Isaiah 63:18 NIV

For a little while your people possessed your holy place, but now our enemies have trampled down your sanctuary

Isaiah 64:10-11 NIV

Your sacred cities have become a wasteland; even Zion is a wasteland, Jerusalem a desolation.11 Our holy and glorious temple, where our ancestors praised you, has been burned with fire

Isaiah is said to have lived around the reign of Uzziah,Jotham.Ahaz and Hezekiah but the destruction of the temple was some hundreds of years later after his lifetime.The narrative sounds post exilic so how can we understand these references to the temple

Could these texts have been later additions?

  • The prophet is having a vivid vision of things to come, and describing it later, in writing, as it unfolded before his eyes.
    – Lucian
    Aug 31, 2020 at 10:19
  • This question is a wonderful example of how verses in the NIV, Dead Sea Scrolls, and MT do not match. Aug 31, 2020 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


The NIV verse notations of Isaiah 64:10-11 are not correct, when compared to the Hebrew MT (Masoretic Text) which site the same verses at Isaiah 64:9-10.

Regarding the original text of Isaiah 64:9-10, the earliest manuscript found of Isaiah 64 (dating from 70 CE) in the Dead Sea Scrolls contains the verses 64:9-10 : "Your holy cities have become a desert; Zion has become a desert, Jerusalem a desolation." (עָרֵ֥י קָדְשְׁךָ֖ הָי֣וּ מִדְבָּ֑ר צִיּוֹן֙ מִדְבָּ֣ר הָיָ֔תָה יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֖ם שְׁמָמָֽה) "Our sanctuary and our glory, wherein our forefathers praised You is burnt with fire, and all our coveted places have become a waste." (בֵּ֧ית קָדְשֵׁ֣נוּ וְתִפְאַרְתֵּ֗נוּ אֲשֶׁ֚ר הִֽלְל֙וּךָ֙ אֲבֹתֵ֔ינוּ הָיָ֖ה לִשְׂרֵ֣פַת אֵ֑שׁ וְכָל־מַֽחֲמַדֵּ֖ינוּ הָיָ֥ה לְחָרְבָּֽה )

[ Reference : http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah#64:10]

No manuscript of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 64 (Prior to 70 CE) is available to prove Isaiah 64:9-10 verses were later insertions.

  • However - It is apparent from the Dead Sea Scrolls of Isaiah 64:9-10 that scribal errors were made at the end of Isaiah 64:10 compared to Isaiah 64:10 [MT]. The DSS shows (לחרובה) but the traditional MT shows "Le-charebah" (לְחָרְבָּֽה). The question remains which Hebrew version of Isaiah 64 contains the correct script.
  • I am really enjoying your honest answers. Keep it up!
    – Dottard
    Sep 1, 2020 at 10:19

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