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Isaiah 61

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The Lord Will Rejuvenate His People

61:1 The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me,

because the Lord has chosen 1  me. 2 

He has commissioned 3  me to encourage 4  the poor,

to help 5  the brokenhearted,

to decree the release of captives,

and the freeing of prisoners,

61:2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor,

the day when our God will seek vengeance, 6 

to console all who mourn,

61:3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion,

by giving them a turban, instead of ashes,

oil symbolizing joy, 7  instead of mourning,

a garment symbolizing praise, 8  instead of discouragement. 9 

They will be called oaks of righteousness, 10 

trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor. 11 

61:4 They will rebuild the perpetual ruins

and restore the places that were desolate; 12 

they will reestablish the ruined cities,

the places that have been desolate since ancient times.

61:5 13 “Foreigners will take care of 14  your sheep;

foreigners will work in your fields and vineyards.

61:6 You will be called, ‘the Lord’s priests,

servants of our God.’ 15 

You will enjoy 16  the wealth of nations

and boast about 17  the riches you receive from them. 18 

61:7 Instead of shame, you will get a double portion; 19 

instead of humiliation, they will rejoice over the land they receive. 20 

Yes, 21  they will possess a double portion in their land

and experience lasting joy.

61:8 For I, the Lord, love justice

and hate robbery and sin.

I will repay them because of my faithfulness; 22 

I will make a permanent covenant with them.

61:9 Their descendants will be known among the nations,

their offspring among the peoples.

All who see them will recognize that

the Lord has blessed them.” 23 

61:10 I 24  will greatly rejoice 25  in the Lord;

I will be overjoyed because of my God. 26 

For he clothes me in garments of deliverance;

he puts on me a robe symbolizing vindication. 27 

I look like a bridegroom when he wears a turban as a priest would;

I look like a bride when she puts on her jewelry. 28 

61:11 For just as the ground produces its crops

and a garden yields its produce,

so the sovereign Lord will cause deliverance 29  to grow,

and give his people reason to praise him in the sight of all the nations. 30 

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1 tn Heb “anointed,” i.e., designated to carry out an assigned task.

2 sn The speaker is not identified, but he is distinct from the Lord and from Zion’s suffering people. He possesses the divine spirit, is God’s spokesman, and is sent to release prisoners from bondage. The evidence suggests he is the Lord’s special servant, described earlier in the servant songs (see 42:1-4, 7; 49:2, 9; 50:4; see also 51:16).

3 tn Or “sent” (NAB); NCV “has appointed me.”

4 tn Or “proclaim good news to.”

5 tn Heb “to bind up [the wounds of].”

6 tn Heb “to announce the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance.

7 tn Heb “oil of joy” (KJV, ASV); NASB, NIV, NRSV “the oil of gladness.”

8 tn Heb “garment of praise.”

9 tn Heb “a faint spirit” (so NRSV); KJV, ASV “the spirit of heaviness”; NASB “a spirit of fainting.”

10 tn Rather than referring to the character of the people, צֶדֶק (tsedeq) may carry the nuance “vindication” here, suggesting that God’s restored people are a testimony to his justice. See v. 2, which alludes to the fact that God will take vengeance against the enemies of his people. Cf. NAB “oaks of justice.”

11 tn Heb “a planting of the Lord to reveal splendor.”

12 tn Heb “and the formerly desolate places they will raise up.”

13 sn The Lord speaks in vv. 7-8 (and possibly v. 9). It is not clear where the servant’s speech (see vv. 1-3a) ends and the Lord’s begins. Perhaps the direct address to the people signals the beginning of the Lord’s speech.

14 tn Heb “will stand [in position] and shepherd.”

15 tn The Hebrew text adds, “it will be said concerning you.”

16 tn Heb “eat” (KJV, NAB, NASB); NIV “feed on”; NLT “be fed with.”

17 tc The form in the Hebrew text is probably a corruption of יִתְאַמְּרוּ (yitammÿru), a Hitpael from אָמַר (’amar), meaning “boast about” (see HALOT 67 s.v. II אמר, HALOT 416 s.v. ימר, and BDB 56 s.v. אָמַר).

18 tn Heb “their glory” (i.e., riches).

19 tn Heb “instead of your shame, a double portion.”

20 tn Heb “and [instead of] humiliation they will rejoice [over] their portion.” The term תָחָת (takhat, “instead of”) is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

21 tn Heb “therefore” (so KJV, NASB); NIV “and so.”

22 tn Heb “in faithfulness”; NASB, NRSV, NLT “faithfully.”

23 tn Heb “all who see them will recognize them, that they [are] descendants [whom] the Lord has blessed.”

24 sn The speaker in vv. 10-11 is not identified, but it is likely that the personified nation (or perhaps Zion) responds here to the Lord’s promise of restoration.

25 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.

26 tn Heb “my being is happy in my God”; NAB “in my God is the joy of my soul.”

27 tn Heb “robe of vindication”; KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV “robe of righteousness.”

28 tn Heb “like a bridegroom [who] acts like a priest [by wearing] a turban, and like a bride [who] wears her jewelry.” The words “I look” are supplied for stylistic reasons and clarification.

29 tn Or perhaps, “righteousness,” but the context seems to emphasize deliverance and restoration (see v. 10 and 62:1).

30 tn Heb “and praise before all the nations.”



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