Septuagint Variations Part One: Isaiah Devotional Journal 68

Isaiah 32    Septuagint Modernized   NETS

Interesting Variations in Septuagint Isaiah 32: Part One

Septuagint Isaiah 32 varies in some interesting ways from the Masoretic (Hebrew) textual tradition. The first two verses will be considered below.

A Righteous King


32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. (ESV)


32:1 For behold, a righteous king shall reign, and princes shall govern with judgment.

Although it may seem at first glance to be insignificant, at a spiritual level the change is enormous. A “righteous king” is himself righteous through and through. His character is righteousness. Such a king will by necessity rule in righteousness.

But  human rulers, even bad people, may at times rule in righteousness, especially when they have good counselors. Such was the case with young King Joash. He had been raised by the God-fearing priest Jehoiada. As long as Jehoiada lived and advised him Joash did well (2 Kings 11:2). But when this godly counselor died, Joash listened to wicked advisors instead. Joash then did wicked things, even killing Jehoiada’s son (2 Kings 24:17-25).

Scripture uses the phrase “King of righteousness” (Hebrews 7:2) as a translation Melchizedek’s name. Scripture also interprets Melchizedek as a type of Christ, Israel’s Messiah. Paul in Romans further teaches that “none is righteous, no, not one,” (Romans 3:10). Only Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God is righteous. He is the “righteous King.”

Verse 32:1 teaches that because the King is righteous, his princes also shall rule with justice (See also 1 Peter 2:9). Much of the New Testament thrusts toward teaching Christians how to behave according to the standard of Christ, their righteous King.

“A Man” or “The Man”

Septuagint 32:2 And a man shall hide his words, and be hidden, as from rushing water, and shall appear in Zion as a rushing river, glorious in a thirsty land. (CAB, LXE)

Masoretic 32:2 Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. (ESV)

Once again, the Septuagint focuses on a Person, a single individual, namely the one introduced in verse 1. The Masoretic generalizes the text, speaking of rulers in the plural tense. While the Masoretic uses three similes, “like…like…like” to describe the rulers (plural), the Septuagint uses direct language to refer to a particular man (“the man” NETS).

The Man Who Hides His Words (verse 2)

Who is this Man? First, this “man shall hide his words.”

Matthew 13:10-17 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Mat 13:10-17 ESV) (See also Matthew 11:25; Luke 18:34; 19:42.)

The Man Who Himself Shall “Be Hidden”

John 8:59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. (ESV)

John 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. (ESV)

Jesus remains hidden to this day from the understanding of the Jewish religion.

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”– 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (ESV)

The Glorious Man

32:2 And a man shall hide his words, and be hidden, as from rushing water, and shall appear in Zion as a rushing river, glorious in a thirsty land. (CAB, LXE)

We just saw above that Paul called Jesus “the Lord of glory” (1Corinthians 2:8). The four Gospels are filled with the glory of the Man, Jesus.

At his birth–

Luke 2:9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. (Luk 2:9 ESV)

At his baptism–

 Matthew 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (ESV)

At his transfiguration–

Luke 9:32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. (ESV)

As he performed many miracles–

Luke 13:17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. (ESV)

Throughout his entire life–

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

In his future reign–

Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (ESV)

The Man Who Ushered in the Holy Spirit

Septuagint 32:2 …and shall appear in Zion as a rushing river, glorious in a thirsty land. (CAB, LXE)

John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (ESV)

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (ESV)

John 7:37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (ESV)

Isaiah Septuagint 32 To Be Continued…


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