1:9 If the Lord who commands armies 1 had not left us a few survivors,
we would have quickly become like Sodom, 2
we would have become like Gomorrah.
1:10 Listen to the Lord’s word,
you leaders of Sodom! 3
Pay attention to our God’s rebuke, 4
people of Gomorrah!
3:9 The look on their faces 5 testifies to their guilt; 6
like the people of Sodom they openly boast of their sin. 7
Too bad for them! 8
For they bring disaster on themselves.
1 tn Traditionally, “the Lord of hosts.” The title pictures God as the sovereign king who has at his disposal a multitude of attendants, messengers, and warriors to do his bidding. In some contexts, like this one, the military dimension of his rulership is highlighted. In this case, the title pictures him as one who leads armies into battle against his enemies.
2 tc The translation assumes that כִּמְעָט (kim’at, “quickly,” literally, “like a little”) goes with what follows, contrary to the MT accents, which take it with what precedes. In this case, one could translate the preceding line, “If the Lord who commands armies had not left us a few survivors.” If כִּמְעָט goes with the preceding line (following the MT accents), this expression highlights the idea that there would only be a few survivors (H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:20; H. Zobel, TDOT 8:456). Israel would not be almost like Sodom but exactly like Sodom.
3 sn Building on the simile of v. 9, the prophet sarcastically addresses the leaders and people of Jerusalem as if they were leaders and residents of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah. The sarcasm is appropriate, for if the judgment is comparable to Sodom’s, that must mean that the sin which prompted the judgment is comparable as well.
4 tn Heb “to the instruction of our God.” In this context, which is highly accusatory and threatening, תּוֹרָה (torah, “law, instruction”) does not refer to mere teaching, but to corrective teaching and rebuke.
5 sn This refers to their proud, arrogant demeanor.
6 tn Heb “answers against them”; NRSV “bears witness against them.”
7 tn Heb “their sin, like Sodom, they declare, they do not conceal [it].”
8 tn Heb “woe to their soul.”