Isaiah 6:1-6:13 ; 7:1-6 ; 9:5-6
God reveals Himself to Isaiah in the year of King Uzziah’s death . Chapter 6 portrays this revelation, similar to God’s Revelation at Sinai. Isaiah perceives God’s throne, angels, and glory filling a great hall and the entire world. God calls him to prophesy to Judah. Judah will reject his words, and He will therefore destroy them. Nonetheless, God reassures Isaiah - and decades later, in chapter 7, Judah and its leaders - that He will preserve a portion of His holy people. The Haftarah culminates by jumping ahead to a brief, third passage in chapter 9. Two verses convey God’s promise of a morally and spiritually rejuvenated Davidic dynasty that will reign forever, heralding a messianic era.
Verses 6:1-4: Isaiah has a prophetic vision of God, and of angels recounting His glory.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
בִּשְׁנַת־מוֹת֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ עֻזִּיָּ֔הוּ וָאֶרְאֶ֧ה אֶת־אֲדֹנָ֛י יֹשֵׁ֥ב עַל־כִּסֵּ֖א רָ֣ם וְנִשָּׂ֑א וְשׁוּלָ֖יו מְלֵאִ֥ים אֶת־הַהֵיכָֽל׃
Verse 6:5: Isaiah fears that he does not deserve his vision, and therefore will die.
Then said I, “Woe is me for I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
וָאֹמַ֞ר אֽוֹי־לִ֣י כִֽי־נִדְמֵ֗יתִי כִּ֣י אִ֤ישׁ טְמֵֽא־שְׂפָתַ֙יִם֙ אָנֹ֔כִי וּבְתוֹךְ֙ עַם־טְמֵ֣א שְׂפָתַ֔יִם אָנֹכִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֑ב כִּ֗י אֶת־הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ ה' צְבָא֖וֹת רָא֥וּ עֵינָֽי׃
Verses 6:6-7: An angel cleanses Isaiah of sin.
And he [the angel] laid [a hot coal] upon my mouth, and said, “Lo, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged.”
וַיַּגַּ֣ע עַל־פִּ֔י וַיֹּ֕אמֶר הִנֵּ֛ה נָגַ֥ע זֶ֖ה עַל־שְׂפָתֶ֑יךָ וְסָ֣ר עֲוֺנֶ֔ךָ וְחַטָּאתְךָ֖ תְּכֻפָּֽר׃
Verses 6:8-10: God gives Isaiah his mission: prophecy to a scornful people to repent - but they will refuse...
And He said, “Go, and tell these people, ‘Hear indeed, but understand not; and see indeed, but perceive not.’”
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לֵ֥ךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה שִׁמְע֤וּ שָׁמ֙וֹעַ֙ וְאַל־תָּבִ֔ינוּ וּרְא֥וּ רָא֖וֹ וְאַל־תֵּדָֽעוּ׃
Verses 6:11-13: ...therefore, God will lay waste to all but a faithful remnant of Judah - and even it shall be afflicted.
One-tenth shall remain in [Judah]. It too shall be consumed -but like a terebinth and like an oak, whose stump remains when casting off their leaves; its stump is holy seed.
וְע֥וֹד בָּהּ֙ עֲשִׂ֣רִיָּ֔ה וְשָׁ֖בָה וְהָיְתָ֣ה לְבָעֵ֑ר כָּאֵלָ֣ה וְכָאַלּ֗וֹן אֲשֶׁ֤ר בְּשַׁלֶּ֙כֶת֙ מַצֶּ֣בֶת בָּ֔ם זֶ֥רַע קֹ֖דֶשׁ מַצַּבְתָּֽהּ׃ (פ)
Verses 7:1-7:6: Decades later, the Northern Kingdom, Israel (“Ephraim”), and its neighbor, Aram (Syria), plan to attack Jerusalem. God instructs Isaiah to reassure Judah and its wicked king, Ahaz, that the attack will fail.
The house of David was told, saying, “Aram is allied with Ephraim.” Its heart and the heart of its people was moved [with fear], as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind.
וַיֻּגַּ֗ד לְבֵ֤ית דָּוִד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר נָ֥חָֽה אֲרָ֖ם עַל־אֶפְרָ֑יִם וַיָּ֤נַע לְבָבוֹ֙ וּלְבַ֣ב עַמּ֔וֹ כְּנ֥וֹעַ עֲצֵי־יַ֖עַר מִפְּנֵי־רֽוּחַ׃
Verses 9:5-6: Isaiah prophesies the birth and eternal reign of a future righteous Davidic king.
[The wonder child is born] for the increase of the realm and for peace without end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to found it and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this!
לםרבה [לְמַרְבֵּ֨ה] הַמִּשְׂרָ֜ה וּלְשָׁל֣וֹם אֵֽין־קֵ֗ץ עַל־כִּסֵּ֤א דָוִד֙ וְעַל־מַמְלַכְתּ֔וֹ לְהָכִ֤ין אֹתָהּ֙ וּֽלְסַעֲדָ֔הּ בְּמִשְׁפָּ֖ט וּבִצְדָקָ֑ה מֵעַתָּה֙ וְעַד־עוֹלָ֔ם קִנְאַ֛ת ה' צְבָא֖וֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה־זֹּֽאת׃ (ס)
Parts of Isaiah’s vision of God’s glory can be found in Kedushah, recited during the repetition of the Amidah.
Siddur Ashkenaz, Weekday, Amidah, Kedushah סידור אשכנז, חול, עמידה, קדושה
We will hallow Your Name in the world as they hallow it in the heavens above, as is written by Your prophet’s hand, “One called to another and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.’”
נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת־שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַּקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם. כַּכָּתוּב עַל־יַד נְבִיאֶֽךָ וְקָרָא זֶה אֶל־זֶה וְאָמַר: קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ ה' צְבָאוֹת מְלֹא כָל הָאָֽרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ:
The Talmud presents a heavenly debate whether King Hezekiah deserved to be the Messiah, based on v. 9:6, above.
Bar Kappara taught...: “Why is every [Hebrew letter] ‘mem’ in the middle of a word open, but this “mem” [of the word לםרבה], is closed? The Holy One, blessed be He, sought to designate King Hezekiah as the Messiah, and Sennacherib and Assyria, [respectively,] as [his enemies,] Gog and Magog. The attribute of justice said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: ‘Master of the Universe! David, king of Israel, recited many songs and praises before You, yet You did not designate him as Messiah. But Hezekiah, for whom You performed all these miracles, yet he did not recite songs before You - You will designate him as the Messiah?’ Therefore, the mem was closed.”
דרש בר קפרא... מפני מה כל מ"ם שבאמצע תיבה פתוח וזה סתום? ביקש הקב"ה לעשות חזקיהו משיח וסנחריב גוג ומגוג. אמרה מדת הדין לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע ומה דוד מלך ישראל שאמר כמה שירות ותשבחות לפניך לא עשיתו משיח. חזקיה שעשית לו כל הנסים הללו ולא אמר שירה לפניך תעשהו משיח! לכך נסתתם.
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