[Sidenote: Toward equals]
vi. Thou shalt not do injustice in rendering a judicial decision.
VII. Thou shalt not show partiality to the poor.
VIII. Thou shalt not have undue consideration for the powerful.
IX. Thou shalt not go about as a tale-bearer among thy people.
X. Thou shalt not seek the blood of thy neighbor [by bearing false
testimony in court].
[Sidenote: In the heart]
I. Thou shalt not hate thy fellow-countryman in thy heart.
II. Thou shalt warn thy neighbor and not incur sin on his account.
III. Thou shalt not take vengeance.
IV. Thou shalt not bear a grudge against the members of thy race.
V. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
IV. The Liberation of Jehoiachin and the Hopes of the Jews. The liberation of Jehoiachin, the grandson of Josiah, from the Babylonian prison where he had been confined since the first capture of Jerusalem was the one event in the Babylonian period deemed worthy of record by the biblical historians. The occasion was the accession of Nebuchadrezzar’s son Evil-merodach (Babylonian, Amil-Marduk). The act possessed little political importance, for the Jews were helpless in the hands of their Babylonian masters; but it evidently aroused the hopes of the exiles, and especially that type of hope which centred in the house of David.
Ezekiel, in his ideal programme, assigned to the Davidic prince only minor duties in connection with the temple, and transferred the chief authority to the high priest and his attendants. But it is evident that Ezekiel did not fully voice the hopes of the majority of the exiles. The late passage in ii Samuel 7:16, which contains the promise to David:
Thy house and kingdom shall always stand firm before
Thy throne shall be established forever,
expresses the prevailing belief in the days immediately preceding the exile. The national hopes which looked to the descendants of the house of David for fulfilment were inevitably modified, however, by the experiences of the exile and strengthened by the liberation of Jehoiachin. The rule of such kings as Manasseh and Jehoiakim had revealed the overwhelming evils that unworthy rulers, even though of the house of David, could bring upon their subjects. Josiah’s reign, on the other hand, established new and higher standards. The noble ethical and social ideals of Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah had not wholly failed to awaken a response.
All of these varied influences are traceable in the two prophecies found in Isaiah 9:1-7 and 11:1-10. Embodying as they do many of the social principles for which Isaiah contended, it was natural that these anonymous writings should afterward be attributed to that great statesman-prophet. Jehovah, however, was the one supreme king whom Isaiah acknowledged; and it was difficult to find in his strenuous life