110147\u300aThe Pulpit Commentaries \u2013 1 Kings (Vol. 1)\u300b(Joseph S. Exell) (1).doc - \u300aThe Pulpit Commentaries \u2013 1 Kings(Vol 1)\u300b(Joseph S Exell

110147《The Pulpit Commentaries – 1 Kings (Vol. 1)》(Joseph S. Exell) (1).doc

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Unformatted text preview: 《The Pulpit Commentaries – 1 Kings (Vol. 1)》(Joseph S. Exell) Contents and the Editors One of the largest and best-selling homiletical commentary sets of its kind. Directed by editors Joseph Exell and Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones, The Pulpit Commentary drew from over 100 authors over a 30 year span to assemble this conservative and trustworthy homiletical commentary set. A favorite of pastors for nearly 100 years, The Pulpit Commentary offers you ideas and insight on "How to Preach It" throughout the entire Bible. This in-depth commentary brings together three key elements for better preaching: Exposition-with thorough verse-by-verse commentary of every verse in the Bible. Homiletics-with the "framework" or the "big picture" of the text. Homilies-with four to six sermons sample sermons from various authors. In addition, this set also adds detailed information on biblical customs as well as historical and geographical information, and translations of key Hebrew and Greek words to help you add spice to your sermon. All in all, The Pulpit Commentary has over 22,000 pages and 95,000 entries from a total of 23 volumes. The go-to commentary for any preacher or teacher of God's Word. About the Editors Rev. Joseph S. Exell, M.A., served as the Editor of Clerical World, The Homiletical Quarterly and the Monthly Interpreter. Exell was also the editor for several large commentary sets like The Men of the Bible, The Pulpit Commentary, Preacher's Homiletic Library and The Biblical Illustrator. Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones was born in London on January 14, 1836. He was educated at Corpus Christi, Cambridge where he received his B.A. in 1864. He was ordered deacon in 1865 and ordained as a priest is the following year. He was professor of English literature and lecturer in Hebrew at St. David's College, Lampeter, Wales from 1865-1870. He was rector of St. Mary-de-Crypt with All Saints and St. Owen, Gloucester from 1870-1877 and principal of Gloucester Theological College 1875-1877. He became vicar and rural dean of St. Pancras, London 1877-1886, and honorary canon since 1875. He was select preacher at Cambridge in 1883,1887,1901, and 1905, and at Oxford in 1892 and 1903. In 1906 he was elected professor of ancient history in the Royal Academy. In theology he is a moderate evangelical. He also edited The Pulpit Commentary (48 vols., London, 1880-97) in collaboration with Rev. J. S. Exell, to which he himself contributed the section on Luke, 2 vols., 1889, and edited and translated the Didache 1885. He passed away in 1917 after authoring numerous individual titles. 00 Introduction Introduction. 1. UNITY OF THE WORK THE Books now known to us as the First and Second Books of the Kings, like 1 and 2 Samuel, were originally and are really but one work, by one writer or compiler, and it is only for convenience of reference and because of long established usage that we here treat them as two. In all Hebrew MSS. down to the time of Jerome certainly, and probably down to A.D. 1518, when the Hebrew text was first printed by D. Bomberg at Venice, the division into two books was unknown. It was first made in the Greek version by the Septuagint translators, who followed a prevailing custom of the Alexandrine Greeks of dividing ancient works for facility of reference. The division thus introduced was perpetuated in the Latin version of Jerome, who took care, however, while following the LXX. usage, to notice the essential unity of the work; and the authority of the Septuagint in the Eastern, and of the Vulgate in the Western Church, has ensured the continuance of this bipartite arrangement in all later time. That the two books, however, are really one is proved by the strongest internal evidence. Not only is there no break between them — the separation at 1 Kings 22:53 being so purely arbitrary and artificial that it is actually made haphazard in the middle both of the reign of Ahaziah and of the ministry of Elijah — but the unity of purpose is conspicuous throughout. Together they afford us a continuous and complete history of the kings and kingdoms of the chosen people. And the language of the two books points conclusively to a single writer. While there are no indications of the manner of speech of a later period, no contradictions or confusions such as would arise from different writers, there are many phrases and formulae, tricks of expression, and turns of thought, which show the same hand and mind throughout the entire work, and effectually exclude the idea of a divided authorship. While, however, it is indisputable that we have in these two portions of Holy Scripture the production of a single writer, we have no sufficient warrant for concluding as some (Eichhorn, Jahn, al.) have done, that the division Between them and the Books of Samuel is equally artificial, and that they are parts of a much greater work (called by Ewald "the Great Book of the Kings") — a work which comprised along with them Judges, Ruth, and 1 and 2 Samuel. The arguments in support of this view are stated at considerable length by Lord Arthur Hervey in Smith's "Dictionary of the Bible", but to my thinking they are entirely inconclusive, and have been effectually disposed of by, among others, Bahr, Keil, and Rawlinson, each of whom cites a number of peculiarities not only of diction, but of manner, arrangement, materials, etc., which clearly distinguish the Books of Kings from those which precede them in the sacred Canon. 2. TITLE. The name KINGS ( ‫ )מלכים‬requires but little notice. Whether these scriptures bore this name from the first or not — and it is hardly likely that they did, the probability being that the Book was originally cited, like those of the Pentateuch, etc., By its initial words, ‫<והמלד‬sup> </sup> ‫דיד‬, and was only called "Kings" from its contents (like the Book of "Samuel") at a later period — this one word aptly describes the character and subject matter of this composition and sufficiently distinguishes it from the rest of its class. It is simply a history of the kings of Israel and Judah, in the order of their reigns. The LXX. Title, βασιλειων γ<sup>.δ.</sup>. (i.e. "Kingdoms"), expresses the same idea, for in Eastern despotisms, and especially under the Hebrew theocracy, the history of the kingdom was practically that of its kings. 3. CONTENTS AND PURPOSE. It must be remembered, however, that the history of the kings of the chosen people will necessarily have a different character and a different design from the chronicles of all other reigns and dynasties; it will, in fact, be such history as a pious Jew would naturally write. Such a one, even without the guidance of Inspiration, would inevitably view all the events in the history both of his own and of neighbouring nations, not so much in their secular or purely historical as in their religious aspect. His firm belief in a particular Providence superintending the affairs of men, and requiting them according to their deserts by temporal rewards and punishments, would alone give a stamp and colour to his narrative very different from that of the profane historian. But when we remember that the historians of Israel were in every case prophets; that is, that they were the advocates and spokesmen of the Most High, we may be quite sure that history in their hands will have a "purpose," and that they will write with a distinctly religious aim. Such was assuredly the case with the author of the KINGS. His is an ecclesiastical or theocratic rather than a civil history. Indeed, as Bahr well observes, "Hebrew antiquity does not know the secular. historian." The different kings, consequently, are pourtrayed not so much in their relations to their subjects, or to other nations, as to the Invisible Ruler of Israel, whose representatives they were, whose religion they were charged to uphold, and of whose holy law they were the executors. It is this consideration accounts, as Rawlinson remarks, for the great length at which certain reigns are recorded as compared with others. It is this again, and not any "prophetico-didaetic tendency," or any idea of advancing the prophetic order, accounts for the prominence given to the ministries of Elijah and Elisha, and to the interpositions of various prophets at different crises of the nation's life [see 1 Kings 1:45; 11:29-40; 13:12, 21-24; 14:5-16; 22:8; 2 Kings 19:20; 20:16; 22:14, etc.) It explains too the constant references to the Pentateuch, and to the previous history of the race (1 Kings 2:8; 3:14; 6:11, 12; 8:56, etc.; 2 Kings 10:31; 14:6; 17:13, 15, 37; 18:4-6, etc.), and the constant comparison of the successive monarchs with the king "after God's own heart" (1 Kings 11:4, 38; 14:8; 15:3, 11, etc.), and their judgment by the standard of the Mosaic law (1 Kings 3:14; 6:11, 12; 8:56, etc.) The object of the historian clearly was, not to chronicle the naked facts of Jewish history, hut to show how the rise, the glories, the decline and the fall of the Hebrew kingdoms were respectively the results of the piety and faithfulness or of the irreligion and idolatry of the different kings and their subjects. Writing during the captivity, he would teach his countrymen how all the miseries which had come upon them, miseries which had culminated in the destruction of their temple, the overthrow of their monarchy, and their own transportation from the land of their forefathers, were the judgments of God upon their sins and the fruits of the national apostasy, He would trace, too, the fulfilment, through successive generations, of the great promise of 2 Samuel 7:12-16, the charter of the house of David, on which promise indeed the history is a continuous and striking commentary. True to his mission as the Divine ambassador, he would teach them everywhere to see the finger of God in their nation's history, and by the record of incontrovertible facts, and especially by showing the fulfilment of the promises and threatenings of the Law, he would preach a return to the faith and morals of a purer age, and would urge "his contemporaries, living in exile with him, to cling faithfully to the covenant made by God through Moses, and to honour steadfastly the one true God." The two Books embrace a period of four and a half centuries; viz. from the accession of Solomon in B.C. 1015 to the close of the captivity of Jehoiachin in B.C. 562. 4. DATE. The date of the composition of the Kings can be fixed, with much greater facility and certainty than that of many portions of Scripture, from the contents of the Books themselves. It must lie somewhere between B.C. 561 and B.C. 588; that is to say, it must have been in the latter part of the Babylonian captivity. It cannot have been before B.C. 561, for that is the year of the accession of EvilMerodach, whose kindly treatment of Jehoiachin, "in the year that he began to reign," is the last event mentioned in the history. Assuming that this is not an addition by a later band, which we have no reason to think is the case, we have thus one limit — a maximum of antiquity — fixed with certainty. And it cannot have been after B.C. 538, the date of the return under Zerubbabel, as it is quite inconceivable that the historian should have omitted to notice an event of such profound importance, and one too which had such a direct bearing on the purpose for which the history was penned — which was partly, as we have already remarked, to trace the fulfilment of 2 Samuel 7:12-16, in the fortunes of David's house — had that event occurred at the time when he wrote. We may safely assign this year, consequently, as the minimum date for the composition of the work. And with this conclusion, that the Books of Kings were written during the captivity, the style and diction of the Books themselves agree. "The language of Kings belongs unmistakably to the period of the captivity". Lord A. Hervey, indeed, contends that "the general character of the language is that of the time before the Babylonish captivity" — elsewhere he mentions "the age of Jeremiah" — but even if we allow this, it does not in the least invalidate the conclusion that the work was given to the world between B.C. 460 and B.C. 440, and probably about B.C. 460. 5. THE AUTHORSHIP is a question of much greater difficulty. It was long held, and it is still maintained by many scholars, that the Kings are the work of the prophet Jeremiah. And in support of this view may be alleged — 1. Jewish tradition. The Talmud (Baba Bathra, f. 15.1) unhesitatingly ascribes the work to him. Jeremias scripsit librum suum et librum regum et threnos. 2. The last chapter of 2 Kings agrees, except in some few particulars, with Jeremiah 52. The spelling in the latter is more archaic and the facts recorded in vers. 28-30 differ from those of 2 Kings 25:22-26, but the general agreement is very striking. It is alleged, accordingly, and not without reason, that the two narratives must have had a common origin, and more, that the final page of Jeremiah's history of the Kings, with a few alterations and additions made by a later hand, was appended to his collection of prophecies, as forming a fitting conclusion to those writings. And certainly this arrangement, though it does not prove Jeremiah's authorship of the KINGS, does afford evidence of a very ancient belief that he was the writer. 3. There is in many cases a marked resemblance between the language of Kings and that of Jeremiah. Havernick, perhaps the most powerful and energetic advocate of this view, has furnished a striking list of phrases and expressions common to both. And so marked are the correspondences between them that even Bahr, who summarily rejects this hypothesis, is constrained to allow that "the mode of thinking and expression resembles that of Jeremiah," and he accounts for the similarity by the conjecture that our author had before him the writings of the prophet or was, perhaps, his pupil, while Stahelin is driven to the conclusion that the writer was an imitator of Jeremiah. But the resemblance is not confined to words and phrases: there is in both writings the same tone, the same air of despondency and hopelessness, while many of the facts and narratives again are more or less common to the history and the prophecy. 4. Another consideration which is equally striking is the omission of all mention of the prophet Jeremiah in the Books of Kings — an omission easily accounted for if he was the author of those Books, but difficult to explain on any other supposition. Modesty would very naturally lead the historian to omit all mention of the share he himself had taken in the transactions of his time, especially as it was recorded at length elsewhere. But the part Jeremiah sustained in the closing scenes of the history of the kingdom of Judah was one of so much importance that it is hard to conceive any impartial, not to say pious or theocratic historian, completely ignoring both his name and his work. But a string of arguments, equally numerous and equally influential, can be adduced against the authorship of Jeremiah, prominent among which are the following: 1. That if Jeremiah did compile these histories, he must have been at the time about eighty-six or eighty.seven years of age. Bahr regards this one consideration as conclusive. He, like Keil and others, points out that Jeremiah's ministry began in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah (Jeremiah 1:2), when, it is urged, he must have been at least twenty years of age. But the Book of KINGS, as we have just seen, cannot have been penned earlier than B.C. 562; that is to say, at least sixty-six years afterwards. In reply to this, however, it may fairly be remarked (1) that it is quite possible that Jeremiah's entrance upon the prophetic office took place before he was twenty years old. He calls himself a child ( ‫ נ ַעַ ר‬Jeremiah 1:6), and though the word is not always to be taken literally, or as furnishing any definite chronological datum, yet the tradition that he was but a boy of fourteen is not wholly irrational or incredible. (2) It is quite within the bounds of possibility that the work may have been written by an octogenarian. We have had conspicuous instances amongst our own contemporaries of men far advanced in years retaining all their mental vigour and engaging in arduous literary labours. And (3) it does not absolutely follow, because the last paragraph of the Kings carries us down to B.C. 562 that that is also the date of the composition or compilation of the rest. It is quite obvious that the bulk of the work might have been written by Jeremiah some years before, and that these concluding sentences might have been added by him in extreme old age. There is much greater force, however, in a second objection, viz., that the KINGS must have been written or completed in Babylon, whilst Jeremiah spent the concluding years of his life and died in Egypt. For, though it is not absolutely certain, it is extremely probable that the work was finished and published in Babylon. There is not much weight perhaps in Bahr's remark that it cannot have been composed for the handful of fugitives who accompanied Jeremiah to Egypt, but must have been designed for the kernel of the people in captivity, for the prophet may have composed the work in Tahpenes, and have at the same time hoped, perhaps even provided, for its transmission to Babylon. But it cannot be denied that while the writer was evidently familiar with what transpired in the court of Evil-Merodach, and was acquainted with details which could hardly have been known to a resident in Egypt, there is an absence of all reference to the latter country and the fortunes of the remnant there. The last chapter of the work, that is to say, points to Babylon as the place where it was written. So also, prima facie, does the expression of 1 Kings 4:24, "beyond the river" (Auth. Vers. "on this side the river"). The "region beyond the river" can only mean that west of the Euphrates, and therefore the natural conclusion is that the writer must have dwelt east of the Euphrates, i.e., in Babylon. It is alleged, however, that this expression, which is also found in Ezra and Nehemiah, had come at this time to have a meaning different from its strict geographical signification, and was used by Jews, wherever they might happen to reside, of the provinces of the Babylonian Empire (including Palestine), west of the Great River, just as a Roman, even after residing in the country, might speak of Gallia Transalpina, and it cannot be denied that the expression is used indifferently of either side of the Jordan, and therefore presumably it may designate either side of the Euphrates. But it is to be observed — 1. that in the majority of instances where the expression is used of the Euphrates (Ezra 6:6; 7:21, 25; Nehemiah 2:7), it is found in the lips of persons residing in Babylonia or Media; 2. that in other instances (Ezra 4:10, 11, 16) it is used in letters of state by Persian officers, who would naturally adapt their language to the usages of the Persian court and of their own country, even when resident abroad, and lastly, that in the one instance (Ezra 8:36) where the words are employed of Jews resident in Palestine, it is by a Jew who had just returned from Persia. While therefore it is perhaps impossible to arrive at any positive conclusion from the use of this formula, it is difficult to resist the impression that on the whole it suggests that the Book was written in Babylon, and therefore not by Jeremiah. 3. A third consideration alleged by Keil in his earlier edition, viz., that the variations of style and diction between 2 Kings 25. and Jeremiah 52. are such as to negative the supposition of their having proceeded from the same pen, or rather such as to compel the belief that "this section has been extracted by the author or editor in the two cases from a common or more copious source," is too precarious to require much notice, the more so, ...
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