New English Translation
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.
Zion’s Future Splendor
60 “Arise! Shine! For your light arrives!
The splendor[t] of the Lord shines on you!
2 For, look, darkness covers the earth
and deep darkness covers[u] the nations,
but the Lord shines on you;
his splendor[v] appears over you.
3 Nations come to your light,
kings to your bright light.
4 Look all around you![w]
They all gather and come to you—
your sons come from far away,
and your daughters are escorted by guardians.
5 Then you will look and smile,[x]
you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride.[y]
For the riches of distant lands[z] will belong to you,
and the wealth of nations will come to you.
6 Camel caravans will cover your roads,[aa]
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
All the merchants of Sheba[ab] will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing praises to the Lord.[ac]
7 All the sheep of Kedar will be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth will be available to you as sacrifices.[ad]
They will go up on my altar acceptably,[ae]
and I will bestow honor on my majestic temple.
8 Who are these who float along[af] like a cloud,
who fly like doves to their shelters?[ag]
9 Indeed, the coastlands[ah] look eagerly for me;
the large ships[ai] are in the lead,
bringing your sons from far away,
along with their silver and gold,
to honor the Lord your God,[aj]
the Holy One of Israel,[ak] for he has bestowed honor on you.
10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls;
their kings will serve you.
Even though I struck you down in my anger,
I will restore my favor and have compassion on you.[al]
11 Your gates will remain open at all times;
they will not be shut during the day or at night,
so that the wealth of nations may be delivered,
with their kings leading the way.[am]
12 Indeed,[an] nations or kingdoms that do not serve you will perish;
such nations will definitely be destroyed.[ao]
13 The splendor of Lebanon will come to you,
its evergreens, firs, and cypresses together,
to beautify my palace;[ap]
I will bestow honor on my throne room.[aq]
14 The children of your oppressors will come bowing to you;
all who treated you with disrespect will bow down at your feet.
They will call you, ‘The City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’[ar]
15 You were once abandoned
and despised, with no one passing through,
but I will make you[as] a permanent source of pride
and joy to coming generations.
16 You will drink the milk of nations;
you will nurse at the breasts of kings.[at]
Then you will recognize that I, the Lord, am your Deliverer,
your Protector,[au] the Powerful One of Jacob.[av]
17 Instead of bronze, I will bring you gold;
instead of iron, I will bring you silver;
instead of wood, I will bring you[aw] bronze;
instead of stones, I will bring you[ax] iron.
I will make prosperity[ay] your overseer,
and vindication your sovereign ruler.[az]
18 Sounds of violence will no longer be heard in your land,
or the sounds of[ba] destruction and devastation within your borders.
You will name your walls, ‘Deliverance,’
and your gates, ‘Praise.’
19 The sun will no longer supply light for you by day,
nor will the moon’s brightness shine on you;
the Lord will be your permanent source of light—
the splendor of your God will shine upon you.[bb]
20 Your sun will no longer set;
your moon will not disappear;[bc]
the Lord will be your permanent source of light;
your time[bd] of sorrow will be over.
21 All your people will be godly;[be]
they will possess the land permanently.
I will plant them like a shoot;
they will be the product of my labor,
through whom I reveal my splendor.[bf]
22 The least of you will multiply into[bg] a thousand;
the smallest of you will become a large nation.
When the right time comes, I the Lord will quickly do this!”[bh]
The Lord Will Rejuvenate His People
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has chosen[bi] me.[bj]
He has commissioned[bk] me to encourage[bl] the poor,
to help[bm] the brokenhearted,
to decree the release of captives,
and the freeing of prisoners,
2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor,
the day when our God will seek vengeance,[bn]
to console all who mourn,
3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion,
by giving them a turban, instead of ashes,
oil symbolizing joy,[bo] instead of mourning,
a garment symbolizing praise,[bp] instead of discouragement.[bq]
They will be called oaks of righteousness,[br]
trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor.[bs]
4 They will rebuild the perpetual ruins
and restore the places that were desolate;[bt]
they will reestablish the ruined cities,
the places that have been desolate since ancient times.
5 [bu] “Foreigners will take care of[bv] your sheep;
foreigners will work in your fields and vineyards.
6 You will be called, ‘the Lord’s priests,
servants of our God.’[bw]
You will enjoy[bx] the wealth of nations
and boast about[by] the riches you receive from them.[bz]
7 Instead of shame, you will get a double portion;[ca]
instead of humiliation, they will rejoice over the land they receive.[cb]
Yes,[cc] they will possess a double portion in their land
and experience lasting joy.
8 For I, the Lord, love justice
and hate robbery and sin.
I will repay them because of my faithfulness;[cd]
I will make a permanent covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations,
their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will recognize that
the Lord has blessed them.”[ce]
- Isaiah 59:16 tn Heb “man” (so KJV, ASV); TEV “no one to help.”
- Isaiah 59:16 tn Or “appalled” (NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “disgusted.”
- Isaiah 59:16 tn Heb “and his arm delivers for him.”
- Isaiah 59:16 tn Heb “and his justice [or “righteousness”] supports him.”
- Isaiah 59:17 tn Or “righteousness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “goodness.”
- Isaiah 59:17 tn Or “a breastplate” (traditional; so many English versions); TEV “a coat of armour.”
- Isaiah 59:17 tn Heb “and [as] a helmet deliverance on his head.”
- Isaiah 59:17 tn Heb “and he puts on the clothes of vengeance [as] a garment.”
- Isaiah 59:18 tn Heb “in accordance with deeds, so he repays, anger to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies.”
- Isaiah 59:18 tn Or “islands” (KJV, NIV).
- Isaiah 59:19 tc Heb “fear.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read “see.”
- Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “and they fear from the west the name of the Lord.”
- Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “and from the rising of the sun his splendor.”
- Isaiah 59:19 tn Heb “narrow”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “pent-up.”
- 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).
- Isaiah 59:20 tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
- Isaiah 59:20 tn Heb “and to those who turn from rebellion in Jacob.”
- 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.
- Isaiah 59:21 tn Heb “from now and on into the future.”
- Isaiah 60:1 tn Or “glory” (so most English versions).
- Isaiah 60:2 tn The verb “covers” is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
- Isaiah 60:2 tn Or “glory” (so most English versions); TEV “the brightness of his presence.”
- Isaiah 60:4 tn Heb “Lift up around your eyes and see!”
- Isaiah 60:5 tn Or “shine,” or “be radiant” (NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
- Isaiah 60:5 tn Heb “and it will tremble and be wide, your heart.”
- Isaiah 60:5 tn Heb “the wealth of the sea,” i.e., wealth that is transported from distant lands via the sea.
- Isaiah 60:6 tn Heb “an abundance of camels will cover you.”
- Isaiah 60:6 tn Heb “all of them, from Sheba.”
- Isaiah 60:6 tn Heb “and they will announce the praises of the Lord.”
- Isaiah 60:7 tn Heb “will serve you,” i.e., be available as sacrifices (see the next line). Another option is to understood these “rams” as symbolic of leaders who will be subject to the people of Zion. See v. 10.
- Isaiah 60:7 tc Heb “they will go up on acceptance [on] my altar.” Some have suggested that the preposition עַל (ʿal) is dittographic (note the preceding יַעֲלוּ [yaʿalu]). Consequently, the form should be emended to לְרָצוֹן (leratson, “acceptably”; see BDB 953 s.v. רָצוֹן). However, the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has both לרצון followed by the preposition על, which would argue against deleting the preposition. As the above translation seeks to demonstrate, the preposition עַל (ʿal) indicates a norm (“in accordance with acceptance” or “acceptably”; IBHS 218 §11.2.13e, n. 111), and the “altar” functions as an objective accusative with a verb of motion (cf. Gen 49:4; Lev 2:2; Num 13:17; J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:534, n. 14).
- Isaiah 60:8 tn Heb “fly” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NAB, NIV “fly along.”
- Isaiah 60:8 tn Heb “to their windows,” i.e., to the openings in their coops. See HALOT 83 s.v. אֲרֻבָּה.
- Isaiah 60:9 tn Or “islands” (NIV); CEV “distant islands”; TEV “distant lands.”
- Isaiah 60:9 tn Heb “the ships of Tarshish.” See the note at 2:16.
- Isaiah 60:9 tn Heb “to the name of the Lord your God.”
- Isaiah 60:9 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
- Isaiah 60:10 tn Heb “in my favor I will have compassion on you.”
- Isaiah 60:11 tn Or “led in procession.” The participle is passive.
- Isaiah 60:12 tn Or “For” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); TEV “But.”
- Isaiah 60:12 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.
- Isaiah 60:13 tn Or “holy place, sanctuary.”
- Isaiah 60:13 tn Heb “the place of my feet.” See Ezek 43:7, where the Lord’s throne is called the “place of the soles of my feet.”
- Isaiah 60:14 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
- Isaiah 60:15 tn Heb “Instead of your being abandoned and despised, with no one passing through, I will make you.”
- Isaiah 60:16 sn The nations and kings are depicted as a mother nursing her children. Restored Zion will be nourished by them as she receives their wealth as tribute.
- Isaiah 60:16 tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14.
- Isaiah 60:16 sn See 1:24 and 49:26.
- Isaiah 60:17 tn The words “I will bring you” are supplied in the translation; they are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding lines).
- Isaiah 60:17 tn The words “I will bring you” are supplied in the translation; they are understood by ellipsis (see the first two lines of the verse).
- Isaiah 60:17 tn Or “peace” (KJV and many other English versions).
- Isaiah 60:17 tn The plural indicates degree. The language is ironic; in the past Zion was ruled by oppressive tyrants, but now personified prosperity and vindication will be the only things that will “dominate” the city.
- Isaiah 60:18 tn The words “sounds of” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Isaiah 60:19 tn Heb “and your God for your splendor.”
- Isaiah 60:20 sn In this verse “sun” and “moon” refer to the Lord’s light, which will replace the sun and moon (see v. 19). Light here symbolizes the restoration of divine blessing and prosperity in conjunction with the Lord’s presence. See 30:26.
- Isaiah 60:20 tn Heb “days” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
- Isaiah 60:21 tn Or “righteous” (NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “just.”
- Isaiah 60:21 tn Heb “a shoot of his planting, the work of my hands, to reveal splendor.”
- Isaiah 60:22 tn Heb “will become” (so NASB, NIV).
- Isaiah 60:22 tn Heb “I, the Lord, in its time, I will quickly do it.”
- Isaiah 61:1 tn Heb “anointed,” i.e., designated to carry out an assigned task.
- Isaiah 61:1 sn The speaker is not identified, but he is distinct from the Lord and from Zion’s suffering people. He possesses the divine spirit, is God’s spokesman, and is sent to release prisoners from bondage. The evidence suggests he is the Lord’s special servant, described earlier in the servant songs (see 42:1-4, 7; 49:2, 9; 50:4; see also 51:16).
- Isaiah 61:1 tn Or “sent” (NAB); NCV “has appointed me.”
- Isaiah 61:1 tn Or “proclaim good news to.”
- Isaiah 61:1 tn Heb “to bind up [the wounds of].”
- Isaiah 61:2 tn Heb “to announce the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance.
- Isaiah 61:3 tn Heb “oil of joy” (KJV, ASV); NASB, NIV, NRSV “the oil of gladness.”
- Isaiah 61:3 tn Heb “garment of praise.”
- Isaiah 61:3 tn Heb “a faint spirit” (so NRSV); KJV, ASV “the spirit of heaviness”; NASB “a spirit of fainting.”
- Isaiah 61:3 tn Rather than referring to the character of the people, צֶדֶק (tsedeq) may carry the nuance “vindication” here, suggesting that God’s restored people are a testimony to his justice. See v. 2, which alludes to the fact that God will take vengeance against the enemies of his people. Cf. NAB “oaks of justice.”
- Isaiah 61:3 tn Heb “a planting of the Lord to reveal splendor.”
- Isaiah 61:4 tn Heb “and the formerly desolate places they will raise up.”
- Isaiah 61:5 sn The Lord speaks in vv. 7-8 (and possibly v. 9). It is not clear where the servant’s speech (see vv. 1-3a) ends and the Lord’s begins. Perhaps the direct address to the people signals the beginning of the Lord’s speech.
- Isaiah 61:5 tn Heb “will stand [in position] and shepherd.”
- Isaiah 61:6 tn The Hebrew text adds, “it will be said concerning you.”
- Isaiah 61:6 tn Heb “eat” (KJV, NAB, NASB); NIV “feed on”; NLT “be fed with.”
- Isaiah 61:6 tc The form in the Hebrew text probably needs to be emended to יִתְאַמְּרוּ (yitʾammeru), a Hitpael from אָמַר (ʾamar), meaning “boast about” (see HALOT 67 s.v. II אמר, HALOT 416 s.v. ימר, and BDB 56 s.v. אָמַר).
- Isaiah 61:6 tn Heb “their glory” (i.e., riches).
- Isaiah 61:7 tn Heb “instead of your shame, a double portion.”
- Isaiah 61:7 tn Heb “and [instead of] humiliation they will rejoice [over] their portion.” The term תַחַת (takhat, “instead of”) is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
- Isaiah 61:7 tn Heb “therefore” (so KJV, NASB); NIV “and so.”
- Isaiah 61:8 tn Heb “in faithfulness”; NASB, NRSV, NLT “faithfully.”
- Isaiah 61:9 tn Heb “all who see them will recognize them, that they [are] descendants [whom] the Lord has blessed.”
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