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Isaiah 34:5-8

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.

34:7 Wild oxen will be slaughtered 10  along with them,

as well as strong bulls. 11 

Their land is drenched with blood,

their soil is covered with fat.

34:8 For the Lord has planned a day of revenge, 12 

a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion. 13 

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).

10 tn Heb “will go down”; NAB “shall be struck down.”

11 tn Heb “and bulls along with strong ones.” Perhaps this refers to the leaders.

12 tn Heb “for a day of vengeance [is] for the Lord.”

13 tn Heb “a year of repayment for the strife of Zion.” The translation assumes that רִיב (riv) refers to Edom’s hostility toward Zion. Another option is to understand רִיב (riv) as referring to the Lord’s taking up Zion’s cause. In this case one might translate, “a time when he will repay Edom and vindicate Zion.”



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