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Great Are the Words of Isaiah...?


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Isaiah 58

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

 

Questions:

It is written: "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D&C 82:10)

  1. Do we have any promise that the Lord will answer our prayers if we are not doing all these things?
    1. loosing the bands of wickedness (e.g., paying off others' debts, fulfilling others' contracts or obligations)
    2. undoing the heavy burdens (e.g., paying off others' debts, fulfilling others' contracts or obligations)
    3. letting the oppressed go free (e.g., paying or cancelling the debts of the poor, fulfilling or cancelling contracts or obligations the poor are under)
    4. breaking every yoke (e.g., cancelling every debt, contract, and obligation)
    5. personally giving our own food to the hungry
    6. personally taking the homeless into our own home
    7. personally clothing the naked
    8. and not avoiding our own relatives (vv. 6-9)
  2. On the other hand, if we truly wish that the Lord should really answer our prayers, wouldn't we be really doing all those things listed in vv. 6-7?  Why or why not?
  3. How does the "True Law of the Fast" help to us understand the relationship between our personal distribution of our substance to the homeless, hungry, naked, poor, and oppressed, and how the Lord treats each of us individually?
  4. If we are not to be doing our own ways, nor finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words on the Sabbath, then whose should we be doing, finding, and speaking?

 

Bonus questions:

  1. How well does Isaiah's teaching align with that of Benjamin, Jacob, and John, the Baptist?
  2. Are Isaiah's words binding upon us?
  3. Were Isaiah's precepts given by the power of the Holy Ghost?
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New Jerusalem Bible, Isa 58:1-14,

Quote

"Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a trumpet. To my people proclaim their rebellious acts, to the House of Jacob, their sins. They seek for me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that has acted uprightly and not forsaken the law of its God. They ask me for laws that are upright, they long to be near God: 'Why have we fasted, if you do not see, why mortify ourselves if you never notice?' Look, you seek your own pleasure on your fastdays and you exploit all your workmen; look, the only purpose of your fasting is to quarrel and squabble and strike viciously with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high. Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a day when a person inflicts pain on himself? Hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh? Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes? Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin? Then your light will blaze out like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Saving justice will go ahead of you and Yahweh's glory come behind you. Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here.' If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words, if you deprive yourself for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkest hour will be like noon. Yahweh will always guide you, will satisfy your needs in the scorched land; he will give strength to your bones and you will be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never run dry. Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; you will build on age -- old foundations. You will be called 'Breach-mender', 'Restorer of streets to be lived in'. If you refrain from breaking the Sabbath, from taking your own pleasure on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath 'Delightful', and the day sacred to Yahweh 'Honourable', if you honour it by abstaining from travel, from seeking your own pleasure and from too much talk, then you will find true happiness in Yahweh, and I shall lead you in triumph over the heights of the land. I shall feed you on the heritage of your father Jacob, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken."
Isaiah, 58 - Bíblia Católica Online,
Leia mais em: https://www.bibliacatolica.com.br/en/new-jerusalem-bible/isaiah/58/

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/11/2020 at 5:07 PM, Jared Livesey said:

Isaiah 58

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

 

Questions:

It is written: "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D&C 82:10)

  1. Do we have any promise that the Lord will answer our prayers if we are not doing all these things?
    1. loosing the bands of wickedness (e.g., paying off others' debts, fulfilling others' contracts or obligations)
    2. undoing the heavy burdens (e.g., paying off others' debts, fulfilling others' contracts or obligations)
    3. letting the oppressed go free (e.g., paying or cancelling the debts of the poor, fulfilling or cancelling contracts or obligations the poor are under)
    4. breaking every yoke (e.g., cancelling every debt, contract, and obligation)
    5. personally giving our own food to the hungry
    6. personally taking the homeless into our own home
    7. personally clothing the naked
    8. and not avoiding our own relatives (vv. 6-9)
  2. On the other hand, if we truly wish that the Lord should really answer our prayers, wouldn't we be really doing all those things listed in vv. 6-7?  Why or why not?
  3. How does the "True Law of the Fast" help to us understand the relationship between our personal distribution of our substance to the homeless, hungry, naked, poor, and oppressed, and how the Lord treats each of us individually?
  4. If we are not to be doing our own ways, nor finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words on the Sabbath, then whose should we be doing, finding, and speaking?

 

Bonus questions:

  1. How well does Isaiah's teaching align with that of Benjamin, Jacob, and John, the Baptist?
  2. Are Isaiah's words binding upon us?
  3. Were Isaiah's precepts given by the power of the Holy Ghost?

The book by Terry B. Ball ("Understanding the words of Isaiah") is very good and not very technical. Another one by Ludlow is deep, with historical and theological discussions about the book of Isaiah. 

The Lord answers ALL prayers (Yes, No, Wait, here is better), in His own due time, according to His purposes and will. We do not command God according to our wishes or will, much less as a trade off on account of our works. For we are forever indebted to Him (for we are unprofitable servants) even if we serve Him with all our souls (Mos. 2_20-22).

A true fast (as it was done in Israel in ancient times) is nothing like what we do today. It was from sunset to sunset, including no water. It was a spiritual cleansing ritual. And there was real hunger in those days, especially for and orphans. There were people that did not know where the next meal was coming from thus it was a very real predicament. Until you have experienced hunger pains, you would not know what it is to be REALLY hungry. Then you will feel sympathy for those that lack sustenance and come to appreciate the bounty of Lord and provision for you and your family. That is where gratitude comes from. Most of us have no clue what it feels like to be dispossessed. 

We are not Jews and the scriptures (especially the OT) is the witness, the account of the dealings of God with His people. It is the evidence that we can trust His promises and the covenants that He has made with those that love Him. But the Mosaic law is not binding on us (not to be confused with the moral law; the ten commandments). 

Isaiah spoke for the Lord. It was God whom gave the prophet the words that he should speak (e.g. "the voice of the Lord came to me...") There is no ambiguity there. 

For us the Sabbath has no ritual meaning as it did for Israel. The Sabbath predates the law of Moses by 400 years. It is a day of reflection and delight on the things and the bounty of the Lord. Christians assemble (since the onset of the church in the 1st century) to worship, remember the covenant, offer praises and prayers of thanksgiving, receive instructions and minister on the day of rest. But it is not technically the Sabbath in the OT sense. 

 

I hope this helps. But I encourage you to study from the text I mentioned and it will increase your understanding and insights into the words of Isaiah. 

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On 10/11/2020 at 5:07 PM, Jared Livesey said:

... Questions: ...

... Bonus questions: ...

What do I get, a cookie? 🍪

  • Like 1
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On 10/11/2020 at 10:50 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

New Jerusalem Bible, Isa 58:1-14,

 

Is that a pretty good translation Bob?

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

What do I get, a cookie? 🍪

Hey that beats an all expense paid trip to Hollywood...  ;)

I seldom worry about my safety while eating cookies 

  • Haha 1
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17 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Yes, and quite literary.

Good to know- it is SO well written that I could not imagine that it would also be a good translation! 

  • Haha 1
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8 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Good to know- it is SO well written that I could not imagine that it would also be a good translation! 

Isaiah was a member of the elite, and has a larger Hebrew vocabulary than any other OT writer.  All modern Israelis get 7 years of biblical Hebrew in their schools, and even secular Israelis can quote by memory whole chapters of Isaiah -- it is very poetic.  Jesus quoted him more than any other prophet.

  • Thanks 1
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