Friday, May 27, 2011

Isaiah, Chapters 27 & 28: God hates dragons

Chapter 27

God takes a break from smiting the Moabites to kill Leviathan the sea dragon. In response, the Israelites are supposed sing about red wine from the vineyard god is tending because he finds it soothing. No, I'm not skipping any verses here, that's really how the transition goes. Also, I think the idea of god unwinding in his winery is cute. I wish he spent more time there.

God, speaking through Isaiah, informs us that he would burn any brambles and weeds that threatened his vineyard, though one would think that would also hurt the grapes, but he'd much rather make peace with them. But of course, god isn't really talking about viticulture, he's using a metaphor.

Then we get one of the most awkwardly-phrased sentences in the history of the genre: Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? (v. 7), talking about Israel's enemies. Dude, there is alliteration and then there's this. Clearly thesauruses had not been invented yet. Then he starts talking about the exile and sin and destroying altars and burning down Jerusalem AGAIN and finally bringing them back.

Chapter 28

Apparently the people of Samaria drink a lot and the city has become the party capital of the Middle East. It's so fun that even the priests and prophets go there for debauchery. So naturally god destroys it with hail and floods, because he hates fun. Or maybe he's just a very zealous cleaner, because all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean (v. 8). Good to know the Jersey Shore house has a biblical precedent.

Once he has cleaned up the place, god clearly delineates who will and will not be able to sit down and study with him: people who are weaned will be accepted, those still breast-feeding will have to wait. Get them while they're young, indeed.

Wow. I had no idea that the expression here a little, and there a little (v. 10) was biblical. I thought it was something my mom said to make cleaning up my toys seem like a more manageable task.

Anyway, once god has raised his army of scholars, he'll take on the political leadership, who are, of course, a bunch of lying rogues that have all made deals with the devil. Because theocracies are always so fun to live in. How is he going to do it? Tiny House! Literally. He's going to make the beds too short and the covers to narrow. And you know he can because he spends the rest of the chapter describing his intimate knowledge of which farming implements should be used to harvest which grains.

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