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Isaiah 30:18-26

Context
The Lord Will Not Abandon His People

30:18 For this reason the Lord is ready to show you mercy;

he sits on his throne, ready to have compassion on you. 1 

Indeed, the Lord is a just God;

all who wait for him in faith will be blessed. 2 

30:19 For people will live in Zion;

in Jerusalem 3  you will weep no more. 4 

When he hears your cry of despair, he will indeed show you mercy;

when he hears it, he will respond to you. 5 

30:20 The sovereign master 6  will give you distress to eat

and suffering to drink; 7 

but your teachers will no longer be hidden;

your eyes will see them. 8 

30:21 You 9  will hear a word spoken behind you, saying,

“This is the correct 10  way, walk in it,”

whether you are heading to the right or the left.

30:22 You will desecrate your silver-plated idols 11 

and your gold-plated images. 12 

You will throw them away as if they were a menstrual rag,

saying to them, “Get out!”

30:23 He will water the seed you plant in the ground,

and the ground will produce crops in abundance. 13 

At that time 14  your cattle will graze in wide pastures.

30:24 The oxen and donkeys used in plowing 15 

will eat seasoned feed winnowed with a shovel and pitchfork. 16 

30:25 On every high mountain

and every high hill

there will be streams flowing with water,

at the time of 17  great slaughter when the fortified towers collapse.

30:26 The light of the full moon will be like the sun’s glare

and the sun’s glare will be seven times brighter,

like the light of seven days, 18 

when the Lord binds up his people’s fractured bones 19 

and heals their severe wound. 20 

1 tn Heb “Therefore the Lord waits to show you mercy, and therefore he is exalted to have compassion on you.” The logical connection between this verse and what precedes is problematic. The point seems to be that Judah’s impending doom does not bring God joy. Rather the prospect of their suffering stirs within him a willingness to show mercy and compassion, if they are willing to seek him on his terms.

2 tn Heb “Blessed are all who wait for him.”

3 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

4 tn Heb “For people in Zion will live, in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.” The phrase “in Jerusalem” could be taken with what precedes. Some prefer to emend יֵשֵׁב (yeshev, “will live,” a Qal imperfect) to יֹשֵׁב (yoshev, a Qal active participle) and translate “For [you] people in Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.”

5 tn Heb “he will indeed show you mercy at the sound of your crying out; when he hears, he will answer you.”

6 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai).

7 tn Heb “and the Master will give to you bread – distress, and water – oppression.”

8 tn Heb “but your teachers will no longer be hidden, your eyes will be seeing your teachers.” The translation assumes that the form מוֹרֶיךָ (morekha) is a plural participle, referring to spiritual leaders such as prophets and priests. Another possibility is that the form is actually singular (see GKC 273-74 §93.ss) or a plural of respect, referring to God as the master teacher. See HALOT 560-61 s.v. III מוֹרֶה. For discussion of the views, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:560.

9 tn Heb “your ears” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

10 tn The word “correct’ is supplied in the translation for clarification.

11 tn Heb “the platings of your silver idols.”

12 tn Heb “the covering of your gold image.”

13 tn Heb “and he will give rain for your seed which you plant in the ground, and food [will be] the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and abundant.”

14 tn Or “in that day” (KJV).

15 tn Heb “the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground.”

16 sn Crops will be so abundant that even the work animals will eat well.

17 tn Or “in the day of” (KJV).

18 sn Light here symbolizes restoration of divine blessing and prosperity. The number “seven” is used symbolically to indicate intensity. The exact meaning of the phrase “the light of seven days” is uncertain; it probably means “seven times brighter” (see the parallel line).

19 tn Heb “the fracture of his people” (so NASB).

sn The Lord is here compared to a physician setting a broken bone in a bandage or cast.

20 tn Heb “the injury of his wound.” The joining of synonyms emphasizes the severity of the wound. Another option is to translate, “the wound of his blow.” In this case the pronominal suffix might refer to the Lord, not the people, yielding the translation, “the wound which he inflicted.”



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