We learned in Isaiah 30:15-21 how the people will become aware of the Lord and the outcome of this is they will abandon their idolatrous ways to trust in the Lord for their needs (Isaiah 30:22). Their abandoning their idols then results in their relying upon God in heaven to supply all their idols could not (Isaiah 30:23-6). We note something about these Scriptures, how God is so merciful to reveal Himself to His people for the purpose of repentance and return. It is purely the mercy of God that leads one to repentance, and so these things should not be overlooked on how much the Lord God loves us and desires for us to repent, turn, and seek Him! We note how idolatry was performed because one thought that the idol god could supply all that one needed. The importance of the Torah is illustrated in what it says concerning these things, such as what we read according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:14-68.
ספר דברים פרק כח
יד וְלֹא תָסוּר מִכָּל-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם יָמִין וּשְֹמֹאול לָלֶכֶת אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לְעָבְדָם: פ 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: כא יַדְבֵּק יְהוָֹה בְּךָ אֶת-הַדָּבֶר עַד כַּלֹּתוֹ אֹתְךָ מֵעַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ: כב יַכְּכָה יְהֹוָה בַּשַּׁחֶפֶת וּבַקַּדַּחַת וּבַדַּלֶּקֶת וּבַחַרְחֻר וּבַחֶרֶב וּבַשִּׁדָּפוֹן וּבַיֵּרָקוֹן וּרְדָפוּךָ עַד אָבְדֶךָ: כג וְהָיוּ שָׁמֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עַל-רֹאשְׁךָ נְחשֶׁת וְהָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-תַּחְתֶּיךָ בַּרְזֶל:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:14–23
28:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. 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. 28:21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 28:22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. 28:23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. (KJV)
We note what God says in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:1-13 regarding the blessing of God upon those who listen and obey!
ספר דברים פרק כח
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:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:1–2
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. (KJV)
We note that the verses which speak to the blessing of God are a whole lot shorter (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:1-13) as opposed to the explanation of what happens when one refuses to listen to the Lord. (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:14-68) The great detail that is given on the what happens when one disobeys God’s Word, or as it says in the Torah, תָסוּר מִכָּל-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם יָמִין וּשְֹמֹאול לָלֶכֶת אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לְעָבְדָם “turn aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them,” the reason is so it would be recognizable what is happening, it is the hand of God due to sin! These things reveal to us how abundance comes from God and not from false gods and their idols. The point is what when one turns from God’s Word, turns from listening and hearing God’s Word, and seeks idols, or trusts in things other than God in heaven, one is intentionally depriving oneself of the abundance that God has promised! (see 1 Kings 17:1, 18:1, 18:45, Hosea 2:8, 2:9, 2:21–23, 9:2, 14:8, Amos 4:7-9, 9:13-15) These things reveal to us how it is only when one ceases from trusting in their idols that one actually receives what he or she has been expecting the idol to provide. The leaving of trust in idols needs to be coupled with a commitment to God and His Word and faith in His Son Yeshua. One of the major modern misconceptions today is that the Torah and Tanakh (OT) focused only on the physical and not the spiritual. The interesting thing that the Scriptures show us is how the spiritual is connected to the physical which is demonstrated in the fact of idolatry, the Torah couples idol worship, a spiritual practice, with blessing from God and to whether one has a spiritual connection to God or not. So when someone says that the OT only deals with the physical, such a person has a very shallow understanding of the Scriptures! Spiritual values are always in focus here and the material blessing is pointedly for the purpose of waking us up to what we are doing! These things teach us that our God is the Living God, He is the Creator God, and so He functions in the physical realm, not just the spiritual realm. The Lord God is active to participate in our lives for His Glory! This means that we can see how He is working in our lives every day! What Isaiah is speaking of here in these chapters is to join one’s self with the Lord, and hearing His calling on our lives to walk in His ways of mercy, peace, and love towards others while at the same time maintaining justice, truth, holiness and righteousness in our lives. These things bring glory to His Name, and so again both the Torah and Isaiah are speaking to something more than just physical blessing, but to having integrity and faithfulness and an intimate relationship with God in heaven!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:21.
ספר ישעיה פרק ל
כא וְאָזְנֶיךָ תִּשְׁמַעְנָה דָבָר מֵאַחֲרֶיךָ לֵאמֹר זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ לְכוּ בוֹ כִּי תַאֲמִינוּ וְכִי תַשְֹמְאִילוּ:
Isaiah 30:21 states, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (וְאָזְנֶיךָ תִּשְׁמַעְנָה דָבָר מֵאַחֲרֶיךָ לֵאמֹר זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ לְכוּ בוֹ כִּי תַאֲמִינוּ וְכִי תַשְֹמְאִילוּ)” Is Isaiah referring to the בת קול (Bat Kol) that still small voice of God that speaks when he says וְאָזְנֶיךָ תִּשְׁמַעְנָה דָבָר מֵאַחֲרֶיךָ “your ears will hear a word behind you?” The phrase בת קול is often translated as “the still small voice” but when translated literally it is the “daughter of a sound / voice.” The Jewish Encyclopedia states “A heavenly or divine voice which proclaims God’s will or judgment, His deeds and His commandments to individuals or to a number of persons, to rulers, communities, and even to whole nations. The meaning of the word is “sound,” “resonance.” In this sense it is used in Syriac and in the following Midrash and Talmud passages: “As oil has no Bat Ḳol [that is, gives no sound], so Israel is not heard of in this world; but, as it is said in Isa. 29:4, 6, Israel will enjoy great fame in the world to come” (Cant. R. i. 3). The most significant passage is Ex. R. xxix., end (compare xxviii., end):” The interesting characteristics of the בת קול is the invisibility of the speaker. This is a reference to a sound or voice that is made from an invisible source which is considered the heavenly voice. This is how the people heard the voice of God in the revelation at Sinai during Shavuot.
ספר דברים פרק ד
יב וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָֹה אֲלֵיכֶם מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ קוֹל דְּבָרִים אַתֶּם שֹׁמְעִים וּתְמוּנָה אֵינְכֶם רֹאִים זוּלָתִי קוֹל:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:12
4:12 And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. (KJV)
Here the one speaking (God) the Torah states וּתְמוּנָה אֵינְכֶם רֹאִים זוּלָתִי קוֹל “and they saw no image, only a voice.” This indicates the importance of not making an image or idol of God and illustrated the בת קול as how God reveals Himself, in the quietness of the heart, not in rage or rivalry. The Isaiah text writes his words with the idea of the teacher not being visible, since he does not mention who the teacher is. This is Paul’s idea of the spirit filled life when he says the following according to Galatians 5:16-25.
5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (KJV, 16 Λέγω δέ,* πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε.* 17 ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός, ταῦτα ⸀γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειται, ἵνα μὴ ἃ ἐὰν θέλητε ταῦτα ποιῆτε. 18 εἰ δὲ πνεύματι ἄγεσθε, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόμον.* 19 φανερὰ δέ ἐστιν τὰ ἔργα τῆς σαρκός, ἅτινά ἐστιν ⸆ πορνεία,* ἀκαθαρσία, ἀσέλγεια, 20 εἰδωλολατρία, φαρμακεία, ἔχθραι,* ⸀ἔρις, ⸁ζῆλος, θυμοί, ἐριθεῖαι, διχοστασίαι, αἱρέσεις, 21 φθόνοι ⸆, μέθαι, κῶμοι καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις, ἃ προλέγω ὑμῖν,* καθὼς ⸇ προεῖπον ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν.* 22 ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη χαρὰ εἰρήνη,* μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη,* πίστις 23 πραΰτης ἐγκράτεια⸆· κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος.* 24 οἱ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ °[Ἰησοῦ] τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν σὺν τοῖς παθήμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις.* 25 Εἰ ζῶμεν πνεύματι,* ⸂πνεύματι καὶ⸃ στοιχῶμεν)
Here Paul speaks to the spirit filled life where one is in intimate contact with the Lord God through the indwelling Spirit of God that he hears the whisper of God to walk in His holy ways! The second half of Isaiah 30:21 states לֵאמֹר זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ לְכוּ בוֹ כִּי תַאֲמִינוּ וְכִי תַשְֹמְאִילוּ speaking of walking in the way when turning to the left of the right. This seems to suggest that it might quite possibly be the voice of those who deceived the people, since turning to the left of right is synonymous to turning from the path of righteousness and truth. This is how the LXX interpreted this verse saying the following, 21 καὶ τὰ ὦτά σου ἀκούσονται τοὺς λόγους τῶν ὀπίσω σε πλανησάντων, οἱ λέγοντες Αὕτη ἡ ὁδός, πορευθῶμεν ἐν αὐτῇ εἴτε δεξιὰ εἴτε ἀριστερά. 21 and your ears will hear the words of those who mislead you from behind, those who say, “This is the way, let us go on it, whether right or left.” (LES) Here the LXX writes that these are the words of those who deceived the people. The key to understanding this verse may be in the statement זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ לְכוּ בוֹ “this is the way, walk in it” and the כִּי preceding the right and left directions, referring to the still small voice of God calling the people and directing them in His ways, especially when they have the desire to turn to the right or the left. These things illustrate the love of God to guide and direct us, and the purpose of His preserving His word for us as a testimony on how to live our lives for Him to bring glory to His Name!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:22.
ספר ישעיה פרק ל
כב וְטִמֵּאתֶם אֶת-צִפּוּי פְּסִילֵי כַסְפֶּךָ וְאֶת-אֲפֻדַּת מַסֵּכַת זְהָבֶךָ תִּזְרֵם כְּמוֹ דָוָה צֵא תֹּאמַר לוֹ:
Isaiah 30:22 states, “Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. (וְטִמֵּאתֶם אֶת-צִפּוּי פְּסִילֵי כַסְפֶּךָ וְאֶת-אֲפֻדַּת מַסֵּכַת זְהָבֶךָ תִּזְרֵם כְּמוֹ דָוָה צֵא תֹּאמַר לוֹ)” Here Isaiah clarifies what was going on in the previous verse speaking of how the people have their eyes fully opened to understand the error of their ways. The idea of defiling the images or idols means that they are putting them away, destroying their practice, and turning to God’s holy ways. The idols are useless and helpless (Isaiah 41:23-24) and are simply large pieces of precious metals, or useless rock and/or wood. A lot of times the idols would be made out of wood or stone and then plated with precious metals, bronze, gold, or silver. (See Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:25 and Hosea 8:4) The idol may have monetary value in this world, but has zero value spiritually speaking! The Scriptures describe the act of defiling an idol as abandoning and the primary way to do so is to defile the sacred space that the people create for the idol. This means for example, burning human bones on their altars, or slaughtering pigs on the altars, etc. (see Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:25, Shemot / Exodus 32:20, 2 Kings 23:4-14, Ezekiel 7:19-24) So there is the concept of clean and unclean, of a holy place, that was present in the idolatrous worship as well. This concept of a clean or unclean space is reserved for the character of the divine, this is why these things are connected to the divine as a way to give reverence to the holy place. When we are called holy and the dwelling place of God (His Spirit) how significant are these concepts in relation to our living our lives for the Lord, and to stay away from the ways of the world? This is why we are told to sanctify our lives here on earth, it is for this very purpose of being a dwelling place for God’s presence!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:23-24.
ספר ישעיה פרק ל
כג וְנָתַן מְטַר זַרְעֲךָ אֲשֶׁר-תִּזְרַע אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה וְלֶחֶם תְּבוּאַת הָאֲדָמָה וְהָיָה דָשֵׁן וְשָׁמֵן יִרְעֶה מִקְנֶיךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כַּר נִרְחָב: כד וְהָאֲלָפִים וְהָעֲיָרִים עֹבְדֵי הָאֲדָמָה בְּלִיל חָמִיץ יֹאכֵלוּ אֲשֶׁר-זֹרֶה בָרַחַת וּבַמִּזְרֶה:
Isaiah 30:23 states, “Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures. (וְנָתַן מְטַר זַרְעֲךָ אֲשֶׁר-תִּזְרַע אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה וְלֶחֶם תְּבוּאַת הָאֲדָמָה וְהָיָה דָשֵׁן וְשָׁמֵן יִרְעֶה מִקְנֶיךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כַּר נִרְחָב)” Isaiah 30:24 “The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. (וְהָאֲלָפִים וְהָעֲיָרִים עֹבְדֵי הָאֲדָמָה בְּלִיל חָמִיץ יֹאכֵלוּ אֲשֶׁר-זֹרֶה בָרַחַת וּבַמִּזְרֶה)” The biblical text speaks of God’s blessing being connected to destroying idols and seeking Him. We note how this leads us to understand how what we do in this life is connected to our spiritual life. Again, we note how the Torah describes the various ways in which we can see how God is working in our lives. The blessing such as what Isaiah is speaking of here, God will provide rain on the crops and an increase such that we will recognize these things. The curses describe the hardships and troubles that come as a result of turning from the Lord or setting up an idol in one’s life that one will trust in as opposed to trusting in the Lord. Modern theologies teach that the OT is only concerned with the earthly body while the NT is concerned with Spirituality. This is not correct since as we have been reading here in Isaiah and from the Torah that the spiritual and the physical are intimately connected. The faith without works (James 2:26) that James describes in his epistle demonstrates these concepts very well. A text comparison reveals the following concerning these things:
The LXX translates the MSS saying, 23 τότε ἔσται ὁ ὑετὸς τῷ σπέρματι τῆς γῆς σου, καὶ ὁ ἄρτος τοῦ γενήματος τῆς γῆς σου ἔσται πλησμονὴ καὶ λιπαρός, καὶ βοσκηθήσεταί σου τὰ κτήνη τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ τόπον πίονα καὶ εὐρύχωρον, 24 οἱ ταῦροι ὑμῶν καὶ οἱ βόες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν γῆν φάγονται ἄχυρα ἀναπεποιημένα ἐν κριθῇ λελικμημένα. 23 Then there will be rain for the seed of your land, and the bread of the produce of your land will be an abundance and rich. And on that day your livestock will be fed at a fertile and spacious place. 24 Your bulls and cattle that work the land will eat straw prepared with winnowed barley. (LES) The TgJ translates saying, 23 Then shall He give rain for thy seed, with which thou shalt sow the ground, and corn and fruit shall increase in the land, and there shall be sustenance and goodness; and at that time, the just shall be nourished from their cattle, with the marrow of the tender and the fat ones. 24 And the oxen and the asses, with which they plough the ground, shall eat fattening meslin, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. (TgJ) These texts both translate very similarly to the MSS. Note how the animals are also singled out as benefiting from the blessing of God. This is an important point since the blessing that God pours out on the faithful one also falls upon others who are around Him. This happens through the influence that one has on others for righteousness and truth and the abundance overflowing in the lives of others. We note Isaiah saying that the grain will be so abundant that even the oxen and donkeys will eat mixtures of the food grains which are winnowed. The Torah commands on the gleanings for the poor, notice how the poor also may benefit from these things! Note again how the Lord God cares for not just the owners of the land but also those whose hearts are humbled and set to seeking the God of Israel in heaven!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:25-37.
ספר ישעיה פרק ל
כה וְהָיָה | עַל-כָּל-הַר גָּבֹהַּ וְעַל כָּל-גִּבְעָה נִשָּׂאָה פְּלָגִים יִבְלֵי-מָיִם בְּיוֹם הֶרֶג רָב בִּנְפֹל מִגְדָּלִים: כו וְהָיָה אוֹר-הַלְּבָנָה כְּאוֹר הַחַמָּה וְאוֹר הַחַמָּה יִהְיֶה שִׁבְעָתַיִם כְּאוֹר שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים בְּיוֹם חֲבֹשׁ יְהֹוָה אֶת-שֶׁבֶר עַמּוֹ וּמַחַץ מַכָּתוֹ יִרְפָּא: כז הִנֵּה שֵׁם-יְהֹוָה בָּא מִמֶּרְחָק בֹּעֵר אַפּוֹ וְכֹבֶד מַשָּׂאָה שְֹפָתָיו מָלְאוּ זַעַם וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ כְּאֵשׁ אֹכָלֶת:
Isaiah 30:25 states, “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. (וְהָיָה | עַל-כָּל-הַר גָּבֹהַּ וְעַל כָּל-גִּבְעָה נִשָּׂאָה פְּלָגִים יִבְלֵי-מָיִם בְּיוֹם הֶרֶג רָב בִּנְפֹל מִגְדָּלִים)” Isaiah 30:26 “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. (וְהָיָה אוֹר-הַלְּבָנָה כְּאוֹר הַחַמָּה וְאוֹר הַחַמָּה יִהְיֶה שִׁבְעָתַיִם כְּאוֹר שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים בְּיוֹם חֲבֹשׁ יְהֹוָה אֶת-שֶׁבֶר עַמּוֹ וּמַחַץ מַכָּתוֹ יִרְפָּא)” Isaiah 30:27 “Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: (הִנֵּה שֵׁם-יְהֹוָה בָּא מִמֶּרְחָק בֹּעֵר אַפּוֹ וְכֹבֶד מַשָּׂאָה שְֹפָתָיו מָלְאוּ זַעַם וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ כְּאֵשׁ אֹכָלֶת)” It is a little difficult to understand what is meant by Isaiah 30:25 when it states the waters flowing on the hills like the great day of slaughter when towers fall. The Sibylline Oracles mentions something similar to what Isaiah is saying:
Sibylline Oracles 3.680-685
680* He will break the lofty summits of the mountains and the mounds of giants and the dark abyss will appear to all. High ravines in lofty mountains will be full of corpses. Rocks will flow with blood and every torrent will fill the plain. 685 All well-constructed walls of hostile men will fall to the ground, because they knew neither the law nor the judgment of the great God, but with mindless spirit you all launched an attack and raised spears against the sanctuary. God will judge all men by war and sword. (James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1, New York; London: Yale University Press, 1983, 377)
The idea is of Judgment being brought against the people for their sins, and blood will flow from the mountains and stones due to the slaughter. Note that the reason for the bringing of war and the sword to the people is due to their forgetting the Torah and turning from truth and righteousness. The Text comparison states the following concerning these things:
The TgJ translates saying, 25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high and lofty hill, rivers flowing with water at the time of the ruin of the kings and their armies, in the day of the great slaughter, at the falling of the princes. 26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall in future shine three hundred and forty-three times more brightly, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord shall turn the captivity of His people, and heal the sickness caused by His blow. (TgJ) The idea of rivers flowing from the mountain tops draws in the idea of the blessing of God, not just in providing nourishment for man and beast, but for the destruction of the nations that come against Israel. The destruction of the nations includes the slaughter of those who do not seek the God of Israel but seek for the destruction of others. Darkness will be eliminated according to Isaiah 30:26 and we know that sinful men love the darkness so as to hide their sin and the evils that they commit. Could this be a reference to the Olam Haba? This definitely refers to a future time of redemption and the presence of God in the lives of His people. The LXX translates saying, 25 καὶ ἔσται ἐπὶ παντὸς ὄρους ὑψηλοῦ καὶ ἐπὶ παντὸς βουνοῦ μετεώρου ὕδωρ διαπορευόμενον ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ, ὅταν ἀπόλωνται πολλοὶ καὶ ὅταν πέσωσιν πύργοι. 26 καὶ ἔσται τὸ φῶς τῆς σελήνης ὡς τὸ φῶς τοῦ ἡλίου καὶ τὸ φῶς τοῦ ἡλίου ἔσται ἑπταπλάσιον ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὅταν ἰάσηται κύριος τὸ σύντριμμα τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ, καὶ τὴν ὀδύνην τῆς πληγῆς σου ἰάσεται. 25 And on every lofty mountain and on every high hill, there will be running water on that day, when many will perish, when towers will fall. 26 And the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold on the day when the Lord heals the injury of his people, and he will heal the pain of your wound. (LES) The Greek and Aramaic translations translate consistently with Isaiah’s words in the MSS. We note that dryness and the heat of the desert is synonymous to arrogant and prideful men. Weather on the other hand is a sign of the fruitfulness that God provides for those who are faithful to Him! We are told in Isaiah that the prideful will be brought down. (Isaiah 2:12–17, 32:14-15, 57:15) This is the point of what the Torah is telling us in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28 how God’s salvation is miraculous, if we listen and obey, He will provide life giving waters and if we chose not to listen then He will work in our lives to draw us back. The concept here Isaiah 30:27 “Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: (הִנֵּה שֵׁם-יְהֹוָה בָּא מִמֶּרְחָק בֹּעֵר אַפּוֹ וְכֹבֶד מַשָּׂאָה שְֹפָתָיו מָלְאוּ זַעַם וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ כְּאֵשׁ אֹכָלֶת)” is related to these things, that of listening or willfully not listening. The concept of darkness and light are provided to us throughout the biblical narrative. The Lord seeks for us to draw near to Him and to trust in Him and be thankful for everything we have. Our Father in heaven is merciful and He seeks for His children to turn to Him for help. This is one of the consistent narratives we find which demonstrate the character of God of being merciful and patient to wait upon us to seek His ways and to believe in His Son Yeshua the Messiah!
The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation and therefore is a valuable resource for our continued study of the book of Isaiah.
תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק ל:כא-כז
כא וְאֻדנָך יִשמְעָן פִתגָמָא מִבָתְרָך לְמֵימַר הָדָא אֹורחָא דְתָקְנָא הַלִיכוּ בַה לָא תִסטֹון מִינַה לְיַמִינָא וְלִסמָלָא׃ כב וּתסָאְבוּן יָת חִיפוּי צַלמֵי כַספְכֹון וְיָת תִקוּן מַתְכָת דַהבְכֹון תְרַחְקוּנוּנוּן כְמָא דִמרַחְקִין יָת טוּמאָתָא כֵין תְרַחְקוּנוּנוּן׃ כג וְיִתֵין מְטַר אַרעָך דְתִזרַע יָת אַרעָא וַעְבוּר וְעַלְלָא יִסגֵי בְאַרעָא וִיהֵי פַרנוּס וְטָב יִתפַרנְסוּן צַדִיקַיָא מִגֵיתֵיהֹון בְעִדָנָא הַהוּא שְמַן רַכִיכִין וּפַטִימִין׃ כד וְתֹורַיָא וּחמָרַיָא דְמַפלְחִין בְהֹון יָת אַרעָא בְלִיל מְפֻטַם יֵיכְלוּן דֻדרָא בְרַחתָא וּבִמַדרְיָא׃ כה וִיהֵי עַל כָל טוּר רָם וְעַל כָל רָמָא מְנֻטְלָא פְצִידִין נַגדִין מַייִן תַקלָא לְמַלכִין וּלמַשרְיָתְהֹון בְיֹום קִיטוּל רַב בְמִיפַל רַברְבִין׃ כו וִיהֵי נֵיהֹור סֵיהְרָא כְנֵיהֹור שִמשָא וְנֵיהֹור שִמשָא יְהֵי עְתִיד לְאַזהָרָא עַל חַד תְלָת מְאָה אַרבְעִין וּתלָתָה כְנֵיהֹור שִבעַת יֹומַיָא בְיֹומָא דְיָתִיב יוי יָת גָלְווָת עַמֵיה וּמרַע מַחְתֵיה יַסֵי׃ כז הָא שְמָא דַיוי מִתגְלֵי כְמָא דְאִתנַבִיאוּ עְלֹוהִי נְבִיַיָא מִלְקַדמִין תַקִיף רוּגזֵיה וּקשֵי מִלְסֹובָרָא מִן קֳדָמֹוהִי עַל רַשִיעַיָא נָפֵיק לְוָט וּמֵימְרֵיה כְאִישָא אָכְלָא׃
Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 30:21-27
30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the right way, walk ye in it, and turn ye not from it to the right, or to the left. 30:22 And ye shall defile the covering of your idols of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold; ye shall abominate it, as they abominate the impurity of a menstruous woman, thus ye shall abominate it. 30:23 Then shall He give rain for thy seed, with which thou shalt sow the ground, and corn and fruit shall increase in the land, and there shall be sustenance and goodness; and at that time, the just shall be nourished from their cattle, with the marrow of the tender and the fat ones. 30:24 And the oxen and the asses, with which they plough the ground, shall eat fattening meslin, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. 30:25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high and lofty hill, rivers flowing with water at the time of the ruin of the kings and their armies, in the day of the great slaughter, at the falling of the princes. 30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall in future shine three hundred and forty-three times more brightly, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord shall turn the captivity of His people, and heal the sickness caused by His blow. 30:27 Behold, the Name of the Lord shall be revealed, as the prophets of old have prophesied concerning Him: His wrath is mighty, and too heavy to bear. His curse shall go forth from before Him upon the wicked, and His word as a consuming fire. (TgJ)
The TgJ writes saying, כא וְאֻדנָך יִשמְעָן פִתגָמָא מִבָתְרָך לְמֵימַר הָדָא אֹורחָא דְתָקְנָא הַלִיכוּ בַה לָא תִסטֹון מִינַה לְיַמִינָא וְלִסמָלָא׃ 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the right way, walk ye in it, and turn ye not from it to the right, or to the left. (TgJ) The ears hearing suggests that their ears are tuned for hearing wise counsel. Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 50:4-5 saying, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” The way Isaiah speaks here is that it is the Lord who gives us the ear to hear, but we also must be willing to not just receive this but also to strive for the listening ear. Those who overcome are those who prevail in subduing their own thoughts, emotions, and desires, which are urging them to walk contrary to God’s word. When one subdues the yetzer hara he or she then allows God’s Spirit to speak wise counsel to our hearts. This is exactly what Paul is saying in Ephesians 4:22-24.
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (KJV, 22 ἀποθέσθαι ὑμᾶς κατὰ τὴν προτέραν ἀναστροφὴν τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν φθειρόμενον κατὰ ⸂τὰς ἐπιθυμίας⸃ τῆς ἀπάτης,* 23 ⸀ἀνανεοῦσθαι δὲ ⸆ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ νοὸς ὑμῶν* 24 καὶ ⸀ἐνδύσασθαι τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν κατὰ θεὸν κτισθέντα ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ὁσιότητι ⸂τῆς ἀληθείας⸃.*)
We note our responsibility here, that we must put off the forming behaviors and be renewed in the spirit in our minds! The danger of not doing this draws us back to this chapter in Isaiah which states, “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin. Who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice.” (Isaiah 30:1-2) Everybody needs wise counsel, and the Lord God Almighty is that source for guidance (Isaiah 28:29). This is how the Psalmist understood saying, “Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.” (Psalm 119:24 https://www.matsati.com/index.php/tehillim-psalms-part-2-believe-something-contrary-scripture/) The Lord God wants us to live by His counsel, and here Isaiah speaks of the people being tuned to hearing from the voice of God who has their back, from behind he tells them where to go whether to the right or to the left. This seems to be synonymous to allowing God’s Spirit to direct us through life, which should always draw us back to His Holy Word. The commentary Akeidat Yitzchak has the following to say concerning these things.
Akeidat Yitzchak 100:1:5
Since man’s purpose therefore cannot be achieved without valiant effort on his part, and we observe more people regressing rather than progressing, the Lord, in His infinite wisdom created the vehicle of repentance. This will give those who have erred along the way a chance to return to the proper path. Each group of people,- in accordance with their respective characteristics,- is given a chance to do repentance accordingly. The best kind of baal teshuvah, penitent sinner, is the person or group of persons who is constantly worried about having committed a sin, and who therefore repents instantly, as soon as he becomes aware of an error committed. Such people seek to prove their having repented by exposing themselves to circumstances similar to the ones in which they had previously failed. In this fashion they can prove the viability of their repentance. Another type of baal teshuvah is the sinner who is aware of errors committed, but who lacks a sense of urgency and needs to be prodded into active repentance. Such people call on the Priests and the Levites for guidance in order to find the way back to Hashem. Then there is the third group of sinners, who do not consider repentance until the consequences of their sins have caught up with them, and they have discovered that the path they had chosen for themselves was useless.
The commentary speaks of man’s purpose is to make valiant effort on his part. This sounds a lot like Ephesians 4:22-24, doesn’t it? The rabbis speak of Teshuva as a means for returning to the proper path. The rabbinic commentary speaks of each group of people, which suggests that all peoples have the opportunity to repent and turn from sin. The universal nature of repentance is consistent with the NT perspective on both Jew and Gentile! The idea of exposing oneself to situations to prove one has repented is not a recommended path forward. We are told in the NT to flee from youthful passions (2 Timothy 2:22). The best advice is to stay away from sin and guard the ears and the eyes and our actions, so we are not led back to the path of a sinful life. It is interesting how the rabbis speak of the sense of urgency in repentance and then those who do not consider Teshuva until their sins have caught up to them. We note this is a concept that we have discussed in the past, how the Lord God is patient and willing to provide us time to repent, but when that time runs out, the consequences catch up to us as it says here in the commentary. When the consequences of sin catch up with us this leads us to understand how the path that we are on is a useless path. This should lead to repentance (Teshuva) and returning back to the ways of God, but for some it is simply a mechanism for embitterment towards God. What is being explained here is from the sense of what the Lord God has told us according to His Torah in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28, the blessings and the curses which are dependent upon whether we are willing to listen or whether we willfully are disobedient. This is deeply spiritual that is rooted in our actions! Rashi goes on saying the following concerning these things:
Rashi on Isaiah 30,21 Part 1
ואזניך תשמענה וגו’. לא כמו שאתם עושים עתה שאתם מואסים בדברו ואומרים לא תחזו לנו נכוחות כי אם אזניך יהיו נטויות אף אחריך לשמוע דבר מאתי אולי יבא נביא ויורך דרך ללכת בין ימין ובין שמאל: And your ears shall hear from behind you Not as you do now, that you despise My words and say, “You shall not prophesy for us true things” (verse 10), but your ears shall be bent also behind you to hear from Me, perhaps a prophet will come and instruct you the way to go, whether right or left.
Here Rashi speaks of the rebellious who refuse to listen. This is why the Scriptures in the NT text often quotes “he who has ears to hear let him hear,” because of the importance of listening to the true things and not the woke, liberal, twisted and warped garbage that is being perpetuated on television and in our modern culture today. The Lord God can speak to us in many ways, even here in this commentary on the book of Isaiah. The Lord speaks to me every day concerning these things, and the most important point is that the Lord is drawing us back to His word and to His counsel for the purpose of turning us from sin, pointing us to the Messiah, repentance, and saving our souls!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the TgJ, כב וּתסָאְבוּן יָת חִיפוּי צַלמֵי כַספְכֹון וְיָת תִקוּן מַתְכָת דַהבְכֹון תְרַחְקוּנוּנוּן כְמָא דִמרַחְקִין יָת טוּמאָתָא כֵין תְרַחְקוּנוּנוּן׃ 30:22 And ye shall defile the covering of your idols of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold; ye shall abominate it, as they abominate the impurity of a menstruous woman, thus ye shall abominate it. כג וְיִתֵין מְטַר אַרעָך דְתִזרַע יָת אַרעָא וַעְבוּר וְעַלְלָא יִסגֵי בְאַרעָא וִיהֵי פַרנוּס וְטָב יִתפַרנְסוּן צַדִיקַיָא מִגֵיתֵיהֹון בְעִדָנָא הַהוּא שְמַן רַכִיכִין וּפַטִימִין׃ 30:23 Then shall He give rain for thy seed, with which thou shalt sow the ground, and corn and fruit shall increase in the land, and there shall be sustenance and goodness; and at that time, the just shall be nourished from their cattle, with the marrow of the tender and the fat ones. כד וְתֹורַיָא וּחמָרַיָא דְמַפלְחִין בְהֹון יָת אַרעָא בְלִיל מְפֻטַם יֵיכְלוּן דֻדרָא בְרַחתָא וּבִמַדרְיָא׃ 30:24 And the oxen and the asses, with which they plough the ground, shall eat fattening meslin, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. (TgJ) Isaiah speaks of the outcome of the one who listens to the Lord God in heaven, he will destroy his idols, he will return to the Lord, the Lord will pour out a blessing upon him, and he will eat the fat things of the land because of the plentiness of God’s blessing upon his life. We note that these things are not just simply a focus upon the physical things in this world. These things are the tell-tale-sign of those who are faithful, and so there is a deep spiritual perspective here that is related to those who seek God in heaven! Rashi writes the following concerning these verses:
Rashi on Isaiah 30,24 Parts 1-5
והאלפים. שוורי’: And the oxen. (אֲלָפִים) oxen.
בליל חמיץ. כמו (איוב ז) על בלילו, קשין ותבן מחומצין ומחוזקין בתבואה שבתוכם יאכלו: enriched provender (בְּלִיל חָמִיץ) comp. (Job 6:5) “On his provender (בְּלִילוֹ).” Stubble and straw, strengthened and enriched with the grain within them, they shall eat.
אשר זורה. התבואה פעמיים אחת ברחת ואחת במזרה כדי לנקות התבואה לפיכך יהיה התבן בלול בתבוא’ שזורה במזרה אצל הקשין: which was winnowed The grain is winnowed twice, once with a shovel and once with a fan, in order to clean the grain. Therefore, the straw will be mixed with grain that was winnowed with a fan near the stubble.
רחת. פיל”א בלע”ז: shovel (רַחַת) paile (pelle) in O.F.
מזרה. יו”ן בלע”ז, ומדרש אגדה בליל ל’ בלול שיהא האוכל בלול בתבן: (fan, [מִזְרֶה] van in O.F.) And the Midrash Aggadah states that בְּלִיל is an expression of mixing, that the food will be mixed into the straw. (I.e., the grain will be so plentiful that it will be mixed into the straw eaten by the cattle and donkeys.)
Rashi speaks of the blessing of God how the grain is winnowed twice and there is so much that the cattle even eat of the mixed winnowed grain. We note how this reminds us of Devarim / Deuteronomy 25:4 which speaks of not muzzling the ox while he is at the mill producing grain. This is the concept here of the blessing of God. The Lord God is merciful to give us His Word and make us privy to His ways and to His plans for our lives. This is because the Lord God wants us to walk in His ways, to speak of Him to the nations just as the NT text writes, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:18-19, 2 Corinthians 5:18) When we talk about training our ears, what exactly does this mean? In language learning, it is vitally important to exercise our ears to listen to the language in which we are eager to learn and understand. What happens as we expand our vocabulary, we work on writing sentences, and we listen to the language, our brain gains experience and is trained to decode what we hear. This is similar to a musician who tunes his instrument or the auto mechanic who can identify the problem with an engine based only on the sound of the engine running (a ping or a knock). This is the function of conditioning the ears and the brain, to recognize sounds and then understand what is being said. There are so many sounds or voices in this world today we can become confused about what is being said and the message we should be listening to. In signal processing the engineer uses filters or a mask to process audio properly. This is the point of the Scriptures that God has given us to function as a filter for this world so that we can learn to discern between right and wrong.
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the TgJ, כה וִיהֵי עַל כָל טוּר רָם וְעַל כָל רָמָא מְנֻטְלָא פְצִידִין נַגדִין מַייִן תַקלָא לְמַלכִין וּלמַשרְיָתְהֹון בְיֹום קִיטוּל רַב בְמִיפַל רַברְבִין׃ 30:25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high and lofty hill, rivers flowing with water at the time of the ruin of the kings and their armies, in the day of the great slaughter, at the falling of the princes. כו וִיהֵי נֵיהֹור סֵיהְרָא כְנֵיהֹור שִמשָא וְנֵיהֹור שִמשָא יְהֵי עְתִיד לְאַזהָרָא עַל חַד תְלָת מְאָה אַרבְעִין וּתלָתָה כְנֵיהֹור שִבעַת יֹומַיָא בְיֹומָא דְיָתִיב יוי יָת גָלְווָת עַמֵיה וּמרַע מַחְתֵיה יַסֵי׃ 30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall in future shine three hundred and forty-three times more brightly, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord shall turn the captivity of His people, and heal the sickness caused by His blow. (TgJ) These verses speak of the power of God to bring victory and blessing to the people. A couple of the Jewish commentaries state the following:
Da’at Tevunoth 122
122 And indeed, what needs to be understood now is the measure of the strength of the soul which is given to it to and within this body. And this, for if its strength was great and its light very powerful – certainly it would give so much great illumination to the body that it would elevate it in its existence, and its deficiencies would be completed in one moment, and the evil inclination – it is essential in the deficiencies which the Master may he be blessed wanted for the purpose of free will and reward and punishment – behold would not rule over man at all, as it does not rule over angels because of the abundance of their illumination and the perfection of their knowledge and importance. You should know that in the future it says (Isaiah 11:9), “They shall not do evil nor corrupt throughout my holy mountain for the land will be filled with knowledge”; and at that same time it says (Ezekiel 36:26), “and I shall remove the heart of stone from their flesh…”, to the greatness of the elevation of the soul which will be greater in that time. And indeed from another aspect, behold if the soul were in its essential existence of lowliness and not greatness, it would not be able to stand in the face of the glory and greatness which will be done to it in the future, to be greater than the angels of service:
Da’at Tevunoth speaks of the strength of the soul and the body, and the weakness that are in men regarding the tetzer hara and free will. The reason we have weakness is due to the concepts of free will, reward and punishment. These things work together to lead us to the expectation of the redemption of God as the rabbis speak of the future according to Isaiah 11:9 and Ezekiel 36:26. Da’at Tevunoth 123 writes, “And behold in the time of the reward then the events of all of the souls activates them, and elevates them according to their actions, and in this level of elevation will they return and refine their bodies in the time of the resurrection, and they will enjoy the plethora of peace forever, as we explained above.” Here the future light that shines is a reference to both what Isaiah is saying in Isaiah 30:26, and also to the deeds one did here on earth, whether one lived for the Lord or not. There are quite a few scriptures that speak of these things from the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings and the following are just a sample:
12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (KJV וְרַבִּ֕ים מִיְּשֵׁנֵ֥י אַדְמַת־עָפָ֖ר יָקִ֑יצוּ אֵ֚לֶּה לְחַיֵּ֣י עֹולָ֔ם וְאֵ֥לֶּה לַחֲרָפֹ֖ות לְדִרְאֹ֥ון עֹולָֽם׃ ס וְהַ֨מַּשְׂכִּלִ֔ים יַזְהִ֖רוּ כְּזֹ֣הַר הָרָקִ֑יעַ וּמַצְדִּיקֵי֙ הָֽרַבִּ֔ים כַּכֹּוכָבִ֖ים לְעֹולָ֥ם וָעֶֽד׃ פ)
5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (KJV 16 οὕτως λαμψάτω τὸ φῶς ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων,* ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ °ἔργα καὶ δοξάσωσιν τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.)
13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (KJV 43 τότε οἱ δίκαιοι ἐκλάμψουσιν ὡς ὁ ἥλιος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ ⸂τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν⸃. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ⸆ ἀκουέτω.)
2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (KJV, 14 Πάντα ποιεῖτε χωρὶς γογγυσμῶν καὶ διαλογισμῶν,* 15 ἵνα ⸀γένησθε ἄμεμπτοι καὶ ἀκέραιοι, τέκνα θεοῦ ⸁ἄμωμα μέσον γενεᾶς σκολιᾶς καὶ διεστραμμένης,* ἐν οἷς φαίνεσθε ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ,*)
Righteous deeds are intimately coupled here to shining as the stars in heaven in the olam haba, and the importance of living for the Lord is to glorify God in heaven. Daniel speaks of this according to Daniel 12:2-3 and of the resurrection. Yeshua speaks of the wicked being cast into hell, and the righteous shining forth as the sun in the kingdom of God. Paul writes that we are to live blameless lives before God so that we shine as lights in this world, again for the glory of God! Earlier we had discussed what it means to be tuned into the Lord, to hear His voice and to receive wise counsel. An important fact is that if one is living in unrepentant sin one cannot tune into the voice of God to hear wise counsel. One must perform Teshuva and turn from sin and only then will one hear wise counsel. These concepts are expressed in the one who listens and obeys. Midrash Rabbah Bereshit goes on to expand on these concepts in the following way:
Bereishit Rabbah 3:6
וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, לֹא הוּא אוֹר וְלֹא הוּא יוֹם, אֶתְמְהָא. תְּנִי אוֹרָה שֶׁנִּבְרֵאת בְּשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי בְרֵאשִׁית, לְהָאִיר בַּיּוֹם אֵינָה יְכוֹלָה, שֶׁהִיא מַכְּהָהּ גַּלְגַּל הַחַמָּה, וּבַלַּיְלָה אֵינָה יְכוֹלָה, שֶׁלֹא נִבְרֵאת לְהָאִיר אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם, וְהֵיכָן הִיא, נִגְנְזָה, וְהִיא מְתֻקֶּנֶת לַצַּדִּיקִים לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ל, כו): וְהָיָה אוֹר הַלְּבָנָה כְּאוֹר הַחַמָּה וְאוֹר הַחַמָּה יִהְיֶה שִׁבְעָתַיִם כְּאוֹר שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים, אֶתְמְהָא, שִׁבְעַת, וְלֹא שְׁלשָׁה הֵן, וַהֲלֹא בָּרְבִיעִי נִבְרְאוּ הַמְאוֹרוֹת. אֶלָּא כְּאֵינַשׁ דַּאֲמַר כֵּן וְכֵן אֲנָא מְפַקֵּד לְשִׁבְעַת יוֹמַיָא דְּמִשְׁתּוֹתֵי. רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה אָמַר אֵלּוּ שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי אֲבֵלוּת שֶׁל מְתוּשֶׁלַח הַצַּדִּיק, שֶׁהִשְׁפִּיעַ לָהֶן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אוֹרָה. וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת הָאוֹר כִּי טוֹב, רַבִּי זְעֵירָא בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי אַבָּהוּ דָּרַשׁ בְּקֵיסָרִין, מִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵין מְבָרְכִין עַל הַנֵּר עַד שֶׁיֵּאוֹתוּ לְאוֹרוֹ, מִן הָכָא, וַיַּרְא, וַיַּבְדֵּל. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בְּרַבִּי סִימוֹן אָמַר הִבְדִּילוֹ לוֹ. רַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי הִבְדִּילוֹ לַצַּדִּיקִים לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ מָנָה יָפָה וְהִפְרִישָׁהּ לִבְנוֹ. אָמַר רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה כָּךְ דָּרְשׁוּ שְׁנֵי גְדוֹלֵי עוֹלָם, רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן וְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ, וַיַּבְדֵּל הַבְדָּלָה מַמָּשׁ, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ שְׁנֵי אִיסְטַרְטִיגִין, אֶחָד שַׁלִּיט בַּיּוֹם וְאֶחָד שַׁלִּיט בַּלַּיְלָה, וְהָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם מִדַּיְינִין זֶה עִם זֶה, זֶה אוֹמֵר בַּיּוֹם אֲנִי שׁוֹלֵט, וְזֶה אוֹמֵר בַּיּוֹם אֲנִי שׁוֹלֵט. קָרָא הַמֶּלֶךְ לָרִאשׁוֹן אָמַר לוֹ פְּלוֹנִי יוֹם יְהֵא תְּחוּמָךְ, וְכֵן לַשֵׁנִי אָמַר לוֹ פְּלוֹנִי לַיְלָה יְהֵא תְּחוּמָךְ. כָּךְ וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, אָמַר לוֹ יוֹם יְהֵא תְּחוּמָךְ, וְלַחשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה, אָמַר לוֹ לַיְלָה יְהֵא תְּחוּמָךְ. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן הוּא שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אוֹמֵר לְאִיּוֹב (איוב לח, יב): הֲמִיָּמֶיךָ צִוִּיתָ בֹּקֶר יִדַּעְתָּ הַשַּׁחַר מְקֹמוֹ, הֲיָדַעְתָּ מְקוֹמוֹ אֵי זֶה הוּא, אֶתְמְהָא. אָמַר רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא אֲנָא אָמְרֵי טַעֲמָא (ישעיה מה, ז): יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חשֶׁךְ עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם, מִשֶּׁנִּבְרְאוּ עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר לְעוֹלָם אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְיַחֵד שְׁמוֹ עַל הָרָעָה אֶלָא עַל הַטּוֹבָה, וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחשֶׁךְ קָרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיְלָה אֵין כְּתִיב כָּאן, אֶלָּא וְלַחשֶׁךְ קָרָא לַיְלָה.
And God called the light day – Is it not day when there’s light? This is surprising! It is taught: the light that was created in the six days of Creation cannot illuminate during the day because it dims the sun, and at night it cannot since it was only created to illuminate during the day. And where is it? It is hidden,and is prepared for the righteous for the Future, as it says “and the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times like the light of the seven days” (Isaiah 30:26). This is surprising! Seven? Aren’t they three (days)? Weren’t the luminaries created on the fourth? Rather, it is like a person who says ‘such and such way I order for the seven days of my wedding feast.’ Rabbi Nechemiah said: these are the seven days of mourning for the righteous Metushelach, that the Holy One of Blessing gave to them light in abundance. ‘And God saw that the light was good’ – Rabbi Ze’ira the son of Rabbi Abahu explained in Cesarea: from where do we know that we do not say a blessing over the candle before its light is established? From here: and He saw; and He separated. Rabbi Yehudah in the name of Rabbi Simon said: He separated it for Himself. The rabbis say: He separated it for the righteous in the Future. This is similar to a king who had a beautiful meal and separated it for his son. Said Rabbi Berachiah: ‘Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Shimeon ben Lakish, two great ones of the world, explained this: ‘and He separated’ is a complete separation. This is similar to a king who had two commanders, one to command during the day and one to command during the night, and the two were disputing with one another, one saying ‘I command during the day’ and the other saying ‘I command during the day.’ So the king called the first one and said: ‘Ploni, the day will be your charge.’ And so to the second and said: ‘Ploni, the night will be your charge.’ Said Rabbi Yochanan: ‘This is what the Holy One of Blessing said to Job: “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?” (Job 38:12) Do you know your place? This is surprising. Said Rabbi Tanchuma: ‘I will say its reason: “Fashioner of Light and Creator of Darkness, Maker of Peace” (Isaiah 45:7) From the moment of its creation, He makes peace. ‘And God called the light day’ – said Rabbi Eleazar: The Holy One of Blessing never unites His name to evil, only to goodness: it is not written ‘and God called the light day; and the darkness God called night’; rather, [it is written] ‘and the darkness, called night.’
The midrash opens with a discussion on the first day of creation and God creating light. What is important to note about the creation account is the creation of the sun, moon, and stars was towards the end of the creation events. The light that was created at the beginning was the glory of God in righteousness. This is what the Midrash is drawing out as the light of righteousness outshines the light from the sun and moon and the reason Isaiah says what he does in Isaiah 30:26. This glorious light is put away for the olam haba for the righteous. The seven-day creation is analyzed to the seven-day wedding feast, etc. The creation of light and righteousness is paralleled to the Lord making peace. We know that the righteous do make peace, since Yeshua demonstrated this for us. To walk in the way of peace and righteousness is to walk in God’s holy ways, and this is why it is wise to be intentional in our walk with the Creator, because of what Isaiah says in Isaiah 30:27, כז הָא שְמָא דַיוי מִתגְלֵי כְמָא דְאִתנַבִיאוּ עְלֹוהִי נְבִיַיָא מִלְקַדמִין תַקִיף רוּגזֵיה וּקשֵי מִלְסֹובָרָא מִן קֳדָמֹוהִי עַל רַשִיעַיָא נָפֵיק לְוָט וּמֵימְרֵיה כְאִישָא אָכְלָא׃30:27 Behold, the Name of the Lord shall be revealed, as the prophets of old have prophesied concerning Him: His wrath is mighty, and too heavy to bear. His curse shall go forth from before Him upon the wicked, and His word as a consuming fire. (TgJ) The Torah perspective is listening and obeying, seeking the wise counsel of God or turning to our own counsel, etc. When we choose to live in our own ways there is no true peace in our hearts, and there is a powerful Creator God whom we must give an answer to. Our God however is merciful, loving, and forgiving! All we have to do is seek Him and His Son Yeshua and direct our lives to be intentional in living for the Lord and being in fellowship with God through His Messiah Yeshua!