Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) August 5
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Isaiah 28:1--30:33

Context
The Lord Will Judge Samaria

28:1 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards is doomed, 1 

the withering flower, its beautiful splendor, 2 

situated 3  at the head of a rich valley,

the crown of those overcome with wine. 4 

28:2 Look, the sovereign master 5  sends a strong, powerful one. 6 

With the force of a hailstorm or a destructive windstorm, 7 

with the might of a driving, torrential rainstorm, 8 

he will knock that crown 9  to the ground with his hand. 10 

28:3 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards

will be trampled underfoot.

28:4 The withering flower, its beautiful splendor,

situated at the head of a rich valley,

will be like an early fig before harvest –

as soon as someone notices it,

he grabs it and swallows it. 11 

28:5 At that time 12  the Lord who commands armies will become a beautiful crown

and a splendid diadem for the remnant of his people.

28:6 He will give discernment to the one who makes judicial decisions,

and strength to those who defend the city from attackers. 13 

28:7 Even these men 14  stagger because of wine,

they stumble around because of beer –

priests and prophets stagger because of beer,

they are confused 15  because of wine,

they stumble around because of beer;

they stagger while seeing prophetic visions, 16 

they totter while making legal decisions. 17 

28:8 Indeed, all the tables are covered with vomit;

no place is untouched. 18 

28:9 Who is the Lord 19  trying to teach?

To whom is he explaining a message? 20 

Those just weaned from milk!

Those just taken from their mother’s breast! 21 

28:10 Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish,

senseless babbling,

a syllable here, a syllable there. 22 

28:11 For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue

he will speak to these people. 23 

28:12 In the past he said to them, 24 

“This is where security can be found.

Provide security for the one who is exhausted!

This is where rest can be found.” 25 

But they refused to listen.

28:13 So the Lord’s word to them will sound like

meaningless gibberish,

senseless babbling,

a syllable here, a syllable there. 26 

As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk, 27 

and be injured, ensnared, and captured. 28 

The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem

28:14 Therefore, listen to the Lord’s word,

you who mock,

you rulers of these people

who reside in Jerusalem! 29 

28:15 For you say,

“We have made a treaty with death,

with Sheol 30  we have made an agreement. 31 

When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by 32 

it will not reach us.

For we have made a lie our refuge,

we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.” 33 

28:16 Therefore, this is what the sovereign master, the Lord, says:

“Look, I am laying 34  a stone in Zion,

an approved 35  stone,

set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation. 36 

The one who maintains his faith will not panic. 37 

28:17 I will make justice the measuring line,

fairness the plumb line;

hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge, 38 

the floodwaters will overwhelm the hiding place.

28:18 Your treaty with death will be dissolved; 39 

your agreement 40  with Sheol will not last. 41 

When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by, 42 

you will be overrun by it. 43 

28:19 Whenever it sweeps by, it will overtake you;

indeed, 44  every morning it will sweep by,

it will come through during the day and the night.” 45 

When this announcement is understood,

it will cause nothing but terror.

28:20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,

and the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself. 46 

28:21 For the Lord will rise up, as he did at Mount Perazim, 47 

he will rouse himself, as he did in the Valley of Gibeon, 48 

to accomplish his work,

his peculiar work,

to perform his task,

his strange task. 49 

28:22 So now, do not mock,

or your chains will become heavier!

For I have heard a message about decreed destruction,

from the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, against the entire land. 50 

28:23 Pay attention and listen to my message! 51 

Be attentive and listen to what I have to say! 52 

28:24 Does a farmer just keep on plowing at planting time? 53 

Does he keep breaking up and harrowing his ground?

28:25 Once he has leveled its surface,

does he not scatter the seed of the caraway plant,

sow the seed of the cumin plant,

and plant the wheat, barley, and grain in their designated places? 54 

28:26 His God instructs him;

he teaches him the principles of agriculture. 55 

28:27 Certainly 56  caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge,

nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed. 57 

Certainly caraway seed is beaten with a stick,

and cumin seed with a flail.

28:28 Grain is crushed,

though one certainly does not thresh it forever.

The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it,

but his horses do not crush it.

28:29 This also comes from the Lord who commands armies,

who gives supernatural guidance and imparts great wisdom. 58 

Ariel is Besieged

29:1 Ariel is as good as dead 59 

Ariel, the town David besieged! 60 

Keep observing your annual rituals,

celebrate your festivals on schedule. 61 

29:2 I will threaten Ariel,

and she will mourn intensely

and become like an altar hearth 62  before me.

29:3 I will lay siege to you on all sides; 63 

I will besiege you with troops; 64 

I will raise siege works against you.

29:4 You will fall;

while lying on the ground 65  you will speak;

from the dust where you lie, your words will be heard. 66 

Your voice will sound like a spirit speaking from the underworld; 67 

from the dust you will chirp as if muttering an incantation. 68 

29:5 But the horde of invaders will be like fine dust,

the horde of tyrants 69  like chaff that is blown away.

It will happen suddenly, in a flash.

29:6 Judgment will come from the Lord who commands armies, 70 

accompanied by thunder, earthquake, and a loud noise,

by a strong gale, a windstorm, and a consuming flame of fire.

29:7 It will be like a dream, a night vision.

There will be a horde from all the nations that fight against Ariel,

those who attack her and her stronghold and besiege her.

29:8 It will be like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating,

only to awaken and find that his stomach is empty. 71 

It will be like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking,

only to awaken and find that he is still weak and his thirst unquenched. 72 

So it will be for the horde from all the nations

that fight against Mount Zion.

God’s People are Spiritually Insensitive

29:9 You will be shocked and amazed! 73 

You are totally blind! 74 

They are drunk, 75  but not because of wine;

they stagger, 76  but not because of beer.

29:10 For the Lord has poured out on you

a strong urge to sleep deeply. 77 

He has shut your eyes (the prophets),

and covered your heads (the seers).

29:11 To you this entire prophetic revelation 78  is like words in a sealed scroll. When they hand it to one who can read 79  and say, “Read this,” he responds, “I can’t, because it is sealed.” 29:12 Or when they hand the scroll to one who can’t read 80  and say, “Read this,” he says, “I can’t read.” 81 

29:13 The sovereign master 82  says,

“These people say they are loyal to me; 83 

they say wonderful things about me, 84 

but they are not really loyal to me. 85 

Their worship consists of

nothing but man-made ritual. 86 

29:14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people –

an absolutely extraordinary deed. 87 

Wise men will have nothing to say,

the sages will have no explanations.” 88 

29:15 Those who try to hide their plans from the Lord are as good as dead, 89 

who do their work in secret and boast, 90 

“Who sees us? Who knows what we’re doing?” 91 

29:16 Your thinking is perverse! 92 

Should the potter be regarded as clay? 93 

Should the thing made say 94  about its maker, “He didn’t make me”?

Or should the pottery say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”?

Changes are Coming

29:17 In just a very short time 95 

Lebanon will turn into an orchard,

and the orchard will be considered a forest. 96 

29:18 At that time 97  the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll,

and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness. 98 

29:19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the Lord;

the poor among humankind will take delight 99  in the Holy One of Israel. 100 

29:20 For tyrants will disappear,

those who taunt will vanish,

and all those who love to do wrong will be eliminated 101 

29:21 those who bear false testimony against a person, 102 

who entrap the one who arbitrates at the city gate 103 

and deprive the innocent of justice by making false charges. 104 

29:22 So this is what the Lord, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob: 105 

“Jacob will no longer be ashamed;

their faces will no longer show their embarrassment. 106 

29:23 For when they see their children,

whom I will produce among them, 107 

they will honor 108  my name.

They will honor the Holy One of Jacob; 109 

they will respect 110  the God of Israel.

29:24 Those who stray morally will gain understanding; 111 

those who complain will acquire insight. 112 

Egypt Will Prove Unreliable

30:1 “The rebellious 113  children are as good as dead,” 114  says the Lord,

“those who make plans without consulting me, 115 

who form alliances without consulting my Spirit, 116 

and thereby compound their sin. 117 

30:2 They travel down to Egypt

without seeking my will, 118 

seeking Pharaoh’s protection,

and looking for safety in Egypt’s protective shade. 119 

30:3 But Pharaoh’s protection will bring you nothing but shame,

and the safety of Egypt’s protective shade nothing but humiliation.

30:4 Though his 120  officials are in Zoan

and his messengers arrive at Hanes, 121 

30:5 all will be put to shame 122 

because of a nation that cannot help them,

who cannot give them aid or help,

but only shame and disgrace.”

30:6 This is a message 123  about the animals in the Negev:

Through a land of distress and danger,

inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions, 124 

by snakes and darting adders, 125 

they transport 126  their wealth on the backs of donkeys,

their riches on the humps of camels,

to a nation that cannot help them. 127 

30:7 Egypt is totally incapable of helping. 128 

For this reason I call her

‘Proud one 129  who is silenced.’” 130 

30:8 Now go, write it 131  down on a tablet in their presence, 132 

inscribe it on a scroll,

so that it might be preserved for a future time

as an enduring witness. 133 

30:9 For these are rebellious people –

they are lying children,

children unwilling to obey the Lord’s law. 134 

30:10 They 135  say to the visionaries, “See no more visions!”

and to the seers, “Don’t relate messages to us about what is right! 136 

Tell us nice things,

relate deceptive messages. 137 

30:11 Turn aside from the way,

stray off the path. 138 

Remove from our presence the Holy One of Israel.” 139 

30:12 For this reason this is what the Holy One of Israel says:

“You have rejected this message; 140 

you trust instead in your ability to oppress and trick, 141 

and rely on that kind of behavior. 142 

30:13 So this sin will become your downfall.

You will be like a high wall

that bulges and cracks and is ready to collapse;

it crumbles suddenly, in a flash. 143 

30:14 It shatters in pieces like a clay jar,

so shattered to bits that none of it can be salvaged. 144 

Among its fragments one cannot find a shard large enough 145 

to scoop a hot coal from a fire 146 

or to skim off water from a cistern.” 147 

30:15 For this is what the master, the Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:

“If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered; 148 

if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength, 149 

but you are unwilling.

30:16 You say, ‘No, we will flee on horses,’

so you will indeed flee.

You say, ‘We will ride on fast horses,’

so your pursuers will be fast.

30:17 One thousand will scurry at the battle cry of one enemy soldier; 150 

at the battle cry of five enemy soldiers you will all run away, 151 

until the remaining few are as isolated 152 

as a flagpole on a mountaintop

or a signal flag on a hill.”

The Lord Will Not Abandon His People

30:18 For this reason the Lord is ready to show you mercy;

he sits on his throne, ready to have compassion on you. 153 

Indeed, the Lord is a just God;

all who wait for him in faith will be blessed. 154 

30:19 For people will live in Zion;

in Jerusalem 155  you will weep no more. 156 

When he hears your cry of despair, he will indeed show you mercy;

when he hears it, he will respond to you. 157 

30:20 The sovereign master 158  will give you distress to eat

and suffering to drink; 159 

but your teachers will no longer be hidden;

your eyes will see them. 160 

30:21 You 161  will hear a word spoken behind you, saying,

“This is the correct 162  way, walk in it,”

whether you are heading to the right or the left.

30:22 You will desecrate your silver-plated idols 163 

and your gold-plated images. 164 

You will throw them away as if they were a menstrual rag,

saying to them, “Get out!”

30:23 He will water the seed you plant in the ground,

and the ground will produce crops in abundance. 165 

At that time 166  your cattle will graze in wide pastures.

30:24 The oxen and donkeys used in plowing 167 

will eat seasoned feed winnowed with a shovel and pitchfork. 168 

30:25 On every high mountain

and every high hill

there will be streams flowing with water,

at the time of 169  great slaughter when the fortified towers collapse.

30:26 The light of the full moon will be like the sun’s glare

and the sun’s glare will be seven times brighter,

like the light of seven days, 170 

when the Lord binds up his people’s fractured bones 171 

and heals their severe wound. 172 

30:27 Look, the name 173  of the Lord comes from a distant place

in raging anger and awesome splendor. 174 

He speaks angrily

and his word is like destructive fire. 175 

30:28 His battle cry overwhelms like a flooding river 176 

that reaches one’s neck.

He shakes the nations in a sieve that isolates the chaff; 177 

he puts a bit into the mouth of the nations and leads them to destruction. 178 

30:29 You will sing

as you do in the evening when you are celebrating a festival.

You will be happy like one who plays a flute

as he goes to the mountain of the Lord, the Rock who shelters Israel. 179 

30:30 The Lord will give a mighty shout 180 

and intervene in power, 181 

with furious anger and flaming, destructive fire, 182 

with a driving rainstorm and hailstones.

30:31 Indeed, the Lord’s shout will shatter Assyria; 183 

he will beat them with a club.

30:32 Every blow from his punishing cudgel, 184 

with which the Lord will beat them, 185 

will be accompanied by music from the 186  tambourine and harp,

and he will attack them with his weapons. 187 

30:33 For 188  the burial place is already prepared; 189 

it has been made deep and wide for the king. 190 

The firewood is piled high on it. 191 

The Lord’s breath, like a stream flowing with brimstone,

will ignite it.

1 tn Heb “Woe [to] the crown [or “wreath”] of the splendor [or “pride”] of the drunkards of Ephraim.” The “crown” is Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom (Ephraim). Priests and prophets are included among these drunkards in v. 7.

2 tn Heb “the beauty of his splendor.” In the translation the masculine pronoun (“his”) has been replaced by “its” because the referent (the “crown”) is the city of Samaria.

3 tn Heb “which [is].”

4 tn Heb “ones overcome with wine.” The words “the crown of” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The syntactical relationship of the final phrase to what precedes is uncertain. הֲלוּמֵי יָיִן (halume yayin, “ones overcome with wine”) seems to correspond to שִׁכֹּרֵי אֶפְרַיִם (shikkoreefrayim, “drunkards of Ephraim”) in line 1. The translation assumes that the phrase “the splendid crown” is to be understood in the final line as well.

5 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here and in vv. 16, 22 is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

6 tn Heb “Look, a strong and powerful [one] belongs to the Lord.”

7 tn Heb “like a rainstorm of hail, a wind of destruction.”

8 tn Heb “like a rainstorm of mighty, overflowing waters.”

9 tn The words “that crown” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The object of the verb is unexpressed in the Hebrew text.

10 tn Or “by [his] power.”

11 tn Heb “which the one seeing sees, while still it is in his hand he swallows it.”

12 tn Or “in that day” (KJV).

13 tn Heb “and [he will become] a spirit of justice for the one who sits [i.e., presides] over judgment, // and strength [for] the ones who turn back battle at the city gate.” The Lord will provide internal stability and national security.

14 tn Heb “these.” The demonstrative pronoun anticipates “priests and prophets” two lines later.

15 tn According to HALOT 135 s.v. III בלע, the verb form is derived from בָּלַע (bala’, “confuse”), not the more common בָּלַע (“swallow”). See earlier notes at 3:12 and 9:16.

16 tn Heb “in the seeing.”

17 tn Heb “[in] giving a decision.”

18 tn Heb “vomit, without a place.” For the meaning of the phrase בְּלִי מָקוֹם (bÿli maqom, “without a place”), see HALOT 133 s.v. בְּלִי.

19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20 tn Heb “Who is he teaching knowledge? For whom is he explaining a message?” The translation assumes that the Lord is the subject of the verbs “teaching” and “explaining,” and that the prophet is asking the questions. See v. 12. According to some vv. 9-10 record the people’s sarcastic response to the Lord’s message through Isaiah.

21 tn Heb “from the breasts.” The words “their mother’s” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The translation assumes that this is the prophet’s answer to the questions asked in the first half of the verse. The Lord is trying to instruct people who are “infants” morally and ethically.

22 tn The meaning of this verse has been debated. The text has literally “indeed [or “for”] a little there, a little there” ( כִּי צַו לָצָו צַו לָצָו קַו לָקָו קַו, ki tsav latsav, tsav latsav, qav laqav, qav laqav). The present translation assumes that the repetitive syllables are gibberish that resembles baby talk (cf v. 9b) and mimics what the people will hear when foreign invaders conquer the land (v. 11). In this case זְעֵיר (zÿer, “a little”) refers to the short syllabic structure of the babbling (cf. CEV). Some take צַו (tsav) as a derivative of צָוָה (tsavah, “command”) and translate the first part of the statement as “command after command, command after command.” Proponents of this position (followed by many English versions) also take קַו (qav) as a noun meaning “measuring line” (see v. 17), understood here in the abstract sense of “standard” or “rule.”

23 sn This verse alludes to the coming Assyrian invasion, when the people will hear a foreign language that sounds like gibberish to them. The Lord is the subject of the verb “will speak,” as v. 12 makes clear. He once spoke in meaningful terms, but in the coming judgment he will speak to them, as it were, through the mouth of foreign oppressors. The apparent gibberish they hear will be an outward reminder that God has decreed their defeat.

24 tn Heb “who said to them.”

25 sn This message encapsulates the Lord’s invitation to his people to find security in his protection and blessing.

26 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord will be to them, ‘tsahv latsahv,’ etc.” See the note at v. 10. In this case the “Lord’s word” is not the foreigner’s strange sounding words (as in v. 10), but the Lord’s repeated appeals to them (like the one quoted in v. 12). As time goes on, the Lord’s appeals through the prophets will have no impact on the people; they will regard prophetic preaching as gibberish.

27 tn Heb “as a result they will go and stumble backward.” Perhaps an infant falling as it attempts to learn to walk is the background image here (cf. v. 9b). The Hebrew term לְמַעַן (lÿmaan) could be taken as indicating purpose (“in order that”), rather than simple result. In this case the people’s insensitivity to the message is caused by the Lord as a means of expediting their downfall.

28 sn When divine warnings and appeals become gibberish to the spiritually insensitive, they have no guidance and are doomed to destruction.

29 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

30 sn Sheol is the underworld, land of the dead, according to the OT world view.

31 tn Elsewhere the noun חֹזֶה (khozeh) refers to a prophet who sees visions. In v. 18 the related term חָזוּת (khazut, “vision”) is used. The parallelism in both verses (note “treaty”) seems to demand a meaning “agreement” for both nouns. Perhaps חֹזֶה and חזוּת are used in a metonymic sense in vv. 15 and 18. Another option is to propose a homonymic root. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:514, and HALOT 301 s.v. II חֹזֶה.

32 tn Heb “the overwhelming scourge, when it passes by” (NRSV similar).

33 sn “Lie” and “deceitful word” would not be the terms used by the people. They would likely use the words “promise” and “reliable word,” but the prophet substitutes “lie” and “deceitful word” to emphasize that this treaty with death will really prove to be disappointing.

34 tc The Hebrew text has a third person verb form, which does not agree with the first person suffix that precedes. The form should be emended to יֹסֵד (yosed), a Qal active participle used in a present progressive or imminent future sense.

35 tn Traditionally “tested,” but the implication is that it has passed the test and stands approved.

36 sn The reality behind the metaphor is not entirely clear from the context. The stone appears to represent someone or something that gives Zion stability. Perhaps the ideal Davidic ruler is in view (see 32:1). Another option is that the image of beginning a building project by laying a precious cornerstone suggests that God is about to transform Zion through judgment and begin a new covenant community that will experience his protection (see 4:3-6; 31:5; 33:20-24; 35:10).

37 tn Heb “will not hurry,” i.e., act in panic.

38 tn Heb “[the] refuge, [the] lie.” See v. 15.

39 tn On the meaning of כָּפַר (kafar) in this context, see HALOT 494 s.v. I כפר and J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:515, n. 9.

40 tn Normally the noun חָזוּת (khazut) means “vision.” See the note at v. 15.

41 tn Or “will not stand” (NIV, NRSV).

42 tn See the note at v. 15.

43 tn Heb “you will become a trampling place for it.”

44 tn Or “for” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

45 tn The words “it will come through” are supplied in the translation. The verb “will sweep by” does double duty in the parallel structure.

46 sn The bed and blanket probably symbolize their false sense of security. A bed that is too short and a blanket that is too narrow may promise rest and protection from the cold, but in the end they are useless and disappointing. In the same way, their supposed treaty with death will prove useless and disappointing.

47 sn This probably alludes to David’s victory over the Philistines at Baal Perazim. See 2 Sam 5:20.

48 sn This probably alludes to the Lord’s victory over the Canaanites at Gibeon, during the days of Joshua. See Josh 10:10-11.

49 sn God’s judgment of his own people is called “his peculiar work” and “his strange task,” because he must deal with them the way he treated their enemies in the past.

50 tn Or “the whole earth” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NCV).

51 tn Heb “to my voice.”

52 tn Heb “to my word”; cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “hear my speech.”

53 tn Heb “All the day does the plowman plow in order to plant?” The phrase “all the day” here has the sense of “continually, always.” See BDB 400 s.v. יוֹם.

54 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “place wheat [?], and barley [?], and grain in its territory.” The term שׂוֹרָה (shorah) is sometimes translated “[in] its place,” but the word is unattested elsewhere. It is probably due to dittography of the immediately following שְׂעֹרָה (sÿorah, “barley”). The meaning of נִסְמָן (nisman) is also uncertain. It may be due to dittography of the immediately following כֻסֶּמֶת (kussemet, “grain”).

55 tn Heb “he teaches him the proper way, his God instructs him.”

56 tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB).

57 sn Both of these seeds are too small to use the ordinary threshing techniques.

58 sn Verses 23-29 emphasize that God possesses great wisdom and has established a natural order. Evidence of this can be seen in the way farmers utilize divinely imparted wisdom to grow and harvest crops. God’s dealings with his people will exhibit this same kind of wisdom and order. Judgment will be accomplished according to a divinely ordered timetable and, while severe enough, will not be excessive. Judgment must come, just as planting inevitably follows plowing. God will, as it were, thresh his people, but he will not crush them to the point where they will be of no use to him.

59 tn Heb “Woe [to] Ariel.” The meaning of the name “Ariel” is uncertain. The name may mean “altar hearth” (see v. 2) or, if compound, “lion of God.” The name is used here as a title for Mount Zion/Jerusalem (see v. 8).

60 tn Heb “the town where David camped.” The verb חָנָה (khanah, “camp”) probably has the nuance “lay siege to” here. See v. 3. Another option is to take the verb in the sense of “lived, settled.”

61 tn Heb “Add year to year, let your festivals occur in cycles.” This is probably a sarcastic exhortation to the people to keep up their religious rituals, which will not prevent the coming judgment. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:527.

62 tn The term אֲרִיאֵל (’ariel, “Ariel”) is the word translated “altar hearth” here. The point of the simile is not entirely clear. Perhaps the image likens Jerusalem’s coming crisis to a sacrificial fire.

63 tc The Hebrew text has כַדּוּר (khadur, “like a circle”), i.e., “like an encircling wall.” Some emend this phrase to כְּדָוִד (kÿdavid, “like David”), which is supported by the LXX (see v. 1). However, the rendering in the LXX could have arisen from a confusion of the dalet (ד) and resh (ר).

64 tn The meaning of מֻצָּב (mutsav) is not certain. Because of the parallelism (note “siege works”), some translate “towers.” The noun is derived from נָצַב (natsav, “take one’s stand”) and may refer to the troops stationed outside the city to prevent entrance or departure.

65 tn Heb “from the ground” (so NIV, NCV).

66 tn Heb “and from the dust your word will be low.”

67 tn Heb “and your voice will be like a ritual pit from the earth.” The Hebrew אוֹב (’ov, “ritual pit”) refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. See the note on “incantations” in 8:19. Here the word is used metonymically for the voice that emerges from such a pit.

68 tn Heb “and from the dust your word will chirp.” The words “as if muttering an incantation” are supplied in the translation for clarification. See the parallelism and 8:19.

69 tn Or “violent men”; cf. NASB “the ruthless ones.”

70 tn Heb “from the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] there will be visitation.” The third feminine singular passive verb form תִּפָּקֵד (tippaqed, “she/it will be visited”) is used here in an impersonal sense. See GKC 459 §144.b.

71 tn Or “that he [or “his appetite”] is unsatisfied.”

72 tn Or “that he is faint and that he [or “his appetite”] longs [for water].”

73 tn The form הִתְמַהְמְהוּ (hitmahmÿhu) is a Hitpalpel imperative from מָהַהּ (mahah, “hesitate”). If it is retained, one might translate “halt and be amazed.” The translation assumes an emendation to הִתַּמְּהוּ (hittammÿhu), a Hitpael imperative from תָּמַה (tamah, “be amazed”). In this case, the text, like Hab 1:5, combines the Hitpael and Qal imperatival forms of תָּמַה (tamah). A literal translation might be “Shock yourselves and be shocked!” The repetition of sound draws attention to the statement. The imperatives here have the force of an emphatic assertion. On this use of the imperative in Hebrew, see GKC 324 §110.c and IBHS 572 §34.4c.

74 tn Heb “Blind yourselves and be blind!” The Hitpalpel and Qal imperatival forms of שָׁעַע (shaa’, “be blind”) are combined to draw attention to the statement. The imperatives have the force of an emphatic assertion.

75 tc Some prefer to emend the perfect form of the verb to an imperative (e.g., NAB, NCV, NRSV), since the people are addressed in the immediately preceding and following contexts.

76 tc Some prefer to emend the perfect form of the verb to an imperative (e.g., NAB, NCV, NRSV), since the people are addressed in the immediately preceding and following contexts.

77 tn Heb “a disposition [or “spirit”] of deep sleep.” Through this mixed metaphor (sleep is likened to a liquid which one pours and in turn symbolizes spiritual dullness) the prophet emphasizes that God himself has given the people over to their spiritual insensitivity as a form of judgment.

78 tn Heb “vision” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

79 tn Heb “one who knows a/the scroll.”

80 tn Heb “and if the scroll is handed to one who does not know a scroll.”

81 tn Heb “I do not know a scroll.”

82 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai).

83 tn Heb “Because these people draw near to me with their mouth.”

84 tn Heb “and with their lips they honor me.”

85 tn Heb “but their heart is far from me.” The heart is viewed here as the seat of the will, from which genuine loyalty derives.

86 tn Heb “their fear of me is a commandment of men that has been taught.”

87 tn Heb “Therefore I will again do something amazing with these people, an amazing deed, an amazing thing.” This probably refers to the amazing transformation predicted in vv. 17-24, which will follow the purifying judgment implied in vv. 15-16.

88 tn Heb “the wisdom of their wise ones will perish, the discernment of their discerning ones will keep hidden.”

89 tn Heb “Woe [to] those who deeply hide counsel from the Lord.” This probably alludes to political alliances made without seeking the Lord’s guidance. See 30:1-2 and 31:1.

90 tn Heb “and their works are in darkness and they say.”

91 tn The rhetorical questions suggest the answer, “no one.” They are confident that their deeds are hidden from others, including God.

92 tn Heb “your overturning.” The predicate is suppressed in this exclamation. The idea is, “O your perversity! How great it is!” See GKC 470 §147.c. The people “overturn” all logic by thinking their authority supersedes God’s.

93 tn The expected answer to this rhetorical question is “of course not.” On the interrogative use of אִם (’im), see BDB 50 s.v.

94 tn Heb “that the thing made should say.”

95 tn The Hebrew text phrases this as a rhetorical question, “Is it not yet a little, a short [time]?”

96 sn The meaning of this verse is debated, but it seems to depict a reversal in fortunes. The mighty forest of Lebanon (symbolic of the proud and powerful, see 2:13; 10:34) will be changed into a common orchard, while the common orchard (symbolic of the oppressed and lowly) will grow into a great forest. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:538.

97 tn Or “In that day” (KJV).

98 tn Heb “and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.”

sn Perhaps this depicts the spiritual transformation of the once spiritually insensitive nation (see vv. 10-12, cf. also 6:9-10).

99 tn Or “will rejoice” (NIV, NCV, NLT).

100 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

101 tn Heb “and all the watchers of wrong will be cut off.”

102 tn Heb “the ones who make a man a sinner with a word.” The Hiphil of חָטָא (khata’) here has a delocutive sense: “declare a man sinful/guilty.”

103 sn Legal disputes were resolved at the city gate, where the town elders met. See Amos 5:10.

104 tn Heb “and deprive by emptiness the innocent.”

105 tn Heb “So this is what the Lord says to the house of Jacob, the one who ransomed Abraham.” The relative pronoun must refer back to “the Lord,” not to the immediately preceding “Jacob.” It is uncertain to what event in Abraham’s experience this refers. Perhaps the name “Abraham” stands here by metonymy for his descendants through Jacob. If so, the Exodus is in view.

106 tn Heb “and his face will no longer be pale.”

107 tn Heb “for when he sees his children, the work of my hands in his midst.”

108 tn Or “treat as holy” (also in the following line); NASB, NRSV “will sanctify.”

109 sn Holy One of Jacob is similar to the phrase “Holy One of Israel” common throughout Isaiah; see the sn at Isa 1:4.

110 tn Or “fear,” in the sense of “stand in awe of.”

111 tn Heb “and the ones who stray in spirit will know understanding.”

112 tn Heb “will learn instruction”; cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “will accept instruction.”

113 tn Or “stubborn” (NCV); cf. NIV “obstinate.”

114 tn Heb “Woe [to] rebellious children.”

115 tn Heb “making a plan, but not from me.”

116 tn Heb “and pouring out a libation, but not [from] my spirit.” This translation assumes that the verb נָסַךְ (nasakh) means “pour out,” and that the cognate noun מַסֵּכָה (massekhah) means “libation.” In this case “pouring out a libation” alludes to a ceremony that formally ratifies an alliance. Another option is to understand the verb נָסַךְ as a homonym meaning “weave,” and the cognate noun מַסֵּכָה as a homonym meaning “covering.” In this case forming an alliance is likened to weaving a garment.

117 tn Heb “consequently adding sin to sin.”

118 tn Heb “those who go to descend to Egypt, but [of] my mouth they do not inquire.”

119 tn Heb “to seek protection in the protection of Pharaoh, and to seek refuge in the shade of Egypt.”

120 sn This probably refers to Judah’s officials and messengers.

121 sn Zoan was located in the Egyptian delta in the north; Hanes was located somewhere in southern region of lower Egypt, south of Memphis; the exact location is debated.

122 tn The present translation follows the marginal (Qere) reading of the Hebrew text; the consonantal text (Kethib) has “made to stink, decay.”

123 tn Traditionally, “burden” (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “oracle.”

124 tc Heb “[a land of] a lioness and a lion, from them.” Some emend מֵהֶם (mehem, “from them”) to מֵהֵם (mehem), an otherwise unattested Hiphil participle from הָמַם (hamam, “move noisily”). Perhaps it would be better to take the initial mem (מ) as enclitic and emend the form to הֹמֶה (homeh), a Qal active participle from הָמָה (hamah, “to make a noise”); cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:542, n. 9.

125 tn Heb “flying fiery one.” See the note at 14:29.

126 tn Or “carry” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

127 sn This verse describes messengers from Judah transporting wealth to Egypt in order to buy Pharaoh’s protection through a treaty.

128 tn Heb “As for Egypt, with vanity and emptiness they help.”

129 tn Heb “Rahab” (רַהַב, rahav), which also appears as a name for Egypt in Ps 87:4. The epithet is also used in the OT for a mythical sea monster symbolic of chaos. See the note at 51:9. A number of English versions use the name “Rahab” (e.g., ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) while others attempt some sort of translation (cf. CEV “a helpless monster”; TEV, NLT “the Harmless Dragon”).

130 tn The MT reads “Rahab, they, sitting.” The translation above assumes an emendation of הֵם שָׁבֶת (hem shavet) to הַמָּשְׁבָּת (hammashbat), a Hophal participle with prefixed definite article, meaning “the one who is made to cease,” i.e., “destroyed,” or “silenced.” See HALOT 444-45 s.v. ישׁב.

131 tn The referent of the third feminine singular pronominal suffix is uncertain. Perhaps it refers to the preceding message, which accuses the people of rejecting the Lord’s help in favor of an alliance with Egypt.

132 tn Heb “with them.” On the use of the preposition here, see BDB 86 s.v. II אֵת.

133 sn Recording the message will enable the prophet to use it in the future as evidence that God warned his people of impending judgment and clearly spelled out the nation’s guilt. An official record of the message will also serve as proof of the prophet’s authority as God’s spokesman.

134 tn Or perhaps, “instruction” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); NCV, TEV “teachings.”

135 tn Heb “who” (so NASB, NRSV). A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

136 tn Heb “Do not see for us right things.”

137 tn Heb “Tell us smooth things, see deceptive things.”

138 sn The imagery refers to the way or path of truth, as revealed by God to the prophet.

139 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

140 tn The sentence actually begins with the word “because.” In the Hebrew text vv. 12-13 are one long sentence.

141 tn Heb “and you trust in oppression and cunning.”

142 tn Heb “and you lean on it”; NAB “and depend on it.”

143 tn The verse reads literally, “So this sin will become for you like a breach ready to fall, bulging on a high wall, the breaking of which comes suddenly, in a flash.” Their sin produces guilt and will result in judgment. Like a wall that collapses their fall will be swift and sudden.

144 tn Heb “Its shattering is like the shattering of a jug of [i.e., “made by”] potters, [so] shattered one cannot save [any of it].”

145 tn The words “large enough” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

146 tn Heb “to remove fire from the place of kindling.”

147 tn On the meaning of גֶבֶא (geveh, “cistern”) see HALOT 170 s.v.

148 tn Heb “in returning and in quietness you will be delivered.” Many English versions render the last phrase “shall be saved” or something similar (e.g., NAB, NASB, NRSV).

149 tn Heb “in quietness and in trust is your strength” (NASB and NRSV both similar).

150 tn Heb “One thousand from before [or “because of”] one battle cry.” גְּעָרָה (gÿarah) is often defined as “threat,” but in war contexts it likely refers to a shout or battle cry. See Ps 76:6.

151 tn Heb “from before [or “because of”] the battle cry of five you will flee.

152 tn Heb “until you are left” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV).

153 tn Heb “Therefore the Lord waits to show you mercy, and therefore he is exalted to have compassion on you.” The logical connection between this verse and what precedes is problematic. The point seems to be that Judah’s impending doom does not bring God joy. Rather the prospect of their suffering stirs within him a willingness to show mercy and compassion, if they are willing to seek him on his terms.

154 tn Heb “Blessed are all who wait for him.”

155 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

156 tn Heb “For people in Zion will live, in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.” The phrase “in Jerusalem” could be taken with what precedes. Some prefer to emend יֵשֵׁב (yeshev, “will live,” a Qal imperfect) to יֹשֵׁב (yoshev, a Qal active participle) and translate “For [you] people in Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.”

157 tn Heb “he will indeed show you mercy at the sound of your crying out; when he hears, he will answer you.”

158 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai).

159 tn Heb “and the Master will give to you bread – distress, and water – oppression.”

160 tn Heb “but your teachers will no longer be hidden, your eyes will be seeing your teachers.” The translation assumes that the form מוֹרֶיךָ (morekha) is a plural participle, referring to spiritual leaders such as prophets and priests. Another possibility is that the form is actually singular (see GKC 273-74 §93.ss) or a plural of respect, referring to God as the master teacher. See HALOT 560-61 s.v. III מוֹרֶה. For discussion of the views, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:560.

161 tn Heb “your ears” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

162 tn The word “correct’ is supplied in the translation for clarification.

163 tn Heb “the platings of your silver idols.”

164 tn Heb “the covering of your gold image.”

165 tn Heb “and he will give rain for your seed which you plant in the ground, and food [will be] the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and abundant.”

166 tn Or “in that day” (KJV).

167 tn Heb “the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground.”

168 sn Crops will be so abundant that even the work animals will eat well.

169 tn Or “in the day of” (KJV).

170 sn Light here symbolizes restoration of divine blessing and prosperity. The number “seven” is used symbolically to indicate intensity. The exact meaning of the phrase “the light of seven days” is uncertain; it probably means “seven times brighter” (see the parallel line).

171 tn Heb “the fracture of his people” (so NASB).

sn The Lord is here compared to a physician setting a broken bone in a bandage or cast.

172 tn Heb “the injury of his wound.” The joining of synonyms emphasizes the severity of the wound. Another option is to translate, “the wound of his blow.” In this case the pronominal suffix might refer to the Lord, not the people, yielding the translation, “the wound which he inflicted.”

173 sn The “name” of the Lord sometimes stands by metonymy for the Lord himself, see Exod 23:21; Lev 24:11; Pss 54:1 (54:3 HT); 124:8. In Isa 30:27 the point is that he reveals that aspect of his character which his name suggests – he comes as Yahweh (“he is present”), the ever present helper of his people who annihilates their enemies and delivers them. The name “Yahweh” originated in a context where God assured a fearful Moses that he would be with him as he confronted Pharaoh and delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt. See Exod 3.

174 tn Heb “his anger burns, and heaviness of elevation.” The meaning of the phrase “heaviness of elevation” is unclear, for מַשָּׂאָה (masaah, “elevation”) occurs only here. Some understand the term as referring to a cloud (elevated above the earth’s surface), in which case one might translate, “and in heavy clouds” (cf. NAB “with lowering clouds”). Others relate the noun to מָשָׂא (masa’, “burden”) and interpret it as a reference to judgment. In this case one might translate, “and with severe judgment.” The present translation assumes that the noun refers to his glory and that “heaviness” emphasizes its degree.

175 tn Heb “his lips are full of anger, and his tongue is like consuming fire.” The Lord’s lips and tongue are used metonymically for his word (or perhaps his battle cry; see v. 31).

176 tn Heb “his breath is like a flooding river.” This might picture the Lord breathing heavily as he runs down his enemy, but in light of the preceding verse, which mentions his lips and tongue, “breath” probably stands metonymically for the word or battle cry that he expels from his mouth as he shouts. In Isa 34:16 and Ps 33:6 the Lord’s “breath” is associated with his command.

177 tn Heb “shaking nations in a sieve of worthlessness.” It is not certain exactly how שָׁוְא (shavÿ’, “emptiness, worthlessness”) modifies “sieve.” A sieve is used to separate grain from chaff and isolate what is worthless so that it might be discarded. Perhaps the nations are likened to such chaff; God’s judgment will sift them out for destruction.

178 tn Heb “and a bit that leads astray [is] in the jaws of the peoples.” Here the nations are likened to horse that can be controlled by a bit placed in its mouth. In this case the Lord uses his sovereign control over the “horse” to lead it to its demise.

179 tn Heb “[you will have] joy of heart, like the one going with a flute to enter the mountain of the Lord to the Rock of Israel.” The image here is not a foundational rock, but a rocky cliff where people could hide for protection (for example, the fortress of Masada).

180 tn Heb “the Lord will cause the splendor of his voice to be heard.”

181 tn Heb “and reveal the lowering of his arm.”

182 tn Heb “and a flame of consuming fire.”

183 tn Heb “Indeed by the voice of the Lord Assyria will be shattered.”

184 tc The Hebrew text has “every blow from a founded [i.e., “appointed”?] cudgel.” The translation above, with support from a few medieval Hebrew mss, assumes an emendation of מוּסָדָה (musadah, “founded”) to מוּסָרֹה (musaroh, “his discipline”).

185 tn Heb “which the Lord lays on him.”

186 tn Heb “will be with” (KJV similar).

187 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “and with battles of brandishing [weapons?] he will fight against him.” Some prefer to emend וּבְמִלְחֲמוֹת (uvÿmilkhamot, “and with battles of”) to וּבִמְחֹלוֹת (uvimkholot, “and with dancing”). Note the immediately preceding references to musical instruments.

188 tn Or “indeed.”

189 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “for arranged from before [or “yesterday”] is [?].” The meaning of תָּפְתֶּה (tafÿteh), which occurs only here, is unknown. The translation above (as with most English versions) assumes an emendation to תֹּפֶת (tofet, “Topheth”; cf. NASB, NIV, NLT) and places the final hey (ה) on the beginning of the next word as an interrogative particle. Topheth was a place near Jerusalem used as a burial ground (see Jer 7:32; 19:11).

190 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “Also it is made ready for the king, one makes it deep and wide.” If one takes the final hey (ה) on תָּפְתֶּה (tafÿteh) and prefixes it to גָּם (gam) as an interrogative particle (see the preceding note), one can translate, “Is it also made ready for the king?” In this case the question is rhetorical and expects an emphatic affirmative answer, “Of course it is!”

191 tn Heb “its pile of wood, fire and wood one makes abundant.”

sn Apparently this alludes to some type of funeral rite.



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