Isaiah 25:1, 4a, 6-10a

Isaiah 25:1, 4a, 6-10a
All Saints’ Day – A Women’s Lectionary


O Lord,A you are my God;B
    I will exaltC you; I will praiseD your name,E

Notes on verse 1a

A “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.
B “God” = Elohim.
C “exalt” = ramam. 7x in OT. This is to rise in a literal or figurative sense. So, it can be to get up or exalt.
D “praise” = yadah. From yad (hand). This is to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise. So, it is to praise, give thanks, or make a confession.
E “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.

for you have doneF wonderfulG things,
    plansH formed of old,I faithfulJ and sure.K

Notes on verse 1b

F “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
G “wonderful” = pele. 13x in OT. This is a wonder, marvelous thing, or a miracle.
H “plans” = etsah. From yaats (to counsel, advise, determine). This is advice, purpose, plan, prudence, or counselor.
I “old” = rachoq. From rachaq (to widen, become distant, cast, or remove in a literal or figurative sense). This is distant or far, whether of space or of time.
J “faithful” = emunah. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. This word shares a root with the word “Amen.”
K “sure” = omen. Related to “faithful” in v1. 1x in OT. From aman (see note J above). This is faithfulness or truth.

For you have beenL a refugeM to the poor,N
    a refuge to the needyO in their distress,P

Notes on verse 4a

L “been” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note A above.
M “refuge” = maoz. From uz (to run for refuge, to seek safety, be strong) OR from azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; to be stout literally or figuratively). This is a defense, refuge, safety, fortress, rock, strength, or stronghold. It is somewhere one goes to be safe and protected or something one uses to be safe. Figuratively, it could be a defense or a force.
N “poor” = dal. From dalal (to be low, hang, fade, be emptied, become poor, be oppressed). This is lean, weak, needy, poor. Properly, it is one who is dangling.
O “needy” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.
P “distress” = tsar. From tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). Properly, this is a narrow or constricted place. Figuratively, it can be trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress.

    a shelterQ from the rainstormR and a shadeS from the heat.T

Notes on verse 4b

Q “shelter” = machaseh. From chasah (to take refuge or flee for protection; figuratively, to hope or trust in someone or something). This is a shelter in a literal or figurative sense. It is refuge or place of refuge. It could also be hope or trust.
R “rainstorm” = zerem. 9x in OT. From zaram (to flood, pour; to carry something off as a flood does). This is a rainstorm, overflowing, flood from rain, tempest.
S “shade” = tsel. From tsalal (to be or become dark, shade; this is the shade as during twilight or shadow as associated with something opaque). This is shade in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be shadow, shade, protection, shelter, or defense.
T “heat” = choreb. 16x in OT. From chereb (any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock); from charab (to dry up because of drought, destroy, or make waste, kill). This is drought, heat, desolation.

When the blastU of the ruthlessVno was like a winterW rainstorm,

Notes on verse 4c

U “blast” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
V “ruthless” = arits. From arats (to tremble, dread, stand in awe, oppress, harass). This is awe-inspiring or terror-inducing, ruthless, tyrant, oppressor, violent, powerful.
W “winter” = qir. Perhaps from qur (to dig, destroy, wall up). This is a wall, ceiling, surface, mason, or town.

On this mountainX the Lord of hostsY will makeZ for allAA peoplesBB

Notes on verse 6a

X “mountain” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
Y “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.
Z “make” = asah. Same as “done” in v1. See note F above.
AA “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
BB “peoples” = 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.

    a feastCC of rich food,DD a feast of well-aged wines,EE
    of rich food filled with marrow,FF of well-aged wines strained clear.GG

Notes on verse 6b

CC “feast” = mishteh. From shathah (to drink literally or figuratively; a drinker). This is drink or the act of drinking. So it is a feast or banquet, as occasions with drinking.
DD “rich food” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
EE “well-aged wines” = shemer. 5x in OT. Perhaps from shamar (to keep, watch, or preserve; to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something). This is something preserved so it is the dregs or settling parts of wine.
FF “filled with marrow” = machah. This is to rub or wipe away, which implies blotting out or erasing, which can be used to mean destroy. This can also be rub in the sense of rubbing oil or grease on something or, more generally, reaching or touching.
GG “strained clear” = zaqaq. 7x in OT. This is to refine, purify, or distill. Figuratively, it can mean to extract.

And he will destroyHH on this mountain
    the shroudII that is castJJ over all peoples,
    the coveringKK that is spreadLL over all nations;MM

Notes on verse 7

HH “destroy” = bala. This is to swallow, engulf, cover, or destroy.
II “shroud” = paneh + lot. Paneh is from panah (to turn, appear). This is a face in a literal or figurative sense. Lot is 1x in OT. From lut (to envelop or cast – refers to something that is tightly wrapped). This is a covering or veil.
JJ “cast” = lut. Related to “shroud” in v7. 3x in OT. See note II above.
KK “covering” = massekah. From nasak (to cover, pour out, offer; by analogy anointing a king). This is a pouring out or over. So it could be pouring molten metal to cast an image, making a libation (pouring out a drink offering), or otherwise covering.
LL “spread” = nasak. Related to “sheet” in v7. 1x in OT. Perhaps identical with nasak (see note KK above). This is to weave, spread over.
MM “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.

    he will swallow upNN deathOO forever.PP

Notes on verse 8a

NN “swallow up” = bala. Same as “destroy” in v7. See note HH above.
OO “death” = mavet. From muth (to die in a literal or figurative sense). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.
PP “forever” = netsach. From natsach (something that glitters from a distance or stands out, excels, has status/standing; also to be permanent or enduring). This is properly a goal or destination as the bright focus to which one journeys. It can be splendor, truthfulness, or confidence. Most often, it refers to everlastingness, always, continually.

Then the LordQQ GodRR will wipe awaySS the tearsTT from all faces,UU

Notes on verse 8b

QQ “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.
RR “God” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v1 & “been” in v4. From the same as YHVH (see note A above). It has the same meaning as “Lord” with a different vowel pointing.
SS “wipe away” = machah. Same as “filled with marrow” in v6. See note FF above.
TT “tears” = dimah. From dema (juice, liquor); from dama (to weep). This is tears from weeping.
UU “faces” = paneh. Same as “shroud” in v7. See note II above.

    and the disgraceVV of his people he will take awayWW from all the earth,XX
    for the LordYY has spoken.ZZ

Notes on verse 8c

VV “disgrace” = cherpah. From charaph (to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy). This is reproach, rebuke, shame, or disgrace. It can also refer to genitals.
WW “take away” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
XX “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
YY “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note A above.
ZZ “spoken” = 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.

It will be said on that day,AAA
    “See,BBB this is our God;CCC we have waitedDDD for him, so that he might saveEEE us.

Notes on verse 9a

AAA “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.
BBB “see” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
CCC “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note B above.
DDD “waited” = qavah. It can mean to bind or gather together, especially in the sense of twisting together. In that light, it can mean collect. Figuratively, this can mean to wait, await, expect, or tarry.
EEE “save” = 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 the LordFFF for whom we have waited;
    let us be gladGGG and rejoiceHHH in his salvation.”III

10 For the handJJJ of the LordKKK will restLLL on this mountain.

Notes on verses 9b-10a

FFF “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “God” in v8. See note RR above.
GGG “be glad” = 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.
HHH “rejoice” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.
III “salvation” = yeshuah. Related to “save” in v9. From yasha (see note EEE above). This is salvation, deliverance, health, victory, prosperity.
JJJ “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.
KKK “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note A above.
LLL “rest” = nuach. This is to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait. It is rest and so implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense. This is perhaps the root verb of the name “Noah.”

The MoabitesMMM shall be trodden downNNN in their place
    as strawOOO is trodden down in thePPP manure.QQQ

Notes on verse 10b

MMM “Moabites” = Moab. May be from ab (father, ancestor, grandfather; father in a literal or figurative sense). This is Moab or Moabite. Name could mean “from her father” in reference to the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters. The name could also mean, more pleasantly, “seed of a father” or “desirable land.” See
NNN “trodden down” = dush. 14x in OT. This is to trample, break, tear, thresh.
OOO “straw” = mathben. 1x in OT. From the same as teben (material like straw or stubble – refuse used as fodder); Perhaps from banah (to build or obtain children). This is straw or a pile of straw.
PPP {untranslated} = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
QQQ “manure” = madmenah. 1x in OT. From the same as domen (manure). This is a pile of manure or a place where dung is.

Image credit: “Mt. Zion” from southern slope of Olivet. Photo by G. Eric and Edith Matson.

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