Isaiah 25

 

יְהוָה אֱלֹהַי אַתָּה אֲרֹומִמְךָ אֹודֶה שִׁמְךָ כִּי עָשִׂיתָ פֶּלֶא עֵצֹות מֵרָחֹוק אֱמוּנָה אֹמֶן׃   25:1

Isai. 25:1   O Lord! You are my God.  I will exalt You,

                            I will praise Your name.

                    For You have done wonders,

                           O Counsellor of old of faith, of truth.

כִּי שַׂמְתָּ מֵעִיר לַגָּל קִרְיָה בְצוּרָה לְמַפֵּלָה אַרְמֹון זָרִים מֵעִיר לְעֹולָם לֹא יִבָּנֶה׃   25:2

Isai. 25:2   For You have determined a heap to be from a city,

                           of a strong city to be a ruin.

                    From an everlasting city

                           a castle of strangers would not be built.

עַל־כֵּן יְכַבְּדוּךָ עַם־עָז קִרְיַת גֹּויִם עָרִיצִים יִירָאוּךָ׃   25:3

Isai. 25:3   Because of this, strong people shall glorify You.

                           Cities of powerful nations shall fear You.

כִּי־הָיִיתָ מָעֹוז לַדָּל מָעֹוז לָאֶבְיֹון בַּצַּר־לֹו מַחְסֶה מִזֶּרֶם צֵל מֵחֹרֶב כִּי רוּחַ עָרִיצִים כְּזֶרֶם קִיר׃   25:4

Isai. 25:4   For You are a stronghold to the poor,

                           a defense to the needy one in his distress,

                    a refuge from the storm, shade from the heat,

                            though the tempest of the violent ones

                    would be like the overflowing of a wall,

כְּחֹרֶב בְּצָיֹון שְׁאֹון זָרִים תַּכְנִיעַ חֹרֶב בְּצֵל עָב זְמִיר עָרִיצִים יַעֲנ   25:5

Isai. 25:5   the noise of strangers like the heat in a desert,

                            You will subdue the heat by the shadow of a cloud.

                   The song of the mighty shall be answered.

וְעָשָׂה יְהוָה צְבָאֹות לְכָל־הָעַמִּים בָּהָר הַזֶּה מִשְׁתֵּה שְׁמָנִים מִשְׁתֵּה שְׁמָרִים שְׁמָנִים מְמֻחָיִם   25:6

  שְׁמָרִים מְזֻקָּקִים׃

Isai. 25:6   And the Lord of hosts shall make a feast of oils

                             for all the peoples on this mount,

                    a feast of wines, smooth oils, refined wines.

וּבִלַּע בָּהָר הַזֶּה פְּנֵי־הַלֹּוט הַלֹּוט עַל־כָּל־הָעַמִּים וְהַמַּסֵּכָה הַנְּסוּכָה עַל־כָּל־הַגֹּויִם׃   25:7

Isai. 25:7   And on this mount

                             He will destroy the face of the covering

                    veiled over all the peoples

                             and the veil spread over all the nations.

Commentators believe the veil mentioned in this verse refers to the protection the nations have enjoyed against their destruction.  I have a problem with this interpretation, although I see it as plausible.  First, why does Isaiah refer to “this mount?”  To me this sounds like the temple mount, so a good thing should be occurring, not a bad thing -- it is not the peoples and the nations that will be destroyed, only the veil over them.  Now, and second, a veil is not usually thought of as a protection, but to keep something hidden.  As a result, I suspect that Isaiah is referring to the veil of ignorance, saying the Lord will destroy it.  Then we and all the nations will know what the Lord wants us to finally know.  And part of what we should know may be contained in the next verse.

בִּלַּע הַמָּוֶת לָנֶצַח וּמָחָה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דִּמְעָה מֵעַל כָּל־פָּנִים וְחֶרְפַּת עַמֹּו יָסִיר מֵעַל כָּל־הָאָרֶץ כִּי   25:8 יְהוָה דִּבֵּר׃

Isai. 25:8    He swallows up death forever,

                             and the Master, the Lord,

                     will wipe away tears from every face;

                             and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth,

                     as the Lord has spoken.

The first part of this verse is frequently translated a little differently, as like “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.”  This sentiment is inscribed at the washing pool, fall, or faucet that is in the front of many Jewish cemeteries throughout the United States.  However, the first word, translated as  swallows up, is perfect tense (past/present), and not imperfect.  Thus the traditional translation is not quite correct.  Nevertheless, I see it as reasonable when taken out of context.  But this is Isaiah; he does this sort of thing with his poetry, and I prefer to be faithful to his message.  Next, I believe the fourth line means anti-Semitism will finally end.  So these verses must refer to the end times.

וְאָמַר בַּיֹּום הַהוּא הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֵינוּ זֶה קִוִּינוּ לֹו וְיֹושִׁיעֵנוּ זֶה יְהוָה קִוִּינוּ לֹו נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בִּישׁוּעָתֹו׃   25:9

Isai. 25:9   And it will be said in that day,

                            “Behold! This is our God!

                   We waited for Him and He saved us.

                            This is the Lord. We waited for Him.

                            We will rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

כִּי־תָנוּחַ יַד־יְהוָה בָּהָר הַזֶּה וְנָדֹושׁ מֹואָב תַּחְתָּיו כְּהִדּוּשׁ מַתְבֵּן (בְּמֵי) [בְּמֹו] מַדְמֵנָה׃   25:10

Isai. 25:10   For the “hand” of the Lord shall rest on this mount

                             and Moab shall be trodden down under it

                      as straw in the water of a dunghill is trodden down.

We have here an interesting candidate for a supposed error.  The word in parentheses is translated as in the water whereas the word in brackets can be translated only one way, as with, making the phrase in the last English line read as follows:  as straw with a dunghill is trodden down.  I suspect that Isaiah used the word he intended to, because the term water can be a euphemism for urine, which would make the dunghill more putrid.  Moab is the straw, and what could be more degrading than being trampled amid urine and dung?  Only two other translations among all the popular bibles I consult agree with mine.  So now look at the next verse and decide if water might be  the more appropriate translation.

וּפֵרַשׂ יָדָיו בְּקִרְבֹּו כַּאֲשֶׁר יְפָרֵשׂ הַשֹּׂחֶה לִשְׂחֹות וְהִשְׁפִּיל גַּאֲוָתֹו עִם אָרְבֹּות יָדָיו׃   25:11

Isai. 25:11   And it will stretch out its hands in its midst

                              as a swimmer would stretch out to swim,

                      but its pride will be made to sink

                             with the intrigues of its hands,

וּמִבְצַר מִשְׂגַּב חֹומֹתֶיךָ הֵשַׁח הִשְׁפִּיל הִגִּיעַ לָאָרֶץ עַד־עָפָר׃    25:12

Isai. 25:12   as the high fortress of your walls is brought low,

                              subdued, struck to the ground, even to dust.

 

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