主啊! 請說, 僕人敬聽。(撒上三10)
“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
興起一人 STIR ONE UP
讀經: 以賽亞書 四一 1~29
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 41: 1 – 29
釋義 : 本章聖經幾個小段都有重複字詞, 清楚將先知的信息刻畫出來:
Insight: In several sections of this chapter, some phrases appear over and over again, and that helps depict the prophet’s message:
- 不要害怕 — 10~14節中四次提到「不要害怕/驚惶」(另5~6節提到害怕、戰兢、膽壯)。 以賽亞一直向發出耶和華審判的信息。 以色列人聽到即將被擄, 驚惶失措, 在所難免。 神吩咐(「不要害怕」是命令,不是勸勉)人處變不驚, 似乎強人所難。
- Fear not — Verse 10 – 14 mentions “fear not/be not dismayed” four times (also, verse 5 – 6 mentions “afraid”, “trembled”, and “be strong”). Isaiah has been delivering the message of the Lord’s judgment. It is natural for the Israelites to be fearful upon hearing that they are about to be taken away. For God to ask (“fear not” is a command, not an exhortation) people to remain calm in times of crisis seems unreasonable.
- 我必幫助你 — 在同一段落中, 耶和華三次聲明「我必幫助你」(另5節提及各人幫助鄰舍)。這說明神吩咐人不要害怕的原因: 並非漠視困境, 而是見到曙光和把握。 以賽亞進一步講論神怎樣具體地幫助: 與你同在、堅固你、用公義的右手扶持、攙扶你右手(10,13), 甚至要為以色列人移山、開源、種植(15~19)。
- I will help you — In the same section, the Lord declares “I will help you” three times (also, verse 5 mentions everyone helping his neighbor). That explains the reason God asks people to fear not: Not disregarding difficult situation, but seeing dawn and assurance. Isaiah further specifies how God will help: Be with you, strengthen you, uphold you with His righteous right hand, hold your right hand (10, 13). He will even move mountains, open up water sources, and plant for the Israelites (15 – 19)
- 思想明白神 — 20~26節說明神使以色列人經歷一切, 目的是: 「好叫人看見、知道、思想、明白…」。 為了引導人明白, 神七次的指示 (22)、說明(22,26)、指明(26)。
- Consider and understand God — Verse 20 – 26 explains the purpose of God allowing the Israelites to experience adversity: “that they may see and know, may consider and understand together…”. To guide people so that they understand, God tells (22), declares (22, 26), proclaims (26) six times.
- 興起一人 — 學者對「從東方興起一人」(2) 和「從北方興起一人」(25) 的身份沒有共識, 有認為是兩個人, 也有視為同一人; 有認為是指亞伯拉罕、彌賽亞、以賽亞、以色列、或古列。 但從下文多次提及古列來看, 從東方/北方興起的人應該是預言將來毀滅巴比倫和下令讓以色列人回歸猶大地的這個波斯王。
- Stir up one — There is no consensus among scholars regarding the identity of the one in “stirred up one from the east”(2) and “stirred up one from the north” (25); some believe they are two different individuals; others say it is the same person; some scholars think it is referring to Abraham, Messiah, Isaiah, Israel, or Cyrus. However, based on the frequent references to Cyrus in the text that follows, the one that is stirred up from the east/north might be the Persian king who is prophesied to conquer Babylon and allow the Israelites to return to the land of Judah.
From the prophecy of God stirring up one, this passage brings forth two lessons:
- 古列雖然是耶和華興起, 是神所「召」(2)、 成就神旨意的人, 但神想所「召」 (9)的人(以色列人)是成為朋友(聖經多次稱亞伯拉罕為神的朋友; 代下廿7雅二23)。 神期望朋友的不是為祂成就多少事工, 而是和祂有多密切的關係。 耶穌說: 「人為朋友捨命，人的愛心沒有比這個大的。 你們若遵行我所吩咐的，就是我的朋友了。 以後我不再稱你們為僕人，因僕人不知道主人所做的事。 我乃稱你們為朋友；因我從父所聽見的，已經都告訴你們了。」 (約十五13~15) 你是不是耶穌的朋友?
- Cyrus is raised up by the Lord, a person ‘called’ (2) by God to fulfill His will. But God wants those He ‘calls’ (9), in this context, the Israelites, to become friends (Abraham is called God’s friend many times in the Bible; 2 Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23). What God looks for from friends is not the amount of work they do for Him but how close they are to Him. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:13-15) Are you Jesus’s friend?
- 古列完成神交付他的統轄列國的任務。 而在末後日子, 神「要將一位報好信息的賜給耶路撒冷。」(27) 但先知看不見、聽聞不到那傳福音、報喜訊者的影, 這令人回憶到先知蒙召時的一幕, 神說 : 「 我可以差遣誰呢？誰肯為我們去呢？」 你可願意回應: 「我在這裡，請差遣我！」
- Cyrus completes the mission of taking the nations under his rule that God assigned. In the last days, God will “give to Jerusalem a herald of good news” (27). But the prophet cannot see or hear the messenger who will deliver the good news. That makes us reminisce of the scene when the prophet was called; God says, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) Are you willing to respond, “Here I am! Send me”?
每日讀經 by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung