A Metaphor for Zion Theology
CHAPTER SIX: ZION’S NATIONALISM
149 CHAPTER SIX ZION’S NATIONALISM Zion theology asserts the inviolability of the city because YHWH is her defender, and all nations are expected to come to Zion in recognition of YHWH’s sovereignty. I propose that this is the basis for Zion’s exalted position in DI and that such an understanding will throw light on the debate of whether DI preaches a message of universalism or one of nationalism. “Universalists” point to the servant as a light to the nations (Isa 42:6; 49:6), to peoples waiting for salvation through God’s teaching and justice (Isa 42:4, 23; 49:6; 51:4-6), and to nations running voluntarily to Israel (Isa 55:4, 5), while “nationalists” argue that the nations are but a ransom for Israel (Isa 43:3-4), that they come to Zion in chains (45:14), licking the dust of her feet and even eating their own flesh (49:23, 26).1 In view of these differences, a third group of scholars try to reconcile the contradiction in various ways. Rather than attempting to harmonize the universalistic and nationalistic texts, I submit that there is a crucial distinction between these two groups of texts: The nationalistic texts revolve around Zion, while the universalistic texts are related to the servant. The nations come in submission to Zion the city, not to Israel the people, i.e., they come in obeisance because of the sovereignty of YHWH, not because of the superiority of Israel. Thus, while the universal role of the servant...
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