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Isaiah 42:7

The text - in translation

The passage is part of Isaiah's 'Servant songs', addressed by Yahweh to his servant. This particular section outlines the work Yahweh intends his servant to carry out.

This is what Yahweh God says... I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,

to open eyes that are blind;
  to free captives from prison
  and to release from the dungeon
    those who sit in darkness.

The remainder of this page looks at this passage in rather more detail.

The text - in the Hebrew

(Including Strong's numbers)

lîph'qôach ‘êynayîm ‘îverôth    
blind (intensive form)
lehôtsîy’ mîmmaç'gêr ’aççîyr    
  mîbêyth kele’    
      yôsh'bêy chôshekh

Word studies

06491 - pâqach
To open the senses (especially sight), to make observant
05869 - ‘ayîn
The eye, or sight in general, either literally or figuratively, so including understanding or knowledge as well as seeing
05787 - ‘îvvêr
Blind, either literally or figuratively. The form used here is the intensive variation of ‘âvar, having the idea of a film over the eyes
03318 - yâtsâ’
To bring out, to cause the release of
04525 - maç'gêr
A prison, in the sense of a place fastened or closed up, from the verb çâgar (05462), to enclose, shut up, or stop.
00616 - ’aççîyr
A prisoner, as one who is kept or bound
01004 - bayîth
A house or dwelling-place
03608 - kele’
A prison in the sense of a place where one is kept separate and isolated, from the verb kâla’, to restrict, forbid or withhold
03427 - yâshab
To sit down, dwell, remain, settle down or tarry
02822 - chôshekh
Darkness, either literal or figurative, such as misery, ignorance, sorrow or obscurity

An interpretation

The Hebrew original shows a compound structure as follows:
to open blind eyes
--------to bring out
----------------from prison
------------------------the prisoner
----------------from prison-house
those who sit in darkness

in which the theme of relief from blindness or darkness encloses the theme of deliverance from imprisonment.

When the individual word studies are incorporated, the following is suggested as a slightly looser rendition of these verses, describing the activity of Yahweh's servant in the following manner:

to unveil the vision of those who have been most blinded;
to bring about liberation
    from closed rooms of those who have been kept bound up,
    from their place of separation those who have resigned themselves to gloom and obscurity.
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