Chapter VII



§ 26. The Relation of the three oldest Prophetie
Writings to the Messianic Idea.

HE greatest oratorical development of the power

-*- of prophecy falls in the period of the world empires, which is opened by the conflict of Israel (Ephraim), and then of Judah with Assyria, which was brought on by the attack on Judah through the allied kingdoms of Syria and Ephraim. This SyroEphraimitic war arose in the last years of Jotham. The year of the death of his father Uzziah,—according to the Biblical records, 755 B.C.,—in which Isaiah was called, is the boundary of the splendid period of prophetic literature and of its forerunners Obadiah, Joel, and Amos. Obadiah prophesies under Joram the son and successor of Jehoshaphat, after the apostasy of Edom from the Davidic supremacy (2 Kings viii. 22; 2 Chron. xxi. 10), the punishment which is to come upon Edom; Joel had that apostasy, with which the slaughter of the Judaeans dwelling in Idumea was connected (iii. 19 ff.), still in fresh remembrance; and his book mirrors a time of the well-arranged service of Yahweh as it existed in the first half of the government of Joash (about 850 B.C.), but no longer in the second. Amos' appearance occurs, according to the superscription of his book, in the time of Uzziah, two years before the earthquake, and as the contents of the book shows, in the time of the last century of Jeroboam II., the first of Uzziah,—the round of judgments announced by him begins with Damascus (cf. i. 4 with 2 Kings viii. 12, xiii. 22), and falls then, as in Joel on Philistia, which was still tributary under Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xvii. 11), on Phoenicia and Edom. But these prophets are still more closely entwined together through their mutual relationship to the misfortune under Joram (2 Chron. xxi. 16 f., xxii. 1); the attack upon Judah through hordes of Philistines and Arabs, the slaying of all the children of Joram except Ahaziah, and the carrying away of a great part of the Judaeans, and especially of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, which were sold partly to the Phoenicians, and partly by these and the Edomites to the Greeks of Asia Minor (Obad. ver. 20; Joel iii. 1-8; Amos i. 6-10), afford a picture, in which the elements are mutually supplementary, of this prelude of the following great exile.

But in order to secure a right picture of the relations of the most ancient literary prophets—that is, of those whose writings we possess—to the Messianic idea, and not a picture which is distorted through a misleading argumentation e silentio, we must take Obadiah, Joel, and Amos together. In Obadiah it is D^tfBno, victorious deliverers, who march from the mountain of Zion to the mountain of Esau in order to punish a malicious hereditary enemy (21a); but in Joel it is Yahweh, who dwells in Zion, who does not suffer the brother's blood shed by Edom to go unavenged (iv. 21); and in Amos, who has survived the deep humiliation of Judah and its king through the proud more powerful northern kingdom, and the worst in the demolition of the walls of Jerusalem through Joash, the father and predecessor of Jeroboam II. (2 Kings xiv. 13), it is the house of David restored, through which Edom is again subjugated (Amos ix. 11 f.): "On that day I will raise up the hut of David which is fallen, and wall up its breaches [of the walls]; and that which is torn down [of David] I will build up as in the days of old, in order that they may take possession of the remnant of Edom, and of all the peoples upon whom my name has been named 1 [as belonging to the kingdom of my anointed]." This is not an immediate Messianic prophecy, but the raising up again of the house of David is of like import with the promise of another David, an antitype of David and Solomon. If the prophecy were taken more personally, nevertheless it would not for this reason have a more New Testament character,

1 Instead of DHS TVINC nN SEn" JJflD^ the Septuagint reads

JVIXE' jyD^J (oirus £«£htij<;<cw/» ol Kurahonroi run ivSpa

vut), without an object. The [reading] To» Kvptov, which is added in the Alexandrian MS., probably was taken from Rev. xv. 17. We see from the previous use of the passage that the Septuasint was esteemed almost as highly as the primitive text.

for the fundamental character of the image of the Messiah at [this] time is still a righteous dominion establishing peace, which rises upon the foundation of victorious primitive wars, and because it is exercised in the name of the one true, holy God it also makes an overpowering impression upon the world outside of Israel. It is therefore an anachronism, which offends against the development of the Messianic proclamation, when some, as Luther, following Jerome, understand by nnVr' n^°. promised in Joel ii. 23, the Messiah as instructor in righteousness. If the words were to be translated thus, the prophet must mean himself under this divinely-given teacher, who instructed the people in the conduct which was in accordance with salvation (? like b«, 2 Chron. vi. 27), through which it can be free from the destinies under which it now suffers. We have not here to examine whether it is not rather intended: "According to the measure [as it must where the cultivation of the land is blessed] of the beginning of the early rain," since it lies outside of the range of our investigation.

For the very reason that the knowledge given prophetically has not yet advanced so far as to connect with the ideal king of the future the representation of a teacher who proclaims the way of salvation, we do not miss the Messiah in the three prophets, but rejoice all the more in the great New Testament ideas uttered by them, which, when the true Messiah shall appear, will take an essential place in the proclamation with which He stands forth, and in the religion of the Messiah, that is, in Christianity, which has Him as its centre. The aim of the history of the world, according to the closing words of Obadiah's prophecy, is this, that Yahweh may have the royal rule (ro^an 'n? nrprn), hence the realization and completion of the kingdom of God. The conception of the kingdom of God has not yet in Obadiah the fulness and depth of meaning which it secured when Jesus Christ appeared among the people with the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of God; but when, according to Mark i. 15, He said: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come; repent, and believe on the gospel," He certainly means that now the time has passed which was determined according to God's decree for the transition of the prophecy which was begun by Obadiah concerning the future kingdom of God, to the gospel which now appears in reality. And while in Obadiah the breaking through of the kingdom of God is really prepared by bloody war and victory, by the extension of the dominion of the people of God, and by bringing home those of their own people who have been delivered into slavery, we hear in Joel of a pouring out of the Spirit of God upon all flesh, so that that which sounds so external in Obadiah, is spiritualized to such an extent by means of a gigantic step forward, that the apostles, in that which they experience at Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, see a fulfilment which corresponds with the prophecy of Joel: "And it shall come to pass afterwards," says God through the prophet, " I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men see visions. And also upon the servants and the handmaids will I pour out in those days my Spirit."

The bold image of the pouring out of the Spirit1 has arisen since the promises pertaining to the immediate future of the pouring out of rain and of the destruction of grasshoppers are surpassed by the eschatological promises of the pouring out of the Spirit and of judgment upon the world, which is hostile to the people of God. As rain rejuvenates the natural world, so the Spirit of God works within man a new life which renders him happy, and which shows itself without as a power over the world. The pouring out of this Spirit indicates a gift in a fulness and strength which has hitherto not been experienced. Before there were individuals in Israel, especially the prophets, who stood with God through His Spirit in near confidential relations; but this spiritual life in God becomes the future possession of all, without distinction of sex and age, even of those who do not belong to the people of Israel by birth, but as servants through incorporation.

Since this expression "to ^3 is used especially in connection with Israel, it might appear that it does not here indicate the entire human race. But in every place where "to ^3 occurs it has an absolute sense. Sometimes it embraces the animals, e.g. Gen. vi. 13;

1 The LXX. weakens it, since it translates 'nnVIN TjiSB'K partitively tK-^iZi diro Tos z-nvftaTos fiov.

but especially it indicates the whole, with reference to its material character, weakness and mortality (Isa. xl. 5; Zech. ii. 17; Ps. lxv. 3). And that Joel includes the heathen in the future salvation appears in that which he further says concerning the judgments which make way for salvation, and concerning those who are to have a part in the salvation (iii. 3-5): "And I give signs in heaven and upon earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the day of Yahweh, the great and terrible. And it shall come to pass that every one who shall call on the name of Yahweh shall escape: for upon Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be an escaping, as Yahweh hath said, and among those who flee whom Yahweh intends to call." From here there falls upon "ib>3 $>3 a light which confirms the absoluteness of the conception. The divine word contained in the writing of Obadiah, fjjnn ]i»y "in3 nt?'!?^ "in Mount Zion there shall be an escaping," is here repeated by Joel as a citation, in order to supplement it by another divine word which is spoken regarding it. There is to remain, not only one, but also a twofold "D^s, "escaping," one consisting of those of the people of Israel who in the midst of judgments turn themselves to the God of salvation desiring salvation, and one consisting of the B,T"iB>, whom Yahweh shall call.1 As the distinction demands,

1 Among the old translators Jerome is the first who has correctly rendered the words m'p 'n 1E>K D'TI&SI, et in residuis,

the mass who are to be saved out of the heathen world is intended. Those from Israel shall be saved by calling on a God who has already been revealed to them; those from the heathen by the call of mercy of the One revealing Himself to them.

While in this way the conception of 1E>3 bs, "all flesh," on the one side receives the general reference to the Israelitish people and the people outside of Israel, it is narrowed on the other, since God's people of the final period appear as the result of a judicial sifting process, which reduces the mass of Israel and of the heathen to a kernel which can withstand the fire. Amos also testifies to this sifting process (ix. 9): "For, behold I appoint and will [by means of the world power executing this appointment] shake the house of Israel, as one shakes in a sieve, and there shall not fall a grain to the earth." The chaff is blown away from the sieve which is shaken against the wind, and the rubbish and dirt falls through it; but the wheat remains in the sieve, in order to be planted in the ground of the land of promise in its time. The mass of Israel is mingled with the heathen, and perishes. The fundamental idea of Isaiah, 3*B« "IKE>, only a remnant, but yet a remnant shall be converted, which is also a fundamental idea of the Epistle to the Eomans (for, as the apostle, ix. 6, says, they are not all Israelites who are from Israel), therefore already finds expression in the three oldest prophetic writings.

quos Dominus vocaverit, according to which Luther and all the others render, "whom the Lord shall call."

It is exclusively grace which makes Israel God's people and insures its continuance. On its natural side, if the election by grace and the condition of grace is disregarded, it does not stand before God higher than the peoples of the world. Amos ix. 7: "Are ye not to me like the sons of the Cushites, children of Israel?" is Yahweh's address. "Did I not bring Israel up out of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and Aram from Kir?" Israel, who has fallen from grace, and has sunk back into his natural condition, has nothing as an advantage above the Ethiopians, and in itself, aside from God's wonderful works, which the mass of Israel despises, and God's purposes of grace, which it renders vain, the exodus of Israel from Egypt stands on the same plane with the wanderings of the Philistines from Crete, and the Aramaeans from the neighbourhood of the river Kura.

These are New Testament thoughts in the midst ot the Old Testament. Worth is not measured by God according to fleshly origin, but according to the inward relation to the God of salvation. "There is no difference," says Paul, Rom. x. 12, "between Jews and Greeks. There is one Lord of all, rich over all who call on Him: for [it is the word of Joel's, iii. 5, to which he appeals] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." If we were to think away the genuine Messianic prophecy of a Christ of God from the Old Testament, Jesus would even then be the goal, fulfilment, and conclusion of the Old Testament, because through Him the New Testament ideas of the Old Testament not only have come into consciousness, but also in the history of the world have attained a decided domination.

Remark.—The Book of Jonah also deserves to be mentioned here. Even the sending of Jonah to Nineveh, in order to call to repentance through threatened judgment, is unique in the Old Testament; for in every case except this the predictions of the prophets concerning the nations proceed from the prophetic watch-tower in the land of Israel. Even Jesus considered Himself as assigned to the circle of the people of Israel. Also the apostles before the ascension of the Lord were limited to this narrow circle; and as later Peter should enter a heathen house with the preaching of salvation, he must first be freed through a heavenly vision from his opposition. Hence it is not remarkable that Jonah sought to avoid his mission to Nineveh. There is even a subjective justification for his being sullen when justice was visited upon the Ninevites instead of mercy. It was probably not common envy (as Acts xiii. 45; cf. 1 Thess. ii. 16); but he may have surmised that the reception of the heathen would result in the loss of Israel's position as children. But through the feelings which were occasioned by the hikayon (Eicinus), which sprang up quickly and withered as quickly, God brings him the consciousness that also the heathen, who not less than Israel have Him as their Creator and Governor, are objects of His pity. Not only through the Ninevites, but also through the heathen sailors, He shows that the heathen are in no wise given up to be lost; that also among them neither noble humaneness nor, when God the only Holy One

and His will are revealed, receptivity and obedience to faith are wanting, that therefore in the heathen world there is a preparatory activity of grace which is connected with the testimony of the conscience. That which Joel testifies in chap. iii., that the heathen are embraced in the divine decree, this the Book of Jonah teaches and confirms through facts. "We may date it as we will, we may explain the wonderful preservation of the prophet for his calling as we will, the remarkable anticipation of the New Testament in the Old, and the utterances of Jesus, as Matt. xii. 39-41, show how fond He was of this book, in which He found prefigured His own way leading through the grave to the heathen.

§ 27. The View of Hosea, the Ephraimitic Prophet of the Final Period.

Hosea, whose book is properly the Ephraimitic prophetic book, is connected with Amos the Judaean prophet, who, following the drawing of the Spirit, appeared in Bethel, the chief place of Jeroboam's worship. How long after this time his activity lasted is doubtful; but for us it is of no consequence, for those of his views into the future with which we are concerned fall at a time when he entered upon his office. Hosea is, as Ewald describes him, the prophet of the highly tragical pain of love. Love contends with wrath until wrath finally disappears in the triumph of love. It is connected with this, so to say, mystic and erotic element of Hosea, that the beginnings of his prophecy are interwoven with two marriages, which were commanded him, in order to represent the present and future of Israel in living images. Out of the first prophetic marriage spring three children: Jezreel, who symbolizes the judgment of destruction, by which the murderous dynasty of Jehu is visited in the plain of Jezreel; Lo-Euchama, whose name indicates that the period of God's grace for the house of Israel is past, while, on the contrary, a wonderful rescue, although not mediated through the power of arms, impends for the house of Judah; and Lo-Ammi, according to whose name Israel has ceased to be God's people, and He may not be Israel's God.

These three children, and the mother of these children, who was originally a prostitute, attest the night side of God's relation to His people. But in chap. ii. this comfortless image of the present is transformed into an image of the future, rich in hopes, since out of the dark ground of the name Lo-Ammi the promise flames forth, that Israel shall be a numerous people, whom Yahweh recognises again as His people and His children; and from the name Jezreel the promise that again from Judah and Israel there will be one victorious people, under a common head; and from the name Lo-Kuchama, the promise that the members of this people as such, having found mercy, will mutually welcome each other.

But before the form of the mother clears up, the dark ground of her moral degradation is disclosed. This takes place in ii. 4-15, and with $ (ver. 16) the transformation of reproof and threatening into the comfort of promise appears; for the reason that now wrath has been poured forth, not without effect (cf. ver. 9 b), the congregation of Israel receives in the exile Yahweh's sweet persuasive call, and He accompanies them to the wilderness, in the passage between the place of punishment and the land of promise, encouraging those who have become faint through long suffering. From this place the promises begin, which mount higher and higher. The false gods become so thoroughly disagreeable to the congregation that it is dreadful to them to name their names. The entire natural world enters into a covenant of peace with them, and between them and Yahweh there arises a relation of love which has its resemblance in the melting together of two lives in marriage: "And I will espouse thee to me for ever; and I will espouse thee to me in righteousness and justice, and in mercy and in pity. And I will espouse thee to me in truth, and thou shalt recognise the Lord " ('rmN).

The dark ground of the congregation, who have given themselves body and soul to idolatry, and who, as such, are typified through Gomer, who was married by the prophet, is now consumed in the absolute brightness of mid-day. Although a higher ascent of the promise from this point is impossible for us, nevertheless it does not rest, but combines before it closes once more the three prophetic forms together with which it began (vers. 23—25): "And it shall come to pass on that day: I will hear, utterance of Yahweh; I will hear the heavens, and these shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the new wine, and the oil; and these shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her [a congregation] to me in the land; and I will have compassion on Lo-Euchama, and I will say to Lo-Ammi: 'Thou art my people ;' and he shall say: 'My God.'"

The universe is pervaded with the feeling of dependence of one creature upon another; one prays, as it were, to another for the granting of that through which it needs to be supplemented, and this supplication of all creatures is finally a supplication of God, who conditions all things which He makes on a chain of hearing, whose final link is the divine congregation which has been sown in the Holy Land. That which Hosea says here concerning the blessing of the natural world, which descends from heaven as by a ladder, and which speaks of a union of love with God (unio rnystica), touches Bom. viii. 18-23 and Eev. xix. 6-9, but only from a distance; for all is directed, not to the human race, but to Israel, and not to the earth, but to the land of Israel, which he designates with Jezreel, as though he meant only the land of the kingdom of Israel. But he means the entire land of promise; for Israel and Judah, as be prophesies (ii. 2a), will again be united under one common head. This prophecy in the mouth of the Ephraimitic prophet is more significant than in the mouth of Amos the Judaean. Duhm says:1 "Hosea, so far as we know, is the first who declares that the continuance of a separate royal house

1 Theologie der Propheten, Bonn 1875, p. 128.

in Israel is unlawful, or better, is sinful, and who categorically demands the abandonment of independence and a return to David." This view of the case is not correct, for all the prophets recognise that the kingdom of Israel exists lawfully; they see in the division of the kingdom a punishment of God which has gone over the house of David, but which will not last lor ever: the Israel of the final period will again be one people. But Hosea is indeed the first who gives this hope definite expression, yet more definitely in chap. iii. than in ii. 2, where the prophet, who seems meanwhile to have become a widower, is directed to marry a woman, whose love for him is not her first, so that it is to be feared that the old flame will burn again in her, and threaten the faithfulness of marriage. This wise, strict indeed, but well-meant behaviour of the prophet with this wife who is inclined to adultery, is designed to serve as an image of the dealing which Yahweh adopts with His people, in order to wean them from their infidelity to Him: "For many days the children of Israel shall sit without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice and without statue, and without ephod and teraphim. Afterward shall the children of Israel convert, and seek Yahweh their God, and David their king; and shall come trembling to Yahweh, and to His goodness at the end of the days." This is not a companionpiece to Eom. xi. 25 of the same value. For the Israel of whom Hosea here speaks is Israel in the narrow sense,—the people of the ten tribes,—to which he himself belongs. The "many days" is the incalculably long Assyrian exile. The religion of the ten tribes was a state religion, decreed from above (obenher decretierte), with the chief places of worship at Bethel and Dan, where the molten images (n?BD, 2 Kings xvii. 16), representing Yahweh as a steer stood, and where sacrifices were made to God in the form of a steer, which is indicated by fut; whereas, on the other hand, nnso designates the statue of Baal (x. 1 f.), and tPenm "lisN (as Judg. xvii. 5) indicate the apparatus of the oracle, by means of which they sought and made known the divine will.

As the prophet removes from his wanton wife her intrigue, so God will remove from His people all the supports and means of promoting an idolatrous worship, especially the government of the state, through which it is seduced to apostasy from the One God, who cannot be represented by an image. In the midst of an exile of long duration, under the pressure of foreign heathenism, and of the condition of punishment into which it is betrayed by its own heathenism, it will be seized by a penitent desire after Yahweh its God and David its king. Those who for centuries have served kings of many dynasties without a promise, will again submit themselves to a king of the house which has the promise of God. Nevertheless D3?0 "IW will signify more than Reuss says, la dynastie Ugitime des Isaides, more than the son of David, ruling precisely at the time when this transformation takes place. It might indeed be thought that this signification of the words would suffice, since Hosea predicts an Assyrian exile, which makes an end of the ten tribes, but not at the same time a Babylonian, through which the Davidic dynasty suffers a breaking off for an incalculably long time. But he knows that also Judah, although a wonderful deliverance awaits it in the time of Assyrian judgment (i. 7), is ripening for a harvest of punishment (vi. 5), and his prophecy has reference to the final period (cdjli rvnnN3), and a king who is indicated not only as "VR or tn 1V3o, but expressly as Tn, can only be such an one in whom David lives again; hence an antitype of David, hence the Messiah, according to which the Targum translates: "They will be obedient to Messiah, the Son of David, their king." The prophecy is Messianic, but its point still remains—the union of Israel with Judah under a second David; and concerning the person of this second David it does not say anything more definite. The connection of the God of Israel and this king allows us only to conclude that he is the anointed of God in full reality.

Remark.—There are also typical elements in the Book of Hosea, but that is not useful material for the reconstruction of the course of development of Messianic prophecy; for, first, when the prophetic text is lighted up by the history of New Testament fulfilment, we shall be surprised by the perception that the word of the prophet here and there, without his knowledge and will, by means of the Spirit of inspiration, takes on a form in which it corresponds to the facts, which are related antitypically to that which was originally intended by them. When Matthew (ii. 15) sees in the fact that Egypt should be a place of refuge for the holy family with the Christ-child, the fulfilment of the word of God in Hos. xi. 1, he certainly does not fail to recognise that that which is said in Hosea is in its first reference intended of Israel; but he does not regard it as a mere accident that as Israel, God's first-born, so also Jesus, God's only born, was concealed for a time in Egypt, and from there, through God's call, returned to the land intended for Him.

Also the prediction of the resurrection of Israel (vi. 1-3) has a typical form. The time will come when the call to repentance will re-echo among the entire people. Israel, in the condition of punishment in which it finds itself, will recognise the judgment of its God, and will have confidence in Him who is not less gracious than just, "for [so they comfort each other] He who hath torn us will heal us, He who smote us will also bind us up. He will make us alive again after two days; on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him." The people now lies as one dead in the grave, but the second day of his burial will be the turning-point of his new life, and the third day will be the day of his resurrection. As in the bringing back of Israel the UD-j^ follows W, so in Jesus' breaking through the kingdom of the dead %a>oiroLri<n<t, resuscitatio, and avdara^it (e<yepcri<;), resurrectio, are to be discriminated. The resuscitation by means of which spirit and body, released from their unity, secured an independent life, preceded the going forth from the grave in a glorified body.'

The history of Israel is, in its great essential features, an original and copy of the history of Christ. A resurrection day is to follow the two days of the death of Israel, of which the second ends in a transition from death to life. Days of God, not days measured by the sun, are intended, perhaps the Assyrian, the Babylonian, and the Boman exile, in which the Jewish people are still living. Jerome thought that he was compelled to understand Hos. xiii. 14 as treating of the resurrection on account of 1 Cor. xv. 54—57: Quod apostolus in resurrectionem interpretatus est Domini, nos aliter interpretari nec possumus nec audemus. But the divine words in Hos. xiii. 14 are not promising, but extremely threatening: "Out of the hand of Hades should I free them, from death should I redeem them? [no] where are thy plagues, death ? where thy pestilence, 0 Hades! Pity must be hidden before my eyes." Pity is so near to God, although Israel has so grievously sinned against Him. But now it must depart, in order that He may not be seized by it. He summons against Ephraim, who is hardening itself against Him, Hades and death with the powers of destruction, over which they have control: He suffers this people, without checking them, to fall a prey to Hades and death, so that their bringing again, so far as such a thing is possible, is to be the bringing of one who is dead from his death. Paul does not intend to say by means of 1 Cor. xv. 54 f., Tore 'yevrjaerat, o A0705 6 yeypafifievos, that then, when the last enemy is overcome, the Hoseanic expression, irov crov Qdvare Kt\. as prophetic word, is to be fulfilled, but then that will take place which these words of the Old Testament Scriptures, considered as pean (cry of triumph), express.

§ 28. Isaiah's Fundamental Ideas in their Original Form.

The activity of Hosea began toward the end of the reign of Jeroboam II., whom Uzziah, according to Biblical chronology, survived about fourteen years. But in the year that Uzziah died—according to Ussher, 758 B.C.; according to Duncker, Wellhausen, and others, 740—Isaiah was called, whose book gives us a deep insight into the gradual development and transformation of his announcement. It is an unhappy calling with which the prophet, raised to heaven in chap. vi., returns to earth. The word which he preaches is to be to his people a savour of death to death, for the time of divine long-suffering is passed. The course of the history of Israel proceeds hereafter through judgment upon judgment in a homeless, distant country, but a remnant remains which is compared to the shoot from the root of a tree which was hewn down. Hitherto there has ruled over Israel the riches of the divine goodness, without their being led to repentance, from this time on God's judging, although not annihilating, but winnowing righteousness. It is the fundamental ideas of his prophecy which Isaiah here receives at his call, in view of the time of judgment through the Assyrian people. From the trisagion of the seraphim he has his favourite designation of God with fyrfo*. Vftl\>. He prophesies that the worldly glory of Israel must be dashed in pieces before the true glory rises on its ruins, connecting with an older prophetic word as the text of his preaching in chaps. ii.iv., and the appendix (chap. v.), which is developed out of iii. 14.

In the introductory address (chap. i.) which is prefixed to this first cycle of prophecies (chaps. ii.—vi.) it appears that the people of that time are not to be brought back by the way of grace, but only by that of judgment, which melts away the mass of dross in order to release the noble metal which endures the fire.

Here we have the first utterance of the proclamation which is given to the prophet. The world power which becomes God's instrument of punishment appears in v. 26 ff. (cf. Deut. xxviii. 49) before his prophetic eye only, first as a shadowy form without any firm outline. The judgment of the exile is indicated (vi. 12, cf. v. 13) first merely in general expressions. The salvation for which judgment makes way does not proceed further in chap. i. than the modest measure of the return of a better past, as under David, Solomon, and Jehoshaphat. The remnant which is called n'"iNBi or naija, and which has in Shearyashub a living emblem, appears first (vi. 13) only in the image of a rooted stock which becomes green again. And the prediction of the time of glory after judgment (iv. 2), where it is said: "On that day the sprout of Yahweh will be for ornament and for glory, and the fruit of the land will be pride and splendour for the escaped of Israel," is yet so general, so clare-obscure, so sketchy, that the discussion as to whether 'n nox is intended personally1 or only as indicating a thing has not yet been closed, and probably will never arrive at a universally recognised result. Briggs still maintains the view, as well as Cheyne and Driver, that the "sprout of Yahweh" and the " fruit of the land " are intended of the endowment of the natural surroundings with an extraordinary beauty and fruitfulness. On the contrary, von Orelli,2 Bredenkamp, Schultz3 recognise that the expression of the high self-consciousness, so far as it was warranted at that time, sounds too grand to have only things of the natural world as its object. The picture concerning the fall of false glory contains nothing to which this natural glory (as in John iv. 18) could, on the other hand, be related. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that pKn ns, which is parallel to nirp nos, is rather contradictory to the personal understanding than favourable to it. Hence by the sprout and fruit we are not to understand points of light, but circles of light,—the divine gifts and blessings of which the Israel of the future could boast. But it ever remains established that it is this circle of light out of which as its centre, as God's " unspeakable gift" (ave/eSwfy^TO? Scoped, 2 Cor. ix. 14), the Messiah enters into the consciousness of the prophets.

1 It is thus understood by the Targnm, which translates it '"H NITSJ>D, while the Septuagint adopts an entirely different text.

2 Der Prophet Jesaia, Erlangen 1887, p. 25.

8 Alttestamentliche Theologie, GOttingen 1889, p. 776.

§ 29. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies,
Isa. vii., ix., xi.


In chaps. vii.-xii. the history of the time takes on another form. Towards the end of the reign of Jotham the hostilities had begun which occasioned the formation of the league between Syria and Ephraim for the purpose of overthrowing the dynasty of David (2 Kings xv. 37). Eezin, the king of Damascene Syria, took possession of the harbour Elath, which Uzziah had taken from the Edomites (2 Kings xvi. 6; cf. xiv. 22). The Judaeans, who had settled there, were carried captive to Damascus (2 Chron. xxviii. 5). And Ahaz was conquered by Pekah, the king of Israel, in a fearfully bloody battle, after which the prophet Oded rescued the numerous Judaean prisoners from the disgrace of slavery (2 Chron. xxviii. 6-15). The armies of the allies after they had conquered separately were now united and prepared for the main attack on Jerusalem. In the midst of the danger, which had reached its highest point, Isaiah appeared with his son Shearyashub before the king, who was at that time on the west side of the city engaged in making arrangements with reference to the approaching siege, and promised him God's help, offering Ahaz any kind of a sign that he might demand. There is scarcely a Biblical fact to which supernaturalism could so appeal as to this in order to support its lawful claim against the modem view of the world. The prophet knows that the God in him is the God of grace in whose being it lies to prove Himself a power exalted above nature, and that the God of grace whom he serves is the God of miraculous power, who, when the ends of the history of redemption demand it, can make the laws of nature serviceable to these ends. But Ahaz does not wish to have any trial made of the help of Yahweh. He has already summoned the help of Tiglath-Pileser, king of Asshur, and with hypocritical pretences rejects the offer of Isaiah.

This scene is one of the most momentous crises in the history of Israel. The summoning of the help of Asshur through Ahaz laid the foundation for that complication with the world empire which in 722 B.C. brought destruction to the kingdom of Israel, and in 588 B.C. to the kingdom of Judah, unable to change the unfortunate beginning of the king; and, on the other hand, certain of this, that the promise of God given to the house of David could not be brought to nought by any human interference contrary to the will of God, the prophet replies that the Lord Himself will give them—the king and his house—a sign contrary to their own choice (vii. 13—17): "Hear now, house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that ye weary also my God? therefore the Almighty Himself will give you a sign: Behold the maiden is with child, and bears a son, and calls his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat at the time when he shall understand1 to reject the evil and choose the good. For before the boy shall understand to reject the evil and choose the good, the land shall be desolate, before whose two kings thou art terribly afraid. Yahweh will bring upon thee and thy people and thy father's house days, such as have not been since the day when Ephraim tore away from Judah, the king of Asshur."

A nameless maid or virgin—as we have a right to translate it with the Septuagint, since "ph'? certainly indicates a young woman who had not yet become a mother—whom God has chosen and His Spirit has made present to the prophet, shall bear the One in whom God will be the help of His people, and whose continuance will be assured2 through the judgments which are in prospect.

The birth of this Immanuel is the riiK [sign] worked by God, which takes the place of the sign which Ahaz declined to ask. The meeting of Isaiah with Ahaz occurred about the year 734 B.C., and it is impossible

1 Not, in order that he may understand (learn) to distinguish between the good and the evil, so that the desolation of the land may be the means ordained by God "for the intellectual development of Immanuel" (Guthe, Zukunftsbild, p. 40). If that were the meaning, then njnb should be said (cf. e.g. 1. 4, njn^, n°t


8 We can say that Isaiah is the prophet of the niN, for a characteristic trait of the prophet is the rriN, the sign, consisting in predicted facts (vii. 14, xxxvii. 30), or deeds accomplished at the present time (xxxviii. 22, 7, cf. vii. 11), or symbolical representations (xx. 3, viii. 18). He is the prophet who stands security for the future through wonders in word and deed.

that the sign can first have been realized after seven centuries: the birth of Immanuel is in the view of the prophet a fact of the immediate future. For he sees the help which is mediated by Immanuel dawn in the following directions on every side: (1) Damascene Syria and the Ephraimitish kingdom are conquered by Asshur,—externally considered, brought about indeed through Ahaz' politics, but an event known before by God and received into His plan; (2) but then Asshur turns against the Israel of both kingdoms, and the land is overflowed by the armies of Asshur and Egypt, the two great powers who are rivals, and is desolated to such an extent that it becomes a great pasture, and the nourishment of the poor thin population is reduced to milk and honey—at this time of misery, for which Ahaz is responsible, falls, according to the view of the prophet, the growth of Immanuel, who, even when he has outgrown the years of childhood (Deut. i. 39), must content himself with the monotonous nourishment of the reduced wild country.

Those who think that Immanuel, because he was a child of the Assyrian time of judgment, could not be the Messiah, fail to recognise the law of perspective shortening to which all prophecy, even that concerning Jesus Christ Himself in the Gospels, is subject. Isaiah lived to see that the expectation of the parousia of the Messiah in the time of the Assyrian oppression was not fulfilled; nevertheless he was not ashamed of his prophecy, and did not withdraw it. For as Asshur suffered wreck on Jerusalem, he knew that this had not occurred without the co-operation of the promised Immanuel, who was not yet born, to whom, praying for help (viii. 8), he looks up: "The spreading of the pinions of Asshur fill the breadth of thy land, Immanuel!" The future One, although he has not yet appeared possessed of a body, leads an ideal life in the Old Testament history; and as he appeared in the fulness of the times, the holy land, not indeed under the foreign dominion of Asshur, but under that of Eome, was in a condition which went back to the untheocratic politics of Ahaz as its ultimate cause.1

And he is not born in a palace and wrapped in purple, not an "alma" of the harem (Cant. vi. 8) of the Davidic king was his mother, but the betrothed of a carpenter from the reduced family of David, who recognised him as his legitimate though not corporeal son, but as a gift of heaven. The modern theology sees in it a myth spun out of Isa. vii. 14; we see in it with the entire Church of God the fulfilment and unriddling of the Isaianic word of prophecy.

1 In relation to this idea is the representation that according to liii. 2a he sprouts as "a root out of a dry ground." Even when he comes into the world he has to suffer the consequences of the sin of his people, but only with them, so that in this feature of the portrait of the Messiah by Isaiah there is only to be seen from far, as George Adam Smith maintains, a beginning of a representation of a suffering Messiah.

§ 30. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies,
Isa. vii., ix., xi.


Isaiah does not say expressly, in chap. vii., what the son of the virgin, who grows up in the land which is deeply sunken, through the fault of the house of David at that time, will do for the people and the land; only the signification of the name Immanuel (with us is God) indicates it. In chap. viii. the prediction begun in vii. 17 concerning the oppression of Asshur is continued. Like the shoreless Euphrates, Asshur overflows the land of Ephraim and then of Judah. Praying for help the prophet calls on Immanuel, as if exhorting him, that he should hasten his work of deliverance, which his name indicates. This view, directed to the future One, and to God, who in him will be the stay of His people, is immediately transformed (viii. 9 f.) into the triumphant confidence of a granted petition. But that which faith anticipates lies at the time only in the range of the future. The night must first come on the people who have forgotten God, but a night upon which there follows a dawn for those who gather together for the sake of the prophetic word of God, although only for these; and the parts of the northern boundary which have received the severest visitation, and which, for this reason, are most susceptible to God's gracious interference, are first privileged to see the great light which breaks through the dark shadow of death. Israel, after it has been blended together to a remnant, and becomes a numerous people, happy through victory and blessing, free from the yoke of the oppressor, and bloody war will have an end; "for "—continues the prophet, referring the glorious period of restoration back to him with whom and through whom it comes—" a child is born to us, a son is given to us, and the government lies upon his shoulder, and they call his name: Wonderful, Counsellor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace; of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, to order it and to establish it upon David's throne and over his kingdom through judgment and righteousness from this time forth and for ever: the zeal of Yahweh of hosts will perform this."

The predicted son of the virgin is now born, and the prophet, since his ideal life is continued in the future, greets and celebrates him as the heir to the Davidic throne. It is a fivefold name which he bears. He is, according to vii. 14, a wonderful sign and a wonderful gift. For this reason, therefore, we do not combine H!^ K^EJ in one name, which would signify, not one who was a prodigy of a counsellor,— for which Gen. xvi. 12, Prov. xxi. 20, does not furnish any similar example,—but would signify one counselling wonderful things, one counselling wonderfully. There are two names. He is called &^s, as a divinelywrought prodigy1 in person. It is evident that we must combine this name, as first with vii. 14, because even here the veil of secrecy lies upon his birth. He must be a son of David, since he takes the Davidic throne; and since the family in a genealogical sense is determined by the father and not by the mother, he must be the legitimate son of a descendant of David; but the prophecy says nothing about a corporeal father. And we are further justified in combining the name "ii33 with the name ^jus?. We are to explain this name, not according to Ezek. xxxii. 21, where D'"ii3J "6n indicates the mightiest among the heroes (cf. Ezek. xxxi. 11), but according to Isa. x. 21, where, as in all other places, it is the name of God, the Strong One. But for this reason we do not mean that the Old Testament prophet, whose image of the Messiah does not yet burst the frame of the royal image, connected with this name of the Messiah a metaphysical, or, in any wise, a Nicene dogmatic signification, only that he regards this king as God of the strong bodily present: God is in him, he is God the Strong One, as the Angel of Yahweh is Yahweh Himself. And we do not explain the name like Schultz and others, as father of prey; for IV expresses in such genitive connections, where they otherwise occur (xlv. 17, cf. lvii. 15; Hab. iii. 6, cf. Gen. xlix. 26), the attribute of eternity; and the

1 It is also more probable that there are five names—a half dekas—not four, for the sake of the Biblical symbolism of numbers.

prophecy says further that he shall possess the throne of David for ever, without transmitting it; that in a righteous and peaceful rule he shall enlarge his dominion; that, therefore, he shall be an eternal Father, that is, loving and beloved of a great people. The names KJri' and Di^e>""iB' indicate him also as ruler; the former, as such an one in whom the people could have full confidence; the latter, as such an one whose exalted activity has peace as its object. It is significant that the fivefold name, as the threefold Aaronitic blessing, ends in DW, of all gifts that which makes most happy and is most desired.

Although, indeed, this Isaianic image of the Messiah, in order to have a New Testament value, must be removed from the Old Testament national narrowness (for the king of the kingdom of heaven is king of Israel, not in a special sense, but in none other than that in which he is king of all the nations), nevertheless, the three Messianic predictions of the Messiah contain not only ideal, but also historical features, which are strengthened as essential through the history of fulfilment. The second as well as the first hides the birth of the future One in mysterious obscurity, and the second testifies that Galilee shall first behold the Messiah, according to which it became Jewish tradition that the Messiah should first be revealed in Galilee, and that from Tiberias the time of the redemption of Israel would dawn.1

1 See Ein Tag in Kapernaum, p. 20.

§ 31. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies, Isa. vii., ix., xi.


The Isaianic addresses in chaps. vii-xii., as even the new beginnings which are repeated show ('n "ioNsl, vii. 3, viii. 1; "Van 'n t\oS% viii. 5; 'p* rkf "On), are not one whole, from one smelting, and from the same time. The standpoint of the prophet brings the invasion of Asshur, announced in vii. 17, nearer and nearer. In chap. x. he describes prophetically how the Assyrian army advances continually against Jerusalem, spreading terror; and how, like a wood with lofty branches planted against it, through the terrible power of the divine manifestation of glory, it is dashed together to the ground. But while the Lebanon of the world-power is broken in pieces, the house of David, which has become like the stump (truncm) of a felled tree, renews its youth (xi. 1): "And there goes forth [perfect of residt] a twig from the stump of Jesse, and a shoot from its roots bears fruit."

The prediction here goes back to the birth of the son and heir of David's throne, celebrated in ix. 5 f. The twig which springs from the stump of the house of David, which has sunk down to the lowliness of its Bethlehemitish origin, is the son of David who is hoped for, who, with himself and through himself, raises his people from lowliness to glory. The Lord acknowledges him and sets him apart, and endows him with the entire sevenfold fulness of His Spirit (ver. 2): "And there sinks down upon him the Spirit of Yahweh, spirit of wisdom and understanding, spirit of counsel and of might, spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh." The calling for which he is prepared, since the Spirit of God in the entire richness of its powers becomes his possession, is the royal one, with its duties as ruler and judge (vers. 3-5): "And the fear of Yahweh is perfume to him; and not according to that which his eyes see does he judge, and not according to that which his ears hear [not according to sensuous appearances, but according to actual facts and the condition of the heart] does he speak judgment: and he judges with righteousness the poor, and speaks judgment with equity for the meek of the land; and smites the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he slays the wicked. And righteousness is the girdle of his loins, and fidelity is the girdle of his hips." He is a king according to God's heart, and of divine power, who is here described. "And he smites the earth" (ver. 46) is a superhuman feature in the image; but every feature of redemptive history is wanting. From this king to one who redeems the earth from the bondage of sin and the curse of death it is still a long way. But the history of fulfilment shows that also this prophecy is a work of the Spirit of God in the laboratory of the spirit of the prophet. The one described is king, but not acquirer and communicator of spiritual benefits, hence more Christ than Jesus. But was not Jesus the designated King of the kingdom of heaven, as He took upon Himself the baptism of the claim to the kingdom of heaven ?1 And is it not a transposition of prophecy in history that the Holy Spirit comes down upon the One ascending from the water in the form of a dove, that is, in the soft manner and in the entire fulness of His being, and that then, as He enters upon His office, not immediately as king, but first as prophet of the kingdom of heaven, the first words of His mouth have reference to the poor, the burden bearers, the meek, hence the D,jn and n£"'.W, and raise these up by means of promises? On the contrary, the destruction of the final arch-enemy of Christ and His kingdom, which Paul (2 Thess. ii. 8) predicts with the words of Isaiah (xi. 4b), is still a fact, which no comparison of the history with that which is predicted justifies. The same is true of the prediction of the future paradisiacal peace of nature, which will accompany, mirror, and complete the peaceful rule of the second David (xi. 6-9). The prophet establishes this transformation of the animal world on the fact that the earth shall then be full of the knowledge of the God of salvation as the bottom of the sea is overflowed with water. The peaceful condition of the animal world with reference to each other and to mankind is not therefore limited here, as in Hos. ii. 20, to Israel and his land, but is extended to the earth and to mankind; but it can only be understood under the presupposition that the prophet beholds the glorious 1 German, "Anwartschaft auf das Himmelreich."

conclusion of the earthly history in connection with the glorified new rearth. The case is different with xi. 10: "And it shall come to pass on that day that the root of Jesse, which stands as a banner of the peoples, after it shall the nations inquire, and his resting-place [that is, the place where he dwells and thrones] is glory." This has been fulfilled to the extent that, since Christianity has entered into the world, at least a third of the heathen world has flocked about the cross of the Christ who has been glorified through suffering.

Hence, therefore, this great prophecy (xi. 1-10) may be divided into three parts: (1) That which awaits a fulfilment, which therefore cannot be controlled; (2) that which is limited to the nation, and •which as political is external, which both requires a New Testament enlargement and a spiritual deepening; and (3) that which has been literally fulfilled, which shows that what has been predicted is the word of God, even although it is in the form of contemporary history.

Remark.—In the New Testament only the Gospel of Matthew refers to the first three Isaianic images of the Messiah, which (i. 22 f.) designates the miracle of the birth of Jesus as a fulfilment of Isa. vii. 14. The miracle is also narrated by Luke; but although more fully than by Matthew, yet without reference to the prophetic word of Isaiah. Paul also merely says (Gal. iv. 4) that God in the fulness of time sent forth His Son, born of a woman. He does not say bom of a virgin, nor do we expect it; the connection of thought in the passage excludes such a reference as not to be expected. But that he had the miraculous nature of the birth in mind appears, nevertheless, to be implied from a comparison of his words, "His Son," "born of a woman," with Luke i. 3 5. Isaiah's second Messianic image remains in the New Testament without any application. It is never cited in order to establish the deity of Christ by means of it. The Septuagint could not be used for this purpose, for they translate the Hebrew words t&B after another

reading by fieyd\ij<; f3ov}<; 01776X09; cf. in connection with this what we have said in § 22 concerning the mediating angel in the Book of Job. On the contrary, the third image of the Messiah is again mirrored many fold in the New Testament. Matthew refers in ii. 23 to Isa. xi. 1 when he says, that thus should be fulfilled what the prophet had said that the future Christ should be called a Nazarene, that is, one from Nazareth, because Joseph settled with the child Jesus in Nazareth. Even Jerome remarks on Isa. xi. 1 that cruditi Hebraei have this passage of the Book of Isaiah in mind concerning the fruitful "ijra from the root of Jesse. He certainly does not cite one prophet, but the prophets. He thinks at the same time of Isa. liii. and other passages, according to which it is barren land out of which the future One is to grow, and that he will appear with an insignificant exterior. He sees the image of 150 embodied in connection with the image of the shoot from the root (liii. 2) and other prophetic words which speak of the ignoring and despising of the future One, since insignificant Nazareth, lying at a distance from Jerusalem, in despised Galilee, became

the ground upon which Jesus grew, so that in the mouth of the people He was depreciatingly called nysn.1 This is the most probable, nevertheless the account remains a riddle. From the statement concerning the sevenfold spirit which rests upon the second David, are taken the seven spirits {i-ina irvevfiara) of the Eevelation (i. 4), which appear (iv. 5) as seven torches before God's throne, and as the seven eyes of the Lamb (v. 6). The prediction concerning the destruction of the VBn (Isa. xi. 4b) is brought by Paul into the more special connection of redemptive history (2 Thess. ii. 8), and the figure of the staff of his mouth is embodied in vision (Eev. i. 16). The designation of Christ as the true and faithful witness (Eev. i. 5, hi. 14) is connected with Isa. xi. ob; while, on the other hand, the designation o \4/xj?i> (Eev. iii. 14) may be compared with v6n (Isa. lxv. 16), and is occasioned through the Lord's ordinary formula of assertion, a/xrjv \eyco vfuv (p3^ NJ'OK i!?N). But the name rj pife AavLB, which is given Him in Eev. v. 5, xxii. 16, is the same as 't!^ BnB' (Isa. xi. 10).

§ 32. The Son of God in Ps. ii.

As Isaiah, praying for help, looks on high to Immanuel (Isa. viii. 8), in whom Yahweh will be the support of His people, he immediately receives the assurance that he is heard; and as he combines with

1 He is also called 1Xj in Bereshith rabba. One of the alleged four apostles also has the same designation in the Talmud. Although the Talmudists mention a number of Palestinian places, yet they observe a deep silence with regard to Nazareth.

Asshur all the peoples who storm against God's people, he pronounces upon them the judgment of being crushed and broken in pieces, and summons all the ends of the earth to take warning from this judgment. The first group of verses (1-5) of the anonymous second Psalm contains much the same. The poet, who lives in a time when the throne of David is tottering, is transported for the comfort of himself and his contemporaries into the future, where all the nations of the world shall rebel against Yahweh and His Christ (iiWc), but without being able to accomplish anything against God's immovable order. Yahweh's address in His anger forms the beginning of the second group of verses (6-9), and without introduction, as in a drama, there follows immediately the address of His Christ. The address of Yahweh begins with as in Isa. vii. 14 with DPiNl. The sentence which continues with "and," since the address storms, is swallowed up in the contrast: "[Ye rebel against me], and yet [in the perfection of my power] I have set my king upon Zion my holy mountain"—the rebellion against the divine king is therefore rebellion against God Himself. And now follows the address of the king, which is designed to proclaim with what words of highest honour and world-embracing power Yahweh has chosen and promoted him: "I will make proclamation concerning a decree [it designedly sounds so circumstantial and official]: Yahweh said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee nations for thy inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them in pieces [the Septuagint, Eev.

xii. 5, xix. 15, without any essential difference in meaning: feed] with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel." The expression to-day (Di8n) is certainly not intended of the day of birth into this earthly existence; for that a father should say concerning his son on the day of his birth that he begat him on the same day, is meaningless. It is true that by 1 a supersensuous power exalted above the begetting of the father and the bearing of the mother is intended; but the expression sounds human, and is therefore opposed to the meaning which, regarded with reference to the relation of father and son, is not true to nature, and therefore would be contrary to nature. There is therefore intended a begetting, not in the earthly, but in the royal existence, as the term "to-day" is understood by Paul (Acts

xiii. 33, cf. Eom. i. 4), since it refers to the dies regalis of the resurrection; for the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, was a transporting from the life in the form of a servant to the royal life of glorification and exaltation at the right hand of the Father. The Old Testament does not indeed distinguish between the birth in the earthly and the birth in the heavenly existence. But to a certain extent Isaiah makes the distinction, since he first celebrates the birth of the royal child (ix. 5 f.), and later his royal consecration (cf. Acts x. 33) and royal rule.

The third and last group of verses of the psalm infers from that which the spirit of prophecy brought before the poet and seer, earnest warnings for the rulers of the earth (vers. 10-12): "And now kings, receive understanding, be admonished, rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice [because of the happiness of being permitted to be the servant of such a God] with trembling [in order not to fall into irreverence, security, and arrogance]. Kiss the son, lest he [namely, Yahweh, the Father of this son] be angry and ye perish; for His anger easily burns,— blessed are those who hide in Him."

The following considerations are in favour of the translation of "la'W?, " kiss the son:" (1) that this designation of the anointed is fittingly introduced, after Yahweh has called him ^3; (2) that the omission of the article need not surprise us. The word is used, like Binj-^ jv^ as a proper name. It is an Aramaism, such as poetry is fond of (cf. the Aramaism *iprnN, " I love thee," with which Ps. xviii. begins); here it is probable, because the expression JS !? *pf) would not be euphonious; (3) "kissing" as an expression of allegiance corresponds to an ancient custom, not the kissing of the mouth, but the kissing of the feet, as frequently in the Assyrian inscriptions, and on the part of the woman (Luke vii. 38). Only one thing could seem to be adduced against the expression "kiss the son :" not one of the ancient Greek, Latin, or Syrian translators found this meaning in the words. Even Aquila, Symmachus, Jerome, who recognise the meaning of adoration as implied in W?, translate "D as an adverb: "Kiss with pure feeling" (Jerome: adorate pure). But all of the attempts to translate "a differently than in the sense of son do not weigh, for they are all contrary to the use of the language. It is to be urged against Hitzig and Hupfeld, who translate tyVfo, "submit yourselves" (the former: "to duty;" the latter : " sincerely "), that perhaps the Kal of the verb can signify: "Submit yourselves" (cf. Gen. xli. 40); but it is impossible that the Piel should have this signification. Hence Luther's translation, "Kiss the son," is justified irrefutably. This second psalm belongs to the most important Christological documents. It is not only because here the ideal king of the final period is called fW'o, also the name of the Messiah as God's Son secures here, compared with the general character of the promise (2 Sam. vii.), individual definiteness. The Midrash to the psalm places Ps. ii. 7 and Dan. vii. 13 in reciprocal relations. The self-designations of the Lord with vio? Tov deov and wto? Tov avdpdnrov, stand in undeniable relation to these Old Testament passages, although they do not have their roots in it, and in the conception which they present are not to be limited by them.

§ 33. The Messianic Elements in the Addresses of Isa. xiv. 24-xxxix.

We should be in error if we regarded the three great Messianic prophecies in chaps. vii-xii. as a continuation which belongs to the time of Ahaz, so that all three have the unhappy government of Ahaz as a dark foil; and it would be a false conclusion if we were to infer from this that Messianic prophecy is so bound to the law of contrast, that for this reason during the better reign of Hezekiah it entirely or almost entirely ceased.

The first Messianic image is from the time of Ahaz, before help was given by Tiglath-Pileser; the second, likewise from the time of Ahaz, shortly before the chastisement of Ephraim (734 B.C.) and of Damascus (732 B.C.); but the third, as appears from x. 9—11, is from the time after the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.), and hence from the beginning of the time of Hezekiah— later than his sixth year, which, according to Biblical chronology, was the year of the fall of Samaria. Messianic prophecy, therefore, describes in the time from Ahaz to Hezekiah its ecliptic, and reaches its high - noon under Hezekiah, since at that time the rising of the kingdom of the Messiah is contrasted with the setting of the world-empire. If we remember this, we shall not seek after an explanation of the fact, that after chap. xi. no Messianic image meets us which corresponds to the three in greatness; and, on the other hand, in the case of those passages whose Messianic meaning is doubtful, we shall not deny a Messianic sense, under the influence of a preconceived false opinion.

When, in the prediction against Philistia (Isa. xiv. 29), it is said, that out of the root of the serpent a basilisk shall go forth, and that the fruit of this shall be a flying dragon, we may consider it as possible that the ^styp is an image of the Messiah as a punitive power who is to be feared by Philistia (cf. Isa. xi. 14).

The probability of a Messianic meaning is still greater with regard to the foundation-stone in Zion (Isa. xxviii. 16). In the passage xxviii., xxix.—xxxii., we get a deep view into the time of Hezekiah, which seeks to restore what the time of Ahaz has destroyed. But the politics is now still more worldly than theocratic. Ahaz leaned upon Asshur against Syria and Ephraim, and now they seek to shake off the yoke of Asshur with the help of Egypt. Isaiah follows this projected alliance from the time that it is hatched, through all the stages of its development, with his annihilating criticism. Iu chap. xxviii., which is from the time before the fall of Samaria, he prophesies that the deceptive hope will be brought to shame, and places (ver. 16) in contrast with the fleshly ground of confidence a better one: "For therefore, saith the Almighty Yahweh: Behold, I am He who lays in Zion a stone, a stone of preservation, a precious cornerstone of well-founded foundation—the believer does not flee," that is, has in this stone foundation firmness and support. This stone is not Zion, for it is laid in Zion, and not Yahweh, since He has laid it, but the Davidic kingdom, enduring for ever, according to the promise; but not as a foundation in itself, for an irreconcilable abstraction cannot comfort and encourage; hence it is connected, in thought, with the person of a possessor, but not of the possessor at that time; for Hezekiah, although he was a pious king, was also to blame for the clanger of destruction which was threatened by Asshur; but it is connected, in thought, with a promised possessor,—with a divine Eetreat and Deliverer whom the Lord will present to His people.

This prophecy is therefore a fourth image of the Messiah; an emblematical image, which is to be understood according to the three direct personal ones, and is thus understood in Eom. ix. 3 3; 1 Pet. ii. 6 f.

On the contrary, it is not the Messiah who is intended in Isa. xxxii. 1: "Behold, according to righteousness the king (^>o, without the article) shall rule, and the commanders, according to justice shall they command." Likewise xxxiii. 17: "The king (^p) in his beauty thine eyes shall behold; shall see a free land far away." The Messiah is the king who concludes the history of Israel; but in both these passages a king who continues the history is intended. The standpoint of the prophet is different here from what it is in xi. 1. There he sees, immediately after the catastrophe of Asshur, the glory of the Messianic kingdom arise; but here he speaks from the perception, which he has secured meanwhile, that the catastrophe of Asshur which is given him to predict will indeed be a wonderful revenge and rescue, but yet not the annihilation of Asshur, and not at all the annihilation of the world-empire.

But of the same rank with the three, or four, images of the Messiah, since it is not less of a New Testament

character, is the future image which forms the conclusion of the oracle concerning Egypt (Isa. xix.), the second half of which we are not compelled by any sufficient or stringent reasons to regard as the continuation of the first Isaianic by.a later prophet. That which is said in Isa. xix. 24 f. sounds like Paul. Old Testament prophecy here does its utmost; for it is not an incorporation of the heathen who are converted among the people of God which is here hoped for, but a brotherly bond between Israel and the nations upon the basis of equal rights. "In that day Israel shall be a third part with Egypt and Asshur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, since Yahweh blesses it, saying: Blessed art thou, my people Egypt, and thou, the work of my hands, Asshur, and thou, mine heir Israel." In the truly humane words of Solomon (1 Kings viii. 43), Israel still remains, in distinction from the other peoples, God's people; but here the name of God's people has lost its exclusiveness, and the spirit of revelation places in prospect before the religion of revelation the future abolition of national exclusiveness.

§ 34. The Elements of Progress in Micah's Messianic Proclamation.

Micah began his ministry under Jotham. His book begins with the threatening of Samaria and Jerusalem. It is a brief compilation, composed before 722 B.C., of that which he preached from the time of Jotham until

about the sixth year of Hezekiah (cf. Jer. xxvi. 18 f.). If we pass by the doubtful addresses of Isaiah, his view of the distant future reaches farther than Isaiah's. The latter prophesies (Isa. xxxix. 5 ff.) that the riches and the members of the house of David, in the time after Hezekiah, will migrate to Babylon, and will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon. He foresees, therefore, the future world-dominion of Babylon, and the Babylonian exile, beginning with the house of the king. Micah, however, not only prophesies the Babylonian exile, but also the deliverance from it (iv. 10): "Writhe and cast forth [namely, the burden of the body, with which the burden of sorrow is compared; therefore: give thyself up to thy pain, and let it have free course], for at length thou must go out from the fortified city, and encamp upon the field and come to Babylon—there thou shalt be rescued, there Yahweh will redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies."1

We remark, in opposition to those who think that these prophecies of both prophets, although they mutually confirm each other, appear to go too far, and are improbable, that the progress of Micah beyond Isaiah is evident in other respects; for while Isaiah (xi. 1) sees the time of Messianic glory and peace dawn immediately after the crash of Asshur, in view of the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem, it dawns in Micah immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem

1 The reading ex B*/3uA.«»o; of the Septuagint, in iv. 8, is a gloss which has crept in from this passage.


through the world-power, for he threatens (iil 12): "Therefore on your account Zion shall be thrown down to a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple wooded heights;" and thus, after the threatening has reached its utmost depth and has exhausted itself, it is transformed, since it is no longer kept back by anything, into promise (iv. 1): "And it shall come to pass at the end of the days: that the mountain of Yahweh shall be lifted up to the summit of the mountains and raised above the hills, and peoples shall stream unto it." It is this prophecy which Isaiah, ii. 1—4, prefixes, as a derived text, to his threatening address concerning the overthrow of worldly glory, which perhaps also in Micah, as the abrupt beginning (ver. 5) seems to indicate, is taken from the prophecy of an older prophet—perhaps Joel —concerning the final elevation of the mountain of the house of Yahweh, concerning the migration of the peoples desiring salvation to it, and concerning the transformation of the murderous implements of war into the peaceful implements of agriculture; for the same reason in Micah and Isaiah: "for from Zion shall go forth a torah (divine revelation), and a word of Yahweh from Jerusalem "—in the history of fulfilment, "the gospel of peace " (Eph. vi. 15). The final period, into which the prophet further sees, is the time of the bringing of the diaspora of Israel (Micah iv. 6), the completion of the dominion of Yahweh (ver. 7), the restoration of the Davidic kingdom (ver. 8), the rescue from the Babylon whither the people, powerless against its enemies, shall be driven (ver. 9 f.), the visitation of punishment on the hardened mass of the peoples who storm the restored Zion (vers. 11-13),—the prophet arranges these events of the final period, not according to the chronology, but according to his connection of thought, which is determined through the ethical purpose,—by nny, which is as remarkably frequent in Micah as in Hosea, he fixes points partly of the farther, partly of the nearer future. The word nny (ver. 14) is in the same category with nny (ver. 9)—it fixes a point of the nearer future, a part of the tribulations preceding the salvation and the glory: "Now gather thyself together, daughter of the warlike host [that is, concentrate thyself for mutual counsel, comfort, protection, otherwise so fond of war and courageous in battle]: he [Asshur] threatens us with siege, they smite with the stick upon the cheek of the ruler of Israel." Micah prophesies in the time of Assyrian judgment. According to Isa. x. 24, xxx. 31, smiting with the stick seems to be characteristic of the behaviour of Asshur. The king whom they smite upon the cheek is the opposite of the "king in his beauty," that is, the One who has passed away beyond dishonourable treatment (Isa. xxxiii. 17). The destiny which immediately impends over Israel, is to be shamefully, and without rescue, surrendered to the worldempire.

But the prophet now contrasts with this picture of humiliation the picture of exaltation, which the second David, proceeding from Bethlehem, brings to his people: "And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, too small to be reckoned among the districts of Judah,1 out of thee shall he go forth to me who shall be ruler over Israel; and his goings forth are from antiquity, from the days of the primitive time." "Vyhy from Bethlehem? There is the house of David's family, from which the divine election of grace brought him forth (1 Sam, xvi. 1), and made out of the shepherd of sheep a shepherd of Israel. If the divine ruler is born there, and not in the royal city Jerusalem, the Davidic royal house is reduced to its root, and from it renews its youth (Isa. xi. 1, 10).

"The coming to Babylon " (Micah iv. 10) involves in itself, indeed, a violent rupture of the Davidic chain of rulers. But God's power and grace restore the " ancient rule" (Micah iv. 8), and in a king whose origin, on the one hand, is a lowly and unnoticeable one, but on the other hand dates back to the hoary antiquity (cf. on the expression Micah vii. 14, 20); for he whose cradle would be insignificant Bethlehem is the king at whom the divine decree of the promise aimed, ever since it expressed the royal dominion of the people of

1 The citation (Matt. ii. 5) forsakes the Septuagint, which reads nmSN, and 'B^X3 like the traditional text, and translates freely:

"And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah (rain' jnN Cfb JT3),

art by no means the smallest among the princes (^jO) of

JJudah"—for the smallness of Bethlehem and the greatness of Kts mission are contrasted. It is not improbable that the evangelist in this passage follows an old Targum. The originality of the two JTP!"6 is assured through the double rov thai of the Septuagint.

Abraham. From the fact that the future One shall come from Bethlehem a retrospective conclusion is drawn: "Therefore he will then give them up, until the time that she that travaileth hath brought forth, and the remnant of his brethren together (>V, with, as in Gen. xxxii. 12 and elsewhere) with the children of Israel." The surrender, namely, into the hands of the world-power (PJ, as in 1 Kings xiv. 16) will continue until the time when one that travails, namely, the mother of the Messiah, seen by God (mj>i\ as nameless as Isaiah's nopyn), shall have brought forth. First with his birth comes the redemption, the return of the exiles of both kingdoms, the time of judgment of the survivors of his brother, that is, of the Judaean countrymen of the king ("irp, as Zeph. ii. 9; cf. nviNB', ii. 12), and of those belonging to them from the brother kingdom of Israel. Isaiah also prophesies in chap. xi., in connection with the parousia of the Messiah, the bringing back of the exiles, and the restoration of the unity of the people; but here in Micah the connection is more closely determined.

The prophet then says what the king out of Bethlehem will do, and he who has a nameless one as mother, and of whose father there is no mention (vers. 3-5): "And he shall approach and feed in the power of Yahweh, in the exaltation of the name of Yahweh, and they shall remain dwelling [in possession of their dwelling-places], for from henceforth he stands as a great one there, even unto the ends of the earth [from henceforth, since he has taken the shepherd's staff, that is, the royal sceptre, all the world, willingly or unwillingly, shall bow before his greatness]. And this one shall be peace (cf. Eph. ii. 14: "this is our peace")—Asshur when it shall press into our land and tread our palaces, we will engage against it seven shepherds and eight princes of men. And they feed the land of Asshur with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances [which are guarded with fortifications], and he secures deliverance from Asshur, in case it presses in, and in case it treads our boundary."

The seven shepherds and eight princes of men, without our being able to solve this peculiar problem further, are his weapons surrounding him like a corona. The image of the Messiah is kept in a martial form, and the thought that the King Messiah protects His people from all hostile powers, gives it its historical form. Although in Micah iv. 10 Zion and Babylon already appear contrasted as at opposite poles, he nevertheless calls the world-empire, as Isaiah, by the historical name at that time, Asshur (Nimrod's country). But while Isaiah beholds the Messiah together with the Assyrian oppressions, and the beginning of his kingdom with the destruction of Asshur, for the more extended view of Micah the parousia of the Messiah is connected with the bringing again from both exiles, as is also to be seen from ii. 12 f.: "Gather, yea I will gather thee, entirely, Jacob; collect, yea I will collect the remnant of Israel, together I will make them like a flock of lambs in firm custody, a herd in the midst of their fit pasture, they [namely, fold and pasture] shall roar on account of men. The dasher in pieces goes before them, they break through and go away [break] through the gate [of the hostile cities, which they held captive] and go out, and their king goes before them, and Yahweh at their head." All Jacob is the Israel of both kingdoms. The breaker through (d^l!), their king, is the Messiah, the " One Head" in Hosea ii. 2, in which also likewise, as here in Micah, King and Yahweh stand together. Both these march before the reunited people, Yahweh and His Christ. The blending of both, as is expressed in the Isaianic names of the Messiah, ^t?UE>y and ii33 i>Ni remains unexpressed.