Isaiah 29:1-24

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29:1. Masoretic Text: Woe, Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped. Add year to year; let festivals come around.

Septuagint: Woe, city of Ariel, [against] which David warred. Gather produce year after year, for you will eat with Moab.

The word here rendered “produce” (a form of génema) is plural in Greek.

The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah has a different spelling for Ariel, which spelling may be transliterated Aruel.


The pronouncement of woe portended approaching calamity for the city of Ariel. One suggested meaning for “Ariel” is “hearth of God,” that is, the hearth of an altar for burnt offerings. In the Targum of Isaiah, woe is pronounced on the “altar” that had been erected in the city where David resided. The association with the altar provides a basis for identifying Ariel as Zion or Jerusalem. David did encamp there or war against the stronghold of Zion, wresting it from the Jebusites and thereafter making it his royal residence. (2 Samuel 5:7, 9)

The imperative for the people to “add year to year” may signify that they should continue to celebrate the festivals each year. Their letting the festivals come around suggests that they should observe the complete annual cycle of festivals. The implication is that the time would soon come when they would no longer be able to do so. The interpretation in the Targum of Isaiah is that the people would have less than a year for attending the festivals. On account of the gathering of aggressive armies, the festivals would end within a year.

The wording of the Septuagint suggests that the translator understood Ariel to be a Moabite city. The people of the city are admonished to harvest the crops year after year, as they would be eating the produce along with the rest of Moab.

29:2. Masoretic Text: And I will distress Ariel, and [there] will be bemoaning and moaning, and it will be to me like Ariel.

Septuagint: For I will distress Ariel, and its strength and wealth will be mine.

The rendering “bemoaning and moaning” is an attempt to capture the nature of the Hebrew expression ta’aniyyáh wa-’aniyyáh.

In the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah, the spelling for Ariel is again different and may be transliterated “Aruel.”


YHWH is represented as subjecting Ariel to great stress, for he would remove his protection. Enemy forces would make their assault. Groaning or sighing (ta’aniyyáh) and mourning or lamentation (em>’aniyyáh/em>) would then replace the kind of joy the people experienced at festival time.

Ariel would become what its name appeared to signify — “hearth of God” (the hearth of God’s altar for burnt offerings). Lexicographers have also suggested “lion of God” as a possible meaning. In the present context, however, this meaning does not convey a comprehensible sense. The interpretation found in the Targum of Isaiah lends support to linking the name Ariel to the altar. This Targum identifies Ariel as the city where the altar was located, which would be Jerusalem. It then says that the city would become desolated and empty and that the blood of the slain would surround the city like the blood of sacrificial victims surrounds the altar on the day of a festival. Similarly, the Hebrew text could be understood to mean that the conquered city would resemble the altar hearth. Flowing with shed blood and filled with the carcasses of the slain, the city would be consumed by fire as were the sacrifices on the altar.

The Septuagint rendering appears to continue to refer to Ariel as a Moabite city. As a result of the distress, the city’s strength, or all tangibles that made Ariel strong, and its wealth would come to belong to God. This indicates that everything would be lost to Ariel and come under God’s control for disposition according to his purpose.

29:3. Masoretic Text: And I will encamp like a circle against you and will besiege you with a palisade (mutstsáv) and will raise siegeworks against you.

Septuagint: And, like David, I will encircle you and set a palisade (chárax) around you and erect towers around you.


YHWH is represented as saying that he would encamp against the city, encircling or surrounding it. This is because he would express his judgment against Ariel through the invading forces. The Targum of Isaiah says that YHWH would cause armies to encamp against the city, and they would build siegeworks and raise up a mound.

There is considerable uncertainty about the meaning of the Hebrew word mutstsáv. The Vulgate rendering is a form of the Latin word agger, meaning “mound,” “rampart,” or “embankment.” In the Septuagint, the word is a form of chárax (“bulwark,” “palisade,” or “stockade”). Possibly mutstsáv denotes an encircling siege wall. The exact nature of the various means by which the city would come under attack cannot be determined from the context.

29:4. Masoretic Text: And you will become low; from the earth you will speak, and from the dust your utterance will be low. And your voice from the earth will be like [that of] a necromancer, and from the dust your speech will whisper.

Septuagint: And your words will be brought low to the earth, and to the earth your words will come down. And your voice will be like those [whose voice is] resounding from the earth, and your voice will be weak toward the ground.


As if made level with the ground, the people could only speak as persons who had been reduced to a very low state. Their voice, therefore, could be spoken of as coming from the dust and being low or faint. The barely audible sound would be comparable to the faint, muffled, low sound that a necromancer might make appear to be coming from the ground when he inquired of the dead. In the Septuagint, the voice is said to be “weak toward the ground.” As if coming from the ground, the sound would already be weak or faint close to its surface.

29:5. Masoretic Text: And the multitude of your strangers will be like fine dust, and the multitude of the terrifying ones like passing chaff, and it will be with suddenness suddenly.

Septuagint: And the wealth of the impious will be like dust from a wheel and like chaff being carried away [by the wind], and it will be like a moment, suddenly, from the Lord Sabaoth,

Instead of “your strangers” (the consonants zayin, resh, yod, and kaph [ZRYK]), the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah has the consonants zayin, daleth, yod, and kaph [ZDYK]), which is translated “your enemies” in The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. This would more closely fit the Septuagint rendering (“impious ones” or “godless ones”) and the interpretation of the Targum of Isaiah (“the multitude of those who scatter you”).

The Septuagint rendering does not refer to the end of an enemy threat but to the disappearance of the wealth of the godless ones. This could still be understood to apply to the Moabites.

In printed texts of the Septuagint, the words “from the Lord Sabaoth” are found in verse 6. These words are included here (and will not be repeated for verse 6) to indicate the linkage to the statement that follows. Numerous translations of the Hebrew text also continue the thought in the next verse. “Then suddenly, in an instant, you shall be visited by the LORD of hosts.” (NAB) “Suddenly, all in an instant, punishment will come from the LORD of Hosts.” (REB) “And suddenly, in an instant, you will be visited by Yahweh Sabaoth.” (NJB)

“Sabaoth” is a transliteration of the Hebrew word meaning “armies” or “hosts.”


The foreign attackers would not succeed in their objective to keep Ariel or Jerusalem in a prostrate state. In a moment, suddenly, these attackers would come to nothingness, becoming like fine dust and like chaff that the wind can quickly disperse. The Septuagint reading depicts a cloud of dust being stirred up by the turning of a wheel.

The rendering “suddenness suddenly” conveys the literal sense of the Hebrew text. The repetition emphasizes that the enemy power that filled other peoples with dread or terror through its military conquests would very quickly and unexpectedly cease to be a threat. In the time of Isaiah, the Assyrian forces under King Sennacherib did experience such a sudden reversal, which is attributed to the activity of YHWH’s angel in slaying 185,000 of the warriors in one night. (2 Kings 19:35, 36) Prior to that deliverance, however, Jerusalem did not come to resemble the hearth of an altar. That did occur when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem. At a later time, the capital of the empire, the city of Babylon, fell to the Medes and Persians under the command of Cyrus suddenly, in just one night. It may be, therefore, that the prophetic word is not limited to one specific development respecting the city of Jerusalem.

29:6. Masoretic Text: By YHWH of armies you will be visited with thunder and with earthquake and a great noise, storm and tempest, and the flame of a consuming fire.

Septuagint: for [there] will be a visitation with thunder and earthquake and a great sound, a raging storm and a consuming flame of fire.


The visitation of YHWH, the God with hosts of angels in his service, would be favorable for Ariel or Jerusalem but result in calamity for the enemy forces. He appears to be portrayed as using the elements to effect the deliverance of his people, causing the earth to quake and unleashing a tremendous storm accompanied by thunder, a “great noise” or powerful rumble, and lightning or a “consuming flame of fire.” The tempest may designate very strong gusts of wind. (Compare 2 Samuel 22:7-16.)

29:7. Masoretic Text: And the multitude of all the nations that war against Ariel, and all that war against it and its stronghold and distress it, will be like a dream, a vision of the night.

Septuagint: And the wealth of all the nations, as many as march against Ariel, and all those fighting against Jerusalem and all those gathered against it and distressing it, will be like one dreaming in sleep.


With a multitude from the nations prepared to attack Ariel or Jerusalem, the inhabitants would have been in great distress, fearing that the city would be conquered. Warriors on the march to besiege Jerusalem would have imagined a successful conquest. The envisioned capture of the city, however, would not take place. From the standpoint of their sudden disappearance as a threat to Jerusalem, the warriors of the enemy nations would prove to be like a dream or a night vision — an unreality. According to the Septuagint rendering, both the wealth of the nations and the military threat they posed for Jerusalem would be like a dream. The objective of the warring nations to conquer Jerusalem would not be fulfilled, just as what one may see in a dream is not the substantive reality.

29:8. Masoretic Text: And it will be as when the hungry man dreams — and look! He is eating, and he wakes up and his soul [is] empty; and as when the thirsty man dreams — and look! He is drinking, and he wakes up — and look! He [is] faint and his soul is roving. So will be the multitude of all the nations that war against Mount Zion.

Septuagint: And they will be like the ones drinking and eating in sleep, and getting up, their dream [is] empty; and in the manner the thirsty one dreams [that] he is drinking and, getting up, he still thirsts, but his soul has hoped in vain, so will be the wealth of all the nations, as many as have marched against Mount Zion.


The disillusionment, frustration, and disappointment of the warriors from a multitude of nations that march against Mount Zion or Jerusalem would be comparable to that of a hungry and thirsty man dreaming that he is eating and drinking but is still hungry and thirsty upon waking up. His “soul” would be empty or his desire or appetite for food would not have been satisfied with nourishment, for a dream is not the reality. As expressed in the Septuagint rendering, the dream would be “empty,” providing nothing that would satisfy a physical need. The Hebrew expression that refers to the “soul” as “roving” appears to be descriptive of the unsatisfied state of the individual’s desire, which is like that of a man who roves or wanders about desperately seeking to obtain what he needs.

According to the Septuagint rendering, the “soul” hoped in vain, suggesting that the object of the desire would not be obtained. The reference to the “wealth” appears to indicate that it would be lost to the nations that would set out to war against Mount Zion or Jerusalem.

29:9. Masoretic Text: Linger [maháh] and be dumbfounded [tamáh], blind yourselves [literally, “smear yourselves over”] and be blind [literally, “be smeared over”]. They are drunk and not from wine. They staggered and not from intoxicating drink.

Septuagint: Be weakened and be dumbfounded and become drunk [but] not from sikera nor from wine.

Note the seeming play on words in the Hebrew text (forms of the words maháh and tamáh).

“Sikera” is a transliteration of the Hebrew word here translated “intoxicating drink.”


These words may allude to the way the people responded to the message Isaiah proclaimed as YHWH’s prophet. If they chose to “linger,” to persist in staring as persons who are amazed, dumbfounded, stupefied, or in a sate of wonderment, then they could continue to be dumbfounded. If they wanted to be blind or have their eyes smeared over so as not to see, then they should just continue in a blind state, paying no attention to YHWH’s word through his prophet. They would then remain in a state of confusion with no clear direction, purpose, or goal, and without any discernment or comprehension. Their situation would continue to be like that of intoxicated persons, staggering and reeling.

The Septuagint rendering “be weakened” appears to be descriptive of the state of an intoxicated person who cannot walk straight but staggers.

29:10. Masoretic Text: For YHWH has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep and has closed your eyes, the prophets, and covered your heads, the visionaries.

Septuagint: For the Lord has made you drink a spirit of drowsiness, and he will close their eyes and [those of] their prophets and their rulers, those seeing hidden things.


YHWH had permitted the people to come into a confused state, devoid of any responsiveness to sound guidance. Therefore, he is represented as having poured out on them a “spirit of deep sleep” or, according to the Septuagint rendering, a “spirit of drowsiness.” This “spirit” or disposition that had taken hold of the people proved to be like that of persons walking about dazed or in a stupor.

Prophets should have been like eyes for the people pointing them to the proper course to follow, and the visionaries should have been like heads that provided sound direction. The prophets whose eyes YHWH had closed must have been false prophets, and the heads that were covered appear to have designated those who did not have any revelation from him. The divinely disapproved prophets were blind and so could give no clear direction to the people. The divinely disapproved visionaries, as if covered, would not have been able to see what they should have been making known to the people.

The Septuagint indicates that the ones known for seeing hidden things (things the people generally appear not to have perceived), the prophets and rulers, would not be able to see. They would be blind just like the people and, therefore, unable to give sound instruction and guidance.

29:11. Masoretic Text: And to you the vision of all this has become like the words of the scroll that is sealed, which, when they give the scroll to a lettered [person], saying, “Please read this,” then he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”

Septuagint: And to you all these sayings will be like the words of this sealed scroll, which, if they should give to a man knowing letters, saying, “Read these things,” then he will say, “I am not able to read, for it is sealed.”

The opening words in the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah may be rendered, “And when they give the scroll.” Instead of the expression that can be translated “he will say,” the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah may be rendered “he says.”


The people had no comprehension of any vision that had YHWH as its ultimate source and, therefore, did not heed the message it revealed. In relation to the message the vision conveyed, it was like a sealed scroll wherein the words remained hidden. If a literate man was handed the scroll with the request that he read it, he would say that he could not because of its being sealed, implying that he did not have the authorization to break the seal, open the scroll, and read the words.

29:12. Masoretic Text: And when the scroll is given to one [who is] not lettered, saying, “please read this,” then he will say, “I do not know writing.”

Septuagint: And this scroll will be given into the hands of a man not knowing letters, and one will say to him, “Read this,” then he will say, “I do not know letters.”

Instead of the expression that can be translated “he will say,” the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah may be rendered “he says.”


From another standpoint, this shows that the people had no understanding of a true vision from YHWH and would not be acting in harmony with it. The message of the vision would be like a sealed scroll that, when handed to an illiterate man to read, would be met with the response, “I cannot read.”

29:13. Masoretic Text: And my Lord said, Because this people draws near with their mouth and with their lips to honor me and their heart is far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men having been taught [to them].

Septuagint: And the Lord said, This people draws near to me. They honor me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. And they revere me in vain, teaching commands of men and instructions.

The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah says “fear of me” (not “their fear of me”) and identifies this fear as being “like a commandment of men.”


The people’s worship of YHWH was but an outward form and not a reflection of their inmost selves. Their expressions of devotion were hollow. With the mouth, they had drawn near to YHWH in the sense that words of praise and thanksgiving proceeded out of their mouths while at the temple in Jerusalem. Through these expressions of praise and thanksgiving the lips honored or glorified him. But the people had no genuine love for YHWH; their deep inner self, the “heart,” did not motivate them to honor him. They had a kind of fear of YHWH, but this awe or reverence did not originate from the proper regard for him. The source of this fear was the commandment of men that they had been taught.

During the time of Isaiah’s prophetic activity, King Hezekiah initiated an active campaign against idolatry and exalted true worship of YHWH. But his reforms apparently did not bring about changes in the inner selves of the majority, as evident from their resuming idolatrous practices during the reign of Hezekiah’s son Manasseh. During Hezekiah’s rule, they seemed to have conformed to what the king had decreed but not on account of deep love for YHWH and appreciation of his commands.

Centuries later, Jesus Christ applied the words of Isaiah to the scribes and Pharisees who objected to his disciples’ failure to observe the traditional washing of hands. He stressed that the doctrines they taught were derived, not from divine revelation but from uninspired men, and contradicted the holy writings. (Matthew 15:7-9)

29:14. Masoretic Text: Therefore, look! I will again do astonishingly with this people, [do things] astonishing and extraordinary; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their men of discernment will be concealed.

Septuagint: Therefore, look! I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them; and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning ones I will conceal.

The Septuagint reference to the removal of the people could indicate that God would let them be conquered and taken as captives away from their land.


YHWH would act in a manner that would cause wonderment, amazement, or astonishment among the people. They imagined that their outward form of worship was acceptable to him. Upon seeing that they were not experiencing his favor, blessing, and protection but facing enemy invasion and conquest, they would be astonished. They would realize that YHWH was not on their side. He would not provide any help to their wise or discerning men. Therefore, when faced with a dire situation, the wise men would be unable to formulate a good plan to deal with it. Their wisdom would perish, as they would be dumbfounded, not knowing the way out. The discerning men in their midst would have nothing to offer as a solution. It would be as if their insight had been concealed and could not be found.

29:15. Masoretic Text: Woe to those who go deep to hide their counsel from YHWH, and whose deeds are in the dark and who say, “Who sees us, and who knows us?”

Septuagint: Woe to those formulating counsel deeply and not through the Lord. Woe to those formulating counsel in concealment. And their works will be in darkness, and they will say, “Who has seen us, and who will know us or the things we are doing?”


Woe or calamity is pronounced upon those who went “deep” or to great lengths in concealing their counsel, plan, or scheme from YHWH. The reference seems to be to the leading members of the nation who did not inquire of YHWH through his prophets when formulating their plan for national security by means of an alliance with Egypt. (Compare Isaiah 30:l, 2.) Isaiah had declared that YHWH disapproved of alliances with foreign powers. The leaders, however, went ahead with their plan, acting as though YHWH could not see them or know or recognize them in the dark. In the Septuagint, the rhetorical question suggests that they did not think God even knew what they were doing.

29:16. O your contrariness! Shall the potter be regarded as clay, that the thing made should say of the one making it, he did not make me, and the thing formed say of the one forming it, he has no understanding?

Septuagint: Will you not be reckoned as the clay of the potter? Will the formed thing say to the former, “You did not form me”? Or the thing made [say] to the maker, “You did not make me with understanding”?

The Septuagint rendering presents the initial question from a different perspective, with the people, especially the leaders, being the ones considered as the potter’s clay. Otherwise, the basic ideas are the same as in the Hebrew text. In the Septuagint, the last rhetorical question could be understood to mean that the thing made was not granted understanding.


The people, especially the leaders, were contrary or perverse. Their view of YHWH was completely upside down. They were clay, mere creatures. Yet by their twisted view of YHWH, manifest in their trying to hide their counsel or plan from him, they acted as if he, the Creator or Potter, was like clay. As demonstrated by their acting as if they were not accountable to him, they treated him as if he had not made them. They handled matters as if YHWH had no understanding, not deserving to be consulted when formulating their plan.

29:17. Masoretic Text: [Is it] not yet a little while and Lebanon will be transformed into an orchard, and the orchard will be considered as a forest?

Septuagint: [Is it] not yet a little while and Lebanon will be transformed [to be] like Mount Chermel [Carmel], and Mount Chermel [Carmel] will be considered as a forest?

The Hebrew word karmél, here rendered “orchard,” can also designate a mountain range. This mountain range extends southeastward from the Mediterranean coast and the northern part of the range lies directly west of the Sea of Galilee. The Septuagint translator apparently understood the Hebrew word karmél to mean the mountain range and rendered the designation “Mount Chermel” or Carmel.


The little while or very short time is to be regarded from the prophetic perspective as certain of fulfillment and, therefore, as close at hand. Heavily forested Lebanon would be transformed into a fruitful orchard, and so common would orchards become that an orchard would be considered as an ordinary forest. The description of this transformation pointed forward to the tremendous change to come from the then-existing deplorable situation of the people who had seriously strayed from God’s ways, with resultant oppression for the needy in their midst. These needy ones were often among the few who were devoted to YHWH, but the transformation would mean that their sad plight would end.

29:18. Masoretic Text: And in that day the deaf will hear the words of a scroll; and out of darkness and out of a dark place, the eyes of the blind will see.

Septuagint: And in that day the deaf will hear the words of a scroll, and the eyes of the blind, those in the darkness and those in the gloom, will see.


Persons once deaf regarding God’s will for them would hear understandingly and heed his words that were recorded in a scroll. Those who had formerly been blind to God’s purpose and will for them as persons in darkness and a dark environment that impaired their vision would be able to see. They would then choose to follow a divinely approved way of life.

29:19. Masoretic Text: And the lowly will increase jubilation in YHWH, and the needy of men will exult in the Holy One of Israel.

Septuagint: And the poor will jubilate with joy because of the Lord, and the downcast of men will be filled with joy.

In the Hebrew text, the word here translated “men” is a collective singular (’adhám, “earthling”).


Cruel oppressors subjected the lowly, the poor, or the meek to suffering and abuse. Upon being freed from their affliction, they would be moved to jubilate with ever-increasing joy, doing so “in YHWH” or out of deep appreciation for what he had done for them. By liberating the needy from their distress, YHWH would reveal himself to be the “Holy One of Israel,” the God who does not tolerate injustice indefinitely and who comes to the rescue of those who look to him for aid. According to the reading of the Septuagint, the needy, the downcast ones, or those in despair would be “filled with joy” on account of experiencing relief from affliction.

29:20. Masoretic Text: For the tyrant will cease [to be], and the scorner will perish, and all who guard evil will be cut off,

Septuagint: The lawless one has ceased [to be], and the arrogant one has been destroyed, and those acting lawlessly in wickedness have been annihilated,


The reversal that YHWH effects would mean the end for all who oppress, abuse, mistreat, or defraud others. A tyrant or dictator would be a person who dealt ruthlessly toward the meek and lowly. His doing so “in wickedness” indicates that the individual is morally corrupt, his actions being a reflection of his wickedness. A scorner is one who, in his arrogance, scoffs at what is right and noble. Such a haughty individual has no regard for YHWH or his commands and tramples on the rights of others.

Persons who guard evil would be those who watched for opportunities to do harm, remaining ever alert about ways to take advantage of others. The Septuagint rendering suggests that lawlessness would have been the way of life. Lawless acts revealed their wickedness or moral corruption.

29:21. Masoretic Text: those making a man sin by a word and lay a snare for the reprover in the gate and turn aside the upright one with emptiness.

Septuagint: and those causing men to sin in word, but all those reproving in the gate they will make a stumbling block, and they have turned aside the upright one with injustice.


The wrongs of those who looked for opportunities to do evil are mentioned in greater detail. Making a man sin by a word could mean that the corrupt individuals twisted what a man might say so as to make him out to have committed sin or transgression. Another possible significance is that, with just a word or on the basis of a mere accusation, they condemned a man. Translators have variously rendered the Hebrew text. “Those who impute sins to others.” (REB) “[Those] who cause men to lose their lawsuits.” (Tanakh) “Those whose mere word condemns a man.” (NAB) “Those who incriminate others by their words.” (NJB) “Without any proof, they claim that a man is guilty.” (NIRV) “Those who lie about others in court.” (NCV)

Legal cases were handled at the city gates. One who functioned as a reprover in the gate, therefore, would be a judge or an advocate for the innocent party. Apparently the wicked ones endeavored to ensnare anyone who tried to administer a proper reproof. They may have formulated measures to bring about the downfall of the reprover. The reprover has also been interpreted to designate the individual who brings a wrongdoer to be judged at the gate. “[They] lay traps for him who brings the wrongdoer into court.” (REB) According to the rendering in the Septuagint, the lawless persons make a stumbling block out of those who reprove. This suggests that the wicked corrupt those who render judgment. Then those who should have been upholding justice become objects of offense.

With “emptiness” (that which had no substance) or falsehood, the wicked made it appear that the upright one was in the wrong. The Targum of Isaiah indicates that they perverted “the cause of the innocent with lying.” According to the reading of the Septuagint, the wicked, by injustice or with perverted means, hindered the upright person from obtaining a just verdict. The Septuagint text could also be translated to mean that they caused the upright one to stray among the unrighteous.

29:22. Masoretic Text: Therefore, concerning the house of Jacob thus says YHWH, who redeemed Abraham, Not now will Jacob be put to shame and not now will his face grow pale.

Septuagint: Therefore, thus says the Lord regarding the house of Jacob, which he set apart from Abraam [Abraham], Not now will Jacob be ashamed nor will the face of Israel now change.

In the Septuagint, “Jacob” and “Israel” are parallel designations applying to the descendants of “Jacob,” whose name was changed to “Israel” after he wrestled with an angel.


“Therefore,” or for the reason that the wicked have met their end, YHWH is portrayed as expressing a positive message for the “house of Jacob” or Israelites as his people. YHWH redeemed Abraham when he extended to him the call to leave the land of the Chaldeans and to begin residing as an alien in a land that he would be shown. In this manner, Abraham was taken out of or delivered from an environment where false worship prevailed, to begin a life as YHWH’s friend away from the familiar surroundings, influences, and attachments. Another possibility is that the redeeming of Abraham applies to his being delivered from situations that could have led to his injury. (Compare Genesis 48:16, where redeeming signifies being delivered from calamities.)

With the termination of a period of shame and humiliation, the true Israelites collectively (“Jacob”) would then no longer feel shame on account of reproach hurled at them nor would their faces turn pale from shame. The Septuagint reference to the end of a change of the “face of Israel” apparently relates to the end of a change on account of affliction or humiliation.

29:23. Masoretic Text: For when he sees his children, the work of my hands in his midst, they will sanctify my name, and they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and they will fear the God of Israel.

Septuagint: But when their children see my works, they will sanctify my name on my account, and they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and they will fear the God of Israel.


In the Hebrew text, “he” refers to Jacob, apparently genuine Israelites collectively. “He” will see in his midst his children — true Israelites or real sons of Abraham, the work of YHWH’s hands. These true Israelites are the “work of YHWH’s hands, for he has made it possible for them to come into existence. The ones who would sanctify God’s name upon seeing these “children” appear to be the divinely approved descendants of Jacob who would treat the “name” or the person represented by the name as holy. Their thus sanctifying the name or YHWH himself finds its parallel in their sanctifying the “Holy One of Israel,” their God who is holy or pure in the absolute sense. They will also fear, or have a reverential awe of, the “God of Israel.”

The Septuagint rendering represents the “children” as seeing God’s works, which would include his saving acts, and then being moved to sanctify his name. In the Targum of Isaiah, these “works” are identified as the mighty deeds God would do for the “sons” of the house of Jacob.

29:24. Masoretic Text: And those straying in spirit will come to know discernment, and those murmuring will learn instruction.

Septuagint: And those straying in spirit will come to know discernment, and those murmuring will learn to obey, and the stammering tongues will learn to speak peace.


Formerly, there would have been Israelites who strayed in spirit or who, in disposition or motivation, wandered from the divinely approved course. They would cease to err in this manner. Those who in the past had murmured or grumbled, resisting God’s will and commands, would cease to be disobedient and become responsive to learning his instruction and acting accordingly. According to the Septuagint rendering, they would learn to obey or to respond with appreciative compliance to what God’s law required of them. The learning to speak peace with tongues that had once stammered or stuttered could refer to making clear expressions of wishes for well-being.