A Commentary on Isaiah

Isaiah 6 is written with a mixture of prose and verse, detailing the calling, or fee, of Isaiah by the Lord God. Much of the verse is written within the style of a vision, detailing message to the individuals of Judea. The primary theme running by way of Isaiah is the message of salvation, even the name of the prophet means ‘salvation of Yahweh’. The book is first of the ‘major prophets’, so known as because of its greater size than the shorter ‘minor prophets’ or ‘twelve prophets’.

In the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible and in all other English Bibles, the e-book follows on from the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs. However in the Hebrew Bible, it’s seen after 2 Kings, which A. S. Herbert states is ‘a extra natural order since this prophet [Isaiah] was deeply concerned within the historical occasions of his day’ and gave a ‘distinctive interpretation of these events’ (1973:1). The genre of the book is principally of a prophetic nature, with a combination of oracles, prophesies and reviews of the situation in Judah; however it does deviate from this, most notably in chapter thirteen, the place it takes the type of a supposed psalm.

This book is written at a time of nice strife for the region of Israel. The area has split into two kingdoms, the Assyrian empire is closing in round them and the death of Jeroboam II of Israel (745 BC) and the dying Uzziah of Judah (742) ended a time of peace, security and prosperity for both states.

Soon after Jeroboams death, civil struggle broke out in Israel and in 721 BC the Assyrian armies utterly subjugated the dominion.

So, we can see that Isaiah is writing in a time of great conflict and insecurity, which elevated throughout his prophetic life, ending within the unavoidable conquering of the small Judean kingdom by the Assyrian empire. It just isn’t straightforward to hint who Isaiah actually was and when he lived, however the final consensus is that he started his ministry across the dying of King Uzziah in 742 BC, the place he is considered around the age of 20. However, the date of his birth is unknown, along with the date of his death, which is regarded as cc. 680 BC, making the prophet well into his 70’s or 80’s before he stops his ministry.

We can justify that he definitely ministered in the course of the reign of 4 Judean kings, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, as found in Chapter 1 verse1 (Watts 1985:XXV). Clements, nonetheless, questions the validity of the first chapter in Isaiah because it appears certain that it has been ‘composed at a relatively late stage in the literary development of the book’ (Clements 1980:8). It has been speculated that Isaiah might have been associated to the royal blood line, most notably Manasseh, who, tradition dictates, martyred Isaiah by sawing him in two (Heb. eleven:37).

However, this is hardly convincing as many prophets the place martyred by Kings and rulers and there’s no real proof to counsel any relationship between Isaiah and Manasseh other than that Isaiah might have nonetheless been ministering around the time of Manasseh’s reign. Another downside with relationship this e-book is the question of the authorship. During the time that the books in both the Old and New Testaments had been written, it was not unusual for disciples and students of academics and prophets to publish works in their tutors name, or to continue a lecturers works.

Therefore, it is unclear how many authors the book of Isaiah has. Both Watts and Clements keep the view that Isaiah forty – 66 are the works of followers of Isaiah during the exile and restoration intervals, with Clements stating that the work of J. C. Doederlien in 1775, which argued the above level, has ‘come to be the prevalent consensus of scholarships’ (Clements 1980:2). The textual content could have been initially written in Hebrew, the oldest surviving copy being a part of a group discovered in the Qumran Caves, the useless sea scrolls, dating back to around 125 BC.

Although there usually are not many major translation errors, we don’t have the unique scroll from over 600 years earlier due to this fact there could probably be translation errors from the original to the great Isaiah scroll found among the many Dead Sea Scrolls. The setting for Isaiah Chapter six is provided by the Jerusalem temple, ‘looking via the entranceway into the primary aula of the temple building’ (Clements 1980:71). A drawback may be seen in verses nine and ten, the forewarning that the peoples hearts will harden in response to the teachings that Isaiah will put ahead.

Many, such as Fohrer and Wildberger, imagine this to be from a later period of his prophesy, wanting backwards in reflection, however in R. Kilian’s Bauteine Biblischer Theologie 1977, it is argued that this small section was written at the identical time as the relaxation of the verse. Verse six can be cut up up into three elements; the primary (verses 1 – 3) being the vision, the second (4 – 7) the cleansing and preparation of Isaiah for prophetic ministry and thirdly (8 – 11) the divine fee.

It is believed that verse 12 – thirteen usually are not a part of the original, however addition, in all probability made in the sixth century BC. There is nevertheless, a debate over the date of the final verse (verse 13), with the idea of it being from the exilic age, to offer hope on this rather somber and menace stuffed chapter. 6:1, In the year that King Uzziah died: Uzziah is described within the bible as an extremely able and holy man, favored by God, ‘He did what was proper in the sight of the lord’ and ‘as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper’.

However, Uzziah insulted the Lord by burning incense at the alter, something that solely the Priests might do and so He struck Uzziah down with tzaraat or leprosy, a time period that at the time was for a number of pores and skin diseases and so the precise which means is unsure. Because of this, for the final 11 years of Uzziahs reign, his Son Jotham acted as co-regent, then occurring to reign for sixteen years after the dying of his father.

There is speculation that Jotham died a yr or so earlier than his father and that Uzziahs grandson, Ahaz took over the co-regency until his dying, however, the first model of events appears to have probably the most common consensus. I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his gown crammed the temple. Uzziah’s dying, considered around the date 736 BC, would have been seen as the end of a golden age for the Judeans and a time of uncertainty as a end result of impending invasion of the Assyrians. It is at this time that the Lord reveals himself to Isaiah.

This could be seen as God reminding the folks that there’s one King above all others and that although their earthly king has died, there may be nonetheless an eternal King watching over them. It is typical of most visions of God within the bible for Him to be seated, for instance Job (26:9) and in revelation, the apostle John sees God sitting on His throne (4:1 – 11). His gown filled the temple: this could be seen as a display of energy and would possibly, as kings typically wore long, expensive robes created from silks and gilt so show their price.

The fact that the Lords gown fills the temple could presumably be once more displaying that there is an even mightier King than Uzziah. Seraphs had been in attendance above Him; every had six wings: with two they lined their faces, with two the covered their ft and with two they flew: the word ‘seraph’ solely happens in Isaiah. While Clements translates the word as ‘burning one’, Herbert seems to really feel that the designation of the word ‘seraphim’ solely appears in Isaiah, but additionally in Numbers and Deuteronomy however as ‘serpent’ or ‘snakes’.

This, he says, may then lead one to the conclusion that the big bronze serpent within the temple, as described in 2 Kings 18:4, might have stimulated the ‘visionary experience’ (Herbert 1973:58). Many other passages mention Cherubim, and whereas there’s a debate about whether seraphim and cherubim are the similar or not, seraphim translates as ‘burning ones’ and in Ezekiel 1:thirteen, cherubim are described as ‘something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving back and forth among the dwelling creatures; the hearth was brilliant and lightening issued from the fire. The significance of the six wings is most probably as a result of Exodus 33:20, ‘You can not see my face; for no man shall see me and live’. Therefore the two wings masking their faces is to defend themselves from the glory of God so as to not incur the identical destiny as Lots spouse when she gazes upon the may of God as He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. Feet right now had been unclean and normally full of dust and are sometimes used as a metaphor for humbling oneself throughout the bible and so masking their ft could probably be seen to be them humbling themselves before the lord.

And one referred to as to a different and said: ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is stuffed with His glory. ’ The threefold use of the word holy conveys the thriller and unapproachable qualities of the Most Holy. In Hebrew, repetition denote the intensity with which they are talking, therefore having holy 3 times conveys to the reader the energy of feeling they have in direction of the Lord. The pivots on the edge shook on the voices of those that referred to as: suggests that the majesty and power of the seraphim’s voices shook the constructing.

The translation of the Hebrew which means pivot is unsure. Many variations of this passage use hinges on doors or the door posts. Some even translate it as the whole foundations of the building are shaking because of the pressure of the adoration of God. One would possibly learn this verse and interpret it as an example of how a lot the Lord should be praised. We should purpose to reward the Lord a lot and with such power that we shake the earth. It could additionally be Isaiah’s response to the voices that it shook him so violently that it felt as if the entire building shook with him.

And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a person of unclean lips, and I stay amongst a folks of unclean lips; but my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts! ’ We are again again to the unworthiness of human kind to gaze upon the Lords splendour, ‘You can not see my face; for no man shall see me and stay. ’ Herbert suggests that I am misplaced is as a end result of ‘Isaiah is lowered to the silence and stillness of death’ (Herbert 1973:59). For Herbert this is as a end result of of him being a creature of sin confronted with holy perfection, not simply that of a disciple meeting the deity that created him.

Unclean lips demonstrates that Isaiah is aware of the sinful nature not only of himself however of his fellow folks, one thing that does not please the Lord and ‘unfitness to make use of his mouth in the service of God’ (Clements 1980:75). Then one of many seraphs flew to me, holding a reside coal that had been taken from the alter with a pair of tongs. This part of the chapter is totally different to any other calling to minister for God. The prophets within the bible are all the time seen to endure trials and hardship earlier than they enter Gods favour.

Abraham was tasked with the slaughter of his son and perhaps essentially the most well known trail is that of Job who needed to undertake an enormous ordeal before ‘the Lord gace Job twice ass much as he had before’ (Job 42:10). ‘Whom shall I ship, and who will go for us? ’: the us signifies that God is deliberating with the Holy council of seraphs surrounding Him, nevertheless additionally it is clear that Isaiah is meant to ‘overhear’, in a sense, so that he acknowledges that only he (Isaiah) can answer that query by giving himself totally to the work of the Lord.

The us could additionally be interpreted as an early mention or idea of the Trinity. The Jewish individuals are ready for a messiah come from God and so it could possibly be logical to counsel that until that messiah comes, He is with the Lord and there could already be a notion of the Holy Spirit in the way the breath moves over the water in creation. However it’s more doubtless that God wanted Isaiah to offer himself to god freely, giving Isaiah a selection as as to whether he will go out and prophesy in regards to the Lord, therefore using the question and the ruse of the Holy council to incite Isaiah to return forward.

And I mentioned, ‘Here am I; send me! ’: this response reveals that Isaiah had a willingness to go and carry out the work Yahweh had for him. Although it looks as if one single task to finish, I don’t think there can be any doubt that Isaiah knew this was him giving his entire life to the service of the Lord. Although up thus far Isaiah doesn’t know what this task is, it could be derived that from the burning coal purging his lips it appears he’s referred to as to preach and prophesy to the people about Yahweh and that this cleansing has allowed the word of God to move through his lips.

And He said, ‘Go and say to this people: the reference to this folks suggests that there is an element of ‘divine rejection’ (Clements 1980:76). Yahweh not sees the chosen folks in a favourable gentle and is sending Isaiah to tell them. ‘Keep listening but don’t comprehend’: there’s, for Clements, a way of irony on this section, ‘for the prophet undoubtedly did, very passionately and sincerely, want the people to hear and to understand’ (1980:77).

Clements also counsel as Isaiah will have written this account a while after the vision occurred, it might be that he built-in how the message was acquired into the words that Yahweh spoke to him. However, as a outcome of belief that God is in everything and every little thing comes from God, Isaiah would have been justified in doing this as he would know that the hardening of the hearts of the folks in direction of his message is due to God. Then I stated, ‘How lengthy, O Lord’: throughout the Bible, how lengthy is often the beginning of a lamentation.

This cry out is not only asking how long the struggling will last, but a plea for God to end it quickly. Until cities lie waste with out inhabitant is a reference to the devastation that warfare will result in when the Assyrian empire seeks to increase additional. The land is completely desolate refers to Judah, the place Isaiah ministers, nevertheless it might imply the whole of the promised land. Verses 12 – 13 are an addition by and editor, most likely one of the later Isaian disciples around the time of through the exile and restoration periods.

Until the Lord sends everybody distant provides to this concept because it should discuss with the Assyrian empire sending the Jews to captivity in Babylon. Even if a tenth half stays in it, it goes to be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump stays standing when it’s felled. This passage is a fancy one with much debate on what the Hebrew initially was and subsequently the method it ought to be translated into the Bible of today. The most widely regarded resolution could be that the Hebrew bam should actually be bamah which implies ‘high place’. Therefore the noun for stump, which in Hebrew is massebe? would then mean ‘sacred pole’. ‘Thus ‘a sacred pole grows out from its place in a hill-shrine’ (Clement 1980:78) is the new sentence created. However this passage is translated, it’s agreed that there may be a very actual element of threat present. Just as a stump is not left in the floor, but as an alternative a gap drilled in the prime and filled with fuel and burned, so will the Jews undergo, although they could feel they have suffered sufficient. The Holy Seed is its stump is almost definitely a later addition, post – exile, so as to give hope to those that had been now under the Babylonian captivity.

Herbert comments that this sentence is ‘absent from the Septuagint, however the Greek Modified [verse 12] to imply ‘and those that have been left on the land had been multiplied’, a equally hopeful note’. (Herbert 1973:60). The addition of this final sentence provides hope because it suggests that even the stump of a felled tree may as soon as again grow, that means that some will survive and carry on the road of David.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply