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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Looking at Isaiah

I'm just thinking out blog on this, but here is how I restructured the Isaiah passage for this Sunday:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, (A)
because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. (A)
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, (B)
to proclaim freedom for the captives (B)
and release from darkness for the prisoners, (B)
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor (C)
and the day of vengeance of our God, (C)

to comfort all who mourn, (D)
and provide for those who grieve in Zion (D)—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, (E)
the oil of gladness instead of mourning, (E)
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (E)
They will be called oaks of righteousness, (F)
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (F)

They will rebuild the ancient ruins (G)
and restore the places long devastated; (G)
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (G)
. . .
"For I, the LORD, love justice; (H)
I hate robbery and iniquity. (H)
In my faithfulness I will reward them (I)
and make an everlasting covenant with them. (I)

Their descendants will be known among the nations (J)
and their offspring among the peoples. (J)
All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed." (J)

I delight greatly in the LORD; (K)
my soul rejoices in my God. (K)
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation (L)
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, (L)
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, (M)
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (M)

For as the soil makes the sprout come up (N)
and a garden causes seeds to grow, (N)
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (N)
I've read that Hebrew verse often repeats entire thoughts, like here with "rebuild the ancient ruins and resotr the places long devestated." Ancient ruins are places that have been long devestated. So, I broke this up to identify such repeated thoughts. The first set of 2-3-2 is about those oppressed by society, the poor, the captive, the prisoners. They get vengeance. The next set of 2-3-2 is for mourners. They get to be seen in splendor. Then comes a triplet, where the last is longer than the first two about restoring cities.

Then we get a 2-2-3 about how much God loves just and hate injustice an is building a new nation. Then we get a 2-2-2-3 about how Isaiah loves God and how God is building a new nation.

Summary: Good news for the outcast and those who mourn, God is helping them out. Good news for the nation, God is helping it out.

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