The Lord Will Restore Zion
1 The destroyer is as good as dead,1
you who have not been destroyed!
The deceitful one is as good as dead,2
the one whom others have not deceived!
When you are through destroying, you will be destroyed;
when you finish3 deceiving, others will deceive you!
2 Lord, be merciful to us! We wait for you.
Give us strength each morning!4
Deliver us when distress comes.5
3 The nations run away when they hear a loud noise;6
the nations scatter when you spring into action!7
4 Your plunder8 disappears as if locusts were eating it;9
they swarm over it like locusts!10
5 The Lord is exalted,11
indeed,12 he lives in heaven;13
he fills Zion with justice and fairness.
6 He is your constant source of stability;14
he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;15
he gives all this to those who fear him.16
7 Look, ambassadors17 cry out in the streets;
messengers sent to make peace18 weep bitterly.
8 Highways are empty,19
there are no travelers.20
Treaties are broken,21
witnesses are despised,22
human life is treated with disrespect.23
9 The land24 dries up25 and withers away;
the forest of Lebanon shrivels up26 and decays.
Sharon27 is like the desert;28
Bashan and Carmel29 are parched.30
10Now I will rise up,” says the Lord.
“Now I will exalt myself;
now I will magnify myself.31
11 You conceive straw,32
you give birth to chaff;
your breath is a fire that destroys you.33
12 The nations will be burned to ashes;34
like thorn bushes that have been cut down, they will be set on fire.
13 You who are far away, listen to what I have done!
You who are close by, recognize my strength!
14 Sinners are afraid in Zion;
panic35 grips the godless.36
They say,37 ‘Who among us can coexist with destructive fire?
Who among us can coexist with unquenchable38 fire?’
15 The one who lives39 uprightly40
and speaks honestly;
the one who refuses to profit from oppressive measures
and rejects a bribe;41
the one who does not plot violent crimes42
and does not seek to harm others43
16 This is the person who will live in a secure place;44
he will find safety in the rocky, mountain strongholds;45
he will have food
and a constant supply of water.
17 You will see a king in his splendor;46
you will see a wide land.47
18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced,48
and you will ask yourselves,49 “Where is the scribe?
Where is the one who weighs the money?
Where is the one who counts the towers?50
19 You will no longer see a defiant51 people
whose language you do not comprehend,52
whose derisive speech you do not understand.53
20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!
You54 will see Jerusalem,55
a peaceful settlement,
a tent that stays put;56
its stakes will never be pulled up;
none of its ropes will snap in two.
21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king.57
Rivers and wide streams will flow through it;58
no war galley will enter;59
no large ships will sail through.60
22 For the Lord, our ruler,
the Lord, our commander,
the Lord, our king
he will deliver us.
23 Though at this time your ropes are slack,61
the mast is not secured,62
and the sail63 is not unfurled,
at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot;64
even the lame will drag off plunder.65
24 No resident of Zion66 will say, “I am ill;
the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.
133:1tn Heb “Woe [to] the destroyer.”sn In this context “the destroyer” appears to refer collectively to the hostile nations (vv. 3-4). Assyria would probably have been primary in the minds of the prophet and his audience. 233:1tn Heb “and the deceitful one”; NAB, NIV “O traitor”; NRSV “you treacherous one.” In the parallel structure הוֹי (hoy, “woe [to]”) does double duty. 333:1tc The form in the Hebrew text appears to derive from an otherwise unattested verb נָלָה (nalah). The translation follows the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa in reading ככלתך, a Piel infinitival form from the verbal root כָּלָה (kalah), meaning “finish.” 433:2tn Heb “Be their arm each morning.” “Arm” is a symbol for strength. The mem suffixed to the noun has been traditionally understood as a third person suffix, but this is contrary to the context, where the people speak of themselves in the first person. The mem (מ) is probably enclitic with ellipsis of the pronoun, which can be supplied from the context. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:589, n. 1. 533:2tn Heb “[Be] also our deliverance in the time of distress.” 633:3tn Heb “at the sound of tumult the nations run away.” 733:3tn Heb “because of your exaltation the nations scatter.” 833:4tn The pronoun is plural; the statement is addressed to the nations who have stockpiled plunder from their conquests of others. 933:4tn Heb “and your plunder is gathered, the gathering of the locust.” 1033:4tn Heb “like a swarm of locusts swarming on it.” 1133:5tn Or “elevated”; NCV, NLT “is very great.” 1233:5tn Or “for” (KJV, NASB, NIV). 1333:5tn Heb “on high” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “in the heavens.” 1433:6tn Heb “and he is the stability of your times.” 1533:6tn Heb “a rich store of deliverance, wisdom, and knowledge.” 1633:6tn Heb “the fear of the Lord, it is his treasure.” 1733:7tn The meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown. Proposals include “heroes” (cf. KJV, ASV “valiant ones”; NASB, NIV “brave men”); “priests,” “residents [of Jerusalem].” The present translation assumes that the term is synonymous with “messengers of peace,” with which it corresponds in the parallel structure of the verse. 1833:7tn Heb “messengers of peace,” apparently those responsible for negotiating the agreements that have been broken (see v. 8). 1933:8tn Or “desolate” (NAB, NASB); NIV, NRSV, NLT “deserted.” 2033:8tn Heb “the one passing by on the road ceases.” 2133:8tn Heb “one breaks a treaty”; NAB “Covenants are broken.” 2233:8tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “he despises cities.” The term עָרִים (’arim, “cities”) is probably a corruption of an original עֵדִים (’edim, “[legal] witnesses”), a reading that is preserved in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa. Confusion of dalet (ד) and resh (ר) is a well-attested scribal error. 2333:8tn Heb “he does not regard human beings.” 2433:9tn Or “earth” (KJV); NAB “the country.” 2533:9tn Or “mourns” (BDB 5 s.v. I אָבַל). HALOT 6-7 lists homonyms I אבל (“mourn”) and II אבל (“dry up”). They propose the second here on the basis of parallelism. See 24:4. 2633:9tn Heb “Lebanon is ashamed.” The Hiphil is exhibitive, expressing the idea, “exhibits shame.” In this context the statement alludes to the withering of vegetation. 2733:9sn Sharon was a fertile plain along the Mediterranean coast. See 35:2. 2833:9tn Or “the Arabah” (NIV). See 35:1. 2933:9sn Both of these areas were known for their trees and vegetation. See 2:13; 35:2. 3033:9tn Heb “shake off [their leaves]” (so ASV, NRSV); NAB “are stripped bare.” 3133:10tn Or “lift myself up” (KJV); NLT “show my power and might.” 3233:11tn The second person verb and pronominal forms in this verse are plural. The hostile nations are the addressed, as the next verse makes clear. 3333:11sn The hostile nations’ plans to destroy God’s people will come to nothing; their hostility will end up being self-destructive. 3433:12tn Heb “will be a burning to lime.” See Amos 2:1. 3533:14tn Or “trembling” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “shake with fear.” 3633:14tn Or “the defiled”; TEV “The sinful people of Zion”; NLT “The sinners in Jerusalem.” 3733:14tn The words “they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification. 3833:14tn Or “perpetual”; or “everlasting” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). 3933:15tn Heb “walks” (so NASB, NIV). 4033:15tn Or, possibly, “justly”; NAB “who practices virtue.” 4133:15tn Heb “[who] shakes off his hands from grabbing hold of a bribe.” 4233:15tn Heb “[who] shuts his ear from listening to bloodshed.” 4333:15tn Heb “[who] closes his eyes from seeing evil.” 4433:16tn Heb “he [in the] exalted places will live.” 4533:16tn Heb “mountain strongholds, cliffs [will be] his elevated place.” 4633:17tn Heb “your eyes will see a king in his beauty”; NIV, NRSV “the king.” 4733:17tn Heb “a land of distances,” i.e., an extensive land. 4833:18tn Heb “your heart will meditate on terror.” 4933:18tn The words “and you will ask yourselves” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons. 5033:18sn The people refer to various Assyrian officials who were responsible for determining the amount of taxation or tribute Judah must pay to the Assyrian king. 5133:19tn The Hebrew form נוֹעָז (noaz) is a Niphal participle derived from יָעַז (ya’az, an otherwise unattested verb) or from עָזָז (’azaz, “be strong,” unattested elsewhere in the Niphal). Some prefer to emend the form to לוֹעֵז (lo’ez) which occurs in Ps 114:1 with the meaning “speak a foreign language.” See HALOT 809 s.v. עזז, 533 s.v. לעז. In this case, one might translate “people who speak a foreign language.” 5233:19tn Heb “a people too deep of lip to hear.” The phrase “deep of lip” must be an idiom meaning “lips that speak words that are unfathomable [i.e., incomprehensible].” 5333:19tn Heb “derision of tongue there is no understanding.” The Niphal of לָעַג (laag) occurs only here. In the Qal and Hiphil the verb means “to deride, mock.” A related noun is used in 28:11. 5433:20tn Heb “your eyes” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV). 5533:20map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. 5633:20tn Or “that does not travel”; NASB “which shall not be folded.” 5733:21tn Heb “But there [as] a mighty one [will be] the Lord for us.” 5833:21tn Heb “a place of rivers, streams wide of hands [i.e., on both sides].” 5933:21tn Heb “a ship of rowing will not go into it.” 6033:21tn Heb “and a mighty ship will not pass through it.” 6133:23tn The words “though at this time” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The first half of the verse is addressed to Judah and contrasts the nation’s present weakness with its future prosperity. Judah is compared to a ship that is incapable of sailing. 6233:23tn Heb “they do not fasten the base of their mast.” On כֵּן (ken, “base”) see BDB 487 s.v. III כֵּן and HALOT 483 s.v. III כֵּן. 6333:23tn Or perhaps, “flag.” 6433:23tn Heb “then there will be divided up loot of plunder [in] abundance.” 6533:23sn Judah’s victory over its enemies will be so thorough there will be more than enough plunder for everyone, even slow-moving lame men who would normally get left out in the rush to gather the loot. 6633:24tn The words “of Zion” are supplied in the translation for clarification.