Justice and bloodshed

This is nice, as noted by Sylvia Keesmaat and Brian Walsh (Tom Wright’s BFF) in JPPG (p. 75):

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice [mishpat],
but saw bloodshed [mispakh];
righteousness [tsedaqah],
but heard a cry [tse’aqah]! (Isa 5.7)

You don’t need to pull your hair to “know” the meaning. Israel twisted the purpose of being the vineyard of YHWH, literally and figuratively (which one is the literal and which one is the figurative, you might ask). It does not produce the expected fruits. Mispakh instead of mishpat, tse’aqah instead of tsedaqah.

I believe that the Scriptures should be translated to every language such that “a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scriptures than the Pope does.” (William Tyndale — OK, this is unrealistic today since recent Popes do know a lot about the Scriptures, but you get his point.) But, at the same time, if time allows, this kind of passages convinces me that we should learn to read the Scriptures in their original languages. We don’t want only the scholars who enjoy it, do we (and, for that matter, the Moslems and their Koran).

(I need to quickly add that mastering Hebrew/Greek lexicon does not instantaneously make you an expert of Scriptures, but I guess all of us would welcome little — much? — help from it.)

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