The Kings of Babylon Nebuchadrezzar 604-562 Amel Marduk (Evil-Merodach [2 Kgs 25:27]) 562-560 Neriglissar 560-556 Labashi Marduk 556 (one month rule) Nabonidus 556-39 (Belshazzar, [Daniel 5] was his regent)—he reigned while Second Isaiah prophesied though there is no reference to him by this prophet
The Basis for a Second Isaiah (40-55) Historical Background – First Isaiah: 8c; Kings: Uzziah; Ahaz; Hezekiah; Enemy: Assyria (Sargon and Sennacherib) – Second Isaiah: 6c; Cyrus the Persian already known (550-530); but before the fall of Babylon in 539; Jerusalem already destroyed: (44:26-28 cities of Judah will be rebuilt, I will raise their ruins; 51:3 ; 52:9 “ruins of Jerusalem”)
The Basis for a Second Isaiah (2) Language, style, form First Isaiah: terse and compact; grave and restrained; lawsuit/oracles of judgment against Israel Second Isaiah: warm and impassioned; lyric; oracles of salvation; disputations; lawsuits against the gods
The Basis for a Second Isaiah (3) Theological Themes First Isaiah: promised messiah; inviolability of Zion; a remnant shall return Second Isaiah: servant; God as creator and redeemer; new Exodus; denial of existence of other gods; use of myth; remnant = exiles; messiah = Cyrus
The Call of the Prophet (40:1-11) Give comfort: plural imperative. Who are the addressees? Meaning of “comfort” 51:3 The Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places 52:9 The Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem Jerusalem already punished twice as much as deserved (40:2)
A Voice Crying, In the wilderness…. Who is the voice and whom is it addressing? An “interstate” from Babylon to Jerusalem, or is it a processional way? Glory of Yahweh revealed (cf. Isaiah 6) Universal extent of the promise Basis of the promise: the word of our God will stand forever
What’s transitory? What’s everlasting? Transitory: All humanity and its loyalty Everlasting: The word of Yahweh An inclusio on the “word of Yahweh”: Isa 55:10-13 All creation joins in doxology and a standing ovation for Yahweh
The return of the divine warrior 40:9-11 Zion’s role as herald to the cities of Judah (vs. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion) Warrior returns with booty ([his arm rules] v. 10) the tender shepherd he tends his flock with his arm he gathers the young in his bosom he carries them gently leads the nursing ewes
Creation and Mythology 51:9-11 A hymn to the arm of Yahweh the warrior (wake up, “arm” of Yahweh) Defeater of Rahab and the dragon Dried up the sea…a way for the redeemed to cross over [the sea] Procession of the redeemed to Zion Joy; end of sadness
A Series of Disputations 40:12-31 v. 12 Who measured waters in hollow of hand? v. 14 Whom did the LORD consult for enlightenment? v. 15 Nations are a drop from a bucket v. 19 Idols cannot even move! v. 23 God brings princes to naught vv. 25-27 Yahweh is incomparable; but my way is hidden from the LORD. So?
Climax of the disputation in 40:28-31 Lord is everlasting God; creator of ends of the earth gives power to the faint; strengthens the powerless Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.
Another Disputation: 44:24-45:13 24-28 hymnic disputation God’s credentials Promises to: Jerusalem--it shall be inhabited; cities of Judah--they shall be rebuilt; Cyrus--He is my shepherd; temple--it shall be rebuilt
Marduk chose Cyrus and he defeated Nabonidus. Cyrus accuses Nabonidus of neglecting the gods and oppressing the people. Cyrusbar.jpg
Oracle of Cyrus’ Election (45:1-7) Cyrus as Yahweh’s anointed; Who has roused a victor from the east 41:2? So that you (Cyrus) may know that I am Yahweh v. 3 Marduk looked through all the countries, searching for a righteous leader. Then he pronounced the name of Cyrus….Marduk was well pleased with my deeds and sent friendly blessings to me, Cyrus, the king who worships Marduk ANET 315-316
Hymn (45:8) and disputation (45:9-13) Hymn in v. 5 features “salvation,” “righteousness,” “create” Alas for the one who contends with the “potter.” Does the clay say, “You forgot the handles!”? Fetus, “What’s going on?” Since I created the whole cosmos all by myself…. Cyrus is my agent of redemption!
A Lawsuit against the nations 41:1-5 Nations as witnesses and deities as defendants Who is it that roused from the east one victorious at every step? = Cyrus against Medes and Lydians Yahweh as prosecutor, arbiter, and judge I, Yahweh, am the first and with the last. John 8:28; Rev 1:17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13
Oracle of Salvation (41:8-13) Address Assurance of salvation Nominal substantiation Verbal substantiation Israel my servant Do not be afraid I am with you…I am your God I will strengthen you, I will help you—the tenses are Perfects
Other oracles of salvation 41:14-16; 43:1-4, 5-7; 44:1-5; 54:4-6 Fear not, you worm Jacob 41:14 Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel v. 14 I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you 43:3 For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you 54:7
Take Home Exam Write an essay of 3-5 pages on one of the following: Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Second Isaiah, or Daniel This essay should show your appreciation for or comprehension of the message of this prophet/book and offer a response to it. The response might consist of a critique of the message or an appropriation of it for ministry and mission today.
A Lawsuit against the gods 41:21-29 The former things and the new things Do good, do harm….just do something! I stirred up one from the north and he has come. (41:25) Who declared it from the beginning 41:26 Is there any god besides me? 44:8
Hymn of Salvation 52:7- 10 How beautiful are the feet of the messenger who announces peace Who brings good news who announces salvation Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” All the ends of the earth will see the “victory” of our God
Second Isaiah and the Priestly Writer—Which way to the future? P looked back to the everlasting covenant with the ancestors and to the possibility of reestablishing an ideal “Mosaic” community Second Isaiah: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? 43:18-19
The Servant Songs in Second Isaiah 42:1-4 (5-7) 49:1-6 (7) 50:4-9 (10-11) 52:13-53:12 Should they be read separately from the rest of the book?
Who is the servant? Duhm: poems added secondarily by someone who had leprosy Mowinckel: Servant = Second Isaiah himself Sellin: 1898 = Zerubbabel; 1901 = Jehoiachin; 1922 = Moses Or does the servant represent Israel? the prophet and Israel?
The “Servant” in Second Isaiah Word servant appears 21 times in 40- 55 19 times singular; 2 times plural (44:26 by emendation = //messengers; 54:17 the vindication of the servants of Yahweh comes from me) 8 times in servant poems; 1x = Israel; 2x = not Israel; 5x = unclear 13 times elsewhere; = 8x explicitly Israel; 3x implicitly Israel; 2 plural
The First Servant Poem 42:1-4 v. 1: servant is agent of “justice” (Yahweh’s sovereignty) to the nations not by shouting nor by force Israel makes clear to the world Yahweh’s sovereignty Israel shows Yahweh’s sovereignty by experiencing deliverance from Babylon
Isaiah 42:5-9 Addressed to servant directly; in vv 1-4 servant was presented to others Yahweh’s credentials as creator Covenant of/for the people (covenant people), light to the nations To open blind eyes and to free from prison
The Second Servant Poem 49:1-6 Servant reports pre-natal call (Samson; Jeremiah; John the Baptist) Servant is Yahweh’s secret weapon Israel in whom I will be glorified! v.3 vv. 5-6 servant has mission to Israel and to the nations in addition to raising up tribes of Jacob Has the prophet become the true Israel? Or does true Israel have a mission to faithless Israel?
The Third Servant Poem 50:4-9 Psalm of confidence by one who has experienced opposition “Prophetic” Israel did not rebel Lord Yahweh helps me; who can put me in the wrong? Trusting in Yahweh and leaning on his God What is the vocation of the one who hears Second Isaiah’s good news?
The Fourth Servant Poem 52:13-53:12 52:13-15 Yahweh is speaker Ultimate vindication of the servant The servant had a bad appearance The nations will be startled at the servant
The Fourth Servant Poem (2) Who is “we” and “us” in 53:1? the nations? The “many”? Servant made a disgusting appearance; people could not stand to look at him 53:4-6 “We” people change their evaluation of the servant He bore our sicknesses, our iniquities, our rebellions Servant’s wounds = healing for us.
The Fourth Servant Poem (3) The servant never said a mumbling word (v. 7) Was the servant killed? Was Second Isaiah executed? Did Israel in exile die a metaphorical death? Servant dies ignominiously Servant’s life = a sin offering; expects coming vindication
The Fourth Servant Poem (4) Through his humiliation the servant makes the “many” righteous He bears their iniquities Yahweh again the speaker Final vindication because he poured himself out unto death he carried the sins of many he prayed for them
Wisdom 2 He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord…Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous person is God’s child, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Vv. 13-18
Wisdom 5 The unrighteous will be amazed at the unexpected salvation of the righteous…these are persons whom we once held in derision…Why have they been numbered among the children of God….So it was we who strayed from the truth, and the light of righteousness did not shine on us. Vv. 2-6
NT echoes If the servant originally is the prophet and/or Israel And if Jesus is the servant Then we--in our good confession--are also called and empowered to be servants