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Isaiah 40:28-31

Context

40:28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is an eternal God,

the creator of the whole earth. 1 

He does not get tired or weary;

there is no limit to his wisdom. 2 

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. 3 

40:31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help 4  find renewed strength;

they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, 5 

they run without growing weary,

they walk without getting tired.

1 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.

2 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).

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

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

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



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