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To: All

From: Isaiah 29:17-24

Against Those Who Hide from the Lord (Continuation)


[17] Is it not yet a very little while
until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?
[18] In that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book,
and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.
[19] The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the poor among men shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
[20] For the ruthless shall come to naught and the scoffer cease,
and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off,
[21] who by a word make a man out to be an offender,
and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.

[22] Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham,
concerning the house of Jacob:
“Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
no more shall his face grow pale.
[23] For when he sees his children,
the work of my hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
[24] And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
and those who murmur will accept instruction.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

29:15-24. The third “woe” marks the start of the third lamentation. First, it des-
cribes the ridiculous situation of someone who thinks he can escape divine judg-
ment (vv. 15-16). The simile of the clay and the potter (cf. the note on Jer 18:1-12)
shows how senseless it is to deny that man has a “Maker”, or to try to tell God
that he doesn’t know what he is doing. The prophet denounces the folly shown by
the people of Judah who have wandered away from God. In Romans 9:20-21, St
Paul will use the argument of v. 16 to show that God is free to do as he wishes
with nations and individuals (cf. 45:9).

However, things will change (vv. 17-24). The Lord is going to take action and
when he does, no one will be able to evade him: the deaf will hear, the blind will
see, there will be no more oppression or hardness of heart.

Cure of illnesses, specifically release from deafness and blindness (vv. 18-19; cf.
35:5), is a feature of messianic times; it will be the signal that the kingdom has
been reconstituted. St Matthew says that when Jesus was told about the ques-
tions asked by the disciples of John — was Jesus he who was to come, or should
they wait for another — he replied: “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the
blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear,
and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And
blessed is he who takes no offense at me” (Mt 11:4-6; cf. Is 26:19; 35:5-6; 61:1-
3). Thus, by referring to these actions of his, Jesus is showing that he is the Mes-
siah, whose mission is to establish the Kingdom of God, just as Isaiah had pro-
phesied.

The last promise (vv 22-24) is deeply rooted in patriarchal tradition. The vocation of
Abraham (this is the only place in the Bible where he is described as “redeemed”)
and the story of Jacob who managed to survive all kinds of danger, form the foun-
dation for all hope of an enduring deliverance and salvation.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 12/06/2012 7:52:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 9:27-31

The Curing of Two Blind Men. The Dumb Devil


[27] And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying
aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” [28] When he entered the house, the
blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able
to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” [29] Then he touched their eyes,
saying, “ According to your faith be it done to you.” [30] And their eyes were
opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” [31] But
they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

27-34. The evangelist shows people’s different reactions to miracles. Everyone
admits that God is at work in these events — everyone, that is, except the Phari-
sees who attribute them to the power of the devil. A pharisaical attitude so har-
dens a person’s heart that he becomes closed to any possibility of salvation.
The fact that the blind men recognize Jesus as the Messiah (they call him “Son
of David”: v. 27) may have exasperated the Pharisees. Despite Jesus’ sublime
teaching, despite his miracles, they remain entrenched in their opposition.

In the light of this episode it is easy enough to see that the paradox is true:
there are blind people who in fact see God and seers who see no trace of him.

30. Why did our Lord not want them to publicize the miracle? Because his plan
was to gradually manifest himself as the Messiah, the Son of God. He did not
want to anticipate events which would occur in their own good time; nor did he
want the crowd to start hailing him as Messiah King, because their notion of
messiah was a nationalistic, not a spiritual one. However, the crowd did in fact
proclaim him when he worked the miracles of the loaves and the fish (Jn 6:14-
15): “When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, ‘This is in-
deed the prophet who is to come into the world!’ Perceiving then that they were
about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again
to the hills by himself.”

31. St Jerome (cf. “Comm. on Matthew”, 9, 31) says that the blind men spread
the news of their cure, not out of disobedience to Jesus, but because it was the
only way they could find to express their gratitude.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 12/06/2012 7:53:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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