it is a deserted settlement
and abandoned like the desert.
Calves 2 graze there;
they lie down there
and eat its branches bare. 3
women come and use them for kindling. 5
For these people lack understanding, 6
therefore the one who made them has no compassion on them;
the one who formed them has no mercy on them.
1 sn The identity of this city is uncertain. The context suggests that an Israelite city, perhaps Samaria or Jerusalem, is in view. For discussions of interpretive options see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:496-97, and Paul L. Redditt, “Once Again, the City in Isaiah 24-27,” HAR 10 (1986), 332.
2 tn The singular form in the text is probably collective.
4 tn Heb “are dry” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
5 tn Heb “women come [and] light it.” The city is likened to a dead tree with dried up branches that is only good for firewood.
6 tn Heb “for not a people of understanding [is] he.”