The prophecy of Isaiah (Mk 7:6-7:7)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Isaiah prophesied rightly

About you hypocrites!

As it is written.

‘This people honor me

With their lips,

But their hearts

Are far from me.

In vain

Do they worship me!

They teach

Human precepts

As doctrines.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν Ἡσαΐας περὶ ὑμῶν τῶν ὑποκριτῶν, ὡς γέγραπται ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ·

μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με, διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων·

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:7-9.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to these Pharisees (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that Isaiah had prophesied correctly (Καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν Ἡσαΐας) about them being hypocrites (περὶ ὑμῶν τῶν ὑποκριτῶν) as it was written (ὡς γέγραπται) in Isaiah.  Hypocrites were people who played a part in a drama, but who were not sincere.  This Greek quotation from Isaiah, chapter 29:13, is from the Septuagint, almost the same as in Matthew.  This oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, centered on insincere worship.  These Israelites adored Yahweh with their mouths and lips, but their hearts were far away.  They only praised the Lord because of human demands, as they recited rote prayers.  Jesus repeated these verses of Isaiah.  These people honored him with their lips or mouth (ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ).  However, their hearts were far away from him (ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  In a vain or useless way, they adored, worshiped, or reverenced him (μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με).  They were teaching doctrines (διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας) that were human precepts or ordinances (ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων).  Thus Jesus, via Mark and Isaiah, was wailing against false worship and human precepts pretending to be divine worship and divine teachings.

The rotten plague (Zech 14:12-14:12)

“This shall be the plague

With which Yahweh

Will strike all the people

That waged wars

Against Jerusalem.

Their flesh shall rot,

While they are still

On their feet.

Their eyes shall rot

In their sockets.

Their tongues shall rot

In their mouths.”

Yahweh was going to send a plague on everybody that had waged war on Jerusalem.  Their flesh would rot on their body as they were still standing on their feet.  Their eyes would rot in their sockets, while their tongues would rot in their mouths.  This was a rotten plague.

The fear and confusion of the various countries (Mic 7:16-7:17)

“The nations shall see,

They shall be ashamed

Of all their might.

They shall lay their hands

On their mouths.

Their ears shall be deaf.

They shall lick dust,

Like a snake,

Like the crawling things

Of the earth.

They shall come trembling out

Of their fortresses.

They shall turn in dread

To Yahweh,

Our God.

They shall stand

In fear of you.”

The various nations or countries will see what is happening.  They will be ashamed of their own strength.  They will put their hands over their mouths, not speaking.  They will be deaf, not hearing.  They will be like creeping, crawling snakes, licking the dust of the earth.  They will come trembling out of their strong fortresses.  They will stand in dread and fear of Yahweh, our God.  The tables will be turned on them.

Yahweh was going to deal with Edom (Ezek 35:11-35:13)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘Therefore,

As I live,

I will deal

With you

According to the anger,

According to the envy

That you showed

Because of your hatred

Against them.

I will make myself

Known among you,

When I judge you.

You shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have heard

All the abusive speech

That you uttered

Against the mountains

Of Israel.

Saying.

‘They are laid desolate.

They are given us

To devour.’

You magnified yourselves

Against me

With your mouth.

You multiplied

Your words

Against me.

I heard it.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to deal with Edom, Mount Seir. The Edomites, with their anger and envy. had showed their hatred against Israel. Now Yahweh was going to judge the Edomites. They would soon learn who Yahweh was. He had heard all their abusive speech against the mountains of Israel. They had said that Israel was desolate and ready to be devoured. They magnified themselves against Yahweh with their mouths. They multiplied their words against Yahweh, but he had heard them.

 

The enemies of Jerusalem (Lam 2:16-2:16)

Phe

“All your enemies

Open their mouths

Against you.

They hiss,

They gnash

Their teeth.

They cry.

‘We have devoured her!

O!

This is the day

We longed for!

At last,

We have seen it!’”

Once again, this author portrays the words and attitudes of outsiders, the enemies of Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. They have opened their mouths against Jerusalem. They have hissed and gnashed their teeth. They have proclaimed that they had now devoured Jerusalem. The day that they longed for had arrived as they saw it with their own eyes. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Phe. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The coming invading destruction (Jer 5:14-5:17)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

‘Because they have spoken this word,

I am making my words

In your mouth a fire.

This people shall be wood.

The fire shall devour them.

I am going to bring upon you

A nation from far away.

O house of Israel!’

Says Yahweh.

‘It is an enduring nation,

It is an ancient nation,

It is a nation whose language

You do not know.

You cannot understand what they say.

Their quiver is

Like an open tomb.

All of them are mighty warriors.

They shall eat up your harvest.

They shall eat your food.

They shall eat up your sons.

They shall eat up your daughters.

They shall eat up your flocks.

They shall eat up your herds.

They shall eat up your vines.

They shall eat up your fig trees.

They shall destroy with the sword

Your fortified cities

In which you trust.’”

Yahweh tells Jeremiah about the impending destructive invasion. They would be set on fire from their mouths. A nation from far away would come upon the house of Israel. They would not understand the language of this ancient enduring nation. This nation’s mighty warriors had many arrows to hit them. They would come and eat up the food of their harvest. They would devour their sons and daughters. They would eat up their flocks, herds, vines, and fig trees. They would destroy their trusted fortified cities with the sword. Destruction was coming.

Oracle about the alliance with Yahweh (Isa 59:21-59:21)

“‘As for me,

This is my covenant with them.’

Says Yahweh.

‘My spirit is upon you.

My words

That I have put in your mouth,

Shall not depart out of your mouth.

They shall not depart

Out of the mouth of your children.

They shall not depart

Out of the mouths of your children’s children,

From now on and forever.’

Says Yahweh.”

Third Isaiah brings this chapter to a close with another oracle from Yahweh. He was going to renew his alliance with his holy people. The covenant continues down to their children and their children’s children now and forever, since his Spirit is upon them. He has put his words into their mouths and it will not leave them because of this everlasting covenant.