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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

1. THE EXERCISE OF THE PROPHETIC OFFICE WAS EXTRAORDINARY.—It follows from the condition of the prophet at the time he receives the divine message that the exercise of his office is not an ordinary or common action. “The prophetic light,” says St. Thomas (Summa, IIa. iiae., q. 171 a. 2), “is not in the intellect after the manner of a permanent form, … but as a transient passion or impression.” And St. Jerome says (In Ezech. xxxv. 1. M. 25, 349): “If the word of God were always in the prophets and had a permanent dwelling in their breast, Ezechiel would not say so often: And the word of the Lord came to me.” In point of fact, we repeatedly find the prophets praying for the divine light of prophecy, and at times they are even commanded to pray with this intention (1 Kings 8:8; Jer. 32:16; 42:4; Dan. 2:17 ff.; 9:3 ff.; Jer. 32:2 f.).

2. THE CALL TO THE PROPHETIC OFFICE WAS EXTRAORDINARY.—If we consider the way in which the prophets were called, their office must again be called extraordinary. For it was God himself who called the individual prophets (cf. 1 Kings 3:1; Is. 6; Jer. 1) and conferred on them the prophetic gift by an internal and supernatural process. The prophetic office was not, like the office of king or priest, annexed to a certain tribe or family or class of persons. Men and women of every age, of every condition of life, were fit subjects for the prophetic office. The boy Samuel was a Levite; Eliseus, a husbandman of the tribe of Ephraim, was advanced in age at the time of his prophetic call; Isaias is by many believed to have belonged to the royal family; Amos was a shepherd of the tribe of Juda; Jeremias and Ezechiel were priests; Debbora was a prophetess at the time of the Judges, and King Josias sought the will of God from the prophetess Holda. Not even a definite preparation was required for the prophetic office, though we believe that it was commonly conferred on the pious and faithful observers of the law. No external rite initiated the prophets into their high office; for what we read of Elias and Eliseus (3 Kings 19:16) must be regarded as an exceptional case, and Isaias (61:1) speaks of an internal unction of the Spirit.

α. The Prophetic Order and the Prophetic Gift are not Convertible Terms.—The opinion of recent biblical scholars that there existed regular schools of prophets seems at first sight to contradict our present position regarding the manner of the prophetic call. But it must be observed, in the first place, that even if we grant all that is said about the schools of prophets, our own thesis remains intact. For it is generally granted that the prophetic order and the prophetic gift are not convertible terms. The members of the schools might belong to the prophetic order, but they had not on that account the supernatural prophetic gift; and, on the other hand, there might be persons endowed with the prophetic gift who did not belong to the order or to the school of the prophets. The prophetic gift which constituted the prophet in the strict acceptation of the term, as we take it here, was always conferred by God himself. The prophetic gift may be compared with the gift of ecstasy or the prayer of quiet; persons may belong to communities in which this gift is often found, without possessing it; and again, ecstasy and the highest form of prayer may exist outside of religious communities.

b. Prophetic Schools.—But the opinion itself that there existed regular prophetic schools deserves a moment’s attention. All we know for certain is that at the time of Samuel, of Elias and Eliseus many prophets gathered at Ramatha, Bethel, Gilgal, Jericho, and near the Jordan (1 Kings 10:5; 19:20; 4 Kings. 2:3, 5; 4:38) around a more renowned prophet (Samuel, Elias, Eliseus), whom they recognized as their superior (1 Kings 19:20; 4 Kings. 6:1), in order to lead a common life (4 Kings. 4:38 ff.) and give joint praise to God (1 Kings 19:20). Then again the prophet Amos mentions the sons of the prophets (Am. 7:14). And St. Jerome (Ad Rustic. ep. 125, 7; cf. ad Paulin. ep. 58, 5; ad Eustoch. ep. 22, 21; M. 22, 1076; 583; 408) writes: “The sons of the prophets of whom we read are the monks of the Old Testament, who built themselves huts along the Jordan, and having left the turmoil of the cities, lived on barley and wild herbs.”

α. REASONS FOR THEIR EXISTENCE.—But not content with these facts, the modern investigators have devised regular systems of schools to which the prophets are said to have belonged. The reasons for this theory may be reduced to the following: 1. Abarbanel writes: “These [the sons of the prophets] are the disciples who prepare themselves for prophesying, and they are set apart and as Nazarenes consecrated for the divine service.” 2. The sons of the prophetsare said to sit before a more renowned prophets (4 Kings 4:38; 6:1), as the pupils were wont to sit around their master (cf. Dillmann, Schenkel’s Bibellexic. iv. p. 619; Davidson, Introd. ii. p. 457). 3. The Chaldee translation speaks already of a number of scribes (1 Kings 10:5, 10) sitting in a house of learning (1 Kings 19:20), and mentions the disciples of the prophets instead of their sons (3 Kings 20:32).

β. REASONS NOT CONVINCING.—But, on the other hand, it is urged that Abarbanel speaks in the foregoing manner on account of the Chaldee translation; that the latter introduces the terms “scribes” and “disciples” and “house of learning” without sufficient reason, substituting them for the familiar scriptural words “prophets” and “sons of the prophets.” Besides, the very disciples who are said to prepare themselves for prophesying actually prophesy already (3 Kings 20:35; 4 Kings 2:3, 5). And to base the whole theory of the prophetic schools on the fact that the sons of the prophets sit before their superior is to proceed unscientifically, to say the least.

γ. SCHOOLS INVOLVED IN UNCERTAINTY.—Still, if we grant that regular prophetic schools were organized, the historical books of the Old Testament speak only incidentally of them. Thus we do not know whether the prophets that played such an important part in the history of Saul and David continued to exist after the time of those kings; again, we know that king Achab was a persecutor of the sons of the prophets, that they existed at the time of Elias and Eliseus, and that they were extinct when the books of Machabees and of Ecclesiasticus were written (1 Mac. 4:46; 9:27; 14:41; Ecclus. 36:17). Whether their existence was continuous or interrupted, whether they lasted till about the period when the canon of the Old Testament received its last additions, or ended at the time of Elias and Eliseus must remain an historical problem (Trochon, “Introd. générale aux Prophètes,” Paris, 1883, p. xxx.).

δ. PROBABLE DESCRIPTION OF THE SCHOOLS.—The probable existence of the prophetic schools being admitted, their organization is at best but conjectural. The colleges appear to have differed considerably in the number of their members; some must have been quite numerous (3 Kings 18:4; 4 Kings 2:16). An elderly or leading prophet presided over them (1 Kings 19:20), called their Father (1 Kings 10:12) or Master (4 Kings 2:3), who may have been admitted to his office by the ceremony of anointing (3 Kings 19:16; Is. 61:1; Ps. 104 (105):15). The members of the college were called his sons. The chief subject of study was no doubt the Law and its interpretation. Subsidiary subjects of instruction were music and sacred poetry, both of which had been connected with prophecy from the time of Moses (Ex. 15:20) and the Judges (Judg. 4:4; 5:1; cf. 1 Kings 10:5; 4 Kings 3:15; 1 Par. 25:16; Jon. 2:2; Is. 12:1; 26:1; Habac. 3:2). It was also probably the duty of the prophetical students to compose verses for the Temple music. Having been trained and taught, the prophets, whether still residing in the college or having left its precincts, had the task of teaching others. Monthly and weekly religious meetings appear to have been held by the prophets (4 Kings 4:23; Ezech. 8:1; 14:1; 20:1; 4 Kings 6:32). It was probably at these meetings that many of the warnings and exhortations on morality and a spiritual religion were addressed by the prophets to their countrymen. The general appearance and life of the prophets seem to have been similar to those of the Eastern dervish of the present day. Their dress was a hairy garment, girt with a leathern girdle (Is. 20:2; Zach. 13:4; Matt. 3:4). They were married or unmarried as they chose; but their manner of life and diet were stern and austere (4 Kings 4:10, 38; 3 Kings 19:6; Matt. 3:4; cf. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. ii. pp. 930 f.).

3. THE PROPHETIC OFFICE WAS AN ORDINARY INSTITUTION.—a. The priests are not the Ordinary Teachers.—Thus far we have shown that the prophetic office was an extraordinary one, whether we consider the divine call to that dignity or its exercise. But considered from another point of view, the prophetic office was an ordinary one. It is often stated that in the Old Testament the teaching-office was intrusted to the order of priests or to the high-priest (Becanus, Anal. V. et N. T., XII. vi. q. 2; Al. Vincenzi, De Hebræorum et Christianorum sacra monarchia, p. 3 ff.). But the arguments on which this contention rests are not at all solid enough to bear up the superstructure. The texts usually advanced as proofs either refer to the judicial power (Deut. 17:8 ff.; 2 Par. 19:10) of the priests and Levites, or they concern the prophetic privilege of the Urim and Thummim (Ugolini, Thesaurus Antiqu., xii. p. 375–784). The Rabbis, who are surely not accustomed to lessen their national privileges, maintain that only the king or the president of the Sanhedrin, or another person constituted in the highest office of the commonwealth, could use the Urim and Thummim in case there was question of a public affair. According to the Scriptures, only princes of the nation, such as Josue, Samuel, Saul, David, had recourse to this method of consulting the divine will, and that only in matters of the highest importance (Jos. 7:16 ff.; 1 Kings 10:20 ff.; 14:18; 22:10; 23:9; 28:6). Besides all this, the Jews themselves did not attribute the teaching-ministry to the priesthood, but to the prophets (cf. 1 Mac. 4:46; 14:41). Jesus exhorts his audience to obey the precepts, not of the priests, but of the scribes and the Pharisees, of whom he says that they sit in the chair of Moses, not of Aaron (Matt. 23:2 ff.). And how could the priests and Levites fulfil the office of instructing the nation, since they themselves were often given to idolatry and immoral practices? (2 Par. 36:15.) It must also be kept in mind that before the deposit of faith was officially completed, none but an inspired judge could decide finally whether any given doctrine, not opposed to previously revealed truth, was really revealed or the mere result of human thought.

b. Deut. 18:9–22.—The reasons, then, for ascribing the ordinary teaching-office to the priesthood of the Old Testament are rather apparent than real arguments, and several considerations have led us to doubt such a joint ministry. But there are other Scripture passages in which the ordinary teaching-office is actually ascribed to the prophets. We read in Deuteronomy (18:9–22): “When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee, beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations; neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens; neither let there be any wizard, nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits or fortune-tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead; for the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming; thou shalt be perfect and without spot before the Lord thy God. These nations whose land thou shalt possess hearken to soothsayers and diviners; but thou art otherwise instructed by the Lord thy God. The Lord thy God will raise up to thee a prophet of thy nation and of thy brethren like unto me: him thou shalt hear, as thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the assembly was gathered together, and saidst: Let me not hear any more the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see any more this exceeding great fire, lest I die. And the Lord said to me: They have spoken all things well. I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren like to thee: and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak all that I shall command him; and he that will not hear his words, which he shall speak in my name, I will be the revenger. But the prophet who being corrupted with pride shall speak in my name things that I did not command him to say, or in the name of strange gods, shall be slain. And if in silent thought thou answer: How shall I know the word that the Lord hath not spoken? thou shalt have this sign: Whatsoever that same prophet foretelleth in the name of the Lord, and it cometh not to pass, that thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath forged it by the pride of his mind: and therefore thou shalt not fear him.”

α. REASONS FOR APPLYING THE TEXT TO CHRIST ALONE.—Many interpreters apply this passage to the Messias alone. The reasons for this view are the following: 1. In the whole text there is question of “the prophet” in the singular number. 2. The prophet spoken of is to be like Moses. But, on the other hand, the singular number has in Hebrew often a collective meaning; the sacred writer speaks in Deuteronomy (17:14–20) of the king in the singular number, though he evidently applies his principles to all Israelite kings. The predicted similitude between the prophet and Moses does not mean equality or identity. If this argument be urged too far, it will prove that “the prophet” cannot apply to Christ. For if the prophets were not like Moses, because they were his inferiors, Christ was not like Moses because he was infinitely his superior. It appears then that we cannot hold the position of St. Athanasius (c. Arian. Or. 1, 54. M. 26, 126), St. Isidore Pelusiota (ep. iii. 94. M. 98, 797), St. Gregory of Nyssa (Test. c. Jud. 2. M. 46, 204), Cajetan, Joseph a Costa, Estius, Patrizi, Bade, Corluy, and others who make the above text an exclusively Messianic prophecy.

β. ITS TYPICAL REFERENCE TO CHRIST.—Clement of Alexandria (Pædagog. i. 7. M. 8, 322), Venerable Bede (In h. loc. M. 91, 387), and St. Augustine (c. Faust. xvi. 19, 20. M. 42, 327), understand the passage as applying to Josue in its literal and to Christ in its typical sense. The same twofold reference to Christ and Josue is held by Vatable and Emmanuel Sa. In the Middle Ages, the interlineary Gloss and Burgensis applied the first part of the passage to the prophets in general (verse 15), but the latter part to Christ alone (verse 18). Eusebius of Cæsarea in three passages of his writings explicitly excludes a reference of the passage to the prophets (Demonstrat. Evan. iii. 2; ix. 11; Eclog. Proph. i. 15; M. 22, 168; 689 ff., 1072); and in another passage the same writer clearly explains this prophecy as applying to the prophets (Eclog. Proph. iv. M. 22, 1192). But the great bulk of writers understand the Mosaic prediction as applying to the whole series of prophets, including Christ as their head and highest fulfilment. For this opinion we may appeal to St. Jerome (In Is. viii. 19. M. 24, 125), Origen (c. Cels. i. 36. M. 11, 429), Theodoret (In Jer. vi. 16. M. 81, 545), Rhabanus Maurus (cf. in h. l. M. 108, 906), Walafr. Strab. (Glossa ordin. in h. 1. M. 113, 471), St. Bruno Ast. (M. 164, 512), B. Albertus Magn. (In Agg. ii. 5), Card. Hugo, Nic. Lyranus, Dion. the Carth., Alphons Tostatus, Bonfrerius, a Lapide, Menochius, Tirinus, Frassen, Gordon, Calmet, Allioli (In Jer. xxviii. 6), Reinke (Beiträge, vi. pp. 297 ff.), Loch and Reischl (In h. l.), Meignan (Les prophèties messian., pp. 611 ff.), Bisping (In Actus iii. 21), A. Scholz (Einleitung iii. p. 240), Knabenbauer (Der Prophet Isaias, p. 3 ff.), de Hummelauer (In 1 Kings x. 5. Comm. p. 114), and others of less authority. We said that most authors gave this interpretation of Moses’ words; for the explanation of some modern Jews and Judaizers that the prediction refers to the line of prophets only, and in no way to the Messias, cannot claim any probability (cf. Baldensperger, pp. 138 ff.). Not to mention that it is taken as a Messianic prophecy in Acts 3:22, 23; 7:37, and indirectly also in Jo. 1:45; 6:45 f.; 4:25, we must draw attention to the array of Fathers whose names are given in the foregoing lists of Messianic interpretations. To them may be added the testimony of many more Fathers who certainly explain the passage in question as referring to the Messias, though they do not distinctly state whether they limit it to the Messias alone or extend it to other prophets, whether they take it in a literal or a typical sense as Messianic. Among these Fathers are: Tertullian (c. Marc. iv. 22. M. 2, 414), St. Cyprian (Test. adv. Jud., i. 18. M. 4, 688), Lactantius (Instit. div. iv. 17. M. 6, 500), St. Philastr. (Hær. 116. M. 12, 1242), St. Gaudentius (Serm. ix. M. 20, 909), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. xii. 17. M. 33, 744), St. Epiphanius (Hær. xlii.11; Schol. xxvii. ex. ev. Luc.; Schol. viii. ex. ep. ad Gal. M. 41, 744, 777), St. Chrysostom (In Anom. hom. xii. 1; in II Cor. hom. vii. 3. M. 48, 803; lxi. 446), St. Cyril of Alexandria (De adoratione in spiritu et verit., ii. M. 68, 213, 253).

All we have to show, in order to establish our thesis concerning the divinely appointed connection between the ordinary office of teaching in the Old Testament and the prophetic office, is the truth that Moses’ prophecy refers to the whole series of prophets and not only to their common head and fulfilment. Now this is easily shown from the position of the prophecy in Deuteronomy, from its context, and from other information we have about the prophetic office and duty.

γ. ITS LITERAL REFERENCE TO THE PROPHETS.—1. The Mosaic prophecy cannot apply to the Messias alone on account of its position in the Book of Deuteronomy. After reminding the people in the second Deuteronomic treatise of its duties towards God (Deut. 12:1–16:17), the writer naturally passes on to the duties towards those who take God’s place in regard to the people (16:18–18:22), and then considers its duties towards its neighbor (19:1–22:30). Among those who take God’s place Moses treats first of the civil authorities, the judges (16:18–17:13) and the kings (17:14–20); then he considers the religious authorities, the Levites and the priests (18:1–8), and the prophets (18:9–22). Those authors who restrict the Mosaic prophecy to the Messias alone destroy this clear and beautiful arrangement of Deuteronomy.

2. The Mosaic prophecy cannot refer to the Messias alone on account of its context in Deuteronomy. The reason why God so much insists on avoiding all the abominations of the nations is the fact that he will raise up a prophet out of the people’s brethren, whom any one may consult whenever occasion offers to do so. And how can this promise be said to be fulfilled, if the prophet was no one but the Messias? Surely, the people could not have recourse to him in their daily needs for all the centuries that passed between the time of Moses and the coming of Christ. Again, God promises to give in the prophet what the people had asked for on Mount Sinai. Now the people had not asked for the Messias, but for some one to interpret for them the will of their divine master, i.e., for a prophet. The same may be seen from the opposition between the true and the false prophets. Had the criterion of the true prophet applied to the Messias alone, the first prophet whose predictions happened to be verified might have claimed the right of the Messiasship (cf. Jer. 28:7–9; 3 Kings 22:28).

3. All we know of the duties and the rights of the prophets agrees perfectly with the opinion that the prophets were divinely constituted as the ordinary teachers of Israel. God himself elects them (Jer. 6:17; 29:15; 1:7; 7:25; 25:4; Is. 6:8; Am. 2:11; 7:15); they are the officially recognized persons to be consulted in the daily difficulties of life, and they are real lawgivers (Matt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:40; 1 Kings 10:25); God himself puts his words into their mouth (Is. 51:16; 59:21; 1:10; 28:14; 39:5; 52:6; 16:13; 37:22; 42:19; Jer. 1:9; 5:14; 2:4, 31; 7:2; 19:2; 26:2; Ezech. 17:21; 21:22), in such a manner that all are bound to obey the prophet under pain of the greatest punishments (3 Kings 20:35; 4 Kings 17:13; 2 Par. 36:15 f.; Am. 7:16 f.).

c. The Prophets were the Ordinary Teachers.—Hence the prophets were the ordinary preachers of morals and of religion, the ordinary expounders of the Mosaic law both ritual and ethical, and consequently they may be said to have held the pastoral office in Israel. No doubt they had God’s special assistance in the performance of their arduous duties, and when the occasion required it God enlightened their understanding in regard to the future fate of their nation and the character of their coming redeemer. And since the prophetic gift is not a “charisma gratum faciens,” but a “charisma gratis datum”—in other words, since their prophetic gift was vouchsafed to the prophets for the benefit of others, God moved also their will efficaciously that they might communicate, either in writing or by word of mouth, the light which they had received. In prophecy we have, therefore, all the elements required to constitute inspiration strictly so called, and besides we find there divine revelation in the strict acceptation of the word.

Exception Answered.—It may be asked, How could God permit the prophets to become extinct, if he had ordained them as the ordinary teaching officials of the Jewish nation? There are several answers to the difficulty: a. The Jews after returning from the Babylonian exile were less prone to idolatry than they had been in the earlier period of their history. For though we find them at times negligent in their religious duties, we never again see them given to the worship of false gods. b. The revealed doctrine needed to prepare the chosen people for the future teaching of Christ was completed at the time of the Babylonian exile, so that no new inspired teachers were required to pronounce on the truth of any newly-taught doctrine. The scribes, who took their rise after the return of the nation from Babylon, were fully sufficient to guard whatever had been revealed together with its traditional commentaries (cf. Joseph, c. App. i. 8; 1 Mach. 4:46; 9:27; 14:41; Eccli. 36:17 Greek text).

Hence we need not on this account abandon our thesis that the prophets were the ordinary teachers of the Israelites in matters of faith and morals; nor need we say that after the exile the prophets were silent for fear of the Gentiles (Hengstenberg), nor that then they did not feel the need of redemption (Grimm, Öhler), nor that historical and didactic literature absorbed all the Jewish activity (Schürer), nor that the Law was felt to be a sufficient revelation (Holtzmann), nor that the intellectual faculty of the people had been developed too greatly to admit of prophecies (Winer, Realwörterb. ii. p. 283; cf. Cornely, Introd. II. ii. pp. 282 ff.; Baldensperger, “Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu,” pp. 69 ff.; Schürer, “The Jewish People,” II. ii. pp. 129 ff.).

d. Prophetic Influence in the State.—As a natural consequence it follows that the prophets were a political power in the state. Strong in the safeguard of their religious character, they were able to serve as a counterpoise to the royal authority when wielded even by an Achab. But their political importance extended farther still; they were the preachers of patriotism—a patriotism founded on religious motives. To the subject of the theocracy the enemy of the nation was the enemy of God, the traitor to the commonwealth was a traitor to Jehovah; the political enemy was a representative of moral evil, while the political capital, Jerusalem, was the centre of the kingdom of God—“the city of our God, the mountain of holiness; beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, the city of the great king.”

e. Secondary Functions of the Prophets.—Besides all this the prophets were the national annalists and historians. A great portion of Isaias, Jeremias, Daniel, Jonas, and of Aggeus is directly or indirectly history. And finally, to complete the political importance of the prophets, they served as the nation’s poets. It has already been mentioned that music and poetry, chants and hymns, were a main part of the studies of the class from which, generally speaking, the prophets were chosen. Hence, not only the songs of the prophetic writings, but even their narrative and instructive parts, are poetical or breathe the spirit of poetry. It may be safely stated that had the prophets’ directions and counsels on political matters been heeded, had not the kings sought their selfish ends instead of the national welfare, and had the people paid less attention to the false prophets, the fate of the Hebrew commonwealth would have been far different from what it really proved to be.

4. PROPHETS AND PRIESTS.—It may throw more light on the nature of the prophetic office if we compare it with some of the other divinely appointed dignities of the Jewish community. And first of all, it must be well remembered that the prophetic calling differed essentially from the priestly rank. The latter consisted in learning the Law and applying it to the ritual and the legal questions (Mal. 2:7; Lev. 10:11; Deut. 33:9, 10; 24:8; Agg. 2:11; Ezech. 44:23, 24). We may even suppose that the written law and the oral traditions were perpetuated by means of the priesthood (Deut. 17:9; cf. 31:6). If we, therefore, find that several priests, such as Jeremias, Ezechiel, Zacharias, and even Levites, such as Hanan and perhaps Habacuc, appear as prophets, we may rightly infer that the priestly and the Levitical state were a fit preparation for the divine call to the prophetic office, though both were essentially distinct functions. Preaching as such had no representative part in the temple-service, during which only a few passages of Scripture were read as a ceremonial accompaniment. It is only after the Babylonian exile that preaching and reading were introduced into the synagogue-service as a regular part of the divine worship. The priests as such were to offer sacrifices, the prophets as such had to preach and to teach the Jewish people.

a. They are Distinct.—It is true that while the priests attend to the letter of the Law and its application to the sacrificial service, the prophets attend more to its spirit, and infuse its moral precepts into the daily life of the people. They generally insist on obedience to the will of God as revealed in the Law, and their exhortations dwell less on the external precepts of the Law than on its substance (cf. Robertson Smith, “The Old Testament in the Jewish Church,” New York, 1890, pp. 285 ff.). They speak loudly against the dead works not vivified by the spirit, they pour out bitter sarcasm against fasts and ceremonies (Os. 6:6; Jer. 7:21–23; Joel 2:13; Is. 58). It has been well said that the prophets were the conscience of the Jewish state. For as in man conscience applies the law written in the human heart to single actions, so did the prophets apply the Law kept by the priests to the individual acts of the Israelite.

b. Not Opposed to Each Other.—But it does not follow from all this that there was an opposition between the priesthood and the prophetic order. When Osee (4:4) wishes to draw a vivid picture of the people’s depravity, he says: “But yet let not any man judge: and let not a man be rebuked: for thy people are as they that contradict the priest.” “Such is the spirit,” says Monsieur Lehir (p. 552), “which lives in all the prophets. If in their invectives against vice they at times name the priests together with the people, it is the great respect for that exalted dignity that inspires them. The more venerable the office is, the more culpable are in the prophets’ eyes those who profane it by their dissolute manners. If, again, they predict a new priesthood, a holier and more spiritual religion than was that of the synagogue, we in our days speak in the same way when we treat of our heavenly home. The prophets well knew that God brings his work to its ultimate perfection by a continuous process of development, and that a more perfect state must follow the preceding less perfect.”

5. PROPHETS AND KINGS.—There have been attempts to make Jesus Christ a thorough republican, opposed to all the pretensions, just or unjust, of monarchy. In the same way have the Jewish prophets been represented as opposed to the principle of Hebrew monarchy. Perhaps it may be well to let Reuss (Les Prophètes,, pp. 37, 38) explain the state of the question: “Many have believed, or still believe, that the prophets were democrats in the strict sense of the word, i.e., were on principle opposed to royalty. They contrast the monarchy as instituted by men with the theocracy, as if the two were incompatible. They arm themselves with a text about Samuel (1 Kings 8), wholly misunderstood, and with a stray passage from the books of Kings, in which one or another prince is the object of blame uttered precisely from a religious point of view; finally, they appeal to certain encounters between such a prophet and such a representative of the civil authority. It is hard to understand how this prejudice can continue in spite of all the facts that contradict it. We find, it is true, among the Israelites local or municipal democratic institutions; but they have existed before and independently of the prophets, and the whole Jewish nation as such has never formed a republic, unless that name be given to a state of things in which there is no government at all. The East has never, as a general rule, known any form of a regular government except the monarchy—an autocratic and despotic monarchy. No prophet, whether of those whose deeds are recorded in authentic writings or of any other class, has ever preached the upsetting of the throne in the interest of an entirely new constitution. On the contrary, the prophets have been the first writers, if we may apply that expression to the prophets, who have conceived and proclaimed the principle of governmental legitimacy; and if, in either of the two kingdoms formed after the breaking up of David’s monarchy a prophet has in consequence of the perpetual revolutions embraced the side of one pretender against another, or that of the usurper against the legitimate heir to the crown, this way of acting had other causes, and was in no way a profession of democracy (4 Kings 9). If one is bent on giving this name to the courage with which they pleaded the cause of the poor, the oppressed, the victims of misdirected justice, against an aristocracy of monopolists and usurers, we shall not quarrel about the expression though it is not correct. Nor is the name applied more fittingly to the good sense with which the prophets inveigh against the deplorable policy of exhausting the last resources of the land in order to make warlike preparations, ridiculously insufficient, against the forces of the neighboring powers between which the Israelites were inclosed. The prophets were politicians, not intent on recommending one form of government rather than another, but on reforming the spirit of the government in general; on giving new force to the principles of right, justice, prudence, social morality—principles which were sanctioned by the religious idea that had come from God himself,—and on opposing all that might lead the nation to its ruin” (cf. W. R. Smith, “The O. T. in the Jewish Church,” pp. 349 f.).

6. THE PROPHETS AND THE PENTATEUCH.—After considering the relation of the prophets to the priesthood and to the kings, we must add a word about their relation to the Pentateuchal law. According to the latest view of the critical school, the representatives of which are Wellhausen, Reuss, Maurice Vernes, Robertson Smith, Graf, and others, the traditionary view of the relation between the prophets and the Pentateuch must be inverted. Edersheim (Prophecy and History in Relation to the Messiah, New York 1885, pp. x. f.) states the question thus: “Whether the state of religious belief in Israel was as we had hitherto imagined, or quite different; whether, indeed, there were any Mosaic institutions at all, or else the greater part of what we call such, if not the whole, dated from much later times—the central and most important portion of them from the Exile; whether, in short, our views on all these points have to be completely changed, so that instead of the Law and the Prophets we should have to speak of the Prophets and the Law; and instead of Moses and the Prophets, of the Prophets and the Priests; and the larger part of the Old Testament literature should be ascribed to Exilian and post-Exilian times, or bears the impress of their falsifications—these are some of the questions which now engage theological thinkers, and which on the negative side are advocated by critics of such learning and skill as to have secured, not only on the Continent, but even among ourselves, a large number of zealous adherents.”

a. Importance of this Question.—Such an inverted relation between the Pentateuch and the Prophets carries along with it the most important consequences. The ancient religion of Israel was nothing but a form of natural religion, as barbarous and cruel as the religious systems of the heathen nations living around Israel. The question about human sacrifices, about the Baal-worship, and about all kindred subjects, must in this case be rediscussed. The prophets are so many self-appointed, religious enthusiasts, and what are called fulfilled prophecies are simply a mistake. “Even without their aid,” says Professor Kuenen (Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, pp. 589 f.), “polytheism would perhaps have made way for the recognition and the worship of one only God.” Still, the professor thinks it doubtful whether the monotheism of the people, not of the philosophers, would in that case have been ethical. Israel is therefore indebted for its dogmatic tenets concerning God and man’s relation to God, and for its moral principles, to the activity and the enthusiasm of the prophets, while it owes its ritual constitution and its ceremonial code to the influence of the priests. The prophets made Israel worship Jehovah and observe the moral law; the priests, presupposing the prophetic work, added all the regulations which determined the mode of worship.

b. Smith’s View.—Robertson Smith (The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, New York, 1890, pp. 305 f.) expresses his views in this way: “The Hebrews before the Exile knew a twofold Torah, the Torah of the priests and that of the prophets. Neither Torah corresponds with the present Pentateuch. The prophets altogether deny to the law of sacrifice the character of positive revelation; their attitude to questions of ritual is the negative attitude of the ten commandments, content to forbid what is inconsistent with the true nature of Jehovah, and for the rest to leave matters to their own course. The priests, on the contrary, have a ritual and legal Torah which has a recognized place in the state; but neither in the old priestly family of Eli nor in the Jerusalem priesthood of the sons of Zadok did the rules and the practice of the priests correspond with the finished system of the Pentateuch.… The Levitical ordinances, whether they existed before the Exile or not, were not yet God’s word to Israel at that time. For God’s word is the expression of his practical will. And the history and the prophets alike make it clear that God’s will for Israel’s salvation took quite another course.”

c. Influence on the Historical Books.—It hardly needs to be stated that according to this hypothesis the historical books too must be arranged and explained in a way different from the traditional view. To give a full explanation of the critical analysis applied to them by the critics would be out of the scope of the present Introduction to the Messianic Prophecies. Still the mention of the critical analysis cannot be entirely omitted, since many of the interpretations given by the critics are based on their view of the historical books. “The historical books of the Old Testament,” says Professor Driver (Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, New York, 1892, pp. 2 ff.), “form two series: one consisting of the books from Genesis to II Kings, embracing the period from the creation to the release of Jehoiachin from his imprisonment in Babylon, B.C. 562; the other comprising the books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, beginning with Adam and ending with the second visit of Nehemiah to Jerusalem in B.C. 432. Though differing from each other materially in scope and manner of treatment, these two series are nevertheless both constructed upon a similar plan: no entire book in either series consists of a single original work; but older writings or sources have been combined by a compiler in such a manner that the points of juncture are often plainly discernible, and the sources are in consequence capable of being separated from one another. The authors of the Hebrew historical books—except the shortest, as Ruth and Esther—do not, as a modern historian would do, rewrite the matter in their own language; they excerpt from the sources at their disposal such passages as are suitable to their purpose, and incorporate them in their work, sometimes adding matter of their own, but often (as it seems) introducing only such modifications of form as are necessary for the purpose of fitting them together, or accommodating them to their plan.” And later on (pp. 6 ff.) the author applies his general principles to the book of Genesis in particular: “As soon as the book is studied with sufficient attention, phenomena disclose themselves which show incontrovertibly that it is composed of distinct documents or sources, which have been welded together by a later compiler or redactor into a continuous whole. These phenomena are very numerous, but they may be reduced in the main to the two following heads: (1) The same event is doubly recorded; (2) The language, and frequently the representation as well, varies in different sections.… The sections homogeneous in style and character with [Gen.] 1:1–2:4 a recur at intervals, not in Genesis only, but in the following books to Josue inclusive; and when disengaged from the rest of the narrative, and read consecutively, are found to constitute a nearly complete whole, containing a systematic account of the origins of Israel, treating with particular minuteness the various ceremonial institutions of the ancient Hebrews, and displaying a consistent regard for chronological and other statistical data, which entitles it to be considered as the framework of our present Hexateuch. This source or document has received different names suggested by one or other of the various characteristics attaching to it.… More recently by Wellhausen, Kuenen, and Delitzsch it has been called the Priests’ Code. This last designation is in strictness applicable only to the ceremonial sections in Exodus-Numbers; these, however, form such a large and characteristic portion of the work that the title may not unsuitably be extended so as to embrace the whole; and it may be represented conveniently, for the sake of brevity, by the letter P2.… The parts of Genesis which remain after the separation of P have next to be considered. These also, as it seems, are not homogeneous in structure. Especially from c. 20 onwards the narrative exhibits marks of composition; and the component parts, though not differing from one another in diction and style so widely as either differs from P, and being so welded together that the lines of demarcation between them frequently cannot be fixed with certainty, appear nevertheless to be plainly discernible. Thus in 20:1–17, our attention is arrested by the use of the term God (Elohim), while in c. 18, 19 (except 19, 29), and in the similar narrative 12:10–20, the term Jehovah is uniformly employed. For such a variation in similar and consecutive chapters no plausible explanation can be assigned except diversity of authorship. At the same time the fact that Elohim is not here accompanied by the other criteria of P’s style forbids our assigning the sections thus characterized to that source. It seems thus that the parts of Genesis which remain after the separation of P are formed by the combination of two narratives, originally independent, though covering largely the same ground, which have been united by a subsequent editor, who also contributed inconsiderable additions of his own into a single, continuous narrative. One of these sources, from its use of the name Jahweh, is now generally denoted by the letter J; the other, in which the name Elohim is preferred, is denoted similarly by E; and the work formed by the combination of the two is referred to by the double letters J E.”

d. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers.—Traces of the same sources are found in the books Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, with the exception of Lev. 17–26, which seems to spring from a different origin, and has been denoted by the letter H on account of its special laws of holiness. As to Deuteronomy, its structure is relatively simple, and bears the marks of being the work of a single author, who has taken as the basis of his discourses partly the narrative and laws of JE as they exist in the previous books of the Pentateuch, partly laws derived from other sources, and who also towards the end of his work has incorporated extracts from JE, recording incidents connected with the death of Moses. One of the final redactors of the Pentateuch has likewise towards the end of the book introduced notices of P relating to the same occasion. Finally, the book of Josue is said to be a continuation of the documents used in the formation of the Pentateuch. In c. 1–12 the sources JE are mainly used, while in the subsequent chapters 1324 the work of P predominates, being expanded by a Deuteronomic editor, who may be called D2.

e. Chronological Order of Sources.—If it be asked what is the chronological order and the relative position of the various sources, it must be confessed that not all the critics are at one on these points. The more commonly received opinion concerning the age is the following: J is placed between 850 and 800 B.C., E about 750 B.C., D between 695 and 621 B.C., JED about 600 B.C.; the Priests’ Code follows the time of Ezechiel, who began the writing of the ceremonial law in c. 40–48; P1 or H (Lev. 17–26) was formed after Ezechiel’s manner, and the historical portion seems to have been added to H according to the narrative of JE, but according to the conception of Esdras (444 B.C.). The last redactor compiled out of all these documents what may be called the Magna Charta of Israel, between the years 444 and 280 B.C. Hence the Hexateuch, according to this view, may be represented:

 

f. The Hexateuch a Development of Prophetic Doctrine.—Ezechiel’s influence on the Priests’ Code has already been mentioned. Still, in view of the principles which predominate in it, and in contradistinction to the Priests’ Code, JE is said to constitute the prophetical narrative of the Hexateuch. Deuteronomy is styled a prophetic reformulation and adaptation to new needs of an older legislation. It appears, therefore, that, far from giving a legal standing to the prophets, the Hexateuch is nothing but a development of the prophetic teaching [cf. H. Hupfeld, Die Quellen der Genesis, 1853; H. Ewald, History of Israel (3d ed. 1864 ff.; transl. Longmans, 1869 ff.); K. H. Graf, Die geschichtlichen Bücher des A. T., 1866; Nöldeke, Die alttestamentliche Literatur, 1868; Untersuchungen zur Kritik des A. T., 1869; J. Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs in the Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie, XXI. (1876) pp. 392–450; 531–602; XXII. pp. 407–479; Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bücher des A. T., 1889; Geschichte Israel’s, I. 1878, reprinted as Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israel’s, 1883 ff., and translated as History of Israel (A. and C. Black, 1885); Ed. Reuss, La Bible (transl. with notes and Introductions), vol. i. pp. 1–271; F. Delitzsch, 12 Pent. kritische Studien in the Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchl. Leben, 1880; Urmosäisches im Pent., ibid. 1882, pp. 113 ff., pp. 226 ff., p. 281 ff., pp. 337 ff., p. 449 ff., pp. 561 ff., also 1888, pp. 119 ff.; A. Kuenen, Bijdragen tot de critick van Pent. en Josua in the Theol. Tijdschrift, xi.–xviii.; W. R. Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, 1881, especially lectures viii.–xii.; W. H. Green, Moses and the Prophets, New York, 1883; The Hebrew Feasts in their Relation to Recent Critical Hypotheses concerning the Pentateuch, London, 1886; David Castelli, La Legge del Populo Ebreo, 1884; R. Kittel, Geschichte der Hebräer, i. 1888; Prof. W. R. Harper, Hebraica, Oct. 1888, pp. 18–73.; July, 1889, pp. 243–291; Oct. 1889, pp. 1–48, etc.; Prof. Green, Hebraica, Jan.–April, 1889, pp. 137 ff.; Jan.–March, 1890, pp. 109, ff.; April, 1890, pp. 161 ff.; Delitzsch, Comm. on Genesis, pp. 1–38; A. Dillmann, Die Genesis, 3d ed. 1886; Ex. und Lev., 1880; Num., Deut. und Jos., 1886; Eb. Schrader’s edition (the eighth) of De Wette’s Einleitung, 1873; Ed. Reuss, Die Geschichte der Heiligen Schriften A. T., 1881; A. Kuenen, Hist. crit. Onderzoek naar het Ontstaan en de Verzameling van de Boeken des Ouden Verbonds, 2d ed. i. i. 1885 (translated under the title The Hexateuch, Macmillan, 1886); E. C. Bissel, The Pentateuch: its Origin and Structure, 1885; Ed. Riehm, Einleitung in das A. T., 1889 (published posthumously)].

g. The Historical Hypothesis is Unsound.—α. THE COMPOSITION IS IMPOSSIBLE.—Having thus far stated, as far as the present work demands it, the historical hypothesis of the recent school of criticism, we must draw the attention of the reader to a few considerations that seem to us to undermine the very foundation of our opponents’ position. It evidently involves a double statement: First, the Pentateuch consists of several documents that have been welded into one; secondly, the documents thus used either are of prophetic origin or date from the time after the first prophets had fulfilled their mission. It must be remembered that even if the first of these statements were true, it would not oppose our position regarding the relation between the prophets and the Pentateuch. For of itself it does not necessitate that we should deny to the Pentateuch its Mosaic origin. If what Wellhausen says is true regarding the composition of the Pentateuch, it is equally true that no other book was ever composed in this manner. In the composition of a work many sources may be used and many authorities quoted, yet literary history would be searched in vain for another patchwork of the kind in which half a dozen or more books are cut up and pieced together in so cunning a manner. From a purely literary standpoint, then, the story of the Pentateuch, as told by the modern critics, is not only unparalleled, but antecedently improbable (cf. Edersheim, “Prophecy and History,” New York, 1885, p. 51).

β. LANGUAGE.—Besides all this, neither the language and style nor the subject-matter and the principles of the Pentateuch prove such a composite nature of the work. As to the language, the alleged proofs for the documentary hypothesis, as it may be called, rest principally on the varied use of the divine names and of the pronoun of the first person singular. Now both have been sufficiently explained without a recurrence to the varied authorship. Delitzsch has pointed out that the various divine names denote God from various points of view: Elohim is God in as far as he creates and preserves nature; El Shadday is God in as far as he is superior to the laws of nature, whom nature has to obey apparently against its own laws—the God of miracles; Jahveh is God in reference to the supernatural order—the God of revelation and of grace. Nor is the proof drawn from the various forms of the pronoun of the first person singular any more conclusive. It must be kept in mind, as Boettcher (Lehrbuch der Hebräischen Sprache, 1866–1868, sect. 858) has maintained, that “anokhi” and “ani” occur nearly with equal frequency in the ancient Hebrew language, with this difference, that the longer form is used in quiet and stately style, while the shorter word stands in emphatic and lively speech. Since, therefore, the portions that are said to make up the Priests’ Code contain for the most part legal enactments and other material of a kindred character, it is not at all surprising that the shorter form of the pronoun is almost exclusively used in them. But even supposing that we could not thus account for the various use of the divine names and of the various forms of the pronoun, it must be remembered that all the portions of the Pentateuch in which a similar usage of divine names and pronouns prevails pieced together will not constitute entire treatises.

γ. STYLE OF THE DOCUMENTS.—The argument of our opponents, which is based on the difference of style in the various documents of which the Pentateuch is said to consist, is rendered ineffective by the very position of the learned critics. In their analysis of the Pentateuch they frequently divide not only chapter from chapter, but verse from verse, and clause from clause, so that only minute fragments remain as the constituents of the different documents. Now no literary critic can pretend to judge the style of an author from scraps and bits, picked more or less at random from his work. And if at times there are any lengthier portions entirely assigned to any one author, it must be remembered that the critics first of all assign the various parts of the Pentateuch to various authors on account of the varieties of style which they find in them, and then they cry “miracle” if they find a variety of style in the various imaginary documents. Any historical work, even of the most recent date, may according to this method be divided into various documents according to the variety of style found in its narrative, descriptive, and statistic chapters.

δ. ALLEGED REPETITIONS, CONTRADICTIONS, ETC.—When our opponents speak of repetitions, contradictions, and parallel passages in the Pentateuch, and infer from their existence a variety of authorship, it must be remembered that if this difficulty did exist, the proposed documentary hypothesis would not explain it. The variety of redactors involved in the making up of the Pentateuch, as viewed by the critics, cannot be supposed to have overlooked the above-mentioned difficulties any more than a single author can be said to have written them. And if the redactors were capable enough to piece together the various documents in such a masterly way as the documentary hypothesis demands, they were also able to omit or correct any contradictory statements, and to expunge bare repetitions of the same narrative. A detailed answer to the single passages advanced against us may be found in any treatise which professedly considers the Pentateuchal question (cf. Ubaldi, Introduct., i. pp. 508 ff.; Cornely, Introduct., part ii. vol. i. pp. 97 ff.; Lamy, Comm. in Gen., pp. 15 ff.; Crelier, La Genèse, pp. xxi. ff.; Vigouroux, Manuel biblique, i. pp. 291 ff.; Flunk, Innsbrucker Zeitschrift, 1885, pp. 595 ff.; Knabenbauer, Stimmen, 1873, iv. pp. 365 ff.; Katholik, i. pp. 162 ff.; Welte, Nachmosaisches, pp. 82 ff.; Kaulen, Einleitung, pp. 167 ff.; Zschokke, Hist. Sacra A. T., pp. 547 ff.; Green, Hebraica, 1889, pp. 137 ff.; 1890, pp. 109 ff.; 161 ff.; Hengstenberg, Authentie des Pentateuchs, i. pp. 181–414; ii. pp. 346–442; Keil, Handbuch der Einleitung, i. 2, pp. 58 ff; Lehrbuch der Einleitung, 3d ed. pp. 140 ff.).

ε. HISTORICAL ARGUMENT.—If our critical opponents wish to proceed logically against us, they must base the whole weight of their argument on historical grounds, showing that historically speaking the Pentateuch cannot have antedated the time of the prophets. For we have shown already that what they say about the literary analysis of the Pentateuch and its multiple authorship may be admitted even by Catholics, provided they admit Moses as the principal and final redactor. Now speaking from a merely historical point of view, there are certain incontrovertible facts pointing to the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch which ought to be explained satisfactorily before the post-Mosaic authorship is maintained as a thesis. The testimony of Christ and of the apostles ascribes the Pentateuch to the great Hebrew legislator, and Jewish and Christian tradition alike name Moses as the author of the Pentateuch (cf. Mark 12:26; Luke 24:44, Matt. 8:4; Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14; Matt. 19:8; Mark 7:10; 10:15; Luke 20:37; John 19:22; 5:45–47; Acts 15:13; 2 Cor. 3:15; Heb. 9:19; Luke 2:22; John 1:17; Acts 28:23; Rom. 9:15; 1 Cor. 9:9; Heb. 7:14; Mal. 4:4; Dan. 9:11, 13; 1 Esdr. 3:2; 6:18; 2 Esdr. 8:1 ff.; 8:1 ff.; 1 Par. 16:40; 2 Par. 7:9; 4 Kings 17:23; 14:16; Joseph. de Bello Jud. ii. 8, 9; c. App. i. 8; Matt. 19:7; 22:24; 12:19; John 8:5; Acts 15:5, etc.). Besides, the Pentateuch itself bears witness that Moses wrote a book of the Law which he is said to have delivered to the keeping of the priests (Ex. 17:14; 24:4; 7; 34:27; Num. 33:1–2; Deut. 17:18 ff.; 28:58–61; 29:20, 21; 30:10; 31:9, 14). And again, there are unmistakable traces in the Pentateuch of its having been written in the desert, by an author who was better acquainted with Egypt and its conditions than with Palestine and its geography and history (cf. Laacher, Stimmen, 1873, iv. pp. 212–219; Smith, The Pentateuch, pp. 280–375; Scholz, Aegyptol. und die BB. Mos., Würzburg, 1818; Vigouroux, La Bible et les Decouvert. mod., Paris, 1879, i. p. 337; ii. p. 302; Hengstenberg, Die BB. Moses und Aegypten, Berlin, 1841; Ebers, Aegypten und die BB. Moses, Leipzig; Contemporary Review, London, 1879, p. 758; Gesenius, Geschichte der Heb. Sprache, Leipzig, 1815; pp. 19 ff.; Jahn, Beiträge ap. Bengel’s Arch., ii. pp. 585 ff.; iii. pp. 168 ff.). The numerous passages of the Pentateuch on which this statement rests will be found in the authors indicated, and at the same time there will be found a satisfactory answer to all the difficulties raised against us by the critical school. In point of fact, all the much-vaunted historical difficulties based on the late evolution of the feasts, the sacrifices, and the place of worship disappear as soon as the scriptural account, contained in the historical books, is read without prejudice. The numerous references and allusions to the law which we find in the prophetic writings can hardly be disposed of satisfactorily, unless we grant the prior existence of the Pentateuch: cf., e.g., Amos 2:10 and Gen. 25:26; 28:11; 32:24; Amos 3:1, 14 and Gen. 15:16; Amos 2:11, 12 and Ex. 27:2; 30:10; Lev. 4:7; Amos 4:4, 5 and Numb. 6:1–21; Amos 2:4 and Numb, 28:3, 4; Deut. 14:28; Lev. 2:11; 7:12, 13; 22:18–21; Deut. 12:6; Mich. 7:14 and Gen. 3:14; Mich. 7:20 and the promises made to Abraham and Jacob; Mich. 6:4, 5 and the Exodus as happening under the leadership of Moses, Aaron, Mary, and also the fruitless attempt of Balac to have Balaam curse Israel. Similar allusions to the Pentateuchal books are found in Isaias (5:24; 29:12; 30:9), in Osee (4:6; 2:15; 6:7; 12:3, 4; 11:1; 8:1, 12), and in Jeremias (compare Jer. 2:6 with Deut. 8:15; Numb. 14:7, 8; 35:33, 34; Lev. 18:25–28; Jer. 2:28 with Deut. 32:37; 4:4; 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 5:15 with Deut. 28:31, 48); in the latter prophet we find such a similarity with Deuteronomy that several critics have made him the author or at least the redactor of that book. In one single passage of Ezechiel, 22:7–12, there are no less than twenty-nine verbal citations from the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy; in the 26th verse of the same 22 chapter there are not less than four references to the Pentateuch. In chapters 16, 18, 20 the prophet Ezechiel rehearses God’s special love for Israel and the people’s obstinacy towards God according to the narrative of the Pentateuch. Not to multiply similar instances indefinitely, it seems plain from what has been said that the Pentateuch has rather inspired the prophets than that the latter have gradually developed the Pentateuch.

ζ. OSEE’S TESTIMONY.—As if he had foreseen the hypothesis of the critical school of to-day, the prophet Osee seems to settle the matter under discussion beyond all the limits of any reasonable doubt. Even our opponents grant that the prophet lived before the time of King Josias, and therefore before the finding of the law in the temple, 622 B.C. Now in spite of all this, the prophet writes, 8:12: “I shall write to him my manifold laws, which have been accounted as foreign.” It is true that Reuss explains the expression “my manifold laws” as applying to the prophecies, but he must surely grant that his interpretation has no single parallel passage in the Old Testament to sustain it. Even the instances in Isaias (1:10; 8:16; 8:20; 42:4, 21), in which according to some scholars the word law is said to signify prophecy, are by Schrader, as Delitzsch testifies, granted to point to an existent law. Besides all this, the expression in Osee hardly admits such a reference to prophecies. For it reads “my manifold laws, which the prophet could have hardly said of his own prophecies. And since at his time the Pharisees had not yet imposed their countless exactions on the people, an unwritten law would have been rather simple than manifold, so that at that period there must have existed a written divine law. It is inexplicable how all notice of such a written divine law should have perished; hence we must infer that the prophet Osee knew the same written law which is known to us, and which is preserved in the Pentateuch.

7. THEOLOGY OF THE PROPHETS.—a. View of God.—To complete our idea of the Israelite prophets we must add something about their views of God and man, i.e., about their theology and their anthropology. In general it may be said that the doctrinal element of the prophets is intermediate between the Law and the Gospel, being in advance of the former, and less complete than the latter (cf. Elliott, “Old Test. Prophecy,” New York, 1889, p. 44). It positively asserts the existence of one eternal, self-conscious, intelligent, moral, and free Being, who does all things according to the purpose of his will (Is. 44:6; 42:6; 43:10–13; 44:6–8; 40:5, 18; 48:12; Dan. 3:93; 5:18, 21; Is. 6:3; Habac. 3:3; Is. 1:4; 5:19, 24; 10:17, 21; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19, 23; 30:11, 12, 15; 41:14; 43:3, 14; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; Os. 11:9, etc.). It ascribes to him all the attributes in infinite perfection, and is at the same time, more or less, a commentary upon the doctrine of divine providence, by ascribing the future event which it announces to a dispensation in which the Creator is present through the directive influence of his power and the counsel of his wisdom; appointing the issues of futurity as well as foreseeing them; acting with his mighty hand and outstretched arm, seen or unseen; ruling in the kingdom of men, and ordering all things in heaven and earth (Jer. 10:16; Is. 44:25; Dan. 14:4; Jer. 10:11; Is. 45:18; Jon. 1:9; Jer. 32:17; Is. 37:16; 45:18 ff.; Dan. 3:57 ff.; Is. 45:12; Zach. 12:1; Mal. 2:10; Is. 43:7; Jer. 10:23; 18:6; Dan. 5:23; Jer. 10:13; Amos 3:6; Jer. 1:10; Is. 37:26, etc.).

b. Divine Names.—As to the divine names which the prophets employ, it must be observed that their ordinary appellation is Jahveh, though Elohim is not unknown in their writings (cf. Is. 44:10; 45:22; 46:6, 9; Os. 2:1; Jon. 4:2; Mal. 2:10), and even Elah and El occur (cf. Dan. 3:28; 6:8, 13; 11:36). The expression Jahveh Zebaoth, or a modification of it (Jer. 5:14; 15:16; 38:17; 44:7), occurs frequently, and is usually rendered the Lord of hosts. No doubt the prophets acknowledge God’s power over empires, his supreme rule over the fate of battles and the distribution of victory (Os. 13:9; Zach. 10:5, etc.); in a few passages they most probably understand the expression Jahveh Zebaoth in the sense of Lord of armies (Is. 13:4; 31:4); but if we remember that the phrase “host of the heavens” frequently denotes the multitude of angels (3 Kings 22:19; 2 Par. 18:18; Ps. 102:21; cf. Jos. 5:14), or the sun, the moon, and the stars (Deut. 17:3; 4 Kings 17:16, 21:3 f.; Is. 34:4; 40:26; 45:12; Jer. 32:22; Dan. 8:10), we may safely infer that the expression Jahveh Zebaoth denotes rather the Lord of the heavenly hosts than of earthly armies. And far from confounding the Lord with the heavenly bodies, the prophets rather distinguish God against the gods of their idolatrous neighbors who adored the heavenly bodies as so many deities (cf. Reuss, “Les Prophètes,” i. p. 33; Trochon, Introduction, pp. xlix. ff.).

c. The “Name of the Lord.”—The prophets often employ the expression “the name of the Lord” to designate God himself. We may refer to the following passages as instances of this usage: Mal. 1:6, 11; 2:2; 3:16; Is. 29:23; 52:15; 56:6; Jer. 12:16; 34:16; Bar. 2:32; Ezech. 20:39; 43:7, 8. The “name of the Lord” in this meaning receives all the divine attributes; it is holy, sublime, great, dreadful, worthy of praise, eternally blessed, forever glorious (Is. 57:15; Ezech. 36:20; 34:7, 25; 43:7; Am. 2:7; Is. 52:4; Ezech. 36:23; Mal. 1:11; 1:14; Dan. 3:52; 3:26). Oftener still the prophets use the divine name to signify God’s power in the world, his activity, the revelation by means of which he has communicated with men (Is. 26:8). Again, the name of God is identified with his sanctity (Ezech. 39:7; 43:7, 8; 36:22 ff.; 20:14 f.; 39:25; Is. 60:9), and in other passages with his majesty, his dignity and glory, his saving power, his goodness and mercy, and the authority with which he endows his messengers (Is. 59:19; Dan. 9:15; Jer. 32:20; Bar. 2:11; Dan. 3:26, 34, 43, 52; Is. 48:9; Ezech. 20:9, 14; 22; Jer. 14:21; 36:21; Is. 63:12, 14; 12:4; 24:15; 25:1; Jer. 14:7; Ezech. 20:44; Jer. 20:9, 44:16; Dan. 9:6; Jer. 14:14; 23:25; 29:9, 21, 23).

d. Mystery of the Holy Trinity.—At the same time, the Trinity of persons is at least obscurely implied in the prophetic writings. Emmanuel, the child of the Virgin, is to be the Wonderful, Counsellor, mighty God, Prince of peace, Father of eternity, and the Son of God (Is. 7:14; 9:6, 7; 42:1; Mich. 5:1, 5). In other passages the prophets speak about the spirit of the Lord, to whom they attribute intellect and will, and therefore personality. This spirit speaks to Ezechiel, resuscitates the dead bones, acts on the Cherubim, fills the prophet Micheas with strength, and is predicted to be poured out upon all flesh (Ezech. 1:4–28; 2:2–9; 37:9–14; Mich. 3:8; Joel 2:28, 29). In other passages of the prophetic writings the Trinity seems to be indicated still more clearly. Thus the Lord announces that he has put his spirit upon his servant (Is. 42:1)—a passage necessarily implying three different persons. Again (Is. 48:16) we read: “From the time before it was done, I was there, and now the Lord God hath sent me and his spirit.” Jesus too applies to himself the words of Isaias (61:1): “The spirit of the Lord is upon me: wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of reward” (Luke 4:1, 19). Other passages distinguish the angel of the Lord, or the word of God according to a common interpretation, from the spirit of God (Is. 63:7–10; Agg. 2:5, 6; Ezech. 1:3; Zach. 4:6, etc.). Several Fathers, such as St. Ambrose (De Spiritu Sancto, iii. 21; de fide ad Grat. 4), St. Jerome (In Is. vi. 3), St.Fulgentius (de fide ad Pet. 6), Origen (Hom. 4), St. Cyril, St. Procopius, St. Gregory Naz. (De Paschate), St. John Damasc., St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. Eunom. i)., St. Athanasius (De Incarnatione, c. Arian. n. 10), maintain that there is a vestige of the Holy Trinity in the threefold Holy of the Seraphim as recorded by the prophet Isaias (6:3).

e. Prophetic Anthropomorphism.—If it be objected that the frequent anthropomorphisms of the prophetic writings are signs of their low and imperfect idea of God, it must be remembered that they could not have spoken differently had they wished to do so. The language they used was not capable of expressing abstract and highly spiritual ideas except by image and metaphor. Many of the metaphorical expressions of the prophetic writings are used even to-day without on that account testifying that our ideas of God are low and material. Even we speak of the arm of God, of his eyes, his anger and justice and mercy; nor can we reasonably expect the prophets to be more in advance of their time in purely scientific matters, such as the shape and form of the earth, the constitution of matter, the theory of the stars. In all these points they naturally speak as the men of their day spoke; for the spirit of God did not inspire them in order to advance the world in the sphere of science, but to instruct the human race in the knowledge of salvation (cf. Reuss, Les Prophètes, i. pp. 29 ff.; Zschokke, Theologie der Propheten des alten Testamentes, Freiburg, 1877; Scholz, Handbuch der Theologie des alten Bundes im Lichte des neuen, Regensburg, 1862; Delitzsch, Die biblisch-prophetische Theologie, Leipzig, 1845; Öhler, Theologie des alten Testaments, Tuebingen, 1873; Haag, Théologie biblique, Paris, 1870; Schultz, Alttestamentliche Theologie, Frankfurt, 1869; Duhm, Die Theologie der Propheten, Bonn, 1875).

8. ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE PROPHETS.—a. General Outline.—As to the prophetic anthropology, man is created by God, has a common origin, is endowed with reason, and is capable of attaining sanctity. Though man can make progress, he cannot save himself, but is subject to the rule and law of God, to whom he owes homage and worship. The Decalogue determines man’s obligation to his fellowmen. But by this alone man cannot be saved; faith and hope in God are absolutely necessary to salvation. If man has sinned he must repent in order to regain God’s grace, and without penance the sinner’s destruction is inevitable (Mal. 2:10; Is. 1:18; Ezech. 12:2; Is. 2:3, 4, 5; Jer. 2:22; 13:23; Os. 13:9; Is. 1:19, 20; Ezech. 18:4, 5, 9; 33:11–16; Dan. 4:34, 35; Is. 60:6, 7; Mal. 1:11; 3:10; Habac. 2:4; Is. 26:3, 4; Is. 55:7; Ezech. 36:31; 20:43).

b. Beginning and End.—Man’s beginning and end are also very minutely described by the prophets. God gives the life of man and takes it away. Life itself is extremely frail: it passes away as the flower of the field; men disappear as the flies, and they die as the smoking flax is extinguished. Death is the separation of body and soul; it is a sleep and a rest, though at the same time it is the wages of sin, and general because sin is general. Even the prophets are not exempt from sin or death. Often death is represented as the punishment of personal sin, so that it alone is able to appease the wrath of God. Though death is very bitter, it is at times better than life itself—the recompense, as it may be, of good works and true conversion. An instance of God’s preserving the life of his faithful servants we find in the three youths thrown into the fiery furnace. Personifications of death also occur in the prophetic writings: it has hands, penetrates into the house by any opening, sends desolation through the land, is as insatiable as are the barbarian devastators of the civilized world. Metaphorically death denotes sin, and in this manner the sinner’s conversion is symbolized by the resurrection (Is. 39:1–2, 3; 31:1, 3; 40:6; 37:27; 64:5; 2:22; 51:12; 51:6, 8; 63:17; Jer. 15:9; Is. 53:12; Lam. 2:12; Bar. 2:17; Is. 17:6; Jer. 4:10; Jon. 2:6; Jer. 4:31; Jon. 4:8; Is. 38:17; Jon. 4:2; Jer. 18:18; Jer. 51:39, 57; Dan. 12:2; Is. 14:8, 18; 57:1; Ezech. 31:18; 32:21, 28, 30; Nah. 3:18; Is. 6:5; Zach. 1:5; Is. 22:13, 14; 25:8; Jer. 8:3; 20:14 ff.; Ezech. 19:5–9, 14–20; 18:21, 22; Dan. 3:88; 6:20; 14:21; Habac. 1:12; Dan. 3:88; Jer. 9:20; Os. 13:14; Habac. 2:5; Ezech. 37:11–14; Bar. 3:10, 11).

c. Sheol.—When man’s existence on earth ceases with the death of his body, then his soul descends according to the prophetic writings down into Sheol. Whether we derive the word Sheol from “sha’al” (to ask), or from “shaal” (to dig), is of little consequence. In the one case the meaning of the word agrees with the prophetic idea of Sheol’s insatiability; in the other it gives the equally prophetic idea of Sheol’s being the world below, the land of the lower world, whose inhabitants are called the inhabitants of the dust. At times the word Bor is used instead of Sheol; but it too has the meaning of ditch, abyss. The older prophets place Sheol in opposition to the land of the living; they consider it as a prison surrounded by walls and gates, and furnished with bolts. Often it is only another expression for death. Being essentially a subterraneous place, or a ditch into which man descends, in which he lies down, and whence he can be drawn forth, Sheol is often opposed to the sphere of light: it is the land of darkness, the valley of the shadow of death, the place of obscurity. It has been thought that the state of the soul in Sheol bears analogy to the state of the body in the grave—that, in other words, it suffers the effects of the anger and the judgment of God. Others, on the contrary, see in Sheol the dwelling-place of the Rephaim, i.e., of those that slumber, of the feeble ones, the shades, of the dead—in a word, of those who have been separated from their bodies. All praise of God is interdicted in Sheol, and only the most sombre silence reigns there. All earthly power and grandeur is swallowed up in Sheol’s abyss; the kings of Babylon rest there in company with all those who have died before them. In the description of the destruction of Tyre and of Egypt, Sheol resembles an immense cemetery, a vault holding numberless dead. Whether the fate of all the dead is alike in Sheol is a much discussed problem; on this point as well as on the fact of the future resurrection the prophetic doctrine has been supplemented by the teaching of the Gospels. Still, even Isaias, Ezechiel, and especially Daniel have the idea of a resurrection of the dead. In the last-named prophet (12:2) we read: “And many of these that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach, to see it always” (Is. 5:14; Habac. 2:5; Is. 14:15, 19; 24:22; 38:18; Ezech. 26:20; 31:14, 16; 32:18, 24, 25, 29, 30; Is. 26:19; Ezech. 26:20; 32:18, 24; 44:23; Ezech. 31:11, 16, 18; 26:20; 31:14; Is. 38:10, 11; 14:15; 38:18; 5:14; 14:19; Ezech. 32:23; 26:20; 31:14, 15, 16; 32:18, 21, 24–30; 32:19; Bar. 3:19; Is. 38:17, 18; Jer. 13:16; Lam. 3:6; Is. 24:22; Zach. 9:11; Is. 38:10; Amos 9:2; Is. 5:14; Habac. 2:5; Is. 38:17; 14:9, 10; 26:14, 19; Bar. 2:17; Is. 38:18, 19; 14:10, 11; 63:16; Ezech. 26:20; 31:14–18; 32:18–32; Is. 26:19; Ezech. 37; Os. 13:14; cf. Böttcher, De inferis, rebusque post mortem futuris ex Hebræorum et Græcorum opinionibus, Dresd. 1846; Öhler, Veteris Testamenti sententia de rebus post mortem futuris, 1844; Hahn, De spe immortalitatis sub Veteri Testamento gradatim exculta, 1846; H. Schultz, Veteri Testamento de hominis immortalitate sententia, 1860; T. H. Martin, La vie future, 3d ed., Paris, 1870; Halévy, Comtes rendus de l’Académie des Inscrip. et B. Lettres, 1873, pp. 124–146; Mgr. Freppel, Œvres polemiques, Paris, 1874; Vigouroux, La Bible et les Decouv. modern., 1st ed. ii. pp. 391–464; Rohrbacher, Histoire de l’Église, ed. Palme, i. pp. 543 ff.; Amelineau, Contemporain du ler. mars 1883).

Review.—The teaching of the prophetic books is therefore, as has been stated, midway between the Law and the Gospel. It explains especially the principles of personal sanctity better than they are set forth in the Pentateuch. The prophets do not promise any merely temporal advantage or threaten any merely temporal punishment for the observance or non-observance of the law; their promises and threats regard mostly spiritual goods and the future life. It is true that the purely ceremonial precepts are not in very high esteem with the prophets; but since the law had established the supreme principle to love God with all our heart and all our soul, with our whole strength and our whole mind, the prophets could do nothing else than throw new light on the explanation of this law without attempting to add to its extent. Thus the prophets really acknowledge the Mosaic code of laws with all its rules and prescriptions, and like him whom they predicted in word and act, they did not destroy the law, but fulfilled the same.








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