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Isaiah 58:8-14

Context

58:8 Then your light will shine like the sunrise; 1 

your restoration will quickly arrive; 2 

your godly behavior 3  will go before you,

and the Lord’s splendor will be your rear guard. 4 

58:9 Then you will call out, and the Lord will respond;

you will cry out, and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’

You must 5  remove the burdensome yoke from among you

and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully.

58:10 You must 6  actively help the hungry

and feed the oppressed. 7 

Then your light will dispel the darkness, 8 

and your darkness will be transformed into noonday. 9 

58:11 The Lord will continually lead you;

he will feed you even in parched regions. 10 

He will give you renewed strength, 11 

and you will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring that continually produces water.

58:12 Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt; 12 

you will reestablish the ancient foundations.

You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls,

the one who makes the streets inhabitable again.’ 13 

58:13 You must 14  observe the Sabbath 15 

rather than doing anything you please on my holy day. 16 

You must look forward to the Sabbath 17 

and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. 18 

You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities,

and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. 19 

58:14 Then you will find joy in your relationship to the Lord, 20 

and I will give you great prosperity, 21 

and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.” 22 

Know for certain that the Lord has spoken. 23 

1 tn Heb “will burst out like the dawn.”

sn Light here symbolizes God’s favor and restored blessing, as the immediately following context makes clear.

2 tn Heb “prosper”; KJV “spring forth speedily.”

3 tn Or “righteousness.” Their godly behavior will be on display for all to see.

4 sn The nation will experience God’s protective presence.

5 tn Heb “if you.” In the Hebrew text vv. 9b-10 are one long conditional sentence. The protasis (“if” clauses appear in vv. 9b-10a), with the apodosis (“then” clause) appearing in v. 10b.

6 tn Heb “if you.” See the note on “you must” in v. 9b.

7 tn Heb “If you furnish for the hungry [with] your being, and the appetite of the oppressed you satisfy.”

8 tn Heb “will rise in the darkness.”

9 tn Heb “and your darkness [will be] like noonday.”

10 tn Heb “he will satisfy in parched regions your appetite.”

11 tn Heb “and your bones he will strengthen.”

12 tn Heb “and they will build from you ancient ruins.”

13 tc The Hebrew text has “the one who restores paths for dwelling.” The idea of “paths to dwell in” is not a common notion. Some have proposed emending נְתִיבוֹת (nÿtivot, “paths”) to נְתִיצוֹת (nÿtitsot, “ruins”), a passive participle from נָתַץ (natats, “tear down”; see HALOT 732 s.v. *נְתִיצָה), because tighter parallelism with the preceding line is achieved. However, none of the textual sources support this emendation. The line may mean that paths must be repaired in order to dwell in the land.

14 tn Lit., “if you.” In the Hebrew text vv. 13-14 are one long conditional sentence. The protasis (“if” clauses appear in v. 13), with the apodosis (“then” clause) appearing in v. 14.

15 tn Heb “if you turn from the Sabbath your feet.”

16 tn Heb “[from] doing your desires on my holy day.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa supplies the preposition מִן (min) on “doing.”

17 tn Heb “and call the Sabbath a pleasure”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “a delight.”

18 tn Heb “and [call] the holy [day] of the Lord honored.” On קָדוֹשׁ (qadosh, “holy”) as indicating a time period, see BDB 872 s.v. 2.e (cf. also Neh 8:9-11).

19 tn Heb “and you honor it [by refraining] from accomplishing your ways, from finding your desire and speaking a word.” It is unlikely that the last phrase (“speaking a word”) is a prohibition against talking on the Sabbath; instead it probably refers to making transactions or plans (see Hos 10:4). Some see here a reference to idle talk (cf. 2 Sam 19:30).

20 tn For a parallel use of the phrase “find joy in” (Hitpael of עָנַג [’anag] followed by the preposition עַל [’al]), see Ps 37:4.

21 tn Heb “and I will cause you to ride upon the heights of the land.” The statement seems to be an allusion to Deut 32:13, where it is associated, as here, with God’s abundant provision of food.

22 tn Heb “and I will cause you to eat the inheritance of Jacob your father.” The Hebrew term נַחֲלָה (nakhalah) likely stands by metonymy for the crops that grow on Jacob’s “inheritance” (i.e., the land he inherited as a result of God’s promise).

23 tn Heb “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The introductory כִּי (ki) may be asseverative (as reflected in the translation) or causal/explanatory, explaining why the preceding promise will become reality (because it is guaranteed by the divine word).



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