40:9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion!
Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! 1
Shout, don’t be afraid!
Say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
his military power establishes his rule. 3
Look, his reward is with him;
his prize goes before him. 4
40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;
he gathers up the lambs with his arm;
he carries them close to his heart; 5
he leads the ewes along.
or carefully weighed 9 the soil of the earth,
or weighed the mountains in a balance,
or the hills on scales? 10
1 tn The second feminine singular imperatives are addressed to personified Zion/Jerusalem, who is here told to ascend a high hill and proclaim the good news of the Lord’s return to the other towns of Judah. Isa 41:27 and 52:7 speak of a herald sent to Zion, but the masculine singular form מְבַשֵּׂר (mÿvaser) is used in these verses, in contrast to the feminine singular form מְבַשֶּׂרֶת (mÿvaseret) employed in 40:9, where Zion is addressed as a herald.
2 tn Heb “comes as a strong one”; ASV “will come as a mighty one.” The preposition בְּ (bet) here carries the nuance “in the capacity of.” It indicates that the Lord possesses the quality expressed by the noun. See GKC 379 §119.i and HALOT 104 s.v. בְּ.
4 tn As the Lord returns to Jerusalem as a victorious warrior, he brings with him the spoils of victory, called here his “reward” and “prize.” These terms might also be translated “wages” and “recompense.” Verse 11 indicates that his rescued people, likened to a flock of sheep, are his reward.
5 tn Heb “in his bosom” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV), an expression which reflects closeness and protective care.
6 tn The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has מי ים (“waters of the sea”), a reading followed by NAB.
7 tn Heb “with a span.” A “span” was the distance between the ends of the thumb and the little finger of the spread hand” (BDB 285 s.v. זֶרֶת).
8 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
9 tn Heb “or weighed by a third part [of a measure].”
10 sn The implied answer to the rhetorical questions of v. 12 is “no one but the Lord. The Lord, and no other, created the world. Like a merchant weighing out silver or commodities on a scale, the Lord established the various components of the physical universe in precise proportions.