Isaiah 54 – “Metaphors of Consolation”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Three metaphors are given to console the people: the barren woman will give birth, the estranged wife will be reunited with her husband, and the distressed person will be granted security.

II. Photo
The barren woman will give birth: “Shout, O barren one, you who bore no child! Shout aloud for joy, you who did not travail! For the children of the wife forlorn shall outnumber those of the espoused — said the Lord.” (v. 1)

III. Important Verses
1-3: Shout, O barren one, You who bore no child! Shout aloud for joy, You who did not travail! For the children of the wife forlorn Shall outnumber those of the espoused — said the LORD. Enlarge the site of your tent, Extend the size of your dwelling, Do not stint! Lengthen the ropes, and drive the pegs firm. For you shall spread out to the right and the left; Your offspring shall dispossess nations And shall people the desolate towns.
7-8: For a little while I forsook you, But with vast love I will bring you back. In slight anger, for a moment, I hid My face from you; But with kindness everlasting I will take you back in love — said the LORD your Redeemer.
9-10: For this to Me is like the waters of Noah: As I swore that the waters of Noah Nevermore would flood the earth, So I swear that I will not Be angry with you or rebuke you. For the mountains may move And the hills be shaken, But my loyalty shall never move from you, Nor My covenant of friendship be shaken — said the LORD, who takes you back in love.

IV. Outline

1-3. Metaphor #1: The barren woman
    1-3. The widow will give birth to many children
4-10. Metaphor #2: The estranged wife
    4-6. God will return to his first love
    7-10. Oracle: God’s new covenant with his love
11-. Metaphor #3: The distressed
    11-12. The distressed will receive great wealth
    13-14a. A culture of righteousness to come
    14b-17. No harm will befall the distressed

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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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