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Isaiah 59

59
LIX
1Behold! the hand of Jehovah is not shortened, that it cannot save;
Neither is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2But it is your iniquities that have made a separation between you and your God;
And your sins have caused his face to be hidden from you, that he will not hear.
3For your hands are polluted with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips speak falsehood,
And your tongue muttereth wickedness.
4None pronounceth a verdict in justice,
Neither doth any one judge in truth:
Trusting in vanity, and speaking lies,
They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
5They hatch the eggs of the basilisk,
And weave the webs of the spider;
He that eateth of their eggs dieth,
And out of that which is crushed a viper breaketh forth.
6Their webs shall not become garments,
Neither shall men cover themselves with their works:
Their works are works of iniquity,
And the deed of violence is in their hands.
7Their feet run to evil,
And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
Ruin and devastation are in their paths.
8The way of peace they know not,
And there is no judgment in their course;
Their paths they have made to themselves crooked,
Whoso walketh in them, shall not know peace.
9Therefore is judgment far distant from us,
Neither doth justice reach us;
We look for light, but behold obscurity;
For brightness, but we walk in darkness.
10We grope like the blind for the wall,
And we grope as those who have no eyes;
We stumble at mid-day as if it were dark,
We are in the midst of plenty, like unto the dead.
11We roar like bears, every one of us;
And moan continually like doves.
We look for judgment, but there is none;
For salvation, but it is far off from us.
12For our transgressions are multiplied before thee,
And our sins testify against us:
For our transgressions are with us;
And at for our iniquities, we know them.
13We have transgressed; and we have denied Jehovah;
We have also departed from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
14And judgment is turned away backward,
And justice standeth aloof;
For truth is fallen in the street,
And equity cannot enter.
15Yea, truth is wanted,
And he that departed from evil maketh himself a
And Jehovah saw it,
And it displeased Him that there was no judgment.
16And He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore his own arm wrought salvation for him;
And his righteousness, it sustained him.
17And He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And the helmet of salvation was on his head;
And He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing;
And clad Himself with zeal as with a mantle.
18According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, prey:
Fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies;
To the islands a recompense will He repay.
19And they from the west shall fear the name of Jehovah,
And they from the rising of the sun his glory.
When the enemy shall come in like a river,
The Spirit of Jehovah shall put him to flight.
20And the Redeemer shall come to Zion,
And unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob;
Saith Jehovah.
21As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith Jehovah:
My Spirit which is upon thee,
And my words which I have put in thy mouth;
They shall not depart from thy mouth,
Nor from the mouth of thy seed,
Nor from the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith Jehovah,
From henceforth and for ever.

Isaiah 59

59
Injustice Brings Alienation from God
1 Look, the Lord’s hand is not too weak#tn Heb “short” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). to deliver you;
his ear is not too deaf to hear you.#tn Heb “or his ear too heavy [i.e., “dull”] to hear.”
2 But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God;
your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers.#tn Heb “and your sins have caused [his] face to be hidden from you so as not to hear.”
3 For your hands are stained with blood
and your fingers with sin;
your lips speak lies,
your tongue utters malicious words.
4 No one is concerned about justice;#tn Heb “no one pleads with justice.”
no one sets forth his case truthfully.
They depend on false words#tn Heb “nothing”; NAB “emptiness.” and tell lies;
they conceive of oppression#tn Or “trouble” (NIV), or “harm.”
and give birth to sin.
5 They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake
and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
a poisonous snake is hatched.#tn Heb “that which is pressed in hatches [as] a snake.”
6 Their webs cannot be used for clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are sinful;
they commit violent crimes.#tn Heb “their deeds are deeds of sin, and the work of violence [is] in their hands.”
7 They are eager to do evil,#tn Heb “their feet run to evil.”
quick to shed innocent blood.#tn Heb “they quickly pour out innocent blood.”
Their thoughts are sinful;
they crush and destroy.#tn Heb “their thoughts are thoughts of sin, destruction and crushing [are] in their roadways.”
8 They are unfamiliar with peace;
their deeds are unjust.#tn Heb “a way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their pathways.”
They use deceitful methods,
and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace.#tn Heb “their paths they make crooked, everyone who walks in it does not know peace.”
Israel Confesses its Sin
9 For this reason deliverance#tn מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), which refers to “justice” in the earlier verses, here refers to “justice from God,” or “vindication.” Because the people are unjust, God refuses to vindicate them before their enemies. See v. 11. is far from us#sn The prophet speaks on behalf of the sinful nation and confesses its sins.
and salvation does not reach us.
We wait for light,#sn Light here symbolizes prosperity and blessing. but see only darkness;#tn Heb “but, look, darkness”; NIV “but all is darkness.”
we wait for#tn The words “we wait for” are supplied in the translation; the verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line). a bright light,#tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here. but live#tn Or “walk about”; NCV “all we have is darkness.” in deep darkness.#tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.
10 We grope along the wall like the blind,
we grope like those who cannot see;#tn Heb “like there are no eyes.”
we stumble at noontime as if it were evening.
Though others are strong, we are like dead men.#tn Heb among the strong, like dead men.”
11 We all growl like bears,
we coo mournfully like doves;
we wait for deliverance,#tn See the note at v. 9. but there is none,
for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For you are aware of our many rebellious deeds,#tn Heb “for many are our rebellious deeds before you.”
and our sins testify against us;
indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds;
we know our sins all too well.#tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] our rebellious deeds (are) with us, and our sins, we know them.”
13 We have rebelled and tried to deceive the Lord;
we turned back from following our God.
We stir up#tn Heb “speaking.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons. oppression and rebellion;
we tell lies we concocted in our minds.#tn Heb “conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.”
14 Justice is driven back;
godliness#tn Or “righteousness” (ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); KJV, NAB “justice.” stands far off.
Indeed,#tn Or “for” (KJV, NRSV). honesty stumbles in the city square
and morality is not even able to enter.
15 Honesty has disappeared;
the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed.
The Lord watches and is displeased,#tn Heb “and it is displeasing in his eyes.”
for there is no justice.
The Lord Intervenes
16 He sees there is no advocate;#tn Heb “man” (so KJV, ASV); TEV “no one to help.”
he is shocked#tn Or “appalled” (NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “disgusted.” that no one intervenes.
So he takes matters into his own hands;#tn Heb “and his arm delivers for him.”
his desire for justice drives him on.#tn Heb “and his justice [or “righteousness”] supports him.”
17 He wears his desire for justice#tn Or “righteousness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “goodness.” like body armor,#tn Or “a breastplate” (traditional; so many English versions); TEV “a coat of armour.”
and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head.#tn Heb “and [as] a helmet deliverance on his head.”
He puts on the garments of vengeance#tn Heb “and he puts on the clothes of vengeance [as] a garment.”
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.#tn Heb “in accordance with deeds, so he repays, anger to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies.”
He repays the coastlands.#tn Or “islands” (KJV, NIV).
19 In the west, people respect#tc Heb “fear.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read “see.” the Lord’s reputation;#tn Heb “and they fear from the west the name of the Lord.”
in the east they recognize his splendor.#tn Heb “and from the rising of the sun his splendor.”
For he comes like a rushing#tn Heb “narrow”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “pent-up.” stream
driven on by wind sent from the Lord.#tn Heb “the wind of the Lord drives it on.” The term רוּחַ (ruakh) could be translated “breath” here (see 30:28).
20 “A protector#tn Or “redeemer.” See the note at 41:14. comes to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds,”#tn Heb “and to those who turn from rebellion in Jacob.” says the Lord.
21 “As for me, this is my promise to#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. 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,”#tn Heb “from now and on into the future.” says the Lord.