Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
THE PROPHET ISAIAH
I. THE THREEFOLD INTRODUCTION
THE extent and the grand contents of Isaiah’s prophecies justify the artistic, complex form of the introduction. It is not merely one gate; there are three gates that we must pass through in order to reach the majestic principal edifice of Isaiah’s prophecy. That the entire first six chapters constitute the introduction of the whole book, yet so that this introduction itself again appears as threefold, (chap. 1, chaps. 1–4, chap. 6) becomes plain both from the contents and from the form of these chapters. That chap. 1 is introduction requires no proof. Both the contents, which comprehend in grand outlines the entire past, present and future, and also the title, with its formal reference, guarantee that. Chaps. 2–5, however, whose connection we shall show hereafter, have essentially the same contents and the same title. The same contents; for these chapters comprehend in general the present and future. CASPARI has completely demonstrated how in chaps. 1, 2–4, 5 threatening and promise have still quite a general character in distinction from the later prophecies. Compare in regard to chap. 1, Beitr., p. 227 sqq., in regard to chaps. 2–4, p. 283 sqq., in regard to chap. 5, p. 325 sq., 334.—DRECHSLER, too, says (I. p. 225): “A certain character of generality attaches to all these chapters (1–5). Comp. DELITZSCH, p. 114 sq.—HENGSTENBERG, Christol. I. p. 484.—HENDEWERK, I. p. 64.
As regards the form: it is of the greatest significance that chap. 2 bears essentially the same title at its head as chap 1 And this title does not recur again. This repetition of the title of chap.1 at the head of chap. 2, has occasioned commentators great trouble. But they were hampered by the strange assumption that only chap. 1 could be introduction. As soon as we give up this assumption, we at once recognize the meaning of the title of chap. 2. Thereby it is outwardly and right away shown to the reader, that all which this title concerns bears the same character as chap. 1, i. e., that it is also Introduction.
Jeremiah also has a double introduction; a fact that escaped my notice when preparing my commentary on that prophet. For Jer. 2 is also introduction, because that chapter, like an overture, represents in advance all the principal thoughts of Jeremiah’s prophecy (even the warning against the expedition into Egypt, Isa 1:16, 18, 36, 37).
That chap. 6 also bears the character of an introduction cannot be doubted, and is acknowledged by all expositors. It contains indeed the call of Isaiah to the prophetic office. But why does not this history stand at the beginning, like the story of the call of Jeremiah and Ezekiel? This question, too, has given the commentators great trouble. Many have resorted to the following explanation (comp. CASPARI, p. 332): they say chap. 6 contains the account of a second calling, after Isaiah has been once already called, but had forfeited the office on account of his silence about the notorious arbitrary deed of Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:16 sqq.). Others assume that chap. 6 contains only the call to a special mission, and to a higher degree of prophecy. But these are only expedients to which expositors were driven because they were controlled by the assumption that only the first chapter can be introduction. All these and other artful devices are unnecessary as soon as one knows that chap. 6 is introduction indeed, yet the third introduction.
But why does not this stand at the beginning? We will hereafter in the exposition show that Isaiah, unlike Moses, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, did not decline the divine commission, but rather, to the Lord’s question: “Whom shall I send,” 6:8, at once boldly replied: “Here am I, send me.” That Isaiah, therefore, not only accepts the call, but offers himself, is something so extraordinary that one may easily imagine why he would not put this narrative at the head of his book. He had rather prepare the reader for it: he would give beforehand proofs of his prophetic qualification, in order thereby to explain and justify that bold speech. It does not stand outside by the gate, offering itself at once to every profane eye, but one must first pass through two other portals, by which the mind is prepared and translated into that sentiment which is necessary in order to understand and appreciate that exalted vision, and the part that Isaiah plays in it. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were not sensible of the necessity of preparing in this way for the representation of their calling, because they behaved in respect to the divine calling in quite a normal way, i. e., declining it. The one, Jeremiah, declined in express terms Jer. 1:6; the other, at least by silence, let himself be so understood, Ezek. 2:8.
But why does Isaiah let two doctrinary introductions, if I may so call them, precede the historical one, whereas Jeremiah follows his historical introduction by only one doctrinary one, Jer. 2? I believe this has a double reason. First: threatening and promise form the chief contents of Isaiah’s prophecy, as of all prophecy. In every single prophetic address one or the other ever preponderates. Either threatening forms the warp and promise the woof, or the reverse. So Isaiah would even prelude with two addresses, of which the first has an undertone of threatening with which it begins and ends, while the element of promise is represented only by intermediate chords,—the second, however, has promise for undertone, for this is represented by the two fundamental prophetic lights (2:2–4, and 4:2–6) in the second introduction. Second: It seems to me also that the three portals are demanded by the architectonic symmetry. On the assumption that these introductions have Isaiah himself for their author, which so far as I know has never been disputed, we have therein a strong presumption in favor of the composition of the whole book by Isaiah (therefore also the second part, 40–66). For a small building one entry is sufficient. A great, comprehensive, complex building, however, that pretends to artistic completeness, may very well require various graded approaches that the introduction to the chief building may stand in right proportion. Thus the book of Jeremiah has a twofold introduction, but the book of Isaiah, which is still grander, and more comprehensive, and altogether more artistic even down to minutiæ, has a threefold entrance.
A. THE FIRST INTRODUCTION
As regards the time of the composition of this section, it seems to me all depends on the question: was Isaiah prompted to utter this prophecy by a definite historical transaction that demands his prophetic guidance? No such transaction appears. Expositors on the contrary recognize the chapter to be of a general character. Comp. the complete proof in DRECHSLER I. p. 93 sq. If, therefore, the address was not composed for a definite historical event, according to which it must be understood; if it is rather meant to be only an introduction to the whole book, then the time of its origin is in itself a matter of indifference. But it is probable that Isaiah wrote the address at the time he began to put his book together, or when he had completed it. This does not exclude the possibility that some important events are reflected in the address. And such is really the case. The verses 7–9 and especially Isa 1:8, are so specific in their contents that one must say: the prophet describes here his personal experience, and in fact a present one (comp. the exposition).
Now, during Isaiah’s life time. Jerusalem was only twice hard pressed by enemies in its immediate neighborhood: once in the war with Syria and Ephraim (2 Kings 16:5); the other time by Sennacherib (2 Kings 17, 19). If, then chap. 1 was written as a preface, it is by far the most probable that it was written in Hezekiah’s time, than in that of Ahaz. For Isaiah undertook the collection of his book certainly not in the midst of his ministry, but at the close of it. Moreover what is said in 2 Kings 18:13, and 19:32, fits admirably the description of Isa 1:7, 8. For in the first-named place it is said Sennacherib took all the fenced cities of Judah, which quite corresponds to עָרֵיכֶם שְׂרֻפּוֹת אֵשׁ 1:7. In the second-named place, however, we read: “The king of Assyria shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.” This corresponds to the specific situation in which, according to Isa 1:7, Jerusalem must have been. We say, therefore, chap. i. was written at the time of Sennacherib’s invasion. We know this from Isa 1:7 and 8, but do not assert that chap. 1 was written for that time, but regard the historical trait that points us to this time only as a proof of the charge that the prophet raises against the Israel of all times. The prophet adduces this proof from the present, because the conduct of the people during and after the invasion of Sennacherib could be regarded as a characteristic symptom of a stiffneckedness that was not to be subdued by any blows. Moreover the vain ceremonial service spoken of in Isa 1:10 sqq. would suit the times of Hezekiah. But I lay no stress on that, since there is nothing specific about it. If the prophet warns against such ceremonial service, and exhorts to sincere repentance; if, further, to the purified Israel he holds up the prospect of a glorious future, while, to those persevering in their apostacy from Jehovah, he displays a frightful one, it is not that he speaks of a specific occasion; but that, like the whole book, has regard to all times: even primitive time may be reflected in the language.
Concerning the difference between this first and the second introduction see above the general remarks on the threefold introduction. The analysis of the chapter is as follows:
1. The Title, 1:1.
2. The mournful present, 1:2–9.
3. The means to securing a better future, 1:10–20.
4. Comprehensive review of the past, present and future, 1:21–31.
THE PROPHET ISAIAH
§ 1. CONTEMPORARY HISTORY
From the periodTHE PROPHET ISAIAH
§ 1. CONTEMPORARY HISTORY
From the period of their establishment, all the conflicts in which the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were involved with the neighboring nations were, so to speak, merely of a local nature. Only when they came in contact with Assyria and Babylon did they enter into relations with the world-power (Weltmachi). If thereby, on the one hand, the danger became infinitely greater for the theocratic life, the theocracy, on the other, approached so much nearer the fulfilment of its task in the world’s history. The relation to Assyria was brought about by the desire of Ahaz king of Judah to obtain protection against Syria and Ephraim. Out of the dependence on Assyria in which Ahaz became thereby involved, his successor Hezekiah sought to free himself by the aid of the southern world-power, Egypt. This, on his part, was an untheocratic procedure. Assyria was not to be hindered in subjugating Judah by human power. Jehovah Himself protected His people and compelled Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, to make a hasty retreat by the fearful desolation which the angel of the LORD wrought in his army (2 Kings 19:35). But even before Judah was entirely rescued out of the power of Assyria by this miraculous aid, it had initiated another relation to a world-power that was to become incomparably more fatal to it than the relation to Assyria.
The Babylonian king Merodach-Baladan, when Hezekiah recovered from a dangerous illness, had sent an embassy to him to congratulate him and to initiate friendly relations. Hezekiah, flattered by the honor shown him, met the Babylonian ambassador with too little reserve. Thereupon he was obliged to hear from Isaiah’s lips the denunciation that all the treasures of his house, that he had displayed with such pride to those ambassadors, would be carried away as booty, and his children as captives to Babylon. In place of Assyria, therefore, now a thing of the past, Isaiah sees Babylon appear on the horizon as the enemy that was to prepare the end of the outward theocracy. The Babylonian captivity stands clear before his prophetic vision, but also the end of it, and therewith the beginning of the great period of salvation that was to reach to the end of the world, albeit with great alternations. Thus, therefore, it is a threefold conflict in which Isaiah sees the theocracy placed: that with Ephraim-Syria, Assyria and Babylon. One develops out of the other. The conflict with Ephraim-Syria was properly but the handle to the fatal complication with Assyria, and the latter in turn generated the relations with Babylon. For Merodach-Baladan, the great Babylonian patriot (see comment at 39:1–8) and firm defender of the freedom of his country against the oppression of the Assyrians, would certainly not have congratulated Hezekiah on his recovery, had he not seen in him an ally against the common enemy, Assyria. Thus we see the Prophet Isaiah appearing at a period when the way was paving for the immediate relations of the theocracy with the great world-powers by which its ruin was threatened. Beyond doubt, this was an historical crisis of the utmost significance, and we see that only a man of the greatest spiritual power could be equal to the occasion. Isaiah was equal to it. When it was reported in Jerusalem that Ephraim had combined with Syria, hearts trembled like the trees of the forest shake with the wind (7:2). But Isaiah declared that Rezin and the son of Remaliah were nothing but two smoking stumps of torches (7:4). But Assyria, in which Ahaz confided, was to be feared (7:17). However, when Assyria had fulfilled its mission in Israel and Judah, and now in wicked arrogance would possess the city of Jerusalem, and so swallow up Judah as it had done Ephraim, it was said: “I will put my hook in thy nose and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way which thou camest” (37:29). And so it came to pass. What human wisdom could see danger for the theocracy in that embassy of Merodach-Baladan? The Prophet detects the danger. He gives warning—he announces that Babylon will have the king of Judah and those that belong to him as captives in the midst of it. But much more than with the portrayal of this judgment he occupies himself with the consolation that will be extended to Israel for this visitation. His gaze is chiefly directed to the deliverance out of this exile, and every thing belonging to a glorious salvation for personal and natural life that lies in perspective, even to the remotest distance, is naked and open before his eyes.
Thus Isaiah is the great Central-Prophet who, stationed at a decisive turning-point, detects with a clear eye all the principal points of the perspective that open out from it, and becomes thereby to his people the prophetic mediator both of exhortation and warning, and also of consolation and instruction as occasion demanded. And by this means he becomes, at the same time, the one on whom all later prophets lean as on their greatest exemplar and highest prophetic authority.
Isaiah’s labors fall, according to 1:1, in the time of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. According to 6:1 he was called to the prophetic office in the year that Uzziah died. It need occasion no surprise, therefore, that, with the exception of that information concerning the call of the Prophet, there appears no further piece of writing from Uzziah’s time. But we find none also from Jotham’s time. For there happened nothing under Jotham that could have moved Isaiah to prophetic activity. The period of sixteen years under Jotham may have been a period of inward collection and preparation for the Prophet. First under Ahaz his labors proper began. The first occasion was furnished by the Syro-Ephraimitic war, concerning the particulars of which see the commentary on 7:1 sq. The combination of the military forces of Ephraim-Syria moved Ahaz to call in the aid of the Assyrian king, Tiglath-Pileser. But Isaiah it moved to direct his prophetic gaze on Assyria, and, primarily, in the prophetic cycle, chapters 7–12, to announce both the danger impending from Assyria and the final deliverance out of it. Tiglath-Pileser, in fact, complied with the desire of Ahaz for aid. It was welcome to him in the interests of his policy of conquest. He conquered and made subject the kingdom of Syria (2 Kings 16:9; comp. on Isa. 17:1). He conquered at the same time the north and east of the kingdom of Ephraim, and led the inhabitants away captive (2 Kings 15:29). From that time onwards Palestine and the countries in its neighborhood remained a principal mark for the conquering expeditions of Assyria. Ahaz brought this down on himself by his policy of unbelief. He himself, indeed, was not yet to reap the fruits of his untheocratic conduct. Although by direct encouragement of foreign modes of religious worship (comp. 2 Kings 16:10 sqq.) he had added to his guilt, he still remained in possession of his land and throne to the end of his life (728 B. C.). But his successor, Hezekiah, although a prince devoted to the LORD with his whole heart, was obliged to experience all the distresses that sprang forth like mischievous fruit from the dragon seed of his father. When Hosea, king of Israel, sought to rid himself of the oppressive power of Assyria by an alliance with Egypt, Shalmaneser, Tiglath-Pileser’s successor, besieged Samaria for two years. He was prevented by death from completing his undertaking. His successor, Sargon, took the city in the third year of the siege (722 B. C., 2 Kings 17:6) and led away the remnant of the ten tribes into captivity. But by that effort of the king of Israel to find protection against Assyria in Egypt, the attention of the Assyrian ruler was drawn to the latter power. From the middle of the eighth century, according to MANETHO, there reigned in Egypt the twenty-fifth Ethiopic dynasty. Three of its kings are mentioned by name: Sabako (Sevech, So) I. and II. and Tirhâka. According to the annals of Sargon (comp. SCHRADER, Die Keilinschriften und das A. T., pp. 258, 318), Sevech (II.), in union with Hanno of Gaza, encountered Sargon at Raphia (twenty-two milliaria south-west of Gaza) in the year 720 B. C. Sargon conquered and subdued Philistia. But the Philistine princes revolted. Therefore a new expedition of Sargon against Philistia, that resulted in the subjection of the insurgents in the year 711. This is the expedition conducted by Tartan (i.e., general in chief) to which Isa. 20 refers. All these conflicts had taken place without the kingdom of Judah becoming involved as a fellow-sufferer. The clouds big with destruction moved thrice along the north, west and south-west borders of Judah before they turned to empty themselves on Judah itself. It is related also, 2 Kings 18:7, that Hezekiah revolted from the king of Assyria, i.e., that he sought to relieve himself of the dependence to which Ahaz had submitted. At the same time Hezekiah—and this was the great weakness of which this otherwise admirable prince was guilty—sought protection and help from Egypt against the danger impending from Assyria. On this account he is sharply reproved by Isaiah. Chapters 20, 28–33 are meant to warn against this untheocratic policy. Judah must trust in the LORD who promised by His prophet not to yield it up to the Assyrian, but that he would free it by a mighty act of deliverance. Sargon was murdered in the year 705. He was succeeded by his son Sennacherib. The third expedition of this king that occurred in the year 700 B. C. passed through Phœnicia to the south of Palestine. The land of Judah was traversed and desolated. Only the city of Jerusalem remained to Hezekiah, in which he was shut up “like a bird in its cage.” In order to save at least Jerusalem, Hezekiah paid Sennacherib to retire thirty talents of gold and three hundred talents of silver (2 Kings 18:14 sqq.). Sennacherib took the money and then still demanded the surrender of the city. In this great strait Hezekiah cried to the LORD and received through Isaiah a comforting promise. At Eltekeh, a Levitical city in the territory of Dan (Josh. 19:44; 21:23) the armies of Sennacherib and Tirhâka encountered. The victory was undecided. But shortly after 185,000 men perished in the camp of the Assyrian in one night, likely of a pest. This compelled Sennacherib to retreat (comp. 2 Kings 18 and 19; Isa. 36 and 37). Thus Judah was rescued.
This event forms the conclusion of the history of Isaiah as far as known to us. For not long after this miraculous deliverance Hezekiah died. It is doubtful if Isaiah still lived to see the reign of Manasseh. Isaiah 1:1 is against it. For there Hezekiah is named as the latest king under whom Isaiah lived. Isaiah knew that after that overthrow (37:36) Assyria was done away, and was no more to be dreaded by the theocracy. His gaze, as early as the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, since that embassy related in Isaiah 39, had turned in another direction. He knew that the greatest danger threatened the theocracy, not from Assyria, but from Babylon. At this time, toward the end of his life, before or after the Assyrian overthrow, he must have occupied himself with the relation of his nation to Babylon. But he is not especially interested in the victory of Babylon and the captivity of his people there. This point he leaves to others whom the matter more nearly touched. Only the thoughts of salvation and redemption employ him at the end of his life. In this period must have originated the great book of consolation (40–66), along with the smaller pieces that relate to Babylon (13–14:23; 21:1–10; 34, 35).
§ 2. THE PERSON AND PROPHETIC LABORS OF ISAIAH
The name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (abbreviated יְשַׁעְיָה, which form, however, is never used in the text of the Old Testament as the name of the Prophet) can mean salus Jovœ or Jova salvat (salvavit). יֵשַׁע combined with יָה must very properly have sounded יִשְׁעֲיָה or יִשְׁעִיָּה abbreviated, יִשְׁעִי (which actually occurs 1 Chron. 2:31; 4:20; 5:24). Still there prevails a certain freedom in the formation of compound proper names. On the other hand, the compounds with יָה, whose first part is a verb—and that Kal—are extremely numerous, so that it is natural here to take ישׁע for a verbal form. But the meaning of יָשַׁע יהּוה would be primarily: Jova salvus est. Still it happens not unfrequently that, in compounding names, Kal is taken in the sense of Piel or Hiphil (comp. KOEHLER, Komm. on Zech., p. 3 sq.); so that here too יָשַׁע might be taken in the sense of הוֹשִׁיַע. There remains still some irregularity, whether we derive ישׁעיה from יֵשַׁע or יָשַׁע. But the sense remains the same. FUERST (in his Lexicon) takes a substantive יָשָׁע for the root, and translates “Jah is helper;” whereas in his Concordance he translates it “deliverance of God.” In JEROME, too, the same difference is found, only that once he renders the name σωτηρία κυρίου, and again salvator Domini. Other men of this name are mentioned 1 Chr. 3:21; 25:3, 15; Ezr. 8:7, 19; Neh. 11:7. Concerning the attempt of ABARBANEL to establish a connection between the names of the prophets (and thus Isaiah’s also) and prophecy, see KOEHLER, l. c., p. 5, Anm.
We know almost nothing concerning the outward relations of the Prophet. His father is called Amoz (אָמוֹץ). Who this was is wholly unknown. Only ignorance of the language could identify him with the prophet Amos (עָמוֹם); only Rabbinical jugglery could make out of him a brother to the king Amaziah (אֲמַצְיָה). The latter is the source of the saying that Isaiah came of a royal race. We are moreover uninformed about the time of Isaiah’s birth and death. The opinion that Isaiah’s prophetic labors extended through the whole, or at least the greater part of the reign of Uzziah, is founded on the false exposition of the date given 1:1, and also of the position that the account of the calling of the Prophet occupies in the book (comp. on this GESENIUS in his Commentary, p. 5 sqq.). That the call of the Prophet is first narrated Isa 6 has quite another explanation (comp. our commentary, in loc.). We can only infer from 6:1 that Isaiah was called to the prophetic office in the year of Uzziah’s death, i.e., therefore in the year 759 B. C. How old he was at that time, we know not. If we assume that he could hardly have been younger than Jeremiah, who calls himself a נַעַר when he was called (Jer. 1:6 sq.), and if we further assume that Jeremiah was twenty years old, then Isaiah would have lived from that time 16 + 16 + 29, thus at least sixty-one years, and consequently must have attained an age of at least eighty-one years. Concerning the period and manner of his death we have only rumors. Manasseh, Hezekiah’s successor, is said to have caused the Prophet to be sawn asunder. The Prophet having fled to a hollow cedar from the king’s wrath, and having been “enfolded” by it, the king let him be sawn in this tree (comp. the passages from the Talmud relating to this in GESENIUS, in loc.). In itself it is not at all improbable that Manasseh inflicted a martyr’s death on the faithful prophet of Jehovah. As is well known, he is described to have been the wickedest and cruelest of all the kings of Judah. It is expressly said of him that he shed very much innocent blood (2 Kings 21:16). JOSEPHUS (Antiq. x. 3, 1) adds to this that he did not spare the prophets. But opposed to all this is the fact that, Rev 1:1, the reign of Manasseh is not named, which certainly would not have been omitted, especially if the Prophet had been put to death by that king. At the spot where the three valleys, Jehoshaphat, Gihon and Tyropœon, come together, there stands an ancient gnarled trunk (it is, however, the trunk of a mulberry tree) that is called the tree of Isaiah (comp. GRAF VON WARTENSLEBEN, Jerusalem, Gegenwنrtiges und Vergangenes, 3, Aufl., Berlin, 1875, p. 83) [Dr. ROBINSON’S Researches, etc., Vol. I., p. 232, 336.—TR.] At the same spot the fountain Siloam issues, of which the report says that God sent it to the Prophet to still his thirst when he was near his death (comp. LEYRER in HERZOG’S R. Encycl. XIV. p. 375). We have no hint of Isaiah’s ever having lived any where else than in Jerusalem. That he was married appears from 7:3 (comp. 10:21 sq.), where his son is called Shear-Jashub, and from the account 8:3 that Isaiah, at God’s command, “went unto the prophetess,” who bore him a son, whom, also by divine command, he named Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Moreover, 8:18, Isaiah speaks of the children “that God had given him.” From what is related in the passages just cited, we see that the family of the Prophet was quite drawn into the sphere of his prophetic activity. That Isaiah was the instructor of king Hezekiah, as Nathan had formerly been of Solomon (2 Sam. 12:25), is mere conjecture that PAULUS sets up in the clavis on Isaiah 9:5. A double notice in Chronicles has occasioned the conjecture that Isaiah was annalist of the kingdom. Thus we read 2 Chron. 26:22 that Isaiah wrote (כָּתַב) the דִּבְרֵי עֻזִּיָהוּ, the first and the last. And 2 Chron. 32:32 it reads: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah, the Prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel” [“(which is received) into the book of the kings,” etc. Dr. N.’s translation.—TR.]. According to this, therefore, Isaiah composed historical works on the lives of the two most distinguished kings that were his contemporaries, and one of these works was incorporated, though perhaps only partially, in the great annalistic historical work of the kings of Judah and Israel, from which the Chronicler drew (comp. ZOECKLER, Chronik., p. 16 sq.). When the Chronicler calls the work on Hezekiah חָזוֹן, it is most natural to explain this designation by saying that that historical work was regarded as a part of our prophetic book, which in fact bears the title חזון ישעיהו. And this might happen for the reason that chapters 36–39 contain historical sections that are common to our book of prophecy and to the canonical book of Kings, as well as to the annals of the kingdom of Judah that were the source of the latter. The book of prophecy might easily be regarded by the Chronicler (who lived later, and could hardly have had before him the writing of Isaiah about Hezekiah) as the source of Isaiah’s accounts concerning Hezekiah which he found in his annalistic historical work. But the statements of the Chronicler by no means justify the assumption that Isaiah filled the office of a מַזְכִּיר. In the writings that we have from him the person of the Prophet is kept in the background. They speak of him and of what belongs to him only so far as they have to tell of his direct and personal interference in what occurred (comp. 6:1 sqq.; 7:1 sqq.; 8:1 sqq., 16 sqq.; 20:1 sqq.; 22:15 sqq.; 28:9 sqq.; 37–39). The secret foundation of all his prophetic activity was the consciousness that he was an instrument of God, chosen, equipped and called to His service (comp. 6). This consciousness generated in him the most devoted obedience and the most implicit trust in God. Consequently he had no fear of man and no regard for merely human interests. With the greatest freedom he opposes Ahaz (7:1 sqq.). He does the same to the chamberlain Shebna (22:15 sqq.), people of rank, priests and prophets, men and women, in fact the whole people in general (2; 3; 5; 28:7 sqq.). Moreover he does not spare Hezekiah and his noble counsellors, nor the women who seem, under him also, to have attained great influence. He keenly reproves the secret ways that their policy followed in regard to Egypt (30–32). When Hezekiah was sick, he says to him that he must die with the same boldness (38:1), that he afterwards joyfully announces to the believing suppliant his deliverance and the lengthening of his life (38:5 sqq.). And upon Hezekiah’s having in foolish vanity displayed his treasures to the messengers from Babylon, he tells him plainly that all this shall be carried away in exile to Babylon (39:5 sqq.).
Though, on the one hand, we see the Prophet dealing thus practically with the emergencies of the present, yet, on the other hand, there exists for him no merely contemporary interest. For him that immeasurable interval does not exist that for common men divides the remote from the immediate future. Both appear to him a continued whole which he commands with his gaze in all its parts. Every thing of like sort, which in its realization in time forms indeed an organic, connected line of development, yet one that is measurelessly extended, he sees before him as one tableau, whose figures, though really belonging to the most different stages of time, appear to him to stand alongside of one another. In one word, the limits of time do not exist for him. Periods of time vanish before his gaze. He contemplates together what is nearest and farthest when they belong together. Thus he comes back from the remotest future into the immediate present with a sudden spring, and vice versa. Thus 1:12 he comprehends Jerusalem’s whole future of salvation in one. The great discourse of the second introduction sets two grand images of the remotest future at its head (2:1–4; 4:2–6), in order to contemplate the present in their light. Much more frequently it happens that, immediately after an event of the near future, the Prophet sees the far and farthest future. Thus in Isa 11, immediately after the deliverance out of the hand of Assyria, he sees the form of the Messiah and of His kingdom of peace, and the latter, in fact, unfolded to its extremest consequences in the generation of a new life of nature. In Rev 16:5, to Moab, in reward for its reception of the fugitives of Judah (whom, according to the whole context, he contemplates as expelled by a present threatening world-power), he promises participation in the blessings of the Messiah’s kingdom. In Isa 19, immediately after announcing to Egypt its ruin by means of Assyria, the then representative of the world-power, he announces to it its conversion to Jehovah and its peaceful union with Assyria and Israel. Let these examples suffice. It would lead us too far to enumerate all the cases of this kind that occur in both parts of the book. Though this may not be an exclusive characteristic of Isaiah’s, still one may say that it appears especially strong and frequent in him. This agrees with the elevation of the view-point that he takes. For he that stands highest sees the farthest.
On this account especially he takes so high a rank among the prophets. In Jesus the son of Sirach he is called ὁ προφήτης ὁ μέγας (Ecclus. 48:22), who further says of him that he πνεύματι μεγάλωò εἶδε τὰ ἔσχατα (ibid. Ecclus. 48:24), and that he ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος ὑπέδειξε τὰ ἐσόμενα (ibid. Ecclus. 48:25). EUSEBIUS calls him (dem. ev. II. 4) τὸν μέγαν καὶ θαυμάσιον προφήτην—indeed even προφήτην μέγιστον (ibid. V. 4). THEODORET calls him ὁ θειότατος ‘Ησαἰ̈ας. ISIDORUS PELUS: ὁ διορατικώτατος (lib. I. ep. 366), and τῶν προφήτῶν σαφέστατος (ibid. ep. 366). Closely connected with this is the consideration that Isaiah foresees those facts of the fulfilment of salvation on which rests the specific teaching of Christianity. For it is historical facts, not dogmas, that constitute the pith of Christian teaching. Of course it is not like one standing near that Isaiah sees those facts, but like one standing far off, which is as it should be. For this reason he describes them in peculiarly strange words, that are to himself indistinct, and yet are essentially correct. Without himself having any presentiment of the meaning of his words, he must predict the birth of the Saviour from an unmarried woman (7:14). And then he describes this child by expressions that sound blasphemous, if he to whom they are applied is held to be a man (9:5). In contrast with this, he sees the servant of God defamed so as to appear no longer human, and then again raised up to superhuman power and glory (53). Moreover he sees an entirely new way of appropriating salvation that must indeed appear strange enough to human thoughts (55), and, what to pious persons of the Old Testament must have appeared downright offensive, he speaks of a worship of God to which the outward temple and ceremonial service will seem an abomination (66:1 sqq.).
Such are, if I may so express myself, the formal substructures of Isaiah’s prophecy that make it proper to call him, as JEROME is the first to do: “non solum prophetam sed evangelistam el apostolum” (Prolog. in expos. Jes.; comp. the Epist. ad Paulinam, where he says: “non prophetiam mihi videtur texere Esaias sed evangelium”). With reference to this, AUGUSTINE (De civ. Dei. XVIII. 29) says that Isaiah: “de Christo et ecclesia multa plura quam caeteri prophetavit, ita ut a quibusdam evangelista quam propheta potius diceretur.” CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA also, in the preface to his commentary, remarks: “ἐν ταὐτῷ ἔστι προφήτης ἅμα καὶ ἀπόστολος.”
I never could comprehend how any one could regard it as a postulate and promotive of scientific knowledge to explain the world without the personal God. Cancel Him, and then riddles and miracles fairly begin, and impossibilities are exacted of our faith. If one would require us to believe that some work of art came into being, not by an artist, but by abstract art, wisdom, power, we would declare such an one to be fit for the insane asylum. And yet men would have us believe that there is an abstract thinking and willing! They hold personality to be a limiting, and therefore an impersonal God to be something unlimited, therefore something higher! But as soon as the limits of personality are broken away, one comes into the region of merely subjective representations; and the philosophers had better look to their aristocratic abstractions and see whether they possess the property of real, objective existence. If they lack this, then the philosophers have perhaps wrought for the study, but not for real life. It is both insanity and idolatry to wish to put abstract-ideal philosophy in the place of the concrete, vitalizing Christian religion. Moreover personality is not limitation in the negative sense. It is merely concentration, and thereby the condition of orderly and really effective being. Personality is, however, at the same time, the condition of an entire and full existence, i.e., it is not mere thinking and willing, but also sensibility. In other words: only personality can have a heart and love. To be sure, we touch here on the proper pith of the controversy. Not all men wish to be loved by God, still less to love Him in return. Humanity entire divides into two parts, one of which presses toward God, the other away from God. For the former, nothing is more precious than nearness to God; the latter feel easy only at a distance from Him. And now-a-days those are esteemed as the lords of science and as benefactors to mankind who do their best to “free (us) from the Creator,” as DAVID STRAUSS says! But here the criterion is not objective, impartial, scientific interest, but the interest of the heart self-determined in this or that way toward God. For under all circumstances our relation to God is a concern of the heart. One must either love Him or hate Him, be for Him or against Him (Luke 11:23). Neutral no one can be. Consciously or unconsciously every man must feel himself attracted by God or repelled from Him, according as, in his secret heart, that which is kindred to God or that which is inimical to God has the upper hand. For there is no man in which both are not present. Take the hermeneutics that is founded on the assumption that there is no personal God, and that the world is founded on abstractions, in whose real existence one must believe, much as that contradicts all reason and experience; shall such hermeneutics be more entitled to consideration than that which rests on the fundamental view that there is a personal God, to whom we are related, who loves us and guides our fortune with paternal wisdom? This question can never be objectively decided here below, because for each individual the subjective attitude of his own heart is the criterion. But at least let no one despise those who see in the Scriptures the revelation of a personal God. And above all things, one must not explain the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament on the assumption that they did not bona fide regard themselves as organs of the living, personal God that governs the world. One may say: they fancied themselves inspired. Very well—then let such point out the illusions that entangled them, and expose their enthusiasms. Or one may say: they were impostors. Then let such unmask them. But let no one put upon their words a sense that they themselves did not intend, because they just believed in a living personal God, and were convinced that they stood under the direct influence of His Spirit. Let no one empty their words of sense—let no one deny that they meant to prophesy because one does not himself believe in any prophecy. Let no one (as e.g. KNOBEL does) make out of the prophecy a marvellous masked representation of events that had already taken place. I willingly confess that the representatives of the divine origin of prophecy have been faulty in many respects. It has been often overlooked that not every thing can be prophesied at any time; that therefore each prophecy must have its historical reason and ground, and that the form and contents of the prophecy must be in harmony with these. It has been further overlooked that prophesying is a seeing from a distance. From a distance one may very well observe a city, mountain and the like, in general outlines. But particulars one does not see. For this reason genuine prophecy in general will never meddle with special prediction. Where, however, the latter takes place, either the special trait contemplated is no subordinate individual thing, or it justifies the suspicion that it is false. These and like mistakes have been committed. But this does not hinder me from maintaining the divine origin of prophecy in general, and also from claiming a scientific title for my construction of Isaiah’s prophecy.
§ 3. THE LITERARY PERFORMANCE AND THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
1. The lofty spirit resident in our Prophet has taken also a corresponding form. We see in him a master of the Hebrew language. He uses it with a power and ease that find their like in no other. He brought it to the summit of its development. Not only has he always the right word at command—he also never uses one word too much or one too few. And with admirable art, yet without affectation, he knows how to modulate the word according to the contents of the thought. All rhetorical forms of art are at his command, and he can employ all the riches of the language. Something royal has been observed in the way that Isaiah uses the language. So that ABARBANEL associates this character of Isaiah’s language with the fancied royal descent of the Prophet, saying: “the charm of his discourse and the beauty of his eloquence is like the discourse of the kings and counsellors of the land, who had a much pleasanter and purer way of speaking than the rest of the children of men” (Comm. in proph. post Jes. I.; see GESENIUS on Jes. I. p. 36). And in another fashion the TALMUD, Tractat. Chagiga (Fol. 13 b) expresses the same thought, saying: “Ezekiel resembles the son of the village when he beholds the splendor of the king, but Isaiah resembles the son of the royal residence” (comp. FUERST, D. Kanon des A. T., pp. 17, 21).
2. As regards the book itself, it divides first into two chief parts: Isa 1–35 and Isa 40–66. Between these two chief parts are the Isa 36–39, which, Janus-like, look forwards and backwards, inasmuch as the Isa 36 and 37 conclude the Assyrian period, and Isa 38 and 39 prepare the way for the Babylonian period. The first part then ought properly to be reckoned from Isa 1–37, the second from Isa 38–66. But it is traditional to reckon Isa 36–39 together, and that, too, along with the first chief part, because part first, on account of the greater variety of its contents, may easier receive those historical chapters than the second part that has a quite uniform and exclusive character.
3. Taking part first to include 1–39 we follow the traditional way of counting. But properly this first principal part begins with Isa 7. For Isa 1–6 contain the great threefold introduction relating to the entire book. That is to say, not only is Isa 1 introductive, but chapters 2–5 are the second and Isa 6 the third introduction. Through three gates we enter into the majestic structure of Isaiah’s prophecy. For the proof of this see the comment in loc. Part first falls into five subdivisions. The first subdivision comprises Isa 7–12. In this section the Prophet treats of the relations of Israel to Assyria, contrasting the ruinous beginning of this relation with the blessed termination of it. The second subdivision contains the prophecies against foreign nations (Isa 13–23) At the head of these stands a prophecy against Babylon. For first, this begins with a general contemplation of “the day of the Lord,” so that, in a measure, it forms the introduction to all announcements of judgment that follow, and, then, the Prophet sees precisely in Babylon the chief enemy of the theocracy that is appointed to make a preliminary end to its outward continuance (13:1–14:23). This is followed by a short prophecy against Assyria, the enemy, of course, most to be dreaded in the Prophet’s time (14:24–27). Following this are prophecies relating to other nations threatened by Assyria: Philistia, Moab, Ephraim-Syria, Ethiopia and Egypt (14:28–20:6).
Chapters 21 and 22 constitute a special little סֵפֶר. They also contain prophecies against heathen nations, viz.: Babylon, Edom, and Arabia. But there is connected with this in an unusual way a prophecy against Jerusalem. The reason is that these four prophecies bear emblematic superscriptions, on which account we have called them libellus emblematicus. The character of the superscription, therefore, which coincides with that of the other three superscriptions, makes the reason why this prophecy against Jerusalem is incorporated with the prophecies against foreign nations. A prophecy against Tyre forms the conclusion of this second subdivision: the siege of this city by Shalmaneser, which took place in the Prophets time, furnished the occasion for it. But the Prophet sees before him the fate of the city down to the remotest future, and in this contemplation of the future is not wanting the factor that the Chaldeans shall be the ones to make an end of the independence of Tyre. Isa 24–27 form a kind of finale to the discourses against the nations. They treat of last things, of the end of the world, the world’s judgment, resurrection of the dead, and the fulfilment of the salvation promised to the people Israel. We have called these four chapters libellus apocalypticus. The Third Subdivision has for its subject the relation of Israel to Assyria in the days of king Hezekiah (28–38). It contains five discourses in six chapters. Each discourse begins withהוֹי. They stand in chronological order, and are all of them total surveys, in that each, in a special manner, proceeding from the present distress, and with censure of the false means of deliverance, compresses in one the deliverance out of the distress and the salvation of the (Messianic) end-period that are determined and promised of God. The Fourth Subdivision comprises Isa 34 and 35. These two chapters we designate the finale of part first. They contain a concluding glance at the end-period in respect to the two aspects of it, viz.: the divine judgments both in respect to punishment and salvation. The first is described as comprehending not only the earth, but also the constellations of heaven, in which, however, the manner of its operation on earth is exhibited by a special portrayal of the judgment against one of Israel’s most bitter enemies, viz.: Edom. That we stand here at an important boundary, viz.: at the close of part first, appears from the invitation, 24:16, to search the “Book of Jehovah,” and thereby verify the fulfilment. This Book of Jehovah can be nothing else than just our part first, to which the Prophet here refers back as to a whole now brought to conclusion. Finally 35 describes the salvation which shall be imparted to the people of God by the final judgment. But the Prophet for the present makes prominent only one principal point, viz.: the return home out of the lands of exile into the Holy Land to everlasting joy. We see in this, at the same time, a transition to part second, that has for its subject the description of the period of salvation in all its aspects.
The Fifth Subdivision finally comprehends chapters 36–39. Their contents is historical and essentially the same that we read in 2 Kings 18:13–20 19. Chapters 36 and 37 relate the deepest distress into which Hezekiah, confined to his capital city, was brought by the Assyrians, and also the unexpected, sudden and complete deliverance out of this distress by the plague that broke out in the camp of the Assyrians. This fact forms the conclusion of all relations of Israel to Assyria, and therefore 36 and 37 stand first, although the events narrated in them belong to a later period. Chapters 38 and 39 inform us of the sickness and recovery of Hezekiah in the fourteenth year of his reign, and of the Babylonian embassy that congratulated him on this account. Hereby was afforded occasion to the Prophet to prophesy the Babylonian exile, and in so far 38 and 39 are, so to speak, the bridge to chapters 40–46, and stand immediately before them, although the events of which they inform us precede by about fourteen years the events narrated in chaps, 36 and 37.
4. Surveying again the collection of prophecies in part first, we see that they are well arranged. The older commentators (even LUTHER) have erroneously held them to be without arrangement, and put together without plan. But the dominating principle is an arrangement according to matter rather than chronological arrangement. The first introduction (Isa 1) belongs to the latest pieces. It has much in common with chapters 40–46 (see below). The second introduction (2–5) is, as a whole, also the product of that period when the Prophet put his book together. Still for this introduction the Prophet made use of earlier pieces, especially of the period of Ahaz (comp. 3 comm.). And thereby, of course, he has given at the same time a picture of that period of his labors which preceded the first conflict with the world-power and the prophecies that related to it. For this reason this introduction bears more of a general ethical character. The third introduction belongs to the fact of the last year of Uzziah therein related. When it was written up is not expressly said. But it is in the nature of the thing that this should happen early rather than late after the event itself.
Of chapters 7–12 the first part (7:1–9: 6) belongs to the beginning of the three years which Pekah had in common with Ahaz, thus about 743 B. C. The second part, however (9:7–10: 4) belongs in the end of this period, thus about 740, 39 (see introd. to the text in loc.). Of the second part (10:5–12: 6) the piece 10:5–34 belongs in the time when Hezekiah was put to the greatest distress by the summons related 36 (see introduction to 10:5–19). Isa 9, on account of its relationship with 14:28–32, originated in the period when Hezekiah had ascended the throne, thus about 728 B. C. The doxology, Isa 12, bears no trace of any particular time; still, as conclusion of this section, it must any way have originated at the time the latter was put together (ibid.) The first prophecy against Babylon (13:1–14:23) presupposes the period in which the Prophet recognized Assyria as a thing of the past, and saw in Babylon the world-power that was called to execute judgment on the theocracy. The prophecy, therefore, falls in the latest stadium of Isaiah’s prophetic activity. The short prophecy against Assyria predicts Sennacherib’s catastrophe as near at hand. It belongs therefore to the period shortly before the event. The short piece 14:28–32 must have originated shortly after Hezekiah took the throne. The prophecy against Moab (15 and 16) must, as to its older part (15:1–16:12), belong to the reign of Ahaz. It may have originated after 741 B. C. and before the incursion of the Edomites into Judah mentioned in 2 Chron. 28:17. The time of its publication is indeed relatively determined by the later brief prophecy 16:13, 14; but so far it has not been made out what event the Prophet means by the blow threatened against Moab 16:14. Any way, however, the Prophet has in mind an act of hostility on the part of Assyria against Moab.
Chapters 17 and 18, which are equally directed against Ephraim-Syria and against Assyria, belong to the beginning of the reign of Ahaz, to the same period to which the prophecies 7:1–9: 6 owe their origin.
Chapters 19 and 20 relate to Ethiopia-Egypt. They fall in the time of Hezekiah, and indeed they cannot have been written earlier than 708 B. C. (see in Comm. introd. to 17–20). The brief prophecy against Babylon (21:1–10), which stands here on account of its emblematical superscription, appears to belong to the same period as 13:1–14. Still the character of the piece in respect to language and rhetoric are not quite in harmony with it. The two small prophecies against Edom (21:11, 12) and Arabia (21:13–17) fall in the time of Hezekiah, more exactly, in the time before the catastrophe of Sennacherib, when the Assyrians threatened the independence of all the nations that lay between Assyria and Egypt. To this same period also belongs Isa 22. More exactly, the chapter presupposes, and that in both its parts, the period when the Assyrians threatened Jerusalem directly. The prophecy against Tyre has this in common with the prophecies against the theocracy itself, that it does not designate Assyria, the immediate source of menace, but Babylon as the instrument to whom God has entrusted His judgment, and it must have originated in the time when Shalmaneser besieged Tyre, thus before 722 B. C. (see comm. in loc.). It is hard to determine when the chapters 24–27 originated. Still the Prophet sees the theocracy in conflict with Assyria and Egypt. Babylon stands veiled in the background. This seems to point to the time of Hezekiah, and indeed to the time before Sennacherib’s catastrophe (see comm. in loc.). Of the five discourses (28–33) that represent the relation of Israel to Assyria in the time of Hezekiah, the first must have originated already before the beginning of the siege of Samaria, thus about 725 B. C. (ibid.). Isa 29 is of much later origin, belonging to about the year 902 B. C.
Chapters 30–32, according to their contents, belong to the same period as 29. They join directly on to this in chronological order. Isa 33 belongs to the period shortly before the summons that Rabsheka sent to Hezekiah. Isa 34 and 35 originated in the latest period of the Prophet contemporaneously with the grand connected complexity of prophecy in the Isa 40–66. A more exact determination of the time is impossible.
Isa 36–39 very probably spring from a memorandum of Isaiah’s that had for its subject the great events of the reign of Hezekiah, and to which 2 Chron. 32:26 seems to point. The insertion of these chapters at this point is so suitable–in fact so necessary–that we must even ascribe them to the Prophet himself. But a later hand has made alterations in the dates of the superscriptions, and also perhaps in the mention of names (39:1), which has become the occasion of great confusion. The events for instance narrated in 36 and 37 took place fourteen years later than those narrated in 38 and 39 Any way, the narratives stood in the original source in the correct chronological order, i. e., so that 36 and 37 followed 38 and 39 The narratives were transposed to correspond with the aim of the book of prophecy. Now in the original source the introduction of Isa 38 must have read: “And it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah.” But Isa 36 began with the words: “And it came to pass in the fourteenth year.” Thereby was meant the fourteenth year after the events narrated in 38 and 39; therefore the twenty-eighth year of Hezekiah, or the 700 B. C., the year in which actually occurred Sennacherib’s catastrophe. When then those historical sections were adopted into the collection of Isaiah’s prophecies, and that in a reversed order, the dates ought properly to have been altered to correspond. This, however, did not take place. Thus 36 began with the words: “And it came to pass in the fourteenth year,” but 38 with the words: “And it came to pass in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah.” To an uninformed reader this sounded strange. The fourteenth mentioned in the beginning of 36 seemed as if it could be no other than the fourteenth of Hezekiah. And because 38 again bore at its head the fourteenth year of this king, nothing seemed more natural than to let 36 begin with the words: “And it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah,” and then join on chapters 38 and 39 simply with the date “in those days, in that time” (see introd. to 36–39 below). Whoever made these alterations doubtless lived at a period when the living tradition about the correct order of these events had long been obliterated. Perhaps, too, the erroneous mention of a name 39:1 is the fault of the same man and of the same time. For Merodach-Baladan does not mean “Merodach, son of Baladan,” as is there intimated. Merodach-Baladan (= Merodach gave a son) is only one name, and is the name of a man whose father was called Jakin (see comm. in loc.). This erroneous meaning given to the name appears also to point to a later time in which the knowledge of the proper relation was lost.
5. Part second consists of chapters 40–66. These chapters form a separate and well arranged total by themselves. As in other collections of Isaiah’s prophecies, so here we notice a fundamental number. For the total consists of three divisions, each containing three times three discourses. It is to be noticed, however, that in the third division only five discourses are to be distinguished, which, however, divide into nine chapters. The subject of these twenty-seven chapters is the time of salvation, and that indeed the whole period beginning with the deliverance from exile and extending to the end of the present world, i. e., to the appearance of a new heaven and a new earth. Although, in accordance with the peculiarity of prophetic seeing, the prophet sees things of the same sort together, no matter what time they belong to, we still distinguish in the total period of salvation three chief stages to which the three chief subdivisions of nine chapters each correspond. In the first Ennead the Prophet sees chiefly and primarily the deliverance out of the Babylonian captivity, and, as the source of it, Cyrus. But this Ennead by no means has this aim merely. The Prophet knows, that along with the redemption out of exile, Israel must be raised to a higher plane of religious moral life: it must be freed from idolatry and led to the sole worship of Jehovah. The outward deliverance without the inward would be only a half work; for it was precisely Israel’s spiritual bondage to idols that had been the cause of its bodily servitude. How could the latter be removed without the former? But this redemption out of exile and the chains of a gross idolatry is only the first stage of the period of salvation. Within this we see forming the outlines of a second and higher stage. The glorious Cyrus, who is not called servant of God, but is called מָשִׁיחַ, and the suffering people Israel, that is yet destined to glory, compose, so to speak, the ground forms in which a new stage of salvation is typically represented. These preparatory elements combine in their higher unity in the person of the servant of God who will be a suffering Israel and a conquering Cyrus at the same time. But first appears the first named aspect of his existence, the suffering servant. This forms the central point of the second Ennead. By suffering the servant of God becomes the redeemer of His people, the founder of a new way of appropriating salvation, and of a new condition of salvation that is both intensively and extensively higher. But this servant of God lifts Himself up out of His humility and becomes—this is the contents of the third Ennead—on the one hand, Judge of the world who will destroy all the wicked, on the other, the Creator of a new creature. The fruit of His redeeming work will be a new humanity, a new name, a new worship of God in spirit and in truth, a new heaven and a new earth.
Therefore the Prophet has by no means in mind merely circumstances of the exile. Of course he sees primarily the redemption out of the exile. But he sees behind this also the time in which the personal servant of God, prefigured in the first stage by Cyrus and Israel, will begin his work of salvation by suffering and dying; and behind this second stage he sees a third, in which the servant of God, raised out of His humble state to the dignity of a highest Prophet, Priest and King, shall renew the creature and lead it upwards to the highest degree of life in the spirit.
6. The scheme of the book is as follows:
I. THE THREEFOLD INTRODUCTION
a. The First Introduction, Isa 1
b. The Second Introduction, Isa 2–5
c. The Third Introduction, Isa 6
II. PART FIRST, 7–39
1. FIRST SUBDIVISION, ISA 7–12
Israel’s relation to Assyria, the representative of the world-power in general, described in its ruinous beginning and its blessed end.
A.—The prophetic perspective of the time of Ahaz, Rev 7:1–9:6
1. The prophecy of Immanuel the son of a Virgin, Rev 7:1–25
2. Isaiah giving the whole nation a sign by the birth of his son Maher-shalal-hash-baz, Rev 8:1–4
a. The despisers of Siloah shall be punished by the waters of Euphrates, Rev 8:5–8
b. Threatening call of those that conspire against Judah, and to those that fear the conspirators, Rev 8:9–15
c. The testament of the Prophet to his disciplines, Rev 8:16–9:6
B.—Threatening of judgment to be accomplished by Assyria, directed against the Israel of the Ten Tribes, Rev 9:7–10:4
C.—Assyria’s destruction Israel’s salvation, Rev 10:5–12:6.
1. Woe against Assyria, Rev 10:5–19.
2. Israel’s redemption from Assyria, Rev 10:20–34.
3. Israel’s redemption in relation to the Messiah, Rev 11:1–12:6.
2. SECOND SUBDIVISION. ISA 13–27
The prophecies against foreign nations.
A.—The discourses against individual nations, Isa 13–23.
1. The first prophecy against Babylon, Rev 13:1–14:23.
2. Prophecy against Assyria, Rev 14:24–27.
3. Against Philistia, Rev 14:28–32.
4. Against Moab, Isa 15, 16.
5. Against and for Damascus and Ephraim, Isa 17.
6. Ethiopia now and then again, Isa 18.
7. Egypt now and then again, Isa 19, 20.
8. The libellus emblematicus, containing the second prophecy against Babylon, then prophecies against Edom, Arabia, Jerusalem and the chamberlain Shebna, chaps, 21, 22.
9. Prophecy against and for Tyre, Isa 23.
B.—The finale of the prophecies against the nations: the libellus apocalypticus, chapters 24–27.
3. THIRD SUBDIVISION. ISA 28–33.
Relation of Israel to Assyria in the time of king Hezekiah.
4. FOURTH SUBDIVISION. ISA 34–35
The finale of part first.
5. FIFTH SUBDIVISION. ISA 36–39
Historical pieces, containing the conclusion of the Assyrian and the preparation for the Babylon period.
III. PART SECOND, Isa 41–66.
The entire future of salvation, beginning with the redemption from the Babylonian exile, concluding with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.
A.—CYRUS, Isa 40–48
1. First Discourse. The Prologue, the objective and subjective basis of redemption, Isa 40.
2. Second Discourse. First appearance of the Redeemer from the East, and of the servant of the Jehovah, and also the first and second use of the prophecy relating to this in proof of the divinity of Jehovah, Isa 41.
3. Third Discourse. The third chief figure: The personal servant of Jehovah in the contrasted features of his appearance, Isa 42.
4. Fourth Discourse. Redemption or salvation in its entire compass, Rev 43:1–44: 5.
5. Fifth Discourse. Prophecy as a proof of divinity comes to the front and culminates in the name of Cyrus, Rev 44:6–28.
6. Sixth Discourse. The culminating point of the prophecy: Cyrus, and the effect of his appearance, Isa 45.
7. Seventh Discourse. The fall of the Babylonian gods, and the gain to Israel’s knowledge of God that will be derived therefrom, Isa 46.
8. Eighth Discourse. The well-deserved and inevitable overthrow of Babylon, Isa 47.
9. Ninth Discourse. Recapitulation and conclusion, Isa 48.
B.—THE PERSONAL SERVANT OF JEHOVAH. Chaps, 49–57
1. First Discourse. Parallel between the servant of Jehovah and Zion. Both have a small beginning and a great end, Isa 49.
2. Second Discourse. The connection between the guilt of Israel and the sufferings of the servant, and the liberation of the former through faith in the latter, Isa 50.
3. Third Discourse. The final redemption of Israel. A dialogue between the Servant of Jehovah who enters, as if veiled, Israel, Jehovah Himself, and the Prophet, Isa 51
4. Fourth Discourse. The restoration of the city of Jerusalem, Rev 52:1–12.
5. Fifth Discourse. Golgotha and Scheblimini (sit thou on my right hand), Rev 52:13–53:12.
6. Sixth Discourse. The new salvation, Isa 54.
7. Seventh Discourse. The new way of appropriating salvation, Isa 55.
8. Eighth Discourse. The moral, social and physical fruits of the new way of salvation, Rev 56:1–9.
9. Ninth Discourse. A look at the mournful present, which will not, however, hinder the coming of the glorious future, Rev 56:10–57:21.
C.—THE NEW CREATURE. Isa 58–66.
1. First Discourse. Bridge from the present to the future; from preaching repentance to preaching glory, Isa 58, 59.
2. Second Discourse. The rising of the heavenly sun of life upon Jerusalem, and the new personal and natural life conditioned thereby, Isa 60.
3. Third Discourse. The personal centre of the revelation of salvation, Isa 59–63:6.
4. Fourth Discourse. The Prophet in spirit puts himself in the place of the exiled church, and bears its cause in prayer before the LORD, Rev 63:7–64:11.
5. Fifth Discourse. The death and life bringing end-period, Isa 65, 66.
§4. AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY OF THE BOOK
1. KNOBEL says of the Isaiah collection there is found in it more that is not genuine than in any other prophetic book (p. 26). The passages 2:2–4 and 15–16:12 are not denied to be genuine indeed, but they are said not to be Isaiah’s, he having appropriated them from older prophets, word regards 2:2–4, this statement is of course correct. For Isaiah has in fact, and for good reason, a saying of his contemporary and fellow prophet Micah at the head like a light, in order to connplate in its light the (relative) present of his people. But as regards the prophecy against Moab, 15–16:12, the Prophet himself, it is true, designates it as a word that the LORD once (מֵאָז, i. e., before) spoke against Moab. But the words 16:13 by no means assert that Isaiah cites the words of another. Would he not have indicated this more plainly? Besides the piece is in contents and form quite like Isaiah. (See Comm. in loc.). The following passages are said to be decidedly not genuine: 13:1–14 23; 21:1–10; 24–27; 34–35; 36:1–38 20; 37:36–39 8; 40–66. Beside these a few other passages are assailed by individual critics. Thus Isa 12 is assailed by EWALD (see on the contrary MEIER, KNOBEL, p. 113). Isa 19 is partly or entirely so by several expositors (EICHHORN, ROSENMUELLER, KOPPE, DE WETTE, GESENIUS, HITZIG, on the contrary KNOBEL, p. 159); single parts of Isa 28–33. by EICHHORN (against which see GESENIUS I. 2, p. 826); Isa 33 by EWALD (against whom see KNOBEL, p. 273). As these critical objections have been proved groundless even by such men as GESENIUS and KNOBEL, we will not enter into them here. I will in the commentary itself give the reasons why I must regard Isa 13:1–14:23; 21:1–10; 24–27.; and 34, 35, as Isaiah’s genuine productions. We have already said in § 3 under 4, what is to be thought of Isa 36–39.
2. We must give particular attention to Isa 40–66. Since KOPPE and DOEDERLEIN (comp. BERTHOLDT, Einl. p. 1356 sqq.) the majority of commentators have held the opinion that a much later person than Isaiah the son of Amoz wrote these prophecies. The most suppose that this later person lived in Babylon among the exiles. Only EWALD (Propheten des A. B. II. p. 403 sqq.; Gesch. des V. Isr. IV. p. 22 sqq.; 56 sqq., 66, 103, 138) is of the opinion that the “great unnamed,” as a descendant of those Jews that with Jeremiah went into Egypt, lived in the latter place. On the other hand SEINECKE (Der Evangelist des A. B. 1870) concludes from Rev 40:9, that the author must have lived in Jerusalem because otherwise the summons “Jerusalem, get thee up into a high mountain,” would have no sense. DUHM (Die Theologie der Propheten, Bonn., 1875, p. 283), infers from Rev 42:22 that Deutero-Isaiah at least did not live in Babylon, for it hardly went so hard with the exiles as is there described. As regards the time, although the critics in general maintain that it was written during the exile, still they differ in details very much. BERTHOLDT (Einl., p. 1390) distributes the chapters into four periods: Before and after the invasion, during and after the siege of Babylon. GESENIUS supposes (II. Th. p. 33) that the prophecies originated at the time when the advance of Cyrus against Babylon awaked in the Hebrews the assured hope of a speedy deliverance. Still he thinks that the last chapters were written sooner than the earlier ones, in which is discoursed with so much certainty of the victories of Cyrus. HITZIG also apportions the chapters very exactly among the incidents of the Persian-Babylonian war, only he thinks that Isa 47. does not fit into the context chronologically, and that as an independent whole it was incorporated later. BECK (Die Cyrojesajan. Weissagungen, p. 16) thinks that all twenty-seven chapters presuppose the permission of Cyrus to return home. The Prophet only represents what has happened as revealed by Jehovah in advance, in order that “His contemporaries might regard it, not as accident, but as proceeding from the decree of God.” According to KNOBEL “the Prophet followed attentively the great events, spoke as these and the circumstances they brought about dictated he should, and wrote up the discourses one after another” (p. 342). And so he maintains that chaps, 40–48, originated in the time of the first splendid successes of Cyrus; Isa 49–52, however, he puts in the time when Cyrus began to carry out his plan of subduing the western nations. Isa 62:1–6 is supposed to refer to the taking of Sardis. The prayer, Rev 63:7–64:11, and the answer to it, chapter 65 are supposed to fall in the period after this event. Only in regard to chapter 66 KNOBEL is undetermined whether it is to be put before the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, or in the time after it. SEINECKE takes again the view-point of BECK: only he denies that the Prophet prophesied the deliverance by Cyrus. Much rather this is everywhere presupposed. What he does prophesy is the “new salvation,” i. e., a period of great happiness, which of course can only be realized in the holy land. The entire prophecy is one whole made at one cast. If one point of time is fixed, then the time of the composition of the whole is clear. Now it appears, especially from Rev 41:2, 3; 44:25; 45:4 sq.; 52:11; 49:22, 23, that the edict of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1 sqq.) had already appeared. After this proclamation, before the start of the first train of exiles, therefore in the year 536 was the prophecy written.
Most of the critics regard our chapters as the work of a single author. Only here and there a voice contends for different authors. See AUGUSTI, Exeget. Handbuch, p. 24 sqq., BERTHOLDT, l. c., p. 1375; EICHHORN, Propheten (the list at the close of Vol. III., p. 686). In regard to Rev 52:13–53:12 sq., see our comm. and SCHENKEL, Stud. u. Krit., 1836, p. 996. Especially EWALD has felt that he must assume a plurality of authors. But who may have been the author or authors no one is able to say. The critics are only united in this, that it was not Isaiah, yet they confess that he must have been a man of great spiritual significance. EWALD has introduced the name “the great unnamed” (comp. Proph. d. A. B. II., p. 403; Gesch. d. V. Isr. IV., p. 56). It is even confessed that the so-called Deutero-Isaiah has a great resemblance to the genuine Isaiah. To the question: Why then have Isa 40–66 been ascribed to Isaiah, SEINECKE (p. 36) replies by saying, “that no later Prophet has approached so near the spirit of Isaiah as the author of Isa 40–66; in none are found so reproduced his characteristic forms of expression.”
3. The reasons urged against Isaiah being the author of part second are the following: 1. Isaiah lived more than an hundred years before the exile. He has also not once prophesied it. But the author of Isa 40–66 lived in the exile. Both the oriental relations in general at the time of the exile (he even calls Cyrus by name), and the special relations of the exiles are so exactly known to him, that we must recognize in him an eye-witness and a sharer of those relations. 2. He distinguishes himself from Isaiah as much by different religious and theocratic-political views, as by peculiar style and usus loquendi. 3. Those prophets that lived after Isaiah and before the exile did not know the Isa 40–66:4. According to an old tradition, to which the TALMUD testifies, and to which the German and French Manuscripts conform, the three great Prophets follow in the order, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah. From this is inferred that this arrangement has chronological reasons, and that Isaiah, on account of the second part having been composed at the end of the exile, was placed after Ezekiel.
IN REPLY TO THE FIRST OBJECTION.— a). If it were proved that there is no personal God, or that this personal God, if there be one, at least never in a direct, supernatural way interfered in the course of the history of the world, then, of course, Isaiah could never be the author of chaps, 40–66. For then there would be no prophecy in a supernatural and miraculous sense. There would then at best be only an intensified power of presentiment or gift of combination. That is the standpoint of those who aim, more or less consciously, to be rid of God as much as possible, to explain the world without God, and without God to live merely under the abstract, unalterable laws of nature. There are, therefore, here two fundamental ways of looking at things that are opposed to each other, and that can never harmonize. All dialectic demonstration is useless here. Of course an interference without motive and arbitrary on God’s part, no one will admit who holds the view-point of the moderate theism of the Bible. But according to Scripture, over the present, earthly, temporal order of nature there exists a higher and eternal order. The earthly, temporal order of nature is characterized by the disharmony of spirit and body. The higher order rests on the harmony of these. The lower stage must form the transition to the higher. This is only possible by the latter entering into the former, partly in order to prepare the judgment on the same, partly to lay in it the new germs of life. Miracle and prophecy, as in the organism of the history of salvation they appear authenticated, though they are not the highest, are still the first traces of that super-terrestrial spiritual power that, on the one hand subdues matter, and on the other, time and space, in order to make known the divine decree of love, and gradually to realize it. Now among all the men that divine love employs to this end in the Old Testament, Isaiah occupies the first rank. First he sees Syria and Ephraim coming against the theocracy, and recognizes at once their harmlessness. Assyria rises threatening behind them. But soon the Prophet sees that it too will not harm the theocracy, but must itself come to disgrace by the theocracy. Only the third world-power, (Ephraim-Syria reckoned as the first), that emerges to the view of the Prophet, immediately behind Assyria to i. e., Babylon, he recognizes as the agent called to execute the next great judgment on the outward theocracy. Babylon was Nineveh’s rival. They had severe conflicts until first Babylon, and then at length Nineveh fell. Now it is said that Isaiah never predicted Israel’s being led into the Babylonian captivity. True enough, this was not his commission. This part of the history of the future belonged to his successors Zephaniah and Jeremiah. Yet Babylon’s destination to effect this was not unknown to him. For he expresses it Rev 39:6 sq., briefly indeed, but in plain words. And even if Isaiah were not the author of the original writing from which Isa 36–39 were taken, still this does not justify us in doubting that he made the statement of which 39:6 sq. informs us. Without mentioning Babylon, a period of exile is partly presupposed, partly directly announced to the land and nation in Rev 1:27; 5:5 sq.; 13:26 sqq.; 6:11, 12; 10:5 sqq.; 12:20 sq.; 11:11; 30:12. And does not Micah (4:10), the contemporary of Isaiah, prophesy in plain words the transportation to Babylon? No one that I know of has ever attacked the genuineness of those words of Micah. Could not Isaiah see what Micah saw? We see therefore that the Babylonian exile was already in Isaiah’s time well known to prophecy as a fact of the future.
But Isaiah’s chief commission was to announce the whole great period of salvation, that begins with the deliverance out of exile and reaches to the end of time. For although Isaiah is not silent in regard to the judgments that threaten either Israel or the heathen, still the proclamation of salvation is the proper contents of his discourses. In fact the opening words of 40:1 especially characterize the second part as “a book of consolation” (ספר נחמות see FUERST, Kan. d. A. T., p. 15). By this he honors his name (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ salus Jovae). The TALMUD expresses the difference between the three great Prophets by saying that the book of Jeremiah is כוליה חורבנא, that of Ezekiel רישׁיה חורבנא וסופיה נחמתא, that of Isaiah however כוליה נחמתא (comp. FUERST, l. c.). While the other Prophets were called more to illumine single parts of the near or remote future, of greater or less circumference, Isaiah, as the great chief Prophet, stands in the midst and lets the light of his prophetic word fall on the great, wide circumference of the entire future of salvation, which for him begins with the deliverance from the exile. As the broad river to the narrower branches, as a grand edifice to the buildings that front and flank it, so is Isaiah’s prophecy related to that of the other prophets. It is, therefore, incorrect to say that Isaiah only lives in the exile, and that his gaze does not extend beyond the horizon of this period of history. Isaiah is just as conscious that he prophesies, i. e., that the exile is a thing of the future for him also (comp. 41:9; 48:6, 16; 52:5; 56:10–66:21 and the comm. in loc.), as he is conscious that the period of exile does not form the limit of his prophetic gaze. In fact he distinguishes most clearly three stages of that future history that he contemplates. The servant of Jehovah suits neither the time of Cyrus, nor that of the new creature. It suits only in the time between as the mediation of both. For without the servant of Jehovah, Israel when returned could not possibly have risen to the grade of the new creature. One may quite as well insist that the author of Isa 40–66 stood under the cross of Christ, and that he read the writings of Paul, consequently that at least Isa 52–55. were written in the time after Christ, as that this author lived in the exile. For he speaks of the sufferings of the servant, of the fruits of them, and of the new way of salvation thereby conditioned not less plainly than he does of the redemption of Israel out of the exile. In fact DUHM (l. c., p. 291) acknowledges that the view of the Deutero-Isaiah approaches very near that of Paul. It is objected that the naming of Cyrus and the description of relations peculiar to the exile (comp. 64: 9–11; 63: 3 b–5 a; 65:11, 12, 25; 66:3 b–6; 66:17) prove that we have before us specific prediction and not prophecy. As such things are impossible, only a contemporary of the exile can be the author of 40.–66. This leads me to the inquiry into the ethical character of genuine prophecy, and then to the other question whether chaps, 40–66 correspond to that distinction between prophecy and prediction that I have myself asserted.
b. Of course the naming of Cyrus (44:28; 45:1) must surprise us in the greatest degree. But let us first notice the connection in which this naming occurs. In the first Ennead (40–48) the Prophet has directed his gaze to a double deliverance of his people: to the bodily one out of the captivity of the exile, and to the spiritual one from the chains of idolatry. He seeks to bring about the latter by convincing his people of the nothingness of idols and of the sole divinity of Jehovah. For this purpose he argues thus: Prophecy and fulfilment belong only to the omniscient and almighty God. It is a test of divinity that idols cannot sustain. I announce to you long before the punishment of the exile has even begun, that Israel shall be delivered from the same by a prince that shall bear the name Cyrus. If this prophecy be not fulfilled, then may you doubt the divinity of Jehovah. But if it be fulfilled, then know that the LORD is God.
Seven times the Prophet presents this syllogism with the greatest emphasis. He would evidently have men regard this, not as mere rhetorical ornament, but as meant in earnest, and make a practical test with it. Now let one suppose the author of our chapters to have been a contemporary of Cyrus, and to have only feigned this prophecy, then it would be but a worthless comedy. This would-be prophet was then an impostor that blasphemously abused the name of God. For if Cyrus was already there, and all that Isaiah prophesies of him had already happened, or at least was at the point of taking place, then that argument wholly lacks foundation. Then Jehovah does not prophesy, but an impostor pretends to prophesy in His name things that in fact were not future but past. The pretended prophecy, then, would be a product, not of the Holy Spirit, of the Spirit of truth, but of the spirit of lying. If any would assume that the pretended prophet still meant only to attain a good object by morally objectionable means, that, therefore, his fraud was a pious fraud, then nothing is gained thereby. A truly pious Israelite could not possibly have been willing to prop his faith in Jehovah by means which Satan, Jehovah’s enemy, uses to gain his ends—by lies! But a man who is capable of desecrating God’s name by gross lies cannot at the same time be interested to have God’s name sanctified. Such a man is an inward contradiction. One is involuntarily reminded here of the words of Christ: “If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” (Matt. 12:25 sqq.). And how does this lying procedure agree with the moral character of our prophecy in general? Every one receives the impression, and the modern critics themselves cannot ignore it, that there runs through the entire prophecy a spirit of elevated, moral earnestness. Moral effect in the hearer and reader indeed is meant to be the chief aim of the prophecy. How does Christ agree with Belial? Comp. STIER, Isaiah, nicht Pseudo-Isaiah, p. 46 F. A. LضWE, Weissagung u. Weltgeschichte, Zurich, 1868, p. 13. It is incomprehensible how a man like DUESTERD. (D. Pro. Isa., ein Vortr. Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol. XVIII. 3, p. 386 sqq.) can assert that the author of 40–66 stood in the midst of the mighty crisis brought about by Cyrus (l. c. p. 401), and yet at the same time produced the prophecy that is “not only the holiest of all of our prophetic book, but of the entire Old Testament.” Can then the author of a fictitious prophecy of Cyrus, seven times repeated, be at the same time the interpreter of the holiest of all of the divine revelation?
c. But it is objected that still the name Cyrus is quite a special prediction, just as also those other traits of special exile life that confront us in the last three chapters. But the name Cyrus is not a name like any other. According to our Prophet’s construction, Cyrus stands at the head of the period of salvation. He represents the great turning point in the history of Israel with which begins the “return” (שׁוּב) of the holy nation. The name of the man that occupied this high and important position is no subordinate, small incident that one cannot see from a distance. On the contrary, this name stands forth so great and illustrious in history, even in profane history, that we must include it among the great outlines which, according to our statement, can alone be the subject of prophecy. But were I even mistaken in this view, still only the name Cyrus would need to be given up. Then we would need to assume that 44:28 another word stood in the place of לכורשׁ, and that 45:1 the same word was either simply interpolated (which the construction allows), or was substituted for another word. We would need then, of course, to grant also that the words בשׁמך אכנר (45:5), which manifestly presuppose the mention of the name, were inserted by the interpolator. This would leave untouched the chief thing, the prophecy of the redeemer from the east. The reproach of lying would not then concern the real author of the prophecy, but only some uninvited intruder. But although I confess that this point is the most difficult, still I do not believe that there are material reasons to compel the adoption of this construction.
d. As for the traces of authorship in the exile to be found in the last three chapters, viz.: in 64:9–11; 65:3 b–5 a; 65:11, 12; 65:25; 66:3 b–6; 66:17, they are of three sorts. I must first say in general, that the last Ennead (58–66) does not appear to have received its finishing touches from the hand of the Prophet. Perhaps death arrested him. He seems rather to have left behind only the materials. At least it must seem strange to us that the matter is not, as in both the Enneads that precede, more arranged in nine distinctly marked discourses. [Comp. below the introduction to chaps, 58.–56—TR.]. This very condition of the original text invited and facilitated the work of an interpolator. Now, as I have said, I find three sorts of such interpolations. In regard to the first sort, I must primarily recall the fact that to the request of the people that the LORD would even remember that all Israelites are His people (63:7–64:9) the reply is made: neither all Israelites shall be saved, nor shall all be rejected (65). The Prophet intimates by this, that in the time when the redemption will begin, i. e., at the end of the exile, a division shall be effected. And this division actually took place when Cyrus gave the permission to return. The contrast between the apostates and the faithful Israelites was distinctly marked. The original contents of the last three chapters offered a fitting opportunity for the expression of those sentiments that the latter felt toward the former in consequence of that contrast. Hence we find in these chapters those passages that have so specific a coloring from the exile, which, of course, if they were genuine, must be construed as the most specific prediction. Such are 65:3 b–5 a; 11, 12; 66:3 b–6; 66:17. A second sort of interpolation I find in the passage 64:9–11. Here the condition of the Holy Land and of the Holy City are spoken of in a way that shows that the sacred places must already have lain waste when these words were written. A third interpolation of still another sort I find in 65:25. Here an earlier saying of the Prophet (comp. 11:6–9) is abruptly repeated. For particulars see the comm. in loc.
Regarding passages of the first sort: on the one hand they contain such exact details relative to Babylonian idolatry, and on the other, party sentiment finds in them such intense, fresh and lively expression, that some have supposed the Prophet has wholly translated himself here into the exile life, and saw it as plainly as his own actual present time, while others, who deny the possibility of such translation into the future, maintain that the passages in question were composed by one living in the exile. I share neither of these views. It was no affair of prophecy to observe the special traits of the future; it was no affair of Isaiah’s to furnish “Scenes of exile life.” On the other hand the great mass of 40–66 are so unmistakably genuine prophecy, in fact the crown of all Old Testament prophecy, that we can ascribe them to no other than to the king among the prophets, to Isaiah. If now single passages in the last chapters bear undoubted marks of originating in the exile, then they must be later additions to the original writing of Isaiah. This applies also to passages of the second and third sort. Even KNOBEL and DIESTEL, who, for the sake of making the whole out to be not genuine, will admit no interpolations, are still inclined to explain 65:25 as “a disconnected addition.” And 66:3 b–6 is manifestly an interpolation, interrupting the connection, and occasioned by a misunderstanding of what precedes. But if one interpolation occurs, may there not be several, even though the seam in every case is not equally noticeable? I have distinctly declared 64:9–11; 65:3 b–5 a; 11, 12; 25; 66:3 b–6; 17 to be interpolations. I confess however that I hold these to be only the ones most plainly recognizable as such. As remarked above, the Prophet seems to me to have left the last Ennead in a form not completely wrought out. Precisely hereby some later person, was moved to put a finishing touch to it. What is most probable is that the final editor of the work did this. Thus it may be that we possess the last chapters only in a form more or less wrought over. What is the boundary between the work of the Prophet and that of the reviser, is likely never to be made out.
REPLY TO THE SECOND OBJECTION a. It is said that there exists between Isaiah and the author of these chapters “a great diversity of spirit and of views.” Let us contemplate these reputed diversities as they are specified in the latest edition of KNOBEL’S Commentary as revised by DIESTEL. First, the author is thought to cherish the most transcendent hopes in regard to the return home: 41:18 sq.; 43:19 sq.; 48:21; 49:10 sq. These passages, promise all of them to those returning abundance of water, and have more or less direct relation to Exod. 17:6 (comp. especially 48:21). No one is justified in saying that the author would have them understood literally with reference to the return-way out of the exile. But if at the same time he had in mind a second return, lying still in the remote future, then we must wait for the future to show us whether the expectations regarding it are superabounding. They are by no means more so than what Isaiah says of the same return 11:15, where he speaks of the drying up of the Red sea, and of the smiting the Euphrates into seven shallow brooks. To the same transcendent expectations are thought to belong, what the author says of the new heaven and new earth (51:6; 65:17; 66:22; 60:19 sq.), of the splendor and riches of the new Jerusalem (54:12; 60:1 sqq.; 66:12), of the great age of the Jews that may be looked for (65:20) and of their relation to the heathen (49:22 sq.; 60:9, 10, 12; 61:5 sq.; 53:11). All this is thought to be foreign to the more natural sense of Isaiah. But do not the germs of all this lie already in the first eleven chapters of the book? We have shown already above, that the principle of the world’s renewal is expressed in passages like 2:2 sqq.; 4:2 sqq., (see also commentary on the צֶמַח י׳ 4:2). Can anything more glorious be said of the Zion of the future than is said 2:3; 11:9? Is not the great age spoken of 65:20, a consequence of the same new, higher principle of life, of whose operation in the impersonal creature 11:6 sqq., speaks? Finally, what is said about the relation of Israel to the heathen in the passages named, has after all its root in what the Prophet has already expressed 2:2 sqq.; 9:2 sqq. 7; 11:10 sqq.—KNOBEL urges further, that calling Judah and Jerusalem a sanctuary (48:2; 52:1; 63:18; 64:9 (10) attests the later period. It is true that the expression עִיר הַקֹדֶשׁ, beside 48:2; 52:1, occurs only Dan. 9:24; Neh. 11:1, 18. Yet the expression is so natural and has so little that is specific in it, that one can only treat its unfrequent occurrence in the literature as accidental. It is strange that it occurs so seldom in general, thus the weight of the fact is lessened, when it is noticed that it appears in Isaiah for the first in part second. If he did not invent the expression, still he is the first from whom we have a writing that contains the expression. As regards 63:18; 64:9 (10) see above d.—It is urged that the importance attached to the observance of the Sabbath points to a later period (56:2 sqq.; 58:13). If now it must be admitted that neither in the historical nor in the prophetic books of the older period, is found frequent mention of the Sabbath, still the institution was known and recognized by them as ancient and holy (see Amos 8:6; 2 Kings 4:23, comp. SCHULTZ, Alttestl. Theol. I. p. 216). But like the most of the commandments of the law, it was badly observed by idolatrous Israel. In 56 and 58. Isaiah presents in prospect, a time in which the new way of salvation spoken of in 54 and 55, will bring forth its glorious fruits. Shall we wonder then if the Prophet among these fruits makes especially prominent the sanctifying of the Sabbath, since in fact this was the most patent sign of the universal reign of the worship of Jehovah and of the overthrow of idolatry? Representations of God, as one that troubles Himself very little about the earth, as they appear in 40:27; 47:10; 49:14; 57:15, are said to occur only in the later books of the Old Testament. But, not to mention other passages like Ps. 9:19; 10:1; 13:2, is not this representation found 29:15 sq., which is admitted to be Isaiah’s? What, moreover, is to be said, when KNOBEL explains the controverting of idols with reasons, and the apology for Jahve as the sole God (40:12 sqq.; 41:21 sqq.; 43:9 sqq.; 44:6 sqq.; 45:11 sqq.; 46:1 sqq.; 48:3 sqq.), and the proof of Jahve’s divinity from prophecy and fulfilment (41:21 sqq.; 43:9 sqq.; 44:7 sq.; 45:19, 21; 46:10; 48:3 sqq.), the servant of Jahve (52:13 sqq.), and the representation of a representative endurance of punishment (53:4 sqq.; 57:1) to be “favorite subjects” of the author’s that do not appear in Isaiah? We shall show below, that the dialectics with which the Prophet enters the lists against idols and for Jehovah, and which are found already in the germ 2:20; 30:22; 31:7, by no means pertain to a mere pet theme that involuntarily comes uppermost, but that, in the passages named, it quite accords with the practical tendency to wholly deliver from the bonds of idolatry the nation that at the end of the exile would be ripe for this. The servant of Jehovah is just as little a mere pet theme. This notion in all circumstances stands sui generis. If Isaiah is not the author of chapters 40–66, then the עבד י׳ is peculiar to this author, for no where else does it appear. But just in the recognized genuine passages of Isaiah are to be found the germs also of this conception. Such is the צֶמַח 4:2; very especially however the חֹטֶר מִגֶּזַע יִשַׁי 11:1, to which passage manifest reference is had 53:2. To this may be added, that the word גֶזעַ, beside 11:1, occurs only 40:24 and Job 14:8. A representative endurance of punishment lies at the foundation of the entire sacrificial worship (comp. 53:7), and that the idea was taken up into the national consciousness, and further developed is proved by expressions like that of Micah, Isaiah’s contemporary, who, 6:7, speaks of the giving of the first born son as an atoning sacrifice. Must, therefore, this idea have been foreign to Isaiah? Must it point to the period of the exile? And must Isaiah necessarily speak of it before he proceeded to make his prophetic sketch of the עבד י׳? Finally it is urged as a discrepancy that our author looks for a theocracy without a king, whereas Isaiah will not do without a king (9:5 (6); 11:1; 32:1; 33:17). It is true indeed that in our chapters the promised redeemer is never called king. Manifestly the author avoids the word, but he has the substance. For royal works and royal honors are in richest measure attributed to this Redeemer. It is said of Him that He will set up justice and law on earth (42:4; 51:4), and will judge the people (51:5; 63:1–6). He will also be light and salvation to the heathen, (49:6), all kings of the heathen will pay Him homage as the prince and commander of the nations (55:4 sqq.; 49:7; 60:2 sq., 10 sqq.; 52:15; 53:12. Comp. 61: 2–5 and the commentary). One must wonder that He, who will be over all kings, does not Himself receive the royal title. But just in this seems to lie also the solution of the riddle. The title מלך appeared to the Prophet too inferior, too liable to misconstruction. One might have supposed the redeemer would be only a king of the same genus as the others, only, perhaps, a higher species of this genus. But the Prophet knows that this נָגִיד, as he calls Him 55:4, will be toto genere different from all other kings. He will even be, on the one hand, as the despised servant, (seemingly) low beneath them, and on the other, by reason of the extent, power and glory of His kingdom, immeasurably high above them. So that one may say: the title מלך appeared to the Prophet to suit neither the lowliness nor the highness of the servant.
b. As regards style and the use of words, it is indeed acknowledged that our author has in these respects great resemblance to Isaiah. KNOBEL says: “The author writes, indeed, like Isaiah, very enthusiastically, fervently and lively, but much more flowingly and smoothly, also more broadly and more diffuse.” FUERST (Gesch. d. bibl. Lit. II. p. 643) says of the Unnamed, that He “occupies the highest position among the later prophets as a classic.” This saying is properly a contradiction; for classic writing is found only in the period of the splendor of a language, not among the epigonoi. FUERST involuntarily gives us to understand that the chapters 40–66 belong still to the classic productions of Hebrew literature. UMBREIT also (in HERZ., R. Encycl. VI. p. 518) says: “If the son of Amoz were really the author also of the later books, then, not only in respect to form, but also in the perfection of the prophetic spirit … he attained the highest pinnacle.” And on the next page he calls the author of chapters 40–66. “Isaiah risen again in a new body of the spirit.” Therefore we find here again the admission, that chapters 40–56, in respect to the “form” or “body,” belong to the grandest productions of the Hebrew spirit. And this writing, to which men cannot refuse the reputation of a classic even as to form, must still have originated, not in the classic period, but in a period when Hebrew was just at the point of disappearing as a living tongue? The Psalms of the exile, Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Daniel, Chronicles would be the books which, in point of time, would stand nearest our chapters. Yet what a difference between those and these in respect to the character of the language in general. Contrasted with this great difference, the relatively few singularities that are urged in favor of the exile origin of our chapters cannot be regarded. If we consider how many-sided the spirit of Isaiah is, and how he knows how to fit the form to the contents, we cannot wonder if he uses up the entire store of words at his command, and therefore at times draws from popular speech, from kindred dialects and even from foreign languages, and here and there allows himself to diverge from the normal modes of expression with a rhetorical art, whose fineness we are not always in condition to appreciate. Doubtless, too, many an expression that occurs only in later writers is to be referred to Isaiah as its source. To this is to be added that Isaiah no doubt wrote our chapters in the latest period of his life, that therefore a period of forty or more years, perhaps, separate his latest and earliest literary productions, and that the, in many respects, new contents naturally conditioned a corresponding new form. EWALD says of the genuine Isaiah: “As the subject requires, he has easily at command every sort of speech and every change of representation, and that establishes his greatness, and also in general is one of his most prominent advantages.” (Proph. d. A. B. I. p. 173, comp. HENGSTENBERG, Christol. II. p. 213). And yet, regardless of this recognized peculiarity of Isaiah, and spite of the existing relationship in respect to form so recognized, men will deny that chapters 40–66, are Isaiah’s! I would add still further, that much that is urged as proof of difference is to be put to the account of the few interpolations that I think I must assume (see the commentary). Thus I might be held excused from entering upon the consideration of the several points that are urged in regard to style and language. Yet I will investigate a few of these points by way of example, in order to show how little reliable the critical results are. Thus KNOBEL urges that the author frequently doubles words for the sake of emphasis, i. e., applies the rhetorical figure of anadiplosis or epanalepsis. He quotes in proof 40:1; 41:27; 43:11, 25; 48:11, 15; 51:9, 12, 17; 52:1, 11; 57:6, 14, 19; 62:10; 65:1. But this form of speech occurs not seldom in the passages recognized as genuine: 8:9; 18:2, 7; 21:11; 28:10, 13; 29:1. If we add to this that it appears also in the assailed passages of part first (15:1; 21:9; 24:16; 25:1; 26:3, 5, 15; 27:5; 38:11,17, 19), we can only say that it is, after all, a peculiarity of our Prophet that answers to the liveliness of his spirit.
In these chapters are found “a great many expressions that occur only in them, or at least only in the later books beside, and that for the most part need to be explained from the Aramaic,” says KNOBEL (p. 335). As regards the many ἄπαξ λεγόμενα, they furnish no proof in themselves. For even in the unassailed passages such are found in great number. Their use is to be explained by this, that the Prophet completely commanded the entire vocabulary of his language, and hence, for the more fitting expression of some turns of thought, drew from some province of language not otherwise known to us. If many such expressions occur only once in Isaiah, and are found beside only in later writers, it ought first to be proved that the latter did not borrow from Isaiah. Regarding the statement that these expressions must for the most part be explained from the Aramaic, it must be remembered that in very many instances the etymology is doubtful. Beside, it is quite possible that the root of the words in question received in the Aramaic branch of the language a stronger, in the Hebrew a weaker development. But, as has been said, Isaiah used less frequent words, and forms of language and discourse, as he needed them. The commentary offers the proof of all this. The word סְגָנִים (41:25), which KNOBEL says is Persian, is now most conclusively proved to be Assyrian (comp. SCHRADER, Die Keilinschriften u. d. A. T. p. 254, 32; 270, 15; 279, 6). For the rest we refer to the List prepared by me with great pains, and to be found at the close of the volume. It offers a convenient survey of the vocabulary of chapters 40–46. It may be seen there what words and word forms (and to some extent, turns of expression) occur in both parts, and what in only part second, and what are absolute or relative ἅπαξ λεγόμενα. This collection contains all the words that occur, excepting such words as can properly mark no characteristic difference. By this means I have put a considerable weight into the scale of criticism. But, on the one hand, this exacts the scientific rule of debate, which forbids arguing ex dubiis. On the other hand this disadvantage is more than balanced by the advantage that the result, which, as it seems to me, favors the authenticity of chapters 40–56, may be recognized as all the more assured. It is true that from this arrangement of the survey it also becomes plain that several of the controverted passages of part first, expressly 34–35, are very nearly related to the chapters 40–56, belonging, as they doubtless do, to the same period of the Prophet’s life. I would add that the collection in so far gives an unsatisfactory representation, that, though it shows where each word occurs in Isaiah, it does not show where it is to be found beside; therefore, especially, it does not appear in it whether a word belongs to the older or more recent period of the language. Space did not allow me to embrace this feature in the collection: yet the commentary makes up as much as possible what is wanting. The sum of the matter is: it will appear from the comparison that chapters 40–66, do indeed differ considerably in language from the passages of Isaiah that are recognized as genuine; but that still that there is so much that is common to both, that these differences afford no satisfactory reasons for denying Isaiah’s authorship of the chapters in question. I may be charged with inconsistency because, in reference to the genuineness of Lamentations, I attached such considerable weight to singularities of language as proving that Lamentations had not Jeremiah for their author, whereas I do otherwise in reference to Isa. 40–66. But, apart from the fact that the differences in language in the case of Isa. 40–66, seem to me less than those observed in the case of Lamentations, I am of the opinion that Isa. 40–56, as a whole must be acknowledged to be as decidedly like Isaiah in character, as the Lamentations taken as a whole are unlike Jeremiah. When I make the above admission of general difference between the first and second parts of Isaiah, I must still emphasize here, that the first chapter of our book, i. e., the first introduction, forms a remarkable exception. For this chapter has plain traces of relationship to chapters 40–66. Now no one doubts the genuineness of Isa 1. But if that is acknowledged, then, presupposing that relationship, one must decide in favor of the genuineness of 40–66. That such a relationship actually exists may be seen from the following comparison, in which are enumerated those expressions that occur only in Isa 1 and 40–66. (or in the contemporaneous chapters of part first, that are likewise pronounced not genuine).
אָבִיר 1:24–49:26; 60:16.
אֹהֵב 1:23–41:8; 56:10; 61:8; 66:10.
אֵילִים Terebinths 1:29–57:5; 61:3.
אֵילִים Rams 1:11–34:6; 60:7.
בַּעַל 1:3–(16:8); 41:15; 50:8.
בָּקַשׁ Pi. 1:12–40:20; 41:12,17; 45:19; 51:1; 65:1.
בַּת צִיּוֹן 1:8;–(16:1); 37:22; 52:2; 62:11.
גּנָּה 1, 29:30–61:11; 65:3; 66:17.
דָּם Sing. 1:11–(15:9); 34:3, 6, 7; 49:26; 59:3, 7; 66:3.
הִתְבּוִֹנִן 1:3–14:16; 43:18; 52:15.
חֹדֶשׁ 1:13, 1:14–47:13; 66:23.
חָטָא Kal. 1:4–42:22; 43:27; 64:4; 65:20.
חֵלֶב 1:11–34:6, 7; 43:24; 60:16.
חֳלִי 1:5–38:9; 53:3, 4, 10.
חָמַד 1:29–44:9; 53:2.
חָפֵץ 1:11–13:17; 42:21.
טוּב 1:19–63:7; 65:14.
כָּבָה 1:31–34:10; 42:3; 43:17; 66:24.
כִּי פִּי י׳ דִּבֵּר 1:2, 1:20–40:5; 58:14.
לָאָה Niph. 1:14–(16:12); 47:13.
נִחַם Niph. 1:24–57:6.
נָכָה Hoph. 1:5–53:4.
סֹבֵא subst 1:22–סָבָא verb 56:12.
עָזַב יהוה 1:4, 28–64:11.
עֹלָה 1:11–40:16; 43:23; 56:7; 61:8.
עָלֶה 1:30–27:3; 34:4; 64: 5.
עָלַם Hiph. 1:15–Hithp. 58:7.
פָּדַשׂ Pi. 1:15–25:11; 65:2.
פָּשַׁע 1:2, 28;–43:27; 46:8; 48:8; 53:12; 59:13; 66:24.
צָרַף 1:25–40:19; 41:7; 46:6; 48:10.
רִאשֹׁנָה 1:26–52:4; 60:9; 65:7.
רֹב 1:11–37:24; 47:9, 12, 13; 57:10;63. 1, 7.
רָבָה Imperf. Hiph. 1:15–40:29; 51:2; 55:7; 57:9.
רִיב 1:23–34:8; 41:11, 21; 58:4.
שָׂנֵא 1:14–60:15; 61:8; 66:5.
שָׂרַף 1:7–44:16, 19; 47:14.
שַׁבָּת 1:13–56:2, 6; 58:13; 66:23.
תּוֹלָע (תּוֹלַעַת ,תּוֹלֵעָה) 1:18–14:11; 41:14; 66:24.
תּוֹעֵבָה 1:13–41:24; 44:19.
תִּפִלָּה 1:15–37:4; 38:5; 56:7.
Of course this list offers primarily only dry words and figures. But whoever examines closely will see that very characteristic traits are represented by them. Thus it is certainly not an accident that the expressions אֵילִים and גַּנּוֹת, found in the reproofs addressed to the idolatrous nation still in exile, occur again only in Isa 1. The שָׁבִים are mentioned 1:27 only in the same connection as in 59:20, i. e., in connection with the idea of the restoration of law and justice. What meaning the עֲזֹב י׳ has in 40–66. will appear below. Can it be an accident that this conception occurs only 1:4, 28 and 65:11? Just as little as the use of פָּשַׁע noted in the foregoing list. The notion רִאשֹׁנָה plays a great part in these chapters. How does it happen that it is only mentioned beside in 1:26? Nothing is said in the whole book of שׁבת and חדשׁ except at the beginning and end, as noted above. The same is the case with כי פי י׳ דבר, with בת ציון, with רִיב ,רב ,נִלְאַָה ,טוב ,הטא ,בֵּקִּשׁ, and all the modes of expression cited above. It is incontestible that the Prophet in Isa 1. accords in many ways precisely with the sphere of thoughts in which he had moved in chaps, 40–66. And that agrees admirably with the view, in which we have followed DRECHSLER and others, that Isa 1 was exactly the last piece written. For in that case it is quite natural that in this piece numerous agreements should appear with the final parts of the work just completed. And how very exactly the words 1:7–9 correspond to the situation of the land under Hezekiah, when the king of the land was isolated and shut up in his capital “like a bird in its cage!” How admirably, too, it suits the grand, threefold entrance, that the author had before him in its chief substance the whole of his great work!
REPLY TO OBJECTION THREE.—Jer. 26. is cited as proof that the prophets who prophesied after Isaiah and before the exile did not know the chaps, 40–66. It is said that Jeremiah, having incurred the peril of his life by announcing the destruction of Jerusalem and of the holy places, would certainly in self-protection have appealed to these chapters had he been acquainted with them. This is a very weak objection. For, in the first place, what we read Jer. 26:4–6 is only the quintessence of what he had to announce at that time. Yet even in this quintessence it is intimated that Jeremiah appealed to existing prophecies. For it is said there: “If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set ‘before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you,—then will I make this house like Shiloh,” etc. Who can maintain that Jeremiah, if he mentioned the prophets that the LORD sent, did not cite also some expression of theirs? The summary statement Jer. 26:5 certainly does not exclude this. But if he did so, was he obliged to quote precisely Isa. 40–66.? These chapters do not even discourse about the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple, but of their restoration. The sole passage that speaks of the destroyed sanctuaries is 64:10, 11. But precisely this passage Jeremiah could not quote, seeing that (according to our view) it did not at that time exist. Any way this arguing a silentio proves too much, and therefore proves nothing. For since there cannot be found in Jeremiah 26. quotations from any other older prophecies that directly predict this destruction, one must conclude with the same justice that all reputed older prophecies of the sort were not in existence in Jeremiah’s time. Take e. g., Isa. 5:5 sqq.; 6:11; Hos. 5:14; Amos 2:4 sq.; 6:1 sqq.—Here criticism uses Jeremiah’s silence to draw from it an argument against the genuineness of Isa. 40–66. In other places, where Jeremiah and his fellow-prophets after the time of Isaiah actually quote Isa. 40, 66, criticism will have that it is no quotation from our chapters, but a quotation on the part of the author of chapters 40—66. of the passages in question. The passages principally concerned here are the following:—
Isaiah 51:19 (59:7; 60:18)
Isaiah 52:1 (51:23), 7
Isaiah 57:19, 21
Jer. 6:14; 8:11.
Jer. 32:40. sq.
Jer 32:29. 30.
Isaiah 65:6, 7
Jer. 16:18; 32:18.
Jer. iv 13.
Jer. 25:31, 33
This list is by no means complete. It contains only a selection. We shall mention below a much larger number of parallel passages and examine them. Comp. also KUEPER, Jer. librorum 88. interpr. atque vindex, 1837, p. 132 sqq. But it will suffice to prove in a few passages the priority of our chapters, and to establish it generally as an existing fact. Such striking passages are found above all in Nahum who, as to time, comes next after Isaiah. It is now definitely known from the Assyrian monuments that Asurbanapal, the son and successor of Asarhaddon, destroyed the Egyptian Thebes (No—Amon) in his second great military expedition (see SCHRADER, D. Keilinschriften u. d. A. T. p. 287 sqq.). Nothing is known of any other destruction of Thebes. Thebes declined gradually after the residence of the Pharaohs had been transferred to the Delta. According to the monuments, that expedition of Asurbanapal occurred in the period immediately after the death of Tirhâka (664 B. C.). The destruction of Thebes, therefore, happened about the year 663. But Nahum, in whose mind this event was fresh, must have written soon after, say about the year 660 (as SCHRADER conjectures, l.c.). If this was so, then it appears indubitable that chapters 40–66. had already been written. For certainly no candid man can controvert that Nahum 2:1, is a diluted conglomeration from Isa. 52:7, 1 and 51:23. Notice especially the construction לֹא יוֹסִיף יָבֹא־בָךְ עוֹד Isa. 52:1 compared with לא יוֹסִיף עוֹד לַֽעֲברֹ־בָּךְ in Nahum. In the latter not only is the Infin. לעבר the normal and easier construction compared with the harsher construction with the verb. fin. (which is common in Isaiah; see 1:19; 6:13; 29:4; 45:21; 47:1, 5; 52:1; 64:4, but never occurs in Nahum), but עֲבֹר is evidently borrowed from Isa. 51:23, yet is connected, not with עָלַיִךְ, which would be most natural, but with the בָּךְ that is found in Isaiah. See moreover the commentary. It can be just as little controverted that Nah. 3:7 and 10 find their pattern and source in Isa. 51:19, 20. For the proof see the commentary. Zeph. 2:15 announces itself as a citation by the words עַלִּיז זאת העיר is specifically one of Isaiah’s expressions, and as for אַפְסִי עוֹד, in no book does אֶפֶס occur so often as in Isaiah (see the comment). The words רגע הים ויהמו גליו יהוה צבאות שׁכיִ Isaiah 51:15 are found in Jer. 31:35 where they are quoted in proof of the unchangableness of the order of nature given by God. But the words are applicable in this sense only when used of the ebb and flow of the tide. The words, in themselves considered, only signify that God is able by His omnipotence to stir up the sea into mighty heaving waves. This happens chiefly by storms. For the regular rising of the tide is not necessarily attended with mighty heaving waves. The reference to the ebb and flow of the tide is put into the words. Thus the words Isa. 51:15 stand in their original sense, and hence manifestly in their original place (see the comm., in loc., and also on Jer. 31:35). The words הַשְׁקֵט לֹא יוּכַל Isa. 57:20, spoken of the stirred up sea, are applied in Jer. 49:23 to the population of a city set in commotion by bad news. Here, too, one may see that Jeremiah has only transferred the words, and applied them in quite a special sense that does not quite agree with their original sound. For in Isa. the wicked are compared to the never-resting sea that ceaselessly casts up foam and dirt. There the expression השׁקט לא יוכל is quite in place. But may one say that the populace of a city is continually in a commotion such as bad news occasions? Therefore Jeremiah characterizes a transitory condition with words that properly and originally can only describe a continuing state. Let us notice also that we find in Zechariah (7:7) a very express testimony that our chapters, which he uses in many ways, were composed by one of the “old prophets” at a time “when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain.” See for particulars the comment on Isa. 58:6 sqq.
REPLY TO OBJECTION FOURTH.—It is alleged that in the TALMUD Isaiah follows Ezekiel, because at that time already part second, written at the close of the exile, had been bound to part first, and both parts indeed were currently received as Isaiah’s; yet an obscure hint of Isaiah not being the author was given by putting the book of two parts after Ezekiel (see FUERST, D. Kanon des A. T., p. 16). EICHHORN was the first to use this, and since then it has been continually repeated (see GESENIUS, I. 1, p. 22; HITZIG, p. 475; KNOBEL, edited by DIESTEL, p. XXVIII., etc.). According to EICHHORN, the book of Isaiah is an anthology of prophecies, all the authors of which are unknown, excepting only Isaiah. The book of the twelve minor prophets also he would make out to be an anthology, but of prophets all of whom are known. Now because the latter anthology contained several names (Zech., Hag., Mal.) that were more recent than the most recent in the Isaiah anthology, this last named was placed before the other, between it and Ezekiel. EICHHORN says this in Part III., § 528 of his Introduction (and that even in the first edition of 1783). But in Part I., § 7 he does not seem to have known that the order “Jer., Ezek., Isa.” occurs already in the TALMUD. He ascribes it to the more recent manuscripts, by which doubtless must be meant the German and Gallican; for the Spanish MSS., like the Masorets, put Isaiah before. But if now EICHHORN regards this placing Isaiah after as a change which the Jews made “on account of certain and unknown causes, often on account of wonderful caprice,” may not the same be said of those old Jews that fancied the order found in the TALMUD? Even VITRINGA (p. 21, ed. Basil) calls attention to the fact that, according to the TALMUD, Jeremiah wrote the Books of Kings (BABA BATRA, 15 a; FUERST, Kanon des A. T., p. 14). And, in fact, Jer. 52. is nearly identical with 2 Kings 24:18–25. 30. Therefore, because Jeremiah was regarded as the writer of the last book of the prophetae priores, his prophetical book was made the first of the prophetae posteriores. Then Isaiah must be put either between Jer. and Ezek., or after Ezekiel. The latter was resolved on under the influence of the fashion of gauging the principal contents of these books then current. Reproving was thought to be Jeremiah’s characteristic (כֻּלֵּהּ חוּרבֳּנָא, totus in vastatione), Ezekiel’s to be half reproving, half consolatory (רֵישֵׁהּ חוּרְבָּנָא סוֹפֵהּ נֶחָמְתָּא), Isaiah’s to be altogether consolatory (כֻלֵּהּ נֶחָמְתָּא). Thus was obtained a very fitting gradation. Isaiah, of course, is not wholly consolatory. But he may be considered so in the same degree that Jeremiah is considered to be wholly reproving. Putting Jeremiah and Ezekiel together may also have been occasioned by the fact that they were contemporaries, both prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans and the exile, both were witnesses of the judgment, the end of which Isaiah announced as the beginning of the glorious period of salvation. After all this it may well be regarded as a bold assertion, that the position assigned to the Prophet by talmudic tradition is to be taken as a proof of the exile authorship of part second. Besides we can refer to a witness that is older than the TALMUD, and easily holds the balance against the latter. That is JESUS SIRACH, who in his catalogus virorum illustrium (Ecclus. 44–50) enumerates the great prophets in their order: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel (Ecclus. 48:17–49:9). He puts the twelve minor prophets as following these (49:10). Of Isaiah in particular he says (48:22–25): “Ezekias was strong in the ways of David his father, as Esay the Prophet, who was great and faithful in his vision, (ἐν ὁράσει αὐτοῦ), had commanded him. In his time the sun went backward, and he lengthened the king’s life. He saw by an excellent spirit what should come to pass at the last (τὰ ἔσχατα), and, he comforted them that mourned in Zion. He showed what should come to pass forever, and secret things or ever they came.” By these words the son of Sirach plainly characterizes the different parts of Isaiah’s book. The mention of the ὄρασις points to the title חָזוֹן (1:1) and perhaps to Isa 6 also. Any way, the expression ὄρασις presupposes part first. The mention of the sun turning backwards and the prolongation of Hezekiah’s life, shows that the historical section (36–39) belonged to the book. The prominent mention of the prophetic distant vision, and of the comforting manifestly characterizes chapters 40–66. It is plainly seen, therefore, that these chapters were regarded at that time already as belonging to the book of Isaiah, and as his work. In these words of the son of Sirach, we do not observe in the slightest degree the existence of a tradition that chapters 40–66 were not Isaiah’s, which, as is alleged, has left its trace in the talmudic arrangement that assigns an after position to Isaiah.
§ 5. LITERATURE
The literature relating to Isaiah is extraordinarily abundant. We will confine ourselves to the mention of the most considerable works, referring the reader to GESENIUS and ROSENMULLER, especially as regards the older literature up to the middle of the last century.
Of patristic commentaries, the most important are that of THEODORET (in the edition of SIRMOND, prepared by SCHULZE, 1777 Tom. II.), and that of JEROME (ed. VALLARSII, Tom. IV.). Besides these there are the ὑπομνήματα of EUSEBIUS of Caesarea (ed. MONTFAUCON, Paris, 1706 2 Tomi fol.); a commentary which (probably wrongly) is ascribed to BASILIUS the great (Opp. BASILII M., ed. GARNIER; Tom. I.); the commentary of CYRILL of Alexandria (Opp. ed. AUBERT, Tom. II.); the ἑρμηνεία of CHRYSOSTOM on chapters 1–8. (Tom, VI. ed MONTFAUCON); the Syrian commentary of EPHREM SYRUS (Opp. ed. ASSEMANI and Petr. Bened. Rom., 1740, Tom. II.). PROCOPIUS of Gaza, who lived in the 6th century in Constantinople, begins the list of the writers of Catenas among the Greeks (Procopii variorum in Es. proph. commentariorum epitome, gr. et lat. JOH. CURTERIO, interpete, Paris, 1580, Fol.).
There exist rabbinical commentaries of RASCHI, ABEN ESRA, DAVID KIMCHI, ABARBANEL.
As works of Catholic expositors are especially to be mentioned, the comments of the abbot JOACHIM, † 1202 (ed. Cologne, 1577). NIKOLAUS DE LYRA (in the Postillae perpetuae). THOMAS AQUINAS (Lyons, 1531). FRANZ VATABLÉ or VATABLÉ (in the editions of the VULGATE, published by ROBT. STEPHENS, 1545, 1547, 1557). FRANZ FORERIUS, (Portuguese, Dominican, 1553). Comp. the literary account in REINKE’S Messian, Weiss., 1859, I., p. 26 sqq.
From the Reformation period are to be mentioned, the exposition of LUTHER (In Es. proph. scholia, ex. D. M. LUTHERI, praelectionibus collecta, Viteb., 1534). CALV (Commentarii, Genev., 1562, and often). ZWINGLI (Complanationes, Turic., 1529 and often). OECOLAMPADIUS Hypomnemata, Basil, 1525 and often). BRENZ (Comment. Francof. 1559). MUSCULUS (Comment. Basil, 1557 and often).
From the 17th and 18th centuries. The commentaries of the Jesuit CASP. SANCTIUS (SANCHEZ, Antw., 1621). CORN, A LAPIDE (Paris, 1621).
On the side of the Reformed [J. COCCEJUS: born 1603, died 1669. Prof., at Leyden. His Commentaries and other works were printed at Amsterdam, 1701. 10 vols. Fol.]. HUGO GROTIUS, Annotationes in V. T., Paris, 1644. Above all the admirable commentary of CAMPEGIUS VITRINGA, Prof., in Franeker, died 1722. This commentary is distinguished as much by astounding learning, penetration and sober sense as by elegance in style and practical warmth. It appeared first in Leuwarden, 1714 and 1720 in 2 vols. Fol. Often printed since (Basil, 1732) and pirated (Herborn, 1713, Tuebingen, 1732). BUSCHING has produced an abbreviated, German edition (Halle, 1749 and 1751), with a preface by MOSHEIM. JOH. RAMBACH, Prof., in Giessen, has also, in his exposition of the Proph. Isaiah (Züllichau, 1741). “drawn out in quite a brief form the pith of the work of CAMP. VITRINGA.” Here belongs also ROBT. LOWTH, Bishop of London, “Isaiah, a new translation,” etc., London, 1778. [American reprint from the tenth Eng. Ed., Boston, 1834]. This commentary appeared in German with additions and remarks by JOH. BENZ. KOPPE, Prof, in Goettingen, Leipzig, 1779. Against LOWTH’S critical experiment appeared “Vindiciae textus hebr. Esajae adv. LOWTHI criticam,” by DAV. KOCHER, Prof. in Bern, 1786 (concerning the latter, see STUDER Zur Textkritik des Jesaja in d. Jahrbb. f. prot. Theol. von HASE u. a., 1877, IV., p. 706 sqq.). [JOHN GILL, a Baptist minister in London: “An exposition of the Old and New Testament, London, 1743–63, 9 parts Fol.; designed for doctrinal and practical improvement, yet distinguished from other works of the class by its erudition in a single province, viz., talmudic and rabbinical literature”].
On the Lutheran side we may mention the expositions of SEB. SCHMIDT, Prof., in Strassburg (Hamburg, 1702), JOH. DAV. MICHAELIS, “German translation of the Old Testament, with remarks for the unlearned, Part VIII., Isaiah, Goettingen, 1779.” MOLDENHAUER, pastor in Hamburg (1780). HEZEL, Prof., in Giessen and Dorpat (Lemgo, 1784, fifth part of HEZEL’S Bibelwerk). HENZLEB, Prof., in Kiel (Hamburg, (1788).
The transition to the 19th century is formed by E. F. K. ROSENMULLER, Scholia in V. T., the third part of which containing Isaiah, appeared in Leipzig, 1791–93, 1810–20, 1829–34. The critical tendency which began already in the 18th century with KOPPE, EICHHORN (Introduction to the Old Testament, I. ed., 1783; [to be found in English], JOH. CHR. DOEDERLEIN (Esaias, etc. Latine vertit notasque subject, Altorf, 1775 and often), G. EBERH. GOTTL. PAULUS (Philologische Clavis ueber das A. T., 1793), G. L. BAUER (Scholia in V. T., vols. VIII. and IX., 1794, 1795), J. CHR. W. AUGUSTI (Exeget. Handb. d. A. T. v. HضPFNER, 5 and 6 Stück, 1799), &c., was continued in the 19th Century by GESENIUS (D. Proph. Jes. neu uebersetzt, 1820. Philolog. kritischer u. hist. Comm., 1821), HITZIG (D. Proph. Jes. uebers. u. ausg., 1833), MAURER (Comm. gramm. crit. in V. T., Vol. I., 1835), HENDEWERK (Des Proph. Jes. Weiss. chronolog. geordnet, uebersetzt u. erkl., 1838 and 1843), EWALD (die Proph. d. A. B. I. Ausg., 1840), BECK (die cyro-jesajan. Weiss, oder die Kapp. XL—LXVL, etc., 1844), ERNST MEIER (D. Proph. Jes. ekl., 1850—contains only chapters 1–23.—and Die Proph. BB. d. A. T., uebers. u. erkl., 1863), KNOBEL (D. Proph. Jes. erkl. I. Ausg., 1843; 4, herausg. von DIESTEL, 1872). In some respects the practical commentary of UMBREIT (I Ausg., 1841, II. Aufl., 1846) belongs here.
From the positive standpoint Isaiah has been expounded by DRECHSLER (D. Proph. Jes. uebersetzt u. erkl. Kapp. 1–12, 1945; II. Th. 1. Hنlfte Kapp. 13–27, 1849; 2. Haelfte, 28–39, published from DRECHSLER’S remains by DELITZSCH and HAHN, 1854; III. Theil, Kapp., 40–66, prepared by HAHN with a preface by DELITZSCH), then by DELITZSCH (Bibl. Kommentar ueber d. Proph. Jes. II. Ausg., 1869) [published in English by CLARK of Edinburg]. The chapters 40–66, have been expounded alone, from the positive position by STIER (Jesajas nicht Pseudo = Jesajas, 1850), in the sense of the modern criticism by SEINECKE (Der Evangelist des A. T., 1870).
The Messianic prophecies have been expounded on the part of Protestants by HENGSTENBERG, in his Christology of the Old Testament (I. Ausg. 1829–35, I. Bd. 2 Haelfte; II., Ausg., 1854–56; II., Bd.). [Published in English by CLARK, of Edinburg]. On the part of the Roman Catholics, by LOR. REINKE, Prof., in Munster. The same author published separate treatises on chapters 52:13–53. 12, in 1836, chapter 2:2–4 in 1838, chapters 7:14–16 in 1848; but the other passages in the book “Die messian Weiss bei den grossen u. kleinen Propheten,” Giessen, 1859–62, 5 vols. (vols. I. and II., contain Isaiah). Apart from the Romish lack of freedom, it is a very learned work, prepared with great thoroughness and care. Other commentaries by catholic theologians will be found enumerated by REINKE, l. c. I. p. 39 sq., 43 sq. As recently published I will add: ROHLING, D. Proph. Jes. uebers. u. erkl., 1872 (4. Abth. I. Bd. von “Die heil. Schriften des A. T., nach Katholischen Prinzipien uebers. u. erkl. von einem Verein befreundeter Fachgenossen). NETELER, Das Buch Jesajas uebers. u. erkl., 1876. By the same author has appeared already in 1870: Die Gleiderung des Buchs Jesajas als Grundlage seiner Erklaerung. [Dr. HOSSE, Die Weiss. des Proph. Jes. Berlin, 1877].
[Works on Isaiah in English of more recent date are: The Book of Isaiah, with a New Translation and Notes, by the Rev. ALBERT BARNES, 3 vols., 8vo, Boston, 1840, and various reprints. The Earlier Prophecies of Isaiah, by J. A. ALEXANDER, D. D., New York, 1846; Later Prophecies, ibid., 1847; both reprinted in Glasgow under the editorship of JOHN EADIE, D. D., 1848 and 1865; new and revised edition, New York, 1875. Isaiah Translated and Explained, an abridgement of the foregoing, New York, 1851, 12mo, 2 vols. This Commentary of Dr. J. A. ALEXANDER ranks all of English authorship to the present. The 8vo edition is valuable as a synopsis of commentators and of exposition up to 1848. Dr. EBENEZER HENDERSON’S Translation and Commentary, London, 1840, 2nd edition, 1857. See also Dr. NOYSE’S New Translation of the Hebrew Prophets, with Notes, Vol. I., 3d edition, Boston, 1867. Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, including a revised English Translation, by the Rev. T. R. BIRKS, London, 1871.]
Other works that have chosen for subjects selected and smaller portions of the Prophet are: L’ EMPEREUR D. Is. Abrabanielis et Mos. Alschechi comm. in Esajae prophetiam tricesimam (cap. 52:13–53:12), etc.; subjuncta refutatione, etc.; Ludg. Bat., 1631. DAV. MILLII: Miscellanea Sacra, containing among other things a Comm. philolog. crit. in Jesajae, cap. 54, Amstelod., 1754. SPONSEL: Abhandlungen ueber den Propheten Jesajas (kap. 1–17), Nuremberg, 1779. I. DAN KRUIGER: De verisimillima oraculi Jes. 52:13–53:12 interpretandi ratione (Leipzig Univ. Programme), 1809. C. FR. LUDW. ARNDT: De loco Jes. capp. 24–27 vindicando et explicando, Hamburg, 1826. A. MCCAUL [of Trinity College, London]: The doctrine and Exposition of the 53 of Isaiah (German translation, Frankfurt a. M., 1854, 6th ed.). LUD. DE GEER: De oraculo in Moabitas Jes. 15–16 (Doctor-Dissert.), Utrecht, 1855. BOEHL: Vat. Jes. capp. 24–27, Leipzig, 1861. V. F. OEHLER: Der Knecht Jehovas im Deuterojesaja, 1865. S. J. JAKOBSSON: Immanuel, die Erscheinung des Messias in Knechtsgestalt, Berlin, 1868. BERNH. STADE: De Isaiae vaticiniis aethiopicis, Leipzig, 1873.
On Introduction and Criticism.—PIPER: Integritas Jesaiae a recentiorum conatibus vindicata, Greifsw., 1792. BECKHAUS: Ueber die Integretaet der proph. Schriften des A. B., Halle, 1798. MOELLER: De authentia orac. Jes. capp. 40–66, Havniae, 1825. KLEINERT: Ueber die Echtheit saemmtlicher in dem Buch Jes. enthaltenen Weissagungen, Berlin, 1829. CASPARI: Beitraege zur Einleitung in das B. Jesaja und zur Gesch. der jesajan. Zeit, Berlin, 1848. Ibid.: Jeremia, ein Zeuge f. d. Echth. von Jes. 34, etc. (in the Zeitschr. f. luth. Theol. u. K., 1843).
Of practical treatises on Isaiah I mention only such as comprehend the entire book. VEIT DIETRICH: Der ganze Proph. Jesaias ausgelegt, allen Christen nuetz-und troestlich zu lesen, Nuremberg, 1548. NIK. SELNECCER: Ausleg. des Proph. Jes., Leipzig, 1569. ABR. SCULTETI: Concionum in Jes. habitarum idea confecta opera BALTH. TILESII, Hanau, 1609 (the arrangement of the sermons carried even into details in the Latin). HEINR. BULLINGER: 190 homiliae in Esaiam, Tiguri, 1565 and 1576. RUD. GUALTHERUS: Archetypi homiliarum in Esaiam, Tiguri, 1590 (327 homilies). Des Evangelisten A. T. Jesaiae Sonn-u. Festagsevangelien, etc., gruendlich erklart von J. B. CARPZOV, Leipzig, 1719 (sermons on all Sundays and Feast-days of the Church year, having each a text from Isaiah corresponding to the Gospel text). JNO. GEO. LEIGH (Pastor in Kindelbruecken): Comment. analytico-exegetico-porismaticus oder, exegetisch-moralische Betrachtungen ueber d. Weiss des Proph. Jes. 6 Tom. 4, Brunswick, completed 1734 (diffuse, yet full of spirit, a rich treasury of varied learning).
In regard to that theologia prophetica which endeavors to prove that all the loci of dogmatics are contained in the declarations of the prophets, and which is to be distinguished from the theologia prophetica that gives information of all that relates to the prophets and to prophecy (see BUDDEUS Isagoge in theol. universam, Lipsiو 1727, p. 1738 b sqq.), comp. my remarks in the Introduction to Jeremiah.
Finally I would mention a peculiar poetical treatment of a selection from the prophecies of Isaiah that has appeared under the title: “Les visions d’Esaie et la nouvelle terre par Eliakim, Rotterdam et Leipsic 1854.” The author is a Catholic, but he regards Roman Catholicism as an apostacy from the évangile primitif, which he proves from the prophecies of Isaiah, by attempting to show that the doctrines of the Trinity, of the divinity of Christ, and of justification by faith, are contrary to this gospel. He teaches a sort of transmigration of souls and return to God through successive purification.
Of recent date 1 mention: J. DIEDRICH, Der Proph. Jes. Kurz erklنrt für aufmerks. Bibelleser, Leipsig 1859. By the same: Der Pr. Jes. zu Hausandachten kurz bearbeitet, Hanover 1874. RENNER, Der Pr. Jes. ausgelegt mit Berücksicht. der Würtemb. Summarien, Stuttg. 1865. WEBER, Der Pr. Jes. in Bibelstunden ausgelegt., 2 vol., Nِrdlingen 1875–76.