Isaiah 59 – Part 1

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Dividing Isaiah (Everyone has an opinion!)

Sometimes we can be unaware of the fierce debates happening in the academic world! This can be a good and a bad thing. I remember how shocking it was to discover that there is no consensus concerning who wrote Isaiah or how to divide it. So let me introduce you to some of these arguments so you’re prepared. Many commentaries will refer to chapters 56-66 as Trito-Isaiah.[1] Interestingly, the third part of Isaiah has not received the same scholarly attention as chapters 40-55, which have been perceived to be the ‘pinnacle’ of Isaiah’s theology (Christians also love the middle of Isaiah which contains those beautiful servant songs which Jesus fulfills). [2]  It is easy to ignore the difficult and obscure parts of the Bible! Yet in recent years as scholars have studied the whole of Isaiah they have rediscovered the unity between the three sections and now appreciate how the final section brings the previous two sections together.[3]  Goldingay creatively calls the voice in Isaiah 56-66 the ‘preacher, a bringer of good news’.[4]

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Isaiah 59 – Part 2

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Picturing God

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2

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Isaiah 59 – Part 3

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Hatching Sin

They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. Isaiah 69:5-6

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Isaiah 59 – Part 4

We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.

Confession

If you’ve traveled with me through all this sin it is almost a relief to come to this new section! It commences with the point of view switching to the people. Collectively they speak in the first person plural (‘we/us’):

So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Isaiah 59:9

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