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Isaiah 51:2-4 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Look at Abraham, your father,
and Sarah, who gave you birth.[a]
When I summoned him, he was a lone individual,[b]
but I blessed him[c] and gave him numerous descendants.[d]
Certainly the Lord will console Zion;
he will console all her ruins.
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
her arid rift valley like the garden of the Lord.[e]
Happiness and joy will be restored to[f] her,
thanksgiving and the sound of music.
Pay attention to me, my people.
Listen to me, my people!
For[g] I will issue a decree,[h]
I will make my justice a light to the nations.[i]


  1. Isaiah 51:2 sn Although Abraham and Sarah are distant ancestors of the people the prophet is addressing, they are spoken of as the immediate parents.
  2. Isaiah 51:2 tn Heb “one”; NLT “was alone”; TEV “was childless.”
  3. Isaiah 51:2 tn “Bless” may here carry the sense of “endue with potency, reproductive power.” See Gen 1:28.
  4. Isaiah 51:2 tn Heb “and I made him numerous.”
  5. Isaiah 51:3 sn The rift valley (עֲרָבָה, ʿaravah) is known for its dry, desert-like conditions in the area of the Dead Sea and southward (although it also includes the Jordan Valley to the north). The wilderness (מִדְבָּר, midbar) is an area that receives less than twelve inches of rain per year and so can only support meager vegetation at best. The imagery here focuses on the transformation from arid and lifeless to watered and luxuriant.
  6. Isaiah 51:3 tn Heb “found in” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
  7. Isaiah 51:4 tn Or “certainly.”
  8. Isaiah 51:4 tn Heb “instruction [or “a law”] will go out from me.”
  9. Isaiah 51:4 tn Heb “and my justice for a light to the nations I will cause to rest.”
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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