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Isaiah 34:5-6

Context

34:5 He says, 1  “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers. 2 

Look, it now descends on Edom, 3 

on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”

34:6 The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,

it is covered 4  with fat;

it drips 5  with the blood of young rams and goats

and is covered 6  with the fat of rams’ kidneys.

For the Lord is holding a sacrifice 7  in Bozrah, 8 

a bloody 9  slaughter in the land of Edom.

1 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Lord speaks at this point.

2 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] my sword is drenched in the heavens.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has תראה (“[my sword] appeared [in the heavens]”), but this is apparently an attempt to make sense out of a difficult metaphor. Cf. NIV “My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.”

sn In v. 4 the “host of the heaven” refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets, see, among others, Deut 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr 33:3, 5) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7; Isa 14:13). As in 24:21, they are viewed here as opposing God and being defeated in battle.

3 sn Edom is mentioned here as epitomizing the hostile nations that oppose God.

4 tn The verb is a rare Hotpaal passive form. See GKC 150 §54.h.

5 tn The words “it drips” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn The words “and is covered” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

7 tn Heb “for there is a sacrifice to the Lord.”

8 sn The Lord’s judgment of Edom is compared to a bloody sacrificial scene.

9 tn Heb “great” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).



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