Isaiah Query

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Mon Jul 16 17:44:21 EDT 2001

But it does seem strange that in the JPS "Tanakh" this verse is printed at
the end, admittedly in a slightly smaller font size, with no footnote or
other explanation either at that place or in the Preface - especially when
this translation is otherwise so careful to note any departures from the
Masoretic text. Far be it from me to criticise Jewish customs. But such a
practice would certainly not be acceptable in a Christian translation, and
probably not (unless it could be argued that the author's intended meaning
is actually better reflected in English by the amended version) in one done
according to normal secular criteria.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles David Isbell [mailto:cisbell at]
> Sent: 16 July 2001 20:19
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Isaiah Query
> Dear Robert and Dan,
> It is a common practice in the reading of haftarot to repeat a positive
> verse when the end of a book would cause a haftarah to stop on a negative
> note, especially a terrible imprecation such as is found in Isaiah 66:24.
> This is merely the rabbinic position that one should end with a positive
> rather than a negative tone in the reading of sacred texts.  Such a
> repetition is also found at the ends of Malachi, Lamentations and Qohelet,
> and in the rabbinic Hebrew texts, the repeated positive passages
> are printed
> in a smaller font size.  There is no intent here to change the
> Hebrew text,
> merely to finish on a positive note by repeating a verse taken from within
> the haftarah reading itself.
> Kol Tuv,
> Charles David Isbell
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Daniel Wagner" <dan.wagner at>
> To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 1:34 PM
> Subject: Re: Isaiah Query
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Robert Vining <rvining at>
> To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 12:06 PM
> Subject: Isaiah Query
> > Isaiah Ending Query
> >
> > In the JPS version of the Tanakh,  Isaiah ends on a positive note,
> > 66:24b. This appears to be achieved by tacking on a refrain of the
> > preceding verse, 66:23.
> With neither textual evidence nor any problem with the current text,
> emendation seems absurd to me. The ending is consistent with Isaiah's
> theology, and similar to other books with much positive content, such as
> Malachi's ending. The majority of Isaiah's potential readership were
> unfaithful to the covenant. Maybe some of them were even like some of us
> readers today who read the introduction and the conclusion, and
> then decide
> if they want to read the rest of the book!
> Dan Wagner

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