Someone calls to me from Seir, 2
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?” 3
21:12 The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but then night. 4
If you want to ask, ask;
come back again.” 5
Look, it now descends on Edom, 8
on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”
34:6 The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,
it is covered 9 with fat;
it drips 10 with the blood of young rams and goats
and is covered 11 with the fat of rams’ kidneys.
a bloody 14 slaughter in the land of Edom.
as well as strong bulls. 16
Their land is drenched with blood,
their soil is covered with fat.
a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion. 18
and her soil into brimstone;
her land will become burning pitch.
its smoke will ascend continually.
Generation after generation it will be a wasteland
and no one will ever pass through it again.
all kinds of wild birds 23 will settle in it.
The Lord 24 will stretch out over her
the measuring line of ruin
34:12 Her nobles will have nothing left to call a kingdom
and all her officials will disappear. 27
34:13 Her fortresses will be overgrown with thorns;
thickets and weeds will grow 28 in her fortified cities.
Jackals will settle there;
ostriches will live there. 29
wild goats will bleat to one another. 31
Yes, nocturnal animals 32 will rest there
and make for themselves a nest. 33
they will hatch them and protect them. 36
Yes, hawks 37 will gather there,
each with its mate.
dressed in bright red, coming from Bozrah? 39
who marches confidently 42 because of his great strength?
“It is I, the one who announces vindication,
and who is able to deliver!” 43
63:2 Why are your clothes red?
Why do you look like someone who has stomped on grapes in a vat? 44
63:3 “I have stomped grapes in the winepress all by myself;
no one from the nations joined me.
I stomped on them 45 in my anger;
I trampled them down in my rage.
Their juice splashed on my garments,
and stained 46 all my clothes.
63:4 For I looked forward to the day of vengeance,
and then payback time arrived. 47
63:5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was shocked because there was no one offering support. 48
So my right arm accomplished deliverance;
my raging anger drove me on. 49
63:6 I trampled nations in my anger,
I made them drunk 50 in my rage,
I splashed their blood on the ground.” 51
1 tn The noun דּוּמָה (dumah) means “silence,” but here it is a proper name, probably referring to a site in northern Arabia or to the nation of Edom. See BDB 189 s.v. II דּוּמָה. If Dumah was an area in northern Arabia, it would be of interest to the Edomites because of its strategic position on trade routes which they used. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:398.
2 sn Seir is another name for Edom. See BDB 973 s.v. שֵׂעִיר.
3 sn The “night” probably here symbolizes distress and difficult times. See BDB 539 s.v. לַיְלָה.
4 sn Dumah will experience some relief, but it will be short-lived as night returns.
5 sn The point of the watchman’s final instructions (“if you want to ask, ask; come again”) is unclear. Perhaps they are included to add realism to the dramatic portrayal. The watchman sends the questioner away with the words, “Feel free to come back and ask again.”
6 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Lord speaks at this point.
7 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] my sword is drenched in the heavens.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has תראה (“[my sword] appeared [in the heavens]”), but this is apparently an attempt to make sense out of a difficult metaphor. Cf. NIV “My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.”
sn In v. 4 the “host of the heaven” refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets, see, among others, Deut 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr 33:3, 5) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7; Isa 14:13). As in 24:21, they are viewed here as opposing God and being defeated in battle.
8 sn Edom is mentioned here as epitomizing the hostile nations that oppose God.
9 tn The verb is a rare Hotpaal passive form. See GKC 150 §54.h.
10 tn The words “it drips” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
11 tn The words “and is covered” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
12 tn Heb “for there is a sacrifice to the Lord.”
13 sn The Lord’s judgment of Edom is compared to a bloody sacrificial scene.
14 tn Heb “great” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
15 tn Heb “will go down”; NAB “shall be struck down.”
16 tn Heb “and bulls along with strong ones.” Perhaps this refers to the leaders.
17 tn Heb “for a day of vengeance [is] for the Lord.”
18 tn Heb “a year of repayment for the strife of Zion.” The translation assumes that רִיב (riv) refers to Edom’s hostility toward Zion. Another option is to understand רִיב (riv) as referring to the Lord’s taking up Zion’s cause. In this case one might translate, “a time when he will repay Edom and vindicate Zion.”
19 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Edom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
20 tn Heb “it will not be extinguished.”
21 tn קָאַת (qa’at) refers to some type of bird (cf. Lev 11:18; Deut 14:17) that was typically found near ruins (see Zeph 2:14). קִפּוֹד (qippod) may also refer to a type of bird (NAB “hoot owl”; NIV “screech owl”; TEV “ravens”), but some have suggested a rodent may be in view (cf. NCV “small animals”; ASV “porcupine”; NASB, NRSV “hedgehog”).
22 tn Heb “will possess it” (so NIV).
24 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
25 tn Heb “stones,” i.e., the stones used in a plumb bob.
27 tn Heb “will be nothing”; NCV, TEV, NLT “will all be gone.”
28 tn The words “will grow” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
29 tc Heb “and she will be a settlement for wild dogs, a dwelling place for ostriches.” The translation assumes an emendation of חָצִיר (khatsir, “grass”) to חָצֵר (khatser, “settlement”). One of the Qumran scrolls of Isaiah (1QIsaa) supports this emendation (cf. HALOT 344 s.v. II חָצִיר)
30 tn Heb “will meet” (so NIV); NLT “will mingle there.”
31 tn Heb “and a goat will call to its neighbor.”
32 tn The precise meaning of לִּילִית (lilit) is unclear, though in this context the word certainly refers to some type of wild animal or bird. The word appears to be related to לַיְלָה (laylah, “night”). Some interpret it as the name of a female night demon, on the basis of an apparent Akkadian cognate used as the name of a demon. Later Jewish legends also identified Lilith as a demon. Cf. NRSV “Lilith.”
33 tn Heb “and will find for themselves a resting place.”
34 tn Hebrew קִפּוֹז (qippoz) occurs only here; the precise meaning of the word is uncertain.
35 tn For this proposed meaning for Hebrew מָלַט (malat), see HALOT 589 s.v. I מלט.
36 tn Heb “and brood [over them] in her shadow.”
37 tn The precise meaning of דַּיָּה (dayyah) is uncertain, though the term appears to refer to some type of bird of prey, perhaps a vulture.
39 tn Heb “[in] bright red garments, from Bozrah.”
40 tn The interrogative particle is understood by ellipsis; note the first line of the verse.
41 tn Heb “honored in his clothing”; KJV, ASV “glorious in his apparel.”
43 tn Heb “I, [the one] speaking in vindication [or “righteousness”], great to deliver.”
44 tn Heb “and your garments like one who treads in a vat?”
46 tn Heb “and I stained.” For discussion of the difficult verb form, see HALOT 170 s.v. II גאל. Perhaps the form is mixed, combining the first person forms of the imperfect (note the alef prefix) and perfect (note the תי- ending).
47 tn Heb “for the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my revenge came.” The term גְּאוּלַי (gÿ’ulai) is sometimes translated here “my redemption,” for the verbal root גאל often means “deliver, buy back.” A גֹּאֵל (go’el, “kinsman-redeemer”) was responsible for protecting the extended family’s interests, often by redeeming property that had been sold outside the family. However, the responsibilities of a גֹּאֵל extended beyond financial concerns. He was also responsible for avenging the shed blood of a family member (see Num 35:19-27; Deut 19:6-12). In Isa 63:4, where vengeance is a prominent theme (note the previous line), it is probably this function of the family protector that is in view. The Lord pictures himself as a blood avenger who waits for the day of vengeance to arrive and then springs into action.
49 tn Heb “and my anger, it supported me”; NIV “my own wrath sustained me.”