New English Translation
The Lord Will Judge the Earth
24 Look, the Lord is ready to devastate the earth
and leave it in ruins;
he will mar its surface
and scatter its inhabitants.
2 Everyone will suffer—the priest as well as the people,[a]
the master as well as the servant,[b]
the elegant lady as well as the female attendant,[c]
the seller as well as the buyer,[d]
the borrower as well as the lender,[e]
the creditor as well as the debtor.[f]
3 The earth will be completely devastated
and thoroughly ransacked.
For the Lord has decreed this judgment.[g]
4 The earth[h] dries up[i] and withers,
the world shrivels up and withers;
the prominent people of the earth[j] fade away.
5 The earth is defiled by[k] its inhabitants,[l]
for they have violated laws,
disregarded the regulation,[m]
and broken the permanent treaty.[n]
6 So a treaty curse[o] devours the earth;
its inhabitants pay for their guilt.[p]
This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear,[q]
and are reduced to just a handful of people.[r]
7 The new wine dries up,
the vines shrivel up,
all those who like to celebrate[s] groan.
8 The happy sound[t] of the tambourines stops,
the revelry of those who celebrate comes to a halt,
the happy sound of the harp ceases.
9 They no longer sing and drink wine;[u]
the beer tastes bitter to those who drink it.
10 The ruined town[v] is shattered;
all the houses are shut up tight.[w]
11 They howl in the streets because of what happened to the wine;[x]
all joy turns to sorrow;[y]
celebrations disappear from the earth.[z]
12 The city is left in ruins;[aa]
the gate is reduced to rubble.[ab]
13 This is what will happen throughout[ac] the earth,
among the nations.
It will be like when they beat an olive tree,
and just a few olives are left at the end of the harvest.[ad]
14 They[ae] lift their voices and shout joyfully;
they praise[af] the majesty of the Lord in the west.
15 So in the east[ag] extol the Lord,
along the seacoasts extol[ah] the fame[ai] of the Lord God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we[aj] hear songs—
the Just One is majestic.[ak]
But I[al] say, “I’m wasting away! I’m wasting away! I’m doomed!
Deceivers deceive, deceivers thoroughly deceive!”[am]
17 Terror, pit, and snare
are ready to overtake, you inhabitants of the earth![an]
18 The one who runs away from the sound of the terror
will fall into the pit;[ao]
the one who climbs out of the pit
will be trapped by the snare.
For the floodgates of the heavens[ap] are opened up[aq]
and the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth is broken in pieces,
the earth is ripped to shreds,
the earth shakes violently.[ar]
20 The earth will stagger around[as] like a drunk;
it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm.[at]
Its sin will weigh it down,
and it will fall and never get up again.
The Lord Will Become King
21 At that time[au] the Lord will punish[av]
the heavenly forces in the heavens[aw]
and the earthly kings on the earth.
22 They will be imprisoned in a pit,[ax]
locked up in a prison,
and after staying there for a long time,[ay] they will be punished.[az]
23 The full moon will be covered up,[ba]
the bright sun[bb] will be darkened;[bc]
for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule[bd]
on Mount Zion in Jerusalem
in the presence of his assembly, in majestic splendor.[be]
25 O Lord, you are my God![bf]
I will exalt you in praise, I will extol your fame.[bg]
For you have done extraordinary things,
and executed plans made long ago exactly as you decreed.[bh]
2 Indeed,[bi] you have made the city[bj] into a heap of rubble,
the fortified town into a heap of ruins;
the fortress of foreigners[bk] is no longer a city,
it will never be rebuilt.
3 So a strong nation will extol you;
the towns of[bl] powerful nations will fear you.
4 For you are a protector for the poor,
a protector for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm,
a shade from the heat.
Though the breath of tyrants[bm] is like a winter rainstorm,[bn]
5 like heat[bo] in a dry land,
you humble the boasting foreigners.[bp]
Just as the shadow of a cloud causes the heat to subside,[bq]
so he causes the song of tyrants to cease.[br]
6 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain.[bs]
At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine—
tender meat and choicest wine.[bt]
7 On this mountain he will swallow up
the shroud that is over all the peoples,[bu]
the woven covering that is over all the nations;[bv]
8 he will swallow up death permanently.[bw]
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from every face,
and remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
Indeed, the Lord has announced it![bx]
9 At that time they will say,[by]
“Look, here[bz] is our God!
We waited for him, and he delivered us.
Here[ca] is the Lord! We waited for him.
Let’s rejoice and celebrate his deliverance!”
10 For the Lord’s power will make this mountain secure.[cb]
Moab will be trampled down where it stands,[cc]
as a heap of straw is trampled down in[cd] a manure pile.
11 Moab[ce] will spread out its hands in the middle of it,[cf]
just as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim;
the Lord[cg] will bring down Moab’s[ch] pride as it spreads its hands.[ci]
12 The fortified city (along with the very tops of your[cj] walls)[ck] he will knock down,
he will bring it down, he will throw it down to the dusty ground.[cl]
Judah Will Celebrate
26 At that time[cm] this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city!
The Lord’s[cn] deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure.[co]
2 Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter—
one that remains trustworthy.
3 You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith,
for they trust in you.[cp]
4 Trust in the Lord from this time forward,[cq]
even in Yah, the Lord, an enduring protector![cr]
5 Indeed,[cs] the Lord knocks down those who live in a high place,
he brings down an elevated town;
he brings it down to the ground,[ct]
he throws it down to the dust.
6 It is trampled underfoot
by the feet of the oppressed,
by the soles of the poor.”
God’s People Anticipate Vindication
7 [cu] The way of the righteous is level,
the path of the righteous that you prepare is straight.[cv]
8 Yes, as your judgments unfold,[cw]
O Lord, we wait for you.
We desire your fame and reputation to grow.[cx]
9 I[cy] look for[cz] you during the night;
my spirit within me seeks you at dawn,
for when your judgments come upon the earth,
those who live in the world learn about justice.[da]
10 If the wicked are shown mercy,
they do not learn about justice.[db]
Even in a land where right is rewarded, they act unjustly;[dc]
they do not see the Lord’s majesty revealed.
11 O Lord, you are ready to act,[dd]
but they don’t even notice.
They will see and be put to shame by your angry judgment against humankind;[de]
yes, fire will consume your enemies.[df]
12 O Lord, you make us secure,[dg]
for even all we have accomplished, you have done for us.[dh]
13 O Lord, our God,
masters other than you have ruled us,
but we praise your name alone.
14 The dead do not come back to life,
the spirits of the dead do not rise.[di]
That is because[dj] you came in judgment[dk] and destroyed them,
you wiped out all memory of them.
15 You have made the nation larger,[dl] O Lord;
you have made the nation larger and revealed your splendor;[dm]
you have extended all the borders of the land.
16 O Lord, in distress they looked for you;
they uttered incantations because of your discipline.[dn]
17 As when a pregnant woman gets ready to deliver
and strains and cries out because of her labor pains,
so were we because of you, O Lord.
18 We were pregnant, we strained,
we gave birth, as it were, to wind.[do]
We cannot produce deliverance on the earth;
no people are born to populate the world.[dp]
19 [dq] Your dead will come back to life;
your corpses will rise up.
Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground![dr]
For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew,[ds]
and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.[dt]
20 Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms!
Close your doors behind you!
Hide for a little while,
until his angry judgment is over.[du]
21 For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives,[dv]
to punish the sin of those who live on the earth.
The earth will display the blood shed on it;
it will no longer cover up its slain.[dw]
27 At that time[dx] the Lord will punish
with his destructive,[dy] great, and powerful sword
Leviathan the fast-moving[dz] serpent,
Leviathan the squirming serpent;
he will kill the sea monster.[ea]
2 When that time comes,[eb]
sing about a delightful vineyard![ec]
3 “I, the Lord, protect it;[ed]
I water it regularly.[ee]
I guard it night and day,
so no one can harm it.[ef]
4 I am not angry.
I wish I could confront some thorns and briers!
Then I would march against them[eg] for battle;
I would set them[eh] all on fire,
5 unless they became my subjects[ei]
and made peace with me;
let them make peace with me.”[ej]
6 The time is coming when Jacob will take root;[ek]
Israel will blossom and grow branches.
The produce[el] will fill the surface of the world.[em]
7 Has the Lord struck down Israel as he did their oppressors?[en]
Has Israel been killed like their enemies?[eo]
8 When you summon her for divorce, you prosecute her;[ep]
he drives her away[eq] with his strong wind in the day of the east wind.[er]
9 So in this way Jacob’s sin will be forgiven,[es]
and this is how they will show they are finished sinning:[et]
They will make all the stones of the altars[eu]
like crushed limestone,
and the Asherah poles and the incense altars will no longer stand.[ev]
10 For the fortified city[ew] is left alone;
it is a deserted settlement
and abandoned like the wilderness.
Calves[ex] graze there;
they lie down there
and eat its branches bare.[ey]
11 When its branches get brittle,[ez] they break;
women come and use them for kindling.[fa]
For these people lack understanding,[fb]
therefore the one who made them has no compassion on them;
the one who formed them has no mercy on them.
12 At that time[fc] the Lord will shake the tree,[fd] from the Euphrates River[fe] to the Stream of Egypt. Then you will be gathered up one by one, O Israelites.[ff] 13 At that time[fg] a large[fh] trumpet will be blown, and the ones lost[fi] in the land of Assyria will come, as well as the refugees in[fj] the land of Egypt. They will worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
- Isaiah 24:2 tn Heb “and it will be like the people, like the priest.”
- Isaiah 24:2 tn Heb “like the servant, like his master.”
- Isaiah 24:2 tn Heb “like the female servant, like her mistress.”
- Isaiah 24:2 tn Heb “like the buyer, like the seller.”
- Isaiah 24:2 tn Heb “like the lender, like the borrower.”
- Isaiah 24:2 tn Heb “like the creditor, just as the one to whom he lends.”
- Isaiah 24:3 tn Heb “for the Lord has spoken this word.”
- Isaiah 24:4 tn Some prefer to read “land” here, but the word pair אֶרֶץ/תֵּבֵל (ʾerets/tevel [see the corresponding term in the parallel line]) elsewhere clearly designates the earth/world (see 1 Sam 2:8; 1 Chr 16:30; Job 37; 12; Pss 19:4; 24:1; 33:8; 89:11; 90:2; 96:13; 98:9; Prov 8:26, 31; Isa 14:16-17; 34:1; Jer 10:12; 51:15; Lam 4:12). According to L. Stadelmann, תבל designates “the habitable part of the world” (The Hebrew Conception of the World [AnBib], 130).
- Isaiah 24:4 tn Or “mourns” (BDB 5 s.v. אָבַל). HALOT 6-7 lists the homonyms I אבל (“mourn”) and II אבל (“dry up”). They propose the second here on the basis of parallelism.
- Isaiah 24:4 tn Heb “the height of the people of the earth.” The translation assumes an emendation of the singular form מְרוֹם (merom, “height of”) to the plural construct מְרֹמֵי (merome, “high ones of”; note the plural verb at the beginning of the line), and understands the latter as referring to the prominent people of human society.
- Isaiah 24:5 tn Heb “beneath”; cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “under”; NAB “because of.”
- Isaiah 24:5 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.
- Isaiah 24:5 tn Heb “moved past [the?] regulation.”
- Isaiah 24:5 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.
- Isaiah 24:6 sn Ancient Near Eastern treaties often had “curses,” or threatened judgments, attached to them. (See Deut 28 for a biblical example of such curses.) The party or parties taking an oath of allegiance acknowledged that disobedience would activate these curses, which typically threatened loss of agricultural fertility as depicted in the following verses.
- Isaiah 24:6 tn The verb אָשַׁם (ʾasham, “be guilty”) is here used metonymically to mean “pay, suffer for one’s guilt” (see HALOT 95 s.v. אשׁם).
- Isaiah 24:6 tn BDB 359 s.v. חָרַר derives the verb חָרוּ (kharu) from חָרַר (kharar, “burn”), but HALOT 351 s.v. II חרה understands a hapax legomenon חָרָה (kharah, “to diminish in number,” a homonym of חָרָה) here, relating it to an alleged Arabic cognate meaning “to decrease.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has חורו, perhaps understanding the root as חָוַר (khavar, “grow pale”; see Isa 29:22 and HALOT 299 s.v. I חור).
- Isaiah 24:6 tn Heb “and mankind is left small [in number].”
- Isaiah 24:7 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “all the joyful in heart,” but the context specifies the context as parties and drinking bouts.
- Isaiah 24:8 tn Heb “the joy” (again later in this verse).
- Isaiah 24:9 tn Heb “with a song they do not drink wine.”
- Isaiah 24:10 tn Heb “the city of chaos” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). Isaiah uses the term תֹּהוּ (tohu) rather frequently of things (like idols) that are empty and worthless (see BDB 1062 s.v.), so the word might characterize the city as rebellious or morally worthless. However, in this context, which focuses on the effects of divine judgment, it probably refers to the ruined or worthless condition in which the city is left (note the use of the word in Isa 34:11). For a discussion of the identity of this city, see R. Chisholm, “The ‘Everlasting Covenant’ and the ‘City of Chaos’: Intentional Ambiguity and Irony in Isaiah 24, ” CTR 6 (1993): 237-53. In the context of universal judgment depicted in Isa 24, this city represents all the nations and cities of the world which, like Babylon of old and the powers/cities mentioned in chapters 13-23, rebel against God’s authority. Behind the stereotypical language one can detect various specific manifestations of this symbolic and paradigmatic city, including Babylon, Moab, and Jerusalem, all of which are alluded or referred to in chapters 24-27.
- Isaiah 24:10 tn Heb “every house is closed up from entering.”
- Isaiah 24:11 tn Heb “[there is] an outcry over the wine in the streets.”
- Isaiah 24:11 tn Heb “all joy turns to evening,” the darkness of evening symbolizing distress and sorrow.
- Isaiah 24:11 tn Heb “the joy of the earth disappears.”
- Isaiah 24:12 tn Heb “and there is left in the city desolation.”
- Isaiah 24:12 tn Heb “and [into] rubble the gate is crushed.”
- Isaiah 24:13 tn Heb “in the midst of” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).
- Isaiah 24:13 sn The judgment will severely reduce the earth’s population. See v. 6.
- Isaiah 24:14 sn The remnant of the nations (see v. 13) may be the unspecified subject. If so, then those who have survived the judgment begin to praise God.
- Isaiah 24:14 tn Heb “they yell out concerning.”
- Isaiah 24:15 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “in the lights,” interpreted by some to mean “in the region of light,” referring to the east. Some scholars have suggested the emendation of בָּאֻרִים (baʾurim) to בְּאִיֵּי הַיָּם (beʾiyye hayyam, “along the seacoasts”), a phrase that is repeated in the next line. In this case, the two lines form synonymous parallelism. If one retains the MT reading (as above), “in the east” and “along the seacoasts” depict the two ends of the earth to refer to all the earth (as a merism).
- Isaiah 24:15 tn The word “extol” is supplied in the translation; the verb in the first line does double duty in the parallelism.
- Isaiah 24:15 tn Heb “name,” which here stands for God’s reputation achieved by his mighty deeds.
- Isaiah 24:16 sn The identity of the subject is unclear. Apparently in vv. 15-16a an unidentified group responds to the praise they hear in the west by exhorting others to participate.
- Isaiah 24:16 tn Heb “Beauty belongs to the just one.” These words may summarize the main theme of the songs mentioned in the preceding line.
- Isaiah 24:16 sn The prophet seems to contradict what he hears the group saying. Their words are premature because more destruction is coming.
- Isaiah 24:16 tn Heb “and [with] deception deceivers deceive.”tn Verse 16b is a classic example of Hebrew wordplay. In the first line (“I’m wasting away….”) four consecutive words end with hireq yod ( ִי); in the second line all forms are derived from the root בָּגַד (bagad). The repetition of sound draws attention to the prophet’s lament.
- Isaiah 24:17 tn Heb “[are] upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.” The first line of v. 17 provides another classic example of Hebrew wordplay. The names of the three instruments of judgment (פָח,פַחַת ,פַּחַד [pakhad, fakhat, fakh]) all begin with the letters פ and ח (pe and khet) and the first two end in dental consonants (ד and ת, dalet and tav). Once again the repetition of sound draws attention to the statement and contributes to the theme of the inescapability of judgment. As their similar-sounding names suggest, terror, pit, and snare are allies in destroying the objects of divine wrath.
- Isaiah 24:18 tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
- Isaiah 24:18 tn Heb “from the height”; KJV “from on high.”
- Isaiah 24:18 sn The language reflects the account of the Noahic Flood (see Gen 7:11).
- Isaiah 24:19 tn Once more repetition is used to draw attention to a statement. In the Hebrew text each line ends with אֶרֶץ (ʾerets, “earth”). Each line also uses a Hitpolel verb form from a geminate root preceded by an emphatic infinitive absolute.
- Isaiah 24:20 tn Heb “staggering, staggers.” The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before the finite verb for emphasis and sound play.
- Isaiah 24:20 tn The words “in a windstorm” are supplied in the translation to clarify the metaphor.
- Isaiah 24:21 tn Or “in that day” (so KJV). The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
- Isaiah 24:21 tn Heb “visit [in judgment].”
- Isaiah 24:21 tn Heb “the host of the height in the height.” The “host of the height/heaven” refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets; see, among others, Deut 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr 33:3, 5) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7; Isa 14:13).
- Isaiah 24:22 tn Heb “they will be gathered [in] a gathering [as] a prisoner in a cistern.” It is tempting to eliminate אֲסֵפָה (ʾasefah, “a gathering”) as dittographic or as a gloss, but sound repetition is one of the main characteristics of the style of this section of the chapter.
- Isaiah 24:22 tn Heb “and after a multitude of days.”
- Isaiah 24:22 tn Heb “visited” (so KJV, ASV). This verse can mean to visit for good or for evil. The translation assumes the latter, based on v. 21a. However, BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד B.Niph.2 suggests the meaning “visit graciously” here, in which case one might translate “they will be released.”
- Isaiah 24:23 tn Heb “will be ashamed.”
- Isaiah 24:23 tn Or “glow of the sun.”
- Isaiah 24:23 tn Heb “will be ashamed” (so NCV).
- Isaiah 24:23 tn Or “take his throne,” “become king.”
- Isaiah 24:23 tn Heb “and before his elders [in] splendor.”
- Isaiah 25:1 sn The prophet speaks here as one who has observed the coming judgment of the proud.
- Isaiah 25:1 tn Heb “name.” See the note at 24:15.
- Isaiah 25:1 tn Heb “plans from long ago [in] faithfulness, trustworthiness.” The feminine noun אֱמוּנָה (ʾemunah, “faithfulness”) and masculine noun אֹמֶן (ʾomen, “trustworthiness”), both of which are derived from the root אָמַן (ʾaman), are juxtaposed to emphasize the basic idea conveyed by the synonyms. Here they describe the absolute reliability of the divine plans.
- Isaiah 25:2 tn Or “For” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).
- Isaiah 25:2 tn The Hebrew text has “you have made from the city.” The prefixed mem (מ) on עִיר (ʿir, “city”) was probably originally an enclitic mem suffixed to the preceding verb. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:456, n. 3.
- Isaiah 25:2 tc Some with support from the LXX emend זָרִים (zarim, “foreigners”) to זֵדִים (zedim, “the insolent”).
- Isaiah 25:3 tn The Hebrew text has a singular form, but it should be emended to a plural or eliminated altogether. The noun may have been accidentally copied from the preceding verse.
- Isaiah 25:4 tn Or perhaps, “the violent”; NIV, NRSV “the ruthless.”
- Isaiah 25:4 tc The Hebrew text has, “like a rainstorm of a wall,” which might be interpreted to mean, “like a rainstorm battering against a wall.” The translation assumes an emendation of קִיר (qir, “wall”) to קֹר (qor, “cold, winter”; cf. Gen 8:22). See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:457, n. 6, for discussion.
- Isaiah 25:5 tn Or “drought” (TEV).
- Isaiah 25:5 tn Heb “the tumult of foreigners.”
- Isaiah 25:5 tn Heb “[like] heat in the shadow of a cloud.”
- Isaiah 25:5 tn The translation assumes that the verb יַעֲנֶה (yaʿaneh) is a Hiphil imperfect from עָנָה (ʿanah, “be afflicted, humiliated”). In this context with “song” as object it means to “quiet” (see HALOT 853-54 s.v. II ענה). Some prefer to emend the form to the second person singular, so that it will agree with the second person verb earlier in the verse. BDB 776 s.v. III עָנָה Qal.1 understands the form as Qal, with “song” as subject, in which case one might translate “the song of tyrants will be silent.” An emendation of the form to a Niphal (יֵעָנֶה, yeʿaneh) would yield the same translation.
- Isaiah 25:6 sn That is, Mount Zion (see 24:23); cf. TEV; NLT “In Jerusalem.”
- Isaiah 25:6 tn Heb “And the Lord of Heaven’s Armies [traditionally, “the Lord of hosts”] will make for all the nations on this mountain a banquet of meats, a banquet of wine dregs, meats filled with marrow, dregs that are filtered.”
- Isaiah 25:7 tn The Hebrew text reads, “the face of the shroud, the shroud over all the nations.” Some emend the second הַלּוֹט (hallot) to a passive participle הַלּוּט (hallut, “that is wrapped”).
- Isaiah 25:7 sn The point of the imagery is unclear. Perhaps the shroud/covering referred to was associated with death in some way (see v. 8).
- Isaiah 25:8 sn The image of the Lord “swallowing” death would be especially powerful, for death was viewed in Canaanite mythology and culture as a hungry enemy that swallows its victims. See the note at 5:14.
- Isaiah 25:8 tn Heb “has spoken” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
- Isaiah 25:9 tn Heb “and one will say in that day.”
- Isaiah 25:9 tn Heb “this [one].”
- Isaiah 25:9 tn Heb “this [one].”
- Isaiah 25:10 tn Heb “for the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain”; TEV “will protect Mount Zion”; NCV “will protect (rest on NLT) Jerusalem.”
- Isaiah 25:10 tn Heb “under him,” i.e., “in his place.”
- Isaiah 25:10 tc The marginal reading (Qere) is בְּמוֹ (bemo, “in”). The consonantal text (Kethib) has בְּמִי (bemi, “in the water of”).
- Isaiah 25:11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Isaiah 25:11 tn The antecedent of the third masculine singular pronominal suffix is probably the masculine noun מַתְבֵּן (matben, “heap of straw”) in v. 10 rather than the feminine noun מַדְמֵנָה (madmenah, “manure pile”), also in v. 10.
- Isaiah 25:11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Isaiah 25:11 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Moab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Isaiah 25:11 tn The Hebrew text has, “he will bring down his pride along with the [?] of his hands.” The meaning of אָרְבּוֹת (ʾarbot), which occurs only here in the OT, is unknown. Some (see BDB 70 s.v. אָרְבָּה) translate “artifice, cleverness,” relating the form to the verbal root אָרָב (ʾarav, “to lie in wait, ambush”), but this requires some convoluted semantic reasoning. HALOT 83 s.v. *אָרְבָּה suggests the meaning “[nimble] movements.” The translation above, which attempts to relate the form to the preceding context, is purely speculative.
- Isaiah 25:12 sn Moab is addressed.
- Isaiah 25:12 tn Heb “a fortification, the high point of your walls.”
- Isaiah 25:12 tn Heb “he will bring [it] down, he will make [it] touch the ground, even to the dust.”
- Isaiah 26:1 tn Heb “In that day” (so KJV).
- Isaiah 26:1 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Isaiah 26:1 tn Heb “deliverance he makes walls and a rampart.”
- Isaiah 26:3 tn Heb “[one of] firm purpose you will keep [in] peace, peace, for in you he possesses trust.” The Hebrew term יֵצֶר (yetser) refers to what one devises in the mind; סָמוּךְ (samukh) probably functions here like an attributive adjective and carries the nuance “firm.” So the phrase literally means, “a firm purpose,” but as the object of the verb “keep, guard,” it must stand by metonymy for the one(s) who possess a firm purpose. In this context the “righteous nation” (v. 2) is probably in view and the “firm purpose” refers to their unwavering faith in God’s vindication (see 25:9). In this context שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”), which is repeated for emphasis, likely refers to national security, not emotional or psychological composure (see vv. 1-2). The passive participle בָּטוּחַ (batuakh) expresses a state that results from the subject’s action.
- Isaiah 26:4 tn Or “forevermore.” For other uses of the phrase עֲדֵי־עַד (ʿade ʿad) see Isa 65:18 and Pss 83:17; 92:7.
- Isaiah 26:4 tc The Hebrew text has “for in Yah, the Lord, an everlasting rock.” Some have suggested that the phrase בְּיָהּ (beyah, “in Yah”) is the result of dittography. A scribe seeing כִּי יְהוָה (ki yehvah) in his original text would somehow have confused the letters and accidentally inserted בְּיָהּ between the words (bet and kaf [ב and כ] can be confused in later script phases). A number of English versions retain both divine names for emphasis (ESV, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, NLT). One of the Qumran texts (1QIsaa) confirms the MT reading as well.
- Isaiah 26:5 tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).
- Isaiah 26:5 tn The translation assumes that יַשְׁפִּילֶנָּה (yashpilennah) goes with the preceding words “an elevated town,” and that יַשְׁפִּילָהּ (yashpilah) belongs with the following words, “to the ground.” See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:469, n. 7.
- Isaiah 26:7 sn The literary structure of chap. 26 is not entirely clear. The chapter begins with an eschatological song of praise and ends with a lament and prophetic response (vv. 16-21). It is not certain where the song of praise ends or how vv. 7-15 fit into the structure. Verses 10-11a seem to lament the presence of evil and v. 11b anticipates the arrival of judgment, so it is possible that vv. 7-15 are a prelude to the lament and announcement that conclude the chapter.
- Isaiah 26:7 tc The Hebrew text has, “upright, the path of the righteous you make level.” There are three possible ways to translate this line. Some take יָשָׁר (yashar) as a divine title: “O Upright One” (cf. NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, NLT). Others regard יָשָׁר as the result of dittography (מֵישָׁרִים יָשָׁר מַעְגּל, mesharim yashar maʿgal) and do not include it in the translation. Another possibility is to keep יָשָׁר and render the line as “the path of the righteous that you prepare is straight.” sn The metaphor of a level/smooth road/path may refer to their morally upright manner of life (see v. 8a), but verse 7b, which attributes the smooth path to the Lord, suggests that the Lord’s vindication and blessing may be the reality behind the metaphor here.
- Isaiah 26:8 tn The Hebrew text has, “yes, the way of your judgments.” The translation assumes that “way” is related to the verb “we wait” as an adverbial accusative (“in the way of your judgments we wait”). מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ (mishpatekha, “your judgments”) could refer to the Lord’s commandments, in which case one might translate, “as we obey your commands.” However, in verse 9 the same form refers to divine acts of judgment on evildoers.
- Isaiah 26:8 tn Heb “your name and your remembrance [are] the desire of [our?] being.”
- Isaiah 26:9 tn Heb “with my soul I.” This is a figure for the speaker himself (“I”).
- Isaiah 26:9 tn Or “long for, desire.” The speaker acknowledges that he is eager to see God come in judgment (see vv. 8, 9b).
- Isaiah 26:9 tn The translation understands צֶדֶק (tsedeq) in the sense of “justice,” but it is possible that it carries the nuance “righteousness,” in which case one might translate, “those who live in the world learn to live in a righteous manner” (cf. NCV).
- Isaiah 26:10 tn As in verse 9b, the translation understands צֶדֶק (tsedeq) in the sense of “justice,” but it is possible that it carries the nuance “righteousness,” in which case one might translate, “they do not learn to live in a righteous manner.”
- Isaiah 26:10 tn Heb “in a land of uprightness they act unjustly”; NRSV “they deal perversely.”
- Isaiah 26:11 tn Heb “O Lord, your hand is lifted up.”
- Isaiah 26:11 tn Heb “They will see and be ashamed of zeal of people.” Some take the prefixed verbs as jussives and translate the statement as a prayer, “Let them see and be put to shame.” The meaning of the phrase קִנְאַת עָם (qinʾat ʿam, “zeal of people”) is unclear. The translation assumes that this refers to God’s angry judgment upon people. Another option is to understand the phrase as referring to God’s zealous, protective love of his covenant people. In this case one might translate, “by your zealous devotion to your people.”
- Isaiah 26:11 tn Heb “yes, fire, your enemies, will consume them.” Many understand the prefixed verb form to be jussive and translate, “let [fire] consume” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV). The mem suffixed to the verb may be enclitic; if a pronominal suffix, it refers back to “your enemies.”
- Isaiah 26:12 tn Heb “O Lord, you establish peace for us.”
- Isaiah 26:12 tc Some suggest emending גַּם כָּל (gam kol, “even all”) to כִּגְמֻל (kigmul, “according to the deed[s] of”) One might then translate “for according to what our deeds deserve, you have acted on our behalf.” Nevertheless, accepting the MT as it stands, the prophet affirms that Yahweh deserved all the credit for anything Israel had accomplished.
- Isaiah 26:14 sn In light of what is said in verse 14b, the “dead” here may be the “masters” mentioned in verse 13.
- Isaiah 26:14 tn The Hebrew term לָכֵן (lakhen) normally indicates a cause-effect relationship between what precedes and follows and is translated, “therefore.” Here, however, it infers the cause from the effect and brings out what is implicit in the previous statement. See BDB 487 s.v.
- Isaiah 26:14 tn Heb “visited [for harm]” (cf. KJV, ASV); NAB, NRSV “you have punished.”
- Isaiah 26:15 tn Heb “you have added to the nation.” The last line of the verse suggests that geographical expansion is in view. “The nation” is Judah.
- Isaiah 26:15 tn Or “brought honor to yourself.”
- Isaiah 26:16 tn The meaning of this verse is unclear. It appears to read literally, “O Lord, in distress they visit you, they pour out [?] an incantation, your discipline to them.” פָּקַד (paqad) may here carry the sense of “seek with interest” (cf. Ezek 23:21 and BDB 823 s.v.) or “seek in vain” (cf. Isa 34:16), but it is peculiar for the Lord to be the object of this verb. צָקוּן (tsaqun) may be a Qal perfect third plural form from צוּק (tsuq, “pour out, melt”), though the verb is not used of pouring out words in its two other occurrences. Because of the appearance of צַר (tsar, “distress”) in the preceding line, it is tempting to emend the form to a noun and derive it from צוּק (“be in distress”) The term לַחַשׁ (lakhash) elsewhere refers to an incantation (Isa 3:3; Jer 8:17; Eccl 10:11) or amulet (Isa 3:20). Perhaps here it refers to ritualistic prayers or to magical incantations used to ward off evil.
- Isaiah 26:18 tn On the use of כְּמוֹ (kemo, “like, as”) here, see BDB 455 s.v. Israel’s distress and suffering, likened here to the pains of childbirth, seemed to be for no purpose. A woman in labor endures pain with the hope that a child will be born; in Israel’s case no such positive outcome was apparent. The nation was like a woman who strains to bring forth a child but cannot push the baby through to daylight. All her effort produces nothing.
- Isaiah 26:18 tn Heb “and the inhabitants of the world do not fall.” The term נָפַל (nafal) apparently means here, “be born,” though the Qal form of the verb is not used with this nuance anywhere else in the OT. (The Hiphil appears to be used in the sense of “give birth” in v. 19, however.) The implication of verse 18b seems to be that Israel hoped its suffering would somehow end in deliverance and an increase in population. The phrase “inhabitants of the world” seems to refer to the human race in general, but the next verse, which focuses on Israel’s dead, suggests the referent may be more limited.
- Isaiah 26:19 sn At this point the Lord (or prophet) gives the people an encouraging oracle.
- Isaiah 26:19 tn Heb “dust” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
- Isaiah 26:19 tn Heb “for the dew of lights [is] your dew.” The pronominal suffix on “dew” is masculine singular, like the suffixes on “your dead” and “your corpses” in the first half of the verse. The statement, then, is addressed to collective Israel, the speaker in verse 18. The plural form אוֹרֹת (ʾorot) is probably a plural of respect or magnitude, meaning “bright light” (i.e., morning’s light). Dew is a symbol of fertility and life. Here Israel’s “dew,” as it were, will soak the dust of the ground and cause the corpses of the dead to spring up to new life, like plants sprouting up from well-watered soil.
- Isaiah 26:19 sn It is not certain whether the resurrection envisioned here is intended to be literal or figurative. A comparison with 25:8 and Dan 12:2 suggests a literal interpretation, but Ezek 37:1-14 uses resurrection as a metaphor for deliverance from exile and the restoration of the nation (see Isa 27:12-13).
- Isaiah 26:20 tn Heb “until anger passes by.”
- Isaiah 26:21 tn Heb “out of his place” (so KJV, ASV).
- Isaiah 26:21 sn This implies that rampant bloodshed is one of the reasons for divine judgment. See the note at 24:5.
- Isaiah 27:1 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV).
- Isaiah 27:1 tn Heb “hard, severe”; cf. NAB, NRSV “cruel”; KJV “sore”; NLT “terrible.”
- Isaiah 27:1 tn Heb “fleeing” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). Some translate “slippery” or “slithering.” See the same Hebrew phrase in Job 26:13.
- Isaiah 27:1 tn The description of Leviathan should be compared with the following excerpts from Ugaritic mythological texts: (1) “Was not the dragon (Ugaritic tnn, cognate with Hebrew תַנִּין [tannin, translated “sea monster” here]) vanquished and captured? I did destroy the wriggling (Ugaritic ʿqltn, cognate to Hebrew עֲקַלָּתוֹן [ʿaqallaton, translated “squirming” here]) serpent, the tyrant with seven heads (cf. Ps 74:14).” (See CTA 3 iii 38-39.) (2) “for all that you smote Leviathan the slippery (Ugaritic brh, cognate to Hebrew בָּרִחַ [bariakh, translated “fast-moving” here]) serpent, [and] made an end of the wriggling serpent, the tyrant with seven heads” (See CTA 5 i 1-3.) sn In the Ugaritic mythological texts Leviathan is a sea creature that symbolizes the destructive water of the sea and in turn the forces of chaos that threaten the established order. Isaiah here applies imagery from Canaanite mythology to Yahweh’s eschatological victory over his enemies. Elsewhere in the OT, the battle with the sea motif is applied to Yahweh’s victories over the forces of chaos at creation and in history (cf. Pss 74:13-14; 77:16-20; 89:9-10; Isa 51:9-10). Yahweh’s subjugation of the chaos waters is related to His kingship (cf. Pss 29:3, 10; 93:3-4). Apocalyptic literature employs the imagery as well. The beasts of Dan 7 emerge from the sea, while Rev 13 speaks of a seven-headed beast coming from the sea.
- Isaiah 27:2 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV).
- Isaiah 27:2 tn Heb “vineyard of delight,” or “vineyard of beauty.” Many medieval mss read כֶּרֶם חֶמֶר (kerem khemer, “vineyard of wine”), i.e., “a productive vineyard.”
- Isaiah 27:3 tn Heb “her.” Apparently “vineyard” is the antecedent, though normally this noun is understood as masculine (see Lev 25:3, however).
- Isaiah 27:3 tn Or perhaps, “constantly.” Heb “by moments.”
- Isaiah 27:3 tn Heb “lest [someone] visit [harm] upon it, night and day I guard it.”
- Isaiah 27:4 tn Heb “it.” The feminine singular suffix apparently refers back to the expression “thorns and briers,” understood in a collective sense. For other examples of a cohortative expressing resolve after a hypothetical statement introduced by מִי with נָתָן (mi with natan), see Judg 9:29; Jer 9:1-2; Ps 55:6.
- Isaiah 27:4 tn Heb “it.” The feminine singular suffix apparently refers back to the expression “thorns and briers,” understood in a collective sense.
- Isaiah 27:5 tn Heb “or let him take hold of my refuge.” The subject of the third masculine singular verb form is uncertain. Apparently the symbolic “thorns and briers” are in view, though in v. 4b a feminine singular pronoun was used to refer to them.
- Isaiah 27:5 tc The Hebrew text has, “he makes peace with me; peace he makes with me.” Some contend that two alternative readings are preserved here and one should be deleted. The first has the object שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) preceding the verb עָשָׂה (ʿasah, “make”); the second reverses the order. Another option is to retain both statements, although repetitive, to emphasize the need to make peace with Yahweh.
- Isaiah 27:6 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “the coming ones, let Jacob take root.” הַבָּאִים (habbaʾim, “the coming ones”) should probably be emended to יָמִים בָּאִים (yamim baʾim, “days [are] coming”) or בְּיָמִים הַבָּאִים (biyamim habbaʾim, “in the coming days”).
- Isaiah 27:6 tn Heb “fruit” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
- Isaiah 27:6 sn This apparently refers to a future population explosion. See 26:18.
- Isaiah 27:7 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “Like the striking down of the one striking him down does he strike him down?” The meaning of the text is unclear, but this may be a rhetorical question, suggesting that Israel has not experienced divine judgment to the same degree as her oppressors. In this case “the one striking…down” refers to Israel’s oppressors, while the pronoun “him” refers to Israel. The subject of the final verb (“does he strike…down”) would then be God, while the pronoun “him” would again refer to Israel.
- Isaiah 27:7 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “Or like the killing of his killed ones is he killed?” If one accepts the interpretation of the parallel line outlined in the previous note, then this line too would contain a rhetorical question suggesting that Israel has not experienced destruction to the same degree as its enemies. In this case “his killed ones” refer to the ones who struck Israel down, and Israel would be the subject of the final verb (“is he killed”).
- Isaiah 27:8 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “in [?], in sending her away, you oppose her.” The meaning of this line is uncertain. The form בְּסַאסְּאָה (besasseʾah) is taken as an infinitive from סַאסְּאָה (sasseʾah) with a prepositional prefix and a third feminine singular suffix. (The MT does not have a mappiq in the final he [ה], however). According to HALOT 738 s.v. סַאסְּאָה the verb is a Palpel form from an otherwise unattested root cognate with an Arabic verb meaning “to gather beasts with a call.” Perhaps it means “to call, summon” here, but this is a very tentative proposal. בְּשַׁלְחָהּ (beshalekhah, “in sending her away”) appears to be a Piel infinitive with a prepositional prefix and a third feminine singular suffix. Since the Piel of שָׁלָח (shalakh) can sometimes mean “divorce” (HALOT 1514-15 s.v.) and the following verb רִיב (riv, “oppose”) can be used in legal contexts, it is possible that divorce proceedings are alluded to here. This may explain why Israel is referred to as feminine in this verse, in contrast to the masculine forms used in vv. 6-7 and 9.
- Isaiah 27:8 tn The Hebrew text has no object expressed, but one can understand a third feminine singular pronominal object and place a mappiq in the final he (ה) of the form to indicate the suffix.
- Isaiah 27:8 sn The “east wind” here symbolizes violent divine judgment.
- Isaiah 27:9 tn Or “be atoned for” (NIV); cf. NRSV “be expiated.”
- Isaiah 27:9 tn Heb “and this [is] all the fruit of removing his sin.” The meaning of the statement is not entirely clear, though “removing his sin” certainly parallels “Jacob’s sin will be removed” in the preceding line. If original, “all the fruit” may refer to the result of the decision to remove sin, but the phrase may be a textual variation of an original לְכַפֵּר (lekhapper, “to atone for”), which in turn might be a gloss on הָסִר (hasir, “removing”).
- Isaiah 27:9 tn Heb “when he makes the stones of an altar.” The singular “altar” is collective here; pagan altars are in view, as the last line of the verse indicates. See also 17:8.
- Isaiah 27:9 sn As interpreted and translated above, this verse says that Israel must totally repudiate its pagan religious practices in order to experience God’s forgiveness and restoration. Another option is to understand “in this way” and “this” in v. 9a as referring back to the judgment described in v. 8. In this case כָּפַר (kafar, “atone for”) is used in a sarcastic sense; Jacob’s sin is “atoned for” and removed through severe judgment. Following this line of interpretation, one might paraphrase the verse as follows: “So in this way (through judgment) Jacob’s sin will be “atoned for,” and this is the way his sin will be removed, when he (i.e., God) makes all the altar stones like crushed limestone….” This interpretation is more consistent with the tone of judgment in vv. 8 and 10-11.
- Isaiah 27:10 sn The identity of this city is uncertain. The context suggests that an Israelite city, perhaps Samaria or Jerusalem, is in view. For discussions of interpretive options see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:496-97, and Paul L. Redditt, “Once Again, the City in Isaiah 24-27, ” HAR 10 (1986), 332.
- Isaiah 27:10 tn The singular form in the text is probably collective.
- Isaiah 27:10 tn Heb “and destroy her branches.” The city is the antecedent of the third feminine singular pronominal suffix. Apparently the city is here compared to a tree. See also v. 11.
- Isaiah 27:11 tn Heb “are dry” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
- Isaiah 27:11 tn Heb “women come [and] light it.” The city is likened to a dead tree with dried-up branches that is only good for firewood.
- Isaiah 27:11 tn Heb “for not a people of understanding [is] he.”
- Isaiah 27:12 tn Heb “and it will be in that day.” The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
- Isaiah 27:12 tn Heb “the Lord will beat out.” The verb is used of beating seeds or grain to separate the husk from the kernel (see Judg 6:11; Ruth 2:17; Isa 28:27), and of beating the olives off the olive tree (Deut 24:20). The latter metaphor may be in view here, where a tree metaphor has been employed in the preceding verses. See also 17:6.
- Isaiah 27:12 tn Heb “the river,” a frequent designation in the OT for the Euphrates. For clarity most modern English versions substitute the name “Euphrates” for “the river” here.
- Isaiah 27:12 sn The Israelites will be freed from exile (likened to beating the olives off the tree) and then gathered (likened to collecting the olives).
- Isaiah 27:13 tn Heb “and it will be in that day.” The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
- Isaiah 27:13 tn Traditionally, “great” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT); CEV “loud.”
- Isaiah 27:13 tn Or “the ones perishing.”
- Isaiah 27:13 tn Or “the ones driven into.”