The Cartoon Old Testament Online Book - Part 3
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Is it Reigning Out?
But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish.
In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make
glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee
of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen
a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-- on
them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have
increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the
harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4 For the yoke
of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of
their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Isaiah is probably referring to king Hezekiah whom he hopes
will reunite Israel and Judah again. It doesn't quite work out
as planned thanks to Assyria (and obviously Israel wasn't too
interested in uniting with Judah at the time anyway). Isaiah envisions
a united Israel with a king in the lineage of David. When Israel
split from Judah, the 10 northern tribes' kings were not davidic,
while Judah maintained the davidic line. This was often used by
Judah as part of its claim to legitimacy over Israel. This is
later used in Christianity as part of the argument to legitimize
messianic kingship and partly why Isaiah is often quoted or referenced
in the New Testament (and represents about 20% of the Old Testament
lectionary passages). At any rate, it is here a mixed message
of hope and warning ... hope for a united kingdom at some point
in the future, but a warning that not following God leads to the
same fate as Israel's (aka destruction).
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