Full Text for Propitiation in Old Testament Prophecy (Text)

QUARTERLY Wume 49, Number 1 JANUARY 1985 Propitiation in Old Testament Prophecy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Douglas Judisch 1 Luther and Moltmann: The Theology of the Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bum11 F, Ecknrdt, Jr. 19 Theological Observer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Homiletical Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Book Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Indices to Volurrle 48 (1984) Author Index . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Title Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Subject Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Scripture Index to Homiletical Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 Propitiation in Old Testament Prophecy Douglas McC. L. Judisch A study in a previous issue of this journal emphasized the centrali- ty to Old Testament theology of divine wrath and its propitiation.' Having established "propitiate" as the usus loquendi of k p r, we found the whole complicated system of animal sacrifice a monumental mech- anism designed to placate the wrath of God against the sinners of the Old Testament era. We concluded, in&&, that the sanguinary sacrifices of Israel pointed forward to Messiah's propitiation of God on behalf of all men, and those who trusted in this propitiation which was to come still enjoy eternal l i t with God? It was not only by means of types, however, that God sought to excite in the hearts of the an- cients faith in His propitiation by the Coming One. He also used the explicit words of His prophets-although often still using imagery bor- rowed from the sacrificial system to discuss the future things which it symoblized. I. Basic Considerations God made the point, first of all, that no mere man could assuage His wrath against even one of his fellaws, much less God's anger with all humanity (Ps. 49:8-9 MT; 7-8 EV): No man can by any means redeem his brother, Or give to God a ransom for him - For the redemption of his soul is costly . . . That he should live on eternally; That he should not see the pit? Rather, only God could and would propitiate Himself - a goal, of course, which could be attained only by God becoming a man and suffering Himself the full force of the divine fury aroused by the sins of mankind. In Psalm 65, therefore, David tells the hrd : "As for our transgressions, Thou dost effect propitiation for them" (the last six words representing a form of k p r; v. 4 MT; 3 EV)? As we have deduced already, even toward the people of the Old Testament era, even toward the unbelievers, God's attitude was conditioned by His future work. Psalm 78, in recounting the past faithlessness of most Israelites, declares (v. 38): But He, being compassionate, effected propitiation 2 CONCORDIA THEOUXiICAL QUAmERLY for guilt, and did not destroy; And often He turned away His anger, And did not arouse all His wrath.5 In this translation "effected propitiation" again represents a form of k p r. 11. Various Prophecies of Divine Goodwill Yet the actual fountainhead of divine propitiation then lay in the future. Several prophecies of this accomplishment use the verbr tz h or the noun derived from it, rifz6n. The verb means "be pleased with, accept favourably," often used in the context of sacrifice. or "make acceptable, satisfy:' referring to a debt or penalty? A. Isaiah 1.Isaiah 40. The niphal form of r tz h occurs in the well-known second verse of Isaiah 40: Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her guilt has been made acceptable, That she has received of the Lord's hand Double for all her sins? The idea is that God's attitude would change from wrath against guilty people to acceptance by virtue of the payment of a satisfactory penal- ty. The context, of course, deals with the manifestation of God in human flesh (v. 5) - the coming of the Messiah, who would be the one to pay the penalty? 2. Isaiah 49. The noun riltZbn signifies "goodwill, favour, acceptance," especially the acceptance of those offering sacrifices? In Isaiah 49 God promises the Servant of the Lord (v. 8b): And I will keep You and give You for a testament to the people, To establish the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages . . . .'O Propitiation 3 In other words, the Messiah was to become, by means of His death, the basis of a new testament meant to benefit mankind and He would thereby establish the New Testament church. For the vicarious death of the Messiah is logically implied by the word bdth, usually but not aptly translated "covenant." A ben'th is basically a guarantee, an oathbound obligation undertaken by someone to do something. Sometimes this obligation is made on condition of reciprocal action by a second party; in such cases the benth is to some extent, at least, a covenant. Here, however, the reference is to the oft-repeated unconditional promise of God to bestow righteous- ness upon the world through the death of His Son - in other words, the new testament (Matt. 26:28; Mark 13:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. ll:25; Heb. 9 5 2 2 ) . In this passage, indeed,the Messiah is equated with the new testament in the Father's assurance, "I will give You for a testament to the people." For not only is the Messiah the testator who dies to put His will into effect, but His righteousness is also the inheritance bequeathed to the will's beneficiaries." According to Isaiah 49, then, the vicarious death of the Messiah and the consequent establishment of the New Testament church was to come to pass in what is termed "a day of salvation" and "a time of $\nor" (v. 8a)!2 The usual rendition of 'ah-rhnbn here asbba Eaw>mble time" is much too weak." The time in question is the point in histo- ry at which the Messiah was to change God's disposition toward man from wrath to goodwill. This connection, we may add, of divine good- will with the effectuation of a divine testament is certified by the oc- casional denomination of this will as ben'th shiil5m ("testament of peace") or variations of this phraseolgy.14 An example close at hand occurs in Isaiah 54 (7-10): 'In a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. In an overflowing of anger I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting loving-kindness I will have compassion on you,' Says the Lord your Redeemer. 'For this is like the days of Noah to Me; When I swore that the waters of Noah Should not flood the earth again, So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, Nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, 4 CONCORDIA THEOuxiICAL QUAKTERLY And My testament of peace will not be shaken,' Says the Lord who has compassion on you.'' This passage demonstrates, in the first place, the basic concept of ben'h as previously enunciated, namely, an oathbound obligation undertaken by someone to do something. The unconditional and, in- deed, unalterable nature of this particular bedth (the Messianic testa- ment of 42:6 and 49:8) is equally patent. Striking above all, however, in the terms of this testament is the iteration and reiteration of an elec- trifying change in God's attitude toward man from overflowing wrath to tenderest compassion. It is plain to see that the will which Messiah's death was to put into effect is called a ben'th shblbm because it was God's declaration of peace on mankind - by virtue of the propitiatory sway of Messiah's death upon the mind of God.'6 3. Isaiah 61. A case similar to the use of && in Isaiah 49 occurs in Isaiah 61, which is, in fact, closely related to both chapters 42 and 49. In- deed, despite the absence of the word "servant" in the pericope, Young was moved by its other similarities with the four passages of Isaiah usually denominated "the Servant Songs" to place Isaiah 61:l-3 in the same category!' In the first nine verses of Isaiah 61 we survey the Messiah's awn portrait of the purpose and the results of His mis- sion: the purpose is the establishment of the new testament (v. 8) and the proclamation of the gospel (w. 1-3); the results are the jay (w. 3, 7) and imputed righteousness (v. 3) of Christians, the establish- ment of the New Testament church (v. 4), its extension to the Gen- tiles (vv. 5, 6, 9), and the priesthood of all believers (v. 6).'8 That the speaker of these verses is the Messiah is established by the ianguage of verse 1; it is, after all, this unique manner in which, according to His human nature, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit without meas= that brought Him the title "Messiah," "the Anointed One."'9 And this identification of the speaker is confirmed by the self- authentication of the Messiah Himself on the occasion of the initia- tion of His public ministry (Luke 4:16-21). Thus, in Isaiah 61:2 the Son appropriates to Himself the propitiatory language which we have heard the Father applying to Him in 49:8. For, in making the preaching of Law and Gospel the essence of His prophetic office, He depicts the Gospel not only as "good news," not only as the proclamation of spiritual liberty (v. I), not only as con- solation (v. 2), but also as the proclamation of God's propitiation. The New American Standard Bible translates the first four words of verse 2, "to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord," following the phraseolgy of the King James Version, "to proclaim the acceptable Propitiation 5 year of the h d . " The Revised Standard krsion is closer to the original text with "to proclaim the year of the Lord's This divine goodwill toward men is really the essence of the Messianic Gospel, since without it there could be' no "good news." Like the "time" of 49:8, here the word "year" singles out a particular point in history at which the Messiah was to change God's disposition to- ward man from wrath to acceptance. Nor need we copy the millen- nialists and take one giant leap from the First Coming to the Second in the middle of the clause under discussion just because the second phrase speaks of the "day of vengeance of our God."21 For the Prophet par excellence had to proclaim the whole truth. Consequently, He who won God's acceptance of all men has to press simultaneously the revival of God's wrath against those without trust in His propitia- tion (John 3:36)F2 No one can preach the Gospel faithfully unless he preach the Law MfdIy. The antithetical parallelism, indeed, be- tween the "year of favor" and the4'day of vengeance" serves to in- crease the appreciation of the Messianic propitiation by the stark contrast with the divine wrath which it appeased?' 4. Isaiah 60 Having studied the significance of r tz h and a z b n in Isaiah 40, 49, and 61, one is much readier to capture the concern of Mtzbn in the closely related chapters of 56 and 60. The point is that in Isaiah 60 God is speaking of the benefits accruing to the New Testament church from Messiah's work as He borrows imagery from such di- verse sources as the sacrificial system and the construction of cities. The basis of these benefits is clearly the incarnate God (vv. 1-2) who was to be the Redeemer (v. 16d), Saviour (v. 16c), and Light of the world (vv. 1-2, 19-20). It is in this Christological context, then, that Isaiah introduces sacrificial symbolism into his prediction of the ex- tension of the church throughout the world (v. 7): All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you; The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They will go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house?' In verse 10 Isaiah alters the tropology but continues to urge the same assurance: The foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on youF5 6 CONCORDIA THEOUXiICAL QUARTERLY In verse 7 the New American Standard Bible uses "acceptance," in verse 10 "favor" to translate the same word, re'tzo'n?6 In the latter case, the antithetical parallelism ofthe last tvm lines again (as in 61:2) makes the silhouette of Messianic propitiation stand out all the more clearly against the white-hot rays of divine wrath (here qetzeph)?' 5. Isaiah 56. God is likewise describing the conversion of people of every na- tion as a result of Messiah's work when He makes this promise in Isaiah 56 (vv. 6-7): Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to lwe the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And those who take hold of My testament; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.28 The penultimate line again contains the noun nit .n, a more literal translation being, "Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be for acceptance on My altar"; and the sacrificial economy is again the source of the figure. The Christological significance of the state- ment receives confirmation in this case from the preceding verse, where those offering the sacrifices of verse 7 are called m&uiqim bibhrithi. The new American Standard Bible renders the phrase, "everyone. . . who holds fast My cwenant," but "those who take hold of My testament" does more justice to Isaiah's intention - in other words, those who would come to faith in the divine propitia- tion accomplished by Messiah's death. For the meaning of ben'h has already come up for discussion, and the phrase in which it occurs here and in verse 4 is a variation on the theme sounded in the first two verses of the chapter. This theme is the blessedness of the man who "takes hold of it" (v. 2),29 that is, of what the Lord calls "My salvation to come" or, more directly, "My righteousness to be re- vealed"(v.1). This alien righteousness-and the salvation integrally connected with it - is nothing else than the inheritance bequeathed to the beneficiaries of the testament put into effect by the death of the Messiah. Nor do we invest the hiphil of b z q with an unusual Propitiation 7 significance by referring it to faith in the effects of Messiah's death (w. 2, 4, 6)P0 Isaiah uses the word similarly in 64:6 (MT; 7 EV) to speak of saving trust in the Lord in a more general way. In 275, indeed, the New American Standard Bible uses "rely" as a translation: I have no wrath. Should someone give Me briars and thorns in battle, Then I would step on them, I would burn them completely. Or let him rely on My protection, Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me. Here the Lord specifically urges faith in His "protection" from His own wrath - that is, in His self-propitiation of the Messianic period whereby He could actually say, "I have no wrath."31 The peace, then, which He invites men to make with Him is simply the acceptance of the peace which He has already made with them. At the same time, however, the Lord warns us that His justice requires Him to relight the fires of His fury to incinerate those who remain His angry enemies. B. Ezekiel Up to this point we have been focusing attention upon prophecies of Isaiah which speak of the future "goodwill" of God by employing the verb r tz h or the noun Mtzbn. Space is insufficient to prosecute a similar study of all the Old Testament prophets. A glimpse at the twentieth chapter of Ezekiel, however, might serve to show that Isaiah is not alone in the use of these words to the same end. By the time, of course, that one reaches his twentieth chapter, Ezekiel has already prepared us in many and various ways for a proper appreciation of his propitiatory prediction there. Had one the opportunity to pause at any spot along the path by which Ezekiel leads the reader, the last four verses of chapter 16 would surely retard his steps a while. There the Lord promises to replace the Mosaic ben'th invalidated by the apostasy of Israel (who has "despised the oath," v. 59) with a new and eternal testament (vv. 60-63): 'Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your cov- enant. Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall 8 CONCORDIA THEOUXiICAL QUAKIl3RL.Y know that I am the Lord, in order that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth any more because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done,' the Lord God declares. Several points are worthy of note here. In the first place, Ezekiel agrees with Isaiah in equating the execution of the new testament with God's propitiation of Himself. The phrase quoted above from the New American Standard Bible (v. 63), "when I have forgiven," represents an infinitive of k p r; "you," lamedh with a second person singular sufixP2 Thus, a literal rendition would be "in My propitiating fir thee" or "by My propitiating for thee." Secondly, the entity whom God is addmsii here is the apostate people of Jerusalem (v.2). Thus, God's propitiation of Himself does not depend upon faith in Him but instead logically pmxdes faith. That is to say, God placates His wrath against men and thereby pmides them with something to believe. Likewise, He executes a divine testament in favour of the faithless and then invites them to receive through faith the inheritance which He has bequeathed them. Thirdly, the kol of the last verse underlines the comprehensivenessof the divine propitiation predicted here. God was to still His rage against men with respect to all the sins which they have committed. In Ezekiel 20 itself the Messianic King (v. 33) speaks not only of His future condemnation of faithless Israel (vv. 34-38), but also of His making the new testament in her favor (v. 37). To describe the New Testament church verses 40 and 41 blend a metaphor derived from the cultus with imagery drawn from the reunion of exiles: 'For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel,' declares the b r d God, 'there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I shall accept them, and there I shall seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. By means of a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.'33 The verb r tz h occurs in both verses. The phrase berZa~-ni&%zh at the beginning of verse 41 explains how it is that a just God could accept into His presence those whom flames of fury ignited by sin ought to consume. The propitiatory import of this "smell of pacifica- tion" has received previous attention in connection with the ancient sacrifices, its usage showing that the sacrifice of various animals Propitiation 9 assuaged the wrath of God against individuals, nations, and even the human race as a whole?* The New American Standard Bible con- fuses Ezekiel's thought here by rendering the prefixed beth "as," pro- ducing the clause,' "As a soothing aroma I shall accept you.''35 The prophet's intention emerges with crystal clarity when we translate literally: "By means of a smell of pacification I shall accept you.'' Since Ezekiel is sdeab'lng of the Messianic era, when animal sacri- fice would necessarily cease?6 he is clearly intimating the antitype by naming the type. He is referring, in other words, to the propitia- tion symbolized by the aroma of the Old Testament sanguinary sacrifices, namely, the vicarious satisfaction. It is by means of Messiah's death, then, that we become acceptable to God. III. Isaiah 53 An Old Testament passage which makes this same point by means of a similar metaphor drawn from the cultus is Isaiah 53:lO. Isaiah 53, the holy of holies of Old Testament prophecy, stresses more than any other prediction the vicarious value of the Messiah's suffering and death?' Wcnving an assurance of the personal sinlessness of the Servant of the Lord (v. 9), verse 10 p d s in this manner: Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; When he makes himself an offering for sin, He shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days. . The word translated here as "an offering b r sin" by the Revised Stan- dard Version is 'bsMm, which is the technical term rendered "guilt offering" in the prelude to this study?9 We have already seen how Leviticus 5 attributes propitiatory power to the literal 'dshdm, since it symbolized and mediated the propitiation to be effected by the Mes~iah.~ Here in Isaiah 53conversely ' d s h is used figuratively to refer directly to the one intrinsic propitiation of which all others were only types and vehicles. There is much significance, moreover, in the particular variety of sacrifice mentioned here. For the guilt offering comprehended a restitution made to God by an individual person to compensate for wrongdoing and so to satisfy the demands of God's justice. Indeed, the ceremonial code required a compensa- tion equal to 120 percent of the amount involved in the sin - an ad- ditional fifth of the value (Lev. 516; 6:4-5)?' Delitzsch deals in some detail with the significance of '&h-m in Isaiah 53:10, and the theology of Heilsgeschichte which vitiates his treatment of many Messianic prophecies is not so apparent as usu- al.42 He argues, in the first place, "that the 2Zshdm paid by the soul 10 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY of the Servant must consist in the sacrifice of itself, since He pays it by submitting to a violent death; and a sacrifice presented by the nephesh (the soul, the life, the very self) must be not only one which proceeds from itself, but one which consists in itself."43 After delineating some of the distinctions between the guilt offering and other sacrifices (especially its closest relative, the sin offering), Deiitzsch points to the prominence of the priest in the ritual of the guilt ~ f f e r ing .~ For in each case the guilt-ridden Israelite had to make restitution in accord with the priest's evaluation and in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (e.g., Lev. 5:15). While his idea of the priest as the continual representative of the ofkrer in the sin offering is fallacious, Delitzsch correctly sees the priest in the guilt offering as the representative of God: The trespass-offering was a restitution or compensation made to God in the person of the priest, a payment or penance which made amends for the wrong done, a satisfactio in a disciplinary sense. And this is implied in the name; for just as hattz'th denotes first the sin, then the punishment of the sin and the expiation of the sin, and hence the sacrifice which cancels the sin; so '&h signifies first the guilt or debt, then the compensation or pen- ance, and hence (cf. Lev. v. 15) the sacrifice which discharges the debt or guilt, and sets the man free?s Each of the different varieties of sacrifice points, of course, to some particular aspect of their common antitype which would otherwise receive less attention from the members ofthe Old Testament ~hurch.4~ Therefore, although failing to stress the propitiatory significance of the 'dsham, Delitzsch hits quite near the mark when he concludes: An idea, which Hafmann cannot find in the sacrifices, is expressed here in the most specific manner, viz. that of SdsjWion demand- ed by the justice of God, and of poem outweighing the guilt con- tracted (cf. nirtsih, ch. xl. 2); in other wrds, the idea ofsankwo vicaria in the sense of Anselm is brought out most distinctly here, where the soul of the Servant of God is said to present such an atoning sacrifice for the whole, that is to say, where He offers Himself as such a sacrifice by laying down the life so highly val- ued by God (ch. xlii. I, xlix. 5):' One might add, moreover, that calling the Servant's self-sacrifice an 'cishim, and thereby implying the payment to God of a superebun- dant compensation for human offenses, would seem to run counter to the idea of a limited atonement or, indeed (since the Zshiim is still a sacrifice), a limited propitiation. In Article XXIV of the Apology Melanchthon appeals to Isaiah 53:lO as proof that the work of Christ alone assuages the wrath of Propitiation 11 God, while our works play no part in the drama of propitiation (23): Isaiah interprets the law to mean that the death of Christ is a real satisfaction or expiation for our sins, as the ceremonies of the law were not; therefore he says (Isa. 53:10), "When he makes himself an offering for sin [hostiaqsacrificial victim], he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days." The word he uses here (barn) means a victim sacrificed for transgression. In the Old Testament this meant that a victim was to come to reconcile God and make s.atisfaction for our. sins, so that men might know that God does not want our Own I'ighteousness but the merits of another (namely, of Christ) to reconcile him to us. Paul inter- prets the same word as "sin" in Rom. 8:3, "As a sin offering [De peccato] he condemned sin Ipeccatum] ," that is, through an offering for sin [hostiam]. We can understand the meaning of the word more readily if we look at the customs which the heathen adopted from their misinterpretation of the patriarchal tradition. The Latins offered a sacrificial victim' [hostiam] to placate the wrath of God when, amid great calamities, it seemed to be unusually severe; this they called a trespass offering Ipiaculum]. Sometimes they offered up human sacrifices, perhaps because they had heard that a human victim was going to placate Go$ fbr the whole human race. The Greeks called them either "refuse" or "offscduring." Isaiah and Paul mean that Christ became a sacrificial .victim [hostiam] or trespass offering Ipiaculum] to reconcile God by his merits instead of 0urs.4~ In this translation of the passage by Thppert, Melanchthon's hostia is sometimes rendered "an offering for sin" and sometimes more generally "a sacrificial victim," but the line of thought is still patent and c0gent.4~ That the Messianic propitiation predicted in Isaiah 53:lO would be complete is appssrent from three facts. In the first place, we have almdy seen that such is the implication of the word ashiim itself, b j virtue of its reference to one of the Old Testament sacrifices in general and, more particularly, to a sacrifice involving superabundant restit~tion.~ Secondly, the closing clauses of the verse show God's approval of the Messiah's propitiatory work by means of His resurrection and pro- pagation of the church: He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of'the Lord will prosper in His hand?' The third indication is the first clause of the following verse (lla): As a result of the anguish of His soul, 12 CONCORDIA THEOLOOICAL QUARTERLY He will see it and be satisfied. . . ?2 The lasf verb s b ' ("be sated, satisfied") shows that God would find the Messiah's deathsufficient or more than sufficient to compensate for the sins of others, more than sufficient to satisfy the demands of God's justice upon a?) This vicarious satisfaction necessarily im- plies the cessation of the divine anger mused by "our transgressions" (v. 5); the raging fire of God's wrath would burn itself out on the Messiah's corpse.u If we inquire concerning tfie scope of this propitiation, verse 6 is of particular import: All of us like sheep have gone astray, Eachofushasturnedtohismway; But the Lnrd has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him?' The language is universal in reference. All men are sinners, and God imputed to the Messiab all sins of all men. Indeed, Isaiah emphasizes the concept of univedty by the striking station of h l h a ("'all of us") as the first and last words of this verse, sentries to guard its gates against the escape or abduction of any man from walls which sur- round the entire world. Part I1 of the Smalcald Articles, therefore, rightly treats this verse as proof that Jesus Christ "alone is 'the Lamb of God, who takes awrry the sin of the world' (John 1:29)" (1:2)?6 This imputation of the sins of all mankind to the Messiah, moreover, is clearly tantamount ^ in scope to propitiation in the theology of the Lutheran Confessions. For Article XX of the Apology adduces this same verse of Isaiah as selfevident proof "that Christ was given to us to be a propitiation for ow sins" (XX:S)?' The confessional ex- egesis correctly interprets Isaiah 53:6 in accord with its context - in conjunction with verse 10. It is for all sinners that the Messiah was to "make Himself a guilt offering." Thus, He would propitiate God on behalf of the whole world. Conclusion A study, then, of the concept of propitiation in Old Testament pro- phecy serves to c o b the conclusions which we previously drew from its language and typology: (1) The wrath of God and His pro- pitiation are pivotal elements in the theology of the Old Testament. (2) The concept of divine propitiation lies at the heart of the elaborate sacrificial system of the Old Testament. (3) The sanguinary sacrifices had propitiatory power, but only because they symbolized the pro- Propitiation 13 pitiating self-sacrifice of the Messiah and mediated its effects. (4) The Messiah, who would be both God and man, was to propitiate God for all sins on behalf of all sinners by means of His sinless life and vicarious death. (5) Only those people of the Old Testament era en- joy eternal life with God who trusted in the propitiation of God which the Messiah was to accomplish. Through faith in the divine propitia- tion which Christ has now accomplished we too already possess this same eternal life; and so we look forward eagerly to joining our spiritual forefathers in the celestial rest and glory where they have sung for millennia the praises of the Lamb that was slain to quench the wrath of God. "Propitiation in the Language and 'I)pology of the Old Testament:'CYQ, 48(1984), pp.221-243. Ibid . The form translated as "his soul" (v. 9 MT; 8 EV) by the NASB actually has a plural possessive suffix, s h a w i the generic &nce to mankind in general. The NASB has "Thou dost fxgive them," but gives '%aver wer, atone for" as a more literal translation in the margin. The NASB text gives this rendition: "But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destq them; and often He restrained His anger. . . ." Francis Bmwn, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, eds., " r tz h," in A He- bnw and English Lexicon 4th~ Old Tcstmncnt (Olrford: Clamdon Press, 1951), hereafter abbreviated BDB, p. 953. The NASB translates the third line with less exactitude: "That her iniquity has been removed." This understandmg ofthe context is confirmed by the identification in the New Testament (including the claim of the Baptist himself) of the "voice" of verse 3 with the immediate precursor of Christ (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23). BDB, " W n , " p. 953. The NASB has "covenant of the people" in place of "testament to the people" and "restore" in place of "'establish:' although the margin does provide "establish" as a more literal wanslation. Douglas McC. L. Judisch, ."Isaiah 42:l-7," CYQ, 46 (l982), p. 3U, in which I discuss the occurrence of the same clause in the first of the four passages commonly d e d the "Servant Songs'' (42:l-9; 49:l-13, containin& the verse under consideration now; 50:4-11; and 52:13-53:12). The NASB reads, "In a favorable time I have answed You, and in a day of salvation I have helped You," indicating by the capitalization of the second per- son pronoun that it is the Son whom God is here addressing. 13. The KJV has "an acceptable time"; the RSV is the best version in this case with ''a time of lbmr," which then cornponds well with the "dq of salvation" in the preosding and parallel clause. See BDB, "sM~m," pp. 1022-1023, which locates "peace with God" eapccial- ly in a conve~mtal relation @. Wn3). The NASB text begins this passage with "For" mther than "In" and uses "out- burst" in place of "overflowing," "covenant" in place of "t." In the first two cases, however, the more literal translation occurs in the margin. See Douglas Judisch, "Luke 2:l-20'' a, 47 (l983), p. 255, when I observe that eudoAia ("pod will") in the song afthe angels (v. 14) "refers to God's gracious desii to save people from eternal death . . . . POI this mason Isaiah, in the traditional Christmas Old TesEament rrading (9:2-7, used also in the gradual), had called the divine child whose birth the angels anwunced (cf. Is. 9:6 with Lk. 291) the 'Prince of Peace,' of w b peace tben would be no end (Is. 9% cf. Is. 26:3, 12; 5410; 5719; 66:12)." Edward J. Y m , An Introduction to the Old E s t ~ ~ c n t (Orand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977), p. 225. Douglas McC. L. Judiach, "'lsaiah 61:lO-11:' C7Q, 46 (l982), pp. 307-308. Cf. my remarks on 42:1, "Isaiah 42:l-7," p. 310. Tbe RSV, then, indentifie8 the lam& pretixcd to the Divine Nam as poasessiw, but its classification as a lama% of inter& or specification wauld seem to make no difference to the significance of the phrase (cf. Ronald J. Williams, H e b m Syntax: An Outline, second ed .mn to : University of Toronto Press, 19761, pp. 48-49). Ryrie, for example, states: "The ministry of Messiah at His first coming is described in verses 1-2a and at His second coming in verses 2b-3." Charles Caldwell Ryrie, 7he Ryrie S M y Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978), p. 1104. Similarly, Riyne, while allocating the first words of verse 2 to the first coming @. 298), sees the fulfilment of the following phrase in "the battle of Armaged- don, and God's corresponding deliverance for Israel" @. 295). J. Barton Pgme, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: nte Complete Guide to Scriptuml Predic- tion and ne i r Fulfillment (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1973). Pieper uses this phraseology: "Holy Writ expressly declares that since Christ by His vicarious satisfaction is the Propitiation for the sin of the whole world, only faith can save and only unbelief can actually condemn sinners. . . . But where unbelief reigns, all other sins again assume their condemnatory character. . . .Retribution overtakes only those who decline to amil themselves of the first and original will of grace that God for Christ's sake has toward all men.' Franz Pieper, Christian Dogmarics, tr. Walter W. E Albnxht, Itl (Comrdia Publishing House, 1953), pp. 548-9. BDB, "niiqiim," p. 668. This noun, like the feminine neqa'miih, almost always signifies vengeance taken by God, referring only thrice to human vengeance. Kedar and Nebaioth were Arabian peoples, both descended from sons of Ishmael (Gcn. 25:13; 1 Chron. 1:29). BDB, pp. 614, 87l. Propitiation 15 That the urban r e d ofvem 104 is figurative is appanmt from verses 18-20 pace mille~ialist interpreters. Payne (op. cit., p. 302), for example, sees the fulfilment in "the privileged status and future world dominance of Israel," while Ryrie top. cit., p. 1102). in line with common dispensational practice, aban- dons the pivotal principle of a single intended sense, to say of Isaiah 60: "This chapter describes the glary of Jerusalem and Israel in the millennial kingdom (including previews seen in the return from Babylon)." A New Testament par- allel to Isaiah 60:lO-11 is Ephesians 2:ll-22, in which the propitiatory work of Christ is the basis ofthe extension of the New Testament church, again described in figures derived from the construction of buildings. See Douglas Judisch, "Ephesians 2:l3-22," G'Q, 46 (1982), pp. 62-65. Both the NASB and the RSV evidently follow the KJV in the translation of dtsn in these two verses (Is. 60:7, 10). BDB, ''dkzzph" and "zetzeph," p. 893. The noun almost always refers to divine wrath (only twice to human wrath). The translation diverges from the NASB in the translation of the last phrase of verse 6, as indicated below. The NASB translates the hiphii of z q as "who takes hold" in this case as opposed to "who. . .holds fast" in verse 6, the former being the preferable ren- dition. BDB, "M," pp. 304-305. The basic meaning of the qal is "be or grow firm or strong," but the most common meaning of the hiphil is "take or keep hold of," sometimes physically and sometimes figuratively. As to the connection with the Messianic era, the words, "I have no wrath," are spoken by God bayyiim hiihii: "in that day," which is the time of the developments predicted in verses 1, 1243. Cf. "Propitiation in the Language and I)pology of the Old Testament," pp.222-224. The translation diverges from the NASB only in changing "As" at the begin- ning of verse 41 to "By means of:' as indicated below. Cf. "~ro~itiation' in the Language and 'Qpology of the Old Testament," pp.225-226. The NASB margin does, however, give "With" as a more literal translation. Cf. "Propitiation in the Language and Typology of the Old Testament," p.240. Christ Himself stressed the reference of the passage to Him (Luke 2237) and therefore maintained the silence at His trial so puzzling to Pilate (Matt. Dl2-14, etc.; Is. 53~7). The New Testament church has, of course, found the chapter an apologetic treasurehouse from its earliest days (Acts 8:32-35). The NASB diverges in various ways from this RSV rendition; the third line runs: "If He would render Himself as a guilt offering." BDB, " a s h , " p. 79. Sometimes, however, the term "trespass offering" is employed instead (e.g., Ryrie, p. 164). "Propitiation in the Language and Typology of the Old Testament." p.226. Cf. 1 Samuel 6 as an interesting analogue provided by the pagan theologians of Philistia (vv. 3, 4, 8). 16 CONCORDIA THEOLMjICAL QUARTERLY Cf. Douglas Judisch, "hstmillennialism and the Augustana:' a, 47 (1983), p. 161. Franz Delitzsch, Isaiah, tr. James Martin, 2 vols. in 1 (C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten CSlwnes [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, rep. 19751, VK), 11, pp. 331-332. He rejects the attempt of J. C. K. Hofmann to rid h i i l f of a troublesome pmf- text of the vicarious atonement by identifying the people, rather than the Ser- vant Himself, as the one who offers the Servant as an ' Lh in the sense that it treated Him, says Hofmann, "just as if it had a pricking in its conscience so long as it suffered Him to live." Ibid., p. 333, where Delitzsch states that "in general we find that, in the case of the trespass-offering, instead of the altar-ritual, concerning which the law is very brief(Lev. vii. 1-7), other acts that are altogether peculiar to it are brought prominently into the foreground (Lev. v. 14 sqq.; Num. v. 5-8)." Ibid. In actuality, in every sacrifice the priest represented, not the offerers, but God satisfying the demands of His justice for the punishment of thgse sinners by means of His sacrifice of His own Son. Delitzsch, pp. 333-4: "Every species of sacrifice had its own primary idea. The fundamental idea of the blith (burnt-offering) was oblatio, or the offering of worship; that of the shelZmZm (peace-offerings), conciliatio, or the knitting of fellowship; that of the minchdh (meat-offering), donatio, or sanctifying con- secration; that of the chana"h (sin-offering), expiatio, or atonement; that of the EMm (trespass-offering), mulct0 (satisplctio), or a compensatory payment. The self-sacrifice of the Servant of Jehcwah may be presented under all these points of view. It is the complete antitype, the truth, the object, and the end of all the sacrifices. So Ear as it is the antitype of the "whole offering," the central point in its antitypical character is to be found in the offering of His entire personality @msphom tou s ~ o s , Heb. x. 10) to God for a sweet smell- ing savour (Eph. v. 2); so far as it is the antitype of the sin-offering, in the shedding of His blood (Heb. ix. l3, 14), the 'blood of sprinkling' (Heb. xii. 24; 1 Pet. i. 2); so far as it is the antitype of the shcwm, and especially of the passover, in the sacramental participation in His one self-sacrifice, which He grants to us in His courts, thus applying to us His own redeeming work. and confirming our fellowship of peace with God (Heb. xiii. 10; 1 Cor. v. 7), since the shel5mim derive their name from sha'fiTm, pax, communio; so far as it is the antitype of the trespass-offering, in the equivalent rendered to the jus- tice of God for the sacrileges of our sins." Ibid., p. 334, where Delitmch concludes his discussion of &Mm with a &renix to the verb of which it is the object in Isaiah 53:ll: "As the verb most suitable to the idea of the '&ham the writer selects the verb s h , which is generally used to denote the giving of a pledge (Job xvii. 3), and is therefore the most suitable word for every kind of satisfhctio that represents a direct solutio." Jaroslav Pelikan, tr., "The Apology of the Augsburg Confession:'?he Book 4 RSritiuj.011 17 Concord, trans. and ed. Theodore G. Thppert (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1959), p. 253. Por the original Latin context ofthe wrwds which I have inserted in brackets see Die kknnmisschripm dcr ewngclisch-lutherischen Kirche, fifth ed. (Ooettingen: vanddmck und Rupr#:ht, 1%3), pp. 355-356. 49. The classical usage of hoJtia is quite gclmal: animal &rificed, a victim, sacrifice." Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, eds., A Latin Dicrionuty (Ox- ford: Clarendoo h s s , 1879), p. 867. The basic meaning ofpiaculum is nar- rower: "a meens of appwing a deity" and hence "sin-o&ring, pmpitiatory sacrifia:' Wi., pp. m-BPI. 50. Cf. "Pmpitiation in the Language and lLpology oftbe Old 'Ibtammt:'p.226 51. The "good pleasure" ofthe NASB is a translasion of13phm. "delight, pleasm" or, concretely as here. "that in which one t a b delight"; cf.BDB, p. 343. 52. The wwd "it" is supplied by the NASB to pmvidc an object of the verb in English. The KJV ties togexher the components of this clause even more close- ly: "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." The RSV follows this same line of thought: "he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied." 53. BDB, "s b ' :' p. 959. 54. Indeed, this divine pacification is already implied by the third clause of verse 5: "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" (KJV). For in the context of the visitation of God's wrath upon His Servant rather than on mankind, shelWn9 surely rcks to W s attitude toward men, the pronominal suffix indicating the object of "peace*' rather than its subject (as the RSV and NASB take 4. 55. The NASB is more dramatic in its final clwse than the KJV (followed by the RSV), which reeds: "the brd hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 56. Theodore G. Thppcrt, tr., "The Smalcald Articles," in The Book of Concord, p. 292, where Romans 3:23-25 and 4:25 arc also cited. 57. Pelikan, p. 227, the Latin word being "prvpitiatio."