Doing Something Out of Ritual as Opposed to a Connection to Faith, ישעיהו כט:א-ו / Isaiah 29:1-6

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Isaiah 29:1-6

Isaiah chapter 29 is a continuation of the denunciation of Jerusalem due to the sins of the people. Their hope should be in the Lord, but instead they hope in themselves and their covenants they have made with death and the grave. (See Chapter 28) They live a partying lifestyle, rather than one of sorrow due to their sins. The partying and revelry parallels the cult lifestyle, this connection is from a Torah perspective according to Parashat Ki Tisa (Shemot / Exodus 30:11-34:35). Specifically, let’s look at Shemot / Exodus 32:1-14.

ספר שמות פרק לב
א   וַיַּרְא הָעָם כִּי-בֹשֵׁשׁ מֹשֶׁה לָרֶדֶת מִן-הָהָר וַיִּקָּהֵל הָעָם עַל-אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו קוּם | עֲשֵֹה-לָנוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר יֵלְכוּ לְפָנֵינוּ כִּי-זֶה | מֹשֶׁה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָנוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֹא יָדַעְנוּ מֶה-הָיָה לוֹ: ב   וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אַהֲרֹן פָּרְקוּ נִזְמֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר בְּאָזְנֵי נְשֵׁיכֶם בְּנֵיכֶם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶם וְהָבִיאוּ אֵלָי: ג   וַיִּתְפָּרְקוּ כָּל-הָעָם אֶת-נִזְמֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר בְּאָזְנֵיהֶם וַיָּבִיאוּ אֶל-אַהֲרֹן: ד   וַיִּקַּח מִיָּדָם וַיָּצַר אֹתוֹ בַּחֶרֶט וַיַּעֲשֵֹהוּ עֵגֶל מַסֵּכָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֶּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: ה   וַיַּרְא אַהֲרֹן וַיִּבֶן מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו וַיִּקְרָא אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמַר חַג לַיהוָֹה מָחָר: ו   וַיַּשְׁכִּימוּ מִמָּחֳרָת וַיַּעֲלוּ עֹלֹת וַיַּגִּשׁוּ שְׁלָמִים וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם לֶאֱכֹל וְשָׁתוֹ וַיָּקֻמוּ לְצַחֵק:   פ   ז   וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֶךְ-רֵד כִּי שִׁחֵת עַמְּךָ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלֵיתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: ח   סָרוּ מַהֵר מִן-הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִם עָשֹוּ לָהֶם עֵגֶל מַסֵּכָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ-לוֹ וַיִּזְבְּחוּ-לוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֶּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: ט   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה רָאִיתִי אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה וְהִנֵּה עַם-קְשֵׁה-עֹרֶף הוּא: י   וְעַתָּה הַנִּיחָה לִּי וְיִחַר-אַפִּי בָהֶם וַאֲכַלֵּם וְאֶעֱשֶֹה אוֹתְךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל: יא   וַיְחַל מֹשֶׁה אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָה יְהוָֹה יֶחֱרֶה אַפְּךָ בְּעַמֶּךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בְּכֹחַ גָּדוֹל וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה: יב   לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר בְּרָעָה הוֹצִיאָם לַהֲרֹג אֹתָם בֶּהָרִים וּלְכַלֹּתָם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה שׁוּב מֵחֲרוֹן אַפֶּךָ וְהִנָּחֵם עַל-הָרָעָה לְעַמֶּךָ: יג   זְכֹר לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיִשְֹרָאֵל עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לָהֶם בָּךְ וַתְּדַבֵּר אֲלֵהֶם אַרְבֶּה אֶת-זַרְעֲכֶם כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְכָל-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי אֶתֵּן לְזַרְעֲכֶם וְנָחֲלוּ לְעֹלָם: יד   וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהוָֹה עַל-הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לַעֲשֹוֹת לְעַמּוֹ: 

Shemot / Exodus 32:1–14 
32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 32:2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 32:3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 32:5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD. 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 32:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 32:11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and said unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (KJV)

According to the Torah, כִּי-בֹשֵׁשׁ מֹשֶׁה לָרֶדֶת מִן-הָהָר Moshe delayed coming down the mountain. So, the people grew impatient and decided to have Aaron build for them a god they can see, one that will lead them instead of the God of Israel. We note that this is a god that was fashioned after their own understanding. Aaron proclaimed אֵלֶּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם “these are your gods Israel that brought you from the land of Egypt.” The narrative goes on saying, ה   וַיַּרְא אַהֲרֹן וַיִּבֶן מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו וַיִּקְרָא אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמַר חַג לַיהוָֹה מָחָר: ו   וַיַּשְׁכִּימוּ מִמָּחֳרָת וַיַּעֲלוּ עֹלֹת וַיַּגִּשׁוּ שְׁלָמִים וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם לֶאֱכֹל וְשָׁתוֹ וַיָּקֻמוּ לְצַחֵק: “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink and rose up to play.” We note that the words וַיָּקֻמוּ לְצַחֵק “and they rose to play” is an euphemism for sexual immorality. We note a lexical search on the word לְצַחֵק leads to the following results:

Bereshit / Genesis 39:14 
וַתִּקְרָ֞א לְאַנְשֵׁ֣י בֵיתָ֗הּ וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר רְא֗וּ הֵ֥בִיא לָ֛נוּ אִ֥ישׁ עִבְרִ֖י לְצַ֣חֶק בָּ֑נוּ בָּ֤א אֵלַי֙ לִשְׁכַּ֣ב עִמִּ֔י וָאֶקְרָ֖א בְּקֹ֥ול גָּדֹֽול׃

Bereshit / Genesis 39:17 
וַתְּדַבֵּ֣ר אֵלָ֔יו כַּדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לֵאמֹ֑ר בָּֽא־אֵלַ֞י הָעֶ֧בֶד הָֽעִבְרִ֛י אֲשֶׁר־הֵבֵ֥אתָ לָּ֖נוּ לְצַ֥חֶק בִּֽי׃

Bereshit / Exodus 32:6 
וַיַּשְׁכִּ֨ימוּ֙‬ מִֽמָּחֳרָ֔ת וַיַּעֲל֣וּ‬ עֹלֹ֔ת וַיַּגִּ֖שׁוּ‬ שְׁלָמִ֑ים‬ וַיֵּ֤שֶׁב הָעָם֙ לֶֽאֱכֹ֣ל וְשָׁתֹ֔ו וַיָּקֻ֖מוּ לְצַחֵֽק׃ 

We note the usage here, the first is to shout, the second is to mock, and the third is to play. We note that John wrote in 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.” Paul writes, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Sexual sin, by its very definition is dehumanizing. When one walks in their lusts, he or she degenerates to become like an animal. The idea is that one focuses upon nothing but the sensuality of body parts and pleasurable feelings. We are told in the Scriptures that this destroys both persons involved, you and others. We note also that sexual sin also is felt by others who are not involved which is worked out in the emotional state of the one who practices these things, mercy, and love are tarnished and the end state of the one who does these things, who makes their pleasures their idol, falls from fellowship with God. We note all of these things follow through from these verses as we read God responding saying, ט   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה רָאִיתִי אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה וְהִנֵּה עַם-קְשֵׁה-עֹרֶף הוּא: י   וְעַתָּה הַנִּיחָה לִּי וְיִחַר-אַפִּי בָהֶם וַאֲכַלֵּם וְאֶעֱשֶֹה אוֹתְךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל: “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” Moshe pleads for the people and the Lord God agrees with Moshe’s arguments and the people are forgiven. The major point as the narrative continues past Shemot / Exodus 32:1-14 is whether the presence of God would go with the people or not. This ties back to what is in the heart of the people, lust, sin, idolatry, and how these things cause one to fall from fellowship with God. 

The whole issue being taught here is for waiting on the Lord God. Isaiah 40:31 writes, וְקֹויֵ֤ יְהוָה֙ יַחֲלִ֣יפוּ כֹ֔חַ יַעֲל֥וּ אֵ֖בֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִ֑ים יָר֨וּצוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֔עוּ יֵלְכ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א יִיעָֽפוּ׃ פ 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles; They shall run, and not be weary; And they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV) We are told that if we wait upon the Lord, if we trust in Him, we will have strength! When we think about the issue of waiting on the Lord, we have many biblical examples, for example, Israel was enslaved for over 400 years before the Lord sent them a deliverer (Moshe) and the conditions of the exile lasted almost 500 years if we include the wilderness journey. We note that we have been waiting upon the return of the Messiah Yeshua for 2000 years. In addition, The Pharisees got impatient waiting for the coming of the Messiah, so they interpreted the Torah to imply that we need to have a certain level of Torah observance that would lead to the coming of the Messiah, or the nation meriting the coming of the Messiah of God. This resulted in self-righteousness and being judgmental over others, which led them to their rejection of the Messiah. Note that the Torah is supposed to lead us to the Messiah, as opposed to away from Him. We also note the actions of Paul before the road to Damascus, his actions coincided with the Pharisaical approach in his persecution of the believers in His day. If we go way back in history, to 1 and 2 Samuel, we see how King Saul was impatient, and in his impatience, he stepped outside of God’s plan for him, and sacrificed in order to gain the favor of God when he was supposed to wait upon Samuel before sacrificing. This is where we get the famous scripture in 1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to hearken than the fat of rams.” (KJV) The point is that impatience leads to idolatry and sin. Here Saul had an understanding of God that was not rooted in mercy, lovingkindness, grace, and truth. He had a god of his own making in his heart. We note that in Saul’s case he probably suffered from misplaced priorities more so than a form of idolatry. In order to understand who God is, we must study the Scriptures! Saul’s problem was pride, the very same problem Isaiah is speaking of concerning Judah and Jerusalem. We note that even though it is through sin that destruction is brought by God, it is the Lord God Almighty who is also able to restore the people and sanctify the place they live in. This is why Isaiah speaks of judgment and redemption at the same time. Based upon Isaiah’s words, the leaders chose to rely upon their covenant with other nations because they doubted God’s ability to save them. (Isaiah 5:18-19, 7:12, 30:2, 31:1, etc.) The power of God is so great, that those who refuse will suffer from destruction at His hand, and following the destruction, it is the Lord God Almighty alone who is able to restore and save the people. This is illustrated again in the history of Babylonian exile and restoration spoken of in Ezra and Nehemiah. It is because of God’s love that we have this great hope of restoration, and the mercy of God provides us with time to repent and turn from sin, and to seek the Lord and His Messiah Yeshua for the forgiveness of our sins! 

Isaiah begins in chapter 29 saying the following according to Isaiah 29:1.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
א   הוֹי אֲרִיאֵל אֲרִיאֵל קִרְיַת חָנָה דָוִד סְפוּ שָׁנָה עַל-שָׁנָה חַגִּים יִנְקֹפוּ: 

Isaiah 29:1 states, “Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! Add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. (הוֹי אֲרִיאֵל אֲרִיאֵל קִרְיַת חָנָה דָוִד סְפוּ שָׁנָה עַל-שָׁנָה חַגִּים יִנְקֹפוּ)” When reading this verse, the question we get is “who is אֲרִיאֵל Ariel?” Researching this name, the Leshab Bible Dictionary states “this is the primary capital city of Israel, the City of David; City of God; City of the Lord; Hephzibah; Holy City; Holy City (Jerusalem); Jebus; Jebusite; Mount Zion; Salem; Sion; Zion.” The earliest references to Jerusalem are found in ancient Egyptian texts, from roughly 1900–1800 BC. The name appears as “Rushalimum.” Later, in 1400 BC, Abdi-Heba, an Egyptian vassal in Jerusalem, sent a letter of allegiance to Pharaoh Amenophis IV, from “Urushalim” (Moran, Amarna Letters, 325). A later Assyrian text, Sennacherib’s prism, also refers to the city as “Ursalimmu” (Tsevat, TDOT, 348). The Aramaic in these references, יְרוּשְׁלֶם (yerushelem), is very similar to the biblical יְרוּשָׁלַםִ (yerushalami). While the consonants remain the same, the vowel pointing lends a different ending to each. It is possible that the name Jerusalem is a compound noun, deriving from the words יָרָה (yarah, “pillar”) and שָׁלֵם (shalem) (proper name “Shalem,” or a cognate for שָׁלוֹם, shalom, “peace”). The definition could be either “foundation of the god of Shalem,” or “foundation of peace” (Stoltz, Strukturen, 181; Koehler and Baumgartner, Lexicon, 404; Lewy, “Textes”). The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary states the following:

ARIEL (PERSON) [Heb ʾărı̂ʾēl (אֲרִיאֵל)]. Var. IDUEL. Even though the Hebrew terms that stand behind the transliteration “ariel” occur rarely in the Bible, “ariel” seems to carry a wide range of meanings: (1) a poetic name for Jerusalem (Isa 29:1–2, 7); (2) a common noun for “heroes” or “champions” (2 Sam 23:20; 1 Chr 11:22; cf. Isa 33:7); (3) a common noun for “altar hearth” (Ezek 43:15–16; cf. Mesha Inscription, line 12); and (4) a personal name, a proper noun (Ezra 8:16). (Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary)

ARIEL (PLACE) [Heb ʾărı̂ʾēl (אֲרִיאֵל)]. When used to refer to a place, Ariel is a descriptive term applied to the city of Jerusalem: “Ho Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped”; “Yet I will distress Ariel …”; “And the multitudes of all the nations that fight against Ariel …” (Isa 29:1, 2, 7). The suggestion that the term is a compound of ʾari and ʾel to mean “lion[ness] of God” is inferred by some from references to Judah (whose capital was Jerusalem) as “a lion’s whelp” (Gen 49:9) and to the leader of Judah, Jesus Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (Rev 5:5). References in 2 Sam 23:20 to one of David’s men as a valiant man who killed men of Moab and a lion, and in Isa 33:7 (where some postulate ʾerʾellam to be derived from ʾarı̂ʾel; cf. BDB, 72) to the brave men of Judah during Sennacherib’s onslaught are cited in support of this view. It is noted that in 2 Sam 23:20 the LXX reads, “the two sons of Ariel of Moab,” while the MT has “the two ariel(s) of Moab.” In Ezek 43:15 there is a curious MT reading, harʾēl, “mountain of God,” in the context of a description of the altar; some versions here have ʾarı̂ʾēl (“lioness of God”) and ʾarı̄ʾêl (“altar hearth, hearth of God”; the Qere has ʾarı̄ʾêl). This latter interpretation, “altar hearth, hearth of God,” is supported by some scholars because it fits the meaning of Ezek 43:15 where an altar for Jerusalem is described, an altar with four “horns,” or projections, one at each of the four corners, and they see a parallel in the ʾarʾel (?) dwd which the Moabite Stone (line 12) says Mesha king of Moab dragged before the god Chemosh (ANET, 320). On this view the concept of altar hearth comes for ʾarah, “burn,” similar to the Arabic ʾira tun, feminine “hearth.” If this is the root, the lamed at the end of the word ʾariʾel is considered a formative. Thus, Isa 29:1, 2, 7 speaks of Jerusalem in solemn terms as the city on which God will bring his wrath, and Jerusalem will be like a burning altar hearth. (Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary)

Here Ariel is a reference to Jerusalem, and Isaiah speaks to the city performing sacrifices. The point Isaiah seems to be making is a warning to the people of Jerusalem who are relying upon their offering of sacrifices as a means for placating God for their sins. We remember that God said through His prophets that He desires obedience over sacrifice. This again leads back to the concept of pride, the people believed their city was too powerful through their bringing sacrifices, however, their unholiness and sinfulness God was not pleased with, and all the sacrifices they would bring would not satisfy God until they mend their ways and turn from their sins and repent and seek forgiveness from the One True God! A text comparison to the LXX shows another interpretation of Isaiah 29:1.

We note how the LXX interprets the name Ariel as the Jebusite city, the City of David specifically that this is referring to. The LXX also mentions gathering their produce and eating with Moab. To gather and to eat is synonymous to the people receiving the same justice that is declared by God in His Torah to those who live a life of unrepentant sin. We remember Moab’s religion is the abomination Chemosh, human sacrifice of babies to their god. The TgJ translates “1 Woe to the altar, the altar which is built in the city in which David dwelt; because of the assembly of the armies which are gathering themselves together against her year by year, because the festivals shall cease.” (TgJ) The TgJ directs our attention to the altar specifically, that this altar is the source of their downfall. These things speak to the sacredness of this holy place where we read throughout the Scriptures of the place where God will establish His Name. The city of David may also be analogous to the pride of the people in Jerusalem in their association with King David. We note that righteousness is something that is to be taught. Being sinful comes naturally, all we have to do is watch our children grow. Rebellion, disrespect, sinfulness all come naturally for children. There must be discipline and training so that a child will grow to understand that righteousness is the path God wants for our lives. We note again how the Torah describes discipline and self restraint. Pagan practice involves self indulgence (Hosea 8:11-14, Amos 4:4-5) that follows the nature cycle, note again how the natural physical response to sensuality is to get more of it. This defines the sinfulness of the body, and if we are willing to give in to ungodliness and wicked life, the base emotions, then we are doomed. God calls us to seek His help, to walk in His ways, to ask for life and life more abundantly in His holy Word! These things reveal to us how sinfulnes leads nowhere, while living for the Lord God Almighty, we are on the path of moving forward!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 29:2.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
ב   וַהֲצִיקוֹתִי לַאֲרִיאֵל וְהָיְתָה תַאֲנִיָּה וַאֲנִיָּה וְהָיְתָה לִּי כַּאֲרִיאֵל: 

Isaiah 29:2 states, “Yet I will distress Ariel, And there shall be heaviness and sorrow: And it shall be unto me as Ariel. (וַהֲצִיקוֹתִי לַאֲרִיאֵל וְהָיְתָה תַאֲנִיָּה וַאֲנִיָּה וְהָיְתָה לִּי כַּאֲרִיאֵל)” Here Isaiah says that the Lord God will bring וַהֲצִיקוֹתִי diestress to Jerusalem. The תַאֲנִיָּה וַאֲנִיָּה heaviness and sorrow is for those who have turned from the Lord. Isaiah makes it clear the nations that come against this holy place will be by God’s hand, to lay siege and destroy. Note how these things emphasize the Torah commands, as we read for example from Shemot / Exodus 23:20-22.

ספר שמות פרק כג
אכ   הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָךְ לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁמָרְךָ בַּדָּרֶךְ וְלַהֲבִיאֲךָ אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר הֲכִנֹתִי: כא   הִשָּׁמֶר מִפָּנָיו וּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ אַל-תַּמֵּר בּוֹ כִּי לֹא יִשָּׂא לְפִשְׁעֲכֶם כִּי שְׁמִי בְּקִרְבּוֹ: כב   כִּי אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ וְעָשִֹיתָ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר אֲדַבֵּר וְאָיַבְתִּי אֶת-אֹיְבֶיךָ וְצַרְתִּי אֶת-צֹרְרֶיךָ: 

Shemot / Exodus 23:20–22
23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 23:21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. (KJV)

Here Moshe speaks of the Lord God saying אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָךְ לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁמָרְךָ בַּדָּרֶךְ “I will send my angel before you to keep you on the path.” This is an interesting phrase as the Lord sends His messenger to guide and direct the people. There are obvious parallels to Yeshua as the one who leads, guides, and directs us to walk in God’s holy ways (1 Peter 2:21). Moshe says כִּי אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ וְעָשִֹיתָ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר אֲדַבֵּר “but if you listen and obey His voice and do all that I say” speaks to obeying God’s holy Words. We note when we do this God says he will protect us from the enemy. This idea of שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ hearing, listening to the voice of God is very important, this takes intentionality! What exactly are we to be intentional about? The LXX expands upon the Hebrew bible to provide a little more explanation on what we are to be intentional about.

LXX on Shemot 23:20-22
20 Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ἵνα φυλάξῃ σε ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ, ὅπως εἰσαγάγῃ σε εἰς τὴν γῆν, ἣν ἡτοίμασά σοι. 21 πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ εἰσάκουε αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ ἀπείθει αὐτῷ, οὐ γὰρ μὴ ὑποστείληταί σε, τὸ γὰρ ὄνομά μού ἐστιν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ. 22 ἐὰν ἀκοῇ ἀκούσητε τῆς ἐμῆς φωνῆς καὶ ποιήσῃς πάντα, ὅσα ἂν ἐντείλωμαί σοι, καὶ φυλάξητε τὴν διαθήκην μου, ἔσεσθέ μοι λαὸς περιούσιος ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν, ἐμὴ γάρ ἐστιν πᾶσα ἡ γῆ, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἔσεσθέ μοι βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα καὶ ἔθνος ἅγιον. ταῦτα τὰ ῥήματα ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ Ἐὰν ἀκοῇ ἀκούσητε τῆς φωνῆς μου καὶ ποιήσῃς πάντα, ὅσα ἂν εἴπω σοι, ἐχθρεύσω τοῖς ἐχθροῖς σου καὶ ἀντικείσομαι τοῖς ἀντικειμένοις σοι.

Shemot / Exodus 23:20-22
20 “ ‘And look, I myself am sending out my angel before your face, so that he may watch over you along the way, in order that he may guide you to the land that I have prepared for you. 21 Be mindful of yourself and listen to him, and do not disobey him, for he will certainly not put up with you, for my name is on him. 22 If you listen with hearing to my voice and you do all the things that I command you and keep my covenant, you will be a people special to me from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine. But you yourselves will be a royal priesthood to me and a holy nation. You will say these words to the sons of Israel: If you listen with hearing to my voice and do everything that I say to you, I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an adversary to those hostile to you. (LES)

Note how expansive the LXX is on Shemot / Exodus 23:20. Here the LXX says that when we שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ listen to His voice, he will make us to be a special people and a holy nation. This describes the type of people we are before God, ἔθνος ἅγιον “a holy people,” this is what we are to be intentional about in our lives. Holiness! The significance of this is found in phrase, אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָךְ לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁמָרְךָ בַּדָּרֶךְ “I will send my angel before you to keep you on the path.” These things speak to us that we need the Lord’s help to remain faithful upon the path that He has established for our lives! We should be intentional to remain in God’s ways. Isaiah speaking of sacrifices reveals to us the intentionality of the people obeying God’s word. This is something the people are choosing to do out of ritual as opposed to having a connection by faith. 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 29:3-4.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
ג   וְחָנִיתִי כַדּוּר עָלָיִךְ וְצַרְתִּי עָלַיִךְ מֻצָּב וַהֲקִימֹתִי עָלַיִךְ מְצֻרֹת: ד   וְשָׁפַלְתְּ מֵאֶרֶץ תְּדַבֵּרִי וּמֵעָפָר תִּשַּׁח אִמְרָתֵךְ וְהָיָה כְּאוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ קוֹלֵךְ וּמֵעָפָר אִמְרָתֵךְ תְּצַפְצֵף: 

Isaiah 29:3 states, “And I will camp against thee roundabout, And will lay siege against thee with a mount, And I will raise forts against thee. (וְחָנִיתִי כַדּוּר עָלָיִךְ וְצַרְתִּי עָלַיִךְ מֻצָּב וַהֲקִימֹתִי עָלַיִךְ מְצֻרֹת)” Isaiah 29:4 “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, And thy speech shall be low out of the dust, And thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, And thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (וְשָׁפַלְתְּ מֵאֶרֶץ תְּדַבֵּרִי וּמֵעָפָר תִּשַּׁח אִמְרָתֵךְ וְהָיָה כְּאוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ קוֹלֵךְ וּמֵעָפָר אִמְרָתֵךְ תְּצַפְצֵף)” These are an interesting two verses. Isaiah speaks of God laying siege to the city round about using a foreign nation, and then how the people will be brought low. The phrase וְשָׁפַלְתְּ מֵאֶרֶץ תְּדַבֵּרִי speaks to the grave, the people being brought low to the ground and speaking out of the ground. A careful look at the remainder of the verse:

וּמֵעָפָר תִּשַּׁח אִמְרָתֵךְ וְהָיָה כְּאוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ קוֹלֵךְ וּמֵעָפָר אִמְרָתֵךְ תְּצַפְצֵף

We break down this verse to say:

  •  וּמֵעָפָר תִּשַּׁח אִמְרָתֵךְ “and from the dust crouch down you will speak.” 
  •  וְהָיָה כְּאוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ קוֹלֵךְ “and your voice will be like a necromancer from the earth”
  •  וּמֵעָפָר אִמְרָתֵךְ תְּצַפְצֵף “and from the dust you will chirp.”

The idea here of going low to the dust of the earth, draws an obvious parallel to the creation account in Bereshit / Genesis 3:14 and the curse placed upon the serpent.

ספר בראשית פרק ג
יד   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים | אֶל-הַנָּחָשׁ כִּי עָשִֹיתָ זֹּאת אָרוּר אַתָּה מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה וּמִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה עַל-גְּחֹנְךָ תֵלֵךְ וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל-יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ: 

Bereshit / Genesis 3:14 
3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (KJV)

Here the Lord God curses the הַנָּחָשׁ the serpent to crawl on its belly וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל-יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ “and the dust will eat all the days of your life.” Here הַנָּחָשׁ the serpent was brought low to dwell in the dust. There are obvious connections here to what we are reading in Isaiah 29:4 from the sense of evil spirits, the evil one, and necromancing. The idea of calling up the dead involves witchcraft, rebellion to God and His holy ways. The word תְּצַפְצֵף chirping, is the biblical word used to describe speaking to the dead, or the dead speaking through a person. There are so many biblical parallels to these things in regard to the spirit realm and the kind of people we are supposed to be. We are not to have anything to do with such things! The crouching down into the dust, this sounds a lot like the covenant of death that Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 28:1-7 and Isaiah 28:8-14. We are not a people who make a covenant with death. We are a people who are holy, righteous, and live in the light, not in the darkness. The text comparison on Isaiah 29:3-4 reveals the following: 

Here the LXX draws in King David as previously mentioned Ariel is referenced as David according to the Greek translation. The parallel here is to David laying siege to the Jebusite refuge (city of David) and similarly the Lord God will camp against Jerusalem due to her sins. Isaiah 29:4, the LXX describes the words of the people sinking down into the earth and will be like those who call from the earth. This is an interesting phrase, does this refer to the dead speaking from the grave?  The TgJ translates Isaiah 29:4 saying, “4 And thou shalt be brought low, and shalt speak from beneath the earth, thy words shall gibber from the dust; and thy voice shall come like that of a necromancer out of the ground; yea, thy words shall gibber from the dust.” (TgJ) This is how the TgJ translates, that the dead cry out from the ground. The boasting voices of the people and the leadership in Jerusalem are analogized to the chirpings of the dead. Some commentators believe this is a reference to being taken captive, how the people are laid face down in the dust with the enemy placing his foot on the neck of the one who is being taken captive. We know that God has the power of life and death. Yeshua said in Luke 12:4–5, 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (KJV) Clearly, we are to fear the Lord and obey the Lord regardless of what happens in our lives. The major point is not to be proud, we should not boast, and to be humble, to seek the Lord, and to draw near to Him always! 

Isaiah continues saying the following according to Isaiah 29:5.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
ה   וְהָיָה כְּאָבָק דַּק הֲמוֹן זָרָיִךְ וּכְמֹץ עֹבֵר הֲמוֹן עָרִיצִים וְהָיָה לְפֶתַע פִּתְאֹם: 

Isaiah 29:5  states, “Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, And the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: Yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. (וְהָיָה כְּאָבָק דַּק הֲמוֹן זָרָיִךְ וּכְמֹץ עֹבֵר הֲמוֹן עָרִיצִים וְהָיָה לְפֶתַע פִּתְאֹם)” Here Isaiah speaks of a הֲמֹ֣ון זָרָ֑יִךְ “multitude of strangers” which refers to those who those whom the Lord does not know, because they do not walk in His holy ways. The LXX describes these people as the multitude of those who oppress you. 

The LXX couples the πλοῦτος τῶν ἀσεβῶν “wealth of the ungodly” being like dust scattering. The adjective ἀσεβής occurs c. 240x where 90 of the occurrences are found in Mishley / Proverbs and another 37 in Job. This Greek word most often stands for רָשָׁע meaning “guilty, wicked.” The noun ἀσέβεια occurs over 70x for a large number of Hebrew terms, mainly פֶּשַׁע (Tehillim / Psalms 5:10 [LXX 5:11], Ezekiel 18:28, Amos 1:3). The verb ἀσεβέω is used over 35x (Tehillim / Psalms 18:21 [17:22], Jeremiah 2:8), and the noun ἀσέβημα, “impious act,” only 4x (Vayikra / Leviticus 18:17). All these negative terms are closely linked with the ἀδικέω word group which is an injustice among human beings, while at the same time is an offense against God and his commandments. Therefore, these terms stand close to the word ἁμαρτάνω (“sin”). These things reveal to us something about the הֲמֹ֣ון זָרָ֑יִךְ that social order and justice are inseparable from genuine worship, and that these strange people are not doing these things. Their wealth has corrupted them which illustrates the dangers of wealth and its capacity to draw one to walk in the ways of the world. The TgJ does not say much beyond what the MSS states, “5 Moreover the multitude of those scattering thee shall be like small dust, and the tumultuous assembly of the mighty as chaff that passeth away; and there shall be a tumult suddenly.” The point is that God can save His people if they repent. They should not trust in other nations as we had seen previously, and Isaiah described these enemies as nothing more than chaff that is blown by the wind. The people of Judah and Jerusalem feared the nations and so this suggests they either did not know who their God was, all powerful and mighty to save, they did not believe the word of God, or they did not care. Their fear of men demonstrated their lack of faith, and their considering how insignificant God’s words were to them. 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 29:6.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
ו   מֵעִם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת תִּפָּקֵד בְּרַעַם וּבְרַעַשׁ וְקוֹל גָּדוֹל סוּפָה וּסְעָרָה וְלַהַב אֵשׁ אוֹכֵלָה: 

Isaiah 29:6 states, “Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts With thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, With storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. (מֵעִם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת תִּפָּקֵד בְּרַעַם וּבְרַעַשׁ וְקוֹל גָּדוֹל סוּפָה וּסְעָרָה וְלַהַב אֵשׁ אוֹכֵלָה)” We note the language here in Isaiah concerning the Lord God Almighty and what happens when being visited by the Lord. Isaiah says, מֵעִם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת תִּפָּקֵד “You will be visited by the God of Hosts,” בְּרַעַם “wth thunder” and וּבְרַעַשׁ “with quaking” וְקוֹל גָּדוֹל סוּפָה “and great sound of storm” וּסְעָרָה “and wind of the storm” וְלַהַב אֵשׁ אוֹכֵלָה “and flame blade of fire consume her.” The language here describes God and His presence as all consuming. We note that this is exactly the description that we get of the Lord God and His Messiah Yeshua according to Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12.

2 Thessalonians 1:3–12
1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV, *3 Εὐχαριστεῖν ὀφείλομεν τῷ θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν,* ἀδελφοί, καθὼς ἄξιόν ἐστιν, ὅτι ὑπεραυξάνει ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν* καὶ πλεονάζει ἡ ἀγάπη ἑνὸς ἑκάστου πάντων ὑμῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους,* 4 ὥστε αὐτοὺς ἡμᾶς ἐν ὑμῖν ⸀ἐγκαυχᾶσθαι ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑπομονῆς ὑμῶν καὶ πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς διωγμοῖς ὑμῶν* καὶ ταῖς θλίψεσιν* αἷς ⸁ἀνέχεσθε,* 5 ἔνδειγμα τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ εἰς τὸ καταξιωθῆναι ὑμᾶς τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ,* ὑπὲρ ἧς καὶ πάσχετε,* 6 εἴπερ δίκαιον παρὰ θεῷ ἀνταποδοῦναι τοῖς θλίβουσιν ὑμᾶς θλῖψιν 7 καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς θλιβομένοις ἄνεσιν μεθʼ ἡμῶν,* ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλύψει τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ μετʼ ἀγγέλων δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ* 8 ⸆ ⸂ἐν πυρὶ φλογός,*⸃ ⸀ διδόντος ἐκδίκησιν τοῖς μὴ εἰδόσιν θεὸν καὶ τοῖς μὴ ὑπακούουσιν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ, 9 οἵτινες δίκην τίσουσιν ⸀ὄλεθρον αἰώνιον ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς δόξης τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ,* 10 ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐνδοξασθῆναι ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ καὶ θαυμασθῆναι ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ⸀πιστεύσασιν,* ὅτι ⸁ἐπιστεύθη τὸ μαρτύριον ἡμῶν ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς, ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ.* 11 Εἰς ὃ καὶ προσευχόμεθα πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν,* ἵνα ὑμᾶς ἀξιώσῃ τῆς κλήσεως ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν καὶ ⸀πληρώσῃ πᾶσαν εὐδοκίαν ἀγαθωσύνης καὶ ἔργον πίστεως ἐν δυνάμει,* 12 ὅπως ἐνδοξασθῇ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ ⸆ ἐν ὑμῖν,* καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν αὐτῷ,* κατὰ τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.)

Note the declaration of the power of the Messiah, and on His return, there will be a consuming fire that destroys those who do not believe in the God of Israel nor obey the Gospel. Notice also how Paul writes, Εἰς ὃ καὶ προσευχόμεθα πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν,* ἵνα ὑμᾶς ἀξιώσῃ τῆς κλήσεως ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν καὶ ⸀πληρώσῃ πᾶσαν εὐδοκίαν ἀγαθωσύνης καὶ ἔργον πίστεως ἐν δυνάμει,* “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” The most interesting word here are the words ἀξιώσῃ τῆς κλήσεως ὁ θεὸς “being worthy of the calling of God.” This word ἀξιώσῃ is part of a group of words that is mostly used in the LXX from the sense of a monetary use (See Bereshit /  Genesis 23:9), of comparison (Mishley / Proverbs 3:15), of the sense “fitting, deserving” (2 Maccabees 4:38), and of the moral application “worthy” (Wisdom 3:5, 6:16). The verb ἀξιόω occurs 55× but usually with the meaning “to request” (Esther 4:8). The NT usage the adjective ἄξιος is used over 40×. The verb ἀξιόω occurs 7× and the adverb ἀξίως 6×, all but one in Paul; the compound καταξιόω 3× (see Luke 20:35, Acts 5:41, 2 Thessalonians 1:5); and the negatives ἀνάξιος and ἀναξίως once each (1 Corinthians 6:2, 11:27). A general use of ἄξιος is found in Romans 8:18  generally as “fitting, consistent with, deserving,” which occurs in a variety of passages, for example, as an act deserving of death (Luke 23:15, Hebrews 10:29), work that merits pay (Matthew 10:10, Luke 10:7, 1 Timothy 5:17-18), a saying that calls for full acceptance (1 Timothy 1:15), or fruit/deeds in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20). We note how this word is used in the context of a person’s status in relationship to God and His requirements. We note that in Capernaum, the centurion did not consider himself worthy for Yeshua to be troubled with him (Luke 7:7). It is interesting that the three uses of the verb καταξιόω are all in the passive with God clearly as the implied agent and speaks of people being counted worthy of participating in God’s kingdom and work (Luke 20:35, Acts 5:41, 2 Thessalonians 1:5 and 1:11). What we note here is how Paul uses the adverb ἀξίως to refer to the distinctive conduct required of believers. Three of the passages speak of walking in a manner worthy of God or the Lord (see Ephesians 4:1, Collosians 1:10, and 1 Thessalonians 2:12). Note also how Paul instructs the Roman to receive Phoebe honorably, in a manner worthy of the saints (Romans 16:2). In 1 Corinthians 11:27 Paul warns against celebrating the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner (ἀναξίως). All of these examples provide the context for 2 thessalonians 1:3-12, in relation to faith and obedience to the Word of God. We note how Isaiah speaks of the Lord God visiting His people who cry out for mercy. When the Lord God visits those who lack faith, there is certain destruction. The Lord comes bringing with Him Justice, and if injustice is occurring, judgment and punishment come to the one who is involved in the injustice! (Isaiah 24:21) We note that these things speak to the importance of personal examination, that we should look very closely at who we are, what we believe, and how we live. Do our lives fall in line with the standard that is given according to the Scriptures that is befitting of our being God’s children? Or are we deluding ourselves, or creating a fabrication of who we are pretending to believe in God and in His Messiah Yeshua, while living a life filled with unrepentant sin? The reason the Lord God was besieging Jerusalem was for this very reason, the people were not involved in self examination, they were not involved with walking in God’s holy and righteous ways. The point at which the Lord God intervenes in history is when mankind does not consider the weightiness of who we are when we say that we have faith, are we actually living out that faith? Note that I am speaking primarily to those who couple liberalism to their faith believing LGBTQ and woke ideologies may be coupled to their faith. The consuming fire of God, and the NT connections to the word ἄξιος of being counted worthy of God’s calling (ἀξιώσῃ τῆς κλήσεως ὁ θεὸς), the question should be regarding our faith, are our deeds consistent with our faith statements, or are our deeds worthy of deserving of death? For the truly repentant, we would say yes, our deeds are worthy of death, we admit how evil and wicked we are before a holy and righteous God! The imagery that we find here in Isaiah speaks to the power of God and the faith and faithfulness of His people! God is sovereign over all, and it does not matter how one tries to reason around the truth that is found in the Scriptures, ultimately we will all have to face the reality of our sins before a holy God. These things illustrate why it is so important to repent now, immediately, and continue to live a life of repentance until the Lord returns so that we do not find ourselves being counted as one of the unfaithful in whom the all consuming fire of God is destined to destroy! The mercy of God is available for us here and now! There will come a day however, when that mercy will run out. These things explain to us how time is of the essence! Get right with the Lord before it is too late!

Rabbinic Literature

The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah, and so becomes a very valuable resource for our study of the book of Isaiah!

תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק כט:א-ו
א      יֵי מַדבְחָא מַדבְחָא דִבנֵי בְקַרתָא דִשרָא בַה דָוִיד מִן קֳדָם כְנֵישַת מַשרְיָן דְמִתכַנשִין עְלַה שְנָא שְנָא בִיך חַגִין יִבטְלוּן׃ ב      וְאַעֵיק לְקַרתָא דְמַדבְחָא בַה וּתהֵי צָדיָא וְרֵיקָניָא וּתהֵי מַקְפָא קֳדָמַי דַם קְטִילִין כְאַקָפוּת מַדבְחָא דַם נִכסַת קוּדשַיָא בְיֹומָא דְחַגָא סְחֹור סְחֹור׃ ג      וְאַשרֵי עְלַך מַשרְיָן וְאַבנֵי עְלָך כַרקֹום וְאַצבֹור עְלַך מִלֵיתָא׃ ד      וְתִמאְכִין מֵאַרעָא תְמַלְלִין וּמֵעַפרָא יְנַצְפָן מִילַך וִיהֵי כְאֹוב מֵאַרעָא קָלִיך וּמֵעַפרָא מִילַך יְנַצְפָן׃ ה      וִיהֵי כַאְבַק דַקִיק הְמֹון מְבַדְרַך וּכמֹוץ דְעָדֵי אִתרְגֹושַת תַקִיפִין וִיהֵי בִתכֵיף אִתרְגֹושָא׃ ו      מִן קֳדָם יוי ‭”‬צְבָאֹות‭“‬ תִתפְקֵיד בִרעַם וּבִזיָע וְקָל סַגִי בְעַלעוּל וּברוּחַ וְשַלהֹובִי אִישָא דִמשֵיצְיָא׃

Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 29:1-6
29:1 Woe to the altar, the altar which is built in the city in which David dwelt; because of the assembly of the armies which are gathering themselves together against her year by year, because the festivals shall cease. 29:2 And I will distress the city, in which the altar is, and she shall be desolate and empty; and she shall be surrounded before me with the blood of the slain, as the altar is surrounded round about with the blood of the holy sacrifices in the day of the festival. 29:3 And I will encamp against thee with armies; and I will build a fortified camp against thee, and I will cast up a mound against thee. 29:4 And thou shalt be brought low, and shalt speak from beneath the earth, thy words shall gibber from the dust; and thy voice shall come like that of a necromancer out of the ground; yea, thy words shall gibber from the dust. 29:5 Moreover the multitude of those scattering thee shall be like small dust, and the tumultuous assembly of the mighty as chaff that passeth away; and there shall be a tumult suddenly. 29:6 Thou shalt be visited with thunder from the Lord of hosts, and with earthquake, and with a great noise; with storm, and tempest, and a flame of devouring fire. (TgJ)

The TgJ translates Isaiah 29:1 to say that the word  אֲרִיאֵ֣ל אֲרִיאֵ֔ל Ariel Ariel to be “the Altar the Altar.” The differences here are significant as we note a few scriptures from the Torah and the prophets. 

ספר שמות פרק כז
א   וְעָשִֹיתָ אֶת-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים חָמֵשׁ אַמּוֹת אֹרֶךְ וְחָמֵשׁ אַמּוֹת רֹחַב רָבוּעַ יִהְיֶה הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְשָׁלֹשׁ אַמּוֹת קֹמָתוֹ: ב   וְעָשִֹיתָ קַרְנֹתָיו עַל אַרְבַּע פִּנֹּתָיו מִמֶּנּוּ תִּהְיֶין ָ קַרְנֹתָיו וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתוֹ נְחֹשֶׁת: 

Shemot / Exodus 27:2
27:1 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 27:2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. (KJV)

ספר שמות פרק לז
כה   וַיַּעַשֹ אֶת-מִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹרֶת עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים אַמָּה אָרְכּוֹ וְאַמָּה רָחְבּוֹ רָבוּעַ וְאַמָּתַיִם קֹמָתוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ הָיוּ קַרְנֹתָיו: כו   וַיְצַף אֹתוֹ זָהָב טָהוֹר אֶת-גַּגּוֹ וְאֶת-קִירֹתָיו סָבִיב וְאֶת-קַרְנֹתָיו וַיַּעַשֹ לוֹ זֵר זָהָב סָבִיב: 

Shemot / Exodus 37:25-26
37:25 And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same. 37:26 And he overlaid it with pure gold, both the top of it, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns of it: also he made unto it a crown of gold round about. (KJV)

Here we are told about the construction of the altar, the altar is to be manufactured with horns on each of the four corners. So the horns on the altar were projections from off the altar, they were overlaid with brass or copper (נְחֹשֶׁת) and Solomon’s temple was modeled or patterned after that of the Tabernacle. (1 Kings 6:20-22) We note the importance of the horns, Moshe put some of the blood of the bull of the sin offering upon the horns of the altar to purify the altar from sin according to Vayikra / Leviticus 8:14-15. According to the Torah, we find in Vayikra / Leviticus 4:7, 4:18, 4:25, 4:30, 4:34, 16:18 the priest was to put the blood of certain sacrifices on the horns of the altar. The Lord God said in Jeremiah 17:1 that the sins of Judah are engraved upon the horns of their altars. This caused the altars of foreign gods unclean and their sacrifices unacceptable because their sins were engraved upon them, and there was no way to cleanse them. Note what Amos says according to Amos 3:14.

ספר עמוס פרק ג
יד  כִּ֗י בְּיֹ֛ום פָּקְדִ֥י פִשְׁעֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עָלָ֑יו וּפָֽקַדְתִּי֙ עַל־מִזְבְּחֹ֣ות בֵּֽית־אֵ֔ל וְנִגְדְּעוּ֙ קַרְנֹ֣ות הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ וְנָפְל֖וּ לָאָֽרֶץ׃

Amos 3:14 
3:14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Beth-el: And the horns of the altar shall be cut off, And fall to the ground. (KJV)

Amos states that the Lord when He visits the transgressions of Israel, he will cut off the horns of the altar. This is so that there is no way for atonement after a certain point of extended rebellion against the Lord God Almighty. This could be why the TgJ writes what it does in translation of Isaiah 29:1 saying, א      יֵי מַדבְחָא מַדבְחָא דִבנֵי בְקַרתָא דִשרָא בַה דָוִיד מִן קֳדָם כְנֵישַת מַשרְיָן דְמִתכַנשִין עְלַה שְנָא שְנָא בִיך חַגִין יִבטְלוּן׃  29:1 Woe to the altar, the altar which is built in the city in which David dwelt; because of the assembly of the armies which are gathering themselves together against her year by year, because the festivals shall cease. (TgJ) These events reveal to us how the Torah of God gives freedom and peace, and when there is sin and rebellion, the Torah will cease and so will these things. The ceasing of the Torah is indicated by the idea that the festivals will cease due to the presence of armies which are brought to punish those who refuse to listen to the Lord and repent. The Talmud Bavli writes the following concerning this verse.

Talmud Bavli Berakhot 18b:1
״בֶּן אִישׁ חַי״: אַטּוּ כּוּלֵּי עָלְמָא בְּנֵי מֵתֵי נִינְהוּ? אֶלָּא: ״בֶּן אִישׁ חַי״ — שֶׁאֲפִילּוּ בְּמִיתָתוֹ קָרוּי חַי. ״רַב פְּעָלִים מִקַּבְצְאֵל״ — שֶׁרִיבָּה וְקִבֵּץ פּוֹעֲלִים לַתּוֹרָה. ״וְהוּא הִכָּה אֵת שְׁנֵי אֲרִאֵל מוֹאָב״ — שֶׁלֹּא הִנִּיחַ כְּמוֹתוֹ לֹא בְּמִקְדָּשׁ רִאשׁוֹן וְלֹא בְּמִקְדָּשׁ שֵׁנִי.
 He was referred to in the verse as son of a living man. The Gemara wonders: Is that to say, the fact that the Bible referred to him with that appellation, that all others are children of the dead? Rather, the verse should be explained as follows: The son of a living man who lives forever, who even in death is referred to as living. Man of Kabze’el who had done mighty deeds, as he accumulated and gathered many workers for the sake of the Torah. Who killed the two lion-hearted men [Ariel] of Moab, as after his death he left no one his equal, in either the First Temple or the Second Temple periods, as the Temple is called Ariel (see Isaiah 29:1), and the two Ariel refers to the two Temples.

The rabbis in the Talmud speak about the son of a living man and children of the dead in relation to Isaiah 29:1. The conclusion is that a man who had done mighty deeds catheter workers for the sake of the Torah, and killed the two lion-hearted men (Ariel) where Ariel refers to the two Temples. The destruction of the two Temples was due to the Torah, the people refused to live their lives for the Lord, they believed that it is ok to couple the ways of the nations with their faith in the God of Israel. The way of the nations are those that relate to immorality, human sacrifice, and idolatry. This is how Pesikta Rabbati 27:1 interprets these things saying the following:

Pesikta Rabbati 27,1
… The angels said before the Holy One, ‘Master of the World! Isn’t this Jerusalem?!’ as it is said “This is Jerusalem; in the midst of the nations I have placed her…” (Yechezkel 5:5) He replied to them, “But she exchanged My judgments for wickedness more than the nations…” (Yechezkel 5:6) They said to Him, “But they are Your people and Your inheritance, which You brought out with Your great strength…” (Devarim 9:29) He replied to them, “For My people have forgotten Me; they burn incense to vanity…” (Yirmiyahu 18:15) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the forefathers!’ He replied to them, “…the fathers are kindling fire…” (Yirmiyahu 7:18) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the children!’ He replied to them, “But they rebelled against Me and would not consent to hearken to Me…” (Yechezkel 20:8) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the tribe of Yehudah!’ “And Judah did what displeased the Lord…” (Melachim I 14:22) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the leaders!’ He replied to them, “Its heads judge for bribes…” (Micha 3:11) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the tribes!’ He replied to them, ‘and Gad, and Reuven and the half tribe of Menashe…’ They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the tribe of Dan!’ He replied to them, “And the children of Dan set up for themselves the graven image.” (Shoftim 18:30) They said to Him,’ act for the sake of the students!’ He replied to them, “…And those who hold onto the Torah did not know Me…” (Yirmiyahu 2:8) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the prophets!’ He replied to them, “[It was] for the sins of her prophets, the iniquities of her priests…” (Eicha 4:13) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of the kings!’ He replied to them, “And the altars that were on the roof, [the roof of] Ahaz’s upper chamber, which the kings of Judah had made…” (Melachim II 23:12) The ministering angels said to Him, ‘act for our sake!’ He replied to them, “But they mocked the messengers of God…” (Divre HaYamim II 36:16) They said to Him, ‘act for the sake of Your name which is called upon them!’ He replied to them, ‘they have profaned My holy name.’ They said to Him, ‘You do not want to be appeased, what is the image of their father doing by You?’ “He has cast down from heaven to earth the glory of Israel…” (Eicha 2:1) This statement with which they clothed You, what has it done to You?! If the thing were not written, it would be impossible to say “The Lord has done what He devised, He has carried out His word…” (Eicha 2:17) They said to Him, ‘Master of the World! Is this not Jerusalem about whom you wrote “Behold on [My] hands have I engraved you…”’ (Yeshayahu 49:16) He replied to them, “I, too, shall clap My hands, one upon the other, and I shall put My fury to rest…” (Yechezkel 21:22) Since Zion saw that He did not want to be appeased, she started up and said “The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.” (Yeshayahu 49:14) May it be Your will Lord our God and God of our fathers that Your Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days, that your Presence return within it, that You gather my exiles from the four corners of the world, that they rebuild the cities of Yehudah and settle Shechem and inherit it speedily. Amen.

The Midrash speaks of Jerusalem, the place of God’s holy Temple, having exchanged God’s Torah for wickedness and they did this more so than the nations from which they originated. Note how the prophet Jeremiah writes that Jerusalem offered incense to vanity. This sounds like they gave their sense of worship to pride. The remainder of the midrash goes on to describe various forms of idolatry the people committed. The interesting thing is that in each example, the Lord through His prophets call for justice and concern for the people. The leaders however reject the messengers of God. The leaders seek their own wealth and profane the name of God at the same time. Jeremiah, the author of the book of Lamentations, writes: “The Lord has done what He devised, He has carried out His word…” (Lamentations 2:17) The Lord followed through with what He had said through Moshe in the Torah according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 28. 

ספר דברים פרק כח:א-ב ו’כח:טו-כ
א   וְהָיָה אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשֹוֹת אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם וּנְתָנְךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עֶלְיוֹן עַל כָּל-גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ: ב   וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַבְּרָכוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ כִּי תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: … טו   וְהָיָה אִם-לֹא תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשֹוֹת אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ: טז   אָרוּר אַתָּה בָּעִיר וְאָרוּר אַתָּה בַּשָּׂדֶה: יז   אָרוּר טַנְאֲךָ וּמִשְׁאַרְתֶּךָ: יח   אָרוּר פְּרִי-בִטְנְךָ וּפְרִי אַדְמָתֶךָ שְׁגַר אֲלָפֶיךָ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת צֹאנֶךָ: יט   אָרוּר אַתָּה בְּבֹאֶךָ וְאָרוּר אַתָּה בְּצֵאתֶךָ: כ   יְשַׁלַּח יְהוָֹה | בְּךָ אֶת-הַמְּאֵרָה אֶת-הַמְּהוּמָה וְאֶת-הַמִּגְעֶרֶת בְּכָל-מִשְׁלַח יָדְךָ אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶֹה עַד הִשָּׁמֶדְךָ וְעַד-אֲבָדְךָ מַהֵר מִפְּנֵי רֹעַ מַעֲלָלֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עֲזַבְתָּנִי: 

Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:1–20
28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. … 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: 28:16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 28:17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 28:19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 28:20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. (KJV)

Moshe writes אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God” then all of these blessings will come upon you. After listing all of the blessings that will befall Israel through obedience, Moshe writes אִם-לֹא תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “if you do not listen to the voice of the Lord your God” and then lists many things that will happen, how disobedience to the Word of God brings a curse upon oneself. These things remind us of something that Paul wrote according to Galatians 3:13. 

Galatians 3:6–14 
3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (KJV, 6 Καθὼς Ἀβραὰμ ἐπίστευσεν τῷ θεῷ,* καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην·* *7 γινώσκετε ἄρα ὅτι οἱ ἐκ πίστεως, οὗτοι ⸂υἱοί εἰσιν⸃ Ἀβραάμ.* 8 προϊδοῦσα δὲ ἡ γραφὴ ὅτι ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοῖ τὰ ἔθνη ὁ θεός,* προευηγγελίσατο τῷ Ἀβραὰμ ὅτι ἐνευλογηθήσονται ἐν σοὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη·* 9 ὥστε οἱ ἐκ πίστεως εὐλογοῦνται σὺν τῷ πιστῷ Ἀβραάμ. *10 Ὅσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου εἰσίν, ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει ⸆* πᾶσιν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά.* 11 ὅτι δὲ ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ θεῷ δῆλον, ὅτι ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται·* 12 ὁ δὲ νόμος οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ πίστεως,* ἀλλʼ ὁ ποιήσας αὐτὰ ⸆ ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς.* 13 Χριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν ἐκ τῆς κατάρας τοῦ νόμου γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα,* ὅτι γέγραπται· ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου, 14 ἵνα εἰς τὰ ἔθνη ἡ εὐλογία τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ γένηται ἐν ⸉Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ⸊, ἵνα τὴν ⸀ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πνεύματος λάβωμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως.*)

We note here that Paul speaks of Abraham being justified by faith and also of the Torah command that we read in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28. Paul speaks of the curse of the Torah and that those who do not walk in these things will be cursed. Paul then says that Yeshua has redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Ξριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν ἐκ τῆς κατάρας τοῦ νόμου). What Paul is saying is that we are not justified by the Torah, that we live by faith, and that the Torah was not meant for a man to justify himself, because justification comes by faith. We note how Paul’s words here do away with the erroneous doctrine of dispensationalism that teaches man earned his salvation under the Torah. This simply is not what the Scriptures actually say and Paul is trying to correct an erroneous interpretation that man earned his salvation under the Torah. The point of the Torah was for people who are already saved by grace!  Paul also states that Yeshua was made a curse so that he could take upon himself the curse of the Torah through being hung on a tree to die. This is a quote from the Torah text as well (see Devarim / Deuteronomy 21:22–23) We also note what John wrote in His epistle according to 1 John 1:1-10.

1 John 1:1-10
1:1 THAT which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV, *1 Ὃ ἦν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν,* ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς — 2 καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ⸆ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν* πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν — 3 ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν,* ἀπαγγέλλομεν °καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθʼ ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία °1δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.* 4 καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν ⸀ἡμεῖς,* ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ♦⸁ἡμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη. 5 Καὶ ⸉ἔστιν αὕτη⸊ ἡ ⸀ἀγγελία ἣν ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν,* ὅτι ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν καὶ σκοτία ⸉1ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν⸊ οὐδεμία.* 6 ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετʼ* αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ σκότει περιπατῶμεν,* ψευδόμεθα καὶ οὐ ποιοῦμεν τὴν ἀλήθειαν·* 7 ἐὰν* ♦⸆ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν,* ὡς αὐτός ἐστιν ἐν τῷ φωτί, κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετʼ ἀλλήλων,* καὶ τὸ αἷμα ⸂Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ⸃ ⸀καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας. 8 ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ ἔχομεν,* ἑαυτοὺς πλανῶμεν καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια ⸆ ♦⸉οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν⸊.* 9 ἐὰν ὁμολογῶμεν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, πιστός ἐστιν καὶ δίκαιος, ἵνα ἀφῇ ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ⸆ καὶ ⸀καθαρίσῃ ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἀδικίας.* 10 ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι οὐχ ⸀ἡμαρτήκαμεν, ψεύστην ποιοῦμεν αὐτόν,* καὶ ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ ⸉οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν⸊.)

Here John writes ἐὰν* ♦⸆ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν,* ὡς αὐτός ἐστιν ἐν τῷ φωτί, κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετʼ ἀλλήλων,* καὶ τὸ αἷμα ⸂Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ⸃ ⸀καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” We note the meaning of ἐὰν ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν “if we walk in the light” and how the word ἐὰν is used sometimes in the NT text to provide a probable future condition. “This condition is believed by the speaker to be a realizable fact in the future.” (David Alan Black, Learn to Read NT Greek, pg 182-183) So the condition is that if we walk in the light, in righteousness, truth, and holiness, walking in the Spirit, then the blood of Yeshua will atone for our sins. This means that we are not sinning intentionally and being unrepentant about it. This is a significant statement, since the definition of not sinning is obeying God’s commands, obeying the Torah command. Paul wrote that the Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah. The interesting thing is that what the Messiah did on our behalf, does not exempt us from obeying God’s Holy word! These things draw us right back to Moshe’s words אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God” and אִם-לֹא תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “if you do not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” What is the outcome of one’s faith who couples not listening to the voice of God and yet claim he or she believes in the Messiah Yeshua? If we listen, then the blood of Messiah atones. If we do not listen, then the blood of the Messiah does not atone. Notice how this is consistent with what the author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 10:26. We note the continuity here in the Scriptures, and how Paul and John are teaching Torah. They are not teaching any anti-Torah concepts here, in fact Paul for example uses the Torah as a proof text for what he is trying to say!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the TgJ, ב      וְאַעֵיק לְקַרתָא דְמַדבְחָא בַה וּתהֵי צָדיָא וְרֵיקָניָא וּתהֵי מַקְפָא קֳדָמַי דַם קְטִילִין כְאַקָפוּת מַדבְחָא דַם נִכסַת קוּדשַיָא בְיֹומָא דְחַגָא סְחֹור סְחֹור׃  29:2 And I will distress the city, in which the altar is, and she shall be desolate and empty; and she shall be surrounded before me with the blood of the slain, as the altar is surrounded roundabout with the blood of the holy sacrifices in the day of the festival. ג      וְאַשרֵי עְלַך מַשרְיָן וְאַבנֵי עְלָך כַרקֹום וְאַצבֹור עְלַך מִלֵיתָא׃  29:3 And I will encamp against thee with armies; and I will build a fortified camp against thee, and I will cast up a mound against thee. (TgJ) Here in Isaiah 29:2 the TgJ interprets the holy city as the altar and the people being the sacrifice with the Torah parallel to the altar at the Tabernacle (or Temple). This interpretation speaks to the people being bloody and the land, including the holy city being filled with blood of the innocent being shed. This parallels the idolatry the people adopted from the nations and human sacrifice. The only way for the land to be atoned for, from the blood of the innocent, is to put to death the ones who killed and shed innocent blood. The Torah provides us with the context here according to Bamidbar / Numbers 35:1-34.

ספר במדבר פרק לה
ל   כָּל-מַכֵּה-נֶפֶשׁ לְפִי עֵדִים יִרְצַח אֶת-הָרֹצֵחַ וְעֵד אֶחָד לֹא-יַעֲנֶה בְנֶפֶשׁ לָמוּת: לא   וְלֹא-תִקְחוּ כֹפֶר לְנֶפֶשׁ רֹצֵחַ אֲשֶׁר-הוּא רָשָׁע לָמוּת כִּי-מוֹת יוּמָת: לב   וְלֹא-תִקְחוּ כֹפֶר לָנוּס אֶל-עִיר מִקְלָטוֹ לָשׁוּב לָשֶׁבֶת בָּאָרֶץ עַד-מוֹת הַכֹּהֵן: לג   וְלֹא-תַחֲנִיפוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּהּ כִּי הַדָּם הוּא יַחֲנִיף אֶת-הָאָרֶץ וְלָאָרֶץ לֹא-יְכֻפַּר לַדָּם אֲשֶׁר שֻׁפַּךְ-בָּהּ כִּי-אִם בְּדַם שֹׁפְכוֹ: לד   וְלֹא תְטַמֵּא אֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם ישְׁבִים בָּהּ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי שֹׁכֵן בְּתוֹכָהּ כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה שֹׁכֵן בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: 

Bamidbar / Numbers 35:30–34 
35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. 35:31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. 35:32 And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. 35:33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 35:34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel. (KJV)

Here we find the Torah requirement for judgment being rendered based upon two or more witnesses, not on just the testimony of one person. Here the Lord God says וְלָאָרֶץ לֹא-יְכֻפַּר לַדָּם אֲשֶׁר שֻׁפַּךְ-בָּהּ כִּי-אִם בְּדַם שֹׁפְכוֹ “and the land cannot be atoned of the blood of the slane but by the blood of hime that shed his blood.” This may be the purpose of the TgJ interpretation on Isaiah 29:2 regarding the blood of the slane.  Rashi interprets Isaiah 29:3 on the armies surrounding the holy city. 

Rashi on Isaiah 29,3 Parts 1-3
כדור. כשורה של גייסות מקיפות: in a circle like a row of surrounding troops. ([Other editions read:] In a row of surrounding troops.) ([Some manuscripts read:] An expression of the encampment of surrounding troops.)
מוצב. ל’ כרקום המוצב על העיירות: a camp of siege (מֻצַּב, lit. stationed,) an expression of a camp of siege stationed against the towns.
מצורות. ל’ מצור: siege works (מְצֻרוֹת) an expression of מָצוֹר, a siege.

Rashi writes concerning the interpretations of the text concerning מֻצָּ֔ב which is a siege weapon, he interprets as a camp of siege stationed against the towns. The TgJ writes that the Lord will build a fortified encampment to lay siege, meaning that they will not be capable of resisting, any attacks on the enemy will be futile, because they have forsaken their God and trusted in the gods of the nations.  Isaiah goes on saying the following, ד   וְתִמאְכִין מֵאַרעָא תְמַלְלִין וּמֵעַפרָא יְנַצְפָן מִילַך וִיהֵי כְאֹוב מֵאַרעָא קָלִיך וּמֵעַפרָא מִילַך יְנַצְפָן׃  29:4 And thou shalt be brought low, and shalt speak from beneath the earth, thy words shall gibber from the dust; and thy voice shall come like that of a necromancer out of the ground; yea, thy words shall gibber from the dust. (TgJ) Here the idea of the covenant with death and the grave has been realized, the people are all dead, and their cries will be futile when spoken from the grave. This reveals to us how we have only this lifetime to repent and seek the God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua. Once in the grave, it is too late, gibbering from the dust of the earth is useless, and the same for those who perform occult practice of speaking to the dead. The commentator Likutei Moharan writes the following concerning this verse.

Likutei Moharan 60,8 Part 9
And this is “Let him put his mouth to the dust; there may yet be hope” (Lamentations 3:29). “Dust” is the aspect of an absence of speech, as it is written (Isaiah 29:4), “and your speech will be lower than the dust.” That is, a person must instill the aspect of speech <in the one who is the aspect of “dust,” since he is in the aspect of a mute, in order> to unbind the mouth of the mute, as explained above. Through this, the strength of the words reaches those who hope in God, who are the reproductive organs, as explained above. This is <“Let him put his mouth to the dust,” as explained,> “there may yet be hope”—in order that the words might reach those who hope in God. And this is “your descendants will be like the dust of the earth” (Genesis 28:14), since procreation is dependent on the aforementioned aspect of “Let him put his mouth to the dust.”

Here Likutei Moharan writes that Isaiah 29:4 speaks to the dead, their speech being lower than the dust of the earth. It is interesting that the dust of the earth is at the level of the Evil One, that ancient serpent, HaSatan, Diabolos (Greek for Devil). There is a stark contrast to those who trust in the Lord God of Israel, the living God, as opposed to trusting in these false gods, these lead to death and are at the level of the serpent. In fact, the commentary speaking of being lower than the dust, this suggests those who do these things are “under” the Evil one, which means that they are looking up to that ancient serpent! Note also that God tells Abraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth according to Bereshit / Genesis 28:14. In this case this does not mean that his descendants will be on the level of the dust, or beneath it, but that the dust particles are so fine and numerous, that it is not possible to number, like the grains of sand on the sea shore, so will be the descendants of Abraham. The difference here is to the living God who gives life, as opposed to the false gods, idols and the ritual practices all lead to death.  The commentary Or Neerav writes the following concerning these things.

Or Neerav, Appendix The Introductory Material 4,17
If the spirit which rules all fails and they prophesy, my words will be fulfilled on those who rise against me (Ps. 92:12). Is Saul also among the prophets? (I Sam. 10:11). This you will answer, And who is their father? (I Sam. 10:12). These things go after the intention of the heart. I, in my innocence (Ps. 26:1), plead before my judges: Let him judge all the words of this epistle leniently in its quantity and quality. If my soul does not speak from worry (Josh. 22:24), consider me as one who mentions and reminds the enlightened ones of my bountiful nation (Song 6:12). “Dear is man, who was created in [God’s] image” (Avot 3:15). Speaking as a righteous company (Ps. 58:2), He will judge righteousness. For my heart is not haughty (Ps. 131:1), all my senses are in me (Job 20:2), and my eyes are not haughty (Ps. 131:1) before the God of Sinai (Ps, 68:9). I have not walked in greatness or wonders (Ps. 131:1) with the King, the Lord of Hosts (Isa. 6:5). For the maidservant has seen7The reference is to the midrash which states that a maidservant at the parting of the Red Sea saw more than the prophet Ezekiel in his visions. Cf. Mekhilta, Shirta 3. and is more righteous than I (Gen. 38:26). I am lighter [in consequence] than she is (II Sam. 6:22). I am lower than the earth (Isa. 29:4). I speak in honor of our God, who dwells in Zion (Josh. 4:21). And He, being merciful, will forgive [my] sin (Ps. 78:38).

There is a lot that is going on in this commentary, the introductory material of the commentary. The commentary speaks of the intention of the heart, whether it is of innocence, and of the wicked, who is their father? The question of “who is their father” is in context of king Saul prophesying, and he did so while he was on a sinful task to destroy David. Man was created in the image of God, and this describes the preciousness of who we are to the Lord God Almighty in heaven. The conclusion of the commentary in this part is that we are created to give glory to God, we were created from the dust of the earth, we have been elevated above being made from the elements, and so being made from these things which are low, we are to bring honor to our God, and He loves us having mercy upon his forgiving our sins! Isaiah continues saying the following, ה  וִיהֵי כַאְבַק דַקִיק הְמֹון מְבַדְרַך וּכמֹוץ דְעָדֵי אִתרְגֹושַת תַקִיפִין וִיהֵי בִתכֵיף אִתרְגֹושָא׃  29:5 Moreover the multitude of those scattering thee shall be like small dust, and the tumultuous assembly of the mighty as chaff that passeth away; and there shall be a tumult suddenly. ו  מִן קֳדָם יוי ‭”‬צְבָאֹות‭“‬ תִתפְקֵיד בִרעַם וּבִזיָע וְקָל סַגִי בְעַלעוּל וּברוּחַ וְשַלהֹובִי אִישָא דִמשֵיצְיָא׃ 29:6 Thou shalt be visited with thunder from the Lord of hosts, and with earthquake, and with a great noise; with storm, and tempest, and a flame of devouring fire. (TgJ) These things speak to those who forget or do not know of the God in heaven who created all things. The sinfulness of man brings judgment, and according to the Scriptures, we know that unrepentance prevents atonement, even the atoning power of the blood of Yeshua is dependent upon repentance. Rashi interprets these things in the following way:

Rashi on Isaiah 29,6 Part 1
מעם ה’ צבאות תפקד. ואחרי שתשפלי ותצפצף אמרתך תפקד אריאל מאתי להושיעה ברעם וברעש וגו’: From the Lord of Hosts shall he be visited And after you become humble and your speech chirps, Ariel shall be visited by Me to save them, with thunder and with earthquake, etc.

Here Rashi says that Ariel will be visited by God to save them. Note the interesting parallel to the narrative according to John 1:1-14. The Word of God coming and dwelling among men, tabernacling in a body of flesh and bone, for the purpose of saving the people, all those who would have faith in Him and our Father in heaven. Rashi speaks of Isaiah 29:6 being paralleled to Isaiah 29:4 that we are to become humble before God, so much so that the speech chirps. This is the idea that our voices, our opinions, our pride, these are humbled to allow the Word of God to speak and take predominance in our lives! Notice how all of these things always draw us right back to Moshe’s words according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 28, אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God” and אִם-לֹא תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ “if you do not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” These things speak to our actual listening, to being attentive, and intentional in our faith, to be faithful through humility and walking according to the Spirit. This also draws us back to the truth spoken in 1 John 1:7, ἐὰν* ♦⸆ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν,* ὡς αὐτός ἐστιν ἐν τῷ φωτί, κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετʼ ἀλλήλων,* καὶ τὸ αἷμα ⸂Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ⸃ ⸀καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας. 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (KJV) Walking in the light requires obedience which is synonymous to our being faithful to God because of our love for Him! Walking in God’s holy ways causes us to have fellowship with one another, and the reason being, we are not committing acts of hatred towards one another, just as we see is taking place according to Isaiah 29:1-6. The people did not realize how their idolatry and pride led to their treatment of others, even to the extent of the blood shed of the innocent. It is because of all of these things the Lord God our Father in heaven sent His Son Yeshua into this world to show us the way, how to live our lives, to whom to believe in, and what it means to have a changed life! Praise the Lord for such a wonderful salvation that He has provided!

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Dr. Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher.Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!