ISAAC BEN SHESHET BARFAT: Spanish Jewish talmudist; b. at Valencia in 1326; d. at Algiers in 1408. He studied at Barcelona, where he also began his life-work, early gaining a reputation as a talmudist and being called upon for legal opinions. When fifty he became rabbi, removed later to Saragossa, and thence to Valencia. In 1391, in consequence of persecution of the Jews, he fled, going to Algiers, where he was made rabbi. He was the author of 417 "responsa" which have been highly valued by competent authorities, published as She 'elot u-Teshlebot (Constantinople, 1546-47); and possibly of an unpublished commentary on the Pentateuch.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: JE, vi. 631-632.
ISAACS, ABRAM SAMUEL: Jewish rabbi; b. in New York City Aug. 30, 1852. He was educated at New York University (B.A., 1871) and the University of Breslau (1878), and since 1886 has been connected with New York University, where he has been professor of Hebrew (1886-94) and German (since 1887). He was also preacher to the East 86th Street Synagogue, New York City, in 1886-87, and since 1896 has been rabbi of B'nai Jeshurun Congregation, Paterson, N. J. He was editor of The Jewish Messenger from 1878 to 1903, and has written, Life and Writings of Moses Chaim Luzzatto (New York 1878) and Stories from the Rabbis (New York, 1894).
Reports concerning Isaiah (§ 1).
Chronology of the Period (§ 2).
External Events (§ 3).
Relation of Events to Faith (§ 4).
Ideals Underlying Prophecies (§ 5).
Isaiah's Life and Character (§ 6).
Prophetic Authorship in General (§ 1).
Interrelations of i.-xxxv, and xl. Ixvi (§ 2).
Authorship substantially Isaianic (§ 3).
Isaianic Authorship of xxviii, xxxv (§ 4).
Chapters ii.-xii (§ 5).
Chapters xiii.-xzvii (§ 6).
Results of the Investigation (§ 7).
The Problem (§ 1).
Structure of the Book (§2).
Results of Criticism (§ 3).
Analysis of Isa. i.-xxxix (§ 4).
Analysis of Isa. xl.-lxvi (§ 5).
Conclusion (§ 6).
I. The Prophet and His Times: The name rendered "Isaiah" in English has in the Hebrew two forms, Yesha'yah, and Yesha'yahu, the latter in his book, II Kings xviii.-xxi., and I Chron. xxv. 3, 15, xxvi. 25, II Chron. xxvi. 22, xxxii. 32, the former in I Chron. iii. 21; Neh. xi. 7. In the Septuagint it varies greatly, taking the forms lesias, lessias, Ioseas, Hesaias, Isaias, Osaias. The derivations and meanings given are quite varied.
Outside the book called by his name and
II Kings xviii.-xxi.,
Isaiah the prophet is mentioned only
twice in the Bible.
This tradition may be brought into connection with the title of the book by way of defining the period of activity of the prophet. To 2 the period of the four kings mentioned in the title may be added an undefined but short period under Manasseh, and Isa. vi. 1 is often taken as indicating the entry of Isaiah upon prophetic work in the last year of Uzziah. Supposing that he was then twenty years old, his age at the accession of Manasseh would be eighty-one; thus: the destruction of Jerusalem was in 586 B.C., the, eleventh year of Zedekiah; then, according to the reckoning of the Book of Kings, Manasseh began to reign in 696 B.C., Hezekiah in 725 B.C., Ahaz in 741 B.C., Jotham in 757 B.C., and the death of Uzziah would fall in 758 B.C. [or 757]; the siege of Samaria under Shalmaneser began in the fourth year of Hezekiah, 722 B.C., and its capture by Sargon in Hezekiah's sixth year, 720 B.C. If it is assumed, as is most probable, that the sign on the dial of Ahaz is to be connected with the eclipse of Mar. 14, 711 B.C. (F. K. Ginzel, Spezieller Kanon der Sonnen- und Mondfinsternisse, Berlin, 1899), visible in Jerusalem, then the foregoing statements in general and the assignment of the year 711 B.C. for the healing of Hezekiah tally with astronomical data. Therefore the embassy from Merodach-baladan (Isa. xxxix. 1) would fall at the earliest in 711 B.C., and Hezekiah's determination to throw off Assyrian overlordship would fall in 710 B.C. The Ptolemaic Canon allows to a Mardokempados twelve years as king of Babylon, and to his conqueror, Sargon, five years; then the last year of Mardokempados is the thirty-eighth of the era of Nabonassar, and the first year of Sargon is 709 B.C. Then that the "king of Babylon," Merodach-baladan (Isa. xxxix. 1), is not an indefinite usurper of that name, but that the Mardokempados of the Ptolemaic Canon is the Merodach-baladan of the Assyrian inscriptions does not imply error either in that he is called "son of Yakin" in the
Then Isaiah's activity as a prophet would fall between 758 and 690 B.C. at the latest, a period of singular moment. The Assyrians, in 3 their conquest of Syria and Palestine, laid a basis for further conquests in the northwest and southwest, hindered, however, by the danger from the Medes and other peoples in their rear. By the movements which went on about them, the Jews were brought into contact with world politics, and in the Book of Isaiah the fortunes of distant and neighboring peoples receive larger notice than had been customary. The northern kingdom fell from the high estate it achieved under Jeroboam II. after a career in which the most contradictory state policies had been pursued. It had become identified with an attempt to unite Syria, Israel, and Judah against Assyria, in which the refusal of Judah had led to an attempt to set aside the Davidic dynasty in Judah. Uzziah had thought to strengthen his own kingdom by securing his boundaries with fortresses and by heaping up the means and materials of war to furnish material guaranties for the faith of the Jews in the security of the city of Yahweh and of the dynasty. Ahaz preferred to depend upon the clemency of the Assyrian king. Hezekiah rejected this means of quiet, and put his trust in Yahweh without using human means.
The lessons of the period for the pious of Israel and of all times are that Yahweh reaches the ends corresponding to his being through 4 the history of his people and of the world. It does not follow that he repudiates his people or his promises to their fathers, nor yet that he makes the foundation of his kingdom dependent upon the hegemony of any earthly state where his worship should be conducted. While he permitted the Davidic kingdom to fall apart and Jerusalem to become the capital of the smaller division, allowed Israel's land to receive a new population, and the Davidic king to become a vassal of Assyria, while he brought to nought Sennacherib's plans against Jerusalem, the purpose seemed to be to purify the faith of the people that his might and will should ordain healing or destruction. The Israelites had supposed God's interests bound up with those of his people in his land and its institutions. But they had to learn through discipline that the people to whom his promises came and to whom they applied was a people which corresponded in its essence to his own sanctity and were not dependent upon mere fleshly hopes. It contravened past experience that he who had promised to be the savior of his people should permit them to be beaten and subdued, while to tyrants whose purpose he hated he had given the victory. The kingdom of Jeroboam, founded on cunning and force, was no better than other kingdoms; nor was the kingdom of Judah, with its externals of sacrifice, that to which he had made his promises. Of course, the conquerors, who thanked themselves and their gods for the victory, were even less fitted to be his servants. The destruction of the foe at the pinnacle of his greatness and the restoration of his people were to reveal the fulfilment of his promises, no more to be endangered by the rule of sin.
Yet Yahweh had not given over his land, destroyed his people, laid in ruins the house of David and Jerusalem, burned up the world and 5 destroyed mankind in order to create a new earth. Rather the idea was that symbolized by the plant world, where the dying vegetation promises new life by its seeds and its shoots. So in the dying Israel there was an imperishable remainder, which was to survive destruction and to live again in unassailable dominion, to be menaced neither by sin nor the anger of God. The people which had been destroyed was to be awakened to new life, and the house of David was to rise to renewed kingly power in the son of a young woman. But this was to take form neither in nation, state, nor race. The germ can be considered only as an invisible church known only to Yahweh. And since in Israel the prophet of Yahweh is he who learns the will of Yahweh in the conditions of things and
Such a person does Isaiah appear in the testimony,
direct and indirect, which his book carries. Outside
of the reports of his life already considered,
it may be gathered that he was
a citizen of Jerusalem; that he had
several children, one of whom, a son,
must have been born in Jotham's reign
and another during the Syrian-Ephraimitic war
II. The Book of Isaiah.--1. Its Place in the Canon:
In the Hebrew Bible Isaiah stands first in the division
of the so-called later prophets and precedes
Jeremiah and Ezekiel evidently upon the ground of
priority in history, but in the Septuagint it is preceded
by the book of the Minor Prophets (cf.
Jerome, Ad Paulinum, Prologus galeatus). The
Hebrew order is confirmed by the treatment in
2. The Text: The variety of contents and style, the idealistic character of the oracles and the originality of thought have from earliest 7 times made this book difficult to understand. Much read and often edited, it could not maintain its original form, and it became the object of an exegesis which sought to come to an understanding with the traditional text as an inviolable and sacred thing. The condition of the text in chaps, xl.-lxvi. may be seen in Klostermann's commentary (Munich, 1893) of chaps. xxxvi.-xxxix. in the same author's commentary on the parallel section in Kings (Munich, 1887) and in TSK, 1884. And revision of the whole text of chaps. i.-xxxv. is required before exegesis can be securely founded, an especially difficult task, for which the test of meter and artistic form, so often suggested, is of very little value. Indeed, changes of form by the prophet or his disciples are not excluded from consideration; for example, in the great picture of the judgment under the figure of an earthquake in xxiv., at verse 7 there is the beginning of an alphabetical elegy in six-lined strophes, the first two strophes of which are present and complete, while of the third only the first half is given. Similarly in xxiii. 16 only the beginning of a known song is cited, and this may explain the break at the end of xxiv. 12.
Not to be disregarded are the paraphrases of
Jonathan, the fragments of Aquilas, Theodotion,
and Symmachus as they have come
down with the marginal notes of the
Hexapla and from the notes of Jerome.
These will at times serve to indicate
the introduction of errors in later times. Thus,
Jonathan indicates in viii. 14 the loss of "for you"
after "he shall be," a conclusion supported not only
by the Vulgate, but by the second person in the
Septuagint. Doubled readings or translations in
these texts are often a guide to the original text,
since they point to a misreading or a misunderstanding
of a reading to which such misunderstanding
is a direct guide, as in
xxxiii. 7, where
"their valiant ones" was read by the translators
in a double sense as the object of fear and as the
subject, which led to further changes in the text
of the verse. The Septuagint shows a similar
doubled reading in
ii. l6b through a mistake of
the eye involving further changes in the text.
Sometimes a doubled reading is merely a mistake
in copying produced by itacism, as in
codex 304. But a critical text of the Septuagint
will show that sometimes the translator in deciphering
his Hebrew exemplar has in a surprising manner
gone wrong through too great confidence in his
apprehension of the context. Such a case is presented
student upon the track of a better Hebrew text
than the one which has been transmitted. There
is in mind here not only the 111 of xxix. 3 in the
Septuagint, which alone explains why Yahweh,
who is beleaguering Ariel in verse 1, has made mention
of the siege of Ariel by David in early times,
but also the toi agapetoi sou of xxvi. 17. In this
latter case the 11`t'~, which apparently lay before
the translator, goes back to an original IVA
which belonged to verse 18 and marks 112V:-.as
superfluous, suggested indeed by the doubled G1a
Such cases as this, which are frequent, are sufficient to enable the student to correct the errors and sometimes the gaps which occur in the synagogue text of the Hebrew. Again, the original of x. 11 was doubtless originally "shall I not also do so to Samaria and her idols and to Jerusalem and her images." The present text sets the lot of Samaria as a type and prophecy of the lot of Jerusalem, and pictures the fall of Samaria as a past event, which is the result of a redaction which changed the text of the prophet to square with a later historical situation. Mistakes of pointing are also to be noted, as when 1bD0 in i. 7 is thus pointed as a noun instead of iln6fd'I as a verb, or in x. 13 the waw in VOW and 't''ft1 is given the simple shewa instead of kamets. Still worse is the pointing 1a1 for `111 in ix. 8, for which the Septuagint has thanatos, "death," which corresponds closely to the "pestilence" for which the proposed reading stands. Accentuation and vocalization are both astray in ix. 1, "in the former time," where for 11317 should be read (11)J1y5 and the words should be joined with the clause which goes before. Part of the errors of text are due to the difficulties which underlay the consonantal form. This especially occurs in transferring an initial 7 to the end of the preceding word, but appears also in the loss of the letter in the middle or end of a word, as when C51410t for t115 hN`1N was given the form n5H'1m. A similar case occurs in viii. 6, where the double reading J1NV'J 11N1V(b) came to be written lltittltV(D), and then was changed into rite Iblft. Other changes are caused by the inclusion in the text of notes originally made in the margin, for a case of which cf. vii. 8-9 with verse 4. With such enlargements of the text correspond also gaps, which are the result of carelessness or chance, or which rest upon intended shortening of the reading or upon customary abbreviations. A case of the last is found in viii. 21, where "curse by their king and their God" should read "curse the house of their king and their God," where the letter beth, represented in the English by "by," is an abbreviation or a mistake for beth, "house." Between "for" and "head" in viii. 8 has fallen out the word xlo~t, "I will take away." If, as in the last case cited, a word may fall out, so frequently from a word a letter may be missing, of which numerous examples might be cited. To these causes of change may be added exchanges of letters which either look or sound alike. Thus, in xi. 4, j?'1y demanded by the parallelism appears as r1K, and in i. 7, xxv. 2, and xxix. 5, instead of a''Tt there appears b'1t. Intentional amendment appears in the change from the third person to the first in v. 3-6, influenced by verse 2. Indeed, the riddles of interpretation in whole sections of Isaiah, such as the six deliverances of chaps. xxviii.-xxxv., the section xxiv.-xxvii., and their relation to other parts of the book require as a preliminary to their solution the amendment of the text, which is a preliminary to the work of the higher criticism and the determination of the time to which these sections belong.
3. Authorship: It is evident that a prophet who intervened in public affairs in crises so important, whose experiences were so large, who, 9 even in the quiet of private life, was unwearyingly diligent in instructing a band of disciples with a broad future in view, employed writing not only for the purpose of extending his personal activity beyond his immediate environment, as, for example, to the Israelites in exile, to the end that they might have his words of comfort in their original form, but that he had an outlook upon the more distant future. This must have been especially the case when the subject matter was issued at the joining-point of the past and the future when old things were becoming new, when the utterances were needed as a means of recognizing God's work at the time and for the time. It must have been in such a spirit that the prophets wrote their books and unified their earlier utterances in written discourse. They were enabled in this way to supplement by adding historical notices and even to refer to the words of earlier prophets. Since, in the book ascribed to Isaiah, there exist in the first person recollections of the fifty-second year of Uzziah, and in close connection with these and in similar style discourses which relate to affairs at least sixteen years later in the time of Ahaz, and inasmuch as these latter approve themselves as Isaianic by their congruity with the activities and character of Isaiah as shown in chaps. xxxvi.-xxxvii., and further, since in this book there appear whole series of addresses parallel in matter with the occasions of the time, and setting forth the same main idea, it is a fair presumption that Isaiah undertook a collection of his prophecies. The question is whether the present book contains only his sayings, or contains them in full, or in their original order. Until this is settled, it is of little use to quote what Sirach, Ambrosius, Jerome, Cyril, and others down to the present have said as to the worth of Isaiah from a Christian, ethical, or esthetic standpoint.
To judge of all this a thoroughly new working over is required, a historical investigation, and for this there is no better and no other 10 starting-point than the section in chaps. xxxvi-xxxix., a trustworthy narrative which has found place also in the Books of Kings (xviii. 13 sqq.). This narrative is interjected by the compiler of the book between two well-arranged collections of anonymous addresses, the first of which have relation to the Assyrian period and correspond to the contents of chaps. xxxvi.-xxxvii., while the second series has
If this be true, a new exposition of chaps. xl.-lxvi. is required (the view-point of which was indicated in the Lutherische Zeitschrift, 1876) 11 and a new investigation of the framework. But it will not do to resolve the section into a threefold arrangement, each part having nine chapters. As the first part is introduced by xl. 1-11, the second part is prefaced by xlviii. 16-22. The more naturally the investigation proceeds, the surer does it become that xl.-lxvi. does not as such proceed from Isaiah, but that it arranges and works over older prophecies. The tendency of modern criticism is to distinguish the "Servant of Yahweh section" and a "Trito-Isaiah," and, indeed, as many Isaiahs as differences in style suggest; yet by retaining for them the name Isaiah this criticism follows a correct instinct. The editor urges chaps. xxxvi.-xxxix. upon the reader as the key to the meaning of both xl.-lxvi. and xxviii.-xxxv., and as the vindication of these parts as Isaianic in substance.
It appears from the book of Isaiah that at least from the thirteenth year of Hezekiah till after the 12 campaign of Sennacherib the prophet wielded a weighty and acknowledged authority with king, court, and priests, that he made predictions which were observably realized, that he assured the continuance of Jerusalem and Judah beyond the period of Assyrian stress and storm, while Assyria was to become a possession of Babylon; but besides this, it is clear that Hezekiah's resolution to withstand the Assyrian demands rested upon Isaiah's warnings and promises, and that the prophet was the responsible guarantor of a seemingly impossible fortunate issue. Indeed, xxxvii. 26 indicates a prediction by Isaiah of the Assyrian victories before Sennacherib's appearance. Upon the verification of this word of Yahweh as the Lord of the world was built the assurance that in the very moment when Assyrian victories were made the basis of belief that Yahweh was overcome the impotence of the Assyrian against him would be made manifest, and this dispensation would reveal decisively Yahweh's relation to Jerusalem and to the Davidic house. In view of this, the six woes which appear indissolubly woven together in chaps. xxviii.-xxxv. impress one as rendering exactly the historical position of the Isaiah of chaps. xxxvi.-xxxix. and
There is now in our possession an assured basis from which to consider and decide how far the two sections ii.-xii. and xiii.-xxvii., which bear Isaiah's name, do so with justice. There is not only a large number of parallels with chaps. xxviii.-xxxix., but there is a remarkable agreement in situation, in spite of the intermingling of varied fragments and complete sections. There come out particularly the ingratitude and obstinacy of Judah and Jerusalem and the consequently necessary purging by punishment (ii.-iv.). It seems credible that Isaiah himself arranged ii.-iv.; and as he surely wrote vi. and xii. as components of a connected whole, all the individual parts of v.-xii. are traceable to him, though that interpolations have taken place need not be denied. It is possible that these last were, according to the custom of the times, attributed to Isaiah, and that the editor had the book in manuscript form before him in which the individual pieces had been inserted unintelligently among others which were then laid aside or put in other connections, and that transpositions were made which brought these parts into positions earlier or later in the book than they originally occupied.
In the second part, which separates into the four "burdens" of xiii.-xviii. and the six of xix.-xxiii., there are certain guiding threads which come both from i.-xii. and from xxviii.-xxxv. The "burden" of the beasts of the South in xxx. 6 sqq. finds its counterparts in the "burdens" of xix.-xxiii.; and xxxiv. 1 sqq. agrees with xviii. 3. On the other hand, the note of the leveling of the heights found in chap ii. is repeated in xix. and xxiii., while the doing away of the lordship of Jacob and of the remains of Damascus in xviii. 12 sqq. is anticipated in viii. 7-10. Indeed, chap. xviii. comes into connection with both xi. 11 and lxvi. 20-21 in its thought of the return of the Hebrews from distant lands. The "burdens" are marked out from all other prophetic oracles by the fact that they bear the impress of having been delivered in the ecstatic state, and besides this they deal with the immense or the distant in time. They take on a different coloring entirely from those prophecies which come out of the prophet's own life or relate to the history of the times. Thus it comes about that they are separated from the other deliverances of the prophet and appear as cycles of deliverances distinguished by their tone. So their titles arise from a catchword, or a subject, or a locality, or an emblem some of which can be shown to rest upon mistakes of the text (xxi. 1). Under these circumstances it is necessary to ask whether they are arranged after the literary ideas of the prophet Isaiah. It is remarkable that the oracle on Philistia (xiv. 29 sqq.), the people on the western border, passes on in xv.-xvi. to Moab and Edom, on the east and southeast, and in xvii. 1 to Damascus and the Holy Land in order to portray the extreme need in Israel and the overpowering revolution in the salvation of Jerusalem (xviii. 7). This corresponds to the way in which Amos reached the expression of the judgment
The transmission and arrangement of this book demand of the reader that he view as the source of its peculiar prophetic content and as its predictive subject the historically known Isaiah, who orally and by writing sought to mold public opinion and reared up by esoteric instruction the followers and disciples (viii. 16 sqq., lix. 21) who were heirs of his prophecy to continue his testimony. These heirs of Isaianic prophecy received his testimony and made it fruitful partly by publishing in book form his oral and written testimony for "Judah and Jerusalem" (i. 1), and partly by reproducing in the circles of the faithful the esoteric instruction given them (xlviii. 16) and making it the basis and guide of their addresses. In order to preserve essentially and in completeness the testimony of Isaiah, these developments of Isaianic contents required later fixation in writing and union with the then existing book of Isaiah. Since the author of the addition in Ixiii. 7-lxvi. 24, whose theodicy reproduces Isaianic declarations, looked back upon the destruction of the temple, and since the preacher of xli. 1 sqq. had seen the victorious march of Cyrus, the origin of the present book is later than 550 B.C. This method of treating the Isaianic deliverances, apart from other results, was worked out in abbreviations (as in ii.-iv.), enrichment (as in the lyrics of the Deutero-Isaiah), and reinterpretation (e.g., xiv. 5 sqq.). In view of these results fuller justice is done the book if its relation to the historical Isaiah is the guide to its exegesis than if the tradition regarding its authorship is disregarded and its authors are scattered along through the centuries.
The Book of Isaiah in its present form is very generally regarded as possessing a certain unity of plan and purpose. The traditional view has from time immemorial discovered, in this unity, the pen of a single author, Isaiah, the contemporary of Hezekiah, while recent critical scholarship maintains that this writing was arranged and edited by some unknown scribe or scribes, acting as diaskeuasts in the first quarter of the first century B.C. In a little over a quarter of a century, after Döderlein (1775) in his commentary on Isaiah first threw serious doubt on the genuineness of Isa. xl.-lxvi., a fragmentary hypothesis of the origin of this prophetic work gradually gained in popularity. The latter view was first enunciated by Koppe in his notes to Bishop Lowth's work on Isaiah (1779-81). Koppe's theory, that the canonical Book of Isaiah was made up of eighty-five fragments, never won general acceptance as it was strenuously opposed by the Hebraist Gesenius and the commentator Hitzig. But a new form of the fragmentary hypothesis (see below, §§ 3 sqq.), differing materially from that of Koppe, has won many adherents among Biblical scholars since it vas brilliantly advocated by Duhm (1892), Cheyne (1895), and Marti (1900).
To understand fully the history of critical opinion, and especially its latest phases, one must note the structure of the book. All commentators, modern as well as ancient, have observed the threefold division into which the Book of Isaiah naturally falls: (1) i.-xxxv., (2) xxxvi.-xxxix., (3) xl.- lxvi. The second of these groups, giving an account of Isaiah's activity in the crisis produced by Sennacherib's invasion, 701 B.C., was excerpted from the Book of Kings. Chapters xxxvi.- xxxix. form the dividing line between the two main sections of the work. The passages on one side differ from those on the other in historical background, point of view, theological conceptions, diction and phraseology. The earlier chapters reflect the historical changes and movements of 740-701 B.C.; the monarchs mentioned--Hezekiah, Sargon (xx. 1), Sennacherib (xxxvi., xxxvii. 17, 21, 37), and Merodach-Baladan (xxxix. 1)--are those of the eighth century. In the third section (xl.-lxvi.) Cyrus is in the flood tide of his victorious career (xliv. 28, xlv.; cf. xli. 2-3, 25, etc.); the Assyrian has
Such differences as these were deemed valid grounds for dating Isa. xl.-lxvi. in the sixth century by almost every great commentator of the last century (Gesenius, Ewald, Knobel, Dillmann, Delitzsch in his last edition, Cheyne, Orelli,S. Results Duhm, G. A. Smith). Dillmann characterized this view as results of modern literary investigation." Since Delitzsch in the fourth edition of his commentary (1889) went over to this position, it may truthfully be said that no scientific exegetical work has held to the traditional view of the unity of the Book of Isaiah. In America the assignment of Isa. xl.-lxvi. to the sixth century was strenuously opposed in magazine articles by Prof. W. H. Green of Princeton (Presbyterian and Reformed Review, vol. iii.), but this school of theology has produced no work of exposition on the prophecies of Isaiah since the appearance of that commentary of first rank by J. A. Alexander (1846,rev. ed. 1865). The argument from " the analogy of prophecy " worked this complete revolution in critical opinion. That a prophet primarily addresses his contemporaries; that, however far he may project himself into the future, his point of departure is his own age; that he paints the distant scene of the remotest future in the colors of his own day; that he plants his feet firmly upon the events of his own time, before he attempts to scan the distant horizon these are principles recognized as axiomatic by all interpreters of prophecy. If they are correctly assumed, Isa. xl.-lxvi. can not be assigned to Isaiah, the son of Amoz. In fact, the exilic background of these chapters has been recognized by some of the most zealous defenders of the Isaianic authorship, but it has been attributed to "the prophet's ideal point of view" (Keil; cf. Hengstenberg).
Having attained this result, criticism did not halt, for the argument from the analogy of prophecy will not leave the first part of the work intact (chaps. i.-xxxv.). As early as Eichhorn (1783) it was applied to this section, and resulted 13 in the denial of the genuineness of a number of passages. (1) The oracle on the fall of Babylon (xiii. 1 xiv. 23) was assigned to the Babylonian exile, because the Medes are mentioned as the instruments of the destruction (xiii. 17), and Babylon is described as the supreme world power of that age (xiii. 11, 19, xiv. 4-5, 12 sqq., 16-17). (2) In the critical disposition of passages, xxi. 1-10 is naturally associated with xiii. 1-xiv. 23, for in it the prophet describes the fall of Babylon, and refers to Elam and Media (verse 2) in terms which would be more natural to a prophet of the sixth century than to Isaiah of the eighth. (3) With these two sections just noted go chaps. xxxiv. and xxxv. The latter is a beautiful lyric which is a mosaic of phrases and imagery borrowed from Deutero-Isaiah (the title provisionally assigned to the author of part three); the former is assigned to the exile, because of the bitter hatred and dire vengeance against Edom which it breathes (xxxiv. 5 sqq., 8 sqq.; cf. Ps. cxxxvii. 7). (4) While, in regard to the section Isa. xxiv.-xxvii. there is a general agreement that it is not the work of Isaiah, no consensus of opinion has been reached as to the age to which it should be assigned. Conservative critics are inclined to be satisfied with placing it in the days of the Persian empire. Dates, varying from the reign of Darius Hystaspis (520-485) to that of Artaxerxes Ochus (359-339), have been given. Here the argument from Biblical theology overshadows that based upon the analogy of prophecy. No explicit historical references occur; the imagery is apocalyptic in character, which in itself points to the age of the decay of prophecy. The writer's ideas of the future life-immortality, xxv. 8, and the resurrection, xxvi. 19--are distinct advances on those of Isaiah's age, but the traces of Persian angelology commonly alleged are not so evident. Critical opinion is divided about the age of chap. xxiii. The only reason for denying the Isaianic character of this passage is the occurrence of the phrase "Behold the land of the Chaldeans " (verse 13). The text is extremely uncertain and has led to emendations; instead of Chaldeans, Ewald suggested Canaanites, and Duhm offers Chittim. It may justly be regarded as an Isaianic passage to be assigned either to 723 or to 701 B.C.
Such was the view of critical scholarship before the rise of the modern fragmentary hypothesis which has been advocated by Duhm and Marti in their commentaries (1892, 1900), and by Cheyne in his Introduction to the Book of Isaiah (1895). These three exegetes leave only a very small part of chaps. i.-xxRix, to Isaiah, and Cheyne has tersely enunciated the principles and results of this school It is too bold to maintain that we still have any collection of Isaianic prophecies which in its present
Before the advent of this fragmentary school, Isa. xl.-lxvi. was looked upon as a literary unity, and was attributed to a single prophet, commonly termed the "Great Unknown of the Exile" or Deutero-Isaiah. This prophecy was regarded as falling into three sections marked by the refrain xlviii. 22, Ivii. 21 (Rückert Hitzig, and Delitzsch). Ewald first propounded a theory, the forerunner of the one now to be considered. He maintained that Isa. xl.-Ixvi. was a collection of "pamphlets or fly-leaves which the surging stream of time drew forth, one after another, from the prophet." The writer arranged these pamphlets in two books, xl.-xlviii., xlix.-Ix., to which were added an epilogue, Ixi. i-Ixiii. 6, and an appendix, lxiii. 7-lxvi. 24. According to Ewald, Deutero-Isaiah borrowed xl. 1, 2, Iii. 13-liii. 12, Ivi. 9-lvii. 11 from a prophet of Manasseh's reign, and lvii. 1-lix. 20 from a contemporary of Ezekiel. Dillmann and his school have always stood for the substantial unity of this section of the Book of Isaiah (cf. Dillmann's Kommentar, ed. Kittel, Leipsic, 1898). The earlier efforts to deny the unity of Deutero-Isaiah bore fruit in the commentary of Duhm already mentioned. In this epoch-making book, Duhm maintained that Isa. xl.-lxvi. is the work of three different writers. (1) Deutero Isaiah is reduced to xl, lv., and then one-fourth of its contents is subtracted as later additions. Deutero-Isaiah is supposed to have written his work about 540 B.C. in Lebanon or Phenicia. Duhm regards the following verses as later additions: xl. 5, 31b, xli. 5, xlii. 12, 15-24, xliii. 20b, 21, xliv. 9-20, 28b, xlv. 10, 13b, xlvi. 6-8, xlvii. 3a, 14b, xlviii. 1 in part, 2, 4, 5b, 7b, 8b-10, 16b-19, 22, l. 10, 11, li. 11, 16, 18, Iii. 3-6, liv. 15, 17b, Iv. 3a, 7. (2) From chaps. xl.-Iv. several passages, the so-called "Servant of Yahweh Songs" (xlii. 1-4, xlix. 1-6, I. 4-9, Iii. 13-liii. 12), were exscinded and assigned to a later date. Duhm takes pains to show that these lyrics are dependent on Jeremiah, Job, and Deutero-Isaiah, although the last-named does not show any acquaintance with them. The Servant of Yahweh Songs were read by Trito-Isaiah, and influenced Malachi; the literary connections thus traced point to a member of the Jewish Church of the first half of the fifth century B.C. as their author. Marti differs from Duhm in regarding these songs as an integral part of Deutero-Isaiah. (3) The closing section, chaps. Ivi.-lxvi., is attributed to a third writer, who is designated Trito-Isaiah. He writes in the same measure as Deutero-Isaiah, imitates his style, and agrees with him in proclaiming the future glory of Jerusalem. From the internal evidence, it is argued that he was a resident of Jerusalem, and wrote shortly before the mission of Nehemiah. It is to be noted that Cheyne analyzes this section, and regards it as a compilation from several sources.
Sanity and common sense suggest that the literary criticism of the fragmentists has overreached itself. The arguments from the analogy of prophecy and Biblical theology as applied by Cheyne, Duhm, and Marti necessarily imply a minute knowledge of history such as we do not possess. While this is true, historical criticism has reached some assured results. It has been proved that chaps. xxxvi.-xxxix, were excerpted from the Book of Kings, and certain passages of chaps. i.-xxxix. can not have been written by Isaiah (see above). The literary history of chaps. xl.-lxvi, is not as simple as it once was supposed to be. Of these chapters, xl.-lv. may confidently be assigned to Deutero-Isaiah, xl.-xlviii, being written in the exile (c. 546), and xlix.-lv. in Palestine shortly after the return. The manner and date of origin of lvii.-lxvi. can not be determined with certainty; probably they were written in the age of Ezra and Nehemiah, and were the product of a school of writers rather than of a single pen.
On the Life and Times of Isaiah the best
work is S. R. Driver, Isaiah, his Life and Times, London,
1893. Consult further: A. H. Sayce, Life and Times of Isaiah
Illustrated by Contemporary Monuments, ib. 1889; J. Meinhold, Jesaia und seine Zeit, Freiburg, 1898; R. Sinker,
Hezekiah and His Age, ib. 1897; F. Küchler, Die Stellung
des Propheten Jesaia zum Politik seiner zeit, Tübingen,
1906; DB, ii. 485-486; EB, ii. 2180-2190; JE, vi. 635-636; F. Wilke, Jesaja und Assur, Leipsic, 1905.
On the text consult A. Klostermann Deuterojesaja, Munich, 1893; T. K. Cheyne, Notes and Criticisms on the Hebrew Text of Isaiah London, 1868; idem Isaiah, in SBOT; idem, Critica Biblica, London, 1904; R. L. Ottley, Book of Isaiah according to the LXX., 2 vols., New York, 1904-07; G. H. Box, The Book of lsaiah, London, 1908.
The two best commentaries on the book are by F. Delitzsch, 2 vols., Leipsic, 1889, Eng. transl., 2 vols., London, 1891-92 (conservative), and J. Skinner, in Cambridge Bible, 2 vols., Cambridge, 1896-98 (critical). The book has been constantly the subject of comment, the most noteworthy of which is contained in the works of C. Vitringa, 2 vols., Basel, 1732; R. Lowth, London, 1778 and often (marked out new tines by introducing the subject of the poetry of the book); W. Gesenius, 2 vols., Leipsic, 1821 (philological); F. Hitzig, Heidelberg, 1833; F. J. V. D. Maurer, Leipsic, 1835; E. Henderson, London, 1857; H. Ewald, Stuttgart, 1868, Eng. transl., London, 1875-80; K. A. Knobel, ed. L. Diestel, Leipsic, 1872; J. A. Alexander, 2 vols., New York, 1875; W. Kay, in Bible Commentary, New York, 1875; B. Neteler, Münster, 1878; F. W. Weber, Nördlingen, 1876; S. R. Driver and A. Neubauer, The 53d Chapter of Isaiah according to Jewish Interpreters, 2 vols., Oxford 1876-77; A. le Hir, Paris, 1877; S. Sharpe, London, 1877; W. Urwick, The Servant of Jehovah, ls, Iii. 13-liii. 12, Edinburgh, 1877; T. R. Birks, London 1878; A. Heiligstedt, Halle, 1878; K. W. E. Nägelsbach, Bielefeld, 1877 Eng. transl., New York, 1878 (in Lange); F. Köstlin Berlin, 1879; J. W. Nutt, Commentary on Isaiah by Rabbi Eleazer of Beaugenci, with Notice of Mediaeval French and Spanish Exegesis, London, 1879; J. M. Rodwell, ib. 1881; T. K. Cheyne, The Book of Isaiah Chronologically Arranged, London, 1884; Commentary, 2 vols., ib. 1881-84; G. A. Smith, 2 vols., 1890; H. G. Mitchell, Isaiah i.-xii., New York, 1897; A. Dillmann ed. R. Kittel, Leipsic, 1898; E. König, The Exiles' Book of Consolation, Edinburgh 1899; A. Condamin, Paris, 1905.
1 1. Reports Concerning Isaiah.
2 2. Chronology of the Period.
3 3. External Events.
4 4. Relation of Events to Faith.
5 6. Ideals Underlying Prophecies.
6 6. Isaiah's Life and Character.
7 1. Its Condition.
8 2. Causes and Kinds of Errors.
9 1. Prophetic Authorship in General.
10 2. Interrelations of i.-xxxv. and xl, lxvi.
11 3. Authorship Substantially Isaianic.
12 4. Isaianic Authorship of xxviii.-xxxv.
13 4. Analysis of Isaiah i.- xxxix.
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