Christian Biblical Reflections.23

((Here are pages (25-50) CBR, Chapter IV, (Christian Biblical Reflections.23, the 2nd submission or installment) of the Prophetic Books of Isaiah & Jeremiah with Lamentations & Ezekiel. This is the Isaiah section. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018)) (Links to the PDF Vol.1 of CBR. Chapters 1-3 (pages 1-560) & to Chapter 4 of Vol. 2 pages 1-115 : updated, completed, and further edited, corrected, and renumbered):
https://mjmselim.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/cbr-1-3-aug122018-christbibreflect-mjmselim-orgnl-08112018-24.pdf
https://mjmselim.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/cbr.4-5.wordpress.4.current.july14th.2019.christbibreflect.v2.mjmselim.orig_.pdf
https://mjmselim.blog/2019/07/14/christian-biblical-reflections-22/

 
{{ The Westminster Historical Atlas to the Bible by George Ernest Wright and Floyd Vivian Filson. “The Great Empires of Israelite Times”:

     The story of man’s oft-repeated attempt to dominate his world by the use of totalitarian power is a fascinating account. It is the story of ambitious men who consolidate their power over a people, and turn the total resources of that people toward world conquest. Strangely enough, the conquest has not always been an unmixed evil. The organizing energy required often stirred creative powers to such an extent that great prosperity resulted and achievements in science and art were phenomenal. Yet conquest was more often a dreadful thing, draining the resources of subject peoples and keeping them in a state of poverty, terror, and seething hatred. The mounds which dot the ancient Near East are filled with the evidence of this state of affairs. In Palestine and Syria especially the average city was frequently destroyed in war. Small wonder that Israel was so concerned with death and judgment and salvation! . . .The period of the Old and New Testaments was the first great epoch of empire-building, and in its maelstrom of tragedy and triumph the Hebrew people were inevitably caught. The Egyptian Empire of the fifteenth century B.C. was the greatest which the world had seen. Yet it was dwarfed by the achievements which followed. During the eighth and seventh centuries the Assyrian Empire was formed, including in its scope the whole of Mesopotamia, Palestine-Syria, southern Asia Minor, and even for a time Egypt. By 600 B.C. Assyria had fallen and Babylonia had taken its place, ruling over substantially the same territory. Babylonia soon fell, however, to the Medes and the Persians, and by 500 B.C. the Persian Empire included in its scope the whole of Western Asia, Egypt, and Thrace in Europe; and its armies were threatening Greece. By 300 B.C. Alexander the Great had mastered Greece and the Persian Empire. After his death three great Hellenistic empires divided his domain. Then in the first century before Christ, the Romans, with a military power and organizing genius unparalleled in antiquity, conquered and unified the entire Mediterranean world. Such was the procession of empires in which the small country of Palestine was caught. Geographical situation decreed that political independence could be achieved in that country only during the brief periods when a dominant empire weakened and could no longer control its dependencies.

THE EMPIRE OF ASSYRIA

      The country of Assyria lay along the upper Tigris River, and in the early period of its history Assur (or Asshur) was its chief city. As early as 1900 B.C. the people of this small region were prosperous traders. One of their trading colonies was as far away as Kanish in Asia Minor, where an active interest in the silver mines of the area was one of the chief concerns. In the thirteenth century Assyrian armies had crossed the Euphrates, and about 1100 B.C. an Assyrian monarch led his troops to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. These conquests, however, were of a temporary nature. During the second half of the tenth century there began a series of rulers whose conquests during the subsequent century give evidence of a planned program of empire-building. This program was carried out with extraordinary vigor and determination. After securing the back door to Assyria in the highland regions to the north and east, and after subduing Babylon, the kings pushed westward. The middle Euphrates region around Gozan and Haran and the area east of the watershed in Syria from Hamath to Damascus, were in the hands of Aramean invaders, who were destined to flood the whole area with traders and settlers, and after 500 B.C. to make their language its official tongue. Around the turn of the ninth century the Assyrian monarchs, Adad-nirari II and Tukulti-Ninurta II, conquered Aramaean territory within the great northern bend of the Euphrates with the result that virtually the whole of Mesopotamia was firmly organized under Assyrian control. The major political story from Western Asia during the ninth century, however, concerns the exploits of the two Assyrian emperors whose reigns occupy the greater part of that century. The first of these, Asshurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.), is the first of the emperors about whom detailed information is available. It was found in the excavation of his capital, Calah, the modern Nimrud. In form of braggadocio which typifies the royal inscriptions for the next two and one half centuries Asshurnasirpal describes his conquest of northern Syria, the types and amounts of the booty he received, and the sadistic brutality which he visited upon all who refused to submit to him without battle. From this time forth the Assyrian kings describe their exploits in similar vein. Their armies were so powerful that none could withstand them. Their rapacious cruelty was so terrible that the hatred of them spilled over into the literature of a people as far away as Judah (cf. Nahum, chs. 2 to 3 and Jonah). Northern Syria at that time was controlled by a number of Hittite dynasties, with their city-states, which were survivals from the fourteenth century B.C. when the region was first conquered by the Hittites of Asia Minor. Indeed both the Assyrians and the Israelites speak of Syria as “Land of the Hittites” (e.g., Josh. 1:4; cf. 1 Kings 10:29; Gen. 10:15). While the Aramaeans had pushed into the area by this period, they had rapidly assimilated the Syro-Hittite culture. Illustration of the latter has been revealed by the excavations at Carchemish and Samal. After the Assyrian conquest, the culture of the area was rapidly brought under Assyrian influence. The Lebanon district along the coast of southern Syria was not conquered by Asshurnasirpal, but all its cities fearfully purchased their freedom from him by the payment of tribute. His successor was Shalmaneser III (859-824 B.C.), by whose time the conquering armies were ready to turn southward toward Hadadezer (or Ben-hadad) of Damascus, the king who was probably the strongest ruler of the Syro-Palestinian region. In 853 B.C. the battle of Qarqar took place between Shalmaneser and a coalition headed by Hadadezer (Ben–hadad). Qarqar was south of Hamath and probably on the Orontes River. We have no mention of this battle in the Old Testament, but Shalmaneser lists among his opponents the following: 1,200 chariots, 1,200 cavalry and 20,000 infantry of Hadadezer of Damascus; 700 chariots, an equal number of cavalry and 10,000 infantry of Irhuleni of Hamath; and “2,000 chariots, 10,000 infantry of Ahab, the Israelite.” Other smaller contingents of troops were present from places as far away as Que (the area of Tarsus) and Ammon. In other words the strongest kings in Asia, between northern Syria and Egypt, were those of Damascus, Hamath, and Israel. The last-mentioned had not yet taken up the newly introduced cavalry as a weapon of war, but he was able to supply more chariots than the other two together. The Assyrian monarch claimed the victory, saying in contradictory fashion in different inscriptions that he killed 14,000, 20,500, and 25,000 of his enemy. Nevertheless, he retired from the scene and we may assume that the battle was drawn. As a result of the religious revolution in Israel, which under Elijah and Elisha not only swept the dynasty of Ahab from the throne but also deposed Ben-hadad of Damascus, the coalition was broken up (2 Kings 8:7-15; chs. 9, 10). Shalmaneser was quick to take advantage of this fact, and in 841 B.C. pictured the embassy of Jehu, the new king of Israel, bringing tribute to him. The tribute was probably received after Shalmaneser’s fifth attack on Damascus, following which he had taken his army into Phoenicia. While there he says that he received the tribute of Tyre, Sidon, and of Jehu, and that he placed his portrait on the cliff of Ba’lira’si. This portrait, along with that of Rameses II of Egypt, may still be seen on the cliff at the mouth of the Dog River, north of Beirut. After 837 B.C. Damascus was not troubled again by Assyria until 805 B.C., when its kingdom was devastated and forced to pay heavy tribute by Shalmaneser’s grandson, Adad-nirari II (810-783 B.C.). In the years before this, Hazael of Damascus had been able to bring Israel to her knees and even to extract tribute from Judah. The defeat of Damascus was a great boon to Israel and permitted her rapid recovery. For the next sixty years (c. 805-745 B.C.) the west was given a breathing space because the rulers of Assyria were not strong men. The kingdom of Urartu (Biblical Ararat) to the north gathered its resources and pressed southward. Babylon, and most of Syria freed themselves, while Israel and Judah reached the climax of their powers under Jeroboam II and Uzziah. Then another series of vigorous Assyrians began anew the relentless push of conquest. Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 B.C.), after consolidating his borders to the east and north, led his armies westward. His policy was to divide the west into subject provinces, each with its own governor, though leaving the native kings on the thrones of certain outlying areas, provided they paid a regular tribute. He also instituted a policy of exchanging large sections of the populations of conquered territories, to break up nationalistic feeling and to make the population less united and more pliable. After subduing Urartu, he struck at Syria, and within a comparatively short time he had conquered the whole of it as far south as Arvad and Hamath. Then internal political problems in Palestine gave him his opportunity there. In 738 B.C. he received tribute from Menahem of Israel, who thus purchased Assyrian support for his hold upon his throne (2 Kings 15:19). Tiglath-pileser confirms this Biblical statement by saying in his annals that Menahem “fled like a bird, alone” and bowed at his feet. He then returned Menahem to the throne and imposed a tribute upon him. It was not until c. 734 B.C. that Damascus and Israel took the lead in attempting to form a coalition of all the southern powers against the Assyrians. Yet this time Ahaz of Judah refused to join, and his northern neighbors attacked him. He appealed for aid to Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 16:7), who was evidently delighted to have such a fine chance to intervene. Between 734 and 732 he conquered Philistia; Galilee and Transjordan were taken from Israel; and Damascus, finally, was destroyed. The whole of this territory was then incorporated into the Assyrian provincial system, ruled by Assyrian officials. Galilee, for example, was ruled from Megiddo where a large fort was erected, probably as the administrative center. A fragment of the famous Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, recently found at Megiddo, may perhaps be evidence of the presence here of Mesopotamian officials, though it may date from an earlier period. The much-reduced Israel, as well as Judah, Ammon, Moab, and Edom, he left under their native rulers, whom he required to pay tribute (cf. 2 Kings 15:27 ff.; 16:5 ff.; Isa., ch. 7). Within a few years, however, Israel had revolted again and was this time utterly destroyed. The siege of Samaria, begun in 724 by Shalmaneser V (727-722), was completed early in 721 by his successor, Sargon II (722-705 B.C.). The latter tells us that he carried away captive from Samaria 27,290 people. Some of them were exiled in “the (Valley of the) Habor, the river of Gozan” (2 Kings 17:6). In the years that followed, people deported from Babylonia, Elam, and Syria were forced to live in Samaria.
During the reign of Sargon, Hezekiah of Judah reasserted the Davidic claims to rule all of Palestine, and to that end instituted a religious reform in both south and north (2 Chron. 29-31). He probably attempted this, not as a rebellion against Assyria, but as a readjustment within the empire, whereby he claimed control over the provinces of Samaria and Megiddo (Galilee). Probably because he believed he could secure his end in this manner, he refused to aid the king of Ashdod, Assyrian sources inform us, when the latter was attacked by Sargon in 711 B.C. (cf. Isa., ch. 20) and had his territory reorganized into an Assyrian province. Yet subsequently he evidently concluded that the role of client-king was inadequate for his aims. After Sargon’s death in 705 B.C., he allied himself with Babylon and Egypt and became the leader of all the smaller states of his area in a revolt against the new emperor, Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.). In 701 B.C. the latter retaliated (2 Kings 18:13 ff.). He claims to have reduced forty-six fortified Judean cities and to have shut up Hezekiah “like a caged bird in Jerusalem.” He did not wish to ruin the country; he simply broke down city fortifications, besieged Jerusalem but did not destroy it when the latter surrendered and paid a high tribute. The chief Judean fortress-city was Lachish, and its capture was pictured on a relief in the royal palace at Nineveh. While our sources are obscure and difficult to harmonize in places, it is not improbable that still another rebellion took place a few years later. Whereas before the first revolt the prophecies of Isaiah appear to have envisaged the fall of Judah to Assyria and to have interpreted the event as the just judgment of God, another group of later prophecies, delivered during a second siege of Judah, predicted the defeat of Assyria and the salvation of Jerusalem. According to 2 Kings 19:35, 36, which is confirmed by the Greek historian Herodotus, Sennacherib actually did retire quickly from the west when a plague broke out among his troops. The most notable event of the seventh century came in the seventies and sixties when the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.) and Asshurbanapal (669-c.633 B.C.) conquered Egypt. The fall of Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt, in 663 B.C. was still remembered by the Judean prophet Nahum a half century later (“No” in Nahum 3:8). Between 652 and 648 B.C. a serious revolt against Assyria occurred which was again led by Babylon. This was the probable occasion when Manasseh of Judah also revolted (2 Chron. 33:10-13). Other than that the latter’s reign was chiefly notable for the introduction of Canaanite and Assyrian religious cults into Judah and for the attempt to convert the Judean faith into polytheism with Yahweh at the head of a pantheon (2 Kings 21:2-9).
When the revolt of Babylon was suppressed, the Assyrian power began rapidly to wane. Egypt was soon free, and the Assyrians found their energies completely absorbed in defensive warfare in various directions. The golden age of the empire was drawing to a close. The remarkably detailed knowledge which we have about the Assyrians comes largely from vast palaces and imposing temple-towers built by the kings along the Tigris, especially from Dur Sharrukin (“Sargonburg”), Nineveh, and Calah. The first was a magnificent royal residence erected by Sargon II on a grander scale than the ancient world had yet seen. It was abandoned, however, by his son Sennacherib, who made Nineveh his capital. This city then became renowned the world over as the symbol of Assyrian power and aggression. It extended some two and a half miles along the Tigris, and the circumference of the inner walls was about eight miles. The palace was a tremendous structure. In one place the excavators cleared seventy-one halls, lined with stone reliefs, nearly two miles in total length, depicting various activities of the king and his armies. Asshurbanapal also made Nineveh his capital, and the reliefs in his palace represent the finest examples of Assyrian art. This king was much interested in intellectual matters, and took pride in his mastery of the art of writing. One of the greatest discoveries ever made by archaeologists occurred in the unearthing at Nineveh of his great library, composed of some 22,000 clay tablets, Here the king had systematically collected the religious, scientific, and literary works of the past. They represent our chief source of knowledge regarding life and thought in ancient Mesopotamia.

THE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE

       On the death of Asshurbanapal c. 633 B.C. the great empire of Assyria fell rapidly to pieces. For centuries the Chaldeans, Semitic nomads, had been slowly moving into Babylonia. They now gained control of that country, and the first king of these Neo-Babylonians, Nabopolassar, declared his independence of Assyria c. 625 B.C. Meanwhile the Medes in the area of northern Iran were becoming another threat to the security of Assyria. Under their king Cyaxares they captured Asshur in 614 B.C. The Babylonians then joined them, and together they attacked and conquered Nineveh in 612 B.C. As the Babylonian Chronicle put it, “the city they turned into mounds and heaps of ruins.” This was a momentous date in ancient history. The greatest power that the world had yet known had fallen, and from the subject peoples there arose a chorus of gratitude, hatred, and new hope. To this sternly exultant mood the Hebrew prophet Nahum gave most vivid expression: “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, but the Lord will surely not acquit the guilty Woe to the bloody city, all of it filled with lies and robbery. ..Everyone who hears the news of thee shall clap their hands over thee, for over whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually” (chs. 1:3; 3:1, 19). The Assyrian army fell back on Haran, and in 609 B.C. the Babylonians attacked. Meanwhile Pharaoh Necho of Egypt marched north through Palestine to aid the Assyrians. King Josiah attempted to halt him at Megiddo, but was killed in the attempt (2 Kings 23:29 ff.). The Assyrians were defeated at Haran, and Necho took over their territory in Syria-Palestine. The new Egyptian empire in Asia was short-lived, however, for in 605 B.C. the vigorous Nebuchadnezzar arrived in Syria with a Babylonian army, administered a crushing defeat to the Egyptians at Carchemish, and took over the whole of the west to the border of Egypt. The new hopes which the fall of Assyria had raised among the subject peoples were dashed. Babylon was substituted for Nineveh. We do not possess the same detailed information about the exploits of Nebuchadnezzar as we do about those of the Assyrian kings. Babylonian tradition permitted him to write about his religious and architectural activity but not about his military exploits. Apart from the Bible our main source of information has been the Babylonian Chronicle, an official document which simply recorded the chief events in the empire year by year. One portion, published by C. J. Gadd in 1923, described the fall of Nineveh and for the first time fixed its date in 612 B.C. In 1956 D. J. Wiseman published four more tablets of the Chronicle. These are especially important in that they give itemized information about the chief events from 626 to 594 B.C., with a break of only six years. For the first time we learn the details of Babylonia’s struggle against Assyria, and after 609 B.C. her war with Egypt. In 605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar completely annihilated the army of Pharaoh Necho, but the death of his father caused him to hurry home to be crowned king so that he was unable to pursue his advantage. Hitherto unknown is the record of a major battle with the Egyptians in 601 B.C. in which Nebuchadnezzar was defeated. The new documents for the first time also describe and give the precise date of Nebuchadnezzar’s capture of Jerusalem in his seventh year. Apart from his wars, the chief work of Nebuchadnezzar was the enlargement and beautification of Babylon, which now surpassed Nineveh in architectural glory. He repaired the great Temple of Marduk, the Tower of Babel, and erected a vast imperial palace, on top of which, rising terrace upon terrace, was a garden. This place was called “The House at Which Men Marvel,” and the “Hanging Gardens” were listed by the Greeks among the Seven Wonders of the World. Nebuchadnezzar was the only great king of the newly erected Babylonian kingdom. If he had had strong successors, the extent of the empire would probably have equaled that of Assyria. His thirteen-year siege of Tyre did not result in the city’s capture, though it did eventually acknowledge his sovereignty. In the latter part of his life he began the conquest of Egypt, but his death and weak successors prevented more than a purely temporary success (cf. Ezek. 29:17-20). Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.) was the last vigorous personality of the dynasty. Yet that vigor was not so observable in political and administrative matters as it was in those of religion and archaeology. He excavated and repaired ancient temples. He took a great interest in archaic religious matters. He apparently had definite opinions of his own about cultic practices and even dared interfere in priestly ceremonies and customs in Babylon. During the latter part of his life he retired to Tema in Arabia and stayed there year after year, probably insane. Administrative matters in Babylon were left to the crown prince Belshazzar, whom The Book of Daniel knows as “king” (Dan., ch. 5). Meanwhile the annual New Year’s festival could not be celebrated in Babylon. In this festival the king acted the part of the god Marduk and ritually refought and rewon the battle that took place with chaos at the beginning of time. It was undoubtedly believed that when this ceremony was not repeated annually, world order was threatened. All in all Nabonidus succeeded in making himself so unpopular that the arrival of Cyrus, the Persian, at the gates of Babylon was welcomed, at least by the priests of Marduk, as heartily as it was by the Jewish exiles (cf. Isa. 45:1-8). Commerce, literature, art, and science flourished during this age. The Chaldeans were the founders of astronomy as a science. Careful astronomical observations were continuously kept for over 360 years, and these calculations form the longest series ever made. One great Chaldean astronomer, living shortly after the completion of the period of observation, was able to calculate the length of the year as 365 days, 6 hrs., 15 mins., and 41 secs.–a measurement which the modern telescope has shown to be only 26 mins., 26 secs. too long! His calculations on the diameter of the face of the moon were far more accurate than those of Copernicus. Certain measurements of celestial motions by another Chaldean astronomer actually surpass in accuracy the figures long in practical use among modern astronomers.

THE PERSIAN EMPIRE

       During the days of Nebuchadnezzar two powerful empires, the Median and Lydian, existed to the east, north, and northwest of Babylon. By a treaty the boundary between them had been fixed at the Halys River in Asia Minor. The Medes, who had captured Asshur in 614 B.C. and assisted the Babylonians in destroying Nineveh in 612 B.C., had their capital at Achmetha (Ecbatana). By 549 B.C. a Persian named Cyrus had united the people of his land and defeated the Median king. The attention of the west was now focused on the career of this extraordinary individual. A Judean prophet rightly interpreted the signs of the times, and saw in Cyrus one anointed of the Lord, who “giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings” (Isa. 41:2; 44:28; 45:1). By 546 B.C. Sepharad or Sardis, the capital of Lydia, had fallen to Cyrus, and Croesus, its king, was a prisoner. Cyrus was then ready to strike at Babylonia; in 539 B.C. he easily defeated the Chaldean army (led by the crown prince Belshazzar? Cf. Dan., ch. 5) and entered Babylon without opposition. Thus just seventy years after the final Assyrian defeat at Haran in 609 B.C., the days of the Semitic empires were past. The Persian, Greek, and Roman empires were ruled by Indo-Europeans or Aryans. In 525 B.C. Egypt was added to the Persian Empire by Cyrus’ son. In the space of twentyfive years the whole civilized east as far as India was brought under the firm control of Persia. Repeated attempts were made to add Greece to this empire. One was led by Darius the Great, who was defeated by the Greeks at Marathon in 490 B.C.; another, ten years later, was led by Xerxes, who was defeated in a naval battle off Salamis. Unable to subdue Greece, the Persians nevertheless held a firm hold over Asia for almost two centuries. The organization of the great empire was a colossal task, brought to completion by Darius the Great (522-486 B.C.). While ruling Egypt and Babylonia directly as actual king, he divided the rest of the empire into twenty “satrapies” or provinces, each under a governor or “satrap”–a development of the earlier Assyrian provincial system. Aramaic, the language of Aramean (“Syrian”) traders, which by this time had become the commercial tongue of the Fertile Crescent, was made the official language of government. Stamped coinage, an idea borrowed from Greece, was introduced throughout the empire as a convenience for business and government alike. A fleet was organized, and to provide a sea route from Egypt to Persia, a canal was dug between the Nile and the Red Sea. Babylon and Susa (Shushan) were used as royal residences. Cyrus had built a palace at Pasargadae, and there he was buried. Darius, however, erected a magnificent palace with attendant buildings at Persepolis, structures which surpassed in grandeur even the work of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It is most unfortunate that Alexander the Great saw fit in 330 B.C. to burn them, leaving only the ruins for the modern excavator to uncover. The Assyrian and Babylonian policy of suppressing subject peoples by deportation and merciless taxation was reversed by the Persians, whose enlightened policies won a measure of gratitude from subject peoples. They were the only rulers of Palestine who did not incur the wrath of the Hebrew people. When Cyrus came to the throne of Babylon in 539 B.C., he evidently had himself proclaimed king and thus the legitimate successor to Nabonidus. In so doing he did not have to reconquer the Babylonian empire; instead, as he said in an inscription written for Babylonians, the god Marduk had searched through all countries and selected him as “righteous ruler” in place of the “weakling,” Nabonidus, who babbled incorrect prayers and changed Marduk’s worship into an abomination. Once within Babylon his troops were not permitted to loot the city; he returned exiles to their countries, rebuilt their sanctuaries, and restored the statues of their gods. In Ezra 1:2-4 and ch. 6:3-5 there are preserved two accounts of the decree by which Judeans were permitted to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Recent study of these two documents in the light of our present knowledge of royal decrees suggests that they are actually two different statements of the one decree. The second is in Aramaic, the official language of the Persian administration. It was entitled a dikrona, a term for a memorandum that recorded the decision of a king or official and was not for publication but for filing in government archives. The document in Ezra 1:2-4, on the other hand, is in Hebrew and probably preserves the essence of the royal proclamation made to Judeans throughout the empire. The words, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem,” are precisely in keeping with the type of address Cyrus had previously used to the Babylonians; indeed the document was probably framed with the aid of a Judean adviser who knew what a contemporary Judean prophet was saying about Cyrus as the Lord’s Anointed (Isa. 45:1). In any event, the exiles from Judah benefited from the new policies. During the years that followed, quite a number returned to the Jerusalem area, established a small province called Yehud (Judah), built a new Temple between 520 and 515 B.C. (Ezra, chs. 5; 6), and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem under the leadership of a Jewish governor, Nehemiah, after 445 B.C. (Neh., chs. 2 to 6). The best of the Persian monarchs felt obligated to rule justly and righteously. Their acts and words set them apart from Assyrian kings in this regard, and the reason is probably to be sought in their religion. Darius and his immediate successors, at least, were followers of Zoroaster, a Median religious reformer who lived about 600 B.C. Zoroaster saw life as a ceaseless struggle between the forces of good and evil. The good, the light, he believed, was a supreme being, named Ahura Mazda. Opposed to him and helpers he created were the evil spirits; but the good Ahura Mazda would ultimately prevail over them. Zoroaster called men to take their stand on the side of the good, and worship “the righteous Master of Righteousness.” The influence of this religion spread widely, and even Judaism by the second century B.C. had borrowed certain conceptions from it. Evidence for Jews living in foreign countries during the fifth century B.C. has been found in both Mesopotamia and Egypt. Several hundred commercial tablets found at Nippur in Babylon are in the archives of the commercial firm of Murashu Sons. They reveal the great mixture of peoples who lived in the area; the large number of Hebrew names shows that one sizable element in the population was certainly Jewish. The Elephantine papyri from Upper Egypt indicate that on the island of Elephantine at the first cataract a group of Jews were living as mercenaries, guarding Egypt’s southern frontier. They were scarcely orthodox Jews, for they had a temple of their own on the island. The Persian satrap of Egypt during the latter part of the fifth century was a man named Arsham. This we know from recently published correspondence from him and his officials. Putting all the evidence together, we infer that while Arsham was absent in Mesopotamia between 410 and 408 B.C. there were disturbances in Egypt which resulted in the razing of the Jewish temple at Elephantine. The Jews at the fortress wrote to the high priest in Jerusalem and to the sons of Sanballat, former governor of Samaria, for aid in getting the temple rebuilt. The former, as we should expect, did not reply. The latter and Bagoas, governor of Judah, advised that they petition Arsham. This they did, and a copy of the petition is preserved. The letter carefully states that no animal offering will be burnt in the temple if it is rebuilt. Some years earlier, in 419 B.C., Arsham through his commissioner for Jewish affairs had ordered the community at Elephantine to celebrate the Passover according to certain precise regulations, which, we note, accord with Pentateuchal law. These two bits of evidence suggest what we would infer from the Bible, namely, that the religious reforms in Jerusalem and the new priestly community there soon made their influence felt on Jewish affairs throughout the empire. The Elephantine temple was rebuilt, and from that fact we gather that the compromise regarding animal offerings was effective. The priesthood in Jerusalem, of course, felt that such offerings were reserved for the Jerusalem altar, for that, they believed, was the altar meant in Deut. 12:5-7. Reconciliation with the Samaritan sect at Mt. Gerizim, on the other hand, was impossible precisely because the latter believed that Shechem was the place which God had chosen for the central altar.

THE HELLENISTIC EMPIRES

         In the fourth century B.C. the center of political power moved westward while Greek culture was making an energetic and partially effective attempt to penetrate the east. Culturally, Greece had long been important. Its brilliant cluster of city-states had generated a vitality and originality still unsurpassed. Particularly at Athens political vigor, expressed in civic interest, extensive sea power, and outreaching colonies, had joined with intellectual and artistic genius to create a permanently stimulating heritage. An eastward movement of Greek influence may appear strange. Greek colonies and trade had previously been limited to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Two factors, however, directed attention eastward. The Greek cities in Asia Minor were inevitably bound up with trends farther east. Moreover, the competing city-states of Greece recognized that Persia, which at Marathon and Salamis had tried to conquer the Greeks, was still a threat. These divided city-states found unity and protection, but only through unwilling subjection to Macedonia. Philip of Macedon (359-336 B.C.), whose capital was at Pella, extended his power southward until a decisive battle in 338 B.C. gave him control of all Greece except Sparta. It fell to Philip’s son, Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.), to carry out the war Philip had planned against Persia. This brilliant pupil of Aristotle, a provincial governor at sixteen, able general at eighteen, and king at twenty, swiftly won loyalty in Macedonia and Greece. In 334 B.C. he crossed the Hellespont into Asia Minor to challenge Persia. A victory at the River Granicus opened Asia Minor to conquest. The next spring, he passed through the Cilician Gates and decisively defeated the Persian army of Darius at Issus. Turning south, he subdued Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. At the western mouth of the Nile he founded the famous city of Alxandria. Returning northward, he crossed the Euphrates at Thapsacus, moved east, and in 331 B.C., at Gaugamela, near Arbela, he crushed the remaining forces of Darius and was master of the Persian Empire. Alexander continued eastward. His route took him through Babylon, Susa, Persepolis, Ecbatana, and Zadracarta. At Prophthasia, in Drangiana, when it had become apparent that he wanted to unite East and West in one great brotherhood, revolt was brewing among his followers, but he crushed it, and moved on into Bactria, Sogdiana, and India. There his troops mutinied and refused to go farther. He returned westward, moving his troops partly by sea and partly by a land route through Gedrosia and Carmania. At Babylon death ended his plan to create a world brotherhood with a culture prevailingly Greek (323 B.C.). He had proved a military genius; he had planted Greek cities and Greek influence in a wide area. But he made no deep and lasting imprint on the eastern regions he conquered. His work and the later Roman conquest did much, however, to determine the direction in which Judaism and Christianity were later to spread. At his death there was no logical successor to hold the empire intact, and Alexander’s generals fell to fighting among themselves. One of the many rivals, Ptolemy Lagi, emerged with secure possession of Egypt. Seleucus, another general, was able in 312 B.C. to establish the Seleucid dynasty in Syria and the east. The battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C. finally excluded from Asia the Antigonid dynasty, which henceforth contented itself with Macedonia. Three great empires existed, and they continued in essentially the same form until the eastern expansion of Rome absorbed them one by one. In Macedonia, Antigonus Gonatas ruled (283-239 B.C.). He was not able, however, to bring Greece under his control. In Egypt the Ptolemaic dynasty was firmly established, and Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) ruled also Cyrene, the southern part of the Aegean Sea, Lycia, Cyprus, and Palestine. The dry climate of Egypt has permitted the survival of thousands of papyri, and from these records much of our knowledge of ancient life and history is derived. Tradition dates the translation of the Pentateuch from Hebrew into Greek in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus. The number of Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt, especially in Alexandria, was increasing, and they needed a Greek translation of their Scriptures. The greater part of Alexander’s empire, however, was in the hand of the Seleucid Antiochus I (280262 B.C.), whose capital was at Antioch in Syria. Northern Asia Minor, including Bithynia under Nicomedes, Pontus under Mithridates, and Galatia, where the invading Gauls had just settled, was outside his control. But his empire extended from Thrace in Europe to the borders of India, although the effectiveness of his control over the eastern provinces is open to doubt. These eastern areas were soon to be lost, and Parthia was soon to begin its rise to power. At this time Palestine was fulfilling its usual role of border region. Ptolemy Lagi had obtained control of it when Alexander’s empire began to break up,and Ptolemaic control, though challenged more than once by the Seleucids, continued until 198 B.C., when Antiochus III added Palestine to the Seleucid empire. From that time until the coming of the Romans in 63 B.C. the history of Palestine was closely linked with that of Syria.

“The Great Empires of Israelite Time” George Ernest; and, Filson, Floyd Vivian (edited by); Albright, William Foxwell (introductory article by) Wright (Author), 1956). }}

The Prophetic Gift & Style of the Word is seen in Adam as having the only & initial direct communication with God; in Abel’s offering & blood in type; in Enoch & Noah as witnesses of God in a depraved age; in the patriarchs from Abram to Moses as those chosen, called & sent by God. In Moses we discovered a fullness not met with before, and the model for the generations that came after him. Thus from Moses to Samuel to Elijah & Elisha to Isaiah & all the scribal prophets, that is, the prophets who wrote down their prophecies to be kept by succeeding generations. Each prophet, as an individual, had peculiar characteristics that would be used uniquely by the Holy Spirit according to God’s will.

     Isaiah signifies by his name the Lord’s Salvation, as does Joshua & Jesus. Isaiah signifies Salvation, & the Book of Isaiah is the Book of Salvation. He was by birth Isaiah benAmos, and as the son of Amos he was, they say, of the royal household & blood related to King Hezekiah, but of this Isaiah does not ever indicate; neither should we suggest that he was the son of that Amos of the Book of Amos, although some Rabbis teach that his father Amos was also a Prophet. He was familiar with the Court of 5 Kings of Jerusalem, 4 Kings he prophesied under, and the last one, the 5th, was Manasseh by whom the Jews say he was killed by being sawn asunder. Isaiah without doubt was a scribe & scholar of high order, & naturally was aware of the imperial expansion of the Mesopotamian powers of the Assyrians & Chaldeans or Babylonians. He was also familiar with Egypt, Syria, Arabia, & many other nations that Israel interacted with during his lifetime. His knowledge of the Books of Moses, of Joshua & Judges, & of Samuel, & the Chronicles of the Kings from David to Hezekiah is evident. He lived during the days in which the Assyrian King captured the Northern Kingdom of Samaria, along with other nations adjacent to Samaria & Israel; and he lived in the real threat of Jerusalem & Judah being destroyed by his army. The Assyrian threat was the fear that the Lord used to deal with His people & show them the divine reasons & causes of this present danger, as well as to why Israel was destroyed & exiled. The Lord had predicted for several generations that judgment & destruction was coming upon both the Houses of Israel & Judah if they did not repent & alter their ways & deeds. The Lord will reveal Himself in this judgment on Israel & by it on all the Gentiles. He as God of all the earth, the Lord of all mankind, the King of Heaven, the Creator & Savior of the world, will deal with all nations at same time & in the same way as with Israel. Thus in Isaiah we will hear & see more of His direct communication that we have not seen since Moses.

        The Lord reveals Israel’s Rebellion in relations to Himself, then their Disobedience to the Law, & at last their Failure to each other. But all these things are related to & connected with larger purposes that go back to His original purpose in the creation. God has a purpose in creation then He must do what He wants & need to bring that about. He no doubt inherently has designed the structure of life to lead towards that very end. His purpose with Man beginning with Adam & terminating in Christ is predetermined, but the way & means in the actuality of this purpose is not predetermined nor could be if creatures are free in will & movement, though bound to His determinate limitations & boundaries as seen in Job. Though man’s failure in the Fall required Him to adapt to the human corruption, and to adjust the divine plan, nothing took Him by surprise. The legal system that was instituted by Moses at His instruction & insistence showed adaptation & regulation as we clearly see. There are things & words that He must bring in by injection & infusion into humanity, but many more things & words are responsive & reactionary to the human experience & behavior. The Life of God as lived out in Man is diluted & blurred & diminished in & by Sin; thus in the Mosaic system He must communicate to man as to sin & sins in regard to offerings & sacrifices, both in the cause & the remedy. As we have seen, and as we have often noted, He must follow man in his wanderings, because He loves His creatures & children. Isaiah must bring this home to Israel & to us.

       We see this alteration in how the Jews are identified in relations to the Lord God: they are both a Virgin & a Harlot, a Virgin by creation, a Harlot by transgression. The Virgin-Whore theme of man, thus mankind, in the human experience & psychological evolution is what is journaled in Scripture. We see this in the godly & the wicked in Psalms 1, in Abel & Cain, in two cities, & in hundreds of such comparisons. Among all the nations of mankind, God selected one to invest His time, effort, & resources to cultivate a divine spiritual man, first a child then a woman. The human condition is the same in the elect as it is in the reprobate, the election alone making it holy & unique, that is of divine spiritual value. So God must judge the one as the other, with mitigated differences suited to each according their relations to Him as Lord & God. Man can return to Him at any time along the human journey in the world, but as we know mankind has not chosen to do so out of free will, but must be attracted & captured to God. The even larger picture on the cosmic scale follows the same pattern, but with angels & spirits the nature of judgment & salvation we cannot know or say clearly from Scripture; but it is all creation. Israel is to be the Firstborn among the Nations, and the Gentiles must be grafted unto the Tree of God of which Israel is a Primary Branch springing or branching out of the Hebrew Trunk rooted in the Semitic Roots in the Seed of the Woman.

       Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage was purchased by the ransom price of the firstborn of Egypt, God striking to death the Egyptians on their refusal in Pharaoh to release the Israelites to go out unto God. This blood-money or death-payment secured a debt to God perpetually by the Jews; first in the House of Jacob of the 12 Tribes, then in Judah by the Monarchy of the House of David. God was bound to them and they were bound to Him, so that they were damaging & destroying the divine union; for the shared relationship between them & Him was analogous to human marriage, they were in a spiritual marriage of God & man, of the Lord, as Jehovah, & Israel. Thus the Land, the City, the Place, the Tent, the Tabernacle, the House & the Temple represented & signified the People, and the People the Man. The Lord was the Divine Man living in His Divine House by the Divine Life & Way, that is, by the Book. By disobedience they defiled the marriage, and the offspring were corrupted, & the pollution became total depravity, at which point almost nothing was redeemable, nothing, or none, worth saving, so judgment with destruction needs come; and in the ruin something new & fresh to be created, first in a remnant, then in Messiah.

      Israel must come to nothing, dispersed among the Gentiles, to bear witness to such a holy & righteous God, One Who does not tolerate evil & wickedness in all its countless forms, not even in His chosen people. The Book was that Holy Law of Words & Commandments, written, then transmitted, preserved, & disseminated in all the world, given to the Hebrews from Abram to Moses to Jesus. Isaiah introduces this condition & situation in the opening of his book; then he elaborates on this in the chapters which follow. He transitions from their Adultery to their Idolatry, from their impurity to their depravity, from the spots of leprosy to its total consumption of the body as with Job. In fact the leprosy of Uzziah for his presumption & defilement in the priesthood was a specific instance & sign of such. They were His Beloved Garden & the Love-Song of His Heart, but they were unfruitful, giving dead children or aborted fetuses. What to do with them became a divine problem to solve; to both punish them yet to reform them, to exile them for the land’s sake, but to reclaim them for His Name’s sake. The natural evolution of the imperialism of the mighty nations was a chosen instrument, of which Moses in Deuteronomy had clearly warned & predicted. As with the Egyptian Power from the Exodus to David, so here & now from Solomon to the Exile the Mesopotamian Powers, especially of Assyria, became His new Rod. The imperial expansion was a real human experience & development, but God could have interfered & intervened on Israel’s & the Jew’s behalf, if they heeded His prophetic warnings. Though He was God in the Heavens, yet He manifestly resided on earth on Zion in Jerusalem’s Temple, yet He had vacated His Holy Place because of His unholy people. Isaiah is allowed, in his shared unholiness of Israel, to see in vision the High & Holy Lord God enthroned in His Holy Court; & Isaiah is purged with fire & commissioned to speak to Israel till their captivity & exile is accomplished. This he does under King Jotham & more so under King Ahaz.

      The Assyrian power was advancing westward into Syria, northern Canaan or Palestine, southward into Samaria, down to Judaea; gaining increasing strength & exhibiting terrible cruelty in warfare. The Prophets Jonah, Amos, Hosea, & Micah, along with others not documented (and in fact going back to Elijah & Elisha), were & had spoken of the impending doom both to Israel & Judah, as well as to the Gentiles & to Nineveh (see the Books of Jonah & Nahum). In the Northern Kingdom the apostasy & depravity had reached its final condition in Jeroboam II, and the Regal Records shows the details of Samaria’s struggles with Syria & their alliances with the Gentiles, both Syria & Assyria; and of Judah with Egypt. Though the Land is Immanuel’s Land, yet God has rejected it, He has allowed squatters to claim it for themselves, and He has gotten nothing for His investment & labor. He must by Himself, & of Himself, first purge the Land, then He must reclaim it in order to make it what He desires. He must go into hiding, speaking to them from a distance, rising early to warn & reprove them by the mouth of His servants the Prophets. In time the prophetic line will consummate in John the Baptist as the Forerunner & Preparer of the Lord as foretold by Malachi. In the Incarnation the Word will be made Flesh to fulfill all the words of the Law & the Prophets & the Psalms. Immanuel & His disciples (the Christians), as with the faithful Jewish Remnant, will bring in a new dispensation, a new way & testament in a new covenant as Jeremiah will describe. This New Light shines into all the world, enlightening the Gentiles; bringing life & grace to the heathens. Messiah’s Kingdom will spread increasingly neutralizing the Kingdoms of this world, and establishing among the peoples of the earth a Witness & Testimony as a Sign & Memorial of His faithfulness to His Word & Guardian of His Name. Let the Bible reader remember the life process of the divine creation: the seed must die to birth life, rooted in the ground or land, that is the earth, the tree or plants grows according to the divine creation by nurture & care, according to its needs & nature, with adornment & fruit as God ordained; this by the riches of the words of His mouth, in all the provisions of His wisdom, and the protection of His power. This is the Sign of God, that God in Himself in His real Manifestation as God-with-us, Immanu-El, will save the Jew as well as the Gentile.

      We must reflect further by reflections on the Burdens of Isaiah. Chapters 13-35 shows the Lord’s burden concerning His people & the Gentiles that interacted with them. It is God with man; we have all like foolish sheep wandered off from Him; though He seeks to save us we are always resisting His Spirit, some more than others, but all by nature. His concern for us to live and not die, to be healthy & not sick, to be near & dear to Him , and not to be prodigal children who forget God. As children we are His servants & vessels to manifest His likeness & image, His character & glory, namely all that He is & all that He wants to be in us: God with us. Whether by Tent, Tabernacle, House or Temple His Sanctuary & Home is in His people & His creation. Because of Evil & the Evil One the Lord must be the Lord of Hosts, God must be a General & Captain, a Commander-in-Chief of His Armies. The cosmic conflict begun before the world existed is being played out in man’s brief history in time. Our temporal & natural reality & experience copies the true, larger, greater, eternal & spiritual reality of which the Book speaks. In Isaiah the Gentile powers in Kingdoms of the Nations are a continuance of infinite higher spiritual powers & principalities that are evidenced in human development & progression. These things become clearer as we move through the prophetic books of the Old Testament, becoming magnified in the New Testament, and continues to the present. Daniel will be the Prophet of these final things, the apocalyptic eschatological prophet of the Old Testament to prepare the Way of Messiah & the Book of Revelation.

       In the Burdens or Oracles we have the doctrines & truth as to the relations the Gentiles have to God in regard to His people. Every King of the nations & kingdoms is a copy & reflection of either God or what opposes God, that is a god of some sort. Lucifer was such, a distorted image of God; at enmity with God. Babylon was the first to subvert God & heaven; their confusion was their judgment. The various Gentile nations as Moab, Egypt, Arabs, Edom, Arabia, Tyre, and the like are dealt with & judged as they treated God & His people. Both the Mesopotamian & Mediterranean world are involved in the divine book, and are implicated or absolved, accused or exonerated, and all such like, as to how they deal with Israel & the Jew. The countless ways the nations interacted, traded with, or negotiated with Israel were really reflections on the Lord, and they often by such involvement with the nations were adulterating their union with God, and thereby diluting their faith in Him. In each case whereby man has distorted God’s way He has had to intervene by interposing Himself in the dispensation; and also use a vehicle in a certain men or a man to transport His word in the age. This takes us to the next focus of the prophetic burdens, that to expose man’s true nature in regard to sin, after the fall, not by creation, He must deal with man in such a way that the enemy is visible in his real wickedness & adversarial disposition towards God & goodness.

       Satan’s nature is seen in the Book of Job, and in Isaiah he is seen at work in all world, acquiring kingdoms & power over all men, still attempting to complete his workings of the Tower of Babel. Man’s treachery against God and against all things divine must be met in wisdom & power, seasoned with compassion & mercy. By His making war on evil He thereby magnifies His glory as light becomes brighter in deeper darkness. His salvation follows his punishment, and His discipline works in us to His praise & glory; our senses no longer captivated by the evil & vice we are naturally inclined to, and habitually practice. So He produces on earth a new people walking in His holiness & righteousness , His praise & truth, patiently enduring to inherit a heavenly Kingdom where the Lord is King of all the earth as He is of heaven. It is woe to world because of offenses. The Lord as God is revealed to govern the nations in the good and in the evil; examples abound in Scripture of His sovereignty: in the protecting mark or sign on Cain; in Melchizedek Priest of the Most High God blessing Abram; in Abimelech King of Gerar of Canaan; in Pharaoh of Egypt; in Jethro the Priest of Median; in Balaam of PadanAram; & in Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, etc. How & when He chooses to interact & intervene is obscure & a profound mystery, but He truly does engage Himself in the world with His creatures. Hezekiah is about to die according to God’s determination, and sends word to him by Isaiah to prepare himself to meet God; but King Hezekiah pleads for more time on grounds that he has been good to God, so God gives him 15 more years to live. In the obliged years Manasseh is born, the Assyrian power is delayed, and many other things are altered. Yet the progression of history continued without obstruction; it is slower incrementally, that the Lord might accomplish His word. He works as He pleases, He installs & establishes His heart’s desire, and works wonders & miracles in defiance to natural laws without disturbing order or nature.

       His people are invincible as long as He determines to protect them; when He chooses to permit the enemy to destroy, to tempt, to capture there is good reason in the prey or in the predator. But He will always be just & righteous in His ways as Abraham discovers in regard to Lot in Sodom. Ariel is the Lioness of God, yet He makes her a Lamb for slaughter. This is recorded in the Book to instruct man concerning the ways of God. And so the Old Testament will terminate for the New Testament to be generated. We cannot escape the judgment of God in time or place, He will keep His word both now & hereafter. The prophetic word will never fail nor made void, it will come, whether we await it or ignore it; it is certain & final, because God’s trustworthiness is in it. He must deal with man, both Adam & Christ, by the law of reciprocity mitigated by the principle of retaliation, jus talionis or lex talionis, eye for eye, tit for tat, and reap what we sow. With God or God with us makes as Lions, without Him we are cowards, insane, & food for the foe. His intensity against His chosen people is commensurate to the treasures & wealth committed to them, the greater the light given the more He demands from those who see. Israel & the Jews are divinely governed by a standard infinitely more demanding than the Gentiles; and within the people the leaders, and among the leaders the King. But after He has recompensed justice, and meted out righteousness, then He will in turn against those who were used in the judgment; for He alone is true & just, and all men are culpable in nature & deeds. These things takes us to the end of the prophetic reflections of Isaiah the prophet concerning the burdens & woes of judgment.
Chapters 36-39 will focus on King Hezekiah and the inevitable Captivity & Exile of Israel. The Lord must show His sovereignty over the peoples & kingdoms of the world; the Assyrian King cannot go unpunished for His arrogance & defiance against the true & living God so that all the earth can see His power & His place. But He chooses to wait till King Hezekiah & the Jews turn to Him for help. Just He delivered Israel from the Egyptian furnace, now He saves them from the Assyrian sword; but only for a while. Though Ethiopia be hundreds of miles away, yet news of his march against Assyria was used to change the heart & plans of the Assyrian. And because the Assyrian was so arrogant against the Lord, His Avenging Angel wiped out most of his armies; and God determines the Assyrian’s death. We see that all the nations are His creatures, that He uses or discards them at will if He so pleases. He rides the human power as a man rides a horse, or a man drives a chariot. Nothing can stop God when He determines to create, to judge, or to save. But judgment on Israel cannot be nullified because He punishes the punisher that punishes. In wisdom He finds a way to test the hearts of men. King Hezekiah was a mere 40 years old when God tells him of his soon death in order to spare him of the evil calamity soon to take place against Jerusalem. So He offers Hezekiah a life extension of 15 years, in which the son of Hezekiah will seal the fate of the House of Israel & the House of David in Judah. Out of this trial of death Hezekiah offers a poem of praise to the Lord God as a reflection of the meaning of his life in the Hands of God. We learn by this submission of Hezekiah how the Holy Spirit inspires a psalm of praise, a song & hymn to God, a poem & prayer. The pattern seen in the Shepherd-King David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, the poet of Judah, is exhibited in Hezekiah, and this written will for generations to follow bring countless praises to God & comfort to saints.

      The life extension for King Hezekiah is now tested by the tempter in the King of Babylon sympathy & a kind friendly gesture by his servants sent with gifts of words & wealth. It is revealed that the messengers were really spies for the King of Babylon, who will utterly destroy the city of Jerusalem, the royal houses, the Royal Palace, & the Lord’s Temple; and take the Jews captives to exile in Babylon. This ends the first division of Isaiah in which the nature & features of the judgments of God unfolded to create the Book of God. The duration or interval of the probationary period between the grace shown to Hezekiah by means of the prophet Isaiah to the capture & destruction of the city, and the exile of the people will be about 100 years, and some 25 years more to complete the capture & exile. Isaiah living into Manasseh’s reign a few years will still have a prophetic ministry in a written form which will be chapters 40-66. (Note: The years between Hezekiah and Zedekiah total 140, & we take away 15 years from Hezekiah’s reign to reach the 14th year when the Assyrian King defied the Lord. (Hez. 29 yrs + Man. 55 + Am. 2 + Jos. 31 + Jehoa. 3 mnths + Jehoi. 11 + Jehoiach. 3 mnths. + Zed. 11 yrs. = 140 (139 1/2) less 15yrs to the 14th yr. of Kng Hez. = 125 yrs. (124 1/2)). Thus some 100 years & some 7 generations of regal government of the Judaean Kingdom are involved in the Prophetic Vision of the second half of the Book of Isaiah, and so taking in the rest of the Prophetic Books of the Old Testament from Jeremiah to Malachi.

      The prophetic word commences with divine consolation to the people of God, the comfort with which we are comforted & encouraged by God is the same consolation whereby we console others. In the prophetic visions of the first half of Isaiah the people & the nations, that is, the world is threatened & punished in divine judgment; but now the Lord desires to deal with her in grace. He will display the divine consolation in the Incarnation, the Manifestation of God Himself. The way of His Incarnation will be by Voice in the Wilderness, the desert of Judah, the Voice will preach that all the world is a transient glory, fading as a shadow, as a wilted flower; but the Voice declares that the Word of God is eternal. We respond in our preaching, teaching, praising & prophesying that God is with us; Jehovah-Jesus is coming as a Shepherd for His sheep. He is the Lord God, the Creator, Maker; He is wise, knowing, righteous; He is true & living; we cannot exhaust words to describe Him, nor could the world contain the books that could be written concerning Him; for He is not an idol, image, thing, idea, or any limited notion that we might have of Him. He is all that & more, and as He is so is His care for His own, for those who need & want Him, for those who know Him not, nor understand His love for His creatures, people, & those who love Him, seek Him, obey Him, trust Him, & suffer for Him.       Idolatry destroys the truth concerning Him, and distorts His image, His glory, & His nature; but He pursues us & providentially guides us in all our journeys, ventures, & experiences for His own Namesake. He chooses men as He wills from where He wills, to be His Anointed to accomplish His word, men like the Persian King Cyrus the Great, to be His Messenger & Angel, to be His Messiah & Christ. He chooses & ordains decades or centuries before they are born as if they exist, ready to do, to say, to be, His bidding. As He chooses so He rejects; but to those He has chosen, and made great, then reduced to a small remnant He comforts with blessed assurances to always be there for them & in them, to help & succor them in every trial, to defend them from any foe; all this and more, to make His Name, His Word, Himself, a Firm Foundation, the Eternal Rock of Ages, Who if He cannot find a man among mankind to save & help & heal His own people, that He Himself by Himself, in His own Body & in His own Presence will come to their rescue & aid. Further He challenges all men and all their divine useless idols to compete & contend with the Living Lord God, the King of Israel, the Ruler of the universe, and Maker of all things do as He does, to speak & predict as He does, to reveal & conceal as He does if there is any life or truth to them. They are all lifeless, dead, stupid, unreal things made by human minds & hands who are just like them. Idolatry is a senseless enterprise, an awful vocation, dirty business; to think we can take a created thing, like a tree or rock, like the stars & planets, or a man & one’s self to equal or replace or challenge the Majestic Infinite Incomparable Eternal Living God the Creator & Judge & Savior is utter insanity & hellish. But His people need not fear or be awestruck with such men or nations, not to worry about their power or idols, their idolatry is but the vanity of their thoughts & words that never does anything real; they have no life or power in themselves, they are myths, imaginations, & mental figments. But His people will conquer them with truth & life, the remnant shall become a great multitude of peoples & nations, both Jews & Gentiles will be swept away by the flow & current of the Eternal River that streams from His Throne. He creates people, He forms nations, He commands all His creatures at will & at random to glorify Himself & secure their hearts for Himself. Babylon or all Gentiles cannot impede His movement, they cannot resist His will to prevail against Him, they cannot harm those who He loves & chooses without His notice or permission. Though He punishes His beloved people on account of their disobedience & rebellion, yet He always remembers afterwards, to reassure them of all His promises & display His attributes. All this & a thousand more such things may be said if we had the time. But Isaiah must speak of Messiah in detail, then of the Messianic People.
Isaiah’s prophetic monologue continues concerning the stupidity & insanity of idolatry in the chosen people who know the true living God, evidenced by many miracles & messages, works & words. This evil in man must be eradicated, in a nation, it must be punished. But when God chooses the evil to judge the good who are in evil, He must recompense the evil for their own evil, and for the evil in their treatment of the good. He who shows no mercy will receive no mercy. He reveals His forth coming judgment upon His people to secure their repentance; in their obstinacy their judgment only intensifies in Jehovah’s Spirit & Anointed working to reform & reclaim them.        This work of Messiah’s Spirit is seen in the Incarnation in His becoming like one of His people in order to share their weakness & their sufferings. In His birth & life He experiences human experiences to divinely know & understand what His people experience, and in this human fellowship the divine nature can take them up into Himself as an offering to God, an acceptable sacrifice. He does this to vindicate God in truth, holiness, righteousness, & vengeance; so that mercy, love, peace, & life may be reconciled in the atonement, the propitiating sacrifice that the Mosaic Law testifies of in great detail. This appeasement to God is a necessity for all men, Jew or Gentile, He says to Him: “It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My Servant to raise up the Tribes of Jacob, and to restore the Preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a Light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My Salvation unto the end of the earth.” and again: “Kings shall see and arise; Princes, and they shall worship“; and again: “In an acceptable time have I answered Thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped Thee; and I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a Covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages“. Messiah will Shepherd man back to God as their Lord & Savior: as ImmanuEl.

      The prophetic monologue continues, but now he must focus on the Suffering Servant become an adulteress unfaithful wife, an embarrassment to the Lord, a dishonor to God, and a shame to His Name. The Lord in judgment felt compassion for His people, the divorced wife, the despised virgin, the harlot; He desires to redeem & restore the divine relationship, but in looking He found no way with any man. He decides in Himself & for Himself to become the Man, Mediator, Reconciler, the Kinsman Redeemer & to remarry the widow. Messiah will discover in the Volume of the Book these things written about Him, and in Isaiah the Divine Pattern that He must follow. Unlike His children, the rejected harlot, He will suffer against sin & sinners to the shedding of blood: He gives His Back to be whipped, His Cheeks & Hair to be strucked & plucked, and His Face to shame & spitting. This He did for God & for man. As He did with Abraham & Sarah so He will do again with the restored remnant & the redeemed Gentiles. No monster can impede Him.     The redeemed return from captivity to a new relationship with the Lord, and in a new world, Jerusalem awakes in judgment & condemnation internally of sin unto death; Zion awakes in salvation & redemption in the resurrection of life. This transformation from death to life will be by means of the good news preached of the salvation of God Who rules all things & all men. The Word is God revealed, made known & manifest; the Suffering Servant Who is assaulted & disfigured in His wisdom & obedience. So Isaiah contemplates in sorrowful vision this Suffering One: The Arm of the Lord is revealed as the Gospel of Salvation; He is the tenderest of humanity, He is ordinary & unattractive in His sufferings, despised & rejected of men; smitten of God, wounded man’s transgressions & sins; His punishment is our peace & healing. The Shepherd lays down His life for His lost sheep; and He must go after them and pay the price of love & justice as the lamb of God. He must appease & satisfy God’s justice, at the same time exhibit God’s love for the world, by His substitutional death on man’s behalf, bearing in His own body our judgment as the Innocent One, as God’s Beloved He give up His life for the many. In his death is God vindicated and Scripture fulfilled; and in His resurrection is eternal life & glory. God will be pleased, in His resurrection & transfiguration He will be rewarded with power & a kingdom; having poured out His soul by bloodshed, He dies with the wicked & visits hell to survey His victory over sin & Satan as the Great Interceder, the Mediator that Job prayed for in his sufferings.       Thus Isaiah sees the result of the Suffering Messiah in a new world by rejuvenation, then afterwards by a new creation. Though His adulteress wife & idolatrous people, like the antediluvians of the days of Noah & the Great Flood, so too the resurrection of the dead & salvation of sinners, when He defeats our foe, defends us against the enemy, & blesses us with eternal life. This word will not fail says the Lord God. We end with this section of Isaiah’s prophetic word concerning Messiah & His people in chapter 54; and we will come to the final 12 chapters concerning new things in chapters 55- 60-66.

      ‘We come to the final & closing prophetic section of the 2nd Isaiah, wherein Isaiah must bring the entire Prophecy & Testimony into one grand harmonious whole, and reveal a new people, new way, new order, & new creation.’ The Lord’s Spirit continues to speak in Isaiah, thus in the Book of Isaiah, and thus in Scripture; He speaks as Jehovah Himself, that is, as God; and also as Messiah, that is, as Jesus the Christ, the Son of God: (again the reader is entreated to consider Psalms 2, along with all the other Messianic Psalms & Biblical types, verses, example from Genesis to Isaiah.)        The Lord invites all to come to the Eternal Feast and partake of spiritual & heavenly things freely, that is, of grace. The invitation of life, in a New Covenant, that is, the Sure Mercies of David; in the Messiah, the Savior & Shepherd of the Jew & Gentile, by God’s glory. The invitation is here & now before it is too late; His Word is sure & steadfast, it will not fail, but will go & do His bidding; the word of His Thoughts & Ways; that becomes a Name & Eternal Sign: Jesus the Christ: the Word Incarnate: Immanu-El.       The Gentiles are invited to join His chosen people in obedience to the Word, and in Celebration of the Name in this salvation. Judgment comes to the wicked, but the godly are kept from the calamity of His wrath; as seen in Psalms 1. The Eternal Holy Hidden God resides with humble saints, those who in spirit are the poor, weak, broken, believing, & obedient with patience. He speaks peace to the Jew near & dear to Him; and to the Gentiles who He invites in love & grace; but there is no peace for the wicked. The Lord’s people are depraved hypocrites, they are wicked & ungodly; their Feasts & Fast are repugnant. The Lord’s Feast & Fasts is in a godly life of love & charity, of negating the evils in society, of caring for the oppressed, freeing slaves, assisting widows & orphans, especially neglected babies & infants, befriending the strangers & foreigners & aliens & immigrants; of treating all men fairly, not harming or assaulting others, especially the weak & vulnerable; speaking honestly, truthfully; namely according to God, & His Words, & the Ten Commandments, & all good & healthy doctrines & practices. It is to these whether Jews or Gentiles, the Remnant or the outcast, that He invites, & He promises to hear & answer their cries, prayer & petitions. These are the New People that He will create out of the remnant of lost mankind of every nation, tongue, & race.       The Lord has been away from His people, searching among His people & among all the nations of the earth for a man to be what He desires, & to become what is needed; but in the decades & centuries He found no man usable. So God Himself by His own Arm of Righteousness intervenes in man’s doom; and He, the Redeemer, will come to Zion bringing salvation & a new covenant, to remove Jacob’s transgression, by the Spirit & the Word.
The new age in which the remnant redeemed returned people will be such that His people will be a light to the world. God again will be rejoined to His people in harmony with all His design which He purposed from the beginning. The land will be reoccupied & all will be restored, rebuilt, & renewed. A new order in the world will be initiated based on His grace & mercy. Israel & the Gentiles will share His glory & presence. The nations will honor & serve His people with the Lord within the Walls of Salvation & Gates of Praise in His Glory. This is an intimation of the millennial Kingdom of Christ of which the New Testament speaks repeatedly & the Book of Revelation records.       Messiah with the seven-fold Spirit of God is ordained to preach this good news, and to save man by shepherding them in wisdom & grace. He offers to man what cannot be found or bought in the world, and he ignores none, he rejects none who come to Him as God wills. There will be a new celebration and a new worship shared by both Jews & Gentiles. The salvation of mankind will be seen by everyone everywhere in righteousness & praise to the Lord. The Lord’s people will become a new virgin to the Lord as a new bride, one He desires & seeks with Salvation & Judgment. The Remnant will be the kernel of the new people of the Lord Who redeems them by blood: “Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with Me: yea, I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine Own Arm brought salvation unto Me; and My wrath, it upheld Me. And I trod down the peoples in Mine anger, and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” We have great joy & praise for this gracious Savior as Isaiah expressed; but truth is the old people did not appreciate this wonderful Lord God; instead they rebelled against Him, resisted & grieved His Holy Spirit as they did in Moses’ day. Though He was their Shepherd & Father, yet He became their enemy. He has forsaken His Sanctuary to destruction by the destroyers. Though He tried to win the heart of His people, they were a harlot & treacherous woman to Him. Yet the new people from the remnant will be made of many Gentiles who never knew the Lord, they are now called & the old rejected. The New Man is the Seed of Jacob, the Lord’s Servant, Messiah. Those who come to Him, who follow Him will share His Kingdom & enjoy His blessings.
The final things are a new people, new age, new kingdom, new earth & new heaven. The Throne of God is heaven and His Footstool is on Earth, He needs no House to reside with His people, with His saints; but He repudiates the ungodly & hypocrite. The godly are rewarded with His presence & His word, and the ungodly rewarded for their evil in shame & judgment. The Virgin Bride, the New Woman Wife, will birth the Man-Child in one day without labor; they will enjoy the new world, like a river of peace; the Gentiles’ glory will be theirs, she will nurse her children with comfort. The Lord will come to judge the world in righteousness; He will war with His Fire & His Sword to rid the world of idolatry & corruption; and to deliver the remnant who seek Him in truth. This New Heavens & New Earth will last forever, and the remnant & seed will have a new name; and they will worship the Lord forever; but the wicked shall burn in endless fire.

Isaiah Selections (24): Bullinger (CBC), Auchincloss, Plumptre, Darby, Keil & Delitzsch, Hengstenberg, Nagelsbach, Wordsworth, Chaldee Paraphrase of Jonathan Ben Uziel, Calvin, Alexander, Smith, Henderson, Robinson, Birks, Newton, Bullinger (CB), Davidson, Driver, Barnes, Govett, Young, & Lowth.

(1)
Bullinger’s Chronology ‘Summary of Principal Events’ Appendix 50. viii, from B.C. 1431 to A.D. 69.; but with modifications & additions. Jubilee Years (50 yrs) are listed for Period of Judges & between OT & NT Apocryphal Times. Decades (10 yrs) are inserted from 1000 BC to AD 100.

Judges: Years of Servitude & Years of Rule
1450:
1431: 1st Servitude. Mesopotamia 8 yrs 1423: Othniel. 40yrs [rest]
1400:
1393-1392: 1st Jubilee Year (Anno Dei reckoning). 1383: 2nd Servitude. Moab 18 yrs
1365: Ehud. 80 yrs [rest]
1350:
1300:
1285: 3rd Servitude. Canaan 20 yrs
1265: Barak. 40 yrs
1250:
1225: 4th Servitude. Midian 7 yrs
1218: Gideon. 40 yrs
1200:
1178: Tola. 23 yrs
1155: Jair. 4 yrs
1151: Jephthah. 6 yrs (300 years from Entry into Land. See note on chart 50. IV.)
1150:
1145: Ibzan. 7 yrs
1138: Elon. 10 yrs
1128: Abdon. 8 yrs
1120: 5th Servitude. Philistine. 40 yrs
[Total years of Rest & Rule: 258; & Total years of Servitude: 93.]
1100:
1080: Eli, 40 years.
1050: [400 years of Judges ends. 50 years Transition to Monarchy.] 1040: Samuel, 40 years.
1020: “Reformation”. 1st Sam. 7.
1000: Ends 45 years of Acts 13:20, & 490 years from year they should have entered into Land.
1000: KINGDOM. Saul, 40 years. [450 years of Judges ends, Monarchy begins.]
990: David b.
980:
974: David’s 1st Anointing (@16).

970:
960: David, 40 years. Second Anointing (@30). 953: David’s 3rd Anointing (@37).
950:
940:
930:
920: Solomon, 40 years.
917: Temple begun. 573 years after Exodus. (Cp. Acts 13:20-23).
910: Temple finished.
900:
897: End of 20 years, the “two houses” finished (1Kings 9:10).
890:
880: Disruption. Rehoboam, 17 years.
870:
863: Abijam, 3 years.
860: Asa, 41 years.
850:
840:
830:
820:
819: Jehoshaphat, 25 years.
810:
800
796: Jehoram’s accession.
794: Jehoshaphat d.
790:
789: Ahaziah’s accession. 788: Ahaziah slain by Jehu.
788-782: Gap, 6 years. Athaliah’s usurpation.
782: Jehoash, 41 years.
780:
770:
760:
750:
743: Amaziah, 29 years.
740:
730:
720:
714: Amaziah ends.
714-701: Gap, 13 years.
710:
701: Uzziah (Azariah), 52 years.
700:
690: Jonah? Amos?
687: Hosea’s prophecies begin?
680:
670:
660:

650:
649: Gap. One year between Uzziah’s (Azariah’s) death and Jotham’s accession. 647: Jotham, 16 years.
640:
634: Micah’s prophecies begin? 632: Ahaz, 16 years.
630:
620:
617: Hezekiah’s accession.
616: Ahaz d.
615: Hosea ends?
613: Siege of Samaria begun.
611: Samaria taken, & Israel ends. [Exile & Captivity]
610:
603: Sennacherib invades Judah in 14th year of Hezekiah (2Kings 18:13). Nahum?
600:
590:
588: Manasseh, 55 years.
584: Isaiah killed? (Cp. Isa. 7:6 [Jewish tradition: sawn asunder under Manasseh.].
580:
570:
560:
540:
533: Amon, 2 years.
531: Josiah, 31 years.
530: Zephaniah?
520:
518: Jeremiah’s prophecies begin in Josiah’s 13th year. Habakkuk? Zephaniah? 513: Book “found” & Passover in Josiah’s 18th year.
510:
500: Jehoahaz, 3 months.
499: Jehoiakim, 11 years.
497: Nebuchadnezzar’s 1st Siege of Jerusalem.
496: Jehoiakim’s 4th year, Nebuchadnezzar’s 1st. Daniel taken to Babylon. [Exile begins] 495 Jehoiakim burns the roll.
494: Nebuchadnezzar’s 2nd year. His dream of Great Image. Daniel interprets.
490: Joel?
489: Jehoiachin, 3 months. Captivity begins in Nebuchadnezzar’s 8th year (2nd Siege). 488: Zedekiah, 11 years.
484: Ezekiel’s prophecies begin.
480: Obadiah?
478: Nebuchadnezzar’s 3rd siege of Jerusalem begins.
477: Jerusalem taken, & Temple destroyed, in Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year. Jeremiah ends. 473: Punishment for murder of Gedaliah (Jer. 52:30).
470:
462: Ezekiel’s last dated prophecy.
461-454: Nebuchadnezzar’s 7 years of “madness”.
460:

454: 20th year of Asteiages (Artaxerxes). Commandment to Rebuild Jerusalem. (See 50. VI, VII. 5, 12.) Nehemiah’s 1st visit to Jerusalem.
452: Nebuchadnezzar d. after 44 years’ reign. 452: Evil-Merodach. Jehoiachin’s Captivity ends. 450:
446: Nabonidus.
440:
430:
429: Belshazzar, 3 years.
426: Belshazzar slain. “Darius the Median” (Asteiages) takes Kingdom. Cyrus (Asteiages’ son) issues Decree to rebuild Temple. Daniel’s vision of “seventy sevens” (490 yrs). “seven sevens” (49 yrs) begin. Foundations of Temple laid. Nehemiah’s 2nd visit to Jerusalem.
421: Cyrus ends.
420:
418: Cambyses makes Nehemiah Governor. Nehemiah’s 3rd visit to Jerusalem. 411: Darius Hystaspis re-enacts Decree of Cyrus.
410: Haggai & Zechariah begin. Temple superstructure commenced & carried on to completion, from 2nd – 6th year of Darius.
408: Zechariah’s last date.
405: Temple finished & dedicated. “seven sevens” (49 yrs) end, & “sixty-two sevens” (441 yrs) commence.
404: Passover.
403: Ezra’s last date: 1st of Nisan. 400: [Malachi last Prophet of OT.] 390:
380:
375: ? Darius Hystaspis d. (according to Herodotus, 63 years old).
370:
360:
350:
300:
250:
200:
150:
100:
50:
4: Nativity of Christ the Messiah, (revised date). A.D.
0: Common Era of A.D. (Birth of Christ-Messiah, traditional date.)
10:
20:
29: “sixty-nine sevens” end with the “cutting off of Messiah”, 483 years from the “going forth of commandment to build Jerusalem” in 454 B.C.
30: (Death of Messiah-Christ, revised date.) 33: (Death of Christ-Messiah, traditional date.) 40:
50:
60:

69: Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.
70:
80:
90:
96: (Book of Revelation by Apostle John the Evangelist-Seer, (Emperor Domitian’s 2nd yr.).
100: (Death of last Apostle, John the Evangelist-Seer, his 94th yr; traditional date & belief.)

First, we will list the Kings of the Kingdoms, the Northern and the Southern, of Israel and Judah, that is of Samaria and Jerusalem. There are 19 Kings in each, all judged or evaluated or measured by King David, and the last King (20th) to rule in each Kingdom was the Gentile King of their Captivity and Exile. The 3 Kings before the Division of the Monarchy: Saul, David, and Solomon, each ruled 40 years. (Creation to Flood, Adam to Noah, some 2300 years (4004 – 2348 B.C.); Flood to Abraham’s Call, about 400 years (2348 – 1946 B.C.); Abraham to Moses’ Exodus, circa 450 years (1946 – 1491 B.C.); Exodus to Monarchy, around 500 years (1491 – 1000 B.C.). Before the Monarchy Eli the High Priest & Samuel the Seer-Prophet both judged Israel 40 years each; King Saul & King David & King Solomon each ruled in Israel for 40 years; in all some 200 years from Eli to Rehoboam.

Kings of Judah: Southern Kingdom: Jerusalem. Prophets or Seers mentioned.
Rehoboam to Nebuchadnezzar, Divided Monarchy to Babylonian Captivity, is about 400 yrs (880 – 480); Rehoboam to Uzziah-Azariah & Isaiah 200 yrs (880 – 680); Uzziah to Hezekiah some 60 yrs (680 – 620);
Hezekiah to Josiah & Jeremiah some 90 yrs (620 -530); Josiah to Captivity some 50 yrs (530 – 480).

1. Rehoboam: 1st King. (did evil) 17 yrs. (School of Prophets) Shemaiah (Man of God).
2. Abijah (Abijam, Abia): benRehoboam. (did evil) 3 yrs. (Prophets) Azariah benOded
3. Asa: benAbijah? (did right) 41 yrs. Seers: Hanani (abiJehu). Iddo
4. Jehoshaphat: benAsa. (did right) 25 yrs. Prophet: Jehu benHanani. Jahaziel, Levite, benZechariah. Eliezer benDodavahu of Mareshah. Zechariah benJehoiada the Priest.
5. Jehoram (Joram): benJehoshaphat; Athaliah’s husband. (did evil) 8 yrs.
6.a. Ahaziah: benJehoram & Athaliah. (did evil) 1 yr.
6.b. Athaliah: Ahab & Jezebel’s daughter; Jehoram’s wife; Queen, usurp Throne. (did evil) 6 yrs.
7. Joash (Jehoash): benAhaziah. (good young, did evil older) 40 yrs.
8. Amaziah: benJoash. (good, young, did evil older) 29 yrs. Prophet: unnamed. Seer: Zechariah.
9. Uzziah (Azariah): benAmaziah. (did right) 52 yrs. Prophet: Isaiah benAmoz. Micah the Morashtite.
10. Jotham: Regent, later King; benUzziah. (did right) 16 yrs. Prophet: Isaiah. Micah ‘Morashtite.
11. Ahaz: benJotham. (did evil) 16 yrs. Prophet: Isaiah. Micah ‘Morashtite.
12. Hezekiah: benAhaz; husband of Hephzi-Bah. (good & right) 29 yrs. Prophets: Isaiah. Micah. Nahum the Elkoshite.
13. Manasseh: benHezekiah & Hephzi-Bah. (did evil, repented old) 55 yrs. Prophet: Joel benPethuel.
14. Amon: benManasseh. (did evil) 2 yrs.
15. Josiah (Josias): benAmon. (good & right) 31 yrs. Prophet: Jeremiah benHilkiah (of priests of Anathoth of Benjamin). Prophet: Habakkuk (pre-Captivity). Zephaniah benCushi. [Obadiah.]
16. Jehoahaz (Joahaz): benJosiah. (did evil) 3 mnths.
17. Jehoiakim: benJosiah. (did evil) 11 yrs.
18. Jehoiachin: benJehoiakim. (did evil) 3 mnths.
19. Zedekiah: benJosiah (at 21); kingdom overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar. (did evil) 11 yrs (d.32).
20. Nebuchadnezzar: King of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem & exiled Judah (Zedekiah’s 11th yr). Prophet: Priest Ezekiel benBuzi (son of man, benAdam) in Chaldea (Babylon). Daniel (Belteshazzar), God’s servant,

magi of Babylon. Haggai, Jehovah’s messenger. Zechariah benBerechiah (Darius’ reign). Malachi, last messenger prophet of the OT.

Kings of Israel: Northern Kingdom: Samaria. Prophets or Seers mentioned.
Jeroboam to Ahab & Elijah some 60 yrs (980 – 920); Ahab to Jeroboam 2nd & Hosea & Amos, some 90 yrs (920 – 830); Jeroboam 2nd to Hoshea & Assyrian Captivity about 110 yrs (830 – 720).

1. Jeroboam I: Led secession of Israel. (evil) 22 yrs. Prophet: Ahijah; (Man of God fr. Judah. School. Old Prophet in Bethel).
2. Nadab: benJeroboam I. (evil) 2 yrs.
3. Baasha: Overthrew Nadab. (evil) 24 yrs. Prophet: Jehu benHanani.
4. Elah: benBaasha. (evil) 2 yrs.
5. Zimri: Overthrew Elah. (evil) 7 days.
6. Omri: Overthrew Zimri. (evil) 12 yrs. Prophet: Elijah the Tishbite.
7. Ahab: benOmri; Jezebel’s husband. (evil) 21 yrs. Prophet: Elijah ‘Tishbite; Micah benImcah.
8. Ahaziah: benAhab. (evil) 1 yr. Prophet: Elisha benShaphat. (School of Prophets)
9. Jehoram II (Joram): benAhab. (evil) 11 yrs.
10. Jehu: Overthrew Jehoram. (good & evil) 28 yrs. Prophet: Elisha
11. Jehoahaz (Joahaz): benJehu. (evil) 16 yrs. Prophet: Jonah benAmittai.
12. Jehoash (Joash): benJehoahaz. (evil) 16 yrs. Prophet:
13. Jeroboam Il: benJehoash. (evil) 40 yrs. Prophet: Hosea benBeeri. Seer: Amos of Tekoa.
14. Zachariah: benJeroboam II. (evil) ½ yr.
15. Shallum: Overthrew Zechariah. (evil) 1 mnth.
16. Menahem: Overthrew Shallum. (evil) 10 yrs.
17. Pekahiah: benMenahem. (evil) 2 yrs.
18. Pekah: Overthrew Pekahiah. (evil) 20 yrs. Prophet: Oded of Samaria.
19. Hoshea: Overthrew Pekah; kingdom overthrown by Assyrians, Sargon II. (evil) 9 yrs.
20. Shalmaneser: Assyria’s King, in Hoshea’s 9th yr deported & exiled Israel to Assyria.

Twenty (20) High-Priests & Priests from the Exodus to the Captivity; but we complete the list from the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1910:

I: Aaron benAmram, Eleazar benAaron, Phinehas benEleazar, Abishua benPhinehas, [Shesha benAbishua abiBukki (Samaritans’ tradition] Bukki benAbishua, Uzzi benBukki. [Aaron to Eli = 340 yrs.]
II: Eli (ben-(son, grandson, great-grandson, or descendant) of Ithamar benAaron), (Ahitub benPhinehas benEli), (Ahimelech benAhitub). Abiathar benAhimelech), ((Jewish Encyclopedia: ‘Ahimelech benAhitub, High Priest during reign of King Saul; killed at Nob by Doeg; part of Curse on the House of Eli –that none of Eli’s male descendants would live to old age– was fulfilled with death of Ahimelech. Abiathar benAhimelech, High Priest during reign of King David & early years of Solomon, deposed (1st Kings 2:2-4). 5th Generation descendant of Eli; Deposed from office of High Priest which went to the House of Zadok after the Holy Spirit deserted Abiathar and without which the Urim & Thummin could not be consulted; other part of the Curse on the House of Eli –that the priesthood would pass out of his descendants– was fulfilled when Abiathar was deposed from the office of High Priest.’)) ((Jew. Ency.: Zadok benAhitub (benAmariah, benMeraioth, benZerahiah, benUzzi: 1st Chron. 6:6-8) of line of Eleazar, High Priest during reign of King Solomon & construction of the 1st Temple. Ahimaaz benZadok, High Priest during reign of King Solomon; Azariah benAhimaaz (during Solomon’s reign: 1st Kings 4:2).

III: Joash benAzariah, Jehoiarib benJoash (1st Chron. 9:10), Jehoshaphat benJehoiarib, Jehoiada benJehosaphat (c. 842 – 820 BCE, 2nd Kings 11:4); Pediah benJehoiada, Zedekiah benPediah, Azariah II benZedekiah (c. 750 BCE, 2nd Chron. 26:17; seemingly conflated with Azariah I in 1st Chron. 6:6-8). Jotham benAzariah, Urijah benJotham (c. 732 BCE, 2nd Kings 16:10; cf. Isaiah 8:2). Azariah III, benJohanan, benAzariah II (c. 715, 1st Chron. 6:9, 2nd Chron. 31:10). Hoshaiah benAzariah. (Priesthood may have failed during 50-years’ apostasy of Manasseh.) Shallum benZadok, benAhitub (or probably grandson), benAmariah, benAzariah III (c. 630, 1st Chron. 6:12, 2nd Chron. 34:22). Hilkiah benShallum (c. 622, 2nd Kings 22:4). Azariah IV, benHilkiah (1st Chron. 6:13). Seriah benAzariah IV (2nd Kings 25:18).)). (Next is a list of all the names of the Priests or High Priests attested in OT.):
[Zerahiah benUzzi, Meraioth benZerahiah, Azariah benMeraioth, Amariah benAzariah, Ahitub benAmariah, Zadok benAhitub, Hilkiah benShallum, Azariah benHilkiah, Seraiah benAzariah, and Ezra benSeraiah. Joshua benJehozadak, Joiakim benJoshua, Eliashib benJoiakim, and Joiada benEliashib.]
(The High Priests after the Captivity, after the close of the OT, are more problematic, but attested to by several sources. In Matthew & Luke of the NT some of these are connected. Josephus gives some. We are not concerned further, since Messiah is the last Great High Priest.)

(2)
Auchincloss’ Chronology of Holy Bible by William S. Auchincloss. Introduction by A. H. Sayce, LLD. (1908. gs):

{{ “The Bible is not a work on Chronology any more than it is a treatise on astronomy or physics. We therefore approach it in the wrong spirit when we expect to find a list of reigns arranged with the precision characteristic of any history of England where years, months and days are minutely stated. On the contrary the Bible scarcely takes notice of months and days but deals in full years, merging odd months with the reign preceding or following, consequently the true length must be determined by historic conditions found in the Bible, before the count can proceed. Our first duty then will be to ferret out the unknown quantities and use them in connection with the known. By this means, the full current of Scripture light will be turned on to the Grand Avenue of Bible history, and all occasion for stumbling or perplexity will be removed. The first obstacle encountered in constructing a continuous record is found in the life of the prophet Samuel….
‘Samuel’s Leadership:
(Acts 13:20): Land Division to Saul’s Reign: 450 yrs; (Judges 11:26: Land Division to Jephthah: 300 yrs. Consequently: Jephthah to Saul: 150 yrs. (Judges 12:7): Jephthah judged Israel: 6 yrs. (Jdgs 12:9): Ibzan: 7 yrs. (Jdgs 12:11): Elon: 10 yrs. (Jdgs 12:14): Abdon: 8 yrs. (Jdgs 13:1): Philistines ruled Israel: {20 yrs. (Jdgs 15:20): Samson judged Israel: {20 yrs. (1st Sam. 4:18): Eli judged Israel: 40 yrs. Jephthah to Samuel was Ill yrs. Totals: 450 = 300 + 150; 150 = 6,7,10,8,20,20,40 (=111 yrs), leaving negative 39 or 40 yrs which goes to Samuel rule or judgeship.’
This demonstration beautifully illustrates the necessity of treating the Bible as a whole and comparing Scripture with Scripture. Evidently without the Book of Acts, no one could ever have known how many years Samuel ruled, and for that matter, how many years Saul was on the Throne of Israel. But the Book of Acts in conjunction with Judges and Samuel, reveal the whole truth in regard to both reigns.”
‘Exodus to Temple: 479 yrs = Moses to Land Division: 46 yrs; to Jepthah: 200 yrs; to Samuel: 150 yrs; Saul: 40 yrs; David: 40 yrs; Solomon’s Temple: 3 yrs.’ (“And it came to pass in the 480th year [479 years having gone by] after the children of Israel were come out of Egypt that they began to build the House of the Lord.” (1st Kings 6:1)) “

“The Old Testament, when giving the name of a child, once removed, makes no use of the modern prefix “grand.” With it, a grandson is simply a son; and a granddaughter simply a daughter. It is important to bear this distinction in mind when locating the characters chronologically. We read frequently of Jehu the son of Nimshi (1st Kngs. 19:16), when in truth his father was named Jehoshaphat, and his grandfather Nimshi (2nd Kngs 9:2). Then again Athaliah the daughter of Omri (2nd Chron. 22:2) was in reality the daughter of Ahab & granddaughter of Omri (2nd Chron. 21:6). Although Mephibosheth was called the son of Saul (2nd Sam. 19:24), he was the son of Jonathan & grandson of Saul, (2nd Sam. 4:4). In like manner Nebuchadnezzar was the grandfather of Belshazzar & Nabonidus the father (Dan. 5:11). Achan, according to Joshua 22:20, was the “Son of Zerah,” but in reality he was the great-grandson of Zerah as explained in Joshua 7:18. The careful reader, however, will supply the prefix “grand” as the occasion may require. “

“The list of Israel’s Monarchs marshals before the inquirer an array of 495 years extending from the coronation of Saul to the burning of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The period may be divided into three parts:…With these general features in mind, we have made a geometrical plotting of each year from B.C. 961 to 721, have studied every event in its historical setting and arrived at the following figures, which can be accepted as the true length of each king’s reign. Kingdom: Saul to Zedikiah:
Saul, David, Solomon = 120 yrs (40+40+40) (Acts 13, 1st Kngs 2, 11). Rehoboam to Hezekiah 6th yr = 240 yrs (1st Kngs 12, 15, 22) (18+2+42+23; +6+1+6+39+14+53+15+15; +6) (2nd Kngs 8,9, 11,12,
14,15,16, 18). Hezekiah 29th yr to Zedekiah = 135 yrs (23+56+2+31; +1/2+11+1/2+11) (2nd Kngs 18,
21-24). Total: 495 yrs.
Two Kingdoms: Judah & Israel Years of Active Rule (Regardless of Regencies.):
Judah: 240 yrs (92+59+89) (1st Kngs 12, 15; 2nd Kngs 11,12, 14-16, 18). Rehoboam to Ahaziah (18+2+42+23+6+1); Athaliah to Amaziah (6+39+14); Uzziah to Hezekiah’s 6th yr (53+15+15+6).
Israel: 240 yrs (92+59+89) (1st Kngs 12, 15-16, 22; 2nd Kngs 1, 3, 14-17). Jeroboam I to Joram (22+1+23+1+11+21+1+12); Jehu to Joash (29+14+16); Jeroboam II to Hoshea (38+1+10+2+29+9).”

Regencies:
“There are four Regencies found in the history of Judah & Israel’s Kings which appear in the following list:
1st: Jehoran was made Regent 2 years before his father died. 2nd: Joram, Regent 6 yrs before brother’s death. 3rd: Uzziah, Regent 15 yrs before father’s death. 4th: Jotham, Regent 14 yrs before father’s death.
These supplemental governments are largely responsible for difficulties in chronology, because in effect they introduced a double count, which at last prompted the sacred writer to try and balance his accounts, a process which only made matters worse, because it did not remove the disturbing cause. Among the regencies, those of Uzziah & Jotham are the most complex and are thought worthy of special mention:
Amaziah reigned alone from B.C. (824 to 810): 14 yrs. Uzziah reigned as Regent from B.C. (810 to 795): 15 yrs. Amaziah died in B.C. (795). Uzziah’s active reign ran from B.C. (810 to 757): 53 yrs. Jotham reigned as Regent, B.C. (757 to 743): 14 yrs. Uzziah died in B.C. (743).”

“Irreconcilable lengths between the Kingdoms of Judah & Israel: Rehoboam to Ahaz = 267 yrs; Jeroboam I to Hoshea = 249 yrs (Qualified by: Ahaz: 12+3 yrs + Excess 1 yr + Hodges 9 yrs). “

Auchincloss’ Bible Chronology:

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Christian Biblical Reflections.22

((Here are pages (1-25) CBR, Chapter IV, (Christian Biblical Reflections.22, the 1st submission or installment) of the Prophetic Books of Isaiah & Jeremiah with Lamentations & Ezekiel. This is the Isaiah section. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018)) (Links to the PDF Vol.1 of CBR. Chapters 1-3 (pages 1-560) & to Chapter 4 of Vol. 2 pages 1-115 : updated, completed, and further edited, corrected, and renumbered):

https://mjmselim.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/cbr-1-3-aug122018-christbibreflect-mjmselim-orgnl-08112018-24.pdf

https://mjmselim.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/cbr.4-5.wordpress.4.current.july14th.2019.christbibreflect.v2.mjmselim.orig_.pdf

CHAPTER IV
Part IV: ISAIAH, JEREMIAH & LAMENTATIONS, & EZEKIEL.
Part IV: ISAIAH – EZEKIEL: Prophetical Books: Three: Major-Greater-Longer Prophets.

     Preliminary Note to Volume 2: (We completed Volume 1, some 560 pages, in August of 2018 with intentions of completing Chapters IV & V, Part 4 & 5, by December of 2018, but unforeseen events, one after another prevented my resolution. Increased work in the loss of a trainee-apprentice forcing me to work full time; ongoing medical care for one of our daughters who was hit by a vehicle; personal & family matters; and major health issues; all which conspired to delay my promised Reflections. I made slow progress in the selecting & editing of the books for the Three Great Prophets; but continued to daily prepare my Reflections for the Chapter. From the several hundred books examined I have selected those which were best to help in the understanding of the Prophetical Chapter. But I continued the daily & weekly listening to the Bible books & other literature relevant to our Reflections. I was tempted to post the parts as I completed them, that is, Isaiah, then Jeremiah, & last Ezekiel, but then the Reflections would become repetitious & confused. It became my habit of every week to listen to the Prophets from Isaiah to Malachi two or three times, and to go thru Genesis to Revelation once a month, all to keep fresh in my Reflections the interconnection of God’s Word. And as I have said before, having gone thru Scripture over 200 times in the last 50 years, I am always surprised of new things made clear that has alluded me over the years. Volume 1 will be available in both Word & PDF format, & as always, freely & gladly given, without copyright protection or restrictions, save the request to be properly credited. (A note to the reader of change in the use of single quote marks (‘… ‘) to the grave accent mark (`…`) for italics in simple or basic text format; as in Notepad. In additional punctuations as noted. The use of the archaic singular pronouns: ‘thee, thou, thine’, I have introduced a novelty of a modification of the plural pronouns: ‘you, ye, your(s)’ into ‘yu, yur(s)’ to represent the archaic singular pronouns; being pronounced just like the plural forms now common, having displaced the singular. Further notice is here given that I have introduced colored fonts or texts to indicate the Divine speaking directly or indirectly, using ‘Red, Purple, & Blue’. A final note or apology to the readers having difficulty with the writer’s style & communication of understanding; it may be best expressed & clarified in this way: the Reflections were never intended to be a studied standard work, there being many already available, and written far better than what the writer is able to do. It is a research, exploration, & journal of his studies & searching of the Holy Bible as a Christian scholar cobbler; desiring to freely offer & contribute to the Lord’s people what he has been given, or gained, or learned. It is my habit to read or listen to Scripture daily, weekly, monthly, & yearly to get acquainted with the Divine Text; then to study or research certain interpretations, views, doctrines, & ideas as I encounter them; afterwards continue to compare things with what is written in context; lastly to attempt to relate, share, & teach these things to others whether by speaking or writing. In writing it’s been my habit for almost 50 years to lay before me the English Versions (the old AKJV of 1611, and the newer, usually the ASV of 1910); then the Original Bible Text in Hebrew & Greek; then I open the LXX Septuagint & the Latin Vulgate; finally I at times consult & compare a few of the newer translations or versions in the popular modern languages, mainly for specific or special words. I first digest & summarize as in a synopsis the Text, namely the verse or verses, chapter, or book; finally I reflect, interpret, & comment on the Text; and often repeating myself, and enlarging a doctrine.)

      Introductory Foreword & Summary: Chapter Three or Part 3 treated the Poetical Books from Job & Psalms to Solomon’s Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs. The Books of Ruth, Lamentations, & Esther being often considered related to the Poetical Books as Books of Feasts & Holy Days, were not treated in our Reflections of the Poetry of the Old Testament as proper to the Bible structure & form. We have followed in Reflections the Fingers of the Hands, 5 Right & 5 Left, as the Chapters & Parts of the 10 Key Books of the Bible in the Old & New Testaments. The Poetical Books were the highest summit of the Old Testament and the Book of David’s Psalms the tallest peak. The spirit of biblical poetry & music is the effect of the Historical Books from Genesis to Esther, with Genesis & Deuteronomy governing the history & revelation. God’s interest & His purpose is traced from seed to tree, from root to fruit in the trine themes of Creation, Judgment, & Salvation; in the triple doctrines of the Land, the People, & the Book. We follow the seeds of the Word & of God in their first mention or occurrences or instances of appearance and trace them through their various stages or phases of development & evolution, that is, their growth & maturity as they unfold. We have ventured to share what we see, and what we have come to believe, understand, and discovered in the Scriptures; but also to transmit the teachings of others both past & present who like us are lovers of the Bible & are diligent students of the Word. Christ as Messiah becomes obvious from start to finish in many ways & types as the Center & Heart of the Bible, the very Spirit of God’s Revelation. We demonstrate repeatedly the 10 Key Books govern & bind the other books together in the Scroll to present & display a wondrous picture & story of the Creator & His Creation. We have not tried to produce a commentary, nor an exhaustive study of the Bible. We have labored to testify of the Bible’s message & influence on us in its reading & study. As we have progressed through the pages of the Bible the Messiah-Christ in His trine offices of Prophet-Priest-King in God’s Kingdom has unfolded to us in human history, as well as in doctrinal developments in various philosophical & theological features. The Mirror effect of the Old Testament verses are reflected in the New Testament images to unveil the Divine Truth in God & His Son. And now to proceed to Chapter 4.

ISAIAH: The Book of Isaiah in relations to Genesis, Deuteronomy, & Psalms, with the other books interconnected to them, and with Jeremiah & Ezekiel connected & related to & dependent on Isaiah.

     Isaiah has come to us in 66 chapters, as if a mini-Bible, containing two distinct parts, chapters 1-39, and chapters 40-66, 27 chapters. There are 39 Books of our English Bibles in the Old Testament, and the New Testament consists of 27 Books. The New Testament quotes the Old Testament Books most frequently in Psalms (over 65 times), Deuteronomy (some 55 times), & Isaiah (about 45 times). Isaiah in Hebrew is Yesha`yahu meaning Salvation-Jehovah, Savior-Jehovah, & Saves-Jehovah. It is like Joshua or Yehoshua`, & like the Greek-Latin-English-Spanish Jesus. Yehoshua or Jesus means Jehovah-Salvation, Jehovah-Savior, & Jehovah-Saves. Isaiah & Jesus are the same words or names spelt differently, but the meaning is identical; namely the Salvation of the Lord, the Savior Who saves or the Lord’s Salvation of the Saving Savior. Isaiah is well known by all to be the Gospel Book of the Old Testament, the Book of Salvation. The First Division, chapters 1-39, is about the Lord’s Old Testament People, the Old Covenant Israel; and the Second Division, chapters 40-66, is about the Lord’s New Testament People, Messiah’s People of the New Dispensation. In Isaiah Messiah is clearly seen in many Messianic types & signs.
We saw in the Law from Genesis to Deuteronomy to Psalms that Salvation is the ever-ongoing work of God, His work in His Sabbath Rest on the 7th Day. The Work of God was seen in each generation from Adam to Noah to Abram the Hebrew. The nations, the Gentiles, with all the families, tribes, & tongues of mankind needed salvation in every way & details of life. The nation of Israel, formed from the Hebrew patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob in seed or descendants of Israel, were generated as the seed & people of God as promised; and in their captivity found deliverance by their merciful God. In order to save the world in the nations & people on earth, He must save & form His own People in their own Land. This He did by the hands of Moses & Aaron and began the production or generating the Book in the Law. Joshua & the Judges were a continuation of that redemption & salvation from their Egyptian bondage & captivity to the Exodus & Occupation of Canaan till the establishment of the Monarchy & Kingdom. Samuel, Saul, & David established the foundation of the Monarchy of a Divine Kingdom, which was in fact contrary to the Divine Will, yet was allowed & used to fulfill His purpose in the world’s salvation by means of His Holy Spirit in the inspiration & authorship of Holy Scripture, the Old Testament Bible. The Poetic Books brought the Law & the History to the its highest peak, lacking only the Prophetic Books to complete the Divine Hand of the Word. The Scroll of Isaiah commences a new dispensational way of the Kingdom which in the Monarchy failed & declined & deviated in disobedience & division. Divine Judgment limited that Kingdom, then afterwards terminated it in Gentile Exile & Captivity. The Salvation that originated in Genesis was now to be enlarged & extended to all the nations by their interactions with Israel; and the Hebrew Book & the Isaiah Scroll would spread throughout the Gentile world.
Isaiah benAmos opens with a vision related to Judah & Jerusalem during the reign of 4 Kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, & Hezekiah during a period of some 70 years (about 650-580 B.C.; or in others its 100 years earlier, that is, 8th century, somewhere between 800-700 B.C.). We may compare Hosea benBeeri: “The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.” Reference to Jeroboam is to Jeroboam II benJoash and not to Jeroboam I benNebat; and suggest that Hosea preceded Isaiah by a few years. If we compare the various prophets of Judah & Israel, of Samaria & Jerusalem, of both Kingdoms we discover God’s attempt to speak to His people in judging their condition & relations to His word & law. Isaiah enters to reveal a larger vision of God’s work in Israel. Hosea no doubt pictured their adulteress state as a Harlot, but Isaiah will go way beyond that, and he will add thereto in very universal connections & features. Hezekiah & his great grandson Josiah were the best Kings since Kings David & Solomon, and the Kingdoms were coming to an end, and the Monarchy dissolved. The Prophet Isaiah is introduced as a Seer to reveal the Lord & His Word to His People. His Vision begins: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for Jehovah hath spoken: “’I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me’”. Hear we have the first words of God in red cited by Isaiah. As we have seen in our previous exploration of Scriptures that there is variation in inspiration in the Divine Authorship of the Bible; and each author & writer & speaker will display different manifestations & expressions of the Word. We also have been reminding the Bible reader to take notice of those places that God is quoted or cited, both directly & indirectly, and even by allusions. These divine quotes may be placed in red, as is often done in the printed New Testament of the words of Jesus. We give a brief summary of the Isaiah Chapters where red letters occurs: 1: many verses; 3: many verses; 5: many verses; 6: few verses; 7 & 8: many verses; 10: many verses; 11: half a verse; 13 & 14 & 15 & 16: whole chapters except a few verses; 17: many verses; 18: one verse; 19: few verses; 20: most verses; 21: few verses; 22: many verses; 23: one verse; 24: three verses; 27: three verses; 28: many verses; 29: most of chapter; 30: many verses; 31: half chapter; 33: three verses; 37: half chapter; 38: few verses; 39: two verses; 40: three verses; 41: whole chapter; 42: most of chapter; 43-49: all or most of chapters; 50: half chapter; 51: most chapter; 52: half chapter; 53: two verses; 54-58: all or most chapters chapter; 59: two verses; 60: whole chapter: 61: two verses; 62: whole chapter; 63: few verses; 65 & 66: whole chapters. We see that as Isaiah progresses the Divine speaking increases; chapters 1-39 has half of red verses as in 40-66.
The Song of Songs of the Love of the Beloved’s Beloved showed us the Divine love of the Lord God for Israel, and of Israel’s love for Him, as the love of the Beloved for the Shulammite, and her love for the Beloved, the Shepherd King. That Song of Songs now finds home in Isaiah’s Salvation & Judgment. Jehovah’s cruel Jealousy of the provoked Lover by an unfaithful treacherous spouse is to be manifested in terrible acts towards His Beloved. God will deal with Israel, and by that He shows how the Creator deals with His creatures, as He is related to them in so many ways. He will deal with them as His children, His people, as a son & daughter, as virgin (Daughter of Zion) & harlot (Sodom & Gomorrah ), and many such relations & associations (but after the pattern of Psalms 1 & 2). He will reveal their sins & their evil ways in contrast to their noble place with Him. He declares their unhealthy state, status, & condition; their divided kingdom and the failure of both to obey His Law as given in their original deliverance from Egypt. Their worship of God is repulsive, the priesthood & the monarchy corrupt & useless; even His House is polluted. He will seek to reprove her, and to recall her to repentance and a return to Him and His law & word. Both Altar & Throne will be destroyed in judgment if He cannot reform Israel, either as nation or a remnant. They were His love & beloved, dear to him, and were attached to Him reciprocally in faithfulness & righteousness, but have become degenerate in thousands of ways, and now are in enmity against Him. But He is still in love with His People in the little remnant that continue to love & obey Him, who look for & wait for Him, those who long for their God, who endure sufferings at the hands of the enemies of God in Israel, Judah, and the world. His promise to His true lovers is to save them, to redeem them from captivity, to make them a faithful & righteous people. But He must first judge & destroy sin & sinners. Thus, the Vision ends & a new vision is taken up. We add a word concerning the prophetic style in Isaiah & in general all the prophetic books: the Prophet speaks & writes in constant flux between himself & God; he speaks in the first person, then without indication in the second or third person, moving from singular & plural in turn. (We may examine the chapter to discover that Isaiah opens & calls witnesses to the Lord’s Words (as Moses & others had done); the Lord speaks against Israel; Isaiah details Judah’s depravity; the Lord complains against Judah & warns of destruction; Isaiah attests to the Lord’s witness against Judah; at last the Lord declares judgment & predicts redemption by judgment & complete devastation.) As we have seen in Moses from Genesis to David’s Psalms & Solomon’s Song of Songs, and especially in Job, this divine exchange, transaction, & literary device is quite common & natural in human communication. (Compare the Selection 9: Chaldee Paraphrase on Prophet Isaiah. Jonathan benUziel.)
In chapters 2-5 the Word of the Vision of Isaiah benAmos of Judah & Jerusalem: In the distant future the Lord, as the God of Jacob, will establish His Throne & Government on Zion in Jerusalem for the Gentiles to seek God; Who will convert & transform them into peaceful people. Israel’s adultery & idolatry in following the Gentiles will come to an end; the ways of the nations will be terminated. The Lord alone will be exalted by both Jews & Gentiles in all the earth., and He will judge each man & nation as He sees fit according to their deeds & words. The Lord will exile His people in starvation: warriors, judges, prophets, scholars, elders, officers, politicians, craftsmen, & speakers (poets & orators & teachers). He will disrupt their society. The Lord criticizes both the elders, leaders. & rulers; & also the people for their unrighteous ways & sensual acts. The Prophet then illustrates this in 7 women attaching to one man, to take his name to remove their shame. The Promise will be the Lord’s Branch (Tzemach not Netzer, but is synonymous; Gesenius has an interesting comment on the word as found in Isaiah 4:2, seeking to erase Messiah (but E.J. Young is safe, contradicting Gesenius, but agreeing with the Revised Version (ASV, marginal variant) & prefers ‘Sprout’); the Greek translates ‘to shine forth’ (epilampsei, related to or word ‘lamp’); the Latin translate ‘germinate, bare, bring forth, give birth’ (germen, as in ‘germ’ or ‘seed’ ) & the Earth’s Fruit for the surviving Remnant; and He will tabernacle among them. The Lord sings a Song & Parable of His Beloved Vineyard; Israel & the Jews were favored & cared for, but were unfruitful, so He will destroy them in exile, captivity, & death; then they’ll be humbled, & He alone exalted; and He will be against them. He will bring against His people the distant Gentiles to destroy Judah & Jerusalem.
Chapter 6 completes the introductory Visions. The Seer sees the enthroned majestic Lord in the year of Uzziah’s (Azariah’s) death and His Train (His Regal-Priestly processional Robe, the Shul, or His Glorious Skirt, the LXX has ‘doxës’ from ‘doxa’, ‘glory’) filled the Heavenly Temple. The Monarchy was coming to an end, but the Monarch of the Universe is seen in vision to reveal His reign & ministry. The Seraphs, like the Cherubs & Living Creatures, with 6 wings each, announced His Trine Holiness & Glory in all the earth. His Voice shakes the House & it was filled with smoke; Isaiah owns his sinful state along with the condition of Israel; but he is purged by fire & forgiven. The Lord seeks a Messenger to His people saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us:” Isaiah volunteers; he is sent with this Message: “Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn again, and be healed.” The Prophet asks for how long? And he is told: “Until cities be waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land become utterly waste, and Jehovah have removed men far away, and the forsaken places be many in the midst of the land. And if there be yet a tenth in it, it also shall in turn be eaten up: as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stock remaineth, when they are felled; so the holy seed is the stock thereof.“ This then reveals the nature & duration of Isaiah’s ministry. In this divine service Isaiah is a true type of Jesus, and the Christ will fill up this prophecy in the fullest manner. The Prophets that came after Isaiah, like those before him, will share this messianic ministry, but its fulfillment will be in the Messiah. The Introduction now completed of the Vision will take up the unfolding of the Prophecy & Testimony of creation, Judgment, & Salvation; and the Land & People & Book will be manifest.
Chapters 7-13 treats the days of King Ahaz benJotham benUzziah (Azariah) in Prophecy & Type. The reader is reminded to keep one eye & ear on the Message revealed & charged to Isaiah in chapter 6. The reigns of Uzziah & Jotham & Ahaz are recorded in 2nd Kings 15-17 & 2nd Chronicles 26-28. Israel continued to degenerate from King Jeroboam I benNebat to Jeroboam II benJoash, so that the Lord was still determined to terminate the Northern Kingdom of Israel in Samaria, but He allowed a little reprieve by saving them from the Syrians by the hands of Jeroboam II, who reigned for 41 years. In the 27th year of Jeroboam’s reign, Uzziah commenced his reign in Judah in Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom of Israel; and he reigned for 52 years, from age 15 to 68. He started his reign in a godly way, seeking the Lord during the ministry of the great Seer Zechariah, but later on he became self-willed to defile the Lord’s Altar & House, and became a leper. Uzziah’s grandfather Joash benAhaziah reigned during ministry & office of the Chief Priest Jehoiada who brought about a revival in the Southern Kingdom & influenced the Monarchy up to later years. The Northern & Southern Kingdoms continued in their enmity, depravity, & deals with each other. Jotham was a good King, but was not as great as his father Uzziah. His son Ahaz was very bad, going the corrupt way of the Northern Kingdom in Samaria. Syria confederate with Samaria invaded & afflicted Jerusalem in Judah. Ahaz in desperation turned to the Assyrians for salvation & protection, paying the Assyrians with the gold & silver from the Lord’s House & the King’s Palace. He also polluted the Altar & Temple in Jerusalem with the pollution of Samaria & Syria. In this state of idolatry, harlotry, & depravity Isaiah receives the visions & message from the Lord. The Lord tells Isaiah to prophesy to Ahaz that the northern confederacy of Samaria-Syria against Judah will come to nothing; but in 65 years Ephraim (Samaria) will come to an end. But the Lord desires to take this crisis & occasion to testify to His People of His great heart & intent. The Lord asks a Sign to be given to Ahaz, who refuses & excuses himself from tempting the Lord. The Lord in response, tired of their disobedience, gives the House of David the Sign of the Virgin’s Son Immanuel (God-with-us)): by the time the child grows old enough to refuse evil & choose good, then he will eat butter & honey; but before he becomes of that age the Land of both Kings (Samaria & Jerusalem) will be forsaken; and the days of the Assyrian King will replace the Monarchy. The Lord will bring the Egyptian Fly & Assyrian Bee to invade the land of Israel & Judah. The Lord will permit the Assyrian King to use a hired barber in Israel (far from the Euphrates River); a man shall have a young cow & two sheep that will produce plenty of butter, along honey, for the small remnant in the land; 1,000 vines at 1,000 silver shekels will instead have briers & thorns; an empty barren land for a hunter with bow, good only for oxen & sheep.

      This is the Sign given to King Ahaz by Isaiah, to confuse & snare him; a sign of dreadful judgment on Judah, in accordance to chapter 6 as we have indicated to the reader. But the Lord is not done. He tells Isaiah to write on a tablet the Name: Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Speedy-Spoil-Quick-Prey); recorded with witnesses; and after his prophetess wife became pregnant & gave birth to a son, name him with this Name: even before the child is old enough to say “my Mother, my Father, ” the wealth of Damascus & the goods of Samaria will be transported before the Assyrian King. With this the Sign extends to the Northern Kingdom & confederacy; but the Lord is still not finished. The Jews, led by Ahaz, not content with the waters of Jerusalem found pleasure (appeasing them) in Syria & Samaria (Rezin & Pekah), so the Lord will bring the waters of the Assyrian King against the North & South of Israel, against Syria, Samaria & Judah: against Immanuel’s Land; and all peoples will hear of it, and will respond in awe: God-is-with-us (Immanuel). Isaiah explains: “For Jehovah spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread [thereof]. Jehovah of hosts, Him shall ye sanctify; and let Him be your Fear, and let Him be your Dread. And He shall be for a Sanctuary; but for a Stone of stumbling and for a Rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a Gin and for a Snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble thereon, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind thou up the Testimony, seal the Law among My disciples. And I will wait for Jehovah, That hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him. Behold, I and the children whom Jehovah hath given Me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and unto the wizards, that chirp and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of the living [should they seek] unto the dead? To the law and to the testimony! if they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them. And they shall pass through it, sore distressed and hungry; and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their King and by their God, and turn their faces upward: and they shall look unto the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and into thick darkness [they shall be] driven away.
The Lord is still not done: The Northern Kingdom of Samaria in the place around the Sea of Galilee of the Gentiles in the tribes of Zebulon & Naphtali west of the Jordan River, though in darkness & death will see a Great Light shining; and the Lord will save His people & judge the enemy as He did with Midian (from Moses to David). Isaiah continues his Prophecy of the Vision of the Virgin’s Son as the most exalted Monarch on David’s Throne & Kingdom, with the Divine Manifold Name, ruling forever by God’s determination. The Prophet returns to the Lord’s judgment on the Northern Confederacy and His intent to disrupt & ruin it. He will judge in anger & fury His people from head to tail, from leaders to common folks; for all are corrupt & depraved. The Prophet continues the divine incrimination against Israel, and justification of the Assyrian invasion; who in pride seek to expand & exploit his power against distant lands & kingdoms; and who exalts his idols above the gods & idols of all peoples. The Assyrian King is mere boastful Axe or Rod or Staff against the Lord the Wielder. The Lord will destroy the land & people of Israel; but He will preserve a Remnant to the House of Jacob for Himself. For this reason His people should have hope, for the judgment will only be for a short time. The Enemy will advance in conquest over the land & the people of Israel; he will assault the cities of Judah; Aiath or Ai till he stops at Nob, city of priests, near Jerusalem. But the Lord will intervene. How? The Shoot or Rod & Branch (Netzer) of Jesse with the sevenfold Spirit of the Lord Who as Israel’s Savior & God’s Messiah, Who will care for His for His people as a Shepherd, He will subdue the earth & the nations in it. Knowledge of the Lord God will spread throughout the earth; He will again rescue His people from their Captivity in all the nations, as in the Exodus from Egypt; and will place the Ensign for the Gentiles, regather & restore Israel, and return the Jews to their land. Messiah as the Root (Shoresh) of Jesse will be Ensign for Israel & Gentiles. Ephraim & Judah will be reconciled on both sides of the Jordan River; and He will divide the Nile at its mouth; He will dry the Euphrates. Dividing it into seven streams at its mouth, making a highway for the returning Exiles as in the Exodus. When He accomplishes this salvation both His People & all the Nations will worship Him, and exalt His Name, and sing His praises, even the Holy One of Israel.
Chapters 13-23-27-35. The Prophet introduces the Burdens (Massah), starting with Babylon & ending with Tyre in this section proper, then continues till the days of Hezekiah. The idea of the load that was carried on the backs of donkeys or on the shoulders of men is used also as the message that burdens the messenger or prophet; thus the burden becomes the message, the stuff becomes the oracle. It was used in the priesthood of the Tabernacle & Temple service of Moses & Aaron, along with those who shared their duties & responsibilities. It was seen in what was offered in sacrifices, what was carried & given. Moses as God’s mouthpiece or prophet, and Aaron as Moses’ spokesman or prophet, carried the responsibility or burden for the Lord and for the people. The Burden was the Word or Message from God to People. As with the Vision concerning Judah & Jerusalem, of Samaria & Israel, so too the Burden & Oracle concerning the Gentiles is for the chosen people & all peoples (the Gentiles). The Prophets like the Priests & Rulers or Judges will have the ministry & burden to reveal the Lord’s Word to the people. Babylon will be the foremost of the burdens. The Lord of Hosts, as General & Supreme Commander-Chief of the armies & universe, is positioning Babylon as an Imperial Power to destroy & subjugate all kingdoms & peoples to its will & service. Babylon is an Ensign to all nations & to Israel in warfare & power. But once Babylon is used to judge the nations, then they too must be judged for their evil & ways; so the Lord will position the Medes to destroy Babylon in turn. Babylon the beauty of the Chaldeans will become like Sodom & Gomorrah, completely desolated as city.
But the Lord will remember His people, He will save them, He will return them to their land; and He will cause them to rule over those who held them captives; He will reverse all His judgment & curse on them; He will make them rejoice over Babylon the Great with parable & song of destruction. Isaiah in spirit continues his Burden of Babylon: Lucifer (Latin, Light-bearer (as Christopher is Christ-bearer) rendering of the Hebrew: Helel ‘Light-bearer, Shining-one, Daystar, Morning-sun, Dawn, Daybreak, Lightning, etc.’; whence ‘Hillel’ the Elder, the Great, the Babli (of Babel, Babylonian) was named; from Halal, ‘shine’ & like Halal, ‘praise’ as in HalleluJah.) is cast out of Heaven & thrown down to Hell (Sheol) in shame & contempt; lower than all other kings of the nations. Babylon will be utterly destroyed of name & remnant; afterwards will the power & burden of the Assyrian be broken in Israel by the Lord’s judgment. The news will be: `the Lord has founded & reestablished Zion: in her the afflicted remnant of His People find refuge & salvation.
The Burden of Moab follows in like manner; judgment on her is severe, and her ruin is quick & sorrowful; her cities desolated; even her borders are crying for the blood shed all around; the remnant too is not spared. From Heshbon in the north to Zoar in the south, and the Arnon River in between, from its northern borders with Ammon with Reuben & Gad to the south shared with Edom, the land east of the Dead Sea, all of Moab is to be destroyed by Babylon. The Moabite refugees will seek safety in Israel & border nations, but to no avail. The Lord has been saying this for a long while, but now predicts that within three years Moab will be reduced to a very small remnant.
The Burden of Damascus of Syria comes next: The city will be destroyed, like the cities of Aroer of Moab, like the fortress of Ephraim of the Northern Kingdom; the Kingdom of Damascus & the remnant of Syria will be as the glory of Israel & Jacob: made few lean, as harvest in a famine. Men will then look to God their Maker & Savior, and they’ll turn away from their idols. As they have done to His people so it will be done to them: they’ll reap what they sow.        Even distant Ethiopia, merchants of the sea, who traded with the nations, are subject Assyria & Babylon. In the midst of war & conquest the Lord sees His dwelling-place in ruin; and the Assyrian will appease the Lord in Zion.
The Burden of Egypt: The Lord will visit Egypt & terrify their idols; He will cause the Egyptians to fight Egyptians in confusion & chaos with all their idolatry & witchcraft. Egypt will be conquered & diminished, subservient even to Canaan & to Israel; their land will be unproductive, including the Nile. The leaders & rulers & scholars of Egypt will all become stupid; they cannot understand what the Lord is doing against Egypt in reducing them to perversity, drunkenness, & anxiety. Judah will traumatize Egypt because of the Lord’s judgment. The Egyptians will worship the Lord subservient to Canaan & Judah; the city of destruction will exist with the Lord’s Altar & Pillar in Egypt to be a Sign & Witness to Him; they will cry to Him as oppressed, and He will send help & a Savior. The Lord will know them, and they will know Him; He will be worshipped, appeased, and will be entreated, and they will be healed in their punishment. A Highway from Egypt to Assyria will be made, the Assyrian & the Egyptian will visit each other, they will worship the Lord together. Israel will be a third member as a blessing in the earth, for the Lord has blessed them saying: “Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance.” In the year that the King of Assyria sent Tartan to conquer Ashdod, the Lord told Isaiah benAmoz to go about naked & barefoot for three years, to be a sign & wonder to Egypt & Ethiopia; that they too will be led away captive by the Assyrian in shame: because they trusted in themselves. The coastlands also will be shocked & afraid of the Assyrian.
The Burden of the Wilderness of the Sea: The Prophet-Seer sees a Whirlwind in the Southern Desert from a Land of Terror: Grievous Vision: `the treacherous are treacherous, and the destroyer destroys`; Elam & Media make war; come destroy Babylon with her idols! The Lord will thresh the grain of His people.
The Burden of Dumah of Seir or Edom: Watchman of Seir: `what is coming? The watchman said: morning comes then the night; go & return to inquire again.`
The Burden of Arabia: The Arabians, and the remnants & refugees of Israel, Moab, Syria, will not escape war; rather within one year their glory will fail.
The Burden of the Valley of Vision: The city is in terror, looking & hiding anywhere & everywhere from the housetop to neighboring countries. The destruction of the Daughter of Israel & Judah has come, a treading of the Lord’s feet in the Valley of Vision; Elam & Kir will invade in the valleys, in Judah, in the City of David by Jerusalem’s pools; houses will be torn apart to fortify the walls of Jerusalem; & water will be stored in the city. The Jews trust in their plans & preparations and not in the Lord Who is determined to judge them. The Lord will call for sorrow & suffering in the day of war & calamity & death; saying: “Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you till ye die, saith the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts.“ Go ask Shebna the Scribe why he prepares his burial place since he will be violently discarded by the Lord as a shameful thing thrown out of office in dishonor. But the Lord will put the royal robe & girdle on His servant Eliakim benHilkiah the Chief House Steward, the Government will be in his hand; he will be a Father to Jerusalem’s citizens & Judah’s House: “And the Key of the House of David will I lay upon his shoulder; and he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a Nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a Throne of glory to his father’s House. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, every small vessel, from the cups even to all the flagons. In that day, saith Jehovah of Hosts, shall the Nail that was fastened in a sure place give way; and it shall be hewn down, and fall; and the Burden that was upon it shall be cut off; for Jehovah hath spoken it.“ This too prefigures the Way of Messiah.
The Burden of Tyre: The ships of Tarshish (Spain) destroyed, the land of Kittim (Island of Cyprus of the ancient Phoenicians) deserted, the merchant coasts of Sidon of the Great Sea will cease all trade with the nations & Shihor’s grain harvest of the Nile trade. Sidon will be shamed; Egypt will be depressed at the news of Tyre; from Tarshish in the west to the seacoasts of Sidon & Tyre of the Phoenicians will be tears & agony. The Lord will destroy the Merchant Sea City with all its glory & pride, even to the Nile of Egypt. The Lord is bringing judgment on the Kingdoms of Phoenicia & Canaan (Palestine), they will have no joy or peace. The land of the Chaldeans & Assyrians, the people of Babylonia in the land of Shinar will invade & conquer the nations along the coasts of the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea). And Isaiah predicts: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy (70) years, according to the days of One King: after the end of seventy (70) years it shall be unto Tyre as in the Song of the Harlot. Take a harp, go about the city, thou Harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy (70) years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her hire, and shall Play the Harlot with all the Kingdoms of the World upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be Holiness to Jehovah: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.“ (This will become a model for future prophets & prophecy.)
The Burdens have ended properly, but the relevant & related prophetic doctrines, as reflective on His people, must continue in chapters 24-27-35. The Lord will bring devastation & ruin to the world, to all the peoples of the earth, to all classes of society; all is destroyed ‘because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.’ Both country & city are desolated & wasted as a shaken Olive Tree, as Gleanings after Harvest. The Lord’s Name will be glorified in the sea, and the east and the isles; from distant lands songs of glory: “But I said, I pine away, I pine away, woe is me! the treacherous have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.” Therefore they shall not escape the enemy of their fear; the Lord will punish them, He will make them prisoners of war; a confused moon & a embarrassed sun will witness His ‘reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before His Elders shall be glory.‘ Isaiah sighs: The Lord God’s Name be praised for His wonders, faithfulness, & truth; for His judgments make His people glorify Him, and the nations fear Him; for He is a Fortress & Refuge for the poor. He will deal with the strangers, the invaders, the peoples, and the Gentiles. He will swallow death, dry the tears, and remove reproach; those who wait for Him will be saved in joy. In His Mount Moab will be trodden as straw of the dunghill; he will not escape in pride, but be brought low.
The Prophet continues: In the Day of Salvation they will sing a new Song in the land of Judah: Our City is strong; He makes the walls & fortifications; open the gates for the faithful righteous nation; Yu give perfect peace to believers; he is the Everlasting Rock, He humbles the proud; the poor & needy will tread the ground; the upright are led by the Upright God in the way of His judgments; we wait for Him in His Name & memorial. I desire Thee with my soul, my spirit seeks Thee; favor to the wicked does not teach them righteousness, he continues doing wrong, he sees not the Lord’s majesty. Lord Thy uplifted hand they see not, they will see Thy zeal for Thy people; they’ll be shamed & consumed as adversaries. Thou ordained our peace, and work our works; other lords have ruled over us, but we will only mention Yur Name; they shall die in Yur visitation. Yu increased the nation, Thou art glorified; our borders are enlarged; they turn & pray to Thee in trouble & discipline; as a pregnant woman in labor, not giving birth, the world unchanged. The dead will live, their bodies resurrected; the resurrected sing as dew on herbs. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpass. For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of His Place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
In that day: A vineyard of wine, sing ye unto it: I Jehovah am its Keeper; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Wrath is not in Me: would that the briers and thorns were against Me in battle! I would march upon them; I would burn them together. Or else let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; [yea], let him make peace with Me.” Then will Jacob take root, Israel blossom & bud; they’ll fill the world with fruit. He smites the smite, He slays the slayer; he repays them; He removes the by the east wind. Jacob’s iniquity is forgiven, sin removed; the altar destroyed, the Asherim idols demolished. The fortified city deserted, as withered boughs, women’s firewood; senseless people without His favor. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah will beat off [his fruit] from the flood of the River unto the brook of Egypt; and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great trumpet shall be blown; and they shall come that were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship Jehovah in the Holy Mountain at Jerusalem.
We have concluded Isaiah’s prophetic reflections on the Burdens given earlier; their remains the woes & judgment related to the invasion & conquest up to Hezekiah: Chapters 28-35: “Woe to the Crown of Pride of the Drunkards of Ephraim, and to the Fading Flower of his Glorious Beauty, which is on the head of the Fat Valley of them that are overcome with wine!“ The Lord, the Mighty & Strong One, as a Tempest of Hail, a Destroying Storm, Raging Storm, assaults the earth; He will trodden the Crown of Pride of Ephraim, His Fading Flower of His Glorious Beauty on the Head of the Fat Valley, as the First-Ripe Fig before summer which He picks & eats. In that day He will be a Crown of Glory & Diadem of Beauty to the Remnant of His people; a Spirit of Justice in judgment, Strength to the defenders at the gate. The priest & prophet reel & stagger as drunks, in vision & judgment; all is filthy. The Prophet then asks: “Whom will He teach knowledge? and whom will He make to understand the message? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little. Nay, but by [men of] strange lips and with another tongue will He speak to this people; to whom He said, This is the rest, give ye rest to him that is weary; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Therefore shall the Word of Jehovah be unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.“ He speaks against the leaders & rulers of Jerusalem as scoffers, covenanting with death & hell, taking refuge in lies, hiding under falsehood.Behold, I lay in Zion for a Foundation a Stone, a Tried Stone, a Precious Corner -[Stone] of Sure Foundation: he that believeth shall not be in haste (shame).“ The Lord will make line of justice & the plummet of righteousness, daily new news, the message painful to understand; the bed is too short for sleep, the sheet too small to cover with. The Lord will rise as in Mt. Perazim (Baal-Perazim with Joshua), rage as in Valley of Gibeon (with Joshua & David): strange miracles. The Lord decree of destruction is temporary, He will thresh for a while then cease; He is wonderful & wise.
The Prophecy & Testimony of Woes continues: Ariel, Ariel, City of David’s Camp: The Lord will distress Ariel, they will mourn & lament, He will encamp & besiege it; till He reduce her to nothing, as those who secretly practice witchcraft; her foes will be as dust, the invaders as chaff: many, quick, fast, & cruel. He will visit her with thunder, earthquake, storm, whirlwind, & flames of devouring fire; those nations who war against Ariel will pass as a night dream; as a hungry man dreams of eating but awakens hungry, or drinks but awakens thirsty & faint. The Lord has poured on them a spirit of deep sleep, on the prophets, leaders, & seers: “And all Vision is become unto you as the Words of a Book that is Sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed: and the Book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned. And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw nigh [unto Me], and with their mouth and with their lips to honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment of men which hath been taught [them]; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a Marvellous Work among this people, even a Marvellous Work and a Wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe to those who hide counsel from the Lord, who work hidden in the dark; they think that the Potter is as the Clay, they mock saying the thing formed is as He Who formed it without understanding; but soon Lebanon will become fruitful, become as a forest: “And in that day shall the deaf hear the Words of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in Jehovah, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scoffer ceaseth, and all they that watch for iniquity are cut off; that make a man an offender in [his] cause, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just with a thing of nought.“ The Lord Who redeemed Abraham instructs the House of Jacob: he will not be shamed, his children will sanctify the Lord’s Name, the Holy One of Jacob the awesome God of Israel. The wayward in spirit will understand, and the complainers will be instructed.
The Prophecy & Testimony continues: “Woe to the rebellious children, saith Jehovah, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that make a league, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin, that set out to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt!” They will be your shame & confusion; their princes of Zoan (Tanis, Ramses, Rameses, in Goshen of East Nile Delta in north Lower Egypt near the Great Sea; see Exodus 1 & 12; from Jerusalem some 250 miles) & their ambassadors of Hanes (south Upper Egypt above the 1st Cataract, perhaps Heracleopolis; ?; Tanis to Hanes some 200 miles); useless shameful refuge.        The Burden of the Beasts of the South (Negeb, Negev, Wilderness, Desert, Arabah, between north Egypt & Sinai Peninsula & south Judah, east of the south Dead Sea): Through the land of lions & snakes in peril with loaded donkeys to an unprofitable people; Egypt is helpless as Rahab sitting still (as a waiting harlot or monster). “Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever. For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Jehovah; that say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits, get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.“ As you sow shall you reap, as a broken useless potter’s vessel; but you refuse to return to be saved; you chose to flee on swift horses, so your pursuers will be swift: 1,000 of you will flee at one of them; 5 of them will chase all of you, till you are a mountain Beacon & Ensign on a hill. But the Lord will wait to be gracious & merciful & just; blessed are those who wait for Him (see Psalm 1 & 2); the people will dwell in Jerusalem’s Zion, without tears, heard by God. The bread of adversity & water of affliction for teachers in your midst no longer hiding; you will hear the word: “This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.“ The Jews will abolish all idols as unclean; the Lord will give rain for sowing seed, surplus bread, & cattle will feed in large pastures; oxen & donkeys will eat harvested grain; mountains & hills will have streams in wartime; moon will shine as the sun, the sun shine 7 times greater in the day of the Lord’s deliverance. The Lord’s Name comes from afar with anger, indignation, & blazing flames & storms; as a flood to sift the Gentiles & bridle the jaws of the peoples. Jews, with festive songs will celebrate & worship the Lord, the Rock of Israel; His glorious voice heard midst great rage, the Assyrian dismayed by His Rod; His people will celebrate His vengeance; Topheth (Death, Hell, Dump, Fires, Gehenna) is prepared & enlarged for the king, as firewood & brimstone kindled by the Lord’s breath.
The Prophecy continues: Woe to the Jews going to Egypt for help, trusting in many horses & riders. He will bring evil against the evil; against the Egyptians & against those who seek their help; He is as a Lion with his prey, many shepherds will not frighten him; so He comes against Zion. As Birds hover, so He protects Jerusalem; turn to Him Who you rebelled against. Israel will toss away her idols of sin; the Assyrian will be divinely slain, & confounded; “his rock shall pass away by reason of terror, and his princes shall be dismayed at the ensign, saith Jehovah, whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.“        King & princes rule in righteousness; man is as shelter, cover, streams, & shade; eyes bright, ears listen, heart understand, tongue stammers not; but the fool speak folly, his heart wicked against the Lord, to starve & famish others; but the noble abide. Women, mothers & daughters, listen in dread: harvest will not come, nothing to do but mourn naked & in pain destitute. The land will be desolate, city sad, palace forsaken; all is a wilderness & home for wild animals; till the Spirit makes the wilderness fruitful as forest; justice & righteousness abounds in peace, quietness, & confidence; His people live in peace & quietness; but in hail the city is destroyed; blessed are the sowers by the waters with livestock.        Woe to the destroyer & treacherous, you will be repaid. Lord be gracious to us, our Arm in the morn, our Salvation in trouble. The news of war causes the people to run away, nations scattered, spoils plundered. The Lord is exalted on High; He fills Zion with justice & righteousness, stability, salvation, wisdom, knowledge: His Fear is yur Treasure. The valiant cry & ambassadors weep, highways waste without travelers; covenant is broken & cities despised; the land mourns, Lebanon withers, Sharon as desert, & Bashan & Carmel shaken (all Samaria of the Northern Kingdom). The Lord rises in His exaltation; but you shall conceive calf & give birth to stubble to consume yourself in your flames, one & all. Hear distant people of My Acts; Zion sinners be afraid, godless tremble; who will survive the flames? The godly will survive & flourish, he will on high be protected by rocks, with bread & water. Yur eyes will see the King in His beauty, see distant land, muse on terror; & where is the scribe? Yu will not see the invader; Zion is in solemnities, Jerusalem in peace & safety. The Lord is our Judge, Lawgiver, King & Savior; the seamen will be spoiled by the lame; people are healthy & their sins forgiven.       Isaiah continues the Testimony: Listen: nations, peoples, earth, & world: the Lord is indignant against Gentiles & destroyed them; their slaughtered are thrown away, stench & blood. The heavens dissolved & rolled as a scroll, as fading leaves: “For My Sword hath drunk its fill in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of My Curse, to judgment.“ The Lord’s Sword is satiated with blood, His Sacrifice in Bozrah & Edom (south of the Dead Sea); the Lord’s Day of Vengeance for Zion; streams into pitch, dust into brimstone, & country into flames; unquenchable smoke for many generations & forever. Wild animals will possess it; He will measure it, without the kingdom’s nobles & princes; it will be a wilderness & desert for only beasts like snakes & hawks. “Seek ye out of the Book of Jehovah, and read: no one of these shall be missing, none shall want her mate; for my (Isaiah’s) mouth, it (the Book) hath commanded, and His Spirit, it hath gathered them. And He hath cast the lot for them, and His hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it forever; from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.“        Isaiah continues: The wilderness & desert will be fertile, with celebration, with Lebanon’s glory & the excellency of Carmel & Sharon (the mountains of Carmel & the Plains of Sharon in Israel or Samaria of the northern Kingdom): “they shall see the glory of Jehovah, the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [with] the recompense of God; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water: in the habitation of jackals, where they lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but is shall be for [the Redeemed]: the wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err [therein]. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon; they shall not be found there; but the Redeemed shall walk [there]: and the Ransomed of Jehovah shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Thus concluded the section of Isaiah’s Reflections which followed & were relevant to the Burdens.

       We reach the last section of Isaiah I (chapters 1-39); the chapters of this section are 36-39 related to the reign of Hezekiah: In the 14th year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib King of Assyria invaded & captured the fortified cities of Judah; he sent Rabshakeh with a large army from Lachish (30 miles south of Jerusalem) to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah; who stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the Fuller’s Field. Eliakim benHilkiah the Household Overseer, Shebna the Scribe, & Joah benAsaph the Recorder came out to him; he told them to tell Hezekiah that the Great King of Assyria asks what is yur confidence yu trust? What is yur defense & alliance that yu rebel against me? Yu rely on Egypt & Pharaoh a Bruised Reed, when leaned on pierces the hand. But if yu trust in the Lord your God whose high places & altars Hezekiah removed & demand the Jews to worship only at Jerusalem’s altar. Now if yu guarantee riders, I will give yu 2,000 horses; if not, how can yu resist the least of one of the Assyrian’s Captains; the Lord sent me to destroy Judah. They asked him to speak to them in the Syrian (Aramaic, Assyrian) language, not in the Jew’s language (Hebrew or Canaanite); he replied that he was sent to tell all the Jews who eat their excrement & drink their urine, that the Assyrian King warns them not to be deceived by Hezekiah about trusting the Lord for salvation from the Assyrian conquest. Make peace with me in submission, eat from your vines & figs, & drink from your cistern; till I exile you to Assyria, a country like yours. Hezekiah is deceived, the Lord will not deliver you, just like the gods of the other nations did not stop the Assyrian King; not the gods of Hamath & Arpad (near Damascus), or of Sepharvaim (near Babylon) or Samaria (Israel, northern Kingdom); how can the Lord deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? They kept quite as Hezekiah had commanded them; they tore their clothes and reported these words to the King. King Hezekiah tore his clothes & put on sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s House. He sent those three to the Prophet Isaiah benAmoz to say: the day is disaster: it’s time to give birth but there is no strength; perhaps the Lord will hear the hear the words of Rabshakeh sent from the King of Assyria to defy the living God; and rebuke his words: so pray for the Remnant. Isaiah sent them back to the King with this reply: The Lord says: “Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the King of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear tidings, and shall return unto his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” So he returned to the King who had left Lachish to fight Libnah (about 5 miles apart); but he heard that King Tirhakah (some 500-1,000 miles distance to Jerusalem) of Ethiopia was advancing to war against him; so he sent messengers (angels, ambassadors, malakhim) to Hezekiah: warning him not to let the Lord God deceive him to resist & rebel; to remember the Assyrian King’s conquest of other nations, despite their gods: Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, Ben Eden in Telassar; Kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, & Ivvah (indicating the Assyrian expansion from Mesopotamia westward to Syria then southward to Canaan, Samaria, & Judah; the campaign followed the Euphrates-Tigris Rivers to the Rivers of Syria & Canaan, using trade routes; some 700-1,000 miles at 30 miles per day by foot). Hezekiah took & read their letter, he brought it into the Lord’s House, and unrolled it before the Lord: he prayed: “O Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, That sittest [above] the cherubim, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline Thine ear, O Jehovah, and hear; open Thine eyes, O Jehovah, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, who hath sent to defy the living God. Of a truth, Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the countries, and their land, and have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Jehovah our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art Jehovah, even Thou only.” Isaiah replied to Hezekiah: “Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, “Whereas thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word which Jehovah hath spoken concerning him: The Virgin Daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the Daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. Whom hast thou defied and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice and lifted up thine eyes on high? [even] against the Holy One of Israel. By thy servants hast thou defied the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof; and I will enter into its farthest height, the forest of its fruitful field; I have digged and drunk water, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt. Hast thou not heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? now have I brought it to pass, that it should be thine to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as a field [of grain] before it is grown up. But I know thy sitting down, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy raging against Me. Because of thy raging against Me, and because thine arrogancy is come up into Mine Ears, therefore will I put My Hook in thy nose, and My Bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. And this shall be the Sign unto thee: ye shall eat this year that which groweth of itself, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. And the Remnant that is escaped of the House of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a Remnant, and out of mount Zion they that shall escape. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will perform this.” Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, “He shall not come unto this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come unto this city, saith Jehovah. For I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.” ‘The Lord’s Angel (Messenger) went & struck in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000; in the morning, these were all dead bodies. So Sennacherib King of Assyria departed, and returned, to Nineveh: as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons struck him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.
Isaiah continues with Hezekiah: (We read concerning Hezekiah in 2nd Kings 18-20 & 2nd Chronicles 29-32; & we learn that Hezekiah was enthroned at age 25 & ruled 29 years, dying at age 54 when his son Manasseh was age 12, so he was 42 when his son was born; & since his life was extended by 15 years, then 3 years before Manasseh’s birth he was age 40; so his terminal sickness occurred when he was 40.): King Hezekiah’s terminal illness: Prophet Isaiah’s visit: “Thus saith Jehovah, Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Jehovah, and said, Remember now, O Jehovah, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of Jehovah to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of David thy father (regal ancestral father), I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen (15) years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the King of Assyria; and I will defend this city. And this shall be the Sign unto thee from Jehovah, that Jehovah will do this thing that he hath spoken: behold, I will cause the shadow on the steps (degrees, marks), which is gone down on the dial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps (degrees, marks). So the sun returned ten steps (degrees, marks) on the dial whereon it was gone down. The writing (Prayer, Song, Poem) of Hezekiah King of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness.”

“I said, In the noontide of my days I shall go into the Gates of Sheol (Hell, Death):
I am deprived of the residue of my years.
I said, I shall not see Jehovah, [even] Jehovah in the land of the living:
I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
My dwelling is removed, and is carried away from me as a shepherd’s tent:
I have rolled up, like a weaver, my life; He will cut me off from the loom:
From day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me.
I quieted [myself] until morning; as a lion, so He breaketh all my bones:
From day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me.
Like a swallow [or] a crane, so did I chatter;
I did moan as a dove; mine eyes fail [with looking] upward:
O Lord, I am oppressed, be Thou my Surety.
What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it:
I shall go softly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul.
O Lord, by these things men live; And wholly therein is the life of my spirit:
Wherefore recover Thou me, and make me to live.
Behold, [it was] for [my] peace [that] I had great bitterness:
But Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the Pit of corruption;
For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back.
For Sheol cannot praise Thee, Death cannot celebrate Thee:
They that go down into the Pit cannot hope for Thy truth.
The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day:
The father to the children shall make known Thy truth.
Jehovah is [ready] to save me:
Therefore we will sing my Songs (Psalms, Hymns) with stringed instruments:
All the days of our life in the House of Jehovah.”

“Now Isaiah had said, Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover. Hezekiah also had said, What is the Sign that I shall go up to the House of Jehovah?”
Isaiah One is concluded with chapter 39: Merodach-baladan benBaladan, Babylon’s King, hearing that Hezekiah recovered from sickness, sent him a letter & gift; he was glad, & showed him the treasures & property of the House (King’s Palace) & the Kingdom. Isaiah asked him of the visitors, what they said & saw; he replied that they came from Babylon, & I showed them everything in my House. Isaiah told him the Lord’s words: “Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in thy House, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith Jehovah. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, whom thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the Palace (Royal House) of the King of Babylon. Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of Jehovah which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.“

       We come to the Second Division, Isaiah Two, chapters 40-66, where we will see a change of focus & presentation, even a change of style. As we pointed out earlier, the First Division focused on the Old Testament People & Covenant as seen in the Old Testament; but now we will find a new emphasis of the New Testament of Messiah & His People.
Isaiah writes: “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she hath received of Jehovah’s hand double for all her sins. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she hath received of Jehovah’s hand double for all her sins. The Voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain: and the Glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the Mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it. The Voice of one saying, Cry. And one said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the breath of Jehovah bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” The bringer of good news to the Jews declares: “Behold, your God!” The Lord comes with power & reward, as a Shepherd shepherding His sheep. He is the Creator & Maker of the heavens & earth & all things; with the Spirit of wisdom & knowledge & righteousness. All nations are nothing compared to Him; idols are not His likeness & image; He is eternal, universal, omni-present, omniscient, all knowing, infinite, transcendent, majestic, omnipotent, & more. All things, all places, all peoples, Jews & Gentiles, Israel & mankind are His & He cares for all in general & particular, as a group or individual, one & all. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”

       Isaiah continues: Distant peoples to be silent & ready to enter judgment; the Lord raises from the distant east the conqueror of nations & kingdoms. He pursues them, He calls many generations; He is the Eternal, the world is awestruck: the idolaters & idol-makers. My servant Israel, elect Jacob, seed of My friend Abraham, the remnant gathered from all the nations. Listen to Me: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the Right Hand of My Righteousness. Behold, all they that are incensed against thee shall be put to shame and confounded: they that strive with thee shall be as nothing, and shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contend with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I, Jehovah thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith Jehovah, and thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I have made thee [to be] a New Sharp Threshing Instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in Jehovah, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. The poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I, Jehovah, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together: that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Jehovah hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. Produce your cause, saith Jehovah; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring forth, and declare unto Us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they are, that We may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come. Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that We may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that We may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work is of nought; an abomination is he that chooseth you. I have raised up one from the north, and he is come; from the rising of the sun one that calleth upon My Name: and he shall come upon rulers as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay. Who hath declared it from the beginning, that We may know? and before time, that We may say, [He is] right? yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that showeth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. [I am the] First [that saith] unto Zion, Behold, behold them; and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. And when I look, there is no man: even among them there is no counsellor, that, when I ask of them, can answer a word.
Isaiah continues his prophetic word from the Lord in the same style as above in chapters 40 & 41; and will continue so from chapters 42-66. It is one long prophetic monologue, dialogue, & narrative. We will need only to highlight & point out some interesting & critical doctrines, verses, & prophecies. Israel as the Servant of the Lord is the type of the Lord’s Servant, the Lord Messiah, and ideally what is said of Jacob is fulfilled in Christ, Who must take up into Himself all things as presented in Scripture. God desires a Man to execute His will, to exhibit His image, to life His life in human experience. A man like Adam was created, as seen in Abel, in Enoch, Noah, in the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob), Joseph, Job, Moses Samuel, David, and countless others in part, greater or smaller, more dimly or brightly as it may be in each. Messiah must be a humble Servant, in righteousness & holiness. God will have His Man, and that Man will save His people & restore the land by the Book, that is, by His word, doctrine, & law; creating a Kingdom by His rule & way in the Holy Spirit. As the Lord God was to Israel, so to Messiah will be a Covenant to the People, and a Light to the Gentiles; for unlike the idols of mankind, He will bear the Name, Glory, & Praise of God. All this is new & different. Messiah’s world will be filled with divine praises & celebration, and the earth & world will exhibit His presence & power. All will be new, a new way for His people & mankind; and idolatry will cease because of Him and His righteousness, law & love. But He must first judge the world to save it.
The Lord Who creates, forms, calls, redeems, & preserves His favored people in all their struggles among all nations, seeks to restore them from their dispersion to their homeland. Israel is His Child, His children, distinct from all Gentiles in the world; chosen to witness of God among idolaters, that He alone is Creator, Savior, & Revealer in the universe. He Redeems Israel from Babylon as Creator & King; He creates new things to replace the old; He changes & governs Nature, the earth, & the world, and all in them. Yet all this has not endeared Him to His chosen people, who transgress in ingratitude of His love & forgiveness; therefore He must judge destroy His Sanctuary & His People. Listen to Me Servant Jacob & Chosen Israel: Jeshurun’s children will be redeemed & restored with spiritual blessings, and will be endeared to Me as the Lord God their King & Redeemer. He reveals things old & new that He alone knows; He alone is the Rock. All idol-makers will be ashamed of their useless gods & images; they are stupid, blind, dumb, & lifeless; those who make them are like them. Remember these things Jacob-Israel, you Jews, you servants of the Lord; His people will celebrate His redemption & salvation; Who puts idolaters to shame & confusion. He will confirm His Word, His promise concerning Jerusalem’s restoration by the decree of His Shepherd to rebuild the Temple.      The Lord, Israel’s God, to His Anointed Cyrus: I will subdue nations before yu, I will prepare yur way, I will give yu the spoil of the nations; yu will know I have called & chosen yu though yu do not know Me. From the east to the west all will know that I alone is the Lord God; all creation will attest that I alone did this; and no one can question it. No one can resist Me; yu are My creation to do My will to restore My people, to rebuild My city freely, & to free My exiles. I will give yu Egypt, Ethiopia, the Sabeans (ancient Arabs), will submit to yu. “Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour They shall be put to shame, yea, confounded, all of them; they shall go into confusion together that are makers of idols. [But] Israel shall be saved by Jehovah with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be put to shame nor confounded world without end.“ The Lord God, the Creator, Founder, & Framer of the universe & world says: I have not hid from Israel that they would seek Me in vain; let the remnant come, let idolaters perish; God alone foretells & predetermines, & He is the Hope & Savior of all men; I have said it, My word will come true: all will worship & confess Me; the remnant will glory in Me.
It continues: Idols are carried about on donkeys, they go into captivity. Listen to Me Remnant of Israel, Jews that I preserved from birth to death, from cradle to coffin: What idol & image & likeness will you compare to Me? To idols of the Idol-makers of gold & silver? Remember Me, there is none like Me, you idolaters. My word shall come to pass: a Predatorial Bird from the east: the Man of My Counsel from a distant country; to bring My Righteousness, Salvation, & My Glory in Zion.       To the Virgin Daughter of Babylon of the Chaldeans: From the Throne to the Ground you’ll sit, from luxury to poverty & nakedness, from feast to misery & captivity. The Mistress of Kingdoms sits quiet in darkness: I was angry with My people, I judged them by yu; yu showed them no mercy, young or old. Yu boast in pleasures, that yu are an untouchable queen, never to be a widow; but yu will become a widow because of yur idolatry & depravity & perverted conceit. Stand in the hour of calamity, see if yur boast & pride will deliver yu from destruction & calamity. House of Jacob named Israel, listen to Me: yu swear by My Name falsely, yu boast in the Holy City & in the Name of the Lord God of Hosts: I have disclosed to yu divine mysteries, ancient secrets, & hidden things, because I knew yur obstinate & conceited heart; now they come to pass against all yur treachery from yur birth to now. For My Name’s sake & My praise I will defer My anger & mitigate yur punishment; refined in the Furnace of Affliction for My Glory alone. Listen to Me: I am the First & Last, the Creator & Maker of all things; by His Love He brings the Destroyer against the Chaldean Babylon. I have called him, & prepared his way; come near & listen: “from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord Jehovah hath sent Me, and His Spirit.“ To Israel He pleads: “Oh that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the grains thereof: his name would not be cut off nor destroyed from before Me.“     Escape from Babylon of the Chaldees: with celebration singing declare the Lord has delivered His Servant Jacob; they were not thirsty in the desert; they drank from the Rock; there is no peace for the wicked.
“Listen, O Isles, unto me; and hearken, ye Peoples, from far: Jehovah hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My Name: and He hath made My Mouth like a Sharp Sword; in the Shadow of His Hand hath he hid Me: and He hath made Me a Polished Shaft; in His Quiver hath He kept Me close: and He said unto Me, Thou art My Servant; Israel, in whom I will be glorified. But I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent My strength for nought and vanity; yet surely the justice [due] to Me is with Jehovah, and My recompense with My God. And now saith Jehovah that formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, and that Israel be gathered unto Him (for I am Honorable in the Eyes of Jehovah, and My God is become My Strength); yea, He saith, It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My Servant to raise up the Tribes of Jacob, and to restore the Preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a Light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My Salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] His Holy One, to Him Whom man despiseth, to Him Whom the nation abhorreth, to a Servant of Rulers: Kings shall see and arise; Princes, and they shall worship; because of Jehovah That is Faithful, [even] the Holy One of Israel, Who hath chosen Thee. Thus saith Jehovah, In an acceptable time have I answered Thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped Thee; and I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a Covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages: saying to them that are bound, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He That hath mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water will He guide them. And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted. Lo, these shall come from far; and, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Sing, Heavens; and be joyful, Earth; and break forth into singing, Mountains: for Jehovah hath comforted His People, and will have compassion upon His Afflicted.“ But Zion says: The Lord has forsaken & forgotten me; but not true, He can never forget, He has carved us in His Palms, as a nursing child. Open yur eyes to see all these gathered to yu to be yur clothing & ornament as a Bride; no longer desolate but overpopulated by the returned remnant. Yu will ask who has given birth to all these bereaved children in my exile. “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My Ensign to the peoples; and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their Queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am Jehovah; and they that wait for Me shall not be put to shame. Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives be delivered? But thus saith Jehovah, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

      Isaiah continues now with a new prophetic emphasis concerning Messiah the Suffering Servant in chapters 50-55; then in chapters 56-66 we see a new people & a new creation. As we saw in Isaiah’s earlier chapters from 1-49, Messiah appears in various identifications & associations with Israel & the Gentiles; so too the Land & the Book appears in various connections & types. (Notice in chapter 50 the sudden emphatic change in the use of the pronouns, from singular (thee, thou, yu, yur) to plural (you, your, ye); then note Messiah sudden appearance & manifestations. These chapters should be read with remembrance of Palms 2 & the other Messianic Psalms. We will reflect on these & more after chapter 66.)
“Thus saith Jehovah, Where is the Bill of your Mother’s Divorcement, wherewith I have put her away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities were ye sold, and for your transgressions was your Mother put away. Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. The Lord Jehovah hath given Me the Tongue of them that are taught, that I may know how to sustain with Words him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as they that are taught. The Lord Jehovah hath opened Mine Ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away backward. I gave My back to the smiters, and My Cheeks to them that plucked off the Hair; I hid not My Face from shame and spitting. For the Lord Jehovah will help Me; therefore have I not been confounded: therefore have I set My Face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He is near that justifieth Me; who will contend with Me? let us stand up together: who is Mine adversary? let him come near to Me. Behold, the Lord Jehovah will help Me; who is he that shall condemn Me? behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that feareth Jehovah, that obeyeth the voice of His Servant? he that walketh in darkness, and hath no light, let him trust in the Name of Jehovah, and rely upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that gird yourselves about with firebrands; walk ye in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of My hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.“       Listen to Me you Righteous Seekers of the Lord: Remember the Rock & Pit of your Birth; to your Father Abraham & to your Mother Sarah; I called him alone & childless, & now he has countless children. The Lord has changed & comforted Zion from ruin to prosperity, from waste & wilderness to a Garden of Eden with celebration. My Law will go forth, My Justice is Light to the Peoples, My Righteousness near, My Salvation spreads, My Arms judge the Peoples; near & far they will trust in Me. Heaven & earth shall pass away, but my Salvation & Righteousness abide forever.      Listen to Me you Righteous with My Law in your hearts: Fear not the ungodly & the wicked, My salvation & righteousness abide all generations. Awake & Rise Arm of the Lord, as in the days & generations of ancient times; when Rahab the Monster was pierced; when the Sea was parted for the Redeemed.
The Lord’s Ransomed will return to Zion with rejoiceful singing without sorrow; be not afraid of mortal man; remember the Lord Maker & Creator; fear not the oppressor; captivity will end. I am the Lord yur God, Who governs nature & the world; I give My words, I cover yu with the shadow of My Hand; Zion yu are Mine. Awake Jerusalem, drunken by the Lord’s Cup of Wrath; yu are bereaved of children, deprived of comfort; but soon I will take yur cup and give it to yur persecutors & subjugators. Awake Zion in strength, Jerusalem in beauty: the Holy City; no longer to be defiled by the ungodly; remove yur shackles; yu were sold for nothing & redeemed without price. My people visited Egypt, & the Assyrian oppressed them for no reason; captured & exiled them; & blasphemed My Name. In that day My people will know My Name: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! The voice of thy watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah returneth to Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. Jehovah hath made bare His Holy Arm in the eyes of all the Nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the Salvation of our God. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; cleanse yourselves, ye that bear the vessels of Jehovah. For ye shall not go out in haste, neither shall ye go by flight: for Jehovah will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward. Behold, My Servant shall deal wisely, He shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Like as many were astonished at Thee (His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men), so shall He sprinkle many Nations; Kings shall shut their mouths at Him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand.
Isaiah continues, [weeping as he writes] concerning the Arm & Servant of the Lord Who suffers & saves: “Who hath believed our Message (Gospel & Revelation & News)? and to whom hath the Arm of Jehovah been revealed? For He grew up before Him as a Tender Plant, and as a Root out of a Dry Ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see Him, there is No Beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised, and rejected of men; a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as One from Whom men hide their face He was despised; and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our Griefs, and carried our Sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was Wounded for Our Transgressions, He was Bruised for Our Iniquities; the Chastisement of Our Peace was upon Him; and with His Stripes we are Healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on Him the Iniquity of Us All. He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted He opened not His Mouth; as a Lamb That is led to the Slaughter, and as a Sheep That before Its shearers is Dumb, so He Opened Not His Mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who [among them] considered that He was cut off out of the Land of the Living for the Transgression of My People to whom the stroke [was due]? And they made His Grave with the Wicked, and with a Rich Man in His Death; although He had done no violence, Neither was Any Deceit in His Mouth. Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His Soul an Offering for Sin, He shall see [His] Seed, He shall prolong His Days, and the Pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in His Hand. He shall see of the Travail of His Soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of Himself shall My Righteous Servant justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the Great, and He shall divide the spoil with the Strong; because He poured out His Soul unto Death, and was Numbered with the Transgressors: yet He bare the Sin of Many, and Made Intercession for the Transgressors.
Isaiah concludes this Messianic section of the Suffering Messiah: Sing & rejoice Barren Woman for yur many Children; enlarge yur land & home for yur Seed which will possess the Gentiles & restore the land & rejuvenate the earth & save the world. Forget yur youthful shame & widowhood: the Lord of Hosts, yur Maker, is yur Husband, the Holy One of Israel, yur Redeemer; He is called the God of All the Earth. He has recalled yu as a God rejected, divorced, & forsaken Young Wife; but with great love, mercy, kindness, & grace, yur Redeemer has desired yu. As the Waters of Noah of the Great Flood never to be repeated, so the Lord will never ever again reject yu; or forget His Covenant of Peace & Mercy. No longer will yu be tossed away or about; yu will be decorated & adorned with precious stones, yur children taught of the Lord in peace & safety, established in righteousness, never again to be terrorized. I will fight against those who fight against yu; I determine warfare: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Jehovah, and their righteousness which is of Me, saith Jehovah.“

       We come to the final & closing prophetic section of the 2nd Isaiah, wherein Isaiah must bring the entire Prophecy & Testimony into one grand harmonious whole, and reveal a new people, new way, new order, & new creation.
Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the Sure Mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a Witness to the peoples, a Leader and Commander to the peoples. Behold, Thou shalt call a nation that Thou knowest not; and a nation that knew not Thee shall run unto Thee, because of Jehovah Thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified Thee. Seek ye Jehovah while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My Ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways, and My Thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My Mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to Jehovah for a Name, for an Everlasting Sign that shall not be cut off.“
The Lord continues: Practice justice & righteousness; My salvation is coming; blessed is the sabbath-keeper, & abstains from evil; let not the foreigner or eunuchs lose hope in Me, who keep My sabbaths & do My will & keep My covenant: they will have Memorial & Name in My House better than sons & daughters; foreigners who come to Me, minister to Me, love My Name, keep My sabbaths & covenant will I bring to My Holy Mountain, joyful in My House of Prayer for All Peoples to worship & celebrate Me: the Lord regathers them with His own outcast of Israel. Let the wild animals feast; the watchmen are blind & stupid, like lazy dumb dogs; they are all drunks. He continues: The righteous are taken before calamity comes, to enter peace & rest; but children & seed of witchcraft & adultery & harlot are foolish & false offspring; drunks & murderers & idolaters & harlots & hellish. They never tire of evil, but are weary of Me without fear while I kept silent. Yur righteousness & works are worthless; cry to yur vanities, but let them who take refuge in Me possess the land & My Holy Mount. Prepare the way for My people without impediment. “For thus saith the High and Lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit would faint before Me, and the souls that I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid [My face] and was wroth; and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith Jehovah; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.“
The Lord continues: Shout aloud My people’s transgression & sins; though they worship in hypocrisy & disobedience; they fast for their pleasure, quarrels, & wickedness, & call their fast My Feast. My Fast is to do what right, to help others, to care & love one’s neighbor, free the oppressed, to feed the hungry, to shelter the poor & homeless, to cloth the naked, to care for yur family; then will yu shine bright in good health, yur righteousness proceeds yur front, the Lord’s glory protects yur back. Yu’ll call & I’ll answer when yu remove slavery, vulgarity, & wickedness; when yu do good the afflicted; the Lord will satisfy yur soul & heal yur body; make yu a watered garden, a spring of water ever flowing,; some will rebuild waste places, raise up ancient foundations & will be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of the Paths. If yu honor the Lord & His holy days & holy things, pleasing Him, doing His will, & speaking His words, then He will make ride the high places of the earth: for the Lord has spoken & promised.
Isaiah continues (let the reader of the old versions notice all the changes of the pronouns in chapter 59: plural 2nd persons, plural 3rd persons, plural 1st person; singular 1st, 2nd, 3rd person): The Lord’s Hand & Ear is not the problem: your iniquities & sins alienates from God’s help; you are filled with every kind of evil, as snakes & spiders; your ways & deeds are all evil in every way & everyone; they are destitute of good, helpless in sins in darkness. We are blind & dead, without salvation in transgressions, lies everywhere, all in total depravity. “And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His own Arm brought Salvation unto Him [Himself]; and His Righteousness, it upheld Him [Himself]. And He put on Righteousness as a Breastplate, and a Helmet of Salvation upon His head; and He put on Garments of Vengeance for Clothing, and was Clad with Zeal as a Mantle. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He will repay recompense. So shall they fear the Name of Jehovah from the west, and His Glory from the rising of the sun; for He will come as a Rushing Stream, which the Breath of Jehovah driveth. And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith Jehovah. And as for Me, this is My Covenant with them, saith Jehovah: My Spirit that is upon Thee, and my words which I have put in Thy Mouth, shall not depart out of Thy Mouth, nor out of the mouth of Thy seed, nor out of the mouth of Thy seed’s seed, saith Jehovah, from henceforth and forever.
Isaiah continues: Arise shine: the Lord’s light & glory is on yu, but darkness on the world; and the nations & Kings will seek yur light; yur children return from distant lands; yu’ll celebrate yur children in ships, the wealth of the Gentiles comes to yu. They’ll return by land with riches, with flocks; they’ll be welcomed at My altar & My glorious House; they’ll come from the far west & the north, from the far west & the south; because the Name of the Lord God, & the Holy One of Israel made yu glorious. Foreigners rebuild yur walls, Kings minister to yu: I struck yu in My wrath, but in grace I show yu mercy. Yur gates will always be opened for the Gentiles’ wealth brought to yu, & Kings are made captives; the nations & kingdoms refusing to serve yu will be destroyed; the glory (trees) of Lebanon is yurs to beautify my Sanctuary; yur punishers will worship at yur feet in Zion the Lord’s city; I will enrich & bless yu with peace & righteousness. Violence & desolation will end, yur walls will be called Salvation, yur Gates Praise; the Lord will be yur Eternal Light & God yur Glory forever; yur people righteous, they’ll inherit the land: the Branch of My Planting, the Work of My Hands for My Glory; the least will become a thousand & a strong nation; the Lord will soon do this.
Messiah, the Lord’s Servant, prophecies, preaches, & testifies: “The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon Me; because Jehovah hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening [of the prison] to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that He may be glorified.” They shall rebuild, repair, & reoccupy the land with Gentile servants; you will be priests & ministers of the Lord God; eating of the wealth of the nations, & you’ll boast in their glory; shame will turn to honor & blessings & joy. The Lord loves justice, hates wickedness, repays in truth, with an everlasting covenant. The Gentiles will say they blessed of the Lord: “I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with a garland, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth its bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Jehovah will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

       Isaiah continues: I will not be silent till Zion & Jerusalem is clothed in righteousness & salvation, witnessed by the Gentiles & their Kings; till yu are His Crown of Beauty & Royal Diadem: no longer called Forsaken (Azubah) or Desolate (Shemamah), but called Hephzi-bah & Beulah, the Lord’s Delight & Bride. The Remnant will be joined to Zion, God will marry Jerusalem; watchmen rest not till He makes Jerusalem the Praise in the earth. The Lord swears never again to let yur enemies take yur food & drink; but they who harvest will eat & drink in the Courts of My Sanctuary. Go prepare a way for the Remnant, set a Sign for the peoples: “Behold, Jehovah hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy Salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of Jehovah: and thou shalt be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.” Isaiah continues concerning Messiah: “Who is this That cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this That is glorious in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? I That speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with Me: yea, I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine Own Arm brought salvation unto Me; and My wrath, it upheld Me. And I trod down the peoples in Mine anger, and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”       Isaiah enraptured beyond himself writes his witness & prayer: “I will make mention of the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah, [and] the praises of Jehovah, according to all that Jehovah hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the House of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely: so He was their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and grieved His holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, [and] Himself fought against them. Then He remembered the days of old, Moses [and] His people, [saying], 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? That caused His Glorious Arm to go at the right hand of Moses. That divided the waters before them, to make Himself an Everlasting Name? That led them through the depths, as a horse in the wilderness, so that they stumbled not. As the cattle that go down into the valley, the Spirit of Jehovah caused them to rest; so didst Thou lead Thy people, to make Thyself a Glorious Name. Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of Thy holiness and of Thy glory: where are Thy zeal and Thy mighty acts? the yearning of Thy heart and Thy compassions are restrained toward me. For Thou art our Father, though Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us: Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is Thy Name. O Jehovah, why dost Thou make us to err from Thy ways, and hardenest our heart from Thy fear? Return for Thy servants’ sake, the tribes of Thine inheritance. Thy holy people possessed [it] but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down Thy Sanctuary. We are become as they over whom Thou never barest rule, as they that were not called by Thy Name.                       Isaiah continues his testimony with prayer concerning Messiah & Messiah’s people: “Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might quake at Thy Presence, as when fire kindleth the brushwood, [and] the fire causeth the waters to boil; to make Thy Name known to Thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Thy Presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, Thou camest down, the mountains quaked at Thy Presence. For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God besides Thee, Who worketh for him that waiteth for Him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways: behold, Thou wast wroth, and we sinned: in them [have we been] of long time; and shall we be saved? For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. And there is none that calleth upon Thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee; for Thou hast hid Thy Face from us, and hast consumed us by means of our iniquities. But now, O Jehovah, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Jehovah, neither remember iniquity forever: behold, look, we beseech Thee, we are all Thy people. Thy holy cities are become a wilderness, Zion is become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful House, where our fathers praised Thee, is burned with fire; and all our pleasant places are laid waste. Wilt thou refrain Thyself for these things, O Jehovah? wilt Thou hold Thy peace, and afflict us very sore?”        Isaiah continues about Messiah: “I am inquired of by them that asked not [for Me]; I am found of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My Name. I have spread out My Hands all the day unto a rebellious people, that walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoke Me to My Face continually, sacrificing in gardens, and burning incense upon bricks; that sit among the graves, and lodge in the secret places; that eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; that say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in My Nose, a fire that burneth all the day. Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, yea, I will recompense into their bosom, your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith Jehovah, that have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed Me upon the hills; therefore will I first measure their work into their bosom. Thus saith Jehovah, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it: so will I do for My servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a Seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an Inheritor of My mountains; and My Chosen shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me. But ye that forsake Jehovah, that forget My Holy Mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny; I will destine you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but ye did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be put to shame; behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My Chosen; and the Lord Jehovah will slay thee; and He will call His servants by another name: so that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in 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. For, behold, I create New Heavens and a New Earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred (100) years old, and the sinner being a hundred (100) years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of My people, and My Chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their Offspring with them. And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain, saith Jehovah.”

       Isaiah concludes His Book of Visions & Prophecies: “Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is My Throne, and the earth is My Footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto Me? and what place shall be My Rest? For all these things hath My hand made, and [so] all these things came to be, saith Jehovah: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at My Word. He that killeth an ox is as he that slayeth a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as he that breaketh a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, [as he that offereth] swine’s blood; he that burneth frankincense, as he that blesseth an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not. Hear the Word of Jehovah, ye that tremble at His Word: Your brethren that hate you, that cast you out for My Name’s sake, have said, Let Jehovah be glorified, that we may see your joy; but it is they that shall be put to shame. A Voice of tumult from the City, a Voice from the Temple, a Voice of Jehovah that rendereth recompense to His enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? shall a nation be brought forth at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah: shall I that cause to bring forth shut [the womb]? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn over her; that ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Nations like an overflowing stream: and ye shall suck [thereof]; ye shall be borne upon the side, and shall be dandled upon the knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And ye shall see [it], and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like the tender grass: and the Hand of Jehovah shall be known toward His servants; and He will have indignation against His enemies. For, behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and His chariots shall be like the whirlwind; to render His anger with fierceness, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will Jehovah execute judgment, and by His Sword, upon all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be many. They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves [to go] unto the gardens, behind one in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, they shall come to an end together, saith Jehovah. For I [know] their works and their thoughts: [the time] cometh, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and shall see My Glory. And I will set a Sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them unto the Nations, to Tarshish (west), Pul, and Lud (north), that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan (north-west), to the isles afar off, that have not heard My Fame, neither have seen My Glory; and they shall declare My Glory among the Nations. And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the Nations for an oblation unto Jehovah, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to My Holy Mountain Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, as the children of Israel bring their oblation in a clean vessel into the House of Jehovah. And of them also will I take for priests [and] for Levites, saith Jehovah. For as the New Heavens and the New Earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith Jehovah, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith Jehovah. And they shall go forth, and look upon the dead bodies of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall &their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

        We have completed the Book of Isaiah; we have discovered its importance to the rest of the Bible, and its unique place in the Old Testament. Our Reflections will now connect its relations & value in the divine revelation. The world of Isaiah was dominated by the Assyrian power of the Mesopotamian

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Christian Biblical Reflections.21

((Here are pages (521-560) CBR, Chapter III, (Christian Biblical Reflections.21, the 4th submission or installment) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018)) (Here is the PDF of CBR.1-3. Poetic Books of OT: updated and completed and further edited, corrected, and renumbered (pages 1-560)) :CBR.1-3.Aug12,2018.ChristBibReflect.mjmselim.Orgnl.08112018 (2)

 

     The Poetic Books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs shows human experiences in a fuller way than we have yet seen in the Scriptures. We are brought back to Genesis & Deuteronomy & to the other Books in a special way which may be said is more spiritual & elevated. These Poetical Books are focused on the Divine relations of God & man in wisdom & love with all things divine. Biblical Poetry is like natural poetry in the world which displays human experiences in the languages & tongues of mankind of countless variety & forms. In Genesis we have man’s first venture in poetic expression of music among the Cainites of Enoch City in the Land of East Eden in the family Lamech & his sons: Gen. 4:19-24: Lamech took unto him two wives: Adah & Zillah; Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of tent-dwellers & cattle-folks. His brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all musicians or players of harp & pipe. Zillah, bare Tubal-Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass & iron: & the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. And Lamech said unto his wives:

Adah & Zillah hear my voice: Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a man for wounding me: And a young man for bruising me:
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold: Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

     This development of Poetry & Music would contribute to the world before the Flood, and after the Flood, in the Land of Shinar, later called the Land of Sumer & Accad, it would dominate in the customs & cultures of the earliest Mesopotamians. The earliest civilizations were prolific in their poetic & musical expressions in songs, prayers, chants, melodies, as well as various musical performances in civic or religious observances, and many personal pursuits. The content of their songs & poems were filled with their history & beliefs of every sort from the distant past to their present living, and their future hopes & longings. Basic human experiences found musical expressions in poetic inspiration, as it would eventually be adapted to history & prophecy.
When we turn to the literature of those ancient times, in the translated & interpreted works as Pritchard’s Ancient Near East Texts, Anthology of Texts & Pictures, or Kramer’s Sumerian Literature of Poetry, Myths, History, &c, or Wilfred G. Lambert’s Babylonian Wisdom Literature, or Lukenbill’s Ancient Records of Assyria & Babylonia, or even Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, and a great many other such scholarly works (as Jastrow’s), we are overwhelmed at early man’s poetic & musical constitution. They spoke & prayed, they sang & played of God, & the gods, goddesses, idols, heaven, demons, spirits, powers, nature, creation; they imagined & promoted ideas & beliefs about their origins, their history & life, of their country & people, of kings & priests, of temples & holy places; and countless other things of humanity or divinity. Creation, Judgment, & Salvation were universal themes of their poetry; the Land & the People & the Book was their fascination. Dilmun was their original Paradise & Eden; life, death, good, evil, truth, fiction, righteousness, wickedness, sex, violence, government, and thousands of human experiences are found in their poems & songs, in their psalms & hymns, and in all their literature which survived decay & destruction. The Temple & the Throne were their sacred worship & service in all aspects of life & death. War & peace, love & hate, work & play was universal at all levels & in each person & family.
When we read their poems & songs, the hymns & psalms, we find very primitive & simple poetic forms that were easily performed with simple musical instruments of strings as lyres & harps; of drums of many sorts; and of wind instruments as pipes & flutes; and this besides the sounds generated by the human body of the mouth, hands, & feet; including the bodily movements & dancing. But when we turn to the Bible we read a far better story of man’s poetic heart & mouth. The reason for this is related to truth, which true wisdom must have to elevate man. We may compare the Texts of the ancients in their poetry and we will not find the higher nobler expressions of truth as wisdom. Barron’s Archaeology & the Bible in Two Parts of the Lands & the Documents relating to the Bible, compares analogies to Genesis and the Pentateuch as a whole as history; then he selects the Texts treating from Joshua through Esther. In dealing with the Poetic Books (Part II, Chapters 20-23, he compares the Bible account against “A Babylonian Job” (or Lambert’s ‘Babylonian Pilgrim’s Progress’), and another like poem; then some Psalms & Poetic pieces of Hymns, Songs, and examples of the Books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & the Song of Songs. But after his selections, his comments shows how far apart the Bible Books are to the Babylonian Documents: “…This story has some striking similarities to the book of Job. It presents also some striking dissimilarities…Here the parallelism with the book of Job ends. The two works belong to widely different religious worlds. Job gains relief by a vision of God—an experience which made him able to believe that, though he could not understand the reason for the pain of life or its contradictions and tragedy, God could, and Job now knew God.(See Job 42 : 4-6.) Tabu-utul-Bel, on the other hand, is said to have gained his relief through a magician. We are apparently told by the fragmentary text that at last he found a conjurer who brought a messenger from the god Marduk, who drove away the evil spirits which caused the disease, and so Tabu-utul-BSl was relieved. This difference sets vividly before us the greater religious value and inspiration of the book of Job. It treats the same problem that the Babylonian poet took for his theme, but between the outlook of the poet who composed Job and that of the Babylonian poet there is all the difference between a real experience of God and faith in the black art.”
It is the same with all the other Poetic examples given, and after reading, and in some cases rereading, I fail to appreciate what these scholars admire or esteem in theses comparisons & analogies. Here is Barton again: “Both from Babylonia and from Egypt a large number of hymns and prayers have been recovered. Some of these are beautiful on account of their form of expression, the poetical nature of their thoughts, and the sense of sin which they reveal. Most of them are clearly polytheistic, and it is rare that they rise in the expression of religious emotion to the simple sublimity of the Old Testament Psalms. Such likenesses to the Psalms as they possess only serve to set off in greater relief the rich religious heritage which we have in our Psalter.” And it continues throughout, telling us that these polytheistic inspirations were often beautiful & sublime aspirations of worship. But we sees in Scriptures truth that reveals these errors & conceits. But before we turn to the Book of Job we need to review Lambert’s “The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer (Ludlul Bel Nemeqi, often called the ‘Babylonian Job’). He tells us the Poem of the Sufferer is an Ancient Classic original in 4 or 5 tablets, and some 400-500 lines. He outlines the Plot: [Intro.]; Narrator (Ludlul) forsaken by Marduk (Lord of Wisdom) & Goddess; All forsake him, both Kings & Slaves; Disease & Sickness afflicts him; Promised Deliverance in 3 Dreams; Saved & Healed by Marduk & others (Demons, &c). Lambert does not see or attempt to merge Job & Ludlul, but does deal with the problem: “What solution then can we find? He takes an old theologoumena about the remoteness and inscrutability of the gods, and turns them round to mean that all values must be inverted with the gods, so that what is considered right among men must be wrong with the gods, and vice versa.” Lambert concludes: “… For a long time it has been customary to refer to ‘Ludlul’ as “The Babylonian Job”, and so long as knowledge was restricted to the second tablet such a description was justified. Seen now in a more complete form it will not bear the title so readily. Quantitatively the greater part of the text is taken up with showing how Marduk restores his ruined servant, and only a small part with trying to probe the reason for the suffering of the righteous. In places the writer deliberately sheets away from plainly facing this problem because of its blasphemous implications….The world is ruled by the lord Marduk, from whom justice is expected by his servants. Yet Marduk allows even the most devoted to suffer. The author of ‘Ludlul’ finds no answer adequate to solve this mystery. All he can say is that though it be the lord who has smitten, yet it is the lord who will heal.” And though the examples in the Proverbs & Doctrines & Love Songs of profanity are less frequent, and not as offensive, yet their profundity is more obvious & deficient.
The Society of Biblical Literature tells us, in praise of Lambert’s Works, in their review published by RBL: “Much more might be said about this magnum opus, but suffice it to say in conclusion that just as Prof. Lambert’s Babylonian Wisdom Literature enables a generation of students to understand better the Hebrew books of Job, Proverbs and Qoheleth, so his Babylonian Creation Myths will help future generations of students understand better the creation themed texts in Genesis, Job, the Psalter and the Prophets. Students around the world will find it difficult to measure their depth of gratitude not only for this volume but also that Prof. Lambert lived long enough to complete it.”

     The Book of Job is Hebrew Bible Poetry which serves as an excellent Preface & Introduction to the Psalms & Biblical Poetry. All we know about Job is found only in the Book of Job and outside of the Book he is mentioned only in Ezekiel & James, which tells us that he was righteous as Noah & Daniel, and that he was patient & favored by the Lord. In Genesis 10 Aram benShem had a 5th son named Uz, and Shem is called the Father of the Hebrews (Eberites, Heberites); in Gen. 22 Abraham’s brother Nahor had 8 sons by his wife Milcah: Uz, the 1st, then 2nd Buz, & 3rd Kemuel the abiAram (father of Aram, the Aramaeans); then the 4th-7th, then the 8th was Bethuel abiRebekah (Rebekah’s father, Rebekah was Isaac’s wife); and in Gen. 36 Jacob’s son Esau (Edom) in relations to the Seirites or Horites of Canaan & Edom (7 sons & a daughter named Timna); one of the 7 sons of the Horites of Seir-Edom was Dishan (chief, sheikh), he was abiUz & abiAran of the Land of Edom. These are recorded in the generations & genealogies of 1st Chronicles chapter 1. We learn that Uz is a Semitic-Aramaic-Hebrew-Edomite name. The Land of Uz was in Land of Edom or near its borders of the Edomite Sheiks. The Edomites were mixed with the Canaanites & Hebrews & Ishmaelites quite often, which may be seen by other names recorded in the Book of Job (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, Elihu benBarachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, Sabeans, Chaldeans (Casein), Qedemites (beneyQedemm sons of the East, Easterners, Middle Easterners), Tema, Sheba, desert, wilderness, &c.
The Book reads very simple, the outline is clear: its Beginning & its Ending encloses the Job & Friends in Debate with the Lord & the Adversary as Players. The Discourses or Parables are 20 Speeches in all, and chapter 19 is the hallway point in the debate. The Prologue & Epilogue, the Introduction & Conclusion, determine the nature & verdict of the great debate. The divine test & the human choices are all seen as they unfold as interactions & responses. Job as Man (Adam) is a good man, righteous, upright, God-fearing, sin-hating, honorable, noble, kind, &c. The questions are why, how, & what as to his virtue & relations to God & man. Mankind in the nations, peoples, & families of the earth is also on trial of the same nature & purpose, that is, for the same reason; which in Job is brought out in various ways & words. So far, the Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Assyrian, and all other ancient documents of the Job motif do not even come in as a distant second, no, they cannot be seen on the tract. ( The Greek LXX version & the modern Byzantine Text adds this ancient traditional note (Brenton’s translation): “This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis (Uz, Oz), on the borders of Idumea (Edom) and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab (Yobab, see Gen. 10:29; 36:33; 36:34; Josh. 11:1; & 1st Chron 1 & 8.); and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abram. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans.”)

     Job begins the debate with his lament & curse of his life at conception & birth, that his birthday & life is a mistake & crime, and all in the eyes & hands of God. This self-judgment of depression & grief is responded to by his Three Friends, in turns, one at a time, to which Job must reply & respond in turn & in cycles or rounds. Job ‘answered and said,’ 9 times in the debate, 2 times Job ‘took up his parable (proverb, mashal)’, before he ends his words in debate; he did not answer or reply to Elihu; and Job answered & replied to the Lord twice. Job ends his 1st speech with his calamity & tragedy which he once feared has now come upon him.
Eliphaz is cautious or hesitant to reply or respond to Job’s lament: Job once was a good man & leader, but now is disturbed & anguished at his misfortunes; as if man does not reap what he sows; or that God treats man unfairly in judgment; even in my dreams God has revealed to me: “Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?” Man is nothing to God, is less than the angels, a puny creature; man is foolish & wicked, born to trouble & fly as sparks. God to the contrary is fair, great, awesome, gracious, righteous; He saves, blesses, judges, and cares for the poor, needy, orphans, helpless, fearful, & persecuted, &c. Eliphaz concludes: ” Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; Hear it, and know thou it for thy good.”
Poor Job must answer all this in tears and sufferings with now a broken heart, as the Psalmist would say: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, Who did eat of my bread, Hath lifted up his heel against me.” and “But it was thou, a man mine equal, My companion, and my familiar friend.” Job desires his troubles to be measured & weighed before Shaddai (the Almighty Provider-Nourisher) Who is now against him, and desires that God would just get it over with by killing him; why must He torment me slowly instead of a quick death as if I am able to endure the pain & agony. But should not a doomed man God-forsaken not find a little kindness from his friend (Eliphaz), even if it is true, quote: “Even to him that forsaketh the fear of the Almighty (Shaddai).” Job denounced such ‘friends’ & ‘brethren’ as ‘deceitful brooks’ good only for the ‘caravans of Tema’ and the ‘companies of Sheba’. Job complains to his friends that he has never begged them for bribe or pity, nor for help & protection, and even in this condition he would gladly listen if they had anything true & wise to say; but instead you sell the orphan & your friend, and cannot see his plight & dilemma. Job continues that human experience is a warfare, slavery, misery, with no salvation in sight & no comfort from man. So Job turns to God in prayer & praise, debating with El Shaddai of his life, times, sufferings, conflicts, &c. Job begs God for forgiveness & healing, at least for a brief time before he dies.
Bildad answers Job, like Eliphaz, and the debate heats up against Job. Job answers Bildad in deeper depression & rejection, bewildered at his friends enmity; and his argument turns him to God in prayer & praise. Then its Zophar’s turn to the same effect, and Job’s response in turn & in kind. The 2nd Cycle starts in chapter 15 & ends in 21, with Job in chapter 19 telling us that the speeches, theirs & his, number 10 thus far, and that they have in them only reproached & mistreated him. The 19th chapter is filled with important truth & prophecy, and we cite this passage as example: (19:1-29, ASV 1910)
Then Job answered and said: How long will ye vex my soul, And break me in pieces with words? These ‘ten times’ have ye reproached me: Ye are not ashamed that ye deal hardly with me. And be it indeed that I have erred, Mine error remaineth with myself. If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, And plead against me my reproach; Know now that God hath subverted me [in my cause], And hath compassed me with His net. Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry for help, but there is no justice. He hath walled up my way that I cannot pass, And hath set darkness in my paths. He hath stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head. He hath broken me down on every side, and I am gone; And my hope hath He plucked up like a tree. He hath also kindled His wrath against me, And He counteth me unto Him as [one of] His adversaries. His troops come on together, And cast up their way against me, And encamp round about my tent. He hath put my brethren far from me, And mine acquaintance are wholly estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, And my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. I call unto my servant, and he giveth me no answer, [Though] I entreat him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, And my supplication to the children of mine own mother. Even young children despise me; If I arise, they speak against me. All my familiar friends abhor me, And they whom I loved are turned against me. My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, And I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; For the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, And are not satisfied with my flesh? 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 forever! But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last He will stand up upon the earth: And after my skin, [even] this [body], is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God; Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side, And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. My heart is consumed within me. If ye say, How we will persecute him! And that the root of the matter is found in me; Be ye afraid of the sword: For wrath [bringeth] the punishments of the sword, That ye may know there is a judgment.”

     We must turn from this type of reflection of the Book of Job, leaving it to the readers to pursue for themselves the entire Book in this way. We have in Job the struggle of human ideas, beliefs, doctrines & the like; the human experiences & expressions becomes the pursuit of wisdom, sophism, and in turn philosophy. The men who endeavored to master human wisdom were called wise men, sages or sophists, and this developed into philosophy of the philosophers. The Art of Wisdom in a global & international way advanced clearly from the Patriarchal times to the times of the Monarchies. The poets & prophets, the seers at first, contributed to the quest for science & wisdom. Within human wisdom was mixed the divine wisdom of historic memories & myths, then experiential & experimental advancement throughout the world, and periodically divine interaction added or modified human knowledge, understanding, & intellect. The wise men became the Counselors among men, especially to the Kings, whether a Balaam or an Ahithophel (of whom it was said: “And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man inquired at the Oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.”). So men like Ahithophel, Hushai the Archite, and thousands of such men, would teach the people in their generations both human & divine wisdom. Solomon would become in Israel the greatest of these wise men. Job was such a man.
In Job we learn that wisdom is not inherited but slowly acquired, and that in animals God has so made them that various degrees of wisdom is seen in their natural instincts, or lack thereof. We learn from created creatures various forms & features of wisdom, and also from all of nature. Divine Wisdom must intervene & interact with man, God must manifest His wisdom within man’s world for man to know, understand, & experience divine things. Job records the human struggle common to all mankind descended from the created pair, and whatever was transmitted from the original beginning, would undergo the changes & adaptations to man’s life & living. Wisdom & all spiritual things related to wisdom are abstractions of truth & reality & life. We learn to understand & to appreciate wisdom by learning from others, at first from parents & family, then the larger circles of life & society. So we return to the Book of Job.
In Job we read of many things of the ancient world of the Middle East, and very detail items of the ancient Semites & Arabs. But it is the knowledge of God and all that relates to Him that makes the Book of utmost value. God is presented as Jehovah, the Lord (Adonai, Adon), & Shaddai, with few occurrences of El, Eloah. God resides in heaven, has a court of angels & sons, including Satan as a visitor, Job was His servant & worshipper; all comes from Him & all is His; He loves the good & hates the evil; He permits sin & evil, but demands & commands goodness, righteousness, holiness, &c; He sets bounds & limits to trials & tests by Satan; He solicits prayer, praise, & sacrifices. God is to be loved & feared, to be obeyed & believed; He is wise & powerful; God responds & replies; He receives & rejects; He creates & makes; He saves & judges; He is to be sought & discovered; He draws & detours men; He reveals & conceals; He has knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, &c. God pursues & captures; He gives hope; He promises eternal life; He judges all men; His Spirit prevails all creation; He favors the poor & needy, but abhors & removes the wicked. The godly seeks God but the wicked will have nothing to do with God; the hypocrite is known to God Who will destroy them; the family of the wicked is contrary to God, but the children of the righteous follow God; nothing is hid from God, He sees all, knows all, always; the godless have no hope with God, He will not listen to their cry or prayer; the godly have God from womb to tomb; God is to be trusted even when it appears that He is destroying; His judgment is kind to His servant; God does whatever He wants without giving account to man; He gives songs in the night, watches over man, works for man’s good; all nature speaks of God & His ways; creation is God’s work; nature reveals Him; God is Elohim, He is Jehovah, He is El Shaddai, He is the Lord , &c &c.
In Job wisdom is related to knowledge, understanding, counsel, insight, &c. It comes from God & leads to God & keeps us with God; wisdom comes with power, might, strength, maturity; it is with the aged & elders; and it is not found with fools & the wicked. Silence is wisdom at times; wisdom seeks man that man May seek wisdom & find God. Wisdom lives with God, resides with Him, and dwells with understanding. The proud & hypocrite & the foolish think & claim to have wisdom but will be found liars. God shows the secrets of wisdom: wisdom is God’s mystery, more valuable than wealth, more precious the gold; better than power & fame; wisdom is the best of the best in life & living. Job concludes his 1st Parable: “And unto man He (God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.”
The Book of Job speaks of Wisdom as a Divine Quality, an Attribute of God, His Nature; it is a masculine quality & property, and not yet seen in its feminine character & form as in the Book of Proverbs. Experience, skill, training, discipline, practice, comes from wisdom and leads to wisdom. The wise are full of wisdom but the foolish have little or none. But wisdom comes in two forms, one of nature, the other of God. Divine wisdom is truth in God, and is of His Spirit & Word, it is spiritual leading to eternal life. Job & his companions were wisdom & truth seekers, but at times did not find true wisdom, and often spoke words contrary to truth & wisdom. Wisdom must always be sought related to God, and all things which are removed from God leads away from proper wisdom. Though man must seek wisdom & truth, yet it is God’s works & words that finds man, satisfying his search & need. A cobbler may have wisdom as a master craftsman, an expert of soles & shoes, but this wisdom is merely natural, and of little lasting worth, being of temporal value, not adequate for eternity. This is why Job & his friends were deficient in true wisdom, having not the words of God revealed in a fuller way (and in the words are His commandments, like the Law or Bible). Job in frustration said to his friends that they were the people that only have wisdom, and when they die wisdom will be gone. Elihu complains against Job & his friends for their lack of wisdom, yet they argued against Job or God, and in turn condemned Job or implicated & insinuated that God was a Culprit, mischievous & arbitrary. Elihu cites & quotes their words & charges to expose their ignorance & error; but he cannot reason from the Word, from God’s actual history with man in the generations from Adam to Job. So Elihu also fell short of the true wisdom that ends debates of all types.
But God in Job seeks man, and we in Job are drawn to seek & find God. Mankind is a story of Job, and the Job-story will continue till the end, and the end will also be a happy ending for God & man.

     We move on to the Psalms of David & his House. We have said that Genesis & Deuteronomy, along with the other Books were preparatory to the Poetic Books, and that the Key Book of Poetry is the Book of Psalms of the Writings of Scripture. The poetry of the Psalms are the songs, hymns, & poems coming from human experiences & history. It is a Treasury of David, his House, his People, & his God. Its uniqueness in expression was that of the musical instruments that were used in their composition & performance. They were Psalms because they were sung while the psalms-instrument of the lyre & harp & the like were played along with the voice & words. David as a shepherd boy played & sang the psalms to the Lord God of Israel, often while caring for his father’s sheep, and in time these psalms of songs & hymns became part of his Psalter of Israel and the Church. They were David’s praises & worship, his prayers & loves for God, His people, and all His works & wonders. Thus the Psalter was being formed in David the Shepherd Boy to become the Sweet Psalmist of Israel.

     The Book of Psalms comes to us in 5 Divisions often compared to the Books of Moses. Book I: 1-41; Bk II: 42-72; Bk III: 73-89; Bk IV: 90-106: Bk V: 107-150. We may remember theses 5-fold divisions thus:

Book One with Forty-One: Book Two ends Seventy-Two.
David’s Prayers ends One & Two & Praises starts Three to Five.
Book Three starts Seventy-Three: Book Four Ninety ‘more
Book Five ‘One O Five’ to ‘One Five O’: Thus Five Div’sions go.

The first two divisions (Psalms 1-42-72) are Davidic and we trace David’s earliest experiences from a child to manhood, from shepherd to king. The divisions of Books 3 & 4 shows David’s House, both of the House of Israel & the House of Judah, dealing with the Throne & the Nation as the People of God. It ends with the covenant & promises to Israel & David in the dispensation of the Nation of Israel, and is a hallway marker; and ends with the Psalm to or for Solomon. The 3rd division begins with 9 Psalms of Asaph, few of or for the sons of Korah, 1 of David, and 1 of Ethan the Ezrahite (the same who is compared with Solomon’s wisdom: “For he (Solomon) was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all the nations round about.” Book 4 begins with Moses the Man of God’s Prayer, and it appears & commonly believed that Psalms 91 is also of Moses. The division of Book ends with the review of Israel’s history with God & the Land & the Book. Book 5 like Deuteronomy of Moses is the largest and fullest division of the Psalms with clear focus on the Book or Word, and with the House of Prayer, Praise & Worship. All ends in HalleluYahs.
But the Book of Psalms goes deeper still; and the experiences are not just David’s, but David’s experiences are mixed with those of others. True poetry, both natural & spiritual, is always more than the individual, but the individual is always part of the whole, and connected to others in spirit & life. As we relate to the Psalms, the Psalms relate to others; to the patriarchs of Genesis, to the fathers & elders of Israel, to the Books from Genesis – Job, and to other things, places, & persons in many ways, and for many reasons. Thus it is that Adam as Man with Mankind, with men & women, with Messiah, with David & Israel, and also with us. The Enemy is there as he is here, the Fall is then & now, the type becomes the antitype, the first is with the last, and many such things. The Victims in the Garden are victims in the world, earth a large garden dominated by the serpent against us & against God. Abel is an example that cries out still; the Flood God’s great regret of fallen man; Abram suffers as a stranger in a strange land promised by God as his inheritance, and his people (the Hebrews) must suffer 430 years before salvation comes; Joseph suffers with his brothers & with Egyptians, and we could go on and write another Book of these examples. The Spirit of Inspiration like the Spirit of Prophecy witnesses in a testimony of like experiences & meaning. So we have in one instance or example the case or correspondence of another, taking up points of complements, as well as contrasts. Messiah must in Himself take up all these things, fitted to His experience of the incarnation & divine manifestation, so that our experiences are fulfilled in God in answer to Job’s words, his prayers, and all his longings. Christ must take in all men, and all things, to fulfill salvation, to sheath judgment, and to issue a new creation. David becomes our teacher, example, and our helper in this poetic enterprise of Scripture. David must identify with the shepherd Abel & Joseph, he must fill up & extend the human experience, that is the life lived, then leave us with a way to move forward by his attraction & prediction or advancement as he advertises his spirit & heart. Christ must then make this part of His nature in several ways, so that all men may be drawn to Him, and to God. For this reason prophecy becomes so important to understand, and history so prophetic. But enough of these things for now, we return to the Psalter.

     The Book of Psalms expresses the intimate relationship that exists between God & man, it brings all human concerns & interests as it relates to God, but it is built on the revealed God. The Lord as Jehovah is fully acquainted & involved with His people. In Psalms 1 we read of the blessed one who are not like the ungodly in the various relations of life, but delights in the Lord’s Law daily & always; and as a fruitful Tree well-watered by the Word (the Law) prospers & flourish; but the wicked are blown away in life & sinners fall in judgment: the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked perish. This then is the contents of the Preface Psalm of the Two Ways, of Light & Darkness. The Law of the Lord is the Treasure of Israel to whom that Law was given in covenant. That Law was for man also the Word revealed of God’s thoughts, His likes & dislikes, His permissions & prohibitions for living in many detailed ways. The commandments in the Law as the Word formed & conformed man in God’s image, and in man as a mirror God is reflected, seen & known. With understanding & knowledge the believer & follower of God as the Lord must in wisdom & in beauty find how to express & share this Treasure, this ‘blessedness’ which constitutes the inner man of the psalmist. The Jews are in habit of making their Books by the first word or words of that Book (Sepher, Sefer) rather than the theme or subject content of the Book. The first word of the Book of Psalms is the 1st words of Psalms 1 which is r$A) $yèi)fh-y”r×:$Ûa) (’Ashrey¯¯a’ish Asher = ‘Blessed is the-man who’). There are three Alephs (AAA), the 1st word is Ashrey (Blessed, Blessedness, Happy, &c), which suggest in appearance a-sh’rey which suggest Sher or Shir which means Song, and Sherim is Songs. and Sheri is my Song or Song of… So the Book of Psalms could have been the Book of Blessedness or Blessings, and in turn the Sepher Shirim or the Book of Songs. The Psalms are Songs of the Blessed, and the contents of the Songs the Jews call Tehellim or Praises & Prayers (Tephilloth, Tefillot, see also Tefillah,Tefillin). The Songs of Praises are to be sung with music & dance, in joy or sorrow. In the New Testament when the Lord began His Sermon on the Mount teaching He began with ‘Blessed’ (Ashley in Hebrew; in Aramaic Tubaihon > tuba’ > tob, tov (good). The blessed ones are the ones with goodness, and goodness is the good that comes from God; and the good is opposite the evil and contrary to God. So to conclude Psalm 1 we have the theme for the Book of Psalms in the Contrast between the Good & the Evil, between light & darkness. between the godly & the ungodly, and between saints & sinners.
In Psalms 2 we have the 1st Messianic Song: Why do the Gentiles, the peoples & their leaders, oppose the Lord & His Anointed? The lord laughs at the silly Gentiles; His Anointed King & Son will rule the world, all the nations, with power & judgment; so be warned & wise to fear Him & to kiss Him; and ‘blessed’ are His refugees. David as King in Israel standing for God’s interest on earth, opposed by the nations of the earth, one & all; the Gentiles who seek to David from being God’s King & Christ. David as King represents God as King, God as King governs the world as His creation; man God’s image was defaced, the kingdom blurred, the way corrupted, and God’s purpose seemed thwarted or nullified. But God only laughs at His enemies attempt to negate His will, or obstruct His word. And here also is the 1st of the few times the red, blue or purple must be used:

(Yet I have set My King: Upon My holy hill of Zion.
I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son; This day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will give [Thee] the nations for Thine inheritance,
And the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.)

     In David this Psalm was to be fulfilled, but not by that David in the flesh; but another David, Beloved, the Beloved Son of God, David’s Son & Seed, is spoken of in this prophetic Psalm. David against Saul, against the Lords of the Philistines, against Egypt, against Assyria, and all others, must find a way to establish God’s Kingdom on earth by building a Home for God in Jerusalem. The House of God , the Temple of the Lord, must be built before David sleeps. This inspiration & aspiration found expression in David’s songs & harp & dance. But the other David, the greater than Solomon must build the House of God, which is the Church of the living God. This House is not of wood & stones but of living trees and living stones, as members of the Body of the Christ. David could not enter in to many of the features of this prophecy, nor could he understand how far off its fulfillment & realization would be; that a thousand years would pass for the thing he was building to vanish, and another 2,000 years to initiate the reality if the new creation. Yet the Psalm speaks of the blessedness of those who know & see these things, and of us who believe, receive, and enjoy these blessings. And what is here understood in Psalm two, is in all the other Psalms just as true. The many details of the Kingdom must all be fulfilled in due course. The spiritual things of which the Spirit speaks in David to us & to all are being worked out in time before our eyes, though we often do not see or hear. It is the Word as His Sword, Rod, Hammer, and all such metaphors, by which Christ the Messiah-King effects all things revealed, sealed, or concealed.
We come some other Psalms as illustrations of the Christ & the Word. We will briefly notice some other psalms to further help our understanding of Biblical Poetry. In Psalm 3 is a Mizmor of David, when he fled from his son Absalom (2nd Sam. 15). David’s son who been exiled for killing his half-brother Amnon, who had raped Absalom’s full sister Tamar, who had been ordered by David to attend to Amnon who pretended to be sick, but was determined to violate his beautiful sister. This rape of incest in David’s House was predicted by Nathan the Prophet at the mouth of the Lord, for the adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and the murder of Uriah by Joab’s (David’s uncle & General) cooperation in battle against the Ammonites, saying: “the sword shall never depart from thy house,…I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house; and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” David already had seen some of these transpire, and now Absalom was the latest & most significant as to the Throne & the Kingdom. David cries out to the Lord because of his many enemies & adversaries; they mock him as a God-forsaken soul like Job experienced; but like Job, David persists in his trust & hope in God as his Shield, Glory, & Uplifter & Savior (Selah!); the Lord sustains him, even in sleep, midst 10,000s of people opposed to him; he bids arise to save, as so often before, destroying his foes; salvation is the Lord’s. His blessings (bir’ka) on His people (Selah!). David is the antitype of Job, and such who suffer persecution by family & friends; he is the type of Messiah Who takes up and takes in what is God’s portion in David. David’s sin, as with Adam & Eve, must be judged, and God vindicated from complicity or as an accomplice. Yet He must bring about all His declared intentions, and ‘devil-be-dammed’ (as the Lord indicated that the Gentiles would by this curse the Lord’s name). But David had come to terms with sin, and in repentance found reform; but now he is learning the cost of the sin, and the price to be paid. So the Lord must enter the world as Man, flesh & blood, and identify as Sin for sinners. He too would be mocked, persecuted, wronged, and suffer at sinners’ hands & mouths; and He would be the Innocent Victim & willing Sacrifice. Messiah as Jehovah incarnate, Emmanu-El, must meet the Devil & Satan, the Ancient Foe, prove God’s love & faithfulness, then meet our need for such a Savior & risen Lord. To the Lord is Salvation & Blessing (Yeshuah & Berakah); as we say LeChaim! L’Elohim!
Psalm 4 is like Psalm 3, but common, and more like Job & Joseph & Messiah. Psalm 5 like Psalms 1-4, like Job, Joseph, Messiah, and so many saints of old and anew. The contrast between to righteous & the righteous. between the goo & the evil, is repeated here also. In Psalms 6 David’s sorrow is severe like Job’s, he is near death in agony & tears; his hope is in God, the Lord will hear & save him though it seems so long in waiting. Psalm 7 is said that David sang this Song because of the words of the Benjamite (ben-Yemini) Cush. (Some think the ‘Benjamite Cush’ was the ‘Benjamite Shimei’, and that he was of the ethnicity of Cush or Ham, that is Africa. But what is recorded of Shimei benGera benBenjamin does not lead us to that interpretation. Shemei was of Saul’s House & Family. But let’s suppose we say that he was the Cushite, then the story & context of 2nd Sam. 16 would describe the Psalm as dealing with the ‘curse’ of Shimei on David & his House in Absalom’s rebellion. But we do not know who the ‘Benjamite Cush’ was from what is recorded. But the Psalm does not suggest a case of a mad-mouth reviler; but rather of a case like in Psalm 3 concerning Absalom’s rebellion. And we find a context of 2nd Sam. 18-19 where Joab (David’s uncle & General) sent a runner named Cushi (> Cush, < ‘Cushite’. see in Ges. Lex.) to tell David ‘what he had seen’, that is of Absalom’s death; and further , before that a certain unnamed soldier, of David’s men under Joab, told Joab that he saw Absalom hanging in an oak-tree by his hair that got caught in the branches as he fled David’s men. Joab was upset that this man did not kill Absalom on the spot, and he would have been rewarded; but he objected that reminded Joab of David’s charge not to harm Absalom; but Joab was disgusted, and quickly got to Absalom, and killed him. When Cushi (a Cushite) came & reported to David after Ahimaaz benZadok outran him, he told David that the Lord had avenged David from the rebels; David asked if Absalom was safe; Cushi answered: “The enemies of my lord the King, and all that rise up against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the King was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! And it was told Joab, Behold, the King weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people; for the people heard say that day, The King grieveth for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people that are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. And the King covered his face, and the King cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” This is a far better context from which issues such an important poetic piece. It is such a context from which the Messiah in David’s experience comes forth, and helps us in future Psalms to more easily & readily identify & interpret the Spirit’s thoughts. The Throne & Kingdom were in peril, but the Lord the Warrior, Judge, Savior, and true King preserved both David & his House for better things, with happier ending.
Psalm 8 is most excellent; it is Messianic to be sure. and important in the Gospels and in the Book of (Epistle to the) Hebrews. The Lord’s Name & Glory is transcendent beyond the heavens, and man & earth are incorporated. The Enemy & Avenger is checked; man & angels are involved; man will be lord of earth as God originally planned. Psalm 9 is like Psalms 1-8, various elements of each forming this inspiration, namely, of ‘Muth-labben’ which in Hebrew is }è”Bal tUÛm:la( (‘al-muth lab-ben’ = on son’s death, Concerning a Son’s Death) which would take us to several places in David’s life. The Psalm is Alphabetic-Acrostic but unusual in form, it goes with Psalm 10. Psalms 11-16 are like Psalms 1-10, and Messiah enters in as did David, before & after. The New Testament cites Psalms 16 in Christ’s resurrection. Psalms 17 & 18 are like Psalms 1-16; Psalms 17 a Prayer-Song; and Psalm 18 very profound of David’s experience dodging death at the hands of his enemies, and at Saul’s insane persecution. Psalm 19 is unique in contemplation of the Divine Works & Word; the starry Heavens, the Earth’s benefit; the Law of God & the Lord’s Servant. Psalms 20 & 21 are precious royal Psalms, and Christ is easily seen in David’s words. Psalm 22 is all Messiah: like Abel, Job, Joseph, and many others, He suffers for God & man; He did His work well, and God heard Him, saved Him , and saves us in Him. Psalm 23 is the best Shepherd Song of David & Messiah. And so goes many of the Psalms (psalms 24-31), each connecting with some of the previous Psalms in experiences & expressions. Some touch Messiah’s place more fully & clearly than others; but all dealing with the same things in the spiritual world as reflected in the natural world. The Great Three Themes are ever there; the Trine Objects & Subjects ever in view; and both Covenants & Dispensations ever intertwined. Psalms 32 is quite instructive in David’s deep turmoil as to his condition, deeds, and his relations to the Lord. Psalms 33-36 like some before and some to follow are filled with various things & ways that are Messianic in part or whole, at different levels. Such is also Psalms 37 which is the context & content of Christ’s Beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount. So too Psalms 38-41, like the Psalms 1-37, each aiding & adding to the fuller experiences & expressions of the Christ. The Messiah will find in the Book, especially the Book of Psalms, all that was useful & necessary to fulfill all things of God for man. We leave David’s Psalter Book I with a selection from Psalms 40 & 41: (ASV 1910) (Compare with John 17)

“I waited patiently for Jehovah; And He inclined unto Me, and heard My cry.
He brought Me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay;
And He set My feet upon a rock, and established My goings.
And He hath put a New Song in My mouth, even Praise unto our God:
Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah.
Blessed is the Man that maketh Jehovah his trust,
And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Jehovah My God, are the wonderful works which Thou hast done,
And Thy thoughts which are to us-ward; They cannot be set in order unto Thee;
If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and Offering Thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast Thou opened:
Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I am come; In the Roll of the Book it is written of Me:
I delight to do Thy will, O My God; Yea, Thy Law is within My heart.
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the Great Assembly;
Lo, I will not refrain My lips, O Jehovah, Thou knowest.
I have not hid Thy righteousness within My heart;
I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation;
I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the Great Assembly.
Withhold not Thou Thy tender mercies from Me, O Jehovah;
Let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve Me.
For innumerable evils have compassed Me about;
Mine iniquities have overtaken Me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of My head; And My heart hath failed me.
Be pleased, O Jehovah, to deliver Me: Make haste to help Me, O Jehovah….
Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting & to (eternity). Amen, & Amen.”

     The Psalms in Book II follow the Psalms of Book I, but the Monarchy is more prominent, along with the Lord’s House. Psalms 45 is a Song of Loves (Love Song) (Shir Yedidoth > Shir Yadid (Song of my Beloved) > Shir Dawid, Shir Dodh, Shir Dudh: Song of David, Love Song, Lovers Song, Friend’s Song, Song of Friendship, Song of Fellowship, Beloved’s Song, &c. (see Ges.Lex.)) The Love Song is that of the prophetic-Messianic King who is typified by David the Beloved of the Lord, and who named his son Solomon (Peace, as in Jeru-Salem = City of Peace), but the Lord called the child’s name ‘Jedidiah, YedidiYah, and is added ‘for the Lord’s sake, for the Lord’s account; the preposition is very emphatic & used with the conjunction ‘and’ & prefixed with the common prep, ‘be-‘. This teaches us to discern something deeper hidden from immediate sight, a thing stored beneath the appearance. David is the Lord’s Beloved, Solomon is the Lord’s David, the Lord’s Beloved. The Song is of the Beloved, both David & Solomon, because both typifies Christ the Messiah , the true eternal Beloved of the Father, God’s Son. The Psalm therefore is a perfect preface & introduction to the Love Song called Solomon’s Song of Songs of Loves. The prophetic scribe is revealing Messiah as the best Man of mankind, whether Jew or Gentile, a Mighty Warrior perfectly balanced in opposite qualities of truth & humility, of force & mildness, a fierce Lion & gentle Lamb. He is the King; but more, He is God:

“Thy Throne, O God, is forever & ever: A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness:
Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee With the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.”

The picture that follows is that of the Royal Wedding & Marriage of King & Queen; the picture of God & Man, of the Lord & Israel, & of Christ & the Church. It is the millennial Kingdom & the Eternal Ages to follow. We pass over to Psalms 51 which comes out of Nathan the Prophet coming to David from the Lord concerning his adultery with Bathsheba. We all feel what David felt & expressed in this penitential Song & Prayer. David’s experiences & expressions become extended & enlarged in the Psalms that make up the rest of Book II, Psalms 68 & 69 is most instructive of Messiah, both His corporate history with Israel, and His personal history for the Church (that is the Gentiles, the nations). The last of David’s Psalms is 72 of Book Two, it closes thus:

Blessed be Jehovah God, the God of Israel, Who only doeth wondrous things:
And blessed be His glorious Name forever; & let the whole earth be filled with His Glory.
Amen, & Amen. The Prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

     We will very briefly survey Books III, IV, & V; only considering for a moment certain special Psalms: 78, 110, 119, & 145. Psalms 73-89 are the Asaph’s Psalter, Psalms of Asaph with a few of Korah, David, & of the Sage, Ethan the Ezrahite. The Psalmist enters into the national & corporate experiences of the House & People; even in the individual experience the focus is the Nation in covenant relationship, and all that is implied by that relations enters in; it is predominately the ‘we’ that speaks in the Songs. So in Psalms 78 Messiah enters & shines as the Voice to His people: (I capitalize & italicize to show the emphasis more clearly.)

Give ear, O My people, to My Law: Incline your ears to the Words of My mouth.
I will open My mouth in a Parable; I will utter Dark Sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah,
And His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done.
For He established a Testimony in Jacob, And appointed a Law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know [them], even the children that should be born;
Who should arise and tell [them] to their children,
That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the Works of God,
But keep His Commandments, And might not be as their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that set not their heart aright,
And whose spirit was not stedfast with God….

Psalms 79-89 repeat & extend the former Psalms, and Book III ends: “Blessed be Jehovah for evermore. Amen, & Amen. Psalms 90-90, Moses’ Prayer & Songs brings us to a different experience with a history that goes back to the Exodus from Egypt, it really is a transition & anticipation of the journey’s end to the new land. The desert or wilderness experience is well expressed beginning with Moses looking back to the God of Eternity and consummating in HalleluYahs. The trial & temptation of God’s people have an end with a reward. Book IV ends: “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to eternity. And let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye Jehovah.” The final division of the Book of Psalms is Book V, which begins with Psalm 107 and ends with 150, 57 Psalms, the longest division, as the 1st division is the 2nd longest with 41 Psalms. It begins in the desert-wilderness experience of the 4th division, the same settings of Psalms 106, but emphasizes deliverance & transition into victorious praise, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness the children of men. Book 5 is elevated & transcendental on many levels & in many of the Songs. We leave the reader, the student, the school at, and all lovers of the Bible & the Book of Psalms to test what has been said & testified; and we must go to Psalm 110. It is all Messiah:

The ‘Lord’ saith unto My Lord:
Sit Thou at My Right Hand, Until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.
The ‘Lord’ will send forth the rod of Thy strength out of Zion:
Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.
Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of Thy power, in holy array:
Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.
The ‘Lord’ hath sworn, and will not repent:
Thou art a Priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at Thy Right Hand Will strike through kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations, He will fill [the places] with dead bodies:
He will strike through the head in many countries:
He will drink of the brook in the way: Therefore will He lift up the head.

    We close our reflections on the Book of Psalms with these last comments on Psalms 119, 145, and the HalleluYah Psalms. The 119th Psalm, 118th for Catholics, is a new kind of Psalms, elevated, transcendent, & spiritual, it is all about the Word as expressed in the Law, Commandments, Testimonies, Statutes, Precepts Judgments, and the like. We say it is the Word expressed in the Law, rather the Law expressed in laws, words, commands, &c. The Decalogue was in essence first & foremost 10 Words, and the Words were the Word that came from God’s mouth; just His Name is expressed variously as Jehovah or Shaddai, as Elohim or Adonai, and so forth. The words used in this Great Alphabet Psalm of 22 Hebrew Letters of 8 Verses per Letter are repeated throughout the Letter-stanzas. There are about 10 primary Words & about 20 secondary Words used throughout in a designed or deliberate manner. ‘Word’ or ‘Words’ for Dabar or Debarim, and a few other Hebrew words occurs some 40 times; ‘Law’ (never ‘Laws’) for Torah (except in about 3 cases) occurs some 25 times; 4 words occur a little over 20 times each: commandments, testimonies, precepts, statutes; judgments & righteous-judgments together occurs a total of 20 times (15+5); the rest of the words are very rare, many only once or twice, and many of those dependent on the primary words. Thus we learn that the emphatic word for the revealed will of God is the Word or Words. The Jew have that word in the Law, the Torah; but the Christian have the Word in the Gospel in the person of the incarnate Word.

Psalms 119: 1-8: Aleph (A) 1st Letter :

(A) Blessed are they that are perfect in the Way: Who walk in the Law of Jehovah.
(A) Blessed are they that keep His Testimonies: That seek Him with the whole heart.
(A) Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in His Ways.
(A) Thou hast commanded [us] Thy Precepts: That we should observe them diligently.
(A) Oh that my ways were established: To observe Thy Statutes!
(A) Then shall I not be put to shame: When I have respect unto all Thy Commandments.
(A) I’ll give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn Thy Righteous-Judgments.
(A) I will observe Thy Statutes: Oh forsake me not utterly.

Psalms 119: 169-176: Tau (T) 22nd Letter:

(T) Let my cry come near before Thee, Jehovah: Give me understanding according to Thy Word.
(T) Let my supplication come before Thee: Deliver me according to Thy Word.
(T) Let my lips utter praise: For Thou teachest me Thy Statutes.
(T) Let my tongue sing of thy word: For all Thy Commandments are Righteousness.
(T) Let Thy hand be ready to help me: For I have chosen Thy Precepts.
(T) I have longed for Thy salvation, O Jehovah: And Thy Law is my delight.
(T) Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee: And let Thine Ordinances help me.
(T) I’ve gone astray like lost sheep: Seek Thy servant: For I do not forget Thy Commandments.

     The Songs of Degrees, Psalms 120-134, are Songs sung in the journey to the Temple, they are Pilgrims Songs & Hymns, and were used in worship & feasts. These Psalms & the most of the rest echoes the other Psalms, the lead to Praises in Jerusalem & in the Temple. The 7 Psalms 138-144 are special Davidic Psalms. The most exalted of all the Davidic Psalms is 145; the HalleluYah Psalms concludes the Book of Psalms.

Psalms 145:1-21: Aleph – Tau (‘Nun’ absent.) (1-13 = ’Aleph,B,G,D,H, W,Z,Ch,T,Y, K,L,M; 14-22 = S, ‘Ayin, P,Tz, Q, R, Sh, Tau)

David’s Praise (Tehillah leDawid) Beloved’s Praise:
1 I will extol Thee, my God, O King; And I will bless Thy name for ever & ever.
2 Every day will I bless Thee; And I will praise Thy name for ever & ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts.
5 Of the glorious majesty of Thine honor, And of Thy wondrous works, will I meditate.
6 And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts; And I will declare Thy greatness.
7 They shall utter the memory of Thy great goodness, And shall sing of Thy righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious, and merciful; Slow to anger, and of great lovingkindness.
9 The Lord is good to all; And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Thy works shall give thanks unto Thee, O Lord; And Thy saints shall bless Thee.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, And talk of Thy power;
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, & glory of the majesty of His kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, & Thy dominion [is] throughout all generations.
14 Jehovah upholdeth all that fall, And raiseth up all those that are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all wait for Thee; And Thou givest them Their food in due season.
16 Thou openest Thy hand, And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, To all that call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord preserveth all them that love Him; But all the wicked will He destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak Jehovah’s Praise ; & let all flesh bless His holy Name for ever & ever.

The Book of Proverbs of Solomon benDavid, Israel’s King, is the Poetry of Wisdom, of Divine Education & Spiritual Training in accordance to the Word revealed & the Law of God. We read:

“To know Wisdom & Instruction: To discern the Words of Understanding:
To receive Instruction in Wise Dealing: In Righteousness & Justice & Equity:
To give Prudence to the simple: To the young man Knowledge & Discretion:
That the wise man may hear, and increase in Learning:
And that the man of understanding may attain unto Sound Counsels:
To understand a Proverb, and a Figure: The Words of the Wise, and their Dark Sayings.
The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of Knowledge: Fools despise Wisdom & Instruction.

    Solomon continues in Wisdom as a Parent, speaking to children, a son or a daughter, as a Father or Mother in Instruction & Law as adornments to growth. Wisdom says: consent not to sinners’ enticement & temptation to evil; to violence against the innocent; &c. They are like those in the Psalms, & in Job, & in the other Books of Scripture, are in a hurry to their own doom; their lusts, greed, desires, loves, and such will be their own ruin & death. But Lady Wisdom preaches a good sermon to any & all everywhere who will hear & obey: to not love (& therefore to hate) simplicity & naivete, mocking, folly, &c; to turn at Wisdom’s reproof, to get the Spirit of Wisdom & the Words of Wisdom. Wisdom invites, gives counsel & reproof; but if refused & rejected Wisdom laughs at their calamity & mocks their fears, whether storm or whirlwind of anguish & pain. Wisdom refuses & rejects those who turn only after their doom & ruin. Those who hate knowledge & will not fear the Lord, but persist in self-will, pride, rebellion, stubbornness, &c, will eat their fruit, be filled with their own devices; as the simple backsliders are slain, and the careless fools are destroyed. But those who listen to Wisdom are safe & sound from the evil end. And so Lady Wisdom in Solomon’s Proverbs & Parables continues in the Divine Doctrine.

     Wisdom to a Son: receive the words, treasure the commandments, incline to wisdom, pursue understanding; to seek & search the riches of Wisdom in the fear of the Lord & knowledge of God. The Lord gives wisdom, He speaks knowledge & understanding; reserves wisdom for the upright, shields the genuine, guards the paths of justice, & preserves the way of His saints: to understand righteousness, justice, equity, & every good path. Wisdom for the heart, knowledge for the soul, discretion to watch, understanding to keep: to deliver from the evil way, from perverse men of wickedness & darkness, who enjoy evil & perversity, crooked ways, & wayward paths; to deliver from the strange woman, the flatterer of words, the teaser & temptress, who forsakes her childhood friend, & forgets the covenant of God; her house inclines to death, her paths to the dead; those who visit her never return, & never attain the paths of life: walk in the way of the good, in the paths of the righteous; the upright dwells in the land, the perfect remain in it; the wicked shall be cut off. the treacherous rooted out. So Lady Wisdom continues in chapters 3-9. Wisdom is most excellent: wisdom is in the law & commandments, gives days & years & peace, teaches kindness & truth, leads to good understanding with God & man. Trust in the Lord with all the heart, lean not on human understanding, always acknowledge Him, He will direct the paths, be not self-wise & conceited….fear & honor the Lord, despise not His chastening & reproof, the Lord loves to reprove as a Father the son he delights in; happy & blessed to find wisdom & understanding, better than silver & gold, more precious than rubies, nothing compares to Lady Wisdom; she has & she is: length of days , riches & honor, ways of pleasantness & peace, a tree of life, & happy are those who find her. The Lord by Wisdom founded the earth, by understanding established the heavens,…
But Solomon in Wisdom reveals the children’s father: my sons, listen to your father’s instruction & with understanding; I was my father’s son (like David & Solomon & Bathsheba), my mother’s tender & only beloved; he taught me to retain the words, to keep the commandments to live: get wisdom & understanding, never forget or declined from the words; never forsake her, she will preserve; love her, she will keep & protect….Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs teaches concerning life & living, learning & obedience, wickedness & virtue, dangers of evil & avoidance of evil doers, of the righteous & of their ways, of diligence & faithfulness, of the straight & narrow path of the godly, of the crooked & wide way of sinners,….Wisdom teaches of discretion & wisdom in sexual matters, of the strange woman, of attraction & allurement, of seduction & temptation, of lust & forbidden loves, of avoidance of prostitution & immorality, of spending time & money on vice & sex, of the price for vice & the cost for the lost, of evil with the vulgar crowd & the evils among the saints, to be satisfied with what belongs to self & not to seek what is not one’s own, to be satisfied with one’s wife & lover only, to embrace only a wife & avoid other women, the Lord sees & knows man’s ways & levels man’s paths, sexual sins ensnares sinners & vice imprisons the disobedient, ignorance & folly is the end of the wayward & curious….Wisdom teaches against surety & guaranty of others debts & loans & the consequences of defaults & liabilities, of humility in money matters, of business transactions conduct, of avoidance of debts & money promises, of procrastinations & neglect of payments, learn from the birds to fly away from money dangers, from ants in frugality, of laziness & slothfulness, of poverty & lack of funds, perverse talk & vulgar ways, of foolish bodily gestures & perversity in behavior, of the outcome of evil & discord, of the things & ways of the ungodly that the Lord hates as haughtiness, lying, murder, wicked plotters & schemers or scam artists, mischief seekers, false witnesses, & disturbers of peace & makers of discord & divisions of family & friends….Wisdom warns against staying from the right & good paths, of faithfulness to training & discipline, to remember that the commandment is a lamp, the law is light, correction the way of life & living; avoid fornication & adultery, curb lusts & porn, harlotry is a fire in the bosom that consumes the heart & the pocket-book, adultery may lead to death, adultery is like robbery & its penalty is severe & destruction, it sounds & dishonors, it brings shame & reproach, it causes jealousy & vengeance & demands death….Wisdom must ever be sought & loved, wisdom must be a companion & partner, a sister & relative; wisdom protects against sexual temptation & promiscuity, to avoid the house of harlots, to avoid whores, to resists sexual temptations & enticements for it leads to shame & death, to jail & ruin & vengeance; Lady Harlot & Madam Whore resides in the House of Death on the Way to Hell (Sheol) & the Chambers or Cells of the Dead: her many wounded Captives & Prisoners, her Host of the Slain & Conquered.
Wisdom in chapter 8 is Lady Wisdom quite different than the Mistress of Vice & Lust: She also cries & solicits in the streets & market-places with understanding, she visits the city gates & courts & doors, she calls to men, old & young, to the simpletons & fools, to the ignorant & untrained, she speaks of an understanding heart, of excellent things, right things, (orthodoxy), of truth & against wickedness, of righteousness & against perversity, she speaks to those who understand & know, to the reachable & learners & seekers; wisdom is the most valuable of possessions & wealth, nothing compares to Lady Wisdom: (Proverbs 8:12-9:6)

I Wisdom have made Prudence My Dwelling: & find out Knowledge [&] Discretion.
The Fear of Jehovah (the Lord) is to hate evil:
Pride, & arrogancy, & the evil way, & the perverse mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is Mine, & sound knowledge: I am understanding; I have might.
By Me Kings reign, & Princes decree justice.
By Me Princes rule, & Nobles, [even] all the Judges of the earth.
I love them that love Me; & those that seek Me diligently shall find Me.
Riches and honor are with Me: [Yea], durable wealth & righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold: & My revenue than choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness: In the midst of the paths of justice:
To cause those that love Me to inherit substance: & that I may fill their treasuries.
Jehovah possessed Me in the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning: Before the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth:
When there were no fountains abounding with water:
Before the mountains were settled: Before the hills was I brought forth:
He had not made the earth yet, nor the fields: Nor the beginning of the dust of the world.
When He established the heavens, I was there: When He set a circle on the face of the deep: When He made firm the skies above: When the fountains of the deep became strong:
When He gave to the sea its bound: The waters to not transgress His commandment:
When He marked out the foundations of the earth:
Then I was by Him, [as] a Master Workman; & I was daily [His] delight:
Rejoicing always before Him: Rejoicing in His habitable earth:
& My delight was with the sons of men.
Now therefore, [My] sons, hearken unto Me: For blessed are they that keep My Ways.
Hear instruction, & be wise, & refuse it not: Blessed is the man that heareth Me,
Watching daily at My gates: Waiting at the posts of My doors.
For whoso findeth Me findeth life: & shall obtain favor of Jehovah.
But he that sins against Me wrongs his own soul: All they that hate Me love death.
Wisdom hath builded Her house: She hath hewn out Her seven pillars:
She hath killed Her beasts: She hath mingled Her wine: She hath also furnished Her table:
She hath sent forth Her maidens: She crieth upon the highest places of the city:
Who is simple, let him turn in here: To him that is void of understanding, she saith to him:
Come, eat ye of My bread: & drink of the wine which I have mingled.
Leave off, ye simple ones, and live: & walk in the way of understanding.

     Wisdom continues her speaking, teaching, & preaching to all who will hear, and to those who will come to the Lord for life & living. The Simple Woman is to the contrary: she is ignorant, stupid, naive, foolish, deceives, lies, hellish…. Chapters 10-24 are also additional Proverbs of Solomon which covers a vast range of human experiences & behaviors; contacting the two ways of life & living, between the good & evil, between the right & wrong, between better & best, between light & darkness, between treasure & junk, between healthy & sickness, &c…. Solomon’s Proverbs number into the hundreds, perhaps about 1,000 could be extracted from the Book, and they fall into hundreds of categories & contexts or applications. There is no other Book of the ancient world that has survived that even remotely come close to exhibit wisdom so diverse & comprehensive in such few chapters; and certainly nothing in all the general works of the scholars of the Ancient Near Eastern World. Solomon’s Proverbs focuses or emphasizes the contrast between the wise & the foolish, between wisdom & folly, and from this perspective & viewpoint Proverbs seek to educate Israel & the reader s as to the Divine Doctrine of the revealed Word. It is Divine Philosophy of Psychology, that is Biblical Psychology & Society. It is based on the foundation of the Law, but it is more fundamentally developed on the Word as to human relations to God, and to each other. It deals with the individual as part of the whole, of the family & of the nation. It prepares us for the prophetic word which will in turn be established and extended from the poetic word. Proverbs teaches & develops human conscience by training the mind & heart, the brain & thoughts or thinking, to be conscious of God, of creation, of judgment, of salvation, and of every other divine doctrine important to human survival. Proverbs treats the Man or People with less concern for the Land or the Book, which the prophetic word occupies itself with all three.
Proverbs Chapters 25-29 are said to be additional Proverbs of Solomon copied by the scribes of King Hezekiah of Judah, they treat & cover the same doctrines as the earlier chapters but with their own peculiarities, like the King’s rule & kingdom established by righteousness, versus earlier it was his kindness, favor, and the fear of him.
Proverbs 30 is the prophetic word in poetry: Words of Agur’s benJakeh: The Oracle (Prophecy). The man saith (uttered, prophesied) unto Ithiel, unto Ithiel & Ucal: ([Hebrew text deleted in wordpress, see pdf] = Dibrey ’Agur benYaqeh hammassah Ne’um haggeber):

“Surely I am more brutish than any man: & have not the understanding of man:
& I have not learned wisdom: Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who hath ascended up into heaven, & descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in His garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, & what is His Son’s Name, if thou knowest?
Every Word of God is tried: He is a Shield unto them that take refuge in Him.
Add thou not unto His Words: Lest he reprove thee, & thou be found a liar.
Two things have I asked of Thee: Deny me [them] not before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood & lies: Give me neither poverty nor riches:
Feed me with the food that is needful for me:
Lest I be full, and deny [Thee], and say, Who is Jehovah?
Or lest I be poor, & steal: & use profanely the Name of my God.”

     The Poetic Proverbial Parabolic Prophecy continues: warns against slander of servants to their masters; of the 4 depraved generations; of 2 horseleech daughters; of 3 or 4 things never satisfied; of dishonor to parents; of 3 or 4 wonders; of the 3 or 4 unbearable things; of the 4 little creatures but very wise; of the 3 or 4 stately things in their movements; of hasty wrath & thoughts.
Proverbs 31: The Words of King Lemuel; the Oracle which his Mother taught him: (Lemuel = le-mu-’el or lemu-’el (’El)’ and Ges. Lex. says: “(lemo) poetical for (le), found four times in the book of Job”…(Lemu’el) “by God”. Lemu-El = by God, to God, for God, &c; also: if le-mo-el. like in mo-ab. then it means from God, and like lechaim, means to life, that is belonging to & related to life, tha is for life, so to Here perhaps LemoEl, to & from God.)
What, my son? & what, O son of my womb? & what, O son of my vows?
Give not thy strength unto women, Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth Kings.
It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine;
Nor for princes [to say], Where is strong drink?
Lest they drink, & forget the Law, & pervert the justice [due] to any that is afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, & wine unto the bitter in soul:
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, & remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb: In the cause of all such as are left desolate.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously: & minister justice to the poor & needy.

I have already shared in the Selections from the books & commentaries on the Book of Proverbs my versification of the Worthy Virtuous Woman, so here I only give Scripture in its poetic form:

Worthy Woman: who can find? For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband trusts in her: & he shall have no lack of gain.
She does him good & not evil all the days of her life.
She seeks wool & flax, & works willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchant-ships: She brings her bread from afar.
She rises also while it is night, & gives food to her household, & their task to her maidens.
She considers a field, & buys it: With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength, & makes strong her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goes not out by night.
She lays her hands to the distaff, & her hands hold the spindle.
She stretches out her hand to the poor: Yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes for herself carpets of tapestry: Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates: When he sits among the Elders of the land.
She makes linen garments & sells them: And delivers girdles unto the merchant.
Strength & dignity are her clothing: & she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom: & the law of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household: & eats not the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up, & call her blessed: Her husband [also], & he praises her, [saying]:
Many daughters have done worthily: But thou excels them all.
Grace is deceitful, & beauty is vain: Woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands: & let her works praise her in the gates.

     We have only a few more matters to share on Proverbs but will include them in the final concluding reflections shortly. We must now turn to the Books of Ecclesiastes & Solomon’s Song of Songs. The Book of Ecclesiastes is also called Sefer Koheleth by the Jews in Hebrew. It is called Ecclesiastes for the Ecclesia or the Church or Assembly. The Preacher was a Churchman, and his Message were Sermons of a peculiar sort of his wisdom. He was like a Pastor or Shepherd, like the Great Shepherd of Whom he refers to at the end of his Book. But he was also a Philosopher of the highest order, taking human experiences, the world of nature & natural things on earth all around him to lead to a spiritual world revealed by God. This & more he tells us plainly in his Book. The Words of the Preacher, Koheleth, who was Solomon benDavid, Jerusalem’s King in Judah of Israel. He summarizes his Message or Sermon or Philosophy thus:

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

     Vanity is made up of vain things, and Vanity is futility, worthlessness, emptiness, false appearances, deceptive adornment, painted faces, masks, and a thousand more descriptions of the world as a Vanity Fair. King Solomon as the Preacher describes humanity in Vanity, their world & our world was & is Vanity & futility, filled with what ought not to be as we try to find what it is. It is the world we are born into, a world of our parents & former generations, but it was also once the world that God created. It is Nature filled with natural wonders of the sun, wind, rivers, seas, &c. Man’s living & labors are repetitious, wearisome, boring, never fully satisfying, it’s the same old-new things, with little remembrance from one age to another generation. For this reason King Solomon, the Preacher, the widest of men, determined to test, prove, experience, try, investigate, &c, in a full & scientific way, with scientific methods & means, to seek & discover Wisdom that God has ordained humanity to live for under heaven. Solomon will not attempt to explore the heavens or beyond, but will restrict his research & experiment to earth, the human world, and ‘common sense’. He tells us after many years he concludes that what he saw & heard, what was & is & what we understand, or experience is all ‘vain’, vanity & wind chasing; as they say, we talk of great theories of what it is to poke holes in the air. We cannot undue what is done, the crooked tree cannot be made straight, the curved rock made flat, what is missing cannot be replaced, as in death or use. the bread eaten cannot be put on the table, not even by vomit. So the Wise Preacher contemplated & reflected within his heart & mind the great questions of how, why, where, who, when, &c in all things he observed & encountered. He expired wisdom & knowledge, madness & folly, mirth & pleasure; he discovered wisdom has grief, knowledge has sorrow, pleasure is vain, laughter is insanity; he added to pleasure & fun wine with wisdom; he made great works, planted & built, had servants & slaves, acquired lands & properties, limitless riches & wealth of gold, silver, &c; singers, musicians, court attendants, a musical world at his disposal; he attained the most, the best, the greatest of all those who were before him, so that few could ever match his attainment in future generations. He refused nothing, he tried everything, anything that might suggest man’s life & living. But after many years he concluded all was Vanity, and endless chasing the wind. He concluded that wisdom was better than insanity & folly as light is better than darkness, yet humanity was all subject to the same fate & doom. Wise or fool, good or evil, sane or insane, rich or poor, great or common, all died the same. The Preacher thus hated life & the human lot or dilemma, he resented that his wealth & possessions would in death all go to those who never earned or labored for it. He painted at those who struggled to get & have then death, sickness, or war takes it all away in a moment. Yet to live & labor & enjoy one’s labor is God’s gift & should be enjoyed. God gives to the good good things, but gives to sinners labor to get only to be taken away and given to the good in God’s sight.
All things have a proper time & season & will not change; God confines man to life’s labor & toil & then to die without ever discovering the eternal secrets of God; man must enjoy his allotted place in creation, content to leave eternal things in God’s heart & hands. The Preacher noticed that righteousness & wickedness often resided at the same place, often were switched, and though God will judge both at the right time & right way, yet man is little better than animals; both die in like manner, & turn to dust. What makes man any better or different? The dead & the unborn are often better off than the oppressed & persecuted living; even success & skill is envied by others to make one’s achievement grief & regret; fools are lazy; vanity to become wealthy without an heir; union is better than a solitary life; a poor wise man better than an old stubborn foolish king; &c &c. The Preacher continued with the many lessons learnt and said this: “Behold, this have I found, saith the Preacher, [laying] one thing to another, to find out the account; which my soul still seeketh, but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions…. For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it be love or hatred, man knoweth it not; all is before them….”

We close the Preacher’s Words & Book with these words of his:

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, & let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth,
& walk in the ways of thy heart, & in the sight of thine eyes:
But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, & put away evil from thy flesh;
For youth & the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth:
before evil Days come, & Years draw nigh, & thou shalt say, I’ve no pleasure in them: [old age]
before the sun, light, moon, stars, are Darkened, & the Clouds return after the rain: [vision]
in the day when the Keepers of the House shall tremble: [hands-arms]
& the Strong Men shall bow themselves: [thighs-legs]
& the Grinders cease because they are few: [teeth]
& those that Look Out of the windows shall be Darkened: [eyes]
& the Doors shall be shut in the street: [mouth-lips]
& the Sound of the grinding is low: [ears]
& one shall Rise Up at the voice of a bird: [restless]
& all the Daughters of music shall be Brought Low: [hearing]
& they shall be Afraid of [that which is] High: [fear of falling]
& Terrors [shall be] in the way: [fear-mind]
& the Almond-tree shall Blossom: [grey hairs]
& the Grasshopper shall be a burden: [legs-hips`]
& Desire shall fail: [impotence]
because man goeth to his Everlasting Home: [death]
& the Mourners go about the streets: [funeral]
before the Silver Cord is loosed: [decay]
or the Golden Bowl is broken: [internal organ]
or the Pitcher is broken at the fountain: [internal organ]
or the Wheel broken at the cistern: [internal organ]
& the Dust returneth to the earth as it was: [complete decay]
& the Spirit returneth unto God who gave it: [afterlife]

     Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity. And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, [and] set in order many Proverbs. The Preacher sought to find out acceptable Words, and that which was Written uprightly, [even] Words of Truth.
The Words of the Wise are as Goads; & as Nails well fastened:
[Words by] the Masters of Assemblies, [which] are given from One Shepherd.
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many Books there is no end; and much Study is a weariness of the flesh. [This is] the end of the matter; all hath been heard:
Fear God, & keep His commandments; for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Solomon’s Song of Songs is the final Poetic Book of the Psalms Division of the Old Testament, and prepares us for the Prophetic Division beginning with Isaiah. We have given ample selections of this Book to satisfy our curiosity for the hermeneutics of bygone times. The Hebrew begins: Shir hashShirim ’asher liShlomoh (liSolomon, where ‘li’ or ‘le’ means ‘by’ rather than ‘to’. The Greek LXX: Asma Asmatön, ho estin tö Salömön (Asma > adö > aeidö = sing, make-sound, sweet-song, pleasant-song, love-song (as in sweet-marriage-song, wedding-song), romantic-song, &c). The Latins call the Book Canticle of Canticles, as in the ancient Chants. It begins:

“Let him Kiss me with the Kisses of his mouth: For thy Love is better than wine.”

     (The Song begins with the Love Kiss, and therefore it is a Love-Song. We must read the entire Song or Canticles, the Shir Shirim, with this ever in mind as we seek to interpret the words to determine the meaning, or we will drift from the divine sense of the Text. The Singer is not yet identified, but she longs for Love of her Lover or Beloved in a romantic sense. It continues:)

“Thine oils have a goodly fragrance; Thy Name is [as] oil poured forth;
Therefore do the Virgins Love thee: Draw me; we will run after thee:
The King hath brought me into his Chambers:
We will be glad and rejoice in thee:
We will make mention of thy Love more than of wine:
Rightly do they Love thee.
I am black, but comely: Oh ye Daughters of Jerusalem,
As the Tents of Kedar: As the Curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I am swarthy: Because the sun hath scorched me.
My Mother’s Sons were incensed against me: They made me Keeper of the Vineyards;
[But] mine own Vineyard have I not kept.”

     (We learn that the Lover (not yet identified) smells her Beloved Name as Fragrant Oils, as she already disclosed his Love is better than Wine. The Virgins also are attracted to him by the fragrance of his Love; and if her Lover invites her, she & the Virgins will pursue him. The King has brought her into his Chamber, his bridal-chamber, and she & the Virgins are in his Harem & Court. The King is either David or Solomon or both; and we must wait to discover what she discloses to identify him. She & the Virgins enjoy the Harem & Court; and talk of the Lover’s Love rather than Wine; she concludes that they rightly Love her Lover or Beloved. But she admits her humble dark complexion, almost black; and she reveals her humble status of her home under her Brothers, as a Vinedresser for them, to the neglect of her own Vineyard. She continues:)

“Tell me, O thou whom my Soul Loveth: Where thou feedest [thy Flock],
Where thou makest [it] to rest at noon:
For why should I be as one that is veiled: Beside the Flocks of thy Companions?”

(The Lover’s Bride seeks her Beloved Shepherd & his Flock; wishes the freedom to not be veiled to protect her honor, to show modesty, & to conceal her beauty & identity; thus to ward off attraction of the wrong sort. She desires to be like Rebekah at well, or as Rachel with her father’s sheep; and to have no worries among the Shepherds, his Friends. She wishes to be free as Ruth in Boaz’s Field; especially at noon in watering the Flocks. Then another speaks to her:)

“If thou know not, O thou Fairest Among Women: Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the Flock: & feed thy Kids beside the Shepherds’ Tents.”

(We are not told who gives her this advice, but it appears to be the Virgins or Friends of the Shepherd. She will certainly find the Beloved Shepherd at eve by the Shepherds Tents, where her Kids will also be safe. Then it continues with another voice:)

I have compared thee, O my Love: To a Steed in Pharaoh’s Chariots.
Thy Cheeks are comely with plaits [of hair]: Thy Neck with strings of jewels.

(The Lover Shepherd compares his Beloved, his Love, to Pharaoh’s Chariots pulled by a Steed of Horses; her Cheeks as beautiful plaited hair; & her Neck as Jewel Necklaces. The Lover sees in his Love the Object of Royalty & Beauty. Then another voice:)

We will make thee plaits of gold: With studs of silver.”

(The voice must be the Virgins wishing to help her adornment; & to please her Beloved.)

“While the King sat at his table: My Spikenard sent forth its Fragrance: My Beloved is unto me [as] a Bundle of Myrrh: That lieth betwixt my Breasts.
My Beloved is unto me [as] a Cluster of Henna-flowers: In the Vineyards of En-gedi.”

(The Royal Banquet of King & Court & Harem is perfumed with her Fragrance of the Nard; her Beloved is as Myrrh between her Breasts, that is on her Chest; & he is as Henna-Flowers. Theses , spices, herbs, & plants are all used for important functions, & are costly. Love seeks in Lovers to not only beautify the Lover for the Beloved, but also to enhance the sweet & pleasant odor of Loves. Solomon as the widest of men, wiser than Ezra the Ezrahite, wiser than Ahithophel the Divine Counselor, wiser than David & Saul, who mastered music & poetry, was surely hiding secrets in this Song of Songs of Love. The expression: ‘My Beloved…That lieth betwixt my Breasts.’ is in Hebrew: (Dodi li ben Shadai yalin) Dodi is the Beloved, David, & Shadai is the Nurturing Breasts as El Shaddai is the Nurturing God for His people. It is a hidden picture of the Beloved Shepherd King, David, resting at her Breasts as He lay dying in his last days, when Abishag the Shunammite (same as Shulammite, from Shulem, Shunem, Salem; see Ges, Lex.) the most beautiful damsel & virgin in Israel in all his borders, and she was brought to King David, who was very old, to attend him, to cherish him, and to rest in his bosom to get heat. Yes David rested at her bosom as she rested at his. But David never had conjugal relations with her; thus she remained a Virgin & a Mystery of the Kingdom. You get the Picture. The Text continues with the last voices of chapter 1:)

Behold, thou art Fair, my Love: Behold thou art Fair: Thine Eyes are [as] Doves.
Behold, thou art Fair, my Beloved, yea, Pleasant: Also our couch is green.
The Beams of our House are Cedars, [&] our Rafters are Firs.

(The Voices are those of both Beloved, both Lovers, the Love & Beloved; both admiring each other; both share the same bed & couch; and both share the same Royal House or Palace of Cedars (for the King of Tyre sent to David cedars to build him a house to dwell therein). The Bride is both a Queen & a Guest or Stranger in the Palace; just Abishag, while David was alive, was as a Queen, though not the Queen Mother, but as a Concubine or Mistress. After David died, she was one of Solomon’s Harem & Court, and with peculiar & mysterious relations & privileges. We will hurry through the rest of the Song, assured that the reader by now has enough of our view & doctrine to reflect in their own consideration of Solomon’s mystery.)

     In chapter 2: The Lovers continue their exchange: “I am a Rose of Sharon: A Lily of the Valleys. As a Lily among Thorns: So is my Love among the Daughters. As the Apple-Tree among the Trees of the Wood: So is my Beloved among the Sons. I sat down under his Shadow with great delight, & his Fruit was sweet to my Taste. He brought me to the Banqueting-House: & his Banner over me was Love. She praises him, & he praises her; both admire each other, with easy & ready pictures. Their relations become confused & complex; they find each other away; they long for each other; the Daughters of Jerusalem are admonish to disturb him or her till they are invited to do so. They are very intimate with each other as Spouses; he is a Shepherd-King, free to move among the valleys & hills, in the fields & on the mountains; their vineyards are now unattended, spoiled by the foxes; her loneliness is tormenting & unbearable; the watchers or guards & Jerusalem’s daughters or virgins are not favorable to her any longer. She is lost in her longing & love for her Beloved; & the Beloved longs for her & their reunion. Solomon & Jerusalem daughters are compared to her & her Beloved. She is his Sister & Bride; he is her Lover & Friend 7 the Chief of Ten Thousand. Both describe each other in excellent romantic poetical figures of speech & metaphors. The language is natural romance, no lust or porn is to be seen, herd, or thought. Her experience is a rich romantic novel of a simple poor, but very attractive virgin given as a wife, a sister & spouse, to a Shepherd King who was the glory of Israel & father of Solomon. She is admired, but teased & taunted, she is praised but pitied. She not only most beautiful, but quite different & unique among the virgins of Jerusalem & the royal harem: “There are 60 queens, and 80 concubines & virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled, is [but] one; She is the only one of her mother; She is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; [Yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” In her solitary experience & longing of her love-sickness she wanders about in search of him or peace, they in turn say: “Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. Why will ye look upon the Shulammite, As upon the dance of Mahanaim?” Here is another mystery, but let reader seek its meaning. We will close this brief look at Solomon’s Song & Poem with his last words of the Songs:

Oh that thou wert as my Brother, That sucked the Breasts of my Mother!
[When] I should find thee without, I would Kiss thee; Yea, and none would despise me.
I would lead thee, [and] bring thee into my Mother’s House: Who would instruct me;
I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine: Of the juice of my pomegranate.
His left hand [should be] under my head, And his right hand should embrace me.
I adjure you, O Daughters of Jerusalem: That ye stir not up, nor awake [my] Love, Until he please.
Who is this that cometh up from the Wilderness: Leaning upon her Beloved?
Under the Apple-tree I awakened thee: There thy Mother was in travail with thee,
There was she in travail that brought thee forth.
Set me as a Seal upon thy heart: As a Seal upon thine arm:
For Love is strong as Death; Jealousy is cruel as Sheol;
The flashes thereof are flashes of fire: A very flame of Jehovah.
Many waters cannot quench Love: Neither can floods drown it:
If a man would give all the substance of his house for Love: He would utterly be contemned.
We have a Little Sister: And she hath no Breasts:
What shall we do for our Sister: In the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a Wall: We will build upon her a turret of silver:
And if she be a Door: We will enclose her with boards of cedar.
I am a Wall, and my Breasts like the towers [thereof]
Then was I in his eyes as one that found Peace.
Solomon had a Vineyard at Baal-Hamon: He let out the Vineyard unto keepers;
Every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand [pieces] of silver.
My Vineyard, which is mine, is before me:
Thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand: & those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
Thou that dwellest in the Gardens: The Companions hearken for thy Voice: Cause me to hear it: So Make haste, my Beloved:
And be thou like to a Roe or to a Young Hart: Upon the Mountains of Spices.

     (The Shulammite-Shunammite imagines in her Love that her Lover could have been as her brother, her mother’s son, nursed at the paps; no shame or dishonor would be found in her open & public affections for her sibling. As a brother, a young man, she would bring her Lover home to be instructed & guided by her mother about Love relationship. Her Lover would embrace her with his hands, the left & the right, holding her, hugging her in tender 7 shapeless Love. This romantic desire is in the Shunammite is caused by the unfulfilled & unrequited intimacy of her experience with King David, who was too old & too weak to satisfy her female emotions of Love. Her body served her Lover to warm & comfort him, but her soul could not stimulate his soul to Love, nor could his body be aroused to Love. Her need was truly great. This was not her experience with Solomon, whose wife was the Egyptian Princess, Pharaoh’s daughter, and with whom Solomon would live apart from the harem. Many of Solomon’s wives & concubines were queens & princesses, and many of them served & worshipped idols; the vineyards at Baal-Hamon was related to the idol Baal, and the silver pieces were as tribute of conquest. The Shepherd Girl was not like that; she was simple, humble, & in Love with the Shepherd-King. Solomon could have become her Lover, but it would come with shame, incest, and peril to the Throne & ruin to the Kingdom. When David’s 5th son, Solomon’s older brother, Adonijah benHaggith after he failed to usurp the Throne & the Kingdom, he solicited Bathsheba to petition King Solomon to let him marry Abishag the Shunammite, but Solomon in his wisdom, responded but why not ask for the Kingdom also; so that day he put Adonijah the usurper to death. This left the Shunammite with a mystery & history to memorialize in imaginations & reality. The Song tells her Love Story, and honors her Love as a type & picture of that Greater Love between God & creation, the Lord & Israel, and between Christ & the Church. Her relations with the harem maidens, her harem sisters, the Virgin Daughters of Jerusalem is settled, and she warns them not to awaken her Beloved till he arises. She will have her Beloved, her David, as her Brother, Lover, King, Shepherd, and Lord. Her Love will ever abide, and will intensity as she ages, she will yearn & pine for their reunion on that other side beyond this life & beyond death. Nothing will extinguish her Love for the Beloved, it burns as Jehovah’s Flames, as He Who’s Name is Jealous, and hell itself is not to match that jealousy of Love. Her virginity is safe, her body fully developed, her Lover was satisfied unto death, and she is now at Peace. Solomon may attend to his Vineyard, but she will attend to her Vineyard; her Beloved dwells in the Gardens, Paradise, but his Companions & Friends all listen to hear his Voice, she longs to hear his Voice. She bids her Beloved King-Shepherd in his freedom to hasten from the Mountain of Spices & Balsams, from the Mountain in the Heavens. (The Hebrew word for ‘spices’ is ({y×imf&:b = besamim; but without the niqqud vowel-points it is ‘bshmym’, the exact letters for ‘in-the-heavens, in-heaven’, namely ‘bshmym’ which makes us think of the hidden mystery in the Song of Songs by Solomon.)

     We have reached the end of the 5 Poetic Books, and will close our reflections with these final words concerning biblical poetry & spiritual music. The biblical history recorded in the historical books of the Bible is the content & context of the musical poetry, what they call ‘poesy’. It goes back to man’s earliest days on earth; it developed in the patriarchs, and an example is seen the chapters of Genesis in God’s communications with man. beginning with the Creation Week of Genesis 1; it is seen in Gen. 9 in the Covenant after the Flood; in Noah’s Curse & Blessing on his Sons from whom the Nations or Gentiles came. In Gen. 27 we find poetry in the patriarchal blessings of Isaac on Jacob & Esau; it is found in the blessings on virgins & women in marriage; and we have it the blessings of fathers on their sons & children for the future generations. We read it in Jacob-Israel’s blessings on his 12 sons of the 12 Tribes of Israel, Joseph’s portion doubled in his sons Ephraim & Manasseh. We find it in Balaam benBeor in his Prophecy in Parables (Num.23); and in Moses’ final words to Israel in Song & Covenantal-Dispensational Blessings (Deut. 32 & 33). The poetic language is allied to prophecy, and history is interpreted into prophecy, thus personal history, experiences, becomes spiritual expressions of a prophetic nature. When God delivers Israel from Egypt the poetry is expressed in the Song of Moses & Israel to the Lord. (Ex.15) Thereafter it occurs more frequent from one generation to another. The musical development is less visible till we reach the monarchy in Israel, which also is seen in the contemporaneous nations near & far.
Poetry is by nature a method & form by which we express our interpretations, impressions, our interests, our doctrines at different levels. Our ability to uses musical instruments of various sorts helps us in this musical or poetic expression. Our Songs in their many forms define much of our culture. We could easily find thousands & millions of examples in songs, hymns, psalms, poems, & more, which would illustrate all our beliefs & practices both individual & collective. Religious Poetry within the larger general Poetry of a nation or people is also very abundant. It is the favorites & selections of the most popular that allows us to focus & enjoy on certain songs of common interest & taste. Biblical Poetry is even more expressed in regards to Scriptural truth or doctrines. But all songs, especially with any degree of human or divine inspiration will teach us & charm us in both mind & mood. Bible Poetry is built on the Poetic Books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch-Chumash), and Jewish & Christian Poetry are modifications of Bible Poetry. In fact Islam, by the Quran of Muhammad the Prophet & Founder, is also an extension of Bible Poetry, or as they express it the Poetry of the Book.
But the most attractive poetry of any type & people are the love-songs, love-songs of any & every variety & category. These love-songs when performed with great skill & beauty, that is with some perfection, become universally endeared to mankind, and often cross over to all nations. The spiritual meaning & value to religious poetry is often part of non-religious poetry, often hidden at a level just below or beyond the natural sense or words. The sense of love-songs is within the meaning, and the meaning is deeper still; and that is not even taking into account mere application or association. But often our secular & popular songs are misused & misunderstood just like proverbs & parables & we lose the value & truth of the songs; and worse, God is cheated & shorted. We cannot spend a lot of time to enlarge this matter of understanding the love-songs, which could easily become a Book of itself, to be added to the many such books already available, both old & new. We will however select some special songs to help as examples at the close of our comments here.
The wisdom literature of Israel in the Bible and outside at large, interacting with the Gentiles, shows a common development among the nations. As Israel learned Hebrew among the ancient Aramean, and with other cross influences, and as they learned to write Hebrew with the Phoenicians & Egyptians & Canaanites, so too in their poetry & music it was mutual sharing & borrowing. It was always this way, and it’s been that way ever since; and we today see it plainly in plain sight in myriad ways. In the Prophetic Books & the New Testament (of course with the Apocrypha in the transition) we will see the international & global relationship it more clear precise ways.

     Here are some Selections of Jewish & Christian Poetry as related to Biblical Poetry as examples of our reflections.

1: The Hymn Of Glory (Shir haChabod) The Ark is opened. Synagogue Service. (“Shir HaKavod is better known by its opening words, Anim Zemiros (“Sweet Hymns”). The song is popularly attributed to Rav Yehuda HaChasid, though it was more likely composed by his father, Rabbi Shmuel ben Kalonymus HaChasid of Speyer (12th century), who also composed Shir HaYichud (The Song of Unity). Shir HaKavod is a series of couplets (except for the last line) that describe what God metaphorically “looks like.” Accordingly, the song is replete with imagery from the Books of the Prophets.”)

1
Sweet hymns shall be my chant and woven songs: Thou art all for which my spirit longs
Within the shadow of Thy hand: All Thy mystery to understand.
While Thy glory is upon my tongue: My inmost heart with love of Thee is wrung:
So though Thy mighty marvels I proclaim: Songs of love wherewith I greet Thy name.
2
I have not seen Thee, yet I tell Thy praise: Nor known Thee, yet I image forth Thy ways.
For by Thy seers’ & servants’ mystic speech: Thou didst Thy sov’ran splendour darkly teach.
& from the grandeur of Thy work they drew: The measure of Thy inner greatness, too.
They told of Thee, but not as Thou must be: Since from Thy work they tried to body Thee:
To countless visions did their pictures run: Behold through all the visions Thou art one.
3
In Thee old age and youth at once were drawn: The grey of eld, the flowing locks of dawn.
The ancient Judge, the youthful Warrior: The Man of Battles, terrible in war:
The helmet of salvation on His head. And by His hand and arm the triumph led.
His head all shining with the dew of light: His locks all dripping with the drops of night.
4
I glorify Him, for He joys in me. My crown of beauty He shall ever be!
His head is like pure gold: His forehead’s flame: Is graven glory of His holy name.
& with that lovely diadem ’tis graced: The coronal His people there have placed.
His hair as on the head of youth is twined. In wealth of raven curls it flows behind.
His circlet is the home of righteousness: Ah, may He love His highest rapture less:
& be His treasured people in His hand: A diadem His kingly brow to band.
By Him they were uplifted, carried, crowned. Thus honoured inasmuch as precious found.
His glory is on me, and mine on Him: And when I call He is not far or dim.
Ruddy in red apparel, bright He glows: When He from treading Edom’s wine-press goes.
Phylacteried the vision Moses viewed: The day he gazed on God’s similitude.
He loves His folk; the meek will glorify. And, shrined in prayer, draw their rapt reply.
5
Truth is Thy primal word; at Thy behest: The generations pass—O aid our quest:
For Thee, and set my host of songs on high. And let my psalmody come very nigh.
My praises as a coronal account. And let my prayer as Thine incense mount.
Deem precious unto Thee the poor man’s song: As those that to Thine altar did belong.
Rise, O my blessing, to the lord of birth: The breeding, quickening, righteous force of earth.
Do Thou receive it with acceptant nod: My choicest incense offered to my God.
And let my meditation grateful be: For all my being is athirst for Thee.

2: (Yigdal = Magnify [the Living God]”, Jewish hymn which shares with Adon ‘Olam the place of honor at the opening of the morning & the close of the evening service. It is based on the 13 Articles of Faith (the 13 Creeds) formulated by Rambam, Moses ben Maimon. This was not the only metrical presentment of the Creeds, but it has outlived all others.)

1. The living God O magnify & bless: Transcending Time & here eternally.
2. One Being, yet unique in unity: A mystery of Oneness measureless.
3. Lo ! form or body He has none, and man: No semblance of His holiness can frame.
4. Before Creation’s dawn He was the same: The first to be, though never He began.
5. He is the world’s & every creature’s Lord: His rule & majesty are manifest:
6. & through His chosen, glorious sons exprest: In prophecies that through their lips are poured.
7. Yet never like to Moses rose a seer. Permitted glimpse behind the veil divine.
8. This faithful prince of God’s prophetic line: Received the Law of Truth for Israel’s ear.
9. The Law God gave He never will amend: Nor ever by another Law replace.
10. Our secret things are spread before His face: In all beginnings He beholds the end.
11. The saint’s reward He measures to his meed: The sinner reaps the harvest of his ways.
12. Messiah He will send at end of days: & all the faithful to salvation lead.
13. God will the dead again to life restore: (In His abundance of almighty love.
(Then blessed be His name, all names above: & let His praise resound for evermore.

3: Praise give to God! Synagogue Service Song & Psalm.

King of the Universe: Potent to free His folk.
Faithful His word to keep. Swift in forgiving sin,
Call His Name gratefully: Praise give to God.
Blest, praised and powerful: Granting His people grace:
He to display His might: Metes in His palm the sea.
Sing to Him, chant to Him: Praise give to God.
Saving His holy folk: Purging to sanctify.
Shrined in His holy house: ‘Mid Abram’s holy seed.
Laud ye His holy Name: Praise give to God.
Hymned in His mighty skies. He yet His folk forgives.
After His mighty word. Wherefore, O congregants.
Seek Him and seek His strength: Praise give to God.
All by His word was made. He alone worked and wrought:
He is your Pardoner. Therefore, O folk that trust.
Ponder His miracles: Praise give to God.
Doing His servant’s word: Glorious in heav’n and earth:
Shriving His worshippers: Called by His high design:
Israel His servant’s seed: Praise give to God.
Lo, He outspread the earth: Thrones on the orb of earth.
Pardons the salt of earth. Call then earth’s Architect:
God throughout all the earth: Praise give to God.
He living high enthroned: Gracious and merciful.
Will to His shrine return. Sons of His covenant:
Heed it eternally. Praise give to God.
Babes of His heritage: Lambs of His private fold.
God will fulfil the word. Pledged in His holy Law,
Vowed unto Abraham: Praise give to God.
God plans salvation and: Life for His followers:
Pardoning sinfulness: Moses this heard and made:
Doctrine in Israel: Praise give to God.
Ruler of all the worlds: Fixed is His word for aye,
Hid is His face from all. Ours but to praise His Name:
Blessed be Israel’s God: Through all eternity
Praise give to God. (Praise give to God!)

4: Lord of the World by Solomon ibn Gabirol. Spain (1021? – 1058). English version by Israel Zangwill from Hebrew. The Shophar is sounded. Synagogue Service Hymn & Creed.

Lord of the world, He reigned alone: While yet the universe was naught.
When by His will all things were wrought: Then first His sov’ran Name was known.
And when the All shall cease to be: In dread lone splendour He shall reign.
He was, He is, He shall remain: In glorious eternity.
For He is one, no second shares His nature or His loneliness:
Unending and beginningless: All strength is His, all sway He bears.
He is the living God to save: My Rock while sorrow’s toils endure
My Banner and my Stronghold sure: The Cup of Life whene’er I crave.
I place my soul within His palm: Before I sleep as when I wake:
And though my body I forsake: Rest in the Lord in fearless calm.

5: SongsExileHebrewPoets.Tr,NinaDavis.Phil.JPSA.1901
(I am the Suppliant: Baruch ben Samuel died in Mayence in 1221. He wrote Talmudical commentaries and works in law, besides many poems for the synagogue. I am the Suppliant is a Sdichaii recited in the Musaf Service of the Day of Atonement. (Baruch ben Samuel (died April 25, 1221), also called Baruch of Mainz to distinguish him from Baruch ben Isaac, was a Talmudist and prolific payyeṭan, who flourished in Mainz at the beginning of the thirteenth century.)
Stanza: 2: line 1, Jeremiah 4:19. St. 7: line 4, Lamentations 1:1. St.13: line 4, Lam. 1:18. St. 15, line 4, Genesis 27:2. St. 16, line 4, Psalm 39:13. St. 17, line 2, Hosea 1:6; line 3, Ps. 17:1. St. 18, line 4, Numbers 11:15. St. 19, line 4, Jonah 2:8. St. 21, line 4, Ps. 30:10. St. 22, line 4, Gen. 37:7. St. 23, line 4, Gen. 48:19. St. 25, line 3, Ps. 119:176. St. 26, line 4, Gen. 44:28. St. 27, line 4, Song of Songs 5:6. St. 30, line 4, Gen. 23:11. St. 31, line 4, Gen. 29:19. St. 32, line 4, Lam. 3:56.)

I am the Suppliant: Baruch benSamuel:
I:A
1.
I am the suppliant for my people here: Yea, for the House of Israel, I am he;
I seek my God’s benign and heedful ear: For words that rise from me.
2.
Amid the walls of hearts that stand around: My bitter sighs surge up and mount the sky;
Ah ! how my heart doth pant with ceaseless bound: For God, my Rock on high.
3.
With mighty works & wondrous He hath wrought: Lord of my strength, my God. When me He bade
To make a Sanctuary for Him, I sought: I labored, and ’twas made.
4.
The Lord, my God, He hath fulfilled His word: He ruleth as an all-consuming Fire:
I came with sacrifice, my prayer He heard: Then granted my desire.
5.
My sprinkling He accepted at the dawn: Of this, the holiest day, the chosen one,
When with the daily offering of the morn: The High Priest had begun.
I:B
6.
And when the services thereafter came: In glorious order, each a sacred rite,
I, bending low, and calling on the Name: Confessed before His sight.
7.
The holy Priests, the ardent, for their sin: Upon this day made their atonement then,
With blood of bullocks and of goats, within: The city full of men.
8.
The Priest with glowing censer seemed as one: Preparing for the pure a way by fire.
Then with two rams I came, e’en as a son: That cometh to his sire.
9.
The bathings and ablutions, as ’twas meet: Were all performed according to their way;
Then passed before the throne of God complete: The service of the day.
I:C
10.
And when sweet strains of praise to glorify: Burst forth in psalmody and songs of love,
Yea, when I heard the voice uplifted high: I raised my hand above.
11.
The rising clouds of incense, mantling o’er:The mercy-seat, lent savor to its grace :
Then glory filled me, and my soul would soar: To yon exalted place.
II:A
12.
Of ancient times I dream, of vanished days: Now wild disquiet rageth unrestrained;
Scorned and reproached by all, from godly ways Have I, alas, refrained.
13.
Afar mine eyes have strayed, and I have erred: And deaf I made mine ears, their listening quelled;
And righteous is the Lord, for at His word: I sorely have rebelled.
14.
Perverseness have I loved, and wrongful thought: And hating good, strove righteousness to shun,
And in mine actions foolishness have wrought: Great evil have I done.
II:B
15.
Pardon, I pray Thee, our iniquity: O God, from Thine high dwelling, and behold
The souls that in affliction weep to Thee: For lo ! I have grown old.
16.
Work for me, I beseech Thee, marvels now: O Lord of Hosts ! in mercy lull our fears;
Answer with potent signs, and be not Thou: Silent unto my tears.
17.
Open Thine hand exalted, nor revile: The hearts not comforted, but pierced with care,
Praying with fervent lips, that know not guile: O hearken to my prayer !
18.
Look Thou upon my sorrow, I implore: But not upon the sin that laid me low ;
Judge, God, the cause of mine affliction sore: Let me not see my woe.
II:C
19.
O Thou, my Maker! I have called on Thee: Pictured my thought to Thee, pronounced my word;
And at the time my spirit failed in me: Remembered I the Lord.
20.
Behold my wound, O Thou Who giv’st relief! Let me Thine ears with voice of weeping win;
Seek in Thy mercy balsam for my grief: But seek not for my sin.
21.
Give ear unto my voice, O list my call! And give me peace, for Thou art great to save.
What profit is there in my blood, my fall: Down low unto the grave?
III:A
22.
But I unceasing will declare Thy praise: Grant my atonement, though I sinned so oft.
Bring not my word to nothingness, but raise: My fallen sheaf aloft.
23.
Redeem Thy son, long sold to bondage grim: And on his substance let Thy blessing flow;
How long, O Lord, ere Thou wilt say to him: “I know, my son, I know,”
24.
“I see thee heavy-laden with thy care: With sorrow’s burden greater than thy strength;
I hear thee wailing: yea, but I will spare: And will redeem at length.”
III:B
25.
And now, O my Redeemer, lo! behold: The chains that bind me ‘neath their cruel sway,
And seek Thy servant, wandered from the fold: A lost sheep, gone astray.
26.
Beauty’s perfection lieth fallen low: Broken and waste, which stood in majesty;
The glory is gone forth, and fled, for woe! The One went out from me.
27.
My strong bars He hath broken every one: He hath been wroth with me: I am bereft.
For my belov’d hath turned aside and gone: A desert am I left.
28.
My gates are sunken, they that stood so high: My sacred doors are shattered and laid waste;
Lo! they are moved and vanished hence; and I: Am humbled and disgraced.
29.
Dumb are mine advocates in mine appeal: High in their pride my scorners raise their crest;
They quench my light, they darkly do conceal: My welfare and my rest.
III:C
30.
O Lord, my God ! all strength doth dwell in Thee: O hear my voice, as humbly here I bow;
And let the sentence of Thy judgment be: “Take thou my blessing now.”
31.
Behold me fallen low from whence I stood: And mine assembly with compassion see;
And this my soul, mine only one, ’tis good: To give it unto Thee.
32.
Take back Thy son once more, and draw him near: Hide not from him the radiance of Thine eye,
Turn not away, but bend a favoring ear: Unto my plaint, my cry.

6: How Great Thou Art. English Translation of Boberg’s Swedish “O Store God” by Stuart K. Hine (1885). (“Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. It was translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own. The composition was set to a Russian melody. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades. It was voted the United Kingdom’s favourite hymn by BBC’s Songs of Praise. “How Great Thou Art” was ranked second (after “Amazing Grace”) on a list of the favourite hymns of all time in a survey by Christianity Today magazine in 2001. Wikipedia.org)

1.
O Lord my God: When I in awesome wonder
Consider all: The works Thy Hand hath made:
I see the stars: I hear the (mighty) thunder:
Thy pow’r throughout: The universe displayed,
2.
When through the woods: And forest glades I wander:
I hear the birds: Sing sweetly in the trees:
When I look down: From lofty mountain grandeur:
And hear the brook: And feel the gentle breeze,
3.
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
4.
When Christ shall come: With shouts of acclamation:
And take me home: What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow: In humble adoration
And there proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
5.
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

7: Firm Foundation formerly attributed to K. in John Ribbon’s Selections of Hymns in 1787; K.is either George Keith (commonly believed) or more correctly Robert Keene.

1.
How firm a Foundation ye saints of the Lord: Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said: To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2.
In every condition, in sickness, in health: In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home & abroad, on the land, on the sea: As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
3.
“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed: For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strength’n thee, help thee, & cause thee t’stand: Upheld by My righteous, omnipot’nt hand.”
4.
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go: The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee (thy) trouble to bless: And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”
5.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie: My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design: Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
6.
“Even down to old age all My people shall prove: My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
& when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn: Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.”
7.
“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose: I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake: I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!”
[8.]
[Thus on God’s Foundation th’saints d’now stand: Awaiting th’Lord, from th’ Father’s right hand;
The (sheep and the Shepherd) are truly now one: In glory forever, while sufferings are done.]

(sts. 1-7 based on Isaiah 40-44-66. stz1= 1 Cor.3:11; st.2= Psalms; st.3= Isa.41:10; st.4-5= Isa.43:2; st.6= Rom.8:35-39, Heb.13:5, Deut.31:6; st.7= Mat.11:28-30, 16:18, 28:18-20; [st.8= Heb.13:8,20-21, 1Pet.5:4, John 10, 17.] (st.8 added in 1975 by mjm)

8: Joys from Fount of Paradise: Fount of Life Eternal. Translation of St. Augustine’s Latin Song. Monastery & Convent Hymn (Augustine’s Song. St, Bishop, of Hippo. 4thc. Latin-English. From The Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. vol 34, Feb 1899, p168, n2. Joys of Paradise or Fount of Life Eternal, or Fount of Paradise. Verses inspired by Scripture: Gen., Psalms, Song of Sol., Rev., &c.)

1.
For the Fount of Life Eternal: Panteth the enamored soul,
From its bonds th’ imprisoned spirit: Seeketh freedom of control,
Exiled here it turns and flutters: Struggling for its native goal.
2.
When ’neath trial and confusion: Pressed by misery and pain,
It beholds its glory clouded: By the breath of deadly bane,
Present evil but enhanceth: Memory of a perished gain.

3.
Who can voice the joy surpassing: Of that endless peace supreme,
Where the living pearls of beauty: In the lofty dwellings gleam,
Where the spacious halls and mansions: With a golden glory stream?
4.
Precious are the gems compacted: In that palace, stone on stone,
Purest gold like unto crystal: Is upon the highway strown:
Free of dust and spotless ever: For no darkening stain is known.

5.
Blighting Winter, burning Summer: There no longer hold their sway,
Spring perpetual bright with roses: Bloometh, knowing no decay:
Lilies glisten, crocus gleameth: Balsam sendeth perfumed spray.
6.
Verdant are the springing meadows: And the honied rivers flow,
Odors breathe their sweet aroma: As the spicy breezes blow,
In the groves, with fruit unfailing: Leafy boughs are bending low.

7.
There no fickle moon appeareth: Nor do planets speed their way,
For the Lamb is light undying: Of that happy land alway,
Night and time are ever banished: For ’tis never ending day.
8.
There the saints in light supernal: As a glorious sun-burst shine,
Crowned triumphant then, exulting: In an ecstacy divine,
They recount their glorious conquests: With the raging foe in line.

9.
Free from stain, their battle over: E’en the flesh is glorified;
Flesh transfigured, with the spirit: Doth in harmony abide,
Peaceful with a holy stillness: Troubled by no sinful tide.
10.
Freed from weight of all mutation: To their Source they swiftly rise,
On the Face of Truth Eternal: Gazing with enraptured eyes,
Thence to draw reviving sweetness: From the Fount of Paradise.

11.
They rejoice in changeless being: Glory in a steadfast will,
Lit with vivifying rapture: Subject to no passing ill,
Sickness flying, health undying: Though eternal, youthful still.
12.
Thus they have perennial being: For transition now is o’er;
Thus they flourish, bloom and flower: Ne’er decaying, as of yore.
Strong with an immortal vigor: Death is conquered evermore.

13.
Knowing Him Who knoweth all things: In all knowledge they delight,
E’en the secret of each bosom: Charmeth now each ravished sight,
One in mind, in will, in spirit: They in all of good unite.
14.
“ Star shall differ,” for the glory: Is apportioned to the pain,
But in bond of sweet communion: Charity doth so ordain,
That the treasure each possesseth: Shall enrich the common gain.

15.
To the body flock the eagles: For the royal feast is spread,
Saints and Angels rest together: On celestial bounty fed;
Citizens of earth and heaven: Seek the One Life-giving Bread.
16.
Famished yet restored with plenty: What they have they yet desire,
Sated, yet they languish never: Nor doth hunger ever tire.
Ever longing they are feasting: Yet to feast they still aspire.

17.
Songs of melody enchanting: Their melodious voices raise,
String and psaltery are mingled: With the jubilee of lays,
Offering to the King Eternal: Homage of the victor’s praise.
18.
Happy soul to whom the vision: Of the Heavenly King is known,
Who hath seen the vast creation: Circling ‘neath His lofty throne,
Sun and moon and sphery splendor: In their varied beauty shown.

19.
Thou, O Christ, the Palm of battle: Lead me to Thy land of rest,
When I shall have loosed the sword-belt: Cast the buckler from my breast,
Make me sharer in the guerdon: Thou bestowest on the blest.
20.
Prove the valor of Thy warrior: When the din of war is rife,
But refuse not sweet refreshment: To the victor after strife,
Be Thyself my Prize Eternal: Thou, my Everlasting Life.

9:
Bridal Love. (The Bride) John 14:3 & Solomon’s Song of Songs. (Individual and Corporate.) (This Hymn and Song has been wrongly attributed to certain others, confused that it was signed by the initials P.G. It is not Unknown, Anonymous, P.G., or Gerhardt. It is Bevan’s rendition of Gerhard Tersteegen (Ter Stegeen) German Hymns and words while she resided at her home at Princes Gate (P.G.): “A favourite device of hers was to use merely the initials of the house where she was staying when she wrote a hymn.” “Another complication was that Mrs. Bevan preferred to convey the general sense of an original rather than to imitate it word for word. Often in the final version there was more of the translator than of the translated. In this she (probably unconsciously) was following the precedent of that first great translator of German hymns into English, John Wesley. It was perhaps significant that she wrote a biography of him.” The Hymn was at times ascribed to the Plymouth Brethren, the group Emma Frances Shuttleworth Bevan and her husband was in fellowship with on a regular basis. But the Hymn was not in the Little Flock Hymns in 1856, and not in Darby’s revision in 1881. But it first occurred in Bevan’s “Service of Song in the House of the Lord” (p33-34), 1884. In several of her works of translations and original songs it is clear that rendition is that of TerSteegen and the other Mystics, especially the Germans, like the Friends of God. Bevan in her own search for an intimate relationship with God in Christ, was drawn to the German Mystics that preceded and prepared for the Reformation. Though a contented married woman, with many children, her ardent fervent zeal and affections were ever drawn to the Bridal Love of Christ and the Church. She found her native High Church Woman experience inadequate to satisfy this intense romantic spiritual tryst. The Plymouth Brethren gave her partial and temporary relief and comfort as she pursued Him Who alone satisfies. In TerSteegen she found great consolation and example, along with those of that way and school; all of which is recorded in several of her books. Tersteegen is one of those Christians whose life exemplifies the spiritual life of inner contemplation and subjective experience of Christ. He and his kind are often labelled mystics of Christian Mysticism. The church has always had many Christians, men and women, sisters and brothers, who have devoted themselves to God and Christ in such a manner that they could not be ignored or impeded. He, like so many, have their own unique story that explains and clarifies their peculiar life. The spiritual believer as a Christian will not easily fit the natural category we often define or identify them by, and thus often be branded and rejected or persecuted. The mystery and ministry of which they occupy themselves are often indescribable and foreign to our senses and culture. They will always exist as a witness and testimony to the mass of mankind. They are subject to all human defects as the rest of us, including depression and insanity. Their love is intense in the spirit as it also is seen in the flesh; they are driven by nature to seek the spirit of life and God. As Christians they are Christ intoxicated and obsessed, for good or ill. Christ’s cross and glory, His passion and incarnation, His relations to God and man, are their only concern in their mortality; and always longing to be at home, or for their Beloved to return. mjm.)

I Individual
1
’Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow: One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow: Christ will come for me.
’Midst the peace, the joy, the glory: And the light, God’s own,
Christ for me is watching, waiting: Waiting ’til I come.

2
Long the blessed Guide has led me: By the desert road;
Now I see the coming splendor: Splendor of my God.
There amidst the love and glory: He is waiting yet;
On His hands a name is graven: He can ne’er forget.

3
There, amidst the songs of heaven: Sweeter to His ear
Is the footfall through the desert: Ever drawing near.
There, made ready are the mansions: Radiant, still, and fair;
But the Bride the Father gave Him: (Still) is (needed) there.

II Corporate
4
Who is this, Who comes to meet ‘us’: On the desert way,
As the Morning Star foretelling: God’s unclouded day?
He it is Who came to win ‘us’: On the cross of shame;
In His glory well ‘we’ know Him: Evermore the same.

5
O the blessed joy of meeting: All the desert past;
O the wondrous words of greeting: He shall speak at last!
He and ‘we’ together ent’ring: The fair realm above;
He and ‘we’ together sharing: All the Father’s love.

6
Where no shade nor stain can enter: Nor the gold be dim,
In His holiness unsullied: ‘we’ shall walk with Him.
Meet Companion then for Jesus: From Him, for Him, made—
Glory of God’s grace forever: There in ‘us’ displayed.

7
He who in His hour of sorrow: Bore the curse alone;
‘We’ who through the lonely desert: Trod where He had gone;
He and ‘we’ , in that bright glory: One deep joy shall share—
‘Ours’, to be forever with Him: His, that ‘we’ am there.

10:
The God of Abraham Praise
(Thomas Olivers 1770 based on Jewish Synagogue Piyut (Poem) Yigdal Elohim Chai (Magnify the Living God; Prayer Creed) chanted by Meyer (Meier) Leon (Michael Leoni) in London. Tune or Traditional Melody: Leoni or Yigdal.) (Part I: Individual Call; Part II: Corporate Journey; Part III: Universal End. Also note the use of colon (:) used musically or phonetically to separate lines in a stanza or verse that May be displayed separate as a shorter line. Note that ( ) of a word or few words are notation of alternate words that may be better or preferred substitute; & the use of ‘ ‘ single quote-marks of a word or words for emphasis, such as ‘Jesus’ for ‘Joshua or JehoShua’. Note on verse 12: (host) could be altered to (‘cert) for (concert or c’ncert); the original ‘host’ rhymed with the original ‘Ghost’ in Holy Ghost, inherited from the Germanic or Teutonic Indo-European roots of the English language, but is now almost abandoned in common use except in certain Christian circles whose roots go back a few hundred years or more; the Latin ‘Spirit’ even in the Reformation period was already dominate in English usage which may easily seen in the AKJV of 1611. And finally, the ( ) enclosing the 5 words are the original punctuation of the composer. I have not hesitated to use or altered capitalization to enhance honor and dignity and reverence.)

I.
1
The God of Abrah’m praise: Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days: And God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! By earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name: Forever blessed.
2
The God of Abrah’m praise: At Whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys: At His right hand;
I all on earth forsake: Its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only Portion make: My Shield and Tower.
3
The God of Abrah’m praise: Whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days: In all (my) ways.
He calls a worm His friend: He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end: Thro’ Jesus’ blood.
4
He by Himself has sworn; I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne: To Heav’n ascend.
I shall behold His face; I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace: Forevermore.
II.
5
Tho’ nature’s strength decay: And earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds (I) urge (my) way: At His command.
The wat’ry deep (I) pass, With ‘Jesus’ in (my) view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness: (My) way pursue.
6
The goodly land (I) see, With peace and plenty bless’d;
A land of sacred liberty: And endless rest.
There milk and honey flow: And oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow: With mercy crowned.
7
There dwells the Lord our King: The Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin: The Prince of Peace;
On Sion’s sacred height: His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light: Forever reigns.
8
He keeps His own secure, He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure: His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss: With groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of Paradise: He still supplies.
9
Before the great Three-One: They all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done: Through all their land:
The list’ning spheres attend: And swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end: The wondrous Name.
III.
10
The God Who reigns on high: The great archangels (sing),
And “Holy, holy, holy!” cry: “Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same: And evermore shall be:
Jehovah—Father—Great I AM: We worship Thee!”
11
Before the Savior’s face: The ransomed nations bow;
O’erwhelmed at His almighty grace: Forever new:
He shows His prints of love: They kindle to a flame!
And sound thro’ all the worlds above: The slaughtered Lamb.
12
The whole triumphant (host): Give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy (Spir’t):” They ever cry.
Hail, Abrah’m’s God, and mine! (I join the heav’nly lays,)
All might and majesty are Thine: And endless praise.

11:
(Millenial Praises, Containing a Collection of Gospel Hymns, in Four Parts; adapted to the Day of Christ’s Second Appearing, Composed for the use of His People. Hancock, Printed by Josiah Tallcott. Junior.1813. Part 4, Hymn 17.Adventist. Printed also in The Day Star for 1845 with note that it was used by the Philadelphian Brethren.) (Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Designed to Aid in the Devotions of Prayer, Conference, and Camp-Meetings”, Winsor,VT.Pub. by N.C. Goddard, 1836. Hymn 88.Methodist.)

Israel’s Canaan Journey
1
The old Israelites knew what it was they must do,
If fair Canaan they would possess,
They must still keep in sight of the pillar of light,
Which led on to the promised rest.
2
The camps on the road could not be their abode,
But as oft as the trumpet should blow,
They all glad of a chance of a further advance,
Must then take up their baggage and go.

3
I am thankful indeed for the heavenly Head,
Which before me hath hitherto gone;
For that pillar of love which doth onward still move,
And doth gather our souls into one. –
4
Now the cross bearing throng are advancing along,
And a closer communion doth flow,
Now all who would stand on the promised land,
Let them take up their crosses and go-

5
The way is all new, as it opens to view,
And behind is a foaming red sea;
So none now need to speak of the onions and leeks,
Or talk about garlicks to me.
6
My mind’s in pursuit, I must have the good fruit,
Which on Canaan’s rich vallies doth grow,
Although millions of foes should rise up and oppose,
I will take up my crosses and go.

7
What tho’some in the rear preach up terror & fear,
And complain of the trials they meet ;
Though the giants before with great fury do roar,
I’m resolved I will never retreat.
8
We are little, ’tis true, and our numbers are few,
And the sons of old Anak are tall;
But while I see a track I will never give back,
But go on at the risk of my all.

9
Though while scatter’d around in this wilderness ground,
With good manna a while we’ve been fed;
This will not always do, we must rise and go thro’.
Till we feed on the heavenly bread.
10
Now the morning doth dawn for the camps to move on,
And the priests with their trumpets do blow;
As the priests give the sound, and the trumpets resound,
All my soul is exulting to go.

11
On Jordan’s near side I can never abide,
For no place here of refuge I see,
Till I come to the spot, and inherit the lot
Which the Lord God will give unto me.
12
Now ’tis union I seek with the pure and the meek,
So an end to all discord and strife;
Since I have fix’d mine eyes on the heavenly prize,
I will go, at the risk of my life.

13
If I am faithful and true, and my journey pursue,
Till I stand on the heavenly shore,
I shall joyfully see what a blessing to me,
Was the mortifying cross which 1 bore.
14
Since these losses are gain, I will never complain,
But so long as I am able to move,
With the resolute few I’m resolv’d to go through,
Till I reach the fair Canaan above,
15
All my honors and wealth, all my pleasures and health,
I am willing should now be at stake,
If my Christ I obtain, I shall think it great gain
For the sacrifice which I shall make.
16
When I all have forsook, like a bubble ’twill look,
From the midst of a glorified throng,
Where all losses are gain, where each sorrow & pain,
Are exchanged for the conqueror’s song.

We may find many more examples in the thousands, millions, and since the beginning of human history, even billions of poetic expressions. We each have favorites, and each drawn to different types of music & poetry. For me certain religious poetry is appealing, and yet others repulse me. Biblical accuracy weigh heavily in the form in songs & poems. In secular music I find the Oldies But Goodies of the 50s- 70s are appealing to me; I am fond of the older Country Music, especially Ballads. I like artists like Marty Robbins, Gene Pitney, Bob Dylan, Jonny Cash, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Harry Bellefonte, Jim Croce, &c. Some of my favorite songs in the secular world are: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Big Iron, Kingston Town; Coward of the County; El Paso; My Woman, My Woman, My Wife; The Story of My Life; I Need Your Love; She’s Just a Drifter; Devil Woman; The Gambler; You Gave Me a Mountain This Time; &c. I like the music on the soundtracks of some plays & movies, as the Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, and Sound of Music. There are hundreds & thousands of my favorites, and each one I seek to learn from in accordance to the truth of Scripture. I try to identify with what is good & true with God & Christ. I endeavor to find God & Christ in those songs or poems that are elevated in human experiences. The Lord is easily the Hero & His heart’s desire the heroine, be it mankind, Israel, or the Church. Music & musical instruments unfortunately does not influence me as to my concern in a given poetic piece. Of course I would prefer to cite actual example of the songs, hymns, and poems to illustrate my reflections, but I have no desire to get entangled in copyright laws & rules. I could not find any public domain poetry, especially in love-songs that clearly exemplify the modern experiences of my age & generation. Music & Poetry often are quite restrictive in limits & taste for a certain generation or two. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah or Broken Hallelujahs is a prime & rare example of a current phenomenon in this regard. Each generation undergo significant changes from the old to the new. Our current generation is shockingly departing for their parents’ paths. The minority groups ever-increasing alienation from the majority in all their culture & customs.
Music & Poetry in songs, poems, verses, lines are a dominate force in our society today, and in truth has always been in several ways. The collective experiences of the national groups or classes have their distinctive expressions & genre. The Black culture in music & poetry is different than White; the Christian is different than non-Christians; the Jewish, Muslim, American Indian, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and the non-religious or secularist, one and all have their own unique musical-poetical properties, and they all share common influences both active & passive. The ever changes of progression from old to new, from the past to the present to the future is a constant consistent feature of poetic expression. A good artist, by voice or acting, by sound or fame, can make even a poor poetic or musical piece, whether songs or poems, into a treasured popular song for the fans. Many are the songs, hymns, ballads, and such like, that the original author or composer never dreamed that he or she was giving birth to a cultural masterpiece.
All this concludes are Chapter III of CBR of the 5 Poetic Books which prepares us for the final Prophetic Books of the Old Testament, namely of the Greater or longer Prophets of Isaiah Jeremiah & Ezekiel; and the Minor or shorter Prophets of Daniel & the 12 Minor Prophets from Hosea to Malachi. These Two Divisions or Parts will be treated in two chapters in the Key Book of Isaiah & of Daniel, both representing the manual symbolic Digits of the 4th & 5th Finger of the Bible Hand of the Divine Word. We have sought to establish the Divine Word is compositionally interconnected & codependent & related as one unit or form like the hands; and that the two hands consists of 10 fingers, digits, and the digital divisions are composed of other books that belong to the key books as essential members or parts. We have journeyed from the origins of all things from the eternal & infinite God to the Foundations of the Word & World, then we arrived at the Law or rather the Second Law which shows the spiritual direction & manner in which the Word would be seen, heard, lived, and fulfilled.
We have arrived to the 3rd station & highest summit of the Old Testament in the Psalms with the other poetic Books of wisdom & truth & love & life. Our hermeneutical skills or training will prepare us to spiritually understand the Prophets, and in turn advance us toward the New Testament.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.20

CBR.20: Proverbs – Song of Songs: III. Poetic Books: Job-Songs. mjmselim. July29, 2018
((Here are pages 375-486 of CBR, Chapter III, (in three submissions pages 375-402, CBR.18 (Job), 402-450 CBR.19 (Psalms), 450-486 CBR.20 (Proverbs-Song of Songs) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. This Chapter III & Part III will be added to the PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, along with the final pages of the Chapter in a few days. CBR. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018))

PROVERBS: (Selections from various authors, writers, commentaries, &c.)
Solomon’s: Mashals: (Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Truth; Life & Death, etc.)

1: A Picture is worth a thousand words; so a Proverb or Parable a book of a thousand pages.

2: From: Biblical Commentary of Proverbs of Solomon, by Franz Delitzsch.Translated from German, by M. G. Easton. Clarks Theological Library, 4th Serial Edition. (1884)

Older Book of Proverbs 1-24: External Title of Book,(1:1-6). Motto of Book, (1:7). Introductory Mashal Discourse (IMD):
1st IMD (1:8-19): Warning against Fellowship of those who Sin against their Neighbor’s Life & Property.
2nd IMD (1:20-ff): Discourse of Wisdom to Her Despisers.
3rd IMD (2:): Earnest Striving after Wisdom as Way to Fear of God & to Virtue.
4th IMD (3:1-18): Exhortation: Love & Faithfulness & Self-Sacrificing Devotion to God, as True Wisdom.
5th IMD (3:19-26): World-Creative Wisdom as Mediatrix of Divine Protection.
6th IMD (3:27-35): Exhortation to Benevolence & Rectitude.
7th IMD (4:1-5:6): Recollections of His Father’s House.
8th IMD (5:7-23): Warning against Adultery & Commendation of Marriage.
9th IMD (6:1-5): Warning against Inconsiderate Suretyship.
10th IMD (6:6-11): Call to Sluggard to Awake.
11th IMD (6:12-19): Warning against Deceit & Malice.
12th IMD (6:20-ff): Warning against Adultery, by Reference to its Fearful Consequences.
13th IMD (7:): Warning against Adultery: Representation: its Abhorrent & Detestable Nature: Example.
14th IMD (8:):Discourse of Wisdom concerning Her Excellence & Her Gifts.
15th IMD (9:): Double Invitation: of Wisdom & of Her Rival Folly.
1st Collection of Solomonic Proverbs, (10:1-22:16):

Exhortations to Fidelity & other Social Virtues; to Humility and Gentleness; against Drunkenness, Slothfulness, Quarrelsomeness, etc.; to the Exercise of Justice, Patience and Submission to God. Admonitions as to the Obtaining and Preserving of a Good Name; etc.

1st Appendix to 1st Collection of Solomonic Proverbs, (22:17-24:22):
Admonition to lay to heart the “Words of the Wise”. Treatment of the Poor. Warnings against Avarice, Intemperance, & Licentiousness; against Fellowship with Wicked and Foolish. Admonition to Right Conduct toward others. Warning against Slothfulness —a Mashal Ode.

2nd Collection of Solomonic Proverbs (which Men of Hezekiah collected), (25-29):
Admonition to Kings & Subjects to the Fear of God and Practice of Righteousness. Warnings against Folly, Indolence, & Malice; against unseemly Boasting & Anger. Value of Friendship. Contentious Woman. Influence of Mutual Intercourse. Exhortation to Rural Industry —a Mashal Ode. Warnings against Unscrupulous, Unlawful Dealings. Divers Ethical Proverbs: Warnings against Stubbornness, Flattery, Wrath, etc..

1st Appendix to 2nd Solomonic Collection of Proverbs, (30):
“Words of Agur” —his Confession of Fruitless Search for Wisdom. Mashal Ode —Prayer for Middle State between Poverty & Riches. Priamel —a Wicked Generation. Four Insatiable Things. Eye that mocketh. Four Incomprehensible Things. Four Intolerable Things. Four Things that are Small and yet Wise. Four Creatures that are stately in going.

2nd Appendix to 2nd Solomonic Collection of Proverbs, (31:1-9):
“Words of Lemuel” —his Mother’s Counsel for Kings.

3rd Appendix to 2nd Solomonic Collection of Proverbs, (31:10-31):
Alphabetical Poem (“Golden A B C for Women”) in praise of Virtuous Matron.

3: From: Book of Proverbs, Criticcl Exegetical Commentry. International Critical Commentary Old Tetament . Crawford H. Toy. (1899)

Introduction. § 1. Names.
1. Masoretic title is Proverbs of Solomon ((mshly shlmh), [Sepher] Mishlë Shelömö, by the later Jews usually abridged to Mishlë)…..2. By early Christian writers the book was commonly called Wisdom or All-virtuous Wisdom, (hë panaretos sophia), names which were also given to ‘Ben-Sira’ (‘Ecclesiasticus’) and ‘Wisdom of Solomon’…..

§ 2. Divisions.
Divisions of Book indicated in text itself are as follows:
I: Group of discourses on wisdom and wise conduct (1-9):1. General title (1:1), purpose of Book (1:2-6), central or fundamental principle (1:7); 2. Warning against consorting with sinners (1:8-19); 3. Wisdom’s appeal (1:20-33) ; 4. Wisdom as guardian against bad men & women (2:); 5. Advantages attending obedience to the sage’s instruction, fear of Yahweh, & devotion to wisdom (3:) ; 6. Exhortation to obey sage (4:); 7. Warning against unchaste women (5:); 8. Three paragraphs, against suretyship, indolence, slander, here misplaced [?] (6:1-19); 9. Warning against unchaste women (6:20-35); 10. Similar warning (7:); 11. Function of Wisdom as controller of life, & as attendant of Yahweh in creation of world (8:); 12. Wisdom & Folly contrasted as hosts (9:1-6,13-18), & interjected, misplaced [?] paragraph of apothegms on wisdom (9:7-12).
II: Collection of aphorisms in couplet form (10:1-22:16).
III: Two collections of aphoristic quatrains (22:17-24:22, & 24:23-34).
IV: Collection of aphoristic couplets (25:-29:).
V: Collection of discourses of various characters (30:, 31:): “words of Agur” (30:1-4); certainty of God’s word (30:5-6); prayer for moderate circumstances (30:7-9); against slandering servants (30:10); collection of aphorisms citing certain things arranged in groups of fours (30:11-33); instruction to a king (31:1-9); description of model housewife (31:10-31).
The purpose of all these sections is the inculcation of certain cardinal social virtues, such as industry, thrift, discretion, truthfulness, honesty, chastity, kindness, forgiveness, warning against the corresponding vices, and praise of wisdom as the guiding principle of life. If we compare ‘Proverbs’ in this regard with ‘Ben-Sira’, we find that the latter, while it deals in general with the same moral qualities, goes more into detail in the treatment of social relations, and has more to say of manners as distinguished from morals.

§ 3. Structure of the Material.
The divisions indicated above suggest, by their differences of tone and content, that the Book has been formed by the combination of collections of various dates and origins. It is not probable that one man was the author of the philosophical discourses of chs. 1:-9:, the pithy aphorisms of 10:1-22:16, the quatrains of 22:17-24, the couplets of 25:-29:, and the mixed material of 30:, 31:.
A similar conclusion is indicated by the repetitions which occur in the Book. Thus, as between II. and III. we find ‘variant couplets’;… ‘identical line’s…. As between II. & IV.: ‘identical couplets’;… ‘variant couplets’;… ‘identical lines’…. As between III. & IV., an ‘identical line’….
From these repetitions we infer that the collectors of II., III., IV., were mutually independent —no one of them was acquainted with the work of the others. In I. and V. we find no matter that can be called repetition; the peculiar tone of each of these divisions kept it apart from the others; 6:1-19 & 9:7-12 are misplaced [?].
Subdivisions or smaller collections also appear to be indicated by repetitions within each of the three middle sections. Within II.: ‘identical’ or ‘equivalent couplets’:… ‘identical’ or ‘equivalent lines’ Within III.:… ‘couplets’ or ‘lines’: (the couplets which in 23:1,11 form one quatrain are in 22:23, 28 divided between two quatrains);… (a similar division of couplets). Within IV. : 28:12 & 29:2……

4: From: Commentary on Book Proverbs. Moses Stuart. (1860)

Introduction: Section 2: Leading Divisions (Parts) of Book: 6 Different Titles in 3 Sections (Portions) or 6 Divisions or Parts. (1-9; 10-22; 22-24; 25-29; 30; 31; (7th Division (Part) = 31:10-31.)

§ 4. Arrangement and Characteristics of Part I., including 1:8-9:18.
(1) As arranged in the Hebrew, this part consists of 247 verses. Nearly all of these are ‘simple parallelisms’, i.e. they consist of two members or clauses in each verse. Only 11 triplets are found, in the whole (Ch: 1, 3-5, 7-9; none in 2 & 6). The distribution of the parallelisms, as to the different species of them, is very unequal. If I have reckoned rightly, there are 209 ‘synonymous’ parallelisms; 36 synthetic; & only 4 ‘antithetic’, which last are all in one group, viz.: 3: 32-35. In the whole 247 verses, we have only 11 exceptions to ‘bimembral’ parallelism; & these contain each 3 clauses.
(2) From this survey of the kinds of parallelism, it is evident that Part I differs widely from the style and manner of Part II. Here, ch. 10-15 exhibit 186 ‘antithetic’ verses, & only 23 ‘synthetic’; while ch. 16-22: 16 reverse this order, & exhibit 24 ‘antithetic’, & 159 ‘synthetic’. But in neither of these two divisions of Part II do we find the ‘synonymous’ parallelism at all; while in Part I there are 209 to 36 ‘synthetic’ & 4 antithetic. These parallelistic distinctions, therefore, between the two divisions, are of a most palpable and striking nature. Specially is this the case with ch. 10-15, where the antithetic equals 186, the ‘synthetic’ are only 23, and there are no synonymous parallelisms. Yet this last species makes up almost the entirety of Part I. What bearing this may have on the ‘sameness’ of authorship in both cases, will come in due time to be discussed.
(3) Part II, i.e. 10:1-22:16, contains only 3 verses, (19:7,23; 21:20), where the ‘triplet’ is employed; & even in these, there is synthetic parallelism. In this division, moreover, ‘no subject is continued so as to comprise more than one verse or sentence’. This last circumstance is very striking, when contrasted with Part I. Here the same subject is continued, in 2,3,4,5, 10, 15, & even up to 25 verses; & this occurs so constantly, that ‘connected and in some degree prolonged discourse’ is, we may well say, altogether the usual order of the day (E.g. 57 examples in ch. 1-9). I find only 4 cases out of the whole in which a subject is completed by one verse, viz. 3:30, 33-35. This certainly is very remarkable, and has nothing like to it in ‘extent’, in any other portions of the book of Proverbs, and very little which is like to it even in ‘kind’. Only 23:29-35; 24:30-34; 27:23-27; 31:3-7, 10-31, afford specimens (all excepting one are brief) of the like nature, throughout all the rest of the book. Most distinctly marked, then, is Part I, as to treating subjects ‘continuously’, and constituting a kind of short discourse, rather than a gnome; for this is the character and tenor of the composition in this Part. All these things seem to plead strongly for different authors; but the discussion of this question must be deferred, for a little time.
(4) A subordinate and artistic classification appears, here and there, in groups of ‘tens’. So 1:10-19; 3:1-10, 11-20; 4:10-19; 8:12-21, 22-31. The like of this we meet with nowhere else, in this book. I call it artistic, because, somewhat like that of the alphabetical Psalms, such an arrangement appears to be purposely made, for the sake of aiding the memory.
(5) Many paragraphs in Part I. are headed with the address: ‘My son.’ (10 times) ‘This appears nowhere in Part’ II, and but very rarely in the latter part of the book. But this address does not stand at the head of every new and distinct paragraph, although it serves to distinguish paragraphs so far as it goes. It is easy, however, to distinguish them by the subject-matter of their contents, without the aid of such an address. This is another striking point of difference between Parts I and II, on which we must touch again hereafter.
(6) Some of the most extended sentences in all the Bible, are found in Part I. For example, the whole of chap. 2 (twenty-two verses) is in reality but one sentence. Then again, examine 1:29-33, which is virtually of the same description; and so 6:20-26; 7:6-20; 8:22-31; 9:13-18, with many others of less extent indeed, but still longer than is elsewhere common in the book of Proverbs. This is, at least, a circumstance that must be brought into the account, when we come to inquire about ‘authorship’.
(7) The name of (’Elohim) occurs nowhere in Proverbs, except in 2:5,17, and in the little work of Agur, 30:5,9. Everywhere else (Yehowah) is employed, to designate the ‘Godhead’. To speak in the language of some recent critics, the authors were ‘Jehovists’, and not ‘Elohists’. And such being the case, would it not seem probable, that this second chapter came from the hand of a person, who was different from the other writers? We must weigh this in the sequel.
(8) The poetic character of some portions of Part I, is greatly elevated above the rest of the book, with the exception, perhaps, of 31:10-31, which contains the exquisite eulogy of a virtuous woman. In solemn and awful grandeur,1:20-33 is hardly surpassed by any monitory passage of the sublime Isaiah. Indeed, it reminds one of many passages of a like nature in this prophet. There we have that lofty and glowing description of Wisdom, in 8:12-36, hardly surpassed by any scriptural writer. Such is the all pervading spirit of the poet which breathes through it, that on an aesthetical ground it can well claim a high preeminence. Then, in 7: 6-27, is a picture of the “strange woman,” which for vivacity, simplicity, and graphic power, has seldom been exceeded. Nothing can be more discrepant than these pieces are, from the poetry which pervades not only Part II, but the whole book, with some two or three exceptions of a very limited extent. The cause of this difference in style is not merely the different subject-matter of Part1 and that of the rest of the book; for there is plainly another and ‘different spirit’ in the lofty aspirations of the first portion of the book from that of the rest. One is constrained to feel that he is in different company, when he reads Part I, and then the rest of the Proverbs. Still, as there is almost always some room for debate, where taste merely is concerned, we must not place so much reliance on this aesthetical judgment, as on plain and simple matters of fact.
(9) In case the compositions of different authors are comprised in Part I, there is still a pervading unity of design in the whole. The principal design of all is, to lead the young in the way of happiness and peace; to warn them against the dangers and attractive temptations which often assail them; and to show them that they will be safe only by acquiring that heavenly wisdom, which will guide them in attaining to the highest good. There are indeed, here and there, a few brief passages which are apparently isolated; e. g. 3:30-35. But almost throughout the whole, the main objects which have been stated are in view.
We have now before us the design and the individual characteristics of Part I. We seem, then, in some good measure, to have prepared the way for the discussion of the questions which yet remain.
…..

§ 6. Characteristics of Part II, 10:1-22:16:
The great question of authorship is here decisively answered, by the inscription to the piece as it stands in 10:1.There is no critical ground for suspecting that this inscription is incorrect. The ‘time’ when it was written, is of course also settled. What remains is, to exhibit the distinctive characteristics of the writing now before us.
(1) The piece itself seems to be divided, or distinguished as to its method, into two leading portions, viz. 10-15. (which I shall name A), and 16-22:16, (named B). I refer to the ‘kinds of parallelism’ respectively employed in each part, A & B. The part A has 186 ‘antithetic’ parallelisms, & 23 ‘synthetic’; while, on the other hand, the part B has 24 only of the first kind, and 159 of the latter, (see § 4. 2). In the first, the ‘antithetic’ is altogether predominant; in the second, the ‘synthetic’. What led to such an evident diversity of manner in the two parts, we are unable to say. It seems probable, however, that, at first, the two compositions were ‘separate’, and were composed at different times, although by the same writer. ‘Diversity’ may have been an object designed to be accomplished by the change of parallelisms. In other respects than that of the different kinds of parallelism, there is very little, in regard to any discrepancy, that deserves particular notice. We shall soon see that the same general characteristics belong, for the most part, to both divisions.
(2) All throughout the piece is of one tenor, as to ‘the completion of sentences by a single verse’; for every verse forms an independent and complete sentence. Rarely is there ever a similarity of subject in two or more continuous verses, so as to connect them even in a loose way. And so palpable is this trait, that the ‘order’ of the verses might be almost indefinitely changed, without any serious injury to any part of the piece. Even the two parts of the same verse very rarely run into each other, so as to form one composite sentence. The exceptions to this are nearly all in one single chapter, viz. in 20:10, 11,12, 14, 19, 21, 30. Such a rigid method, from beginning to end, both in A & B, shows that the writer had a special design in view, viz. to insert only such proverbs as were complete in one verse, whatever the kind of parallelism might be. This method, although of frequent occurrence in the sequel of the book, is nowhere else so rigidly observed as here.
In A., as we have seen, almost the whole of the verses are of the ‘antithetic’ order; and in B., of the ‘synthetic’. The general rule as to completing the sense, is common to both parts; and so is it also in regard to the respective length of the parallelisms; but in B., there are very few examples of the ‘antithetic’ kind. In 21:15, 20, 26, 28,29, 31; 22:3, are included nearly, if not quite, all the cases of this nature. This does not indeed show a difference of authorship, but merely a different design in the writer as to method, in A & B. It looks very much as if originally there were two ‘libelli’, the one for ‘antithetics’, and the other for ‘synthetics’. It is impossible to examine the whole matter minutely and critically, without coming to the conclusion that such an arrangement is ‘designed’, and not accidental. But one author, however, is admissible in the present case, because the general principle of systematic arrangement, in other respects, is so uniform throughout, and so entirely consistent, as to imply that the whole plan proceeded from one and the same mind.
(3) There is another characteristic exhibited in some passages of Part II, which shows a peculiar ‘artistic’ (if I may so call it) construction. This is, that the same word or words or one or more words of the like import, which are leading and important words, are arranged consecutively in two or more verses, and repeated in each, although the general tenor of meaning in the verses themselves is different. For example: In 10:6,7, we find (tzaddiq) & (reshatzim) in both verses. So in 10:14,15, (mechittah), stands in both; so 10:16,17, (lehaiyim);10:18,19, (siphtey) & (sephathayik); 10:20,21, both (tzaddiq) & (lebh); 10:28,29, (reshatzim); 10:31,32, (tahpukoth). chapter) look like ‘designed’ arrangement. So also 11:8,9, (nechslatz) & (yechaletzu); 11:10,11, (qiryah) & (qereth); 11:25,26, (berakah); 11:30,31, (tzaddiq). Again, in 12:5,6,7, (reshatzim); 12:15,16, (’awil). In 14:12,13, (’achrithah); 14:17,18, (’i); 14:26,27, (yir’ath Yehowah). In 15:31,32, (nn?Tir). In 16:27,28,29, (ia”,K ). In 18:6,7, (kesil); 18:10,11, (‘oz) & (‘uzzo); 18:18,19, (midwanim). —These are specimens. More might be added; but these will suffice. Such a thing is evidently the result of ‘designed’ grouping; and probably it was done in order to aid the memory of the pupil.
The like to this, and for a like purpose, may be seen in 15:33 and 16:1-7,9,11, where the word (Yehowah) occurs 10 times in succession. So in 16:10, 12,13,14,15, (melek) occurs (partly in the plural) five times. And the like to all this is sometimes found in the Psalms, probably thus composed for the sake of easy remembrance.
A few (very few) cases occur, of like matter in two continuous verses; even then each may be taken separately, and be disconnected without injuring either verse. But there is no general plan in such an arrangement; and each verse, although similar, is in fact independent of the other.
There is, moreover, throughout Part II, a general correspondence in the measure or length of the clauses, or verses. Generally, the first clause has 4 words, and the second 3; but sometimes they stand 4 & 4, and 5 & 3; and in a few cases, 3 & 3. In a few cases, also, where small words are attached to larger ones by a Maqqeph [hyphen], there are 9, and even 10 & 11 words; see 17:2,8; 19:18; 21:1.
In some cases, (but few), there is, in the second clause, a virtual repetition of the sentiment of the first; e.g. in 11:7; 14:19,26; 16:16; 17:6; 18:3. Sometimes (very rarely) the second clause is exegetical of the first; as in 15:3. In a few cases, the second clause gives the reason or ground of the first; e.g. 16:26; 21:7. Comparatives by ‘as’ sometimes appear; as in 10:26; 11:32 ((ke) being implied). The comparative degree by (min) is not unfrequent; as in 15:16,17; 16:8,19; 17:10; 21:19.
We must not omit to mention, that there is a considerable number of cases, in which there is a repetition of a preceding proverb, in a dilferent place. Thus 14:12, and 16:25, (comp. 21: 2). 21: 9 and 19 ; and so a ‘repetition’ of one clause of a verse; e.g. 10:1 & 15:20; 10:2 & 11:4; 10:15 & 18:11; 15:33 & 18:12; and specially is this identical as to one clause, in 11:21 & 16:5; 14:31 &17:5; 19:12 & 20:2.
This last circumstance suggests to our consideration, that there were various sources from which Part II must probably have been derived. “We cannot well suppose that Solomon sat down to the composition of Part II as he would in order to write chap. 8, i.e. his eulogy on Wisdom. In the last case, he probably drew directly from his own conceptions, without reliance on any other writing. But in the case of mere gnomes or popular proverbs, he was in quite a different position. Many, perhaps most, of these proverbs were such as common sense and long experience had for substance already suggested to the minds of intelligent men. They were floating among the common people, and subjected thereby to more or less disfigurement or change. Solomon’s mind, under divine influence, could easily recognize such of these proverbs as were true and useful; and, acknowledging them to be so, he transferred them into ‘written’ language, so that they might be rendered permanent in their true and proper sense, and be thus guarded against alterations. These common maxims of life, thus sanctioned by him when in such a state, became ‘authoritative’ and general truths. Of course, we may properly assign the ‘authorship’ of them to him; for he selected them, adopted them, and published them as consonant with his own views. They were only of ‘traditional’ currency before this; but now they became a part of Scripture, under the sanction of Solomon.
We are obliged, as it seems to me, to account in this way for the many ‘repetitions’, in Part II, of the same things. One sole concipient writing, purely from his own mind, in a composition like this, would never have repeated the same things so often, and within so limited a space. His memory could scarcely be so treacherous, as to forget what he had just said. The only probable way, then, in which these repetitions came to be introduced, was through the medium already described. If Solomon wrote three thousand proverbs, he must have been a great lover of ‘gnomic’ lore, and probably must have read [& heard] everything of that nature which was then in circulation. Doubtless, at times, he selected whole paragraphs from other collections, and, transferring them to his own, just as they were, and because he assented to the truth of them, he transcribed them in the state in which they stood in other Mss. In this way, we may suppose many of the maxims in Part II to have been transferred from other collections of gnomes, and when the transfer was made, it was (as usual in ancient times) made without curtailing or expunging. Hence came about the repetitions in question, because they were connected with other matter which was not repetitious. We may suppose, that most well-read [knowing] persons of that day would recognize at once what was new, and what had been transferred. We cannot now do what they could then do; but we can easily see how the whole matter of repetition might take place; and that without supposing the wise king to have forgotten himself, or rather, to have forgotten what he had just written. The proverbs transferred from common life into Part II, are now of course just as valid, by the sanction of Solomon, as they would have been, had he composed them all ‘de novo’.
I see no other probable way of accounting for the phenomenon in question. It seems hardly feasible to make out the probability of a ‘de novo’ composition; and specially at the expense of taxing the writer’s memory with failure, and denying him a consciousness of what he had just written. But as the matter has now been represented, we find no serious difficulties attendant upon the repetition of the same gnome. It does seem probable, at least, that some such cause occasioned the repetition now in question; for the only motive of ‘repetition’, independent of this consideration, must have been the special importance of the matter repeated. But investigation will show, that in the present instance it could not have sprung from this source, because the things repeated, to say the least, are not more important than many other things not repeated.
We must call to mind here, that Solomon wrote or composed some 3,000 proverbs; while in the Book before us, less than one third part of these are contained. He might then, in compiling Part II, have selected much from his own previous ‘libelli’. Who can show even a probability that he did not? Still, one would naturally suppose that, in selecting and transferring his own compositions, he would take more liberty of omitting what was repetitious, than he would when extracting from others. Most probably, then, the ‘repetitions’ occur in cases of extracting from others, while we may still believe that Solomon selected much from his own previous writings, which was adapted to his design in the writing of Part II…….

§ 7. Characteristics of Part III, 22:17-24:34.
The general inscription in 1:1-7, refers to The Words Of The Wise, as one thing which the Book is designed to teach, v. 6. Here now, in 22:17, we find that ‘same title’, in an exhortation to give a hearing ear to such words: ” Hear ‘the words of the wise’.” Again, in 24: 23, some additions to ‘the words of the wise’ are said to be made ; and these are contained in 24:23-34. Here, then, we have at least two collections of those ‘words of the wise’. In the first, the compellation, ‘My son’, is several times repeated; but in the second part it does not at all appear. —Our next question is :How is Part III. characterized?
(1) In Part III, the construction of the verse or metre is nothing like so regular as in Part II. We have indeed here (as there) verses of 8, 7, & 6 words; but they stand mingled with others of 11 words, (22:29; 23:31,35); of 14 words, (23:29); & even of 18 words, (24:12). In some of these instances, distinct traces of proper parallelism can hardly be discovered. They are a kind of measured prose. Here, moreover, the parallelisms are all ‘synthetic’, excepting only 24:16, which is ‘antithetic’. Here also sentences completed in one verse are the ‘exception’, (and a small one); those in two or more, are the ‘rule’. Very often, three verses are combined in a sentence. e.g. 23:1-3, 6-8, 19-21. In one case, 24:30-34, we have 5 verses; & in 23:29-35 (virtually one compound sentence) we have even 7 verses. All this makes a great variety & a miscellaneousness in the composition. In general, Part III is strikingly different from anything which precedes it.
(2) Here, as in Part I., we have the address: ‘My son’. And where this is not prefixed to a paragraph, an address is often made to the second person singular, ‘thou’.
(3) As to the ‘arrangement’ of the proverbs here, some times those similar in their tenor are brought together; e.g. 23:15, seq. But in general, no pains appears to have been taken to make out arrangements regularly consecutive. Neither the compiler, nor the original concipients, seem to
have felt the necessity of subjecting themselves to the ordinary gnomic rules; for in some places we have, as it were, short parables; e.g. 23:29-35; 24:30-34.
On the whole, then, the discrepancy between Part III, and the preceding Parts, is striking, and would of itself raise doubts in the mind of the reader, as to identity of authorship in each of the Parts. But when to all this is superadded the distinctive titles in 22:17, and 24:23, it would seem that there is little room for critical doubt, that the authors of Part III are different from that or those of the preceding Parts. But,……

§ 8. Characteristics of Part IV chap. 25-29.
The ‘authorship’, and of course the ‘time’ of compilation, is here made certain. This Part contains ‘the Proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, copied out’, 25:1. ‘The men of Hezekiah’ must of course mean, the sacred scribes in the service of the king, or his counsellors. Among these doubtless were many excellent men, who would zealously perform such a labor. The verb (hetztiqu), rendered ‘copied out’, lit. means, ‘to transfer from one place to another’. In respect to a ‘writing’, this must mean, ‘to transcribe’, or ‘to copy’. Sept., very happily: (exegrapsanto). This shows that other volumes, or portions of volumes, comprising the gnomic compositions of Solomon, were then in circulation, besides what is contained in Parts I, II, above. From them the scribes of the pious king made a selection, and chaps. 25-29 is the fruit of this selection. We must notice the characteristics.
(1) In respect to ‘parallelisms’, there are 93 ‘synthetic’, & 35 ‘antithetic’ ones, but no synonymous members of verses. In respect to the metres, they very much resemble those in Part II, the verses mostly consisting of 8, 7, & 6 words. In some cases, two closely connected verses contain of course many more; e.g. 25:6,7, comprise 20 words; & 25:21,22 amount to 18 words. The antithetic verses (=35) are strenuously and regularly antithetic. But in chaps. 25-27, most of the verses are ‘comparisons’, either in the strict, or in the freer sense. In many, we can hardly make out a parallelism; e.g. 25: 8,9,10, 21,22; 26:18,19; 27:1; 29:12. Yet there is a ‘symmetry’ even here, in respect to the form of the clauses. We meet here with repeated instances of a proverb extended to several verses; which is altogether different from Part II. There are some passages, e.g. 26: 23, 28, and 27:23, 27, which have a lofty poetic spirit, quite different from that of common gnomes.
(2) There is a striking resemblance in Part IV to Part II, in regard to the repetition of the same word or phrase in different verses. E.g. 25:1 & 2, (melakim); 25:4 & 5, (hago); 25:8,9,10, (ribh); 25:11,12, (zahabh); 25:19, (yom tzarah), & 25:20, (yom qarah); 26:3-12, (kesil) (sing. or plur.) in each of the 10 verses; 26:13-16, (‘atzel) in each verse; 26:20,21, (‘etzim); 27:1,2, (tithhallel) & (yehallel); 27:5,6, (’ahabah) & (’ohebh). So in 27:7,9, (mathoq) & (metheq); 28:4,7,9, (torah); 28:3,6, (rash); 28:2,16, (ya’arik); 28:12,28, (qoiim); 29:2,16, (birboith tzadiqim) & (birboth resha‘im); 28:14 & 29:1, (maqsheh); 29:8,10, (’anshey). All this looks like designed selection and arrangement, in such a way as to attract attention, and to help fix passages in the memory; and this may becalled ‘Solomonic’; for it is very common in Part II.
(3) The point of striking difference between Part II & IV is, that in the latter, there are many cases of two or more verses connected in one sentence, which is never the case in Part II; e.g. 25:6 & 7, 9 & 10, 21 & 22; 26:18 & 19; 27:15 & 16. Moreover, in 26:23-28, there are 6 verses united; & in 27:23-27, there are 5…..

§ 9. Characteristics of Part V chap. 30.
In the Commentary on 30:1, the title to this Part is fully discussed; and the attempt is made to show, that the most probable meaning of v. 1 is this: “The words of Agur, the son of her who was obeyed in Massa,” [i.e. of the Queen of Massa]. It is there shown, that Massa was probably a region or city, lying east of the gulf of Akaba, once possessed by the Amalekites, who at last were expelled by ‘the sons of Simeon’. These last settled down in the room of the expelled, during the time of Hezekiah, whose scribes copied out Part IV of the book of Proverbs; 1st Chron. 4:41-43. It seems natural, then, to suppose that Parts V and VI must have been united to the book of Proverbs, after Part IV had been joined to it; and the arrangement itself speaks for this. Whether the addition was made by the same ‘men of Hezehiah’, who selected and added Part IV, we have no means of determining with certainty. But in itself it seems quite probable. It is clear, that Agur was a son of the queen of Massa; and, as king Hezekiah reigned some twenty-nine years, and as the Simeonites may have made their conquest of Massa and settled there in the earlier part of his reign, they may, as living in a distant country, have had, and probably they did have, an Emir or prince of their own to rule over them; and this prince may have been the father both of Agur and Lemuel, for they seem to be brothers, and sons of the same mother; see on 30:1. The queen in question, may have been such in consequence of the demise of her husband, who gave her his throne; and on this account, as chap. 30 was written during her reign, Agur is spoken of as being her son. A distinguished woman she must have been, according to 30:1, 31:1. It is not said of Agur, however, that he was a ‘king’; yet of ‘Lemuel’ (probably his older brother) this is said, 31:1. But as Agur was the son of a queen, he of course was a prince.
Chap. 30, then, came in all probability from the hand of a ‘Hebrew’. So the language itself of course indicates. There is nothing specially ‘provincial’ in the diction; although the form and manner of the composition is altogether ‘sui generis’. If the sacred scribes of Hezekiah selected this composition of Agur, and judged it meet to be joined to the rest of the Book of Proverbs, we should be satisfied that it properly belongs there.
(1) In regard to the ‘parallelisms’ here, all but three are of the ‘synthetic’ order. Three are partially antithetic. In regard to the ‘quantity’ or space assigned to one & the same subject, some are completed in one verse; others in two; more frequently there are three verses, as in 18-20, 21-23; sometimes four, as in 24-28, & once even six, 1-6. The length of the verses here is often widely discrepant from that in Part II; for here are verses of 11, 12, 13, & even 24 words (v. 4).
Strict correspondence of the parallelisms is not regarded much here. Many of them, likewise, are but little more than measured prose, excepting the poetic spirit which reigns in them. This, and the kind of metre belonging to them, probably contributed to place this composition in a book of poetic proverbs.
There are some things in chap. 30 which are altogether peculiar. The repeated reckoning there of ‘two’ things (v. 7); of four things in vs. 11-14; then of three increased by a fourth in vs. 15,18,21,29; then of four things in v. 24; is unlike in extent to anything else in the whole Bible, excepting in Amos 1 & 2, where we have ‘three’ & then a ‘fourth’ added, 8 times in succession. There is, in our text, a kind of play of the fancy upon the numbers; & the gradual increase, first from two to three, then to three with an appendix, & then four, shows a design or plan of arrangement in the writer’s mind. It is plain, indeed, that the design of Agur is not to develop merely maxims or rules of conduct. In fact, there is little of precept here, excepting it be obtained in the way of making out deductions from what is said in the representations of things. Some of the matter is very grave, and attains to a high moral sublimity; see vs. 2-6, where the unsearchable nature of God and the excellence of his truth are strikingly developed. Then come some excellent sentiments, in vs. 7-9. Then follow four classes of individuals, who seem to be held up to indignation, vs. 11-14. Next, we have one of the (chidoth) (enigmas), which seem to be plainly adverted to in the general introduction to the book, 1:6. It is difficult to make out the moral of vs. 14,15. The ‘insatiability’ of the things named there belong to mere natural objects, and has no moral character. It is probable, that under these (chidoth) is couched some moral truth, which is designedly left for the reader to discover if he can. Perhaps the passage relates to avarice; perhaps to sensual appetites which are nourished, and which grow stronger by indulgence. More difficult still would it be, to find out the design of vs. 18,19, were it not that v. 20 gives us some clue. The amount of what is here said seems to be, that wickedness may sometimes be so concealed, that no traces of it can be discovered by any one, besides those who commit it. The design of vs. 21-23 is like that of vs. 11-14, viz. to hold up to our dislike several ‘incongruous’ things. On the other hand, in vs. 25-28, there are four notable examples of sagacity and active industry and order, which are designed to stimulate us. Last of all, come exemplars of comeliness and strength. Nothing in all these particulars seems to be dependent on the manner of their consecution. They are seized as they occur to the mind, while it is employed in the excogitation of something which is designed to be enigmatical. Consequently, there is no mutual connection between them, and each is independent of the other. And after all that we can do in the way of inquiry, such passages as vs. 15,16, and also vs. 29-31, remain in a good measure among the real (chidoth). They seem to be written more for the sake of entertaining and interesting the reader, (if I may so speak), than for his direct instruction. They are evidently designed to whet his curiosity, and set him on the alert, in order that he may educe from them something useful. Surely, such an object is not beneath the office of him who teaches youth, in a book like the present, which has not a few passages of witty and sarcastic irony. Why should this be entirely excluded? Did not Elijah use the most cutting irony, in speaking to the priests of Baal? A heathen moralist has said, that “ridicule sometimes cuts deeper than severity.” And when the wise king has said, that “a sluggard, who dips his hand into the dish, will not so much as bring it to his mouth,” in order that he may feed himself; and also that “the sluggard will not turn himself over in bed, but must be rolled over by others,” has he not uttered sarcasm, and held up such a man to ridicule? Even so with Agur. When he says that “there is a generation, —O how lofty are their eyes, and their eyelids lifted up!” (v. 13), and again, when he says that “there are four things which the earth cannot endure,” and counts among these “a servant who comes to bear rule,” and “an ugly woman who comes to be married,” does he not teach in the way of ‘sarcasm’? vs. 21-23. Verses 18-21 are indeed of a peculiar tenor; but the point to be illustrated, viz. concealed wicked doings, is vividly illustrated by the similes adduced; although in the last of them there is a boldness of illustration that seems somewhat hazardous, in the view of things as now regarded by us.
On the whole, this chapter has no parallel, and even no similar, in all the Bible. And still, the moral and religious tone of it is high. Look specially at 1-6, 8 & 9, 17, 32,33. The language is vivid and poignant throughout. And if (chidoth) comes within the plan of the whole collection of the book of Proverbs, as 1:6 assures us it does, we cannot wonder that ‘the men of Hezekiah’, or the like men who came after them, added the piece before us to this Book. In the narrower sense, hardly any of the verses in it are proverbs; but the instructions given assume the general costume of proverbs, i.e. they exhibit ‘metre’ and ‘parallelism’, although in the laxer sense.
The tenor of this chapter seems to render it certain, that the general introduction in 1-7 was not written, until this was added, and probably chap. 31 also; for 1:6 appears pointedly to recognize such a composition as this. That the compilers of Part IV, the men of Hezekiah, made this addition to the Book, and wrote the general introduction, cannot indeed be positively proved; but it still remains quite probable, that the book was completed, and brought to its present form, by them. If so, then was it completed not far from 700 B.C. There is nothing in its diction or in the facts to which it adverts, that renders a junior age of this composition necessary, or even probable.

§ 10. Characteristics of Part VI chap. 31.
The introduction, in v. 1, tells us that the sequel contains ‘The words of king Lemuel’. It tells us also, that he was ‘king of Massa’; and since 30:1 presents us with a ‘queen of Massa’, and Lemuel is said (31:1) to have been taught by his mother; and since the two compositions (in ch. 30, 31) are united together, as if they came from the same or a like source; we may reasonably conclude, that “both originated in Massa, and at or near the same time. For this cause, it was natural to associate them together, as the compiler has done. In case this is conceded, then the time, place, and author, are sufficiently ascertained, if what has been said in § 9 is correct.
The part appropriate to Lemuel consists only of vs. 1-9. The king was warned, he says, by his sagacious mother, against wine, & women, & oppression in the judgment of causes. The ‘parallelisms’ here are altogether regular, and unusually synonymous. The verses, indeed, are not all of the same length; but there is nothing specially notable in regard to them, in this respect. The composition is through and through ‘gnomic’ in its cast, and the precepts given are not only excellent in a moral point of view, but highly important. Well might Agur exalt the excellence of a mother, who could teach thus; and in a filial and honorable manner did he behave, when, although a king, he attributed to her the honor of the composition which he wrote down.

Chap. 31: 10—31.
I have not ranked this as a ‘seventh’ Part of the Book, (as might be done), because it seems to me probable, from the connection here, that the same mother who taught Lemuel, composed the eulogy that follows, of a virtuous, or rather of an energetic woman; or else the son, perhaps, may have composed it in honor of his mother. If it be objected that such occupations as are here described, could not well be attributed to the ‘queen-mother’, it should be called to mind, that the queens of small nations or tribes were not exempt, in those times, from labor, or rather from overseeing the affairs of their household. Every classical reader is familiar with the story of Penelope, the wife of Ulysses, and of the web which she daily wove. But it is not necessary, that this should apply personally to the queen herself of Massa; it is sufficient that she, or whoever wrote the piece, had right views of the importance of industry and care in the mistress of a household, and has given us the outline of them.
As to the eulogy itself, it is in the highest style of parallelistic writing. In perfection of metre, scarcely any even of the Psalms exceed it. Nearly every verse is a synonymous parallelism, and the whole composition has an air of such simplicity, vivacity, and ‘naivete’, that it is truly admirable. From whatever quarter the composition came, there is no discerning reader who would not regret its omission. The tenor of it is, indeed, not the same as that of the Proverbs in general ; but as it inculcates, in a most attractive manner, both industry and frugality, it falls in entirely with the general spirit and design of the Proverbs.
One other circumstance should be noted. This is, that the song is ‘alphabetical’, like a number of the Psalms, and the book of Lamentations. This method of writing reminds one of our ‘acrostics’. Beyond all doubt, such a composition must be designedly ‘artistic’. Why this fashion of writing should be introduced, we may not be able to say with certainty, but there is much probability that the object in view was to make songs easy to be remembered. The ‘alphabetic’ order of the verses would plainly aid recollection. Whether this method of writing belongs only to the later Hebrew, as Ewald, and after him Bertheau, asserts, is a question that does not concern the passage before us; for this was composed, as we have seen, in Hezekiah’s time, or soon after, i.e. not far from 700 B.C. But in regard to Ewald’s general assertion, it may be said, that violence must be done to the Hebrew text, in order to make it good; for Ps. 25, 34, 37, are expressly ascribed to David, in the title. I know not how the genuineness of such titles can be disproved. If not, then David, the leader of all lyric poets among the Hebrews, practised this method of writing, and of course it did not originate with the later Hebrews.

§ 11. Plan of the Book:
…When commentators of the present day have done their utmost, they are obliged to confess,as I have done, that they can see but darkly. There are parts of the chapter that yet remain in a measure unexplained, —not as to the language, perhaps, but as to the ‘design’ of the writer. Nearly the whole chapter puts on veiled or enigmatical forms. The meaning of most can be made out by diligence; but it requires not a little both of diligence and of knowledge to make it out satisfactorily. In view of this, all seems to be plain in 1:6. Not only is 22:17-24:34 designated by ‘the words of the wise’, but the closing part of the book seems to be specifically designated by ‘dark sayings’ and ‘enigmas’.
From this view of the matter, it appears quite certain, that ‘the general introduction in 1:1-7 was designed to cover the whole ground’, and therefore must have been written when the collection or compilation was completed. Of course this introduction came from a later hand, from someone who lived at or after the time of Agur and Lemuel.
The whole order of the book in general reminds us of the order of the five parts of the Psalms. Passing by Prov. 1-9, as an appropriate introduction to the book in general, we have in Part II the proverbs of Solomon; in Part III the words of the wise; in Part IV again the proverbs of Solomon; in Parts V, VI, the words of Agur and Lemuel. So with the book of Psalms; Part I the Songs of David, 2-41. Part II songs of Davidic singers, 42-50. Part III. David again, 51-72. Part IV. Davidic singers again. (Exceptions in these parts are few). So there comes David, his contemporary singers, and then David again, followed again by them. So in Proverbs; beginning with c. 10, we have first Solomon, then his contemporaries; then Solomon again, followed at the close by Agur and Lemuel. The two last Parts, like the two last in the Psalms, were added to the book, before extant, a considerable time after the first two were in circulation……
(Stuart writes at close of his Preface: Should a kind Providence still preserve me in life, with the power of action, I think seriously of endeavoring, at some future period, to write a commentary on this book, altogether adapted to common readers, that is, to the great mass of our population. There is no book on earth of deeper interest, in a social, moral, industrial, and economical point of view, than the book of Proverbs. May and should it not have a wider diffusion, and be more read and studied, and better understood? I believe it may, if it shall be duly provided with popular and appropriate illustrations. I hesitate, indeed, as to my own competency duly to perform this task; but I cannot hesitate as to cherishing an ardent desire that it should be speedily and well performed.)

5: Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (AKJV) (8.8.8.8.Doubled) (mjm.2017)
1
The Worthy Woman who can find? Far above rubies is her price!
Her husband’s heart in her confides: He needs no other spoil or heist;
Without evil she does him good: Within all of her living days;
For wool and flax she ever seeks: And with her hands she works her ways.
2
She is lik’n to the merchant’s ships: Which brings her food from very far.
She wak’ns early, e’en in the night: Feeds house and maid’ns from her store.
She sees a field, and she invests: With fruit of hands, she plants her vines.
She girds her loins with might and strength: And with both arms she seeks and finds.
3
She perceiveth her wares are good: Her candle goes not out at night.
She lays her hands to the spindle: She holds the distaff with her might.
She extends her hand to the poor: And her hands to those needing foods.
She braves the snow for her family: Clothes them in scarlet finest hoods.
4
She weaves her cloths with tapestry; Her silk purple clothin by hand.
Her husband is known in the Gates; And sits with Elders of the land.
She makes fine lin’n garments to sell; Supplies girdlebelts to merchant trade.
Strength and honor are her clothing; Then she’ll rejoice in what she’s made.
5
She opens her mouth with wisdom: Her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looks well to her family’s ways: She eats not the bread of idl’ness.
Her children grows to call her blessed: Her husband also praises her well:
“Many daughters have done virt’ously:  But thou above them doth excell.
6
Favor deceives, and beauty vain: But praised is’woman who fears the Lord.
Give her from the fruit of her hands: In the Gates praise her works and word.
(“Who can find a virtuous woman? Far above rubies is her worth!
Many daughters have done well: But thou excellest in thy birth.”)

 

 

ECCLESIASTES: Koheleth (Preacher): (Life & Experience; Vanity, Futility, Duty, Eternity, etc.)

1: Compare Erasmus Praise of Folly.

2: From: Biblical Companion, Introduction to Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures .etc. William Carpenter. (1836)

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books. (Holden “Attempt to Illustrate Book of Ecclesiastes,”)
….”The conclusion of the work is worthy of an inspired author: “Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man,” &c. The following synopsis is from the work just referred to (Attempt to Illustrate Book of Ecclesiastes. Paraphrase & Notes. Rev, George Holden (1822)
Part I: [Solomon’s Words: Koheleth: Vanity of Vanitiies: All is Vanity on Earth in the World of Man Seeking Wisdom:]
Vanity of all earthly conditions, occupations, & pleasures; & of all earthly things (1:2); unprofitableness of human labour, & transitoriness of human life (1:3-11); vanity of laborious inquiries into ways & works of man (1:12-18); luxury & pleasure are only vanity & vexation of spirit (2:1–11); though the wise excel fools, yet, as death happens to them both, human learning is but vanity (2:12–17); vanity of human labour, in leaving it they know not to whom (2:18–23); emptiness of sensual enjoyments (2:24–26); though there is a proper time for the execution of all human purposes, yet are they useless & vain; divine counsels, however, are immutable (3: 1-14); vanity of human pursuits proved from wickedness prevailing in courts of justice, contrasted with righteous judgment of God (3:15–17); though life, considered in itself, is vanity, for men die as well as beasts, yet in the end, it will be very different with the spirit of man and that of beasts (3:18–22); vanity is increased unto men by oppression (4:1–3); vanity of prosperity (4:4); vanity of folly, or of preferring the world to true wisdom (4:5-6); vanity of covetousness (4:7-8); though society has its advantages, yet dominion & empire are but vanity (4:9-16); errors in performance of divine worship, which render it vain & unprofitable (5:1-7); vanity of murmuring at injustice; for though the oppression of the poor and the perversion of judgment greatly prevail, they do not escape the notice of the Almighty (5:8-9); vanity of riches, with an admonition as to the moderate enjoyment of them (ver. 10-20); vanity of avarice (6:1-9).
Part II: [Conclusion Word of Wisdom: Fear God & Obey His Commandments is Man’s Duty:]
Nature, excellence, & beneficial effects of wisdom, or religion [living]. Since all human designs, labours, and enjoyments are vain, it is natural to inquire, What is good for man? What is his supreme good (6:10–12)? Answer is contained in the remainder of the book. Praise of character and reputation (7:1); affliction improves heart, & exalts character of the wise (vii. 7:2-10); excellence of wisdom (7:11-14); objection, with the answer (7:15-8:7); evil of wickedness shows the advantage of true wisdom (8:8–13); objection, with the answer (8:14-9:1); objection with the answer (9:2, 10, 17); the banefulness of sloth (x. 18); the power of wealth (10:19); an exhortation against speaking evil of dignities (10:20); an exhortation to charity and benevolence (11:1-10); exhortation to early cultivation of religious habits [wisdom] (12:1–7); the conclusion (12:8–14).

3: From: Attempt to Illustrate Book of Ecclesiastes. Rev, George Holden. (1822)

Preliminary Dissertation:
….”The idea that the Bible is easily understood, flatters the self-sufficiency of ignorance and fanaticism; but the great difficulty attending its interpretation is a fact too palpable to be denied, except by those who are benighted in the mists of prejudice, or who have never doubted, only because they have never inquired…. Of all the Hebrew writings, none present greater obstacles to the expositor than the book of Ecclesiastes. Together with the obscurities which it has in common with the other Jewish canonical Scriptures, it possesses some peculiar to itself; and, with respect to the style of the work, the author’s design, the nature of his argument, and the chain of his reasoning, the opinions of critics and commentators have diverged to an incredible distance”….

4: From: Book Koheleth, Commonly Called Ecclesiastes, Relation to Modern Criticism & Doctrines of Modern Pessimism with Critical & Grammatical Commentary & Revised Translation, etc. Donnellon Lectures 1880-81. Rev, Charles H.H. Wright, D.D. (1883)

New Translation: [Koheleth’s Words (Preacher’s Sermons): David’s Son, Jerusalem’s King]
§ 1. Absolute Vanity of Everything Earthly: Earthly Phenomena: Circle with no real progress.
§ 2. Koheleth’s 1st Discovery: Vanity of Wisdom.
§ 3. Koheleth’s 2nd Discovery: Vanity of Pleasure & Riches.
§ 4. Koheleth’s 3rd Discovery: Vanity of Wisdom: End of Wise Man & Fool is alike; Riches obtained by much Toil are Vanity; Conditions necessary for cheerful Enjoyment.
§ 5. Short-sightedness & Powerlessness of Men before God, (Disposer & Arranger of all things).
§ 6. Unrighteous Actions of Men left to themselves: Men Compared to Beasts that perish.
§ 7. Misery common to Man: Oppression of Man by his fellow; Rivalry & Useless Toil of Man.
§ 8. Disadvantages of Man being Alone by himself & Benefit of Companionship.
§ 9. Vanity of popular enthusiasm for a new monarch 290
§ 10. Vanity in Religion: Divine Worship & Vows.
§ 11. Vanity of Riches: State under Despotic Rule; Riches Little Advantage; Gathered for others.
§ 12. Ultimatum: Vanity of possessing Riches Without Enjoying them.
§ 13. Insatiability of Desire.
§ 14. Human Powerlessness & Short-sightedness with Respect to Destiny.
§ 15. Proverbs concerning things to be Preferred by Man.
§ 16. Patience & Wisdom best Preservatives in Time of Oppression & Adversity.
§ 17. Importance of keeping “Middle Mean,” & Practical Advantages of Wisdom.
§ 18. Snare by which Men are generally Caught: Wicked Woman.
§ 19. Benefit of Wisdom in Days of Oppression: Wise Man will be Obedient & Patient, Knowing that there is a God who Judgeth Earth.
§ 20. Man Knows Not Work of God, but is in all things Conditioned by a Higher Power than his own, which Permits the same things to Happen to all alike.
§ 21. Fate that awaits all, State of Dead: Men ought therefore to Enjoy Life, while working for their Daily Bread. Uncertainties of Life & Certainty of Death in an Unexpected Time.
§ 22. Poor Wise Man & Benefits of Wisdom.
§ 23. Usefulness of Wisdom & Danger of Folly, Shown by Various Proverbs.
§ 24. Fool Noted for his Useless Talk & Aimless Toil.
§ 25. Misery of Land Cursed with Foolish King, & Necessity of Prudence in Subjects of such a Monarch.
§ 26. Wisdom of Beneficence: Future belongs to God, & Man ought to Labour & Enjoy Life while he can.
§ 27. Song of Koheleth: Days of Life & Days of Death.
§ 28. Epilogue: [Koheleth’s (Preacher’s) Final Words & Message: Wisdom & Man’s Duty: Fear God & Keep His Commadments & God’s Judgment]

Grammatical & Critical Commentary. Appendix: Excursus:
I. Talmud and the Old Testament Canon, with special reference to Hagiographa.
II. Talmudic statement that “Holy Scriptures defile hands.”
III. “Men of Great Synagogue.”
IV. Grammatical peculiarities of Book of Koheleth, & Glossary.
Index of Texts (200+) & General Names & Subjects (500+).

Chapter I: Admission of Book of Koheleth into Canon of Jewish Church:
Tradition of Talmud; Hezekiah & his Religious Reforms; His College of Scribes; Succeeded by men of Great Synagogue; Their work with respect to Canon; Views of Kuenen & Robertson Smith as to legendary character of that tradition; Summary of their leading arguments; Arguments in favour of its historical truth; Testimonies of Talmud; Early difficulties felt with regard to Book of Ecclesiastes; These difficulties, according to tradition, solved by men of Great Synagogue; Later contests with respect to Ecclesiastes between the Schools of Hillel & Shammai; Book admitted into the Canon previous to that controversy; Explanation of point in dispute; “Holy Scriptures defile hands”; Canonicity of Book of Ecclesiastes; Herodian theory of Professor Graetz; Book of Ecclesiastes quoted as canonical in interview between Herod the Great & Ben Buta; & Discussion respecting the Messianic Age between Gamaliel & his disciple; Probabilities in favour of that disciple having been St. Paul, note; Book of Ecclesiastes prior to Herodian era; Antilegomena of the Old and New Testament Canons.

“”Moses received the law from Sinai, and delivered it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the men of the Great Synagogue.” Such are the opening words of the remarkable treatise of the Talmud, entitled Massecheth Aboth, “the Sayings of the Fathers,” often termed Pirke Aboth, or “the Chapters of the Fathers.” The Prophets and the men of the Great Synagogue were, according to the Talmudic tradition, important links in the line of succession, not only of the Law, but also of the other Sacred Writings of the Jews.
In the latter days of the Jewish monarchy, Hezekiah was remarkable for the extent and boldness of his religious reforms. He restored the true religion of Jahaveh, the precepts and ritual of which had been disregarded in the dark days of Ahaz, and suppressed the open practice of idolatry throughout the land. But while he brake down the carved and molten images erected in every place, and according to the Jewish tradition destroyed the books of sorcery and incantations then current among the people, he also manifested the utmost concern in all matters connected with the preservation of the Sacred Writings of the nation. For this purpose, as may be inferred from Proverbs 25:1, he organized a special company of learned men interested in the study of that ancient literature. They busied themselves in collecting from all sides the Sacred Writings then extant, and in multiplying copies of those books. Under their superintendence a considerable number of the proverbs of Solomon, not previously included in the Book of Proverbs, were rescued from oblivion and added to the original collection. On account of such labours Hezekiah has been justly styled by a great modern critic and expositor, “the Pisistratus of Israelitish Literature.”
This important company, or College of Scribes, entitled in the Proverbs, “the men of Hezekiah king of Judah ” (inasmuch as the society was originally founded by that monarch), continued to exist as a Jewish institution for several centuries. It may have lasted, under some form or other, down to and during the period of the exile. According to the Talmud, ” Hezekiah and his college wrote Isaiah, Proverbs, Song of Songs and Koheleth” (Baba Bathra, 15 a). This statement is not to be regarded as a stupid anachronism. The fact that Hezekiah died previous to Isaiah was not forgotten, and the word “wrote ” was probably used in the sense of “copied out and edited.” For the College of Hezekiah continued in existence for centuries after the death of that monarch. “The men of Hezekiah” appear to have employed themselves in editing correct copies of the Sacred Writings, and while doing so to have occasionally, as in the case of the Book of Proverbs, added new matter to the old. It is highly probable that this body decided from time to time what books were to be regarded as of Divine authority. First estimates the period of its activity as extending from B.C. 724, when Hezekiah ascended the throne of Judah, to B.C. 444, when Nehemiah became governor of Judaea. “The men of Hezekiah” no doubt included in their number some of the “former prophets” (Zech. 1:4) and others known afterwards as “the latter prophets.” Hence that company may, perhaps, be referred to in the passage quoted from the Treatise Aboth, under the general term of “the Prophets.”
According to the tradition referred to, “the men of the Great Synagogue” in later days discharged the functions performed in earlier times by “the men of Hezekiah.” The establishment of the Great Synagogue is generally ascribed to Ezra. The accounts given of its origin and acts cannot, indeed, in all points be relied on as historically correct. Part of the work said to have been accomplished by the members of this body is thus described by Rashi: “The men of the Great Synagogue, namely, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, seeing that Ezekiel and Daniel had died during the Babylonian Exile, and that the books of the twelve minor Prophets, as also the history of Esther,” were of small size, wrote out these anew from the books of the exile and formed the twelve into one book, in order that the single books might not be lost on account of their small size, and thus Esther and the four other books, Ruth, Koheleth, Song of Songs, and Lamentations, were united together. But they did so because they knew that after them the prophetic spirit would depart from Israel.” See his Comm. on Baba Bathra, 15 a.”……..[Chapter II compares Ecclesiastes (Koheleth of Solomom) with Ecclsiasticus (Sepher of Yoshua (Book of Jesus) benSirach. Chapter III compares Book of Wisdom with Book of Koheleth. Chapters IV & V considers Authorship & Authenticity against certain extreme Scholars & Critics. Chapter VI is against extreme Natural Rationalists & Social Philosophers of Modern Pessimism & Science & Buddhism. Chapter VII treats Book of Koheleth’s Pessimism (Fatalism) & Reation to Future State & Character of Women & Modern Pessimism. Chapter VIII closes with examination of last chapter of Koheleth concerning Days of Life & Days of Death.] (Wright’s Notes & Comments & Translation are excellent.)

5: From: Coheleth Commonly Called the Book of Ecclesiastes. Translations from Original Hebrew. Commentary Historical Critical, by Christian David Ginsburg. (1861) (Almost 300 pages of Introduction, 1/2 the Book. A very influential Book on future generations for serious scholars & students & his Massorah, 4 large volumes, is still a unique standards for Jews & Christians Biblical studies.)

Introduction: Section I: Title of Book, & Signification:
“This book is called in Hebrew (Qoheleth) ‘Coheleth’, the appellation which its hero gives himself. This term occurs seven times in the book; three times in the beginning (1:1,2,12), three times at the end (12:8,9,10), and once in the middle (7:27) of it. That it is not a proper name, but an ‘appellative’, is evident from its having the article in 12:8, and especially from its being construed with a feminine verb in 7:27. It is generally agreed that ‘Solomon’ is described by this designation, as David ‘had no other son’ who was King of Israel in Jerusalem; ‘vide’ 1:1,12.
The precise signification of this appellation has, from time immemorial, been a matter of great contention, and the occasion of numerous and most conflicting opinions. According to its form (qoheleth) is participle active feminine, Kal, from (qahal), kindred with (qol), Greek (kaleö), Latin ‘calo’, and our English word ‘call’; it signifies primarily ‘to call’, then ‘to call together’, ‘to assemble’, ‘to collect’. Like (dober), (kozeb), (noger), (qoweh), (shocher), this participle is the only instance in which ‘the Kal’ is used; but the sense is easily ascertained from the other conjugations. As the Niphal (niqhal) ‘i.e’. the passive of Kal, means ‘to be called’, ‘to be collected together’ (Exod. 32:1; Levit. viii. 8:4; Numb. 16:3; 17:7; Josh. 18:1; 22:12 ‘al’.), (qoheleth) the Kal part. act. fem. means ‘congregatrix’, ‘die Bersammeinde’, ‘die Bersammierin’, ‘collectress’, ‘female gatherer’. Now the difficulty consists in determining three questions, viz., what did Solomon collect? why does he bear this name here? and how came it to be in ‘the feminine gender’?…. (1) Natural signification of (qoheleth) therefore is, ‘an assembler of scattered people into the more immediate presence of God’; ‘a gatherer of those afar off unto God’; and we retain the literal meaning of ‘assembler’, ‘gatherer’…..(2) He has it ‘because it is descriptive of the design of the book, and because it connects his labours here with his work recorded in’ 1st Kings 8…..[After examining 13 views of Solomon as Qoheleth, both ancient and modern, he writes:] These interpretations are so far-fetched, and so unnatural, that they require no refutation, and the enumeration of them will tend to shew the soundness of the explanation we defend. (3)…Because Solomon personifies Wisdom, who appears herself, in Prov. 1:10, & 8:1, &c, as Coheleth, or ‘the Gatherer’ of the people….Such a personification of wisdom also occurs in the New Testament, as will be seen from a comparison of Luke 11:49,50, with Matt. 23:34, and is in perfect harmony with the notions which were current about Solomon, who is regarded as wisdom incarnate, and is represented as teaching in this capacity (Book of Wisdom, 7:7-9).”

Section III: Design & Method of Book:
Design of this Book, as has already been intimated (‘vide supra’, p. 2), is ‘to gather together the desponding people of God from the various expediencies to which they have resorted, in consequence of the inexplicable difficulties and perplexities in the moral government of God, into the community of the Lord, by shewing them the utter insufficiency of all human efforts to obtain real happiness, which cannot be secured by wisdom, pleasure, industry, wealth, &c., but consists in the calm enjoyment of Ufa, in the resignation to the dealings of Providence, in the service of God, and in the belief in a future state of retribution, when all the mysteries in the present course of the world shall be solved’.
Method which the sacred writer adopts to carry out this design is most striking and effective. Instead of writing an elaborate metaphysical disquisition, logically analyzing and refuting, or denouncing, ‘ex cathedra’, the various systems of happiness which the different orders of minds and temperaments had constructed for themselves, Solomon is introduced as recounting his painful experience in all these attempts. Thus by laying open, as it were, to the gaze of the people the struggles of a man of like feelings with themselves, who could fully sympathise with all their difficulties, having passed through them himself, and found the true clue to their solution, the sacred writer carries out his design far more touchingly and effectively than an Aristotelian treatise, or the Mount Ebal curses upon the heads of the people, would have done.
Book consists of ‘a Prologue’, ‘four sections’, and ‘an Epilogue’: the Prologue and Epilogue are distinguished by their beginning with the same phrase (1:1; 12:8), ending with two marked sentences (1:11; 12:14), and embodying ‘the grand problem’ and ‘solution’ proposed by Coheleth; whilst the four sections are indicated by the recurrence of the same formula, giving the result of each experiment or examination of particular efforts to obtain real happiness for the craving soul (2:26; 5:19; & 8:15).
Prologue: 1:2-11 —gives the theme or problem of the disquisition. Assuming that there is ‘no hereafter’, that the longing soul is to be satisfied with the things ‘here’, Coheleth declares that all human efforts to this effect are utterly vain & fruitless; that conscious man is more deplorable than unconscious nature: he must speedily quit this life, whilst the earth abides for ever; the objects of nature depart and retrace their course again, but man vanishes and is for ever forgotten.
1st Section: 1:11-2:26 —records the failure of different experiments to satisfy the cravings of the soul with temporal things, thus corroborating the allegation in the Prologue, & also shewing what their disappointment from this point of view led to. Coheleth, with all the resources of a monarch at his command, applied himself assiduously to discover, by ‘the aid of wisdom’, the nature of earthly pursuits, & found that they were all fruitless, since they could not rectify destinies. Reflecting, therefore, upon the large amount of wisdom he had acquired, he came to the conclusion that it is all useless, as the accumulation of it only increased his sorrow and pain. He then resolved to try ‘pleasure’, to see whether it would yield the desired happiness, but found that this too was vain, and hence denounced it; for, having procured every imaginable pleasure, he found that it was utterly insufficient to impart lasting good. Whereupon he compared wisdom with pleasure, & though he saw the former had a decided advantage over the latter, yet he also saw that it does not exempt its possessor from death & oblivion, but that the wise & the fool must both alike die & be forgotten. This made him hate both life & the possessions which, though acquired by industry & wisdom, he must leave to another, who may be a reckless fool, convincing him that man has nothing from his toil but wearisome days & sleepless nights; that there is, therefore, nothing left for man but to enjoy himself; yet this, too he found was not in the power of man, God gives this power to the righteous & withholds it from the wicked, and that it is, after all, transitory.
2nd Section: 3:1-5:19. — Having shewn in the preceding section that neither ‘wisdom’ nor ‘pleasure’ can ensure lasting good for man, Coheleth now shews that ‘industry’ is also unable to secure it.
All the events of life are permanently fixed, & hence the fruitlessness of human labour. God has indeed prescribed bounds to man’s employment, in harmony with this fixed order of things, but man through his ignorance often mistakes it, thus again shewing that there is nothing left for man but the enjoyment of the things of this world in his possession, being the gift of God to the righteous. The cause of this immutable arrangement in the events of life is, that man may fear God, & feel that it is He who orders all things. The apparent success of wickedness does not militate against this conclusion, since there is a fixed day for righteous retribution; but even if, as is affirmed, all terminates ‘here’, & man & beast have the same destiny, this shows all the more clearly that there is nothing left for man but to enjoy life, since this is his only portion. The state of suffering, however, according to this view, becomes desperate, & death, & not to have been born at all, are preferable to life. The exertions made, in spite of the prescribed order of things, either arise from jealousy, & fail in their end, or are prompted by avarice, & defeat themselves. Since all things are thus under the control of an Omnipotent God, we ought to serve Him acceptably, trust to His protection under oppression, remember that the rich oppressor, after all, has not even the comfort of the poor labourer, & that he often brings misery upon his children& himself. These considerations, therefore, again shew that there is nothing left for man but to enjoy life the few years of his existence, being the gift of God.
3rd Section: 6:1-8:15. —’Riches’ comes now winder review, and it, too, is shewn to be utterly unable to secure ideal happiness, since the rich man can neither overrule the order of Providence, nor know what will conduce to his well-being. And lastly, ‘prudence’, or what is generally (tailed ‘common sense’, is examined and shewn to be as unsatisfactory as all the preceding experiments. Coheleth thought that to live so as to leave a good name; to listen to merited rebuke; not to indulge in a repining spirit, but to submit to God’s Providence; to be temperate in religions matters; not to pry into everybody’s opinions —lessons of prudence or common sense, higher wisdom being unattainable; to submit to the powers that be, even under oppression, believing that the mightiest tyrant will ultimately be punished, and that, though righteous retribution is sometimes withheld, which, indeed, is the cause of increased wickedness, yet that God will eventually administer rewards and punishments , that this would satisfy him during the few years of his life. But as this did not account for the melancholy fact that the fortunes of the righteous and the wicked are often reversed all their life-time, this common sense view of life too proved vain; and Coheleth therefore recurs to his repeated conclusion, that there is nothing left for man but to enjoy the things of this life.
4th Section: 8:15-12:7. —To shew more strikingly the force of his final conclusion, submitted at the end of this section, Coheleth gives first a ‘resume’ of the investigations contained in the preceding sections. Having found that it is impossible to fathom the work of God by wisdom; that even the righteous & the wise are subject to this inscrutable Providence, just as the wicked; that all must alike die and be forgotten, & that they have no more participation in what takes place here; that we are therefore to indulge in pleasures here while we can, since there is no hereafter; that success does not always attend the strong & the skilful; & that wisdom, though decidedly advantageous in many respects, is often despised and counteracted by folly; that we are to be patient under sufferings from rulers, who by virtue of their power frequently pervert the order of things, since violent opposition may only tend to increase our sufferings; that the exercise of prudence in the affairs of life will be more advantageous than folly that we are to be charitable, though the recipients of our benevolence appear ungrateful, since they may after all requite us; that we are always to be at our work, and not be deterred by imaginary failures, since we know not which of our efforts may prove successful, and thus make life as agreeable as we can, for we must always bear in mind that this isthe only scene of enjoyment; that the future is all vanity: but as this too did not satisfy the craving of the soul, Coheleth at last came to the conclusion, ‘that enjoyment of this life, together with a belief in a future judgment, will secure real happiness for man, and that we are therefore to live from our early youth in the fear of God and of a final judgment’, when all that is perplexing now shall be rectified.
Epilogue: 12:8-12. —Thus all human efforts to obtain real happiness are vain; this is the experience of the wisest & most painstaking Coheleth; the Sacred Writings alone are the way to it; there is a righteous Judge, who marks, & will in the great day of judgment judge, everything we do; we must therefore fear Him, & keep His commandments.”

Section V: Historical Sketch of Exegesis of Book: (Reviews & Examination of key works.)
A: Jewish Expositions. (p. 27-99): Wisdom of Solomon, Midrash Jewish works, Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra (Rabe), Maimonides (Rambam), &c.
B: Christian Expositions.(p. 99-243): Gregory (Thaumaturgus), Gregory of Nyssa, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Olympiodorus, Elias of Crete, Hugo of St. Victor, &c, Nicholas de Lyra, Reformers (Luther, Melancthon, &c), &c.
Then, after 200 pages of reviews of Jewish & Christian & others relating to Qoheleth, Ginsburg writes: “What lessons of humility and forbearance ought we to learn from the sketch of what has befallen this book, when we see that ‘the pious’ and ‘the learned’, both among Jews and Christians, have, with equal confidence, advanced the most opposite and contradictory theories about its meaning! We are positively assured, as we have seen, that the book contains the holy lamentations of Solomon, together with a prophetic vision of the splitting up of the royal house of David, the destruction of the temple, and the captivity; and we are also told that it is a discussion between a refined sensualist or hot-headed worldling, and a sober sage —That Solomon makes known in it his repentance to all the Church, that thereby he might glorify God, and strengthen his brethren, thus imitating his father David in the fifty-first Psalm; and that he wrote it ‘.’ when he was irreligious and skeptical, during his amours and idolatry ” —That “the Messiah, the true Solomon, who was known by the title, Son of David, addresses this book to the saints ; “and that a profligate, who wanted to disseminate effectually his infamous sentiments, palmed it upon Solomon. It teaches us to despise the world, with all its pleasures, and flee to monasteries; it shews that sensual gratifications are man’s greatest blessings upon earth —It is a philosophic lecture delivered to a literary society upon topics of the greatest moment; it is a medley of detached and heterogeneous fragments belonging to various authors and different ages —It describes the beautiful order of God’s moral government, proving that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord; it proves that all is disorder and confusion, and that the world is the sport of chance —It is a treatise upon the ‘summum bonum’; it is “a chronicle of the lives of the kings of the house of David, from Solomon down to Zedekiah ” —Its object is to prove the immortality of the soul; and to deny a future existence —It is designed to comfort the unhappy Jews in their misfortunes; it contains the gloomy imaginations of a melancholy misanthrope —It “is intended to open Nathan’s speech (1st Chron. 17) touching the eternal throne of David; “it propounds the modern discoveries of anatomy, as well as the Harveian theory of the circulation of the blood —”It foretells what will become of men or angels to eternity (as found rebelliously fixing in their first-creation life and state of vanity, or obediently surrendering it for the second), in eternal life or death; “it propounds a view of life inclining to fatalism, scepticism, and epicureanism! What a solemn lesson for the pious and for the learned to abstain from dogmatism, and what an admonition not to urge one’s own pious emotions or ingenious conceits as the meaning of the Word of God!”

SONGS: Sherim: (Lovers Love Songs: Bride & Groom, David & Solomon, Israel & Messiah, etc.)
(Canticles: Solomon’s Song of Songs has been Outlined or Arranged in several important ways which govern the way the Book is interpreted: in 12 Canticles or 7 or 8; in various Acts & Scenes. The Book has been & is still viewed from extremes as Puritanical or Pornagraphic, and both are very wrong.)

1: From: Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ about the year 1843 Exhibited in a Course of Lectures, by William Miller. (Miller was the primary influence for the Adventist Movement in America in the 19th century, which in turn became the 7th Day Adventist Church which became global or international; and Adventism continued to produce or form many other movements & groups (WatchTower & Jehovah’s Witness; Armstrong’s World Wide Church of God; &c.)

Lecture 18: Solomon’s Song: 8:5: “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?”
“The text is a passage of divine inspiration, which strikes the mind of the hearer or reader with more than ordinary power and force; and is propounded by way of question, as though in the answer we might receive much instruction and useful knowledge. It is truly so; and may the Spirit of God assist us to gather honey from this beautiful flower from the wilderness. We find it in the Songs of Solomon, which are highly figurative and allegorical, and were when composed presented in poems or songs; but by reason of the translation they have come to us in prose. Some have supposed, that when Solomon composed this Song, or Songs, they were composed for dramatical performances, either as preludes, interludes, or epilogues. But I am of opinion that it was composed for a prophetic song of Christ and his church. But be that as it may, they certainly do represent, in rich and beautiful figures, the character and love of Christ for his church; likewise, her character and love towards her divine Master, her connection to him, and her dependence upon him in this state of trial. That the church has been, and will be, in a state of trial as long as she remains imperfect, cannot be doubted by any man of common reflection, perception, or knowledge. She has enjoyed her seasons of prosperity; and has been strongly tried in scenes of adversity. In tracing her history from the patriarch Abraham to the present day, we find her variable as the wind, and changeable as the weather. [The following descriptions are taken from the Songs and other Bible verses :] To-day, she is coming up out of the wilderness leaning on the arm of her beloved; to-morrow, “like a young roe leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills.” Now she is seen among the trees of the woods; next in a palace of silver inclosed in boards of cedar. There we saw her in the clefts of the rock; here we behold her in the broad way, in the streets of the great city. Again we find her among the foxes of the desert; and anon we perceive her seeking him whom her soul loveth. She is asleep on her bed by night; and the same night the watch finds her in the city. Behold her Lord, knocking at the door for admittance, while she is too indolent to arise and let him in. The next moment she is opening to her beloved; but he had withdrawn himself. At one time the voice of her beloved sounding over the hills, and echoing among the mountains like the roar of distant thunder, has no impression; next the soft whisper of love gains all her attention. Here blows the rough north wind and strong south wind upon her spices; yet they put forth no fragrancy. And there the lightest breeze makes her roses blossom, and all the air is perfume. See her countenance to-day black as the tents of Kedar; and to-morrow comely as the daughters of Jerusalem, and fair as the purple curtains of Solomon. Today she is “a garden barred, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed;” to-morrow “a garden open, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” Now she is weak as a babe; a single watchman can “smite, wound, and take away her vail;” and then she is courageous and valiant, “terrible as an army with banners.” Today she is made to keep another’s vineyard; to-morrow she is realizing a thousand pieces of silver from her own. She is truly a changeable being, carried about by the slightest circumstances. This is the description of the church, as given to us in this Song of Solomon’s. I shall therefore show in explanation of our subject, I. What has been the general character of the church in the wilderness; II. Her character when out of the wilderness; and, then, III. Make an application of our subject, by showing in what state the church may be considered at the present time……

2: Biblical Companion, Introduction Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures .etc. William Carpenter. (1836)

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books.
3. The manner in which the Song of Solomon has been interpreted by most expositors, has had
the effect of exposing it to unmerited ridicule and contempt. Not entering into the style and spirit
of oriental poesy, they have given to some passages a coarse and indelicate appearance; and, not
distinguishing between the literal and the allegorical senses, they have destroyed the consistency and beauty of the poem, while they have bewildered the mind of the reader. To understand it well, requires not only a renewed heart and an enlightened mind, but a sober and cautious judgment. The spiritual senses must be exercised to discern clearly spiritual truths, and the imagination must be curbed by a reverential apprehension of the majesty and condescension of God. Among the Jews, they were not allowed to read it until they had attained the sacerdotal age of thirty years [30 for the Ecclesiastes (Koholeth) but 40 for the Song of Songs (Sher Sherim)].

3: From: Book of Canticles, or Song of Solomon, according to the English Version, Revised & Explained from the Original Hebrew. [F. Rolleston] (1859)

“In some cases it may be found that the modern Jews themselves take the least refined view of the meaning. Similar instances occur in poetry far less ancient and difficult. Should the pointing of the Hebrew text sometimes seem to require accommodation, it must be remembered that manuscripts vary, and that points, however ancient, however useful, are of human, not divine, origin. There are in Hebrew two words for love, one, Aheva, desiring1; another, (whence David, [beloved],) abiding, satisfying love . They may here be distinguished by 1 and 2, as the genders by (*, m) masculine, (†, f) feminine. These, as well as the beautiful word for a female friend [girl-friend], meaning a companion with whom to feed, break bread, (consequently in the East a bride or wife,) are very imperfectly appreciated in translations.
The ancient Jews understood this book to be an allegory of God’s love to the Jewish Church; the early Christians understood it as shadowing forth the love of Christ to the Christian Church, typified under the same figure by St. Paul, Eph. 5:32. A very large portion of the Christian Church in all ages has so considered it, and so it is interpreted here. Being part of the Jewish canon, to which our Lord referred as “the Scriptures”, thus giving it His infallible sanction, no further evidence of its inspiration need be sought: it is part of that Word of God “which cannot be broken”. Similar faith in the inspiration of the Apocalypse has always existed in the Christian Church. Before any of its predictions had been explained by the events, that faith reposed on Its internal divineness. The words were of God, spoken by the glorified Redeemer to all coining time. By such as knew and loved His words in the Gospel, the words of the Apocalypse were recognized as His. In both these mysterious portions of the ” One Book,” the Bible, the subject is the same, the love of Christ to His Church, her wanderings, her woes, her final union to her Lord in glory. Her inward feelings, those more or less experienced by every believer, are especially dwelt on in the earlier, her outward trials and earthly vicissitudes, in the later book. The termination of those troubles is in both the same. At the end of the Canticles the bride comes up out of the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved; as the bride of the Apocalypse, after long exile in its dreary solitudes, is brought to the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the abode of peace, wherein is the throne of God and of the Lamb.
It has been inferred that the English translation of the Book of Canticles could not be depended upon as to the speeches of the different speakers, from the difference of some of the ancient translations, especially as given in Walton’s Polyglot, but this difficulty is here met.
The English Version generally agrees with the pointed Hebrew that is given in Bagster’s Polyglot, which is the received text. Ancient translations may have been made from corrupt MSS., or from unpointed ones, in which case the gender of particular words could not always be clearly determined. As for instance the pronouns “thou,” “thee,” and “thy,” which in the spoken and pointed Hebrew are distinguished, but not in the unpointed. It is scarcely necessary to explain that the points express unwritten vowels, by which some pronouns and some parts of the verb are made feminine. The pronouns “he” and “she,” “this ” and “that,” do not depend on points, but are written with different letters, as are the feminine verbs in many parts of their conjugation. In these cases the gender does not admit of a doubt. In the Keri, or Jewish correction of their MSS., nothing occurs to alter the genders of the speakers, as given in the received text, though in chap. 4:9, the gender of the adjective “one,” as applied to “eyes,” is made regular. The verses in which the gender is fixed by letters, and not by mere points, are these: 1: 9,13-16; 2: 2-3, 6-10, 13, 16-17; 3: 1-6, 11; 4: 1, 7-12, 16; 5: 1, 2. 4-6, 9-16; 6: 1-4, 9-10, 13; 7: 1-11, 13; 8: 5, 8, 13-14.
In other places the pronouns “thou,” “thee,” “thy,” determine the genders by their points, with which the English generally agrees. But in chap. 8:5, 2nd clause, where the English is indefinite, the unpointed Hebrew is equally so, though the points make the five pronouns masculine. The verb translated “to raise” cannot apply to an infant, but is “to wake,” as in chap. 5:2; 3:5; 4:16. In chap. 2:1, it is probably the Bride who speaks, as there are two forms of the noun “lily,” and the feminine is here used. Though a noun-substantive be not altered in gender to suit the speaker, yet where there are two forms, as (shishn) and (shishnh), the use of the feminine would indicate a woman being the thing compared to it. “Rose” is always feminine, and though in Hebrew the comparison might be applied to the King, it is less likely; still it must be remeinbered that in Prov. 8 and Hag. 2 a noun with a feminine (or rather neuter) termination is so applied.
Luther prefaces his “High Song” of Solomon, by saying it is the desire of the Christian Church for her bridegroom Christ, and that the Christian Church longs for her bridegroom Christ in expectation and betrothment.
Some have held, that in the Canticles were set forth “the several ages and periods of the Christian Church, in agreement with the seven Churches of Asia, as [Johannes] Cocceius and those that follow him; as thus: [This dispensational interpretation in turn influenced the dispensational views of the 7 Churches of the Book of Revelation as Prophetic History of the Church & Churches.]
Ephesian Church, Cant. 1:5-7, from the Ascension of Christ to A.D. 370;
Smyrnean Church, Cant. 2:1-17, from A.D. 371 to 707;
Church at Pergamos, Cant. 3:1-11, from A.D. 708 to 1045;
Thyatiran Church, Cant. 4:1-5:1, from A.D. 1046 to 1383;
Sardian Church, Cant. 5:2-6:8, from A.D. 1384 to 1721;
Philadelphian, Cant. 6:9-7:14, from A.D. 1722 to 2059;
Laodicean, Cant. 8:1-14, from A.D. 2060, onwards;
“but these senses are very arbitrary, uncertain, & precarious.” (John Gill, in his Commentary) “There seem to be allusions & references to various passages of this book in the New Testament; see Matt. 21:33; 25:1. Mark 12:1. Luke 20:9. Matt. 25:1, &c. John 3:8, 29; 6:44. 2nd Cor. 11:2. Eph. 5:27, & Col. 2:17. Rev. 3:20; 19:7, 8, compared with Cant. 1:3, 4; 2:17; 4:1, 16; 5:1, 2; 7:13; 8:11, 12.” (Gill.)
The ancient Jews called this book “the holy of holies;” the Syriac version, ” the wisdom of wisdoms of Solomon.” By the Jews, ancient and modern, its inspiration and authenticity have never been questioned. “They have a saying, that wherever the word Solomon is used in this Song the Holy One is meant, the Holy God, or Messiah.” (Maimonides, quoted by Gill.) That they were familiarized by the prophets with this allegorical showing forth of the love of the Redeemer to the Church may be seen in the subjoined texts. Might it not be imparted to Adam before the fall or the creation of Eve? (Gen. 2) Betrothing, (Hos. 2:16-20. Isa 54:5. Eph. 5:29, 32.) Espousals, (Jer. 2:2; 3:14. 2nd Cor. 11:2. Isa. 62:4-5,) thy sons, rather thy builders. (Rev. 19:17.) (Isa. 50:1, divorcements.) Bride, (Isa. 11:18; 61:10; 62:5; Rev. 19.) Wife, (Isa. 54:1. Rev. 21:9. Ps. 45.) throughout.

His Revised Version with Notes: Song of Songs of Solomon: [David = Beloved; Solomon = Peace (masculine); Shulamite, Shulamith = Peace (feminine) (Pacifica); Jerusalem, Yeru-Salem = City of Peace; compare with AbiShag Shunamite (> Shunem = Shulem = Sulem = Salem = Salam), and see Gesenius (old and new) under Shulammith, Shulamite.]

Chapter I: [Shulamite Shepherdess & Jerusalem’s Virgin Daughters & Shepherd-King]
Bride [She to Virgins & to Him] [Shulamite Shepherdess: Beloved, Lover, Love, Friend] Speaks (1:1-4a), Virgins [Daughters of Jerusalem] to Bride [& Groom] (1:4b), Bride (1:5a), [to] Virgins (1:5b), Bride (1:5c), [to] Virgins (1:5d), Bride to Virgins [as Vine-Keeper] (1:6), Bride to King [Shepherd-King: David: Groom: Beloved, Lover, Love, Friend] (1:7), King [to Her as Shepherdess & Steed in Pharaoh’s Chariots ] (1:8-9), Virgins to Bride [Her Adornment] (1:10-11), Bride [ She to Them off Him] (1:12-14), King [He to Her] (1:15), Bride [She to Him] (1:16-17).

Chapter II: [Rose & Lily & Tree & Stag-Hart & Dove ]
Bride [Rose & Lily] (2:1), King [He of Her] (2:2), Bride [She of Him] (2:3-6), King [Charge to Them of the Beloved] (2:7), Bride [She of Him] (2:8-13), King [ He to Her as Dove] (2:14), Bride [She of & to Him] (2:15-17).

Chapter III: [Shepherd-King-David & King Solomon & Jerusalem’s Daughters]
Bride [She of Him & Watchmen] (3:1-4), King [Charge to Them of the Beloved](3:5), Virgins[: Coming Wilderness Traveler & King Solomon & His Glory & Jerusalem’s Daughters] (3:6-11).

Chapter IV: [Lover’s Love & Beloved’s Spouse & Beauty Compared]
King [He of & to Her of Her Beauty] (4:1-5), Bride [Desire to Escape] (4:6), King [He to & of Her] (4:7-15), Bride [Call to Winds to Blow on His Garden](4:16).

Chapter V: [Groom in His Garden & Friends. She Dreams of Her Beloved & Watchmen & Jerusalem’s Daughters & Her Beloved & His Beauty]
King [Groom comes to His Garden with Friends (5:1), Bride [She Dreams of Her Beloved] (5:2), Bride [She Dreams of Her Beloved & Meets Watchmen] (5:3-7), Bride [ She Charges Jerusalem’s Daughters to Tell Him] (5:8), Virgins [They Reply to Her about Him] (5:9), Bride [Her Handsome Beloved & His Beauty Compared & Jerusalem’s Daughters] (5:10-16).

Chapter VI:
Virgins [They to Her of Her Beloved] (6:1), Bride [Her Beloved in His Garden] (6:2-3), King [He to Her of Her Beauty as Jerusalem & Flock of Goats & Flock of Sheep & Pomegranate & Queen & Dove & Companions] (6:4-9), Virgins [They of Her as Morning, Moon, Sun, & Banners] (6:10), Bride [She Goes to Garden with People’s Chariots] (6:11-12), Virgins [They to Her to Return] (6:13a), Bride [See Shulamite as Company of 2 Armies (MahaNaim)] (6:13b).

Chapter VII: [They to Her of Her Beauty & He of Desire for Her & Her Desire for Her Beloved]
Virgins [They to Her of Her Beauty] (7:1-5), King [He to & of Her & His Desire] (7:6-9), Bride [Her Desire for Her Beloved to Elope] (7:10-13).

Chapter VIII:
Bride [She Desires Him as Brother with Mother’s Instruction ] (8:1-3), King [Charge to Jerusalem’s Daughters] (8:4), Virgins [They of Her with Him] (8:5a), Bride [She to Him as Her Babe & Love] (8:5b-7), Mother’s Sons (Her Brothers) [They of Her as Little Sister] (8:8-9), Bride [She as Wall & Towers to Him Compared to Solomon’s Vineyard but Her Vineyard is Hers] (8:10-12), King [Desire to Hear Garden Dweller] (8:13), Bride [She Desires Her Beloved to Come as Roe or Hart on High Places (Mountains) of Balsams (Spices, Heavens)] (8:14).

4: From: Commentary of Song Songs, Ancient & Medieval Sources, by Richard F. Littledale, LLD. (1869)

Introduction: Song of Songs. Canticles. Solomon’s.
I: Canonicity of Song: ….”One fact alone remains undisputed, that of its inclusion within the Canon, both Jewish and Christian, from the earliest times of which we have any record.”…
Rabbinical Estimate of it: …..”Fully in accordance with this position is the remark of Rabbi Akiba, a contemporary of the Emperor Hadrian, saying, “ The entire history of the world does not present an epoch like the day when the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for though all the Hagiographa are holy, yet the Song of Songs is most holy.”…
First Objection to Mystical View Refuted: “It has been objected in modern times against the alleged admission by the ancient Jews of a mystical import underlying the letter, that they prohibited the perusal of the Canticles by all persons below thirty years of age, whence it has been argued either that the book was given in vain so far as all who died in youth were concerned, or that the very fact of with holding it establishes the denial of its spiritual character. This objection, apart from its failing to settle whether the Jews were. right or wrong in their discipline on this head, falls to the ground for two reasons; first, that the Rabbins extended the same prohibition to the beginning of Genesis and the earliest and latest chapters of Ezekiel, without any impeachment of their inspiration; and secondly, that the Eastern Church, like the Church of England, while avowedly upholding the mystical sense, refrains, on grounds of expediency, from public reading of the Canticles in divine worship, though the place of the book in the Old Testament Canon, as received by Christians, has been acknowledged ever since the earliest known list was drawn up by Melito, Bishop of Sardis, about A.D. 170.”

     III: “The third question, and that which has been most eagerly contested of all, concerns the Interpretation of the Song, whether it is to be Mystical, Allegorical, or Literal, and in each of these cases what is the Method to be followed. As before, there is a Traditional View in possession, which has the pleas of remote antiquity, continuous tenure, and perfect consistency with itself in its favour. This view, common to the Talmud and Targum and to all Christian writers (with a brief exception to be noticed presently) for sixteen centuries, is that the poem is wholly mystical, with no historical basis whatsoever, and that it denotes the relations between ‘God’ and His Church, albeit there is much variety of detail in setting forth the particulars of this relation. An Intermediate View supposes an historical foundation for the Song, preferably the bridal of Solomon with Pharaoh’s daughter, and holds that a superstructure of religious allegory has been raised on this basis, as in that other case of the Exodus, so frequently used as a type of spiritual deliverance from sin. And a Third View, almost exclusively modern, denies all inner meaning to the poem, save of the most incidental kind, and maintains a literal exposition. The Mystical Interpretation, which forms the subject matter of the commentary in this volume, and which traces the history of the Divine dealings with man under the Law and the Gospel, has in its favour a cumulative mass of evidence of a very cogent nature. In the first place, the relationship of marriage is very frequently used in Scripture to denote the union between ‘God’ and the chosen people, the ornaments of a bride and abundant progeny are the promised rewards of devotion and obedience, barreness and divorce are the threatened punishments of spiritual adultery. There is thus no antecedent improbability, as has been alleged, in the nuptial imagery of the Song having a mystical signification. This comes out most clearly in from the that Book which has most obviously approached, if not actually borrowed, the Language of the Canticles, namely, the prophecy of Hosea, in which the marriage of ‘God’ to Israel, and her sins against the nuptial bond, are steadily dwelt upon. A further illustration is afforded by the language of the forty-fifth Psalm, which represents a King, who is styled ‘Lord’ and ‘God’, as the Spouse of a Virgin Bride, and which is directly applied to ‘Christ’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews. As the structure of this Psalm, like that of the 72nd, absolutely forbids its literal application to any mere human sovran, save at the hands of those who are resolved to see no Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, be the evidence what it may, it contributes a most important item of proof to the tenability of the traditional view. This is further borne out by the Gospels, the Pauline Epistles, and the Revelation. The Baptist speaks of ‘Christ’ as the Bridegroom, and of himself as the Bridegroom’s friend; while the ‘Saviour’, in defending His disciples from the charge of religious laxity, applies the name Bridegroom to Himself, and that of “children of the bridechamber” to His followers. St Paul illustrates the metaphor further by declaring that he has “espoused” his converts “ as a chaste virgin, to ‘Christ’,” and that earthly marriage is only a type of a heavenly mystery. The Apocalypse, with its description of the heavenly Jerusalem as the Bride of the Lamb, and of the final triumph of the redeemed as His marriage feast, completes the chain of Scriptural evidence; and if the mystical interpretation of the Canticles be set aside, it becomes exceedingly difficult to explain the use of this peculiar imagery, which cannot be traced to any other source.
The plea that not marriage, but courtship, which leads to marriage, is the scope of the Song, has been urged against the Catholic view, but vainly in the face of the recurrent phrase “the Virgin of Israel” in the Old Testament, and the clear statement of the New that the marriage has not yet come, and only the be trothal has taken place. The next argument of weight is that which serves to repel the ‘a priori’ objections taken to the form and diction of the poem as a vehicle for spiritual ideas. If it could be shown that the Song, if mystically explained, is an isolated phenomenon, having no parallel in any literature, very much would be done towards discrediting the ancient view. But such is not the case. (Parallels in Arabic & Persian Literature:) The Arab nation, which in blood and language is most nearly allied to the Hebrews, has preserved to the present day the custom of chanting in Public Worship Songs in which the religious meaning is veiled under the ordinary terms of earthly love. The service at which these are recited is called a ‘Zikr’, the poems themselves (usually in honour of Mohammed) ‘muweshshah’.”……

4: Solutions Proposed for this difficulty: “The sense that this is so has prompted, at solutions different eras, various tentative solutions of the difficulty. The earliest of these was propounded by Theodore of Mopsuestia in the 1st quarter of the 5th century, and represented the Song as merely an epithalamium [< epi ‘upon’ + thalamos ‘bridal-chamber’] on the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoh’s daughter or with Abishag the Shunammite. This theory, after being condemned in express and forcible terms in the 5th General Council, disappeared completely for more than 800 years, when it was reproduced for a moment by Gregory Abulfaraj. It rested again till revived by Grotius, who allowed it, nevertheless, to include an allegory; and it was finally developed into a very elaborate form by the celebrated Bossuet, in 1690, whose genius gave it a measure of popularity amongst scholars till the early part of the present century, when the ingenious criticisms of Dr. Mason Good (some of which had been anticipated long before by Natalis Alexander,) established the utter incongruity of the language of the Song with the circumstances of a State alliance and with the national surroundings of an Egyptian princess, to whom the pastoral character of the Bride could in no wise be accommodated. The eloquent words in which Theodoret expresses the mind of the Church in his day against the views ascribed to Theodore of Mopsuestia merit citation. In the preface to his commentary on the Canticles, he says: “Since the majority of those who ‘slander the Song of Songs and deny it to be a spiritual book, weave fables unworthy of crazy old women, some of them saying that Solomon the Wise wrote it concerning himself and Pharaoh’s daughter; a few authors of the same stamp alleging that Abishag the Shunammite is the Bride, and not Pharaoh’s daughter; while others, taking a somewhat more philosophical view, call it the Royal Speech, so as to understand the people by the Bride and the King by the Bridegroom; we think that we shall be well employed in refuting at the outset of our exposition these false and mischievous theories, and then will proceed to set forth the true and clear meaning of the author. And yet these men ought to know that the holy Fathers, much their superiors in wisdom and spiritual insight, were they who placed this Book amongst the divine Scriptures, and approving it as full of the ‘Spirit’, pronounced it worthy of the Church. For had they thought otherwise, they would never have included a work whose subject was passion and desire in the number of Holy Writ….Not only Eusebius of Palestine, and Origen the Egyptian, and Cyprian of Carthage, crowned with the diadem of martyrdom, and men earlier than they were and nearer to the Apostles, but also those who were afterwards famous in the Churches, Basil the Great in his exposition of the beginning of Proverbs, and the two Gregories, allied to Basil, one by blood and the other by friendship, and that valiant champion of religion Diodorus, and John, who to this day waters the whole earth with the streams of his teaching, and they who came still later, all pronounced this Book to be spiritual…. Coming then from the old to the new Bride, let us in this wise interpret the Song of Songs, and rejecting false and mischievous theories, let us follow the holy Fathers, and recognize one Bride conversing with one Bridegroom; and learn from the holy Apostles who that Bridegroom and Bride may be. For the inspired Paul teaches us that, writing thus, ‘I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ,’ (2 Cor. 11:2). He calls her a Bride who is made up of many. For he does not say, ‘ I have betrothed ‘thee’ [sing. individ.],’ but ‘you’ [plur., collectiv.] that is, holy souls,’ perfected in virtue. For Divine Scripture understands the Church by the Bride, and calls ‘Christ’ the Bridegroom.””…

(Sample:) Commentary: Chapter I:1-3: (Verses < Old & New Testaments; Quotes < Church Fathers, Rabbis, &c. e.g.: Origen; Ex.15:1; Num. 21:17; Deut. 32:1; Jud. 5:1; 2nd Sam. 22:; Is. 5:; Targum; Is.30:29; Aponius; Ricard.; Victorin.;Rupert.; Theodore; Eph. 5:19; Nicol. Argent.; Honor.; Aug.; St Greg.; Magn.; St Bernard; &c.)
1: The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.
‘Song of songs’. (Origen:) “As we have been taught by Moses that there are not only holy holies, that there are not only other Sabbaths, but Sabbaths of sabbaths; so now we are taught, by the pen of Solomon, that there are not only songs, but a Song of songs. Blessed, truly, is he who enters into the holy place, but more blessed he who enters the Holy of holies. Blessed is he who keepeth the Sabbath, but more blessed who kee eth the Sabbath of sabbaths. So, too, blessed is he who understands songs, and sings them, for no one does sing save on high festivals, but much more blessed is he who sings the Song of songs. And as he, who enters into the holy place, still needs much ere he is able to proceed into the Holy of holies, and as he who keeps the sabbath enjoined on the people by the ‘Lord’, wants many things that he may keep the Sabbath of sabbaths, so too he who traverses all the songs of Holy Writ, finds it no easy thing to ascend to the Song of songs. Thou must needs go out of Egypt, and, issued thence, cross the Red Sea, that thou mayest sing the first song, sayin, ‘I will sing unto the ‘Lord’, for He hath triumphed gloriously.’ (Exod. 15:1) And even though thou mayest have sung this first song, thou art still far from the Song of songs. Pass spiritually through the wilderness, till thou comest to the well, which the princes dug, that thou mayest there sing the second song. Afterwards approach the borders of the Holy Land, and, standing on Jordan’s banks, sing the song of Moses, ‘Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.’ Yet again, thou needest soldiers, and the inheritance of the Holy Land, and that a bee should prophesy to thee and judge thee —for Deborah is, by interpretation, bee —that thou mayest utter that hymn also, which is contained in the Book of Judges. Ascending to the record of the Kings, come to the song when David escaped from the hands of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul, and said, ‘The ‘Lord’ is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer.’ Thence thou must reach Isaiah, that thou mayest say with him, ‘I will sing to my Beloved a song of my Beloved touching His vineyard.’ And when thou hast traversed all these, go up yet higher, that thou mayest with pure soul cry unto the Bridegroom this song of songs.” The Targum counts up ten songs, adding to Origen’s list those of Adam, sung after his fall and pardon; Joshua’s at Ajalon; and a tenth, never yet uttered, to be sung by the people of ‘God’ at the end of their long captivity, to which applies that prophecy, “Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept.” This one, however, is the Song of songs, because as ‘Christ’ our ‘Lord’, as Man, surpassing all Apostles, Patriarchs, Prophets, and heavenly powers, is King of kings, and ‘Lord’ of lords, so this song, since entirely concerning Him and His Bride, excels, and includes in itself, all the hymns of victory, of thanksgiving, of instruction, and of lamentation in Holy Writ, just as the bridal feast surpasses all others, and since no blessing which other songs commemorate can be compared with the Incarnation. And as the Apostle tells his hearers to speak to themselves “in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs,” we understand that psalms, accompanied by an instrument, denote the active life of charity, and hymns the contemplative life, and songs, embracing these two, are the life of the righteous, who give soul and body to ‘God’; while the ‘Song of songs’, that holy secret which only ‘God’s’ unction can teach, only spiritual experience can make clear, is the life of the perfect. The Song is Solomon’s, the third in order of his books, following Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, to teach us that after they have passed the purgative way, by following the moral precepts of the first of these; and the illuminative way, by learning in the second that all earthly things are vanity, and ‘God’ alone to be desired; we attain in the third place to the unitive way, and by it make our entrance into the Holy of holies, where the High Priest, our Bridegroom, stands, that we may there sin the song of perfect love, —there only, for “how shall we sing the ‘Lord’s’ song in a strange land? It is ‘Solomon’s’, for Solomon means Peaceful, and ‘Christ’, to Whom it in truth appertains, is “our Peace,” having been “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

2: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
First, say the Fathers in general, it is the cry of the Synagogue, ‘God’s’ ancient Church, yearning for the Incarnation of ‘Christ’, and desiring that ‘God’ would no more speak to her only by the voices of angels and prophets, but face to face. I care not, she says, to hear Moses, who is slow of speech to me, the lips of Isaiah are unclean, Jeremiah cannot speak, for he is a child, and all the Prophets are tongueless. Let Him of Whom they speak, Himself speak, ‘let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth’. And His answer is set down for us by the Apostle: “ God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His ‘Son’.” She asks for His kiss, because as two separate bodies unite in the act of kissing, so ‘Christ’, by His becoming flesh, united ‘God’ and man together, two natures in One Person. And as a kiss denotes peace and reconciliation, it is the fit greeting of Him, our peaceful Solomon, Who came to us as ‘God’ and Saviour’. It is also the cry of the Gentile world, yearning for the teaching of the ‘Holy Spirit’ for as t e breath of one that kisses is felt by the one that is kissed, so by the kiss of ‘Christ’, we understand the inspiration of the ‘Holy Ghost’ Whom He hath sent. Next, the words belong to every faithful soul which desires the presence of its ‘Lord’. See, exclaims a Saint, how sudden is the opening of her address. Asking a great thing from a mighty Person, she uses no customary fiattery, she takes no indirect way to that which she longs for. She makes no preface, she seeks not to conciliate good-will, but breaking out from the abundance of her heart, says, in plainest and boldest words, ‘Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth’. ‘His mouth’. Yes, but it is not every one who dares ask this, but only such as have already received the pledge of love, and desire it again. For us sinners it is fitter to fall down trembling at the feet of our righteous ‘Lord’, like the publican, not daring to look up, but like the sinful woman, content to kiss His feet, and to bathe them with our tears. Then, when He hath said, “Thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing happen to thee,” we may dare to rise a little, and kiss the Hand which has cleansed and lifted us, giving Him the homage and glory which are His due. At last, after man tears and prayers, we may, in fear and trembling, lift our heads to His glorious month, not merely to gaze upon it, but to kiss it. To Thee, O ‘Lord Jesus’, to Thee has my heart fitly said, Thy Face, ‘Lord’, will I seek. For Thou madest me to rear of Thy mercy betimes in the morning, when, as I lay in the dust, kissing Thy sacred footsteps, Thou forgavest me the sins of my life. Then, as the day grew on, Thou madest glad the soul of Thy servant, bestowing on me the grace of holy living in the kiss of Thy Hand. And now what remains, O gracious ‘Lord’, save that in the fulness of light, in the fervour of the Spirit, Thou, mercifully admitting me to the kiss of Thy mouth also, wouldst fill me with joy with Thy countenance? Note, too, how it is said ‘Let Him kiss me’, with no name particularized, no context to explain who is meant. And that because to the Bride there can be but One to think of, because her word ever is, “ Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none on earth I desire in comparison of Thee.” She asks, too, not for a single kiss, but for ‘kisses’, for those seven great gifts of the ‘Spirit’ which ‘Christ’ bestows, and for other graces besides. And He gives them in four ways, by His Incarnation, by His conversation amongst men as their Teacher, by mystical incorporation with us for our redemption, and by the final glory which He promises. Peace with ‘God’ in ‘Christ’, is then the scope of the Bride’s longings, as she prays for illumination, for love, for perfect union with Him of Whom she says, “Full of grace are Thy lips, wherefore ‘God’ hath blessed Thee for ever.” His lips, which give the kiss, are His truth and sweetness, hers, which receive it, are her understanding and affection. And He has heard the cry of His Bride, and answered it, giving her more than she asked, giving her Himself again and again in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. “ The soul,” observes an ancient writer, “ sees herself cleansed from all her sins, and fitted to approach the Altar of ‘Christ’. She sees the wondrous sacrament and saith, Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth, let ‘Christ’ Himself impress His kiss on me.” And Simeon Metaphrastes, in that hymn which the Eastern Church puts in the mouth of her children before Communion, speaks of the kiss which the penitent soul offers in turn to her ‘Lord’ in that sacred rite:

More than the harlot I have erred, who, learning Thine abode,
Made purchase of the precious nard, and boldly took her road
To seek and to anoint Thy feet, O ‘Christ’, my ‘God’ and ‘Lord’,
And, as she came with love to greet, was not by Thee abhorred.
So, ‘Word’ of ‘God’, calm Thou my fears, and give me, not despised,
Thy feet to clasp, and kiss, and wash with tears, that nard unpriced.

The soul may kiss her Lord also by acts of love and compassion towards His poor, and will be rewarded by Him therefore with that last kiss which He will give at the Doom, saying, “Come, ye blessed.” But they who have not so kissed Him here, shall see His face no more, for He will turn His back upon them. And that which is true of the Church, and true of every believing soul, is especially true of her who is the Church’s fairest ornament, the purest and most blessed of Saints, the Virgin Mother of ‘God’. The words are her prayer to ‘God’ the ‘Father’, that by the breath of His mouth, which is the ‘Holy Ghost’, He may give her that ineffable kiss, His Only-begotten ‘Son’. When the Angel brought her the marvellous tiding s of her true betrothal, then by her answer, “ Behold the handmaid of the ‘Lord’, be it unto me according to thy word,” she did in truth say, ‘Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth’. And after His nativity, the prayer was yet more literally answered, when the tender Mother hung over her infant ‘Lord’, and clasped Him to her breast. And His love so endured that even at the last moment of life He bent to offer His kiss. “He bowed His head to His Mother,” says a holy writer, “ and to all mankind, as though bidding His last farewell, and offering the kiss of peace. See here, O faithful soul, the unspeakable love of thy ‘God’, that He loved us unto the end.” And we learn hereby the pain as well as the sweetness of His kiss…..

‘For Thy love is better than wine’. The change from the third person to the second, from speaking ‘of’ the Bridegroom to speaking to Him, denotes, some Fathers say, is swift appearing in fulfilment of His Bride’s desire, coming even before He is actually called; showing how more than ready ‘God’ ever is to answer our prayer, according to that saying of the Prophet, “ Before they call, I will answer: and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” The LXX and Vulgate have ‘Thy breasts’. And some tell us that the gentle teaching of ‘Christ’, drawn from the secret treasures of His wisdom and knowledge, is meant thereby, milk fitted for babes, ‘better than the wine’ of human wisdom or even of the old Law. Philo of Carpasia and several others see in the ‘breasts’ the two Testaments, both given by ‘Christ’, whence the sincere milk of the Word, refreshing, and not hurtful like wine, is granted to mankind. And a kindred explanation is found in those writers who will have the Apostles and Doctors of the Church to be meant here. The ancient exposition of the Three Fathers interprets the words of the hidden grace of the Holy Eucharist, with which agrees well that passage of St Chrysostom: “See ye not with what eagerness infants seize the breast, with what pressure the fix their lips upon the teats? Let us approach with no less desire to this Table, and to the spiritual breast of this Chalice, nay, with yet greater longing , let us, as sucking children, drink in the grace of the ‘Spirit’; let it be our one sorrow, our one grief, if we be stinted of this spiritual food.” Some of the interpretations, however, bring us back to the true mean of the literal Hebrew, ‘Thy loves’. Thus St Bernard bids us see here the long-suffering of ‘Christ’ in bearing with sinners, and His loving-kindness in receiving them when they return to Him…..

3: Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth,
therefore do the virgins love thee.
The first clause here does not exactly represent the existing Hebrew text, nor yet any of the chief versions. The true rendering is, ‘Pleasant for odour are Thine ointments’. The LXX reads, ‘The perfume of Thine ointments is above all spices’. And the Vulgate, connecting the words with the previous verse, has ‘[Thy breasts are] fragrant with the best ointments’. The Bride, observes Origen, had already some acquaintance with spices, to wit, the words of the Law and the Prophets, wherewith, before the Bridegroom’s coming, she was partially instructed and trained for the service of ‘God’, as still in her early youth, and under tutors and governors, for “ the Law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto ‘Christ’.” All these were spices, wherewith she seems to have been nourished and made ready for her Bridegroom. But when the fulness of time was come, and she came of age, and when the ‘Father’ sent His Only-begotten into the world, anointed by the ‘Holy Ghost’, the Bride, smelling the fragrance of the divine unction, and perceiving that all those spices which she had been hitherto using were far inferior compared with the sweetness of this new and heavenly ointment, saith, ‘The perfume of Thine ointments is above all spices’….. All Thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.” The Latin Fathers, following the Vulgate, explain the passage somewhat differently. As they often speak of the Apostles and Doctors of the Church as the breasts of Christ, so they call them here ‘fragrant’, because eminent for miracles and holiness, so that the perfume of their righteousness came abroad, giving delight and refreshment to their hearers. And in this sense we may take the words of S. Paul: “Now thanks be unto GOD, which always causeth us to triumph in ‘Christ’ and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place, for we are unto ‘God’ a sweet savour of ‘Christ’.” St Bernard, who supposes the breasts to be of the Bride as well as of the Bridegroom, tells us that she is fragrant with the triple unction of contrition, devotion, and of piety; the first pungent, causing pain, the second lenitive, soothing pain, the third healing, and even expelling disease. The first is made by the soul breaking and grinding her sins in the mortar of conscience, and then distilling them within the crucible of a glowing heart with the fire of penitence and grief, that she may say, “My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing, the fire kindled.””…..

On 6:13 of the Shulamite: Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.
The first question to be settled here is the meaning of the name ‘Shulamite’. One literalist view is that it is a local appellation from a supposed place ‘Shulem’, formed by the same analogy as Shunammite from Shunem. And in fact the LXX does read ‘Sunamitis’, and the Vulgate did read it, so that a reference to Abishag has been seen here by some ancient writers, and Abishag herself by some modern ones. Another opinion is that the name is strictly a proper one, the personal name of the Bride, akin, perha s, to ‘Shelomith’, the feminine form of the name Solomon. And this brings us closer to the mystical view, which takes the word as an adjective, and explains it variously as “belonging to Solomon,” or “daughter of Salem,” or “perfect ;” or again, most satisfactorily, as “ Peaceful,” which last is supported by the authority of Aquila, who translates it (eirëneuousa). One other suggested meaning is that of Symmachus, who, deriving the epithet from (shalal), ‘shalal’, ‘spoliavit’, views it as equivalent to “ plundered,” or “ captive,” (eskuleumenë). Either of these last-given meanings will suit the Synagogue, to which the Targum applies the verse, paraphrasing thus: “’Return’ to Me, O congregation of Israel, ‘return’ to Jerusalem, ‘return’ to the House of My Law, ‘return’ to receive prophecy from the Prophets who prophesy in the Name of the Word of the ‘Lord’. Israel heard and obeyed the call, notes De Lyra, and returned at four several times after the Captivity; first, under Zorobabel and Ezra, in the reign of Cyrus; secondly, in the next migration headed by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes; thirdly, under Nehemiah; and, fourthly, when Judas Maccabeus cleansed and restored the profaned sanctuary. The ‘We’, then, Who desire to look upon the Shulamite, and therefore call her back, may best be taken, as many of the Fathers do take it, of the Most ‘Holy Trinity’, calling the wandering Church, Jewish or Christian, or the soul which has gone astray, back to its true home, to the presence of the Divine Countenance. It is, notes Rupert, the Voice of Amminadab Himself as He sits upon His chariot, saying, Thou, ‘O Shulamite’, that is, captive or depised, thou, O faith, O dignity of the true Priesthood (wellnigh given up to oblivion through carnal ceremonies, so that the Synagogue knows not, and thinks not that her father Abraham was justified by thee, and not by the Law, as it is written, “Abraham believed ‘God’, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,”) ‘return’, and again I say, ‘return’, and a third time I say, ‘return’, and a fourth time I say, ‘return’, one call for each horse of My chariot. For I was born and I suffered to this end, that thou mightest return, and rise again, and ascend into heaven to Me, and therefore till thou dost return I cease not My calling upon thee…..
‘What will ye see in the Shulamite?’ Who asks the question, and of whom? They reply , for the most part, that the Bridegroom addresses the daughters of Jerusalem, and tells them of the aspect which the Synagogue will present when it has returned to the faith. The Three Fathers alone suppose that the Shulamite herself both puts the questlon and answers it. As it were the com any of two armies. The ancient versions and the English one have each lost something in translating this verse. The latter, by rendering (mecholath) ‘mecholath’, merely ‘company’, has missed the true force of the word, which is ‘dancing company’, preserved in the (choroi) of the LXX and the ‘choros’ of the Vulgate. On the other hand, these versions have omitted to take notice of the dual form ‘Mahanaim’, found here as in Gen. 32:2, and have turned it merely as ‘camps’, with no mark of number. There appears at first sight, says Theodoret, an inconsistency between the words ‘choirs’ and ‘camps’, for the one has to do with feasting, and the other with war. But as the Bride is made up of many Saints, she is like to camps because of her valiant soul and warlike panoply, and she is at the same time the choir which as in its mouth the praises of ‘God’. And after showing how David tells us of the Church’s song and St Paul of her weapons and conflict, the good Bishop continues: That the Saints are not merely like camps, but like choirs also, let us hear the ‘Lord’ telling: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went out to meet the Bridegroom.” He says well, then, ‘What will ye see in the Shulamite, who cometh like chairs of camps?’ (LXX) He does not say, “camps of choirs,” but ‘choirs of camps’. For the choirs are gathered out of the camps, since when brave soldiers in camps have been victorious, they return singing the paean, and chanting in the dance the song of triumph. So the old Western hymn for All Saints:
Spouse of ‘Christ’, in arms contending, O’er each realm beneath the sun,
Blend with prayers for help ascending, Notes of praise for triumphs won.

‘What will ye see?’ Nothing else save these military choirs? No blood of victims, no rite of circumcision? No, all is gone save combat and praise, because “it seemed good to the ‘Holy Ghost’ to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” And observe, that as in choirs it is necessary that the cassiodor, singers and dancers should keep time together, we have here a type of the need of harmony and union in the Church. And if we dwell on the phrase dancing, we shall remember how the women of Israel went out after Miriam with timbrels and dances, when she sang of the overthrow of the Egyptians; how the Psalmist bids the children of Sion raise their King in the dance and with the cymbals; how the saddest of Prophets can yet declare that in the day of the ‘Lord’s’ redemption “the virgin shall rejoice in the dance.” But this dance, as Theodoret has already told us, is not merely one of girls, nor yet of peaceful priests, such as David shared in when he danced before the ark. It is one of tried warriors, whose swords and shields make the music to which they keep step; and it is of ‘two armies’, not met in deadly rivalry, but in close and perfect alliance, met in her who is the Peaceful, the Church Triumphant, where the two bands move beneath Jacob’s staff, Jew and Gentile in the Church Militant on earth, men and Angels in the Church Triumphant in heaven. Until the great day of the last battle against the hosts of evil shall dawn, these two choirs join in the mingled Song of Moses and the Lamb, but the time will come when the Song of Moses, with its echoes of war, shall be forgotten, and only the new Song of eternal peace shall be heard from the lips of the Peaceful as she sings the praises of the Prince of Peace, her Spouse…..
And they will truly be ‘Mahanaim’, the two heavenly armies of the ‘Lord’ of Hosts, for the ranks of the celestial hierarchies, long broken since the fall of the rebels under Lucifer, shall be filled up with ransomed men, now “like the Angels which are in heaven.”

5: From: Essay on Canticles, Song of Songs, Translation of Poem, Short Explanatory Notes. Rev, W. Houghton. (1865)

Introduction: Essay on Canticles: (After survey & selections of the various views of Jews & Christians in the hermeneutics of the Song in allegory, type, & literal senses, admiring Lowth in leading the way from allegory to literalism, basing his book and doctrine in Ginsburg work, and dedicating his volume to Bishop Colenso as the Apostle and Prophet of the new Higher Biblical Criticism, he gives us his doctrine:) “The simple story of this beautiful poem may be told in a few words. A village girl of Shulem, the only daughter of her widowed mother, is betrothed to a young shepherd. Their attachment appears to have excited the fears of her brothers, who were anxious for her welfare and the preservation of her chastity. They kept a strict watch over her and sent her to look after the vineyards on their farm, where continual exposure had the effect of burning her complexion.
Whether the young Shulamite was married to her shepherd lover at the time of which the poem treats, or whether she was still only betrothed, it is not easy to decide positively. I incline to the opinion that the young couple were married. One day when on a visit to or from her garden, where she had gone to see the opening buds of spring, —all unawares, she fell in with the cortege of King Solomon, who was, it is probable, on a spring visit to the country. Her beauty and attractions arrest the king’s attention, and he captures [?] the Shulamite damsel, places her in the royal palanquin, and takes her, an unwilling companion, to the palace at Jerusalem. She is introduced into the harem, where her sun-burnt face attracts the notice of the fair ladies of the court. True to her humble shepherd lover, the virtuous girl resists all the allurements of Solomon to win her affection. She will think only of her own true love; she asks the other ladies of the harem to leave her alone that she may enjoy the thoughts of his excellence and the assurance that she was his and he hers. The shepherd is supposed to follow her to the palace, and to gain sight of her from the outside of the palace. Solomon, finding that all his advances are in vain, allows her to leave the royal palace. Hand in hand the two faithful lovers proceed to her home, and under the quince tree, where the love-spark was first kindled, they stop and renew their vows of constancy and fidelity. The companions of the shepherd see them coming, and when they meet he asks his young wife* to sing for them, which she does in words she had formerly used under the circumstances of their separation. *(The question as to whether the Shulamite and shepherd were or were not married, can only be decided, in the absence of other indications, by the meaning of the Hebrew word ,(kallah) (‘callah’), which, being most probably derived from a root signifying “to crown,” favours the opinion of those who maintain that the pair was wedded. The word also signifies “daughter-in-law,” and is so rightly rendered by the English version in several passages.)
Such are the main features of the plot of this poem, which I now present before my readers.

Commentary: Specimen of Chapter 1:1-3:
Ch. 1:1. The Song of Songs, Which is Solomon’s. Part I.
A Court Lady of the Harem addressing Solomon.*(This is simply the inscription, and certainly not the statement of the author of the poem; it is similar to the inscriptions in the Book of Psalms, ascribing certain Psalms to different authors, as “a Psalm of David,” “a Psalm or Song of Asaph,” &c, and should have been printed in small type distinct from the poem itself. The inscriptions of the Psalms are, it is well known, not always trustworthy. They are, in some cases, “due to the guess of a later writer.” (See Perowne on the Psalms, p.105) The question of authorship must be decided by the internal evidence supplied by the style and contents of the different hymns.
2. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, For thy caresses are better than wine; *(The scene is supposed to be laid in the gynaecium, or women’s apartment of Solomon’s tent, or summer-house in the country. The king is surrounded by the court ladies, who address him in amorous language. The Shulamite is brought in, and begs her lover to deliver her. The court ladies look with astonishment upon her, and are inclined to despise her on account of her sun-burnt face, occasioned, as she tells them, by the harsh conduct of her brothers, who compelled her to keep their vineyards. She longs to know where her shepherd lover is feeding his flock (1:1-7). Some commentators suppose that the Shulamite is, in verses 2 to 4, addressing her absent lover. This may be so. The details in the distribution of the verses will always be more or less a matter of taste, unless the text affords a decisive hint.)
Thy ointments are lovely with fragrance.*(The ancient Jews were in the habit of anointing their heads, hands, and clothes, with perfumed ointments; “oil of myrrh “was a favourite cosmetic.)
3. Like ointment is thy name diffused; Therefore do the damsels love thee.
(Outline of Canticles Song: Shulamite (‘to her absent lover’). (1:4a); Court Ladies ‘addressing’ Solomon. (1:4b); Shulamite (to Jerusalem’s Daughters (Virgins, Maidens of the Court& Harem) . (1:5-6); Shulamite: ‘She addresses her absent Lover’. (1:7); Court Ladies. (1:8); Solomon.*(Solomon praises the Young Girl’s beauty (9-11); she dwells on her Love to her Shepherd Spouse (12-14); Solomon reiterates his admiration (15); the Shulamite () for her Beloved (16); the Shulamite compares herself to the Flowers of the Vale of Sharon (2:1); the Shepherd Lover admires her above all other women (2:2); the Shulamite dwells in thought upon her beloved (2:3).)….&c

Houghton closes his Canticles Essay thus: *Mr Plumptre characterizes M. Kenan’s work on the Canticles as “bringing down a noble poem to the level of an operatic ballet at a Parisian theatre.” (” Smith’s Dictionary,” iii. p.1352, note.) Do the following extracts from M. Renan’s volume warrant so severe a stricture?
“The poem is neither mystical, as theologians have wished to make it; nor unbecoming, as Castalion believed it; nor simply erotic, as Herder would have it: it is moral, it is summed up in one verse, the 7th of ch. 8: ‘Rien ne peut resister a l’amour sincere; quand le riche pretend acheter l’amour, il n’achete que la honte.’ [“Nothing can resist sincere love; When the rich pretend buy love, he buys only the shame.” = “Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can the floods drown it. Though a man were to offer all his wealth for love, He would be utterly despised.”] The object of the poem is not the voluptuous passion that languishes in the harems of the degenerate East, nor the equivocal sentiment of the Hindoo and Persian quietist; but true love, love which inspires courage and sacrifice, preferring free poverty to servile riches, hating everything untrue or base, and ending in calm happiness and fidelity.” (p.137) Again, “The Song of Songs is a secular book, but by no means a frivolous one. Those features which may offend us are the same which are found in all ancient poetry.
Besides, we must remark that the only two really sensual passages have for their object the presentation of the harem and the manners of Solomon’s court in an odious light, and serve as a kind of contrast. The poor shepherdess who preferred him she loved to Solomon, ought not to be despised. None of her contemporaries, though more civilized, in the immoral world in which she lived would have done as she did; no daughter of Memphis or Babylon, a thousand years before Christ, would have resisted a king or preferred a hut to a harem. The Shulamite was a saint in her time. Do not let us criticise, according to the rules of our modern proprieties, each word of this ingenuous peasant girl. The book which shows us, ten centuries before Christ, virtuous love true and strong, though not yet perhaps lofty and delicate, is, in one sense, a sacred book. Let us remember what Niebuhr replied to a young pastor troubled by the necessity of admitting a lovesong into the Biblical canon: ‘As for me,’ said the illustrious critic with vivacity, ‘I should believe that something was wanting in the Bible if there could not be found there any expression of the deepest and strongest of the feelings of mankind.'”
Some writers have attempted to establish an identity between the Shulamite and Abisbag the Shunammite, —the young damsel who cherished David in his old age (1st Kings 1:3),— and believe they have discovered therein a clear explanation of some of the circumstances of Solomon’s accession. “The historical starting-point of the Song of Songs,” says Mr Plumptre, “connects itself, in all probability, with the earliest facts in the history of the new reign. The narrative as told in 1st Kings 2 is not a little perplexing. Bathsheba, who had before stirred up David against Adonijah, now appears as interceding for him, begging that Abishag the Shunammite, the virgin concubine of David, might be given him as a wife. Solomon, who till then had professed the profoundest reverence for his mother, his willingness to grant her anything, suddenly flashes into fiercest wrath at this. The petition is treated as part of a conspiracy in which Joab and Abiathar are sharers. Benaiah is once more called in, Adonijah is put to death at once. Joab is slain even within the precincts of the tabernacle, to which he had fled asan asylum. The facts have an explanation. Mr Grove’s ingenious theory, identifying Abishag with the heroine of the Song of Songs, resting, as it must do, on its own evidence, has this further merit, that it explains the phenomena here. The passionate love of Solomon for the ‘fairest among women’ might well lead the queen-mother, hitherto supreme, to fear a rival influence, and to join in any scheme for its removal. The king’s vehement abruptness is, in like manner, accounted for. He sees in the request at once an attempt to deprive him of the woman he loves, and a plot to keep him still in the tutelage of childhood, to entrap him into admitting his elder brother’s right to the choicest treasure of his father’s harem, and therefore virtually to the throne, or, at least, to a regency in which he would have his own partisans as counsellors. With a keen-sighted promptness he crushes the whole scheme.”
There is no doubt whatever that Adonijah’s desire to marry Abishag accounts in the most natural manner for his own death and the concomitant circumstances of Solomon’s accession, as described by Mr Plumptre; but there is not a fragment of evidence, beyond the fact that the heroine of the Song of Songs and Abishag were both inhabitants of Shunem, and were both beautiful women, to show that they were identical; while there is clear and positive proof that they were distinct personages. The whole plan and structure of the poem contradicts “this ingenious theory.” The Shulamite is a young girl, probably married, at all events betrothed, —whose affections Solomon is represented as vainly endeavouring to gain; while Abishag would be his own concubine according to his successionary right in his father’s harem.*(The expressions which the Shulamite uses in praise of her shepherd spouse are all referred by Prof. Plumptre to Solomon,) Again, how can we possibly reconcile with this view the statement that the heroine of the Song of Songs makes of herself, viz. that she was swarthy or sun-burnt? Did the fair Abishag who shared the luxuries of David’s palace become a keeper of her brother’s vineyard, immediately after the death of the old king? [The conjecture of Plumptre & Houghton are both near but not exact. Shulamite & Shunamite are the same names & meaning; both are from Shunem or Shulem, which means Salem (Peace) as in HeruSalem; Solomon’s Song is this Love Story of Abishag as the Shulamite-Shunamite Solomonitess, the Female Solomon; and the Beloved is David the Shepherd-King, to whom Abishag was given as a secondary wife, or concubine, though he never knew her carnally or sexually, but was her Spouse & Friend, and thus she was an unrequited Lover, Wife, Queen, in love , but a lost, deprived, love for her Beloved, (her David); and her life would be most touching & significant, thus prophetical & mysterious of Jerusalem & New Jerusalem, that is of Divine Love between God and Man in Christ. This is her Story told by Solomon.]
The Song of Songs, stripped of the garb of fanciful allegory with which it has so long been surrounded, is one of the most beautiful books in the Bible, and contains a lesson of high moral value which deserves to last as long as the world endures. “Every part of this song,” as Bishop Bossuet has said, “abounds in poetical beauties; the objects which present themselves on every side are the choicest plants, the most beautiful flowers, the most delicious fruits, the bloom and vigour of spring, the sweet verdure of the fields, flourishing and well-watered gardens, pleasant streams, and perennial fountains. The other senses are represented as regaled with the most precious odours, natural and artificial; with the sweet singing of birds and the soft voice of the turtle; with milk and honey and the choicest of wine. To these enchantments are added all that is beautiful and graceful in the human form, the endearments, the caresses, the delicacy of love. If any object be introduced which seems not to harmonize with this delightful scene, such as the awful prospect of tremendous precipices, the wildness of the mountains or the haunts of lions, its effect is only to heighten, by the contrast, the beauty of the other objects, and to add the charms of variety to those of grace and elegance.” But the essential part of the Song of Songs is the example of morality which it sets for the copy and admiration of all ages. The successful struggle against sin under circumstances of unusually strong temptation, —this is the point to which the moral compass of this exquisite poem is steadfastly turned. Dreamy allegorisers may satisfy themselves with their own mystical interpretations, but the man or woman who seeks for instruction in the way of practical righteousness, will value only the simple story of the poem, the story of the virtue and fidelity of a Hebrew village girl, —a story to be read with delight both by prince and peasant, a story of human love, pure and devoted, which shall find a response in the heart of humanity as long as time shall last.*(I have been informed by Dr Kalisch that modern Jewish scholars have for the most part abandoned all allegorical interpretations of this book.)
“For love is strong as death, Inexorable as the grave is ardent affection;
Its burnings are burnings of fire, With the flames of Jehovah.
Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can the floods drown it.
Though a man were to offer all his wealth for love, He would be utterly despised.”

6: From: Wisdom Literature of Old Testament. W. T. Davison, DD. (1900)

Chapter 12: Song of Songs:
…..”2. Admitting, however, the literal as the primary meaning of the poem, it is yet possible to maintain that it has an ideal and typical significance. The well-known commentator, Delitzsch, may serve as perhaps the best representative of those who take this view. According to him, the Song is, as it appears at first sight, a love-poem. The maiden who figures so largely in it is not the daughter of Pharaoh, but “a country maiden of humble rank, who by her beauty and by the purity of her soul filled Solomon with a love for her which drew him away from the wantonness of polygamy, and made for him the primitive idea of marriage, as it is described in Gen. ii. 24, a self-experienced reality. This experience he here sings, idealising it after the manner of a poet; i.e., removing the husk of that which is accidental, he goes back to its kernel and its essential nature. We have before us six dramatic figures, each in two divisions, which represent from within the growth of this delightful relation to its conclusion….. The Song represents paradisaical, but yet only natural love. It stands, however, in the Canon of the Church, because Solomon is a type of Him of whom it can be said, ‘a greater than Solomon is here.” Referred to Him the antitype, the earthly contents receive a heavenly import and glorification. We see therein the mystery of the love of Christ and His Church shadowed forth, not, however, allegorically, but typically.” *(Introduction to Commentary) It will be seen that this mode of applying the words to the Church of Christ differs materially from that before described. It violates no rule of exegesis, and if it can be maintained, reconciles the obvious meaning of the words with that deeper meaning which spiritually-minded readers have delighted to find in them.
According to this view, the outline of the poem is somewhat as follows. The Shulamite (vi.13) is a country maiden from the north of Palestine, who has been raised by Solomon to the rank of queen. She is a stranger among the daughters of Jerusalem, in appearance, in habits, and in her thoughts and feelings. The development of the little drama is very slight, the only progress in it being that by which the simple country girl teaches the wise man the superior joys of wedded love in its purity, weaning him from the luxury and indulgence of court-life as enjoyed by Oriental monarchs, to the delights of the pure affection of one husband for one wife. A number of graceful pictures succeed one another, all heightening the effect of the climax when it is reached, and helping to set forth the value and Divine significance of marriage as a holy bond uniting two souls together, who pass readily enough from thoughts of earthly to thoughts of heavenly love. The transition from this train of thought to the level on which St. Paul describes marriage as a mystery, a pattern of the relation between Christ and His Church, is easy and natural.
The poem, as thus interpreted, divides itself into six parts: (1) Anticipation, 1:2-2:7; (2) Awaiting, 2:8-3:5; (3) Espousal & Results, 3:6-5:1; (4) Absence, 5:2-8; (5) Presence, 5:9-8:4; (6) Love’s Triumph, viii. 8:5-12; Conclusion, 8:13-14.
The scene is laid partly in Jerusalem, partly in Solomon’s park, partly at the Shulamite’s home in the country. The persons who speak in this lyrical drama are the Shulamite maiden, Solomon the king, and the daughters of Jerusalem who serve as chorus. “In the first half of the dramatic pictures, Shulamith rises to an equality with Solomon; in the second half, Solomon descends to an equality with Shulamith. At the close of the first, Shulamith is at home in the king’s palace; at the close of the second, Solomon is at home with her in her Galilean home.”
3. It has been increasingly felt, however, for the last half-century, among the majority of scholars, that the difficulties in the way of this hypothesis are insuperable. That Solomon should appear alternately as a stately king and as a simple shepherd, and that he should be found abandoning his court for a country cottage, appears on the face of it improbable; while a closer examination of the structure of the poem reveals the fact that it is not as simple as the above theory would make it. The view which Ewald was the first to work out, and which has been adopted since his time by Ginsburg and others, though with many subordinate modifications,” may be described as follows.
The poem is a pastoral drama, in which the action is represented by a number of lyrical monologues, with occasional dialogue of the very simplest form. The persons are Shulamith, the maiden-heroine; her shepherd-betrothed, whose home, like hers, is in North Palestine; Solomon the King, the ladies of his court, the Shulamite’s brothers, certain citizens of Jerusalem, and perhaps one or two minor interlocutors. The scene opens in Jerusalem, where the Shulamite is detained against her will [?] by Solomon, who desires to take her as his bride among the many ladies of the royal household. She, however, is full of the thought of her shepherd-lover, to whom, in spite of all the attractions held out to her, she continues faithful. The poem describes, in by no means regularly sustained fashion, the admiration of Solomon, the devotion of the Shulamite to her absent betrothed, her dreams of the past and her home among the Northern hills, the unsuccessful attempts made to excite her ambition and induce her to assume queenly rank, closing by a description of her return to her parental home, her reunion with her shepherd-lover, and the triumph of pure and loyal natural affection. More in detail, the scheme would be as follows:

Part I: 1:2-2:7: Shulamite & Ladies of Court in conversation; they fail to understand her longing for her Absent Friend. (1:2-8) Solomon seeks to win the Shulamite’s Love. Her thoughts are elsewhere; she begs that there may be no attempt to excite and transfer her Affections. (1:9-2:7)
Part II: 2:8-3:5: Reminiscences of scenes from the past life of the Shulamite, when she was happy with her Beloved in her Northern home. She hopes that their separation may speedily end. (2:8-17) Dream, in which the Shulamite seems to go in search of her Lover. (3:1–5)
Part III: 3:6-5:8: Citizens of Jerusalem describe the Royal Pageant which is seen approaching; Solomon in his Palanquin, with his Crown of State. (3:6-11) Solomon seeks again to win the Shulamite’s Love, and praises her Beauty. (4:1-7) Shulamite and her Lover in real or ideal interview. (4:8-5:1) Second dream, in which the Maiden seeks her Beloved in vain throughout the city. (5:2-8)
Part IV: 5:9-8:4: Ladies in conversation with the Shulamite concerning her Shepherd-Lover. (5:9-6:3) King enters, & seeks again to win the Maiden’s Affection; but with less success than ever, as she declares her unswerving Love for the Absent One, and desire to be with him once more. (6:4-7:4)
Part V: 8:5-14: Shulamite approaches, leaning on her Lover’s arm. She recounts her history, her brother’s care for her welfare, her own purity and constancy; & the Poem closes with a brief Song expressive of the happiness of the pair reunited in their home among the hills. (8:5-14)

This may be described as the generally prevailing modern view of the poem. Some of the chief arguments which have led to its adoption in preference to the simpler and perhaps more spiritual interpretation previously described are these, First, the difficulty of supposing that Solomon could fill the various parts implied in such a hypothesis; appearing first as a shepherd in a country home, then as king in his palace, then returning again to the simplicity of country life and remaining in it. Secondly, the unlikelihood that a self-respecting maiden, with the feelings of pure affection expressed in the poem, could consent to be one in a royal harem consisting of many queens and concubines, as described in ch. vi. 8. Thirdly, the difference in language and tone observable in the addresses both of Solomon to the Shulamite, and of the Shulamite to her Beloved, make it difficult, if not impossible, to suppose that only two persons are concerned in them. One supposition introduced to relieve this difficulty, and make what has been called the “King-hypothesis” seem more probable than the “Shepherd-hypothesis,” implies an estrangement between Bride and Bridegroom almost on the morning after their marriage, and in ch. iv. 6 it would appear that the Bride proposes on her very wedding day to withdraw from the company of her husband……

We must close this part of our reflections of these Selections which could be extended to infinity. We return to Biblical Reflections with some fuller survey & observations to the Poetic Books.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.19

CBR.19: Psalms: III. Poetic Books: Job-Songs. mjmselim. July29, 2018
((Here are pages 375-486 of CBR, Chapter III, (in three submissions pages 375-402, CBR.18 (Job), 402-450 CBR.19 (Psalms), 450-486 CBR.20 (Proverbs-Song of Songs) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. This Chapter III & Part III will be added to the PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, along with the final pages of the Chapter in a few days. CBR. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018))

PSALMS: (Selections from various authors, writers, commentaries, &c.)

1: Tehellim: Tehilloth (Hallels (Praises), Tephilahs, Tefillahs, (Prayers), Sherim (Songs))
Psalter has from ancient times been divided into five books: Book I (Genesis): Psalms 1-42; Book II (Exodus): Psalms 43-72; Book III (Leviticus): Psalms 73-89; Book IV (Numbers): Psalms 90-106; Book V (Deuteronomy): Psalms 107-150.
Titles Descriptive of Character of Poem: Psalm. ‘Mizmor’, rendered ‘Psalm’, is a technical term found only in the titles of the Psalter. It is prefixed to 57 Psalms, and with few exceptions is preceded or followed by the name of the author, generally that of David.

2: A Guide to the Psalms by W. Graham Scroogie Published in 1995 by Kregel Publications; Originally published by F.H. Revell, 1978.(1948-1978, parts) Great collection of facts, details, charts, and tables of the Book of Psalms gathered from dozens of Books. (Along with his “Unfolding Drama of Redemption”, the Guide to the Psalms is very useful & helpful. The same recommendation is here given to Spurgeon’s Treasury of David which Scroogie utilized & enhanced.)

3: From: Introduction to the Psalter: “What the heart is in man, that the Psalter is in the Bible.” Joh. Abnd. (Biblical Commentary on the Psalms. v1. Franz Delitzsch, DD. Translated from German, latest edition & revised by the author, in 3 vols. by Rev., David Eaton. FBL, Ed, W R Nicoll.(1887))

I. Position of the Psalter among the Hagiographa, and more especially among the Poetical Books.
“The Psalter everywhere forms an integral portion of the so-called ‘Kethubim’ or ‘Hagiographa’. Its position among these, however, is somewhat variable. It seems to follow from Luke 24:44, that in pre-Talmudic times it opened that division of the Canon (see also 2nd Macc. 2:13; and Philo ‘Vita Contempl.). In the Hebrew MSS. of the German class the prevalent sequence of the books is really as follows: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, then the five Megilloth (Scrolls, Rolls); and this order has been followed in our common printed editions. The Masora, however, and the MSS. of the Spanish class begin the Kethubim with Chronicles, which they unskilfully separate from Ezra-Nehemiah, and then make the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, and the five Megilloth follow. And according to the Talmud (‘Bathra’,14b) the right sequence is as follows: Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs; the Book of Ruth precedes the Psalter as being its prologue, [but the Book of Job is a far better prologue and introduction to the Psalms & the Poetic Books;] for Ruth is the ancestress of him to whom the sacred lyric owes the era of its richest efflorescence.
That the Psalter should open the division of the ‘Kethubim’ is undoubtedly the most natural arrangement, if for no other reason than this, that in its nucleus it represents the time of David, just as Proverbs and Job represent the Chokma-literature of the time of Solomon [but if Job is pre-Mosaic, or Patriarchal with Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, then its proper place precedes the Psalter]. It is self evident, however, that it is only among the ‘Kethubim’ that it could find its proper place. The first place in the Canon is taken by the codex of the giving of the law. This codex is the foundation of the Old Covenant and of Israel’s nationality as well as of all its subsequent literature; it is the (Thorah, Torah), in contradistinction to which all the other sacred writings are reckoned (qabalah, kabbalah) (tradition resting on it). This fundamental five-fold book is followed by two series of historical writings, to which there is given the collective title (Nebiim, Nevi’im). The first of these two series consists of writings of a prophetical character that relate to the past, and bring down the history of Israel from the occupation of Canaan to the first dawning of light in the penal condition of the Babylonian exile (‘Prophetae priores’ (Early or Prior Prophets). The second series relates to the future; it consists of predictive writings composed by prophetical authors, which reach down to the time of Darius Nothus, and indeed to Nehemiah’s second stay in Jerusalem during the reign of that Persian monarch (‘Prophetae posteriores’ (Later or Posterior Prophets)). Regarded chronologically, the first series would correspond better with the second, if the historical books of the Persian period (Chronicles-Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther) had been joined to it; but for a good reason this was not done. The literature of Israel has struck out two sharply distinguished methods of writing history, viz. the annalistic and the prophetic, as types of which we may regard the Elohistic and Jehovistic methods in the Pentateuch and in Joshua. Now those historical books of the Persian period are annalistic, and not prophetic, in their character (although the Books of Chronicles have taken up and embodied many remnants of the prophetic method of writing history, just as, conversely, the Books of Kings have done with many remnants that are annalistic); they could not therefore be placed among the ‘Prophetae priores’. Only with Ruth the case is different. This short book bears such a close resemblance to the end of the Book of Judges (chaps, 17-21) that it might very well stand between it and Samuel. Its original position was behind the Book of Judges, just as the Lamentations of Jeremiah stood after the book of his prophecies; and it is only for liturgical reasons that both these books have been placed among the so-called Megilloth (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes,and Esther, —the order in which they follow one another in our ordinary printed editions, according to the calendar of the festivals). It is self-evident that all the remaining books could be embraced only in the third division of the Canon, which (as could hardly have been otherwise in addition to (Thorah) and (Nebi’im)) received the general title of (Ketuvim, Kethubim); a title which, as the grandson of Ben-Sira renders it in his prologue (B.C. 132), signifies (ta alla patria biblia). This name is given to writings, and that too sacred writings (grapheia or hagiographa, to use an expression current, in the time of Epiphanius), upon which one can take one’s stand, and to which one can appeal with (k’k’tub) or (d’k’tib) (gegratai gar).1 Accordingly, although this title has not the same meaning, it has the same value as (k’t’bi qodesh); but it would be a mistake to regard it as equivalent to (ketubim baruch haqodesh); for the doctrine of three degrees of inspiration, according to which (baruch haqodesh) is the third degree, that, viz. which is associated with the greatest independent mental activity of the writer, cannot be traced further back than Maimonides (d.1204).
II. Names of the Psalter.
At the close of Psalm 72 we find (v. 20) the subscription: “‘the prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.'” Here the whole of the preceding Psalms are comprehended under the name (Tephilloth, Tefillot). This is surprising, for, with the exception of Ps.17 (and further on 86, 90, 102, 142), they are all otherwise entitled, and many, ‘e.g’. Pss. 1 and 2, contain no invocation of God, and therefore do not have the form of prayers. Nevertheless the collective name (Tephillah) is suitable to all the Psalms. The essential element in prayer is the direct and undiverted turning of the soul to God, the absorption of the spirit in thoughts of Him. All the Psalms participate in this, the essential element in prayer even those that are didactic, and such hymns as Hannah’s song of praise, which is introduced in 1st Sam. 2:1 with (watithpalel).
The external title borne by the Psalter is (Tehillim) (Sepher, Sefer), for which (Tillim) (apocopated Tilli) is also commonly used, as Hippolytus (‘ed. de Lagarde’, p. 188) testifies : (‘Hebraioi periegrapsan ton biblon Sephra Theleim’ (in Eusebius: Thallim, Tallim). This name also may surprise us; for the greater number of the Psalms are hardly hymns in the proper sense; most of them are elegiac or didactic, and only one (Ps.145) is directly entitled (Tehillah). But this collective name of the Psalms is also admissible; for they all participate in the essential nature of the hymn, viz. in that which is its real object, the glorifying of God. Those that are narrative praise the ‘magnalia Dei’; those that are plaintive praise Him likewise, inasmuch as they turn to Him as the sole helper, and close with the grateful assurance that they will be heard; and the verb includes both: the ‘magnificat’ and the ‘de profundis’. Instead of the dissimilate plural, (Tehillim) (if we may coin such a technical term), the language of the Masora prefers the most natural plural form of the noun, and throughout calls the Psalter (Sepher Tehilloth) (‘e.g’. on 2 Sam. 22:5). (In the Masora the Psalter is not called (Hallela ); only the so-called ‘Hallel’ [Hallels] (Ps.113-118) bears this name…)
In Syriac the Psalter is called ‘Kethobo demazmure’, in the Koran [Quran] ‘zabur’ (not ‘zubur’, as Golius and Freytag vocalize it), a word which in Arabic signifies nothing more than “writing” (synon. ‘kitab’ ; ‘vid’. on 3:1), but which is perhaps a corruption of ‘mizmor’, from which a plural, ‘mezamir’, which is found in Jewish-Oriental MSS., is formed by a change of vowels. A plural of ‘mizmor’ does not occur in the Old Testament. Even in the post-biblical ‘usus loquendi’ it is but seldom that either ‘mizmorim’ or ‘mizmoroth’ occurs as a name of the Psalms. In Hellenistic Greek the corresponding (Psalmoi) (> psallaein = zimmer) is so much the more common; the collection of the Psalms is called (Biblos Psalmön (Luke 20:42; Acts1:20) or (Psaltërion), the name of the stringed instrument (‘psanterin’ in the Book of Daniel) being metaphorically transferred to the hymns sung to its accompaniment. Psalms are songs for the lyre, and therefore lyric poems in the strictest sense.

X. Preliminary Theological Considerations.
The expositor of the Psalms may place himself either upon the standpoint of the poet, or upon that of the Old Testament community, or upon that of the Church. It is a fundamental condition of progress in exegesis that these three standpoints be kept separate, and that a distinction be accordingly drawn between the two Testaments [Delitzsch is very right!], and, in general, between the several stages [ages, dispensations, covenants, etc.] through which the revelation and the knowledge of redemption have passed. For not only redemption itself but also the revelation and the knowledge of it have had a progressive history, which reaches on from Paradise down through time into eternity. Redemption realises itself in a system of facts, in which God’s loving purpose to redeem sinful humanity is unfolded; and the revelation of redemption anticipates this gradual realization, in order at once to guarantee its Divine authorship, and to render its comprehension possible. In the Psalms there is presented to us more than half a millennium of this progressive realization, disclosure, and apprehension of redemption. And when we take into account the fact that one Psalm is dated from the time of Moses, and that the retrospective glances of the historical Psalms go back even to the age of the patriarchs, we may say that there is scarcely an occurrence that constituted an epoch in connection with the history of redemption, from the election of Abraham down to the new position assigned in the world to the post-exilic nation, which does not somehow or other find its expression in the Psalter. Nor is it merely facts external to it that re-echo in its lyrics; but seeing that David, next to Abraham [and Moses] undoubtedly the most significant religious character of the Old Testament, is its chief author, it is itself a direct, integral portion of the history of redemption. And it is also a source of information for the history of the revelation of redemption, inasmuch as it flowed not merely from the spirit of faith, but also at the same time largely from the spirit of prophecy; above all, however, it is our most important memorial of the progressive apprehension of the knowledge of redemption, seeing it shows how, between the giving of the law from Sinai, and the proclamation of the gospel from Sion, the final and essential redemption broke a path for itself in the consciousness and the spiritual life of the Jewish Church.
1. We shall consider, in the first place, ‘the relation of the Psalms to the prophecy of the coming Christ’. When the human beings, whom God had created, had ruined themselves by falling into sin, He did not abandon them to the doom of wrath which they had chosen for themselves, but visited them on the evening of that most unhappy day, in order to make that doom a disciplinary medium of His love. This visitation of Jahve-Elohim was the first step taken by Him in connection with the history of redemption towards the goal of the Incarnation; and the so-called ‘protevangelium’ was the laying of the first foundation of the verbal revelation of Himself by means of the law and the gospel a revelation which prepared the way, in accordance with the plan of redemption, towards this goal of the Incarnation and the restoration of humanity. The way of this redemption, which breaks a path for itself in history,” and at the same time also announces itself to the human consciousness, runs through the whole of Israel’s career; and the Psalms show us with what vital energy this seed-corn of words and deeds of divine love has unfolded itself in the hearts of believing Israelites. They bear the impress of the time, during which the preparation of the way of redemption was concentrated upon Isirael, and the hope of redemption had become a national hope; for after humanity [the Gentiles] had broken up into separate nationalities, redemption retired within the limits of a chosen people, in order that it might there come to maturity, and then, bursting these limits, become the possession of the whole human race. At that time the promise of the coming Mediator was in its third stage [after Adam-Noah & Abraham-Moses]. The prospect of victory over the power of temptation in the human race had been connected with the seed of the woman, the prospect of a blessing for all peoples, with that of the patriarch; in these days, however, when David became the creator of psalm-poetry to be used in divine worship, the promise had become Messianic [Dispensation of David-Messiah]; it pointed the hope of the faithful to the king of Israel, and in fact to David and his seed; redemption and glory, for Israel in the first place, and indirectly also for the Gentiles, were looked for through the mediatorial office of Jahve’s Anointed. The fact that among all the Davidic Psalms there is found but one (viz. Ps.110), in which, as in his last words (2 Sam. 23:1-7), he looks out into the future of his seed and has the Messiah objectively before him, is accounted for only by the circumstance, that up to this time he himself was the object of Messianic hope, and that it was only gradually, and more especially in consequence of his deep fall, that this hope was dissevered from him personally, and transferred to the future. Then when Solomon ascended the throne, the Messianic longings and hopes centred, as Ps. 72 shows, upon him; they applied to the one final Christ of God, but for a long time they clung enquiringly, and, on the ground of 2 Sam. 7, with perfect right, to the direct son of David. Even in Ps. 45, it is a descendant of David, contemporary with the Korahite singer, to whom the Messianic promise is applied as a marriage blessing, in the hope that it may be realised in him. But it soon became manifest that neither in this king, any more than in Solomon, had He jet appeared, who is the full realisation of the Messianic idea; and when, in the time of the later kings, the kingdom of David became more and more glaringly inconsistent with its sacred vocation, Messianic hope broke entirely with the present, which became merely the dark back-ground, from which the image of the Messiah, as being purely future, stood forth in relief. The (Ben-Dawid), around whom the prophecy of the period of the later kings revolves, and whom even Ps. 2 sets forth before the kings of the earth, in order that they may pay him homage, is (even supposing that the ( echrith) was expected to dawn immediately after the present) an eschatological person. In the mouth of the Old Testament Church even Pss. 45 and 132, seeing that their contents pointed to the future, have become Messianic in a prophetical or eschatological sense. It is surprising, however, that the number of such Psalms as are not merely typically Messianic is so small, and that the Church of the post-exilic period (We refer to the period immediately after the Exile; for towards the end of the Maccabaean period, Messianic hope broke ont afresh, as the Salomonic Psalter shows: its revival and declension are determined by the law of contrast.) has not enriched the Psalter with a single Psalm that is Messianic in the stricter sense. In the later portion of the Psalter, theocratic Psalms, as distinguished from those that are strictly Messianic, are more numerously represented. By theocratic Psalms we mean such as have to do, not with the kingdom of Jahve’s Anointed, which overcomes and blesses the world, not with the Christocracy, in which the theocracy attains the summit of its representation, but with the theocracy as such, completed both outwardly and inwardly in its self-manifestation, not with the Parousia of a human king [Man], but with the Parousia of Jahve Himself, with the kingdom of God revealed in all its glory. For the proclamation of redemption contained in the Old Testament runs on in two parallel lines: the one has as its termination the Anointed of Jahve, who rules over all nations from out of Zion, the other, the Lord Himself, sitting above the Cherubim, to whom the whole earth pays homage. These two lines do not meet in the Old Testament; it is the history of the fulfilment of prophecy that first makes it clear that the Parousia of the Anointed One and the Parousia of Jahve are one and the same. And of these two lines the divine is the one that predominates in the Psalms; the hope of the psalmists, more especially after the kingdom had ceased in Israel, is generally directed beyond the human mediation directly towards Jahve, the author of redemption. The fundamental article of Old Testament faith runs (Yeshu athah l’Yhwh) (3:9; Jon. 2:10). The Messiah is not yet recognised as a God-man. Accordingly the Psalms know neither of prayer to Him, nor of prayer in His name. But prayer to Jahve and for Jahve’s sake is essentially the same thing. For Jahve implies Jesus. Jahve is the Saviour. The Saviour, when He shall appear, is nothing else save the (Yeshu ah) of this God in a visible manifestation (Isa. 49:6).
As regards the divine-human goal of Old Testament history, we distinguish five classes of Psalms, which point to it. Since 2 Sam. 7 the promise of the Messiah is no longer connected with the tribe of Judah in general, but with David [House of David]; and it points not merely to the endless duration of his kingdom, but also to one scion of his house, in whom the divinely appointed destiny of his seed to be a blessing, first to Israel, and thence to all the nations of the world, is to be fully realised, and without whom, therefore, the Davidic kingdom would be a headless trunk. Psalms in which the poet, looking beyond his own age, comforts himself with the vision of this king, in whom the promise is finally fulfilled, we call ‘Messianic in an eschatological’ and indeed ‘directly eschatological’ sense. Such Psalms do not merely base themselves upon the word of prophecy that was already in existence, but even carry it still further; it is only by means of their lyrical form that they are distinguished from prophecy in the strictest sense; for prophecy is a proclamation, and the Psalms are spiritual songs.
The Messianic purport of the Psalms, however, is not limited to the element of strict prediction, to which the future becomes objective. Just as natural life presents a series of stages [ages, periods, decades, generations, etc.], in which the lower stage of existence points preformatively to that which is next in order above it, and indirectly to that which is highest, so that, ‘e. g’, in the globular form of a drop there is announced the striving after organism, as it were, in the simplest fugitive outline, so the progress of history, and more especially of the history of redemption, is also typical; and the life of David, not only as a whole, but also most surprisingly even in individual traits, is a ‘raticinium [ratiocinium] reale’ [real reason] of the life of Him, whom prophecy regards as David [the Beloved] raised up again as it were in a glorified form, and whom it therefore directly names (Obedi Dawid = My Servant David) (Ezek. 34:23 f.; 37:24 f.) and (Dawid Malkam = David their King) (Hos. 3:5; Jer. 30:9). Such Psalms, in which David himself (or even a poet putting himself into David’s position and mood [prophetic identification & association]) gives lyrical utterance to typical critical events in his life, we call ‘typico-Messianic’ Psalms. To this class, however, there belong not only such as have David, directly or indirectly, for their subject; for the path of suffering which was trodden by all the Old Testament saints in general, and more especially by the prophets in the fulfilment of their calling (‘vid’. on 34:20 f.; and Ps. 69), has become in a certain sense a (tupos tou mellontos). All these Psalms, not less than those of the first class, may be cited in the New Testament with (hina plëröthë ); only with this difference, that in the former it is the prophetic word, in the latter the prophetic history, that is fulfilled. The older theologians, especially the Lutheran, oppose the assumption that there are such typological citations of the Old Testament in the New; (The 5th Ecumenical Council also denied it, when it condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia’s typical interpretation of Pss. 16, 22, & 69.) they had not yet attained to the organic view of history [the dispensational view] granted to our age, and were therefore also without the true counterpoise to their rigid theory of inspiration.
There is, however, also a class of Psalms, which we call Messianic in a ‘typico-prophetical’ sense. These are Psalms in which David, when describing experiences of his [the] inner and outer life which were already typical in themselves, is raised above the limits of his own individuality and time, and uses regarding himself hyperbolical expressions, which were not to become full historical truth until they became so in Christ. [Add to this is the experiences of others, such as Joseph & Job, who give grounds for reflection and analogy to the poet and to reader or future generations.] Such Psalms are typical, inasmuch as their contents are rooted in the individual, but typical history of David; at the same time, however, they are prophetical, in asmuch as they give expression to that which is present and individual in complaints, hopes and descriptions that point far beyond the present, and are first fulfilled in Christ. The psychological possibility of such Psalms has been called in question; with the same injustice, however, as it was objected to Kant, on account of his distinction between an intelligible and a sensible Ego, that he posited two subjects in one personality. The mystery of these Psalms is at bottom the mystery of all poetry. The genuine lyric poet does not give a mere copy of the impressions of his empirical Ego; an ideal Ego, as Vinet says somewhere [in his Outlines of Theology, and other writings, 2nd Section, Chap. 1.II ‘Different Elements of Christianity’], overhears, as it were, this empirical Ego; it is this second soul that makes the poet. Now, just as the poet does not form a mere cast of his impressions, but idealises them, i.e. seizes them by the root of their idea, and stripping off and abstracting all that is adventitious and unimportant lifts them up into the region of the ideal, so David also in these Psalms idealises his [and others] experiences and anticipations. The natural result of this is, that these are reduced to that in them which is essentially typical; he does this, however, not in a condition of poetical self-stimulation, but as moved by the Spirit of God; and this has the further consequence, that the lifting up of his experiences into the region of the ideal is at the same time a lifting of them up into the region of the antitype; in other words, the statement of his [the] typical fortunes and the corresponding moods has assumed the form of a predictive statement of the fortunes and moods of his antitype. (To en autö pneuma Christou (1st Pet. 1:11) —this is the soul of his ideal Ego; this is his “second soul.”
Besides these three classes of Messianic Psalms, we may regard such Psalms as the forty-fifth and the seventy-second as forming a fourth class of ‘indirectly eschatologico-Messianic’ Psalms. These are Psalms in which, in keeping with the circumstances of the time at which they were composed, Messianic hopes were centred upon a contemporary king, without, however, having been fulfilled in him; so that in the mouth of the Church, which was still waiting for their final fulfilment, they have become eschatological hymns, and we are perfectly justified in interpreting them ‘as such’, as well as in their bearing upon their own time.
A fifth class is formed by the ‘eschatologico-Jehocistic’ Psalms. These concern themselves with the Parousia of Jahve, and with the consummation of His kingdom that is being gradually brought about by means of judgment (‘vid’. Ps. 93). The number of these Psalms preponderates in the Psalter. They contain the other premise for the divine-human end of the history of redemption. Lightning-like illuminations of this end are to be found in the prophets. But it is reserved to history itself to draw the final conclusions of the ‘unio personalis’ from these human and divine premises. The Redeemer, to whom the faith of the Old Testament betook itself, is Jahve. Its hope was centred, not in the human, but in the Divine King. That the Redeemer, when He should appear, would be God and man in one person, was an idea foreign to the consciousness of the Old Testament Church. And it is only in individual rays that the knowledge, that He would be sacrifice and priest in one person, breaks in upon the Old Testament darkness, the pole star of which is (YHWH) and only (YHWH).
2. When we turn now, in the second place, to consider the ‘relation of the Psalms to the legal sacrifices’, we find that this also is different from what we, looking at the matter from the standpoint of fulfilment, would naturally expect. It is true there are not wanting passages, in which the offering of the outward, legal sacrifice is recognised as a taking part in religious worship on the part of the individual and the Church (66:15; 51:21); but those passages are more numerous, in which the external sacrifice is compared so disparagingly with the (logikë latreia), that, no regard being had to its divine appointment, it appears as something not really desired by God at all, as a shell that should be cast away, as a form that should be broken in pieces (40:I f.; 50; 51:18 f.). It is not this, however, that surprises us. This is the very point, wherein the Psalms contribute their share towards the progress of the history of redemption; it as the process of writing the law upon the heart, commenced already in Deuteronomy [and before that in Genesis], that is continued here upon the ground of the memorable word of Samuel (1 Sam.15:22 f.); it is the gradually waxing spirit of the New Testament, that in this and in other respects in the Psalter is breaking down the legal barriers, and stripping off the (stoicheia tou kosmou), as a butterfly casts off its chrysalis. But what is put in the place of the sacrifices that are criticised so disparagingly? Contrition of heart, prayer, thankfulness, self-surrender to God in the doing of His will; just as in Prov. 21:3, doing justly; in Hos. 6:6, kindness; in Mic. 6:6-8, doing justly, love, humility; and in Jer. 7:21-23, obedience. This is what is surprising. The sacrifice that is depreciated is looked upon merely as a symbol, not as a type; it is regarded only ethically, not in its connection with the history of redemption; it is only so far as it is a gift to God (qorban), not so far as the gift is appointed to be an expiation (kapparah), that its character is brought out; —in one word, the mystery of the blood remains undisclosed. In a case, where the New Testament consciousness must think of sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ, mention is made (51:9) of the sprinkling that formed part of the legal ritual for the cleansing and putting away of sin; but although the language is plainly figurative, there is no explanation of the figure. Whence comes this? —Because, speaking generally, the sacrifice of blood, as such, remains a question in the Old Testament, to which almost only Isa. 53 (in addition to Zech.12:10 and 13:7) gives a plain answer that is in keeping with the historical fulfilment. It is in such late prophetic words as these, that the delineation of the Passion and the self-sacrifice of Christ first becomes the subject of direct prediction; and it is the history of the fulfilment given in the Gospels that first shows, how closely in keeping with the Anti-type was the form that the Spirit, which spoke through David in his passion Psalms, gave to the utterances of the type regarding himself. In regard to reconciliation as well as redemption in general, the believing confidence of the Old Testament, as it expresses itself in the Psalms, rested upon Jahve. He is not only the Saviour, but also the Reconciler (mekapper), from whom propitiation is entreated and hoped for (79:9; 65:4; 78:38; 85:3, etc.). At the end of the way which He took through history to redemption Jahve is indeed God in Christ, and the blood that was given by Him as a typical means of propitiation (Lev. 17:11) is, in the Anti-type, that of the God-man, and so far His own (Acts 20:28).
3. Advancing from this point, we shall now, in the third place, look at the ‘relation in which the Psalms stand to the New Testament righteousness of faith, and to the New Testament morality that flows from the fundamental law of all-embracing love’. With respect both to the idea of reconciliation and of redemption, the Psalms undergo a metamorphosis in the consciousness of the praying New Testament Church, a metamorphosis rendered possible by the unfolding and specialising of redemption that have taken place since they were written, and with which they fit in without constraint. Only in two points does it seem difficult to make the precatory contents of the Psalms amalgamate with the Christian consciousness. The one of these is the ethical self-consciousness, bordering upon self-righteousness, that frequently as serts itself before God in the Psalms [as it did in Job]; the other is the jealous wrath against enemies and persecutors that discharges itself in fearful imprecations. The self-righteousness, it is true, is only in appearance; for the righteousness to which the psalmists appeal is not the merit of works, not a sum of good deeds, that are recounted to God with a claim for reward, but a bending of the will and a shaping of the life, that is in accordance with the mind of God, that has its roots in the emptying of self and in the surrendering of one’s self to Him, and that looks upon itself as the result of His justifying, sanctifying, preserving and guiding grace (73:25 f.; 25:5-7; 19:14; etc.). Nor is there wanting an acknowledgment that the basis of our nature is inherently sinful (51:7), that apart from God’s grace man is justly liable to be condemned before Him (143:2), that the sins even of the converted are many and to a great extent unknown to himself (19:3), that forgiveness of sins is the indispensable condition of blessedness (32:1 f.), that a new and divinely created heart is an absolute necessity (51:12) -there is an acknowledgment, in short, that the way of salvation consists in penitence, forgiveness and renewal. On the other hand, however, it is no less true that, in the light of the vicarious satisfaction of Christ and of the Spirit of regeneration, there is rendered possible an ethical self-criticism which cuts far more deeply and distinguishes far more precisely; that the tribulation, which befalls the New Testament believer, while it does not indeed excite in him the same keen sense of the wrath of God which is so frequently expressed in the Psalms, nevertheless, in view of the cross upon Golgotha and the heaven opened to him, sinks deeper into his inmost heart, seeing it now appears to him as an appointment of chastening, proving and preparing love; and that, now the righteousness of God, which makes over our unrighteousness, and which is accounted a gift of grace even by the Old Testament consciousness, is presented for our believing appropriation as a righteousness that has been worked out historically through the active and passive obedience of Jesus, the dissimilarity as well as the reciprocal conditionality of the righteousness of faith and the righteousness of life has become a fact of the inner life that is far more clearly recognised and is fraught with more important consequences. (Cf. Kurz [Kurtz], Zur Theologie der Psalmen, iii.: Die Selbst-gerechtigkeit der Psalm-sanger in the Dorpater Zeitschrift, 1865, 352-358. (Compare: History of the Old Covenant from the German of J.H. Kurtz translated & edited by Alfred Edersheim & James Martin (1859), and Edersheim’s Bible History Old Testament (1876-87.1890).) “The righteousness of faith set forth in the Old Testament, and represented by the evangelium visibile of the ritual of sacrifice, has not yet attained the fundamental and primary position assigned to it in the New Testament, and more especially by Paul. Its position is rather secondary and auxiliary; justification does not present itself to the consciousness as a condition of the sanctification that is to be striven after, but only as a complement of the defects that adhere to the sanctification that has been inadequately attained.”) Nevertheless it is not impossible to translate even such self-testimonies as 17:1-5 into the language of the New Testament consciousness [experience & reality]; for they do not hinder the latter when using them from thinking especially of the righteousness of faith, of the divine deeds that are sacramentally applied, and of the life of regeneration that asserts itself victoriously in the midst of the old every-day life. By means of them the Christian must also feel himself earnestly exhorted to self-examination, to see whether his faith is actually manifesting itself as the productive power of a new life; and here too the difference between the two Testaments loses its harshness in view of the great truths  condemnatory of all moral shallowness that the Church of Christ is a Church of saints, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, and that he who is born of God does not sin.
As regards the so-called imprecatory Psalms, however, it is certainly true that, in the attitude of the Christian and the Church to the enemies of Christ, the longing for their removal is outweighed by the longing for their conversion. On the assumption, however, that they will not be converted, and will not anticipate the penal judgment by repenting, the passing over of the jealousy of love into that of anger is justified also in the New Testament (‘e. g’. Gal. 5:12); and on the assumption that their devilish obduracy has become absolute, even the Christian need not shrink from praying for their ultimate overthrow. For the kingdom of God does not come only by the way of grace, but also by the way of judgment; the coming of God’s kingdom is what is longed for by the suppliant of the Old Testament as well as of the New ‘vid’. 9:21, 59:14, etc.); and in the Psalms also every imprecation of judgment upon those, who set themselves to oppose the coming of this kingdom, is made upon the assumption of their persistent impenitence (‘vid’. 7:13 f.; 109:17). Where, however, as in Pss. 69 and 109, the imprecations enter into the most minute details, and extend to the descendants of the unhappy mortal and even to eternity, there is no other justification of them than that they have proceeded from a prophetic spirit; and they cannot be appropriated by the Christian in any other sense, than that, as he uses them in prayer, he ascribes glory to the righteousness of God, and commends himself the more earnestly to His grace.
4. ‘The relation of the Psalms’, in the fourth place, ‘to the last things’ is also such that, in order to their becoming an expression in prayer of the faith of the New Testament, they need to be deepened and adjusted. For what Julius Africanus says regarding the Old Testament: (oudepö dedoto elpis anastaseös saphës) is true at least of the time previous to Isaiah. In one of his latest cycles of apocalyptic prophecies (c. 24-27) Isaiah first foretells the first resurrection, i.e. the resuscitation of the company of martyrs that have fallen a prey to death (26:19), as well as, with enlarged field of vision, the cessation altogether of death (25:8); the Book of Daniel, that Apocalypse of the Old Testament sealed until the time of fulfilment, first predicts the general resurrection, i.e. the awakening of some to life and of others to judgment (12:2); between these two prophecies stands Ezekiel’s vision of the bringing of Israel out of the Exile under the figure of a creative reanimating of a large field of dead bodies (c. 37) —a figure, which at least presupposes that, to the wonder-working power of God’s faithfulness to His promise, that which it represents is not impossible. But even in the latest Psalms the knowledge of redemption nowhere shows itself as yet so far advanced that these prophetic words regarding the resurrection could have been transformed into a dogmatic, integral portion of the Church’s faith; the hope that the scattered bones will spring up again ventures to suggest itself at first only in a bold figure (141:7); the hopeless darkness of Sheol is not rolled away (6:6; 30:10; 88:11-13); where mention is made of deliverance from death and Hades, what is meant is the preservation, already experienced (e.g.86:13) or hoped for (e.g.118:17), of the living from their attack; and there are other passages alongside of these, which declare the impossibility of escaping from this universal human fate (89:49). On the other hand, there are also passages in the Psalms, in which the hope, not to fall a prey to death, is expressed in so absolute a manner, that the thought of this unavoidable destiny is swallowed up entirely by the assurance of life in the strength of God the living One (66:14, and especially 16:9-11); others in which the gracious fellowship with Jahve is set over against this temporal life and its possessions (17:14 f.; 63:4) in such a manner, that there naturally results the antithesis of a life that transcends time and extends beyond this transitory state of existence; others in which the destiny of the godless is contrasted with that of the righteous as dying with living, defeat with triumph (49:15), so that the conclusion is inevitably suggested that the former die, although they seem to live for ever, while the latter live for ever, although they die; and others in which the psalmist seems to anticipate that, instead of having to fall a prey to death and Hades, he will be translated to God’s presence somewhat after the manner of Enoch and Elijah (49:16; 73:24). But nowhere do we find in the Psalms an article of faith that was generally received; we merely see how faith in a future life has striven to penetrate the gloom, at first only as an individual conclusion drawn from premises that were experimentally certain to the believing consciousness; and far from the grave and Hades being deprived of their power by an explicit knowledge of a better future, they have rather only vanished momentarily, as it were, before the ecstatic feeling of a life derived from God, a feeling which disregards them, and have not therefore as yet been actually and permanently overcome. For the very same reason there is not to be found in the Psalms any more than in the Book of Job a perfectly satisfactory theodicy in respect of such a distribution of lots on this side the grave as seems incompatible with God’s righteousness. Pss. 7; 49; and 73. no doubt approximate to the right solution; but even the solution given in them is still but an anticipation and a suggestion.
Nevertheless there is nothing clearly revealed in the New Testament which was not already stirring in the Psalms. For in the view of the psalmists death and life are such radical notions (notions, that is to say, apprehended by them as rooted in the principles of divine wrath and divine love), that it is easy for New Testament faith, to which they have been fully disclosed even to their background in hell and heaven, to adjust and deepen all the utterances in the Psalms that refer to them. It is by no means contrary to the mind of the psalmist, if in such passages as 6:6 the New Testament suppliant substitutes Gehenna for Hades; for the psalmists dread Hades only as being the realm of wrath or of separation from God’s love, which is the true life of men. Nor is it contrary to the mind of the poets to think in 17:15 of the future beholding of the face of God in all His glory, and in 49:15 of the resurrection morning; for the hopes that are expressed there in a spiritually exalted condition of soul are really, so far as regards their truly satisfying fulfilment, hopes that belong to the future life. As Oetinger says, there is no essential New Testament truth that is not contained in the Psalms, if not (noi) (in its unfolded sense), at least (pneumati). The Old Testament harrier already encompasses the gradually developing life of the New Testament, which is one day to break through it. The eschatology of the Old Testament leaves a dark background, which is laid out, as it were, to be divided by the New Testament revelation into light and darkness, and to be lit up into a wide perspective that extends into the eternity that lies beyond time. Wherever it begins to dawn in the eschatological darkness of the Old Testament, it is already the first morning rays of the sunrise of the New, that is thus announcing itself. In this respect also the Christian cannot refrain from disregarding the barrier of the psalmists, and understanding the Psalms according to the mind of the Spirit, who, even during the development of redemption and of the knowledge of it, kept the goal and the consummation steadily in view. Thus understood the Psalms are hymns of the Israel of the New Testament no less than of that of the Old.
The Church, when it uses the language of the Psalms as supplications, celebrates the unity of the two Testaments, and science, when expounding them, does honour to the distinction between the Old and the New. They are both in the right: the former in regarding the Psalms in the light of the one essential salvation, the latter in keeping apart the sacred eras, and the various stages through which the knowledge of salvation has passed.

     His comment on Psalm 1:1: “The collection of the Psalms and that of the prophecies of Isaiah resemble one another in this, that the latter begins with a discourse, the former with a Psalm, neither of which has a title, but which open the two collections after the manner of prologues. From Acts 13:33, where the words, “Thou art my Son …” are quoted as being found (en tö prötö psalmö), we perceive that in very early times Ps. 1 was regarded as a prologue to the collection. The reading, (en tö prötö psalmö tö deuterö), which was already rejected by Griesbach, is an old correction. But that way of counting rests upon tradition. A scholium from Origen and Eusebius says regarding Pss. 1 and 2 : (en tö Hebraikö sunnëmenoi). So also Apollinaris: “(Epigraphs ho psalmos heurethë dicha, Hënömenos de tois par’ Hebraiois stichois). For it is an old Jewish view, as Albertus Magnus remarks: ‘Psalmus primus incipit a beatitudine et terminatur in beatitudinem, i.e. it begins with (’asheri) (1:1) and ends with (’asheri) (2:12), so that, as is said in ‘Berachoth’, 9.b (cf.j. ‘Taanith’, 2:2), Pss. 1 and 2 consequently form one whole (chda parshh). This was certainly not the original state of the case. No doubt Pss. 1 and 2 coincide in several respects (there (yhnh), here (yhnu); there (wdwd…t’bd), here (wthabdu); there (’ashri) at the beginning, here at the end); but these phraseological coincidences do not warrant us to conclude (with Hitzig) that both were composed by the same author, and still less that they were originally members of but one whole. The two anonymous hymns belong together only so far as the one is fitted to form the proem of the Psalter from its ethical, the other from its prophetical side. It is questionable, however, if even this was present to the mind of the compiler. It is possible that it was simply because of these coincidences that Ps. 2 was attached to Ps.1; the latter is the real prologue of the Psalter, which is arranged in the form of a Pentateuch after the pattern of the Thora. For the Psalter is Yea and Amen in hymns to the divine word of the Thora. For this reason it begins with a Psalm which contrasts the destiny of the lover of the Thora with that of the godless, —an echo of the exhortation (Josh.1:8) in which, after the death of Moses, Jahve commends the book of the Thora to his successor, Joshua. Just as the New Testament Sermon on the Mount, seeing it is a proclamation of the engrafted law, begins with (makarioi), so the Old Testament Psalter, which aims from first to last at this engrafting, begins with (’ashri). The first book of Psalms begins with two ‘aschres’ (1:1; 2:12) and ends with two ‘aschres’ (40:5; 41:2). A whole series of Psalms begins with (’ashri)) (Pss. 32; 41; 112; 119; 128) ; although we must not on that account assume that there was a special kind of ‘Aschre’ Psalms; for Ps. 32 ‘e. g’. is a (miskil), Ps. 112 a ‘Hallelujah’, Ps. 128 a (Shut haM‘aluth).”

4: Acrostic & Peculiar Psalms:
Acrostic AlphaBet Psalms: Aleph-Tau, 22 Hebrew Letters.
Psalms: 9,10,37: 2 verses for each of the 22 Hebrew Letters
Psalms: 25,34: 1 verse each letter
Psalms: 111,112: ½ verse each letter
Psalm 119: 8 verses each letter (8×22=176)
Psalm 145: 1 verse each letter (#14, Nun, is missing)
Additional acrostics chapters can be found in Lamentations & Proverbs. In Esther the TetraGrammaton (YHWH) haShem (The Name) or Shem haMeforash (The Special Name) occurs 4 times as hidden acrostics.
Psalms are verbally or literally repeated whole or in part, and may words & phrases are found in other portions of the Old Testament: Psalms: 15 & 53; 18 & 2nd Sam. 22; 36 & 57; 40 & 70; 57 & 108; 60 & 108; and various verses in Psalms 135 &144. Compare variations of Psalms 71, 86, 135, & 144, with other Psalms 5-6, 9, 17, 22, 25-28, 31, 35, 40, 54-57, 72, 77, 116, & 130.

5: From: Biblical Companion, Introduction to Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures, &c by William Carpenter (1836)

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books.
3. Another thing demanding attention in reading the poetical parts of the sacred writings, is the change of persons, which often occurs without the least intimation being given by the writer. This is occasioned in many cases by the form of composition —dialogue, or a kind of dramatic ode— in which there are different characters introduced, sustaining their respective parts. This observation applies more particularly to the book of Psalms, to the remarks on which the reader is referred.

Section II . Book of Psalms:
3. In these Compositions we are presented with every variety of Hebrew poetry. Some of them were prepared for particular solemnities in the Jewish worship; others appear to have been designed generally to celebrate the glorious perfections of God; and a few to have been drawn forth by the peculiar circumstances or experience of the inspired writers [and of others]. They abound in the most impressive and consoling predictions. One greater than David is continually presenting Himself, even Christ the Redeemer. Divine inspiration so guided the Psalmist, that in many instances his words, at the same time that they referred with sufficient precision to the circumstances of his own life, prefigured, in terms the most accurate and sublime, the humiliation, the sufferings, the triumphant resurrection, and the universal and eternal kingdom of the Messiah. Dr. Horsley has considered the greater part of the Psalms as a kind of dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between certain persons, sustaining certain characters, as the priests, Levites, singers, &c. “The other persons introduced are Jehovah, sometimes as one, sometimes as another, of the Three Persons: Christ, in His incarnate state, is personated sometimes as a Priest, some times as a King, sometimes as a Conqueror.”: And in these reciprocations and divisions of parts, we discern, according to Dr. Lowth, the immediate cause of the disposition of the verse into equal strophes or stanzas [or lines], and why these consisted for the most part of distichs, in a sort of parallelism to each other, the last line responding to the first, and seconding, educing, and enforcing the sense. A recent writer has very materially extended this doctrine of parallelism, and, by an arrangement of several of the Psalms, has succeeded in showing that each one is a complete parallelism, either of the alternate or the introverted kind. In some cases, the parallelism will be found to depend on a correspondence of the topic; sometimes on an agreement of the person: but whatever form the Composition may assume, it will be found susceptible of great elucidation by the arrangement of the parallelism.” (See Boys’s Key to the Book of Psalms.)

5: Psalms in Order of Chronology: The following arrangement from the Scripture Magazine,(Vol. iii. pp. 296,297.) is chiefly compiled from Mr. Townsend’s Historical and Chronological Arrangement of the Old Testament.

Psalms: Numbers. Authors. (Probable Occasions.) Passage Connexions. (Date B. C.)
88….Heman. (Affliction of Israel in Egypt.) Exod. 2:25. (1531)
90….Moses. (Shortening of man’s life.) Numb. 14:45. (1489)
9……David. (Victory over Goliath.) 1st Sam. 18:4. (1063)
11….David. (Advised to flee to mountains. 1st Sam. 19:3. (1062)
59….David. (Saul’s soldiers surrounding town.)1st Sam.19:17. (1062)
56….David. (With Philistines at Gath.) 1st Sam. 21:15. (1062)
34….David. (Leaving city of Gath.) 1st Sam. 21:15. (1062)
142..David. (In cave of Adullam.) 1st Sam. 22:1. (1062)
17….David. (Priests murdered by Doeg.) 1st Sam. 22:19. (1062)
52….David} 109; 35; 140. (Persecution by Doeg) 1st Sam. 22:19. (1062)
64….David} 31. (Persecution by Saul.) 1st Sam. 23:12. (1061)
54….David. (Treachery of Ziphites.) 1st Sam. 23:23. (1061)
57….David} 58. (Refusal to kill Saul.) 1st Sam. 24:22. (1061)
63….David. (Wilderness of Engedi.) 1st Sam. 24:22. (1061)
141..David. (Driven out of Judea.) 1st Sam. 27:1. (1058)
139..David. (King of all Israel.) 1st Chron. 12:4. (1048)
68….David. (First removal of Ark.) 2nd Sam. 6:11. (1042)
132..David. (Second removal of Ark.) 1st Chron. 15:4. (1042)
105..David} 106; 96. (Ark taken from Obed-Edom’s.) 1st Chron. 16:43. (1042)
2……David} 45; 22; 16; 118; 110. (Nathan’s prophetic address.) 1 Chron.17:27. (1042)
60….David} 108. (Conquest of Edom by Joab.) 1st Kings xi. 20. 1040
20….David} 21. (War with Ammonites & Syrians.) 2nd Sam. 10:19. (1036)
51….David.. (Confession of adultery & murder.) 2nd Sam. 12:15. (1034)
32….David} 33; 103. (Pardon & thanksgiving.) 2nd Sam. 12:15. (1034)
3……David. (His flight from Absalom.) 2nd Sam. 15:29. (1023)
7……David. (Reproaches of Shimei.) 2nd Sam. 16:14. (1023)
42….David} 43; 55; 4; 5; 62; 143; 144; 70; 71. (By Jordan, from Absalom.) 2nd Sam.17:29. (1023)
18….David. (Conclusion of his wars.) 2nd Sam. 22:51. (1019)
30….David. (Dedication of Araunah’s threshing-floor.)1st Chron. 21:30. (1017)
91….David. (After his advice to Solomon.) 1st Chron. 28:10. (1015)
145..David. (Review of his past life.) 1st Chron. 28:10. (1015)
40….David} 41.61. 65. 69.78. (Dates & occasions unknown.) 1st Chron. 17:21. (1015)
6……David} 8; 19; 12; 23; 24; 28; 29; 38; 39; 86; 95; (After accession.) 1st Chron. 28:21. (1015)
101..David} 104; 120; 121; 122; 124; 131; 133. (After accession.) 1st Chron. 28:21. (1015)
72….David. (Coronation of Solomon.) 1st Chron. 29:19. (1015)
47….Solomon} 97-100. (Ark removed into Temple.) 2nd Chron. 7:10. (1004)
135..Solomon} 136. (Dedication of Solomon’s Temple.) 2nd Chron. 7:10. (1004)
82….Asaph & others} 115; 46. (Reign of Jehoshaphat.) 2nd Chron. 20:26. (896)
44….Hezekiah. (Blasphemous message of Rabshakeh.) 2nd Kings 19:7. (710)
73….Asaph} 75; 76. (Destruction of Sennacherib’s army.) 2nd Kings 19:19. (710)
79….Asaph} 74.83. 94. (Burning of Temple at Jerusalem.) Jer. 39:10. (588)
137..Asaph & Ethan & others} 130; 80; 77; 37; 67; (Babylonian Captivity.) Dan. 7:28. (541-538)
53….Asaph & Ethan & others} 49; 50; 10; 13-15; 25. (Babylonian Captivity.) Dan. 7:28. (541-538)
26….Asaph & Ethan & others} 27; 36; 89; 92-93; 123. (Babylonian Captivity.) Dan. 7:28. (541-538)
102..Daniel. (Near close of Captivity.) Dan. 9:27. (538)
126..Sons of Korah} 85. (Cyrus’s decree for restoring the Jews.) Ezra 1:4. (536)
107..Various} 87; 111-113. (Israel’s return from Captivity.) Ezra 3:7 (536)
114..Various} 116; 117; 125; 127. (Israel’s return from Captivity.) Ezra 3:7. (536)
128..Various} 134. (Israel’s return from Captivity.) Ezra 3:7 (536)
84….Sons of Korah} 66. (Foundation of second Temple.) Ezra 3:13. (535)
129..Ezra or Nehem. (Opposition of the Samaritans.) Ezra 4:24. (534)
138..Haggai or Zech.(Rebuilding of Temple.) Ezra 6:13. (519)
48….Various} 81; 146-150. (Dedication of second Temple.) Zech. 8:23. (519)
1……Ezra} 119. (Manual of devotion.) Neh.13:3. (444)

6: From: Book of Psalms, Introduction & Notes. Bk1,Psalms1-41. A F Kirkpatrick,DD. Cambridge Bible Commentary for Schools and Colleges 1901:

1. Psalter has from ancient times been divided into 5 Books: Book I (Genesis): Psalms 1-42; Book II (Exodus): Psalms 43-72; Book III (Leviticus): Psalms 73-89; Book IV (Numbers): Psalms 90-106; Book V (Deuteronomy): Psalms 107-150.

2. Titles Descriptive of Character of Poem:
Psalm: ‘Mizmor’, rendered ‘Psalm’, technical term found only in Titles of Psalter. It is prefixed to 57 Psalms, & with few exceptions is preceded or followed by the name of the author, generally that of David. Verb from which ‘mizmor’ is derived occurs frequently in Psalter but rarely elsewhere. It appears originally to have meant ‘to make melody’, like the Lat. ‘canere’, but came to be applied specially to instrumental music, as distinguished from vocal music. ‘Mizmor’ then means ‘a piece of music’, a song with instrumental accompaniment.
Song: ‘Shir’, rendered ‘song’, is the general term for a song or canticle. It occurs 30 times in Titles, generally preceded or followed by ‘mizmor’, & not unfrequently in Text of Psalms, & in other Books. It is applied to secular as well as sacred songs.
Maschil: is found as Title of 13 Psalms, 11 of which are in Books II & III. Meaning is obscure.
Michtam: occurs in the Title of 6 Psalms, preceded or followed by ‘of David’. It is probably, like ‘Maschil’, Musical Term, meaning of which cannot now be determined.
Shiggaion: occurs in Title of Psalm 7, & Prayer of Habakkuk is said to be ‘set to Shigionoth’. Word is derived from verb which means ‘to wander’.
Prayer: stands as the title of five Psalms. In Subscription to Psalm 72 preceding collection of Davidic Psalms is designated as ‘Prayers of David’. Hab. 3 is called Prayer of Habakkuk.
Praise: is Title of one Psalm only (145), though ‘Praises’ came eventually to be the title of the whole book.

3. ‘Titles connected with Musical Setting or Performance’:
To Chief Musician: R.V. For Chief Musician: perhaps rather Of Precentor: is prefixed to 55 Psalms, of which only 2 are anonymous, and most bear the name of David. 52 of these are in Books I-III, & 3 in Book V. It is found also in the Subscription to Habakkuk’s Prayer. Verb, of which the word is a participle, is used in Chronicles & Ezra in sense of ‘superintending’, and in 1st Chr.15:21 in the specific sense of ‘leading’ (R.V.) music. There can be little doubt that the word ‘m’naeach’ means ‘precentor’, or ‘conductor’ of Temple Choir, who trained Choir & led Music, & refers to use of Psalm in Temple Services. It seems to have been Term belonging to older Collection, which went out of use in later times. At any rate Translators of LXX did not understand its meaning.
Selah: This Term, though not belonging to the Titles, may conveniently be discussed here. Word is found 71 times in Psalter in 39 Psalms, 3 times in Habakkuk 3, & nowhere else in the O.T. In 16 Psalms it occurs once; in 15 twice; in 7 (and in Hab. 3) 3 times: in 1, 4 times. Of these Psalms 9 are in Book I: 17 in Book II: 11 in Book III; none in Book IV: 2 only in Book V. It is to be further noted that all these Psalms, with exception of anonymous 66 & 67, bear name of David or of Levitical singers (the sons of Korah, Asaph, Heman, Ethan); & all bear indications of being intended to be set to music. Majority of them (28 of the 39: cp. Hab. 3:19) have, ‘For Chief Musician’ in Title, frequently with further specification of the instruments or melody. Of the remaining 11, 8 are designated ‘mizmor’, ‘psalm,’ 2 ‘maschil’, & 1 ‘shiggaion’. It may fairly be inferred from these facts that Selah is a technical term of great antiquity, having reference to musical accompaniment. Its precise meaning, however, is quite uncertain. Explanation given in Oxford Hebrew Lexicon, p. 699, also deserves consideration.
Higgaion: occurs in 9. 16 along with Selah as Musical Direction, & in Text of 92:3, ‘with ‘higgaion’ upon harp.’ It denotes apparently Instrumental Interlude of some kind. Word has the sense of ‘meditation’ in 19:14, & according to usage of cognate verb, which denotes growling of lion, moaning of dove, or of a mourner, it should mean ‘murmuring’, ‘meditative music’, rather than ‘resounding music’.
Two Terms refer to ‘musical instruments’:
On Neginoth: rather, with music of stringed instruments: occurs 6 times in Psalter: and in Hab. 3:19 we find ‘on my stringed instruments’. Upon Neginah: rather, with music of stringed instrument: may be variation of expression, or may indicate melody to which Psalm was to be sung. Word is derived from verb meaning ‘to play on stringed instruments’. It occurs elsewhere in the sense of ‘music’ or ‘song’. The title no doubt indicates that the Psalm was to be accompanied by stringed instruments, perhaps by these only.
Upon Nehiloth: R.V. with Nehiloth, or (marg.) wind instruments: in Ps. 5 only. Possibly flutes of some kind are meant. For use of these in sacred music see Is. 30:29 (a pipe); & on their use in services of the Second Temple see Edersheim, ‘Temple and its Services’, p. 55. It is not however the usual word for ‘flute’.
Two terms probably indicate Character or Pitch of Music.
Upon Alamoth: R.V. set to A.: is found in Title of Ps. 46, & may possibly once have stood in Title of Ps. 9, & either as Subscription to Ps. 48, or in Title of Ps. 49. Term appears to mean ‘in manner
of maidens’, or, ‘for maidens’ voices: ‘soprano’.
Upon Sheminith2: R.V. set to S., i.e. as marg., ‘eighth’: probably denotes that setting was to be an octave lower, or, on lower octave: ‘tenor’ or ‘bass’. Both terms occur together in 1 Chr.15:19-21. Heman, Asaph, & Jeduthun were appointed “with cymbals of brass to sound aloud”: 8 other Levites, “with psalteries set to Alamoth ” ; & 6 “with harps set to Sheminith, to lead.”
Upon Gittith: R.V. set to Gittith: occurs in Titles of Pss. 8, 81, 84. In form ‘Gittith’ is fem. adj. derived from ‘Gath’. Rendering of LXX, Symm., & Jer. ‘For’ or ‘over the winepresses’ may however preserve true reading, indicating that these Psalms were sung at Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering at the end of the vintage. Ps. 84 appears to have been specially intended for that festival; & Ps. 84 is virtually ‘Psalm of going up,’ for the use of pilgrims to three Great Feasts.
To Jeduthun: R.V. after the manner of J. (62, 72): probably means that the Psalm was set to some ‘melody’ composed by or called after David’s chief musician (1st Chr. 16:41). In the title of Ps. 39 Jeduthun appears to be named as the chief musician intended.
Series of obscure titles probably indicate ‘melody’ to which the Psalm was to be sung by a reference to the opening words of some well-known song. Such are the titles of Ps. 9: set to Muth-labben (R.V.), meaning possibly ‘Die [Death] for Son’. Ps. 22: set to Ayyeleth hash-shachar, i.e. ‘hind of morning. Pss. 45, 69: set to Shoshannim (R.V.), i.e. Lilies. Ps. 60: set to Shushan Eduth (R.V.), i.e. The lily of testimony. Ps. 80: set to Shoshannim Eduth (R.V.), i.e. Lilies, testimony. All these titles probably denote the melody to which Psalm was to be sung, not subject of the Psalm or a lily-shaped instrument. Ps. 56: set to Yonath elem rechokim, i.e. ‘Silent Dove of them that are afar off’: or, as read with different vowels, ‘Dove of the distant Terebinths’. Four Psalms (57-59, 75) have Title, [set to] Al-tashcheth, i.e. ‘Destroy not’, possibly the vintage song to which there is allusion in Is. 65:8. Titles of Ps. 53: set to Mahalath: & 88: set to Mahalath Leannoth: are extremely obscure, but probably belong to this class…..
……few titles refer to the liturgical use of the Psalm. In the time of the Second Temple, each day of the week had its special Psalm, which was sung at the offering of the morning sacrifice…..”A Psalm, Song for Sabbath Day.”….to Bring to Remembrance, or, as R.V. marg., to Make Memorial, may indicate that they were sung at Offering of Incense: & that of Ps. 100, Psalm of Thanksgiving (R.V.), marg. for Thank-offering, may mark that it was sung when Thank-offerings (56:12) were offered…. Song at Dedication of House,….To teach is part of Title prefixed to Ps. 60…. Song of Degrees, rather, Song of Ascents (R.V.), or, for Goings up, is Title prefixed to 15 Psalms (120-134), which appear to have formed separate Collection, bearing Title ‘Songs of the Goings up’ (or, ‘of Going up’), which was afterwards transferred to each separate Psalm……Psalms bears names of: Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph, Korah’s sons, Heman…..
What then is their value? It seems probable that, in many cases at least, they indicate the source from which the Psalms were derived rather than the opinion of the collector as to their authorship….
While then the titles of the Psalms cannot be supposed to give certain information as to their authors, and many of the Psalms bearing the name of David cannot have been written by him, we are not justified in rejecting the titles as mere arbitrary conjectures. They supply information concerning the earlier stages of the growth of the Psalter ; and it is not unreasonable to inquire whether a Psalm taken from a collection which bore David’s name may not have been actually composed by him. In criticising the title of a Psalm and endeavouring to fix its date by the light of its contents much caution is necessary….

(Chapter 8: Messianic Hope):
“Poetry was the handmaid of Prophecy in preparing the way for the coming of Christ. Prophetic ideas are taken up, developed, pressed to their full consequences, with the boldness and enthusiasm of inspired imagination. The constant use of the Psalms for devotion and worship familiarised the people with them. Expectation was aroused and kept alive. Hope became part of the national life. Even Psalms, which were not felt beforehand to speak of Him Who was to come, contributed to mould the temper of mind which was prepared to receive Him when He came in form and fashion far other than that which popular hopes had anticipated ; and they were recognised in the event as pointing forward to Him. Cp. Lk. 1, 2.
This work of preparation went forward along several distinct lines, some of which are seen to converge or meet even in the O.T., while others were only harmonised by the fulfilment. Thus (1) some Psalms pointed forward to the Messiah as Son of God and King and Priest : others (2) prepared the way for the suffering Redeemer: others (3) only find their full meaning in the perfect Son of Man: others (4) foretell the Advent of Jehovah Himself to judge and redeem.
All these different lines of thought combined to prepare the way for Christ; but it must be remembered that the preparation was in great measure silent and unconscious. It is difficult for us who read the O.T. in the light of its fulfilment to realise how dim and vague and incomplete the Messianic Hope must have been until the Coming of Christ revealed the divine purpose, and enabled men to recognise how through long ages God had been preparing for its consummation.
(1) Royal Messiah….(2) Suffering Messiah…..(3) Son of Man….(4) Coming of God….(5) Nations….

(Chapter 10: Psalter in Christian Church):
If a history of the use of the Psalter could be written, it would be a history of the spiritual life of the Church. From the earliest times the Psalter has been the Church’s manual of Prayer and Praise in its public worship, the treasury of devotion for its individual members in their private communing with God. “No single Book of Scripture, not even of the New Testament, has, perhaps, ever taken such hold on the heart of Christendom. None, if we may dare judge, unless it be the Gospels, has had so large an influence in moulding the affections, sustaining the hopes, purifying the faith of believers.
With its words, rather than with their own, they have come before God. In these they have uttered their desires, their fears, their confessions, their aspirations, their sorrows, their joys, their thanksgivings. By these their devotion has been kindled and their hearts comforted. The Psalter has been, in the truest sense, the Prayer Book both of Jews and Christians.”
“What is the history of the Church,” writes Dean Stanley, “but a long commentary on the sacred records of its first beginnings?… The actual effect, the manifold applications, in history, of the words of Scripture, give them a new instruction, and afford a new proof of their endless vigour and vitality….
The Psalter alone, by its manifold applications and uses in after times, is a vast palimpsest, written over and over again, illuminated, illustrated, by every conceivable incident and emotion of men and nations ; battles, wanderings, dangers, escapes, deathbeds, obsequies, of many ages and countries, rise, or may rise, to our view as we read it.”
It would be impossible in a few pages to trace the history of the use of the Psalter even in the barest outline. All that can be attempted here is to give some few indications of the vast influence which the Psalter has exercised, and of its paramount importance in the history of Christian worship and devotion.
There is no evidence that the entire Psalter was used in the public worship of the Jewish Church, though many Psalms were sung or chanted in the services of the Temple and the Synagogue. But the number of the quotations from the Psalter in the New Testament, and the multitude of indirect allusions to its thoughts and language, prove how familiarly it was known in the apostolic age.
It was upon the Psalms that our Lord’s spiritual life was nourished. The sting of the Tempter’s quotation of Ps. 91 lay in the fact that its words were a precious reality to Him. He sang the ‘Hallel’ (Pss. 113-118) with His disciples at the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30). A Psalm was the subject of His meditation as He hung upon the Cross, and with the words of a Psalm He gave up His life. In the Psalms He and His disciples found the foreshadowing of His own experience (John 13:18; 2:17), and He taught His disciples to understand how they prepared the way for His coming (Luke 24:44). The first Christian hymns —the Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc Dimittis —are composed after the model of Psalms and contain numerous echoes of them. Doubtless the hymns which Paul and Silas sang in the prison at Philippi (Acts 16:25) were Psalms. St James commends the singing of Psalms as the most fitting expression of joyfulness (5:13); St Paul enjoins it as the natural outlet for spiritual enthusiasm and a means of mutual edification (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). It was a common practice at the meetings of the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. 14:26).
As we pass on into later ages we find that the singing of Psalms was not only a constant element of common worship, but a favourite occupation of Christians in their homes and at their work. It was a tradition in the Church of Antioch that the antiphonal singing of Psalms was introduced by Ignatius, the first bishop (c. A.D. 100), who saw a vision of angels praising the Trinity in antiphonal hymns, and delivered the method of singing which he had seen in his vision to the Church at Antioch, whence it spread to all the Churches. The hymns from Holy Scripture which Tertullian in the second century tells us were sung at the agapae or love-feasts were doubtless Psalms. St Jerome, writing from Bethlehem to Marcella, and describing the charms of the Holy Land, tells her that the singing of Psalms was universal. “Wherever you turn the labourer at the plough sings Alleluia: the toiling reaper beguiles his work with Psalms: the vine-dresser as he prunes the vine with his curved pruning-hook sings something of David’s. These are the songs of this province: these, to use the common phrase, are its love ditties: these the shepherd whistles; these are the labourer’s implements.”
St Chrysostom (347-407) thus describes the universality of the use of the Psalms in his day. “If we keep vigil in the Church, David comes first, last, and midst. If early in the morning we seek for the melody of hymns, first, last, and midst is David again. If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of the departed, if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last, and midst. O marvellous wonder! Many who have made but little progress in literature, many who have scarcely mastered its first principles, have the Psalter by heart. Nor is it in cities and churches alone that at all times, through every age, David is illustrious; in the midst of the forum, in the wilderness, and uninhabitable land, he excites the praises of God. In monasteries, amongst those holy choirs of angelic armies, David is first, midst, and last. In the convents of virgins, where are the bands of them that imitate Mary; in the deserts, where are men crucified to this world, and having their conversation with God, first, midst, and last is he. All other men are at night overpowered by natural sleep: David alone is active; and congregating the servants of God into seraphic bands, turns earth into heaven, and converts men into angels.”
When men and women, forsaking their ordinary callings, dedicated their lives to devotion and prayer in monasteries and communities, the singing of Psalms formed a large part of their religious exercises. In course of time the recitation of the Psalter became a clerical obligation as well. Various schemes or uses were drawn up. Fixed Psalms were generally assigned to certain of the canonical hours, while at the other services the remainder of the Psalms were recited ‘in course.’ Thus according to the Roman or Gregorian scheme fixed Psalms were assigned for daily use at Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, and Compline; while at Mattins Pss. 1-109, and at Vespers Pss. 110-150 were taken once a week ‘in course,’ exclusive of the Psalms assigned to the other services. The Benedictine or Monastic scheme was similar, also providing for the recitation once a week of those Psalms which were not recited daily. The Ambrosian scheme, deriving its origin from St Ambrose, and still in use in the province of Milan, only provides for the recitation of the Psalter once a fortnight. In the Eastern Church the Psalter is divided into twenty ‘cathismata’, each of which is subdivided into three ‘staseis’. The whole Psalter is recited once a week ordinarily, and twice a week in Lent, but the details of the arrangement vary according to the time of year.
In this way a portion of the Psalms nearly equal in amount to twice the whole Psalter was recited every week. But many instances are quoted of holy men who recited it much more frequently. It is said that St Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, in the fifth century, repeated it daily; St Maurus, the disciple of
St Benedict, and Alcuin, the famous instructor of Charles the Great, did the same. St Kentigern, bishop of Glasgow, in the sixth century, went through it every night. Bede relates how Ecgbert, a young student of noble birth at an Irish monastery, when attacked by the plague, vowed that if he recovered he would recite the whole Psalter daily in addition to the ordinary canonical hours, as a memorial of praise to God.
A knowledge of the Psalter by heart was required of candidates for ordination. St Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople (A.D. 458—471), refused to ordain as priest anyone who had not been diligent in reciting the Psalter. St Gregory the Great inquired if Rusticus, who had been elected Bishop of Ancona, knew the Psalter by heart, and refused to allow John the Presbyter to be consecrated as metropolitan of Ravenna on account of his ignorance of the Psalter. The second Canon of the second Council of Nicaea (A.D. 587) laid it down that no one was to be consecrated bishop unless he knew the Psalter thoroughly, and the eighth Council of Toledo (A.D. 653) ordered that “no one henceforth shall be promoted to any ecclesiastical dignity who does not perfectly know the whole Psalter” (Can. 8).
Various methods of singing the Psalms were in use in ancient times. (1) Sometimes the Psalm was sung throughout by the choir or congregation. This was called ‘cantus directaneus’, and was the simplest form of singing with little more than monotone. (2) Sometimes the Psalm was sung by a single voice, usually in a very elaborate fashion. This was called ‘cantus tractus’. (3) Sometimes the Psalm was sung in ‘cantus responsorius’, the precentor and the choir or the congregation taking their parts alternately. (4) Sometimes the Psalm was sung in ‘cantus antiphonalis’, the two sides of the choir taking it up alternately. The following passage of St Chrysostom (‘Hom’. 5) is of interest as shewing the congregational character of the singing in his day, and emphasising its significance. “When the Psalm began, it mingled all the different voices together, and one harmonious song was raised. Young and old, rich and poor, women and men, slaves and freemen, all raised the same melody….But it not only united us who were present; it joined the dead with the living. For the blessed Prophet was singing with us…. The Prophet speaks and we all answer, we all respond. You can see no distinction of slave or free, rich or poor, ruler or subject. The inequalities of life are banished; all are united in one choir, all have equal right of speech, and earth imitates Heaven. So great is the nobility of the Church.”
The voices of holy men in every age unite in bearing a concordant testimony to the power and preciousness of the Psalms. A few examples only can be given here.
St Athanasius, in his Epistle to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms, the whole of which well deserves study, writes thus:
“They seem to me to be a kind of mirror for everyone who sings them, in which he may observe the motions of the soul, and as he observes them give utterance to them in words. He who hears them read, takes them as if they were spoken specially for him. Stricken in his conscience he repents, or hearing of hope in God, and of the grace which is given to those who believe, he rejoices as if this grace were promised to him in particular, and begins to thank God.. ..He who genuinely studies all that is written in this book of Divine inspiration may gather, as out of a paradise, that which is serviceable for his own need. Methinks that in the words of this book you may find an accurate survey and delineation of the whole life of man, the dispositions of the soul, and the movements of the mind. If a man has need of penitence and confession, if affliction or temptation has overtaken him, if he has been persecuted or has been delivered from the plots of his enemies, if he is in sorrow or trouble, or if he wishes to praise and give thanks and bless the Lord, he finds instruction in the Psalms…. If thou meditate on these things and study the Psalms, thou shalt be able, under the guidance of the Spirit, to grasp their meaning; and thou shalt emulate the life of the divinely inspired men who uttered these words.”
From Alexandria let us pass to Cappadocia, and listen to the eloquent words of St Basil, in the introduction to his Homily on the First Psalm:
“All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable, for it was written by the Spirit to the end that as it were in a general hospital for souls, we human beings might each select the medicine for his own disease…. The prophets provide one kind of instruction, the historians another, the law yet another, and the exhortations of the Proverbs yet another. But the Book of Psalms contains that which is profitable in all of them. It prophesies of the future; it recalls history; it legislates for life; it suggests rules of action; in a word, it is a common storehouse of good doctrines, providing exactly what is expedient for everyone….A Psalm is the calm of souls, the arbiter of peace: it stills the stormy waves of thought. It softens the angry spirit, and sobers the intemperate. A Psalm cements friendship: it unites those who are at variance; it reconciles those who are at enmity. For who can regard as an enemy the man with whom he has joined in lifting up one voice to God? Psalmody therefore provides the greatest of all good things, even love, for it has invented concerted singing as a bond of unity, and fits the people together in the concord of one choir. A Psalm puts demons to flight: it summons the angels to our aid; it is a weapon in the midst of alarms by night, a rest from the toils of day; it is a safeguard for babes, a decoration for adults, a comfort for the aged, a most befitting ornament for women. It makes deserts populous and market places sane. It is an initiation to novices, growth to those who are advancing, confirmation to those who are being perfected. It is the voice of the Church; it gladdens festivals, it creates godly sorrow. For a Psalm calls forth tears even from a stony heart. A Psalm is the employment of angels, heavenly converse, spiritual incense….What mayest thou not learn thence? The heroism of courage; the integrity of justice; the gravity of temperance; the perfection of prudence; the manner of repentance; the measure of patience; in a word every good thing thou canst mention. Therein is a complete theology; the prediction of the advent of Christ in the flesh, the threatening of judgement, the hope of resurrection, the fear of chastisement, promises of glory, revelations of mysteries: all, as in some great public storehouse, are treasured up in the Book of Psalms.”
(Compare this with Richard Hooker’s well known words on the Psalms: “The choice and flower of all things profitable in other looks the Psalms do both more briefly contain, and more movingly also express, by reason of that poetical form wherewith they are written . . . What is there necessary for man to know which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners an easy and familiar introduction, a mighty augmentation of all virtue and knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect among others. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, repentance unfeigned, unwearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come, all good necessarily to be either known or done or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident into the soul of man, any wound or sickness named, for which there is not in this treasure-house a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found.)
In a well-known passage of his ‘Confessions’ (9. 4), St Augustine describes the comfort which he derived from the Psalms in the interval before his baptism.
“In what accents I addressed Thee, my God, when I read the Psalms of David, those faithful songs, the language of devotion which banishes the spirit of pride, while I was still a novice in true love of Thee, and as a catechumen rested in that country house along with Alypius, who was also a catechumen, with my mother at our side, in the dress of a woman but with the faith of a man, with the calmness of age, the affection of a mother, the piety of a Christian. How I addressed Thee in those Psalms! how my love for Thee was kindled by them! how I burned to recite them, were it possible, throughout the world, as an antidote to the pride of humanity. Yet they are sung throughout the world, and there is none that hideth himself from Thy heat. How grieved and indignant was I with the Manichaeans! and yet again I pitied them for their ignorance of those sacraments, those medicines, and their mad rejection of the antidote which might have cured them of their madness. Would that they could have been somewhere near me without my knowledge and watched my face and heard my voice when I read the Fourth Psalm in that time of leisure, and have known the effect of that Psalm upon me. Would that they could have heard what I uttered between the words of the Psalm, without my knowing that they heard… how I spoke with myself and to myself before Thee out of the inmost feelings of my soul. I trembled for fear, and then I became fervent with hope and rejoicing in Thy mercy, O Father. And all these feelings issued forth by my eyes and voice…”
The interpretation of the Psalm and the application of it to his own circumstances which follow are fanciful and far-fetched, but they shew how his heart glowed with fervour as he read, and how he found the Psalms “sweetened with heavenly honey, and luminous with the light of God.”
Luther and Calvin represent the revival of the study of the Bible in the age of the Reformation.
Luther speaks thus of the Psalter, which he found inexpressibly precious in the trials and conflicts of his stormy life:
“You may rightly call the Psalter a Bible in miniature, in which all things which are set forth more at length in the rest of the Scriptures are collected into a beautiful manual of wonderful and attractive brevity. From the Psalms you may learn not the works of the saints only, but the words, the utterances, the groans, the colloquies, which they used in the presence of God, in temptation and in consolation; so that though they are dead, in the Psalms they live and speak. The Psalms exhibit the mind of the saints; they express the hidden treasure of their hearts, the working of their thoughts, and their most secret feelings.”
“This book,” says Calvin, in the Epistle to his Readers prefixed to his commentary, ” I am wont to call an anatomy of all the parts of the soul; for no one will find in himself a single feeling of which the image is not reflected in this mirror. Here the Holy Spirit has represented to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, anxieties, in short, all the stormy emotions, by which human minds are wont to be agitated. The rest of Scripture contains the commands which God gave His servants to be delivered to us. Here the prophets themselves, in their converse with God, because they lay bare all their inmost feelings, invite or compel every one of us to examine himself, that none of all the infirmities to which we are subject may remain hidden. It is a rare and singular advantage when every secret recess is laid open, and the heart purged from the foul plague of hypocrisy and brought out to light.”
One quotation from a modern writer must suffice. With profound insight and unrivalled delicacy of touch the late Dean Church thus describes the Psalms and their work:
“In the Psalms we see the soul in the secret of its workings, in the variety and play of its many-sided and subtly compounded nature —loving, hoping, fearing, despairing, exulting, repenting, aspiring —the soul, conscious of the greatness and sweetness of its relations to Almighty God, and penetrated by them to the very quick; longing, thirsting, gasping, after the glimpses that visit it, of His goodness and beauty —awestruck before the unsearchableness of His judgement, silent before the certainty of His righteousness —opening, like a flower to the sun, in the presence of His light, of the immensity of His lovingkindness”……It has been the work of the Book of Psalms to teach devotion, worship, self-knowledge. “They bring before us in all its fulness and richness the devotional element of the religious character. They are the first great teachers and patterns of prayer, and they shew this side of the religious character….in varied and finished detail, in all its compass and living and spontaneous force….The tongue is loosed to give utterance out of the abundance of the heart, to every mood, every contrasted feeling of the changeful human mind. From all the hidden depths, from all the strange and secret consciousnesses of the awakened and enlightened soul, spring up unexpected and vivid words, in which generation after generation has found the counterpart of its own convictions and hopes and joys, its own fears and distresses and perplexities and doubts, its own confidence and its own sorrow, its own brightest and darkest hours. This immense variety of mood and subject and occasion, with which the reverence and hope of worship are always combined, is a further point in the work of the Book of Psalms. It is a vast step in the revealing of man to man. We know how much we owe of the knowledge of ourselves to the great dramatists, to the great lyrical poets, to the great novelists. Such, in the unfolding to man of all that is really and most deeply involved in the religious character, is the place of the Book of Psalms.”
Luther, as we have seen, calls the Psalms “a Bible in miniature”; and the words which Coleridge uses of the whole Bible may most truly be applied to the Psalms. In them we find copious sources of truth, and power, and purifying impulses; words for our inmost thoughts, songs for our joy, utterances for our hidden griefs, pleadings for our shame and our feebleness. And whatever ‘finds’ us bears witness for itself that it has proceeded from a Holy Spirit, even from the same Spirit, ‘which in all ages entering into holy souls maketh them friends of God and prophets’.

Kirkpatrick’s on Psalms 119:
This great “Psalm of the Law” is based upon the prophetic (Ezra 9:11) presentation of the Law in the Book of Deuteronomy, with the spirit and language of which its author’s mind was saturated. It represents the religious ideas of Deuteronomy developed in the communion of a devout soul with God. It is the fruit of that diligent study of the Law which is enjoined in Deut. 6:1-9, a beginning of the fulfilment of the promise of an inward and spiritual knowledge of it which is proclaimed by Jeremiah (31:33 ff.). The Psalmist is one whose earnest desire and stedfast purpose it is to make God’s law the governing principle of his conduct, to surrender all self-willed thoughts and aims, to subordinate his whole life to the supremely perfect Will of God, with unquestioning faith in His all-embracing Providence and unfailing love.
The ‘Law of God,’ which the Psalmist describes in its manifold aspects as His law, word, promise, commandments, statutes, judgements, precepts, testimonies, ways, is not the law in the narrower sense of the Mosaic legislation or the Pentateuch. The Hebrew word ‘torah’ has a wider range of meaning, and here, as in Pss. 1 and 19, it must be understood to mean all Divine revelation as the guide of life. This it is which kindles the Psalmist’s enthusiasm and demands his allegiance. It is no rigid code of commands and prohibitions, but a body of teaching, the full meaning of which can only be realised gradually and by the help of Divine instruction. It has been said that the Psalmist’s devotion to the Law contains the germ of Pharisaic legalism, but it may be questioned whether the observation is just. Nowhere does the Psalmist allow law to interfere between him and God; never is a formal observance of external rules substituted for the inward devotion of the heart. If sometimes his professions of obedience seem to savour of self-righteousness, his prayers for grace fully recognise that strength to obey must come from God. The Psalm is an acknowledgement of the blessing of a revelation, of the strength which the law gives to Israel in the midst of surrounding heathenism, and to the faithful Israelite in the presence of a prevailing laxity of faith and morals. In an age when the voice of prophecy was rarely heard, or perhaps was altogether silent, it begins to draw strength from meditation on the revelation made to past generations. It points no doubt towards the age of the Scribes, but it represents the best spirit of that age (Cp. Oehler’s O. T. Theology, §§ 84, 201). It is remarkable that a Psalm, emanating from the period in which the ritual law was codified and the Temple became the centre of Israel’s religion, should contain no reference whatever to ceremonial or sacrifice. Doubtless the Psalmist would have included the ceremonial law as a part of God’s commandments, but evidently he does not regard it as the principal part of them. The whole Psalm is animated by a profound inwardness and spirituality, as far removed as possible from the superstitious literalism of a later age. It shews no tendency to substitute mechanical observance of rules for the living application of principles. Such obedience, if it falls short of the full liberty of the Gospel, is at least a step towards it.
The close personal relation of the Psalmist to God is one of the most striking features of the Psalms in general, and in few Psalms is it more marked than in this. In every verse but one (115) or at most two (but on 128 see note) after the first three introductory verses God is addressed; in all but some fourteen verses the Psalmist addresses God in the first person [in prayer], or, which is the same thing, as His servant.
The Psalmist has arranged his meditations in an elaborate alphabetical form, adopted partly perhaps as an aid to memory. The Psalm consists of 22 stanzas, according to the number of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the 8 verses in a stanza begins with the same letter, and the letters are taken in their regular order. The arrangement of Lamentations 3 presents the nearest parallel, but there the stanzas consist of three verses only. This artificiality of structure seems to have hindered many commentators from appreciating the variety of the contents of the Psalm, and many have denied that any real connexion or progress of thought is to be found in it. In a sense this may be true: the verses are not so much linked together by logical connexion as united by their direction to a common centre, but each stanza has, as a rule, some leading thought, which gives it a distinctive character. Those who by long devotional use have become intimately familiar with the Psalm have found a significant variety in the apparent monotony of its language. For them it is ‘the Psalm of the Saints’; ‘the Alphabet of Divine Love’; ‘the Christian’s golden ABC of the praise, love, power and use of the Word of God.’ St Augustine deferred the exposition of it until he had finished the rest of the Psalter, and finally approached it with reluctance & diffidence: “non tarn propter eius notissitnam longitudinem quam propter eius profunditatem paucis cognoscibilem  …quanto enim videtur apertior,    tanto mini profundior videri solet”   (Prooemium in Ps. 118 [119]) [Preface: I have expounded all the rest of the Psalms, which we know the Book of the Psalms containeth, which by the custom of the Church is styled the Psalter, partly by preaching among the people, partly by dictations, as well as I, by the Lord’s help, was able: but I put off the 118th [119th] Psalm, as well on account of its well-known length, as on account of its depth being fathomable by few. And when my brethren deeply regretted that the exposition of this Psalm alone, as far as pertaineth to the Psalms of the same volume, was wanting to my works, and strongly pressed me to pay this debt, I yielded not to them, though they long entreated and solicited me; because as often as I began to reflect upon it, it always exceeded the utmost stretch of my powers. For in proportion as it seemeth more open, so much the more deep doth it appear to me; so that I cannot shew how deep it is. For in others, which are understood with difficulty, although the sense lie hid in obscurity, yet the obscurity itself appeareth; but in this, not even this is the case; since it is superficially such, that it seemeth not to need an expositor, but only a reader and listener. And now that at length I approach its interpretation, I am utterly ignorant what I can achieve in it: nevertheless, I hope that God will aid me with His Presence, that I may effect something. For thus He hath done in all those which, though at first they seemed to me difficult, and almost impracticable, I have succeeded in adequately expounding. But I decided to do this by means of sermons, which might be delivered among the people, such as the Greeks term (homilias, homily). For this is, I think, more equitable, that the assemblies of the Church be not defrauded of the comprehension of this Psalm, by the singing of which, as much as by that of others, they are wont to be charmed. But let the preface end here: we must now speak of the Psalm itself, to which we have thought it right to make this Preface.]. The 119th Psalm, writes Dr Liddon, represents in the highest degree ” the paradox of seeming simplicity overlying fathomless depth. It conveys at first an impression of tautology… it seems to reiterate with little attempt at variety the same aspirations, assurances, prayers, resolutions”; but a close and sympathetic study shews it to be “infinitely varied in its expressions, yet incessantly one in its direction; its variations are so delicate as to be almost imperceptible, its unity so emphatic as to be inexorably stamped upon its every line” (‘The Priest in his Inner Life’, p. 46).
“The 119th Psalm,” says Mr Ruskin, quoted by Archbp. Alexander, Witness of the Psalms, p. 302, “has become of all the most precious to me in its overflowing and glorious passion of love for the law of God.”
Who the author of the Psalm was it is idle to speculate, but we may gather from it some idea of the circumstances among which he lived. He was sorely tried, but in his trials he recognised God’s loving discipline for his good (‘vv’. 50, 67, 71, 75, 107, 153). He had to suffer contempt (22, 39, 42) and even ill-treatment (121, 134) for his adherence to the law. The authorities of the community despised and persecuted him (23, 161); men of position and power, whom he designates as ‘the proud’ or ‘the wicked,’ mocked him, calumniated him, endeavoured to oppress and injure him (51, 61, 69, 78, 84, 85, 86, 95, 122, 150, 157). He was even in danger of his life (87, 109). His persecutors were not heathen, but faithless Israelites, for he describes them as forsaking God’s law (53), wandering from His commandments (21), forgetting His words (139). They were selfish, self-satisfied men of the world, incapable of appreciating true religion (70). Their indifference to the law sometimes aroused his burning indignation (53); sometimes excited his profound sorrow (136). He was confronted by laxity if not actual apostasy (113, 158, 126): evil example might have tempted him to disown his faith and cast in his lot with evil-doers (29, 37, 115), but he has successfully resisted the temptation, for he knows God’s estimate of their character (118, 119), and their certain destiny (155). Under these circumstances, however, it is no easy task for him to maintain his constancy. Repeatedly and earnestly he prays for fuller knowledge of the law and for strength to keep it, for relief from persecution, for protection and preservation.
We can thus form a tolerable idea of the circumstances of the Psalmist, or of the class which he represents, for it is probable that he speaks on behalf of others as well as himself, and interweaves their experiences with his own. This representative character of the Psalm explains some phrases which seem to go beyond individual experience, though it is clear on the whole that an individual and not the community is the speaker. At what time he lived it is impossible to say precisely. That it was in the post-exilic period is certain from the tone and language of the Psalm, but in what part of it is doubtful. The beginning at any rate of the conditions described above is to be found in the evils which Ezra and Nehemiah endeavoured to remedy, and against which Malachi protested. (See e.g. Neh. 5, 6, 13; Mal. 3:13-15.) There are not a few points of contact in thought and language between their writings and the Psalm. It may have been written about the middle of the fifth century B.C., possibly not till considerably later, but certainly not so late as the Maccabean age. There are no traces of the struggles of the time when the possession of a copy of the law and the observance of the characteristic rites of Judaism were punishable with death.
Delitzsch infers from ‘vv’. pff., 99, 100, 141, that the Psalmist was a young man; Ewald from ‘vv’. 84-87 that he was advanced in years. Neither inference seems to be justified. More probably he was a man of mature years, who had learned much by experience, but felt that he had still much more to learn.
Hitzig conjectures that he was a prisoner who beguiled the tedium of his imprisonment by the composition of the Psalm, and Delitzsch is inclined to adopt the suggestion. But there is no sufficient ground for such a hypothesis.
It is not likely that the Psalm was deliberately composed “as a ‘vade mecum’ for Israelite young men.” Doubtless it was well adapted for a compendium of instruction, but it attests itself to be the utterance of heartfelt devotion. Nor again is it a ‘national’ Psalm, in the sense that the Psalmist merges his own personality in that of the community and speaks in its name. Doubtless he speaks for others as well as himself; it is of the essence of inspired poetry to be representative and to possess a catholicity of thought; and often he appropriates the national experience, for to the Israelite membership in the covenant nation was a profound reality; but the Psalm breathes throughout the spirit of the most intense personal conviction, of the most intimate but deeply reverent communion with God.
It will be most convenient to consider once for all the various words for ‘the Law’ which recur so frequently in this Psalm (According to the Massoretic note on ‘v’. 122 one of the ‘ten’ expressions, —pointing to the ‘ten words’ of the Decalogue, —’saying,’ ‘word,’ ‘testimony,’ ‘way,’ ‘judgement,’ ‘precept,’ ‘commandment,’ ‘law,’ ‘statute,’ ‘faithfulness’ (according to another reading ‘righteousness’) occurs in every verse except ‘v’. 122 (to which ‘v’. 132 should be added). ‘Faithfulness’ however is an attribute of the law, not a synonym for it: and the word judgements’ does not always mean ‘ordinances’), and to note some of its most characteristic phrases.
1. ‘Torah’, ‘law,’ LXX (nomos) occurs 25 times. Cp. Deut. 4:8 &c. It has however a much wider range of meaning than ‘law.’ It denotes (a) ‘direction’ or ‘instruction’, whether human (Prov. 1:8) or Divine: (b) ‘a body of teaching’: (c) more definitely, ‘a law’, or (d) ‘a code of laws’, whether the Deuteronomic code or the Levitical legislation, ‘the law of Moses’: and so finally (e) the Pentateuch. Here, as in Pss. 1 and 19, it must be taken in its widest sense, as synonymous with the ‘word’ of Jehovah (Is. 1:10; 2:3), to include all Divine revelation as the guide of life, prophetic exhortation as well as priestly direction, the sum of an Israelite’s duty. (Cp. the use of ‘the law’ to denote the whole O.T. in John 10:34.)
2. ‘Dabar’, ‘word,’ LXX (logos) (20 times), in plur. ‘words’ (3 times), is the most general term for God’s communication of His Will to man, especially through prophets. It will be remembered that the “Ten Commandments” are literally the “Ten Words” (Deut. 4:13). Cp. Deut. 4:2,10; &c.
3. ‘’Imrdh’, ‘saying,’ or collectively ‘sayings,’ LXX (logion) (i9 times), is a poetical synonym for ‘dabar’, rare in prose, but found in Is. 5:24 in parallelism with ‘torah’. Cp. Deut. 23:9.
4. ‘Mitsvah’, ‘commandment,’ LXX (entolë) (21 times in plural, once in singular collectively), denotes a definite command imposed by authority. It is often coupled with the two following words in Deut. (e.g. 6:1).
5. ‘Chuqqim’, 21 times, once chuqqoth, ‘statutes,’ LXX (dikaiömata), lit. something engraved or inscribed, so what is prescribed or enacted. Frequently in Deut. (4:I &c.).
6. ‘Mishpatim’, ‘judgements,’ or ‘ordinances,’ LXX (krimata) (19 times in plur., 4 times in sing.), has some variety of meaning. The idea in the word is “that of a. judicial decision, made authoritatively
once, and constituting a rule, a precedent, applicable to other similar cases in the future” (Driver on Deut. 4:1); but in several passages of the Psalm it means the judicial acts of Jehovah, executing judgement on the wicked, and revealing or vindicating His law. Common in Deut. (4:1 &c.).
7. ‘Piqqudim’, (dikaiömata) (21 times), ‘precepts,’ ‘injunctions,’ LXX (entolai), a poetical word found only in the Psalter (19:8; 103:18; 111:7).
8. ‘‘Edah’ or ‘‘eduth’ (sing. once, plur. 22 times), ‘testimony,’ [witness] LXX (marturia). The idea of the word is “that of an ‘attestation’, or formal affirmation; hence, as referred to God, a solemn declaration of His Will on points (especially) of moral or religious duty, or a protest against human propensity to deviate from it….” The word came to be used” as a general designation of moral and religious ordinances, conceived as a Divinely instituted standard of conduct.” The term ‘testimony’ in the singular is applied to the Decalogue “as a concise and forcible statement of God’s will and human duty” (Driver on Deut. 4:45). Cf. Deut. 4:45; 6:17, 20: in the sing. ‘eduth’ is frequent in Ex., Lev., Num.
9. ‘Derek’, ‘way,’ LXX (hodos), denotes the course of conduct marked out by God’s law. Cp. Deut. 5:33; 9:12, &c.
10. ‘’Orach’, ‘path, a poetical synonym for ‘derek’; not in Deut., but common in Prov.
The ‘attributes’ applied to the Law should also be studied. Like its Author (‘v’. 137, cp. Deut. 32:4) it is perfectly righteous. The note of righteousness is constantly repeated; in all its aspects the Law answers to that perfect standard which God is to Himself for all His works and words. Its faithfulness and truth correspond to the faithfulness and truth of His nature; it is sharply contrasted with all that is false in belief and conduct.
Other constantly recurring expressions should also be noted. The Psalmist’s repeated protestations that he has ‘observed’ or ‘kept’ the law, his resolutions to do so, and his prayers for strength to fulfil them, answer to the repeated injunctions of Deut. (4:2 &c.). ‘With a (my) whole heart,’ with entire devotion of thought and will, is a phrase characteristic alike of this Psalm and of the Book of Deut. (4:29; 6:5 &c.) where it is often coupled with ‘the whole soul,’ the organ of feeling and emotion. In Deut. the Israelites are repeatedly exhorted to learn the statutes and judgements (5:1) and to teach them to their children (4:10); and repeatedly the Psalmist prays that he may be taught. The Psalmist’s reiterated prayers for ‘understanding’ recall the language of Deut. 4:6. ‘Life’ is held out in Deut. (4:I &c.) as the reward of obedience; and for ‘life’ the Psalmist continually pleads — ‘quicken thou me’ — ‘let me live’ (25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154,156, 159, 116, 144). The source of ‘life’ he finds in the law and promises of God (50, 93): and by ‘life’ he means not simply preservation from death, but liberation from all, whether within or without, that crushes and paralyses life, and hinders its proper use and enjoyment; for ‘life’ includes the ideas of light and joy and prosperity. It finds its fullest realisation in communion with God. The original promise of life to the nation is coupled with the promise of the possession of the land, but the latter now drops out of sight, and the conception of ‘life’ is approximating towards the higher meaning of the word in the N.T. Cp. Deut. 8:3. Very noteworthy is the Psalmist’s enthusiastic love for the Law. The love which the Israelite was bidden to cherish for Jehovah (Deut. 6:5 &c.) is kindled by the manifold revelation of His Will in the Law. “O how I love thy law: it is my meditation all the day” (97). It is no irksome restraint of his liberty, but his delight, his joy, his treasure, his comfort, the subject of his meditations by day by night, the source of trust and hope amid all the perplexities and troubles of life. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

7: From: Book of Psalms, Notes Critical Explanatory & Practical Albert Barnes 1868: (Barnes last work of His Bible Commentary was the Book of Psalms, considered for 40 years, and prepared over his last 12 years, in partial blindness. See his Preface & Introduction.)
Introduction:
§ 5. General Character of Book of Psalms: “Psalms are mostly lyrical poetry, that is, poetry adapted to the harp or lyre; to be used in connexion with instrumental music; to be ‘sung’, not ‘read’. Such poetry was common among the ancients, as it is among the moderns. Anacreon, Alcseus, Stesichorus, Sappho, and Horace were eminent among the ancients as ‘lyric’ poets; and the numerous writers of ‘songs’, sacred and secular, among the moderns, are to be ranked in the same class. The phrase ‘lyric poetry’ now, however, is frequently applied to that species of poetry which “directly expresses the individual emotions of the poet” (Webster, Die).”….[Barnes concludes Section 5 with a lengthy passage from De Wette’s Commentary translated by Torrey in the Biblical Repository.]
§ 6. Imprecations in Psalms: [Barnes tries quiet well to honestly explain the harsh and unforgiving expressions & passages found in many Psalms. He closes with: “In some of these ways it is probable that all the difficulties in regard to the “imprecations” in the Psalms may be met. They who deny the inspiration of the Psalms should be able to show that these are not proper explanations of the difficulty; or that they are not consistent with any just notions of inspiration.”]
§ 7. Practical value of Book of Psalms: ….”Hence, in sickness, in bereavement, in persecution, in old age, on the bed of death, the Book of Psalms becomes so invariable and so valuable a companion; and hence, not as a matter of convenience, but as supplying a ‘want’ in the minds of men, and as significant of their value, the Psalms and the New Testament are so often bound together in a single volume. Hence, also, for the aged, for the sick, for those whose powers of vision fail by disease or by years, the Psalms and the New Testament are printed in large type, and bound in convenient forms, that the truths contained in these volumes may be still accessible to the saint ripening for heaven, as the light fails, and as life ebbs away. To the end of the world the Psalms in religious experience will occupy the same place which they now occupy; to the end of the world they will impart comfort to the troubled, and peace to the dying, as they have done in the ages that are past.”
§ 8. Qualifications for preparing a Commentary on Psalms: …..” (6) It may be added that the Book of Psalms, in the main, is so plain, so easy to be understood by the great mass of readers; so expressive of the internal feelings and emotions, as to increase the difficulty in the preparation of a Commentary. The Psalms are so rich; so full of meaning; so adapted to the wants of believers; —they so meet the varied experiences of the people of God, and are so replete with the illustrations of piety; they so touch the deepest fountains of emotion in the soul, that, so far as most of these points are concerned, a Commentary, considered as an additional source of light, does not differ materially from a candle considered as affording additional splendour to the sun. What a man finds in the ordinary perusal of the Psalms as a book of devotion, on the subject of deep experimental piety, is so much in advance of what he will usually find in the Commentary, that he turns from the attempt to explain them with a feeling of deep disappointment, and comes back to the Book itself as better expressing his emotions, meeting his necessities, and imparting consolation in trial, than anything which the commentator can add. He welcomes the Book of Psalms itself as a comforter and a guide; and in the little volume sold now at so cheap a rate, or appended to his pocket Testament, the common reader of the Bible finds more that is suited to his need than he would in the voluminous commentary of Venema; in all the collections in the Critici Sacri; in the Synopsis of Poole; in the Annotations of Grotius; or in the learned expositions of De Wette —elegant as the work of De Wette is,—or of Tholuck, or Hengstenberg.
When these difficulties in composing a Commentary on the Psalms are considered; —when a man who sits down to write one reflects on the qualifications necessary for the task; —and when under the influence of these thoughts, constantly increasing in magnitude, and pressing upon him more and more as he labours for a dozen years, though at intervals, as I have done, in preparing a Commentary on this portion of Scripture, —whatever ardour of desire or confidence of success he may have had at the commencement of his enterprise, he will cease to wonder, as he progresses in his work, that the efforts of others to prepare a Commentary heretofore have been a failure, and he will not be surprised, should his life be lengthened out to see the result of his own labours, if he finds that the world regards that at which he has toiled so long, and which he hoped might be, in some measure, worthy of the Volume he has undertaken to explain, as but adding another to the long list of unsuccessful attempts to prepare a proper exposition of the Book of Psalms.”
(Barnes summary of Psalms 145:) “This is also a Psalm of David, and the last of the series in this part of the collection. It is entitled simply, “Of Praise,” or, in the Hebrew, “Praise by David,” or ” Praise of David ;” —that is, one of David’s songs of praise. It is an alphabetical psalm; that is, each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The arrangement in this respect is complete, except that the letter (n), ‘Nun’ -n- is omitted, for which no reason can be assigned, unless it was from a desire that the psalm might consist of three equal parts of seven verses each. In the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Latin Vulgate, and AEthiopic Versions, this omission is attempted to be supplied by inserting between vers. 13 and 14 a verse which in Hebrew would begin with a (n), ‘Nun’, —(n’mn), etc.: — “Faithful is the Lord in all his words, and holy in all his works.” This is taken from ver. 17 of the psalm by the change of a word in the beginning —’faithful’ for ‘righteous’, —(n’mn) for (tzdyk). There is no authority for this, however, in the MSS., and it is evidently an attempt to supply what seemed to be an omission or defect in the composition of the psalm. The verse is not in the Chaldee Paraphrase, or in the version of Aquila and Theodotion; and it is certain that as early as the time of Origen and Jerome it was not in the Hebrew text. The Masorites and the Jewish commentators reject it. The sense is in no way affected by the insertion or omission of this, since the verses of the psalm have no necessary connexion in meaning —the composition, as in most of the alphabetical psalms, being made up of independent sentiments suggested in part at least by the necessity of commencing each verse with a particular letter. The psalm does not admit of any particular analysis, and it is impossible now to ascertain the occasion on which it was written.”

8: From: Commentary on Psalms, Primitive & Medieval Writers. John M. Neale. 2nd Ed. (1869)
Introduction: Dissertation I: Psalms Employed in Offices of Church:
1. “If we keep vigil” says St John Chrysostom, ” in the Church, David comes first, last, and midst. If early in the morning we seek for the melody of hymns, first, last, and midst is David again. If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of the departed, if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last, and midst.*(stanza of Theognis). O marvellous wonder! Many who have made but little progress in literature, nay, who have scarcely mastered its first principles, have the Psalter by heart. Nor is it in cities and churches alone that at all times, through every age, David is illustrious; in the midst of the forum, in the wilderness, and uninhabitable land, he excites the praises of ‘God’. In monasteries, amongst those holy choirs of angelic armies, David is first, midst, and last. In the convents of virgins, where are the bands of them that imitate Mary; in the deserts, where are men crucified to this world, and having their conversation with ‘God’, first, midst, and last is he. All other men are at night overpowered by natural sleep: David alone is active; and, congregating the servants of GOD into seraphic bands, turns earth into heaven, and converts men into angels.” Nothing can more admirably shadow out the feelings of the Church to her everlasting heritage, than these words of the great Doctor of the East. The love, the veneration, the delight which she has ever expressed for the Psalter, have almost turned it into a part of her own being. It is not only that, from the beginning till now, the whole book of Psalms has been weekly recited by so many thousand priests, but that the spirit of the Psalter permeates and kindles every other part of the service; that its principal features have received a new and conventional character, have been transfigured from the worship of the synagogue to that of the Church; that, to use the mediaeval metaphor, the trumpets of the tabernacle have given place to the Psaltery and the New Song of the Christian ritual.
2. The Church of the primitive and of the Middle Ages, then, adapted the Psalter to her own needs; she employed all the luxuriance of her imagination to elicit, to develope, —if you will, to play with,— its meaning. There is, to use the word in a good sense, a perfect treasure of mythology locked up in mediaeval commentaries and breviaries, —a mythology, the beauty of which grows upon the student, till that which at first sight appears strange, unreal, making anything out of anything, perfectly fascinates. The richness and loveliness of this system of allegory have never yet been done justice to in our language. Commentaries indeed we have, many of them valuable in their way, but neither calculated nor indeed professing to do more than to explain difficulties, to develope the historical and literal meaning sense and in some of the very plainest passages to point out a possible reference by David to the Son of David…..(4. …the Psalms or Psalter was the most recited Book of the Scriptures , in part and whole, for a thousand years; was required to be memorized for ordination; ignorance of it disqualified consecration of Bishops; and The Eighth Council of Toledo2 (653) orders that ” none henceforth shall be promoted to any ecclesiastical dignity who do not perfectly know the whole Psalter, and in addition to that the usual Canticles and Hymns, and the Formula of Baptism.” In like manner the Council of Oviedo (1050) decrees that “the Archdeacon shall present such clerks for Ordination at the Ember seasons as know perfectly the whole Psalter, the Canticles, the Hymns, the Gospels, and the Collects.”)…..(6. ….Psalter was Divided for Recitation in Divine Service (the Work of God) in the Churches and Monasteries at various Hours of the Day s & Nights (Matins, Nocturns, Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sexts, Nones, Vespers, Complies, &c.; for Weekdays, Sabbaths, Sundays, Feast Days, Holy Days, &c.)….(9. …Spiritual Explanation of Arrangement:)
10. To begin with the Sunday Nocturns. The ritualists remind us of the three night watches of a besieged city, and thence deduce the triple prayer of a city which, like the Church, is never free from the assaults of her spiritual enemies. More fancifully they make each Nocturn to represent respectively the patriarchal, the legal, and the Christian dispensations. The first Nocturn, divided by its antiphons into three portions, or, as they are technically called, “distinctions,” sets forth the threefold division of the Patriarchal period ; that before the flood; that between the flood and Abraham; and that between Abraham and Moses. In each of these divisions they discover four principal Saints, to each of whom in consequence they attribute one of the Psalms. In the first period, Abel, Enos, Enoch, and Lamech. “Blessed is the man,” says Abel, ” that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly :” thus setting forth the distinction between himself and Cain. ”Why do the heathen so furiously rage together?” exclaims Enos, in whose time the grand division between polytheists and the worshippers of the One true ‘God’ took place. “Thou art my worship, and the Lifter up of my head,” exclaims Enoch, —lifted up, indeed, when translated, that he should not see death. “O ‘Lord’, rebuke me not in Thine indignation,” is the Psalm of Lamech, who was blessed by ‘God’ with a son, the preserver of the human race from the indignation that destroyed the world. I need not explain how, in the same way, they make the four Psalms of the next distinction to signify Noah, Shem, Heber, and Terah, nor the third to set forth Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The second Nocturn, as we have seen, has three Psalms: and these are referred to the three epochs of the legal dispensation: the Priests, the Judges, and the Kings. They are respectively set forth in the 16th Psalm: when the Priest says, “The ‘Lord’ Himself is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup:” in the 17th, where the Judge prays, “Let my sentence —that is, the sentence I shall pronounce—” come forth from Thy Presence;” and the 18th, where the Monarch declares, “Great prosperity giveth He unto His King.” In the same way, the dispensation of grace may be divided into three epochs, —that of Apostolic preaching, that of persecution, and that of peace. Apostolic preaching is set forth by the 19th Psalm, which, as we shall see in its proper place, has always been applied to the Apostles. The epoch of persecution, and therefore of the martyrs, is expressed by the 20th Psalm, ” The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble.” The time of peace is represented by the 21st, “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not denied him the request of his lips.” The appearance of Antichrist is prophesied towards the end of that Psalm; “Thou shalt make them like a fiery oven in the time of Thy wrath:” and then the promise of final felicity; “Be Thou exalted, ‘Lord’, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise Thy power.”
With such holy ingenuity did mediaeval writers explain their “Daily Service.”….

16…..(List of Psalms from St Athanasius Epistle to Marcellinus:)
Prayer. Psalm 17, 68, 90, 102, 132, 142.
In prayer, with supplication for deliverance. Psalm 5,6,7, 12,13, 16, 25, 27, 31, 35, 38, 43, 54,55,56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 83, 86, 88,140,141, 143.
In supplication for deliverance alone. Psalm 3, 26, 69, 70,71, 74, 79,80, 123, 130, 131.
In confession of sins. Psalm 51.
If thou desirest to render thanks to ‘God’ for His many marvels, or on the accomplishment of some good work. Psalm 8, 81.
If thou desirest to know how others praise ‘God’. Psalm 113, 117, 125, 146, 147,148, 150.
If thou desirest to stir up thyself to bless GOD. Psalm 103,104.
If thou desirest to praise ‘God’. Psalm 92, 105,106, 107,108, 112, 136, 138.
If thou desirest to sing to ‘God’. Psalm 93, 98.
If thou desirest to remember the mercy and justice of ‘God’. Psalm 101.
If thou desirest to exhort to faith and obedience. Psalm 41.
If thou desirest to show to others of what kind is the man who is a citizen of heaven. Psalm 15, 24.
If thou desirest to ridicule heretics or Gentiles.2 Psalm 76.
If them beholdest heretics gathering together against the House of God. Psalm 83.
If thou desirest to convince heretics. Psalm 87.
If thou desirest to remember benefits of the redemption of man. Psalm 8, 87, 116 (v. 10 to end.)
If thou desirest to admire sermons, and the grace of the preacher. Psalm 19.
If thou wouldest remember the Incarnation of our Lord. Psalm 45, 110.
If thou wouldest remember the Lonn’s Cross. Psalm 22, 69.
If thou wouldest sing of the Resurrection. Psalm 16, 66.
If thou wouldest remember the Ascension. Psalm 24, 47.
If thou wouldest call to remembrance the future judgment. Psalm 50, 72.
If thou wouldest commemorate martyrs. Psalm 79.
If thou wouldest praise GOD on Festivals. Psalm 81, 95.
If thou wouldest sing on Good Friday. Psalm 93.
If thou wouldest sing on Saturday. Psalm 92.
If thou wouldest return thanks on Sunday. Psalm 34, 119.

32. We now turn to the arrangement of the Psalter which has been adopted by the Church at Constantinople. It is divided into 20 sections or cathismata as follows: Psalms:
I: 1-8; II: 9-17; III: 18-24; IV: 25-32; V: 33-37; VI: 38-46; VII: 47-66; VIII: 66-64; IX: 66-70; X: 71-77; XI: 78-86; XII: 86-91; XIII. 92-101; XIV: 102-105; XV: 106-109; XVI: 110-118; XVII: 119; XVIII: 120-132; XIX: 133-143; XX: 144-150
Each of these cathismata is divided into three “staseis;” and at the end of the latter only —not of each Psalm, as in the Western Church—the Gloria is said. The word “cathismata,” in this sense, must not be confounded with the “troparia” so-called.

33. The general arrangement for the lection of the Psalter for Psalms is as follows: In the weeks of the….so that the Psalter is said through once a week. In the six weeks of the Great Fast the quantity is doubled, the Psalter being repeated twice in each week. In Holy Week it is said once, but finishes on the Wednesday. From Maundy Thursday till the Eve of the Anti-Pascha (Low Sunday,) it is not said at all. At the first Vespers of Low Sunday it begins again, and, till the 20th of September, two cathismata are said at Matins and one at Vespers. From the 20th of September till the Vigil of the Nativity, three cathismata in Matins: one, namely the 18th, at Vespers, together with the 133rd and 136th Psalms. Thence, to the Octave of the Epiphany, two at Matins, one at Vespers. Thence, till the Saturday before the Apocreos, one at Matins, one at Lauds, and two at Vespers……
34. (Psalms Repetition at different Seasons, Feasts, Festivals, required different emphases:… “the same sun-ray from the ‘Holy Ghost’ rested, indeed, at all times on the same words, but the prism of the Church separated that colourless light into its component rays: into the violet of penitence, the crimson of martyrdom, the gold of the highest seasons of Christian gladness. Hence arose the wonderful system of Antiphons, which, out of twenty different significations, definitely for the time being fixed one: which struck the right key-note, and enabled the worshipper to sing with the spirit and to sing with the understanding also. Ancient as is the alternate chanting of Psalms in the Church, it may be doubted whether that of antiphons is not of even more venerable antiquity;…An Antiphon, then, in the original sense of the word, was the intercalation of some fragment or verse between the verses of the Psalm which was then being sung : one choir taking the Psalm, the other, the intercalated portion….42. I need scarcely point out to the reader the extraordinary beauty of this intercalation. But this kind of intercalation approximates as nearly to a “Farce” as it does to an Antiphon. A Farce, as is well known, is the insertion in a Gospel, Epistle, or Canticle, such as the ‘Gloria in Excelsis’, of intercalated sentences, intended to have the same effect as an Antiphon, and to fix a determinate sense for the time being, on the composition so farced. But the clauses thus inserted became in process of time thoroughly jejune and miserable; sometimes, in fact, utterly absurd. Hence, from the ludicrous character of the intercalation, the word came to be applied to anything ludicrous: whence its present use….
(Conclusion of Disertation): 81. I have thus endeavoured to sketch out, as briefly as the subject permits, an account of the manner in which the Psalter, while it has been employed in, has itself modified, the Services of the Church. Those who study it as Churchmen, can hardly enter into it as they should do, until they have been taught to consider it in the light in which it has been the aim of this essay to set it before them. I heartily wish that it were more perfect, and less unworthy of the subject; but I have been all along fearful of entering too deeply into minutiae, —interesting, indeed, to Ecclesiastical students, but not necessary in and by themselves to the study of the Psalms. I shall hereafter have occasion to direct the reader’s attention to a subject which will, perhaps, be more widely interesting —the general question of mystical interpretation: which I leave for the Third Dissertation in this work. I can only hope that the blessing of ‘God’ may have been bestowed on what has already been said, and may still accompany that which we yet have to observe.

(Dissertation II: Primitive & Mediaeval Commentators on Psalms:……….)

(Dissertation III: Mystical & Literal Interpretation of Psalms:)
1. Having now, through ‘God’s’ goodness, accomplished the fifth part of our task, it seems time to dwell at greater length than hitherto we have done on the system itself on which this commentary is based. Utterly different as it is from the modern style of interpretation, —liable to the charges of fancifulness, unreality, and of making anything out of anything,— I wish now to show that, whatever be the faults of its execution, its principle, at least, is the same as that on which the great commentators of primitive and mediaeval ages wrote, and which they would have recognised as their own. What that principle is, the reader has now had sufficient opportunity of judging; and while none can be more sensible than myself of the innumerable faults in detail for which the foregoing pages may be blamed, for the theory on which they have been composed I need —and I hope to show that I need— no excuse.
2. The mystical interpretation of Scripture, as every one will allow, is the distinguishing mark of difference between ancient and modern commentators. To the former, it was the very life, marrow, the principle essence of ‘God’s’ Word, —the kernel, of which the of early, literal exposition was the shell,— the jewel, to which the outside and verbal signification formed the shrine: by the latter it has almost universally been held in equal contempt and abhorrence; it has been affirmed to be the art of involving everything in uncertainty; to take away all fixedness of meaning; to turn Scripture into a repository of human fancies; to be subversive of all exactitude, and fatal to all truth….
3….The rule laid down by the strictest interpreters of this sort appears to be this: that in those histories of the Old Testament which are applied to our Blessed ‘Lord’ in the New, we may see a type of Him, but in those only. Thus, of the brazen serpent, the Paschal Lamb, Jonah in the whale’s belly, He was undoubtedly the antitype; but Joseph, taken from prison and from judgment, —but Elijah, fasting forty days and forty nights, and translated into heaven, —but David, in his victory over Goliath, —but Samson, destroying the Philistines by his own death,— these are historical characters only, and cannot, without presumption, be invested with a typical signification.
4. Now it is clear that, to those who entertain similar sentiments, the present work will present nothing but an aggregation of the wildest conceits, and the most worthless fancies. If Scripture has not an under-current of meaning, double, triple, quadruple, or even yet more manifold, I confess, not only that my work is a mere waste of labour, time, and paper, which would comparatively matter little, but it also follows that all primitive and mediaeval commentators, from the first century till the Reformation, have more or less been deceiving the Church of ‘God’, —have been substituting their changing fancies for His immutable verities, —have adopted a system which is alike the offspring and the parent of error,— that their folios have been a hindrance to the cause of truth, and the labours of their lives an insult to the to those who principles of genuine interpretation. If any one can believe this, it will matter little what he thinks of the preceding and following pages. I only wish to prove that the mystical principles on which this commentary on the Psalms is written are the principles of the great commentators from the beginning; and if I can show that, I have shown enough.
5. It is well known that, from very early times, a meaning fourfold meaning was attached to the plain text of Scripture. It is expressed in the lines: Litera scripta docet : quid credos, ‘Allegoria’: Quid speres, ‘Anagoge’: quid agas, ‘Tropologia’. And on this principle St Gregory the Great composed his Morals on Job, keeping his skeins of meaning separate, and with marvellous skill pursuing each to the end. Durandus explains the various terms with great neatness: “In like manner, ‘Jerusalem’ is understood, historically, of that earthly city whither pilgrims journey; allegorically, of the Church Militant; tropologically, of every faithful soul; anagogically, of the Celestial Jerusalem, which is our Country.”
6. Let us, in the first place, inquire from Scripture Arguments itself, what probability there is that the Holy Ghost intended such a system of interpretation to be applied to His own Word: then let us see how the early Church felt on the subject: and then what are the advantages, and what are asserted to be the dangers, of the mystical sense.
7. Now it cannot be denied, that to those who eschew the mystical or spiritual interpretation, —and whom we will in this dissertation call ‘literalists’,— a very large portion of Scripture can have nothing but an historical interest. The journeyings of the Israelites to their various encampments, — the genealogies of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, —the numbers of the tribes in the Pentateuch,— the prophecies against the nations whom it pleased ‘God’ to destroy before Nebuchadnezzar, and many such like passages, are to them all but a dead letter. Nay, the same Scott whom I lately quoted ventures, without any apology, to call one such collection of passages by a term which, when we remember Whose is the lightest word of Holy Scripture, can scarcely be called less than profane. He names the genealogies of the first book of Chronicles by the appellation of ‘Thorns’! He is but consistent with himself; but what kind of theory must that be which leads to such a conclusion?
40. In conclusion, do we ordinarily attach sufficient importance to such expressions as that with reference to our ‘Lord’ in the last days of His earthly life? “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Does not this infer a regular tuition in some system of interpretation of which hitherto they knew nothing? He expounded unto them ‘all’ the things concerning Himself. Some of those things, we have already seen, involved what would now be called the deepest mysticism, and forthwith we see its fruits. History is no longer a bare relation of facts —it is a parable. Agar is no longer the concubine of Abraham, but “Mount Sinai in Arabia.” The Mosaic law is a Christian Parable; “saith He it not altogether for our sakes?” Christ is everywhere, in Prophet, Psalm, History: every Old Testament Saint is the type of the Saint of Saints; every persecutor is the forerunner of the Destroyer of souls. And what follows? Observe the depth of study, the profound search, the intensity of investigation of the mystics, contrasted with the jejunity [dullness], the commonplace superficiality of the literalists! To the latter, Scripture is no mine: its treasures are at the surface; a first reading may exhibit as much of the meaning as a twentieth; and hence the stupid dictum of a marvellous genius (Lord Bacon), likening the first interpretation of the Bible to the first crush of the grape, which first crush is not wine, but a sickly and unwholesome must.
Conclusion. 41. In unison with the system which it has been the object of this Essay to unfold, the present Commentary is written. I know that it will be called, by many, fanciful, unreal, destructive of Scripture, will be said to put imagination in the place of reason, and to substitute the words of men for the word of ‘God’. But let this only be borne in mind. Our system is the system, as all must allow, of every saintly Commentator from St Barnabas to St Francis de Sales —the system, as I have endeavoured to show, not only of Isapostolic [?] but of Apostolic writers. The interpretations are none of them my own; their authors are given; they come with greater or less authority; but those that have least will be found to possess some considerable weight. I claim nothing but the poor thread on which the pearls are strung. To collect them has been the happy work of many years —work which has consoled me in trial, added happiness to prosperity, afforded a theme of profitable conversation with dear friends, furnished the subject-matter for numerous sermons. I pray ‘God’ to accept it as an offering to the Treasury of His Church; and to give that system, if it be His will, favour in the eyes of Scriptural students, which I know to be the only method whereby His own, be it declaration or command, can be fully acted out, (ereunate tas graphas….kai Ekeinai Eisin Hai Marturousai Peri Emou).

9: From: Critical & Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms by Charles A. Briggs, D.Lit., Emile Grace Briggs. International Crititical Commentary Old Testament. (1906)

     Preface: “This Commentary is the fruit of forty years of labour. In1867, when making special studies in Berlin with Dr. Emil Rodiger, I began a critical Commentary on the Psalms, the Ms. of which is still in my possession….In the plan of the International Critical Commentary I undertook the volumes on the Psalms, and have been at work upon them ever since. In addition to my work on the theological terms of the new edition of Robinson’s Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, BDB., I have made a complete lexicon to the Psalter, based on a revised Hebrew text, which I hope ere long to publish. I have spared no pains upon the text of the Psalter, not only in the study of the Versions, but also in the detection and elimination of the glosses in the search for the original texts as they came from their authors. The Theology of the Psalter has been carefully investigated ; only the limits of space prevent me from giving it in this volume….A public Version, in my opinion, should be less pedantic and literal than the Revised Version, and not so slavish in its adherence to the Massoretic text. In this respect the older Versions, especially the Version of the Book of Common Prayer, is to be preferred; for while it is less accurate than the later Versions, it preserves many readings of the Greek and Vulgate Versions which later English Versions unwisely rejected, and it is concerned to give the sense of the original in rhythmical devotional language well suited to the character of a book of prayer and praise….The Psalms are among the most wonderful products of human genius. No other writings but the Gospels can compare with them in grandeur and importance. The Gospels are greater because they set forth the life and character of our Lord and Saviour. The Psalter expresses the religious experience of a devout people through centuries of communion with God. I cannot explain either Gospels or Psalms except as Books of God, as products of human religious experience, inspired and guided by the Divine Spirit.”
Introduction: § 1. “The Psalter belongs to the third division of the Hebrew Canon, entitled Hymns or Prayers, from its chief contents. The Greek Version named it Psalms from the most frequent sub-title, and in this has been followed by other Versions”…..”In the Hebrew Canon the Psalter bears the title Praises, of Book of Praises, because of the conception that it was essentially a collection of songs of praise, or hymn book, to be used in the worship of God; or else Prayers, because it was a collection of prayers, a prayer book. In LXX it is entitled Psalms, doubtless because the word “psalm” was in the titles of such a large proportion of the poems. In early Greek writers it received the name Psalter, which seems a more appropriate name for a collection of Pss. for use in public worship.”….(Hebrew title: Tehillim, Sepher Tehillim; Aramaic Tehilyon; Hallels (Praises); Greek LXX Psalmoi (Psalms, Book of Psalms), (psalmos) is the translation of (mizmyr < zmr, zamir), used in the titles of 57 Pss., ‘song’ or ‘poem’, ‘play, musical instruments, more technical form & indicates a poem with measured lines & strophes, selected for public worship; the Psalter (Psaltërion) of David.
A. Text of Psalter:
§ 2. “The original text of the Psalter was written in the Hebrew language, and in letters which were subsequently abandonedfor the Aramaic script. This latter text has been preserved in Mss., none of which are older than the tenth century ; but they rest upon two important revisions of that century, those of Ben Asher and Ben Naftali, which differ chiefly in Massoretic material.”….
§ 3. “The Massora also gives evidences of variations of text, going back to primitive times, in marginal notes and signs, where the text remains unchanged. Citations in the Talmud and other early Jewish writings give little evidence of other variations of text.”….”These Massorites were so called as masters of Massora, or tradition. Their work was based upon the methods of the Syrian schools with reference to Syriac Literature. The differences between the so-called Babylonian and
Palestinian systems of vocalisation and accentuation show various stages in their work, which continued for several centuries. The earliest stages have left no record, but they may be inferred from the simpler forms of Syriac and Arabic Literature. It is important to notice that all these vowel points and accents are comparatively late in origin, and, although they rest on tradition going back to primitive times, they were still matters of opinion, and by no means have the venerable authority of the consonantal text. The view that they were equally inspired with the consonantal text, held commonly in the 16th century, has been universally abandoned. There are several Massoretic notes and signs which are of great importance, for they indicate variations of text in ancient tradition which the Massorites felt obliged to record, although they did not venture to change the traditional text. These are: (1) The variation between the (qeri) that which should be read, and the (kethibh, ketib, ketiv), that which is written. There are 70 of these in (Psalter).”….
§ 4. “The earliest printed edition of the Hebrew Psalter was published at Bologna in 1477. Independent texts based on Mss. were published at Soncino, in the Complutensian Polyglot, and the second Rabbinical Bible. All subsequent editions were mixed texts, until those of Baer and Ginsburg, which give accurate forms of the Massoretic text of Ben Asher.”….
§ 5. “The earliest Version of the Psalter was that of the Greek Septuagint (LXX), translated from the Hebrew in the second century B.C. at Alexandria, and preserved in many ancient codices, the earliest of the fourth century A.D., giving evidence as to an original Hebrew text, many centuries prior to any Hebrew authorities. The ancient Latin, Coptic, Gothic, Armenian, and Ethiopic Versions are based upon the Greek Version.”….
§ 6. “Several other Greek Versions were made in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th centuries A.D., that of Aquila from the official Hebrew text of the school of Jamnia, that of Theodotion to improve (LXX) in the direction of that text; and that of Symmachus to give a better Greek style. Other minor Versions, indicated as Quinta (5th) and Sexta (6th), were also composed. None of these have been preserved, except in fragments.”….”(LXX) was used in a large proportion of the citations in the NT & Christian writings of the 2nd & 3rd centuries. The Jews of the school of Rabbi Akiba, owing to a literalistic tendency, threw discredit upon (LXX) among the Jews, and so gradually undermined the confidence even of Christians in its accuracy. Accordingly, many attempts were made to make a better Version. The first of these came from Aquila, a pupil of Akiba, who made a new translation from the official text established by the school of Jamnia. This is exceedingly literal and pedantic, and frequently transliterates rather than translates. This Version, indicated by Aq., is chiefly valuable for its evidence as to the official text which it translates. Theodotion (T.LXX) undertook a revision of (LXX) to make it more conformable to the Hebrew text of Jamnia. Its variations from (LXX) also help to the official Hebrew text of the second century rather than to an earlier text. Symmachus (S.LXX) had a later and a different purpose; namely, to improve the style and character of (LXX). It is therefore of value in helping to a text of &. It is difficult to determine the purpose of Quinta and Sexta, but so far as appears they do not give evidence of any knowledge of early Hebrew codd. These efforts did not succeed in producing a text suitable for universal adoption; they in fact increased the confusion and corruption among the Greek codd. by mixed texts. This evil was the chief reason for the masterly work of Origen in his Hexapla. Origen’s Hexapla was the most important Biblical work in ancient times. It gave in six parallel columns the original Hebrew text, the same transliterated, a purified text of (LXX), the Versions of Aq., (S.LXX), (T.LXX), and also, as a sort of appendix, Quinta, Sexta.”….
§ 7. “The Syriac Peshitto (Peshitta, Peshta, Pesht.,Syriac Vulgate) Version was made from a comparison of the Hebrew text with (LXX), and shows the influence of an early Aramaic Targum. It has maintained its integrity since the 4th century.”….”At an early date, probably in the second or third century, a translation of the Psalter was made for the use of Syrian Christians ( SyrcPesht). It was based upon a Hebrew text, but kept (LXX) constantly in view. It also shows traces of the influence of an oral Aramaic Targum earlier than the existing Targum. The author was a good Hebrew scholar, but his purpose was to give a Vrs. for practical use, rather than an exact verbal rendering. He therefore takes liberties with the original from a dogmatic as well as a practical point of view. (SyrcPesht) passed through a number of revisions, but has kept its integrity since the fourth century, as Aphraates in his Homilies uses it essentially in the same form that we now have.”….
§ 8. “Jerome in the early fifth century issued his Latin translation, made from the Hebrew text of his times, but with all the other ancient Versions and Origen’s Hexapla in view.”….”Jerome, after the completion of the two revisions of the old Latin Psalter already mentioned, undertook c. 389 a translation of the entire OT from the original Hebrew, which he completed in 390-405 at Bethlehem. This Vrs. took the place of the old Latin Vrss. in all the books except the Psalter, and is known as the Vulgate (V, Vlg, Vulg, LatVulg, JermVulg). This new Vrs. of the Psalter could not overcome the use of the Gallican Psalter in the usage of the Church. Accordingly, (V) of the Psalter is the Gallican Version, and the Version of Jerome is distinguished from it in reference by the abbreviation (J, Jerm). This Vrs. is exceedingly valuable, especially in the study of the Psalter; for Jerome was not only an able Hebrew scholar, using the best Hebrew texts accessible to him in Palestine, at the time when the Rabbinical School at Tiberius was in its bloom ; but he was also familiar with Origen’s Hcxapla, and the full text of all the ancient Vrss. in earlier Mss. than those now existing. (J) in the main gives evidence as to the Hebrew text of the fourth Christian century. Where it differs from (V) and (LXX) its evidence is especially valuable as giving the opinion of the best Biblical scholar of ancient times as to the original text, based on the use of a wealth of critical material vastly greater than that in the possession of any other critic, earlier or later.”….
§ 9. “The Aramaic Targum of the Psalter in its present form dates from the 9th century, but it rests upon an oral Targum used in the synagogue from the most ancient times.”….”The Targum on the Psalter (T, Targ, Targm, AramTarg) represents a traditional oral translation, used in the services of the synagogue from the first century A.D. The original Hebrew text was constantly kept in view, for it was the custom to read the original before the Targum was read. Therefore the Targum gives evidence as to the traditional Hebrew text, with all the development that that tradition had from the 1st till the 9th century, ever restrained, however, by the original text. The Targum, however, was not simply a translation, but at the same time an explanation of the original, enlarging upon it to give the sense by way of paraphrase. It avoids anthropomorphism, and entirely disregards the poetic form & style.”….
§ 10. “The critical use of Hebrew texts and versions leads back in several stages from the official text of Ben Asher of the 10th century, through the text used by Jerome of the 4th century, the official text of the School of Jamnia of the 2nd century, to the unofficial codices of the 2nd century B.C., which gave the Canonical Psalter in its final edition. But it had already passed through centuries of transmission by the hands of copyists and editors. We have to distinguish, therefore, between the original text of the Psalter of the Canon and the original text of the psalms themselves as they came from their authors.”….
§ 11. “There are several Psalms which appear in different texts in the Psalter itself, or in the Psalter and other Books of the Old Testament. These give evidence of originals differing in some respects from the varying texts that have been preserved.”….”(A) Hebrew poetry is dominated by the principle of parallelism of members. The simplest form is seen in the couplet; but it is extended to a considerable number of lines. There are three primary forms of parallelism: (1) the synonymous, (2) the synthetic, and (3) the antithetic; the synonymous having a more ornate variety which may be called (4) emblematic; the synthetic a more vigorous variety which is (5) stairlike in character. An important variation appears in what is called (6) introverted parallelism. But within these six varieties there are still a great number of combinations in accordance with the nature of the parallelism, whether it extends to entire lines or to the more emphatic words in them. Bishop Lowth (‘De Sacra Poesi Heb’. 1753; cf. Preliminary Dissertation to ‘Isaiah’, 1778) was the first to establish the principle of parallelism in Hebrew poetry, although he based his conclusions on older writers, Rabbi Asarias and especially Schottgen (‘Horae Heb’. Diss. VI. ‘De Exergasia Sacra’). Lowth’s views were at once accepted and have maintained themselves. Lowth distinguished three kinds of parallelism, — the synonymous, the antithetical, and the synthetic. Bishop Jebb (‘Sacred Literature’, § IV. 1820) called attention to a fourth kind, which he properly named “introverted.” Lowth had already recognised it (Prelim. Diss. ‘Isaiah’ 14), but did not name it or emphasize it. Other scholars have noted the stairlike and the emblematic.”….”The Pss., as Philo, Josephus, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome tell us, were composed in several kinds of meter. The measures, however, were not of feet, as in classic Latin and Greek, or of syllables as in Syriac poetry; but of words or word accents, as in Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and the most ancient poetry of other nations. The simplest measure is: (1) the trimeter, measured by three tonic beats; (2) the tetrameter, which has four tones, usually with a caesura in the middle; (3) the pentameter, which has five tones, the caesura usually coming after the 3rd tone, but sometimes for variety of effect after the 2nd; (4) the hexameter, which has six tones, with the caesura usually in the middle, but sometimes for variety after the 2nd or the 4th tones, and occasionally with two caesuras dividing the line into three parts. In the estimation of tones we have to consider that on the one side monosyllabic words are usually not counted, but are attached to the following word and not accented; and on the other side that words of four or more syllables have a secondary accent which is counted in the measures. This is true occasionally of words of three syllables.”….”…To Ley, more than to any other scholar, is due the credit of leading to a correct conception of the measures of Hebrew poetry. I accepted the principle of measurement of Hebrew poetry by accents soon after I began to teach as Professor of Hebrew and cognate languages in Union Theological Seminary, in 1874; and from that time I have given much attention to the subject. My views were published in 1881 (‘Homiletic Quarterly’; ‘Biblical Study’, first edition, 1883).
§ 12. “The Psalms were composed in the parallelisms, measures, and strophical organisations of lyric poetry. When these have been determined with reference to any particular Psalm it is not difficult to see the changes that have been made in the original text.”….
§ 13. “Several Pss. give evidence that they were parts of longer Pss.”….
§ 14. “Many Pss. are composite of two or more original Pss. or parts of Pss. combined for liturgical purposes. Usually the original Pss. were of different poetic structure, and they are combined in various ways by editorial seams.”….(Examples: Psalms: 19; 24; 40; 60; 89; &c.)….
§ 16. “The text of the Psalter shows a large number of errors, just such as one would expect from its transmission through the hands of many different editors and copyists. There are essentially the same kinds of errors and subject to the same rules and principles of classification as those that are found in all Literature.”….”The most of the Pss. were composed in the ancient Hebrew script, resembling the Samaritan letters. They were transliterated into the Egyptian Aramaic script, and finally into the later square Aramaic letters. In each of these scripts errors arose from mistakes as to similar letters both in form and in sound; the transposition of letters in a word or of words in a sentence; the wrong attachment of letters to words, or of words to sentences; the transposition of clauses; and conjectures in the case of defective or illegible Mss.”….
§ 17. “A very large proportion of the changes in the text of the Psalms was due to corrections of the scribes and glossators, who for various reasons endeavoured to improve the text to make it more intelligible and useful.”….”The scribes corrected the text to make it more intelligible. The older writers were concise, and left many things to be inferred by the attentive reader. In the unpointed consonant text the words were not distinctly separated, and forms were written as briefly as possible, so that various interpretations were possible. There were also many abbreviations which might easily have been misunderstood.”….
§ 22. “With the rise of the Higher Criticism, the traditional opinion as to the Davidic authorship of the Psalter was questioned, and soon abandoned by all critics. At first editorship by Ezra and the Davidic authorship of only those Psalms which have David in their titles was proposed; but subsequently internal evidence showed this to be impossible, so that critical opinion gradually came to the result that the final editorship of the Psalter could not have been earlier than the Maccabean period, and that David wrote few, if any, of the Psalms, the most of them being postexilic.”….
§ 23. “The Higher Criticism of the Psalter depends chiefly upon the internal evidence of the Psalms themselves. The titles are valuable for traces of the history of their use ; but their contents, their interrelation, and their relation to other writings of the OT., give the only reliable evidence as to their origin and transmission.”….
§ 24. “The earliest term to appear in the titles was doubtless “Song” (shirah, shr, shiri, shirim) which, in some cases at least, was attached to the originals. It indicated a lyric poem used for singing, especially on joyous occasions; in later times especially in religious worship of praise, and by the Levitical choirs.”….(Examples: Psalms: 18:1 = 2nd Sam 22:; 45; 69; 46; 30;; 92; 108; &c.)….
§ 41. “Selah indicates the abbreviation of a psalm in liturgical use, and marks the place where the closing benediction might be sung. The word itself means: Lift up (the voice in praise). This
interpretation explains the tradition of & that it called for an “interlude,” and the Palestinian tradition, which represents it by the last word of the doxology, “forever.” The term was first attached to psalms in the Psalter of the Mizmorim. ft was used in the Director’s Psalter, and in the Collection of the Elohist, and it continued in use at least until the time of the Psalter of Solomon and the earliest portions of the Jewish Liturgy.”….
§ 43. “The Psalter represents many centuries of growth in the historical origin both of its Psalms, extending from the time of David to the Maccabean period, and of the various minor and major Psalters through which they passed, from the early Persian to the late Greek period, before the present Psalter was finally edited and arranged, in the middle of the second century B.C.”…. (Evolution of Psalter:) “We may assign 7 Pss. in their original form to the early Hebrew monarchy, before Jehoshaphat : 7, 13, 18, 23,24, 60, 110; 7 to the middle monarchy: 3, 20,21, 27, 45, 58, 61; and 13 to the late monarchy: 2, 19, 28, 36, 46, 52, 54,55,56, 60, 62, 72, 87; thus 27 to the period of the Hebrew monarchy. During the Exile 13 were composed: 42-43, 63, 74, 77, 79, 81,82, 84, 88,89, 90, 137, 142. In the early Persian period there was a great outburst of psalmody. As many as 33 Pss. were composed: 4, 6, 9-10, 11,12, 14 (=53), 16,17, 22, 25, 31,32. 34,35, 37,38,39, 41, 57, 59, 64, 69, 70 (= 40) 75,76, 78, 80, 83, 101, 109, 140, 143,144. This was due to several influences. The conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, which aroused the enthusiasm of the exilic Isaiah, called forth lyric songs. The rebuilding of the altar and temple, with the restoration of the worship in Jerusalem, as it was accompanied by prophetic voices, so also by those of lyric poets. The struggles of the pious with the unfaithful in the community, and with the neighbouring little nations, whose jealousy and hatred constantly interfered with the growth and prosperity of the people in Jerusalem, also naturally expressed itself in song. Toward the close of this period the collection of ‘Miktamim’, or golden poems, was made after the example of the older collection of the Book of Yashar. To the middle Persian period, the times of Nehemiah, we may assign 16 Pss.: 5, 8, 15, 26, 29,30, 40, 47, 51, 57, 65,66, 69, 138,139, 141; to the late Persian period, in which internal and external trouble was renewed, 11 Pss.: 27, 36, 44, 48,49,50, 68, 81, 85, 89, 102. In this last period the collection of ‘Maskilim’, or religious meditations, was made; also (DavidPss) was edited as a prayer-book for use in the synagogues, and soon after (KorahPss), more ornate in character. The conquest of Alexander introduced the Greek period, which in its early part was advantageous to the Jews. At the beginning of this period the great royal advent Ps. was composed, 93, 96-100, and soon after 8 other Pss.: 66,67, 73, 86, 91, 95, 108, 145. The Psalter of (AsaphPss) was prepared in Babylonia; and later in Palestine the Psalter of the ‘Mizmorim’, the first of the major Psalters, as a hymn-book for use in the synagogues. Toward the close of this period (DavidKorahPss) was made, using all the earlier Psalters, as a prayerbook for the synagogues, and directions were given for musical rendering. The later Greek period was troublous in Palestine, owing to the constant strife between the kings of Egypt and Syria, and to internal dissensions resulting therefrom. But in the East the Jews were less troubled. There in the early part of this period (ElhmPss) was prepared for synagogue use. To this period we may ascribe 11 Pss.: 1, 19, 24, 71, 77, 89, 92, 94, 103, 139, 144, and the elaborate praise of the Law, 119. In addition 14 Pilgrim Pss., 120-128, 130-134, were composed, and the Pilgrim Psalter collected in this period. Also 16 of the Hallels, 104-107, 111-117, 135-136, 146, 148, 150, were composed and edited in a collection. The Maccabean period began with the persecution of Antiochus and the rise of the Maccabees at the head of the patriotic party. They gradually triumphed, and organised the Maccabean dynasty & kingdom. To this period we may ascribe Pss. 33, 102,109,118, 139; also 129 of the Pilgrim Psalter, & 147, 149 of the Hallels. After the rededication of the temple the present Psalter was prepared, combining Pss. appropriate for use in the synagogue and in the temple, and using all the previous Psalters, especially (David’s, David Director’s,Elham’s Psalters) the Hallels, and the Pilgrim Pss. The collection was divided into three books. Toward the close of the second century the final editor divided it into five books and 150 Pss., in accordance with the same divisions of the Law, allowing for variations in usage.”….
(C. Canonicity of Psalter):
§ 44. “The Psalter was the first of the Writings to win canonical recognition, and it has maintained this recognition in the unanimous consent of Jew and Christian until the present day. The testimony of representative Jews and Christians in all ages is that the Psalter is a holy Book, divinely authoritative, the norm and guide of worship and religious experience.”….

(Briggs Commentary is very scholarly, & lexically thorough, perhaps more than any others, the 1st Psalm (“orphan” Psalm) is explored in 9 pages of small print; however Psalm 145:1-21 is only given 5 pages; but Psalms 119 is covered in 35 pages. His Translation is excellent.)

10: From: Treasury David, Original Expositions, Book of Psalms, etc. 7 Volumes by Charles H. Spurgeon. (1882)

     Preface (vol.1): “The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure; common gratitude constrains me to communicate to others a portion of the benefit, with the prayer that it may induce them to search further for themselves. That I have nothing better of my own to offer upon this peerless Book is to me matter of deepest regret; that I have anything whatever to present is subject for devout gratitude to the Lord of grace. I have done my best, but, conscious of many defects, I heartily wish I could have done far better. The Exposition here given is my own. I consulted a few authors before penning it, to aid me in interpretation and arouse my thoughts; but, still I can claim originality for my comments, at least so I honestly think. Whether they are better or worse for that, I know not; at least I know I have sought heavenly guidance while writing them, and therefore I look for a blessing on the printing of them. The collection of quotations· was an after-thought. In fact, matter grew upon me which I thought too good to throw away. It seemed to me that it might prove serviceable to others, if I reserved portions of my reading upon the various Psalms; those reserves soon acquired considerable bulk, so much so that even in this volume only specimens are given and not the bulk. One thing the reader will please clearly to understand, and I beg him to bear it in mind; “I am far from endorsing all I have quoted’. I am neither responsible for the scholarship or orthodoxy of the writers. The names are given that each author may bear his own burden; and a variety of writers have been quoted that the thoughts of many minds might be before the reader. Still I trust nothing evil has been admitted; if it be so it is an oversight……..It may be added, that although the comments were the work of my health, the rest of the volume is the product of my sickness. When protracted illness and weakness laid me aside from daily preaching, I resorted to my pen as an avail­ able means of doing good. I would have preached had I been able, but as my Master denied me the privilege of thus serving him, I gladly availed myself of the other method of bearing testimony for his name. O that He may give me fruit in this field also, and His shall be all the praise.”

Expositions of Psalms:
Psalm 1:
Title: This Psalm may be regarded as The Preface Psalm, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This, then, is the matter of the first Psalm, which may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a divine sermon.
Division: This Psalm consists of two parts: in the first (from verse 1 to the end of the 3rd) David sets out wherein the felicity and blessedness of a godly man consisteth, what his exercises are, and what blessings he shall receive from the Lord. In the second part (from verse 4 to the end) he contrasts the state and character of the ungodly, reveals the future, and describes, in telling language, his ultimate doom.
Exposition:……

Psalm 2:
Title: We shall not greatly err in our summary of this sublime Psalm if we call it The Psalm of Messiah The Prince: for it sets forth, as in a wondrous vision, the tumult of the people against the Lord’s Anointed, the determinate purpose of God to exalt His own Son, and the ultimate reign of that Son over all His enemies. Let us read it with the eye of faith, beholding, as in a glass, the final triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over all His enemies. Lowth has the following remarks upon this Psalm: “The establishment of David upon his throne, notwithstanding the opposition made to it by his enemies, is the subject of the Psalm. David sustains in it a twofold character, literal and allegorical. If we read over the Psalm, first with an eye to the literal David, the meaning is obvious, and put beyond all dispute by the sacred history. There is indeed an uncommon glow in the expression and sublimity in the figures, and the diction is now and then exaggerated, as it were on purpose to intimate, and lead us to the contemplation of higher and more important matters concealed within. In compliance with this admonition, if we take another survey of the Psalm as relative to the person and concerns of the spiritual David, a noble series of events immediately rises to view, and the meaning becomes more evident, as well as more exalted. The colouring which may perhaps seem too bold and glaring for the King of Israel, will no longer appear so when laid upon his great Antitype. After we have thus attentively considered the subjects apart, let us look at them together, and we shall behold the full beauty and majesty of this most charming poem. We shall perceive the two senses very distinct from each other, yet conspiring in perfect harmony, and bearing a wonderful resemblance in every feature and lineament, while the analogy between them is so exactly preserved, that either may pass for the original from whence the other was copied. New light is continually cast upon the phraseology, fresh weight and dignity are added to the sentiments, till, gradually ascending from things below to things above, from human affairs to those that are Divine, they bear the great important theme upwards with them, and at length place it in the height and brightness of heaven.”
Division: This Psalm will be best understood if it be viewed as a fourfold picture. (In verses 1,2,3) the Nations are raging; (4 to 6) the Lord in heaven derides them; (7 to 9) the Son proclaims the decree; and (from 10 to end) advice is given to the kings to yield obedience to the Lord’s Anointed. This division is not only suggested by the sense, but is warranted by the poetic form of the Psalm, which naturally falls into four stanzas of three verses each.
Exposition:….
….”The first Psalm was a contrast between the righteous man and the sinner; the second Psalm is a
contrast between the tumultuous disobedience of the ungodly world and the sure exaltation of the righteous Son of God. In the first Psalm, we saw the wicked driven away like chaff; in the second Psalm, we see them broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel. In the first Psalm, we beheld the righteous like a tree planted by the rivers of water ; and here, we contemplate Christ the Covenant Head of the righteous, made better than a tree planted by the rivers of water, for ‘He’
is made King of all the islands, and all the heathen bow before Him and kiss the dust; while He Himself gives a blessing to all those ­who put their trust in Him. The two Psalms are worthy of the very deepest attention; they are, in fact, the preface to the entire Book of Psalms, and were by some of the ancients, joined into one. They are, however, two Psalms; for Paul speaks of this as the second Psalms (Acts 13:33). The first shows us the character und lot of the righteous; and the
next teaches us that the Psalms are Messianic, and speak of Christ the Messiah —the Prince who shall reign from the river even unto the ends of the earth. That they have both a far-reaching prophetic outlook we are well assured, but we do not feel competent to open up that matter, and must leave it to abler hands”……

11: From: Family Prayer Book, Book Common Prayer, Psalms, etc. Protestant Episcopal Church, by Thomas C. Brownell, LLD. (1868)

     Order for Daily Morning & Evening Prayer: Minister shall begin Morning & Evening Prayer, by reading one or more of the following Sentences of Scripture: (Hab. 2:20; Mal. 1:11; Ps. 19:14; Ezek. 18:27; Ps. 51:3; Ps. 51:9; Ps. 51:17; Joel 2:13; Dan. 9:9,10; Jer. 10:24. Ps. 6:1; St Matt. 3:2; St Luke 15:18,19; Ps. 143:2; 1st John 1:8,9.)
(1.) Under the Law, daily morning & evening devotions were enjoined by God, on all the Israelites. —”Thou shalt offer upon the altar two lambs of the first year day by day continually; the one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, & the other lamb thou shalt offer at even.” This ordinance was constantly observed by the Jews, during the continuance of their city & polity. It was probably on this account that the primitive Christians set apart these periods as times for solemn worship. And like all the divine ordinances their institution is most consonant to reason, & the fitness of things. Every morning when we awake, we receive, as it were anew, our life from God. —When We arise from our beds, to go forth amidst the cares & temptations of the world, & the dangers & business of the day, nothing can be more reasonable than that we should offer to our merciful Preserver our thanksgivings for his care over us during the unguarded moments of sleep, & for all the blessings He is constantly conferring on us; & that we should supplicate his guidance & protection through the day, as well as his favour & blessing on the work of our hands. —In the evening, too, the same reasons call us to a renewal of the same duties of devotion. Retiring from the labours & vanities of the day, & when our exhausted spirits dispose us to sink down upon our beds, in the attitude & image of death, reason requires of us, that as dying men, we should supplicate the pardon of “God for our omissions of duty, as well as for our follies and positive transgressions; & that we should again commend ourselves to His protection who never slumbers nor sleeps.
But besides the public devotions of the morning & evening, many of the devout Jews were in the habit of retiring to their closets, in the middle of the day for the purpose of private worship. And we have reason to believe that this custom was adopted by the early Christians. We learn that St Peter, “went upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour,” which corresponds with our noon. And we find that this was a common period of Christian worship, in the time of St Cyprian, & Clement of Alexandria. It was not long after, that the Monks, who professed to be more devout than other Christians, added other hours of stated prayer. These stated periods of daily devotion had increased to seven, in the time of Pope Pelagius the 2nd, who established them by a decree, & provided offices of devotion for the several “Canonical hours.” —At the period of the Reformation, our parent Church of England brought back the periods of public worship to the primitive usage, and enjoined only “daily morning & evening prayer.”
But though the Church has appointed these two periods of public worship, she does not thereby excuse any of her children from the essential duty of private devotion. Stated periods for retirement to the closet are salutary for all men. We may worship God, indeed, at any period of the day, & in the midst of our business, by short mental ejaculations, but the use of stated times for private devotion cannot be too highly estimated. Such is the constitution of our nature, that a duty, which we think can be performed at any time, we are apt to defer altogether, unless we regulate our conduct by fixed rules.
In the Cathedral Churches, in England, the regular morning service is constantly performed. But the circumstances of country parishes will not admit of this daily public worship; nor is it practicable in the Parish Churches of this country. But though the dispersed residences, and the secular avocations of Christians, will nor permit them to assemble daily for public worship, none ran be excused for the neglect of Family Devotions. And the American branch of the Church, has set forth “Forms of Prayer to be used in Families,” well suited to their circumstances and their wants. —Those heads of Families, therefore, who live in the habitual neglect of these daily morning & evening devotions, frustrate the benevolent intentions of the Church, & lose one of the most interesting bands of the domestic state: while they are deficient in a duty enjoined not less by the dictates of reason than the authority of Scripture. (T.C.B)
(2.) Prayer is the elevation of the soul to a communion with God; & is commanded by Him as a duty, through the pious & faithful performance of which we obtain all the especial blessings we enjoy. It is a high honour to us that we are permitted & assisted to hold this intercourse, and it is also a source of inestimable benefits to us. But it is a duty of difficult performance. Our attention should be wholly engrossed in the solemn act we are engaged in. The worldly objects which commonly occupy our thoughts must be excluded. Our souls must be suitably humbled under a sense of our unworthiness, & brought to a proper state of serenity by a contemplation of the paternal goodness of God, and the atonement and mediation of the Saviour. [page 62] Hence it results that some preparation of the mind is necessary before we enter upon the sacred duties of devotion.—It is the custom of the Jews, when they enter their synagogues for worship, to stand silent for some time, to meditate on the presence and perfections of God. And in the early ages of Christianity, it was the custom of the Priest to prepare the people’s hearts for worship, by the use of a suitable preface. In imitation of this primitive usage, the Church has prescribed the sentences of Scripture, the reading of which are enjoined by the foregoing Rubrick…….

(18.) The Book of Psalms, is that collection of sacred hymns, which were composed by devout members of the Jewish Church, for the purpose of praising God, both on public and private occasions. They are usually called the Psalms of David, from his composing the greater part of them. The other authors, whose names are mentioned, are Asaph, Ethan, Heman, Moses, and Solomon, but to each of the four last is ascribed only a single psalm; except we suppose that Solomon wrote the 72nd as well as the 127th. Of the 150, about 70 are expressly attributed to David; and there is internal evidence that others, which do not bear his name, are of his composition. From the number and excellence of David’s psalms, he is, in the records of his own times, styled “the Sweet Psalmist of Israel.”
Being not merely works of human ingenuity, but dictated by the Spirit of God, they are adapted to ail states and conditions of the Church. They are found to be as useful to Christians of the present day, as they were formerly to the Jews, or even to the persons themselves by whom they were originally written. From this comprehensive character, and from the intrinsic merits of subject and composition, the psalms have always deservedly been held in the highest estimation. Whatever difference of opinion may have existed among the ancient Christians, either with regard to speculative points of theology, or external forms of worship, all agreed in the use of these hymns, as the most effectual instrument of devotion.
“The ancients, when they speak of the psalms,” says Hooker, “use to fall into large discourses, shewing how this part, above the rest, doth of purpose set forth and celebrate all the considerations & operations, which belong to God: it magnifieth the holy meditations and actions of divine men: it is of things heavenly & universal declaration, working in them whose hearts God inspireth with a due consideration thereof, an habit or disposition of mind, whereby they are made fit vessels both for receipt, and for delivery of whatsoever spiritual perfection. What is there necessary for men to know, which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners an easy and familiar introduction, a mighty augmentation of all virtue & knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, unwearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come, all good necessarily to be either known, done, or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief, or disease incident to the soul of man, any wound, or sickness named, for which there is not in this treasure house a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found. This is the very cause, why we iterate the Psalms oftener than any other part of Scripture besides; the cause wherefore we inure the people together with their minister, and not the minister alone, to read them, as other parts of Scripture he doth.” (Shepherd)
It is certain the temple service consisted chiefly of forms taken out of this Book of Psalms, 1st Chron.16:1, 7-37; 1st Chron. 25:1,2; & the prayers of the modern Jews are also most chiefly gathered from thence. The Christians undoubtedly used them in their public service in the Apostles’ times. 1st Cor. 14:26; Col. 3:16; and in the following ages it is plain, that they sang the Psalms in the Church by turns, each side answering the other, indeed it appears the Psalms were placed about the beginning of the Prayers, soon after the Confession; & that they were so often repeated at Church, that the poorest Christians could say them by heart, and used to sing them at their labours, in their houses, & in their fields. The author of them, holy David, first set them to vocal & instrumental music; & pious antiquity did use them in their assemblies with music also; & so we may very fitly do, where we have convenience, for this makes our Churches the very emblem of the heavenly choir, which is always represented as praising God in this manner: and experience shews, that music works very much on the affections of well tempered men; it calms their minds; composes their thoughts; excites their devotion; & fills their soul with a mighty pleasure, while they thus set forth his praise.
The Church having thus fitted the Psalms for daily use, it is our duty to say or sing them with great devotion; & if we have performed the foregoing parts of the Liturgy as we ought, nothing can fit us better to sing David’s Psalms with David’s spirit; for all that hath been done hitherto was to tune our hearts, that we may say, “O God, my heart is ready,” or fixed: “I will sing & give praise,” Ps. 108:1. And, as St. Basil notes, this frame of spirit is more necessary in the use of the Psalms, than of any other part of Scripture, the rest being only read to us, but every man is to repeat these as his own words. (Dean Comber.)
As it is so primitive and useful an order to have the Psalms thus read; & as this “Psalter” is an entire body of devotion, having different forms, to exercise several graces, by way of internal act & spiritual intentions, containing in it, confessions, thanksgivings, prayers, praises, and intercessions; let every one be sure to do it standing, sitting being only allowed whilst the Lessons or the Epistle is reading. (Collis.)

(19.) The Christian Church has uniformly appointed the Psalms to be repeated oftener than any other part of Scripture, excepting only that divine form of prayer, which was taught by our Lord Himself, & in our Church makes apart of every service. “Christians,” says Chrysostom, “exercise themselves in David’s Psalms oftener than in any part of the Old, or New Testament —Moses the great Law-giver, who saw God face to face, & wrote of the creation of the world, is scarcely read through once a year. The Holy Gospels, where Christ’s miracles are preached, where God converses with man, where devils are cast out, lepers are cleansed, & the blind restored to sight, where death is destroyed, where is the food for immortality, the holy sacraments, the words of life, holy precepts, precious promises; these we read over once or twice a week. What shall I say of blessed Paul, the preacher of Christ ? His Epistles we read twice in the week. We get them not by heart, but attend to them while they are reading. —But as to David’s Psalms, the grace of the Holy Spirit has so ordered it, that they are repeated night & day. In the vigils of the church, the first, the midst, the last, are David’s Psalms. In the morning, David’s Psalms are sought for, & the first, the midst, & the last, is David. At funeral solemnities, the first, the midst & the last, is David. In private houses the first, the midst, & the last, is David. —Many that know not a letter can say David’s Psalms by heart.”
Jerome tells us, that “in the morning, at the 3rd, 6th, & 9th hour, in the evening, & at midnight, David’s Psalms are sung over in order, & no man is suffered to be ignorant of David’s Psalms.”
From the times of the Apostles, the recitation of Psalms has every where formed one principal part of the service of the Church. Some of the early Christians, in particular those of the East, rehearsed sometimes 20, sometimes 60 psalms in a day. About the year 350, in the Churches of Egypt, 12 were repeated in the morning, and the same number in the evening. This practice made its way into the western Church; for from Jerome we learn, that the whole Book of Psalms was read over once in 7 days. If 24 were read every day, the whole would be read in somewhat less than a week.
With us the Psalms are recited much oftener than any other part of Scripture, & thus far our established practice corresponds with the usage of the ancient Church. At the same time, that all the Psalms may be read in course, and that our Morning & Evening Prayer may not tire or disgust by its prolixity, we assign, for this purpose, the term of thirty days. (Shepherd.)
Standing has usually been considered as the most proper attitude for praise & thanksgiving. Accordingly we find that, in the ancient Church, the Psalms were almost universally recited in this posture. (Shepherd.)
The alternate recitation of the Psalms is not, as far as I at present recollect, enjoined by any Rubrick, nor by any other injunction of our Church. But we uniformly adopt it, & in defence of our practice, we have to allege, that it is perfectly congenial to the usage of antiquity, is sanctioned by the recommendation of the wisest and best among the fathers, has been ratified by respectable councils, & the most approved ecclesiastical laws, & is obviously calculated to keep up the attention, & assist the devotion of the people. (Shepherd.)

(20.) In some parts of the eastern Church Gloria Patri was formerly repeated at the end of the last psalm, which was called Alleluja, because they always selected for the concluding psalm one of those which had the title Alleluja (Hallelujah, Hallelu-Yah) prefixed. The concluding psalm was likewise called Antiphona, or the Antiphonial Psalm, from its being recited in alternate portions, that is, nearly in the same manner in which we repeat all the Psalms.
The ancient practice, however, of all the western Churches, (that of Rome alone excepted) was to repeat Gloria Patri at the end of every psalm. There is a peculiar propriety in this. The Doxology serves for a general application to each psalm. And as a penitential psalm may be followed by a psalm of thanksgiving, & that succeeded by one of adoration or prophecy, if they were not separated by this Doxology,or something of the like nature, subjects very distant and distinct might be strangely & improperly united. (Shepherd.)

(22.) From the Exhortation, at the opening of the service, we learn that one principal end of our meeting together in the house of God, is, “to hear His most holy word.” After reciting a portion of the Psalms there is a peculiar propriety in reading other parts of Holy Scripture. Our minds being elevated, & our affections warmed, by celebrating the praises of God, we are prepared to listen with attention & reverence to the history of His providence, the dispensation of his grace, and the rules of our duty. Here therefore follow, with the intervention only of a hymn, two lessons, the first taken from the Old Testament, the second from the New. The course pursued by the Church points out the order & disposition of the two covenants, and shews the harmony and connexion that exists be tween them. (Shepherd.)
After the Psalms follow the Lessons. For having, according to the Exhortation, “set forth God’s most worthy praise,” we proceed to ” hear His most holy word.” And then a respite is given to the bent of the mind: for, whereas in the work of praising it was active, in hearing it is only attentive. Besides, a different faculty of the soul is now called into employment. In the Psalms the will and affections were employed; but now in the Lessons chiefly the understanding. And, as with the members of the body, so with the faculties of the mind, a change of employment prevents weariness, & affords relief. (Dr. Bisse, Dr. Bennet.) He, which prayeth in due sort, is thereby made the more attentive to hear; and he, which heareth, the more earnest to pray. (Hooker.)
That they, who are blessed with a revelation from God, should read & hear it with reverence, when they assemble to worship Him, is a plain dictate of reason and religion. Accordingly the Jews “read Moses & the Prophets in their synagogues of old time,” as the book of Acts informs us, Acts 13:27, 15:21; & so indeed do writers of their own, in the same age with it: who boast of the practice as a most useful & honourable distinction peculiar to their nation, that the laws of life were thus published to all the people. The primitive Christians, as one of the earliest apologists for them, Justin Martyr, tells us, read at their meeting, both the Jewish prophets, and the writings of the apostles, in proper portions. And when the Church of Rome had broken them into small fragments, interrupted with other things; & had continued to read even these in Latin, after it was no longer understood; our Church rectified both errors; & hath taken care that the Old Testament should be gone through once a year and the New thrice. Only we omit some parts of the former; which are repetitions of what is related in other parts, or bare lists of genealogies and families, or too mystical & abstruse to be edifying in publick; on which last account we omit also the book of Revelation, excepting two or three chapters; matters of such difficulty being wisely thought fitter for the private meditation and study of those, who are qualified to engage in them…….(Abp. Secker.)

Notes Introductory to Psalms:
“The Psalms are an epitome of the Bible, adapted to the purposes of devotion. They treat occasionally of the creation and formation of the world; the dispensations of Providence, and the economy of grace; the transactions of the patriarchs; the exodus of the children of Israel; their journey through the wilderness, and settlement in Canaan; their law, priesthood, and ritual; the exploits of their great men, wrought through faith; their sins and captivities; their repentances and restorations; the sufferings and victories of David; the peaceful and happy reign of Solomon; the advent of Messiah, with its effects and consequences; His Incarnation, Birth, Life, Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, Kingdom, and Priesthood; the effusion of the Spirit; the conversion of the nations; the rejection of the Jews; the establishment, increase, and perpetuity of the Christian Church; the end of the world; the general judgment; the condemnation of the wicked, and the final triumph of the righteous with their Lord and King. These are the subjects here presented to our meditations. We are instructed how to conceive of them aright, and to express the different affections which, when so conceived of, they must excite in our minds. They are, for this purpose, adorned with the figures, & set off with all the graces, of poetry; & poetry itself is designed yet farther to be recommended by the charms of music, thus consecrated to the service of God; that so delight may prepare the way for improvement, & pleasure become the handmaid of wisdom, while every turbulent passion is calmed by sacred melody, & the evil spirit is still dispossessed by the harp of the son of Jesse. This little volume, like the paradise of Eden, affords us in perfection, though in miniature, everything that groweth elsewhere, “every tree that is pleasant to the sight, & good for food :” & above all, that was there lost, but is here restored, the tree of life in the midst of the garden. That which we read, as matter of speculation, in the other Scriptures, is reduced to practice, when we recite it in the Psalms; in those, repentance & faith are described, but in these, they are acted; by a perusal of the former, we learn how others served God, but, by using the latter, we serve Him ourselves. “What is there necessary for man to know,” says the pious and judicious Hooker, “which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners an easy & familiar introduction a mighty augmentation of all virtue & knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect among others. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, repentance unfeigned, unwearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come; all good necessary to be either known, or done, or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident unto the soul of man, any wound or sickness named, for which there is not, in this treasure-house, a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found.” In the language of this divine Book, therefore, the prayers & praises of the Church have been offered up to the throne of grace, from age to age. And it appears to have been the manual of the Son of God in the days of His flesh; who, at the conclusion of His last supper, is generally supposed, and that upon good grounds, to have sung a hymn taken from it who pronounced, on the cross, the beginning of the 22d Psalm; “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” and expired with a part of the 31st Psalm in His mouth; “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” Thus He, who had not the Spirit by measure, in Whom were hidden all the treasures of wisdom & knowledge, & who spake as never man spake, yet chose to conclude his life, to solace himself in his greatest agony, and at last to breathe out his soul, in the Psalmist’s form of words rather than his own. No tongue of man or angel, as Dr Hammond justly observes, can convey a higher idea of any book, & of their felicity who use it aright. (Bp. Horne.)
The Psalms very justly make a principal part of the joint praises, that we offer up to God. For though several of them were composed on particular occasions, yet they are plainly fitted for general use; & their insertion into the canon of Scripture proves them to be designed for it: the Jews anciently recited them in the temple, and do still in their synagogues: the New Testament hath recommended them to the Christians , & the whole Church hath sung them ever since. Indeed the subject matter of them is very different: but those of joy are much more numerous, than any other sort: & all of them afford ground of praise at least; the doctrinal, the exhortatory, the historical, as well as the rest. Even the plaintive & petitionary minister cause of thanksgiving to Him, who hath promised to hear, & support, & deliver; & make all “things work together for good to them, that love Him.” Rom. 8:28. Glory therefore to the blessed Three (in) One is a fit conclusion to every Psalm.
But in reading them it must be carefully observed, & may with moderate care be commonly distinguished, in whose person the several sentences are spoken. In some Psalms, or portions of Psalms, it is God, or Christ; in others it is wicked men, that speak. These we must repeat as their sayings: & none as our own, but what were intended for us. Even the words of the Psalmist, if we are to adopt them, may frequently seem so unapplicable to the outward condition, or inward frame, of many in every congregation, that, if they attend to them, they cannot say them with truth. ‘But most of them all good people may say, even of themselves singly, with much truth. For they have constantly enemies, temporal or spiritual, afflictions more or less heavy, valuable mercies, & at times warm feelings of pious dispositions: which, if not present, may be so recalled, & made their own again, as to be very sincerely expressed to God. And what they cannot say in their own name separately, they may truly say in the name of Christ’s Church, of which they are members: & they ought, & surely do, bear some share of the mercies & sufferings, the fears & desires, of every part of it, in every state. And as David, in some of his Psalms, takes on him the person of Christ; in others he seems to take that of his disciples; & to speak, not in any one particular character, but as representing the whole body of believers. Or if there be any passages, which neither of these methods will suit: still we may rehearse them as expressing the case of some eminent worthy of old times, and be affected by it accordingly: for we often are strongly affected by the circumstances, well described, not only of distant but of imaginary persons. We may consider, as we go on, the likeness, or the difference, between his situation, his temper, & our own: and raise from it many reflections of sympathy & caution, of humiliation, encouragement, & thankfulness. Thus, at least, we may bring every thing we say, home to ourselves: & by so doing furnish our minds with a most valuable store of devout thoughts and language, perhaps for many future occasions of our own or others. For the Book of Psalms is so in exhaustible a treasure of every branch of piety, that a more constant use of it, than of any other in the whole Bible hath, with very just reason, been appointed in public forms of prayer, and recommended in private ones.
It may be objected, that in several of them David utters most bitter imprecations against his enemies: in which, to say nothing harsher, we cannot follow him; for the rule of the New Testament is, “Bless & curse not.” Rom. 12:14. But indeed most, if not all, the places, which appear wishes ot evil, may, according to the confessed import of the original, be understood only as predictions of it. Or, supposing them wishes, David might be directed by infinite wisdom to pronounce them even against the opposer of his reigning over Israel; who opposed, at the same time, the known decree of Providence. Repeating them in this view, solely as his, must be innocent: & strongly suggest an important admonition, “not to fight against God.” Acts 23:9. But perhaps in some of these, as well as other passages, he speaks in the person of the whole Church of God, against all its irreconcilable adversaries, whoever they be. Such was Judas: to whom therefore the two most dreadful of these Psalms are applied, (Acts 1:20:) &, with the utmost tenderness to the whole of God’s creation, we may & must desire the overthrow of them, who obstinately hate Him & His laws. For, though we ought much more to desire the repentance, than the death of a sinner, as He Himself doth: yet if they will not repent, we ought to think & speak with approbation & satisfaction, yet mixed with an awful concern, of their punishments here, & sentence hereafter: which last St Paul represents good persons, as joining to pronounce: “Do ye not know, that the saints shall judge the world?” 1st Cor. 6:2. ( Abp. Secker.)
Very few of the Psalms, comparatively, appear to be simply prophetical, & to belong only to Messiah, without the intervention of any other person. Most of them, it is apprehended, have a double sense, which stands upon this ground and foundation, that the ancient patriarchs, prophets, priests, & kings, were typical characters, in their several offices, & in the more remarkable passages of their lives, their extraordinary depressions, & miraculous exaltations, foreshewing Him who was to arise, as the Head of the holy Family, the great Prophet, the true Priest, the everlasting King. The Israelitish polity, & the law of Moses, were purposely framed after the example & shadow of things spiritual & heavenly; & the events, which happened to the ancient people of God, were designed to shadow out parallel occurrences, which should afterwards take place, in the accomplishment of man’s redemption, & the rise & progress of the Christian Church. For this reason, the Psalms composed for the use of Israel, & Israel’s monarch, and by them accordingly used at the time, do admit of an application to us, who are now, “the Israel of God,” & our Redeemer who is the King of Israel. (Bp. Horne.)
It would be an arduous and adventurous undertaking to attempt to lay down the rules observed in the conduct of the Mystic Allegory; so diverse are the modes in which the Holy Spirit has thought proper to communicate His counsels to different persons upon different occasions; inspiring and directing the minds of the prophets according to His good pleasure; at one time vouchsafing more full & free discoveries of future events; while, at another, He is more obscure and sparing in His intimations. From hence ariseth of course a great variety in the Scripture usage of this kind of allegory, as to the manner in which the spiritual sense is couched under the other. Sometimes it can hardly break forth & shew itself at intervals through the literal, which meets the eye as the ruling sense, & seems to have taken entire possession of the words & phrases. On the contrary, it is much oftener the capital figure of the piece, & stands confessed at once by such splendour of language, that the letter, in its turn, is thrown into shades, & almost totally disappears. Sometimes it shines with a constant equable light; & sometimes it darts upon us an a sudden, like a flash of lightning from the clouds. But a composition is never more truly elegant & beautiful than when two senses, alike conspicuous, run parallel together through the whole poem, mutually corresponding with, and illustrating each other. I will produce an undoubted instance or two of this kind, which will shew my meaning, & confirm what has hitherto been advanced on the subject of the mystic allegory.
The establishment of David upon his throne, notwithstanding the opposition made to it by his enemies, is the subject of the second Psalm. David sustains in it a twofold character, literal & allegorical. If we read over the Psalm first with an eye to the literal David, the meaning is obvious & put out of all dispute by the sacred history. There is indeed an uncommon glow in the expression, & sublimity in the figures, & the diction is now & then exaggerated as it were on purpose to intimate, & lead us to the contemplation of higher & more important matters concealed within. In compliance with this admonition, if we take another survey of the Psalm, as related to the person and concerns of the spiritual David, a noble series of events instantly rises to view, and the meaning becomes more evident as well as exalted. The colouring which may perhaps seem too bold and glaring for the king of Israel, will no longer appear so, when laid upon his great Antitype. After we have thus attentively considered the subjects apart, let us look at them together, and we shall behold the full beauty and majesty of this most charming poem. We shall perceive the two senses, very distinct from each other, yet conspiring in perfect harmony, & bearing a wonderful resemblance in every feature & lineament, while the analogy between them is so exactly preserved, that either may pass for the original, from which the other was copied. New light is continually cast upon the phraseology, fresh weight & dignity are added to the sentiment, till gradually ascending from things below to things above, from human affairs to those which are divine, they bear the great important theme upwards with them, & at length place it in the height and brightness of heaven.
What hath been observed with regard to this Psalm, may also be applied to the 72nd; the subject of which is of the same kind, & treated in the same manner. Its title might be, ‘The Inauguration of Solomon’. The scheme of the allegory is like in both; but a diversity of matter occasions an alteration in the diction. For whereas one is employed in celebrating the magnificent triumphs of victory, it is the design of the other to draw a pleasing picture of peace, & of that felicity, which is her inseparable attendant. The style is therefore of a more even & temperate sort, and more richly ornamented. It aboundeth not with those sudden changes of the person speaking which dazzle & astonish; but the imagery is borrowed from the delightful scenes with which creation cheers the sight, & the pencil of the divine artist is dipped in the soft colours of nature. And here we may take notice how peculiarly adapted to the genius of this kind of allegory the parabolical style is, on account of the great variety of natural images to be found in it. For as these images are capable of being employed in the illustration of things divine & human, between which there is a certain analogy maintained, so they easily afford that ambiguity which is necessary in this species of composition, where the Ianguage is applicable to each sense, and obscure in neither; it comprehends both parts of the allegory and may be clearly & distinctly referred to one or the other. (Bp. Lowth.)
The offence taken at the supposed uncharitable & vindictive spirit of the imprecations which occur in some of the Psalms, ceases immediately if we change the imperative for the future, and read not “Let Them Be Confounded,” &c, but, “They Shall Be Confounded,” &c, of which the Hebrew is equally capable. Such passages will then have no more difficulty in them, than the other frequent predictions of divine vengeance in the writings of the prophets or denunciations of it in the gospel intended to warn, to alarm, and to lead sinners to repentance that they may fly from the wrath to come. This is Dr. Hammond’s observation; who very properly remarks, at the same time, that in many places of this sort, as particularly in Psalm 109 (and the same may be said of Psalm 69) it is reasonable to resolve that Christ Himself speaketh in the prophet; as being the person there principally concerned, and the completion most signal in many instances there mentioned: the succession especially of Matthias to the apostleship of Judas. It is true, that in the citation made by St Peter from Psalm 109 in Acts 1:20, as also in that made by St Paul from Psalm 109 in Romans 11:9, the imperative form is preserved; “Let his habitation be void,” &c.; ” Let their table be made a snare,” &c. But it may be considered that the apostles generally cited from the Greek of the LXX version; and took it as they found it, making no alterations, when the passage as it there stood, was sufficient to prove the main point which it was adduced to prove. If the imprecatory form be still contended for, all that can be meant by it, whether uttered by the prophet, by Messiah, or by ourselves, must be a solemn ratification of the just judgments of the Almighty against his impenitent enemies, like what we find ascribed to the blessed in heaven when such judgments were executed. Rev. 11:17,18; 16:5,6,7. See Merrick’s Annotations on Psalm 109 & Witsie’s Miscellan. Sacr. Lib. 1 Cap. 18 Sect. 24. But by the future rendering of the verbs, every possible objection is precluded at once. (Bp. Horne.)
Greatness confers no exemption from the cares & sorrows of life. Its share of them frequently bears a melancholy proportion to its exaltation. This the Israelitish monarch experienced. He sought in piety that peace which he could not find in empire, and alleviated the disquietudes of state with the exercises of devotion.
His invaluable Psalms convey those comforts to others, which they afforded to himself. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for Israelites under the Law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the Gospel; they present religion to us in the most engaging dress; communicating truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit, & to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination, Indited under the influence of Him to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations, grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily more & more heightened; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellences, will desire to taste them again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.
And now, could the author flatter himself that any one would take half the pleasure in reading the following exposition, which he hath taken in writing it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle & hurry of life, the air of politics, & the noise of folly; vanity & vexation flew away for a season, care & disquietude came not near his dwelling. He arose, fresh as the morning, to his task; the silence of the night invited him to pursue it; and he can truly say that food & rest were not preferred before it.
Every psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness but the last; for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier hours than those which he spent upon these meditations on the Songs of Sion, he never expects to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass and moved smoothly & swiftly along; for, when thus engaged he counted no time. They have gone but have left a relish & fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance of them is sweet. (Bp. Horne.)
That the reader may the more easily turn to such Psalms as will best suit the present state of his mind, according to the different circumstances, whether external or internal, into which, by the changes & chances of life, or the variations of temper & disposition, he may, at any time, be thrown, the common Table of Psalms, classed under their several subjects, is here subjoined.

Prayers:
I. Prayers for Pardon of sin. (Forgiveness) Psalm 6, 25, 38, 51,130. Psalms styled Penitential, 6, 32, 38, 51, 102,130,143.
II. Prayers composed when the Psalmist was Deprived of an opportunity for the public exercise of religion. Psalm 42,43, 63, 84.
III. Prayers wherein the Psalmist seems extremely Dejected, though not totally Deprived of consolation, under his Afflictions. Psalm 13, 22, 69, 77, 88, 143.
IV. Prayers wherein the Psalmist asketh Help of God in consideration of his own integrity, & the uprightness of his cause. Psalm 7, 17, 26, 35.
V. Prayers expressing the firmest Trust & Confidence in God under Afflictions. Psalm 3, 16, 27, 31, 54, 56,57, 61,62, 71, 86.
VI. Prayers composed when the people of God were under Affliction or Persecution. Psalm 44, 60, 74, 79,80, 83, 89, 94, 102, 123, 137.
VII. The following are likewise Prayers in time of Trouble & Affliction. Psalm 4,5, 11, 28, 41, 55, 59, 64, 70, 109, 120, 140,141,142.
VIII. Prayers of Intercession. Psalm 20, 67, 122, 132, 144.

Psalms of Thanksgiving:
I. Thanksgivings for Mercies vouchsafed to particular persons. Psalm 9, 18, 21, 30, 34, 40, 75, 103, 108, 116, 118, 138, 144.
II. Thanksgivings for Mercies vouchsafed to the Israelites in general. Psalm 46, 48, 65, 66, 68, 76, 81, 85, 98, 105, 124, 126, 129, 135, 136, 149.

Psalms of Praise & Adoration, displaying the Attributes of God,
I. General acknowledgments & praise of God’s Goodness & Mercy, & particularly His Care & Protection of good men. Psalm 23, 34, 36, 91, 100, 103, 107, 117, 121, 145,146.
II. Psalms displaying the power, majesty, glory, & other attributes of the Divine Being. Psalm 8, 19, 24, 29, 33, 47, 50, 65,66, 76,77, 93, 95,96,97, 99, 104, 111, 113,114,115, l34, 139, 147,148, 150.

Instructive Psalms:
I. The different characters of Good & Bad men: the Happiness of the one, & the Miseries of
the other, are represented in the following Psalms, 1, 5, 7, 9,10,11,12, 14,15, 17, 24,25, 32, 34, 36,37, 50, 52,53, 58, 73, 75, 84, 91,92, 94, 112, 119, 121, 125, 127,128, 133.
II. The excellence of God’s Law (& Word). Psalm 19, 119.
III. The Vanity of human life. Psalm 39, 49, 90.
IV. Advice to Magistrates. Psalm 82, 101.
V. The virtue of Humility. Psalm 131.

Psalms more eminently & directly Prophetical. Psalm 2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 68, 72, 87, 110, 118.

Historical Psalms: Psalm 78, 105, 106. (Bp. Horne.)

Short Vocabulary:
Giving the signification of some old English words used in this translation, but not commonly spoken or written in this age, at least not in that sense in which our Translators took them.
(Abridged from ” Holy David and his old English Translators clear’d,” 8vo. 1706.)

Beast: ‘Any living creature, except man’; not only our Translators, but Mr. Ainsworth, calls serpents and fish “beasts.” Gen. 3:1; Psal. 104:25. And indeed our last Translators do the same; which shews that the word was taken in this sense for above sixty years after this translation was made.

Blaspheme: ‘To speak reproachfully either of God or man’. If we respect the etymology only it is more properly applicable to man, than to God: for it properly signifies to ‘hurt the fame or credit of another’. Ps. 4:2.

Blasphemy: ‘Reproach, or slander’, either against God, or man. Ps. 73:8.
Commune: ‘To discourse familiarly, to confer notes’.
Counsel: ‘Design, device, decree’, or ‘resolution’ & not only advice, or direction, as it is now commonly taken. Ps. 33:10.
Eschew: ‘Avoid, shun, decline’.
Fain: ‘Glad, merry’. We now use it adverbially, namely, ” I would fain,” that is, ‘gladly’ but we do not commonly use it as an adjective as our ancestors did. See Ps. 71:21.
Flitting: A ‘hasty removal’, or ‘flight’. It is still used in this sense in some parts of England. Ps. 54:8.
Flood: A ‘river’ or ‘stream’. See Ps. 72:8; 89:26. It should seem this word retained this signification commonly in our language at the beginning of the seventeenth century; for our last Translators use it in this sense. Josh. 24:3; Ps. 98:8.
Health: ‘Safety, protection, power of saving, salvation’ both spiritual and temporal. It evidently comes from the old English hael, which had the very same signification. Ps. xxii. 22:1, &c and our last Translators used the word “health” in this sense. Ps. 42:11.
Hell: Not only ‘the place of torments’, but ‘the place or state of deceased souls’, or what we commonly call ‘the other world’. It seems to come from “Helan,” to ‘cover’, or ‘hide’, as the Greek “Hades” likewise signifies ‘an obscure or unknown place’. Our Translators did well to retain the word in this sense, as they do in Ps. 30:3, and often elsewhere: for this helps us to understand those words of our Christian faith “He descended into Hell;” whereas, by losing the ancient signification of words, the people are
in danger to lose the sense and meaning of their Creed. Further, sometimes “Hell” signifies ‘death’ only, as in Ps. 18:4; 96:3.
Host: ‘Army’, or ‘very great company’, very often.
Imagine: To ‘contrive, plot, design’; so it signifies in the statute of treason, which makes it a crime punishable with death, ” to ‘imagine’ the death of the King,” &c. Ps. 2:1, and very often.
Instantly: ‘Importunately, zealously’. Ps. 55:18. We still say that a thing was done “at the instance,” that is, ‘at the earnest request’, of another. The adjective ‘instant’ signifies ‘importunate’, in our last translation, (Luke 23:23,) and in other places.
Leasing: ‘Lying, cheating, dissembling’. Ps. 4:2.
Lust: Not only ‘filthy carnal desires’, but any ‘eagerness of appetite’, or ‘violent irregular inclination’. Ps. 10:2. So to “lust,” and to “list” signify the same thing in this translation. Ps. 73:7.
Malicious: ‘Very bad, evil’, &c. Ps. 59:5. We now commonly understand by this word, ‘spitefid, envious’; the ancients did not so.
Nethermost: ‘Lowest’ Ps. 86:13. “Nether” is used for lower, by our last Translators. Deut. 24:6, &c.
Plague: Any ‘blow’ or ‘stroke’ of God’s correcting or punishing hand, (Ps. 38:17;) not the pestilence only. “To plague,” in common discourse, signifies, to ‘use any severe proceedings’.
Port: ‘Gate’, from the Latin “Porta.” We still call him who keeps the gate porter. Ps. 9:14.
Preacher: Not only ‘he that discourses publicly of religion’, but ‘any one that publishes’ or declares any thing. Ps. 68:11; 59:12. So “to preach” signifies to publish or declare.
Prevent: To go, or be before. There are two designs which one may have in “going before” another; either to guide and help, or to hinder or stop: accordingly the word signifies two contrary things, namely, to help forward, and to oppose, hinder, &c. In the Scripture and Liturgy, it is for the most part taken in the good sense, to ‘guide, help forward, assist’, or ‘be beforehand in kindness’, as in Ps. 21:3; sometimes in the bad sense, to ‘hinder, stand in one’s way’, &c. (Ps. 18:18:) at other places barely
to ‘go’, or ‘be before’, as in Ps. 119:148; and 1st Thess. 4:15.
Quick: ‘Alive’; & so to “quicken,” signifies to ‘give’ or ‘restore life’, to ‘revive’ or ‘enliven’. Ps. 34:2; 22:30.
Rebuke: Not only ‘severe reprehension’, but any manner of ‘hard’ or ‘reproachful language’. Ps. 69:21.
Reproof: is used in much the same sense with the former word ‘rebuke’, & does not only import,
‘grave’ & ‘severe admonition’, but any manner of ‘reproachful language’, any speech whereby we shew our dislike of another’s words or actions. Ps. 69:20.
Simple: ‘Unmixt, plain, without any fraud or guile’, or ‘worldly policy’; like a child, that has no art or cunning to help himself in any difficulty, and therefore is often oppressed and overreached by crafty & sharp men. It is generally used in a good sense in the Psalms and New Testament; namely, for ‘plain, undesigning, though abused’ men; but then, because such are subject to be caught & drawn into evil, by political & artificial men, therefore sometimes it denotes those who by this means are ‘betrayed to sin’, & ‘a fault’ committed through this ‘easy unwary temper’, is called “simpleness.” Ps. 69:5.
Well: A ‘spring, fountain’, or ‘small stream’, not only a ‘deep dug pit’, as now it commonly signifies. Ps. 36:9; 84:6.
Wholesome: ‘Safe’. We still say “wholesome food, air, law, counsel.” Ps. 20:6.
Wiliness: ‘Cunning, guile’. We still use the word “wiles,” from whence this comes. Ps. 10:2.
World: ‘Age, time’, not only the ‘universe’ or ‘earth’: thus it signifies in the doxology “world,’ that is ‘age’, or ‘time’, “without end.” So in the Nicene Creed, “before all worlds;” that is, before all ages, or before time itself was. Ps. 45:18.
Worship: ‘Majesty, dignity, excellency, what deserves to be honoured’, or ‘is honoured’; that glory and power in God, to which we pay our devotion: for so it signified to our Saxon ancestors. Our Translators use the word in this sense, (Ps. 3:3; 96:6;) and elsewhere. We now by “worship,” most commonly mean that ‘honour which we pay to God’; and our Translators often take it in that sense also. Further;
“worship” does not only signify, the eminent dignity which is in God, but that which is in a low degree ‘in man’; & this sense of the word is not yet lost even in our own common language: for we still call that honour & authority which belongs to a magistrate, “his worship.” Our Translators retain the word also in this sense, when they say, that “God gives worship,” that is, honour and dignity, “to them who lead a godly life.” Ps. 84:12. Nay, our last Translators use the word in, the same sense, (Luke 14:10;) where it is said, that the humble guest ” shall have worship in the presence of those who sit at meat with him.” Who can then wonder, that in the matrimonial office the husband is taught to “worship” his wife? that is, ‘to pay her all due respect’? for no one ever understood more by that expression, except he were blinded by unpardonable ignorance, or prejudice. There is then an honour, glory, dignity, or worship in the divine nature; and so there is, or may be, in men too. We must pay honour, glory, worship, principally to God, but in an inferior sense to men. It has been said that most controversies, now depending, are chiefly a strife about words, And from what has been said briefly concerning this & other words in this short vocabulary, it will appear, that several particulars which have been objected against in our Psalter, our Liturgy, & our very Creed, are far enough from being faulty in themselves, & have been thought so by some men, merely because they do not understand their own tongue……

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Christian Biblical Reflections.18

CBR.18: Job: III. Poetic Books: Job-Songs. mjmselim. July29, 2018
((Here are pages 375-486 of CBR, Chapter III, (in three submissions pages 375-402, CBR.18 (Job), 402-450 CBR.19 (Psalms), 450-486 CBR.20 (Proverbs-Song of Songs) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. This Chapter III & Part III will be added to the PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, along with the final pages of the Chapter in a few days. CBR. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018))
((I am now a month behind my plan & desire to post a submission once a month of the Books & the Key Book of the section or division in the Bible. In May a change in the primary PC that I use to study, research, and write on had to be retired, and I upgraded from a 32bit to a 64bit as required by the new Windows 10 updates. Several weeks of conflicts with a few of the software that I use, and other issues of devices and programs, including loss of some notes & pages, further delayed me. Then some personal matters needed attention, in particular our youngest daughter, now an adult, with CP, was hit by a vehicle while she crossed the street, several weeks in the hospital, then several weeks in rehab, followed now by several weeks at home slowly recovering from a severe head injury, She is learning to walk again, memory and speech coming along, but will be months for full recovery. God was kind to grant her life & recovery strength & we pray trusting for wisdom with grace for the rest. The research & selections of the Poetic Books of Wisdom & Love has been greater than I anticipated. I have corrected many errors, whether human or machine, and many more will be corrected as met with from time to time. I have been constrained to adopt new uses of punctuations (like the & sign & omission of the articles &c) to adapt to the digital limitations of standard processes of software & programs, especially as to italics & poetry display. I must regret that as to the single quote-mark (Apostrophe sign) used in the transliterated words from Hebrew, Greek, etc., I also adopted it for ‘italics’ instead of ‘i t a l i c s’, due to my Draft and Notes are done in Notepad with ANSI restrictions & limitations in Fonts; and since I did not want to use ‘Unicode’ for other reasons (when, say, it is viewed in non-Unicode programs or systems), and because I am a simple cobbler, quite limited in my PC skills, despite ‘ever learning new things, I must convert those ‘italics’ as I have time & opportunity, that I delay not any further this submission to the readers. mjm.))

CHAPTER III
Part III: PSALMS – ISAIAH: JOB, PSALMS, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES, PROVERBS & SONGS.
Part III: PSALMS: JOB – ISAIAH: Poetic Books: Job. David’s Psalms. Solomon’s Proverbs. Solomon’s Koheleth’s Ecclesiastes. Solomon’s Song of Songs.

     The Pentateuch-Chumash of Moses, the Foundational Books of the Law, followed by the Historical Books of the Early Prophets & closing with the Kings of Israel & Judah, with the Nation of Israel in Captivity & Exile, and their return as a remnant of Jews illustrated by the Book of Esther; leads us now to the Poetic Books with the Book of Psalms as the 3rd Great Finger of the Divine Hand of the Word. As Genesis controlled & governed the Old Testament Books, and Deuteronomy, the Second Law built on the 10 Words (Commandments) of Mount Sinai-Horeb, controlled the 3 Books of Moses of Exodus, Leviticus, & Numbers, and also governed the rest of the Old Testament Books of the Tanakh-Mikra, so now the Psalms of David will govern & rule the 5 Scrolls or Megillot from Job to Solomon to the Prophets and to the New Testament. The Hebrews call the Poetic Books the Writings, and they list the 5 Books from Job to Songs as Psalms to Ecclesiastes or Koheleth, but adding also Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, & the Chronicles in their arrangement & order. In our reflections we will consider the 5 Books as they are found in our English Bibles. We will gather all the selections from the various writers who have left us their labors in their works on these Books, using only a mere fraction of what is available and what has been examined, read, & edited. Then after all the Books together in Notes, Outlines, Comments, & the like have been submitted, then we must needs reflect and explore the meaning & sense to our reflections & study. I have tried to restrict the the selections to what was most essential & helpful, with hundred of pages deliberately refusing inclusion to not swell the book. The works & writings of the ancients of the Jews & Christians would alone comprise several volumes of examples & illustrations. My goal is to show in general & readily available biblical literature the path my own search has taken in understanding. In the Poetic Books we are here concerned with I have further departed from my earlier method of the detail digest of the Bible Books, which were examples of how I & we become familiar with Scripture in all its details and peculiarities. The progression of doctrines, the growth of the seeds to plants & seeds, the forms of life from conception to birth to maturity continued to appear in our reading & reflections from Genesis to Esther. The Poetic & Prophetic Books will continue this venue with even more development, unfolding, & modifications as God & man mutually respond to each other, as each adapt to the other, and each fulfills their part —God moving towards His eternal purposes within the world of His creation, both universally & particularly has He determines.

    We will first present the selections on the Poetic Books, then we will offer our reflections with some other contributions relative to the Book. I have edited the Selections to conform towards modern usage & practice; many or frequent Roman Numerals have been changed; the Articles (definite & indefinite) are often omitted in Outlines and Charts or Tables, as well substitution of the Conjunction ‘and’ for &; all Hebrew & Greek words have been transliterated, and I have not adhered to any rigid system, save only general consistency; also I have taken liberty at times to Capitilize or alter the emphasis were it made no sense in modern practice. In all cases my additions & opinions are bracketed or enclosed to indicate that it is not the author or writer of the quote& citation. We have been attentive to the Divine words spoken directly by God in various ways, printed & signified by Red ink, we now add Blue or Purple ink to designate or identify God speaking indirectly by a Personification distinct from Inspiration of the Vehicle or Instrument of communication, as the author, writer, or speaker. We have the words & thoughts of the author or writer of the Book, then in the Book we have God speaking by quotations or citations defined in the writing, then finally we read of God speaking by means of representations of various means & persons, real or virtual, that is, personifications as Wisdom, the Voice in a Dream, as Thoughts in our Minds or Spirits, etc. Here are the Passages in the 5 Poetic Books of this Section:

Red Letters in the Poetic Books:
Job: 1:7a, 8, 12; 2:2a, 3, 6; 33:24 (Elihu’s quote in thought), 37:6 (Elihu’s quote in thought), 38-41 (all Red except Job’s words in 40:3-6); 42:7b-8.
Psalms: 2:6-9; 32:8-9 (but these words we might put in Blue or Purple as if Wisdom Personified speaks as in Proverbs 8); 50:5, 7-23; 60:6-8; 68:22-23; 75:2-5, 10 (again these verses might be Blue or Purple); 81:6-16; 82:2-7 (Red or Blue or Purple); 87:4, 7b (Purple: Red or Blue); 89:3-4, 19b-37; 90:3b (Moses’ quote); 91:14-16; 95:8-11; 105:11, 15; 108:7-9; 110:1, 4; 132:11-18.
Proverbs: (No words are in Red, but Wisdom (Chokhmah-Sophia) Personified speaks in Blue or Purple as a Parent, both Father and Mother in chapters 1-9, but especially in chapter 8 as the Female or Woman (Lady Wisdom).)
Ecclesiastes: (No Red or Blue in Koheleth. The Preacher is the Divine Voice.)
Song of Songs of Solomon: (No Red or Blue in the Song, but the Lovers speak in clear words of Love for the Beloved.)

The number of Quotations or References & Allusions of the Psalms in the New Testament is compared to certain other Old Testament Books are as follows: (See: Toy’s New Testament Quotations (1884))
Job: 8 times; Psalms: 150 times; Proverbs: 28 times; Ecclesiastes: 4 times; Song of Songs: 1 time Deuteronomy: 80 times; Isaiah: 160 times

JOB: (Selections from various authors, writers, commentaries, &c.)

     1: ’IYob, ’Yob, Iob,Job, Yob, Hiob. Unique Book, oldest Book in the Bible, oldest Poetry in the World. Religious Philosophy. Many Questions about the Book with many opposing views. In Job’s trial and sufferings God is tested , tried, and vindicated. Variant Years Job lived: 70+70=140 + 70=210 + 30=240. The Book has an Introduction (Chapters 1-2) & a Conclusion (Chapter 42). The Book is divided into 2 Parts or Halves (Chapters 1-21 & Chapters 22-42); and Job at 19:3 tells us that there were already 10 Times of rounds, turns, or exchanges between him and his friends. The 2nd half of Book reveals another 10 Times, thus in all the Book of Job consists of 20 Exchanges. Its unfortunate that the scholars have universally adopted the notion that ’10 times’ is merely a metaphor or figure of speech for ‘many times’. Pope Gregory the Great in his original 7-volume commentary, reprinted as 3-volume, of Sermons on Job called the Morals of the Book of Job, in the 6th century, (an excellent commentary & influence on the following generations), clearly saw the significance of Job’s 10 Times:
St Pope Gregory the Great, in Morals of the Book of Job, 591 A.D.,1845:
(Job 19:3) (‘Lo, these ten times ye confound me’. 30. On enumerating the successive times of the speeches of Job’s friends, we learn that as yet they had spoken but five times. But for this reason, that he had five times heard rebukes from them, and five times himself replied to their rebukes, he says that he had been ten times confounded; because both herein, viz. that he had been causelessly reproached, he suffered deeply, and in this, that he uttered words of instruction to those that gave no ear, he underwent confusion”.)

2: From: Biblical Companion, Introduction to Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures, etc. William Carpenter (1836):

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books. Section I. Book of Job:

6. Chief Doctrines of Patriarchal Religion, as collected from different parts of the Poem by Dr. Hales & Mr. Good, are as follow:
(1) Creation of World by one Supreme & Eternal Intelligence. (38-42)
(2) Regulation by Perpetual and superintending Providence. (1:9,21; 2:10; 5:8-27; 9:4-13)
(3) Intentions of Providence effected by Ministrations of Heavenly Hierarchy. (1:6-7; 3:18-19; 5:1; 33:22-23)
(4) Heavenly Hierarchy, composed of various Ranks and Orders, possessing different Names,
Dignities, and Offices. As ‘obelim’= servants; ‘malachim’= angels; ‘melizim’= intercessors; ‘memitim’= destinies or destroyers; ‘alep’= chiliad or thousand; ‘kedoshim’, Sancti, heavenly saints or hosts generally. (4:18; 33:22-23; 5:2; 15:15)
(5) Apostasy, or defection, in some rank or order of these Powers (4:18; 15:15), of which Satan seems to have been one, and perhaps chief, (1:6-12; 2:2-7).
(6) Good and evil Powers or Principles, equally formed by the Creator, and hence equally denominated “Sons of God;” both of them employed by in Administration of Providence; and both amenable to Him at stated Courts, held for purpose of receiving an account of their respective missions. (1:6-7; 2:1)
(7) Day of future Resurrection, Judgment, and Retribution to all mankind. (14:13-15; 19:25-29; 21:30; 31:14)
(8) Propitiation of the Creator, in the case of human transgressions, by Sacrifices (1:5; 42:8); and the Mediation and Intercession of righteous person. (42:8-9)
(9) Idolatrous Worship of Heavenly Bodies a judicial offence, to be punished by Judge.(31:26-28)
(10) Innate Corruption of Man; or what is generally termed “Original Sin.” (14:4; 15:14-16; 35:4)

7. Several of these Doctrines are more clearly developed than others, but the whole of them are fairly deduced from the obvious meaning of the words.

8. Mr. Good, to whom we have been indebted for the foregoing outline, has remarked, that nothing can be more unfortunate for this most excellent composition than its division into chapters, and specially such a division as that in common use; in which, not only the unity of the general subject, but in many instances, that of a single paragraph, or even of a single clause, is completely broken in upon & destroyed. Various other divisions have been adopted. Dr. Hales, who excludes the Exordium & Conclusion, divides it into five parts; but Mr. Good, who justly remarks that these are requisite to the unity of the composition, divides it into six. We follow his arrangement, only dividing his sixth part into two. We have then:
1. History of Job’s Character & Trials (ch. 1-3)
2. First Series of Conversations or Controversy: Eliphaz’s Address (ch. 4-5); Job’s Answer (ch. 6-7); Bildad’s Address (ch. 8); Job’s Answer (ch. 9-10); Zophar’s Address (ch. 11); Job’s Answer (ch. 12-14)
3. Second Series of Controversy: Eliphaz’s Address (ch. 15); Job’s Answer (ch. 16-17); Bildad’s Address (ch. 18); Job’s Answer (ch.19); Zophar’s Address (ch. 20); Job’s Answer (ch. 21:4)
4. Third Series of Controversy: Eliphaz’s Address (ch. 22); Job’s Answer (ch. 23-24); Bildad’s Address (ch. 25); Job’s Answer (ch. 26-31).
5. Elihu’s Four Speeches to Job (ch. 32-37)
6. Jehovah’s 1st & 2nd Address to Job (ch. 38-41).
7. Humiliation of Job & final Prosperity (ch. 42).

3: From: Book of the Patriarch Job Translated from Original Hebrew by Samuel Lee.(1845)

Introduction: Preliminary Remarks:
….”The book is confessedly the most difficult one in the Hebrew Bible. It certainly is one of the most ancient. It was written in a country and in times altogether unlike those in which we live. Its matter and its language are of the most exalted and splendid description; while the influence which it has exerted on the whole Hebrew Bible, and the connexion which its doctrines evidently have with those of the New Testament, cannot but strike the Christian theologian as most interesting and valuable considerations.”
Section 9: On the Scope & Object of the Book of Job:
“A little consideration will enable us to see, that the primary object of this book is, to shew that there is a power attendant on true religion, sufficient to enable its possessor eventually to overcome every temptation and every trial. This, I say, is its ‘primary’ object. For, in the first and second chapters, which were apparently given as a key to the whole, we are informed that Job was a just and perfect man, and one who feared God. This was manifestly his character. It is suggested, however, by the great adversary of mankind, that, whatever appearances might be, a little trial would prove the contrary. The sacred penman assures us, by means of a vision (as already shewn) that, in order to prove the falsehood of this, Job is allowed to be exposed for a season to trials of the severest kind: but still he retained his integrity; and in the end came off victorious, to the entire approval of Almighty God, who restored him, and gave him wealth double in value to that of his former state of prosperity. He is also accepted in making a sort of atonement for the errors of his friends. I think, therefore, no doubt can remain, that this was the ‘primary object’ of this book.
A ‘secondary’ object seems to have been, to shew how very imperfect the notions even of good men are on the moral economy of God. The friends of our patriarch meet, as we are told, for the purpose of condoling with him; and there appears no reason, as far as I can see, for questioning their sincerity. The sufferer proceeds, in the first place, to state his afflictions, and then to pour out those lamentations and complaints which are natural to such a state. His friends, men evidently acquainted with revealed religion, and apparently very much in earnest as to accurate views respecting it proceed to correct him: they professedly take the side of God and their main endeavour is to vindicate His wisdom, justice, and mercy. For this purpose they argue from revelation, from experience, and from very extensive and just views of God’s works; and, as they are too well informed to suppose that there can be any effect without an adequate cause, particularly where there is an all-powerful, wise, and good God overruling all things; their conclusion is, that Job’s sins must have led to his sufferings. The patriarch very justly and very successfully combats their conclusions, without at all calling in question their several general doctrines; —for these were no doubt true, and worthy of all acceptation: —and in this, God Himself eventually declares for him. Their great fault was, the misapplication of truth. They knew not the real cause which led to Job’s trials, and the consequence was, they supposed one which was false; and to this were their arguments universally directed. The pertinacity and warmth with which they pressed their opinions, could not but have added considerably to Job’s sufferings; who evidently had a greater insight into the general dealings of God with believers than they had. Still there is no reason, as far as I can discover, for calling in question either their fidelity, good intentions, or sorrow for their friend. They only did what thousands daily do —they misapprehended the question at issue; and, as they were more willing to believe themselves right, than to stop and consider in how many ways they might be wrong, and, in fact, how very little they could know on the subject; they pressed their sentiments to an extent which real religion, good sense, and the sympathy due to a friend, would hardly justify: and of this, Job’s mission to them from the Almighty (chap. 42.) must have more than convinced them; and have shewn them to demonstration that, although He was truly no less mighty, wise, and good, than they had represented Him, yet that ‘His wisdom was unsearchable, and His ways past finding out’, to men such as they were.
A ‘third’ object apparently was, to provide a book of doctrine, as already remarked, adequate to the wants of believers for ever; illustrating, as just now stated, both the economy of God with His people, and their ignorance as to His thoughts and ways: to keep alive the doctrine of salvation through a Redeemer, the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, and the certainty of a judgment to come. It might seem superfluous, after what has already been said, to dwell on the other doctrines, promises, and experience, inculcated throughout this book, and so frequently appealed to in the subsequent books of the Old Testament, as well as in the New. I shall conclude, therefore, merely by remarking, that the most severe inquiry into its contents, the most careful comparison of it with the rest of Holy Scripture; the genuineness of its piety, the purity and beauty of its morality, the great extent of its range, the exquisite chasteness at once of its style and sentiments, and, above all, the solidity and depth of its devotion, cannot but conspire to recommend it as one of the most valuable productions of antiquity ; at the same time, as a book of undoubted inspiration, and of the most unquestionable canonical authority. And my sincere prayer is, that every reader of it may receive as much pleasure and edification in perusing its declarations, as I have in this endeavour to translate and elucidate them.”

Book of Job: Translation: Chapter Summary: Chapters 1-2: Introduction:
Job’s place of residence, character, wealth; children, religious care for them; cause of his trials. Loss of his wealth and children; his pious resignation to all this. The real cause of Job’s afflictions; his afflictions, and integrity under them; the visit and surprise of his friends.
Chapter 3:
Job reviles the day and circumstances of his birth; he denounces the night of his conception; laments his existence; describes the freedom and rest of the dead; laments that light and life are supplied to the miserable; slates his own deplorable but innocent case.
Chapters 4-5:
Eliphaz apologises for speaking; commends Job’s former conduct, but deplores his dejection on it’s occasion, reminds him of the power of faith; of God’s particular providence over good men, and severity against the wicked. Describes a vision afforded to him, gives its substance. Declares that God is the only sure refuge; that the foolish who seek safety elsewhere fail. Sin natural to man. The great power and goodness of God set forth, shewing that He confounds the wise, but saves the humble. The blessedness of him whom God chastises; his safety under all circumstances, the assurance of such an one, that he shall prosper, and his family after him.
Chapters 6-7:
Job insists on the severity of his afflictions; the insipidity of his friend’s reasoning; requests that God would consider his case; his determination to believe in Him at all events; confesses his weakness as a man, but insists on an inward source of help; the duty of a friend; the unfaithfulness of Job’s friends; favours deeply felt by the distressed; but if injuries are inflicted, they are easily reduced to silence, banished, and destroyed; Job’s friends wearied without any just cause; the arguments of a poor and afflicted man allowed to have no weight; an intreaty to reconsider Job’s case. The state of man a warfare: as the slave hopes for a season of rest, and the hireling looks for his wages, so Job’s days and nights were full of expectation, but were followed only by still greater pains, intimating his approaching death. No earthly return to be expected from the grave. Job, therefore, requests permission to give vent to his sufferings; recites the distresses of his couch, and desires to be let alone; mans worthlessness stated. Job requests a remission of his sufferings; and, as he cannot atone for his sins, deprecates the punishment, and prays for the pardon of them, believing that he soon must die.
Chapter 8:
Bildad rebukes Job on God’s behalf, declaring that God is just, and that if he duly seek Him, his miseries shall come to end; refers Job to the experience of past ages, and instances their sentiments by allusions to natural and historical events, to shew that the wicked are of short duration, and of rapid decay and succession; and concludes by declaring, that the faithful are never forsaken of God, nieither are the sinful encouraged; and that, if he were faithful, such should be his experience.
Chapters 9-10:
Job accedes to the reasoning of Bildad, as to God’s power and man’s inability to plead with Him, and recounts many of His wonderful works: stating, at the same time, his own ignorance and weakness. He further enlarges on his own weakness and unworthiness, introducing his afflictions, and affirming that were he even just —what his opponents charge him with assuming —that would only serve to humble him the more. He concludes the paragraph by maintaining the strict justice of God. He laments the rapid, unprofitable, and painful lapse of his time; his inability to shake off his sorrows; his consciousness of his own sin; and the inability of his afflictions to wash this away. He acknowledges the greatness of God; and concludes by praying that God would take away his afflictions. —Job continues his complaint, desiring to be informed on what principle it is that God chooses to afflict him. Declares that God had wonderfully constructed him, and had dealt favourably with him. Confesses his own sin, and maintains God’s good providence. Speaks, too, of His occasional severity and favour. Laments his own birth, but desires to be restored before his departure.
Chapter 11:
The first answer of Zophar the N’aamathite, in which he accuses Job of much and loud profession of his own purity: wishes that God would answer him, and shew him the transcendent value of wisdom, and the sin under which he so blindly laboured. Asserts the incomprehensibility of the Almighty, and man’s imperfections. Affirms that, if Job had duly regulated his own mind, and put away iniquity from him, he might have looked up in innocence; that, with his sin, his misery would have ceased; and that, although he might have felt occasional distress, yet, on the whole, he should be in safety and peace, while the wicked should entirely fail.
Chapters 12-14:
Job replies, justifying his right and fitness to do so; complains of neglect from his friends; allows the truth of their doctrines, and that it is obvious the hand of God is in this matter; dwells still more particularly on the marks of God’s overruling power, as discoverable from events. Affirms his own fitness, as before, to judge of these matters, and accuses his opponents of ignorance; reproves them for attempting to justify God’s doings on sinful principles; presumes that the awful situation in which he places himself ought to evince his sincerity; and, therefore, requests they would give him a patient hearing; calls earnestly on God to afford him an answer, requesting however a remission of his sufferings in the interval, in order that he may be able to give the deeper consideration to his own case; hopes that the various causes of his trials will be specified; and then briefly enumerates his sufferings. Details the frailty, imperfection, short-lived, and hopeless state of man as such; requests that Divine justice would relax its severity with such an one; being, as to futurity, less hopeful than the stump of a tree which may be buried in the earth; prays that even the grave may prove a hiding-place for him; justifies his hoping still in God, and trusts that his sins shall be forgiven; concludes by stating the miserable life and death of those who are altogether differently circumstanced.
Chapter 15:
Eliphaz rejoins, stating that the arguments of Job are worthless, but nevertheless such as to convict him of impiety; demands whence it is that he lays claim to so much knowledge; why God’s known mercies and declarations are so little regarded by him; and why he is so bold and ready to contend; contrasts the character of God with that of man; and then proceeds to argue from known revealed truths; which declare that the vicious man cannot but be miserable, hopeless, and always beset with fear; and this because of rebellion against God; that, whatever might be his state, it must end in destruction. He ends with an exhortation to live and to act differently.
Chapters 16-17:
Job again answers Eliphaz; reproaches him and his friends with want of sympathy and knowledge; affirms that similar arguing on his own part would be unprofitable; that God has really afflicted him, and that hence it is, his enemies have power to oppress and injure him; enlarges on his afflictions; describes his afflictions more particularly; dwells on his innocency; affirms that his best witness, mediator, judge, and friend, is above, where his cause shall be tried; and looks with hope to the period of his departure. Renews his complaint; calls on his friends for fidelity; complains of their ignorance and perfidy; restates the greatness of his affliction; the effect which his case shall have upon good men generally; the case different with his friends; entreats them, therefore, to change their minds; complains of the unprofitableness of his time, and the ignorance of his friends; looks to the end of his course as the only source of hope.
Chapter 18:
Bildad offers his second reply: complains of the length of the dispute, and that they had been treated too unceremoniously by Job; proceeds to recount the failures of the wicked, in a strain not unlike that resorted to in his former discourse. His arguments are, therefore, quite general, and by no means applicable to the case of the patriarch.
Chapter 19:
Job, in his reply to Bildad, complains of contemptuous treatment [for 10 times or turns], and perseveres in declaring that his affliction is from God; complains also that his cause is disregarded; that he is beset on every side, attacked, and injured; that hosts encompass him, that his friends are put far away from him; that his kinsfolk and friends have deserted him; that his servants, inmates, wife, had all taken part against him; that even the abjects spoke openly against him, and his familiar friends had turned from him; laments his emaciated state of body, and solicits pity; deplores the insensibility of his friends; and wishes that his sufferings were recorded; declares his faith in the Redeemer, who should appear in after-times on the earth; his assurance that he should in his flesh see God and be justified; and warns his friends of the judgment to come.
Chapter 20:
Zophar’s apology for his reply; dwells, as before, on the vanity of wickedness, and the excellency of true religion —particularly here on the former, insisting that ill-gotten wealth shall be rendered back, and ill-won honours soon descend to corruption; dwells on the bitter effects of sin, its natural progress to poverty and misery; on the principle of God’s overruling providence; insists that oppression in principle, shall be followed by its own fruits, distress in experience; and so quick shall this be, that it shall take effect in the very height of one’s enjoyments; shall fall from heaven above, and be generated in the earth beneath, in all the dreadful visitations derivable from these sources; and which shall follow him into another world, while his posterity falls in this; concludes by declaring, that such is the universal portion of the wicked, and that God is the Author of it.
Chapter 21:
Job requests attention to his reply as a right; and which, if granted, could not but administer to his friends satisfaction: asserts that, if he had considered man as his judge, the treatment he had met with would be reasonable enough; allows that the prosperity of the wicked, their growing strength, wealth, health, and family, had greatly perplexed him. Concludes, nevertheless, that he chose not their counsels. He next proceeds to shew that, still they were subject to calamities, afflictions, and other dreadful visitations from God; and that this they themselves saw and felt: and concludes that their experience is, after all, truly miserable. In the next place, he shews that a common fate seems, in these respects, to attend upon all which is the pure result of Divine Providence, the ways of which are inscrutable to man. In the last place, he shews that his opponents had applied this sort of inconclusive reasoning, as sufficient to determine his real character; deprecates the vanities of the rich ungodly man; and concludes that perverseness and error alone had directed the replies of his opponents.
Chapter 22:
Eliphaz here commences a third series of arguments; and, as before, is profuse in excellent remarks, not one of which is applicable to the case of Job. He first dilates on marl’s unprofitableness to God; then on the small importance of Job’s case; then on what he deems his positive sins; and then concludes, that, on this latter account, he was both inevitally blinded, and deservedly visited with affliction. He next accuses him with supposing that, as God is very highly exalted above the heavens. He could not, of necessity, judge a cause so far removed from Him. He next adopts some of Job’s expressions, in the preceding chapter, and retorts their import upon him. He next dwells on the views which the good must take of these occurrences, among whom he evidently includes himself; alludes apparently to the fall of Sodom, &c. by way of illustration; and exhorts Job accordingly: concludes by affirming, that if Job will return to God’s service, he shall be restored to wealth, religious assurance, and real happiness, that his prayers shall be heard, his influence extended, and that by this means he shall be relieved and supported.
Chapters 23-24:
Job complains of the weight of his affliction, and desires to bring his case before God; declares that under His mercy he shall be safe; and laments that he cannot find Him: insists that he shall eventually be delivered, because he has treasured up God’s commands, and has not swerved from them in his conduct; argues that God is independent, and will fulfil all His will; declares that hence he is confounded, knowing, as he does, that all his afflictions come from Him primarily, and from no other power. Renews this argument, and affirms, that believers are necessarily ignorant of many of God’s purposes. He then proceeds to recount some of the vicious practices in which men are allowed to indulge; he states and exemplifies their wicked principles, as centering in a hatred of the light, and as exerting themselves in the works of darkness; the active and rapacious character of such, and their certain fate; recounts their injurious but insinuating properties, their success, their consequent jealousies and anxieties, their short triumph, and final destruction; and concludes by challenging a refutation of his sentiments.
Chapter 25:
Bildad now offers his third and last reply (see chap. 8. & 18.), asserting the all-comprehensive power, majesty, wisdom, and goodness of God. He then compares with this, briefly but pointedly, the weakness, meanness, ignorance, and impurity of man; and asks, Can such a being be just with God? He then calls the attention of Job to the more splendid portions of the universe; all of which he pronounces dull and unclean, with reference to their Maker: and concludes by observing, that much more is man, who, with respect to these, sinks necessarily into the character of a worm!
Chapters 26-31:
Job objects to Biidad’s want of charity, and of wisdom: compares the efficacy of his reasoning with the heathenish notion that dead heroes are still possessed of power; and to this opposes the wisdom and power of God, as evinced in the world about him. Job calls God to witness, —affirming that he is in sound and sane mind, —that nothing but truth shall have utterance with him; and that, at all events, he will never give up his faith. He then refutes the position that his affliction must have arisen from his own wickedness; because the fact is, wicked men do grow rich; and although they may then pass themselves for just and good men, on this faulty hypothesis; still God’s judgments shall, first or last, fall on them and their children. Job now allows that men do possess much learning, and put forth much industry. He dwells on their range both of science and of art; and on the effects and benefits thence derived. He then proceeds to shew, that still true wisdom —such as is calculated duly to deal with this question —is as far beyond the reach of man, as it is more valuable than earthly wealth. He repeats his assertions, adding, that there is a report indeed of this, among the rulers of the darkness of this world, —heathenism itself containing some traditions respecting it; —but that it is known only from God’s revelation. The reason is this: His knowledge is infinite: it is the source of all the wisdom visible in His creation: and He has declared that, as far as man can realise it, the fear of God is the ground on which he must proceed. Job laments his fall from prosperity, during which he had so much power, and did so much good; when he was, consequently, so highly venerated, and had so much reason to expect that his days would end in the happiness usually granted to such a life. But now, he continues, every thing is reversed: now the very dregs of society laughed him to scorn: men who had formerly been banished for their wickedness to the inhospitable deserts. He recounts instances of their insolence, and of his own feelings; states his disappointment, that his usual care and prayers for others had not prevented his affliction; and that thus unaccountably —on vulgar views his happiness had ceased. Gives up all hope of a future family. Joins Bildad in declaring, that God’s judgments are eventually the portion of the wicked; and consequently would be his own, if he had followed their ways. Maintains, nevertheless, that God knew his course to have been different, and yet had laid these afflictions on him. Desires that God would undertake for him, and that all his cause should be carefully gone into. (Job’s words ends.)
Chapters 32-37:
Elihu, seeing that Job’s friends failed to give him a satisfactory answer, is emboldened to shew his views of the subject; apologises for doing so from the consideration of his youth. Declares his sincerity, and challenges Job to refute whatever he may now advance; adduces instances of Job’s rashness; charges him with error, on the ground that the counsels of God are too high for him; and adduces some things in proof; affirms that there is an Intercessor, who undertakes for man in such cases; by whom he obtains redemption, and returns to a state like that of youth, in which he is humble and dependent; claims attention to this. Elihu commences his argument as before, by adducing some of Job’s assertions; which he condemns; enters on the abstract character of God, and vindicates His proceedings; argues against the wickedness and folly of contending with Him; and recounts instances of His justice, omnipresence, goodness, and power; speaks of His dealings with men; reprobates the practice of approaching Him with confessions flattering to self, and hence prescribing in some degree to His wisdom and power; and concludes here, that Job had spoken in ignorance and impiety. Elihu denies that Job is just with God; calla in question some of his arguments advanced on this point; reprobates them on the ground of Job’s ignorance and weakness, alleging that such considerations can apply only between man and man; and concludes that the assumption is false. —Elihu resumes, craving attention from the consideration, that his words shall be sincere, and convincing. Asserts God’s power, mercy, and justice: speaks of His ways, as proving this. Declares the fate of the ungodly, as contrasted with the experience of the humble; affirms that Job’s punishments were intended to bring him to repentance, and prosperity; and warns him not to overlook this. Speaks of God’s power to relieve, and reprobates the disposition to dispute this. Exhorts Job to magnify His doings for the instruction of others. Appeals to the operations of the heavens in proof of His great power and goodness, and of His hatred of sin. The terrors conceived at the discharge of the lightning and noise of the thunder; the wonders of the falling snow and rain: the object of these is, that men may acknowledge Him. Dilates on the habits of the wild beasts; on the action of the elements heat and cold; the spreading out of the rain clouds: all for the fulfilment of the Divine will. Contrasts this with the ignorance and weakness of man; and concludes that, as He cannot be answered as to any of His counsels or ways, it is the duty of man to fear Him.
Chapters 38-42:
Jehovah Himself now proceeds to determine the question at issue. He answers, therefore from the whirlwind. By calling into question Job’s knowledge, on the grounds of his recent birth and excessive impotence; hence averring, that ignorance lay at the bottom of all his complaints. Enters particularly into these considerations, in order to convince Job of the folly of his reasonings. Interrogates him as to the secrets of the deep; as to the phenomena of the light; as to the treasuries of snow and hail; as to the distribution of the light, the winds, the rains, and the course of the thunderbolt; as to the production of the rain, the cold, the frost, the influences of the heavenly bodies on the earth; and whether Job can, by his command, direct their proceedings. He next presses him as to his knowledge and influence, with respect to things on the earth. Whether he can undertake to provide for the ravenous beasts and birds. Whether he knows the times, seasons, and practices of the fugitive mountain tribes; of the fiercer and swifter beasts of the deserts. Enquires whether he can command the more powerful animals to render him service, or can trust to them to secure his profits; whether he has made the horse such as he is, courageous, powerful, and swift; whether he regulates the properties of the more powerful birds. Jehovah continues His interrogatories; and Job confesses his vileness and ignorance. Jehovah resumes, calling upon Job to give evidence of his power; and declares that, when this is done, then will He justify and praise him. Calls upon him to view His power, as evinced in the formation of the more powerful quadrupeds: states their astonishing properties. Directs his attention to the monsters of the deep, and to their terrific characters. Digresses, in order to impress on Job the greater danger of contending with Him who formed these; and proceeds with an enumeration of their astonishing powers, fearful properties, and invincible tempers.
Chapter 42:
Job, humbled by the consideration of the greatness and wisdom of God, ascribes all power to Him, and to himself ignorance and shame; affirming that now indeed he saw God in His true and all- overwhelming character. Eliphaz is now addressed as to himself and friends; and on their part the judgment is, that their error was much greater than that of Job. Eliphaz, and his friends, therefore
now offer up their sin-offering by Job, who acts as priest; and the offering is accepted. After this, the relatives and friends of Job resort to him; and, in addition to his great wealth, which was now double of what it had been, each makes him a suitable present; a second family is given to the Patriarch; and he is blessed with an extraordinary long life [140+70 = 210 years] in the enjoyment of it. Upon the whole, Job’s natural feelings had led him to complain, where his faith ought to have produced acquiescence and thanksgiving. Ignorance of God’s great object in this, was undoubtedly the cause of alt the errors of the Patriarch. Job’s friends were still more to blame, because they had, by the scanty measure of their own understanding, attempted to determine what God would, or would not, do. While Job, therefore, peevishly lamented and complained of the ways of God, they determined, and impiously circumscribed, them.
(Lee’s Parallel & Reference verses in his Notes on Job number in the hundreds.)

4: From: Book of Job by Driver-Gray, (1921), & Introduction to the Old Testament (1921)

Driver-Gray: Prologue, Dialogue [& Monologue], and Epilogue. § 19. The use of the Divine Names in different parts of the Book is as follows: ’El = 55; ’Eloah = 41; Shaddai = 31; ’Elohim = 14; ha’Elohim = 3; Yhwh = 29
There are 63 similar or parallel verses in Job with other OT books (Driver-Gray & others) (Isaiah: 11 passages; Jer. & Lam.: 6+9; Prov.: 13; Psalms: 12; also some 12 times in Gen., Deut., Amos, Mal., Qoh. (Eccleas.) and Apcrph Siriach.

Driver-Gray Outline: (Driver’s last work at death was his commentary on Job.)
1. Introduction or Prologue,1-2.
2. Speeches of Job and Three Friends, 3-31.
3. Speeches of Elihu, 32-37.
4. Speeches of Yahweh with Job’s Responses, 38-42.
5. Conclusion or Epilogue, 42.

Driver-Gray Introduction to Old Testament Literature: v1, sect. 31:
1. Prologue, 1-2
2. Job’s soliloquy, 3
3. Dialogue between the Friends & Job:
First cycle of speeches: Eliphaz, 4-5; Job, 6-7; Bildad, 8; Job, 9-10; Sophar, 11; Job, 12-14
Second cycle of speeches: Eliphaz, 15; Job, 16-17; Bildad, 18; Job 19; Sophar, 20; Job, 21;
Third cycle of speeches: Eliphaz, 22; Job, 23-24; Bildad, 25 (+? 26); Job, 27; Sophar ?, 27;
[28, Poem on Wisdom]; [32-37, Elihu [Monologues]] Job’s closing soliloquy, 29-31
4. Yahweh, 38-40. Job, 40-42
5. Epilogue, 42

5: From: Book of Job by Albert Barnes (1854): General Analysis:

Part First:
Historical Introduction, in Prose, Chs.1-2. [Job, Family, House, Friends, the Lord, Satan, Job’s Afflictions & Sufferings]
Part Second:
Argument, or Controversy, in Verse, Chs. 3-42. [Dialogues, Monologues, Reflections, Questions, Answers, Debate, Observations, Doctrines, Views, Ideas, Concepts, Opinions, Accusations, Warnings, Advice, Excuses, Self-Defense, Theories, Interpretations, etc.; with Praises, Blessings, & Prayers]
I. 1st Series in Controversy, chs. 3-14.
(1.) Job opens discussion by cursing his birth-day, and by bitter complaint of his calamity, ch. 3.
(2.) Speech of Eliphaz, chs. 4-5.
(3.) Answer of Job, chs. 6-7. [to Friends & to God]
(4.) Speech of Bildad, ch. 8.
(5.) Answer of Job, chs. 9-10. [to Friends & to God]
(6.) Speech of Zophar, ch. 11.
(7.) Answer of Job, chs. 12-14. [to Friends & to God]
II. 2nd Series in Controversy, chs. 15-21.
(1.8) Speech of Eliphaz, ch. 15.
(2.9) Answer of Job, chs. 16-17. [to Friends & to God]
(3.10) Speech of Bildad, ch. 18.
(4.11) Answer of Job, ch. 19.
(5.12) Speech of Zophar, ch. 20.
(6.13) Answer of Job, ch. 21.
III. 3rd Series in Controversy, chs. 22-31.
(1.14) Speech of Eliphaz, ch. 22.
(2.15) Answer of Job, chs. 23-24.
(3.16) Speech of Bildad, ch. 25.
(4.17) Answer of Job, chs. 26-31. [to Friends & to God]
IV. Speech of Elihu, chs. 32-37. [to Job & Friends]
V. Close of the Discussion, chs. 38-42.
(1.) Speech of the Almighty, chs. 38-41.
(2.) Response and penitent confession of Job, ch. 42.
Part Third:
Conclusion, in Prose, Ch 42:7-17. [The Lord, Job, Job’s Friends, Restoration & Blessings.]

6: From: Book of Job. New Critical Revised Translation Essays Scansions Date, etc. G. H. B. Wright.(1883)

Wright lists hundreds of examples of verses as parallels & similarities between Job & the other OT Books: Gen., Ex., Deut., Josh., 2nd Sam., Kings, and Isaiah: in attempt to prove Job is an Israelite. He compares Job with passages in Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Habakkuk, Joel, & Jeremiah & Lamentations, & Psalms & Proverbs. The Book of Job displays mastery of Ancient Semitic Poetic forms of cantos, stanzas, and stichi (lines) used irregularly with or without parallelisms and repetitions; with adherence to scansion & paronomasia with other figures of speech or symbolic expressions. Aramaisms are frequent.

7: From: Book of Job Old Testament Commentary on Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, & Homiletical, etc. Editor of German Edition: John Peter Lange, D.D. Translated, Enlarged, and Edited by Philip Schaff, D.D. A Rhythmical Version with Introduction & Annotations by Tayler Lewis, LL.D.; Commentary by Otto Zockler, D.D., Translated from German Edition by L.J. Evans, D.D. General Introduction to Poetical Books by P. Schaff (1874)

1. Schaff: General Introduction to Poetical Books of OT:
Literature, Origin, Religion, Bible, Hebrew Spirit, Merit, Different Kinds, Lyric, Didactic, Prophetic, Dramatic, Diction, and Versification & Parallelism of Members.

2. Lewis: New Rhythmical Version Book of Job:
A. Theism, Ideas of Future Life among Surrounding Nations, Pure Theism to be First Taught, Various Views, Theophany, Grounds of Job’s Commendation, Work of Art, Elihu’s Speech, Book Not a Solution of the Problem of Evil, and Truthfulness of the Narrative.
B. Special Introduction to the Rhythmical Version: Term, Rhythmical or Metrical, Hebrew Parallelism, Divisions, Elements, Lines, Poetry [Poem] or Prose, Language & Style, Text, and Notes Exegetical, Critical, Commentators, etc. With Addenda of Excursus (12 in all) on Chapters 19, 21-28, 21, 22, on Hebrew Word for Wisdom-Truth (tushiyah), 26, 27-30, 28, 29, 30, 33, 38,

3. Zockler-Evans: Preface & Introduction to Commentary:
120 comparisons or correspondences between Job and Isaiah.

Historical Introduction (In Prose): Chap. 1-2: Job’s character & course of life. Divine decree to try Job through suffering. Milder form of trial by taking away his possessions. Preparatory scene in heaven. Execution of decree of trial on possessions and family of Job. Job’s constancy and patience. Severer trial by the loss of health. Preparatory scene in heaven. Fulfillment of the decree in Job’s terrible disease. Job’s steadfastness in piety. Visit of the 3 friends, & their mute sympathy, as an immediate preparation for the action of the poem.

First Chief Division of the Poem: Entanglement, or the controversial discourses [ Dialogue-Monologue Debate] of Job & his 3 friends: Chaps. 3-28:
Outbreak of Job’s Despair, as theme and immediate occasion of the Colloquy: Chap. 3: Job curses his day. He wishes that he were in the realm of the dead rather than in this life. He asks why he, being weary of life, must still live.

First Series of Controversial Discourses [Dialogue Debate]: Entanglement in its beginning: Chaps. 4-14:
Eliphaz & Job: Chaps. 4-7: Accusation of Eliphaz: Man must not speak against God, as Job is doing. Introductory reproof of Job, on account of his unmanly complaint, by which he could
only incur God’s wrath. Account of a heavenly revelation, which declared to him the wrongfulness and foolishness of weak sinful man’s raving against God. Admonition to repentance, as the only means by which Job can recover God’s favor, and his former happy estate. Job’s Reply: Instead of comfort the friends bring him only increased sorrow. Justification of his complaint by pointing out the greatness and incomprehensibleness of his suffering. Complaint on account of the bitter disappointment which he had experienced at the hands of his friends. Recurrence to his former complaint on account of his lot, and an accusation of God.
Bildad & Job: Chaps. 8-10: Bildad’s rebuke: Man must not charge God with injustice, as Job has done, for God never does wrong. Censure of Job on account of his unjust accusation against God. Reference to the wise teachings of the ancients, in respect to the merited end of those who forget God. Softened application of these teachings to the case of Job. Job’s Reply: Assertion of his innocence, and a mournful description of the incomprehensibleness of his suffering as a dark horrible destiny. God is certainly the Almighty and ever-righteous One, who is to be feared; but His power is too terrible for mortal man. Oppressive effect of this omnipotence and arbitrariness of God impels him, as an innocent sufferer, to presumptuous speeches against God. Plaintive description of the merciless severity with which God rages against him, although, as an Omniscient Being, He knows that he is innocent.
Zophar & Job: Chaps. 11-14: Zophar’s violent arraignment of Job, as one who needs to submit in penitence to the all-seeing & all-righteous God: Chap. 11. Expression of the desire that the Omniscient One would appear to convince Job of his guilt: vers. Admonitory description of the impossibility of contending against God’s omniscience, which charges every man with sin. Truly penitent has in prospect restoration of his prosperity, for the wicked how ever there remains no hope. Job’s Reply: Attack upon his friends, whose wisdom and justice he earnestly questions. Ridicule of the assumed wisdom of the friends, who can give only a very unsatisfactory description of the exalted power and wisdom of the divine activity. Resolution to betake himself to God, righteous Judge, who, in contrast with harshness and injustice of the friends, will assuredly do him justice. Vindication of himself addressed to God, beginning with the haughty asseveration of his own innocence, but relapsing into a despondent cheerless description of brevity, helplessness, and hopelessness of man’s life.

Second Series of Controversial Discourses [Dialogue Debate]: Entanglement increasing: Chaps. 15-21:
Eliphaz & Job: Chaps. 15-17: Eliphaz: God’s punitive justice is revealed only against evil-doers.
Recital, with accompanying rebuke, of all in Job’s discourses and conduct that is perverted, and that bears witness against his innocence. Didactic admonition on the subject of the retributive justice of God in the destiny of the ungodly. Job: Although oppressed by his disconsolate condition, he nevertheless wishes and hopes that God will demonstrate his innocence against the unreasonable accusations of his friends. (A brief preliminary repudiation of the discourses of the friends as aimless and unprofitable). Lamentation on account of the disconsolateness of his condition, as forsaken and hated by God and men. Vivid expression of the hope of the future recognition of his innocence. Sharp censure of the admonitory speeches of the friends as unreasonable, and as having no power to comfort.
Bildad & Job: Chaps. 18-19: Bildad: Job’s passionate outbreaks are useless, for the divine ordinance, instituted from of old, is still in force, securing that the hardened sinner’s merited doom shall suddenly and surely overtake him. Sharp rebuke of Job, the foolish and blushing boaster.
Description of the dreadful doom of the hardened evil-doer. Job: His misery is well-deserving of sympathy; it will however all the more certainly end in his conspicuous vindication by God, although not perhaps till the life beyond. (Introduction: Reproachful censure of the friends for maliciously suspecting his innocence). Sorrowful complaint because of the suffering inflicted on him by God and men. Uplifting of himself to a blessed hope in God, his future Redeemer and Avenger. Earnest warning to the friends against the further continuance of their unfriendly attacks.
Zophar & Job: Chaps. 20-21: Zophar: For a time indeed the evil-doer can be prosperous, but so much the more terrible and irremediable will be his destruction. Introduction, violently censuring Job, and theme of the discourse. Expansion of the theme, showing from experience that the prosperity and riches of the ungodly must end in the deepest misery. Job: That which experience teaches concerning the prosperity of the wicked during their life on earth argues not against, but for his innocence. Calm, but bitter introductory appeal to the friends. Along with the fact of the prosperity of the wicked, taught by experience, stands the other fact of earthly calamities befalling the pious and righteous. Rebuke of the friends for setting forth only one side of that experience, and using that to his prejudice.

Third Series of Controversial Discourses [Dialogue & Monologue Debate]: Entanglement reaching its extreme point: Chap. 22-28:
Eliphaz & Job: Chap. 22-24: Eliphaz: Reiterated accusation of Job, from whose severe sufferings it must of necessity be inferred that he had sinned grievously, and needed to repent. Charge made openly that Job is a great sinner. Earnest warning not to incur yet severer punishments. Admonition to repent, accompanied by the announcement of the certain restoration of his prosperity to him, when penitent. Job: Inasmuch as God withdraws Himself from him, and that moreover His allotment of men’s destinies on earth is in many ways most unequal, the incomprehensibleness of His dealings may thus be inferred, as well as the short-sightedness and one-sidedness of the external theory of retribution held by the friends. Wish for a judicial decision by God in his favor is repeated, but is repressed by the agonizing thought that God intentionally withdraws from him, in order that He may not be obliged to vindicate him in this life. Darkness and unsearchableness of God’s ways to be recognized in many other instances of an unequal distribution of earthly prosperity among men, as well as in Job’s case.
Bildad & Job: Chap.25-26: Bildad: Again setting forth contrast between God’s exaltation and human impotence. Man cannot argue with God. Man is not pure before God. Job: Rebuke of his opponent, accompanied by a description, far surpassing his, of exaltation and greatness of God. Sharp Rebuke of Bildad. Description of the incomparable sovereignty and exaltation of God, given to eclipse far less spirited attempt of Bildad in this direction.
Job alone [Monologue]: His closing address to the vanquished friends: Chap. 27-28:
Renewed solemn asseveration of his innocence, accompanied by a reference to his joy in God, which had not forsaken him even in the midst of his deepest misery. Statement of his belief that prosperity of the ungodly cannot endure, but that they must infallibly come to a terrible end. Declaration that true Wisdom, which alone can secure real well-being, and correct solution of the dark enigmas of man’s destiny on earth, is to be found nowhere on earth, but only with God, and by means of pious submission to God.

Second Chief Division of Poem. Disentanglement of mystery through discourses [Monologues]
of Job, Elihu and Jehovah: Chap. 29-42:
First Stage of the Disentanglement: Chap. 29-31: Job’s Soliloquy [Monologue]: Setting forth truth that his suffering was not due to his moral conduct, that it must have therefore a deeper cause. [Negative side of solution of problem.] Yearning retrospect at the fair prosperity of his former life: Describing outward aspect of this former prosperity. Pointing out the inward cause of this prosperity his benevolence and righteousness. Describing that feature of his former prosperity which he now most painfully misses, namely, the universal honor shown him, and his far reaching influence. Sorrowful description of his present sad estate: Ignominy and contempt he receives from men; Unspeakable misery which everywhere oppresses him; Disappointment of all his hopes. Solemn asseveration of his innocence in respect to all open and secret sins: He has abandoned himself to no wicked lust; He has acted uprightly in all the relations of his domestic life; He has constantly practiced neighborly kindness and justice in civil life; He has moreover not violated his more secret obligations to God and his neighbor; He has been guilty furthermore of no hypocrisy, nor mere semblance of holiness, of no secret violence, or avaricious oppression of his neighbor.

Second Stage of the Disentanglement: Chap. 32-37:
Elihu s Discourses [Monologues]: Devoted to proving that there can be really no undeserved suffering, that on the contrary the sufferings decreed for those who are apparently righteous are dispensations of divine love, designed to purify and sanctify them through chastisement [First half of positive solution of problem]. Introduction: Elihu’s appearance, and the exordium of his discourse, giving the reasons for his speaking. Elihu’s appearance (related in prose). Explanation addressed to the previous speakers, showing why he takes part in this controversy. Setting forth that he was justified in taking part, because the friends had shown, and still showed themselves unable to refute Job. Special appeal to Job to listen calmly to him, as a mild judge of his guilt and weakness.
First Discourse [Monologue I]: Of man’s guilt before God: Preparatory: Reproof of Job’s confidence in his perfect innocence; Didactic discussion of true relation of sinful men to God, who seeks to warn and to save them by various dispensations, and communications from above: By the voice of conscience in dreams; By sickness and other sufferings; By sending a mediating angel to deliver in distress; Calling upon Job to give an attentive hearing to the discourses by which he would further instruct him.
Second Discourse [Monologue II] : Proof that man is not right in doubting God’s righteousness: Opening: Censure of the doubt of God’s righteousness expressed by Job; Proof that divine righteousness is necessary, and that it really exists; From God’s disinterested love of His creatures; From the idea of God as ruler of the world; Exhibition of Job’s inconsistency and folly in reproaching God with injustice, and at the same time appealing to his decision.
Third Discourse [Monologue III]: [Zockler-Evans misinterprets Elihu arguements & doctrine.] Refutation of the false position that piety is not productive of happiness to men: Folly of the erroneous notion that it is of small advantage to men whether they are pious or ungodly. Real reason why the deliverance of the sufferer is often delayed, viz-: Lack of true godly fear; Dogmatic and presumptuous speeches against God, which was the case especially with Job.
Fourth Discourse [Monologue IV]: Vivid exhibition of activity of God, which is seen to be benevolent, as well as mighty and just, both in destinies of men, and in natural world outside of man: (Introduction announcing that further important contributions are about to be made to vindication of God). Vindication of divine justice, manifesting itself in destinies of men as a power benevolently chastening and purifying them: In general; In Job’s change of fortune in particular. Vindication of Divine Justice, revealing itself in nature as supreme power and wisdom. Consideration of wonders of nature as revelations of divine wisdom and power: Rain, clouds and storms, lightning and thunder; Agencies of winter such as snow, rain, the north wind, frost, etc. Finally admonitory inferences from what precedes for Job.

Third Stage of the Disentanglement: Chap. 38-42:
Jehovah’s Discourses [Monologues]: Aim of which is to prove that the Almighty [Shaddai] and only wise God [El, Eloah, Elohim], with whom no mortal should dispute, might also ordain suffering simply to prove and test the righteous. [Second half of positive solution of problem.]
First Discourse [Monologue I] of Jehovah, together with Job’s answer: With God, the Almighty and only wise, no man may dispute: Introduction: Appearance of God; His demand that Job should answer him. God’s questions touching His power revealed in the wonders of creation: Questions respecting process of creation; Respecting inaccessible heights and depths above and below earth, and forces proceeding from them; Respecting phenomena of atmosphere, and wonders of starry heavens; Respecting preservation and propagation of wild animals, especially of lion, raven, wild goat, stag, wild ass, oryx, ostrich, war-horse, hawk and eagle. Conclusion of discourse, together with Job’s answer announcing his humble submission.
Second Discourse [Monologue II] of Jehovah, together with Job’s answer: To doubt God’s justice, which is most closely allied to His wonderful omnipotence, is a grievous wrong, which must be atoned for by sincere penitence: Sharp rebuke of God’s presumption which has been carried to the point of doubting God’s justice; Humiliating demonstration of the weakness of Job in contrast with certain creatures of earth, not to say with God: shown by description of Behemoth (hippopotamus); of Leviathan (crocodile), as king of all beasts. Job’s answer: Humble acknowledgment of the infinitude of the divine power, and penitent confession of his sin and folly.

Historical Conclusion (In Prose): Chap. 42: Glorious vindication of Job before his friends. Restoration of his former dignity and honor. Doubling of his former prosperity in respect to his earthly possessions and his offspring.

8: From: Book of Job Origin Growth Interpretation, New Translation, Revised Text. Morris Jastrow, Jr, LLD. (1920)
Foreword:
“A witty Frenchman once remarked of the Bible that as a collection it was ‘plus c’elebre que connu’ [“more famous than known”, that is, more known than read] . It is in the hope of making a contribution towards having the most celebrated of the books of the Bible better known and by that I mean a deeper penetration into its real meaning and significance that I offer a new translation which, based on an entirely revised Hebrew text, will be found to differ materially from the current translations. Preceding the translation and forming the first part of the work, I have given the results of a study of the origin, growth and interpretation of the Book of Job, which represents the outcome of many years of devotion to this remarkable production of antiquity, dealing with problems that are as vital and as puzzling to-day as they were two milleniums ago when the book, after an extended process of amplification, reached its final form…..No modern translator that I know of makes the attempt to distinguish between the original portion of the book and the amplification to which Job, as every literary production in the ancient Orient, was subject. Without such distinction it is entirely hopeless to obtain a correct view of the great masterpiece hopeless indeed to recognize it as a masterpiece. The starting point, therefore, in my study of the origin, growth and interpretation of Job, is a recognition of the separation of the story of Job from the poetical composition in which the two problems suggested by the story, the reason for innocent suffering in the world and for the frequent escape of the wicked from merited punishment, are discussed. The story of Job is like the text of a sermon, or like a parable on which a preacher enlarges. The story is the peg upon which is hung the discussion of two vital problems from which we cannot escape, if we look at things in this world as they are.…
It is to the elucidation of the various aspects of these three strata and their relationship to one another that the first part of this work is devoted; and I trust that after a consideration of what has been set forth, the reader will agree with me in the view that in the magnificent nature poems with which the book closes and which from the literary point of view are the finest in the composite production, there is suggested as a definite and final answer to the two main problems of Job that simple faith in a mysterious power, whose manifestations are to be seen in the world of inanimate & animate nature, constitutes a resting point for man in the ceaseless search to which he is irresistibly led by his own nature to penetrate the mystery surrounding his life. I am aware that to many, as I suggest at various points in my study, it will seem startling as well as painful, to be asked to lay aside views which have the force of time-honored tradition and to look at the great masterpiece from a new and unaccustomed angle. But I am also in hopes that after carefully considering the justification brought forward for the interpretation and for the new translation, my readers will reach the conclusion that the new Job is a greater masterpiece than the traditional one, because relieved of contradictions and freed from inherent difficulties that persist under the traditional view of the book. Let me not be understood as setting up the extravagant claim of having solved all the difficulties in the book. That were presumptuous indeed. An author unless carried away by vanity is always his severest critic. I feel, however, that without exceeding the bounds of proper modesty I may lay claim to having advanced the interpretation of the book to which I have given years of patient study and to which I have become ever more closely attached as I have penetrated deeper into its spirit. That at all events is my hope which, I trust, will not turn out to be a delusion.
In closing this foreword I wish to make special acknowledgment to a modern student of the Old Testament who in my judgment has been more successful than almost any other scholar of the present or past generation, in freeing the Old Testament of textual errors and in illuminating hundreds of passages in all of the books. Alas that the acknowledgment must take the form of a tribute to his memory. Arnold B. Ehrlich, whose name is little known beyond the small circle of special workers, passed away a few months ago after a lifetime devoted to research. He left behind him as his monument a comprehensive work in seven volumes which he modestly called “Marginal Notes (Randglossen) to the Hebrew Bible,” in which as he passes from book to book he makes his comments and textual suggestions in brief but always striking form, with an unfailing instinct as the fruit of profound learning. Though he spent most of his life in New York, he wrote this comprehensive commentary in German, because it was only in Germany that he could find a publisher for a work of this character appealing naturally to a restricted circle. To all students of the Old Testament, however, these Marginal Notes are an indispensable handbook which every one engaged in the study must have constantly at his side. If I were to have made full acknowledgment to Ehrlich in the notes to my translation, his name would have appeared on every page.”

Part I: Folktale of Job & Book of Job.
I: Job Skeptical Spirit in Original Book of Job
II: Origin of Literary Symposium
III: Date of Symposium
IV: Two Jobs
V: Friends in Folktale and in Symposium
VI: Two Conceptions of God
VII: Non-Hebraic Origin of Story of Job
VIII: Oral Transmission ‘Versus’ Literary Production
IX: Modifications in the Folktale. The Figure of Satan
X: “Sons of God”
XI: Four Epilogues to the Book of Job

Part II: Three Strata in Book of Job.
I: Collective and Anonymous Authorship
II: Original Book of Job and Supplements to it
III: Third Series of Speeches of Job and His Friends
IV: Two Appendices to Original Book of Job
V: Composite Character of the Speeches of Elihu
VI: Collection of Nature Poems as Third Stratum
VII: Message of the Nature Poems

Part III: Changes and Additions Within Original Book of Job
I: Jewish Orthodoxy Versus Skepticism
II: Varying Versions of Hebrew Text
III: Additions to Original Book of Job of Purely Explanatory Character
IV: Superfluous Lines

Part IV: How a Skeptical Book was Transformed into Bulwark of Orthodoxy
I: Changes in the Original Book of Job Made in the Interests of Jewish Orthodoxy
II: Additions by Pious Commentators
III: Transformation of Crucial Passages
IV: Orthodox Sentiments Placed in Mouth of Job
V: “Search for Wisdom”
VI: Virtues of Job
VII: Two Appendices as the Coping to Structure of Jewish Orthodoxy

Part V: Book of Job as Philosophy & Literature
I: Insoluble Problem
II: Religious Strain in Original Book of Job.
III: Individualism in Religion
IV: Defects in Job’s Philosophy
V: Attitude Towards Problem of Evil in Speeches of Elihu
VI: Solution of Problem in Nature Poems
VII: New Doctrine of Retribution in Future World
VIII: Literary Form of Job. Symposium not Drama
IX: Zoroastrianism and Book of Job
X: Job & Prometheus
XI: Message of Job to Present Age

New Translation to Fit Book of Job:
I: Story of Job (Chapters 1 & 2)
II: Symposium Between Job and His Friends (Chapters 3-21)
III: Third Series of Speeches (Chapters 22-27)
IV: Two Supplementary Speeches of Job. (Chapters 29-31)
V: Search for Wisdom (Chapter 28)
VI: First Appendix to Book of Job: Elihu’s 4 Speeches with 3 Inserted Poems(Chapters 32-37)
VII: Second Appendix to Book of Job: Collection of 8 Nature Poems (Chapters 38-41)
VIII: Four Epilogues to Book of Job: Chapters 40-42:
1. (Poetical Epilogue, added to 1st Speech put in the Mouth of Yahweh)
2. (Poetical Epilogue, combined with an Introduction, & added to the Description of the Hippopotamus & the Crocodile, as the Second Speech put in the Mouth of Yahweh)
3. (Prose Epilogue to the Symposium)
4. (Original Close of the Folktale)

Notes: (Jastrow’s Notes to his Translation are learned & copious, and covers many doctrines, problems, & authors on Job and the Poetical Books of the Old Testament. I give a sample of his Translation with Notes to 42:12-17):

And Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand (14,000) sheep and six thousand (6,000) camels and a thousand (1,000) yoke of cattle and a thousand (1,000) she-asses. And he had double the number of seven (14) sons (92) and three (3) daughters.(93)
And there were no women in all the land so fair as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them an inheritance with their brothers.(94) And Job lived after this a hundred and forty years (95) [and saw his children and his grandchildren, —four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.] (96)
Notes:
(92) A strange form to express “double seven ” is used and as Ehrlich points out with intent to avoid a confusion with the expression “sevenfold.” The Targum confirms the interpretation by using the common term fourteen. It will be observed that only the number of the sons are doubled, but not that of the daughters. Sons from the Oriental point of view are an asset; daughters a liability.
(93) As an amplification of the folktale of Job, the names of the three daughters of Job are added (v. 14): “And the name of the one was Jemima and the name of the second Kezia and the name of the third Keren-happuch.” The names appear to be plant names and of foreign origin, perhaps transliterations from the Arabic. Kezia is the plant Cassia while Keren-happuch, literally “horn of eye paint,” might designate the “Stibium box,” used by women. In Arabic Jemima is the “dove,” but it is more likely that it here designates some plant. It is likely that in some version of the folktale the names of the sons were also mentioned, as well as the name of Job’s wife.
(94) Again a bit of folk-lore, that is, however, devoid of significance in the present form of the story. The post-exilic Priestly Code (Num. 27:1-11) permits such an inheritance only in case there are no sons.
(95) The Greek version has 170.
(96) Verse 16.b and the whole of verse 17 are omitted in the original Greek version. They are clearly later additions —suggested by Gen. 35:29 —just as the names of the three daughters are fanciful amplifications of the folktale. Such additions are common at the end of ancient books. The Greek version of Theodotion has four additional notes or statements pointing to the continued expansion of the folktale, in the style of the Jewish “Midrash.” They are:
(a) “It is written that Job will again arise with those whom the Lord will resurrect.”
(b) “According to the ‘Syriac’ book (i.e., probably an Aramaic version) he (i.e., Job) dwelt in the land of Uz on the borders of Idumea and Arabia and his name was formerly Jobab (cf. Gen. 36:33). He took to wife an Arabic woman and had a son whose name was Ennon. He himself was the son of Zare (i.e., Zerah, Gen. 36:33), one of the sons of Esau and Bozrah (a misreading of Gen. 36:33, which says ‘from Bozrah’ in connection with Zerah), so that he was the fifth from Abram.”
(c) A third addition, giving the list of the Edomite kings on the basis of Gen. 36:31-39, though only four are mentioned here, as against eight in Genesis:
“And these are the kings who ruled in Edom, over which he himself ruled:
First, Bela the son of Beor, whose city was Dinhabah (cf. Gen. 36:32).
After Bela, Jobab, who was called Job (cf. Gen. 36:33),
After this one, Husham of the land of the Temanites (Gen. 36:34).
After this one, Hadad, son of Barad (Bedad, Gen. 36:35), who slew Midian in the field of Moab and the name of his city was Gethaim” ( = Awith or Gawith, cf. Gen. 36:35).
(d) “The friends who came to him were: Eliphaz of the sons of Esau (cf. Gen. 36:10), king of the Temanites, Bildad the tyrant of the Shuhites, Zophar, the king of the Mineans.”

9: From: Book of Job. Moses Buttenwieser, PhD. (1922)

Preface:
“Popular appreciation of the Book of Job was slow to come. It was not until modern times that the book became generally accepted as “one of the grandest things ever written with pen,” and that the hope expressed by its writer became realized that later ages might bring to his words the understanding to which the minds of his contemporaries were closed. Strange though it may seem, this is in reality not surprising, for up to the last decades of the eighteenth century the selfsame theology prevailed against which Job is depicted as in revolt. It was a theology which accepted as axiomatic the belief in individual material retribution, a theology which discredited human reason, and attributed divine authority to traditional lore or inherited beliefs, and because of the complete sway which this theology held over their minds, men through the ages were as unable to understand the spiritual issues described in the Book of Job as were the orthodox friends of Job in the writer’s own day. Another serious theological barrier to the understanding of Job through the centuries was the dualistic conception rooted in paganism, with its Nature-worship and deification of physical forces, which from about the time the Book of Job was written, exercised an ever-growing influence over the thought of the world. By setting up the other world against this one and exalting the supernatural above the natural, Dualism fostered modes of thought and a spiritual outlook which were fundamentally opposed to the religious spirit and ideals of Job. It is plain that as long as the goal of human endeavor was seen in the life to come, and as long as the pursuit of truth was looked upon as mere presumptuousness inspired by the Devil, men could not possibly have any real understanding of the soul struggle depicted in the drama of Job. They were perforce incapable of understanding how Job could yield, as be did momentarily, to doubt and despair, and yet maintain his faith in God, or how he should emphatically deny all hope in an hereafter, when obviously the solution of his enigma lay in immortality or resurrection. Above all, they were unable to grasp the positive reasoning that runs through the whole drama. And so they missed the two essential points, the hero’s staunch assurance of God’s presence in him, withal his realization of the overwhelming majesty of God, and his conviction that the moral law inherent in man is the supreme reality, the absolute guide for human life and conduct. Through the two thousand years during which Dualism held sway over the minds of men, the Book of Job was, of necessity, “a sealed book,” even as were the writings of the prophets; and not until men’s minds became liberated from the dualistic thrill, and a new era in the progress of human thought set in with the thought and tendencies which came to expression in the second half of the eighteenth century, was any adequate understanding of the book possible. The interpretation of Job which prevailed through the centuries previous to the middle of the eighteenth century shows this beyond peradventure of a doubt.
As early as the Greek translation of Job, we have, I believe, evidence that a fixed interpretation must have been current. Many of the astounding renderings of the Greek, many of the most perplexing deviations from the Hebrew, are due, not as is generally assumed, to any ignorance of Hebrew on the part of the translators, nor yet to the circumstance that their Hebrew copy differed materially from the Masoretic text, but to the fact that the Alexandrian translators were guided in their work by a traditional interpretation, which they accepted without question and followed as a matter of course. (It may be remarked in passing that the translators often show an admirable knowledge of subtle syntactical points, and also that those passages which are innocuous from the point of view of the dogmatic beliefs and religious sentiments of the age are, on the whole, well translated.) Proof of this may be seen in the fact that the strange renderings ref erred to are met with again in the Targumim and Mediaeval Jewish Commentaries, neither of which can have been dependent upon the Greek; their agreement with the latter can, to my mind, be satisfactorily explained only on the ground of a traditional interpretation as source for all three. The renderings in question are much after the manner of the Midrash ; they are arbitrary and fanciful, showing no regard for the grammatical structure or for the meaning of the words. An especially instructive example illustrating this is 12:5-6. If we had only the Greek Version of these verses to go by, we could not but conclude, as Biblical scholars have invariably done, that the Greek had a radically different reading from that of the Masoretic text. The fact, however, that the rendering of these verses in the Greek is substantially the same as in Targum I and II and also in line with Rashi’s interpretation, a thousand years later, and that in the case of these latter it is absolutely certain that it is the Masoretic text which is so arbitrarily interpreted, leaves no doubt as to the true character of the reading of 12:5-6 in the Greek. Another interesting instance of the influence of the traditional interpretation is presented by 14:12,14, in which the Greek, and later the Christian and Jewish exegetes, did away with Job’s denial of a hereafter a proceeding, it may be remarked, which has found emulation among modern scholars. In this latter connection, 19:25-27 may be cited, although not directly illustrating the point in question. Into these verses the belief in resurrection was carried by the Occidental Church, and here again the forced interpretation has been upheld by a number of modem scholars, among others even by some of those who correctly interpret 14:12,14. The fact that as early as the Greek translation a distinctly biased and arbitrary interpretation of Job was established is of the utmost importance from the point of view of sound text-criticism. It dare not be lost sight of for a moment. It is of interest to us also in quite another respect, for who knows, anomalous as this may seem, whether the book would ever have found a place in Sacred Literature, would ever have come down to us at all, were it not for this same biased interpretation which it received at a comparatively early age.”

10: From: Book of Job as a Greek Tragedy, Restored with an Introductory Essay, on the Original Form & Philosophic Meaning of Job. Horace Meyer Kallen. Introduction by Prof. George Foot Moore.(1918)

     Introduction: In 1587 Theodore Beza began a course of lectures on Job in Geneva by dividing the book into acts and scenes, and in the following period several similar at tempts were made. Lowth tells us in the 18th century that scholars all but universally regarded Job as a drama; they counted the acts, and discussed the structure of the play, the catastrophe, the introduction of the ‘deus ex machina’ (God from macine, Divine solution), just as if they were handling an Attic tragedy. In his volume on Hebrew Poetry (1753), which in so many ways makes an era in the subject, Lowth devotes an entire lecture to this question. Taking Aristotle’s Poetics as an incontestable criterion, he finds that, although Job has all the other marks of tragedy, it lacks precisely the essential element, the “actio.” This does not mean it may not be quite superfluous to remark that it is not suitable for acting; tragedies intended to be read, not played, were written before Aristotle’s time, and he himself observes that the proper power of tragedy is felt without scenery, costume, or actors. The “action” which Aristotle demands and Lowth misses is something doing in the drama itself, the doing in which the story, “the soul of the drama,” is unfolded, and by which the tragic event is determined and brought about. Lowth concludes that Job may be called a dramatic poem, but not properly a drama. This has become a critical common place; but the criterion has been forgotten, and modern scholars sometimes repeat Lowth’s argument, which proves at most that Job does not correspond to Aristotle’s philosophy of the drama not character nor sentiments, but only deeds are the cause of men’s weal or woe as a demonstration that Job can not in any sense properly be called a drama. From this orthodoxy there have been some eminent dissidents; Ewald, for example, held that Job is a true drama, constructed with conspicuous art on the necessary principles which are fundamental not merely to Greek tragedy but to all tragedy, and lacking only a formal adaptation to the stage. Dr. Kallen goes a long way beyond these predecessors, however, in his theory that Job is, so to say, a Greek tragedy in Hebrew, specifically modelled after Euripides. (From Preface: But contrariwise, it may be —romance. Should the reader come to think it romance, he will also, I trust, recall, that it is not without a goodly fellowship, compact of thousands of volumes of far, far solider learning, yet no less than this slight thing the winnings of merely adventuring speculation about historic and literary origins, relationships, and meanings. The scholar’s world, like the story-teller’s, is the world of ideas, indeed, and it is true that most of them are false ideas. Were most not false, there would be no generations of scholars to count. Horace M. Kallen.)

11: From: Book of Job. Keil-Delitzsch Old Testament Biblical Commentary. Translated by Francis Bolton. TT Clarke’s Foreign Theological Library (v.10). 2nd Edition Revised, (1869).

Translation & Exposition Book of Job:
1st Part: Opening (Chap. 1-3): Prologue. Job’s disconsolate Outburst of Grief.

2nd Part: Entanglement (Chap. 4-26):
1st Course of Controversy (Chap. 4-14): Eliphaz’ 1st Speech [1] & Job’s 1st Answer [2]. Bildad’s 1st Speech [3] & Job’s 2nd Answer [4]. Zophar’s 1st Speech [5] & Job’s 3rd Answer [6].
2nd Course of Controversy (Chap. 15-21): Eliphaz’ 2nd Speech [7] & Job’s 1st Answer [8].
Bildad’s 2nd Speech [9] & Job’s 2nd Answer [10]. Zophar’s 2nd Speech [11].
Job’s 3rd Answer [12].
3rd Course of Controversy (Chap. 22-26): Eliphaz’ 3rd Speech [13] & Job’s 1st Answer [14].
Bildad’s 3rd Speech [15] & Job’s 2nd Answer [16].

3rd Part: Transition to Unravelment (Chap. 27-31):
Job’s Final Speech to Friends [17] & Job’s Monologue [18]: Part: I, II, III.

4th Part: Unravelment (Chap. 32-42):
Speeches of Elihu [19] (Chap.32-37): Historical Introduction to Section. Elihu’s Speeches: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.
Unravelment In Consciousness (Chap. 38-42):1st Speech of Jehovah [20] & Job’s Answer. 2nd Speech of Jehovah & [20 or 21] Job’s Second Penitent Answer.
Unravelment in Outward Reality (Chap 42).

Appendix: Monastery of Job in Hauran, etc. Addenda. Note on Arabic Words & Abbreviations. Index of Texts (over 200 comparative relevant reference verses from the Books of the Old & New Testaments).
Monastery of Job in Hauran & Tradition of Job, (with Map of District): by J. G. Wetzstein.
(“Auranitis (Hauran) (Arabic: ALA-LC: Hawran), also spelled Hawran, Houran and Horan, is a volcanic plateau, a geographic area and a people located in southwestern Syria and extending into the northwestern corner of Jordan”. Bing search.)
“The oral tradition of a people is in general only of very subordinate value from a scientific point of view when it has reference to an extremely remote past; but that of the Arabs especially, which is always combined with traditions and legends, renders the simplest facts perplexing, and wantonly clothes the images of prominent persons in the most wonderful garbs, and, in general, so rapidly disfigures every object, that after a few generations it is no longer recognizable. So far as it has reference to the personality of Job, whose historical existence is called in question or denied by some expositors, it may be considered as altogether worthless, but one can recognise when it speaks of Job’s native country. By the (’Eretz ‘Utz, erets Us, Uz [Land of Oz]) the writer of the book of Job meant a definite district, which was well known to the people for whom he wrote; but the name has perished, like many others, and all the efforts of archaeologists to assign to the land its place in the map of Palestine have been fruitless. Under these circumstances the matter is still open to discussion, and the tradition respecting Job has some things to authorize it. True, it cannot of itself make up for the want of an historical testimony, but it attains a certain value if it is old, i.e. if it can be traced back about to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, when reliable information was still obtainable respecting that district, although its name was no longer in use.
In all the larger works of travel on Palestine and Syria, we find it recorded that ‘Hauran” is there called Job’s fatherland. In Hauran itself the traveler hears this constantly; if any one speaks of the fruitfulness of the whole district, or of the fields around a village, he is always answered: Is it not the land of Job (‘bilad Ejub’)? Does it not belong to the villages of Job (dia Ejub)? Thus to Seetzen ‘Bosra’ was pointed out as a city of Job; and to Eli Smith even the country lying to the east of the mountains was called the land of Job. In ‘Kanawat’, a very spacious building, belonging to the Roman or Byzantine period, situated in the upper town, was pointed out to me as the summer palace of Job (the inscription 8799 in ‘Corp. Inscr. Graec.’ is taken from it). The shepherds of ‘Da‘il’, with whom I passed a night on the ‘Wadi el-Lebwe’, called the place of their encampment Job’s pasture-ground. In like manner, the English traveler Buckingham, when he wandered through the ‘Nukra’, was shown in the distance the village of ‘Gherbi’ (‘i.e. Chirbet el-ghazale’, which from its size is called ‘el-chirbe kat’ exochën’) as the birthplace and residence of Job, and it seems altogether as though Hauran and the Land of Job are synonymous. But if one inquires particularly for that part of the country in which Job himself dwelt, he is directed to the central point of Hauran, the plain of Hauran (‘sahl Hauran’), and still more exactly to the district between the towns of ‘Nawa’ and ‘Edre‘at’, which is accounted the most fertile portion of the country, covered with the ruins of villages, monasteries, and single courts, and is even now comparatively well cultivated. Among the nomads as well as among the native agricultural population, this district is called from its formation ‘Nukra’ or ‘Nukrat esh-Sham’, a name by which this highly-favoured plain is known and celebrated by the poets in the whole Syrian desert, as far as ‘Irak and Higaz.
But even the national writers are acquainted with and frequently make mention of the Hauranitish tradition of Job; yet they do not call Job’s home Nukra, —for this word, which belongs only to the idiom of the steppe, is unknown to the literature of the language,—but ‘Bethenije’ (‘Batanaea’). It is so called in a detailed statement of the legends of Job: After the death of his father, Job journeyed into Egypt to marry ‘Rahme’ (Rachmah) the daughter of Ephraim, who had inherited from her grandfather Joseph the robe of beauty; and after he had brought her to his own country, he received from God a mission as prophet to his countrymen, viz. to the inhabitants of Hauran and Batanaea ([Arabic sentence omitted]). The historian of Jerusalem, Mugir ed-din el-Hambeli, in the chapter on the legends of the prophets, says: “Job came from el-‘Es, and the Damascene province of Batanaea was his property.” In like manner, in the ‘Geography’ of Jakut el-Hamawi, under the art. ‘Bethenije’, it is said: “and in this land lived Job (‘wakan Ejub minha’).”
Modern exegetes, as is known, do not take the plain of Hauran, but the mountain range of Hauran with its eastern slope, as the ‘Provincia Batanaea’. I have sought elsewhere to show the error of this view, and may the more readily confine myself to merely referring to it, as one will be convinced of the correctness of my position in the course of this article. One thing, however, is to be observed here, that the supposition that Basan is so called as being the land of basalt rocks, is an untenable support of this error. The word basalt may be derived from (Basantis), or a secondary formation, (Basaltis), because Basan is exclusively volcanic; but we have no more right to reverse the question, than to say that Damascus may have received its name from the manufacture of damask. (In the fair at ‘Muzerib’ we again saw the sheikh of the ‘Wesije’-Beduins, whose guest we had been a week before at the Springs of Joseph in western ‘Golan’, where he had pitched his tent on a wild spot of ground that had been traversed by lava-streams. In answer to our question whether he still sojourned in that district, he said: “No, indeed! ‘Nazilin el-jom bi-ard bethene shele’ (we are now encamped in a district that is completely ‘bethene’).” I had not heard this expression before, and inquired what it meant. The sheikh replied: ‘bethene’ [Arabic] is a stoneless plain covered with rich pasture. I often sought information respecting this word, since I was interested about it on account of the Hebrew word (Bashan), and always obtained the same definition. It is a diminutive form, without having exactly a diminutive signification, foreign the language of the nomads it is an acknowledged fact that such a form takes the place of the usual form. The usual form is either ‘bathne’ or ‘bathane’. The Kamus gives the former signification, “a level country”. That the explanation of the Kamus is too restricted, and that of the Sheikh of Wesije the more complete, may be shown from the Kamus itself. In one place it says, The word moreover signifies (a) the thick of the milk (cream); (b) a tender maiden; (c) repeated acts of benevolence. These three significations given are, however, manifestly only figurative applications, not indeed of the signification which the Kamus places ‘primo loco’, but of that which the Sheikh of the W s je gave; for the likening of a “voluptuously formed maiden,” or of repeated acts of benevolence, to a luxurious meadow, is just as natural to a nomad, as it was to the shepherd Amos (ch. 4:1) to liken the licentious women of Samaria to well-nourished cows of the fat pastures of Basan. Then the Kamus brings forward a collective form ‘buthun’ ([Arabic] perhaps from the sing. ‘bathan’ = (Bashan), like [Arabic] from ‘asad’) in the signification pastures [Arabic]; pastures, however, that are damp and low, with a rich vegetation. That the word is ancient, may be seen from the following expression of Chalid ibn el-Welid, the victor on the Jarmuk: “‘Omar made me governor of Damascus; and when I had made it into a ‘buthene’, ‘i.e’. a stoneless fertile plain (easy to govern and profitable), he removed me.”
Jakut also mentions this expression under ‘Bethenije’. Chalid also uses the diminutive as the nomads do (he was of the race of Machz m); probably the whole word belongs only to the steppe, for all the women who were called ‘buth ne’, ‘e.g’. the beloved of the poet Gem l, and others mentioned in the “Diwan of Love” (‘Diwan es-sababe’), were Bedouin women. After what has been said, we cannot assign to the Hebr. (Bashan) any other signification than that of a fertile stoneless plain or low country. This appellation, which was given, properly and originally, only to the heart of the country, and its most valuable portion, viz. the Nukra, would then ‘a potiori’ be transferred to the whole, and when the kingdom of Basan was again destroyed, naturally remained to that province, of which it was the proper designation.)
The home of Job is more definitely described in the following passages. Muhammed el-Makdeshi says, p. 81 of his geography: “And in Hauran and Batanaea lie the villages of Job and his home (‘dia Ejub wa-diaruh’). The chief place (of the district) is Nawa, rich in wheat and other cereals.” The town of Nawa is still more definitely connected with Job by Jakut el-Hamawi under the article ‘Nawa’: “Between Nawa and Damascus is two days’ journey; it belongs to the district of Hauran, and is, according to some, the chief town of the same. Nawa was the residence (‘menzil’) of Job;” and Ibn er-Rabi says, p. 62 of his essay on the excellences of Damascus : “To the prophets buried in the region of Damascus belongs also Job, and his tomb is near Nawa, in the district of Hauran.” Such passages prove at the same time the identity of the Nukra with Batanaea; for if the latter is said to be recognisable from the fact of Job’s home being found in it, and we find this sign in connection with the Nukra in which Nawa with its surrounding country is situated, both names must denote one and the same district. …
…..But that which might injure the authority of Josephus is the contradiction in which it seems to stand to a far older statement concerning ‘Ausitis’, viz. the recognized postscript of the LXX. to the book of Job, which makes Job to be the Edomitish king Jobab. This identification, it may be said, can however only have been possible because ‘Ausitis’ was in or near Edom. But the necessity of this inference must be disputed. It is indeed unmistakable that that postscript is nothing more than a combination of the Jews beyond Palestine (probably Egyptio-Hellenistic), formed, perhaps, long before the LXX., —such a vagary as many similar ones in the Talmud and Midrash. From the similarity in sound of (’Iöbab)) with (’Iöb), and the similarity in name of (Zara), the father of ‘Jobab’, with a son of Re‘uel and grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:13), Job’s descent from Esau has been inferred. That Esau’s first-born was called ‘Eliphaz’ and his son ‘Teman’, seemed to confirm this combination, since (in accordance with the custom of naming the grandson as a rule after his grandfather) ‘Eliphaz’ the Temanite might be regarded as grandson of that ‘Eliphaz’, therefore like Job as great-grandson of Esau and (pemptos apo Abraam). The apparent and certainly designed advantages of this combination were: that Job, who had no pedigree, and therefore was to be thought of as a non-Israelite, was brought into the nearest possible blood-relationship to the people of God, and that, by laying the scene in the time of the patriarchs, all questions which the want of a Mosaic colouring to the book of Job might excite would be met. Now, even if the abode of Job were transferred from the land of ‘Us to Edom, it would be only the consequence of his combination with ‘Jobab’, and, just as worthless as this latter itself, might lead no one astray. But it does not seem to have gone so far; it is even worthy of observation, that (mBotsra) (from ‘Bosra’, the Edomite city), being attached to the misunderstood (huios Zara ek Bosorhras), Gen. 36:33, is reproduced in the LXX. by (mëtros Bosorhras), as also that Job’s wife is not called an Edomitess, but a (gunë Arabissa). And it appears still far more important, that Ausitis lies (en tois horiois tës Idoumaias kai Arabias), so far as the central point of (Idoumaia) is removed by the addition (kai tës Arabias), and Job’s abode is certainly removed from the heart of Idumaea. The ‘Cod. Alex.’, exchanges that statement of the place, even in a special additional clause, for (epi tön horiön tou Euphratou), therefore transfers Ausitis to the vicinity of the Euphrates, and calls the father of Jobab (= Job) (Zareth ex anatolön hëliou) (mebeni qedem). Nevertheless we attach no importance to this variation of the text, but rather offer the suggestion that the postscript gives prominence to the observation: (houtos (viz. Iöb) hermëneuetai ek tës Suriakës biblou.)……
……And now, in concluding here, I have still to explain, that in writing these pages I was not actuated by an invincible desire of increasing the dull literature respecting the (’eretz ‘utz) by another tractate, but exclusively by the wish of my honoured friend that I should furnish him with a contribution on my visit to the ‘Makam Ejub’, and concerning the tradition that prevails there, for his commentary on the book of Job. As to the accompanying map, it is intended to represent the hitherto unknown position of the Makam, the Monastery, and the country immediately around them, by comparing it with two localities marked on most maps, ‘Nawa’ and the castle of ‘Muzerib’. The latter, the position of which we determined in 1860 as 32° 44′ north lat. and 35° 51′ 45″ east long. (from Greenwich), lies three hours’ journey on horse back south of the Monastery. The ‘Wadi Jarmuk’ and ‘Wadi Hit’ have the gorge formation in common with all other wadis that unite in the neighbourhood of ‘Zezun’ and form the Makran, which is remarkable from a geological point of view: a phenomenon which is connected with the extreme depression of the valley of the Jordan. For the majority of the geographical names mentioned in this essay I refer the reader to Carl Bitter’s ‘Geographie von Syrien und Palestina’; others will be explained in my ‘Itinerarien’, which will be published shortly.”

11: From: Book of Job. P1, Oldest Book in the World. P2, Rhythmical Translation, Structure; Brief Explanatory & Critical Notes. E. W. Bullinger, DD. 1903 (Compare Bullinger’s abridgment of the Book of Job in his Companion Bible.)
Preface:
Few Books of the Bible have received more attention than the Book of Job; both as to translations and as to commentaries. The Apocalypse, perhaps, exceeds it; because of its relation to the future, in which we are naturally more interested. The Book of Job carries us back to the remote past, and contains the oldest lesson in the world. It is significant that this oldest book should be devoted to imparting that knowledge, in comparison with which all other knowledge sinks into insignificance.
It is the lesson which is essential to our having peace with God for Time, and to our enjoying the peace of God for Eternity….Thus the ‘Structure’ determines the Scope; and the ‘Scope’, in turn, furnishes the key to the interpretation of the words….The Divine Names & Titles have all been indicated either in the Translation (where the Rhythm allowed it), or in the Notes. Those used in this book may be thus defined & distinguished.
Elohim is God, as the Creator, carrying out His will; God, standing in the relation of Creator to His creatures.
El, is God, as the Omnipotent. The Creator showing forth His power in carrying out His work. “The Almighty” would have been, perhaps, the most appropriate rendering, had not this word been, in the A.V., appropriated as the rendering of “Shaddai.”
Eloah is the God Who is to be worshipped and reverenced, the living God, in contrast with all idols & false gods.
Adonai is God as the Ruler in the earth; and this in relation to the whole Earth, rather than as limited to His own People. It is thus distinguished from Jehovah.
Jehovah is the Eternal God, “Who is, and was, and is to come.” The self-existent God, Who stands in Covenant relation to His own People.
Shaddai is God as All-Bountiful. The Giver of every good gift; the Fountain of all Divine help; and the Supplier of all human need. Not merely Almighty as regards His power, but All-Bountiful as regards His resources.
These are the Divine titles used in the book of Job, and it will be observed that Eloah and Shaddai are the titles that specially mark the character of the book. In our judgment, all the Divine Names and Titles should have been preserved in their original forms in translating the Bible into any language. They should have been transferred (with explanations) instead of being translated. No one word in any language can ever explain all that is contained and implied in the Hebrew original. (To adopt the heathen names and titles, and use them to represent the God of revelation is a still greater mistake.) We have not ventured systematically on so bold a course; but we have adopted it where possible in certain cases, especially with the names Eloah and Shaddai. When we have not been able to do this, we have indicated the different titles in the notes. We have also uniformly distinguished them by the use of different types: for example:
Elohim, God the Creator, we have printed “God.”
El, God the Omnipotent or Almighty, we have printed “God.”
Eloah, God the object of Worship, we have printed (GOD).”
Adonai, God the Ruler in the Earth, we have printed “LORD” (as in A.V.).
Jehovah, God the Eternal One, we have printed Lord (as in A.V.).
Shaddai, God as the All-Bountiful, we have printed “GOD.”

     Thus, the distinguishing features of the following version are: 1. Rhythmical. 2. Based on the Structure of the book. 3. Notes the Figures of Speech. 4. Idiomatic. 5. Critical Readings of Dr. Ginsburg’s Hebrew Bible. 6. Distinguishes the various Divine Names and Titles.

     May we, together, come to the knowledge of Divine “Wisdom”; &, while we justify God & condemn ourselves, learn how mortal man can be just with God; & that, while God is just, He is the
Justifier of all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Christ is the “spirit.” In the book of Job we have the ” body.” But, “as the body without the spirit is dead,” so the “letter” of the word without Christ (the “spirit”) is dead also. May His words be spirit and life, i.e., true spiritual life, to ourselves.

Part I: Oldest Lesson in the World (“The End of the Lord” James 5:11): Book & Structure: Introduction. Adversary’s Assault. Job & his Three Friends. Ministry of Elihu. Ministry of Jehovah Himself. Conclusion.

Part II: Translation of Book of Job: Introduction: Historical. Adversary’s Assault. Three Friends: Their Arrival. Job & His Friends: Job’s Lamentation; Eliphaz 1st Address & Job’s Reply; Bildad’s 1st Address & Job’s Reply; Zophar’s 1st Address & Job’s Reply; Eliphaz 2nd Address & Job’s Reply; Bildad’s 2nd Address & Job’s Reply; Zophar’s 2nd Address & Job’s Reply; Eliphaz. 3rd Address & Job’s Reply; Bildad’s 3rd Address & Job’s Reply; Zophar’s 3rd Address; Job’s Justification. Ministry of Elihu. Jehovah and Job. Three Friends: Their Departure. Adversary’s Defeat. Conclusion: Historical.

Introduction: Oldest Lesson in the World: Lord’s End (Purpose, Object, Design):
We have all “heard of the patience of Job.” But, the great and important question is this, Have we “seen the end” which the Lord had in view in all His dealings with Job? The “end” which He brought about in His own perfect way? The object and purpose of the book are one. Whatever is said and done; whoever speaks or acts; all has reference to one person; and all is designed to bring about one “end.” It is a long book. It consists of forty-two chapters, relating to various events, and different agencies; all brought to bear upon one person, and all directed to one “end ” “the end of the Lord.”
We see Heaven, and Earth, and Hell; Jehovah, and Satan; the Chaldeans, and Sabeans; fire from heaven, and wind from the wilderness; Job’s friends, his wife, and children, all engaged and employed in order to secure one “end.” It is a wonderful book in itself, apart from either the patience of Job, or the end of the Lord.
We might study it with reference to the history involved in the book; its national character; its place in the Canon of Scripture: the time when it was written; the various references to arts and sciences, to natural history, to astronomy, to various objects of Nature, such as jewels, etc. We might study its eschatology; its knowledge of mineralogy, metallurgy and mining operations. We might notice its language; the words and expressions employed, especially those that are peculiar to the book. All these and many other matters might well form subjects of separate study: but we leave all these; because, however interesting each subject might be in itself, it is not the “end” for which the book is given to us. Ancient it is beyond all dispute. It probably belongs to the period covered by the book of Genesis; and, possibly, to the time of Abraham. Its lesson, therefore, is the oldest lesson we could have; and it takes us back to the first lesson taught in the Bible itself. In Gen.1 and 2 we have the creation of man. In Gen. 3 we have the fall of man, and the chapter ends with the statement that man was driven out from the Garden of Eden in judgment (v. 24). Then, in Gen. 4, what have we but ‘the way back again’ to God, in grace? God’s way, which Abel took; and man’s way, which Cain invented.
This, therefore, is the oldest lesson in the world. It is the first great lesson which stands on the fore- front of revelation; and the lesson of the book of Job follows this up and expands it by answering the solemn question, “How should man be just with God?” This is not only the oldest lesson, but it is the most important lesson that it is possible for us to learn. If we know not this lesson, it matters not what else we may know. Our knowledge may be vast, extensive, and deep on all other subjects; but it will not carry us beyond the grave. But the knowledge of this lesson will serve us for eternity; and secure our eternal blessing and happiness. If we know this lesson, it matters little what else we do ‘not’ know. No wonder then that this oldest lesson in the world is thus set at the very opening of God’s Word, following immediately upon the record of the Fall. No wonder that, thus, at the threshold of the Word of God, we have the foundation of Gospel truth securely laid.
The “end” which the Lord had in view in the book of Job was to enforce this lesson in the most powerful way; a way which should serve as an object lesson for all time; and by the manner in which it is set forth should impress its importance upon the hearts and minds of all. Its very structure is designed to attract our attention by exhibiting in a wonderful manner the perfect workmanship of the Spirit of God. The Structure itself speaks to us, if we have ears to hear. It says: If the outward form of the book be so perfect, how perfect must be its spiritual lesson; and how Divine must be its one great object; viz., “the end,” which Jehovah had in view from the beginning; “the end ” which was so blessedly accomplished ; and “the end” for which it is given to us.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.17

(Here are pages 342-375 of CBR.17 of Samuel-Esther, and the details of the Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemia, and Esther. PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, 375 pages. mjm) PDF 375 pages: CBR.ChristianBiblicalReflections.mjmselim.05062018

 

   Some reflections on the Books of Kings preliminary to the final Books of the Old Testament History, namely Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Esther:
First, we will lists the Kings of the Kingdoms, the Northern and the Southern, of Israel and Judah, that is of Samaria and Jerusalem. There are 19 Kings in each, all judged or evaluated or measured by King David, and the last King (20th) to rule in each Kingdom was the Gentile King of their Captivity and Exile. The 3 Kings before the Division of the Monarchy: Saul, David, and Solomon, each ruled 40 years.

Kings of Judah: Southern Kingdom: Jerusalem:
1. Rehoboam: First King. (did evil) 17 yrs
2. Abijah (or Abijam or Abia): Son of Rehoboam. (did evil) 3 yrs
3. Asa: Probably son of Abijah. (did right) 41 yrs
4. Jehoshaphat: Son of Asa. (did right) 25 yrs
5. Jehoram (or Joram): Son of Jehoshaphat; husband of Athaliah. (did evil) 8 yrs
6.a. Ahaziah: Son of Jehoram and Athaliah. (did evil) 1 yr
6.b. Athaliah: Daughter of King Ahab of Israel and Jezebel; wife of Jehoram; only queen to occupy the throne of Judah. (did evil) 6 yrs
7. Joash (or Jehoash): Son of Ahaziah. (did right young, did evil older) 40 yrs
8. Amaziah: Son of Joash. (did right young, did evil older) 29 yrs
9. Uzziah (or Azariah): Son of Amaziah. (did right) 52 yrs
10. Jotham: Regent, later King; son of Uzziah. (did right) 16 yrs
11. Ahaz: Son of Jotham. (did evil) 16 yrs
12. Hezekiah: Son of Ahaz; husband of Hephzi-Bah. (did right) 29 yrs
13. Manasseh: Son of Hezekiah and Hephzi-Bah. (did evil) 55 yrs
14. Amon: Son of Manasseh. (did evil) 2 yrs
15. Josiah (or Josias): Son of Amon. (did right) 31 yrs
16. Jehoahaz (or Joahaz): Son of Josiah. (did evil) 3 mnths
17. Jehoiakim: Son of Josiah. (did evil) 11 yrs
18. Jehoiachin: Son of Jehoiakim. (did evil) 3 mnths
19. Zedekiah: ben-Josiah (at 21); kingdom overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar. (did evil) 11 yrs (d.32)
20. Nebuchadnezzar: King of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 11th yr of Zedekiah; & exiled Judah.

Kings of Israel: Northern Kingdom: Samaria:
1. Jeroboam I: Led secession of Israel. (evil) 22 yrs
2. Nadab: Son of Jeroboam I. (evil) 2 yrs
3. Baasha: Overthrew Nadab. (evil) 24 yrs
4. Elah: Son of Baasha. (evil) 2 yrs
5. Zimri: Overthrew Elah. (evil) 7 days
6. Omri: Overthrew Zimri. (evil) 12 yrs
7. Ahab: Son of Omri; husband of Jezebel. (evil) 21 yrs
8. Ahaziah: Son of Ahab. (evil) 1 yr
9. Jehoram (or Joram): Son of Ahab. (evil) 11 yrs
10. Jehu: Overthrew Jehoram. (good and evil) 28 yrs
11. Jehoahaz (or Joahaz): Son of Jehu. (evil) 16 yrs
12. Jehoash (or Joash): Son of Jehoahaz. (evil) 16 yrs
13. Jeroboam Il: Son of Jehoash. (evil) 40 yrs
14. Zechariah: Son of Jeroboam II. (evil) ½ yr
15. Shallum: Overthrew Zechariah. (evil) 1 mnth
16. Menahem: Overthrew Shallum. (evil) 10 yrs
17. Pekahiah: Son of Menahem. (evil) 2 yrs
18. Pekah: Overthrew Pekahiah. (evil) 20 yrs
19. Hoshea: Overthrew Pekah; kingdom overthrown by Assyrians under Sargon II. (evil) 9 yrs
20. Shalmaneser: King of Assyria in 9th yr of Hoshea deported and exiles Israel to Assyria.

   20 High-Priests & Priests from the Exodus to the Captivity: Aaron benAmram, Eleazar benAaron, Phinehas benEleazar, Abishua benPhinehas, Bukki benAbishua, Uzzi benBukki, Zerahiah benUzzi, Meraioth benZerahiah, Azariah benMeraioth, Amariah benAzariah, Ahitub benAmariah, Zadok benAhitub, Hilkiah benShallum, Azariah benHilkiah, Seraiah benAzariah, and Ezra benSeraiah. Joshua benJehozadak, Joiakim benJoshua, Eliashib benJoiakim, and Joiada benEliashib.

We have 600 years of history from Samuel to Malachi, from the establishment of the Monarchy to the close of the Old Testament in the return exiles from Babylon. The Temple had a 500-year history from Solomon to Zerubbabel. During the Monarchy the Prophetic Office developed into the primary instrumentation of Israel’s divine transformation and continuance. God continued to leave room for Israel’s repentance and recommitment to the Mosaic covenant, and by such obedience and renewal He would intervene on their behalf to keep and fulfill all His promises made to them and their forefathers. Messiah must still come, ass the Seed and as Shiloh, and in the Incarnation take up humanity from Adam to the New Testament and eternity. Israel in His dispensational dealing would secure the Gentiles’ participation in His divine and eternal plans for man. Though they were His chosen, favored, and special people, the Elect of God, yet His judgment and chastisement of the nation showed Him to be an impartial and equitable God. His providential allowance of His people’s disobedience displayed His greater and larger concerns with mankind. In His redemptive and convictive work and dealings the nations as excluded Gentiles without special covenant relations, except those of Adam and Noah, would often share the covenant blessings and curses with Israel. Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and others would become His servants and messengers. Cyrus the Persian would become His son and anointed. Mankind was enlarging and maturing at an enormous rate, with new ways of living, working, surviving, understanding, and may such things. The Lord as God to Israel was ever involved in human affairs, both nationally and with individuals.
As we have seen the Book as the Word was gradually and increasingly displacing human and natural government and authority. And as the Dispensation of Israel began with Moses and the Law, so it ends with Ezra the Priest and Scribe of the Book, the Torah and the Tanakh, the Pentateuch and the Old Testament. It was not God’s proper will to institute the Monarchy as a substation of His Headship federally of the nation, but rather to continue to use Judges and Saviors and Heroes raised up as needed to rule and guide His people, as a Shepherd does His flock. The insanity of Saul compared to the zeal and devotion of David displays the Lord’s rejection of the one and the attraction to the other. As the King is the highest authority on earth, and as such, represents Divine Authority of heaven, God must deal with the nation as a Body through the King as its Head. As with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob as Israel, Moses and Aaron, so too the Judges and the Kings. The King’s court with the nation’s elders constituted the government of the people. The Law and the Sacrifice, the Elders and the Priests, together constituted the Testimony and Example of the People. In the individual Kings of both Kingdoms, the evaluation and measurement is a comparison of the ideal, and changes with the degree that ideal is attained or failed. The love of God and fellow man, the Creator and His creatures, the Father and His children, would be examined in Israel’s leadership; and thus religious purity, social responsibility, and family provisions would determine the King’s good or evil, and so too with each and every man. We see the Law was not kept in full national or tribal obedience, in many of its details, and the Book itself was lost and neglected as an essential guidance or rule. In divine judgment, Israel suffering wrath and pain, the rediscovery and the renewal of the Book would again surface or emerge. Such was the picture of the Kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Samaria, from Jeroboam departure from the Law of Moses and the Worship of God, that Kingdom was doomed to failure, and so all its Kings were bad and evil and wicked, because they continued in the apostasy. Only in the negative could any of the Northern Kings be good as Jehu, who exterminated the House of Ahab and Jezebel, but continued apostate like Jeroboam. Not so with the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, where not only the negative was manifest, but also the positive good and right things were displayed in about half of the Kings. The 3 most exceptional were Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah; yet none of these could surpass David; and all of them, David and Solomon included, could not approach the excellency of Messiah, the Christ. Even in Samuel the Seer the defect of human nature is seen in his sons whom he appointed as Judges of the people, but who were more wicked than most of the people, as it was also with Eli the High Priest and his sons.
The Temple is allowed to be built in response to David’s heart, patterned after the Lord’s own heart, but it too was not intended. The temporary and mobile Sanctuary was adequate for a people going through transformation, and strategically needed to adapt to their enemies’ movements against them. The City of David and the Temple of Solomon would establish the local and central government and worship in a way that it could be attacked and subverted in a much more decisive manner, often undetected. It’s true both David and Solomon, and a few other Kings, did enlarge and adorn the Temple as the Lord’s House in worship, praise, celebration, etc. The enemy saw in the Temple gold, silver, brass, and many special and precious objects that they wanted, and so attacked the City and stripped the House of those valuables, and in the end destroyed both City and Temple. The true Temple was not clearly seen, and all the glory of which it spoke and displayed would need await better times and another age to be written in the Scroll of a new covenant and testament.
We must also examine Chronicles in relations to Kings and Samuel. For this we will turn to a work that has given us the details in comparisons.

A Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles in the Text of the Version of 1884 by William Day Crockett. A.M. Professor of English Literature in the State Normal School, Mansfield, Pa. With an Introduction by Willis Judson Beecher, D.D. Professor of the Hebrew Language and Literature in the Auburn Theological Seminary New York Chicago Toronto Fleming H. Revell Company London and Edinburgh. (Andover-Harvard Theological Library 1890 Cambridge, Massachusetts) Copyright, 1897, William Day Crockett. (Analytical Outline & Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.)

Preface.
Many and many a time during the latter years of my College course, as I had taken up my Bible for the daily chapter, had I thought of the time in the near future of my Seminary days, when the Book of Books itself would be my constant study. But the ideal was never realized; for there were ever a hundred other volumes claiming one’s attention: Greek and Hebrew, and Theology and History, and Homiletics and Church Polity, and a score of allied subjects besides. And while the Bible was back of them all, while the Bible inspired them all, there was not in my own life the deep, earnest study of God’s Word for which I had longed for years. Without doubt, it was all my own fault; at any rate, the Bible study was not there.
It was at this juncture that the idea came for a Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. I had begun, for my own private Bible study, a Harmony of the Four Gospels. A long walk succeeded the first two hours’ work on the Gospel narratives; and with it came the thought: A thousand men have done this work before; why not accept some of the work that they have done—at least for a while—and try your skill in unplowed fields? The result of that thought was the conception of the present volume.
Until the completion of the first draft of the manuscript, I was not aware that such a work had ever been undertaken before. Since then I have learned that there are certain works, out of date and out of print, that have embodied the conception, more or less fully. But so far as it has been possible to learn, the present work is the only one of its kind. The volume as it stands to-day is the outgrowth of its first conception, in its general outline. The six books of the Old Testament that have been used as material, have been subjected to the most careful analysis; and the result is a “Harmony,” divided into five books, under the general name of “The Books of the Kings of Judah and Israel “—which, by the way, happens to be the title, with the exception of the addition of one letter, of one of the thirty and more Books of Old Testament times now lost to the world —which Books, in their turn, have been, more or less, the original material from which the six books under consideration have been compiled. The question of the compilation or the editing of the said books, however, does not fall within the province of this work.
The result of our study is something more than simply a Harmony of the Books of First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, and First and Second Chronicles; it embodies a careful analytical outline, the value of which, it is thought, will be as great as those sections displaying the Harmony idea—an outline, toward the perfection of which every verse of the six books in question has contributed its share —an outline, in which books, parts, divisions, sections, subsections, and even the subdivisions of the subsections, all have their own individual ‘raison d’itre’.
From the very nature of the case, the Harmony involves a study of the chronology. Such study, while it has been one of the most fascinating features of the whole work, has likewise been the most difficult. In the matter of Biblical chronology, the basal law seems to be, “Every man for himself, and the critic take the hindermost.” In conformity with the workings of this law, the author of the present work does not profess to agree with any one among the many different authorities on Bible chronology —that is, in detail; though it would be here proper to state that all the material available for chronological study has been used, and where traditional views and interpretations have been departed from, it has been only after the maturest consideration and the most careful weighing of evidence.
It would simply be an impossibility, in a volume of this size, to give all the reasons for adopting the particular order in the disputed cases; for those reasons are oftentimes purely internal. A full discussion of the reasons for the particular order of events in Elisha’s life, for example, would occupy many pages. The same may be said of the interpretation of the life and history of David; but where it has been
feasible, attention has been called to such reasons in the footnotes.
For the merits of the chronology, my especial thanks are due to Dr. Willis J. Beecher, of Auburn Theological Seminary, whose study and system of chronology have not only been of inestimable value, but whose personal suggestions have always been most helpful. For a few felicitous phrases in the Analytical Outline, I am indebted to the translators of Lange’s Commentaries.
The text is that of the Revised Version of 1884, which, for purposes of historical study, is confessedly the best English version to be had. The footnotes are, to a great extent, the marginal readings of the Revised Version; though from the natural requirements of the Harmony, several hundred of these have been omitted as needless, and a few others for other reasons. Many have been slightly changed, or added to, for the convenience of the student. The remaining notes are inserted for chronological or other explanatory reasons.
The Four Gospels, as the original material for the study of the life of Christ, must ever be the ground of absorbing and supremist interest to the Bible student. What those four books are to the New Testament, as the field for historical study, the six books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are to the Old: they are the principal sources of Old Testament history and chronology, and are the books most under discussion to-day. A Harmony of the Gospels has already become the indispensable aid to every student of the life of Christ, or even of the literature of the New Testament. It is hoped that this work will meet a long-felt want for some such study of the principal historical books of the Older Revelation. A “Harmony,” the volume has been called, though, as already stated above, it is much more than a mere Harmony. On the other hand, it is to be remembered that much that is arranged in parallel columns in it is not harmonious—cannot be made harmonious. And yet, in this very connection, it is also to be remembered, that the parallel passages are valuable, not so much for their perfect correspondences as for their many differences; for God’s Word and we are the richer far for every such difference. It is hoped that the careful study of these pages will help to reconcile some of these divergencies. Many will probably never be solved until we come to stand before the Great White Throne. But if this volume will aid in any way to a clearer knowledge of some of the many knowable things, and by that knowledge, aid —though but indirectly —in the fulfilling of the loving Master’s greatest prayer, that the Kingdom may come, it will accomplish that whereunto it is sent.
William D. Crockett.

Introduction.
By Professor Willis J. Beecher, D.D.,
Of the Theological Seminary of Auburn in the State of New York.

I Gladly accept the invitation to write a few words of introduction to the volume which my friend Mr. Crockett has prepared. Not many words are needed. The plan of the book speaks for itself.
In Old Testament study, at present, the thing that most demands investigation is the Old Testament itself. This fact is so obvious as to be accepted by all and understood by only a very few. By studying the Old Testament itself, some mean the looking up of points therein for illustrating current religious doctrine and experience. Others mean the repeating of the interpretations of the history, as these have been handed down to us from the time of Josephus. Others mean the examination of the new knowledge concerning the Bible derived from travels and surveys and explorations. Yet others understand the mental unraveling of the literary work done by the men who wrote the books of the Old Testament, the analyzing of these into certain real or supposed original documents, with conjectures as to the authorship of the original documents, and the processes by which they were combined until they assumed the form in which we now have them.
All these ways of study have their value, but none of them is, properly speaking, the study of the Old Testament as it now exists. The first is the study of certain matters in the Old Testament, and not of the Old Testament itself. One might pursue it for a lifetime without acquiring anything like a connected idea as to either the books or their contents. The second, except indirectly, is not a study of the Old Testament at all. From babyhood we have been familiar with the current superficial understanding of the events recorded; it is time that we turn from this and ask what the Old Testament actually says concerning these events. The third is indissolubly connected with the second. If through our traditional mistakes we misinterpret the statements made in the Scriptures, this will lead us equally to misinterpret what the monuments have to say on the same subjects. And the fourth form of study above mentioned is not a study of the Old Testament, but of the real or supposed sources of the Old Testament. As far as it is based upon an inadequate understanding of the Old Testament as it stands, so far is it necessarily crude and misleading.
What we need is something different from these four forms of study, something that is presupposed by each of the four, something that is demanded as the basis of each of the four, namely, the study of the contents and the form of the books of the Old Testament as they stand. When we thoroughly understand the things which the existing Old Testament says, and the literary form in which it says them, we shall be better prepared to analyze our existing Scriptures into their primary component parts, and to understand those parts; and we shall be qualified to perceive the true bearing of the information gained by recent discoveries, to estimate traditional interpretations rightly, to appreciate more fully the religious teachings.
It is a thing especially commendable in the work of my friend Mr. Crockett that he has labored in this part of the field, here where labor is needed. He has set himself to understand, and to help others understand, a portion of the contents of the Old Testament itself.
In large sections of the volume he has done nothing more than print parallel accounts in parallel columns for ready reference. So far, the value is merely mechanical —a mere bit of convenient machinery. This by itself was worth the doing, but he has done far more than this. He has himself attained to a firm grasp upon the history as a whole, and has attempted, by a careful analysis, to show others how to take the same grasp. In traversing three fourths of the path this was relatively simple. It was the remaining fourth, lying in separate sections at half a dozen different points, that taxed his skill and industry and patience. The larger half of the value of his work is that which appears, in comparatively small bulk, in these difficult sections.
Of course, not all his results will at once be accepted as final. Every scholar will think him correct to the extent to which he agrees with him, and no further. It is for these best parts of Mr. Crockett’s work that fault is most likely to be found with him. The reader will occasionally miss the confusing but familiar landmarks of the Josephan interpretation of the history, and will be ready at once to exclaim that Mr. Crockett has lost his way. In such instances, however, he will do well to take the trouble to understand the offered interpretation before absolutely rejecting it.
I have enough confidence in the intelligence and industry of the present generation of students of the Bible to lead me to expect that this volume will have wide acceptance and usefulness.
Auburn, New York, June 1897.

Books of the Kings of Judah and Israel:
Book I: Until the Founding of the Monarchy. 1. Genealogical Tables, with Brief Historical Statements. 2. Close of the Theocracy.
Book II: Reign of Saul: 1. Establishment by Samuel of Saul as 1st King of Israel. 2. Saul’s Reign until his Rejection. 3. Decline of Saul and Rise of David.
Book III: Reign of David: 1. 7 1/2 Years in Hebron. 2. Period of David’s Wars. 3. Period of Rest. 4. Period of Internal Dissensions.
Book IV: Reign of Solomon: 1. Beginning of Solomon’s Reign. 2. Solomon’s Glory. 3. Solomon’s Fall and End.
Book V: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel: 1. From Year of Disruption to Rise of Jehu. 2. From Rise of Jehu to Fall of Kingdom of Israel. 3. Kingdom of Judah after Fall of Kingdom of Israel.

Genealogies of Patriarchs (1st Chron. 1): Genealogy: Adam to Noah. Descendants of Noah’s Sons. Shem to Abraham. Descendants of Abraham. Kings and Dukes of Edom. Twelve Sons of Israel
Genealogies of Tribes of Israel (1st Chron. 2 – 9):
Tribe of Judah (1st Chron. 2 – 4). General Genealogies of the Tribe. 3 Accounts of Descendants of Caleb. Family of David. Line of David through Solomon.
Tribe of Levi (1st Chron. 6). Line of Aaron. Descendants of Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. Ancestors of the Songmasters, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan. Cities of the Levites.
Tribe of Reuben (1st Chron. 5).
Tribe of Gad (1st Chron. 5).
Half-Tribe of Manasseh (east of Jordan) (1st Chron. 5).
Tribe of Simeon (1st Chron. 4).
Tribe of Issachar (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Naphtali (1st Chron. 7).
Half-Tribe of Manasseh (west of Jordan) (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Ephraim (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Asher (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Benjamin (1st Chron. 8 – 9; 1st Sam. 14). General Genealogies of the Tribe. House of Saul.
Appendix: Additional Historical Statements (1st Chron. 5 & 9). War of the 3 Transjordanic Tribes with Arab Nations. Inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Close of Theocracy: (1st Sam. 1 – 7)

Early Life of Samuel. (1st Sam. 1 – 3)
20. Samuel’s Birth and Infancy. Answer to Prayer. Consecration to the Lord. Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving.
21. Samuel at Shiloh. Faithless Priests. Eli’s Expostulation with his Sons. Samuel’s Ministry before the Lord. Fall of Eli’s House foretold. Samuel’s Call. Samuel established as Prophet.

Period of National Disaster. (1st Sam. 4 – 7)
22. Israel’s Defeat and Loss of Ark.
23. Fall of House of Eli.
24. Ark of God. Chastisement of Philistines for Removal of the Ark. Restoration of Ark with expiatory Gifts. Reception and Settlement of Ark in Israel.
25. 20 Years of Waiting.

Samuel, Last of Judges. (1st Sam. 7)
26. National Repentance through Samuel’s Labors.
27. Israel’s Victory over Philistines.
28. Summary Statement of Samuel’s Work as Judge.

Reign of Saul: (1st Sam. 8 – 15)

Establishment by Samuel of Saul as 1st King of Israel. (1st Sam. 8 – 10)
29. Persistent Demand of the People for King.
30. Samuel meets Saul, who is destined by Jehovah to be King over Israel.
31. Saul is privately anointed by Samuel.
32. Signs of Divine Confirmation.
33. Choice of Saul by Lot at Mizpeh.
34. Installation of Saul as King.
35. Saul’s brief Retirement to private Life.

Saul’s Reign until his Rejection. (1st Sam. 11 – 15)
36. Generic Account of the Whole of Saul’s Reign. (1st Sam. 14)
37. Confirmation and general Recognition of Saul as King. Saul’s Victory over the Ammonites. Confirmation of Saul as King at Gilgal. Samuel’s last Transaction with People at Gilgal.
38. Beginnings of Royalty.
39. War against Philistines. Jonathan’s Exploit in Gibeah. Saul summons Israel to Gilgal. Philistines encamp in Michmash. Distress of Israel. Saul wrongly offers Sacrifice. Samuel’s Prophecy of Retribution. Saul moves his Headquarters to Gibeah. 3 marauding Bands of the Philistines. Jonathan’s bold Attack on Philistines. Flight and Overthrow of Philistines. Saul’s rash Curse and its Consequences.
40. Jehovah’s Rejection of Saul. Commission to destroy Amalek. Saul’s Disobedience. Penalty of Disobedience. Fate of Agag. Samuel and Saul part.

Decline of Saul and Rise of David: (1st Sam. 16 – 28; 2nd Sam. 4; 1st Chron. 10 – 12)

Early History of David. (1st Sam. 16)
41. David chosen and anointed as Saul’s Successor by Samuel.
42. David’s Introduction to Court of Saul.

David’s Advancement and Saul’s growing Jealousy. (1st Sam. 17 – 20; 2nd Sam 23;1st Chron.11)
43. The Story of David and Goliath. Invasion of the Philistines. The Challenge of Goliath. David is sent by his Father to his Brethren in the Army. David accepts Goliath’s Challenge. David’s Contest with Goliath. David once more in the royal Presence. The Deed of Shammah. The Rout of the Philistines.
44. David at the Court of Saul. Saul attaches David to his Suit. Jonathan’s Friendship for David.
David’s Popularity. Saul’s Hatred toward David. Saul’s artful Attempt against David’s Life. David’s increasing Popularity. Jonathan proves his Friendship for David.
45. David is forced to leave Court. David escapes by Michal’s Help. David’s Flight to Ramah and Saul’s Pursuit. Conference between David and Jonathan. Jonathan learns his Father’s Intentions towards David. Parting between David and Jonathan.

David’s Outlaw Life. (1st Sam. 21 – 27; 1st Chron. 12)
46. David’s Flight. To Nob, to Ahimelech, High Priest. To Achish, King of Gath. To Cave of Adullam. To Mizpeh of Moab, where he finds Asylum for his Parents. To Forest of Hereth, in Judah.
47. Saul’s Vengeance on Priests of Nob.
48. David in Keilah. David rescues Keilah. Abiathar joins David. David escapes from Keilah.
49. David’s last Meeting with Jonathan.
50. David’s Betrayal by Ziphites.
51. David’s Escape from Saul in Wilderness of Maon.
52. David in Wilderness of En-gedi: He spares Saul in Cave.
53. Death of Samuel.
54. David in Wilderness of Paran: History of Nabal and Abigail.
55. David’s matrimonial Relations.
56. David, betrayed again by Ziphites, spares Saul 2nd Time.
57. David again in Land of Philistines. David once more flees to Achish, King of Oath. Achish grants Ziklag to David. David’s Operations while at Ziklag. List of Men who came to David at Ziklag.

Saul’s Downfall in War with Philistines. (1st Sam. 28 – 30; 2nd Sam. 4; 1st Chron. 10 &12)
58. Philistines prepare for Campaign against Israel.

59. David and Philistine Invasion of Israel. Achish places Confidence in David. David encamps with Philistines in Aphek: Israelites pitch in Jezreel. David, dismissed from Philistine Army, starts for Ziklag. Philistines march toward Jezreel. List of Men who joined David on his Way to Ziklag.
60. David’s Victory over Amalekites who had destroyed Ziklag.
61. Philistines pitch in Shunem: Israelites in Gilboa.
62. Saul’s Visit to Witch of Endor.
63. Fall of House of Saul. Battle of Mount Gilboa. Accident to Mephibosheth.

Reign of David. (2nd Sam.; 1st Kings 1 – 2; 1st Chron. 3 & 29)
7 1/2 Years in Hebron. (2nd Sam. 1 – 4)
David’s Behavior on Hearing of Saul’s Death.
64. News of Saul’s Death is brought to David.
65. David’s Lamentation for Saul and Jonathan.

Rival Kingdoms. (2nd Sam. 2 – 3)
66. David is anointed King over Judah.
67. David’s Message to the Men of Jabesh-gilead.
68. Ish-bosheth is made King of Israel.
69. Civil War.
70. David’s Family in Hebron.

Events leading to David’s Elevation to Throne of Israel. (2nd Sam. 3 – 4)
71. Abner’s Quarrel with Ish-bosheth.
72. Abner’s Desertion to David: Michal restored to David.
73. Joab’s Murder of Abner: David’s Lamentation.
74. Murder of Ish-bosheth.
75. David punishes Murderers of Ish-bosheth.

Period of David’s Wars. (2nd Sam. 5; 8; 10 – 12; 21; 23; 1st Chron. 11 – 12; 14; 18 – 20; 1st Kings 11)
76. David is made King over Israel.
77. Data concerning Number of Warriors who made David King.
78. Jerusalem captured and made the Capital.
79. Defensive Wars against Philistines. 1st Campaign. David goes “down to the Hold.” Gadites who “separated themselves unto David.” Deed of “3 mighty Men.” David’s Victory at Baal-perazim. 2nd Campaign.
80. David’s Alliance with Hiram of Tyre.
81. Offensive Wars against Philistines. Summary of these Wars.1st Campaign. Withdrawal of David from active military Service. 2nd Campaign. 3rd Campaign. 4th Campaign.
82. Ammonite-Syrian Campaign. David’s Ambassadors insulted by Ammonites. Israelitish Victory under Leadership of Joab.
83. Syrian Campaign.
84. 2nd Ammonite Campaign. Joab lays Siege to Rabbah. David’s Fall. David’s Repentance. Capture of Rabbah.
85. Campaign against Moab. Conquest by David. Exploit of Benaiah.
86. Decisive Campaign against Hadadezer.
87. Subjugation of Damascus.
88. Submission of Hamath.
89. Subjugation of Edom.
90. Summary of David’s Wars: Nations conquered.
91. List of David’s Heroes. “1st 3.” Jashobeam. Eleazar. Shammah. The “3 mighty Men.” Their Exploit at Bethlehem. Abishai. Benaiah. Remaining Heroes.
92. Administration and Officers of Kingdom during this Period.
93. David’s Song of Thanksgiving.

Period of Rest. (2nd Sam. 6 – 7; 9; 12; 1st Chron. 13 – 17)
94. Removal of Ark from Kirjath-jearim. To House of Obed-edom. To Jerusalem. David’s Hymn of Praise. Concluding Statements.
95. Promise of eternal Dominion to House of David. David’s Purpose to build Temple to Jehovah. The Lord’s Answer through Nathan. David’s Prayer and Thanksgiving. David’s Kindness towards Jonathan’s Son, Mephibosheth. Birth of Solomon. David’s Family in Jerusalem.

Period of Internal Dissensions. (2nd Sam. 13 – 15; 21; 24; 1st Chron. 21)

Family Troubles. (2nd Sam. 13 – 15)
99. Amnon’s Crime.
100. Absalom’s Vengeance.
101. Absalom’s Flight and Sojourn in Geshur.
102. Recall of Absalom. Joab’s Stratagem. Absalom’s Return. Absalom and his Family. Absalom’s Waiting in Jerusalem. Absalom’s Readmission to Court.
103. Absalom stealing Hearts of Men of Israel.

National Calamities. (2nd Sam. 21; 24; 1st Chron. 21)
104. 3 Years’ Famine. Execution of Saul’s Grandsons. Burial of Saul and his Sons.
105. 3 Days’ Pestilence. David’s Sin in numbering the People. Choice of Punishments. Pestilence. David purchases Araunah’s Threshing-floor and erects Altar.

David’s Final Arrangements. (1st Chron. 22 – 29)
106. Preparations for Building of Temple. Temple Site chosen. David’s Plans and Foresight. David’s Charge to Solomon. David’s Charge to Princes.
107. National Convention. Convention summoned. Data concerning the Officials “gathered.” Number and Distribution of the Levites. 24 Houses of the Levites. Duties of the Levites. 24 Courses of Priests. 24 Classes of Singers. Courses of Doorkeepers. Officers of Treasuries of “House of God.” Officers and Judges “for outward Business. 12 Captains of Army. Chiefs of 12 Tribes. Overseers of King’s Treasuries and Possessions. Officers of State. Convening into Assembly of the secular Officials “gathered.” Public Acts in National Convention. David causes Solomon to be made King (1st Time). David’s Address. David directs Solomon concerning the Building of Temple. Contributions of David and the Officials for Building of Temple. David’s Thanksgiving and Prayer. Close of Convention.

Absalom’s Rebellion. (2nd Sam. 15 – 16)
108. Outbreak of Rebellion.
109. David’s Flight. He hastily leaves Jerusalem. Ittai’s Fidelity. Priests and Ark. Hushai is sent back to City. Lying Ziba [here WDC is mistaken about Ziba, it is Mephibosheth that was lying] and his Present. Cursing of Shimei.
110. Absalom in Jerusalem. His Entrance into the City. Hushai meets Absalom. Counsels of Ahithophel.
Ahithophel’s Counsel is thwarted by Hushai. Hushai’s Message to David. Ahithophel’s Suicide.
111. Civil War. Absalom’s Pursuit. Reception of David at Mahanaim. Battle of Mount Ephraim. Absalom is murdered by Joab. Tidings brought to David: his Grief for Absalom.

Restoration of David’s Authority. (2nd Sam. 19 – 20)
112. Joab’s Reproval of David’s unworthy Grief.
113. Negotiations for David’s Recall.
114. David’s Return. Homeward March begins. Shimei is pardoned. Meeting with Mephibosheth.
Barzillai’s Farewell. Strife between Judah and Israel
115. Sheba’s Insurrection. Outbreak of the Revolt. David re-enters Jerusalem. Joab, after murdering Amasa, pursues Sheba. Siege of Abel of Beth-maacah, Death of Sheba, and End of Rebellion.
116. Officers of State after the Restoration.

Closing Days of David’s Life. (1st Kings 1 – 2; 2nd Sam. 5; 1st Chron. 3; 29)
117. David’s failing Health: Abishag the Shunammite.
118. Solomon is made King “2nd Time.” Adonijah attempts to seize Kingdom. Nathan and Bath-sheba’s counter Coup d’ ‘etat. Solomon’s 2nd Anointing. Adonijah’s Alarm and Submission.
119. David’s last prophetic Words.
120. David’s last Words to Solomon.
121. Death of David.

Reign of Solomon. (1st Kings 2 – 11; 1st Chron. 29; 2nd Chron. 1 – 9)
Beginning of Solomon’s Reign. (1st Kings 2 – 3; 2nd Chron. 1)
122. Solomon’s Accession to Throne.
123. Solomon’s Removal of his Adversaries. Adonijah, asking Abishag to Wife, is put to Death.
Abiathar is degraded from Priesthood. Joab’s Flight and Death. Elevation of Benaiah and Zadok. Shimei meets with his Deserts.
124. Solomon marries Pharaoh’s Daughter.
125. Spiritual Condition of Solomon and his Kingdom.
126. Solomon’s Sacrifice at Gibeon.
127. Solomon’s Dream and Prayer for Wisdom.
128. God’s Gift of Wisdom manifest by Solomon’s Judgment on Harlots

Solomon in all his Glory: (1st Kings 5 – 10; 2nd Chron. 1 – 9)
129. Preparations for Building of Temple. League with Hiram, King of Tyre. Solomon’s Levy of Laborers.
130. Building of Temple. Commencement of Temple. God’s Promise to Solomon. Dimensions of Temple. Materials of Temple. Porch. Windows. Stories. Most Holy Place. Cherubim. Veil. Walls. Floor. Doors.
131. Completion of Temple. Building of Royal Palace. Thirteen Years in Building. House of Forest of Lebanon. Porch of Pillars. Porch of Throne. King’s own Dwelling House. House of Pharaoh’s Daughter. Materials of Buildings. Great Court.
132. Making of Vessels, etc., pertaining to Temple. Hiram Artisan of Tyre. Two Pillars. Altar of Brass. Molten Sea. Ten Bases. Ten Lavers. Courts. Summary of Hiram’s Work in Brass. Summary of golden Vessels, etc. Completion of Work.
133. Dedication of Temple. Removal of Tabernacle and its Contents from Zion to Temple. Solomon’s opening Address and Blessing. Solomon’s dedicatory Prayer. God’s constant Care invoked. When an Oath is made at Altar. In Defeat. In Drouth. In Famine and Pestilence. For Stranger. In Battle. In Captivity. Close of the Prayer. Solomon’s closing Benediction. Divine Confirmation. Sacrifice and public Festival. God’s second Appearance to Solomon.
134. Solomon’s Activity and Fame. Solomon’s and Hiram’s Exchange of Cities. Subjugation of Hamath. Removal of Pharaoh’s Daughter to her own House. Building of Millo: Affair with Jeroboam. Levy of forced Labor. Building of the Cities. Solomon’s Worship. Navies of Solomon and Hiram. Visit of Queen of Sheba.
135. Glory of Solomon. Princes. Commissaries. Solomon’s Wisdom. Solomon’s Revenue and Splendor.
Solomon’s Chariots, Horsemen, and Traffic. Extent and Security of Kingdom.

Solomon’s Fall and End: (1st Kings 11; 1st Chron. 9)
136. Strange Wives turn away Solomon’s Heart.
137. God’s Anger and Threatening.
138. Solomon’s Adversaries. Hadad the Edomite. Rezon Son of Eliada. Jeroboam Son of Nebat.
139. Death of Solomon

Kingdoms of Judah and Israel: (1st Kings 12 – 22; 2nd Kings 1 – 25; 1st Chron. 5; 2nd Chron. 11 – 36)

Year of Disruption to Rise of Jehu: (1st Kings 12 – 22; 2nd Kings 1 – 10; 1st Chron. 11 – 22)

Kingdom of Judah [Southern] & Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
140. Introduction: Accession of Rehoboam and Revolt of 10 Tribes.
141. Reign of Rehoboam. Rehoboam’s Plans against Israel frustrated by Prophet Shemaiah. Adherence of Levites in all Israel to Rehoboam. Rehoboam is further strengthened by Immigration of other pious Israelites. Rehoboam’s Fortifications. Rehoboam’s Family. Judah’s Apostasy under Rehoboam. Invasion of Shishak. (Constant Warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.) Death of Rehoboam.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
142. Reign of Jeroboam. Jeroboam is made King over Israel. Jeroboam takes Measures to establish his Kingdom. “Man of God out of Judah.” Prophecy against Jeroboam’s Altar in Beth-el. Withering and Restoration of Jeroboam’s Hand. Disobedience of the Man of God. Man of God is slain. “Old Prophet ” buries Man of God, and confirms his Words. Jeroboam’s Persistence in Evil. Ahijah’s Prophecy against House and Kingdom of Jeroboam. Jeroboam’s Inquiry concerning his sick Child. Ahijah’s Prophecy and its partial Fulfillment. (Constant Warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.) (War between Abijah and Jeroboam.) Death of Jeroboam.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
143. Reign of Abijah. Abijah’s Accession to Throne. War between Abijah and Jeroboam. Family of Abijah.
Character of Abijah. Death of Abijah.
144. Reign of Asa. Asa’s Accession Throne. Ten Years of Peace. (Death of Jeroboam.) Character of Asa: His first Reforms. Asa’s Policy of Defense. Asa’s Victory over Zerah the Ethiopian. Warning of Prophet Azariah. Second Reformation under Asa. 4 Years of Peace. Reforms in Worship. Renewal of the Covenant. Removal of Maacah, Queen Mother. War between Asa and Baasha. Warning of the Prophet
Hanani. Asa’s Transgression. Asa’s Illness. Death of Asa.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
145. Reign of Nadab. Nadab’s Accession to Throne. Character of Nadab. Death of Nadab.
146. Reign of Baasha. Baasha’s Accession to the Throne. (War between Asa and Baasha.)
147. Reign of Elah.
148. Reign of Zimri.
149. Reigns of Tibni and Omri. Civil War. Omri marries his Son Ahab to Jezebel of Zidon. Omri becomes sole King.
150. Reign of Omri. 1st 6 Years in Tirzah. Omri makes Samaria his Capital. Character of Omri. Death of Omri.
151. Reign of Ahab. Ahab’s Accession to Throne. Character of Ahab. Rebuilding of Jericho. (Jehoshaphat marries his Son Jehoram to Athaliah, Daughter of Ahab.) Persecution of the Prophets. Elijah the Tishbite. Famine foretold. Elijah hides by the Brook Cherith. Elijah in Zarephath. Elijah raises the Widow’s Son. Elijah goes to meet Ahab. Elijah’s Challenge. Jehovah versus Baal. Baal’s Priests are slain. Promise of Rain. Elijah’s Flight to Horeb. God’s Revelation to Elijah. Call of Elisha. Ahab’s first Syrian Campaign. Ben-hadad besieges Samaria. Ben-hadad’s arrogant Claims. God’s Promise of Victory. Ahab’s Victory over the Syrians. Ahab’s second Syrian Campaign. Prophet’s Warning. Ahab again victorious. Ahab spares Ben-hadad. Prophet’s Rebuke. 3 Years of Peace. Story of Naboth. Naboth ‘s Vineyard is coveted by Ahab. Jezebel causes Naboth’s Death. Ahab’s Doom pronounced by
Elijah. Ahab’s Repentance gains him a Respite. Ahaziah becomes co-regnant with Ahab. (Jehoshaphat joins Ahab in his third Syrian Campaign. Ahab resolves to recover Ramoth-gilead. Ahab’s Prophets promise him the Victory. Micaiah’s Prophecy. Battle of Ramoth-gilead: Defeat and Death of Ahab.)

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
152. Reign of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat’s Accession to the
Throne. Character of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat strengthens his Kingdom. Mission of the Princes, Levites, and Priests. Jehoshaphat’s increasing Power. Jehoshaphat marries his Son Jehoram to Athaliah, Daughter of Ahab. Jehoshaphat joins Ahab in his third Syrian Campaign. Ahab resolves to recover Ramoth-gilead. Ahab’s Prophets promise him the Victory. Micaiah’s Prophecy. Battle of Ramoth-gilead: Defeat and Death of Ahab. Prophet Jehu’s Judgment on Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat’s further Reforms in Worship and Law. Wondrous Deliverance from Children of Moab and Ammon and Mount Seir. Invasion. Jehoshaphat’s Prayer. Jehovah’s Answer through Jahaziel. Annihilation of the Invading Armies. Spoil. Triumphant Return to Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat’s Shipping Alliance with Ahaziah. Jehoram becomes co-regnant (co-regent) with Jehoshaphat. Jehoram ‘s sixfold Fratricide. Jehoshaphat joins Jehoram of Israel in an Expedition against Moabites. March. Elisha’s Promise of Water and Victory. Morning brings Water. Moabites defeated by the allied Armies. Death of Jehoshaphat.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
153. Reign of Ahaziah. Ahaziah becomes sole King. Character of Ahaziah. Revolt of Moab.
(Jehoshaphat’s Shipping Alliance with Ahaziah.) Ahaziah’s Illness. Jehovah’s Message by Elijah.
Death of Ahaziah.
154. Reign of Jehoram. Jehoram’s Accession to Throne. Character of Jehoram. Elisha Son of Shaphat. Translation of Elijah. Elijah’s Spirit rests upon Elisha. Elisha heals the noxious Waters at Jericho. Cursing of the Children. Elisha’s Journeying. Increase of the Widow’s Oil. Elisha promises Son to
hospitable Shunammite. Elisha heals the noxious Pottage at Gilgal. Elisha feeds one hundred Men
with twenty Loaves. Elisha restores Life of the Shunammite’s Son. 7 Years’ Famine Foretold. Recovery of lost Ax. (Jehoshaphat joins Jehoram of Israel in an Expedition against the Moabites.) Elisha and Syrians. Elisha reveals Ben-hadad’s Plans. Syrian Bands smitten with Blindness at Dothan. Elisha leads blinded Syrians to Samaria. Jehoram restores Shunammite’s Land because of Elisha’s Miracles. Story of Naaman. Healing of Naaman’s Leprosy. Naaman’s Gratitude. Gehazi’s Sin and Punishment. Siege of Samaria. Ben-hadad besieges Samaria. Suffering from Famine. King’s Messenger of Vengeance and Elisha’s Promise of Plenty. Discovery of the four Lepers. Lepers’ Report confirmed, and Elisha’s Promises fulfilled. Elisha’s Interview with Hazael. (Ahaziah aids Jehoram in the Defense of Ramoth-gilead.) Jehoram goes for Healing to Jezreel. (Jehu’s Successful Conspiracy. Ahaziah visits Jehoram in Jezreel.) At Elisha’s Command, Jehu is anointed King over Israel, at Ramoth-gilead. Jehu is proclaimed King by his Brother Officers. (Jehu proceeds to Jezreel and slays Jehoram. Ahaziah is, in turn, also slain by Jehu’s Command.) Fate of Jezebel. Judgment on House of Ahab. Massacre of the Princes Royal of Judah. Jehu attaches Jehonadab to his Support. Complete Success of the Usurper.
155. Reign of Jehoram. Jehoram becomes sole King. Character of Jehoram. Revolt of Edom. Revolt of Libnah. Posthumous Message from Elijah. Invasion of the Philistines and Arabians. Jehoram’s Illness. Death of Jehoram.
156. Reign of Ahaziah. Ahaziah’s Accession to the Throne. Character of Ahaziah. Ahaziah aids Jehoram in the Defense of Ramoth-gilead. Jehu’s Successful Conspiracy. Ahaziah visits Jehoram in Jezreel. Jehu proceeds to Jezreel and slays Jehoram. Ahaziah is, in turn, also slain by Jehu’s Command. (Massacre of the Princes Royal of Judah.)

Rise of Jehu to Fall of Kingdom of Israel: (2nd Kings 10 – 17; 2nd Chron. 22 – 31)

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
157. Reign of Jehu. Jehu’s Destruction of Baal. Jehovah’s Promise to Jehu and his House. Jehu walks in the Sins of Jeroboam. “Cutting short ” of Israel. Death of Jehu.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
158. Reign of Athaliah. Having slain all Seed Royal save Joash, Athaliah usurps Throne. Rescue of Joash. Jehoiada elevates Joash to Throne. Athaliah meets with her Deserts.
159. Reign of Joash. Joash’s Accession to Throne. Covenant made by Jehoiada. Joash’s Character as influenced by Jehoiada. Spiritual Condition of the Kingdom. Joash’s matrimonial Affairs. Joash’s Commands to repair Temple. Repairing of Temple. Temple Worship. Death of Jehoiada. Sins of Joash. Stoning of Zechariah. Hazael’s Operations in Judah. Reverses of Judah. Hazael subdues Gath. Hazael bought off by Joash. Death of Joash.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
160. Reign of Jehoahaz. Accession of Jehoahaz. Character of Jehoahaz. Oppression of the Syrians. Repentance of Jehoahaz. Jehoash becomes co-regnant with Jehoahaz. Hazael reduces Israel low. Death of Jehoahaz.
161. Reign of Jehoash. Jehoash becomes sole King. Character of Jehoash. Encouraging Prophecy of
Elisha on his Deathbed. Death of Elisha. Miracle in Elisha’s Tomb. Fulfillment of Elisha’s Prophecy: Success of Jehoash over Benhadad. (Amaziah hires 100,000 Mercenaries out of Israel, but subsequently dismisses them.) (Dismissed Israelitish Mercenaries pillage the Cities of Judah.) (War between Amaziah and Jehoash.) Death of Jehoash.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
162. Reign of Amaziah. Amaziah ‘s Accession to the Throne. Character of Amaziah. Amaziah plans an Expedition against Edom. Amaziah hires 100,000 Mercenaries out of Israel, but subsequently dismisses them. Amaziah’s Success in Edom. Dismissed Israelitish Mercenaries pillage the Cities of Judah. Amaziah’s further Wickedness. War between Amaziah and Jehoash. Last 15 Years of Amaziah’s Reign. Death of Amaziah. Interregnum of 11 Years.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
163. Reign of Jeroboam II. Accession of Jeroboam II. Character of Jeroboam II. Jehovah saves Israel by the Hand of Jeroboam II. Continued Apostasy of Israel. Death of Jeroboam II. Interregnum of 22 Years.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
164. Reign of Uzziah. Uzziah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Uzziah. Spiritual Condition of Kingdom. Uzziah’s prosperous Years. Building of Eloth. Uzziah’s Success in War. Uzziah’s Building and Husbandry. Uzziah’s Army. Uzziah’s Fame. Uzziah’s Sin and Punishment. Regency of Jotham. Death of Uzziah.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
165. Reign of Zechariah. Zechariah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Zechariah. Death of Zechariah.
Fulfillment of Jehovah’s Promise to Jehu.
166. Reign of Shallum.
167. Reign of Menahem. Menahem’s Accession to Throne. Character of Menahem. Invasion of Pul, King of Assyria. Death of Menahem.
168. Reign of Pekahiah. Pekahiah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Pekahiah. Death of Pekahiah. 169. Reign of Pekah. Pekah ‘s Accession to Throne. Character of Pekah. Beginning of the Captivity. (War between Jotham and Rezin and Pekah.) (War between Ahaz and Rezin and Pekah. Ahaz is defeated by the allied Kings. Oded the Prophet procures Release of Jewish Captives.) Tiglath-pileser captures many
Cities in northern Israel, and deports many Captives. Death of Pekah.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
170. Reign of Jotham. Jotham’s Accession to the Throne. Character of Jotham. Spiritual Condition of the People. Jotham’s Building. Subjugation of the Ammonites. War between Jotham and Rezin and Pekah. Death of Jotham.
171. Reign of Ahaz. Accession of Ahaz. Character of Ahaz. War between Ahaz and Rezin and Pekah. Ahaz is defeated by the allied Kings. Oded the Prophet procures Release of Jewish Captives. Edomite and Philistine Invasions. Ahaz seeks Help from Tiglathpileser. Tiglath-pileser captures Damascus. Ahaz becomes Tributary to Tiglath-pileser. Ahaz continues in his wicked Ways. Death of Ahaz. Interregnum of 9 Years.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
172. Reign of Hoshea. Hoshea’s Accession to Throne. Character of Hoshea. (Many of Subjects of Hoshea unite with the People of Judah in Keeping Passover. Preparations for the Passover. Keeping of the Passover. Keeping of “other 7 Days.” Enthusiasm aroused results in widespread Iconoclasm.) Hoshea becomes Tributary to Shalmaneser. Secret Alliance with Egypt. Shalmaneser besieges Samaria. Fall of Samaria. Imprisonment of Hoshea.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
173. The Reign of Hezekiah (first 6 years). Hezekiah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Hezekiah.
Cleansing of Temple. Reconsecration of Temple. Many of the Subjects of Hoshea unite with People of Judah in Keeping Passover. Preparations for Passover. Keeping of Passover. Keeping of “other 7 Days Enthusiasm aroused results in widespread Iconoclasm. Hezekiah’s further religious Reforms.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
174. Appendix to the History of Kingdom of Israel. Sins for which Israel was carried into Captivity. Peoples that were brought to inhabit Samaria. Plague of the Lions. Mixed Character of the Samaritans’ Religion.

Kingdom of Judah after Fall of Kingdom of Israel: (2nd Kings 18 – 25; 2nd Chron. 32 – 36)
175. Reign of Hezekiah (last 23 years) Hezekiah throws off Assyrian Yoke. Hezekiah’s successful Philistine Campaign. Sennacherib’s first Invasion of Judah. Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery. Hezekiah’s Reception of Babylonian Embassy. Hezekiah’s Wealth and Building. Sennacherib’s second Invasion of Judah. Sennacherib enters Judah. Hezekiah’s Precautions. Advance against Jerusalem: Rabshakeh’s Message. Reply of Hezekiah’s Ministers. Further Insolence of Rabshakeh. Despair of Hezekiah’s Ministers. Hezekiah’s Message to Isaiah. Isaiah’s Answer. Rabshakeh’s Departure. Sennacherib’s Letter to Hezekiah. Hezekiah’s Prayer. Jehovah’s Answer through Isaiah. Overthrow of the Assyrians. Hezekiah once more prosperous. Death of Hezekiah.
176. Reign of Manasseh. Manasseh’s Accession to Throne. Manasseh’s excessive Idolatries. Death of Sennacherib. Accession of Esar-haddon as King of Assyria. Jehovah’s Message “by His Servants the Prophets.” Manasseh’s further Crimes. Manasseh’s Captivity. Acts of Manasseh after his Restoration. Spiritual Condition of People. Death of Manasseh.
177. Reign of Amon. Amon’s Accession to Throne. Character of Amon. Death of Amon.
178. Reign of Josiah. Josiah ‘s Accession to Throne. Josiah’s godly Character. Josiah’s Life and Character not sufficient to atone for Judah’s Sins. Josiah’s early Reformations. Repairing of Temple. Book of Law. Finding of Book of Law. Effect of Discovery on Josiah. Words of Huldah the Prophetess. Reading of Book of Law. Making of Covenant. Josiah’s further Reformations. Fulfillment of Prophecy of “Man of God out of Judah.” Keeping of the Passover. Death of Josiah.
179. Reign of Jehoahaz. Accession of Jehoahaz. Character of Jehoahaz. Jehoahaz is deposed by Pharaoh-necoh.
180. Reign of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim is made King by Pharaoh-necoh. Captivity of Jehoahaz. Character of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim Tributary to Pharaoh-necoh. Jehoiakim Tributary to Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiakim’s Rebellion. Jehoiakim’s many Adversaries. Death of Jehoiakim.
181. Reign of Jehoiachin. Jehoiachin’s Accession to Throne. Character of Jehoiachin. Jehoiachin is taken Captive by Nebuchadnezzar,
182. Reign of Zedekiah. Zedekiah is made King by Nebuchadnezzar. Great Deportation to Babylon. Character of Zedikiah. Zedekiah’s Rebellion. Wickedness of People the Cause of their Ruin. Siege of Jerusalem. Zedekiah is taken Captive by Nebuchadnezzar.
183. Appendix to the History of the Kingdom of Judah. Overthrow of Jerusalem. Remaining Nobles Slain.
Treasure taken by the Chaldeans. Last Deportation to Babylon. Length of the Captivity. Gedaliah is made Governor of Judah. Murder of Gedaliah and Flight of People. Jehoiachin is set at Liberty. Proclamation of Cyrus permitting Return from Captivity.

(From: Ezra, Nehemia and Esther with Introductions, Notes, and Comments on the Authorized and Revised Versions. By George Carter (1901), Relfe Brothers, LTD. London)

Preface. In compiling the Introductions and Notes, the Author begs to acknowledge his indebtedness to the following books: The Speaker’s Commentary; the Pulpit Commentary; Keil’s Commentaries; Dr. Ryle’s Ezra and Nehemiah (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges); and Glazebrook’s Lessons from the Old Testament.

The Book of Ezra. Introduction.
1. Title and Authorship of the Book. The two books bearing the name of “Ezra” and “Nehemiah” were in the Hebrew Canon of Scripture one book, with the title of “The Book of Ezra.” But although there is a striking similarity in the style of the two books, yet the general opinion is that the books are the composition of two distinct writers.
The Christian Church has been unanimous in its opinion that the book which bears the title of “The Book of Ezra” in the Christian Canon of Scripture, was written by Ezra himself. Some modern critics, however, assert that only a portion of the book was written by Ezra, and they base their belief on the fact of the varying transitions from the first to the third person which occur in the course of the narrative. But this theory has not much weight when we consider that such changes of persons were common in ancient writers.
2. Life and Character of Ezra. The only information we possess about Ezra is obtained from his own book, and that of Nehemiah. His life, as gathered from these sources, falls
naturally under two headings:
(1) His Life as Governor of Judaea. Ezra was of the sacerdotal order, being descended from Hilkiah, the High Priest in the reign of Josiah. During the reign of Artaxerxes he held a high and important position in the Persian Court, since we find he had easy access to the king, but how he acquired that position we are not told. His great aim was to bring about a religious reformation among his countrymen in Jerusalem by teaching them the “statutes and judgements of God,” and he was well fitted for the task, since we read that he was “well read in the Law, and skilful and ready in its exposition.” Accordingly, he obtained a commission from his royal master allowing him to go to Jerusalem and take with him all those Jews that wished to return to their native land, investing him with full powers to carry out certain social and religious reforms, and granting him many privileges. In the seventh year of Artaxerxes he set out, accompanied with a band of adult males, numbering 1,773, and their families, and after a journey of four months reached Jerusalem in safety. He then handed over to the custody of the priests the sacred vessels, which he had received from Artaxerxes, and gave the king’s commissions to the different satraps of the province.
His first step was to compel the Jews to give up the heathen wives that they had married. Shortly after his arrival at Jerusalem the princes of the people complained to him about the mixed marriages. His grief and indignation were intense. “I rent my garment and my mantle,” he says, “and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.” But he applied himself earnestly to the task, and in six months all the Jews had discarded their heathen wives. After this he returned to Babylon.
(2) His Life as the Leading Priest under the rule of Nehemiah. About B.C. 444 he returned to Jerusalem, and occupied a position, purely ecclesiastical, under the governorship of Nehemiah. In the discharge of his priestly duties only two facts are recorded of him: (a) That he made arrangements for regular reading and expounding of the Law to the people, he himself taking the lead; (b) That he headed one of the processions formed to perambulate the walls on the day of their dedication. Ezra is the most prominent figure in the Story of the Return of the Exiles. He was in such high favour with King Artaxerxes that he made him governor of Judaea, and in the performance of the duties connected with that high office he was remarkable for his integrity, his moderation, his earnestness of purpose and his patriotism. His use of “persuasion rather than force” is contrasted favourably with the “fiery and intrepid zeal” of his successor, Nehemiah. As a priest and minister of God’s word his piety, his zeal for God’s service, and his anxious care for the spiritual welfare of his countrymen are most conspicuous.

Analysis of the Book of Ezra.
Part I. (Chapters 1 – 6)
The First Return of the Exiles, under Zerubbabel.
1. The Decree of Cyrus, addressed to all the Jews living throughout his dominions: (1) Giving them permission ” to go up to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of the Lord God of Israel; (2) Calling upon all his subjects to facilitate their journey with gifts of gold and silver, goods, boasts of burden and freewill-offerings for the building of the Temple.
2. The Response to the Decree. (1) The chiefs of the houses of Judah and Benjamin, and a band of men numbering 42,360, together with their families and their servants, set out on their journey to Jerusalem; many of the Ten Tribes also accompany them; (2) All the sacred vessels of the Temple which Nebuchadnezzar had carried to Babylon are committed to the care of Zerubbabel.
Note —No doubt a great number of the exiles preferred to remain in the land of their captivity for the following reasons: (a) They were in a very prosperous condition; (b) They lacked patriotism and religious enthusiasm; (c) They feared the long and perilous journey from Babylon to Jerusalem. Those who remained are called “The Jews of the Dispersion.”
3. The Religious Services are restored, and the Foundation of the Temple laid. The Altar of Burnt Sacrifice is set up on the site of the old one; the Feast of Tabernacles is kept; the Daily Sacrifice and the Set Feasts are permanently established. The Foundation of the Temple is also laid.
4. Opposition made by the Samaritans to the Building of the Temple. (1) Zerubbabel refuses the help of the Samaritans. They hire counsellors against the Jews and frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus. (2) At the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus they hinder the work by sending an accusation against the Jews to that king. (3) When Artaxerxes ascended the throne, Bishlam, Mithredath and Tabeel wrote a letter to him laying the most grievous charges against the Jews as a nation. Artaxerxes sends an answer to the effect that the work of building the Temple should be discontinued.
5. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah urge the people on to finish the work, whereupon the old enemies of the Jews inform King Darius that the work was again commenced, and that the Jews referred to the Decree of Cyrus as their authority for so doing.
6. The Decree of Darius. Darius orders a search to be made, and the Decree of Cyrus is discovered at Achmetha, and confirmed by him. The Temple is then completed, and its dedication follows.
Note —Here a break occurs in the narrative, extending from B.C. 516, the date of the Dedication of the Temple, to B.C. 458, when Ezra undertook his commission.

Part II. (Chapters 7 – 10)
The Second Return of the Exiles, under Ezra.
1. Ezra’s Commission. Ezra receives a commission from Ahasuerus, the details of which are as follows: (1) That permission should be given to all those Jews who were so minded to go up with Ezra to Jerusalem; (2) That Ezra should convey to Jerusalem all the gold and silver which the king and his counsellors freely offered unto the God of Israel; (3) That he should buy bullocks, rams and lambs for the sacrifices in the Temple; (4) That he should draw on the royal treasury for the expense of keeping up the services of the Temple; (5) That all priests, Levites, and other officers connected with the Temple Service should he exempt from every kind of taxation; (6) That Ezra should be empowered to appoint magistrates and judges to instruct the people and to punish evil-doers with death, banishment, confiscation or imprisonment. The number of adult males who accompanied Ezra (including Levites and Nethinims) was 1,773.
2. The Journey to Jerusalem. (1) On reaching the river Ahava Ezra finds that there are no Levites in his company, but through the influence of Iddo a number of Levites and Nethinims are induced to join; (2) He then proclaims a fast with a view to entreat God’s protection for the journey, and consigns the sacred vessels and gifts of the king and his nobles to the safe custody of the priests; (3) In spite of the opposition of enemies and robbers he arrives safely at Jerusalem, after a journey of about four months, and hands over the king’s commissions to the different satraps, and the sacred vessels to the care of the priests of the Temple.
3. The Religious Reforms carried out by Ezra. The Marriages with Heathen Women are Annulled.
The princes of the people complain to Ezra about the marriages of their countrymen with the heathen women. Ezra is filled with indignation and horror, and in the name of the people makes a public confession of sin to God. The people repent and, on the recommendation of Shechauiah, make a covenant to put away their strange wives and they confirm the covenant with an oath. Ezra then orders a general fast to be kept, and issues a proclamation summoning all the people to Jerusalem. At Ezra’s request the people agree to put away their strange wives. Only four showed any opposition to this arrangement; all the rest followed Ezra’s advice. Then follows a list of the names of those who had married strange wives. Here the book closes somewhat abruptly.

Chronology of Events in Ezra & Nehemiah & Esther:
From Destruction of Jerusalem to End of Administration of Nehemiah.
B.C.
598: Zedekiah is made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, but relying on the assistance of Pharaoh-hophra, king of Egypt, he rebels (2 Kings 24:17-20; Ezekiel 17:15).
588: Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem and destroys it. Zedekiah, while trying to escape, is captured and sent to Babylon (2 Kings 25.).
562: Evil-Merodach succeeds his father, Nebuchadnezzar, on throne of Babylon. He releases Jehoaddin from captivity (2 Kings 25: 27-30).
559: Neriglissar murders Evil-Merodach, and succeeds him.
555: Laborosarchad, son of Neriglissar, is cruelly murdered in 1st year of his reign by a band of conspirators, one of whom, Narbonidus, seizes throne.
538: Belshazzar succeeds Narbonidus, his father. His great Feast. Babylon is taken by Cyrus, and Belshazzar slain (Dan. 5.).
536: Edict of Cyrus, permitting Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1:1).
536: First return of Exiles, under Zerubbabel, Tirshatha of Judaea. (Ezra 1:5-11).
535: Foundation of New Temple laid (Ezra 3:10-13).
529: Death of Cyrus Cambyses (= Ahasuerus, Ezra 4:6), his son, succeeds him.
522: Psuedo-Smerdis (=Artaxerxes, Ezra 4:7) ascends throne, but is deposed and slain by Darius Hystaspes.
521: Darius Hystaspes (= Darius, Ezra 4:24) becomes king.
520: Prophets Haggai & Zechariah urge on Jews to complete the work of rebuilding Temple (Ezra 5: 1).
520: Darius Hystaspes confirms the Decree of Cyrus (Ezra 6.).
516: Completion and Dedication of Temple (Ezra 6:15-16).
488: Esther is made Queen by Xerxes (= Ahasuerus, Esther 2:17), son of Darius Hystaspes.
488: Institution of the Feast of Purim (Esther 9:26-28).
458: Ezra is appointed Tirshatha by Artaxerxes (= Artaxerxes Longimanus, Ezra 7:11-26).
458: Second return of Exiles, under Ezra (Ezra 8.).
445: Nehemiah is appointed Tirshatha by Artaxerxes Longimanus (= Artaxerxes, Neb. 9:1-9). He rebuilds Walls of Jerusalem, and carries out many reforms (Neh. 3. & 4.).
444: Dedication of Walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:27-43).
413: Nehemiah Returns to Persia, but comes back to Jerusalem in 428.
413: His Second Reformation (Neh. 13.).

Outline of Book of Ezra:

Part I: (Chapters 1-6) 1st Return of Exiles under Zerubbabel.
Decree of Cyrus (Cyrus 1st Year). Response to Decree and Restoration of Sacred Vessels (5,400 vessels of gold and silver).
Register of the Return Remnants: Names of Leaders. Names of Heads of Families and Number of the Returned. Numbers of the Returned by Towns and Places. Names and Numbers of the Families of Levites, Singers, and Children of Porters. Names and Numbers of Families of Nethinim and of Solomon’s Servants. Account of Israelites and Priests of Uncertain Genealogy.
Sum Total (42,360) of all Remnants, together with Number of their Slaves (7,337) (200 Singers of Men & Women) and Baggage Animals (736 Horses; 245 Mules; 435 Camels; 6,720 Donkeys).
Altar of Burnt Sacrifice is restored, Feast of Tabernacles kept, and Daily Sacrifice offered.
Appointed Feasts are permanently established, and Materials got ready for Re-building of Temple.
Foundation of Temple is laid. (2nd Year of Return)
Zerubbabel refuses the help of the Samaritans in Building Temple. They hinder the work during the reigns of Cyrus and Ahasuerus.
Opposition to Building of Temple during the reign of Artaxerxes. Bishlam and his friends make most grievous charges against Jews to the King.
Artaxerxes sends an answer to the effect that Rebuilding of Temple should cease. (Ceased till 2nd year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.)
Prophets Haggai and Zechariah urge People on to finish the Work. Neighbouring Tribes make a complaint to Darius against Jews.
Decree of Cyrus is discovered at Achmetha and confirmed by Darius.
Temple is Completed and Dedicated. (6th year King Darius reign.)

Part II: (Chapters 7-10) 2nd Return of Exiles under Ezra.
Ezra’s Genealogy; his Arrival at Jerusalem. (7th year of King Artaxerxes of Persia)
Ezra’s Commission from King Ahasuerus (Artaxerxes).
Ezra’s Thanksgiving.
Ezra’s Measures for Inducing certain Levites and Nethinim to Join his Expedition.
Details of Journey; Fast at the River Ahava; Sacred Gifts are committed to care of Priests and Levites.
Ezra Arrives at Jerusalem; Consigns Treasure to Care of Priests, and gives King’s Commission to Governors.
Religious Reforms affected by Ezra at Jerusalem. Princes complain to Ezra about the Mixed Marriages. Ezra’s Indignation and Horror.
Ezra’s Confession and Prayer.
Repentance of People. On Recommendation of Shechaniah they make Covenant and confirm it by Oath.
Ezra’s fast. Proclamation is made summoning all People to Jerusalem.
People agree to Put Away their Strange Wives.

Notes on Ezra:
Cyrus king of Persia: Cyrus was a Persian by birth. He took the city of Babylon on the night of Belshazzar’s feast, and became king.

the first year: i.e. the first year of his reign at Babylon.

word of the Lord, etc.: i.e. God’s purpose. The allusion is to the prophecy of Jeremiah, in which the prophet had fixed the date of the return by assigning a duration of seventy years to the Captivity. The prophecy runs thus: “Thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished for Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” (Jer. 29:10).

Note 1. —The “Seventy Years” most be regarded as a round number, extending from the year B.C. 598, when Jehoiachin and the greater part of the people were carried away captive, to B.C. 536.

Note 2. —For Ezekiel’s Prophecy of the Restoration, under the “Vision of the Dry Bones,” and Isaiah’s poetical description of the journey of the exiles through the ‘Wilderness from Babylon to Jerusalem, see page 79 = Prophecies Relating to the Return (Remnant):
(1) Ezekiel’s Prophecy of the Restoration under the vision of the Dry Bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
(2) Isaiah foretells the Restoration of the Exiles. (Isaiah 40.)

The whole congregation: The total number here given is 42,360, and it agrees with the total stated in Nehemiah (Neh. 7:66), but it does not agree with the sum of the particulars as given either by Ezra or in Nehemiah, as the following table will show: According to Ezra & Nehemiah:
Men of Israel: 24,144 (Ezra); 25,406 (Nehemiah)
Priests 4,289 (Ezra); 4,289 (Nehemiah) Levites proper, Choral Levites, Doorkeepers,
Nethinim, etc.: 341 (Ezra);360 (Nehemiah)
Solomon’s Servants: 392 (Ezra); 392 (Nehemiah)
Those who could not prove their Israelitish origin: 652 (Ezra); 642 (Nehemiah)
Sum total: 29,818 (Ezra); 31,089 (Nehemiah)
No satisfactory explanation of this discrepancy has been given.
Note —Some think that the number 42,360 was the number of the “heads of families” only, the whole company being from 150,000 to 200,000.))

The Book of Nehemiah:
1. Title and Authorship. It has already been noticed that the two books bearing the names of “Ezra” and “Nehemiah” were in the Hebrew Canon united into one book, under the title of the “Book of Ezra.” Subsequently, however, the book was divided into two parts, called the “First and Second Books of Ezra,” and about the close of the fourth century the “Second Book of Ezra” was called the “Book of Nehemiah.” Most critics allow that Chapters 1-7 and Chapter 13 were written by Nehemiah himself, and that the remaining portions were, in all probability, drawn up under his authority. The parts which are ascribed to Nehemiah are distinguished by their graphic, bold and vigorous style.
2. Character and Work of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the son of Hachaliah and of the tribe of Judah, and held the important office of cup-bearer to King Ahasuerus. Like Ezra, he was a man of eminent piety: zealous in God’s service, and lived in strict conformity to the Law. He was habitually a man of prayer, and the “short ejaculatory prayers” which appear throughout the book are the outpourings of a deeply religious soul, and show how much he depended upon God in carrying out all his undertakings. He was, moreover, a man of action, and his untiring energy is nowhere better seen than in the rapidity with which he completed the building of the city wall, in the face of so many difficulties from within and from without the city. After the completion of the work his whole aim was to raise the spiritual condition of his people, and to accomplish his purpose he often had recourse to the most drastic measures, and showed no mercy to those who transgressed God’s law. But his patriotism, his liberality, and his unselfishness won the affection of his countrymen, and although no tomb marks his last resting place, yet, as Josephus says, “the city walls form his best and most lasting monument.” (Pulpit Commentary.)

Analysis of the Book of Nehemiah.
Part I.
Nehemiah’s First Visit to Jerusalem and the Restoration of the City Walls.
1. Nehemiah’s Commission. Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to King Ahasuerus, and while in the performance of the duties of his office, he learnt from his kinsman Hanani, and certain other Jews, who had recently returned from Jerusalem, the sad state of the city; how that the “people there were in great affliction, the walls were broken down, and the gates burned with fire.” Overwhelmed with grief, “for several days he sat down and wept and mourned and fasted and prayed.” His mourning continued for four long months and at last attracted the notice of the king, who, on learning its cause, gave him a commission, empowering him to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city walls and the palace of the governor. Ahasuerus also gave him a body-guard and horsemen as a protection for the journey. Nehemiah at once set out for Jerusalem. Meanwhile, three men —Sanballat, Tobiah and Geahem, all of whom held subordinate positions under the Syrian satrap —were grieved when they heard that “a man was come to Jerusalem to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.”
2. Nehemiah secretly surveys the City Walls. Shortly after his arrival Nehemiah made a secret survey of the walls, and then called together the priests and the rulers and laid before them his plan. They were unanimous in their consent to assist him, and said “Let us rise up and build.”
3. The Building of the Wall. To hasten on the work Nehemiah apportions different parts of the wall to different classes of people —the priests, the goldsmiths, and the merchants. Sanballat and his friends still continued their opposition, but Nehemiah baffled all their attempts to hinder the work by taking the following precautions: (1) He armed all the people with swords and bows, and ordered them to take up their position behind the walls, and there await the attack of the enemy; (2) He divided his own servants into two bands, one of which consisted of those who were engaged in actual labour and the other of armed men; (3) He caused all the actual builders, who needed the use of both hands for their work, each to gird his sword on his side, while the bearers of burdens should work with one hand and carry a weapon in the other; (4) At night every man was to retire within the city, so as to be ready for an attack of the enemy. Nehemiah, his kinsmen, and his servants, kept guard in turns, and “none of them,” he tells us, “put off their clothes, saving that everyone put them off for washing.” Under this arrangement the walls were finished in the short space of fifty-two days.
4. Troubles which arose inside the City, and how Nehemiah overcame them. The poor were in extreme poverty, and complained of the oppression of the rich nobles. The causes of this state of things were the large families of the poor, the dearth and the heavy taxation. The poor said that they had been compelled to mortgage their lands, vineyards and their houses to buy themselves food; to borrow money on their lands and their vineyards to pay the king’s taxes, and even to sell their sons and daughters into bondage to pay the high rate of interest. They appealed to Nehemiah as the new governor to remedy these evils. Nehemiah advised the rich nobles: (1) To restore all the lands, vineyards and houses which they held in pledge; (2) To remit to their debtors all the interest which they had illegally taken. This the nobles agreed to do.
Nehemiah testified to his own unselfish conduct by assuring his countrymen (a) That since his appointment as governor he had not taxed them for his own support or that of his court; (b) That he and his attendants had done their share of the work of building the wall; (c) That he had not bought any land, as indeed, he might have done with advantage, at a time when the famine was raging; (d) That he had maintained daily, at his own expense, one hundred and fifty guests (probably foreign Jews).
5. The Intrigues of Sanballat and Tobiah against Nehemiah. (1) Four times they invited him to a conference in a village near Jerusalem, with a view to assassinate him, but Nehemiah very wisely refused to go; (2) They gave out that he was heading a rebellious movement against the king, a statement which Nehemiah denied; (3) They hired a false prophet named Shemaiah to persuade Nehemiah to seek refuge within the Temple, knowing that if he did so, he would incur the charge of desecration, and be branded as a coward by his countrymen. Nehemiah rejected their proposal.
6. The Wall being finished, Nehemiah makes an arrangement for the effectual guarding of the Gates. He ordered: (1) That the gates should not be opened until the sun was hot and the guards at their posts; (2) That they should be closed before the guards left them; (3) That the inhabitants should undertake the duty of watchmen.
Part II.
The Religious Reforms carried out by Nehemiah.
1. Arrangements are made for the public reading and expounding of the Law. Ezra takes the lead in the affair.
2. The Feast of Tabernacles is kept in strict accordance with the Law.
3. A day of general fasting, prayer and confession is instituted.
4. The Levites give the people a solemn address, reminding them of God’s goodness towards them in times past, and their ingratitude.
5. A covenant is made with God, in which the people bind themselves: (1) Not to intermarry with the heathen; (2) Not to trade on the Sabbath-day; (3) To observe the Sabbathical Year; (4) To pay one-third of a shekel for the maintenance of the Temple services; (5) To give the first fruits and tithes to the priests.
Note —To supply the wood necessary for the burnt sacrifices lots were cast among the priests, Levites and the people.
6. To counteract the attempts of the enemy to destroy the city Nehemiah makes an arrangement for increasing the population within the walls. Lots are cast “to bring one of ten to dwell in the holy city.”
7. The dedication of the city walls follows amidst the greatest rejoicing.
8. Officers are appointed to collect tithes and other dues, and further arrangements are made for the carrying on the Temple services.
9. After Nehemiah had been governor twelve years, and had carried out many reforms, he returned to Shushan. We are not told how long he remained at the Persian court, but on his return to
Jerusalem, he found that many abuses had crept in during his absence. These abuses he now proceeded to remedy; they were: (1) The non-payment of tithes; (2) The desecration of the Temple buildings by Tobiah, who had been permitted by Eliashib, the High Priest, to reside within its sacred precincts; (3) The profanation of the Sabbath by such practices as the treading of grapes, bringing in of sheaves, the carrying of burdens, the lading of asses, and the sale of fish; (4) The intermarriages of the Jews with the heathen.
Note.—Two important points of historical interest are brought before our notice in the books of “Ezra” and “Nehemiah”: (1) The rise of two parties in the Jewish community —the one headed by Ezra and Nehemiah remarkable for its strict observance of the Law; the other, headed by Eliashib, the High Priest, noted for its laxity in its observance of the Law and its favourable attitude towards the Gentile element in the population; (2) The origin and development of the enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans.

Outline of Book of Nehemiah:

Part I: (Chapters 1-7) Nehemiah’s 1st Visit to Jerusalem & Restoration of City Walls.
Nehemiah receives evil tidings of the State of Jerusalem. (20th year of Captivity.)
Nehemiah’s Prayer.
Nehemiah’s intense grief attracts the notice of King. He obtains Commission to Rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah’s journey to Jerusalem.
Survey of Walls and resolves to Rebuild them. Sanballat and his friends oppose him.
Names of those who undertook to rebuild the walls, and the parts they rebuilt (Repaired).
Attempts made by Sanballat and his friends to hinder the work.
Precautions taken by Nehemiah.
Troubles within Walls and how Nehemiah met them. People complain of the oppression of Nobles.
Nehemiah advises the nobles (1) To restore all the lands and vineyards which they held in pledge; (2) To remit all the interest which they had illegally taken. The nobles consent to do so.
Nehemiah’s unselfish conduct towards his countrymen.
Intrigues of Sanballat and Tobiah against Nehemiah. (1) They invite him to a conference with a view to assassinate him.
Shemaiah, a false prophet, is hired by Sanballat to persuade Nehemiah to seek refuge within the Temple.
Walls are Finished. Discouragement of Enemies of Jews and Treasonable Correspondence of the Jewish Nobles.
Walls being now Rebuilt, Nehemiah makes arrangements for guarding the gates.

Part II: (Chapters 8-10)
Public Reading and Expounding of the Law by Ezra.
Feast of Tabernacles is kept in strict accordance with the Law.
Day of general Fasting, Prayer and Confession of sins is instituted.
Solemn Address of Levites, reminding the People of God’s goodness towards them in times past and their ingratitude: (1) Call of Abram, and God’s covenant with him. (2) Bondage in Egypt and Deliverance therefrom. Destruction of Egyptians in Red Sea. (3) Journey through Wilderness, Giving of Law on Mount Sinai, and Worshipping of Golden Calf. (4) Conquest of Canaan, and Settlement therein. (5) Disobedience of Israelites, their Oppression, and Deliverance by Judges. (6) Present Humiliation of Israelites. Their Determination to make a Covenant with God.
Terms of Covenant: (1) Marriages with Heathen and Trading on Sabbath were prohibited. (2) Sabbatical Year was to be Observed, Tax of 1/3rd of a Shekel Imposed for Maintenance of Service of Temple. (3) Firstfruits and Tithes were to be Given to the Priests.

Part III: (Chapters 11-13) Miscellaneous Facts.
Arrangement made for Increasing the Population of Jerusalem.
Dedication of the City Walls.
Officers are Appointed to Collect the Tithes and Other Dues.
Arrangements made for Carrying Out the Temple Services.
Religious Reforms Carried Out by Nehemiah. (1) The Israelites Separate themselves from the Mixed Multitude. (2) Nehemiah Casts Forth the Furniture of Tobiah out of the Chambers of the Temple, and Restores the Chambers to their proper use. (3) Nehemiah Provides for the Proper Maintenance of
the Levites. (4) Nehemiah takes Measures to Ensure the Proper Observance of the Sabbath. (5) He takes Prompt Action Against the Mixed Marriages.
Note: (The prophet Malachi gives a pathetic description (Mal. 2:13) of the discarded wives appealing to God, and “covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with sighing.”)

Notes on Nehemiah:
Eliashib: he was the grandson of Jeshua (Joshua), the high priest, who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Sheshbazzar).
Note: “The second part of the Book of Nehemiah (chap. 8-10) is generally
supposed to have been written by another hand. The reasons for this statement are: (1) Nehemiah is spoken of in the Third Person; (2) He is called the Tirshatha, whereas in the earlier chapters he has the title of Pekah; (3) He retires into the background, his place being taken by Ezra, who holds the
first and most prominent position.” (Speaker’s Commentary.)

Outlines of Great National Confession made by Levites:
1. Ascription of Praise to God as the Creator and Preserver of the Universe.
2. Concise Summary of the Past History of the Israelites including:
(1) Call of Abram, the Change of his Name and God’s Covenant with him.
(2) Affliction in Egypt and Deliverance therefrom, and Destruction of Egyptians.
(3) Journey of Israelites through Wilderness under God’s Protecting Care. Bread of Heaven and Water from Rock are Miraculously Provided for their Sustenance.
(4) Giving of Law on Mount Sinai, and Worshipping of Golden Calf.
(5) Frequent Murmurings of Israelites and God’s Long Sufferance.
(6) Forty Years’ Wanderings in Wilderness; Conquest of Land and Settlement therein.
(7) Disobedience of Israelites; their Oppression by their Enemies, and Deliverance by Judges.
(8) They Confess that their Punishment has been Result of their Wickedness.
3. Present Humiliation of Israelites; their Determination to make Covenant with God.

Exodus of Exiles under Zerubabbel Compared with that under Ezra:

Zerubabbel.
1. Cyrus, being stirred up by God, issued a decree giving permission to those Jews who belonged to
the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to return to their own land to re-build the House of God which was at Jerusalem, and to carry back with them the sacred vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon.
2. Zerubbabel, a prince of the house of David, was appointed the Tirshatha.
3. No mention is made of the powers and privileges conferred on Zerubbabel.
4. The number of adults (males) who went up with Zerubbabel, including priests, Levites, Nethinim,
etc., is given as 42,360.
5. A very considerable number of priests and Levites went up with Zerubbabel.
6. Cyrus called upon all his subjects to assist the poorer Jews by every means in their power.
7. Zerubbabel’s main object was to re-build the Temple.
8. No details of Zerubbabel’s journey from Babylon to Jerusalem are recorded.

Ezra.
1. Artaxerxes, induced in all probability by Ezra, issued a decree giving permission to Jews of every tribe, who were so minded, to return to their land, and to take with them the offerings of
gold and silver which the king, his courtiers and his subjects had given them.
2. Ezra, a priest descended from Aaron, was appointed the Tirshatha.
3. A full description of the powers and privileges conferred on Ezra is recorded.
4. The number of adults (males) who went up with Ezra, including priests, Levites and Nethinim, is stated as being 1,773.
5. In Ezra’s company there were very few priests, about 28 Levites and 220 Nethinim.
6. Artaxerxes ordered that all persons connected with the services of the Temple should be exempt
from taxation of every kind.
7. Ezra’s main abject was to bring about a religious reformation among his countrymen in Jerusalem.
8. A short description of Ezra’s Journey is given in Ezra 8.

The Book of Esther. Introduction.
The “Book of Esther ” relates a story in the history of the “Jews of the Dispersion,” as those Jews were called who did not avail themselves of Cyrus’ decree and return to their own land. The great peculiarity of the book is the entire absence of all religious teaching. The name of God nowhere occurs in the book, nor is there any allusion to Palestine, Jerusalem, the Temple, or the Law, but there is an indirect allusion to “prayer” in 4:16. Moreover, the Hand of God is clearly seen directing the course of events, and the main object of the book is to show that the “Jews of the Dispersion” were no less the object of Divine protection than their brethren who had returned to Palestine (see 4:14). But another object of the book is evidently to encourage the observance of the Feast of Purim among the Jews, by showing why the Feast was instituted. The story is told with a considerable amount of literary and dramatic skill, but the name of the writer is unknown.

Analysis of the Book of Esther.
1. Vashti, the Queen of Ahasuerus is deposed. The book opens with an account of the greatness of King Ahasuerus and the two great feasts given by him at Shushan: (1) To his nobles and princes; (2) To all the people in Shushan. Vashti, the queen, refuses to obey the king’s command to appear unveiled before the king and his princes. The anger of the king is so great that Memucan, one of the king’s wise men, advises that Vashti should be deposed, and her dignity conferred on another.
2. Esther is chosen Queen in the place of Vashti. Young virgins are sought throughout the king’s dominions, one of whom the king is to select as queen. The king chooses Esther, a Jewess, who had been brought up with Mordecai, her uncle. Mordecai discovers a plot against the king’s life formed by two of the king’s chamberlains. The conspirators are put to death, and the event written in the book of the “Chronicles of the Kings of Persia.”
3. Haman’s Advancement. Haman, the Agagite, is raised to the position of grand vizier. Mordecai refuses to pay him due respect, whereupon Haman forms the plan of exterminating the whole of the Jews. Ahasuerus sanctions the plan, and decrees are issued to that effect. The mourning of Mordecai and the Jews.
4. Esther appeals to the King to revoke the Edict. Esther, at the peril of her life, resolves to appeal to the king to revoke the edict. She is graciously accepted by the king, and invites the king and Haman to a banquet. But her courage fails her, and she invites the king and his minister to a second banquet. Incensed by Mordecai’s conduct, Haman orders gallows to be erected in the court of his own house on which Mordecai may be impaled (hanged).
5. Haman’s humiliation and fall. Meanwhile the king orders Haman to do honour to Mordecai for the services he had rendered. At the banquet Esther denounces Haman as the enemy of the Jews. The king, in his rage, orders Haman to be impaled on the gallows which had been erected for Mordecai.
The highest honours are conferred on Mordecai.
6. The Jews are avenged of their Enemies. At Esther’s request the king issues a counter-edict, allowing the Jews to defend themselves if attacked by their enemies. On the 13th day of the month Adar, the day fixed for the massacre, the Jews, aided by the Persian governors and officers, slay 500 in Shushan, and on the next day 300 more, and Haman’s ten sons are also hanged. In the provinces as many as 75,000 are said to have been slain.
7. The Feast of Purim is instituted. To commemorate so great a deliverance Mordecai and Esther ordered two days, the 14th and the 15th of the month Adar, to be kept as days of rejoicing. The book closes with a short account of Ahasuerus’ greatness and Mordecai’s efforts to establish peace and to increase the prosperity of his countrymen.

Outline of Book of Esther: (Chapters 1-10)
Two Great Feasts of Ahasuerus. (1) To his Nobles and Princes. (2) To all the People in Shushan.
Queen Vashti Refuses to obey King’s Command.
Memucan Advises that Vashti should be Deposed and her Dignity Given to Another.
Esther is Chosen Queen in Place of Vashti.
Mordecai Discovers Plot Against the Life of King Ahasuerus.
Hainan’s Advancement. Mordecai Refuses to do him Reverence.
Haman Resolves to Exterminate the Whole of the Jewish Race. Ahasuerus Sanctions his Plan and Issues a Decree to that Effect.
Mourning of Mordecai and Jews.
Esther Resolves to Appeal to King to Revoke Edict.
Esther is Graciously Received by King. She invites King and Haman to Banquet, and while there invites
them to 2nd Banquet.
Haman’s Exultation is Damped by Mordecai’s Refusal to Pay him Reverence. Zeresh, Haman’s Wife, advises Haman to erect Gallows on which Mordecai may be Impaled (Hanged).
Mordecai is Rewarded for the Services he had rendered the King.
Haman’s Humiliation.
Esther Denounces Haman as the Enemy of Jews.
Ahaseurus Orders Haman to be Impaled (Hanged) on Cross he had Erected for Mordecai.
Mordecai is Advanced to Haman’s Position.
At Esther’s Request Ahaseurus Issues a Counter-Edict for Jews’ Preservation.
Jews are Avenged of their Enemies.
Institution of the Feast of Purim.
Greatness of Mordecai.

 

Notes on Esther:
Ahasuerus: generally supposed to be Xerxes, the son of Darius Hystaspes, who led the famous expedition against Greece.
Vashti the queen: The Amestris of secular history.
in the royal house: i.e. the royal harem.
To bring Vashti the queen before the king: As Persian ladies never showed themselves unveiled except to their nearest relations, the king’s order was a gross insult to Vashti.
the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, etc.: In all probability the writer here gives Mordecai’s true descent from a certain Kish, who was of the tribe of Benjamin.
Who had been carried away: “Who” refers to Kish. The Second Captivity is here referred to, when Jeconiah (Jehoiakin) was carried away captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
Hadassah: Like other Jews of the time of the Captivity, Esther had two names. Hadassah is the Hebrew word for “myrtle,” Esther is the Persian word for “star.” By adopting the Persian name Hadassah Esther was able to conceal her Jewish descent.
hanged on a tree: rather, they were impaled on a stake, or crucified, the ordinary death of criminals.
it was written in the book, etc.: Among the Persians important public events were carefully recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kingdom.

Select Notes: Chief Persons Mentioned.

Ahasuerus (1): (Ezra iv. 6); probably Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus. All we read of him is that, at the beginning of his reign, Bishlam and his companions, adversaries of the Jews, “wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem,” and the result was that the building of the Temple was stopped.

Ahasuerus (2): (Esther 1:1); generally supposed to be Xerxes, and the opinion is strengthened by the fact that the capricious conduct of Ahasuerus, as related in the Book of Esther, agrees with what we know of Xerxes. We are told that Xerxes scourged the tempestuous sea, and caused the engineers of his bridge to be put to death, because it was damaged by a storm; so Ahasuerus deposed his queen, because she refused to appear unveiled before his guests, and willingly