Bridal land

At the end of Isaiah 61, the prophet (or Zion) rejoices because Yahweh “has clothed me with garments of salvation, and has wrapped me in a robe of righteousness.” The clothing is festal, clothing for a wedding, and Zion is both the garlanded bridegroom and the jeweled bride (v. 10). Zion . . . . Continue Reading »

New Creation

The Spirit is upon the Servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 61:1), and where the Spirit is, there is new creation (cf. Genesis 1:2).The mission of the Servant is fittingly described in a complex of seven infinitive clauses (vv. 1-3):A) Yahweh anointed Me1) to proclaim good news to the meekB) (Yahweh) sent Me . . . . . Continue Reading »

Comforting vengeance

The Servant of Yahweh is anointed to proclaim the “acceptable year of Yahweh” and the “day of vengeance of our God” and to comfort the mourners (Isaiah 61:2). These are not opposites. They proclaim the same fact from different angles, and the connection is underscored by a . . . . Continue Reading »

Structure in Isaiah 60:19-20

Isaiah 60:19-20 is a Celtic knot of a text. The obvious structure is a parallelism:\A. No longer sun for lightB. Nor moon for brightnessC. Yahweh will be everlasting lightD. Your God for your beautyA’. Your sun will not set any moreB’. Nor will the moon waneC’. For Yahweh will be . . . . Continue Reading »

Structure in Isaiah 60

Isaiah 60 forms a distinct unit, with a generally chiastic structure:A. Light has come and the glory of Yahweh, vv 1-3B. Caravans of kings will be treasures to Zion, vv 4-9 (including gold and silver, vv 6, 9)C.Foreigners build walls and gates open, v 10-11aD.Kings will serve you, vv 11b-14E. From . . . . Continue Reading »

Gold, Silver, Bronze, Iron

Yahweh promises to upgrade Israel: In place of their bronze, iron, wood, and stones He will give gold, silver, bronze, and iron (Isaiah 60:17). It’s a myth of decline in reverse, with the golden age following rather than preceding the bronze (see Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, & Hope In . . . . Continue Reading »

Royal milk

Using an unusual transsexual image, Isaiah promises that Israel will “suck the milk of nations and suck the breast of kings” (Isaiah 60:16). Gentile kings will take the place of Moses, the “nursing father” of Israel (cf. Numbers 11:12).And not just Moses: Most of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Kings become priests

When Israel’s light shines, kings will flock to Zion to “serve” (sharat) Israel. The word typically describes priestly ministry. In the Pentateuch “stand to serve” is a thumbnail description of priestly ministry (Numbers 16:9; Deuteronomy 10:8; 17:12; 18:5, 7), and . . . . Continue Reading »