Getting It Right—Isaiah’s Checks and Balances

by Avraham Gileadi Ph.D.

Because Isaiah has permeated his entire prophecy with check and balances, one rarely needs to second guess his meaning. Seldom does Isaiah mention an event or idea just once, never to return to it. Rather, he frequently reiterates things in different contexts to ensure that readers get his message. Isaiah’s repeating events in different combinations with other events, for example, creates an entire web of interconnected events, which, together, define what he means by the end-time or end of the world. Such synchronized phenomena define the Book of Isaiah itself as a literary work of extraordinary complexity that is at once simple when its literary keys are revealed.

Linking ideas establish definitions of terms and entire scenarios. In one place, Isaiah may predict a new exodus of God’s people out of Babylon (Isaiah 48:20–21). In another, he identifies “Babylon” as the world and its wicked inhabitants whom God destroys in his Day of Judgment (Isaiah 13:1, 9, 11, 19). Elsewhere, he predicts that God’s people will return from throughout the earth at the time of a worldwide destruction (Isaiah 27:12–13). Further, God’s people’s exodus is from the four directions of the earth to Zion (Isaiah 43:5–6). Finally, he depicts remnants of all nations streaming to Zion in the “end-time,” giving us a time frame (Isaiah 2:2–3). And so forth.

12. 20. 2012

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