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Isaiah 64:1-3

Context

64:1 (63:19b) 1  If only you would tear apart the sky 2  and come down!

The mountains would tremble 3  before you!

64:2 (64:1) As when fire ignites dry wood,

or fire makes water boil,

let your adversaries know who you are, 4 

and may the nations shake at your presence!

64:3 When you performed awesome deeds that took us by surprise, 5 

you came down, and the mountains trembled 6  before you.

1 sn In BHS the chapter division occurs in a different place from the English Bible: 64:1 ET (63:19b HT) and 64:2-12 (64:1-11 HT). Beginning with 65:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.

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

3 tn Or “quake.” נָזֹלּוּ (nazollu) is from the verbal root זָלַל (zalal, “quake”; see HALOT 272 s.v. II זלל). Perhaps there is a verbal allusion to Judg 5:5, the only other passage where this verb occurs. In that passage the poet tells how the Lord’s appearance to do battle caused the mountains to shake.

4 tn Heb “to make known your name to your adversaries.” Perhaps the infinitive construct with preposition -לְ (lamed) should be construed with “come down” in v. 1a, or subordinated to the following line: “To make known your name to your adversaries, let the nations shake from before you.”

5 tn Heb “[for which] we were not waiting.”

6 tn See the note at v. 1.



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