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Chapter Five: Isaiah 58-59

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Chapter Summary

Fischer writes concerning 58:1-14 and 59:1-15a: "nach Stil und Stimmung und Inhalt bilden die beiden Abschnitte eine literarische Einheit". Whybray suggests that in this chapter the prophet replies to the complaint made by the people by redefining the word "fast", and specifying the behaviour which is acceptable to God (v v. 5-9a). Polan regards v. 4 as the end of the first section in ch. His response focuses on the immediate juxtaposition of fasting alongside commercial greed and active social injustice, and thereby indicts the people in order to vindicate God. This stanza constitutes the second section of the prophet's response to the question raised by the people. Second, 59:1-2 develops the theme, first raised in 58:4b, of God's not hearing the lament and petitions of the people, explaining this apparent deafness on the part of God in terms of the people's sins.

Keywords: God; Isaiah 58-59; prophet



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