ISAIAH 62: 1-5

Douglas McC.L. Judisch

1. For the sake of Zion shall I be not silent,

Nay, for the sake of Jerusalem shall I be not still,

Until her righteousness go forth

as the brightness of the day,

yea, her salvation burn as a torch.

2. And nations shall see thy righteousness,

Yea, a totality of kings thy glory;

And a new name shall be called to thee

Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.

3. And thou shalt be a crown of beauty

in the hand of the LORD,

Yea, a turban of kingship

in the palm of thy God.

4. It will not be said again to thee "Forsaken";

Nor to thy land will it be said again "Desolation";

For it will be called to thee "Hepzibah"


Even as to thy land "Beulah" ("Mastered in Married");

For the LORD shall delight in thee,

Even as thy land will be mastered in marriage.

5. For a young man will master in marriage an unwed woman;

thy sons will master thee in marriage;

Even as with exultation of a bridegroom over a bride,

over thee will thy God exult.

The reading from the Old Testament which is assigned to the Second Sunday after the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord in Series C of Lutheran Worship consists in the initial five verses of the sixty-second chapter of the Prophet Isaiah. (The exegesis of these verses below is, assuredly, in no way designed to promote the use in the main service of the week of any such modern selection of gospels and epistles as those which are suggested in Lutheran Worship. This exegete, on the contrary, would continue to urge, on various grounds, fidelity to the pericopal tradition inherited from the ancient church by the church of the reformation and modified only slightly by the Blessed Reformer of the Church, if one is speaking specifically of the gospels and epistles to be read in the main (eucharistic) service of the week. No comparable series of readings, on the other hand, from the Old Testament was either handed down from the ancient church or bestowed on us by the Blessed Reformer; nor, indeed, is there such a program of readings from the New Testament to be used in all the possible additional offices of any given week. In such cases, therefore, even such a traditionalist as this exegete is able, with consistency, to make use of any pericope drawn from the region of Holy Scripture desired.)



The historical and literary observations which follow assume the auctorial integrity of the Book of Isaiah which this exegete has defended elsewhere (especially in An Introduction to the Book of Isaiah). Isaiah ben-Amoz began his lengthy prophetic ministry of some six decades already in 739 B.C. in the final year of the reign of Uzziah as King of Judah. He then uttered the various prophecies contained in the first main unit of the Book of Isaiah (chapters 1-35 as we have come to call them since medieval times) on various occasions in the years leading up to 701 B.C. In the course of these years Isaiah prophesied again and again the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrians which finally occurred in 701 B.C. in the midst of the reign of Hezekiah -- as recounted in the "historical bridge" constituting chapters 36-39 of his magnum opus.

Isaiah then proceeded to compose in the course of the ensuing two decades the tightly integrated third unit of his book consisting in the chapters which we now enumerate as 40-66. The prophet had, indeed, evidently finished these chapters by the time that King Hezekiah died in 686 B.C. in view of the absence of any succeeding king from the superscription to the volume as a whole (1:1). Isaiah subsequently published the final edition of his book in its entirety circa 680 B.C., shortly before his martyrdom in the bloody persecution of the true faith sponsored by King Manasseh.

An additional presupposition in the exegesis here is the elaborate nature of the triadic structure which characterizes the whole third unit of Isaiah (chapters 40-66), as has, again, been delineated in detail elsewhere (ibid.). Chapters 58-66 of Isaiah constitute the third of the three main divisions of this third unit of Isaiah and, so also, the seventh of the seven distinct cantos of the volume in toto. Each of these cantos provides, in its own individual way, the rationale of the thesis of Isaiah as a whole, namely, that the Lord is the only reasonable object of faith.

Canto 7, then, of the Book of Isaiah argues that the Lord is the only reasonable object of faith because, in addition to all the points presented previously, He gives a blessed future to His people in time and eternity. This future bliss was to come, predicted Isaiah, in the messianic age (1.) through the repentance of Israel (chapters 58-60), (2.) through the word of the Messiah Himself (chapters 61:1-63:6), and (3.) again, in chiastic fashion, through the repentance of Israel (chapters 63:7-66:24).

Within the middle sub-canto (chapters 61:1-63:6) of Canto 7, the first section clearly concludes with a stanza (61: 10 and 11) in which there is a change in speakers from the preceding verses (61: 1-9), as there is, contrariwise, a change back again to the Messiah speaking in the ensuing section (chapter 62). The following outline thus emerges of the Seventh Canto of Isaiah (chapters 58-66) with special emphasis on chapter 62 of the book:

The Lord's Gift of a Blessed Future to His People

Words Concentrating upon the New Testament Era

from circa 30 A.D. to the Parousia

I. Through the Repentance of Israel (chapters 58-60)

A. Its Nature (chapter 58)

1. Its distinction from empty formalism (verses 1-7)

2. Its indispensability to the Christian life (verses 8-12)

3. Its distinction from self-indulgence (verses 13-14)

B. Its Necessity: Israel's sinfulness (chapter 59)

1. As shown by Isaiah's accusations (verses 1-8)

2. As shown by a corporate confession (verses 9-15a)

3. As shown by the Lord's response (verses 15b-21)

C. Its Issue: Blessedness (chapter 60)>

1. The extension of the church throughout the world (verses 1-9)

2. The security of the church (from divine wrath and her enemies) (verses 10-18)

3. The enlightenment of the church (verses 19-22)

II. Through the Word of Messiah (chapters 61:1-63:6)

A. His Proclamation of the Gospel (chapter 61)

1. Its basis: the commission of the Messiah (verses 1-3)

2. Its addressees: men of all nations (verses 4-9)

3. Its issue: rejoicing in the resulting church of God (verses 10-11)

a. Its essence: joy in the One True God (verse 10a1)

b. Its basis (righteousness and so salvation) expressed in a mplex figure (verse 10a2-10b)

(1.) The basic metaphors (10a2 )

(a.) The salvation won by the Messiah (verse 10a2a)

(b.) a righteousness o ssiah (verse 10a2b)

(2.) The internal similes (verse 10b )

(a.) The simile of the bridegroom (verse )

(b.) The simile of the bride (verse 10b2)

c. Its basis and results (righteousness and praise ectively) expressed in a simple simile(verse 11)

(1.) The agricultural side of the comparison (verse

(2.) The spiritual side of the comparison (verse 11b)

(a.) The saving righteousness of the Messiah 1)

(b.) The resulting praise of the Messiah (verse 11b2)

B. His Zeal to Save His People (chapter 62)

1. Because of His devotion to them (verses 1-5)

a. Its manifestation in the expansion of His church (verses 1-2)

(1.) The basis of its growth: His own empowering devotion in action (verse 1a)

(2.) The means of its growth through the agency of the church itself (verse 1b)

(a.) The proclamation of imputed righteousness (verse 1b1)

(b.) The proclamation of salvation (verse 1b2)

(3.) The essence of its growth: the addition through faith of an international royalty (verse 2)

(a.) In terms of individual hearers of the message of the church (verse 2a)

(b.) In terms of the church as a whole: a renaming to be explicated in verses 4-5 (verse 2b)

b. Its manifestation in His protective perception of His church (verse 3)

(1.) Its spiritual beauty in His eyes (verse 3a)

(2.) Its spiritual kingliness in His eyes (verse 3b)

c. Its manifestation in the expansion of His church, expressed by the renaming of the church intimated in verse 2b (verses 4-5)

(1.) The primary enunciation of the renaming by the rejection of previous names (verse 4a)

(a.) In regard to God: "Forsaken" (verse 4a1a)

(b.) In regard to men: "Desolation" (verse 4a1b)

(2.) The explication of the renaming (verses 4a2-5)

(a.) By giving new names with contrary significance (verse 4a2)

(i.) In regard to God: "Hepzibah" (verse 4a2a)

(ii.)In regard to men: "Beulah" (verse 4a2b)

(b.) By explaining the new names in a general way (verse 4b)

(i.) In regard to God (verse 4b1)

(ii.)In regard to men (verse 4b2)

(c.) By explaining the new names more specifically (verse 5)

(i.) In regard to men (verse 5a)

(ii.)In regard to God (verse 5b)

2. Because of His oath to them (verses 6-9)

3. Because of His promise to them (verses 10-12)

C. His Vengeance on His Enemies (chapter 63:1-6)

1. The nature of the Avenger (verse 1)

2. The nature of the vengeance (verses 2-4)

3. The unique role of the Avenger (verses 5-6)

III. Through the Repentance of Israel (chapters 63:7-66:24)

A. Its Necessity: Israel's sinfulness (chapters 63:7-64:12)

1. Shown by reference to her previous conduct despite the Lord's grace (chapter 63:7-14)

2. Shown by the Lord's chastisement of Israel (chapters 63:15-64:4)

3. Shown by a confession of sinfulness and an appeal for pardon (chapter 64:5-12)

B. Its Alternative: Condemnation (chapter 65)

1. Contrasted with the blessedness of the Gentiles who repent (verses 1-7)

2. Contrasted with the blessedness of the Israelites who repent (verses 8-12)

3. Contrasted with the blessedness of all who repent (verses 13-25)

C. Its Circumstances (chapter 66)

2. The acceptance of an Israelite remnant (verses 5-11)

3. The evangelization of the Gentiles (verses 12-24)

The five verses, then, which are the objects of this study all fall within the middle sub-canto (chapters 61:1-63:6) of the Seventh Canto of Isaiah, which has as its theme that the Lord gives a blessed future to His people through the word of the Messiah. Verses 1-5 chapter 62 form the tripartite stanza which begins a section equaling chapter 62 and asserting the zeal of the Messiah to bring salvation to His people -- and, specifically in the first stanza (verses 1-5), His zeal to save His people because of His devotion to them.



1. For the sake of Zion shall I be not silent,

Nay, for the sake of Jerusalem shall I be not still,

Until her righteousness go forth

as the brightness of the day,

yea, her salvation burn as a torch.

All the people of the True God, anywhere in the world and in time, constitute the "Zion" and "Jerusalem" of which the Messiah Himself speaks to His people in the verses before us. The reference, in other words, is to the church of all ages, which in various passages of both testaments receives these names and others like them on several interrelated grounds. There is, firstly, the designation of Jerusalem from the time of David onward as the site of the central sanctuary of Israel and so, not only the gathering-place of the people of God on the most sacred occasions of divine worship, but also the exclusive venue of the sacrifices which were the nourishing sacraments of the Hebrew Church. The church of the new testament, similarly, serves as the prime locus of the sacraments of God in the messianic era, according to a divine mandate corresponding to the choice of Jerusalem to fulfil this role in the church of the Old Testament.

Even more essential, however, to the scriptural rationale of calling also the church of the new testament "Jerusalem" and "Zion" is her historical origin within the city of Jerusalem. The church of the new testament is metaphorically "Jerusalem" because, above all, she was born in the city of Jerusalem as predicted in the Old Testament and fulfilled on the Feast of Pentecost. The term "Zion" is used frequently as a poetic alternative to "Jerusalem" by virtue of Mount Zion being the original site of the Jebusite city which King David captured and made the political and religious capital of Israel. The church of the new testament succeeds to the titles of the mother who gave her birth by the will of God.

The "righteousness" (tzidhqahh, which is tzedheq with mappiq in an appended he) of the third clause of the verse does not refer to the righteous acts which, to be sure, believers in the Messiah do in the course of a life of sanctification (despite the lexical overemphasis on justice and "ethically" righteous action [BDB, 842]). The "righteousness" here, on the contrary, harks back, through the "righteousness" (tzdhaqah) of the preceding verse (61:10), to the "righteousness" (tzdhaqah) compared to a "robe" with which we are simply "covered" in verse 10 of Isaiah 61.

This "righteousness" stands, likewise, in parallel position to "her salvation" (yshu'athahh, again with mappiq in the appended he) in the succeeding clause. This salvation, again, is clearly the same as the yesha' back in 61:10 which is metaphorically portrayed as "garments" with which the Messiah has simply "clothed" us. The feminine singular suffix which is constituted by he with mappiq (preceded by qametz) is obviously, in the case of yshu'athahh ("her salvation"), objective in force rather than subjective. The reference is, not to any salvation which the church would achieve, but to the salvation which the Messiah would achieve for her and give her.

The same objective force attaches, then, to the same suffix in the case of the parallel tzidhqahh ("her righteousness") in the preceding clause. Thus, this tzedheq is the alien righteousness of Christ Himself constituted by His vicarious obedience and satisfaction for the purpose of being imputed to men who in themselves are sinful. The assumption here, in other words, is the truth expressed so graphically in the penultimate verse of Isaiah (61:10), that the justification of sinners by the grace of God may be appropriated through faith in the Messiah who was to come.

The substitutionary self-sacrifice of the Messiah lies, indeed, at the very heart of the mission to which He devotes Himself with such zeal in negating with lo' ("not") the two first common singulars of the qal imperfect in the first half of 62:1. The negation, to be sure, of 'echesheh ("I shall be silent") may pertain more specifically to the prophetic office which He exercised in His visible public ministry and which He still exercises through His word even now (although chshh can be used, at least figuratively, of inactivity as well as silence [BDB, 364b]). The verb chshh is doubly weak, being both lamedh-he, which explains the seghol beneath the shin, and pe-guttural, which explains the chateph-seghol beneath the initial consonant of the root (arising, on the one hand, from the aversion of gutturals to simple shewa and the influence, on the other hand, of the seghol beneath the preformative aleph).

The negation, however, of 'eshqot [with final teth] ("I shall be still") certainly includes as well all the activities of His kingly office and, above all, His priestly office. For the semantic sphere of the verb shqt [with final teth] clearly embraces much more than verbal quietness [BDB, 1052b-1053a]. That it was, specifically, on behalf of others that the Messiah was to give Himself without reservation to the execution of all His offices is stressed by the way in which He places lma'an ("for the sake of" Zion-Jerusalem) at the head of both clauses in the first half of Isaiah 62:1 [BDB, 775a-b].

In what way, however, can the "righteousness" of the Messiah imputed to His church "go forth" as "brightness" into a sin-dark world? Or, to say the same thing in differing words, in what way can the "salvation" given by the Messiah to His church "burn as a torch" in such spiritual darkness? The reference can only be to the proclamation of the gospel which, indeed, the Messiah now publishes through the instrumentality of His church and, particularly, of her ministers.

The phrase "as the brightness of the day" in the translation above renders the single word kannogah (with mappiq)in the final he) in the original text. The feminine noun is definite by virtue of the pathach under the kaph, the prepositional prefix denoting comparison ("as"), and the daghesh in the nun, indicating the doubling of the initial letter of the noun itself. The noun nogah (with innate mappiq) receives, in fact, the accouterments of the definite article only here and in Ezekiel 1:28 [BDB, 618a]. The reason here, evidently, is the comparison of the proclamation of justification by the church to, specifically, the most basic application of nogah, which is to say the "brightness of a (clear ...) day" full of sunshine [BDB, 618a].

2. And nations shall see thy righteousness,

Yea, a totality of kings thy glory;

And a new name shall be called to thee

Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.

The Messiah turns here to address directly the church which he has promised in the preceding verse to make His tool in His evangelization of the world. Thus, the suffix attached to tzedheq ("righteousness") changes from third person to second, producing tzidhqekh ("thy righteousness") in place of tzidhqahh ("her righteousness"). The gender, nevertheless, remains feminine, even as the number of the suffix stays singular. The application, indeed, of feminine singulars, both in pronominal suffixes and in verbal forms, obtains consistently through the whole of the pericope now under study.

Such forms are, of course, often used in referring to the church both in the biblical languages and in traditional English, as is altogether reasonable. For the church is, as the Bride of Christ, theologically feminine in relation to the essential masculinity of God and, indeed, the actual maleness of the God-Man, the Messiah. Here, in a related way, the church is compared in verses 4 and 5 to a bride who without the devotion of the Messiah to her would be a woman deprived of marriage.

The "righteousness" of the church here is, of course, as in the preceding verse the alien rightness of the Messiah which she proclaims to all nations as imputed to all men in the justification of the world based on His vicarious obedience and suffering. The parallelism with the preceding verse likewise clarifies the "glory" of the church (kabhodh with second feminine singular suffix) as consisting, above all, in the "salvation" (in verse 1b) which she herself has received from the Messiah and which she now offers to all and sundry in the gospel. Any men, however, of the "nations" of this world can "see" (ra'u from r'h) such "righteousness" and "glory" only through faith in the justification based on the saving work of the Messiah. Here, then, we see again, as in so many places, the central theme of the Old Testament, justification by grace through faith in the Messiah to come.

The phrase "will designate" in the translation above renders the masculine singular of the third person of the qal imperfect of the pe-nun verb nqb [BDB, 666a]. Brown-Driver-Briggs distinguishes two roots with these same three letters, but the need to do so on the basis of two passages relating to cursing is questionable in view of the lack of etymological evidence [BDB, 666b]. The basic idea of nqb is, in fact, "pierce" or "bore" through something [BDB, 666a].

This original conception, however, gives birth quite early to the idea of being "pricked off" (as we should say "checked off") a list of names and so "designated" by name [BDB, 666a]. This significance is associated especially with forms of passive reference. It is, thus, the uniform meaning of the niphal (Numbers 1:17; 1 Chronicles 12:32; 16:41: 2 Chronicles 28:15; 31:19; Ezra 8:20) [BDB, 666a]. The same direction is taken by the passive participle of the qal in Amos 6:1, which can still be translated as "designated" (as opposed to the more periphrastic "noted, distinguished" suggested in Brown-Driver-Briggs) [BDB, 666a]. The idea of designation is, on the other hand, attached only twice to the active forms of the verb, here and already in Genesis 30:28. There the qal imperative is applied to the fixation of the wages which Laban urges Jacob to name as his future remuneration.

3. For thou shalt be a crown of beauty

in the hand of the LORD,

Yea, a turban of kingship

in the palm of thy God.

The two constructs translated above as "crown" and "turban" hark back to the p'er (also translated as "turban") which surfaced twice in the preceding chapter, firstly in verse 3 of Isaiah 61 and then again in verse 10. In the latter case the headdress intended was more specifically identified as a form of turban worn uniquely by priests and bridegrooms.

The predicate genitives, however, in the verse before us innately denote more distinctive forms of headdress than does p'er in itself. Thus, 'atarah [with medial teth] specifically denotes a "crown" worn only by monarchs and the prime ministers, secular or sacerdotal, of such monarchs [BDB, 742b]. The material of a literal 'atarah is specified in some passages of the Old Testament as gold or silver and gold together (Psalm 21:4; Esther 8:15; Zechariah 6:11 and 14) [BDB, 742b].

The basic reference, secondly, of tzaniph is the "turban" which was wound around the head of the high priest [BDB, 857a]. For of special importance is its double occurrence in Zechariah 3:5, which provides two of the total of five in the whole TaNaK. Of equal relevance is the virtually uniform significance of the close cognate mitznepheth, which refers eleven times (out of twelve) specifically to the linen turban of the high priest [BDB, 857a].

4. It will not be said again to thee "Forsaken";

Nor to thy land will it be said again "Desolation";

For it will be called to thee "Hepzibah"


Even as to thy land "Beulah" ("Mastered in Marriage");

For the LORD shall delight in thee,

Even as thy land will be mastered in marriage.

The niphal imperfect (in the masculine singular of the third person) of 'mr, ye'amer ("it will be said") occurs in both clauses of the first quarter of verse 4, which is to say prior to the zaqeph parvum which rests on shemamah ("desolation"). In a pe-aleph verb, such as 'mr, the chireq which lies beneath the initial yodh in the niphal imperfect of strong verbs has undergone compensatory lengthening to tzere because of the impossibility of doubling an aleph, which doubling occurs in strong verbs as the nun of the niphal is assimilated to the first letter of the root. In both cases ye'amar is modified by both the negative lo' and 'odh.

The vocable 'odh is technically a noun which derives from a verbal root which evidently means "go around" at basis [BDB, 728b, which gives "return, go about, repeat, do again" as the definition]. The verb 'wd, actually is found but four times in the Old Testament, twice in the polel, with the significance of "restore" (in Psalms 146:9 and 147:6) and one time each in the piel, meaning "surround" (in Psalm 119:61), and in the hithpolel, signifying "be restored" (in Psalm 20:9) [BDB, 728b].

The derivative noun 'odh, on the other hand, surfaces with extreme frequency in the TaNaK. Its original substantival sense would be "a going around" and so "continuance" [BDB, 728b, in 728b-729b]. In actuality, however, the vocable is used idiomatically as an adverbial accusative to mean "still, yet, again, besides" and with prefixed beth and mem [BDB, 728b, in 728b-729b]. The combination of lo' with 'odh is often translated as "no more" as being tantamount to "not again" in idiomatic English [BDB, 729a].

The qal perfect of chptz has been translated above as a prophetic perfect. In this usage the certainty of a phenomenon predicted by divine inspiration is emphasized by the use of the perfective aspect of the verb, in which the idea of completeness always resides in some way in Classical Hebrew (the perfectum propheticum, listed as II.B.1.A.1.b.(2.) in CHEL). This form, then, emerges as "shall delight in" (as opposed to the "will delight in" which would correspond in English, in the case of the second and third persons of the verb, to the customary use of the imperfect in Biblical Hebrew to indicate the simple future).

The feminine singular qal passive participle of 'zb ("Forsaken") in the first clause of Isaiah 62:4 is balanced by the same kind of participle of b'l ("Mastered in Marriage") in the fourth clause of the verse. The root b'l is then used by way of additional explanation in the final clause of this verse and twice in the first half of the ensuing verse. In the final clause here the form is the niphal imperfect, again in the feminine singular of the third person ("will be mastered in marriage"). In the following verse, on the other hand, where the church is the grammatical object rather than the subject of the verb, the two forms are the masculine singular and plural respectively of the third person of the qal imperfect ("will master in marriage").

The verb b'l is, actually, not nearly as widely used in the Old Testament as the noun ba'al derived from it. For the noun is used, not only as the ordinary designation of the primary god of the Canaanites and others (transliterated traditionally as "Baal"), but also as a common noun with such interrelated meanings as "owner" (as in Exodus 21:28), "husband" (as in Exodus 20:3), "citizen" (as in Joshua 24:11), and "lord" (in Isaiah 16:8) [BDB, 127a-b]. The verb itself is found but sixteen times in the Old Testament, twice in the niphal and otherwise in the qal. Both cases of the niphal, here and in Proverbs 30:23, are feminine singulars of the third person of the imperfect [BDB, 127a]. The qal occurs some fourteen times, seven times in the perfect, once in the active participle (in Isaiah 54:5), and four times in the passive participle (including Isaiah 54:1 and here in 62:4) [BDB, 127a]. The only appearances of the qal imperfect are the two cases here in Isaiah 62:5 [BDB, 127a]. Thus, of the total of its sixteen instances in the TaNaK, seven of them surface in the Book of Isaiah and, more specifically, four of them here in verses 4 and 5 of Isaiah 62.

The lexicon divides the meanings of the verb into "marry" and "rule over" someone. Instances of the first meaning are found in the books of Genesis (20:3), Deuteronomy (21:13; 22:22; and 24:1), Proverbs (30:23), Jeremiah (3:14 and 31:32), Malachi (2:11), and Isaiah, twice in Isaiah 54 (verses 1 and 5) and four times here in 62 (verses 4-5). The second meaning is assigned to 1 Chronicles 4:22 and Isaiah 26:13. These two meanings, however, are closely intertwined, as appears from its use in Jeremiah to mean "be lord (husband)" and the significance of the cognate verbs in Arabic and Aramaic [BDB, 127a]. The basic idea, then, of the root is evidently "be master" of someone, but with marriage as the primary application, so that "be master of a wife" or "be master in marriage" is the significance to be assumed in the absence of any contrary evidence.

5. For a young man will master in marriage an unwed woman;

thy sons will master thee in marriage;

Even as with exultation of a bridegroom over a bride,

over thee will thy God exult.

The second half of the verse contains two expressions of the same triliteral verbal root. The root sws or sys may derive onomatopoeically from an interjection expressive of glee [BDB, 965a]. The predicate of the clause is the qal imperfect (in the masculine singular of the third person) of the hollow verb itself, yasis ("[He] will exult"). The qal is, in fact, its only binyan in the Hebrew Bible.

The verb sws or sys occurs already six times in two books of the Mosaic Era, namely in two verses of Deuteronomy (twice in 28:63 and twice in 30:9) and in two verses of Job (3:22 and 39:21) [BDB, 965a]. Otherwise all its appearances are restricted to the Psalter (seven times) and the prophetic books (fourteen times). The first category includes Psalms 19:6, 35:9, 40:17, 68:4, 70:5, and 119 (verses 14 and 162) [BDB, 965a]. The verb occurs thrice in the Lamentations of Jeremiah (1:21 and 4:21), but only once in the Book of Jeremiah itself (32:41), as also in Zephaniah (3:1) and Ezekiel (21:15) [which BDB regards as corrupted (BDB, 965a)].

The remaining eight of its appearances come in the Book of Isaiah, one in 35:1 and all the others within Canto 7, namely, here in 62:5, as already in 61:10 and subsequently in 64:4, 65:18-19, 66:10, and 66:14 (which is misprinted as 68:14 in Brown-Driver-Briggs [BDB, 965a]). Thus, of the total twenty-seven occurrences of sws or sys in the Old Testament, the Prophet Isaiah concentrates seven of them into the final six chapters of his book. Clearly, then, Isaiah sees this verb as contributing substantially to the theme of his concluding canto and especially of its final two sub-cantos.

The word is frequently used in conjunction or in parallel with several others denotative or connotative of joy: smch and its derivative simchah, gyl, and 'ltz [BDB, 965]. The conception of sws or sys goes beyond joy to exultation, which is to say the enthusiastic expression of joy ("exult, display joy") [BDB, 965a]. The same idea is conveyed with the same clarity by the two synonymous masculine nouns derived from the verbal root.

The significance of "exultation" attaches equally to both sason and masos [BDB, 965a, 965b]. Isaiah uses both of these substantives; and sason, indeed, appears in 61:3 in the phrase shemen-sason ("oil of exultation"). It is found mainly in the Psalms (45:8; 51:10; 51:14; 105:43; 119:111) and in the prophetic books, especially in Jeremiah.

The close cognate masos, however, occurs more frequently in Canto 7 of Isaiah, namely here in 62:5, as already in 60:15 and subsequently in chapters 65:18 and 66:10. Appearances in the early cantos of Isaiah come in 8:6, 24:8 (twice), 24:11, 32:13 [which BDB misprints in the midst of its entry, as opposed to the first line, as 33:13 (BDB, 965b)], and 33:14. Thus, the ten occurrences of masos in Isaiah, four of them in Canto 7, considerably outnumber the six outside the book (in Job 8:19, Psalm 48:3, Hosea 2:13, Jeremiah 49:25, and Lamentations 2:15 and 5:15). In Isaiah 65:18 masos stands parallel to gilah ("rejoicing"), and in Jeremiah 49:25 qiryath-masosi ("city of My exultation") stands parallel to "city of praise" (thillah).

A bthulah is always an unmarried woman of some kind, regardless of age. Brown-Driver-Briggs becomes excessively specific, however, in defining the word as "one living apart in her father's house as a virgin" unless the phrase "as a virgin" is intended to imply no more than "in the manner of a virgin" in traditional practice [BDB, 143b, in 143b-144a]. The adverb "apart" in this definition presumably refers to a life apart from any sexual partner [BDB, 143b]. The feminine noun does not, in any case, denote "virgin" in nearly so distinctive a way as does 'almah, which is, therefore, the word which Isaiah employs to speak of the virgin mother of the Incarnate God Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).