The voice (Isa 40:6-40:8)

“A voice says.

‘Cry out!’

I said.

‘What shall I cry?’

All people are grass.

Their delicacy is

Like the flowers of the field.

The grass withers.

The flower fades

When the breath of Yahweh

Blows upon it.

Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers.

The flower fades.

But the word of our God

Will stand forever.”

Second Isaiah heard a voice tell him to cry out. However, he wanted to know what he should cry out about. The response was that all people were like grass and the flowers of the field. Both the grass withers and the flowers fade when the breath of Yahweh blows on them. Thus the people are grass or flowers that wither and fade. However, the word of God will stand forever and not wither or fade.

The judgments of the Holy One of Israel (Isa 30:12-30:14)

“Therefore thus says

The Holy One of Israel.

‘Because you reject this word,

You put your trust in oppression.

You put your trust in deceit.

You rely on oppression.

You rely on perverseness.

Therefore this iniquity

Shall become for you

Like a break in a high wall.

It will bulge out,

About to collapse.

The crash comes suddenly,

In an instant.

Its breaking is

Like that of a potter’s vessel.

It is smashed so ruthlessly

That among its fragments

Not a shred is found

For taking fire from the hearth,

Or dipping water out of the cistern.’”

The Holy One of Israel, not Yahweh, delivers this oracle, via Isaiah, in the second person plural. The Israelites have rejected the word of God. Instead they have relied on deceit, oppression, and perversion to get things done. Thus they will be punished. They are like a high wall with bulges in it about to collapse. Suddenly, in an instant, the whole wall will come crashing down like a potter’s vessel. This wall will be smashed so badly, that not a shred will be found. They will be like a broken vase that will not be able to be brought back to the fire to be reformed. This broken container will not be able to hold any water at all from the cistern well.

The works of the Lord (Sir 42:15-42:17)

“I will now call to mind

The works of the Lord.

I will declare

What I have seen.

By the word of the Lord,

His works are made.

All his creatures

Do his will.

The sun looks down

On everything

With its light.

The work of the Lord

Is full of his glory.

The Lord has not empowered

Even his holy ones

To recount

All his marvelous works.

The Lord,

The Almighty,

Has established

That the universe

May stand firm

In his glory.”

Sirach now recalls the works of the Lord in nature.   He was speaking about what he had seen. The works of the Lord were made by his word. This is in slight contradiction with the creative role of wisdom. Here it is the word of God that creates the world. All these creative things do the will of the Lord. Thus the sun lights up and glorifies the world. Thus you see the ancient inclination to make the sun a god. Just like today, we think that all things look so beautiful on a gorgeous sunny day. No one, not even the holy angels, can tell all about the marvelous works that the Almighty Lord has done. The universe stands as an example of his glory.

The word of God (Prov 30:5-30:6)

“Every word of God proves true.

He is a shield

To those who take refuge in him.

Do not add to his words.

Otherwise he will rebuke you.

You will be found a liar.”

The answer to the series of questions is simple, God. Every word of God proves to be true. He is like a shield to those who run for help to him. Do not add to his words or else he will rebuke you and call you a liar.