Yeshayahu Eight: Upcoming Exile

“And the Lord said to me, ‘Take for yourself a large scroll, and write on it in common script, to hasten loot, speed the spoils (Isaiah 8:1).'” God calls witnesses who He deems trustworthy, Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. Isaiah, at this point, has intimate relations with a prophetess, and the two of them have a son. It’s interesting to see these personal details included in an otherwise poetic and prophetic text, and it helps create a reality for Isaiah the narrator. The prophet and the prophetess – an ideal biblical romance.

“Therefore, behold the Lord is bringing up on them the mighty and massive waters of the river – the king of Assyria and all his wealth, and it will overflow all its distributaries and go over all its banks (Isaiah 8:7).” This metaphorical water overflowing will go into Judah, and the people will run to distant places, outside of the land. There are ongoing allusions to the upcoming exile in this book. The people will be cursed for not listening to and revering God properly. But if they’re getting so many warnings, over and over again, why don’t they listen? I know hindsight is always 20/20, but it seems like the people are completely dense, and what’s coming is sadly inevitable, despite all of the opportunities to stop it.

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