Salvation – Isaiah 12

Isaiah 12

This chapter of Isaiah is a remarkable song of praise to Israel’s Lord and God. What makes it remarkable is its repetition of the word for salvation, occurring three times, a Hebrew word which bears a strong similarity in sound and spelling, to the Aramaic Name of Jesus. The word for salvation is yĕshu’āh, and the Name Jesus is yĕshu’a. Only one letter’s difference, and that letter is silent, a final heih, or aitch. To all intents and purposes, the words are identical.

Verse 2a reads hinneih eil yĕshu’āti, “behold, GOD is my salvation”, but it sounds like “behold, GOD is my Jesus”. Similarly in verse 2d we read vayĕhi-li yĕshu’āh which is “and look, he became salvation for me”, sounding like “he became Jesus for me”.

Verse 3 reads ushĕ’avĕtem mayim bĕsāsȏn mimma’ayĕnei hayĕshu’āh which translated, means “and you will draw water with joy from the wells of salvation”; but it sounds like “water from the wells of Jesus”.

The word yĕshu’āh, ‘salvation’, is liberally sprinkled throughout the Old Testament and contemporary Jewish liturgy; it is concentrated explosively in Isaiah 12. Jesus is identified as Salvation; he is also identified as God. In the synagogue every Sabbath, and in their daily prayers, Orthodox Jews are unknowingly calling out loud on the Name of the Lord. For centuries they have been calling on the Name, and in the Bible, God promises that everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. It is a tremendous irony amongst the many ironies of God, chief among which is the irony of the Cross, according to John the scene of his greatest earthly glory: God as man, crucified.

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