Isaiah 1:1
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
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The vision - The first verse evidently is a title, but whether to the whole book or only to a part of it has been questioned. As it stands here, however, it seems clearly intended to include the entire book, because it embraces all that was seen during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah; that is, during the whole prophetic life of the prophet. The same title is also given to his prophecies in 2 Chronicles 32:32 : 'Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold they are written in the vision of Isaiah.' Vitringa supposes that the former part of this title, 'the vision of Isaiah,' was at first affixed to the single prophecy contained in the first chapter, and that the latter part was inserted afterward as an introduction to the whole book. This might have been done by Isaiah himself if he collected his prophecies into a volume, or by some other inspired man who collected and arranged them; see the Introduction to Isaiah 36.

The word "vision," חזון chăzôn, denotes properly that which is seen, from the verb, חזה châzâh, "to see, to behold." It is a term which is often used in reference to the prophecies of the Old Testament; Numbers 12:6; Numbers 24:4; 1 Samuel 3:1; Psalm 89:19; Daniel 2:19; Daniel 7:2; Daniel 8:1; Nahum 1:1; Genesis 15:1; Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 22:1. Hence, the prophets were anciently called "Seers," as those who saw or witnessed events which were yet to come; compare 1 Samuel 9:9 : 'He that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a "Seer;"' 1 Samuel 9:11, 1 Samuel 9:18-19; 1 Chronicles 9:22; 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Kings 18:13. In these visions the objects probably were made to pass before the mind of the prophet as a picture, in which the various events were delineated with more or less distinctness, and the prophecies were spoken, or recorded, as the visions appeared to the observer. As many events could be represented only by symbols, those symbols became a matter of record, and are often left without explanation. On the nature of the prophetic visions, see Introduction, Section 7. (4.)

Of Isaiah - The name Isaiah ישׁעיהו yesha‛yâhû from ישׁע yesha‛ - salvation, help, deliverance - and יהוה yehovâh or Jehovah, means 'salvation of Yahweh,' or 'Yahweh will save.' The Vulgate renders it "Isaias"; the Septuagint has: Ησαΐ́ας Eesaias, "Esaias." This is also retained in the New Testament; Matthew 3:3; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 15:7; Mark 7:6; Luke 4:17; John 12:39; Acts 8:28; Romans 9:27, etc. In the book of Isaiah itself we find the form ישׁעיהו yesha‛yâhû, but in the inscription the rabbis give the form ישׁעיה yesha‛yâh. It was common among the Hebrews to incorporate the name Yahweh, or a part of it, into their proper names; see the note at Isaiah 7:14. Probably the object of this was to express veneration or regard for him - as we now give the name of a parent or friend to a child; or in many cases the name may have been given to record some signal act of mercy on the part of God, or some special interposition of his goodness. The practice of incorporating the name of the God that was worshipped into proper names was common in the East. Thus the name "Bel," the principal idol worshipped in Babylon, appears in the proper names of the kings, as Belshazzar, etc.; compare the note at Isaiah 46:1. It is not known that the name was given to Isaiah with any reference to the nature of the prophecies which he would deliver; but it is a remarkable circumstance that it coincides so entirely with the design of so large a portion of his predictions. The substance of the latter portion of the book, at least, is the salvation which Yahweh would effect for his people from their oppressers in Babylon, and the far mightier deliverance which the world would experience under the Messiah.

The son of Amoz - See the Introduction, Section 2. "Concerning Judah." The Jews after the death of Solomon were divided into two kingdoms; the kingdom of Judah, and of Israel, or Ephraim. The kingdom of Judah included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Benjamin was a small tribe, and it was not commonly mentioned, or the name was lost in that of Judah. The kingdom of Israel, or Ephraim, included the remaining ten tribes. Few of the prophets appeared among them; and the personal ministry of Isaiah does not appear to have been at all extended to them.

Jerusalem - The capital of the kingdom of Judah. It was on the dividing line between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. It is supposed to have been founded by Melchizedek, who is called king of Salem Genesis 14:18, and who is supposed to have given this name "Salem" to it. This was about 2000 years before Christ. About a century after its foundation as a city, it was captured by the "Jebusites," who extended its walls and built a citadel on Mount Zion. By them it was called Jebus. In the conquest of Canaan, Joshua put to death its king Joshua 10:23, and obtained possession of the town, which was jointly occupied by the Hebrews and Jebusites until the latter were expelled by David, who made it the capital of his kingdom under the name of "Jebus-Salem," or, for the sake of easier pronunciation by changing the Hebrew letter ב (b) into the Hebrew letter ר (r), "Jerusalem." After the revolt of the ten tribes, it of course became the capital of the kingdom of Judah. It was built on hills, or rocks, and was capable of being strongly fortified, and was well adapted to be the capital of the nation. For a more full description of Jerusalem, see the notes at Matthew 2:1. The vision which is here spoken of as having been seen respecting Judah and Jerusalem, pertains only to this chapter; see Isaiah 2:1.

In the days of Uzziah - In the time, or during the reign of Uzziah; 2 Chronicles 26; compare the Introduction, Section 3. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty-two years. It is not affirmed or supposed that Isaiah began to prophesy at the commencement of his reign. The first part of the long reign of Uzziah was prosperous. He gained important victories over his enemies, and fortified his kingdom; 2 Chronicles 26:5-15. He had under him an army of more than three hundred thousand men. But he became proud - attempted an act of sacrilege - was smitten of God, and died a leper. But though the kingdom under Uzziah was flourishing, yet it had in it the elements of decay. During the previous reign of Joash, it had been invaded and weakened by the Assyrians, and a large amount of wealth had been taken to Damascus, the capital of Syria; 2 Chronicles 24:23-24. It is not improbable that those ravages were repeated during the latter part of the reign of Uzziah; compare Isaiah 1:7.

Jotham - He began to reign at the age of twenty-five years, and reigned sixteen years; 2 Chronicles 27:1-2.

Ahaz - He began to reign at the age of twenty, and reigned sixteen years. He was a wicked man, and during his reign the kingdom was involved in crimes and calamities; 2 Chronicles 28.

Hezekiah - He was a virtuous and upright prince. He began his reign at the age of twenty-five years, and reigned twenty-nine; 2 Chronicles 29; see the Introduction Section 3,

The vision of Isaiah - It seems doubtful whether this title belongs to the whole book, or only to the prophecy contained in this chapter. The former part of the title seems properly to belong to this particular prophecy; the latter part, which enumerates the kings of Judah under whom Isaiah exercised his prophetical office, seems to extend it to the whole collection of prophecies delivered in the course of his ministry. Vitringa - to whom the world is greatly indebted for his learned labors on this prophet and to whom we should have owed much more if he had not so totally devoted himself to Masoretic authority - has, I think, very judiciously resolved this doubt. He supposes that the former part of the title was originally prefixed to this single prophecy; and that, when the collection of all Isaiah's prophecies was made, the enumeration of the kings of Judah was added, to make it at the same time a proper title to the whole book. As such it is plainly taken in 2 Chronicles 32:32, where the book of Isaiah is cited by this title: "The vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz."

The prophecy contained in this first chapter stands single and unconnected, making an entire piece of itself. It contains a severe remonstrance against the corruptions prevailing among the Jews of that time, powerful exhortations to repentance, grievous threatenings to the impenitent, and gracious promises of better times, when the nation shall have been reformed by the just judgments of God. The expression, upon the whole, is clear; the connection of the several parts easy; and in regard to the images, sentiments, and style, it gives a beautiful example of the prophet's elegant manner of writing; though perhaps it may not be equal in these respects to many of the following prophecies.

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz,.... This is either the particular title of the prophecy contained in this single chapter, as Jarchi and Abarbinel think; seeing the second chapter Isaiah 2:1 begins with another title, "the word that Isaiah saw", &c. or rather it is the common title of the whole book; since it is the vision which Isaiah saw in the reign of four kings, as is later affirmed; and so is no other than in general "the prophecy of Isaiah", as the Targum renders it; called a "vision", because it was delivered to him, at least the greatest part of it, in a vision; and because he had a clear perception of the things he prophesied of, as well as delivered them in a clear and perspicuous manner to others: hence the Jews say (m), that Moses and Isaiah excelled the other prophets, seeing they understood what they prophesied of. The name of Isaiah, the penman of this book, signifies either "the Lord shall save", according to Hilleras (n); or "the salvation of the Lord", as Abarbinel, Jerom, and others; and is very suitable to the message he was sent with to the people of God; to acquaint them that the Lord had provided a Saviour for them, and that he would come and save them. He is said to be "the son of Amoz"; not of Amos the prophet; the names differ; the name of the prophet that stands among the twelve lesser prophets is "Amos"; the name of Isaiah's parent is "Amoz". It is a tradition with the Jews (o), that Amoz, the father of Isaiah, was brother to Amaziah, king of Judah, so that Isaiah was of the royal family. Abarbinei endeavours to confirm it from that greatness of mind, freedom and boldness, he used in reproofs, and from his polite and courtly way of speaking; and this is mentioned by Aben Ezra as a reason why the Jews did not harm him, as they did Jeremiah: but this tradition is not equally regarded by the Jewish writers; and though Kimchi takes notice of it, yet he says the genealogy of Isaiah is not known, nor of what tribe he was. If he was of the seed royal, this is an instance of God's calling some that are noble, not only by his grace, but to office in his church; and it is with a view to this tradition, no doubt, that Jerom (p) calls him "vir nobilis", a "nobleman". It is also a rule with the Jews (q), that where the name of a prophet's father is mentioned, it is a sign that his father was a prophet; and so they say this Amoz was, though the king's brother; and that he is the same with the man of God that came to Amaziah (r), 2 Chronicles 25:7 but Aben Ezra suggests, that this rule does not always hold good.

Which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem; that is, chiefly and principally; for though Ephraim, or the ten tribes of Israel, are mentioned, yet very rarely; and though there are prophecies concerning other nations in it, yet these relate to the deliverance of the Jews from them, or to God's vengeance on them for their sake. Judah is put for the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and is particularly mentioned, because the Messiah, so much spoken of in this book, was to spring from thence, whose title is the Lion of the tribe of Judah; and though Jerusalem was in it, yet that is also particularly taken notice of, because not only the temple, the place of divine worship, was in it, and it was the metropolis of the land; but because the Messiah, when he came, was often to appear here, and from thence the Gospel was to go forth into all the world; and this was a figure of the Gospel church state to the end of the world, which often bears this name: and many things are said in this prophecy not only concerning the coming of Christ, but of the Gospel dispensation, and of various things that should come to pass in it; concerning the glory of the church in the latter day, the calling of the Gentiles, the conversion of the Jews, the destruction of antichrist, and the new heavens and new earth.

In the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah: if Isaiah began to prophesy in the first year of Uzziah's reign, as Kimchi and Abarbinel think, relying pretty much on 2 Chronicles 26:22 and lived out the reign of Hezekiah, as he must, if he was put to death by Manasseh, according to the tradition of the Jews, he must prophesy a hundred and twelve or thirteen years; for Uzziah reigned fifty two years, Jotham sixteen, Ahaz sixteen, and Hezekiah twenty nine; but as this seems to begin his prophecy too soon, since so small a part of it was in or concerns Uzziah's reign; so it seems too late to fix the date of his prophecy from the year that King Uzziah died, when he had the vision in Isaiah 6:1 and desired to be sent of the Lord; which is the opinion of Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and others; but Dr. Lightfoot's opinion is more probable, who places the beginning of his prophecy in the twenty third year of Uzziah; though perhaps it may be sufficient to allow him only ten years of Uzziah's reign: and as he lived through the two reigns of Jotham and Ahaz, so it is certain that he lived through more than half of the reign of Hezekiah; his whole reign was twenty nine years; and therefore it was when he had reigned fourteen years that he was taken sick, and then fifteen years more were added to his days; and the year after this came the messengers from Babylon to congratulate him on his recovery; all which Isaiah gives an account of Isaiah 38:1 but how long he lived and prophesied after this cannot be said: had his days been prolonged to the times of Manasseh, it would have been written, as Aben Ezra observes, and who pays but little regard to the tradition of the Jews concerning Isaiah's being put to death by Manasseh; if the thing, says he, is "cabala", a tradition, it is truth; but he seems to call in question its reality; however, it is not to be depended on.

(m) R. Eleazar in Yalkut, pars 2. fol. 118. 2.((n) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 319. (o) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 10. 2. & Sota, fol. 10. 2. & Seder Olam Zuta, p. 104. Juchasin, fol. 12. 1. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 11. 2.((p) Ad Paulam, fol. 8. M. tom. 3.((q) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 15. 1.((r) Kimchi in 2 Chronicles 25.7.

The {a} vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw {b} concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of {c} Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

The Argument - God, according to his promise in De 18:15 that he would never leave his Church destitute of a prophet, has from time to time accomplished the same: whose office was not only to declare to the people the things to come, of which they had a special revelation, but also to interpret and declare the law, and to apply particularly the doctrine contained briefly in it, for the use and profit of those to whom they thought it chiefly to belong, and as the time and state of things required. Principally in the declaration of the law, they had respect to three things which were the ground of their doctrine: first, to the doctrine contained briefly in the two tables: secondly to the promises and threatenings of the law: and thirdly to the covenant of grace and reconciliation grounded on our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the end of the law. To which they neither added nor diminished, but faithfully expounded the sense and meaning of it. As God gave them understanding of things, they applied the promises particularly for the comfort of the Church and the members of it, and also denounced the menaces against the enemies of the same: not for any care or regard to the enemies, but to assure the Church of their safeguard by the destruction of their enemies. Concerning the doctrine of reconciliation, they have more clearly entreated it than Moses, and set forth more lively Jesus Christ, in whom this covenant of reconciliation was made. In all these things Isaiah surpassed all the prophets, and was diligent to set out the same, with vehement admonitions, reprehensions, and consolations: ever applying the doctrine as he saw that the disease of the people required. He declares also many notable prophecies which he had received from God, concerning the promise of the Messiah, his office and kingdom, the favour of God toward his Church, the calling of the Gentiles and their union with the Jews. Which are principal points contained in this book, and a gathering of his sermons that he preached. Which after certain days that they had stood upon the temple door (for the manner of the prophets was to post the sum of their doctrine for certain days, that the people might the better mark it as in Isa 8:1, Hab 2:2) the priests took it down and reserved it among their registers. By God's providence these books were preserved as a monument to the Church forever. Concerning his person and time he was of the king's stock

(for Amos his father was brother to Azariah king of Judah, as the best writers agree) and prophesied more than 64 years, from the time of Uzziah to the reign of Manasseh who was his son-in-law (as the Hebrews write) and by whom he was put to death. In reading of the prophets, this one thing among others is to be observed, that they speak of things to come as though they were now past because of the certainty of it, and that they could not but come to pass, because God had ordained them in his secret counsel and so revealed them to his prophets.

(a) That is, a revelation or prophecy, which was one of the two means by which God declared himself to his servants in old times, as in Nu 12:6 and therefore the prophets were called seers, 1Sa 9:9.

(b) Isaiah was chiefly sent to Judah and Jerusalem, but not only: for in this book are prophecies concerning other nations also.

(c) Called also Azariah, 2Ki 15:1 of these kings read 2Ki 14:1-21:1, 2Ch 25:1-33:1.

THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH. Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION.

Isaiah, son of Amoz (not Amos); contemporary of Jonah, Amos, Hosea, in Israel, but younger than they; and of Micah, in Judah. His call to a higher degree of the prophetic office (Isa 6:1-13) is assigned to the last year of Uzziah, that is, 754 B.C. The first through fifth chapters belong to the closing years of that reign; not, as some think, to Jotham's reign: in the reign of the latter he seems to have exercised his office only orally, and not to have left any record of his prophecies because they were not intended for all ages. The first through fifth and sixth chapters are all that was designed for the Church universal of the prophecies of the first twenty years of his office. New historical epochs, such as occurred in the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah, when the affairs of Israel became interwoven with those of the Asiatic empires, are marked by prophetic writings. The prophets had now to interpret the judgments of the Lord, so as to make the people conscious of His punitive justice, as also of His mercy. Isa 7:1-10:4 belong to the reign of Ahaz. The thirty-sixth through thirty-ninth chapters are historical, reaching to the fifteenth year of Hezekiah; probably the tenth through twelfth chapters and all from the thirteenth through twenty-sixth chapters, inclusive, belong to the same reign; the historical section being appended to facilitate the right understanding of these prophecies; thus we have Isaiah's office extending from about 760 to 713 B.C., forty-seven years. Tradition (Talmud) represents him as having been sawn asunder by Manasseh with a wooden saw, for having said that he had seen Jehovah (Ex 33:20; 2Ki 21:16; Heb 11:37). 2Ch 32:32 seems to imply that Isaiah survived Hezekiah; but "first and last" is not added, as in 2Ch 26:22, which makes it possible that his history of Hezekiah was only carried up to a certain point. The second part, the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters, containing complaints of gross idolatry, needs not to be restricted to Manasseh's reign, but is applicable to previous reigns. At the accession of Manasseh, Isaiah would be eighty-four; and if he prophesied for eight years afterwards, he must have endured martyrdom at ninety-two; so Hosea prophesied for sixty years. And Eastern tradition reports that he lived to one hundred and twenty. The conclusive argument against the tradition is that, according to the inscription, all Isaiah's prophecies are included in the time from Uzziah to Hezekiah; and the internal evidence accords with this.

His Wife is called the prophetess [Isa 8:3], that is, endowed, as Miriam, with a prophetic gift.

His Children were considered by him as not belonging merely to himself; in their names, Shearjashub, "the remnant shall return" [Isa 7:3, Margin], and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, "speeding to the spoil, he hasteth to the prey" [Isa 8:1, Margin], the two chief points of his prophecies are intimated to the people, the judgments of the Lord on the people and the world, and yet His mercy to the elect.

His Garment of sackcloth (Isa 20:2), too, was a silent preaching by fact; he appears as the embodiment of that repentance which he taught.

His Historical Works.—History, as written by the prophets, is retroverted prophecy. As the past and future alike proceed from the essence of God, an inspired insight into the past implies an insight into the future, and vice versa. Hence most of the Old Testament histories are written by prophets and are classed with their writings; the Chronicles being not so classed, cannot have been written by them, but are taken from historical monographs of theirs; for example, Isaiah's life of Uzziah, 2Ch 26:22; also of Hezekiah, 2Ch 32:32; of these latter all that was important for all ages has been preserved to us, while the rest, which was local and temporary, has been lost.

The Inscription (Isa 1:1) applies to the whole book and implies that Isaiah is the author of the second part (the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters), as well as of the first. Nor do the words, "concerning Judah and Jerusalem" [Isa 1:1], oppose the idea that the inscription applies to the whole; for whatever he says against other nations, he says on account of their relation to Judah. So the inscription of Amos, "concerning Israel" [Am 1:1], though several prophecies follow against foreign nations. Ewald maintains that the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters, though spurious, were subjoined to the previous portion, in order to preserve the former. But it is untrue that the first portion is unconnected with those chapters. The former ends with the Babylonian exile (Isa 39:6), the latter begins with the coming redemption from it. The portion, the fortieth through forty-sixth chapters, has no heading of its own, a proof that it is closely connected with what precedes, and falls under the general heading in Isa 1:1. Josephus (The Antiquities of the Jews, 11. 1, sec. 1, 2) says that Cyrus was induced by the prophecies of Isaiah (Isa 44:28; 45:1, 13) to aid the Jews in returning and rebuilding the temple Ezr 1:1-11 confirms this; Cyrus in his edict there plainly refers to the prophecies in the second portion, which assign the kingdoms to him from Jehovah, and the duty of rebuilding the temple. Probably he took from them his historical name Cyrus (Coresh). Moreover, subsequent prophets imitate this second portion, which Ewald assigns to later times; for example, compare Jer 50:1-51:64 with Isaiah's predictions against Babylon [Is 13:1-14:23]. "The Holy One of Israel," occurring but three times elsewhere in the Old Testament [2Ki 19:22; Ps 78:41; 89:18; Jer 50:29; 51:5], is a favorite expression in the second, as in the first portion of Isaiah: it expresses God's covenant faithfulness in fulfilling the promises therein: Jeremiah borrows the expression from him. Also Ecclesiasticus 48:22-25 ("comforted"), quotes Isa 40:1 as Isaiah's. Lu 4:17 quotes Isa 61:1, 2 as Isaiah's, and as read as such by Jesus Christ in the synagogue.

The Definiteness of the prophecies is striking: As in the second portion of isaiah, so in Mic 4:8-10, the Babylonian exile, and the deliverance from it, are foretold a hundred fifty years before any hostilities had arisen between Babylon and Judah. On the other hand, all the prophets who foretell the Assyrian invasion coincide in stating, that Judah should be delivered from it, not by Egyptian aid, but directly by the Lord. Again Jeremiah, in the height of the Chaldean prosperity, foretold its conquest by the Medes, who should enter Babylon through the dry bed of the Euphrates on a night of general revelry. No human calculation could have discovered these facts. Eichorn terms these prophecies "veiled historical descriptions," recognizing in spite of himself that they are more than general poetical fancies. The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah was certainly written ages before the Messiah, yet it minutely portrays His sufferings: these cannot be Jewish inventions, for the Jews looked for a reigning, not a suffering, Messiah.

Rationalists are so far right that The Prophecies Are on a General Basis whereby they are distinguished from soothsaying. They rest on the essential idea of God. The prophets, penetrated by this inner knowledge of His character, became conscious of the eternal laws by which the world is governed: that sin is man's ruin, and must be followed by judgment, but that God's covenant mercy to His elect is unchangeable. Without prophetism, the elect remnant would have decreased, and even God's judgments would have missed their end, by not being recognized as such: they would have been unmeaning, isolated facts. Babylon was in Isaiah's days under Assyria; it had tried a revolt unsuccessfully: but the elements of its subsequent success and greatness were then existing. The Holy Ghost enlightened his natural powers to discern this its rise; and his spiritual faculties, to foresee its fall, the sure consequence, in God's eternal law, of the pride which pagan success generates—and also Judah's restoration, as the covenant-people, with whom God, according to His essential character, would not be wroth for ever. True conversion is the prophet's grand remedy against all evils: in this alone consists his politics. Rebuke, threatening, and promise, regularly succeed one another. The idea at the basis of all is in Isa 26:7-9; Le 10:3; Am 3:2.

The Use of the Present and Preterite in prophecy is no proof that the author is later than Isaiah. For seers view the future as present, and indicate what is ideally past, not really past; seeing things in the light of God, who "calls the things that are not as though they were." Moreover, as in looking from a height on a landscape, hills seem close together which are really wide apart, so, in events foretold, the order, succession, and grouping are presented, but the intervals of time are overlooked. The time, however, is sometimes marked (Jer 25:12; Da 9:26). Thus the deliverance from Babylon, and that effected by Messiah, are in rapid transition grouped together by THE Law of Prophetic Suggestion; yet no prophet so confounds the two as to make Messiah the leader of Israel from Babylon. To the prophet there was probably no double sense; but to his spiritual eye the two events, though distinct, lay so near, and were so analogous, that he could not separate them in description without unfaithfulness to the picture presented before him. The more remote and antitypical event, however, namely, Messiah's coming, is that to which he always hastens, and which he describes with far more minuteness than he does the nearer type; for example, Cyrus (compare Isa 45:1 with Isa 53:1-12). In some cases he takes his stand in the midst of events between, for example, the humiliation of Jesus Christ, which he views as past, and His glorification, as yet to come, using the future tense as to the latter (compare Isa 53:4-9 with 53:10-12). Marks of the time of events are given sparingly in the prophets: yet, as to Messiah, definitely enough to create the general expectation of Him at the time that He was in fact born.

The Chaldæisms alleged against the genuineness of the second portion of Isaiah, are found more in the first and undoubted portion. They occur in all the Old Testament, especially in the poetical parts, which prefer unusual expressions, and are due to the fact that the patriarchs were surrounded by Chaldee-speaking people; and in Isaiah's time a few Chaldee words had crept in from abroad.

His Symbols are few and simple, and his poetical images correct; in the prophets, during and after the exile, the reverse holds good; Haggai and Malachi are not exceptions; for, though void of bold images, their style, unlike Isaiah's, rises little above prose: a clear proof that our Isaiah was long before the exile.

Of Visions, strictly so called, he has but one, that in the sixth chapter; even it is more simple than those in later prophets. But he often gives Signs, that is, a present fact as pledge of the more distant future; God condescending to the feebleness of man (Isa 7:14; 37:30; 38:7).

The Varieties in His Style do not prove spuriousness, but that he varied his style with his subject. The second portion is not so much addressed to his contemporaries, as to the future people of the Lord, the elect remnant, purified by the previous judgments. Hence its tenderness of style, and frequent repetitions (Isa 40:1): for comforting exhortation uses many words; so also the many epithets added to the name of God, intended as stays whereon faith may rest for comfort, so as not to despair. In both portions alike there are peculiarities characteristic of Isaiah; for example, "to be called" equivalent to to be: the repetition of the same words, instead of synonyms, in the parallel members of verses; the interspersing of his prophecies with hymns: "the remnant of olive trees," &c., for the remnant of people who have escaped God's judgments. Also compare Isa 65:25 with Isa 11:6.

The Chronological Arrangement favors the opinion that Isaiah himself collected his prophecies into the volume; not Hezekiah's men, as the Talmud guesses from Pr 25:1. All the portions, the dates of which can be ascertained, stand in the right place, except a few instances, where prophecies of similar contents are placed together: with the termination of the Assyrian invasion (the thirty-sixth through thirty-ninth chapters) terminated the public life of Isaiah. The second part is his prophetic legacy to the small band of the faithful, analogous to the last speeches of Moses and of Jesus Christ to His chosen disciples.

The Expectation of Messiah is so strong in Isaiah, that Jerome To Paulinus calls his book not a prophecy, but the gospel: "He is not so much a prophet as an evangelist." Messiah was already shadowed forth in Ge 49:10, as the Shiloh, or tranquillizer; also in Psalms 2, 45, 72, 110. Isaiah brings it out more definitely; and, whereas they dwelt on His kingly office, Isaiah develops most His priestly and prophetic office; the hundred tenth Psalm also had set forth His priesthood, but His kingly rather than, as Isaiah, His suffering, priesthood. The latter is especially dwelt on in the second part, addressed to the faithful elect; whereas the first part, addressed to the whole people, dwells on Messiah's glory, the antidote to the fears which then filled the people, and the assurance that the kingdom of God, then represented by Judah, would not be overwhelmed by the surrounding nations.

His Style (Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament,) is simple and sublime; in imagery, intermediate between the poverty of Jeremiah and the exuberance of Ezekiel. He shows his command of it in varying it to suit his subject.

The Form is mostly that of Hebrew poetical parallelism, with, however, a freedom unshackled by undue restrictions.

9 If she be a wall,

   We will build upon her a pinnacle of silver;

   And if she be a door,

   We will block her up with a board of cedar-wood.

The brothers are the nearest guardians and counsellors of the sister, and, particularly in the matter of marriage, have the precedence even of the father and mother, Genesis 24:50, Genesis 24:55; Genesis 34:6-8.. They suppose two cases which stand in contrast to each other, and announce their purpose with reference to each case. Hoelem. here affects a synonymous instead of the antithetic parallelism; for he maintains that אם (ואם) ... אם nowhere denotes a contrast, but, like sive ... sive, essential indifference. But examples such as Deuteronomy 18:3 (sive bovem, sive ovem) are not applicable here; for this correl. אם ... אם, denoting essential equality, never begins the antecedents of two principal sentences, but always stands in the component parts of one principal sentence. Wherever ואם ... אם commences two parallel conditional clauses, the parallelism is always, according to the contents of these clauses, either synonymous, Genesis 31:50; Amos 9:2-4; Ecclesiastes 11:3 (where the first ואם signifies ac si, and the second sive), or antithetic, Numbers 16:29 f.; Job 36:11 f.; Isaiah 1:19 f. The contrast between חומה (from חמה, Arab. ḥaman, Modern Syr. chamo, to preserve, protect) and דּלת (from דּלל, to hang loose, of doors, Proverbs 26:14, which move hither and thither on their hinges) is obvious. A wall stands firm and withstands every assault if it serves its purpose (which is here presupposed, where it is used as a figure of firmness of character). A door, on the contrary, is moveable; and though it be for the present closed (דלת is intentionally used, and not פּתח, vid., Genesis 19:6), yet it is so formed that it can be opened again. A maiden inaccessible to seduction is like a wall, and one accessible to it is like a door. In the apodosis, Sol 8:9, the lxx correctly renders טירת by ἐπάλξεις; Jerome, by propugnacula. But it is not necessary to read טירת. The verb טור, cogn. דור, signifies to surround, whence tirah ( equals Arab. duâr), a round encampment, Genesis 25:16, and, generally, a habitation, Psalm 69:25; and then also, to range together, whence תּוּר, a rank, row (cf. Arab. thur and daur, which, in the manifoldness of their meanings, are parallel with the French tour), or also tirah, which, Ezekiel 46:23 (vid., Keil), denotes the row or layer of masonry, - in the passage before us, a row of battlements (Ew.), or a crown of the wall (Hitz.), i.e., battlements as a wreath on the summit of a wall. Is she a wall, - i.e., does she firmly and successfully withstand all immoral approaches? - then they will adorn this wall with silver pinnacles (cf. Isaiah 54:12), i.e., will bestow upon her the high honour which is due to her maidenly purity and firmness; silver is the symbol of holiness, as gold is the symbol of nobility. In the apodosis 9b, על צוּר is not otherwise meant than when used in a military sense of enclosing by means of besieging, but, like Isaiah 29:3, with the obj.-accus., of that which is pressed against that which is to be excluded; צור here means, forcibly to press against, as סגר, Genesis 2:21, to unite by closing up.

ארז לוּח is a board or plank (cf. Ezekiel 27:5, of the double planks of a ship's side) of cedar wood (cf. Zephaniah 2:14, ארזה, cedar wainscot). Cedar wood comes here into view not on account of the beautiful polish which it takes on, but merely because of its hardness and durability. Is she a door, i.e., accessible to seduction? They will enclose this door around with a cedar plank, i.e., watch her in such a manner that no seducer or lover will be able to approach her. By this morally stern but faithful answer, Shulamith is carried back to the period of her own maidenhood, when her brothers, with good intention, dealt severely with her. Looking back to this time, she could joyfully confess:

1:1-9 Isaiah signifies, The salvation of the Lord; a very suitable name for this prophet, who prophesies so much of Jesus the Saviour, and his salvation. God's professing people did not know or consider that they owed their lives and comforts to God's fatherly care and kindness. How many are very careless in the affairs of their souls! Not considering what we do know in religion, does us as much harm, as ignorance of what we should know. The wickedness was universal. Here is a comparison taken from a sick and diseased body. The distemper threatens to be mortal. From the sole of the foot even to the head; from the meanest peasant to the greatest peer, there is no soundness, no good principle, no religion, for that is the health of the soul. Nothing but guilt and corruption; the sad effects of Adam's fall. This passage declares the total depravity of human nature. While sin remains unrepented, nothing is done toward healing these wounds, and preventing fatal effects. Jerusalem was exposed and unprotected, like the huts or sheds built up to guard ripening fruits. These are still to be seen in the East, where fruits form a large part of the summer food of the people. But the Lord had a small remnant of pious servants at Jerusalem. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. The evil nature is in every one of us; only Jesus and his sanctifying Spirit can restore us to spiritual health.Verse 1. - TITLE OF THE WORK. It is questioned whether the title can be regarded as Isaiah's, or as properly belonging to the work, and it is suggested that it is rather a heading invented by a collector who brought together into a volume such prophecies of Isaiah as were known to him, the collection being a much smaller one than that which was made ultimately. In favor of this view it is urged

(1) that the prophecies, as we have them, do not all "concern Judah and Jerusalem;"

(2) that there is a mistake in the title, which Isaiah could not have made, none of the prophecies belonging to the reign of Uzziah. But it may be answered, that, in the scriptural sense, all and Jerusalem, prophecy "concerns Judah and Jerusalem," i.e. the people and city of God; and, further, that it is quite impossible to prove that no part of the "vision" was seen in the reign of Uzziah. There are no means of knowing whether Isaiah collected his prophecies into a volume himself or whether the collection was the work of others. In either case, the existing title must be regarded as designed for the entire work. All the earlier prophecies - those of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, and Zephaniah - have some title introducing them. Verse 1. - The vision (comp. Obadiah 1:1; Nahum 1:1). The term is probably used in a collective sense, but is also intended to suggest the intrinsic unity of the entire body of prophecies put forth by Isaiah. As prophets were originally called "seers" (1 Samuel 9:9), so prophecy was called "vision;" and this latter use continued long after the other (comp. 1 Chronicles 17:15; Ezekiel 12:27; Daniel 9:23; Obadiah 1:1, etc.). Isaiah the son of Amoz (comp. Isaiah 2:1; Isaiah 13:1; Isaiah 37:2; etc.; 2 Kings 20:1; 2 Chronicles 32:32). The signification of the name Isaiah is "the salvation of Jehovah." The name Amen (Amots) is not to be confused with Amos ('Amos), who seems to have been a contemporary (Amos 1:1). Concerning Judah and Jerusalem. The prophecies of Isaiah concern primarily the kingdom of Judah, not that of Israel. They embrace a vast variety of nations and countries (see especially Isaiah 13, 15. - 21, 23, 47.); but these nations and countries are spoken of "only because of the relation in which they stand to Judah and Jerusalem" (Kay), or at any rate to the people of God, symbolized under those names. Jerusalem occupies a prominent place in the prophecies (see Isaiah 1:8, 21; Isaiah 3:16-26; Isaiah 4:3-6; Isaiah 29. 1-8; 31:4-9, etc.). In the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Uzziah (or Azariah, as he is sometimes called) reigned fifty-two years - probably from B.C. 811 to B.C. 759; Jotham sixteen years - from B.C. 759 to B.C. 743; Ahaz also sixteen years - from B.C. 743 to B.C. 727; and Hezekiah twenty-nine years - from B.C. 727 to B.C. 698. Isaiah probably prophesied only in the later years of Uzziah, say from B.C. 760; but as he certainly continued his prophetical career tin Sennacherib's invasion of Judaea (Isaiah 37:5), which was not earlier than B.C. 705, he must have exercised the prophet's office for at least fifty-six years. The lowest possible estimate of the duration of his ministry is forty-seven years - from the last year of Uzziah, B.C. 759, to the fourteenth of Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:5). The highest known to us is sixty-four years - from the fourth year before Uzziah's death ( B.C. 762) to the last year of Hezekiah ( B.C. 698). (See 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 5. p. 5.) SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)

Book Introduction

The Prophetical Books and Introduction to Isaiah

Prophets were men raised up of God in times of declension and apostasy in Israel. They were primarily revivalists and patriots, speaking on behalf of God to the heart and conscience of the nation. The prophetic messages have a twofold character: first, that which was local and for the prophet's time; secondly, that which was predictive of the divine purpose in future. Often the prediction springs immediately from the local circumstances (e.g. Is 7.1-11 with Is 7:12-14).

It is necessary to keep this Israelitish character of the prophet in mind. Usually his predictive, equally with his local and immediate ministry, is not didactic and abstract, but has in view the covenant people, their sin and failure, and their glorious future. The Gentile is mentioned as used for the chastisement of Israel, as judged therefore, but also as sharing the grace that is yet to be shown toward Israel. The Church, corporately, is not in the vision of the O.T. prophet (Ep 3.1-6). The future blessing of Israel as a nation rests upon the Palestinian Covenant of restoration and conversion (Dt 30.1-9, refs.), and the Davidic Covenant of the Kingship of the Messiah, David's Son (2Sam 7.8-17, refs.), and this gives to predictive prophecy its Messianic character. The exaltation of Israel is secured in the kingdom, and the kingdom takes its power to bless from the Person of the King, David's Son, but also "Immanuel."

But as the King is also Son of Abraham (Mt 1.1), the promised Redeemer, and as redemption is only through the sacrifice of Christ, Song messianic prophecy of necessity presents Christ in a twofold character--a suffering Messiah (e.g. Isa. 53.), and a reigning Messiah (e.g. Isa. 11.). This duality, suffering and glory, weakness and power, involved a mystery which perplexed the prophets (1Pet 1.10-12; Lk 24.26.27).

The solution of that mystery lies, as the New Testament makes clear, in the two advents--the first advent to redemption through suffering; the second advent to the kingdom glory, when the national promises to Israel will be fulfilled (Mt 1:21-23; Lk 2:28-35; 24:46-48, with Lk 1:31-33, 68-75; Mt 2:2,6; 19:27,28 Acts 2:30-32; 15:14-16). The prophets indeed describe the advent in two forms which could not be contemporaneous (e.g. Zech 9.9; contra, 14.1-9), but to them it was not revealed that between the advent to suffering, and the advent to glory, would be accomplished certain "mysteries of the kingdom" (Mt 13.11-16), not that, consequent upon Messiah's rejection, the new Testament Church would be called out. These were, to them, "mysteries hid in God" (Ep 3.1-10).

Speaking broadly, then, predictive prophecy is occupied with the fulfilment of the Palestinian and Davidic Covenants; the Abrahamic Covenant having also its place.

Gentile powers are mentioned as connected with Israel, but prophecy, save in Daniel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Nahum, is not occupied with Gentile world-history. Daniel, as will be see, has a distinctive character.

The predictions of the restoration from the Babylonian captivity at the end of seventy years, must be distinguished from those of the restoration from the present world-wide dispersion. The context is always clear. The Palestinian Covenant Deu 28.1-30.9 is the mould of predictive prophecy in its larger sense--national disobedience, world-wide dispersion, repentance, the return of the Lord, the regathering of Israel and establishment of the kingdom, the conversion and blessing of Israel, and the judgment of Israel's oppressors.

The true division of the prophets is into pre-exilic, viz., in Judah: Isaiah, Jeremiah (extending into the exile), Joel, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah. In Israel: Hosea, Amos, and Jonah. Exilic, Ezekiel and Daniel, both of Judah, but prophesying to the whole nation. Post-exilic, all of Judah: Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The division into major and minor prophetic writings, based upon the mere bulk of the books, is unhistoric and non-chronological.

The keys which unlock the meaning of prophecy are: the two advents of Messiah, the advent to suffer (Gen 3:15; Acts 1:9), and the advent to reign (Dt 30:3; Acts 1.9-11); the doctrine of the Remnant (Isa 10:20, refs), the doctrine of the day of the Lord (Is 2:10-22; Rev 19:11-21), and the doctrine of the Kingdom (O.T., Gen 1:26-28; (See Scofield Note: "Zech 12.8"; N.T., Lk 1.31-33; (See Scofield Note: "1Cor 15.28"). note). The pivotal chapters, taking prophecy as a whole, are, Deut. 28., 29., 30.; Psa 2.; Dan. 2.,7.

The whole scope of prophecy must be taken into account in determining the meaning of any particular passage (2Pet 1:20). Hence the importance of first mastering the great themes above indicated, which, in this edition of the Scriptures, may readily be done by tracing through the body of the prophetic writings the subjects mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The detail of the "time of the end," upon which all prophecy converges, will be more clearly understood if to those subjects the student adds the Beast (Dan 7.8; Rev 19.20), and Armageddon (Rev 16.14; 19.17, See Scofield Note: "Rev 19:17").

Chronological Order of the Prophets (According to Ussher)

I. Prophets Before the Exile

(1) To Nineveh

Jonah, 862 B.C.

(2) To the 10 tribes "Israel"

Amos, 787 B.C.

Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah …

Isaiah 1:5 Why should you be stricken any more? you will revolt more and more: …

vision

Isaiah 21:2 A grievous vision is declared to me; the treacherous dealer deals …

Numbers 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, …

Numbers 24:4,16 He has said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of …

2 Chronicles 32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they …

Psalm 89:19 Then you spoke in vision to your holy one, and said, I have laid …

Jeremiah 23:16 Thus said the LORD of hosts, Listen not to the words of the prophets …

Nahum 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it …

Matthew 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, …

Acts 10:17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had …

Acts 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision:

2 Corinthians 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions …

saw

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Isaiah 13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy …

the days

Isaiah 6:11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be …

2 Chronicles 26:1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, …

2 Chronicles 27:1 Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and …

2 Chronicles 28:1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned …

2 Chronicles 29:1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and …

2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also …

2 Chronicles 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went …

2 Chronicles 32:1 After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king …

Hosea 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the …

Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he …

Micah 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days …

1:1 Vision - Or, the visions; the word being here collectively used: the sense is, this is the book of the visions or prophecies. As prophets were called Seers, 1Sam 9:9, so prophecies are called visions, because they were as clearly and certainly represented to the prophets minds, as bodily objects are to mens eyes. Saw - Foresaw and foretold. But he speaks, after the manner of the prophets, of things to come, as if they were either past or present. Judah - Principally, but not exclusively. For he prophecies also concerning Egypt and Babylon, and divers other countries; yet with respect to Judah. The days - ln the time of their reign. Whence it may be gathered, that Isaiah exercised his prophetical office above fifty years altogether.
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