ECT Ignorant of Isaiah past 60?


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There is really not much different about Isaiah past ch 60. Most of the same themes that have been running are still there.

Looking at a reference book on NT quotes of 60-66, there are some 45 selections used.

The question, once one knows the NT, is whether the happy news of restoration was actually meant to be that confined and detailed. In Judaism, there is no doubt that passages like this were taken to be confined to their temple and the land. But not in the NT. Some of the most striking are used to validate the Christian mission. The arm of the Lord accomplishes the righteousness of God just as in other places in Isaiah, and goes out to bless all the nations.

My MAD friends tell me that the letter to Hebrews is the material that is just for Jewish Christians at that time. Yet it is exactly the letter to Hebrews which does not take Is 60-66 (or any other vision of the new messianic age) as confined to that temple and land. So that sinks. I don't know of any theme in Is 60-66 that is not already defined in Hebrews 10.

The expression NHNE of course is used by Peter in a non-symbolic passage, 2 Pet 3. It is not Judaic. It is not this earth as we know it, not if the 'melting of the elements' are to be compared with 'the deluge of Noah' in an ordinary sense. I think even physical reality will be altered. So much for the land or earth forever.

It may help to see what has happened in Judaism about one phrase (or type of phrase) from Is 60+ in particular. 60:18. There are actually places in brick and mortar that have been named this way. But that is not the idea of the passage. Praise and salvation are how the new and living temple is shaped and defined. They was not going to be one single stretch of blocks in Jerusalem that contained that. Indeed, 'righteousness and praise' shoot forth among all the nations in the new scheme. The living temple (Christ) is everywhere.

61's first paragraph is simple enough. The Gospel arrives, but also a moment of divine retribution. That's the DofJ. The passage (60-66) makes the distinction many times between those who are unbelievers in the land and 'my servants' who enjoy the benefits of the grace and Gospel of God, 65:13+.

Now for some of the complications due to Israel's history. We are told that Jerusalem is already desolate. 64:10. This is obviously as found in the 7th century BC. But also that the whole thing is thriving again due to the Servant and the arm of the Lord. That is the Christian mission, because it involves the nations, and the righteousness of God, and God is 'found by those who did not seek me' (65:1) which is defined by a NT quote.

The passage overall does not end happily for everyone, for unbelievers. I don't mean just at the end of 66; I mean all through. That's because the vision is trying to account for both the most unparalleled devastation of Jerusalem in history and the happy vision that continues on in the Christian mission, completely described by Heb 10-12 as a city, mountain, cloud of God. Not easy to balance out, but that is what it's about. It became clear in NT history and in the Rev. The harlot is stoned but the wife is married after she's out of the way.