Isa. 40:10 -- Reward?

Ben Crick ben.crick at
Fri Dec 1 18:13:49 EST 2000

On Thu 30 Nov 2000 (17:53:54), jbarach at wrote:
> In Isa. 40:10, YHWH is presented as coming with his reward (sakar) and
> his recompense (pe'ulla).  I've often taken those words to indicate that
> YHWH will be giving everyone his due.  Others, however, argue that the
> reward isn't going from YHWH to other people but is rather the reward
> that YHWH himself receives (namely, the flock mentioned in verse 11).

 Dear John,

 These two words appear together in Leviticus 19:13.

 Both nouns could mean Reward; or &aKaR means Reward, while P:`uLLaH means
 Work. IMHO what Motyer is suggesting is that both refer to the Reward that
 YHWH *gets*: i.e. a Saved People. Thus CR North, GW Wade, and JA Alexander.
 Whenever &aKaR is used with a pronominal suffix it seems to mean the Getter,
 not the Giver of the Reward: that which is paid /to/ him, not /by/ him
 (Alexander, /Isaiah/, p 101).

 Or, both refer to the Reward that YHWH *gives*. Thus J Skinner, referring to a
 returning conqueror distributing largesse (compare chapter 53:12). Israel are
 the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand (Psalm 95:7).

 Delitzsch says that the Reward P:`uLLaH is that which YHWH gives; but &aKaR
 is a Penal reward to his enemies and P:`uLLaH is a gracious reward to his
 friends (/Isaiah/, vol 2, p 140). &aKaR means a Pay-packet; Po`aL means a Work
 (abstract), usually YHWH's work (Psalms 44:1, 95:9 etc) as protector of His
 People. Notice the parallelism of verses 10 and 11, the two 'Arms' of YHWH:
 the Ruling Arm in verse 10 and the Shepherding arm in verse 11. Recompense for
 evil, and Reward for belief and obedience.

 TR Birks and UE Simon say that the Reward is what YHWH bestows upon His
 people, and the Work is His task of shepherding His people. Birks quotes
 Revelation 22:10 "Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me". Simon
 says it is "unthinkable" that the Reward could be one that God /gets/, but
 he doesn't say why.

 My gut feeling is that the Reward is to his faithful, and the Recompense to
 his enemies.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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