Foreigners and eunuchs, previously excluded, are gathered into Israel by God.
This text opens what has sometimes been called Third Isaiah–chapters 56-66, which seem to reflect the difficult situation back in Jerusalem after the exiles have returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. The chapters contain promises similar to those of Second Isaiah refers chapters 40-55 of the book of Isaiah. This work was likely written during Israel's exile in Babylon (597-538 B.C.E.). Second Isaiah includes poetic passages of hope as well as descriptions of the Suffering Servant. More and words of judgment similar to those of the preexilic prophets.
This opening passage is one of the most inclusive promises in Isaiah, son of Amoz, who prophesied in Jerusalem, is included among the prophets of the eighth century B.C.E. (along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah)--preachers who boldly proclaimed God's word of judgment against the economic, social, and religious disorders of their time. More and in the entire Bible. The place of foreigners among the people of Israel had been ambiguous–according to the The Torah is the law of Moses, also known as the first five books of the Bible. To many the Torah is a combination of history, theology, and a legal or ritual guide. More, aliens were to be welcomed and protected (Leviticus 19:34), but other laws required separation between Israelites and outsiders (Scribe who helped establish Jewish practices in Jerusalem after the exile. More 9:1-4). In this text, foreigners who “join themselves to the LORD” (that is, proselytes) will be accepted as full members of God’s people. More strikingly, this applies to eunuchs as well. Eunuchs were excluded from The 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 worship by Torah itself (Deuteronomy 23:1-3; Leviticus 21:18-20), not for moral or ethnic reasons but because they were understood to be “blemished,” excluded by the purity laws in the same way that blemished lambs were not acceptable as sacrifices. This is a ritual exclusion that did not regard the “blemished” as morally or socially inferior, but there were real social and religious consequences. According to Leviticus, they could not serve as priests; for Deuteronomy, they could not be admitted to the assembly of God’s people at all.
But now, says the Lord (through the prophet), all that is changed. Foreigners and eunuchs are welcomed in the same way as anyone else–that is, those who keep the Sabbath is a weekly day of rest, the seventh day, observed on Saturday in Judaism and on Sunday in Christianity. In the book of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day; in the Gospel accounts Jesus and his disciples are criticized by some for not... More and hold fast the A 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. Sabbath-keeping had taken on even greater importance during the exile because it was a religious observance and a sign of the covenant that people could do within the family even when there was no temple for Sacrifice is commonly understood as the practice of offering or giving up something as a sign of worship, commitment, or obedience. In the Old Testament grain, wine, or animals are used as sacrifice. In some New Testament writings Jesus' death on the cross as the... More and festival worship.
The secret to the openness expressed in these verses seems to come at the end: God will gather these “outcast” (foreigners and eunuchs) to the “outcasts of Israel” already gathered. None are members of God’s people by right; all are outcasts, brought in by Grace is the unmerited gift of God's love and acceptance. In Martin Luther's favorite expression from the Apostle Paul, we are saved by grace through faith, which means that God showers grace upon us even though we do not deserve it. More (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). Those who know themselves to be gathered outcasts will more easily welcome other outcasts into their midst.
This text finds one fulfillment in Acts 8:26-40, where Philip is sent to proclaim the good news to an Ethiopian An eunuch is a castrated male, often in the service of a person in power. While the Bible mentions eunuchs many times, the most memorable eunuch is the one who was baptized by Philip in Acts 8. More who is reading Isaiah in his chariot. The man is an example in his own person of both the foreigners and the eunuchs who are welcomed here in this Isaiah text. “What is to prevent me from being baptized?” asks the eunuch (Acts 8:29). One would have to answer, certainly not Isaiah 56!