Bible Study Recap – Isaiah 14-16

No sermon or bible study recaps from last week – I was on vacation!  But I came back refreshed with a lot of ideas (!) and am ready to hit the ground running.  Here are my notes from my Isaiah Bible Study this week!  We hit a few gnarly oracles this week – I think this is usually when people’s eyes glaze over and they skip to another book, but we are determined!  Once we get through the first part of Isaiah and get into Deutero-Isaiah, there will be more to talk about, discussion wise.  For now it’s just a lot of time in the maps trying to figure out what/where/who the heck Isaiah is talking about.

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Bible Study Weekly Recap
March 24, 3015
Isaiah Week 6 {Isaiah 14-16}

Helpful Hint

Check out the maps in the back of your bible! These passages can be kind of confusing because of the references to different geographical places that no longer exist. Take a look at the map so you can understand what Isaiah is talking about and where those places were located.

Isaiah 14:1-23

The prophet is talking to Babylon

  • This should ideally be read in conjunction with Isaiah 13, the fall of Babylon

Contrast to Babylon

Isaiah 14:1
The Lord will have compassion on Jacob

  • This is a contrast to the destruction of Babylon as described in the previous chapter

Isaiah 14:1
once again he will choose Israel
and will settle them in their own land

  • There is an underlying theme of hope for Israel
  • There are other biblical references to Israel being chosen (Zechariah 1:17, 2:12)

Israel vs. Babylon

  • Does the fall of Babylon really solve anything for Israel? Can this be considered a victory?

Isaiah 14:24-32

Promise to Judah

  • This is a promise to Israel that God has a plan

“God’s hand stretched out”

  • Isaiah 14:27 – we see the recurring “God’s hand stretched out” reference that we have talked about earlier in the book

A Prophecy Against the Philistines

  • Starting in v.28, Isaiah is addressing the nation of Philistia
  • Philistia is located west of Judah, on the Great Sea (the Mediterranean Sea)
  • Once again, this is a promise to Israel that their enemies will be defeated

Isaiah 15

A Prophecy Against Moab

  • Isaiah is addressing the nation of Moab in Chapters 15 & 16
  • Moab is located in the eastern side of the Dead Sea, east of Judah

Cause unknown

  • We do not know the cause of this destruction, but we have very specific and vivid images of what is happening

Sympathetic voice

Isaiah 15:5
My heart cries out over Moab

  • Sympathy in the midst of this desctruction

More is coming

Isaiah 15:9
The waters of Dimon are full of blood,
but I will bring still more upon Dimon—
a lion upon the fugitives of Moab
and upon those who remain in the land.

  • This goes against the sympathetic tone that was in Isaiah 15:5 – this is a vicious voice threatening more punishment

Isaiah 16

The destruction of the Moabites continues

Who is fighting the Moabites?

  • The Assyrians are fighting the Moabites
  • The Moabites are going to Judah for asylum

The sympathetic voice returns

  • Isaiah 16:9, So I weep, as Jazer weeps … I drench you with tears!
  • Isaiah 16:10, My heart laments for Moab like a hard

General Thoughts and Discussion Questions

  • (This is a repeat question, but even more relevant now) This is not easy to read – we go to the bible for hope, not war and violence. But this reassures us in a way that we are not the first generation of people to face this struggle. Conflict and violence run deep through the roots through the systems of who we are as human being. Can these systems be changed?
  • Through most of these passages, God is sympathetic and weeping over the destruction even in the midst of his anger and vengeance – does this make us look at these passages differently?
  • What can understanding this history teach us about the world that we are living in today?

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