“Listen to me!
I have called you!
I am He.
I am the first.
I am the last.
My hand laid
The foundation of the earth.
My right hand
Spread out the heavens.
When I summon them,
They stand at attention.”
Once again, Second Isaiah has the theme of listening, as if they were not. This call is to Jacob and Israel. Yahweh is the first and the last. His right hand laid the foundation of the earth and stretched out the heavens. He makes both heaven and earth stand at attention when he summons them. Yahweh is the all powerful beginning and end of everything.
“They do not know anything.
They do not comprehend.
Their eyes are shut.
Thus they cannot see.
Their minds are shut.
Thus they cannot understand.
No one considers this.
No one has knowledge.
No one has discernment to say.
‘I burned half of it in the fire.
I also baked bread on its coals.
I roasted meat.
I have eaten meat.
Shall I make the rest of it an abomination?
Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’
He feeds on ashes.
A deluded mind has led him astray.
He cannot save himself.
He cannot say.
‘Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?’”
Second Isaiah explains the moral of this tale of the idol carpenter maker. These idol makers do not know or understand what they are doing. Their eyes and minds are shut, so that they cannot see or understand. These carpenters do not consider that they used part of their precious wood to make a fire to keep them warm and cook on. They then made their abominable wooden idol out of the rest of this wood. Do they not realize that they are bowing down to a block of wood? They have deluded minds. They have been led astray. They eat ashes. They do not understand that what they have made with their right hand is a fraud.
“But the righteous live forever.
Their reward is with the Lord.
The Most High takes care of them.
Therefore they will receive
A glorious crown.
They will receive
A beautiful diadem
From the hand of the Lord.
Because with his right hand
He will cover them.
With his arm
He will shield them.”
The righteous (δίκαιοι) will live forever (τὸν αἰῶνα ζῶσ). The Lord (Κυρίῳ) gives them this reward. The Most High God (῾Υψίστου) takes care of them. They will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the Lord. His right hand (ἐκ χειρὸς Κυρίου) will cover him. His arm will provide a shield for them.
His left hand was under my head!
His right hand embraced me!”
Here is an exact repetition, word for word, of the same verse that was in chapter 2. This female lover wants her lover to put his left hand under her head at the same time that his right hand embraces her. This young female lover still yearns for the embrace of her beloved.
His left hand was under my head!
His right hand embraced me!”
This female lover wants her lover to put his left hand under her head at the same time that his right hand embraces her. This young lover yearns for the embrace of her beloved.
“Whoever blesses his neighbor
With a loud voice,
Rising early in the morning,
Will be counted as cursing.
A continual dripping on a rainy day
Is like a contentious wife.
To restrain her
Is to restrain the wind.
It is to grasp oil in the right hand.”
What is wrong with blessing your neighbor in the morning? Well, you were supposed to pray in the morning before greeting your neighbor. Using a loud voice was considered inappropriate. This was like cursing instead of blessing. The contentious wife was like dripping rain on a rainy day. She was difficult to restrain since this was like trying to restrain the wind or hold oil in your right hand. The contentious wife was a real problem. However, there was no mention of an obnoxious husband.
“Happy are those who find wisdom!
Happy are those who get understanding!
Her income is better than silver.
Her revenue is better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels.
Nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand.
In her left hand are riches.
In her left hand is honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness.
All her paths are peace.
All her paths are happiness.
She is a tree of life
To those who lay hold of her.
Those who hold her fast are called happy.”
You will be happy if you find wisdom. You will be happy because you have an intelligent understanding of life. The personification of wisdom is female not male. Her profit, income, or revenue is greater than silver, gold, or jewels. Nothing can compare to lady wisdom. In her right hand is a long life. In her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant. All her paths are peaceful and happy. She is the tree of life. Once you can get hold of her, you will be happy.
“In the path where I walk,
They have hidden a trap for me.
Look on my right hand!
There is no one who takes notice of me.
No refuge remains to me.
No one cares for me.”
David feels abandoned. His enemies have a set a hidden trap for him so that they can catch him when he walks. He says that he should be careful, looking on his right hand. However, no one seems to notice him. No one cares for him since there is no refuge for him.
“I was pushed hard,
So that I was falling.
But Yahweh helped me.
Yahweh is my strength!
Yahweh is my might!
He has become my salvation.
There are glad songs of victory
In the tents of the righteous.
‘The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly!
The right hand of Yahweh is exalted!
The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly!’
I shall not die.
But I shall live.
I shall recount the deeds of Yahweh.
Yahweh has punished me severely.
But he did not give me over to death.”
Apparently the psalmist was pushed very hard on all sides. However, Yahweh had helped him since Yahweh was his strength, his might, and his salvation. Once the victory was obtained there were songs of victory. Within the tents of the righteous you could hear the chant about the right hand of Yahweh that had been valiant and exalted. The psalmist did not die, but lived. Therefore he was going to recount the great deeds of Yahweh his whole entire life. Yahweh had punished him severely, but he did not die. He was grateful for that.
“Yahweh is at your right hand.
He will shatter kings
On the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment
Among the nations.
He will fill them with corpses.
He will shatter heads
Over the wide earth.
He will drink
From the stream by the path.
Therefore he will lift up his head.”
This short psalm ends with Yahweh giving this king, probably David, the power to judge. Thus the Christian interpretation of the Messiah as king, priest, and judge would be based on this psalm. Here there is a role reversal from the first verse as Yahweh is at the king’s right hand. Now this is a king who shatters other kings on the day of wrath. He too will execute judgment on the other nations as well. He will fill their countries with corpses. He will shatter their heads on the earth. He will drink from the streams along the pathway so that he will lift up his head. Yes, this is a difficult psalm to understand, so that the Davidic Christian messianic interpretation is certainly possible.