Page images
PDF
EPUB

the recompense which he hath in readiness to bestow upon his servants. -" Quisque videt verba in hunc esse accipienda sensum, Deum Jehovám, in mundo constabiliturum regnum saum, et hostes suos vindicaturum, paratum in manibus habere merce. dem et operæ pretium quod repensurus sit ministris suis omnibus," &c. Vitringa ad locum, vol. ii, p. 366, č. 2.

Verse 12. “ Who hath measured,” &ć. - Non deserit inceptam rem propheta ; imo describit, qualis sit ille, qui modo pastor nominatus est, et de quò urbibus Judæ dicit, en Deus vester;' ne Judæi comminiscantur hominem redemptorem, sed hominem Deum. Nam idem, qui modo ut homo descri. ptus est, nunc ut Deus exhibetur.” Houbigant ad locum.

Verse 21. “ Have ye not known? have ye not heard?” rather, with Houbigant and Bishop Lowth, in the future; “ Will ye not know? will ye not hear?"

21 Will ye not know? will ye not hear of'?

Hath he not been declared unto you from the beginning?
Have je never considered the foundations of the earth ? [i.

e. how the foundations were laid, or the act of laying
them.]

22 Him that sitteth, &c.

Him that extendeth, &c.

-are all accusa ,הנותן הניטה הישב ,מיסדות The words

23 That bringeth, &c. That maketh, &c.

, , , tives after the verbs know, hear of, considered, &c. The style is vehement, which accounts for the anticipated introduction of the clause “ Hath he not been declared,” &c.

Verse 26. by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power, supplying abundantly their strength, and confirming their force, not one of them is missing, or goeth astray." Or rather,

by reason of abundance of force and firmness of strength, not one of them is driven astray.” The prophet speaks of the sufficiency of the physical forces with which the Creator has endowed the great bodies of the universe, to prevent all disorder and irregularity in its motions. And so I find Vitringa understood him. “ Nullum eorum deficere plane id significat, stellas in cælorum orbe sive fornice fixas, æquè ac erraticas, locum, statumque et ordinem suum constanter tueri, &c. unde vero ipsis hic status, ordo, leges motus, veri vel apparentis, et præcipuè status stabilitas?

,

מרב אונים ,Ait vates

,ואמיץ כת

Vox gh notat interiorem cujusque rei vim, naturalium virium essentiam et ÚROOTCOI, earumque affluentiam et sufficientiam. Vox prapax hic est accipienda ut nomen substantivum." Vitringa in Is. vol. ii, p. 383, c. 2.

See my notes on Hosea.

Verse 31. -" they shall mount up with wings as eagles;" " they shall tower on strong pinion like eagles." 73seems to be used adverbially, not as a

.יעלו noun the object of

CHAP. XLI.

In this chapter, the miraculous propagation of the true religion is alleged as a proof, in the prediction and in the event, of the exclusive deity of the God of Israel, in opposition to the pretensions of the heathen idols.

Verse 1. “ Keep silence before me”- For 1990, read, with the LXX, W'987. “Let the distant nations repair to me with new force of mind.” Bishop Lowth; and see the Bishop's excellent note. But when did the nations repair to God with new force of mind ? Never certainly till the gospel was preached to them. This compellation therefore of the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Gentiles marks the season to which this prophecy relates.

_"the people.” — the peoples,” Bishop Lowth.

Verse 2. “Who raised up the righteous man from the east" - rather, “ Who raiseth up,” who is about to do this.

-“the righteous man.". Cyrus was a just prince; and I think in some passages of the prophecies, that respect the liberation of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, we find allusion to the uprightness of his government. But I cannot see how Cyrus merited the great character of the righteous man, which in scripture signifies much more than a man of moral probity. It always denotes a man righteous in the religious sense of the word, a man attached to the service of the One true God, and justified in his sight. The character of Cyrus is, that though he was supported, and raised to the empire by the providence of God, yet he knew not God, Is. xlv, 4. And the acknowledgement that he makes of the God of heaven and earth, in his edict for the return of the captives (Ezra i, 2) is by no means such evidence of his faith in the sole Deity of Jehovah, as may invalidate this express testimony of his irreligion, and entitle him to the honourable appellation

of the righteous man.*

Abraham was a righteous man. But what can we find in the history of Abra. ham, to answer to those exploits of universal conquest, which the context ascribes to the righteous man, who is the subject of this prophecy? It will hardly be said that the rescue of Lot, and the recovery of the spoils from the five kings, was an action in any degree equal to the magnificence of the images. Christ is perpetually described in the

prophecies under the image of a conqueror, and the propagation of the gospel under the image of universal conquest.

The Roman people,' in Christ's time, were the most considerable of the Gentiles, and lords in a great measure of the whole world; and Rome was at that time the seat and citadel of idolatry. With respect to the idolaters therefore of his own time, Christ was the righteous man raised up

from the east. And it is reasonable to under

* Vitringa, who strenuously contends for the application of this prophecy to Cyrus, confesses, that it is not probable that Cyrus in such sort acknowledged the God of Israel, as to have renounced the worship of the gods of his own country. Vitringa on Isaiah, vol. ii, p. 413, note A. Now, I contend that no acknowledgement of the true God short of this, could entitle him to the appellation of " the righteous man" in the language of a Jewish prophet.

« PreviousContinue »