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Repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the breath of the LORD coming up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: it shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. Samaria shall bear her guilt; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword; their infants shall be dashed in pieces.

REPENTANT ISRAEL. 0 Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and return unto the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and accept that which is good: so will we render as bullocks the offering of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

THE LORD.-I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and blossom as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

EPHRAIM.—What have I to do any more with idols?
THE LORD.—I have answered, and will regard him.
EPHRAIM.-I am like a green fir tree
THE LORD.–From me is thy fruit found.


Whereas Hosea was a native of the northern kingdom, Amos is a missionary to it from southern Judah. This appears in an interesting digression, in which Amos inveighs against attempts to stop his ministry.

(Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel

shall surely be led away captive out of his land. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: but prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a royal house. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a dresser of sycomore trees: and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac; therefore thus saith the Lord: Thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou thyself shalt die in a land that is unclean, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.)

As a whole, the book is rhapsodic in form, denouncing corruption. But the movement is broken by parenthetic digressions, in which the prophet seems to turn upon those who are opposing his ministry. One of these digressions is the noble outburst of denunciation which is here given.

Prepare to Meet Thy God Come to Beth-el-and transgress; to Gilgal—and multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes every three days; and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings and publish them:

For this liketh you, O ye children of Israel,
Saith the Lord God.

And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places:

Yet have ye not returned unto me,
Saith the LORD.

And I also have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city to drink water, and were not satisfied:

Yet have ye not returned unto me,
Saith the LORD.

I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: the multitude of your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees hath the palmerworm devoured:

Yet have ye not returned unto me,
Saith the LORD.

I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camp to come up even into

your nostrils:

Yet have ye not returned unto me,
Saith the LORD.

I have overthrown some among you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a brand plucked out of the burning:

Yet have ye not returned unto me,
Saith the LORD.

Therefore THUS will I do unto thee, O Israel:

And because I will do this unto thee,

Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth; the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name.


The title is here applied to the first thirty-nine chapters of the Book of Isaiah as it appears in traditional Bibles. The chapters that follow these embody an independent poem, product of a different period, which in the accidents of literary history has been joined to the book of the historical Isaiah. Under the title, The Rhapsody of Zion Redeemed, this will appear in its proper place (below, chapter V).

The ministry of Isaiah belongs to the kingdom of Judah during its flourishing period, mainly in the reign of Hezekiah. All the different sides of prophetic activity are represented.

One side of the prophet's work is his daily ministry, in which he encounters king or people as a political or spiritual leader. One notable example of this, Isaiah's leadership during the crisis of Sennacherib's invasion, has already appeared in its place in the outline of Old Testament history (above, page 102). His action in an earlier crisis, occurring in the reign of Ahaz, when northern Israel and Syria made a confederacy against Judah, is the basis of the prophecy which appears below under the title "The Child Immanuel and the Child Wonderful.”

The more important side of prophetic energy (as already pointed out, above, page 145) is where the substance of such daily ministry is worked up afresh, stripped of occasional references, and made into a message which is general and universal in its appeal. The vision prophecy which constitutes the Call of Isaiah strikes the key note of such prophetic message. We have side by side (1) the Golden Age of the Future, often associated with the expression, “the mountain of the LORD"; (2) the purging Judgment, through which this Golden Age is to be reached, and reached only by the faithful remnant.

Sometimes this higher prophecy takes the form of oratorical discourses. Several of Isaiah's discourses are given below. Or the

prophetic message is cast in highly imaginative and dramatic scenes, of which the fullest example is the Rhapsody, the drama laid in the region of the spiritual (above, page 154). These are illustrated below in the Prophecy of Assyrian Invasion, and in the oracles cast

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the most typical example of Divine Judgment portrayed in purely ideal pictures, dissociated from particular time or place. The Doom Prophecy, specially directed against foreign foes, has already been illustrated in Isaiah's Doom of Babylon (above, page 149).

From the literary point of view Isaiah has always been recognized as in the inner circle of the world's great poets. But his peculiar forms of poetry, and especially his rapid and unexpected transitions of thought, are so different from what is familiar in secular poetry, that the student will here stand specially in need of the Notes which elucidate the selected portions of Scripture. (See below pp. 484-8.) After an utterance of Isaiah has been studied with the aid of these notes, it will need a second or third reading of the text, before justice will be done to the literary grandeur of Isaiah's writings.


*** Isaiah's prophecy Doom of Babylon has been given in the previous chapter (page 149).

The Call of the Prophet In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another:

CHORUS OF SERAPHIM.Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts! ANSWERING CHORUS.-The fulness of the whole earth is his glory!

And the foundations of the thresholds were moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I:

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