LXX Luthor and the Mysterious Case of Metropolis’ Demise!
My first reading through the Greek translation of Isaiah, as I am trying my best to keep up with Greek Isaiah In A Year, has lead me to a couple of conclusions in the first few chapters, dealing with politics, identity, and theology.
(Point A) For Chapter 1: YHWH (through Isaiah) is addressing Israel & Judah, and in verse 10, I translate it: LISTEN! to the Word of YHWH, princes of Sodom! Receive the Law of God! people of Gomorrah!” YHWH addresses humanity where they are, that is God comes to us in our context to speak. For the prophets, God has a specific confrontational message for the leaders of Judah & Israel who lead the people into living lives of unfaithfulness. We see this with Ezekiel LXX (see 44:10, 48:11 LXX). YHWH has particular dealings with the household of Eli (ending his priestly lineage), and on the other end, YHWH holds the people of Israel & Judah responsible for their actions by allowing them to have their way ( a king to enslave them). Isaiah (I believe) is working along the same lines here: the leaders are Sodomites whether it’s the Abraham’s or Ezekiel’s definition, we will have to discover that as we read through Isaiah. What we do see is in the early chapters of First Isaiah, (Chapter 3), the exiles are taken away two by two, sorted by classes of humanity, young and old, officer and warrior, construction worker and scholar.
(Point B) For Chapter 2: Many English translations (perhaps through the power of male bias) have the first verse of this chapter starting “The Word that came from the Lord etc. etc.”; my translation, because the Greek term genomenos/generate means to become/begotten, reads like this: “The Word begotten by YHWH to Isaiah, son of Amos, concerning Judah and concerning Jerusalem.” I think in this instance, it’s important for the audience to remember all of the narrative in the Torah, and remind ourselves that language (spoken & unspoken) is a gift from God (i.e., God rescuing humanity from the Tower of Babel). Seeing prophetic speech as begotten of God allows us to see Isaiah’s oracles as participation in the life of the Logos; as I will get to in chapter 6, the scenery is just not about Isaiah getting cleansed and becoming holy, but also about the response Isaiah will receive from his own people, closed minds, deaf ears (verse 10).
And lastly but not least:
(Point C) Going back to chapter 1, and specifically verse 26, First Isaiah’s political theology is one of theological and social conservativism, a restorationist effort to be set forth by YHWH, to return us to the Faithful Mother City (Faithful Metropolis/materpolis piste) of Zion with faithful judges and faithful counselors. Theologically, I believe that Gentile Christian renewal cannot take place without a turning back towards the First Testament. I am not calling for “modern applications” of the law; what I am saying is that we Gentiles need to first need to recognize our humble place in the story of the Jews, for with our King and Rabbi Jesus, we have been engrafted/adopted into this family. To make Zion our Metropolis the starting point where we begin to think about our final polis, the New Creation, is absolutely essential theologically.
What do you think about any of the above points? Any one of these do I need to work on?
- Join Us In Reading Isaiah LXX For the New Year starting tomorrow! (politicaljesus.com)
- What Should Protestants Do With The Apocrypha? (simuliustusetpeccator.com)