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Isaiah 54:1-8

Context
Zion Will Be Secure

54:1 “Shout for joy, O barren one who has not given birth!

Give a joyful shout and cry out, you who have not been in labor!

For the children of the desolate one are more numerous

than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.

54:2 Make your tent larger,

stretch your tent curtains farther out! 1 

Spare no effort,

lengthen your ropes,

and pound your stakes deep. 2 

54:3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;

your children will conquer 3  nations

and will resettle desolate cities.

54:4 Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame!

Don’t be intimidated, 4  for you will not be humiliated!

You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth;

you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment. 5 

54:5 For your husband is the one who made you –

the Lord who commands armies is his name.

He is your protector, 6  the Holy One of Israel. 7 

He is called “God of the entire earth.”

54:6 “Indeed, the Lord will call you back

like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression, 8 

like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God.

54:7 “For a short time I abandoned 9  you,

but with great compassion I will gather you.

54:8 In a burst 10  of anger I rejected you 11  momentarily,

but with lasting devotion I will have compassion on you,”

says your protector, 12  the Lord.

1 tn Heb “the curtains of our dwelling places let them stretch out.”

2 tn Heb “your stakes strengthen.”

3 tn Or “take possession of”; NAB “shall dispossess.”

4 tn Or “embarrassed”; NASB “humiliated…disgraced.”

5 tn Another option is to translate, “the disgrace of our widowhood” (so NRSV). However, the following context (vv. 6-7) refers to Zion’s husband, the Lord, abandoning her, not dying. This suggests that an אַלְמָנָה (’almanah) was a woman who had lost her husband, whether by death or abandonment.

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

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

8 tn Heb “like a woman abandoned and grieved in spirit.”

9 tn Or “forsook” (NASB).

10 tn According to BDB 1009 s.v. שֶׁטֶף the noun שֶׁצֶף here is an alternate form of שֶׁטֶף (shetef, “flood”). Some relate the word to an alleged Akkadian cognate meaning “strength.”

11 tn Heb “I hid my face from you.”

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



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