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Isaiah 43

43
XLIII
1But now, thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob,
And He that formed thee, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed thee;
I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2When thou passest through the waters, I am with thee;
And through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm thee;
When thou walkest in the fire, thou shalt not be burned;
Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3For I am Jehovah, thy God;
The Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:
I have given Egypt for thy ransom;
Cush and Seba in thy stead.
4From the time that thou hast been precious in my sight,
Thou hast been honoured, and I have loved thee:
Therefore will I give men for thee,
And nations for thy life.
5Fear not, for I am with thee:
I will bring thy seed from the east,
And gather thee from the west.
6I will say to the north, Give up;
And to the south, Withhold not:
Bring my sons from afar,
And my daughters from the ends of the earth:
7 Even every one that is called by my name,
For I have created him for my glory,
I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
8Bring forth the people that are blind, although they have eyes;
And that are deaf, although they have ears.
9Let all the nations be gathered together,
And let the people be assembled:
Who among them can declare this,
And make known unto us former predictions?
Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified:
Or let them hear, and say, This is true.
10Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah,
And my servant whom I have chosen;
That ye may know, and believe me,
And understand that I am He:
Before me there was no God formed,
And after me none shall exist.
11I, even I, am Jehovah;
And beside roe there is no Saviour.
12I have declared my purpose, and I have saved;
And have made it known; nor was it any strange god among you:
And ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, that I am God.
13Ever since time began I am He;
And there is none that can deliver out of my hand:
I will work, and who shall undo it?
14Thus saith Jehovah,
Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake have I sent unto Babylon,
And made all the fugitives to go down,
And the Chaldeans, into the ships of their once joyous clamour.
15I am Jehovah, your Holy One;
The Creator of Israel, your King.
16Thus saith Jehovah,
Who made a way in the sea,
And a path in the mighty waters;
17Who hath brought forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the warrior;
They lay down together, they rose no more;
They were extinguished, they were quenched like tow.
18Remember not the former things,
Neither regard the things of ancient times.
19Behold, I make a new thing;
Now shall it spring forth: shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
And rivers in the desert.
20The wild beast of the field shall honour me,
The jackals, and the daughters of the ostrich: Because I give waters in the wilderness,
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to my people, my chosen.
21This people whom I have formed for myself;
They shall recount my praise.
22But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob!
Yea, thou hast been weary of me, O Israel!
23Thou hast not brought me the lamb of thy burnt-offering,
Neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices:
I have not burdened thee with exacting oblations,
Nor wearied thee with demands of frankincense:
24Thou hast not bought for me with silver the sweet cane;
Neither hast thou satiated me with the fat of thy sacrifices:
But thou hast burdened me with thy sins,
Thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.
25I, even I, am He,
That blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake,
And will not remember thy sins,
26Put me in remembrance; let us plead together:
Set forth thy cause, that thou mayest be justified.
27Thy first father hath sinned,
And thy interpreters have transgressed against me;
28Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary;
And have given Jacob to the curse,
And Israel to reproaches.

Isaiah 43

43
The Lord Will Rescue His People
1 Now, this is what the Lord says,
the one who created you, O Jacob,
and formed you, O Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect#tn Or “redeem.” See the note at 41:14. Cf. NCV “saved you”; CEV “rescued you”; NLT “ransomed you.” you.
I call you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;
when you pass#tn The verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line). through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not harm#tn Heb “burn” (so NASB); NAB, NRSV, NLT “consume”; NIV “set you ablaze.” you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,#sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4. your deliverer.
I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,
Ethiopia and Seba#sn Seba is not the same as Sheba in southern Arabia; cf. Gen 1:10; 1 Chr 1:9. in place of you.
4 Since you are precious and special in my sight,#tn Heb “Since you are precious in my eyes and you are honored.”
and I love you,
I will hand over people in place of you,
nations in place of your life.
5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
From the east I will bring your descendants;
from the west I will gather you.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’
Bring my sons from distant lands,
and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,
7 everyone who belongs to me,#tn Heb “everyone who is called by my name” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed – yes, whom I made!
The Lord Declares His Sovereignty
8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,
those who are deaf, even though they have ears!
9 All nations gather together,
the peoples assemble.
Who among them announced this?
Who predicted earlier events for us?#tn Heb “and the former things was causing us to hear?”
Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right;
let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’
10 You are my witnesses,” says the Lord,
“my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may consider#tn Or “know” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). and believe in me,
and understand that I am he.
No god was formed before me,
and none will outlive me.#tn Heb “and after me, there will not be”; NASB “there will be none after Me.”
11 I, I am the Lord,
and there is no deliverer besides me.
12 I decreed and delivered and proclaimed,
and there was no other god among you.
You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “that I am God.
13 From this day forward I am he;
no one can deliver from my power;#tn Heb “hand” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “No one can oppose what I do.”
I will act, and who can prevent it?”
The Lord Will Do Something New
14 This is what the Lord says,
your protector,#tn Or “kinsman redeemer.” See the note at 41:14. the Holy One of Israel:#sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and make them all fugitives,#tn Heb “and I bring down [as] fugitives all of them.”
turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs.#tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “as for the Babylonians, in ships their joyful shout.” This might be paraphrased, “even the Babylonians in the ships [over which] they joyfully shouted.” The point would be that the Lord caused the Babylonians to flee for safety in the ships in which they took such great pride. A slight change in vocalization yields the reading “into mourning songs,” which provides a good contrast with “joyful shout.” The prefixed bet (בְּ) would indicate identity.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,#sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
the one who created Israel, your king.”
16 This is what the Lord says,
the one who made a road through the sea,
a pathway through the surging waters,
17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction,#tn Heb “led out chariots and horses.” The words “to destruction” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The verse refers to the destruction of the Egyptians at the Red Sea.
together with a mighty army.
They fell down,#tn Heb “lay down”; NAB “lie prostrate together”; CEV “lie dead”; NRSV “they lie down.” never to rise again;
they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:
18 “Don’t remember these earlier events;#tn Heb “the former things” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “forget all that.”
don’t recall these former events.
19 “Look, I am about to do something new.
Now it begins to happen!#tn Heb “sprouts up”; NASB “will spring forth.” Do you not recognize#tn Or “know” (KJV, ASV); NASB “be aware of”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “perceive.” it?
Yes, I will make a road in the desert
and paths#tn The Hebrew texts has “streams,” probably under the influence of v. 20. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has נתיבות (“paths”). in the wilderness.
20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,
the jackals and ostriches,
because I put water in the desert
and streams in the wilderness,
to quench the thirst of my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself,
so they might praise me.”#tn Heb “[so] they might declare my praise.”
The Lord Rebukes His People
22 “But you did not call for me, O Jacob;
you did not long#tn Or “strive”; KJV, ASV, NRSV “been weary of me.” for me, O Israel.
23 You did not bring me lambs for your burnt offerings;
you did not honor me with your sacrifices.
I did not burden you with offerings;
I did not make you weary by demanding#tn Heb “with.” The words “by demanding” are supplied in the translation for clarification. incense.
24 You did not buy me aromatic reeds;#tn That is, “calamus” (so NIV); NCV, TEV, NLT “incense”; CEV “spices.”
you did not present to me#tn Heb “you did not saturate me”; NASB “Neither have you filled Me.” the fat of your sacrifices.
Yet you burdened me with your sins;
you made me weary with your evil deeds.#sn In vv. 22-24 the Lord appears to be condemning his people for failure to bring the proper sacrifices. However, this is problematic. If this refers to the nation’s behavior while in exile, such cultic service was impossible and could hardly be expected by the Lord. If this refers to the nation’s conduct before the exile, it contradicts other passages that depict Israel as bringing excessive sacrifices (see, e.g., Isa 1:11-14; Jer 6:20; Amos 4:4-5, 5:21-23). Rather than being a condemnation of Israel’s failure to bring sacrifices, these verses are better taken as a highly rhetorical comment on the worthlessness of Israel’s religious ritual. They may have brought sacrifices, but not to the Lord, for he did not accept them or even want them. See C. R. North, Second Isaiah, 127, and R. Whybray, Isaiah 40-66 (NCBC), 91.
25 I, I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake;
your sins I do not remember.
26 Remind me of what happened! Let’s debate!
You, prove to me that you are right!#tn Heb “you, tell in order that you may be right”; NAB “prove your innocence.”
27 The father of your nation#tn Heb “your first father.” This could refer to Abraham (see 51:2), but elsewhere in Isaiah he does not appear in a negative light (see 29:22; 41:8; 63:16). A more likely candidate is Jacob/Israel, also referred to as the nation’s “father” elsewhere (see 58:14; 63:16). sinned;
your spokesmen#tn On the meaning of the term לִיץ (lits), see HALOT 590 s.v. מֵלִיץ. This may refer to the nation’s prophets, priests, and/or kings. rebelled against me.
28 So I defiled your holy princes,
and handed Jacob over to destruction,
and subjected#tn The word “subjected” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. Israel to humiliating abuse.”