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Isaiah 33:18-20

Context

33:18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced, 1 

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 

33:19 You will no longer see a defiant 4  people

whose language you do not comprehend, 5 

whose derisive speech you do not understand. 6 

33:20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!

You 7  will see Jerusalem, 8 

a peaceful settlement,

a tent that stays put; 9 

its stakes will never be pulled up;

none of its ropes will snap in two.

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 (noaz) is a Niphal participle derived from יָעַז (yaaz, an otherwise unattested verb) or from עָזָז (’azaz, “be strong,” unattested elsewhere in the Niphal). Some prefer to emend the form to לוֹעֵז (loez) 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].”

6 tn Heb “derision of tongue there is no understanding.” The Niphal of לָעַג (laag) occurs only here. In the Qal and Hiphil the verb means “to deride, mock.” A related noun is used in 28:11.

7 tn Heb “your eyes” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

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

9 tn Or “that does not travel”; NASB “which shall not be folded.”



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