海旁曠野默示 THE ORACLE CONCERNING THE WILDERNESS OF THE SEA (以賽亞書 Isaiah 21:1-17)

讀經:  以賽亞書 廿一1-17
SCRIPTURE READING:  Isaiah 21:1-17

釋義:  本章的特色是論三個地方的默示中, 第一和第二個沒有指明國家名字。  「海旁曠野」可以指巴比倫, 因它的邊界南伸至亞拉伯曠野, 境內散佈湖沼,另有幼發拉底河流過,地勢平坦,國土猶如海旁的淺灘(耶 51:42-43)。這段的主題,乍看起來,好像是說到巴比倫的覆亡(9節)。  但首先巴比倫的命運已在上文仔細說及(十三1-十四23): 而其次,這信息的標題, 不是「論巴比倫的默示」,而是「論海旁曠野的默示」。因此這不是其中一篇論及外邦列國的神諭, 不是要我們去注意個別的外邦國家,而是從這一段在聖經中,留意先知經驗中最生動與感人的描述。

INSIGHT:  This chapter has a unique characteristic – the name of the nation is not specified in the first or the second oracle concerning 3 places.  “The wilderness of the sea” may be referring to Babylon because its border stretches southward to the Arabian desert, with swamps scattered all over the territory; also, with the Euphrates flowing through and its terrain being flat and open, it makes the land look like a shoal by the sea (Jeremiah 51:42-43). At first glance, the theme seems to be about the fall of Babylon (9).  However, first, the fate of Babylon had already been discussed in previous chapters (13:1, 14:23).  Second, the title of this message is not “An Oracle about Babylon”, but “The Oracle Concerning the Wilderness of the Sea”.  Therefore, this is not one of the oracles about foreign nations that call for our attention, but it is one that asks us to take a closer look at the most vivid and moving description of the prophet’s experience.

3-4節所表達的不是巴比倫的命運,而同樣是先知在可怕毀滅異象中的個人痛苦。  這經驗似乎是他不能承受的。

Verse 3-4 is not a description of Babylon’s fate, but an expression of the prophet’s pain in a terrifying vision of destruction.  It appears that the experience is quite unbearable for him.

6-12節提及兩個國家, 都是神吩咐先知作守望者。 (5,6,8,11,12)他兩次看見軍隊騎著馬, 一對一對的來。(7,9)第一次他看見的是將來巴比倫軍隊來圍攻, 但第二次神讓他看見更遠的景象: 巴比倫的傾倒。  神要我們的目光放長遠些。  目前也許困難重重, 但是我們若能提升屬靈眼光, 從高處遠眺, 就得見神在掌管歷史前途, 可以放膽倚靠祂。

Verses 6 to 12 mention two nations; for both, God commands the prophet to act as their watchman (5,6,8,11,12). Twice he sees riders and horsemen in pairs (7,9).  The first time he sees the siege of the Babylonian army.  But the second time, God lets him see further – the fall of Babylon.  God wants us to look further ahead.  Perhaps there are lots of difficulties at the moment, but if we elevate our spiritual vision, looking at it from a higher level, we will see that God is in control of history and He holds the future, and we can rely on Him with full confidence.

論度瑪的默示(11-12)中, 守望者告訴我們, 信仰的眼光除了遠眺廣長的空間外, 也要安靜等候佳音(度瑪意思是靜寂)。

In the oracle concerning Dumah (11-12), the watchman tells us that apart from looking at things with faith from far away, it is also vital for our spiritual health to wait on God’s promises quietly (Dumah means silence).

「一年之內, 照雇工的年數, 基達的一切榮耀必歸於無有」(16), 比較上文三年的雇工年數(十六13廿3), 說明黑夜已深, 曙光將露, 再多忍片刻, 使可見神恩典的作為。

“Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.” (16) Compared to the 3 years mentioned in the earlier passage, it illustrates that the night is about to be over, and dawn will soon come. Be patient a little longer, and you will see God’s grace at work.

忍一時, 風平浪靜; 退一步, 海闊天空。今日可能你面對挑戰如同波浪, 但願你能如以利沙禱告, 說: 「耶和華啊, 求你開我,這少年人的眼目,使我能看見。」  耶和華就開你的眼目,你就看 見滿山有火車火馬圍繞。 (王下六17)

With a little forbearance, you will find peace like a calm sea. Take a little step back, you will have space as boundless as the sky and the sea.  Today you may be facing challenges like tidal waves coming at you.  I encourage you to pray like Elisha saying, ‘O LORD, please open my eyes that I may see.’  The LORD will open your eyes, and you will see the mountains full of horses and chariots of fire all around you. (2 Kings 6:17)

每日讀經  by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung