In my last post, we began to examine the issues of Justice and Judgment ~ Part 1 in Yesha’yahu 56:1-8. In this post, we continue to explore the effects of Justice and Judgment ~ Part 2 in Yesha’yahu 56:9-57:2.
9 All you wild animals, come and devour, yes, all you animals in the forest!10 [Isra’el’s] watchmen are, all of them, blind; they don’t know anything. They are all dumb dogs, unable to bark, lying there dreaming, loving to sleep.11 Greedy dogs, never satisfied -such are the shepherds, unable to understand; they all turn to their own way, each one intent on his own gain:
Wow, what an indictment against the watchmen! Talk about not doing their jobs. Dogs in the ancient Near East lived as scavengers. They often roamed in packs on the outskirts of the city and wherever they found refuse. They were often the source of a biting insult. Watchmen were supposed to keep wild animals away from the crops, but these watchmen – Isra’el’s leaders – were ineffective, silent (mute dogs), and asleep.
12 “Come, I’ll get some wine, we’ll fill up on good, strong liquor! Tomorrow will be like today; in fact, it will be even better!”
The leaders were totally self-indulgent. They were in it for themselves. This is an indictment, a stern rebuke against the prophets and priests who should have been feeding God’s flock but were instead fleecing them.
1 The righteous person perishes, and nobody gives it a thought. Godly men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous person is taken away from the evil yet to come.
The evil hearts of God’s people were also apparent in another way – in their lack of care for their fellow righteous citizens.
2 Yes, those who live uprightly will have peace as they rest on their couches. ~ Isaiah 56:9-57:2 (CJB)
This verse is obscure, but the sense is that the death of the righteous brings them into a peaceful state. This does not offer hope of heaven but an escape from the turmoil. Even Sh’ol is to be preferred to the wicked situation on earth.
In my next post, we will begin to examine the issues of Justice and Judgment ~ Part 3 in Yesha’yahu 57:3-13.