Divine grandeur (Isa 40:12-40:14)

“Who has measured the waters

In the hollow of his hand?

Who has marked off the heavens

With a span?

Who has enclosed the dust of the earth

In a measure?

Who has weighed the mountains

In scales?

Who has weighed

The hills in a balance?

Who has directed the Spirit of Yahweh?

What counselor has instructed him?

Whom did he consult for his enlightenment?

Who taught him the path of justice?

Who taught him knowledge?

Who showed him the way of understanding?”

In a series of questions, Second Isaiah shows the power of God, his greatness. Yahweh is like a great superman. Who is able to measure the great waters in his hand? Who can span the heavens? Who can measure the earth or weigh the mountains and hills? Who has directed the Spirit of Yahweh? Who are his counselors? Who taught him enlightenment, justice, knowledge, and understanding? The obvious answer is no one because he could do and know all this by himself, without the help of anyone, since he is the great God.

The return from the Exile (Isa 14:1-14:2)

“Yahweh will have compassion

On Jacob.

He will again choose Israel.

He will set them

In their own land.

Aliens will join them.

They will attach themselves

To the house of Jacob.

The nations will take them.

They will bring them

To their place.

The house of Israel

Will possess these nations,

As male and female slaves,

In Yahweh’s land.

They will take captive

Those who were their captors.

They will rule over

Those who oppressed them.”

Obviously this oracle assumes that the Israelites were in Exile, which did not happen during the life of Isaiah. Yahweh was going to have compassion on Jacob, the Israelites. He was going to set them in their own land with the help of other nations. Other non-Israelites would join them, the so called aliens or strangers. Then the house of Israel would have its own male and female slaves from the other countries. In fact, their former captors would become their captives. Thus they would rule over those who oppressed them. I am not so sure whether this last part ever happened. They were allowed to have slaves and other countries helped them. Those aliens in Israel would have to follow the Israelite law if they wanted to stay in Israel.