O Antiphons V

Proverbs a great gift, analogy seed, plant, harvest. Profound the challenge the intellect in regard to morality. Pictorial way of learning the truth. Also, the Book of Wisdom. A pleasing syllogism. Easy to grasp, Garden of Graces.

  1. Isaiah = Yahweh is salvation

Written ca 587 BC during both the divided kingdom and exilic captivity period. Rivaled only by the Psalms in influence over Jewish and Christian thought.[1] Shakespeare of OT according to some scholars. Other scholars liken Isaiah (OT) to Paul (NT) in influence. Almost impossible to overstate Isaiah influence of prophecy (coming Messiah) and fulfillment.

Two major parts to Isaiah- 1-39 Judah/Jerusalem with Assyria the oppressor & 40-66 during and after exile to Babylon. Oracles of judgment in the first part, oracles of consolation in the second part.

Isaiah prophesized under 4 kings of Jerusalem: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah. He was killed by the wicked son of Hezekiah, Manasseh being sawn in half.  He writes in educated classical Hebraic speech. Some scholars suggest he was in service to kings before his vision, accustomed to court life, and groomed to use persuasive language. Like Moses before Pharoah.

Solomon so wise and learned nothing. Prophets were sawn on half.

Isaiah saw God in a vision (presumably in the Temple), understood his own finitude, yet offered himself for service “Here I am”.  Yahweh tells the prophet to condemn his own people, watch the nation perish, and his kindred taken into exile. Isaiah understood the bitter opposition and persecution this message would bring yet the impact of the vision produced a resolve and reliance on God that sustained him until his martyrdom under Manasseh, a wicked Judean king.

Isaiah is a  Christological figure. Send to his people, they are bad, exile, punished. Exile came after Crucifixion, could be talking about Christ. Isaiah not often a man but a writing. Human person lived this radical otherness among own people and be rejected by them. Faith required of this obedience and bearing witness to the truth.

[1] John Bergsma & Brant Pitre, A Catholic Introduction to the Bible, The Old Testament (Ignatius: San Francisco 2018) 721