29:14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people –
an absolutely extraordinary deed. 1
Wise men will have nothing to say,
the sages will have no explanations.” 2
29:15 Those who try to hide their plans from the Lord are as good as dead, 3
who do their work in secret and boast, 4
“Who sees us? Who knows what we’re doing?” 5
29:16 Your thinking is perverse! 6
Should the potter be regarded as clay? 7
Should the thing made say 8 about its maker, “He didn’t make me”?
Or should the pottery say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”?
29:17 In just a very short time 9
Lebanon will turn into an orchard,
and the orchard will be considered a forest. 10
29:18 At that time 11 the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll,
and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness. 12
29:19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the Lord;
the poor among humankind will take delight 13 in the Holy One of Israel. 14
1 tn Heb “Therefore I will again do something amazing with these people, an amazing deed, an amazing thing.” This probably refers to the amazing transformation predicted in vv. 17-24, which will follow the purifying judgment implied in vv. 15-16.
2 tn Heb “the wisdom of their wise ones will perish, the discernment of their discerning ones will keep hidden.”
3 tn Heb “Woe [to] those who deeply hide counsel from the Lord.” This probably alludes to political alliances made without seeking the Lord’s guidance. See 30:1-2 and 31:1.
4 tn Heb “and their works are in darkness and they say.”
5 tn The rhetorical questions suggest the answer, “no one.” They are confident that their deeds are hidden from others, including God.
6 tn Heb “your overturning.” The predicate is suppressed in this exclamation. The idea is, “O your perversity! How great it is!” See GKC 470 §147.c. The people “overturn” all logic by thinking their authority supersedes God’s.
7 tn The expected answer to this rhetorical question is “of course not.” On the interrogative use of אִם (’im), see BDB 50 s.v.
8 tn Heb “that the thing made should say.”
9 tn The Hebrew text phrases this as a rhetorical question, “Is it not yet a little, a short [time]?”
10 sn The meaning of this verse is debated, but it seems to depict a reversal in fortunes. The mighty forest of Lebanon (symbolic of the proud and powerful, see 2:13; 10:34) will be changed into a common orchard, while the common orchard (symbolic of the oppressed and lowly) will grow into a great forest. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:538.
11 tn Or “In that day” (KJV).
12 tn Heb “and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.”
sn Perhaps this depicts the spiritual transformation of the once spiritually insensitive nation (see vv. 10-12, cf. also 6:9-10).
13 tn Or “will rejoice” (NIV, NCV, NLT).
14 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.