Isaiah 65:1-9

Isaiah 65:1-9
Ordinary C30


I was ready to be soughtA out by those who did not ask,B
    to be foundC by those who did not seekD me.
I said, “HereE I am, here I am,”
    to a nationF that did not callG on my name.H

Notes on verse 1

A “sought” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.
B “ask” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
C “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
D “seek” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
E “here” = hen. This is a remark of surprise or excitement: lo! Behold! It can also mean if or though.
F “nation” = 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.
G “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
H “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.

I held outI my handsJ all dayK long
    to a rebelliousL people,M

Notes on verse 2a

I “held out” = paras. This is to spread or stretch out, extend, break up, chop to pieces, disperse, display.
J “hands” = 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.
K “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
L “rebellious” = sarar. 17x in OT. This is turning away, backsliding, rebellious.
M “people” = 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.

who walkN in a wayO that is not good,P
    following their own devices;Q

Notes on verse 2b

N “walk” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
O “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
P “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
Q “devices” = machashabah. From chashab (literally to weave; figuratively to think or plot something malicious). This is thought, scheme, imagination, purpose, or a plan either good or evil.

a people who provokeR me
    to my faceS continually,T

Notes on verse 3a

R “provoke” = kaas. This is to provoke, be angry, grieve, trouble.
S “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
T “continually” = tamid. May come from a word that means to stretch. This word means an indefinite period of time. So, it could be regular or daily. It could also be constantly, continually, always, or perpetually.

sacrificingU in gardensV
    and offering incenseW on bricks;X

Notes on verse 3b

U “sacrificing” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
V “gardens” = 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.
W “offering incense” = qatar. Perhaps from qetoreth (smoke, incense, the scent of the sacrifice as it burned); from the same as qitor (thick smoke, vapor). This is to make an offering, particular one of burned incense. It focuses on the fragrance made from the sacrificial fire. This is generally used to refer to worship.
X “bricks” = lebenah. 11x in OT. From laben (to be or make white, to make bricks). This is a brick, tile, or pavement. From root in the sense of the clay’s whiteness.

who sitY inside tombsZ
    and spend the nightAA in secret places;BB

Notes on verse 4a

Y “sit” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
Z “tombs” = qeber. From qabar (to bury). This is a place where one is buried such as a grave or tomb.
AA “spend the night” = lun. This is to stop – usually to lodge for the night. It can imply dwelling, enduring, or staying permanently. Figuratively, it can mean being obstinate, particularly with one’s words – to complain.
BB “secret places” = natsar. This is to watch, guard, protect. It can be positive – preserve or obey. It can be negative as conceal.

who eatCC the fleshDD of pigs,EE

Notes on verse 4b

CC “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
DD “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
EE “pigs” = chazir. 7x in OT. May come from a word that means to enclose. This is a pig or boar.

    with brothFF of abominable thingsGG in their vessels;HH

Notes on verse 4c

FF “broth” = paraq. 1x in OT. From maraq (broth, soup); {from maraq (to scour, polish, rinse)} OR from paraq (to tear apart, break off, drag away, or crunch; figuratively, to deliver.). This is broth or soup.
GG “abominable things” = piggul. 4x in OT. This may come from a root with the sense of stinking. It is something that is foul or fetid. Therefore, it is offensive. It can be specially used for something that is ritually unclean or an abomination.
HH “vessels” = 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.

who say, “KeepII to yourself;
    do not come nearJJ me, for I am too holyKK for you.”

Notes on verse 5a

II “keep” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
JJ “come near” = nagash. This is to draw, bring, or come near. It is approaching for any reason – as an attack on an enemy, in order to worship, to make an argument. It can also be used as a euphemism for sex.
KK “am…holy” = qadash. From qodesh (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). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.

These are a smokeLL in my nostrils,MM
    a fireNN that burnsOO allPP day long.

Notes on verse 5b

LL “smoke” = ashan. Perhaps from ashan (to smoke or burn in a literal or figurative sense; to be angry). This is smoke, vapor, dust, or anger.
MM “nostrils” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
NN “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
OO “burns” = yaqad. 9x in OT. This is to kindle or burn.
PP “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.

See,QQ it is writtenRR beforeSS me:
    I will not keep silent,TT but I will repay;UU
I will indeed repay into their lapsVV

Notes on verse 6

QQ “see” = hinneh. Related to “here” in v1. From hen (see note E above). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
RR “written” = kathab. This is to inscribe, write, record, or decree.
SS “before” = paneh. Same as “face” in v3. See note S above.
TT “keep silent” = chashah. 15x in OT. This is to be silent or not doing anything.
UU “repay” = shalam. This is to be complete or sound – to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate. So, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated. This is the root verb that “shalom” comes from, the Hebrew word for peace.
VV “laps” = cheq. Root may mean to enclose. This is bosom in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be arms, lap, or midst. It can also be care or cherish.

    their iniquitiesWW and their ancestors’XX iniquities together,YY
            says the Lord;ZZ

Notes on verse 7a

WW “iniquities” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
XX “ancestors’” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
YY “together” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.
ZZ “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.

because they offered incense on the mountainsAAA
    and reviledBBB me on the hills,CCC
I will measureDDD into their laps
    fullEEE payment for their actions.FFF

Notes on verse 7b

AAA “mountains” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
BBB “reviled” = charaph. This is to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy. It can also mean spend the winter or betroth.
CCC “hills” = gibah. From the same as Geba (Geba or Gibeah; hillock); from the same as gabia (cup, bowl, flower; root might mean being convex). This is hill or little hill.
DDD “measure” = madad. This is to measure, stretch, be extended, continue.
EEE “full” = 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.
FFF “payment for…actions” = peullah. 14x in OT. From paal (to do, make, work, or accomplish; generally refers to regularly repeated or systematic action – to practice). This is work, deed, reward, or wages.

Thus says the Lord:
As the wineGGG is found in the cluster,HHH
    and they say, “Do not destroyIII it,
    for there is a blessingJJJ in it,”

Notes on verse 8a

GGG “wine” = tirosh. From yarash (inheriting or dispossessing; refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them; by implication, to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish).  This is new wine or sweet wine – wine that is freshly squeezed. Sometimes used for fermented wine.
HHH “cluster” = eshkol. 9x in OT. Perhaps from eshek (a gathered bunch; can be a testicle or stone). This is cluster – as a bunch of fruit like grapes.
III “destroy” = shachath. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
JJJ “blessing” = barakah. From barak (to kneel, bless; blessing God as part of worship and adoration; blessing humans to help them; can be used as a euphemism to say curse God). This is blessing, which implies prosperity or peace.

soKKK I will doLLL for my servants’MMM sake
    and notNNN destroy them all.

Notes on verse 8b

KKK “so” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
LLL “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
MMM “servants’” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
NNN “not” = bilti. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles.

I will bring forthOOO descendantsPPP from JacobQQQ
    and from JudahRRR inheritorsSSS of my mountains;
my chosenTTT shall inheritUUU it,
    and my servants shall settleVVV there.

Notes on verse 9

OOO “bring forth” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
PPP “descendants” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
QQQ “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
RRR “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
SSS “inheritors” = yarash. Related to “wine” in v8. See note GGG above.
TTT “chosen” = bachir. From bachar (to choose, appoint, try, excellent). This is chosen or choice. So, it implies excellence.
UUU “inherit” = yarash. Same as “inheritors” in v9. See note SSS above.
VVV “settle” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).

Image credit: “Smoke” by Steven Verlander, 2009.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply