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Isaiah 57:1-2

Context

57:1 The godly 1  perish,

but no one cares. 2 

Honest people disappear, 3 

when no one 4  minds 5 

that the godly 6  disappear 7  because of 8  evil. 9 

57:2 Those who live uprightly enter a place of peace;

they rest on their beds. 10 

1 tn Or “righteous” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “the just man”; TEV “Good people.”

2 tn Or perhaps, “understands.” Heb “and there is no man who sets [it] upon [his] heart.”

3 tn Heb “Men of loyalty are taken away.” The Niphal of אָסַף (’asaf) here means “to die.”

4 tn The Hebrew term בְּאֵין (bÿen) often has the nuance “when there is no.” See Prov 8:24; 11;14; 14:4; 15:22; 26:20; 29:18.

5 tn Or “realizes”; Heb “understands” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

6 tn Or “righteous” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “the just man.”

7 tn Heb “are taken away.” The Niphal of אָסַף (’asaf) here means “to die.”

8 tn The term מִפְּנֵי (mippÿne, “from the face of”) often has a causal nuance. It also appears with the Niphal of אָסַף (’asaph, “gather”) in 2 Chr 12:5: אֲשֶׁר־נֶאֶסְפוּ אֶל־יְרוּשָׁלַם מִפְּנֵי שִׁישָׁק (’asher-neesphuel-yÿrushalam mippÿney shishaq, “who had gathered at Jerusalem because of [i.e., due to fear of] Shishak”).

9 tn The translation assumes that this verse, in proverbial fashion, laments society’s apathy over the persecution of the godly. The second half of the verse observes that such apathy results in more widespread oppression. Since the next verse pictures the godly being taken to a place of rest, some interpret the second half of v. 1 in a more positive vein. According to proponents of this view, God removes the godly so that they might be spared suffering and calamity, a fact which the general populace fails to realize.

10 tn Heb “he enters peace, they rest on their beds, the one who walks straight ahead of himself.” The tomb is here viewed in a fairly positive way as a place where the dead are at peace and sleep undisturbed.



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