Judgment (Isa 59:18-59:20)

“According to their deeds,

So will he repay.

Wrath will come to his adversaries.

Requital will come to his enemies.

To the coastlands,

He will render requital.

Thus those in the west

Shall fear the name of Yahweh.

Those in the east,

His glory will come.

He will come

Like a rushing pent up stream.

The wind of Yahweh will drive it.

He will come to Zion as a Redeemer

To those in Jacob,

Who turn from transgression.

Says Yahweh.”

The judgment of Yahweh is coming. Yahweh will repay people according to their deeds. He will bring wrath to his enemies and adversaries, particularly the coastlands of the Mediterranean area. The people in the west will fear the Lord. Those in the east will see his glory. Yahweh will come like a windy pent up storm. Yahweh will come to Mount Zion as the redeemer for those Israelites who turn away from their transgressions.

Yahweh clothes himself with righteousness (Isa 59:15-59:17)

“Yahweh saw this.

It displeased him

That there was no justice.

He saw that there was no one.

He was appalled

That there was no one to intervene.

Thus his own arm brought him victory.

His righteousness upheld him.

He put on righteousness

Like a breastplate.

He put on a helmet of salvation

Upon his head.

He put on garments of vengeance

For clothing.

He wrapped himself in fury

As a mantle.”

Yahweh saw all this evil. He was displeased since there was no justice. He was appalled that no one had intervened in that situation. Thus he was going to bring victory with his mighty arm. Righteousness would be his breastplate out front. He would wear the helmet of salvation on his head. His garments would be for vengeance. His fury would be in his mantle coat. Yahweh, according to Third Isaiah, was dressed like a warrior ready for battle wearing the proper upright clothes.

The confession of sins (Isa 59:12-59:15)

“Our transgressions before you are many.

Our sins testify against us.

Our transgressions indeed are with us.

We know our iniquities.

We have transgressed Yahweh.

We have denied Yahweh.

We have turned away

From following our God.

We talk oppression.

We talk revolt.

We conceive lying words.

We utter them from our hearts.

Justice is turned back.

Righteousness stands at a distance.

Truth stumbles in the public square.

Uprightness cannot enter.

Truth is lacking.

Whoever turns from evil is despoiled.”

Third Isaiah seems to have a community confession or acknowledgement of sins. They have committed many transgressions, since their sins will testify against them. They know that they have denied God. They have tried to turn away from him, as they wanted to revolt. They lied from their hearts. They have turned back justice since righteousness is now far away. There is no truth in the public squares, no uprightness. Anyone who turns from evil is attacked.

Blind darkness (Isa 59:9-59:11)

“Therefore justice is far from us.

Righteousness does not reach us.

We look for light.

See!

There is darkness.

We look for brightness.

But we walk in gloom.

We grope along the wall

Like the blind.

We grope

Like those who have no eyes.

We stumble at noon

As in the twilight.

Among the vigorous,

We are like dead.

We all growl like bears.

We moan mournfully like doves.

We wait for justice,

But there is none.

We wait for salvation,

But it is far from us.”

Third Isaiah paints the Israelite community as in a blind darkness. There was no justice or righteousness. They were waiting for light, but there was only darkness. They wanted brightness, but they only had gloom. They were like blind people groping along a wall, as if they had no eyes. They stumbled at noon as if it was twilight. They were like dead people among vigorous live people. They were growling like bears and mourning like doves. They were waiting for justice and salvation, but there was nothing near, only far away things. They were in a dark place.

The contamination of the hypocrites (Isa 59:5-59:8)

“The hypocrites hatch adders’ eggs.

They weave spider webs.

Whoever eats their eggs dies.

The crushed egg hatches out a viper.

Their webs cannot serve as clothing.

They cannot cover themselves

With what they make.

Their works are works of iniquity.

The deeds of violence

Are in their hands.

Their feet run to evil.

They rush to shed innocent blood.

Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity.

Desolation is in their highways.

Destruction is in their highways.

They do not know the way of peace.

There is no justice in their paths.

They have made their roads crooked.

No one who walks in them

Knows peace.”

Third Isaiah talks about the contamination among hypocrites in the Israelite community. Using the metaphor of eggs, they hatch adder eggs and have useless spider webs that can make no clothing. Some of these eggs produce vipers when broken. All their works are violent and full of iniquity. They run to evil, so that they can have innocent blood on their hands. They are always thinking about evil deeds and iniquity. Their roads are full of desolation and destruction, since they know nothing about peace and justice. They walk on crooked paths where no one else walks.

Sinfulness (Isa 59:1-59:4)

“See!

Yahweh’s hand is not too short to save.

His ear is not too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have been barriers

Between you and your God.

Your sins have hidden his face

From you.

Thus he does not hear.

Your hands are defiled with blood.

Your fingers are defiled with iniquity.

Your lips have spoken lies.

Your tongue mutters wickedness.

No one brings suit justly.

No one goes to law honestly.

They rely on empty pleas.

They speak lies.

They conceive mischief.

They beget iniquity.”

Third Isaiah has a call for repentance since the Israelites were sinners. However, Yahweh’s hands were not too short to forgive. He could hear what they were saying. However, the obstacles and barriers to forgiveness of sin were that of his people. They have forced Yahweh to hide his face. Their sins include iniquity with bloody hands and fingers. They speak lies and mutter wickedness. No one can bring a law suit forward because no one was honest and just. All they do is speak lies, conceive mischief, and produce more iniquity.

The Sabbath (Isa 58:13-58:14)

“‘If you refrain

From trampling the Sabbath,

Then you shall take delight in Yahweh.

If you refrain

From pursing your own interests

On my holy day,

Then you shall take delight in Yahweh.

If you call the Sabbath a delight

Then you shall take delight in Yahweh.

If you call the holy day of Yahweh honorable

Then you shall take delight in Yahweh.

If you honor it,

Not going your own ways,

Nor seeking your own interests,

Nor pursuing your own affairs,

Then you shall take delight in Yahweh.

I will make you ride

Upon the heights of the earth.

I will feed you

With the heritage of your ancestor Jacob.’

The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

This chapter of Third Isaiah ends with an oracle from Yahweh about the Sabbath. They had to refrain from trampling the Sabbath and pursuing their own interests on this holy day. If they delighted and honored the Sabbath, they would surely delight in Yahweh. As long as they were not pursuing their own affairs and interests on the Sabbath, Yahweh would make them ride to the heights of the earth. They would be part of the heritage of their ancestor Jacob.