Isaiah 65:17-25

Isaiah 65:17-25
Easter C21


17 ForA I am about to createB newC heavensD
    and a new earth;

Notes on verse 17a

A {untranslated} = hen. This is a remark of surprise or excitement: lo! Behold! It can also mean if or though.
B “create” = bara. This is to create, shape, choose, or select. It is the word used in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth.
C “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild). This is something fresh or new.
D “heavens” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.

the formerE things shall not be rememberedF
    or comeG to mind.H

Notes on verse 17b

E “former” = 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.
F “remembered” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
G “come” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
H “mind” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.

18 But be gladI and rejoice foreverJ
    in what I am creating;
forK I am about to create JerusalemL as a joy,M
    and its peopleN as a delight.O

Notes on verse 18

I “be glad” = sus. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to be bright or cheerful.
J “forever” = ad + ad. Ad is from adah (to advance or continue; to take away or remove; adorning oneself with ornaments). This is old, perpetuity, eternity. It is a duration going back or forward. Ad is from the same as ad (above). This is up to, while, before.
K {untranslated} = hen. Same as {untranslated} in v17. See note A above.
L “Jerusalem” = Yerushalaim. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
M “joy” = gilah. 2x in OT – both in Isaiah. From gil (circle, rejoicing, or age); from gil (properly, twirling around because of a strong feeling – whether of rejoicing or from fear; to rejoice, be glad or joyful, to cry). This is rejoicing or joy.
N “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.
O “delight” = masos. Related to “be glad” in v18. 17x in OT. From sus (see note I above). This is delight, joy, something that causes joy or the feeling itself.

19 I will rejoiceP in Jerusalem,
    and delightQ in my people;
no more shall the soundR of weepingS be heardT in it,
    or the cryU of distress.V

Notes on verse 19

P “rejoice” = gil. Related to “joy” in v18. See note M above.
Q “delight” = sus. Same as “be glad” in v18. See note I above.
R “sound” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
S “weeping” = beki. From bakah (to weep, complain, lament). This is ongoing weeping, overflowing. By analogy, this can also mean dripping.
T “heard” = 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.
U “cry” = qol. Same as “sound” in v19. See note R above.
V “distress” = zeaqah. 19x in OT. From zaaq (to cry or call out; a call to assemble or gather together; a herald who announces a public gathering; a shriek from pain or danger). This is a cry, shriek. It is crying out as lament or distress.

20 No more shall there beW in it
    an infantX that lives but a few days,Y
    or an old personZ who does not live out a lifetime;AA

Notes on verse 20a

W “be” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
X “infant” = ul. 3x in OT. From ul (to nurse, suckle). This is an infant – a child that is nursing.
Y “days” = 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.
Z “old person” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.
AA “live out a lifetime” = male + et + yom. Literally “filled his days.”  Male is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense. Yom is the same as “days” in v20. See note Y above.

for one who diesBB at a hundredCC yearsDD will be considered a youth,EE
    and one who falls shortFF of a hundredGG will be considered accursed.HH

Notes on verse 20b

BB “dies” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
CC “hundred” = meah. This is hundred or some number times one hundred (i.e. hundredfold or the base of two hundred, three hundred, etc.).
DD “years” = benshanah. Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.Shanah is from shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
EE “youth” = naar. May be from na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a child or a servant. It is a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence.
FF “one who falls short” = chata. This is properly to miss, and so figuratively it is used for sinning, bearing the blame. It implies a forfeiture or loss of something.
GG {untranslated} = benshanah. Same as “years” in v20. See note DD above.
HH “considered accursed” = qalal. This is to be little, insignificant, swift. It can also mean to bring down in esteem, create contempt, curse.

21 They shall buildII housesJJ and inhabitKK them;
    they shall plantLL vineyardsMM and eatNN their fruit.OO

Notes on verse 21

II “build” = banah. Related to “years” in v20. See note DD above.
JJ “houses” = bayit. Related to “years” in v20 & “build” in v21. Probably from banah (see note DD above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
KK “inhabit” = 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.
LL “plant” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
MM “vineyards” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.
NN “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
OO “fruit” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.

22 They shall not build and anotherPP inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a treeQQ shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosenRR shall long enjoySS the workTT of their hands.UU

Notes on verse 22

PP “another” = acher. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is following, next, strange, other.
QQ “tree” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.
RR “chosen” = bachir. From bachar (to choose, appoint, try, excellent). This is chosen or choice. So, it implies excellence.
SS “long enjoy” = balah. 17x in OT. This is to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay.
TT “work” = maaseh. From asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
UU “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.

23 They shall not laborVV in vain,WW
    or bear childrenXX for calamity;YY

Notes on verse 23a

VV “labor” = yaga. This is to work, become weary, to gasp or be exhausted, to toil.
WW “vain” = riq. 12x in OT. From ruq (to pour out in a literal or figurative sense, hence, to be or make empty). This is to be empty or to make empty; also vanity, emptiness, something worthless, in vain.
XX “bear children” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
YY “calamity” = behalah. 4x in OT. From bahal (to be afraid, dismayed, amazed; deep trembling within; figuratively, being suddenly agitated; implies moving or acting quickly/anxiously). This is trouble, terror, ruin.

for they shall be offspringZZ blessedAAA by the LordBBB
    and their descendantsCCC as well.

Notes on verse 23b

ZZ “offspring” = 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.
AAA “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
BBB “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “be” in v20. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note W above). 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.
CCC “descendants” = tseetsa. 11x in OT. From yatsa (to go or come out, bring forth, appear; to go out in a literal or figurative sense). This is that which comes forth i.e. offspring, children, crops, springs, etc.

24 DDDBefore they callEEE I will answer,FFF
    while they are yet speakingGGG I will hear.

Notes on verse 24

DDD {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “be” in v20. See note W above.
EEE “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
FFF “answer” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
GGG “speaking” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.

25 The wolfHHH and the lambIII shall feedJJJ together,KKK

Notes on verse 25a

HHH “wolf” = zeeb. 7x in OT. Perhaps from a word that refers to yellow. This is a wolf.
III “lamb” = taleh. 2x in OT. Perhaps from tela (lamb); from tala (to patch, to cover with bits or fragments; spotted or having several different colors like a tapestry). This is a lamb.
JJJ “feed” = ra’ah. This is to tend a flock, pasture, or graze. It can mean to rule or to associate with someone. Figuratively, it can be ruler or teacher.
KKK “together” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.

    the lionLLL shall eat strawMMM like the ox;NNN
    but the serpentOOO—its foodPPP shall be dust!QQQ

Notes on verse 25b

LLL “lion” = ari. From arah (to gather or pluck). This is a young lion.
MMM “straw” = teben. Related to “years” in v20 & “build” and “houses” in v21. 17x in OT. Perhaps from banah (see note DD above). This is material like straw or stubble – refuse used as fodder.
NNN “ox” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
OOO “serpent” = nachash. Perhaps from nachash (to practice divination, learn by experience; to hiss as in whispering a spell). This is a serpent or snake. Used for the Serpent in the garden of Eden.
PPP “food” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
QQQ “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.

They shall not hurtRRR or destroySSS
    on allTTT my holyUUU mountain,VVV
says the Lord.WWW

Notes on verse 25c

RRR “hurt” = ra’a’. This is to be evil, bad, afflict. Properly, it means to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces. Figuratively, it is to cause something to be worthless. It is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense – something that displeases, does harm or mischief, punishes or vexes.
SSS “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.
TTT “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
UUU “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.
VVV “mountain” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
WWW “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “be” in v20 & “Lord” in v23. This is Lord. It has the same meaning as “Lord” in v23, but with a different vowel pointing. See note BBB above.

Image credit: “Lion and Lamb” at Lion and Lamb Yard in Farnham, England. Sculpture by Edwin Russel, 1986. Photo by Martinvl, 2021.

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