10:15 Does an ax exalt itself over the one who wields it,
or a saw magnify itself over the one who cuts with it? 1
As if a scepter should brandish the one who raises it,
or a staff should lift up what is not made of wood!
10:33 Look, the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies,
is ready to cut off the branches with terrifying power. 2
The tallest trees 3 will be cut down,
the loftiest ones will be brought low.
10:34 The thickets of the forest will be chopped down with an ax,
and mighty Lebanon will fall. 4
1 tn Heb “the one who pushes it back and forth”; KJV “him that shaketh it”; ASV “him that wieldeth it.”
2 tc The Hebrew text reads “with terrifying power,” or “with a crash.” מַעֲרָצָה (ma’aratsah, “terrifying power” or “crash”) occurs only here. Several have suggested an emendation to מַעֲצָד (ma’atsad, “ax”) parallel to “ax” in v. 34; see HALOT 615 s.v. מַעֲצָד and H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:448.
3 tn Heb “the exalted of the height.” This could refer to the highest branches (cf. TEV) or the tallest trees (cf. NIV, NRSV).
4 tn The Hebrew text has, “and Lebanon, by/as [?] a mighty one, will fall.” The translation above takes the preposition בְּ (bet) prefixed to “mighty one” as indicating identity, “Lebanon, as a mighty one, will fall.” In this case “mighty one” describes Lebanon. (In Ezek 17:23 and Zech 11:2 the adjective is used of Lebanon’s cedars.) Another option is to take the preposition as indicating agency and interpret “mighty one” as a divine title (see Isa 33:21). One could then translate, “and Lebanon will fall by [the agency of] the Mighty One.”