The voice in the wilderness (Isa 40:3-40:5)

“A voice cries out.

‘In the wilderness,

Prepare the way of Yahweh!

Make straight in the desert

A highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up.

Every mountain shall be made low.

Every hill shall be made low.

The uneven ground shall become level.

The rough places shall become a plain.

The glory of Yahweh shall be revealed.

All the people shall see it together.

The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.’”

Here we have the famous phrase that was used by the Christian writers of the New Testament to speak about John the Baptist. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke both use these phrases from the Greek Septuagint when citing them from Isaiah. Apparently this new path is a way out of the Exile, just as there was the path of the Exodus. In this wilderness or desert, they were to make a straight path, like a highway for God or the Holy Way that was mentioned earlier in chapter 35, to prepare a path for Yahweh. This would also be a time of upheaval. The valleys would rise as the mountains and hills would fall. Also the uneven and rough places would become level and plain. All the people would then see the glory of God revealed. In case there was any doubt, Second Isaiah said that this was spoken by the mouth of Yahweh.

Inheritance (Prov 13:22-13:25)

“The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children.

But the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.

The field of the poor may yield much food.

But it is swept away through injustice.

Those who spare the rod

Hate their children.

But those who love them

Are diligent to discipline them.

The righteous have enough

To satisfy their appetite.

But the belly of the wicked

Is empty.”

Good people leave an inheritance to their children and grandchildren. However, the sinner’s wealth is taken over by the righteous. There is no indication how this is done. The fields of the poor have a good yield, but someone unjustly takes it away. This sounds strange, but once again there is no explanation as to how this is done. Then there is the famous phrase about sparing the rod. If you did not use the stick on your children it meant that you disliked your children. If you loved them, you disciplined them. The righteous would always have enough to satisfy their appetites. However, the wicked will have an empty belly.