14 Nowadays, Zion is saying “Yahveh has given me up,” and “The Lord has forgotten that I exist.” 15 As if a woman could forget her nursing infant — and feel no compassion for the child she held in her uterus! Well, they do sometimes forget, but I do not forget! 16 Watch, I have cut your name on my palms and soles. I see your walls all the time. 17 Your builders are going to hurry back, while those who tried to destroy you and make you desolate will leave you. 18 Focus your eyes all around you, and watch. They are all gathering, coming to you. Yahveh says “As I live, you will wear them all like jewelry, you will put them on like a bride does.
I do not forget
In this amazing passage, Yahveh reminds his people that he cannot forget them or give them up. He invites them to watch, because in the coming generations the exiles will return, the destroyers will leave, and the city will be rebuilt. The descendants of these gripers who complain that God has forgotten them will adorn the city like jewels on a bride.
I chose the term “builders” in verse 17. The Hebrew word banayich could refer to sons, and many versions render it so. But I thought Isaiah was contrasting the future rebuilders to the present destroyers.
I also have a slightly different take on the word kafayim in verse 16. All major versions follow the Septuagint and translate kafayim as palms, adding the words “of the hand.” But the kaf can be either the palm of the hand or the sole of the foot. I reason that Isaiah was referring to both, so he did not add the word yadim (of hands). Perhaps the Holy Spirit is providing readers a sneak-peak at the crucifixion here. Yahveh cannot forget Jerusalem. It is in Jerusalem where his palms and soles are to be cut, providing redemption and atonement for all.