact that the inhabitants of Samaria were 
later able for three years to defy successfully the highly organized army 
of Assyria amply confirms the wisdom of Omri's choice. 

III. Omri's Foreign Policy. The Old Testament says nothing 
of Omri's military achievements; but in the famous Moabite stone, 
discovered in 1868 at Dibon in the territory of ancient Moab, Ahab's 
contemporary, Mesha, king of Moab, tells of his wars with Israel. 
He states in his inscription, which he set up to commemorate his victory 
over the Hebrews, that " Omri was king of Israel and he aflBicted Moab 
many days because Chemosh (the god of Moab) was angry with his 
land. Omri took possession of the land of Medeba and he occupied it 
during half of his sons' days, forty years." From this contemporary 
evidence it is clear that Omri reasserted the rule of Israel over at least 
the northern part of Moab. He also was the first of Israel's rulers to 
pay tribute to the new power, Assyria, which, under its conquering 
king, Asurna9irpal HI, in 876 B.C., carried its arms into Northern Syria 
as far as the Mediterranean Sea. It is also significant that even in the 
days of Jehu, the rebel who overthrew Omri's dynasty, Northern Israel 
was still known to the Assyrians as " the House of Omri." Omri further 
established the strength of his kingdom through an alliance with Eth- 
baal, king of the Sidonians. By this act he opened the way for com- 
merce between Northern Israel and the civilized peoples of the eastern 
Mediterranean. Thus, under the strong leadership of Omri, the 
northern Hebrew kingdom began to emerge from its period of anarchy 
and wasting warfare, and to assume a commanding position among the 
nations of southwestern Asia. 

In the Arameans to the northeast, Omri met a foe before whom he 
w^as obliged to bow. Following in the wake of the ancient Hittites, the 
Arameans had come down and strongly intrenched themselves among 
the Lebanons, and at Damascus, on the border line between the agri- 
cultural territory of the eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian desert, 
they had built up a strong and prosperous capital. Damascus itself 
is a fertile oasis fed by the waters which break through the eastern 
Lebanons and which, by an elaborate system of irrigation, transform 
the sands of the desert into a series of fruitful gardens. To the Arame- 
ans, Omri ceded certain territory, probably east of the Jordan, and 



also certain streets or quarters in his new capital, Samaria, for the use of 
Aramean merchants. He also probably paid heavy tribute to insure 
immunity from Aramean attack. 

IV. Ahab's War of Independence. Omri laid the foundations of 
a strong kingdom; but to his son Ahab he left the task of shaking off 
the Aramean yoke. At first Ahab appears to have paid tribute and to 
have been ready to yield to any reasonable demand imposed by his 
Aramean overlords. When, however, Ben-hadad, king of Aram, de- 
manded the privilege of pillaging without restriction Ahab's capital and 
palace, the Hebrew king naturally refused. Encouraged by the advice 
of a prophet, Ahab met the vainglorious boast of the Aramean king 
with active and successful resistence. 

A year later another Aramean army was vanquished near Aphek, east 
of the sea of Chinnereth. The numbers possibly have been magnified 
in transmission, but many Arameans were slain and, most significant 
of all, Ben-hadad himself was captured. Instead of slaying his rival, 
Ahab set him free on condition that the captured Israelite cities should 
be restored and that certain streets should be set aside in Damascus for 
Israelite merchants and settlers, even as Omri had granted like con- 
cessions in Samaria to the Arameans. 

The narrative itself suggests that Ahab's motive in giving Ben-hadad 
his freedom was to establish close commercial relations between the 
two countries. By land the Arameans commanded the trade of the 
east and northeast, even as the Phoenicians by sea controlled that of 
the Mediterranean. The records also indicate that one of Ahab's 
ambitions was to build up a magnificent court and kingdom like that 
of Solomon. To realize this ambition, close commercial relations with 
the surrounding nations were essential. Ben-hadad's liberation may 
also have been due to Ahab's recognition of the fact that both he and 
his rival were confronted by a common foe, Assyria, and that the only 
hope of escape was by uniting their forces. At least, in 854 B.C., 
according to the annals of Shalmaneser II, both Aram and Israel 
fought together against the Assyrian invader. 

To the prophets of Israel, Ahab's action in freeing Ben-hadad seemed 
inexcusable. By means of a dramatic symbolism, which appears to 
have been characteristic of these early prophets, a certain unknown 
son of the prophets declared to the king that he had proved himself a 
traitor to the God of his race in setting free his heathen foe, and that 
for this act disaster would overtake Israel and its king. 

There appears to have been much that was fanatical in the aims 



and methods of these early sons of the prophets. Their fanaticism 
was, at the same time, their strength as well as their weakness. Their 
zeal for Jehovah made them a strong power in the life of the nation; 
but that same zeal also blinded them to the political and commercial 
issues of the hour. 

V. Ahab's Character and Policy. By the majority of Ahab's 
contemporaries he was undoubtedly regarded as an able and successful 
warrior, a patriotic ruler, and a wise statesman. Northern Israel, 
with its broad and productive fields, could enjoy in return for its 
products the best that the older and higher civilizations could furnish, 
provided an open market could be secured for its grain and other 
products. Alliances with the Phoenicians and Arameans were there- 
fore exceedingly desirable. Ahab also secured peace with the southern 
Hebrew kingdom by means of an alliance, sealed by the marriage of 
his daughter Athaliah with Ahaziah of the house of Judah. Thus, 
by his military skill and diplomacy in carrying out the policy insti- 
tuted by his father Omri, Ahab not only threw off the Aramean yoke 
and established the supremacy of Northern Israel among the states 
of eastern Mediterranean, but also opened wide the gates of commerce 
which brought to his people the culture and products of the ancient 
Semitic world. In many ways he was the greatest king of Northern 

VI. The Dangers of Ahab's Policy. If Israel's highest ideal had 
been the attainment of material splendor and strength, Ahab's policy 
would doubtless have passed unchallenged. There was, however, hid 
in the heart of the nation from the first a nobler ideal, which Ahab's 
policy was fast obscuring. As has been shown, that ideal was brought 
by the ancestors of the Hebrews from the desert and was probably 
first formulated by Moses. It was that Israel should give its entire 
loyalty to Jehovah, since he would tolerate no rival god. Solomon 
had ignored this fundamental tenet of Israel's faith and the division 
of the kingdom had been the result. In the luxurious, enervating, 
urban life of Northern Israel, the majority of the Hebrews had lost 
sight of the old desert ideal and doubtless sympathized with Ahab in 
accepting the inevitable consequences of a Semitic alliance, and in 
tolerating within the bounds of Israel the worship of the gods of the 

The crisis was intensified by the fact that the Tyrian queen, Jezebel, 
who came to Ahab's court to seal the Phoenician alliance, was not an 
ordinary oriental woman. Her father, Ethbaal, was a former priest of 



Baal, who had mounted the Tyrian throne by assassinating the reign- 
ing king. Jezebel thus inherited unusual ability and energy, a strong 
religious zeal and those oriental despotic ideals which hesitated at no 
crime in attaining personal ends. As queen she had the right to es- 
tablish at the Hebrew court a temple and priesthood for the worship of 
her native God, Baal Melkart. It was also easy for a woman of her 
ability gradually to increase the number of the priests and the splendor 
of the ritual at the Baal temple, until they overshadowed those of the 
older native sanctuaries. 

To an agricultural people, the worship of Baal, the native Canaanite 
god of fertility, also offered many strong attractions; and its licentious 
rites appealed powerfully to their baser instincts. It was almost in- 
evitable, therefore, that in such an atmosphere and under royal patron- 
age, this kindred worship should flourish and attract many followers. 

There is no evidence that Ahab contemplated abandoning the worship 
of Jehovah for that of Baal. The names of four of his children contain 
the shortened form {J ah or Jo) of the divine name Jehovah or Yahweh. 
To the close of his reign the king was surrounded by a group of prophetic 
advisers who spoke in the name of Israel's God; but with the more 
zealous prophets, who demanded that he banish from his realm all 
vestiges of the alien religion, he had no sympathy. In the light of 
Semitic custom, such an act would mean the severing of all alliances 
with their neighbors and a complete abandonment of the constructive 
policy which had brought peace and prosperity to Israel. The situa- 
tion called for some one able clearly to define the issue and to appeal 
to the nation to choose between its material and spiritual ideals. 


Now Elijah the Tishbite of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, i. eh- 
As Jehovah, the God of Israel, liveth, whom I serve, there f^^^' 
shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except according Ahab 
to my word. ... 171) ' 

Then the word of Jehovah came to him, saying. Depart 2. By 
from here and turn eastward and hide thyself by the Brook Brook 
Cherith, that is east of Jordan. Then thou shalt drink out cherith 
of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed 
thee there. So he went and obeyed the command of Je- 



hovah and dwelt by the Brook Cherith that is east of Jordan. 
And the ravens brought him bread every morning and flesh 
every evening, and he used to drink out of the brook. But 
after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain 
in the land. 

3. Mi- Then the word of Jehovah came to him, saying, Arise, 
E' go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. 
vision Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for 
of food thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he 
phatr' came to the gate of the city a widow was there gathering 
^^'^°^ sticks ; and calling to her, he said. Bring me, I pray, a little 

water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going 
to bring it, he called after her, Bring also, I pray, a bit of 
bread with you. And she replied, As Jehovah your God 
liveth, I have nothing but a handful of meal in the jar and 
a little oil in the cruse ; and now I am gathering a few sticks, 
that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that 
we may eat it and then die. But Elijah said to her. Fear 
not; go and do as you have said, but first make me from it 
a little cake, and then make for yourself and your son. 
For thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, *The jar of meal 
shall not be used up, neither shall the cruse of oil become 
empty, until the day that Jehovah sendeth rain upon the 
earth.' And she went and did as Elijah directed. So she 
and he and her household had food to eat. From that day 
the jar of meal was not used up, neither did the cruse of 
oil become empty, just as Jehovah had said by Elijah. 

4. Re- Now after this the son of the mistiess of the house fell sick ; 
the"S5 ^^^ ^is sickness was so severe that there was no breath left 
of the in him. Then she said to Elijah, What have I to do with 
(IJ-M)^ you, man of God? You have come to me to remind me 

of my sin by slaying my son ! And he said to her. Give me 
your son. And he took him out of her bosom and carried 
him up into the upper chamber, where he was staying, and 
laid him upon his own bed. And he cried to Jehovah, and 
said, Jehovah, my God, hast thou also brought evil upon 
this widow, whose guest I am, by slaying her son? And 
he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried 
to Jehovah and said, O Jehovah, my God, I pray thee, let 
this child's life come back to him again. And Jehovah 



hearkened to the voice of Elijah; and the life of the child 
came back to him again, so that he revived. Then Elijah 
took the child and brought him down from the upper 
chamber into the house and gave him to his mother. And 
Elijah said, See, your son lives! And the woman said to 
Elijah, Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the 
word of Jehovah in your mouth is truth. 

Now a long time after this the word of Jehovah came to 5. eh- 
Elijah, in the third year, saying. Go, show thyself to Ahab; jfe^* 
and I will send rain upon the earth. So Elijah went to show ™|"*\,, 
himself to Ahab. ^'* ^ 

And the famine was severe in Samaria. And Ahab had 6 se- 
called Obadiah, the prefect of the palace. Now Obadiah of the 
revered Jehovah greatly; for when Jezebel tried to ex- ^^^f^ 
terminate the prophets of Jehovah, Obadiah took a hundred 
prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave and fed them con- 
tinually with bread and water. And Ahab had said to 
Obadiah, Up! let us go through the land to all the springs 
of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find grass 
so that we can save the horses and mules alive and not lose 
all the beasts. So they divided the land between them to 
pass through it: Ahab went in one direction by himself 
and Obadiah went in another direction by himself. 

And while Obadiah was on the way, Elijah met him sud- 7 Eii< 
denly. When he knew him, he fell on his face and said, inter- 
Is it you, my lord Elijah? And he answered him. It is I; ^f^^ 
go, tell your lord, ^Elijah is here.' And he said. Wherein oba- 
have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the ch 
hand of Ahab, to slay me? As Jehovah your God liveth, there 
is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord has not sent to 
seek you ; and when they said *He is not here,' he took an 
oath of the kingdom and nation, that no one had found you. 
And now you say, *Go, tell your lord, "Elijah is here." ' 
And as soon as I am gone from you the spirit of Jehovah 
will carry you to a place unknown to me, and so when I come 
and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will put me to death, 
although I, your servant, have feared Jehovah from my 
youth. Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel 
slew the prophets of Jehovah, how I hid a hundred of Je- 
hovah's prophets by fifty in a cave and fed them continu- 



ally with bread and water? And now you say, *Go, tell 
your lord, Elijah is here,' that he may put me to death! 
But EUjah said. As Jehovah of hosts liveth, before whom I 
stand, I will surely show myself to him to-day. 

8. His So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him, and Ahab 
m^'d went to meet Elijah. And as soon as Ahab saw Elijah, 
to Ahab said to him. Is it you, you who have brought mis- 
0«-") fortune to Israel? And he answered, I have not brought 

misfortune to Israel, but you and your father's house, in 
that you have forsaken the commands of Jehovah and have 
run after the Baals. Now therefore send and gather to me 
all Israel to Mount Carmel, together with the four hundred 
and fifty prophets of the Baal and the four hundred prophets 
of the asherah, who eat at JezebePs table. 

9. Eli- So Ahab sent to all the Israelites and gathered the prophets 
idd?es3 together to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah came near to all 
to the the people and said. How long are you going to limp between 
(*2o°?)® the two sides? If Jehovah be God, follow him, but if the 

Baal, then follow him. But the people gave him no answer. 
Then Elijah said to the people, I, even I only, am left as a 
prophet of Jehovah, but the Baal's prophets are four hun- 
dred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bul- 
locks, and let them choose one bullock for themselves and 
cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood without putting on 
any fire, and I will dress the other bullock and lay it on 
wood without putting on any fire. Then you call on your 
god and I will call on Jehovah ; and the God who answers 
by fire, he is the God. And all the people answered and said, 
It is well spoken. 

10. And Elijah said to the prophets of the Baal, Choose one 
ofihe^ of the bullocks for yourselves and dress it first, for you are 
Baal many, and call on your god, without putting on any fire. So 
?ts°^ " they took the bullock which he gave them and dressed it, and 
the™St called on the Baal from morning even until noon, saying, 
(25.29) Baal, hear us. But there was no voice nor answer. And 

they limped about the altar which they had erected. But 
when it was noon, Elijah mocked them, saying. Cry aloud; 
for he is a god ; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, 
or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must 
be awakened! Then they cried aloud, and cut themselves 



after their manner with swords and lances until the blood 
gushed out upon them. And when midday was past, they 
prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening ob- 
lation; but there was neither voice nor answer nor heed 
paid to their cry. 

Then Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And ii. Eii- 
all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar Jfrepa- 
of Jehovah which had been thrown down. Then he made j^f^^l 
a trench about the altar of about the capacity of one and test^^ 
one-fourth bushels of seed. And he laid the pieces of wood i) 
in order, cut up the bullock, and laid it on pieces of the wood. 
And he said. Fill four jars with water and pour it on the 
burnt-offering and on the pieces of wood. Ana he said. Do 
it the second time ; and they did it the second time. And he 
said, Do it the third time; and they did it also the third 
time, so that the water ran round the altar; and he also 
filled the trench with water. 

But when it was time to offer the evening oblation, Elijah 1.2. The 
the prophet came near and said, Jehovah, God of Abra- fJom 
ham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that ^^^y^" 
thou art God in Israel and that I am thy servant, and that firr^ing 
I have done all these things at thy command. Hear me, O Je- wdJS ^ 
hovah, hear me, that this people may know that thou, ^**"^ 
Jehovah, art God, and that thou hast turned their heart 
back again. Then the fire of Jehovah fell and consumed 
the burnt-offering and the wood, the stones and the dust, 
and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when 
all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and cried, 
Jehovah, he is God; Jehovah, he is God. But Elijah 
commanded them. Take the prophets of the Baal; let not 
one of them escape! So they took them down to the 
Brook Kishon and slew them there. 

Then Elijah said to Ahab, Go up, eat and drink ; for there 13. 
is the sound of a heavy downpour of rain. So Ahab went ing^f 
up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of ^^Jl^jf ° 
Carmel, and crouched down upon the earth, with his face 
between his knees. And he said to his servant. Go up now, 
look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked and 
said, There is nothing. And he said. Now go again seven 
times. So the servant went back seven times. But the 



seventh time he said, There is a cloud arising out of the 
sea as small as a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say to 
Ahab, 'Make ready your chariot, go down, that the rain 
may not stop you.' Then in a little while the heavens 
grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great 
rain. And Ahab rode toward Jezreel. And the hand of 
Jehovah was on Elijah, so that he girded up his loins and 
ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. 
14. EU- Now when Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, 
ig^jft and all the details of his slaying the prophets with the 
Horeb sword, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying. As 
(i9U9a) surely as you are Elijah and I am Jezebel, may the gods do 
to me what they will, if I do not make your life as the life 
of one of them by to-morrow about this time. Then he 
was afraid and arose and went for his life. And he came 
to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah; and there he left 
his servant. But he himsefi went a day's journey into the 
wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree, 
and he asked that he might die, saying. It is enough ; now, 
Jehovah, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers ! 
Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. There- 
upon a divine messenger touched him and said to him. Rise, 
eat ! And when he looked, he saw there at his head a cake, 
baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. And he ate and 
drank and lay down again. But the messenger of Jehovah 
came again the second time and touched him and said. 
Rise, eat, or else the journey will be too long for you. So 
he arose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that 
food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the Mount of God. 
And there he came to a cave and lodged therein. 
i5.Hia Thereupon the word of Jehovah came to him. And 
^^^^ he said to him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he 
(»t-iu) said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of 
hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken thee, thrown down 
jQ thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and 
Re-e- I only am left, and they seek to take my life from me. Then 
o{ je°^ he said. Go forth and stand on the mount before Jehovah. 
hovah'8 Thereupon Jehovah passed by, and a great and violent 
charac- wind rent the mountain and broke in pieces the rocks be- 
(fib-u) fore Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind. And 



after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the 
earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire ; but Jehovah 
was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low, 
soft whisper. And as soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped 
his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the en- 
trance of the cave. And then there came a voice to him and 
said. What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have 
been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts, for the 
Israelites have forsaken thee, thrown down thine altars, 
and slain thy prophets with the sword, and I only am left, 
and they seek to take away my life from me. 

Then Jehovah said to him. Go, return on thy way to the 17. Di- 
Wilderness of Damascus, and when thou comest anoint Jf^^g 
Hazael to be king over Aram. And Jehu the son of Nim- for the 
shi Shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel. And Elisha throw 
the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to f^^^^^' 
be prophet in thy place. And it shall be that whoever es- ("'*) 
capes the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall slay; and whoever 
escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall slay. Yet will I 
spare seven thousand in Israel — all the knees which have 
not bowed to Baal and every mouth which hath not kissed 

Now when he had departed from there he found Elisha isse^ 
the son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oi^^"^ 
oxen, and he was with the twelfth. And Elijah went over ^jfl'^^® 
to him and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen succes- 
and ran after Elijah and said. Let me, I pray you, kiss my father \?lii) 
and my mother and then I will follow you. And he said to 
him. Go back again, for what have I done to you? So he 
turned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and 
slew them and boiled their flesh with the implements of 
the oxen and gave to the people to eat. Then he arose and 
went after Elijah and entered into his service. 

Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard beside the palace i9. Na- 
of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spoke to Naboth, say- refusal 
ing, Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vege- ^9/®^^ 
table garden, because it is near my house, and I will give vine 
you a better vineyard for it ; or, if it is more satisfactory to ihab 
you, I will give you the value of it in money. But Naboth ^21 '■*) 
answered Ahab, Jehovah forbid me, that I should give to 


yard to 


you the inheritance of my fathers. And Ahab came into 
his house in ill-humor because of the word which Naboth 
the Jezreelite had spoken to him ; for he had said, I will not 
give to you the inheritance of my fathers. And he lay 
down on his bed and covered his face and would eat no 

20. jez- But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, Why 
meil! are you so out of humor that you eat no food? And he re- 
Sre ^^ ^^ ^®^» Because I made a proposition to Naboth the 
Na- "^^ Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money ; 
death ^^ else if it is more satisfactory to you I will give you an- 
(''") other vineyard for it*; and he answered, *I will not give 

you my vineyard.' Then Jezebel his wife said to him. Is it 
you who now holds sway in Israel? Arise, eat, and let your 
heart be cheerful. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth 
the JezreeUte. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and 
sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders 
and to the nobles who were in his city, who presided with 
Naboth. And she wrote in the letters. Proclaim a fast and 
also place Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 
Then place two base men before him and let them bear wit- 
ness against him, saying, *You have cursed God and the king.' 
And then carry him out and stone him to death. 

21. Re- And the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who 
?ion^of presided in his city, did as Jezebel had ordered them. As 
her de- was Commanded in the letters which she had sent to them, 
(1^6) they proclaimed a fast, and put Naboth in a prominent place 

among the people. And two base men came in and sat 
before him, and the scoundrels bore witness against him 
(Naboth) in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth 
cursed God and the king. Then they carried him out of the 
city and stoned him to death with stones. And they sent to 
Jezebel, saying, Naboth has been stoned and is dead. And 
as soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and 
was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of 
the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused 
to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive but dead. 
And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab 
rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, 
to take possession of it. 



But the word of Jehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, say- 22 
ing, Arise, go down to meet Ahab the king of Israel, who gui 
dwells in Samaria ; he is just now in the vineyard of Naboth, ^'^ 
whither he has gone down to take possession of it. And 
thou Shalt speak to him, saying, *Thus saith Jehovah, "Hast 
thou killed and also taken possession?" * Moreover thou 
shalt speak to him, saying, *Thus saith Jehovah, "In the 
place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth will the 
dogs lick thy blood also." ' And Ahab said to Elijah, Have 
you found me, mine enemy? And he answered, I have. 
And of Jezebel also Jehovah hath spoken, saying, *The dogs 
shall eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.* Now when 
Ahab heard those words he tore his clothes and put sack- 
cloth on his flesh and fasted ; he also slept on sackcloth and 
went about quietly. 

I. The Elijah Stories. The account of Ahab's wars contains no 
references to the prophet EHjah. In the extracts from what appears 
to have been a detailed account of the events of Ahab's reign, the king 
is pictured as a brave and benign ruler. The condemnation of his 
poHcy in sparing the life of the Aramean king, Ben-hadad, suggests the 
attitude of the prophetic party. The activity and point of view of 
Elijah, the great commanding figure of the period, are recorded in the 
chapters seventeen, eighteen, nineteen and twenty-one of I Kings. In 
the Greek version of the Old Testament these chapters follow each 
other without a break. It is evident that they were taken from the same 
source. That source was evidently an account of the work of Elijah 
which was current among the prophets of a later day. The abrupt- 
ness with which Elijah is introduced indicates that the original Elijah 
history is here quoted only in part. 

The interest in this Elijah history is religious rather than political 
and fixes attention on the activity of the prophet rather than of the king. 
Its point of view is fundamentally different, but its testimony is not con- 
tradictory, but rather supplementary, to that of the Ahab history. It 
reveals the deeper problems and forces in Israel's life. The prominence 
of miracles and the exaltation of the authority of the prophet far above 
that of the king reveal the influence of transmission on the lips of the 
people or of the later prophets. The stories represent tradition's re- 
membrance and interpretation of the real character and work of Elijah. 
To gain a true conception of the actual course of history, it is therefore 


23. 27) 


necessary to make allowance for this traditional element. At the same 
time there is a freshness and a wealth of detail in each of the narratives 
which indicate that they come from a period not far removed from the 
events which they record. As there is in them no condemnation of the 
high places of Israel and of the rites connected with them, it would seem 
that these Elijah stories were committed to writing some time before the 
middle of the eighth centmy; for at that time Amos, Hosea and Isaiah 
began to attack these popular institutions. 

II. Elijah, the Tishbite. The situation in the days of Ahab re- 
quired a man of clear vision and of fearless, heroic character to stem 
the popular tide and to lead the nation back to its simpler and older 
ideals. Almost unconsciously the king and the people were yielding 
to the allurements of the agricultural and commercial civilization which 
they had received from the ancient Canaanites and the neighboring 
Phoenicians. It was natural that Moses's successor should come from 
Gilead, which was the borderland between the desert of Israel's earlier 
days and their settled home in Palestine. Elijah's costume, the rough 
shepherd's mantle and staff, his food, and the freedom with which he 
moves from place to place, all proclaim his wilderness origin. His 
flight to Horeb in the hour of his great discouragement also indicates 
that he felt himself to be the champion of the God of Moses and of 
Israel's earlier faith. In common with the Rechabites and Nazirites, 
the representatives of the old nomadic religion, he viewed askance 
the agricultural civilization of Canaan, with its debasing religious in- 
stitutions and its gross immorality. By Ahab and the members of his 
court this prophet of the desert was doubtless regarded as a rude fanatic. 
The king's words on meeting Elijah reveal the inevitable hostility which 
existed between these two strong men. 

III. Elijah's Demand of Loyalty to Jehovah. From his desert 
point of view Elijah could see no justification of Ahab's policy in toler- 
ating within the land of Israel the worship of an alien god. His reason- 
ing was simple and incontrovertible: Israel was Jehovah's people, and 
Jehovah from the first had demanded their entire loyalty. To share 
that loyalty with another god was treason on the part of both king and 
people. Doubtless the prophet was' also fully aware of the unspeak- 
ably corrupting moral influences of the Baal religion. 

On the other hand, in the light of conditions in Northern Israel, it is 
easy to understand why Ahab refused to listen to the prophet. To 
have acceded to Elijah's demands it would have been necessary for 
the king to reverse completely his most cherished policies. It would 



have meant not only severing foreign alliances, but also throwing off 
the powerful influence of his own queen Jezebel. Hence the close- 
drawn issue between king and prophet, and the necessity of Elijah's 
public appeal to the conscience of the people. 

The Greek historians record a famine during the reign of Ittobaal 
of Tyre which affected Phoenicia as well as Israel; but according to them 
it lasted but one year. By Phoenicians, as well as Israelites, a calamity 
of this character was regarded as certain evidence of divine disfavor. 
It therefore prepared the minds of the people in a most effective man- 
ner for the prophet's message. 

IV. Elijah's Appeal to the Nation. According to the prophetic 
tradition, Elijah's appeal to the people was made at a great national 
assembly, the background and primary occasion of which was a severe 
and protracted drought. The scene of the assembly was the ancient 
sanctuary on the eastern heights of Mount Carmel, which projects into 
the heart of Northern Israel and was easily accessible from all parts of 
the kingdom. Here, not far from Ahab's capital, but upon the heights, 
removed from the Canaanite shrines and civilization, the representatives 
of the nation assembled to ask divine favor and deliverance. Later 
tradition has preserved the memory of a lightning flash and the down- 
pour of rain, which were interpreted as divine confirmation of the 
prophet's authority; but it has also recorded that which was most sig- 
nificant in the dramatic scene on Mount Carmel — the prophet's bold de- 
mand that the people choose once and forever between Jehovah and Baal. 

As at all times in their history, however, the people were slow to 
choose and slower to act. Elijah, like the earlier prophets, appears to 
have taken the initiative, and, in his consuming zeal, to have given com- 
mand to slay the hated prophets of Baal. For the moment he seemed 
victorious and in his enthusiasm ran before Ahab's chariot across the 
plain to the entrance of Jezreel. 

V. The Revelation at Horeb. Unlike most oriental women, Jeze- 
bel was daunted neither by fear nor public opinion. It soon became 
evident that she was still in control of Ahab and of the capital. Like 
every enthusiast, Elijah was probably subject to great revulsions of 
feeling. In his despondency Jezebel's message to the prophet appar- 
ently drove him forth a fugitive, discouraged and in terror. Nomad 
that he was, he naturally fled along the great highway southward to 
the sacred sanctuary at Beersheba, and then on alone, a pilgrim to the 
sacred mountain of Jehovah, the scene, according to the early Hebrew 
stories, of the revelation to Moses and the nation. 



Again popular tradition suggests with wonderful beauty and delicacy 
the significant facts in Elijah's experience at this critical period of his 
life. Man of iron — he had trusted to the public appeal and to the sword 
to win his people to Jehovah. In the solitude he learned at last that 
God reveals himself not alone and in highest measure in the tempest 
and earthquake and flaming fire, but in the low, soft whisper in the heart 
of man. Although, in the effort to make the narratives clear and dra- 
matic, prophetic tradition long continued to represent God as speaking 
by audible words to his servants, yet in the ultimate analysis it was al- 
ways in the heart of the individual prophet that the truths were appre- 
ciated which he later proclaimed as the message of God to his race. 

VI. The Call of Elisha. Confronted by Jezebel and the diplomacy 
of the court, Elijah painfully realized his limitations. Reared in the 
wilderness, he was a stranger to the life of the city. It was probably 
because he appreciated these limitations and because he was baflfled 
by his new environment that he fled in terror and discouragement back 
to the desert. In proclaiming to the people the fatal dangers inherent 
in the policy of Ahab and in showing them the fatal danger in tolerating 
Baal worship in their midst, he had accomplished his real life work. 
Some one intimately acquainted with the complex civilization of Northern 
Israel and in close touch with king and people, was also needed to instil 
into the popular consciousness the truth proclaimed by Elijah and, in 
time, to arouse the nation to shake off the pernicious influence of Baal- 
ism. Such a man was found in Elisha, the son of a prosperous farmer 
of central Israel. Elisha's immediate response to the call of Elijah 
revealed his sympathy with the point of view of the great prophet and 
his readiness and fitness to take up his work. 

Even in the flickering light of popular tradition, the character and 
methods of these two prophets are clearly revealed and they stand in 
striking contrast to each other. The one was the prophet of thunder 
and the sword; the other was the popular counsellor and diplomat, who 
attained his ends by persuasion and organization. Elisha's field of 
activity was in court and camp. By virtue of his intimate knowledge 
of men and forces in Israel and his close touch with leaders and people, he 
saw fruits, where Elijah was only able to sow the seed. 

VII. Elijah's Condemnation of Ahab's Tyranny. On one other 
important occasion the flashlight of popular tradition reveals the work 
of Elijah. This time, like Amos and Micah, he figures as the champion 
of the oppressed, and voices the deep resentment with which the free, 
democratic Israelites viewed the encroachments of unscrupulous abso- 



lutism. Jezebel had brought to Ahab's court not only the Baal cults 
but also the prevailing oriental idea of the relation between a king and 
his subjects. Ahab himself was an energetic organizer and builder. 
In extending his palace grounds, he desired to secure the vineyard 
of a certain Naboth that he might convert it into a vegetable garden. 
Naboth, however, refused to part with the land, preferring to maintain 
bis ancestral right of inheritance even in the face of the king's wishes. 
Ahab recognized that Naboth's position was impregnable according to 
the accepted laws and traditions of Israel. Jezebel, however, trained 
in a very different court, tempted her husband to disregard the most 
sacred rights of his people and by injustice and murder to secure pos- 
session of the coveted vineyard. 

Doubtless Ahab's act in yielding to the temptation was quickly 
known throughout the land of Israel, for such an act endangered the 
liberties of all his subjects. It was, therefore, a critical and dramatic 
moment in Israel's history, when one of his subjects, Elijah, the Tish- 
bite, dared to stand up before Ahab, as the king was about to take 
possession of the vineyard of Naboth, to denounce the royal culprit and 
to proclaim in the name of Jehovah the inevitable consequences of this 
bloody crime. 

VIII. The Significance of Elijah's Work. In later literature and 
thought, Elijah stands as the classic example of a brave, effective herald 
of reform. In times of moral and religious degeneracy, later Judaism 
looked for his return or for the appearance of one who in his spirit 
would denounce all forms of apostasy and injustice, even though these 
were intrenched under the shadow of a throne or of a sanctuary. 

Elijah's conception of Jehovah, however, appears to have been the 
same as that of Moses and the earlier leaders of his race. They were 
quite willing that Baal should be worshipped in Phoenicia; but in Je- 
hovah's land there was no place for a heathen god. His recognition of 
the Arameans as agents in accomplishing Jehovah's purpose also sug- 
gests that broadening conception of the sphere of Jehovah's influence, 
which became an accepted fact in the thought of Amos and Hosea. 

Elijah's great work, however, appears to have been done not as a 
theologian but as a reformer, who stayed the encroachments of Baalism 
and championed the rights of the people against the fatal tyranny of 
their king. He was, therefore, the forerunner of the great social re- 
formers of succeeding generations, who defined religion not merely in 
terms of belief and ritual but also in terms of justice and mercy. While 
he himself did not see the popular acceptance of the principles which he 



proclaimed, Elijah was the great informing spirit of his age, inspiring 
the activity of his disciple Elisha and preparing the way for the epoch- 
making prophets of the Assyrian period. 


1- The Then for three years they remained at peace, without 

ance there being war between Aram and Israel. But in the third 

5fram * jear, when Jehoshaphat the king of Judah had come down 

^^^•^ to the king of Israel, the king of Israel said to his servants. 

Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead belongs to us, yet we 

sit still instead of taking it from the king of Aram? And 

he said to Jehoshaphat, Will you go with me to fight against 

Ramoth in Gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of 

Israel, I am as you, my people as your people, my horses as 

your horses. 

2. En- Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, Inquire at 
courag- ^j^.g ^j^^^ J ^^TBLYy ioT the word of Jehovah. Then the 
^J"^f king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four 
ficfaf^" ^^^^^^^ °^®"» ^^^ asked them, Shall I go to fight against 
proph- Ramoth in Gilead or shall I forbear? And they said. Go 
^ifg) up; for Jehovah will deliver it into the hand of the king. 

But Jehoshaphat said. Is there no other prophet of Jehovah, 
that we may inquire of him? And the king of Israel said. 
There is another by whom we may inquire of Jehovah, 
Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him ; for he prophesies 
for me nothing good, but only evil. And Jehoshaphat said. 
Let not the king say so. 

3. . Then the king of Israel called an eunuch and said. Bring 
predfc- quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah. Now while the king of 
dons of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each 
(9") on his throne, clad in his robes of state at the entrance of 

the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying 
before them, Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for him- 
self horns of iron and said. Thus saith Jehovah, 'With these 
shalt thou push the Arameans until thou hast destroyed 
them!* And all the prophets prophesied the same saying. 
Go up to Ramoth in Gilead ; for Jehovah will deliver it into 
the hand of the king. 



And the messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, 4. Mi- 
See, now the prophets have with one consent promised p^e^c^. 
good fortune for the king ; therefore speak the same as they ^Jf'J^f 
all do and prophesy good fortune. But Micaiah said. As ("-") 
Jehovah liveth, I will speak what Jehovah saith to me. 
And when he came to the king, the king said to him, Micaiah, 
shall we go to Ramoth in Gilead to fight or shall we forbear? 
And he answered him, Go up and prosper; and Jehovah 
will deliver it into the hand of the king! But the king 
said to him. How many times shall I adjure you that you 
speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of Jeho- 
vah? And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the 
mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And Jeho- 
vah said, *These have no master; let each of them go home 
in peace !* 

And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell 5. The 
you that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but 3^^^^ 
evil? And Micaiah said. Therefore hear the word of Je- within 
hovah : I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne and all the host official 
of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. H^^^' 
And Jehovah said, *Who shall delude Ahab so that he will ('^ ^) 
go up and fall at Ramoth in Gilead?* And one proposed 
one thing and another another, until there came forth a 
spirit and stood before Jehovah and said, *I will delude 
him.' And Jehovah said to him, *By what means?' And 
he said, *I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the 
mouth of all his prophets.' Thereupon he said, *Thou shalt 
delude him and shalt succeed also! Go forth and do so.' 
So behold, Jehovah hath now put a lying spirit in the mouth 
of all these your prophets, since Jehovah hath determined 
to bring evil upon you. 

Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and 6. Mi- 
struck Micaiah on the cheek and said. Which way did the f^f^'^ 
spirit of Jehovah go from me to speak to you? And Micaiah prison- 
said. Indeed, you shall see on that day, when you shall go W^«) 
from one chamber to another to hide yourself. Then the 
king of Israel said. Take Micaiah and carry him back to 
Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son, 
and say, *Thus the king commands, "Put this fellow in 
prison and feed him with a scanty fare of bread and water 



until I return in peace." * And Micaiah said, If you indeed 
return in peace, Jehovah hath not spoken by me. 

7. Then the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of 
Ahab's ju(jah went up to Ramoth in Gilead. And the king of 
^se Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself and go into 

the battle, but you can put on your robes. So the Sng of 
Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. Now the 
king of Aram had given orders to the thirty-two command- 
ers of his chariots, saying. Fight with neither small nor 
great, except only with the king of Israel. Accordingly 
when the commanders of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, 
they said. Surely, it is the king of Israel, and they surrounded 
him to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. There- 
fore, as soon as the commanders of the chariots saw that it 
was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing 

8. His But a certain man drew at a venture and smote the king 
wound ^^ Israel between the attachments and the coat of mail. 
(34-38) Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot. Turn about 

and carry me out of the army ; for I am severely wounded. 
And the battle increased that day, and the king was propped 
up in his chariot against the Arameans until evening, and 
the blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the 
chariot. But at evening he died. And toward sunset the 
cry went throughout the army. Each to his city and each to 
his land, for the king is dead! So they came to Samaria 
and buried the king in Samaria. And when they washed 
the chariot by the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked up his 
blood, and the harlots washed themselves in it, just as Je- 
hovah had declared. 

9. m- Now the other acts of Ahab, and all that he did and the 
of hfs ivory house which he built and all the cities that he built, 
reign are they not recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 
^ So Ahab slept with his fathers and Ahaziah his son became 

king in his place. 

ip.Aha- Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in 

policy Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of 

("• ") judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. And he served 

Baal and worshipped him, and provoked to anger Jehovah, 

the God of Israel, just as his father had done. 



Now Ahaziah fell out through the lattice in his upper n.Aha- 
apartment in Samaria, and lay sick. Then he sent messengers f^^. 
and commanded them, Go, inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god g^to 
of Ekron, whether or not I shall recover of this sickness, (n k? 
But the messenger of Jehovah said to Elijah the Tishbite, * ^ ^^ 
Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria 
and say to them, *Is it because there is no God in Israel, that 
ye go to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?' Now 
therefore thus saith Jehovah, *Thou shalt not come down 
from the bed whither thou hast gone up, but thou shalt 
surely die.' Then Elijah went away. 

And when the messengers came back to him, he said to 12. Re- 
them. Why have you returned? And they said to him, A fhe\^- 
man came up to meet us and said to us, *Go back again to the bassy 
king who sent you and say to him, "Thus saith Jehovah: 
Is it because there is no God in Israel that thou sendest to 
inquire of Baal-Zebub the god of Ekron? Therefore thou 
shalt not come down from the bed whither thou hast gone 
up, but shalt surely die." * And he said to them. What 
kind of man was he who told you these things? And they 
answered him, A man clad in a skin and girt with a leather 
girdle about his loins. Then he said. It is Elijah the Tishbite ! 

So Ahaziah died according to the word of Jehovah which is. Je- 
Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram the son of Ahab became poSy^ 
king over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Je- ^^ *" *^ 
hoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. And 
he displeased Jehovah, but not as did his father and mother, 
for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. 

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster; and he i4.Me- 
rendered regularly to the king of Israel a tribute of a hun- rebel- 
dred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand ^on 
rams. But after Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled 
against the king of Israel. 

And King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time and is.Per- 
mustered all Israel. Then he proceeded at once to send to ^uhe^ 
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying. The king of Moab jj^ad- 
has rebelled against me ; will you go with me to fight against idnga 
Moab? And he replied, I will come up; I am as you, my '^"^ 
people as your people, my horses as your horses. And he 
inquired, Which way shall we go up? And he answered, 



By the way of the Wilderness of Edom. So the king of 
Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. 
And when they made a circuit of seven days* journey, the 
army and the beasts that followed them had no water. And 
the king of Israel said, Alas ! for Jehovah hath called these 
three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab ! 
But Jehoshaphat said. Is there no prophet of Jehovah here 
that through him we may inquire of Jehovah? And one 
of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Elisha the 
son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of 
Elijah. And Jehoshaphat said. The word of Jehovah is 
with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the 
king of Edom went down to him. 

16. And Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do 
predic-^ with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the 
tion prophets of your mother! But the king of Israel said to 
reaii-*^ him. No; for Jehovah hath called these three kings to- 
(f3-2o°° gether to deliver them into the hand of Moab. And Elisha 

said. As surely as Jehovah of hosts liveth, whose servant 
I am, were it not that I have regard for the presence of 
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would pay no attention to 
you. But now bring me a minstrel. And whenever the 
minstrel played, the power of Jehovah came upon him. 
And he said. Thus saith Jehovah, 'I will make this torrent- 
bed full of cisterns.* For thus saith Jehovah, *Ye shall not 
see wind neither shall ye see rain ; yet this torrent-bed shall 
be filled with water, so that ye yourselves together with 
your army and your beasts shall drink. But since this is 
only a slight thing in the sight of Jehovah, he also will de- 
liver the Moabites into your hand. And ye shall smite 
every fortified city and fell all the good trees and stop up 
all the springs of water and destroy with stones all the good 
cultivated land.* Accordingly in the morning, about the 
time when the offering is presented, water came suddenly 
from the direction of Edom, so that the country was filled 
with water. 

17. The Now when all the Moabites had heard that the kings had 
ovJ?"^^ come up to fight against them, they gathered together all 
M^ab- ^^^ were able to bear arms and upward, and stood on the 
ites border. But in the morning early, when the sun had risen 

(21 -25) ° •' ' 



on the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as 
red as blood. And they said, This is blood! The kings 
have surely fought together and they have smitten one an- 
other. Now therefore, Moab, to the spoil ! And when they 
came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote 
the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went 
forward smiting the Moabites as they went. And they kept 
on destroying the cities; on all the good cultivated land 
they cast each his stone, until they filled it; all the springs 
of water they stopped up, and felled all the good trees, and 
they harried Moab until her sons were left in Kir-hareseth, 
and the slingers surrounded and smote it. 

But when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too is. 
fierce for him, he took with him seven hundred men, armed ft?^®''' 
with swords, to break through against the king of Edom, straits 
but they could not. Then he took his eldest son, who was kingSf 
to reign in his place, and offered him for a burnt-offering Ji^fJ) 
upon the wall. And great wrath came against Israel, so 
that they departed from him and returned to their own land. 

I. The Advance of Assyria. Henceforth Assyria becomes more 
and more the determining factor in the politics of southwestern Asia. 
The contemporary Assyrian and Moabite inscriptions indicate that 
the bibHcal extracts from the personal memoirs of Ahab, Elijah and 
Jehu give only a fragmentary picture of the real course of Northern 
Israel's history. The great Assyrian conqueror, Shalmaneser II, re- 
cords in his annals a campaign in the year 854 B.C. into central and 
southern Syria. At Karkar on the River Orontes, twenty miles north of 
Hamath, he Vv^as confronted by the allied armies of Syria. His detailed 
account sheds contemporary light upon conditions along the Mediter- 
ranean seaboard: "1,200 chariots, 1,200 horsemen, 20,000 men of 
Dad'idri (Hadadezer, Ben-hadad H), of Damascus; 700 chariots, 700 
horsemen, 10,000 soldiers of Irhulini of Hamath; 2,000 chariots, 10,000 
soldiers of Ahab of Israel; 500 soldiers of Guai; 10,000 soldiers of the 
land of Mu9ri; 10 chariots, 10,000 soldiers of the land of Irkanat; 200 
soldiers of Matinu-baal (Mattan-baal) of Arvad; 200 soldiers of the 
land of Usanata; 30 chariots, 10,000 soldiers of Adnu-bali (Adoni-baal) 
of Shiana; 1,000 camels of Gindibu of Arba; . . . 1,000 soldiers of the 
Ammonite, Basa son of Ruhubi (Rehob); these twelve kings he (i.e., 
Irhulini) took to help him; for battle and combat they advanced against 



me. With the exalted succor, which Asshur, the lord, rendered, with 
the mighty power, which Nergal, who marched before me, bestowed, 
I fought with them. From Karkar to Gilzan I effected their defeat; 
14,000 of their troops with weapons I slew; like Adar (the storm-god) 
I rained down a flood upon them; I scattered their corpses; the surface 
of the wilderness I filled with their many troops; with weapons I caused 
their blood to flow. ... I took possession of the River Orontes. In 
the midst of that battle I captured their chariots, their horsemen and 
their teams." 

It appears from this record that Ben-hadad of Damascus furnished 
the greater number of fighting men, although Ahab, perhaps as a result 
of his previous victories over the Arameans, was able to send a larger 
number of chariots. While the Assyrian king claimed that he won a 
sweeping victory, the result was by no means decisive. Hamath in 
the north met the chief brunt of the Assyrian attack, and Damascus 
seems for the time to have escaped invasion. 

The inscription is especially significant, for it contains the earliest 
reference in Assyrian annals to an Israelite king. For the first time, 
also, the Hebrew warriors met face to face the Assyrian foes who were 
destined for over two centuries to determine the course of Israel's 

II. Micaiah and the Four Hundred False Prophets. As soon as 
the Assyrian invader retired, the old feud between Damascus and 
Northern Israel was revived. The contest was now for the possession 
of the city of Ramoth in Gilead, east of the Jordan, which was the 
natural eastern outpost of Israel and commanded the important high- 
way of trade from Damascus to the port of Elath on the Red Sea and 
on to Arabia. Originally Ramoth had been held by the Israelites; but 
apparently in the days of Omri it had been captured by the Arameans. 
It was among the cities ceded by Ben-hadad I after his defeat and cap- 
ture by Ahaz at the battle of Aphek. To strengthen his forces, Ahab 
summoned his ally, and possibly at this time vassal, Jehoshaphat, king 
of Judah, to join him in the campaign. Following the long-established 
custom, the king of Judah demanded that they should first consult the 
prophets of Jehovah regarding the outcome of the campaign. 

The prominence of the prophets at this time in Northern Israel is 
shown by the fact that Ahab is able at once to summon about four hun- 
dred. In the name of Jehovah these official prophets predicted victory 
with such unanimity that Jehoshaphat's suspicions were aroused. It is 
evident in the light of the sequel that they were a body of prophets, ap- 



parently, like the prophets of Baal, connected with the royal sanctuaries 
and supported either directly or indirectly by court favor. Here again 
the indirect influence of Baalism may be recognized. Although they 
prophesied in the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, it is evident that 
they were dominated by mercenary motives. Their presence shows 
how deep seated was the religious degeneracy against which the true 
prophets, like Elijah and Elisha, struggled. The incident also brings 
to the front, for a brief instant, another- true prophet, who spoke not to 
secure royal favor, but as his deepest convictions dictated. Ahab's 
reference to him indicates that Micaiah, like Elijah, found little to com- 
mend and much to condemn in the character and policy of the king. 

It was a striking scene when this unpopular prophet was brought 
into the presence of the allied kings of the north and the south and, in 
the face of the definite predictions of the four hundred royal prophets, 
declared that only calamity awaited the king and people of Israel. The 
sarcastic prediction of success with which Micaiah introduced his 
prophecy, revealed his supreme contempt for his mercenary fellow 
prophets, and for the king who was ready to sacrifice even truth and re- 
ligion for the realization of his selfish policy. 

III. The Prototype of Satan. To confirm his prediction Micaiah 
uttered a parable which dramatically set forth the motive which actuated 
the false prophets. The heavenly scene thus pictured is strikingly 
similar to that presented in the opening chapters of the book of Job. 
Jehovah sits on his throne with angelic beings about him. The occa- 
sion is a divine council, corresponding to that at which the kings of 
Israel and Judah were then presiding. Jehovah's disapproval of 
Ahab and his acts is implied by the question of how the king may be 
lured on to his ruin. Different counsels are suggested, until finally a 
certain spirit comes forth and proposes that Jehovah put a lying 
message in the mouth of his prophets. The proposal meets with the 
divine approval, and the spirit is commissioned to go forth and carry 
out his plan. 

Here is found the first allusion in Israel's history to a heavenly being 
whose role corresponds in part to that of the Satan of later Jewish be- 
lief. He is still an accredited member of the heavenly hierarchy and 
his act meets with full approval, and yet he manifests a zeal in mis- 
leading mankind which is in many ways akin to that attributed to Satan 
in later Jewish thought. 

Although the story was clearly intended by Micaiah to be a dramatic 
illustration of his message, it would have been meaningless to his hear- 



ers were not the conceptions of Jehovah and of the angelic beings, which 
it reflects, already firmly fixed in the popular mind. The roots of these 
beliefs may be traced In the early Semitic mythology. The modifica- 
tions are due to the influence of Israel's faith, which attributed to Je- 
hovah a transcendent position, far above all other heavenly beings. 
The incident discloses that broad underlying current of popular belief 
against which the true prophets of the latter day set their faces In their 
divinely inspired endeavor to proclaim the one supreme God of justice 
and love. 

Like Jeremiah and other true prophets MIcalah was obliged, for his 
true speaking, to suffer persecution and indignity at the hands of his 
false brethren, and imprisonment at the command of the king; but his 
action shows that at this critical period in Israel's history Elijah and 
Elisha did not stand entirely alone. 

IV. Ahab's Death. Following his own desire and the counsel of 
his false prophets, Ahab went forth to battle; but he bowed before 
Micaiah's prediction so far as to disguise himself. Ahab's Importance 
as a commander and leader Is indicated by the orders of the Aramean 
king to his captains that they direct the attack solely against the king of 
Israel. Jehoshaphat narrowly escaped falling a victim to this command. 
Ahab, however, was mortally wounded by a chance arrow; but with 
marvellous strength and courage he fought throughout the day, propped 
up in his chariot. When at evening he died and the news spread 
throughout his army, each man returned to his native town, and the 
Arameans were left In possession of Ramoth In Gllead. 

Thus died on the field of battle the most active and energetic warrior 
who ever sat on the throne of Northern Israel. Ahab's courage in 
battle and his sagacity as a diplomat are unquestioned; but his ambition 
and his attitude toward his subjects were those of a tyrant. His latter 
days witnessed the beginning of the decay of that kingdom for which 
he had sacrificed the nobler religious Ideals of his race. His supreme 
mistake was In trampling upon the liberties of his subjects and in disre- 
garding Jehovah's claim to the complete and absolute loyalty of his 
people. The good is often the enemy of the best. In the pursuit of 
a worthy, but not the noblest ambition revealed to his race and age, 
Ahab sinned and brought ultimate disaster upon his house and nation. 

V. The Reign of Ahaziah. Calamities In quick succession pursued 
the house of Ahab. Ahaziah, who succeeded him, suffered a severe ac- 
cident. Tradition states that this son of Jezebel and Ahab sent messen- 
gers to consult Baal-Zebub the god of Ekron, regarding his recovery. In 



connection with this mission, EHjah for the last time appeared in Israel's 
political history to protest against Ahaziah's apostasy and to predict 
the death of the king, which speedily followed. 

VI. The War Against Moab. Little is recorded regarding Je- 
horam, the son of Ahab, who succeeded his brother Ahaziah. His reign 
must have been short; for contrary to the chronology of Kings, which 
attributes fourteen years to the reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoram, but 
twelve years elapsed between the time when, in 854 B.C., Ahab fought 
at Karkar and 842 B.C. when Jehu, who exterminated the house of 
Omri, paid tribute to the king of Assyria. Evidently the war with the 
Arameans continued; for at the time of his death Jehoram had been 
wounded in an engagement at Ramoth in Gilead. 

The chief event of his reign appears to have been a campaign against 
the Moabites. The contemporary inscription of Mesha, the Moabite 
king (c/. § LXII"0) states definitely that the Israelites retained pos- 
session of Moab for forty years after its capture by Omri. It also gives 
a vivid description of the recapture of the northern Moabite cities by 
Mesha; of the putting to death of the Hebrew colonists in the name of 
the Moabite god, Chemosh, and of the fortification of these northern 
border towns: "And I fortified Baal-meon; and I made in it the reser- 
voir; and I fortified Kirjathaim. And the men of Gad had occupied 
the land of Ataroth from of old ; and the king of Israel built Ataroth for 
himself. And I fought against the city and took it. And I slew all the 
people; the city (became) a gazing-stock to Chemosh and to Moab. 
And from there I brought the altar-hearth of Dodoh ( ?) ; and I dragged 
it before Chemosh in Kerioth; and I caused the men of Sharon (?) to 
dwell there, and also the men of . . . 

"Then Chemosh said to me, 'Go and take Nebo against Israel. So 
I went by night and fought against it from the break of dawn until noon, 
and I took it and slew them all — seven thousand men and women and 
. . . female slaves — for I had devoted it to Ashtar-chemosh. And I took 
from there the altar-hearths of Jehovah, and dragged them before 
Chemosh. And the king of Israel had fortified Jahaz, and occupied it 
while he fought against me. But Chemosh drove him out before me. 
I took two hundred men of Moab — all its poverty-stricken citizens — 
and I brought them into Jahaz and took possession of it, to add it to 

" I fortified Karhoh, the wall of the forests and the wall of the acrop- 
olis. And I built its gates; and I built the royal palace; and I con- 
structed the sluices of the reservoir for the water in the midst of the city. 



And there was no cistern in the midst of the city, in Karhoh; so I said 
to the people, 'Each of you make a cistern in his own house.' And I 
cut the trenches for Karhoh with the help of the prisoners of Israel. 

" I built Aroer, and I made the highway by the Arnon. I rebuilt Beth- 
bamoth, for it had been overthrown. I rebuilt Bezer, for it was in ruins, 
(with the help of) fifty men of Dibon, for all Dibon was obedient. And 
I reigned over a hundred (chiefs) in the cities which I added to the land. 
And I built Medeba and Beth-diblathaim and Beth-baal-meon." 

The campaign recorded in the popular Elisha stories evidently fol- 
lowed the Moabite rebellion recorded in the Mesha inscription. Again 
Jehoshaphat of Judah joined his forces with those of his kinsman 
Jehoram (or Joram). To avoid the fortified cities in the north, the cam- 
paign was carried around the southern end of the Dead Sea. Elisha 
figures as the prophetic adviser of the allied kings. When their armies 
were threatened, because of lack of water in the barren region to the 
south of the Dead Sea, Elisha is represented as predicting, while in a state 
of ecstasy induced by music, that they should have an abundant supply 
of water and should overrun the land of the Moabites, Apparently the 
next morning, as the result of a heavy fall of rain in the uplands of 
Edom, the watercourses were filled with water as the prophet had pre- 
dicted. The Moabites, misinterpreting natural phenomena, confidently 
attacked the allied Hebrew armies, but were defeated and put to flight. 
Southern Moab was conquered and pillaged and the king was shut up 
in one of his fortresses. The tradition states that in his extremity he 
sacrificed, as a burnt offering on the walls of the fortress, his eldest son 
in order to call forth the pity and aid of his god. The act apparently 
aroused the superstitious horror of the allies, for they retired without 
completing the conquest of Moab. 

This incident concludes the warlike history of the house of Omri. 
Under the leadership of this dynasty Israel had fought many and, for 
the most part, successful wars with the strong and bitter foes which 
encircled it. The effect of these wars between the petty states of Pales- 
tine had been, on the whole, disastrous, for they had only engendered 
greater bitterness, exhausted the natural resources of the land, and pre- 
pared the way for its ultimate conquest by Assyria which was slowly but 
surely advancing from the northeast. 




Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the proph- i. 
ets and said to him, Gird up your loins, take this flask of oil ^J"^^' 
in your hand and go to Ramoth in Gilead. And when you Jehu at 
arrive there look for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of com-^ ^ 
Nimshi, and go in and make him rise up from among his ^f^^ 
kinsmen and bring him into an inner chamber. Then take 9i-6i«>i 
the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, *Thus saith Je- 
hovah, "I have anointed thee king over Israel." ' Then 
open the door and flee without delay. So the young man 
(the servant of the prophet) went to Ramoth in Gilead. 
And just as he arrived, the commanders of the army were 
sitting together. And he said, I have a word for you, O 
commander. And Jehu said. To which of us all? And 
he said. To you, commander. Then he arose and went 
into the house. And [the young man] poured the oil on 
his head and said to him. Thus saith Jehovah, the God of 
Israel, 'I have anointed thee king over Jehovah's people 
Israel.' Then he opened the door and fled. 

When Jehu came out to the servants of his lord, they 2.Proc- 
asked him, Is all well? Why did this insane fellow come Jf^^^f 
to you? And he said to them. You know the man and his ^^^^ 
talk. And they said. It is false! Tell us now. And he q^-'% 
said. Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, *Thus saith 
Jehovah, "I have anointed thee king over Israel." ' Then 
they quickly took each his garment, laid it at his feet and 
on the bare stairs, and blew the trumpet, crying, Jehu is 

So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, con- 3. His 
spired against Joram. Now Jehu, together with all Israel, ^l^y *° 
was defending Ramoth in Gilead against Hazael king of Joram 
Aram, but King Joram had returned to be healed in 
Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had given him, 
when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. And Jehu said. If 
it be in your mind, then let none escape from the city to go 
to tell it in Jezreel. Then Jehu mounted his chariot and 
went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king 
of Judah had come down to see Joram. 



4. Hi3 Now the watchman was standing on the tower of Jezreel, 
J?oach when he saw the cloud of dust about Jehu, as he came, 
jo^Jez- and said, I see a cloud of dust. And Joram said, Take a 
(n^20) horseman and send him to meet them that he may inquire 
whether all is well. So one went on horseback to meet 
him and said, Thus saith the king, *Is all well?* And Jehu 
replied. What have you to do with welfare? Turn about 
and follow me. So the watchman reported. The messen- 
ger came to them, but comes not back. Then he sent out 
a second horseman who came to them and said. Thus saith 
the king, *Is all well?* And Jehu answered. What have 
you to do with welfare? Turn about and follow me. So 
the watchman reported. He also came to them but comes 
not back; however, the driving is like the driving of Jehu 
the son of Nimshi, for he is wont to drive furiously. 

Then Joram said. Make ready. And as soon as they had 
made ready his chariot, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah 
king of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and they went to 
meet Jehu and found him in the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. 
And when Joram saw Jehu, he said. Is all well, Jehu? 
And he answered. How can all be well, as long as the whore- 
doms of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so 
many? Then Joram turned about to flee, and said to 
Ahaziah, Treachery, Ahaziah! But Jehu, being already 
armed, shot his bow and struck Joram between his shoulders, 
so that the arrow went through his heart and he sank down 
in his chariot. Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, 
Take him up and cast him in the field of Naboth the Jez- 
reelite, for I remember how that, when I and you rode 
together after Ahab his father, Jehovah pronounced this 
judgment upon him: 'Surely I saw yesterday the blood 
of Naboth and his sons,' saith Jehovah; *and I will re- 
quite thee in this plot,* saith Jehovah. Now therefore 
take and cast him into this plot, according to the word of 

But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled in 
the direction of Beth-gannim. And Jehu followed after 
him, with the command, Kim also! Smite him in the 
chariot ! And they smote him at the ascent of Gur, which 
is by Ibleam. But he fled to Megiddo and died there. And 



his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and 
buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of 

Then Jehu came to Jezreel. And as soon as Jezebel 7. jeze- 
heard of it, she painted her eyes, attired her head, and ^il'i 
looked out at the window. And as Jehu came in at the ^'° *^) 
gate, she said. Is all well, you Zimri, your master*s murderer? 
But he looked up to the window and said. Who is on my 
side? who? And two or three eunuchs looked at him. And 
he said. Throw her down. And they threw her down so 
that some of her blood was spattered on the wall and on the 
horses, and he trod her under foot. Then he went in and 
ate and drank. Thereupon he gave the command. See now 
to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king's 
daughter. But when they went to bury her, they found no 
more of her than the skull, the feet, and the hands. When, 
therefore, they came back and told him, he said. This is the 
word of Jehovah, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the 
Tishbite, saying, *In the plot of Jezreel shall the dogs eat 
JezebePs flesh, and the body of Jezebel shall be as dung on 
the face of the field in the plot of Jezreel, so that they can- 
not say, "This is Jezebel." * 

Now Ahab had seventy descendants in Samaria. And s.Je- 
Jehu wrote letters and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of the stiuc-"^' 
city, to the elders, and those who had charge of the de- If^^^^. 
scendants of Ahab, saying. Now as soon as this letter comes ing 
to you, since you have with you your master's sons, and de-^^^ 
chariots and horses, fortified cities and arms; choose the |^^^^^^- 
best and most capable of your master's sons, and set him (ioi-«) 
on his father's throne and fight for your master's house. 
But they were exceedingly afraid and said. Behold, the 
two kings could not stand before him, how then shall we 
stand? And he who was over the household and he who 
was over the city, together with the elders and the guardians, 
sent to Jehu, saying. We are your servants and we will do 
all that you bid us; we will not make any one king; do 
what you please. Then he wrote a second letter to them, 
saying. If you are on my side and if you wish to obey me, 
then take each of you the head of your master's son [en- 
trusted to you], and meet me at Jezreel to-morrow at this 



time. Now the king's sons, seventy in all, were with the 
great men of the city, who brought them up. 
9. And as soon as the letter came to them, they took the 

ti?of^' king's sons and slew them, seventy in all, and put their 
heads in baskets and sent them to him to Jezreel. And when 
the messenger came and told him, saying. They have brought 
the heads of the king's sons, he said. Lay them in two heaps 
at the entrance of the gate until the morning! And in the 
morning he went out and stood and said to all the people. 
You are fair-minded: to be sure I conspired against my 
master and slew him, but who smote all these? Know 
now that of the word of Jehovah, which Jehovah spoke against 
the house of Ahab by his servant Elijah, nothing shall fail 
of fulfilment. Thereupon Jehu smote all who remained of 
the house of Ahab in Jezreel, together with all his great 
men and his kinsmen and his priests, until he left him none 

Then Jehu set out on the way to Samaria. And as he 
was at Beth-eked of the shepherds on the way, Jehu met 
the kinsmen of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said. Who are 
you? And they answered. We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah, 
and we have come to visit the children of the king and 
the children of the queen-mother. And he said. Take them 
alive. And they took them alive and slew them at the pit 
of Beth-eked, forty-two men, so that not one of them was 

And when he had departed from there he found Jehona- 
dab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. And he sa- 
luted him and said to him, Is your heart in sincere sympathy 
with my heart, as mine is with yours? And Jehonadab 
answered. It is. Then Jehu said, If it be, give me your 
hand. And he gave him his hand ; and he took him up to 
him into the chariot. And he said. Come with me, and see 
my zeal for Jehovah. So he made him ride in his chariot. 
And when he came to Samaria, he smote all who remained 
to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed all, according 
to the word of Jehovah which he spoke to Elijah. Then 
Jehu gathered all the people together and said to them, 
Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu will serve him much. 
Now therefore call all the prophets of Baal, all his worship- 



pers and all his priests; let none remain behind; for I will 
make a great sacrifice to Baal; whoever shall remain be- 
hind shall not live. But Jehu did it with the secret purpose 
of destroying the worshippers of Baal. Then Jehu said, 
Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed 
it. And Jehu sent through all Israel, and all the worship- 
pers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did 
not come. And when they had come into the temple of 
Baal, so that the temple of Baal was filled from one end to 
the other, he said to the one who was in charge of the ward- 
robe. Bring out garments for all the worshippers of Baal. 
And he brought out garments for them. Then Jehu, with 
Jehonadab the son of Rechab, went into the temple of 
Baal, and said to the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look 
that there may not be here with you any of the servants of 
Jehovah, but only worshippers of Baal. Thereupon he 
went in to offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings. Now Jehu 
had appointed eighty men outside with the command, 
The man who allows any of the men, whom I entrust into 
your hands, to escape, his life shall be for the life of him. 
And as soon as he had finished offering the burnt-offering, 
Jehu said to the runners and to the captains. Go in, and 
slay them, let none come forth. And they put them to 
the sword, and the runners and the captains cast them out, 
and went into the sanctuary of the temple of Baal. Then 
they brought out the asherah from the temple of Baal and 
burned it, and broke down the pillar of Baal and destroyed 
the temple of Baal and made it a draught-house to this 

In those days Jehovah began to loathe Israel, and Hazael 13. Po^ 
smote them in all the territory of Israel, from the Jordan hfsSJy 
toward the east, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, the ("'*') 
Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer by the valley 
of the Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan. Now the 
other acts of Jehu and all that he did, and all his brave 
deeds, are they not recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings 
of Israel? And Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried 
him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son became king in 
his place. And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in 
Samaria was twenty-eight years. 



14. The la the twenty-third year or Joash the son of Ahaziah 
troS" king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over 
^^^-^ Israel in Samaria; and he reigned seventeen years. And 
inva- he did that which displeased Jehovah, and the sins of Jero- 
(iTi^-») boam the son of Nebat with which he led Israel into sin — 

he did not depart from them. And the anger of Jehovah 
was kindled against Israel and he delivered them continu- 
ally into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the 
hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael. Then Jehoahaz 
besought Jehovah, and Jehovah hearkened to him; for he 
saw the oppression of Israel, how that the king of Aram 
oppressed them. Therefore Jehovah gave Israel a saviour, 
so that they escaped from the hand of the Arameans, and 
the Israelites could dwell in their homes as formerly. 
Nevertheless they did not depart from the sins of the house 
of Jeroboam, with which he led Israel into sin, but walked 
therein. Also the asherah in Samaria remained standing. 
And he left to Jehoahaz of the people not more than fifty 
horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for 
the king of Aram destroyed them and made them like the 
dust in the threshing. Now the other acts of Jehoahaz and 
all that he did and his brave deeds, are they not recorded 
in the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Jehoahaz 
slept with his fathers and they buried him in Samaria. And 
Jehoash his son became king in his place. 

15. Par- In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash 
^'eiiv- the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, 
from^ and reigned sixteen years. And he did that which dis- 
the pleased Jehovah; he did not depart from all the sins of 
means Jeroboam the son of Nebat with which he led Israel into 
(^10.11-22. gjjj^ |jy^ jjg walked therein. Now Hazael king of Aram 

oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. But Jehovah 
was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and turned 
again to them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, and would not destroy them nor as yet cast them 
from his presence. 

16. Re- But when Hazael king of Aram died, Ben-hadad his son 
ir^e became king in his place. Then Jehoash the son of Je- 
lu% hoahaz took again from Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the 

cities which he had taken in war from Jehoahaz his father. 


Three times Jehoash smote him and thus recovered the cities 
of Israel. 

Now the other acts of Jehoash which he did and his 17. End 
mighty deeds, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Soili's 
Judah, are they not recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings ^ign 
of Israel? And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was 
buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And Jeroboam 
his son became king in his place. 

In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king is.Ex- 
of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Jehoash king of Israel became orthe" 
king of Israel in Samaria and reigned forty-one years, boun- 
And he did that which displeased Jehovah: he did not de- ofis- 
part from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat with \u% 
which he led Israel into sin. He restored the boundary- 
line of Israel from the entrance to Hamath to the sea of 
Arabah, according to the word of Jehovah, the God of Israel, 
which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the 
prophet who was of Gath-hepher. For Jehovah saw the 
very bitter affliction of Israel, that none was shut up nor 
left at large, and that there was no helper for Israel. But 
Jehovah had not determined to blot out the name of Israel 
from under heaven, so he saved them through Jeroboam 
the son of Jehoash. 

Now the other acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and J^j^^j^. 
his brave deeds, how he carried on war and how he recovered sjon 
Damascus and Hamath for Israel, are they not recorded in 
the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Jeroboam slept 
with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel. And Zecha- 
riah his son became king in his place. 

I. The Prophetic Guilds. The policy of Ahab and the aggressive 
proselyting activity of Jezebel on the one hand, with the courageous 
preaching of Elijah and the more quiet educational work of Elisha 
on the other, developed in Israel a strong and growing party whose watch- 
word was absolute and uncompromising loyalty to Jehovah. The 
great prophets, Hke Elijah, Elisha and Micaiah, were the natural lead- 
ers in this movement; but it is evident from the popular Elisha stories 
that the so-called "sons of the prophets" were especially active at this 
period, and that they were in close touch with the prophetic leaders. 
Their presence and prominence are evidence of the growing popular 


(28. 29) 


reaction against the encroachments of BaaHsm. From the references 
in the popular traditions it is evident that the sons of the prophets lived 
together in guilds with their wives and children, all sharing a common 
table. These prophetic guilds were connected with the ancient sanct- 
uaries, such as Bethel, Gilgal and Samaria. As in the days of Samuel, 
their religious exercises apparently consisted of frenzied ecstasy induced 
by song and music. The fact that their frenzy was infectious may in 
part explain why they joined themselves together in guilds. From -the 
reference in I Kings 20" it may be inferred that the members of each 
guild bore a certain distinguishing mark. While there is no direct evidence, 
there is every reason to believe that the popular stories in the historical 
books of the Old Testament, and especially those which gather about 
the names of Elijah and Elisha, grew up and were transmitted within the 
circle of those prophetic societies. From II Kings 4^^ and 6^ it may also 
be inferred that the sons of the prophets, as disciples, at times received 
instruction from leading prophets like Elisha. 

At this period of their history, however, the sons of the prophets figure 
as more than mere religious enthusiasts. Their zeal for Jehovah im- 
pelled them to adopt active measures to drive out the hated followers 
of Baal. While they themselves probably never took up the sword, 
it is clear that they aroused public opinion and actively engaged in the 
politics of their day. They appealed both to the patriotism and to the 
religious emotions of the people. Their narrowness, intensity and de- 
votion increased the strength of their appeal. Their influence with the 
people must have been great, for they shared the popular conceptions 
of Jehovah and enjoyed that peculiar reverence which the ancient East 
was always ready to pay to those who gave evidence of being under the 
influence of a supernatural power. 

II. The Jehovah Party in Israel. Doubtless to the same group of 
devoted followers of Jehovah belonged Jonadab, whose descendants, 
the Rechabites, according to Jeremiah 35, still retained down to the period 
of the Babylonian exile their peculiar life and traditions (§ LXXXVIP^'"). 
Their aim was evidently to preserve in its simple purity the old nomadic 
religion of Jehovah. They were, therefore, bitterly opposed to that 
Canaanite civilization which had been adopted by the rank and file of 
the Northern Israelites. They and the Nazirites, whose vow was in 
many ways similar, stood as a permanent protest against the corruption, 
intemperance and luxury of the dominant Canaanite civilization. 

As the evils of Baalism became more apparent and calamity began to 
overshadow the house of Ahab, the zealous but narrow champions of 



Jehovah began to enlist a wider sympathy and following from the mass 
of the nation. At last when Joram, the king of Israel, had been 
smitten by an Aramean foe, the moment seemed ripe for action. It was 
natural that the rebellion should be instigated by Elisha, the disciple of 
Elijah and the recognized leader of the zealous Jehovah party. 

III. The Anointing of Jehu. The revolution itself is recorded 
fully and vividly in a narrative which is closely related in language, 
point of view and interest, to the early Elijah stories. Jehu, the com- 
mander of the forces of Israel engaged in the siege of the famous city of 
Ramoth in Gilead, was chosen, because of his position and ruthless 
energy, to head the revolt. The account implies that there was already 
an understanding between him and Elisha. As a signal to the people 
that the right moment for action had arrived and to Jehu that he had the 
support of the representatives of Jehovah, one of the sons of the prophets 
was dispatched by Elisha to anoint Jehu. The anointing, which sig- 
nified a divine call to an unique service, and, in the case of a military 
leader like Jehu, to nothing less than the kingship of Israel, was per- 
formed in secret; but it soon became known to the other officers in the 
army. So far had the spirit of reaction against the house of Ahab 
permeated even the military class, that they immediately proclaimed 
Jehu king. 

Leaving the warriors behind, with the command that no one be al- 
lowed to follow him, Jehu set out alone in hot haste to establish his title 
to the kingship by slaying the reigning king. Fortune favored the revo- 
lutionist. Joram, with his guest and kinsman, Ahaziah, king of 
Judah, came out to meet Jehu. The place of the meeting was the field 
of Naboth with its tragic memories. To the king's salutation, "Is all 
well?" Jehu replied that conditions could not be well, while the 
malign influence of Jezebel dominated the court and kingdom. Then 
as the king, alarmed by this ominous reply, turned to flee, he fell mortally 
wounded by the hand of Jehu, and his body was cast into the field of 
Naboth. Ahaziah, of Judah, whose mother was the daughter of Ahab 
and Jezebel, was also slain at Jehu's command. 

IV. Jehu's Bloody Reform Measures. Personal ambition and 
blind religious zeal were so blended in the energetic, ruthless character 
of Jehu that his revolution was the most bloody recorded in all of Israel's 
history. Jezebel was naturally his next victim. Attired in all her finery, 
the aged queen met him with a bitter taunt. To the last she played 
consistently the role of an imperious queen. No one was found in the 
court or land of Israel to take up the sword in defence of Jezebel or 



the house of Ahab. Ignominiously she died, and her fate was regarded 
as signal evidence of a divine judgment and a fulfilment of the stern 
prediction of Elijah. 

From the point of view of her race and religion, Jezebel was doubt- 
less adjudged a supremely able and devoted servant of the Baal of 
Tyre. From the point of view of Israel, she was the evil genius who 
brought divine displeasure and calamity upon Ahab, his family and his 

Ahab's descendants in Samaria were also put to death at Jehu's in- 
stigation. Even the Judean princes, who were captured in the territory 
of Northern Israel, did not escape Jehu's mad zeal to root out all off- 
spring of the hated house of Ahab. By this act the friendly relation, 
which had been established between the two Hebrew kingdoms in the 
days of Ahab, was forever severed. According to the tradition, Jehu's 
religious fervor was not cooled until all the prophets and worshippers of 
Baal, together with the pillar an 1 temple, were completely destroyed. 

Jehu's acts were doubtless approved by the extremists of his day. 
It is true that the evils which he undertook to correct were deep-seated 
and deadly. Disloyalty to Jehovah was counted in ancient Israel as 
treason, and treason in all ages has been punished by death. Jehu 
also lived before the conception of Jehovah as the God not only of 
justice but of love had been clearly proclaimed to the race. But 
measured even by the standards of his own age, his deeds as recorded 
by tradition cannot be wholly justified. Politically, Jehu's policy of 
slaying the leaders of his nation was as disastrous as it was indefensible. 
It left his kingdom weak and open to attack on every side at the mo- 
ment when all its strength was needed to meet the great dangers which 
impended. The prophet Hosea, who saw clearly the mistakes of the 
past, absolutely condemned Jehu's bloody acts (§ LXIX^). 

V. Jehu's Tribute to Assyria. Although the biblical narrative 
contains no reference to the event, it appears from the famous black 
obelisk of Shalmaneser II, that in 842 B.C., Jehu, together with the 
Tyrians and Sidonians, paid tribute to the Assyrian king. This tribute 
consisted of "silver, gold, a golden bowl, golden goblets, a golden ladle, 
golden pitchers, bars of lead, a sceptre for the hand of the king and 
spear shafts." This tribute is a confession of weakness and reveals 
Jehu's desire not only to purchase immunity from the attack of the 
Assyrians, but also to secure their aid in establishing his position on the 
throne of Israel. It marks a complete reversal of the policy of the house 
of Ahab, which had so valiantly fought against the Assyrian invader. 



At this time, and also in 839 b.c, the Arameans suffered most from 
the Assyrian attack; but the city of Damascus survived the siege, and 
when the Assyrian armies retired, the kingdom of Damascus, under 
Hazael, rapidly recovered its strength and supremacy. 

VI. The Cruel Oppression by the Arameans. During the half 
century following 839 B.C., the fortunes of Northern Israel reached their 
lowest ebb. Hazael of Damascus proved an ambitious and energetic 
ruler. He was not slow to avenge the disloyalty of Jehu in paying 
tribute to their common foe Assyria. His armies ravaged the east- 
Jordan territory of Gilead and Bashan, and even penetrated as far 
south as the Philistine town of Gath, which was completely destroyed. 
The barbarity of the conqueror knew no limit. Cities were pillaged, 
men were pitilessly slain, women were ravished, and Hebrew children 
were dragged off to cruel slavery. Even before the death of Jehu, all 
of the east-Jordan territory, including Moab, appears to have been cap- 
tured by the Arameans. Under Jehoahaz, Jehu's son and successor, 
Northern Israel suffered even greater reverses and indignities, which 
the biblical historian passes over with the general but significant state- 
ment that "the king of Aram destroyed the Israelites and made them 
like the dust in the threshing." Only fifty horsemen, ten chariots and 
ten thousand footmen remained to protect the northern kingdom, which 
at this time had probably become but a dependency of Damascus. It 
is perhaps from this period that the story in II Kings &^*-l^'' comes, 
which tells of a siege of Samaria by the Arameans so severe that in their 
hunger the people within the city were beginning to devour their own 

VII. The Revival of Northern Israel under Jehoash and Jeroboam. 
In 803 B.C. Damascus, together with Tyre, Sidon and Israel, paid tribute 
to Adad-nirari HI, the Assyrian king who was then carrying on war 
against the states of northern Syria. According to the biblical narrative, 
at the accession of Jehoash, the grandson of Jehu, which occurred about 
this time, the tide of battle turned and Israel began to regain its inde- 
pendence and lost territory. The reason given by the author of Kings 
for this change was because " Jehovah raised up a saviour for Israel." 
Hitherto this saviour has been identified with Assyria; but from the 
contemporary inscriptions it is clear that for the next thirty years, to the 
end of the reign of Shalmaneser III, the Assyrians were fully occupied 
at home defending their empire from the attack of the northern kingdom 
of Urartu. 

Ifi the light of an Aramaic inscription recently discovered in North- 



ern Assyria by M. Pognon, the French consul in Mesopotamia, it 
would now appear that the saviour which delivered the Northern 
Israelites from the cruel rule of Damascus was another Aramean king- 
dom which rose to power at the beginning of the eighth century before 
Christ, and conquered Damascus, as well as northern Syria. 

The inscription consists of four stone fragments, the lower part of 
a monolith once surmounted by a statue, probably representing the con- 
quering king who reared the monument. Of the fifty or sixty Hnes, 
but fifteen are well preserved; but these and the remaining fragments 
make it possible to determine the general purport of the inscription. 
The first part, which is the best preserved, reads: "The stele which 
^Zakar, king of Hamath and Laash, erected to El-Ur and inscribed it, 


" I was a man of humble birth and the Lord of Heaven helped me and 
supported me, and the Lord of Heaven made me king over Hazrak. 
And Ben-hadad son of Hazael king of Aram united against me seven- 
teen kings. Ben-hadad and his army, Ben-raggash and his army, and 
the king of Cilicia and his army, and the king of Aruk and his army, 
and the king of Gurgum and his army, and the king of Samal and his 
army, and the king of Miliz . . . and seven kings and their armies. 
All these kings laid siege to Hazrak. And they raised a wall higher than 
the wall of Hazrak, and dug a trench deeper than its trench. Then I 
lifted up my hands to the Lord of Heaven, and the Lord of Heaven 
answered and spoke to me through seers and astrologers and said to 
me: 'Fear not, for I made thee king, and will support thee and will 
deliver thee from these kings who are besieging thee.'" 

From the broken fragments which follow it is clear that t\i\s otherwise 
unknown king of Hazrak utterly vanquished his foes and conquered 
their territory. Of his two later capitals, Hamath was the famous city 
on the River Orontes in central Syria. Since the discoverer has not yet 
disclosed the place at which the inscription was discovered, the site of 
Hazrak has not yet been made public. It is clearly to be identified with 
the Hadrach referred to in Zechariah 9* in connection with Damascus 
and in the Assyrian Eponym Canon as Hatarikka, situated somewhere 
to the north of Damascus. 

The rise of this powerful yet hitherto almost unknown kingdom must 
have been somewhere between 800 and 772 B.C., for in 772 the Assyrian 
king Ashurdan HI made an expedition against Damascus, and in the 
following year another against Hatarikka. The statement is so brief 
in the Eponym Canon that there is no suggestion regarding the result 



of these campaigns, but inasmuch as they were not repeated and the 
remainder of the reign of Ashurdan, until 755 B.C., was devoted to sup- 
pressing rebellions nearer home, it would seem clear that the strength 
of the northern Aramean kingdom founded by Zakar remained unbroken, 
possibly until the middle of the eighth century. 

The hour of Damascus's humiliation was Northern Israel's oppor- 
tunity. Jehoash of Israel and his successor Jeroboam H, in a series of 
campaigns against the Damascenes, recovered their ancient territory 
and reestablished their prestige, until the boundary of Israel extended 
from the territory of the Aramean kingdom with its capital at Hamath 
in the north, to the southeast of the Dead Sea. Even Amaziah, the 
strong king of Judah, who rashly challenged Jehoash to 'battle, was de- 
feated, and part of the wall of Jerusalem was torn down. From the 
people of Judah, as well as from the neighboring nations whom they had 
conquered, the kings of Israel received rich spoil and tribute. The 
victories and prosperity of the reign of Jeroboam II were all the more 
impressive because of the contrast with the defeats and calamities of 
the preceding years. It was the Indian summer of Northern Israel's 
history. Overconfidence succeeded the former despondency, and the 
leaders of the people began to shut their eyes to existing evils and to 
dream of a world-wide empire. The end for which Elijah and Elisha 
had struggled — the extermination of Baalism in Israel — had been real- 
ized, and the nation had at last recovered from the shock of Jehu's 
revolution. But new political and social dangers loomed on Israel's 
horizon, and a new type of prophet and a far broader and truer concep- 
tion of Jehovah and of his demands were required to guide the people 
in meeting these new crises. 


Thus saith Jehovah : - 

For three transgressions of Damascus, i- The 

Yea, for four, I will not revoke it ; oPth? 

Because they have thrashed Gilead with thrashing in- ^^^^^ 
struments of iron. (Am.i») 

Therefore I will send fire into the house of Hazael, ment^^' 
And it shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad, await- 

And I will break the bar of Damascus, 




And I will cut off the inhabitants from the valley of Aven, 
And him who holdeth the sceptre from Beth -Eden ; 
And the people of Aram shall go into captivity to Kir, 
Saith Jehovah. 

3. , Thus saith Jehovah : 

of" h? For three transgressions of Gaza, 

tin'^^" ^®^> ^^^ fouTj I will not revoke it ; 

C) Because they carried away captive all the people, 

To deliver them up to Edom. 

4.Judg- Therefore I will send fire on the wall of Gaza, 

Sat* And it shall devour her palaces. 

thSi*^ And I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod, 

V-^) And him who holds the sceptre from Askelon, 

And I will turn my hand against Ekron, 
And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, 
Saith Jehovah. 

5. Thus saith Jehovah, 

oAhr For three transgressions of the Ammonites, 

Am- Yea, for four, I will not revoke it ; 

ites Because they have ripped up the pregnant women of 

That they might enlarge their border. 



e.Judg- Therefore I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah, 


that And it shall destroy her palaces, 

t^em^ With a war-cry in the day of battle, 

(" ") With a tempest in the day of the whirlwind. 

And their king shall go into exile. 

He and his nobles together, 
Saith Jehovah. 

7. . Thus saith Jehovah : 

oPihT For three transgressions of Moab, 

k^*^' Yea, for four, I will not revoke it ; 

(3 > «•) Because they have burned the bones of the king of Edom, 

To desecrate the dead on account of violence done to 



Therefore I will send a fire into Moab, sjudg- 

And it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth, ^^^ 

With war-cry, with the sound of trumpets ; awaits 

And I will cut off the ruler from her midst, (2aTd. 

And all his nobles will I slay with him, *^ 
Saith Jehovah. 

Thus saith Jehovah : 

For three transgressions of Israel, 

Yea, for four, I will not revoke it ; **^»v« 

■r> i-i-it-1 e cnmes 

Because they sell the righteous for money, of the 

And the needy for a pair of shoes. ui^®*" 

Who trample on the head of the poor, ('"*> 

And turn aside the way of the humble. 

And a man and his father go into the same maid. 

And so profane my holy name ; 

Upon garments taken in pledge they stretch themselves 

beside every altar, 
And the wine of those who have been fined they drink 

in the house of their God. 

9. The 

And yet it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, lo. 
And led you forty years in the wilderness, Sj. 

And brought you hither to possess the land of the Amorites. ^^^^^ 
And it was I who destroyed from before you the Amorite. for 
Whose height was like that of the cedars, and he was strong (li®™ 

as the oaks; 
Yet I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from be- 

Moreover I raised up some of your sojis to be prophets and n. in- 
some of your youths to be Nazirites. tSl by 
Is not this indeed so, O Israel? It is the oracle of Jehovah. J^Tand 
But ye made the Nazirites drink wine and upon the prophets Nazi- 
ye laid a prohibition. "f.®«) 

Behold it is I who will make you groan in your places, 12. 

As groans a wagon under its load of sheaves. men? 



13. im- Then shall refuge fail the swift, 

If^l'y And the strongest shall not avail himself of his strength, 

of 63- Neither shall the warrior deliver himself, 

(H?if) Nor he who handles the bow stand. 

Nor the swift of foot escape. 

Even he who is mounted shall not save his life ; 

But he who is stoutest of heart among warriors 

Shall fiee away naked in that day ; 
It is the oracle of Jehovah. 

I. Political Conditions in Northern Israel under Jeroboam II. 

The long and prosperous reign of Jeroboam II (781-740 B.C.) marks 
the zenith of Northern Israel's prosperity. The east-Jordan territory 
had been reconquered from the Arameans. The Moabites had ap- 
parently been reduced to subjection, and the Ammonites on the east and 
the Philistines on the west ceased to be a menace to Israel's peace. 
Except in the south, the old boundaries of David's empire were re- 
established. Peace gave the Northern Israelites ample opportunity 
to develop the rich natural resources of their kingdom. They felt that 
they had again taken their place among the great nations of southwestern 
Asia. Their success and prosperity were interpreted as clear evidence 
of Jehovah's favor and an earnest that he had still greater conquests 
and glories in store for them. 

The political situation, however, afforded no basis for these vain de- 
lusions. Already the Assyrian armies, after having been detained for 
nearly a century by local uprisings and internal dissensions, were be- 
ginning to move westward. Against the numerous, well-equipped 
forces of Assyria the petty people of Syria and Palestine were practically 
helpless. Israel's danger was all the greater, because the leaders of 
the nation were shutting their eyes to the ominous facts. 

II. Society and Religion in Israel. Social conditions within 
Israel were equally alarming. In the early days each Hebrew lived on 
his own hereditary estate. The native slave class appears to have been 
small. There was no marked distinction between king, noble and sub- 
ject. The Aramean wars, however, had fundamentally altered these 
simple conditions. In the protracted disastrous campaigns many of 
the free Israelite families had lost their hereditary estates and had been 
reduced to servitude; for slavery for himself or his family was the fate 
of every Hebrew who could not pay his debts. Moreover, Jehu's revolu- 
tion had brought to the front a strong military class that had been 



brutalized by the horrible bloodshed and cruelty which had character- 
ized the Aramean wars. 

Returning prosperity brought wealth and opportunities for commerce 
to the nobles, who enjoyed the royal patronage, but only greater bond- 
age to the poverty-stricken masses, who were at the mercy of their 
greedy creditors and cruel rulers. The social evils of the East soon 
became glaringly apparent. Among Semitic peoples judicial decisions 
were always referred either to the civil or religious officials. When the 
rulers were corrupt, the dependent classes were constantly subject to a 
type of legaHzed robbery from which there was no redress. Thus 
through bribery and unjust decisions the common people were re- 
duced still further to a condition of servitude; the free middle class al- 
most entirely disappeared; and, in their new and mad zeal to build 
palaces and to indulge in the prevailing forms of luxury, the rulers neg- 
lected more and more the demands of ordinary justice and mercy. 

The old popular Semitic conception of religion still prevailed. As 
long as the rulers brought rich sacrifices to the sanctuaries and faithfully 
met the demands of the ritual, they were confident of Jehovah*s favor 
and protection and were blind to the glaring contrast between their 
public professions and their private acts. The very offerings which 
they brought to Jehovah were wrested from their dependent fellow- 
countrymen by injustice or oppression. Even the great religious festi- 
vals at the sanctuaries were characterized by gluttony, drunkenness 
and immorality; and yet they believed that they were thus by the 
splendor of their ritual purchasing Jehovah's continued favor. The 
situation was well calculated to arouse the apprehensions of an en- 
lightened onlooker and to stir him to strenuous action. 

III. Date of Amos's Appearance. The superscription to the book 
of Amos gives little aid in determining the prophet's date, for it repre- 
sents a period of nearly half a century. The two kings of Israel and 
Judah, Jeroboam II and Uzziah, reigned contemporaneously between 
the years 780 and 740 B.C. From references within the book it is clear 
that Amos's activity belonged to the latter rather than to the earlier 
part of this period. The political, social and economic conditions in 
Northern Israel, reflected in the prophet's addresses, indicate that many 
years had elapsed since the tide of prosperity turned toward Northern 
Israel. From paragraphs ' and *, it may be inferred that Gath bad 
already been captured by Uzziah. The reference to the eclipse in 
§ LXVIII " is probably to the solar eclipse of 763 B.C., recorded in the 
Assyrian Eponym Canon. During the reigns of Shalmaneser III and 



Ashurdan III the Assyrian armies had ceased (except in the two cam- 
paigns of 772-1 B.C., cj. § LXV vii) to invade the West Country. These 
invasions were not resumed until the reign of Tiglath-pileser IV, who 
came to the throne in 745 B.C. While Amos's references to the advance 
of Assyria are somewhat indefinite, there is a ring of certainty and a note 
of impending doom which suggest that the dread invaders are not far 
distant. In the light of all these and other considerations, the date of 
Amos's preaching was evidently somewhere between 750 and 740, and 
probably about 745 B.C. 

IV. Amos's Personal History. In the superscriptions to his 
prophecies, and later in the seventh chapter, Amos is described as a 
man who took charge of small animals, such as sheep and goats. He 
is also called a dresser of sycamore trees. The fruit of this tree was 
ground for flour out of which a coarse bread was made. This bread 
was apparently eaten only by the poorer classes. His double occupa- 
tion suggests that Amos was one who sought employment wherever he 
could find it at the different seasons of the year, and that, therefore, he 
came from the poorest laboring class in the land. The fact that the 
name of his father is not given also indicates that he belonged to an 
obscure family. His home was Tekoa, twelve miles south of Jerusalem 
and twenty-two from the sanctuary of Bethel, the scene of his min- 
istry. The little town of Tekoa, shut in by gray limestone hills on the 
north and west, and looking down to the southeast over a rocky, barren 
wilderness which extends to the Dead Sea, was a fitting home for the 
stern prophet of reform. Here the life of a shepherd was a constant 
struggle with inclement nature and wild beasts. It was an environ- 
ment calculated to develop men of iron, inured to hardship, bold in 
the presence of danger and opposition, keen of eye, and quick to interpret 
the signs of the times and to sound the cry of warning. The indepen- 
dence of his shepherd life and possibly the necessity of finding markets 
for the wool produced by the flock, gave Amos an acquaintance, not 
merely with Tekoa, but with the larger world about the eastern Medi- 

His knowledge of conditions in Egypt, in Northern Israel, and even 
in distant Assyria, indicate, either that he had travelled widely or else 
had conversed frequently with traders and travellers from these dis- 
tant lands. Of his later life no facts are known except those which 
gather about his memorable mission to the Northern Israelite sanct- 
uary at Bethel. Like Elijah, he suddenly emerges from his desert 
environment and sweeps across the horizon of Israel, occupying for a 



brief time the central place — at least in the perspective of history — 
and then disappears, leaving his message to sink gradually into the con- 
sciousness of his race and to bear rich fruit in subsequent generations. 

V. The Personality of the Prophet. The real character of Amos 
is clearly revealed in the remarkable addresses which have been pre- 
served in the prophecy which bears his name. His independence of all 
human authority, and his marvellously keen perception are peculiar to 
his nomadic point of view and training. His boldness is not begotten 
by passion or religious frenzy but by a calm study of conditions and a 
mature judgment. While he employed a great wealth and variety of 
figures, Amos was at heart a realist rather than an idealist. He knew 
conditions in Israel from actual knowledge and careful study. From 
these premises he reasoned to certain conclusions, with a clear, forceful 
logic which was irresistible. Although from the humblest ranks, Amos 
was clearly one of the best educated men of his age; but his school 
was that of experience and observation. With the important facts of 
Israel's early history he was well acquainted. He also possessed an 
astonishing knowledge of the ethnology, geography and sociology of 
the world and age in which he lived. On the basis of this wide knowl- 
edge, under the influence of the divine spirit upon his keenly receptive 
mind, he had arrived at certain definite convictions which differed 
fundamentally from those which prevailed in his day. 

With characteristic directness and fearlessness, he set forth to im- 
press his God-given message upon the minds of the political and re- 
ligious leaders of his race. His appearance at Bethel was one of the 
most significant events in human history. Single handed, trusting 
only in God, whose messenger he was, he attacked the established tra- 
ditions, the cherished institutions, and the narrow religious conceptions 
of his race and age, and proclaimed instead certain universal principles 
which have become the basis of modem faith and ethics. 

VI. Amos's Method of Securing a Hearing. No reformer or 
apostle of truth ever faced greater odds than Amos, when he appeared 
at the royal sanctuary of Bethel. The occasion was evidently one of 
the annual festivals, when all classes, and especially the rich and rulers, 
were gathered from every part of the land to share their offerings with 
Jehovah amid song and glad rejoicing. The sense of power, of pros- 
perity, and of enjoying Jehovah's favor was strong in the minds of the 
assembled multitudes. Nothing could seem more incongruous than 
to proclaim on this joyful occasion the downfall of the nation and the 
futility of all the proud ceremonialism; and yet this was Amos's purpose. 



Coming also as he did from the rival southern kingdom, which had 
only recently suffered for its presumption a crushing defeat from a 
Northern Israelite army, Amos, the Judean, could expect only suspicion 
and contempt. His shepherd garb and his sunburned features also 
proclaimed the fact that he came from the ranks, and therefore had little 
in common with the richly clad nobles and the luxury-loving women 
whom he found at Bethel. But Amos proved himself a man not only 
with a message but with tact to deliver it. His aim in his opening ad- 
dress was clearly not only to win a hearing from an antagonistic audi- 
ence, but also to compel his hearers to assent to certain fundamental 
principles which he forthwith asked them to apply to themselves. 
The text: 

"Whenever Jehovah roars from Zion, 
And utters his voice from Jerusalem, 
The pastures of the shepherds mourn. 
And the top of Carmel withers," 

was probably added by some later editor, who possibly took it from 
Joel 3'^ and introduced it here because it appropriately epitomizes the 
thought of the book as a whole. Amos himself, with supremer tact, 
opened his address with a powerful yet just arraignment of Israel's 
most hated foe, the Arameans. In epigrammatic language he declared 
by implication and plain statement that hitherto Jehovah had repeat- 
edly overlooked the crimes of the people whose proud capital was Da- 
mascus; but that, at last, they had sinned beyond forgiveness and that 
the Divine Judge would no longer withhold the sentence. The typical 
crime cited was the cruelty with which these northern foes treated the 
Hebrew victims of their conquests in the east-Jordan region. The 
figure of the thrashing instrument, with its projecting teeth of iron, 
which on the rocky thrashing-floor ground even the straw to chaff, re- 
called vividly to the minds of the graybeards in Amos's audience the 
memories of Aramean attack, slaughter and pitiless plunder. Therefore 
they rejoiced in his words, and all recognized the justice of the judgment 
about to be meted out to their guilty foes. The Arameans had trans- 
gressed even the cruel laws of war; hence it was but just that the foreign 
conqueror, Assyria, should pillage and burn the palaces of Hazael and 
Ben-hadad, should slay the inhabitants of the tributary valleys, and 
should carry away the remnant of the people into captivity in distant 
Similarly those other foes of the Hebrews, the Philistines to the south- 



west had showed no pity to their captives, but had sold them into shame- 
ful captivity. Therefore the same conqueror, as Jehovah's agent, must 
pillage and burn their palaces and cities and carry away their people 
into captivity. 

In his initial address Amos apparently spoke only of the hated foes 
of the Northern Israelites. Next, therefore, the Ammonites, east of 
the Jordan, were arraigned by the prophet. Upon them falls the same 
divine judgment, couched in the same grim formula of doom. Their 
typical crime is also that of a cruelty and greed which knew no pity. 
They likewise should soon know the woes of brutal conquest. 

The typical crime of the Moabites, the fourth and last of Israel's 
foes, was a senseless act of impiety toward the dead — a crime which 
was condemned by all ancient people. Apparently in some hostile 
foray they had broken open a royal tomb and dragged out and burned 
the bones of an Edomite king. For this and kindred acts of violence, 
Jehovah's agent of judgment was about to sweep over the land of Moab. 

VII. The Universal Principles Established in Amos's Opening 
Address. The effect of Amos's opening words upon his audience can 
readily be imagined. The garb, the strange accent and the austere 
aspect of the prophet had already been forgotten. Each oracle, which 
he uttered in the same measured formula, was received by all members 
of his audience with glad acclaim. That which they had secretly 
hoped was now openly proclaimed in their ears by a prophet of Jehovah. 
No one could gainsay the justice of his words and the principles upon 
which they were based; and yet those principles were in fundamental 
contradiction to the accepted faith and practice of all his hearers. 
Formulated in universal terms they were: (1) Jehovah rules not only 
over Israel, but over all peoples; therefore all are alike accountable to 
him for their acts. (2) Jehovah is merciful and long overlooks the 
crimes of nations; but the time surely comes when he must and will 
punish deliberate and continuous wrong-doing. (3) Each nation is 
responsible to him in direct proportion to its opportunity and enlighten- 
ment. (4) Jehovah judges peoples not according to their religious 
creeds or ceremonial rites, but according to their acts. 

VIII. The Application to Northern Israel. While his hearers 
were perhaps still dreaming of the glories of the coming day when Je- 
hovah would destroy their foes and establish their world-wide dominion, 
like a flash came the application of the principles which they had so 
readily accepted for others. In a few incisive sentences Israel's guilt 
is laid bare. The typical crimes cited are not those of all members of 



the nation, but of the rich and ruHng class: the selling of a needy fellow- 
Hebrew into slavery, because he had nothing wherewith to pay a petty 
debt; the subverting of the cause of the poor in the public tribunal or 
through the misuse of authority; immorality, all the more loathsome 
because practised in the name of religion, as was the case in the prevailing 
Canaanite cults; the retaining of garments taken in pledge, which law 
and mercy commanded should be returned to those for whom they were 
the only bed at night; and carousals under the shadow of the sanctuary 
with wine extorted by injustice. 

Then, in striking contrast to this dark picture of guilt and ingratitude, 
Amos recalls in rapid succession what Jehovah had done in the past for 
his people; how he had delivered them, a disorganized body of slaves, 
from the land of Egypt, and led them through the barren wilderness, 
had wrested the fruitful land of Canaan from the powerful Amorites, 
and had made it possible for the Israelites to enjoy their present pros- 
perity. To train them by word and example, Jehovah had also sent 
them prophets and Nazirites; but they had influenced the Nazirites 
to break their vows, and the prophets they had silenced. Time and 
again Jehovah had pitied and pardoned his guilty people; but now 
for them there was nought but doom and the heavy burden of foreign 
conquest which would crush them as a heavily laden wagon crushes all 
beneath it. From this doom neither courage nor prowess nor flight 
could deliver. Thus the dauntless shepherd prophet shook, for the 
moment at least, the fatal apathy of the Northern Israelites, and im- 
pressed upon their unwilling minds his divine message of warning. 


i.Re- Hear this word 

tnSry* Which Jehovah hath spoken against you, Israelites, 

proper- Against the whole race that I brought up from the land of 

loop- Egypt: 

Sfty"' You only have I known of all the races of earth, 

(Am- Therefore will I visit upon you all your iniquities. 
3 ■ ) 

2. The Do two Walk together unless they be agreed? 

^c^e I^oes a lion roar in the forest, when there is no prey for him? 

and Does a young lion cry out in his den, unless he has taken 

611601 it* *% 

(»-«) somethmg? 



Does a bird fall to the earth, if no bait is set for it? 

Does a snare spring up from the ground, without catching 

Can a trumpet be blown in a city and the people not tremble? 
Can calamity befall a city and Jehovah not have caused it? 

Surely the Lord Jehovah doeth nothing, 3. 

Unless he revealeth his purpose to his servants the ^^ThT 
prophets. proph- 

The lion has roared ; who does not fear? prig. 

The Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who can but prophesy? ^^^f. 

Proclaim over the palaces in Ashdod : 4. sa- 

Gather upon the mountain of Samaria, ^"^^ 

And see the manifold tumults, tound- 

And acts of oppression in its midst ; *^^k. 

For they know not how to do right, p^^^^ 

They are heaping up violence and oppression in their 
palaces ! 

It is the oracle of Jehovah. 

Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, 5. The 

An adversary shall surround the land, pitiless 

And he shall strip from thee thy strength, ("• 12) 

And thy palaces shall be plundered. 
As a shepherd rescues from the mouth of a lion 
Two shin-bones or a piece of an ear, 
So shall the Israelites be rescued — 
They who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, 
On the damask of a divan ! 

Hear and testify against the house of Jacob, e.Tem- 

It is the oracle of Jehovah, the God of hosts, p^- 

That in the day when I visit the transgressions of Israel and 

upon him, Kbe 

I will also visit in judgment the altars of Bethel, ^e-^ ^^ 

And the horns of the altar shall be cut off, q*W 
And they shall fall to the ground. 
And I will smite the winter house, together with the 

summer house ; 



And the houses of ivory shall perish, 
Yea, many houses shall be swept away. 
It is the oracle of Jehovah. 

7. Hear this word, 

^r^il* Ye kine of Bashan, who dwell in the mountain of Samaria 

of tne ' 

wives Who oppress the poor and crush the needy 

Who say to your husbands, *Bring that we may drink.' 


s.Their The Lord Jehovah hath sworn by his holiness : 
indabie 'Behold, days are coming upon you, 
(2. 3) When ye shall be taken away with hooks, even the last of 

you with fish-hooks, 
And through the breaches shall ye go out, each woman 

straight before her, 
And ye shall be cast toward Harmon,' is Jehovah's oracle. 

9..FU- Come to Bethel and transgress, 

of cli-e- ^^ Gilgal increase your transgression ; 

moniai And bring in the morning your sacrifices, 

^*^ On the third day your tithes ! 

10. Its And burn some leavened bread as a thank offering, 

mLuve And proclaim aloud the voluntary offerings, 

(') For you love to do so, Israelites ! 
It is the oracle of the Lord Jehovah. 



i?am ^^* ^* ^^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^^ S^ve to you 

theies- Cleanness of teeth in all your cities, 

taught And lack of bread in all your palaces, 

toine ^®* y® ^^^® ^^* returned to me, is the oracle of Jehovah. 


12. By I, also, it was who withheld from you the rain, 
f-^'^^f^^ And I sent rain upon one city. 

While upon another I did not let it rain. 

Yet ye did not return to me, is the oracle of Jehovah. 

13. By 


and I smote you with blight and mildew, 

insect , , . , "^ ^ J J • J 

plagues I laid waste your gardens and vineyards; 

^'^ 64 


Your fig and your olive trees the young locust devoured ; 
Yet you did not return to me, is the oracle of Jehovah. 

I sent among you a pestilence by the way of Egypt, ^^ ^ 

I slew your youths with the sword, taking captive your pesti-^ 

horses, tr<i,. 

And I caused the stench of your camps to rise in your ^truc- 

nostrils ; wl? 

Yet ye did not return to me, is the oracle of Jehovah. ^"^ 

I wrought a destruction among you. 

As God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, a great 

And ye were as a brand plucked from the burning ; disaster 

Yet ye did not return to me, is the oracle of Jehovah. 

Therefore thus will I do to thee, Israel, 

Because I am about to do this to thee, Doom 

Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. [Siding 

Jehovah, the God of hosts, is his name. jver 

(IJ. wej 

Hear the word which I take up against you, even a dirge, 17. 

O house of Israel : Over- 

Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel ! i^g^ ^' 

Hurled down upon her own soil she lies, with none to raise ^^^' 

her ! pend- 

For thus saith the Lord Jehovah : fs^-*) 

The city that taketh the field with a thousand hath but a 

hundred left. 
And the one that taketh the field with a hundred hath but 

ten left. 

For thus saith Jehovah to the house of Israels is x^e 

Seek me and live, tni© 

But seek not Bethel, TI^ 

And Gilgal do not enter, ^JJ" 

To Beersheba go not over; («• •) 
For Gilgal shall taste the gall of exile. 
And Bethel [House of God] shall go to perdition. 



Danger Seek Jehovah and live, 

J*iewig ^®^* ^® ^^s* fi^® ^^ *^® house of Joseph, 

jeho- And it devour and there be none to quench it for Bethel. 


20. Alas for those who turn judgment to wormwood, 
Se foS ^^^ ^^st righteousness to the ground, 

ot Who hate him that reproves in the gate, 

(^10)® And abhor one that speaks uprightly ! 

21. Therefore, because ye trample upon the weak 
p^Sh- ^^^ t^^6 from him exactions of grain, 

ment Houses of hewu stone have ye built. 

But ye shall not dwell in them. 
Charming vineyards have ye planted, 
But ye shall not drink their wine. 

22. Surely I know how many are your transgressions, 
JuSd&i A^d how great are your sins! 

Crimea Ye persecutors of the righteous, takers of bribes! 

Yea, the needy in the gate they thrust aside! 

23. Ad- Therefore, since the prudent man at such a time keeps 
Sr*" silent, 

fi?^?4)"* ^* ^s surely an evil time. 

Seek good and not evil, 
That ye may live. 
That this Jehovah, God of hosts. 
May be with you, as ye have said. 

24. Hate evil and love good, 

2J2^ And establish justice in the gate ; 

honest Perhaps Jehovah will be gracious, 

(^° The God of hosts, to a remnant of Joseph. 

26. The Therefore, thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts; 

Jjjjhe I^ ^1 squares there shall be wailing, 

about And in every street they shall say, *Alas! Alas!' 

to over- 

take au And they shall summon the husbandman to mourning, 

^^ And to wailing those skilled in lamentation, 



Yea, in all vineyards there shall be wailing, 

When I pass through the midst of thee, saith Jehovah. 

Alas, for those who long for the day of Jehovah ! 26.Hor- 

What have you to do with the day of Jehovah? Ih"<^y 

It is darkness, and not light. g^J^^^ 

It is as when one flees from a lion, to the 

And a bear falls upon him, fu'SSf 

Or goes into the house and leans his hand upon the 

And a serpent bites him. 

Shall not Jehovah's day be darkness and not light, 
Yea, murky darkness without a ray of light in it? 

I hate, I despise your feasts, 27. Je- 

And I will not smell the savor of your festivals, rSc? " 

And with your cereal-offerings I will not be pleased, ^^f 

And the peace-offerings of your fatlings I will not re- cere- 

gard with favor. f^^"^' 

Banish from me the noise of your songs, i'!^^^- 
For to the melody of your lyres I will not listen. 
But let justice roll on as a flood of waters. 
And righteousness like an unfailing stream. 

Was it only sacrifices and cereal offerings ye brought 28. 
me ish- 

In the wilderness during forty years, house of Israel? ^^nt^ 
But now ye shall lift up the shrine of your king, nation 

- - - - - that 

And the image of your God which you have made for J?^ta 

yourselves, j^^^^^gf. 

And I will carry you away into exile beyond Damascus, iam^ 
Saith Jehovah, the God of hosts. 


Alas for those who are careless in Zion 29. 

And overconfident on the mountain of Samaria! Selr^ 

Men of mark of the first of the nations, ^^^' 

To whom the house of Israel resort ! Jluen 

They who would postpone the day of calamity, ^* ' *^ 
And yet have instituted a rule of violence! 



30. They who lie on ivory couches, 
Je^lih ^^ sprawl upon their divans, 
indui- And eat lambs from the flock, 
ind'^de- And calves from out the stall ; 
b^ch- xhey drawl to the sound of the lyre, 

(*■•) Like David, they devise for themselves instruments of 

They drink bowlfuls of wine. 
And anoint themselves with the finest of oil. 
But they do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. 

31. Therefore now they must go into exile at the head of 
qu^'t the captives, 

IJdg And hushed shall be the revelry of the sprawlers, 

await- It is the oracle of Jehovah, the God of hosts, 

thim Jehovah hath sworn by himself: 

fj^b/.j I abhor the pride of Jacob, 

And his palaces I hate. 

Therefore I will deliver up the city and all that is in it. 

And one shall smite the great house into atoms 

And the small house into fragments. 

32. Foi- Do horses run upon crags? 

i^°[. Does one plow the sea with oxen? 

thlir "^^^^ y^^ *^^^ justice into poison, 

o^^ And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood? 

(n.Taf' Ye who rejoice in that which is not. 

Who say, Have we not by our own strength taken horns 
for ourselves ! 

33. Ap- Verily, I am now raising up against you, 
Sf °he house of Israel, a nation ; 

Aj^sy^^^ And they shall oppress you, 

uero?" From the entrance of Hamath 


Even to the brook of the Arabah, 

Is the oracle of Jehovah, the God of hosts. 

I. The Literary Form of Amos's Prophecy. The original proph- 
ecies of Amos fall naturally into three groups. The first contains a 
series of brief, forcible oracles of judgment, dealing with Israel's foes 



and then culminating in the oracle regarding Israel herself (chaps. 1, 2). 
The second division, the main body of the book (3-6), is cast in the 
form of a judicial charge against the leaders of the nation. The prophet 
presents his own credentials, summons the heathen nations as witnesses 
against Israel, and then prefers the detailed charges against the guilty 
classes in the nation, supplementing these charges with argument, 
exhortation, lamentation and warning. Frequently the prophet takes 
up anew a familiar theme, expanding or emphasizing it. At times one 
may recognize the influence of his audience, and in some cases even their 
rejoinders to his bitter denunciations. Hence the thought does not 
run on uninterruptedly from premise to conclusion, but is characterized 
by a recurring cycle of woe, condemnation and doom. 

The third division of the book (7-9) consists of a series of visions in 
which the note of judgment also prevails. Thus, in the three general 
divisions of the prophecy, the same fundamental teachings are re- 
peatedly presented, although in very different literary form. 

In the more argumentative passages the four- or five-beat measures 
are employed, as, for example, in ^'^' '''^' ^^'^^ of the present section. 
Elsewhere the characteristic three-beat measure prevails. The paral- 
lelism of thought is carefully observed. There is also often a marked 
rhythmic parallelism between succeeding stanzas. The literary style 
is forceful, vigorous, logical and often impassioned. A great variety 
of figures are employed and most of them are drawn from nature and 
were suggested by Amos's shepherd experiences. These figures reveal 
a prophet of superlative poetic skill and originality, and are character- 
ized by a literary finish and beauty which establish Amos's position as 
one of the greatest Hebrew masters of style. The literary form of his 
prophecies suggests that they were the product of careful thought and 
preparation, were shaped under the influence of the noblest poetic in- 
spiration, and were probably later carefully revised, as the prophet 
returned to put them in written form in the quiet of his home at 

n. The Prophet's Credentials. The setting of the present section 
is clearly the great festival at Bethel. The same hostile audience, made 
up of the rich and ruling classes of Northern Israel, confront the shep- 
herd-prophet from Tekoa. Amos first takes up the objection, probably 
suggested by some one of his hearers, that Israel was the special object 
of Jehovah's care and protection, and therefore would not be left to 
suffer the same fate as her heathen neighbors. Like a flash comes the 
rejoinder, " Yes, you have been the most favored of all the nations, and 



therefore, since you have been faithless to your responsibilities, you shall 
be the most severely punished." 

Amos next answers the question, which was doubtless prominent in 
the minds of his hearers, "By what authority do you proclaim this 
message of doom?" His method is the same as that in his opening ad- 
dress. In a series of questions he leads his hearers to accede to the 
truth that no effect in nature is without its corresponding cause, and 
conversely that no cause fails to produce its corresponding effect. The 
application of this principle was obvious to even the dullest of Amos's 
hearers. The prophet's presence to deliver at the danger of his life 
an unpleasant message to Northern Israel pointed to some compelling 
cause. The only sufficient cause was that Jehovah, who always reveals 
in advance his purpose to his servants the prophets, had commanded 
him to go and speak. Having once heard the roar of the Assyrian lion, 
as it was about to leap, Amos the shepherd could not remain silent with- 
out uttering the cry of warning. 

HI. The Crimes of the Ruling Classes. It is significant that 
Amos nowhere speaks of the sins of the masses. In his great arraign- 
ment of Northern Israel, the acts of cruel oppression and the wealth 
secured by the king and nobles through violence and injustice rise up 
before his vision as witnesses whose testimony even their heathen 
neighbors can appreciate. The ancient principle, "an eye for an eye 
and a tooth for a tooth," is evidently in his mind. They who have 
plundered others shall themselves in turn be plundered, and only a piti- 
able remnant shall surs^ive. Palaces, hovels, and even the temples shall 
not escape the impending judgment. 

From the nobles of Israel and their blood-bought luxury the prophet 
turns in hot indignation against their wives, whom he likens to the fat, 
sleek kine of Bashan, which in their pursuit of food stupidly and ruth- 
lessly crush every humble flower or worm which may lie in their path. 
That they may secure the means to satisfy their own appetites these 
greedy women goad on their husbands to crush by oppression the poor 
and needy of the land. Before their startled eyes the prophet flashes 
the bold figure of a fisherman hauling out fish with the cruel hook, 
and declares that even so they will be dragged forth from their proud 
city as victims of the foreign conqueror. 

IV. The Uselessness of Mere Ceremonial. Amos next deals 
with the popular fallacy that Jehovah desires sacrifice, not mercy. As 
he recalled the crimes against justice committed by the sanctimonious 
worshippers who stood before him, their proud ritual seemed to him 



but hateful hypocrisy. With biting sarcasm he advises them to go on 
with their round of sacrifices, not because it secures Jehovah's favor but 
because they find in it pleasure and satisfaction. If they would but 
read the signs of the times, they could not fail to see how distasteful 
to Jehovah is all this ceremonialism. 

Rapidly, in a series of balanced strophes concluding with the same 
powerful refrain, Amos refers to the calamities which had overtaken 
the nation within the memory of many of those who stood before him. 
Famine, drought, plague, pestilence, defeat at the hands of their ene- 
mies, disasters, even as great as those which overtook the wicked Canaan- 
ite cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, had swept over Israel. And yet 
these calamities, which even the heathen interpreted as a call to re- 
pentance, had not touched the heart of the proud, self-satisfied Israel- 
ites. Therefore nothing remains for Jehovah to do except to visit upon 
Israel its well-deserved doom. The indefiniteness of this doom added 
greatly to its impressiveness. In imagination the prophet already saw 
and pictured the effects of this imminent judgment. In the character- 
istic five-beat measure, in which the hired mourners in ancient Israel 
voiced their lamentation over the dead, he sings a dirge over the nation. 
Nothing more striking could be imagined than the contrast between the 
proud confidence of Israel's leaders and the prophet's crooning its 
death dirge in their presence. 

V. The Call to Repentance. Amos's message from beginning to 
end was almost without exception that of condemnation and doom; 
and yet it is evident that his one supreme purpose was to save Northern 
Israel from the awful fate which he proclaimed with absolute conviction. 
He felt himself to be the watchman, who alone saw the approaching 
foe and was, therefore, called to sound the alarm that the nation might 
put itself in a state of defence. The sternness of his denunciation but 
reveals his passionate eagerness to save. The call to "seek Jehovah 
and live" expresses his ultimate conception of Jehovah as a God not 
merely of grim judgment but of tenderness and mercy, eager to forgive 
the guilty nation, if it would but turn to him in true repentance. The 
reestabhshment of the vital and personal relation between Jehovah 
and his people meant life. The refrain, " seek Jehovah and live," is 
therefore Amos's positive message to his race and to humanity. 

VI. Amos's Ideal of Righteousness. Amos felt keenly the star- 
tling contrast between the elaborate ritual at the sanctuaries and the 
gross injustice in the public tribunals, in the market place, and in the 
court and palace. To him the palaces built by exactions and oppression 



seemed but sepulchres. Unflinchingly, to their very face, he pro- 
nounced woes upon the nobles, the judges, and the rich who had built 
these palaces at the expense of the needy members of the community. 
They who were fondly waiting for the day of Jehovah and were expect- 
ing that it would prove a day of national victory and exaltation were 
following a grim spectre. Instead, it should be a day of judgment with 
no escape for the guilty. In the name of Jehovah, he declared that all 
the feasts and festivals and offerings with which they thought to buy 
divine favor, were only hateful to Jehovah. Israel's wilderness ex- 
perience had proved that offerings were unnecessary to insure his care 
and guidance. Only justice, not meted out with scanty measure, but 
like a mighty flood, pervading palace and court and public tribunal, 
could win the divine favor which they craved. 

VII. The Impending Doom. Amos concludes his sermon with a 
clear announcement of coming conquest and exile. Again his conclusions 
were based on the laws of cause and effect. Horses cannot run upon 
crags nor can one plow the sea with oxen; no more can men sin against 
the fundamental laws of the universe and expect that the results will be 
peace and strength. Already the inevitable consequences of Israel's 
crimes were beginning to appear: the rulers were incapable, the natural 
resources had been deflected for personal ends, the middle class had 
been reduced to servitude, there were no leaders to inspire public con- 
fidence and arouse patriotism, and the hope of the nation centred in 
mere material strength and a vain hypocritical formalism. In the pres- 
ence of Assyria's armies, Israel's guilt and weakness were clearly patent 
to the mind of a keen observer like Amos; but to the majority of those 
to whom he spoke his words seemed but madness. In the face of these 
conditions, the prophet could predict only doom and disaster for the 


Thus the Lord Jehovah showed me, 

And behold, he was forming locusts. 

When the late spring grass began to come up. 

And when they were making an end 

Of devouring the vegetation of the land, 

I said, Lord Jehovah, forgive, I pray ; 

How can Jacob stand, for he is small? 



Jehovah repented concerning this ; 
It shall not be, said Jehovah. 

Thus the Lord Jehovah showed me, 2. in 

And behold, he was giving command to execute judgment, f^g the 
By fire — the Lord Jehovah. ^/.^."^ht 

And it devoured the great deep, ^ 

And had begun to devour the tilled land. 
Then I said, Lord Jehovah, cease, I pray ; 
How can Jacob stand, for he is small? 
Jehovah repented concerning this; 
Neither shall this be, said Jehovah. 

Thus the Lord showed me, 3. The 

And behold the Lord was standing j°fjj' 

Beside a wall, with a plumb-line in his hand. iudg- 

And Jehovah said to me, S^aH- 

What dost thou see, Amos? gf^^i 

And I answered, A plumb-line, (^-') 

Then the Lord said. Behold, I am setting a plumb-line 
In the midst of my people Israel ; 
I will not again pass by them any more. 
And the high places -of Isaac shall be desolate, 
The sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste. 
And I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with 
the sword. 

Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam 4. 

king of Israel, saying, Amos has conspired against you in tws^^' 

the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to ™^g\^ 

bear all his words. For thus has Amos said, ^Jeroboam thi 

shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away ^o"?i) 
captive out of his land.' 

Also Amaziah said to Amos, O seer, go flee away to the s.His 

land of Judah, and there eat bread and there prophesy; mSd 

but you shall no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is the ^j^os 

king's sanctuary, and it is the royal residence. (" ") 

Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, I was no e. 

prophet, nor a son of a prophet ; but I was a shepherd and ^piy^ ^ 

a dresser of sycamores when Jehovah took me from follow- C" ") 



ing the flock, and Jehovah said to me, *Go, prophesy against 
my people Israel.* 

Now therefore hear the word of Jehovah: *Thou sayest, 
"Thou Shalt not prophesy against Israel, nor preach against 
the house of Isaac," ' therefore thus saith Jehovah: *Thy 
wife shall be a harlot in the city and thy sons and thy daugh- 
ters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided 
by line ; and thou shalt die upon an unclean soil and Israel 
shall surely be led away captive out of this land.* 

8. Is- Thus the Lord Jehovah showed me, 

^j^^'/ And behold, a basket of summer fruit. 

pe33 for Then he said. What dost thou see, Amos? 

Sent And I said, A basket of summer fruit. 

(8 » ») And Jehovah said to me. 

The end has come to my people Israel, 

I will not again pass them by. 

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, 

And oppress the poor of the earth, saying. 

When shall the new moon pass that we may sell grain. 

And the sabbath that we may open the corn — 

Making smaller the measure and enlarging the weight 

And perverting the false balances — 

And that we may sell the refuse of the corn? 

Jehovah hath sworn by the pride of Jacob, 

Never shall I forget all their deeds ! 
of ' ' For this shall not the land tremble, 

eJrth- And all her inhabitants mourn? 

^^^J^^ Shall not the whole of it rise like the Nile, 

And sink like the Nile of Egypt? 

11. And it shall come to pass in that day, 

EcHpse It is the oracle of the Lord Jehovah, 

pe«ti- That I will make the sun set at noon, 

(l^a^ And darken the earth in broad day. 

And the singing-women of the palace shall wail. 

It is the oracle of the Lord Jehovah. 

A multitude of carcasses ! In every place they are cast ! 



And I will turn your festivals into mourning, i2.uiii- 

And all your songs into dirges, prsai 

I will bring upon all loins sackcloth, ^^tn' 

And upon every head baldness, 

I will make it like the mourning for an only son. 

And the end of it like a bitter day. 


And I will send hunger in the land, i3. ^b- 

Not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, senc^ 

But for hearing the word of Jehovah. ?ine" 

Then shall they wander from sea to sea, tfJn^^' 
From the north to the rising of the sun shall they run ("'^ '^) 

to and fro. 
To seek the word of Jehovah, but they shall not find it. 

In that day shall faint 14. De- 

The fairest maidens and the youths, ll^^oi 

Who swear by the guilt of Samaria, tLT ° 

And say. As liveth thy God, Dan! ^fThe 

And as liveth thy patron, Beersheba! ^^^}^^ 
And they shall fall, no more to rise. 

I saw the Lord standing by the altar, 15. De- 
And he said. Smite the capitals that the thresholds may g^^^j^ 

shake, sanct- 

Yea, break them off upon the head of all of them, and" 

And the rest of them I will slay with the sword, p|°p^® 
Not one of them shall escape. 
Nor shall a refugee be delivered from among them. 

If they dig through to Sheol, 16. Ab- 

Thence will my hand take them; no'i?^ 

And if they climb up to heaven, cape 

Thence will I bring them down; je*"-"" 

And if they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, \°jAy 
Thence will I search them out and take them. 

And if they hide out of my sight at the bottom of the sea, rfbu- 
Thence will I command the sea-serpent to bite them; over^ 
And if they go into captivity before their enemies, ]^l^^ 




Thence will I command the sword to slay them, 
And I will keep my eye on them, 
For evil and not for good. 

Are ye not as the Cushites to me, 

Israel? is the oracle of Jehovah. 

Did I not bring up Israel out of the land of Egypt, 

And the Philistines from Caphtor, and Aram from Kir? 

Behold the eyes of the Lord Jehovah are upon the sinful 

And I will destroy it from the face of the earth. 

I. The Visions of Impending Judgment. It would seem that 
Amos, having exhausted the resources of exhortation, denunciation and 
warning, made a final effort by means of graphic word pictures, vividly 
and indelibly to impress his message upon the minds of the leaders of 
Northern Israel. The first picture was that of a dread locust plague 
sweeping over the land, just as the late spring grass was beginning to 
come up and just before the hot Palestinian summer began. Realizing 
that this plague meant want and starvation for man and beast, the proph- 
et prayed that Jehovah would be merciful and pity the helpless nation, 
and his prayer was granted. Again he presents the vision of a fiery 
drought which destroyed even the perennial springs. Again the prophet 
petitioned for divine mercy, and his prayer was granted. In his third 
vision of the impending doom, Amos beheld Jehovah holding a plumb- 
line, the symbol of justice and rectitude, over the nation Israel. Ap- 
preciating the guilt and impenitence of his people and the futility of 
pleading for mercy in the presence of impartial justice, the prophet 
could do nothing but proclaim the devastating judgment which should 
soon sweep over sanctuary and palace, leaving all a desolate waste. 

The meaning of these parables or visions is obvious. Repeatedly 
Jehovah has overlooked the crimes of his guilty people, and because of 
his mercy and love has delivered them from the judgments which they 
richly deserved; but "for three transgressions of Israel, yea for four, 
he could no longer revoke it." The guilt of the impenitent Israelites 
compelled Jehovah in justice to visit upon them such a signal calamity 
that they would be shaken from their blind, senseless self-confidence. 
For them, therefore, these visions meant simply a dramatic and im- 
pressive reiteration of his message of solemn warning. They also repre- 
sent Amos's final appeal to the conscience of Northern Israel. Their 



balanced literary form and their perfect adaptation to the situation and 
to the characteristics of the nation, indicate that they are the product 
of careful thought and elaboration. Each successive vision is in itself 
a complete picture — vivid, impressive, terrifying. They are akin to 
the acted prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Their later 
counterpart is found in the marvellous parables of the New Testament. 

II. The Reception of Ames's Message. Some later disciple of 
Amos has fortunately recorded the way in which his message was re- 
ceived by the chief priest of the royal sanctuary at Bethel. Amos's 
words were too true and too bold not to rouse bitter opposition. The 
sanctity of the person of the prophet and the fact that his words had 
been directed against the crimes of classes rather than of individuals 
had hitherto evidently deterred Amaziah from interposing. The refer- 
ence, however, to the overthrow of the reigning house of Jeroboam 
was at once made the basis of a charge against Amos. The narrative 
would seem to imply that Jeroboam was then present at the royal sanct- 
uary. Amaziah's charge was partially true and partially false; at 
least it represents a very free interpretation of Amos's words. 

The king's answer is not recorded. Possibly Amaziah acted at his 
direction in expelling Amos from Bethel. The priest's words voice the 
arrogant contemptuous attitude of the corrupt rulers of that ill-fated 
northern kingdom. Amos naturally resented the implication that he 
was a mercenary prophet, prophesying, like the four hundred false 
prophets who gathered about Ahab (§ LXIV), not under the compul- 
sion of divine conviction but for personal ends. He even went further 
and denied that he had any connection with the prophet class in Israel, 
and asserted that he was simply a plain humble laborer whom Jehovah 
called from his task to go' and warn the nation Israel. Thus, almost 
unconsciously, every true prophet is born. 

Like many a bold speaker of truth in later ages, Amos was silenced 
by the rulers whose crimes he denounced. As he departed, however, 
he uttered against Amaziah, who represented the religious leaders of 
the nation, a final prophecy which pictured in grim detail the fate that 
was soon to overtake not only the priest to whom it was addressed but 
also the rulers of Northern Israel. 

III. Amos's Conclusions Regarding Israel's Future. The re- 
maining visions in the book of Amos may have been uttered as the 
prophet retired from Bethel or may have been appended to the final col- 
lection of his prophecies. They constitute a fitting conclusion to the 
prophet's message. The vision of a basket of summer fruit represents 



the nation as prosperous, attractive, but, like perishable summer fruit 
in a hot, oriental climate, on the eve of a rapid and complete decay. 
There is also a solemn play on the sound of the similar Hebrew words 
for summer fruit (kayic) and end (kec). 

In the succeeding stanzas, Amos presents the causes and nature of 
the coming national decay: the greed and oppression of the ruling and 
merchant class and the lack of brotherly kindness. A fate, which he 
likens to the horrors of earthquake, eclipse and pestilence, shall quickly 
overtake* the land, so that lamentation shall soon take the place of festal 
joys. The nation which has banished Jehovah's prophet shall soon feel 
a hunger for the word of Jehovah which shall know no satisfaction, and 
the cults of the ancient sanctuaries shall prove of no help or avail to 
their devotees in the hour of Israel's dire need. Indeed, upon the 
sanctuaries themselves and their vaunted sacrifices, the thunderbolt 
of Jehovah's wrath shall fall, smiting the temple and destroying the 
worshippers. None shall escape Jehovah's judgment. Even though 
they hide in the secluded caves of Carmel or seek refuge in the utter- 
most parts of the earth, Jehovah's vengeance will yet pursue them. 
Before Jehovah's tribunal heathen Cushites and Philistines and Israel- 
ites are judged alike; and Israel, being the most guilty, must suffer 
the most overwhelming fate. 

IV. The Later Appendix to the Book. A later editor has added 
an appendix to the book of Amos (9^^^), adapting it to the post-exilic 
point of view and presenting a glorious picture of restoration; but such 
promises in the mouth of Amos, as he stood before the defiant, guilty 
leaders of the nation, were impossible, and such predictions would have 
completely destroyed the effect of his courageous words of warning. 
They also speak of material prosperity and conquest; but Amos labored 
for something far more glorious — a nation ruled by the eternal principles 
of justice and of mercy toward all mankind. 

V. Amos's Conception of Jehovah. Amos is primarily a social 
and ethical reformer. The principles which he proclaimed are to-day 
being recognized by all civilized nations whether Christian or pagan. 
And yet it was not an abstract ethical ideal which inspired him. The 
motive which determined all his activity was his conception of Jehovah 
and the deep sense of personal obligation to him. The God of Amos's 
prophecies is constantly called Jehovah of hosts. He it is who controls 
the forces of nature and his realm includes the earth, the great deep, 
and the heavens above. His authority was no longer limited to little 
Israel. The experiences and activities of the neighboring peoples, and 



even of the distant Assyrians, were determined by him. The God 
whom Amos proclaimed was not apart from Hfe, but was intimately 
interested and active in all the experiences of men. 

In Amos's logical, judicial thought, the most prominent attribute 
of Jehovah was unquestionably justice. The situation in Northern 
Israel also compelled him to place all the emphasis upon the imminent 
divine judgment; but he also declared that Jehovah was a God of 
mercy, lenient toward the crimes of the heathen, listening to the pe- 
titions of his prophet, seeking by judgments and warnings to save his 
people from ultimate annihilation — a God not only of justice but of 

VI. Ames's Social Teachings. Amos was the first great social 
reformer known to history. With the modern socialist he also had 
much in common. Probably he himself knew through painful per- 
sonal experience the social evils of his day. He was the tribune of the 
poor and oppressed. The rich and the rulers and those in authority 
were the especial objects of his attack. By them he was silenced as a 
dangerous agitator and banished from the northern kingdom. He 
first of all the prophets committed his addresses to writing, and prob- 
ably sent them forth as a tract that they might bear his message where 
he could not speak in person. 

There is a sanity and a depth, however, in Amos's social teachings 
which make him the father, not of any one passing school of socialists, 
but of all true social reformers. The ultimate goal of his work was not 
to overthrow existing social and political institutions, but by means of 
fundamental reform to preserve and render them eflBcient. He offered 
no programme for the reorganization of society, but looked for its sal- 
vation through an intelligent and faithful recognition of individual and 
class responsibility. He did not attack wealth and authority, but rather 
their selfish and criminal misuse. He not only declared that public 
office and wealth are a public trust, but he also demanded in the name 
of Jehovah that justice and mercy should govern every man in his 
dealing with his fellows. Above all he declared that deeds of justice 
and love are the absolutely essential fruits of true religion and the only 
stable foundations upon which a state or society can be founded. 




Now Jehovah said to Hosea : 
Go marry a wife with whorish instincts who will bear you 

children by her whoredom, 
For the land is continually going a-whoring from after Je- 
So he went and married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. 

And when she conceived and bore him a son, Jehovah 

Call his name Jezreel, 

For yet a little while, 

And I will avenge the blood shed at Jezreel upon the 
house of Jehu, 

And I will cause the kingdom of Israel to cease. 

And it shall come to pass in that day. 

That I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of 
And when she conceived again and bore a daughter, he 
said to him: 

Call her name Lo-ruhamah [Unpitied], 

For I will no longer 

Have pity on the house of Israel, 

That I should still spare them. 
Then she* weaned Lo-ruhamah; and when she conceived 
and bore a son, he said: 

Call his name Lo-ammi [Not-my-people], 

For ye indeed are not my people. 

And I indeed am not your God. 
[Then Hosea said: 

I will put away Gomer], 

For she is not my wife. 

And I will not be her husband ; 

And on her children I will have no pity. 

Since they are children of whoredom. 

For their mother hath become a harlot ; 

She who conceived them hath behaved shamefully. 


and dis- 


But Jehovah said to me : e. The 

Still go, love this woman f^pt- 

Who loves a paramour and is an adulteress, mgs 

As Jehovah loveth the Israelites, iovi*° 

Although they turn to other gods, ^^^^ 
And love raisin-cakes. 

So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver and eight 7. Her 

bushels of barley and a measure of barley. And I said to Ifon^^' 

Many days shalt thou abide for me, e^^j 
Thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be 

any man's wife. 
Yet, I on my part will be thine. 

For through many days 8. Ib. 

The Israelites shall abide ff?i's 

.__ , - . 1 • 1 • similar 

Without kmg and without pnnce, experi- 

Without sacrifice and without pillar, l^'^^ 
Without ephod and without teraphim. 

Strive with your mother, strive, 9 Je- 

That she put her acts of whoredom from, her sight, apjtai^ 

And her adulteries from between ber breasts, to the 

Lest I strip her naked, iStJ 

And set her as she was on the day of her birth, \^f^ 

And make her like the wilderness, nat^n 

And let her become like a parched land, a^p^ta- 

And let her die of thirst. (| 
For she hath said, I "5 I 3 ^ 
I will go after my paramours 
Who gave me my bread and my water. 
My wool, my flax, my oil and my drink. 

10. Je- 

Therefore I am going to hedge up her ways with thorns, Sfslfp-^ 

And build a wall about her, line of 

So that she cannot find her paths. t^^^ 

And she will pursue her paramours, 5e^® 

But will not overtake them, thefoi- 

And she will seek and not find them. aposta- 

(6. 7a -c^ 
8a-c.9. 10 
12. 11. 13) 

t. 6. c- 

But she herself did not know (6^7a-c, 

8a-c.9. la 

That it was I who gave her 



The corn, the sweet wine and the oil. 

Therefore I will take back my corn in its time, 

And my sweet wine in its season, 

And I will withdraw my wool and my flax, 

Given to cover her nakedness ; 

And so I will uncover her shame. 

And none shall deliver her out of my hand. 

And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees. 

Of which she hath said. These are my rewards 

Which my lovers have given me. 

And I will make them a thicket. 

And the wild beasts shall devour them. 

And I will also cause all her mirth to cease, 

Her feasts, her new moon and her sabbaths. 

And thus will I visit upon her the days of the Baalim, 

In which she made offerings to them. 

And decked herself with ear-rings and jewels. 

And went after her paramours 

And forgot me, is the oracle of Jehovah. 

11. Di- Therefore I am going to allure her, 

f2vor And bring her into the wilderness, 

and And speak endearin<;ly to her. 

dUa"" And I will give her from there her vineyards 

peni-^^*^ And the valley of Achor as a door of hope, 

iSei ^^^ there she shall respond as in the days of her 

{fV'^ youth, 

"'"^ As when she came up from the land of Egypt. 

And it shall be in that day, is the oracle of Je- 

She shall call to her husband. 

And shall call no more to the Baalim. 

And I will remove the names of the Baalim from her 

And they shall no more be mentioned by their names. 

And I will betroth her to me forever; 

Yea, I will betroth her to me in righteousness, 

And in judgment, and in kindness and in mercy ; 

Yea, I will betroth her to me in faithfulness and she 
shall know Jehovah. 




And it shall come to pass in that day i2.The 

That I will speak, — it is the oracle of Jehovah,— ^-^^ 

I will speak to the heavens, of je- 

And they will speak to the earth, fo^^ 

And the earth will speak to the grain, ^^ 

And the new wine and the oil ; and 

And they shall speak to Jezreel, (?um) 

And I will sow her in the land. 

And I will have pity upon the Unpitied, 

And I will say to Not-my-people, Thou art my people, 

And they will say. Thou art my God. 

I. Tlie Book of Hosea. The book of Hosea falls naturally into two 
divisions. The first, chapters 1-3, tells of that tragic experience in 
Hosea's life which made him a prophet and of the way in which he ap- 
phed his own experience in interpreting the relations between Jehovah 
and the nation Israel. The second division, chapters 4-14, consists 
of extracts from addresses which the prophet delivered during the latter 
part of his life. They deal with the grave political, social, moral and 
religious problems of his age. They lack the close-knit logical unity 
which characterizes the prophecies of Amos. They vividly reflect, 
however, the thought and activity of the prophet during the years of 
national decline, and the impassioned words of denunciation, warning 
and entreaty with which Hosea sought to turn his fellow-countrymen 
from their fatal course, 

H. Hosea's Date and Nationality. The superscription to Hosea's 
prophecy makes him contemporary of Isaiah, and assigns to his work 
a period of nearly a century (782-686 B.C.). The exact date of his 
activity must, however, be determined from the historical references 
within the prophecy itself. His call and earlier sermons found in chap- 
ters 1-3 are evidently to be dated before the death of Jeroboam II in 
740 B.C. ; for he refers in them to the overthrow of the house of Jehu as 
still in the future. 

The later sermons, chapters 4-14, reflect the period of anarchy and 
social and moral decay which followed soon after the death of Jeroboam. 
Since they contain no allusions to the invasion of Tiglath-pileser IV, 
in 734 B.C., but rather imply that the territory of Gilead, which was 
then annexed to Assyria, still belonged to the northern kingdom, their 
date is established between 740 and 735 B.C. Hosea, therefore, began 
his work during the same decade as did Amos, and labored, as the super- 



scription implies, contemporaneously with the earlier period of Isaiah's 

Unlike Amos, Rosea was a native of the northern kingdom. This 
conclusion is established not only by the fact that practically all of the 
historical and geographical allusions are to places and events in Northern 
Israel, but also by that deep love and devotion for the larger Hebrew 
kingdom which Hosea betrays in his every utterance. Hosea is the 
one prophet of the north whose sermons have been preserved. Regard- 
ing the last days of Northern Israel, biblical historians are almost silent; 
but in the utterances of its noblest patriot it is possible to study as an 
eye-witness the forces which were rapidly carrying the nation on to its 
final destruction. 

III. The Prophet's Private History. The first and second chap- 
ters of Hosea's prophecy have evidently been reedited by a later disciple 
who has added the appropriate sub-title, "The Beginning of Jehovah's 
Revelation by Hosea." In the third chapter the prophet's experiences 
are told in the first person; but in the opening chapters his words have 
been incorporated in a framework in which the prophet is spoken of in 
the third person. In the second chapter also the account of his own 
personal experience, which binds together the narrative of the first and 
third chapters, has apparently been blended with one of Hosea's ser- 
mons, in which he traces the close analogy between his own experience 
with his unfaithful wife, Gomer, and Jehovah's experience w4th faithless 
Israel. Separating the narrative material of chapter 2 and introducing 
the sermon contained in that chapter in its logical position after chapter 
3, a clear and consistent record of Hosea's early life is secured. 

Briefly, but plainly, Hosea tells of the tragic domestic experience 
which opened his eyes to the appreciation of those fundamental truths 
which made him a prophet. Looking back from the vantage point of 
later years, he realized that the strong love which he had felt for 
Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and all the pain which his marriage 
with her had brought to him, were not without their profound signifi- 
cance and permanent value. Dean Plumptre, in his poem, "Gomer" 
(in Lazarus and Other Poems), has nobly and truly voiced the feelings 
with which Hosea interpreted his early history. 

"Through all the mystery of my years, 
There runs a purpose which forbids the wail 
Of passionate despair. I have not lived 
At random, as a soul whom God forsakes; 



But evermore His Spirit led me on, 
Prompted each purpose, taught my hps to speak, 
Stirred up within me that deep love, and now 
Reveals the inner secret." 

Later events had disclosed the base character of the woman who had 
commanded his youthful affection; but even as he rose above the ruins 
of his home and his fond ambitions, Hosea could declare in the light 
which the painful experience brought him, that in it all God was leading 
him on to his true life-work. 

IV. The Unfaithfulness of His Wife. In his earliest recorded 
prophetic utterance, Hosea reiterated the message of Amos to Northern 
Israel. That message was impressed upon the mind of his fellow- 
countrymen by the name which he gave to his oldest son. Jezreel was 
the plain on which Jehu, the founder of the reigning house, had slain 
his predecessor and thus become king of Israel. The name recalled 
Jehu's bloody acts, and was interpreted by Hosea as a symbol of the 
coming judgment in which Northern Israel should pay with its life- 
blood for the crimes of the past. His little daughter also received the 
grim name, "Unpitied." When it became known on the streets of 
Hosea's native town, the prophet declared that it was intended to sym- 
bolize the ominous truth that, although Jehovah had long overlooked 
the crimes of the nation, he would no longer spare. The name of his 
youngest son, " Not-my-people," proclaimed the same sad fact that 
Jehovah would soon be compelled to reject his people. 

The note struck in these early prophetic oracles is harsh and repellent, 
and perhaps suggests the bitterness in the prophet's soul, as he recog- 
nized in his own domestic experiences the hideousness and awful con- 
sequences of sin. When he discovered that his wife, Gomer, was un- 
faithful, Hosea was justified by ancient Semitic custom and Hebrew 
law, in driving her from his home and thus severing the marriage bond. 
This would seem to have been his first impulse, and was in perfect keep- 
ing with his stern judicial spirit revealed in the child-oracles. 

The context implies that the impulse still to love and redeem the fallen 
woman who had wronged him so bitterly, came to Hosea only after he 
had already banished her or else she herself had fled from his home. 
At least he states that he bought her back from her life of ignominy 
and servitude for the price of a slave, and thus brought her again to his 
home. Immediate restoration to the former marriage relation was im- 
possible. In silence and alone she must learn to appreciate the enor- 



mity of her guilt and the depth and greatness of the love which had fol- 
lowed her even in her shame. Whether or not she met Hosea's love 
with true contrition and appreciation is not stated. The decision 
rested with her; for in the narrative Rosea stands waiting, the faithful 
lover, ready to forgive, when once penitence and contrition had done 
their purifying work. 

V. The Truths which Hosea Learned from His Tragic Experi- 
ence. It is evident that Hosea told of his own private experience with 
the same purpose that influenced Isaiah and Jeremiah to recount the 
profound spiritual experiences which marked the beginning of their 
prophetic work, namely, that their own disciples and readers might 
appreciate their aims and teachings. The minds of these later prophets 
were opened by a study of the conditions and needs of their race and by 
the remarkable crisis through which their nation was passing. Hosea's 
mind was divinely enlightened and his will was stirred to action by the 
tragic experiences which came to him in his domestic life. These 
taught him: (1) That having once truly loved his wife, he could not 
cease to love her, however much she sinned. (2) That the more he 
loved her the greater was the pain which her sin brought to him. (3) 
That in the presence of defiant WTong-doing, discipline is the noblest 
expression of love, for it alone will develop penitence in the heart of 
the guilty. (4) That forgiveness is impossible without penitence 
on the part of the sinner. (5) That he who loves truly is ever eager to 
forgive the penitent sinner. 

These simple but profound truths lie at the foundation of all of 
Hosea's subsequent teaching. These convictions, won through in- 
finite pain, and appreciated as no man had appreciated them before, 
made him not merely the prophet of stern justice but also the prophet of 
divine love and tenderness. Henceforth his task was to denounce the 
sins of Israel, for he now understood, as no one else, what they meant 
to Israel's God. But his greater task was to reveal to the nation the 
Infinite Love which had guided them in their past and was ready and 
eager to forgive all the guilt of the present, if only they would reach out 
toward it with true repentance and contrition. 

VI. The Application of his Own Experience to that of His 
Nation. In the account of his own experience, Hosea traces the close 
analogies between his relation to his wife Gomer and Jehovah's to 
the nation Israel. Even as Hosea wooed and married Gomer, so 
Jehovah, back in the wilderness days, entered into solemn covenant re- 
lations with Israel. As Hosea had been faithful to Gomer through all 



the years and loved her still, even so Jehovah had shown his unceasing 
love for Israel; but as Gomer had been faithless to Hosea and had be- 
stowed her affection on her paramours, even so Northern Israel had 
turned to the worship of the ancient Canaanite Baalim. In the case 
of both Gomer and Israel, love and kindness had failed to evoke a 
corresponding love and fidelity. Hence, as Hosea had learned from 
his own experience, love must now find expression in discipline. 

With impassioned words, he pleads, in the name of Jehovah, with the 
citizens of Northern Israel, that they appeal to the nation, their mother, 
to repent and turn from her criminal course. In her blind folly Israel 
has regarded Jehovah's blessings of plenty and prosperity as the gifts 
of the local gods of fertility. Only as the nation is deprived of them 
and covered with humility and shame will she learn the true source of 
these blessings. 

It is not certain that the closing paragraphs of this section are from 
Hosea, although on the whole they come most naturally from his lips. 
In any case they represent the conclusion suggested by his own per- 
sonal experience. The object of his discipline of Gomer was that he 
might rouse within her that repentance which would make forgiveness 
and reconciliation possible. Jehovah's withdrawal of plenty and pros- 
perity from the nation was that the people of Israel might turn to him 
with that penitence which would make it possible for him again to 
bestow upon the nation the evidences of his favor. Even as in the days 
of the settlement, the valley of Achor, which had witnessed the punish- 
ment of the nation because of the sins of Achan (c/. § XXXn^°), had 
proved the gateway through which the Hebrews had entered into the 
possession and enjoyment of the blessings of the land of Canaan, so 
now, if the nation would but learn the lesson of divine discipline, the 
experience would open to them new revelations of Jehovah's care and 
love. When once the nation should break with the Baal cults of 
Canaan and give its undivided love to Jehovah, he would renew, on the 
basis of the eternal principle of righteousness, justice and mercy, the old, 
close covenant between himself and his people. Then the heavens, 
as Jehovah's messengers of love, would send down their fructifying 
rains upon the earth and the earth would send forth its rich products, 
so that Jezreel would no longer symbolize coming judgment, but rather, 
as its name suggests, represent the land which "God sows." Then 
the unpitied people should be the object of Jehovah's pity; they who 
had been rejected should again be called the people of Jehovah, and 
they in turn should recognize him as the one and only God. 



VII. Hosea's Message to the World. In the pathetic story of 
his own experience and of its application to his nation, the prophet 
Hosea laid the eternal foundations of all true religion. He has also 
given the clearest and most vivid presentation of the divine necessity 
of repentance found in pre-exilic Hebrew literature. Interpreted into 
universal terms, Hosea's message was: (1) Jehovah is a God of infinite 
love and demands in turn not only the loyalty but the love of his people. 
(2) The sin and infidelity of man bring infinite pain to the eternal heart 
of God. (3) Even for God himself forgiveness of the impenitent is im- 
possible. (4) Toward those who are defiantly impenitent, divine jus- 
tice and its expression in discipline is the supreme evidence of love. 
(5) That which is called divine judgment and punishment is but a 
means to an end, and that end is forgiveness and reconciliation. (6) 
God is ever ready to forgive even the most guilty, provided only they 
come to him with true contrition. (7) The goal of all life and human 
experience is that perfect peace and happiness which come through 
harmony with the eternal Father. 


i.Gen- Hear the word of Jehovah, Israelites, 

Arraign For Jchovah hath a charge against the inhabitants of 

SThl the land, 

nation For there is no fidelity nor true love 

4 1°)* Nor knowledge of God in the land ; 

But perjury, lying and murder. 

Stealing, committing adultery and deeds of violence, 

And acts of bloodshed quickly follow each other. 

Therefore the land mourns. 

And all its inhabitants languish, 

Together with the wild beasts and the birds of the 
heavens ; 

While even the fish of the sea are swept away. 

2. Re- Yet let none bring charges, 

bmf"" And let none reprove, 

priSL Since my people are but as their priestlings. 

(« •) O priest, thou shalt stumble by day. 

And the prophet also shall stumble with thee; 


By night I will destroy thy people. 

Thy people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. 

Because thou hast rejected knowledge 

I reject thee from being priest to me. 

Since thou hast forgotten the instruction of thy God, 

I also will forget thy children. 

Hear this, priests ! 3. 

And hearken, house of Israel ! l^^^ 

house of the king, give heed ! — pnncea 
Since for you is the judgment. eSS^" 
A snare have you become at Mizpeh, ^^®pi^ 
And a net spread out on Tabor, (s »-») 
And a deep pit have they dug at Shittim, 

And there is no correction for any of them, 

1 indeed know Ephraim, 

And Israel is not hid from me. 

For thou, O Ephraim, hast played the harlot ; 

Israel is defiled. 

I will return to my place, 4. is- 

Until they are confounded and seek my presence. ^^^Jjf 

When they are in distress they will quickly seek me, super- 
Saying, *Come let us return to Jehovah, repent- 
For he hath torn and he will heal us, (Sim»3) 
He hath smitten and he will bind us up. 
He will revive in a couple of days. 
On the third he will raise us up again. 
That we may live in his presence. 
Yea, let us know, let us eagerly seek to know Jehovah ; 
As soon as we quickly seek him. 
Then he will come to us as the winter rain. 
As the spring rain that waters the earth.' 

What can I make of you, O Ephraim! 5. The 

What can I make of you, O Israel ! {H^^^ 

Since your love is like a morning cloud, tme 

Yea, like the dew which early goes away. an^d 

Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, ^^^^ 

I have slain them by the words of my mouth. i*-') 



And my judgment is like the light that goes forth, 
For it is love that I delight in and not sacrifice, 
And knowledge of God and not burnt-offerings. 

But they after the manner of men have transgressed 

the covenant; 
There they have played me false. 
Gilead is a city of evil-doers 
Tracked with bloody footprints ; 
And as bandits lie in wait for a man, 
So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem; 
Verily they commit deliberate crime ! 
In Bethel I have seen a horrible thing. 
There Ephraim plays the harlot ; 
Israel is defiled. 

When I would turn, when I would heal Israel, 

Then Ephraim's guilt is revealed, 

And Samaria's crimes are seen: 

How they practice fraud and the thief enters in. 

While abroad bandits plunder. 

But they never think in their hearts 

That all their wickedness I remember. 

Now their deeds have encompassed them; 

They are ever before my face. 

In their wickedness they anoint kings 

And in their falsehood princes. 

Since they are all of them adulterers. 

They make our king sick, 

And the princes with fever from wine ; 

He stretches forth his hand with dissolute fellows. 

For like an oven their heart burns with treachery ; 

All night their anger slumbers ; 

In the morning it blazes into a flame of fire. 

All of them glow like an oven. 

And they devour their rulers ; 

All their kings have fallen. 

There is none among them who calls to me. 



Ephraim — he lets himself be mixed among the peoples. 9. is- 
Ephraim — he has become a cake unturned. Sd de- 

Strangers have devoured his strength, but he does not If^^^^. 

know it ; sti*" 

Also gray hairs are sprinkled upon him, but he knows it ^gSJ^ 

And IsraePs pride has testified to his face. 
Yet they do not return to Jehovah their God, 
And in all this they seek him not. 

Ephraim is like a simple, silly dove ; 10. its 

To Egypt they call, after Assyria they go. fafth-^' 

As often as they go away, I will spread over them my less 

. foreign 

nei, policy 

Like birds of the heavens I will bring them down; ^"""> 

I will chastise them because of their wickedness. 
Woe to them, that they have strayed from me ! 
Destruction to them, because they have been untrue to 

Although it was I who redeemed them, they spoke lies 11. its 

about me, ^'^y^and 

And they have never cried to me with their heart. febei- 

But they are ever howling beside their altars for corn and ("^") 

new wine; 
They cut themselves, they rebel against me, 
Although it was I who trained and strengthened their 

Concerning me they plan only evil, they turn to Baal, 
They have become like a bow that swerves. 

They themselves have made kings but without my con- 12. its 

r^Avvi- . men- 

sent; ma^le 

They have made princes but without my knowledge. ^^s^ 
Out of their silver and gold they have made idols to idols 

their destruction! !?•!»% 

Mine anger is kindled against them. 
Thy calf, Samaria, is distasteful ; 
A workman made it and it is no god. 
Like splinters shall Samaria's calf become. 



For they sow the wind and reap a whirlwind ; 
A shoot which has no stalk and yields no fruit J 
If it should yield, strangers would devour it. 
Israel is devoured ; already it is among the nations 
As a vessel in which there is no pleasure. 
For by themselves they have gone up to Assyria 
As a wild ass which goes apart by itself. 

When Ephraim used to speak there was trembling; 

A prince was he in Israel. 

But he incurred guilt through Baal and died. 

And now they go on sinning; 

They make for themselves molten gods — 

From their silver, idols according to their own model; 

Smiths* work, all of it ! 

To such they speak ! 

Men who sacrifice, kiss calves ! 

Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud, 
Like the dew that early disappears, 
Like the chaff which blows away from the threshing- 
And like the smoke from the window. 

Yet it was I, Jehovah, thy God, 

Who brought thee up from the land of Egypt, 

And a God beside me thou knowest not. 

Nor has there been any saviour except me. 

It was I who shepherded thee in the wilderness. 

In the land of burning heat. 

As they fed, they were filled to the full ; 

They were filled to the full so that their heart was lifted up ; 

Therefore they forgot me ! 

And so I will be to them like a lion, 

Like a leopard will I lie in wait by the way ; 

I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of its young. 

And will tear open that which encloses their hearts. 

And there the lions of the forest shall devour them. 

And the wild beasts shall tear them in pieces. 



In the time of destruction, Israel, who will help thee? is. 

Where is thy king now, that he may deliver thee? J5,^3|. 

And all thy princes that they may secure for thee justice? Hver 
Those of whom thou hast said, 
'Give me kings and princes.* 
I give thee kings in my anger 
And take them away in my wrath. 

Ephraim's iniquity is gathered up, his sin is laid by in store. 19. un- 

The pangs of childbirth come upon him, but he is an unwise fo"^^ 

child ; meet 

For this is no time to stand in the mouth of the womb. coming 


(12. 13) 

Shall I deliver them from the power of Sheol? 20. 

Shall I redeem them from death? jf.^^^ 

Come, on with thy plagues, death ! t °th^" 

On with thy pestilence, Sheol ! fate 
Repentance is forever hid from mine eyes. 


Though he is flourishing in the midst of the reed grass, 21. The 

There shall come an east wind, Jehovah's wind, Spfor- 

Coming up from the wilderness ; ?'gi^ 

And his fountain shall dry up, vaders 

And his spring shall be parched ; ^'^^ 
While the foe shall strip the treasure 
Consisting of all precious things. 

Samaria shall bear her guilt 22. 

For she has rebelled against her God. ^^}^^y 

They shall fall by the sword, mana's 

Their children shall be dashed to pieces (wf 
And their women with child shall be ripped up. 

I. The Background and Literary Form of Hosea's Later Proph- 
ecies. When the strong hand of Jeroboam II was relaxed by death, 
there came a sudden and radical change in the character and fortunes 
of Northern Israel. Zecharlah, Jeroboam's son, was killed by an 
assassin after a reign of only six months. Within a month the assassin 
was in turn put to death by a certain Menahem who instituted a reign 
of terror, ignominiously buying immunity from Assyrian attack by the 



payment of an enormous tribute which he extracted from the wealthy 
men of his kingdom. Almost instantly the evils which Amos had de- 
tected and denounced became glaringly apparent: the lack of a broad 
and consistent national policy, class hatreds, the oppression of the weak 
by the strong, and a form of religion which was but a cloak for loath- 
some acts of cruelty, oppression and immorality. 

It is not strange that Hosea's sermons during this period are filled 
with bitter denunciations. His words are those of a patriot whose 
heart was breaking as he saw rulers and people deliberately com- 
mitting crimes which were rapidly hurrying the nation on to its final 
destruction. One recognizes in the abrupt, epigrammatic, almost ex- 
plosive style of these sermons the pent up emotion and the intense feel- 
ing under which they were uttered. The great thoughts that filled his 
soul were expressed most naturally in abrupt, jagged, forceful figures, 
which call for keenest attention and thought on the part of the reader, 
but leave an impression on the mind that never vanishes. 

In his use of literary figures, as well as in his message, Hosea is the 
most original of all the Hebrew prophets, and yet he is to-day one of the 
least read and understood. This neglect is partially due to the rugged- 
ness and obscurities of his style. The text of the prophecy has also 
suffered greatly in the process of transmission. Many of his allusions 
are to events otherwise unrecorded in Israel's history, so that the mod- 
ern reader constantly finds himself baffled by his ignorance of the facts 
to which the prophet alludes. And yet of all the prophets Hosea best 
rewards careful study. In the text adopted above most of the passages 
containing the obscure allusions have been omitted, and those which 
represent best the prophet's teachings and activity during the years of 
Israel's rapid decline have been selected. 

II. The Quilt of Israel's Prophets, Priests and Rulers. Hosea, 
like Amos, opens the main body of his addresses with a sweeping ar- 
raignment of the nation. The prophet, as the spokesman for the 
plaintiff, Jehovah, states in detail the crimes of which the people of Israel 
are guilty. Honesty, love and the knowledge of God are lacking, and 
in their place are hideous crimes condemned by the moral code of any 
race or age. 

With true insight Hosea states that the responsibility for Israel's 
guilt lies, however, not primarily with the common people but with the 
leaders of the nation, the priests and the prophets, whft in failing faith- 
fully to instruct the people have proved their misleaders. The political 
leaders, also, are intent only on luxury and debauchery. Little won- 



der, therefore, that the people who follow their example are corrupt. 
Priests, prophets and rulers prey upon the people and are so blind to 
all warnings or corrections, that they make it impossible for Jehovah 
to deliver the guilty nation. 

III. The Fatal Lack of True Repentance and Character. In his 
own private experience, Hosea had learned how necessary was repent- 
ance, and that true repentance meant far more than mere words and a 
shrinking from the consequences of one's evil acts. With pathetic sarcasm 
he describes, in the form of a dialogue between the people and Jehovah, 
the false popular conception of repentance. To the prevailing belief 
that no fundamental reform is required, but that all that is necessary in a 
time of disaster is to turn for help and deliverance to the God of their 
nation, comes Jehovah's pathetic rejoinder: 

What can I make of you, O Ephraim, 
What can I make of you, O Israel ? 

Israel's love and repentance are, alas, like the fleecy morning clouds, 
utterly lacking in content and permanence. By the fearless, unsparing 
words of his prophets Jehovah has endeavored to instil in the minds 
of the people a true conception of his demands and to make clear to 
them the crime and folly of their acts. By severe and startling judg- 
ments he has endeavored to impress upon them his supreme teaching: 

It is love I delight in and not sacrifice. 

And knowledge of God and not burnt-offering. 

Yet through all their history the Israelites have disregarded their most 
solemn obligations. Falsehood, murder, highway robbery, instigated 
by the very priests who were charged with the task of guarding the law 
and of teaching the people what is right, unspeakable crimes, even at 
the ancient sanctuary of Bethel, apostasy and gross immorality, testify 
to the need of a fundamental change of heart and reveal the insufficiency 
of that superficial repentance with which the people think to win Je- 
hovah's favor. Jehovah is eager to forgive; but how can he when he is 
confronted at every turn by public and private crimes. In commercial 
and civic life men defraud and steal under the guise of law or authority, 
while on the throne of Israel itself there sits a dissolute, drunken king 
(probably Menahem or his son Pekahiah), surrounded by a group of cut- 
throats, sharing his debauchery and shame, seeking only a favorable 



opportunity to wield the sword of the assassin; while not one of them 
thinks for a moment of turning to Jehovah in penitence or for guidance. 

IV. The Evidences of National Degeneracy. In a series of re- 
markable passages, Hosea, with the intimate knowledge of a patriot 
and the inspired insight of a prophet, diagnoses Israel's malady. His 
favorite designation of Northern Israel is by the name of the larger and 
leading tribe, Ephraim. With deep yearning and sorrow he pronounces 
the name of his beloved nation, and then with unshrinking courage and 
thoroughness proceeds in a few epigrammatic words to characterize 
the evils which are proving its destruction. 

As a clear-eyed, fearless statesman, he declares that one of the funda- 
mental mistakes in Israel's policy is its vacillating foreign alliances. 
Ephraim is like a cake unturned — burnt on the one side, raw on the 
other. No consistent policy nor trust in Jehovah binds together all 
parts of the nation. Instead, it is so dominated by foreign customs and 
ideas that its true character and strength remain undeveloped. Al- 
ready the signs of national decay are beginning to appear; but, saddest 
of all, the nation is ignorant of its actual condition. Like a silly dove, 
they make alliances, first with their betrayers, the Egyptians, and then 
with the Assyrians, their deadliest foes; but they never turn with true 
faith and contrition to the God who has tenderly cared for them through 
all their past. Thus they compel Jehovah, whose heart burns to de- 
liver them, to become instead their harsh judge and to execute the sen- 
tence which he is forced to pronounce upon them. Instead of trusting 
Jehovah, they put their faith in the kings whom they have raised up 
without the divine approval, and in the idols of silver and gold which 
they have set up as the objects of their worship. Thus in their blindness 
they are sowing the wind and shall soon reap a whirlwind. 

V. Hosea's Attitude Toward the Kingship and Idolatry. Hosea 
puts himself on record as absolutely condemning the kings of Northern 
Israel, not because he was opposed, as were certain of his later spiritual 
disciples, to the institution of the kingship itself, but rather because he 
realized that the type of men who ruled over Northern Israel were foes 
to its best interests. With his clear spiritual and ethical vision, he also 
saw that the images of wood overlaid with silver and gold, which had 
been tolerated by the earlier prophets even in the temple at Jerusalem 
and in the sanctuaries of Dan and Bethel, were harmful rather than 
helpful to the cause of true religion. He therefore openly declared that 
the sooner they are chopped up by the hands of foreign conquerors the 
better for Israel's faith. 



VI. The Inevitable Fate Awaiting the Nation. Rosea, like Amos, 
after his searching diagnosis of the maladies of Northern Israel, saw- 
no hope of the nation's ultimate recovery. Already the process of dis- 
solution had begun. The strong and influential position which Israel 
enjoyed in the days of Jeroboam II had been lost. Saddest and most 
significant of all, the nation had no strong virile religious faith to give 
strength and consistency to its political policy, to bind together all 
classes in the community, to arouse the rulers to unselfish and patriotic 
activity, and to guide the nation through its present and future perils. 
Thus, Jehovah, who stood ready and eager to deliver a truly penitent 
people, was compelled to become the agent of Israel's destruction. 
Hence, as a prophet who faithfully interpreted existing conditions and 
tendencies, Hosea, though with breaking heart, was forced to proclaim 
to this nation, while it remained in its attitude of defiant unrepentance, 
an unmitigated message of doom. 


When Israel was young, then I began to love him, i. Je- 

And out of Egypt I called his sons. fovT^'" 

The more I called them ?aeV^' 

The further they went away from me. [nfidd- 

They kept sacrificing to Baalim (gog 

And making offerings to images. ** ^ *) 

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, 2. His 

Taking them up in my arms ; tender 

But they did not know that I healed them. SSd 

With humane cords I ever drew them, fSS" 

With bands of love. o^ the 
And I was to them as one who lifts up the yoke from l^^*) 

off their jaws, 
And bending toward them, I gave them food to eat. 

They must return to the land of Egypt, 3. The 

Or Assyria will be their king ; STent^' 

For they have refused to return to me. ^Tt 

Therefore the swords shall whirl in their cities, de-^^^ 

And shall devour in their fortresses ; sf.^^s 



For my people are bent in rebelling against me, 
And upon the Baalim they call with one accord. 

4. The How can I give thee up, Ephraim! how can I give thee 

pr^pt- over, Israel! 

of the How am I to give thee up as Admah ! make thee like Zeboim ! 

he^rt^of My heart asserts itself ; 

(?75 My sympathies are all aglow. 

I will not carry into effect the fierceness of my anger ; 

I will not turn to destroy Ephraim. 

For God am I, and not man, 

Holy in the midst of thee, therefore I will not consume. 

6. The Return, Israel, to Jehovah thy God ; 

et's'ex'- For thou hast stumbled through thine iniquity. 

horta- xake words with thee, 

^(141.3.. And return to Jehovah thy God. 

6. Peo- Say to him : 

P-t^ Do thou wholly pardon iniquity and let us receive 

^a?don favor ; 

?^* ^) And thus we will pay the fruit of our lips ; 

For in thee the orphan finds mercy. 

7. God Assyria will not save us ; 

£one ^Q ^iU not ride upon horses [to Egypt] ; 

Mive And we will no more say, * Our God,' 

^*^ ^ To the work of our hands. 

8. Je- I will heal their apostasy, 

aponse: Nqw that my anger is turned away from them 

pardon I will be as dew to Israel. 


9^su- He shall blossom as the lily 

Sve " And he shall strike in his roots like Lebanon. 

^l^'y And his saplings shall spread out, 

(*''-') And his beauty shall be like that of the olive tree. 


They shall return and dwell in my shadow, lo. 

And they shall live well watered like a garden, ^f^^' 

And they shall sprout like the vine. tion 

Their renown shall be like that of the wine of Lebanon. nSw^ 


Ephraim — what more hath he to do with idols! n. di 

It is I [Jehovah] who respond to him and look after him. ^j.^f 

I am like an evergreen cypress ; vision 

From me is thy fruit found. evW 

I. The Revelation of Jehovah's Love in the Past. For a prophet 
like Hosea the announcement of doom could not be his only or final 
message to the race. Beyond and above the errors and crimes and in- 
fidelity of the present, he clearly saw a divine love which never ceased 
and which was ever eager to find expression not in discipline and 
judgment, but by conferring peace and joy and prosperity. In the 
classic eleventh chapter of his prophecy, Hosea interprets Israel's past 
as it had never been interpreted before: Jehovah's loving care for his 
people began with this period of the Egyptian bondage. From that 
time through all their history, at every hour of need, Jehovah had been 
present to help his people. As a father teaches a little child to walk, 
so Jehovah instructed the infant nation. When they fell and suffered 
calamity, he gathered them up in his arms and comforted them. Not 
by discipline and stern compulsion, but by loving deeds and gentle per- 
suasion he sought to guide his people in the way they should go. When 
they were wearied by the heavy burdens of life, Jehovah, like the hu- 
mane ox-driver, at the first favorable moment released them from their 
burdensome but necessary yoke, and gave them that food which was 
needed to revive their strength. 

II. God's Passionate Desire to Forgive. Yet Hosea could not 
forget that from their earliest history the Israelites had been bhnd and 
unappreciative. The more glory and prosperity Jehovah bestowed 
upon them, the more they turned, in their ignorance and thoughtless- 
ness, to the worship of heathen gods. Their history had been one long, 
sad record of apostasy and ingratitude. In view of all their oppor- 
tunities and enlightenment their guilt was as great as that of the ancient 
Canaanite cities in the Jordan plain, and merited a like punishment. 

And yet, as Hosea contemplated the awful judgment, his heart was 
overwhelmed with a wave of divine pity. Through his lips Jehovah's 
overmastering love for his people asserts itself, even in opposition to the 




demands of strict justice. The infiniteness of the divine love, in con- 
trast to that of finite man, stands clearly revealed. Even in the face 
of Israel's guilt and ingratitude, Jehovah's divine pity compels him to 
give Israel still another opportunity to turn from its mistakes and 

III. The Prayer of True Repentance. The authorship of the last 
chapter of Hosea has been questioned by recent commentators. By 
many it is now regarded as a later addition by a spiritual disciple of 
Hosea, for it seems to destroy the force of the prophet's previous warn- 
ing. Its theme of repentance is, however, that which is most character- 
istic of Hosea's message as a whole. In the form of a dialogue between 
the nation and Jehovah, it puts on the lips of the people the prayer of 
contrition which the prophet was eager to have them utter. The words 
of Jehovah express in the highly figurative, poetic language, what would 
be his glad response to a true prayer of penitence and faith. 

The opening stanza contains the prophet's call to the nation to re- 
pent, and introduces the prayer which he would thus teach his nation 
to pray. The sole basis of the petition is Jehovah's readiness to show 
mercy to those who come to him in need of help. The petitioners bring 
him no sacrificial offering, but words of penitence and a frank confession 
of the mistakes of the past. At last they had learned that alliances 
with Assyria and Egypt could not help them; no longer would they pay 
homage to heathen idols; but in their deep humility and need they 
simply crave Jehovah's pardon. 

rV. The Divine Response. The God who is revealed by the re- 
sponse is the God proclaimed by Hosea. Jehovah promises not only 
to forgive but to heal the effects of their long years of apostasy and to 
love them with a love which only the Infinite Father can bestow. Now 
that it is unnecessary for him to express his love in stern discipline, he 
will confer upon them the rich material blessings which he, as the God 
of nature, is able to command. Healed of their diseases and sins and 
restored to Jehovah's favor, the nation shall rapidly develop in char- 
acter and strength. The memory of the days when Ephraim worshipped 
idols shall be like a hideous nightmare; for now the nation shall find 
in Jehovah the satisfaction of its every desire. Like the ever-green cy- 
press, the perennial symbol of life and life-giving power, Jehovah will 
overshadow and guard his people. 

V. Hosea's Personality. The sermons of Hosea reveal one of the 
most marvellous personalities in all history. Perhaps the most strik- 
ing characteristic is its remarkable combination of strength and tender- 



ness, of courage and sensitiveness, of knowledge and intuition. No 
patriot ever denounced the leaders and crimes of his nation with more 
vigor and feariessness. With all the vehemence and boldness of Amos, 
he pointed out the inevitable consequences of the acts which were being 
committed by the men to whom he spoke face to face. His analysis 
of the political and social conditions of his day reveals an astonishing 
blending of scientific accuracy and acumen with inspired insight. His 
intimate acquaintance with the history and literature of his race indi- 
cates that Hosea was a keen student of the past as well as the present. 
It is clear, therefore, that, measured by the broadest standards, he was 
one of the best educated men of his day; but unlike Amos, he appears 
to have been familiar with literature, as well as with life. 

The other deeper and still more attractive qualities in Hosea's char- 
acter were developed, not from contact with books or with men, but in 
the painful school of affliction. He who had loved so intensely and un- 
selfishly, was able, as no man before him, to appreciate the nature of 
God's infinite love. He who had loved deeply one who had sinned had 
learned to know what pain sin brought to the one who loved the sinner. 
He had also learned in the hour of his affliction what it was to turn to 
God for help and what the consciousness of God's love meant. Re- 
ligion was for him the commanding factor in all life; and in his thought 
and teaching the centre of all religion and the universe was a God of 
love. From this point of view alone is it possible to understand Hosea 
and his universal message. Having received this heavenly vision, he 
saw all else in new and true proportions. 

VI. Hosea's Teachings Regarding God. Hosea's theology was 
exceedingly simple because he stood so near to the heart of God. The 
divine justice, which Amos had emphasized so strongly and so truly, 
became in the light of Hosea's broader vision but the expression of 
divine love in dealing with ignorant, defiant sinners. Like all the 
prophets, he found no blind chance ruling in the affairs of men. For 
him there were only two forces in all the universe: the one was love — 
divine in its origin and effects; the other was sin, whether born of 
human ignorance or deliberate wrong-doing. The history of the past 
was but a record of God's endeavor, through the varied experiences of 
life and by a gradual process of training, to free men from the bondage 
of sin and to lead them into intelligent appreciation of his loving charac- 
ter and purpose. 

Hosea was also the first to appreciate fully that the development of 
the perfect nation or the perfect man was a gradual, educational process. 



The people "were being destroyed for lack of knowledge" and the 
priests were denounced because they had ''rejected knowledge and 
forgotten the instruction of their God." Repeatedly Hosea seemed to 
say, If men but knew God and the real nature of his demands, to sin 
would be impossible. 

While Amos appears to have condemned the forms of religious wor- 
ship as useless, Hosea denounced the religious formalism of his day 
simply because it was misdirected. For him true religion and the wor- 
ship of Jehovah was the mainspring of all human activity. Israel was 
drifting on to its ruin because it lacked an intelligent, commanding faith. 
The heinous social and moral crimes of his day he traced to the same 
lack in the lives of his fellow-countrymen. 

With his supreme conception of God's character and purpose, it 
was also inevitable that Hosea should paint true and glorious pictures of 
the future. The sin and disasters of the present, he taught, were but 
passing. The real life of men was destined to be far different. Health 
and peace and material well-being, as well as the higher spiritual bless- 
ings, were the ultimate goal toward which God was leading mankind. 

VII. Hosea's Place Among the World's Religious Teachers. 
Measured in the light of his times and by his influence upon the prophets 
who succeeded him, Hosea was the most original and constructive of 
all the religious teachers who appeared before the exile. The prophet 
Isaiah constantly draws inspiration from his impassioned words. 
Jeremiah not only reiterates his teachings, but also frequently uses 
Hosea's striking figures. The II Isaiah builds his magnificent teach- 
ings squarely on the foundations laid by Hosea. Hosea's condemna- 
tion of the worship at the local sanctuaries and his supreme doctrine of 
love and kindness toward man and all of God's creatures, reappear in 
many of the enactments found in the prophetic law-book of Deuteronomy. 
His teachings regarding the love of God, the character and effects of 
sin, the necessity of repentance, God's readiness to forgive, and the duty 
of love and kindness from man to man, are the essence of that gospel 
which Jesus proclaimed to all the world. Like the great Teacher of 
Nazareth, Hosea's method was positive. Although he could, when oc- 
casion demanded, bitterly denounce the existing evils, he ever held up 
before his people the positive goal, the fulness of life, that perfect 
harmony which will prevail when God's loving will is done on earth 
as it is in heaven. 




In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zecha- i. zech- 
riah the son of Jeroboam began to reign in Samaria, and he p^gjy 
reigned six months. And he did that which displeased and 
Jehovah, as his fathers had done; he did not depart from (iTkks. 
the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat with which he led ^^^'"^ 
Israel into sin. And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired 
against him, and put him to death in Ibleam and became 
king in his place. 

Shallum the son of Jabesh, began to reign in the thirty- 2. Men- 
ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned one con^^ 
month in Samaria. Then Menahem the son of Gadi went ^.^l\f.^y 
up from Tirzah and came to Samaria and put Shallum the 
son of Jabesh to death in Samaria, and became king in his 
place. Now the other acts of Shallum and his conspiracy 
which he made, are already recorded in the Chronicles of 
the Kings of Israel. 

Then Menahem smote Tappuah, and all who were in it 3. Hig 
and in its entire territory from Tirzah on; because they did "s'J®^*^ 
not open the gates to him he smote it, and all the women 
in it with child he ripped up. 

During his days Pul [Tiglath-pileser IV] the king of 4. Trib- 
Assyria, invaded the land. And Menahem gave Pul a t%-° 
thousand talents of silver, that he might help him to es- ^^^^^j. 
tablish his sway over the kingdom. And Menahem com- q^-^<^) 
manded all Israel, even all the men of wealth, to give to 
the king of Assyria each fifty shekels of silver. So the 
king of Assyria turned back and remained no longer in 
the land. 

Now the other acts of Menahem and all that he did, are 5. Hia 
they not recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? pf^ 
And Menahem slept with his fathers, and Pekahiah his son 
became king in his place. 

In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah e.Pe- 
the son of Menahem became king over Israel in Samaria, ^^^'f 
and reigned two years. And Pekah the son of Remaliah, spir- 
his captain, conspired against him and smote him in Sa- (j^^'m-m) 
maria in the castle of the royal palace ; and with him were 



fifty Gileadites; and he slew him and became king in his 
place. Now the other acts of Pekahiah and all that he did 
are already recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 

7. Hi3 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah 
^Sf^^ the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria 

and reigned twenty [two] years. 

8. As- During the days of Pekah king of Israel Tiglath-pileser 
Syrian jjjjjg ^f Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, 
quests Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land 

of Naphtali, and carried their inhabitants captive to 

9. Ho- Then Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against 
Jon-^ Pekah the son of Remaliah and put him to death and became 
(Po'^«)^ king in his place in the twentieth year of Jotham the son 

of Uzziah. Now the other acts of Pekah and all that he 
did are already recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of 

10. Hia In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the 
S^sion son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel and 
(171 ») reigned nine years. Against him came Shalmaneser king 

of Assyria ; and Hoshea became subject to him and brought 
him tribute. 

11. His But when the king of Assyria found Hoshea guilty of 
itbd- conspiracy — for he had sent messengers to Sewe king of 
lion Egypt and brought no tribute to the king of Assyria, as 
^*^ he had done each year before — the king of Assyria shut him 

up and confined him in prison. 

12. In the fourth year of Hezekiah — that is the seventh year 
P^^\ of King Hoshea the son of Elah of Israel — Shalmaneser 

fall of p ^ ^ ^ jt.j*. 

sa- king of Assyna came up against Samana and besieged it. 

ol"^") At the end of three years they conquered it; in the sixth 
year of Hezekiah — that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of 
Israel — was Samaria captured. And the king of Assyria 
carried the Israelites away captive and placed them in Halah 
and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the 

13. For- Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, 
f^^, Cuthah, Awa, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and settled them 
msts instead of the Israelites in the cities of Samaria. And they 
^" ^^ took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 



Now at the beginning of their dwelling there they did u. . 
not revere Jehovah. Therefore Jehovah sent lions among J^^gf 
them, which were continually killing some of them. So io^s 
when it was told the king of Assyria, saying, The nations ^"p 
which you have carried away and settled in the cities of ^*^'"^ 
Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land ; there- 
fore he hath sent lions among them, and now they are 
slaying them because they do not know the law of the god 
of the land, the king of Assyria gave command. Carry 
thither one of the priests whom I brought from there ; and 
let him go and dwell there and let him teach them the law 
of the god of the land. So one of the priests, whom they had 
carried away from Samaria, came and dwelt in Bethel and 
taught them how they should revere Jehovah. 

But each of the peoples had made gods of their own and i5. , 
set them up in temples of the high places which the Samari- JJxed 
tans had made, each people in their cities in which they Jj^j- 
dwelt: the men of Babylon had made an image of Succoth- and 
benoth, and the men of Cuth had made Nergal, and the men ylh^re- 
of Hamath had made Ashima, and the Awites had made J^flS^ij 
Nibhaz and Tartak ; and the Sepharvites burnt their children 
in the fire to Adrammelech [Adar is king] and Anammelech 
[Anu is king] the gods of Sepharvaim. But when they 
began to revere Jehovah they made for themselves from 
their own number priests of the high places, who sacrificed 
for them in the temples of the high places. Thus, while 
they revered Jehovah, they also served their own gods, 
after the manner of the nations from which they had been 
carried away. To this day they do according to the earlier 
custom. So while these peoples revered Jehovah, they also 
served their graven images; their children likewise, and 
their children's children — as did their fathers, so do they 
to this day. 

I. The Invasion of Tiglath=pileser IV. The fundamental weak- 
ness and decay in Northern Israel were revealed, as Amos and Hosea 
had predicted, when Assyrian armies began to overrun Palestine. Tig- 
lath-pileser IV, who is designated in the biblical narrative by his Baby- 
lonian name Pul {Pulu), injected new energy into the Assyrian empire. 
He rose as the champion of the agricultural classes against the cities 



and against the priests who had largely absorbed the wealth and resources 
of the empire. Tiglath-pileser not only founded a new dynasty but 
widely extended the territory and prestige of Assyria in the north and 
west. In 738 B.C., almost before Hosea had ceased speaking, Assyrian 
armies invaded Northern Israel. Menahem saved his kingdom from 
attack by accepting the rule of Assyria and by paying an exceedingly 
heavy tribute. 

In submitting so readily to the Assyrians, Menahem and his son 
Pekahiah were evidently regarded as traitors by the majority of the 
Israelites. The burden of the foreign tribute, which rested chiefly on 
the men of wealth, was exceedingly onerous, so that when Pekah, a 
certain Gileadite, rose (about 736 B.C.) against the house of Menahem 
and slew Pekahiah, he met with little opposition. The new king 
joined with Rezin, king of Damascus, in forming a coalition against the 
Assyrians {cf. for a fuller statement of conditions in Judah, § LXXVI). 
This conspiracy, however, soon drew the armies of Tiglath-pileser to 
Palestine. The territory of Damascus was overrun, and in 732 B.C. 
this proud rival of Northern Israel was completely crushed by the As- 
syrians. In 734, during the same campaign, Tiglath-pileser invaded 
and conquered the territory of Northern Israel as far as the Jordan and 
the plain of Esdraelon, annexing it to the great empire. The Assyrian 
king also states that "the house of Omri — the whole of its inhabitants, 
together with their possessions I deported to Assyria. Pekah, their 
king, I slew. Hoshea I appointed over them. Ten [talents of gold, 
one thousand talents of silver] I received from them." 

II. The Reign of Hoshea and the Fall of Samaria. The biblical 
narrative states that before Tiglath-pileser had completed the conquest 
of Northern Israel, a certain native Israelite, Hoshea, conspired against 
Pekah. Evidendy as a reward for slaying the rebel Pekah, Hoshea was 
made vassal king of the little province of Samaria. For six years the 
Assyrian tribute was faithfully paid, but at last the anti-Assyrian feeling 
in Samaria, Tyre and in other Palestinian cities influenced him to rebel. 
The Egyptians also, who dreaded their eastern rival Assyria, were ever 
eager to incite the intervening states of Palestine to rebellion. The hope 
that the Egyptians would deliver them alone explains the folly of the 
Israelites in daring to defy the power of Assyria. Egypt, however, 
proved of no avail before the Assyrian army which soon shut up Hoshea 
in his capital Samaria. Owing to the natural strength of this northern 
capital and the desperation of its defenders, they were able to maintain 
the siege for three years. Before Samaria fell, late in 722 B.C., a new 



king, Sargon, came to the throne of Assyria. He, however, carried on 
energetically the foreign policy of his predecessors, and Samaria was 
annexed to the Assyrian empire. 

III. The Fate of the Northern Tribes. Sargon, the conqueror of 
Samaria, has given in his annals a very definite statement regarding the 
fate of the conquered: "In the beginning of my reign and in the first 
year of my rule ... I besieged Samaria and conquered it. Twenty- 
seven thousand, two hundred and ninety of its inhabitants I carried into 
captivity; fifty of their chariots I carried away from there [to add to] 
my royal fighting force. ... I restored it again and gave it more popu- 
lation than formerly. I settled there people from the lands that I had 
conquered. I appointed my officers as governors over them. Tribute 
and customs, like those of the Assyrians, I imposed upon them." 

The policy of deporting rebellious peoples and settling them in dis- 
tant parts of the empire was instituted by Tiglath-pileser IV. Its ob- 
ject was to remove the leaders, both civil and religious, and all who 
might be active in stirring up future rebellions, and thus to insure the 
complete submission of the people who were left behind. The bibli- 
cal narrative suggests that the deported Israelites were settled at three 
different points. Halah has not yet been identified. Habor, in the 
province of Gozan, was one of the northern tributaries of the Euphrates 
in southern Mesopotamia. The territory of the Medes was to the 
north and northeast of Assyria. 

In the light of these facts and the familiar history of the Samaritans, 
it is clear that the popular modern tradition that the ten tribes of Israel 
were lost is entirely without foundation. The small groups of nine or 
ten thousand colonists, which were settled in different parts of the As- 
syrian empire, were doubtless in time assimilated by the different peoples 
among whom they settled. The racial instinct and the popular faith 
of Israel were not at this time sufficiently strong to preserve the integ- 
rity of these widely scattered groups of exiles. If any did remain loyal 
to their race and religion, they probably found their way in time back 
to Israel or else assimilated with the later Judean exiles. The twenty 
seven thousand, two hundred and ninety captives, who, according to the 
annals of Sargon, were transported at this time, constituted only a 
small fraction of the total population of Northern Israel. The greater 
captivity had come in 734 B.C., when Tiglath-pileser IV conquered 
northern and eastern Israel as far south as the plain of Esdraelon. But 
even though the leaders were deported, the peasants and common peo- 
ple remained to till the land and occupy the cities. 



IV. The Origin of the Samaritans. The biblical narrative states 
that Sargon brought colonists from Babylonia and other parts of his 
empire to take the place of the leaders who had been deported from 
the province of Samaria. Babylon and Kutu, and possibly Sippar on 
the middle Euphrates, may be identified as the cities from which these 
colonists were brought. Another band of captives from Hamath in 
northern Syria was also brought at this time to Samaria. Ezra 4^- ^° 
speaks of colonists introduced by the later Assyrian kings, Esarhaddon 
and Ashurbanipal. Sargon also refers to a rebellion in 720 B.C., two 
years after the fall of the city, in which the people of Samaria partici- 
pated. It is probable, therefore, that the colonists mentioned in the 
biblical narrative were not all imported at once but at different times 
during the next two or three decades. 

Although Northern Israel ceased henceforth to be an independent 
state and was merged into the Assyrian empire, the older Hebrew popu- 
lation remained and soon assimilated the foreign colonists. The bibli- 
cal narrative states that in time the foreign colonists themselves desired 
to worship the God of the land, and that a Hebrew priest was sent to 
instruct them in the religion of Jehovah. The later history of the 
Samaritans indicates clearly that Jehovah continued to be worshipped 
at the high places in the north. The blending with the foreign cults 
was easy because the popular religion of Jehovah in the north at this 
time still retained many of the old heathen ideas and institutions. As 
the biblical historian states, this blending with the foreign religions gave 
to the faith and customs of the Samaritans many heathen elements 
which they long continued to retain. 

The mingling with foreign blood also affected the character of the 
Samaritans themselves. The primary aim of the Assyrians was realized; 
for at this time the spirit of the Northern Israelites was broken. Be- 
fore the many conquerors, who in succeeding ages swept over Palestine, 
the Samaritans, as a rule, readily submitted and thus escaped the rigors 
of siege and bloody conquest. The result was that they prospered 
under foreign dominance, while the power of their Jewish kinsmen to 
the south was repeatedly broken. These facts doubtless explain why 
through all the ages the Samaritans have sur\^ived. A little group of 
them, less than a hundred, still live together at Nablus, the ancient 
Shechem, under the shadow of their sacred mountain Gerizim, and 
worship Jehovah as did their ancestors at the same holy site. Of all 
the many petty peoples which lived in Palestine in ancient times, they 
alone remain. 



V. Causes of the Downfall of Northern Israel. The fall of 
Northern Israel was far more than a fulfilment of the predictions of 
Amos and Hosea. Indeed, if the aims for which these prophets so 
earnestly labored had been realized, the northern, like the southern 
kingdom, would have survived the Assyrian crisis through which each 
was passing. Rather, the fate of Israel was a signal demonstration of 
the truth of the political, social and moral principles which their faith- 
ful prophets had proclaimed. Viewed in the broad perspective of his- 
tory, it is clear that the final catastrophe came, as the prophets had pre- 
dicted, because the nation lacked responsible and patriotic leaders, a 
stable and wise foreign policy, and sympathy and cooperation between 
class and class. The degenerate Canaanite cults had sapped the men- 
tal, physical and moral vigor of the race. No strong national religion 
united and inspired rulers and people. Like a silly dove, they trusted to 
foreign alliances which only involved them deeper in the Assyrian net. 
The result was that in the end their weak, vacillating policy cost them 
their national life; for instead of consistently bowing before the Assyrian 
storm to rise again, as did most of the other nations of Palestine, they 
brought down upon themselves the severest punishment that the cruel 
Assyrians were able to administer. 

VI. Northern Israel's Contributions to the Faith of Mankind. 
The two centuries which intervened between the division of the Hebrew 
empire and the fall of Samaria are among the most important in the 
religious history of the race, and chiefly so because of the activity of the 
three or four great prophets of the north. It was in the north that 
the prophets occupied by far the most prominent position. Its freer, 
more democratic atmosphere doubtless offered a less restricted field for 
their work; but, above all, it was in the north that the great political, 
social and religious crises first developed and called forth the intrepid 
heralds of Jehovah. 

Following Elijah's epoch-making declaration that Jehovah demanded 
the whole worship of his people and the resulting prophetic reformation 
led by Jehu, an unknown prophet or group of prophets began, about 
the middle of the eighth century, to write the great prophetic history 
which begins with the call of Abraham and ends with the establishment 
of the kingdom under Samuel. One recognizes throughout the North- 
ern Israehte history the influence of such commanding personalities as 
Elijah and Elisha. In it the prophets are represented as overshadowing 
from the first all other leaders, and as directing at each step the destinies 
of the chosen people. In this picture of the past the prophets present 



their conception of what that history ought to have been and thus vividly 
illustrate those ideals which they were seeking to impress upon their 
contemporaries. Like Hosea, they bring out in sharp contrast the 
eternal antithesis between Jehovah's gracious purpose for his people and 
the stubbornness and ingratitude and sin of the Israelites. These eariy 
prophetic historians regard the local high places, such as Bethel and 
Gilgal, the altars and pillars and ceremonial customs, which had sur- 
vived from the Semitic past, as not only legitimate but essential to wor- 
ship. These prophetic narratives also reflect the prevailing popular be- 
liefs that Jehovah had in the past and would in the future care for his 
people as the gods of the other nations cared for their followers. 

The advent of the Assyrians disclosed the insuflSciency of the old popu- 
lar conception of Jehovah. If Jehovah were simply the God of Israel, 
then he was either weaker than the gods of Assyria or else did not care 
to exert himself to deliver his people. Either possibility begat doubt 
and apostasy. If Jehovah could not or would not deliver his people, it 
was natural and inevitable that they should turn to the worship of the 
strongest deity. The only hope that remained for those who cherished 
the old popular faith was that by added gifts and offerings they might 
purchase Jehovah's favor and induce him to perform, if he could, some 
miracle in their behalf. It is obvious from the sermons of Hosea that, in 
the presence of this great crisis, Israel's faith was on the verge of collapse. 

The supreme miracle of Israel's history is that out of this period of 
overwhelming doubt there arose certain men like Amos and Hosea, 
whose faith was strengthened rather than daunted by the problems of 
the hour, and who beheld with clear vision, not a God weak or capri- 
cious who ruled as merely the champion of little Israel, but one supreme 
God of justice and love, who absolutely and justly controlled the forces 
of nature as well as the affairs of men. They recognized that the im- 
pending advance of Assyria was not because Jehovah was powerless 
or regardless of the fortunes of his people; it was rather because of 
Israel's deep-seated guilt. They appreciated the necessity for some 
great revolutionizing experience which would turn the people from their 
apostasy and crimes to the recognition of the character and demands of 
the one true God who had ever guided them from the first and had in 
store for them a destiny, if they were but prepared for it, far more 
glorious than popular poet had ever pictured. Assyria, therefore, was, 
in their eyes, Jehovah's agent, not of mere judgment, but of that dis- 
cipline which was necessary before Israel would be prepared for the 
noble destiny which awaited it. 



In the stress of their own personal and national experiences, Amos 
and Hosea likewise saw clearly the insuflBciency of the popular religion 
and ceremonial formalism of their day. The God of justice and love 
whom they beheld could not be worshipped or pleased by mere forms 
and sacrifices. Hence they proclaimed the immortal truth, which 
humanity has been so slow to accept, that justice and mercy and love 
toward God and man are the only gifts which will win the divine favor. 

The Northern Israelites as a whole failed utterly to respond to the 
plain, convincing appeals of their noblest prophets. Hence the nation 
lost its life, as Amos and Hosea had predicted. A few thoughtful souls 
doubtless paid heed, and in their own spiritual experience realized, 
in the face of public and private disaster, the truth of the words which 
the prophets had proclaimed. Northern Israel lost its life, but Judah 
became the heir of its rich spiritual heritage, and preserved and trans- 
mitted it, so that to-day that exalted ethical spiritual monotheism, first 
revealed to a few earnest men and by them flashed before the bewildered 
vision of the corrupt rulers and leaders of Northern Israel, has become 
the possession and inspiration of all mankind. 




i.Re- Now Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, became king in 

am'8* Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began 

(i'k! *^ reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the 

14 ») city which Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel 

to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naa- 

mah the Ammonitess. 

2 Hea- And Judah did that which displeased Jehovah, and they 

prac- aroused his anger with the sins which they committed, 

p^t^ more than all that their fathers had done. They also built 

for themselves high places, pillars, and asherahs, on every 

high hill and under every green tree. There were also 

sacred prostitutes in the land. They did according to all 

the abominations of the nations which Jehovah drove out 

before the Israelites. 

3. Shi- Now in the fifth year of King Rehoboam Shishak king 
piun-' of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. And he took away 
tem?ie *^® treasures of the temple of Jehovah and the treasures 
and of the royal palace — he took all away. He also took away 
(^M-a^s)® all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. And 

King Rehoboam made in their place shields of brass and 
gave them into the charge of the commanders of the guards, 
who kept the door of the royal palace. And as often as 
the king went into the temple of Jehovah, the guards took 
them and brought them back into the guard-room. 

4. Civil And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam 
JJ^^ij continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was 

buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Abijam 

his son became king in his place. 
s.Abi- Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son 
reSif of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. Three years 
{J5^» « he reigned in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was 



Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. And there was war 
between Abijam and Jeroboam. And Abijam slept with 
his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And 
Asa his son became king in his place. 

In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel Asa 6. Asa's 
began to reign over Judah. And he reigned forty-one years foi?" 
in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Maacah the J^;^g 
daughter of Abishalom. And Asa pleased Jehovah, as (»■"»») 
did David his father. And he put away the sacred prosti- 
tutes from the land, and removed all the idols that his 
fathers had made. And he also removed Maacah his 
mother from being queen-mother, because she had made 
a horrible image as an asherah. And Asa cut down her 
horrible image, and burnt it in the Kidron Valley. Also 
he brought into the temple of Jehovah the votive gifts his 
father consecrated and his own votive gifts — silver, gold, 
and vessels. 

And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel 7. Asa'a 
all their days. And Baasha king of Israel went up against chile 
Judah and fortified Ramah, so as not to allow any one to go ^[^^^f 
out or in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took all the silver Aram 
and the gold that were left in the treasures of the temple ^' 
of Jehovah and the treasures of the royal palace, and en- 
trusted them to his servants. And King Asa sent them to 
Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion king 
of Aram, who dwelt at Damascus, with the statement. 
There is a league between me and you and between my father 
and your father; herewith I send you a present of silver 
and gold. Break your league with Baasha king of Israel, 
that he may withdraw from me. And Ben-hadad listened 
to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against 
the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-Maacah, 
and all Chinneroth, together with all the land of Naphtali. 
And as soon as Baasha heard of it, he abandoned the forti- 
fying of Ramah and returned to Tirzah. Thereupon King 
Asa made a proclamation to all Judah — none was ex- 
empted — that they must carry away the stones of Ra- 
mah and the timber with which Baasha had fortified it; 
and with these King Asa fortified Geba of Benjamin and 



8. Asa's Now the other acts of Asa and all his brave deeds and the 
jJnd^^ cities which he built, are they not recorded in the Chronicles 
death of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he became dis- 
eased in his feet. And Asa slept with his fathers and was 
buried with his fathers in the city of David his father. And 
Jehoshaphat his son became king in his place. 

9. Je- And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over 
aphat's Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. Jehosha- 
«ood phat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and 
{22"^") he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his 

mother's name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. And 
he walked altogether in the way of Asa his father; he did 
not turn aside from it, doing that which pleased Jehovah. 
Only the high places were not taken away, but the people 
still sacrificed and burnt their offerings on the high places. 
And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. 

10. His Now the other acts of Jehoshaphat and his brave deeds 
an" that he did, and how he made war, are they not recorded 
foms ^^ *^® Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? Also the rest of 
(« «) the sacred prostitutes, who remained in the days of his 

father Asa, he expelled from the land. 

11 Aha- In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of 

poHcy Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to 

fiance^ rcign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began 

(II K. to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his 

gM-ato) jjjQ^jjgj-jg name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri 

king of Israel. And he walked in the way of the house of 

Ahab and did that which displeased Jehovah, as did the 

house of Ahab ; for he was related by marriage to the house 

of Ahab. And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to 

make war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth in Gilead. 

But the Arameans wounded Joram. Then King Joram 

returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the 

Arameans had given him at Ramah, when he fought against 

Hazael king of Aram. 

12. His And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went 

murder (Jqwu to visit Joram the son of Ahab to Jezreel because 

Jehu he was sick. And when Jehu slew Joram, Ahaziah king 

i^n^M) of Judah saw it and fled in the direction of Beth-gannim. 

Then Jehu pursued after him with the words, Him also! 



Smite him in the chariot. And they smote him in the ascent 
of Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he escaped to Megiddo 
and died there. But his servants carried him to Jerusalem 
and buried him there in his sepulchre with his fathers in the 
city of David. 

Now when Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, learned that i3. 
her son was dead she arose and destroyed all the royal ifah'T 
family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and ^f the* 
sister of Ahaziah, took Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah, and stole throne 
him away from among the king's sons, who were about to be ^** * *^ 
slain, and put him in the bedchamber. Thus she hid him 
from Athaliah, so that he was not slain. And he was with 
her, hid in the temple of Jehovah, six years while Athaliah 
reigned over the land. 

But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the 14. je- 
military commanders of the Carites and of the guards and aSts 
brought them to him into the temple of Jehovah. There- ^on- 
upon he showed them the king's son. And he commanded '(*^i^^% 
them saying. This is what you shall do: a third part of 
you go in on the sabbath and keep guard over the royal 
palace. And the two divisions of you, even all who go 
forth on the sabbath to keep guard over the temple of Je- 
hovah about the king, shall surround the king, each with 
his weapons in his hand. And whoever comes within the 
ranks, let him be slain. Thus you shall be with the king, 
when he goes out and when he comes in. 

And the military commanders did just as Jehoiada the 15 
priest had commanded: each brought his men, both those ^iSm- 
who were to come in on the sabbath and those who were to jj^^j^ 
go out on the sabbath, to Jehoiada the priest. And the Wng 
guards stood each with his weapons in his hand, from the ^* " "^ 
south side of the temple to the north side of the temple, be- 
fore the altar and before the temple, around the king. Then 
he brought out the king's son and put the crown upon him and 
the ornaments, and they proclaimed him king and anointed 
him, and clapped their hands and said. May the king live ! 

But when Athaliah heard the cry of the people, she came le. 
to the people into the temple of Jehovah. Then she looked S^*^ 
and there was the king standing by the pillar, as was the ^tha- 
custom, and the commanders and the trumpeters by the ("-") 



king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing 
trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, 
Treason! Treason! But Jehoiada the priest gave com- 
mand to the military commanders who were over the army 
and said to them. Bring her out between the ranks; and 
whoever follows her, slay with the sword! for the priest 
said. Let her not be slain in the temple of Jehovah. So 
they laid hands on her, and, as she went through the horses' 
entry to the royal palace, she was slain. 

17. The And Jehoiada made a covenant between Jehovah and the 
n°nt' king and the people, that they should be Jehovah's people; 
(17. 18a) likewise between the king and the people. And all the people 

of the land went to the temple of Baal and destroyed it. His 
altar and his images they broke completely in pieces, and 
they slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 

18. En- Then the priest appointed watchmen over the temple 
mlnT' of Jehovah. And he took the military commanders and 
of the Carites, and the guards and all the people of the land, 
(i8b°^ and they brought down the king from the temple of Jehovah 

and entered through the gate of the guards to the royal 
palace. And he sat on the royal throne. So all the people 
of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet. Thus they slew 
Athaliah with the sword in the royal palace. 

19. Je- Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign. In 
ada-g the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign, and he 
coun- reigned forty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name 
(?i «- was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Jehoash did that which 
'^'^ pleased Jehovah just as long as Jehoiada the priest instructed 


20. And Jehoash said to the priests. All the money, which in 
Itihr the form of consecration gifts is brought into the temple of 
^esta Jehovah, the money which comes from each man's assess- 
pair ment, the money from the persons whose value is estimated, 
(f-^^'® and all the money which the people bring of their own free 

will into the temple of Jehovah, let the priests take that for 
themselves each from his acquaintances. They must, how- 
ever, repair the breaches in the temple, wherever any breach 
is found. But it transpired that in the twenty-third year 
of Jehoash the priests had not yet repaired the breaches of 
the temple. Then King Jehoash called for Jehoiada the 



priest and for the other priests and said to them, Why have 
you not repaired the breaches of the temple? Now there- 
fore take no more money from your acquaintances, but 
turn it over for the repair of the breaches of the temple. And 
the priests agreed that they would take no more money from 
the people nor repair the breaches of the temple. 

Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in its 21. De- 
cover, and placed it beside the doorpost at the right of the provt 
entrance of the temple of Jehovah. And the priests, who ^^^^^ 
kept watch at the threshold, put therein all the money that pair of 
was brought into the temple of Jehovah. And as soon as (?-wf ® 
they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king's 
scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags 
and counted the money that was found in the temple of 
Jehovah. Then they gave the money that was weighed 
out into the hands of those who had the oversight of the 
temple of Jehovah; and they paid it out to the carpenters 
and the builders, who worked on the temple of Jehovah, 
and to the masons and the stone-cutters, and for the buying 
of timber and hewn stone to repair the breaches of the temple 
of Jehovah, and for all for which outlay should be made 
upon the temple for its repairs. However, there were not 
made for the temple of Jehovah silver cups, basins, trumpets, 
or any vessels of gold or vessels of silver from the money 
that was brought into the temple of Jehovah, but they gave 
that to those who did the work and repaired the temple of 
Jehovah. Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into 
whose hand they delivered the money to give to those who 
did the work, for they dealt faithfully. The money from 
the trespass-offerings and the money from the sin-offerings 
was not brought into the temple of Jehovah; it belonged 
to the priests. 

Then Hazael king of Aram went up and fought against 22. ibe 
Gath, and took it. But when Hazael set out to go up to metn 
Jerusalem, Jehoash king of Judah took all the consecrated ^?va- 
gifts that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his an- i"-'^) 
cestors the kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own con- 
secrated gifts, and all the gold that was found in the treasures 
of the temple of Jehovah and of the royal palace, and sent it to 
Hazael king of Aram. Then he went away from Jerusalem. 



23 Con- But Jehoash's servants arose and made a conspiracy and 
|P^f„*gy smote him at the house of Millo, that goeth down to Silla, 
jehoash for his servaut Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad 
^'° '* the son of Shomer put him to death. And they buried him 

with his fathers in the city of David ; and Amaziah his son 

became king in his place. 

24. In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of 
A™^- Israel, Amaziah the son of Jehoash king of Judah began 
reign ^ to reigu. He was twenty years old when he began to 
•• 7) ' reign and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. 

And his mother's name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. 
And as soon as the kingdom was firmly established in 
his hand, he slew his servants who had slain his father. 
But the children of the murderers he did not put to death. 
He slew of Edom in the valley of Salt ten thousand, and 
took Sela [the Rock] by storm, and named it Joktheel to 
this day. 

25. Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of 
^S?3 Jehoahaz son of Jehu king of Israel, saying. Come, let us 
attack measure strength with each other. But Jehoash the king of 
J?°'' Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle in 
^8°u)^ Lebanon sent to the cedar in Lebanon, saying, *Give your 

daughter to my son as wife.' But a wild beast in Lebanon 
passed by and trod down the thistle. You have indeed 
smitten Edom and your head has been turned. Enjoy 
your honor and stay at home, for why should you plunge 
yourself into trouble, so that you and Judah with you will 
fall? But Amaziah would not hear. So Jehoash king of 
Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah measured 
strength with each other at Bethshemesh, which belongs 
to Judah. And Judah was defeated by Israel, so that they 
fled each to his home. And Jehoash king of Israel took 
Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of 
Ahaziah, captive at Bethshemesh. And he brought him 
down to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem 
to the distance of four hundred cubits, from the Gate of 
Ephraim to the Corner Gate. And he took all the gold and 
silver, and all the vessels that were found in the temple 
of Jehovah, and in the treasures of the king's palace, the 
hostages also, and returned to Samaria. 



And Amaziah the son of Jehoash king of Judah lived after 26. His 
the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen ^eath 
years. Now the other acts of Amaziah, are they not re- 
corded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And they 
made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem. And he fled 
to Lachish, but they sent after him to Lachish and slew him 
there. And they brought him upon horses, and he was 
buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David. 
And all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen 
years old, and made him king in the place of his father 

I. General Characteristics of Judah's History. The history of 
Judah during the two centuries following the death of Solomon was 
uneventful compared with that of Northern Israel. This was partially 
due to Judah's geographical position. Unlike Northern Israel, it was 
shut in on nearly every side by natural and political barriers. It was 
protected by the Dead Sea and the Moabites on the east, by the 
barren wilderness with its wandering tribes on the south, and by the 
steep headlands of Judah, with their narrow and easily defended defiles, 
and the buffer state of the Philistines on the west. Northern Israel re- 
ceived on the north the brunt of the foreign attacks which came from 
the direction of Damascus and Assyria. The resources of barren, 
rocky Judah were also insignificant in comparison with those of fruitful 
Northern Israel. Hence there was comparatively Httle in the southern 
kingdom to attract the foreign invader. 

The famous dynasty founded by David continued on the throne of 
Judah until the exile, so that the peaceful internal history of the south- 
ern kingdom was in striking contrast to the anarchy and revolution and 
frequent change of dynasty which characterized Northern Israel's 
troubled career. During the first two hundred years of Judah's history 
there were no great crises and therefore no great prophets. Solomon's 
temple and the royal priesthood also exerted a conservative influence in 
Judah's religious life far greater than that of the royal sanctuaries at 
Dan and Bethel. Even the prophetic reform movement instigated by 
Elijah, which swept over the northern kingdom, affected Judah simply 
in the form of a priestly revolution led by Jehoiada the priest. Judah's 
great prophetic awakening did not come until the northern kingdom was 
on the eve of its fail and the Assyrian armies were penetrating southern 



II. Rehoboam's Reign. Rehoboam's folly in refusing the demands 
of the northern tribes (c/. § LXI) left him with a limited territory, but 
in possession of the great resources gradually accumulated by his father 
and grandfather. There is no evidence, however, that he attempted 
to reconquer the northern tribes, although during his lifetime and that 
of his immediate successors there was almost constant war between the 
two kingdoms. 

Apparently not long after Rehoboam's accession came the disas- 
trous invasion of Shishak (Sheshonk I, 945-924 B.C.). This energetic 
ruler w^as a Libyan mercenary who had mounted the throne of Egypt. 
During his reign he nearly succeeded in restoring, after two centuries 
of Egyptian inactivity, the old bounds of the empire established by 
Ramses II. On the southern gate of the great temple, which he rebuilt 
at Thebes, he inscribed the names of the one hundred and fifty-six 
Palestinian cities and districts captured by him in his campaign in 
southern Syria. Both Northern and Southern Israel suffered from his 
ravages. The rich cities about the plain of Esdraelon, Megiddo, 
Taanach, Shunem and Bethshean, were plundered by his mercenaries. 
In the south Gibeon, Bethhoron, Ajalon, Socoh, Bethanoth, Sharuhen 
and Arad were captured and looted. The biblical narrative also adds 
that in Jerusalem, the temple and royal palace were despoiled of all their 
treasures. Sheshonk's inscription states that he forced the conquered 
states of Palestine to pay heavy tribute; from which it may be inferred 
that for a time Northern and Southern Israel were both subject to 


III. Asa's Policy. Abijah, Rehoboam's son, reigned but three 
years and was succeeded by Asa, who, because of his religious reforms, 
receives the approval of the prophetic historian. He appears to have 
made an effort to put away the old Canaanite abominations, and espe- 
cially the sacred prostitutes who were found in connection with every 
Canaanite temple, and perhaps at the temple at Jerusalem under Solo- 
mon and Rehoboam. He also destroyed the heathen symbol or asherah 
which had been prepared under the direction of the queen-mother, 
and apparently attempted to centralize still further the national worship 
at the royal sanctuary. 

Baasha, the contemporary king of Northern Israel, fortified Ramah, 
only six miles north of Jerusalem, and pressed the war against Judah 
with such energy that Asa in desperation took gold and silver from the 
temple treasury and sent it as a gift to persuade the Arameans to attack 
the Israelites in the rear. The results of the long and disastrous Ara- 



mean wars thus instituted have already been studied in the history of 
the northern kingdom. Asa for a time enjoyed the advantage won in 
this way over his northern rival; but with the accession of his son 
Jehoshaphat the old feud between Israel and Judah was healed, and 
the kings of the north and the south joined their forces against their 
common foe the Arameans. To seal the alliance Jehoshaphat's son, 
Ahaziah, married Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. 

IV. The Priestly Reformation in Judah. By a strange turn of 
fortune the immediate effect of the prophetic revolution in Northern 
Israel was that Ahaziah fell a victim to Jehu's reforming zeal and 
Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, became queen of Judah. In attempt- 
ing to slaughter all the surviving members of the royal family and to 
introduce the Baal worship in Jerusalem, she showed herself a true 
daughter of the Tyrian princess. After a reign of six years, Athaliah 
was deposed and slain in a temple revolution led by Jehoiada the priest 
and carried through with the aid simply of the temple police. The 
details of this important revolution are fully given in the extract from 
the temple records which has been preserved by the author of Kings. 

The boy king, Jehoash, who was thus restored to the throne of his 
father, ruled during his minority under the direction of Jehoiada the 
priest. The chief event of his reign was the repair of the temple at 
Jerusalem. This task had been left to the priests who had, however, 
used all of the temple revenue for their own personal ends. An agree- 
ment was made between the king and the priests that the latter should 
have the money from the trespass- and sin-offerings and that the remain- 
ing gifts to the sanctuary should be placed in a chest at the entrance of 
the temple. When sufficient money was thus collected, it was ex- 
pended under the king's direction for temple repairs. 

During the latter part of Jehoash's reign, the Aramean king, Hazael, 
not only overran Northern Israel, but captured and destroyed Philistine 
Gath, and retired only after he had received heavy tribute from Jehoash. 
Possibly because of his policy at this time in purchasing peace, Jehoash 
died at the hands of his own servants. The assassins, however, fled 
and Jehoash's son, Amaziah, succeeded him on the throne. 

V. The Early Judean Prophetic History. It was probably soon 
after the priestly reformation in the days of Jehoash that a group of Ju- 
dean prophets collected and combined those early traditions of their race, 
which are now found in the early historical books of the Old Testament. 
Their history began with the primitive story of creation (now found in 
Gen. 2*^-^^, cf. § I), and traced Israel's fortunes down to the accession 



of Solomon. Their aim was clearly to illustrate by the past experience 
of the nation those great prophetic truths regarding Jehovah's character 
and demands which should guide the people in new and similar crises. 

As in the parallel Northern Israelite history, Jehovah is preeminently 
Israel's God, fighting his people's battles, giving them possession of the 
land of Canaan, training them by varied experiences and ultimately, 
under the leadership of his servants, Saul and David, making them 
masters of the Palestinian world. These early prophetic historians 
still conceived of Jehovah as appearing at times in bodily form and as 
speaking directly by word of mouth to his chosen messengers. The 
spirit of their history, however, is deeply religious and its aims practical 
and ethical. The characters of the ancient heroes, such as Abraham, 
Joseph, Moses, are portrayed with remarkable fidelity to universal 
human experience and are full of suggestion and inspiration to all who 
are active in positions of public or private trust. This remarkable 
history as a whole must have been a powerful force in kindling the 
patriotism and arousing the religious zeal and loyalty of the people of 
Judah. It reveals clearly the ethical and spiritual atmosphere amidst 
which such prophets as Isaiah and Micah grew up. It also furnishes 
the background for the appreciation of the originality and significance 
of the new and still broader truths revealed to these prophets of the 
Assyrian age. 

VI. The Reign of Amaziah. Amaziah, who succeeded Jehoash, 
appears to have been a man of energy. Early in his reign he won an 
important victory over the Edomites, who had thrown off the yoke of 
Judah during the reign of Jehoram. He also captured one of their 
important rocky fortresses, and probably succeeded in imposing tribute 
upon them. 

Unduly elated by his victory, he challenged Jehoash, king of Northern 
Israel, which, like Judah, at this time was beginning rapidly to recover 
its prosperity. The fable of the presumptuous thistle, trodden to earth 
by the heel of the wild beast, with which Jehoash replied to the chal- 
lenge, rightly described the comparative weakness of Judah. Amaziah 
was defeated and captured; the temple and palace at Jerusalem were 
plundered, and part of the encircling wall was torn down. Hostages 
were also taken, and Judah became for a time the vassal of Northern 

Like his father, Amaziah died at the hands of conspirators. The 
exact cause of this conspiracy is not stated; but it appears to have been 
a strong one, for the conspirators were in complete possession both of 



the capital and the outlying towns. Their action seems to have been 
simply a public protest against the policy and character of Amaziah 
himself; for, after they had put him to death, they raised his sixteen- 
year-old son, Azariah, popularly known by the shorter name Uzziah, 
to the throne. 

With the death of Amaziah, Judah began to emerge from its long 
seclusion and obscurity and to participate in the stirring world politics 
of the age. In the quiet of the two centuries following the death of 
Solomon there is little external evidence of progress in Judah's religious, 
political and social life. In dealing with the conspirators who slew 
Jehoash, however, a higher ethical principle was observed, for, contrary 
to the earlier usage, the lives of the kinsmen of the culprits were spared. 
The early Judean prophetic stories, with their high ethical teachings and 
finished literary style, also demonstrate that during this period the 
teachers of Judah were quietly educating the people and laying deep 
the foundations of their national character. The problems and events 
of the period are petty and unimportant; but at its close the nation was 
ready to enter into a larger world and to pass through the series of 
painful experiences which were to open the eyes of its prophets to 
those new truths which made their messages of universal value to man- 


In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, 
Uzziah [Azariah] son of Amaziah king of Judah began to Jetgi? 
reign. Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, (" K; 
and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. And his 1422) 
mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did 
that which pleased Jehovah, just as his father Amaziah 
had done. However the high places were not taken away; 
the people still sacrificed and burnt their offerings on the 
high places. He built Elath and restored it to Judah after 
King Amaziah slept with his fathers. 

And he went against the Philistines, and broke down the 2. Hia 
wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod ^ea^' 
and built cities near Ashdod and among the Philistines, ^^g^g-j 
And God helped him against the Philistines and against the 
Arabians who dwelt in Gur-baal, and the Meunites. And 
the Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah; and his reputation 



spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt ; for he became 
exceedingly strong. 

Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner 
Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner of the wall and 
fortified them. And he built towers in the wilderness and 
hewed out many cisterns, for he had many herds in the 
lowland and husbandmen in the plain and vinedressers in 
the mountains and in the fruitful fields, for he loved agri- 

And Jehovah smote the king, so that he was a leper to the 
day of his death. And he dwelt in his house without re- 
straint, while Jotham, the king's son, was at the head of the 
royal household, ruling the people of the land. Now the 
other acts of Uzziah and all that he did, are they not recorded 
in the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And Uzziah slept 
with his fathers ; and they buried him with his fathers in 
the city of David, and Jotham his son became king in his 

Jo- In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of 
Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah began to 
reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to 
reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his 
mother's name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. And 
he did that which pleased Jehovah ; he did just as his father 
Uzziah had done. However the high places were not taken 
away; the people still sacrificed and burnt their offerings 
on the high places. He built the upper gate of the temple of 
Jehovah. In those days Jehovah began to send against 
Judah Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Rem- 
aliah. Now the other acts of Jotham and all that he did, 
are they not recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of 
Judah? And Jotham slept with his fathers and was buried 
with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Ahaz 
his son became king in his place. 

It was in the year that King Uzziah died that I saw the 
Lord sitting upon a lofty and exalted throne ; and the skirts 
of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing at- 
hoiiness teudaut before him. Each had six wings; with two he 

*>'* * 124 


covered his face, with two he covered his loins and with two 
he flew. And they kept calling to each other, saying: 

Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts, 
The whole earth is full of his glory. 

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the sound 
of their calling, and the temple was filling with smoke. 
Then I said: 

Woe to me ! I am undone, 7. its 

For I myself am a man with unclean lips, upo? 

And I am dwelling among a people with unclean lips ; J»i™ 
Yet mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts. 

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in 8. His 
his hand that he had taken with tongs from off the altar. ^SSL 
And with it he touched my mouth and said : j^g 

See, this has touched thy lips. 

Therefore thine iniquity is gone and thy sin forgiven. 

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying : 9. His 


Whom shall I send, ^*^ 

And who will go for us? 

And I said : Here am I ; send me. And he said : 10. The 


Go and say to this people : ^2° ^^ 

Keep on hearing, but have no comprehension ! mes- 

Keep on seeing, but have no perception! (^^i^o) 

Make fat the heart of this people. 
And their ears dull and besmear their eyes. 
Lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears. 
And their heart perceive, and their health be restored! 

And I said : How long, Lord? And he said : 11. 


Until the cities are in ruins without an inhabitant, ofhi^^ 

And the houses without a human occupant, and the land mes- 

is left in utter desolation, (ufi*) 

And Jehovah have sent the men far away, and in the midst 

of the land the deserted territory be great. 



And should there still be a tenth in it, it must in turn be 

fuel for the flame, 
Like the terebinth and the oak of which after felling but a 

stump remains. 

I. Uzziah's Victories. The reign of Uzziah (or Azariah) was con- 
temporary with that of Jeroboam II of Northern Israel. The course 
of events in the two Hebrew kingdoms during this important epoch 
was in many ways closely parallel. The attacks of the Arameans had 
ceased and the advance of the Assyrians had been arrested. Although 
Uzziah's long reign is passed over by the author of Kings with only a 
very brief statement, it is evident from the subsequent history, and 
especially from the sermons of Isaiah, that, like Jeroboam II of Northern 
Israel, he was an exceedingly able and energetic ruler. The narrative 
of Chronicles has preserved a fuller account of his policy and achieve- 
ments, and this has been incorporated in the text adopted above. 

Following up his father's victory over the Edomites, he conquered 
the important town of Elath on the eastern arm of the Red Sea and re- 
built it, probably as a port from which to engage in commerce with 
Arabia and more distant lands. The Chronicler states that he also 
tore down the wall of Gath, which had been previously captured by the 
Aramean king Hazael, and dismantled the neighboring northern Philis- 
tine towns, Jabneh and Ashdod. The conquered territory was appar- 
ently colonized with Hebrews. Successful campaigns are recorded 
against the Arabians, probably in the south, and the Ammonites on the 
east. It is at least evident, in the light of the data, that Uzziah succeed- 
ed in extending the boundary of Judah both in the south and west, 
and thereby opened the doors for the trade which brought in the products 
and customs of the larger Semitic world. 

II. Uzziah's Home Policy. The Chronicler adds that Uzziah 
built defensive towers about the walls of Jerusalem, probably also re- 
pairing the portion of the wall destroyed under the reign of his father 
Amaziah. Like the earlier kings of Israel, he also had private herds 
and vineyards and fields throughout his kingdom and devoted himself 
to improving the defences and water supply, especially in southern 
Judah. From these references it may be concluded that Uzziah was as 
active in developing the internal resources of his kingdom as he was in 
extending its boundaries and commerce. 

III. The Political and Social Effects of Uzziah's Reign. The 
new and close contact with the outside world and the national pros- 



perity which resulted from the strong policy of Uzziah, produced the same 
political and social conditions in Judah as they had in Northern Israel 
under the corresponding reign of Jeroboam II. New ambitions and 
hopes stirred the people. Foreign fashions and ideas came sweeping 
in from every side. Naturally the nobles, the wealthy citizens, and 
King Uzziah himself profited most by this period of peace. To them 
came the spoils of conquest and they alone were able to engage in 
foreign trade. 

Under the influence of this increasing taste for luxury, the ruling class 
in Judah became regardless of its responsibility, and each man vied 
with the other in aping foreign customs and in building up a great fortune 
at the expense of the common people dependent upon him. The old 
simplicity was fast disappearing, and in its place came false pride and 
greed and the resulting disregard of the needs and the rights of the poor 
and dependent. Judah, therefore like Northern Israel, was sadly 
lacking in social and moral integrity and ill-fitted to meet a great political 

To a thoughtful student of the political situation grave dangers were 
also visible on the more distant horizon. These became more ap- 
parent about the close of the reign of Uzziah, for Tiglath-pileser IV 
had mounted the throne of Assyria and was beginning to gather in, one 
after the other, the different nations of the western world. Judah lay 
right in the path of Assyria's advance; but the rulers who should have 
been most active in preparing the little kingdom for its period of peril 
were selfish, corrupt, and blind to the distant danger. 

IV. The Death Year of Uzziah. During the latter part of his reign, 
Uzziah was a victim of the loathsome disease of leprosy. Accepting 
the dogma that every overwhelming affliction was the result of some 
great crime, later tradition attributed Uzziah's disease to what it con- 
sidered an act of impiety in connection with the temple worship. In 
Uzziah's time, however, the Hebrew laws which banished lepers from 
the city and treated them as already dead, had probably not been 
formulated. While he lived, Uzziah appears to have directed the national 
policy, although his son Jotham acted as regent. This son had none 
of the strength and energy of his father, so that by every thoughtful 
observer of conditions within and without Judah the approaching death 
of Uzziah must have been awaited with grave foreboding. 

When at last, about 738 B.C., the news came that the fatal disease 
had completed its work and that King Uzziah was dead, the situation 
was well calculated to stir to its very depths the mind of a thoughtful, 



devoted patriot. In Northern Israel Amos and Hosea had laid bare 
the crime and fatal weakness of that greater Hebrew kingdom and had 
presented new and far higher standards of national and individual re- 
sponsibility. Measured by these same standards Judah's inherent 
weakness and guilt stood cleariy revealed. The occasion called for 
wise leadership and counsel. Most of all, it demanded a prophet to 
arouse the conscience of the nation and to initiate a fundamental re- 
form which should prepare the nation for the crisis which impended. 

V. The Young Isaiah. These portentous conditions are the back- 
ground of Isaiah's call. The death of the king impressed Judah's 
needs upon the mind of the Hebrew patriot and opened his eyes to that 
vision of divine truth which constituted his call to be a prophet. 

For forty and probably fifty years after this critical moment in his 
life, Isaiah continued to preach to his countrymen with undiminished 
energy. It is certain, therefore, that he was very young at the time 
of his call, probably not more than twenty or twenty-five, just assum- 
ing the responsibilities of a husband and citizen. From his personal 
acquaintance with the priests and nobles and rulers of Israel and with 
the policy of the court at different periods, and from the fact that he is 
identified as the scion of a well-known house, it seems probable that 
Isaiah came not from the ranks but belonged to a wealthy, if not noble, 

Isaiah's recorded addresses reveal an alert, well-trained mind. He 
was not only intimately acquainted with the political and social prob- 
lems of his own day, but also familiar with the past traditions and ex- 
periences of his race. He was the master of a brilliant, forceful literary 
style. It is the spoken style — that of the orator rather than that of the 
writer. Each sentence is like the blow of a battle-axe, aimed straight 
at its goal and hewing aside all opposition. The form in which his ad- 
dresses are cast is that of poetry. A marvellous lilt and a balanced 
parallelism runs through them all; but Isaiah, like Hosea, did not allow 
his impassioned eloquence to be restrained or held in leash by the arti- 
ficial demands of Hebrew metre. 

In every word which fell from Isaiah's lips there is revealed a man 
of unbounded energy, unflinching courage and firm conviction. He 
knew well the different currents of thought and influence in little Judah, 
but, more than that, he dared to face facts and conditions squarely 
and to draw from them the logical and inevitable conclusions. He 
was not bound by public opinion or by the prevailing standards of his 
day. He had caught a vision of something higher, and was therefore 



filled with an eternal discontent, as he viewed the petty, mean, corrupt 
practices of his countrymen. His patriotism also was of such a lofty 
character that he was ready to make any personal sacrifice, even to go 
barefooted through a cold Judean winter, that he might save his beloved 
country from a fatal policy. 

VI. The Account of Isaiah's Vision. The account of Isaiah's 
vision stands not at the beginning of his prophecies, but at the head of 
the little group of addresses which represent his work in the critical 
year 735 B.C. Its position and content confirm the conclusion that 
it was not written until about 734, when his counsels had been rejected 
by king and people and the discouraging nature of his work, as predicted 
in the closing verses, had become apparent. His object was obviously 
to " bind up the testimony " and to make clear to his disciples the 
nature of that great experience which had made him a prophet and 
given him that clear consciousness of a divine call which inspired him 
to go on with his work, calm and undisturbed in the face of discour- 
agement and misunderstanding. 

VII. The Meaning of Isaiah's Vision. Isaiah's vision evidently 
came to him in the temple whither he had gone up to worship. The 
many grave problems, which Uzziah's death brought out in clear relief, 
were doubtless in his mind. Suddenly, as he found himself in the sacred 
precincts, he saw instead of the symbols the reality for which they stood. 
Instead of the ark, Jehovah's ancient throne, he seemed to see the Lord 
himself, vast, majestic, dominating the whole temple with his presence. 
Instead of the attendant cherubim of wood and gold, he beheld with clear 
mental vision spirits of fire, symbols of the most effective purifying force 
in the universe, guarding Jehovah from contact with anything impure. 
Not only by their presence and acts, but with their lips they seemed to 
be ever proclaiming the transcendent holiness of Jehovah whose glory 
was not limited to the precincts of the temple but filled the whole 

In its original derivation the Hebrew word holy means separate, 
apart from, distinct, but in Isaiah's vision it evidently had a double 
content. It emphasizes both Jehovah's supreme majesty and his moral 
sanctity. It was this clear, spiritual vision of Jehovah's true character 
that made the young Hebrew patriot a prophet. In the light of that 
vision his own guilt and the vile uncleanness of his nation were star- 
tlingly revealed. The cry of horror and confession that burst from his 
lips was quickly answered. The assurance that his sins had been for- 
given and that he was morally clean in the sight of God, came not 



through the symbolism of the blood of animals slain on the great altar, 
but directly from God himself. The coal from the altar symbolized 
the cleansing of the thoughts and purposes of which the lips were but 
the medium of expression. 

When the very fountain of his life and activity had thus been purified, 
Isaiah was at last ready to respond unhesitatingly to that inner call to 
service, which had doubtless long been ringing in his ears, as he had 
pondered the crying needs of his nation. Now he fully recognized that 
Jehovah was the source of that call, and his quick, voluntary response 
made him henceforth an ambassador of the Highest. 

VIII. Isaiah's Commission. Doubtless, from the first the dis- 
couragement and opposition which every true prophet must meet were 
clearly before the eyes of Isaiah; but the peculiarly trying experiences 
of his early years are plainly reflected in the account of his commission. 
His task was similar to that of Amos and Hosea: it was to proclaim 
saving truth to his countrymen and to meet with only apathy or igno- 
rance and contempt. Isaiah also realized through observation and ex- 
perience the sad fact that the rejection of truth plainly stated renders 
the mental and moral and spiritual conditions of those who reject it 
even worse than before. 

Calamity after calamity was destined to overtake Judah, until but a 
small remnant should survive. Although Isaiah does not here develop 
the thought in detail, the stump of a sturdy oak surviving evidently 
represented his hope that when discipline had done its work, the rem- 
nant might grow again into a strong, purified nation that would realize 
Jehovah's purpose in the world. 

Thus this marvellous sixth chapter reflects the entire gamut of Isaiah's 
experiences; his youthful struggles with the sense of personal responsi- 
bility, his strong, enlightened patriotism, his keen insight, and that 
transcendent vision of Jehovah's majesty and holiness which never faded 
from the prophet's memory. The chapter also suggests those long 
years of opposition and discouragement, the folly of king and people 
in rejecting his sane counsels, the disasters that overtook Judah at the 
hands of the Assyrian conquerors, and, above all, that deathless hope in 
the future of his race and in the goodness of the Jehovah which never 
failed Isaiah in his half century of tireless activity. 




Let me sing a song of my friend, i- Pro 

A love song regarding his vineyard. (u^i^ 

A vineyard belongs to my friend on a hill that is fruitful. 2. The 

He digged it and cleared it of stones and choice vines he nur" 

planted. ^,'t. 

A tower he built in its midst and hewed out a wine-press. fruitful 

He looked to find grapes that were good, but wild grapes it ya°d 

yielded. ^'"'^ 

peal for 



And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem, ye people of Judah, s^Ap^ 

Judge now, for yourselves I pray, between me and my vine- 

What more could be done to my vineyard than that which 
I have done? 

When I looked to find grapes that were good, why yielded it 
wild grapes? 

And now let me tell you what I purpose to do to my vineyard. ^^ ^e- 

For I will remove its hedge that it be devoured, tion of 

And I will break through its wall that it be down-trodden ; v^^e- 

Yea, I will make it a waste, not pruned nor weeded. y^^aj 
And then shall it put forth thorns, and thickets of brambles. 
To the clouds will I give command that they rain not upon it. 

For the vineyard of Jehovah of hosts is the house of Israel, ^J^^^,^ 

And the men of Judah — they are his cherished plantation. vfJe*- 

He looked for justice, but, behold ! bloodshed. ^7"*^ 

For redress, but, behold ! a cry of distress. 

Woe to those who join house to house, e. its 

Who add field to field f;;dts: 

Until there is no space left, ^°^. 

And ye dwell alone in the midst of the land. opoiy 
In mine ears Jehovah of hosts hath sworn : 
Surely many houses shall become a desolation, 



Though great and fair they shall be without inhabitants. 
For ten acres of vineyard will yield but one bushel, 
And ten bushels of seed but one bushel of grain. 

7. De- Woe to those who rise at dawn 
e?y ind To pursue strong drink, 

*^rd of Who tarry late in the evening 

respon- Until wiue inflames them. 

(SlV)^^ And lyre, and harp and timbrel 

And flute and wine are at their banquets. 

But they regard not the work of Jehovah 

And see not what his hands have made. 

Therefore my people go into captivity unprepared, 

And their men of wealth are famished. 

And their noisy revellers are parched with thirst. 

Therefore Sheol yawns greedily, 

And to the widest extent opens its mouth. 

And the nobles of Zion and her noisy revellers shall go 

down into it. 
Together with her careless throng and all who rejoice 

within her. 
And lambs shall graze as in a wilderness, 
And fatlings feed amid the ruins. 

8. Fool- Woe to those who draw guilt upon themselves with cords 

ish, im- of folly ! 

scepti- And punishment as with a cart rope ! 
(Jf™) Who say : Let what he would do hasten ! 

Let it come speedily that we may see it ! 

Let the purpose of Israel's Holy One draw near. 

And come, that we may perceive it! 

9. vi- Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, 
bSSs- ^^o put darkness for light, and light for darkness, 
tiy Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter ! 

Pride Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes ! 

And prudent in their own conceit J 




Woe to those who are heroic in drinking wine, ii. 

And valiant in mixing strong drink! vta"^^ 

Who for a bribe vindicate the wicked, »?J^- 

And strip the innocent man of his innocence. («% 

Therefore as a tongue of fire devours stubble, i2.sud- 

And as hay shrivels in a flame ; f ®5 

So their root shall be as rottenness, com- 

And their blossom go up like dust, Seltm* 
Because they have rejected the instruction of Jehovah 


Of hosts, nent 

And despised the word of Israel's Holy One. 


Jehovah hath renounced his people, the house of Israel, 13. Je- 

For they are full of divination from the East, ^ui-^'^ 

And they practice magic like the Philistines. tude 

With foreigners they make compacts. thlpre- 

Their land is full of silver and gold, ^^^^^ 

And endless are their treasures. stitions. 

Their land is full of horses, Sfsm" 

And countless are their chariots. fdi)fatry 

And their land is full of idols, (2 '■') 
The work of their own hands they worship, 
That which their own fingers have made. 

My people — a boy is their leader, 

And women rule over them ! ^^^^y 

My people — thy guides lead thee astray ^'r^^nt 

And thy highways they have brought to ruin. ?uSre 

Jehovah standeth forth to present his case, 15. Je- 

And he standeth up to judge his people. chl?ge^ 

Jehovah entereth into judgment thJ'"** 

With the elders of his people and their princes, eiders 

*Ye yourselves have devoured the vineyard, [ \ 

The spoils of the needy are in your houses. <"") 
What do you mean by crushing my people 




And by grinding the face of the needy?' 
Is the oracle of the Lord Jehovah of hosts. 

16. And Jehovah saith: Because Zion's daughters are haughty 
J^4T And walk with heads held high, and wanton glances, 
await- Tripping along as they go and jingling with their ankles, 
p^roud? Therefore, the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the 
women ^cad of the daughters of Zion, 

(316.17.24 ^jj^ Jehovah will expose their shame. 

And instead of perfume, there shall be rottenness ; 

And instead of a girdle, a rope ; instead of carefully arranged 

hair, baldness. 
And instead of the beautiful garment, sackcloth; branding, 

instead of beauty. 
Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy warriors in 

And Zion's gates shall sigh and lament, and she shall sit on 

the ground despoiled. 
And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, 
Saying: *Our own bread will we eat, and our own garments 

will we wear, 
Only let us bear thy name; take thou away our disgrace!* 

17. Is- A message the Lord sends against Jacob, 

JIfim- And it falls upon Israel, 

it? ^* ^^ *^^* *^® entire people shall know it — 

hands Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, 

fl^^ Who are so lifted up with pride and haughtiness of heart 

(9 »-'») that they say, 

* Bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn 
stones ; 

Sycamores have been cut down, but we will set cedars 
in their place.* 

Therefore Jehovah hath stirred up their oppressors, 

And spurred on their enemies against them, 

Aram on the east and the Philistines on the west, 

To devour Israel greedily. 

For all this his anger is not turned away, 

And his hand is outstretched still. 


tion of 


But the people turn not to him who smites them, is.De- 

And Jehovah they do not seek. 

So Jehovah hath cut off from Israel head and tail, the 

Palm-branch and rush in one day ; Iratnd 

The elder and the prominent man — he is the head, (i^afjj'^ 

The prophet who gives false oracles — he is the tail. 

Thus the guides of this people prove misleaders. 

And those who are led by them are devoured. 

Therefore the Lord spareth not their stalwart youths, 

And on their orphans and widows he hath no pity. 

For each of them is godless and an evil-doer, 

And every mouth speaks impious folly. 

For all this his anger is not turned away. 

And his hand is outstretched still. 

For unrighteousness burns like a fire 19. 

Which consumes thorns and briars ; oSrL- 

And kindles in the thickets of the forest, sion of 

And they roll up columns of smoke. ciaS ^ 

Because of the wrath of Jehovah the land is consumed, ^'' "> 

And the people become food for the flames. 

No one has pity on his fellows ; 

They cut off slices on the right, yet are hungry. 

They devour on the left, yet are unsatisfied. 

Each devours his neighbor's flesh : 

Manasseh, Ephraim and Ephraim, Manasseh ; 

And both together are against Judah. 

For all this his anger is not turned away. 

And his hand is outstretched still. 

Woe to those who set up iniquitous decrees, 20. 

And the scribes who devote themselves to writing op- ^[^f^^ 
pression, the op- 

To turn aside the dependent from securing justice, ^JT^" 

To despoil the afliicted of my people of their right, (*« '*> 

That widows may be their prey, 
And that they may despoil orphans ! 
What, then, will you do in the day of punishment. 
And of the driving tempest which shall come from afar? 
To whom will you flee for aid, 



And where will you leave your wealth? 
Only as they crouch under the captives, 
And fall under the slain. 
For all this his anger is not turned away, 
And his hand is outstretched still. 

21 Therefore he will raise a signal to a distant nation, 

fu(S-°^ ^^ w^ll ^iss to it to come from the end of the earth. 

mentat And bchold, quickly, swiftly it will come. 

hand There will be none weary nor any who stumble; 

fn^dSci- '^^^ girdle of their loins is not loosened 

biefor- And the thong of their sandals does not tear, 

ilT Whose arrows are sharpened, 

^uc)^'"' And whose bows are all bent. 

The hoofs of their horses are counted as flint. 

And their wheels are counted as a whirlwind. 

Their roaring is like that of a lion, 

Like young lions they roar and growl ; 

They seize their prey and escape, and none rescues it. 

For all this his anger is not turned away. 

And his hand is outstretched still. 

I. The Present Form of the Book of Isaiah. It is clear that the book 
of Isaiah in its present form is the result of frequent and fundamental 
revision. The fact that Isaiah's writings have been repeatedly supple- 
mented and reedited illustrates the esteem and devotion with which 
the prophet was regarded by subsequent generations. The noble 
prophecies in chapters 40-66, which interpret Israel's universal mission, 
are now generally recognized as coming from a period certainly not ear- 
lier than the Babylonian exile. Many later passages have also been in- 
serted in the first thirty-nine chapters, in which are found the original 
sermons of Isaiah, the son of Amoz. The result of this repeated re- 
vision is that a clear-cut literary analysis of the book is practically im- 
possible. Eight or nine general divisions may be distinguished in the 
first thirty-nine chapters. 

The book opens with a general introduction, chapter 1, and a httle 
group of social sermons, chapters 2-5, to which also belongs 9^-10*. 
Then follows the account of Isaiah's activity in 734 B.C., recorded in 
chapters 7 and 8. These chapters are in turn introduced by an ac- 
count of his call in chapter 6, and are supplemented by later Messianic 



prophecies (9^'^, 11, 12). Next comes a large collection of foreign 
prophecies of various dates (1^23). Chapters 24-27 contain certain 
very late prophecies. In chapters 28-31 are found selections from 
Isaiah's sermons preached in connection with the great crisis of 701 B.C. 
Chapters 34 and 35 contain a post-exilic apocalypse. The historical 
chapters, 36 and 37, record the closing years of Isaiah's activity, and 
38 and 39 certain incidents preceding the invasion of Sennacherib in 
701 B.C. 

II. The Different Periods of Isaiah's Activity. Isaiah's pro- 
phetic work may be divided into four distinct periods. The first, ex- 
tending from about 738 to 735 B.C., is represented by the account of 
his call and the stirring social sermons found in chapters 2 to 5 and 9^-10*. 
The second period was the great crisis of 735-4 B.C., when Tiglath- 
pileser IV's impending invasion of Palestine led the kings of Damascus 
and Northern Israel to attempt to force Judah to join them in opposing 
the common foe. Chapters 17^'^^ and 7 and 8, clearly belong to this 
period. The third period extends from 710 to 701 B.C., and culminates 
in the first great invasion of Sennacherib. The fourth and last period of 
Isaiah's activity was apparently connected with a second western cam- 
paign of Sennacherib about 690 B.C. 

III. Isaiah's First Address. Owing to the lack of chronological 
arrangement in the book of Isaiah, it is impossible to determine with 
absolute certainty which chapter contains his earliest public address. 
From the present order it has been generally inferred that it is to be 
found in chapters 2 and 3. The reference, however, to children ruHng 
over the land is generally, and with great plausibility, interpreted as 
applying to Ahaz. If so, this sermon must be dated several years after 
Isaiah's call in 738 B.C. Its powerful arraignment of the nation, and 
especially of the ruling classes, suggests that when it was uttered, 
Isaiah's reputation and authority as a prophet had already been estab- 
lished. It also reflects national corruption and weakness which did 
not become glaringly apparent until some years after the death of 

On the other hand, the addresses contained in chapter 5 clearly 
come from the earliest period of Isaiah's activity. Apparently he came 
before the elders of Jerusalem as an unknown, inexperienced prophet, 
and was fully aware of the need of superlative tact and poetic skill to 
win a hearing for his unpleasant message. Like the opening sermon 
of Amos, the theme of chapter 5 is social injustice. It voices, in the name 
of Jehovah, the burning indignation which filled the soul of the prophet 



as he viewed the greedy monopolies, the gross intemperance, the disre- 
gard of responsibilities, and the sceptical and defiant attitude of the rulers 
of the nation. It may therefore, with considerable assurance, be re- 
garded as Isaiah's first sermon. 

IV. The Song of the Vineyard. It takes little imagination to pict- 
ure the situation. The occasion was probably one of the festivals 
when the people were all assembled at Jerusalem, ready .and eager to 
listen to the stories of the professional story-tellers and the songs of their 

To an audience, made up for the most part of those who were either 
vine-dressers or owners of vineyards, no theme could have been of 
greater interest than that which I'saiah chose for his opening song. The 
meter which he used was the dramatic five-beat measure, which was 
employed either to express deep sorrow or supreme joy. In this mar- 
vellous parable in song the narrative element is also especially prominent. 

In his opening words, Isaiah pictures in detail the steps that were 
taken by his unknown friend to develop a fruitful vineyard. He then 
turns to his hearers and demands that they decide what should be done 
with a vineyard, thus carefully nurtured, which bore only sour, useless 
grapes. While they are nodding their approval of the justice of the de- 
cision to tear it down and make it a waste, the prophet interprets his 
parable: Jehovah is the friend, Judah is the carefully nurtured vine- 
yard which has borne only the wild grapes. His hearers stood con- 
demned by the very principles which they had so readily accepted only 
a moment before. 

V. The Crimes of Judah's Leaders. The six or seven woes which 
follow may have been a part of Isaiah's original address, or they may 
have been taken f-rom other and later sermons. Their present position, 
however, is exceedingly appropriate. They describe in impassioned 
words those heinous crimes, which made it necessary for Jehovah to 
destroy his vineyard Judah. These are the same evils which have dis- 
graced civilization through all the ages. They are the fruits of bestial 
selfishness and greed and class pride, entrenched behind the bulwarks 
of wealth and authority. 

Isaiah saw clearly in little Judah the pernicious effects of land mo- 
nopoly. Men, who were intent merely upon securing freedom from in- 
trusion and the selfish enjoyment of nature's beauties, had built up great 
estates by purchase and legalized injustice. The prophet could fully 
appreciate the enjoyment which these great landed estates brought to 
their owners, for he himself belonged to the ruling class; but he also saw 



the other side: the masses deprived by necessity or compulsion of their 
hereditary holdings, hungry and ill-clad, and crowded in the narrow 
lanes of the city or else forced to toil as slaves for cruel masters on the 
very lands which had been held by their fathers. In endeavoring to 
correct these social evils, Isaiah necessarily appealed to a higher law 
than that recognized by his land and age: the right of every man to en- 
joy as the reward of his labors the common gifts of nature. Isaiah 
also boldly asserted the responsibility of wealth and the guilt of all who 
disregarded that responsibility. With his keen inspired insight, he saw 
the baneful economic and political effects of the selfish luxury and de- 
bauchery of those who were called by birth and wealth to be the lead- 
ers and guardians of the masses. In imagination he beheld his nation 
rapidly rushing on to the ruin which awaited it, and on the distant 
canvas of the future he caught a glimpse of Jerusalem and Judah 
desolate and in ruins, with cattle feeding where stood prosperous 

His message of warning and condemnation was also directed toward 
those who persisted in their foolish, guilty course, defying Jehovah to 
punish them if he would. Their attitude is the first shadow of scepti- 
cism which sweeps across the page of Israel's history, and is one of the 
early fruits of that artificial, corrupt civilization which had begun to 
engulf Judah during the prosperous reign of Uzziah. Akin to the 
defiant sceptics, were the sophists of that early day, who blinked at 
facts and deliberately perverted their own judgment and that of the 
community, so that crime passed as virtue, while the simple virtues of 
justice, honesty, and mercy were held in derision. 

With indignant scorn the prophet pointed his finger at the men who 
were wise simply in their own eyes, but who had lost the true perspective 
by which to judge themselves and their fellows. With biting sarcasm 
he addressed those who boasted of their valiant achievements, not on 
the battle-field or in the service of their nation, but in excelling each other 
in drinking and mixing strong drinks; who corrupted public tribunals 
and took pleasure in maligning the innocent. 

As Isaiah analyzed existing social and political conditions, he was 
filled with alarm. Although called to a unique destiny, Jehovah's 
people were constantly resorting to heathen divination and magic and 
were putting their trust in full treasuries and a strong army, and in 
idols made with their own hands, rather than in their divine king who 
alone could deliver them. Even in the hearts of the women, and espe- 
cially of the wives of the nobles, there were no traces of pity and love, 



but, instead, simply pride and a consuming ambition to surpass each 
other in displaying their personal beauty and attire occupied their en- 
tire attention. Isaiah saw clearly that such a nation could fight only a 
losing battle, and that such women could learn only through the grievous 
oriental disgrace of childlessness and the woes of widowhood, how dis- 
astrous it is to stifle the divine impulses of kindness and mercy. 

VI. Jehovah's Judgments upon Israel and Judah. In the ninth 
and tenth chapters, and in the closing verses of the fifth chapter, is 
found a powerful address, in which Isaiah develops still further the in- 
evitable consequences of social corruption. It consists of five stanzas 
of fourteen lines each bound together by the terrible refrain: 

For all this his anger is not turned away. 
And his hand is outstretched still. 

In the first strophe he portrays the false confidence of the Northern 
Israelites, who were shutting their eyes to the calamities, which had 
overtaken them, and vainly dreaming of Israel's future glory. In 
the next strophe he analyzes the reason for the national decay, and re- 
iterates the conclusion of Amos that it is because "they do not seek 
Jehovah" and because their leaders have proved misleaders. 

Isaiah then describes the greed and social crime of these leaders. 
He likens them to cannibals who feed upon the flesh of their own kins- 
men. He also denounces those who make the law an instrument for 
oppressing and crushing the people. 

In the concluding stanza the prophet pictures the irresistible advance 
of the Assyrians. The passage recalls the vivid battle scenes on the 
contemporary Assyrian monuments. One can hear in Isaiah's power- 
ful words the beat of the horses* hoofs, the rattle of the chariot 
wheels, and the roar of the oncoming host; but, above all the follies 
and crimes of rulers and people and the shock of battle, one can 
see, through the eye of the prophet, the majestic God of holiness, 
meting out impartial justice to high and low, to Israelite and heathen 

Thus, in the language and historical setting of his own day, Isaiah 
laid down certain universal social principles which humanity has been 
slow to appreciate and apply. It is exceedingly significant that he had 
practically nothing to say about the crimes of the petty criminals, who 
doubtless figured most prominently in the public eye and before the 
law-courts of his day. The prophet evidently considered these minor 



criminals, whom society is always so ready to condemn and punish, as 
comparatively harmless. All his denunciations and warnings are directed 
against the great criminals, the men of position, culture, and wealth, 
who were regarded as the pillars of society and the champions of the 
state religion. The majority of them were doubtless living up to the 
standards of their class; but those standards tolerated shameful in- 
justice and oppression, under the guise of law and religion, and a fatal 
disregard of the higher responsibilities which the strong and wealthy 
and those who rule owe to their weaker fellow-countrymen. Isaiah, 
like Amos, declared that these men "who sat at ease" were the really 
dangerous foes of the nation — the traitors who were betraying its 
most vital interests. The danger was all the greater because their 
guilt was scarcely recognized by themselves or by the rank and file of 
the nation. The crimes of Judah's ruling and wealthy classes were 
doubtless little worse than those of the same classes to-day. They were 
the products of a false system; but the moment was supremely signifi- 
cant in human history; for at last a man was found, who was able 
clearly to analyze the situation, to step out of his class and to place the 
responsibility for the nation's corruption precisely where it belonged. 

735 B.C. 

In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah i. 
Ahaz the son of Jotham became king of Judah. Twenty ^ng-' 
years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and he reigned ifjjjs^ 
sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do that which (iVkI 
pleased Jehovah his God, as did David his ancestor, but *^'"'^ 
walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He also made his 
son to pass through fire according to the abominations of the 
nations, whom Jehovah drove out before the Israelites. 
And he sacrificed and burnt their offerings on the high 
places and on the hills and under every green tree. 

Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah 2. At- 
came up to attack Jerusalem ; and they besieged Ahaz, but {£? °' 
could not overcome him. At that time the king of Edom j^'*^- 
recovered Elath for Edom and drove the Judahites from f^ 
Elath; and the Edomites came to Elath and have dwelt ^'*'^ 
there until the present day. 



Now when it was reported to the house of David that 
Aram had settled down upon Ephraim, Ahaz's heart and the 
heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake 
before the wind. 

Then Jehovah said to Isaiah: Go forth now to meet 
Ahaz, together with thy son, Shear-jashub, at the end of 
the conduit of the upper pool on the highway by the fuller's 
field, and say to him, *Take heed and keep thyself calm; 
fear not, neither be faint hearted because of these two fag 
ends of smoking firebrands, because of the fierce anger of 
Rezin and Aram, and the son of Remaliah. For Aram hath 
purposed evil against thee with Ephraim and the son of 
Remaliah, saying, " Let us go up against Judah and dis- 
tress it and overpower it and appoint the son of Tabeal king 
in its midst." * 

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 

It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 

For the head of Aram is Damascus, 

And the head of Damascus is Rezin, 

And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, 

And the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. 

If ye will not hold fast. 
Verily ye shall not stand fast. 

And Jehovah spoke further to Ahaz, saying: Ask thee a 
sign of Jehovah, thy God; ask it either in the depth of 
Sheol or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, 
neither will I put Jehovah to the test. 

Then Isaiah said: Hear now, house of David, is it too 
small a thing for you to weary men that ye must also weary 
my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: 
behold a young woman will conceive and bear a son and 
call his name Immanuel. Curds and honey will be his 
food, when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the 
good. For before the child shall know how to refuse the 
evil and choose the good, the land of those kings thou dread- 
est shall be forsaken. Jehovah will bring upon thee, and 
upon thy people and upon thy father's house, days such as 
have not been since the day Ephraim departed from Judah. 



And in that day Jehovah will hiss to the flies and the bees 9. com- 
And they shall all come and settle down, Si?of 

In the ravines between the heights and in the clefts of the g^ruc-^" 

rocks, tion 

And on all thorn bushes and on all pastures. wrought 

i)y Je- 

In that day the Lord will shave ^|!"^ 

With a razor that is hired beyond the Euphrates, syna 

The head and the hidden hair, 
And the beard also will it take away. 

And in that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two 

And because of the abundance of milk which they shall 

produce he shall live on curds ; 
For curds and honey shall be the food of all who are left in 

the midst of the land. 

And in that day wherever there used to be a thousand vines, 

worth a thousand pieces of silver. 
That place shall be but thorns and briars. 
With arrows and with bow will men come thither; 
For all the land will become thorns and briars. 
And as for all the mountains which used to be hoed, 
None will go thither for fear of thorns and briars. 
And it shall be a place where cattle shall be sent and sheep 

shall trample. 

Then Jehovah said to me. Take thee a large tablet and ^o^Tbe 
write upon it in plain characters: tablet 

(8 1- =•) 


and take for me, as trusty witnesses, Uriah the priest and 
Zechariah, the son of Jeberechiah. 

And I went in unto the prophetess and she conceived and ii. 
bore a son. And Jehovah said. Call his name Maher- 5^^®- 
shalal-hash-baz (Swift booty speedy prey); for before the f^^ 
boy knows how to cry, * My father * and * My mother,* they (°°«) 



will carry off the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Sa- 
maria before the king of Assyria. 

Soon shall Damascus cease to be a city 

And shall lie in ruins forever. 

Its cities shall be given up to flocks 

And they shall lie down there with none to disturb. 

Ephraim shall lose her bulwark, 

And Damascus her sovereignty ; 

And the rest of Aram shall perish; 

Like the Israelites shall they be, 

Is the oracle of Jehovah of hosts. 

And in that day shall the glory of Jacob grow dim, 

And the fatness of his flesh disappear ; 

And it shall be as when a harvester gathers standing 

m And his arms reaps the ears. 

'.^^ Yea, it shall be as when he gleans in the valley of 

And the gleanings thereof shall be left as at the beating 
of an olive tree : 
1^' Two or three berries on the topmost branch, 

:^ Four or five on the boughs of a fruit tree — 

^ It is the oracle of the God of Israel. 

Then Jehovah spoke yet further to me, saying: 

Because this people have rejected the waters of Shiloah 

which flow softly. 
And are dismayed because of Rezin and the son of Remaliah, 
Therefore the Lord is about to bring upon them the waters 

of the River Euphrates, the mighty and great. 
And it shall rise above all its channels and overflow all its 

And it shall sweep onward into Judah, shall overflow and 

pass over it, reaching even to the neck. 
And its outstretching wings shall cover the breadth of thy 

land, Immanuel. 



For thus Jehovah said to me, forcibly mastering me and 15. The 

instructing me not to walk in the way of this people : suffi- 


Call ye not conspiracy all that this people calleth con- for 

Spiracy. fe"ar* 

What they fear do not fear nor be filled with dread. ^"""^ 

Jehovah of hosts, him regard as the conspirator ! 

Let him be your fear and your dread ! 

For he will be a stumbling block and a stone to strike 

And a rock of stumbling to both the houses of Israel, 
A trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 
Many among them shall stumble and fall. 
And they shall be broken and snared and taken. 

Binding up the admonition and sealing the instruction le.isa- 
among my disciples, I will wait for Jehovah who is hiding jg^^^ 
his face from the house of Jacob, and in him will I trust, cjpies 
Behold, I and the children whom Jehovah hath given me hope"^ 
are signs and symbols in Israel from Jehovah of hosts who future^ 
dwells in Mount Zion. i''-") 

But Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of 17. 
Assyria, saying, I am your servant and your son; come up ^rlbutl 
and deliver me from the power of the king of Aram and from to as- 
the power of the king of Israel, who have attacked me. (ff k. 
Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were found in the *^ ^'^ 
temple of Jehovah and in the treasures of the royal palace, 
and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria. And the 
king of Assyria listened to him. So the king of Assyria 
went up against Damascus and took it and carried its in- 
habitants captive to Kir and put Rezin to death. 

Now when King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath- is. The 
pileser king of Assyria, he saw there the altar that was at aite?^"^ 
Damascus. Then King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest a jftro- 
model of the altar and a pattern of all the details of its con- by'^^ 
struction. And Urijah the priest built an altar, exactly P^,] 
corresponding to what King Ahaz had sent from Damascus ; 
even thus Urijah the priest made it beford King Ahaz re- 



.umed from Damascus. And when the king returned from 
Damascus and saw the altar, the king drew near to the altar, 
went up on it, and burnt his burnt-offering and his cereal- 
offering, and poured out his libation on the altar. And the 
brazen altar, which stood before Jehovah, he brought from 
the front of the temple, from between his altar and the 
temple of Jehovah, and put it on the north side of his altar. 
And King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying. On 
the great altar burn the morning burnt-offering and the 
evening cereal-offering and the king's burnt-offering and 
his cereal-offering,with the burnt-offering of all the people 
of the land, and their cereal-offering and their libations, and 
sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt-offering and all 
the blood of the sacrifice ; but the brazen altar shall be for 
me to inquire by. Thus did Urijah the priest, just as King 
Ahaz commanded. 

19. King Ahaz also cut off the border-frames of the stands 
Si^anges ^ud removed the laver from them; he also took down the 
temple ^®^ from the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon 
(" '8) a stone pedestal. And the covered way for the sabbath, that 

they had built in the temple, and the outer entrance for the 
king, he sent away from the temple of Jehovah for the sake 
of the king of Assyria. 

20. End Now the other acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not 
Ahaz's recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And 
Jpj\^. Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers 

in the city of David. And Hezekiah his son became king 
in his place. 

21. In the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah king of Israel, 
Mlh'l Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 
poHcy H® w^s twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and 
08 »» he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his 

mother's name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 
And he did that which pleased Jehovah, just as David his 
ancestor had done. He drove back the Philistines to Gaza 
and conquered its territory from the watch-tower to the 
fortified city. 

I. The Political Situation. When Pekah mounted the throne of 
Northern Israel, after assassinating the reigning king, his avowed 




policy was to throw off the yoke of Assyria (cf. § LXXII). To this end 
he formed an alliance with Damascus; and these two northern Pales- 
tinian states soon set about forming a coalition of the neighboring 
peoples to check the advance of Tiglath-pileser IV. Already this ener- 
getic usurper of the Assyrian throne had revealed his ability and am- 
bition. To the well-informed statesmen of the day it must have been 
apparent that it was futile for the petty states of Palestine to oppose him. 
Hitherto, little Judah had been protected by its remoteness and in- 
significance from close relations with Assyria. Public opinion evidently 
favored a continuation of this policy; but when Ahaz refused to join the 
league against Assyria, Judah was threatened with invasion. In the 
light of the situation three possibilities presented themselves: (1) Ahaz 
might submit to the demands of the Northern Israelites and Arameans; 
but in so doing he would declare himself an open foe of Assyria. (2) He 
might throw himself into the hands of Assyria and trust the Assyrian 
armies to save him from the attack of his immediate neighbors. (3) 
He might refuse to make any alliances and wait for the future to dis- 
close the wisest policy. 

II. Isaiah^s Advice to Ahaz. It was at the crisis, when the north- 
ern foes were reported as rapidly advancing and the king was inspecting 
the water supply of the city, probably with a view to putting it into a 
state of defence, that the young Isaiah sought out the king in order to 
communicate to him the prophetic counsel. The date of this memorable 
interview with Ahaz was about 735 B.C. The scene was near the upper 
pool, probably in the lower Tyropcean valley, south of Jerusalem. 
Isaiah's aim was to influence Ahaz not to submit to the demands of 
Israel and Damascus, but rather to trust calmly In Jehovah and to 
enter into no entangling alliances. His estimate of the strength of these 
northern invaders was entirely just, and the figure which he employed in 
describing them was strong and apt. While their preparations to oppose 
Assyria and to force Judah to join them seemed formidable, they had 
little real strength or resources, as the event proved, and were destined 
within two or three years to go down in ruin before the armies of 
Tiglath-pileser IV. In holding fast to its traditional policy and in an 
abiding faith in Jehovah alone lay Judah's way of deliverance. 

III. Isaiah's Sign to Ahaz. In his zeal to convince the king of the 
truth of his prophetic message, Isaiah used language which must be 
interpreted as figurative and hyperbolical. It is impossible to believe 
that he offered literally to bring about forthwith an earthquake or an 
eclipse, should it be asked for, in order to strengthen the wavering faith 



of the king. The simplicity of the sign which follows indicates that the 
statement was but Isaiah's method of making his message graphic and 
impressive and of expressing his absolute faith in the God whose glory 
filled the whole earth. The reply of Ahaz revealed to Isaiah the fact 
that the king did not wish to be impressed, and aroused the suspicion — 
which later events proved to be true — that in order to save himself 
from the attack of his immediate foes, Ahaz was already entering into 
cowardly negotiations with Tiglath-pileser. Isaiah's distrust of the 
king is revealed in his indignant denunciation of Ahaz's refusal to ask 
a sign. The sign which Isaiah then gave him was evidently intended 
to impress two facts upon the mind of the king: (1) that the events 
predicted would transpire soon, and (2) that not only would Judah's 
foes, Aram and Israel, be speedily destroyed at the hands of the 
Assyrians, but that Judah also would suffer the consequences of its 
cowardly policy. 

The Greek translators (in using the word, virgin) and later interpre- 
ters have unfortunately obscured the original meaning of this sign. 
To make his message clear and graphic, the prophet simply stated that a 
young woman — possibly some one present in his audience, or else the 
wife of the prophet or the king — should bear a son and that his name 
might appropriately be called Immanuel. The meaning of the name, 
God with us, expresses the firm faith which guided Isaiah at this and 
other great crises in Judah's history. It was for lack of this faith that 
the king and people were committing a fatal error. As a result of their 
criminal folly, this child to be born, whose name was so full of promise, 
should himself suffer, while yet an infant, in common with his people, 
the painful consequences of Assyrian conquest. As a fugitive in the 
wilderness, he would be forced to subsist on the simple food which that 
life afforded, even curds and wild honey. 

IV. Effects of the Assyrian Advance. In the extracts which have 
been preserved from the remainder of Isaiah's address there is pictured, 
in a series of bold oracles abounding in striking imagery, the appalling 
fate which would overtake Judah in common with the other states of 
Palestine. In one picture the Assyrians are represented as coming like 
great swarms of flies and bees and settling down on all parts of the land. 
In another they are compared to a razor with which Jehovah will destroy 
the inhabitants of his land, so that the few fugitives who escape shall be 
forced to live on curds and wild honey, and the fertile cultivated lands 
shall become a howling wilderness, the haunt of hunters and of shep- 
herds with their flocks. 



V. Isaiah's Object Lessons. A patriot prophet, like Isaiah, was 
not content merely to proclaim his messages to the king. From the 
obdurate king and princes he appealed to the people, and spared no 
effort to impress his all-important message upon them. On a tablet, 
which he probably set up in the precincts of the temple, he wrote an in- 
scription which briejfly formulated his teaching at this time. Its mean- 
ing was that if Ahaz persisted in his policy of throwing himself into the 
hands of Assyria, rather than of trusting in Jehovah, Judah would soon 
experience the horrors of foreign conquest. Adopting the method of 
Hosea, he gave to the baby boy who was born to him at this time, not 
the name Immanuel but Maher-shalal-hash-baz, which conveyed the 
same urgent note of warning. 

From the same period, or probably a little earlier, came the stirring 
oracles of the seventeenth chapter of Isaiah's prophecies, the first two 
of which proclaim the speedy and complete overthrow of Damascus and 
Northern Israel. 

VI. The Consequences of Ahaz's Policy. In the address found 
in the latter part of the eighth chapter of his prophecies, Isaiah directly 
addresses the people. In their terror before the two northern kings, 
the Judahites had not only lost faith in Jehovah's beneficent, protecting 
care, symbohzed by the softly flowing waters of the pool of Siloam to 
the south of Jerusalem; but by their foolish policy they had incurred 
Jehovah's indignant wrath. Like the River Euphrates at flood time, 
when it was fed with the melting mountain snows, the Assyrians would 
come at Jehovah's command, sweeping over Aram and Northern Israel 
and inundating the land of Judah itself. 

From his blind, terror-stricken, insensate countrymen, Isaiah turned 
with confidence to the faithful few who had accepted his teaching. He 
realized that they and the members of his own family were the repository 
of those great, illuminating truths which would yet bring freedom and 
deliverance to his nation. For the present they alone must treasure his 
teachings until different rulers and counsels should prevail in Judah. 

The future proved the truth of Isaiah's words. The people con- 
tinued to put their trust in the mediums and the wizards and the repre- 
sentatives of the ancient heathen cults, instead of heeding the practical, 
living message of the prophet. Ahaz paid homage in person to Tiglath- 
pileser IV at Damascus, and Judah soon felt the hard heel of Assyria. 
In his zeal to ape foreign customs the king even introduced at Jerusalem 
itself an altar, modelled after the Assyrian type which he had seen at 
Damascus. The heavy tribute imposed by the Assyrians upon Judah 



produced a strong reaction against the policy of Ahaz, and during the 
next century the Hebrews learned to their horror what it meant to be 
both subjects and foes of Assyria. 

i.isa- In the year that the Tartan came to Ashdod, sent by 


^To\ ^^^^ it— at that time Jehovah spoke through Isaiah, the son 
?cT ' of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy 

Sargon, king of Assyria, and attacked Ashdod and cap- 


^}f-i.j) loins and thy sandal from off thy foot. And he did so, 

going naked and barefoot. 
2. Its And Jehovah said, Just as my servant Isaiah hath gone 

mean- naked and barefoot three years as a sign and a warning to 
paptiv- Egypt and Ethiopia, so will the king of Assyria lead away 
LiTwho the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, youths and 
Assyria ^^^ men, naked and barefoot, with their bodies exposed. 
(*^) And they who look to Ethiopia and boast of Egypt shall be 
dismayed and put to shame. And the inhabitants of this 
coast-land shall say in that day, * Behold, if such is the fate 
of those to whom we looked and to whom we fled for help 
to be delivered from the king of Assyria, how can we our- 
selves escape?' 
s.Heze- At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan king 
atti-^ of Babylon, also sent eunuchs with a present to Hezekiah; 
towird ^^^ ^® ^^^ heard that Hezekiah had been sick. And Heze- 
the kiah was glad to see them, and showed them all his treasure- 
lonmn house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, and 
ffj'lj his armory and all that was found among his treasures; 
20" 'i3) there was nothing in his palace nor in all his dominion that 

Hezekiah did not show them. 
4. isa- Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said 
con- to him. What did these men say? and from whence, pray, 
Son of' ^^ ^^^y come to you? And Hezekiah said. They have come 
Heze- from a far country, from Babylon. And he said. What 
aSion have they seen in your palace? And Hezekiah answered, 
("") Tjjey have seen all that is in my palace; there is nothing 
among my treasures that I did not show them. Then 
Isaiah said to Hezekiah : Hear the word of Jehovah^ * The 



days are quickly coming, when all that is in your palace and 
that which your fathers have stored up to this day shall be 
carried to Babylon — nothing shall be left,* saith Jehovah. 
*And of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you shall 
beget, shall they take away to be eunuchs in the palace of 
the king of Babylon.' Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, Good 
is the word of Jehovah which you have spoken. For he 
thought. As long as I live there shall be peace and stability. 

The rulers in Jerusalem stagger with wine and reel with ^^^^^^ 
strong drink; Sf5u-^ 

Priest and prophet stagger with strong drink, tifals 

They reel when they have a vision and totter when they ^^'j_ g. 
render a decision. 

All tables are full of vomit — filth in every place ! 

Whom [they say] would he teach knowledge and to whom 6. . 
make clear the revelation? con-"^ 

To those who are just weaned from the milk and drawn from jlf^^ 

the breast? Isaiah's 

For it is precept upon precept, and precept upon precept, Iter* 
Line upon line, and line upon line, here a little and there a Yn^' 
little. (»• ") 

Yea, through a gibbering speech and a foreign tongue 7. as- 

Jehovah will surely speak to this people— who said to tS^^ 

them, <^*^em to 

. . . appre- 

This IS the true rest ; grant rest to the weary ; cfate 

And this is the true refreshing! but they are not willing to hovah's 


hear. ^^re 

Therefore Jehovah's words shall be to them, precept upon s. 

precept, and precept upon precept, f^peA- 

Line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a enceto ' * ' impress 

httle, the 

So that, as they go, they shall stumble backward, \u)°" 
And they shall be broken, and ensnared and taken. 



9. The Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, ye scornful men, 

future Ye rulers of this people which is in Jerusalem : 

thelS- Because ye have said, * We have entered into a treaty with 

tiiity of death, 

anJf the And with Sheol we have made a contract ; 

Stif "^ When the overwhelming scourge comes on it shall not reach 

(}'■'') us. 

For we have made a lie our trust and in falsehood we have 
taken refuge,' 

Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, 

Behold, I lay in Zion a tried stone, 

A precious corner stone as a sure foundation ; 

He who believes shall not be moved. 

And I will make justice the measuring line and righteous- 
ness the plummet. 

And hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters shall 
overflow the hiding place. 

And your covenant with death shall be broken. 

And your compact with Sheol shall not stand ; 

When the overwhelming scourge passes over you, ye shall 
be trampled down thereby. 

10. Woe to the rebellious sons, is the oracle of Jehovah, 
Sdfs^ Carrying out a plan which is not mine, 

[ega^rd- Establishing a treaty contrary to my spirit, 

h^vah's So that they heap sin upon sin ; 

(301-8) Who would set out for Egypt without asking my de- 

To flee to the shelter of Pharaoh, 
And to seek refuge in the shadow of Egypt. 
The shelter of Pharaoh will be your shame. 
And the refuge in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 

11. For though the princes are in Zoan 
ncfheip And his messengers reach Hanes, 

snire They shall all be put to shame by a people which profits 

(♦^-^r them nothing, 

A people which brings no help, but only shame and dis- 



Among the beasts of the south country, in the land of 

trouble and distress, 
Of the roaring lion and lioness, the viper and flying 

They carry their wealth on the backs of asses. 
And their treasure upon the humps of camels 
To a people which cannot profit, even Egypt, 
Whose help is only vanity and nothingness. 
Therefore I name this nation, * the quelled monster. 

Now go in, write it down and on a book inscribe it, 12. De. 

That it may be for later times a witness forever, Jg^*-. 

For it is a rebellious people, lying sons, rate at- 

Sons who will not heed Jehovah's instruction, of thi 

Who say to the seers. See not! ^8^f,\°° 

And to those who have visions. Give us no vision of 

what is right ! 
Speak to us what is agreeable, give us false visions ! 
Turn from the way, go aside from the path. 
Trouble us no more with * Israel's Holy One.' 

Therefore, thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye re- 13. its 
ject this word, Sf^^^' 

And trust in perverseness and crookedness and rely thereon, ^onse 
Therefore this guilty act shall be to you (« 

Like a bulging breach in a high wall about to fall. 
Suddenly, in an instant will come its destruction. 
Yea, its destruction shall be as when one dashes an earthen 

vessel in pieces, shattering it ruthlessly. 
So that not a potsherd is found among the pieces 
With which to take up fire from the hearth or to draw water 
from a cistern. 

For thus, saith the Lord Jehovah, Israel's Holy One, i4. 

By repenting and remaining quiet ye shall be delivered, i^e^'^ 

In resting and trusting shall your strength consist. policy 

But ye refused and said : Nay, fatai'*^ 

On horses will we ride. Therefore shall ye flee ! '(?6% 
And, On swift steeds will we ride. Therefore your pursuers 
shall be swift! 





Each thousand shall flee at the war-cry of one, 
From the war-cry of five ye shall flee till ye are but a rem- 
Like a pole on the top of a mountain and like a signal on a 

15. Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, 
a?aPn Who rely on horses and on chariots because they are many, 
ddiv- And who trust in horsemen because they are many, 
{W^*) But who look not to Israel's Holy One nor consult Jehovah! 
But he also is wise and brings calamity and does not recall 

his words. 
He will arise against the house of evil-doers and against the 

helper of transgressors. 
Yea, the Egyptians are men and not God and their horses 

are flesh, not spirit, 
Jehovah will stretch out his hand so that the helper shall 

And the helped one shall also fall, and they shall all go down 

For this hath Jehovah said to me : 
*As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey. 
When all the shepherds are summoned against him. 
But at their shouting is not terrified and at their noise not 

daunted ; 
So shall Jehovah of hosts come down to battle against the 

mount and hill of Zion.' 

16.F0I- Hear, heavens, and give heed, earth, for Jehovah 

ingrati- speaketli : 

tude of Sons have I reared and placed on high, but they have proved 

hovah's false to me. 

people jj^g ^^ knows its owner and the ass its master's crib 

While Israel has no knowledge, my people no insight! 

Ah ! sinful nation, people deep-laden with guilt, 

Race of evil-doers, perverse children! They have forsaken 

They have spurned Israel's Holy One, they have become re- 



On what place can you yet be smitten since you still go on i7. Ju- 

rebelling? pftiabie 

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint, J?^^" 

From the sole of the foot to the head there are only wounds ('") 

and bruises and fresh blows. 
Which have not been pressed nor bound up nor softened 

with oil. 
Your land is a desolation, your cities are burned with fire. 
Your tilled land before your eyes — aliens are devouring it, 
And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, 
Like a lodge in a field of cucumbers, like a watch-tower. 
Unless Jehovah of hosts had left us a remnant, 
We would have been just as Sodom, we would have been like 


Hear Jehovah's message, ye chieftains of Sodom, is.Use- 

Give heed to the instruction of your God, ye people of Go- ofthf ^ 
morrah: J^^^ 

What care I for the vast number of your sacrifices? saith of cere- 
Jehovah, xr^ 

I am sated with burnt-offerings of rams and the fat of fed ^^o^i^ 

And in the blood of bullocks and lambs and he-goats I take 
no pleasure. 

When ye appear before me — who has required this of you? 

To trample my courts — bring no more offerings. 

Vain is the sweet odor of the sacrifice — it is an abomination 
to me; 

New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies — 

I am not able to endure a fast and a solemn meeting. 

Your new moons and your appointed days my soul hateth. 

They are a burden to me ; I am tired of bearing it. 

When ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from i9. 

vnii Justice 

you. and 

Also, if ye make many prayers, I will not hear. ^^rcy 

Your hands are stained with blood ; wash, that ye mav be accept- 

clean; St'^'° 

Remove the evil of your deeds from before mine eyes. ^^Zf^ 
Cease to do evil; learn to do good; 



Seek justice ; relieve the oppressed ; 
Vindicate the orphan ; plead for the widow. 

20. Come now, let us agree together, saith Jehovah ; 

tioS*"' Though your sins be as scarlet, they may become white as 

and the snOW ; 

basis of Though they be red as crimson, they may become as wool ; 
n^^^' If ye willingly yield and are obedient, ye shall eat the good 
<""") of the land. 

But if ye refuse and resist, ye shall be devoured by the sword ; 

For the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it ! 


21. De- how hath she become an harlot, the faithful city, 
^^J^o7 Zion which was full of justice, where righteousness abode! 
lere jjjy silver is changed to dross, thy wine is mixed with water, 
people Thy rulers are unruly and companions of thieves. 
All of them love bribes and are running after fees. 
They do not vindicate the orphan, and the cause of the widow 
doth not affect them. 

22. The Therefore this is the oracle of the Lord, Jehovah of hosts! 
ough *Aha! I will vent my displeasure on my foes and take ven- 
?atfon geance on mine enemies ; 

of the And I will turn my hand against thee and burn away thy 
(jIm*)" dross in the furnace. 

And I will take away all thine alloy, 

I will make again thy rulers as at the first and thy counsel- 
lors as at the beginning ; 

Afterwards thou shalt be called Citadel of Righteousness, 
Faithful City.* 

23. Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Senna- 

SlK cherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities 
meas- of Judah aud took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent 
av?rt° to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; 
tiiK^ withdraw from me; whatever you lay on me I will bear. 
!»"-") And the king of Assyria made Hezekiah king of Judah pay 

three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 

And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the 



temple of Jehovah and in the treasures of the royal palace. 
At that time Hezekiah stripped the doors of the temple of 
Jehovah and the pillars, which Hezekiah king of Judah had 
overlaid, and gave [the gold] to the king of Assyria. 

I. The Spirit of Unrest in Palestine. Ahaz died about 715 B.C., 
leaving Judah under the heel of the Assyrian conqueror. The payment 
of the heavy tribute which was demanded soon proved a galhng burden 
to the different states of Palestine. Between 721 and 710 B.C., Mero- 
dach-baladan, of the Babylonian kingly hne, successfully rebelled 
against Assyria and ruled in the lower Tigris-Euphrates valley. His 
success undoubtedly influenced other tributary states of the great As- 
syrian empire to endeavor to throw off the hated yoke. Egypt also had 
recently been conquered by a certain Shabaka, an Ethiopian, whose am- 
bitions extended beyond Africa to southwestern Asia. Recognizing 
that Assyria was his natural rival, he sent emissaries to incite the 
Palestinian states to rebellion. The result was that throughout the 
Assyrian empire, and especially along the Mediterranean seaboard, 
the spirit of discontent and rebellion prevailed, affecting not only the 
common people, but even the rulers of Judah. 

II. Isaiah's Activity in 711 B.C. The connection between Philistia 
and Egypt had always been close. At this period the Philistine cities 
were at the height of their prosperity. It was natural, therefore, that 
the standard of revolt should first be raised in that quarter. Judah's 
nearest neighbors, the cities of Ashdod and Gath, took the initiative. 
In the face of a common danger, racial barriers had largely broken down 
in Palestine and the different peoples were in the closest communication 
with each other. From the inscription of the Assyrian king Sargon, 
it appears that in this critical year of 711 B.C., Judah, as well as Edom, 
Moab and Philistia, sent presents to the Pharaoh of Egypt in order to 
secure his help. Judah was evidently on the point of defying Assyria. 

It was at this crisis that Isaiah by his words and dramatic action ap- 
parently saved his nation from fatally compromising itself. We are 
told that he threw off his prophet's mantle and sandals, and went for 
three years barefoot and in the garb of a captive, as a dramatic object les- 
son to the people of Judah of the fate that would overtake them should 
they rebel against Assyria. 

When the Assyrian army appeared in Philistia under the leadership 
of a military commander or turtanu (referred to as the Tartan in the 
biblical narrative), the rebellious Philistine cities were quickly conquered 



and the chief offenders were transported. Judah and the other states 
of Palestine gave assurances of their loyalty, and peace was re- 
established. In 710 B.C., Sargon also conquered Babylonia and 
drove Merodach-baladan into exile, so that until the death of the great 
king, peace prevailed throughout the great Assyrian empire. 

III. The Embassy of Merodach=baladan. The death of Sargon, 
in 705 B.C., was the cause of great rejoicing among the vassal states of 
Assyria, and the occasion for many uprisings. Merodach-baladan re- 
appeared and again instigated a successful revolt in Babylonia. To 
strengthen his position, this Babylonian rebel sent his representatives 
to the different vassal states of the empire, seeking to influence them to 
join with him in his contest with Sennacherib who had succeeded his 
father Sargon. The biblical narrative records the arrival of these repre- 
sentatives in Jerusalem, and their favorable reception by Hezekiah. 
Isaiah, however, at once recognized the danger and denounced Heze- 
kiah for giving any encouragement to these representatives of a king 
who was then in open rebellion against Assyria. In the prophet's mind 
an alliance with any other than Jehovah, the God of the Hebrew race 
was treasonable; and rebellion against Assyria meant destruction. 
Forces and circumstances, however, were at work in Palestine which 
Isaiah could not control. Apparently he again stood alone, opposed by 
court and people, as he set before himseff the task of again saving Judah 
from entangling alliances. 

IV. Isaiah's Counsels in the Years 703—1 B.C. In chapters 
28^-31* are preserved extracts from the stirring sermons which Isaiah 
preached during these critical years. They reflect the contempt and 
taunts with which his earnest, sane counsels were received by the rulers 
of his people. They complain that his words are simply <^av la-qav, 
cav la-(^av; qav la-qav, qav la-qav, a constant reiteration of the same 
monotonous gabble. For men bent on rebellion and disgusted with 
the burden of foreign tribute, Isaiah's plain, reiterated statement of 
what would be the consequences of rebellion was in the highest degree 
distasteful. To these contemptuous words Isaiah could only respond that 
Judah's rulers and spiritual leaders were but drunken, and that their 
power of vision was hopelessly dulled. Since they had failed to listen 
and to perceive that true peace was to be secured not through diplomacy 
and dangerous alliances, but by putting their faith in the God who alone 
could deliver, they must learn this lesson from the lips and from the cruel 
acts of the foreign conqueror. When they should be crushed by national 
calamity, they would appreciate the truth of the prophet's plain message. 



A calm, serene, abiding faith in the Holy One, who was ever ready to 
protect and deliver his beloved city, was the only sure foundation, Isaiah 
asserted, on which the rulers of Judah should base their policy. The 
Egyptian alliance was fatal, for it would only bring certain calamity 
upon the nation. The attitude of the scornful rulers compelled Je- 
hovah, strange and distasteful as was the task, to rise in judgment against 
his own beloved people. 

Of the inherent weakness of the Egyptians, Isaiah was well aware. 
In his eyes their numbers and promises counted for nothing. The 
prophet's heart was breaking, as he saw his countrymen putting their 
trust in this weak arm of flesh and thereby spurning and defying the 
omnipotent God who was eagerly awaiting an opportunity to deliver 
his people. 

V. Judah's Fate. In the perspective of history the superlative wis- 
dom of Isaiah's counsel is clearly apparent. If his policy of "quietness 
and trust" had prevailed, Judah would not have been delivered from 
Assyrian tribute, but it would have escaped humiliation and the hor- 
rors of the "overwhelming scourge" and conquest which swept over it. 

The states of Tyre, Judah, Edom, Moab, Ammon, the Philistine 
cities and certain of the neighboring Bedouin tribes all united in a great 
alliance against Assyria. Hezekiah of Judah and Luli of Tyre were 
the leaders in the rebellion. Egypt promised to support them, and in 
the east they anticipated the co-operation of Merodach-baladan. 

Like all loose coalitions of this character, its weakness was quickly 
demonstrated. Merodach-baladan fell in 704 B.C., before the forces of 
Sennacherib, whose second expedition was directed against the Kassites 
in the Zagros mountains to the east. By 701 B.C., the Assyrian king was 
free to turn against the rebels in the west. Instead of uniting their forces, 
the allied states attempted, each to defend its own territory, and as a 
result they fell in rapid succession before the well-disciplined, powerful 
Assyrian army. With the exception of Tyre, which refused to surrender, 
the coast towns of Phoenicia and Philistia quickly hastened to pay tribute. 
The northern leader of the rebellion, Luli king of Tyre, fled into exile. 
Near Eltekeh in southern Philistia Sennacherib met and defeated the 
Egyptian army which had been sent to the relief of the Palestinian states. 

It was the first time that the two great empires of the east and the west 
had met face to face, and the overwhelming strength of the one and the 
pitiable weakness of the other were clearly revealed. Egypt at this time 
had no standing army and the ill-organized forces which Shabaka sent 
under his nephew Tarhaka (who later became king of Egypt) were able 



to offer little resistance to Sennacherib's powerful forces. Meantime 
the kings of Edom, Moab and Ammon had submitted. Upon Judah 
fell the heavy chastisement which Sennacherib meted out to rebels. 
The conqueror himself states that: 

Hezekiah of Judah who had not submitted to my yoke, forty-six of 
his fortified towns, together with the innumerable fortresses and small 
towns in their neighborhood, with assault and battering-rams and ap- 
proach of siege-engines, with the attack of infantry, of mines ... I be- 
sieged and captured. Two hundred thousand, one hundred and fifty 
persons, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, 
oxen and sheep, without number, from their midst I brought out and 
counted them as spoil. 

I shut him up like a bird in a cage in the midst of Jerusalem, his royal 
city. I erected fortifications against him, and those coming forth from 
the gates of his city I turned back. His cities which I had plundered I 
cut off from his domain, and gave them to Mitinti king of Ashdod, to 
Padi king of Ekron, and to Zilbil king of Gaza, and I diminished his 
territory. To the former payment of their yearly tribute, the tribute of 
subjection to my sovereignty I added and laid it upon them. The ter- 
ror of the glory of my lordship overwhelmed Hezekiah himself, and the 
Arabians and his trusted soldiers, whom he had introduced for the de- 
fence of Jerusalem, his royal city, laid down their arms. 

Together with thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of sil- 
ver, I caused to be brought after me to Nineveh, my royal city, precious 
stones, sparkling . . . stones, great lapis lazuli stones, couches of ivory, 
thrones of state of elephant skins and ivory, . . . wood, whatever there 
was, an enormous treasure, and his daughters, the women of his palace, 
his male and female servants ( ?) ; and for the payment of tribute and 
the rendering of homage he despatched his envoy. 

VI. Isaiah's Message to His Afflicted Countrymen. It was ap- 
parently while Assyrian armies were pillaging and burning the cities of 
Judah, and Hezekiah was shut up like a bird in a cage in the midst of 
Jerusalem, that Isaiah uttered the memorable address, or series of ad- 
dresses, found in the first chapter of his prophecy. The picture which 
he gives of his nation, sick and wounded and bruised, the land a desola- 
tion, the cities burned with fire, and Jerusalem left alone like a booth in a 
vineyard, presents the other side of that boastful description which 
Sennacherib gives of his conquest of Judah. 

The prophet, however, goes deeper and analyzes the causes of 
Judah's sickness. He places the blame directly upon the leaders of the 



nation and upon their false trust in sacrifices and that weary round of 
ritual which Isaiah realized and declared was only hateful to the holy 
God who could receive only the worship of a holy people. The prophet 
saw all too clearly the acts of legalized injustice with which the hands of 
the rulers were stained. He realized also the utter futility of their blind 
belief that by the magic blood of sacrifice their sin and its consequences 
could suddenly be removed. He declared that only by yielding willingly 
and submissively to Jehovah could they again secure that divine favor 
and the prosperity for which they longed. 

A remnant of Judah survived the "overwhelming scourge." Heze- 
kiah, by the payment of an exorbitant tribute and with the loss of his 
treasures and members of his own family, retained his position as 
a vassal of Assyria. 

Through all the conflict of contending parties and policies, the clash 
of world powers and the stress of invasion one man alone saw facts as they 
were and estimated at their true values the various forces at work in the 
life of his nation. In vain he advocated the one policy which would have 
brought deliverance. He met only with rejection and contempt, but 
he never wavered nor ceased fearlessly to proclaim the truth, and to 
point out those evils of injustice and lack of faith which were the real 
cause of Judah's weakness and misfortune. It was the man who had 
entered into the presence of the Holy One and who had responded to 
the Divine King's call to service who thus proved himself to be the 
wisest statesman, the truest patriot, and the most heroic spirit of his age. 


Hear ye peoples all; i.The 

Give heed, O earth, and all its inhabitants, ^^' .^ 

•w^-riiitl . . mons to 

For Jehovah hath become a witness against you, iudg- 

The Lord from his holy temple ! cmk^i *) 

For behold, Jehovah is going forth from his place, 2. je- 

He descendeth and treadeth upon the heights of the aSvLt* 

earth, <^-*> 

So that the mountains melt beneath, 
Like wax in the presence of the fire, 
And the valleys break apart. 
Like water poured down a steep descent. 



3. GuUt For the transgression of Jacob is all this, 
cipitlis ^°^ ^^^ *^® sin of the house of Judah. 

(*) What was the transgression of Jacob? Was it not Sa- 

What is the sin of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? 

4. Sa-^ Therefore I have made Samaria a ruin that is plowed, 
maria'B ^^ ^ place whcre a vineyard is planted, 

struc- And I have poured down her stones into the valley, 

(J)° And I laid bare her foundations. 

5. Fate All her images are shattered, 

heathen ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ashcrahs are burned with fire, 

sym- And all her idols I am laying in ruins, 

V) For from the hire of a harlot were they acquired, 

And to the hire of a harlot have they returned. 

6. The For this I will mourn and wail, 
P[.°P^- I will go barefoot and naked, 

tttio°" ^ ^^^^ make lamentation like the jackals, 

e) *°^ And mourning like the ostriches. 

7. The For the blow that she has received is incurable, 
s^on of Indeed, it has come even to Judah ! 

J^dah It extends even to the gate of my people. 

8^^^^ Tell it not in Gath [Tell-town] ! 

in^"^' In Giloh [Exult-to wn] exult not I 

wn- I^ Bochim [Weep-town] weep ! 

tations In Beth-le-aphrah [House of Dust] roll in the dust I 

iefted Pass away, inhabitants of Shaphir [Fair-town], naked! 
nam^ ^^^ inhabitants of Zaanan [March-town] shall not march 
of the forth. 

thus°^ Beth-ezel [Nearby-house] shall be taken from its standing- 
^,f'' place. 

(lo-w) How do the inhabitants of Maroth [Bitterness] wait and wail 
for good. 
For evil hath come down from Jehovah to the gates of Jeru- 



Harness the horse to the chariot, inhabitants of Lachish 

For in thee are found the crimes of Israel. 
Therefore thou shalt give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath, 
Beth-achzib [House of Deception] is a deception to the kings 

of Israel ; 
Again I will bring to you the conqueror, inhabitants of 

The glory of Israel is perished forever. 
Make thee bald and shave thee for thy darlings, 
Like the vultures, make broad thy baldness, for they go into 

captivity from thee. 

I also said : 9. 

et's ap- 

Hear now, heads of Jacob, p^*^ *° 

And ye judges of the house of Israel. rulers 

Is it not your duty to know what is the right? ^^ ^' '^ 
Haters of that which is good and lovers of evil ! 

They devour the flesh of my people, 10. 

And their hide they strip from off them, pHu^s 

And break in pieces and serve up their bones, greed 

As in a pot or as meat in the cooking-pan. ^'^ 

Then they cry out to Jehovah 11. . 

But he will not pay heed to them, £SlS' 

And he will hide his face from them at that time, [^^^ 
Because they have committed such crimes. 

Therefore Jehovah saith to the prophets, who lead my 12. The 

people astray, Slfc^ 

Who, when they have anything between their teeth, de- ^^\. 

clare peace, ?te ^ ' 

But against anyone who puts nothing in their mouths, ^' '^ 

they proclaim a holy war ! 
Therefore, night shall overtake you so that ye shall have 

no vision. 
And darkness so that there shall be no divination; 



And the sun shall go down on the prophets, 
And the day shall be dark over them. 

is.Fate The seers will be ashamed, 

and^di^ And the diviners will turn pale, 

yineis All of them shall cover the beard. 

For there is no answer from God. 

14. Mi- But I, on the contrary, am full of power, 

^^'^g And the sense of justice and strength, 

assur- To make known to Jacob his crime, 

^^{^ And to Israel his sin. 

15. The Hear this, ye heads of the house of Jacob, 
betra'- A^^ y® judges of the house of Israel, 

era of Ye who spurn justice, 

tm^t*' And make all that is straight crooked, 

(' *") Who build Zion with acts of bloodshed, 

And Jerusalem with crime. 

16. The heads render judgment for a bribe, 
Ji^nii And her priests give oracles for a reward, 
eonfi- And her prophets divine for silver ; 

(n)^^ Yet they lean upon Jehovah and think, 

Jehovah is indeed in our midst. 
Evil cannot overtake us. 

17. Fate Therefore for your sakes 

Jhty Zion shall be plowed as a field, 

bring And Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, 

tfe" And the temple mount a wooded height. 



18. The With what shall I come before Jehovah, • 
FdeTof Bow myself before the God on high? 

how to Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, 

God's With calves a year old? 

(6^«?7) Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, 

With myriads of streams of oil? 



Shall I give him my first-born for my guilt, 
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 

It hath been shown thee, O man, what is good ; 19. xht 

And what Jehovah ever demands of thee : of tme* 

Only to do justice and love mercy, ffj^^ion 
And to walk humbly with thy God. 


Hezekiah removed the high places and broke in pieces g^^ 
the pillars and cut down the asherah. And he broke in kilK 
pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for up to f^^j^^g 
that time the Israelites had offered sacrifices to it; and they 01 k. 
called it Nehushtan [The Brazen One]. 

I. The Prophecies of Micah. The book of Micah falls natu- 
rally into four general divisions: (1) a denunciation of the crimes of 
Israel's rulers, chapters 1 to 3. This section represents the original 
nucleus which is by all scholars attributed without question to Micah. 
(2) Predictions of the future deliverance and glory of Jerusalem and of 
the chosen people, chapters 4 and 5. The style and themes of these 
chapters are so fundamentally different from those which prevail in 
the opening section that they are now generally regarded as later exiUc 
or post-exilic additions to the book. (3) The messages of exhortation 
and warning found in chapters 6^-7^. The subject matter and spirit of 
this section are very similar to those revealed in the opening chapters 
and are probably from the prophet of Moresheth-gath. If not, they 
are from a later spiritual disciple of Micah who was confronted by the 
same evils as flourished in Judah's early history. (4) The closing sec- 
tion, chapter 7^"^°, reflects the characteristic ideals and expectations of 
the exilic and post-exilic period and has little in common with the point 
of view and interest of the stern prophet of social righteousness. 

II. The Date of Micah's Work. The date of Micah's activity must 
be determined from the allusions found in chapters 1 to 3. The super- 
scription to the prophecy is clearly from a later hand, and states that 
Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. 
These kings represent a period of over half a century (from about 750 
to 686 B.C.). From chapter 1 it is evident that the destruction of Sa- 
maria, in 722 B.C., was either imminent or had already taken place when 
the sermon preserved in that chapter was uttered. The current trans- 



lations favor the conclusion that Samaria's downfall was still in the 
future; but the Hebrew verbs may with equal propriety be translated 
so as to refer to past events. The prophet holds up Samaria's downfall as 
an impressive warning to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The 
detailed references to the nature of Samaria's fate strongly suggest that it 
had already become a subject of history. 

The prophet also sees a dread invader on the point of advancing from 
the Philistine plain up through the western passes to the conquest of 
Jerusalem itself. There is no evidence in the inscriptions that the As^ 
Syrians even threatened to invade Judah in the years immediately pre- 
ceding or following the fall of Samaria. Ahaz in 734 B.C. anticipated 
such an invasion by hastening to submit to the Assyrian king. As has 
already been noted (§ LXXVII"), in 711 B.C. an Assyrian army marched 
down the Philistine plain to subdue the rebellious city of Ashdod; but 
Hezekiah's protestations of loyalty again saved Judah from actual in- 
vasion. The events connected with the great crisis of 701 B.C., present, 
however, the natural background for Micah's earnest protest and 
warning. When the army of Sennacherib swept up from the western 
plain toward Jerusalem, the truth of the prophet's warnings was amply 
vindicated. An important reference in Jeremiah 26^^ also states that 
Micah preached during the reign of Hezekiah and that his sermons bore 
fruit in the reformation instituted by that king. The national humilia- 
tion and distress of the years 703-1 B.C., and the signal confirmation of 
the ominous predictions of Isaiah and Micah, furnish the most natural 
background for this reformation. It would seem, therefore, that Micah's 
work for the most part, like that of Isaiah, gathered about this great 
crisis in Judah's history, and that Micah was a younger contemp- 
orary and possibly a disciple of the great Isaiah. 

III. The Personality and Aims of Micah. The testimony of the 
superscription and the local allusions in the latter part of chapter 1 
indicate that Micah came from southwestern Judah. His home was 
Moresheth-gath, a dependency of the old Philistine town of Gath, 
which had been captured and destroyed by the Aramean king Hazael. 
Micah's parents perhaps were among the Hebrew colonists settled on 
the borders of the Philistine plain by King Uzziah, who extended the 
territory of Judah toward the west. It was probably one of the many 
little hamlets to be found among the arable foot-hills which lead down 
from the headlands of Judah to the rolling plains of Philistia. It was a 
land of fertile fields and pastures, but also a land exposed to constant 
attack. For centuries the Arabs had come up from the south, as they 



do to-day, to pitch their black tents beside the cultivated fields. Across 
the rolling plains could be seen the strong Philistine cities, and 
beyond, along the southern shore of the Mediterranean, were the 

Micah's home was probably beside the chief valley which led up from 
the Philistine plain toward Jerusalem. While his interests were local, 
his outlook was broad. In his exposed outpost, a little above the great 
coast plain, the peasant of Moresheth had acquired that habit of con- 
stant watchfulness and of keenness in detecting and interpreting every 
new movement on the horizon which is a fundamental characteristic 
of a true prophet. Therefore, when the rumors came of Assyrian armies 
moving in the distant north, he quickly and truly saw what their ap- 
proach would mean to little Judah. 

Micah's process of reasoning was simple and direct. Close contact 
with nature had taught him to reason, like Amos, from cause to effect 
and from effect back to cause. A great calamity was clearly about to 
overtake Judah. His task as a prophet was to find out the real cause. 
That cause he found in the cruelty and oppression of the poor and de- 
pendent by the men of wealth and authority and especially by those 
who guided the national policy at Jerusalem. He had doubtless himself 
studied conditions in the capital city, not with the dulled vision of one 
who had been brought up amidst them, but with the eyes of a man fresh 
from the free, simple life of the country. With clear insight he saw the 
sinister significance of the flagrant crimes which were perpetrated against 
the defenceless classes under the shadow of the royal court and sacred 
temple. Unlike the statesman prophet Isaiah, he had nothing to say 
regarding the foolish political policies of the king and his advisers. Of 
these policies Micah probably knew httle. They were, however, but 
evidences of the deeper lying evil — the selfishness, the greedy and mer- 
cenary spirit of the rulers who guided Judah during this perilous peri- 
od. Like Amos, Micah stood up as the tribune of the people. He 
was stern, uncompromising and fearless. Almost alone he faced the 
princes, courtiers, and royal priests and prophets of the nation. On 
the simple authority of justice and his own inspired convictions, he 
pointed his finger in turn at each of these classes and, in a few pregnant 
sentences full of burning zeal and indignation, held up before them their 
crimes in all their heinousness, and then pointed out the inevitable con- 
sequences. Undoubtedly he was the most unpopular man of the hour; 
but in the light of history he shares with Isaiah the honor of being one of 
Judah's most effective citizens. The simple directness of his appeal 



perhaps also explains why he was one of the few prophets whose words 
were heeded by the men to whom they were first addressed. 

IV. The Judgment Awaiting Guilty Jerusalem. Micah's recorded 
sermons open with a general arraignment of both Northern and Southern 
Israel. Jehovah, as plaintiff and judge, is pictured as coming forth 
to execute judgment upon the two guilty kingdoms. Samaria's fate, 
however, is introduced simply as a warning; the prophet's interest all 
centres in Judah. As he contemplates the disaster about to overtake 
his beloved nation, he dramatically assumes the role of the hired mourn- 
ing women who wail over the bier of the dead. His words gradually 
rise to the meter of the lamentation song, powerfully intensifying the 
effectiveness of his message. 

As he looked out from his home among the western foot-hills and saw 
in imagination the rapid advance of Assyrian hordes, he pictured its 
effect upon the little towns of Judah. In his thought the very names of 
these towTis suggested the nature of the calamity which should befall 
them. Like the names given to the children of Hosea and Isaiah, they 
would ever after be grim reminders of the doom that was impending. 
Certain of these villages have not yet been identified, but from those 
whose sites are known, it is clear that the prophet began with the west- 
ern outposts of Judah and in imagination moved eastward along the 
broad highway which an Assyrian army would naturally follow, until at 
last it reached the capital city, Jerusalem. 

V. The Quilt of the Leaders of the Nation. The world's litera- 
ture contains no stronger invective than that which Micah hurled at 
those who stood as the civil and religious heads of the nation. From 
the point of view of one in the ranks he saw the woful consequences 
of their acts. "Cannibals," he called them, and he developed his 
figure with an appalling realism. Unhesitatingly he stripped from 
their faces the veil of false, hypocritical faith with which they were 
seeking to hide from their vision Jehovah's just indignation and 
declared that their crimes unchecked would bring utter ruin to their 

In their fatal policy of self-deception, the rulers of Judah were en- 
couraged by the mercenary prophets who prophesied under the inspira- 
tion of gold rather than of the divine spirit of truth working in them. 
With fine sarcasm Micah declared that from these pitiably degenerate 
representatives of a noble order a bribe would secure a prediction of 
boundless peace and prosperity; while upon him who withheld the cus- 
tomary gift they were ready to call down curses from heaven. To such 



hypocrites Jehovah's message was not peace nor a glorious vision, but 
only disaster and well-merited judgment. 

In contrast to these base prophets — who doubtless prophesied in the 
same terms and claimed the same divine authority — Micah declared that 
he possessed that spirit of impartial justice and divine power which en- 
abled him to point out clearly and fearlessly the crimes which were 
threatening the life of his nation. The character of his words and the 
subsequent course of Judah's history fully vindicate his claims. Micah 
brings into striking contrast that growing class of false or self-deceived 
prophets, who ultimately lured Judah on to its ruin, and the few faithful 
prophets, like himself, who were responsive to the divine voice within 
them, to the highest ideals of their race and age, and to the needs which 
called them to action. The one class bowed slavishly to existing au- 
thority, and became the servants of their own selfish ambition. The 
other class acknowledged but one supreme authority. In serving God 
and their fellowmen they forgot their own personal interest. Thus 
in losing their life they found it. 

VI. The Reformation of Hezekiah. Micah predicted the com- 
plete destruction of Jerusalem and its temple of holy memories; but as 
a matter of fact the city survived and was inhabited long after the death 
of those to whom the prophet spoke. It is clear that the conditional 
element, which underlies every prediction of doom, even though not 
expressed, was clearly understood by Micah and his hearers. The 
narrative in Jeremiah 26^^> ^^ also states that Hezekiah and the rulers of 
Judah heeded these words of Micah, thereby changing the conditions 
upon which his prophecy was based and averted fo" a century or more 
the consequences of the crimes which ultimately proved Judah's de- 

The reference in the book of Kings to the reformation of Hezekiah 
is exceedingly unsatisfactory. Even the date is not clearly stated. The 
course of Judah's history and especially the testimony of the prophetic 
books strongly suggest that it was instituted immediately after the 
national distress and humiliation of the year 701 B.C. Up to that date 
the sermons of both Isaiah and Micah are filled with bitter denunciations 
of existing evils, with no suggestion that these evils had been at all abated. 
The catastrophes of 701 B.C. completely destroyed the false hopes and 
beliefs of the blind leaders of the people and signally confirmed the 
principles maintained by Isaiah and Micah. The occasion, therefore, 
was eminently favorable for a reformation. The high esteem with which 
Isaiah was regarded by court and people after 701 also indicate that his 



words at last had gained partial acceptance, probably in coiinection with 
Hezekiah's reformation. 

The late prophetic editor of Kings makes the sweeping statement that 
Hezekiah removed the high places and broke in pieces the pillars and 
cut down the asherah. Isaiah, it is true, had repeatedly denounced the 
prevailing idolatry, and with the religious cults practised at the high 
places he had no sympathy ; but there is no evidence that he recognized 
any fundamental distinction between the religious rites at the high places 
and at the royal sanctuary at Jerusalem. The abolition of the local 
high places was rather the work of the later reformers led by Josiah 
(c/. § LXXXIII). The basis of the late prophetic editor's state- 
ment is probably to be found in the quotation from the older record 
which follows. It states that Hezekiah destroyed the brazen ser- 
pent, evidently a siirvival from the earlier totemistic cults, and by 
later tradition associated with Moses (cf. Vol. I, § XXIX). Other 
public idols may also have shared the same fate. The act reveals the 
awakening public consciousness and the more general realization, 
under the influence of the true prophets, that Jehovah was a God of 
spirit and therefore not to be represented by symbols of metal and 

The reference in Jeremiah 26 to Micah's preaching implies that 
Hezekiah's reformation was more fundamental than the narrative in 
Kings suggests. It states that Hezekiah and his people heeded the 
words of Micah. But Micah had little, if anything, to say about re- 
ligious forms. He demanded instead a thorough social reformation. It 
is probable, therefore, that Hezekiah took active measures, in the period 
of reconstruction which followed the calamities of 701 B.C., to correct 
the more glaring social abuses which were undermining the nation. In 
the legislation of Deuteronomy, which comes from the following cen- 
tury, many definite laws are formulated with the aim of correcting per- 
manently these social evils and of protecting the rights of the poor, the 
widow, the orphan, and the defenceless. In his latest recorded activity, 
Isaiah says nothing about the social evils which had commanded so 
much of his attention in the earlier days. Rather his words of promise 
and assurance imply that the rulers and people had amended their 
ways and were living in accordance with the divine principles of justice 
and right. Also in the sermons of the prophets who followed Isaiah so- 
cial problems cease to occupy the central place, indicating that Heze- 
kiah's reformation marked a distinct advance in the social development 
of Judah and that at last the revolutionizing social teachings of the 



great reformers of the Assyrian period had found a response in the 
popular conscience. 

VII. The Essentials of Religion. The fundamental contrast be- 
tween the popular religion and the religion of the true prophets is 
forcibly brought out in the classic passage found in the sixth chapter of 
Micah. Even though the actual words may come from a later disciple, 
they voice the teachings of the peasant prophet from Moresheth. The 
people, perhaps as a result of the distressing experiences of 701 B.C., 
have been moved to penitence. Retaining the older ceremonial con- 
'ieption of religion, they are represented as asking whether by the pro- 
fusion of their offerings or even by the sacrifice of their dearest offspring 
they can again secure Jehovah's favor. Quick comes the response 
which embodies the essential message of the noblest prophetic teachers 
throughout the ages. Forms and ceremonies are ignored. What Je- 
hovah demands of each man and nation is that they ever act in accord 
with the principles of impartial justice, cherish a commanding love and 
tenderness toward others which shall find expression in every thought 
and deed, and worship and serve the Eternal Father in a spirit of trusting 
dependence. Even though the race failed to appreciate the fact, Israel's 
religion had at last become universal and was defined as a personal, 
ethical, loving relation between man and his God and his fellowmen 
— a way of living and doing, not a form of worship or belief 



Woe, Asshur, rod of mine anger, i. as- 

The staff in whose hand is mine indignation. fj"* 

Against an impious nation am I wont to send him. j^eriy 

And against the people of my wrath I give him a charge, hovah's 

To take spoil and gather booty, onSdg- 

And to tread them down like the mire in the streets. "j^nt 


10 5- 6) 

But he — not so doth he plan ; 2. His 

And his heart— not so doth it puipose. fegns 

For destruction is in his heart, j5dS^ 

And to cut off nations not a few. v-^'^) 
For he saith. Are not my princes all of them kings? 
Is not Calno as Carchemish? 



Is not Hamath as Arpad? 

Is not Samaria as Damascus? 

As mine hand hath found these kingdoms — 

Though their images outnumbered those of Jerusalem 

and Samaria — 
Shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, 
Do likewise to Jerusalem and her images? 

3. His By the strength of my hand have I done it, 

fS\^^' And by my wisdom, for I have discerned it ; 

^m% And I have removed the bounds of the peoples. 

And I have robbed their treasuries, 

And like a mighty man I have brought down those who 
sit enthroned. 

And my hand hath seized, as on a nest, 

The riches of the peoples. 

And as one gathers eggs that are unguarded, 

I, indeed, have carried ofif all the earth. 

And there was none that fluttered the wing, 

Or opened the mouth and chirped ! 

Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who heweth there- 
Or shall the saw magnify itself over him who wields it? 
As if a rod should sway him who lifts it, 
As if a staff should lift up him who is not wood I 
His burden shall be removed from thy shoulder, 
And his yoke shall cease from upon thy neck. 

He has gone up from Rimmon. 

He has arrived at Aiath. 

He has passed through Migron. 

At Michmash he lays up his baggage. 

They have gone over the pass. 

At Geba they halt for the night. 

Ramah trembles. 

Gibeah of Saul flees. 

Shriek aloud, people of Gallim. 

Harken, Laishah. 

Answer her Anathoth. 



Madmenah flees. 

The inhabitants of Gebim are fled. 

This very day he halts at Nob. cutter 

He shakes his fist against Mount Zion, sttuc- 

Against the hill of Jerusalem. l^^^^; 

Behold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, yaiis of 

Is lopping the boughs with terror, sSem 

And the high of stature are being hewn down, <*'"'*> 
The lofty are being brought low. 

The thickets of the forest are being cut down with an axe ; 
Lebanon, with its mighty cedars, is falling! 

Then the king of Assyria sent the commander-in-chief, 7.sen- 
and the chief of the eunuchs, and a high official from Lachish erib\' 
with a great army to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And ^rro- 
they went up, and when they arrived at Jerusalem, they de- 
came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on (if k. 
the way to the fuller's field. And when they called for the »8"-«) 
king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was prefect of the 
palace, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph 
the chancellor came out to them. And the high official 
said to them. Say now to Hezekiah, * Thus saith the great 
king, the king of Assyria, " What confidence is this which 
you cherish? You indeed think, A simple word of the lips 
is counsel and strength for the war ! Now on whom do you 
trust, that you have rebelled against me? Indeed you trust 
on the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt which, if 
a man lean on it, will go into his hand and pierce it. So is 
Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if 
you say to me. We trust in Jehovah our God, is not he the 
one whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away 
and has said to Judah and Jerusalem, You shall worship 
before this altar in Jerusalem? Now therefore give pledges 
to my master the king of Assyria and I will give you two 
thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders 
upon them. How then can you repulse one of the least of 
my master's servants? And yet you trust in Egypt for chari- 
ots and for horsemen! Have I now come up against this 



place to destroy it without Jehovah's approval? Jehovah 
it was who said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it." ' 
8. Re- Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah and Shebnah and Joah 
thrAe- said to the high official, Speak, I pray you, to your servants 
^i^Z^ in the Aramaic language, for we understand it; but do not 
speak with us in the Jewish language in the hearing of the 
people who are on the wall. But the high official said to 
them. Has my master sent me to your master and to you 
to speak these words? Is it not rather to the men who sit 
on the wall, that they shall eat their own dung and drink 
their own water together with you? 
g.Argu- Then the high official stood and cried with a loud voice 
f^S^ in the Jewish language and spoke, saying. Hear the message 
of ufi^ of the great king, the king of Assyria. Thus saith the king, 
Assyr- * Let not Hezekiah deceive you ; for he will not be able to 
official deliver you out of my hand. Neither let Hezekiah make 
("^) you trust in Jehovah by saying, "Jehovah will surely de- 
liver us, and this city shall not be given into the power of 
the king of Assyria.*' ' Hearken not to Hezekiah, for thus 
says the king of Assyria, * Make your peace with me and 
come over to me; thus shall each one of you eat from his 
own vine and his own fig tree and drink the waters of his 
own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like 
your own land, a land full of grain and new wine, a land full 
of bread and vineyards, a land full of olive-trees and honey, 
that you may live and not die. But hearken not to Heze- 
kiah, when he misleads you, saying, "Jehovah will deliver 
us." Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his 
land out of the power of the king of Assyria? Where are 
the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of 
Sepharvaim, Hena, and Iwah? Where are the gods of the 
land of Samaria that they have delivered Samaria out of my 
power? Who are they among all the gods of the coimtries, 
that have delivered their country out of my power, that Je- 
hovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my power? ' 
10. Then the people were silent and answered him not a word ; 

Sah^s ^^^ *^® king's command was. Answer him not. But Elia- 
mes- kim the son of Hilkiah, the prefect of the palace, and Shebna, 
mfah° the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the chancellor, came 
ijMj^" to Hezekiah with torn clothes and told him the words of the 



high official. And as soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he 
tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and 
went into the temple of Jehovah. And he sent Eliakim, 
who was prefect of the palace, and Shebna the scribe and 
the eldest of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah 
the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said to him. Thus saith 
Hezekiah, * This is a day of trouble and of discipline and of 
contumely; for the children are come to birth and there is 
no strength to her who is in travail. It may be Jehovah thy 
God will hear all the words of the high official, whom his 
master the king of Assyria has sent to defy the living God, 
and will rebuke the words which Jehovah your God has 
heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that 
is left.' 

And when the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, iijisai- 
Isaiah said to them. This answer shall you take to your t^sur- 
masters: *Thus saith Jehovah, "Be not afraid of the ^^.^^^ 
words that thou hast heard, with which the servants of 
the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold I will 
put a spirit in him so that he shall hear tidings and shall re- 
turn to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the 
sword in his own land." * 

This is the word that Jehovah hath spoken concerning 12. as- 

him : syna's 


* Thee she despises, at thee is laughing— the virgin, daughter Ind 
of Zion' ^^*® 

Behind thee she is wagging her head — the daughter of Jeru- 
salem ! 

Whom hast thou reviled and blasphemed? against whom 
raised thy voice? 

Yea, and lifted up thine eyes on high? against Israel's Holy 

By thy minions hast thou reviled the Lord; and hast said, 
" With my many chariots, 

I, even I, ascended the mountain heights, the ravines of 
Lebanon ; 

And I have cut down its tallest cedars, its choice cypresses. 

And I press into its farthest halting-place, into its densest 



I, even I, dig wells [in the desert], and drink strange waters, 
And with the soles of my feet have I dried up all the rivers 

of Egypt." 
Hast thou not heard, I prepared it long ago, 
In the days of old I formed it ; now I have brought it to pass ; 
Hence thy task is to turn fortified cities into ruined heaps. 
And their inhabitants, helpless, are terrified and put to shame, 
They are like the wild plants, the tender grass, 
The blades of grass on the roofs blasted by the east wind. 
Before me is thy rising up and thy lying down, thy going out 

and thy coming in, 
I know thy raging against me and thine arrogance hath come 

to my ears, 
Therefore I will put my ring through thy nose, and my bridle 

between thy lips. 
And will make thee return by the way in which thou hast 

13. Sen- So the high oflSicial returned and found the king of Assyria 
Sritfe warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he had de- 
^I'rture P^^*®^ from Lachish. But that one had heard regarding 
(8* 9a)^ Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he has come out to fight 

against you. . . . 

14. His Then Sennacherib king of Assyria went away and returned 
?hrow and dwelt at Nineveh. And once while he was worshipping 
(88.37) -jj ^jjg temple of Nisroch his god, his sons, Adrammelek 

and Sharezer, smote him with the sword ; and they escaped 
into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became 
king in his place. 

15. Now the other acts of Hezekiah, and all his brave deeds 
§11^; and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought 
rei^j,^ water into the city, are they not recorded in the Chronicles 

of the Kings of Judah? And Hezekiah slept with his fathers ; 
and Manasseh his son became king in his place. 

I. The Evidence that Sennacherib Invaded Judah about 690 B.C. 

The account of Isaiah's efTective counsel, recorded in II Kings 18 and 
19 and in the parallel passages of Isaiah 36 and 37, is usually associated 
with the great crisis of 701 B.C. The grave diflBculties in connecting 
it with that event have long been recognized. During the troublesome 




years preceding 701 B.C., Isaiah, as well as Micah, had constantly de- 
clared that great and well-merited calamity was about to overtake the 
nation and city. It is almost inconceivable that a consistent prophet 
like Isaiah should suddenly reverse all his teachings and proclaim that 
Jerusalem would not fall before the Assyrians. As a matter of fact the 
biblical narrative implies and Assyrian records state very explicitly that 
in 701 B.C. Jerusalem did surrender unconditionally and that the city 
suffered the severest humiliation that Sennacherib could inflict with- 
out completely destroying it. The only satisfactory solution of these 
difficulties is either that we have here only a late, unhistorlcal tradition 
or else that the events recorded in these chapters, as well as in Isaiah 
lQP-3t^ represent Isaiah's activity at a subsequent crisis in the history of 

The biblical narrative is too exact and detailed to be regarded as 
simply the creation of later imagination. Recent discoveries have also 
confirmed Herodotus's testimony that Sennacherib made a second 
campaign into Palestine about 690 B.C. Herodotus calls Sennacherib 
" the king of the Arabians and the Assyrians." He also states that when 
the Assyrian army was on the borders of Egypt " there came in the night 
a multitude of field mice, which devoured all the quivers and the bow- 
strings of the enemy and ate the thongs by which they managed their 
shields. Next morning they commenced their flight, and great multi- 
tudes fell, as they had no arms with which to defend themselves. There 
stands to-day in the temple of Vulcan a stone statue of Sethos, with a 
mouse in his hand, and an inscription to this effect, 'Look on me and 
learn to reverence the gods.'" 

Neither the contemporary biblical nor Assyrian records suggest any 
such overwhelming calamity in connection with the campaign of 701 B.C. 
Herodotus's account of Sennacherib's second campaign, however, ac- 
cords well with the late biblical tradition, which states that an angel of 
the Lord smote the army of the Assyrians; for both traditions point to 
a great pestilence. In this second campaign, the ultimate goal of which 
was the conquest of Egypt, Sennacherib was naturally very loath to 
leave behind a strong fortress like Jerusalem, for, in case he met with 
reverses, it might rebel and prove a serious menace. His aim, there- 
fore, in demanding its surrender was probably to dismantle its strong 
defences and to destroy it so completely that to rebel would be im- 

II. Isaiah's Counsel. Two independent accounts of Isaiah's ac- 
tivity in connection with the closing crisis of his life have apparently been 



closely combined in the narrative of Kings. While these differ slightly in 
detail, they substantiate each other, and confirm the conclusion that 
they rest on an historical basis. The more detailed account, which 
was probably taken from an independent history of Hezekiah's reign, 
has been followed in the text, and this has been supplemented by the 
poetic version of Isaiah's work found in the parallel narrative, which 
apparently comes from a later collection of Isaiah's stories. The situa- 
tion is clear: while Sennacherib was besieging Lachish on the western 
frontier of Judah, preliminary to an advance against Egypt, he sent 
officers with an army to demand the unconditional surrender of Jeru- 
salem. Their boastful words illustrate the spirit of the Assyrians which 
Isaiah at this time so strongly condemned. Hezekiah and his coun- 
sellors, as well as the common people, were naturally dismayed. Je- 
hovah alone could deliver, and hence they turned in their extremity to 
his venerable prophet and statesman for counsel. 

In the light of these conditions, Isaiah declared that Jehovah was no 
longer under obligation to chastise his people as in the years preceding 
701 B.C.; but that he would now protect them from the great world power 
which threatened to destroy them. He recognized that, in demanding 
the unconditional surrender of a city which was paying its regular tribute 
and was not in a state of revolt, Sennacherib's position was indefensible, 
and that therefore the hour of Assyria's defeat was near at hand. In 
counselling the people of Judah to reject the demands of Sennacherib, 
Isaiah probably also knew that Sennacherib would not delay his advance 
against Egypt merely in order to subjugate a strong fortress, like Jerusa- 
lem, which was capable of maintaining a protracted siege. 

III. Isaiah's Confidence in Jehovah's Protection. The address 
preserved in Isaiah 10 reveals the prophet's process of reasoning: As- 
syria has been in the past the staff with which Jehovah has chastised 
his guilty people, but now there is no longer need of judgment, and 
Assyria's arrogance and boasting have become intolerable. To make his 
assurance of divine deliverance doubly impressive, Isaiah vividly pict- 
ures the seemingly irresistible advance of the Assyrian host. He repre- 
sents them as sweeping down from the north, over rugged hills and nar- 
row passes, terrifying the inhabitants of the peasant villages, until the 
Assyrians are encamped on the Mount of Olives to the north of Jerusalem. 
Then he declares, at the very moment when they are about to fall upon 
Jerusalem, Jehovah shall smite them, and they shall fall with a crash, as 
a mighty cedar of Lebanon, prostrate and helpless before the blows of 
the woodman's axe. 



That the prediction was uttered when Sennacherib was still at some 
distance from Jerusalem is indicated by the fact that the line of march was 
entirely different from that which he actually followed. As in all the 
history of the Assyrian invasions, the actual approach to Jerusalem 
was through the valleys which led up from the Philistine plain on the 
west. Isaiah and his hearers also knew that an approach directly 
from the north was entirely impracticable, and almost a physical im- 
possibility. The concrete description, therefore, is but a part of that 
vivid imagery in which Isaiah clothed his message of promise and as- 
surance, and reveals the depth and strength of the prophet's faith. It 
was a magnificent declaration of the eternal truth that Israel's Holy 
One would ever protect his trusting people from the strongest, most 
terrifying of human foes. 

IV. The Nature of the Deliverance. The biblical narrative, sup- 
plemented by the tradition of Herodotus, suggests the nature of the 
ultimate deliverance. When Sennacherib's emissary returned, he 
found that the Assyrian king was already on the march to attack Tir- 
hakah, the Ethiopian king. Near Pelusium, on the borders of Egypt, 
Sennacherib either met with defeat, or, as seems more probable in the 
light of later tradition, his army was overtaken by one of the pestilences 
which frequently rage along the low-lying southeastern shores of the 
Mediterranean. Hence he was obliged to beat a hasty retreat. The 
absence of a detailed account of this campaign in the Assyrian records 
is in itself evidence that it resulted disastrously. Although Egypt was 
not conquered until the reign of his successor Esarhaddon, Sennacherib 
nevertheless continued to maintain his rule over the states of Palestine; 
but Jerusalem, through the enlightened patriotism of Isaiah, remained 
intact through another century of important social and religious de- 

V. Isaiah's Work as Reformer, Statesman and Theologian, 
Isaiah's loyalty to his race as well as to his God, in whose service he 
labored, compelled him to take up, especially in his earlier days, the 
thankless task of a social reformer. Fearlessly he attacked the crimes 
of oppression, judicial injustice, monopoly, sophistry, and social im- 
morality, especially of those high in authority and public esteem, and 
faithfully pointed out the inevitable consequences of these deadly evils. 

By modern students Isaiah is rightly recognized as the greatest states- 
man of Judah's history. While he was the most versatile of all the 
prophets, it was also on his work as a divinely gifted statesman that his 
exalted reputation with later generations chiefly rested. Through re- 



peated crises he offered counsels which, if followed, would have brought 
peace and comparative prosperity to little Judah. He possessed in full 
measure the essential quality of being able to adapt his counsel to the 
changing conditions of his day. Thus, for example, in 735 B.C., he 
bitterly opposed any alliance with Assyria; but when once an alliance 
had been made, he was equally strenuous in maintaining that its terms 
be faithfully kept. The result was that between the years 712 and 701 
B.C., his energies were devoted to persuading the politicians of Judah 
not to rebel. At the later crisis, however, of 690 B.C., when Sennacherib's 
demands were clearly unjust, he advised Hezekiah to refuse to comply 
with them and to bid defiance to the Assyrians. 

Isaiah's statesmanship was of a practical, abiding quality, primarily 
because it was based on the principles of impartial justice, and rose 
above party spirit and strife. He was hampered by no racial prej- 
udices, for he was inspired by a broad, deep faith in a righteous and 
omnipotent Ruler, not only of Judah, but of the universe. During most 
of his life Isaiah was directly opposed to the prevailing public opinion 
and to what was popularly interpreted as Judah's best interests; and 
yet no one in the light of events can doubt that he was the sanest, the 
truest patriot of his age. For the sake of his nation, he was ready not 
only to go barefoot, clad in his garb of a captive, through the cold Judean 
winters, but also to court inevitable unpopularity and bitter opposition 
in condemning the mistakes of Judah's leaders and the popular crime? 
which endangered the life of his nation. He stands, therefore, before all 
ages and races as an example of that noblest type of patriotism which 
hesitates not to face squarely unpalatable facts, to challenge injustice 
and corruption in high places, to labor unceasingly for the realization of 
God's will and thus in the end to save and upbuild a nation. 

Isaiah was pre-eminently a prophet of action rather than a theologian. 
Unlike Hosea, he made no great original contributions which revolu- 
tionized Israel's faith; and yet in his initial vision and throughout all 
his Hfe-work he placed his conception of Jehovah as the righteous and 
majestic king so prominently in the forefront that it became a new and 
transforming force in Israel's life and thought. While transcendent, 
the God of Isaiah's faith was personally interested and active in all 
human affairs. He was a God who demanded ceremonial cleanliness 
in the details of worship, but, above all, righteousness in the life and 
thoughts and deeds of individuals and classes. Isaiah's teachings took 
a deep hold upon his race because he proclaimed them by his own char- 
acter and deeds, as well as by word of mouth. In throwing himself 



actively and effectively into the varied life of his day, he demonstrated 
that to be loyal to Jehovah was to be a patriotic citizen of Judah, as well 
as of the larger Kingdom of God. 


Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, J^|^®*- 
and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem ; and his moth- sym- 
er*s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which displeased ^nlf 
Jehovah, according to the abominable practices of the nations cu^its_ 
whom Jehovah cast out before the Israelites. For he built duced 
again the high places which Hezekiah his father had de- ^l^eh 
stroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an asherah, ^y k. 
as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshipped all the host 
of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the temple 
of Jehovah, of which Jehovah said. In Jerusalem will I put 
my name. And he built altars for all the host of heaven 
in the two courts of the temple of Jehovah. And he made 
his son to pass through the fire and practised augury and 
witchcraft and appointed mediums and wizards; he did 
much evil in the sight of Jehovah to provoke him to anger. 

And he set the graven image of an asherah, that he had 2.Dese- 
made, in the temple of which Jehovah said to David and to ofthe"^ 
Solomon his son. In this house and in Jerusalem, which I Jf.^.P^® 
have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name 
forever, and I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander any 
more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they 
will faithfully do as I have commanded them, and according 
to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them. 
But they did not hearken, and Manasseh seduced them to 
do more evil than did the nations which Jehovah destroyed 
before the Israelites. 

And Jehovah spoke by his servants the prophets, saying, 3. An- 
Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abomina- SiTnTS 
tions, and hath done more wickedly than all that the Amorites ^he^.^ 
have done, who were before him, and hath made Judah also captiv- 
sin with his idols; therefore thus saith Jehovah the God of j^dah 
Israel, I am now about to bring such evil on Jerusalem and ('" "> 




Judah, that whoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. 
And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line, as 
over Samaria, and the plummet, as over the house of Ahab, 
and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping 
and turning it upside down. And I will cast off the rem- 
nant of mine inheritance and deliver them into the hand of 
their enemies, that they may become a prey and a spoil to all 
their enemies, because they have done that which is displeas- 
ing to me, and have provoked me to anger, since the day 
their fathers came forth from Egypt, even to the present. 

Moreover Manasseh shed much innocent blood until he 
had filled Jerusalem from one end to the other, besides his 
sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing that which dis- 
pleased Jehovah. 

Now the other acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and 
his sin that he committed, are they not recorded in the 
Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And Manasseh slept 
with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own 
palace, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son became 
king in his place. 

Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, 
and he reigned two years in Jerusalem; and his mother's 
name was MeshuUemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 
And he did that which displeased Jehovah, as did Manasseh 
his father. And he walked in all the way in which his father 
had walked and served the idols that his father served, and 
worshipped them, and he forsook Jehovah, the God of his 
fathers, and walked not in the way of Jehovah. 

And the servants of Amon conspired against him and put 
the king to death in his palace. But the people of the land 
slew all who had conspired against Amon ; and the people of 
the land made Josiah his son king in his place. Now the 
other acts of Amon which he did, are they not recorded in 
the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And he was buried 
in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza; and Josiah his son 
became king in his place. 





Came he not forth' from thee 8. Je- 

Who planned evil against Jehovah, ^°^f^'« 

Who counselled villany? Son of" 

Thus hath Jehovah given command concerning thee : Assyria 
Thy name shall no longer be remembered ; 
From the house of thy God will I cut off idol and molten 

I will make thy grave a stench. 

He that breaketh in pieces has come up against thee. 9 The 
Keep careful watch ! Jf^**^" 

Guard the way ! (2 1) 

Gird up the loins! 
Gather all thy strength ! 

The shield of his heroes is colored red ; 

The warriors are clad in scarlet ; 

The steel of the chariots gleams like fire ; 

In the day of preparation the horses are prancing. 

On the streets the chariots rattle ; 

They go galloping across the squares. 

Their appearance is like torches. 
Like lightning they dart to and fro. 
He musters his nobles. 
They succeed in their onset. 
They rush to the wall. 
They set up the covering. 

The water-gates are opened, 12. The 

And the palace goes down in ruins. ^^^J^^j- 

The queen is uncovered, she is carried off, Nine- 

And her maids moan like doves, J®?) 

They are beating upon their breasts. 
But Nineveh is like a pool of water. 
Her waters are flowing away. 
Stand, stand [one cries], but not one turns back. 



Loot the silver, loot the gold ; 

For there is no end to the store, 

The wealth of all precious things. 

She is empty and desolate and waste ! 

The heart faints, the knees smite together, 

Anguish is in all loins. 

And the faces of all are flushed. 

Where is the den of the lions. 

The lair of the young lions. 

Where the lion was wont to withdraw. 

The whelps also with none to startle them? 

The lion tore in pieces enough for his whelps, 

And strangled for his mates. 

He filled his caves with prey, 

And his lairs with plunder. 

Behold, I am against thee, is the oracle of Jehovah of 

And I will burn thy dwelling in smoke. 
The sword shall devour thy young lions. 
Yea, I will cut off thy prey from the earth. 
The voice of thy messengers shall be heard no 


Woe to the bloody city. 
Full of lies and plunder ; 
There is no limit to the spoil! 
The noise of the whip and of rattling wheels I 
The prancing horses and bounding chariots. 
The horseman, charging with flashing sword and glit- 
tering spear! 
Many are the slain and the dead are in heaps, 
And there are corpses without number; 
They stumble over the bodies ! 
It is because of the many crimes of the harlot, 
The alluring mistress of magic. 
She who hath sold nations through her harlotries. 
And peoples through her black art. 



Behold, I am against thee, is the oracle of Jehovah of 17. Db- 
hosts; Kf 

Yea, I will uncover thy skirts before thy face, ^y^j^of 

For I will show the nations thy nakedness, SatioL 

And the kingdoms thy disgrace. ^' '^ 

And I will cast loathsome filth upon thee. 
And make thee vile, and set thee up as a gazing stock. 
And all who look upon thee shall flee from thee. 
And say, * Nineveh is wasted ; who will bewail her? 
Whence shall I seek comfort for thee?' 

Are you better than No-ammon [Thebes], is. par 

Which lay in the midst of the streams, f^min- 

With waters around about her, (»• 9) 

Whose bulwark was the sea. 

Whose wall was the waters? 

Her strength was Ethiopia and Egypt, 

And Put, with countless people. 

The Libyans also were her support. 

But she also was carried away, she went into captivity ; ig.Ripe 

Her little ones also were dashed to pieces at the head of every ^°Jg^J^' 

street ; (io-% 

They cast lots for her honored men, while all her great ones 

were bound in fetters. 
So too, thou shalt become drunken, thou shalt be overcome. 
Thou also shalt seek a refuge from before thine enemy. 
All thy fortresses shall be like fig trees, thy people like the 

first-ripe fruit; 
If they are shaken they drop into the mouth of the eater. 
See, thy people are women; fire has consumed thy defences; 
The gates of thy land are wide open to thine enemies. 

Draw thy water for the siege, strengthen thy fortresses ; 20. The 
Go to the clay pits and tread the clay; take up the brick Jj^;^*^ 

moulds. sistance 

There the fire will consume thee, the sword will cut thee 

It will devour thee, though thou increase thyself like the 

devouring worm or a swarm of locusts. 




Make thy merchants more than the stars of heaven, 

Thy watchmen as the locusts and thy scribes as the grass- 

Which swarm in the hedges on a cold day, 

But when the sun shines they fly away and their place is 

21. Woe to thee! Thy shepherds slumber; thy nobles are sleep- 
Fatal ino-' 

weak- ^"b f 

FiTre- ^^y people are scattered on the mountains, and there is no 

veaied oue to assemble them, 

0«-"). There is no healing for thy hurt ; thy wound is fatal. 

All who hear the news about thee clap their hands over thee. 
For upon whom hath thy wickedness not fallen continually? 

I. Causes of the Religious Reaction under Manasseh. The 

record of Isaiah's work closes with the account of his great triumph In 
dehvering Jerusalem. A very late tradition states that he died the death 
of a martyr. Whether this statement is historical or not, it is certain 
that with the accession of Manasseh, about 686 B.C., a heathen reaction 
swept over Judah which for a time appears to have undone almost all 
that the great prophets had accomplished. 

The causes of this reaction are not stated, but must be inferred from 
the historical situation. Tradition assigns to Manasseh a reign of 
fifty-five years. In any case he must have been exceedingly young when 
he came to the throne and therefore still under the influence of the 
women of the harem. Against this potent class in the court the great 
Isaiah had uttered his bitterest denunciations, and it is probable that 
through the young Manasseh their resentment at last found practical 
expression. Throughout this period the women especially figure as the 
devotees of the old Canaanite superstitions which still flourished in 
Judah. They also resorted to the sorcerers, magicians and necromancers. 
Throughout the kingdom the mass of the people clung to the older cults 
and objects of worship which Hezekiah, under the influence of Isaiah, 
had either sought to destroy or else had placed under the ban. 

By the conservatives of the realm, the king's ruthless destruction of 
the brazen serpent, associated by tradition with Moses, was doubtless 
felt to be an act of impious sacrilege. Isaiah and Micah, in discoun- 
tenancing the ceremonial forms of worship observed in connection with 
the temple at Jerusalem and other shrines throughout the land, were 



undoubtedly regarded by the majority of the people as heretics and 
iconoclasts. Their austere demands of justice and mercy were repul- 
sive to the corrupt leaders of the nation. Their new and exalted con- 
ceptions of Jehovah were beyond the comprehension of the majority of 
the people. 

During the long period of peace, which followed under the rule of 
Assyria, Assyrian fashions, traditions and religious ideals permeated 
Judah and were no longer regarded with the hatred and suspicion of 
the earlier days. These various powerful influences conspired to bring 
about a great reaction which, under the patronage of the king and court, 
threatened to obliterate all that the great prophets of the Assyrian period 
had accomplished. 

II. The Real Nature of the Reaction. In the light of the narrative 
in Kings, the reform sermons of Zephaniah and Jeremiah and the ac- 
count of Josiah's reformation, it is possible to gain a very definite idea 
of the real nature of this reaction. It was rooted in that large substratum 
of old Semitic heathenism which lay, even at this enlightened period, 
only a short distance below the surface of Israel's national religion. 
Most of the ceremonial institutions in use in the worship of Jehovah were 
of Canaanite origin. These and the traditions which were still cherished 
at the ancient high places, reconsecrated to Jehovah, fostered the prim- 
itive superstitions. It was exceedingly easy, therefore, for the people 
to revert to the worship of the local baals. Human sacrifice was also 
such a firmly fixed Semitic institution that the preaching of the prophets 
and the growing enlightenment of the nation had not sufficed to stamp it 
out completely. 

The narrative of Kings and the sermons of the contemporary prophets 
refer repeatedly to the worship of the sun and moon and heavenly bodies. 
These are clearly the Babylonian deities worshipped by the Assyrians: 
Shamash, the sun god; Sin, the moon god, and the other Semitic deities 
associated in the Babylonian theogony with the different planets. It 
is not probable that Manasseh, in setting up in the temple of Jehovah 
itself an asherah, or sacred pole, and horses dedicated to the sun, in- 
tended to overthrow the worship of Jehovah as the chief god of his nation. 
Rather he was simply recognizing the old popular forms of worship and 
paying, as he thought, proper homage to the deities of his conquerors. 
In the popular mind such a blending of cults did not seem inconsistent. 

Manasseh's long and peaceful reign lent support to the popular belief 
that he was a true conserver of the faith. His son Amon, who reigned 
but two ymrsi, ioilowed the religious policy of his father. His death 



was apparently due to a court conspiracy, but his son Josiah was quickly 
placed on the throne by the people, and the conspirators were slain. 

III. The Prophetic Party. The tradition in Kings, confirmed by 
the statement of Jeremiah (2^°), that many of the prophets of Jehovah 
were put to death by Manasseh, is probably historical. No true prophet 
could witness such a religious reaction as that instituted by Manasseh 
and remain silent. But to protest was to attack the policy of the king, 
and in those days, when the contest between Jehovahism and heathenism 
was so intense, such an attack would be regarded as treason. At this 
time also the people, the natural supporters of their champions the proph- 
ets, favored Manasseh' s policy, so that the prophets stood alone. Though 
silenced in public, the men who had accepted the lofty prophetic inter- 
pretation of religion were not faithless to the trust which Isaiah had 
placed in them. The testimony bound up with his disciples was pre- 
served and later became a potent force in Judah's history. Probably 
during this reactionary reign the important sermons of Amos, Hosea, 
Isaiah and Micah were collected and edited. 

It would appear that at this time the early prophetic histories of 
Northern and Southern Israel were combined in one continuous nar- 
rative, supplemented by later traditions, such as the story of the flood, 
which had been derived from the Babylonians and later naturalized in 
Judah. Possibly at this time also the foundations were laid for that re- 
vision and expansion of the older laws which embodied the new and 
nobler principles of the prophets, and which aimed to correct the evils 
first glaringly apparent during the reactionary reign of Manasseh. The 
remarkable outburst of prophetic activity during the reign of Josiah 
at least indicates that during the preceding period the disciples of Isaiah 
were lacking neither in faith nor activity. 

IV. Events in the Assyrian Empire. It was during the reign of 
Manasseh that the Assyrian empire enjoyed its brilliant Indian summer. 
In 680 B.C. Esarhaddon, one of the ablest and most energetic Assyrian 
rulers, came to the throne. He not only succeeded in preserving the 
integrity of the great empire but also realized the ambition of his father 
Sennacherib in conquering Egypt. He was a devoted patron and student 
of the old Babylonian literature and doubtless inspired in his son, who 
succeeded him in 668 B.C., those instincts which made Ashurbanipal's 
reign the golden era in the literary life of the Assyrian people. In the 
great library which he reared at Nineveh, this remarkable ruler placed 
copies of all that was best in the ancient Babylonian writings, and from 
this library have come the great majority of the historical and religious 



inscriptions which to-day reveal the history and hfe of the ancient East. 
During his reign of forty-two years (until 626 B.C.) Assyria maintained 
its control over southwestern Asia and Egypt. 

For a quarter of a century the Ethiopian king, Tirhakah, persistently, 
but fruitlessly, contested the Assyrian rule in Egypt. At last, about 660 
B.C., Thebes, the ancient northern capital, was completely destroyed, 
and Ashurbanipal ruled almost without opposition from the Taurus 
Mountains in the north to the upper Nile in the south. Manasseh is 
mentioned but twice in the Assyrian inscriptions: once as one of the 
kings of the Hittite country who provided timber for the great armory 
which Esarhaddon built at Nineveh, and later as furnishing contingents 
to the Assyrians in their campaigns against Egypt. Of the rebellion and 
subsequent repentance of Manasseh recounted by the author of Chroni- 
cles, there is no evidence either in the older biblical sources or in the 
Assyrian annals. Rather, Judah and the other states of Palestine 
prospered during this period because they had learned to submit un- 
resistingly to Assyria's rule. 

V. The Decline of Assyria. With the death of Ashurbanipal, in 
626 B.C., began the rapid decline of Assyria. The inherent weakness 
of the great empire was apparent even during the reign of Ashurbanipal, 
who maintained its prestige chiefly by his own personal energy and 
ability. The middle class, the real Assyrian people, had long since 
ceased to exercise any important influence. The authority of the king 
was in the hands of a large official class and was maintained by a vast 
army made up of hired mercenaries. National patriotism had van- 
ished and the empire was ruled in the interests of a small favored class. 
The result was that when Assyria fell under the control of the incom- 
petent successors of Ashurbanipal, its weakness suddenly became ap- 
parent to the outside world. At the same time great hordes of invaders 
from the north attacked the empire in the west and east, so that 
Assyria soon lost its western provinces. About 606 B.C., before the 
united attack of these northern forces and the Chaldeans, Nineveh, 
the proud mistress of southwestern Asia, fell, never again to rise. 

VI. The Date and Theme of Nahum*s Prophecy. The stirring 
prophecy of Nahum furnishes a fitting conclusion to the Assyrian period 
of Judah's history. The date of the prophecy is somewhere between 
the final fall of Thebes, about 660 B.C., which is referred to in ^^, and 
the final destruction of Nineveh in 607-6 B.C. The references to Nineveh 
in the prophecy favor the conclusion that its fall was not far distant, al- 
though not yet an accomplished fact. The death of Ashurbanipal and 



the attacks of the northern hordes, about the year 626 B.C., during which 
Assyria still loomed large on Judah's horizon, furnish, on the whole, the 
most probable date for this dramatic poem. 

Of Nahum himself nothing is known. Probably his native town 
Elkosh was one of the small and otherwise unknown villages of Judah; 
for his point of view is Judean, although he makes no direct reference 
in the prophecy to his native land. The prophecy is really a song of 
triumph over the approaching fall of Judah's ancient foe, Nineveh. In 
powerful imagery he pictures the guilt of the capital, the bloody spoils 
stored in its midst, and the justice of the divine judgment which is now 
about to overtake it. He also portrays vividly the advance of the in- 
vincible foes, the consternation of the defenders, and the indifference and 
incapacity of those to whom the king of Nineveh turns for help. In 
conclusion he voices the taunt song which will rise from the lips of the 
many peoples who have been ground down under the iron heel of As- 
syria, when at last shall come the glad news: "Nineveh the mighty has 

VII. The Object of Nahum's Prophecy. The little prophecy of 
Nahum has been supplemented by a later editor who has added, as an 
introduction, an alphabetical psalm describing Jehovah's justice in 
punishing his enemies. The editor has also further supplemented this 
by words of consolation and promise, especially adapted to the point of 
view and needs of the post-exilic community in which he lived; but the 
original prophecy evidently said nothing regarding the fortunes of pre- 
exilic Judah. It is clear, however, that Nahum had in mind the needs 
of his fellow-countrymen. His object was threefold: (1) to illustrate 
by the course of human history Jehovah's just rule in the universe, (2) 
to point out the inevitable fate destined sooner or later to overtake every 
nation which forsook the universal laws of justice and mercy, and (3) to 
bring a message of consolation and encouragement to the people of 
Judah, who for more than a century had suffered bitter wrongs at the 
hands of the Assyrians. 

VIII. The Great Teachings of the Prophets of the Assyrian 
Period. In the perspective of history it is clear that Assyria, under 
divine direction, performed a great service for the people of Judah, 
as well as of Northern Israel, by opening the eyes of their spiritual guides 
to certain fundamental religious truths. In the light of their vision 
of Jehovah as the just, majestic, holy and loving Ruler of the universe, 
the uncertainty, the anxiety and the stress and struggle which had char- 
acterized the heathen cults and Israel's early religion disappeared, and 



instead, prophets like Isaiah proclaimed, and exemplified in their lives, 
a faith which brought to the believer strength, security and peace. 
Religion was defined not as something apart from life, but as the central 
factor in the life of society and of the individual. Man's whole duty 
was shown to be, both in public and in private, " to act justly, to love 
mercy and to walk humbly before his God." Thus, at last, religion 
and ethics were completely blended. The task of the next generation 
was to impress these fundamental principles upon the popular con- 
science, to incorporate them in the legal codes, and to render them effec- 
tive in the life of the individual and state. 




Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and 
he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem ; and his mother's 
name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 
And he did that which pleased Jehovah and walked in all 
the way of David his father and turned not aside to the right 
or to the left. 



2. In- Bow before the Lord Jehovah, for near is the day of Jehovah, 
troduc- Yox Jehovah hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath sanctified 
(Zeph. his guests. 

I will completely take away everything from off the face of 

the earth, is the oracle of Jehovah. 
I will take away man and beast, the birds of the heavens and 

the fish of the sea, 
I will cause the wicked to stumble, and I will cut off mankind 

from the face of the earth, 

4^Upon And I will stretch out my hand over Judah and all the in- 
habitants of Jerusalem, 
And I will cut from this place the surviving Baalism and 

the name of the heathen priestlings, 
And those who worship on the housetops the host of heaven. 
And those worshippers of Jehovah who also pay homage to 

And those who turn back from following Jehovah, 
And those who do not seek Jehovah nor strive to find him. 



And I will punish the officers and the royal princes, s.upon 

And all those who clothe themselves in foreign apparel, J^^^h- 

And I will punish all who leap over the threshold, Jess ^^ 

Who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit. (^ »" 

Hark! a cry from the Fish Gate, and a wailing from the 6. upon 
New Quarter, tJS,, 

And a great din from the hills and a wailing from the in- seif- 
habitants of the Makhtesh, led^* 

For all the merchants are destroyed, all those laden with chlnta 
money are cut off. ('" ") 

And I will search Jerusalem with a lamp, and I will punish 
those who are at ease. 

Who are thickened upon their lees, who are saying to them- 

Jehovah brings neither prosperity nor calamity. 

Their wealth shall become a prey and their houses a deso- 

Near is the day of Jehovah ! near and rapidly approach- 7. Na- 
ing! je-^°^ 

Near is the bitter day of Jehovah, and strong men will then ^ly^^t^ 
cry out ; iudg- 

That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, ^^^ 

A day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and 

A day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and 

Against the fortified cities and against the high battle- 

And I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk as 
the blind. 

And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh 
as dung. 

Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver 

For in the day of the wrath of Jehovah and in the fire of his 
jealousy the whole earth shall be devoured. 

For he will make an end, yea, a speedy end of all the inhabi- 
tants of the earth. 



8. Be ashamed within yourselves, yea, be ashamed, 
Se™" Before ye become as the drifting chaff, 

f^th in Before the day of Jehovah comes upon you, 

hovah Before the day of Jehovah's wrath comes upon you. 

wuFde- Seek Jehovah all ye meek of the earth, ye who carry out his 

liver,^ teaching. 

Seek righteousness, seek meekness; perhaps ye may be 
hidden in the day of Jehovah's wrath. 

9. The For Gaza shall be forsaken ; Ashkelon a desolation ! 

Sent to Ashdod — by noon shall they rout her and Ekron be torn up! 

faUon "^oe to the dwellers by the seashore; people of the Chere- 

Phiiis- thites ! 

an? The word of Jehovah is against thee, Canaan, land of the 

?pian3 Philistines ! 

(4-7. 12) I ^iu destroy thee so that thou shalt be without inhabitant, 

And thou shalt become shepherd's cots and folds for flocks. 

In the house of Ashkelon will they He down at evening, by 
the sea will they feed. 

Ye, also, Ethiopians, slain by his sword are ye ! 

10. And I will stretch out my hand against the north and destroy 

Proud Aocri-io. ^ t> J 

Nine- Assyria ; 

j^^^'3 And I will make Nineveh a desolation, dry as the wilderness, 
(13-15) And herds will lie down in her midst; every beast of the 
Both pelican and porcupine shall lodge in her capitals. 
The owl shall hoot in the window ; the raven on the doorstep, 

for the city is destroyed. 
This is the exultant city which sat secure. 
She who said to herself, I am and there is none else ! 
How hath she become a desolation ! A lair of beasts ! 
Every passerby hisses at her, shakes his hand. 

11.. Woe to the rebellious and unclean city of oppression, 
jem-°^ She hath not obeyed the voice, she hath not accepted in- 
^l^f.^j struction. 

In Jehovah she hath not trusted, to her God she hath not 
drawn near. 




Her rulers in her midst are roaring lions, 12. of 

Her judges are evening wolves, who leave nothing over until hej 

the morning, inl" 
Her prophets are braggarts, faithless men. 

Her priests profane what is holy and do violence to the law. (^ *) 

Jehovah is righteous in her midst, he doeth no wrong, 13. Je- 

Morning by morning he established his decree, fS?uf 

Light is not lacking, an oversight is unknown. l^^^'b*'" 

I have cut off nations, their turrets are destroyed ; precept 

I have laid waste their broad streets, so that none passes JSfpfe" 

over them. (* ') 
Desolate are their cities without a man, without inhabitant. 

I said, * Surely she will fear me, she will accept instruction, i4. Je- 

Nothing shall vanish from her eyes that I have impressed [S 

upon her;' {f"^« 

But the more zealously have they made all their deeds cor- leam 

rupt. ^ ^ 

I. The Accession of the Young Josiah. The accession of the young 
king Josiah, in 639 B.C., marks an important transition in the history 
of Judah. The beginning of his reign witnessed the passing of the au- 
thority of Assyria, and its close the appearance of the new world power, 
the Chaldeans, on the horizon of southwestern Asia. His reign was 
during the calm between the two great waves of foreign invasion. In 
the inner life of Judah it was also a period of supreme importance, for 
it witnessed the temporary overthrow of the old heathenism and the 
renaissance of the teachings of the great prophets of the Assyrian period. 
Under his benign rule there suddenly arose a remarkable group of 
priests and prophets who left their stamp upon Israel's religion and pre- 
pared the nation for the painful and trying experiences of the Baby- 
lonian exile. The period thus brilliantly inaugurated was destined, 
however, to end in gloom and national annihilation. In little over half a 
century after Josiah's acce^ion Jerusalem and the temple lay in ruins, 
and the overwhelming fate which earlier prophets had feared was 

King Josiah himself was a remarkable figure in Judah's history. He 
stands out as one of the few successors of David who ruled in behalf of 
the people and in accord with the counsels of the most progressive re- 



ligious advisers of his realm. His record is also the more remarkable 
because he was the son of Amon and the grandson of the reactionary 
king Manasseh. 

The biblical records are silent as to why he reversed the policy of his 
immediate ancestors and championed thus zealously the great principles 
laid down by the prophets of the Assyrian period. It is true that there 
were forces at work in Judah which were making for reform. The great 
Assyrian power, whose might and conquest had dazzled the followers 
of Manasseh, was beginning to lose its ancient prestige. The inevita- 
ble result was a loss of confidence in the Babylonian gods, which the 
conquerors worshipped. Having caught a glimpse of the higher faith 
and ethical standards of the prophets, it was also impossible for the 
people of Judah to find complete and permanent satisfaction in the old 
heathen cults. The gross immorality and superstition, which character- 
ized the ancient Canaanite institutions, inevitably produced in time a 
strong counter reaction. 

Josiah, however, was the moving spirit in the reformation; and in 
his youthful training is probably to be found the explanation of his re- 
markable character and work. To have taken the stand which he did, 
he must have fallen under the influence of certain disciples of the earlier 
prophets. The probabilities strongly support the conclusion that his 
youthful teacher was the prophet Zephaniah, whose sermons roused the 
nation, as well as the young king. The stern, uncompromising spirit, 
which characterizes the prophet's reform sermons, is reflected in the 
extreme measures adopted later by Josiah. 

n. Zephaniah's Ancestry. Almost nothing is known of Zepha- 
niah's private history. It is significant, however, that his ancestry is 
traced back for four generations to Hezekiah. The only satisfactory 
explanation of this fact is that his great great-grandfather was none 
other than the king by that name who figured as a religious reformer in 
the days of Isaiah, three-quarters of a century before. If this most 
natural inference be true, Zephaniah was a member of the royal family, 
and in his veins, as well as in those of Josiah, ran the blood of the earlier 
reformer king. In courage and zeal he was a disciple of Isaiah. 
Many of his teachings also were but a reiteration, in the light of the 
changed conditions, of the messages of that great prophet of Hezekiah's 

III. The Historical Background of Zephaniah's Work. The 
occasion which called forth Zephaniah's sermons was apparently the 
advance of the dread foes from the north to which the young Jeremiah 



frequently refers in his earliest addresses. They were the Scythians, 
who, as may be inferred from Herodotus (I, 105) and from the later 
references in Ezekiel, had swept down from eastern Europe through the 
passes of the Caucasus, and finally occupied Armenia and parts of 
Asia Minor. With their families and possessions, they moved on in 
great hordes, regardless of racial and political barriers, fearless in battle, 
pitiless in their treatment of conquered peoples, bent only on conquest 
and plunder. About 626 or 625 B.C., one such detachment passed down 
the great highway which ran along the eastern shore of the Mediter- 
ranean to the borders of Egypt. Their apparent object was to protect 
the interests of their allies, the Assyrians, and to drive the Egyptians from 
Philistia, but their sudden appearance and their barbarous methods of 
warfare filled the peoples of Syria and Palestine with terror. Although 
Judah was not on their direct line of advance, and apparently was 
never actually invaded by them, it had good reason to fear. A half 
century of apathy and religious indifference was thus (suddenly brought 
to an end. The prophetic reformers would not be slow to improve 
this opportunity. The most probable date, therefore, for Zephaniah's 
stirring reform sermons is the year 626-5 B.C., when the Scythians first 
appeared on Judah's horizon. 

rV. The Prophecies of Zephaniah. The book of Zephaniah falls 
naturally into four general divisions. The first chapter describes in 
powerful imagery Jehovah's dread day of judgment upon Judah. It is 
best known to-day through its Latin translation which is the basis of the 
quaint, impressive, mediaeval hymn. Dies Irce. The second chapter 
traces the effect of this judgment upon Judah's powerful neighbors. 
The third division, 3^"^, describes in impassioned language the heinous 
crimes of the different classes in Jerusalem. The remainder of the 
book (3^2°) contains promises of national restoration and reflects the 
point of view of the exile. This last section was clearly added by a later 
hand to correct the grim predictions of doom and condemnation with 
which Zephaniah sought to arouse the consciences of his guilty fellow- 
countrymen. Zephaniah, like Amos and Micah, was pre-eminently a 
prophet of reform; and his sermons are important, not so much because 
of their originality, as because of their intense moral earnestness and 
their immediate effect in preparing the way for Josiah's reformation. 

V. The Coming Day of Jehovah. The prophet's opening words 
reflect conditions resulting from Manasseh's reactionary, heathen 
policy. In Judah itself the old Canaanite Baalism still had its devo- 
tees and its priests, as in Northern Israel in the days of Jezebel. 



Many Jerusalemites were also devoted to the worship on the housetops 
of the popular Babylonian gods. Others were inclined toward the 
worship of the Ammonite god Milcom. Notwithstanding these heathen 
tendencies, the majority of the people doubtless still nominally wor- 
shipped Jehovah; but in court and market-place few were obedient to 
Jehovah's demands as formulated by his faithful prophets. Zephaniah 
employed strenuous methods to arouse the popular conscience. Re- 
calling Judah's past experiences, he pictured the pitiless sacking of 
Jerusalem by the dread foe and its effect upon the different classes in 
the city. He declared that the day of Jehovah, which his hearers, like 
those of Amos, expected would be a day of joy and national vindication, 
would prove a day of anguish and lamentation. 

VI. Zephaniah's Ultimate Aim. A higher conception of Jehovah 
and a nobler ideal of social and ethical righteousness had been clearly 
presented to the people of Judah by the prophets of the Assyrian pe- 
riod; but the nation had deliberately rejected this nobler ideal. Hence 
such strenuous denunciations as at this time fell from the lips of 
Zephaniah and his young colleague Jeremiah were apparently the only 
forces that would touch the national conscience and prepare the way 
for a thorough reform. 

In the second division of his prophecy Zephaniah seeks still further 
to arouse the people and at the same time to illustrate Jehovah's im- 
partial justice and his abhorrence of all forms of pride and injustice and 
apostasy, by declaring that upon Israel's powerful neighbors would 
likewise fall the same overwhelming judgment. His prophecies picture 
a just God, rising majestic above the smouldering ruins of mighty na- 
tions. No one can read to-day his impassioned words and follow his 
vivid imagery without appreciating the powerful effect which they must 
have made upon a people trembling in mortal fear of invasion by bar- 
barian hordes; but to understand his message rightly it is necessary to 
remember that his ultimate purpose was to warn his people, that through 
contrition and reform they might escape the very calamities which he so 
graphically pictured. Like all the true prophets, therefore, Zephaniah's 
real aim was constructive. Back of all his grim predictions was the 
warm heart of the patriot and lover of God and men, earnestly laboring 
to estabhsh the complete and perfect rule of God upon earth. 



Now this word of Jehovah came to me, saying: i.The 

call to 

Before I formed thee in thy mother's bosom, I knew thee, (j^*"® 
And before thou camest forth from the womb, I consecrated * * '> 

But I said : 2. Jere- 


Alas, O Lord Jehovah ! tion 

Behold, I do not know how to speak; 
For I am only a youth. 


Then Jehovah said to me : 3. The 




Do not say, * I am only a youth ' ; 

For to all to whom I shall send thee, thou shalt go, 

And whatever I command thee, thou shalt speak. 

Be not afraid of them. 

For I am with thee to deliver thee. 

Thereupon Jehovah stretched out his hand and touched 4. The 
my mouth, and Jehovah said to me : 




(9. 10) 

Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 
See, I have set thee this day over the nations and king- 
To tear up, to break down and to destroy, to build and to 

The word of Jehovah also came to me, saying, What do sa 


you see? And I answered, A branch of an almond tree ofdi- 

[Heb. shaked]. Then Jehovah said to me. Thou hast seen jj-o- 

well ; for I am ever watching [Heb. shdked]i over my words Ject^on 

to perform them. * ' 



6. Of Again the word of Jehovah came to me : What dost thou 

idvin^-^ see? And I answered, A caldron brewing hot and it faces 
from ^^0°^ t^c north. Then Jehovah said to me, 


p'ie) From the north disaster is brewing for all the inhabitants of 

the land. 
For behold, I will summon all the kingdoms from the 

And they shall come and set up each his throne before the 

gates of Jerusalem, 
And around about all its walls and against the cities of 

And I will pass judgment upon them because of all their 

In that they have forsaken me and offered sacrifices to other 

And have worshipped the works of their own hands. 

7. En- Therefore do thou gird up thy loins and arise, 
age-'^' Speak to them all that I command thee, 
mentto Do uot be terrified before them, lest I terrify thee in their 
brave presence, 

face^of ^^^ behold, I myself make thee this day a fortified city, 
bitter And a brazen wall against the kings of Judah, its princes, 
SoS°^'" and the common people. 

^" "^ And they shall fight against thee, but they will not overcome 
For I am with thee to deliver thee, saith Jehovah. 

g In. Thus saith Jehovah [to Judah] : 

of Ju- 

eaJiilr ^ Tcmember the devotion of thy youth, the love of thy bridal 
days time 'f 

^^ * '^ How thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in the land 
that was not sown. 
Israel was Jehovah's holy possession, the first fruit of his 

All who devoured him had to pay the penalty, calamity al- 
ways overtook them. 



For from of old thou hast broken thy yoke, thou hast burst 9. De- 

thy bonds, I'v'"''^^'* 

And thou hast said, * I will not serve thee, but I will go upon j^doia- 

every height,' («? 

Yea, under every green tree thou hast stretched thyself as a 

Yet I planted thee as a noble vine, altogether from good 10. 

^^.Za . Fatal 

seed ; effects 

But alas, how thou hast turned into the degenerate shoots ^/i.^j^* 

of a wild vine ! 
For though thou wash thyself with lye and use much 

Thy guilt hath left its stain before me, is the oracle of Je- 

As a thief is ashamed when he is caught, so shall the house 11. its 
of Israel be ashamed— ^Xu? 

They, their kings, their nobles, their priests and their proph- tme 

etS — trition 

Who say to a tree, * Thou art my father,' and to a stone, ^'^' "^ 

* Thou hast borne me,' 
For they have turned to me their back, but not their 

Yet in the time of their trouble they say, *Arise and save us.' 

Why do ye contend against me? Ye are all godless ! Failure 

Yea, ye have all transgressed against me, is the oracle of toUsten 

Jehovah. hovah's 

In vain I smote your children, they received no correction, fj^^^" 
A sword destroyed your prophets, like a destroying lion, (^»-") 
Yet ye have not feared nor heeded the word of Jehovah. 
Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of darkness? 
Why do my people say, * We will be our own master, we will 
come no more to thee'? 

Can a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her girdle? 13. in- 

Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. fnldei-^ 

How well thou hast directed thy way to seek love I ^^^3^ 33^ 
Therefore thou hast inclined thy ways to evil. 



14. Also on thy skirts is found the blood of innocent persons, 

fi?iy ^ I have found it not in a secret place but over all. 

^^^ Yet thou sayest, * I am innocent ; surely his anger is turned 

away from me.* 
Behold, I will condemn thee, because thou sayest, * I have 

not sinned.* 

Off Return, apostate Israel, to me, is the oracle of Je- 

pardon hoVah. 

nation ^ wiU uot continuc to look in anger upon you, for I am merci- 

will but f Ul, 

If A) And I will not retain my anger forever; only acknowledge 
thy guilt. 
For against Jehovah thy God hast thou transgressed ; 
And thou hast strayed hither and thither in quest of strangers 

under every green tree ; 
But thou hast not heeded my voice, is the oracle of Jehovah. 

16. But I had thought, * How I will make thee like sons, 
fraction And wiU give thee a pleasant land, a noble inheritance !' 
hovlh's ^ ^^^^ ^^^ thought, * You will call me father, and will not turn 
pur|)ose away from me.* 

^ ' ^ But verily as a woman is faithless to her paramour, so ye 
have been faithless to me, house of Israel. 

17. The Declare ye in Judah and announce in Jerusalem, and say: 

f?om * Blow ye the trumpet in the land, cry aloud, 

tiie And say, " Assemble and let us go into the fortified 

north ... 1. 

(4^6) Cities.** 

Lift up a signal toward Zion, flee, stay not! 
For calamity is coming from the north and a great destruc- 

18. Like A lion has gone up from his thicket, yea, a destroyer of 

^^r' nations, 

<'■ *) He has departed, he has gone forth from his lair to lay 
waste the earth. 
For this, gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament and wail. 
For the fierce anger of Jehovah is not turned away from us. 



A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness comes 19. Like 
toward my people, J|f5!^ 

Not to winnow and not to cleanse— a strong, powerful wind, wmd ^^^ 

See, like thunder-clouds, it mounts up and like the whirl- 
wind its chariots, 

Its horses are swifter than eagles; woe to us! for we are 
ruined ! 

For hark! someone is bringing news from Dan and an- 
nouncing evil from Mount Ephraim. 

Make it known among the nations ; *There they are!* An- 20 

nounce in Jerusalem, 


^Robber bands are coming from a far distant land,* fu^f?'^^ 

Yea, they are raising their cry against the cities of Judah, 
Lying in wait in the field, they are against her on every 

Because she hath rebelled against me, is the oracle of Je- 

Thy conduct and thy acts have procured these things for 21. ah 

4-Uaa I because 

l^ee! ofJeru- 

This is the cause of thy calamity, verily it is bitter, for it ^^^J™'^ 
toucheth thy heart. P' »^) 

Cleanse thy heart, Jerusalem, from wickedness, that thou 
mayest be delivered. 

How long shall thine evil thoughts stay within thee? 

My anguish, my anguish! I am pained to the depths of my 22. The 

heart. p^,^^- 

My heart is in a tumult within me, I cannot keep silent, fr^^}^^ 

For I have heard the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of 

Destruction succeeds destruction, for the whole land is laid 

Suddenly are my tents destroyed, in an instant my curtains. 
How long must I see the signal, hear the sound of the trumpet ! 
For my people are senseless, they know me not. 
They are foolish children, and they have no understanding; 
They are skilled in doing evil, but they know not how to do 




23. Cor- Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem and see 

e^^P^T now and know, 

^bere And Seek in its open spaces, if ye can find a man, 

If there is any who does right and seeks after the truth I 
And though they say, As Jehovah liveth, surely they swear 

to a falsehood. 
Jehovah, do not thine eyes look upon truth? 
Thou smitest them, but they are not pained, they refuse to 
receive correction. 

24.High Then I thought. Surely these are the common people, with- 

and low .jIi* x-x-» 

alike out understandmg ; 

<* '> For they know not the way of Jehovah, and the law of their 
Therefore I will go to the nobles and speak to them. 
For they know the way of Jehovah and the law of their 

But these have all broken the yoke and burst the bonds. 

25. To whom shall I speak and testify that they may hear? 
degln. Behold, their ear is uncircumcised so that they cannot 
ViXhe hearken ; 

people Behold, the word of Jehovah has become to them a reproach, 
they have no pleasure in it. 
Therefore I am full of the wrath of Jehovah ; I am weary of 

restraining myself. 
I must pour it out upon the children in the street and upon 

the assembly of young men, 
For both the husband and the wife shall be taken, the aged 

and him that is advanced in years. 
And their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields 

to robbers. 
For from the least even to the greatest of them, each greedily 

And from the prophet even to the priest each deals deceit- 
They heal the hurt of my people as though it were slight, 
Saying, *Peace, peace,' when there is no peace. 


(6 »o-") 


Thus saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways and see, 26. 

And ask for my paths, the paths of the past, Deaf to 

And know where is the good way and walk therein, ho'vahs 
Thus ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, *We 


will not go.' (■'') 

Thus saith Jehovah, Behold a people is coming from the 27. The 

northland, f^^""- 

And a great nation is arousing itself from the uttermost parts agents 

of the earth. Slint"- 

They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and merci- ^'^'""^ 

Their din is like the roaring of the sea, and they ride upon 

Everyone is arrayed as a man for battle against thee, O 

daughter of Zion. 

We have heard the report of it; our hands become feeble; 28. 
Anguish taketh hold of us, pangs as of a woman in travail. J^^^* 
Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the highway, the 

For there is the sword of the enemy, terror on every side. ?r^ ^ 
my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and sprinkle thyself («i^)^ 

with ashes ; 
Take up mourning as for an only son, bitter lamentation ; 
For the destroyer shall suddenly come upon us. 

I. Jeremiah of Anathoth. About an hour's walk over the Mount of 
Olives to the north of Jerusalem lay the little village of Anathoth, the 
home of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah. The town is mentioned only a 
few times in Hebrew history. Thither, in the days of Solomon, Abi- 
athar, of the house of Eli, was banished because of his connection with 
the conspiracy of Adonijah. In the late priestly passage of Joshua 2P^, 
the village is also referred to as the residence of certain priestly families. 
The superscription to Jeremiah's prophecy states that his father, Hil- 
kiah, was one of these priests. It is exceedingly probable, therefore, 
that in Jeremiah's veins ran the blood of Eli and of the valiant Abiathar 
who followed David in his outlaw period. The sense of having been 
called, even before his birth, to be a prophet was strong within the mind 
of the young Jeremiah and points to an unusual inheritance. In the 
priestly families at Anathoth Israel's better traditions apparently sur- 



vived to find in Jeremiah their noblest exponent. Except in his deep 
interest in rehgion, there is in the records of his work almost no sugges- 
tion of the priestly point of view. Descent from a priest like Abiathar, 
who was excluded from participating officially in the service of the 
temple, is also the most natural explanation of Jeremiah's indifference 
to the ritual. 

The reference in the thirty-second chapter of his prophecy to his pur- 
chase of a field belonging to his uncle indicates that Jeremiah belonged 
to one of the prosperous families of Anathoth. Among the rolling hills 
of Benjamin, which look down toward the Dead Sea, he grew up in close 
touch with nature, amidst the quiet, austere influences of a little Pales- 
tinian village. Anathoth, however, was but a suburb of Jerusalem, so 
that from his earliest boyhood he was undoubtedly acquainted with the 
life and in close touch with the forces at work in the capital. His in- 
heritance, home life and environment were clearly all important factors 
in the making of the prophet. 

H. Jeremiah's Call to be a Prophet. Jeremiah must have been 
born during the closing years of Manasseh's reign, and was therefore 
a contemporary of King Josiah and of the royal prophet, Zephaniah. 
His call apparently came to him the same year in which Zephaniah de- 
livered his powerful reform sermons (626-5 B.C.) . He has given a wonder- 
ful picture of that inner struggle which resulted in his taking up the task 
of a religious reformer. The advance of the dread Scythians was evi- 
dently the immediate occasion. The need of some one to raise the note 
of warning and to arouse the nation to repentance appealed powerfully 
to the young priest from Anathoth. In his sensitive mental state every 
object which he saw constituted a personal call to duty. The sight of 
an almond tree, the first to put out its blossoms in the early spring-time, 
suggested the ever-watchful, protecting presence of Jehovah. A cal- 
dron, which threatened to overturn and empty its burning hot contents, 
was a grim reminder of the dread Scythian flood that was about to 
sweep down from the north. 

Jeremiah's disposition was shy and shrinking, and he was very con- 
scious of his youth. As his active ministry covered a period of over forty 
years, he was probably not more than twenty or twenty-five years old 
when he responded to the divine promptings within him and became a 
prophet. In the form of a dialogue between himself and Jehovah he 
tells of the strenuous struggle between natural inclination and what he 
recognized as the voice of God within him. So vividly did the divine 
call come to him that he seemed to hear Jehovah speaking to him 



audibly. The conflict apparently lasted for some days, if not weeks; but 
when Jeremiah finally yielded to the call to serve his race and God, the 
surrender was absolute. Henceforth his time, his inclinations, his 
domestic instincts, his reputation, and his very life were completely con- 
secrated to his divine task. 

Probably the account of his call was prepared as an introduction to 
the collection of his early prophecies which he made twenty years later 
(§ LXXXVI). It reveals that invincible faith in Jehovah which made 
him ever fearless and persistent in the face of the bitter persecutions 
and dangers which continued throughout his ministry. As he looked 
back from the vantage point of twenty years of actual experience, he 
realized that he had stood like a fortified city, unconquered, although 
besieged by princes and priests and all classes in the nation. 

III. Jeremiah's Demand for a Fundamental Reformation. The 
same conditions that confronted Zephaniah are reflected in Jeremiah's 
early reform sermons found in chapters 2 to 6. Immorality, the worship 
of the Canaanite Baalim at the old high places, many foreign customs and 
rites, and, above all, a defiant disregard for the noble ethical and spirit- 
ual teachings of the true prophets, characterized the national life of 
Judah. All these evils Jeremiah sternly denounces in his early reform 
sermons, but with a deep pathos and a note of entreaty which appeal to 
the heart even more strongly than to the reason. His original sermons, 
in this period at least, all appear, like those of Zephaniah, to have been 
cast in the impassioned five-beat measure, which expressed deep emotion 
and suggested to his hearers the lamentations of those who wailed over 
the dead. In words burning with patriotism and religious fervor he 
entreats and pleads with his nation to recall Jehovah's tender care for 
them from the first, and to show toward the divine Father the gratitude 
and loyalty which that care should evoke. He paints in all its heinous- 
ness Israel's infidelity and ingratitude. Scorn, argument, invective 
and entreaty are marvellously blended in his utterances. He demands, 
in the name of Jehovah, not merely external reform but a change in the 
ideas and ideals and purposes of his people, so fundamental that hence- 
forth they will loathe, as did Jeremiah himself, the old corrupt heathen- 
ism and will turn submissively and obediently as children to the divine 
Father, seeking simply to do his will. Like Hosea, he proclaims Je- 
hovah's readiness, yea, his passionate eagerness, to forgive his people, 
if they will but turn to him with deep, true contrition. 

IV. The Foe from the North. When Jeremiah found that reason 
and entreaty failed to reach the people, he resorted, as did Zephaniah, 



to impressive warnings. In language so powerful and vivid that one 
can in imagination see the hordes of rapidly advancing Scythians rav- 
aging and destroying all before them, he describes the agent with which 
Jehovah is about to punish and purify his guilty and corrupt people. 
At times, however, the soul of the patriot within him gains the mastery 
and he sobs over the terrible fate about to overtake his beloved nation, 
but, more than all, he bewails the guilt and impenitence which made de- 
liverance impossible. 

V. Jeremiah's Literary Figures. In their relation to their nation, 
in their teachings and in their use of literary figures, there is a close 
similarity between the work of Hosea and that of Jeremiah. Both 
loved their race with a strong, undying devotion, and both were com- 
pelled to stand by and see their nation rush on to its ruin, heedless of 
their faithful warnings. The domestic life of each, also, was a tragedy: 
Hosea's, because of the infidelity of his wife, and Jeremiah's, because 
the joys of domestic life were deliberately renounced that he might de- 
vote all his time and energies to what proved the hopeless task of saving 
the nation. In the midst of their tragic experiences both of these men 
reached heights and depths of religious experience attained by few, if 
any, of the other prophets. 

Jeremiah recognizes his close kinship with the earlier patriot-prophet 
of Northern Israel. He proclaims it by his free use of Hosea's striking 
figures. Thus, for example, he compares the relation between Jehovah 
and the nation to that of a husband and wife, and speaks of Jehovah's 
marriage to Judah and the joy of the early bridal period. He likens 
Judah's apostasy to the infidelity of a wife toward her husband and 
designates it as mere harlotry (c/. § LXIX). Jeremiah also uses 
Hosea's other favorite figure of a father in describing Jehovah's watchful 
care for his children. Jeremiah, like Hosea, is fond of striking figures, 
drawn from ordinary life. With a word or two he often paints a picture 
so vivid that it never fades from the memory, or, if so, is constantly re- 
called by familiar scenes. 

Jeremiah's sermons are not, as a rule, knit together into a close logical 
sequence. Their logic is that of the emotions. Almost within the same 
paragraph he appeals to the patriotism, to the conscience, to fear, to 
the reason, to the feelings and to the artistic senses of his hearers. He 
thus plays upon all those chords whereby it was possible to reach and 
influence the wills of his fellow-countrymen. 

VI. Jeremiah's Early Messages to His People. Jeremiah's mes- 
sage, to be appreciated, must be felt as well as grasped intellectually. 



The wider and deeper the spiritual experience of the reader, the 
greater the understanding and the appreciation of the prophet's thought. 
His message to his countrymen in the days preceding the reformation 
of Josiah was by no means a new one. There is the same exalted 
sense of Jehovah's justice as in the sermons of Amos and Isaiah. 
Jehovah, however, is more than the impartial judge; he is the God of 
love, striving through all the experiences which come to his people to 
awaken in them that sense of gratitude and loyalty which will make it 
possible for him to lavish upon them the evidences of his deep affection. 
Jeremiah's first aim, therefore, was to arouse the nation to appreciate 
its own guilt and prepare the way for true contrition and divine forgive- 
ness. His originality lies in his effective putting of the old truths. 
The folly of idolatry and apostasy is revealed as never before. The re- 
pentance, which he demands, must take possession of the whole man, 
transforming not merely the external acts but also the mainsprings of 
action, the heart and will. The God who speaks through his prophecies 
is a God who yearns with a divine passion for the love and fidelity of his 
people. It is not strange that his words took hold of king and priests 
and people, stirring them to acts unprecedented in the history of the 
Hebrew race. Even though Jeremiah's ideal of a fundamental, spiritual 
conversion was by no means fully realized, the iconoclastic deeds of the 
reformers reveal the intensity of the zeal thus aroused. 


Now in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent i. Plans 
Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the repaid 
scribe, to the temple of Jehovah, saying. Go up to Hilkiah f^^\^ 
the priest, that he may return the full amount of the money (ii k. 
which is brought into the temple of Jehovah, which the ^^*'^ 
keepers of the threshold have gathered from the people, and 
let them deliver it into the hands of the workmen who have 
the oversight of the temple of Jehovah ; that they may give 
it to the workmen who are in the temple of Jehovah, to re- 
pair the decayed parts of the temple — to the carpenters and 
the builders and the masons — as well as to buy timber and 
hewn stone to repair the temple. However, there was no 
reckoning made with them regarding the money that was 
delivered into their hands, for they dealt faithfully. 





2^ Re- Then Hilkiah the priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I 
thfcEs. have found the book of the law in the temple of Jehovah. 
ITthi -^^^ Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read 
book of it. And Shaphan the scribe went to the king and also 
to jo^-^ brought the king word, saying. Your servants have emp- 
f^}^^ tied out the money that was found in the temple and 
have delivered it into the hands of the workmen who 
have the oversight of the temple of Jehovah. And Sha- 
phan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest 
has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the 
3. His But when the king had heard the words of the book of 
tfon^f the law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded 
Hilkiah the priest and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and 
Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and 
Asaiah the king's servant, saying. Go, inquire of Jehovah 
for me and for the people and for all Judah, concerning the 
words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of 
Jehovah that is kindled against us, because our fathers have 
not hearkened to the words of this book, to do just as is 
written in it concerning us. 
4^Hui- So Hilkiah the priest and Ahikam and Achbor went to 
predic- Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tik- 
gardfng vah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe, who dwelt 
Judah in Jerusalem in the second quarter, and they conversed 
josmh^ with her. And she said to them. Thus saith Jehovah, the 
God of Israel: ' Tell the man who sent you to me, " Thus 
saith Jehovah : I am now about to bring evil upon this place 
and upon its inhabitants, even all the threats of the book 
which the king of Judah hath read." ' But to the king of 
Judah, who sent you to inquire of Jehovah, this shall you 
say to him, 'Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: "As 
regards the words which thou hast heard — because thy heart 
was penitent, and thou didst humble thyself before Jehovah, 
when thou heardest what I spoke against this place and 
against its inhabitants, that they should become an object 
of dread and execration, and hast torn thy garments and 
wept before me, I also have heard thee, saith Jehovah. 
Therefore I will gather thee to thy fathers and thou shalt 
be borne to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see 




all the evil which I will bring upon this place." ' So they 
brought back word to the king. 

And the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders 5. Pub- 
of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up to the -'nYa^nli 
temple of Jehovah, and with him all the men of Judah and promui- 
all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as well as the priests and §uhe 
the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and Jode 
he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the ^231- 
covenant which was found in the temple of Jehovah. And 
the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before 
Jehovah to establish the words of this covenant that were 
written in his book. And all the people confirmed the 

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the e. jo- 
second priest and the keepers of the threshold to bring out pV^^j! 
from the temple of Jehovah all the vessels that were made ti^ai 
for Baal and for Asherah and for all the host of heaven; forms 
and he burned them without Jerusalem in the lime-kilns by iah'^' 
the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He also de- j^d^ 
posed the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had sliTm 
ordained to offer sacrifice at the high places in the cities of ^*'"^ 
Judah, and in the places around about Jerusalem ; those also 
who offered sacrifices to Baal, to the sun, the moon, and the 
planets, and all the host of heaven. And he brought the 
asherah from the temple of Jehovah outside Jerusalem to 
the Brook Kidron and burned it at the Brook Kidron, 
beat it to dust, and cast its dust upon the graves of the com- 
mon people. And he broke down the houses of the sacred 
prostitutes who were in the temple of Jehovah, where the 
women wove tunics for the asherah. And he brought all 
the priests out of the cities of Judah and defiled the high 
places, where the priests had offered sacrifices, from Geba 
to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the 
satyrs, that stood at the entrance of the gate of Joshua 
the governor of the city, which were on the left as one enters 
the gate of the city. Nevertheless the priests of the high 
places did not come up to the altar of Jehovah in Jerusalem, 
but ate unleavened bread among their kinsmen. He also 
defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, that 
no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through 



the. fire to Molech. And he took away the horses that the 
kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the 
temple of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the 
chamberlain, and he burned up the chariots of the sun. And 
the altars that were on the roof, which the kings of Judah 
had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made (in 
the two courts of the temple of Jehovah) the king broke 
off and beat down from there and cast the dust from them 
into the Brook Kidron. And the high places that were east 
of Jerusalem, to the south of the hill of the destroyer, which 
Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtarte, the abom- 
ination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh, the abomination 
of Moab, and for Milcom, the abomination of the Ammon- 
ites, the king defiled. And he broke in pieces the pillars, 
and cut down the asherahs and filled their places with the 
bones of men. 
7. De- Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place 
tf^ of which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had 
the ai- niade, even that altar and the high place he tore down, and 
^d broke in pieces its stones and beat it to dust and burned 
pifces *^® asherah. Also all the temples of the high places that 
of sa- were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had 
<?5^"^20) made to provoke Jehovah to anger, Josiah took away and 
did to them just as he had done at Bethel. And all the 
priests of the high places, who were there, he slew upon the 
altars and burned men's bones upon them. Then he re- 
turned to Jerusalem. 
8 Ob- And the king commanded all the people, saying. Keep 
In'^'of the passover to Jehovah your God, as it is prescribed in this 
t^e book of the covenant. For such a passover as this had not 
?vir been kept from the days of the judges who judged Israel, 
^" "^ and during the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of 
Judah ; but in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this pass- 
over was kept to Jehovah in Jerusalem. 
9. Jo- Moreover the mediums, the wizards, the idols, and all 
fidelity the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and 
to^he in Jerusalem, Josiah put away, that he might establish the 
(M. 26) words of the law which were written in the book that Hil- 
kiah the priest found in the temple of Jehovah. And before 
him there was no king like him who turned to Jehovah with 



all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might ac- 
cording to all the law of Moses; neither after him did any 
arise like him. 

These are the statutes and the judicial decisions which lo. Re- 
ye shall faithfully observe in the land which Jehovah, the SjJ^: 
God of thy fathers, hath given thee as a possession, all the ^J^.^^^ 
days that ye may live upon the earth. Ye shall destroy all aiihea- 
the places in which the nations, that ye shall dispossess, Srines 
served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the ^V.4) 
hills and under every green tree; and ye shall break down 
their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their 
asherahs with fire ; and ye shall hew down the graven im- 
ages of their gods; and ye shall destroy their name out of 
that place. Ye shall not do as they do to Jehovah your 
God. 11. To 

Thou shalt not plant an asherah, which thou shalt make Sfhea- 
of any kind of tree, beside the altar of Jehovah thy God; *^^. 
neither shalt thou set up a pillar which Jehovah thy God bois 
hateth. ^) ' 

If there be found in the midst of thee, within any of thy 12. Pro- 
cities which Jehovah thy God is about to give thee, a man inpun- 
or a woman, who doeth that which is evil in the sight of ^^oy- 
Jehovah thy God, in transgressing his covenant, and hath aityto 
gone and served other gods and worshipped them, or the sun, vlh°" 
or the moon, or the host of heaven, which I have not com- ^*^ ''^^ 
manded, and it be reported to thee and thou hast heard of it, 
then shalt thou investigate thoroughly, and if it prove to be 
true and be established that such abomination hath been 
committed in Israel, then thou shalt bring forth that man 
or woman, who hath done this evil, to thy gates, even the 
man or the woman; and thou shalt stone them to death. 
On the testimony of two or three witnesses shall he who is 
condemned be put to death. He shall not be put to death 
on the testimony of one witness. The hands of the witnesses 
shall first be raised against him to put him to death, and 
then the hands of all the people. Thus thou shalt purge the 
evil from thy midst. 



I. The Reformers of Judah. In the light of the narrative of Kings 
it is evident that Zephaniah and Jeremiah did not stand alone in their 
efforts for reform. At the head of the Jerusalem temple was Hilkiah, 
the priest, in full sympathy with the new movement. Josiah, also, in the 
course of his reign, had gathered about him a group of able officials who 
supported him in his reform measures. Later, in their attitude toward 
Jeremiah during the reactionary reign of Jehoiakim, they revealed the 
strength of their devotion to the teachings of the true prophet. Before a 
successful and permanent reformation could be carried through, how- 
ever, it was necessary to formulate the teaching of the earlier prophets 
in definite regulations which could be set before the people and rigidly 
enforced. The account of Josiah's reformation clearly indicates that 
this need was fully appreciated and suggests how it was met by the new 
school of prophetic reformers. 

II. The Finding of the Law in the Temple. The account of the 
finding of the book of the law in the temple is usually interpreted as im- 
plying that the discovery was accidental. Possibly Hilkiah himself 
was unaware of its existence. It is significant, however, that when the 
law-book was found, the spirit of reform was in the air and had already 
led to the repair of the temple. It is also certain that some hand had 
placed the law within the sacred precincts. The account of its discov- 
ery and the radical reforms which followed its promulgation suggest 
that, although many of the laws were doubtless old, the code as a 
whole was new. Its perfect adaptation to the conditions which grew 
out of the reactionary reign of Manasseh also indicates that it was 
formulated with a view to correcting these definite evils. Its public 
discovery at the opportune moment may well have been a part of 
the programme of the zealous reformers. If so, their plans proved 
thoroughly successful. 

The great influence of the prophets in Judah during the reign of 
Josiah is obvious. Confirmation of the authority of the book was se- 
cured, not by referring it to Hilkiah, the head of the priesthood, but to 
a certain otherwise unknown prophetess, Huldah, who, perhaps being 
the eldest, was recognized as the head of the prophetic order. Her reply 
is cast in the language peculiar to the book of Deuteronomy. 

III. The Detailed Reforms. The account of the promulgation of 
the newly found law-book is of great interest because it throws light upon 
the way in which in ancient Israel a new code became the law of the 
realm. In Judah it was easily possible to gather the people in a great 
popular assembly. The new code was evidently not long, for it was 



quickly read before the assembled nation. Then the king solemnly 
swore to accept it and to rule in accord with the terms of this code; and 
the people, by popular acclaim, ratified his action. 

An iconoclastic reformation is always deplorable, for it brings an 
inevitable reaction. Josiah's reformation proved no exception to the 
rule; and yet it is easy to see why the prophetic reformers felt the need 
of drastic measures. The symbols of the old Canaanite and the newer 
Assyrian forms of worship were first destroyed. Even the asherahs, the 
sacred poles, and the pillars, which were regarded as legitimate by the 
early prophetic historians, were now torn down, for, in the more en- 
lightened age, they were seen to be dangerous and degrading. More 
sweeping still was Josiah's destruction of the ancient high places, which 
were Canaanite in their origin, but had later been consecrated to the 
worship of Jehovah. Each little village was deprived of its local 
shrine; and the royal temple at Jerusalem was henceforth declared to 
be the only legitimate sanctuary of the realm. Even the ancient high 
place at Bethel, hallowed by the traditions of Jacob and the worship of 
the Northern Israelites through many centuries, was destroyed by the 
uncompromising reformers who gathered about Josiah. The late editor 
of Kings also asserts that the king laid waste the other high places 
throughout Samaria and slew their priests upon the altars. 

At the conclusion of this sweeping reform the ancient feast of the 
passover was celebrated by the people, not in their homes or at the local 
sanctuaries, as had been the earlier custom, but in the temple at Jerusa- 
lem which the reformers sought to make the centre of all of Judah's 
ceremonial worship. 

While Josiah's strong hand ruled Judah, the representatives of the 
old superstitions were not tolerated within the bounds of his kingdom. 
The letter as well as the spirit of the new law-book was rigidly enforced. 
The account of the reformation implies that it dealt simply with ex- 
ternal religious forms. Symbols and rites are the first objects to be at- 
tacked by a zealous reformer. The fact that Jeremiah is practically 
silent regarding the effects of Josiah's reforms, and later laments the 
absence of a fundamental change in the hearts and lives of his fellow- 
countrymen, and the sad reaction that came during the reign of Jehoi- 
akim, all point to the inevitable conclusion that, while Josiah's reforma- 
tion was significant, it failed to realize the higher spiritual ideals of the 
great ethical prophets. 

IV. The Basis of the Reformation. In the light of a careful com- 
parison of the account of Josiah's reformation with the laws found in 



the twelfth and immediately following chapters of Deuteronomy, there 
is little doubt that these represent the new book of the covenant which 
was placed in the hands of Josiah. Each reform, which he is reported 
to have carried through, is definitely enjoined in these Deuteronomic 
laws. The spirit which actuated the reformers also characterizes these 
regulations. The evils which the new laws endeavored to correct were 
clearly before the lawgivers when they wrote out the different enact- 
ments. In their eyes apostasy was treason both to Jehovah and the 
state and therefore to be punished by the death penalty. No mercy is 
shown to the representatives of those particular types of heathenism 
which came to the front in the days of Manasseh. In the light of these 
facts it would appear that many of these laws were formulated in the 
early days of Josiah's reign or else on the eve of the great reformation. 
V. The Present Form of Deuteronomy. In its present form 
Deuteronomy is a compendium of laws dealing with a great variety of 
subjects and coming from many different periods. Chapters 1-4 con- 
tain a hortatory introduction, placed by a later editor in the mouth of 
Moses, thus making Israel's founder the representative of the later 
prophets whose teachings are the basis of the laws which follow. The 
laws themselves are found in chapters 5-26. The familiar prophetic 
decalogue is first introduced, with hortatory additions, in chapter 5. 
Chapters 6-11 contain a series of exhortations based on the first com- 
mand of the prophetic decalogue. The next division, chapters 12^-17', 
consists of ceremonial and religious laws. In IV^-IS^^ i\^q appointment 
and duties of the judges, kings, priests and prophets are described. 
Chapter 19 contains a collection of criminal laws, to which may be 
added 21'"^ A group of military laws is found in 20 and 2V°-'*. The 
next section, 21'^-25^^, contains a miscellaneous collection of civil, crim- 
inal, humane and religious regulations. Many of these laws repeat the 
enactments found in the other groups. They appear to be a series of 
supplements added to the preceding collection. 'Chapter 26 deals with 
the sacred dues, and 27 preserves the tradition regarding the recording 
of the law at Mount Ebal and the solemn formula which the people were 
to rehearse in order to emphasize the more essential laws. Chapters 
28-30 contain promises of blessings, in case these laws are kept, and 
curses and warnings, in case they are disregarded. Chapter 31 gives 
the tradition regarding the preservation of the law; 32 is a majestic 
psalm attributed to Moses. Chapter 33 is the later variant of the so- 
called, "Blessing of Jacob," found in Genesis 49. The last chapter of 
Deuteronomy takes up again the narrative of Numbers and tells of the 



death and burial of Moses. Thus, as in the first four books of the Old 
Testament, songs, psalms, exhortations, warnings, curses, blessings, 
historic narratives, and criminal, civil, military, humane and ceremonial 
laws are all mingled together in this wonderful product of the later 
prophetic school. 

VI. The History of Deuteronomy. The earliest edition of Deuter- 
onomy apparently began with chapter 12 and possibly extended through 
chapter 19. Doubtless to this original nucleus the miscellaneous laws in 
20^^-25^^ were soon added. The foundation of all these laws is the group 
of primitive regulations preserved in Exodus 2P-23^^ (§§ LIX, LX). 
Only a few of these earlier laws are quoted word for word, but fully 
three-fourths of them are reproduced in the language peculiar to the 
authors of Deuteronomy. Where fundamental changes are introduced, 
they reveal the changed conditions and the influence of the higher prin- 
ciples proclaimed by the prophets of the Assyrian period. The fact that 
a nucleus of the laws and customs in the book of Deuteronomy was by 
tradition attributed to Moses, is the basis of the conjecture which grew 
into the later tradition that he was the author of all these laws. Doubt- 
less many of these primitive regulations reflect the principles laid down 
by Israel's first great prophet-judge; but it is equally clear that many of 
the laws of Deuteronomy deal with specific problems and embody pro- 
phetic teachings first proclaimed in the eighth and seventh centuries 
before Christ. Deuteronomy, therefore, represents the germinal truths 
enunciated by Moses, as they gradually unfolded in the light of the later 
experiences of his race and under the influence of the inspired teachings 
of his later successors in the prophetic office. 

Amos's high ideal of civic and social justice; Hosea's and Amos's 
distrust of the high places and the prevailing heathen symbolism, and 
Hosea's exalted doctrine of love to God, to one's fellowmen and to all 
created things, are some of the most important doctrines which are re- 
produced in the form of the definite, concrete regulations of Deuter- 

The introductions and appendices to the original nucleus of the book 
are clearly from later hands. The Babylonian exile casts its shadows 
across certain of these chapters and explains that fervid earnestness 
which characterizes the entreaties and curses. In its final form, there- 
fore, Deuteronomy is one of the many Old Testament books which came 
from the troublesome days of the exile. 

VII. The Characteristics of Deuteronomy. The book of Deuter- 
onomy is unique among the law-books of antiquity. In it the work of 



the priests and prophets blend, although its point of view from begin- 
ning to end is more prophetic than legal. Not only is it introduced by 
earnest prophetic exhortations, but frequent warnings and exhortations 
are found in connection with the individual laws. Few penalties are 
prescribed. The authors of these laws evidently aimed to appeal to the 
conscience of the people and to provide definite regulations to guide the 
conduct of the ordinary citizen rather than the action of the judges in 
the pubhc tribunal. A strong democratic and philanthropic spirit 
characterizes the entire book. The rights of the needy, the defenceless 
and the oppressed are championed at every turn. A strenuous attempt 
is made to guard against the misuse of power by judges, kings and others 
in authority. There are few criminal laws, the regulations of the earlier 
code being accepted as sufficient and final. Loyalty and obedience 
to the divine commands, respect for the teachings of the true prophets. 
a purified ritual, and a recognition of the laws of justice and love in all 
the relations between man and man are ihe subjects most emphasized. 
Excepting in the harsh and severe laws dealing with the surviving rem- 
nants of the old heathenism, a commanding love for God and man every- 
where dominates this early gospel. 



1. Place Take heed not to offer thy burnt-oflerings in every place 

melhod that thou seest ; but in the place which Jehovah shall choose 

of^sacri- in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt-offer- 

(Dt. ings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee. And 

ii] " " thou shalt offer thy burnt-offerings, the flesh and the blood, 

upon the altar of Jehovah thy God; and the blood of thy 

sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of Jehovah thy 

God ; and thou shalt eat the flesh. 

2. Per- If an animal have any blemish, such as lameness or blind- 
Inlmab ^css or any evil blemish whatever, thou shalt not sacrifice 
(•5^^) it to Jehovah thy God. 

3. Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy 
osl?-^^ grain of thy new wine, or of thine oil, or of the firstlings of 
^"e3„ thy herd or of thy flock, or any of thy votive-offerings which 
18)' thou vowest, nor thy voluntary-offerings, nor the special 



gifts of thy hand; but thou shalt eat them before Jehovah 
thy God in the place which Jehovah thy God shall choose, 
together with thy son, thy daughter, thy male and female 
slaves, and the Levite who dwelleth in thy city; and thou 
shalt rejoice before Jehovah thy God over all which thou 
hast acquired. 

Yet thou mayest to thy heart's desire kill and eat flesh 4.Am- 
within any of thy cities, according as Jehovah thy God hath Jjf ^ 
blessed thee : the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of food^ 
the gazelle and as of the hart. Only ye shall not eat of the i^) 
blood ; thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water. 

Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. But every ^^^^' 
beast that parteth the hoof and cleaveth the cleft of the two s^^- 
hoofs and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye may for^ 

__x food 

eat. (14 3.6) 

These ye may eat of all that are in the waters ; whatever e. Fish 
hath fins and scales may ye eat; and whatever hath not JFrds 
fins and scales ye shall not eat ; it is unclean to you. Of all ('") 
clean birds ye may eat. 

But all winged swarming creatures are unclean to you; 7. in- 
they shall not be eaten. Of all clean winged creatures ye l^d^ 
may eat. birds^ 

Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth a natural death. g. car- 
If a man have committed a sin deserving of death, and he jipn 
be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree, his body shall 9 ^ig. 
not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely posai^ 
bury him the same day, for he that is hanged is accursed of capi- 
of God,— that thou defile not thy land which Jehovah thy God ffide,- 
is about to give thee as an inheritance. 4^* ^^' 

If one be found slain in the land which Jehovah thy God 10. Rite 
is about to give thee as a possession, lying in the open field, f^^^^f 
and it be not known who hath smitten him, then thy elders de- 
and thy judges shall come out, and they shall measure the mSrdtr 
distance to the cities round about the one who is slain; and (^i i-^) 
the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall 
take from the herd a heifer which hath done no work nor 
drawn in the yoke; and the elders of that city shall bring 
down the heifer to a valley with running water, which hath 
been neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's 
neck there in the valley. And the priests the sons of Levi 



shall come near; for Jehovah thy God hath chosen them 
to minister to him and to bless in the name of Jehovah, and 
every controversy and every stroke shall be according to their 


ii.Ani- AH the first-born males of thy herd and of thy flock thou 
b?ic*-^ shalt consecrate to Jehovah thy God ; thou shalt do no work 
rificed with the first-born of thy herd, nor shear the first-born of 
hovlh thy flock. Thou, together with thy household, shalt eat 
y^^ ''" it before Jehovah thy God year by year in the place which 
Jehovah shall choose. And if it have any blemish, such as 
lameness or blindness or any evil blemish whatever, thou 
shalt not sacrifice it to Jehovah thy God. Thou shalt eat it 
within thy gates ; the unclean and the clean shall eat it alike, 
as the gazelle, and as the hart. 
12. When thou shalt come into the land which Jehovah thy 

Jf^pre-^ God is about to give thee as an inheritance, and shalt possess 
ihVtjSt ^*» ^^^ dwell therein, thou shalt take a part of the first of all 
inaits"^ the fruit of the ground, which thou shalt bring in from thy 
land that Jehovah thy God giveth thee; and thou shalt put 
it in a basket, and shalt go to the place in which Jehovah 
thy God shall choose to have his name dwell. And thou 
shalt come to the priest who shall be officiating in those days, 
and say to him, I declare this day to Jehovah thy God, that 
I have come to the land which Jehovah promised by oath 
to our fathers to give to us. Then the priest shall take the 
basket out of thy hand, and set it down before the altar of 
Jehovah thy God. And thou shalt speak out and say be- 
fore Jehovah thy God, An Aramean ready to perish was my 
father; and he went down into Egypt, and resided there as 
an alien, few in number; and he became there a nation, 
great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians dealt 
evilly with us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bond- 
age. Then we cried to Jehovah, the God of our fathers, and 
Jehovah heard our cry, and saw our affliction, and our toil, 
and our oppression; and Jehovah brought us forth from 
Egypt with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, 
and with great terrors, and with signs, and with wonders; 
and he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us 




this land, a land abounding with milk and honey. Now, 
therefore, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground, 
which thou, O Jehovah, hast given me. And thou shalt set 
it down before Jehovah thy God ; and thou shalt rejoice in 
all the good which Jehovah thy God hath given to thee and 
to thy household, together with the Levite and the alien 
who resideth in thy midst. 

Of all the produce of thy seed thou shalt take a tenth of J,^;^^^. 
all that groweth in the field each year, and before Jehovah tJtion 
thy God, in the place wherein he shall choose, to have his reguilr 
name dwell, thou shalt eat the tithe of thy grain, of thy new tijth^ 
wine, and of thine oil, and the first-born of thy herd and of ") 
thy flock, that thou mayest learn to fear Jehovah thy God 
always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou 
art not able to carry it, because the place where Jehovah thy 
God shall choose to set his name, is too far from thee ; when 
Jehovah thy God shall bless thee, thou shalt exchange thy 
offering for money, and shalt bind up the money in thy hand, 
and shalt go to the place which Jehovah thy God shall choose ; 
and thou shalt spend the money for whatever thou desireth, 
for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or 
for whatever thine appetite craveth; and thou shalt eat 
there before Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt rejoice to- 
gether with thy household. Also thou shalt not forget the 
Levite who dwelleth within thy town, for he hath no portion 
nor inheritance with thee. 

When thou vowest a vow to Jehovah thy God, thou shalt i4. The 
not delay to pay it ; for Jehovah thy God will surely require Sfen't of 
it of thee and it will be sin on thy part. But if thou refrain ^23°^^:: 
from making a vow, it shall be no sin on thy part. That ^) 
which thy lips have declared thou shalt faithfully do, ac- 
cording as thou hast vowed to Jehovah thy God, a voluntary 
offering, which thou hast promised by word of mouth. 


Jehovah thy God hath chosen the priests the sons of Levi 15. To 
to minister to him, and to bless in the name of Jehovah. And fudg^ 
according to their sentence shall every dispute and case of ^^i ^^) 
assault be decided. 



16. To Guard carefully against the plague of leprosy in that thou 
charge faithfully observc and follow all the directions which the 
of cases Levitical priests give you. According to the commands 
rosy'^ which I gave them shall ye carefully do. 
(24 8) When ye draw near to offer battle, the priest shall approach 

en- ° and speak to the people and say to them, Hear Israel, ye 
peM? ^^® drawing near this day to fight against your enemies ; do 
(20 2 4) jiQt lose heart, fear not, nor tremble, neither be afraid be- 
cause of them; for Jehovah your God is going with you to 
fight for you against your enemies in order to deliver you. 

18. No The Levitical priests, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have 
tance' uo portiou uor inheritance with Israel. And they shall have 
b^.^y' no inheritance among their kinsmen; Jehovah is their in- 
heritance, as he hath declared to them. 

19. To The Levitical priests, even all the tribe of Levi, shall eat 
cJrtlin the offerings made by fire to Jehovah, and of that which be- 
the?f-^ longs to him. And this shall be the priests* due from the 
ferings people, from those who offer a sacrifice whether it be ox or 
i^ti)' sheep: they shall give to the priests the shoulder and the 

two cheeks and the stomach. The first-fruits of thy grain, 
of thy new wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece 
of thy sheep thou shalt give him ; for Jehovah thy God hath 
chosen him and his sons out of all thy tribes, to stand to 
minister in the name of Jehovah forever. 

20. And if a Levite cometh from any of thy towns in all Israel, 
§'|^^n where he resideth, and cometh with a whole-hearted de- 
priests sire to the place which Jehovah shall choose ; then he shall 

minister in the name of Jehovah his God, as do all his 
brethren the Levites, who serve Jehovah there. He shall 
have like portions to eat, besides that which cometh from 
the sale of his patrimony. 


21. The Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Jehovah thy 
ba^h Go^ commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labor and do 
^orjnan all thy work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to Jehovah 
beast thy God ; in it thou shalt do no work, thou, nor thy son, nor 
(5 12") ^j^y daughter, not thy male or female slave, nor thine ox, 

nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor the alien who re- 



sideth within thy city, that thy male and female slave may 
rest as well as thou. Thou shalt also remember that thou 
wast a slave in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah thy God 
brought thee out from there by a mighty hand and an out- 
stretched arm ; therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee 
to keep the sabbath. 

Observe the month Abib, and keep the passover to Je- 22. 
hovah thy God; for in the month Abib Jehovah thy God ^^^f^^ 
brought thee forth from Egypt by night. And thou shalt p&s- 
sacrifice the passover to Jehovah thy God, both sheep and (Jis 1-2) 
oxen, at the place where Jehovah shall choose to have his 
name dwell. 

None of the flesh which thou sacrificest the first day at 23. 
evening shall remain throughout the night until the morn- Jf®ob°^ 
ing. Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any serving 
of thy cities, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee ; but at the W''- 3- 
place where Jehovah thy God shall choose to have his name "" ^^ 
dwell, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover in the evening 
as the sun goes down, at the fixed time when thou camest 
forth from Egypt. And thou shalt cook and eat it in the place 
which Jehovah thy God shall choose; then thou shalt re- 
turn home in the morning. Thou shalt eat no leavened 
bread with the passover; seven days shalt thou eat un- 
leavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction, for 
thou camest forth from the land of Egypt in trepidation; 
that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest 
forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. And 
for seven days no leaven shall be seen with thee in all thy 
territory. Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread; and 
on the seventh day shall be an assembly to Jehovah thy 
God ; in which thou shalt do no work. 

Seven weeks shalt thou number to thee ; from the time 24. 
thou beginnest to put the sickle to the standing grain shalt wltks°' 
thou begin to number the seven weeks. And thou shalt jf^t^^ 
keep the feast of weeks to Jehovah thy God according to ningof 
the measure of the voluntary offering which thy hand shall \t7{^^ 
present in proportion as Jehovah thy God blesseth thee. 
Thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy male and female 
slaves, and the Levite, who dwelleth in thy city, and the 
resident alien, the fatherless and the widow, who live with 



thee, shall rejoice before Jehovah in the place where Jehovah 
thy God shall choose to have his name dwell. 
25. Thou shalt keep the feast of tabernacles seven days, 

ff®^^ after thou hast gathered in the products of thy threshing- 
teber- floor and thy winepress. And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, 
lu?nf together with thy son and thy daughter, thy male and fe- 
male slaves, the Levite, the resident alien, the fatherless, 
and the widow, who are within thy city. Seven days shalt 
thou keep a feast to Jehovah thy God in the place which 
Jehovah shall choose; because Jehovah thy God will bless 
thee in all thine increase and in all the work of thy hands, 
and thou shalt be altogether joyful. Three times in the 
year shall all thy males appear before Jehovah thy God in the 
place which he shall choose: at the feast of unleavened 
bread, and at the feast of weeks, and at the feast of taber- 
nacles; and they shall not appear before Jehovah empty- 
handed ; every man shall give as he is able according to the in- 
dividual gift with which Jehovah thy God hath blessed thee. 
26.Sev- At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 
y^r of And this is the nature of the release : every creditor shall re- 
lf§^^. mit that which he hath lent to his neighbor; he shall not 
exact of his neighbor or fellow-countryman, because Je- 
hovah's release hath been proclaimed. Of a foreigner thou 
mayest exact it ; but whatever of thine is with thy fellow- 
countryman let thy hand release. 
27. Moses gave the Israelites this command: At the end of 

Siding every seven years in the year fixed for the release, at the 
oUhe feast of tabernacles, when all Israel cometh to see the 
(31 lo- face of Jehovah thy God in the place which he shall choose, 
"^ thou shalt read this law before all Israel. Assemble the 

people, the men and the women and the children, as well as 
the aliens who reside within thy city, that they may hear, 
and learn, and fear Jehovah your God, and faithfully fol- 
low all the words of this law. 


ment Judges and officers shalt thou appoint according to thy 

dSties tribes in all the cities which Jehovah is about to give thee. 

?udg2^ The judges shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 

(16 18- Thou shalt not pervert justice: thou shalt not show par- 



tiality ; neither shalt thou take a bribe, for a bribe blindeth 
the eyes of the wise and perverteth the words of the righteous. 
Justice and only justice shalt thou follow, that thou mayest 
live and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth 

If there be a controversy between men and they come 29. 
for a decision, and judgment is pronounced upon them, with l^^^_ 
the result that the righteous is vindicated and the wicked ness, 
condemned, and if the culprit deserves to be beaten, then S^St ' 
the judge shall make him lie down and be beaten in his pres- ^^s 1-3) 
ence with the number of blows corresponding to his crime. 
Forty blows may he inflict upon him, but no more, lest, if 
he add more blows than these, thy fellow-countryman be 
held in contempt in thine eyes. 

If a question involve bloodshed or conflicting claims, or 30. 
the plague of leprosy, — questions of controversy within thy ^^Jfof 
city too difficult for thee to decide,— then thou shalt set out Jhe^«en- 
and go up to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; court 
and thou shalt come to the Levitical priests, and to the judge (»7 «• 9) 
who shall be officiating in those days; and thou shalt in- 
quire ; and they shall make known to thee the proper judi- 
cial sentence. 

Thou shalt act according to the tenor of the sentence which 31.. its 
they shall make known to thee from that place which Je- ^^^^i ^^ 
hovah shall choose ; and thou shalt do exactly as they direct be^|je- 
thee, according to the tenor of the instruction which they 0^ "> 
shall give thee, and according to the decision which they 
shall impart to thee, thou shalt do without departing from 
the sentence which they shall make known to thee, either 
to the right hand or to the left. 

Should a man act presumptuously, so as not to hearken 32. Re- 
to the priest who standeth to minister there before the Lord f^^^J. 
thy God, or to the judge, that man shall die. Thus thou 9^^l^^_ 
shalt purge away the evil from Israel, that all the people tencr' 
may take heed, and fear, and never again act presump- ^'^ ''^ 

One witness shall not stand up alone to testify against a 33.wit- 
man for any crime, nor for any sin which he has committed, "fg^^] 
By the testimony of two or three witnesses must a matter 
be established. 



34.Pun- If a malicious witness stand up against a man to accuse 

mentof ^^ ^^ trcason, then both the men who have the dispute 

a false shall Stand before Jehovah, before the priests and the judges 

(11-2?)^^ who shall be officiating in those days; and the judges shall 

thoroughly investigate ; and should it prove that the witness 

is a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his 

countryman, then shall ye do to him as he purposed to do 

to his fellow-countryman; thus thou shalt purge away the 

evil from thy midst, that those who remain may heed and 

fear, and never again commit any such crime in thy midst. 

And thou shalt not show pity ; life for life, eye for eye, tooth 

for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. 

35. The witnesses shall first raise their hands against a mur- 
SitSs derer to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the 
iuSng people. Thus thou shalt purge away the evil from thy midst. 
sen- And this is the rule in regard to the manslayer, who may 
(17^7^) flee to a city of refuge and live: whoso killeth his neighbor 

36. The accidentally without having been his enemy formerly, as 
anceof for example when a man goeth into the forest with his 
nocent i^cighbor to cut wood, and he swingeth the ax with his hand 
man- to cut dowu a trcc, and the head slippeth from the helve and 
(i9^f.Io) striketh his neighbor, so that he dieth, the man shall flee 

to one of these cities and live; lest the avenger of blood 
pursue the manslayer, while he is enraged, and overtake 
him, because the way is long, and take his life, although he 
did not deserve to die, since he was not formerly the dead 
man's enemy. Therefore I command that thou shalt set apart 
three cities. And if Jehovah thy God enlarge thy borders, 
as he hath sworn to thy fathers, and give thee all the land 
which he promised to give to thy fathers, if thou shalt keep 
all this command to do it, which I command thee this day, 
in that thou love Jehovah thy God, and walk ever in his 
ways, then shalt thou add three other cities, besides these 
three, that innocent blood may not be shed in the midst 
of thy land, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee as an in- 
heritance, and thus blood-guilt be upon thee. 

37. But But if any man hate his neighbor, ard lie in wait for 
t^e°^ hini» and attack him and strike him mortally so that he 
^'j^- die, and the murderer flee to one of the cities of refuge, 
(u-13) the elders of his city shall send and bring him, and deliver 



him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 
Thou Shalt have no mercy on him, but shall purge away 
the innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with 

When thou comest to the land which Jehovah thy God is 38. 
about to give thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell in it, 2c^}^' 
and shalt say to thyself, I will set over me a king as have all tions of 
the nations that are round about me, be sure to set over thee 07^"»^ 
as king him whom Jehovah thy God shall choose ; one from ''^ 
among thy fellow Israelites shalt thou set over thee as king; 
thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee who is not a fellow 

Only he shall not provide many horses for himself, nor 39. His 
shall he cause people to return to Egypt in order that he jbiiga- 
may provide many horses, since Jehovah hath said to you, (•°-"^) 
Ye shall never again return that way. Neither shall he 
take many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; 
neither shall he collect for himself great quantities of silver 
and gold. 

And when he sitteth upon his kingly throne he shall write 40. At- 
f or himself in a book a copy of this law which is in the charge 
of the Levitical priests; and he shall have it always with the 
him, and he shall read in it daily as long as he lives, that Sw 
he may learn to fear Jehovah his God, to take heed to ob- ^"'^°^ 
serve all the words of this law and these statutes, that his 
heart be not lifted up above his kinsmen, and that he turn 
aside from this command neither to the right nor to the left, 
in order that he and his descendants may continue long to 
rule in the midst of Israel. 





Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when it treadeth out the Siaring 
grain. (25 *) 

When thou buildest a new house, thou shalt make a Guard- 
parapet for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thy ^^^^^^ 
house, in case any man should fall from it. safety 

Fathers shall not be put to death with their children, and if '^ 
children shall not be put to death with their fathers ; each Sparing 
man shall be put to death shnply for his own crime. L^nt 


(34 «) 


44. In the case of a poor man, thou shalt not sleep with his 
4g°'^" pledge ; thou shalt surely restore to him the pledge at sun- 
(i^u)^ set, that he may sleep in his garment, and bless thee ; thus 

thou wilt be counted righteous before Jehovah thy God. 

45. Not No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone as a 
a^nlcS- pledge, for thereby he taketh a man's life as a pledge. 

^jjy Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant who is poor and 

46. needy, whether he be of thy own race, or of the resident 
SS^°^ aliens who are in thy land within thy city. On the same day 
hired thou shalt pay him his wages before the sun goeth down, 
vants for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it; and let him 
(" ") not cry against thee to Jehovah, and thou be guilty of a 


47. Pro- Thou shalt not deliver to his master a slave who has fled 
tection fj.Qjjj jjjg niaster to thee. He shall dwell with thee in thy 
^Ij^i^ land, in the place which he shall choose within one of thy 
") towns, where it pleases him best, without thy oppressing 

48 Giv- If one of thy own race, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, 
eraiiy ^^ sold to thee, he shall serve thee six years; then in the 
f?eld seventh year thou shalt let him go free. And when thou 
slave lettest him go free, thou shalt not let him go empty-handed ; 
(15 iJ") rather thou shalt furnish him liberally from thy flock, and 
thy threshing-floor, and thy winepress; according as Je- 
hovah thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give to him. 
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a slave in the land 
of Egypt, and that Jehovah thy God redeemed thee ; there- 
fore I now command thee to do this thing. 

49. Not Thou shalt not pervert the justice due to the resident alien, 
wrong or to the fatherless, nor take a widow's garment to pledge ; 
deSt?' ^^* *^^^ ^^^^* remember that thou wast a slave in Egypt, 
(24 17. and that Jehovah thy God redeemed thee from there ; there- 
^'^ fore I command thee to do this thing. 

50. To Jehovah so loveth the resident alien that he giveth to him 
L°ren*^* food and raiment. Love then the resident alien ; for ye were 
(10 18b. QYice resident aliens in the land of Egypt. 

51. To When thou lendest thy neighbor any kind of loan, thou 
Tman's ^^^^* ^^* ^o i^to his house to take a pledge from him. 
feelings Thou shalt staud without, and the man to whom thou dost 
2) '" lend shall bring out the pledge to thee. 



Thou shalt not lend on interest to thy fellow-countryman : 52. To 
interest on money, food or on anything that is lent on in- in?e^r^t 
terest. To a foreigner thou mayest lend on interest; but g^^* 
to thy fellow-countryman thou shalt not lend on interest, brew^ 
—that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in all that thou 2?)^"* 
undertakest to do, in the land to which thou art going to 
possess it. 

If there be with thee a poor man, one of thy fellow-country- 53. Not 
men, in any of thy cities in thy land which Jehovah thy fSs^a 
God giveth thee, thou shalt not be hardhearted, nor shut ^^^^ 
thy hand from thy poor brother ; but thou shalt surely open V^^S.n\ 
thy hand to him, and shalt lend him sufficient for his need 
as he wanteth. Beware lest this base thought come in thy 
heart. The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand, and 
thou turn a deaf ear to thy poor brother, and thou give him 
nothing, and he cry to Jehovah against thee, and thou be 
guilty of a crime. Thou shalt surely give to him, and thy 
heart shall not be sad when thou givest to him, because for 
this Jehovah thy God will bless thee in all thy work, and in 
all that thou undertakest to do. For the poor will never 
cease to be in the land; therefore I command thee. Thou 
shalt surely open thy hand to thy brother, to thy needy, and 
to thy poor in thy land. 

When thou reapest thy harvest in thy field, and hast for- 54. to 
got a sheaf in thy field, thou shalt not go again to bring it; parTof 
it shall be for the resident alien, for the fatherless, and for pain 
the widow, that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in all the n°eedy^ 
work of thy hands. When thou beatest thy olive-tree, thou ^"^ "' 
shalt not go over the boughs again ; it shall be for the resident 
alien, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou 
gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean 
it after thee ; it shall be for the resident alien, for the father- 
less, and the widow. Thou shalt remember that thou wast 
a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command thee to 
do this thing. 

When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithe of 55. To 
thy produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, ^J^^, 
thou shalt give it to the Levite, to the resident alien, to n»ai 
the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within tke^ 
thy city, and be filled. And thou shalt say before Jehovah 5||1? 

229 "' 


thy God, I have put away the consecrated things out of my 
house, and have also given them to the Levite, and to the 
resident alien, to the fatherless, and to the widow, just as 
thou hast commanded me; I have not transgressed any of 
thy commands, neither have I forgotten them. 

I. The Value of the Deuteronomic Laws. The laws contained in 
the book of Deuteronomy are of a twofold value to the modern student. 
Representing, as they do, Israel's legal development during the two or 
three centuries following the formulation and acceptance of the primitive 
decalogues in Ex. 21-23 (§§ LIX, LX), they afford an excellent basis 
for the study of the development of the inner institutional life of Judah, 
and reveal the practical fruitage of the activity of the prophets of the 
eighth and seventh centuries before Christ. In the second place, be- 
cause of their high ethical and spiritual qualities, many of these laws 
will never cease to be a guide and inspiration to nations and individuals 
seeking to know and to do the will of God. 

Naturally there is no reference in the account of Josiah's reformation 
to the philanthropic laws of Deuteronomy; but in the royal court and in 
the public tribunals, and especially in their appeal to the conscience of 
the race, they doubtless exerted a quiet yet pervasive influence, holding 
up before the nation, in clear and definite form, the principles which 
the true prophets proclaimed in public address and by personal ex- 

II. The Laws Regarding Sacrifice and Ceremonial Cleanliness. 
The earlier primitive codes had provided that men should rear altars 
and offer sacrifices anyA^here throughout the land of Israel. The experi- 
ence of the days of Manasseh had demonstrated that the heathen insti- 
tutions which still clung to the local shrines were inimical to the pure 
worship of Jehovah. Through the sermons of Amos and Hosea one 
can see the drunkenness, the revelry, the loud songs and the immor- 
ality, which, under the guise of religion, characterized and debased the 
festivals held at these ancient shrines. 

The new code provided that no sacrifice or offering should be presented 
to Jehovah, except in the temple at Jerusalem. There the reformers 
clearly hoped, under the shadow of the court and the direction of the 
leading priests and prophets of the realm, to guard the purity of the 
ceremonial worship against debasing heathen rites. Hitherto a portion 
of every animal slain for food had apparently been presented to Jehovah 
as a sacrifice. When all sacrifice was centralized in Jerusalem, it Y ^s 



practically impossible to follow this ancient custom. Accordingly per- 
mission was given to kill animals and eat the flesh at any place, without 
any religious or ceremonial significance attaching thereto. The offerer 
was simply under obligation to respect the ancient Semitic belief that 
the blood of the animal represented the God-given life. Hence, the 
blood was not to be eaten, but poured upon the ground. 

The Hebrews were also commanded not to eat the flesh of certain 
animals which were considered unclean. While the distinction between 
clean and unclean animals seems arbitrary, it appears to have been de- 
termined in certain cases by the habits of the animals thus distinguished 
or by the pleasant or loathsome impression which the beast or bird or 
fish made upon primitive man. Scavengers are, as a rule, thus ex- 
cluded; also animals living in holes, and birds of the night. In many 
cases beasts and birds were doubtless regarded as unclean because they 
had been the totems of certain primitive Semitic tribes. The camel was 
probably placed under the ban for this reason. 

In the Deuteronomic code there are few traces of the later detailed 
laws regarding ceremonial uncleanness. The only exceptions to this 
rule are two laws which apparently embody very ancient customs: the 
one directs that the body of one punished for a capital offence be buried 
at once ; the other describes the rite of purification to be observed by the 
members of the community in case an undetected murderer has brought 
moral guilt upon a village or city. This rite perhaps represents a sur- 
vival of the old Semitic institution, reflected in the code of Hammurabi, 
which assumed that every community was responsible for crimes com- 
mitted in its midst. The ceremony was in itself a protest on the part of 
the community against the crime, and a symbolic prayer for that as- 
surance of ceremonial purity in the sight of God which was given by 
Jehovah's representatives, the priests. 

HI. Duties and Income of the Levitical Priests. The Deutero- 
nomic code knows nothing of the later distinction between the priests 
and the Levites. All priests are designated as "sons of Levi." This 
title was applied to those who had charge of the temple at Jerusalem 
as well as of the other ancient sanctuaries. From the laws regarding 
sacrifice it would also appear that, not the priest, but each individual 
offerer still slew the sacrificial victim, and himself presented certain 
parts to Jehovah. The rest he shared with his family and the dependent 
members of the community. In the case of the first-fruits, the priest 
received the basket containing them, and placed it before the altar of 
Jehovah. Otherwise there is little evidence that at this period the chief 



duty of the priests was to offer the sacrifices. Instead, they figure most 
prominently as the representatives of Jehovah to whom civil, criminal 
and religious cases were referred for their judicial decision. Failure 
to abide by their decision was regarded as an act of impiety punishable 
by death. The method of procedure in dealing with cases of leprosy 
was also determined by them. On the eve of battle they encouraged 
the people by earnest exhortations. Above all, they were the teachers 
of the masses. By word, as well as by legal decision and symbol, the 
faithful priests taught the people how to worship and how to deal 
justly with one another. Thus the early priests were in a very true 
sense the successors of Israel's first great leader and judge, Moses. 
Through their decisions and counsels and teachings, they were, by 
virtue of the religious authority attributed to them, in a position to ex- 
ert a powerful influence upon the life and faith of the people. 

Their regular income included those parts of the burnt-offerings which 
were not entirely consumed: the shoulder, the two cheeks, the stomach 
of every ox or sheep that was sacrificed, and the first-fruits of the grain, 
wine and oil, and the first fleece of every flock. This comparatively 
meagre means of support w^as supplemented by the privilege of sharing 
in the family feasts at the sanctuary and of receiving a part of the tri- 
ennial tithe. The amount, however, in each case was determined by 
the generosity of the individual offerer. The frequent exhortations 
in Deuteronomy not to forget the Levite indicate that there was great 
need of arousing this generosity, and imply that the Levites often suffered 
actual want. 

When the many sanctuaries outside of Jerusalem were abolished, 
Josiah, in accordance with the regulations of the new law-book, per- 
mitted those who ministered at these ancient shrines to come and share 
the income of the Jerusalem temple. Few, however, appear to have 

A little later, in Ezekiel's code, these outsiders are designated as the 
Levites, in distinction from the priests — the descendants of those who 
had hitherto ministered at the Jerusalem temple. By Ezekiel and in 
the later codes, the more menial positions and duties are assigned to 
these Levites. The law of Deuteronomy, therefore, represents the be- 
ginning of that great movement which fundamentally transformed the 
position and functions of the priestly class. 

IV. The Pre=Exilic Sacred Calendar. The book of Deuteronomy 
reveals the great changes which were gradually being made in Israel's 
ceremonial institutions. The old nomadic festivals had become dis- 



tinctly agricultural feasts. The sabbath was pre-eminently a day of 
rest for laboring man and beast. Thus its social and philanthropic 
character was primarily emphasized. Already "the sabbath was for 
man, not man for the sabbath." 

The dates of the three great annual festivals were still left indeter- 
minate, except that the feast of weeks was to begin seven weeks after 
the ripening of the first grain in the month of March-April. The 
passover marked the beginning of the harvest, which in Palestine came 
about the end of March. Hitherto it had been a family festival, ob- 
served at the home or else at the local high places. The Deuteronomic 
law-givers, in accordance with their aim to centralize all worship, 
enacted that the paschal lamb should be sacrificed and eaten only at 
Jerusalem under the shadow of Jehovah's temple. They provided, 
however, that the feast should first be observed at home for seven days, 
during which no leavened bread should be eaten. The seventh day 
was to be celebrated by a general assembly of the people. 

The second great feast, the feast of weeks, corresponded to the feast of 
the harvest in the primitive codes. It marked the end of the grain 
harvest, just as the passover marked the beginning. Its date was de- 
pendent upon the season; but it had usually come in the latter part of 
May. In the code of Deuteronomy its date was fixed just seven weeks 
after the beginning of the passover in order that it might be celebrated 
in all parts of the country at the same time. At this feast the men again 
came up to Jerusalem with their families to present to Jehovah a volun- 
tary offering proportionate to the extent of their harvest. It was a 
time when rich and poor feasted together and gave thanks to Jehovah 
who had blessed them with the fruits of the soil. 

The third great national festival, known in the primitive codes as 
the feast of ingathering, was designated in the law-book of Deuteron- 
omy as the feast of booths or tabernacles. It was the concluding agri- 
cultural festival of the year, when the fruits of the field had been gathered 
in and the grain thrashed on the thrashing-floor and the wine was fresh 
from the presses. In the later priestly codes its date was fixed in the 
latter part of September. In spirit and character it corresponded 
closely to the old New England Thanksgiving. In the early days it 
had been celebrated on the thrashing floors or beside the wine-presses or 
at the local sanctuary; but the Deuteronomic law-givers provided that 
it should be observed for seven days at the central sanctuary at Jerusalem. 
Like the other festivals, it was a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving, 
when all members of the community feasted together, sharing their 



offerings with the slaves, the Levites, the resident aliens, the fatheriess, 
and the widows. Every man, woman and child was expected to go up 
at this time to Jerusalem and to take as an offering what he was able. 

The effect of these feasts upon the life of the community cannot be 
overestimated. In forms that were natural and joyful, they developed 
the worshipful instincts of the people. They emphasized the unity of 
the nation and its obligations of loyalty and service to Jehovah. They 
also developed the democratic and generous spirit; for all classes feasted 
together, sharing a common meal. Moreover, they gave the religious 
leaders, the priests, the prophets and the sages, an opportunity to come 
into close touch with the people and to teach them, at a time when the 
minds of their hearers were especially free from care and open to receive 
new truths. 

V. Judicial and Civil Organization. The Deuteronomic law-givers 
accepted the existing judicial organization, but sought to define still 
further the duties and responsibilities of judges and witnesses. They 
also provided for a central court of appeal, consisting chiefly of the Le- 
vitical priests at the Jerusalem sanctuary. To this central court, as a 
final authority, important and difficult criminal, civil and ceremonial 
cases were to be referred. This provision was probably a result of the 
dominant aim to centralize all judicial as well as religious authority in 

In earlier times an ancient custom had obtained which permitted 
every man who had shed the life of a human being to find refuge from 
the avenger of blood at Jehovah's altar. Thus, every high place was 
an asylum for the innocent man-slayer, and the primitive codes had 
provided that only a deliberate murderer should be denied this privilege 
(§ LIX^). When these high places were abolished by the Deuteronomic 
law-givers, it became necessary, out of deference to the ancient custom, 
to establish certain cities of refuge at convenient distances throughout 
the land. According to the late tradition in Joshua 20, the three west- 
Jordan cities of refuge were Kadesh in Galilee, Shechem in the hill coun- 
try of Ephraim, and Hebron in southern Judah. The three east of the 
Jordan were Bezer in the territory of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead, further 
in the north, and Golan in Bashan, in the territory of the half tribe of 
Manasseh. For the needs of the people of Judah the two sacred cities 
of Jerusalem and Hebron were probably selected, and possibly a third 
town further in the west. 

The laws regarding the kingship were intended primarily to guard 
against the evils which had become apparent during the reign of Solo- 



mon. They sturdily championed the old democratic principles which 
from the first had characterized the Hebrew state. They provided a 
constitution to guide the king in his ruling and to protect the rights 
of the people. The Hebrew state was thus made a constitutional 
monarchy. The laws also emphasized strongly that theocratic idea, 
inherent in all the early Semitic communities, that the Deity was the 
supreme ruler of the nation, and that the king was simply his earthly 

VI. Humane Regulations. One of the most marked characteristics 
of the Deuteronomic laws is their humane spirit. They apply Hosea's 
law of love to every department of life. Those who toil and those who 
are helpless, whether men or beasts, are the especial objects of the law- 
givers' attention. These laws are superbly adapted to the life and con- 
dition of the people and represent the beginnings of that philanthropic 
and social legislation which is gradually transforming and ennobling the 
character of our modern civilization. They recognize the responsi- 
bility of the strong and wealthy and those who rule, not only to the less 
fortunate but also to the weaker and less efficient members of the com- 
munity. They proceed on the universal principle that "it is more 
blessed to give than to receive," and that intelligent, liberal giving is as 
necessary and helpful to the giver as to the one who receives. 

The old custom of punishing the kindred of a criminal as well as the 
culprit himself, which had been abandoned a few generations before 
in the reign of Amaziah (§ LXXIIP*), was formally recognized as unjust 
and was accordingly annulled by the Deuteronomic law-givers. The 
justice of not taking as pledge a millstone, which was required in pre- 
paring the food for each family, was obvious. The law which enjoins 
the payment of the wages of a laboring man without delay is as practically 
applicable to-day as in ancient Israel. So also the law which seeks to 
secure impartial justice for the resident alien and for all others in the 
community who could not plead their own cause or had no powerful 
champion. A delicate consideration characterizes the regulation which 
commands that a creditor shall not invade the sanctity of the home of a 
poor debtor in order to secure a pledge. The command not to ask in- 
terest of any fellow-Hebrew must be interpreted in the light of the fact 
that in these early days life in Judah was still very simple. Loans were 
usually made to those who had suffered misfortune, and were necessary 
in order to save the borrower from starvation or slavery. Therefore, to 
demand the exorbitant rate of interest which was usually asked in the 
East would have been cruel. It was equally disastrous to withhold a 



loan from a poor man. Hence the Deuteronomic laws regarding inter- 
est are in reality strong and practical exhortations to be generous to the 
poor and needy. 

These laws aim, however, by means of definite, legal regulations, to 
lift the act above the plane of mere charity and to save the self-respect 
of the one who borrows, as well as to emphasize the responsibility of 
those who are able to make the loan. 

The same noble consideration appears in the law regarding the glean- 
ings. They are to be left in the field and on the vines and olive trees 
that the needy may by their own toil share in the common products of 
the soil. The tithe of the third year was also presented to Jehovah to be 
held in trust for the wards of the community, the Levites, the resident 
aliens, the fatherless and the widows. Divested of their local setting 
and coloring, the principles which underlie these ancient humane regu- 
lations anticipate and in certain ways surpass the noblest legislation of 
the most advanced modern Christian lands. 

PREACHER UNDER JEHOIAKIM In the days [of Josiah] Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt 

fiui^ went up against the king of Assyria to the River Euphrates. 

attack And King Josiah went against him ; and Pharaoh-necho slew 

Secho him at Megiddo, as soon as he confronted him. And his 

23 25^10) servants carried him in a chariot from Megiddo and brought 

him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. 

And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah 

and anointed him and made him king in place of his father. 

2. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to 

^rma reigu and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his 

posed mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of 

con- ^ Libnah. And Pharaoh-necho put him in bonds at Riblah 

^^J^^ in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem, 

("-**) and imposed on the land a tribute of a hundred talents of 

silver and ten talents of gold. And Pharaoh-necho made 

Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of Josiah his father 

and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz 

away with him, and he came to Egypt and died there. And 

Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh. He 



had to tax the land, however, to give the money demanded 
by Pharaoh : each according to his taxation he exacted the 
silver and the gold from the people of the land in order to 
give it to Pharaoh-necho. 

Weep not for him who is dead, nor wail for him ; 3. jere- 

Weep rather for him who is gone, for he shall not return, "fe?-* 
And never again shall he see the land of his birth. ences to 

the fate 
of Je- 

For thus saith Jehovah, concerning Shallum [Jehoahaz], (jTn 22 
the son of Josiah, who was king instead of Josiah his father, " "^ 
who went forth from this place : He shall not return thither 
again, but in the place whither they have led him away 
captive he shall die, and this land shall not see him again. 

Woe to him who buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and 4. je- 

his chambers by injustice ; kfrn-'s 

Who causeth his neighbor to labor without wages, and giveth f^^^"' 

him not his pay ; policy 

Who saith, I will build me a vast palace with spacious ^" "^ 

chambers ; 
Provided with deep-cut windows, ceiled with cedar and 

painted with vermilion. 
Dost thou call thyself king because thou excellest in cedar? 
Thy father — did he not eat and drink and execute law and 

He judged the cause of the poor and needy ; then it was well. 
Was not this to know me? saith Jehovah. 
But thine eyes and heart are bent only on thy dishonest 

And on the shedding of innocent blood and on oppression 

and violence ! 

Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim, the 5. Je- 
son of Josiah, king of Judah: Jfi% 


They shall not lament over him, * my brother » or * my ^" "^ 
sister * ! 



They shall not bewail for him, * lord,' or * his glory ' I 
He shall be buried as an ass is buried, drawn out and cast 

6. At- Jehovah gave me knowledge of it so that I knew it, then I 
Tlhl beheld their deeds. 

men of gu^ I was as a trustful lamb, which they led to the 

Ana- t 1 ^ 

thoth slaughter. 

jere-" Agaiust me they devised devices : * Let us destroy the tree 
(^f ?8. with its sap ; 

2°) And let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his 

name may no more be remembered.* 
But Jehovah, thou righteous judge, who testest the heart 

and the mind, 
I shall see thy vengeance on them, for to thee have I revealed 
my cause. 

7. Their Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the men of 
P^^e'i't^' Anathoth, who seek thy life, saying. Thou shalt not prophesy 
(" ") in the name of Jehovah that thou die not by our hand: 

Behold I will visit them in punishment, the young men shall 

die by the sword. 
Their sons and their daughters shall perish by famine. 
And there shall be no remnant left to them, 
For I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the 

year of their visitation. 

8. Re- The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, Stand in 
an?e' *^® S^*® ^^ Jchovah's house and proclaim this message: 
and < Hear the word of Jehovah, all ye of Judah. Thus saith 
S Jehovah the God of Israel: " Amend your ways and your 
^^fy deeds and I will let you dwell in this place; trust not in 
guar- lying words, thinking. This is the temple of Jehovah. For 
tffe- if ye really amend your ways and your deeds, if ye faithfully 
hovah's execute justice between a man and his neighbor, if ye op- 
tectwn press not the resident alien, the fatherless and the widow, 

and shed not innocent blood in this place and do not go 


(7 1-') 


after other gods to your hurt; then I will cause you to 
dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, 
forever and ever. 

But now ye are trusting in lying words that cannot profit. 9. 
Will ye steal, murder and commit adultery, swear falsely of"th? 
and offer sacrifice to Baal, and go after other gods whom ye Pf°p^® 
have not known, and then come and stand before me in 
this house which is called after my name and say. We 
are free to do all these abominations? Is this my house, 
which is called by my name, in your eyes a den of rob- 
bers? Behold I, indeed, have seen it," is the oracle of 

" Then go now to my sanctuary which is in Shiloh, where I lo. 
caused my name to dwell at first, and see what I did to it to'bl'^^ 
because of the wickedness of my people Israel. And now be- be- 
cause ye have done all these deeds, and, although I spoke to i'^Sral 
you insistently, ye have not heeded, and although I called ganct- 
you, ye have not answered, therefore I will do to the house, "^ry 
which ye call by my name, in which ye trust, and to the ihiioh 
place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to 
Shiloh ; and I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast 
out your kinsmen, even the entire race of Ephraim. 


This is the nation that hath not hearkened to the voice of ii. La- 
Jehovah their God, ^^^j;^ 
Nor received correction; truth hath perished from their the cor- 

.1 *■ nipt 

mOUtn. nation 

Cut off thy hair, cast it away, and raise on the bare heights ^'' ''^ 

the cry of lamentation. 
For Jehovah hath rejected and cast off the generation of his 

wrath ; 
For the people of Judah have done evil in mine eyes, is Je- 
hovah's oracle. 
They have set their abominations in the house which is called 

by my name, to defile it. 
They have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the 

valley of Ben-Hinnom, 
In order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, which 

I never commanded them, nor had it entered my 




12. . Therefore behold the days are coming," is the oracle of 
biYfate Jehovah, 

filTit' " When one shall no longer say. The high place of To- 
(»* ") pheth nor the valley of Ben-Hinnom 

But the Valley of Slaughter ; for they shall bury in Topheth 
until there is no place left. 

Then shall the dead bodies of this people be food 

For the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth ; and 
none shall frighten them away. 

Then when I cause to cease from the cities of Judah and the 
streets of Jerusalem the sound of mirth and of re- 

The voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride ; for 
the whole land shall become a waste." ' 

13. ^ And then when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that 
lar^^' Jehovah had commanded him to speak to all the people, 
^11'^ the priests and prophets and all the people took hold of him, 
to put saying, You must die. Why have you prophesied in the 
miah to name of Jehovah, saying, * This temple shall be like Shiloh, 
fl5*8^») and this city shall be desolate, without habitation * ? And 

all the people were gathered about Jeremiah in the temple 
of Jehovah. 

14. His And when the princes of Judah heard these things, they 
gp'onae Came up from the king's palace to the temple of Jehovah; 
to the and they sat at the entrance of the new gate of the temple of 
It- *^ Jehovah. Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the 
meS' princes and to all the people, saying. This man is guilty of a 
^"' ") capital offence, for he has prophesied against this city as 

you have heard with your own ears. Then Jeremiah ad- 
dressed the princes and all the people, saying. It was Je- 
hovah who sent me to prophesy against this temple, and 
against this city all the words that you have heard. Now 
therefore reform your ways and your acts, and obey the 
voice of Jehovah your God ; and Jehovah will repent of the 
evil that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, 
see, I am in your hand; do with me as appears to you to 
be good and right. Only be assured that, if you put me 
to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves 
and upon this city and upon its inhabitants, for verily 



Jehovah hath sent me to you to speak all these things in 
your ears. 

Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and is.a- 
to the prophets, This man is not guilty of a capital offence, ofthe 
for he has spoken to us in the name of Jehovah our God. g^J^^®" 
Thereupon certain of the elders of the land arose and spoke estlb- 
to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Mo- bj^hl 
rashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah ; ^^^^^ 
and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, * Thus c'-'') 
saith Jehovah of hosts: 

" Zion shall be plowed as a field, 
And Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, 
And the temple-mount wooded heights." ' 

Did Hezekiah and all Judah indeed put him to death? 
Did they not fear Jehovah and appease Jehovah, so that 
Jehovah repented of the evil which he had pronounced 
against them? But we are on the point of doing great in- 
jury to ourselves. 

Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of le. 
Jehovah, Uriah the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath-jearim ; unlh^ 
and he prophesied against this city and against this land ^^° "^ 
in the same terms as did Jeremiah. And when Jehoiakim 
the king and all the princes heard his words, the king sought 
to put him to death ; but when Uriah heard it he was afraid 
and fled and went to Egypt. And Jehoiakim the king sent 
men to Egypt. And they brought Uriah from Egypt, and 
took him to Jehoiakim the king, and he slew him with 
the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the 
common people. But the influence of Ahikam the 
son of Shaphan was in favor of Jeremiah that they should 
not give him into the hands of the people to put him to 

Then Jehovah said to me. Go and buy a bottle made of i7. 
clay, and take certain of the elders of the people and of the of'Se"^ 
priests and go out by the gate of the potsherds. And thou ^roken 
shalt break the bottle in the sight of the men who are with (191^10 
thee, and thou shalt say to them,* Thus saith Jehovah " Even "' "'^ 
so will I break this people and this city, as one breaks an 



earthen vessel so that it cannot be made whole again, so I 
will do to this place and to its inhabitants," is the oracle of 

18. Ap- Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, whither Jehovah had 
Son%'o sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the temple 
the. of Jehovah and said to all the people. Thus saith Jehovah: 
"u. }?)° < Behold I will bring upon your city and upon all its villages 

all the evil which I have pronounced against it, because 
they have defiantly refused to hear my words.' 

19. Jer- Now when Pashhur, the son of Immer the priest, who was 
iTthe chief oflicer in the temple of Jehovah, heard Jeremiah 
stocks prophesying these things, he smote him and put him in 

the stocks, which were in the upper gate of Benjamin, in 
the temple of Jehovah. 

20. The But on the following day Pashhur released Jeremiah 
await- from the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, Jehovah hath 
p£h- ^^* called thy name Pashhur but Magor [Terror], for thus 
h^and saith Jehovah : * Behold I am about to make thee a terror 
people to thyself and to all thy friends; and they shall fall by the 
judah sword of their enemy before your very eyes. But thee and 
(»-«) all Judah will I give into the hand of the king of Babylon, 

and he will carry them into captivity and slay them with the 
sword. Moreover I will give all the riches of this city and all 
its possessions and all the treasures of the king of Judah 
into the hands of their enemies, and they shall carry them 
away to Babylon; and thou and all that dwell in thy house 
shall go into captivity, and thou shalt die at Babylon and 
be buried there, together with all thy friends to whom thou 
hast prophesied falsely. 

21. The Thou hast beguiled me, Jehovah, and I let myself be be- 
et's^bit- guiled ; for thou art stronger than I and hast prevailedo 
tf5io)°^ I have become a laughing-stock all the day, every one 

mocketh me; 

For as often as I speak, I am an object of laughter, for I cry. 
Violence and Spoil! 

For the word of Jehovah hath become to me a cause of re- 
proach and derision all the day ; 

And if I say, I will not think of it nor speak any more in his 




Then there is in mine heart, as it were, a burning fire shut 

up in my bones. 
And I am weary of enduring, I cannot longer bear it ; 
For I hear defaming of many, terror on every side. 
Let us rise up against him, [say] all my familiar friends who 

watch for my stumbling. 
Perhaps he will be beguiled, and we will prevail against him 

and take our vengeance upon him. 

Cursed be the day in which I was born, 22. Re- 

Let not the day wherein my mother bore me be blessed. fhlt he 

Cursed be the man who brought joyful tidings to my father, "^^^ 
saying, bom 

A man child is born to thee, making him very glad. 

Let that man be as the cities which Jehovah pitilessly over- 
threw ; 

Let him hear a cry of pain in the morning and a war-cry at 

Because he did not let me die in the womb, so that my 
mother should have been my grave and her womb ever 

Why came I forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow, 

That my days should be consumed with shame? 

L The Reign of Josiah. The decade which followed the great ref- 
ormation of Josiah appears to have been the happiest and most pros- 
perous in all of Judah's stormy history. The just and humane princi- 
ples contained in the new law-book were practically applied in the life 
of the nation. The late tradition in Jeremiah IV'^ implies that Jere- 
miah joined with the king in urging the people to follow faithfully the 
guidance of the new code. 

There is also strong evidence that the energetic king extended the 
influence, if not the bounds of Judah, so as to include a part, and possibly 
all of the territory of Samaria. A late tradition states that he destroyed 
the heathen paraphernalia of the high places in Northern Israel as well 
as in Judah. At a later period people from Samaria and Shechem came 
to worship at the site of the ruined temple at Jerusalem (§ XC"^). In 
sermons, which apparently come from this period, Northern Israel, 
as well as Judah, is the object of Jeremiah's warnings and promises, 
suggesting that the relations between the people of Judah and the sur- 



vivors of the northern kingdom were exceedingly close. Ezekiel also, 
from the distant exile, a decade or two later, continued to address the 
Northern Israelites, as well as the people of Judah who survived the 
first captivity. During the latter part of Josiah's reign it was possible 
for him to extend his kingdom to the north, for the rule of Assyria was 
so far relaxed that the states in distant Palestine were left free to es- 
tablish their independent authority without serious opposition from 
outside. Hence it would seem that Josiah's reign revived and realized 
many of the popular hopes suggested by the never-to-be-forgotten glories 
of the days of David. 

II. The Death of Josiah about 608 B.C. If Josiah's sphere of in- 
fluence extended to the plain of Esdraelon, it is easy to understand why 
he went out to meet Necho, king of Egypt, near Megiddo, on the south- 
western side of the great northern plain. Having become master of 
southern Palestine, Josiah felt himself able and under obligation to 
combat a strong heathen foe whose avowed object was simply conquest. 
Also having zealously espoused the cause of Jehovah, he was doubtless 
confident that Jehovah of hosts would surely grant him a victory, even 
against the huge army of Necho. In the light of a broader faith it is 
obvious that his confidence was unwarranted, for it reflected the older 
and cruder Hebrew belief that Jehovah was the champion simply of Israel. 

Jeremiah is significantly silent regarding the incident; but in the minds 
of the common people, when Josiah fell mortally wounded at the hands 
of the Egyptian mercenaries, Jehovah's power or willingness to deliver 
his people was seriously questioned. They interpreted the signal calam- 
ity, which overtook the reformer king, as a divine rebuke for his sweeping 
innovations; but they did not forget his noble character. Jeremiah re- 
fers to the prolonged naiional lamentation for the dead king. The mem- 
ory of the high-minded and impulsive Josiah was treasured by later 
generations, and his spirit and just reign apparently became the proto- 
type of later predictions concerning the righteous ruler who should reign 
justly and bring glory and deliverance to his people {e.g., Is. 9^'^, 11). 

III. Necho's Asiatic Campaign. After the death of Josiah in 
608 B.C., the prophetic party succeeded in placing on the throne of 
Judah, Shallum, who assumed on his succession the name Jehoahaz; 
but his reign lasted only three months. Necho, the son of Psamtik I 
who had established the rule of the Libyan dynasty over the land of the 
Nile, inherited from the earlier kings of Egypt a strong ambition for 
Asiatic conquest. Assyria's weakness at this time promised him a favor- 
able opportunity to satisfy his ambition. Enlisting in his ranks many 



foreign soldiers, among whom were well-trained Greeks, he set out on a 
victorious campaign through Syria. Without difficulty he conquered 
and held the eastern Mediterranean coastlands, until, in 605 B.C., he 
found himself confronted by the conquerors and heirs of the old Assyrian 
empire, the Medes and the Chaldeans. 

IV. The Accession of Jehoiakim. In the years intervening be- 
tween 608 and 605 B.C., therefore, Necho ruled over Judah. One of 
his first acts was to summon the new king Jehoahaz to Hamath, in 
northern Syria, and to put him in chains. This act was clearly a blow 
at the prophetic party, which, under Josiah, had resisted his advance. 
Judah was forced to pay a heavy tribute, and Eliakim, another son of 
Josiah, under the royal name, Jehoiakim, was placed on the throne. 
He was clearly chosen by Necho and the popular party in Judah be- 
cause his character was weak and because he was ready to reverse the 
policy of his father Josiah. 

Jeremiah's arraignment of Jehoiakim reveals a selfish, splendor- 
loving ruler, regardless of his responsibility to his subjects and of the 
noble principles laid down in Josiah's law-book. Although he was soon 
obliged to extract a heavy tribute from his subjects to satisfy the demands 
of Necho, he went on building for himself a great palace by the forced 
labor of his subjects. With the prophets and their noble religious and 
ethical demands he had no sympathy. As a statesman, he proved, 
at an exceedingly critical period of Judah's history, utterly incapable. 
As a result, Judah quickly lost both moral and poHtical strength and 
most of the prestige gained during Josiah's strong reign. 

V. Jeremiah's Experience at the Hands of his Fellow=Towns- 
men. Few, if any, of Jeremiah's recorded sermons, come from the 
latter part of the reign of Josiah; but the evils and perils of Jehoiakim's 
rule aroused the prophet to renewed activity. He realized to his bitter 
regret that Josiah's reformation had not taken a fundamental hold on 
the hearts of the people. The local shrines and sanctuaries were re- 
stored, and the abominable Canaanite practices were revived. Their 
action was the more culpable because they were acting in defiance of 
the earnest teachings of their enlightened prophets and the plain direc- 
tions of the new law-book, and the established traditions of more than 
a decade. Jeremiah's voice was raised in strong and constant protest 
against the prevailing current in Judah, with the result that he became 
exceedingly unpopular. The hatred against him was so strong that even 
his fellow-townsmen at Anathoth conspired to take his life. Jeremiah's 
feelings are revealed in the prayer which he uttered on this occasion, 



Frequently during this distressing period Jeremiah appears to have 
stood at bay, surrounded by a mob of his countrymen clamoring for 
his blood. He is a tragic and yet a dramatic figure — sensitive as a 
woman to public opinion and to the attitude of friends and foes, and 
yet undaunted, persistent, strong in his unswerving faith in Jehovah. 
He is pre-eminently the praying prophet of the Old Testament, and in 
prayer he found not only comfort, but that strength and peace which 
made the sensitive, shrinking priest of Anathoth one of the world's great 

VI. The Temple Discourse. One great crisis in Jeremiah's min- 
istry during the days of Jehoiakim is fully recorded. In the temple 
courts, beside the gate, he preached to the assembled princes a stirring 
sermon against the prevailing injustice, deceit and immorality. It 
breathes the same spirit as the noblest enactments of the Deuteronomic 
code. As the people pointed to the temple and its imposing ritual, 
Jeremiah declared that because of their crimes the temple should become 
a ruin, even as did the ancient sanctuary of Shiloh in the later days of 
the judges. Like the true prophets who had preceded him, he told them 
that all their ceremonialism was worse than useless and that only con- 
trition and social and individual righteousness would deliver them. 

Vn. The Prophet's Impeachment and Trial. The physical in- 
violability of the temple had become a fundamental dogma in the pop- 
ular belief. The immediate effect of Jeremiah's words upon the people 
was, therefore, to arouse their murderous hate. They regarded his 
declaration that the sacred temple should be destroyed as nothing less 
than blasphemy; and, according to the Hebrew law, blasphemy was 
punishable by death. The popular priests and prophets united with 
the mob in demanding that the death sentence be forthwith executed. 
Calmly Jeremiah replied that he was in their hands. They could put 
him to death if they wished; but the only way in which ihey could avert 
the impending doom was to heed and obey his words. His fearless 
demeanor calmed the people and led them to listen to the counsels of his 
friends, the nobles who had earlier rallied about Josiah. Their method 
of reasoning was closely akin to that employed in modem courts. They 
cited two significant precedents. One was that of Micah, the Morash- 
tite, who publicly predicted, as had Jeremiah, the complete destruction 
of Jerusalem; but to him Hezekiah and his people gave heed, and the 
doom was averted. The other was the sadder precedent, the fate of 
Uriah, of Kiriath-jearim, who uttered a similaf prophecy and paid for 
his courageous act by the loss of his life, at the command of the reign- 



ing king Jehoiakim. "We have shed enough of the blood of the 
prophets," appears to have been the argument of Jeremiah's friends. 
By their personal influence, as well as by their clear reasoning, they 
saved his life; but the incident shows clearly what it cost to be a true 
patriot and prophet at this period in Judah's history. 

VIII. Jeremiah's Public Imprisonment. From the same period 
apparently comes the dramatic account of Jeremiah's conducting the 
national leaders and priests into the valley of Hinnom and there break- 
ing an earthen bottle before them as a symbol of the catastrophe that 
impended. Pashhur, one of the temple priests, incensed by Jeremiah's 
warnings, struck the prophet and then put him in the public stocks 
and left him exposed to the malignant gaze of the multitude going in 
and out of the gate which led to the temple court. Jeremiah's words, 
probably uttered in connection with this incident, reveal the very depths 
of his soul. They are titanic in their strength and intensity. They 
echo Jeremiah's grim, uncompromising message of doom and the taunts 
and threats and murderous cries of his enemies and former friends. In 
language — later transcribed almost word for word by the author of the 
majestic poem of Job — Jeremiah voices the bitterness of his own heart 
and laments that he had not died even before his birth. These words, 
coming from the hour of supreme anguish and insult, nevertheless voice 
Jeremiah's unshaken faith in Jehovah's power and justice. They ex- 
press the conviction, of which his life-work is an illustration, that having 
once been called to proclaim the truth regarding his nation, it was im- 
possible for him to remain silent, though it cost him his friendships, 
his reputation, his happiness and even his life. His words are the pas- 
sionate outburst of a martyr of flesh and blood, with tense and quivering 
nerves, who chose, nevertheless, through the long years to remain at 
the stake, simply because he recognized that that was the place where 
duty called. 


Now in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah 
king of Judah, the following message came to Jeremiah STe? 
from Jehovah, Take a book-roll and write on it all the words eafni"/^ 
that I have spoken to thee regarding Jerusalem and Judah proph- 
and all the nations, since the day I spoke to thee, from the (je^ 
time of Josiah, even to this day. Perhaps the house of ^^''^ 



Judah will give heed to all the evil which I purpose to do to 
them, so that they will turn each from his evil way, that I 
may forgive their iniquity and their sin. 

Then Jeremiah .called Baruch the son of Neriah; and 
Baruch wrote at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words 
of Jehovah, which he had spoken to him, upon a roll of a 
book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am 
prevented, I cannot go to the temple of Jehovah. There- 
fore you go and read in the roll, which you have written 
at my dictation, the words of Jehovah in the hearing of the 
people in Jehovah's house upon the fast-day. And also 
you shall read them in the hearing of all the people of Judah 
who have come from their cities. Perhaps they will present 
their supplication before Jehovah and will turn each from 
his evil course; for great is the anger and the wrath that 
Jehovah has pronounced against this people. And Baruch 
the son of Neriah did just as Jeremiah the prophet com- 
manded him, reading out of the book the word of Jehovah 
in the temple of Jehovah. 

Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king 
of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem 
and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to 
Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before Jehovah. Then Baruch 
read in the hearing of all the people out of the book the 
words of Jeremiah in the temple of Jehovah in the chamber 
of Gemariah the son of Shaphan, the chancellor, in the upper 
court at the entry of the new gate of Jehovah's house. 

And when Micaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Sha- 
phan, had heard all the words of Jehovah out of the book, he 
went down into the royal palace to the chancellor's chamber 
and there were sitting all the princes, Elishama the chancel- 
lor, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of 
Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of 
Hananiah, and all the princes. Then Micaiah made known 
all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book 
in the hearing of the people. Then all the princes sent 
Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son 
of Cushi, to Baruch, saying. Take in your hand the roll from 
which you have read in the hearing of all the people, and 
come here. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in 



his hand, and came to them. Then they said to him, Sit 
down now and read it in our hearing. So Baruch read it in 
their hearing. But when they had heard all the words, 
they turned in alarm to one another, and said to Baruch, 
We must surely tell the king of all these words. And they 
asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, * How did you write all 
these words?* Then Baruch answered them, Jeremiah 
dictated all these words to me and I wrote them with ink in 
the book. Then the princes said to Baruch, Go, hide your- 
self, you and Jeremiah, and let no man know where you 

But they went in to the king in his apartment, after they 5. The 
had laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the chan- cin-^ 
cellor, and they told all these words in the hearing of the H^^^^ 
king. Then the king sent Jehudi to bring the roll, and he proph- 
brought it out of the chamber of Elishama the chancellor. anT 
And Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king and of all the prophet 
princes who stood beside the king. Now the king was sit- P^) 
ting in the winter house with a heated brazier burning be- 
fore him. And when Jehudi had read three or four double 
columns, the king cut it with a paperknife, and threw it into 
the fire that was on the brazier, until the entire roll was con- 
sumed in the fire that was on the brazier. But they were 
not alarmed nor tore their garments — neither the king nor 
any of his servants who heard all these words. Moreover, 
although Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah besought the 
king not to burn the roll, he would not hear them. Then 
the king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son and Seraiah 
the son of Azriel and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize 
Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but Jehovah 
kept them concealed. 

Then after the king had burned the roll, that is, all the e.The 
words which Baruch wrote at the dictation of Jeremiah, the °JJ_ 
word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah as follows. Take again mand 
another roll and write in it all the words that were in the 
first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah burned. 

And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah thou shalt say, 7.^^ ^_ 
* Thus saith Jehovah, " Thou hast burned this roll saying: ecy?f' 
Why hast thou thus written therein: The king of Babylon ^^^g. 
shall assuredly come and destroy this land and shall re- p^ 



move from there man and beast?" Therefore thus saith 

Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah, " He shall 

have none left to sit upon the throne of David and his dead 

body shall be exposed to the heat by day and to the frost 

by night. And I will visit upon him and his descendants 

and his servants their iniquity, and I will bring upon them 

and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the men of Judah, all 

the evil that I have pronounced against them, but which 

they heeded not." * 

8. The Then Jeremiah took another roll and gave it to Baruch the 

°^^i7 scribe the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the dictation of 

('') Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king 

of Judah had burned in the fire. And there were also added 

to them many other similar words. 

I. The Reasons which Led Jeremiah to Write. The news of the 
defeat of Necho, in 605-4 B.C., and the rumors regarding the advance of 
the Chaldeans undoubtedly stirred Jeremiah to redoubled activity. 
At the same time fear of the new foe had rendered the court and people 
especially resentful of any prediction of national disaster. The pub- 
lic persecution to which Jeremiah had been subjected had clearly 
demonstrated that it was no longer safe for him to speak in public. 
Therefore, like Amos and many prophets before him, when silenced, he 
resorted to writing. Jeremiah was one of the great prophetic souls 
who walked so close to God that he recognized in every conviction 
which came to him the promptings of the divine voice. Accordingly, 
as a God-given task, he set to work to put in written form the sermons 
which he had uttered during the past two decades. His object was to 
appeal directly to the consciences of the rulers and people. Doubtless 
he also aimed to establish in their minds his authority as a true prophet 
by showing how his earlier predictions had been realized in the Kfe of the 

II. The Method of Writing. This narrative from the life of Jere- 
miah (chap. 36) is of great value because it is one of the few passages 
which throw direct light upon the way in which the Old Testament 
writings came into existence and were preserved. As in the East to- 
day when a man wishes to write a letter, he resorts to a scribe, so Jere- 
miah dictated his sermons to his faithful disciple Baruch. The material 
on which Baruch wrote was probably a parchment, and the instrument 
which he used a pen dipped in ink. As the subsequent narrative 



indicates, at first but one copy was made. It requires little imagination 
to picture the scene. In some quiet corner of Jerusalem or Anathoth 
sat Jeremiah, now in the prime of life, but old in experience, recalling 
his words, uttered at earlier crises. Before him, with pen and parch- 
ment in hand, sat his devoted friend and disciple, eagerly writing down 
his words and perhaps assisting in that revision which has left these 
earlier sermons of Jeremiah the most finished poems of the Old Testa- 

III. Contents of the First Edition of Jeremiah's Sermons. It 
is nowhere distinctly stated that the present book of Jeremiah contains 
any of the material incorporated in the roll entrusted to Baruch. It is 
exceedingly probable, however, that this roll constituted the nucleus of 
our present book of Jeremiah. The fact tSiat the roll was read three 
times during the same day and its contents recounted in detail to his 
associates by Micaiah the son of Shaphan, indicates that it must have 
been short. Since it represented sermons delivered in some cases 
twenty-two years earlier, it is improbable that they were reproduced 
verbatim. Rather it would seem that Jeremiah, like most of the earlier 
prophets when they began to commit their sermons to writing, repro- 
duced the more significant and familiar passages which, through fre- 
quent repetition and meditation, had been fixed in his mind. Their 
exquisite poetic form would thus be in part the result of their frequent 
repetition, as well as of careful editing. 

The reactionary reign of Jehoiakim and the approaching advance of 
the Chaldeans from the north presented a situation very similar to that 
in the earlier days of Josiah's reign, when Jeremiah uttered his initial 
reform sermons with their ominous references to the foe from the 
north. The abstracts from these earlier sermons, now found in chap- 
ters 2-6, and Jeremiah's kindred sermons from the early days of Jehoia- 
kim's reign, found in chapters 7-9, probably constituted the first collec- 
tion of his prophecies. 

Later editors have supplemented them at many points and added the 
appendix found in O^^^^. The reference in the present section (^) also 
indicates that Jeremiah applied these earlier prophecies to the new 
situation by adding the prediction, "The king of Babylon shall as- 
suredly come and destroy this land and shall remove from there man 
and beast." 

IV. The Second Edition of Jeremiah's Prophecies. The recep- 
tion of the first edition of Jeremiah's prophecies by people and princes 
and king is graphically recorded. The princes, who were contempo- 



raries of Jeremiah and who had participated in Josiah's reformation, 
felt strongly the force of Jeremiah's appeal and hoped that it might 
influence even King Jehoiakim himself. Their advice, however, to 
Jeremiah and Baruch to hide themselves was well given. The attitude 
of Jehoiakim was that of supreme contempt and defiance. Before the 
reading of the roll was completed he cut it in shreds and threw it on 
the open brazier filled with hot coals by which his palace chamber was 

Fortunately Jeremiah was not daunted by this act; but, with that 
superb persistency which characterizes all his prophetic work, he pro- 
ceeded at once to reproduce the destroyed roll. It is significantly 
stated that in this second edition he "added many other similar words." 
The personal insults and persecutions through which he was then pass- 
ing doubtless influenced him to include in this second edition those pas- 
sages which record so clearly and dramatically his own personal experi- 
ences and feelings. The first chapter of the book, therefore, which tells 
of his call and also reflects his trying experiences during the intervening 
two decades, was probably among the words thus added. 

Similar additions are found in lP^-12% IS^^"^^ 17""^^. In the same 
collection may also well have been included the contemporary sermons 
found in the original passages of chapters 13-17. Possibly certain of the 
brief sermons addressed to the rulers, now preserved in the little col- 
lection in chapters 21-24, also found a place in this second edition of 
604 B.C. In these chapters are found almost all the direct addresses 
whose literary character and contents point to Jeremiah as the author. 
There is no evidence in the book of Jeremiah that the prophet himself 
at a later time made a further collection of his addresses. Throughout 
the remainder of his ministry he seems to have trusted to the spoken 
word to convey his messages and to have left the recording of his words 
to later disciples and to popular tradition. 

V. The Structure of the Book of Jeremiah. The book of Jere- 
miah is the longest and most complex of all the Old Testament prophetic 
books. An attempt has been made in the opening chapters to arrange 
the subject-matter in chronological order; but this arrangement does not 
extend beyond the limits represented by the second edition of the proph- 
ecies. Throughout the rest of the book the material is loosely grouped 
according to theme. 

Nine general divisions of the book may be distinguished. (1) Chap- 
ters 1-17, consisting of reform sermons setting forth Judah's guilt 
and the approaching judgment. These are interspersed with the proph- 



et*s personal prayers and complaints because of the rejection of his 
message and accounts of the persecution which he suffered at the hands 
of his countrymen. (2) Chapters 18-20, which tell of Jeremiah's sym- 
bolic preaching and the resulting persecution during the days of Jehoi- 
akim. (3) A little collection of direct prophecies, chapters 21-24, deal- 
ing with the mistakes and crimes of Judah's rulers. The arrangement 
is not chronological, and the different sections are apparently drawn 
from originally independent sources. (4) A group of foreign prophe- 
cies, now found in chapters 46-51, but introduced by chapter 25, which 
predicts the conquest of Judah by the Chaldeans. In the Greek ver- 
sion chapters 46-51 are introduced in what was probably their original 
position after the fourteenth verse of chapter 25. (5) Chapters 26-29, 
which record Jeremiah's experiences as a prophet and his relations to the 
false prophets and his predictions regarding them. (6) A small group 
of messianic prophecies, chapters 30-33, which perhaps once formed the 
conclusion to an exilic or post-exilic edition of Jeremiah's book. (7) 
Chapters 34^-40^: another collection of biographical narratives in which 
the chronological order of events is entirely disregarded. (8) Chapters 
40^-44^S which tell of Jeremiah's experiences with the survivors of the 
second captivity and among the exiles in Egypt. To this has been 
added the brief chapter 45, which contains an oracle regarding Baruch 
who figures prominently in the incidents recorded in the accompanying 
section. (9) Chapter 52 is an historical appendix, based in part upon 
II Kings 25, and recounting in detail the final destruction of Jerusalem. 

VI. History of the Book of Jeremiah. It is evident that an ex- 
ceedingly long and complex history lies back of the book of Jeremiah. 
A score or more later editors have each contributed their part to the final 
work. Their activity is a significant testimonial to the greatness of the 
personality and influence of the noble prophet whose name it bears. 
It is also a most instructive illustration of the way in which the majority 
of the Old Testament books gradually grew. Jeremiah devoted him- 
self wholly to the needs and problems of his own day. Written prophecy, 
as has been shown, was only one of the ways in which he sought to make 
his message effective at a certain great crisis in his life. The preservation 
of his later sermons was apparently to him a matter of little concern. 

In time the Babylonian exile vindicated Jeremiah's grim messages of 
doom and gave to his words a commanding authority. The earnest 
sermons, which his contemporaries had greeted with jeers and perse- 
cution and then had lightly forgotten, were at last appreciated as a true 
message from God to the nation. Hence, when it was almost too late, 



every possible effort was made to recall the words and deeds of the great 
prophet. Traditions derived from many different sources were carefully 
collected and joined together. Popular imagination in some cases 
doubtless supplied details, where exact data were lacking. In a few 
instances (as, for example, the temple discourse in 7^-8^) the original 
sermon and the popular tradition regarding it (26) have both been pre- 
served, so that it is possible to compare Jeremiah's own record with that 
of later tradition. Unfortunately, regarding the majority of Jeremiah's 
sermons only the popular traditions have survived. Many of these 
narratives, however, are so full of detail and in such perfect harmony 
with the conditions of the age, that they may, with reasonable confidence, 
be attributed to Jeremiah's faithful scribe, Baruch, who was a com- 
panion as well as a servant, followed his master not only through 
the troublesome reigns of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, but even into exile 
in Egypt. 

The probable history of chapters 1-17 has already been traced. The 
chapters which follow are introduced by many recurring formulas, as, 
for example, 18S 2P, 25S 26S 27S 30\ 32S d4\ 34^, 35^ 36S 37«, 40\ 
44^ 45^ In certain chapters also, as, for example, 27-29, the spelling 
of many proper names, Jeremiah, Jeconiah, Zedekiah and Nebuchad- 
rezzar, is different from that employed throughout the rest of the book. 
This evidence and the lack of chronological arrangement and frequent 
duplications all indicate that the second part of the book of Jeremiah 
is made up of collections. The wide variations between the Hebrew 
and Greek versions of Jeremiah in the order and contents of the differ- 
ent chapters indicate that as late as the second century before Christ 
different recensions of the book were current. In many cases the briefer 
and clearer Greek text (which has usually been adopted) evidently 
represents the older and the more nearly original version. 

Many very late additions are also found scattered throughout this 
great compilation of Jeremian literature. It is probable that by the 
close of the Babylonian exile the majority of the addresses and nar- 
ratives in the book were to be found in very much their present form; 
but the process of collecting and revising and editing this voluminous 
work evidently continued for three or four centuries after the death of 
the prophet. The resulting book reveals, from many different angles, 
the life and personality of the noble soul who preached and suffered 
voluntarily and unflinchingly for his race and God. 





The word of Jehovah which came to Jeremiah the prophet i. Su- 
concerning the army of Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt, fcrip- 
which was by the river Euphrates, in Carchemish, which ff^^ 
Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year 46i'«) 
of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah : 

Set in line the buckler and shield and draw near to 2.sum- 
battle ! bSfe ° 

Harness the horses and mount, ye riders, and take your ^'^^ 
stand with your helmets! 

Polish the lances, put on the coats of mail ! 

Why are they terrified and turning backward? s.Fiight 

They flee in wild flight and look not back: terror on every ifgypt's 
side ! ^^^■ 

« . . . nors 

The swift cannot flee away nor the mighty warrior es- (^ «) 

Northward beside the river Euphrates they have stumbled and 


Who is this that riseth up like the Nile, whose waters toss 4. 

themselves like the streams? vfm'*' 

And he saith, I will rise up, I will cover the earth, I will de- ^^f^. 

stroy its inhabitants ! quest 

Go up ye horses and rage ye chariots, let the mighty war- ^^ "^ 

riors go forth : 
Cush and Put, armed with shields, and the Ludim who 

bend the bow! 

But that day is Jehovah's day of vengeance, that he may 5. je-^ 

avenge himself on his adversaries ; fulg-^ ^ 

And the sword shall devour to satiety and shall drink its fill ment 

of their blood, Ifyp* 

For Jehovah hath a sacrifice in the north -land, beside the 
River Euphrates. 






6. Go up to Gilead and take balm, virgin daughter of 

o^ry' Egypt! 

*^r^o^ In vain hast thou employed many medicines; there is no 
("• ") healing for thee ! 

Nations have heard thy wail, and the earth is full of thy 

For hero hath stumbled against hero, they are fallen both 
of them together. 

7 The The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet beheld: 

lem in 

(Hab. How long, Jehovah, have I cried out and thou hearest 
»''^ not! 

I cry to thee. Violence, but thou helpest not. 

Why dost thou make me look upon wickedness and behold 

Destruction and violence are before mine eyes, and strife 
and contention. 

8. . Therefore law is relaxed. 


of law- And justice is never rendered ; 


For the wicked encompass the righteous, 
So that justice is perverted. 

9. je- Art thou not of old. 


O Jehovah, my holy One, 

nlfTn With eyes too pure to behold evil? 

And thou canst not gaze upon trouble. 

Why dost thou gaze upon those who deal treacher- 

Art silent when the wicked swallows him that is more 
righteous than he? 

10. The Upon my watch tower will I stand, 

?f 8^" And take my place at my station, 

iHg at- ^^^ ^ ^^^1 watch to see what he will say to me ; 

titude And what he will answer to my plea. 



Then Jehovah answered me and said: ii. The 
Write down the vision and make it plain upon tablets, l^^^^'- 

That he may run who reads it. wui^^ 

For the vision is still for times yet to be appointed ; thauhe 

Yea, it hastens to fulfilment and shall not fail ; Sfus^' 

Though it linger, wait for it ; ^^o^e 

For it shall surely come, it will not tarry. (» *) 
Behold the wicked — his soul fainteth within him, 
But the righteous — he liveth by his faithfulness. 

Look around ye that deal treacherously, look well, 12. The 

Shudder and be shocked. deans 

For I am about to do a work in your days — hovihs 

Ye shall not believe it when it is told. agents 

For behold I am about to raise up the Chaldeans, mint ^' 

A nation grim and quick of action; ^* ^ "^ 

Who go through the whole breadth of the earth 

To possess dwelling places not their own. 

Awful and terrible are they. 

From them judgment goeth forth. 

Their horses are swifter than leopards. 

And their riders quicker than the wolves of evening. 

From afar they come swooping down. 

Like the eagle which hastens to devour. 

They all come to do violence. 

The direction of their faces is straight ahead, 

And they gather up captives like sand. 

At kings they scoff 

And princes are sport to them. 

They laugh at every fortress. 

And heap up dust and take it. 

Then their spirit changes, and they pass by, 

And they make their strength their god. 

O Jehovah thou hast appointed them for judgment, is. 
And thou, O Rock, hast established them for cor 

rection ; ^^]« 

For they make men like fish of the sea, yance 

Like worms which have no ruler. w) 
They gather up all in their net, 





And catch them in their drag-net ; 
Therefore they sacrifice to their net, 
And bum offerings to their drag-net; 
For by them is their portion fat, 
And their food is rich. 

14. jer- The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people 
^t ^ of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah 
jufah" ^i^g o^ Judah (the same was the first year of Nebuchadrez- 
CJer.^ zar, king of Babylon) : From the thirteenth year of Josiah, 
i. 7a) son of Amon king of Judah, even to this day, now twenty- 
three years, I have spoken to you faithfully and earnestly 
and have said, * Turn each from his evil way and from your 
evil deeds, that ye may dwell in the land which Jehovah hath 
given to you and your fathers, from of old and even from 
evermore.' But ye have not heeded. 
15/rhe Therefore Jehovah saith, * Because ye have not heeded 
judg""-^ my words I am about to send and take a race from the 
g'jf'J^g north and bring them against this land and its inhabitants, 
dean's ^^^ ^^^ *^® people rouud about; and I will utterly destroy 
(8^.fo"^ them and make them an object of horror and hissing and a 
perpetual reproach, and I will cause to disappear from their 
midst the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the 
bridegroom and the bride, the sound of the hand-mills and 
the light of the lamp.' 

le.con- Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became 

^ff^, king and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his 

dah^ mother's name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of 

23 »' Rumah. In his days Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon 

^"^ ** ^ came up, and Jehoiakim became subject to him for three 

years. And the king of Egypt came no more out of his 

land; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the Brook 

of Egypt to the River Euphrates, all that had belonged to 

the king of Egypt. Then Jehoiakim again rebelled against Nebuchadrezzar. 

kfm'g And Jehovah sent against him guerilla bands of the Chal- 

\lhe\- ^®^^s, of the Arameans, of the Moabites, and of the Ammon- 

fioif ites; these he sent against Judah to destroy it, according 

(lb. J) 



to the word of Jehovah, which he had spoken by his servants 
the prophets. 

This word came to Jeremiah from Jehovah in the days is. The 
of Jehoiakim king of Judah: Go to the house of the §^bites 
Rechabites and bring them into the temple, into one of the (Jer.^^ 
chambers, and give them wine to drink. ^^ ' ^^ 

Then I took Jazaniah, the son of Jeremiah, the son of 19. 
Habazziniah, and his kinsmen and his son and all the 5f|*^°^ 
Rechabites and brought them into the temple of Jehovah ^^^^.^^ 
into the chamber of the sons of Johanan the son of Hananias (3-^) ' 
the son of Gedaliah the man of God, which is by the chamber 
of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of 
Shallum, the keeper of the threshold ; and I set before them 
bowls of wine and cups and said: * Drink wine.' 

But they answered: * We drink no wine.' For Jonadab 20. 
our father commanded us : * Ye shall never drink wine, ^^pty 
neither ye nor your sons ; neither shall ye build a house nor (f. ' '"*'• 
sow seed, nor possess a vineyard ; but all your days ye shall 
dwell in tents, that ye may live long in the land wherein 
you dwell as aliens.' And we have obediently done just as 
Jonadab our forefather commanded us. But when Neb- 
uchadrezzar came up against the land, we said : * Come 
let us go to Jerusalem from before the army of the Chal- 
deans and the army of the Arameans.' So we dwell 

Then this word of Jehovah came to me: Thus saith Je- 21. Ap- 
hovah, * Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants {-"n^^f 
of Jerusalem: " Will ye not learn instruction as to how one l^^^^' 
should heed my words? For, while the sons of Jonadab Judah 
the son of Rechab have performed the command of their i"i!) 
forefather, this people hath not hearkened to me." ' There- 
fore, thus saith Jehovah : * Behold I am about to bring upon 
Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I 
have pronounced against them.' 

Therefore thus saith Jehovah : * Because the descendants 22. 
of Jonadab the son of Rechab have been obedient and have f/^""^' 
done as their father commanded them, the descendants of *{;\^^- 
Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to serve (i8^»)^ 
me as long as the earth stands.' 



23. Je- I have forsaken my house, I have cast off my heritage, 

i^Ztnt I have given over my dearly beloved into the hands of his 
gufity"^ enemies. 

people. Mine heritage hath become to me as a heritage in the 

prey of lOreSt y 

fJl^'^ She hath raised her voice against me, therefore do I hate 
(12 7") her. 

Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey, so that the 

birds of prey gather around against her? 
Go assemble all the beasts of prey, bring them to devour ! 
Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have 

trampled down mine inheritance under foot. 
They have made my beautiful portion a desolate wilderness ! 
They have made it a desolation, to my sorrow it mourneth 

desolate ; 
The whole land is desolate, for no man taketh it to heart. 
Upon all the bare heights of the wilderness spoilers have 

From one end of the land to the other no flesh hath peace. 

Then Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin 
his son became king in his place. 

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, 
and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his moth- 
er's name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jeru- 
salem. And he did that which displeased Jehovah just as 
his father had done. At that time the servants of Nebuch- 
adrezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and 
the city was besieged. 

25. Jer- Hear ye and give ear, be not proud, for Jehovah hath spoken ! 
"^ " " Give glory to Jehovah your God, before it groweth dark. 

Before your feet stumble upon the mountains enveloped in 

twilight ; 
And while ye wait for light, ye turn it into blackness and 

dense darkness. 
But if ye will not hear it, I must weep in secret because of 

your pride. 
And mine eyes must shed torrents of tears because Jehovah's 

flock is taken captive. 



Say to the king and to the queen mother, Sit ye down low, 26. La- 

For from the head hath fallen your fair crown. ^^^r 

The cities of the South Country are shut up, and there is ll^}""^ 

none to open ; tivity 

All of Judah is carried away into exile, with a complete cap- and °^ 

tivity. P,r?«\« 

As I live, saith Jehovah, though Coniah [Jehoiachin] the 27.jer- 
son of Jehoiakim were the signet-ring upon my right hand, pTedic-^ 
I would pluck him thence, and I will give thee into the hand JXif. 
of them that seek thy life, whom thou dreadest, into the chin's 
hands of the Chaldeans, and I will hurl thee forth and thy [ztu- 
mother who bore thee into a land where ye were not born, '"> 
and there ye shall die. But to the land for which they 
long they shall not return. Is Coniah despised as a broken 
vessel and thrown forth into a land which he knoweth 
not? land, land, hear the word of Jehovah ! Write down 
this man as childless! For no man of his seed shall pros- 
per, sitting upon the throne of David and ruling any more 
in Judah. 

Then Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came to the city, 28.cap- 
while his servants were besieging it; and Jehoiachin the jem° 
king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, together |nd™h© 
with his mother, and his servants, his princes, and his depor- 
chamberlains. And the king of Babylon took him captive of je^ 
in the eighth year of his reign. And he carried away from ^g;j" 
there all the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the and the 
treasures of the royal palace and cut in pieces all the vessels dass^ 
of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple ^4 i!5i*7) 
of Jehovah, as Jehovah had said. And he carried away as 
captives all Jerusalem and all the princes and all the mighty 
warriors, even ten thousand, and all the craftsmen and the 
smiths; none remained, except the poorest people of the 
land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; and 
the king's mother and the king's wives, and his chamber- 
lains, and the chief men of the land, he carried into cap- 
tivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And all the men of 
ability, even seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the 
smiths a thousand, all of them strong and ready for war; 
these the king of Babylon took captive to Babylon. And the 



king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king 

in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. 

29. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to 

ah^^S- reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his 

c^sio" mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of 

3o.jer- After Nebuchadrezzar had carried Jeconiah the son of 
^on^ Jehoiakim king of Judah and the princes and craftsmen and 
t4o^^ the joiners and the rich men of Jerusalem into exile to 
baskets Babylou, Jehovah showed me two baskets of figs. One bas- 
(Je^f ket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, and the other basket 
24 ' *) had very bad figs which could not be eaten they were so bad. 

31. je- Then Jehovah said to me. What seest thou Jeremiah, 
qSI?-^^ and I answered Figs, the good figs are very good and the bad 
Jl?" very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten. 

32. Thereupon this word of Jehovah came to me: Thus 
aJ\er saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: * Like these good figs, so 
future ^^^^ ^ regard for good the exiles of Judah whom I have sent 
of the out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans; and I will 
l^})^ watch over their welfare and will bring them back to this 

land, so that I will build them up and not pull them down, 
I will plant them and not pluck them up, and I will give them 
a heart to know me, that I am Jehovah ; and they shall be 
my people and I will be their God, when they return to me 
with their whole heart. 

33. Of But as for the bad figs which are so bad that they cannot 
kia1f' be eaten, saith Jehovah, So will I give up Zedekiah king of 
and hi3 Judah and his princes and the remnant of Jerusalem that 
jects is left in this land and those who dwell in the land of Egypt ; 

and I will make them an object of consternation to all the 
kingdoms of the earth, and they shall be a reproach and a 
proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall 
drive them; and I will send the sword, famine and pesti- 
lence among them until they are completely consumed out 
of the land which I gave to them.' 

34. jer- Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah of 
feTtt?^ Jerusalem sent to the elders of the exiles, by the hand 
eii£ °^ Eleasah, the son of Shaphan and Gemariah, the son of 
(29 !• Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to the king of 
*^ Babylon: 




Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel to the exiles whom 35. Set- 

I have carried into exile from Jerusalem: * Build houses ^^^^„ 

and dwell in them and plant gardens and eat the fruit of g 

them. Take wives and multiply and be not diminished ; ion ^" 

and seek the welfare of the land whither I have carried you ^*"^^ 
into exile, and pray to Jehovah for it; for in its prosperity 
rests your own prosperity.' 

For thus saith Jehovah : *Let not the prophets who are in 36. 

your midst nor your diviners deceive you; neither heed S)T^ 

their dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely ^f^^j^, 

in my name ; but I have not sent them.* ets^ 

For thus saith Jehovah : * As soon as seventy years be 37. ^ 

accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfil my ?^°^" 

promises to you, by bringing you back to this place. For I final 

cherish for you thoughts of peace and not of evil, that I may S°'^*" 

give you a future and a hope. Pray to me and I will hear ^'° "^ 
you ; seek me and ye shall find me ; if ye seek me with all 
your heart, I will reveal myself to you.* 

I. Necho's Defeat at Carchemish. For about four years the Egyp- 
tians, under their conquering king Necho, held undisputed sway over 
the states along the eastern Mediterranean. Meantime, in the east, mo- 
mentous changes were taking place. To the northeast of the Tigris 
a new political power, known in history as the Medean kingdom, was 
gathering strength. It was made up of the older Aryan invaders and 
the later Cimmerian hordes which had swept down in repeated waves 
from southern Europe. At last these various peoples had been united 
under the rule of one of the older native princes, Cyaxares. 

In southern Babylonia a half-nomadic, half-agricultural Semitic race 
from eastern Arabia had been pressing into the lowlands at the head 
of the Persian Gulf, and for generations had been a constant menace 
to both the Assyrian and the old Babylonian empire. These people, 
who were known as the Chaldeans, had been repeatedly conquered by 
Assyrian and Babylonian armies, but they still held their ground and 
waited until the weakness of their rivals would give them an opportunity 
to seize the coveted lands lying between the lower Euphrates and Tigris 
rivers. At last, toward the close of the seventh century B.C., when As- 
syria's power was rapidly declining, there rose a certain local prince, 
Nabopolassar, who united the Chaldeans, captured the ancient city of 
Babylon, and thus founded what is known as the new Babylonian empire. 



These Chaldean conquerors from the south united with the Medean 
invaders in the north in conquering Nineveh, the capital of the great As- 
syrian empire. When Assyria fell in 606 B.C., its territory to the west 
of the Tigris, in accord with an agreement between the conquerors, was 
given to the Chaldeans. Owing to the illness of his father, Nabopolas- 
sar, the task of subduing this western empire fell to Nebuchadrezzar. 
Assembling a large army, he marched westward early in 605 B.C. and 
met the Egyptian king Necho beside the River Euphrates. A decisive 
battle was fought at Carchemish, the chief city which commanded the 
commerce between the east and the west. Necho was completely de- 
feated and fled rapidly down through Syria and Palestine, pursued by 
the Chaldeans. 

In the forty-sixth chapter of the prophecy of Jeremiah is found the 
stirring taunt-song commemorating this battle. Necho, in slaying 
Josiah and in putting the reactionary Jehoiakim on the throne of Judah, 
had shown himself a foe of the faithful prophetic party. It was natural, 
therefore, that men like Jeremiah should rejoice over his overthrow. 
Egypt through most of its history had proved the evil genius of the 
Hebrews; hence every event which demonstrated the weakness of this 
boastful power was significant. The overthrow of Jehoiakim's Egyp- 
tian master, before whom he had bowed so slavishly, was also a blow 
at the evil policy which was rapidly destroying Judah's moral and polit- 
ical strength. In the thought of the faithful, Jehovah's just and good 
purpose was again beginning to be revealed in human history. 

II. The Prophecy of Habakkuk. The momentous year, 605 B.C., 
which witnessed the advent of the Chaldeans on Judah's horizon, ap- 
pears to be the date of the brief prophecy found in the book of Habakkuk. 
It deals with a question that often pressed to the front in Israel's troubled 
history: how could a just God allow the wicked to triumph, while those 
who faithfully served him were the victims of their unprincipled rulers 
and fellow-countrymen? Under the reactionary, tyrannical rule of 
Jehoiakim, this grim problem of evil, in the form in which it is expressed 
in the book of Habakkuk, was constantly in the minds of the devoted 
followers of Josiah and of the true prophets (c/. Jeremiah's words, 
§ LXXXV*). The heathen, unprincipled Egyptians ruled the policies 
of their little state; while on the throne of Judah sat Jehoiakim, who 
cared little for justice or the best interests of his people. 

The prophet clearly formulates the question, and with undaunted 
faith waits for the answer. Soon there comes to him the divine as- 
surance that approaching events will disclose the true answer. Indeed, 



in his own life and consciousness, he discerns the true solution of the 
problem of evil: only the righteous man, because he has the sense of 
doing what is right and of living in harmony with God and the laws of 
the universe, possesses those essential and eternal qualities which give 
strength and life. 

In the present order of verses it is difficult to distinguish a logical de- 
velopment in the prophet's thought. The simplest explanation is that 
the passage which describes the advent of the Chaldeans originally 
stood after the fifth verse of the second chapter. Restored to this posi- 
tion it suggests a further solution to the prophet's problem. The 
Chaldeans, cruel and arrogant though they are, are not only destined 
to drive the Egyptians from Palestine, but will also overthrow the rule 
of injustice and violence within Judah itself. Thus in each event which 
came to their nation the prophets were quick to recognize the hand of 
God carrying out his purpose in the life of humanity. In their sublime 
philosophy, even the heathen conquerors were simply divine agents, 
doing Jehovah's will in the midst of his people. 

III. The Chaldean Conqueror Nebuchadrezzar. Jeremiah, even 
more plainly than his younger contemporary Habakkuk, declared that 
the Chaldeans were coming to chastise the guilty people of Judah and 
to transform their hollow mirth into lamentation, if not into true re- 
pentance. Within a few weeks the prediction of these prophets was 
in part realized. Nebuchadrezzar, following with his army closely in 
the footsteps of the retreating Egyptians, received without delay the 
homage of all the little states of Palestine. By the close of 605 B.C. he 
had reached Pelusium, on the borders of Egypt. Just as he was on the 
point of advancing to the conquest of this ancient rival of Babylon, news 
came of the death of his father, Nabopolassar. Leaving the battle-field 
Nebuchadrezzar returned in haste to Babylon to establish himself on 
the throne. Thus, early in the year 604 B.C., was inaugurated a reign 
which marks the zenith of Babylon's material splendor and prestige 
and the downfall and utter desolation of Jerusalem. 

For forty-two years Nebuchadrezzar ruled Babylonia and Syria and 
Palestine with a strong hand. He was undoubtedly the ablest ruler that 
Babylon had seen since the days of the great Hammurabi. The treaty 
with the Medes left him free to develop the resources of his empire. 
There were occasional rebellions in the western provinces; but they were 
insignificant compared with the great military resources at his command. 
His inscriptions scarcely mention his campaigns. His ambition was 
not to conquer new territory, but to make Babylon the strongest and 



most magnificent city in all the world. This ambition he fully realized. 
Huge fortifications were reared at strategic points. Dykes and dams 
and basins regulated the water supply which was drawn from the two 
great rivers. Great canals intersected the rich alluvial plains between 
the Tigris and the Euphrates, making possible the vast system of irriga- 
tion which extended out even into the Arabian desert to the west of 
Babylon. Temples and palaces made the interior of the city the wonder 
and envy of the whole world. 

The various peoples and interests in the great empire were closely 
consoli ^i/ed, and the highways of commerce were opened, so that rapid 
communication was easy, and trade was protected. It is true that the 
interests of his capital, Babylon, were developed at the expense of other 
cities of the realm; but all subject peoples who submitted to Nebu- 
chadrezzar's rule and co-operated in carrying out his far-reaching policy 
received protection and impartial justice at his hand. Those who 
foolishly ventured to rebel found in him a master, impartial according 
to his own standard of justice, but harsh and pitiless in his punishment 
of rebels. In this respect he followed the example of the later Assyrian 
monarchs. By the severity of the judgment which he meted out, he 
endeavored to make future rebellions absolutely impossible. In his 
zeal to develop his capital, Babylon, he also neglected the distant Pales- 
tinian provinces, especially those which did not lie along the great 
arteries of commerce which poured their wealth into the coffers of the 
mighty mistress of the Euphrates. He left the states of central Pales- 
tine almost entirely free to rule themselves, provided they paid their al- 
lotted tribute; but when they abused their too great freedom he nearly 
annihilated them by the heavy blows which he dealt them. 

Nebuchadrezzar's inscriptions, however, disclose more than a mere 
tyrant, ambitious to build up a great capital and empire. A deep re- 
ligious zeal actuated the mind of this ruler. Although he lived under 
the shadow of Babylonian polytheism, true piety was certainly in the 
heart of him who could pray to his god Marduk: 

eternal ruler ! Lord of all being I 
May the king whom thou lovest, 

And whose name thou hast proclaimed, 
Flourish as is pleasing to thee. 
Do thou lead aright his life. 
Guide him in a straight path. 

1 am the prince who obeys thee, 



The creature of thy hand; 

Thou hast created me, 

And dominion over all people 

Thou hast intrusted to me. 

According to thy grace, O Lord, 

Which thou bestowest on all people. 

Cause me to love thy supreme rule, 

And inspire in my heart 

The worship of thy god-head. 

And grant what seems good to thee, 

Because thou hast fashioned my life. 

IV. Jehoiakim*s Rebellion Against Nebuchadrezzar. In the 

presence of the victorious Chaldean army, Jehoiakim at first surrendered 
to Nebuchadrezzar; but within three or four years he rebelled. The 
reason for this rash act is not suggested in the brief narrative of Kings. 
Probably it was because Jehoiakim listened to the false promises of the 
Egyptians. In defying Babylon Judah appears to have stood alone. 
The rebellion was so insignificant that Nebuchadrezzar at first evidently 
sought to suppress it simply by directing against Judah the resident 
Chaldean soldiery and the local Aramean and Moabite and Ammonite 
auxiliaries. This guerilla warfare was apparently protracted through 
three or four years. 

It was probably during this period that the nomad tribe of the Re- 
chabites were driven from their homes and sought refuge in Jerusalem. 
Jonadab, one of the important early chieftains of the tribe, figured as a 
friend and adherent of Jehu in the days of Elijah and Elisha (§ LXV"). 
Through all the years they had remained true to their nomadic instincts 
and would have nothing to do with the Canaanite agricultural civiliza- 
tion which prevailed in central Israel. Not only did they refrain from 
building permanent houses and cultivating the soil, but they would not 
even touch wine, because it is the product of that same agricultural civ- 

Jeremiah, in order to present a powerful and dramatic illustration 
of their loyalty to the commands of an earlier ancestor, publicly offered 
them wine. This they resolutely declined. Then, by contrast, the 
prophet brought out in clear relief the ingratitude and perfidy of the 
people of Judah, in deliberately disregarding the commands of their 
Divine Father. As Jeremiah studied the temper of his countrymen, he 
saw clearly that the immediate future presented no hope of deliverance, 



and therefore his sermons of this period are simply lamentations over 
the guilt of king and people, and over the inevitable fate that impended. 

In the hour of deep national humiliation the unworthy Jehoiakim 
died. His young son, a youth of eighteen, succeeded him on the 
tottering throne of Judah. About the time of his accession the city was 
attacked and closely besieged by the soldiers of Nebuchadrezzar. Dur- 
ing the three months of Jehoiachin's reign, Jeremiah, as patriot and 
prophet, could do nothing but predict disaster. Bitter experience had 
demonstrated that there was little hope that a worthy king and deliverer 
would spring from the degenerate house of David. Jeremiah therefore 
stoutly rejected the popular hopes that still centred in the royal line. 
Instead he fixed his faith for the future in the race which should rise, 
trained and sanctified by the experiences of the exile. 

V. The First Captivity. In 597 B.C. Nebuchadrezzar at last came 
himself with an army and completed the siege of Jerusalem. The futility 
of further resistance was so obvious that Jehoiachin and his nobles 
hastened to surrender. The life of the young king was spared and he 
was carried away as a hostage to Babylon, together with his mother, his 
wives, and the chief officials of his court and land. Nebuchadrezzar 
also deported the warriors, the important leaders, and the craftsmen and 
smiths. His object clearly was to strip the land of all who might again 
raise the standard of rebellion. Between eight and ten thousand men 
were thus transported, together with their wives and children, represent- 
ing in all a total of at least twenty and possibly forty thousand souls {cf. 
§ XC"). There is no evidence that any Hebrews were put to death 
at this time. Apparently Jehoiachin's early surrender saved the life 
of the chief offenders. Nebuchadrezzar was also loath to diminish the 
numbers of the foreign subjects which he was constantly bringing into 
the heart of his empire to develop its inexhaustible agricultural resources. 

Over the Jews who were left behind the Babylonian king placed one 
of the Judean royal house, a brother of Jehoiakim, and gave him the 
name Zedekiah. Jeremiah's comparison of those who were thus left 
behind with the exiles carried to Babylonia is exceedingly significant. 
Those who remained with Zedekiah he likens to bad figs, wormy, de- 
cayed, practically useless. They were so degenerate that he could pre- 
dict for them nothing but disaster. In contrast the exiles were like good 
figs. They were the picked men of the nation. With them went Israel's 
hope as a people. Over them Jehovah promised to guard, if they would 
but learn from their trying experience to turn to him with contrition and 



To these exiles, settled in distant Babylonia, Jeremiah sent a letter 
full of hope and encouragement. His advice to them was to cherish no 
vain expectations of throwing off the yoke of Babylon in the near future; 
but rather to settle down in Babylon, and to become good citizens of the 
great empire, recognizing that upon its prosperity depended their pres- 
ent peace and future hope. Jeremiah also promised to the exiles that 
after a generation or two they would be permitted to return. The 
prophet expresses this belief in concrete terms, suggesting seventy years 
of exile. Ezekiel in the same concrete way states that the exile shall last 
forty years (Ez. 4^). As a matter of fact, the first group of Jewish exiles 
was held sixty years and the second group fifty years under the iron rule 
of Babylon. Neither of the prophets attempted to predict the exact 
duration of the exile; but both, with that sublime faith which rose tri- 
umphant above the calamities of the moment, saw that their race still 
had a mission to perform in the world, and that the God who had led his 
people through the great crises of the past would not forsake them, when 
once they had learned the vital lessons which the exile was intended to 


In the thirtieth year, in the fifth day of the fourth month, i.Eze- 
as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, the heav- vision 
ens were opened and I saw visions of God and the hand of JEzek. 
Jehovah was on me there. 

And he said to me. Son of man, stand up on thy feet that I 2. The 
may speak with thee. And the spirit entered into me as he com-^ 
spoke to me and made me stand upon my feet ; and I heard ^^^^^^ 
him who spoke to me. And he said to me. Son of man, I 
send thee to the rebellious house of Israel, who have re- 
belled against me, both they and their fathers, even to this 
day. It is I who send thee to them that thou shouldst say 
to them: * Thus saith Jehovah: " Whether they will hear 
or refuse to hear — for they are a rebellious house — they shall 
learn that a prophet is among them." ' 

And thou, son of man, fear them not nor be dismayed at 3. 
their words, though briars and thorns are about thee and ^eJ? 
thou dwellest among scorpions. Be not afraid of their ^ouj- 
words nor be dismayed at their looks; for they are a re- m^t 



bellious house. But do thou speak my words to them 
whether they hear or refuse to hear; for they are a re- 
bellious house. 

4. Re- But thou, son of man, hear what I say to thee. Be not 
Ifihe^ rebellious like this rebellious house. Open thy mouth and 
^^['^ eat what I give thee. Then I looked and there was stretched 
sages out to me a hand in which there was a roll of a book. And 
3^8)^ he unrolled it before me and it was written within and 

without; and in it were written lamentations and mourn- 
ing and woe. And he said to me. Son of man, eat this roll 
and go speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth 
and he made me eat the roll. And he said to me. Son of 
man, eat and be filled with this roll which I give thee. Then 
I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. 

5. Prej And he said to me. Son of man, up, go to the house of 
th^"" Israel and speak my words to them. For thou art not sent 
fo?hi^^ to a people of strange speech, nor to many peoples whose 
difficult words thou canst not understand. Verily, if I sent thee to 
(3^4-9) them, they would hear thee! But the house of Israel will 

not be willing to hear thee, for they are not willing to hear 
me; for all the house of Israel are bold and unyielding. 
Behold I make thee as bold and unyielding as they. As 
adamant, harder than flint, have I made thy face. Be not 
afraid of them neither be dismayed at them, for they are 
a rebellious house. 

6. Be- Then the spirit lifted me up and took me away and I went 
§f"hi^^ in great excitement, for the hand of Jehovah was strong 
^u.% upon me. Then I came to the captives at Tel-Abib, who 

dwelt by the canal Chebar, and I sat there overwhelmed 
among them seven days. 

7. His At the end of seven days this word of Jehovah came to 
fg"^y me : Son of man, I make thee a watchman to the house of 
watch- Israel. When thou hearest a word from my mouth, thou 
06^2?) shalt warn them from me. When I say to the wicked, 

* Thou shalt surely die ' ; if thou speak not to the wicked to 
warn him from his wicked way, so as to save his Hfe, that 
wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I 
require at thy hand. But if thou warn a wicked man and 
he turn not from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, 
he shall die in his iniquity. But thou hast saved thyself. 



Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness 
and does wrong, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, 
he shall die; because thou hast not given him warning he 
shall die in his sin, for the righteous deeds which he hath 
done shall not be remembered ; but his blood will I require 
at thy hand. But if thou warn the righteous man not to 
sin and he doth not sin, the righteous man shall surely 
live, because he took warning; and thou hast saved thy- 

Do thou also, son of man, take a tile, and set it before s. Por- 
thee, and portray upon it a city, even Jerusalem; and lay ^ffifg 
siege against it, and build a siege wall against it, and throw siege of 
up a mound against it; pitch camps also against it, and sfiem 
plant battering rams about it. And take thou an iron plate, ^"^ ' "^ 
and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city ; and 
set thy face toward it and it shall be in a state of siege, 
and thou shalt lay a siege against it; and this is a sign to 
the house of Israel. 

And do thou, son of man, take a short sword and use it as 9. The 
a barber's razor, and pass it over thy head and beard. Then wleUn- 
take the balances and divide the hair. A third part burn ingdis- 
in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege Twllt- 
are complete; and take a third part and smite with the Sfib- 
sword round about the city ; and a third part scatter to the Jt^nts 
wind. But take a few of them and wrap them up in thy 
skirts; and of these again take some and burn them in the 

Then thou shalt say to all the house of Israel, * Thus 10. The 
saith the Lord Jehovah : " This is Jerusalem. I have set gu^^ 
her in the midst of the nations and countries round about j^ii- 
her. But she hath rebelled against mine ordinances more seized 
wickedly than the nations; and against my statutes more IbJut 
than the countries round about her. For they rejected mine H^p"^ 
ordinances and have not walked in my statutes." There- j%tu- 
fore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: " Because ye have been (fifj" 
more rebellious than the nations round about you, in that 
ye have not walked in my statutes nor kept my ordinances ; 
but have done according to the ordinances of the nations 
that are round about you," therefore thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah, " behold I also am against thee and will execute 



judgment against thee in the sight of the nations. And I 
will do in thee that which I have not done and the like of 
which I will not do again, because of all thine abominations. 
Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in the midst of thee, 
and the sons shall eat their fathers. And I will execute 
judgment on thee, and I will scatter the whole remnant of 
thee to every wind. Therefore, as I live," is the oracle of 
the Lord Jehovah, " because thou hast defiled my sanctuary 
with all thy detestable things and with all thine abominations, 
I will also drive thee away. And mine eye shall not spare 
and I also will have no pity. A third part of these shall die by 
the pestilence and perish with famine in the midst of thee, and a 
third part shall fall by the sword round about thee, and a third 
part I will scatter to every wind and pursue with the sword." * 

This word of Jehovah also came to me. Son of man, thy 
kinsmen, thy fellow-exiles and all the house of Israel, all 
of it, of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem say : * You are 
far from Jehovah ; to us this land is given as a possession * ; 
therefore, say, * Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : " True, I have 
removed them afar off among the nations and scattered 
them off over the lands ; yet will I be their sanctuary for a 
little while in the countries to which they have gone." * 
Therefore say, * Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : " I will gather 
them from the peoples and assemble them from the coun- 
tries whither they have been scattered; and I will give 
them the land of Israel. And they shall go thither and shall 
take away all its detestable and abominable things, and I 
will give them another heart; and I will put a new spirit 
into them ; and I will take the stony heart out of their breast 
and give them a heart of flesh; that they may follow my 
statutes and keep mine ordinances to do them; and they 
shall be my people and I will be their God. But as for 
these who are devoted to their detestable and abominable 
things, I will visit the consequences of their deeds upon 
their own heads." * 

And this word of Jehovah came to me. Son of man, thou 
art dwelling in the midst of a rebellious house who have 
eyes to see, but they see not; ears to hear but they hear not; 
for they are a rebellious house. And do thou, son of 
man, prepare by day in their presence goods for removal; 



and remove from thy place to another place in their pres- 
ence. Perhaps they may perceive, although they are a re- 
bellious house. Bring out thy goods by day in their pres- 
ence as though for removal, and do thou go forth in the 
evening in their presence, as one who goes forth into exile. 
In their presence dig through the wall and go out through 
it. In their presence take up thy goods upon thy back. 
Go forth covering thy face, so that thou wilt not see the 
land ; for I have appointed thee as a sign to the house of 

Then I did as I was commanded. I brought out my 13. The 
goods by day, as though they were goods for removal, Kifc' 
and in the evening I dug through the wall and before ^^^ 
their eyes I went forth in the dark, bearing them on my 

And this word of Jehovah came to me in the morning, u. The 
Son of man, hath not the rebellious house of Israel said to ^aaJj" 
thee, * What art thou doing? ' Say to them, ' Thus saith i'-'') 
the Lord Jehovah: "This burden concerns the prince in 
Jerusalem and all the house of Israel, who are in her midst."' 
Say, * I am a sign to you. As I have done, so shall it be 
done to them. They shall go into exile and captivity and 
the prince who is in their midst shall bear a burden on his 
back. He shall go forth in the dark. He shall dig through 
the wall and go out through it with covered face, so that he 
shall not see the land ; and I will cast my net over him and 
he shall be taken in my snare; and I will bring him to 
Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans ; and he shall not see it, 
and there shall he die.* 

Moreover this word of Jehovah came to me. Son of man, 15. 
prophesy against the prophets of Israel. Prophesy and say Sfning 
to them, * Hear the word of Jehovah, " Thus saith the i°flu- 
Lord Jehovah; Woe to the foolish prophets who prophesy of the 
according to their own mind and to what they have not l^ropt-"^ 
seen. Like jackals on the ruins are thy prophets, O Israel. ^J| ,.7. 
Ye have not gone up into the breaches, nor built up a wall 
for the house of Israel, that ye may stand up in battle 
in the day of Jehovah. They see false visions |^and divine 
lies, saying. The oracle of Jehovah, when Jehovah hath 
not sent them. And they await the fulfilment of their 



words. Do ye not see a false vision and utter lying divi- 
nations? " ' 

16. The This word of Jehovah came to me, What do ye mean by 
faw^of using this proverb in the land of Israel : * The fathers have 
™°r^i eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge? * 
sponsi- As I live, is the oracle of Jehovah, never again shall ye use 
(18^1^4) this proverb in Israel. Behold all souls are mine — the soul 

of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine. The 
soul that sinneth, it alone shall die. 

17. Re- But if a man be righteous, doing justice and righteous- 
i^divid- ness, if he eat not upon the mountains nor lift up his eyes to 
^>tue *^® ^^^^^ ^^ *^® house of Israel, nor defile his neighbor's wife, 
(6-») nor approach a woman in her impurity, and wrong no one, 

restore to the debtor his pledge, take nought by robbery, give 
his bread to the hungry and clothe the naked, lend not at 
interest, nor take any increase, keep his hand away from 
iniquity, execute true judgment between man and man, fol- 
low my statutes, keep my commandments to do them, he is 
righteous ; he shall live, is the oracle of Jehovah. 
is.Pen- But if ye beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, 
fndmd- who does none of these things, but eats upon the moun- 
"lo-u^)^"^^ tains, defiles his neighbor's wife, wrongs the poor and needy, 
robs, restores not the pledge to the debtor, lifts up his eyes 
to idols, commits abomination, lends on interest, and takes 
increase, shall he live? He shall not live. He hath done 
all these abominations. He shall die. His blood shall be 
upon him. 
19. And behold if ys beget a son who sees all the things that 

f^^lf his father hath done, and fears and does not do likewise, . . . 
not he shall not die from the iniquity of his father ; he shall live. 
fe?r"ed His father, because he practised oppression, committed 
othTr' robbery, and did what was not good among the people, died 
(u.wb fQj. ijjg iniquity. But ye say. Why should not the son bear 
the iniquity of his father? If the son execute justice and 
righteousness, keep all my statutes to do them, he shall 
surely live. The person who sins shall die. A son shall 
not bear his father's iniquity, and a father shall not bear his 
son's iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous shall be to 
his credit, and the wickedness of the wicked to his discredit. 



If the wicked turn from all his sins which he hath com- 2p.For- 
mitted, and keep all my statutes, and execute justice and ^^^I'f^t 
righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None ti^e 
of the transgressions which he hath committed shall be tent" 
held against him. Because of the righteousness which he ^" ""^ 
hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death 
of the wicked? is Jehovah's oracle. If he turn from his 
ways shall he not live? 

I. The History and Personality of Ezekiel. Ezekiel, the son of 
Buzi, was one of the many exiles carried away into captivity in 597 B.C. 
Five years later, in 592 B.C., he began his work as a prophet. The 
deference with which he was consulted by the elders of the people and 
the maturity and wide observation revealed in his earliest sermons favor 
the conclusion that he was not a young man when he entered upon his 
new task. If so, he was born and brought up during the brilliant reign of 
Josiah and received from the great reformer prophets, who raUied about 
the young king, the early teachings which bore fruit in the prophet's 
later activity. In all his prophecies he shows himself to have been an 
ardent disciple of Jeremiah. In their interpretation of the past history 
of their race, of its present crises, and of its future hopes, these two 
prophets are in closest agreement, although they differ widely in the way 
in which they present their teachings. 

By birth and youthful training Ezekiel was a priest. He manifests 
an intimate acquaintance with the temple and its ceremonial institu- 
tions. His peculiar Hterary style and figures and his characteristic 
teachings represent the blending of the prophet and priest. In Ezekiel 
these two currents of thought, which had hitherto run on independently, 
are at last united. He was also well acquainted with the earlier history 
and literature of his race. His ministry of twenty-two years lay partly 
in the period preceding the final destruction of Jerusalem and partly in 
the Babylonian exile itself. He was thus the connecting link between 
the ethical teachings of the earlier prophets and the ritualism of the 
priests, between the pre-exilic Hebrew civilization and thought and the 
very different conditions and ideals introduced by the fall of Jerusalem 
in 586 B.C. 

Ezekiel is one of the most striking and dramatic characters in Israel's 
history. He was harsh and relentless in his condemnation of the sins 
of his nation, intense in his zeal for righteousness, and bold and even 
dogmatic in declaring his convictions. Above all, he was an idealist, 



who believed firmly in the ultimate future of his race. Although he was 
not a poet like the great prophets who preceded him, he employed highly 
dramatic imagery and symbols in setting forth his teachings. Prov- 
erbs, parables, riddles, dirges, visions, developed allegories, and even 
acted symbols were used by him to secure and hold the attention of his 
fellow-countrymen. The fact that the dramatic methods are natural 
and in perfect keeping with the character and spirit of the prophet alone 
delivers him from the charge of sensationalism. As it is, they but reveal 
the intense moral earnestness and the deep sense of responsibility with 
which Ezekiel took up his task. 

II. Ezekiel's Call and Commission. Ezekiel, like Isaiah and Jere- 
miah, gives a vivid picture of his call to the prophetic office. It came 
to him as he dwelt among the Jewish exiles beside the Chebar — the 
Khabaru Canal which, as we learn from contemporary inscriptions, ran 
from the great city of Babylon eastward to Nippur. The general form 
and import of his initial vision were probably suggested by that of Isaiah. 
The details of the elaborate picture reflect the impressions which the 
art and religious symbolism of Babylonia and especially the huge colossi, 
with the bodies of animals, the faces of men, and the wings of birds, 
standing guard before palace and temple, made upon the mind of the 
exiled priest. 

The account of his visions as well as the other writings of Ezekiel show 
the fruits of careful elaboration. He who was trained in the precise 
school of the law did not hesitate to introduce frequent repetitions in 
order to make his thought impressive and clear. Ezekiel's visions also 
mark the beginning of that apocalyptic type of literature (in which ideas 
are represented by concrete symbols), whereby the later prophets sought 
to render their messages impressive and to arouse the intellectual ac- 
tivity of their hearers. 

In his initial vision Ezekiel seemed to behold a great luminous cloud, 
sweeping from the north, within which were four winged creatures, 
with faces of men, of lions, of bulls and of eagles. Beside each creature 
was a revolving wheel, with a wheel cutting it at right angles. These 
wheels appeared to be alive and were covered with eyes, symbolizing 
the divine omniscience. On the great arch, transparent as crystal, sup- 
ported by the four flying creatures, was a throne resembling sapphire. 
On this throne Ezekiel seemed to see Jehovah seated, in form like a man 
and radiant as the rainbow . 

From the majestic, transcendent divine presence thus revealed to 
him Ezekiel received his prophetic commission. It was to go forth and 



proclaim to his people the message of counsel and warning in the face 
of opposition and persecution. The divine message is likened to a roll 
of parchment which the prophet is commanded to eat, indicating that 
in him the word of God became incarnate. Ezekiel also felt himself 
called to be a watchman to warn his people of every danger that 
threatened. His responsibility ceased only when he had exhausted 
every possible means of impressing his divine message upon them. Thus 
in Ezekiel the prophet became a pastor — not merely the conscience of 
the nation but the guide and guardian of individual souls. 

III. Ezekiel's Advice Regarding the Crisis in Judah. During 
the five years preceding the fall of Jerusalem, Ezekiel's attention was 
fixed almost exclusively on the problems which confronted Jeremiah in 
distant Judah. The first twenty-four chapters of his book represent 
his activity during this period. Communication was evidently close be- 
tween the Jewish exiles and their kinsmen in Judah. Ezekiel was well 
informed of every movement and tendency in the little Judean kingdom. 
The prophet put forth all his energies to stem the tide of discontent and 
false hopes that threatened to carry Judah into fatal rebellion against 
Nebuchadrezzar. Primarily he appealed to the Jewish exiles in Baby- 
lon, for their influence was great with their kinsmen in Palestine, and 
they were all deluding themselves with the belief that in some miraculous 
way Jehovah would interpose to break the power of the Chaldeans. 
Ezekiel's sermons were also doubtless sent as tracts to circulate among 
the Jews left behind in the home-land. 

Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, during the same period, met only with oppo- 
sition and scepticism. Hence, at this crisis, he employed a series of 
striking symbols. On one occasion he took a tablet of clay and drew 
a sketch of Jerusalem in a state of active siege. Outside he set up an 
iron plate as a symbol of the barrier between Jehovah and his people, 
which prevented him from protecting them or delivering them from the 
hands of their Chaldean foes. 

Again seeking to impress the people, Ezekiel lay on his left side for 
many days, as if bound and helpless, in token of the one hundred and 
ninety years of exile in store for the northern kingdom. Later he lay 
on his right side to represent the forty years during which he predicted 
the same fate was to overtake Judah. To make vivid the horrors of 
the siege which threatened Jerusalem, he prepared out of coarse flour 
unclean food which he baked and ate publicly. 

Ezekiel's fourth symbol was equally dramatic. Cutting off the hairs 
of his head and beard, he divided them into three parts; one part he 



burnt with fire, another he smote with the sword, and a third he scattered 
to the winds, to symbolize the fate of Jerusalem. Only a few of those 
which were scattered were ultimately preserved to represent the small 
remnant that should survive the coming siege. These were the purified 
few who, in the land of exile, should lose their stony hearts and receive 
a new heart of flesh and be fitted at last to participate in the fulfilment 
of Jehovah's promises to the race. 

In many ways the most striking of all Ezekiel's acted sermons was 
preached before his own house, beside the wall that encijcled the village 
in which dwelt the Jewish exiles. As the shadows of evening began to 
gather he dragged out his household possessions, and then dug through 
the clay wall and carried them forth in the dark, as if fleeing into exile. 
Having roused the curiosity of his people to the highest pitch, he in- 
terpreted to them on the following morning the meaning of his strange 
action. Even as he had sought to flee by night with his treasured pos- 
sessions, so, he declared, in the hour of their approaching extremity, the 
king and princes of Judah would seek, but in vain, to escape from be- 
leagured Jerusalem. 

IV. Causes of Judah's Overthrow. During the critical days when 
the question of whether or not Judah would rebel against Nebuchadrez- 
zar hung in the balance, Ezekiel appealed not only to the fears but also 
to the reason of his hearers. In a series of graphic pictures he reviewed 
the past moral history of his race. His aim was twofold: (1) to answer 
the assertions of his fellow exiles that their fate was unjust, and thus to 
vindicate Jehovah; and (2) to demonstrate the utter folly of expecting 
that Jehovah would interpose to save the people of Judah in case they 
defied their Chaldean masters. 

With that unflinching severity which characterizes the prophet, he 
goes back and traces the ignominious, heathen origin of his race. He 
recalls Jehovah's love and pity in supplying the needs and in training 
this unpromising foundling, until at last he took her to himself in the 
close bonds of marriage, and lavished upon her all the blessings that a 
fond husband could bestow. Infidelity and apostasy, however, had 
characterized all her later history. Even Samaria and corrupt Sodom 
were righteous in comparison with ungrateful Judah. Idolatry, foreign 
alliances, and gross immorality had destroyed Judah's every claim to 
Jehovah's protecting care. Ezekiel also likens Judah to a filthy, rusty 
pot which must be thrown into a fiery furnace, that the true metal may 
be purged of its dross and again recast into a vessel fit for Jehovah's 



V. Ezekiel's Doctrine of Individual Responsibility. Ezekiel's 
analysis of the character of his nation seems harsh and drastic; and yet 
it was not a time for flattering words. Judah was full of false prophets 
who were saying, Peace, when there was no peace. Ezekiel calls them 
jackals, prowling about the ruins of Jerusalem, undermining its very 
walls. In the hour when plain-speaking and fundamental reform alone 
would save the nation, they were like masons daubing over a wall with 
whitewash, concealing its weakness until, in the hour of extremity, it 
falls in ruins. 

From the corrupt, tottering nation Ezekiel turned to the individual 
and enunciated in clearest terms the law of individual opportunity and 
responsibility. He did not deny for a moment the fact that each man 
suffered for the sins and follies of the state; but he did combat strenu- 
ously the popular fallacy that each individual was morally guilty because 
of the crimes of the community as a whole. In the clearest terms he 
enunciates the great principle that each man is responsible, in the sight 
of God, simply for his own acts whether good or bad, and that present, 
not past, attitude and deeds determine the issues of life. Ezekiel's ulti- 
mate message, therefore, in the hour of the nation's overthrow, was a 
call to individual repentance and the assurance that Jehovah was not 
only just in his treatment of each individual, but also eager to forgive 
every soul that truly turned to him for pardon and protection. 


Mine heart within me is broken, all my bones relax; i.Judg. 

I am become like a drunken man, as a man overcome by ™mhi^ 

wine ; ^f «» 
For both prophet and priest are shamefully corrupt. faith- 
Even in my temple have I found their wickedness, is the p^ests 

oracle of Jehovah ; ^^d ^ 

Therefore their way shall be to them as slippery ets 

places. 23^«b. c 

Into darkness shall they be thrust along and fall there- ""^ 

For I will bring evil upon them, even the time of their 



2. In the prophets of Samaria I saw that which was sick- 

Proph- .^ ^ 

ets of ening, 

£fem They prophesied by Baal, and led my people Israel astray. 

worse But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible 

than ,, . -^ -^ •' 

were tHing ; 

*^f^. They commit adultery, they walk in falsehood and strengthen 
na^i^f ^^® hands of evil-doers. 

They are all of them like Sodom, and its inhabitants like 

Therefore, thus saith Jehovah concerning the prophets: 
Behold I will feed them with wormwood and make them 

drink the water of gall; 
For from the prophets of Jerusalem hath profaneness gone 
forth into all the land. 

s.Their They say continually to those who despise the word of Je- 
m^! hovah: * Ye shall have peace.' 

sfge And if one walk according to the stubbornness of his own 
heart, they say: * No evil shall come upon you.' 

4. I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran ! 

^epudi- I have not spoken to them, yet they have prophesied! 

ation If they had really stood in my council and heeded my 

hovah words. 

Then would they have turned back my people from their 
evil deeds. 

(21. 22) 

5.Their Am not I a God near by and not a God far off? 
thmk" Can a man hide himself in secret places and I not see 
\ll^ him? 

canes- Do not I fill both hcavcu and earth? 
jlho- I have heard what the prophets say, 

Ji%. They who prophesy falsely in my name, saying: * I have 
dreamed, I have dreamed;' 
How long shall there be a message in the heart of the proph- 
ets who prophesy falsehood. 
And prophesy the deceit of their own heart, thinking that 

they can make my people forget my law. 
By their dreams which they recount each to his neighbor, 
Just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal? 



The prophet, who has a dream, let him recount his 6. Their 

dream ; duty 

And he with whom is my word let him speak my word faith- ^'^" ^^^ 

What hath the straw to do with the wheat? is the oracle of 

Is not my word like a fire, like a hammer which breaks in 

pieces the rocks? 

In the fourth year [593 B.C.] of Zedekiah king of Judah, in 7. The 
the fifth month, this word came from Jehovah to Jeremiah : •^g'^tJ 
Thus saith Jehovah : * Make thongs and a yoke and put them ^^f^^^^ 
on thy neck, and send to the kings of Edom, of Moab, of the kfngs"^ 
Ammonites, of Tyre and of Sidon, by the messengers who eltfne' 
have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah, and (271 ") 
let them give this command to their masters: " Thus saith 
Jehovah, God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to your masters: 
I have made the earth by my great power and by mine out- 
stretched arm, and I give it to whom it seemeth right to 
me. I now have given the earth to Nebuchadrezzar king of 
Babylon my servant and the beasts of the field to serve him ; 
and the people and the kingdom which will not put their neck 
in the yoke of the king of Babylon will I punish by sword 
and famine, until I have given them into his hand, is Je- 
hovah's oracle. But ye, hearken ye not to your prophets 
nor to your diviners nor to your dreamers nor to your sooth- 
sayers and sorcerers, who say. Ye shall not serve the king 
of Babylon! For they prophesy a lie to you, in order to 
remove you far from your land. But that people which shall 
bring its neck into the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve 
him I will leave in their own land, and they shall till it and 
dwell therein." ' 

And to Zedekiah king of Judah I spake the same 8. To 
words and said. Bring your neck into his yoke and serve tfalf 
the king of Babylon; for these prophets prophesy a lie to 
you, for I .have not sent them, is Jehovah's oracle, and they 
prophesy in my name falsely, that they might drive you out 
and that ye might perish, together with the prophets who 
have prophesied falsely to you. 


(12a. Ub. 

an im 

(16. 1 
19a. c. 
20a. 22a 


9. Fur- And to the priests and the whole people I said, Thus saith 
captiv- Jehovah : * Listen not to the words of your prophets who 
anim^* P^ophesy to you, saying, " Behold the vessels of Jehovah's 
mediate house shall shortly be brought back from Babylon." For 
tfon°/^" they prophesy a lie to you. But if they be prophets, and 

if Jehovah's word be really with them, then let them make 
) intercession with me. For thus saith Jehovah : " The other 
vessels which the king of Babylon did not take with him 
to Babylon, when he carried away into captivity from 
Jerusalem Jeconiah king of Judah, shall be brought to 
Babylon," is Jehovah's oracle.' 

10. Then Hananiah, the son of Azzur, the prophet of Gibeon, 
SlSh's said to me in the temple in the presence of the priests and 
p^edic- all the people. Thus saith Jehovah : * I have broken the yoke 
restora- of the king of Babylou ; within two years I will bring back 
*(28i-3*. to this place the vessels of Jehovah's house, and Jeconiah 
*" ') and the Jewish exiles; for I have broken the yoke of the 

king of Babylon.' 
ii.jer- Then Jeremiah said to Hananiah in the presence of the 
r™\y^'^ priests and all the people who were standing in the temple: 
(^-') Amen ! Even so may Jehovah do. May he fulfil the words 
that you have prophesied and bring back the vessels of the 
temple and all the exiles from Babylon to this place ! Only 
hear, I pray, the word that I speak in your ears and in the 
ears of all the people: The prophets of old, who were be- 
fore me and before you, prophesied of war against many 
countries and great kingdoms. If a prophet prophesied 
peace, then, when the word came to pass, it was known 
whether Jehovah had truly sent this prophet. 

12. Thereupon Hananiah, in the presence of all the people, 
Silahs took the yoke from Jeremiah's neck and broke it; and 
|y™; Hananiah said in the presence of all the people : * Even so 
act^^ will I break the yoke of the king of Babylon from off the 
^'° "^ necks of all people.' Then Jeremiah went his way. 

13. The Now the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah after Han- 
yoke aniah had broken the yoke from off his neck, saying. Go 
g^^y_ and say to Hananiah, *Thus saith Jehovah: "Thou hast 
lon^ broken the yoke of wood, but I will make in its stead one 
(" '^) Qf jj.Qj^^ J have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all 

these peoples, that they may serve the 'king of Babylon." ' 



Then Jeremiah said to Hananiah, Jehovah hath not sent i4. 
thee ; but thou makest this people to trust in lies. Therefore ^^J^'s 
thus saith Jehovah : Behold I will send thee away from the fatf 
face of the earth. This very year shalt thou die. And he 
died in the seventh month. 

And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 15. 
Then in the ninth year of his reign [588 B.C.], in the tenth S's 
day of the tenth month, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon j^^^ei- 
came, together with all his army, against Jerusalem and (iik. 
besieged it, and they erected a siege wall about it. So the IVu^ 
city was besieged to the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 

The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah when 16. His 
King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur, the son of Malchijah S jere^ 
and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, to say : In- "^f^ 
quire of Jehovah for us, for the king of Babylon is making 21 1'^) 
war against us. Perhaps Jehovah will deal according to all 
his wondrous works and that one will withdraw from us. 

Then Jeremiah said to them. Thus shall ye say to Zede- i7.Dec- 
kiah king of Judah: * Thus saith Jehovah: "Behold, the w 
weapons of war with which ye are fighting the Chaldeans Jjj^^^j^ 
who are besieging you without the walls, will I turn back into win 
the midst of this city. And I myself will fight against you Sif ^^ 
with an outstretched hand and a strong arm, in anger and <^^ ^> 
in great wrath. And I will smite all the inhabitants of 
this city, both man and beast, with a great pestilence so 
that they shall die. And afterwards, saith Jehovah, I will 
give Zedekiah the king of Judah and his servants and the 
people that are left in this city from the pestilence and the 
sword and famine, into the hand of the enemy and of those 
who seek their life, and they shall smite them with the edge 
of the sword, neither sparing them nor showing compas- 
sion." ' 

And to this people shalt thou say. Thus saith Jehovah: is. 
* Behold I set before you the way of life and of death ; ho"pe 
whoever remains in this city shall die by the sword and j^?^^- 
by pestilence; but whoever goes out and surrenders to the sion 
Chaldeans, who are besieging you, shall live, and his life ^^"'"^ 
shall be to him for a prey ; for I have set my face against this 



city for evil and not for good; it shall be given into the 
hands of the king of Babylon and he shall burn it with fire.' 

19. The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after 
5j;^e°' King Zedekiah had made a covenant with the people, to 
ment of proclaim a general liberation, that each should let his male 
erated' and female slaves go free in case they were Hebrews or 
^avS"^ Bebrewesses; that none out of Judah should be a slave. 
liViih) ^^* ^^^ *^® princes and all the people who had entered into 

the covenant, that each should let his male and female 
slaves go free, brought them again into subjection as male 
and female slaves. 

20. The Therefore the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, say- 
fudg"-^ ing. Thus saith Jehovah : * I made a covenant with your 
°^n_t fathers in the day that I brought them forth from the land 
fnTthe of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, " At the end 
kis^rui- of six years thou shalt set free the Hebrew brother, who has 
Judah ^®^^ ^^^^ ^^ *^®® ^^^ ^^^ served thee six years, and thou shalt 
\'^A let him go free," but they neither hearkened to me nor in- 
clined their ear. And ye had now turned and done that 
which is pleasing to me, in proclaiming freedom each to 
his neighbor, and ye made a covenant before me in the 
temple which is called by my name. But ye have changed 
your mind and profaned my name, and made each his male 
and female slaves, whom ye had let go free at their pleasure, 
return to be male and female slaves again.' Therefore 
thus saith Jehovah : *Ye have not hearkened to me, to pro- 
claim freedom, each to his neighbor — now I proclaim to you 
a freedom, to become the prey of the sword, the pestilence, 
and the famine ; and I will make you an object of terror to 
all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will deliver over the 
men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not 
performed the words of the covenant which they made be- 
fore the calf which they cut in two and passed between its 
parts — the princes of Judah, and the eunuchs, and the priests, 
and the people — I will even give them into the hand of their 
enemies, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of 
the heavens and the beasts of the earth. And I will give 
Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hand of 
their enemies, the forces of the king of Babylon who have 
gone away from you. Behold, I will command,' saith Je- 



hovah, * and cause them to return to this city, and they 
shall besiege it and take it and burn it with fire ; and I will 
make the cities of Judah an uninhabited desolation.' 

And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shele- 21. 
miah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to kfalf's 
Jeremiah, saying, Pray now to Jehovah for us. Now in that H^'if} 
time Jeremiah went in and out of the city, for they had not 
put him in prison. And Pharaoh's army had come forth 
from Egypt, and the Chaldeans had received a report re- 
garding them, and had abandoned the siege of Jerusalem. 

Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying, 22. His 
Thus saith Jehovah : * Thus shalt thou say to the king of SoifS" 
Judah, who sent to me to inquire of me : " Behold, Pharaoh's f^fg^.g 
army, which has come out to help you, shall return to de- 
Egypt. Then the Chaldeans shall come back and fight S*'" 
against the city and shall take it and burn it with fire." ' ^^ ^"^ 
Thus saith Jehovah : * Do not deceive yourselves with the 
idea that the Chaldeans will depart from you ; for they shall 
not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army 
of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained 
but wounded men, yet would these rise up each in his tent, 
and burn this city with fire.' 

But when the army of the Chaldeans had abandoned the 23. Jer- 
siege of Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army, Jeremiah fSy 
went forth from Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin ^Fat^-^'^ 
to receive his inheritance there among the people. And tempt- 
when he was in the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the dele^ 
guard was there, by the name of Rijah the son of Shelemiah, ^"'"^ 
the son of Hananiah. And he laid hold on Jeremiah, say- 
ing. You are going over to the Chaldeans. Then Jeremiah 
said. It is false ; I am not going over to the Chaldeans. He, 
however, paid no heed to Jeremiah but brought him to the 
princes. And the princes were angry with Jeremiah and 
smote him and put him in the house of Jonathan the chan- 
cellor, ifor they had made that the prison. 

And thus Jeremiah came into the house of the cistern and 24. Hia 
into the cells; and he remained there many days. Then fnter- 
Zedekiah sent and summoned him ; and the king questioned ^f^^ 
him secretly and said. Is there any word from Jehovah? the 
And Jeremiah said, There is. You shall be delivered into cs^f) 



the hand of the king of Babylon. Moreover Jeremiah said 
to Zedekiah, What crime have I committed against you or 
your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison? 
Where now are your prophets, who prophesied to you, say- 
ing, * The king of Babylon shall not come against this 
land?' And now, my lord the king ; let my petition be 
presented before you, that you will not let me be taken 
back to the house of Jonathan the chancellor, lest I die 

25. In Then the king gave command and they committed 
court of Jeremiah to the court of the guard, and they gave him daily 
^^^ . a loaf of bread from the bakers' street, until all the bread in 
^)^ the city was gone. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court 

of the guard. 

26. But when Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah 
Jha^e the son of Pashhur, and Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and 
nlwi Pashhur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jere- 
"as 1^) miah spoke to all the people, saying, Thus saith Jehovah : 'He 

that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine ; 
but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live and his 
life shall be to him as booty, and he shall live ' ; also. Thus 
saith Jehovah : * This city shall surely be given into the hand 
of the army of the king of Babylon and he shall take it,' 
the princes said to the king. Let this man be put to death, 
since he weakens the hands of the soldiers who remain in 
this city and the hands of all the people, in speaking such 
words to them; for this man seeks not the welfare of this 
people but the hurt. 
27..jer- Then Zedekiah the king said. See, he is in your hands, 
!Sr^ for the king was not able to do anything against them. 
ds?era Thereupon they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern 
todi™ of Malchijah the king's son, that was in the court of the 
^* ^^ guard, and let Jeremiah down with cords. And in the cis- 
tern there was no water, but mire, and Jeremiah sank into 
the mire. 
28. His Now when Ebed-melech the Cushite, a eunuch, who was 
r^cue jj^ ^j^g royal palace heard that they had put Jeremiah in the 
mefedi ^istem, while the king was sitting in the Gate of Benjamin, 
?^^ Ebed-melech went out to him and said. My lord the king, 
these men have done wrong in all that they have done to 



Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the cistern ; 
and he must soon die in the place where he is, because of 
the famine, for there is no more bread in the city. Then the 
king commanded Ebed-melech the Cushite, saying. Take 
from here three men with you and draw up Jeremiah the 
prophet from the cistern before he dies. So Ebed-melech 
took the men with him and went into the royal palace be- 
low the treasury and took from there rags and worn-out 
garments, and let them down by cords to Jeremiah in 
the cistern. And Ebed-melech the Cushite said to Jere- 
miah, Put now these rags and worn-out garments below 
your armpits under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 
Then they drew up him with the cords and took him out 
of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the 

Then the king sent and took Jeremiah to him into 29. The 
the third entry which leads into the temple of Jehovah. -^Iqui- 
And the king said to Jeremiah, I should like to ask you ^^^^^^ 
something, conceal nothing from me. Then Jeremiah said anceof 
to Zedekiah, If I declare it to you, will you promise not to SSi*^^" 
put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not ("""> 
hearken to me. Then the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, 
saying. As Jehovah liveth, who hath given us this life, I will 
not put you to death, neither will I give you into the hand of 
these men. 

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, Thus saith Jehovah : * If 30. jer- 
thou wilt give thyself up to the princes of the king of Baby- rStS^ 
Ion, then thy life shall be preserved and this city shall not ^Hf^^^. 
be burned with fire, and thou shalt live, together with thy tion 
household. But if thou wilt not give thyself up, then this lurien- 
city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, who will ^fj^^ 
burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape from their hand.' would 
Then the king said to Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews the^ 
who have gone over to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me ^"^^ 
into their hand and they mock me. But Jeremiah said, city 
They shall not deliver you. Obey, I beseech you, the voice 
of Jehovah, in that which I speak to you ; so it shall be well 
with you. But if you refuse to give yourself up, this is 
the revelation that Jehovah hath showed me: Behold, 
all the women who are left in the king of Judah's palace 



shall be brought forth to the princes of the king of Babylon, 

They have betrayed thee; they have overcome thee, thy 

familiar friends ! 
They have caused thy feet to sink in the mire; they turn 

They shall also bring out all your sons to the Chaldeans. 
You yourself shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be 
taken by the hand of the king of Babylon ; and this city shall 
be burned. 

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, Let no man know of these 
words, or you may die. But if the princes hear that I have 
talked with you, and come to you, and say to you, * Declare to 
us now what you have said to the king — hide it not from us, 
otherwise we will put you to death — also what the king said 
to you,' then say to them, * I presented my petition before 
the king, that he would not make me return to Jonathan's 
house, to die there.' Then all the princes came to Jeremiah 
and inquired of him; and he told them these words just as 
the king had commanded. So they ceased questioning him, 
for the matter was not reported. But Jeremiah remained 
in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was 

Now the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, while he was 
shut up in the court of the guard, saying, Go, and speak to 
Ebed-melech the Cushite, saying, * Thus saith Jehovah, the 
God of Israel : " Behold, I will bring my words upon this city 
for evil and not for good. But I will deliver thee in that day," 
saith Jehovah, " and thou shalt not be given into the hand 
of the men of whom thou art afraid. For I will surely save 
thee and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall 
be as booty to thee, because thou hast put thy trust in me," 
saith Jehovah.' 

This word came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, in the tenth 
year [587 B.C.] of Zedekiah the king, which was the eigh- 
teenth year of Nebuchadrezzar, when the army of the king 
of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem and Jeremiah was shut 
up in the guard-house, which was by the royal palace where 



Zedekiah the king had shut him up: Behold Hanamel, the 
son of Shallum thine uncle is coming to thee to say, * Buy 
my field that is in Anathoth ; for thou, as the nearest rela- 
tive, hast the right of buying it.» And Hanamel, mine uncle's 
son, came to me into the guard court and said, Buy my 
field that is in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin; for the 
right of inheritance is thine and the redemption is thine. 

Then I knew that it was Jehovah's word. And I bought the 34. sig 
field of Hanamel, mine uncle's son, and weighed out to him "ance 
seventeen shekels of silver. And I signed the deed and sealed ^^^J^® 
it and took witnesses, weighing out the money to him in the chase 
balances. Then I took the sealed purchase deed and gave ^* "^ 
it to Baruch the son of Neriah the son of Maaseiah, in the 
presence of Hanamel my uncle's son, and in the presence 
of the witnesses who had signed the purchase deed, and in 
the presence of the Jews in the guard court. And I gave 
this charge to Baruch in their presence : Thus saith Jehovah 
of hosts : * Take this purchase deed and put it in an earthen 
vessel, that it may remain for years to come.' For thus 
saith Jehovah : * Houses and fields and vineyards shall yet 
again be bought in this land.' 

I. The False Prophets in Judah's History. The false prophets 
play an increasingly prominent role in the history of the Hebrews during 
the years preceding the Babylonian exile. From the days of Ahab, 
when four hundred false prophets stood opposed to the one true prophet 
Micaiah (§ LXIV), they appear to have far exceeded in numbers the true 
prophets, like EUjah and Jeremiah. Amaziah, the priest who drove 
the prophet Amos from Bethel, was evidently well acquainted with a 
type of prophet who predicted good or evil in order to extract a bribe or 
gift from the credulous. Micah had only contempt for the mercenary 
false prophets of his day. Ezekiel attributed Judah's downfall to the 
influence of these false prophets. From Jeremiah's letter to the exiles 
it is evident that men of this type were to be found even among the Jews 
in distant Babylonia. Jeremiah was constantly confronted by them, es- 
pecially in the chaotic years immediately preceding the final destruction 
of Jerusalem. 

From the many references to them it is possible to determine their real 
character. Jeremiah, it is true, associates them with those survivals 
of ancient heathenism, the diviners, the dreamers, the soothsayers and 



the sorcerers; but the false prophets who misled the nation did so in the 
name of Jehovah. Many of them were doubtless deliberate deceivers 
of the people; others were self-deceived. The ancient Hebrew state 
offered peculiar temptations to this class. As a rule the people listened 
attentively to a man who claimed to speak with divine authority. The 
East is famous for its religious credulity. Every abnormal psychic 
state was also interpreted as a form of divine revelation. The man who 
had strange dreams, or who was at times seized by religious ecstasy, or 
subject to some mental disorder, was in great danger of deceiving both 
himself and the people. Moreover, from earliest times, the prophets 
appear to have received gifts for their services (I Sam. 9^, I Kgs. 14^, 
II Kgs. 8^* °, Am. 7^^). The prophets connected with the royal sanctu- 
aries or the court were probably supported from the public treasury. 
The position of a popular prophet was also one of honor. Hence the 
temptations to pose as spokesmen for Jehovah proved, in the case of 
many, too strong to be resisted. 

II. The Distinction Between the False and True Prophets. The 
difficulty which the people felt in distinguishing between the true and 
the false prophet is obvious. Both used the same vocabulary and claimed 
the same divine authority; and yet when the two types of prophet made 
exactly opposite assertions, as in the contest between Jeremiah and 
Hananiah, the people were forced to decide; and this they doubtless did 
in accord with the accepted standards. The evidence of ecstasy, either 
while receiving or proclaiming the prophetic message, was evidently, in 
the popular mind, a strong credential; and yet the greatest prophets, like 
Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Jeremiah, rarely, if ever, yielded to this prim- 
itive type of religious fervor. The ability to perform miracles or some 
wonderful act undoubtedly impressed the populace powerfully; and yet 
the great heralds of ethical righteousness do not appear to have ever 
employed this means of establishing their authority. The difficulties 
involved in the test suggested in Deuteronomy 18^^ namely, that the 
fulfilment of the prophet's message be the proof of his authority, are 

Jeremiah truly urged that there was a strong presupposition in favor 
of the prophet who, in the face of public opinion, predicted disaster; and 
that only the event could establish the reputation of him who predicted 
peace. He also declared that the immoral acts of the false prophets 
gave the lie to their message. He clearly pointed out the fundamental 
errors of the false prophets of his day: that they were still dreaming 
for their nation the ancient dreams of material and national glory; that 



they were blind to the moral conditions in Judah, as well as to the politi- 
cal situation; that they thought of Jehovah simply as a powerful deity 
who would protect at any cost the inviolability of his city and temple; 
and that they had utterly failed to appreciate the higher revelation of his 
character as a God of impartial justice and moral integrity. 

The pernicious influence of the false prophets upon Judah's history 
cannot be overestimated. Not only did they lure the people on to their 
ruin, but they also, for the time being at least, undermined the in- 
fluence of the true prophets like Jeremiah. The graphic account of 
Jeremiah's contest with Hananiah illustrates the dramatic method which 
each group of prophets used, in order to influence the people to accept 
their teachings. As was inevitable, the false prophets destroyed public 
confidence in the message of the true prophets, and hastened the day 
when the voice of these heralds of Jehovah ceased to be heard in Israel. 

III. Rebellion Against Nebuchadrezzar. The misleading as- 
surances of the false prophets prepared the way for the next and last 
fatal step, in Judah's death tragedy. In 588 B.C., an ambitious and 
energetic ruler by the name of Hophra, came to the throne of Egypt. 
At the very beginning of his reign he appears to have stirred up the differ- 
ent states of Palestine to rebellion against Nebuchadrezzar. Zedekiah 
does not appear to have taken the initiative, but to have yielded to the 
demands of the neighboring kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Tyre 
and Sidon, in joining the coalition. Jeremiah, as well as Ezekiel, pro- 
tested vigorously against the alliance and pointed out clearly the fatal 
consequences. The popular hope, however, that by union they would 
be able successfully to resist the Chaldeans was too strong to be over- 

In 588 B.C., Zedekiah rebelled, and by the end of that year, or early in 
587, the Chaldeans had overrun Palestine, apparently conquering with- 
out serious opposition everything except Tyre in the north, Lachish and 
Azekah on the western borders of Judah, and Jerusalem. Tyre, which 
had apparently led in the rebellion, because of its natural strength and 
great resources, was able to hold out for many years against the besiegers. 

Nebuchadrezzar established his headquarters at Riblah, on the upper 
Orontes, where he could remain in close touch with events in the heart 
of the empire and at the same time direct the campaign against the rebels. 

Jerusalem was able to resist the besiegers for over a year. The people 
evidently hoped against hope for a signal deliverance. King Zede- 
kiah even sent a messenger to Jeremiah to secure from him, if possible, 
the assurance that Jehovah would again, as of old, perform a miracle 

291 ' 


and interpose to deliver his people. The prophet's reply was even more 
appalling than the most fearful could have anticipated. In the mind of 
the great prophet, who appreciated Jehovah's justice and impartiality 
even more than his might, there was no cause nor place for a miracle. 
He recognized that moral causes produce inevitable effects. Jeremiah 
therefore declared that Jehovah, compelled by the deeds of the guilty 
people, was himself fighting against them, and that it was futile for the 
king and his nobles to expect either deliverance or mercy. The one hope 
of escape, which the prophet held out, was in immediate surrender. 

rV. Events During the Siege. In their extremity the leaders in 
Jerusalem sought to purchase Jehovah's favor by complying with the 
long-neglected law which demanded that every Hebrew slave should be 
set free after he had served six years (§§ LXXXIV*^). Accordingly, a 
sacred covenant was made before the temple between Jehovah and the 
people, according to which they agreed to free their countrymen from 
servitude with the hope that they themselves should be delivered from 
the foreign invaders. To seal this covenant, a calf was cut in two, and 
the princes of Judah passed between the severed parts. This peculiar 
type of blood covenant was similar to that recorded in Genesis 15^-^^, 
in which the solemn agreement between Abraham and Jehovah was 
sealed when the symbol of Jehovah's presence passed between the 
severed parts of the sacrificial offerings. 

Seemingly, as a divine fulfilment of the terms of the covenant, the 
Chaldean army suddenly withdrew from Jerusalem. The cause was 
the advance of the Egyptian army to the borders of Palestine. Elated by 
this remarkable deliverance, the nobles of Judah revealed their deep de- 
pravity and confirmed Jeremiah's low estimate of them by breaking their 
solemn covenant and by forcing the freedmen back into their old posi- 
tion of servitude. 

Jeremiah's denunciation of this shameless crime and his prediction 
that the besiegers would quickly return only kindled still further the fury 
of the rulers. The king himself alone continued to seek the counsels of 
the prophet; but Zedekiah was too weak and too helpless in the hands 
of his nobles to act in accordance with the radical measures proposed. 
Imstead, Jeremiah's foes threw him into prison on the charge of being a 
traitor. Although he was able for a time to rescue the prophet from 
their hands, Zedekiah was at last obliged to turn him over to his infuri- 
ated nobles, who left Jeremiah in a vile cistern, there to die of star- 
vation. The fidelity of a foreign eunuch and the secret friendship of 
the king alone saved Jeremiah at this time from a martyr's death. 



V. Jeremiah's Belief in the Future of His Race. Unpopularity, 
persecution, and the presence of death did not daunt the valiant prophet. 
On every possible occasion and in the clearest and most uncompromis- 
ing terms he declared that there was absolutely no hope of immediate 
deliverance. Yet while he was still a prisoner in the royal palace, he 
expressed in the most striking form his undying faith in the future of his 
race. By the purchase of an ancestral field he proclaimed, by act as 
well as word, his firm conviction that the time was not far distant when 
the Hebrew state would be restored and the ancient laws and customs 
would again be enforced. In the light of his searching analysis of con- 
ditions, the present offered only certain disaster and national destruc- 
tion; but with that broader appreciation of Jehovah's purpose, which he 
shared with Ezekiel, he saw clearly that the coming national calamity 
was but a part of that divine instruction, which the blind, wilful, guilty 
nation must receive. He firmly believed in the ultimate possibilities of 
his race, in the survival of its faith, in its noble destiny, and in the gracious 
purpose of the God who was guiding with no uncertain hand the course 
of human history. There are fewer sublimer scenes in human history 
than that of the aged and lonely prophet, spurned by his contempo- 
raries, facing death at every turn, calmly viewing the overthrow of his 
land, of the sacred city and of the temple about which centred the faith 
and religious institutions of his race; yet absolutely confident that all the 
passing ruin and desolation were but the door which led to a larger and 
nobler national life. 


Now when Jerusalem was taken (in the ninth year of i. 
Zedekiah king of Judah [586 B.C.] in the tenth month), Neb- ^J^f *• 
uchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against «« ^ 
Jerusalem and besieged it. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah nai fate 
on the ninth day of the fourth month, a breach was made ekSh^' 
in the city and all the princes of the king of Babylon came (Jef-^ 
and sat in the middle gate : Nebushazban the chief of the 39 1-^) 
eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer the chief of the magicians, 
with all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. And 
when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the warriors saw 
them, they fled and went forth out of the city by night by 



the way of the king's garden, through the gate between the 
two walls, and went out toward the Arabah. But the army 
of the Chaldeans pursued after them and overtook Zedekiah 
in the plains of Jericho. Then they took and brought him 
up to Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon to Riblahin the land 
of Hamath; and he passed judgment upon him. And the 
king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before 
his eyes; also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of 
Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes and bound 
him in chains, to carry him to Babylon. 

2. De- •'* But on the seventh day of the month, which was in the 
tf^of nineteenth year of King Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, 
th^city Nebuzaradan the commander of the body-guard, a servant 
fate of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. And he burnt 
peopfe the temple of Jehovah and the royal palace and all the houses 
25 8'$5) of Jerusalem, even every great house he burnt with fire. 

And all the troops of the Chaldeans, who were with the com- 
mander of the body-guard, broke down the walls round 
about Jerusalem. And the rest of the people who were left 
in the city and the deserters who had gone over to the king 
of Babylon and the rest of the architects, Nebuzaradan the 
commander of the body-guard carried away captive. But 
the commander of the body-guard left some of the poorest 
of the land as vinedressers and farmers. 

3. piun- But the pillars of brass that were in the temple of Jehovah, 
the° and the stands and the brazen sea that were in the temple 
\f^F)^ of Jehovah the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried the 

brass from them to Babylon. Also the pots, the shovels, the 
snuffers, the bowls, and all the vessels of brass, with which 
the temple service was conducted, they took away. And 
the fire-pans and the basins, that which was of gold, the com- 
mander of the body-guard took away in gold and that which 
was of silver, in silver. 

4. Pub- And the commander of the body-guard took Seraiah the 
ecmfon chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three 
tlinTf ^^epers of the threshold. And from the city he took an 
the cap- officer who was set over the troops; and five men who stood 
(ir.^) close to the king, who were found in the city ; and the scribe 

of the commander-in-chief, who mustered the people of 
the land, and sixty men of the people of the land, who were 



found in the city. And Nebuzaradan the commander of 
the body-guard took them and brought them to the king 
of Babylon at Riblah. And the king of Babylon smote 
them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. 
So Judah was carried away captive from its native land. 

This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away 5. 
captive: in the seventh year, three thousand and twenty- ^e^" 
three Jews; in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried 
carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred and (E?' 
thirty-two persons ; in the twenty-third year of Nebuchad- ?o) ^^" 
rezzar Nebuzaradan the commander of the body-guard 
carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred and forty- 
five persons. The total number of persons was four thou- 
sand, six hundred. 

Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had given the fol- ^j Jp®" 
lowing command concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the provi- 
commander of the body-guard, Take him, and look well to ^ade 
him, and do him no harm ; but do to him as he shall direct ^^j^lJ"' 
you. So Nebuzaradan the commander of the body-guard, and (S'"- 
Nebushazban the chief of the eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer "^ 
the chief of the magicians, and all the chief officers of the 
king of Babylon sent and took Jeremiah out of the court of 
the guard and gave him into the charge of Gedaliah the son 
of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him 
home; so he dwelt among the people. 

The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah after 7. set 
Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard had let him go luowed 
from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains Jj/^;^ 
among all the captives who were carried away to Babylon. Ge™a-° 
And the commander of the guard took Jeremiah and said to (40^1-6) 
him, Jehovah your God pronounced evil upon this place; 
and Jehovah hath brought it and done just as he said, for 
you have sinned against Jehovah and have not obeyed his 
voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. And now be- 
hold, I loose you this day from the chains which are upon 
your hand. If it seem good to you to come with me to 
Babylon, come, and I will look out for you. But if it seem 
undesirable to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come ; 
but go back to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Sha- 
phan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over 



the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people, 
or go wherever it seems right to you to go. So the com- 
mander of the body-guard gave him provisions and a present, 
and sent him away. Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the 
son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the 
people who were left in the land. 
8. Ged- Now over the people who were left in the land of Judah, 
ai^K. whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had left, he made 
25 ^)' Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, governor. 
9.Ga- Then all the commanders of the forces that were in the 
of !he^ fields, together with their men, heard that the king of Baby- 
Ihiefs ^^^ ^^^ made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the 
(Je?/ land and had committed to him men, women, and children, 
"^^'''^ and of the poorest of the land, such as were not carried 
away captive to Babylon. And they came to Gedaliah at 
Mizpah: Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the 
son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the 
sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of 
the Maacathite, together with their men. And Gedaliah the 
son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, swore to them and to 
their men, saying. Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans, 
settle down and be subject to the king of Babylon, and it shall 
be well with you. As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah, as 
your representative to receive the Chaldeans who shall come 
to us, but you gather for yourselves wine and fruits and oil, 
and put them in your vessels and dwell in your cities of 
which you have taken possession. Likewise when all the 
Jews, who were in Moab and among the Ammonites and 
in Edom and in all the countries, heard that the king of 
Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set 
over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, 
all the Jews returned out of all the places whither they had 
been driven, and came to the land of Judah to Gedaliah at 
Mizpah, and gathered wine and fruits in great abundance. 
10. His But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders 
g?rd of ^^ ^^® forces that were in the fields came to Gedaliah at 
the con- Mizpah, and said to him. Do you know that Baalis the king 
tS\^akJ of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to 
^l^ij^ take your life? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not 
believe them. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to 



Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go and slay 
Ishmael the son of Nethaniah without any one's knowing 
it. Why should he take your life with the result that all the 
Jews who are scattered and the remnant of Judah should 
perish? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan 
the son of Kareah, You shall not do this thing, for you speak 
falsely regarding Ishmael. 

But afterwards in the seventh month, Ishmael the son of ^^^^' 
Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal line, with ten trLch- 
men, came to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam at Mizpah ; and murder 
there they were eating together in Mizpah. Then Ishmael l{^^'^' 
the son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him and his 
rose up and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of 51"^) 
Shaphan with the sword and thus slew him, whom the king 
of Babylon had made governor over the land. Ishmael also 
slew all the Jews who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and 
the Chaldeans who were found there. 

But on the day after he had slain Gedaliah, when no one 12. 
yet knew it, there came men from Shechem, from Shiloh, frfot 
and from Samaria, eighty men with shorn beards and with grfi^j^" 
their clothes torn, and with self-inflicted cuts bearing cereal- (* ») 
offerings and frankincense in their hand, to bring them to 
the temple of Jehovah. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah 
went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went, 
and when he met them, he said to them. Come to Gedaliah 
the son of Ahikam. However, when they came into the midst 
of the city, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, and 
cast them into the midst of the cistern with the aid of the 
men who were with him. But ten men were found among 
them who said to Ishmael, Slay us not ; for we have stores 
hidden in the field, of wheat, barley, oil, and honey. So he 
stopped and did not slay them together with their kinsmen. 
Now the cistern into which Ishmael cast all the dead bodies 
of the men whom he had slain is the great cistern, which Asa 
the king had made on account of the attack of Baasha king of 
Israel. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain. 

Then Ishmael carried away captive the rest of the people 13. De- 
who were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters and all the SS'"'^ 
people in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the commander of ca^p^ 
the body-guard had placed under the charge of Gedaliah ooT 



the son of Ahikam. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah arose 
and set out to go over to the Ammonites. 
14 , But when Johanan the son of Kareah and all the com- 

redpt- manders of the forces who were with him heard of all the 
ure by gyjj ^jjg^^ Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, they took 
hanan all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Neth- 
^ aniah, and found him by the great pools that are in Gibeon. 

And when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Jo- 
hanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the 
forces who were with him, they were glad. So all the people 
whom Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah 
turned about and came back and went to Johanan the son 
of Kareah. But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped 
from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites. 
Then Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders 
of the forces, who were with him, took the remnant of the 
people whom he had recovered from Ishmael, the men 
(soldiers), the women, the children, and the eunuchs, whom 
he had brought back from Gibeon. 
15^ And they went further and dwelt in Gedroth Chimham, 

rations which is near Bethlehem, in order to set out on the way to 
mght^ Egypt on account of the Chaldeans, for they were afraid of 
(^' '*) them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain 
Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had 
made governor over the land. 
16. The Then all the commanders of the forces and Johanan the 
of the son of Kareah and Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the 
(42?-6) people small and great came near, and said to Jeremiah the 
prophet. Permit us to bring our petition before you that you 
may supplicate Jehovah your God for us, even for all this 
remnant, for we are left but a few out of many — you your- 
self see us here — that Jehovah your God may show us the 
way wherein we should walk, and the thing that we should 
do. Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, I have heard 
you; behold I will pray to Jehovah your God according to 
your words, and whatever Jehovah shall answer you, 1 will 
declare it to you ; I will keep nothing back from you. Then 
they said to Jeremiah, Jehovah be a true and faithful wit- 
ness against us, if we do not according to all the word with 
which Jehovah your God shall send you to us. Whether it 




be good or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of Je- 
hovah our God, to whom we send you, that it may be well 
with us, when we obey the voice of Jehovah our God. 

And after ten days the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah. J?- The 
And he called together Johanan the son of Kareah and all cim"^ 
the commanders of the forces that were with him and all the ^^^^, 
people small and great, and said to them, Thus saith Je- ^^^"*° 
hovah, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present land 
your supplication before him: * If ye will still abide in this 
land, then will I build you and not pull you down, and I will 
plant you and not pluck you up ; for I am sorry for the evil 
that I have done to you. Be not afraid of the king of Baby- 
lon, for I am with you to save you and to deliver you from 
his hand. And I will grant you mercy, that he may have 
mercy upon you and let you return to your own land.' But 
if ye say, * We will not dwell in this land ; so that ye obey 
not the voice of Jehovah your God,' thinking, * No ; but we 
will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war nor 
hear the sound of the trumpet nor be hungry, and there will 
we remain ; ' then hear the word of Jehovah, O remnant of 
Judah : Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel : * If 
ye have indeed determined to enter into Egypt and go to 
sojourn there, then shall the sword, which ye fear, overtake 
you there in the land of Egypt ; and the famine, of which ye 
are afraid, press hard upon you there in Egypt, so that ye 
shall die there. Thus all the men who have determined to 
go into Egypt to sojourn there, shall die by the sword, by the 
famine, and by the pestilence, and none of them shall remain 
or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.* 

For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel : * As is, cer- 
mine anger and my wrath have been poured out upon the in- judi- 
habitants of Jerusalem, so shall my wrath be poured out ^^^^ 
upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt ; and ye shall be the dis- 
an object of execration, of astonishment, of cursing, and of diett 
reproach, and ye shall never see this place again.' Jehovah piSI)® 
hath spoken concerning you, remnant of Judah, * Go ye 
not into Egypt.' Know certainly that I have testified to 
you this day. For you have deceived yourselves, for you 
sent me to Jehovah your God, saying, * Pray for us to Je- 
hovah our God, and just as Jehovah our God shall say, so 



declare to us, and we will do it.' And I have this day de- 
clared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of Je- 
hovah your God in anything for which he hath sent me to 
you. Now therefore know certainly that you shall die by 
the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, in the place whither 
you desire to go to sojourn. 

But when Jeremiah had ceased speaking to the people all 
the words of Jehovah their God, with which Jehovah their 
God had sent him to them, even all these words, Azariah the 
son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all 
the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, You speak falsely ; 
Jehovah our God hath not sent you to say, * Ye shall not 
go into Egypt to sojourn there.' But it is Baruch the son of 
Neriah who stirs you up against us, to deliver us into the 
hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death, and 
carry us away captives to Babylon. So Johanan the son of 
Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the 
people did not obey the voice of Jehovah, to dwell in the 
land of Judah. But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the 
commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah, 
who had returned from all the nations whither they had 
been driven to sojourn in the land of Judah, the men, the 
women, the children, the king's daughters, and every person 
whom Nebuzaradan the commander of the body-guard had 
left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, 
and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah, 
and they came into the land of Egypt ; for they did not obey 
the voice of Jehovah ; and they came to Tahpanhes. 

20^The Behold, the days are coming, is the oracle of Jehovah, 
fseT That I will sow Israel and Judah with the seed of man and 
pn'^' the seed of beast. 

Vg^*" And as once I watched over them to pluck up and to 
So will I be watchful over them to build and to plant. 

Individ- ^^ those days they will no more say : 

uai ^* * The fathers have eaten unripe grapes and the children's 

sSity" teeth are set on edge,' 

(29. 30\ 



But every one shall die for his own iniquity ; 
Every man who eats the unripe grapes, his teeth shall be 
set on edge. 

Behold, the days are coming, is Jehovah's oracle, 22. The 

That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel pe^ 

and the house of Judah ; sonai 

Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers, Sant 

In the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of tween 

the land of Egypt,— G^d 

My covenant which they themselves broke and I was dis- each 

pleased with them,— ^dj^ai 

But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of (" ^'> 

Israel : 
After those days, is the oracle of Jehovah, 
I will put my teaching in their breast and on their heart will 

I write it; 
And I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a peo- 
And they shall not teach any more every man his neighbor, 
And every man his brother saying. Know Jehovah, 
For they shall all know me, from the least of them to the 

greatest ; 
For I will forgive their iniquities and remember their sins 

no more. 

I. The Final Destruction of Jerusalem. In July, 586 B.C., 
Jerusalem fell for the last time before the Babylonian conquerors. 
Including the intermission during which the Chaldeans had withdrawn 
to meet the Egyptian army, the siege lasted but a year and a half. The 
comparative shortness of the period suggests the weakness of the 
defenders and the energy with which the Chaldeans conducted their 
operations. Many of the Hebrews acted on Jeremiah's advice and sur- 
rendered to the enemy. Zedekiah himself would have been glad to 
have followed the counsel of the prophet, but he did not dare and the 
nobles who persisted in continuing the resistance were apparently as 
lacking in ability and courage as they were in moral character. 

The crisis came when the battering rams at last broke down a sec- 
tion of the wall — probably on the more exposed northern side of the 
city — and the Chaldean soldiers poured through the breach. The king's 



palace and garden were in the southern end of the city, below the temple 
hill. Zedekiah with his warriors succeeded in escaping by night through 
the southern gate, and fled down along the Kidron Valley toward the 
Jordan. They were quickly overtaken, however, by the Chaldeans 
and brought before Nebuchadrezzar at his headquarters at Riblah, on 
the upper Orontes. Here the extreme penalty was meted out to them. 
The king's sons were slain in his presence, and then his own eyes were 
put out and he was carried off to Babylon to figure as a warning to all 
subject princelings who might be tempted to rebel against the great king. 

In the eyes of Nebuchadrezzar, Jerusalem by its repeated rebellions 
had proved itself to be a centre of sedition. With great deliberation 
and thoroughness the Chaldean troops went about the work of destruc- 
tion. The temple was stripped of all its valuable utensils; the heavier 
objects, like the pillars of brass and the brazen sea, were broken in 
pieces and carried away to Babylonian foundries. Then the temple 
was burnt to the ground, together with the royal palace, and all the 
houses of the nobles and of the wealthy classes. The city walls were 
also broken down, leaving Jerusalem a ruin and a heap, an object les- 
son, showing to all the world the inevitable consequences of the follies 
and crimes which for over a century had been earnestly and constantly 
denounced by Israel's faithful patriot-prophets. 

II. The Remnants of the Nation. In deahng with the survivors 
of the final siege of Jerusalem, the Chaldeans also proceeded with their 
usual judicial thoroughness. Each prominent rebel was apparently 
tried independently and condemned according to his guilt. No mercy, 
however, was shown to the leaders. The chief priest and his deputies 
and the leading religious, civic and military ofiicers were brought be- 
fore Nebuchadrezzar, at Riblah, and there put to death. Only the 
poorer classes and the inhabitants of the towns outside of Jerusalem, 
who early submitted to the Chaldeans, were spared and left to cultivate 
the land. Jeremiah, whose record was known to the conquerors, was 
allowed to choose whether he should go to Babylon or remain with the 
survivors in Judah. 

If the list given in Jeremiah 52, of those who were carried captive by 
Nebuchadrezzar in successive deportations, is authentic, the numbers 
actually deported in connection with the final destruction of Jerusalem 
were much less than at the first captivity. The siege and the many exe- 
cutions left few heads of families to be carried away by the conquerors, 
unless, as is possible, the seventh year of Nebuchadrezzar is a scribal 
error for the seventeenth year. Counting those who were deported in 



581 B.C., probably after the murder of Gedaliah, the total number of 
the three groups of captives is only four thousand six hundred, which is 
a small proportion of the total population of the land. The round 
number, ten thousand, given in the book of Kings in connection with the 
first captivity, can be reconciled with these data in Jeremiah only on the 
hypothesis that they represent simply heads of families or able-bodied 
men. Even in that case the total number, including men, women and 
children, would not be more than between twenty-five and fifty thousand. 

From the account of Jeremiah's subsequent experiences in Egypt, 
as well as from the references from later history, and especially from 
the papyri recently discovered at Elephantine, which reveal the presence, 
early in the Persian period, of a large Jewish colony far up the Nile, it 
is clear that, after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., vast numbers 
of Jews found refuge in this convenient and friendly asylum. It is in- 
deed probable that at this time more Jews were to be found in the land 
of the Nile than in distant Babylon. Some never returned; but many, 
like the fugitives who carried away Jeremiah, remained on the eastern 
borders of Egypt, awaiting the time when they might safely return home. 
As subsequent events unfolded, the prophetic hopes of a national resto- 
ration were realized chiefly through the activity of these Egyptian refu- 
gees and of the poorer classes who were left behind in the land. 

III. Qedaliah's Brief Rule. In the eyes of his contemporaries, 
Nebuchadrezzar vindicated the authority of his Babylonian gods by de- 
stroying the walls of Jerusalem and the temple of Jehovah; but he had 
no desire to leave the land of Palestine in a state of anarchy without 
any local government. Over those who were left behind he wisely 
appointed as governor Gedaliah, the grandson of Josiah's chancellor, 
Shaphan. Jerusalem being in ruins, Mizpah, north of the ancient capi- 
tal, was made the seat of Gedahah's government. Thither the heads 
of the wandering guerilla bands and the chiefs of the country villages 
came to swear allegiance to the new government. Many Jewish refu- 
gees from Moab, Ammon and Edom soon returned to share in building 
up the new Hebrew state. It might naturally be inferred from the ac- 
count of Gedaliah's rule that it lasted but a few months. In the book 
of Jeremiah, however, the date of the last deportation is 581 B.C., sug- 
gesting that Gedaliah's rule continued for at least three or four years. 
In his care for his subjects, as well as in his loyalty to the Chaldeans, 
he realized the noblest Hebrew ideals of a just and benign ruler. It 
requires little imagination to picture the joy and the hope which the 
changed situation inspired in the mind of the devoted patriot Jeremiah. 



Gedaliah's nobility, however, and his unwillingness to suspect an- 
other of treachery proved his ruin. A certain Ishmael, of the Judean 
royal line, probably inspired by jealousy and encouraged by the rival 
king of Ammon, came to Mizpah with a few of his men and treacherously 
slew Gedaliah. The murderer fled, but the survivors were panic- 
stricken. Although they turned to Jeremiah for counsel, they refused 
to hsten to his wise advice to remain in Palestine and to trust to the 
justice and clemency of the Chaldeans. Instead they attributed the 
prophet's counsel to the influence of his scribe, Baruch. Accordingly, 
rallying all the refugees who had returned and all the prominent Jews, 
who might become the object of Chaldean vengeance, they migrated to 
find a refuge at Tahpanhes, the ancient Daphnse, just across the Egyp- 
tian border. 

rV. Jeremiah's Tragic Fate. A late tradition states that Jeremiah 
died the death of a martyr at the hands of his countrymen in the land 
of Egypt. It is at least certain that the same tragic fate which pursued 
him in his native land followed him in the exile. At every stage in 
the changing fortunes of Judah, he unselfishly, bravely, unflinchingly 
and unceasingly gave to rulers and people those divinely inspired coun- 
sels which, if followed, would have saved them in the hour of peril; 
but for all this devotion he received only contempt and persecution. 
The tragedy is all the greater and the devotion the more sublime be- 
cause the long, tortuous way of sorrow, which Jeremiah trod, was con- 
trary to his strongest instincts. No one can read his fervid prophecies 
without detecting his strong love for public approval, for the love of 
friends, and for the joys of social life. He passionately craved the at- 
mosphere of sunshine, joy and peace. But more than all, this Puritan 
of the olden day loved truth and justice. He, who as a youth had re- 
sponded to the divine voice speaking clear and strong within him, could 
not for a moment enjoy a peace purchased by silence or compromise. 
As he walked, almost alone through the long years, each danger and 
public insult brought his heart into closer touch with the eternal heart 
of love. Undoubtedly the author of the immortal fifty-third chapter of 
Isaiah received many suggestions from Jeremiah's experience, when he 
drew his picture of the ideal servant of Jehovah: 

He was despised and forsaken of men, 

A man of many pains and acquainted with suffering; 

Like one from whom men hide their face, 

He was despised, so that we esteemed him not. 



And yet no one can study carefully the history of this period without 
coming to the conviction that Jeremiah was the noblest patriot and the 
greatest prophet of his age. For nearly half a century his personality 
completely overshadows that of the leading kings, priests and other 
prophets of Judah. The history of the period is largely a record of 
his life and teaching. Even though he was despised by his generation 
and his counsels were almost universally rejected, through all this crit- 
ical period he kept the true conception of Jehovah and the highest ideals 
of religion ever before his race, and prepared it unconsciously for the 
supreme crisis which came during the Babylonian exile. Truly could 
later generations say of him, as of the greater Prophet of Nazareth, 
in the language of Isaiah 53: 

Surely our sufferings he himself bore, 
And our pains he carried; 
Yet we esteemed him stricken. 
Smitten of God and afflicted. 

But he was wounded for our transgressions, 
Crushed because of our iniquities; 
The chastisement for our well-being was upon him, 
And through his stripes healing came to us. 

All of us like sheep had gone astray. 
We had turned each his own way; 
And Jehovah laid upon him. 
The guilt of us all. 

The recognition which his contemporaries refused was given freely 
and fully by later generations. The exile revealed clearly the greatness 
of Jeremiah's work and teachings. No character looms larger in post- 
exilic literature. No earlier prophet is there quoted with greater rever- 
ence and devotion. Jewish history after the exile opens appropriately 
with the statement, "That the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jere- 
miah might be accomplished " (Ezra V). His vision of Israel's spiritual 
destiny is developed by the great poet-prophet who penned the im- 
mortal prophecies found in Isaiah 40-55. His spirit and teachings 
reappear in some of the sublimest psalms of the Psalter. His prediction 
regarding the duration of the exile was elaborately interpreted and made 



the basis of the chronological system in the book of Daniel. He also 
figures prominently in later Jewish and Christian tradition (H Mac. 
21-15^ 1513-16^ Mt^ 1614^ 27«). 

V. Jeremiah's Abiding Message to the Race. Jeremiah believed 
that the territory of Northern and Southern Israel would again be re- 
peopled, and that Jehovah's love for the race would again be expressed 
in the form of material prosperity; but he completely abandoned the old 
Semitic conception, which identified religion with the state. With his 
own eyes he had seen the follies of his nation, and the crimes committed 
in the name of national religion. As he beheld Judah going down to 
its ruin, he came to a full appreciation of the importance of the indi- 
vidual. His own personal experience had taught him that faith and 
worship, and that vital relation with God which is the essence of all 
religion, were possible without either state or temple ritual. He was 
preeminently the prophet who proclaimed the religion of the heart 
(4S 17S 24^). The divine promise, which he had given the exiles 
carried away at the first captivity, had been: "I will give them a 
heart to know me, that I am Jehovah; and they shall be my people 
and I will be their God. For they shall return to me with their whole 

From Jeremiah apparently comes that profound message which binds 
the older revelation through the Hebrew race to the fuller and more 
perfect revelation through the great Prophet-teacher of Nazareth. It 
places moral responsibility squarely on the shoulders of each individual, 
and heralds the new era about to open, when the old covenant between 
Jehovah and the nation Israel, the covenant which was associated with 
Sinai and whose terms were formulated in the Deuteronomic code, 
should be succeeded by a new and nobler covenant. It was to be a 
covenant between God and each individual. Its terms were to be in- 
scribed not on perishable tablets of stone, but by God himself on e ach 
human heart. The words and life of Jeremiah himself illustrate in 
part the character of that divine teaching, and the way in which God was 
to impart it to the heart of his servants. It was to be taught, not by the 
lips of prophets, priests or sages, but through vital, personal experiences, 
and as the spirit of God touched and guided the spirit of man. It was 
a teaching which placed little emphasis on ceremonial and forms, but 
demanded the whole love and service of each human being. In turn 
Jehovah recovenanted to freely and fully forgive the sins of people thus 
bound to him, and to give to each that intimate knowledge of his divine 
character and purpose which would make the creature the image and 



revelation of the Creator. Thus Jeremiah gave to the race, not only 
the titles of our Old and New Testaments, but also that conception of 
religion, as a personal, spiritual relation between God and man, which is 
the foundation of Christianity and of all true faith. 





Books for Constant Reference. The literature which comes from 
the period of the Divided Kingdom is so voluminous, the critical and 
historical problems so many, and the extra-biblical, contemporary 
records are so rich that certain supplemental reference books are almost 
indispensable. The second volume of the Student's Old Testament, 
entitled Israel's Historical and Biographical Narrative, contains the 
biblical, historical records of the period, arranged in their logical order 
with detailed introductions to the individual books. The third volume, 
entitled Prophetic Addresses, Epistles and Apocalypses, contains the con- 
temporary prophecies arranged in chronological order with detailed 
introductions and a full treatment of the entire subject of Hebrew 
prophecy. The fourth volume, Israel's Laws and Legal Precedents, 
contains the corresponding laws classified according to their subject 
matter and within each group arranged according to their respective 
dates. A good, modern Bible dictionary, such as Hastings's one-volume 
Dictionary of the Bible, or better, the larger five-volume edition, should 
be at the command of every teacher and student. The geographical 
background of the stirring events of this period is vividly presented in 
Prof. George Adam Smith's Historical Geography of the Holy Land. 
Assyria touched and influenced Israel's history so fundamentally dur- 
ing these two or three centuries that it is important to refer frequently 
to a standard history of the Assyrians and Babylonians, such as that 
of Professor Goodspeed. 

Additional Books of Reference: Introduction. Most readers will 
find the clear, compact, popular Old Testament introductions by Pro- 
fessors McFadyen and Cornill the most helpful. Driver's Introduction 
to the Literature of the Old Testament is more technical. Excellent intro- 
ductions to the individual Old Testament books are found in Hastings's 


Dictionary of the Bible, the Encyclopedia Bihlica, and the Standard 
Bible Dictionary. More detailed introductions to the prophetic and 
legal books are found in the different commentaries. 

Contemporary History and Religion. Winckler's History of 
Babylonia and Assyria supplements at several points Goodspeed's 
History of the Babylonians and Assyrians. Brief but excellent articles 
on Assyria, Babylonia and Egypt are found in the Bible dictionaries. 
Breasted's History of the Ancient Egyptians and his larger work, A 
History of Egypt, present in clear, attractive form the latest established 
results of study and research in this field. The articles in the extra vol- 
ume of Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, on the religion of Israel, the re- 
ligion of Egypt, and the religion of Babylonia and Assyria, are exceed- 
ingly valuable and suggestive. A fuller treatment of the latter theme 
is found in the excellent volumes on the religion of Babylonia and As- 
syria, by Professors Jastrow and Rogers. Three or four brief, popular 
treatments of the religion of Israel have recently been issued by such 
well-known scholars as Budde, Marti, Addis and Peake. Of these, 
Marti's Religion of the Old Testament is in many ways the freshest and 
most suggestive. 

Hebrew History. Smith's Old Testament History and Volume III 
of McCurdy's History, Prophecy and the Monuments deal somewhat 
fully with the Hebrew life during the period of the Divided Kingdom. 
A more compact, popular treatment of the subject is found in Wade's 
Old Testament History or Kent's History of the Hebrew People: Divided 
Kingdom. In the second volume of his recent work on Jerusalem, 
George Adam Smith has given the biblical students a fascinating pict- 
ure of the history of Judah, especially as it centres about its capital 
city. In his Decline and Fall of the Kingdom of Judah, Professor 
Cheyne deals in his usual brilliant and suggestive way with this im- 
portant era in Israel's history. 

Hebrew Prophecy. W. Robertson Smith's Prophets of Israel still 
remains one of the most stimulating and helpful books in this field. 
Davidson's Old Testament Prophecy is useful, but fails to meet the de- 
mand for a vigorous and thorough treatment of the broad theme sug- 
gested by its title. Batten's The Hebrew Prophet is a more popular 
presentation of the same subject. The articles Prophet and Prophetic 
Literature in the modem Bible dictionaries furnish concise and excel- 
lent introductions to the study of the prophets and their work. Cornill's 
Prophets of Israel, although one of the briefest books dealing with this 
large theme, is one of the best. Many students may also find useful the 



brief introductions and paraphrases in Sanders and Kent's Messages of 
the Earlier Prophets. Oesterley's Evolution of the Messianic Idea is the 
latest and in many ways the best historical treatment of one of the most 
diflScult subjects in the wide realm of Hebrew prophecy. 

Commentaries. The English commentaries dealing in detail with 
the different books written during this period differ greatly in value. 
The prophecies of Amos and Hosea are on the whole most fully and 
satisfactorily treated. The voluminous and monumental work of the 
late lamented President Harper on Amos and Hosea, in the International 
Critical Commentary, is a mine of valuable and exceedingly suggestive 
material. Mitchell's Amos, An Essay on Exegesis, is a popular and 
sympathetic interpretation of this great pioneer prophet. In its spir- 
itual insight and suggestiveness, Smith's two-volume commentary, 
entitled The Book of the Twelve Prophets, is unsurpassed. The same 
is true of his Book of Isaiah (Vol. I) in the same Expositor Bible Series, 
although later study has modified many of its critical positions. The 
corresponding volumes in the New Century Bible are clear, concise, and 
written from the modern conservative, historical point of view. The 
volume on Isaiah I is by Whitehouse, the first volume of the Minor 
Prophets is by Horton, and the second by Driver. Professor Driver's 
all too brief commentary on the book of Jeremiah will be found helpful 
by the general reader, although it does not grapple with the fundamental 
textual and literary problems of that most difficult book. On the 
whole, Brown's The Book of Jeremiah is the best commentary in Eng- 
lish, although the rigid limitations of the series to which it belongs leave 
much to be desired. Cheyne's Jeremiah, His Life and Times, still 
remains a valuable and sympathetic interpretation of the personality 
and message of the great prophet of Anathoth. Two volumes in the 
Sacred Books of the Bible, Cheyne's Isaiah, and Toy's Ezekiel, with 
their clear, bold, vigorous translations, have done much to reveal the 
spirit and soul of these ancient prophets. Professor Moulton, in his 
Literary Study of the Bible, and Gardiner, in The Bible as English 
Literature, have also performed a valuable service in arousing English 
readers to an appreciation of the great masterpieces which come from 
this period. 





The General Questions, as in Volumes I and II, follow the main di- 
visions of the book and are intended to guide the student in collecting 
and co-ordinating the more important facts contained in the biblical 
text for each section or in the accompanying notes. 

The Subjects for Special Research are intended to point the way to 
further study in related lines,. and, by means of detailed references, to 
introduce the reader to the most helpful passages in the best English 
books of reference. In class-room work many of these topics may be 
profitably assigned for personal research and report. The references 
are to pages, unless otherwise indicated. Ordinarily, several parallel 
references are given that the student may be able to utilize the book at 
hand. More detailed classified bibliographies will be found in the 
appendices of Volumes II-IV of the author's Student's Old Testament. 


§ LXI. The Division of the Hebrew Empire. General Ques- 
tions: 1. Describe the character of the records of Northern Israel's 
history. 2. Rehoboam's fatal mistakes in dealing with the northern 
tribes. 3. Nature and legitimacy of their claims. 4. The earlier 
rivalry between the tribes, and the effect of Solomon's rule. 5. Jero- 
boam's civil and religious policy. 6. The ultimate political and religious 
effects of the division. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The structure and history 
of the books of Kings. St. 0. T., II, 16-21; Hastings, D. B. (one vol.), 
520-2; II, 856-71; McFadyen, Introduction to the 0. T., 94-106; 
Driver, Introd. to Lit of the 0. T., 185-200. 2. The situation and his- 
tory of Shechem. Hastings, D. B., IV, 484-6; Encyc. Bib., IV, 4437-40; 
Smith, H. G. H. L., 332-4. 3. The story of the prophet from Bethel. 
St. O. T., II, § 61. 4. Compare the division of the northern and 
southern tribes with the issue at stake in the American Civil War, 

§ LXII. The Military Dynasties of Northern Israel. General 
Questions: 1. Describe Baasha and his reign. 2. Events which led 



to the accession of Omri. 3. Significance of the transfer of the cap- 
ital to Samaria. 4. Omri's relations with Moab and Phoenicia. 5. In- 
fluence of Jezebel in Ahab's court. 6. Ahab's victory over the Ara- 
means. 7. The dangers inherent in Ahab's policy. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The situation of Samaria. 
Hastings, D. B., IV, 374-5; Encyc. Bib., IV, 4255-6; Smith, H. G. H. L., 
346-50. 2. Recent excavations at Samaria. Current articles in Har- 
vard Journal of Theology; Pal. Expl. Fund Quarterly Statement and 
Biblical World. 3. The situation and natural resources of Damascus. 
Hastings, D. B., I, 545-8; Encyc. Bib., I, 987-9; Smith, H. G. H. L., 
641-4, 647. 4. The advantages to Northern Israel of the alliance with 
Tyre. Hastings, D. B., IV, 823-4; Encijc. Bib., Ill, 3737-9, 3752-4. 

§ LXHI. Elijah's Work as a Religious and Social Reformer. 
General Questions: 1. Describe the character and historical value of 
the Elijah stories. 2. Origin and personality of Elijah. 3. His de- 
mands upon Ahab and the nation. 4. Meaning of the revelation to 
Elijah at Horeb. 5. The call of Elisha. 6. Elijah's social and relig- 
ious teachings. 7. His role in the development of Israel's faith. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The Phoenician religion. 
Encyc. Bib., Ill, 3740-51; Hastings, D. B., Ill, 860-2. 2. The terri- 
tory of Gilead. Smith, H. G. H. L., 548-51 ; Hastings, D. B., II, 174-6; 
Encyc. Bib., II, 1725-8. 3. The various estimates of Elijah's work. 
Harper, Am. and Hos., xxxiv-xi; Encyc. Bib., II, 1270-4. 4. The 
miraculous element in the Old Testament. Hastings, D. B., Ill, 393. 

§ LXIV. The Decline of the House of Ahab. General Ques- 
tions: 1. Describe Shalmaneser II's battle against the allied states 
of Syria, and its significance. 2. Character of the official prophets in 
Israel. 3. Micaiah's prediction and his method of presenting it. 4. 
Popular Hebrew ideas of Jehovah and of the heavenly beings. 5. Vir- 
tues and faults of Ahab. 6. East-Jordan conquests of Mesha, king of 
Moab. 7. Campaign of the allied Hebrew kings against Moab. 8. Re- 
view of the record of Omri's dynasty. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The early history of Assyria. 
Hastings, D. B. (one vol.), 64-5; I, 180-3; Encyc. Bib., I, 363-9; Good- 
speed, Hist, of Bobs, and Assyrs., 155-202; Winckler, Hist, of Bab. and 
Assyr., 177-217. 2. Reign of Shalmaneser II. Hastings, D. B., I, 
183-5; Encyc. Bib., I, 369-70; Goodspeed, Hist, of Bobs, and Assyrs., 
203-22; Winckler, Hist, of Bab. and Assyr., 218-27. 3. Problems of 
Chronology. St. 0. T., II, 492-4; Hastings, D. B., I, 399-403; 
Encyc. Bib., I, 793-9. 4. Identification of the East-Jordan cities cap- 



tured by Mesha, king of Moab. Cj. Smith, H. G. H. L., and Memoirs 
of Pal. Expl. Fund. 

§ LXV. Jehu's Revolution and Its Consequences. General 
Questions: 1. Describe the character, organization and influence 
of the prophetic guilds. 2. The different classes in Israel loyal to Je- 
hovah. 3. Method in which Jehu's revolution was initiated. 4. Char- 
acter of Jehu. 5. His measures in overthrowing Baalism and the house 
of Omri. 6. Significance of Jehu's tribute to Assyria. 7. Aramean 
conquests and oppression. 8. Reason why Northern Israel recovered 
its strength under Jeroboam II. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The Black Obelisk of Shal- 
maneser II. St. 0. T., 496-7. 2. The contemporary kings of Da- 
mascus. Encyc. Bib., I, 990-1. 3. Contemporary Assyrian History. 
Winckler, Hist, of Bah. and Assyr., 229-35. 4. The Aramean kingdom 
of Zakar, king of Hamath and Laash. Bib. World, Feb., 1909, 79-84; 
Pognon, Inscriptions de la Syrie. 5. Historical value of the Elisha 
stories. St. 0. T., II, 18-20, §§ 81-92. 

§ LXVI. Amos's Arraignment of Northern Israel. General 
Questions: 1. Describe Israel's national temper and hopes in the 
days of Jeroboam II. 2. Advance of Assyria. 3. Social changes and 
evils. 4. Popular idea of religious responsibility. 5. Evidence re- 
garding the date of Amos's appearance. 6. Personality and training 
of the prophet. 7. Background of his opening address. 8. His tact 
in attracting his audience. 9. Principles established in his opening 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Compare the economic and 
social effects of Jeroboam's victories over the Arameans and those re- 
sulting from the American Civil War. 2. Assyrian history between 755 
and 740 B.C. Goodspeed, Hist, of Babs. and Assyrs., 217-29; Winckler, 
Hist, of Bab. and Assyr., 235-9; Smith, Bk. of the Twelve Prophs., 
I, 31-43. 3. The village of Tekoa. Mitchell, Amos, 1-4; Smith, 
H. G. H. L., 314-5; Encyc. Bib., IV, 4919; Harper, Am. and Hos., ci; 
Smith, Bk. of Twelve, I, 74-6. 4. Amos's education. Harper, Am. 
and Hos., civ-cix; Smith, Bk. of Twelve, I, 77-88; Mitchell, Amos, 4-8. 

§ LXVII. The Fatal Errors and Crimes of the Israelites. Gen- 
eral Questions: 1. Describe the three general divisions of the book 
of Amos. 2. The prophet's method of reasoning. 3. His proof that 
he was divinely called to prophesy. 4. The crimes that were proving 
the nation's destruction. 5. Amos's estimate of the value of the popular 
ceremonial institutions. 6. His positive spiritual message to the North- 



em Israelites. 7. His conception of the duty of the rich and ruling 
classes. 8. The exact nature of the judgment that he saw impending, 
and the agent. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The making of a prophet. 
Smith, Bk. of Twelve, I, 88-106. 2. Amos's literary style. Mitchell, 
Amos, 8-11; Harper, Am. and Hos., cxxxviii-cxl. 3. The different 
figures employed by Amos to picture the fate of the guilty classes in 

§ LXVIII. The Inevitable Consequences of Israel's Crimes. Gen- 
eral Questions: 1. Describe the form and meaning of Amos's first 
three visions. 2. Their relation to his preceding teachings. 3. Ama- 
ziah's action in attacking Amos. 4. Meaning of Amos's reply. 5. Sig- 
nificance of his subsequent visions. 6. Motives that gave rise to the 
later appendix to the prophecies of Amos. 7. The theological ideas 
underlying Amos's sermons. 8. His kinship with modern socialists. 
9. His fundamental social teachings. 10. Their applicability to mod- 
ern conditions. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The literary form of ancient 
oracles. Hastings, D. B., Ill, 629; Frazer, Golden Bough. 2. Amos's 
pedagogical methods. 3. The tenets of modern socialism. Hillquit, 
Socialism in Theory and Practice; Spargo, Significance of Modern 
Socialism. 4. Amos's message as a whole. Harper, Am. and Hos., 
cx-cxxiv; Comill, Prophs. of Israel, 42-6; Mitchell, Amos, 185-209. 

§ LXIX. The Beginnings of Jehovah's Revelation by Hosea. 
General Questions: 1. Describe the evidence regarding Hosea's 
date and nationality. 2. The two groups of his prophecies. 3. Mean- 
ing of the names given to his children. 4. Infidelity of his wife. 5. The 
fundamental truths revealed by his tragic domestic experience. 6. Ap- 
plication of these truths to Israel. 7. The universal principles first pro- 
claimed by Hosea. 8. The making of a prophet, as illustrated by 
Hosea's experience. 

Special Subjects for Research: 1. The Babylonian and Hebrew 
laws regarding adultery. St. 0. T., IV, § 70; Kent, Messages of Israel's 
Lawgivers, 92-94; Johns, Bab. and Assyr. Laws, Letters and Contracts y 
54, 117, 118. 2. Testimony of the prophets regarding the nature of 
the prophetic call. Marti, Religion of the 0. T., 141-7; Davidson, 0. T. 
Prophecy, 14^58; Encyc. Bib., Ill, 3867-71. 3. Later supplements to 
Hosea's sermons, St. 0. T., Ill, § 17. 

§ LXX. Jehovah's Charges Against Guilty Israel. General 
Questions: 1. Describe the political, social and moral conditions 



reflected in Hos. 4^13. 2. The literary form of these addresses. 3. 
Specific charges brought by Hosea against the priests and prophets. 
4. Importance of popular education in Hosea's mind. 5. His distinction 
between false and true repentance. 6. Israel's mistaken foreign policy. 
7. Hosea's attitude toward idolatry and the popular religion. 8. Re- 
view the reasons why he saw no hope for his nation as a whole. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Analyze the thoughts of 
Hosea 4^-5^^ St 0. T., Ill, §§ 18, 19. 2. Characteristics of Hosea's 
literary style. 3. Paraphrase the thought of Hosea 9*-10^^. St. 0. T., 

III, §§23-5. 

§ LXXI. Jehovah's Tender Love for His People. General 
Questions: 1. Describe the different figures employed by Hosea in 
picturing Jehovah's love and care for his people. 2. Content of the 
prayer of penitence that the prophet desired to have his people utter. 

3. Jehovah's attitude toward true penitence as interpreted by Hosea. 

4. Personality of Hosea compared with that of Amos. 5. His new 
teachings regarding Jehovah's character. 6. Universal principles that 
he proclaimed. 7. Discuss his place among the great religious teachers 
of the past. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Paraphrase the thought of 
Hosea 11^-^ 2. Evidence for and against the conclusion that Hosea 
is the author of the last chapter of his prophecy. *S^. 0. T., Ill, § 29; 
Harper, Am. and Hos., 408-9. 3. Comparison of Hosea's doctrine 
of repentance with that of other biblical writers. Smith, Bk. of the 
Tioelve, I, 333-45; Hastings, D. B., IV, 22^6. 4. In what respects 
did Hosea anticipate the teachings of Jesus? 

§ LXXII. The Fate of Northern Israel. General Questions: 

1. Describe the character and policy of the successors of Jeroboam II. 

2. Tiglath-pileser IV's invasion of Palestine in 733 B.C. 3. Fate of 
Damascus and Northern Israel. 4. Policy of Hoshea. 5. Reasons 
for rebelling. 6. Fate of Samaria and of the captives. 7. Origin of 
the Samaritans. 8. For what reason is Northern Israel's history sig- 
nificant? 9. Formulate the new truths proclaimed by its prophets. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The reign and policy of Tig- 
lath-pileser IV (III in older works). Winckler, Hist, of Bah. and Assyr., 
237-42; Goodspeed, Hist, of Babs. and Assyrs. 223-42. 2. Reign of 
Sargon. Winckler, Hist, of Bah. and Assyr., 243-8; Goodspeed, Hist, 
of Babs. and Assyrs., 243-8. 3. History of the Samaritans. Mont- 
gomery, Hist, of the Samaritans; Hastings, D.B., IV, 375-6; Encyc. Bib., 

IV, 4256-64. 




§ LXXIII. From Rehoboam to Uzziah. General Questions: 
1. Why was Judah's history during this period uneventful compared 
with that of Northern Israel? 2. Describe the invasion of Shishak. 
3. Asa'-s alliance with Damascus and its effects. 4. Consequences of 
Jehoshaphat's alliance with Northern Israel. 5. Accession of Athaliah. 

6. The revolution which placed Jehoash on the throne. 7. The early 
Judean prophetic history. 8. The repair of the temple. 9. Fate of 
Jehoash. 10. Amaziah's wars. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The policy and reign of 
Sheshonk I, king of Egypt. Breasted, Hist, oj the Anc. Egs., 360-4. 2. 
Probable fate of the ark. St. 0. T., IV, 150; Hastings, D. B., I, 150. 
3. Evidence of the growing power of the Jerusalem priesthood. Smith, 
Jerusalem, II, 110-2. 

§ LXXIV. The Reign of Uzziah and the Call of Isaiah. Gen- 
eral Questions: 1. Describe Uzziah's foreign and home policy. 2. 
Effect upon the material condition of the Israelites. 3. Resulting social 
conditions. 4. The need of a courageous prophet. 5. Personality 
of the young Isaiah. 6. Background of his early vision. 7. The 
psychological experience which it reflects. 8. Impression upon Isaiah's 
faith and life. 9. His task as a prophet. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Value of the Chronicler's 
ecclesiastical history of Judah and the temple. St. 0. T., II, 22-8; 
McFadyen, Introd. to 0. T., 347-56; Driver, L. 0. T., 516-35. 2. Chron- 
icler's account of the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham. St. 0. T., II, §§ 117, 
118. 3. Compare the ways in which Amos, Hosea and Isaiah each re- 
ceived the prophetic call. Smith, Isaiah, I, 57-90. 

§ LXXV. Isaiah's Early Social Sermons. General Questions: 
1. Give a literary analysis of Isaiah 1-39. 2. Describe the different 
kinds of editorial revision which are revealed. 3. The different periods 
of Israel's activity. 4. Indications that Isaiah 5 contains the prophet's 
earliest recorded address. 6. Literary form and theme of his song. 

7. Crimes of Judah's leaders. 8. Signs of national dissolution. 9. 
Nature of the judgment that Isaiah predicted for his nation. 10. For- 
mulate the social principles laid down by Isaiah. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The successive stages of lit- 
erary editorship through which the book of Isaiah has passed. Hastings, 
D. B., 11,486-7; Encyc. Bib., II, 2189-2207; McFadyen, Introd. to 0. T., 



107-39. 2. The characteristics of Isaiah's literary style. Gardiner, 
Bible as Eng. Lit., 223-31. 3. Compare social conditions in Judah in 
the days of Isaiah with those in America and England to-day. 

§ LXXVI. Isaiah's Advice to King and People in 735 B.C. 
General Questions: 1. Describe the advance of Assyria and its 
effect on the states of Palestine. 2. The three lines of policy open to 
Ahaz. 3. Isaiah's counsel and his reasons. 4. Ahaz's choice. 5. Isaiah's 
literary figures describing the coming national disaster. 6. His ob- 
ject lessons. 7. The confidence which he placed in his disciples. 8. 
Actual consequences of Ahaz's selfish policy. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Different interpretations of 
Isaiah's sign. St. O. T., Ill, § 35; Smith, Isaiah I, 113-8; White- 
house, Isaiah, 131-5; Journal of Bib. Lit., 1895, 19-36; 1897, 131-5. 

2. Review the six or seven distinct ways in which Isaiah sought to im- 
press his message. 3. Probable date and meaning of the messianic 
portraits of the ideal king, in Isaiah 9^"% 11. Hastings, D. B., II, 
487-9; Whitehouse, Isaiah, 151-4, 177-80; Cheyne, Introd. to the Bk. 
of Isaiah, 44-6. 

§ LXXVII. The Great Crisis of 701 B.C. General Questions: 
1. Describe the influences which tended to lead the people of Judah into 
rebellion against Assyria. 2. Isaiah's method of teaching in 711 B.C. 

3. Effect of Sargon's death in 705 B.C. upon the states tributary to 
Assyria. 4. Significance of the embassy of Merodach-baladan. 5. 
Isaiah's warnings and counsel in 704-1 B.C. 6. Attitude of the leaders. 
7. Sennacherib's advance. 8. The ultimate fate of Judah and Jerusa- 
lem. 9. Isaiah's message in the hour of national distress. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The character and policy of 
Sennacherib. Goodspeed, Hist, of Babs. and Assyrs., 265-83 ; Winckler, 
Hist, of Bab. and Assyr., 255-60. 2. Meaning of Isaiah's sermon re- 
garding Ariel, Isaiah 29^-". St. 0. T., Ill, §42; Smith, Isaiah I, 
209-20. 3. The problems and historical significance of Isaiah 22*^"^'. 
St. 0. T., Ill, § 48; Smith, Isaiah I, 317-9. 4. Reasons why the 
prophets rejected the popular cultus. Marti, Religion of the O. T., 

§ LXXVIII. Micah's Sermons and Hezekiah's Reformation. 
General Questions: 1. Describe the structure and contents of the 
different sections of the book of Micah. 2. Evidence regarding the 
date of his work. 3. His home and training. 4. The danger that he 
saw approaching. 5. His method of giving the warning. 6. His 
charges against the civil and religious leaders of Judah. 7. His dis- 



tinctlon between a true and a false prophet. 8. The way in which the 
calamity which he predicted was averted. 9. Nature of Hezekiah's 
reformation. 10. The prophetic definition of true religion. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The western approaches to 
Judah. Smith, H. G. H. X., 201-44, 28&-9; Bk. of the Twelve, I, 
375-8. 2. Modern examples of oriental oppression. Cf. Thomson, 
The Land and the Book, and books of oriental travel. 3. Micah's debt 
to Amos and Isaiah. 

§ LXXIX. Jerusalem's Deliverance through Isaiah's Counsels. 
General Questions: 1. Describe the evidence that Sennacherib 
made a second western campaign about 690 B.C. 2. The situation in 
Judah at this later crisis. 3. Sennacherib's demands. 4. Isaiah's 
counsels and his reasons. 5. Cause of Sennacherib's retreat. 6. Sig- 
nificance of the deliverance. 7. Isaiah's work as social reformer and 
statesman. 8. His conception of God, and its relation to his life-work. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Evidence that the narrative 
of Isaiah 36, 37 (II Kgs. 181^-19") is composite. St. 0. T., II, § 124; 
Smith, Jerusalem, II, 165-70; Cornill, Introd. to the Canon. Bks. of the 
0. T., 282-3. 2. Assyrian and other evidence of a second western 
campaign of Sennacherib. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 170-3; Hastings, 
D. B., I, 188; Budge, Hist, of Egypt, VI, 141-9. 3. Comparison of 
Isaiah's personality with that of Amos and Hosea. 

§ LXXX. The Reaction under Manasseh and the Decline of 
Assyria. General Questions: 1. Describe the causes that led to 
a religious reaction under Manasseh. 2. Character and policy of the 
king. 3. Effects of the reaction upon the popular religion. 4. Upon 
the followers of the prophets. 5. Assyria's glories under Esarhaddon 
and Ashurbanipal. 6. Sudden decline of the great empire. 7. Theme 
and probable date of Nahum's prophecy. 8. His analysis of Assyria's 
weakness. 9. His description of Assyria's fall. 10. IJnderlying prin- 
ciples. 11. Distinctive teachings of each of the prophets of the Assy- 
rian period. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. General characteristics of 
the Assyrian religion. Hastings, D. B. (one vol.), 70; I, 177; extra vol., 
532-83; Jastrow, Religion of Bab. and Assyr.; Rogers, Relig. of Bab. 
and Assyr. 2. The Assyrian conquest of Egypt. Breasted, Hist, of the 
Anc. Egyptians, 378-83. 3. The conception of Jehovah proclaimed 
by the prophets of the Assyrian period. Addis, Heb. Religion, 148-156; 
Marti, Religion of the 0. T., 128-141. 




§ LXXXI. Zephaniah's Reform Sermons. General Ques- 
tions: 1. Describe the influences that must have surrounded the young 
Josiah. 2. Evidence that Zephaniah belonged to the Judean royal line. 
3. Date and occasion of his prophecy. 4. Contents of the book of 
Zephaniah. 5. The classes in Judah which the prophet condemns. 

6. His conception of the coming day of Jehovah. 7. His prophetic aim 
and method. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Origin and history of the 
Scythians. Herodotus, I, 103-5; Encyc. Bib., IV, 4330-9. 2. Old 
Testament teachings regarding the day of Jehovah. Hastings, D. B., 

I, 735-8. 3. Later appendices to the book of Zephaniah. Cornill, 
Introd. to the Canon. Bks. of the 0. T., 357-8; Smith, Bk. of the Twelve, 

II, 43-5; Encyc. Bib., IV, 5405-7. 

§ LXXXH. Jeremiah's Call and Earlier Reform Sermons. Gen- 
eral Questions: 1. Describe Jeremiah's inheritance and youthful 
environment. 2. The way in which he was called to be a prophet. 3. 
His personality as thus revealed. 4. The evils in Judah which he con- 
demned. 5. What he demanded of his people. 6. The northern foe 
to which he alludes. 7. The principles underlying these early sermons. 

Subjects for Special Research: L The situation of Anathoth. 
Smith, H. G. H. L., 315-16. 2. Poetic form of Jeremiah's sermons. 
Hastings, D.B., II, 575-6; Brown, Jeremiah, xix-xx. 3. The complete 
version of Jeremiah's early reform sermons, St. 0. T., Ill, §§ 67, 68; 
Brown, Jeremiah, 37-76. 4. Comparison between the spirit and con- 
tents of the earlier reform sermons of Zephaniah and Jeremiah. 

§ LXXXIII. The Great Reformation under Josiah. General 
Questions: L Describe the different classes of reformers at work in 
Judah. 2. Was the finding of the law in the temple accidental or in- 
tentional? 3. Describe the method in which the new code was made 
the law of the realm. 4. Nature of the resulting reforms. 5. Contents 
of the new law-book. 6. Structure of the present book of Deuteronomy. 

7. The different stages in its literary history. 8. Its characteristics. 
Subjects for Special Research: 1. What evils denounced by 

Zephaniah and Jeremiah were put down by Josiah? 2. How far did 
Josiah's reformation fall short of the demands of these prophets? 3. 
The detailed history of the book of Deuteronomy. St. O. T., IV, 31-3; 
Driver, Deuteronomy, xxxiv-lxvii; Hastings, D. B., I, 601-3; Encyc. Bib., 



I, 1079-90; Comill, Infrod. to Canon. Bks. of the 0. T., 50-75. 4. 
Unity and structure of Deuteronomy. St. 0. T., IV, 33-5; Driver, 
Deuteronomy, Ixvii-lxxvii. 

§ LXXXIV. Ceremonial, Civil and Philanthropic Regulations 
of the Deuteronomic Code. General Questions: 1. Describe the 
present-day value of the Deuteronomic laws. 2. The pre-exilic sacri- 
ficial customs. 3. The early laws regarding ceremonial cleanliness. 
4. Duties of the Levitical priests. 5. Their means of support. 6. Date 
and method of celebrating the three great annual festivals. 7. Devel- 
opment of the Hebrew judicial system. 8. Limitations imposed upon 
the king. 9. The different regulations intended to improve the condi- 
tion of the poor and dependent. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Earlier and later laws re- 
garding sacrifice. St. O.T. ,IV,^ 187-209. 2. The pre-exilic priests. 
St. 0. T., IV, §§ 148-51; Smith, Jerusalem, I, 351-66. 3. Comparison 
of the Babylonian and Hebrew judicial systems. St. 0. T., IV, §§ 45- 
53; Johns, Bab. and Assyr. Laws, Letters and Contracts, 80-99. 4. The 
unique and permanent elements in the Deuteronomic code. St. 0. T., 
IV, 123; Encyc. Bib., I, 1091-4; Hastings, D. B., I, 598-9. 

§ LXXXV. Jeremiah's Experiences as Patriot and Preacher 
under Jehoiakim. General Questions: 1. Describe the latter 
part of Josiah's reign. 2. Evidence that he conquered part of the terri- 
tory of Northern Israel. 3. His death at Megiddo. 4. Its effect upon 
the religious situation in Judah. 5. Necho's Asiatic conquests. 6. 
Reasons why Jehoiakim was placed on the throne. 7. His character. 
8. Persecution of Jeremiah by the men of Anathoth. 9. The prophet's 
lament. 10. Contents of his temple discourse. 11. Basis of the 
charges made against him. 12. Grounds for his acquittal. 13. Fate 
of the prophet Uriah. 14. Jeremiah's public imprisonment. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Examples of changing the 
name of a king at his accession, and the probable explanation. 2. 
Reign and policy of Necho. Breasted, Hist, of the Anc. Egyptians, 
404-7. 3. The two versions of Jeremiah's temple discourse. St. O. T., 
Ill, §§ 75-6. 4. Jeremiah's personality. Comill, Prophs. of Israel, 
91-102; Encyc. Bib., II, 2371. 

§ LXXXVI. First and Second Collections of Jeremiah's Ser- 
mons. General Questions: 1. Describe the reasons which in- 
fluenced Jeremiah to commit his earlier sermons to writing. 2, The 
method in which this was accomplished. 3. The probable contents of 
the first edition. 4. Its fate at the hand of Jehoiakim. 5. Probable 



scope of the second edition of Jeremiah's prophecies. 6. Contents and 
structure of the present book of Jeremiah. 7. Evidence that it is the 
work of many different editors. 8. Its probable hterary history. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Hebrew writing material. 
Hastings, D. B., IV, 944-50. 2. Different explanations of the present 
structure of the book of Jeremiah. Cornill, Introd. to the Canon. Bks. 
of the 0. T., 295-313; Hastings, D. B., II, 575; Enmjc. Bib., II, 2372-90; 
McFadyen, Introd. to the 0. T., 144-61. 3. The different periods of 
Jeremiah's activity. Hastings, D. B., II, 569-73; Encyc. Bib., II, 

§ LXXXVII. Events Leading to the First Babylonian Captivity. 
General Questions: 1. Describe the rise of the Chaldeans. 2. 
Necho's defeat at Carchemish. 3. Probable date of the prophecy of 
Habakkuk. 4. Present structure of this prophecy. 5. Its theme and 
teachings. 6. Character and achievements of Nebuchadrezzar. 7. Je- 
hoiakim's rebellion. 8. Capture of Jerusalem. 9. Details of the first 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. The fall of Nineveh. Good- 
speed, Hist, of Babs. and Assyrs., 320-30; Winckler, Hist, of Bah. 
and Assyr., 281-5. 2. Nebuchadrezzar's reign and policy. Goodspeed, 
Hist, of Babs. and Assyrs., 337-47; Winckler, Hist, of Bab. and Assyr., 
313-8. 3. Different dates attributed to the prophecy of Habakkuk. 
Cornill, Introd. to the Canon. Bks. of the 0. T., 351-4; McFadyen, 
Introd. to the 0. T., 210-4; Encyc. Bib., II, 1922-27; Driver, L. 0. T., 
337-40. 4. The psalm in Habakkuk 3. Cornill, Introd. to Canon, 
Bks. of the 0. T., 354-5; Encyc. Bib., II, 1927-8. 

§ LXXXVIII. Ezekiel's Messages to the People of Judah. Gen- 
eral Questions: 1. Describe Ezekiel's ancestry and early education. 
2. His personal characteristics. 3. His call and sense of responsibility. 
4. His analysis of conditions in Judah. 5. Methods of impressing his 
teaching. 6. Reasons for his declaration that Judah would be de- 
stroyed. 7. His doctrine of individual responsibility. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Ezekiel's initial vision. 
Sanders and Kent, Mess, of the Later Prophs., 28-9; Smith, 0. T. Hist, 
302-4; Redpath, Ezekiel, 1-7. 2. Influence of his priestly training 
upon Ezekiel's thought and literary style. Hastings, D. B. (extra vol.), 
701-4. 3. Ezekiel's use of symbols. McFadyen, Introd. to 0. T., 
169-72; Sanders and Kent, Mess, of Later Prophs., 23-8. 

§ LXXXIX. Jeremiah's Activity in the Reign of Zedekiah. Gen- 
eral Questions: 1. Describe the attitude of Semitic peoples toward 



those in abnormal mental states. 2. The r6le of the false prophets in 
Judah's history. 3. The test of true prophecy. 4. The reason which 
influenced the people of Judah to rebel against Nebuchadrezzar. 5. 
Liberation of the Hebrew slaves. 6. Jeremiah's experiences during the 
final siege. 7. His counsels to king and people. 8. His future hope 
for his race. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. History of the false prophets. 
Hastings, D. B., IV, 116-8; Encyc. Bib., Ill, 3874-6; Davidson, 0. T. 
Prophecy, 285-308. 2. Jerusalem's military strength. Smith, Jeru- 
salem, I, 31-49, 181-249, 297-309. 3. Teachings of the pre-exilic 
prophets regarding the future of their race. 

§ XC. The Final Capture of Jerusalem and the End of the 
Hebrew State. General Questions: 1. Describe the final capture 
of Jerusalem. 2. Destruction of the city. 3. The captives trans- 
ported to Babylon. 4. Survivors who remained in Palestine. 5. 
Character and fortunes of the Judean state under the rule of Gedaliah. 
6. The flight to Egypt. 7. Jeremiah's fate. 8. Significance of his life- 
work as patriot and prophet. 9. His abiding message to the race. 

Subjects for Special Research: 1. Various estimates of the 
numbers of the Hebrews transported to Babylon. McCurdy's Hist., 
Prophecy, and the Monuments, III, 290-1. 2. Jeremiah's place among 
the great religious teachers of the race. 3. Nature of divine inspiration 
and revelation, as illustrated by the experiences of the pre-exilic Hebrew 
prophets. Hastings, D. B., IV, 114-6; Erwyc. Bib., Ill, 3867-73.