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

Section I. I Have Given Thee for a Covenant of the People

IS. 42:1–43:13

1. CONNECTION OF THE PROPHECY WITH ITS CONTEXT.—Ch. 40 forms the introduction to the second great division of Isaias. In the following chapter (41) the prophet dramatically describes a judgment scene. God treats with the nations first about his divine power, proposing to them the perplexing question, “Who hath raised up the just one [Cyrus] from the east, hath called him to follow him?” Surely not the heathen gods, but Jehovah alone (vv. 1–7). After this follows an exhortation to the Israelites, since their people has been chosen as Jehovah’s special servant (vv. 8–20). After this the interrupted judgment scene begins again, Jehovah offering his second proof for his divinity: “Let them come and tell us all things that are to come.…” Jehovah knows the future, which is a sign of the only true God (vv. 21–29). In the following chapter, 42, the prophet treats of the people’s liberation different from that by Cyrus. The latter is described as the ruler of nations, as the conqueror of kings, who will destroy reigns and empires with fire and the sword, and trample upon governors and generals as on the dust of the earth. The other liberator of the people will be meek and kind, and he will be a stranger to all warlike tumult; the oppressed and those that were destined to die he will console and restore to their liberty. Moved by these considerations the prophet breaks forth into a canticle of thanksgiving, after which Jehovah’s approach for the near delivery is again described, the people’s want of correspondence is mentioned, and Cyrus is represented as the ruler of Israel’s enemies. Another judgment scene between Israel and the Gentiles follows; the question is the same as before: which of the two can point to true predictions in proof of the divinity of their God? Israel is Jehovah’s witness.

2. REASONS AGAINST THE MESSIANIC INTERPRETATION OF THE PROPHECY.—a. The LXX. version renders “behold my servant Jacob, … my elect Israel.” Hence that version applies the prediction to the people of Israel. b. The servant here described will be Israel’s liberator from the Babylonian captivity. But the Messias has not effected this liberation. c. The servant is spoken of as present at the time of the prophet. This again evidently excludes the Messias as signified in the prophecies. d. The Messias is commonly represented as the avenger and the defender of the people against their enemies. But the servant here spoken of is described as the teacher of Israel. e. The servant mentioned in Is. 42:1 is identical with the servant in Is. 42:19; but the latter is not the Messias. Hence the former cannot be the Messias. f. The servant mentioned in Is. 43:10 is not generally regarded as the Messias; hence it cannot be maintained that the servant in Is. 42:1 is the Messias, since the two appear to be identical.

3. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PREDICTION.—Notwithstanding these reasons to the contrary, we maintain that in 42:1 ff. the servant is the Messias, and that therefore the passage is Messianic. The same we shall show of Is. 43:10. a. The person described in Is. 42:1 is identical with the subject of Is. 11:2, 9; 9:2, 4; now the latter is evidently the Messias. Hence the servant too must be the Messias. The same conclusion may be reached by comparing Is. 42:1 with Is. 49, where the prophet repeats almost verbatim many characteristics he had attributed to the servant in the former passage. But the subject of Is. 49 is the Messias. Hence the servant of Is. 42:1 is the Messias.

b. The New Testament, too, testifies that the servant mentioned in Is. 42:1 is the Messias. We may refer to Matt. 12:16 ff. to prove what we have said: “And he charged them that they should not make him known, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaias the prophet saying: Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul hath been well pleased.…” The Evangelist is therefore explicit in his interpretation of the prophecy Is. 42:1 ff. The words we read in Luke 2:32 and in Acts 13:46, 47 may allude to Is. 49; but they also closely resemble Is. 42:1 ff.

c. The patristic testimonies in favor of the Messianic explanation of Is. 42:1 ff. may be seen in Reinke’s “Messianische Weissagungen,” ii. p. 8, and references to the patristic passages may be found in Kilber’s Analysis Biblica, i. p. 375. We need not add that this explanation of the passage is common among Catholic commentators, and has been adopted by several Protestant writers (cf. Delitzsch, Nägelsbach, Knobel, Diestel, etc.).

d. The Jewish writers, too, testify that the Synagogue understood the prophecy in a Messianic sense. The Targum renders Is. 42:1: “Behold my servant the Messias, I will bring him near.…” The Midrash on Ps. 2:7 and Yalkut (ii. p. 104 d.) interpret Is. 42:1 Messianically.

e. A word must be added about the identity of the servant in Is. 43:10. Maldonatus, Loch, Rohling, Trochon, Hahn, Sein, Delitzsch, Nägelsbach, Orelli, explain the servant in that passage as referring to the people of Israel. But it must be noted that according to the words of the prophet the servant is distinct from the people. For the passage reads: “You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen.” In these words the people and the servant are declared to be witnesses; if then “my servant” were identical with the people, the phrase “my servant” should stand in apposition to “you,” and should not be joined to it by “and.” But even those commentators who admit this distinction between the people and the servant do not agree as to the identity of the latter. Some believe that the term is applied to the best part of the people (Knobel), others refer it to the prophets or to Isaias (Pinto, Osorio, Foreiro, Mariana, cf. Mald.). It may be urged against this acceptation of the term that there is nothing to point to this meaning in the context or in the preceding chapters. And what is more, in the preceding chapters the term “servant” is applied only to three subjects: to the people, to the Messias, and to Cyrus. The reference to the people we have already excluded; hence only the reference to the Messias or to Cyrus remains. The latter opinion appears to be sustained by Sanchez and a Lapide; the former by St. Jerome, Cyril, Theodoret, Eusebius, Sasbout, Sa, a Lapide, Menochius. At first sight the context of Is. 43:10 reminds us of Is. 41:1, 21, where there is question of Cyrus; but since Cyrus is never explicitly called Jehovah’s servant, and since in Is. 42:9 we have a manner of arguing somewhat similar to Is. 43:10, it appears preferable to refer the Lord’s servant occurring in this last passage to the Messias. It is still better to consider the double liberation of Israel as one divine work, and consequently the servant as one subject. But what is one in prophecy, proves to be double in fulfilment; hence the passage refers both to Cyrus and to the Messias—literally to the former, typically to the latter. That the Targum renders, “and my servant, the Messias, in whom I am well pleased” (the Syriac version has the plural, “my servants”) merits attention.

That the servant is not necessarily distinct from the Jewish people, since the prophet may speak of the Gentiles and the Jews as being his witnesses, is of little weight. For in the preceding verse (Is. 43:9) the Gentiles are called upon to bring forth witnesses in favor of their idols; and in verse 12 the Lord expressly declares: “I have made it heard, and there was no strange one among you, you are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and I am God.” Among the witnesses therefore no stranger and no Gentile is to be found.

4. ANSWER TO OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE MESSIANIC INTERPRETATION.—The last of the foregoing objections to the Messianic interpretation of the prophecies has been answered in our proof that Is. 43:10 refers to the Messias. We must add a word about the other objections. a. The circumstance that the LXX. version interprets the servant as applying to Jacob, and the elect as referring to Israel, adds additional weight to the testimony of the Greek Fathers in favor of the Messianic interpretation. For if they refer the prophecy to the Messias in spite of the rendering of their authentic version, they must have been influenced by an unmistakable tradition. The Targum shows that the Hebrew tradition differed from the interpretation of the LXX. Theodotion omits this explanation of the prediction; the Syriac hexapla-codex adds in a note that the words “Jacob” and “Israel” are not in the Hebrew text (Field, Hexapl. in h. 1. ii. p. 515); Barhebræus (on verse 3) remarks that the passage refers historically to Zorobabel, spiritually to Christ; St. Jerome testifies that the words “Jacob” and “Israel” have been erroneously added in the LXX. version; they are not found in Matt. 12:18; Eusebius relates (Demonstr. Evang. p. 452) that these words are marked with a dagger in the LXX. version, a sign that they are to be omitted.

b. The second exception against the Messianic nature of the prediction is based on the supposition that the servant of the Lord will free the people from the Babylonian captivity—a liberation which has not been effected by the Messias. But it is false that in Is. 42:7 there is question of liberation from the Babylonian captivity. For the context demands that the blind and the prisoners of verse 7 be understood so as to correspond with the “light” of verse 6; but the latter is taken metaphorically, as the phrase “a light of the Gentiles” clearly shows. Hence the expressions “blind” and “prisoners” must be taken metaphorically also. Besides, our opponents understand “light” and “blind” metaphorically, but “prisoners” properly; their interpretation blends the proper and the metaphorical sense without sufficient reason.

c. To the observation of Gesenius that the prophet speaks of the servant as of a person present, while the Messias is future, we may give two answers: First, the context evidently shows that the servant is not represented by the prophet as present to him; for in v. 9 we have the express declaration: “And new things do I declare; before they spring forth, I will make you hear them.” The servant is, therefore, not yet come, but will appear in the future. Again, supposing that Gesenius’ contention be correct, the prophetic manner of depicting a future event as actually present is well enough known not to excite our wonder in the passage under consideration.

d. The fourth exception supposes that the Messias is the judge of the Gentiles, while the servant is their teacher. Hence it distinguishes between the servant and the Messias. Though in Is. 11:10 it is said of the Messias, “him the Gentiles shall beseech,” in the very context of this passage we have the Messias described as a teacher: “They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my holy mountain, for the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea” (11:9). In the beginning of the same chapter (v. 2) it is said of the Messias: “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness, and he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord.” These gifts qualify the Messias not less as a teacher than as a judge. In Is. 9:7 the Messias strengthens his empire “with judgment and with justice.” This again implies the teaching character of the Messianic king. Finally, in Is. 2:3 this duty is expressly assigned to the Messias: “And many people shall go, and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall come forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

e. The next exception implies that the servant of Is. 42:19 is identical with the servant of 42:1; and since the former is not the Messias the exception infers that the latter cannot be the Messias (cf. Rosenmüller, Knobel, Nägelsbach). We grant that the servant of 42:19 is not the Messias, but the people of Israel; this is clear from vv. 18, 22. But we deny that the servant of 42:19 is the same as the servant in 42:1. Though the name is the same in both passages, its application is wholly different: the servant in 42:1 is the elect of God; God’s soul delighteth in him, God has given his spirit upon him, and the servant shall bring forth the judgment of the Gentiles. The servant of Is. 42:19, on the contrary, is deaf and blind, is robbed and wasted in spite of God’s will to sanctify him; he is a snare to young men, and hid in the prison-house. And as if this difference of character were not enough to distinguish one servant from the other, the servant in Is. 42:1 is an individual, while the servant in verse 19 is a collection of persons. For the opposition of the former to Cyrus as well as the description given in the text marks his individuality, while verses 18 and 22 expressly indicate the collective meaning of the servant in 42:19. The former servant will open the eyes of the blind (v. 7), the latter servant is himself blind (v. 19). Cf. p. 83, n. and Knabenbauer, in loc.

IS. 42:1–43:13

Behold my servant, I will uphold him; my elect, my soul delighteth in him; I have given my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor have respect to person, neither shall his voice be heard abroad. The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not quench; he shall bring forth judgment in truth. He shall not be sad, nor troublesome, till he set judgment in the earth, and the islands shall wait for his law.

Thus saith the Lord God that created the heavens, and stretched them out, that established the earth, and the things that spring out of it, that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that tread thereon. I the Lord have called thee in justice, and taken thee by the hand, and preserved thee. And I have given thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, that thou mightest open the eyes of the blind, and bring forth the prisoner out of prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. I the Lord, this is my name—I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things. The things that were first, behold they are come; and new things do I declare: before they spring forth, I will make you hear them.

Sing ye to the Lord a new song, his praise is from the ends of the earth; you that go down to the sea, and all that are therein, ye islands, and ye inhabitants of them. Let the desert and the cities thereof be exalted; Cedar shall dwell in houses: ye inhabitants of Petra, give praise, they shall cry from the top of the mountains. They shall give glory to the Lord, and shall declare his praise in the islands.

The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, as a man of war shall he stir up zeal; he shall shout and cry, he shall prevail against his enemies. I have always held my peace, I have kept silence, I have been patient, I will speak now as a woman in labor, I will destroy and swallow up at once. I will lay waste the mountains and hills, and will make all their grass to wither, and I will turn rivers into islands, and will dry up the standing pools. And I will lead the blind into the way which they know not, and in the paths which they were ignorant of I will make them walk; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight; these things have I done to them, and have not forsaken them. They are turned back; let them be greatly confounded that trust in a graven thing, that say to a molten thing, You are our gods.

Hear ye deaf, and ye blind behold that you may see. Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, but he to whom I have sent my messengers? Who is blind but he that is sold? or who is blind but the servant of the Lord? Thou that seest many things, wilt thou not observe them? thou that hast ears open, wilt thou not hear? And the Lord was willing to sanctify him, and to magnify the law, and exalt it. But this is a people that is robbed and wasted; they are all the snare of young men, and they are hid in the houses of prisons; they are made a prey, and there is none to deliver them, a spoil, and there is none that saith, Restore. Who is there among you that will give ear to this, that will attend and hearken for times to come? Who hath given Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to robbers? hath not the Lord himself against whom we have sinned? And they would not walk in his ways, and they have not hearkened to his law. And he hath poured out upon him the indignation of his fury, and a strong battle, and hath burnt him round about and he knew not; and set him on fire, and he understood not.

And now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, and called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou shalt pass through the waters, I will be with thee, and the rivers shall not cover thee; when thou shalt walk in the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, and the flame shall not burn in thee; for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I have given Egypt for thy atonement, Ethiopia and Saba for thee. Since thou becamest honorable in my eyes, thou art glorious; I have loved thee, and I will give men for thee, and peoples for thy life. Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth. And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him. Bring forth the people that are blind, and have eyes; that are deaf, and have ears. All the nations are assembled together, and the tribes are gathered; who among you can declare this, and shall make us hear the former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, let them be justified and hear and say, It is truth. You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe me, and understand that I myself am. Before me there was no god formed, and after me there shall be none. I am, I am the Lord, and there is no saviour beside me. I have declared and have saved; I have made it heard, and there was no strange one among you; you are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and I am God. And from the beginning, I am the same, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall turn it away?

1. Since the servant is called the “covenant” of the people of Israel, he must be conceived as the mediator between God and man, who reconciles the Almighty with the fallen human race. It is true that God had made a covenant with the patriarchs, but the people had violated the covenant by their numerous sins and infidelities. If then the servant is to restore this covenant, he must expiate the people’s sins and transgressions, procure efficacious remedies against all these infirmities, and lead back the people to true inward sanctity.

2. If we adhere to the Hebrew text of 42:18–25, we see here even the manner indicated in which the servant will bring about the people’s salvation: he is blind to the people’s gross misdeeds, he does not hear the reproaches heaped upon his sacred person by a reviling multitude, but in spite of all the people’s transgressions, he shall bring about the re-establishment of God’s law.

Section II. The Light of the Gentiles

IS. 49

1. THE PROPHECY AND ITS CONTEXT.—In ch. 40–48 the prophet has a continual controversy with the idolaters. He thus affords unmistakable evidence to Israel by his appeal to prophecy that Jehovah is the only true God. There are no more allusions after this to Cyrus and his conquest of Babylon. In the following chapters the prophet dwells rather on the splendid future in store for Israel, and on the inward dispositions by which the people must prepare themselves for these bountiful blessings. New features are also added to the portrait of Jehovah’s ideal servant.

Our prophecy forms the opening chapter of this second part of “Deutero-Isaias.” Both in its description of the servant (vv. 1–13) and its picture of the restored Sion (vv. 14–22), the chapter really furnishes the general outline of the following sections. For as the servant is supposed to be in the state of his humiliation in vv. 4, 7, 8, so is his suffering and his work of redemption minutely depicted in chapters 50–53; and the glory of the new Sion, which is foretold in general terms in the second part of the prophecy, is fully developed in ch. 54 ff.

2. FALSE INTERPRETATIONS.—a. St. Thomas is of opinion that the speaker is the people of Israel, called by God through its ancestors; then, the Holy Doctor applies the words also to Cyrus; and thirdly, he puts them in the mouth of Christ. b. Calmet thinks that the words can hardly be spoken by Cyrus, but he substitutes Isaias, John the Baptist, and even Jesus Christ, in place of Cyrus. c. The Rationalists generally introduce the people, or its better part, or the collection of prophets, or the prophet Isaias, as the speaker, into the prophecy (cf. Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Knobel).

Against these views this is our position: a. The speaker is neither the whole nor a part of Israel. Reasons: α. In verse 5 the speaker is expressly distinguished from Israel. β. It cannot be said that the restoration is brought about by the kernel of the people, because the people which will be restored will itself form the body of “the servants of Jehovah,” or the remnant of Israel (cf. Is. 45:8–16). γ. The phrase “from the bowels of my mother” does not permit us to take the servant collectively; for though the phrase “from the womb” refers to a moral person (Is. 44:2, 24; 46:3; 48:8), “mother” never occurs in such connection, except in allegories (Is. 51:1, 2; Ezech. 16:3). δ. The fact that “Israel” is added in verse 3 (“thou art my servant Israel”) is no valid argument for identifying the speaker with the people. It is true that the word “Israel” occurs in the Hebrew text, the LXX. version, the Syriac, the Chaldee, and in the version of St. Jerome; but authorities like J. D. Michaelis and Gesenius are of opinion that the word must be omitted. For as the LXX. have added “Israel” in Is. 42:1, they may have made the same addition in our passage, and from them the word may have crept into other versions. But other authors have suggested different solutions of the difficulty. Braun and Calmet explain, “And he said to me [tell the people], thou art my servant Israel.” Hensler and Stäudlin suggest that Israel must be taken into the following clause: “Thou art my servant, for in thee will I glory, Israel.” Saadias, in his Arabic version, inserts a preposition before “Israel,” rendering: “Thou art my servant unto Israel.” Knabenbauer suggests the rendering: “He said to me, Thou art my servant; [he said to] Israel, In thee will I glory.” Certain Rabbinic writers who believe that Isaias is the speaker interpret thus: “Thou art my servant [out of the seed of] Israel.” Aben Ezra (cf. Rosenmüller) explains: “Thou art my servant Israel—i.e., thou art in my eyes the whole people of Israel.” Those who do not wish to accept any of these suggestions may explain “Israel” as a name applied to the Messias or the servant. For the circumstance that in all other passages “Israel” is applied either to the people or to Jacob does not show that it may not be used here of the Lord’s servant; while the many attempts at a satisfactory solution of the difficulty are so many proofs that the passage does not allow the application of the servant to the people.

b. The speaker cannot be the prophet himself. Reasons: α. What the speaker says of himself is so glorious and supposes such a near approach to God that the prophet cannot be the subject. β. The prophet himself cannot be properly called a light of the Gentiles and the Lord’s salvation even to the farthest ends of the earth.

c. The speaker cannot be Cyrus. Reasons: α. According to this view the servant’s suffering in vv. 4, 7, 8 could not be satisfactorily explained. β. God’s consolation addressed to the servant in verses 5, 6 contains no motives that could console the Gentile prince.

d. The servant cannot be the collection of prophets. Reasons: α. We have seen already that the word “mother” in verse 1 is nowhere used of a body of men. β. All the prophets, taken collectively, have not accomplished the work assigned to the servant. Many of them have rather predicted the national ruin, and sustained the people during the same, than brought about the salvation promised in the prophecy.

e. The servant is not John the Baptist. Reasons: α. The principal argument in favor of the identity of the servant with John the Baptist is based on the circumstance that the Church reads this chapter during the Mass of the Baptist’s feast. But the value of such an accommodation in the liturgy is too well known to furnish any solid argumentative basis; according to this manner of reasoning the first chapter of Jeremias, too, should be explained as applying to John the Baptist, because it is read on the vigil of the Saint’s feast. β. Whatever may be the merits of the Baptist, and whatever the effects of his preaching, it is certain that he cannot be called the covenant of the Jewish people, and that he has not effected the universal salvation which the servant had been predicted to bring.

3. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PROPHECY.—a. The whole plan of Isaias renders it antecedently probable that the prophet treats in this passage of the Messias; for in chapter 41 he gives a general outline of a servant of the Lord, Cyrus; and in chapter 42 he adds a general view of another servant of the Lord, the Messias. Now in chapters 43 ff. the work of Cyrus is fully developed. We expect, therefore, that the work of the Messianic servant, too, should be more fully developed in the chapters following those referring to Cyrus.

b. The text itself is such as to point to the Messias as the object of the prophet’s description. He is to be the light of the Gentiles and the salvation of the farthest ends of the earth, the covenant of the chosen people of God, and the restorer of the dregs of Israel. All these characteristics can hardly be applied to any one except to the Messias.

c. In the third place, the parallel prophecies render it certain that our prediction refers to the Messias. The servant’s mother is mentioned in Is. 49:1, just as the mother of the Messias is especially mentioned in Is. 7:14; Mich, 5:2; cf. Ps. 21:10 f; the servant’s mouth is like a sharp sword (verse 2), even as Jeremias (51:11) speaks of the sharp arrow, cleaned, polished, pointed, in order to pierce the hearts, and to inflict on them the most salutary wounds. The divine words (verse 3), “Thou art my servant Israel, for in thee will I glory,” are wholly parallel to the Messianic passages in Ps. 2:7b.; cf. 44:23. Without enumerating all parallelisms, we add only verse 8 of the present chapter as compared with Is. 42:6, 7. The latter passage has been proved in the preceding section to be Messianic; hence we must conclude that the former passage, too, refers to the Messias.

d. The fulfilment also shows the Messianic nature of the prophecy. The servant is called from the womb, from the bowels of his mother; this was literally accomplished in the person of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:41; Gal. 1:15; Matt. 1:20–23). Again, the servant’s mouth is like a sharp sword—a prediction reminding one of Apoc. 1:16 and Heb. 4:12. As to the servant’s humiliation, we need not point out that Jesus, precisely by his suffering and death, has brought salvation to the Jews and the Gentiles, and established God’s covenant with many.

e. Finally, Jewish tradition applied the prophecy to the Messias.

Verse 8. Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 52 b) has a remarkable comment on this verse, to the effect that the Messias suffers in every age for the sins of that generation, and that God in the day of redemption will repair it all.

Verse 9. Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 52 b) quotes the words of this verse as the words of the Messias.

Verse 10. The Midrash on Lam. 1:2 refers this passage to the Messianic age.

Verse 12. Shem. R. 51 on Num. 12:1 gives a parallelism between Old Testament times and their institutions and those of the latter days, to which Is. 49:12 and 60:8 are applied.

Verse 13. From the word “comfort” occurring in this verse the Messianic title Menachem (Comforter) is derived (cf. Midrash on Prov. 19:21).

Verse 14. Yalkut (ii. 52 c.) applies this verse Messianically.

Verse 21. The Midrash on Lam. refers this verse to the Messias.

Verse 23. Vayyikra R. 27 (ed. Warsh. p. 42 a) says that Messianic blessings were generally prefigured by similar events, as, for example, the passage here quoted in the case of Nabuchodonosor and Daniel. The Par. 33, 36, too, applies the same passage Messianically, pointing out the contrast between the glorious future and the contempt that Israel experiences in this world. The Midrash on Ps. 2:2 applies the second part of verse 23 Messianically, to be fulfilled when the Gentiles shall see the terrible judgments.

Verse 26. Vayyikra R. 33 (end) applies this verse Messianically, referring it to the destruction of the Gentiles.

IS. 49

Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, ye peoples from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother he hath been mindful of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow, in his quiver he hath hidden me. And he said to me: Thou art my servant Israel, for in thee will I glory. And I said: I have labored in vain. I have spent my strength without cause and in vain; therefore my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

And now saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, that I may bring back Jacob unto him, and Israel will not be gathered together; and I am glorified in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is made my strength. And he said: It is a small thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to convert the dregs of Israel. Behold, I have given thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayst be my salvation even to the farthest part of the earth. Thus saith the Lord, the redeemer of Israel, his holy One, to the soul that is despised, to the nation that is abhorred, to the servant of rulers: Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up, and adore for the Lord’s sake, because he is faithful, and for the holy One of Israel who hath chosen thee.

Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee; and I have preserved thee and given thee to be a covenant of the people, that thou mightst raise up the earth, and possess the inheritances that were destroyed; that thou mightst say to them that are bound, Come forth, and to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in every plain. They shall not hunger, nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them; for he that is merciful to them shall be their shepherd, and at the fountains of waters he shall give them drink. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my paths shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north, and from the sea, and these from the south country. Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice O earth, ye mountains give praise with jubilation; because the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy on his poor ones.

And Sion said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands: thy walls are always before my eyes. Thy builders are come; they that destroy thee, and make thee waste shall go out of thee. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see, all these are gathered together, they are come to thee; as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt be clothed with all these as with an ornament, and as a bride thou shalt put them about thee. For thy deserts and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction shall now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be chased far away. The children of thy barrenness shall still say in thy ears: The place is too strait for me, make me room to dwell in. And thou shalt say in thy heart: Who hath begotten these? I was barren and brought not forth, led away and captive; and who hath brought up these? I was destitute and alone, and these, where were they?

Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles and will set up my standard to the peoples. And they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and carry thy daughters upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nurses; they shall worship thee with their face toward the earth, and they shall lick up the dust of thy feet. And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be confounded that wait for him. Shall the prey be taken from the strong? or can that which was taken by the mighty be delivered? For thus saith the Lord: Yea, verily, even the captivity shall be taken away from the strong: and that which was taken by the mighty shall be delivered. But I will judge those that have judged thee, and thy children I will save. And I will feed thy own enemies with their own flesh, and they shall be made drunk with their own blood, as with new wine; and all flesh shall know that I am the Lord that save thee, and thy redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.

1. This prophecy is much more explicit than the preceding one in its description of the servant’s sufferings and his subsequent glory acquired by means of the sufferings.

2. The catholicity of the servant’s work of redemption is also foretold in clear and unmistakable terms.

3. The words “I have graven thee in my hands” are by many writers accommodated to the sufferings of Christ, and especially to the wounds in his sacred hands (cf. St. Cyril, Sanchez, a Lapide, Menochius).

4. As to the land of Sinim, Cheyne (Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, I. series, iii. p. 109) has the following extract: “It is historically certain, from the Chinese records, that there were foreign merchants in China as early as the tenth century B.C., and Chinese merchants in foreign lands as early as the twelfth; and it is probable that direct commercial relations existed between China and India, and consequently, at any rate, direct relations between China and Phœnicia, which will account for the presence of porcelain ware with Chinese characters upon it in the Egyptian Thebes” (cf. Pauthier, Relations politiques de la Chine, Paris, 1859).








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