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Isaiah 50:4-5

Context
The Servant Perseveres

50:4 The sovereign Lord has given me the capacity to be his spokesman, 1 

so that I know how to help the weary. 2 

He wakes me up every morning;

he makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do. 3 

50:5 The sovereign Lord has spoken to me clearly; 4 

I have not rebelled,

I have not turned back.

1 tn Heb “has given to me a tongue of disciples.”

sn Verses 4-11 contain the third of the so-called servant songs, which depict the career of the Lord’s special servant, envisioned as an ideal Israel (49:3) who rescues the exiles and fulfills God’s purposes for the world. Here the servant alludes to opposition (something hinted at in 49:4), but also expresses his determination to persevere with the Lord’s help.

2 tc Heb “to know [?] the weary with a word.” Comparing it with Arabic and Aramaic cognates yields the meaning of “help, sustain.” Nevertheless, the meaning of עוּת (’ut) is uncertain. The word occurs only here in the OT (see BDB 736 s.v.). Various scholars have suggested an emendation to עָנוֹת (’anot) from עָנָה (’anah, “answer”): “so that I know how to respond kindly to the weary.” Since the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa and the Vulgate support the MT reading, that reading is retained.

3 tn Heb “he arouses for me an ear, to hear like disciples.”

4 tn Or perhaps, “makes me obedient.” The text reads literally, “has opened for me an ear.”



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