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The deaf cannot see: An accumulation of blindness and deafness as combined theme in Isaiah 42 and 43

By Chris van der Walt

Abstract

<p><span>In the Bible the words </span><em>blind</em><span> and </span><em>deaf</em><span> occur nine times in the same sentence. An accumulation of such sentences is found in Isaiah 42 and 43, where it occurs three times (Is 42:18, 19; 43:8). Blindness is also mentioned in two further sentences in these chapters. Not only is it stated that the people of God is blind, but Israel also accuses Yahweh that their way is hidden from him (Is 40:27). It is because of this accusation, pertaining to an alleged blindness on Yahweh’s side, that the question of hearing is raised. He answers to this accusation in the heavenly court with the questions ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard?’ From there on God makes it clear that seeing is dependent on hearing. In a heavenly court of law, the wrong perception that God’s people had about the exile was put straight and a new beginning for the exiles was subsequently made. The theme of blind- and deafness is thereby continued from Isaiah 1 and 6 in the verdict in the heavenly court in Isaiah 43, where it became clear that the cure for the spiritual blindness of God’s people is not related to their eyes, but to their ears.</span></p><p><span><span>In die Bybel kom die woorde </span><em>blind</em><span> en </span><em>doof</em><span> nege keer saam in dieselfde sin voor. ’n Opeenhoping van hierdie sinne word in Jesaja 42 en 43 aangetref waar dit drie maal voorkom (Jes 42:18, 19; 43:8). Blindheid word ook in twee verdere sinne in hierdie hoofstukke genoem. Nie alleen word dit gestel dat die volk van God blind is nie, maar die volk beskuldig God dat Hy nie raaksien wat van hulle word nie (Jes 40:27). In die hemelse hof antwoord God op hierdie beskuldiging met die vrae ‘Weet julle nie? Het julle nie gehoor nie?’ Van daardie punt af maak God dit duidelik dat sien van hoor afhanklik is. Hierdie verkeerde persepsie van die volk oor God se sogenaamde blindheid vir hulle welstand tydens die ballingskap, word reggestel en ’n nuwe begin word gemaak. Die tema van blind- en doofheid word sodoende uit Jesaja 1 en 6 voortgesit in die uitspraak wat in die hemelse hof gemaak word (Jes 43). Daar word dit duidelik dat die oplossing vir die geestelike blindheid van die volk nie verband hou met hulle sig nie, maar met hulle gehoor.</span><br /></span></p

Topics: Practical Theology, BV1-5099, Practical religion. The Christian life, BV4485-5099
Publisher: AOSIS
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.4102/ids.v48i2.1764
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:268d47595e57471d82071dd7370598fa
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