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Isaiah 21:4-5

Context

21:4 My heart palpitates, 1 

I shake in fear; 2 

the twilight I desired

has brought me terror.

21:5 Arrange the table,

lay out 3  the carpet,

eat and drink! 4 

Get up, you officers,

smear oil on the shields! 5 

1 tn Heb “wanders,” perhaps here, “is confused.”

2 tn Heb “shuddering terrifies me.”

3 tn The precise meaning of the verb in this line is debated. Some prefer to derive the form from the homonymic צָפֹה (tsafoh, “keep watch”) and translate “post a guard” (cf. KJV “watch in the watchtower”; ASV “set the watch”).

4 tn The verbal forms in the first three lines are infinitives absolute, which are functioning here as finite verbs. It is uncertain if the forms should have an imperatival or indicative/descriptive force here.

5 sn Smearing the shields with oil would make them more flexible and effective in battle. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:394.



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