[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Wed May 26 23:50:34 EDT 2004

> Dear Liz,
> >  > HH: Why do you think Nehemiah was building that wall? Was it because
> >>  he worked for the Persian governor?
> >Nehemiah didn't work for the Persian governor, he was the Persian
> governor.
> >He worked for the satrap and the king.
> HH: Sorry, I meant the Persian king.
> >Harold, do you realize that you are reading this from Nehemiah's point
> >of view? Nehemiah, the Persian governor, was the one who wrote this.
> >Do you think you might get another point of view if someone else wrote
> >it? Nehemiah came to Judah to install a Persian garrison in it, a birah.
> >But you only see one side.
> >Read the first chapter of First Maccabees. Then you will get the
> >perspective of the local population when the foreign monarch
> >installed a birah, an akra in the city. You will realize the
> >true feelings of the population. The purpose of a birah is for
> >the installation of Persian soldiers. These were the soldiers
> >the elite cavalry commanders of the Persian army that Nehemiah
> >brought with him. I suspect that Nehemiah is a rab shakah. That
> >literally means "cupbearer", but the cupbearer is the title
> >of a military commander. Nehemiah brought soldiers with him.
> >They held spears and were armed, these were Nehemiah's "boys,"
> >na'arim, his servants who were at his disposal to build the
> >wall, to guard the people, to force them to build. THey also
> >guarded the wall during Shabbat.
> >Whether the people wanted to or not, it was forced labor.
> HH: Liz, I am reading it from the Holy Spirit's perspective:
> 2Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,
> rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
> 				Yours,
> 				Harold Holmyard
Dear Harold,
It is still god-breathed and useful.
The point is to understand what is being said.
The point of the author of Ezra-Nehemiah is that the torah
(Moses' torah this time, since we're in the Hellenistic period now)
must be protected at all costs. Everything foreign and impure
must be kept out. The author used Nehemiah's memoir to make the 
larger point. He embedded the memoir in the story he wanted to tell.
Nehemiah's memoir is just a tool to the larger story. It is the 
larger story that is didactic.

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