Translated from the Manuscript
by Samuel Ives Curtiss
(Hebrew Scripture taken from Jewish Publication Society, 1917 edition and
Apostolic Scripture from the King James version.)
1. The names Messiah and Christ.
Messianic prophecies, in the most common acceptation of the term, are such as connect the hope of salvation and the glory of God's people with an ideal king, who, originating in Israel is to rule the world. This king is as such divinely anointed, but this attribute does not become a distinctive designation in the Old Testament. First in the doctrinal language of post-biblical Judaism he is called almost with the significance of a proper name מׇשִׁיחַ (Mashiach/Messiah), Greek Μεσσιας (Messias/Messiah), which follows the Aramaic form מְשִׁיחׇא (Meshikha/Messiah). The fundamental passage for this designation of the king of the final period is Psalm 2:2. There is no Old Testament passage in which מׇשִׁיחַ indisputably indicates the future king with eschatological exclusiveness. The name Χριστος (Christos/Christ) is the translation of מׇשִׁיחַ, but although it corresponds to it verbally, yet it is not really coextensive, for in the designation of Jesus as the Christ the idea of king is relieved of its one-sidedness. The ideas of the superhuman deity and of the prophet of the kingdom of heaven, and of the priest by reason of the sacrifice of himself, are combined in this name with the idea of the royal dignity. With it is united the representation of one triply anointed to a threefold office.
Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth stand up, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD, and against His anointed:
Remark 1. In the Old Testament David, 2 Samuel 23:1, and the king of the house of David are called מׇשִׁיחַ. In other passages it may be questioned whether the name is eschatologically intended Habakkuk 3:13, Psalm 132:17; in still other passages the Messiah is at least indirectly intended, since the name indicates a king, who realizes the idea of the king of Israel, 1 Samuel 2:10, 35. Only in Psalm 2:2 can there be scarcely any doubt about the eschatological meaning. Perhaps in Daniel 9:25 מׇשִׁיחַ נׇגִיד (Mashiach Nagid/Messiah the Prince) indicates the future One as high priest and king in one person. On the other hand in verse 26 מׇשִׁיחַ is not the king Messiah, but either Seleucus IV Philopator, (d. 175 B. C.) compare Daniel 9, or Onias III (d. 171 B. C.) the high priest, after whose fall Antiochus Epiphanes plundered the temple. Probably the latter is intended, for Seleucus IV Philopator would hardly be called by the prophet מׇשִׁיחַ as Cyrus was by Deutero-Isaiah.
2 Samuel 23:1 Now these are the last words of David: The saying of David the son of Jesse, And the saying of the man raised on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet singer of Israel:
Habakkuk 3:13 Thou art come forth for the deliverance of Thy people, For the deliverance of Thine anointed; Thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked, Uncovering the foundation even unto the neck. Selah.
Psalm 132:17 There will I make a horn to shoot up unto David, There have I ordered a lamp for Mine anointed.
1 Samuel 2:10, 35 They that strive with the LORD shall be broken to pieces; Against them will He thunder in heaven; The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength unto His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed...35 And I will raise Me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in My heart and in My mind; and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before Mine anointed for ever.
Daniel 9:25, 26 Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem unto one anointed, a prince, shall be seven weeks; and for threescore and two weeks, it shall be built again, with broad place and moat, but in troublous times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and be no more; and the people of a prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; but his end shall be with a flood; and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
2. Messianic and Christological Elements.
Even within the Old Testament itself the royal image of the future divinely anointed One is proved to be incomplete, since it is neither coextensive with the needs, nor exhausts the expectations of salvation. But besides this, since the idea of the future God-man at first comes to view only in occasional glimpses, the Man of Salvation does not yet occupy a central position in Old Testament faith, but the completion of the kingdom of God frequently appears, with the recession of human instrumentality, as the proper work of the God of Salvation. But we include even this kind of prophecies under the Messianic classification, because, as the New Testament fulfilment shows, it is God in Christ, who, starting from Israel, secures for the human race and offers to it the highest spiritual blessings. Even the prophecies of the final and essential salvation, which are silent respecting the Messiah, are christological when viewed in their historical fulfilment.
Remark 1. Within the course of the evangelical history the Lord is called Jesus. First after he has proved to be the Messiah, who was foretold in the Old Testament, Acts 2:36, he receives in addition to the proper name Jesus the designation of honor, which has likewise become a proper name, Christ. Within the gospels, except in John 1:17; 17:3, this double designation only occurs in Matthew 1:1, 18 (only here του 'Ιησου Χριστου [tou Iesou Christou/of Jesus Christ]); Mark 1:1. The evangelists write this double designation over the gates of their gospels like an anagram or emblem of the entire following history, with a similar signification as the Tora prefixes the double designation יְהֹוׇה אלֹהִים (YHVH Elohim/Lord God) to Genesis 2-3.
Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.Remark 2. The accumulation of the names Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, or merely Christ, rarely Jesus, in the apostolic epistles, e. g. in the beginning of the epistle to the Colossians is remarkable. It is the transcendent love of the Lord which is mirrored in this cumulative designation, and we feel thoroughly, that the name Christ is not equivalent to the conception of the king, but that the Lord is thus named as the One, in whom all God's promises have become yea and amen, 2 Corinthians 1:20. Even in the language of the synagogue מׇשִׁיחַ (Mashiach/Messiah) signifies more than מֶלֶךְ (Melek/King). It is the name of the coming One (ο μελλων), for which reason the designation of the king is indicated by מַלְכׇּא מְשִׁיחׇא (Melek Mashiach/King Messiah).
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Matthew 1:1, 18 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham...Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
3. Historical Sketch.
The New Testament references to Old Testament prophecies are limited by the occasions afforded in the gospel history, and the apostolic trains of thought. Hence it has come to pass that many Messianic passages of prime importance have remained unnoticed, e. g. Isaiah 9:5-6; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 6:12-13.Isaiah 9:5-6 For a child is born unto us, A son is given unto us; And the government is upon his shoulder; And his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom; That the government may be increased, And of peace there be no end, Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, To establish it, and to uphold it Through justice and through righteousness From henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts doth perform this.A richer, and to a certain extent, more systematic discussion of the predictions and representations concerning Christ in the Old Testament, begins with the epistle of Barnabas (71 120 A. D.) which is related to the epistle to the Hebrews, but which stands far below it, and in Justin's Dialogue with Trypho (about 148 A. D.), who is in so far inferior to his Jewish opponent, that he is acquainted with the Old Testament only through the secondary source of the Septuagint and puts the apocryphal on the same footing with the canonical (compare Psalm 96:10 απο ξυλου [apo xulou/from the tree]). Origen (d. 254) was acquainted with Hebrew, but his interpretation of the Scriptures suffers from his effort at that arbitrary allegorization, in which the Alexandrian School is the succesor of Philo. On the other hand the historical method of the Antiochian School brought about a reaction, which even referred direct Messianic prophecies like Micah 5:1 to Zerubbabel and in general to objects before Christ, and only, with reference to the result of their higher fulfilment, to Christ.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, That I will raise unto David a righteous shoot, And he shall reign as king and prosper, And shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, And Israel shall dwell safely; And this is his name whereby he shall be called, The LORD is our righteousness.
Zechariah 6:12-13 and speak unto him, saying: Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying: Behold, a man whose name is the Shoot, and who shall shoot up out of his place, and build the temple of the LORD; even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and there shall be a priest before his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.Micah 5:1 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, Which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, Out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.It was not taken into account by the ancient church, down to the time of the Middle Ages, that there is in the Old Testament a preparation for the salvation in Christ through a connected and progressive history. Nor was it taken into account in the time of the Reformation, when the predominantly apologetic interest of the ancient church was replaced by one which was predominantly dogmatic, and a spiritualistic interpretation took the place of an allegorical, which removed the national elements of the old prophecy by means of a symbolical or a mystical interpretation. First Spener (d. 1705) and his school made way for a better understanding of the prophecies, while he with reference to Romans 11:25-26, recognized that which is relatively authorized in the national form of the Old Testament prophecy.Romans 11:25-26 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:John Albert Bengel (d. 1752) and Christian Augustus Crusius (d. 1775) began to modify the stiff idea of inspiration, since they regarded the prophets not only as passive, but also at the same time as active instruments, and placed their range of view under the law of perspective. With Cocceius (d. 1669) began the method of treating the Old Testament in periods. But they were not able to divide this history into periods according to its internal development, in which chance and plan, freedom and necessity interpenetrate. When then rationalism degraded Jesus to a teacher of religion and morals, the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament became almost entirely without an object, until the gradual unfolding of the idea of the Messiah was recognized in them, and, as there was a return from a merely nominal Christianity to that of the apostles, the gradual subjective preparation of the essential salvation was perceived. This revolution was established by Hengstenberg's (d. 1869) Christologie des A. T. (in three volumes, Berlin 1829-1835, second edition 1854-1857), which formed a new epoch in the treatment of the subject, followed in a spirit of freer criticism by Tholuck's (d. 1877) work: Die Propheten und ihre Weissagungen, Gotha 1860, and the articles Messias and Weissagung by Oehler (d. 1872) in the first edition of Herzog's Real-Encyklopadie, vols. IX Stuttgart 1858, and XVII Gotha 1863. Hofmann's (d. 1877) work, entitled Weissagung und Erfullung, in two parts, Nordlingen 1841-1844, is far more systematic. The Old Testament history is here reconstructed as an organic whole, developed in word and deed until the time of Christ, with which the history of the fulfilment, as the other half, reaching to the end of the present dispensation, is joined together. Many views of truth which have come into the modern scriptural theology, have sprung from this original work, whose main fault is the straining of the type at expense of the prophecy. Bertheau's lengthy article, Die alttestamentliche Weissagung von Israel's Reichsherrlichkeit in seinem Lande in the fourth volume of the Jahrbucher fur deutsche Theologie, Gotha 1859, is intended to distinguish between that which is particularly national and that which is truly divine respecting the glory of Israel's kingdom in their own land. Riehm's valuable work, which is from a more decidedly supernaturalistic standpoint, Die Messianische Weissagung, Gotha 1875, is written from a similar point of view, but in its antijudaistic tendency it has almost returned to the antiquated mode of spiritualising Scripture. The rationalistic stand-point, in which the historical method is carried out, is represented by Stahelin's work, Die Messianischen Weissagungen, Berlin 1847, Anger's lectures published after his death (d. 1866) Ueber die Geschichte der Messianischen Idee, Berlin 1873, and Kuenen's extensive work, The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, London 1877, which regards ethical monotheism, as the kernel of prophecy, and in this sense Jesus as the greatest prophet, according to which view Christianity and Judaism, the church and the synagogue may be easily blended together.
Remark. A work which is entirely in sympathy with us is Kueper's Das Prophetenthum des Alten Bundes, ubersichtlich dargestellt, Leipzig 1870. A sketch of the history of the interpretation of Old Testament prophecy may be found in Oehler's article entitled Weissagung in the first edition of Herzog's Real-Encyklopadie, and its progress since Bengel is given in Delitzsch' work Die biblischprophetische Theologie, ohre. Fortbildung durch Chr. A. Crusius und ihre neueste Entwickelung seit der Christologie Hengstenberg's, Berlin 1845. Many materials, bearing upon the subject are afforded in Diestel's (d. 1879) Geschichte des Alten Testaments in der christlichen Kirche, Jena 1869.
Definition and Name of the Biblical Prophets.
1. Intercourse of Man with God.
If there is really a difference between the absolute God, and all other rational created beings, then the history of finite and personal beings can have no other true and ultimate goal than an ever deeper entrance into a living fellowship with God. But a continuance in such fellowship without actual intercourse between God and his intelligent creatures is inconceivable. It must therefore be possible, and can be proved as actual, that God and men can speak with, and work upon one another. That such a divinely ordained interchange actually exists necessarily follows from the universal impulse of men to pray, and the truth and reality of this interchange is proved by Christian experience in prayer, by the testimony of the Spirit which seals the saving truth to those who submit themselves to the way of God's grace, and by the admonishing, warning, comforting voices which we experience.
Remark 1. Compare Riehm, Messianische Weissagung, Gotha 1875, p. 23 etc. The common word for answer to prayer, as well as for revelation to the prophets is עׇנׇה (anah/answer) e. g. Jeremiah 33:3.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, And will tell thee great things, and hidden, which thou knowest not.Remark 2. The answers to prayer and the cognitions which break through our natural series of conceptions, as well as divine impulses, intimations, and consolations belong in their final analysis to the realm of the miraculous, for the essential characteristic of the miraculous is not in its being contrary to nature, but in the interference of the power of freedom in the natural connection of cause and effect. The opponents of the miraculous are consequently also opponents of the efficacy of prayer.
2. Man as Priest and Prophet.
Moreover it is the divine order, that under certain circumstances God should reveal his will mediately to men, for man is not only a person but also a being which belongs to a species. It is the divine order that God should allow himself to be moved to a helping love, through the intercession of a love which seeks to help the brother. It is therefore his ordinance, that a man should be the prophet and priest of others. The prophetic and the priestly office have a common human stock in the creative order of the world. For this reason therefore the prophetic and the priestly office are not exclusively Israelitic, although nowhere so distinguished and conditioned as in Israel.
Remark. Only in Israel did the prophetic office maintain a free and independent position with reference to the ceremonially legal priesthood. Everywhere else they are united as among the Brahmins of India, the Shamans of the Mongolians, the Druids of the Celts, and also among the Chaldeans; compare Lenormant, Die Magie umd Wahrsagerkunst der Chaldaer, Jena 1878.
3. The Priestly People of Revelation.
As God makes man the medium of the revelation of Himself for others, so, when there was danger that the knowledge of the divine being and will would be extinguished, he made one nation the medium of the revelation of Himself and of the call of His redeeming love for the nations of the world. This people is Israel, the people of positive revelation (Rom 3:2, 9:4), the kingdom of priests (Exo 19:6).Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.Remark. The supposed contradiction between Jehovah as God of the universe and as a national God, which is urged by Hegel, Anger, and Kuenen (Yaveh and the other Gods in the Theological Review, London 1876) disappears, when we consider this that when Israel called Jehovah his God, it was not an arbitrary national representation, but a pedagogical arrangement made by God. The divine decree of salvation demanded this particularism as a preliminary stage to a universalism.
Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Exo 19:6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.'
4. The Mediatorial Character of the Prophet.
The idea of the prophet is therefore originally mediatorial. A priest (כֹּהֵן [kohen]) is to a certain extent one who offers himself to God, but no one is prophet with reference to himself. This idea lies even in the name, for נׇבִיא (navi'/prophet) is not a passive name in the sense of one to whom a revelation is vouchsafed, but an intensive active noun, which indicates the professional announcer, as προφητης (profitis/prophet) does not signify a foreteller, qui praefatur, but a proclaimer, qui profatur. The word נׇבׇא (nava'/to prophesy), rad. נב indicates speech which comes and bursts forth from within. The speaker presupposes the hearer, hence the prophet as such is a mediator of a divine revelation to others.
Remark 1. The opinion of Land (Theologische Tijdschrift, Leiden, II, 191) which is also approved by Kuenen, and in which he follows Sprenger (Leben Mohammed's vol. I. 1861, p. 265), that כֹּהֵן (kohen) Arabic kahin originally signified soothsayer, is without weight. The verb כׇּהַן (kahan) is related secondarily to כּוּן (kun) to stand, כֹּהֵן (kohen) is the one who stands and so the one who officiates, Hebrews 10:11 εστηκεν (esteken), according to a principle derived from Deuteronomy 18:5 that every priestly office is performed by standing, compare Buxtorfii Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbinicum, Basileae 1540, col. 2534. Schultz (Alttestamentliche Theologie, 2nd ed., Frankfurt on the Main 1878, p. 369) explains it as the one who prepares [the offering]. The word כּוּן (kun), as primitive, either signifies to stand, or in the sense of the Hiphil is הֵכִין (hakhin) to prepare. But the first signification in this participial name is most probable.Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:Remark 2. The verb נׇבׇא (nava'/to prophesy) does not signifiy to speak softly, hollowly, secretly as Riehm p. 21, and Schultz p. 215 maintain in agreement with Hupfeld, nor does it signify to speak with animation, or with deep excitement as Anger, p. 8, Kuenen (The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, London 1877, p. 42) hold, but as Fleischer (in Delitzsch' Genesis, 4th ed., Leipzig 1872, p. 551-553) has proved נׇבׇא did not signify anything further originally than to raise oneself, to ascend, to become audible. It is perhaps the same word as that from which in the Babylonio-Assyrian the god Nabu (biblical נְבוֹ [Nebo]) has received his name as the messenger of the gods. The form קׇטִיל (qatil) as a more intensive form than קׇטֵל (qatal) includes the accompanying idea of habitual activity or the permanent possession of a quality hence נׇבִיא is the speaker by profession. The word does not signify anything else than the speaker, but as רֹאֶה (ro'eh) in itself denotes the seer in the sense of one seeing clearly (clairvoyant), so נׇבִיא signifies the speaker in the sense of an inspired, divinely filled speaker. The Niphal נִבׇּא and the Hithpael are denominatives, signifying to demean, or exercise oneself as a prophet.
Deuteronomy 18:5 For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.
5. The Patriarchs as Priests.
Hence the name נׇבִיא (navi'/prophet) implies mediation, but it does not originally indicate a class with the duty of public proclamation. Before Israel became a state the gift and profession of the נׇבִיא as well as that of the כֹּהֵן (kohen/priest) was especially connected with the head of the holy family which was to become the medium, and the birthplace of the people of divine revelation. Abraham first exercised this prophetic office (Gen 20:7, compare 18:19). The prophetic blessings of Isaac and Jacob show that like him they possessed the prophetic gift and calling. Hence the patriarchal family which makes its pilgrimages from place to place is called a race of kings and prophets (Psa 105:15).Genesis 20:7 Now therefore restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.'Remark. Whoever has received the knowledge of God's decree and will, and makes it known to another, stands to that other in the relation of a prophet. Such was the relation of Abraham to his family, and of Aaron to Israel and Pharaoh (Exo 7:1-2, 4:15-16) according to which Moses as Elohim is related to Aaron as prophet, or God's organ, for the prophet according to Jeremiah 15:19, is God's mouth. The case however is different with the priest (כֹּהֵן). The patriarchs maintained the family worship, and brought the family offerings, but no one was called priest (כֹּהֵן), like Melchizedek, for כֹּהֵן is the name of a class, while נׇבִיא (navi'/prophet) from the outset indicates only a calling and endowment.
Genesis 18:19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.'
Psalm 105:15 'Touch not Mine anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.'Exo 7:1-2 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'See, I have set thee in God's stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.
Exo 4:15-16 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and it shall come to pass, that he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him in God's stead.
Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus saith the LORD: If thou return, and I bring thee back, Thou shalt stand before Me; And if thou bring forth the precious out of the vile, Thou shalt be as My mouth; Let them return unto thee, But thou shalt not return unto them.
6. Special Calling of the Prophet.
In a wider sense indeed a prophet is one, who receives and records divine relations, like David and Daniel (Acts 2:30; Matt 24:15) and like John in the New Testament Apocalypse, but in the proper sense neither a seer (רֹאֶה, Sam 9:9), nor a beholder (חֹזֶה [chozeh]) as such is called a prophet, but only one, who, through proclamation of that which he has seen, works upon the life of the people, and the congregation. The calling of a prophet is that of a preacher or pastor, with reference to the congregation as a whole and its individual members, but is distinct from our modern ideas with reference to the calling as thus explained, in his drawing directly from divine revelation.Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;Remark. The signification of נׇבִיא (navi'/prophet) as indicating a class, which the word received at a later period, is indicated in the confession of Amos (7:14). He is a prophet, for he has been called by God to the public office of preaching, and yet he is not a prophet, in the sense of having received an education at one of the Ephraimitic schools, where young men were prepared for the prophetic office as a profession.
Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
1 Samuel 9:9 Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said: 'Come and let us go to the seer'; for he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer.Amos 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah: 'I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdman, and a dresser of sycamore-trees;
Sphere and Position of the Prophets.
7. Difference between the Prophetic and Priestly Office.
The prophetic office of instruction is essentially different from that of the priestly (Mal 2:7) which was confined to the teaching of the laws of the Tora, and to their casuistical application to ritualistic and legal questions (Lev 10:11; Deut 33:9-10, 24:8; Hagg 2:11; Eze 44:23-24), according to which we must presuppose that codex and tradition had been perpetuated within the priesthood. This supposition is confirmed by Deuteronomy 17:19, compare 31:9. When therefore we see priests appear as prophets, like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the two Zechariahs, or even Levites, like Hanan (Jer 35:4), and probably Habakkuk it is quite likely that their priestly and Levitical training afforded a fitting reason for the divine call, but the prophetic office in every age was radically distinguished from the priestly.Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, And they should seek the law at his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.Remark. Preaching never had a place in temple worship, in which only certain passages from the Scriptures were occasionally read. Not until after the Babylonian exile was it introduced as a part of the divine service in the synagogues. Compare Zunz, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden, Berlin 1832.
Leviticus 10:11 and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.'
Deuteronomy 33:9-10 Who said of his father, and of his mother: 'I have not seen him'; Neither did he acknowledge his brethren, Nor knew he his own children; For they have observed Thy word, And keep Thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob Thine ordinances, And Israel Thy law; They shall put incense before Thee, And whole burnt-offering upon Thine altar.
Deuteronomy 24:8 Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you, as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.
Haggai 2:11 'Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Ask now the priests for instruction, saying:
Ezekiel 44:23-24 And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. And in a controversy they shall stand to judge; according to Mine ordinances shall they judge it; and they shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed seasons, and they shall hallow My sabbaths.
Deuteronomy 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them;
Deuteronomy 31:9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.
Jeremiah 35:4 and I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door;
8. The Prophets as Guardians of the Spirit of the Law.
While the calling of the priest seeks to realize the letter of the law, that of the prophet endeavours to realize its spirit. The prophets in general demand obedience to God's will as revealed in his laws, and are fond of emphasizing the pre-Mosaic and decalogic command respecting the observance of the Sabbath, but Malachi's censure with reference to the malobservance of the sacrificial Tora (1:10 etc.) stands absolutely alone. In every case the exhortations of the prophets do not refer to the externals, but to the substance of the law. They are zealous against the heartless and spiritless opus operatum of dead works. With biting sarcasm they depreciate ceremonial sacrifice and fasting (Hosea 6:6; Jer 7:21-23; Joel 2:13; Isa 58). In brief the priest is the guardian of the external letter of the law, and the prophet of its internal, spiritual fulfilment.Malachi 1:10 Oh that there were even one among you that would shut the doors, That ye might not kindle fire on Mine altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, Saith the LORD of hosts, Neither will I accept an offering at your hand.Remark. In this insistance upon the kernel of the law the prophets are agreed. Duhm in his Theologie der Propheten, Bonn 1875, does not recognize this unity, since he assigns to the prophets different degrees of freedom and legality. In his opinion the spiritually free and moral tendency rises until Jeremiah and Deutero-Isaiah, the legally external finds its depth in Ezekiel and Malachi, where even the air of Judaism and the Talmud is perceptible. The fundamental error of Duhm consists in his laying such emphasis on religion as an inner life, that he regards all external forms which are necessary for its expression as a deterioration into formalism. But religion and sacred rites are indissolubly correlated. Even the religion of the individual cannot dispense with forms, for instance prayer when it leaves the sphere of secret and merely internal meditation. Much less can the religion of a community be maintained without such forms. It is not without sacred rites in any nation either in the Old Testament or the New, either in this world or the next. The legal forms in which the Tora comprehends the religion of Israel were indeed burdensome fetters, but yet they were wise means of education, and, as the history shows, were not incompatible with a true, profoundly hearty, and free religious spirit.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings.
Jer 7:21-23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt-offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat ye flesh. For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices; but this thing I commanded them, saying: 'Hearken unto My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, And turn unto the LORD your God; For He is gracious and compassionate, Long-suffering, and abundant in mercy, And repenteth Him of the evil.
Isaiah 58 Cry aloud, spare not, Lift up thy voice like a horn, And declare unto My people their transgression, And to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways; As a nation that did righteousness, And forsook not the ordinance of their God, They ask of Me righteous ordinances, They delight to draw near unto God. 'Wherefore have we fasted, and Thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?'— Behold, in the day of your fast ye pursue your business, And exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and contention, And to smite with the fist of wickedness; Ye fast not this day So as to make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I have chosen? The day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, And to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the fetters of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free, And that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, And that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, And thy healing shall spring forth speedily; And thy righteousness shall go before thee, The glory of the LORD shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD will answer; Thou shalt cry, and He will say: 'Here I am.' If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, The putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedness; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, And satisfy the afflicted soul; Then shall thy light rise in darkness, And thy gloom be as the noon-day; And the LORD will guide thee continually, And satisfy thy soul in drought, And make strong thy bones; And thou shalt be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places, Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; And thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot because of the sabbath, From pursuing thy business on My holy day; And call the sabbath a delight, And the holy of the LORD honourable; And shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, Nor pursuing thy business, nor speaking thereof; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD, And I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, And I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; For the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
9. The Prophets as the Conscience of the State.
The prophets have rightly been called the conscience of the Israelitish state; for as the conscience in man is related to the law written in his heart (Rom 2:15) so prophecy in Israel is related to the Sinaitic Tora kept by the priests. It is like the conscience a knowledge, which continually attests itself in the form of impulse, of judgment, and of feeling, a knowledge namely about that which God, who has revealed himself in history, wills or does not will. Its proper prophetic character follows from its admonitory and denunciatory nature.Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;Remark. It appears from passages like Hosea 4:6, 8:1; Amos 2:4 and also Isaiah 1:11-14, where an existing code concerning festivals and offerings is presupposed, that a codex of the Mosaic laws was already in existence in the time of the prophets of the eighth century. With the latter passage we may compare Hosea 8:12, which should be translated: "Were I to write for him myriads of my law, they would be regarded as strange," that is a still more extensive Tora would have had the same fate as the existing one. Smend in his dissertation in the Studien und Kritiken, Gotha 1876, p. 599 etc. (Ueber die von des 8. Jahrhunderts vorausgesctzte Entwickelungsstufe der israelitischen Religion), actually translates the passage: "I wrote for him myriads of my law." These words of Hosea certainly indicate, as even Schrader acknowledges, the existence of a divinely obligatory law in the form of a codex, not to mention such testimonies in the psalms as we find in Psalm 19, which is by David, and in Psalm 61:6 and 78:5 by Asaph.Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me; Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.
Hosea 8:1 Set the horn to thy mouth. As a vulture he cometh against the house of the LORD; Because they have transgressed My covenant, And trespassed against My law.
Amos 2:4 Thus saith the LORD: For three transgressions of Judah, Yea, for four, I will not reverse it: Because they have rejected the law of the LORD, And have not kept His statutes, And their lies have caused them to err, After which their fathers did walk.
Isaiah 1:11-14 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? Saith the LORD; I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, And the fat of fed beasts; And I delight not in the blood Of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to appear before Me, Who hath required this at your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more vain oblations; It is an offering of abomination unto Me; New moon and sabbath, the holding of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed seasons My soul hateth; They are a burden unto Me; I am weary to bear them.
Hosea 8:12 Though I write for him never so many things of My Law, They are accounted as a stranger's.
Psalm 19 For the Leader. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament showeth His handiwork; Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night revealeth knowledge; There is no speech, there are no words, Neither is their voice heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tent for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, And his circuit unto the ends of it; And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; The ordinances of the LORD are true, they are righteous altogether; More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned; In keeping of them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Clear Thou me from hidden faults. Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins, That they may not have dominion over me; then shall I be faultless, And I shall be clear from great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before Thee, O LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Psalm 61:6 For Thou, O God, hast heard my vows; Thou hast granted the heritage of those that fear Thy name.
Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
10. The Ethical Aim of Prophecy.
The prophet is not as such a proclaimer of future events. The prophetic preaching always has a moral end in view, and even its proclamation of the future serves this end. The disclosures respecting future events are determined and measured by the moral requirements of the present. Although all prophecy has been occasioned by the historic circumstances of the time in which it was uttered, nevertheless it does not surrender the progress of revelation to planless chance; for as God in the history of the world makes all the activity of human freedom a cooperative factor in the fulfilment of his decree, so in the history of revelation he causes the different phases of the times to become impulses of his revelation, which seeks step by step to reach its New Testament goal.
Remark. The gradual enrichment of the believing consciousness, brought about by the prophets, the deepening and purification of religion itself is effected through the looking out into future. The essential salvation, the full reality of the divine decree lay in the realm of the future. The prophecy was therefore for the present a religious and ethical lever, not a satisfaction of the intellectual desire for knowledge, but a practical longing for salvation.
11. The Prophets as retrospective Seers.
"The Lord Jehovah does not perform anything," says Amos (3:7, compare Gen 18:17, Psa 25:14) "unless he has revealed his secret to his servants the prophets." This insight into the grounds and the ends of his government which God grants the prophets extends from the present not only to the future, but also to the past; for in order to understand the present, one must not only know the future with which it is pregnant, but also the past from which the present has sprung. Therefore many prophets from the time of Samuel, Nathan, and Gad (1 Chron 29:29) were historians of their time. Therefore the Tora, which is regarded in Ezra 9:11 as a prophetic work, begins with the primitive history of the human race and the historical antecedents of Israel. And hence the Pentateuchal narrative proceeds as a historical work, which relates the history of Israel further until the Babylonian Exile (נִבִיאִים רִאשֹׁנִים [nevi'im rishonim/former prophets]), and which is more or less characterized by its placing its historical materials under the ethical and prophetic standpoint of Deuteronomy, and in interweaving and enclosing them with Deuteronomic reflections.Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said: 'Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing;Remark. The name prophetae priores (former prophets) has, in our opinion, arisen from the presupposition, that the authors of our books were prophets. Anger however holds a different opinion. He says that works receive this designation which have prophetic sayings, whether they are communicated in historical connections (prophetae priores), or are gathered together in special prophetic writings (pro phetae posteriores [latter prophets]). But we may urge against this theory, that, if it were true, then (1) also Chronicles and Daniel must stand among the former prophets, and since they do not, that it would be necessary to assume, that the division of the prophets (נִבִיאִים) was already closed, when these writings were added; (2) that the composition of those historical books by the prophets, not to speak of their work in the final redaction, is confirmed through their manner of writing history, which is sharply distinguished from the annalistic and priestly style of the Chron icler. (3) We urge further, that the prophets really occupied themselves with historical composition. Isaiah for example was according to 2 Chronicles 26:22 the author of a complete history of the reign of Uzziah.
Psalm 25:14 The counsel of the LORD is with them that fear Him; And His covenant, to make them know it.
1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the words of Samuel the seer, and in the words of Nathan the prophet, and in the words of Gad the seer;
Ezra 9:11 ...which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying: The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, wherewith they have filled it from one end to another with their filthiness.2 Chronicles 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
12. Close connection of Historiography and Prophecy.
The historical activity of the prophets was as such a literary one. It even began with Samuel Nathan and Gad. Citations by the Chronicler, like 2 Chronicles 9:29, 12:15, 13:22 show that the prophets combined their prophecies with their representations of the history of the times. From this literature of prophetic history, of which we have an example in the book of Joshua, the literature of the properly prophetic books first gradually received an independent form. But this was never brought to an entire separation of the historical from the prophetic portions, as appears, for example, in the historical intermediate portions of the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and in the historical bisection of the book of Joel 2:18, 19a.2 Chronicles 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the words of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Jedo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?Remark. The transition of the literature of the prophetic historical writing into that of the prophetic collection is imperceptible. The period of the world-empires was decidedly favorable to the origin of the latter. At that time when Israel was violently drawn upon the theatre of the great world-historical conflicts the horizon of prophecy was wider, and its themes more comprehensive; the oral prophetic preaching therefore subsequently became fixed in writings, even without such a specially direct divine command as Isaiah 30:8, as a memorial of divine intimations for all peoples and times.
2 Chronicles 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
2 Chronicles 13:22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary of the prophet Iddo.
Joel 2:18-19 Then was the LORD jealous for His land, And had pity on His people. And the LORD answered and said unto His people: 'Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, And ye shall be satisfied therewith; And I will no more make you a reproach among the nations;Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And inscribe it in a book, That it may be for the time to come For ever and ever.
The Divine and Human Side of Prophecy.
13. The Prophet as a Holy Man.
The prophet is called in an official sense a man of God (אִישׁ [הׇ]אְֶלֹהִים Sam 9:6-9, compare Deut 33:1), and a servant of Jehovah (עֶבֶד יהוה Kings 9:7, compare Deut 34:5), but this official character rests upon the general character of personal union with God, and upon piety. According to the Wisdom of Solomon 7:27 the heavenly wisdom, in the course of human history, raises up friends of God and prophets by her entrance into holy souls. This ethical condition is of great importance for the proper appreciation of the spiritual and miraculous, and yet unmagical character of all true prophecy.1 Samuel 9:6-9 And he said unto him: 'Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is a man that is held in honour; all that he saith cometh surely to pass; now let us go thither; peradventure he can tell us concerning our journey whereon we go.' Then said Saul to his servant: 'But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God; what have we?' And the servant answered Saul again, and said: 'Behold, I have in my hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver, that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.' Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said: 'Come and let us go to the seer'; for he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer.Remark 1. An excellent dissertation, bearing upon this subject, which rightly divides the divine and the human in prophecy is Dusterdieck's De Rei Pro pheticae in Vetere Testamento cum Universae, tum Messianae Natura Ethica, Gottingen 1852, in which he carries out the idea, that the intercourse of the prophets with God, which the religious and moral nature of man and especially the covenant relation of God to Israel brings with it, is the ethical ground from which the prophecy worked by God goes forth. He says: Nullus in vocato ac misso homine animi motus sine Deo est, neque vero ullus, qui contra propriam hominis naturam efficiatur a Deo, "When a man is called and sent there is no movement of the mind without God, nor indeed is any, which is contrary to the true nature of man, effected by God."
Deuteronomy 33:1 And this is the blessing wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
2 Kings 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
Deuteronomy 34:5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
Remark 2. The New Testament names those whom God deems worthy to be receivers and mediums of his revelation, holy men (2 Peter 1:21), and calls those who have been thus honored the holy prophets (2 Peter 3:2, compare Rev 22:6 according to the reading: των αγιων προφητων [ton agion propheton/of the holy prophets]).2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
14. Character of the Prophets' Intercourse with God.
The prophets according to this hold intercourse with God by means of prayer. They question God, as the book of Habakkuk shows, and he answers; but they do not receive the divine disclosures until they have first occupied an attitude of waiting (Hab 2:1) and praying (Jer 33:3, compare Acts 10:9). Their intercourse with God is a being and living in God and God in them. Therefore the prophet speaks throughout the Old Testament prophetic books after a peculiar communicatio idiomatum (communication of properties) at one time as though he were Jehovah (Deut 11:13-15), at another as though Jehovah were the prophet (Isa 7:10-11). They speak like the angel of God, as if they were God, their instrumental ego and the absolute ego changing places abruptly.Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, And set me upon the tower, And will look out to see what He will speak by me, And what I shall answer when I am reproved.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, And will tell thee great things, and hidden, which thou knowest not.
Acts 10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
Deuteronomy 11:13-15 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will give grass in thy fields for thy cattle, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied.
Isaiah 7:10-11 And the LORD spoke again unto Ahaz, saying: 'Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.'
15. Prophecy as belonging to the Realm of Grace.
Prophecy is an arrangement and an effect of God the Redeemer. It does not proceed from God the Creator as such, concerning whom Paul said to the Athenians (Acts 17:28): "For in him we live and move and have our being"; nor does it lie in the same domain as the conscience, of which the philosopher Seneca says (Epist. XLI): sacer intra nos spiritus sedet (the spirit resides in men's hearts). It belongs indeed as a means of salvation to this world (1 Cor 13:8), but it descends from above, and serves the world of the future (Isa 65:17, compare 51:16). Whoever approaches the prophetic writings with the modern view of the world, which disputes the supernatural realm of the cosmical and psychological miracle, will explain the distant glimpses of the prophets, either through a natural series of representations, which they experience, whether as inferences or phantasies, or he will stamp them as prophecies after the event (vaticinia post eventum). But those that prophesy out of their own hearts (נבְּאֵי מִלִּבׇּם Eze 13:2-3, compare Jer 14:14, 23:16, 26), who follow the impulses of their own spirit, are according to the Scriptures false prophets.1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens And a new earth; And the former things shall not be remembered, Nor come into mind.
Isaiah 51:16 And I have put My words in thy mouth, And have covered thee in the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, And lay the foundations of the earth, And say unto Zion: 'Thou art My people.'
Ezekiel 13:2-3 'Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own heart: Hear ye the word of the LORD: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Woe unto the vile prophets, that follow their own spirit, and things which they have not seen!
Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me: 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name; I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke I unto them; they prophesy unto you a lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their own heart.
Jeremiah 23:16, 26 Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you, They lead you unto vanity; They speak a vision of their own heart, And not out of the mouth of the LORD...26. How long shall this be? Is it in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies, And the prophets of the deceit of their own heart?
16. Spontaneous and Transcendental Elements in Prophecy.
If now the election and preparation of a man as a prophet is based upon the presupposition of personal piety, so also his reception, as well as his proclamation of the divine revelations, is accomplished in the sphere of human freedom. From Ezekiel 2:8; Jeremiah 20:7 it is evident, that the prophet has first bowed himself in the obedience of faith to the word for which he demands obedience; and from Isaiah 8:11; Ezekiel 8:1 that the prophet is taken possession of by the working of the divine power not without connection with the free disposition and endeavor of his inner being. It is the prophet's self-conscious, and self-determining inner life which God makes the place and the means of his own self-attestation in word and symbol. But since the prediction of the prophet is not a product of his natural will, it is also according to 2 Peter 1:20 not a matter of his own unriddling. There remains in the prophecy something transcending the understanding of the prophet, and first the history of the fulfilment furnishes the full understanding.Ezekiel 2:8 And thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee: be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house; open thy mouth, and eat that which I give thee.Remark. The proposition which Riehm, Messianische Weissagung, Gotha 1875, (p. 6), sets forth: "That what we can first recognize in the time of the accomplishment of prophecy is precisely not the content of the prophecy itself" needs limitation. Undoubtedly the mind of the Spirit, that is that which the Spirit of prophecy has in view, should not be made the intention of the prophet, or what is the same should not be made the historical purport of that which is prophesied. But Riehm himself admits (p. 8), that to the purport of prophecy not only the purport belongs, to which the prophet gives a clear, conscious, full expression, but also that which is higher and deeper, which lies for himself in the twilight of presentiment. He also grants that this does not belong less to the historical intent, but only in the entire indefiniteness of presentement.
Jeremiah 20:7 O LORD, Thou hast enticed me, and I was enticed, Thou hast overcome me, and hast prevailed; I am become a laughing-stock all the day, Every one mocketh me.
Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, admonishing me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
Ezekiel 8:1 1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
17. No Magic Element in Prophecy.
Even the mercenary Balaam was certain from the very beginning that only in the power of Jehovah could he do anything against Israel (Num 22:18, 23:3), and he surrendered himself to the direction of God, and to the word which he put in his mouth (Num 23:4-6). He, who was originally no prophet, but a soothsayer, becomes the submissive organ of the divine Spirit, but not before he has allowed himself to be inwardly overcome by Him. Saul, as described in 1 Samuel 10:1-13 followed the direction of Samuel, and it is in the person of his better self, that even as a persecutor of David (1 Sam. 19:23) he is not able to withdraw from the power of the prophetic Spirit.Numbers 22:18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak: 'If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do any thing, small or great.Remark. Those who are mentioned in Matthew 7:22, are such as allowed themselves through their prophetic gifts to be overcome with spiritual pride, from which they inwardly died. The ominous word of Caiphas (John 11:49-52) is not derived from a gift of prophecy which he possessed, but absolutely from a providential causal connection.
Numbers 23:3-6 And Balaam said unto Balak: 'Stand by thy burnt-offering, and I will go; peradventure the LORD will come to meet me; and whatsoever He showeth me I will tell thee.' And he went to a bare height. And God met Balaam; and he said unto Him: 'I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.' And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said: 'Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.' And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt-offering, he, and all the princes of Moab.
1 Samuel 10:1-13 Then Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said: 'Is it not that the LORD hath anointed thee to be prince over His inheritance? When thou art departed from me to-day, then thou shalt find two men by the tomb of Rachel, in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee: The asses which thou wentest to seek are found; and, lo, thy father hath left off caring for the asses, and is anxious concerning you, saying: What shall I do for my son? Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the terebinth of Tabor, and there shall meet thee there three men going up to God to Beth-el, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine. And they will salute thee, and give thee two cakes of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hand. After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines; and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they will be prophesying. And the spirit of the LORD will come mightily upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as thy hand shall find; for God is with thee. And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt-offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace-offerings; seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come unto thee, and tell thee what thou shalt do.' And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to another: 'What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?' And one of the same place answered and said: 'And who is their father?' Therefore it became a proverb: 'Is Saul also among the prophets?' And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
1 Samuel 19:23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
John 11:49-52 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Difference between the Prophecy of Redemptive History and Heathen Mantic.
18. The opposition between Prophecy and Mantic [Divination].
Even Balaam, who allowed himself to be hired to curse Israel, but overpowered by the Spirit of the God of Israel became a prophet of blessing, confesses Numbers 23:23: "There is no divination (נַחַשׁ [nachash]) in Jacob and no soothsaying (קֶסֶם [qesem]) in Israel; at the fixed time it will be said to Jacob and to Israel, what God works"; according to which Israel derives his knowledge respecting the future absolutely from the voluntary, and prevenient testimony of God. Hence the Tora forbids all kinds of witchcraft, both that which violently interferes with the present, as well as that which explores the future (Deut 18:10-12; Lev 20:27, 19:31). The judgment of condemnation which is pronounced upon it is conditioned through the connection in which the heathen mantic stands to idolatry, and also through the untruth of the utterances by which the questioner allows himself to be deceived. But this condemnatory judgment is pronounced for a third reason, where those already cited do not avail. The Jewish maid of Philippi (Acts 16) testifies to the truth and yet Paul considers her as physically diseased, and regards her prophetic spirit (πνευμα πυϑωνος [pneuma puthonos]) as an evil demon, which he expels. The mantic is considered in the Scriptures, even on account of the manner of its performance, as a denial of God and as sacrilege.Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or one that consulteth a ghost or a familiar spirit, or a necromancer. For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God is driving them out from before thee.Remark. Among the kinds of witchcraft which the Scriptures reject, is also that of necromancy, which cites the dead and questions them respecting the future of that which is doubtful. The prophet's words (Isa 8:19): God's people shall not question the dead, but the living God who conditions all things, hold good with reference to Spiritualism.
Leviticus 20:27 A man also or a woman that divineth by a ghost or a familiar spirit, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 19:31 Turn ye not unto the ghosts, nor unto familiar spirits; seek them not out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Acts 16:16-18 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say unto you: 'Seek unto the ghosts and the familiar spirits, that chirp and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of the living unto the dead
19. Resemblance and Difference between Mantic [Divination] and Prophecy.
The heathen mantic was divided into a scientific and an unscientific species (τεχνικον [technikon] and ατεχνον γενος [atechnon genos] Plutarch, Vita Homeri sect. 212), an artificial and a natural kind of divination (duo genera divinandi, unum artificiosum, alterum naturale, Cicero, De Divinationc, Lib. 1.18; 2.11). The artificial prophesies through the explanation of signs, and the natural through inspiration. The mantic has a similar origin with prophecy in the religious and moral nature of man. It is based upon man's need of intercourse with God, or of knowledge about His will and counsel. Also the mode of appearance and the actual means which the mantic employs, in order to seek the will of deity and of the future have many points of similarity with the prophecy of redemptive history, and yet the Holy Scriptures presuppose a specific difference between both, from which difference they derive their moral demands.
Remark. Even in the Holy Scriptures the Urim and Thummim of the high priest's ephod, and the lot (e. g. in the choice of kings and an apostle) are employed as actual means of ascertaining the divine will, and music is also used at least for the sake of producing a prophetic frame of mind (2 Kings 3:15, compare 1 Sam 10:5).2 Kings 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel.' And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
1 Samuel 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines; and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they will be prophesying.
20. The forced self-excitement of the Mantic [Diviner].
As, for the heathen, the knowledge of one absolute Elohim has been resolved into the representation of many Elohims, which have no supernatural reality, but rather a demoniacal background (1 Cor 10:20); so within heathenism the requisite inspiration for the knowledge of future events became a self-made inspiration under the use of intoxicating stimulants, and the divine words and visions which the seer perceived and reported, as for example the Pythian oracles, were for the most part nothing else than illusory expressions and images wrung from a diseased and excited subjectivity. But since such a self-excitation cannot be a constant, but only an occasional one, other means were invented for penetrating the future, and hence there arose by the side of the prophetic mantic the profession of the astrologers (Isa 47:13), of the augurs (augur = aviger, as auspex = avispex), and of the aruspex (haruspex from haru = hira, entrails).1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.Remark. Compare Oehler Programm uber das Verhaltniss der alttestamentlichen Prophetie zur heidnischen Mantik, Tubingen 1861, and Tholuck, Die Propheten und ihre Weissagungen, Gotha 1860, i. Die Mantik. Apuleius in the Metamorphoses, Lib. VIII, gives a clear picture of a soothsayer belonging to the troop of flagellants of a Syrian godess: "meanwhile one of them behaved himself like a raging madman, and breathing all the while most deeply from his inmost bosom, as though overfull of the divine spirit, feigned sickly nonsense, just as if through the presence of the gods men were not rendered better than they had been before, but as though they were thereby made weak and sick." Chrysostom also characterizes the difference between the mantis and the prophet in the following manner (Hom. XXIX in ep. ad Corinthios): "This is the peculiarity of the mantis: to be beside oneself, to suffer constraint, to be struck, to be stretched, to be dragged like a madman. The prophet however is not so, but, he speaks everything with calm understanding, and with sound self-possession, and knowing what he proclaims, so that before the result we can even from these things distinguish between the mantis and the prophet."
Isaiah 47:13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, The monthly prognosticators, Stand up, and save thee From the things that shall come upon thee.
21. The Mantic [Divination] as Necromancy.
The heathen belief, which became changed in practice, did not however remain at this point, but broke through the boundaries between the world of men and spirits, so that the words δαιμονιωδης (daimoniodes/demonic) or δαιμονικος (daimonikos/demoniacs) became designations conveying an idea similar to that of ϑειος (theios/deities) or διος (dios/god) and ϑεοπνευστος (theopneustos/God-breathed), and penetrated the barriers between this and the next world, since they called up persons from the realm of departed spirits. The disclosures concerning the future, secured in this way, although in certain cases in accordance with truth, as the address of Samuel to Saul in Endor shows, were yet a sacrilege, that is a robbery committed by breaking into a forbidden sphere. Hence the heathen mantic ended in universal bankruptcy, precisely at the time when the predictions of the Old Testament prophets became yea and amen in Christ.
Remark 1. Josephus says explicitly in Bell. Jud. 7.6.3: "The demons are the spirits of bad men." Plutarch also, as well as Heraclitus and Pythagoras, in Diogenes Laert. IX, 7; VIII, 21. 32. 36, calls the spirits of the other world "disembodied spirits."
Remark 2. Prophecy and mantic stand to the history of the people in an inverted relation. Prophecy becomes more and more intense, the deeper it descends with the history of the people, while mantic rises and falls with the intensity of the heathen nationality. As the national character of the Greeks degenerated the mantic accomplished nothing more. Pythia in Plutarch's time no longer discoursed in winged, poetical sayings. Apollo had no answer for the emperor Julian.
God's Mode of Communication with the Prophets.
22. Revelations through Dreams.
The prophet, while the God of revelation works in him, is either in a sleeping or waking condition. The mode of revelation in the condition of sleep is by means of dreams. The dream is in itself a natural event, and receives as such, on account of its connection with the sexual life, the name חֲלוֹם (chalom/a dream). In spite of its natural character however it has always in itself something wonderful, since it shows that the daily side of the soul has a nightly side as its background, and since through the bringing forward of this nightly side it causes capabilities of an unusual elevation, or which were even unknown in daily life, to appear. To the fulness of the powers, slumbering in the soul, which are frequently evolved in sleep, belongs the power of divination, relating multifariously to individuals and nations. Although dreams are mostly phantoms and caricatures (Ecc 5:6; Sirach 31:5), yet this deep and far-reaching view of the dreamer is not only recognized by heathen witnesses, such as Aeschylus, Eumenides ver. 106, but also by the Holy Scriptures (compare The Wisdom of Salomon 18:19), which relate many predictive dreams like Genesis 40, for the explanation of whose origin, the inborn, natural gift of prophecy suffices.Genesis 40:1-5 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth against his two officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph to be with them, and he ministered unto them; and they continued a season in ward. And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison.Remark 1. E. von Lasaulx in his ingenious and learned work: Die prophetische Kraft der mensehlichen Seele in Dichtern und Denkern, Miinchen 1858, levels too much the difference between the prophecy of redemptive history and the heathen divination and mantic, since he derives both from the sinking of the individual soul in the soul of the universe. There where both meet together, as he affirms, this concurrence is rooted in the religious and moral yearnings of the human soul, which stand forth in the heathen world as longing voices, and to which prophecy affords a divine answer. Thus the description of the righteous man, in the second book of Plato's Republic, who suffers and endures to the end, must be referred to the demand for the realization of the moral ideal; and the description of the golden age in the fourth Eclogue of Virgil is best explained by the demand for a termination of history which corresponds to its paradisaical beginning.
Remark 2. Such a heathen seer, whom Paul himself (Titus 1:12) calls a prophet, was Epimenides, born at Gnossus in Crete. The altar of the unknown God, which Paul found in Athens was one of the sacrificial places, which Epimenides had erected, as he was called to Athens, in order to atone for the plague and other misfortunes of the stricken city, with the presupposition that there might be an unknown deity whose wrath rested upon the city.Titus 1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
23. The Prophetic Dream.
Differing from such visions of the future, which only providentially happen to correspond to the circumstances, are those divinely wrought, as Genesis 28; Daniel 2. The Holy Scriptures allow for both kinds of dreams, a capacity of interpretation given from above (Gen 40:8, 41:16; Dan 1:17). If however the revelation in the dream serves not only personal, but also professional ends, then it properly is the prophetic dream. This kind of revelation in a dream (בׇּחֲלוֹם [bachalom/in a dream] Num 12:6) is the lowest grade of revelation. The only biblical example of it is Daniel 7. The prophetic dream is God's mode of revelation to the heathen world, as in the Old Testament to Abimelech (Gen 20:3-7), Pharaoh (41:1-7, compare ver. 25), Nebucadnezzar (Dan 2:1-3, compare ver. 28), and in the New Testament to the Magi (Matt 2:12), and to Pilate's wife (27:19). The natural life here becomes the medium of revelation, and there is great danger of deception; hence Jeremiah (23:28) speaks so depreciatingly of the dream, and it is generally false prophets and soothsayers who proclaim what they have dreamed (Jer 29:8; Zech 10:2).Genesis 28:10-12 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.Remark. In the life of Jacob, besides the phrase וַיֵּרׇא (vayera/and he appeared), which occurs once (Gen 35:9), and וַיּאמֶר (vayomer/and he said), twice (31:3, 35:1), the revelation in a dream בַּחלוֹם is found twice (28:12, 46:2). In all God reveals himself to Jacob five times in his life of one hundred and forty seven years.
Daniel 2:1-2 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep broke from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams.
Genesis 40:8 And they said unto him: 'We have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it.' And Joseph said unto them: 'Do not interpretations belong to God? tell it me, I pray you.'
Genesis 41:16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying: 'It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Daniel 1:17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Numbers 12:6 And He said: 'Hear now My words: if there be a prophet among you, I the LORD do make Myself known unto him in a vision, I do speak with him in a dream.
Daniel 7:1-3 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed; then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spoke and said: I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven broke forth upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
Genesis 20:3-7 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him: 'Behold, thou shalt die, because of the woman whom thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.' Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said: 'Lord, wilt Thou slay even a righteous nation? Said he not himself unto me: She is my sister? and she, even she herself said: He is my brother. In the simplicity of my heart and the innocency of my hands have I done this.' And God said unto him in the dream: 'Yea, I know that in the simplicity of thy heart thou hast done this, and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me. Therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.'
Genesis 41:1-7, 25 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favoured and fat-fleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and lean-fleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill-favoured and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream...25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh: 'The dream of Pharaoh is one; what God is about to do He hath declared unto Pharaoh.
Daniel 2:1-3, 28 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep broke from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them: 'I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream...but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and He hath made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the end of days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these:
Matthew 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Matthew 27:19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; And he that hath My word; let him speak My word faithfully. What hath the straw to do with the wheat? Saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 29:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, beguile you, neither hearken ye to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
Zechariah 10:2 For the teraphim have spoken vanity, And the diviners have seen a lie, And the dreams speak falsely, They comfort in vain; Therefore they go their way like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.Genesis 35:9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him.
Genesis 31:3 And the LORD said unto Jacob: 'Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.'
Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob: 'Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there; and make there an altar unto God, who appeared unto thee when thou didst flee from the face of Esau thy brother.'
Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Genesis 46:2 And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said: 'Jacob, Jacob.' And he said: 'Here am I.'
24. The Prophetic and the Mantic Ecstasy.
A dream is always an experience which occurs in sleep (Job 33:15; Isa 29:7), ecstasy on the contrary which receives its name from a transference beyond the natural mode and the present world of perception, is always an experience which occurs when one is awake. The deep sleep (תַרְדֵּמׇה [tardemah] LXX εχστασις [ekstasis] ) which falls upon Abraham (Gen 15:12) is not a natural sleep. Sometimes there is connected with the prophetic ecstasy, as with the mantic, a cataleptic condition, but this is only where the one seized with the prophetic spirit is uncongenial, as a Balaam or a Saul. Moreover the prophetic ecstasy differs from the mantic therein, that the prophet does not put himself in an ecstatic condition by means of narcotics, that he does not come forth under sickly appearances, which border on madness, and that his experience does not resemble that of the Cumaean sibyl, who, when the ecstatic inspiration left her, had no remembrance of that which she had spoken.Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falleth upon men, In slumberings upon the bed;Remark 1. The observation of Riehni, Messianische Weissagung, Gotha 1875, p. 17, that the ecstatic condition is a mark of a lower grade of prophecy, only applies to that ecstasy, which in an almost pathological manner does violence to nature; for ecstasies are really special advantages, which prepare the prophet for his calling, and strengthen him therein, and which make him in special cases the mirror of divine thoughts and things. Paul also says (2 Cor 12:1-6) that he could boast of ecstasies; but within the church he only attributes a relative value to the ecstasy of tongues (1 Cor 14), when that, which the one speaking with tongues as with the voice of an angel, is translated by an interpreter from the realm of the spirit (πνευμα [pneuma]) into that of the understanding (νους [nous]).
Isaiah 29:7 And the multitude of all the nations that war against Ariel, Even all that war against her, and the bulwarks about her, and they that distress her, Shall be as a dream, a vision of the night.
Genesis 15:12 And it came to pass, that, when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a dread, even a great darkness, fell upon him.2 Corinthians 12:1-6 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.Remark 2. Kuenen, The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, London 1877, p. 86, holds that the ecstasy in itself is no supernatural phenomenon, and that it is to be explained as originating from the human organism, specifically from the nervous system. From this it appears that he knows no distincton between the realm of nature and that of grace, which as we believe and know is the realm of the miraculous.
1 Corinthians 14 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
25. Prophetical Inspiration.
Dreams and visions are at all times only sporadic modes of revelation. The more continued intercourse of God with the prophet is effected only by the word, hence by inspiration, since the thinking, feeling, willing, spirit of the prophet in the condition of a full, true self-possession is elevated and sustained, at one time by a softer, at another by a more vehement operation of the divine Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), which, with the breaking through of the series of natural images, gives his thinking, feeling, and willing divine impulses and a divine purport, and works within him thoughts and sensations, which serve the progressive realization of God's purpose in history and in the consciousness of men. This is the condition of inspiration, to which the phrase invented by Hippocrates especially applies: "all is divine and all is human." Repose from one's own activity, surrender to the longed for working of God and yet also at the same time a working up of that which has been received are indissolubly connected. We may compare the prophet to the lyre and the Holy Ghost to the plectron; this lyre however is not a dead instrument, but the individually definite soul which does not give forth a single note from itself without the cooperation of its own personality.2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.Remark 1. Hengstenberg holds even in the second edition of his Christologie des Alten Testaments, Berlin 1854 1857, that every receptive and productive activity of the prophet takes place in an ecstatic condition. Even Kueper, Das Prophetenthum des Alten Testaments, Leipzig 1870, explains the fundamental character of all prophecy as ecstatic; but that is not correct and we do not require this more or less Montanistic view, in order to preserve the supernatural and apocalyptic character of prophecy. Even Chrysostom (See Remark to 20) maintains the same view as we have presented in the preceding paragraph, that the prophet receives a message from God and speaks through Him by daylight and in the voluntary exercise of his own individuality. We agree in this respect with Riehm and others; also with Kuenen who nevertheless considers ecstasy, as well as prophecy in general, a natural phenomenon.
Remark 2. Montanus in Epiphan. haer. XLVIII, 4 represents the Paraclete as saying: "Behold man is like a lyre, and I smite as though I were a plectron; man sleeps while I am awake." In agreement with this Tertullian De. anima, ch. VI, says: "Ecstasy corresponds to grace, it is the change of human consciousness into unconsciousness."
26. The unique Prophetic Character of Moses.
According to Numbers 12:6-8 God's mode of intercourse with Moses was unique. His superiority to all other prophets consisted in his having more immediate intercourse with God than all the rest (Deut 34:10). It is true that he too did not behold God except as He was veiled in a cloud (Exo 19:9, 24:16, 33:9 compare 33:20). But God met him without the accommodated, intermediate wall of a visible self-representation. Moses was only excelled in this preeminence by One who was not only God's Servant but also His Son (Heb 3:5-6), and who had seen the one God, as even Moses had not seen Him (John 1:18).Numbers 12:6-8 And He said: 'Hear now My words: if there be a prophet among you, I the LORD do make Myself known unto him in a vision, I do speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so; he is trusted in all My house; with him do I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD doth he behold; wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?'
Deuteronomy 34:10 And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face;
Exodus 19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and may also believe thee for ever.' And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
Exodus 24:16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
Exodus 33:9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, and stood at the door of the Tent; and the LORD spoke with Moses.
Exodus 33:20 And He said: 'Thou canst not see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.'
Hebrews 3:5-6 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
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