Isaiah 42:14, The Birth of the New Israel
For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.
//This is God speaking, in deutero-Isaiah. In other words, it was not written by the prophet Isaiah, but by an anonymous contributor about 150 years after Isaiah lived.
For myself, this is one of the central verses of the Hebrew Bible. Many of Isaiah’s promises are accepted today by Christians as prophecies of our future, but they were never meant to be. These prophecies are set solidly in their own timeframe. They speak of the hope of leaving captivity in Babylon, a time of great desperation and sadness, to be restored back to their homeland of Israel. Like a mother birthing a new age, the creator of the universe was to set things right again, transforming nature, renewing and recreating Israel for the new era. Hope, these writers insisted, would rise from the ashes.
To me, this verse, and the birth of a better age, epitomizes the story of the Hebrew Bible. This theme of redemption from persecution would be replayed over and over … and continues to this day.