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ISAIAH

TRANSLATED AND EXPLAINED

BY

JOSEPH ADDISON ALEXANDER.

AN ABRIDGMENT OF THE AUTHOR'S CRITICAL

COMMENTARY ON ISAIAH.

VOLUME I.

NEW YORK:

WILEY & HALSTED,

351 BROADWAY,

PREFACE.

This abridgment of the author's larger work upon Isaiah* has been prepared in deference rather to the wishes of others than to his own judgment. He has always desired and hitherto intended to defer reprinting it in any form, until he should have had the opportunity of thoroughly reviewing the whole subject, with the valuable aid to be derived from later expositions, criticisms, and discussions. But as this laborious process, which might possibly result in the re-writing of the whole work, is precluded for the present and perhaps forever by engrossing occupations of another kind, he no longer feels himself at liberty to disregard the double call which has long been made upon him, for a new impression of the commentary, and for such a reduction of its size as may render it accessible and useful to a larger class of readers. As these demands, although distinct in themselves, have been made to coincide by the unexpected sale of the first edition which is now exhausted, he is willing to believe that both may, to some extent, be satisfied by the abridgment here presented to the public. He is only solicitous that it should not be misconceived as an intended or professed advance upon his former publication, but indulgently received as an attempt to place it within the reach of those who, for any reason, have been hitherto unable to make use of it. To this course he has been the more easily reconciled, because his views have , undergone no material change, and because he has the satisfaction of knowing that his book has proved acceptable, at least as a version and a verbal explanation, even to some who do not fully concur in his exegetical conclusions. If the work in its new form should meet with even a small share of the favour and success which have attended the kindred publication on the Psalms,* the authors expectations will be far exceeded.

* The Earlier Prophecies of Isaiah. New York, 1846. 8vo. The Later Prophecies of Isaiah. New York, 1847. 8vo.

To those who are familiar with the larger work, a slight comparison will show that it has not been rewritten but merely contracted, and that for the most part by simple omission. The rule of abridgment which has been adopted, although not perhaps applied with perfect uniformity, has been to retain only what was necessary to convey the author's view of the essential meaning, and to exclude what belonged merely to the history of the interpretation or the discussion of conflicting opinions. Of the meagerness and awkwardness too frequently resulting from this process, none can be more fully aware than the author and abridger; but the hope is entertained that by a large proportion even of those readers who become

* The Psalms Translated and Explained by J. A. Alexander. New York, 1850. 3 vols. 12mo.

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