and you will ask yourselves, 2 “Where is the scribe?
Where is the one who weighs the money?
Where is the one who counts the towers?” 3
whose language you do not comprehend, 5
whose derisive speech you do not understand. 6
1 tn Heb “your heart will meditate on terror.”
2 tn The words “and you will ask yourselves” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons.
3 sn The people refer to various Assyrian officials who were responsible for determining the amount of taxation or tribute Judah must pay to the Assyrian king.
4 tn The Hebrew form נוֹעָז (no’az) is a Niphal participle derived from יָעַז (ya’az, an otherwise unattested verb) or from עָזָז (’azaz, “be strong,” unattested elsewhere in the Niphal). Some prefer to emend the form to לוֹעֵז (lo’ez) which occurs in Ps 114:1 with the meaning “speak a foreign language.” See HALOT 809 s.v. עזז, 533 s.v. לעז. In this case, one might translate “people who speak a foreign language.”
5 tn Heb “a people too deep of lip to hear.” The phrase “deep of lip” must be an idiom meaning “lips that speak words that are unfathomable [i.e., incomprehensible].”