Imatges de pÓgina

as a lion is glad when he lighteth upon a great carcase, a horned stag or a wild goat that he hath found, being an hungered; and so devoureth it amain, even though the fleet hounds and lusty youths set upon him, even thus was Menelaos glad when his eyes beheld godlike Alexandros . . . So straightway he leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground." Beautiful is the picture Plutarch portrays of the Spartans drawn up in battle array: "It was at once a magnificent and terrible sight to see them march on to the tune of their flutes without any disorder in their ranks, any discomposure in their minds, or change in their countenances, calmly and cheerfully moving with the music to the deadly fight. Men in this temper were not likely to be possessed with fear or any transport of fury, but with the deliberate valor of hope and assurance, as if some divinity were attending and conducting them."

This sense of divinity attending the Spartans performed the same moral and social function which was performed by the tribal and national religious consciousness of the Hebrew people. Early Greek religion, like early Hebrew religion, was inseparable from a definite tribal and national consciousness. The divine inspiration which gave courage to Odysseus and his companions to put out the eye of the giant Polyphemus is the same type of religious consciousness which inspired the Hebrew Jael to take the life of Sisera, the Canaanite leader. Odysseus' religiously kissing his native soil after years of forlorn wandering corresponds to the Hebrew's conception of his native land as the dwelling place of Yahweh. Helios, the sun-god and Earth, "the grain-giver," are Greek equivalents of the

Canaanitish baals representing the fertility of the earth, with whom the Hebrews found it easy to identify even Yahweh himself. Zeus had the same relation to the land and the people of Greece that Yahweh had to Palestine and the Hebrew people.

When, according to Plutarch, Solon told Crœsus that he had in mind a happier, if not a richer man than he, one who had been an honest man, who had had good children and a competent estate, and who had died bravely in battle for his country, he voiced the moral ideal of the pre-Socratic Greek civilization which was founded upon loyalty to kinship, patriotism, and property derived through war and slavery and inherited through blood relationship.

There is a striking sense of individuality in Homer, but the individual does not seem to be separated from his organic relations to the old kinship and local groups. The individual is not bound by blind custom and taboo. Intelligence and insight shine through the Homeric poems like clear sunlight. But this knowledge and vision do not weaken the individual's loyalty to the old kinship and social groups. The individuals in Homer have sad thoughts mixed with their golden wine and their exultant laughter, but they always keep their swords within easy reach, for they never forget their household gods and their native land.



The eighth century prophets, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, marked a new epoch in the ethical thought of Israel. Kinship with Abraham or being a member of a chosen nation no longer made a man good. Amos taught that an unrighteous Israelite was no better than any other unrighteous individual (9:7). The nation, with its glorious history, its ethnic solidarity, its City of David, its holy temple at Jerusalem, had come to think of itself as a holy and good nation merely because it had the traditions of Abraham and Moses and David. But now, in the eighth century, these four great prophets arose with one common message. Ethnic morality, unbroken solidarity, expressing itself in national defense, in imposing and magnificent temple ritual, do not save a nation! Every great pagan nation has these things. The old ethnic consciousness looked forward toward national aggrandizement and the subjection of foreign nations merely because Israel was a holy nation,-holy because of her national god, her ancestral traditions, her kinship solidarity. This national ethnic ideal anticipated a "day of Yahweh" when the national god would overthrow the enemies of the chosen Israelitish people. But Amos declared (5:18) that the "day of Yahweh"

would be a time of darkness rather than light even to Israel unless she built her national life upon justice and righteousness (5:21). Not private wealth and wine and ointments and music and spacious palaces (6:4-8), but honesty and regard for the needy (8:3-6) were the only foundations of Israel's salvation. Instead of the old ethnic idea that Israel was a holy nation because of her kinship with Abraham and Moses and David, because of her ancestral traditions, her holy city of Zion, her possession of the sacred Law of Yahweh, Amos set forth the new doctrine that because of this very knowledge and this superior moral ideal of Moses and the prophets, an unrighteous Israel was more guilty than all the families of the earth (3:1-2). No, Abraham's blood and the Ark of the Covenant and the possession of Mount Zion and the inheritance of a chosen land no longer constituted a guarantee of national salvation. This higher morality of Amos rested upon character and conduct and not upon sacrifice and ritual. Custom was no longer synonymous with moral law; righteous conduct alone could make a nation "good." Under this inexorable ethical principle, the Israelites with their proud ethnic consciousness were to be judged by exactly the same standard as the Philistines, the Syrians and the Egyptians (9:7).

According to the more primitive view of morals, the god was thought of as the spirit of fertility. In partaking of the blood of a sacred animal the worshiper shared the life of his god. In Hosea this idea is explicitly rejected. Yahweh is no longer to be thought of as a baal or spirit of fertility. The morality of Israel is no longer to be regarded as centering in blood

relationship. The Mosaic tradition had introduced another element. The Yahweh of Moses was related to Israel not by blood but by voluntary compact. Here was a new ethical note; and this new element was emphasized by Hosea. Israel is related to Yahweh not through kinship but through voluntary loyalty, through will and choice. Sin is not a magical contagion; it is an act of will. Yahweh is not a baal; he is the husband of Israel, bound to Israel by ties of affection. Israel will no longer call Yahweh a baal; she will call him "husband" and he will betroth Israel unto him in righteousness, in loving-kindness, and in mercy (2:16-19).

This higher morality of Hosea in a striking passage (1:4) condemns Jehu's wholesale slaughter of all that remained of the house of Ahab (II Kings 10:11) in the previous century. Wholesale murder is no longer compatible with the type of conscience to be found in the book of Hosea.

Isaiah's moral teaching does not differ from that of Amos or Hosea. He condemns ritual as a substitute for good conduct (1:10-15). The land is full of wealth (2:7), but the poor are robbed (3:15). The princes of Judah despoil the poor; they love bribes; they do not judge the cause of the needy (3:14, 15; 1:23). The women of Judah have their hearts set on luxurious personal display (3:16-24). The men are greedy for gain. Against such Isaiah (5:8) in a powerful outburst exclaims: "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth." The only salvation for Judah is (1:16,

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