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connexion that the favourite word of Hosea, Chesed, 'loving-kindness,' is not found in Amos. The use of it implies that between Jehovah and Israel there exists a relationship of love, involving mutual obligations. This love is sometimes contemplated as marital 1-Israel is the betrothed spouse of Jehovah, whom He has tended with unwearying faithfulness; sometimes as parentalIsrael is the child whom Jehovah has taught to walk in His ways with watchful and considerate tenderness; sometimes as covenantal-Israel being regarded as a single person pledged to observe all the obligations that were involved in covenant-union with God and had been set forth in the ancient Torah, the continuous instruction which Israel had enjoyed through the mediation of the priesthood. The word Chesed, however, is by no means confined to Hosea; it plays a great part in the theology of the Old Testament. But Amos and Hosea may be regarded as the representatives respectively of that twofold aspect of the divine character which is so familiar in the Psalter. Amos is the teacher of God's faithfulness or truth; His entire self-consistency, His essential fidelity to the law of righteousness. Hosea dwells on His mercy; His tenderness and loving-kindness to man-inviting the response of a similar affection on the part of man 3. The word Chesed in fact, as employed by Hosea, suggests the truth that those who are linked together by the bonds of personal affection or of social unity owe to one another more than can be expressed in the forms of legal obligation 4.' As a term of common life, Cheşed tends powerfully to simplify the thought of God. It anticipates the full disclosure of the New Testament God is love.

Thus by combining the teaching of Amos and Hosea we are enabled to form an impression of the epoch-making significance of Hebrew prophecy. For

1 Hos. i-iii. Cp. Jer. ii. 2, iii. I foll.

2 Hos. iv. 6; viii. 1, 12.

3 See iv. 1; vi. 6; x. 12; xii. 6.
Robertson Smith, op. cit. p. 160.

the two characteristic thoughts, one of which each prophet represents, are distinctive and permanent elements in the prophetic conception of God. The one idea, that of Jehovah's righteousness, reappears in the characteristic teaching of Isaiah, to whom Jehovah is the Holy One of Israel-not merely separate from the creation which owes its being to Him, but distinct from all that is limited and morally imperfect1. It is this attribute of Jehovah which is at once the necessary cause both of the judgments which fall upon Israel, and of the deliverances by which He vindicates His claim to be the hope and confidence of the faithful. The same idea underlies Ezekiel's thought of the greatness and inviolability of Jehovah's name, which in a sense has been profaned both by Israel's unfaithfulness and by the ignominy of their punishment. On the other hand, to the three prophets whose writings are linked together by a common interest in the great passage, Exod. xxxiv. 6 foll., namely Micah, Nahum, and the writer of the book of Jonah, the leading element in God's character is His mercy and loving-kindness; on this they base their hopes, not of Israel's deliverance from foes, but of that spiritual enfranchisement from sin of which any outward salvation was only a distant emblem 3. And it may be said that in the wonderful book of Jonah, possibly the latest product of the prophetic spirit, the thought of the divine lovingkindness receives its crowning expression. The design of the book, which was probably written in the postexilic period, was mainly didactic. It appears to have been composed with the aim of correcting the narrow, exclusive particularist idea-peculiar to the Judaism of that period-viz. that the sphere of salvation and grace was confined to Israel alone. Jonah's reluctance to do

1 Cp. Kirkpatrick, The Teaching of the Prophets, p. 175.
2 Ezek. xx. 9 foll. ; xxxvi. 22. See Kirkpatrick, op. cit. p. 339.

3 Mic. vii. 18-20. Obs. Mic. vi and vii appear to belong to a later period.

4 See an admirable account of the book in Hunter, After the Exile, part ii. chap. 3.

Jehovah's bidding and his anger at Nineveh's repentance reflect the usual attitude of later Judaism towards heathendom1. Jonah for the moment represents the temper of which Tacitus hits the main characteristic: adversus omnes alios hostile odium 2. Such an attitude

of mind was indeed in direct conflict with the higher teaching of the prophets. Jeremiah, for instance, had taught that even in the case of the heathen repentance might avert the punishment of sin. And among all other mysterious features which make the book of Jonah one of the most precious in the Hebrew Canon, we should perhaps assign the highest place to its evangelic purport. Whenever God brought Israel into relation with any heathen people it was for the purpose of making Himself known to it as a God of power and grace: to Egypt by Joseph and Moses; to Philistia through the capture of the ark; to Syria by Elisha when he healed Naaman; to Babylon by Daniel; to Persia by Esther. And so in the case of Nineveh, the mission of Jonah had borne witness to a truth which perhaps could only be adequately recognized in a much later age-the age in which the story of Jonah was clothed in a literary form-the truth namely of the universality of God's gracious purpose; the possibility of a natural goodness that implied some hidden. operation of divine grace; the fatherly love of the Creator and His compassion for all that He has made, His mercy extended even to the lowliest of all His works. This is the last word of the book of Jonah, and perhaps in that word we have the farewell voice of Hebrew prophecy. Thus the writer of Jonah is linked to Hosea as the preacher of the divine love 5.

1 Cp. Acts xiii. 45; 1 Thess. ii. 16.

2 Hist. v. 5. Cp. Maurice, The Prophets and Kings of the O. T. P. 354.

3 Jer. xviii. 7 foll.

4 There seems to be an intentional contrast suggested between the conduct of the Ninevites and that of Jonah fleeing from God's presence. The conduct of the heathen sailors is also presented in a very favourable

light (Jonah i. 13 foll.).

5 Meinhold, Jesus und das A. T. p. 10.

The book of Jonah 'ist gegen

I have said enough at least to illustrate the religious influence of the prophets and the extent of their contribution to wider, purer, and richer conceptions of God. Before passing on, we may, at some risk of repetition, call attention again to the fact that the prophets are striking examples of the of power personality in the development of religion. Each prophet is in his own way and degree a religious genius. And here we have just that factor which is antecedently incalculable, and which any naturalistic account of Israel's religious development tends to ignore or misconceive. For it is in this element of individuality that Israel's religion is so distinct from that of surrounding peoples-an element which, I repeat, is the very core and essence of prophetism. A religious conviction so intense, a faith so glowing and so tenaciously grasped, as to mould or elevate the spiritual life of a nation, cannot have been merely the result of uninspired reflection. We can, as Schultz points out, only be historically just to the Old Testament in proportion as we acknowledge the presence and working in the history from first to last of the element of divine inspiration. The religion of the prophets is in a word the outcome of the operation of the Holy Spirit. The freedom, independence, and force of the prophet's personality results from a fact of which he was invariably conscious-the fact of his being called to his work and enabled for his high function by Jehovah Himself1.

die Engherzigkeit des Judentums gerichtet und lehrt dass die Juden. (Jonas) die Aufgabe haben den Heiden (Nineve) das Wort des wahren Gottes zu verkünden. Denn Gott ist ein liebender Vater auch der Heiden und ein Feind der engherzigen Abgeschlossenheit des Judentums' (Jonah iv. 11). See Cornill's enthusiastic estimate, Der Isr. Prophetismus, p. 169. (One of the deepest and most large-hearted books that have ever been written'.) Montefiore, Hibbert Lectures, p. 371 (cp. Hunter, loc. cit.), thinks that the book of Ruth may have been written with a similar intention. Valeton, Christus und das A. T. p. 46, points out that in His reference to it (Matt. xii. 39 foll.) our Lord 'sets His seal to the spirit and tendency of the book of Jonah.' He deals with it rather as a prophetical than an historical book.

Cp. Mic. iii. 8.

III.

We now pass to that which many consider to be the most distinctive feature of prophecy-the element of prediction. The Old Testament is a book of hope. It is the record of a constant and growing anticipation, based on a divine promise to humanity, and embracing a future in which the whole race of mankind has an interest. Now the Christian student of prophecy is guided as a rule by one of two objects. He either studies the history of the Messianic hope in the apologetic interest-as a great department of the evidence to which his religion appeals in attestation of its truth; or he investigates it for the purpose of personal illumination and edification, interpreting by the aid of ancient prophecy what is still dark and mysterious in the dealings of God with men or in the primary Christian facts. He uses it in a word for the confirmation and education of his faith in pursuance of the inspired. writer's injunction, We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts1. In Old Testament prophecy we have a sure word and a light: a sure word' of which the general fulfilment is in large measure an established fact of experience; a 'light' or 'lamp' in so far as prophecy brings to bear on the enigmas of human life the revealed laws of God's moral government. The ordinary conception, however, of the actual development of Messianic ideas has been in some degree modified by the conclusions of criticism. Accordingly my present object is to sketch the history of prophecy in such a way as to indicate the elements which successively moulded the image of the Messiah in Hebrew thought, confining my survey however so far as may be possible within Old Testament limits.

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