As I have mentioned (here) I am participating in “Greek Isaiah in a Year” reading group. These are my notes from this week (10:30-12:6).
10:30—The “daughters of Gallim” are commanded to cry out with their voice
(צהלי קולך) in the MT; they flee (φεύξεται, v. 29) in the LXX.
10:33—It is interesting how the LXX translators navigate a string of titles related to God. Here we have “the Lord YHWH Sabaoth” (האדון יהוה צבאות) render as “The Despot Lord of Sabaoth” (ὁ δεσπότης κύριος σαβαωθ).
11:1—The basic idea is the same in the MT and LXX in v.1a: a shoot/stick will come from the root of Jesse. In v.1b the imagery is a little different. The MT has a branch which bears fruit coming from the roots (ונצר משׁרשׁיו יפרה); the LXX has something blossoming from the roots (καὶ ἄνθος ἐκ τῆς ῥίζης ἀναβήσεται).
11:2—This is one of the most Pneumatological passages and it is an important passage for understanding early Christian messianism. The S/spirit rest on the root of Jesse. This Spirit is identified as “of YHWH”, “of Wisdom and Understanding”, “of Counsel and Strength”, “of Knowledge and the Fear of YHWH”
(רוח יהוה רוח חכמה ובינה רוח עצה וגבורה רוח דעת ויראת יהוה; πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ, πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ συνέσεως, πνεῦμα βουλῆς καὶ ἰσχύος, πνεῦμα γνώσεως καὶ εὐσεβείας).
11:3—“The Spirit of the fear of God will fill him.” This LLX language founds like the Book of Acts (ἐμπλήσει αὐτὸν). This figure will not judge according to glory/honor (κατὰ τὴν δόξαν) or rebuke according to report (κατὰ τὴν λαλιὰν ἐλέγξει). In the MT והריחו is an interesting word choice, since it seems to indicate something like enjoying the scent of something. The description of this figures jurisdiction is more picturesque in the MT. He will not judge with the sight of his eyes nor will be decide with what he hears with his ears
(ולֹא־למראה עיניו ישׁפוט ולֹא־למשׁמע אזניו יוכיח).
11:4—In the LXX he will decide a judgment for the humble one (likely favorable here, ἀλλὰ κρινεῖ ταπεινῷ κρίσιν) and he will rebuke the humble of the earth (ἐλέγξει τοὺς ταπεινοὺς τῆς γῆς). This comes across as a little odd sounding. The MT is straightforward: he will judge in righteousness the lowly and he will decide with uprightness for the poor of the land (ושׁפט בצדק דלים והוכיח במישׁור לענוי־ארץ). This figure strikes the earth with the word of his mouth and he will destroy the wicked with the spirit/breath of his lips (καὶ πατάξει γῆν τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν πνεύματι διὰ χειλέων ἀνελεῖ ἀσεβῆ). Paul picks up the second part in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 to discuss Christ’s war against the man of lawlessness. This designation of “lawless” is common in Isaiah as a reference to the heathen. The MT does not say “word of his mouth”, but “rod of his mouth” (בשׁבט פיו). In Revelation 19:15 Christ is depicted as attacking his enemies with a sharp sword that comes from his mouth (ῥομφαία ὀξεῖα).
11:5—This figure is described as dressing himself in righteousness (צדק/δικαιοσύνῃ) and using a belt of truth (האמונה/ἀληθείᾳ). There are two Hebrew words used here for “loins”, מתניו and חלציו. The LXX differentiates one as a garment girded around the loins (ἐζωσμένος τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ) and the other as wrapped around the waste (like a belt, εἰλημένος τὰς πλευράς).
11:6—Messianic Age imagery emerges here: wolves eat/dwell with lambs; leopards rest with young goats; calves, young lions, and bulls live together; then the obscure statement, “A young boy will lead them” (καὶ παιδίον μικρὸν ἄξει αὐτούς). In Hebrew the imagery seems to be that of a shepherd: the little young man will “drive” or “guide” them (נהג בם).
11:7—This imagery continues: bulls feed eat/dwell with bears, and their children live together, and lions and bulls eat chaff, or hay, or straw. The LXX presents lions and bulls eating straw together (λέων καὶ βοῦς ἅμα φάγονται ἄχυρα). The MT presents the lion as eating straw like oxen do (ואריה כבקר יאכל־תבן).
11:8—A nursing child plays near the hole of a cobra/asp (νήπιον used to interpret a “sucking/nursing” child, יונק) and puts their hand on the hole of an asp’s dwelling place. The MT provides some parallelism: a nursing child (יונק) moves to a weaned child (גמול).
11:9—This v. begins w. an emphatic negation: οὐ μὴ. These children, or people, will never ever do evil (κακοποιήσωσιν). This is followed w. another emphatic negative: nor will they ever be able to destroy/kill another/”anyone” (οὐδὲ μὴ δύνωνται ἀπολέσαι οὐδένα). This local of this purity is the holy mountain of God (ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος τὸ ἅγιόν μου). The MT aligns in gist: no one will do evil (לֹא־ירעו) and no one will destroy (ולא־ישׁחיתו). The next line is quite amazing: ὅτι ἐνεπλήσθη ἡ σύμπασα τοῦ γνῶναι τὸν κύριον ὡς ὕδωρ πολὺ κατακαλύψαι θαλάσσας. The whole of everything, the whole world, it will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord like the waters cover the seas. There is no place where the seas do not have waters. The MT has “the land” or “the earth” (הארץ) filled with the knowledge (דעה) of YHWH. Does this mean “the land” of Israel alone, or does the LXX’s universalizing correspond to the basic idea?
11:10—“That day” language emerges again: ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ/ביום ההוא. The “root of Jesse” (ἡ ῥίζα τοῦ Ιεσσαι) is the one who stands to rule the nations (καὶ ὁ ἀνιστάμενος ἄρχειν ἐθνῶν). The MT has him stand as a “sign/signal” to the nations (עמד לנס עמים אליו גוים). The nations will seek him (גוים ידרשׁו והיתה) or as the LXX says, they will “hope in him” (ἐπʼ αὐτῷ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν). The end of this v. puts a kink in the Messianic reading, since it speaks of a honored resting place (καὶ ἔσται ἡ ἀνάπαυσις αὐτοῦ τιμή/מנחתו כבוד).
11:11—Another “in that day” marker, this time stating that God will add to the display of his hand acting zealously for the remnant of his remaining people (προσθήσει κύριος τοῦ δεῖξαι τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ τοῦ ζηλῶσαι τὸ καταλειφθὲν ὑπόλοιπον τοῦ λαοῦ). The MT speaks of the Lord acquiring his people a second time with his hand (יוסיף אדני שׁנית ידו לקנות את־שׁאר עמו). In the LXX this remnant will be regathered from Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Ethiopia, Elam, the east, and Arabia. In the MT from Assyira, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elim, Shinar, Hamath, from the coast or isles of the sea.
11:12—The Lord will raise up a sign (ἀρεῖ σημεῖον) to the nation, then he will gather the “lost” (τοὺς ἀπολομένους) of Israel, the dispersed of Judah, from the “four points/wings”of the earth
(ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων πτερύγων τῆς γῆς/מארבע כנפות הארץ), or from the whole earth. This use of “land” leads me to think land is larger than the land of Israel, even in the MT.
11:13—Judah will have peace with Ephraim. The enemies of Judah will be destroyed, yet Judah and Ephraim seem to be reconciled. In the MT there are some repetitive words. The jealous (קנאת) of Ephraim will be turned away and the Ephraim will not be jealous (לֹא־יקנא) of Judah. The hostile ones (וצררי) toward Judah will be “cut off” (יכרתו), and the hostility (לֹא־יצר) of Judah will be no longer toward Ephraim.
11:14—It appears that Judah and Ephraim use the ships of the heathen, plunder the sea, place their hands on Moab first, but the sons of Ammon are the first to obey. The MT has a different message. Judah and Ephraim create a military coalition. They “fly in wings” (swoop down upon, ועפו בכתף) on Philistine, united together to plunder “the sons of the east”, Edom and Moab, and the sons of Ammon are subjected to the Judah-Ephraim coalition.
11:15—The Lord turns against Egypt, make a desert of their sea, and strikes their gullies so that someone can cross them with sandals. This seems to be drought imagery in the LXX. The Lord uses a violent pneuma, wind-spirit-breath (πνεύματι βιαίῳ). In the MT YHWH splits the tongue of the Egyptian sea (והחרים יהוה את לשׁון ים־מצרים). He uses a “scorching wind-spirit-breath” (בעים רוחו) to dry the river.
11:16—In the MT the exiles leaving Assyria is presented as being like the Exodus where the people left Egypt. A pathway/highway is established for their travel (מסלה). It will be like when they ascended out of Egypt (עלתו מארץ מצרים). In the LXX for those in Egypt (ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ), just like there was for an earlier generation who left the land of Egypt (ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου).
12:1—Again, this part is framed “in the day”, with God ending his wrath and showing compassion.
12:2—This v. continues the doxological language. The author speaks of the “Lord my God, my Savior” (ὁ θεός μου σωτήρ μου κύριος). He says he will “be persuaded by him, and saved in him” (πεποιθὼς ἔσομαι ἐπ̓ αὐτῷ καὶ σωθήσομαι ἐν αὐτῷ). He will not fear (οὐ φοβηθήσομαι). All these statement are future tense. The present/past tense emerges in v.2b. The author calls the Lord (κύριος) “my glory” (ἡ δόξα μου) and “my praise” (ἡ αἴνεσίς μου) and says that he “has become” (ἐγένετό, aorist) “my salvation” (μοι εἰς σωτηρίαν). In the MT the author speaks of “the God of my salvation” (אל ישׁועתי), who he (“I”) will trust (אבטח). He writes that he will not fear/dread (אפחד) because God is “my strength” (עזי) and “my song” (זמרת יה). Then he ends will the proclamation that YHWH will be “my salvation”
(יהוה ויהי־לי לישׁועה).
12:3—This v. is quite poetic: καὶ ἀντλήσετε ὕδωρ μετ̓ εὐφροσύνης ἐκ τῶν πηγῶν τοῦ σωτηρίου. It reads, “And you will draw water with joyfulness from the well of salvation.” The MT says the same thing: ושׁאבתם־מים בשׂשׂון ממעיני הישׁועה.
12:4—Again, we begin with “in that day”. The commands of this v. are to sing of the Lord, to cry out his name, to announce to the nations his glory (these vv. sound like the impetus need by someone like Paul to go to the Gentiles). In the MT, in v. 1 and v. 4, the language for praising or thanking YHWH is throwing something toward him (אודך in v. 1, הודו in v. 2). The MT’s language of causation (Hifil) corresponds to the above observation that the language of v. 4b has to do with causing the people to remember YHWH’s deeds (הודיעו בָעמים עלילתיו) and causing them to remember that his name is exalted (הזכירו כי נשׂגב שׁמו).
12:5—The command continues to sing the name of the Lord because he has done great things, “announce this in all the earth” (ἀναγγείλατε ταῦτα ἐν πάσῃ τῇ γῇ).
12:6—More imperatives to rejoice because “the holy one of Israel” is in the midst of the people.
See notes on: