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that the conception of Jehovah marks a retrograde step in the evolution of the doctrine of God; that the patriarchal Elohim is a more benevolent being than the Jehovah of Moses and the prophets 1.
It may be replied, however, that the primitive idea of Jehovah's wrath as roused by even the slightest disregard of His holiness, marks a necessary stage in the education of the human conscience; it is the first step towards the development of the sense of sin. To the prophets the anger of Jehovah means His essential hostility to moral evil; they do not think of it as lightly or quickly aroused: they point to a day of vengeance in the future, when the long-delayed judgment of God upon human sin will be manifested 2. But the distinctive point of the prophetic teaching is that it connects the wrath of Jehovah with the thought of His covenant-love. There are two things by which that wrath is specially provoked: the faithlessness or apostasy of His chosen people, and outrage done to them by others. Thus the metaphor of a marriagebond subsisting between Jehovah and His people moralizes the older view of the divine wrath. While the prophets denounced the popular delusion of their time, that in any event, and apart from ethical conditions, Jehovah was bound to be on Israel's side, they ascribed to Him a love for Israel that did not exclude, but rather demanded, the occasional display of His holy indignation. While, however, earlier prophets dwell chiefly on the thought of divine jealousy as provoked by Israel's sin, Ezekiel and Zechariah generally regard it as a vindication of Jehovah's personal honour and holiness, which is bound up with Israel's fortunes. Jehovah's anger is righteous jealousy on behalf of those whom He has received into covenant union with Himself. WhosoSmith, Religion of the Semites, p. 147; Robertson, Early Religion of Israel, p. 298.
1 See Darmesteter, Les Prophètes d'Israël, p. 213; Renan, Histoire du peuple d'Israël, bk. i. ch. 13.
2 Cp. Isa. xxxiv. 8; lxi. 2; lxiii. 4; Ps. xciv. I.
ever touches them touches the apple of his eye1. holiness has been profaned by the exile of His people ; He has been reproached as though He were unable or unwilling to protect His chosen. But he has pity for His holy name, and accordingly He promises to deliver Israel from captivity, and so to sanctify His great name, which was profaned among the heathen 2. Thus since lovingkindness is the dominant element in the being of God, the manifestation of His indignation against Israel's sin is only a transient stage in His dealings with His chosen. In wrath Jehovah remembers His mercy. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer3.
We have now considered the two complementary sides or aspects of Jehovah's revealed character. How deeply they enter into the theology of the Old Testament may be gathered from the fact that the divine 'kindness' and 'truth' are habitually co-ordinated in Israel's hymns of praise and in prophetic visions of the future. The short Psalm cxvii, for example, has been said to embody the essence of all Messianic psalms.' O praise the Lord, all ye heathen: nations. For his merciful kindness praise him, all ye is ever more and more towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. And we may observe that in the 'truth' and 'kindness' of the Old Testament conception of Jehovah is contained a pledge and
1 Zech. ii. 8. Cp. Deut. xxxii. 21, 22, 36. The phrase 'to be jealous for' is apparently first used in the prophetic period; see Zech. i. 14,
2 Ezek. xxxvi. 21-24. Sce Kirkpatrick, The Doctrine of the Prophets, PP. 339, 340.
3 Isa. liv. 7, 8.
Cp. Pss. xl. 10 foll.; lxi. 7; lxxxv. 10; lxxxix. passim; cxv. I, &c. See the combination of λeos and aλnoeta in Rom. xv. 8, 9. Obs. The abbreviated form Jah expresses in a concentrated form all essential elements of Jehovah's revealed character. It is found in Exod. xv. 2; Ps. lxviii. 4; Isa. xii. 2, and especially in the Hallelu-jah.
prophecy of One in whom should be manifested the fullness of grace and truth; who should be at once the author of a perfect redemption and of a final revelation: manifesting God as love and as light.
There is yet one more title of God peculiar to the Old Testament which needs some notice, viz. Jehovah Tsebaoth. This name seems to have arisen as the result of prolonged national experience, since it commemorates the visible proofs which Jehovah had given of His presence with the armies of Israel. The title, so far as we can judge, was specially prominent during the period of the monarchy, the victories. of Israel's kings over the heathen being looked upon as pledges of Jehovah's sovereignty over a hostile world. It was 'a name of memories and triumphs,' and perhaps came to be regarded as that title of Israel's God to which a ruined state or church might most fittingly appeal in times of national distress. The frequency of its occurrence in the writings of Isaiah, and in the books of the three post-exilic minor prophets, is significant. There are, however, clear tokens of expansion in the use of the name Jehovah Tsebaoth; for while in the early historical books it has military and national associations, in the prophets it includes the hosts of heaven, the stars and angels, as well as the armies of Israel 2. The post-exilic use of the title accordingly marks a striking advance. The old popular notion,' says Prof. Cheyne, 'of a territorial and local deity had faded away, and the traditional names of God had received an ampler meaning. Jehovah was not merely the God of the armies of Israel, but the God of all the hosts of heaven. . . and of all the forces of nature.' Thus, in such a psalm as the twenty-fourth, the psalmist 'is really thinking of the triumph of the omnipotent God in His holy
1 John i. 14.
2 See Robertson, Early Religion of Israel, note xvi (p. 503); König, The Religion of Israel, pp. 89 foll.
temple. Who is this King of glory? Jehovah of hosts, he is the King of glory!
Within the Old Testament itself we find a distinct approach to the doctrine of the divine fatherhood. As applied to God the term 'Father' quickly loses any physical associations that may have originally attached to it, and comes to denote the relationship of love and moral communion in which Jehovah has placed Israel.' God is the 'Father' or 'Creator' of Israel in the sense that by divine acts of power and grace He brought the nation into special relation to Himself; or it is used with a personal reference to the theocratic king, who was the official representative of the people and inherited the promises originally vouchsafed to David and his house. It seems to be a title suggestive of the close and continuous relationship in which Jehovah had stood to Israel; it would recall memories of divine protection, help, and guidance, and of the condescension manifested in Israel's prolonged spiritual education. In the later Judaism we mark an advance: God is conceived as a pitying Father, whose compassion extends to those that fear Him. Yea, like as a father pitieth his own children, even so is Jehovah merciful unto them that fear him. Yes; but only to those who fear Him. The limitation is characteristic. Judaism recognizes indeed that God, the Father of Israel as a nation, is also the Father of Israel's faithful sons. The pious Israelite rejoiced in the sense of divine favour. He was gladly conscious,' says Mr. Montefiore, 'that God was cognizant of all, and cared not only for His people in the mass, but for every unit of which it was composed. But outside the pale of love were the godless 1 Aids to the Devout Study of Criticism, pp. 284, 285.
2 Cp. Exod. iv. 22; Deut. xxxii. 6; xiv. 2; Hos. xi. I.
3 Cp. Riehm, ATI. Theologie, p. 227. Observe the title 'son' used of Israel (Deut. viii. 5; xiv. 1; Mal. i. 6; Jer. iii. 19; xxxi. 10; Isa. i. 4; XXX. 1, 9) implies corresponding national obligations.
Israelite could not appropriate the name for himself.
Ps. ciii. 13.
Hibbert Lectures, p. 463; cp. pp. 539 foll.
members of the nation itself and the heathen world in general. It was only through the revelation of the incarnate Son that men could be brought to apprehend the universality of the divine Fatherhood'. As Tertullian tersely remarks, Nobis [nomen Dei] revelatum est in Filio.
In concluding this lecture, let us acknowledge the debt which theology owes to the evolutionary conception of Israel's history and theology. It seems to be the object of writers like König to minimize, or even to question altogether, this conception. But all analogy forbids us to suppose that the religion of Israel was revealed in its completeness from the very first. The metaphors by which in the Old Testament God's relationship to Israel is described point to a very different conclusion, suggesting a view of the divine action which is at once supremely worthy of God and consistent with all that we know of His methods and character. Historical science professes to trace the process of revelation, and its account in the main we can scarcely hesitate to accept. The tribal God becomes the God of a nation, and finally the God of the universe. Each advance in man's moral receptivity renders possible a further disclosure of the divine nature. All that is debased, crude, limited, or ethically defective in the earliest Semitic ideas of deity gradually falls away, until in the fullness of time. man is enabled to recognize the glory of God, His essential character, His eternal attributes, in the face of Jesus Christ. Thus we find that critical science does, after all, vindicate for Jesus Christ the position which He claims for Himself. He came to crown a long ascent, to fulfil anticipations which His own Spirit had inspired. In the Old Testament the record. of the divine preparation for His coming lies before us. It describes the different stages in the progressive manifestation of God; it exhibits the actual and living
1 Cp. Westcott, The Historic Faith, p. 35. Cp. Tert. de orat. iii.
2 Cor. iv. 6. Cp. Meinhold, Jesus und das A. T. p. 139.