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The Lord Intervenes

16 He sees there is no advocate;[a]
he is shocked[b] that no one intervenes.
So he takes matters into his own hands;[c]
his desire for justice drives him on.[d]
17 He wears his desire for justice[e] like body armor,[f]
and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head.[g]
He puts on the garments of vengeance[h]
and wears zeal like a robe.
18 He repays them for what they have done,
dispensing angry judgment to his adversaries
and punishing his enemies.[i]
He repays the coastlands.[j]
19 In the west, people respect[k] the Lord’s reputation;[l]
in the east they recognize his splendor.[m]
For he comes like a rushing[n] stream
driven on by wind sent from the Lord.[o]
20 “A protector[p] comes to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds,”[q] says the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my promise to[r] them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is upon you, and my words, which I have placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and descendants from this time forward,”[s] says the Lord.

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  1. Isaiah 59:16 tn Heb “man” (so KJV, ASV); TEV “no one to help.”
  2. Isaiah 59:16 tn Or “appalled” (NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “disgusted.”
  3. Isaiah 59:16 tn Heb “and his arm delivers for him.”
  4. Isaiah 59:16 tn Heb “and his justice [or “righteousness”] supports him.”
  5. Isaiah 59:17 tn Or “righteousness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “goodness.”
  6. Isaiah 59:17 tn Or “a breastplate” (traditional; so many English versions); TEV “a coat of armour.”
  7. Isaiah 59:17 tn Heb “and [as] a helmet deliverance on his head.”
  8. Isaiah 59:17 tn Heb “and he puts on the clothes of vengeance [as] a garment.”
  9. Isaiah 59:18 tn Heb “in accordance with deeds, so he repays, anger to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies.”
  10. Isaiah 59:18 tn Or “islands” (KJV, NIV).
  11. Isaiah 59:19 tc Heb “fear.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read “see.”
  12. Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “and they fear from the west the name of the Lord.”
  13. Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “and from the rising of the sun his splendor.”
  14. Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “narrow”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “pent-up.”
  15. Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “the wind of the Lord drives it on.” The term רוּחַ (ruakh) could be translated “breath” here (see 30:28).
  16. Isaiah 59:20 tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
  17. Isaiah 59:20 tn Heb “and to those who turn from rebellion in Jacob.”
  18. Isaiah 59:21 tn Or “my covenant with” (so many English versions); NCV “my agreement with.”sn The Lord promises the repentant (note “to them”) that they and their offspring will possess his spirit and function as his spokesmen. In this regard they follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s special servant. See 42:1; 49:2; 51:16.
  19. Isaiah 59:21 tn Heb “from now and on into the future.”