The chant leaving Babylon (Isa 48:20-48:22)

“Go out from Babylon!

Flee from Chaldea!

Declare this

With a shout of joy!

Proclaim it!

Send it forth

To the ends of the earth!

Say.

‘Yahweh has redeemed

His servant Jacob!’

They did not thirst

When he led them through the deserts.

He made water flow for them

From the rock.

He split open the rock.

The water gushed out.

‘There is no peace

For the wicked.’

Says Yahweh.”

Second Isaiah makes an obvious comparison to the Exodus in this hymn about leaving Babylon. They were to get out of Babylon and away from the Chaldeans. The Israelites were to shout with joy so that it could be heard at the ends of the earth. Yahweh has saved Jacob. They would not be thirsty on their way through the wilderness, just as those leaving with Moses were not thirsty. Yahweh was going to break open a rock, as in Exodus, chapter 17, to give them water, so that the water would gush out of the broken rock. However, there would be no peace for the wicked.

The lack of water is a great concern to the Israelites (Jdt 7:19-7:22)

“The Israelites cried out to the Lord their God. Their courage failed. All their enemies had surrounded them. There was no way of escape from them. The whole Assyrian army, their infantry, chariots, and cavalry, surrounded them for thirty-four days. All the water containers of every inhabitant of Bethulia were empty. Their cisterns were going dry. On no day did they have enough water to drink because their drinking water was rationed. Their children were listless. The women and young men fainted from thirst. They were collapsing in the streets of the town and in the gateways. They no longer had any strength left in them.”

The Israelites cried out to God. Their courage was failing. Their enemies, the great Assyrian army, surrounded them with no way to escape during 34 days. All the water containers were empty. What water they had was rationed. The children were listless. People were fainting all over the place, collapsing in the streets. They had no strength left. This is somewhat similar to the story in 2 Kings, chapters 6-7, where the prophet Elisha and King Jehoram (852-842 BCE) were surrounded by the Arameans in Samaria.