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  Discovery Box

Isaiah 59:16-21

The Lord Intervenes

59:16 He sees there is no advocate; 1 

he is shocked 2  that no one intervenes.

So he takes matters into his own hands; 3 

his desire for justice drives him on. 4 

59:17 He wears his desire for justice 5  like body armor, 6 

and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head. 7 

He puts on the garments of vengeance 8 

and wears zeal like a robe.

59:18 He repays them for what they have done,

dispensing angry judgment to his adversaries

and punishing his enemies. 9 

He repays the coastlands. 10 

59:19 In the west, people respect 11  the Lord’s reputation; 12 

in the east they recognize his splendor. 13 

For he comes like a rushing 14  stream

driven on by wind sent from the Lord. 15 

59:20 “A protector 16  comes to Zion,

to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds,” 17  says the Lord.

59:21 “As for me, this is my promise to 18  them,” says the Lord. “My spirit, who is upon you, and my words, which I have placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and descendants from this time forward,” 19  says the Lord.

1 tn Heb “man” (so KJV, ASV); TEV “no one to help.”

2 tn Or “appalled” (NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “disgusted.”

3 tn Heb “and his arm delivers for him.”

4 tn Heb “and his justice [or “righteousness”] supports him.”

5 tn Or “righteousness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “goodness.”

6 tn Or “a breastplate” (traditional; so many English versions); TEV “a coat of armour.”

7 tn Heb “and [as] a helmet deliverance on his head.”

8 tn Heb “and he puts on the clothes of vengeance [as] a garment.”

9 tn Heb “in accordance with deeds, so he repays, anger to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies.”

10 tn Or “islands” (KJV, NIV).

11 tc Heb “fear.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read “see.”

12 tn Heb “and they fear from the west the name of the Lord.”

13 tn Heb “and from the rising of the sun his splendor.”

14 tn Heb “narrow”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “pent-up.”

15 tn Heb “the wind of the Lord drives it on.” The term רוּחַ (ruakh) could be translated “breath” here (see 30:28).

16 tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.

17 tn Heb “and to those who turn from rebellion in Jacob.”

18 tn Or “my covenant with” (so many English versions); NCV “my agreement with.”

sn The Lord promises the repentant (note “to them”) that they and their offspring will possess his spirit and function as his spokesmen. In this regard they follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s special servant. See 42:1; 49:2; 51:16.

19 tn Heb “from now and on into the future.”

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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