1) Listen to the first 24 seconds of music, and notice the beautiful melody that is played on the piano. This is the main theme of the piece, the part you will find yourself singing the rest of the day, if you listen to the entire movement. This phrase is an antecedant, or a question. You can hear how it is open-ended; it goes upwards; it sounds incomplete. Later on, of course, there is a similar phrase that "answers" it, and provides a feeling of closure.
Pattern of the Old Testament:
1)Statement of the problem; 2)Consequences, 3)Statement of the Cure, 4)Reason for Hope
1) The Problem: The children of Israel don't know they belong to God. (1:2-4)
2) The Consequences: Wounds, bruises, sickness, desolation. (1:5-7)
3) The Cure: Wash you, put away evil, relieve the oppressed, seek justice for the fatherless. (1:16-17)
4) The Hope: Sins as scarlet will be white as snow, the good of land will be a reward. (1:18-19) (Michael Wilcox)
1:3 People are dumber than animals. At least animals are aware of where their food comes from. People turn away from the Source. Wickedness does not promote rational thought ("doth not consider").
1:5 "Head" denotes the leaders of the people; "heart" denotes the core of the people.
1:6 "Putrifying sores" tells how spiritually diseased they are. They have not even used simple first aid to clean the wound.
1:7 The Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans all conquered the children of Israel. This also has connotations in the 20th-21st Centuries.
1:8 A "lodge" is a little shade hut for a gardener; not a secure place. About the shoddiest construction the Jews would have known.
1:9 If God hadn't intervened, there would have been nothing left. Although it is assumed to be at the bottom of the Dead Sea, there is no remnant of Sodom and Gommorah that has ever been found by archeologists. It has completely vanished from the earth without a trace.
1:10 "Rulers of Sodom"--a slap in the face to the Israelites. An equivalent insult in our day might be to compare someone to Hitler.
1:11 Why pretend to worship? Like people who are schemers and cheaters or viewers of pornography during the week, but are still taking the sacrament every Sunday in their suits and ties.
1:13 For "new moons," see Bible Dictionary, p. 738. The people are simply "following the dots," but the worship is empty.
1:16 "Wash you" means to be baptized or, if already baptized, to renew the covenant. "Cease to do evil--learn to do well" are linked: When you leave behind your sins, you need to fill that void with good works.
1:18 Scarlet and crimson were some of the very few colorfast dyes of ancient days. Wool takes a lot of work to be made nice and white: the shearing, washing with fuller's soap, scrubbing, carding.
1:21 A harlot takes something sacred and holy and sells it for money: it's not just wicked, it's profane.
1:22 Dross is the waste from the metal processing. (David J. Ridges)
6:3 Repeating something three times, such as "Holy, holy, holy," signifies the ultimate, the maximum. This is the Hebrew superlative. This particular cry points to the Godhead. "Lord of hosts" refers to the Captain of the Heavenly army. "Lord of Hosts" is used 62 times in Isaiah.
6:4 "Posts of the door moved." The passageway trembles when the Lord speaks. The presence of smoke indicates the presence of the Lord (Rev. 15:8).
6:5 "I am undone" means "I am destroyed," or "I am lost," for (or because) he has found himself unworthy in the presence of the Lord. Isaiah realizes his nothingness and unworthiness next to God, much as did Moses (Moses 1:9-11).
6:6-7 But one of the seraphims flies to him with a live coal (remember, the "burning" is because of holiness, as in verse 2), which he has taken from the altar that symbolizes Christ's Atonement. When he touches Isaiah's lips (the entrance to the inward parts of the body), Isaiah is cleansed and purified. It is similar to our sacrament, in which taking a token into our mouths allows us to be forgiven through the Atonement, and purifies us once again with the Holy Ghost.
6:8 "Here I am" in Hebrew signifies more than mere presence, but readiness to do what is asked. In fact, it shows a willingness to give one's life for the person asking. This is the same phrase Christ used. Isaiah is a type of Christ.
6:9 Check all the footnotes at the bottom of the page for Christ's references to this commandment given to Isaiah to make the scriptures hard for the casual reader to understand. Also see John 12:37-41.
6:10 "Heart" in ancient Hebrew refers to the center of thought and motivation, therefore the New Revised Standard Version reads, "Make the mind of this people dull."
6:11-12 "How long" will men choose spiritual blindness? The answer: Until they are desolate--to the end.
6:13 A small remnant of the people will be preserved, and as a tree that is dormant or felled, that stump will regenerate because its substance is the holy seed: Christ and his gospel. (Parry, Parry and Peterson, plus my own interpretation)