Notes for Isa 52:2LEB

"Shake yourself free from the dirt."


The Hebrew text has שְּׂבִי (shévi), which some understand as a feminine singular imperative from יָשַׁב (yashav, "sit"). The LXX, Vulgate, Syriac, and the Targum support the MT reading (the Qumran scroll 1QIsa does indirectly). Some interpret this to mean "take your throne": Yahweh exhorts Jerusalem to get up from the dirt and sit, probably with the idea of sitting in a place of honor (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:361). However, the form is likely a corruption of שְׁבִיָּה (shéviyyah, "captive"), which appears in the parallel line.


Notes for Isa 52:5LEB

"and now what [following the marginal reading (Qere)] to me here?"


The verb appears to be a Hiphil form from the root יָלַל (yalal, "howl"), perhaps here in the sense of "mock." Some emend the form to יְהוֹלָּלוֹ (yéhollalo) and understand a Polel form of the root הָלַל meaning here "mock, taunt."


The verb is apparently a Hitpolal form (with assimilated tav, ת) from the root נָאַץ (naats), but GKC 151-52 §55.b explains it as a mixed form, combining Pual and Hitpolel readings.


Notes for Isa 52:6LEB

The verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).


"in that day" (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).


Notes for Isa 52:7LEB

"How delightful on the mountains."


Or "has become king." When a new king was enthroned, his followers would give this shout. For other examples of this enthronement formula (Qal perfect 3rd person masculine singular מָלַךְ [malakh], followed by the name of the king), see 2 Sam 15:10LEB; 1 Kgs 1:11-18LEB; 2 Kgs 9:13LEB. Yahweh is an eternal king, but here he is pictured as a victorious warrior who establishes his rule from Zion.


Notes for Isa 52:8LEB


קוֹל (qol, "voice") is used at the beginning of the verse as an interjection.


"eye in eye"; KJV, ASV "eye to eye"; NAB "directly, before their eyes."


Notes for Isa 52:9LEB

Or "redeems." See the note at Isa 41:14LEB.


Notes for Isa 52:10LEB

"lays bare"; NLT "will demonstrate."


"his holy arm." This is a metonymy for his power.


"the remote regions," which here stand for the extremities and everything in between.


"the deliverance of our Yahweh." "Yahweh" is a subjective genitive here.


Notes for Isa 52:11LEB

"the vessels of Yahweh" (so KJV, NAB).


Notes for Isa 52:12LEB

"or go in flight"; NAB "leave in headlong flight."


Notes for Isa 52:13LEB

"act wisely," which by metonymy means "succeed."


This piling up of synonyms emphasizes the degree of the servant’s coming exaltation.


Notes for Isa 52:14LEB

Some witnesses read "him," which is more consistent with the context, where the servant is spoken about, not addressed. However, it is possible that Yahweh briefly addresses the servant here. The present translation assumes the latter view and places the phrase in parentheses.


"such was the disfigurement." The noun מִשְׁחַת (mishkhat) occurs only here. It may be derived from the verbal root שָׁחַת (shakhat, "be ruined"; see BDB 1007-8 s.v. שָׁחַת). The construct form appears here before a prepositional phrase (cf. GKC 421 §130.a).


"from a man his appearance." The preposition מִן (min) here carries the sense "away from," i.e., "so as not to be." See BDB 583 s.v.


Notes for Isa 52:15LEB

"and his form from the sons of men." The preposition מִן (min) here carries the sense "away from," i.e., "so as not to be."


This statement completes the sentence begun in v. 14a. The introductory כֵּן (ken) answers to the introductory כַּאֲשֶׁר (kaasher) of v. 14a. Verses 14b–15a are parenthetical, explaining why many were horrified.


Traditionally the verb יַזֶּה (yazzeh, a Hiphil stem) has been understood as a causative of נָזָה (nazah, "spurt, spatter") and translated "sprinkle." In this case the passage pictures the servant as a priest who "sprinkles" (or spiritually cleanses) the nations. Though the verb נָזָה does occur in the Hiphil with the meaning "sprinkle," the usual interpretation is problematic. In all other instances where the object or person sprinkled is indicated, the verb is combined with a preposition. This is not the case in Isaiah 52:15LEB, unless one takes the following עָלָיו (’alayv, "on him") with the preceding line. But then one would have to emend the verb to a plural, make the nations the subject of the verb "sprinkle," and take the servant as the object. Consequently some interpreters doubt the cultic idea of "sprinkling" is present here. Some emend the text; others propose a homonymic root meaning "spring, leap," which in the Hiphil could mean "cause to leap, startle" and would fit the parallelism of the verse nicely.


"Because of him kings will shut their mouths," i.e., be speechless.