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Isaiah 33:1

Context
The Lord Will Restore Zion

33:1 The destroyer is as good as dead, 1 

you who have not been destroyed!

The deceitful one is as good as dead, 2 

the one whom others have not deceived!

When you are through destroying, you will be destroyed;

when you finish 3  deceiving, others will deceive you!

Isaiah 33:23

Context

33:23 Though at this time your ropes are slack, 4 

the mast is not secured, 5 

and the sail 6  is not unfurled,

at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot; 7 

even the lame will drag off plunder. 8 

1 tn Heb “Woe [to] the destroyer.”

sn In this context “the destroyer” appears to refer collectively to the hostile nations (vv. 3-4). Assyria would probably have been primary in the minds of the prophet and his audience.

2 tn Heb “and the deceitful one”; NAB, NIV “O traitor”; NRSV “you treacherous one.” In the parallel structure הוֹי (hoy, “woe [to]”) does double duty.

3 tc The form in the Hebrew text appears to derive from an otherwise unattested verb נָלָה (nalah). The translation follows the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa in reading ככלתך, a Piel infinitival form from the verbal root כָּלָה (kalah), meaning “finish.”

4 tn The words “though at this time” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The first half of the verse is addressed to Judah and contrasts the nation’s present weakness with its future prosperity. Judah is compared to a ship that is incapable of sailing.

5 tn Heb “they do not fasten the base of their mast.” On כֵּן (ken, “base”) see BDB 487 s.v. III כֵּן and HALOT 483 s.v. III כֵּן.

6 tn Or perhaps, “flag.”

7 tn Heb “then there will be divided up loot of plunder [in] abundance.”

8 sn Judah’s victory over its enemies will be so thorough there will be more than enough plunder for everyone, even slow-moving lame men who would normally get left out in the rush to gather the loot.



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