Isaiah 66 – “God’s Pledge to His Followers”

footstoolHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God promises to punish the sinners, raise Israel’s status, and return the exiles to Jerusalem.

II. Photo
God proclaims his dominion: “Thus said the Lord: The heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool: Where could you build a house for me, what place could serve as my abode?” (v. 1)

III. Important Verses
1-2: Thus said the LORD: The heaven is My throne And the earth is My footstool: Where could you build a house for Me, What place could serve as My abode? All this was made by My hand, And thus it all came into being — declares the LORD. Yet to such a one I look: To the poor and brokenhearted, Who is concerned about My word.
3-4: As for those who slaughter oxen and slay humans, Who sacrifice sheep and immolate dogs, Who present as oblation the blood of swine, Who offer incense and worship false gods — Just as they have chosen their ways And take pleasure in their abominations, So will I choose to mock them, To bring on them the very thing they dread. For I called and none responded, I spoke and none paid heed. They did what I deem evil And chose what I do not want.
9-11: Shall I who bring on labor not bring about birth? — says the LORD. ¶ Shall I who cause birth shut the womb? — said your God. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, All you who love her! Join in her jubilation, All you who mourned over her — That you may suck from her breast Consolation to the full, That you may draw from her bosom Glory to your delight.
13: As a mother comforts her son So I will comfort you; You shall find comfort in Jerusalem.
23-24: And new moon after new moon, And sabbath after sabbath, All flesh shall come to worship Me — said the LORD. They shall go out and gaze On the corpses of the men who rebelled against Me: Their worms shall not die, Nor their fire be quenched; They shall be a horror To all flesh. And new moon after new moon, And sabbath after sabbath, All flesh shall come to worship Me — said the LORD.

IV. Outline
1-2a. God’s dominion over the earth
2b. God cares for the downtrodden
3-4. God will punish the sinners
5. Encouragement against internal enemies
6-11. God will bring about a quick salvation
12. Israel’s standing over other nations
13. God’s comfort for Jerusalem
14-16. God will attack his enemies
17. Doom for the illicit worshipers
18-21. God will rule over the nations and return the exiles
22-24. God’s followers will worship him while his detractors will rot

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).
Photo taken from http://harrogatehouseoffers.com/images/Sturdy%20Stool%20H63221.jpg

Isaiah 65 – “Sermon About Reward and Punishment”

old coupleHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The prophet condemns the sinners to death and predicts an era in which God’s followers will live long and prosperous lives.

II. Photo
God’s followers will be blessed: “No more shall there be an infant or graybeard who does not live out his days. He who dies at a hundred years shall be reckoned a youth, and he who fails to reach a hundred shall be reckoned accursed.” (v. 20)

III. Important Verses
3-4: The people who provoke My anger, Who continually, to My very face, Sacrifice in gardens and burn incense on tiles;  Who sit inside tombs And pass the night in secret places; Who eat the flesh of swine, With broth of unclean things in their bowls;
11-13: But as for you who forsake the LORD, Who ignore My holy mountain, Who set a table for Luck And fill a mixing bowl for Destiny:  I will destine you for the sword, You will all kneel down, to be slaughtered — Because, when I called, you did not answer, When I spoke, you would not listen. You did what I hold evil, And chose what I do not want.  Assuredly, thus said the Lord GOD: My servants shall eat, and you shall hunger; My servants shall drink, and you shall thirst; My servants shall rejoice, and you shall be shamed;
17: For behold! I am creating A new heaven and a new earth; The former things shall not be remembered, They shall never come to mind.
20: No more shall there be an infant or graybeard Who does not live out his days. He who dies at a hundred years Shall be reckoned a youth, And he who fails to reach a hundred Shall be reckoned accursed.
24: Before they pray, I will answer; While they are still speaking, I will respond.
25: The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, And the lion shall eat straw like the ox, And the serpent’s food shall be earth. In all My sacred mount Nothing evil or vile shall be done — said the LORD.

IV. Outline

1-16. Sermon
    1-5a. God was patient, but Israel rejected him
    5b-7a. God will repay Israel for its sins
    7b. Israel’s sin: forbidden offerings
    8-10. God will leave a remnant
    11-12. Doom for the sinners
    13-16. God’s followers will be blessed; His detractors will be cursed
17-25. Prophetic blessing
    17. A new world order
    18-19. A joyous Jerusalem
    20-23. Long, prosperous, and blessed lives
    24. God will answer the people’s prayers
    25. Peace in nature

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).
Photo taken from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_31t3MXi6Jw0/SoDGnK2cEyI/AAAAAAAAAAU/QJJjHdMYvTc/s400/old_couple_3413123.jpg

Isaiah 64 – “Petition for Help”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The people admit their guilt and ask God to watch over them.

II. Photo
The people admit their guilt: “We have all become like an unclean thing, and all our virtues like a filthy rag!” (v. 5a)

III. Important Verses
5: We have all become like an unclean thing, And all our virtues like a filthy rag. We are all withering like leaves, And our iniquities, like a wind, carry us off.
6: Yet no one invokes Your name, Rouses himself to cling to You. For You have hidden Your face from us, And made us melt because of our iniquities.
9-10: Your holy cities have become a desert: Zion has become a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy Temple, our pride, Where our fathers praised You, Has been consumed by fire: And all that was dear to us is ruined.
11: At such things will You restrain Yourself, O LORD, Will You stand idly by and let us suffer so heavily?

IV. Outline
1-3. God’s ability to do wonders
4. God punishes his people
5. Admission of guilt
6. The people have turned from God
7. Affirmation of trust in God
8. Petition for help
9-10. Complaint: the country is destroyed
11. Petition for help

V. Comment
No comment. 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).
Photo taken from http://www.wonderhowto.com/images/gfx/gallery/633892526673758603.jpg

Isaiah 63 – “Warrior Poem; Historical Sermon; Petition”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The prophet recites a warrior poem, delivers a sermon about Israel’s history, and petitions God for help.

II. Photo
A warrior describes himself: “I trod out a vintage alone, of the peoples no man was with Me. I trod them down in my anger, trampled them in my rage; Their life-blood bespattered my garments, and all my clothing was stained!” (v. 3)

III. Important Verses
2-3:  Why is your clothing so red, Your garments like his who treads grapes? “I trod out a vintage alone; Of the peoples no man was with Me. I trod them down in My anger, Trampled them in My rage; Their life-blood bespattered My garments, And all My clothing was stained.
11-14a: Then they remembered the ancient days, Him, who pulled His people out [of the water]: “Where is He who brought them up from the Sea Along with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put In their midst His holy spirit,  Who made His glorious arm March at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them To make Himself a name for all time, Who led them through the deeps So that they did not stumble — As a horse in a desert, Like a beast descending to the plain?”
15-16: Look down from heaven and see, From Your holy and glorious height! Where is Your zeal, Your power? Your yearning and Your love Are being withheld from us! Surely You are our Father: Though Abraham regard us not, And Israel recognize us not, You, O LORD, are our Father; From of old, Your name is “Our Redeemer.”s

IV. Outline

1-6. Warrior poem
    1. Introduction
    2-3. The warrior’s bloody clothes
    4-6. The warrior tramples his people
7-14. Historical sermon
    7. Introductory praise
    8-9. God protected the people
    10a. The people rebelled
    10b. God attacks his people
    11-14. Historical recollections
15-19. Petition and complaint
    15. Petition
    16. Affirmation of consanguinity
    17. Complaint: God allows the people to sin
    18. Complaint: the temple is destroyed
    19a. Complaint: God’s name is detached from Israel
    19b. Petition for help

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).
Photo taken from http://www.lakecountryjournal.com/files/imagecache/blog_main/blogs/05_GrapeStomp08.jpg

Isaiah 62 – “New Names for Jerusalem”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God promises to protect the people and to give Jerusalem impressive appellations.

II. Photo
The prophet describes his mission: “For the sake of Zion I will not be silent, for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be still, till her victory emerge resplendent and her triumph like a flaming torch!” (v. 1)

III. Important Verses
4: Nevermore shall you be called “Forsaken,” Nor shall your land be called “Desolate”; But you shall be called “I delight in her,” And your land “Espoused.” For the LORD takes delight in you, And your land shall be espoused.
5: As a youth espouses a maiden, Your sons shall espouse you; And as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, So will your God rejoice over you.
8:  The LORD has sworn by His right hand, By His mighty arm: Nevermore will I give your new grain To your enemies for food, Nor shall foreigners drink the new wine For which you have labored.
12: And they shall be called, “The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD,” And you shall be called, “Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”

IV. Outline
1. Dedication to Zion’s cause
2-5. Jerusalem’s new name; Maiden metaphor
6-7. Continuous protection and petitions
8-9. God’s promise to protect the people from foreign rule
10. Galvanizing chant
11. Rationale: a savior is coming
12. Jerusalem’s new name

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).
Photo taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Lewes_Bonfire%2C_discarded_torch.jpg

Isaiah 61 – “Prophetic Predictions”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The prophet clarifies his mission, predicts an era of prosperity, and praises God for bringing victory.

II. Photo
The prophet praises God: “He has clothed me with garments of triumph, wrapped me in a robe of victory, like a bridegroom adorned with a turban, like a bride bedecked with her finery.” (v. 10b)

III. Important Verses
1: The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me as a herald of joy to the humble, To bind up the wounded of heart, To proclaim release to the captives, Liberation to the imprisoned.
4-5: And they shall build the ancient ruins, Raise up the desolations of old, And renew the ruined cities, The desolations of many ages. Strangers shall stand and pasture your flocks, Aliens shall be your plowmen and vine-trimmers;
6: While you shall be called “Priests of the LORD,” And termed “Servants of our God.” You shall enjoy the wealth of nations And revel in their riches.
8-9: For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery with a burnt offering. I will pay them their wages faithfully, And make a covenant with them for all time. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, Their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them shall recognize That they are a stock the LORD has blessed.

IV. Outline

1-3. The prophet was appointed to comfort the people
4-8. Divine promises
    4. Rebuilding the cities
    5-6. Foreigners will work for Israel the “priests”
    7. Prosperity in the land
    8a. Rationale: God is righteous
    8b. God will make the people known amongst the nations
10-11. Anticipated praise

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).
Photo taken from http://terpstraphoto.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Indian_01.jpg

Isaiah 60 – “Prophetic Blessings”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The prophet predicts that God will rebuild the land, return the exiles, subjugate the nations, and bring the people great wealth.

II. Photo
The prophet speaks of times to come: “No longer shall you need the sun for light by day, nor the shining of the moon for radiance [by night]; For the Lord shall be your light everlasting, your God shall be your glory!” (v. 19)

III. Important Verses
1-3a: Arise, shine, for your light has dawned; The Presence of the LORD has shone upon you! Behold! Darkness shall cover the earth, And thick clouds the peoples; But upon you the LORD will shine, And His Presence be seen over you. And nations shall walk by your light, Kings, by your shining radiance.
10: Aliens shall rebuild your walls, Their kings shall wait upon you — For in anger I struck you down, But in favor I take you back.
11: Your gates shall always stay open — Day and night they shall never be shut — To let in the wealth of the nations, With their kings in procession.
12: For the nation or the kingdom That does not serve you shall perish; Such nations shall be destroyed.
18: The cry “Violence!” Shall no more be heard in your land, Nor “Wrack and ruin!” Within your borders. And you shall name your walls “Victory” And your gates “Renown.”
19-20: No longer shall you need the sun For light by day, Nor the shining of the moon For radiance [by night]; For the LORD shall be your light everlasting, Your God shall be your glory. Your sun shall set no more, Your moon no more withdraw; For the LORD shall be a light to you forever, And your days of mourning shall be ended.

IV. Outline
1-4a. Promise that the people will lead the world with its light
4b. Promise that the exiles will return
5-7. Promise of wealth to come
8-9. Promise of wealth to come and the return of the exiles
10. Promise that the other nations will rebuild Jerusalem
11. Promise that Jerusalem will prosper
12. Doom for the nations that do not serve Israel
13. Promise of wealth to come
14. Promise that Israel will rule over other nations
15-16. God will bless Israel and make himself known
17. Promise of wealth to come
18. Promise of military might to come
19-20.Promise of divine radiance and joy
21-22. Promise of possessing the land and prospering in it

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).
Photo taken from http://www.spudooli.com/images/20060429212630_dsc_4027.jpg