Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August 9, 2013

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional, vols.

August 9: Borrowed Imagery
Isaiah 17:1–19:25

In the OT, Yahweh regularly explains Himself by using imagery familiar to the time. Sometimes Yahweh even uses images associated with other gods to emphasize that He—and not the gods of other nations—has authority over the earth. This poetic exchange would have served as an intercultural dialogue between the Israelites and their neighbors. A classic example is the image of the rider upon the clouds: “Look! Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. And the idols of Egypt will tremble in front of [Him], and the heart of Egypt melts in [His]inner parts” (Isa 19:1).
Here, the prophet borrows a metaphor usually associated with the god Baal (from Ugaritic literature) to demonstrate Yahweh’s superiority over Baal: Yahweh arrives in Egypt in greater glory than that of the god feared by Egypt’s (and Israel’s) Canaanite neighbor. Because Egypt has oppressed Yahweh’s people, Yahweh will withhold the rains—a decision that Baal, the god o…