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Isaiah 1:1-2

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1:1 Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem 1  that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah reigned over Judah. 2 

Obedience, not Sacrifice

1:2 Listen, O heavens,

pay attention, O earth! 3 

For the Lord speaks:

“I raised children, 4  I brought them up, 5 

but 6  they have rebelled 7  against me!

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”

sn Isaiah’s prophetic career probably began in the final year of Uzziah’s reign (ca. 740 b.c., see Isa 6:1) and extended into the later years of Hezekiah’s reign, which ended in 686 b.c.

3 sn The personified heavens and earth are summoned to God’s courtroom as witnesses against God’s covenant people. Long before this Moses warned the people that the heavens and earth would be watching their actions (see Deut 4:26; 30:19; 31:28; 32:1).

4 tn Or “sons” (NAB, NASB).

sn “Father” and “son” occur as common terms in ancient Near Eastern treaties and covenants, delineating the suzerain and vassal as participants in the covenant relationship. The prophet uses these terms, the reference to heavens and earth as witnesses, and allusions to deuteronomic covenant curses (1:7-9, 19-20) to set his prophecy firmly against the backdrop of Israel’s covenantal relationship with Yahweh.

5 sn The normal word pair for giving birth to and raising children is יָלַד (yalad, “to give birth to”) and גָּדַל (gadal, “to grow, raise”). The pair גָּדַל and רוּם (rum, “to raise up”) probably occur here to highlight the fact that Yahweh made something important of Israel (cf. R. Mosis, TDOT 2:403).

6 sn Against the backdrop of Yahweh’s care for his chosen people, Israel’s rebellion represents abhorrent treachery. The conjunction prefixed to a nonverbal element highlights the sad contrast between Yahweh’s compassionate care for His people and Israel’s thankless rebellion.

7 sn To rebel carries the idea of “covenant treachery.” Although an act of פֶּשַׁע (pesha’, “rebellion”) often signifies a breach of the law, the legal offense also represents a violation of an existing covenantal relationship (E. Carpenter and M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 3:707).



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