Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) August 16
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Isaiah 61:1--63:19

Context
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 

The Lord Takes Delight in Zion

62:1 “For the sake of Zion I will not be silent;

for the sake of Jerusalem 31  I will not be quiet,

until her vindication shines brightly 32 

and her deliverance burns like a torch.”

62:2 Nations will see your vindication,

and all kings your splendor.

You will be called by a new name

that the Lord himself will give you. 33 

62:3 You will be a majestic crown in the hand of the Lord,

a royal turban in the hand of your God.

62:4 You will no longer be called, “Abandoned,”

and your land will no longer be called “Desolate.”

Indeed, 34  you will be called “My Delight is in Her,” 35 

and your land “Married.” 36 

For the Lord will take delight in you,

and your land will be married to him. 37 

62:5 As a young man marries a young woman,

so your sons 38  will marry you.

As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride,

so your God will rejoice over you.

62:6 I 39  post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;

they should keep praying all day and all night. 40 

You who pray to 41  the Lord, don’t be silent!

62:7 Don’t allow him to rest until he reestablishes Jerusalem, 42 

until he makes Jerusalem the pride 43  of the earth.

62:8 The Lord swears an oath by his right hand,

by his strong arm: 44 

“I will never again give your grain

to your enemies as food,

and foreigners will not drink your wine,

which you worked hard to produce.

62:9 But those who harvest the grain 45  will eat it,

and will praise the Lord.

Those who pick the grapes will drink the wine 46 

in the courts of my holy sanctuary.”

62:10 Come through! Come through the gates!

Prepare the way for the people!

Build it! Build the roadway!

Remove the stones!

Lift a signal flag for the nations!

62:11 Look, the Lord announces to the entire earth: 47 

“Say to Daughter Zion,

‘Look, your deliverer comes!

Look, his reward is with him

and his reward goes before him!’” 48 

62:12 They will be called, “The Holy People,

the Ones Protected 49  by the Lord.”

You will be called, “Sought After,

City Not Abandoned.”

The Victorious Divine Warrior

63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, 50 

dressed in bright red, coming from Bozrah? 51 

Who 52  is this one wearing royal attire, 53 

who marches confidently 54  because of his great strength?

“It is I, the one who announces vindication,

and who is able to deliver!” 55 

63:2 Why are your clothes red?

Why do you look like someone who has stomped on grapes in a vat? 56 

63:3 “I have stomped grapes in the winepress all by myself;

no one from the nations joined me.

I stomped on them 57  in my anger;

I trampled them down in my rage.

Their juice splashed on my garments,

and stained 58  all my clothes.

63:4 For I looked forward to the day of vengeance,

and then payback time arrived. 59 

63:5 I looked, but there was no one to help;

I was shocked because there was no one offering support. 60 

So my right arm accomplished deliverance;

my raging anger drove me on. 61 

63:6 I trampled nations in my anger,

I made them drunk 62  in my rage,

I splashed their blood on the ground.” 63 

A Prayer for Divine Intervention

63:7 I will tell of the faithful acts of the Lord,

of the Lord’s praiseworthy deeds.

I will tell about all 64  the Lord did for us,

the many good things he did for the family of Israel, 65 

because of 66  his compassion and great faithfulness.

63:8 He said, “Certainly they will be my people,

children who are not disloyal.” 67 

He became their deliverer.

63:9 Through all that they suffered, he suffered too. 68 

The messenger sent from his very presence 69  delivered them.

In his love and mercy he protected 70  them;

he lifted them up and carried them throughout ancient times. 71 

63:10 But they rebelled and offended 72  his holy Spirit, 73 

so he turned into an enemy

and fought against them.

63:11 His people remembered the ancient times. 74 

Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea,

along with the shepherd of 75  his flock?

Where is the one who placed his holy Spirit among them, 76 

63:12 the one who made his majestic power available to Moses, 77 

who divided the water before them,

gaining for himself a lasting reputation, 78 

63:13 who led them through the deep water?

Like a horse running on flat land 79  they did not stumble.

63:14 Like an animal that goes down into a valley to graze, 80 

so the Spirit of the Lord granted them rest.

In this way 81  you guided your people,

gaining for yourself an honored reputation. 82 

63:15 Look down from heaven and take notice,

from your holy, majestic palace!

Where are your zeal 83  and power?

Do not hold back your tender compassion! 84 

63:16 For you are our father,

though Abraham does not know us

and Israel does not recognize us.

You, Lord, are our father;

you have been called our protector from ancient times. 85 

63:17 Why, Lord, do you make us stray 86  from your ways, 87 

and make our minds stubborn so that we do not obey you? 88 

Return for the sake of your servants,

the tribes of your inheritance!

63:18 For a short time your special 89  nation possessed a land, 90 

but then our adversaries knocked down 91  your holy sanctuary.

63:19 We existed from ancient times, 92 

but you did not rule over them,

they were not your subjects. 93 

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.”

31 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

32 tn Heb “goes forth like brightness.”

33 tn Heb “which the mouth of the Lord will designate.”

34 tn Or “for”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “but.”

35 tn Hebrew חֶפְצִי־בָהּ (kheftsi-vah), traditionally transliterated “Hephzibah” (so KJV, ASV, NIV).

36 tn Hebrew בְּעוּלָה (bÿulah), traditionally transliterated “Beulah” (so KJV, ASV, NIV).

37 tn That is, the land will be restored to the Lord’s favor and once again enjoy his blessing and protection. To indicate the land’s relationship to the Lord, the words “to him” have been supplied at the end of the clause.

38 tc The Hebrew text has “your sons,” but this produces an odd metaphor and is somewhat incongruous with the parallelism. In the context (v. 4b, see also 54:5-7) the Lord is the one who “marries” Zion. Therefore several prefer to emend “your sons” to בֹּנָיִךְ (bonayikh, “your builder”; e.g., NRSV). In Ps 147:2 the Lord is called the “builder of Jerusalem.” However, this emendation is not the best option for at least four reasons. First, although the Lord is never called the “builder” of Jerusalem in Isaiah, the idea of Zion’s children possessing the land does occur (Isa 49:20; 54:3; cf. also 14:1; 60:21). Secondly, all the ancient versions support the MT reading. Thirdly, although the verb בָּעַל (baal) can mean “to marry,” its basic idea is “to possess.” Consequently, the verb stresses a relationship more than a state. All the ancient versions render this verb “to dwell in” or “to dwell with.” The point is not just that the land will be reinhabited, but that it will be in a relationship of “belonging” to the Israelites. Hence a relational verb like בָּעַל is used (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:581). Finally, “sons” is a well-known metaphor for “inhabitants” (J. de Waard, Isaiah, 208).

39 sn The speaker here is probably the prophet.

40 tn Heb “all day and all night continually they do not keep silent.” The following lines suggest that they pray for the Lord’s intervention and restoration of the city.

41 tn Or “invoke”; NIV “call on”; NASB, NRSV “remind.”

42 tn “Jerusalem” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons; note the following line.

43 tn Heb “[the object of] praise.”

44 tn The Lord’s right hand and strong arm here symbolize his power and remind the audience that his might guarantees the fulfillment of the following promise.

45 tn Heb “it,” the grain mentioned in v. 8a.

46 tn Heb “and those who gather it will drink it.” The masculine singular pronominal suffixes attached to “gather” and “drink” refer back to the masculine noun תִּירוֹשׁ (tirosh, “wine”) in v. 8b.

47 tn Heb “to the end of the earth” (so NASB, NRSV).

48 sn As v. 12 indicates, the returning exiles are the Lord’s reward/prize. See also 40:10 and the note there.

49 tn Or “the redeemed of the Lord” (KJV, NAB).

50 sn Edom is here an archetype for the Lord’s enemies. See 34:5.

51 tn Heb “[in] bright red garments, from Bozrah.”

52 tn The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis; note the first line of the verse.

53 tn Heb “honored in his clothing”; KJV, ASV “glorious in his apparel.”

54 tc The Hebrew text has צָעָה (tsaah), which means “stoop, bend” (51:14). The translation assumes an emendation to צָעַד (tsaad, “march”; see BDB 858 s.v. צָעָה).

55 tn Heb “I, [the one] speaking in vindication [or “righteousness”], great to deliver.”

56 tn Heb “and your garments like one who treads in a vat?”

57 sn Nations, headed by Edom, are the object of the Lord’s anger (see v. 6). He compares military slaughter to stomping on grapes in a vat.

58 tn Heb “and I stained.” For discussion of the difficult verb form, see HALOT 170 s.v. II גאל. Perhaps the form is mixed, combining the first person forms of the imperfect (note the alef prefix) and perfect (note the תי- ending).

59 tn Heb “for the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my revenge came.” The term גְּאוּלַי (gÿulai) is sometimes translated here “my redemption,” for the verbal root גאל often means “deliver, buy back.” A גֹּאֵל (goel, “kinsman-redeemer”) was responsible for protecting the extended family’s interests, often by redeeming property that had been sold outside the family. However, the responsibilities of a גֹּאֵל extended beyond financial concerns. He was also responsible for avenging the shed blood of a family member (see Num 35:19-27; Deut 19:6-12). In Isa 63:4, where vengeance is a prominent theme (note the previous line), it is probably this function of the family protector that is in view. The Lord pictures himself as a blood avenger who waits for the day of vengeance to arrive and then springs into action.

60 sn See Isa 59:16 for similar language.

61 tn Heb “and my anger, it supported me”; NIV “my own wrath sustained me.”

62 sn See Isa 49:26 and 51:23 for similar imagery.

63 tn Heb “and I brought down to the ground their juice.” “Juice” refers to their blood (see v. 3).

64 tn Heb “according to all which.”

65 tn Heb “greatness of goodness to the house of Israel which he did for them.”

66 tn Heb “according to.”

67 tn Heb “children [who] do not act deceitfully.” Here the verb refers to covenantal loyalty.

68 tn Heb “in all their distress, there was distress to him” (reading לוֹ [lo] with the margin/Qere).

69 tn Heb “the messenger [or “angel”] of his face”; NIV “the angel of his presence.”

sn This may refer to the “angel of God” mentioned in Exod 14:19, who in turn may be identical to the divine “presence” (literally, “face”) referred to in Exod 33:14-15 and Deut 4:37. Here in Isa 63 this messenger may be equated with God’s “holy Spirit” (see vv. 10-11) and “the Spirit of the Lord” (v. 14). See also Ps 139:7, where God’s “Spirit” seems to be equated with his “presence” (literally, “face”) in the synonymous parallelistic structure.

70 tn Or “redeemed” (KJV, NAB, NIV), or “delivered.”

71 tn Heb “all the days of antiquity”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “days of old.”

72 tn Or “grieved, hurt the feelings of.”

73 sn The phrase “holy Spirit” occurs in the OT only here (in v. 11 as well) and in Ps 51:11 (51:13 HT), where it is associated with the divine presence.

74 tn Heb “and he remembered the days of antiquity, Moses, his people.” The syntax of the statement is unclear. The translation assumes that “his people” is the subject of the verb “remembered.” If original, “Moses” is in apposition to “the days of antiquity,” more precisely identifying the time period referred to. However, the syntactical awkwardness suggests that “Moses” may have been an early marginal note (perhaps identifying “the shepherd of his flock” two lines later) that has worked its way into the text.

75 tn The Hebrew text has a plural form, which if retained and taken as a numerical plural, would probably refer to Moses, Aaron, and the Israelite tribal leaders at the time of the Exodus. Most prefer to emend the form to the singular (רָעָה, raah) and understand this as a reference just to Moses.

76 sn See the note at v. 10.

77 tn Heb “who caused to go at the right hand of Moses the arm of his splendor.”

78 tn Heb “making for himself a lasting name.”

79 tn Heb “in the desert [or “steppe”].”

80 tn The words “to graze” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

81 tn Or “so” (KJV, ASV), or “thus” (NAB, NRSV).

82 tn Heb “making for yourself a majestic name.”

83 tn This probably refers to his zeal for his people, which motivates him to angrily strike out against their enemies.

84 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “the agitation of your intestines and your compassion to me they are held back.” The phrase “agitation of your intestines” is metonymic, referring to the way in which one’s nervous system reacts when one feels pity and compassion toward another. אֵלַי (’elay, “to me”) is awkward in this context, where the speaker represents the nation and, following the introduction (see v. 7), utilizes first person plural forms. The translation assumes an emendation to the negative particle אַל (’al). This also necessitates emending the following verb form (which is a plural perfect) to a singular jussive (תִתְאַפָּק, titappaq). The Hitpael of אָפַק (’afaq) also occurs in 42:14.

85 tn Heb “our protector [or “redeemer”] from antiquity [is] your name.”

86 tn Some suggest a tolerative use of the Hiphil here, “[why do] you allow us to stray?” (cf. NLT). Though the Hiphil of תָעָה (taah) appears to be tolerative in Jer 50:6, elsewhere it is preferable or necessary to take it as causative. See Isa 3:12; 9:15; and 30:28, as well as Gen 20:13; 2 Kgs 21:9; Job 12:24-25; Prov 12:26; Jer 23:13, 32; Hos 4:12; Amos 2:4; Mic 3:5.

87 tn This probably refers to God’s commands.

88 tn Heb “[Why do] you harden our heart[s] so as not to fear you.” The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

sn How direct this hardening is, one cannot be sure. The speaker may envision direct involvement on the Lord’s part. The Lord has brought the exile as judgment for the nation’s sin and now he continues to keep them at arm’s length by blinding them spiritually. The second half of 64:7 might support this, though the precise reading of the final verb is uncertain. On the other hand, the idiom of lament is sometimes ironic and hyperbolically deterministic. For example, Naomi lamented that Shaddai was directly opposing her and bringing her calamity (Ruth 1:20-21), while the author of Ps 88 directly attributes his horrible suffering and loneliness to God (see especially vv. 6-8, 16-18). Both individuals make little, if any, room for intermediate causes or the principle of sin and death which ravages the human race. In the same way, the speaker in Isa 63:17 (who evidences great spiritual sensitivity and is anything but “hardened”) may be referring to the hardships of exile, which discouraged and even embittered the people, causing many of them to retreat from their Yahwistic faith. In this case, the “hardening” in view is more indirect and can be lifted by the Lord’s intervention. Whether the hardening here is indirect or direct, it is important to recognize that the speaker sees it as one of the effects of rebellion against the Lord (note especially 64:5-6).

89 tn Or “holy” (ASV, NASB, NRSV, TEV, NLT).

90 tn Heb “for a short time they had a possession, the people of your holiness.”

91 tn Heb “your adversaries trampled on.”

92 tn Heb “we were from antiquity” (see v. 16). The collocation עוֹלָם + מִן + הָיָה (hayah + min + ’olam) occurs only here.

93 tn Heb “you did not rule them, your name was not called over them.” The expression “the name is called over” indicates ownership; see the note at 4:1. As these two lines stand they are very difficult to interpret. They appear to be stating that the adversaries just mentioned in v. 18 have not been subject to the Lord’s rule in the past, perhaps explaining why they could commit the atrocity described in v. 18b.



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