Old Testament Summary Lesson 37: “Thou Hast Done Wonderful Things”
- Isaiah Uses Simple Symbolisms and Metaphors: As he reports history in the making that becomes prophecy of the future, the knowledge of his surroundings and history removes the complications many people usually associate with his wonderful literature. Some of his meanings can still be seen in Jewish thought as subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) names of the Lord.
- Mercy, Justice: “The Hebrew word for justice is zedek . . . another form of the same root zedakah, means “charity.” For justice must be tempered with mercy and indeed the main attribute of God is His integration of justice and mercy. Yet another Hebrew word derived from the same root is zaddik, which means “righteous.” The righteous man is one who is both just and merciful.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Concept and Name “Feast:” This is another reference to the Savior. Isaiah’s central purpose was to teach the identity, characteristics and personality of the Savior. “A feast held in connection with religious acts is called se’udah shel mitzvah and is the duty of every Jew. Whether to celebrate a joyous family occasion such as a wedding, or to honor a holiday by eating festive meals, a se’udah shel mitzvah must be eaten in the spirit of pleasure and enjoyment, blessing and thanksgiving, being particularly careful to avoid overeating.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Stones Were Used as Symbols of Him: “The Savior being our foundation,” refers to him as being the Rock, the Stone, the Chief Corner Stone. Even the commandments of God were written on stone to be our foundation, our guide, our measuring device. “In biblical times weights were for the most part made of stone, hence the Bible refers to weights generally as “stones” (even).” “. . . the breast piece worn by the high priest . . . was set with 12 precious stones, representing the Tribes of Israel . . .” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) In Jesus’ day, he chose Simon the son of Jonah to be the lead Apostle and named him “The Rock,” Peter. Remember, Peter sank in the waters of Galilee in order to learn that Jesus was The Rock of Salvation.”
- Sure Nails: Thousands of old nails slightly protrude out of the Western (wailing) Wall. An old Rabbi described them as the “sure nails” pounded into the wall to fasten their sins so that people could leave their burdens and get on with life. Isaiah speaks clearly about this in five powerful verses. The term “house of David” honors him who purchased “Temple Square” and gathered the materials to build the “House of the Lord.” The Lord’s sealing powers are referred to as “he shall open” and “he shall shut.” The Lord will be nailed surely. We can “fasten our sins” upon him. Apparently, in ancient times sins were collected, small sins in cups, larger ones in flagons, so that they could be disposed of, sometimes, by placing them on a goat and letting it escape out the Gate of Mercy, also know as the Gate of Forgiveness and the Gate Beautiful) to die on its own, carrying the sins of all. (Isaiah 22:21-25)