Fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 8:17-8:17)

“This was to fulfill

What was spoken

Through the prophet Isaiah.

‘He took our infirmities.

He bore our diseases.’”

 

ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν.

 

Once again, this citation of Deutero-Isaiah, chapter 53:4, is unique to Matthew, who said that Jesus was the fulfillment of the spoken prophecy of the prophet Isaiah (ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  He would take on our infirmities (Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν).  He would bear our diseases (καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν).  However, there was no mention of his healing others or casting out demons in this original citation from Isaiah.  According to Second Isaiah, this suffering servant Messiah would become a scapegoat for all of us since he would bear our infirmities and diseases.  He would suffer our illness.  God would strike and afflict him.  He would be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our sins.  His punishment would make us whole.  His bruises would heal us.  This was Matthew’s attempt to show that Jesus was the expected Messiah.  However, the original text did not have the Messiah healing people, but rather suffering like the rest of us.

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Yahweh has compassion (Lam 3:31-3:33)

Kaph

“Yahweh will not

Reject forever.

Although he causes grief,

He will have compassion

According to the abundance

Of his steadfast love.

He does not willingly

Afflict anyone.

He does not willingly

Grieve anyone.”

This grieving author talks about the compassion of Yahweh, since Yahweh was not going to reject him forever. Yahweh definitely caused him grief, but he is compassionate with his abundant steadfast love. Then in a strange statement that almost contradicts what was said earlier, this author proclaims that Yahweh does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. In fact, that had been the main complaint earlier in this poem. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph in this acrostic poem.

Eating other humans (Jer 19:9-19:9)

“I will make them eat

The flesh of their sons

As well as the flesh of their daughters.

All shall eat the flesh

Of their neighbors

In the siege,

In their distress.

Their enemies,

Those who seek their life,

Will afflict them.”

Things will be difficult during this siege of the city. They will eat the bodies of their sons and daughters as they become cannibals. They will also eat the flesh of their neighbors in this time of great distress. Their enemies, who were seeking their lives, would afflict them greatly.

The prayer of Tobit for the exiles (Tob 13:3-13:8)

Acknowledge him before the nations,

O children of Israel.

He has scattered you among them.

He has shown you his greatness even there.

Exalt him in the presence of every living being.

Because he is our Lord

Because he is our God.

Because he is our Father.

Because he is God forever.

He will afflict you for our iniquities.

He will again show mercy on all of you.

He will gather us from all the nations,

Among whom you have been scattered.

If you turn to him with all your heart and with all your soul,

To do what is true before him,

Then he will turn to you.

He will no longer hide his face from you.

Now see what he has done for you.

Acknowledge him at the top of your voice.

Bless the Lord of righteousness.

Exalt the King of the ages.

In the land of my exile,

I acknowledge him.

Show his power and majesty to a nation of sinners.

Turn back, you sinners,

Do what is right before him.

Perhaps he may look with favor upon you.

He may show you mercy.

As for me,

I exalt my God.

My soul rejoices in the King of heaven.

Let all people speak of his majesty.

Acknowledge him in Jerusalem.”

The prayer of Tobit continues as he recalls the plight of the exiles. The children of Israel have been scattered among the nations. However, they should show his greatness and presence in every living being. Here it is not only Jerusalem where he is present but among all living beings. God is lord and father forever. He will both afflict you and show you mercy. He will gather you from the nations where he has scattered you. If you turn to God with your heart and soul, he will turn his face to you. Acknowledge him at the top of your lungs. Bless and acknowledge the king of ages even in exile. Tobit acknowledged him even in exile. We were sinners, but now we must turn to righteousness. He will look with favor on us as he shows us his mercy. Tobit will continue to exalt God and rejoice in the King of heaven. Some day we will be able to do this in Jerusalem.