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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 1  of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people 2  will see it at the same time.

For 3  the Lord has decreed it.” 4 

Isaiah 43:1-7

Context
The Lord Will Rescue His People

43:1 Now, this is what the Lord says,

the one who created you, O Jacob,

and formed you, O Israel:

“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect 5  you.

I call you by name, you are mine.

43:2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;

when you pass 6  through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;

the flames will not harm 7  you.

43:3 For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, 8  your deliverer.

I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,

Ethiopia and Seba 9  in place of you.

43:4 Since you are precious and special in my sight, 10 

and I love you,

I will hand over people in place of you,

nations in place of your life.

43:5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

From the east I will bring your descendants;

from the west I will gather you.

43:6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’

and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’

Bring my sons from distant lands,

and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,

43:7 everyone who belongs to me, 11 

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed – yes, whom I made!

Isaiah 43:14-21

Context
The Lord Will Do Something New

43:14 This is what the Lord says,

your protector, 12  the Holy One of Israel: 13 

“For your sake I send to Babylon

and make them all fugitives, 14 

turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs. 15 

43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, 16 

the one who created Israel, your king.”

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, 17 

together with a mighty army.

They fell down, 18  never to rise again;

they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:

43:18 “Don’t remember these earlier events; 19 

don’t recall these former events.

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

Now it begins to happen! 20  Do you not recognize 21  it?

Yes, I will make a road in the desert

and paths 22  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.” 23 

Isaiah 48:20-22

Context

48:20 Leave Babylon!

Flee from the Babylonians!

Announce it with a shout of joy!

Make this known!

Proclaim it throughout the earth! 24 

Say, ‘The Lord protects 25  his servant Jacob.

48:21 They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;

he makes water flow out of a rock for them;

he splits open a rock and water flows out.’ 26 

48:22 There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 51:9-11

Context

51:9 Wake up! Wake up!

Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord! 27 

Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity!

Did you not smash 28  the Proud One? 29 

Did you not 30  wound the sea monster? 31 

51:10 Did you not dry up the sea,

the waters of the great deep?

Did you not make 32  a path through the depths of the sea,

so those delivered from bondage 33  could cross over?

51:11 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return;

they will enter Zion with a happy shout.

Unending joy will crown them, 34 

happiness and joy will overwhelm 35  them;

grief and suffering will disappear. 36 

1 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).

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

3 tn Or “indeed.”

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

5 tn Or “redeem.” See the note at 41:14. Cf. NCV “saved you”; CEV “rescued you”; NLT “ransomed you.”

6 tn The verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

7 tn Heb “burn” (so NASB); NAB, NRSV, NLT “consume”; NIV “set you ablaze.”

8 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

9 sn Seba is not the same as Sheba in southern Arabia; cf. Gen 1:10; 1 Chr 1:9.

10 tn Heb “Since you are precious in my eyes and you are honored.”

11 tn Heb “everyone who is called by my name” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

12 tn Or “kinsman redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

13 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

14 tn Heb “and I bring down [as] fugitives all of them.”

15 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “as for the Babylonians, in ships their joyful shout.” This might be paraphrased, “even the Babylonians in the ships [over which] they joyfully shouted.” The point would be that the Lord caused the Babylonians to flee for safety in the ships in which they took such great pride. A slight change in vocalization yields the reading “into mourning songs,” which provides a good contrast with “joyful shout.” The prefixed bet (בְּ) would indicate identity.

16 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

17 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 tn Heb “redeems.” See the note at 41:14.

26 sn The translation above (present tense) assumes that this verse describes God’s provision for returning Babylonian exiles (see v. 20; 35:6; 49:10) in terms reminiscent of the Exodus from Egypt (see Exod 17:6).

27 tn The arm of the Lord is a symbol of divine military power. Here it is personified and told to arouse itself from sleep and prepare for action.

28 tn Heb “Are you not the one who smashed?” The feminine singular forms agree grammatically with the feminine noun “arm.” The Hebrew text has ַהמַּחְצֶבֶת (hammakhtsevet), from the verbal root חָצַב (khatsav, “hew, chop”). The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has, probably correctly, המחצת, from the verbal root מָחַץ (makhats, “smash”) which is used in Job 26:12 to describe God’s victory over “the Proud One.”

29 tn This title (רַהַב, rahav, “proud one”) is sometimes translated as a proper name: “Rahab” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). It is used here of a symbolic sea monster, known elsewhere in the Bible and in Ugaritic myth as Leviathan. This sea creature symbolizes the forces of chaos that seek to destroy the created order. In the Bible “the Proud One” opposes God’s creative work, but is defeated (see Job 26:12; Ps 89:10). Here the title refers to Pharaoh’s Egyptian army that opposed Israel at the Red Sea (see v. 10, and note also Isa 30:7 and Ps 87:4, where the title is used of Egypt).

30 tn The words “did you not” are understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line). The rhetorical questions here and in v. 10 expect the answer, “Yes, you certainly did!”

31 tn Hebrew תַּנִּין (tannin) is another name for the symbolic sea monster. See the note at 27:1. In this context the sea creature represents Egypt. See the note on the title “Proud One” earlier in this verse.

32 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “Are you not the one who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made…?”

33 tn Heb “the redeemed” (so ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); KJV “the ransomed.”

34 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.

35 tn Heb “overtake” (so NIV); NASB “they will obtain.”

36 tn Heb “grief and groaning will flee.”



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