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Isaiah 40:1--48:22

Context
The Lord Returns to Jerusalem

40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people,”

says your 1  God.

40:2 “Speak kindly to 2  Jerusalem, 3  and tell her

that her time of warfare is over, 4 

that her punishment is completed. 5 

For the Lord has made her pay double 6  for all her sins.”

40:3 A voice cries out,

“In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;

construct in the desert a road for our God.

40:4 Every valley must be elevated,

and every mountain and hill leveled.

The rough terrain will become a level plain,

the rugged landscape a wide valley.

40:5 The splendor 7  of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people 8  will see it at the same time.

For 9  the Lord has decreed it.” 10 

40:6 A voice says, “Cry out!”

Another asks, 11  “What should I cry out?”

The first voice responds: 12  “All people are like grass, 13 

and all their promises 14  are like the flowers in the field.

40:7 The grass dries up,

the flowers wither,

when the wind sent by the Lord 15  blows on them.

Surely humanity 16  is like grass.

40:8 The grass dries up,

the flowers wither,

but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” 17 

40:9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion!

Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! 18 

Shout, don’t be afraid!

Say to the towns of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

40:10 Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior; 19 

his military power establishes his rule. 20 

Look, his reward is with him;

his prize goes before him. 21 

40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;

he gathers up the lambs with his arm;

he carries them close to his heart; 22 

he leads the ewes along.

The Lord is Incomparable

40:12 Who has measured out the waters 23  in the hollow of his hand,

or carefully 24  measured the sky, 25 

or carefully weighed 26  the soil of the earth,

or weighed the mountains in a balance,

or the hills on scales? 27 

40:13 Who comprehends 28  the mind 29  of the Lord,

or gives him instruction as his counselor? 30 

40:14 From whom does he receive directions? 31 

Who 32  teaches him the correct way to do things, 33 

or imparts knowledge to him,

or instructs him in skillful design? 34 

40:15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;

they are regarded as dust on the scales.

He lifts 35  the coastlands 36  as if they were dust.

40:16 Not even Lebanon could supply enough firewood for a sacrifice; 37 

its wild animals would not provide enough burnt offerings. 38 

40:17 All the nations are insignificant before him;

they are regarded as absolutely nothing. 39 

40:18 To whom can you compare God?

To what image can you liken him?

40:19 A craftsman casts 40  an idol;

a metalsmith overlays it with gold

and forges silver chains for it.

40:20 To make a contribution one selects wood that will not rot; 41 

he then seeks a skilled craftsman

to make 42  an idol that will not fall over.

40:21 Do you not know?

Do you not hear?

Has it not been told to you since the very beginning?

Have you not understood from the time the earth’s foundations were made?

40:22 He is the one who sits on the earth’s horizon; 43 

its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. 44 

He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, 45 

and spreads it out 46  like a pitched tent. 47 

40:23 He is the one who reduces rulers to nothing;

he makes the earth’s leaders insignificant.

40:24 Indeed, they are barely planted;

yes, they are barely sown;

yes, they barely take root in the earth,

and then he blows on them, causing them to dry up,

and the wind carries them away like straw.

40:25 “To whom can you compare me? Whom do I resemble?”

says the Holy One. 48 

40:26 Look up at the sky! 49 

Who created all these heavenly lights? 50 

He is the one who leads out their ranks; 51 

he calls them all by name.

Because of his absolute power and awesome strength,

not one of them is missing.

40:27 Why do you say, Jacob,

Why do you say, Israel,

“The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me, 52 

My God is not concerned with my vindication”? 53 

40:28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is an eternal God,

the creator of the whole earth. 54 

He does not get tired or weary;

there is no limit to his wisdom. 55 

40:29 He gives strength to those who are tired;

to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.

40:30 Even youths get tired and weary;

even strong young men clumsily stumble. 56 

40:31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help 57  find renewed strength;

they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, 58 

they run without growing weary,

they walk without getting tired.

The Lord Challenges the Nations

41:1 “Listen to me in silence, you coastlands! 59 

Let the nations find renewed strength!

Let them approach and then speak;

let us come together for debate! 60 

41:2 Who stirs up this one from the east? 61 

Who 62  officially commissions him for service? 63 

He hands nations over to him, 64 

and enables him to subdue 65  kings.

He makes them like dust with his sword,

like windblown straw with his bow. 66 

41:3 He pursues them and passes by unharmed; 67 

he advances with great speed. 68 

41:4 Who acts and carries out decrees? 69 

Who 70  summons the successive generations from the beginning?

I, the Lord, am present at the very beginning,

and at the very end – I am the one. 71 

41:5 The coastlands 72  see and are afraid;

the whole earth 73  trembles;

they approach and come.

41:6 They help one another; 74 

one says to the other, ‘Be strong!’

41:7 The craftsman encourages the metalsmith,

the one who wields the hammer encourages 75  the one who pounds on the anvil.

He approves the quality of the welding, 76 

and nails it down so it won’t fall over.”

The Lord Encourages His People

41:8 “You, my servant Israel,

Jacob whom I have chosen,

offspring of Abraham my friend, 77 

41:9 you whom I am bringing back 78  from the earth’s extremities,

and have summoned from the remote regions –

I told you, “You are my servant.”

I have chosen you and not rejected you.

41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!

Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! 79 

I strengthen you –

yes, I help you –

yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! 80 

41:11 Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated;

your adversaries 81  will be reduced to nothing 82  and perish.

41:12 When you will look for your opponents, 83  you will not find them;

your enemies 84  will be reduced to absolutely nothing.

41:13 For I am the Lord your God,

the one who takes hold of your right hand,

who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’

41:14 Don’t be afraid, despised insignificant Jacob, 85 

men of 86  Israel.

I am helping you,” says the Lord,

your protector, 87  the Holy One of Israel. 88 

41:15 “Look, I am making you like 89  a sharp threshing sledge,

new and double-edged. 90 

You will thresh the mountains and crush them;

you will make the hills like straw. 91 

41:16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;

the wind will scatter them.

You will rejoice in the Lord;

you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

41:17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;

their tongues are parched from thirst.

I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers; 92 

I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

41:18 I will make streams flow down the slopes

and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.

I will turn the desert into a pool of water

and the arid land into springs.

41:19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;

I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.

41:20 I will do this so 93  people 94  will observe and recognize,

so they will pay attention and understand

that the Lord’s power 95  has accomplished this,

and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.” 96 

The Lord Challenges the Pagan Gods

41:21 “Present your argument,” says the Lord.

“Produce your evidence,” 97  says Jacob’s king. 98 

41:22 “Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen!

Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, 99 

so we may examine them 100  and see how they were fulfilled. 101 

Or decree for us some future events!

41:23 Predict how future events will turn out, 102 

so we might know you are gods.

Yes, do something good or bad,

so we might be frightened and in awe. 103 

41:24 Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent;

the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting. 104 

41:25 I have stirred up one out of the north 105  and he advances,

one from the eastern horizon who prays in my name. 106 

He steps on 107  rulers as if they were clay,

like a potter treading the clay.

41:26 Who decreed this from the beginning, so we could know?

Who announced it 108  ahead of time, so we could say, ‘He’s correct’?

Indeed, none of them decreed it!

Indeed, none of them announced it!

Indeed, no one heard you say anything!

41:27 I first decreed to Zion, ‘Look, here’s what will happen!’ 109 

I sent a herald to Jerusalem. 110 

41:28 I look, but there is no one,

among them there is no one who serves as an adviser,

that I might ask questions and receive answers.

41:29 Look, all of them are nothing, 111 

their accomplishments are nonexistent;

their metal images lack any real substance. 112 

The Lord Commissions His Special Servant

42:1 113 “Here is my servant whom I support,

my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.

I have placed my spirit on him;

he will make just decrees 114  for the nations. 115 

42:2 He will not cry out or shout;

he will not publicize himself in the streets. 116 

42:3 A crushed reed he will not break,

a dim wick he will not extinguish; 117 

he will faithfully make just decrees. 118 

42:4 He will not grow dim or be crushed 119 

before establishing justice on the earth;

the coastlands 120  will wait in anticipation for his decrees.” 121 

42:5 This is what the true God, 122  the Lord, says –

the one who created the sky and stretched it out,

the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it, 123 

the one who gives breath to the people on it,

and life to those who live on it: 124 

42:6 “I, the Lord, officially commission you; 125 

I take hold of your hand.

I protect you 126  and make you a covenant mediator for people, 127 

and a light 128  to the nations, 129 

42:7 to open blind eyes, 130 

to release prisoners 131  from dungeons,

those who live in darkness from prisons.

The Lord Intervenes

42:8 I am the Lord! That is my name!

I will not share my glory with anyone else,

or the praise due me with idols.

42:9 Look, my earlier predictive oracles have come to pass; 132 

now I announce new events.

Before they begin to occur,

I reveal them to you.” 133 

42:10 Sing to the Lord a brand new song!

Praise him 134  from the horizon of the earth,

you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it, 135 

you coastlands 136  and those who live there!

42:11 Let the desert and its cities shout out,

the towns where the nomads of Kedar live!

Let the residents of Sela shout joyfully;

let them shout loudly from the mountaintops.

42:12 Let them give the Lord the honor he deserves; 137 

let them praise his deeds in the coastlands. 138 

42:13 The Lord emerges like a hero,

like a warrior he inspires himself for battle; 139 

he shouts, yes, he yells,

he shows his enemies his power. 140 

42:14 “I have been inactive 141  for a long time;

I kept quiet and held back.

Like a woman in labor I groan;

I pant and gasp. 142 

42:15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up; 143 

I will dry up all their vegetation.

I will turn streams into islands, 144 

and dry up pools of water. 145 

42:16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; 146 

I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. 147 

I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,

and level out the rough ground. 148 

This is what I will do for them.

I will not abandon them.

42:17 Those who trust in idols

will turn back and be utterly humiliated, 149 

those who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’”

The Lord Reasons with His People

42:18 “Listen, you deaf ones!

Take notice, 150  you blind ones!

42:19 My servant is truly blind,

my messenger is truly deaf.

My covenant partner, 151  the servant of the Lord, is truly blind. 152 

42:20 You see 153  many things, but don’t comprehend; 154 

their ears are open, but do not hear.”

42:21 The Lord wanted to exhibit his justice

by magnifying his law and displaying it. 155 

42:22 But these people are looted and plundered;

all of them are trapped in pits 156 

and held captive 157  in prisons.

They were carried away as loot with no one to rescue them;

they were carried away as plunder, and no one says, “Bring that back!” 158 

42:23 Who among you will pay attention to this?

Who will listen attentively in the future? 159 

42:24 Who handed Jacob over to the robber?

Who handed Israel over to the looters? 160 

Was it not the Lord, against whom we sinned?

They refused to follow his commands;

they disobeyed his law. 161 

42:25 So he poured out his fierce anger on them,

along with the devastation 162  of war.

Its flames encircled them, but they did not realize it; 163 

it burned against them, but they did notice. 164 

The Lord Will Rescue His People

43:1 Now, this is what the Lord says,

the one who created you, O Jacob,

and formed you, O Israel:

“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect 165  you.

I call you by name, you are mine.

43:2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;

when you pass 166  through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;

the flames will not harm 167  you.

43:3 For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, 168  your deliverer.

I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,

Ethiopia and Seba 169  in place of you.

43:4 Since you are precious and special in my sight, 170 

and I love you,

I will hand over people in place of you,

nations in place of your life.

43:5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

From the east I will bring your descendants;

from the west I will gather you.

43:6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’

and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’

Bring my sons from distant lands,

and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,

43:7 everyone who belongs to me, 171 

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed – yes, whom I made!

The Lord Declares His Sovereignty

43:8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,

those who are deaf, even though they have ears!

43:9 All nations gather together,

the peoples assemble.

Who among them announced this?

Who predicted earlier events for us? 172 

Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right;

let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’

43:10 You are my witnesses,” says the Lord,

“my servant whom I have chosen,

so that you may consider 173  and believe in me,

and understand that I am he.

No god was formed before me,

and none will outlive me. 174 

43:11 I, I am the Lord,

and there is no deliverer besides me.

43:12 I decreed and delivered and proclaimed,

and there was no other god among you.

You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “that I am God.

43:13 From this day forward I am he;

no one can deliver from my power; 175 

I will act, and who can prevent it?”

The Lord Will Do Something New

43:14 This is what the Lord says,

your protector, 176  the Holy One of Israel: 177 

“For your sake I send to Babylon

and make them all fugitives, 178 

turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs. 179 

43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, 180 

the one who created Israel, your king.”

43:16 This is what the Lord says,

the one who made a road through the sea,

a pathway through the surging waters,

43:17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction, 181 

together with a mighty army.

They fell down, 182  never to rise again;

they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:

43:18 “Don’t remember these earlier events; 183 

don’t recall these former events.

43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new.

Now it begins to happen! 184  Do you not recognize 185  it?

Yes, I will make a road in the desert

and paths 186  in the wilderness.

43:20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,

the jackals and ostriches,

because I put water in the desert

and streams in the wilderness,

to quench the thirst of my chosen people,

43:21 the people whom I formed for myself,

so they might praise me.” 187 

The Lord Rebukes His People

43:22 “But you did not call for me, O Jacob;

you did not long 188  for me, O Israel.

43:23 You did not bring me lambs for your burnt offerings;

you did not honor me with your sacrifices.

I did not burden you with offerings;

I did not make you weary by demanding 189  incense.

43:24 You did not buy me aromatic reeds; 190 

you did not present to me 191  the fat of your sacrifices.

Yet you burdened me with your sins;

you made me weary with your evil deeds. 192 

43:25 I, I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake;

your sins I do not remember.

43:26 Remind me of what happened! Let’s debate!

You, prove to me that you are right! 193 

43:27 The father of your nation 194  sinned;

your spokesmen 195  rebelled against me.

43:28 So I defiled your holy princes,

and handed Jacob over to destruction,

and subjected 196  Israel to humiliating abuse.”

The Lord Will Renew Israel

44:1 “Now, listen, Jacob my servant,

Israel whom I have chosen!”

44:2 This is what the Lord, the one who made you, says –

the one who formed you in the womb and helps you:

“Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,

Jeshurun, 197  whom I have chosen!

44:3 For I will pour water on the parched ground 198 

and cause streams to flow 199  on the dry land.

I will pour my spirit on your offspring

and my blessing on your children.

44:4 They will sprout up like a tree in the grass, 200 

like poplars beside channels of water.

44:5 One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord,’

and another will use 201  the name ‘Jacob.’

One will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’

and use the name ‘Israel.’” 202 

The Absurdity of Idolatry

44:6 This is what the Lord, Israel’s king, says,

their protector, 203  the Lord who commands armies:

“I am the first and I am the last,

there is no God but me.

44:7 Who is like me? Let him make his claim! 204 

Let him announce it and explain it to me –

since I established an ancient people – 205 

let them announce future events! 206 

44:8 Don’t panic! Don’t be afraid! 207 

Did I not tell you beforehand and decree it?

You are my witnesses! Is there any God but me?

There is no other sheltering rock; 208  I know of none.

44:9 All who form idols are nothing;

the things in which they delight are worthless.

Their witnesses cannot see;

they recognize nothing, so they are put to shame.

44:10 Who forms a god and casts an idol

that will prove worthless? 209 

44:11 Look, all his associates 210  will be put to shame;

the craftsmen are mere humans. 211 

Let them all assemble and take their stand!

They will panic and be put to shame.

44:12 A blacksmith works with his tool 212 

and forges metal over the coals.

He forms it 213  with hammers;

he makes it with his strong arm.

He gets hungry and loses his energy; 214 

he drinks no water and gets tired.

44:13 A carpenter takes measurements; 215 

he marks out an outline of its form; 216 

he scrapes 217  it with chisels,

and marks it with a compass.

He patterns it after the human form, 218 

like a well-built human being,

and puts it in a shrine. 219 

44:14 He cuts down cedars

and acquires a cypress 220  or an oak.

He gets 221  trees from the forest;

he plants a cedar 222  and the rain makes it grow.

44:15 A man uses it to make a fire; 223 

he takes some of it and warms himself.

Yes, he kindles a fire and bakes bread.

Then he makes a god and worships it;

he makes an idol and bows down to it. 224 

44:16 Half of it he burns in the fire –

over that half he cooks 225  meat;

he roasts a meal and fills himself.

Yes, he warms himself and says,

‘Ah! I am warm as I look at the fire.’

44:17 With the rest of it he makes a god, his idol;

he bows down to it and worships it.

He prays to it, saying,

‘Rescue me, for you are my god!’

44:18 They do not comprehend or understand,

for their eyes are blind and cannot see;

their minds do not discern. 226 

44:19 No one thinks to himself,

nor do they comprehend or understand and say to themselves:

‘I burned half of it in the fire –

yes, I baked bread over the coals;

I roasted meat and ate it.

With the rest of it should I make a disgusting idol?

Should I bow down to dry wood?’ 227 

44:20 He feeds on ashes; 228 

his deceived mind misleads him.

He cannot rescue himself,

nor does he say, ‘Is this not a false god I hold in my right hand?’ 229 

44:21 Remember these things, O Jacob,

O Israel, for you are my servant.

I formed you to be my servant;

O Israel, I will not forget you! 230 

44:22 I remove the guilt of your rebellious deeds as if they were a cloud,

the guilt of your sins as if they were a cloud. 231 

Come back to me, for I protect 232  you.”

44:23 Shout for joy, O sky, for the Lord intervenes; 233 

shout out, you subterranean regions 234  of the earth.

O mountains, give a joyful shout;

you too, O forest and all your trees! 235 

For the Lord protects 236  Jacob;

he reveals his splendor through Israel. 237 

The Lord Empowers Cyrus

44:24 This is what the Lord, your protector, 238  says,

the one who formed you in the womb:

“I am the Lord, who made everything,

who alone stretched out the sky,

who fashioned the earth all by myself, 239 

44:25 who frustrates the omens of the empty talkers 240 

and humiliates 241  the omen readers,

who overturns the counsel of the wise men 242 

and makes their advice 243  seem foolish,

44:26 who fulfills the oracles of his prophetic servants 244 

and brings to pass the announcements 245  of his messengers,

who says about Jerusalem, 246  ‘She will be inhabited,’

and about the towns of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt,

her ruins I will raise up,’

44:27 who says to the deep sea, ‘Be dry!

I will dry up your sea currents,’

44:28 who commissions 247  Cyrus, the one I appointed as shepherd 248 

to carry out all my wishes 249 

and to decree concerning Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’

and concerning the temple, ‘It will be reconstructed.’” 250 

45:1 This is what the Lord says to his chosen 251  one,

to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold 252 

in order to subdue nations before him,

and disarm kings, 253 

to open doors before him,

so gates remain unclosed:

45:2 “I will go before you

and level mountains. 254 

Bronze doors I will shatter

and iron bars 255  I will hack through.

45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, 256 

riches stashed away in secret places,

so you may recognize that I am the Lord,

the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.

45:4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,

Israel, my chosen one,

I call you by name

and give you a title of respect, even though you do not recognize 257  me.

45:5 I am the Lord, I have no peer, 258 

there is no God but me.

I arm you for battle, 259  even though you do not recognize 260  me.

45:6 I do this 261  so people 262  will recognize from east to west

that there is no God but me;

I am the Lord, I have no peer.

45:7 I am 263  the one who forms light

and creates darkness; 264 

the one who brings about peace

and creates calamity. 265 

I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things.

45:8 O sky, rain down from above!

Let the clouds send down showers 266  of deliverance!

Let the earth absorb it 267  so salvation may grow, 268 

and deliverance may sprout up 269  along with it.

I, the Lord, create it. 270 

The Lord Gives a Warning

45:9 One who argues with his creator is in grave danger, 271 

one who is like a mere 272  shard among the other shards on the ground!

The clay should not say to the potter, 273 

“What in the world 274  are you doing?

Your work lacks skill!” 275 

45:10 Danger awaits one who says 276  to his father,

“What in the world 277  are you fathering?”

and to his mother,

“What in the world are you bringing forth?” 278 

45:11 This is what the Lord says,

the Holy One of Israel, 279  the one who formed him,

concerning things to come: 280 

“How dare you question me 281  about my children!

How dare you tell me what to do with 282  the work of my own hands!

45:12 I made the earth,

I created the people who live 283  on it.

It was me – my hands 284  stretched out the sky, 285 

I give orders to all the heavenly lights. 286 

45:13 It is me – I stir him up and commission him; 287 

I will make all his ways level.

He will rebuild my city;

he will send my exiled people home,

but not for a price or a bribe,”

says the Lord who commands armies.

The Lord is the Nations’ Only Hope

45:14 This is what the Lord says:

“The profit 288  of Egypt and the revenue 289  of Ethiopia,

along with the Sabeans, those tall men,

will be brought to you 290  and become yours.

They will walk behind you, coming along in chains. 291 

They will bow down to you

and pray to you: 292 

‘Truly God is with 293  you; he has no peer; 294 

there is no other God!’”

45:15 Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden,

O God of Israel, deliverer!

45:16 They will all be ashamed and embarrassed;

those who fashion idols will all be humiliated. 295 

45:17 Israel will be delivered once and for all by the Lord; 296 

you will never again be ashamed or humiliated. 297 

45:18 For this is what the Lord says,

the one who created the sky –

he is the true God, 298 

the one who formed the earth and made it;

he established it,

he did not create it without order, 299 

he formed it to be inhabited –

“I am the Lord, I have no peer.

45:19 I have not spoken in secret,

in some hidden place. 300 

I did not tell Jacob’s descendants,

‘Seek me in vain!’ 301 

I am the Lord,

the one who speaks honestly,

who makes reliable announcements. 302 

45:20 Gather together and come!

Approach together, you refugees from the nations!

Those who carry wooden idols know nothing,

those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.

45:21 Tell me! Present the evidence! 303 

Let them consult with one another!

Who predicted this in the past?

Who announced it beforehand?

Was it not I, the Lord?

I have no peer, there is no God but me,

a God who vindicates and delivers; 304 

there is none but me.

45:22 Turn to me so you can be delivered, 305 

all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!

For I am God, and I have no peer.

45:23 I solemnly make this oath 306 

what I say is true and reliable: 307 

‘Surely every knee will bow to me,

every tongue will solemnly affirm; 308 

45:24 they will say about me,

“Yes, the Lord is a powerful deliverer.”’” 309 

All who are angry at him will cower before him. 310 

45:25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the Lord

and will boast in him. 311 

The Lord Carries His People

46:1 Bel 312  kneels down,

Nebo 313  bends low.

Their images weigh down animals and beasts. 314 

Your heavy images are burdensome to tired animals. 315 

46:2 Together they bend low and kneel down;

they are unable to rescue the images; 316 

they themselves 317  head off into captivity. 318 

46:3 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, 319 

all you who are left from the family of Israel, 320 

you who have been carried from birth, 321 

you who have been supported from the time you left the womb. 322 

46:4 Even when you are old, I will take care of you, 323 

even when you have gray hair, I will carry you.

I made you and I will support you;

I will carry you and rescue you. 324 

46:5 To whom can you compare and liken me?

Tell me whom you think I resemble, so we can be compared!

46:6 Those who empty out gold from a purse

and weigh out silver on the scale 325 

hire a metalsmith, who makes it into a god.

They then bow down and worship it.

46:7 They put it on their shoulder and carry it;

they put it in its place and it just stands there;

it does not 326  move from its place.

Even when someone cries out to it, it does not reply;

it does not deliver him from his distress.

46:8 Remember this, so you can be brave! 327 

Think about it, you rebels! 328 

46:9 Remember what I accomplished in antiquity! 329 

Truly I am God, I have no peer; 330 

I am God, and there is none like me,

46:10 who announces the end from the beginning

and reveals beforehand 331  what has not yet occurred,

who says, ‘My plan will be realized,

I will accomplish what I desire,’

46:11 who summons an eagle 332  from the east,

from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.

Yes, I have decreed, 333 

yes, I will bring it to pass;

I have formulated a plan,

yes, I will carry it out.

46:12 Listen to me, you stubborn people, 334 

you who distance yourself from doing what is right. 335 

46:13 I am bringing my deliverance near, it is not far away;

I am bringing my salvation near, 336  it does not wait.

I will save Zion; 337 

I will adorn Israel with my splendor.” 338 

Babylon Will Fall

47:1 “Fall down! Sit in the dirt,

O virgin 339  daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground, not on a throne,

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, 340  you will no longer be called delicate and pampered.

47:2 Pick up millstones and grind flour!

Remove your veil,

strip off your skirt,

expose your legs,

cross the streams!

47:3 Let your private parts be exposed!

Your genitals will be on display! 341 

I will get revenge;

I will not have pity on anyone,” 342 

47:4 says our protector –

the Lord who commands armies is his name,

the Holy One of Israel. 343 

47:5 “Sit silently! Go to a hiding place, 344 

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, 345  you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’

47:6 I was angry at my people;

I defiled my special possession

and handed them over to you.

You showed them no mercy; 346 

you even placed a very heavy burden on old people. 347 

47:7 You said,

‘I will rule forever as permanent queen!’ 348 

You did not think about these things; 349 

you did not consider how it would turn out. 350 

47:8 So now, listen to this,

O one who lives so lavishly, 351 

who lives securely,

who says to herself, 352 

‘I am unique! No one can compare to me! 353 

I will never have to live as a widow;

I will never lose my children.’ 354 

47:9 Both of these will come upon you

suddenly, in one day!

You will lose your children and be widowed. 355 

You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies, 356 

despite 357  your many incantations

and your numerous amulets. 358 

47:10 You were complacent in your evil deeds; 359 

you thought, 360  ‘No one sees me.’

Your self-professed 361  wisdom and knowledge lead you astray,

when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’ 362 

47:11 Disaster will overtake you;

you will not know how to charm it away. 363 

Destruction will fall on you;

you will not be able to appease it.

Calamity will strike you suddenly,

before you recognize it. 364 

47:12 Persist 365  in trusting 366  your amulets

and your many incantations,

which you have faithfully recited 367  since your youth!

Maybe you will be successful 368 

maybe you will scare away disaster. 369 

47:13 You are tired out from listening to so much advice. 370 

Let them take their stand –

the ones who see omens in the sky,

who gaze at the stars,

who make monthly predictions –

let them rescue you from the disaster that is about to overtake you! 371 

47:14 Look, they are like straw,

which the fire burns up;

they cannot rescue themselves

from the heat 372  of the flames.

There are no coals to warm them,

no firelight to enjoy. 373 

47:15 They will disappoint you, 374 

those you have so faithfully dealt with since your youth. 375 

Each strays off in his own direction, 376 

leaving no one to rescue you.”

The Lord Appeals to the Exiles

48:1 Listen to this, O family of Jacob, 377 

you who are called by the name ‘Israel,’

and are descended from Judah, 378 

who take oaths in the name of the Lord,

and invoke 379  the God of Israel –

but not in an honest and just manner. 380 

48:2 Indeed, they live in the holy city; 381 

they trust in 382  the God of Israel,

whose name is the Lord who commands armies.

48:3 “I announced events beforehand, 383 

I issued the decrees and made the predictions; 384 

suddenly I acted and they came to pass.

48:4 I did this 385  because I know how stubborn you are.

Your neck muscles are like iron

and your forehead like bronze. 386 

48:5 I announced them to you beforehand;

before they happened, I predicted them for you,

so you could never say,

‘My image did these things,

my idol, my cast image, decreed them.’

48:6 You have heard; now look at all the evidence! 387 

Will you not admit that what I say is true? 388 

From this point on I am announcing to you new events

that are previously unrevealed and you do not know about. 389 

48:7 Now they come into being, 390  not in the past;

before today you did not hear about them,

so you could not say,

‘Yes, 391  I know about them.’

48:8 You did not hear,

you do not know,

you were not told beforehand. 392 

For I know that you are very deceitful; 393 

you were labeled 394  a rebel from birth.

48:9 For the sake of my reputation 395  I hold back my anger;

for the sake of my prestige 396  I restrain myself from destroying you. 397 

48:10 Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have purified you 398  in the furnace of misery.

48:11 For my sake alone 399  I will act,

for how can I allow my name to be defiled? 400 

I will not share my glory with anyone else! 401 

48:12 Listen to me, O Jacob,

Israel, whom I summoned!

I am the one;

I am present at the very beginning

and at the very end. 402 

48:13 Yes, my hand founded the earth;

my right hand spread out the sky.

I summon them;

they stand together.

48:14 All of you, gather together and listen!

Who among them 403  announced these things?

The Lord’s ally 404  will carry out his desire against Babylon;

he will exert his power against the Babylonians. 405 

48:15 I, I have spoken –

yes, I have summoned him;

I lead him and he will succeed. 406 

48:16 Approach me! Listen to this!

From the very first I have not spoken in secret;

when it happens, 407  I am there.”

So now, the sovereign Lord has sent me, accompanied by his spirit. 408 

48:17 This is what the Lord, your protector, 409  says,

the Holy One of Israel: 410 

“I am the Lord your God,

who teaches you how to succeed,

who leads you in the way you should go.

48:18 If only you had obeyed my 411  commandments,

prosperity would have flowed to you like a river, 412 

deliverance would have come to you like the waves of the sea. 413 

48:19 Your descendants would have been as numerous as sand, 414 

and your children 415  like its granules.

Their name would not have been cut off

and eliminated from my presence. 416 

48:20 Leave Babylon!

Flee from the Babylonians!

Announce it with a shout of joy!

Make this known!

Proclaim it throughout the earth! 417 

Say, ‘The Lord protects 418  his servant Jacob.

48:21 They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;

he makes water flow out of a rock for them;

he splits open a rock and water flows out.’ 419 

48:22 There will be no prosperity for the wicked,” says the Lord.

1 tn The pronominal suffix is second masculine plural. The identity of the addressee is uncertain: (1) God’s people may be addressed, or (2) the unidentified heralds commanded to comfort Jerusalem.

2 tn Heb “speak to the heart of Jerusalem.” Jerusalem is personified as a woman.

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 “that she is filled [with] her warfare.” Some understand צָבָא (tsavah, “warfare”) as meaning “hard service” or “compulsory labor” in this context.

5 tn Heb “that her punishment is accepted [as satisfactory].”

6 tn Heb “for she has received from the hand of the Lord double.” The principle of the double portion in punishment is also seen in Jer 16:18; 17:18 and Rev 18:6. For examples of the double portion in Israelite law, see Exod 22:4, 7, 9 (double restitution by a thief) and Deut 21:17 (double inheritance portion for the firstborn).

7 tn Or “glory.” The Lord’s “glory” is his theophanic radiance and royal splendor (see Isa 6:3; 24:23; 35:2; 60:1; 66:18-19).

8 tn Heb “flesh” (so KJV, ASV, NASB); NAB, NIV “mankind”; TEV “the whole human race.”

9 tn Or “indeed.”

10 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

11 tn Heb “and he says.” Apparently a second “voice” responds to the command of the first “voice.”

12 tn The words “the first voice responds” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The first voice tells the second one what to declare.

13 tn Heb “all flesh is grass.” The point of the metaphor is explained in v. 7.

14 tn Heb “and all his loyalty.” The antecedent of the third masculine suffix is בָּשָׂר (basar, “flesh”), which refers collectively to mankind. The LXX, apparently understanding the antecedent as “grass,” reads “glory,” but חֶסֶד (khesed) rarely, if ever, has this nuance. The normal meaning of חֶסֶד (“faithfulness, loyalty, devotion”) fits very well in the argument. Human beings and their faithfulness (verbal expressions of faithfulness are specifically in view; cf. NRSV “constancy”) are short-lived and unreliable, in stark contrast to the decrees and promises of the eternal God.

15 tn The Hebrew text has רוּחַ יְהוָה (ruakh yehvah), which in this context probably does not refer to the Lord’s personal Spirit. The phrase is better translated “the breath of the Lord,” or “the wind of [i.e., sent by] the Lord.” The Lord’s sovereign control over nature, including the hot desert winds that dry up vegetation, is in view here (cf. Ps 147:18; Isa 59:19).

16 tn Heb “the people” (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

17 tn Heb “but the word of our God stands forever.” In this context the divine “word” specifically refers to his decreed promise assuring Jerusalem that her suffering is over and his glorious return imminent (vv. 1-5).

18 tn The second feminine singular imperatives are addressed to personified Zion/Jerusalem, who is here told to ascend a high hill and proclaim the good news of the Lord’s return to the other towns of Judah. Isa 41:27 and 52:7 speak of a herald sent to Zion, but the masculine singular form מְבַשֵּׂר (mÿvaser) is used in these verses, in contrast to the feminine singular form מְבַשֶּׂרֶת (mÿvaseret) employed in 40:9, where Zion is addressed as a herald.

19 tn Heb “comes as a strong one”; ASV “will come as a mighty one.” The preposition בְּ (bet) here carries the nuance “in the capacity of.” It indicates that the Lord possesses the quality expressed by the noun. See GKC 379 §119.i and HALOT 104 s.v. בְּ.

20 tn Heb “his arm rules for him” (so NIV, NRSV). The Lord’s “arm” symbolizes his military power (see Isa 51:9-10; 63:5).

21 tn As the Lord returns to Jerusalem as a victorious warrior, he brings with him the spoils of victory, called here his “reward” and “prize.” These terms might also be translated “wages” and “recompense.” Verse 11 indicates that his rescued people, likened to a flock of sheep, are his reward.

22 tn Heb “in his bosom” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV), an expression which reflects closeness and protective care.

23 tn The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has מי ים (“waters of the sea”), a reading followed by NAB.

24 tn Heb “with a span.” A “span” was the distance between the ends of the thumb and the little finger of the spread hand” (BDB 285 s.v. זֶרֶת).

25 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

26 tn Heb “or weighed by a third part [of a measure].”

27 sn The implied answer to the rhetorical questions of v. 12 is “no one but the Lord. The Lord, and no other, created the world. Like a merchant weighing out silver or commodities on a scale, the Lord established the various components of the physical universe in precise proportions.

28 tn Perhaps the verb is used metonymically here in the sense of “advises” (note the following line).

29 tn In this context רוּחַ (ruakh) likely refers to the Lord’s “mind,” or mental faculties, rather than his personal Spirit (see BDB 925 s.v.).

30 tn Heb “or [as] the man of his counsel causes him to know?”

31 tn Heb “With whom did he consult, so that he gave discernment to him?”

32 tn Heb “and taught him.” The vav (ו) consecutive with prefixed verbal form continues the previous line. The translation employs an interrogative pronoun for stylistic reasons.

33 tn The phrase אֹרַח מִשְׁפָּט (’orakh mishpat) could be translated “path of justice” (so NASB, NRSV), but in this context, where creative ability and skill is in view, the phrase is better understood in the sense of “the way that is proper or fitting” (see BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 6); cf. NIV, NCV “the right way.”

34 tn Heb “or the way of understanding causes him to know?”

sn The implied answer to the rhetorical questions in vv. 13-14 is, “No one.” In contrast to Marduk, the creator-god of Mesopotamian myths who receives help from the god of wisdom, the Lord neither needs nor receives any such advice or help. See R. Whybray, Heavenly Counsellor (SOTSMS), 64-77.

35 tn Or “weighs” (NIV); NLT “picks up.”

36 tn Or “islands” (NASB, NIV, NLT).

37 tn The words “for a sacrifice” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

38 sn The point is that not even the Lebanon forest could supply enough wood and animals for an adequate sacrifice to the Lord.

39 tn Heb “[as derived] from nothing and unformed.”

40 tn Heb “pours out”; KJV “melteth.”

41 tn The first two words of the verse (הַמְסֻכָּן תְּרוּמָה, hamsukan tÿrumah) are problematic. Some take מְסֻכָּן as an otherwise unattested Pual participle from סָכַן (sakhan, “be poor”) and translate “the one who is impoverished.” תְּרוּמָה (tÿrumah, “contribution”) can then be taken as an adverbial accusative, “with respect to a contribution,” and the entire line translated, “the one who is too impoverished for such a contribution [i.e., the metal idol of v. 19?] selects wood that will not rot.” However, מְסֻכָּן is probably the name of a tree used in idol manufacturing (cognate with Akkadian musukkanu, cf. H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena [SBLDS], 133). מְסֻכָּן may be a scribal interpretive addition attempting to specify עֵץ (’ets) or עֵץ may be a scribal attempt to categorize מְסֻכָּן. How an idol constitutes a תְּרוּמָה (“contribution”) is not entirely clear.

42 tn Or “set up” (ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); KJV, NASB “to prepare.”

43 tn Heb “the circle of the earth” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

44 tn The words “before him” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

45 tn The otherwise unattested noun דֹּק (doq), translated here “thin curtain,” is apparently derived from the verbal root דקק (“crush”) from which is derived the adjective דַּק (daq, “thin”; see HALOT 229 s.v. דקק). The nuance “curtain” is implied from the parallelism (see “tent” in the next line).

46 tn The meaning of the otherwise unattested verb מָתַח (matakh, “spread out”) is determined from the parallelism (note the corresponding verb “stretch out” in the previous line) and supported by later Hebrew and Aramaic cognates. See HALOT 654 s.v. *מתה.

47 tn Heb “like a tent [in which] to live”; NAB, NASB “like a tent to dwell (live NIV, NRSV) in.”

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

49 tn Heb “Lift on high your eyes and see.”

50 tn The words “heavenly lights” are supplied in the translation for clarification. See the following lines.

51 tn Heb “the one who brings out by number their host.” The stars are here likened to a huge army that the Lord leads out. Perhaps the next line pictures God calling roll. If so, the final line may be indicating that none of them dares “go AWOL.” (“AWOL” is a military acronym for “absent without leave.”)

52 tn Heb “my way is hidden from the Lord” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

53 tn Heb “and from my God my justice passes away”; NRSV “my right is disregarded by my God.”

54 tn Heb “the ends of the earth,” but this is a merism, where the earth’s extremities stand for its entirety, i.e., the extremities and everything in between them.

55 sn Exiled Israel’s complaint (v. 27) implies that God might be limited in some way. Perhaps he, like so many of the pagan gods, has died. Or perhaps his jurisdiction is limited to Judah and does not include Babylon. Maybe he is unable to devise an adequate plan to rescue his people, or is unable to execute it. But v. 28 affirms that he is not limited temporally or spatially nor is his power and wisdom restricted in any way. He can and will deliver his people, if they respond in hopeful faith (v. 31a).

56 tn Heb “stumbling they stumble.” The verbal idea is emphasized by the infinitive absolute.

57 tn The words “for the Lord’s help” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

58 tn Heb “they rise up [on] wings like eagles” (TEV similar).

59 tn Or “islands” (KJV, NIV, CEV); TEV “distant lands”; NLT “lands beyond the sea.”

60 tn The Hebrew term מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) could be translated “judgment,” but here it seems to refer to the dispute or debate between the Lord and the nations.

61 sn The expression this one from the east refers to the Persian conqueror Cyrus, as later texts indicate (see 44:28-45:6; 46:11; 48:14-16).

62 tn The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis.

63 tn Heb “[in] righteousness called him to his foot.”

64 tn Heb “he [the Lord] places before him [Cyrus] nations.”

65 tn The verb יַרְדְּ (yardÿ) is an otherwise unattested Hiphil form from רָדָה (radah, “rule”). But the Hiphil makes no sense with “kings” as object; one must understand an ellipsis and supply “him” (Cyrus) as the object. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has יוֹרִד (yorid), which appears to be a Hiphil form from יָרַד (yarad, “go down”). Others suggest reading יָרֹד (yarod), a Qal form from רָדַד (radad, “beat down”).

66 sn The point is that they are powerless before Cyrus’ military power and scatter before him.

67 tn Heb “[in] peace”; KJV, ASV “safely”; NASB “in safety”; NIV “unscathed.”

68 tn Heb “a way with his feet he does not come [or “enter”].” One could translate, “by a way he was not [previously] entering with his feet.” This would mean that he is advancing into new territory and expanding his conquests. The present translation assumes this is a hyperbolic description to his speedy advance. He moves so quickly he does not enter the way with his feet, i.e., his feet don’t even touch the ground. See C. R. North, Second Isaiah, 94.

69 tn Heb “Who acts and accomplishes?”; NASB “Who has performed and accomplished it.”

70 tn The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

71 tn Heb “I, the Lord, [am with] the first, and with the last ones I [am] he.”

72 tn Or “islands” (NIV, CEV); NCV “faraway places”; NLT “lands beyond the sea.”

73 tn Heb “the ends of the earth,” but this is a merism, where the earth’s extremities stand for its entirety, i.e., the extremities and everything in between them.

74 tn Heb “each his neighbor helps”; NCV “The workers help each other.”

75 tn The verb “encourages” is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

76 tn Heb “saying of the welding, ‘It is good.’”

77 tn Or perhaps, “covenantal partner” (see 1 Kgs 5:15 HT [5:1 ET]; 2 Chr 20:7).

78 tn Heb “whom I have taken hold of [i.e., to lead back].”

79 tn According to BDB (1043 s.v. שָׁעָה), the verb תִּשְׁתָּע (tishta’) in the second line of the poetic couplet is a Hitpael form from the root שָׁעָה (shaah, “gaze,” with metathesis of the stem prefix and the first root letter). Taking the Hitpael as iterative, one may then translate “do not anxiously look about.” However, the alleged Hitpael form of שָׁעָה (shaah) only occurs here and in verse 23. HALOT 1671 s.v. שׁתע proposes that the verb is instead a Qal form from the root שׁתע (“fear”) which is attested in cognate Semitic languages, including Ugaritic (discovered after the publishing of BDB), suggests the existence of this root. The poetic structure of v. 10 also supports the proposal, for the form in question is in synonymous parallelism to יָרֵא (yare’, “fear”).

80 tn The “right hand” is a symbol of the Lord’s power to deliver (Exod 15:6, 12) and protect (Ps 63:9 HT [63:8 ET]). Here צֶדֶק (tsedeq) has its well-attested nuance of “vindicated righteousness,” i.e., “victory, deliverance” (see 45:8; 51:5, and BDB 841-42 s.v.).

81 tn Heb “the men of your strife”; NASB “those who contend with you.”

82 tn Heb “like nothing”; NAB “come to nought.”

83 tn Heb “the men of your struggle”; NASB “those who quarrel with you.”

84 tn Heb “the men of your battle”; NAB “who do battle with you.”

85 tn Heb “O worm Jacob” (NAB, NIV). The worm metaphor suggests that Jacob is insignificant and despised.

86 tn On the basis of the parallelism (note “worm”) and an alleged Akkadian cognate, some read “louse” or “weevil.” Cf. NAB “O maggot Israel”; NRSV “you insect Israel.”

87 tn Heb “your kinsman redeemer.” A גָּאַל (gaal, “kinsman redeemer”) was a protector of the extended family’s interests.

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

89 tn Heb “into” (so NIV); ASV “have made thee to be.”

90 tn Heb “owner of two-mouths,” i.e., double-edged.

91 sn The mountains and hills symbolize hostile nations that are obstacles to Israel’s restoration.

92 tn Heb “will answer them” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

93 tn The words “I will do this” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Hebrew text has here simply, “in order that.”

94 tn Heb “they”; NAB, NRSV “that all may see”; CEV, NLT “Everyone will see.”

95 tn Heb “hand” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

96 tn Or “created it” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “has made it happen.”

97 tn Heb “strong [words],” see HALOT 870 s.v. *עֲצֻמוֹת.

98 sn Apparently this challenge is addressed to the pagan idol gods, see vv. 23-24.

99 tn Heb “As for the former things, tell us what they are!”

100 tn Heb “so we might set [them to] our heart.”

101 tn Heb “and might know their outcome.”

102 tn Heb “Declare the coming things, with respect to the end.”

103 tc The translation assumes the Qere (וְנִרְאֶה [vÿnireh], from יָרֵא [yare’], “be afraid”).

tn Heb “so we might be frightened and afraid together.” On the meaning of the verb שָׁתָע (shata’), see the note at v. 10.

104 tn Heb “an object of disgust [is he who] chooses you.”

105 sn That is, Cyrus the Persian. See the note at v. 2.

106 tn Heb “[one] from the rising of the sun [who] calls in my name.”

107 tn The Hebrew text has וְיָבֹא (vÿyavo’, “and he comes”), but this is likely a corruption of an original וַיָּבָס (vayyavas), from בּוּס (bus, “step on”).

108 tn The words “who announced it” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The interrogative particle and verb are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).

109 tn The Hebrew text reads simply, “First to Zion, ‘Look here they are!’” The words “I decreed” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

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

111 tc The Hebrew text has אָוֶן (’aven, “deception,” i.e., “false”), but the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has אין (“nothing”), which forms a better parallel with אֶפֶס (’efes, “nothing”) in the next line. See also 40:17 and 41:12.

112 tn Heb “their statues are wind and nothing”; NASB “wind and emptiness”; NIV “wind and confusion.”

113 sn Verses 1-7 contain the first of Isaiah’s “servant songs,” which describe the ministry of a special, ideal servant who accomplishes God’s purposes for Israel and the nations. This song depicts the servant as a just king who brings justice to the earth and relief for the oppressed. The other songs appear in 49:1-13; 50:4-11; and 52:13-53:12.

114 tn Heb “he will bring out justice” (cf. ASV, NASB, NRSV).

115 sn Like the ideal king portrayed in Isa 11:1-9, the servant is energized by the divine spirit and establishes justice on the earth.

116 tn Heb “he will not cause his voice to be heard in the street.”

117 sn The “crushed reed” and “dim wick” symbolize the weak and oppressed who are on the verge of extinction.

118 tn Heb “faithfully he will bring out justice” (cf. NASB, NRSV).

119 tn For rhetorical effect the terms used to describe the “crushed (רָצַץ, ratsats) reed” and “dim (כָּהָה, kahah) wick” in v. 3 are repeated here.

120 tn Or “islands” (NIV); NLT “distant lands beyond the sea.”

121 tn Or “his law” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV) or “his instruction” (NLT).

122 tn Heb “the God.” The definite article here indicates distinctiveness or uniqueness.

123 tn Heb “and its offspring” (so NASB); NIV “all that comes out of it.”

124 tn Heb “and spirit [i.e., “breath”] to the ones walking in it” (NAB, NASB, and NRSV all similar).

125 tn Heb “call you in righteousness.” The pronoun “you” is masculine singular, referring to the servant. See the note at 41:2.

126 tn The translation assumes the verb is derived from the root נָצַר (natsar, “protect”). Some prefer to derive it from the root יָצַר (yatsar, “form”).

127 tn Heb “a covenant of people.” A person cannot literally be a covenant; בְּרִית (bÿrit) is probably metonymic here, indicating a covenant mediator. The precise identity of עָם (’am, “people”) is uncertain. In v. 5 עָם refers to mankind, and the following reference to “nations” also favors this. But in 49:8, where the phrase בְּרִית עָם occurs again, Israel seems to be in view.

128 sn Light here symbolizes deliverance from bondage and oppression; note the parallelism in 49:6b and in 51:4-6.

129 tn Or “the Gentiles” (so KJV, ASV, NIV); the same Hebrew word can be translated “nations” or “Gentiles” depending on the context.

130 sn This does not refer to literal physical healing of the blind. As the next two lines suggest, this refers metonymically to freeing captives from their dark prisons where their eyes have grown unaccustomed to light.

131 sn This does not refer to hardened, dangerous criminals, who would have been executed for their crimes in ancient Near Eastern society. This verse refers to political prisoners or victims of social injustice.

132 tn Heb “the former things, look, they have come.”

133 tn Heb “before they sprout up, I cause you to hear.” The pronoun “you” is plural, referring to the people of Israel. In this verse “the former things” are the Lord’s earlier predictive oracles which have come to pass, while “the new things” are predicted events that have not yet begun to take place. “The former things” are earlier events in Israel’s history which God announced beforehand, such as the Exodus (see 43:16-18). “The new things” are the predictions about the servant (42:1-7). and may also include Cyrus’ conquests (41:25-27).

134 tn Heb “his praise.” The phrase stands parallel to “new song” in the previous line.

135 tn Heb “and its fullness”; NASB, NIV “and all that is in it.”

136 tn Or “islands” (NASB, NIV); NLT “distant coastlands.”

137 tn Heb “Let them ascribe to the Lord glory.”

138 tn Heb “and his praise in the coastlands [or “islands”] let them declare.”

139 tn Heb “like a man of war he stirs up zeal” (NIV similar).

140 tn Or perhaps, “he triumphs over his enemies” (cf. NIV); NLT “will crush all his enemies.”

141 tn Heb “silent” (so NASB, NIV, TEV, NLT); CEV “have held my temper.”

142 sn The imagery depicts the Lord as a warrior who is eager to fight and can no longer hold himself back from the attack.

143 tn Heb “I will dry up the mountains and hills.” The “mountains and hills” stand by synecdoche for the trees that grow on them. Some prefer to derive the verb from a homonymic root and translate, “I will lay waste.”

144 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will turn streams into coastlands [or “islands”].” Scholars who believe that this reading makes little sense have proposed an emendation of אִיִּים (’iyyim, “islands”) to צִיּוֹת (tsiyyot, “dry places”; cf. NCV, NLT, TEV). However, since all the versions support the MT reading, there is insufficient grounds for an emendation here. Although the imagery of changing rivers into islands is somewhat strange, J. N. Oswalt describes this imagery against the backdrop of rivers of the Near East. The receding of these rivers at times occasioned the appearance of previously submerged islands (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:126).

145 sn The imagery of this verse, which depicts the Lord bringing a curse of infertility to the earth, metaphorically describes how the Lord will destroy his enemies.

146 tn Heb “a way they do not know” (so NASB); NRSV “a road they do not know.”

147 tn Heb “in paths they do not know I will make them walk.”

148 tn Heb “and the rough ground into a level place.”

149 tn Heb “be ashamed with shame”; ASV, NASB “be utterly put to shame.”

150 tn Heb “look to see”; NAB, NCV “look and see”; NRSV “look up and see.”

151 tc The precise meaning of מְשֻׁלָּם (mÿshullam) in this context is uncertain. In later biblical Hebrew the form (which appears to be a Pual participle from the root שָׁלַם, shalam) occurs as a proper name, Meshullam. The Pual of שָׁלַם (“be complete”) is attested with the meaning “repaid, requited,” but that makes little sense here. BDB 1023 s.v. שָׁלַם relates the form to the denominative verb שָׁלַם (“be at peace”) and paraphrases “one in a covenant of peace” (J. N. Oswalt suggests “the covenanted one”; Isaiah [NICOT], 2:128, n. 59) Some emend the form to מֹשְׁלָם (moshÿlam, “their ruler”) or to מְשֻׁלָּחִי (mÿshullakhi, “my sent [or “commissioned”] one”), which fits nicely in the parallelism (note “my messenger” in the previous line). The translation above assumes an emendation to כְּמוֹ שֹׁלְמִי (kÿmo sholÿmi, “like my ally”). Isaiah uses כְּמוֹ in 30:22 and perhaps 51:5; for שֹׁלְמי (“my ally”) see Ps 7:5 HT (7:4 ET).

152 tn Heb “Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like my messenger I send? Who is blind like my commissioned one, blind like the servant of the Lord?” The point of the rhetorical questions is that no one is as blind/deaf as this servant. In this context the Lord’s “servant” is exiled Israel (cf. 41:8-9), which is spiritually blind and deaf and has failed to fulfill God’s purpose for it. This servant stands in contrast to the ideal “Israel” of the servant songs.

153 tn The consonantal text (Kethib) has a perfect, 2nd person masculine singular; the marginal reading (Qere) has an infinitive absolute, which functions here as a finite verb.

154 tn Heb “but you do not guard [i.e., retain in your memory]”; NIV “but have paid no attention.”

155 tn Heb “The Lord was pleased for the sake of his righteousness [or “justice”], he was magnifying [the] law and was making [it] glorious.” The Lord contrasts his good intentions for the people with their present crisis (v. 22). To demonstrate his just character and attract the nations, the Lord wanted to showcase his law among and through Israel (Deut 4:5-8). But Israel disobeyed (v. 24) and failed to carry out their commission.

156 tc The Hebrew text has בַּחוּרִים (bakhurim, “young men”), but the text should be emended to בְּהוֹרִים (bÿhorim, “in holes”).

157 tn Heb “and made to be hidden”; NAB, NASB, NIV, TEV “hidden away in prisons.”

158 tn Heb “they became loot and there was no one rescuing, plunder and there was no one saying, ‘Bring back’.”

159 tn The interrogative particle is understood in the second line by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

160 tn Heb “Who gave to the robber Jacob, and Israel to the looters?” In the first line the consonantal text (Kethib) has מְשׁוֹסֶה (mÿshoseh), a Polel participle from שָׁסָה (shasah, “plunder”). The marginal reading (Qere) is מְשִׁיסָּה (mÿshissah), a noun meaning “plunder.” In this case one could translate “Who handed Jacob over as plunder?”

161 tn Heb “they were not willing in his ways to walk, and they did not listen to his law.”

162 tn Heb “strength” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “fury”; NASB “fierceness”; NIV “violence.”

163 tn Heb “and it blazed against him all around, but he did not know.” The subject of the third feminine singular verb “blazed” is the divine חֵמָה (khemah, “anger”) mentioned in the previous line.

164 tn Heb “and it burned against him, but he did not set [it] upon [the] heart.”

165 tn Or “redeem.” See the note at 41:14. Cf. NCV “saved you”; CEV “rescued you”; NLT “ransomed you.”

166 tn The verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

167 tn Heb “burn” (so NASB); NAB, NRSV, NLT “consume”; NIV “set you ablaze.”

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

169 sn Seba is not the same as Sheba in southern Arabia; cf. Gen 1:10; 1 Chr 1:9.

170 tn Heb “Since you are precious in my eyes and you are honored.”

171 tn Heb “everyone who is called by my name” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

172 tn Heb “and the former things was causing us to hear?”

173 tn Or “know” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

174 tn Heb “and after me, there will not be”; NASB “there will be none after Me.”

175 tn Heb “hand” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “No one can oppose what I do.”

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

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

178 tn Heb “and I bring down [as] fugitives all of them.”

179 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “as for the Babylonians, in ships their joyful shout.” This might be paraphrased, “even the Babylonians in the ships [over which] they joyfully shouted.” The point would be that the Lord caused the Babylonians to flee for safety in the ships in which they took such great pride. A slight change in vocalization yields the reading “into mourning songs,” which provides a good contrast with “joyful shout.” The prefixed bet (בְּ) would indicate identity.

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

181 tn Heb “led out chariots and horses.” The words “to destruction” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The verse refers to the destruction of the Egyptians at the Red Sea.

182 tn Heb “lay down”; NAB “lie prostrate together”; CEV “lie dead”; NRSV “they lie down.”

183 tn Heb “the former things” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “forget all that.”

184 tn Heb “sprouts up”; NASB “will spring forth.”

185 tn Or “know” (KJV, ASV); NASB “be aware of”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “perceive.”

186 tn The Hebrew texts has “streams,” probably under the influence of v. 20. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has נתיבות (“paths”).

187 tn Heb “[so] they might declare my praise.”

188 tn Or “strive”; KJV, ASV, NRSV “been weary of me.”

189 tn Heb “with.” The words “by demanding” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

190 tn That is, “calamus” (so NIV); NCV, TEV, NLT “incense”; CEV “spices.”

191 tn Heb “you did not saturate me”; NASB “Neither have you filled Me.”

192 sn In vv. 22-24 the Lord appears to be condemning his people for failure to bring the proper sacrifices. However, this is problematic. If this refers to the nation’s behavior while in exile, such cultic service was impossible and could hardly be expected by the Lord. If this refers to the nation’s conduct before the exile, it contradicts other passages that depict Israel as bringing excessive sacrifices (see, e.g., Isa 1:11-14; Jer 6:20; Amos 4:4-5, 5:21-23). Rather than being a condemnation of Israel’s failure to bring sacrifices, these verses are better taken as a highly rhetorical comment on the worthlessness of Israel’s religious ritual. They may have brought sacrifices, but not to the Lord, for he did not accept them or even want them. See C. R. North, Second Isaiah, 127, and R. Whybray, Isaiah 40-66 (NCBC), 91.

193 tn Heb “you, tell in order that you may be right”; NAB “prove your innocence.”

194 tn Heb “your first father.” This could refer to Abraham (see 51:2), but elsewhere in Isaiah he does not appear in a negative light (see 29:22; 41:8; 63:16). A more likely candidate is Jacob/Israel, also referred to as the nation’s “father” elsewhere (see 58:14; 63:16).

195 tn On the meaning of the term לִיץ (lits), see HALOT 590 s.v. מֵלִיץ. This may refer to the nation’s prophets, priests, and/or kings.

196 tn The word “subjected” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

197 sn Jeshurun is a poetic name for Israel; it occurs here and in Deut 32:15; 33:5, 26.

198 tn Heb “the thirsty.” Parallelism suggests that dry ground is in view (see “dry land” in the next line.)

199 tn Heb “and streams”; KJV “floods.” The verb “cause…to flow” is supplied in the second line for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

200 tn The Hebrew term בֵין (ven) is usually taken as a preposition, in which case one might translate, “among the grass.” But בֵין is probably the name of a tree (cf. C. R. North, Second Isaiah, 133). If one alters the preposition bet (בְּ) to kaf (כְּ), one can then read, “like a binu-tree.” (The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa supports this reading.) This forms a nice parallel to “like poplars” in the next line. חָצִיר (khatsir) is functioning as an adverbial accusative of location.

201 tn The Hebrew text has a Qal verb form, “and another will call by the name of Jacob.” With support from Symmachus (an ancient Greek textual witness), some read the Niphal, “and another will be called by the name of Jacob.”

202 tn Heb “and by the name of Israel he will title.” Some, with support from several ancient versions, prefer to change the Piel (active) verb form to a Pual (passive), “and he will be titled by the name of Israel.”

203 tn Heb “his kinsman redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

204 tn Heb “let him call” or “let him proclaim” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); NAB “Let him stand up and speak.”

205 tc The Hebrew text reads, “from (the time) I established an ancient people, and the coming things.” Various emendations have been proposed. One of the options assumes the reading מַשְׁמִיעִים מֵעוֹלָם אוֹתִיּוֹת (mashmiim meolamotiyyot); This literally reads “the ones causing to hear from antiquity coming things,” but more idiomatically would read “as for those who predict from antiquity what will happen” (cf. NAB, NEB, REB). The emendation directs the attention of the reader to those who claim to be able to predict the future, challenging them to actually do what they claim they can do. The MT presents Yahweh as an example to whom these alleged “predictors of the future” can compare themselves. Since the ancient versions are unanimous in their support of the MT, the emendations should be set aside.

206 tn Heb and those things which are coming let them declare for themselves.”

207 tn BDB 923 s.v. רָהָה derives this verb from an otherwise unattested root, while HALOT 403 s.v. יָרָה defines it as “be stupefied” on the basis of an Arabic cognate. The form is likely a corruption of תיראו, the reading attested in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa.

208 tn Heb “rock” or “rocky cliff,” a title that depicts God as a protective refuge in his role as sovereign king; thus the translation “sheltering rock.”

209 tn The rhetorical question is sarcastic. The sense is, “Who is foolish enough…?”

210 tn The pronoun “his” probably refers to the one who forms/casts an idol (v. 10), in which case it refers to the craftsman’s associates in the idol-manufacturing guild.

211 sn The point seems to be this: If the idols are the mere products of human hands, then those who trust in them will be disappointed, for man-made gods are incapable of helping their “creators.”

212 tn The noun מַעֲצָד (maatsad), which refers to some type of tool used for cutting, occurs only here and in Jer 10:3. See HALOT 615 s.v. מַעֲצָד.

213 tn Some English versions take the pronoun “it” to refer to an idol being fashioned by the blacksmith (cf. NIV, NCV, CEV). NLT understands the referent to be “a sharp tool,” which is then used by the carpenter in the following verse to carve an idol from wood.

214 tn Heb “and there is no strength”; NASB “his strength fails.”

215 tn Heb “stretches out a line” (ASV similar); NIV “measures with a line.”

216 tn Heb “he makes an outline with the [?].” The noun שֶׂרֶד (shered) occurs only here; it apparently refers to some type of tool or marker. Cf. KJV “with a line”; ASV “with a pencil”; NAB, NRSV “with a stylus”; NASB “with red chalk”; NIV “with a marker.”

217 tn Heb “works” (so NASB) or “fashions” (so NRSV); NIV “he roughs it out.”

218 tn Heb “he makes it like the pattern of a man”; NAB “like a man in appearance.”

219 tn Heb “like the glory of man to sit [in] a house”; NIV “that it may dwell in a shrine.”

220 tn It is not certain what type of tree this otherwise unattested noun refers to. Cf. ASV “a holm-tree” (NRSV similar).

221 tn Heb “strengthens for himself,” i.e., “secures for himself” (see BDB 55 s.v. אָמֵץ Pi.2).

222 tn Some prefer to emend אֹרֶן (’oren) to אֶרֶז (’erez, “cedar”), but the otherwise unattested noun appears to have an Akkadian cognate, meaning “cedar.” See H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena (SBLDS), 44-45. HALOT 90 s.v. I אֹרֶן offers the meaning “laurel.”

223 tn Heb “and it becomes burning [i.e., firewood] for a man”; NAB “to serve man for fuel.”

224 tn Or perhaps, “them.”

225 tn Heb “eats” (so NASB); NAB, NRSV “roasts.”

226 tn Heb “for their eyes are smeared over so they cannot see, so their heart cannot be wise.”

227 tn There is no formal interrogative sign here, but the context seems to indicate these are rhetorical questions. See GKC 473 §150.a.

228 tn Or perhaps, “he eats on an ash heap.”

229 tn Heb “Is it not a lie in my right hand?”

230 tc The verb in the Hebrew text is a Niphal imperfect with a pronominal suffix. Although the Niphal ordinarily has the passive sense, it can have a reflexive nuance as well (see above translation). Some have suggested an emendation to a Qal form: “Do not forget me” (all the ancient versions, NEB, REB; see GKC 369 §117.x). “Do not forget me” would make a good parallel with “remember these things” in the first line. Since the MT is the harder reading and fits with Israel’s complaint that God had forgotten her (Isa 40:27), the MT reading should be retained (NASB, NKJV, NRSV, ESV). The passive has been rendered as an active in the translation in keeping with contemporary English style (so also NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT).

231 tn Heb “I blot out like a cloud your rebellious deeds, and like a cloud your sins.” “Rebellious deeds” and “sins” stand by metonymy for the guilt they produce. Both עָב (’av) and עָנָן (’anan) refer to the clouds in the sky. It is tempting for stylistic purposes to translate the second with “fog” or “mist” (cf. NAB, NRSV “cloud…mist”; NIV “cloud…morning mist”; NLT “morning mists…clouds”), but this distinction between the synonyms is unwarranted here. The point of the simile seems to be this: The Lord forgives their sins, causing them to vanish just as clouds disappear from the sky (see Job 7:9; 30:15).

232 tn Heb “redeem.” See the note at 41:14.

233 tn Heb “acts”; NASB, NRSV “has done it”; NLT “has done this wondrous thing.”

234 tn Heb “lower regions.” This refers to Sheol and forms a merism with “sky” in the previous line. See Pss 63:9; 71:20.

235 tn Heb “O forest and all the trees in it”; NASB, NRSV “and every tree in it.”

236 tn Heb “redeems.” See the note at 41:14.

237 tn That is, by delivering Israel. Cf. NCV “showed his glory when he saved Israel”; TEV “has shown his greatness by saving his people Israel.”

238 tn Heb “your redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

239 tn The consonantal text (Kethib) has “Who [was] with me?” The marginal reading (Qere) is “from with me,” i.e., “by myself.” See BDB 87 s.v. II אֵת 4.c.

240 tc The Hebrew text has בַּדִּים (baddim), perhaps meaning “empty talkers” (BDB 95 s.v. III בַּד). In the four other occurrences of this word (Job 11:3; Isa 16:6; Jer 48:30; 50:36) the context does not make the meaning of the term very clear. Its primary point appears to be that the words spoken are meaningless or false. In light of its parallelism with “omen readers,” some have proposed an emendation to בָּרִים (barim, “seers”). The Mesopotamian baru-priests were divination specialists who played an important role in court life. See R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, 93-98. Rather than supporting an emendation, J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:189, n. 79) suggests that Isaiah used בַּדִּים purposively as a derisive wordplay on the Akkadian word baru (in light of the close similarity of the d and r consonants).

241 tn Or “makes fools of” (NIV, NRSV); NAB and NASB both similar.

242 tn Heb “who turns back the wise” (so NRSV); NIV “overthrows the learning of the wise”; TEV “The words of the wise I refute.”

243 tn Heb “their knowledge” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).

244 tn Heb “the word of his servant.” The following context indicates that the Lord’s prophets are in view.

245 tn Heb “counsel.” The Hebrew term עֵצָה (’etsah) probably refers here to the divine plan as announced by the prophets. See HALOT 867 s.v. I עֵצָה.

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

247 tn Heb “says to.” It is possible that the sentence is not completed, as the description of Cyrus and his God-given role is developed in the rest of the verse. 45:1 picks up where 44:28a leaves off with the Lord’s actual words to Cyrus finally being quoted in 45:2.

248 tn Heb “my shepherd.” The shepherd motif is sometimes applied, as here, to a royal figure who is responsible for the well-being of the people whom he rules.

249 tn Heb “that he might bring to completion all my desire.”

250 tn Heb “and [concerning the] temple, you will be founded.” The preposition -לְ (lÿ) is understood by ellipsis at the beginning of the second line. The verb תִּוָּסֵד (tivvased, “you will be founded”) is second masculine singular and is probably addressed to the personified temple (הֵיכָל [hekhal, “temple”] is masculine).

251 tn Heb “anointed” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “his appointed king.”

252 sn The “right hand” is a symbol of activity and strength; the Lord directs Cyrus’ activities and assures his success.

253 tn Heb “and the belts of kings I will loosen”; NRSV “strip kings of their robes”; NIV “strip kings of their armor.”

254 tc The form הֲדוּרִים (hadurim) makes little, if any, sense here. It is probably a corruption of an original הָרָרִים (hararim, “mountains”), the reduplicated form of הָר (har, “mountain”).

255 tn That is, on the gates. Cf. CEV “break the iron bars on bronze gates.”

256 tn Heb “treasures of darkness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “treasures from dark, secret places.”

257 tn Or “know” (NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT); NIV “acknowledge.”

258 tn Heb “and there is none besides.” On the use of עוֹד (’od) here, see BDB 729 s.v. 1.c.

259 tn Heb “gird you” (so NASB) or “strengthen you” (so NIV).

260 tn Or “know” (NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT); NIV “have not acknowledged.”

261 tn The words “I do this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

262 tn Heb “they” (so KJV, ASV); TEV, CEV “everyone”; NLT “all the world.”

263 tn The words “I am” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the participle at the beginning of v. 7 stands in apposition to “the Lord” in v. 6.

264 tn On the surface v. 7a appears to describe God’s sovereign control over the cycle of day and night, but the following statement suggests that “light” and “darkness” symbolize “deliverance” and “judgment.”

265 sn This verses affirms that God is ultimately sovereign over his world, including mankind and nations. In accordance with his sovereign will, he can cause wars to cease and peace to predominate (as he was about to do for his exiled people through Cyrus), or he can bring disaster and judgment on nations (as he was about to do to Babylon through Cyrus).

266 tn Heb “let the clouds drip with”; KJV “let the skies pour down.”

267 tn Heb “open up” (so NASB); NIV, NLT “open wide.”

268 tc The plural verb should be emended to a singular form. The vav (ו) ending is probably virtually dittographic (note the yod at the beginning of the following word).

269 tc The Hiphil verb form (תַצְמִיחַ, tatsmiakh) should probably be emended to a Qal (תִצְמַח, titsmakh). The יח sequence at the end of the form is probably due to dittography (note the following יַחַד, yakhad).

270 tn The masculine singular pronominal suffix probably refers back to יָשַׁע (yasha’, “salvation”).

271 tn Heb “Woe [to] the one who argues with the one who formed him.”

272 tn The words “one who is like a mere” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and clarification.

273 tn Heb “Should the clay say to the one who forms it?” The rhetorical question anticipates a reply, “Of course not!”

274 tn The words “in the world” are supplied in the translation to approximate in English idiom the force of the sarcastic question.

275 tn Heb “your work, there are no hands for it,” i.e., “your work looks like something made by a person who has no hands.”

276 tn Heb “Woe [to] one who says” (NASB and NIV both similar); NCV “How terrible it will be.”

277 tn See the note at v. 9. This phrase occurs a second time later in this verse.

278 sn Verses 9-10 may allude to the exiles’ criticism that the Lord does not appear to know what he is doing.

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

280 tc The Hebrew text reads “the one who formed him, the coming things.” Among various suggestions, some have proposed an emendation of יֹצְרוֹ (yotsÿro, “the one who formed him”) to יֹצֵר (yotser, “the one who forms”; the suffixed form in the Hebrew text may be influenced by vv. 9-10, where the same form appears twice) and takes “coming things” as the object of the participle (either objective genitive or accusative): “the one who brings the future into being.”

281 tn Heb “Ask me” The rhetorical command sarcastically expresses the Lord’s disgust with those who question his ways.

282 tn Heb “Do you command me about…?” The rhetorical question sarcastically expresses the Lord’s disgust with those who question his ways.

283 tn The words “who live” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

284 tn Heb “I, even my hands”; NASB “I stretched out…with My hands”; NRSV “it was my hands that stretched out.” The same construction occurs at the beginning of v. 13.

285 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

286 tn Heb “and to all their host I commanded.” See the notes at 40:26.

287 tn Heb “I stir him up in righteousness”; NASB “I have aroused him.” See the note at 41:2. Cyrus (cf. 44:28) is in view here.

288 tn Heb “labor,” which stands metonymically for the fruits of labor, either “monetary profit,” or “products.”

289 tn Or perhaps, “merchandise” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NAB “the gain of Ethiopia”; CEV “the treasures of Ethiopia.”

290 tn Heb “they will pass over to you”; NASB, NIV “will come over to you”; CEV “will belong to you.”

291 sn Restored Israel is depicted here in typical ancient Near Eastern fashion as an imperial power that receives riches and slaves as tribute.

292 sn Israel’s vassals are portrayed as so intimidated and awed that they treat Israel as an intermediary to God or sub-deity.

293 tn Or perhaps, “among.” Cf. KJV, ASV “Surely God is in thee.”

294 tn Heb “there is no other” (so NIV, NRSV). The same phrase occurs at the end of v. 18, in v. 21, and at the end of v. 22.

295 tn “together they will walk in humiliation, the makers of images.”

296 tn Heb “Israel will be delivered by the Lord [with] a permanent deliverance.”

297 tn Heb “you will not be ashamed and you will not be humiliated for ages of future time.”

298 tn Heb “he [is] the God.” The article here indicates uniqueness.

299 tn Or “unformed.” Gen 1:2 describes the world as “unformed” (תֹהוּ, tohu) prior to God’s creative work, but God then formed the world and made it fit for habitation.

300 tn Heb “in a place of a land of darkness” (ASV similar); NASB “in some dark land.”

301 tn “In vain” translates תֹהוּ (tohu), used here as an adverbial accusative: “for nothing.”

302 tn The translation above assumes that צֶדֶק (tsedeq) and מֵישָׁרִים (mesharim) are adverbial accusatives (see 33:15). If they are taken as direct objects, indicating the content of what is spoken, one might translate, “who proclaims deliverance, who announces justice.”

303 tn Heb “Declare! Bring near!”; NASB “Declare and set forth your case.” See 41:21.

304 tn Or “a righteous God and deliverer”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “a righteous God and a Savior.”

305 tn The Niphal imperative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose after the preceding imperative. The Niphal probably has a tolerative sense, “allow yourselves to be delivered, accept help.”

306 tn Heb “I swear by myself”; KJV, NASB “have sworn.”

307 tn Heb “a word goes out from my mouth [in] truth and will not return.”

308 tn Heb “swear” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “confess allegiance.”

309 tn Heb “‘Yes, in the Lord,’ one says about me, ‘is deliverance and strength.’”

310 tn Heb “will come to him and be ashamed.”

311 tn Heb “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel will be vindicated and boast.”

312 sn Bel was the name of a Babylonian god. The name was originally associated with Enlil, but later was applied to Marduk. See HALOT 132 s.v. בֵּל.

313 sn Nebo is a variation of the name of the Babylonian god Nabu.

314 tn Heb “their images belong to animals and beasts”; NIV “their idols are borne by beasts of burden”; NLT “are being hauled away.”

315 tn Heb “your loads are carried [as] a burden by a weary [animal].”

316 tn Heb “[the] burden,” i.e., their images, the heavy burden carried by the animals.

317 tn נַפְשָׁם (nafsham, “their souls/lives”) is equivalent here to a third masculine plural suffix, but the third feminine singular verb הָלָכָה (halakhah, “they go”) agrees with the feminine noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul, life”).

318 sn The downfall of Babylon is depicted here. The idols are carried off by the victorious enemy; the gods are likened to defeated captives who cower before the enemy and are taken into exile.

319 tn Heb “house of Jacob”; TEV “descendants of Jacob.”

320 tn Heb “and all the remnant of the house of Israel.”

321 tn Heb “from the womb” (so NRSV); KJV “from the belly”; NAB “from your infancy.”

322 tn Heb “who have been lifted up from the womb.”

323 tn Heb “until old age, I am he” (NRSV similar); NLT “I will be your God throughout your lifetime.”

324 sn Unlike the weary idol gods, whose images must be carried by animals, the Lord carries his weary people.

325 tn Heb “the reed,” probably referring to the beam of a scales. See BDB 889 s.v. קָנֶה 4.c.

326 tn Or perhaps, “cannot,” here and in the following two lines. The imperfect forms can indicate capability.

327 tn The meaning of the verb אָשַׁשׁ (’ashash, which appears here in the Hitpolel stem) is uncertain. BDB 84 s.v. אשׁשׁ relates it to a root meaning “found, establish” in Arabic; HALOT 100 s.v. II אשׁשׁ gives the meaning “pluck up courage.” The imperative with vav (ו) may indicate purpose following the preceding imperative.

328 tn Heb “return [it], rebels, to heart”; NRSV “recall it to mind, you transgressors.”

329 tn Heb “remember the former things, from antiquity”; KJV, ASV “the former things of old.”

330 tn Heb “and there is no other” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

331 tn Or “from long ago”; KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV “from ancient times.”

332 tn Or, more generally, “a bird of prey” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV; see 18:6).

333 tn Heb “spoken”; KJV “I have spoken it.”

334 tn Heb “strong of heart [or, mind]”; KJV “stouthearted”; NAB “fainthearted”; NIV “stubborn-hearted.”

335 tn Heb “who are far from righteousness [or perhaps, “deliverance”].”

336 tn Heb “my salvation.” The verb “I am bringing near” is understood by ellipsis (note the previous line).

337 tn Heb “I will place in Zion salvation”; NASB “I will grant salvation in Zion.”

338 tn Heb “to Israel my splendor”; KJV, ASV “for Israel my glory.”

339 tn בְּתוּלַה (bÿtulah) often refers to a virgin, but the phrase “virgin daughter” is apparently stylized (see also 23:12; 37:22). In the extended metaphor of this chapter, where Babylon is personified as a queen (vv. 5, 7), she is depicted as being both a wife and mother (vv. 8-9).

340 tn Or “For” (NASB, NRSV).

341 tn Heb “Your shame will be seen.” In this context “shame” is a euphemism referring to the genitals.

342 tn Heb “I will not meet a man.” The verb פָּגַע (pagah) apparently carries the nuance “meet with kindness” here (cf. 64:5, and see BDB 803 s.v. Qal.2).

343 tc The Hebrew text reads, “Our redeemer – the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” The ancient Greek version adds “says” before “our redeemer.” אָמַר (’amar) may have accidentally dropped from the text by virtual haplography. Note that the preceding word אָדָם (’adam) is graphically similar.

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

344 tn Heb “darkness,” which may indicate a place of hiding where a fugitive would seek shelter and protection.

345 tn Or “For” (NASB, NRSV).

346 tn Or “compassion.”

347 tn Heb “on the old you made very heavy your yoke.”

348 tn Heb “Forever I [will be] permanent queen”; NIV “the eternal queen”; CEV “queen forever.”

349 tn Heb “you did not set these things upon your heart [or “mind”].”

350 tn Heb “you did not remember its outcome”; NAB “you disregarded their outcome.”

351 tn Or perhaps, “voluptuous one” (NAB); NAB “you sensual one”; NLT “You are a pleasure-crazy kingdom.”

352 tn Heb “the one who says in her heart.”

353 tn Heb “I [am], and besides me there is no other.” See Zeph 2:15.

354 tn Heb “I will not live [as] a widow, and I will not know loss of children.”

355 tn Heb “loss of children and widowhood.” In the Hebrew text the phrase is in apposition to “both of these” in line 1.

356 tn Heb “according to their fullness, they will come upon you.”

357 tn For other examples of the preposition bet (בְּ) having the sense of “although, despite,” see BDB 90 s.v. III.7.

358 sn Reference is made to incantations and amulets, both of which were important in Mesopotamian religion. They were used to ward off danger and demons.

359 tn Heb “you trusted in your evil”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “wickedness.”

360 tn Or “said”; NAB “said to yourself”’ NASB “said in your heart.”

361 tn The words “self-professed” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

362 tn See the note at v. 8.

363 tc The Hebrew text has שַׁחְרָהּ (shakhrah), which is either a suffixed noun (“its dawning,” i.e., origin) or infinitive (“to look early for it”). Some have suggested an emendation to שַׁחֲדָהּ (shakhadah), a suffixed infinitive from שָׁחַד (shakhad, “[how] to buy it off”; see BDB 1005 s.v. שָׁחַד). This forms a nice parallel with the following couplet. The above translation is based on a different etymology of the verb in question. HALOT 1466 s.v. III שׁחר references a verbal root with these letters (שׁחד) that refers to magical activity.

364 tn Heb “you will not know”; NIV “you cannot foresee.”

365 tn Heb “stand” (so KJV, ASV); NASB, NRSV “Stand fast.”

366 tn The word “trusting” is supplied in the translation for clarification. See v. 9.

367 tn Heb “in that which you have toiled.”

368 tn Heb “maybe you will be able to profit.”

369 tn Heb “maybe you will cause to tremble.” The object “disaster” is supplied in the translation for clarification. See the note at v. 9.

370 tn Heb “you are tired because of the abundance of your advice.”

371 tn Heb “let them stand and rescue you – the ones who see omens in the sky, who gaze at the stars, who make known by months – from those things which are coming upon you.”

372 tn Heb “hand,” here a metaphor for the strength or power of the flames.

373 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “there is no coal [for?] their food, light to sit before it.” Some emend לַחְמָם (lakhmam, “their food”) to לְחֻמָּם (lÿkhummam, “to warm them”; see HALOT 328 s.v. חמם). This statement may allude to Isa 44:16, where idolaters are depicted warming themselves over a fire made from wood, part of which was used to form idols. The fire of divine judgment will be no such campfire; its flames will devour and destroy.

374 tn Heb “So they will be to you”; NIV “That is all they can do for you.”

375 tn Heb “that for which you toiled, your traders from your youth.” The omen readers and star gazers are likened to merchants with whom Babylon has had an ongoing economic relationship.

376 tn Heb “each to his own side, they err.”

377 tn Heb “house of Jacob”; TEV, CEV “people of Israel.”

378 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “and from the waters of Judah came out.” מִמֵּי (mimme) could be a corruption of מִמְּעֵי (mimmÿe, “from the inner parts of”; cf. NASB, NIV, NLT, NRSV) as suggested in the above translation. Some translations (ESV, NKJV) retain the MT reading because the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa, which corrects a similar form to “from inner parts of” in 39:7, does not do it here.

379 tn Heb “cause to remember”; KJV, ASV “make mention of.”

380 tn Heb “not in truth and not in righteousness.”

381 tn Heb “they call themselves [or “are called”] from the holy city.” The precise meaning of the statement is uncertain. The Niphal of קָרָא (qara’) is combined with the preposition מִן (min) only here. When the Qal of קָרָא is used with מִן, the preposition often indicates the place from which one is summoned (see 46:11). So one could translate, “from the holy city they are summoned,” meaning that they reside there.

382 tn Heb “lean on” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB, NIV “rely on.”

383 tn Heb “the former things beforehand I declared.”

384 tn Heb “and from my mouth they came forth and I caused them to be heard.”

385 tn The words “I did this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 4 is subordinated to v. 3.

386 sn The image is that of a person who has tensed the muscles of the face and neck as a sign of resolute refusal.

387 tn Heb “gaze [at] all of it”; KJV “see all this.”

388 tn Heb “[as for] you, will you not declare?”

389 tn Heb “and hidden things, and you do not know them.”

390 tn Heb “are created” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “They are brand new.”

391 tn Heb “look”; KJV, NASB “Behold.”

392 tn Heb “beforehand your ear did not open.”

393 tn Heb “deceiving, you deceive.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

394 tn Or “called” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

395 tn Heb “for the sake of my name” (so NAB, NASB); NLT “for my own sake.”

396 tn Heb “and my praise.” לְמַעַן (lÿmaan, “for the sake of”) is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

397 tn Heb “I restrain [myself] concerning you not to cut you off.”

398 tc The Hebrew text has בְּחַרְתִּיךָ (bÿkhartikha, “I have chosen you”), but the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa reads correctly בחנתיכה (“I have tested you”). The metallurgical background of the imagery suggests that purification through testing is the idea.

399 tn The Hebrew text repeats לְמַעֲנִי (lÿmaani, “for my sake”) for emphasis.

400 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “for how can it be defiled?” The subject of the verb is probably “name” (v. 9).

401 sn See 42:8.

402 tn Heb “I [am] he, I [am the] first, also I [am the] last.”

403 sn This probably refers to the idol gods (see v. 5).

404 tn Or “friend,” or “covenant partner.”

sn The Lord’s ally is a reference to Cyrus.

405 tn Heb “and his arm [against] the Babylonians.”

406 tn Heb “and his way will be prosperous.”

407 tn Heb “from the time of its occurring.”

408 sn The speaker here is not identified specifically, but he is probably Cyrus, the Lord’s “ally” mentioned in vv. 14-15.

409 tn Heb “your redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

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

411 tn Heb “paid attention to” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “had listened to.”

412 tn Heb “like a river your peace would have been.” שָׁלוֹם (shalom) probably refers here to the peace and prosperity which God promised in return for obedience to the covenant.

413 tn Heb “and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah) probably refers here to divine deliverance from enemies. See v. 19.

414 tn Heb “like sand”; NCV “as many as the grains of sand.”

415 tn Heb “and the issue from your inner parts.”

416 tn Heb “and his name would not be cut off and would not be destroyed from before me.”

417 tn Heb “to the end of the earth” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).

418 tn Heb “redeems.” See the note at 41:14.

419 sn The translation above (present tense) assumes that this verse describes God’s provision for returning Babylonian exiles (see v. 20; 35:6; 49:10) in terms reminiscent of the Exodus from Egypt (see Exod 17:6).



TIP #07: Use the Discovery Box to further explore word(s) and verse(s). [ALL]
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