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Isaiah 35:3-10

Context

35:3 Strengthen the hands that have gone limp,

steady the knees that shake! 1 

35:4 Tell those who panic, 2 

“Be strong! Do not fear!

Look, your God comes to avenge!

With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.” 3 

35:5 Then blind eyes will open,

deaf ears will hear.

35:6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,

the mute tongue will shout for joy;

for water will flow 4  in the desert,

streams in the wilderness. 5 

35:7 The dry soil will become a pool of water,

the parched ground springs of water.

Where jackals once lived and sprawled out,

grass, reeds, and papyrus will grow.

35:8 A thoroughfare will be there –

it will be called the Way of Holiness. 6 

The unclean will not travel on it;

it is reserved for those authorized to use it 7 

fools 8  will not stray into it.

35:9 No lions will be there,

no ferocious wild animals will be on it 9 

they will not be found there.

Those delivered from bondage will travel on it,

35:10 those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way. 10 

They will enter Zion with a happy shout.

Unending joy will crown them, 11 

happiness and joy will overwhelm 12  them;

grief and suffering will disappear. 13 

Isaiah 40:3-5

Context

40:3 A voice cries out,

“In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;

construct in the desert a road for our God.

40:4 Every valley must be elevated,

and every mountain and hill leveled.

The rough terrain will become a level plain,

the rugged landscape a wide valley.

40:5 The splendor 14  of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people 15  will see it at the same time.

For 16  the Lord has decreed it.” 17 

Isaiah 40:11

Context

40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;

he gathers up the lambs with his arm;

he carries them close to his heart; 18 

he leads the ewes along.

Isaiah 41:17-20

Context

41:17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;

their tongues are parched from thirst.

I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers; 19 

I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

41:18 I will make streams flow down the slopes

and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.

I will turn the desert into a pool of water

and the arid land into springs.

41:19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;

I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.

41:20 I will do this so 20  people 21  will observe and recognize,

so they will pay attention and understand

that the Lord’s power 22  has accomplished this,

and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.” 23 

Isaiah 42:14-17

Context

42:14 “I have been inactive 24  for a long time;

I kept quiet and held back.

Like a woman in labor I groan;

I pant and gasp. 25 

42:15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up; 26 

I will dry up all their vegetation.

I will turn streams into islands, 27 

and dry up pools of water. 28 

42:16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; 29 

I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. 30 

I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,

and level out the rough ground. 31 

This is what I will do for them.

I will not abandon them.

42:17 Those who trust in idols

will turn back and be utterly humiliated, 32 

those who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’”

Isaiah 43:16-21

Context

43:16 This is what the Lord says,

the one who made a road through the sea,

a pathway through the surging waters,

43:17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction, 33 

together with a mighty army.

They fell down, 34  never to rise again;

they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:

43:18 “Don’t remember these earlier events; 35 

don’t recall these former events.

43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new.

Now it begins to happen! 36  Do you not recognize 37  it?

Yes, I will make a road in the desert

and paths 38  in the wilderness.

43:20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,

the jackals and ostriches,

because I put water in the desert

and streams in the wilderness,

to quench the thirst of my chosen people,

43:21 the people whom I formed for myself,

so they might praise me.” 39 

Isaiah 49:9-13

Context

49:9 You will say 40  to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’

and to those who are in dark dungeons, 41  ‘Emerge.’ 42 

They will graze beside the roads;

on all the slopes they will find pasture.

49:10 They will not be hungry or thirsty;

the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, 43 

for one who has compassion on them will guide them;

he will lead them to springs of water.

49:11 I will make all my mountains into a road;

I will construct my roadways.”

49:12 Look, they come from far away!

Look, some come from the north and west,

and others from the land of Sinim! 44 

49:13 Shout for joy, O sky! 45 

Rejoice, O earth!

Let the mountains give a joyful shout!

For the Lord consoles his people

and shows compassion to the 46  oppressed.

1 tn Heb “staggering knees”; KJV, ASV, NRSV “feeble knees”; NIV “knees that give way.”

2 tn Heb “Say to the hasty of heart,” i.e., those whose hearts beat quickly from fear.

3 tn The jussive form וְיֹשַׁעֲכֶם (vÿyoshaakhem), which is subordinated to the preceding imperfect with vav conjunctive, indicates purpose.

4 tn Heb “burst forth” (so NAB); KJV “break out.”

5 tn Or “Arabah” (NASB); KJV, NIV, NRSV, NLT “desert.”

6 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and there will be there a road and a way, and the Way of Holiness it will be called.” וְדֶרֶךְ (vÿderekh, “and a/the way”) is accidentally duplicated; the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa does not reflect the repetition of the phrase.

7 tn The precise meaning of this line is uncertain. The text reads literally “and it is for them, the one who walks [on the] way.” In this context those authorized to use the Way of Holiness would be morally upright people who are the recipients of God’s deliverance, in contrast to the morally impure and foolish who are excluded from the new covenant community.

8 tn In this context “fools” are those who are morally corrupt, not those with limited intellectual capacity.

9 tn Heb “will go up on it”; TEV “will pass that way.”

10 tn Heb “and the redeemed will walk, the ransomed of the Lord will return.”

11 tn Heb “[will be] on their head[s].” “Joy” may be likened here to a crown (cf. 2 Sam 1:10). The statement may also be an ironic twist on the idiom “earth/dust on the head” (cf. 2 Sam 1:2; 13:19; 15:32; Job 2:12), referring to a mourning practice.

12 tn Heb “will overtake” (NIV); NLT “they will be overcome with.”

13 tn Heb “grief and groaning will flee”; KJV “sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

14 tn Or “glory.” The Lord’s “glory” is his theophanic radiance and royal splendor (see Isa 6:3; 24:23; 35:2; 60:1; 66:18-19).

15 tn Heb “flesh” (so KJV, ASV, NASB); NAB, NIV “mankind”; TEV “the whole human race.”

16 tn Or “indeed.”

17 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

18 tn Heb “in his bosom” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV), an expression which reflects closeness and protective care.

19 tn Heb “will answer them” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

20 tn The words “I will do this” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Hebrew text has here simply, “in order that.”

21 tn Heb “they”; NAB, NRSV “that all may see”; CEV, NLT “Everyone will see.”

22 tn Heb “hand” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

23 tn Or “created it” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “has made it happen.”

24 tn Heb “silent” (so NASB, NIV, TEV, NLT); CEV “have held my temper.”

25 sn The imagery depicts the Lord as a warrior who is eager to fight and can no longer hold himself back from the attack.

26 tn Heb “I will dry up the mountains and hills.” The “mountains and hills” stand by synecdoche for the trees that grow on them. Some prefer to derive the verb from a homonymic root and translate, “I will lay waste.”

27 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will turn streams into coastlands [or “islands”].” Scholars who believe that this reading makes little sense have proposed an emendation of אִיִּים (’iyyim, “islands”) to צִיּוֹת (tsiyyot, “dry places”; cf. NCV, NLT, TEV). However, since all the versions support the MT reading, there is insufficient grounds for an emendation here. Although the imagery of changing rivers into islands is somewhat strange, J. N. Oswalt describes this imagery against the backdrop of rivers of the Near East. The receding of these rivers at times occasioned the appearance of previously submerged islands (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:126).

28 sn The imagery of this verse, which depicts the Lord bringing a curse of infertility to the earth, metaphorically describes how the Lord will destroy his enemies.

29 tn Heb “a way they do not know” (so NASB); NRSV “a road they do not know.”

30 tn Heb “in paths they do not know I will make them walk.”

31 tn Heb “and the rough ground into a level place.”

32 tn Heb “be ashamed with shame”; ASV, NASB “be utterly put to shame.”

33 tn Heb “led out chariots and horses.” The words “to destruction” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The verse refers to the destruction of the Egyptians at the Red Sea.

34 tn Heb “lay down”; NAB “lie prostrate together”; CEV “lie dead”; NRSV “they lie down.”

35 tn Heb “the former things” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “forget all that.”

36 tn Heb “sprouts up”; NASB “will spring forth.”

37 tn Or “know” (KJV, ASV); NASB “be aware of”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “perceive.”

38 tn The Hebrew texts has “streams,” probably under the influence of v. 20. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has נתיבות (“paths”).

39 tn Heb “[so] they might declare my praise.”

40 tn Heb “to say.” In the Hebrew text the infinitive construct is subordinated to what precedes.

41 tn Heb “in darkness” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “the prisoners of darkness.”

42 tn Heb “show yourselves” (so ASV, NAB, NASB).

43 tn Heb “and the heat and the sun will not strike them.” In Isa 35:7, its only other occurrence in the OT, שָׁרָב (sharav) stands parallel to “parched ground” and in contrast to “pool.” In later Hebrew and Aramaic it refers to “dry heat, heat of the sun” (Jastrow 1627 s.v.). Here it likely has this nuance and forms a hendiadys with “sun.”

44 tc The MT reads “Sinim” here; the Dead Sea Scrolls read “Syene,” a location in Egypt associated with modern Aswan. A number of recent translations adopt this reading: “Syene” (NAB, NRSV); “Aswan” (NIV); “Egypt” (NLT).

sn The precise location of the land of Sinim is uncertain, but since the north and west are mentioned in the previous line, it was a probably located in the distant east or south.

45 tn Or “O heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

46 tn Heb “his” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).



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