The offering of a lamb is a frequent sign in the Bible of a request for peace. Isaiah chapter 16 describes offering of a lamb as a plea for a peace treaty. The New Testament describes Jesus as the perfect lamb, come from and offered to God, making peace for all who believe.
Luther, Martin, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, translated by Herbert J.A. Bowman) Luther’s Works, Vol. 16, Lectures on Isaiah Chapters 1-39. St. Louis: Concordia, 1969. Logos Electronic Edition.
“Isaiah Chapter 16” pp. 149-153.
Isaiah 16 begins with the idea of Moab sending a lamb to Israel - an offering to seek forgiveness. Luther marks this as an ironic statement, as Moab is only going to act in a humble way after being humbled from outside (LW 16, 149). Verse two describes the people of Moab as unable to accomplish anything,like nestling birds. The very compact and slightly cryptic language of the beginning of the chapter leaves the reader with some doubt about the identity of “you” when the people will sojourn with “you” (v. 4). Luther identifies this as Israel, allowing the crushed and wounded Moabites to come to them for shelter. Israel will have the stable kingdom and can show steadfast divine love and faithfulness to other nations (LW 16, 150). The mourning and sorrow discussed in verses six and following are all related to the nations surrounding Israel. They are the ones being laid waste (LW 16, 151). Even the time of harvest will become a time of mourning, apparently due to crop failure or invasion (v. 9). “The remorse of the ungodly is twofold. On the one hand it is toil and weariness, on the other, destruction and uselessness. The godly always have a joyful conscience and know that they are pleasing to God” (LW 16, 152). Verses 13 and following discuss the timing of this calamity, three years from the time of the prophecy (LW 16, 153). The time of the Moabites is limited.
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