PROPHECY AND CHOKMA IN THE AGE OF DAVID
§ 15. The Transition of the Kingdom from Benjamin to Judah.
G AMUEL, the late-born son of Hannah, whom she dedicated to the service of Yahweh in Shiloh, is the new founder of the order of the prophets (Acts iii. 24), and the founder of the kingdom. It is due to him that the barbarism of the period of the Judges is followed by the golden age of the history and literature of Israel. The period of Saul, the king from the tribe of Benjamin, forms only the transition to it. His kingdom was only preliminary, and proved itself to be a failure. His presumptuous action in one of his last wars decided his dethronement. In that great utterance (1 Sam. xv. 22 f.) which became the watchword of later prophecy and psalmody, Samuel announced it to him.1 Without associating any more with the
1 It is as follows: "Has Yahweh as great delight in burntofferings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rains ; for rebellion is the sin of witchcraft, and wilfulness is idolatry and teraphim worship."
king he withdrew to Eama (1 Sam. xv. 34 f.). Thence he was sent with the anointing horn to the house of Jesse. There in the seminary of the prophets at Nayoth flourished under his leadership prophecy and music (2 Kings iii. 15), the spiritual powers which should glorify the coming kingdom of promise. There, in the unapproachable retreat of the Spirit's activity, the future king concealed himself by the side of Samuel from the fury of the present one. There Saul himself also, as in the beginning of his kingdom (1 Sam. x. 10) so now in its decline, was seized by the irresistible power of the prophetic Spirit (1 Sam. xix. 23 f.), whose activity is likewise called N3jnn, as (1 Sam. xviii. 10) the violent ecstatic behaviour into which the spirit of melancholy and jealousy transported him. In a case where one who is seized by the prophetic Spirit is ethically unlike it, as Balaam and Saul, the strong chain through which the spirit and flesh are bound needs to be overcome and broken. Saul was indeed the anointed of Yahweh, and as long as he lived was considered even by David an inviolable person (2 Sam. i. 14). From time to time his better self broke through the gloom of the malice and melancholy with which he was enshrouded. But he never raised himself to an ideally theocratic conception of his royal office. This begins first with David, through whom, since the free agency of Saul and God's decree were combined (cf. 1 Sam. xiii. 13), the sceptre passed over to Judah.
§ 16. David's View of Himself after his Anointing.
After the removal of the Benjaminitish kingdom all the expectations of salvation, with which the believers of Israel looked into the future, were centred on the new kingdom which was in process of development, and David himself, after receiving the charismatic chrism, must have appeared to himself all the more significant for the history of salvation, in proportion as he was more joyfully conscious of the fullest devotion to the divine ideal of his royal office. That which Judah, according to the blessing of Jacob, and the future king, according to the utterance of Balaam, should do for their people was indeed so slightly superhuman that David could well regard himself as the king predicted and hoped for. But the person of the theocratic king was even now so significant that David, through this Messianic view of himself, received a central and sacred significance which was of importance for the history of the world. That which the old patriarchal promise says concerning the seed of Abraham, that those who bless him should be blessed, and those that curse him should be cursed, David must now refer to himself. His enemies were considered by him as the enemies of Yahweh, and the imprecations which are hurled against them, even if they have more of an Old than a New Testament spirit, do not proceed from an egotism which overvalues itself. All his psalms are penetrated with the consciousness that his destiny and that of his enemies stands, according to the divine decree, in
causal connection with the final result of human
history; and since he places himself in the light of
the Messianic ideal, he is wafted to an ideal height,
where he is raised far above the accidental events of
his life. This is the case in Ps. xvi. 9—11, where
the hopes which he expresses go far beyond the
thought that God this time—perhaps as he lay sick
—would not suffer him to die. Viewing himself in
the light of his exalted calling and of his intimate
union with God as God's anointed and beloved (cf.
ver. 10& with iv. 4, Tpn 'n r6an), he expects for
himself an endless life without falling into Hades, a
continuous life with a heavenly perspective, in whose
line without an end death is a vanishing element.
He expects for himself that which was not fulfilled in
him, but in the second David, and first through the
second David was also mediately fulfilled in him.
Speaking hyperbolically concerning himself, he became
a prophet (Acts ii. 29—32).1 The most striking example
of this is in Ps. xxii. Neither in the life of David
nor in the life of any Old Testament man of God
can a situation be found which can make the deep
1 In order properly to justify such explanations we must consider: (1) that the New Testament writings do not strictly discriminate between type and prophecy, but combine prediction in deed and word under the general designation of prophecy; (2) that it considers those things in the Psalms of David which transcend his actual experiences as predictions concerning the future Christ; and (3) that it regards the utterance of prophecy, not only with respect to its contents but also with regard to words, as the work of the Spirit mediated by man.
lamentations of this psalm over direct internal and external sufferings conceivable. Only perhaps what David experienced, according to 1 Sam. xxiii. 25 f., when pursued by Saul, could have given occasion to this psalm. But it is inconceivable that the distress in the wilderness of Maon could have corresponded to the remarkably cruel elements of suffering in this psalm. In it David speaks of himself as if he were the crucified Christ, whose rescue from deadly peril, narrated by himself, and from mouth to mouth, will be the consolation of all sufferers, and which will result in the conversion of the heathen, and in the setting up of the kingdom of God among mankind. David's and Christ's path through suffering to glory stand related as type and antitype. But the category of the type does not suffice for such a psalm as the twenty-second. In it the typical fact appears to be hyperbolically magnified beyond itself, and since this hyperbolical element corresponds exactly with the passion of Jesus Christ and its consequences, the spirit of prophecy is the impelling and formative element in these hyperbolical lamentations and views (1 Pet. i. II).1 We must not, however, use the twenty - second Psalm for the history of the progressive Messianic
1 If we presuppose that the speaker in the psalm is the poet, but that he transports himself into the position and mind of the suffering righteous man (Hengstenberg), or of the ideal Israel, the servant of Yahweh (Cheyne), the state of the case is psychologically the same. But if we granted that the poet made some one else than himself the speaker, the psalm would be without a parallel.
proclamation. The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah first gives us the key to this psalm, which, however, we may judge regarding the poet, and the time in which the poet lived and the person of the one described, remains a spiritual prodigy, and can first be understood in the light of New Testament fulfilment. For the history which prophesies in types is the image of God, before which beginning, middle, and end are alike eternally present; but the revelation of God, even that which the types set forth, is defined and measured pedagogically according to the ever recurring historical position and stage of its respective period.
17. The Binding of the Promise to the House
It was not in the time soon after the carrying of the Ark of the Covenant home to Zion, as might appear from the connection of the narrative (2 Sam. vi., vii.), but much later in the period, after the victorious wars1 related in chaps. v. and viii., and before the birth of Solomon (cf. 2 Sam. vii. 12 with 1 Chron. xxii. 9), that David formed the purpose of building Yahweh a temple, which, as Nathan the prophet reveals to him, Yahweh declines, but reserves the execution of the purpose for "his seed after him;"
1 The Ammonitish Syrian war, which lasted three years, can scarcely be included, for we can hardly suppose, with Kohler, vol. ii. p. 318 f., that his grievous sin with Bathsheba preceded the promises in chap. vii. instead of following them.
he responds, however, with the promise of the everlasting possession of the kingdom, so that even the sins of the descendants of David, which draw divine chastisement after them, cannot frustrate the divine pledge, as was the case with Saul.
According to this, that which Nathan announces to David extends to the entire course of history which follows through all futurity. It is true that the promise that David's seed should build the Lord a house (1 Chron. xxii. 7—10, xxviii. 10, xxix. 1) was applied by David to Solomon, and by Solomon to himself (1 Kings v. 19, viii. 17-20), but is later taken up by Zechariah (vi. 12) as yet to be fulfilled. The forty years' reign of Solomon is indeed only a brief part of the endless duration of the Davidic throne, indicated by obty IV (2 Sam. vii. 13). Also the promise in ver. 14: "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son," does not apply exclusively to Solomon, nor in general to this or that ruler from the house of David, but to the Davidic rulers as such. But when it is further said that, in case David's posterity sin, God will chastise them with the stripes of men, without withdrawing His grace from the house of David and overthrowing the throne of David, that would be an assurance which would fall to the ground if, in spite of the breaking off of the Davidic royal line with Zedekiah, the throne of David had not proved to be continuous in the absolute person of the second David, who stood in a unique relation of a child to God, and who is introduced into the world as heir of the throne of David his ancestor (Luke i. 32).
In his prayer of thanksgiving (2 Sam. vii. 18-29 and the parallel passage, 1 Chron. xvii. 16, 1 7) David sees in the fatherly relation in which God has placed Himself to his house a deep condescension, for he says: "Thou hast spoken to the house of Thy servant in the distant future, and, indeed, as is the law of men [the mode of dealing commanded], Yahweh, Almighty," that is, condescending to a relation, as is the divinely-ordered rule between father and son.1 This deep condescension of God is, at the same time, David's highest exaltation. This is the turn which the Chronicler gives to David's words of praise, which are, according to 1 Chron. xvii. 17, "Thou hast regarded me according to the rank2 of a man of station " (hominis excelsitatis, cf. the syntax of 1 Chron. xv. 27), i.e. of a man who is honoured with the highest exaltation (cf. rJi?n, 2 Sam. xxiii. 1). In Ps. xviii. 36 David compresses in two words, ^IV, what he designs to say through the reciprocal relation of nKtl D"iNn rnim and rbwsn tnta "ifri3 wtoi, that is. Thy humility (condescension) hath made me great.
Remark.—It appears from the following considera
1 Joseph Rabinowitsch sees in this mfri riStl an indica
T T T -:
tion of the Messianic Torah, which concerns mankind, in distinction from the national limited Sinaitic Torah.
2 The word Tin as in Esther signifies row, series, rank, according to which the Targum renders mri3 by no3- If "lW is taken as equivalent to "iNn (cf. KJYHipl, form, Berachoth 376), the sense remains the same.
tions that Jesus was really the son of David:—(1) Those who sought help addressed Him as the son of David (Matt. ix. 27, xv. 22, xx. 30 f.; cf. Luke xviii. 38 f.; Mark x. 47 f.). (2) He was greeted by the people on His entrance into Jerusalem with "Hosanna to the son of David" (Matt. xxi. 9); and even by the children this cry was repeated (xxi. 15), without the scribes and Pharisees denying His right to this designation of honour. (3) Even, aside from the two genealogies, Joseph in Matthew (i. 20) as well as in Luke (i. 27) is indicated as a son of David, i.e. as springing from the house of David; for His genealogy, according to Jewish law, was reckoned, not after the mother, but after the father (nrtSiWD imp nyN DN nnSB>D); in this case after Joseph, since Jesus was his legitimate son, because although not begotten by him, He was nevertheless born into his marriage relationship. (4) The apostles indicate Him, according to His human nature, as sprung from the seed of David (Eom. i. 3; 2 Tim. ii. 8; Eev. iii. 7, v. 5, xxii. 16). With regard to both genealogies, Luke is not concerned to show that Mary was a descendant of David, for he does not mention her name at the head of the genealogy. The right interpretation of to? ipofii^ero is given by Eusebius in the passage communicated by Credner:1 There were among the Jews two kinds of opinions, since the Messiah on the one hand was derived from the line of David through Solomon, and on the other hand from the same line through Nathan, because through Jeremiah (xxii. 30) the royal succession was denied to that [line, i.e. of Solomon].2 It is nevertheless
1 Credner, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, p. 68 f.
2 See No. 12 of my Talmudical Studies: "Die zweifache Genea
possible that Mary also, as daughter of Eli (Luke iii. 23), was a descendant of David, and that Joseph, the son of Jacob, was brought up with her at the same time in the house of Eli, and married her.
§ 18. The Separation of the Image of the Messiah from the Person of David.
After those great promises had been uttered by Nathan to David which had the everlasting continuance of his throne, and therefore the inheritance of the kingdom within his house as their centre, his view of himself suffered at the same time a depression; for now he is no longer the chosen one divinely anointed, but the ancestor of a royal family, the first among an indefinite number, to whom after him the kingdom of the promise is to be transmitted. But the case is not so that in the series of rulers whom the promise has in prospect one who is pre-eminent above all others, or who closed the series, was placed before the soul of David; for that one would carry into execution David's purpose to build God a temple, does not imply in itself any pre-eminence over David. On the other hand we must suppose that David, when he measured himself by the theocratic ideal, must have indulged the hope that the government of one of his successors would succeed in an incomparably higher degree in realizing this ideal than had been the case with him; and as when, in the third year of the Amrnonitish and
logie des Messias," Zeitschrift fur die lutherische Theologie und Kirche, Leipzig 1860.
Syrian war, in the midst of the conquest of Eabbath Amnion, which brought the war to a close, as he found himself on the summit of external glory, he plunged into the twofold sin of adultery and murder, which, although he repented and obtained forgiveness, yet shadowed his life until the end, and brought him into a wrong position; from that time his Messianic view of himself must have suffered a tremendous shock, and his hope have been so much the more decidedly directed to a son exalted above himself, a Messiah of God in reality. This conclusion is confirmed by Ps. cx. If in this psalm David himself did not speak of one that was higher, but the people, or, as von Orelli thinks, a prophet (Nathan) concerning David, there would be no psalm at all in which the Messiah would occupy for David the position of a future person. The New Testament Scriptures, however, presuppose that David speaks in this psalm of another rather than of himself, that, as if he had descended from his throne, he bows himself before the One who is at the same time his Son and his Lord, and that therefore, so to speak, the type lays his crown at the feet of the antitype; and we know no counter proofs which compel us to correct1 the view of the psalm, with which the argu
1 Jesus argues in this passage e concerns—an example for the fact that the religious knowledge and practice of the Jewish people in the beginning of the Christian period is not throughout to be measured after that in the Midrash and Talmud. For in the Midrash and Talmud the foolish reference of the psalm to Abraham predominates. Single rays of light indeed appear, as when it is said that the rod of Jacob, the rod of Judah, the rod of Moses,
mentation of the Lord (Mark xii. 35-37 and parallels) stands or falls as untrue, or only indirectly true.
The prophecy also raises itself in this psalm upon a typical foundation; for David also had his throne upon Zion beside Yahweh, but only so far as the ark of the covenant was the sacramental sign of the presence of the supramundane One. Even David emulated the priests in his care for the sanctuary of Yahweh and its endowment, but without himself being a priest or being called one, only as episcopus circa sacra; and the combat against the enemies of Yahweh and of the one sitting at His right hand clothes itself in words and images which remind us of the AmmonitishSyrian war which ended with the conquest of Eabbah. But the two divine utterances, one of which significantly begins with 'n DM, and the other, introduced as most solemnly confirmed by Yahweh, prove that here we have to do, not only with the expression of the type which the Spirit had elevated to predictive words, but with direct immediate prophecy. This may
the rod of Aaron, the rod of the king, are all united in the rod which will be given to the Messiah, in order that He may conquer the peoples of the world. But the reference to Abraham ever recurs and is amalgamated with the reference to the Messiah, since it is said, the holy, blessed be His name, will command the Messiah to sit at His right hand and Abraham at His left. Obadiah Sforno comes nearer the truth, for he places the angel of service, instead of Abraham, on the left side, and gives the entire psalm a Messianic explanation; but the most celebrated interpreters, as Rashi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, are not willing to know anything about a Messianic interpretation. Obadiah Sforno, the Cabbalistic interpreter, stands alone.
be disputed, but it remains ever fixed, that the one addressed is a Davidic king placed in the light of the Messianic ideal, and that the psalm must acquire for the congregation, as part of their hyinn and prayer book, an eschatological Messianic meaning, and that only so in the mouth of the pre-Christian congregation could it have any reasonable sense. The reciprocal relation in which Zech. vi. 12 f. stands to it proves that it is to be understood thus, and not otherwise. The one addressed appears first as ruler at the right hand of God; his people, who most willingly crowd around him, in order with him to fight for him, resemble in numbers and freshness and origin the dew bora from the womb of the dawn of the morning; and without speaking of military armament, it is said that he is clothed with holy, that is, with beautiful garments of divine service OTT^, unfolding, from nTtrj, 2 Chron. xx. 21 f.1),—it is a priestly people, and (thus the transition from ver. 3 is mediated to ver. 4) its leader is priest and king in one person, to whom Yahweh has sworn an everlasting priesthood, which is united with the kingdom after the order of Melchizedek. Nevertheless this transfiguration of the royal image does not win its way; the ruler who with God's help acquires power through bloody war predominates. We see in this a sign, which is not the only one, that the psalm, and not the prophecy of Zechariah, is the older
1 The reading i"n!"D is protected through !» rats 'httftirporwi of the Septuagint against the reading mro, and inCD is unassailable; it is related to "|r)E>, as "]^riD, Isa. xlii. 16, to "]!">n.
production. Moreover, the warlike utterances in vers. 5, 6 have their parallels in the New Testament prophecy concerning the parousia of Christ in judicial glory. The colouring in Eev. xix. 11 ff. of that which Paul says in 2 Thess. ii. 8 does not sound less warlike. It is the unanimous representation of the New as well as of the Old Testament, that the kingdom of God in His Christ will ultimately make its way through fearful judgments; and the Old Testament barrier of the psalm does not consist in warlike images, since these admit of a worthy apprehension of God and of His Christ, but in this, that what the coregent of Yahweh performs as priest and that which distinguishes His people in holy adornment from other people in worldly weapons, remains veiled in silence. If we compare ver. 7, where exaltation of the head is promised to the king as a reward for his work of victory, which he follows unceasingly, with Heb. xii. 2, the deep knowledge of the historical fulfilment is remarkable. But the psalm has an essential part in the course of development toward this New Testament goal. The passage, Ps. cx. 1, is the fundamental text for the expression which so often occurs in the New Testament naOi^eiv e'/e Se£ta>i> rod 6eov as an indication of the status exaltationis. No psalm finds in the New Testament an echo voiced so many times as this.1 Even Sto, Phil. ii. 9, is an echo of \3"?S in ver. 7b,
1 But it deserves to be remarked that the thoroughly mistaken translation, of '131 DmD by the Septuagint U yaarpos vpo smtpopov i'/timnvci at is disregarded by the New Testament writers.
although that which the Psalmist says, in comparison with the utterance of the apostle, is simply a prismatic ray of the future.
§ 19. Davids Testamentary Words.
After the promise of Nathan (2 Sam. vii.) it is established that the Messiah is to be a Son (a descendant) of David. David is the theocratic king, and the Messiah is the realized ideal of the theocratic king. We should be compelled to conclude, without express testimonies from David's moral and religious experience as accredited by history, that David more and more recognised how unlike this ideal he was. But aside from Ps. cx. we have another express testimony for this in his "last words," 2 Sam. xxiii. 1—7; this epilogue of his life, which is joined on to Ps. xviii., according to the standpoint of an inward relationship. As in the 110th Psalm, so these testamentary words indicate their prophetic character even in their beginning, which remind us of the utterances of Balaam (Num. xxiv. 3 f., 15 f.). Upon his dying bed David must be more strongly conscious than ever of the difference between his life and the ideal of the divinelyanointed One. Once more all the glory with which God had graciously blessed him comes before his soul. He feels that he is "the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the singer of the lovely songs of Israel," and as an instrument of the inspiring Spirit of God: but he has been this, and now he is to die; he who, in Ps. xvi., felt himself raised above death and Hades, is brought as a languishing old man to taste of death. At this point he turns from his present condition, embraces the promise, and looks as a prophet into the future of his seed: "The God of Israel hath spoken, the Eock of Israel hath discoursed unto me: a ruler of men, a righteous, a ruler in the fear of God, and as the light of the dawn, when the sun rises, a cloudless morning, when from sunshine, from rain, green springs out of the earth." 1 This image of the future (vers. 3&, 4), introduced as a promise of God which cannot be broken, is nothing else than the image of the Messiah, which has been entirely released from the subjectivity of David, and placed before him. "For" —as in ver. 5 he adds, by way of explanation, the distinction which lies in this promise—" not merely so [small] is my house with God,2 but He hath estab
1 The explanation: "Ii one rules over men in the fear of God, he is like," etc.,—so that what is said is set before David as a model, as Eashi and others maintain, has this, so far as the syntax is concerned, against it, that ver. 4, which begins with
does not appear as the apodosis of a conditional sentence. Everything from 36-4 is a complex subject, an image placed by God before the eyes of David, to which a future—such an one will arise, and he will be, etc.—is to be supplied. The Targum divides the designations in ver. 36 between God and the Future One in a remarkable way: "He who rules over the children of men as a righteous judge has said (promised) to set me a King Messiah, who will finally arise and rule in the fear of the Lord."
2 We understand p"N^ according to Job ix. 35, Num. xiii. 33, Isa. li. 6, as spoken with a gesture of disdain, "not (merely) so."
lished an everlasting covenant for me, ordered in all ways, and well assured; for all my salvation, and all that is desired1 (by me), should He not cause it to spring ?" 2 Although he dies, nevertheless the ideal of the Messiah will be realized within his house. His sun sets in order to rise all the more gloriously. While the enemies of the kingdom of promise shall be burned up as abominable thorns,3 the salvation promised David will spring up, since it shall have a
1 fBfvbsi is to be understood after the model of Ex. xv. 2
(mofl='mOH),as equivalent to 'SSrrbsi, and also is to be understood according to 1 Kings v. 23,24, not as equivalent to lXSn"^31, according to Isa. xlviii. 14, cf. liii. 10. The Targum has the right rendering : 'rBP3"bai.
2 Since nfp "o cannot be established in the sense of annon (should he not ?), 13 is to be considered the emphatic repetition of the preceding 13 and f/^> (as a question with an interrogative accent without an interrogative word), equivalent to N^n; cf. K^n 'a, 2 Sam. xix. 23. Wellhausen, since he reads fcj^n iVDn, removes the difficult '2
3 The adjective "ijd (Septuagint sZaoftfay) gives only in the
sense of driven away, equivalent to abominated, a sense which fits the connection. A conjectural lies too far away, rather (pp3)> according to Judg. viii. 7, 16. The meaningless n3C'3 has been erroneously introduced from ver. 7 into ver. 8
(Wellhausen); for it cannot signify "on the spot" (Keil and Kimchi), and in this sense it would be without significance [for the passage]. We might rather translate with annihilation, with peremptory judgment (Jerome, usque ad nihilum); but ri3B> forms neither in Biblical nor in post-Biblical Hebrew a derivative rot^. Hence [we are to understand] that they [the thorns] are
not seized with the hand, but that they are seized by one armed with a long-handled spear, in order to take hold of them and to cast them into the fire.
bodily reality in a scion of his house. This word nw [he shall cause to sprout] becomes later a favourite expression of Messianic prophecy (Jer. xxxiii. 15; Ezek. xxix. 21 ; Ps. cxxxii. 17); and nox [sprout], after the way has been prepared through Isa. iv. 2 and Jer. xxiii. 5, xxxiii. 15, becomes fully the name of the Messiah in Zechariah.
§ 20. Messianic Desires and Hopes of Solomon.
But the time when the Messiah as an eschatological person is contrasted with the untheocratic Davidic kingdom of the present is still far away. The testamentary words of David do not justify the supposition that he represents the realization of the Messianic promise as belonging to the extreme end of a line of rulers arising from him. We need not be surprised, therefore, when Solomon in the seventy-second Psalm, which bears in all its peculiar lineaments the stamp of a Solomonic origin, makes the Messianic image which God had placed before the soul of his dying father, since it contains nothing superhuman, as a precious legacy, his ideal; and that, entering on his reign, he cherished the wish that in his person the Messianic idea, and through his government the Messianic age, might be realized, whether it be that he utters the wish for himself, or puts it in the mouth of the people as a petition and hope.
The psalm begins (ver. 1) with a petition made directly to God, which passes over (vers. 2-8) into the
form of a wish; the wishes then become hopes (vers. 9-15), and these again, in ver. 16 f., wishes. The expression of the thoughts therefore is predominatingly optative. The wish (ver. 6): "May He come down like rain upon meadow grass, as powerful showers upon the earth,"1 reminds us of 2 Sam. xxiii. 4, where the effect of the parousia of the Messiah is compared with the greenness of the earth after a fertilizing warm rain. The wish: "May He rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth," sounds like an echo from Num. xxiv. 19 in Balaam's prophecy. And the wish, 176, "May they bless themselves in Him, may all nations call Him blessed," applies the old promise concerning the blessing of the peoples in the seed of the patriarchs to the Messiah of Israel. All the peoples of the world may wish themselves the blessing of the divinely-chosen and blessed one, hence wonderingly and desirous of salvation they may subject themselves to Him. The psalm is not directly, but only indirectly prophetic, since it is wished that in Solomon may be fulfilled what is predicted and hoped of the Messiah. These wishes have all to a certain extent been fulfilled in Solomon, yet so that the Messianic ideal over against the glory of Solomon preserved its transcendent character, in order that it might
1 We do not change sj'PT, with Cheyne, into fpTV. Precisely this accumulation of synonyms appears to us to be a characteristic of the style of Solomon, as it is a characteristic element of the introductory Proverbs (chaps. i.-ix., see v. 14, 19, cf. v. 11, vi. 7, vii. 9, viii. 13, 31).
be evident that its proper fulfilment lay in the domain of the future.
§ 21. Prophecy and Chohna.
The seventy-second Psalm is not directly a prophetic psalm, nor is a Psalm directly prophetic to be expected from Solomon. While it is related concerning David, that with his anointing through Samuel the Spirit of Yahweh came over him (1 Sam. xvi. 13), the anointing of Solomon by Zadok appears to be more of a worldly than of a spiritual circumstance (1 Kings i. 39). David received in Bethlehem, with the anointing, the spirit of prophecy, which raised him above the bounds of his nature, and initiated him into the secrets of the works and ways of the God of Israel. But Solomon entreated for himself in Gibeon the insight which was necessary for him as ruler and judge, and received the promise of a wise and understanding heart without a parallel (1 Kiugs iii. 12). His peculiar gift was wisdom which looked through the things of this world, and made itself serviceable, and knew how to ennoble it through a moral religious apprehension.
As Solomon, according to his name, was the man of peace (nfroo B^N, 1 Chron. xxii. 9), that is, of a luxurious peace, which he enjoyed, which blossomed from the struggles and distresses of the Davidic age, there culminated in general with him the wide-hearted, more cosmopolitan than national tendency of his age, which entered into competition with the peoples in artificial products of the mind, as well as in commercial undertakings and buildings. The intellectual life took on under him the character of the gnosis, which sought to establish the contents of the pistis in a speculative way. The time of the Chokma began, which is turned less to revelation on the side of the history of redemption than to it on the side of a common humanity, and it sought to lay hold of the universal ideas on which even then the predisposition of a Yahweh religion to a world religion was recognisable.
The time of Solomon became the time of the efflorescence of the Chokma literature. For the foundation of the Book of Proverbs, which moves in the checkered variety of the circumstances of human life, and is divided into rules of life rooted in the fear of God, is Solomonic.
The Song of Songs, which celebrates the relation of that sacred love which is common to men, is not wanting in internal evidence of Solomon's authorship.
And for the origin of the Book of Job there is no time better fitted than the age of Solomon and its Chokma associations, out of which has gone forth the original book as well as the section of Elihu, which seeks to bring back his boldness to the proper degree of moderation. The Book of Job, so to speak, is a poem of religious philosophy, which in the form of a dramatized history of a righteous man, outside of Israel, seeks to answer the question concerning the divine motive and object in the sufferings of a righteous man, and, rightly understood, answers it for all time from the standpoint of divine love, and in the participation of those who love God, and who are loved by Him in securing the ends of the world's history. We emphasize three passages of this wonderful book (xvii. 3, xix. 2 327, xxxiii. 23 f.), which show that the Chokma on its side, as well as prophecy, prepares the way for the parousia of the God-man, and the transition of the religion of Israel into Christianity.
Remark.—If the Song of Songs were an allegorical poem, it would be a prophetical production. The Targum paraphrases it as a picture of the history of Israel from the exodus out of Egypt, reaching into the Messianic period. For this reason it is a constituent part of the liturgy of the eighth Passover day. Shulamith is regarded as an image of Israel, and Solomon as an image of God. All no5>B> of the Song of Songs—according to an ancient saying—are holy, excepting viii. 11, namely, as a figurative indication (^a) of the God of peace. Naturally the traditional churchly explanation understood the Solomon of the Song of Songs as an image of Christ, that is, of the Messiah who appeared in Jesus. But the allegorical interpretation shows that it cannot be carried through. The figurative interpretation of all details falls into a boundless arbitrariness, and loses itself in scandalous absurdities. Solomon was not a prophet of the future Messiah, and still less did he make his own person in an allegorical way the image of the Messiah. But he was a type of Christ, and Shulamith of Galilee, Solomon's companion picture, can be considered as a type of the Church, raised by Christ out of a lowly condition to a fellowship with him in love and glory. In the Syrian Bible the Song of Songs is called chekmat chekmdid, that is, wisdom of wisdom (Weisheit der Weisheiteri). It is a Chokma book, which, as a part of the canon, is a riddle challenging acumen. As a Chokma book it has so far its place, as it has not a contents which is national, but common to all mankind, and in a pious, clever way celebrates pure, true sexual love; but it has become a part of the canon only, as we may assume, because its prophetic sense is presupposed. It is, however, not direct prophecy, but a typical shadow which is first rightly to be understood from the standpoint of the history of fulfilment of the loving relation, not of God, but of the God-man to His Church.
§ 22. The Goei and the Mediating Angel in the Book
It is one-sided and misleading when we seek the preparation for the New Testament in the Old solely in genuine Messianic prophecy. The progressive knowledge of God the Eedeemer is just as important a side of the preparation as the progressive knowledge of the world-wide rule of the second David. This latter, as we shall see farther on, must be satisfied in the Old Testament with a radical transformation, in order to blend with the knowledge of God the Eedeemer in a way corresponding to the divine decree which is consummated in the New Testament. The Book of Job has an important part in furthering the knowledge of salvation on the divine side. The friends of Job consider his great sufferings as the punishment of great sins, and in this way heighten his inward trial, for he is conscious of his previous state of grace, although he appears to be a target of the divine wrath, without knowing in what way he has brought it upon him. The wise love, according to which God acts, is turned into sovereign caprice. But gradually the clouds are broken, and the knowledge that this God cannot be absolutely arbitrary begins to dawn upon him.
In xvii. 3 he prays to God that God might deposit a pledge (W fwi?), and give security to Himself (jl??), the God of love to the God of wrath. It is the fundamental idea of the New Testament Gospel concerning the reconciliation (icaraWay^) which flashes forth here. God is conceived of as two kinds of persons: as Judge, who treats Job as worthy of punishment; and as Surety, who pledges Himself before the Judge for the innocence of the sufferer, and at the same time gives bail. And in xix. 23-27 he presses through to the postulate of faith, that even if his skin should be completely 1 destroyed, and his outer man should be dissolved in the dust of the grave, yet the truth would break through the false appearance, and wrath would give place to love, and God the
1 The signification of "completely" is involved in "iriK, and nNt signifies adverbially, "in this manner." The connection forbids that we should take it together with "Hiy, according to It "inn, Ps. xii. 8. The subject of ^Sjjp are the hidden powers of destruction.
living one, outlasting everything, would appear for him the dead, and coming forth out of His hidingplace, would permit him with the eyes of the other world to behold Him as his that is, as the avenger of his blood which is regarded as that of a criminal, as a ransomer of his honour which has fallen into disgrace, as a redeemer from the curse which rested upon him, above all things, from the consciousness of divine wrath, whose decree seemed to have occasioned his sufferings. As that which he begs in
xvii. 3 appears in 2 Cor. v. 19 as performed through God in Christ for the whole world; so Bom. viii. 34 shows into what a confession of firm confidence Job's 'bw 'ny-P 'jtO is transformed from the New
At • :-t • -:r
Testament standpoint. The human side of this divine work of redemption is not considered in these bold words of faith. But in the section of Elihu we see the preparation for a recognition of a Mediator between God and man, since from the elevation of man out of the depth of the guilt of sin, and the condition of punishment, the following representation is presented in xxxiii. 23, 24: "If with him [the sinner who stands on the brink of death and hell] an angel is present1 as mediator one of a thousand
(that is, pre-eminent above a thousand) to announce to man what is for his advantage. He (God) has compassion on him, and says: Let him go free, that he may not go down into the grave—I have demanded an
1 We understand V^Jf as in V^JJ 3SH, to stand by any one, Gen.
xviii. 2, xlv. 1, and elsewhere.
expiatory payment" (isb, a \vrpov covering sin and guilt). Here we see in the Book of Job, which is elsewhere remarkable for its angelology, that the redemption of man can only be mediated by means of a superhuman being. The angelus internuntius is a preformation of the Eedeemer going forth from the range of the Godhead. The angelic form is the oldest, which the hope of a mediator of salvation gives (Gen. xlviii. 16).1 It is taken up again—to remark even here by way of anticipation—in Mai. iii. 1 (cf. also the remarkable translation of the Septuagint of Isa. ix. 5). The rvon of prophecy is the reality of the ip/ha fbii postulated by the Chokma.
1 Cf. on this passage, Kemmler, Hiob oder Kamvp und Siey im Leiden, Stuttgart 1876; and Rogge, Vas Buck Hiob, der Gemeinde dargeboten, Erlangen 1877.