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

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Wed Apr 11 19:02:25 EDT 2007

On 11/04/2007 23:26, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
> ...
> 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.)
Been there, seen that, wish I'd got the T-shirt! ;-)

I didn't say that the Temple WAS always open to anyone's offerings. My 
point is that it SHOULD HAVE BEEN, according to Moses and Isaiah as well 
as Jesus. But some Jews turned their religion into a narrowly 
nationalistic business ("business" indeed as we see from the context of 
Jesus' quotes from Isaiah) and excluded the Gentiles. This was never 
God's intention, as far as I can tell from the Hebrew Bible, although we 
do see the roots of that exclusiveness in Nehemiah, where the excluded 
Gentiles were those seeking to destabilise the newly rebuilt city and so 
were rejected for political reasons.

> 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
> temple.
This simply illustrates how far late Second Temple Judaism had gone away 
from its roots in the Torah and the Prophets.

> 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.
I know this is the traditional exegesis. But why do you exclude the 
thought that the author was hoping and perhaps campaigning for the newly 
rebuilt Temple in his own time to be open to all? You can't do so on the 
basis of the Hebrew verb forms, at least as well as they are understood 

I could understand Harold and Bryant wanting to reject my suggested 
interpretation on the basis of the future verbs in the verse as quoted 
by Jesus, and in LXX. But I don't see why you are insisting on this.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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