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Isaiah 28:14-15

Context
The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem

28:14 Therefore, listen to the Lord’s word,

you who mock,

you rulers of these people

who reside in Jerusalem! 1 

28:15 For you say,

“We have made a treaty with death,

with Sheol 2  we have made an agreement. 3 

When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by 4 

it will not reach us.

For we have made a lie our refuge,

we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.” 5 

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 sn Sheol is the underworld, land of the dead, according to the OT world view.

3 tn Elsewhere the noun חֹזֶה (khozeh) refers to a prophet who sees visions. In v. 18 the related term חָזוּת (khazut, “vision”) is used. The parallelism in both verses (note “treaty”) seems to demand a meaning “agreement” for both nouns. Perhaps חֹזֶה and חזוּת are used in a metonymic sense in vv. 15 and 18. Another option is to propose a homonymic root. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:514, and HALOT 301 s.v. II חֹזֶה.

4 tn Heb “the overwhelming scourge, when it passes by” (NRSV similar).

5 sn “Lie” and “deceitful word” would not be the terms used by the people. They would likely use the words “promise” and “reliable word,” but the prophet substitutes “lie” and “deceitful word” to emphasize that this treaty with death will really prove to be disappointing.



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