Isaiah's Call

Isaiah's call involves a vision of Yahvah along with seraphim. The question is asked, "Who will go?" Isaiah volunteers, "Here I am, send me." The numbers in the story point at the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 6

1In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Master I Joshua 5:13-14 sitting on a throne high and lifted up FE and his train filled his temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had 6 wings. With 2 he covered his face and with 2 he covered his feet and with 2 he flew. 3One called to another and said: Holy holy holy is the Master of hosts. The whole land is full of his glory. 4The posts of the door quaked at the voice of him who called and the house was filled with smoke. I Joshua 6:5 E Zechariah 14:5 Isaiah 6:1-45I said, Woe is me. I am dismayed, for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the king, the Master of hosts. Isaiah 6:561 of the seraphim flew to me having a live coal in his hand which he had taken with tongs from off the altar. 7He touched my mouth and said to me, This has touched your lips. Your iniquity is taken away and your sins are forgiven. Isaiah 6:6-7 8I heard the voice of the Master saying, Whom will I send? Who will go? Isaiah 6:7-8Then I said, Here I am. Send me. Isaiah 6:89He said to me, Go and tell this people: You can hear, but do not understand. You can see, but do not perceive. Q Luke 8:10 Q Romans 11:8 10For the heart of this people is darkened, and their ears are heavy, and their eyes closed, so that they may not 1|4 see with their eyes, 2|4 and hear with their ears, 3|4 and understand with their heart, 4|4 and turn back and be healed. P Deuteronomy 29:4 Q Matthew 13:14-15 Q Mark 4:12 Q John 12:40 Q Acts 28:26-27 A Acts 7:51 Isaiah 6:9-1011I said, Until when, Master? Isaiah 6:11He said: Until the cities will be waste without inhabitants and the houses without men and the land will be utterly destroyed. Q Leviticus 26:33 I Joshua 11:23 12The Master will cast off men far away and will increase forsaking within the land. 13Those who remain in it will be 1 of 10, and they will return and be burned as the oak, and as the oak that fell from its stump, I Joshua 9:27 the seed that is holy its planting. Isaiah 6:11-13 (Isaiah 6:1-13 BRB)


6+2+2+2+1 = 13 = Isaiah


Beyond a possible issue with the count itself, [1] this passage is a profound example of recursive counts. There are a number of other places in the Bible where a count points at the same book as the story providing the count. See John, Matthew and Acts for examples.

Recursive counts appear to reveal a relationship between the passage and the book as a whole. Here, in Isaiah, the prophet's call is told in a short passage that, by the numbers, is related to the whole book. The book, apparently, is an outworking of the call. That, at least, is an obvious way to interpret the relationship and because this interpretation is not difficult to arrive at without the math it's easy to accept.

But more specifically, it's likely the case that what Isaiah is told in miniature in this story is what, in fact, the whole of the book is about, at least generally. So this passage may be an outline for thinking about the book. For example, the point when Isaiah says "Here I am" would be this very passage of the book, but the material prior to this statement would apply, generally, to parts of the book prior to this passage and material following this statement would apply, generally, to parts of the book following this passage. I haven't thought this through carefully, but it's what math in a story like this causes me to wonder.

[1] This is a tentative count because I've ignored the 1/10th reference in this passage for the count to come out at 13 and point at Isaiah. In Bible math fractions often count as a whole number, or 1, so this report could perhaps point at book 14, Jeremiah, but Jeremiah does not seem to match and on the strength of the recursion of Isaiah's call to Isaiah's book and because of some uncertainty about the 1/10th, I've ignored it and written this report as is. I will change this if there's good reason.