[b-hebrew] Linguistic indication of the temporal scope of Isaiah's prophecies including 7:14

JAMES CHRISTIAN READ JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk
Sun Jul 22 08:13:36 EDT 2007


Hi All,

JCR:
I think the whole discussion in general on Isaiah's 
prophecies could benefit from a little larger 
contextualisation while attempting to keep the discussion 
well in the bounds of permitted discussion. In an attempt 
to keep the discussion linguistic from a semantic point 
of view (without going head first into a theological 
debate about double fulfillments, lesser and greater, of
prophecy) well within the bounds of permitted discussion 
I present the following summary of the linguistic 
context of Isaiah's prophecies in an attempt to firmly 
establish the temporal range permitted by the semantics 
of his words *in context*.

The phrophecy as a whole starts with a summarial 
description of the deplorable state of Yah's people:

NWT Isaish 1:2,3
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for Jehovah 
himself has spoken: “Sons I have brought up and raised, 
but they themselves have revolted against me. 3  A bull 
well knows its buyer, and the ass the manger of its 
owner; Israel itself has not known, my own people have 
not behaved understandingly.”

JCR:
This is followed by a description of the inadequacy of 
the present sacrifices to appease Yah' hurt.

NWT Isaiah 1:11
“Of what benefit to me is the multitude of YOUR 
sacrifices?” says Jehovah. “I have had enough of whole 
burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed 
animals; and in the blood of young bulls and male lambs 
and he-goats I have taken no delight. 

JCR:
This is further followed by a warm invite to forgiveness.

NWT Isaiah 1:18
“Come, now, YOU people, and let us set matters straight 
between us,” says Jehovah. “Though the sins of YOU 
people should prove to be as scarlet, they will be made 
white just like snow; though they should be red like 
crimson cloth, they will become even like wool.

JCR:
Slightly later the final end point of the scope of 
Isaiah's prophecies is introduced:

NWT Isaiah 2:2-4
And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] 
the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly 
established above the top of the mountains, and it will 
certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it all 
the nations must stream. 3  And many peoples will 
certainly go and say: “Come, YOU people, and let us go 
up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God 
of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and 
we will walk in his paths.” For out of Zion law will go 
forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. 4  And 
he will certainly render judgment among the nations and 
set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they 
will have to beat their swords into plowshares and 
their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift 
up sword against nation, neither will they learn war 
anymore.

JCR:
As can be seen above, Isaiah places the end point of 
his prophecies in a final state of global peace with 
universal worship of the only true god, YHWH, not only 
by Isreal but by people from all nations. While it can 
be said that YHWH's fame has long stretched far beyond 
the confines of geographical Isreal into almost every 
culture of the world it cannot be said that such a 
state of universal worship has taken place nor can it 
be said that a state of global peace has been 
achieved by such unity.

The semantics of the entire prophecy of Isaiah place 
the temporal scope of his words, therefore, far into 
the future (from Isaiah's perspective).

Such a scope is further emphasised by the prophet's 
closing words:

NWT Isaiah 66:22-24
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making are standing before me,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “so the offspring of YOU people and the name of YOU people will keep standing.”

23 “And it will certainly occur that from new moon to 
new moon and from sabbath to sabbath all flesh will 
come in to bow down before me,” Jehovah has said. 24 
“And they will actually go forth and look upon “For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making are standing before me,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “so the offspring of YOU people and the name of YOU people will keep standing.”

23 “And it will certainly occur that from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath all flesh will come in to bow down before me,” Jehovah has said. 24 “And they will actually go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that were transgressing against me; for the very worms upon them will not die and their fire itself will not be extinguished, and they must become something repulsive to all flesh.” ; for the very worms upon them will not die and their 
fire itself will not be extinguished, and they must 
become something repulsive to all flesh.” 

JCR:
Having made 'all things new' YHWH anounces that 'all 
flesh' will bow before him and all that remains of 
mankind's rebellion against him will be 'the carcasses 
of the men that were transgressing against me'.

The end point of the temporal scope of Isaiah's 
prophesies, therefore, clearly stretches beyond his own 
lifetime to the eutopic conditions of universal 
worship and recreation described by him.

In light of such a wide context (without making any 
identifying remarks whatsoever) it is clear that Isaiah
may well have purposefully left his words in 7:14 so 
ambiguous to allow for both a lesser fulfillment 
concerned with present salvation and a larger 
fulfillment concerned with universal salvation and the 
eventual eutopic state of universal worship combined 
with acts of recreation and a resulting state of death 
to all of YHWH's enemies and of global peace.d 

JCR:
Having made 'all things new' YHWH anounces that 'all 
flesh' will bow before him and all that remains of 
mankind's rebellion against him will be 'the carcasses 
of the men that were transgressing against me'.

The end point of the temporal scope of Isaiah's 
prophesies, therefore, clearly stretches beyond his own 
lifetime to the eutopic conditions of universal 
worship and recreation described by him.

In light of such a wide context (without making any 
identifying remarks whatsoever) it is clear tha




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