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Isaiah 26:1-6

Context
Judah Will Celebrate

26:1 At that time 1  this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

“We have a strong city!

The Lord’s 2  deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure. 3 

26:2 Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter –

one that remains trustworthy.

26:3 You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith,

for they trust in you. 4 

26:4 Trust in the Lord from this time forward, 5 

even in Yah, the Lord, an enduring protector! 6 

26:5 Indeed, 7  the Lord knocks down those who live in a high place,

he brings down an elevated town;

he brings it down to the ground, 8 

he throws it down to the dust.

26:6 It is trampled underfoot

by the feet of the oppressed,

by the soles of the poor.”

1 tn Heb “In that day” (so KJV).

2 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “deliverance he makes walls and a rampart.”

4 tn Heb “[one of] firm purpose you will keep [in] peace, peace, for in you he possesses trust.” The Hebrew term יֵצֶר (yetser) refers to what one devises in the mind; סָמוּךְ (samukh) probably functions here like an attributive adjective and carries the nuance “firm.” So the phrase literally means, “a firm purpose,” but as the object of the verb “keep, guard,” it must stand by metonymy for the one(s) who possess a firm purpose. In this context the “righteous nation” (v. 2) is probably in view and the “firm purpose” refers to their unwavering faith in God’s vindication (see 25:9). In this context שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”), which is repeated for emphasis, likely refers to national security, not emotional or psychological composure (see vv. 1-2). The passive participle בָּטוּחַ (batuakh) expresses a state that results from the subject’s action.

5 tn Or “forevermore.” For other uses of the phrase עֲדֵי־עַד (’ade-ad) see Isa 65:18 and Pss 83:17; 92:7.

6 tc The Hebrew text has “for in Yah, the Lord, an everlasting rock.” Some have suggested that the phrase בְּיָהּ (beyah, “in Yah”) is the result of dittography. A scribe seeing כִּי יְהוָה (ki yÿhvah) in his original text would somehow have confused the letters and accidentally inserted בְּיָהּ between the words (bet and kaf [ב and כ] can be confused in later script phases). A number of English versions retain both divine names for emphasis (ESV, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, NLT). One of the Qumran texts (1QIsaa) confirms the MT reading as well.

7 tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

8 tn The translation assumes that יַשְׁפִּילֶנָּה (yashpilennah) goes with the preceding words “an elevated town,” and that יַשְׁפִּילָהּ (yashpilah) belongs with the following words, “to the ground.” See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:469, n. 7.



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