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 FIVE: ISAIAH CHAPTERS 28 – 32
Feels like 3 woes for every positive oracle! This unit – woes with sarcasm.
Ephraim another name for northern kingdom of Israel. City of Samaria as its “majestic garland”. Assyria, under Sargon II, “tramples” the northern kingdom and Samaria.
Recurring pattern through the book:
- Is to befall God’s own people and all the nations of the earth.
- In the future Jerusalem will be blessed in unimaginable ways.
- God’s blessing of Jerusalem will spill out to bless all the nations of the earth.
When will the blessings come? Some don’t think through or pause to imagine the pain that people in the book must have endured. For them – God said this would happen and then it did. For people of faith – leaves some to reject the Gospel.
There is no simple answer to theodicy.
The theological attempt to explain how there can be so much suffering in a world created and ordered by a God who is infinite love and goodness while also being all powerful and all knowing.
For Isaiah there was never a question of God’s personal activity in the world. For good and for bad in historical events of the world. Punish here, reward there. Here in Psalm 44, Israel NOT being punished for their sin, proclaims innocence.
In God we have boasted all the day long;
your name we will praise forever.
But now you have rejected and disgraced us;
you do not march out with our armies.
You make us retreat before the foe;
those who hate us plunder us at will.
You hand us over like sheep to be slaughtered,
scatter us among the nations.
You sell your people for nothing;
you make no profit from their sale.
You make us the reproach of our neighbors,
the mockery and scorn of those around us.
You make us a byword among the nations;
the peoples shake their heads at us.
Continuing Psalm 44: 18-24
All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you,
nor been disloyal to your covenant.
Our hearts have not turned back,
nor have our steps strayed from your path.
Yet you have left us crushed,
desolate in a place of jackals;
you have covered us with a shadow of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
stretched out our hands to another god,
Would not God have discovered this,
God who knows the secrets of the heart?
For you we are slain all the day long,
considered only as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Rise up! Do not reject us forever!
Happens nationally, in our own personal lives. “Where was / is God?” We still believe God acts in our lives, walks with us. NOT punishing us however.
Many tragedies in our lives, belief in a providential God. Difficult. Job, Ecclesiastes. Isaiah as well is full of this struggle, tension.
Chapter 29 is good example. Woes in verses 1-6, then big shift in tone. Ariel another name for Jerusalem. We still believe God is involved in our human lives and world. God giving us purposeful direction.
N. T. Wright. Luke 3:7-9
He said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance; and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
And Luke 13:6-9
And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. [So] cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
Both John the Baptist and Jesus saw a day of judgment and trial coming, but not the end of world but the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Judgment from both – but Jesus makes his own presence a sign of God’s love and presence
Same for Isaiah. Both judgment and God’s love are coming.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR LESSON SIX
Hoppe p. 75: “In their drunken state, Israel’s religious leaders babble like infants. The quotation of the advice given by Israel’s inebriated priests (28:10b) is a succession of nonsense syllables in Hebrew, though the NABRE obscures this. Similarly for those who have rejected Isaiah’s indictment of their infidelity, the word of God has become a succession of nonsense syllables. What awaits them is a tragic end. Paul certainly thought of this passage when he was speaking about “the gift of tongues.”’
Tanach p. 999: the JPS translation of verse 10b is “For it is commandment by commandment; commandment by commandment; line by line, line by line; a bit here and a bit there;”
Hoppe p. 77: the parable of the farmer indicates that things must happen at their appointed times and in the appointed way, similarly God will bring punishment on Jerusalem in due time (but for only a period of time, not for forever). Plowing = punishment, but then comes the time for planting and harvesting (renewal).
Hoppe p. 78: the literal meaning of “Ariel” in Hebrew is “lion of God” but why is it used in this context?
Tanach p. 1000: (Rashi) “Ariel is a name for the Temple Altar (see Ezekiel Ch. 43). Here it is used to symbolize the entire city of Jerusalem, saying that Assyria will besiege it (see 2 Kings, Chs. 18, 19), and that the multitudes of slain people will be reminiscent of the Altar, which is surrounded by slaughtered animals.”
A great reversal is coming between those in power (they will lose it) and those with none (joy is coming). Similar to Jesus in the gospels.
Hoppe p. 81: “The prophet believed that by aligning itself with Egypt, Judah was setting itself up for more severe treatment from Assyria than if it simply submitted. The prophet’s strategy in dealing with the Assyrian threat was for Judah to remain passive, making no overt attempts at opposing the unstoppable Assyrian army. He is convinced that the people of Judah will not escape foreign domination because God hs chosen Assyria as the instrument of judgment upon Jerusalem.”
But Israel’s infidelity to God is linked to God’s fidelity to Israel and the covenant. The key for Isaiah is a just social order, not the Temple or its sacrifices.
Eventually God will bring down Assyria.
No power on earth is going to keep God’s plan from moving forward.
God’s protection of Jerusalem means that even if Assyria attacks and punishes – God will ensure that they have a future.
Tanach p. 1006: on Isaiah 32:1-8 “Isaiah describes the noble goals of King Hezekiah and the sort of behavior that made him stand out and which elevated the people of his realm. He established a reign of justice and righteousness, and his kingdom was protected because of it. Justice and fairness were the rule in his days and people had no need to ingratiate themselves with degenerate overlords.”
Hoppe p. 87: wealthy women “They ought to be worried. A most appropriate response would be for them to adopt the attitude of mourners with the hope of engaging God’s sympathy for their plight. Soon the wealthy will be mourning because their lives of extravagance will end. The soil will lose its fecundity and the cities of Judah will be deserted. The land will revert to the state before human habitation transformed it.”
BUT, AFTER DESTRUCTION WILL COME RENEWAL, RESTORATION
FOR NEXT WEEK
- Read Isaiah 33 – 39 as one unit, in one sitting if possible.
- Read the commentary pages 88 – 102
- Read and ponder the questions in the workbook pages 28-31. Which questions provoke some thought, some interest for you?