Monday, May 10, 2010

Fathoming Isaiah

The Isaiah Chapters? Who knew? This is news beyond sorrow, I must say.

I do not boast of being a scriptural genius. At best, I barely get by. Especially when it comes to the dreaded “Isaiah chapters” in Second Nephi. We – and I mean my wife and I and our three children, younger than 10 – read this last night, for instance:

  28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages.
  29 They are gone over the passage; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramath is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.
  30 Lift up the voice, O daughter of Gallim; cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.
  31 Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.
  32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day; he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
  33 Behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts shall lop the bough with terror; and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down; and the haughty shall be humbled.
  34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forests with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.

As is our practice, we try to explain the verses as we read them, so the kids – and us, too, natch – understand what’s going on. This is what I got out of this passage:

A bunch of people are having a slumber party at Geba. Ramath got scared, as did Saul, so they both went home early. Maybe because of Gallim’s daughter’s singing, which was apparently loud enough to be heard several houses away. The singing (or maybe the ensuing panic as Ramath and Saul fled) caused more to flee, or at least gather at the Geba’s house preparatory to flight in order to ascertain whether the situation is as bad as Ramath and Saul implied. Dad Geba had to stay at Nob and is a bit frustrated with the brouhaha, perhaps because somebody advertised the party on Facebook or something. But he’s coming home to put an end to the shenanigans and, as the wizards in Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University might say, “kick some righteous donkey.”

I’m sure this isn’t what Isaiah meant.

I don’t write this to be sacreligious; it’s just for humor. Because Isaiah really meant this. I think:

The Assyrians are making progress on their invasion of Jerusalem. They’re in the neighborhood – some in the neighboring countries/cities/regions have fled, others are getting ready to flee. The people of Anatoth have already sent out their cry of warning. The Assyrians have taken the city of Nob. The Assyrians will be used by God to humble his people.

You’ll note no mention of Facebook or a slumber party anywhere. But my kids liked my version, I must say.


Maaike said...

Can I come read scripture with your kids? It sounds like a good time...I must say.

Mister Fweem said...

You may come any time you wish. I once tried doing a live scripture study with the Davidsons on Twitter, but Michelle found out about it and I got in trouble. Reverence and all, you know.