MESSIANIC PROPHECIES

                                                                  IN

                         HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 BY

                                FRANZ DELITZSCH.

 

 

 

 

                                                      TRANSLATED BY

                                               SAMUEL IVES CURTISS,

                        PROFESSOR IN CHICAGO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                          NEW YORK:

                                           CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.

                        EDINBURGH: T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET.

                                                                1891.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                          Copyright, 1891, by

 

                               CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             TO

 

                                                THE MEMORY OF

 

                             MY BELOVED AND ONLY DAUGHTER

 

                                                        PAULINE,

 

                                       WHO ENTERED INTO REST

 

                          THREE DAYS AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF

 

                                  MY REVERED FRIEND AND TEACHER

 

                                       PROF. FRANZ DELITZSCH, D.D


                    TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

 

THIS little volume is a fitting crown to the exegetical

studies of Dr. Delitzsch. From various points of

view it is likely to be of unusual interest, not only to

those who have been accustomed to peruse his works,

but also to others.

            The proofs of the original were read by the

lamented author as he was confined to his bed by his

last illness, weak in body, but clear in mind. The

preface which he dictated five days before his

departure was his final literary work. The last

printed sheet was laid on his bed the day before he

died.

            Already the original has received high praise from

appreciative scholars. It is hoped that the transla-

tion may be found not unworthy of this legacy to the

cause of Jewish missions by a revered teacher and

friend.

                                                SAMUEL IVES CURTISS.

CHICAGO, Feb. 2nd, 1891.


 

 

 

 

 

 

              AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

 

As in the summer of 1887 I delivered my Lectures

on the Messianic Prophecies, perhaps for the last

time, as I had reason to believe, I sought to put the

product, of my long scientific investigation into as

brief, attractive, and suggestive a form as possible. At

the same time the wish inspired me to leave as a

legacy: to the Institutum Judaicum the compendium

of a Concordia, fidei; to our missionaries a Vade

mecum.

            Thus arose this little book—a late sheaf from

old and new grain. May God own the old as not

obsolete, the new as not obsolescent!

 

                                                FRANZ DEL1TZSCH.

LEIPZIG, Feb. 26, 1890.


 

 

 

 

 

                       CONTENTS.

 

                       PRELIMINARY REMARKS.

                                INTRODUCTION.

 

SECT.                                                                                                                  PAGE

 

1. The Twofold Character of the Problem expressed by the

            Name,                                                                                                             9

2. The Historical Significance of that which is apparently

            isolated,                                                                                                          10

3. The Indispensableness of Literary and Historical Criticism,                           12

4. The Reasonableness of the Supernatural,                                                           12

5. The Redemption a Logical Necessity,                                                                14

6. Messianic Prophecy with and without mention of the

            Messiah,                                                                                                         15

7. Messianic Prophecies in the Narrowest Signification,                         16

8. The New Testament Glorification of the Conception of the

            Messiah,                                                                                                         18

9. Messianic Prophecies in a Broader Signification,                                            21

10. Historical Sketch of the Subject,                                                                      22

 

                MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL

                                            SUCCESSION.

 

                                              CHAPTER I.

 

THE DIVINE WORD CONCERNING THE FUTURE SALVATION BEFORE

                              THE TIME OF THE PROPHETS.

 

1. Justification of the Beginning in Gen. iii.,                                                         31

2. Beginning and Object of the Theophanies,                                                         33

3. The Primitive Promise,                                                                                        34

4. The Primitive Promise in the Light of Fulfilment,                                            36

 

                                                            ix


x                                        CONTENTS.

 

SECT.                                                                                                        PAGE

5. Finest Effects and Verifications of the Primitive Promise,                             39

6. The Expected Comforter,                                                                         42

7. The Promise of the Blessing of the Nations in the Seed

            of the Patriarchs,                                                                                           43

 

                                           CHAPTER II.

THE PROPHETIC BENEDICTIONS OF THE DYING PATRIARCHS.

 

8. Jacob's artful Procurement of the Blessing of the

            First-Born,                                                                                                     47

9. The Designation of Judah as the Royal and Messianic

            Tribe,                                                                                                              50

 

                                            CHAPTER III.

THE PREDICTIONS OF THE MOSAIC PERIOD CONCERNING THE

                                    FUTURE SALVATION.

 

10. The Promise of a Prophet after Moses, and like him,                                     59

11. The Prophecy of Balaam concerning the Star and the

            Sceptre out of Israel,                                                                                    65

12. Course and Goal of the History of Salvation after Moses'

            great Memorial Song,                                                                                   69

 

                                            CHAPTER IV.

    THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES OF THE TIME OF JOSHUA AND

                                          OF THE JUDGES.

 

13. Yahweh and His Anointed in the Thanksgiving Song of

            Hannah,                                                                                                           74

14. The divinely-anointed One in the Threatening Prophecy

            concerning the House of Eli,                                                                       76

 

                                                CHAPTER V.

 PROPHECY AND CHOKMA IN THE AGE OF DAVID AND SOLOMON.

 

15. The Transition of the Kingdom from Benjamin to Judah,                               80

16. David's View of Himself after his anointing,                                                   82

 

                                                           xi


                                                     CONTENTS.                                              xi

 

SECT.                                                                                                                    PAGE

17. The Binding of the Promise to the House of David,                                       85

18. The Separation of the Image of the Messiah from the

            Person of David,                                                                                            89

19. David's Testamentary Words,                                                                            94

20. Messianic Desires and Hopes of Solomon,                                                     97

21. Prophecy and Chokma,                                                                                       99

22. The Goël and the Mediating Angel in the Book of Job,                                  102

 

                                                 CHAPTER VI.

PROPHECY AND CHOKMA IN THE FIRST EPOCHS OF THE DIVISION

                                             OF THE KINGDOM.

 

23. The Prophets after the Division of the Kingdom until the

            Reign of Jehoshaphat and the Dynasty of Omri,                                        106

24. The Metaphysical Conception of Wisdom in the Intro-

            duction to the Book of Proverbs,                                                                108

25. The Epithalamium, Ps. xlv.,                                                                                112

 

                                               CHAPTER VII.

       THE MESSIANIC ELEMENTS IN THE PROPHETIC LITERATURE

                                 FROM JORAM TO HEZEKIAH.

 

26. The Relation of the three oldest Prophetic Writings to

            the Messianic Idea,                                                                                       116

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

            Period,                                                                                                            126

28. Isaiah's Fundamental Ideas in their Original Form,                                          135

29. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies, Isa, vii., ix., xi.,                        138

            I. Immanuel, the Son of the Virgin,                                                  138

30. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies, Isa. vii., ix., xi.,                        143

            II. The Beginning of a new Period with the new Heir

                        of the Davidic Throne,                                                                      143

31. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies, Isa. vii., ix., xi.,                        147

            III. Characteristics of the Second David and of his

            Government,                                                                                                  147

32. The Son of God in Psalm ii.,                                                                              152

33. The Messianic Elements in the Addresses of Isaiah, xiv.

            24–xxxix.,                                                                                                      156

34. The Elements of Progress in Micah's Messianic Proclama-

            tion,                                                                                                                160


xii                                            CONTENTS.

 

                                               CHAPTER VIII.

PROPHECY FROM THE TIME OF HEZEKIAH UNTIL THE CATASTROPHE.

 

SECT.                                                                                                                      PAGE

35. The Domain of Nahum's and Zephaniah's Vision,                                            168

26. Habakkuk's Solution of Faith, and Faith's Object,                                            171

37. Mediately Messianic Elements in Jeremiah's Announce-

            ment until the carrying away of Jehoiachin,                                               176

38. Immediate Messianic Elements in Jeremiah's Prophecies

            under Zedekiah until after the Destruction of Jerusalem,             180

 

                                                   CHAPTER IX.

                            PROPHECY IN THE BABYLONIAN EXILE.

 

39. The Messiah in Ezekiel,                                                                         188

40. The Prince in Ezekiel's Future State,                                                                193

41. The Metamorphosis of the Messianic Ideal in Isa. xl.–lxvi.,              197

42. The Servant of Yahweh in Deutero-Isaiah,                                                       201

43. The Mediator of Salvation as Prophet, Priest, and King in

            one Person,                                                                                                    203

44. The Great Finale, Isa. xxiv.–.xxvii.,                                                                   206

 

                                                      CHAPTER X.

               THE PROPHECY OF THE PERIOD OF THE RESTORATION.

 

45. Post-Exilic Prophecy in view of the New Temple,                                         210

46. The Two Christological Pairs of Prophecy in Deutero-

            Zechariah,                                                                                                      214

                I. The First Prophetic Pair in Chaps. ix.–xi.,                                           214

47. The Two Christological Pairs of Prophecy in Deutero-

            Zechariah,                                                                                                      219

                  II. The Second Prophetic Pair in Chaps. xii.–xiv.,                                219

48. Concluding Prophecies of New Testament Contents in

            Malachi,                                                                                                         223

49. The Antichrist in the Book of Daniel,                                                               228

50. Christ in the Book of Daniel,                                                                            230


 

 

 

             PRELIMINARY REMARKS.

 

 

IT is undeniable, and is universally recognised, that

in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, One

divinely anointed, a Messiah, who is to go forth from

Israel, is promised and hoped for, who makes His

people victorious and powerful, and who from them

extends His dominion to a world dominion. The Jews

still look for this Messiah Christianity—and to a

certain extent also Islam—sees the promise fulfilled in

Jesus. This Jesus is regarded by us Christians as the

promised Christ, i.e. the Messiah.   Christianity is the

 

            1 Sadly morbid exceptions to this Christian recognition of

Jesus as the Christ are made in Konynenburg's investigations

concerning the nature of the Old Testament prophecies respecting

the Messiah, who entirely denies the existence of Messianic

prophecies, which have been fulfilled, or are to be fulfilled,1 since

he considers 'the expectation which the Jews entertain of an ideal

King as a product of moral perversity: also by Lord Amberly,

who declares that the rejection of Jesus as Messiah is fully

justifiable, since it is an astonishing assumption on the part of

Gentile Christians, that they are more competent than the Jews

themselves to give an opinion, as to what the name of the Messiah

signifies and requires.2

_______________________________________________________________

            1Konynenburg, Untersuchungüber die Natur der Alttestamentl. Weissa-

gungen auf den Messias aus don Holländischen übersetzt, Lugen 1759,

395ff

            2An Analysis of Religious Belief, London 1876, vol. i.  p. 388 f.


2      MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

same as the religion of the Messiah, the religion

which has the Christ, who appeared in Jesus, as its

principle and centre.

            Hence the name Christianity indicates that it

claims to be the religion which is being prepared in

the history and word and writing of the Old Testa-

ment. Even when we call it the New Testament

religion, we thus recognise that it is the religion of a

covenant which has taken the place of the old, but not

without having the old as a first step, and not without

standing in connection with it as the fruit with the

tree, the child with the mother.

            Hence Christianity in the Old Testament is in the

process of development. With the same propriety we

can say: Christ, through the Old Testament, is in the

act of coming. Is is true that the man Jesus has a

temporal beginning, beyond which His existence as a

man does not extend. But in this fact, that He

appeared in the fulness of time, God's counsel was

fulfilled and since Jesus is certainly the man who

above all others had God dwelling in Himself, the

approach of God, who proposes to reveal Himself and

perfect the work of salvation through Him, is at the

same time an approach of Jesus. His coming in the

Old Testament is therefore something more than

merely ideal.

            These are views which Christians hold in common

—indisputable propositions which, from a Christian

standpoint, express a historical fact without pre-

supposing any closer dogmatic statements. We em-


                            PRELIMINARY REMARKS.                               3

 

phasize this intentionally, in order to attract as far as

possible the circle of those to whose sympathy we

appeal for the following investigations. How much

we should rejoice, if we could also secure the sym-

pathy of those belonging to the Jewish confession who

are seeking after the truth. It is indeed worth the

while for such to see how Christianity justifies itself as

the religion if fulfilled prophecy; and this all the

more, since the self-testimony of Christianity, in the

present condition of the investigation of the Scriptures,

and in view of the restless sifting and decomposition

of almost everything which has hitherto been accepted,

must be more thoroughly revised, more exact, more

many-sided, in many respects different, from that

which was usual in earlier centuries, and which has

been handed down even to the later missionary

literature.

            It is a delightful theme, a joyful work, in which we

propose to be absorbed.1 The Lord is in the process

of coming in the Old Testament, in drawing near, in

proclaiming is appearance, and we design to transport

ourselves into this Old Testament period, and follow

the steps of the One who is coming, pursue the traces

of the One who is drawing near, seek out the shadows

which He casts upon the way of His Old Testament

 

            1 This view, indeed, was not held by Schleiermacher, who,

in his second Sendschreiben to Lücke, Theologische Studien u.

Kritiken, Hamburg 1829, vol. ii. p. 497, says: "I can never

consider this effort to prove Christ out of the Old Testament

prophecies a joyful work, and am sorry that so many worthy

men torment themselves with it."


4     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

history, and especially seek to understand the intima-

tions of prophecy respecting Him.

            The old theology made scarcely any distinction

between the time of His coming and His entrance into

the actual domain of history. The historical mode of

view is a charism, granted to the Church in the period

after the Reformation. We have reason to rejoice on

this account. The Old Testament may be compared

to the starry night, and the New Testament to the

sunny day, or, as we may also say, the New Testament

period, in its beginning, is related to the Old Testa-

ment as the coming of spring to winter. The spring

in the kingdom of God suffered itself to be long waited

for; and when at length spring days seemed to

announce the end of the darkness and coldness of

winter, the winter soon made its presence felt again.

Then, however, when the Lord appeared, it became

spring. He was indeed predicted as the embodiment

of spring. Would, then, that in the following inter-

pretations of Old Testament prophetic images there

might also be fewer traces of the winter of life in

which I stand, than of the spring-like freshness, of the

living power, of the pentecostal nature of the subject

of which I treat!

            We live in an age, in which the Christian view of

the world, through which the antique heathen view

was overcome, threatens on its side to be overcome by

the modern view of the world, which recognises no

system of the world except that which is in accord-

ance with natural laws, and no free miraculous


                        PRELIMINARY REMARKS.                  5

 

interference of God in it. Christian truth, as it is

attested in the Holy Scriptures, will also outlast this

crisis. But since it must maintain its position

against ever new antagonistic principles of advanc-

ing civilisation, culture, and science, it will be itself

drawn into the process of development; for it stands

indeed as firm as a rock which is not shaken by any

dashing of the waves, yet not motionless as a rock,

but it is living, and therefore, as regards the kind of

life, is ever supplementing itself anew. It cannot be

otherwise; since in Christ, as the apostle says, lie

hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,

hence the history of Christianity must be the history

of the constant raising of these treasures. Chris-

tianity remains the same in its essence, but it is all

the while more occupied with the depth of its essence,

and ever coins new forms of thought and expression.

Even in the age of Darwinism, and of his great dis-

coveries in natural science, it will retain its unfading

and inexhaustible power of life.

            There is a crisis in the domain of the Bible, and

especially in that of the Old Testament, in which the

evening of my life falls. This crisis repels me on

account of the joy of its advocates in destruction, on

account of their boundless negations and their un-

spiritual profanity; but also this crisis, as so many

crises since the time of the apostles, will become a

lever for progressive knowledge, and it is therefore

incumbent [upon us] to recognise the elements of

truth which are in the chaos, and to gather them


6        MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

out; for as the primitive creation began with chaos,

so in the realm of knowledge, and especially of

spiritual life from epoch to epoch, that which is new

goes forth from the chaos of the old. It is indeed

not the business of an individual to complete this

work of sifting and of refining and of reorganization.

Nevertheless, we take part in it, although with a small

degree of strength.

            It is a depressing observation that Judaism has

strong support in modern Christian theology, and

that its literature is like an arsenal, out of which

Judaism can secure weapons for its attack on Chris-

tianity. Nevertheless, in the midst of the present

confusion we can be comforted with the consideration

that this resource does not suffice for the maintenance

of Judaism. For whether one takes with reference to

Christianity the unitarian or trinitarian, the rational-

istic or supernaturalistic standpoint, it is established

that Christianity, as contra-distinguished from Judaism,

is the religion of consummated morality, and that

Jesus is the great holy divine man whose appearance

halves the world's history. Christianity and the

person of its founder are more to us than this, but

we rejoice nevertheless in this firm position, which

can bid defiance to all the attacks of Judaism, and

in whose defence all who bear the name of Christ

stand together. For every Christian as such, however

he may understand the relation of the divine and

the human in the person of Jesus, recognises in

Jesus the end of Old Testament development, and


                          PRELIMINARY REMARKS.                       7

 

in Christianity the completion of the religion of

Israel.

            We must admit that the treatment of our subject

will vary, according as the one who treats it answers

the question which Jesus once raised:  "What think ye

of Christ; whose son is He?" For the understanding of

the process of becoming is dependent upon the concep-

tion of the goal; the understanding of the Old Testa-

ment process of becoming is dependent upon the truthful

valuation of the person of Jesus. It is indeed just in

this respect that we Christians are distinguished from

the Jews: we do not expect any other; Judaism

also does not really expect any other. Its hope of a

Messiah, since the rejection of Jesus, the Christ of

God, has sunk to a fantastic image of worldly patriot-

ism, which as no power to warm the heart. We

consider Jesus, on the contrary, as the end of the

law, the goal of prophecy, the summit of Old Testa-

ment history, and with respect to the mystery of His

twofold existence and work as mediator, we hold to

His utterances respecting Himself, and to the testi-

mony of His apostles; for a Christianity torn loose

from these authorities, and otherwise understood, is

only a scientific abstraction, an arbitrary excerpt

according to a self-made pattern, an artificial pro-

duct according to the demands of the spirit of the

age. We are, so far as we are concerned, persuaded

that gospels and epistles harmonize most intimately.

We are certain of this that in all essential points

they admit of a reciprocal control. In the preparation


8     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

for the New Testament in the Old, however, we are

concerned with such essential points, the recognition

of which is dawning, and which sometimes also breaks

through like lightning. The noble ones in Beroea

subjected even the word of the apostle to the test

according to the Holy Scriptures which they had in

their hands. We too shall see whether prophecy and

the apostolic word reciprocally correspond and pro-

mote each other, so, indeed, that the Old Testament

word of prophecy in relation to the New Testament

dawn is only as the apostle says (2 Pet. i. 19): like

"a lamp shining in a dark place."


 

 

 

 

 

                            INTRODUCTION.

 

 

§ 1. The Twofold Character of the Problem expressed by

                                   the Name.

 

 

IN all Intellectual productions much depends upon

finding the right name; for the name designates

the goal, and indicates at the same time the way by

which it is proposed to reach it. A suitable desig-

nation in itself would be: History of the Preparation

for the Appearance of Jesus Christ in the Old Testa-

ment Consciousness; but the exegetical side of our

problem does of in this way find the desired expres-

sion. Nor de we say "Old Testament Christology,"

because this designation leads us to expect a system-

atic rather than a historical and exegetical treatment.

We therefore choose the title:  "Messianic Prophecies

in Historical succession," because it affords expression

both to the exegetical and historical side of the prob-

lem. It is true that our doctrinal material does not

consist merely in predictions in the strict sense of the

term, but the promises and hopes which have reference

to the future salvation may be included under the

conception of prophecy, for the promises of God are

indeed pledged predictions, and the hope is estab-

 

                                       9


10        MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

lished upon such sure prospects. The designation

"Messianic" also appears to be too narrow, for in the

domain of our theme are all such predictions which

speak of the future salvation, without mentioning a

human mediator by the side of the God of salvation.

But in a wider sense we may nevertheless, as we shall

see, call all those predictions Messianic which refer to

the completion of the divine work of salvation, and of

the divine kingdom in the Messianic age.

 

 

         § 2. The Historical Significance of that which is

                              apparently isolated.

 

            But can we from the passages of Scripture which

lie before us form a history of the Messianic expecta-

tion of Israel with respect to a future salvation?

These passages of Scripture are, indeed, like isolated

points without connecting lines, and they are testi-

monies, not of the people, but of individuals among

the people, so that we are not able to determine their

effect upon the belief and hope of the mass. This

doubt must be considered, but disappears on a further

investigation of the subject. All progress in civili-

sation in the human race is accomplished through

individuals, whose new discoveries and attainments

become new impulses for the advancing dominion of

man over the world of nature, and for their advancing

spiritual culture. This is also true of religious pro-

gress; in every place where this takes a new turn, it

has been men who were far beyond their age within


                                INTRODUCTION.                                 11

 

whom this new turn has been accomplished. All

religions which deserve this name, as express repre-

sentations of Deity, and the right mode of worshipping

Him, are to be traced back to single individuals who

have founded them or transformed them. That which

has finally become common property was first a pos-

session of individuals; but it will never be common

of property to the extent, that it will penetrate all the

members of the people, or of the religious society in

complete purity and original power. We need not

be surprised if the Christological development, which

goes through the Old Testament, is like a path of

light, which consists of rays of light proceeding from

single points of light. Moses, David, Isaiah—these

are, above all others, the three whose profound natures,

filled by the Spirit, were the source of the light of the

Old Testament religion. We know, indeed, and if we

did not know it, we must presuppose it, that the vital

cognitions which went out from them were adopted

only by the kernel of the people in consciousness and

life. The condition of the mass was like a dark

cloud which was irradiated by the light of revelation,

but was not absorbed by it. But this is not prejudicial

to the historical character and the execution of our

task. We shall describe the gradual rising of the

light as we represent the Christological development,

whose essence is not conditional through a successful

result; for as the true light appeared the darkness did

not comprehend it.

 


12      MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

§ 3. The Indispensableness of Literary and Historical

                                  Criticism.

 

            Those great personalities of the history of revelation

have no other way of being known to us than in the

Old Testament Scriptures. The knowledge of them is

mediated, partly through writings which relate con-

cerning them, partly through writings which go back

to them. In the former case we must raise the

question, to what period the accounts belong, and

whether they are credible; in the latter case, whether

the works in question are authentic, that is, really

have those persons as authors to whom they are

ascribed. The course of development of the Christo-

logical views cannot therefore be mediated without the

co-working of literary criticism and historical criticism,

and all critical questions even here give way in signi-

ficance in comparison with the Pentateuchal question,

which in all directions is the fundamental and chief

question of the Old Testament. We shall not avoid

the influence of modern criticism in unwarranted self-

confidence or in childish fear—we shall also use

criticism, but without employing the grounds of decision

which are now common, and which from principle deny

objective reality to everything that is supernatural, and

especially to the spiritual miracle of prophecy.

 

§ 4. The Reasonableness of the Supernatural.

 

While we recognise the supernatural factor in the


                          INTRODUCTION.                              13

 

Old Testament history of redemption and in the

history of the recognition of redemption, we proceed

from the presupposition that the supernatural would

be subject to the suspicion of that which is mythical

and purely subjective if it merely belonged to the

past and had no present. There is not only a king-

dom of nature in which the natural laws of the system

of the world have sway, but also a kingdom of free-

dom, that is) the reciprocal working of God and of the

free creatures, in which a moral system of the world,

which interferes in the course of nature and makes it

serviceable to itself, has sway. The ultimate goal of

this divinely-ordained reciprocal relation can be in-

ferred. If a difference exists between the absolute

God and all other beings as His creatures, the history

of finite personal beings can have no other true and

final goal than an ever deeper entrance into a living

communion with God. A continuance in this way is,

however, not possible without an actual interchange

between God and these His creatures. Man must

direct words and deeds to God which He understands;

and, on the other hand, God must make Himself known

to men in disclosures and acts which he distinguishes

in the midst of the course of the laws of nature as

the free inworking of the absolute God. The divine

necessity of this reciprocal relation follows with

necessity from the universal impulse of mankind to

prayer; and the reality of this reciprocal relation is

proved to every man who stands in living relation to

God, through his experiences in prayer, and through


14     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

the admonishing, warning, comforting voices of God,

which he perceives in himself.

 

         § 5. The Redemption a Logical Necessity.

 

            But man is caught in the toils of sin; not only

individuals of the race, but also the race as a species,

has incurred the penalty of sin and death, and has

been driven from their moral duty of a continual

approach to God into alienation from Him. If,

nevertheless, mankind is to attain the end of their

creation, it cannot take place without their being

released from the labyrinth of their lost condition

through sin, and without their being brought again

into the path which leads to the goal of their creation.

The work of salvation concerns mankind, and is

designed for every individual, so that all who wish to

be saved can be. The conclusion is not mathematically

certain that this is to be the course of human history,

for God is absolutely free, and He is under no law

except His own will. But nevertheless it is logically

necessary for us, that the final end for which God

has created man can in no way be frustrated. He

is indeed the omniscient One. As such He has

foreseen that man would fall through sin from his

vocation. We must therefore suppose, that if He had

not determined to raise man again from his fall, He

would not have created him at all. These are thoughts

whose logical necessity is apparent, but which would

not come into our minds if we did not know from the


15                         INTRODUCTION.

 

Holy Scriptures, as the record of the will and way of

God, that God the Creator is also God the Redeemer,

who, on account of His decree before the foundation

of the world, nevertheless brings human history, in

spite of sin, to its culmination.

 

  § 6. Messianic Prophecy with and without mention of

                                the Messiah.

 

            The religion of revelation is the religion of redemp-

tion, planned by God the Creator from eternity. The

Old Testament religion is the religion of the redemption

a believed and hoped for as future, and the New Testa-

ment religion is the religion of the redemption which

was fundamentally consummated by the Mediator who

s appeared, in the fulness of time. Faith is, in both

Testaments, faith in God the Creator and Redeemer.

The recognition of human mediation, through which

God accomplishes the redemption, came only gradually

about by means of an intricate process of development.

But that the redemption is to be mediated in a human

way is even in itself to be presupposed. God's help

in behalf of the multitude of men is ever to make

individuals, or one an instrument for many, as appears

in the fact that God elected a people from the midst

of the peoples, as a mediator, in attestation of Himself,

and of the redemption of mankind from the labyrinth

of idolatry. It must be admitted that this national-

izing of the religion obstructed and endangered the

recognition of the universal and spiritual character of


16      MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

the work of redemption. The opposition in which

Judaism until the present day remains to Jesus the

Christ, actually proves how great a danger this un-

avoidable nationalizing brought with it. But the

history of the Messianic prophecies, which we shall

describe, is designed to show, that in spite of appear-

ances to the contrary, the Saviour who has gone forth

out of Israel in the person of Jesus is the end of

Old Testament leadings, and the fulfilment of the

deepest pre-Christian hopes and longings.

 

        § 7. Messianic Prophecies in the Narrowest

                                Signification.

 

            The high priest is called an anointed one in the

Pentateuchal Torah, because he, and only he, not the

other priests, was set apart for his office by anointing

—that is, through the pouring of oil upon the head

(Lev. viii. 12, cf. v. 30). The expression Haywim.Aha NheKoha,

Lev. iv. 3 [the anointed priest], signifies the same as

lOdGAha NheKoha [the great priest]. The post-Biblical lan-

guage (perhaps also even in Dan. ix. 26, if Onias III.

is there intended, after whose removal, 171 B.C., Antio-

chus Epiphanes plundered the temple) also calls him

simply HaywimA, as when, in Horayoth 8a, there is a dis-

crimination between dyHiyA, xyWinA, HaywimA, private man,

prince, and high priest. But outside of the Torah it

is the king of Israel who is called the anointed,

and indeed the anointed of Yahweh, e.g. Saul, 1 Sam.

xii. 3; David, Ps. xviii. 51, 2 Sam. xxiii. 1; Zedekiah,


17                    INTRODUCTION.

 

Lam. iv. 20; also Cyrus is honoured in Isa. xlv. 1

with the title of an anointed one of Yahweh, because

Yahweh has brought about his elevation as king, and

has chosen him as His instrument. For HwamA signifies

not only to anoint (i.e. to pour oil upon, or to apply

oil in some other way), but has, aside from the external

ceremonial completion of the anointing, the further

meaning of anointing through word and deed (1 Kings

xix. 16; Ps. cv. 15). In the time of the Judges, in

which there was no united government of the entire

people, it was a divinely-anointed king to whom hope

and promise were directed; and when in the time of

the Kings the kingdom went counter to its divinely-

determined end (as, for example, in the time of Ahaz),

promise and hope were directed all the more earnestly

to a divinely-given righteous and victorious king.

Messianic prophecies in the narrowest signification are

accordingly such prophecies, as connect the hope of

salvation and the glory of the people of God with a

future king, who, proceeding from Israel, subjects the

world to himself. This ideal king—that is, the one

who completely actualizes the theocratic idea       is as

such hv,h;ya HaywimA; but this is not yet the distinguishing

characteristic name in the Old Testament. It is, for

example, questionable whether in Hab. iii. 14, j~H,ywim;

refers to the present king or to the great One of the

future; and in general there is no Old Testament

passage in which HaywimA indicates the future One with

eschatological exclusiveness (not even Dan. ix. 25,

where, as it appears,  dyginA HaywimA is intended of the


18     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

priestly king of the future).1 This only can be cer-

tainly held, that even the congregation of the exilic

period understood by the divinely-anointed One in

Ps. cxxxii. and Ps. ii. the King of the final period.

 

§ 8. The New Testament Glorification, of the Conception

                               of the Messiah.

 

            First, in the doctrinal language of post-Biblical

Judaism the future One is called, almost with the

significance of a proper name, HaywimA, Greek Messi<aj,2

after the Aramaic form of the name Haywim;, or with the

post-positive article xHAywim;. Although the royal dignity

is involved in HaywimA when this word is used as a noun,

the Targums and the literature of the Talmudical

period prefer the designation hHAywim; hKAl;ma, Heb. j`l,m,  

HaywimA.ha (when both are blended together like a proper

name, as in tOxbAc; hv,h;ya j`l,m,, Zech. xiv. 16 f.); but some-

times simply HaywimA, Aramaic Haywim;, is found.3 In the

 

 

            1 Luther translates Dan. ix. 25: "Until Christ the Prince,"

and also ver. 26 "And after sixty-two weeks Christ will be

destroyed."—This is the only place in the Old Testament where

he has used the name of Christ.

            2 De Lagarde holds that M<essi<aj is the Greek form of Haywi.mi,

a trans-Jordanic Arabic nominal form like ryfiWe, for ryfiWi. It is,

however, the Greek form of xHAywim;; the H remaining unexpressed

between the two long vowels as in mida = xdAyHim; Neh. vii. 54,

and Mesi/aj or Messi<aj was written like   ]Abesalw<m or   ]Abessalw<m,

since through duplication greater stability was given to the short

vowel.

            3 See e.g. Lev. rabba c. xiv.: "The Spirit of God brooded over

the waters Hywmh jlm lw Hvr hz.” And without the article

Pesachim 54a, according to which Hywm lw vmw belong to the


                         INTRODUCTION.                             19

 

so-called Psalms of Solomon, which were written in

Hebrew about the year 48,—the year of the battle of

Pharsalias, —and which have been preserved for us in

a Greek translation which is to some extent difficult

to understand, the future One is called (xvii. 36,

xviii. 8) Xristo>j ku<rioj (as in Luke ii. 11; Hebrew

NOdxAhA HaywimA). Even in the Septuagint Xristo<j is the

translation of the Hebrew HaywimA. While, however, the

New Testament designation of Jesus is coextensive

with the Hebrew and Jewish HaywimA, philologically, it

is not really; for, since the name Xristo<j becomes

the name of Jesus, it gives to the personality of Jesus

its Old Testament stamp, not, however, without at the

same time receiving a new stamp from Him. The name

Xristo<j receives a wider, deeper, more exalted meaning.

It experiences in the light of the Saviour a metamor-

phosis (glorification). The royal idea which it expresses

is not removed, but it is relieved of its one-sidedness.

It indicates the Son of God and the Son of man, who,

as the reward of His priestly self-sacrifice, receives the

royal crown instead of the crown of thorns, and as the

risen and exalted One rules the world, hence in a

manner worthy of God, at whose right hand He sits.

 

            Remark 1.—Within the course of the evangelical

history the Lord is called   ]Ihsou?j. First after God

 

seven things which preceded the Creation. And Sanhedrin 93b,

says Simeon, called Bar-Cochba: Haywim; xnAxE. Targ. jer. to Gen.

xlix. 11 may serve as a proof passage for xHywm xklm, which

occurs frequently in the Targums: "How beautiful is xklm

xHywm, who shall one day rise from the house of Judah!"


20     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

raised Him from the dead, and, as is said in Acts ii. 36,

made Him both Lord and Christ, He receives in addition

to the proper name   ]Ihsou?j as the designation of honour,

which has likewise become a proper name, Xristo<j.

Within the Gospels, however, except in John i. 17,

xvii. 3, this double designation occurs only in Matt.

i. 1, 18 (but here with the article prefixed tou?   ]Ihsou?

Xristou?; Mark i. 1. Aside from John xvii. 3 the

evangelists write this double designation over the

gates of their Gospels like a summary or emblem of

the entire following history, with a similar signification

as when the Torah prefixes the double designation hv,h;ya

Myhilox: to Gen. ii.—iii. Both names express everything.

In the name Jesus the idea of salvation predominates;

in the name Christ, that of glory. We can say: the

course in the Old Testament leads from Christ to

Jesus, the course in the New Testament from Jesus

to Christ.

            Remark 2.—In spite of the one-sidedness of the

royal image the royal dominion still remains one side

in the image of the future One; and far from denying

the royal dignity of His Messiahship, Jesus answers

the question of Pilate (Mark xv. 2): su> le<geij, and

over His cross stands: o[ basileu>j tw?n  ]Ioudai<wn (Mark

xv. 26), which the Jews would have liked to have

changed, because He was not the King of the Jews, but

said that He was (John xix. 21 f. Observe that this

is the Gospel of John). But the kingdom which lies

at the end of His course, while it embraces the world,

is nevertheless not a worldly kingdom. He will one

day be King of the Jews, and will again raise up the

kingdom of Israel, but not before the Jewish people

have subjected themselves to His sceptre in penitence


                         INTRODUCTION.                         21

 

and faith. As Yahweh became the King of Israel at

Sinai when they accepted the law with the words hW,fEna

fmAW;niv;, —we will perform and be obedient, —so Jesus

will become King of Israel when, worshipping Him,

they render Him homage; but even then He will not

be a king in an external, earthly, narrow, and national

way, as unspiritual natural pride dreams; for the

kingdom of God in Christ is a basilei<a tw?n ou]ranw?n,

that is, of heavenly origin and heavenly nature.

 

§ 9. Messianic Prophecies in a Broader Signification.

 

            Even in the Old Testament the royal image of the

future Anointed One is proved to be one-sided and

inadequate, since it is neither coextensive with the

need of salvation, nor exhausts the expectation of

salvation. But not this alone. Since the idea of the

God-man is first announced in single rays of light, the

Mediator of salvation, in general, does not yet stand

in the centre of Old Testament faith, but the comple-

tion of the kingdom of God appears mostly as the

work of the God of salvation Himself with the reces-

sion of human mediation. But we also classify these

prophecies under the general conception of Messianic,

because, indeed in the history of fulfilment it is God

in Christ who from Israel works out and secures for

mankind the highest spiritual blessings. Our prayer

to Christ is prayer to God revealed in the flesh.

Therefore, from a historical point of view, we regard the

prophecies concerning the ultimate salvation, which are

even silent concerning the Messiah, as Christological.


22     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

          § 10. Historical Sketch of the Subject.

 

            The New Testament references to Old Testament

prophecies are limited, rather accidentally than

designedly, by the occasions afforded in the Gospel

history and the apostolic trains of thought. Hence

it has come to pass, that many Messianic passages of

prime importance have remained unnoticed, e.g. Isa.

ix. 5, 6; Jer. 5, 6; Zech. vi. 12, 13. A richer

and, to a certain extent, more systematic discussion of

the predictions and representations concerning Christ

in the Old Testament begins with the Epistle of

Barnabas (71-120 A.D.), which is related to the

Epistle to the Hebrews, but which stands far below

it, and in Justin's Dialogue with Trypho (d. about

163 A.D.). This is, to a certain extent, a missionary

document, the only one of the ancient Church, which

breathes a spirit of love that seeks the lost, of

which we can discover but little in the First Book

of Cyprian's Testimonia adversus Judaeos1 (d. 258),

and in the Altercatio Simonis Judaei et Theophili

Christiani.2  Justin is in so far inferior to his Jewish

opponent, that he is acquainted with the Old Testa-

ment only through the secondary source of the

Septuagint. On the other hand, Origen (d. 254),

who, in his Eighth Book, written against Celsus

 

            1 See W. Faber in Saat auf Hoffnung, Erlangen 1887, vol.

xxiv. pp. 26-29.

            2 See Gebhardt-Harnack's Texten und Untersuchungen, Leipzig,

i. 3.


                       INTRODUCTION.                            23

 

(about 247), contends against the heathen and Jewish

misrepresentations of the person of Christ and of

Christianity, is acquainted with Hebrew, but his inter-

pretation of the Scriptures suffers from his effort at

that arbitrary allegorization in which the Alexandrian

school is the successor of Philo. Nevertheless, the

historical method of the Antiochian school brought

about a reaction, which even referred direct Messianic

prophecies like Micah v. 1 to Zerubbabel and in

general to objects before Christ, and only, with refer-

ence to the result of their higher fulfilment, to Christ.

Theodore of Antioch (d. 428), bishop of Mopsuestia,

did this in a rash and offensive way. It was not

taken into account by the ancient Church, down to the

time of the Middle Ages, that there is in the Old

Testament a preparation for the salvation in Christ

through a connected and progressive history.1 Nor

was it taken into account in the time of the Reforma-

tion, when the predominantly anti-Judaistic, apologetic

interest of the ancient Church was replaced by one

which was predominantly dogmatic, and a spiritualistic

interpretation took the place of an allegorical, which

removed the national elements of the old prophecy by

means of a symbolical or a mystical interpretation.

First, Spener (d. 1705) and his school made way for

a better understanding of the prophecies, while, with

reference to Rom. xi. 25, 26, he recognised that which

is relatively authorized in the national form of the Old

 

            1 In this connection special attention is called to Abelard's

(d. 1142) Dialogus inter Philosophum, Judaeum et Christianum.


24     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

Testament prophecy. John Albert Bengel (d. 1752)

and Christian Augustus Crusius (d. 1775) began to

modify the stiff idea of inspiration, since they regarded

the prophets not only as passive, but also at the same

time as active instruments, and placed their range of

view under the law of perspective. With Cocceius

(d. 1669) began the method of treating the Old Testa-

ment in periods. But they were not able to divide

this history into periods according to its internal

development, in which chance and plan, freedom and

necessity interpenetrate. When then rationalism, for

which the way had been prepared by the Arminian

Grotius (d. 1645), and Spinoza in his Tractatus theo-

logico politicus (1670), and which was founded by

Semler (d. 1791), degraded Jesus to a teacher of

religion and morals, the Messianic prophecies of the

Old Testament became almost entirely without an

object, until the gradual unfolding of the idea of the

Messiah was recognised in them, and, as there was a

return from a merely nominal Christianity to that estab-

lished by documents, the gradual subjective prepara-

tion of the essential salvation was acknowledged. This

revolution was established by Hengstenberg's (d. 1869)

Christologie des Alters Testaments (in three volumes,

Berlin 1829-1835, second edition 1854-1857), which

formed a new epoch in the treatment of the subject,

followed in a spirit of freer criticism by Tholuck's

(d. 1877) work, Die Propheten und ihre eissagungen,

Gotha 1860, and by Gustav Baur in his Geschichte der

alttestamentlichen Weissagung, Theil 1, 1861. The


                       INTRODUCTION.                              25

 

proper mean between conservatism and progress was

taken by Oehler (d. 1872) in his articles "Messias"

and "Weissagung" in the first edition of Herzog's

Real-Encyklopädie, vols. ix., Stuttgart 1858, and xvii.,

Gotha 1863, and in his Theology of the Old Testament,1

which appeared after his death. The same praise is

clue to Orelli's work, The Old Testament Prophecy of the

Completion of the Kingdom of God,2 and to Briggs'

Messianic Prophecy.3 We should be guilty of inex-

cusable ingratitude if we were to make no mention of

Hofmann's (d. 1877) work, which still remains unique,

entitled Weissagung und Erfüllung, in two parts,

Nördlingen 1841-1844. This treatise is a com-

panion piece to Hengstenberg's Christology. The Old

Testament account is here reconstructed historically

and exegetically in a masterly way as an organic

whole, developed in word and deed until the time of

Christ, with which the history of the fulfilment, as the

other half, reaching to the end of the present dis-

pensation, is joined together. Many views of truth

which have come into the modern scriptural theology

have sprung from this original work, whose main fault

is the straining of the type at expense of the prophecy.

In his conception of the prophecies concerning Israel's

future Hofmann's standpoint is realistic. He leaves

the conception of Israel in the national estimation of

it, without understanding by it the Church gathered

out of Israel and the heathen, nevertheless in such

 

            1 First edition, Tubingen, 1873-74; second edition, 1882-85.

            2 Edinburgh.                                       3 Edinburgh 1886.


26    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

a way as to exclude the restoration of all which

cannot be harmonized with the Christian denational-

izing of the religion and the doing away with the law.

Also Bertheau in his lengthy article, "Die alttesta-

mentliche Weissagung von Israel's Reichsherrlichkeit

in seinem Lande," in the fourth volume of the

Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie, Gotha 1859, seeks

to separate the present idea of the fulfilment from the

particular national form. In like manner Riehm (d.

1888) in his work, Die Messianische Weissagung, Gotha

1875, which fails to do justice to the words of

prophecy with reference to the conversion of Israel.

The rationalistic standpoint, in which the historical

method is carried out, is represented by Stähelin's

work, Die Messianisehen Weissagungen, Berlin 1847;

Anger's lectures, published after his death (d. 1866),

edited by Krenkel, Ueber die Geschichte der Hessian-

ischen Idee, Berlin 1873; Hitzig (d. 1875) in his

Vorlesungen über biblische Theologie und Messianischen

Weissagung des Alters Testaments, Karlsruhe, 1880,

issued by Kneucher; and Kuenen's work, The Prophets

and Prophecy in Israel, London 1877, which is dis-

tinguished more for its learning and sharp apprehen-

sion of the subject than for originality and genius,

which, on principle, dismisses all that is supernatural

as unhistorical, and regards ethical monotheism as the

kernel of prophecy. Duhm's Die Theologie der Pro-

pheten, Bonn 1875, is peculiar in this respect, that

he sets out with the proposition that the Old Testa-

ment literary prophets belong to an earlier age than


                         INTRODUCTION.                                  27

 

the Mosaic law, and that in the writing of every prophet

there is a special system of teaching, by means of which

he hinders or helps the progress to greater freedom in

religious things. In opposition to this rationalistic

standpoint Edward König in his work, Den Offenbar-

ungsbegriff des Alten Testaments, Leipzig 1882, defends

the supernatural character of Old Testament prophecy.

            A sketch of the history of the interpretation of Old

Testament prophecy is given by Tholuck in his Das

Alte Testament im Neuen, in the Supplement to his

commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, and especi-

ally in the sixth edition, 1868; also in Oehler's article,

entitled "Weissagung," in the first edition of Herzog's

Real-Encyklopädie; and its progress since Bengel is given

in Delitzsch's work, Die biblisch-prophetisehe Theologie,

ihre Fortbildung durch Chr. A. Crusius und irhe neueste

Entwickelung seit der Christologie Hengstenberg's, Berlin

1845. Many materials bearing upon the subject

are afforded in Diestel's (d. 1879) Gesehichte des Alten

Testaments in der christlichen Kirche, Jena 1869.

            Remark.—The representation of the course of de-

velopment in prophecy will differ according as the

supernatural factor of the history is recognised or not

recognised by the writer as specifically different, and

yet at the same time as historical, and Christianity as

only the religion of perfect morality, or as the religion

of redemption. But also aside from this, the representa-

tion will differ according to the position of the writer

with reference to the results of modern literary his-

torical criticism, and the new construction of the Old

Testament history which is based upon it.


28     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

            It is a postulate of our consciousness, that human

history is engaged in a movement toward a definite

end. This movement, far from being absolutely

in a straight line, takes place under all kinds of

deviations and retrogressons, and the valuation of

that which is new is wont to be different, not only on

the part of contemporaries, but also on the part of

those who come later, since it does not treat of the

things of nature, but rather of those of the spiritual

life. Nevertheless there arises, in spite of all these

devious ways, and notwithstanding the uncertainty of

judgment, the demand for actual progress. And in view

of the revolution which has taken place in the domain

of Biblical investigation, the question is justified, what

permanent religious advantage is to proceed from it.

            All recognition of the truth is of a religious char-

acter, so far as God Himself is the truth, and the

endless background of the recognition of all religious

truth. Biblical questions, however, are immediately

religious. I shall not presume to determine in ad-

vance that which in the year 2000 will be considered

pure gold, which will have endured the smelting fire

of criticism, and will have been won by means of it;

but one thing we know, that the Holy Scriptures of

the Old and New Testaments will be and will remain

the document of the revelation of the one true

God. And since the Old Testament religion is a pre-

paration and a preliminary step for the New, we shall

not take any offence if in the Old Testament Scrip-.

tures, which have the character of an effort to attain

perfection, much appears more imperfect than before.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL

 

                                SUCCESSION.

 


 

 

 

 

 

                                      CHAPTER 1.

 

 

 

THE DIVINE WORD CONCERNING THE FUTURE SALVATION

                  BEFORE THE TIME OF THE PROPHETS.

 

 

 

    § 1. Justification of the Beginning in Genesis iii.

 

IF the historical succession, in which we propose to

treat the Messianic prophecies, were to be under-

stood as a succession in literary history, we should

only be justified in beginning with Gen. iii., if we

considered the so-called Jehovistic book, from which

the history of Paradise is drawn, the oldest Old Testa-

ment historical book. But this is not our opinion.

We consider it a very old historical source, older than

modern criticism concedes, but not the oldest. Never-

theless we are justified in beginning with Gen. iii.

For the narrative concerning the primitive condition

and fall of man was not invented by the narrator, but

was an old "sage" found by him, which he communi-

cates to us in a form in which, stripped of its heathen

mythological accessories, it has sustained the criticism

of the Spirit of revelation. We may therefore begin

where the documentary sacred history begins, since it

contributes not a little to its recommendation, that

although recorded by an Israelitish pen, it begins, not

 

                                         31


32      MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

with a nation, but with mankind. The Biblical primi-

tive history is the history of mankind, and does not

have the peculiar national and mythological colours of

the primitive traditions outside of Israel. But does

not the narrative in Gen. ii., iii. sound mythical? If

we understand by myth (mythus) the investiture, not

only of universal thoughts, but also of definite realities

in symbolical dress, we may nevertheless regard the

history of Paradise as a myth, so far only as we hold

fast the following as realities:—(1) that there was a

demoniacal evil one, before evil had taken possession

of man; (2) that this demoniacal evil one was the

power of temptation before which man fell; (3) that

God after mankind had fallen punished them, but at

the same time opened a way of salvation, by which

they could again secure communion with God; (4)

that He placed before them in prospect the victory

over that power of temptation through which they had

lost the communion with God in Paradise.

 

            Remark. —Also in the Babylonian " sage " the

serpent is Tiamat (Tihâmat), the source of all evil,

the personified MOhT;. This expresses a profound

thought, since the essence of evil is the falling back

into the natural elements, out of which the world in

mankind is raised to the image of God. The serpent

is called aibu (the enemy, byexo), kat ]  ]ec; it is called

sêru=mahhu (rabbu), like o[ dra<kwn o[ me<gaj in the

New Testament Apocalypse. It seduces mankind to

sin, since it seeks to sustain itself in its authority.

It is also said of it, that it destroyed the grove of


    BEGINNING AND OBJECT OF THEOPHANIES.       33

 

life.1 Much here is uncertain. In comparison, the

Iranian "sage" is far clearer, according to which the

serpent is the first creation of Ahriman, who himself

is both represented and called a serpent. The serpent

disturbs the peace, destroys paradise, and casts down

Yima, the ruler of the golden age, that is, the first

man. We have here reminiscences, which are worthy

of attention, respecting the origin of evil, although in

a mythical garb.

 

    § 2. Beginning and Object of the Theophanies.

 

            Between us and God there is now a wall of separa-

tion. God has become far from us, and is concealed,

as it were, behind an impenetrable veil. The "sagen"

of the [different] peoples testify in many ways, that at

the beginning of human history God was immediately

near to man, and had intercourse with him, and that

our present distance from God is a loss. It follows

from our present nature that we cannot make any

representation to ourselves of that original intercourse

of God with men. Even in Gen. ii. iii. we are not

raised above this inability of representing it. The

narrative retains a mysterious background, but it has

a transparent deep meaning. After the fall, which

destroyed the union of God and man„ man perceives

the steps of God, who is drawing near, and flees from

Him. He comes indeed as a Judge who is to be feared,

 

            1 See Friedrich Delitzsch, Paradies, p. 87 ff.; and Assyrische

Lesestücke, p. 95: Texte zur Weltschöpfung und zur Auflehnung

and Bekämpfung der Schlange Tiamat.


34    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

not, however, to destroy for the sake of punishing, but

through bitter chastisement to win back the lost.

And in a significant manner the one who appears is

called Yahweh-Elohim. God, as Creator of the entire

creation and as its Finisher (Vollender), that is, as the

Power which finally fills it completely with glory

(1 Cor. xv. 28), is called Myhlox<; and God as Redeemer,

that is, as Mediator of this completion (Vollendung)

through sin and wrath, is throughout called hv,h;ya.1 His

audible steps after the fall are His first steps toward

the goal of the revelation in the flesh (1 Tim. iii. 16),

which is the restoration and completion of the imma-

nence of divine love in the world.

 

                     § 3. The Primitive Promise.

 

            Thus presenting Himself, God announces their

sentence to the serpent, to the woman, and to Adam—

to these three together, as concerned in their solidarity.

            The serpent, and in it the spiritual being, whose

mask it became, or if we understand the account

mythically, whose image it is, are cursed on account of

the temptation which proceeded from them, which

plunged mankind into sin and death. The earth is

 

            1 [This is a liberty which we are compelled to take. Most of

the Hebrew words in the German text are unpointed. Prof.

Delitzsch, however, never pronounced hvhy, Jehovah, which he

considered a philological monstrosity.  But, as in the trans-

literation which he has given of the name, he could only

recommend his students to say Yahweh, or to follow the example

of the Jews in reading Adhonai.]—C.


                   THE PRIMITIVE PROMISE.                    35

 

cursed on Adam's account, while the natural world,

after its destiny as a means of blessing to mankind

has been thwarted, is turned into an instrument of

wrath against them. Adam himself, however, is not

cursed, but in the midst of the curse on the tempter

the hope of a victory in the contest with the power of

evil rises upon mankind. The verdict pronounced

upon the serpent, after it has been humbled to a worm

in the dust, is (iii. 15): "And I will put enmity

between thee and the woman, and between thy seed

and her seed." The woman, as the one first seduced,

and the serpent, who served the seducer as an instru-

ment, are here representatives of their entire race.

The divine retribution places, that is, establishes,

between the race of serpents and of men a relation of

internal and actual enmity. And who will conquer in

this war, which is enacted as a law of the further

history?" He shall crush thee on the head, and thou

shalt crush him on the heel." In no Semitic idiom

does JUw have the signification of  JxaWA, to snap, or look

eagerly for something and never is or indeed any

verb indicating a hostile disposition, construed with a

double accusative. This construction with the accusa-

tive of the person, and the part which is affected, is

peculiar to verbs which indicate a violent meeting, e.g.

hKAhi, to smite; HcarA, to murder. Hence JUw, which is

repeated, neither has the first nor the second time the

meaning of lying in wait (Septuagint, threi?n; Jerome,

insidiari). The verb JUW is used by the Targum for

xKADi, to crush; NhaFA, to grind to powder; qHWA to pulverize.


36      MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

It has the meaning which is there presupposed also in

Job ix. 17 (on the contrary, neither the meaning

inhiare nor conterere is suited to Ps. cxxxix. 11), and

the signification of the root Jw (Jk), terere, to grind, is

confirmed through an extensive tribe of Semitic words,

according to which among the old [versions] the trans-

lation is given by the Samaritan and Syriac. Only

when we translate it: "He (the Seed of the woman)

shall crush thee on the head" (suntri<yei, Rom. xvi.

20), does the sentence include the definite promise of

victory over the serpent, which, because it suffers the

deadly tread, seeks to defend itself, and sinking under

the treader is mortally wounded (Gen. xlix. 17).

 

§ 4. The Primitive Promise in the Light of Fulfilment.

 

            It is the entire decree of redemption which is

epitomized in this original word of promise, so far as

we only maintain that the serpent as a seducer is

intended, and that the curse, which falls upon it, has

a background with reference to the author of the

seduction. The malignant bite of the serpent in the

heel of men, which they retaliate in the midst of their

defeat by treading on its head, is only a natural picture

of that which ever constitutes the most central purport

of history—namely, the conflict of mankind with

Satan, and with all who are e]k tou? diabo<lou (ponhrou?);

for, after the power of grace has entered mankind by

means of the promise, they are placed, through the fall,

in the attitude of a second decision for themselves,


PRIMITIVE PROMISE IN LIGHT OF FULFILMENT.      37

 

which will result in such a way, that many of the seed

of the woman who had the promise, separate themselves,

and take a position on the side of the serpent. The

promise indeed has reference to mankind as a race, for

the word xUh refers to hw.Axi fraz,. Nevertheless, since the

promise of victory refers to that serpent from whom

the seduction went forth, hence to the victory over the

one seducer (o[ o@fij o[ a]rxai?oj), we may consequently

infer that the seed of the woman will culminate in

One in whom the opposition will be strained to the

utmost; and the suffering in the struggle with the

seducer will rise to the highest pitch, and the victory

will end for ever in complete conquest. This primitive

promise is also intended to be coextensive with the

fulfilment; for Christ, the son of Mary, is the seed of

the woman, geno<menoj e]k gunaiko<j (Gal. iv. 4), in a won-

derfully unique way. Hence the new humanity, which

has its head in Him, and which, through Him, stands

in the relation of children to God, is indeed born of

a woman, but in so far as it overcomes Satan is not

begotten by man. This authority is not a work of

nature, but a spiritual gift (John i. 12 f.). The entire

history and order of salvation are unfolded in this

protevangelium. Like a sphinx, it crouches at the

entrance of sacred history. Later in the period of

Israelitish Prophecy and Chokma, the solution of this

riddle of the sphinx begins to dawn; and it is only

solved by Him through whom and in whom that has

been revealed towards which this primitive prophecy

was aimed.


38      MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

            Remark 1.—But how is it consistent with the divine

order of salvation that the meaning of the protevan-

gelium, and in general of the history of the fall, should

be first recognised so late, and should be first fully

and completely disclosed through the New Testament

revelation? It can only be explained on the supposi-

tion that the faith which brought salvation in the Old

Testament was a faith in God the Redeemer. The

deeper the Israelite felt the curse and the burden of

sin, and was attacked on every side by sufferings and

miseries, and was anxious on account of the darkness

of death and of the next world, the more ardently he

longed for redemption from sin and death, and espe-

cially from this evil world; and the faith in which he

found rest was faith in God the Redeemer according to

His promise. He longed for the visible revelation of

the supramundane God—His coming down from heaven

to earth; but that He would complete the work of

redemption, through a man in whom He dwelt as the

angel of the Mosaic redemption; that was an appre-

hension which was developed only gradually, and first

became fully clear to faith in the face of Jesus Christ.1

            Remark 2.—The Alexandrian Book of Wisdom ii. 24

says that through the envy of the devil death came

into the world. Also in the Palestinian Jewish litera-

ture such gleams of light are found—Christian per-

ceptions before Christ—which Judaism first gave up in

opposition to Christianity; for (1) as the designation

 

            1 One of the most precious utterances of Bengel's is the follow-

ing thesis: "Gradatim Deus in patefaciendi regni sui mysteriis

progreditur sive res ipsae spectentur sive tempora. Opertum

tenetur initio quod deinde apertum cernitur. Quod quavis aetate

datur, id sancte debuit amplecti, non plus sumere, non minus

accipere."


       FIRST VERIFICATIONS OF PRIMITIVE PROMISE.   39

 

of the first man with Nvmdqh Mdx (o[ prw?toj a@nqrwpoj

]Ada<m, 1 Cor. xv. 45) is old Jewish, so also is the

designation of the serpent which led man astray with

Nvmdqh wHn (  [O o@fij o[ a]rxai?oj, Rev. xii. 9, xx. 2);

(2) the Palestinian Targum testifies that in Gen. iii. 15

there is promised a healing of the bite in the heel from

the serpent, which is to take place "at the end of the

days, in the days of King Messiah." In the Palestinian

Midrash to Genesis 1 we read: "The things which God

created perfect since man sinned have become corrupt

(vlqlqtn), and do not return to their proper condition

until the son of Perez (i.e. according to Gen. xxxviii.

29, Ruth iv. 18 ff., the Messiah out of the tribe of

Judah) comes." According to this the Messiah is

Saviour and Restorer, as the apostolic word says of

Jesus (1 John iii. 8), that He has appeared, i!na lu<s^

ta> e@rga tou? diabo<lou.

 

§ 5. First Effects and Verifications of the Primitive

                                Promise.

 

            A first echo of the divine word, received in faith

concerning the victory of mankind, is the name hUAHa  

(Septuagint, zwh<), which Adam gives his wife; for

as the narrator explains (iii. 20b) the meaning and

propriety of this name—she became "the mother of

all living;" that, is, in spite of death, the mother of

each individual of the race, which is destined to live,

to whom the victory over the power of the evil one

is promised, and hence as mother of the Seed of

the woman who is to crush the head of the serpent.

 

            1 Bereshith rabba xii.


40    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

We consider as a second echo the language of Eve

when she became mother for the first time. Although

this cannot possibly be understood as an expression of

the belief that her first-born was the incarnate Yahweh,

—for the terms of the primitive promise do not give

any occasion for such an expression, —but must rather

indicate that, with Yahweh as helper and giver, she

has brought forth a man-child, which she has received

as her own, nevertheless her exclamation stands related

to iii. 15, since she designated God with the name of

Yahweh, and in any case as the God of the promised

salvation, for this Hebrew name of God belongs to

the later period of the origin of the peoples. Through

the marvel of this first birth she is placed in a joyful

amazement, which is powerfully increased, because that

thus the promise of the victory of the Seed of the

woman appeared to be realized. But her first-born

was the murderer of his brother; Cain was e]k tou?

ponhrou? (1 John iii. 12), he took his position on the side

of the seed of the serpent. The religious congregation

which was formed at the time of Enosh, the son of Seth,

could already name one of their members as a martyr.

When it is said, iv. 26, that at that time men began

to call on and to call out the name of Yahweh,—that

is, to pray together to God as Yahweh, and publicly to

recognise Him as such,—this, too, stands in connection

with iii. 15, for this historical notice is designed to

indicate that men at that time joined a congregation

which worshipped the God of the promised salvation.

But if mankind is ever to be free from the bondage of

 


FIRST VERIFICATIONS OF PRIMITIVE PROMISE.         41

 

sin, as is promised in iii. 15, they must likewise be

free from the curse of death. The end of Enoch's

life, the seventh from Adam in the line of Seth, shows

that man, if he had proved true in the probation of

free will, could have gone over into another stadium of

existence without death and corruption. Death is,

indeed, since the fall a law of nature; but God, who

has enacted this law of nature, can also make it in-

operative when He will through the exertion of His

almighty power. The translation of Enoch, as well

as of Elijah, is a prophecy in act of the future end of

death (Isa. xxv. 8; 1 Cor. xv. 54). The primitive

promise includes this end of death in itself, for the

crushing of the serpent is the disarming of him "who

has the power of death " (Heb. ii. 14).

 

            Remark 1.—The impression that txe in hv,h;ya-tx,,

iv. 1b, indicates the definite object, as vi. 10, xxvi. 34,

is so strong that the Jerusalem Targum translates: "I

have gotten a man, the Angel of Yahweh." But this

interpretation cannot be maintained, for the reason

that the Angel of Yahweh first enters into history and

consciousness after the time of the patriarchs.

            Remark 2.—Enoch announced, according to Jude,

ver. 14, the parousia of the Lord in judgment. It is

indeed in itself probable that Enoch, since he walked

with God, —a commendation which only Noah shares

with him, vi. 9,—also knew about the ways of God;

but his prophecy, which Jude quotes, belongs to the

"sage" (Haggada), and serves the author of the Epistle

a didactic purpose. That it refers to the coming of

the Lord in judgment, although the history of mankind

 


42     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

had not begun so very long ago, is strange in itself.

Not long after the beginning of the Church, the

parousia of Christ as judge was longed and hoped for.

The corruption through sin was so great at all times,

that the believers longed that God, through a judicial

interference, might help the Seed of the woman to a

victory over the seed of the serpent.

 

                   § 6. The Expected Comforter.

 

            While in Lamech, the seventh from Adam within

the Cainitic line, the worldly tendency of this line

rises to blasphemous arrogance, there appears in Enosh,

Enoch, and Lamech, the third, seventh, and ninth of

the Sethitic line, an indigenous tendency toward the

God of the promised salvation. Lamech, the Sethite,

when his first son was born, hoped that in him, the

tenth from Adam, the period of the curse would come

to a comforting conclusion. This is evident from his

elevated words when he says (v. 29):  "This one shall

comfort us for our work and for the toil of our hands

[according to the signification of the Hebrew word:

comforting, to make one free from painful work],

because of the ground [i.e. that which the ground

renders necessary] which Yahweh hath cursed." In

this hope he calls him Noah, i.e. breathing out, rest

(connected with MHena, to comfort, by causing to breathe

out). The comfort which he expects from God through

him is not comfort in words, but the comfort of an act

of salvation. This comfort was also fulfilled through

him, although not fully and in entirety, but in a way


               THE EXPECTED COMFORTER.                    43

 

preparatory to the completion. The rainbow after the

flood was a comfort, the blessing of which extended

from that time on until the end. It pledged mankind,

after the wrathful visitation in judgment, of their

continuance, and of the dawn of a better time, in

which, instead of wrath, a blessing predominates, a

time of favour, patience, and long-suffering of God

(Acts xvii. 30, xiv. 17; Rom. iii. 26). Noah is the

first mediator of the sacred history, a mediator of

comfort. Comfort (nechama) is one of the pregnant

words in which all that is hoped from the God of

salvation is combined. Yahweh, as Redeemer of His

people, is called their Comforter, Isa. xlix. 13, 9.

And the Servant of Yahweh, the Mediator of salvation,

explains it as His calling to comfort all that mourn,

Isa. lxi. 2. Noah is a forerunner of this great Com-

forter, in whom all who labour and are heavy laden

find rest to their souls.

 

            Remark.— Comforter, MHenam;, is an old synagogical

designation for the Messiah; compare Schoettgen, De

Messia, Dresdae 1742, p. 18. Jesus Himself is called

para<klhtoj, Comforter, for His promise, "He shall

send you a@llon para<klhton" (John xiv. 16), presup-

poses that Christ Himself is para<klhtoj (Fyliq;raP;=MHenam;).

 

           § 7. The Promise of the Blessing of the Nations in

                             the Seed of the Patriarchs.

 

            In Gen. ix. 24-27 we read how Noah in spirit

penetrated the moral and fundamental character, and


44    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

consequently the future, of the three groups of peoples

springing from Canaan, Shem, and Japheth; and how

he awards to Canaan the curse of servitude, to Japheth

far-reaching political power, and to Shem a central

religious significance which also draws Japheth to

him. The God of salvation is the God of Shem;

Shem is therefore for himself and the nations a bearer

of the revelation of this God. According to this it

is a Shemite whom God, after Noah, entrusts with

the second epoch-making mediatorship. Abraham

is chosen out of the midst of the nations to become

a mediator of the revelation of salvation, and the

promise of the salvation of the entire race is con-

nected with him and his seed as centre, and starting-

point: "And all the kindreds of the earth shall bless

themselves in thee and in thy seed." This promise

is made three times to Abraham (xii. 3, xviii. 18, xxii.

18), and once each to Isaac and Jacob (xxvi. 4, xxviii.

14). It is given three times with Ukr;b;niv; (xii. 3,

xviii. 18, xxviii. 14), and twice Ukr;BAt;hiv; (xxii.

18, xxvi. 4). It is questionable whether it should be

translated as a passive: "they shall be blessed," or

as a reflexive:  "they shall bless themselves." The

Niphal j`rab;ni occurs only in this promise, but the

Hithpael, wherever it occurs, e.g. Jer. iv. 2, has a

reflexive signification. Nevertheless, the Septuagint

(Acts iii. 25; Gal. iii. 8) translate all of the five

passages with a passive e]neuloghqh<sontai. Since a

longing desire for salvation, according to God's plan

of salvation, is always accompanied with actual attain-


           THE BLESSING OF THE NATIONS.                  45

 

ment, the sense remains essentially the same, whether

we translate passively or reflexively. The promise

makes Abraham and his seed possessors of a divine

blessing, which is to become the end of the desire

of all nations, and at the same time also their posses-

sion.1 Israel is the seed of Abraham (Isa. xli. 9), as

the people who mediate salvation (Isa. xix. 24; Zech.

viii. 13); but this mediation of salvation comes to

its final completion in Christ, the one descendant of

Abraham, in whom the seed of Abraham, according

to his calling as mediator of a blessing, finds its

consummation.

           

            Remark.—The inference of Paul from the singular

j~fEr;ziB; (Gal. iii. 16) has indeed a rabbinical character;1

but the thought is perfectly correct, that the singular

j~fEr;zeb;U includes that which a plural would precisely

exclude, namely, that the seed of Abraham, which is

the means of a blessing, is a unity which will finally

be concentrated in One; for fraz, can be just as well

used of one (Gen. iv. 25) as of many. The poet of

Ps. lxxii. begins in ver. 16 with the same idea: The

promise of the blessing upon the peoples will be

 

            1 The Targum translates: "They shall be blessed through

thee, through thy children, on account of thy merit, and of

theirs" (tvkz). The Jewish doctrine of the merit of works casts

its shadow into the understanding of the Scripture.

            2 In like manner the Mishna, Sanhedrin iv. 5, where it is

remarked on ymeD;, Gen. iv. 10, "he does not say j~yHixA MDa, but

j~yHixA ymeD;: that is, his blood and the blood of his posterity,"

vytvfrz (plural of frz); cf. Abraham Geiger's article, "tOy.fir;za,

xtAyAfEr;za, spe<rmata,” in the Zeitschrift der morgenländ. Gesellschaft,

Leipzig 1858, pp. 307-309.


46    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

fulfilled in King Messiah, whose name continues and

buds forever. In this One the mediatorship of the

blessing of the people of Abraham attains its con-

summation, nevertheless without its then having an

end, since the blessing which is effected by One, and

which going out from Him has extended over the

nations of the earth, has not been secured without

the co-operation of Israel, through the apostle from

Israel. But since the One appeared, the mediatorship

of salvation through Israel is conditioned in this way:

that, first, it must be blessed by Him whose blessing,

first of all, pertains to those who are children of the

prophets and of the covenant (Acts iii. 25 f.).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   CHAPTER II.

 

 

THE PROPHETIC BENEDICTIONS OF THE DYING PATRIARCHS.

 

 

         § 8. Jacob's artful Procurement of the Blessing of the

                                        First-Born.

 

 

CICERO says:1  Appropinquante morte [animus]

multo est divinior. It is an experimental fact

that precisely through the approach of the night of

death the most intense effulgence flashes through the

human spirit, which has sprung from the being of

God; and it is in connection with this psychological

natural phenomenon that the patriarchs just before

their death become seers, and utter testamentary words

of a prophetic character concerning their children.

Their blessings are not merely wishes, whose effect

is coextensive with the granting of the prayer of

faith, but they are at the same time predictions, which

proceed from the divinely-mediated view into the

future, as it has been decreed. Of such a sort is

the blessing of the first-born, which Isaac utters

regarding his second son, since Divine Providence

frustrated that which his natural will intended. It

arose from the divine promise which had already gone

 

            1 De Divinatione, lib. i. § 63.

 

                                        47


48       MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

forth, which Isaac had grasped in faith (Heb. xi. 20),

and had further unfolded in the spirit of prophecy.

This blessing of the first-born consists of four parts

(xxvii. 27-29). It promises the one whom it con-

cerns: (1) The possession of the land of Canaan

under the divine benediction (vers. 27b, 28):

 

            See, the smell of my son

            Is as the smell of a field which

            Yahweh hath blessed.

            And God will give thee of the dew of heaven,

            And of the fat fields of the earth,

            And plenty of corn and must.

 

(2) The subjection of the nations, and indeed without

limitation, in such general terms, that the limitation to

the nations of Canaan, perhaps including the neigh-

bouring countries, is contrary to the words of the

text (ver. 29a):

            Peoples shall serve thee,

            And nations bow down to thee.

 

(3) The primacy over his brothers, that is, the tribes

of Israel, and over those blood relations who were

outside the posterity of the line of promise (ver. 29b):

            Be Lord over thy brethren,

            And thy mother's sons shall bow down to thee.

 

(4) So high a position in redemptive history, that

blessings and curses are conditioned by the attitude

which men take to him who has received the blessing

(ver. 29c):

            Cursed be every one that curseth thee,

            And blessed be every one that blesseth thee.


 PROPHETIC BENEDICTIONS OF PATRIARCHS.         49

 

            When Esau, weeping bitterly, also begs for a bless-

ing, he has for him, too, some promises, but of such a

sort that they bring a dimness into the pure light of

the blessing of Jacob, which is deserved through

his artifice; but Isaac cannot recall any of the

promises made to Jacob, for he knows that God has

spoken through him, and that, against his own will,

he has become God's instrument. It is the blessing of

Abraham that Isaac, as if passing by himself, lays upon

Jacob, for he promises him the possession of Canaan

(cf. xii. 7) and victorious power (cf. xxii. 17); also the

addition: "I will bless those that bless thee, and him

that curseth thee will I curse," was already spoken to

Abraham (xii. 3). The blessing and the curse of men

are to be determined by the relation which they take

to the one who has been blessed by God,—a deter-

mination which must have a deep moral ground, since

the God of revelation is the holy One, who, as such,

neither gives the preference in a partizan way nor

promotes worldly pride of rank. Whoever blesses the

patriarchs evinces thereby—as, for example, the bless-

ing of Abram through Melchisedek shows (xiv. 19)

his belief in God, whose confessors they are. The

salvation, which is finally to find its complete historical

representation in the person of Jesus the Christ, has

now, according to the measure of its stage of prepara-

tion, the patriarchs, His ancestors, as possessors and

bearers.


50     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

            § 9. The Designation of Judah as Royal and

                                  Messianic Tribe.

 

            After the three patriarchs had been enlarged from

Jacob to twelve heads of tribes, the question arises,

from which of the twelve tribes the promised salvation

shall go forth. Jacob's prophetic blessing (Gen. xlix.)

answers this question. Reuben, through his incest

with Bilhah, had forfeited the right of primogeniture.

It could not be transmitted to Simeon and Levi, on

account of their outrage on the inhabitants of Shechem.

Hence Jacob, in view of his near death, transfers the  

double inheritance (the hrAkoB;, in the narrower meaning

of an inheritance), which is connected with the right

of primogeniture, to Joseph, his favourite son, but

primacy and the world-position in the history of

salvation, to Judah, his fourth son (1 Chron. v. 1 f.).

Jacob promises him the leadership of the tribes of

his people as an inalienable right, won through his

lion-like courage, until, on his coming to Shiloh,

his dominion of the tribes should be enlarged to a

dominion over the world:

            8   Judah thee, thee shall thy brethren praise!

                 Thy hand is on the necks of thine enemies,

                 The sons of thy father shall bow down to thee.

            9   Judah is a young lion,

                 From the prey, my son, thou art gone up:

                 He lies down, he couches as a lion, and as a lioness,

                 Who dares to wake him up?

            10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,  

                 Nor the leader's staff from between his feet,

                 Until he comes to Shiloh;

                 And to him will be the obedience of the peoples.


     JUDAH AS ROYAL AND MESSIANIC TRIBE.          51

 

We understand hloywi xboyA in the sense which it has

elsewhere hlowi xOB signifies to come to Shiloh (Josh.

xviii. 9; 1 Sam. iv. 12), as hlowi xybihe signifies to bring to

Shiloh (Judg. xxi. 12; 1 Sam. i. 24); also, after j`lahA

and HlawA, hlowi, is used to indicate the place whither. It

is also certain that hloywi is not a proper name, since, in

vers. 11, 12, Judah is the subject, who, after he has

fought his way through, rejoices in prosperous, happy

peace in a land richly blessed with wine and milk, so

that Judah also in ver. 10 must be the subject, with-

out the interposition of another. And that which

Jacob promised Judah actually came to pass. For as

Israel, at whose head was the tribe of Judah, pitched

the tent of the testimony in Shiloh, between Shechem

and Bethel, hence in the heart of Canaan, the land, as

is said in Josh. xviii. 1, was subdued before them: the

conquest had made progress in a direction which, with

persistent, similar energy, bore in itself the pledge of

completion.  But, furthermore, Judah really became

the royal tribe in Israel, which, in David and Solomon,

had command, not over the tribes of Israel alone, but

also over the neighbouring peoples. The weakening

and the breaking through of the power and perman-

ence of the kingdom of Judah are relatively unim-

portant elements for the prophet. But since the

Chaldean catastrophe made an end of the Davidic

kingdom,—which arose in Zerubbabel after the exile

only in a shadowy way and for a short time, —the

fulfilment of the blessing concerning Judah would

certainly lack its crown if the divinely-anointed One,


52   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

to whom the Lord (Ps. ii. 8) gives the heathen for

His inheritance, and the ends of the earth for His

possession, had not arisen out of Judah. But it is

evident, says the Epistle to the Hebrews (vii. 14), that

our Lord sprang from Judah; and the Apocalypse,

since it calls Him the Lion from the tribe of Judah

(v. 5), points back to this blessing of Jacob. Hence

the prediction concerning Judah remains Messianic,

even when we understand Shiloh as the name of a

place. Since Jacob names the tribe of Judah as the

royal tribe of Israel, the preliminary history of the

Messiah has advanced so far, that now Judah is

chosen as the place for the appearance of the future

One.

           

            Remark 1.—When hloywi is understood as indicating a

place, only the rendering preferred by Hitzig need be

considered in connection with the one given above:

"so long as they come to Shiloh," that is, from the

standpoint of the speaker forever, since (according to

this interpretation) he does not know any other central

place of worship. But this supposition is contrary to

history (Ps. lxxviii. 60 ff.), the generalizing of the

subject of xboyA disturbs [the connection], the explana-

tion of yKi dfa through "as long as" (equivalent to

rw,xE dfa) is contrary to the dominant idiom, which

knows yKi dfa, only in the signification of donec or adeo

ut (Gen, xxvi. 13; 2 Sam. xxiii. 10; 2 Chron. xxvi.

15), and this expedient in order to arrive at [the

meaning] "forever" is unnecessary, since [the expres-

sion] "until that" frequently indicates (e.g. Gen. xxviii.

15) a climax and a culmination, beyond which that


               EXPLANATIONS OF SHILOH.                53

 

which is said does not cease, but continues, or even,

as in the preceding case, is heightened. It is surprising

that none of the ancient translators and intrepreters

thought of hloywi as the city of Shiloh. This interpreta-

tion of the word first became current after Herder,

who adopted it from W. G. Teller (1766). But we

have a similar example in Lamech's Song of the

Sword (Gen. iv. 23 f.). The significance of the

blasphemous praise of the iron weapon was first

perceived by Herder and Hamann.

           

            Remark 2. —The ancient translators, who pre-

suppose the reading hlw (without y, as in the Samaritan

Pentateuch), take this hlw, in the sense of Ol.w, and

understand it either of a fact:  "until that come which

belongs to him" (to Judah), ta> a]pokei<mena au]t&?

(Septuagint, Theodotion), namely, the dominion over

the world; or personally: "until he comes, to whom it

(the sceptre or the rule) belongs, &$ a]pokeitai (Aquila,

Symmachus, Onkelos, second Jerusalem Targum,

Syrian). Perhaps Ezekiel (Ezek. xxi. 32) presupposes

this interpretation of hlw, since he names the future

ideal king FpAw;mi.ha Ol rw,xE in the Septuagint FpAw;mi.ha is

omitted, as it; is simply rendered &$ kaqh<kei. But the

following reasons may be urged against the meaning

which has been incorporated with the word, as the

one originally intended:--1. The abbreviation w for

rw,xE is foreign to the prose style of ancient Hebrew;

there are only two uncertain references in support

of it: (1) the combination of particles Mna.waB; (Gen.

vi. 3, provided this reading is to be preferred to the

dominant one MnA.waB;; (2) the name of the Levite lxewAymi

(Ex. vi. 22, provided it signifies, like its synonym lxekAymi,

"who is like God?").  2. Although the writing  hBo


54    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

occurs once for OB (Jer. xvii. 24), hlo is never found

for  Ol. Moreover, the Massoretic reading hloywi excludes

the supposition that w is equivalent to rw,xE. In the

Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b, it is read thus: for the pupils

of Rabbi Shila (xlyw) remark in honour of their teacher,

that hloywi which sounds similarly is the name of the

Messiah. We do not know how they interpreted it.1

            It is a proof of the power of fashion even in

exegesis, that several of the most recent exegetes have

again taken up hlw, as equivalent to Ol.w,, which was

heretofore considered as worthy of mention only as

a matter of history. Driver and Briggs interpret

according to the Septuagint: "until his own [that

which belongs to Judah] shall come;" von Orelli:

"until he [Judah] come into his own [the land of his

inheritance],—an explanation which has not hitherto

been set forth, by any one, according to which hlowi is

equivalent to Ol-rw,xE-lx,; Wellhausen expunges and

translates: "until he come to whom the obedience

of the people belongs." Stade2 goes still further than

Wellhausen, as he expunges the entire tenth verse as

a post-exilic addition; Kautzsch and Socin translate

Olv;, but under the impression of this modern confusion

treat hloywi as untranslatable. And so it goes: the best

and truest has the fortune gradually to become old, and

people hasten after that which is new, until this also

becomes old and they return to the old. The old

[interpretation], which will ever reappear, is in the

 

            1 See G. H. Dalman, Der leidende and der sterbende Messias der

Synagoge, 1888, p. 37. The word vlyw occurs in the Talmudic

proverb as the name of a man: xmltwm xnHvyv xFH wlyw, Shilo

has sinned and Johana must suffer for it.

            2 Geschichte Israels, Leipzig, 1887, vol. i. p. 160.


                  EXPLANATIONS OF SHILOH.          55

 

present case the understanding of hloywi xboyA in Josh.

xviii. 9, and in other places where it occurs, in a

geographical signification.

            The name of the place (hloywi, Olywi), defectively

written hlowi (Olwi), is formed from lUw, hlAwA, to hang

down in a flabby way, to be unstrung, to rest, and

hence, as the gentile yniOlywi shows, contracted from

NOlywi; it indicates stretching out, relaxation, recrea-

tion, rest,—certainly a fitting name of a place, and

one which recommends itself. The form has the

character of a proper name, as the name of a man,

hmolow;, and the name of a place, hloGi, Josh. x v. 51; also

Prov. xxvii. 20, is the indication of Hades as a

proper name, hence it cannot be translated, as Kurtz

maintains, as an appelative: until he (Judah) comes

to rest. We might rather consider hloywi like hmolow;,

as the name of a person, so that the Messiah can be

called the bodily hvAl;wa (Ps. cxxii. 7), as the One in

Himself full of rest, and as the One producing rest

from Himself. This view commends itself not a little,

and we could consider the prediction as a prediction

concerning Solomon,—like the Samaritan translator of

the Pentateuch into Arabic,—and beyond Solomon of

his antitype. But vers. 11, 12 contradict this view,

for in them Judah is the subject; the images apper-

tain to the tribe which comes to Shiloh, and which

rests from conflict in peace, not to the person of a

single prince of peace.

            Remark 3. — The polemic against the Jews has

carried on a traditional misuse, which extends back

to Justin's Dialogue with Trypho. According to this

prophecy the subjugation of the Jewish people under

heathen dominion is regarded as a preliminary sign of


56   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

the coming of the Messiah; and the conclusion is

drawn that since the people is in exile (rWA Nyxev; j`l,m, Nyxe,

"without a prince and without a king," Hos. iii. 4),

the Messiah must have come long since. This

explanation of the prophecy is even for this reason

inadmissible, because the prediction in this blessing,

that Judah should at length lose dominion, would

bring a gloom for which there would be no occasion.

Isaac Troki, in his hnvmx qvzH, i. 14, is quite right,

where he contends against this interpretation with its

consequences. He is quite right when he maintains

that yKi dfa does not indicate that when the given

turning-point shall come Judah shall lose the

dominion, but that then Judah's dominion shall be

extended to world dominion (the so-called llkb dfv df,

see. Levy, Neuhebraisches Wörterbuch, iii, 619b); and

also because this interpretation is in contradiction

with the Christian faith, since Jesus sprung from

Judah, and is called the King of the Jews; and also

after He came the sceptre remained with the tribe of

Judah. But we do not agree with him in giving

qHeqm; a personal interpretation, as in Deut. xxxiii. 21,

as referring to the legislators, to those who handle the

law, the chiefs of the people, which involves our

understanding vylAg;ra NyBemi in the indecent signification

of Deut. xxviii. 57; nor do we agree with him

when he combines hloywi with hyAl;wi in the same

passage of Deuteronomy, and, according to the

Targum of Onkelos on this passage, understands

xHAnAB; rfez; of the youngest, that is, of the final Son

of Judah, while hyAl;wi has also through the Mishna,

Talmud, and Syriac, rather the assured signification

of after-birth (secundinae). But in the main point


              EXPLANATIONS OF SHILOH.            57

 

he is quite right, that according to the prophecy

concerning Shiloh the kingdom of God from Judah,

through the Messiah, will overcome all the kingdoms

of this world, hence that the dominion of Judah

without diminution will become extended to world

dominion.

            Remark 4.—Kurtz rejects the personal interpretation

of hloywi for this reason, because the promise of a king,

and, indeed, of one ruling the world, hence of the

Messiah, here at the end of the patriarchal period is

an anachronism. And, indeed, although along with

the prediction concerning the blessing of the people in

the seed of the patriarchs the prediction is connected,

that the patriarchs shall be tribal ancestors of many

peoples, and kings of peoples (Gen. xvii. 6, 16,

xxxv. 11), the preliminary conditions for the future

image of a king of Israel are not yet in exist-

ence: the tribes of Israel are only first in process of

becoming a people; the theocratic relation of God

begins first with the legislation, and the patriarchal

house is not yet involved in wars, which press for a 

demand for one leadership. It is true that the promise

respecting Judah has a royal sound; for Fb,we is the

usual designation of honour for a king, but it does not

have to do with a person, but with a tribe, and in such

a way that from the standpoint of the further develop-

ment, and especially of the fulfilment, one is the goal.

As in the protevangel xUh is mankind, and one is the

centre; as in the promise concerning the blessing on

the peoples j~fEr;zaB; is the family of the patriarchs, and

one is the centre: so here hdAUhy; is the tribe, and one

is the centre. If we compare the prophecy concern-

ing Shiloh with the protevangel there appears to be


58    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

rather retrogression than progression, but it is only

apparent. The proclamation of salvation in its begin-

ning was with reference to victory over the evil, and

this beginning is the impelling germ of the following

development until its utmost limit. A blessing on

the nations is the contents of the proclamation of

salvation in its second stage, the development goes

forward from this point, but departing from the all-

comprehensive ideal placed in the beginning, as the

plant, before it attains its ultimate end in the fruit

which is preformed in germ, goes out in root, stem,

and branches. The nationalizing of the proclamation

of salvation is the root through which it is fastened,

and the trunk which is to bear the fruit. With the

blessing of Judah the nationalizing begins, after the

way has already been prepared through the promise

of the blessing of the nations in the seed of the

patriarchs.


 

 

 

                                  CHAPTER III.

 

 

THE PREDICTIONS OF THE MOSAIC PERIOD CONCERNING

                     THE FUTURE SALVATION.

 

 

      § 10. The Promise of a Prophet after Moses, and

                                      like him.

 

 

THE future mediator of salvation appears later on

as king, who as the chosen of Yahweh reigns

over Israel, and from Israel over the nations. The

prophecy of Shiloh is like the frame, which the later

image of the Messiah fills out. But before we meet

with a proper Messianic prophecy, there is given

because of a special occasion, without connection with

the expectation of an ideal king, the promise of a

prophet like Moses. As the people at the giving of

the Sinaitic law could not bear to hear the voice of

Yahweh, on account of its dreadful nearness, and

accordingly Moses must act as mediator (Deut.

v. 23-28; cf. Ex. xx. 19), Yahweh promised the

people for the future a prophet, who should be

raised from their midst like Moses, and demanded

for him in advance unconditional obedience (Deut.

xviii. 15-19). [This is] an appendix to the history

of the legislation, which is to be inserted after Deut.

 

                                          59


60    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

v. 28, which is connected with the command not to

make use of idolatrous means of witchcraft (Deut.

xviii. 9-14), and which is completed in the indica-

tion of the signs through which a true is to be dis-

tinguished from a false prophet (Deut. xviii. 20 ff.).

            In order that we may not be led to take a position

against the individual and personal interpretation of

the prophet who is promised, through the connection

in which the prophecy concerning the prophet like

Moses stands, we have to consider: (1) Moses is,

according to the view of the Torah, the incomparable

prophet. The true character of his personality in

redemptive history proceeds from his prophetic calling,

from which the legislative is never specially dis-

tinguished. Hence the unique character of the

intimate relation of God with this His servant (Num.

xii. 6-8) is compared with God's usual relations with

the prophets, and he is called, as the one who is

incomparable, by his proper official name xybinA (Deut.

xxxiv. 10; cf. Hos. xii. 14). (2) Moses is, according

to the history as it is given us in the Torah, not

the only prophet of his time. His sister also bears

the designation of prophetess, hxAybin; (Ex. xv. 20).

Miriam and Aaron are conscious that God also speaks

through them as well as through Moses (Num. xii. 2).

The seventy elders, whom Moses appoints as his assist-

ants, have a part of the Spirit of God which rests on

him, and begin to prophesy, and the prophetic ecstasy

seizes others also among the people (Num. xi. 24, 29),

—there were also prophets at that time besides Moses,


                THE PROPHET LIKE MOSES.                   61

 

and the Torah presupposes that there always have been,

and always will be prophets (Deut. xiii. 1 ff.). When,

therefore, looking through forty years back to the

first year it is promised (Dent. xviii. 15):  "Yahweh

thy God will raise out of the midst of thy brethren a

prophet like me (ynimoKA); unto him shall ye hearken,"

and ver. 18:  "a prophet will I raise up to you out

of the midst of thy brethren, like thee the

point of the prediction lies in the (j~OmKA) and j~OmKA.

The sense is not that God will always raise up a

prophet to the people (Rosenmüller semper per futura

tempora), who, like Moses, will be His organ. It is

exactly the emphasis on the continuation which is

lacking.  The imperfect MyqiyA (MyqixA) is not an

adequate expression for "always."    Moreover, xybinA

cannot be understood as a plural, for the singular is

retained throughout, without being exchanged with

the plural. The prophecy indicates a definite prophet,

it indicates a single person; and the history of the

following period confirms the [view], that the character-

istic marks of the one in contradistinction to the

many, which the concluding section (Deut. xviii. 20 ff.)

presupposes, are involved in the ynimoKA and j~OmKA. For

all the prophets who followed Moses are not mediators

of such a revelation as the Sinaitic; but the divine

revelation which is like the Sinaitic lies for all in the

domain of the future, and their duty consists in repre-

senting the spirit of the Sinaitic divine revelation, and

thus preparing the way for a future divine revelation,

whose mediator is to be the predicted prophet like


62    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

Moses! Only so understood is Deut. xviii. 15-19

justified as a part of the prophetic words which are

to be discussed by us in historical succession. If the

prediction only referred to the continuance of pro-

phetic mediation in general, it would be without any

Christological significance, for it would not contain

any indication that the prophetic office after Moses

would culminate in One, who would be greater than

all the preceding. But the use of the singular, as

has been pointed out, shows that not a succession

of prophets is intended, but one prophet, who stands

before the spirit of the speaker; and as the expressions

ynimoKA and j~OmKA demand, such an One, who is not only

a continuation, but also an antitype of the mediator-

ship of Moses. That the future will not be without

prophets is presupposed in the Torah, and not only

especially promised, but it is promised that among

these prophets there will be another Moses. It

remains undetermined whether this other Moses is to

be hoped for in the nearer or more remote future.

The prediction brings that which is separated near

together, and flies away over that which lies between

the now and the coming time, which is separated

perhaps by a gulf of more than a thousand years.

 

            Remark 1.—Our interpretation of this passage gives

again the impression which it makes on us, but we

are not so daring as to attribute to the grounds of

probability in its favour a compulsory power of proof.

The impression which it makes on interpreters like

Hävernick, Hofmann, Gustav Baur, Eduard König,


            THE PROPHET LIKE MOSES.                   63

 

von Orelli, Dillmann, and others is just the opposite.

These interpreters contend against the reference to a

single definite prophet, and find only one thought

expressed, that God will raise up a mediator for His

people, such as it now has in Moses, as often as it

needs a mediator of a divine revelation. By the ex-

pression ynimokA xybinA we are not to understand a prophet

who stands on the same plane with Moses; it indicates

only one who is to be an organ of God like him,

since here Moses and the other prophets are not com-

pared as in Deut. xxxiv. 10, but Moses and the

prophets like him as organs of God are compared with

the heathen sorcerers. Hofmann says,1 the singular

is indeed not a collective, but is used with relation to

the single case where the people need a mediator of

the divine revelation.  He also understands ynimoKA

(j~OmKA) in connection with j~yh,xAme j~B;r;qi.mi (Mh,yHexE br,q.,mi),

which stands by it, as meaning a prophet who like

Moses is one of the people, which has this in its

favour, since the warning against heathen sorcerers

precedes. Among Jewish interpreters the reference

to prophets after the time of Moses in a general sense

predominates. But Aben Ezra is doubtful, and con-

siders it possible that Joshua is intended. That was

also the view of a part of the Samaritans.2 The

passage is used in the same way in the Assumptio

Mosis, i. 5-7. In Jalkut the view is also maintained,

that Jeremiah may be the. One promised.

            Remark; 2.—It is a weighty reason against the

single personal and eschatological interpretation of

xybinA, that we never find in the canonical Scriptures

 

            1 Schriftbeweis, vol. ii. part 1, pp. 138-142.

            2 See the citations from Photius in Lightfoot on John iv. 19.


64    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

of the Old Testament an echo of this promise. On

the other hand, if in the pre-Christian and apostolic

age this interpretation was adopted to a considerable

extent, it must yet have had a tradition for it reaching

back we do not know how far. Among the Samaritans,

whose canon consists exclusively of the five books of

Moses, Deut. xviii. 15, 18 was regarded as the only

proper Messianic prophecy. The word of the Sama-

ritan woman, John iv. 25: "I know that Messiah

comes: when He shall come He will declare unto us

all things," shows that the Messiah was represented as

a mediator of salvation. A Samaritan, whose name was

Dositheus,1 who claimed to be the Messiah, maintained

that he was therefore the prophet who was promised

in Deut. xviii. But also in the New Testament

Scriptures this passage is considered as a locus illustris

of eschatological meaning, as a prophecy which has

come to its realization in Jesus Christ. In the

address of Peter, which was made in the porch of

Solomon, the prophet who is predicted by Moses is

compared with the prophets who have prepared the

way for his coming since Samuel (Acts iii. 22-24).

And Stephen, presupposing the meaning of the passage

as referring to Christ, emphasizes Dent. xviii. 15 as one

of the most significant words of Moses (Acts 37).

When Philip says to Nathanael (John i. 45) : " We

have found Him of whom Moses in the law did write,"

there is nothing fitter there, as well as in John v. 46,

than to think of this prophecy of the future prophet.

We are led with probability to conclude that this

interpretation of the passage was not isolated, since

 

            1 Uhlhorn in Herzog and Plitt's Real-Encyklopadie für pro-

testantische Theologie und Kirche, Leipzig 1878, vol. iii. p. 683.


BALAAM'S PROPHECY ABOUT THE STAR.   65

 

also the expectation of the people in the time of

Christ was directed to a great prophet who was

absolutely called o[ profh<thj (John vi. 14). But

how this prophet was related to the Messiah was not

clear. The people distinguished both (John i. 19-21,

vii. 40-42), although in the face of Jesus Christ the

perception of the oneness of the prophet and of the

Messiah disappeared (Matt. xxi. 9-11).

 

 § 11. The Prophecy of Balaam concerning the Star and

                       the Sceptre out of Israel.

 

            It is related in the grandiloquent parasha (section)

of Balak, in Numbers (xxii. 2 and elsewhere), that

Balak, king of the Moabites, when the kingdoms of

Sihon and Og became subject to the military prowess

of Israel, summoned the celebrated Balaam of Pethor,

north-east of Aleppo, in order that he might utter a

curse against the people who were pressing forward

so victoriously; but that, overcome by the Spirit of

Yahweh, in spite of all Balak's efforts, he blessed Israel

and prophesied their glorious future. This is an event

which also, outside of that parasha, is celebrated as an

integral part of the miracles of the Exodus (Deut.

xxiii. 5; Josh. xxiv. 9 f.; Micah vi. 5; Neh. xiii. 2).

            We admit that the narrative, as it lies before us, is

combined out of several sources that may be clearly

distinguished, and that the historical element, as it

survived in the "sage," has been reproduced, not with-

out literary co-operation, but without doubting the

fact that the heathen sorcerer, contrary to his natural


66  MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

disposition, became a prophet of Yahweh, and that he

received an insight into the future of Israel, whose

significance only has its counterpart in the second

part of the Book of Zechariah and the Book of Daniel.

            As Balaam reached Moab, especially the district

above the Arnon, which Sihon, who was now conquered

by Israel, had snatched from the Moabites, Balak shows

him three times a place from which he has a view of

Israel (Num. xxii. 41, xxiii. 14, 28). He brings

great offerings in order, if possible, to secure the com-

pliance of Yahweh; but Balaam must, in spite of

these, bless instead of curse. This takes place in three

predictive utterances, which are joined on to the three-

[fold] setting up [of altars] (Num. xxiii. 7-10, 18-

24, xxiv. 3-9). Finally, giving up signs, he submits

to the will of God, which he now recognises as un-

changeable, and unveils to the king, as he departs from

him, the future in four great predictive utterances:

concerning the great king out of Israel (xxiv. 15-19),

destruction of Amalek (ver. 20), captivity of the

Kenites through Asshur (ver. 21 E), destruction of

the world power out of the west (ver. 33 f., cf. on

MyTiKi dy>ami Myci, 1 Macc. i. 1, viii. 5; Dan. xi. 30). It is

characteristic in connection with the political element

of the older announcement of the Messiah that we

receive the first prophecy of this kind within the course

of Old Testament history from the mouth of a heathen

seer. The fourth of the seven MyliwAm; of Balaam, intro-

duced through ver. 14--"And now, behold I go unto

my people: come, permit thyself to be reminded of


BALAAM'S PROPHECY ABOUT THE STAR.      67

 

what this people shall do to thy people in the course

of the days "—is as follows:—

            15 Utterance of Balaam the son of Beôr,

                And utterance of the man with punctured 1 eyes.

            16 Utterance of the perceiver of divine words,

                And of the knower of the knowledge of the Most High,

                Who sees visions of the Almighty,

                Sunk down and with eyes unveiled.

            17 I see him, though not yet;

                 I behold him, though not near.

                There comes forth a star out of Jacob,

                And rises a sceptre out of Israel,

                And dashes in pieces the flanks of Moab,

                And tears to the ground all the sons of Sheth;2

                And Edom shall be a conquest,

                Yea Seir, his enemy, shall be a conquest,

                And Israel retains the victory.

            19 And he rules from Jacob,

                And destroys those who have escaped from [hostile] cities."3

 

            1 [German: Aufgestochenen Auges, Latin of the ed. of 1880,

perforatus oculo] —C.

            2 Thus we translate with the Septuagint and Jerome, but

without understanding who or what is meant by Sheth (twe). Jer.

xlviii. 45 transforms twe ynaB; into NOxwA yneB; "sons of the tumult

of war;" perhaps he understands twe in the sense of txwe Lam.

iii. 47, from hxAwA, to roar, to make a desolate noise. We

might also choose the reading tWe=txeW;, elevation, pride, which

gives an admirable meaning; for a characteristic trait of Moab is

pride, as that of Edom the hatred of heirs, so that Zunz trans-

lates:  "All the sons of boasting." The Pilpel rqrq, according

to post-biblical literature (see Levy, Neuhebräisches Wörterbuch,

iv. p. 391), certainly signifies to rend, to tear down, and this can

also be said of persons in an objective way, just as much as j`pahA,

Prov. xii. 7, and srahA, Ex. xv. 7; Ps. xxviii. 5; Jer. xlii. 10.

            3 As in Num. xxiv. 9b, Gen. xxvii. 29 is repeated, and in Num.

xxiii. 24, xxiv. 9a, Gen. xlix. 9, so here 19b reminds us of Gen.

xxii. 17b.


68   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

            Here first the object of the Old Testament hope is

personified, for star and sceptre are images of a ruler

who, like a star, appears out of Israel, a ruler of earthly

extraction and heavenly splendour. Before the eye of

the seer there stands in the distant future a king who

is to be expected, who subjugates Moab and Edom,

and makes Israel a victorious, powerful people. That

which the last three predictions express concerning

Amalek, Kain (the Kenites), and the world powers of

the East (Asshur) and of the West (ships from the

coast of Kittim), has no connection with this king. It

is not said that the downfall of these peoples and

kingdoms will be mediated through him. Since only

the subjugation of the Moabites and Edomites is

expressly imputed to him, that which is predicted does

not rise beyond that which was accomplished by Saul

(1 Sam. xiv. 47), and more permanently by David

(2 Sam. viii.). Nevertheless the subjugation through

David was only a temporary one; hence Jeremiah, in

chaps. xlviii., xlix., again takes up Balaam's prophetic

words concerning Moab and Edom, and places them in

the future. And that which is said in ver. 19 is

indefinite, and is understood in the Messianic echoes of

Ps. lxxii. 8, Zech. ix. 10, in an absolute sense. But

in order to understand this prophecy as one which is

to have a New Testament fulfilment, we must remove

its kernel, which consists in this, that the Messiah

will subjugate the world through the power of the

Spirit, and, scourging, will subdue those who oppose

Him;—thus understood, the ultimate fulfilment of that


EXODUS XV. AND DEUTERONOMY XXXII.        69

 

which is prophesied yet belongs to the future. But in

every case where an empire like the old Roman world

empire gives up its national gods, and acknowledges

the God who has revealed Himself in Christ, Christianity

celebrates a victory over the world; and when this

shall once lie at the feet of the Lord and of the Christ

who is enthroned at His right hand, then the dominion

of the Messiah out of Jacob, and the completion of His

punishment on those who contend against Him, will be

ultimately fulfilled spiritually, but not only inwardly,

also externally, but not in a military way.

            Remark.—Also in the New Testament the star is a

Messianic emblem and attribute. The Oriental magi

say (Matt. ii. 2) "We have seen His star;" and He

calls himself, Rev. xxii. 16, the radiant morning star."

Rabbi Akiba called that Simeon who placed himself at

the head of the national rising under Hadrian, with

reference to Num. xxiv. 17, as the King Messiah, the

son of the star (xbkvk rb). On the contrary, that which

is said in Rev. xii. 5 concerning the Messiah, who is

born out of Israel, with the iron sceptre, does not refer

immediately to Num. xxiv. 17, but to Ps. ii. 8 f.

 

     § 12. Course and Goal of the History of Salvation,

                   after Moses' great Memorial Song.

 

            The two pentateuchal songs, Ex. xv. and Deut.

xxxii., each stand in its way in a closer relation to the

further development of the proclamation of redemption.

When Balaam, before his spiritual eyes discern the

ideal human king of Israel, celebrates God Himself as


70    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

the king of this people (Num. xxiii. 21b, xxiv. 7b), this

takes place because of the theocratic relation which

dates from the Sinaitic legislation, for their Yahweh was

king in Jeshurun, as is said in Deut. xxxiii. 5, from

the standpoint of the forty years of the exodus; and

the hymn which rung out in the year of the exodus,

after the deliverance through the Red Sea, closes with

the words, which are to be regarded as a fundamental

part of the song, which was enlarged in the mouths

of the post-Mosaic congregation (Ex. xv. 58), "Yahweh

shall be king for ever and ever." This kingdom of

Yahweh is the presupposition of the Messianic kingdom,

the basis of the kingdom of the promise. And Moses'

testamentary song, although it speaks only concerning

the God of salvation, and not the mediator of salvation,

is nevertheless like a chart of the ways of God, an

outline of the stations of the history of redemption,

into which later disclosures concerning the human

mediation of the redemption are to be introduced.

Summoning heaven and earth as witnesses of his

proclamation, the poet takes his stand in the midst of

the time, when Israel, borne by Yahweh his Creator

on eagle's wings through the wilderness to the

land overflowing with milk and honey, and there

blessed with the richest abundance of temporal benefits,

in fleshly arrogance and contemptuous unthankfulness

rewards his God and Father with apostasy to the idols

of the heathen. At this time this song proclaims to

them the word of God. The word rm,xova ("and he

said") introduces the divine discourse, to which the


   EXODUS XV. AND DEUTERONOMY XXXII.           71

 

mouth of testimony is to be opened. Israel, because

of his apostasy, is to be brought through God's judg-

ments to the brink of destruction. But now, in the

midst of the threatened punishment, there is the

budding comfort, that the honour of Yahweh in respect

to Israel's enemies does not suffer the punishment to

proceed to complete overthrow. He makes use of the

heathen as instruments of punishment against His

people; but after He has shown Himself against them as

a strict judge, and after He has destroyed the apostate

mass, He manifests Himself as a pitier and avenger of

His servants, and the result of Israel's history is finally

this, that God's people, sifted and expiated, again

inhabit their native land, and that all peoples unite in

praising God who has revealed Himself in judgment

and grace.

            The shout, Om.fa MyiOg Unynir;ha, admits of two explanations:

"Break forth in rejoicing, peoples, his people," which

is an asyndeton, as there immediately follows

Om.fa OtmAd;fa a similar, although less hard, expression,

—or, "ye peoples cause his people to rejoice." In

the latter case Nynrh has an objective accusative, like

Nn.eri (Ps. li. 16, lix. 17).1 The thought remains the

same, for the rejoicing in both cases has reference

to God, who in the history of Israel shows Himself to

be the living and holy One, who, after He has punished

 

            1 The Targum also wavers: Onkelos and the first Jerusalem

consider vnynrh as transitive; the second Jerusalem—where we

are to read xymmf yhvmdq vslq, not xFf—consider Vmf, like Myvg,

as in the vocative.


72    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

His apostate people, does not proceed to extremes, but

again has compassion on those who finally serve Him,

and avenges the blood of His servants. It is, in

reality, the same conclusion as that which is reached

in chaps. x. and xi. of the Epistle to the Romans:

"God hath shut up all under unbelief, that He might

have mercy upon all." The apostle, too, shows there

how the history of redemption in intricate ways

reaches a glorious result, and concludes with a song of

praise to the all-compassionate God (Rom. xi. 32 ff.). 

Modern criticism, indeed, denies that the great song,

Dent. xxxii., was composed by Moses but it contains

nothing which betrays a post-Mosaic origin, for Mh,yxep;xa

(ver. 26a) does not refer to an exiling, but to an

annulling and an abundance of evident connections

with the Book of the Covenant (Ex. xix.-xxiv.), with

the blessing of Moses (Deut. xxxiii.), and with the

Tefilla Moses (Ps. xc.), prevent us from holding that

the testimony of Deut. xxxi. 22 is self-deception, or

deception for a purpose (tendentiöse Täuschung); and

it can be more easily conceived that the legislation is

not indicated in it with a single word—for Uhnen;Oby;  

(ver. 10b) does not signify erudivit eum—when the

legislator is the speaker, whose poetic gift is attested

through such highly poetical words as Ex. xvii. 16,

Num. x. 35 f., than when a later poet who has put

himself in the spirit of Moses is the speaker.1

 

            1 See concerning the Song of Moses my Pentateuch-kritischen

Studien, x. Die Entstehung des Deuteronomiums, Zeitschrift für Kirch-

liche Wissenschaft and Kirchliches Leben, Leipzig 1880, pp. 505-508.


  EXODUS XV. AND DEUTERONOMY XXXII.        73

 

            Remark 1.—In harmony with its high antiquity,

the song does not exhibit any strophical form. In

four pictures it describes the history of Israel until its

completion: first, Israel's creation and gracious prefer-

ment, vers. 1-14; then Israel's unthankfulness and

apostasy, vers. 15-19; then God's punitive judgments,

vers. 20-34; and, finally, when Israel's foot totters,

and he is near the brink, the revenge and retri-

bution against his enemies and those of his God,

vers. 35-43. It is significant here that the people

which experiences this vengeance, new life, and healing,

is called vydAbAfE, vers. 36a, 43a.  In its apostasy it is

called MmAUm vynABA xlo "not his children, a shame to

themselves " (5a, cf. Prov. ix. 7); the turning from

wrath to mercy has reference to the people who are

brought again from their apostasy, and who no longer

serve strange gods, but the God whom they had for-

gotten (vers. 15-18).

            Remark 2.—It is indicated that Israel will draw

the heathen to a common worship of their God in the

benedictions of Moses concerning the heathen territory

bordering on the northern tribes of Zebulon and

Issachar, when it is said (Dent. xxxiii. 18 f.):  "They

will call peoples to the mountain [the place where

Yahweh is worshipped]; there they will sacrifice sacri-

fices of righteousness." The word Mym.ifa is not to be

understood here as in ver. 3 of the tribes of Israel;

and rha probably does not have another meaning than

in Ex. xv. 17.


 

 

  

                                CHAPTER IV.

 

 

 

THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES OF THE TIME OF JOSHUA

                            AND OF THE JUDGES. —

 

 

 

     § 13. Yahweh and His Anointed in the Thanksgiving

                                   Song of Hannah.

 

 

THE great song of Moses really treats of the chang-

ing relation of Israel to his God, without there

being an occasion to mention a divinely-anointed One;

but the Mosaic law of the king (Deut. xvii. 14 ff.)

shows how near the thought of a king was immediately

before the conquest of Canaan. The peoples with

whom Israel had to do were all under a monarchial

form of government.1 The royal rule which the legis-

lation had in view, and for which it had prudently

given rules, became in the time of the Judges an object

of longing and hope. The song, 1 Sam. ii. 1-10, in

which Hannah in Shiloh, as a richly blessed mother,

after long disgrace, praises the Lord, closes with words

which show how the people, during the torn condition

of the popular bond at that time and of heathen

 

            1 See concerning the law of the king, Der Gesetzkodex des Deutero-

nomiums, Zeitschrift für Kirchliche Wissenschaft, u .s.w., Leipzig 1880,

pp. 559-567.

 

                                            74


YAHWEH'S ANOINTED IN HANNAH'S SONG.          75

 

degeneration, comforted themselves with the future

prospect of a united royal government

 

            10 Yahweh, His adversaries shall be broken in pieces,

                  It thunders before Him in heaven

                 Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth,

                 And will grant power to His king,

                 And will exalt the horn of His anointed.

 

            We do not deny the possibility that the song,

without being composed by Hannah, may only have

been assigned to her by a historian; but we deny

decidedly that it does not harmonize with her position

and feelings, and that therefore it could not be com-

posed by her. She sees in her elevation from disgrace

to honour the wonderful power of God, which humbles

the high and exalts the lowly; for that is the manner

of the true poet, to idealize his experiences, that is, to

place them under a universal point of view, and to

behold the great in the small, the whole in the indi-

vidual, the essential in the accidental. And why

should not Hannah, who had borne Samuel under her

heart, the founder of the school of the prophets, who

anointed David the sweet–singer of Israel, not have

possessed the gift of poetry?1 Or are we to think of

 

            1 Klostermann calls this song merely one speaking out of the

soul of Hannah, but not a psalm composed by her. A dictatorial

assumption of that which cannot be proved! This song, like all

old songs, is not strophical; but he forces upon it a form of com-

position in tetrastichs, and concludes from this arbitrary pre-

supposition that the last two lines (ver. 10b) must be a later

addition, after the example of Ps. xxix. 11. Moreover, the song

pleases us in the traditional text far better than in his wild

corrected one, as, e.g., ver. 10: "It is Yahweh who frightens


76    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

David in the mention which is made of the divinely-

anointed one, so that the close of the song expresses a

hope out of David's age assigned to the time of the

Judges, and which therefore excludes Hannah's author-

ship? But the true state of the case is this, that the

anointed of God who is hoped for is neither David nor

an ultimate Messiah alter the conclusion of a long

series of kings; rather there stands before the soul of

the poetess an ideal king whom Yahweh has appointed,

and through whom He brings His cause to victory.

We have to do here with the casting down of the

enemies of Yahweh from one end of the earth to

another, and with the raising up of the Messianic

kingdom, or, as we can say without introducing any-

thing which does not belong there, with the raising

up of the kingdom of God in His Christ, after the

thunder and lightning of divine judgment have made

way for this kingdom. The political use of power,

which concerns the preservation and elevation of the

nation, attain here to an ethical inwardness, which

does not appear in Balaam's prophecy.

 

§ 14. The divinely-anointed One in the Threatening

            Prophecy concerning the House of Eli.

 

            The prophecy in 1 Sam. ii. 27-36 shows how

anxiously the period of the Judges looked after a

 

away His enemies, He who rides on high in heaven and thunders.

Cf. on vylf in his commentary on Ps. xlii., and in mine. We

cannot decide whether Mfer;ya, is considered active: "He thunders,"

or impersonal: "it thunders."


THE ANOINTED ONE IN THE PROPHECY ABOUT ELI.    77

 

future king of Israel, in which an unknown wyxi  

Myhilox< [man of God] announces to Eli and his

house the loss of all previous high-priestly dignity

and all sorts of punishment without absolutely deny-

ing to the members of this house entrance to the

priestly service. This prophecy in connection with

1 Kings ii. 27, 35 and Ezek. xliv. is a main prop

for the degradation of the Elohistic Torah, or the

so-called Priests' Code, into the post-exilic period,

since it is thought that this prophecy, which  is

assigned from the post-Deuteronomic standpoint to

the time of the Judges, deprives the entire Aaronic

original house of Eli of the priestly prerogatives, and

prepares the transition to Zadok, an upstart from an

unknown race. Indeed the prophecy sounds as if

not only the house of Eli, which, as appears from

1 Chron. xxiv. 3, 5, was derived from Ithamar, the

second son of Aaron, but as if his entire priestly

patriarchal house, was to be destroyed. But [the

assumption] that Zadok was not a Levite contradicts

the sense of the Old Testament Scriptures in all their

parts, hence it is emphasized as one of the illegal acts

of Jeroboam (1 Kings xii. 31), that he even appointed

priests who were not Levites; and there is not adequate

ground for holding that the genealogical tracing of

Zadok back to Eleazar, the first-born of Aaron, by the

chronicler (1 Chron. v. 30-34, vi. 35-38, xxiv. 3,

cf. xxvii. 17; Ezra vii. f.), is designed to be a

concealment of his obscure origin. The true state

of the case is therefore this, that in ver. 27 the


78   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

patriarchal house of Eli is regarded as the same with

the priestly house of Levi, chosen since the exodus

from Egypt in the person of Aaron, and those descend-

ants of Aaron are excluded from the promise of a

constant official service before God made to the entire

priestly house of Levi, who do not honour the Lord

through their walk, but who dishonour Him. This

concerns, however, the present priestly house of the

line of Ithamar. This line is threatened with deep

degradation and with the transition of the high-

priestly office, whose insignia is the wearing of the

ephod, to a better priest than Eli. This better priest,

according to ver. 34 f., seems to belong to the imme-

diate future; but the prophecy was fulfilled only

gradually, and not in its entire severity.

            Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, who, as Saul caused

the priests in Nob to be assassinated, escaped with the

ephod to David, and shared with him the troubles of

the time of persecution (1 Sam. ii. 20 and further), is

the last high priest of the line of Ithamar. He it was

who, for the benefit of Adonijah, had entered into the

conspiracy against Solomon, and was therefore deposed

by Solomon and banished to Anathoth, which, accord-

ing to 1 Kings ii. 27, was regarded as a fulfilment of

the divine word which went forth against the house

of Eli. But, according to 1 Sam. xiv. 3, Ahijah, a

grandson of Eli, still wore the high-priestly ephod in

Shiloh; later according to 1 Sam. xxi. 2, xxii. 9 ff.,

Ahijah's brother, Ahimelech, served in Nob and made

known the divine will, and also that Abiathar, who


THE ANOINTED ONE IN THE PROPHECY ABOUT ELI.   79

 

escaped from the massacre by Saul, and who along

with Zadok remained true to David in the persecution

of Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 24, xvii. 15), is still named

under Solomon as priest (1 Kings iv. 4) along with

Zadok, although in the second place.

            The threatening prediction, therefore, concerning the

house of Eli, has not at all the appearance of a fiction;

it also has in the two difficult passages with NOfmA

(1 Sam. ii. 29a, 32a) the stamp of ancient tradition.1

According to this, we are not to think that it is

Solomon who is intended, when it is said in ver. 35:

"And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall

do according to that which is in my heart and in my

mind; and I will build him a permanent house; and

he shall walk before my anointed (yHiywim;-ynep;li) for

ever." If this is really a divinely-granted glimpse

into the future, we are obliged to recognise its ideal

character without looking at the historical details.

It pertains to a priest after God's heart, and to a king

after God's heart, and to a lasting unbroken co-opera-

tion of both, and contains an actual proof that the

hope of the believers toward the end of the period

of the Judges was directed to a king, to be realized

according to the theocratic idea, to a Messiah (Xristo<j)

of God.

 

            1 It remains ever most probable that in 29a NOfmA is the accu-

sative of relation, and in 32a NOfmA rca signifies the "distress of

the dwelling of God" (cf. yHiUr rca, Job vii. 11. See Keil). The

Septuagint reads in 29a, Nyefom; (a]naidei? o]fqalm&?), which involves

the transmutation of UFfEb;Ti into the contradictory Ffbt, and it

leaves 32a entirely untranslated.


 

 

 

 

                                 CHAPTER V.

 

 

PROPHECY AND CHOKMA IN THE AGE OF DAVID

                              AND SOLOMON.

 

 

§ 15. The Transition of the Kingdom from Benjamin

                                      to Judah.

 

 

SAMUEL, 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 watch-

word 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 burnt-

offerings 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."

 

                                               80


TRANSITION OF KINGDOM FROM BENJAMIN TO JUDAH.    81

 

king he withdrew to Rama (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 xKenat;hi, as

(1 Sam. xviii. 10) the violent ecstatic behaviour into

which the spirit of melancholy and jealousy trans-

ported 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 inviol-

able 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 concep-

tion 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.


82    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

§ 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 import-

ance 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 con-

sidered 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 over-

values itself. All his psalms are penetrated with

the consciousness that his destiny and that of his


DAVID'S VIEW OF HIMSELF AFTER HIS ANOINTING.    83

 

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. 10b with iv. 4,     Ol dysiHA h hlAp;hi), 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 con-

sider: (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.


84   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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. 11).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 psycho-

logically the same. But if we granted that the poet made some

one else than himself the speaker, the psalm would be without a

parallel.


        PROMISE SECURED TO HOUSE OF DAVID.     85

 

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

                                 of David.

 

            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 wars 1 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.


86    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

he responds, however, with the promise of the ever-

lasting 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 MlAOf dfa (2 Sam. vii. 13). Also the pro-

mise 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


       PROMISE SECURED TO HOUSE OF DAVID.      87

 

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, 17)

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 rank 2 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. lfA Mqa.hu, 2 Sam. xxiii. 1). In Ps. xviii. 36

David compresses in two words, yniBer;ta j~t;vAn;fa, what he

designs to say through the reciprocal relation of txzov;.

MrAxAhA traOT and hlAfEm.aha MdAxAhA rOtK; ynitayxir;U, that is, Thy

humility (condescension) hath made me great.

            Remark.—It appears from the following considera-

 

            1 Joseph Rabinowitsch sees in this MdAxAhA traOT txzov; an indica-

tion of the Messianic Torah, which concerns mankind, in dis-

tinction from the national limited Sinaitic Torah.

            2 The word rOT as in Esther signifies row, series, rank, accord-

ing to which the Targum renders rvtk by rdsk. If rvt is taken

as equivalent to rxaTo (cf. xTAyriOT, form, Berachoth 37b), the sense

remains the same.


88   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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

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 (hHpwm hyvrq hnyx Mx tHpwm);

in this case after Joseph, since Jesus was his legiti-

timate 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 (Rom. i. 3;

2 Tim. ii. 8; Rev. 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 w[j e]nomi<zeto 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-


IMAGE OF MESSIAH SEPARATED FROM DAVID.    89

 

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 continu-

ance 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 Ammonitish and

 

logie des Messias," Zeitschrift für die lutherische Theologie und

Kirche, Leipzig 1860.


90   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

Syrian war, in the midst of the conquest of Rabbath

Ammon, 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 con-

firmed 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 anti-

type; and we know no counter proofs which compel us

to correct 1 the view of the psalm, with which the argu-

 

            1 Jesus argues in this passage e concessis—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 Abra-

ham 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,

 

 


IMAGE OF MESSIAH SEPARATED FROM DAVID.      91

 

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 Ammonitish-

Syrian war which ended with the conquest of Rabbah.

But the two divine utterances, one of which signifi-

cantly begins with 'h Mxun;, 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 con-

quer 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. Oba-

diah 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 interpre-

ters, as Rashi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, are not willing to know

anything about a Messianic interpretation. Obadiah Sforno,

the Cabbalistic interpreter, stands alone.


92   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 hymn 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 born

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 gar-

ments of divine service (yred;ha, unfolding, from trad;ha,

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 yrdhb is protected through e]n tai?j lampro<thsi of

the Septuagint against the reading yrrhb, and rHwm is unassail-

able; it is related to rHw, as jwHm, Isa. xlii. 16, to jwh.


IMAGE OF MESSIAH SEPARATED FROM DAVID.    93

 

production. Moreover, the warlike utterances in vers.

5, 6 have their parallels in the New Testament pro-

phecy concerning the parousia of Christ in judicial

glory. The colouring in Rev. xix. 11 ff. of that which

Paul says in 2 Thess. ii. 8 does not sound less war-

like. 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 dis-

tinguishes 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 kaqi<zein e]k deciw?n tou? qeou? as an indication

of the status exaltationis. No psalm finds in the New

Testament an echo voiced so many times as this.1

Even dio<, Phil. ii. 9, is an echo of NKe-lfa in ver. 7b,

 

            1 But it deserves to be remarked that the thoroughly mistaken

translation of 'fgv MHrm by the Septuagint e]k gastro>j pro> e]wsqo<rou

e]ge<nnhsa se is disregarded by the New Testament writers.


94   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

although that which the Psalmist says, in comparison

with the utterance of the apostle, is simply a prismatic

ray of the future.

 

           § 19. David's Testamentary Words.

 

            After the promise of Nathan (2 Sam. vii.) it is

established that the Messiah is to be a Son (a descend-

ant) 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 begin-

ning, 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 divinely-

anointed 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


             DAVID'S TESTAMENTARY WORDS.            95

 

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 Rock

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.

3b, 4), introduced as a promise of God which can-

not 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:  "It 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 Rashi and others maintain, has this, so far as the

syntax is concerned, against it, that ver. 4, which begins with

rvxkv, does not appear as the apodosis of a conditional sentence.

Everything from 3b-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. 3b 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 Nke-xlo to Job ix. 35, Num. xiii. 33,

Isa. li. 6, as spoken with a gesture of disdain, "not (merely) so."


96     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 CpeHA-lkAv; is to be understood after the model of Ex. xv. 2

(trmzv=ytrmzv), as equivalent to ycpH-lkv, and also is to be under-

stood according to 1 Kings v. 23, 24, not as equivalent to vcpH-lkv,

according to Isa. xlviii. 14, cf. liii. 10. The Targum has the right

rendering:  ytiUfBA-lkAv;.

            2 Since xl yk cannot be established in the sense of annon

(should he not ?), yk is to be considered the emphatic repetition

of the preceding yk and xl (as a question with an interrogative

accent without an interrogative word); equivalent to xlh; cf.

xlh yk,  2 Sam. xix. 23. Welihausen, since he reads xlh ycpH,

removes the difficult yKi.

            3 The adjective rnAmu (Septuagint  e]cwsme<nh) gives only in the

sense of driven away, equivalent to abominated, a sense which

fits the connection. A conjectural Mxmn lies too far away, rather

rbdm (Cvqk), according to Judg. viii. 7, 16. The meaningless

tb,wAB 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 tbawA

forms neither in Biblical nor in post-Biblical Hebrew a derivative

tb,w,. 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.


  MESSIANIC DESIRES AND HOPES OF SOLOMON.     97

 

bodily reality in a scion of his house. This word

Haymic;ya [he shall cause to sprout] becomes later a

favourite expression of Messianic prophecy (Jer.

xxxiii. 15; Ezek. xxix. 21; Ps. cxxxii. 17); and

[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 testa-

mentary 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 sur-

prised, 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


98   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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, 17b," 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 wonder-

ingly 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 pre-

served its transcendent character, in order that it might

 

            1 We do not change Jyzrz, with Cheyne, into Jydry. Pre-

cisely 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).


              PROPHECY AND CHOKMA.                    99

 

be evident that its proper fulfilment lay in the domain

of the future.

 

                    § 21. Prophecy and Chokma.

 

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 Kings 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 (hHAUnm; wyxi, 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


100    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 redemp-

tion 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 efflor-

escence 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 Elam, 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


                            SONG OF SONGS.                          101

 

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. 23—

27, 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 alle-

gorical 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 Pass-

over day. Shulamith is regarded as an image of Israel,

and Solomon as an image of God. All hmlw of the

Song of Songs—according to an ancient saying—are

holy, excepting viii. 11, namely, as a figurative indi-

cation (yvnk) of the God of peace. Naturally the

traditional churchly explanation understood the Solo-

mon 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


102    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

him in love and glory. In the Syrian Bible the Song

of Songs is called chekmat chekmâtâ, that is, wisdom of

wisdom (Weisheit der Weisheiten). 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 God and the Mediating Angel in the Book

                                    of Job.

 

            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 Redeemer 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

Redeemer 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


GOEL AND ANGELUS INTERNUNTIUS IN JOB.          103

 

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 (xnA hmAyWi), and give security (yniber;fA) to

Himself (j`mA.fi), the God of love to the God of wrath.

It is the fundamental idea of the New Testament

Gospel concerning the reconciliation (katallagh<)

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 completely1 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 rHx, and

txz signifies adverbially, "in this manner." The connection

forbids that we should take it together with yrvf, according to

vz rvdh, Ps. xii. 8. The subject of Upq.;ni are the hidden powers of

destruction.


104     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

living one, outlasting everything, would appear for

him the dead, and coming forth out of His hiding-

place, would permit him with the eyes of the other

world to behold Him as his  lxeGo, 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 conscious-

ness 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 Rom. viii. 34

shows into what a confession of firm confidence

Job's yHA ylixEGo yTif;dayA ynixEva is transformed from the New

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

present 1 as mediator (Cylm jxlm), one of a thousand

(that is, pre-eminent above a thousand) to announce to

man what is for his advantage. He (God) has com-

passion on him, and says: Let him go free, that he

may not go down into the grave—I have demanded an

 

            1 We understand vylf as in vylf bc.Ani, to stand by any one, Gen.

xviii. 2, xlv. 1, and elsewhere.


GOEL AND ANGELUS INTERNUNTIUS IN JOB.      105

 

expiatory payment" (rp,Ko, a lu<tron 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 lily be mediated by means of

a superhuman being. The angelus internuntius is a

preformation of the Redeemer 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 Mal. iii. 1 (cf. also the

remarkable translation of the  Septuagint of Isa. ix. 5).

The tyrbh jxlm of prophecy is the reality of the jxlm

Cylm postulated by the Chokma.

 

            1 Cf. on this passage, Kemmler, Hiob oder Kamp und Sieg im

Leiden, Stuttgart 1876; and Rogge, Das Buch Hiob, der Gemeinde

dargeboten, Erlangen 1877.


 

 

 

                                 CHAPTER VI.

 

 

PROPHECY AND CHOKMA IN THE FIRST EPOCHS OF THE

                    DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM.

 

 

§ 23. The Prophets after the Division of the Kingdom

       until the Reign of Jehoshaphat and the Dynasty of

                                     Omri.

 

 

NATHAN bound the Messianic promise for ever

to the house of David, and Gad, since he

directed David to erect an altar upon the threshing-

floor of Araunah (Chronicler, Organ) the Jebusite,

laid the foundation for the temple upon Moriah

(2 Chron. iii. 1), in which Israel, praying and sacrific-

ing for over a thousand years, honoured God. But we

have no prophetic writings or public addresses, handed

down by tradition, of either of these two prophets, or

of the prophets of the first six or seven decades after

the division of the kingdom, of whom Ahijah, Jedi

(Iddo), Jehu ben Chanani appeared in the kingdom

of Israel, and Shemaiah, Iddo, Azariah ben Oded,

Chanani in the kingdom of Judah. The Books of

Kings and Chronicles make us acquainted with the

interference of these prophets in the history of the

times, and with the words which accompanied their

 

                                      106


 PROPHETS FROM REHOBOAM TO JEHOSHAPHAT.     107

 

deeds. Their attitude to the Messianic hope is with-

drawn from our knowledge. But granted that their

utterances, although freely reproduced, are still not

without connection with tradition, these prophets appear

in many thoughts and forms of thought connected with

the Messianic hope as forerunners of the later prophets.

            The prophetic word of Obadiah (ver. 17) and Joel

(iii. 5) concerning a hFAyleP; [an escaping] of Israel,

which is to participate in salvation, after judgment has

gone forth, was uttered even by Shemaiah under Jero-

boam (2 Chron. xii. 7); and in the prophecy of Hosea

concerning Israel's final repentance and conversion

4 f., v. 15) we seem to have the echo of the pro-

phecy of Azariah under Asa (2 Chron. xv. 31), as

well as of the word of Ahijah the Shilonite, that a

lamp (ryni=rne) shall remain for David (1 Kings xi. 36),

which is a favourite expression for a promise given to

David (1 Kings xv. 4; 2 Kings viii. 19; 2 Chron.

xxi. 7; Ps. cxxxii. 17).

            But we do not perceive anything at all which can

be placed in connection with the Messianic hope in

that which the historical books relate concerning the

prophets of the following royal historical epoch, from

Jehoshaphat and Ahab to Amaziah and Jeroboam II.,

namely, the Chronicles, concerning Jehu ben Chanani,

Jahaziel ben Zechariah, Eliezer ben Dodawahu, and

the martyr Zechariah ben Jehoida; and the Book of

Kings, concerning Micaiah ben Imlah (see his address,

1 Kings xxii. 17-23), and concerning the two

gigantic, wonderful prophets Elijah and Elisha.


108    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

In all which these prophets do and say there is no

occasion for a testimony of Messianic significance, not

even in the words which accompany, Elijah's and

Elisha's deeds. Their calling is directed to contend

against heathenism, and in distinction from the pro-

phets of the worship of Baal and Astarte, and of

Yahweh under the form of a steer, to train up pro-

phets of the one supernatural holy God. But it

would be a wrong conclusion from silence if we should

deny the Messianic hope to all these. None of the

prophets of Judah or Israel denounces the division of

the kingdom. All recognise that it stands de jure.

But true religiousness would not be possible in Israel

as in Judah unless there were connected with it the

longing for the removal of the divine decree, and

therefore for a king over the reunited kingdom, for

another David, for the Messiah.

 

§ 24. The Metaphysical Conception of Wisdom in

          the Introduction to the Book of Proverbs.

 

            While the Messianic proclamation of the prophets

appears to have run dry, the extra-national pure reli-

gious enrichment and deepening of the knowledge of

salvation is continued. The Book of Proverbs, which

belongs to this literature, has for its chief parts two

collections of Solomonic proverbs, of which the

younger, as is indicated in xxv. 1, was revised by the

"Men of Hezekiah." There is no more favourable time

for editing the older collection than the period of


CONCEPTION OF WISDOM IN PROVERBS.      109

 

Jehoshaphat, the king who, more perhaps than any

other, seemed to be concerned for the promotion of

the training of the people upon the ground of true

religiousness (2 Chron. xvii. 7-9).

            There follow upon the title and motto of the older

collection of proverbs (i. 1-7) in i. 8–ix., connected

addresses in the form of proverbs, which serve the

hmolow; ylew;mi (the Proverbs of Solomon x. 1) as an

introduction, and, directing themselves especially to

the youth, commend the wisdom which is rooted in

the fear of God. The one who utters the prologue

speaks here as a father to his children, but three times

he introduces Wisdom herself as speaking (i. 20 ff.,

viii. 1 ff., ix. 1-12). He calls her hmAk;HA or tOmk;HA  

(i. 20, ix. 1), which is just such an intensive plural as

Myhilox<.  She comes forth publicly after the manner

of a street preacher and travelling teacher. She

appears as a person of divine character, for she pro-

mises (i. 23) those who return to her a participation

in her spirit, and it is presupposed (ver. 28) that

prayer is offered to her, and that she causes prayers

to be answered, or even unanswered. The personifica-

tion, in itself considered, can be regarded just as

purely allegorical as that of folly (ix. 13). But the

question ever recurs, What is the conception which

the author has of this Wisdom who gives forth the

spirit from herself, and is to be called upon in prayer?

It appears from her testimony that, in his opinion, she

is more than a personified characteristic, more than a

personified good (viii. 22-31): "Yahweh hath brought


110     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

me forth1 as the firstling of His way [of His activity,

which had its end in a world of creatures], before any

of His works from the beginning. From everlasting I

was established, from the very first, from the primitive

commencement of the earth. When the depths of

water did not exist, I was born, when the fountains

did not exist, laden with water. Before the moun-

tains were settled, before the hills I was born—when

He had not yet worked out the earth and the fields,

and the sum of the particles of dust of the earth.

When He prepared the heaven I was there, when He

measured off a circle about the surface of the depths

of water. When He fastened the heights of ether

above, when the sources of the depths of the waters

broke forth mightily, when He set to the sea its

bounds, that the waters should not transgress His

commands when He measured off the foundations of

the earth, then I was by him as a workman,2 and I

carried on a joyous play daily, gamboling before Him

all the time, gamboling in the world of His earth, and

carrying on my joyous play among the children of

men."

            Five thoughts come in this self-testimony of Wisdom

 

            1 The Targum and the Syriac version translate ynixrAB;, which

is inadmissible; for, in the view of the author, the bringing

forth of Wisdom preceded xrb tywxrb (tywxrb hWfm), she is

therefore not even a work of creation.

            2 The noun Nvmx forms no feminine, and has therefore, like

artifex, two genders. It is here considered as feminine; but,

since Wisdom is to be thought of as without gender, is not to

be translated as a feminine dhmiourgo<j (cf. nevertheless Wisd.

vii. 21, texni?tij).


      CONCEPTION OF WISDOM IN PROVERBS.       111

 

to pictorial expression: (1) she was born of God before

the creation of the world; (2) she was present as this

came into being; (3) she took on by it a mediating

position, since God in the execution of His thoughts

of creation made use of her mediation; (4) this ser-

vice which she rendered to God, the Creator, was for

her a delightful pleasure; (5) the dearest circle of her

activity, but within the entire creation, was the earth

and the men upon it.

            As the Spirit of God is a power which goes forth

from God, which makes alive that which is to be

created, and maintains in life that which is created;

so Wisdom is a power born of God, which makes that

a reality which is to be created in the manner willed

by God, and which helps free creatures, especially men,

to the attainment of the end divinely willed. If we

thought of these powers, ejected from God, as special

divine existences separated from God, we should have

a mythological representation which could not be har-

monized with the unity of God. The true state of the

case should rather be represented, that God, as the

origin of being, discloses the Spirit and the Wisdom

from Himself as special ways of the manifestation of

His being. Spirit and Wisdom are powers originating

in the being of the one God, and surrounded by His

one being. Without finding in it the trinitarian

dogma, we nevertheless ascertain that the Old Testa-

merit Scriptures, since on their first page they dis-

criminate between Mynilox< and Myhilox< HaUr, do not con-

ceive of God as an inflexible monas, and that, since


112    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

the hmAk;HA enters as causa media of God's relation to

the world, the one being of God is represented as

threefold. As in the Old Testament history the way

is prepared for the New Testament revelation of God,

since it distinguishes between God and His Spirit and

His Angel, in which His name, that is, the self-revela-

tion of His being, is to be made; so the way is prepared

in the Old Testament Chokma literature, since it dis-

tinguishes between God and His Spirit and His Wisdom.

It is remarkable that the utterances of Wisdom in

Prov. i. and viii. correspond remarkably with the

utterances of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Even the

beginning of John i. 1, e]n a]rx^? h#n o[ lo<goj, is related

in contents to the OKr;Da tywixre yninAqA 'h (Prov. viii. 22).

And when the apostle (Col. i. 16) says of Christ:

pa<nta di ] au]tou? kai< ei]j au]to>n e@ktistai, this can be

transformed, according to Prov. viii. 22-31, into the

utterance that Wisdom, which was the mediatrix of

the creation of the world, and is the ideal goal of the

world's history, has appeared in Him historically and

bodily.

 

               § 25. The Epithalamium, Ps. xlv.

 

            Our view is now again turned from the moralizing

and dogmatizing Chokma to lyric poetry, which moves

in hopes and wishes; for, as we go farther from the

period of Jehoshaphat's reign, the forty-fifth Psalm

draws our attention to itself, which we hold, for probable

reasons which we have expressed elsewhere,—cf. ver.

9 with 1 Kings xxii. 39; Amos iii. 15,—for an epi-


                   THE EPITHALAMIUM.                         113

 

thalamium composed on the marriage of Joram, the

son of Jehoshaphat, with Athaliah, the daughter of the

wife of Ahab, sprung from the royal house of Tyre.

Without holding our view as infallible, we consider that

it is sufficiently established, so that we are subject-

ively justified in attributing this psalm to the time of

Jehoshaphat and Joram. But whether the king whom

the poet celebrates was Joram, or perhaps some one

else, it remains permanently established (1) that he

stands before the poet in the light of Messianic exalta-

tion and destiny, and (2) that he did not justify the

wedding wishes and expectations. In three places

the one who is celebrated is raised beyond the bounds

of time into the sphere of the unending. "Thou art

endowed with beauty," says ver. 3, "more than the

children of men. Grace is poured out upon thy lips,

therefore Elohim hath blessed thee for ever " (MlAOfl;).

The beauty and the grace of his appearance make the

impression of an imperishable blessing. And the con-

clusion of ver. 18 is:  "I will extol thy name in all

generations, therefore peoples will praise thee for ever

and ever” (df,v; MlAfol;), — the poet, speaking in the

name of the immortal congregation, knows beforehand

that his praise of this king will be spread abroad in

ever wider circles over the entire inhabited world, and

will resound for ever.  In ver. 7 he even appears

to address Myhilox<:  "Thy throne, Elohim, endures for

ever and ever " (rf,vA MlAOf).  The Epistle to the He-

brews (i. 8 f.), at least, proceeds from the under-

standing of this Myhlox< as a vocative, and we may


114     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

correct or explain as we will, ver. 7a is certainly not

an address to God. The three utterances, whether

Solomon or Joram, or whoever else may be this king,

are hyperboles, but which have nothing in common

with the royal apotheoses of courtly Oriental poetry.

The poet cherishes really the transcendent hope that

the young king who is about to be married will realize

the ideal of the theocratic kingdom, and hence the

Messianic idea. The one celebrated nevertheless dis-

appointed these high expectations, and far from being

an object of universal and everlasting praise, he has

disappeared. But, on the other hand, the poet was in

so far not deceived, since he really, as two thousand

years ago, yet sings the praise of the divine King in

this song which still exists. For since this psalm was

received into the hymn-book of the Church, it has

ceased to be a song written for a special occasion. It

is, according to the prophetic word, to be understood as

a song of praise to King Messiah, and for the New

Testament Church, for which, more than for the Old

Testament, all sensuous elements have been transformed

into supersensuous, it is a song of the "marriage of

the Lamb," closely related to the Song of Songs as

mystically understood.

 

            Remark.—As Canticles, antitypically and hence mys-

tically understood, remains out of the range of the Old

Testament progress of the knowledge of salvation, and

could only be taken into account when, in the view of

the poet himself, it was an allegorical picture; so Ps.

xlv., first through the signification which the congrega-


                    THE EPITHALAMIUM.                        115

 

tion connects with it, which Hermann Schultz in his

Old Testament Theology calls "the second meaning of

Scripture," becomes eschatological and Messianic. The

praise of the poet himself is connected with a king who

belongs to his own time, whom he regards as fulfilling

the Messianic hope, in so far as he appears to him in

his heavenly beauty, his irresistible power, his moral

purity and elevation, the full realization of the close

relation in which David and his seed is placed to God.

But this king marries a king's daughter, and his throne

is eternal only through inheritance (j~yn,BA; 17a). These

are characteristics which do not enrich the image of

the Messiah, but only cloud it; for the Messiah, as is

predicated in the Old Testament, is raised above the

earthly conditions of marriage and of the blessing of

children. His throne is eternal, because it has eternal

duration in Him, and without being inherited outside

of Himself. These characteristics, which are occasioned

by the origin of the song as a marriage poem, demand

for the psalm as a church, and at the same time as a

New Testament hymn, a spiritual metamorphosis. And

in view of these characteristics, the interpretation of

Myhilox<, 17a, as a vocative is improbable, and, presup-

posing the primitive character of the text, is to be

translated, "Thy throne of Elohim (cf. the syntax of

2 Sam. xxii. 33) is for ever and ever," that is, the

throne which thou takest as anointed of God. The

author of the Epistle to the Hebrews cites and uses

the passage according to the Greek text.


 

 

 

 

 

                                  CHAPTER VII.

 

 

 

THE MESSIANIC ELEMENTS IN THE PROPHETIC LITERATURE

                      FROM JORAM TO HEZEKIAH.

 

 

         § 26. The Relation of the three oldest Prophetic

                      Writings to the Messianic Idea.

 

 

THE 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 Syro-

Ephraimitic 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 pro-

phetic 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 con-

nected (iii. 19 ff.), still in fresh remembrance; and his

 

                                    116


                      OBADIAH, JOEL, AMOS.                   117

 

book mirrors a time of the well-arranged service of

Yahweh as it existed in the first half of the govern-

ment 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 an-

nounced 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 supple-

mentary, 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 MyfiwiOm, victorious


118     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 sub-

jugated (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 named1 [as belonging to the kingdom of my

anointed]." This is not an immediate Messianic pro-

phecy, 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 MOdx< tyrxw tx, Uwr;yyi Nfml, the Septuagint reads

MrAxA tyrxw Uwr;d;yi Nfml (o!pwj e]kzhth<swsin oi[ kata<loipoi tw?n a]nqrw<-

pwn), without an object. The [reading] to>n ku<rion, 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 Septuagint

was esteemed almost as highly as the primitive text.


                 OBADIAH, JOEL, AMOS.                         119

 

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 hqAdAc;li hr,Om, 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 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 pro-

phetically 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,


120     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 (hkAUlm;.ha hl thAy;hAv;), hence the realiza-

tion and completion of the kingdom of God. The con-

ception 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 ap-

pears 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


                    OBADIAH, JOEL, AMOS.                        121

 

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 hand-

maids will I pour out in those days my Spirit."

            The bold image of the pouring out of the Spirit

has arisen since the promises pertaining to the imme-

diate 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 rWABA lKA 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 rWABA lKA occurs it has an absolute sense.

Sometimes it embraces the animals, e.g. Gen. vi. 13;

 

            1 The LXX. weakens it, since it translates yHUr-tx, j`OPw;x,

partitively e]kxew? a]po> tou? pneu<mato<j mou.


122     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 judg-

ments which make way for salvation, and concern-

ing 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 lath said, and among those

who flee whom Yahweh intends to call." From here

there falls upon rWABA lKA a light which confirms the

absoluteness of the conception.  The divine word

contained in the writing of Obadiah, hy,h;Ti NOy.ci rhaB;

hFAyleP; “in Mount Zion there shall be an escaping," is

here repeated by Joel as a citation, in order to sup-

plement it by another divine word which is spoken

regarding it. There is to remain, not only one, but

also a twofold hFAyleP; "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 MydiyRiW;,

whom Yahweh shall call.1 As the distinction demands,

 

            1 Among the old translators Jerome is the first who has cor-

rectly rendered the words xreqoh rwx MydiyriW.;baU, et in residuis,


                 OBADIAH, JOEL, AMOS.                 123

 

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 rWABA lKA, "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, bUwyA rxAw;,

only a remnant, but yet a remnant shall be converted,

which is also a fundamental idea of the Epistle to the

Romans (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."


124    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 wonder-

ful 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 of

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 differ-

ence," 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 Testa-

ment, because through Him the New Testament ideas


                               JONAH.                               125

 

of the Old Testament not only have come into con-

sciousness, 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 Testa-

ment; 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 kikayon (Ricinus), 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


126    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 remark-

able 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 pre-

figured 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 conse-

quence, 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


     HOSEA'S VIEW OF THE FINAL PERIOD.               127

 

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-Ruchâma, 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 Jezrea the

promise that again from Judah and Israel there will

be one victorious people, under a common head; and

from the name Lo-Ruchâma, 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 NkelA (ver. 16)

the transformation of reproof and threatening into the

 


128    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

comfort of promise appears; for the reason that now

wrath has been poured forth, not without effect (cf.

ver. 9b), 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, encourag-

ing those who have become faint through long suf-

fering. 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."

            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, utter-

ance of Yahweh; I will hear the heavens, and these


      HOSEA'S VIEW OF THE FINAL PERIOD.             129

 

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-Ruchâma,

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 depend-

ence 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 sup-

plication 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 con-

gregation 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 mystica), touches Rom. viii. 18-23 and Rev.

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 king-

dom of Israel. But he means the entire land of pro-

mise; for Israel and Judah, as he prophesies (ii. 2a), will

again be united under one common head. This prophecy

in the mouth of the Ephraimitic prophet is more signi-

ficant than in the mouth of Amos the Jiidaean. 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.


130     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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

for 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 faith-

fulness 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 companion-

piece to Rom. 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


     HOSEA'S VIEW OF THE FINAL PERIOD.         131

 

he himself belongs. The "many days" is the incal-

culably 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 (hkAse.ma, 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 Hbaz,; whereas, on the other

hand, hbAce.ma designates the statue of Baal (x. 1 f.), and

MypirAt;U dOpxe (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 can-

not 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 MKAl;ma dviDA will

signify more than Reuss says, la dynastic légitime des

Isaïdes, 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


132     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 incalcul-

ably 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 (Mymiy.Aha tyriH;xaB;), and a king

who is indicated not only as dviDA fraz,.mi or dviDA tyBemi,

but expressly as dviDA, 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 Mes-

sianic prophecy; for, first, when the prophetic text is

lighted up by the history of New Testament fulfil-

ment, we shall be surprised by the perception that the

word of the prophet here and there, without his know-

ledge and will, by means of the Spirit of inspiration,

takes on a form in which it corresponds to the facts,


        HOSEA'S VIEW OF THE FINAL PERIOD.             133

 

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 fulfil-

ment 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 Unmeyqiy; follows Unye.Hay;,

so in Jesus' breaking through the kingdom of the

dead zwopoi<hsij, resuscitatio, and a]na<stasij (e@gersij),

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


134    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 transi-

tion from death to life. Days of God, not days

measured by the sun, are intended, perhaps the

Assyrian, the Babylonian, and the Roman 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 pos-

sumus 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, O 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., to<te genh<setai o[ lo<goj o[ gegramme<noj, that then,

when the last enemy is overcome, the Hoseanic ex-

pression, pou? sou qa<nate ktl. 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.


        ISAIAH'S FUNDAMENTAL IDEAS.               135

 

   § 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 trans-

formation 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 judg-

ment through the Assyrian people. From the trisagion

of the seraphim he has his favourite designation of God

with lxerAW;yi wOdqA. 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 pro-


136    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

phetic 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 pre-

fixed 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 proclama-

tion 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 indi-

cated (vi. 12, cf. v. 13) first merely in general expres-

sions. 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 tyrixew; or HFAleP; and which has in Shearyashûb

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 'h Hmac, is


          ISAIAH'S FUNDAMENTAL IDEAS.             137

 

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 recog-

nise 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 Cr,xAhA yriP;,

which is parallel to hv,h;ya Hmac,, is rather contradictory

to the personal understanding than favourable to it.

Hence by the sprout and fruit we are not to under-

stand 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" (a]nekdih<ghtoj dwrea<, 2 Cor.

ix. 14), the Messiah enters into the consciousness of

the prophets.

 

            1 It is thus understood by the Targum, which translates it

y’’ yd xHywm, while the Septuagint adopts an entirely different

text.

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

            3 Alttestamentliche Theologie, Göttingen 1889, p. 776.


138    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

 

   § 29. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies,

                                 Isa. vii., ix., xi.

 

       I. IMMANUEL, THE SON OF THE VIRGIN.

 

            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). Rezin, 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 separ-

ately 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 Shearyashab before the king, who was at

that time on the west side of the city engaged in

making arrangements with reference to the approach-

ing 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


   TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.            139

 

lawful claim against the modern 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 Him-

self 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


140    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 deso-

late, 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 hmAl;fahA 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 assured 2 through the judgments

which are in prospect.

            The birth of this Immanuel is the tOx [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 develop-

ment of Immanuel" (Guthe, Zukunftsbild, p. 40). If that were

the meaning, then tfadalA should be said (cf. e.g. 1. 4, tfdl, not

vtfdl).

            2 We can say that Isaiah is the prophet of the tOx, for a

characteristic trait of the prophet is the tOx, 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 repre-

sentations (xx. 3, viii. 18). He is the prophet who stands security

for the future through wonders in word and deed.

 


        TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.        141

 

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 nourish-

ment 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 concern-

ing 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

 


142     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 Rome, 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.


     TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.       143

 

§ 30. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies,

                            Isa. vii., ix., xi.

 

II. THE BEGINNING OF A NEW PERIOD WITH THE NEW

                HEIR OF THE DAVIDIC THRONE.

 

            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 pre-

diction 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 Im-

manuel, 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


144    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 bless-

ing, 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 hint 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 CfeOy xl,Pe 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 counsel-

ling wonderful things, one counselling wonderfully.

There are two names. He is called xl,Pe as a divinely-


    TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.       145

 

wrought 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 rOKni lxe with the name lxeUnmAfi.

We are to explain this name, not according to Ezek.

xxxii. 21, where MyriOBgi ylexe 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

dfa-ybixE, like Schultz and others, as father of prey;

for 13.7 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.


146    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 CfeOy, and MOlwA-rWa 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 three-

fold Aaronitic blessing, ends in MOlwA, 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 re-

moved 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 fulfil-

ment. 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.


       TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.        147

 

§ 31. The Great Trilogy of Messianic Prophecies,

                            Isa. vii., ix., xi.

 

III. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SECOND DAVID AND OF

                          HIS GOVERNMENT.

 

            The Isaianic addresses in chaps. vii.—xii., as even

the new beginnings which are repeated show (‘h Rm,xoyva,

vii. 3, viii. 1;  rBeda 'H JseOyva, in viii. 5; YnAdoxE HlawA rbADA), 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 Jeru-

salem, 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 (truncus) of a felled

tree, renews its youth (xi. 1):  "And there goes forth

[perfect of result] 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


148   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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 accord-

ing 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 judg-

ment: 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 de-

scribed.  "And he smites the earth" (ver. 4b) 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


     TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.          149

 

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 Myli.Da and Cr,x,-yven;fa, 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. 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 accom-

pany, 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 over-

flowed 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."


150     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

conclusion of the earthly history in connection with

the glorified new earth. 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 lie 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 con-

trolled; (2) that which is limited to the nation, and

which as political is external, which both requires a

New Testament enlargement and a spiritual deepen-

ing; 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 con-

temporary 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


        TRILOGY OF MESSIANIC PROPHECIES.           151

 

born 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. 35. Isaiah's second

Messianic image remains in the New Testament with-

out 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  lxe CfeOy xl,P, after another

reading by mega<lhj boulh?j a@ggeloj; cf. in connection

with this what we have said in § 22 concerning the

mediating angel in the Book of Job. On the con-

trary, 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 rc,ne 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 rc,ne 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


152    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

the ground upon which Jesus grew, so that in the

mouth of the people He was depreciatingly called

yric;n.Ahaa.1  This is the most probable, nevertheless the

account remains a riddle. From the statement con-

cerning the sevenfold spirit which rests upon the

second David, are taken the seven spirits (e[pta>

pneu<mata) of the Revelation (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 fwArA, (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 (Rev. i. 16).

The designation of Christ as the true and faithful

witness (Rev. i. 5, iii. 14) is connected with Isa. xi. 5b;

while, on the other hand, the designation o[   ]Amh<n

(Rev. iii. 14) may be compared with NmexA yhelox< (Isa.

lxv. 16), and is occasioned through the Lord's ordinary

formula of assertion, a]mh>n le<gw u[mi?n (NUklA xnAymexA NmexA).

But the name h[ r[i<za Daui<d, which is given Him in

Rev. v. 5, xxii. 16, is the same as ywyi wr,wo (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 rcn 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.


          SON OF GOD IN SECOND PSALM.                153

 

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 (OHywm;), 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 ynixEva,

as in Isa. vii. 14 with MT,xav;. 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 pro-

clamation 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,


154    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Thou

shalt break them in pieces [the Septuagint, Rev.

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 (MOy.h) 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 j~yTik;li 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. Rom. 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


           SON OF GOD IN SECOND PSALM.               155

 

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 rba-Uqw.;na, "kiss the son:"  (1) that this

designation of the anointed is fittingly introduced,

after Yahweh has called him yniB;; (2) that the omis-

sion of the article need not surprise us. The word is

used, like lbeTe, MOhT;, NOyl;f,, as a proper name. It is an

Aramaism, such as poetry is fond of (cf. the Aramaism

"I love thee," with which Ps. xviii. begins); here

it is probable, because the expression NP, Nbe Uqw>;na 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 Uqw.;na, translate rb


156     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

as an adverb:  "Kiss with pure feeling" (Jerome:

adorate pure). But all of the attempts to translate rb

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

Uqw.;na, "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 HaywimA, 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 ui[o>j tou? qeou? and

ui[o>j tou? a]nqrw<pou, 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


                   ISAIAH XIV. 24-XXXIX.                     157

 

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 remem-

ber 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


158     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

be a flying dragon, we may consider it as possible that

the FpeOfm; JrAWA is an image of the Messiah as a puni-

tive 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 theo-  

cratic. 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. In 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 corner-

stone 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 irre-

concilable abstraction cannot comfort and encourage;

hence it is connected, in thought, with the person of a


                    ISAIAH XIV. 24-XXXIX.                      159

 

possessor, but not of the possessor at that time; for

Hezekiah, although he was a pious king, was also

to blame for the danger of destruction which was

threatened by Asshur; but it is connected, in thought,

with a promised possessor,—with a divine Retreat 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 Rom. ix. 33; 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 (j`l,m,, without the article) shall

rule, and the commanders, according to justice shall

they command." Likewise xxxiii. 17:  "The king

(j`l,m,) 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


160    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

character, is the future image which forms the con-

clusion 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 con-

tinuation 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, say-

ing: 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 exclusive-

ness.

 

  § 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


                     ISAIAH XIV. 24–XXXIX.                     161

 

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 fore-

sees, 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 com-

pared; 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 e]k Babulw?noj of the Septuagint, in iv. 8, is a

gloss which has crept in from this passage.


162     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

through the world-power, for he threatens (iii. 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


                         ISAIAH XIV. 24-XXXIX.                  163

 

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 pur-

pose,—by hTAfa, which is as remarkably frequent in

Micah as in Hosea, he fixes points partly of the farther,

partly of the nearer future. The word hTAfa (ver. 14)

is in the same category with hTAfa (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, pro-

tection, 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 shame-

fully, and without rescue, surrendered to the world-

empire.

            But the prophet now contrasts with this picture of

humiliation the picture of exaltation, which the second

David, proceeding from Bethlehem, brings to his


164     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

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." Why from Beth-

lehem? 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

htArAp;x,, and ypel;xaB; like the traditional text, and translates freely:

"And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah (hdAUhy; Cr,x, MH,l, tyBe),

art by no means the smallest among the princes (yPelu.xaB;) of

Judah"—for the smallness of Bethlehem and the greatness of

its mission are contrasted. It is not improbable that the evan-

gelist in this passage follows an old Targum. The originality of

the two tvyhl is assured through the double tou? ei#nai of the

Septuagint.


                  ISAIAH XIV. 24—XXXIX.                   165

 

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 (lfa, with, as

in Gen. xxxii. 12 and elsewhere) with the children of

Israel." The surrender, namely, into the hands of the

world-power (NtaNA, as in 1 Kings xiv. 16) will continue

until the time when one that travails, namely, the

mother of the Messiah, seen by God (hdAleOy, as name-

less as Isaiah's hmAl;fahA), 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 (rt,y,, as Zeph. ii. 9; cf. tyrixEw;,

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 Beth-

lehem 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


166   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

is, the royal sceptre, all the world, willingly or un-

willingly, 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


               ISAIAH XIV. 24-XXXIX.                  167

 

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 (CrePoha),

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, lxeUnmA.fi, and rOBGi lxe,  remains unexpressed.


 

 

 

 

 

 

                              CHAPTER VIII.

 

 

PROPHECY FROM THE TIME OF HEZEKIAH UNTIL THE

                              CATASTROPHE.

 

 

§ 35. The Domain of Nahum's and Zephaniah's Vision.

 

 

ALTHOUGH Isaiah and Micah foresaw in Babylon

the heiress of the Assyrian world-power, never-

theless they are the prophets of the Assyrian period of

judgment. First Nahum and Zephaniah bring the

Assyrian period to a conclusion. Nahum, from Assyrian

Elkosh,l hence one of the Assyrian exiles, prophesies, as

is apparent from i. 9b, 14, after the miraculous rescue

of Jerusalem, whose destruction was threatened by

Assyria (701 B.C.), and before Sennacherib's assassina-

tion in the temple of Nisroch (681 B.C.), hence toward

the end of the government of this king. He predicts

the fall of Nineveh (about 607 B.C.), and beholds in this

the fall of the world-empire simply, and afterwards the

restoration of the unity and glory of entire Israel.

The contents of the work of Zephaniah, who entered

 

            1 There was a Syrian poet, Israel of Elkosh, who died 793

(Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, xxxi. 65).

The place lies on the east bank of the Tigris north of Mosul.

The above reference is incorrect.—C.

 

                                                 168


          VISIONS OF NAHUM AND ZEPHANIAH.       169

 

upon his ministry after the beginning of the purifica-

tion of the worship of Josiah, probably after his

eighteenth year, is varied. He also predicts the judg-

ment upon Nineveh, the metropolis of the world-

empire at that time, but at the same time the judgment

upon Judah and the surrounding peoples. He does

not yet name the Chaldeans as instruments of punish-

ment; but it is the Chaldean period of judgment

which he describes as dies irae dies illa. All which

the prophet has previously said concerning the night

of judgment and the light of salvation, and the transi-

tion from night to light, is compressed in his work to

a mosaic picture. He, as well as Nahum, makes no

mention of the person of the Messiah; but in the

prophecy of the triumph of salvation, and the new

period which dawns for Israel and the nations of the

world, he emulates his predecessors. It is a fearful

picture of the condition of morals in Jerusalem which

he unrolls, because of which he threatens, and in view

of the day of wrath near at hand calls to repentance.

But even in the round of judgments upon the peoples

(chap. ii.), the promise demands a place which con-

cerns the tyrixew;, the remnant (Zeph. ii. 7, 9) who

are preserved in the midst of judgment. A new

Israel goes forth from this melting of the fire of wrath,

and at the same time the conversion of the peoples to

the God of Israel, who has secured for Himself uni-

versal recognition (Zeph. ii. 11): "Terrible is [shows

Himself] Yahweh over them [Moab and Bene-Ammon,

whom the prophet had just threatened, and from whom


170   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

his range of view was in general extended to the

heathen]; for He has caused all the gods of the earth

to disappear [properly, He has made them consumptive],

and each shall pray to Him from his place, all the

islands of the heathen."

            In chap. iii. rebuke and threatening are renewed,

but only in order that the intensity of the promise

may break through all the more strongly. Penal

justice is followed by mercy, for which it prepares the

way.  When the cup of wrath is drained, love is

poured forth. This turning-point is fixed by zxA iii. 9:

"For then [after judgment has been visited on the

sinful peoples, and the no less sinful people whose

capital is Jerusalem] I will turn to the nations a pure

lip [that is, I will grant to those who previously called

on the idols, and who spoke as idolaters, a purified,

consecrated manner of speech], that they may all call

upon the name of Yahweh, since they serve Him with

one consent." As rzArA (emaciavit), ii. 11, said con-

cerning the heathen gods, is otherwise an exceptional

figure of speech of Zephaniah, so here in iii. 9 (mutabo

populis labium purum) the future conversion of the

heathen is expressed in a significant way which is

peculiar to him. On the other hand, the prophecy

concerning the return of the diaspora of Israel with

the friendly help of the nations is as follows (Zeph.

iii. 10):  "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they

bring my worshippers, the daughter [totality] of my

dispersed, as my offering," exactly as if the prophet,

who is pleased with such mosaic style, had blended


        FAITH'S OBJECT IN HABAKKUK.         171

 

in a miniature that which is prophesied in Isa.

lxvi. 18-20 with the addition of Isa. xviii. 1.

            In the description of Israel who are brought back

judicially purified, he emphasizes the humility on

account of which the congregation again prospers.

Israel is blended together in a ldAvA ynifA Mfa, a spiritually

poor people, and brought down from a false height,

who can trust and rejoice in the name of Yahweh;

for, as ver. 15 calls to this new true Israel, "Yahweh

hath removed far away thy judgments, hath cleared

away thine enemies   the King of Israel, Yahweh, is

in the midst of thee, thou hast further to fear no mis-

fortune." And then he describes (ver. 17) the loving

relation of Yahweh to this congregation of the future

in bold anthropomorphisms which remind us of the

mystic erotic manner of Hosea:  "Yahweh thy God

is in the midst of thee as a helpful hero, He has

blissful joy in thee, shall be dumb in His love [since

it is unspeakable], shall rejoice over thee with shout-

ing." Yahweh appears here to have become like a

man. Beside the King of Israel presented in such a

human way, condescending in such lowliness to men,

there is neither room for, nor need of a human king.

 

§ 36. Habakkuk's Solution of Faith, and Faith's Object.

 

            Among the Old Testament loci illustres regarding

faith are two in Isaiah (vii. 9, Luther: glaubet ihr

nicht, so bleibet ihr nicht; and xxviii. 16, Luther:  wer

glaubt, der feucht nicht). The latter passage belongs


172     MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

to the three, which in the New Testament are each

cited three times: Gen. xv. 6; Isa. xxviii. 16; Hab.

ii. 4. Habakkuk is one of the prophets who, as is

said in 2 Kings xxi. 10-15, xxiii. 26 f., xxiv. 2-4,

announces the judgment as henceforth unavoidable.

His lamentation concerning the dominant corruption

(Hab. i. 2-4) agrees with the fearful characteriza-

tion of Manasseh and afterwards of Jehoiakim;

and his connection with the Psalms, especially those

of Asaph (proved in my Commentary, 1843), is to be

explained by 2 Chron. xxix. 30. He prophesies the

invasion of the Chaldeans and the afflictions which

follow in their train, hence before the battle of

Carchemish in the fourth year of Jehoiachin (606 B.C.),

which decided the supremacy of the Chaldeans in

Anterior Asia.

            The fundamental thoughts of this book are as

follows:—(1) There are two kingdoms in conflict: the

kingdom of this world, whose ruler is the king of

Chaldea, and the kingdom of God, whose ruler is God's

Anointed; (2) the interference of Yahweh helps God's

Anointed to the victory; (3) this completion of the

work of God in the course of the world's history,

when the time previously determined has come, is

longed for by the believers; (4) it is faith which, in

this conflict of the world against the kingdom of God,

escapes the danger of destruction, and which in the

midst of death participates in life. It is a theodicy,

whose solution of the riddle of the world's history

consists in this, that, although God makes use of the


            FAITH'S OBJECT IN HABAKKUK.             173

 

wicked for the punishment of the wicked, nevertheless

the evil, which is serviceable to Him, finally falls

under His judgments, and the good triumphs. These

fundamental thoughts are expressed in the form of a

dialogue with God. Upon the prophet's question and

complaint concerning the secret sinful action (Hab.

i. 2-4), follows the answer of God announcing judg-

ment through the Chaldeans (Hab. i. 5-11); and upon

the prophet's question and complaint concerning the

cruel dealings of the Chaldeans (Hab. i. 12-17), follows

the answer of God, announcing judgment upon the

Chaldeans (Hab. ii.). The prophet in suspense waits

with inward watchfulness to see what answer he

shall receive, and what answer he shall give to His

question, why the All Holy One can witness so quietly

the proud, godless behaviour of the enemy. The

answer begins with the command to write it, and

exhibit it, in writing which can be easily read (Hab.

ii. 2), and the motive of this command is (ver. 3):

"for the beholding [that which is beheld] is kept back

until the point of time [future fulfilment], and pants

for the end [that is, strives for the expiration of the

time determined until the consummation 1], and shall

not deceive; if it delays, wait for it, for it will come,

yea, it will come, it will not stay away."      The

 

            1 In my commentary, Der Prophet Habakkuk, ausgelegt von

Franz Delitzsch, Leipzig 1843, the reasons for the translation:

"It discourses of the end "seemed to me to predominate—one

can be in doubt, but why then this formal expression? I now

prefer anhelat ad finem, as I also translate Ps. xii. 6:  "I will

put him in safety, who pants [yearns] for it."


174       MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

Septuagint translates: e]a>n u[sterh<s^ u[po<meinon au]to>n,

o!ti e]rxo<menoj h!cei kai> ou] mh> xroni<s^, and therefore

refers Ol and that which follows, not to that which is

beheld,—the redemption from the servitude through

the world-power,—but to One who is given to be

beheld—the Redeemer from the world-power. Here

it remains questionable whether the Lord or His

Anointed is intended. But the Epistle to the

Hebrews, which freely adopts the passage without

citing it, and transforms the e]rxo<menoj of the Sep-

tuagint, corresponding to the intensive infinitive xBo

into o[ e]rxo<menoj, doubtless thinks of Christ appearing

as judge in glory.

            There begins with ver. 4 that which God gives the

prophet to behold, the judgment on the lords of the

world:  "Behold, puffed up, not upright is his soul in

him: and the righteous, through his faith shall he live,"

or after another mode of accentuation—Tiphcha with

Ot;nAUmx<B,:—"And the righteous through his faith—

he shall live." We may accentuate this way or that,

the meaning is always, that the righteous in the midst

of judgment escapes death and remains preserved by

means of his own hnAUmx< as righteous, that is, of the

confidence which holds fast on God and His word, by

means of the confidence which builds firmly on the

promise of God in spite of the contradictory present,

by means of the faithfulness which hangs fast on him,

with one word: of the faith which is called hnAUmx<,

firmitas as firma fiducia; faith is therefore indicated

as the fundamental characteristic which makes the


        FAITH'S OBJECT IN HABAKKUK.               175

 

righteous righteous, and by means of which he shall

participate in life.

            In Hab. ii. 6 ff. a woe (yOh), in five strophes, put

in the mouth of the mistreated people, announces to

the world conqueror his fall. The prophet means

according to i. 6, the Chaldeans, but as representatives

of the tyrannical idolatrous world-power which works

in vain against the decree of God, "for [as is said,

Hab. ii. 14] the earth shall be full of the knowledge

of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters that cover the

sea."

            There follows in chap. iii. upon the two parts,

consisting of a dialogue, a a psalm written in

the sublimest style,—as Judg. v. and Ps. lxviii.,—

consisting of petitions and contemplations, which are

the lyrical echo of the first and second divine answer.

Here the prophet praises the appearing of Yahweh in

judicial glory, and remembers also His Anointed, not as

a mediator, however, but as an object of the redemption

which is to be accomplished in judgment (ver. 13):

"Thou wentest forth to the help of Thy people, to the

help of Thine Anointed" (Septuagint: tou? sw?sai to>n

xristo<n sou; according to another reading: tou>j xris-

tou<j son). It is indeed questionable whether j~H,ywim;-tx,  

should not rather be translated "with Thine Anointed"

(Aquila, Quinta: su>n xrist& sou). Jerome considers

this translation Christian, and the other Judaizing.

But granted that the Messiah is intended in an

eschatological sense, an appeal for the accusative

construction can be made with equal propriety to


176   MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

Zech. ix. 9 (where the Messiah is called fwaOn: one

who has become helpful], as for the prepositional to

Ps. cx. 5 (the Almighty at thy right hand). It is

really probable that the prophet means by the divinely-

anointed One, not the king of his time, but of the

final period, for he continues, 13b:  "Thou breakest in

pieces the head of the house of the wicked",—the

divinely-anointed One is the antithesis of the world-

ruler, Christ and Antichrist are contrasted.

 

§ 37. Mediately Messianic Elements in Jeremiah's

 Announcement, until the carrying away of Jehoiachin.

 

            Jeremiah, who was called, as he himself relates, in

the thirteenth year of Josiah, is a contemporary of

Zephaniah and Habakkuk, preceding both these in the

time when he was called. The history of his call

(Jer. i.) is in all directions a prognostic of his official

doing and suffering. His calling is directed rather to

tearing down than to building up. In this sad office

one suffering after another as a confessor befalls him;

but notwithstanding the depth and tenderness of his

susceptibility, strong in God, he bids defiance to all

attacks. In his first address (Jer. ii.-iii. 5) hTAfame (Jer.

iii. 4) indicates the religious transformation which

had already begun after the twelfth year of Josiah

(2 Chron. xxxiv. 3); and in the second (Jer. 6-vi.),

vi. 20 presupposes the purification of worship which

was accomplished in the eighteenth year of Josiah.

But the prophet sees behind the glittering restoration


        MESSIANIC ELEMENTS IN JEREMIAH.          177

 

the ever dominant corruption of morals, and comforts

himself with the hope of a final, true, and general

conversion, embracing the Israel of both kingdoms,

since he lays in the mouth of those who are convert-

ing the prayer of confession, entreating for mercy

(Jer. iii. 22 f.), as an answer to the divine call to

repentance. It can neither be proved, nor is it con-

ceivable, that Jeremiah could have been opposed to

the restoration of the worship of Yahweh and the

establishment of the sacrificial service at the temple

of Jerusalem, which was designed to prevent idolatrous

degeneration; for as even private worship as a matter

of necessity creates forms of worship, the divine

worship of a congregation cannot exist at all without

express forms of worship. But the prophetic calling

was not especially directed to teaching and shielding

these forms of worship, but to that which was

essentially religious, with which they must be filled

in order not to sink down to deceitful performances,

to dead works. The first discourses of Jeremiah show

that the people of his time, who boasted that they

had the temple, the central seat of Yahweh, in the

midst of them (Jer. vii. 4), were sunken in vices, and

were always still idolatrous, were so corrupt beyond

improvement, that he was not to pray for them. The

reformation of Josiah, whose lever was Deuteronomy,

restored the legal worship, but as we also see from

Zephaniah, without being able to raise the people,

who were deeply corrupted in their morals in all

classes, including the priests and prophets. We must


178    MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN HISTORICAL SUCCESSION.

 

take this into account in order to understand that

Jeremiah could have no pleasure in the sacrificial

service (Jer. vi. 20) which had again come into vogue,

and in order not to misunderstand so bold an expres-

sion as vii. 22 f.; in which his antipathy against the

self-deception connected with the opus operatum of

the burnt-offerings and sacrifices went so far that it

seems as if he did not recognise a sacrificial torah

resting upon divine revelation. The appearance is

emphasized, since he says (viii. 8):  “How can you

say we are wise, and the torah of Yahweh is with

us? Truly, behold the deceptive styles of the scribes1

is active for deception." This sounds as if directed