OT Encounters: This is the Feast!

By Jeff Pulse

The Old Testament text for this Sunday, October 15, 2017, comes from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. The text is Isaiah 25:6-9 and is a portion of one of the few EXPLICIT resurrection texts in the Old Testament. This is not to say or to indicate that the Hebrews had an undeveloped understanding or concept of resurrection. There are many implicit indications in the Old Testament Scriptures of their resurrection theology. However, the EXPLICIT references are few: Job 19, Isaiah 25 and 26, Ezekiel 37, and Daniel 12. Because this is true, our text for today is of extreme significance to the Old and New Testament people.

It is also important to take a look at some of the big motifs that make their way through these verses. The first is the motif of mountain meals in the presence of the LORD. We see this motif strongly in Exodus 24 where Moses and the elders eat with the LORD on Mount Sinai, and now again here in Isaiah. The motif also points us forward to the feeding of the 5,000 on the mountain slope/hillside and finds its fulfillment in Revelation 19—The Marriage Feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom—the new Mount Zion.

This imagery of eating in the presence of the LORD God—a feast that God prepares and provides for us (no picnic lunches on these mountains!)—should also point us to another holy and eschatological feast: the Holy Supper.

25:6  mishteh (2X)—“banquet; feast”

        Shemarim (2X)—“old wine; well-aged wine; wine with the dregs/resting on the lees”—THE BEST STUFF!

         Mimuchayim—root: machah –pual: “to be flavored with marrow; to be full of marrow” –THE RICHEST, THE BEST!

          Mezuqaqim—root: zaqaq—pual: “to be filtered; refined”

This is the feast, the banquet to end all banquets. The LORD God is the provider/maker of this great feast which takes place in the courts of heaven.

25:7  wubila—root: bala—piel: “to swallow down; to destroy”

     Halot (2X) –root: lot—noun: “covering; envelope”; verb: “to wrap up; to cover”, “…a covering that covers…”

    Wehamasekah—“covering; webbing; woven netting” frequently translated as “veil”

    Hanesukah—root: nasak—“to weave; entwine”, “…a covering that is woven…” “…a webbing that is cast over…”

Note also the usage of “haamim” (the peoples) and “hagoyim” (the nations/gentiles) in another word: everyone.

25:8 lanetsach—root: netsach—“ever; duration” with the lamed=forever; forever lasting

      Machah—“to wipe away; to wipe clean; to wipe”

      Dimah—“tears” (collective)

      Cherpah—“shame; reproach”

No death, no tears, no shame—forever…

25:9 qiwinu (2X)—root: qiwah—piel: “to wait for; to hope in; to eagerly wait/look for”

      Nagilah—root: gil—hollow verb: “to rejoice; to shout jubilantly; to shout in exaltation”

          Bishuatho—“in His salvation”

From mountain to mountain and from meal to meal, the LORD God points us to His banquet: the marriage feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom which shall have no end!