God invites Israel to a rich banquet where everything is free. A surprise gift is the extension of the Davidic covenantA covenant is a promise or agreement. In the Bible the promises made between God and God's people are known as covenants; they state or imply a relationship of commitment and obedience. More to all the people.
Here the voice of God mimics the voice of the street vendor inviting passersby to “come, buy and eat.” Hawkers and vendors were no doubt common on the streets of the cities and villages of biblical Israel–as they still are everywhere in the world, especially where established shopping areas are less frequent or not accessible to those without sufficient funds. But in this text, funds do not matter, because the food, the bread, the milk, and the wine are free. God is giving it all away.
The menu here is metaphorical. God offers the restoration of Israel, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the making of all things new. Why, wonders God, would anyone settle for less–which, in this book, might include worship of the Babylonian idols and the imagined security of remaining in exile.
Early on, God made an everlasting promise to DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More: “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever” (2 SamuelThe judge who anointed the first two kings of Israel More 7:16). This became the basis for Israel’s hope in a righteousA righteous person is one who is ethical and faithful to God's covenant. Righteousness in the Old Testament is an attitude of God; in the New Testament it is a gift of God through grace. In the New Testament righteousness is a relationship with God... More king, a messiahThe Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More (anointed one) who would usher in the fullness of God’s kingdom. In exile, that hope was shattered: the templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More, the palace, the royal city, and the line of David had been destroyed. But, says the prophet, all is not lost; indeed, everything is gained. Now the covenant with David is extended to all the people; the promise has been democratized–a step similar to the one taken when the New Testament calls all believers a “royal priesthood” (1 PeterThe disciple who denied Jesus during his trial but later became a leader in proclaiming Jesus More 2:9). In both Old Testament and New, the gift of God’s covenant promise is not simply something to be treasured for the recipients; it turns them into “a witness to the peoples” (v. 4). God opens the door more fully to Israel in order to open the door more fully to the world.