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Isaiah 26:7

Context
God’s People Anticipate Vindication

26:7 1 The way of the righteous is level,

the path of the righteous that you make is straight. 2 

Isaiah 59:8

Context

59:8 They are unfamiliar with peace;

their deeds are unjust. 3 

They use deceitful methods,

and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace. 4 

1 sn The literary structure of chap. 26 is not entirely clear. The chapter begins with an eschatological song of praise and ends with a lament and prophetic response (vv. 16-21). It is not certain where the song of praise ends or how vv. 7-15 fit into the structure. Verses 10-11a seem to lament the presence of evil and v. 11b anticipates the arrival of judgment, so it is possible that vv. 7-15 are a prelude to the lament and announcement that conclude the chapter.

2 tc The Hebrew text has, “upright, the path of the righteous you make level.” There are three possible ways to translate this line. Some take יָשָׁר (yashar) as a divine title: “O Upright One” (cf. NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, NLT). Others regard יָשָׁר as the result of dittography (מֵישָׁרִים יָשָׁר ַמעְגַּל, mesharim yashar magal) and do not include it in the translation. Another possibility is to keep יָשָׁר and render the line as “the path of the righteous that you prepare is straight.”

sn The metaphor of a level/smooth road/path may refer to their morally upright manner of life (see v. 8a), but verse 7b, which attributes the smooth path to the Lord, suggests that the Lord’s vindication and blessing may be the reality behind the metaphor here.

3 tn Heb “a way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their pathways.”

4 tn Heb “their paths they make crooked, everyone who walks in it does not know peace.”



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