I came across this quite confusing construction in Isaiah 43:3. The ESV reads,
For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
The Hebrew is נָתַתִּי and parsed as Qal Perfect. Now the perfect is said to mean a completed event, whether it be past, present, or future. The ESV renders it in the present so I was quite confused about its time reference.
Some translations render it in the past,
For I am the LORD thy God, The Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I have given Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (JPS)
This brings interpretative issues. If the verse refers to a past event (Exodus), how does Cush (Ethiopia) and Seba fit in the picture? Also, it seems interpreters generally take the statement as referring to a futuristic Persian engagement.
Question: Is the past tense rendering of נָתַתִּי (Isa 43:3) in English translations wrong?