Isaiah 25 & 26 – Yah the Lord of the Afterlife

First interesting item: 26:4b in the JSB reads, “For in Yah the Lord you have an everlasting Rock.” HarCol interprets that as, “For in the Lord God…” as does the ESV. The NRSV footnotes of HarCol mention the alternate reading that JSB gives. None of these books gives any more detail as to what Isaiah meant by “Yah the Lord.” I assume this has something to do with the divine name YHWH, but I don’t thing I’ve ever seen this phrasing before. I hear something similar in the ska and reggae music, their name for God being Jah. Certainly the names are connected, but I don’t have any history on this.

Also in tonight’s reading, a couple verses (25:8 and 26:19) dealing to some extent with life after death. 25:7-8 seems to say that the “shroud” (what I take to mean the curse or veil) of death will be lifted, followed by the drying of all tears as in Rev. 7:17. Isaiah 26:19 goes on to mention the dead coming to life, though this could well be interpreted as bringing joy (life) back to the downtrodden people of Israel. Apparently, according to the JSB notes, these verses and a very few others (esp. Dan 12) form the entirety of the basis for Jewish belief in an afterlife. The Old Testament rarely mentions it, and most of those passages could be interpreted as metaphors for life in this world, without actual intent to describe eternal life.