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Who stirs up this one from the east?[a]
Who[b] officially commissions him for service?[c]
He hands nations over to him,[d]
and enables him to subdue[e] kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
like windblown straw with his bow.[f]

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  1. Isaiah 41:2 sn The expression this one from the east refers to the Persian conqueror Cyrus, as later texts indicate (see 44:28-45:6; 46:11; 48:14-16).
  2. Isaiah 41:2 tn The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis.
  3. Isaiah 41:2 tn Heb “[in] righteousness called him to his foot.”
  4. Isaiah 41:2 tn Heb “he [the Lord] places before him [Cyrus] nations.”
  5. Isaiah 41:2 tn The verb יַרְדְּ (yard) is an otherwise unattested Hiphil form from רָדָה (radah, “rule”). But the Hiphil makes no sense with “kings” as object; one must understand an ellipsis and supply “him” (Cyrus) as the object. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has יוֹרִיד (yorid), which appears to be a Hiphil form from יָרַד (yarad, “go down”). Others suggest reading יָרֹד (yarod), a Qal form from רָדַד (radad, “beat down”).
  6. Isaiah 41:2 sn The point is that they are powerless before Cyrus’ military power and scatter before him.