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Isaiah 11:11-16

Context
11:11 At that time 1  the sovereign master 2  will again lift his hand 3  to reclaim 4  the remnant of his people 5  from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, 6  Cush, 7  Elam, Shinar, 8  Hamath, and the seacoasts. 9 

11:12 He will lift a signal flag for the nations;

he will gather Israel’s dispersed people 10 

and assemble Judah’s scattered people

from the four corners of the earth.

11:13 Ephraim’s jealousy will end, 11 

and Judah’s hostility 12  will be eliminated.

Ephraim will no longer be jealous of Judah,

and Judah will no longer be hostile toward Ephraim.

11:14 They will swoop down 13  on the Philistine hills to the west; 14 

together they will loot the people of the east.

They will take over Edom and Moab, 15 

and the Ammonites will be their subjects.

11:15 The Lord will divide 16  the gulf 17  of the Egyptian Sea; 18 

he will wave his hand over the Euphrates River 19  and send a strong wind, 20 

he will turn it into seven dried-up streams, 21 

and enable them to walk across in their sandals.

11:16 There will be a highway leading out of Assyria

for the remnant of his people, 22 

just as there was for Israel,

when 23  they went up from the land of Egypt.

1 tn Or “in that day” (KJV). The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.

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

3 tc The Hebrew text reads, “the sovereign master will again, a second time, his hand.” The auxiliary verb יוֹסִיף (yosif), which literally means “add,” needs a main verb to complete it. Consequently many emend שֵׁנִית (shenit, “a second time”) to an infinitive. Some propose the form שַׁנֹּת (shannot, a Piel infinitive construct from שָׁנָה, shanah) and relate it semantically to an Arabic cognate meaning “to be high.” If the Hebrew text is retained a verb must be supplied. “Second time” would allude back to the events of the Exodus (see vv. 15-16).

4 tn Or “acquire”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV “recover.”

5 tn Heb “the remnant of his people who remain.”

6 sn Perhaps a reference to Upper (i.e., southern) Egypt (so NIV, NLT; NCV “South Egypt”).

7 tn Or “Ethiopia” (NAB, NRSV, NLT).

8 tn Or “Babylonia” (NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT).

9 tn Or perhaps, “the islands of the sea.”

10 tn Or “the banished of Israel,” i.e., the exiles.

11 tn Heb “turn aside”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “depart.”

12 tn Heb “hostile ones of Judah.” Elsewhere when the substantival participle of צָרָר (tsarar) takes a pronominal suffix or appears in a construct relationship, the following genitive is objective. (For a list of texts see BDB 865 s.v. III צָרַר) In this case the phrase “hostile ones of Judah” means “those who are hostile toward Judah,” i.e., Judah’s enemies. However, the parallel couplet that follows suggests that Judah’s hostility toward Ephraim is in view. In this case “hostile ones of Judah” means “hostile ones from Judah.” The translation above assumes the latter, giving the immediate context priority over general usage.

13 tn Heb “fly.” Ephraim/Judah are compared to a bird of prey.

14 tn Heb “on the shoulder of Philistia toward the sea.” This refers to the slopes of the hill country west of Judah. See HALOT 506 s.v. כָּתֵף.

15 tn Heb “Edom and Moab [will be the place of] the outstretching of their hand,” i.e., included in their area of jurisdiction (see HALOT 648 s.v. ח(וֹ)מִשְׁלֹ).

16 tn The verb is usually understood as “put under the ban, destroy,” or emended to חָרָב (kharav, “dry up”). However, HALOT 354 s.v. II חרם proposes a homonymic root meaning “divide.”

17 tn Heb “tongue” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).

18 sn That is, the Red Sea.

19 tn Heb “the river”; capitalized in some English versions (e.g., ASV, NASB, NRSV) as a reference to the Euphrates River.

20 tn Heb “with the [?] of his wind” [or “breath”]. The Hebrew term עַיָם (’ayam) occurs only here. Some attempt to relate the word to an Arabic root and translate, “scorching [or “hot”] wind.” This interpretation fits especially well if one reads “dry up” in the previous line. Others prefer to emend the form to עֹצֶם (’otsem, “strong”). See HALOT 817 s.v. עֲצַם.

21 tn Heb “seven streams.” The Hebrew term נַחַל (nakhal, “stream”) refers to a wadi, or seasonal stream, which runs during the rainy season, but is otherwise dry. The context (see v. 15b) here favors the translation, “dried up streams.” The number seven suggests totality and completeness. Here it indicates that God’s provision for escape will be thorough and more than capable of accommodating the returning exiles.

22 tn Heb “and there will be a highway for the remnant of his people who remain, from Assyria.”

23 tn Heb “in the day” (so KJV).



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