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Isaiah 11:15-16

Context

11:15 The Lord will divide 1  the gulf 2  of the Egyptian Sea; 3 

he will wave his hand over the Euphrates River 4  and send a strong wind, 5 

he will turn it into seven dried-up streams, 6 

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, 7 

just as there was for Israel,

when 8  they went up from the land of Egypt.

1 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.”

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

3 sn That is, the Red Sea.

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

5 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.

6 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.

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

8 tn Heb “in the day” (so KJV).



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