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Isaiah 42:13-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

13 The Lord emerges like a hero,
like a warrior he inspires himself for battle;[a]
he shouts, yes, he yells,
he shows his enemies his power.[b]
14 “I have been inactive[c] for a long time;
I kept quiet and held back.
Like a woman in labor I groan;
I pant and gasp.[d]
15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up;[e]
I will dry up all their vegetation.
I will turn streams into islands,[f]
and dry up pools of water.[g]


  1. Isaiah 42:13 tn Heb “like a man of war he stirs up zeal” (NIV similar).
  2. Isaiah 42:13 tn Or perhaps, “he triumphs over his enemies” (cf. NIV); NLT “will crush all his enemies.”
  3. Isaiah 42:14 tn Heb “silent” (so NASB, NIV, TEV, NLT); CEV “have held my temper.”
  4. Isaiah 42:14 sn The imagery depicts the Lord as a warrior who is eager to fight and can no longer hold himself back from the attack.
  5. Isaiah 42:15 tn Heb “I will dry up the mountains and hills.” The “mountains and hills” stand by synecdoche for the trees that grow on them. Some prefer to derive the verb from a homonymic root and translate, “I will lay waste.”
  6. Isaiah 42:15 tc The Hebrew text reads, “I will turn streams into coastlands [or “islands”].” Scholars who believe that this reading makes little sense have proposed an emendation of אִיִּים (ʾiyyim, “islands”) to צִיּוֹת (tsiyyot, “dry places”; cf. NCV, NLT, TEV). However, since all the versions support the MT reading, there is insufficient grounds for an emendation here. Although the imagery of changing rivers into islands is somewhat strange, J. N. Oswalt describes this imagery against the backdrop of rivers of the Near East. The receding of these rivers at times occasioned the appearance of previously submerged islands (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:126).
  7. Isaiah 42:15 sn The imagery of this verse, which depicts the Lord bringing a curse of infertility to the earth, metaphorically describes how the Lord will destroy his enemies.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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