56:1 This is what the Lord says,
“Promote 1 justice! Do what is right!
For I am ready to deliver you;
I am ready to vindicate you openly. 2
the people who commit themselves to obedience, 4
who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it,
who refrain from doing anything that is wrong. 5
‘The Lord will certainly 7 exclude me from his people.’
The eunuch should not say,
‘Look, I am like a dried-up tree.’”
56:4 For this is what the Lord says:
“For the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths
and choose what pleases me
and are faithful to 8 my covenant,
that will be better than sons and daughters.
I will set up a permanent monument 10 for them that will remain.
who love the name of the Lord and want to be his servants –
all who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it,
and who are faithful to 12 my covenant –
56:7 I will bring them to my holy mountain;
I will make them happy in the temple where people pray to me. 13
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar,
for my temple will be known as a temple where all nations may pray.” 14
56:8 The sovereign Lord says this,
the one who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
“I will still gather them up.” 15
56:9 All you wild animals in the fields, come and devour,
all you wild animals in the forest!
they are unaware. 17
All of them are like mute dogs,
unable to bark.
They pant, 18 lie down,
and love to snooze.
56:11 The dogs have big appetites;
they are never full. 19
They are shepherds who have no understanding;
they all go their own way,
each one looking for monetary gain. 20
‘Come on, I’ll get some wine!
Let’s guzzle some beer!
Tomorrow will be just like today!
We’ll have everything we want!’ 22
[56:8] 15 tn The meaning of the statement is unclear. The text reads literally, “Still I will gather upon him to his gathered ones.” Perhaps the preposition -לְ (lamed) before “gathered ones” introduces the object of the verb, as in Jer 49:5. The third masculine singular suffix on both עָלָיו (’alayv) and נִקְבָּצָיו (niqbatsayv) probably refers to “Israel.” In this case one can translate literally, “Still I will gather to him his gathered ones.”
[56:10] 18 tn The Hebrew text has הֹזִים (hozim), which appears to be derived from an otherwise unattested verbal root הָזָה (hazah). On the basis of alleged cognates, BDB 223 s.v. הָזָה offers the definition “dream, rave” while HALOT 243 s.v. הזה lists “pant.” In this case the dog metaphor of the preceding lines continues. The reference to dogs at the beginning of v. 11 favors the extension of the metaphor. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has חזים (“seers”) here. In this case the “watchmen” are directly identified as prophets and depicted as lazy.