The victory chant (Isa 26:1-26:6)

“On that day,

This song will be sung

In the land of Judah.

‘We have a strong city.

He sets up victory,

Like walls,

Like bulwarks.

Open the gates!

Thus the righteous nation

That keeps faith

May enter in.

You keep them in peace

Those of a steadfast mind.

You keep them in peace

Because they trust you.

Trust in Yahweh forever!

Trust in Yahweh God!

You have an everlasting rock.

He has brought low

The inhabitants of the heights.

He lays low the lofty city.

He lays it low to the ground.

He casts it to dust.

The foot tramples it.

The feet of the poor

Trample it.

The steps of the needy

Trample it.’”

Isaiah presents this victory song or chant that may have used in processions into Jerusalem, since this text says that it should be sung in Judah. There is an emphasis on a strong city like Jerusalem because of its protective walls. In typical fashion, the high people are brought low. The gates are open so that everyone in the righteous nation might enter. They have peace because they trusted the Lord, Yahweh, who is their eternal rock. However, the lofty city was laid low. He has crushed the mighty into the ground so that they are like dust. Now all can trample on them. Both the needy and the poor trample away.

The judgment of God (Wis 6:4-6:8)

“Because as servants of his kingdom,

You did not rule rightly.

You did not keep the law.

You did not walk

According to the purpose of God.

He will come upon you terribly.

He will come upon you swiftly.

Because severe judgment falls

On those in high places.

The lowliest may be pardoned in mercy.

But the mighty will be mightily tested.

The Lord of all

Will not stand in awe of any one.

He will not show deference to greatness.

Because he himself made

Both small and great.

He takes thought for all alike.

But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty.”

Severe judgment will come upon those who are in high places that did not rule rightly. They did not keep the law (νόμον) or walk according to God’s purposes (κατὰ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπορεύθητε). God will come upon them terribly and swiftly. God might pardon the lowly with mercy, but the mighty are tested mightily. The Lord of all will not be awed by anyone. He does not show deference, whether they are small or great. He does a strict inquiry into all, especially the mighty ones.

God enacts his justice (Job 34:21-34:26)

“His eyes are upon the ways of mortals.

He sees all their steps.

There is no gloom or deep darkness

Where evildoers may hide themselves.

He has not appointed a time for anyone

To go before God in judgment.

He shatters the mighty without investigation.

He sets others in their place.

Thus, knowing their works,

He overturns them in the night.

They are crushed.

He strikes them for their wickedness,

While others look on.”

Elihu continued that God was always watching humans as he saw every step that they take. The evil doer cannot hide in darkness. No one has an appointed time for their judgment. God strikes the mighty without an investigation. He puts others in their places. He overturns them in the night as he crushes them in the sight of others.

The fate of the wicked (Job 24:22-24:25)

“Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power.

They rise up when they despair of life.

He gives them security.

They are supported.

His eyes are upon their ways.

They are exalted a little while.

Then they are gone.

They wither and fade like the mallow.

They are cut off like the heads of grain.

If it is not so,

Who will prove me a liar?

Who will show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Once again, these verses are not in the Jerusalem Bible. However, here it seems like the argument of Eliphaz but assigned to Job. He maintained that God prolonged the life of the mighty. He gave them support and security. However, they were only exalted for a little while. Then they were gone. They faded away. They were like grain stalks with their heads cut off. Who was going to prove him a liar?

The power of the wise God (Job 12:13-12:25)

“With God are wisdom and strength.

God has counsel and understanding.

If God tears down,

No one can rebuild.

If God shuts someone in,

No one can open up.

If God withholds the waters,

They dry up.

If God sends them out,

They overwhelm the land.

With God are strength and wisdom.

The deceived and the deceiver are his.

God leads counselors away stupid.

God makes fools of judges.

God looses the sash of kings.

God binds a waistcloth on their loins.

God leads priests away stripped.

God overthrows the mighty.

God deprives speech of those who are trusted.

God takes away the discernment of the elders.

God pours contempt on princes.

God looses the belt of the strong.

God uncovers the profound out of darkness.

God brings deep darkness to light.

God makes nations great.

God then destroys them.

God enlarges nations.

God then leads them away.

God strips understanding from the leaders of the earth.

God makes them wander in a pathless waste.

They grope in the dark without light.

God makes them stagger like a drunkard.”

God has wisdom, strength, counsel, and understanding. He tears down. He shuts people out. He sends water. He sends people out to do battle successfully. He controls both the deceiver and the deceived. He makes fools of judges, kings, and priests. He overthrows the mighty. He has control of speakers, elderly, princes, and the strong. He can make light into darkness and vice versa. He makes nations great and then destroys them. He enlarges and then strips them down. He makes the leaders of earth grope in the dark, wander, and stagger like they were drunk. God is all powerful.