Messianic Prophecies

Franz Delitzsch
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.)


H I S T O R Y.


The Divine Words respecting the Future Salvation
before the Time of the Prophets.


1. The three concentric Circles of the Revelation in Word and Deed.

Not only the prediction but also the actual revelation of the divine decree of salvation describes three concentric circles, which in the prediction are narrowed, but in the revelation are widened through three successive stages. The prediction first of all concerns the human race, then the nations, and finally a chosen people; but the actual revelation first concerns the chosen people, then the nations and finally the human race. For in the Old Testament the Mediator of salvation is made known:

(1) as the Seed of the woman, who is the conqueror of evil in mankind;
(2) as the Seed of the patriarchs, who is the blessing of the nations;
(3) as the Seed of David, who is the salvation and glory of Israel.
In the New Testament Christ is revealed, as the Son of David, who born in Israel seeks the lost sheep of the house of Israel, then as the Seed of Abraham, who through the apostolic preaching, since it breaks through the old barriers, becomes a Blessing to the nations, and finally as the Son of man, who, as the conqueror of evil and of death, sets over against the Adamitic race a new one, born of God and which is comprised under Him as its head.


2. The firsts Revelation by Theophanies.

The proclamation of salvation in its two first stages does not yet appear to be introduced prophetically. This could not be the case, since immediately after the fall there were no other than the fallen pair, and in the time of the patriarchs darkness brooded, over the nations, which grace removed only from one individual, Abram. The word of God therefore in both the first stadia can only be proclaimed immediately, and while it can reach individuals, through the voice of the Invisible, yet on the other hand the judicial awards cannot come to the serpent, to the woman and to Adam, who are solidarity concerned, without God represents Himself in some phenomenal form.* The account in Genesis 3:8 also says this expressly. After the fall, which had dissolved the union of God with men, the theophanies begin, which have for their object the restoration of the fallen. The fundamental fact of the New Testament ος (ϑεος) εφανερωϑη εν σαρκι (os [theos] ephanerothe en sarki/who [God] was manifested in the flesh) (1 Tim 3:16) secures the historical truth of these its premises, and as in the New Testament Jesus is not only the Saviour, but also the first Apostle of salvation (Heb 2:3, 3:1), so Jehovah in the Old Testament is not only the God of the preparation for salvation, but also, so to speak, the first Prophet of the coming salvation.

* [By this Prof. Delitzsch means that while God might have spoken in the heart of each of the parties named, yet, as His communication was designed to be public for all three, some phenomenal manifestation of Himself became necessary. C.]

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden toward the cool of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Remark. The narrative of the creation and of the fall of man in the so-called Jehovah-Elohim document (Gen 2:4-3) is acknowledgedly pre-exilic, resting upon old pre-Israelitic tradition, and, as the modern critics say, truly reproducing the mythical poetry of the national tradition. The truth is this that the old tradition respecting the origin and fall of man lies before us divested of its ethnico-mythological accessories. The tradition has been preserved in the Old Testament neither in the Babylonian nor in the Iranian form, but in that form, in which it has sustained the criticism directed against the Spirit of revelation. In the traditions and myths of the peoples there is more reason and more objective truth than in all philosophical systems.


3. The Primitive Promise.

The serpent and in it the spiritual being, whose mask it became, are cursed on account of the temptation which proceeded from them. The earth is cursed on man's account, while the natural world, after its destiny as a means of blessing has been thwarted, is turned into an instrument of wrath. Man himself however is not cursed, but in the midst of the curse on the tempter the blessing rises upon him, through which he may, if he lays hold of it, escape the curse. The verdict pronounced upon the serpent, after it has been humbled to a worm in the dust, is (3:15): "And I will put enmity between thee and between the woman, and between thy seed and her seed." The woman as the one first seduced, and the serpent, who served the Seducer as an instrument, are here representatives of their entire race. The divine retribution establishes and regulates between the race of serpents and of men a relation not only of internal antipathy, but also of deadly enmity (Psa 139:22). And who will conquer in this war, which is enacted as a law of the further history? "He shall bruise thee on the head and thou shalt bruise him on the heel" (Gen 3:15b). The entire decree of redemption is prefigured in this original word of promise so far as we only maintain, that the serpent as a seducer is intended, and that the curse, which falls upon it, has a background with reference to the author of the seducement. The malignant bite of the serpent in the heel of men, which they retaliate in the midst of their defeat by treading on its head, is only a natural picture of that which ever constitutes the most central purport of history namely. The conflict of mankind with Satan, and with all, who are εκ του διαβολου (πονηρου) [ek tou diabolou (ponerou)/of the devil (evil one)] and hence not so much the seed of the woman as of the serpent, and the decided victory of mankind in which this conflict ends. It is in the first place promised that mankind will secure the victory, for the word הוּא (hu'/he) refers to זֶרַע אִשׇׁה (zera' ishah/woman's seed). Nevertheless since the promise of victory refers to the present seducer (ο οφις ο αρχαιος [ho ophis ho archiaios/that serpent of old), we may consequently infer that the seed of the woman will culminate in One, in whom the opposition will be strained to the utmost and the defeat will finally be completed in totally depriving the Seducer of his power. Even in form this original promise is so framed that it is entirely parallel with the fulfilment. The entire history and order of salvation are unfolded in this proto-evangelium (first prophecy of the Messiah). Like a sphinx it couches at the entrance of sacred history. Later in the period of Israelitish Prophecy and Chokma (Wisdom), the solution of this riddle of the sphinx begins to dawn; and it is only solved by Him through whom and in whom that has been revealed, towards which this primitive prophecy was aimed.

Psalm 139:22 I hate them with utmost hatred; I count them mine enemies.
Remark 1. Even granting that שׁוּף (shuph/bruise, to fall upon) both times, or even once, had a similar signification with שׇׁאַף (sha'aph/long for) inhiare [long for] (LXX τηρειν [terein/to keep], Jerome insidiari [lie in wait]), nevertheless it could not be construed with a double accusative of the person and of the member: No verb indicating a hostile disposition is construed with a double accusative, only verbs signifying a hostile meeting as נִׇכּה (nakah/to smite) Genesis 37:21; Judges 15:8; 2 Samuel 3:27; Psalm 3:7; רׇצַח (ratsach/to murder) Deuteronomy 22:26; מׇחַץ (machatz/to smite) Deuteronomy 33:11; רׇעׇה (ra'ah/break) Jeremiah 2:16. The verb שׁוּף however signifies even in Job 9:17 conterere (grind, crush) and is the stereotyped Targum word for דׇּקִק (daqaq/crush) contundere, טׇחִן (tachan/crush) commolere, and שׇׁחִק (shachaq/beat, pulverize) comminuere (break); Paul too (Rom 16:20) renders it with συντριβειν (syntribein/crush). All the stems derived from the root שף or סף presents various shades of the radical signification terere (to grind).
Genesis 37:21 And Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand; and said: 'Let us not take his life.'

Judges 15:8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter; and he went down and dwelt in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

2 Samuel 3:27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there in the groin, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.

Psalm 3:7 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people, That have set themselves against me round about.

Deuteronomy 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death; for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter.

Deuteronomy 33:11 Bless, LORD, his substance, And accept the work of his hands; Smite through the loins of them that rise up against him, And of them that hate him, that they rise not again.

Jeremiah 2:16 The children also of Noph and Tahpanhes Feed upon the crown of thy head.

Job 9:17 He that would break me with a tempest, And multiply my wounds without cause;

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Remark 2. In the Babylonian tradition the great serpent is Tihamat, the original source of all evil, namely as the personified תְּהוֹם (tehom/deep place). This tradition expresses a profound thought, since the essence of evil is a falling back into chaos. This serpent Tihamat seduces mankind, by seeking to sustain itself in its authority, it destroys the grove of life. It is called preeminently aibu (אֹיֵב [oyev/enemy]) and it is named exactly as in the Apocalypse tsiru machru tihamat — ο οφις ο αρχαιος (ho ophis ho archiaios/that serpent of old). Likewise in the Iranian tradition, where it is the first creation of Ahriman, who himself is both represented and called a serpent, the serpent disturbs the peace, destroys paradise, and casts down Yima the ruler of the golden age, that is the first man. We see in these traditions true reminiscences and rational thoughts respecting the origin of evil although in a mythical garb.


4. Enosh and Enoch.

The first echo of the word of promise received by faith is the name חַיׇּה (chayah/to live) (Gen 3:20, Sept.: Ζωη (zoe/life)) which Adam gives his wife. While then the worldly tendency of the Cainitic race rises to a blasphemous self-confidence in Lamech, the seventh, from Adam, yet in the Sethitic line the religious community begins with Enosh, the third from Adam, and the tendency towards God, which is indigenous in this line, constantly deepens until it culminates in Enoch, the seventh from Adam, in an endearing relation to God which resembles the one lost through sin and which raises him above the law of death. This Enoch was, according to the tradition which has been put in form in the book of Enoch, a prophet and foretold according to Jude vs. 14-15 the parousia (presence) of the Lord in judgment. For the redemption, or what is the same, the victory of the seed of the woman cannot henceforth be completed in any other way than through a final decision and separation (κρισις [krisis/decision]), which not only overcomes all evil without, but also within the human race.

Genesis 3:20 And the man called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Jude 14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.


5. The words of Lamech at Noah's Birth.

Furthermore Lamech, the ninth from Adam, when his first son was born, hoped that in him, the tenth from Adam in the line of promise, the period of the curse would come to a comforting conclusion. This is evident from his elevated and prophetic words, when he says (Gen 5:29): "This one shall comfort us (יְנַחֲמֵנוּ [yenachamenu]) concerning our work and the toil of our hands from the ground [compare the curse going from the ground, Gen 4:11], which Jehovah has cursed." Lamech's hope is directed to the ultimate comfort, and was also fulfilled in Noah, not indeed finally, but in a glorious manner, for the covenant after the flood was a comfort, whose blessing is destined to extend from then until the end of time.

Genesis 4:11 And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.
Remark. The root נח signifies to breathe out, the verb נוּחַ respirare, and the piel נִחַם facere ut quis respiret, hence consolari. Therefore the notion of comforting, when the comfort is meant as an act, can be expressed through ה֭נִיחִםִן. If we compare Esther 9:16; Deuteronomy 12:10; Isaiah 14:3 and Genesis 27:42; Isaiah 1:24, we shall see that Noah's name (5:29) is explained according to the sense. Moreover םְנַחֵם is an old synagogical designation for the Messiah; compare Schoettgen, De Messia, Dresdae 1742, p. 18. The promise of Christ: "He shall give you αλλος παρακλητος (allon parakleton/another comforter)" (John 14:16) presupposes that Christ himself is παρακλητος (פְרַקְלִיט = מנַחֵם).
Esther 9:16 And the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of them that hated them seventy and five thousand--but on the spoil they laid not their hand

Deuteronomy 12:10 But when ye go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God causeth you to inherit, and He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Isaiah 14:3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy travail, and from thy trouble, and from the hard service wherein thou wast made to serve,

Genesis 27:42 And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him: 'Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.

Isaiah 1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, The Mighty One of Israel: Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, And avenge Me of Mine enemies;

Genesis 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying: 'This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh from the ground which the LORD hath cursed.'


6. The Blessing of the Nations in Abraham's Seed.

Noah is the first mediator of the redemptive history, and the second, who constitutes an epoch in the mediatorship, is Abraham. He is the first man in sacred history, who is called a prophet (נׇבִיא, Gen 20:7), but his mediatorial calling reaches farther than his prophetic. When the unity of the post-diluvial human race had been separated into a multitude of nationalities, God chose Abram from the line of Shem out of the midst of the nations, in accordance with Noah's prophecy (Gen 9:26, 27), and connected with his seed, as the center and starting-point, the promise of the future redemption of the entire human race. The promise concerning the seed of the woman now enters a second stadium, advancing to the promise concerning the seed of the patriarch, as the chosen possessor of the divine blessing, which is to be the goal of the longing of all nations. As the promise, which makes Abram and Sarah ancestors of kings (Gen 17:5, 16 compare 35:11) culminates in Christ, the son of David, so the mediatorship of the blessing in the seed of the patriarch is ultimately fulfilled in Christ, the son of Abraham (Gal 3:16, compare the retrospective reference in Psa 72:17).

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.'

Genesis 9:26, 27 And he said:
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem;
And let Canaan be their servant.
God enlarge Japheth,
And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be their servant.

Genesis 17:5, 16 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee...And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.'

Genesis 35:11 And God said unto him: 'I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Psalm 72:17 May his name endure for ever;
May his name be continued as long as the sun;
May men also bless themselves by him;
May all nations call him happy.

Remark 1. The prophetic words of Noah give Shem the preeminence, by naming Jehovah as his God, and since the names of the sons are ominous of their future, Shem seems to be intended as the bearer of the divine name (שֵׁם [shem/name]), that is of the historical revelation of God; for God's name signifies his revelation in the works of creation and the acts of history. That Japhet comes to dwell in the tents of Shem foreshadows the future conversion of the Japhetic family of nations to the God of revelation, and the harmonious relation of the Shemitic and Japhetic group of nations, by which the unanimous and filial conduct of both brothers is rewarded.

Remark 2. The patriarchal words of promise are: "And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves in thee" [in thy seed]. The phrase "they shall bless themselves" is expressed partly by the Niphal נִבְרַךְ (Gen 12:3, 18:18, 28:14), partly by the Hithpael הִחְבׇּרֵךְ (Gen 22:18, 26:4). Although the Niphal which is originally reflexive came to have in very many cases a passive signification, yet since the Hithpael was only used as a passive at a late period (compare Psa 72:17 and Acts 3:25; Gal 3:8), therefore we are led to assign a reflexive meaning to the parallel passages where the Niphal occur, as well as to those where the Hithpael is found. The Hithpael signifies to wish one well (Deut 29:18), and with בְּ to wish oneself the happiness, which any one possesses and which proceeds from him (Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2). The promise therefore means that all nations will wish themselves the blessing of which Abraham and his seed are the bearers, so that since this desire for a blessing is a desire for salvation, Abraham and his seed become the means of blessing for the human race; first in the people of salvation (Isa 19:24, compare Acts 3:25), but to the highest degree in the one Saviour, who springs from Abraham. The reflexive interpretation really coincides with the passive, because the desire for salvation is followed by its attainment. Since the nations will desire the blessing of Abraham they will on that account be blessed. Spiritual blessings, according to God's order, fall to those who long for them.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'

Genesis 18:18 ...seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? ..

Genesis 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. And in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 22:18 ...and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.'

Genesis 26:4 ...and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these lands; and by thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves

Psalm 72:17 May his name endure for ever;
May his name be continued as long as the sun;
May men also bless themselves by him;
May all nations call him happy.

Acts 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Deuteronomy 29:18 ...and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying: 'I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart—that the watered be swept away with the dry';..

Isaiah 65:16 So that he who blesseth himself in the earth
Shall bless himself by the God of truth;
And he that sweareth in the earth
Shall swear by the God of truth;
Because the former troubles are forgotten,
And because they are hid from Mine eyes.

Jeremiah 4:2 And wilt swear: 'As the LORD liveth'
In truth, in justice, and in righteousness;
Then shall the nations bless themselves by Him,
And in Him shall they glory.

Isaiah 19:24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth;


The Prophetic Benedictions of the Dying Patriarchs.

7. The Prophetic Blessings of the Patriarchs.

Cicero, De Divinatione, Lib. I, 63, says: Appropinquante morte [animus] multo est divinior, and Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 2, affirms that "holy men at their death have good inspirations." The patriarchs in accordance with this experimental and psychological phenomenon, just before their death, became seers and uttered testamentary words of a prophetic character respecting their children. Even in itself considered there is a close relation between benediction and prophecy, since the one who blesses as well as the one who prophesies anticipates future events. But there is this difference, that the one prophesying proclaims the revealed character of the future, while the one blessing, himself moulds the future by the energy of his believing prayer. There are however blessings, which are not only wishes, whose result coincides with the result of the prayer of faith, but also prophecies whose truth is conditioned upon God's discovery of the future. Of such a sort are the בְּרׇכוֹת (baruchot/blessings) of Isaac and Jacob, by which the blessing bestowed upon Abraham is continued and made special.


8. The Prophetic Blessing of Isaac.

It is the promise respecting the benediction of the nations through the seed of the patriarchs, and therefore of the completion of the divine work, which the patriarchs bestow as a blessing upon their firstborn, since they thus make them bearers of the great promised blessing, and mediums of the preparation for its fulfilment. Isaac is Abraham's first and only son by Sarah, and hence entitled to the reception of this blessing. Jacob snatches away the blessing of the first-born, which belonged to Esau, and even retains it, but only as he atones for the sin connected with the act and obtains it anew from Jehovah by wrestling in prayer and tears. The blessing of the first-born (Gen 27:27-29), consists of four parts, in which Jacob is promised:

(1) The possession of the land of Canaan, under the divine benediction (vs. 27b. 28): "See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Jehovah has blessed; and God will give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the land, and plenty of corn and must";

(2) The subjection of the nations to such an extent that every limitation is contrary to the words of the text (ver. 29a): "Peoples shall serve thee and nations shall bow down to thee";

(3) The primacy over his brothers, that is over those blood-relations, whose posterity were outside the line of promise (ver. 29b): "Be lord over thy brethren and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee";

(4) So high a position in redemptive history that blessings and curses are conditioned by the relation which men take to him who has received the blessing (ver. 29): "Cursed be they that curse thee, and blessed be they that bless thee." Compare 12:3 and Numbers 24:9, which is referred to the people of Israel. This fourth part shows that it is the same promise, received by Abraham, which Isaac bestows upon Jacob. Its goal is Christ. The promise extends to the nations, and even shortly becomes national and so Messianic. For Jacob's twelve sons form the transition from the family to the people of promise.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'

Numbers 24:9 He couched, he lay down as a lion,
And as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?
Blessed be every one that blesseth thee,
And cursed be every one that curseth thee.


9. Jacob's Prophetic Blessing upon Judah.

The question now arises, from which of the twelve tribes the salvation, that is, the victory of mankind and the blessing of the nations, shall arise. Reuben through his incest with Bilhah forfeited the right of primogeniture (Gen 49:3-4). It could not be transmitted to Simeon and Levi on account of their outrage on the inhabitants of Shechem (Gen 49:5-7). Therefore the dying father transfers the double inheritance which is connected with the right of primogeniture to Joseph, his favorite son (vs. 22-26), but the primacy (1 Chron 5:1) and the blessing of the promise upon his fourth son Judah (Gen 49:8-12). Jacob promises him the leadership of the tribes of his people, as an inalienable prerogative, which will ultimately be extended to the government of the world:

Genesis 49:3-4 Reuben, thou art my first-born,
My might, and the first-fruits of my strength;
The excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.
Unstable as water, have not thou the excellency;
Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed;
Then defiledst thou it—he went up to my couch.

Genesis 49:5-7 Simeon and Levi are brethren;
Weapons of violence their kinship.
Let my soul not come into their council;
Unto their assembly let my glory not be united;
For in their anger they slew men,
And in their self-will they houghed oxen.
Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce,
And their wrath, for it was cruel;
I will divide them in Jacob,
And scatter them in Israel.

Genesis 49:22-26 Joseph is a fruitful vine,
A fruitful vine by a fountain;
Its branches run over the wall.
The archers have dealt bitterly with him,
And shot at him, and hated him;
But his bow abode firm,
And the arms of his hands were made supple,
By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
From thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,
Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee,
And by the Almighty, who shall bless thee,
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that coucheth beneath,
Blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.
The blessings of thy father
Are mighty beyond the blessings of my progenitors
Unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
They shall be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of the prince among his brethren.

1 Chronicles 5:1 And the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel--for he was the first-born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, yet not so that he was to be reckoned in the genealogy as first-born.

Genesis 49:8-12 Judah, thee shall thy brethren praise;
Thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies;
Thy father's sons shall bow down before thee.
Judah is a lion's whelp;
From the prey, my son, thou art gone up.
He stooped down, he couched as a lion,
And as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
As long as men come to Shiloh;
And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.
Binding his foal unto the vine,
And his ass's colt unto the choice vine;
He washeth his garments in wine,
And his vesture in the blood of grapes;
His eyes shall be red with wine,
And his teeth white with milk.

"Judah, thee, yea thee shall thy brethren praise; thy hand shall be upon the neck of thine enemies, thy father's sons shall, bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp, from the prey, my son, thou art gone up [namely from the valley to thy lair in the mountains], he lay down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness — who would dare to wake him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the baton of the commander from between his feet, until he come to Shiloh, and to him will be the obedience of peoples," — that is, when he comes thither, his dominion over the tribes will be extended to a dominion over the nations. The personal explanation of שִׁילֹה (Shiloh) (written fully according to the Massora) is inadmissible for the following reasons:

(1) In every place where בּוֹא שִׁלֹה (bo' shiloh/came to Shiloh) occurs (Josh 18:9; 1 Sam 4:12, compare הֵבִיא שלה [havi' shiloh/brought to Shiloh] Judg 21:12; 1 Sam 1:24; שׇׁלַח שׁלה [shalach shiloh/sent to Shiloh] 1 Sam 4:4; הׇלַךְ שׁלה [halach Shiloh/get to Shiloh] 1 Kings 14:2-4) the word שִׁלֹה or שִׁלוֹ is a local accusative, and the name of a place in the midst of the tribe of Ephraim, which, to be sure, is mentioned only in this place in Genesis, but which could have been well known to Jacob.

Joshua 18:9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven portions in a book, and they came to Joshua unto the camp at Shiloh.

1 Samuel 4:12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.

Judges 21:12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

1 Samuel 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh; and the child was young.

1 Samuel 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who sitteth upon the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

1 Kings 14:2-4 And Jeroboam said to his wife: 'Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh; behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, who spoke concerning me that I should be king over this people. And take with thee ten loaves, and biscuits, and a cruse of honey, and go to him; he will tell thee what shall become of the child.' And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.

(2) The name שִׁילֹה is derived from שׁוּל to hang down in a flabby manner, to be stretched, to rest and is abbreviated from שִׁילוֹן, like שְׁלֹמֹה from שְׁלֹמוֹן. In itself it can be the name of a person bringing rest (synonyme of שְׁלֹמֹה which is equivalent to אִישׁ מְנוּהׇה [ish menuchah/man of rest] 1 Chron 22:9) as well as that of a place of rest, but it has its only analogy in the word גִּלֹה (Gilo), and does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament as the name of the Messiah.
1 Chronicles 22:9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
(3) Moreover the tradition, which considers שִׁילֹה as the name of the Messiah, does not derive it from שׁוּל, but holds unanimously, although this according to the scriptio plena of the Massoretic text is absolutely impossible, that it signifies the same as שֶׁלֹּה aa (שֶׁלֹּו) which is equivalent to אֲשֶֹר לוֹ is cujus est [regnum]. This explanation is indeed very old, since even Ezekiel (21:32) alludes to it. But nevertheless it is most improbable that the abbreviation שֶֹ (equivalent to אֲשֶֹר), which is rather Aramaic than Hebrew should be used as the component part of a proper name, and in such a way that the main idea (i. e. kingdom) must be understood.
Ezekiel 21:32 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, will I make it; this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him.
(4) Besides the arrival at Shiloh, which is here prophesied, was really the turning-point for Judah; for when, as is related in Joshua 18:1, the entire congregation of Israel with Judah, the leader of the tribes, who as the first of the tribes received his possession in Gilgal, assembled at Shiloh, where the tabernacle of the covenant was pitched, the land was subdued before them. Hence the coming to Shiloh is an epoch in the history of Israel and especially in that of Judah. And even the phrase וְלֹו יִקְּהַת עַמִּים (v'lo yiq'hat amim/gathering of the people) was fulfilled after this epoch in Judah (compare Deut 33:7). Subsequently to the wars of the Judges in which he marched according to God's revealed will before Israel (Judg 1:1,2, 20:18), he became the royal tribe in Israel. Under David and Solomon Judah not only held command over the tribes of Israel but also still further over the neighboring nations. The single examples of weakening and breaking down, from which the power and the permanence of the kingdom of Judah suffered, seem but brief moments to the patriarch in his prophecy. Since however the Chaldean catastrophe made an end of the Davidic kingdom, and this only lasted as a shadow of its former self for a short time under Zerubbabel, the fulfilment of this blessing upon Judah would indeed lack its crown, if it had not found its final fulfilment in Him of whom it is said (Heb 7:14): "For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda" and who is called in Revelation 5:5, with reference to Jacob's blessing "the Lion of the tribe of Juda."
Joshua 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them.

Deuteronomy 33:7 And this for Judah, and he said:
Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah,
And bring him in unto his people;
His hands shall contend for him,
And Thou shalt be a help against his adversaries.

Judges 1:1, 2 And it came to pass after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying: 'Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?' And LORD said: 'Judah shall go up; behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.'

Judges 20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said: 'Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?' And the LORD said: 'Judah first.'

Remark 1. The translation of שִׁילֹה with the presumption that the reading שׁלה is equivalent to שֶׁלֹּו cujus est [regnum] is adopted by Onkelos, the second Jerusalem Targum, the Peshitto, Aquila, Symmachus, Aphraates, Saadia; also by the LXX (Theodotion), which however does not understand שֶׁלֹּו of a person but of a thing, and so does not translate it ω αποκειται, "he to whom it belongs" (compare Eze 21:27: εως ου ελϑη ω καϑηκει, cui convenit regnum), but εως εαν ελϑη τα αποκειμενα αυτω. The following reasons are against this explanation:
Ezekiel 21:27 (21:32) A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, will I make it; this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him.
(1) that שֶׁ, equivalent to אֲשֶׁר ('asher/since), occurs at most only once in the combination of particles בְּשַׁגַּם (beshagam/for that he also) (as it should be read and not בשגׇמ, Gen 6:3) quoniam (since); perhaps also in the proper name מִישׁאֵל (Misha'el), if this signifies, who is what God is? (Exo 6:22; Lev 10:4) synonymous with מִיכׇאֵל (Mika'el), who is like God? (Num 13:13), but as the first part of a proper name שׇׁ, equivalent to אֲשֶׁר does not occur.
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.'

Exodus 6:22 And the sons of Uzziel: Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Sithri.

Leviticus 10:4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them: 'Draw near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.'

Numbers 13:13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. 14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi.

(2) The following consideration however is decidely against the interpretation of שׁלה as a proper name, that in such a case we should expect שֶׁלֹּו הוּא, the pronoun הוּא referring to שֵׁבֶט and מְחֹקֵק as the emblems of supremacy. Wellhausen, Geschichte Israels, Berlin 1878, vol. I, p. 375, however cuts the knot of this difficulty by expunging וְלוֹ so that what remains signifies: until the one comes to whom (שֶׁלֹּה) the obedience of the nations belongs. This conjecture stands and falls with the correctness of the defective reading שלה.

Rem. 2. It follows that שִׁילֹה is not the name of a person from the fact that Judah also remains the subject of that which follows (vs. 11-12): "Binding his ass's foal unto the vine, and his she ass's colt unto the choice vine. He washed his garment in wine and his mantle in the blood of grapes, the eyes dark from wine, and the teeth white from milk." — The subject is here evidently Judah as a tribe, which after they had conquered the land, enjoyed the wine and milk of the country in peace and prosperity, whose fruitfulness was so great, that they did not hesitate to bind an ass to a noble fruit tree.

Remark 3. The words אַחֲרִית הַיׇּמִים (acharit hayamim/end of days) in a prophetic connection indicate that which according to the range of the seer's vision appears to be the utmost limit, as the final point, or as the final period of history. For the dying Jacob (compare 49:1) the promised possession of Canaan stands in the foreground of the final period, and all eschatological hopes move together with this future fact. That the blessing of Jacob is no vaticinium post eventum (prophecy after the fact), as Anger and others maintain, is evident from the fact, that the actual possession of the land was never so fully realized as is here represented in the prophecy.

Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the end of days.


10. Retrospect and Transition.

Since Jacob designates the tribe of Judah as the royal tribe of Israel, the history, preparatory to the coming of Christ, is now so far advanced, that the tribe of Judah is chosen as the place for the Parousia of the future One. But nevertheless the idea of the promise and of the prophecy of the future mediatorship of the blessing, and of the future dominion over the world has not yet taken on a personal form. — The subject of the victory is the human race, the subject of the blessing the posterity of Abraham, the subject of the world-empire the tribe of Judah. In the Mosaic age we may expect progress, since it is the primitive period of real prophecy.

Remark. Duhm, Die Theologie der Propheten, Bonn 1878, p. 18, says that the Pentateuch criticism, dating from Graf (d. 1869), blots out the Mosaic period and widens the horizon of the prophetic until the beginnings of the real Israelitic religion. At present we merely reply: (1) that the song of Deborah, the prophetess, whose genuineness no one has yet dared to question, celebrates the fact of God's revelation upon Sinai (Judg 5:4-5); and (2) that according to the testimony of all the prophets the existence of Israel goes back to the divine act of redemption from Egypt, and that it is even in itself probable that this great period of the deliverance and establishment of the nation was a period of the deepest and highest spiritual, and hence prophetic, activity.

Judges 5:4-5 LORD, when Thou didst go forth out of Seir,
When Thou didst march out of the field of Edom,
The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped,
Yea, the clouds dropped water.
The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD,
Even yon Sinai at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.


Prophecy in the Time of Moses.

11. The Richness of the Prophetic Charisma.

The Tora expresses the mediatorial position of Moses (Deut 18:15) between the God of revelation and the people by the name נׇבִיא (navi'/prophet). The unprecedentedly close manner of God's intercourse with his servant is compared with God's usual mode of intercourse with the prophets (Num 12:6-8), and even Moses in his incomparable preeminence bears as his proper official name the designation נׇבִיא (Deut 34:10). But as a prophet Moses does not stand alone; even his sister Miriam is called the prophetess (הַנְּבִיאׇה [hanevi'ah] Exo 15:20). Miriam and Aaron are conscious that Jehovah speaks through them (Num 12:2). The seventy elders whom Moses associates with himself participate in the divine Spirit and begin to prophesy (Num 11:24-25). The prophetic inspiration seizes others also among the people (Num 11:26-29); hence words of the law are indicated as reaching Israel through the prophets (Ezra 9:11-12). But while we contemplate Moses as a prophet of the future, a promise of a prophet like him (Deut 18:15-16) first meets us at the beginning of the Sinaitic legislation, and it will be ours to see, whether it only ensures the continuity of the prophetic mediatorship or holds out the prospect of its culmination in an antitype of Moses.

Deuteronomy 18:15 A prophet will the LORD thy God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

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 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

Numbers 12:2 And they said: 'Hath the LORD indeed spoken only with Moses? hath He not spoken also with us?' And the LORD heard it.

Numbers 11:24-25 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent. And the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more.

Numbers 11:26-29 But there remained two men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were recorded, but had not gone out unto the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said: 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.' 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth up, answered and said: 'My lord Moses, shut them in.' 29 And Moses said unto him: 'Art thou jealous for my sake? would that all the LORD'S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His spirit upon them!'

Ezra 9:11-12 ...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. 12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity for ever; that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.

Deuteronomy 18:15-16 A prophet will the LORD thy God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou didst desire of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying: 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.'

Remark. Not only the priests, as Wellhausen says, derived their Tora from Moses, but the prophets also attest the prophetic character of Moses (Hosea 12:14): "Through a prophet Jehovah brought Israel up out of Egypt, and through a prophet he was tended." They also attest the activity of the Holy Ghost in the Israel of the Mosaic period (Isa 63:11). It is the Jehovist, who in Numbers 11:23-12:8, reports the animated prophetic life in the time of Moses, and the unique character of God's intercourse with him. And all the prophets testify unanimously that the redemption from Egypt indelibly stamped upon the people the spiritual character of its nationality (Amos 2:10, compare Micah 6:4-5, 7:15).
Isaiah 63:11 Then His people remembered the days of old, the days of Moses:
'Where is He that brought them up out of the sea
With the shepherds of His flock?
Where is He that put His holy spirit
In the midst of them?

Numbers 11:23-12:8 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? now shalt thou see whether My word shall come to pass unto thee or not.' And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent. And the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. But there remained two men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were recorded, but had not gone out unto the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said: 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.' And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth up, answered and said: 'My lord Moses, shut them in.' And Moses said unto him: 'Art thou jealous for my sake? would that all the LORD'S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His spirit upon them!' And Moses withdrew into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought across quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth. And the people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails; he that gathered least gathered ten heaps; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. While the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. And the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people that lusted. From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed unto Hazeroth; and they abode at Hazeroth. And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said: 'Hath the LORD indeed spoken only with Moses? hath He not spoken also with us?' And the LORD heard it.—Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth.—And the LORD spoke suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam: 'Come out ye three unto the tent of meeting.' And they three came out. And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the Tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. 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?'

Amos 2:10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
And led you forty years in the wilderness,
To possess the land of the Amorites.

Micah 6:4-5 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,
And redeemed thee out of the house of bondage,
And I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised,
And what Balaam the son of Beor answered him;
From Shittim unto Gilgal,
That ye may know the righteous acts of the LORD.

Micah 7:15 'As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt
Will I show unto him marvellous things.'


12. The Prediction concerning the Prophet like Moses.

When the people at the giving of the Law on mount Sinai were unable to hear the voice of Jehovah in such dreadful proximity, and therefore Moses became a mediator between Jehovah and the people (Deut 5:23-25; Exo 20:19), God also promised them for the future, to awaken a prophet from their midst (Deut 18:18-19):

"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him" — that is he will have to suffer punishment for the guilt which has been thereby occasioned. In order to rightly appreciate this prophecy, we must remember, that Moses was not the only prophet of his age. This historical consideration, in conjunction with others, is conclusive for the understanding of the expression כׇּמֹנִי (kamoni/like unto me) and כׇּמוֹךׇ (kamokha/like unto thee) (Deut 18:15, 18). The interpretation as if it were a collective, indicating a class (prophetam = prophetas) or a succession of individuals (one prophet, and then another, etc.), is open to the objection, that the singular is retained without being interchanged with the plural, and that the essential idea of continuity is not expressed. The interpretation therefore remains which applies נׇבִיא to a single person. The prophets who followed Moses are no more included under this כׇּמֹנִי than those who were contemporary with him, for none of them were prophets like Moses. The Tora (Deut 34:10) says expressly that none were so great as Moses, for they were not mediators of such a divine revelation as he; they all moved in the sphere constituted through Moses' mediatorship. Their province was to represent the Spirit of the divine revelation on Sinai in such a manner, that they might at the same time prepare for God's future revelation, whose mediator the predicted prophet like Moses was to be. But shall we now be able to say that this prophet, as he is represented in Moses' prophecy is the Messiah? No. This picture of the prophet of the final period is first combined at a later age in the consciousness of the prophets with that of the king of the final period. Even the people in the time of Christ distinguish the great prophet, who had been predicted, from the Messiah (John 1:19-21, 7:40-42), although in the face of Christ the presentiment of the unity of both dawned upon them (Matt 21:9-11).

Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 A prophet will the LORD thy God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;...I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face;

John 1:19-21 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

John 7:40-42 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

Matthew 21:9-11 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Remark 1. It is true, that the context in which the prediction of a prophet like Moses appears seems to favor the collective interpretation, namely a succession of prophets, but the expression indicating this continuance is wanting. It rather establishes the proposition, that Israel does not need to listen to necromancers and soothsayers, since God has promised to raise up such a medium of his revelation as Israel now has in Moses. This prophecy which belongs to the period of the Sinaitic legislation, and had its historical position after Deuteronomy 5:25, is here brought to remembrance supplementarily, and in a connection, which shows that this prophet like Moses will be the greatest, but not the only one.
Deuteronomy 5:25 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me; and the LORD said unto me: 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee; they have well said all that they have spoken.
Remark 2. In Acts 3:22-24 the prophet predicted by Moses is distinguished from those prophets prophesying since Samuel. And Stephen says that Moses foretold the prophet who appears in the person of Jesus (Acts 7:37). Philip's reply to Nathanael (John 1:46) refers to the same prophecy, and likewise the hope of the Samaritan woman (John 4:25). Jesus in John 12:48-49 says the same thing of himself which in Deuteronomy 18:17-19 is spoken concerning the Prophet.
Acts 3:22-24 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Acts 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

John 12:48-49 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

Deuteronomy 18:17-19 And the LORD said unto me: 'They have well said that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of him.


13. Balaam's Prophecy concerning the Star and the Sceptre from Jacob.

It is the result of different circumstances, that, when the people were not able to bear the immediate impression of the Sinaitic legislation, the image of the future One took on the form of a prophet, while it took on the form of a king in the mouth of Balaam, whose power of enchantment, Balak the king of Moab summons against victorious Israel. Although occasioned by the circumstances of the time the prophecy of Balaam is adapted to the progress of the announcement of the future salvation. During a residence of several hundred years in Egypt the twelve tribes had become a considerable people. Although to human eyes this people was irretrievably abandoned to the despotism of the Pharaohs, yet through the miraculous power of God it was set at liberty, and at the same time placed upon the theatre of the world's history, in the midst of nations, which on account of their idolatrous character could only take a hostile attitude to the people of the one God. Thus originated a conflict between Israel and the world, and in spite of the first victories over Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, the question arose, what the course and the result of this conflict would be. This question is solved through Balaam's prophecy (Num 24:15-17), and occasions the specialization of the image of the future Mediator as an image of a king of Israel. The oracles of Balaam are divided into four sections. Thrice Balak summons him to curse, but he is compelled to bless (Num 23:7-10, 18-24, 24:3-9). The four sections unroll the future history of the kingdom of God in its relation to the kingdoms of the world. Balak no longer presses Balaam to curse Israel, and Balaam on parting from him says (ver. 14):

"And now, behold, I go unto my people, come, I will put thee in mind how this people shall do to thy people in the last days."
At this point the prophecies respecting the future destiny of the world-empires begin with the words (vs. 15-19):
"Balaam, the son of Beor says, and the man with his eyes opened [perforatus oculo] says. He says who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who beholds the vision of the Almighty, falling down, and having his eyes unveiled, I see him and not now, I behold him and not near [neque vero propinquum] a Star comes out of Jacob, and a Sceptre arises out of Israel and smites the sides of Moab [i. e. both corners of Moab, his entire country] and utterly overthrows the sons of desolation [שֵׁת is equivalent to שֵׁאת with a medial א, Lam 3:47]. And Edom shall be a conquest, and Seir shall be a conquest, his [Israel's] enemies, but Israel retains the victory. And he [the ruler who is beheld] will rule from Jacob [Psa 72:8], and destroy that which has escaped from [hostile] cities.
Then in verse 20 destruction is announced against Amalek, and in verses 21 und 22 the carrying away of the Kenites through Assyria, but the range of the seer's vision still extends much farther (ver. 23-24):
"Alas, who shall live, when God shall accomplish this? And ships (come) from the side of Chittim and humble Assyria, and humble Eber; but even that [the power of the Chittim] falls to destruction."
It is characteristic, that the prophet from Pethor, hence from the midst of the heathen, surpasses all the prophets of the following age, since he is allowed to behold a national and political picture of the future, which is first expanded in the visions of Daniel. First in the oracles of Balaam the future One appears as the Messiah, for the star is the emblem of his heavenly origin and glory, and the sceptre of his royal dignity. The One who is seen is not a collectivum, that is, is not the personification of the kingdom of promise, for Balaam's declaration is aimed at One in the final period. Since it is intended to be eschatological David is not meant, although he overthrew the Moabites and Edomites. There neither stands before Balaam's distant vision a line of rulers, nor a single person within this line, but only the ideal King of the future, in whom the kingdom of Jehovah (23:21, 24:7) is represented in human form, historically fulfilled in Christ, of whom the Apocalypse says that the kingdoms of this world shall ultimately become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ (Rev 11:15, 12:10), and who says of himself (Rev 22:16): "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." — It is worldly power which this king as Balaam beholds him dispenses, not spiritual blessings. The internal work of salvation is accomplished by Jehovah Himself.
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

This divine side of the kingdom of God in its completion receives a magnificent expression in the dying song of Moses (Deut 32). In four pictures the entire history of Israel until the last days is presented before them. First Israel's creation and gracious treatment (vs. 1-14), then Israel's ingratitude and apostacy (vs. 15-19), then God's judgments (vs. 20-35), and finally Israel's salvation through the fire of judgment (vs. 36-43) are represented. This song was a mirror for the Israel of every age of its present condition and its future destiny. Herder (d. 1803) calls it the prototype and the canon of all prophecy, and Hengstenberg (d. 1869) the Magna Charta of the prophets.
Deuteronomy 32 — 1 Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak;
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain,
My speech shall distil as the dew;
As the small rain upon the tender grass,
And as the showers upon the herb.
3 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD;
Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

4 The Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice;
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
Just and right is He.
5 Is corruption His? No; His children's is the blemish;
A generation crooked and perverse.
6 Do ye thus requite the LORD,
O foolish people and unwise?
Is not He thy father that hath gotten thee?
Hath He not made thee, and established thee?

7 Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations;
Ask thy father, and he will declare unto thee,
Thine elders, and they will tell thee.
8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the children of men,
He set the borders of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.
9 For the portion of the LORD is His people,
Jacob the lot of His inheritance.

10 He found him in a desert land,
And in the waste, a howling wilderness;
He compassed him about, He cared for him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.
11 As an eagle that stirreth up her nest,
Hovereth over her young,
Spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them,
Beareth them on her pinions—
12 The LORD alone did lead him,
And there was no strange god with Him.

13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth,
And he did eat the fruitage of the field;
And He made him to suck honey out of the crag,
And oil out of the flinty rock;
14 Curd of kine, and milk of sheep,
With fat of lambs,
And rams of the breed of Bashan, and he-goats,
With the kidney-fat of wheat;
And of the blood of the grape thou drankest foaming wine.

15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked—
Thou didst wax fat, thou didst grow thick, thou didst become gross—
And he forsook God who made him,
And contemned the Rock of his salvation.
16 They roused Him to jealousy with strange gods,
With abominations did they provoke Him.
17 They sacrificed unto demons, no-gods,
Gods that they knew not,
New gods that came up of late,
Which your fathers dreaded not.
18 Of the Rock that begot thee thou wast unmindful,
And didst forget God that bore thee.

19 And the LORD saw, and spurned,
Because of the provoking of His sons and His daughters.
20 And He said: 'I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end shall be;
For they are a very froward generation,
Children in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have roused Me to jealousy with a no-god;
They have provoked Me with their vanities;
And I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people;
I will provoke them with a vile nation.
22 For a fire is kindled in My nostril,
And burneth unto the depths of the nether-world,
And devoureth the earth with her produce,
And setteth ablaze the foundations of the mountains.

23 I will heap evils upon them;
I will spend Mine arrows upon them;
24 The wasting of hunger, and the devouring of the fiery bolt,
And bitter destruction;
And the teeth of beasts will I send upon them,
With the venom of crawling things of the dust.
25 Without shall the sword bereave,
And in the chambers terror;
Slaying both young man and virgin,
The suckling with the man of gray hairs.

26 I thought I would make an end of them,
I would make their memory cease from among men;
27 Were it not that I dreaded the enemy's provocation,
Lest their adversaries should misdeem,
Lest they should say: Our hand is exalted,
And not the LORD hath wrought all this.'

28 For they are a nation void of counsel,
And there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this,
They would discern their latter end.
30 How should one chase a thousand,
And two put ten thousand to flight,
Except their Rock had given them over
And the LORD had delivered them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock,
Even our enemies themselves being judges.
32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom,
And of the fields of Gomorrah;
Their grapes are grapes of gall,
Their clusters are bitter;
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
And the cruel poison of asps.

34 'Is not this laid up in store with Me,
Sealed up in My treasuries?
35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense,
Against the time when their foot shall slip;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things that are to come upon them shall make haste.

36 For the LORD will judge His people,
And repent Himself for His servants;
When He seeth that their stay is gone,
And there is none remaining, shut up or left at large.
37 And it is said: Where are their gods,
The rock in whom they trusted;
38 Who did eat the fat of their sacrifices,
And drank the wine of their drink-offering?
Let him rise up and help you,
Let him be your protection.

39 See now that I, even I, am He,
And there is no god with Me;
I kill, and I make alive;
I have wounded, and I heal;
And there is none that can deliver out of My hand.
40 For I lift up My hand to heaven,
And say: As I live for ever,
41 If I whet My glittering sword,
And My hand take hold on judgment;
I will render vengeance to Mine adversaries,
And will recompense them that hate Me.
42 I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword shall devour flesh;
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the long-haired heads of the enemy.'

43 Sing aloud, O ye nations, of His people;
For He doth avenge the blood of His servants,
And doth render vengeance to His adversaries,
And doth make expiation for the land of His people.

Remark 1. The paragraph concerning Balaam is considered as Jehovistic, but not without the admission on the part of Kayser, Wellhausen, and others that the Jehovist here has adopted an older account. If we were to consider Balaam's prophecy as a vaticinatio post eventum it would be necessary for us to descend to the age of the Seleucidae (from 312 B. C.), for the book of Daniel with similar words (11:30) holds out the prospect, that Antiochus Epiphanes will be humbled by the ships of Chittim, and will then wreak his vengeance upon the Jews. By the ships of Chittim the Roman fleet is here intended, which brought Caius Popilius Laenas to Egypt (168 B. C.). Cyprus, with its capital city Citium, was the chief station of the ships sailing from the Occident to the Orient, on their way to the Levant, hence the ships of Chittim are those coming from the west, that is Greek or Roman.
Daniel 11:30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be cowed, and he shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do his pleasure; and he shall return, and have regard unto them that forsake the holy covenant.
Remark 2. Klostermann, Das Lied Moses und das Deuteronomium, Studien und Kritiken, Gotha 1871-72, has proved that the great song of Moses, which is assigned by Ewald (d. 1875) and Kamphausen (Das Lied Moses, Leipzig 1865) to the Assyrian or the later Babylonian period, was known at the very latest in the time of Hezekiah as coming from Moses, and was perpetuated with the historical frame (Deut 31:16-22), in which it lies before us, as a part of Deuteronomy.
Deutereonomy 31:16-22 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach thou it the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, flowing with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten their fill, and waxen fat; and turned unto other gods, and served them, and despised Me, and broken My covenant; then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination how they do even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.' So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.


14. The Blessing of Moses.

We need not be surprised, that the promise of Jacob which is made concerning Judah as the royal tribe in the blessing of Moses (Deut 33), which belongs historically after Numbers 27:22-23, finds no echo, for the words respecting Judah have regard only to his rest after his victorious struggles (Deut 33:7):

"Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him to his people; with his hands he has striven for himself, and thou wilt be a succor for him against his enemies."
Numbers 27:22-23 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation. And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD spoke by the hand of Moses.
The blessing testifies for the entire Old Testament period the fundamental fact, that Jehovah has become king in Jeshurun (ver. 5), and that Israel is happy as the people of such a gracious God. The blessing upon Zebulon and Issachar indicates the calling of the heathen to communion with this God who dwells upon the holy mount, or in the holy hill country (vs. 18-19). But no mention is made of a human king. Israel's salvation appears as the work of Jehovah Himself. The Messiah does not yet stand in the centre of the hope of salvation and glorification, since both are expected immediately from Jehovah.
Deuteronomy 33:5 And there was a king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people were gathered, All the tribes of Israel together.

Deuteronomy 33:18-19 And of Zebulun he said:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out,
And, Issachar, in thy tents.
They shall call peoples unto the mountain;
There shall they offer sacrifices of righteousness;
For they shall suck the abundance of the seas,
And the hidden treasures of the sand.

Remark. Graf (d. 1869), Der Segen Moses, Leipzig 1857, derives this document from the time of the contemporary reigns of Jeroboam II and Uzziah, while Knobel finds in it a mirror of the age of Saul. But Volck, Der Segen Moses, Erlangen 1873, has proved with sober argumentation that all which is said about the respective tribes can be best explained from the standpoint of Moses and his age. It is worthy of remark, that Deuteronomy 33:2 is the original of Judges 5:4. Moreover there exist such coincidences between the Song of Moses (Deut 32), the Blessing of Moses (33), and the 90th Psalm as to show at least, that at the time when these writings arose the Mosaic stamp was well known.
Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said:
The LORD came from Sinai,
And rose from Seir unto them;
He shined forth from mount Paran,
And He came from the myriads holy,
At His right hand was a fiery law unto them.

Judges 5:4 LORD, when Thou didst go forth out of Seir,
When Thou didst march out of the field of Edom,
The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped,
Yea, the clouds dropped water.


Prophecy in the Time of Joshua and the Judges.

15. The Song of Deborah.

While the high priesthood after the death of Phineas had no notable representative, the prophets were guardians of Jehovah's honor in word and deed. The farewell addresses of Joshua to the elders of Israel, and to the people in Shechem breathe the prophetic spirit of Moses (Josh 23-24). The short prophetic address (Judg 6:8-10) shows how prophecy at that time placed the history of the period under the point of view of the fundamental revelation by Moses. The sublimest prophetic form of the period of the Judges is that of a woman, Deborah, who is called אִשׇׁה נְבִיאׇה, and as such is the heiress of Miriam's grandeur. Her triumphal song (Judg 5) gives a clear picture of the period of the Judges both externally and internally. It is a monument of antiquity which disarms all doubt. The prophetic character of this festal song of victory, consists in its referring the servitude of Israel to its religious and ethical cause, and the victory in the struggle for freedom, to the fresh courage which the people took in their God, and to His presence among the combatants. The hidden background of the event is unveiled, but without putting it in the light of its goal, for no eschatological or Messianic word is found in the song.

Judges 6:8-10 ...that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel; and he said unto them: 'Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land. And I said unto you: I am the LORD your God; ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but ye have not hearkened unto My voice.'

Judges 5 1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying:

2 When men let grow their hair in Israel,
When the people offer themselves willingly,
Bless ye the LORD.
3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes;
I, unto the LORD will I sing;
I will sing praise to the LORD, the God of Israel.

4 LORD, when Thou didst go forth out of Seir,
When Thou didst march out of the field of Edom,
The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped,
Yea, the clouds dropped water.
5 The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD,
Even yon Sinai at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.

6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the highways ceased,
And the travellers walked through byways.
7 The rulers ceased in Israel, they ceased,
Until that thou didst arise, Deborah,
That thou didst arise a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods;
Then was war in the gates;
Was there a shield or spear seen
Among forty thousand in Israel?
9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel,
That offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless ye the LORD.
10 Ye that ride on white asses,
Ye that sit on rich cloths,
And ye that walk by the way, tell of it;
11 Louder than the voice of archers, by the watering-troughs!
There shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD,
Even the righteous acts of His rulers in Israel.
Then the people of the LORD went down to the gates.

12 Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, utter a song;
Arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
13 Then made He a remnant to have dominion over the nobles and the people;
The LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
14 Out of Ephraim came they whose root is in Amalek;
After thee, Benjamin, among thy peoples;
Out of Machir came down governors,
And out of Zebulun they that handle the marshal's staff.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
As was Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed forth at his feet.
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great resolves of heart.
16 Why sattest thou among the sheepfolds,
To hear the pipings for the flocks?
At the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead abode beyond the Jordan;
And Dan, why doth he sojourn by the ships?
Asher dwelt at the shore of the sea,
And abideth by its bays.
18 Zebulun is a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death,
And Naphtali, upon the high places of the field.

19 The kings came, they fought;
Then fought the kings of Canaan,
In Taanach by the waters of Megiddo;
They took no gain of money.
20 They fought from heaven,
The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
21 The brook Kishon swept them away,
That ancient brook, the brook Kishon.
O my soul, tread them down with strength.
22 Then did the horsehoofs stamp
By reason of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones.
23 'Curse ye Meroz,' said the angel of the LORD,
'Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof,
Because they came not to the help of the LORD,
To the help of the LORD against the mighty.'
24 Blessed above women shall Jael be,
The wife of Heber the Kenite,
Above women in the tent shall she be blessed.
25 Water he asked, milk she gave him;
In a lordly bowl she brought him curd.
26 Her hand she put to the tent-pin,
And her right hand to the workmen's hammer;
And with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote through his head,
Yea, she pierced and struck through his temples.
27 At her feet he sunk, he fell, he lay;
At her feet he sunk, he fell;
Where he sunk, there he fell down dead.

28 Through the window she looked forth, and peered,
The mother of Sisera, through the lattice:
'Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why tarry the wheels of his chariots?'
29 The wisest of her princesses answer her,
Yea, she returneth answer to herself:
30 'Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil?
A damsel, two damsels to every man;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed garments,
A spoil of dyed garments of embroidery,
Two dyed garments of broidery for the neck of every spoiler?'

Remark. Wellhausen (in Bleek's Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Berlin 1878, p. 189) admits the contemporary origin of the song, but denies Deborah's authorship, since he changes עד שַׁקַּמְתִּי (until I arose) עִד שִׁקׇּמִת (until she arose).


16. The song of Hannah.

Towards the close of the period of the Judges we meet with a woman, not so exalted indeed as Deborah, but all the more charming. In the hymn (1 Sam 2:1-10), with which as a happy mother after her long disgrace Hannah praises the Lord in Shiloh, she becomes a prophetess, since she closes with Messianic words which show, how ardently at that time under the lamentable divisions which existed among the people they longed for the firm protection and support of a king who should unite them together. Hannah sees in the mirror of her victory over Peninnah the triumph of her people over their enemies, and her eyes are at last hopefully fixed upon the issue of the divine government of the world (ver. 10):

"Jehovah, His adversaries shall be broken to pieces, it thunders before Him in heaven, Jehovah will judge the ends of the earth, and will grant power to His king and will exalt the horn of His anointed."
Her song is a prelude to the later poetry of the psalms, which revolve around the house of David. Through her son who was the honored instrument of anointing the one as king, who became the sweet psalmist of Israel (2 Sam 23:1), Hannah was brought into a close relation with the ancestor of the future Christ. Hence the echo of her song in Mary's magnificat (Luke 1:46-54) can only confirm us in the persuasion of its genuineness.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 1 And Hannah prayed, and said:
My heart exulteth in the LORD,
My horn is exalted in the LORD;
My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
Because I rejoice in Thy salvation.
2 There is none holy as the LORD,
For there is none beside Thee;
Neither is there any rock like our God.
3 Multiply not exceeding proud talk;
Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And by Him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty men are broken,
And they that stumbled are girded with strength.
5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread;
And they that were hungry have ceased;
While the barren hath borne seven,
She that had many children hath languished.
6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive;
He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich;
He bringeth low, He also lifteth up.
8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
He lifteth up the needy from the dung-hill,
To make them sit with princes,
And inherit the throne of glory;
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S,
And He hath set the world upon them.
9 He will keep the feet of His holy ones,
But the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness;
For not by strength shall man prevail.
10 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.

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:

Luke 1:46-54 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

Remark. Wellhausen in Bleek, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Berlin 1878, sect. 101, affirms that the psalm of Hannah treats of things which do not at all agree with her situation. The weakness of this assumption however appears, when we apply to this song the universal truth, that it is a characteristic of the essence of poetry to place the single event in the light of the idea which appears in it.


17. The Prophecy of the Fall of Eli's House.

The prophecy (1 Sam 2:27-36) shows how urgently the period of the Judges looked for a future king, when an unnamed man of God, i. e. a prophet, proclaims the rising of another line of priests after the fall of the house of Eli with these words (ver. 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 permanent house, and he shall walk before my anointed forever."
Eli derived his pedigree from Ithamar, Aaron's second son. The deposition of the sons of Ithamar from the high priesthood was not immediately carried out after Eli's death, for according to 1 Samuel 14:3, Ahijah Phineas' son, and a grandson of Eli, bore the ephod of the high priest, and later (1 Sam 21:2, 22:9) Ahijah's brother Ahimelech appears as high priest in Nob. First Ahimelech's son Abiathar, who escaped with the ephod to David and shared with him the hardships of persecution (1 Sam 22:20-23), was the last of the sons of Ithamar in the high priesthood. He was deposed when he entered the conspiracy against Solomon in favor of Adonijah, and this deposition was considered according to 1 Kings 2:27 as the fulfilment of God's word against the house of Eli. Hereafter Zadok and in him the line of the sons of Eleazar remained in sole possession of the high priesthood. If now the prophecy had been a vaticinium ex eventu Solomon would have been the anointed one intended. But if it is not a fiction, which was assigned to the time of Eli, but really a divine glimpse of the future we are obliged to recognize its ideal character, without looking at the historical details. The anointed is not Solomon, but the ideal king and priest of the future. The promise (1 Sam 2:35) is primarily realized in all the better Zadokian high priests who stood at the side of the better kings from the house of David. But its ultimate fulfilment is found in the Christ of God, in whom according to Zechariah 6:13 the ideal king and priest do not stand side by side but are united.
1 Samuel 2:27-36 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him: 'Thus saith the LORD: Did I reveal Myself unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to go up unto Mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? Wherefore kick ye at My sacrifice and at Mine offering, which I have commanded in My habitation; and honourest thy sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel My people? Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, saith: I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before Me for ever; but now the LORD saith: Be it far from Me: for them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thy house. And thou shalt behold a rival in My habitation, in all the good which shall be done to Israel; and there shall not be an old man in thy house for ever. Yet will I not cut off every man of thine from Mine altar, to make thine eyes to fail, and thy heart to languish; and all the increase of thy house shall die young men. And this shall be the sign unto thee, that which shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die both of them. 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. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thy house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and shall say: Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread.'

1 Samuel 14:3 ...and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the LORD in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.

1 Samuel 21:2 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said unto him: 'Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?'

1 Samuel 22:9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said: 'I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.

1 Samuel 22:20-23 And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. And Abiathar told David that Saul had slain the LORD'S priests. And David said unto Abiathar: 'I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul; I have brought about the death of all the persons of thy father's house. Abide thou with me, fear not; for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life; for with me thou shalt be in safeguard.'

1 Kings 2:27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that the word of the LORD might be fulfilled, which He spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

Zechariah 6:13 ...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.

Remark. Wellhausen and others maintain that this prophecy is both post-Deuteronomic and Deuteronomic in style. But the style contains also Elohistic elements (compare Exo 28:1,4,6 and Lev 2 etc., respecting the burnt offerings of the children of Israel). Eli's patriarchal house is that of Levi and especially of Aaron, and the house of the future faithful priest is not of one who does not belong to the family of Aaron, as Wellhausen maintains [and Smend in his commentary on Ezekiel, Leipzig 1880, p. 362], but of a new line within the house of Aaron [compare Delitzsch's article on the degradation of the Levites in the book of Ezekiel in Luthardt's Zeitschrift fur kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben, Leipzig 1880, Heft VI]. It is true we might easily suppose that the prophecy had received its present form from the standpoint of the history as fulfilled, but this is certainly not wholly so, for words like those in verse 32a (And thou shalt behold a rival in My habitation, in all the good which shall be done to Israel) bear the stamp of an original tradition.
Exodus 28:1,4,6 — 1 And bring thou near unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that they may minister unto Me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons...4 And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a tunic of chequer work, a mitre, and a girdle; and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto Me in the priest's office...6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the skilful workman.

Leviticus 2 And when any one bringeth a meal-offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon. And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and he shall take thereout his handful of the fine flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, together with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall make the memorial-part thereof smoke upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. But that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire. And when thou bringest a meal-offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil. And if thy offering be a meal-offering baked on a griddle, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. Thou shalt break it in pieces, and pour oil thereon; it is a meal-offering. And if thy offering be a meal-offering of the stewing-pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. And thou shalt bring the meal-offering that is made of these things unto the LORD; and it shall be presented unto the priest, and he shall bring it unto the altar. And the priest shall take off from the meal-offering the memorial-part thereof, and shall make it smoke upon the altar—an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. But that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire. No meal-offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven; for ye shall make no leaven, nor any honey, smoke as an offering made by fire unto the LORD. As an offering of first-fruits ye may bring them unto the LORD; but they shall not come up for a sweet savour on the altar. And every meal-offering of thine shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meal-offering; with all thy offerings thou shalt offer salt. And if thou bring a meal-offering of first-fruits unto the LORD, thou shalt bring for the meal-offering of thy first-fruits corn in the ear parched with fire, even groats of the fresh ear. And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon; it is a meal-offering. And the priest shall make the memorial-part of it smoke, even of the groats thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.


Prophecy in the First Royal Period.

18. Samuel as the Father of a new Age.

The kingdom of Saul was not only preliminary, since it coexisted with the final period of the Judges' authority as vested in Samuel, but it was also a failure. Saul's self-willed behaviour in the war with the Amalekites was the occasion of his dethronement. Samuel announced it to him in weighty language 1 Samuel 15:22-23, which became the watch-word of subsequent prophecy and psalmody. Without seeing the king again he withdrew to Ramah. Thence he was sent with the anointing horn to the house of Jesse. There in Naioth under his leadership flourished prophecy and music, the spiritual powers which were to glorify the kingdom of promise. There, in the unapproachable retreat of the Spirit's activity, the future king concealed himself from the fury of the present one, for David was already anointed while Saul yet reigned. Thus Samuel was his spiritual father. As soon as David was anointed the Holy Ghost came upon him, and not only as the Spirit of his office, but also as the Spirit of prophecy.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 And Samuel said:
'Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices,
As in hearkening to the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim.
Remark. It is a peculiarity of the Psalms that they recognize the ceremonial observances of the law only so far as they are symbolical. While the legal forms of worship take a subordinate position, the spiritual worship of prayer and obedience is made prominent. The words of Samuel, 1 Samuel 15:22-23, can in this respect stand as a motto of the Psalms.


19. David's View of himself as the Anointed One.

After the Benjaminitish kingdom had proved to be a failure, all the expectations of salvation, with which believing Israel beheld the future, were centered in the new kingdom which was in process of development. And David, after his anointing, must have appeared to himself all the more significant for the history of salvation in proportion as he was joyfully conscious of the fullest devotion to the ideal of his royal office. Therefore he is aware in all his psalms, that his destiny and that of his enemies, stand, according to the divine decree, in causal connection with the final result of human history, and he prophesies concerning the Messiah, not as an objective person of the future, but as represented by himself, since he regards himself sub specie Christi. Hence he is wafted to an ideal height, where he is raised far above the accidental events of his life. God, who made the Old Testament history a prehistory of Christ, has rendered the beginning of the kingdom of promise, rather than other turning-points, even to many seemingly small and fortuitous circumstances, a prefiguration of the full completion of this kingdom. Therefore that which David says respecting the bright and dark side of his life has, even as a true copy of the external reality, christological significance.

Remark. Stahelin, Das Leben David's, Basel 1866, manifests no appreciation whatever for the bright side of David's character. On the other hand Schultz, Alttestamentliche Theologie, Frankfort on the Main 1878, p. 262, says both truly and beautifully, that the conception of the position of the king of Israel in a religious light first began with David, and that the kingdom of Israel attained a religious form only as Davidic.


20. Fusion of Typical and Prophetic Elements in David's Psalms.

But the category of the type does not suffice for the passion-psalms belonging to the two periods of persecution, especially to the one occasioned by Saul. We can only explain the fact that David expresses the excruciating character of his present sufferings, and their glorious result, as well as the cursed fate of his enemies (22:19, 27, compare 109:8), on the supposition, that as he regarded himself as the Anointed, his history was idealized for him, that is, deepened and elevated; that the Spirit of God as Christ was in him (1 Peter 1:11), and that the effusions of his sensibility formed prophetic features of his exalted Antitype. But these typical and prophetic psalms remained a riddle until prophecy by discriminating between a suffering and glorified Messiah, and by uniting the priest with the king in one Christ began to solve the mystery.

Psalm 22:19, 27 — 19 They part my garments among them,
And for my vesture do they cast lots...
27 Let the humble eat and be satisfied;
Let them praise the LORD that seek after Him;
May your heart be quickened for ever!

Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few;
Let another take his charge.

1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Remark 1. The secret of these typical and prophetic psalms is after all the secret of all poetry. The genuine lyric poet does not give an exact copy of the impressions made upon his empirical ego. His ideal ego, says Vinet (d. 1847) listens in him as if it were this empirical ego, and only this second soul constitutes the poet. We add the Spirit of Christ in David is the soul of his ideal ego, that is, his second ideal soul.

Remark 2. Eight psalms are dated expressly from the time of the persecution by Saul: 8, 49, 56, 34, 52, 57, 142, 54. The following may be derived from this period with more or less probability: 11, 13, 17, 22, 25, 31, 35, 40, 61, 64, 69, 109. No part of Old Testament prophecy is so often cited in the New as these psalms of David from the time of Saul, especially those of the second group, and particularly Psalm 22 and 69. To the time of the persecution under Absalom belong, or appear to belong, the following psalms: 3, 4, 23, 26, 62, 39, 41, 55, 28, 140, 58, 5, 27. Also the beautiful Psalm 63 is assigned by its superscription to the same period. This is supported by the longing after God's sanctuary which is expressed in it.


21. David and his Seed as Possessors of the Kingdom of Promise.

After David had brought the ark of the covenant to Zion and had placed it in a temporary tabernacle, he received, towards the end of his reign, when he had determined to build a beautiful temple for Jehovah, a revelation (2 Sam 7; 1 Chron 17), which gives a new and permanent direction to Messianic prophecy. First with the election of David from the tribe of Judah the theocratic relation of Jehovah to Israel found a fitting and visible representative, and the question next arose: Is David the expected king, who is to fully realize Israel's destiny in the midst of the nations, and to be the centre of Jehovah's empire over them all? and if not: Is this king to be looked for in Judah from the race of David, or from that of another? This question is settled by the revelation, which David receives through Nathan, when David's determination to build Jehovah a house is answered with the promise, that He will build David a house, and that David's seed shall be possessors of the royal throne forever. Hence David is not yet the anointed, who will fulfil Israel's destiny, but the promise respecting the distant future gives the assurance that the anointed One shall be a son of David.

2 Samuel 7 And it came to pass, when the king dwelt in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies round about, that the king said unto Nathan the prophet: 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.' And Nathan said to the king: 'Go, do all that is in thy heart; for the LORD is with thee.' And it came to pass the same night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying: 'Go and tell My servant David: Thus saith the LORD: Shalt thou build Me a house for Me to dwell in? for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all places wherein I have walked among all the children of Israel, spoke I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed My people Israel, saying: Why have ye not built Me a house of cedar? Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto My servant David: Thus saith the LORD of hosts: I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be prince over My people, over Israel. And I have been with thee whithersoever thou didst go, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee; and I will make thee a great name, like unto the name of the great ones that are in the earth. And I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be disquieted no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as at the first, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will cause thee to rest from all thine enemies. Moreover the LORD telleth thee that the LORD will make thee a house. When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son; if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.' According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. Then David the king went in, and sat before the LORD; and he said: 'Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me thus far? And this was yet a small thing in Thine eyes, O Lord GOD; but Thou hast spoken also of Thy servant's house for a great while to come; and this too after the manner of great men, O Lord GOD. And what can David say more unto Thee? for Thou knowest Thy servant, O Lord GOD. For Thy word's sake, and according to Thine own heart, hast Thou wrought all this greatness, to make Thy servant know it. Therefore Thou art great, O LORD God; for there is none like Thee, neither is there any God beside Thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like Thy people, like Israel, a nation one in the earth, whom God went to redeem unto Himself for a people, and to make Him a name, and to do for Thy land great things and tremendous, even for you, in driving out from before Thy people, whom Thou didst redeem to Thee out of Egypt, the nations and their gods? And Thou didst establish to Thyself Thy people Israel to be a people unto Thee for ever; and Thou, LORD, becamest their God. And now, O LORD God, the word that Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant, and concerning his house, confirm Thou it for ever, and do as Thou hast spoken. And let Thy name be magnified for ever, that it may be said: The LORD of hosts is God over Israel; and the house of Thy servant David shall be established before Thee. For Thou, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, hast revealed to Thy servant, saying: I will build thee a house; therefore hath Thy servant taken heart to pray this prayer unto Thee. And now, O Lord GOD, Thou alone art God, and Thy words are truth, and Thou hast promised this good thing unto Thy servant; now therefore let it please Thee to bless the house of Thy servant, that it may continue for ever before Thee; for Thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it; and through Thy blessing let the house of Thy servant be blessed for ever.'
Remark. When David received the promise Solomon was not yet born, for it begins (2 Sam 7:12):
"When thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, then will I raise up thy seed after thee [prolem tuam post te], which shall proceed out of thy bowels and I will establish his kingdom."
The idea contained in זֶרַע (zera'/seed) is general and individual. There is nothing decisive in the twelfth verse against the general signification, but verse 13 is individual in its application:
"He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (עַד-עוֹלׇם)."
The expression עַד-עוֹלׇם ('ad 'olam/for ever) however carries us beyond the individual limits, for the reign of Solomon, which lasted forty years, is only a part of the illimitable course of time which is intended. That which follows does not apply to this or that Davidic ruler, but to the Davidic rulers as such (vs. 14-16):
"I will be his father, and he shall be my son, whom, if he commit iniquity, I will chastize with the rod of men and with stripes of the children of men" [virga humana et plagis humanis, i. e. modicis, not peremptorily, but in a fatherly way]. And my mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee [as an endless line extending from thee into the remotest future]. Thy throne shall be settled forever."
The promises: "Confirmabo solium regni ejus in aeternum," (establish the throne of His kingdom forever) and, "ego ero illi in patrem et ipse erit mihi in filium (I will be his father and he shall be My son), must be fulfilled in the highest sense (sensu eminentissimo) in the Messiah of the house of David. But also the promise: is aedificabit domum nomini meo (he shall build the house for My name), which Solomon applied to himself (1 Kings 5:19, 8:17-20) and David applied to Solomon (1 Chron 22:7-10, 28:10, 29:1), even this promise according to Zechariah 6:12 awaits its final fulfilment in the Messiah.
1 Kings 5:19 And, behold, I purpose to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke unto David my father, saying: Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build the house for My name.

1 Kings 8:17-20 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said unto David my father: Whereas it was in thy heart to build a house for My name, thou didst well that it was in thy heart; nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for My name. And the LORD hath established His word that He spoke; for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.

1 Chronicles 22:7-10 And David said to Solomon: 'My son, as for me, it was in my heart to build a house unto the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying: Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars; thou shalt not build a house unto My name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in My sight. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name; and he shall be to Me for a son, and I will be to him for a father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

1 Chronicles 28:10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.'

1 Chronicles 29:1 And David the king said unto all the congregation: 'Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God.

Zechariah 6:12 ...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;

Remark 2. David responds to the divine promise with a prayer of thanks giving (2 Sam 7:18 etc.; 1 Chron 17:16 etc.). In the former passage (vs. 18b, 19) he speaks as follows:
"Who am I, O Lord Jehovah? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet small in thine eyes, O Lord Jehovah; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant s house from afar, and indeed after the manner of men, O Lord Jehovah."
The expression וְזֹאת תּוֹרַת הׇאׇדׇם. which probably signifies as we have translated, "and indeed after the manner of men," means: Since thou hast entered with me and my posterity into the relation of a father to his children. Hence the words praise God's deep condescension, for which we find in 1 Chronicles 17:17: "And thou hast regarded me after the manner of a man of exalted station." Hence the words are so modified, that not the Divine condescension, but the elevation of the seed of David to God's immediate neighborhood is praised.


22. David's View of the Messiah as distinct from himself.

After David in the midst of the Ammonitic and Syrian war, when he found himself on the summit of external glory, had fallen into the twofold sin of adultery and murder, it was natural that his Messianic view of himself should receive a terrible shock. His typico-prophetic psalms, such as 16 and 22, were all composed before this period. But in Psalm 110, which was written afterwards, and which alludes to the conquest of the Ammonitic capital, he bows, as if he had descended from his throne, before the Christ of God as his Lord. The image of the Messiah here appears separated from David's person. Even the beginning (נְאֻם יהוה [ne'um YHVH/the Lord said]) shows that we have to do not merely with the utterance of the typical personage prophetically elevated by the Spirit (see 20), but with an immediate prophecy.

Psalm 110 A Psalm of David.
The LORD saith unto my lord: 'Sit thou at My right hand,
Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.'
The rod of Thy strength the LORD will send out of Zion:
'Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.'
Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy warfare;
In adornments of holiness, from the womb of the dawn,
Thine is the dew of thy youth.

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent:
'Thou art a priest for ever
After the manner of Melchizedek.'
The Lord at thy right hand
Doth crush kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations;
He filleth it with the dead bodies,
He crusheth the head over a wide land.
He will drink of the brook in the way;
Therefore will he lift up the head.

Remark. The phrase נְאֻם יהוה, with which the psalm opens rarely stands, as in this case, at the beginning of a sentence, and hence is all the more emphatic (Isa 55:8, compare 1:24; 1 Sam 2:30); even, where genitives other than the divine name follow, it has almost an oracular meaning. If this is the case it is evident that it is not the people which speak in this psalm but David, for an oracle which has been received is never reported with נְאֻם but נְאֻם always introduces something which is perceived at the time by the speaker. Hence the psalm not only bears at the very beginning the stamp of prophecy, but also afterwards; for how could it be possible that the people should be the subject speaking in verse 4? "The Lord has sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel:
Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries,
And avenge Me of Mine enemies;

1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, saith: I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before Me for ever; but now the LORD saith: Be it far from Me: for them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

Where then had such a declaration been uttered concerning David, to which the people could refer? Whoever is priest after the order of Melchizedek, is priest and king in one person; and he who possesses these dignities forever is the possessor of a royal priesthood which suffers no abridgment through death, but continues abiding in his person always. The Old Testament here stands in contradiction with itself, that is, it points to a future which contradicts the form of the present. This is evident from the interpretation which the prophet Zechariah (6:12 etc.) has put upon this psalm. — That which follows in the psalm (vs. 5-10) does not unfold this divine declaration concerning the priest after the order of Melchizedek. It remains isolated, and has only retrospectively a connection with what is said in verse 3, that the army of this king is clothed in the beauty of holiness. It is therefore a priestly army, and this introduces what is said in verse 4 of the unique priesthood of its leader.


23. The last Words of David.

In like manner the last words of David (דִּבְרֵי דׇוִד הׇאַחֲרֹנִים [divrei David ha'acharonim] 2 Sam 23:1-7) indicate their prophetic character even by their beginning, which reminds us of the oracles of Balaam (Num 24:3 etc., 15 etc.). David must have been more clearly conscious than ever of the contrast between the reality and the ideal of the divinely anointed One, as he lay upon his death-bed. Once more all the glory with which God had blessed him comes before his soul. He the highly favored one, who had considered himself immortal (Psa 16) must now die! He therefore grasps the pillars of the promise, ceases to connect the Messianic hopes with himself, and as a prophet beholds the future of his seed. His sun goes down that it may rise all the more gloriously. The idea of the Messiah is yet to be realized in his house. The picture of the future (3b-4) is nothing else than the image of the Messiah, which now has been entirely separated from his subjectivity, and which stands before him as purely objective.

2 Samuel 23:1-7 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:
The spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
And His word was upon my tongue.
The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
'Ruler over men shall be
The righteous, even he that ruleth in the fear of God,
And as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth,
A morning without clouds;
When through clear shining after rain,
The tender grass springeth out of the earth.'
For is not my house established with God?
For an everlasting covenant He hath made with me,
Ordered in all things, and sure;
For all my salvation, and all my desire,
Will he not make it to grow?
But the ungodly, they are as thorns thrust away, all of them,
For they cannot be taken with the hand;
But the man that toucheth them
Must be armed with iron and the staff of a spear;
And they shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.

Psalm 16 Michtam of David.
Keep me, O God; for I have taken refuge in Thee.
I have said unto the LORD: 'Thou art my Lord;
I have no good but in Thee';
As for the holy that are in the earth,
They are the excellent in whom is all my delight.
Let the idols of them be multiplied that make suit unto another;
Their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer,
Nor take their names upon my lips.
O LORD, the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup,
Thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places;
Yea, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel;
Yea, in the night seasons my reins instruct me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
Surely He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth;
My flesh also dwelleth in safety;
For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to the nether-world;
Neither wilt Thou suffer Thy godly one to see the pit.
Thou makest me to know the path of life;
In Thy presence is fulness of joy,
In Thy right hand bliss for evermore.


24. The Psalm of Solomon.

In connection with what has gone before, we need not be at all surprised, when Solomon, in the seventy-second psalm, makes the image of the Messiah, as a precious legacy, which God had placed before the soul of his dying father, and which indeed contains nothing superhuman, his own ideal. The character of this psalm is preeminently optative. It was first composed by Solomon as a public prayer for himself as the new king. It is not directly, but indirectly prophetic, since the wish is expressed that that may be fulfilled in Solomon which is prophesied of the Messiah.

Psalm 72 [A Psalm] of Solomon.
Give the king Thy judgments, O God,
And Thy righteousness unto the king's son;
That he may judge Thy people with righteousness,
And Thy poor with justice.
Let the mountains bear peace to the people,
And the hills, through righteousness.
May he judge the poor of the people,
And save the children of the needy,
And crush the oppressor.
They shall fear Thee while the sun endureth,
And so long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
As showers that water the earth.
In his days let the righteous flourish,
And abundance of peace, till the moon be no more.
May he have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River unto the ends of the earth.
Let them that dwell in the wilderness bow before him;
And his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute;
The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Yea, all kings shall prostrate themselves before him;
All nations shall serve him.
For he will deliver the needy when he crieth;
The poor also, and him that hath no helper.
He will have pity on the poor and needy,
And the souls of the needy he will save.
He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence,
And precious will their blood be in his sight.
That they may live, and that he may give them of the gold of Sheba,
That they may pray for him continually,
Yea, bless him all the day.
May he be as a rich cornfield in the land upon the top of the mountains;
May his fruit rustle like Lebanon;
And may they blossom out of the city like grass of the earth.
May his name endure for ever;
May his name be continued as long as the sun;
May men also bless themselves by him;
May all nations call him happy.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only doeth wondrous things;
And blessed be His glorious name for ever;
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen.
The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
Remark. In verse 1: "Elohim, thy judgments give to the king, and thy righteousness to the king's son," the article is wanting both times in accordance with the peculiarity of the poetic style. In the words of verse 6: "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as powerful showers, upon the earth," we recognize an echo of 2 Samuel 23:4. In the closing words (ver. 17): "His name endure forever; so long as the sun shines shall his name bud, they shall bless themselves in him all nations shall call him blessed" it is evident that the wishes and hopes are directed to a king in whom that is realized which was promised to Abraham and his seed. But even here the Messianic image of the king is entirely human and corresponds in the three emblematical gifts of the Magi only to the gold, for gold indicates the king, frankincense the heavenly, and myrrh the suffering and dying One.


25. Messianic Glimpses in the Chokma-Literature.

We cannot expect a directly prophetic psalm from Solomon. David had the gift (χαρισμα [charisma]) of prophecy, Solomon that of wisdom (1 Kings 3:12 and 28; Matt 12:42). The age of David is that of struggling faith (πιστις [pistis]), the age of Solomon is that of self-confident knowledge (γνωσις [gnosis]). The Proverbs and the Canticles of Solomon, as well as the book of Job, which probably were written in the time of Solomon, belong to the Chokma-Literature (סִפְרֵי חׇכְמׇה [sifre chockmah/wisdom literature]). The book of Proverbs is occupied with the manifold relations of life, and assigns for them rules which are grounded in the fear of God. The book of Job, in the dramatized history of a righteous man, who was not an Israelite, discusses the question respecting the divine motives and purposes in the sufferings of the righteous; and the Song of Songs celebrates the love of man and wife, as Solomon experienced it in its monogamous ideality, in the person of Shulamith, the beloved of his youth. It is not a prophetic book, Solomon is therein only unconsciously a type of Christ, and Shulamith the Galilean a type of the church raised by Him from a humble position to loving communion with Him. It stands in the canon as a typical picture upon a basis which is no less ethical than erotic, without demanding an allegorical interpretation. On the other hand the forty-fifth psalm requires an allegorical interpretation. It views the king, whose marriage it celebrates, in the light of Messianic elevation and destiny, and removed from its historical occasion, demands the translation of all sensuous features into the supersensuous, according to the spiritual character of the Antitype.

1 Kings 3:12, 28 — 12 behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee...28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do justice.

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Remark 1. The Redeemer (גּאֵל [goel] Job 19:23-27) is God himself; but the interpreting angel (מַלְאךְ מֵלִיץ [malach malitz] angelus internuntius) in Elihu's address, Job 33:23 etc., is a prefiguration of the divine and human Redeemer, for the angelic form is the most ancient, which the hope of a mediator of salvation took on. The angel of the covenant of prophecy (מַלְאךְ הַבְּרִית [malach haberit] Mal 3:1) is the realization of the mediatorial angel postulated by the Chokma.
Job 19:23-27 Oh that my words were now written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
That with an iron pen and lead
They were graven in the rock for ever!
But as for me, I know that my Redeemer liveth,
And that He will witness at the last upon the dust;
And when after my skin this is destroyed,
Then without my flesh shall I see God;
Whom I, even I, shall see for myself,
And mine eyes shall behold, and not another's.
My reins are consumed within me.

Job 33:23 If there be for him an angel,
An intercessor, one among a thousand,
To vouch for a man's uprightness;

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I send My messenger,
And he shall clear the way before Me;
And the Lord, whom ye seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
And the messenger of the covenant,
Whom ye delight in,
Behold, he cometh,
Saith the LORD of hosts.

Remark 2. According to the traditional interpretation of the Synagogue Shulamith is an image of the congregation of Israel. Solomon however is not an image of the Messiah, but an anthropomorphic representation of Jehovah himself. In this sense every שְׁלֹמֹה (Shelomoh/Solomon) of Solomon's Song with the exception of 8:11 is considered as קֹדֶשׁ (kodesh/holy) that is as an indirect designation of the God of peace.

Remark 3. The forty-fifth psalm which has been adopted by the church is no longer a poem celebrating a special occasion, but an advent hymn, in which the future Messiah is greeted and celebrated. In this connection it is worthy of remark that the psalms, as hymns of the church, have received a deeper and a higher meaning than that which they had in their historical origin. Schultz in his Alttestamentliche Theologie has an entire chapter on this subject (p. 828-831), which he entitles: "The secondary Meaning of Scripture" (der zweite Schriftsinn). From the position of this chapter at the very end of Schultz's book, it might appear, as if this change in the application of the psalms was first effected in the consciousness and worship of the post-exilic congregation, but the expression "to the musical director" (לַמְנַצֵּחַ [lamnatzeach]), which occurs in the superscription of many psalms is pre-exilic. And even in the literature of the period before the exile there are traces of psalms, which had received a different meaning and application.


26. Gad's Relation to Redemptive History.

The most celebrated representatives of official prophecy in David's period, were Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer. As Nathan connected Messianic prophecy forever with the house of David, so Gad was instrumental in moulding the history of salvation even till the period of the New Testament, since by directing David to build an altar on the threshing-place of Araunah, the Jebusite, he laid the foundation of the temple upon mount Moriah, in which Israel by prayer and sacrifice honored his God for more than a thousand years. A long pause however now enters in the further extension of the Messianic prophecy. We are acquainted with not a few prophets of the first epoch of the royal period after the division of the kingdom (975-915 B.C.), belonging to both kingdoms, but they are exclusively occupied with the internal affairs of the kingdom; moreover, for the most part, their addresses no longer exist in their original form, but in the free reproductions of the authors of the books of Kings and Chronicles. These prophets are in all respects the spiritual prototypes and predecessors of the later prophets, but the Messianic idea receives through them a mediate confirmation only so far as they recognize the heirship of the Davidic throne, while in the northern kingdom sovereigns are elevated and deposed, and one dynasty is exchanged for another.





This book has been edited.
Copyright © 2011 JCR
All research and online books are
original to this site unless otherwise noted.