Home » Septuagint Isaiah Volume 2 » Isaiah 52:1-12 LXX: Isaiah Journal 2.39

Isaiah 52:1-12 LXX: Isaiah Journal 2.39

By Christina M Wilson. A reprint of https://justonesmallvoice.com/isaiah-52-1-12-lxx-isaiah-devotional-2-39/.

Recap: Three Addresses to Jerusalem

Isaiah 52:1-12 LXX (Septuagint) is the final triplet addressed to Jerusalem. These three addresses prepare the reader for the fourth Servant Song that begins in Isaiah 52:13 and continues through 53:12. By addressing Jerusalem three times, Septuagint Isaiah (LXX) differs from the Masoretic text (Hebrew), which contains only two direct addresses to Jerusalem. The three addresses are listed below.

  1. Septuagint Isaiah 51:9-51:16
  2. Septuagint Isaiah 51:17-51:23
  3. Septuagint Isaiah 52:1-52:12

The prior three posts (2.36, 2.37, and 2.38) explored the first two addresses. Today’s post will consider the third.

Key Verse

The key verse of this section is Isaiah 52:6 LXX.

Therefore shall my people know my name in that day, for I am he that speaks: I am present, (Septuagint in American English)

Therefore my people shall know my name in that day, because I myself am the one who speaks: I am here, (New English Translation of the Septuagint, NETS)

Therefore my people shall know my name in that day because I AM (ego eimi) he, the one speaking. I am present (Fred Miller’s English Translation of the Greek Septuagint)

What Is Special About Verse 6?

The passage addressed to Jerusalem/Sion (Septuagint Isaiah 52:1-52:12) opens with the Lord’s rebuke. First, in verse one, the reader sees Jerusalem lying in the dust (verse 2). She has no strength and her clothing is not beautiful (verse 1). Further, she wears a band of captivity around her neck–she is a slave (verse 2). Pitifully, she was sold for nothing, a mere give-away (verse 3). Verse four rehearses Israel’s history (“my people”). They temporarily sojourned as strangers in Egypt. Then, Assyria forcibly carried some of them away. And now, “Why are you here?” (in Babylonia), asks the Lord. Verse five answers the question. The text strongly implies Jerusalem’s sin, though it does not overtly mention it here. Multiple other texts in all of Isaiah rehearse Israel and Jerusalem’s sins. Below is one example.

Behold, you are sold for your sins, and for your iniquities have I put your mother away. (Isaiah 50:2 LXE)

Because of their sinful behavior, the Lord sold them for “nothing” to Babylonia. Consequently, their sin and disgraced condition caused the Gentile nations to continually blaspheme the name of the Lord (verse 5 and Romans 2:23-24 ESV). Why mention Gentiles here? I believe it’s because God indicates throughout Isaiah that he plans to save Gentiles along with his own people. (See Isaiah 2:2; 11:10, 12; 25:6-7; 42:4, 6; 49:1, 6, 8, 22; 51:4-5). God’s people are special for the very reason that he always intended them to shine forth his light for everyone else. But their disobedience resulted in the nations blaspheming the Lord’s name rather than drawing the world’s people to him. This is why God places his singular Servant as his very own stand-in–the head, the representative–of Israel. (See Isaiah Devotional 2.27).

Transition

The Lord through Isaiah issues his wake-up call to Sion/Jerusalem in verses one and two.

1 Awake, awake, Sion; put on your strength, O Sion; and o you put on your glory, Jerusalem the holy city: there shall no more pass through you, the uncircumcised and unclean. 2 Shake off the dust and arise; sit down, Jerusalem: put off the band of your neck, captive daughter of Sion. (LXE)

In these two verses, Isaiah issues crisp commands to his forgiven, yet still discouraged, people.

  1. “Awake, awake, Sion;”
  2. “… put on your strength, O Sion;”
  3. “… and o you put on your glory, Jerusalem, the holy city:”
  4. “Shake off the dust …”
  5. “… arise;”
  6. “… sit down, Jerusalem:”
  7. “… put off the band of your neck, captive daughter of Sion.”

The prophet states God’s intentions clearly. He intends Jerusalem to sit down in his presence, not as a slave, but like a queen. (Luke 22:69; Colossians 3:1, 3-4; Hebrews 12:2; John 17:20-26; Revelation 19:7-9).

Then Verse Six

The people of Jerusalem represent all of  God’s people (“my people”, verse 4). Formerly, he sent them into exile (Isaiah 5:13; 27:6-8). Now, he commands them to sit in his presence. What causes this huge change in God’s actions toward Jerusalem? Verse six states the cause, as it clearly pronounces God’s incarnation in his Servant. Four times in verses three through seven the text states, “Thus says the Lord,” (verses 3, 4, and twice in verse 5). In verse six, for readers who have followed Isaiah closely, the voice of God and the voice of his incarnated Servant are indistinguishable.

Therefore shall my people know my name in that day, for I am he that speaks: I am present, (Septuagint in American English)

Therefore my people shall know my name in that day because I AM (ego eimi) he, the one speaking. I am present (Fred Miller’s English Translation of the Greek Septuagint)

Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.” (ESV)

Evidence of the Incarnation in Verse Six

1. “In that day”

The book of Septuagint Isaiah uses the phrase “in that day” multiple times. In general, the phrase introduces either a day of judgment or a day of salvation. Sometimes, the same day brings judgment to some and salvation to others. Examples of the latter occur in Isaiah 29:18-21 and Isaiah 30:23-28. But the places where Isaiah uses “in that day” to specifically refer to Christ/the Servant in his incarnation concern us most here. See the verses below as evidence.

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall arise to rule over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust, and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall be in that day, that the Lord shall again show his hand, to be zealous for the remnant that is left of the people, which shall be left by the Assyrians, and that from Egypt, and from the country of Babylon, and from Ethiopia, and from the Elamites, and from the rising of the sun, and out of Arabia. (Isaiah 11:10-11, LXE) (Also see verse 10 quoted in Romans 15:12 ESV.)

1 And in that day you shall say, I will bless you, O Lord; for you were angry with me, but you have turned aside your wrath, and have pitied me. 2 Behold, my God is my Saviour; I will trust in him, and not be afraid: for the Lord is my glory and my praise, and is become my salvation. 3 Draw you therefore water with joy out of the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day you shall say, sing to the Lord, call aloud upon his name, proclaim his glorious deeds among the Gentiles; make mention that his name is exalted. 5 Sing praise to the name of the Lord; for he has done great things: declare this in all the earth. 6 Exalt and rejoice, you that dwell in Sion: for the Holy One of Israel is exalted in the midst of her. (Isaiah 12:1-6, LXE)

2. Use of the Particular Phrase “I AM (ego eimi) he”

Once more, here is verse six.

Therefore shall my people know my name in that day, for I am he that speaks: I am present, (Septuagint in American English)

The phrase “I am” contains tremendous significance in Israel’s history. When Moses asked the being in the burning bush his name, he (God) replied, “Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” This is the name “Yahweh,” by which Israel knew their Lord throughout their Old Testament history. Jesus (the Christ, the incarnated Servant) used this phrase several times with reference to himself. One example follows.

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (ESV)

The following verse states, “They picked up stones to throw at him.” They did this because the law prescribed stoning as punishment for blasphemy. Jesus said many other things to indicate he was God’s Son. And in fact, the religious leaders of Jesus’s day wanted him crucified for blasphemy.

The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” (John 19:7 ESV)

3. The Statement “Therefore, my people shall know my name.”

“In that day,” that is, in the day of God’s incarnation in the being of his singular Servant, “my people shall know my name.” Jesus the Christ fulfilled this prophecy also. Often, he asked his disciples concerning his name. On occasion his disciples knew the answer. Some examples of these statements follow.

Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49 ESV)

Mark 8:27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” (ESV)

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (ESV)

Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” … 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (ESV)

4. The Statement, “I am present”

In Greek the statement, “I am present” can also mean, “I have arrived” (Thayer). English texts translate the Hebrew statement as, “Here I am.” (ESV, NET, NAU) God is the one speaking (“Thus says the Lord”–verse 5). God says, “I have arrived. Here I am. I am present.” Isaiah previously indicates this occurrence elsewhere.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign: the young woman will become pregnant, bear a son and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us]. (Complete Jewish Bible, CJB)

And when Mary became pregnant with the Christ child, the angel of the Lord told Joseph, her husband, the following.

Matthew 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (ESV)

5. The Context Following Verse 6

… to be continued 


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