with his destructive, 2 great, and powerful sword
Leviathan the fast-moving 3 serpent,
Leviathan the squirming serpent;
he will kill the sea monster. 4
sing about a delightful vineyard! 6
27:12 At that time 7 the Lord will shake the tree, 8 from the Euphrates River 9 to the Stream of Egypt. Then you will be gathered up one by one, O Israelites. 10 27:13 At that time 11 a large 12 trumpet will be blown, and the ones lost 13 in the land of Assyria will come, as well as the refugees in 14 the land of Egypt. They will worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem. 15
1 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV).
2 tn Heb “hard, severe”; cf. NAB, NRSV “cruel”; KJV “sore”; NLT “terrible.”
3 tn Heb “fleeing” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). Some translate “slippery” or “slithering.”
4 tn The description of Leviathan should be compared with the following excerpts from Ugaritic mythological texts: (1) “Was not the dragon (Ugaritic tnn, cognate with Hebrew תַנִּין [tannin, translated “sea monster” here]) vanquished and captured? I did destroy the wriggling (Ugaritic ’qltn, cognate to Hebrew עֲקַלָּתוֹן [’aqallaton, translated “squirming” here]) serpent, the tyrant with seven heads (cf. Ps 74:14).” (See CTA 3 iii 38-39.) (2) “for all that you smote Leviathan the slippery (Ugaritic brh, cognate to Hebrew בָּרִחַ [bariakh, translated “fast-moving” here]) serpent, [and] made an end of the wriggling serpent, the tyrant with seven heads” (See CTA 5 i 1-3.)
sn In the Ugaritic mythological texts Leviathan is a sea creature that symbolizes the destructive water of the sea and in turn the forces of chaos that threaten the established order. Isaiah here applies imagery from Canaanite mythology to Yahweh’s eschatological victory over his enemies. Elsewhere in the OT, the battle with the sea motif is applied to Yahweh’s victories over the forces of chaos at creation and in history (cf. Pss 74:13-14; 77:16-20; 89:9-10; Isa 51:9-10). Yahweh’s subjugation of the chaos waters is related to His kingship (cf. Pss 29:3, 10; 93:3-4). Apocalyptic literature employs the imagery as well. The beasts of Dan 7 emerge from the sea, while Rev 13 speaks of a seven-headed beast coming from the sea.
5 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV).
6 tn Heb “vineyard of delight,” or “vineyard of beauty.” Many medieval
8 tn Heb “the Lord will beat out.” The verb is used of beating seeds or grain to separate the husk from the kernel (see Judg 6:11; Ruth 2:17; Isa 28:27), and of beating the olives off the olive tree (Deut 24:20). The latter metaphor may be in view here, where a tree metaphor has been employed in the preceding verses. See also 17:6.
9 tn Heb “the river,” a frequent designation in the OT for the Euphrates. For clarity most modern English versions substitute the name “Euphrates” for “the river” here.
10 sn The Israelites will be freed from exile (likened to beating the olives off the tree) and then gathered (likened to collecting the olives).
12 tn Traditionally, “great” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT); CEV “loud.”
13 tn Or “the ones perishing.”
14 tn Or “the ones driven into.”