Isaiah 56 – “Encouragement for Sabbath Observance”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The prophet encourages the people to live righteously and keep the Sabbath.

II. Photo
God will reward those who keep the Sabbath: “As for the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who have chosen what I desire and hold fast to my covenant — I will give them, in my House and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons or daughters.” (vv. 4b-5a)

III. Important Verses
2: Happy is the man who does this, The man who holds fast to it: Who keeps the sabbath and does not profane it, And stays his hand from doing any evil.
4-5: For thus said the LORD: “As for the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, Who have chosen what I desire And hold fast to My covenant — I will give them, in My House And within My walls, A monument and a name Better than sons or daughters. I will give them an everlasting name Which shall not perish.
6-7: As for the foreigners Who attach themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, And to love the name of the LORD, To be His servants — All who keep the sabbath and do not profane it, And who hold fast to My covenant — I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices Shall be welcome on My altar; For My House shall be called A house of prayer for all peoples.”
12: “Come, I’ll get some wine; Let us swill liquor. And tomorrow will be just the same, Or even much grander!”

IV. Outline

1. Oracle: God asks the people to be righteous
2-7. Encouragement for Sabbath observance
    2. Beatitude
    3. Foreigners and eunuchs should keep the Sabbath
    4-7. Oracle: encouragement for eunuchs
    6-7. Oracle: encouragement for foreigners
8. Oracle: God will gather in more exiles
9-12. Quote: the city will become easy pickings

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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