Ibn Ezra on Isaiah
Prelude פתיחה
1 א

סוֹדוֹת מְאׂד עָמְקוּ וְגָבָהוּ

The prophecies are profound and lofty;

2 ב

יִרְאוּם נְבוֹנֵי לֵב וְיִתְמָהוּ׃

The wise-hearted see them, and are lost in admiration.

3 ג

יִתֵּן אֱלֹהִים עוֹז לְאַבְרָהָם

May the Almighty grant strength to Abraham,

4 ד

הַבָּא לְפָרֵשׁ סוֹד יְשַׁעְיָהוּ׃

Who intends to explain the book of Isaiah.*
סוֹדוֹת מְאׂד עָמְקוּ וְגָבָהוּ
יִרְאוּם נְבוֹנֵי לֵב וְיִהְמָהוּ ׃
יִתּן אֱלֹהִים עוֹז לְאַבְרָהָם
הַבָּא לְפָרֵשׁ סוֹד יְשַׁעְיָהוּ ׃
The printed editions have in the last line סֵפֶר, instead of סוד, the reading presented by a M.S. of the British Museum (Add. 24896). סוד is certainly more correct, since the additional syllable in ספר would spoil the metre. Each line consists of two simple syllables, and one compound (a syllable preceded by a Shva mobile, or by a compound Shva), two simple syllables and one compound, and two simple syllables. This metre is described by I. E. in his Sefer Zahoth, on the metre (No. 11): ב׳ תנועות ויתד, ב׳ תנועות ויתד ׳ וב׳ תנועות (.־־־־, ־־־־, ־־) , and may best be compared with the trimeter iambicus catalecticus of the Greek and Latin Literature. The Shva under the מ in עָמְקוּ is treated in this strophe as a quiescent Shva. This is in contradiction to the well-known rule, that a long vowel, not having the accent—as, e.g., the Kamez under ע in עמקו—cannot be followed by a quiescent Shva. I. E. ignores this rule, and even finds fault with תֵּשְׁבִי “thou wilt sit,” being read תֵּ־שְׁבִי (Zahoth, On the Metre, No. 17). In the same way he reads עָלְ־תָה instead of עָ־לְתָה “she went up” (ibid. No. 4); וּלְ־שׁוֹ־נִי instead of וּ־לְשׁוֹ־נִי “and my tongue” (ibid. No. 1).

5 ה

השם אחד ודברו אחד רק המעלות משתנות כפי כח כל נביא כי אין מעלותם שוות יש מהם שנבואתם בחזיון לילה כמו אברהם וגד החוזה גם ישעיהו:

THE Lord is One, and His divine inspiration always the same. The prophecies, however, vary according to the receptive faculty of each prophet, which is not always the same. Some prophets received the inspiration only in a vision by night. Such were, e.g., Abraham (Gen. 15:1), Gad the Seer (1 Chr. 29:29), and Isaiah (1:1).