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The Lord Empowers Cyrus

24 This is what the Lord, your Protector,[a] says,
the one who formed you in the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made everything,
who alone stretched out the sky,
who fashioned the earth all by myself,[b]
25 who frustrates the omens of the empty talkers[c]
and humiliates[d] the omen readers,
who overturns the counsel of the wise men[e]
and makes their advice[f] seem foolish,
26 who fulfills the oracles of his prophetic servants[g]
and brings to pass the announcements[h] of his messengers,
who says about Jerusalem, ‘She will be inhabited,’
and about the towns of Judah, ‘They will be rebuilt,
her ruins I will raise up,’

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 44:24 tn Heb “your redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
  2. Isaiah 44:24 tn The consonantal text (Kethib) has “Who [was] with me?” The marginal reading (Qere) is “from with me,” i.e., “by myself.” See BDB 87 s.v. II אֵת 4.c.
  3. Isaiah 44:25 tc The Hebrew text has בַּדִּים (baddim), perhaps meaning “empty talkers” (BDB 95 s.v. III בַּד). In the four other occurrences of this word (Job 11:3; Isa 16:6; Jer 48:30; 50:36) the context does not make the meaning of the term very clear. Its primary point appears to be that the words spoken are meaningless or false. In light of its parallelism with “omen readers,” some have proposed an emendation to בָּרִים (barim, “seers”). The Mesopotamian baru-priests were divination specialists who played an important role in court life. See R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, 93-98. Rather than supporting an emendation, J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:189, n. 79) suggests that Isaiah used בַּדִּים purposively as a derisive wordplay on the Akkadian word baru (in light of the close similarity of the d and r consonants).
  4. Isaiah 44:25 tn Or “makes fools of” (NIV, NRSV); NAB and NASB both similar.
  5. Isaiah 44:25 tn Heb “who turns back the wise” (so NRSV); NIV “overthrows the learning of the wise”; TEV “The words of the wise I refute.”
  6. Isaiah 44:25 tn Heb “their knowledge” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).
  7. Isaiah 44:26 tn Heb “the word of his servant.” The following context indicates that the Lord’s prophets are in view.
  8. Isaiah 44:26 tn Heb “counsel.” The Hebrew term עֵצָה (ʿetsah) probably refers here to the divine plan as announced by the prophets. See HALOT 867 s.v. I עֵצָה.

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