The petition to the Father (Isa 63:15-63:16)

“Look down from heaven!

See!

From your holy habitation!

See!

From your glorious habitation!

Where is your zeal?

Where is your might?

Where is the yearning of your heart?

Where is your compassion?

They are withheld from me.

You are our Father.

Abraham does not know us.

Israel does not acknowledge us.

You!

Yahweh!

Are our Father!

Our Redeemer!

From of old is your name.”

The prophet wants to remind Yahweh, who is in his holy glorious heavenly dwelling, to look down on him. He questions him about his zeal and might as well as his heart and compassion. Why was Yahweh holding back from him? Yahweh was his father, even though Abraham and Jacob/Israel would not know and acknowledge him. Yahweh was his father and redeemer from the good old days.

The wicked (Isa 26:10-26:11)

“If favor is shown

To the wicked,

They still do not learn righteousness.

In the land of uprightness,

They deal perversely.

They do not see

The majesty of Yahweh.

O Yahweh!

Your hand is lifted up.

But they do not see it.

Let them see your zeal

For your people!

Let them be ashamed!

Let the fire

For your adversaries

Consume them!”

Isaiah says that you cannot favor the wicked because they never learned righteousness. They are the perverse ones in the land of the upright people, since they do not see the majesty of Yahweh. Turning directly to Yahweh, Isaiah says that Yahweh’s hand is lifted up in judgment. However, the wicked ones do not even see it. They should see the zeal that Yahweh has for his people and be ashamed. These wicked adversaries should be consumed with God’s fire.

A child is born (Isa 9:6-9:7)

“A child has been born for us.

A son has been given to us.

Authority rests upon his shoulders.

He is named.

‘Wonderful Counselor!

Mighty God!

Everlasting Father!

Prince of Peace!’

His authority will grow continually.

There shall be endless peace

For the throne of David.

There shall be endless peace

For his kingdom.

He will establish it

With justice.

He will uphold it

With righteousness

From this time onward forever more.

The zeal of Yahweh of hosts

Will do this.”

This passage has often been used by Christians to indicate the birth of a messianic male king, the child Jesus. Many of these titles have been applied to Jesus the Christ, wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, and prince of peace. However, Isaiah is probably speaking about a new male king for Israel from the throne of David who would bring endless peace. He speaks in the present tense and may be referring to King Hezekiah. This new kingdom of established justice and upheld righteousness would continue forever. The zeal of Yahweh was going to do this for his people.

The Lord prepares for the battle (Wis 5:17-5:20)

“The Lord will take his zeal

As his whole armor.

He will arm all creation

To repel his enemies.

He will put on righteousness

As a breastplate.

He will wear impartial justice

As a helmet.

He will take holiness

As an invincible shield.

He will sharpen stern wrath

For a sword.

Creation will join with him

To fight against his frenzied foes.”

The Lord will prepare for this battle against the unjust. His zeal will be his armor. All creation will join him against his enemies. His breastplate will be righteousness. His helmet will be impartial justice. Holiness will be his shield. His sword will be his stern anger. Once again, all of creation will join with the Lord to fight his foes.

Yahweh is righteous (Ps 119:137-119:144)

Cade

“You are righteous!

Yahweh!

Your judgments are right.

You have appointed your decrees in righteousness.

You have appointed your decrees in all faithfulness.

My zeal consumes me.

Because my foes forget your words.

Your promise is well tried.

Your servant loves it.

I am small.

I am despised.

Yet I do not forget your precepts.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.

Your law is the truth.

Trouble has come upon me.

Anguish has come upon me,

However your commandments are my delight.

Your decrees are righteous forever.

Give me understanding!

Thus I may live.”

The psalmist declared that Yahweh was righteous. His judgments and decrees were righteous and faithful. The zeal of the psalmist consumed him when he found out that his foes had forgotten the words of Yahweh. He, the servant of Yahweh, loved the decrees. Although he was small and despised, he never forgot the precepts of Yahweh. Yahweh’s righteousness was everlasting because his law was the truth. Even though he was in trouble and anguish, the psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s commandments. All he asked for was understanding, so that he might live. So ends this section on the eighteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Cade.

The difficult situation of David (Ps 69:9-69:12)

“It is zeal for your house

That has consumed me.

The insults of those

Who insult you

Have fallen on me.

When I humbled my soul with fasting,

They insulted me for doing so.

When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.

I am the subject of gossip

For those who sit in the gate.

The drunkards make songs about me.”

David explained his situation. He had great zeal for the house of Yahweh that he was about to construct. However, he felt that the insults against Yahweh had fallen on him. He had fasted but people insulted him for doing that. He was wearing mourning sackcloth, but all they did was gossip about him in the public meeting places at the gate. Even the drunkards were making up songs about him.

Mattathias kills the Jew offering a sacrifice (1 Macc 2:23-2:26)

“When Mattathias had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal. His heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger. He ran and killed him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice. He tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu.”

I guess that I did not see this coming. This is real dramatic. This Jew, Israelite, or Judean was willing to offer the sacrifice to the idol. Mattathias was filled with righteous anger. Wow! What would unrighteous anger be like? He killed the man offering the sacrifice and the Syrian inspector official. Then he tore up the whole altar. The reference to Phinehas is to Numbers, chapter 25. In Numbers, Moses said that God wanted them to kill anyone who had sex with the women of Peor who were Baal worshippers. Phinehas saw an Israelite with a Median woman, so he killed both of them. Somehow that killing stopped a plague. Maybe he thought that this killing would stop the Syrians.