My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Thursday, October 05, 2006

Isaiah 9

A light in the darkness

Summary:
But the gloom will leave, and Galilee will be honoured. There is a new light - an enlarged nation - and the bondage is broken, and war is over. Because there is a child born, who will be our God and ruler. He will rule forever.

Israel is arrogant, and thinks it can rebuild more lavishly. God hasn't finished with his anger though! Israel hasn't sought God, so God is chopping Israel down from top to bottom.

Wickedness is like an out-of-control bushfire. God's hand is still against them.

Key verse:
6. For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

My thoughts:
Isaiah is sometimes called 'the fifth Gospel' and its not hard to see why! Take some of these passages, and add some of the suffering servant around Isaiah 53, and you have the basics of the Gospel!

Galilee was such an insignificant region, that it is amazing that it was mentioned here at all. But it is, and the honour given to Galilee is connected with a child born, who will be called 'Mighty God' and 'Prince of Peace'. These clearly aren't simpy theophoric proper names, but appear to be attributes assigned to the child.

The Jehovah's Witnesses make a big deal about how Jesus is called 'Mighty God' here, but only Yahweh (Jehovah lol) is called 'Almighty God'. Despite common belief they actually view Jesus as divine, but only as 'a god', not God himself. Weird huh? It's actually funny that when you demote Jesus belong full divinity, but still hold him above anything else (which the Bible clearly does), you actually end up with a more polytheistic point of view, because you now have a demi-god! Normally people wishing to demote Jesus are trying to maintain monotheism, but they are, in fact, doing the opposite!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Deane said...

Pete
Galilee was such an insignificant region, that it is amazing that it was mentioned here at all.


"Amazing"? Not at all.

Galilee, and the rest of the lands of Naphtali are historically very significant at this point in time, and in the context of Isaiah chapters 7 to 9. This is the exact area first captured by Tiglath-pileser (who I was talking about in respect of chapter 7 of Isaiah).

You will remember that King Ahaz of Judah sided with Tiglath-pileser of Assyria intead of Israel and Aram:

"Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, "I am your servant and your son. Come up, and rescue me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me."
- 2 Kings 16.7

Well, that King Tiglath-pileser took Naphtali's land. And the description of the land that he took deems Galilee important enough to be worth a mention:

"In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried the people captive to Assyria."
- 2 Kings 15.29

9:19 pm

 
Blogger Pete W said...

Hmmm... I'm still not that convinced.

Of course Galilee was well-known enough to be mentioned, but it still was just a province amongst many. It wasn't a capital or anything.

The prophecy of it's coming glory isn't at all self-evident in Isaiah's context, and I still think it's amazing that this prophecy is here.

11:38 pm

 
Anonymous Deane said...

Pete:
Of course Galilee was well-known enough to be mentioned, but it still was just a province amongst many.


2 Kings 15.29 refers to the first part of the Northern Kingdom that was taken by Tiglath-Pileser. It refers to two regions, (1) Gilead, and (2) Galilee/Naphtali. This provides specific information that the area taken was well-known by these two terms. Such specific information is preferred to any generalisation about Galilee being "just a province among many". To the contrary, it was a description of a well-known piece of Northern territory that suffered from the initial invasion of Assyria

3:36 pm

 
Blogger Dave said...

Monotheist!

Monotheist!

Monotheist!

Mono! (d'oh!)

9:04 am

 
Blogger Pete W said...

I'll mono your theist...

11:16 am

 

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