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Isaiah 16:3-4

Context

16:3 “Bring a plan, make a decision! 1 

Provide some shade in the middle of the day! 2 

Hide the fugitives! Do not betray 3  the one who tries to escape!

16:4 Please let the Moabite fugitives live 4  among you.

Hide them 5  from the destroyer!”

Certainly 6  the one who applies pressure will cease, 7 

the destroyer will come to an end,

those who trample will disappear 8  from the earth.

1 sn It is unclear who is being addressed in this verse. Perhaps the prophet, playing the role of a panic stricken Moabite refugee, requests the leaders of Judah (the imperatives are plural) to take pity on the fugitives.

2 tn Heb “Make your shade like night in the midst of noonday.” “Shade” here symbolizes shelter, while the heat of noonday represents the intense suffering of the Moabites. By comparing the desired shade to night, the speaker visualizes a huge dark shadow cast by a large tree that would provide relief from the sun’s heat.

3 tn Heb “disclose, uncover.”

4 tn That is, “live as resident foreigners.”

5 tn Heb “Be a hiding place for them.”

6 tn The present translation understands כִּי (ki) as asseverative, but one could take it as explanatory (“for,” KJV, NASB) or temporal (“when,” NAB, NRSV). In the latter case, v. 4b would be logically connected to v. 5.

7 tn A perfect verbal form is used here and in the next two lines for rhetorical effect; the demise of the oppressor(s) is described as if it had already occurred.

8 tc The Hebrew text has, “they will be finished, the one who tramples, from the earth.” The plural verb form תַּמּוּ, (tammu, “disappear”) could be emended to agree with the singular subject רֹמֵס (romes, “the one who tramples”) or the participle can be emended to a plural (רֹמֵסִם, romesim) to agree with the verb. The translation assumes the latter. Haplography of mem (ם) seems likely; note that the word after רֹמֵס begins with a mem.



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