Hävernick’s Introductory Remarks To His Commentary On Ezekiel -- By: Edward Robie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 005:19 (Aug 1848)
Article: Hävernick’s Introductory Remarks To His Commentary On Ezekiel
Author: Edward Robie

Hävernick’s Introductory Remarks To His
Commentary On Ezekiel

Edward Robie

[H. A. Ch. Hävernick, late ordinary professor of theology in the university at Königsberg, was born in 1799 at Cröpelin in Mecklenburg. He studied some time at Halle and became the pupil and intimate friend of Prof. Tholuck. He then went to Rostock as a privat docent and licentiate, and thence as Professor to the New Theological School at Geneva. Here, however, he remained but a short time. From Rostock, where he had returned as professor extraordinarius, he was called by the government of Prussia to the university of Königsberg. Here, it is well known, he encountered a violent opposition from the rationalist party long predominant there. His health sank under it, and, it is said, that he died of a broken heart. He was a man of indefatigable industry and of great learning, and all his works breathe the spirit of fervent love to the truth as it is in Jesus. Some of his earlier productions betrayed marks of haste and inaccuracy. This charge has not been laid, so far as we know, against his more

mature works. His Introduction to the Old Testament, published 1836—1844, in four volumes, is in many respects a very able and satisfactory performance, though the neological critics assail it of course. It fearlessly and with great learning vindicates the Divine Word against the assaults which have been made upon it. The Commentary on Ezekiel is the last work which appeared from his pen. Prof. Tholuck remarked to the writer of these lines, that, in his judgment it was the best Commentary on that prophet which has ever appeared. Hitzig’s Commentary was published in 1847. See p. 391. The following translation includes the author’s general preliminary observations.—E.]

§ 1. Circumstances Of The Life Of Ezekiel

It is an opinion as unfounded as it is prevalent, that we have but scanty means of information respecting the lives of most of the prophets, and are thereby unable to form a well-defined picture of their prophetic activity. The error lies in the wrong point of view from which information of that kind has been sought for, which, if obtained, would be of little service towards enabling us to understand the peculiar work in which they were engaged as prophets. When their prophetic calling brought them into connection with the State, and thereby made their outward life subject to many changes, we are told of it, as in the case of the earlier prophets, especially in the kingdom of Israel, and also of the later prophets as Jeremiah. But when their labors were more properly spiritual, consisting chiefly in the preaching of the word, then the record of their words is in fact the description of their activity, and their ...

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