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Isaiah 41:2

Context

41:2 Who stirs up this one from the east? 1 

Who 2  officially commissions him for service? 3 

He hands nations over to him, 4 

and enables him to subdue 5  kings.

He makes them like dust with his sword,

like windblown straw with his bow. 6 

Isaiah 41:15-16

Context

41:15 “Look, I am making you like 7  a sharp threshing sledge,

new and double-edged. 8 

You will thresh the mountains and crush them;

you will make the hills like straw. 9 

41:16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;

the wind will scatter them.

You will rejoice in the Lord;

you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

1 sn The expression this one from the east refers to the Persian conqueror Cyrus, as later texts indicate (see 44:28-45:6; 46:11; 48:14-16).

2 tn The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis.

3 tn Heb “[in] righteousness called him to his foot.”

4 tn Heb “he [the Lord] places before him [Cyrus] nations.”

5 tn The verb יַרְדְּ (yardÿ) is an otherwise unattested Hiphil form from רָדָה (radah, “rule”). But the Hiphil makes no sense with “kings” as object; one must understand an ellipsis and supply “him” (Cyrus) as the object. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has יוֹרִד (yorid), which appears to be a Hiphil form from יָרַד (yarad, “go down”). Others suggest reading יָרֹד (yarod), a Qal form from רָדַד (radad, “beat down”).

6 sn The point is that they are powerless before Cyrus’ military power and scatter before him.

7 tn Heb “into” (so NIV); ASV “have made thee to be.”

8 tn Heb “owner of two-mouths,” i.e., double-edged.

9 sn The mountains and hills symbolize hostile nations that are obstacles to Israel’s restoration.



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