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Isaiah 41:13-19

Context

41:13 For I am the Lord your God,

the one who takes hold of your right hand,

who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’

41:14 Don’t be afraid, despised insignificant Jacob, 1 

men of 2  Israel.

I am helping you,” says the Lord,

your protector, 3  the Holy One of Israel. 4 

41:15 “Look, I am making you like 5  a sharp threshing sledge,

new and double-edged. 6 

You will thresh the mountains and crush them;

you will make the hills like straw. 7 

41:16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;

the wind will scatter them.

You will rejoice in the Lord;

you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

41:17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;

their tongues are parched from thirst.

I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers; 8 

I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

41:18 I will make streams flow down the slopes

and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.

I will turn the desert into a pool of water

and the arid land into springs.

41:19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;

I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.

1 tn Heb “O worm Jacob” (NAB, NIV). The worm metaphor suggests that Jacob is insignificant and despised.

2 tn On the basis of the parallelism (note “worm”) and an alleged Akkadian cognate, some read “louse” or “weevil.” Cf. NAB “O maggot Israel”; NRSV “you insect Israel.”

3 tn Heb “your kinsman redeemer.” A גָּאַל (gaal, “kinsman redeemer”) was a protector of the extended family’s interests.

4 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

5 tn Heb “into” (so NIV); ASV “have made thee to be.”

6 tn Heb “owner of two-mouths,” i.e., double-edged.

7 sn The mountains and hills symbolize hostile nations that are obstacles to Israel’s restoration.

8 tn Heb “will answer them” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).



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