The petition to the Father (Isa 63:15-63:16)

“Look down from heaven!

See!

From your holy habitation!

See!

From your glorious habitation!

Where is your zeal?

Where is your might?

Where is the yearning of your heart?

Where is your compassion?

They are withheld from me.

You are our Father.

Abraham does not know us.

Israel does not acknowledge us.

You!

Yahweh!

Are our Father!

Our Redeemer!

From of old is your name.”

The prophet wants to remind Yahweh, who is in his holy glorious heavenly dwelling, to look down on him. He questions him about his zeal and might as well as his heart and compassion. Why was Yahweh holding back from him? Yahweh was his father, even though Abraham and Jacob/Israel would not know and acknowledge him. Yahweh was his father and redeemer from the good old days.

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The new power of Jerusalem (Isa 60:14-60:16)

“The descendants of those

Who oppressed you

Shall come bending low to you.

All who despised you

Shall bow down at your feet.

They shall call you

The City of Yahweh.

They shall call you

The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

You have been forsaken.

You have been hated.

There was no one passing through.

I will make you majestic forever.

I will make you a joy from age to age.

You shall suck the milk of nations.

You shall suck the breast of kings.

You shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Am your Savior!

I am Your Redeemer!

The Mighty One of Jacob!”

There will be a turnaround at Jerusalem. The descendants of those who oppressed Jerusalem will now come with bended knee. Those who despised this city will now bow down at its feet. The new name for Jerusalem will be the City of Yahweh, the City of the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, Zion. No one had been coming to Jerusalem since it was hated and forsaken. Now it will be majestic forever. In colorful words, Jerusalem would suck the breasts of nations and kings. They would soon learn that Yahweh was their savior and redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob

 

Yahweh God as your husband (Isa 54:4-54:6)

“‘Do not fear!

You will not be ashamed.

Do not be discouraged!

You will not suffer disgrace.

You will forget the shame of your youth!

You will remember no more

The disgrace of your widowhood.

Your Maker is your husband.

Yahweh of hosts is his name.

The Holy One of Israel is

Your Redeemer.

He is called

The God of the whole earth.

Yahweh has called you

Like a wife forsaken,

Like a wife grieved in spirit,            

Like the wife of a man’s youth

When she is cast off.’

So says your God.”

Second Isaiah says that you should not be fearful or discouraged because you will not be ashamed or suffer disgrace. You will forget the shameful sins of your youth. You will forget the disgrace of your widowhood, living in Exile. Your maker or creator, Yahweh of hosts, is your husband. The Holy One of Israel will be your redeemer. He is God of the whole earth, not just Israel. You were like a grieving spurned wife or like the first wife who has been cast off for the trophy wife. God is telling you this so that you do not feel bad.

Lamentation over Babylon (Isa 47:1-47:4)

“Come down!

Sit in the dust!

O virgin daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground

Without a throne!

O daughter Chaldea!

You shall no more

Be called tender!

You shall no more

Be called delicate!

Take the millstones!

Grind the meal!

Remove your veil!

Strip off your robe!

Uncover your legs!

Pass through the rivers!

Your nakedness shall be uncovered.

Your shame shall be seen.

I will take vengeance.

I will spare no one.

Our Redeemer

Is the Holy One of Israel.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name!”                                     

This is a unique kind of Hebrew lamentation. Yahweh God has stripped the unconquered virgin Babylon of its royal throne. The Chaldeans, who were from the southern part of Babylon, would no longer be considered tender and delicate. Now they were to do the work of slaves, grinding the meal with millstones. On top of that, they were to strip down, taking their veils off and removing their robes, so that their legs would be uncovered. They would be shamefully naked as washing in a river. Yahweh with his army was going to take vengeance on them, so that no one would be spared. Yahweh is the redeemer and the Holy One of Israel.

Absolute monotheism (Isa 44:6-44:8)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The King of Israel!

His Redeemer!

Yahweh of hosts!

‘I am the first!

I am the last!

Besides me,

There is no god.

Who is like me?

Let them proclaim it!

Let him declare it before me!

Let them set it forth before me!

Who has announced from of old

The things to come?

Let them tell us what is yet to be!

Do not fear!

Do not be afraid!

Have I not told you from of old?

Have I not declared it?

You are my witnesses!

Is there any god besides me?

There is no other Rock.

I know not one.’”

Just like in the last chapter, this is a strong statement of absolute monotheism, but an even more forceful self defense of Yahweh. He proclaims his uniqueness as God in the first person singular, using the same arguments and adding more. First, he has a series of titles, Yahweh, King of Israel, Redeemer, and Yahweh of hosts. He proclaimed that he was the first and the last. Thus there was no other god. No one was and is like him. Has anyone been able to foretell the future? Let them come forward! Israel should not fear or be afraid. They would be the witnesses that there is no other god except Yahweh. He was the rock, but there was no other rock like him anywhere.

The Qumran prayer of thanksgiving (Sir 51:13-51:20)

“Give thanks to the good Lord!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of praises!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the guardian of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who formed all things!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the redeemer of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who gathers the dispersed of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who rebuilt his city and sanctuary!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who makes a horn to sprout

For the house of David!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who had chosen the sons of Zadok

To be priests!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the shield of Abraham!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the rock of Isaac!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the mighty one of Jacob!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who has chosen Zion!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the King of the kings of kings!

His mercy endures forever.

He has raised up a horn for his people.

Praise for all his loyal ones.

The children of Israel praise the Lord!

The people close to him praise the Lord!”

This is called the Qumran hymn of thanksgiving because this Hebrew hymn was found in a Qumran cave there, but not in the Greek text. It is very reminiscent of Psalm 136, with the repeated chant of “his mercy endures forever.” However, they are thankful for other things than in Psalm 136. Obviously the Lord is good and merciful. The Lord is the guardian and redeemer of Israel who formed all things. However, he now has gathered the dispersed Israelites. He has rebuilt the Temple and the sanctuary. He has protected the royal sprout of David, but also the priestly sons of Zadok. The Lord also gave the shield of Abraham, the rock of Isaac, and the mighty Jacob. He chose Zion for the king of kings. He raised up a horn of plenty for his people and those loyal to him. Thus the children of Israel and those close to him should praise the Lord.

Do not take advantage of others (Prov 23:10-23:11)

“Do not remove an ancient landmark.

Do not encroach on the fields of orphans.

Their redeemer is strong.

He will plead their cause against you.”

This is a repetition of what was said last chapter about not removing ancient landmarks. This is about trying to take land from others. In particular, you were not to try to take away the fields of orphans, since they might have a redeemer or relative who would plead their case against you. Do not think that you can get away with this kind of action.