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Isaiah 2:11-17

Context

2:11 Proud men will be brought low,

arrogant men will be humiliated; 1 

the Lord alone will be exalted 2 

in that day.

2:12 Indeed, the Lord who commands armies has planned a day of judgment, 3 

for 4  all the high and mighty,

for all who are proud – they will be humiliated;

2:13 for all the cedars of Lebanon,

that are so high and mighty,

for all the oaks of Bashan; 5 

2:14 for all the tall mountains,

for all the high hills, 6 

2:15 for every high tower,

for every fortified wall,

2:16 for all the large ships, 7 

for all the impressive 8  ships. 9 

2:17 Proud men will be humiliated,

arrogant men will be brought low; 10 

the Lord alone will be exalted 11 

in that day.

1 tn Heb “and the eyes of the pride of men will be brought low, and the arrogance of men will be brought down.” The repetition of the verbs שָׁפַל (shafal) and שָׁחָח (shakhakh) from v. 9 draws attention to the appropriate nature of the judgment. Those proud men who “bow low” before idols will be forced to “bow low” before God when he judges their sin.

2 tn Or “elevated”; CEV “honored.”

3 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] has a day.”

4 tn Or “against” (NAB, NASB, NRSV).

5 sn The cedars of Lebanon and oaks of Bashan were well-known for their size and prominence. They make apt symbols here for powerful men who think of themselves as prominent and secure.

6 sn The high mountains and hills symbolize the apparent security of proud men, as do the high tower and fortified wall of v. 15.

7 tn Heb “the ships of Tarshish.” This probably refers to large ships either made in or capable of traveling to the distant western port of Tarshish.

8 tn Heb “desirable”; NAB, NIV “stately”; NRSV “beautiful.”

9 tn On the meaning of this word, which appears only here in the Hebrew Bible, see H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena (SBLDS), 41-42.

sn The ships mentioned in this verse were the best of their class, and therefore an apt metaphor for the proud men being denounced in this speech.

10 tn Heb “and the pride of men will be brought down, and the arrogance of men will be brought low.” As in v. 11, the repetition of the verbs שָׁפַל (shafal) and שָׁחָח (shakhakh) from v. 9 draws attention to the appropriate nature of the judgment. Those proud men who “bow low” before idols will be forced to “bow low” before God when he judges their sin.

11 tn Or “elevated”; NCV “praised”; CEV “honored.”



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