The Downfall of the Chaldean/Neo-Babylonian Empire and the End of the Babylonian Exile   Leave a comment

Above:  Map of the Chaldean/Neo-Babylonian Empire

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

READING FIRST ISAIAH, PART XI

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isaiah 13:1-14:22; 21:1-10

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Chronology is not the organizing principle in the final version of the Book of Isaiah.  Therefore, writing based on topic can be appropriate.  The selected texts come from a time after Isaiah ben Amoz–probably very late in the existence of the Kingdom of Judah.  They cannot come from Isaiah ben Amoz because they speak of a geographical reality that did not yet exist.  However, Isaiah 14:24-27, in which the Assyrian Empire still stands, consistent with the geopolitical situation Isaiah ben Amoz knew.

The Book of Isaiah has already established that God punishes human arrogance.  That theme repeats here.  Arrogance feeds a false self of self-sufficiency, in contrast to reality, that we all depend entirely on God.  This arrogance feeds an “every man for himself” mentality, which encourages and condones exploitation of the poor.  Exploitation violates mutuality, a major principle in the Law of Moses.  When divine anger burns, the gig is up.

The key difference between the fates of Babylonia and the exiled Judeans was that preserved a remnant of the Judeans.  God was faithful to the divine promise in the covenant.  Restoration–the end of the Babylonian Exile–followed punishment.

I have read the entire canon of scripture of the Russian Orthodox Church (78 books) and taken notes.  I did that more than two decades ago, however.  I have been blogging my way through the Bible, with lectionaries as guides, since 2009.  I have been blogging through the books of the Bible according to plans I have devised for years, too.  Through it all, I have never failed to learn something I have missed umpteen times.  I have also become increasingly aware of how much the Bible repeats itself, even within the same book.

For maximum effect, O reader, find the first post in this series about First Isaiah and start reading, unless you have been doing so already.  Or find my first post in the “Reading Hosea” series, the series that has led me here, to First Isaiah, and start reading there.  First Isaiah contains themes also present in the Books of Hosea, Amos, and Micah, and I have written about some of those themes in greater detail prior to this post.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 1, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUSTIN MARTYR, CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST AND MARTYR, 166/167

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILUS OF CAESAREA, BIBLE SCHOLAR AND TRANSLATOR; AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS, 309

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL STENNETT, ENGLISH SEVENTH-DAY BAPTIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN HOWARD, ENGLISH HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIMEON OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROBINSON, MARMADUKE STEPHENSON, AND MARY DYER, BRITISH QUAKER MARTYRS IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, 1659 AND 1660

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: