The primary mission of the servant prophet (Isa 61:1-61:1)

“The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me.

Because Yahweh has anointed me.

He has sent me

To bring good news to the oppressed.

He has sent me

To bind up the brokenhearted.

He has sent me

To proclaim liberty to the captives.

He has sent me

To release the prisoners.”

The question immediately rises is this about prophets in general, the prophet Isaiah, or the servant of Yahweh? Definitely the Spirit of Yahweh was upon this person. Not only that, but this disciple or prophet of Yahweh has been anointed, either like a priestly or a royal anointing. However, the primary mission is not cultic, but rather social in nature, what we might call social justice. Having been called by the Spirit and anointed by Yahweh, he was sent out. This would imply a time when there was no Temple, basically the exilic time. The generic mission was simple. Bring good news to the oppressed. The good news concept was later adapted by the early followers of Jesus who talked about the good news of the gospel. This basic mission included binding up the broken hearted and freeing prisoners that were clearly exilic problems and terms.

The freeing of the prisoners (Isa 49:8-49:9)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘In a time of favor,

I have answered you.

On a day of salvation,

I have helped you.

I have kept you.

I have given you

As a covenant to the people,

To establish the land,

To apportion the desolate heritages.

I say to the prisoners.

‘Come out!’

To those who are in darkness,

‘Appear!’”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh explain that he has answered the Israelites with favors. He has helped them to salvation. He has kept his covenant with his people. He has established the land that has given them their heritages. Finally he has told the prisoners to come out of jail. He has told those in darkness to appear in the light.