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Isaiah 24:17-18

Context

24:17 Terror, pit, and snare

are ready to overtake you inhabitants of the earth! 1 

24:18 The one who runs away from the sound of the terror

will fall into the pit; 2 

the one who climbs out of the pit,

will be trapped by the snare.

For the floodgates of the heavens 3  are opened up 4 

and the foundations of the earth shake.

1 tn Heb “[are] upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.” The first line of v. 17 provides another classic example of Hebrew wordplay. The names of the three instruments of judgment (פָח,פַחַת,פַּחַד [pakhad, fakhat, fakh]) all begin with the letters פח (peh-khet) and the first two end in dental consonants (ת/ד, tet/dalet). Once again the repetition of sound draws attention to the statement and contributes to the theme of the inescapability of judgment. As their similar-sounding names suggest, terror, pit, and snare are allies in destroying the objects of divine wrath.

2 tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.

3 tn Heb “from the height”; KJV “from on high.”

4 sn The language reflects the account of the Noahic Flood (see Gen 7:11).



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