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Isaiah 1:29

Context

1:29 Indeed, they 1  will be ashamed of the sacred trees

you 2  find so desirable;

you will be embarrassed because of the sacred orchards 3 

where you choose to worship.

Isaiah 44:9

Context

44:9 All who form idols are nothing;

the things in which they delight are worthless.

Their witnesses cannot see;

they recognize nothing, so they are put to shame.

Isaiah 53:2

Context

53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God, 4 

like a root out of parched soil; 5 

he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, 6 

no special appearance that we should want to follow him. 7 

1 tc The Hebrew text (and the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa) has the third person here, though a few Hebrew mss (and Targums) read the second person, which is certainly more consistent with the following context. The third person form is the more difficult reading and probably original. This disagreement in person has caused some to emend the first verb (3rd plural) to a 2nd plural form (followed by most English translations). The BHS textual apparatus suggests that the 2nd plural form be read even though there is only sparse textual evidence. LXX, Syriac, and the Vulgate change all the 2nd person verbs in 1:29-31 to 3rd person verbs. It is likely that the change to a 2nd person form represents an attempt at syntactical harmonization (J. de Waard, Isaiah, 10). The abrupt change from 3rd person to 2nd person may have been intentional for rhetorical impact (GKC 462 §144.p). The rapid change from exclamation (they did!) to reproach (you desired!) might be regarded as a rhetorical figure focusing attention on the addressees and their conditions (de Waard, 10; E. König, Stilistik, Rhetorik, Poetik, 239). This use of the 3rd person could also be understood as an impersonal third person: “one will be ashamed” (de Waard, 10). In v. 29 the prophet continues his description of the sinners (v. 28), but then suddenly makes a transition to direct address (switching from 3rd to 2nd person) in the middle of his sentence.

2 tn The second person pronouns in vv. 29-30 are masculine plural, indicating that the rebellious sinners (v. 28) are addressed.

3 tn Or “gardens” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NAB “groves.”

4 tn Heb “before him.” Some suggest an emendation to “before us.” If the third singular suffix of the Hebrew text is retained, it probably refers to the Lord (see v. 1b). For a defense of this reading, see R. Whybray, Isaiah 40-66 (NCBC), 173-74.

5 sn The metaphor in this verse suggests insignificance.

6 tn Heb “that we might see him.” The vav conjunctive prefixed to the imperfect introduces a result clause here. See GKC 504-5 §166.a.

7 tn Heb “that we should desire him.” The vav conjunctive prefixed to the imperfect introduces a result clause here. See GKC 504-5 §166.a.



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