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 SIX: ISAIAH CHAPTERS 33 THROUGH 39
“The enormous abyss between God’s sovereign holiness and human sinfulness overwhelmed” Isaiah. NABRE footnote
seems to stand alone, could have been covered in lesson 5 just as easily. Threat / oracle / lament
OT Writing Structures:
- God is supreme, Jerusalem all important to the future of God’s people.
- Those who trust in someone or something other than God suffer horrible consequences.
- Those who are loyal and trusting, god gives the perfect gifts of salvation, wisdom, and peace.
LORD, be gracious to us; for you we wait.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of trouble!
Chapters 34, 35
A unit written during Babylonian exile
Statement of Judgment = ‘riv’ in Hebrew / ‘indictment’ Against Edom
Isaiah 34:8 is central:
For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
a year of requital for the cause of Zion.
- Yearning of the Jews for an end to exile
- God’s sovereign nature cannot be mocked
- The world IS just
Result: “a great rhetorical effort to recover equity in a situation too long skewed.” Walter Bruggemann.
God is about to begin things all over again, the exile in Babylon will end.
Say to the fearful of heart:
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God, he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense he comes to save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall see, and the ears of the deaf be opened;
Then the lame shall leap like a stag,
and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the Arabah.
No matter what is happening in our lives: God can restore things to their rightful order.
Seitz – these chapters are relentlessly theological
The biblical writer has a ‘theology’ he wants to get across. The details of the actual event are less important than this theological slant. TRUE IN ALL THE BIBLE, INCLUDING GOSPELS goal / passion – hope to persuade the reader
With the help of these (biblical) scholars, we are able to see how God was present in historical events in light of the most accurate understanding of our Judeo-Christian heritage.
Hezekiah conflict with the Assyrian king Sennacherib (written 100 or so years later, from exile in Babylon)
Isaiah’s conviction: The God of the Hebrews, the Holy One, is in control of every outcome and is entirely set apart, sacred and always supreme.
In the end, the world is not in the hands of any oppressive power. It is in the hands of the god who makes ‘a way out of no way.’ Walter Bruggemann
Hezekiah’s father – Ahaz The bad king (Ahaz) fathers a good king (Hezekiah)
Hezekiah is a model of good prayer. Praise, lament, trust, makes a request
Therefore, LORD, our God,
save us from this man’s power,
That all the kingdoms of the earth may know
that you alone, LORD, are God.”
Hezekiah’s Prayer can teach us:
- Passion and honesty in prayer are good, complaining is okay.
- Pray immediately, don’t wait
- Simplicity and plain speech are good
- Surrender to God’s will is good.
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me empty,
but shall do what pleases me,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR LESSON SIX
The threat, which is not identified, is probably Assyria.
Tucker p. 266: “In many respects, this chapter is a summary of the message of Isaiah 1-39 as a whole, although not necessarily all of its individual parts. Although less specific and concrete than much of the rest of Isaiah 1-39, the chapter includes most of the important themes: the expectation of a just and righteous ruler, critical words against a particular group, expectation of disaster ahead, and then a future time when all will be well for the world and the people of God.”
Chapters 34 and 35
Hoppe p. 91: “The prophet promises the territory of Edom will become a region without human habitation. Its land will be a haunt for wild creatures once again. Edom will sink into chaos and will be little more than a bad memory for Judah. Its destruction will be as complete as that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Nothing can save Edom from its judgment.”
Seitz A p. 238: Edom is simply the representation of any nation that would oppose the will of God.
As Edom will be laid to waste, Zion / Jerusalem will flower and grow.
Hoppe p. 95: “The third section of the book of Isaiah closes with a prose account of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem that took place during the reign of Hezekiah (715-698BC). The account is taken from 2 Kings 18:13 – 20:19 with some notable differences.” What is left out is that Hezekiah submitted and paid the demanded tribute to Assyria – left out because it conflicts with Isaiah’s advice.
Seitz A p. 244, 245
- 36:1-3 Situation: Only Jerusalem is left in Judah
- 36:4-10 Rabshakeh’s Speech: A question of trust. Trust “thus says the LORD” from Isaiah or trust “thus says the great king (of Assyria)” of Rabshakeh?
- 36:11,12 Dramatic interlude: request denied
- 36:13-20 Rabshakeh’s Speech: Hezekiah is a deceiver
- 36:21-22 Delegation Response: Not a word
- 37:1-4 Royal response and request: Let God answer
- 37:5-7 Prophetic Response: return and death
- 37:8-13 Assyrian Speech: God and king are useless
- 37:14-20 Royal Appeal: Thou art God alone
- 37:21-29 Prophetic Response: the Divine plan will be fulfilled
- 37:30-35 Continuation: Sign and promise
- 37:36-38 Conclusion: Death in camp and temple
Seitz A p. 257: “Chapter 38 presents a king sick from head to foot, at the point of death (v.1), consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of his days (v.10). His fate is likened to that of the city itself (v.6). He has heard the prophetic pronouncement to put his house in order, “for you shall die; you shall not recover” (v. 1). All appears to be lost. What can the king do? The word of the prophet has gone forth, and it is a word of death, not life.”
But he prays
Story parallels that of 2 Kings 20:1-11
Babylon appears after Assyria has dominated Isaiah to this point.
Emissaries come and are shown the palace by the king – most commentators believe that the idea was “take a look, see for yourselves, we have very little left since Assyria took it all” (therefore we are not worth invading). The other possibilities include: the emissaries were there (in 705 or so) to encourage Judah to rebel against Assyria (which would be to Babylon’s benefit). Then the king showing treasury could have been for one of two reasons: either again to plead poverty OR to boast that “I could if I wanted to”.
FOR NEXT WEEK
- Read Isaiah 40 – 43:8 as one unit at one time if possible.
- Read the commentary on these chapters: pages 103 to 115
- Read the workbook pages 32-37. Which questions are most interesting for you?