The lack of a response (Isa 50:2-50:3)

“Why was no one there,

When I came?

When I called,

Why did no one answer me?

Is my hand shortened,

So that it cannot redeem?

Have I no power to deliver?

By my rebuke,

I dry up the sea.

I make the rivers a desert.

Their fish stink

For lack of water.

They die of thirst.

I clothe the heavens

With blackness.

I make sackcloth their covering.”

Second Isaiah continues with this rebuke of Yahweh. Why was no one there to greet him when he came? Why was no one listening to him when he called? Is he no longer capable of redeeming them? Has he lost his power? After all, he dries up the seas and turns the rivers into deserts. Their fish would stink and die because of a lack of water. He could command the heavens to turn black and put on sackcloth.

Advertisements

What Yahweh would have done for Israel (Isa 48:17-48:19)

“Thus says Yahweh!

Your Redeemer!

The Holy One of Israel!

‘I am Yahweh your God!

I teach you for your own good.

I lead you in the way you should go.

O that you had paid attention

To my commandments!

Then your prosperity would have been

Like a river.

Your success would have been

Like the waves of the sea.

Your offspring would have been

Like the sand.

Your descendants would have been

Like its grains.

Their name would never be cut off.

They would never have been destroyed

From before me.’”

Second Isaiah explains what Yahweh would have done had the Israelites followed his commandments. Yahweh said that he was the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, their God. He had taught them how to live on the right path by following his commandments. However, they did not pay attention to him. They could have had prosperity and success like the rivers and the sea waves. They could have had offspring and descendants like the many grains of sand. They would have never been cut off or destroyed if they had only followed Yahweh’s teaching commands.

The power of Yahweh (Isa 44:24-44:28)

“Thus says Yahweh,

Your Redeemer!

He formed you in the womb.

‘I am Yahweh!

I made all things!

I alone stretched out the heavens!

I by myself spread out the earth!

Who was with me?

Who frustrates the omens of liars?

Who makes fools of diviners?

Who turns back the wise?

Who makes their knowledge foolish?

Who confirms the word of his servant?

Who fulfills the predictions of his messengers?

Who says of Jerusalem?

‘It shall be inhabited.’

Who says of the cities of Judah?

‘They shall be rebuilt.

I will raise up their ruins.’

Who says to the deep?

‘Be dry!

I will dry up your rivers.’

Who says of Cyrus?

‘He is my shepherd.

He shall carry out my purpose.’

Who says of Jerusalem?

‘It shall be rebuilt.’

Who says of the temple?

‘Your foundations shall be laid.’”

Second Isaiah ends this chapter the way it began, stressing the redeeming power of Yahweh among the Israelites who had been formed by Yahweh in their mother’s womb. Yahweh has stretched out the heavens and spread out the earth by himself. He has frustrated liars. He has made fools of false prophets. He has made the wise people look foolish with all their knowledge. However, he has fulfilled his word to his servants and the predictions of his messengers. He said that Jerusalem would be inhabited and the cities of Judah would be rebuilt from their ruins. He dried up the rivers. He also made Cyrus his shepherd, a very strong term for this Persian leader from 559-530 BCE. Cyrus was to carry out Yahweh’s purposes as the destroyer mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. Jerusalem would be rebuilt with the foundations of the temple laid out.

Egypt brings gifts to Yahweh at Jerusalem (Isa 18:7-18:7)

“At that time,

Gifts will be brought

To Yahweh of hosts

From a tall people,

From a smooth people,

From a people

Feared near and far,

From a mighty nation,

From a conquering nation.

The river divides its land.

They will bring it

To Mount Zion,

The place of the name

Of Yahweh of hosts.”

Next Isaiah talks about gifts being brought to Yahweh. Strangely enough, they are from a tall, smooth, and feared people.   They were from the nation that was mighty and conquering, where the rivers divide it. This is exactly the same description of Egypt as at the beginning of this chapter. This mighty nation was going to bring its gifts to Mount Zion, the place for the name of Yahweh. Perhaps this was done because the people of Judah were in alliance with Egypt against the Assyrians at this time, as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 18-19.

David, the anointed one (Ps 89:19-89:28)

“Then you spoke in a vision

To your faithful one.

You said.

‘I have set the crown

On one who is mighty.

I have exalted one chosen from the people.

I have found my servant David.

With my holy oil

I have anointed him.

My hand shall always remain with him.

My arm also shall strengthen him.

The enemy shall not outwit him.

The wicked shall not humble him.

I will crush his foes before him.

I will strike down those who hate him.

My faithfulness shall be with him.

My steadfast love shall be with him.

In my name shall his horn be exalted.

I will set his hand on the sea.

I will set his right hand on the rivers.

He shall cry to me.

‘You are my Father!

You are my God!

You are the rock of my salvation!’

I will make him the first born.

I will make him the highest of the kings of the earth.

I will keep by steadfast love for him forever.

My covenant with him will stand firm.’”

This section is based on 2 Samuel, chapter 4, when the prophet Nathan had a vision or dream from Yahweh about the building of the Temple, the importance of David, and his role. David was to be the faithful one. The crown was placed on this mighty servant of God. He was chosen from the people to be the anointed one as king. The hand and arm of Yahweh would remain with David, so that his enemies and the wicked ones would not outwit him or humble him. Yahweh would be with him, so that his hands and arms would control the rivers and the seas. He would cry to Yahweh because Yahweh was his father, his God, and his rock of salvation. Yahweh would keep his steadfast love and covenant with David forever.

Yahweh is king of the earth (Ps 24:1-24:2)

A psalm of David

The earth is Yahweh’s.

All that is in it is Yahweh’s.

The world and those who live in it is Yahweh’s.

He has founded it on the seas.

He has established it on the rivers.”

Psalm 24 is another short psalm of David about the entrance into the sanctuary. Everything on earth belongs to Yahweh. All that is on earth belongs to Yahweh. All who live on earth belong to Yahweh. Yahweh established this earth out of the seas and the rivers. This goes back to the idea of the vast water ways of the world before earth land came to be.

The adventurers cannot find wisdom (Job 28:9-28:11)

“They put their hand to the flinty rock.

They overturn mountains by the roots.

They cut out channels in the rocks.

Their eyes see every precious thing.

They probe the sources of the rivers.

Hidden things they bring to light.”

Even the great adventurers and the various inventions of those days do not find wisdom. The invention of fire with flint was a big deal. Overturning mountains was a massive task. Cutting channels in rocks was not easy. They used their eyesight to find precious metals. They even tried to figure out the sources of the rivers. They were looking for hidden items by bringing light to them. These were the adventurers and discoverers of 2,500 years ago. They wanted to know about things and how they worked. Yet they never found wisdom.