I hope you enjoyed that little break reading the books of wisdom, because here come the prophets, with their whining and wailing.
It starts right off as expected – the Israelites have disobeyed and rejected the lord; they are miserable sinners, etc. V 10-17 takes quite a turn, though. All of a sudden Yahweh doesn’t want all those sacrifices and rituals! Are you kidding me? He spent the whole of the Pentateuch demanding exactly that! But now he wants social justice instead. Go figure. For the rest of the chapter Isaiah rails against the pit of iniquity that Jerusalem has become, and talks about how he intends to restore it to righteousness. We’ve heard all this before in Kings – the vicious cycle of sin, suffer, repent, and prosper.
Much of this chapter has a ring of familiarity (in the KJV) but I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ve just heard some of the familiar idioms: “And it shall come to pass” (v 2); “they shall beat their swords into plowshares” (v 4); “all the cedars of Lebanon” (v 13); “the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low” (v 17). It mostly describes Isaiah’s vision of the end days when Yahweh brings judgement on Jerusalem.
This chapter can be summed up in a few words: “the sky is falling!” Isaiah is having a conniption about all the horrible things that will happen in Jerusalem because the people have done evil in the lord’s sight etc etc. It’s all just descriptions about just how bad it’ll get. And it’ll get pretty bad – so bad that women will rule over men (v 12); the lord will send scabs (v 17); and the city will stink (v 24).
There will be so few men left that the women will be fighting over them. But then, those who remain after Yahweh has washed away the ‘filth’ will be holy people. I guess those who perished were expendable. Good grief.