Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Jonah.djvu/71

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39
THE THOUGHT AND STYLE

9. Great shall he the wealth of this house,
the future above the past,
saith Yahweh of Hosts:
And in this place I will grant peace,

saith Yahweh of Hosts.[1]

Other illustrations might be cited, but it would probably be difficult, without more or less violence to the text, to reduce the whole book, or even the prophecies, to a poetical form. Still, too much of it is metrical to justify the distinction made by Köhler (31) that, "while the method of presentation preferred by the older prophets was the poetical, that of Haggai, on the other hand, bore an oratorical character." It would be more nearly correct to say that the compiler of the book uses prose, and the prophet himself at first speaks the language of common life, but that, as he proceeds, he adopts to a varying extent poetical forms of thought and expression.

  1. In every case the ungenuineness of the word or words omitted can be established without reference to the metre. For details, see the comments.