Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
862
ISAIAH

Il. Actions fo

1. Or. ii., l/lenecles. 354 B.C.

2. Or. iii., Pyrrhus. Date uncertain, but comparatively late.

3. Or. vi., Philoctemon. 364-363 B.C.

Ill. Action to Compel the Discharge of a Snretyship (ey-yians olim).

Or. v., Dicaeogenes. 390 B.C.

IV. Indictment of a Guardian for M maltreatment of a Ward (eioa-welda xaxdnrews 6pqSa.l/OU).

Or.'xi., Hagnias. 359 B.C.

V. Appeal from Arbitration to a Dicastery (Z¢>e¢ns).

Or. xii., For Euphiletus. (Incomplete) Date uncertain.

The speeches of lsaeus supply valuable illustrations to the early history of testamentary law. They show us the faculty of adoption, still, indeed, associated with the religious motive in which it originated, as a mode of securing that the sacred rites of the family shall continue to be discharged by one who can call himself the son of the deceased. But practically the civil aspect of adoption is, for the Athenian citizen, predominant over the religious; he adopts a son in order to bestow property on a person to whom he wishes to bequeath it. The Athenian system, as interpreted by Isaeus, is thus intermediate, at least in spirit, between the purely religious standpoint of the Hindu and the maturer form which Roman testamentary law had reached before the time of Cicero.[1] As to the form of the speeches, it is remarkable for its variety. There are three which, taken together, may be considered as best representing the diversity and range of their author's power. The fifth, with its simple but lively diction, its graceful and persuasive narrative, recalls the qualities of Lysias. The eleventh, with its sustained and impetuous power, has no slight resemblance to the manner of Demosthenes. The eighth is, of all, the most characteristic, alike in narrative and in argument. Isaeus is here seen at his best. No reader who is interested in the social life of ancient Greece need find Isaeus dull. If the glimpses of Greek society which he gives us are seldom so gay and picturesque as those which enliven the pages of Lysias, they are certainly not less suggestive. Here, where the innermost relations and central interests of the family are in question, we touch the springs of social life; we are not merely presented with scenic details of dress and furniture, butare enabled in no small degree to conceive the feelings of the actors.

The best manuscript of lsaeus is in the British Museum, -Crippsianus A (= Burneianus 95,11 3th century), which contains also Antiphon, Andocides, Lycurgus and Dinarchus. The next best, is Bekker's Laurentianus B (Florence), of the 15th century. Besides these, he used Marcianus L (Venice), saec. 14, Vratislaviensis Z saec. 14[2] and two very inferior MSS. Ambrosianus A. 99, P (which he dismissed after Or. i.), and Ambrosianus D. 42, Q (which contains only Or. i., ii.). Schiimann, in his edition of 1831, generally followed Bekker's text; he had no fresh apparatus beyond a collation of a Paris MS. R in part of Or. i.; but he had sifted the Aldine more carefully. Baiter and Sauppe (1850) had a new collation of A, and also used a collation of Burneianus 96, M, given by Dobson in vol. iv. of his edition (1328). C. Scheibe (Teubner, 1860) made it his especial aim to complete the work of his predecessors by restoring the correct Attic forms of words; thus (e.g.) he gives 1i'y'y15a for éveytia, éébrpcv for éeélapeu, and the like, -following the consent of the MSS., however, in such forms as the accusative of proper names in —qv rather than -11, or (e.g.) the future oavhaopai rather than d>avoi'Jpa, L, &c., and on such doubtful points as rbpdrepes instead of dapdropes, or Ei)/las instead of Ei)eL0uias. r False Witness (éixai rl/evbopap-rupu5v).

Editions.-Editio princeps (Aldus, Venice, 1513); in Oratores Altici, by I. Bekker (1823-1828); W. S. Dobson (1828); J. G. Baiter and Hermann Sauppe (1850); separately, by G. F. Schomann, with commentary (1831); C. Scheibe (1860) (Teubner series, new ed. by T. Thalheim, 1903): H. Buermann (1883); W. Wyse (1904). English translation by Sir William Jones, 1779. On lsaeus generally see Wyse's edition; R. C. Jebb, Attic Orators; F. Blass, Die attische Beredsamkeit (2nd ed., 1887-1893); and L. Moy, Etude sur les plaidoyers d'Isée (1876).


ISAIAH. I. Life and Period.-Isaiah is the name of the greatest, and both in life and in death the most influential of the Old Testament prophets. We do not forget Jeremiah, but Jeremiah's literary and religious influence is secondary compared with that of Isaiah. Unfortunately we are reduced to inference and conjecture with regard both to his life and to the extent of his literary activity. In the heading (i. 1) of what we may call the occasional prophecies of Isaiah (i.e. those which were called forth by passing events), the author is called “ the son of Amoz” and Rabbinical legend identifies this Amoz with a brother of Amaziah, king of Judah; but this is evidently based on a mere etymological fancy. We know from his works that (unlike Jeremiah) he was married (viii. 3), and that he had at least two sons, whose names he regarded as, together with his own, symbolic by divine appointment of certain decisive events or religious truths-Isaiah (Yesha'-yahil), meaning “ Salvation-Yahweh ”; Shear-Yashub, “ a remnant shall return ”; and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, “swift (swiftly cometh) spoil, speedy (speedily cometh) prey” (vii. 3, viii. 3, 4, 18). He lived at Jerusalem, perhaps in the “ middle ” or “ lower city ” (2 Kings xx. 4), exercised at one time great influence at court (chap. xxxvii.), and could venture to address a king unbidden (vii. 4), and utter the most unpleasant truths, unassailed, in the plainest fashion. Presumably therefore his social rank was far above that of Amos and Micah; certainly the high degree of rhetorical skill displayed in his discourses implies a long course of literary discipline, not improbably in the school of some older prophet (Amos vii. 14 suggests that “ schools ” or companies “ of the prophets” existed in the southern kingdom). We know but little of Isaiah's predecessors and models in the prophetic art (it were fanaticism to exclude the element of human preparation); but certainly even the acknowledged prophecies of Isaiah (and much more the disputed ones) could no more have come into existence suddenly and without warning than the masterpieces of, Shakespeare. In the more recent commentaries (e.g. Cheyne's Prophecies of Isaiah, ii. 218) lists are generally given of the points of contact both in phraseology and in ideas between Isaiah and the prophets nearly contemporary with him. For Isaiah cannot be studied by himself.

The same heading already referred to gives us our only traditional information as to the period during which Isaiah prophesied; it refers to Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah as the contemporary kings. It is, however, to say the least, doubtful whether any of the extant prophecies are as early as the reign of Uzziah. Exegesis, the only safe basis of criticism for the prophetic literature, is unfavourable to the view that even chap. i. belongs to the reign of this king, and we must therefore regard it as most probable that the heading in i. 1 is (like those of the Psalms) the work of one or more of the Sopherim (or students and editors of Scripture) in post-exilic times, apparently the same writer (or company of writers) who prefixed the headings of Hosea and Micah, and perhaps of some of the other books. Chronological study had already begun in his time. But he would be a bold man who would profess to give trustworthy dates either for the kings of Israel or for the prophetic writers. (See BIBLE, Old Testament, Chronology; the article “Chronology ” in the Encyclopaedia Biblica; and cf. H. P. Smith, Old Testament History, Edin., 1905, p. 202, note 2.)

II. Chronological Arrangement, how far possible.-Let us now briefly sketch the progress of Isaiah's prophesying on the basis of philological exegesis, and a comparison of the sound results of the study of the inscriptions. If our results are imperfect and liable to correction, that is only to be expected in the present position of the historical study of the Bible. Chap. vi., which describes a vision of Isaiah “ in the death-year of King Uzziah ” (740 or 7 34 B.C.?) may possibly have arisen out of notes put down in the reign of Jotham; but for several reasons it is not an acceptable view that, in its present form, this striking chapter is earlier than the reign of Ahaz. It seems, in short, to have originally formed the preface to the small group of prophecies which now follows it, viz. vii. i.-ix. 7. The portions which may represent discourses of Jotham's reign are chap. ii. and chap. ix. 8 -x. 4-stern denunciations which remind us somewhat of Amos. But the allusions in the greater part of chaps. ii.-v. correspond to no period so closely as the reign of Ahaz, and the same renfank applies still more self-evidently to vii. I-ix. 7.3 Chap. xvii. I~II ought undoubtedly to be read in immediate connexion with chap. vii.; it presupposes the alliance of Syria and northern Israel, whose destruction it predicts, though opening a door of hope for a remnant of Israel. The fatal siege of Samaria (724-722 B.C.) seems to have given occasion to chap. xxviii.; but the following 3 On the question of the Isaianic origin of the prophecy, ix. 1-6, and the companion passage, xi. I-8, see Cheyne Introd. to the Book of Isaiah, 1895, pp. 44, 45 and 62-66. Cf., however, J. Skinner “ Isaiah i.-xxxix." in Cambridge Bible. .

  1. Cf. Maine's Ancient Law, ch. vi., and the Tagore Law Lectures (1870) l;y Herbert Cowell, lect. ix., “ On the Rite of Adoption, ” pp. 208
  2. Z The date of L and Z is given as the end of the 15th century in the introduction to Wyse's edition.