Injustice Brings Alienation from God1 Look, the Lord’s hand is not too weak ▼
▼ Heb “short” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).to deliver you;
his ear is not too deaf to hear you. ▼
▼ Heb “or his ear too heavy [i.e., “dull”] to hear.”
2 But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God;
your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers. ▼
▼ Heb “and your sins have caused [his] face to be hidden from you so as not to hear.”
3 For your hands are stained with blood
and your fingers with sin;
your lips speak lies,
your tongue utters malicious words.
4 No one is concerned about justice; ▼
▼ Heb “no one pleads with justice.”
no one sets forth his case truthfully.
They depend on false words ▼
▼ Heb “nothing”; NAB “emptiness.”and tell lies;
they conceive of oppression ▼
▼ Or “trouble” (NIV), or “harm.”
and give birth to sin.
5 They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake
and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
a poisonous snake is hatched. ▼
▼ Heb “that which is pressed in hatches [as] a snake.”
6 Their webs cannot be used for clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are sinful;
they commit violent crimes. ▼
▼ Heb “their deeds are deeds of sin, and the work of violence [is] in their hands.”
7 They are eager to do evil, ▼
▼ Heb “their feet run to evil.”
quick to shed innocent blood. ▼
▼ Heb “they quickly pour out innocent blood.”
Their thoughts are sinful;
they crush and destroy. ▼
▼ Heb “their thoughts are thoughts of sin, destruction and crushing [are] in their roadways.”
8 They are unfamiliar with peace;
their deeds are unjust. ▼
▼ Heb “a way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their pathways.”
They use deceitful methods,
and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace. ▼
▼ Heb “their paths they make crooked, everyone who walks in it does not know peace.”
Israel Confesses its Sin9 For this reason deliverance ▼ is far from us ▼
▼ The prophet speaks on behalf of the sinful nation and confesses its sins.
and salvation does not reach us.
We wait for light, ▼
▼ Light here symbolizes prosperity and blessing.but see only darkness; ▼
▼ Heb “but, look, darkness”; NIV “but all is darkness.”
we wait for ▼
▼ The words “we wait for” are supplied in the translation; the verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).a bright light, ▼
▼ The plural noun form may indicate degree here.but live ▼
▼ Or “walk about”; NCV “all we have is darkness.”in deep darkness. ▼
▼ The plural noun form may indicate degree here.
10 We grope along the wall like the blind,
we grope like those who cannot see; ▼
▼ Heb “like there are no eyes.”
we stumble at noontime as if it were evening.
Though others are strong, we are like dead men. ▼
▼ Heb among the strong, like dead men.”
11 We all growl like bears,
we coo mournfully like doves;
we wait for deliverance, ▼ but there is none,
for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For you are aware of our many rebellious deeds, ▼
▼ Heb “for many are our rebellious deeds before you.”
and our sins testify against us;
indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds;
we know our sins all too well. ▼
▼ Heb “indeed [or “for”] our rebellious deeds (are) with us, and our sins, we know them.”
13 We have rebelled and tried to deceive the Lord;
we turned back from following our God.
We stir up ▼
▼ Heb “speaking.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.oppression and rebellion;
we tell lies we concocted in our minds. ▼
▼ Heb “conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.”
14 Justice is driven back;
▼ Or “righteousness” (ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); KJV, NAB “justice.”stands far off.
▼ Or “for” (KJV, NRSV).honesty stumbles in the city square
and morality is not even able to enter.
15 Honesty has disappeared;
the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed.
The Lord watches and is displeased, ▼
▼ Heb “and it is displeasing in his eyes.”
for there is no justice.
The Lord Intervenes16 He sees there is no advocate; ▼
▼ Heb “man” (so KJV, ASV); TEV “no one to help.”
he is shocked ▼
▼ Or “appalled” (NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “disgusted.”that no one intervenes.
So he takes matters into his own hands; ▼
▼ Heb “and his arm delivers for him.”
his desire for justice drives him on. ▼
▼ Heb “and his justice [or “righteousness”] supports him.”
17 He wears his desire for justice ▼
▼ Or “righteousness” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NCV “goodness.”like body armor, ▼
▼ Or “a breastplate” (traditional; so many English versions); TEV “a coat of armour.”
and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head. ▼
▼ Heb “and [as] a helmet deliverance on his head.”
He puts on the garments of vengeance ▼
▼ Heb “and he puts on the clothes of vengeance [as] a garment.”
and wears zeal like a robe.
18 He repays them for what they have done,
dispensing angry judgment to his adversaries
and punishing his enemies. ▼
▼ Heb “in accordance with deeds, so he repays, anger to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies.”
He repays the coastlands. ▼
▼ Or “islands” (KJV, NIV).
19 In the west, people respect ▼
▼ Heb “fear.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read “see.”the Lord’s reputation; ▼
▼ Heb “and they fear from the west the name of the Lord.”
in the east they recognize his splendor. ▼
▼ Heb “and from the rising of the sun his splendor.”
For he comes like a rushing ▼
▼ Heb “narrow”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “pent-up.”stream
driven on by wind sent from the Lord. ▼
20 “A protector ▼ comes to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds,” ▼
▼ Heb “and to those who turn from rebellion in Jacob.”says the Lord.
21 “As for me, this is my promise to ▼
▼ Or “my covenant with” (so many English versions); NCV “my agreement with.”▼ them,” says the Lord. “My spirit, who is upon you, and my words, which I have placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and descendants from this time forward,” ▼
▼ Heb “from now and on into the future.”says the Lord.
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