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among the children of David, with the revolt of Absalom and the disputed succession of Solomon, all of which is told at full length in the Books of Kings, has no representation in the Books of Chronicles. It will be remembered that when the prophet Nathan rebukes the sin of David in the matter of Uriah the Hittite he declares that for this sin the sword shall never depart from David's house. Thus all the political history that arises out of family troubles of David is regarded as fulfilment of Nathan's prophecy. It is germane to the prophetic history of the kings; it is out of place in the ecclesiastical history of the chronicles.

Even where the two histories are dealing with the same topic the difference between the prophetic and the ecclesiastical spirit can show itself. No single incident brings out the contrast of the two versions better than the reign of Abijah (called in The Kings Abijam). The prophetic account of the reign is a brief notice of the wickedness of the king, so great that only for David's sake was the succession continued in his family. Also mention is made of wars between Israel and Judah. The chronicler relates these wars at length, and in particular gives a fine address of Abijah to the enemy, in which the whole spirit of The Chronicles is concentrated.

Ought ye not to know that the LORD, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up, and rebelled against his lord. And there were gathered unto him vain men, sons of Belial, which strengthened themselves against Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them. And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. Have ye not driven out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the peoples of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams the same may be a priest of them that are no gods. But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we

have priests ministering unto the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work; and they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him. And behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD, the God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.

The battle that follows this address is a complete victory for the true worshippers of God. Of the wickedness of Abijah the Chronicle contains nothing beyond possibly this equivocal hint:

But Abijah waxed mighty, and took unto himself fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons and sixteen daughters.

It may be added that the two books of the Bible called after the names of Ezra and Nehemiah are a continuation of the Books of Chronicles, covering the period of the Return from Books of Ezra Captivity. In the historic outline of the previous and Nehemiah chapter, which is founded on the prophetic history of the kings, these two books were used to make the final section. This was possible because these two books, unlike the Books of Chronicles of which they are the continuation, admit the personal memoirs of Ezra and Nehemiah, which are counterparts to the prophetic stories that characterize the history of the kings.

Besides this revised history we owe to the Men of the Return from Captivity three important collections of literary works. These are the collected Books of the Prophets; the collected Psalms and Lyrics of Israel; and the collected Books of Wisdom. These three collections will be treated in subsequent chapters of this work. But at this point it is desirable to deal with some general considerations affecting the three collections and the understanding of the Bible as a whole.

Perhaps no single thing is more important for the appreciation of the Old Testament than a clear grasp of the word prophecy, a word

popularly misunderstood. The cause of this misunderstanding is simple: the word has entirely changed its meaning in modern times. In the English of to-day 'prophecy’has no meaning except 'prediction.' It is often supposed that such meaning is implied in the word itself, as if prophecy was speaking beforehand. But this is a false etymology. The pro in prophecy is not the pro that means beforehand, as in programme, but the other pro that means in place of, as in pronoun. As a pronoun is a word used in place of a noun, so a prophet is one who speaks in place of God, a mouthpiece of God. Books of prophecy, like other books, may happen to contain predictions, but this is no essential part of what the word means. As an expositor of the subject has put it, “Etymologically it is certain that neither prescience nor prediction are implied by the term used in the Hebrew, Greek, or English language." * Whoever speaks in the name of God is a 'prophet': the Biblical word has no other meaning. When Israel was founded as a theocracy, it was necessary that the will of the Divine ruler should be made known through such a man as Moses: and so Moses is called a prophet. The word is applied in one of the National Hymns (above, page 53) to the whole people of Israel as witnesses for God to the nations:

Touch not mine anointed ones,
And do my prophets no harm.

When in the course of time secular government was established in Israel, we have seen how a spiritual opposition arose, led by prophets, who are thus mouthpieces for God in the sense of standing for the idea of the theocracy as against secular rulers.

In addition to all this it is necessary to note an important distinction between the earlier and the later prophets. The earlier prophets, men of the type of Elijah and Elisha, were men of action; they lived their prophecy, rather them spoke it. Accordingly they come into literature, not as authors, but as heroes of stories told by others. The later prophets, such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, without ceasing to be men of action, were also men of letters: the poets, orators, dramatists, of a literary age. Isaiah and Jeremiah ministered to their times as political leaders precisely in the way that

* Smith's Bible Dictionary, Article, “Prophet.”

Elijah and Elisha had ministered to an earlier age. But Isaiah and Jeremiah do a great deal more than this. The matter and spirit of the prophecy they had adapted to particular occasions they proceed, as authors, to generalize, stripping it of occasional references, and remaking it into a universal message.

Such elevation of the prophetic message from connection with particular occasions to what is idealand universal in its import is not a matter of inference only. An interesting incident has been preserved in the Book of Jeremiah which exhibits this generalizing process as going on before our eyes. I cite this portion of Jeremiah (with omission of a few superfluous names), and it is worthy of careful study.

Jeremiah: The Burning of the Roll And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:

Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD: therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the Lord's house upon the fast day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the Lord hath pronounced against this people. And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the Lord in the Lord's house.

Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that all the people in Jerusalem, and all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem, proclaimed a fast before the LORD. Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD's house, in the ears of all the people. And when Micaiah the son of Gemariah, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD, he went down into the king's house, into the scribe's chamber: and, lo, all the princes sat there. Then Micaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people. Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch took the roll in his hand, and came unto them. And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears. Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they turned in fear one toward another, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words. And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book. Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be. And they went in to the king into the court; but they had laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe; and they told all the words in the ears of the king. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winter house in the ninth month: and there was a fire in the brasier burning before him. And it came to pass, when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, that the king cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was in the brasier, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was in the brasier. And they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. Moreover Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession

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