Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Isaiah 2: 10-12

10Enter the rock and hide in the dust
From the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty.
11 The proud look of man will be abased
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
A Day of Reckoning Coming
 12 For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased.

Pride. The Bible does not say that it's the root of all evil. But, man.... It's not a good thing! That strutting peacock above has become a symbol for pride--so beautiful, yet so outward showy and self-important. A tour through Psalms and Proverbs will fill you with references to the evils of pride. For example:

"The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud." 
--Proverbs 16: 17-19

Today's passage from Isaiah focuses on Judah's pride and the resulting "destruction" and "stumbling" to come. I've left the subhead from the NASB in place, though it might well have been placed beginning with verse 10, as the text focuses on a "day of reckoning" and, more specifically, what the prophets called "the Day of the Lord."

Judah's pride--its self-sufficiency in the face of God Almighty--was the cause of the Lord's consternation. The "proud look" and "loftiness" of man will "be abased" or "humbled." Verse 11 can also be more literally translated as the "eyes of the loftiness of men." We think of a loft being a place up high. Looking at the Hebrew, we get an expansion of that definition: "To be (causatively, make) lofty, especially inaccessible; by implication, safe, strong." [Strong's] The eyes of the nation were not on God but on surpassing God to the point of being inaccessible and utterly powerful. This could not, nor would ever, be and the outcome of their sinful "look" was not unknown.

"Pride will, one way or other, have a fall. Men’s haughtiness will be brought down, either by the grace of God convincing them of the evil of their pride, and clothing them with humility, or by the providence of God depriving them of all those things they were proud of and laying them low. Our Saviour often laid it down for a maxim that he who exalts himself shall be abased; he shall either abase himself in true repentance or God will abase him and pour contempt upon him."
--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

That "fall" would come in a "day of reckoning." And, no, it's not God saying, "I reckon I'd better do something about My wayward people." [Or is it?!] A reckoning can mean a settling of something, like an account, but it can also mean "an accounting for things done or received" or "an appraisal or judgment." [] Looking at some of the older English and foreign definitions of the root word, we see it means "ready, straightforward," and "to move in a straight line." Straightening out a wayward people was definitely part of God's plan, and, one can see how Isaiah's prophecy here might be referring to a more immediate day of reckoning through the captivity of the people to Babylon.

But, given some of the other details here in the passage, it is more likely that Isaiah is referring to the Day of Reckoning or the Day of the Lord. If you studied Obadiah, Joel, Amos or Hosea with me, then you know what this means. It's Judgment Day! It is the day that Revelation speaks of--a day of God's ultimate wrath--in which He will destroy His creation, saving those who confess and live out their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. That which is dross will be smelted away, once and forever. (Isaiah 1:25) 

Going back to verse 10, we read of the command to "enter the rock and hide in the dust." There are those who will try and escape this destruction by hiding, even though there will be no hiding or escape from "the terror of the Lord."

"Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;  and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb....'"
--Revelation 6: 15-16

We will read more about this Day in the weeks' verses ahead. Knowing that the Day has not yet arrived, we should be praising God for His grace and His mercy, for there are still those who will come to Him today, who can be reached for Him today, who can be saved from the pride that brings destruction right now. Look at the encouragement Paul gave to the Corinthians, and us, in this regard:
"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.... You are looking at things as they are outwardly.... For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding."
--II Corinthians 10: 5-7; 12
Let us not be without understanding, operating out of pride--measuring, comparing, commending ourselves. For it is not the outward appearance but what is in one's heart that matters to God. (I Samuel 16:7) As we enter Holy Week next week, may the words of this beloved hymn carry forth new encouragement:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride. 
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
--When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Isaac Watts, 1707)

A Day of Reckoning against.... 'Til next Wednesday!


* * *

Next week: Isaiah 2: 13-18

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Isaiah 2: 6-9

6 For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with influences from the east,
And they are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.
7 Their land has also been filled with silver and gold
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land has also been filled with horses
And there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land has also been filled with idols;
They worship the work of their hands,
That which their fingers have made.
9 So the common man has been humbled
And the man of importance has been abased,
But do not forgive them.

The beginning of our passage today reads as though we are back in Chapter 1 of Isaiah. This is God's case against Jerusalem, and the prophet uses a favorite writing technique of mine--parallel phrasing--to emphatically get the word out.

God has abandoned His people because they are "filled with" all the wrong things:

  • Influences from the east (vs 6)
  • Silver and gold (vs 7)
  • Horses (vs 7)
  • Idols (vs 8)

Let's explore each category a bit more, because there are other details here.

Eastern influences came into Jerusalem in the form of various superstitions and cultural belief systems from places to the east of the city. That Jerusalem was considered to be "soothsayers like the Philistines" indicates that the city was also besieged from the west. The Philistines were known for their journeys into sorcery and other forms of divination. The King James Version uses 'replenished' instead of "filled with influences" which strikes an ugly note, as God's people should have been filled with His Spirit and power rather than replenished by evil influences. How appropriate that the Hebrew for soothsayer means "to cover; cloud over; to act covertly." [Strong's]

"Their country was peopled with Syrians and Chaldeans, Moabites and Ammonites, and other eastern nations, and with them they admitted the fashions and customs of those nations, and pleased themselves in the children of strangers, were fond of them, preferred their country before their own, and thought the more they conformed to them the more polite and refined they were; thus did they profane their crown and their covenant."
--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

The infiltration of these ideas did not only help recalibrate the spiritual and intellectual thinking of the people, but also the business/political environment of Jerusalem. "They strike bargains with the children of foreigners." The city sought out practical relationships and formed alliances with pagan nations in the hopes of maintaining, if not increasing, its status and wealth.

This dovetails with verse 7, which highlights the massive treasures held by Judah. It wasn't enough to merely have silver and gold, but the people actively sought to possess treasures. Again, bringing up my Beth Moore study of James, she mentions a Latin phrase of Ovid's indicative of the time in which James spoke to the Jerusalem church. "Amor sceleratus habendi"--This means "the accursed love of getting." You might want to consider it possessed with possessing!

"You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you."
--James 5: 5 and 6

Thankfulness for the blessings of God?! They didn't recognize God's goodness in the days following the visible presence of Jesus Christ, and neither did the Jerusalem of Isaiah's day. [Do I even have to mention today's world?] Indeed, the corrupt kings who served during Isaiah's ministry offered up their precious gifts to alien nations, seeking their protection.

 "So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, 'I am your servant and your son; come up and deliver me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.' Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria."
--II Kings 16:7 and 8

Verse 7 continues with references to horses and chariots. The accumulation of such items suggests having at hand tools of war. Israel had built up strongholds (walls and towers) as a means of protecting itself from invaders. Judah was taking its possessive ways into its security systems, too. God had made it clear early on that those in charge were not to amass such items but to rely fully and completely upon Him for their safety.

"Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, 'You shall never again return that way.' He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself."
--Deuteronomy 17: 16 and 17 (italics mine
to illustrate that earlier point one more time)

Verse 8--a biggie--the land was filled with idols. God certainly disliked that His people were working so hard to live and act self-sufficiently, trying to keep up with their neighbors. But, top that with the creation of idols, and it's like a straight slap to the face. Not that one sin is greater than another, but--and I've said this before--that "You shall have no other gods before me" is the first Commandment speaks to what is primary on the heart of God. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." The workmanship is ALL His!

"Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them."
--Psalm 115: 4-8

What is left of the relationship between God and His people at this point? Who still acknowledges the presence of the Lord? Verse 9 says both "the common man" and the "man of importance" have fallen to the base of idols.

Is it any wonder the end of our passage today says: "But do not forgive them." There were so many times of past grace. What now?

"What a shame it is that great men think the service of the true God below them and will not stoop to it, and yet will humble themselves to bow down to an idol!"
--Matthew Henry

A bringing about of ultimate humility.... 'Til next Wednesday!


* * *

Next week: Isaiah 2: 10-12

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Isaiah 2: 1-5

Isaiah 2

God’s Universal Reign
 1 The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  2 Now it will come about that in the last days
The mountain of the house of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.
 5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

With the beginning of Isaiah Chapter 2, we engage in the prophet's speaking on a solitary subject across the next four chapters. This will be obvious as we start Chapter 6, in which we read about Isaiah's call to the prophecy. My study Bible says of our verses today that these are "the first of three pictures of Zion (Jerusalem) in this discourse that depicts her future exaltation."

By "future," the commentaries I review suggest times following Isaiah's receiving of this word from God. As I read through this portion, I can clearly see how the passage refers to the millennial kingdom, to be established by Jesus Christ at His second advent and earthly reign. Though it is also true that the text can apply to a time that has already passed. The beauty of Scripture is such that it can apply across multiple time frames. Let's explore that notion today!

"Now it will come about that in the last days...."
--vs. 2

When I see "last days," I generally think end times. Referring back to a passage I explored not long ago in Hosea, "Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days." (Hosea 3:5, emphasis mine) The sons of Israel will not recognize Jesus as Messiah until He appears in the flesh in His second coming. But, the New Testament writers use "last days" to refer to the time after Christ's first advent. Consider this from Hebrews 1: "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son." (Hebrews 1: 1 & 2a)

Matthew Henry continues in the vein of the New Testament writers when he suggests that our Isaiah text today refers to the establishment of Christianity:

"Now the prophet here foretels: I. The setting up of the Christian church, and the planting of the Christian religion, in the world. Christianity shall then be the mountain of the Lord’s house; where that is professed God will grant his presence, receive his people’s homage, and grant instruction and blessing, as he did of old in the temple of Mount Zion."
--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
When I was studying Daniel through Beth Moore's teaching, she introduced a couple of terms from Biblical commentators that, I think, apply here as well. "Dual reference" indicates a place in Scripture which can be referred to in a more present time as well as a forthcoming time, like the establishment of "the mountain of the house of the Lord." It is then possible to have a "dual fulfillment" of said prophecy, which would support Matthew Henry's viewpoint on the beginnings of Christianity while allowing for a second fulfillment of the prophecy under Christ in the time when "every knee shall bow...." (Romans 14:11) As you and I continue to digest that, let's look at some other passages more closely, tying in this concept. 
The people head to the mountain "that He may teach us...that we may walk in His paths." (vs. 3) Isaiah writes in a time when people went to the mountain to worship their created idols. Certainly, even in that time, Jerusalem had the opportunity to correct their steps. But pride and self-righteousness would keep them from listening to God (which is why He stopped listening to them--Isaiah 1:15).
"Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
--Psalm 25: 8-12

Isaiah 2:3 also speaks of "the law" (or, per other translations, the instruction) and "the word of the Lord"  coming from Zion/Jerusalem. In addition to Zion referring to Jerusalem, "the mountain of the Lord"--Mount Zion--was the location of the temple in Jerusalem, as the earlier-mentioned Henry comment says. God's word was always available to His people. Not surprisingly, the fulfillment of the law, through Christ and the "going forth" of His word would begin in Jerusalem--following His crucifixion there, His commissioning of the disciples and their receiving of the Holy Spirit:

"Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'"
--Luke 24: 44-47 (emphasis mine)

Isaiah 2:4 speaks of judgment and rendering decisions. Again, not hard for me to see this as an end-times fulfillment, with Christ bringing decisions regarding eternal judgment of all people. But, can we also see this passage as being fulfilled earlier? "Render decisions" in other translations can mean "reprove" or "rebuke." God's power in admonishing and correcting the nations can be seen throughout the course of history. Surely his words through the prophets culminating in the exile of His own people could be included as reproof.
The next line is one you have likely heard before: "And they will hammer their swords into plowshares...." Popular musicians--from Stephen Stills to Michael Jackson--have pulled this text for their song lyrics, as have politicians, including Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, used these words in their speeches. The sculpture in the picture above is entitled "Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares," by Evgeniy Vuchetich, part of the United Nations Art Collection. The representation in art, speech and verse refers to a time of peace. Interestingly, when God gave these same words to the prophet Joel, they were flipped around to indicate preparation for a time of war: "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears...." (Joel 3:10)
With the Messiah, the Prince of Peace--as Isaiah would name Him in Chapter 9--coming to reign, the earth will know a time of peace, a prelude to that in the eternal Kingdom. Yet even our Lord Himself proclaimed, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you." (John 14: 27a) He is our peace, and when there is no peace in our relationships and circumstances, we need to remember that He has shown us what His peace looks like. Do we not have the tools to hammer our swords into plowshares, even now?

"The design and tendency of the gospel are to make peace and to slay all enmities. It has in it the most powerful obligations and inducements to peace; so that one might reasonably have expected it should have this effect, and it would have had it if it had not been for those lusts of men from which come wars and fightings." 
--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

 This has been difficult study today. I get the basics, though it is still "too lofty" for me to completely understand. This is one of the reasons why I veered away from the prophets for so long. But, I'm thankful for the teachings of others to guide me as I seek to understand where the Spirit is leading through all of this. Thankful to "walk in the light of the Lord." (vs. 5)

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
--I John 1: 5-7

No new subhead for our verses next week, but the tone and direction sound a lot like the judgments of Chapter 1. Why God abandons His people.... 'Til next Wednesday!


* * *

Next week: Isaiah 2: 6-9

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Isaiah 1: 27-31

  27 Zion will be redeemed with justice
And her repentant ones with righteousness.
28 But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together,
And those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.
29 Surely you will be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired,
And you will be embarrassed at the gardens which you have chosen.
30 For you will be like an oak whose leaf fades away
Or as a garden that has no water.
31 The strong man will become tinder,
His work also a spark.
Thus they shall both burn together
And there will be none to quench them.

Chapter 1 closes out with a strong statement of judgment and a series of vivid metaphors. Indeed, the writer in me is seeing the writer in Isaiah, and I'm flooded with verses that tie in with what he is saying. I hope I don't inadvertently get us sidetracked too far from his points today!

Picking up from where we left off last week, remember that Isaiah is speaking of the end times here. (As it turns out, Chapter 2 will continue with this theme.) According to my study Bible, Zion originally referred to a designation for the hill Ophel (a mountain near the Mount of Olives). There seems to be some discrepancy as to what area is exactly covered under 'Zion.' But, when Isaiah uses 'Zion' in his prophecy, he speaks of Jerusalem.

The term "repentant ones" used in verse 27 is more literally translated "returnees." The King James Version says 'converts,' and the Reformation Study Bible explains the reference to mean those "ransomed, transferred or freed from ownership by another through the payment of a price...." The term refers to the "remnant" of the tribes of Israel, preserved by God, who will return to Jerusalem in the end times at Jesus' second coming and earthly reign. God's promise of old--permanent sanctification of His relationship with His people--shall be fulfilled through these "repentant ones."

But, there must also be a "smelting away" of the "dross," to use last week's words from verse 25. The "New Jerusalem" will be a holy city, one that must be devoid of sinfulness in any form if the Lord is to preside over it.

"It is a universal ruin, which will involve the transgressors and the sinners together, that is, the openly profane that have quite cast of all religion, and the hypocrites that live wicked lives under the cloak of a religious profession—they shall both be destroyed together, for they are both alike an abomination to God, both those that contradict religion and those that contradict themselves in their pretensions to it."
--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
I hadn't really thought of transgressers and sinners being different, but the Hebrew definitions help to make clear the distinctions [all following definitions from Strong's]. The word for transgress means, "to breakaway (from just authority), i.e. trespass, apostatize, quarrel." The transgressor is a rebel. Matthew Henry termed these the "openly profane." Then, there are those who may not be profane, but are not true followers either. A sinner is "a criminal, or one accounted guilty." Are we all guilty before God? Yes, we are. Thank God for the saving, merciful grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, however, that we may not be forever condemned as guilty! That's the difference between the "repentant ones" and the "sinners." Finally, those who "forsake the Lord" will also face eternal judgment, 'forsake' meaning "to loosen, leave or relinquish" [a relationship with God].

"For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed."
--II Thessalonians 1: 6-10

With verse 29, Isaiah depicts through a nature metaphor the difference between paradise and, well, truly, Hell. Simple words like oaks and gardens carry a bit more weight than at first glance.

An alternate translation for 'oak' is 'terebinth,' which is another type of sturdy tree that would have been prolific in the area. From reading in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, a terebinth could reach as high as 40 feet with a huge spread of branches. It featured berries in season and, alternatively, lost its colorful leaves in season ("an oak who leaf fades away"). It was under these mighty trees that Judah and Israel chose to offer up sacrifices in worshiping their created idols.

"They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains and burn incense on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, because their shade is pleasant...."
--Hosea 4:13

Likewise, 'garden' does not refer to a household flower or vegetable patch. In Biblical times, gardens were walled enclosures featuring amazing varieties of plants, fountains and other sources of running water, and planned seating areas. Yes, think Eden--a paradise, in which one could sit and enjoy the pleasantness and peacefulness of beautiful surroundings. No wonder God began the story of Man in such a place! The Hebrew for 'garden' in its most basic form means "a covered or hidden place." [Strong's]

I think Isaiah is referring to the heart when he speaks of the garden in this passage. God knows our hidden-most place and what dwells in that place. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." (Psalm 119:11, KJV) But Jerusalem had turned from His word. It had become a "garden with no water." (vs. 30) How can the heart of the believer be filled and maintained without the living water of God? "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:38)

In contrast to the lushness of a garden of paradise, Isaiah tops off his nature metaphor with a counter dry, parched metaphor to represent sinful man and his works. Rather than the strong oak, we read of the strong man who is reduced to timber, with his fruit also to be tossed into the fire. The Reformation Study Bible says, "Drought and fire are metaphors for judgment. Water in Isaiah signifies free, gracious, and bountiful salvation. The absence of water signifies separation from God’s blessings." These metaphors tie together perfectly!
Couple this with the King James', which reads "the strong shall be as tow." Tow is the fiber that comes out of flax when it is being processed for use in making thread. The Hebrew means "something shaken out." [Strong's] The tow is the weak, undesirable leftovers on the threshing floor. John the Baptist used his own tow-like metaphor in pronouncing the arrival of the Messiah:

"His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
--Matthew 3:12
If we find ourselves in that dry, parched land, may we know in the wellspring that is our heart that living water is at hand by promise of His Word.

"Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!"
--Psalm 119: 5-8

"God's Universal Reign," begins a five-chapter discourse with a look at the New Jerusalem. Chapter 2.... 'Til next Wednesday!


* * *

Next week: Isaiah 2: 1-5

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).