New English Translation
2 In future days[a]
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will endure[b]
as the most important of mountains,
and will be the most prominent of hills.[c]
All the nations will stream to it;
3 many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain,
to the temple of the God of Jacob,
so[d] he can teach us his requirements,[e]
and[f] we can follow his standards.”[g]
For Zion will be the center for moral instruction;[h]
the Lord’s message will issue from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge disputes between nations;
he will settle cases for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares,[i]
and their spears into pruning hooks.[j]
Nations will not take up the sword against other nations,
and they will no longer train for war.
- Isaiah 2:2 tn The verse begins with a verb that functions as a “discourse particle” and is not translated. In numerous places throughout the OT, the “to be” verb with a prefixed conjunction (וְהָיָה [vehayah] and וַיְהִי [vayehi]) occurs in this fashion to introduce a circumstantial clause and does not require translation.sn “In future days” refers generally to the future, but here and in Micah 4:1 it may also refer to the final period of history (see the note at Gen 49:1).
- Isaiah 2:2 tn Or “be established” (KJV, NIV, NRSV).
- Isaiah 2:2 tn Heb “as the chief of the mountains, and will be lifted up above the hills.” The image of Mount Zion being elevated above other mountains and hills pictures the prominence it will attain in the future.
- Isaiah 2:3 tn The prefixed verb form with simple vav (ו) introduces a purpose/result clause after the preceding prefixed verb form (probably to be taken as a cohortative; see IBHS 650 §39.2.2a).
- Isaiah 2:3 tn Heb “his ways.” In this context God’s “ways” are the standards of moral conduct he decrees that people should live by.
- Isaiah 2:3 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) after the prefixed verb form indicates the ultimate purpose/goal of their action.
- Isaiah 2:3 tn Heb “walk in his ways.”
- Isaiah 2:3 tn Heb “for out of Zion will go instruction.”
- Isaiah 2:4 sn Instead of referring to the large plow as a whole, the plowshare is simply the metal tip which actually breaks the earth and cuts the furrow.
- Isaiah 2:4 sn This implement was used to prune the vines, i.e., to cut off extra leaves and young shoots (H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:93; M. Klingbeil, NIDOTTE 1:1117-18). It was a short knife with a curved hook at the end sharpened on the inside like a sickle. Breaking weapons and fashioning agricultural implements indicates a transition from fear and stress to peace and security.