Questions About Isaiah 49: 8 - 15


#1

Isaiah 49: 8 - 15 is today's first reading.

In reading it,
Thus says the LORD: "In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;
9 saying to the prisoners, Come forth,' to those who are in darkness,Appear.' They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture;

Who is the "you" is it the prophet Isaiah or is it the people of Israel?

The answer to me is important in understanding:
"I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;"

My initial thought was it is to Isaiah but then could it be said that Isaiah as prophet is "a covenant" to Israel?

Thanks,
Terry Dishneau


#2

Hi Terry, I've only looked at this briefly.

I would venture to say the "you" represents either (i) Cyrus, who was going to liberate the Israelites from Babylon and allow them to return to the Promise Land and rebuild the Temple (Isa 45:28); (ii) another messianic figure; or (iii) a holy remnant of Israel in Exile (vv.3, 14).

Jonathan


#3

[quote="jonathan_hili, post:2, topic:318371"]
Hi Terry, I've only looked at this briefly.

I would venture to say the "you" represents either (i) Cyrus, who was going to liberate the Israelites from Babylon and allow them to return to the Promise Land and rebuild the Temple (Isa 45:28); (ii) another messianic figure; or (iii) a holy remnant of Israel in Exile (vv.3, 14).

Jonathan

[/quote]

I would agree with (i). Cyrus was a "type" of Christ.

-Tim-


#4

Haydock Commentary says the previous verse 49:7 refers to Christ, Cyrus or Isaias.

Isaias 49:7:

Thus saith the Lord the redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to the soul that is despised, to the nation that is abhorred, to the servant of rulers: Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up, and adore for the Lord's sake, because he is faithful, and for the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee.

Haydock Commentary:

Despised, Christ, Cyrus, or Isaias; though it refer chiefly to our Saviour.


#5

According to scholars, Jewish and Christian, the ambiguity as to the identity of the person being referred to in verse 8 is likely purposeful.

The "you" could be Isaiah, it could be Cyrus, and--as both Jews and Christians alike agree--it is most likely meant to also include the promised Messiah.

One thing that should be avoided is believing that this text can only refer to one person. Such an interpretation would be odd as Scripture is generally viewed as having several layers or facets of meaning, especially in regard to prophecies which almost always have a typical and an anti-typical (minor and major) fulfillment, and sometimes more.

It should be of interest that St. Paul applies the text to each and every human being who hears the Gospel:

We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says:

“In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.”

Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.--2 Corinthians 6:1-2.


#6

[quote="Terry_Ypsilanti, post:1, topic:318371"]
Isaiah 49: 8 - 15 is today's first reading.

In reading it,
Thus says the LORD: "In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;
9 saying to the prisoners, Come forth,' to those who are in darkness,Appear.' They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture;

Who is the "you" is it the prophet Isaiah or is it the people of Israel?

The answer to me is important in understanding:
"I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;"

My initial thought was it is to Isaiah but then could it be said that Isaiah as prophet is "a covenant" to Israel?

Thanks,
Terry Dishneau

[/quote]

More than one individual seems to be implied

God bless y'all


#7

Could it be you...and me?


closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.