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18 “I hate their deeds and thoughts! So I am coming[a] to gather all the nations and ethnic groups;[b] they will come and witness my splendor. 19 I will perform a mighty act among them[c] and then send some of those who remain to the nations—to Tarshish, Pul,[d] Lud[e] (known for its archers[f]), Tubal, Javan,[g] and to the distant coastlands[h] that have not heard about me or seen my splendor. They will tell the nations of my splendor. 20 They will bring back all your countrymen[i] from all the nations as an offering to the Lord. They will bring them[j] on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, and on camels[k] to my holy hill Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the Israelites bring offerings to the Lord’s temple in ritually pure containers.

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  1. Isaiah 66:18 tc The Hebrew text reads literally “and I, their deeds and their thoughts, am coming.” The syntax here is very problematic, suggesting that the text may need emendation. Some suggest that the words “their deeds and their thoughts” have been displaced from v. 17. This line presents two primary challenges. In the first place, the personal pronoun “I” has no verb after it. Most translations insert “know” for the sake of clarity (NASB, NRSV, NLT, ESV). The NIV has “I, because of their actions and their imaginations…” Since God’s “knowledge” of Israel’s sin occasions judgment, the verb “hate” is an option as well (see above translation). The feminine form of the next verb (בָּאָה, baʾah) could be understood in one of two ways. One could provide an implied noun “time” (עֵת, ʿet) and render the next line “the time is coming/has come” (NASB, ESV). One could also emend the feminine verb to the masculine בָּא (baʾ) and have the “I” at the beginning of the line govern this verb as well (for the Lord is speaking here): “I am coming” (cf. NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).
  2. Isaiah 66:18 tn Heb “and the tongues”; KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV “and tongues.”
  3. Isaiah 66:19 tn Heb “and I will set a sign among them.” The precise meaning of this statement is unclear. Elsewhere “to set a sign” means “perform a mighty act” (Ps 78:43; Jer 32:20), “make [someone] an object lesson” (Ezek 14:8), and “erect a [literal] standard” (Ps 74:4).
  4. Isaiah 66:19 tn Some prefer to read “Put” (i.e., Libya).
  5. Isaiah 66:19 sn That is, Lydia (in Asia Minor).
  6. Isaiah 66:19 tn Heb “drawers of the bow” (KJV and ASV both similar).
  7. Isaiah 66:19 sn Javan is generally identified today as Greece (so NIV, NCV, NLT).
  8. Isaiah 66:19 tn Or “islands” (NIV).
  9. Isaiah 66:20 tn Heb “brothers” (so NIV); NCV “fellow Israelites.”
  10. Isaiah 66:20 tn The words “they will bring them” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  11. Isaiah 66:20 tn The precise meaning of this word is uncertain. Some suggest it refers to “chariots.” See HALOT 498 s.v. *כִּרְכָּרָה.

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