Isaiah 59:17

Hebrew Bible

15 Honesty has disappeared; the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed. The Lord watches and is displeased, for there is no justice. 16 He sees there is no advocate; he is shocked that no one intervenes. So he takes matters into his own hands; his desire for justice drives him on. 17 He wears his desire for justice like body armor, and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head. He puts on the garments of vengeance and wears zeal like a robe. 18 He repays them for what they have done, dispensing angry judgment to his adversaries and punishing his enemies. He repays the coastlands. 19 In the west, people respect the Lord’s reputation; in the east they recognize his splendor. For he comes like a rushing stream driven on by wind sent from the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

New Testament

6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. 9 For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep, we will come to life together with him.

 Notes and References

"... It is interesting that Plutarch the moralist also urges his audience to be awake and sober and contrasts this with being asleep or drunk using these same terms (Prin. iner. 781D). 1 Thessalonians 5:7 is a sort of gloss on, or illustration from ordinary life of what has just been said, explaining that sleepers and those who get drunk generally do so at night. The implication is that Christians are not of the night, nor should they be given to these sorts of “night moves.” “What is true at the level of everyday human experience applies on the religious and ethical plane.” Christians are held to God’s twenty-four hours of daytime standard. Verse 8 states the consequences of being daytime people. We must be awake, sober, and put on the appropriate clothing to deal with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” Notice the reference here to the famous triad—faith, hope, and love (compare 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 13). Here we have the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet is said to be the hope of salvation, seen as something to be experienced in the future, an imagery further developed in Ephesians 6:14–17. In both texts there is an indebtedness to Isaiah 59:17 where God wears the helmet of salvation on his head ..."

Witherington, Ben The Problem with Evangelical Theology: Testing the Exegetical Foundations of Calvinism, Dispensationalism, and Wesleyanism (p. 128) Baylor University Press, 2005

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