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Isaiah 42:14-16 New English Translation (NET Bible)

14 “I have been inactive[a] for a long time;
I kept quiet and held back.
Like a woman in labor I groan;
I pant and gasp.[b]
15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up;[c]
I will dry up all their vegetation.
I will turn streams into islands,[d]
and dry up pools of water.[e]
16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way;[f]
I will guide them down paths they have never traveled.[g]
I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,
and level out the rough ground.[h]
This is what I will do for them.
I will not abandon them.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 42:14 tn Heb “silent” (so NASB, NIV, TEV, NLT); CEV “have held my temper.”
  2. Isaiah 42:14 sn The imagery depicts the Lord as a warrior who is eager to fight and can no longer hold himself back from the attack.
  3. Isaiah 42:15 tn Heb “I will dry up the mountains and hills.” The “mountains and hills” stand by synecdoche for the trees that grow on them. Some prefer to derive the verb from a homonymic root and translate, “I will lay waste.”
  4. Isaiah 42:15 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will turn streams into coastlands [or “islands”].” Scholars who believe that this reading makes little sense have proposed an emendation of אִיִּים (ʾiyyim, “islands”) to צִיּוֹת (tsiyyot, “dry places”; cf. NCV, NLT, TEV). However, since all the versions support the MT reading, there is insufficient grounds for an emendation here. Although the imagery of changing rivers into islands is somewhat strange, J. N. Oswalt describes this imagery against the backdrop of rivers of the Near East. The receding of these rivers at times occasioned the appearance of previously submerged islands (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:126).
  5. Isaiah 42:15 sn The imagery of this verse, which depicts the Lord bringing a curse of infertility to the earth, metaphorically describes how the Lord will destroy his enemies.
  6. Isaiah 42:16 tn Heb “a way they do not know” (so NASB); NRSV “a road they do not know.”
  7. Isaiah 42:16 tn Heb “in paths they do not know I will make them walk.”
  8. Isaiah 42:16 tn Heb “and the rough ground into a level place.”
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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