In the harsh message of judgment given to Isaiah at his call (Isaiah 6:9-13), God announced that the land would be "desolate" (v. 11) and "forsaken" (v. 12 NIV; "emptiness" in NRSV). Now those same two Hebrew terms are taken up and overturned: the land is no longer called "desolate" but "Married"; no longer "forsaken" but "My Delight Is in Her." These words, terms of God's overwhelming grace and favor, were often used by believers, especially in generations past, as names for newborn girls ("Beulah" and "Hephzibah" in Hebrew).
"Hephzibah" builds from a root used often in Isaiah, translated usually as purpose, will, delight, or intention. Here God makes clear that the divine "purpose" (same root) to redeem Israel (44:28), which was to be accomplished by God's word (55:11) and through God's servant (53:10, using the same Hebrew root), is coming to pass.
62For Zions sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalems sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
2 The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken,*
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;*
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,*
and your land Married;*
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011