Isaiah 26 – “A Song of Devotion, Praise, and Imprecation”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The people praise God, profess their devotion to him, and ask that he punish the impious.

II. Photo
God tells the people to wait: “Go, my people, enter your chambers, and lock your doors behind you. Hide but a little moment, until the indignation passes.” (v. 20)

III. Important Verses
1-2: In that day, this song shall be sung In the land of Judah: Ours is a mighty city; He makes victory our inner and outer wall. Open the gates, and let A righteous nation enter, A nation that keeps faith.
7: The path is level for the righteous man; O Just One, You make smooth the course of the righteous.
9: At night I yearn for You with all my being, I seek You with all the spirit within me. For when Your judgments are wrought on earth, The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10-11: But when the scoundrel is spared, he learns not righteousness; In a place of integrity, he does wrong — He ignores the majesty of the LORD. O LORD! They see not Your hand exalted. Let them be shamed as they behold Your zeal for Your people And fire consuming Your adversaries.
16-18: O LORD! In their distress, they sought You; Your chastisement reduced them To anguished whispered prayer. Like a woman with child Approaching childbirth, Writhing and screaming in her pangs, So are we become because of You, O LORD. We were with child, we writhed — It is as though we had given birth to wind; We have won no victory on earth; The inhabitants of the world have not come to life!

IV. Outline

1a. Introduction: A song to be sung in Judah
1b-6. Praise
    1b. The strength of Jerusalem
    2-3. The opening of the gates; Safety
    4. Exhortation: Trust in God
    5-6. Rationale: God has destroyed the proud city
7-9. Affirmation of confidence
    7. Praise for the righteous
    8-9. Yearning for God
10-19. Imprecation of the enemy
    10-11. Imprecation of the irreligious
    12. Petition for peace
    13-14a. Trust in God and not other rulers
    14b. The futility of dead beings
    15. God’s glory in extending Israel’s boundaries
    16-18a. The people long for God like a woman giving birth
    18b-19. Petition to the deceased
20-21. Prophetic pronouncement: God will reward his followers and punish the sinners

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
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