Thursday, June 24

Disciple Bible Study: Week 11, Reading 5

I’m participating in Disciple Bible Study, a 34 week intensive. For five days, we have different readings.  I have decided to document my initial noticings from a close reading of the scripture. Well, an attempt at a close reading.

Week 11 Theme:  God Punishes the People

Readings: Isaiah 28:1-30:18 and Lamentations 1-5


Isaiah 28:1-30:18

  • 28:7-8 – eww.
  • 28:15 – covenant with death.  Could that be a reference to child sacrifice?
  • 28:18 – the covenant with death will be annulled.  Interesting that the language of betrothal/divorce is used.  Or is it just the language of contract?
  • 29:1 – Ariel is another name for Jerusalem.
  • 29:13 – this fully shows that the Law is not about adherence to the Law but about hearts.
  • 29:19 – the meek shall inherit the earth J and the neediest shall have joy
  • 30:7 – another warning against Egypt.  These prophets don't like Egypt!  Egypt is "Rahab who sits still."  My Bible notes that "Rahab" is the primordial chaos monster (from chaos/Genesis) and "sits still" would better be translated "will be destroyed."
  • 30:15 – Saved by returning, resting, being quiet, and trusting.  Sheer silence.
  • 30:18 – But G*d will be gracious to Zion.

Lamentations 1-5

First a few notes from my Bible's introduction.  The laments are acrostics.  (Sometimes it would be awesome to learn Hebrew).  There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  Then there are 22 self-contained sets of verses that link across the chapters and verses with changing voices within.  I would imagine that this is a brilliant piece of liturgical writing.

  • 1:4 – No festivals
  • 1:5 – G*d makes Jerusalem suffer
  • 1:9 – I know that it is culturally relevant, but must we assign the imagery of misbehaving Jerusalem to a woman?
  • 1:15 – a reference to the virgin daughter Judah that G*d has smushed.  Umm. Judah definitely cheated on G*d so maybe her virginity should be questioned?
  • 1:19 – I wonder if the lovers here are Egypt? Or is it simply the inept priests and prophets?
  • 2:11 – this imagery is exactly how I imagine it would be like being in a besieged city.  so sad.
  • 3:4-19 – seems like G*d is the enemy.  a bear lying in wait.  a lion hiding.  etc.
  • 3:22 – hope!
  • 3:30 – turn the other cheek.  interesting.
  • 3:33 – G*d doesn't willingly afflict or grieve anyone.  What?  That doesn't seem to be the picture of a G*d that is like a bear lying in wait.
  • 4:3 – the people are cruel like ostriches in the wilderness.  Are ostriches cruel?  Or is this a reference to sticking your head underground and not seeing?  Or of being stiff-necked (ha ha)?
  • 5:6 – bread is a real concern.
  • 5:19-22 – final plea to G*d and remembrance that G*d reigns forever.

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