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Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The wickedness of Judah is so bad that God calls all creation to both hear and see what will take place Judgment is happening to those who are disobedient. Notice the words “hear” and “give ear.” These are strong words which call for creation to lay aside anything that it is doing. Give full attention to what is about to take place. This is what will happen to those who are disobedient to the Lord. The next verses tell of the condition of the hard-hearted Israel. They have chosen to walk away from God. It is shown through their revolt against God. In other words, they rebellion against the very God that delivered them from Egypt, they have turned their backs against. How could they do such a thing? Who do they think will protect them, and provide for them?
Although we are introduced to the co-author of this book, we are not given a chronological setting until Isaiah 6:1. Some would dispute this because we see that he spoke during the reign of Uzziah, Jothan, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. This narrows it down somewhat, but not enough in its exactness. Can we get a little more specific? That is where Isaiah 6:1 comes in.
When King Uzziah died, it was around 739. The Bible Background Commentary gives us a closer view in time since this is critical to what is happening within Israel.
Isaiah 1:2 --God is addressing both heaven and earth. This is not unusual. This was a custom of the Near Eastern literation (BBC). Their gods were to be the "witnesses" to the tragic judgment that would befall the disobedient. This is God's "formal indictment" against Israel. Judah stands in the "divine court" of God. All are called to order to hear the sentencing of the guilty. The mountains, rivers, etc. are to be the divine witnesses.
This brings to light the covenant that was made in Deut. 4:26. The words here are strong--"utterly destroyed." Since this verse calls them as witnesses, this statement fits right into what is about to take place.