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Isaiah 59:9-15

Israel Confesses its Sin

59:9 For this reason deliverance 1  is far from us 2 

and salvation does not reach us.

We wait for light, 3  but see only darkness; 4 

we wait for 5  a bright light, 6  but live 7  in deep darkness. 8 

59:10 We grope along the wall like the blind,

we grope like those who cannot see; 9 

we stumble at noontime as if it were evening.

Though others are strong, we are like dead men. 10 

59:11 We all growl like bears,

we coo mournfully like doves;

we wait for deliverance, 11  but there is none,

for salvation, but it is far from us.

59:12 For you are aware of our many rebellious deeds, 12 

and our sins testify against us;

indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds;

we know our sins all too well. 13 

59:13 We have rebelled and tried to deceive the Lord;

we turned back from following our God.

We stir up 14  oppression and rebellion;

we tell lies we concocted in our minds. 15 

59:14 Justice is driven back;

godliness 16  stands far off.

Indeed, 17  honesty stumbles in the city square

and morality is not even able to enter.

59:15 Honesty has disappeared;

the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed.

The Lord watches and is displeased, 18 

for there is no justice.

1 tn מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), which refers to “justice” in the earlier verses, here refers to “justice from God,” or “vindication.” Because the people are unjust, God refuses to vindicate them before their enemies. See v. 11.

2 sn The prophet speaks on behalf of the sinful nation and confesses its sins.

3 sn Light here symbolizes prosperity and blessing.

4 tn Heb “but, look, darkness”; NIV “but all is darkness.”

5 tn The words “we wait for” are supplied in the translation; the verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

6 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.

7 tn Or “walk about”; NCV “all we have is darkness.”

8 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.

9 tn Heb “like there are no eyes.”

10 tn Heb among the strong, like dead men.”

11 tn See the note at v. 9.

12 tn Heb “for many are our rebellious deeds before you.”

13 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] our rebellious deeds (are) with us, and our sins, we know them.”

14 tn Heb “speaking.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

15 tn Heb “conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.”

16 tn Or “righteousness” (ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); KJV, NAB “justice.”

17 tn Or “for” (KJV, NRSV).

18 tn Heb “and it is displeasing in his eyes.”

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