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Isaiah 19:18-19

Context

19:18 At that time five cities 1  in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord who commands armies. One will be called the City of the Sun. 2  19:19 At that time there will be an altar for the Lord in the middle of the land of Egypt, as well as a sacred pillar 3  dedicated to the Lord at its border.

1 sn The significance of the number “five” in this context is uncertain. For a discussion of various proposals, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:376-77.

2 tc The Hebrew text has עִיר הַהֶרֶס (’ir haheres, “City of Destruction”; cf. NASB, NIV) but this does not fit the positive emphasis of vv. 18-22. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa and some medieval Hebrew mss read עִיר הָחֶרֶס (’ir hakheres, “City of the Sun,” i.e., Heliopolis). This reading also finds support from Symmachus’ Greek version, the Targum, and the Vulgate. See HALOT 257 s.v. חֶרֶס and HALOT 355 s.v. II חֶרֶס.

3 tn This word is sometimes used of a sacred pillar associated with pagan worship, but here it is associated with the worship of the Lord.



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