"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Isaiah 9:1-7 Commentary
by Stephen B. Reid
It is really the fault of Georg Frederic Handel.
He made this passage too familiar. The problem with this text is that people often think they know what it says, so they shift to autopilot and cease to listen.
The first word is “the people.” The writer begins with the identity, the people. The people are then defined by a series of participles, walking and dwelling. The people are described as walking in darkness and dwelling in shadows. The writer does not have to tell the reader that this is not what anyone would want as their identification.
This identity problem is solved in this salvation oracle. The verbs are offset. Darkness gives way to great light. Walking is transformed by seeing. The land of shadows is terra -- formed through the revealed light given to them. Verse 3 uses the second person. The passage uses two synonyms of empowerment: "increase" and "make great." The objects of this increase are both the nation and their gladness.
They rejoice -- the verb form connected with the gladness -- before God. The use ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 100: Isaiah
November 17, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers texts for Nov. 17, 2013: Isaiah 9:1-7 (corresponding Gospel: John 8:12).