Isaiah 44:6-8

Isaiah 44:6-8
Proper 11A


ThusA says the Lord,B the KingC of Israel,D

Notes on verse 6a

A “thus” = koh. Perhaps from ki (that, for when, certainly) + hu (he, she, it). This is like this, thus, here, now.
B “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “King” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
D “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + El (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

    and his Redeemer,E the Lord of hosts:F
I am the first,G and I am the last;H

Notes on verse 6b

E “Redeemer” = gaal. This is to redeem someone or something according to kinship laws. So, it could be acting on a relative’s behalf to buy back their property, to marry one’s brother’s widow, etc. This could be more briefly translated as to redeem, acts as kinsman, or purchase. As a noun, it could be deliverer or avenger.
F “hosts” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.
G “first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
H “last” = acharon. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is end, last, coming behind, to loiter, later. It can also refer to the west.

    besidesI me there is no god.J
Who is like me? Let them proclaimK it;
    let them declareL and set it forthM before me.

Notes on verses 6c-7a

I “besides” = bilade. 17x in OT. From bal (not, none, nothing, a failure); {from balah (to grow old, wear out, waste away, consume, spend)} + ad (up to, while) or ad (eternal, forever, old). This is apart from, besides, without.
J “god” = elohim. Related to “Israel” in v6. See note D above.
K “proclaim” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
L “declare” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
M “set…forth” = arak. This is to arrange by setting in a row. It can also mean to set a battle, estimate, put in order, or compare.

Who has announcedN, O from of oldP the things to come?Q

Notes on verse 7b

N “announced” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
O {untranslated} = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
P “old” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
Q “to come” = athah. This is to come or bring. It can also refer to the past or future arriving.

    Let them tellR us what is yet to be.S
Do not fearT or be afraid;U

Notes on verses 7c-8a

R “tell” = nagad. Same as “declare” in v7. See note L above.
S “to be” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
T “fear” = pachad. To dread, be afraid, thrill, be in awe. This is properly feeling startled from a sudden sound or alarm and so, more generally, to be afraid.
U “afraid” = rahah. 1x in OT. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is to fear.

    have I not toldV you from of oldW and declared it?
    You are my witnesses!X
Is thereY any godZ besides me?

Notes on verse 8b

V “told” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
W “old” = az. This is beginning, now, from, since.
X “witnesses” = ed. From ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is a witness, testimony, or one who records testimony. It can also refer to a prince.
Y “is there” = yesh. This is being, existence, or substance.
Z “god” = eloah. Related to “Israel” and “god” in v6. From El (see note D above). This is God or a god.

    There is no other rock;AA I knowBB notCC one.

Notes on verse 8c

AA “rock” = tsur. From tsur (to confine, cramp, or bind in a literal or figurative sense; to besiege, assault, or distress). This is rock, stone, cliff, boulder, rocky. It can also be a refuge, a way to refer to God.
BB “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CC “not” = bal. Related to “besides” in v6. See note I above.

Image credit: “Picture Perfect” by Chris H, 2007.

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