In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Shoftim covering Isaiah 51:12-52:12. Gordon and Johnson begin with the elephant in the room: Why does Shoftim (and Ki Teitzei following) decisively leapfrog over Isaiah 52:13-53:12? Was the omission of this key prophetic passage for Christians and Messianics a conspiracy or did the Rabbis just not consider it comforting?
Gordon notes how Isaiah’s doubling of words (“Comfort, comfort,” “I, I,” “Awake, awake,” “Depart, depart”) make it easy to imagine the prophet proclaiming from a public square. While comparing different translations, the duo check out verses from the Orthodox Jewish Bible. Gordon’s explanations for the translator’s broad choices will leave you scratching your head—and chuckling.
The duo end by debating to whom the omitted verses refer and find common ground even here in the ofttimes polarizing world of Isaiah 53.
"Arise, shake off the dust, Sit on your throne, Jerusalem! Loose the bonds from your neck, O captive one, Fair Zion!" (Isaiah 52:2)
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Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9) - The Original Torah Pearls
Artwork for this week's episode is a painting by Mara Hofmann, artist.