“Listen to me!
Give heed to me!
A teaching will go out from me!
My justice will be for a light to the people.
I will bring near my deliverance swiftly.
My salvation has gone out.
My arms will rule the people.
The coastlands wait for me.
They hope for my arm.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens!
Look at the earth beneath!
The heavens will vanish
The earth will wear out
Like a garment!
Those who live on it
Will die like gnats!
But my salvation will be forever!
My deliverance will never be ended!”
Once again, Second Isaiah wanted the people to listen to Yahweh and his teaching. Yahweh wanted to bring justice and light to the world and its people. He would bring salvation and deliverance swiftly. Once again, the coastlands of the Mediterranean Sea were mentioned explicitly as waiting for Yahweh. He told them to look at heaven and earth. Heaven would vanish like smoke, while the earth would wear out. The people on earth would die like gnats. However, the eternal salvation and deliverance of Yahweh would be forever without end.
“On that day,
Yahweh will extend his hand
Yet a second time.
He wanted to recover
The remnant that is left
Of his people,
And from the coastlands of the sea.”
In this ideal time, all the scattered Israelites would return from their Exile. Yahweh was going to extend his hand for a second time. The first time was the Exodus from Egypt. This time it is a call to recover the remnant from all over the place. Some of these places are easy to figure out. Assyria (present day Iraq), Egypt, and Ethiopia are easy to understand. Pathros was in upper Egypt. Elam is where current day Iran is. Shinar was in Babylon. Hamath was in Syria. The coastlands may have been the Aegean islands around present day Greece. Obviously, this was during the Exile or after it. It is interesting to note how many different places the Israelites were in Diaspora, so early in their history.
“Yahweh is king!
Let the earth rejoice!
Let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him.
Fire consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightning lights the world.
The earth sees it.
The earth trembles.
The mountains melt like wax
Before the Lord of all the earth.”
Psalm 97 is another untitled psalm about the kingship of Yahweh. Yahweh is the king who rules the earth. The earth and the coastlands rejoice and are glad. Clouds and darkness are all around Yahweh. Righteousness and justice are the foundations of this throne. Fire consumes all his adversaries. His lightning strikes the world. The earth sees it and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth.