Notes for Isa 66:2LEB

"all these." The phrase refers to the heavens and earth, mentioned in the previous verse.


"and all these were." Some prefer to emend וַיִּהְיוּ (vayyihyu, "and they were") to וְלִי הָיוּ (véli hayu, "and to me they were"), i.e., "and they belong to me."


"and to this one I look" (KJV and NASB both similar).


"to the humble and the lowly in spirit and the one who trembles at my words."


Notes for Isa 66:3LEB

"one who slaughters a bull, one who strikes down a man." Some understand a comparison here and in the following lines. In Yahweh’s sight the one who sacrifices is like (i.e., regarded as) a murderer or one whose worship is ritually defiled or idolatrous. The translation above assumes that the language is not metaphorical, but descriptive of the sinners’ hypocritical behavior. (Note the last two lines of the verse, which suggests they are guilty of abominable practices.) On the one hand, they act pious and offer sacrifices; but at the same time they commit violent crimes against men, defile their sacrifices, and worship other gods.


"one who sacrifices a lamb, one who breaks a dog’s neck." Some understand a comparison, but see the previous note.


The significance of breaking a dog’s neck is uncertain, though the structure of the statement when compared to the preceding and following lines suggests the action is viewed in a negative light. According to Exod 13:13LEB and Isa 34:20LEB, one was to "redeem" a firstborn donkey by offering a lamb; if one did not "redeem" the firstborn donkey in this way, then its neck must be broken. According to Deut 21:1–9LEB a heifer’s neck was to be broken as part of the atonement ritual to purify the land from the guilt of bloodshed. It is not certain if these passages relate in any way to the action described in Isa 66:3LEB.


"one who offers an offering, pig’s blood." Some understand a comparison, but see the note at the end of the first line.


"one who offers incense as a memorial offering, one who blesses something false." Some understand a comparison, but see the note at the end of the first line. אָוֶן (’aven), which has a wide variety of attested nuances, here refers metonymically to an idol. See HALOT 22 s.v. and BDB 20 s.v. 2.


"also they have chosen their ways."


"their being [or "soul"] takes delight in their disgusting [things]."


Notes for Isa 66:4LEB

The precise meaning of the noun is uncertain. It occurs only here and in Isa 3:4LEB (but see the note there). It appears to be derived from the verbal root

עָלַל (’alal), which can carry the nuance "deal severely."


"that which is evil in my eyes."


Notes for Isa 66:5LEB

"who tremble at his word."


"brothers" (so NASB, NIV); NRSV "Your own people"; NLT "Your close relatives."


Or "so that we might witness your joy." The point of this statement is unclear.


Notes for Isa 66:8LEB

"land," but here אֶרֶץ (’erets) stands metonymically for an organized nation (see the following line).


Notes for Isa 66:9LEB

The rhetorical questions expect the answer, "Of course not!"


Notes for Isa 66:11LEB

Or "in order that"; ASV, NRSV "that."


"you will suck and be satisfied, from her comforting breast."


"you will slurp and refresh yourselves from her heavy breast."


Zion’s residents will benefit from and enjoy her great material prosperity. See v. 12.


Notes for Isa 66:12LEB

"Look, I am ready to extend to her like a river prosperity [or "peace"], and like an overflowing stream, the riches of nations."


The words "from her breast" are supplied in the translation for clarification (see v. 11).


Notes for Isa 66:13LEB

"like a man whose mother comforts him."


Notes for Isa 66:14LEB

"and you will see and your heart will be happy."


"and your bones like grass will sprout."


"and the hand of the Yahweh will be made known to his servants, and anger to his enemies."


Notes for Isa 66:15LEB

Chariots are like a windstorm in their swift movement and in the way that they kick up dust.


"to cause to return with the rage of his anger, and his battle cry [or "rebuke"] with flames of fire."


Notes for Isa 66:16LEB

"flesh" (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV "upon all men"; TEV "all the people of the world."


"many are the slain of the Yahweh."


Notes for Isa 66:17LEB

"the ones who consecrate themselves and the ones who purify themselves toward the orchards [or "gardens"] after the one in the midst." The precise meaning of the statement is unclear, though it is obvious that some form of idolatry is in view.


"ones who eat the flesh of the pig and the disgusting thing and the mouse."


"together they will come to an end."


Notes for Isa 66:18LEB

The Hebrew text reads literally "and I, their deeds and their thoughts, am coming." The syntax here is very problematic, suggesting that the text may have suffered corruption. Some suggest that the words "their deeds and their thoughts" have been displaced from v. 17. This line presents two primary challenges. In the first place, the personal pronoun "I" has no verb after it. Most translations insert "know" for the sake of clarity (NASB, NRSV, NLT, ESV). The NIV has "I, because of their actions and their imaginations…" Since Yahweh’s "knowledge" of Israel’s sin occasions judgment, the verb "hate" is an option as well (see above translation). The feminine form of the next verb (בָּאָה, baah) could be understood in one of two ways. One could provide an implied noun "time" (עֵת, ’et) and render the next line "the time is coming/has come" (NASB, ESV). One could also emend the feminine verb to the masculine בָּא (ba’) and have the "I" at the beginning of the line govern this verb as well (for the Yahweh is speaking here): "I am coming" (cf. NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).


"and the tongues"; KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV "and tongues."


Notes for Isa 66:19LEB

"and I will set a sign among them." The precise meaning of this statement is unclear. Elsewhere "to set a sign" means "perform a mighty act" (Ps 78:43LEB; Jer 32:20LEB), "make [someone] an object lesson" (Ezek 14:8LEB), and "erect a [literal] standard" (Ps 74:4LEB).


Some prefer to read "Put" (i.e., Libya).


That is, Lydia (in Asia Minor).


"drawers of the bow" (KJV and ASV both similar).


Javan is generally identified today as Greece (so NIV, NCV, NLT).


Or "islands" (NIV).



Notes for Isa 66:20LEB

"brothers" (so NIV); NCV "fellow Israelites."


The words "they will bring them" are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.


The precise meaning of this word is uncertain. Some suggest it refers to "chariots." See HALOT 498 s.v. כִּרְכָּרָה.


Notes for Isa 66:23LEB

"new moon." The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in 2:2.


"all flesh" (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NAB, NASB, NIV "all mankind"; NLT "All humanity."


Or "bow down before" (NASB).


Notes for Isa 66:24LEB

"for their worm will not die."


"and their fire will not be extinguished."


"and they will be an abhorrence to all flesh."


This verse depicts a huge mass burial site where the seemingly endless pile of maggot-infested corpses are being burned.