Covenant in relation to justice and righteousness in Isaiah 42:1-9

Muutuki, Joseph Mwasi (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study focuses on covenant in relation to justice and righteousness in Isaiah 42:1-9. The main purpose of the study is to grapple with the idea of whether the Old Testament scholarly research on covenant is relevant for the theological-ethical understanding of covenant amongst African believing communities in general and in particular the Kamba community of Kenya. The research employs the socio-rhetorical approach, a method used to explore textures in a multi-dimensional way. In applying Robbins‘ (1996a, 1996b) textual analysis to the text of Isaiah 42:1-9, both the intra and intertextures are examined in order to gain the narrator‘s rhetorical strategy. It is possible to demonstrate that the mission of the Servant of the Lord was to establish justice and righteousness on earth. We show these terms are relational and ethical in nature. Justice restores damaged relationships in order for a community to have peace with itself. Righteousness on the other hand governs moral relationships and demands each member of the community acts right. These demands are required in order to regulate a cohesive social and cultural community that takes each other‘s social needs into account. Moreover, we show through intertexture in chapter three that texts reconfigure themselves either explicitly or implicitly. It is shown that three concepts, justice, righteousness and covenant exhibit moral characteristics when used together. Within covenant framework they have to do with taking care of the needs of the oppressed. Furthermore, in chapter four through social and cultural texture we show how the Israelites and Judah later are unable to fulfill their obligations to the poor because of the moral decay, which affected all spheres of their life. The Servant of YHWH is promised to usher in a new era of social justice. Additionally, in chapter five it is shown that the ideological texture highlights God‘s theological viewpoint characterized by the tension between the two covenants. We have attempted to show from Isaiah 42:1-9 that the theological-ethical understanding of covenant accommodates the Akamba covenant.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif fokus op die verbond in samehang met reg en geregtigheid in Jesaja 42:1-9. Die primêre doel van die studie is om te vra of Ou-Testamentiese navorsing enige relevansie het vir die teologies-etiese verstaan van die verbond in geloofsge-meenskappe in Afrika oor die algemeen, maar ook in die Kambagemeenskap (Kenia) in die besonder. In die ondersoek word sosio-retoriek benut om tekstuele verbande op 'n multi-dimensionele manier te ondersoek. In die toepassing van Robbins (1996a, 1996b) se tekstuele analise op Jesaja 42:1-9, word beide die intra- sowel as die intertekstuele verbande ondersoek ten einde te bepaal watter retoriese strategie ter sprake is. Dit is moontlik om aan te toon hoe die Dienaar van die Here daarop gemik was om reg en geregtigheid op aarde te vestig as relasionele en etiese begrippe. "Reg" herstel beskadigde verhoudings ten einde 'n samelewing in staat te stel om vrede onderling te ervaar. "Geregtigheid" bepaal die morele verhoudings en vereis dat elke lid van die gemeenskap eties korrek optree. Hierdie vereistes is noodsaaklik ten einde 'n samehangende sosiale en kulturele samelewing daar te stel waarbinne die lede mekaar se behoeftes in ag neem. Daar word in hoofstuk drie aangetoon hoe verbond in Jesaja 40 – 55 implisiet en eksplisiet gerekonfigureer word. Hierdie rekonfigurasie vind plaas wanneer die drie begrippe reg, geregtigheid en verbond morele kenmerke ontwikkel wanneer dit saam gebruik word. Sodoende ontwikkel die verpligting om binne 'n verbondsraamwerk sorgsaamheid vir die behoeftes van die onderdrukte te ontwikkel. Vervolgens word in hoofstuk vier aangetoon hoe aandag vir die sosiale en kulturele verbande van Jesaja 42:1-9 uitwys hoe die Israeliete en Judeërs nie instaat was om hulle verpligtinge teenoor die armes na te kom na aanleiding van die morele verval wat alle tereine van hulle lewe beïnvloed het. Die Dienaar van JHWH word belowe ten einde 'n nuwe era van sosiale geregtigheid te vestig. Ten slotte word daar in hoofstuk vyf uitgewys dat die ideologiese verband beklemtoon hoe God se teologiese alternatief gekenmerk word deur die spanning tus-sen twee sieninge van die verbond (onvoorwaardelik sowel as voorwaardelik). Teen die agtergrond is geargumenteer dat Jesaja 42: 1-9 se teologies-etiese herdefiniëring van die verbond 'n Akamba begrip daarvoor akkommodeer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80220
This item appears in the following collections: