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Isaiah 56:1-8

Context
The Lord Invites Outsiders to Enter

56:1 This is what the Lord says,

“Promote 1  justice! Do what is right!

For I am ready to deliver you;

I am ready to vindicate you openly. 2 

56:2 The people who do this will be blessed, 3 

the people who commit themselves to obedience, 4 

who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it,

who refrain from doing anything that is wrong. 5 

56:3 No foreigner who becomes a follower of 6  the Lord should say,

‘The Lord will certainly 7  exclude me from his people.’

The eunuch should not say,

‘Look, I am like a dried-up tree.’”

56:4 For this is what the Lord says:

“For the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths

and choose what pleases me

and are faithful to 8  my covenant,

56:5 I will set up within my temple and my walls a monument 9 

that will be better than sons and daughters.

I will set up a permanent monument 10  for them that will remain.

56:6 As for foreigners who become followers of 11  the Lord and serve him,

who love the name of the Lord and want to be his servants –

all who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it,

and who are faithful to 12  my covenant –

56:7 I will bring them to my holy mountain;

I will make them happy in the temple where people pray to me. 13 

Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar,

for my temple will be known as a temple where all nations may pray.” 14 

56:8 The sovereign Lord says this,

the one who gathers the dispersed of Israel:

“I will still gather them up.” 15 

1 tn Heb “guard”; KJV “Keep”; NAB “Observe”; NASB “Preserve”; NIV, NRSV “Maintain.”

2 tn Heb “for near is my deliverance to enter, and my vindication [or “righteousness”] to be revealed.”

3 tn Heb “blessed is the man who does this.”

4 tn Heb “the son of mankind who takes hold of it.”

5 tn Heb and who keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

6 tn Heb “who attaches himself to.”

7 tn The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

8 tn Heb “and take hold of” (so KJV); NASB “hold fast.”

9 tn Heb “a hand and a name.” For other examples where יָד (yad) refers to a monument, see HALOT 388 s.v.

10 tn Heb “name” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV).

11 tn Heb “who attach themselves to.”

12 tn Heb “and take hold of”; NAB “hold to”; NIV, NRSV “hold fast.”

13 tn Heb “in the house of my prayer.”

14 tn Heb “for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.”

15 tn The meaning of the statement is unclear. The text reads literally, “Still I will gather upon him to his gathered ones.” Perhaps the preposition -לְ (lamed) before “gathered ones” introduces the object of the verb, as in Jer 49:5. The third masculine singular suffix on both עָלָיו (’alayv) and נִקְבָּצָיו (niqbatsayv) probably refers to “Israel.” In this case one can translate literally, “Still I will gather to him his gathered ones.”



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