Isaiah Chapter 51

This is a B-Greek reading Group for the LXX Isaiah. This reading group is going through two chapters of the LXX Isaiah per week. Ken Penner, the B-Greek moderator for the "Septuagint and Pseudepigrapha Forum" is writing a commentary on the LXX Isaiah and is sharing his notes with those who wish to read the Isaiah LXX. Dive in, if you dare!
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Ken M. Penner
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Isaiah Chapter 51

Post by Ken M. Penner » March 30th, 2012, 5:08 pm

339. I will turn desolation into paradise (51:1-3)
51.1 Ἀκούσαντές μου, οἱ διώκοντες τὸ δίκαιον καὶ ζητοῦντες τὸν Κύριον, ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὴν στερεὰν πέτραν, ἣν ἐλατομήσατε, καὶ εἰς τὸν βόθυνον τοῦ λάκκου, ὃν ὠρύξατε. 2 ἐμβλέψατε εἰς ‌Ἀβραὰμ‌ τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν καὶ εἰς Σάραν τὴν ὠδίνουσαν ὑμᾶς· ὅτι εἷς ἦν, καὶ ἐκάλεσα αὐτὸν καὶ εὐλόγησα αὐτὸν καὶ ἠγάπησα αὐτὸν καὶ ἐπλήθυνα αὐτόν. 3 καὶ σὲ νῦν παρακαλέσω, Σειών, καὶ παρεκάλεσα πάντα τὰ ἔρημα αὐτῆς καὶ θήσω τὰ ἔρημα αὐτῆς ὡς παράδεισον καὶ τὰ πρὸς δυσμὰς ὡς παράδεισον Κυρίου· εὐφροσύνην καὶ ἀγαλλίαμα εὑρήσουσιν ἐν αὐτῇ, ἐξομολόγησιν καὶ φωνὴν αἰνέσεως.

340. My justice will spread throughout the world (51:4-5)
4 ἀκούσατέ μου ἀκούσατέ μου, λαός μου, καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς, πρός με ἐνωτίσασθε· ὅτι νόμος παρʼ ἐμοῦ ἐξελεύσεται καὶ ἡ κρίσις μου εἰς φῶς ἐθνῶν. 5 ἐγγίζει ταχὺ ἡ δικαιοσύνη, καὶ ἐξελεύσεται εἰς φῶς τὸ σωτήριόν μου, καὶ εἰς τὸν βραχίονά μου ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν· ἐμὲ νῆσοι ὑπομενοῦσιν καὶ εἰς τὸν βραχίονά μου ἐλπιοῦσιν.

341. My righteousness will never fail (51:6)
6 ἄρατε εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὑμῶν καὶ ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὴν γῆν κάτω, ὅτι ὁ οὐρανὸς ὡς καπνὸς ἐστερεώθη, ἡ δὲ γῆ ὡς ἱμάτιον παλαιωθήσεται, καὶ οἱ κατοικοῦντες ὥσπερ ταῦτα ἀποθανοῦνται, τὸ δὲ σωτήριόν μου εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἔσται, ἡ δὲ δικαιοσύνη μου οὐ μὴ ἐκλίπῃ.

342. My salvation is forever (51:7-8)
7 ἀκούσατέ μου, οἱ εἰδότες κρίσιν, λαός μου, οὗ ὁ νόμος μου ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν· καὶ φοβεῖσθε ὀνειδισμὸν ἀνθρώπων καὶ τῷ φαυλισμῷ αὐτῶν μὴ ἡττᾶσθε. 8 ὡς γὰρ ἱμάτιον βρωθήσεται ὑπὸ χρόνου καὶ ὡς ἔρια βρωθήσεται ὑπὸ σητός· ἡ δὲ δικαιοσύνη μου εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἔσται, τὸ δὲ σωτήριόν μου εἰς γενεὰν γενεῶν.

343. The ransomed will return with joy (51:9-11)
9 Ἐξεγείρου ἐξεγείρου, Ἰερουσαλήμ, καὶ ἔνδυσαι τὴν ἰσχὺν τοῦ βραχίονός σου· ἐξεγείρου ὡς ἐν ἀρχῇ ἡμέρας, ὡς γενεὰ αἰῶνος. οὐ σὺ εἶ 10 ἡ ἐρημοῦσα θάλασσαν, ὕδωρ ἀβύσσου πλῆθος; ἡ θεῖσα τὸ βάθος τῆς θαλάσσης ὁδὸν διαβάσεως ῥυομένοις 11 καὶ λελυτρωμένους; ὑπὸ γὰρ Κυρίου ἀποστραφήσονται καὶ ἥξουσιν εἰς Σειὼν μετʼ εὐφροσύνης καὶ ἀγαλλιάματος αἰωνίου· ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς γὰρ αὐτῶν ἀγαλλίασις καὶ αἴνεσις, καὶ εὐφροσύνη καταλήμψεται αὐτούς, ἀπέδρα ὀδύνη καὶ λύπη καὶ στεναγμός.
344. You feared humans and forgot God (51:12-13)
12 ἐγώ εἰμι ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ παρακαλῶν σε· γνῶθι σὺ τίνα εὐλαβηθεῖσα ἐφοβήθης ἀπὸ ἀνθρώπου θνητοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ υἱοῦ ἀνθρώπου, οἳ ὡσεὶ χόρτος ἐξηράνθησαν. 13 καὶ ἐπελάθου θεὸν τὸν ποιήσαντά σε, τὸν ποιήσαντα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ θεμελιώσαντα τὴν γῆν, καὶ ἐφόβου ἀεὶ πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας τοῦ προσώπου τοῦ θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ θλίβοντές σε·
345. Lord Sabaoth will shelter you from your oppressor (51:13-16)
ὃν τρόπον γὰρ ἐβουλεύσατο τοῦ ἆραί σε, καὶ νῦν ποῦ ὁ θυμὸς τοῦ θλίβοντός σε; 14 ἐν γὰρ τῷ σῴζεσθαί σε οὐ στήσεται οὐδὲ χρονιεῖ· 15 ὅτι ἐγὼ ὁ θεός σου ὁ ταράσσων τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ἠχῶν τὰ κύματα αὐτῆς, Κύριος Σαβαώθ ὄνομά μοι. 16 θήσω τοὺς λόγους μου εἰς τὸ στόμα σου καὶ ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν τῆς χειρός μου σκεπάσω σε, ἐν ᾗ ἔστησα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐθεμελίωσα τὴν γῆν· καὶ ἐρεῖ Σιών Λαός μου εἶ σύ.

346. Jerusalem, you have suffered my wrath (51:17-20)
17 Ἐξεγείρου ἐξεγείρου ἀνάστηθι, Ἰερουσαλήμ ἡ πιοῦσα τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ θυμοῦ ἐκ χειρὸς Κυρίου· τὸ ποτήριον γὰρ τῆς πτώσεως, τὸ κόνδυ τοῦ θυμοῦ μου ἐξέπιες καὶ ἐξεκένωσας. 18 καὶ οὐκ ἦν ὁ παρακαλῶν σε ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν τέκνων σου, ὧν ἔτεκες, καὶ οὐκ ἦν ὁ ἀντιλαμβανόμενος τῆς χειρός σου οὐδὲ ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν υἱῶν σου, ὧν ὕψωσας. 19 δύο ταῦτα ἀντικείμενα · τίς σοι συλλυπηθήσεται; πτῶμα καὶ σύντριμμα, λιμὸς καὶ μάχαιρα· τίς‌ παρακαλέσει σε ; 20 οἱ υἱοί σου οἱ ἀπορούμενοι, οἱ καθεύδοντες ἐπʼ ἄκρου πάσης ἐξόδου ὡς σιταῖον ἡμίεφθον, οἱ πλήρεις θυμοῦ Κυρίου, ἐκλελυμένοι διὰ Κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ.
347. I will transfer the wrath from you to your oppressors (51:21-23)
21 διὰ τοῦτο ἄκουε, τεταπεινωμένη καὶ μεθύουσα οὐκ ἀπὸ οἴνου·

22 Οὕτω λέγει Κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ κρίνων τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ Ἰδοὺ εἴληφα ἐκ τῆς χειρός σου τὸ ποτήριον τῆς πτώσεως, τὸ κόνδυ τοῦ θυμοῦ, καὶ οὐ προσθήσει ἔτι πιεῖν αὐτό· 23 καὶ δώσω αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς χεῖρας τῶν ἀδικησάντων σε καὶ τῶν ταπεινωσάντων σε, οἳ εἶπαν τῇ ψυχῇ σου Κύψον, ἵνα παρέλθωμεν· καὶ ἔθηκας ἴσα τῇ γῇ τὰ μετάφρενά σου ἔξω τοῖς παραπορευομένοις.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Ken M. Penner
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Isaiah 51 translation

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 23rd, 2012, 11:18 am

339. I will turn desolation into paradise (51:1-3)
51.1 Listen to me, you who pursue what is right and seek the Lord, and look to the solid rock which you hewed, and to the hole of the pit that you dug. 2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sara who laboured with you, because he was one, and I called him and blessed him and loved him and multiplied him. 3 And now I will encourage you, Sion, and I have encouraged all her desolate things and I will make her desolate things like a paradise and the things toward the west like a paradise of Lord. They will find joy and rejoicing in her, acknowledgement and a sound of praise.

340. My justice will spread throughout the world (51:4-5)
4 Listen to me, listen to me, my people, and you kings, lend me your ears , because law will go out from me, and my judgment for a light of nations. 5 Righteousness approaches quickly, and my salvation will go forth to be a light, and nations will hope in my strength; islands will wait on me and will hope in my arm.
341. My righteousness will never fail (51:6)
6 Lift your eyes up to the sky and look at the land below, because the sky has been made firm like smoke, and the land has become old like garment, and those who dwell will die just like these things , but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will certainly not fail.

342. My salvation is forever (51:7-8)
7 Listen to me, you who know judgment, my people of whom my law is in your heart: do not fear the reproach of people and do not be overcome by their contempt. 8 For as a garment will be eaten up by time and as wool will be eaten up by a moth, my righteousness will be forever, and my salvation for a generation of generations.
343. The ransomed will return with joy (51:9-11)
9 Awake, awake, Jerusalem, and put on the strength of your arm! Awake as at the beginning of a day, as a generation of an age. Are you not 10 the one who desolated the sea, an abundance , water of the abyss, the one who put a way of passage and those who have been ransomed at the bottom of the sea for those being rescued ? 11 For they will be brought back by Lord and they will come to Sion with joy and eternal rejoicing, for joy and praise will be upon their head, and joy will overtake them; grief and sorrow and groaning have fled.

344. You feared humans and forgot God (51:12-13)
12 I am the one, I am the one who comforts you, Know whom of mortal humanity and of the son of humanity you have dreaded and feared, who have dried up like grass. 13 And you have forgotten God who made you, the one who made the sky and founded the land, and you always, all the days, were afraid of the face of his anger, of the one who oppresses you.

345. Lord Sabaoth will shelter you from your oppressor (51:13-16)
For how did he decide to take you? And now where is the passion of the one who oppresses you? 14 For he will not stand still or delay when saving you, 15 for I am your God, the one who stirs up the sea and causes its waves to roar, Lord Sabaoth is my name. 16 I will put my words into your mouth and I will shelter you under the shadow of my hand, by which I established the sky and founded the earth. And Sion will say, You are my people.

346. Jerusalem, you have suffered my wrath (51:17-20)
17 Awake, awake, rise up, Jerusalem who drank the cup of passion from the hand of Lord, for the cup is of collapse . You drank the drinking-vessel of my wrath and you emptied it. 18 And not there was no-one who encouraged you, of all your children whom you bore, and there was no-one, not even of all your sons whom you raised, who took your hand. 19 These two things are opposed ; who will grieve with you? Collapse and injury, famine and sword, who will comfort you? 20 Your sons who are at a loss , who sleep at the edge of every exit like a half-cooked corn-rent, who are full of the passion of Lord, have been become weary through Lord God.
347. I will transfer the wrath from you to your oppressors (51:21-23)
21 Because of this, listen, you who have been brought down and are drunk not from wine.

22 Thus says Lord God who judges his people: Look, I have taken the cup of collapse, the vessel of wrath, from your hand and you will no longer continue not to drink it. 23 And I will give it into the hands of those who have wronged you and of those who have brought you down, who said to your soul, Bow, so that we might pass by, and you made your backs exactly like the land , for those who pass by outside.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

timothylfox
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Joined: March 23rd, 2015, 5:29 am

Re: Isaiah Chapter 51

Post by timothylfox » March 25th, 2015, 9:28 am

Hi Professor Penner,

I'm a PhD student at St Andrews working on the OT background of 2 Corinthians 7, currently writing on Isa 40–55. Do you have any ideas on why 51:3 turns the causal כי into a και, while shifting the "comfort" verbs from perfect-perfect to future-aorist? Ottley doesn't mention it. Thanks!
Tim

S Walch
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Re: Isaiah Chapter 51

Post by S Walch » March 30th, 2015, 6:46 pm

Hi Timothy,

I'm not Prof. Penner, but hopefully that won't distract from my comments :)

There could be any number of reasons as to why the LXX reads καὶ for כי, especially as the LXX usually translates כי as either ὅτι or γὰρ.

The options do usually boil down to two things however: a translational divergence of the LXX translator; or the LXX translator was working from a slightly different text compared to that seen in the MT; because not only does the LXX have καὶ, but also inserts σὲ νῦν and then proceeds to omit יהוה.

If I was to reverse-engineer the text from the LXX translation, I would have it read thus: ועתה נחמך ; or possibly even ואתה עתה נחם (although it would be highly unusual for the LXX to translate אתה as σὲ rather than σὺ).

As for the change of perfect-perfect to future-aorist, I would base this on the fact that יהוה is omitted, for without it נחם would effectively have to refer back to Abraham ("he will comfort"); plus I'm pretty sure you'll find quite a few times where the Hebrew has the perfect, yet the LXX translates as anything other than the perfect.

Look to Gen 1:1-5. Several perfect Hebrew verbs (קרא ,ברא ,היתה) translated as either aorist or imperfect.

Looking further ahead in Isaiah 51, in 51:5, the Hebrew has the perfect יצא, which the LXX translates as the future ἐξελεύσεται.

timothylfox
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Joined: March 23rd, 2015, 5:29 am

Re: Isaiah Chapter 51

Post by timothylfox » March 31st, 2015, 11:29 am

Thank you for your help! This is great. I'm trying to write about 5000 words on a few themes in Isaiah 40–55, as part of a larger project on the OT background of 2 Corinthians, and I've gotten seriously bogged down by Isaiah, in large part because the LXX is such a "free" translation! Thank you,
Tim

Ken M. Penner
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Re: Isaiah Chapter 51

Post by Ken M. Penner » February 11th, 2016, 10:55 am

I usually avoid appealing to a different Hebrew text, but in this case it's the best explanation I can think of because we have both νυν and σε, just like in 43:22, where one word gets a double translation as these two words.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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