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Isaiah 43:14-21

Context
The Lord Will Do Something New

43:14 This is what the Lord says,

your protector, 1  the Holy One of Israel: 2 

“For your sake I send to Babylon

and make them all fugitives, 3 

turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs. 4 

43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, 5 

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, 6 

together with a mighty army.

They fell down, 7  never to rise again;

they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:

43:18 “Don’t remember these earlier events; 8 

don’t recall these former events.

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

Now it begins to happen! 9  Do you not recognize 10  it?

Yes, I will make a road in the desert

and paths 11  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.” 12 

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

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

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

4 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.

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

6 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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