The first of my practicum questions was on Isaiah. Since this has a large amount of eschatological language and imagery in it, I was excited to see this text. This chapter still is interesting to me and this assignment stirred me to study it more in the future.
Hopefully these questions provide some insight into my thought on the nature of prophecy. Hopefully they are able to stir you to some deeper thoughts on the subject as well.
1.1. What significance should be placed on the texts location within the book (near the end)? Does it matter which king’s reign this prophecy came under?
1.2. Would it have application differences if this prophecy comes near the end of Isaiah’s ministry and the exile of Israel? Does the difference between preventative and redemptive prophecy alter the application to the church?
1.3. Is Isaiah or God the speaker of this prophetic statement?
1.4. Is it significant that the closest proclamation text declares the speaker to be the “LORD God” (אדני יהוה) (Isa 65:13) and not just “LORD” (Isa 65:8)?
1.5. Who specifically is the “they” that the LORD (Isa 65:13) is speaking to or is this spoken all listeners/readers in general? What audience does the general context of Isaiah 65:1 (“ready for those who did not seek me, found by those who did not seek me”) establish?
1.6. How does Paul’s application of that text to Gentiles (Rom 10:19-21) affect the contextual audience of the text in question (Isa 65:24)? Can this be strictly limited to the bloodline of Israel? How does this open up the application of this text to modern Gentile churches?
1.7. What theological and historical contextual changes are typically understood by the language “new heavens and new earth” (Isa 65:17)?
1.8. Returning to the synthesis of “LORD God” (Isa 65:13) as the speaker, does this correlate to the original creation account distinction: Gen 1 (God) and Gen 2 (LORD)? Is the prophet Isaiah utilizing multiple symbols and styles to draw these passages together?
1.9. Does the promise of children within the context of “new heaven and earth” reflect a type of reversal of the Edenic curse (Gen 3:16)? Is this supported by the whole of the context (e.g. not laboring in vain, etc.)?
1.10. What affect does this have on “they” if it refers to the offspring/children promised in the previous verse (Isa 65:23)?
1.11. Does the Hebrew expression וְהָיָה (trans. “And it shall come to pass”) in fact require that the promise be fulfilled in consequence to the previous verses and thus in the children? Does this exclude the application group down to the children of faithful/redeemed Israel?
1.12. Can this passage be speaking of the “eternal state” if new born children are in this promise? Does this passage dictate the literal/figurative/symbolic nature of this overall prophecy?
1.13. Is this passage a different recapitulation of the new covenant promises that include Israel’s children (Jer 31: 34, 36-37; Joel 2:28-29)? Can these passages be said to speak of the same historical-redemptive events of Jesus Christ and the church?
1.14. If Isaiah’s prophecy isn’t of the eternal state, how does this passage’s fulfillment compare or contrast to Revelation 21:1? Do these passages both refer to the inaugurating events of the new covenant (e.g. Lord’s Super, Crucifixion, etc.)?
1.15. Is it justified to perceive Isaiah as speaking directly and specifically to a fulfillment found in the church (Rev 21:2, 9-10) given that Paul links this general chapter to Gentiles and John shares the symbolism?
1.16. If Isaiah’s prophecy isn’t of the eternal state, how does this passage’s fulfillment compare or contract to 2 Peter 3:7?
1.17. Does the judgment described in 2 Peter help explain the distinct audiences in Isa 65:13-16? Or does one set of judgments act as a type for the final judgment?
1.18. How do 2 Peter and the prophecy in Joel (Joel 2:30-32) combine to support the prophecy in Isaiah?
1.19. Should the peaceful animal imagery (Isa 65:25) that follows the text in question (Isa 65:24) dictate the “language” of the prophecy?
1.20. Is the simplicity of the verbs in Isa 65:24 compatible with the symbolic imagery of the whole prophecy?
1.21. What is the possible range of definition for the verb “to call” used in the text?
1.22. What change of perspective is gained if “call” is translated “cried” as it is in many of the Psalms (e.g. Psa 3:4, 4:3, 17:6)?
1.23. What correlation to deliverance and salvation can be made from the use of this word in the Psalms?
1.24. Given the similarity in genre, is salvific application supported by the prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:32)?
1.25. What support for a salvific application can be derived by Peter (Acts 2:21) and Paul’s (Rom 10:13) emphasis on calling on the name of the Lord?
1.26. What type of contrast is being drawn between those who “call” on God and those who “cry out for pain” (Isa 65:14)?
1.27. Does this provision of salvation and destruction further prove the inability for this to be a reference to the “eternal state”?
1.28. Does the salvific application negate any attempt to find fulfillment in Israel’s return from exile?
1.29. What is implied behind God promises to answer “before” they call?
1.30. How does this behavior amplify and reinforce the general context of the chapter (Isa 65:1)?