Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3

Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3
Christmastide B5


61:10 I will greatly rejoiceA in the Lord,B
    my whole beingC shall exultD in my God;E

Notes on verse 61:10a

A “greatly rejoice” = sus + sus. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to be bright or cheerful. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
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 “whole being” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
D “exult” = gil. Properly, this is twirling around because of a strong feeling whether of rejoicing or from fear. This can be rejoice, be glad or joyful, or to cry.
E “God” = Elohim.

for he has clothedF me with the garmentsG of salvation,H
    he has coveredI me with the robeJ of righteousness,K

Notes on verse 61:10b

F “clothed” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
G “garments” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.
H “salvation” = yesha. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free). This is salvation, deliverance, rescue, safety, welfare, liberty.
I “covered” = yaat. 1x in OT. From atah (to wrap, cover, veil, be clad, turn aside). This is to cover or clothe.
J “robe” = meil. From maal (to cover up; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to be unfaithful or transgress). This is a robe, mantle, or cloak – an outer garment.
K “righteousness” = tsedaqah. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity). This is righteousness, justice, righteous acts, and moral virtue.

as a bridegroomL decksM himself with a garland,N
    and as a brideO adornsP herself with her jewels.Q

Notes on verse 61:10c

L “bridegroom” = chathan. Perhaps from chathan (bridegroom, son-in-law; someone who is related through marriage; figuratively can be a child who is circumcised). This is to intermarry, make an alliance through marriage, father-in-law, son-in-law, give one’s daughter in marriage.
M “decks” = kahan. From kohen (a priest, one who officiates or acts as priest). This is officiating as a priest does over religious service. It can also figuratively mean donning regalia or formal ornamentation/attire.
N “garland” = p’er. 7x in OT. From paar (to beautify or adorn, to gleam; can refer to showing honor or glorifying someone; also to boast or to shake a tree for harvest). This is beauty or embellishment. It is used of priestly headdresses, garlands, ornaments, and turbans.
O “bride” = kallah. Perhaps related to kalal (to complete, perfect). This is bride or daughter-in-law and the term is used before and after marriage.
P “adorns” = adah. 10x in OT. This is to advance or continue. It can also mean to take away or remove. Plus, it has a specific usage as adorning oneself with ornaments.
Q “jewels” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.

11 For as the earthR brings forthS its shoots,T
    and as a gardenU causes what is sownV in it to spring up,W

Notes on verse 61:11a

R “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
S “brings forth” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
T “shoots” = tsemach. 12x in OT. From tsamach (to sprout, grow – literal or figurative). This is a sprout or growth, literal or figurative.
U “garden” = gannah. 12x in OT. From gan (garden that is fenced in; an enclosure); from ganan (to put a hedge around – generally, protect or defend; to cover or surround). This is a garden or an orchard.
V “what is sown” = zerua. 2x in OT. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is sowing or a thing that is sown, which is to say a plant.
W “spring up” = tsamach. Related to “shoots” in v61:11. See note T above.

so the LordX GodY will cause righteousness and praiseZ
    to spring up before all the nations.AA

Notes on verse 61:11b

X “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
Y “God” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v61:10. See note B above.
Z “praise” = tehillah. From halal (to praise, be boastful). This is praise or a song of praise. It is to offer God a hymn, to boast in God. This shares a root with “hallelujah.”
AA “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

62:1 For Zion’sBB sake I will not keep silent,CC
    and for Jerusalem’sDD sake I will not rest,EE

Notes on verse 62:1a

BB “Zion’s” = tsiyyon. The word is related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
CC “keep silent” = chashah. 15x in OT. This is silent or not doing anything.
DD “Jerusalem’s” = Yerushalayim. 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.
EE “rest” = shaqat. This is to be quiet, rest, calm, settle, be still, peace.

until her vindicationFF shines outGG like the dawn,HH, II

Notes on verse 62:1b

FF “vindication” = tsedeq. Related to “righteousness” in v61:10. See note K above.
GG “shines out” = yatsa. Same as “brings forth” in v61:11. See note S above.
HH “like the dawn” = nogah. 19x in OT. From nagah (to shine – root may mean to glitter). This is light, radiance, being bright, sunshine.
II Literally “goes out as brightness.”

    and her salvationJJ like a burningKK torch.LL

Notes on verse 62:1c

JJ “salvation” = yeshuah. Related to “salvation” in v61:10. From yasha (see note H above). This is salvation, deliverance, health, victory, prosperity.
KK “burning” = ba’ar. This is to burn, consume, heat, remove. It can also be to consume by a fire or through eating, being brutish or wasting.
LL “torch” = lappid. 14x in OT. Root may mean to shine. This is torch, lamp, or flash of lightning.

The nations shall seeMM your vindication,
    and all the kings your glory;NN

and you shall be calledOO by a newPP nameQQ
    that the mouthRR of the Lord will give.SS

Notes on verse 62:2

MM “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
NN “glory” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
OO “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
PP “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild). This is something fresh or new.
QQ “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
RR “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
SS “give” = naqab. This is to pierce, bore holes, puncture; to make a hole more or less forcefully. It is also to curse or libel. It can also mean to appoint, express, blaspheme, or name.

You shall be a crownTT of beautyUU in the handVV of the Lord,

Notes on verse 62:3a

TT “crown” = atarah. From atar (to surround or encircle to defend, protect, or attack; to crown in a literal or figurative sense). This is a crown or wreath. Figuratively, it can mean honor.
UU “beauty” = tipharah. Related to “garland” in v61:10. From paar (see note N above). This is beauty, glory, jewels, honor, glory, bravery.
VV “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

    and a royalWW diademXX in the handYY of your God.ZZ

Notes on verse 62:3b

WW “royal” = melukah. Related to “kings” in v62:2. From melek (king, royal). This is royalty, reign, something that is ruled.
XX “diadem” = tsaniph. 5x in OT. From tsanaph (to wrap or wind up). This is a diadem, turban, or other head wear.
YY “hand” = kaph. From kaphaph (to bend – from a root meaning curve or bend down). This is palm of the hand or sole of the foot, footstep, grasp. Figuratively, it can also mean power.
ZZ “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v61:10.

Image credit: “Kibbutz Ein Gedi” by Stephanie Gromann, 2012

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