Lectionary Year B
April 20, 2003
Isaiah 25:6-9

Step IV: Cross-Section

A. Primitive Christianity

(JFC) Mountain top experiences are at least as significant in the New Testament as in the Old. Mark 9:2-8 and 11:1, of course, and Matthew 4:8 and John 4:20ff in the Synoptics and II Peter 1:18 in the Epistles come immediately to mind. Feasts, banquets and meals of all sorts, too, offer settings for important conversations, celebrations and actions, as well. See, for example, Mark 6:24 and 14:1, Matthew 8:11 and 22:2, Luke 14:15-24 and Acts 2:46, to mention but a few. I Corinthians 15:54 seems to try to elucidate our text's verse 8 by referring to immortality, etc., as does Revelation 7:17 and 21:4 attempt to comment on the tears being wiped away then. The covering over the nations to be removed by God in verse 7, jALh;, are they the same as the "scales" dropped from Paul's eyes in Acts 9:18 (lepi,dej)? And/or is it similar to Ephesians 4:18? The victory of our text's verse 8 is reiterated in II Timothy 1:10 and Revelation 20:14 and 21:4. God's salvation, hw"hy> hz< Wn[eyviAyw>, in verse 9, gets recognized and acclaimed by early Christians, as well, like in Luke 2:30, Acts 4:12, Ephesians 1:13 and Revelation 7:12. Rejoicing and being glad, of course, in the 9th verse, hx'm.f.nIw> hl'ygIn", occurs also in Christian experiences; e.g., Matthew 5:12, Luke6:23 and Philippians 2:17.

B. Old Testament and Judaism

(JFC) In the Old Testament, too, mountains figure significantly - Mounts Sinai, Horeb, Zion and the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4), etc. The cultic feast is celebrated in I Samuel 9:13ff, Psalms 22:26f, 36:8 and 87. A rich menu is mentioned in Isaiah 55:2, Jeremiah 31:14 and Job 36:16, all using the translation "fatness" in the NRSV. David and his people veil their heads as they go up the Mount of Olives to worship in II Samuel 15:30ff as does Job in 41:13f. However, it is beginning to appear that the uncovering in our OT Lesson is for a much different reason. Then, Psalm 118:24 is the classic, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

C. Hellenistic World

(JFC) These philosophers would have enjoyed such rich feasts with such rich menus as mentioned Isaiah 25:6 and the wiping away of tears in the next verse, as well. If the veils in the 7th verse refer to ignorance, they would rejoice to obliterate it with insight, information, enlightenment, etc. Such an informed populace would also resonate with these thinkers.

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