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Isaiah 59:2-13

Context

59:2 But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God;

your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers. 1 

59:3 For your hands are stained with blood

and your fingers with sin;

your lips speak lies,

your tongue utters malicious words.

59:4 No one is concerned about justice; 2 

no one sets forth his case truthfully.

They depend on false words 3  and tell lies;

they conceive of oppression 4 

and give birth to sin.

59:5 They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake

and spin a spider’s web.

Whoever eats their eggs will die,

a poisonous snake is hatched. 5 

59:6 Their webs cannot be used for clothing;

they cannot cover themselves with what they make.

Their deeds are sinful;

they commit violent crimes. 6 

59:7 They are eager to do evil, 7 

quick to shed innocent blood. 8 

Their thoughts are sinful;

they crush and destroy. 9 

59:8 They are unfamiliar with peace;

their deeds are unjust. 10 

They use deceitful methods,

and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace. 11 

Israel Confesses its Sin

59:9 For this reason deliverance 12  is far from us 13 

and salvation does not reach us.

We wait for light, 14  but see only darkness; 15 

we wait for 16  a bright light, 17  but live 18  in deep darkness. 19 

59:10 We grope along the wall like the blind,

we grope like those who cannot see; 20 

we stumble at noontime as if it were evening.

Though others are strong, we are like dead men. 21 

59:11 We all growl like bears,

we coo mournfully like doves;

we wait for deliverance, 22  but there is none,

for salvation, but it is far from us.

59:12 For you are aware of our many rebellious deeds, 23 

and our sins testify against us;

indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds;

we know our sins all too well. 24 

59:13 We have rebelled and tried to deceive the Lord;

we turned back from following our God.

We stir up 25  oppression and rebellion;

we tell lies we concocted in our minds. 26 

1 tn Heb “and your sins have caused [his] face to be hidden from you so as not to hear.”

2 tn Heb “no one pleads with justice.”

3 tn Heb “nothing”; NAB “emptiness.”

4 tn Or “trouble” (NIV), or “harm.”

5 tn Heb “that which is pressed in hatches [as] a snake.”

6 tn Heb “their deeds are deeds of sin, and the work of violence [is] in their hands.”

7 tn Heb “their feet run to evil.”

8 tn Heb “they quickly pour out innocent blood.”

9 tn Heb “their thoughts are thoughts of sin, destruction and crushing [are] in their roadways.”

10 tn Heb “a way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their pathways.”

11 tn Heb “their paths they make crooked, everyone who walks in it does not know peace.”

12 tn מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), which refers to “justice” in the earlier verses, here refers to “justice from God,” or “vindication.” Because the people are unjust, God refuses to vindicate them before their enemies. See v. 11.

13 sn The prophet speaks on behalf of the sinful nation and confesses its sins.

14 sn Light here symbolizes prosperity and blessing.

15 tn Heb “but, look, darkness”; NIV “but all is darkness.”

16 tn The words “we wait for” are supplied in the translation; the verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

17 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.

18 tn Or “walk about”; NCV “all we have is darkness.”

19 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.

20 tn Heb “like there are no eyes.”

21 tn Heb among the strong, like dead men.”

22 tn See the note at v. 9.

23 tn Heb “for many are our rebellious deeds before you.”

24 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] our rebellious deeds (are) with us, and our sins, we know them.”

25 tn Heb “speaking.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

26 tn Heb “conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.”



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