5 As a young man marries a young woman, so your sons[a] will marry you. As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride, so your God will rejoice over you.
Isaiah 62:5tc The Hebrew text has “your sons,” but this produces an odd metaphor and is somewhat incongruous with the parallelism. In the context (v. 4b, see also 54:5-7) the Lord is the one who “marries” Zion. Therefore several prefer to emend “your sons” to בֹּנָיִךְ (bonayikh, “your builder”; e.g., NRSV). In Ps 147:2 the Lord is called the “builder of Jerusalem.” However, this emendation is not the best option for at least four reasons. First, although the Lord is never called the “builder” of Jerusalem in Isaiah, the idea of Zion’s children possessing the land does occur (Isa 49:20; 54:3; cf. also 14:1; 60:21). Secondly, all the ancient versions support the MT reading. Thirdly, although the verb בָּעַל (baʿal) can mean “to marry,” its basic idea is “to possess.” Consequently, the verb stresses a relationship more than a state. All the ancient versions render this verb “to dwell in” or “to dwell with.” The point is not just that the land will be reinhabited, but that it will be in a relationship of “belonging” to the Israelites. Hence a relational verb like בָּעַל is used (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:581). Finally, “sons” is a well-known metaphor for “inhabitants” (J. de Waard, Isaiah, 208).
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