Isaiah to Settle for Wolves Lying Down with Other Wolves
Jerusalem (AP) – The eighth-century-BCE Israelite prophet Isaiah has revised his vision for the End of Days in keeping with societal trends and projected developments, downgrading his lofty expectations several notches.
In his epic, poetic description of a time without predatory behavior, the seer spoke of wolves peacefully sharing space with their erstwhile ovine prey, along with a series of other striking juxtapositions such as a leopard with a young goat and a small child playing without fear near a viper’s nest. Isaiah took one look at modern times, when the culmination of his dreams ought to be closer than ever, and recast his prophecy to reflect a more realistic set of aspirations.
Thus, he now sees a time when “they shall beat their swords into slightly duller swords and their spears into mere nightsticks; nations shall not wage full-scale war against nation, but against guerilla groups, well, that’s not wonderful, but OK; neither shall they plan genocide so thoroughly outright.”
Similarly, Isaiah calls for society not to watch so much TV, or at least not to interpret the technologies and simplified plot devices in movies as reflecting reality so as not to fall prey to the unscrupulous purveyors of conspiracy theories, who, let’s face it, will always be with us. The Messiah he envisions will be adept at getting supporters of rival political candidates to stop fighting, making them realize there isn’t really a difference, as the lobbyists and moneyed interests are going to control the government either way. That way they can go back to their drab lives, where at least they aren’t trying actively to oppress anyone.
As for spirituality, the son of Amotz conceded with a heavy sigh that it is too much to hope for that “the spirit of the Lord shall cover the land as water does the sea bed,” allowing that the best we can hope for at this point is complete wireless coverage anywhere on Earth, unless you happen to use Verizon, in which case forget it.
Isaiah has not completely abandoned his focus on social justice and protection for the downtrodden, but his new vision sets somewhat lower sights than he did more than two-and-a-half millennia ago. He now foresees a time when the mighty, though still in position to utterly crush the meek, will have future generations in mind and leave some oppression to be performed by their descendants.
The renewal of justice has undergone a similar revision: the prophet still speaks of restoring the judges “as at first,” but by that he means the way the powers that be were viewed the day before the big scandal hit the news media.
Many Biblical scholars note that Isaiah’s evolution is not unprecedented. Prominent Christian and Muslim thinkers have argued for many centuries that the entire Old Testament, which includes Isaiah, while still sacred, has been shelved in favor of a theology more in tune with human and spiritual realities; the scholars have debated since the first century to what extent that shift has taken place, and whether any subsequent revisions occurred in the sixth and seventh centuries in Arabia. The scholarly debates often escalated into violence and outright war, at which Isaiah shook his head continually.
At the same time they were dismissing the older texts as obsolete, those thinkers were, paradoxically, trying to retrofit them to prove they anticipated the later revision; Isaiah’s prophecies featured prominently in those efforts. His description of the Messiah was cherry-picked to emphasize only the most marginal, symbolic details in order to shoehorn a first-century preacher into the role while relegating the central, redemptive functions to an unspecified later time.
Isaiah says he gave civilization quite a bit of time to build that later era, but realized recently he had to step in because humanity had dropped the ball big-time, and was on the road to utter self-destruction and irreparable damage to Earth. He cited his earlier vision of the child cavorting near the viper’s hole and noted that such a scene could only take place nowadays because human pollution has driven that viper to extinction.
In a related development, the Lord Almighty announced that He is suspending His covenant with the Earth not to destroy civilization again through flooding, pending resolution of the carbon emissions and global warming issues.
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