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Isaiah 14:1-6

Context

14:1 The Lord will certainly have compassion on Jacob; 1  he will again choose Israel as his special people 2  and restore 3  them to their land. Resident foreigners will join them and unite with the family 4  of Jacob. 14:2 Nations will take them and bring them back to their own place. Then the family of Jacob will make foreigners their servants as they settle in the Lord’s land. 5  They will make their captors captives and rule over the ones who oppressed them. 14:3 When the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and anxiety, 6  and from the hard labor which you were made to perform, 14:4 you will taunt the king of Babylon with these words: 7 

“Look how the oppressor has met his end!

Hostility 8  has ceased!

14:5 The Lord has broken the club of the wicked,

the scepter of rulers.

14:6 It 9  furiously struck down nations

with unceasing blows. 10 

It angrily ruled over nations,

oppressing them without restraint. 11 

Isaiah 14:17-18

Context

14:17 Is this the one who made the world like a desert,

who ruined its 12  cities,

and refused to free his prisoners so they could return home?”’ 13 

14:18 14 As for all the kings of the nations,

all of them 15  lie down in splendor, 16 

each in his own tomb. 17 

1 tn The sentence begins with כִּי (ki), which is understood as asseverative (“certainly”) in the translation. Another option is to translate, “For the Lord will have compassion.” In this case one of the reasons for Babylon’s coming demise (13:22b) is the Lord’s desire to restore his people.

2 tn The words “as his special people” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

3 tn Or “settle” (NASB, NIV, NCV, NLT).

4 tn Heb “house.”

5 tn Heb “and the house of Jacob will take possession of them [i.e., the nations], on the land of the Lord, as male servants and female servants.”

6 tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.

7 tn Heb “you will lift up this taunt over the king of Babylon, saying.”

8 tc The word in the Hebrew text (מַדְהֵבָה, madhevah) is unattested elsewhere and of uncertain meaning. Many (following the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa) assume a dalet-resh (ד-ר) confusion and emend the form to מַרְהֵבָה (marhevah, “onslaught”). See HALOT 548 s.v. II *מִדָּה and HALOT 633 s.v. *מַרְהֵבָה.

9 tn Or perhaps, “he” (cf. KJV; NCV “the king of Babylon”). The present translation understands the referent of the pronoun (“it”) to be the “club/scepter” of the preceding line.

10 tn Heb “it was striking down nations in fury [with] a blow without ceasing.” The participle (“striking down”) suggests repeated or continuous action in past time.

11 tn Heb “it was ruling in anger nations [with] oppression without restraint.” The participle (“ruling”) suggests repeated or continuous action in past time.

12 tc The pronominal suffix is masculine, even though its antecedent appears to be the grammatically feminine noun “world.” Some have suggested that the form עָרָיו (’arayv, plural noun with third masculine singular suffix) should be emended to עָרֶיהָ (’areha, plural noun with third feminine singular suffix). This emendation may be unnecessary in light of other examples of lack of agreement a suffix and its antecedent noun.

13 tn Heb “and his prisoners did not let loose to [their] homes.” This really means, “he did not let loose his prisoners and send them back to their homes.’ On the elliptical style, see GKC 366 §117.o.

14 sn It is unclear where the quotation of the kings, begun in v. 10b, ends. However, the reference to the “kings of the nations” in v. 18 (see also v. 9) seems to indicate that the quotation has ended at this point and that Israel’s direct taunt (cf. vv. 4b-10a) has resumed. In fact the references to the “kings of the nations” may form a stylistic inclusio or frame around the quotation.

15 tc The phrase “all of them” does not appear in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa.

16 sn This refers to the typically extravagant burial of kings.

17 tn Heb “house” (so KJV, ASV), but in this context a tomb is in view. Note the verb “lie down” in the preceding line and the reference to a “grave” in the next line.



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