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Posts Tagged ‘Book of Isaiah’

In the days to come
the mountain of the Temple of the Lord
shall tower above the mountains
and be lifted higher than the hills.
All the nations will stream to it,
peoples without number will come to it;
and they will say:

‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob
that he may teach us his ways
so that we may walk in his paths;
since the Law will go out from Zion,
and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’

He will wield authority over the nations
and adjudicate between many peoples;
these will hammer their swords into ploughshares,
their spears into sickles.
Nation will not lift sword against nation,
there will be no more training for war.

O House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
(2.2-5)

The Book of Isaiah

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Urbs fortitudinis nostrae Sion;
salvator ponetur in ea
murus et antemurale.
Aperite portas et ingrediatur gens iusta,
custodiens veritatem
vetus error abiit: servabis pacem;
pacem quia in te speravimus.
sperastis in Domino in saeculis aeternis;
in Domino Deo forti in perpetuum. (Isa 26.1b-4, Vulg.)

 

The city of our strength is Zion:
the Savior will erect in it the wall and rampart.
Throw open the city-gates
and let the just nation enter,
one who guards the truth.

The old transgression has passed away;
You will guard the peace;
a peace we have hoped for,
because peace is in You.

You have hoped in the Lord in ages eternal!
In the Lord God, steadfast forever! (Translation mine)

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Effetti del Buon Governo in Città or “Effects of Good Government in the City” (c. 1338-40)

‘O fortunati, quorum iam moenia surgunt!’
Aeneas ait, et fastigia suspicit urbis. (Aen. I.437-438)

“Lucky are you, whose walls now rise!”
Cried Aeneas, as he surveyed the summits of the city. (Translation mine)

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On that day the earth will burst asunder,
the earth will be shaken apart
the earth will be convulsed.
The earth will reel like a drunkard,
and it will sway like a hut;
Its rebellion will weigh it down,
until it falls, never to rise again
. (21.19-20)

The Book of Isaiah

The end of ages is already with us. The renewal of the world has been established, and cannot be revoked. In our era it is in a true sense anticipated: the Church on earth is already sealed by genuine, if imperfect, holiness. Yet, until a new Heaven and a new earth are built as the dwelling place of justice, the pilgrim Church, in its sacraments and institutions belonging to this world of time, bears the likeness of this passing world. It lives in the midst of a creation still groaning and in travail as it waits for the sons of God to be revealed in glory. (48)

Lumen Gentium (“Light of the Gentiles”)
From the dogmatic constitution of the Church of the Second Vatican Council

Let us be quick to clarify the difference between “eschatology” and “apocalypse” : the former concerns the last or final matters of this age or this world and its passing away; the latter concerns theologically or divinely revealed vision, often of the former.

es·cha·tol·o·gy
n., any system of doctrines concerning last, or final, matters, as death, the Judgment, the future state, etc.

[from Greek εσχατος, last + -logy.]

a·poc·a·lypse
n., a prophetic disclosure or revelation

[Middle English apocalipse, from Late Latin apocalypsis, from Greek αποκαλυσις, revelation, from αποκαλυπτειν, to uncover

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Oh, that you would tear open the heavens and come down!
Isaiah 64:1

Isaiah blurts out the frustration and longing that seem to be our inevitable portion as children of Adam and Eve. Frustration: in the midst of conflict and pain, we sense that something has gone terribly wrong, and we are powerless to fix it. Longing: we yearn for God to break into our stifling world and set things right.

William Butler Yeats gave words to our dilemma:

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

(Yeats, “The Second Coming”)

In the rhythm of the church year, Advent reminds us that we live in a time of groaning along with a broken creation, a time of longing for what we do not yet see (Rom 8:22-25). We yearn for the long-delayed coming of God’s justice. But Advent also reminds us that our longing is not futile, for we await the consummation of a sure promise. In the coming of Jesus Christ, God has torn open the heavens and come down. For that reason, Advent recalls us to the discipline of hopeful waiting. Nothing now can separate us from the love of God, and so we wait with confidence for the healing of all creation.

Richard B. Hays, Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament
Duke Divinity School

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‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;

that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;

they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

The Book of Isaiah

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