[b-hebrew] Which of the two?

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Tue Jul 15 07:56:37 EDT 2003

On Tue 15 Jul 2003 (07:53:50 +0200), pporta at tinet.fut.es wrote:
> I'm inquiring if the first part of Is 43:10 (Atem 'eday...) must be
> translated as:
> a) You are my witnesses and (you) are, too/also, my servant whom I
> chose...
> b) You are my witnesses; and my servant, whom I chose in order to...,
> is my witness as well.
> I'll be grateful for your advice.

 Dear Pere,

 'aTTeM    `eDaY         N:'uM-YHWH             W:`aB:DiY  'a:$eR B:XaR:TiY...
 You [are] my-witnesses, oracle-of [says] YHWH, and-my-servant whom I chose...
 The context of chapter 43 seems to show that the Nation Israel was not living
 up to its calling to be Witnesses of YHWH to the nations. The nations all need
 salvation, and besides YHWH there is no Saviour (v11). But the Servant Israel
 had become "blind without eyes, and deaf without ears" (v8); in no fit state
 to be witnesses!  YHWH sent them to Babylon to cure them of their idolatry
 (vv 12-14). Then follows a magnificent diatribe against Idolatry in ch 44...

 The Captivity will be undone under Cyrus [KoWRe$] YHWH's political redeemer
 (44:28; M:$iYXoW 45:1), and Israel brought back to Jerusalem. But a change of
 address does not bring a change of heart. There is still no peace for the
 wicked (48:22). So YHWH will send his special Servant, speaking in the 1st
 person singular (49:1-6), whose first task is to redeem 'Jacob' (Israel's
 former unregenerate name), and then to bring in the Gentile nations also. As
 the Servant's prime task is to *redeem Israel*, the Servant in 49:1-6 can
 hardly be Israel, who is the object of his mission.

 Many commentators resist this interpretation; but the problem of the identity
 of the Suffering Servant remains, however you understand it.


 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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