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He appears in heaven, and accuses the high priest Joshua. The angel of Jehovah stands as judge. Joshua is released and Satan rebuked. This whole scene appears to us to be an imitation of that, in the beginning of the Book of Job, where Satan comes with the sons of God to present himself before Jehovah. There is a striking similarity between the two. In each case Satan accuses just men, and in each instance his accusation is found unjust.
“ And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at bis right hand to resist him. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan; even Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of Jehovah stood by. And the angel of Jehovah protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.”—Zech. iii. 1-7.
The anonymous Portion of the Book of Isaiah.*
This portion of the Book of Isaiah contains some most beautiful, and poetical descriptions, of the return of God's chosen people to their own land: of the joy and gladness with which they come forth out of captivity: of the numerous blessings their God will shower upon them: and of the splendour and stability of their future kingdom.
Representations of God. The representations of God are for the most part true and
Chap. xl. to the end. See note, page 103.
*; that th
sublime. The divine unity is most clearly and unequivocally asserted.
“ Fear ye not, neither be afraid : have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God: I know not any. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.”—Isaiah xliv. 8, 9.
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”—Chap. xlyi, 9, 10.
Thus saith Jehovah, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool : where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been.”
Chap. lxvi. 1, 2.
Character and Attributes of God. The attributes of God displayed in the creation of the world, are beautifully set forth.
" Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance ? Who hath directed the spirit of Jehovah, or being his counsellor, hath taught him ? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding ?”—
Chap. xl. 12-14. “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."-Chap. lv. 8, 9.
God is just-but he feels fury and vengeance towards his enemies.
“For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence."-Chap. lix. 17, 18. God is merciful towards his people.
• 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 theé, saith Jehovah thy Redeemer.”
Chap. liv. 7, 8. God is a God of truth.
“That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes."
Chap. lxv. 16.
Government and Providence of God. These representations appear far less just and beautiful when we find the writer combining with them the belief that the Almighty is the peculiar God of the Jews; that they arc his people, selected by him, and called by his name. God, having punished his people for their sins and idolatry, proclaims by the mouth of his prophet, that their iniquity is pardoned, that they shall be comforted, and that the time of joy and gladness is come.
“ Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God, Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of Jehovah's hand double for all her sins.”
Chap. xl. 1, 2. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; 0 Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid ; say unto the cities of Judah, Bebold your God ! Behold, Jehovah God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him : behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."-Chap. xl. 9-11.
“But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious
in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee:
Chap. xliii. 1-7. Purity of heart, holiness of life, and the exercise of justice and benevolence, are more pleasing in the sight of God than the observance of fasts and the offering of sacrifices. “ Seek
Jehovah while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy on him; to our God for he will abundantly pardon.”—Chap. lv. 6, 7.
"Is it such a fast that I have chosen ? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him ? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah? Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh ?"-Chap. lviii. 5-7.
The Book of Daniel. The Book of Daniel is divided into two parts; the earlier, and the later. Though the name of Daniel became attached to each (as well as to many other productions), neither part is the genuine, for neither could have been written quite so early as his time.
The sections comprised in the first part may, however, have been composed during the existence of the Persian monarchy. The second part was not written till after the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes; till during the time of the Maccabees. *
* See Eichhorn, Bertholdt, Bleek, De Wette, Gesenius, Von Lengerke. Tr.
PART THE FIRST.
The Chaldeans were polytheists; they therefore speak of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. But the God of the Book of Daniel is the God of heaven :". the Most High God.”
See Daniel ü. 19; Chap. v. 18.
Attributes of God.
· Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom
I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation : and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among
thé inhabitants of the earth."- Chap. iv. 34, 35.
Government and Providence of God. All events are ordered by God. Kings reign by his appointment, and he ruleth in the kingdoms of men,
“ Till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will."
Chap. v. 21. “Thou, o king, art å king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all."
Chap. ii. 37, 38. Wisdom and knowledge, skill and accomplishments, are the immediate gifts of God.
“As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and