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Isaiah 64:4-5

Context

64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard or perceived, 1 

no eye has seen any God besides you,

who intervenes for those who wait for him.

64:5 You assist 2  those who delight in doing what is right, 3 

who observe your commandments. 4 

Look, you were angry because we violated them continually.

How then can we be saved? 5 

1 tn Heb “from ancient times they have not heard, they have not listened.”

2 tn Heb “meet [with kindness].”

3 tn Heb “the one who rejoices and does righteousness.”

4 tn Heb “in your ways they remember you.”

5 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “look, you were angry and we sinned against them continually [or perhaps, “in ancient times”] and we were delivered.” The statement makes little sense as it stands. The first vav [ו] consecutive (“and we sinned”) must introduce an explanatory clause here (see Num 1:48 and Isa 39:1 for other examples of this relatively rare use of the vav [ו] consecutive). The final verb (if rendered positively) makes no sense in this context – God’s anger at their sin resulted in judgment, not deliverance. One of the alternatives involves an emendation to וַנִּרְשָׁע (vannirsha’, “and we were evil”; LXX, NRSV, TEV). The Vulgate and the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa support the MT reading. One can either accept an emendation or cast the statement as a question (as above).



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