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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 59

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Text Commentary

1No, the LORD's arm is not too short to save, Or His ear too dull to hear; 2But your iniquities have been a barrier Between you and your God, Your sins have made Him turn His face away And refuse to hear you. 3For your hands are defiled with crime c Or “blood.” And your fingers with iniquity. Your lips speak falsehood, Your tongue utters treachery. 4No one sues justly Or pleads honestly; They rely on emptiness and speak falsehood, Conceiving wrong and begetting evil.

5They hatch adder's eggs And weave spider webs; He who eats of those eggs will die, And if one is crushed, it hatches out a viper. 6Their webs will not serve as a garment, What they make cannot serve as clothing; Their deeds are deeds of mischief, Their hands commit lawless acts, 7Their feet run after evil, They hasten to shed the blood of the innocent. Their plans are plans of mischief, Destructiveness and injury are on their roads. 8They do not care for the way of integrity, There is no justice on their paths. They make their courses crooked, No one who walks in them cares for integrity.

9“That is why redress is far from us, And vindication does not reach us. We hope for light, and lo! there is darkness; For a gleam, and we must walk in gloom. 10We grope, like blind men along a wall; Like those without eyes we grope. We stumble at noon, as if in darkness; a‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Emendation yields “In the daytime… Among the sturdy, we are ‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Emendation yields “In the daytime… like the dead. 11We all growl like bears And moan like doves. We hope for redress, and there is none; For victory, and it is far from us. 12For our many sins are before You, Our guilt testifies against us. We are aware of our sins, And we know well our iniquities: 13Rebellion, faithlessness to the LORD, And turning away from our God, Planning fraud and treachery, Conceiving lies and uttering them with the throat. b Lit. “heart”; see note at 33.18 and frequently elsewhere. 14And so redress is turned back And vindication stays afar, Because honesty stumbles in the public square And uprightness cannot enter. 15Honesty has been lacking, He who turns away from evil is despoiled.”

The LORD saw and was displeased That there was no redress. 16He saw that there was no man, He gazed long, but no one intervened. Then His own arm won Him triumph, His victorious right hand c Cf. Ps. 98.1–2 . supported Him. 17He donned victory like a coat of mail, With a helmet of triumph on His head; He clothed Himself with garments of retribution, Wrapped himself in zeal as in a robe. 18 a‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. According to their deserts, So shall He repay ‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. fury to His foes; He shall make requital to His enemies, Requital to the distant lands. 19From the west, they shall revere b Or (with a number of mss. and editions) “see.” the name of the LORD, And from the east, His Presence. For He shall come like a hemmed‐in stream Which the wind of the LORD drives on; 20He shall come as redeemer to Zion, To those in Jacob who turn back from sin

—declares the LORD.

21And this shall be My covenant with them, said the LORD: My spirit c I.e., the gift of prophecy; cf., e.g., 61.1. which is upon you, and the words which I have placed in your mouth, shall not be absent from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your children, nor from the mouth of your children's children—said the LORD—from now on, for all time. d Israel is to be a prophet‐nation; cf. 51.16.

Notes:

c Or “blood.”

a‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. Emendation yields “In the daytime…

b Lit. “heart”; see note at 33.18 and frequently elsewhere.

c Cf. Ps. 98.1–2 .

a‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

b Or (with a number of mss. and editions) “see.”

c I.e., the gift of prophecy; cf., e.g., 61.1.

d Israel is to be a prophet‐nation; cf. 51.16.

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