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Question: Does Isaiah 51-52:5 describe Israel's return from Babylon, or the General Resurrection?  (Voting closed: October 11, 2012, 02:47:25 PM)
It describes Israel's 6th century BC return from Babylonian Captivity - 0 (0%)
It describes the General Resurrection and the Future Messianic Age - 0 (0%)
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rakovsky
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« on: November 11, 2010, 02:47:25 PM »

Isaiah 52:6-53: The Song of Christ's Victory

Isaiah 52-53 is considered a pivotal prophecy of a Messianic age when Christ will share "a portion with the great" and "divide the spoil with the strong." But:



Does Isaiah 51-52:5 leading up to it refer to the future Messianic Age of the General Resurrection?


2 Chronicles 36:23(KJV) describes the Persian king Cyrus (6th century BC) freeing the Israelites from Babylonian captivity and building God's house in Jerusalem:
Quote
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up.


Isaiah 44:28 - 45:6 (KJV) says:
Quote
28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; to open before him the two leaved gates;

3 And I will give thee[singular] the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places

8 let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together

So God is ordering in the 6th century BC let the skies pour righteousness and bring salvation, and let righteousness spring up. Likewise, the Israelites' return was seen as a righteous salvation from captivity.


Chapter 45 becomes more confusing about whom it refers, when it next discusses a separate prophecy:

Quote
11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel: [You (plural)] Ask me of things to come concerning my sons

12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

13 I have raised him [man?] up in righteousness, and I will direct all his [man's?] ways: he [man?] shall build my city, and he [man?] shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.


So in the 6th century, God says that he has already raised up a man who will let the captives go without price or reward.


Then, Isaiah 51:1-16 prophecies a time that sounds like the Israelites' return (purple) and the future Messianic Age(blue):

Quote
3 the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden

4 a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

5 My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

6 the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake,

11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head:

14 The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.

16 I have put my words in thy mouth, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.


Isaiah 51:16-52:5 says:

Quote
16 I have put my words in thy mouth, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.

18 There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.

19 These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?

20 Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.

21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:

22 Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:

23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.

4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.

5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought?
they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.


The passage seems to talk about the Israelites' return, because it speaks in the present sense, telling Israel to awake in the present tense. It also describes Israel as destroyed and dead, and its citizens as dead, which sounds like the Babylonian captivity after Jerusalem's destruction. This shows a problem with relating the passage to the Messianic Age: it would mean that Jerusalem will be destroyed again before the Messianic Age comes, and I don't want to make that a prophecy set in stone. As in the passage, at the time of the Israelites' return, Jerusalem's enemies were destroyed and Jerusalem awoke and was rebuilt.

Plus, the words about Jerusalem being redeemed for nought sounds like mankind or Cyrus in Isaiah 45:13 releasing Israel's captives without money.

Further, Isaiah 52 says that Egypt and Assyria oppressed the Israelites, and "Now" (meaning during the 6th century Babylonian captivity) the Israelites are taken away for nought.

On the other hand, the passage also seems to talk about the General Resurrection and the Messianic Age, because it describes Jerusalem's sons as sleeping and tells Jerusalem to awake, besides other extreme events, like non-Jews never coming to Jerusalem, and saying that the prophecy will result in planting the earth's foundations and the heavens.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 02:49:00 PM by rakovsky » Logged
Fabio Leite
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 02:55:43 PM »

Both. Prophecy many times occur by identifying a certain pattern that manifests itself in different levels of reality. So, the escathological reality of "return" manifests itself in the People of God as returning from Babylon on the social historical level, and as resurrection in the general level.
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 03:09:43 PM »

Both. Prophecy many times occur by identifying a certain pattern that manifests itself in different levels of reality. So, the escathological reality of "return" manifests itself in the People of God as returning from Babylon on the social historical level, and as resurrection in the general level.

Fabio,

Thanks for your reply. In Acts, St Peter looked at Psalm 16 and he said, to paraphrase:
Look, guys, Psalm 16 was written by David, and he says that his body won't decay.
But David's body DID decay- we have his tomb and you can take a look at it.
So David wasn't REALLY talking about himself- he was REALLY talking about the Messiah.


This makes sense because Isaiah 55:3-4 calls the Messiah "David."

Can we make a similar explanation to show that Isaiah 51-52:5 is really about the Messianic Age, and find a similar quote, like Isaiah 55:3-4 for Psalm 16, to explain it?


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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 03:19:58 PM »

Implications for Isaiah 53's prophecy of Christ

  •    Leading up to the Servant story, Isaiah 51:19-20,23(JPT) describes Jerusalem's people as slaughtered and the city like the earth: "These two things have befallen you; who will lament for you? Plunder and destruction, and famine and sword. [With] whom will I console you? Your sons have fainted, they lie at the entrance of all streets like a wild ox in a net, full of the wrath of the Lord, the rebuke of your God... and you made your body like the earth and like the street." For God, Jerusalem's sons are only sleeping.   Then Isaiah 52:1-2(JPT) begins: "Awaken, awaken, put on your strength, O Zion... Shake yourselves from the dust, arise, sit down, O Jerusalem." God says that he is upset about Egypt and Assyria's oppression, and indicates His distress "now" over another oppression (52:4-5).

   Then in Isaiah 52:6, God speaks of a future "That Day," which in Isaiah 11:10-11 and Zechariah 12 refers to the Messianic Age, and promises: "Therefore, My people shall know My name; therefore, on that day, for I am He Who speaks, here I am." (52:6).

Next, Isaiah 52:8 says:

"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion."


But then, in Isaiah 52:9-11, Isaiah goes back to using commands in the present tense:

Quote
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

 10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations;

 11Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.


So if we say that Isaiah 51 is about the Israelites' then-present-day escape from the Babylonian captivity, then either:

A) Isaiah makes an apocalyptic prophecy in Isaiah 52:6-8, and the watchmen sing verses 9-11, which is a command to sing another song about the Messiah (Isaiah 53)

or

B) Isaiah makes an apocalyptic prophecy in Isaiah 52:9-11, and then goes back to talking in the present day (6th century BC), and tells the exiles to sing a song about a Messiah who has already died. But that doesn't make sense, because in That Day, God is the one who speaks like in Isaiah 53, so I am going with (A).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 03:20:53 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 04:49:32 PM »

Rabbinical texts have always seen these as prophecies of the Son of David.
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