Singing (Isa 52:8-52:10)

“Listen!

Your sentinels lift up their voice.

Together they sing for joy.

In plain sight,

They see the return of Yahweh

To Zion.

Break forth together into singing!

You ruins of Jerusalem!

Yahweh has comforted his people.

He has redeemed Jerusalem.

Yahweh has bared his holy arm

Before the eyes of all the nations.

All the ends of the earth shall see

The salvation of our God.”

Second Isaiah wants a grand celebration of singing as Yahweh leads his people back into Jerusalem. First, the sentinels at their watch posts somehow see Yahweh coming to Mount Zion as they burst into joyful singing. Then everybody else should break out singing, especially the ruins of Jerusalem itself. Yahweh has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem. He has showed his bare holy arm to all the nations of the world. Everyone will see the salvation of their God, even to the ends of the earth.

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Chant of joy (Isa 44:23-44:23)

“Sing!

O heavens!

Yahweh has done it.

Shout!

O depths of the earth!

Break forth into singing!

O mountains!

O forest!

Every tree in it!

Yahweh has redeemed Jacob.

He will be glorified in Israel!”

Second Isaiah has this chant of joy. The heavens were to sing about what Yahweh has done. The depths of the earth should shout. The mountains and the forests, with all its trees, should break into singing. Yahweh has redeemed Jacob so that he should be glorified in Israel.

Oracle about the servant Israel (Isa 44:21-44:22)

“Remember these things!

O Jacob!

O Israel!

You are my servant!

I formed you!

You are my servant!

O Israel!

You will not be forgotten by me.

I have swept away your transgressions

Like a cloud.

I have swept away your sins

Like a mist.

Return to me!

I have redeemed you.”

Second Isaiah clearly indicates here that Jacob/Israel is the servant of God since it is repeated twice. They were to remember these things. Yahweh will not forget them, since he formed them. He has swept away their transgressions and sins as if they clouds or mists, here today and gone tomorrow. He wanted them to return to him since he had redeemed them.

Yahweh the savior (Isa 43:1-43:3)

“But now thus says Yahweh.

‘He who created you!

O Jacob!

He who formed you!

O Israel!

Do not fear!

I have redeemed you.

I have called you by name.

You are mine.

When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you.

When you pass through the rivers,

They shall not overwhelm you.

When you walk through fire,

You shall not be burned.

The flame shall not consume you.

For I am Yahweh!

Your God!

The Holy One of Israel!

Your Savior!’”

Here in Second Isaiah, Yahweh speaks directly to the Israelites. He has created and formed them. They are not to be afraid, because Yahweh has redeemed them also. He has also called them by name, Israel and Jacob. They are his. If they pass through waters, he will be with them. If they go through rivers, it will not overtake them. If they are in fire, they will not get burned with a consuming fire. They only have to remember that Yahweh is their God. He is the Holy One of Israel and their savior. Otherwise there is nothing to worry about.

The future of the house of Jacob (Isa 29:22-29:24)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh,

Who redeemed Abraham,

Concerning the house of Jacob.

‘No longer shall Jacob be ashamed.

No longer shall his face grow pale.

When he sees his children,

The work of my hands,

In his midst,

They will sanctify my name.

They will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob.

They will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Those who err in spirit

Will come to understanding.

Those who grumble

Will accept instruction.’”

Yahweh, via Isaiah, presents an oracle about the future of the house of Jacob. Yahweh has redeemed Abraham and his family. In the future, the house of Jacob will not be ashamed or have a pale face. Just the opposite, their children will sanctify the name of the Holy One of Jacob, Yahweh. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel, Yahweh. Those who make a mistake will understand what happened to them. Those who grumbled will then accept instruction on how to improve. The future looks bright for the house of Jacob.

The restoration of Jerusalem (Isa 1:26-1:28)

“I will restore your judges

As at the first.

I will restore your counselors

As at the beginning.

Afterward,

You shall be called

The city of righteousness.

You shall be called

The faithful city.

Zion shall be redeemed

By justice.

Those in her,

Who repent,

Will be redeemed

By righteousness.

But the rebels

Shall be destroyed.

The sinners also

Shall be destroyed

Together with them.

Those who forsake Yahweh

Shall be consumed.”

Continuing with this oracle of Yahweh via Isaiah, Yahweh was then going to restore the judges and the counselors as in former times. This indicates that the current kings were not doing a good job. Then they would be a new city of righteous and faithful ones. This righteous faithful Zion would be redeemed by justice and righteousness. The rebels and sinners would either repent or be destroyed because they both had forsaken Yahweh.

Steady my steps (Ps 119:129-119:136)

Phe

“Your decrees are wonderful.

Therefore my soul keeps them.

The unfolding of your words gives light.

It imparts understanding to the simple.

With open mouth I pant.

Because I long for your commandments.

Turn to me!

Be gracious to me!

It is your custom toward those who love your name.

Keep my steps steady

According to your promise!

Never let iniquity have dominion over me!

Redeem me from human oppression!

Thus I may keep your precepts.

Make your face shine upon your servant.

Teach me your statutes!

My eyes shed streams of tears.

Because your law is not kept.”

The psalmist wanted to remain steady in his steps that were following the law, since Yahweh’s decrees are wonderful. The unfolding of his words gives light so that he has a simple understanding. He longed and panted for Yahweh’s commandments. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him because Yahweh loved him. He wanted his steps kept steady just as Yahweh had promised. He did not want iniquity to have dominion over him. He wanted to be redeemed from human oppression. He would then be able to keep the precepts of Yahweh because his face shines on him. He wanted to learn the statutes. He cried when he learned that some people did not keep the law. So ends this section on the seventeenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Phe.