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ISAIAH, BOOK OF:

Illuminated Page of Isaiah from a Manuscript Bible, Said to Be of the Twelfth Century.(Lately in the possession of Henriques de Castro, Amsterdam.)

The chief note of the Book of Isaiah is variety—variety of tone, of style, of thought, and of historical background. The first step in the study of Isaiah is to realize this variety by taking a survey of the contents. The heading (i. 1) prepares the reader to expect a collection of closely related prophecies (hence called a "vision," in the singular) concerning Judah and its capital. It is plain, therefore, that ch. xiii.-xxiii. were only inserted as an afterthought; for, with the exception of ch. xxii., they all relate to foreign nations; ch. xiv. 24-27, xvii. 12-14, xxii. 1-14, and 15-25 (which relate to Judah or Jerusalem) may be regarded as fragments which would have perished if an editor had not thought of inserting them in this group. Ch. xxiv.-xxvii., also, can only have been admitted through an extension of the original plan, for they speak primarily of a judgment upon the earth at large, and when they do digress to Israel it is in obscure language, which the men of "Judah and Jerusalem" could not generally have understood. Similarly, ch. xxxiv.-xxxv. can have formed no part of the original vision, for the larger part (xxxiv.) is concerned, not with Judah, but with Edom. Ch. xxxvi.-xxxix. speak of Isaiah in the third person, and largely coincide with II Kings xviii. 13-xx. 19. Ch. xl.-lxvi. have for their background, at any rate to a considerable extent, Jerusalem in ruins and her people in captivity. In following, therefore, that instinct of order, which is, of course, not the same thing as criticism, but is at least one element in it, the first impressions of Isaiah must be obtained from ch. i.-xii. and xxviii.-xxxiii.

  • Ch. i.: One of the finest specimens of prophetic rhetoric known. It is in its present form a general prophecy, full of edification for all periods of Israel's history, thòugh the prominence given in verses 29, 30 to the heathen worship practised in the recesses of gardens would not have seemed perfectly natural in the later period of strict religious purity. There are four leading ideas: Israel's ingratitude to its God; the false repentance of oblations; the true repentance of a changed life; purification from without, failing purification from within.
  • Ch. ii.-iv.: A series of denunciations of the national corruption enclosed between two pictures of the ideal age. Here Isaiah goes into greater detail, both as to the nature of Judah's sin and as to the inevitable punishment. Like a thunder-storm the wrath of God will overthrow the proud, and sweep away the heathenish luxury of the grandees of the land; all classes will be disturbed from their pleasant security; the ablest citizens will go into captivity, for theirs is the greatest guilt; nor shall the women of Jerusalem escape (comp. Amos iv. 1-3).
  • Ch. v.: A briefer utterance with similar scope. It begins with a bright parable on the vineyard of God, the moral of which is the danger of Judah's ingratitude; then follows a series of "wos" on the chief national sins, and a weird, mysterious announcement of terrible invaders.
The Call of the Prophet.
  • Ch. vi.: This chapter might well have stood at the head of the whole book. It describes the call of the prophet. A vision, such as all prophets may expect to have (though abundance of visions is no proof of the goodness of a "man of God"), came to Isaiah, and in this vision—the sum of which was the glorified and idealized Temple—God and Isaiah interchanged these words: "Whom shall I send?" "Send me." No passage is so important as is this one for the true biography of Isaiah.
  • Ch. vii.-ix. 7: Partly historical, partly prophetical. It is unfortunate that this precedent is not followed more frequently. It is now known that Isaiah sought to influence Ahaz, but was repelled by the king. Judah was in sore peril from the invaders Pekah and Rezin (not the invaders to whom he pointed so mysteriously in v. 26 et seq.), and there was a conflict between the two principles—reliance on outside human help and implicit trust in Israel's God. Ahaz stood for the first, Isaiah for the second. One result there was which Ahaz could never have anticipated: the sign of Immanuel has supplied material for controversy to the present hour. It might be thought that it was a promise of safety. But Isaiah could not "speak peace when there was no peace." It is desolation, and not deliverance, which the unbelief of Ahaz will ultimately bring on his unhappy country (vii. 17-25). In ch. viii. 1-4 Isaiah reaffirms his declaration (vii. 7-9) of a judgment swiftly coming to Damascus and Samaria. But will Judah escape? No, but the kernel of the nation will escape. Judgment will bring about purification. A deliverer already exists in the counsels of God, and he will restore the kingdom of David in an idealized form (ix. 1-7).
  • Ch. ix. 8-x. 4: A highly poetical picture of the approaching ruin of the Northern Kingdom, though there are also glances at Judah. The rivalry of factions in the state and the fall of the incompetent rulers on the field of battle are graphically described.
Reliance on Assyria.
  • Ch. x. 5-xii. 6: There is more religious thought, however, in the discourses contained in these chapters. The variety of imagery, too, is highly remarkable. Assyria (that is, its king; comp. the use of "France" and "England" in Shakespeare) is the staff or the ax in God's hand. Its army is like a forest. Assyria's lust of conquest is like the sport of bird-nesting. See the astonishingly rapid march of the armed hosts! Some with their leader "shake their hands" at the sacred mountain. The Davidic kingdom will, as it seems, be cut down. But so, too, Assyria will be cut down; and while a "shoot" (R. V.) will "come forth out of the stock of Jesse," no such prospect is held out for Assyria. Not to Babylon, but to Jerusalem, will the nations repair. Not in Assyria, but in the land of Israel, will the peace of paradise be exemplified. Thither will all Israel's exiles be brought back, singing psalms of devout and grateful joy.
  • Ch. xxviii.-xxxiii.: These chapters also are full of variety. From the first the prophet alternates between judgment and salvation. The proud crown of the drunkards (princely drunkards!) of Ephraim is trodden down; for the residue there is a crown of glory (Samaria fell 722 B.C.). But there are drunkards (priestly drunkards!) in Judah too, trusting in a "refuge of lies" instead of in the "sure foundation" stone (xxviii. 15-17). At another time the teacher seems to have adopted a different tone. A few, perhaps, became dejected by Isaiah's frequent reference to destruction. Would this plowing and thrashing go on forever? No; an earthly husbandman is too wise for that; and the heavenly husbandman knows best of all that destruction is justified only by the object of sowing some useful plant when the soil has been prepared (xxviii. 23-29).It is true, as ch. xxix. shows, the great majority were quite otherwise impressed by Isaiah's preaching. A deep lethargy clouded the senses of the rulers (verses 10-12). But the crash of thunder will awaken them. Within a year Jerusalem will be besieged, and in the midst of the siege God Himself will fall upon Jerusalem and punish her (1-4, 6). But fear not; the foe will suffer most; God will not permit the nations to destroy Mount Zion (5, 7, 8). Wo to the formalists and to the unbelieving politicians of Judah! (13-15). But all the best blessings are to the poor and the meek.
Alliance with Egypt.

The cause of Isaiah's wrath against the politicians was an alliance with Egypt which was being planned in secret. This is shown by ch. xxx. Isaiah predicts the disappointment which awaits the ambassadors, and the terrible results which willfollow from this short-sighted statecraft. But here again the usual contrast is introduced. Storm and sunshine compete with each other. The Golden Age will yet come; Nature will participate in the happiness of regenerate Judah. Assyria will be crushed, and meantime the Jews will sing, as in the night of the feast-day (the vigil of the Passover; comp. Ex. xii. 42). In ch. xxxi.-xxxii. 8 the prophet still hovers about the same theme, while in xxxii. 9-20 the careless security of the women is chastised (comp. iii. 16 et seq.), the desolation soon to be wrought by the invader is described, and, as a cheering contrast, the future transformation of the national character and of the physical conditions of life are once more confidently announced. Ch. xxxiii. is one of the most singular of the extant specimens of prophetic writing. There is no apparent arrangement, and some of the verses seem to be quite isolated. It is a kind of vision which is described. The land is being laid waste. O Lord, help! But see! the hostile hordes suddenly disappear; Zion's God is her security. Alas! not yet. The highways still lie waste. The whole country from Lebanon to Sharon mourns. Yes, it is God's time to arise. He has, in fact, arisen, and the "godless" (the converted Jews) tremble, while the righteous are assured of salvation. How happy will the retrospect of their past troubles make them! (verse 18). Then, too, it will be plain that Zion's load of guilt has been removed.

Book of Judgments.

The idea which pervades the first of the five lesser books (ch. xiii.-xxiii., xxiv.-xxvii., xxxiv.-xxxv., xxxvi.-xxxix., and xl.-lxvi.) which still await consideration may be expressed in Isaiah's own words (they are taken here provisionally to be Isaiah's): "This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations" (xiv. 26). It is, in fact, a Book of Judgments on the nations, except that four passages have found admission into it which relate, not to the world outside, but to the little people which, as Isaiah may have thought, out-weighed in the eyes of God all the other nations put together. These four passages are as follows:

  • Ch. xiv. 24-27 is a short prophecy declaring the purpose of Israel's God to tread Assyria under foot upon the "mountains" of Judah, to which is appended a solemn declaration, part of which is quoted above (verses 26, 27). In ch. xvii. 12-14 there is a graphic prophecy of the destruction of the "many nations" which attack Jerusalem (comp. viii. 9, 10; xxix. 7, 8); no special nation is singled out. In ch. xxii. 1-14 there is an indignant rebuke of the people of Jerusalem, who are in no degree sobered by the danger, just now removed, from the Assyrians; instead of examining into their ways, ceasing to do evil, and learning to do well, they indulge in wild revelry. In ch. xxii. 15-25 an invective against the vizier of the day (Shebna) is followed by a promise of his office to a worthier man (Eliakim), to which an appendix is attached announcing this second vizier's fall.Of the judgments upon definite nations, other than the Jewish, the first (ch. xiii.) declares the doom of Babylon, and to it is appended a fine, artistic ode of triumph on the King of Babylon (xiv. 4b-21). Observe that the prophet distinctly speaks as if the Medes were already mustering for the march on Babylon. Is it to be supposed that Isaiah was at the time in an ecstasy? Ch. xiv. 22-23 is a prophecy, summing up Babylon's doom in more prosaic style.
  • Ch. xiv. 28-32 contains the doom of the Philistines, who are in premature exultation at the "breaking" of some terrible "rod." Ch. xv.-xvi. 12 are highly dramatic; they begin with a picture of the consternation of the Moabites at the havoc wrought by an invader, describe the flight' of the people in much detail, mention how an appeal to Mount Zion for help was rejected, make sympathetic references to the lamentations of the Moabites over their ruined vines, and then, without any apparent connection, assert that no appeal to Chemosh for aid will be effectual. To this is added (verses 13, 14) a solemn declaration that the prophecy which had been delivered at some previous period shall be fulfilled within three years.
  • Ch. xvii. 1-11 is directed against Damascus (that is, Syria) and Ephraim (that is, Israel). These two powers have set themselves against the true God, and must suffer the same doom. However, the few who are left in Israel will turn to the holy God, and give up lower forms of worship.
  • Ch. xviii. was apparently intended to be an address to Ethiopia. But already (verse 3) the prophet turns to the world at large, and bids men take heed of the signs of the divine approach. When the power hostile to God is ripe for destruction, it will be cut off. Then will the Ethiopians send presents to Jerusalem. The doom, therefore, is really confined to verses 4-6.
  • Ch. xix. describes the utter collapse of Egypt, owing to its conquest by a "cruel lord" (verse 4). The main interest, however, lies in verses 18-24, which apparently contain circumstantial predictions of the establishment of Jewish colonies in five cities of Egypt, including the "city of the sun"; of the erection of a sanctuary in Egypt to Israel's God; of the deliverance of the Jews (?) in Egypt in their sore distress; of the conversion of the Egyptians; and of the providential discipline of Egypt, which henceforth will be a member of a sacred triad of closely connected nations—Egypt, Assyria, and Israel.The prophecy in ch. xx. gives a second judgment upon Egypt, and a perfectly new judgment on Ethiopia. It stands in marked contrast both to ch. xviii. and to ch. xix. Its possession of a historical introduction would have led to its being grouped with ch. vii.-ix. 7 and ch. xxxvi.-xxxix.; but doubtless it was too short to stand alone.
  • Ch. xxi. contains three "burdens" (or oracles)— that of the "wilderness of the sea" (R. V.), relative to the destruction of Babylon by Elam and Media (contingents in the assailing army?), that of Dumah (that is, Edom), and that of the "Dedanites" (R. V.), entitled by the early editors of the Hebrew text "in Arabia," words apparently derived from the opening words "in the forest in Arabia." The oracles in ch. xxi. contain great textual difficulties.The only remaining prophecy in this section is that on Tyre. It has a strongly elegiac character, and its reference is much disputed. Here, again,textual problems have to be settled before any attempts at exegesis. But it is clear that the standpoint of verses 15-18 is not that of verses 1-14. It is an epilogue, and expresses a much more hopeful spirit than the original prophecy. Tyre will one day be of importance to the people of Jerusalem; its prosperity is therefore to be desired. Here, then, the note of variety or contrast is as strongly marked as in any part of Isaiah.Still more remarkable is the variety in the contents of the second of the lesser books (ch. xxiv.-xxvii.). It is observed by R. G. Moulton that, dramatic as this fine passage is, one looks in vain for temporal succession, and finds instead "the pendulum movement dear to Hebrew imagination, alternating between judgment and salvation." However, the parts of this "rhapsody" can not safely be distributed among the dramatis personæ, for it is no literary whole, but a "rhapsody" in a sense not intended by Moulton, a collection of fragments, large or small, stitched, as it were, together. It might also be called a "mosaic," and, since very little, if any, attempt has been made to fuse the different elements, one might, with much advantage, read this composite work in the following order:(1) xxiv. 1-23: The Last Judgment.(2) xxv. 6-8: The Feast of Initiation into communion with God, spread not only for Israel, but for all peoples.(3) xxvi. 20, 21: Summons to the Jews to shut themselves up, while God carries out the awful doom of the wicked (comp. Ex. xii. 22b, 23).(4) xxvii. 1, 12: Mystic prophecy of the Leviathan's doom, and the restoration of the entire body of dispersed Jews.(5) xxvii. 7-11: Conditions of salvation for the Jews.(6) xxvi. 1-19: Song of praise for the deliverance of the Righteous, which passes into a meditative retrospect of recent events, and closes with a prophecy of the resurrection of those who have been faithful unto death.(7) xxv. 1-5: Song of praise for the destruction of an insolent city.(8) xxv. 9-12: Praise for deliverance, and anticipations of the downfall of Moab.(9) xxvii. 2-5: Song concerning God's vineyard, Israel.
  • Ch. xxxiv.-xxxv. show the same oscillation between judgment and salvation which has been previously noted. The judgment upon all nations (especially Edom) is depicted in lurid tints; upon this, with no link of transition, follows a picture of salvation and of the restoration of the Jewish exiles.
  • Ch. xxxvi.-xxxix. are a mixture of narrative, prophecy, and poetry. The great deliverance from Assyria under Hezekiah, in which Isaiah plays an important part, is related. An ode on the fall of the King of Assyria (recalling xiv. 4b-21) shows Isaiah (if it be Isaiah) to be a highly gifted poet (xxxvii. 21b-29); and a kind of psalm (see xxxviii. 20), ascribed to Hezekiah, tells how the speaker had recovered from a severe illness, and recognized in his recovery a proof of the complete forgiveness of his sins. A historical preface elucidates this. Both the ode in ch. xxxvii. and the psalm in ch. xxxviii. are accompanied with circumstantial prophecies, not in a poetic style, addressed to Hezekiah. Ch. xxxix. contains a prediction of a Babylonian captivity, also addressed to Hezekiah, and a historical preface.
The Question of Ch. xl.-lxvi.

There still remain ch. xl.-lxvi., which follow abruptly on ch. xxxvi.-xxxix., though a keen eye may detect a preparation for "Comfort ye, comfort ye," in the announcement of the spoiling of Jerusalem and the carrying away of Hezekiah's sons to Babylon in ch. xxxix. Ch. xl.-lxvi. are often called "The Prophecy of Restoration," and yet it requires no great cleverness to see that these twenty-seven chapters are full of variety in tone and style and historical background. A suggestion of this variety may be presented by giving a table of the contents. Alike from a historical and from a religious point of view, these chapters will reward the most careful study, all the more so because controversy is rendered less acute respecting these prophecies than respecting the prophecies in ch. i-xxxix. The word "prophecies," however, has associations which may mislead; they are better described as "unspoken prophetic and poetical orations."

  • (1) Good news for the Exiles (xl. 1-11).
  • (2) Reasoning with the mental difficulties of Israel (xl. 12-31).
  • (3) The Lord, the only true God, proved to be so by the prophecy concerning Cyrus (xli. 20).
  • (4) Dispute between the true God and the false deities (xli. 21-29).
  • (5) Contrast between the ideal and the actual Israel, with lofty promises (xlii. 1-xliii. 7).
  • (6) How Israel, blind as it is, must bear witness for the true God, who is the God of prophecy: the argument from prophecy is repeatedly referred to (xliii. 8-13).
  • (7) The fall of Babylon and the second Exodus (xliii. 14-21).
  • (8) The Lord pleads with careless Israel (xliii. 22-xliv. 5).
  • (9) Once more, the argument for the true God from prophecy, together with a sarcastic description of the fabrication of idols (xliv. 6-23).
  • (10) The true object of the victories of Cyrus—Israel's deliverance (xliv. 24-xlv. 25).
  • (11) The deities of Babylon contrasted with the God of Israel (xlvi. 1-13).
  • (12) A song of derision concerning Babylon (xlvii. 1-15).
  • (13) The old prophecies (those on Cyrus' victories) were great; the new ones (those on Israel's restoration) are greater (xlviii.).
  • (14) Israel and Zion, now that they are (virtually) restored, are the central figures in the divine work (xlix. 1-13).
  • (15) Consolations for Zion and her children (xlix. 14-l. 3).
  • (16) The true servant of the Lord, at once confessor and martyr, soliloquizes (l. 4-11).
  • (17) Exhortation and comfort, with a fervid ejaculatory prayer (li. 1-16).
  • (18) Words of cheer to prostrate Zion (li. 17-lii. 12).
  • (19) The martyrdom of the true servant of the Lord, and his subsequent exaltation (lii. 13-liii. 12).
  • (20) Further consolations for Zion, who is once more the Lord's bride, under a new and everlasting covenant (liv.).
  • (21) An invitation to the Jews of the Dispersion to appropriate the blessings of the new covenant, followed by more prophecies of deliverance (lv.).
  • (22) Promises to proselytes and to believing eunuchs (lvi. 1-8).
  • (23) An invective against the bad rulers of Jerusalem and against the evil courses of heretical or misbelieving persons, with promises to humble-minded penitents (lvi. 9-lvii. 21).
  • (24) Practical discourse on fasting and Sabbath-observance (lviii.).
  • (25) Partly denunciation of immorality, partly confession of sins (lix. 1-15a).
  • (26) A vision of deliverance, with a promise of the permanence of regenerate Israel's mission (lix. 15b-21).
  • (27) A poetic description of glorified Zion (lx.).
  • (28) The true servant of the Lord, or, perhaps, the prophetic writer, soliloquizes concerning the gracious message entrusted to him, and the Lord confirms his word (lxi. 1-12).
  • (29) Vision of the divine warrior returning from Edom (lxiii. 1-6).
  • (30) Exhausted and almost despairing, Israel complains to the Lord (lxiii. 7-lxiv. 12).
  • (31) Threatenings to the heretical and misbelieving faction, and promises to the faithful (lxv.).
  • (32) Polemic against those who would erect a rival temple to that of Jerusalem (lxvi. 1-4).
  • (33) The fates of Jerusalem and all her opponents contrasted (lxvi. 5-24).
The Critical Problem.

The reader who has not shrunk from the trouble of the orderly perusal of Isaiah which is here recommended will be in a position to judge to some extent between the two parties into which, as it may strike one who is not an expert, the theological world is divided. The study of criticism, as it is commonly called, apart from exegesis, is valueless; he is the best critic of Isaiah who knows the exegetical problems best, and to come into touch with the best critics the student must give his days and nights to the study of the text of this book. An attempt will now be made to give some idea of the main critical problem. Many persons think that the question at issue is whether ch. i.-xxxix. were (apart from slight editorial insertions) written by Isaiah, and ch. xl.-lxvi. by some other writer of a much later age. This is a mistake. A series of prophetic announcements of deliverances from exile is interspersed at intervals throughout the first half of Isaiah, and the date of these announcements has in each case to be investigated by the same methods as those applied to the different parts of Isa. xl.-lxvi. The "parts" of Isa. xl.-lxvi. are referred to because here again there exists a widely prevalent error. That the second part of Isaiah has no literary unity will be obvious to any reader of the preceding synopsis. To argue the question whether the so-called Book of Isaiah has one or two authors is to beat the air. If there was more than one Isaiah, there must have been more than two, for the same variety of idea, phraseology, and background which is by so many scholars taken to prove that "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God" (xl. 1) was not written by Isaiah can be taken to prove that "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and declare unto my people their transgressions" (lviii. 1, R. V.) was not written by the author of "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people."

The "Variety" of Isaiah.

By "variety" is not, of course, meant total, absolute difference. It stands to reason that a great prophet like Isaiah would exert considerable influence on subsequent prophetic writers. There is no justification, therefore, for arguing that because the phrases "the Holy One of Israel" and "the Mighty One of Israel" occur in both halves of Isaiah (the second phrase, however, is varied in Isa. xl. et seq. by the substitution of "Jacob" for "Israel"), the same prophet must have written both portions. A correspondence of isolated phrases which is not even uniformly exact is of little value as an argument, and may be counterbalanced by many phrases peculiar to the disputed prophecies. Still more unwise would it be to argue, from a certain general likeness between the idea of God in the prophecies of the two parts of Isaiah, that the two parts had the same prophetic author, especially now that the extent of Isaiah's contributions to the first half of the book is being so keenly debated. Most unwise of all would it be to attach any weight to a tradition of Isaiah's authorship of the whole book which goes back only to Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) xlviii. 24, 25: "By a spirit of might he saw the end, and comforted the mourners of Zion, forever he declared things that should be, and hidden things before they came" (Hebr.).

Two eminent Jewish rabbis, Abraham ibn Ezra and Isaac Abravanel, were the first who showed a tendency to disintegrate the Book of Isaiah, but their subtle suggestion had no consequences. Practically, the analytic criticism of Isaiah goes back to Koppe, the author of the notes to the German edition of Bishop Lowth's "Isaiah" (1779-81). The chief names connected with this criticism in its first phase are those of Hitzig, Ewald, and Dillmann; a new phase, however, has for some time appeared, the opening of which may perhaps be dated from the article "Isaiah" in "Encyc. Brit." (1881) and two articles in "J. Q. R." (July and Oct., 1891), all by T. K. Cheyne; to which may be added the fruitful hints of Stade in his "Gesch. des Volkes Israel" (1889, vol. i.), and the condensed discussions of Kuenen in the second edition of his "Investigations into the Origin and Collection of the Books of the Old Testament" (part ii., 2d ed., 1889). To these add Duhm's and Marti's recent commentaries, and the "Introduction" (1895) by T. K. Cheyne. Prof. G. A. Smith's two volumes on Isaiah reflect the variations of opinion in a candid mind, influenced at first, somewhat to excess, by the commentary of Dillmann. For a convenient summary of the present state of criticism the reader may consult Kautzsch's "Outline of the History of the Literature of the Old Testament" (1898), translated by John Taylor, and "Isaiah," in Cheyne-Black, "Encyc. Bibl." (1901). The former work shows how much light is thrown on the different parts of the Book of Isaiah by reading them as monuments of definite historical periods. For a much less advanced position Driver's "Life and Times of Isaiah" (1st ed., 1888) may be consulted; for an impartial sketch of different theories consult the sixth edition of the same writer's "Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament."

Periods of the Prophecy.

It must suffice here to give a few hints as to the probable periods of the chief prophecies. Three great national crises called forth the most certainly genuine prophecies of Isaiah—the Syro-Israelitish invasion (734), the siege and fall of Samaria (722), and the campaign of Sennacherib (701). Among the non-Isaian prophecies, there are two exilic prophecies of the fall of Babylon (xiii. 1-xiv. 23, and, as most suppose, xxi. 1-10); a probably post-exilic prophecy, or elegy, on the ruin of Moab (xv.-xvi.); prophecies on Egypt and on Tyre, both post-exilic, and the former furnished with a late appendix belonging to the Greek period. The strange and difficult work here called a "rhapsody" or a "mosaic" (ch. xxiv.-xxvii.) belongs at earliest to the fall of the Persian and the rise of the Greco-Macedonian empire. Ch. xxxiv.-xxxv. are so weak that it is not worth while to dogmatize on their date, which is certainly very late. The Prophecy of Restoration is, of course, a late exilic work; it is disputed whether it closes properly at ch. xlviii. or at ch. lv. The subsequent prophecies are additions, belonging presumably to the times of Nehemiah and Ezra. The latest editor of ch. xl.-lxvi. seems to have given a semblance of unity to thevarious prophecies by dividing the entire mass into three nearly equal books, the two former of which close with nearly the same words (xlviii. 22, lvii. 21).

Bibliography: I. Commentaries, Translations, and Critical Editions:
  • G. D. Luzzatto, Il Profeta Isaia, Padua, 1855 (Jewish);
  • R. Lowth, Isaiah, a new translation with preliminary dissertation and notes, London, 1778;
  • E. Henderson, Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 2d ed. ib. 1840;
  • J. A. Alexander, Commentary, Edinburgh, 1865;
  • T. K. Cheyne, The Book of Isaiah Chronologically Arranged, London, 1870;
  • idem, Prophecies of Isaiah, a new translation, with commentary and appendixes, ib. 1880-82;
  • G. A. Smith, Isaiah, in Expositor's Bible, ib. 1888-90;
  • J. Skinner, Isaiah, in Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, Cambridge, 1896-98;
  • H. G. Mitchell, Isaiah, a Study of Chapters i.-xii. New York, 1897;
  • T. K. Cheyne, Isaiah, translation and notes, in S. B. O. T. New York and London, 1898 (Hebrew ed. with notes, Leipsic, 1899);
  • Ed. König, The Exiles' Book of Consolation, Edinburgh, 1899;
  • Camp. Vitringa, Commentary, 2 vols., Leeuwarden, 1714-1720;
  • J. C. Döderlein, Esaias (translation with notes), Nuremberg, 1789;
  • E. Reuss, Les Prophètes, 1876;
  • W. Gesenius, Der Prophet Jesaja Uebersetzt; mit einem Vollständigen Philologischen, Kritischen, und Historischen Commentar, Leipsic, 1820-21;
  • F. Hitzig, Der Prophet Jesaja, Heidelberg, 1833;
  • H. Ewald, Die Propheten des Alten Bundes, Tübingen, 1810-41 (2d ed. Göttingen, 1867-68; Eng. transl. by J. F. Smith, 1875-81);
  • A. Knobel, Der Prophet Jesaja, Leipsic, 1843 (3d ed. 1861);
  • Franz Delitzsch, Biblischer Commentar über das Buch Jesaja, Leipsic 1866 (4th ed. entirely recast, 1889; Eng. transl. 1892);
  • C. J. Bredenkamp, Der Prophet Jesaja Erläutert, Erlangen, 1887;
  • Conrad von Orelli, Die Propheten Jesaja und Jeremias, Nördlingen, 1887 (Eng. transl. by Banks, 1889);
  • Aug. Dillmann, Der Prophet Jesaja, Leipsic. 1890;
  • Duhm, Das Buch Jesaja, Göttingen, 1892;
  • Aug. Klostermann, Deuterojesaia, Munich, 1893 (a critical edition of ch. xl.-lxvi.);
  • H. Guthe and V. Ryssel, Jesaja, in Kautzsch, Die Heilige Schrift, vol. xv., Freiburg-im-Breisgau and Leipsic, 1894;
  • K. Marti, Das Buch Jesaja, Tübingen, 1900.
  • II. Illustrative and Comprehensive Notes: S. R. Driver and Ad. Neubauer, The 53d Chapter of Isaiah According to Jewish Interpretations (with introduction by E. B. Pusey), Oxford, 1876-77;
  • G. Vance Smith, The Prophecies Relating to Nineveh and the Assyrians, London, 1857;
  • R. Payne Smith, The Authenticity and Messianic Interpretation of the Prophecies of Isaiah Vindicated, Oxford and London, 1862 (the lines of Jewish interpretations are well sketched);
  • Sir E. Strachey, Jewish History and Politics in the Times of Sargon and Sennacherib, 2d ed. London, 1874;
  • T. K. Cheyne, Introduction, to the Book of Isaiah, ib. 1895;
  • W. Robertson Smith, The Prophets of Israel, Edinburgh, 1882 (2d ed. London, 1896);
  • A. H. Sayce, Life of Isaiah, London, 1883;
  • C. H. H. Wright, Pre-Christian Jewish Interpretations of Isaiah liii. in The Expositor (London), May, 1888;
  • S. R. Driver, Isaiah, His Life and Times, and the Writings Which Bear His Name, London, 1888;
  • J. Kennedy, Argument for the Unity of Isaiah, ib. 1891;
  • C. H. H. Wright, Isaiah, in Smith's Dict. of the Bible, 2d ed. 1893;
  • G. Douglas, Isaiah One and His Book One, London, 1895;
  • C. F. Kirkpatrick, Doctrine of the Prophets, ib. 1892;
  • Max L. Keliner, The Prophecies of Isaiah, an Outline Study in Connexion with the Assyrian-Babylonian Records, Cambridge, Mass., 1895;
  • J. F. McCurdy, History, Prophecy, and the Monuments, New York and London, 1894;
  • F. H. Krüger, Essai sur la Théologie d'Esaie xl.-lxvi. Paris, 1861;
  • C. P. Caspari, Beiträge zur Einleitung in das Buch Jesaja, Berlin, 1848;
  • idem, Ueber den Syrisch-Ephraimit. Krieg Unter Jotham und Ahaz, Christiania, 1849;
  • L. Seinecke, Der Evangelist des Alten Testaments, Leipsic, 1870;
  • H. Guthe, Das Zukunftsbild, des Jesaja, ib. 1885;
  • Fr. Giesebrecht, Beiträge zur Jesaiakritik, Göttingen, 1890;
  • M. Schian, Die Ebed-Jahwe Lieder, Halle, 1895);
  • H. Lane, Die Ebed-Jahwe Lieder, Wittenberg, 1898;
  • E. Sellin, Serubbabel, Leipsic, 1898;
  • A. Bertholet, Zu Jesaja liii.: Ein, Erklärungsversuch, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1899;
  • H. Winckler, Alttestamentliche Untersuchungen, Leipsic, 1897;
  • idem, Altorientalische Forschungen, ib. 1897;
  • J. Meinhold, Jesaja und Seine Zeit, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1898;
  • idem, Die Jesajaerzählungen, Jesaja xxxvi.-xxxix. Göttingen, 1898. See also the various histories of Israel, introductions to the Old Testament, and Old Testament theologies.
E. G. H. T. K. C.
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