“Thus says God!
‘I created the heavens.
I stretched them out.
I spread forth the earth.
I spread forth what comes from it.
I give breath to the people upon it.
I give the Spirit to those who walk on it.’”
Another strong theme in Second Isaiah is God the creator. There is no doubt that God, Yahweh, is speaking here. He explicitly says that he created and stretched out the heavens and the earth below. He also spread out the earth and all its vegetation. He gives breath and the Spirit to all the people who walk on this earth. Everything depends on God, Yahweh.
“When Elijah was enveloped
In the whirlwind,
Elisha was filled
With his spirit.
Twice as many signs.
He performed marvels
With every utterance of his mouth.
Never in his lifetime
Did he tremble before any ruler.
No one could intimidate him at all.
Nothing was too hard for him.
When he was dead,
His body prophesied.
In his life,
He did wonders.
So in death
His deeds were marvelous.”
The story of this prophet Elisha takes up 13 chapters in 2 Kings, 1-13. He follows in the spirit of Elijah with many miracles and confrontations with the various Israelite kings. However, he died a natural death. Nevertheless, he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah. Also he spoke quite a lot to the various rulers. He was never intimidated, as Elijah had occasionally been. Nothing was too hard for him. Even in his death, he was able to perform a miracle. When a dead man was thrown into his grave, the dead man came alive by touching his dead body in 2 Kings, chapter 13. Thus he continued in the spirit of his spiritual father, Elijah.
“Wisdom is a kindly spirit.
Wisdom will not free blasphemers
From the guilt of their words. God is witness
Of their inmost feelings.
God is a true observer of their hearts.
He is a hearer of their tongues.
The Spirit of the Lord
Has filled the world.
What holds all things together
Knows what is said.
Therefore those who utter unrighteous things
Will not escape notice.
When it punishes,
Will not pass them by.
Inquiry will be made
Into the counsels of the ungodly.
A report of their words
Will come to the Lord.
It will convict them of their lawless deeds.
A jealous ear hears all things.
The sound of grumbling does not go unheard.
Beware then of useless grumbling!
Keep your tongue from slander!
No secret word is without result.
A lying mouth destroys the soul.”
Wisdom (σοφία) is a kindly or philanthropic spirit (φιλάνθρωπον πνεῦμα). There is almost equivalence between wisdom and the Spirit. The blasphemers (βλάσφημον) will not escape the guilt of their words. God is a witness (μάρτυς ὁ Θεὸς) to their innermost feelings. He knows their heart (τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ ἐπίσκοπος ἀληθὴς). He hears their tongues (τῆς γλώσσης ἀκουστής). The Spirit of the Lord (πνεῦμα Κυρίου) has filled the world. Thus this creative spirit knows all things. Thus those who utter unrighteous things will not escape notice. A just punishment will not pass them by. An inquiry will be made and a report will be given to the Lord (Κΰριον). They will be convicted of their evil and lawless deeds. A jealous ear hears all things. Thus the Lord hears this useless grumbling. You should keep your tongue from slandering. Even secret words are known, so that a lying mouth destroys the soul (ψυχήν).
“A word fitly spoken
Is like apples of gold
In a setting of silver.
Like a gold ring,
Like an ornament of gold,
Is a wise rebuke to a listening ear.
Like the cold of snow,
In the time of harvest,
Are faithful messengers
To those who send them.
They refresh the spirit of their masters.”
A fit correct word spoken at the right time is like a golden setting in silver, like a golden ring, or an ornament of gold. In other words, to say the right word at the right time is important. This can be like a wise rebuke to someone who will take it to heart, if they are listening. The right word sent at the right time is like a cold snow at harvest time or like a faithful messenger. Both refresh the spirit of the one working in the field or the one expecting some news.
“The plans of the mind belong to mortals.
But the answer of the tongue is from Yahweh.
All one’s ways may be pure
In one’s own eyes.
But Yahweh weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to Yahweh.
Then your plans will be established.
Yahweh has made everything for its purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of trouble.”
Does God control everything? Humans have plans, but sometimes the answer of Yahweh is different. You may plan pure things in your own eyes, but Yahweh looks at the spirit. You have to commit your work to Yahweh so that he will then establish your plans. Yahweh has a purpose for everything, even the wicked are part of Yahweh’s plans.
“A soft answer turns away wrath.
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge.
But the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The eyes of Yahweh are in every place.
They keep watch on the evil.
They keep watch on the good.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life.
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
A gentile tongue or being soft spoken is the tree of life. A soft spoken person can often turn away an angry person. On the other hand, a harsh bellicose person actually stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise with his words dispenses knowledge to all. However, the mouth of a fool pours out folly and foolishness. We have to remember that Yahweh sees everything with his eyes. He keeps watch over all the good and the bad evil also. Perverse behavior breaks the spirit, while the gentile words are the source of life.
“Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered.
‘I am young in years.
You are aged.
Therefore I was timid and afraid
To declare my opinion to you.
‘Let days speak!
Let many years teach wisdom!’
But truly it is the Spirit in a mortal,
The breath of the Almighty Shaddai,
That makes him understand.
It is not the old that are wise.
The aged do not understand what is right.
Therefore I say.
‘Listen to me!
Let me also declare my opinion!’”
Elihu said that he was young, which is why he had not spoken yet. The others were older so that he was timid and afraid to insert his opinion. He had hoped that he could learn from their wisdom. However, their so-called aged wisdom was lacking. It was the breath and the Spirit of the almighty Shaddai that brought understanding and wisdom. Elihu went on the offensive as he said that old people are not wise. They do not understand what is right. He wanted them to listen to him and his opinion.
“The king was seated on his royal throne. He was clothed in the full array of his majesty. He was all covered with gold and precious stones. He was most terrifying. Lifting his face, flushed with splendor, he looked at her in fierce anger. The queen faltered. She turned pale and faint. She collapsed on the head of the maid who went in front of her. Then God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. In alarm he sprang from his throne. He took her in his arms until she came to herself. He comforted her with soothing words. He said to her.
‘What is it, Esther?
I am your husband.
You shall not die.
Our law applies only to our subjects.
This Greek text shows the king seated on his royal throne with all his majesty and splendor, covered with gold and precious stones. He had a fierce terrifying look on his face. Queen Esther faltered, turned pale, and fainted. She fell on the maid in front of her. With that, God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. He took her in his arms and told to take courage. She was not going to die since the law about interrupting the king unannounced applied only to the subjects of the king and not to her as his wife.