24:5 The earth is defiled by 1 its inhabitants, 2
for they have violated laws,
disregarded the regulation, 3
and broken the permanent treaty. 4
55:3 Pay attention and come to me!
Listen, so you can live! 5
Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to 6 you,
just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David. 7
61:8 For I, the Lord, love justice
and hate robbery and sin.
I will repay them because of my faithfulness; 8
I will make a permanent covenant with them.
1 tn Heb “beneath”; cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “under”; NAB “because of.”
2 sn Isa 26:21 suggests that the earth’s inhabitants defiled the earth by shedding the blood of their fellow human beings. See also Num 35:33-34, which assumes that bloodshed defiles a land.
3 tn Heb “moved past [the?] regulation.”
4 tn Or “everlasting covenant” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “the ancient covenant”; CEV “their agreement that was to last forever.”
sn For a lengthy discussion of the identity of this covenant/treaty, see R. Chisholm, “The ‘Everlasting Covenant’ and the ‘City of Chaos’: Intentional Ambiguity and Irony in Isaiah 24,” CTR 6 (1993): 237-53. In this context, where judgment comes upon both the pagan nations and God’s covenant community, the phrase “permanent treaty” is intentionally ambiguous. For the nations this treaty is the Noahic mandate of Gen 9:1-7 with its specific stipulations and central regulation (Gen 9:7). By shedding blood, the warlike nations violated this treaty, which promotes population growth and prohibits murder. For Israel, which was also guilty of bloodshed (see Isa 1:15, 21; 4:4), this “permanent treaty” would refer more specifically to the Mosaic Law and its regulations prohibiting murder (Exod 20:13; Num 35:6-34), which are an extension of the Noahic mandate.
5 tn The jussive with vav (ו) conjunctive following the imperative indicates purpose/result.
sn To live here refers to covenantal blessing, primarily material prosperity and national security (see vv. 4-5, 13, and Deut 30:6, 15, 19-20).
6 tn Or “an eternal covenant with.”
7 tn Heb “the reliable expressions of loyalty of David.” The syntactical relationship of חַסְדֵי (khasde, “expressions of loyalty”) to the preceding line is unclear. If the term is appositional to בְּרִית (bÿrit, “covenant”), then the Lord here transfers the promises of the Davidic covenant to the entire nation. Another option is to take חַסְדֵי (khasde) as an adverbial accusative and to translate “according to the reliable covenantal promises.” In this case the new covenantal arrangement proposed here is viewed as an extension or perhaps fulfillment of the Davidic promises. A third option, the one reflected in the above translation, is to take the last line as comparative. In this case the new covenant being proposed is analogous to the Davidic covenant. Verses 4-5, which compare David’s international prominence to what Israel will experience, favors this view. In all three of these interpretations, “David” is an objective genitive; he is the recipient of covenantal promises. A fourth option would be to take David as a subjective genitive and understand the line as giving the basis for the preceding promise: “Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to you, because of David’s faithful acts of covenantal loyalty.”
8 tn Heb “in faithfulness”; NASB, NRSV, NLT “faithfully.”