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Isaiah 65:17-25

Context

65:17 For look, I am ready to create

new heavens and a new earth! 1 

The former ones 2  will not be remembered;

no one will think about them anymore. 3 

65:18 But be happy and rejoice forevermore

over what I am about to create!

For look, I am ready to create Jerusalem 4  to be a source of joy, 5 

and her people to be a source of happiness. 6 

65:19 Jerusalem will bring me joy,

and my people will bring me happiness. 7 

The sound of weeping or cries of sorrow

will never be heard in her again.

65:20 Never again will one of her infants live just a few days 8 

or an old man die before his time. 9 

Indeed, no one will die before the age of a hundred, 10 

anyone who fails to reach 11  the age of a hundred will be considered cursed.

65:21 They will build houses and live in them;

they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

65:22 No longer will they build a house only to have another live in it, 12 

or plant a vineyard only to have another eat its fruit, 13 

for my people will live as long as trees, 14 

and my chosen ones will enjoy to the fullest what they have produced. 15 

65:23 They will not work in vain,

or give birth to children that will experience disaster. 16 

For the Lord will bless their children

and their descendants. 17 

65:24 Before they even call out, 18  I will respond;

while they are still speaking, I will hear.

65:25 A wolf and a lamb will graze together; 19 

a lion, like an ox, will eat straw, 20 

and a snake’s food will be dirt. 21 

They will no longer injure or destroy

on my entire royal mountain,” 22  says the Lord.

1 sn This hyperbolic statement likens the coming transformation of Jerusalem (see vv. 18-19) to a new creation of the cosmos.

2 tn Or perhaps, “the former things” (so ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “The events of the past.”

3 tn Heb “and they will not come up on the mind.”

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

5 tn Heb “Jerusalem, joy.” The next verse suggests the meaning: The Lord will create Jerusalem to be a source of joy to himself.

6 tn Heb “her people, happiness.” See the preceding note.

7 tn Heb “and I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be happy in my people.”

8 tn Heb “and there will not be from there again a nursing infant of days,” i.e., one that lives just a few days.

9 tn Heb “or an old [man] who does not fill out his days.”

10 tn Heb “for the child as a son of one hundred years will die.” The point seems to be that those who die at the age of a hundred will be considered children, for the average life span will be much longer than that. The category “child” will be redefined in light of the expanded life spans that will characterize this new era.

11 tn Heb “the one who misses.” חָטָא (khata’) is used here in its basic sense of “miss the mark.” See HALOT 305 s.v. חטא. Another option is to translate, “and the sinner who reaches the age of a hundred will be cursed.”

12 tn Heb “they will not build, and another live [in it].”

13 tn Heb “they will not plant, and another eat.”

14 tn Heb “for like the days of the tree [will be] the days of my people.”

15 tn Heb “the work of their hands” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “their hard-won gains.”

16 tn Heb “and they will not give birth to horror.”

17 tn Heb “for offspring blessed by the Lord they [will be], and their descendants along with them.”

18 tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.

19 sn A similar statement appears in 11:6.

20 sn These words also appear in 11:7.

21 sn Some see an allusion to Gen 3:14 (note “you will eat dirt”). The point would be that even in this new era the snake (often taken as a symbol of Satan) remains under God’s curse. However, it is unlikely that such an allusion exists. Even if there is an echo of Gen 3:14, the primary allusion is to 11:8, where snakes are pictured as no longer dangerous. They will no longer attack other living creatures, but will be content to crawl along the ground. (The statement “you will eat dirt” in Gen 3:14 means “you will crawl on the ground.” In the same way the statement “dirt will be its food” in Isa 65:25 means “it will crawl on the ground.”)

22 tn Heb “in all my holy mountain.” These same words appear in 11:9. See the note there.

sn As in 11:1-9 the prophet anticipates a time when the categories predator-prey no longer exist. See the note at the end of 11:8.



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