Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 3

Fortifying the way in this manner, by degrees we are led to our intended destination. The DUTCH TRANSLATORS in their Notis on our text send us to three passages of the Prophet Isaiah, with which the Pauline text may be able to be compared.  Among these is the pericope that occurs in Isaiah 26:19,יִֽחְי֣וּ מֵתֶ֔יךָ נְבֵלָתִ֖י יְקוּמ֑וּן הָקִ֙יצוּ וְרַנְּנ֜וּ שֹׁכְנֵ֣י עָפָ֗ר כִּ֣י טַ֤ל אוֹרֹת֙ טַלֶּ֔ךָ וָאָ֖רֶץ רְפָאִ֥ים תַּפִּֽיל׃, Thy dead shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise:  awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.  From this passage and verse 21 following, much more than from Isaiah 60:1, Beza believes that saying of Paul in our text was drawn; it is strange that this was not attended to by Interpreters.  FAUSTUS SOCINUS in his Lectionibus Sacris, opera, tome I, page 305, professes that the same is fixed as his opinion.  There is good reason for us now to digress into the exegesis of this prophetic text.  Just how greatly learned Men differ on it, their commentaries declare.  Consult, in addition to POOLE’S Synopsin Criticorum, MICHAELIS’ notas on this passage.  But I agree with those that do not believe this passage is adduced for the sake of proof by the Apostle in our text, although a sort of agreement in expression presents itself in both.  Since with the same Interpreters I think that Isaiah does not prophesy in the words cited concerning the spiritual Resurrection to be granted to the Church through the rising of Christ with the advent of the new econdomy; but concerning the bodily Resurrection on the last day, indeed, the universal Resurrection, but anticipated by the faith of the pious alone, when καιροὶ ἀναψύξεως, the times of refreshing,[1] shall begin to dawn upon them, and to them peace and refreshment from all the labors and vexations of this life shall be recompensed; while the impious, by whom they had been continually afflicted and vexed in this world, after they died in their sins, shall never rise either unto the vexation the Church again, or for the enjoyment of eternal and blessed life, by comparison with verse 14.  Moreover, in verse 21, when the Prophet subjoins, For, behold, Jehovah shall come out of His place, to visit the iniquity of the inhabitant of the earth upon him, etc.; he prophesies concerning the future Judicial Coming of Jehovah, destructive to the impious, rather than concerning His Coming, saving to the pious, for their illumination.  WALTHER, in his Harmonia Biblica on Ephesians 5:14, “Beza asserts that it was fetch from Isaiah 26:19, 21, and it is to be wondered at that this has not been attended to by Interpreters.  But it has been set down in the clear light of day that there not a spiritual Resurrection, which happens in this world, but bodily and universal, which will happen at the end of the world.”  Do not miss MARCKIUS’ exegetical Analysis on Isaiah 26, which is found in that Most Illustrious Man’s Exercitationibus textualibus, Part VI, Exercitation XIX, § 18, 19; add SEBASTIAN SCHMIDT’S Commentarium on this passage.

[1] Acts 3:19.

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