[b-hebrew] verb forms - Isaiah 56:6-7 was dying you shall die

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Wed Apr 11 18:26:06 EDT 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:peter at qaya.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2007 4:24 PM
> To: Lisbeth S. Fried
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] verb forms - Isaiah 56:6-7 was dying you shall die
> On 11/04/2007 19:31, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
> >
> >> On 4/11/07, Harold Holmyard <hholmyard3 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Peter Kirk wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>> Is. 56:6-7 And foreigners who bind themselves to YHWH to serve
> >>>>> him, to love YHWH's name, and to be his servants, all who keep
> >>>>> the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold themselves fast in
> >>>>>
> > covenant —
> >
> >>>>> these I will bring to my holy mountain and cause them to rejoice in
> >>>>>
> > the house
> >
> >>>>> of my prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices [will be] an
> >>>>>
> > acceptable offering on
> >
> >>>>> my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all
> >>>>> nations."
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> > Is there something I'm missing here? what's the problem with the verbs?
> >
> > Liz Fried
> >
> >
> Liz, the problem is that both Harold and Shoshanna are, in different
> ways, taking "my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations"
> to be applicable only in the eschatological future (from Isaiah's
> perspective), whereas I am suggesting that this is a timeless truth,
> that the temple was always supposed to be open to everyone's offerings.
> It certainly seems unsafe to read this as necessarily referring only to
> the future.
> --
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/
Dear Peter,
It is not the case that the temple was always open to everyone's offerings.
It was not open to the non-Jew. If you chance to go to the Archaeological
Museum in Istanbul and go to the third floor you will see a stone monument
there carved in Greek which warns the non-Jew not to step beyond this point.
That stone stood on the temple mount. (Ironically, now it is the Jew who is
forbidden access to that spot.)

Also, there are discussions in the DSS and in the Talmud also I believe as
to whether it was admissible for the temple to accept the donations of
foreigners. The DSS community did not agree that foreign donations were
acceptable. The revolt against Rome began when Eliazar (the son of the high
priest Ananias) decided not to accept the king's sacrifice. OTOH, the book
of Ezra reports the contributions of both Darius and Artaxerxes to the

The whole point of the passage in Isaiah 56 is to look forward to the time
when God's house would be called the house of prayer of all peoples. At the
time when the text was written the temple had been destroyed by Babylon and
newly rebuilt.  The writer of Isaiah 56 is hoping for a more benign world
than the world which existed then, and exists today.

Best regards,

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