Isaiah 41 – “God Proclaims the Coming of a Mighty Warrior”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God proclaims the coming of a mighty warrior, assures Israel that it is safe, and mocks the inefficacy of idols.

II. Photo
God addresses Israel: “Fear not, O worm Jacob, O men of Israel – I will help you!” (v. 14a)

III. Important Verses
1-4: Stand silent before Me, coastlands, And let nations renew their strength. Let them approach to state their case; Let us come forward together for argument. Who has roused a victor from the East, Summoned him to His service? Has delivered up nations to him, And trodden sovereigns down? Has rendered their swords like dust, Their bows like wind-blown straw? He pursues them, he goes on unscathed; No shackle is placed on his feet. Who has wrought and achieved this? He who announced the generations from the start — I, the LORD, who was first And will be with the last as well.
8-10: But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, Seed of Abraham My friend — You whom I drew from the ends of the earth And called from its far corners, To whom I said: You are My servant; I chose you, I have not rejected you — Fear not, for I am with you, Be not frightened, for I am your God; I strengthen you and I help you, I uphold you with My victorious right hand.
14: Fear not, O worm Jacob, O men of Israel: I will help you — declares the LORD — I your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
23-24: Foretell what is yet to happen, That we may know that you are gods! Do anything, good or bad, That we may be awed and see. Why, you are less than nothing, Your effect is less than nullity; One who chooses you is an abomination.

IV. Outline

1-29. Oracle
    1-7. Warning to the coastlands
        1a. God calls the coastlands to bear witness
        1b-4. God tells the nations he has brought a mighty warrior
        5-7. The coastlands are in fear
    8-20. Reassurance to Israel
        8-10. Israel has nothing to fear
        11-12. Israel’s enemies will be destroyed
        13-14. Reassurance: Israel has nothing to fear
        15-16a. Israel will destroy its enemies
        16b. Israel will rejoice in God
        17-18. God will provide water for the thirsty
        19-20. God will plant trees
    21-29. Mocking the other gods
        21-24. God mocks the other gods
        25. God is the one who summoned a mighty warrior
        26-29. Only God, and not the idols, predicted this

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).
Photo taken from http://firstfloorfilms.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/17/inchworm.jpg

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