Monday, March 28, 2011

Isaiah 46-50

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

46:3 - "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb."

47:1-9 - "Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon! Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter Chaldea! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal, remove your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one, Our Redeemer - the Lord of hosts is his name - is the Holy One of Israel.

"Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter Chaldea! For you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms. I was angry with my people, I profaned my heritage; I gave them into your hand, you showed them no mercy; on the aged you make your yoke exceedingly heavy. You said, 'I shall be mistress forever,' so that you did not lay these things to heart or remember their end.

"Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children' - both these things shall come upon you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments."

Isaiah 48 - No mention of any women.

49:1 - "Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you people from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother's womb he named me."
49:15 - "Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you."
49:18 - "Lift up your eyes all around and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live, says the Lord, you shall put all of them on like an ornament, and like a bride you shall bind them on."
49:22-23 - "Thus says the Lord God: I will soon lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust off your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame."

50:1 - "Thus says the Lord: Where is your mother's bill of divorce with which I put her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? No, because of your sins you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was put away."

My Comments

Okay, I'm kinda coming back from a long weekend of trying to rest and reset my brain, so please chime in if it looks like I've missed anything important here. I'll probably reread it later Monday night and look to see if there's anything I might have missed as well.

God seems to be pretty angry at Babylon and Chaldea. They shall be forced off their place of privilege and forced to labor. They shall not be respected as women but treated as men are, not delicate or tender. They shall be uncovered and stripped of their feminine clothes, and naked they shall be seen by all. God will take vengeance for he is the Lord. God gave his people to Chaldea and put them into her hands. And she abused God's people, showing them no mercy. For this God commands Chaldea go into darkness and silence, not to be remembered or seen as a "mistress."

Does this strike anyone as odd since it is even stated in these very verses that it was God who delivered his people in the hands of Chaldea? What did he expect the conquerors to do to those they conquered? Hell, God didn't let his people who much mercy to those he told them to conquer, so why the hell would he expect another tribe/city to do any different? At least the Chaldeans didn't seem to slaughter all of God's people en mass, a mercy God rarely bestowed upon the poor people he commanded the Israelites to take over. I guess God is punishing Chaldea for doing exactly as he does, because only he is allowed to be the supreme asshole god in the land. It's different when God does it because he writes his own moral code which he never follows himself. Basically it's a "Do as I say and not as I do" moral code.

And the greatest suffering shall befall those who sit in pleasure (and presumably not in constant fear)! They shall be like women who have lost their children and husband! Because, again, a woman is nothing without a man to own her and children to take care of.

"Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you people from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother's womb he named me. Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you." God is better than your mother, so screw her and care only about him. A concept which he will repeat, since Jesus was said to command his disciples to leave their wives, children, and entire family behind so that they may follow him and learn from him. God is the bestest parent ever, don't you know? And notice how it doesn't mention the flesh and blood father here. Does this imply that, like the holy father, a mortal father won't forget or cast out his children as quickly as a mortal mother? Or is this here to emphasize God's capacity for compassion and love, since of course a mother wouldn't forget about or cast away the child whom she nursed and raised? Is it a compliment/insult, where he praises mothers for being better than fathers but then right after that bashes mothers for not being as awesome as he is?

I guess it could go either way.

And that last verse is weird to me. Was it common for the mothers to be involved in a child's punishment? Or is God just amazingly special because he seems to think it's okay to punish the mother the transgressions of the son? I mean, the Bible has mentioned children paying for the sins of the father (a concept which I also think is incredibly flawed) but this is the first I've seen a mother paying for the sins of a son. Just... kinda weird and out of the blue. I do feel an important part to this verse is, "Where is your mother's bill of divorce with which I put her away?" but I am not exactly sure what this is supposed to mean, or what exactly it has to do with the transgressions of her son and her being punished for them.


Wednesday: Isaiah 51-55


  1. I understood Isaiah 47 to say that Babylon and Chaldea shall no more be regal, but shall be common and low. They will grind meal and no longer wear fancy robes. Their shame will be revealed. I didn't see anywhere that they wouldn't be treated as women though. And, yes, the Great Lord Butthead is going to punish Babylon and Chaldea for not showing the mercy that God himself refused to show his own people.

    For Isaiah 49, I think God is saying that as rare as it is for a woman to have no compassion for her own children, even if women did forget their own children, that He would not forget His chosen people. So he's more loving than your mother, even though he admitted He was angry with His people and profaned His heritage only two chapters before.

    For Isaiah 50, God is saying "Hey, it wasn't me that put your mom away and sold you off. You did that all on your own." The people got taken captive in the natural order of things where sins get punished by cause and effect. It seems to me that God is saying that there was no special intervention from Him to make that happen. And because the people were taken away, who was gonna support mom? So mom gets put away. When God came back, who was there to answer? Not those damned sinners, apparently. Moral of the story: The Lord will help those who keep their trust in Him; everybody else goes into slavery for the punishment of their sins.

  2. Women were expected to be treated as if they were delicate flowers, so if you take that away you will not be treating them as proper women should be treated. Not saying women were actually treated with cation and care, but it's implied that good, pure, Godly women would be treated as such because they were so chaste. Perhaps, instead of saying they'd be treated like men, I should have said they wouldn't be treated as goodly women but treated as a woman who does not obey the rules applied to her by God?

    Your take on Isaiah 50 makes sense. Or at least more sense than anything I could come up with. :)


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