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a finish and arrangement to the whole. As Ezra was an inspired man, the arrangement of the sacred books, and the portions which he may have added, have thus the sanction of Divine authority. There is no evidence, however, that Ezra completed the canon of the Old Testament. Malachi lived after him, and in the first book of Chronicles (ch. ii.) the genealogy of the sons of Zerubbabel is carried down to the time of Alexander the Great-about 130 years subsequently to the time of Ezra. The probability is, therefore, that Ezra commenced the arrangement of the books, and that the canon of the Old Testament was completed by some other hand.

The prophets” were divided into the former and the laller. Among the latter, Isaiah has uniforinly held the first place and rank. This rank has been assigned him not because he lived and prophesied before all the others. He preceded in the prophetic office Ezekiel and Jeremiah, but Jonah, Amos and Hosea were his contemporaries. The precedence has been gives to his prophecies over theirs, probably for two reasons; first, on account of their length, dignity, importance, and comparative value ; and secondly, because formerly the minor prophets were bound in one vol. ume, or written on one roll of parchment, and it was convenient to place them together, and they all had a place, therefore, apier Isaiali. At all times his prophecies have been regarded as the most important of any in the Old Testament; and by common consent they have been deemed worthy of the principal place among the Jewish writings.

0 2. LIFE OF ISAIAH.

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Of the time in which Isaiah lived little more is known than he has him. self told us. In the superscription to his book (ch. i. 1), we are told that he was the son of Amoz, and that he discharged the prophetic office under the reign of the kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. In regard to those times, and the character of the period in which they reigned, see Introduction & 3. It is evident also from the prophecies themselves, that he delivered them during the reign of these kings. In ch. vi. 1, it is expressly said that he had a vision of Jehovan in the year in which Uzziah died. Of course he must have commenced his prophetic labors at least as early as during the last year of that king. If, as I suppose, also, that chapter or vision was not designed as an inauguration of the prophet, or an induction into the prophetic office (see notes on the chapter), and if his prophecies were collected and arranged as they were delivered, then it will foliow that the previous chapters (i—v.) may have been delivered in the reign of Uzziah, and perhaps some time before his death. There is no express mention made of his uttering any prophecies in the time of Jotham. Hengstenberg and others suppose that the prophecies in ch. ii—v. were delivered during his reign. But of this there is no conclusive evidence.

the prophetic office in another mode. The prophecies themselves contain evidence that he was engaged in the prophetic office in the reign of Abaz. Several of his prophecies from ch. vii. and onward were delivered during his reign. That he was actively engaged in the prophetic office during the reign of Hezekiah we learn from ch. xxxvi—xxxix. We have an explicit staiement that he was engaged in his prophetic work until the fifteen:h year of Hezekiah at the commencement of which the ambassadors from Babylon came up 10 Jerusalem to congratulate Hezekiah on his recovery from his illness, ch. xxxix. Uzziah died, according to Calmet, 754 years before Christ; according to Hales, 757 years before Christ. Isaiah must therefore have occupied the prophetic office at least from 754 years before Christ to 707 years before Christ, or forty-seven years, that is under Uzziah one year, under Jotham sixteen years, under Ahaz sixteen years, and under Hezekiah fourteen years. It is not known at what age he entered on the prophetic office. It is probable that he lived much longer than to the fifteenth year of Hezekiah. In 2 Chron. xxxii. 32, it is said that “the rest of the acts of Hezekiah” were “ written in the vision of Isaiah," and this statement obviously implies that he survived him, and wrote the acts of his reign up to his death. As Hezekiah lived fourteen or fifteen ycars after this (Isa. xxxviii. 5, Comp 2 Kings xviii. 2), this would make the period of bis prophecy to extend to at least sixty-one or sixty-two years. If he survived Hezekiah, he probably lived some time during the reign of Manasseh. This supposition is confirmed, not indeed by any direct historical record in the Old Testament, but by all the traditional accounts which have been handed down to us. The testimony of the Jews, and of the early fathers, is uniform that he was put to death by Manasseh by being sawn asunder. The main alleged offence was, that he had said that he had seen JEHOVAH, and that for this he ought to die, in accordance with the law of Moses (Ex. xxxiii. 20), “ No man shall see me and live." If he lived to the time of Manasseh, and especially if he prophesied under him, and reproved the vices of his times, it is probable the true cause why he was put to death was, that he was offensive to the monarch and his court.

The reasons which render the supposition probable that he lived under Manasseh, and that he was put to death by him by being sawn asunder, are the following. (1.) The fact which has been stated above that he lived to complete the record of the reign of Hezekiah, and of course survived him. (2.) The testimony of the Jewish writers. There is, indeed, much that is fabulous in their writings, and even with the main facts which they record, there is much that is puerile and false ; but there is no reason to doubt the main facts which they relate. Josephus, indeed, does not ex

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that “ he barbarously slew all the righteous men that were among the Hebrews; nor would he spare the prophets, for he every day slew soine of them, till Jerusalem was overflown with blood.” In the Talmud the fol. lowing record occurs :-“ Manasseh put Isaiah to death. The Rabbi said, he condenined him, and put him to death ; for he said to him, Moses, thy Lord said, no man shall see me and live (Ex. xxxiii, 20), but thou hast said, I saw the Lord upon a throne high and lifted up (Isa. vi. 1). Moses, thy Lord said, who will make the Lord so near that we can call to him; but thou hast said, seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near (lv. 6). Moses, thy Lord said, the number of thy days will I fulfill (Ex. xxii. 20); but thou hast said, I will add to thy days fifteen years (xxxviij. 5), etc. See Gesenius' Introd. p. 12. The testimony of the Jews on this subject is uniform. Michaelis (Preface to Isaiah), has ret'erred to the following places in proof on this point. Tract. Talmud. Jebhamoth, fol. 49, Sanhedrin, fol. 103, Jalkut, part ji. fol. 38, Schalscheleth Hakkab. fol. 19. Raschi and Abarbanel in their commentaries, give the same statement. (3.) The testimony of the early Christian writers is the same. Justin Martyr, in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew (p. 349), speaking of Isaiah says, öv nyíone Gulivo črpioare “ whom ye sawed usunder with a wooden saw.”—Tertullian de patientia, c. 14. His patientiae viribus secatur Esaias.-Lactantius, lib. iv. c. 2. Esaias, quem ipsi Judaei serrâ consectum crudelissime necaverunt.-Ainbrose on Luke,c. 20, p. 197, speaking of Isaiahı, says, “Esaias cujus facilius compagem corporis serrâ divisit quam fidem inclinavit.” Augustine de civit. Dei, lib. 18, c. 24, says, "the prophet Isaiah is reputed to have been slain by the impious King Manasseh.” Jerome on Isa. Ivii. 1, says, that the prophet prophesied in that passage of his own death, for “ it is an undisputed tradition among us, that he was sawn asun. der by Manasseh, with a wooden saw.” These passages and others from the Jewish writers, and from the fathers, are to be found in Michaelis' Preface to Isaiah ; in Gesenius' Introduction ; and in Carpzov. Crit. Sacr. p. 11, p. 97. In a matter of simple fact, there seems to be no reason to call this testimony in question. It is to be remembered that Jerome was well acquainted with Hebrew, and had travelled into Palestine, and no doubt has given the prevalent opinion about the death of Isaiah. (4.) The character of Manasseh, and the character of Isaiah were both such as to make it probable that if Isaiah lived at all during his reign, he would seek his death. In 2 Kings xxi. 16, it is said of Manasseh, that he "shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end 10 another." This account is in entire accordance with that of Josephus, quoted above. In the early part of his reign, it is recorded that he did evil, and especially that he reared the high places

2 Kings xxi. 2, 33. It is scarcely credible that such a man as Isaiah would see all this done without some effort to prevent it; and it is certain that such an effort would excite the indignation of Manasseh. If, however, he cut off the righteous men of Jerusalem as Josephus testifies, and as the author of the books of Kings would lead us to believe, there is every probability that Isaiah would also fall a sacrifice to his indignation. It is not necessary in order 10 this to suppose that I saiah appeared much in public; or that, being then an old man, he should take a prominent part in the transactions of that period. That we have no recorded prophecy of that time, as we have of the times of Uzziah, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, leaves it probable that Isaiah had withdrawn from the more public functions of the prophetic office, and probably (see iv. of this Introduction) had given himself to the calm and holy contemplation of future and better times under the Messiah. He may have retired much from public view, and may have given himself up much to contemplation. But still his sentiments would be known to the monarch ; and his influence while he lived among the people may have been materially in the way of the designs of Manasseh. Manasseh, therefore, may have regarded it as necessary to remove him, and in the slaughter of the good men and prophets of his time, there is every probability that Isaiah would be inade a victim. That his naine is not mentioned in the sacred record as having been put to death by Manasseh may be owing to the fact that he was then an old man, and had on account of his great age retired from the public discharge of his prophetic office. Hengstenberg's Christo!. 1. 277. It is to be observed, also, that the statement of the events of his reign are general, and though we have (2 Kings xxi.) a general account that his was a bloody reign, yet we have the names of none whom he put to death. (5.) It affords some confirmation of this statement that Paul (Heb. xi. 37) affirms of some of the ancient saints, that they were “ sawn asunder," as one of the modes in which the prophets were put to death. There is not in the Old Testament any express mention of any one's being put to death in this manner; but it has been common with all expositors, from the earliest periods, to suppose that Paul had reference to Isaiah. The universal tradition on this subject among the Hebrews makes this morally cer. lain. It is certain that Paul could not have made such an enumeration unless there was a well established tradition of some one or more who had suffered in this manner; and all tradition concurs in assigning it to Isaiah. (6.) The character of the second part of the prophecies of Isaiah (ch. xl.lxvi.) accords with this supposition. They are mainly employed in depict. ing the glories of a future age; the blessedness of the tiines of the Messiah. They bespeak the feelings of a holy man who was pained, and grieved, and heart-broken with the corruptions of the existing state of things; and who

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had retired from active life, and sought consolation in the contemplation of future blessings. Not a small part of those prophecies is employed in lamenting an existing state of idolatry, (see particularly ch. xl. xli. lvi. lvii. Ixv.) and the prevalence of general irreligion. Such a description does not accord with the reign of Ilezekiah; and is evidently the language of a man who was weary and disheartened with prevailing abominations, and who saw little hope of immediate reform, and who had cast his mind forward into future times, and who sought repose in the contemplation of happier days. How long he lived under Manasseh is of course unknown ; and hence it is not possible to ascertain bis age when he was put to death. We may reasonably suppose that he entered on his prophetic office as early as the age of twenty. From Jer. i. 6, we learn that an earlier call than this to the prophetic office sometimes occurred. On this supposition he would have been eighty-two years of age at the death of Hezekiah. There is no improbability, therefore, in the supposition that he might have lived ten or even fifteen years or more, urder the long reign of Manasseh. The priest Jehoiada attained the great age of one hundred and thirty years, 2 Chron. xxiv. 15. Isaiah lived evidently an ascetic, a retired, and a temperate life. It is the uniforın tradition of the oriental Christians that he lived to the age of one hundred and twenty years. See Hengstenberg's Christol. vol. 1. p. 278.

Where he lived is not certainly known; nor are many of the circumstances of his life known. llis permanent residence, in the earlier parts of his prophetic life, seems to have been at Jerusalem. During the reign of the ungodly Ahaz, he came forth boldly as the reprover of sin, and eviden:ly spent a considerable part of his time near the court, ch. vii. scq. His coun. sels and warnings were then derided and disregarded. Hezekiah was a pious prince, and admitted him as a counsellor, and was inclined to follow his advice. In his reign he was treated with respect, and he had an important part in directing the public counsels during the agitating occur. rences of his reign. If he lived in the time of Manasseh, he probably retired from public life ; gave himself up mainly to conteinplation ; his counsel was unsought, and if offered, was disregarded. It is evident that he did not entirely withdraw from his office as a reprover (ch. Ivi-lviii.), but his main employment seems to have been to contemplate the pure and splendid visions which relate to the happier times of the world, and which constitute the close of his prophecies, ch. xl—Ixvi.

Of the rank and family of Isaiah little is known. The Jewish writers constantly affirm that he was of noble extraction, and was closely connected with the royal family. The name of his father was Amoz, or Amotz ping, not the prophet Amos, as some have supposed, for his name in Hebrew is dirn Amos. Amoz, or Amotz, the father of Isaiah, the Jews affirm to

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