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

1. CONNECTION OF THE PROPHECIES WITH THE CONTEXT.—The second great division of the second part of Isaias begins with c. 48. The subject of the whole treatise is described in Isaias 40:2: “her iniquity is forgiven,” or “her ransom has been paid.” The first canto treats in general of the second redeemer, the Servant, and of his work, 49:1–26; in the two following cantos the manner and the effects of the redemption are explained. For 50:1–11 shows that the disobedience of Sion will be expiated by the obedience of the Servant’s suffering and death; 51:1–52:12 promises, by way of a dialogue, salvation to the people as an effect of its liberation, and stirs up Sion to the greatest joy. The fifth canto of the third part in the second great division of Isaias, beginning with chapter 58, contains sentiments similar to those contained in the parts just described. After recommending in the first two cantos true internal justice, the prophet goes on recommending to the people the goodly effects of the Messianic reign and their author. Thus it comes to pass that in c. 62:1–12 he excites the people to a desire after the new Jerusalem.

2. THE MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THESE PASSAGES.—a. Rabbinic testimonies: Rabbi Eleazar says: If Israel would repent, they would be redeemed, as it is said, “Return ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” Rabbi Joshua said unto him: “Has it not been already said: ‘You were sold for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money?’ You were sold among the idolators; and you shall be redeemed without money, i.e., without repentance and good works” (cf. Is. 52:3). Talmud, Sanhedrin, fol. 97, col. 2.

Yalkut on Is. 52:7 has the following exposition: “In the hour when the Holy One, blessed be his name, redeems Israel, three days before Messias, comes Elias, and stands upon the mountains of Israel and weeps and mourns for them, and says to them, ‘Ye mountains of the land of Israel, how long shall you stand in a dry and desolate land?’ And his voice is heard from the world’s end to the world’s end, and after that he says to them: ‘Peace has come to the world, peace has come to the world;’ as it is said: ‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.…’ And when the wicked hear it, they rejoice and they say, one to another: ‘Peace has come to us.’ On the second day he shall stand upon the mountains of Israel and shall say: ‘Good has come to the world, good has come to the world;’ for it is said, ‘that bringeth good tidings of good.’ On the third day he shall come and stand upon the mountains of Israel, and say: ‘Salvation has come to the world, salvation has come to the world; for it is said, ‘that publisheth salvation.’ And when he shall see the wicked say so, he will say unto Sion, ‘thy God reigneth.’ ”

b. The text of the passage itself shows its Messianic reference: in 51:4 the prophet announces salvation for all the nations, and that by means of the law and the doctrine. Hence there can be no question here of the liberation through Cyrus. In verse 6 this salvation is represented as everlasting, and therefore must the Saviour mentioned in verse 5 be distinct from Cyrus. The same lasting character of the promised salvation is again inculcated in verse 8, and in verse 14 the liberator must be identified with the Servant of whom there is question in the preceding chapters (49:9; 42:7). The address in verse 16 cannot be directed to any one but the Lord’s Servant: it does not fit the people, and an address to the prophet would require too violent and sudden a transition. The new heavens, of which there is question in verse 16, appear to inaugurate those spoken of in 65:17, which latter evidently refer to the Messianic times (cf. Rom. 8:21; 2 Pet. 3:13). The magnificent promises concerning the new Jerusalem render it impossible to limit c. 62 to the liberation of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity.

Is. 51:1–52:12

Give ear to me, you that follow that which is just, and you that seek the Lord; look unto the rock whence you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you are dug out. Look unto Abraham your father, and to Sara that bore you; for I called him all alone, and blessed him, and multiplied him. The Lord therefore will comfort Sion, and will comfort all the ruins thereof, and he will make her desert as a place of pleasure, and her wilderness as the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of praise. Hearken unto me, O my people, and give ear to me, O my tribe, for a law shall go forth from me, and my judgment shall rest to be a light of the nations. My just one is near at hand, my Saviour is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the peoples; the islands shall look for me, and shall patiently wait for my arm. Lift up your eyes to heaven, and look down to the earth beneath, for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall be worn away like a garment, and the inhabitants thereof shall perish in like manner; but my salvation shall be for ever, and my justice shall not fail. Hearken to me, you that know what is just, my people who have my law in their heart; fear ye not the reproach of men, and be not afraid of their blasphemies. For the worm shall eat them up as a garment, and the moth shall consume them as wool; but my salvation shall be for ever, and my justice from generation to generation.

Arise, arise, put on strength, O thou arm of the Lord; arise as in the days of old, in the ancient generations. Hast not thou struck the proud one, and wounded the dragon? Hast not thou dried up the sea, the water of the mighty deep, who madest the depth of the sea a way, that the delivered might pass over? And now they that are redeemed by the Lord shall return and shall come into Sion singing praises, and joy everlasting shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, I myself will comfort you; who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid of a mortal man, and of the son of man, who shall wither away like grass? And thou hast forgotten the Lord thy maker, who stretched out the heavens, and founded the earth; and thou hast been afraid continually, all the day, at the presence of his fury who afflicted thee; where is now the fury of the oppressor? He shall quickly come that is going to open unto you, and he shall not kill unto utter destruction, neither shall his bread fail. But I am the Lord thy God who trouble the sea, and the waves thereof swell; the Lord of hosts is my name. I have put my words in thy mouth, and have protected thee in the shadow of my hand, that thou mightest plant the heavens, and found the earth, and mightest say to Sion, thou art my people.

Arise, arise, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath; thou hast drunk even to the bottom of the cup of dead sleep, and thou hast drunk even to the dregs. There is none that can uphold her among all the children that she hath brought forth, and there is none that taketh her by the hand among all the children that she hath brought up. There are two things that have happened to thee: who shall be sorry for thee? desolation and destruction, and famine, and the sword; who shall comfort thee? Thy children are cast forth, they have slept at the head of all the ways, as the wild ox that is snared, full of the indignation of the Lord, of the rebuke of thy God. Therefore hear this, thou poor little one, and that art drunk, but not with wine. Thus saith the sovereign the Lord, and thy God, who will fight for his people: Behold, I have taken out of thy hand the cup of dead sleep, the dregs of the cup of my indignation, thou shalt not drink it again any more. And I will put it in the hand of them that have oppressed thee, and have said to thy soul: Bow down that we may go over; and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as a way to them that went over.

Arise, arise, put on thy strength, O Sion, put on the garments of thy glory, O Jerusalem, the city of the Holy One: for henceforth the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no more pass through thee. Shake thyself from the dust, arise, sit up, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from off thy neck, O captive daughter of Sion. For thus saith the Lord: You were sold for naught, and you shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God: My people went down into Egypt at the beginning to sojourn there; and the Assyrian hath oppressed them without any cause at all. And now what have I here? saith the Lord, for my people is taken away for naught. They that rule over them treat them unjustly, saith the Lord, and my name is continually blasphemed all the day long. Therefore my people shall know my name in that day; for I myself that spoke, behold I am here.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace; of him that showeth forth good, that preacheth salvation, that saith to Sion: Thy God shall reign! The voice of thy watchmen: they have lifted up their voice, they shall praise together, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall convert Sion. Rejoice and give praise together, O ye deserts of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath prepared his holy arm in the sight of all the Gentiles, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart, depart, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing: go out of the midst of her, be ye clean, you that carry the vessels of the Lord. For you shall not go out in a tumult, neither shall you make haste by flight, for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will gather you together.

Is. 62

For Sion’s sake, I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest, till her just one come forth as brightness, and her Saviour be lighted as a lamp. And the Gentiles shall see thy just one, and all kings thy glorious one; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be called “Forsaken,” and thy land shall no more be called “Desolate;” but thou shalt be called “My pleasure in her,” and thy land “Inhabited;” because the Lord hath been well pleased with thee, and thy land shall be inhabited. For the young man shall dwell with the virgin, and thy children shall dwell in thee. And the bridegroom shall rejoice over the bride, and thy God shall rejoice over thee.

Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen, all the day and all the night, they shall never hold their peace. You that are mindful of the Lord hold not your peace, and give him no silence till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength: Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thy enemies, and the sons of the strangers shall not drink thy wine, for which thou hast labored. For they that gather it shall eat it and shall praise the Lord; and that bring it together shall drink it in my holy courts. Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people, make the road plain, pick out the stones, and lift up the standard to the peoples. Behold the Lord hath made it to be heard in the ends of the earth, tell the daughter of Sion: Behold thy Saviour cometh; behold his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, “The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord!” But thou shalt be called: “A city Sought after, and not Forsaken.”

Though the Jews may have identified at first the salvation promised by Isaias with that from the Babylonian captivity, they must have seen after their return that these promises regarded a still future Messianic age.

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