Let the nations find renewed strength!
Let them approach and then speak;
let us come together for debate! 2
He hands nations over to him, 6
and enables him to subdue 7 kings.
He makes them like dust with his sword,
like windblown straw with his bow. 8
he advances with great speed. 10
Who 12 summons the successive generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, am present at the very beginning,
and at the very end – I am the one. 13
the whole earth 15 trembles;
they approach and come.
one says to the other, ‘Be strong!’
41:7 The craftsman encourages the metalsmith,
the one who wields the hammer encourages 17 the one who pounds on the anvil.
He approves the quality of the welding, 18
and nails it down so it won’t fall over.”
41:8 “You, my servant Israel,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
offspring of Abraham my friend, 19
and have summoned from the remote regions –
I told you, “You are my servant.”
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!
Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! 21
I strengthen you –
yes, I help you –
yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! 22
41:11 Look, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and humiliated;
your enemies 26 will be reduced to absolutely nothing.
41:13 For I am the Lord your God,
the one who takes hold of your right hand,
who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’
men of 28 Israel.
I am helping you,” says the Lord,
new and double-edged. 32
You will thresh the mountains and crush them;
you will make the hills like straw. 33
41:16 You will winnow them and the wind will blow them away;
the wind will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the Lord;
you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.
41:17 The oppressed and the poor look for water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched from thirst.
I, the Lord, will respond to their prayers; 34
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.
41:18 I will make streams flow down the slopes
and produce springs in the middle of the valleys.
I will turn the desert into a pool of water
and the arid land into springs.
41:19 I will make cedars, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees grow in the wilderness;
I will make evergreens, firs, and cypresses grow together in the desert.
so they will pay attention and understand
that the Lord’s power 37 has accomplished this,
and that the Holy One of Israel has brought it into being.” 38
41:21 “Present your argument,” says the Lord.
41:22 “Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen!
Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, 41
Or decree for us some future events!
so we might know you are gods.
Yes, do something good or bad,
so we might be frightened and in awe. 45
41:24 Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent;
the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting. 46
[41:2] 7 tn The verb יַרְדְּ (yardÿ) is an otherwise unattested Hiphil form from רָדָה (radah, “rule”). But the Hiphil makes no sense with “kings” as object; one must understand an ellipsis and supply “him” (Cyrus) as the object. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has יוֹרִד (yorid), which appears to be a Hiphil form from יָרַד (yarad, “go down”). Others suggest reading יָרֹד (yarod), a Qal form from רָדַד (radad, “beat down”).
[41:3] 10 tn Heb “a way with his feet he does not come [or “enter”].” One could translate, “by a way he was not [previously] entering with his feet.” This would mean that he is advancing into new territory and expanding his conquests. The present translation assumes this is a hyperbolic description to his speedy advance. He moves so quickly he does not enter the way with his feet, i.e., his feet don’t even touch the ground. See C. R. North, Second Isaiah, 94.
[41:10] 21 tn According to BDB (1043 s.v. שָׁעָה), the verb תִּשְׁתָּע (tishta’) in the second line of the poetic couplet is a Hitpael form from the root שָׁעָה (sha’ah, “gaze,” with metathesis of the stem prefix and the first root letter). Taking the Hitpael as iterative, one may then translate “do not anxiously look about.” However, the alleged Hitpael form of שָׁעָה (sha’ah) only occurs here and in verse 23. HALOT 1671 s.v. שׁתע proposes that the verb is instead a Qal form from the root שׁתע (“fear”) which is attested in cognate Semitic languages, including Ugaritic (discovered after the publishing of BDB), suggests the existence of this root. The poetic structure of v. 10 also supports the proposal, for the form in question is in synonymous parallelism to יָרֵא (yare’, “fear”).
[41:10] 22 tn The “right hand” is a symbol of the Lord’s power to deliver (Exod 15:6, 12) and protect (Ps 63:9 HT [63:8 ET]). Here צֶדֶק (tsedeq) has its well-attested nuance of “vindicated righteousness,” i.e., “victory, deliverance” (see 45:8; 51:5, and BDB 841-42 s.v.).