“Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (Isaiah 43:13)
This is one of the classic “archaisms” of the King James Version, where the English word “let” does not mean “allow” (as we now use the word) but almost the exact opposite. This particular English word was originally written and pronounced “lat” and was from the same Teutonic root as the word “late.” Thus, to our Old English ancestors, it meant essentially “make late,” or “hinder.” Note its similar use in the King James in Romans 1:13 and 2 Thessalonians 2:7.
However, the Hebrew word (shub) from which it is translated in the verse of our text is extremely flexible, being rendered no less than 115 different ways in the Old Testament, occurring about 1,150 times altogether, with the context controlling its…
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