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Isaiah 62:1-4 – Forsaken No More

Summary

As a sign of God's new beginning, Zion is given new names. The time of judgment is past.

Analysis

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.

Isaiah 62:1-4

The Vindication and Salvation of Zion

62For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
   and for Jerusalem’s 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.

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10 February 2011

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