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Isaiah 40:3-5

A. 3 A voice cries:

B. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

C. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;

C’. the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.

B’. 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,

A’. for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

James 3

From Barnaby : “I have endeavoured to follow the flow of the chapter and in so doing I have not broken up phrases and sections that seem to belong to each other. The bold black phrases seem to me to be the pivotal / emphasised phrases. 

James 3

Overall subject: Brethren, don’t all seek to be teachers, especially in light of the fact that all of us sin (*by inference* especially with our mouths).

Subsection 1: If we are able therefore to bridle our tongues we are able to bridle our whole body. (*by inference our behaviour*) Behold how GREAT a matter a little fire kindleth!

Subsection 2: Beasts of the earth are easier to tame than the tongue. With the same mouth we are likely to bless God and yet curse our fellow man whom God hath created – my brethren, these things ought not to be so!

Subsection 3: Those who have become wise by the wisdom from above will be evident by the way they live (*by inference* more than by the hypocritical things that they might say with their mouths as teachers). God’s wisdom is in stark contrast to man’s wisdom that corrupts the mind.

If I have got this right, what I have termed here subsections 1 and 3 are both about behaviour/conduct and therefore might be considered as A and A’ to subsection 2 which might therefore be considered as B.”

Isaiah 39

A. 1 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

B. 2 And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.

C. a. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?”

b. Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.”

C’. a. 4 He said, “What have they seen in your house?”

b. Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

B’. 5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 6 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD.

A’. 7 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”

Isaiah 56-66

From Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of ReligionThe Book of Isaiah   J. Blake Couey, Aug 2016

A. 56:1-8 Vindication of Jerusalem (YHWH’s holy mountain)

B. 56:9-59:14 Prophetic denunciations/communal complaints

C. 59:15-21 Description of YHWH as victorious warrior

D. 60:1-62:12 Restoration of Jerusalem and return of exiles.

C’.  63:1-6 Description of YHWH as victorious warrior

B’. 63:7-64:12 Communal complaint

A’. 65:1-66:24 Vindication of Jerusalem (YHWH’s holy mountain)

 

 

Isaiah 1

adapted from Dorsey

  1. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

A. They have forsaken the LORD
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken,
I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD,
they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

B. Zion besieged
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

C. Jerusalem’s hypocritical worship
10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

D. Call to reformation
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

C’. Jerusalem’s moral corruption
21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. 22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: 23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

B’. Zion redeemed
24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: 25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: 26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning:
afterward thou shalt be called,The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

A’. They that forsake the LORD will be judged
28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired,
and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth,and as a garden that hath no water. 31 And the strong shall be as tow,and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

 

Isaiah 37:22-38

Note: the song which is Isaiah’s reply to Sennacherib’s threat  breaks at verse 30. The first part addresses Sennacherib and the second part addresses Hezekiah and the people. The boastful thoughts of Assyria that they can destroy the forests and control the  water supply in Judah (B)  are answered  by the sign from YHWH that He will make sure there will be two spontaneous harvests to sustain the people despite the ravages of the Assyrians (B’). The centre C/C’ refers to the fact that Assyria’s success came from the Lord who used them to fulfil His purpose, and that was soon to come to an end.

To Sennacherib

A. 22 The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

B. 23 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel. 24 By thy servants hast thou reproached the LORD, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel. 25 I have digged, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places.

C. 26 Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps. 27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up.

C’. 28 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. 29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

To Hezekiah

B’. 30 And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. 31 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:

A. 32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.

2A. 33 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.

2B. 35 For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

2B’. 36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

2A’. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

Isaiah 37:8-22

A. 8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 9 And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

B. 10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying,

C. Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?

C’. 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar?

B.13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?

A’. 14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

2A. 15 And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,

2B. 16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

2C. 17 Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.

2C’. 18 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, 19 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

2B’. 20 Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only.

2A. 21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: 22 This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him …

Isaiah 36:1-37:7

Note: This record begins and ends with the names and titles of Hezekiah’s ministers. The speech of Rabshakeh is in two part, interrupted by the request of these men and the crude reply of Rabshakeh. The first part of Rabshakeh’s speech is addressed to Hezekiah and questions his confidence – was it in Egypt or in YHWH? The second part is addressed to the population of Jerusalem and has four attempts to make a breach between the people and  Hezekiah.

A. 1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. 3 And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

B. 4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah,

i. ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.

ii. 7 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”?

i’. 8 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 9 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

ii’. 10 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’”

C. 11Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”

C’. 12But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

B’. 13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king:

i. ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you.

ii. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”

iii.16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

iv. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

A’. 21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

2A. 37:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

2B. 3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

2C. 4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh,

2D. whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God,

2C’. and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard:

2B’. wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.

2A’. 5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

Isaiah 35

Note: The structure of this prophecy is complex. ” wilderness” and “desert” occur in v1 and v6, “glad” and ‘singing” occur in v1 and v10. The wilderness rejoices (A) because of the appearance of water (A’). The encouragement to the feeble and infirm (B) parallels the  redeemed who walk the highway (B’). 

A. 1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

B. 3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing:

A’. for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

B’. 8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.  9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Note: this is a tentative proposal and comments more than welcome. The pattern is  A (a,b,b’,a) B. A'(a,b,a’,b’) with the centre a verse that reflects the humanity of the servant.

A.1 Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar.

a. The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.

b.2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;

b’. he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.

a’. 3 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
 Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

B. 4 But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

yet surely my right is with the LORD,
and my recompense with my God.”

A’.5 And now the LORD says,

a. he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him

b. for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength—

a’. 6 he says:

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;

b’. I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”