Christmas Day ABC
7 How beautifulA upon the mountains
are the feet of the messengerB who announcesC peace,D
who brings goodE news,F
who announces salvation,G
who says to Zion,H “Your GodI reigns.”J
8 Listen! Your sentinelsK lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sightL they see
the returnM of the LordN to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
you ruinsO of Jerusalem;P
for the Lord has comfortedQ his people,
he has redeemedR Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has baredS his holyT armU
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
O “ruins” = chorbah. From chareb (to be waste or desolate; as a noun, destroyer, devastator). This is properly a drought and so it implies desolation, waste, ruin, desert, a place that is decayed.
P “Jerusalem” = yerushalaim. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
Q “comforted” = nacham. Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
R “redeemed” = 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.
S “bared” = chasaph. 11x in OT. This is to strip off, to bare, uncover, or discover. Most commonly associated with baring oneself due to exertion of as a disgrace (as when taken captive and stripped). This can also mean to skim or scoop – to draw water from the surface.
T “holy” = qodesh. This is set apart and so sacred. God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart. Things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy, etc.
U “arm” = zeroa. Perhaps from zara (to sow, scatter seed, conceive). This is the arm, shoulder, or foreleg of an animal. It is figuratively used for power, force, might, or help.