The call of the prophet (Isa 49:1-49:2)

“Listen to me!

O coastlands!

Pay attention!

You people from far away!

Yahweh called me

Before I was born.

While I was in my mother’s womb,

He named me.

He made my mouth

Like a sharp sword.

In the shadow of his hand,

He hid me.

He made me a polished arrow.

In his quiver,

He hid me away.”

In this second chant of the servant of Yahweh, Second Isaiah has this servant speak about how he was called to be a prophet while still in the womb. Once again, the main theme was to listen up and pay attention, but this time the intended listeners are the coastline towns of the Mediterranean Sea, and those far away. Perhaps this alludes to the calling of the prophet Isaiah, but he is not explicitly named here. Nevertheless, this servant was named while still in the womb. He had been given a sharp tongue for his mouth, while he was hidden in the shadow of Yahweh’s hand. He was like a polished arrow hidden in the quiver of the other arrows.

 

May you have many sons (Ps 127:3-127:5)

“Sons are indeed a heritage from Yahweh.

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

Are the sons of one’s youth.

Happy is the man who has

His quiver full of them!

He shall not be put to shame

When he speaks with his enemies

At the gate.”

This short psalm comes to an end with the consideration that many sons are a gift from Yahweh, the rewards of the fruit of the womb. The more sons you have, the more you are like a warrior with many arrows, so that you can have a quiver full of them. The men with many sons will not be put to shame when they speak with the enemies at the meeting place at the gate to the town because they would have sons to back them up.