4:26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you 1 today that you will surely and swiftly be removed 2 from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will surely be 3 annihilated. 4:27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you 4 among the nations where the Lord will drive you.
1 sn I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you. This stock formula introduces what is known form-critically as a רִיב (riv) or controversy pattern. It is commonly used in the ancient Near Eastern world in legal contexts and in the OT as a forensic or judicial device to draw attention to Israel’s violation of the
2 tn Or “be destroyed”; KJV “utterly perish”; NLT “will quickly disappear”; CEV “you won’t have long to live.”
3 tn Or “be completely” (so NCV, TEV). It is not certain here if the infinitive absolute indicates the certainty of the following action (cf. NIV) or its degree.
4 tn Heb “you will be left men (i.e., few) of number.”