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knowledge of his righteousness. Here lay Israel's failing and her sin: "Jehovah hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth nor mercy nor knowledge of God in the land. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I have also rejected thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me. Seeing thou hast forgot
ten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."'' Fatally Israel ignored Jehovah's intelligence' as well as righteousness, deeming him so undistinguishing of like and unlike as to accept burnt offering instead of repentance for sin. "Hear the words of Jehovah, ye judges of Of what use is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? . . Bring no more burnt offerings. A sweet smoke is an abomination to me.
I cannot bear wickedness together with a solemn assembly. Your new moons and your set days my soul hateth. . . And if ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you. Even if you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash ye, make you clean, take away the evil of your works from before mine eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do well, seek out justice, righten the violent man, do justice to the orphan, plead for the widow."'
Said Samuel, To obey is better than sacrifice. Says the Psalmist, The sacrifices of Jehovah are a broken spirit. Says Joel, Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Even in exile, Israel was not free from sin; her fasts were not all fasts of true contrition, not the fasting which Jehovah chose: "Is not this the fast that I choose, to loose the bands of wickedness, to untie the thongs of the yoke, and set them that are crushed at liberty? Is it not to break thy bread to the hungry, bring the wretched outcasts to their home, cover the naked?'' *
All transgressions were sins against Jehovah, no matter
1 Hos. iv, I,
2 Cf. Is. xxix, 13-16.
Ib. i, Cheyne.
Ib., lviii, 6, 7.
whether the rule broken was in the Decalogue or in one of the codes where civil and criminal laws, as well as rules of daily conduct, stand with ordinances of Jehovah's worship. In these codes are seen the formal and more detailed expression of the elements of that righteousness which the prophets urge upon the people.' The book of Deuteronomy, as brought to light in the reign of Josiah, gives voice to the higher morality of Israel in Jeremiah's time. Its rules bring the demand of righteousness down to the dealings of man with man. Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights; a perfect and a just weight shalt thou have." "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. In his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, lest he cry unto Jehovah, and it be sin unto thee.' "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.' Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of the stranger nor of the fatherless, nor take the widow's raiment to pledge; but thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondsman in Egypt, and Jehovah thy God redeemed thee thence." "When thou reapest thy harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it. It shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, for the widow; that Jehovah thy God shall bless thee in all the work of thy hands."' "Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them. Thou shalt surely bring them
See for the oldest of them the Greater Book of the Covenant, ante, chap. xvii., p. 117.
* See 2 Kings xxii. The call of Jeremiah is put at 626 B.C.; the finding of Deuteronomy at 621; much of the substance of the book is far older.
3 Deut. xxv, 14, 15.
Ib., xxiv, 14, 15.
Ib., 16; cf., Jer. xxxi, 30; Ez. xviii.
Deut. xxiv, 17, 18.
Ib., 19; cf. ib., 20, 21.
again to thy brother.' "Thou shalt surely open thine hand unto thy brother, to thy needy, and to the poor in thy land."
Israel knew little of the blithe joys of living. "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, mincing as they go, and making a twinkling with their feet; therefore Jehovah will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and Jehovah will lay bare their secret parts. Phrases like these, followed by passionate enumeration of the wretched tiring ornaments, tell the prophet's temperament,-the sterner temper of Israel, -as well as denounce the vanity of her daughters. Israel had no light heart for innocent mirth. With her there was the laugh of scorn and scorn of laughter; but laughter was natural only to the scorner and the fool. Israel was the dark Puritan of antiquity; her high energies were set on the business of her God. In an intense, passionate way she cared for the blessings of the promised land, the blessings of her homes: "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine"; "Love is strong as death; many waters cannot quench it ";" 'A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband; her children shall rise up and call her blessed. No race had a deeper sense than Israel of the worth of love and the blessedness of home. Nevertheless light-hearted, tripping pleasure formed no part of her priestly devoted ideal-there were so many pleasures in the groves of Baal!
1 Deut. xxii, 1; cf. Ex. xxiii, 4, 5, where the precept extends to "thine
2 lb., xv, II.
3 Isaiah iii, 16, etc.
Canticles vi, 3; viii, 6, 7.
Prov. xii, 4; xxxi, 28.
See Ps. cxxvii, cxxviii.
HE Messianic conception, the Messianic ideal, the Messianic hope, was all in all as well as many things to Israel. It was all in all because it comprehended Jehovah's covenants with Abraham, with Israel at Sinai, and with David; because it comprehended Israel's thought of Jehovah's faithfulComprehen- ness, his guidance, aid, and love, without siveness and which Israel could attain neither righteousness Diversity of nor prosperity; and because it comprehended Messianic Thought. the higher thought, gradually revealed to Israel, of Jehovah's rule over all peoples, a rule intending universal redemption, and within which infinite intent was Jehovah's purpose with his chosen people, that they should be perfected in righteousness for the redemption of all nations.
The Messianic thought was also many things to Israel, assuming divers forms at different times, and affording various modes of cheer and comfort to Israel or to Israelites. For the Messianic hope looked forward to a prince of the house of David, who should uphold Israel in righteous prosperity, dominant over other peoples. Under his rule should come peace and blessedness. Then the Messianic hope took other forms; it looked on Israel as a holy nation of priests to Jehovah, mediating between him and the peoples; then it looked for at least a remnant knowing Jehovah and self-devoted to his service, and then forward to a servant of Jehovah, perfect in
righteousness, a suffering redeemer rather than a reigning prince. Its farthest anticipation was of a regenerate time when, on the hearts of his people, chosen from Israel and from all nations, Jehovah should have written his law, so that no longer would there be a seeking to know Jehovah, but universal knowledge of him and the possession of his spirit. Then should Jehovah come a presence upon earth.
Covenants and the Messiah
The Hebrews knew of covenants made between Jehovah and men before the days of Abraham.' Messianic thought may have looked back to them; it certainly looked back to the covenant between Jehovah and Abraham, when God promised to make him a great nation," and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The covenant with Abraham was a foundation for all phases of Messianic thought, including the thought of Israel as Jehovah's servant and the conception of a Messiah-king. For the period of the Exodus, the covenant at Sinai expresses the first,' and Balaam's prophecy the second of these conceptions. In Balaam's prophecy the idea of a king in Israel is general. The Messianic conception of a royal line first becomes clear in the covenant with David, which Jehovah makes by the mouth of Nathan: "Moreover, Jehovah telleth thee that Jehovah will make thee an house. When thy days be fulfilled and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men; but my mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be made sure forever before
1 See ante, p. 121.
? Gen. xii, 1-3.
3 See post, p. 155. 4 Num. xxiii, 21.