剩下稀少的人 FEW ARE LEFT (Isaiah 以賽亞書 24:1-16)

剩下稀少的人 FEW ARE LEFT

讀經:  以賽亞書廿四1~16
SCRIPTURE READING:  Isaiah 24:1-16

釋義:  以賽亞書首十二章講論以色列的審判和拯救; 十三章至廿三章則向以色列鄰近外邦列國發出默示。現在從本章起至廿七章預言的範圍更進一步擴大, 涉及整個世界(「地」在本章出現十二次)。而這幾章所預言的事情, 肯定不會在以賽亞在生時應驗, 所以解經家稱這一段落為「以賽亞的啟示錄」, 因為這幾章聖經講論世界末日的多種情況, 即先知帶著神啟示的眼光, 預見世界的終局。

INSIGHT:  The first 12 chapters of the Book of Isaiah talk about the judgment and the deliverance of Israel.  Chapter 13 to 23 is a collection of the oracles regarding Israel’s neighboring foreign nations. From here to chapter 27, the prophecies are expanded further to involve the entire world (“earth” appearing twelve times in this passage).  The events prophesied in these chapters certainly would not have been fulfilled in Isaiah’s lifetime. Thus, Bible scholars call them the “Isaiah Apocalypse”, because they talk about various happenings on Doomsday.  In other words, through God’s revelation, the prophet foresaw the ending of the world.

今日閱讀的這段經文可分四段:

Today’s scripture reading can be divided into 4 segments:

前頭的三節是的導言: 全地徹底荒涼, 所有的人, 不論職業貴賤、 社會地位高低或貧富, 都不能倖免地受打擊。

The first 3 verses are the introduction:   The entire earth will become desolate.  Regardless of socioeconomic status, no one will be spared from the impact.

接著的兩段(4-7上;7下-13) 是交替結構, 輪流地講述兩個主題:

The following two segments (4 to first part of  7; second part of  7 to 13) take turns to discuss two themes using the alternating method:

      A  地上的居民「衰殘」(4,7)

            B  以葡萄樹衰殘比喻地上剩下的人稀少(6)

      A  ‘地上的歡樂止息(7-11)

              B  ‘地上萬民像已摘的葡萄所剩無幾(13)

A  People on earth “languish” (4, 7)

B  Using the languished vine to symbolize the scarcity of the remnants on earth (6)

A  The gladness of the earth has ceased (7-11)

B  Like grapes after the gleaning, very few people among the nations will remain (13)

本段聖經最寶貴的信息是末後的小段(14-16)。雖然末後的日子眾人犯了律法、廢了律例、背了永約、顯為有罪(6-7), 在罪惡陰翳濃罩下, 似乎無可救藥, 黑暗和毀滅是唯一的結局。突然曙光忽露, 剩下的人數雖然稀少, 卻傳出美妙榮耀聲音。更奇妙的是, 這些聲音發自海那裡、東方、海島、地極。原來早在舊約時代, 神已定意在末日廣施恩典, 無分選民或外邦人, 同蒙救恩, 也不受限制地隨意向神高聲歡呼。

The most precious message of this passage lies in the last segment – During the end times, people are guilty of disobeying the laws, violating the statutes, and breaking the everlasting covenant (6-7).  Under the shadow of sin, it seemed hopeless, darkness and destruction are their only ends; yet, suddenly, dawn breaks in.  Despite the very few left, wonderful songs of glory could be heard.  More amazingly, these songs came from west, the east, the islands of the sea and from the ends of the earth. It turned out that as early as in the Old Testament era, God had already determined to show grace in the last days, bringing salvation to His chosen ones as well as to the gentiles, allowing all to praise Him freely and to shout for joy.

榮耀如同水面上的水花漪漣一樣, 從一個小圈圈, 不停地擴大, 直到無可再大。 莎士比亞, 《亨利第六》

“Glory is like a circle in the water, which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, till by broad spreading, it disperses to naught.” — Shakespeare, ‘Henry IV’

讓榮耀神的預言好像福音的大使命一樣, 從耶路撒冷、猶大全地、撒瑪利亞、直到地極, 傳揚開去。海那裡、東方、海島、地極稀少的人已經開始了高聲歡呼的水花漪漣, 讓我們將它擴大, 現在就讚頌上主。

May the prophecy of glorifying God be like the Great Commission of the Gospel, spreading from Jerusalem, to all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The few from west, the east, the islands of the sea and from the ends of the earth have already initiated the splashes and ripples of shouts for joy; let us expand them by singing praises to the Lord Almighty now.

每日讀經  by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung