4:12 Its foliage was attractive and its fruit plentiful;
on it there was food enough for all.
Under it the wild animals 1 used to seek shade,
and in its branches the birds of the sky used to nest.
All creatures 2 used to feed themselves from it.
a holy sentinel 4 came down from heaven.
‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches!
Strip off its foliage
and scatter its fruit!
Let the animals flee from under it
and the birds from its branches!
1 tn Aram “the beasts of the field.”
2 tn Aram “all flesh.”
3 tn Aram “the visions of my head.”
4 tn Aram “a watcher and a holy one.” The expression is a hendiadys; so also in v. 23. This “watcher” is apparently an angel. The Greek OT (LXX) in fact has ἄγγελος (angelo", “angel”) here. Theodotion simply transliterates the Aramaic word (’ir). The term is sometimes rendered “sentinel” (NAB) or “messenger” (NIV, NLT).
5 tn Aram “in strength.”
6 tn Aram “and thus he was saying.”