Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The chosen

The last two chapters of Isaiah do not distinguish between Israel and the nations nor did Malachi as I noted in my last post. The distinction seems to be between the servants of YHWH and YHWH’s enemies who are also identified as brothers and sisters so the enemies are not the nations or gentiles. The enemies have not listened to the divine call and have not done evil in God’s sight. The servants of YHWH, according to Isaiah, will constitute the community of the end time.

Reiser, commenting on Isaiah’s use of the “chosen”, indicates that “the idea of election is transferred from Israel as a whole to one or several groups within the people. . . .” They are called the chosen for the first time in Isaiah 65:9, 15, 22. Reiser further states that the significance of this usage “can scarcely be overestimated.”

Isaiah concludes his book by stating the purpose of YHWH’s coming: "For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them.” The missionaries will bring the dispersed people back to Zion to participate in worship at the Temple. Some of the dispersed people will even participate as priests and Levites.

If the enemies are, as identified by Hanson, the Zadokite priestly circles, then certain allusions of the Lucan Jesus become especially pointed when spoken in the presence of the Temple establishment.

I would expand Reiser’s statement to say that the significance of the ending of Isaiah “can scarcely be overestimated.”

Copyrighted 2006


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