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the blind in an unknown way; ...... I will make darkness light before them.”We read, in verse 8, 66 And a path shall be there, and a highway, and it shall be called the holy way ;” and in xl. 3, 4, “ Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah ;» in verse 10, “Yea, the ransomed of Jehovah shall return; they shall come to Zion with songs; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away ;” and in li. 11, the selfsame words occur.
The passage, xxi. 1-10, where the conquest of Babylon by the Medes and Persians is predicted with graphic minuteness, belongs to the same period. It is, however, remarkably distinguished from the other spurious passages of the book.
We can also, with considerable certainty, refer to the same period the passage, xxiv.-xxvii. This speaks of the devastation of the land of Judea, the deliverance of the Jews from their masters, (xxvi. 13,) of their return, (xxvii. 12, 13,) and the destruction of the enemy's capital, (xxv. 2, xxvi. 5.) We are led to refer it to this date, By the nature of the contents of the passage : It
« Comp. verses 6, 7, with xliii. 19, 20, xlviii. 21, xlix. 10, 11.
Comp. also xlix. 11, and lxii. 10. © Comp. verse 5, “The table is prepared; the watch set; they eat, they drink; arise, princes, anoint the shield,” with the well-known account in Herodotus, (i. 191,) “ There happened to be a feast;” with Xenophon, Cyrop. vii. 5, 15, sqq. ; verse 7, with Xenophon, vii. 1, 14, 27. Strabo, xx. p. 727. See Michaelis, and Rosenmüller, in loc. [The last author says there is no doubt that the poet himself was present at the capture of the city, and, full of those things he had seen and heard, uttered this oracle. Gesenius (Com. in loc.) is of a different opinion. See, also, Maurer, in loc.)
teaches some doctrines which belong to a later age of Jewish history, such as the resurrection of the dead, contained in the following passages: “ The dead shall live again ; " " The dead bodies of thy people shall arise,” (xxvi. 19;) “In that day will Jehovah punish the high ones, and the kings of the earth,” (xxiv. 21 ;) “ He will destroy death forever," (xxv. 8.)
By the style, which admits of a play upon words, (xxiv. 3, 4, 16—19, 21;) of reminiscences, or allusions to earlier poets, as in xxiv. 7, and 11, “ The new wine mourneth,...... there is a cry for wine in the streets," which refers to Joel i. 10, 5, « The new wine is dried up;” and the figure of an olive-tree, (verse 13,) referring to xvii. 6; of reiterations, “My wretchedness, my wretchedness,” (verse 16, and xxvi. 3, 15;) of tautological parallels; ' “ Peace, peace,” for constant peace; and of " painful efforts after beautiful expressions," as Bertholdt remarks.
By the parallel passages : (xxiv. 17, 18,) “ The terror, the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab. Whoso fleeth from the terror shall fall into the pit, and whoso escapeth from the pit be taken in the snare." Nearly the same words occur in Jer. xlviii. 43. In xxvi. 16, we read, “In affliction they sought thee;” and xxvii. 9, “ By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be expiated;" and in xl. 2, “ Declare to her that her hard service is ended, that her iniquity is expiated ;” –in xxiv. 16, “ The plunderers plunder ;"
* The stand-point of the prophet in xxiv. 1–13, is doubtful. Gesenius and others suppose it refers to the desolation of the land of Judah; Hitzig, to the desolation of the enemy's country. The antithesis in verse 14, sqq., and the parallels, verses 17—20, favor this opinion.
5 Chap. xxiv. 3, 5, 22, xxv. 7, 9, 12, xxvi. 5, xxvii. 5.
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and the same words occur in xxi. 2;- in verse 19, - The earth is violently moved from her place ;” and in xii. 13, “ And the earth shall be shaken out of her place.”
On the other hand, there is a difference in the following particulars : in the use of the figure of an olivetree, in xxiv. 13, and in the use of the same figure in xvii. 6. In xxv. 4, it is said, “ Thou hast been ...... a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat ;" and in iv. 6, “He shall be a tent by day, for a shadow from the heat, and for a refuge and shelter from the storm and rain." The nation is compared to a vineyard in xxvii. 2, and v. 2."
DOUBTFUL PASSAGES IN THE FIRST PART.
But if those passages above named are later than Isaiah's time, on the contrary, it is wrong to place the oracle concerning Moab, contained in chap. xv. xvi., in the time of Jeremiah, as some have done, on the ground that they contain an imitation of one of that prophet's oracles, in Jer. xlviii. No sufficient argument for rejecting them is found in the circumstance that their historical fulfilment did not take place in the time
See Gesenius, in loc. p. 756, sqq. Rosenmüller, in the first edition, denied the genuineness of the passages, but admits it in the second. See his edition of Arndt, De Loco Jes. xxiv.--xxvii. vindicando et explicando; Hamb. 1826. Knobel, vol. ii. p. 319.
• The relation which the kindred verses bear to the whole passage, and also the character of the various readings in Jeremiah, are against the opposite opinion of Bertholdt, p. 1440. Comp. Isa. xvi. 6–9, with Jer. xlviii. 31, 32. See 225.
· Koppe, l. c. in loc. Bertholdt, p. 1389.
of Isaiah. But yet, from the difference in language and style, we must decide that they do not belong to Isaiah. Hitzig and Knobel think Jonah is the author, (2 Kings xiv. 25,) and that the oracle originally related to an invasion by the Israelites under Jeroboam II. It is probable the epilogue (xiii. 13, 14) belongs to Isaiah6This is the word which Jehovah spake concerning Moab of old : “But now — within three years, like the years of a hireling — the glory of Moab shall be put to shame, with all his great multitude. The remnant shall be very small, and without strength.?" This is probable, from its affinity with other passages, admitted to be genuine; for example, with xxi. 16, “Within one year, according to the years of a hireling, shall all the glory of Kedar be consumed," and x. 25, and xxix. 17, “ yet a very little while.”
[The following account, says Gesenius, appears the most probable: The oracle was first uttered without the epilogue, by a prophet contemporary with Isaiah, or somewhat older than he. It was designed as a general prediction of adversity that was to fall upon Moab, and, like most of the oracles against foreign nations, is to be considered as the production of national zeal, and national hatred against the Moabites, - a wish and hope for their destruction, uttered as a prophecy. Such oracles would be most often uttered at a time when the national hatred had received new nourishment from the
• According to Jer. xlviii. 11, the Moabites appear to have suffered nothing from the Assyrians, in the time of Isaiah.
Hitzig, Der Prop. Jonas Orakel üb. Moab; Heidel. 1834, 4to. Knobel, 1. c. vol. ii. p. 125, sqq. On the other side, see Credner, in Stud. und Krit. for 1833, p. 780. He refers it to the expedition of Tiglath-pileser, in the time of Ahaz. Hendewerk (1. c.) puts it in the early part of Hezekiah's reign. Both think it a genuine production of Isaiah.
injustice experienced in one war or another, or when some foreign conqueror afforded a hope of its fulfilment, either sooner or later. In this particular case, the occasion may be found in the war waged against the Hebrews because they had not paid the tribute, about 896 B. C.; or in the incursion of the Moabites, about 819 B. C.; or in the seizure of the domains of Reuben and Gad, - though a special occasion is not needed. In foretelling the enemy that is to lay waste Moab, the prophet certainly had the Assyrians before his eyes, who had ruined so many of the enemies of Judah, and might be expected to destroy Moab also. The oracle was not immediately fulfilled, and therefore Isaiah repeats it at a time when the Assyrians threatened soon to swallow up all small states. He added an epilogue, fixing the time, which, as usual, is done by the use of a round and poetic number.]"
Chap. xix. The prophecy respecting Ægypt would be subject to doubt if it relates — as Rosenmüller and Gesenius suppose — to the Ægyptian dodecharchy and Psammeticus. Then we must place it in Manasseh's time, (696–641 B. C.,) though chap. i. 1, would be against such an hypothesis, as that does not make Isaiah's prophetic office extend beyond the time of Hezekiah. But this oracle may be placed earlier, — as it has been shown by Hitzig and Hendewerk, – and may be referred to the invasion of Ægypt by the Assyrians. The genuineness of this prophecy, therefore, need not be doubted.'
a Gesenius, p. 508, sq. See Hitzig, p. 16.
• Koppe, Eichhorn, and Künöl, (in Gabler's Theol. Journal, vol. i. p. 564,) consider verses 18—25 spurious. Hitzig thinks 16—25 spurious, while Geserius expresses doubts against only 18—20. Hendewerk (p. 422, sqq.) de