Septuagint translates it "the beloved one" egapemenos, the perfect participle passive of agapao), and in Isaiah 44:2 adds "Israel"; Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) has dilectus in Deuteronomy 32:15, elsewhere rectissimus; Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion have "upright." For the form, Duhm compares zebhulun, Zebulun.
(1) The name used to be explained as a diminutive form, a pet name, and some, e.g. Cornill, Schultz (Old Testament Theology, English translation, II, 29, note 12) still explain it so, "the righteous little people." But there is no evidence that the ending -un had a diminutive force.
(2) Most moderns take it as a poetical or ideal title of Israel, derived from yashar, "upright"; it is held to contain a tacit reference to the word Israel (yisra'el), of which the first three consonants are almost the same as those of "Jeshurun"; in Numbers 23:10 the term "the righteous ones" (yesharim) is supposed to contain a similar reference. Most commentators compare also "the Book of Jashar," and it has been held that "Jashar" is similarly a name by which Israel is called.
Following Bacher (ZATW, 1885, 161), commentators hold that in Isaiah this new name, a coinage due to the author of Second Isaiah and adopted in Deuteronomy, stands in contrast to Jacob, "the supplanter," as his name was explained by the Hebrews (compare Hosea 12:2-4). Israel is here given a new name, "the upright, pious one," and with the new name goes new chance in life, to live up to its meaning. Driver (Deuteronomy, 361) says that in Deuteronomy 32:15 "where the context is of declension from its ideal (it is) applied reproachfully. `Nomen Recti pro Israele ponens, ironice eos perstringit qui a rectitudine defecerant' (Calv.). Elsewhere it is used as a title of honor." the King James Version has "Jesurun" in Isaiah 44:2.
David Francis Roberts
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