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Isaiah 41:8

Context
The Lord Encourages His People

41:8 “You, my servant Israel,

Jacob whom I have chosen,

offspring of Abraham my friend, 1 

Isaiah 42:1

Context
The Lord Commissions His Special Servant

42:1 2 “Here is my servant whom I support,

my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.

I have placed my spirit on him;

he will make just decrees 3  for the nations. 4 

Isaiah 44:4

Context

44:4 They will sprout up like a tree in the grass, 5 

like poplars beside channels of water.

Isaiah 49:7

Context

49:7 This is what the Lord,

the protector 6  of Israel, their Holy One, 7  says

to the one who is despised 8  and rejected 9  by nations, 10 

a servant of rulers:

“Kings will see and rise in respect, 11 

princes will bow down,

because of the faithful Lord,

the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”

1 tn Or perhaps, “covenantal partner” (see 1 Kgs 5:15 HT [5:1 ET]; 2 Chr 20:7).

2 sn Verses 1-7 contain the first of Isaiah’s “servant songs,” which describe the ministry of a special, ideal servant who accomplishes God’s purposes for Israel and the nations. This song depicts the servant as a just king who brings justice to the earth and relief for the oppressed. The other songs appear in 49:1-13; 50:4-11; and 52:13-53:12.

3 tn Heb “he will bring out justice” (cf. ASV, NASB, NRSV).

4 sn Like the ideal king portrayed in Isa 11:1-9, the servant is energized by the divine spirit and establishes justice on the earth.

5 tn The Hebrew term בֵין (ven) is usually taken as a preposition, in which case one might translate, “among the grass.” But בֵין is probably the name of a tree (cf. C. R. North, Second Isaiah, 133). If one alters the preposition bet (בְּ) to kaf (כְּ), one can then read, “like a binu-tree.” (The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa supports this reading.) This forms a nice parallel to “like poplars” in the next line. חָצִיר (khatsir) is functioning as an adverbial accusative of location.

6 tn Heb “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

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

8 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “to [one who] despises life.” It is preferable to read with the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa לבזוי, which should be vocalized as a passive participle, לִבְזוּי (livzuy, “to the one despised with respect to life” [נֶפֶשׁ is a genitive of specification]). The consonantal sequence וי was probably misread as ה in the MT tradition. The contextual argument favors the 1QIsaa reading. As J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:294) points out, the three terse phrases “convey a picture of lowliness, worthlessness, and helplessness.”

9 tn MT’s Piel participle (“to the one who rejects”) does not fit contextually. The form should be revocalized as a Pual, “to the one rejected.”

10 tn Parallelism (see “rulers,” “kings,” “princes”) suggests that the singular גּוֹי (goy) be emended to a plural or understood in a collective sense (see 55:5).

11 tn For this sense of קוּם (qum), see Gen 19:1; 23:7; 33:10; Lev 19:32; 1 Sam 20:41; 25:41; 1 Kgs 2:19; Job 29:8.



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