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Isaiah 14:13-15

Context

14:13 You said to yourself, 1 

“I will climb up to the sky.

Above the stars of El 2 

I will set up my throne.

I will rule on the mountain of assembly

on the remote slopes of Zaphon. 3 

14:14 I will climb up to the tops 4  of the clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High!” 5 

14:15 But you were brought down 6  to Sheol,

to the remote slopes of the pit. 7 

1 tn Heb “you, you said in your heart.”

2 sn In Canaanite mythology the stars of El were astral deities under the authority of the high god El.

3 sn Zaphon, the Canaanite version of Olympus, was the “mountain of assembly” where the gods met.

4 tn Heb “the high places.” This word often refers to the high places where pagan worship was conducted, but here it probably refers to the “backs” or tops of the clouds. See HALOT 136 s.v. בָּמָה.

5 sn Normally in the OT the title “Most High” belongs to the God of Israel, but in this context, where the mythological overtones are so strong, it probably refers to the Canaanite high god El.

6 tn The prefixed verb form is taken as a preterite. Note the use of perfects in v. 12 to describe the king’s downfall.

7 tn The Hebrew term בּוּר (bor, “cistern”) is sometimes used metaphorically to refer to the place of the dead or the entrance to the underworld.



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