Isaiah 12 Notes

Chapter Twelve:

Chapter 12 is definitely the last part of a complete section in the book of Isaiah.  Gesenius, Barnes, and Vitringa all consider chapters 1-12 to be a whole.  Horne and Luther divide the first 12 chapters into smaller sections, but even for them, chapter 12 is the end of a section.  Likewise, the Oxford commentary acknowledges that the hymns of this chapter “recapitulate chs 1-11 by playing on the name Isaiah…” (996).  The surest way to divide the book may be by means of the headings[1] provided throughout.  For instance, 1:1 is an introductory heading.  Likewise 2:1, 6:1, 7:1, 13:1, all seem like headings.  (I guess this is why the chapter divisions were later made along these lines.)

v. 1: Barnes notes that, although the “you” here (“you will say in that day”) is singular, it implies plurality.  “The address to an individual here…is equivalent to every one, meaning thatall…should say it” (243).  Interestingly, Luther translates the “you” addressed to God (“you O LORD”) into German as dir, the singular, informal address that one would use with peers (clearly not the case here) or friends.  I wonder if Hebrew also has formal and informal ways of address.  If not, I wonder what made Luther choose dir over Ihnen, the formal address one would use when addressing superiors.

[1] By heading, I mean an opening statement that announces a relatively new direction for the book.  Perhaps these headings were added by editors later on, but they still seem a good place to start developing a feel for how the book might be divided.


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