Isaiah 52:7-10

Isaiah 52:7-10
Christmas Day ABC


How beautifulA upon the mountainsB
    are the feetC of the messengerD who announcesE peace,F

Notes on verse 7a

A “beautiful” = naah. 3x in OT. This is at home, lovely, befitting.
B “mountains” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
C “feet” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
D “messenger” = basar. This is being a messenger, to publish, carry, or preach. Properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news.
E “announces” = 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.
F “peace” = shalom. From shalam (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 completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).

who brings goodG news,H
    who announces salvation,I
    who says to Zion,J “Your GodK reigns.”L

Notes on verse 7b

G “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.
H “brings…news” = basar. Same as “messenger” in v7. See note D above.
I “salvation” = yeshuah. 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, health, victory, prosperity.
J “Zion” = Tsiyyon. 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.
K “God” = Elohim.
L “reigns” = malak. To be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned. By implication, to take counsel. This word may be from the Hebrew word for king “melek” or vice versa.

8 Listen! Your sentinelsM lift upN their voices,O
    PtogetherQ they sing for joy;R

Notes on verse 8a

M “sentinels” = tsaphah. This is to look out, look around, spy watchman, sentinel. It is leaning out to look far away. So it is to await or observe.
N “lift up” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
O “voices” = 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.
P {untranslated} = qol. Same as “voices” in v8. See note O above.
Q “together” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.
R “sing for joy” = ranan. This is a cry of joy or a joyful song. Properly, it is emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy.

for in plain sightS they seeT
    the returnU of the LordV to Zion.

Notes on verse 8b

S “in plain sight” = ayin + ayin. Literally, “eye to eye.” This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
T “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
U “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
V “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.

9 Break forthW together into singing,X
    you ruinsY of Jerusalem;Z

Notes on verse 9a

W “break forth” = patsach. 8x in OT. This is to burst forth with in joy or with a loud sound.
X “singing” = ranan. Same as “sing for joy” in v8. See note R above.
Y “ruins” = chorbah. From chareb (to be waste or desolate, destroyer). This is ruin, desert, waste place. Properly, it is a drought, which implies a desolated or decayed place.
Z “Jerusalem” = Yerushalaim. Related to “peace” in v7. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (see note F above). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

for the Lord has comfortedAA his people,BB
    he has redeemedCC Jerusalem.

Notes on verse 9b

AA “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.
BB “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.
CC “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.

10 The Lord has baredDD his holyEE armFF

Notes on verse 10a

DD “bared” = chasaph. 11x in OT. This is to strip off, uncover, scoop, make bare. It is to strip off in order to exert oneself, or to make naked for shame. It can also mean to drain off a liquid or to skim it from the surface.
EE “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.
FF “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.

    before the eyesGG of allHH the nations;II
and all the endsJJ of the earthKK shall see
    the salvation of our God.

Notes on verse 10b

GG “eyes” = ayin. Same as “in plain sight” in v8. See note S above.
HH “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
II “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.
JJ “ends” = ephes. From aphes (to finish, fail, stop, come to nothing, disappear). This is an end, ceasing, no further. It is often used to refer to the ends of the earth.
KK “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

Image credit: “Roadrunner Running” in Huépac, Sonora, Mexico by El Brujo+, 2009.

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