The Old Testament Lesson for this Sunday is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah. The text is Isaiah 55:1-5 and begins with a declarative voice that appears to be like a summons for everyone. “Hey, you all come!” This exhortation/invitation includes eating and drinking, but the twist is that those who have no money are encouraged to “buy,” but buy without money or even a price. This is a meal which is provided for free, the price is already paid. Isaiah has used this language of coming to a meal/feast before. Especially important is the feast of Isaiah 25 which is a foretaste of the heavenly, eternal banquet of Revelation 19:9. This food, already purchased and freely given in our pericope, is a foretaste of the feast to come as well; the marriage feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom which has no end.
In Acts 13:34, Saint Paul appears to apply verse 3 to Christ’s bodily resurrection. Certainly, the use of Davidic language is Messianic, as well as the reference to the cutting of an everlasting covenant. In the Old Testament one “cuts” a covenant. This refers to the act of cutting an animal in two and the passing between the parts by the parties making the covenant. The implication is that if one or the other party should violate this cut covenant they may be subjected to what has happened to the animal. Note the example in Genesis 15 as the LORD and Abram cut the covenant (note how only the LORD passes between the split carcasses). It is also helpful to remember the sacrament of circumcision—the mark of the covenant in the flesh. The cutting of the foreskin reminds of the connection to the cut covenant and as Genesis 17:14 states: “Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” In other words, anyone who is not cut shall be cut off!
In verse 4, the “witness” is once again the Messiah. Because Israel has failed in its mission to be a witness, the Servant shall be the witness who carries out their role. As Isaiah tells us in chapter 6, the people of Israel are blind and deaf, so the Suffering Servant does what God’s people cannot do.
+The people of Israel are blind and deaf, so the Suffering Servant does what God’s people cannot do.
55:1 הוֹי (Ho) “woe!” However, in this context, it is seen more as a declaration/invitation. “Come!” or “Hey,… come! Hey, you all come”
צָמֵא (tza-Me) Qal, participle used as a noun/adjective: “thirsty”
לְכוּ (le-Chu) root: הלך (haw-lak) Qal, imperative: “to go; to come”
שִׁבְרוּ (shiv-Ru) root: שׁבר (shaw-bar) Qal, imperative: “to buy grain; to buy”
וֶאֱכֹלוּ< (ve-e-Cho-lu) Qal, imperative: “to eat”
מְחִיר. (me-Chir) “purchase price; price”
וְחָלָב (ve-cha-Lav) “milk”
55:2 תִשְׁקְלוּ (tish-ke-lu) root: שׁקל (shaw-kal) Qal: “to weigh out”
וִיגִיעֲכֶם (vi-gi-a-Chem) from: יגיע> (yeg-ee-ah) “toil; labor; produce”
לְשָׂבְעָה. (le-sa-ve-Ah) “satisfy; satiate; satisfaction”
שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ (shim-U sha-Mo-a) Qal: “to hear; to listen” Imperfect followed by an infinitive absolute.
וְתִתְעַנַּג (ve-tit-an-Nag) root: ענג (aw-nag) Hithpael: “to take pleasure in; to take one’s pleasure in; to delight in”
בַּדֶּשֶׁן (bad-De-shen) “fatness”
55:3 הַטּוּ (hat-Tu) root: נטה (naw-taw) Hiphil, imperative: “to incline”
שִׁמְעוּ (shim-U) Qal, imperative: “to listen; to hear”
וְאֶכְרְתָה (ve-ech-re-Tah) Qal, cohortative: “to cut” “I will surely cut”
חַסְדֵי; (chas-Dei) from: חסד (kheh-sed) “steadfast love; covenantal faithfulness” The plural form is only used 18 times.
הַנֶּאֱמָנִים (han-ne-e-ma-Nim) root: אמן (aw-man) Niphal, participle: “to endure; to be permanent; to be lasting”
55:4 עֵדe (ed) “witness”
לְאוּמִּים. (le-um-Mim) from: לאם (leh-ome) “nation; people”
נָגִיד (na-Gid) “leader; ruler; prince”
55:5 פֵאֲרָךְ (fe-a-Rach) root: פאר (paw-ar) Piel: “to glorify; to beautify”
Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Isaiah 55:1-5.
Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Isaiah 55:1-5.