RESOURCES FOR THIS STUDY OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH:
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Isaiah 1-39: A new translation with introduction and commentary. Volume 19 of the Anchor bible Commentary series edited by W. F Albright and David Noel Freedman. (Doubleday, New York, 2000). *Blenkinsopp A
______________ Isaiah 40-55: A new translation with introduction and commentary. Volume 19A of the Anchor Bible Commentary series edited by W.F. Albright and David Noel Freedman. (Doubleday, New York, 2002). *Blenkinsopp B
______________ Isaiah 56-66: A new translation with introduction and commentary. Volume 19B of the Anchor Bible Commentary series edited by W.F. Albright and David Noel Freedman. (Doubleday, New York, 2003). * Blenkinsopp C
Childs, Brevard S. Isaiah. Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by James Mays, Carol Newsom, and David Petersen. (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2001).
Cook, Stephen L. Conversations with Scripture: 2 Isaiah. Part of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars Study Series edited by Frederick Schmidt. (Morehouse Press, Harrisburg, 2008).
Elliott, Mark W. Old Testament XI: Isaiah 40-66. Part of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Thomas C. Oden General Editor. (Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, 2007).
Goldingay, John and David Payne. Isaiah 40-55: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary, Volume I. Part of the International Critical Commentary series edited by G. I. Davies and C. M. Tuckett. (Bloomsbury, London, 2014). * Goldingay A
—————————————–. Isaiah 40-55: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary, Volume II. Part of the International Critical Commentary series edited by G. I. Davies and C. M. Tuckett. (Bloomsbury, London, 2014). *Goldingay B
Hanson, Paul D. Isaiah 40-66. Part of the Interpretation series edited by James L Mays and Patrick Miller. (John Knox Press, Louisville, 1995).
Hoppe, Leslie J. Isaiah. Volume 13 of the Old Testament Series within the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series edited by Daniel Durken O.S.B. (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2012).
McKinion, Steven A. Old Testament X: Isaiah 1-39. Part of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Thomas C. Oden General Editor. (Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, 2004).
Niskanen, Paul V.. Isaiah 56-66. Part of Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry edited by Chris Franke. (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2014).
Seitz, Christopher. Isaiah 1-39. Part of the Interpretation series edited by James L Mays and Patrick Miller. (John Knox Press, Louisville, 1993). *Seitz A
_______________ Book of Isaiah 40-66. Volume VI of the New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes whose Editorial Board was convened by Leander Keck. (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2001). * Seitz B
TANACH. Artscroll series, Mesorah publications, The Stone Edition. The Torah / Prophets / Writings: The Twenty-Four Books of the Bible Newly Translated and Annotated. Contributing Editors: Rabbi Yaakov Bliner, Rabbi Avie Gold, and Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz. (Mesorah Publications, New York, 1996).
Tucker, Gene M. Book of Isaiah 1-39. Volume VI of the New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes whose Editorial Board was convened by Leander Keck. (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2001).
Wildberger, Hans. Isaiah 1-12. Part of the Continental Commentary series. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1991). *Wildberger A
______________. Isaiah 13-27. Part of the Continental Commentary series. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1997). *Wildberger B
_______________. Isaiah 28-39. Part of the Continental Commentary series. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2002). *Wildberger C
Williamson, H. G. M. Isaiah 1-5: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary. Part of the International Critical Commentary series edited by G. I. Davies & C. M. Tuckett. (Bloomsbury, London, 2014).
- Welcome Jesus into our midst.
- What are we grateful for today?
- Where do I need help?
- Where do others need help?
Read the text aloud. Each person takes a ‘unit’, those who want to pass say “Pass”.
What strong images, symbols, and beautiful verses did you read / hear?
What insights have you come to in preparation, in hearing and reading?
We watch the video together.
We review additional notes if there is time
VIDEO NOTES FOR LESSON TWO: ISAIAH CHAPTERS 5 – 11
What makes a prophet?
- Believers who speak for God to the people to whom they are sent
- Northern prophets include – Amos
- Southern prophets include – Isaiah and Jeremiah
- Grounded in faith. Therefore a “seer”
- A word of wisdom based on the prophet’s knowledge of God’s ways and how the people’s lives are in conflict with those ways.
- “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable”
- A human / sinner
- A member of a community of believers, stands apart in order to speak a clear word
In these chapters – King Ahaz and Judah are in crisis. The king will not listen. 735-715BC
Looming on the horizon, as punishment, as reaping what they have sown, (actions have consequences) – Assyria and invasion.
Chapter 7 has as its background the Syro-Ephraimite war in which the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim) tries to force Judah’s hand into joining an alliance against the Assyrians (Tiglath Pileser III). Ahaz instead seeks an alliance with Assyria. Isaiah goes to him and wants him instead to trust in the LORD, ask for a sign.
Isaiah 7:14 “The young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.” (SHE – God is with us, the KING – doesn’t trust) She = Ahaz’s wife?
It is the LORD he should fear!
- Isaiah = “the LORD saves”
- Maher-shalal-hash-baz = “quick spoils, speedy plunder”
- Shear-jashub = “a remnant will return”
The future king that Isaiah prophecies about in chapter 9 – whoever he had in mind (if anyone in particular) will be nothing like Ahaz His son Hezekiah? Better but fell short.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR LESSON TWO
Where one divides things up (once one begins to divide things up, perhaps not advised?) is always open to other interpretations and possibilities. Have already reviewed First Isaiah (1-39), Second Isaiah (40-55); Third Isaiah (56-66). Williamson (p. 324) writes a commentary on Isaiah 1-5 and argues that 5:1 begins a new section. (so 1:1, 5:1, and 6:1 all signal new sections)
Williamson p. 329:
“Given the lack of evidence that vineyard imagery had ever been applies to Israel before Isaiah’s time and the equal lack of any evidence, despite the contrary assertion of most scholars, that vineyard imagery was used of women in Israel or the ancient Near East at this time, I see no reason why the audience should have had any clues towards the application of what at face value is a bizarre notion. The vineyard is clearly being personified in some sense, and the owner might be thought to be acting unreasonably in some respects; most husbandmen would try to solve the problem of the production of diseased grapes before moving to destroy the whole vineyard.”
Hoppe p. 23: “The owner will not tear up the vines and destroy them as one would expect but will rather remove his care and protection from the vineyard. … The prophet implies that divine judgment on Jerusalem is the absence of God’s sustaining presence, leaving the city prey to those who will take advantage of its weakness.”
Implications of this being a “song”? We gloss over in translation a great deal of pronoun confusion at the very beginning of the song.
McKinion p. 39 quotes Augustine: “So let me warn you, holy seedlings, let me warn you, fresh plants in the field of the Lord, not to have it said of you what was said of the vineyard of the house of Israel: ‘I expected it to produce grapes, but it produced thorns.’ Let the Lord find good bunches of grapes on you, seeing that he was himself a bunch of grapes trodden in the winepress for you. Produce grapes, live good lives.” Sermon 376A.2
Hoppe p. 27: “In postbiblical Jewish tradition and in medieval Christian tradition, the seraphim form a class of angels. While Isaiah 6 presents the seraphim as winged creatures of the heavenly king, it envisions the seraphim as serpents – not angels. During the time of Isaiah, a bronze serpent was still part of the temple’s liturgical accouterments.” (text with Moses talks of a “seraph serpent”)
McKinion p. 49 quotes Ambrose: the angels sing Holy, holy, holy – to emphasize that God is one but also the trinity.
TANAK p. 964 footnote: “When a tree loses its leaves it gives the appearance of being completely dead, but the truth is that in the spring its leaves sprout once again. So too the Land of Israel, although it appears to have been completely emptied of its inhabitants, will once again be populated by the ‘holy seed’ – the righteous of Israel.”
Hoppe p. 30, on Syro-Ephraim war: “The king did not want to be dragged into any military action against Assyria, so he sought Assyria’s help in maintaining Judah’s independence of action. The prophet recognized that while Ahaz’s overtures to Assyria would solve the immediate crisis, their long-term effects would be the opposite of the king’s goal of keeping Judah independent. Isaiah advised Ahaz to ignore the threats made against him by the coalition aligned against Assyria since that coalition was certain to fail.” Isaiah turned out to be right, Ahaz wrong.
Hoppe p. 31: “While the identity of the child is not clear, the significance of the sign is. The prophet advises the king to bide his time and the crisis will pass. He urges Ahaz to regard the birth of the child as a sign of God’s presence that will protect Judah from external threats.”
TANAK p. 965 footnote: “Either Isaiah’s (Rashi) or Ahaz’ (Rakak) young wife will bear a son and, through prophetic inspiration, will give him the name Immanuel, which means “God is with us” thus in effect prophesying that Judah will be saved from the threat of Rezin and Pekah.” Although the land is now undergoing hardship, this child at an early age will eat fine delicacies.
The righteous king is Ahaz’ son Hezekiah.
Hoppe p. 33,34 : “The prophet’s ode to Israel’s future continues as he describes the enthronement of the king who rule over the Israel created by God’s new act of grace. This future king will do what Ahaz could not: he will trust in the fidelity and power of the Lord. This king will not need advisors because his faith will guide him wondrously. … His kingdom will be sustained by justice.”
Hoppe p. 35: Four particular charges brought against Israel:
- Arrogance of the wealthy
- Without competent leadership the society has grown corrupt
- The social and economic systems set people against one another
- The economic system steals from the weakest
Hoppe p. 38: “The prophet saw the hand of God in the expansionist policies of the Assyrian Empire. … The Israelite people came into existence by rejecting the religious systems of the nations in order to serve a God who took the side of slaves over their masters.”
Hoppe p. 39: “Most of the occurrences of remnant language in Isaiah reflect political usage in which remnant describes what remained of a people who managed to survive a military campaign that aimed at their total destruction.”
An idealized vision of the future – post judgment and post return.
FOR NEXT WEEK
- Read and pray over the biblical text – Isaiah chapters 12 – 19.
- Read the commentary on the text – pages 42-58
- Ponder the questions in your workbook pages 16-20. Which one stimulate prayer or though or action in you????