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Isaiah 37:27-29

Context

37:27 Their residents are powerless; 1 

they are terrified and ashamed.

They are as short-lived as plants in the field

or green vegetation. 2 

They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops 3 

when it is scorched by the east wind. 4 

37:28 I know where you live

and everything you do

and how you rage against me. 5 

37:29 Because you rage against me

and the uproar you create has reached my ears, 6 

I will put my hook in your nose, 7 

and my bridle between your lips,

and I will lead you back

the way you came.”

1 tn Heb “short of hand”; KJV, ASV “of small power”; NASB “short of strength.”

2 tn Heb “they are plants in the field and green vegetation.” The metaphor emphasizes how short-lived these seemingly powerful cities really were. See Ps 90:5-6; Isa 40:6-8, 24.

3 tn Heb “[they are] grass on the rooftops.” See the preceding note.

4 tc The Hebrew text has “scorched before the standing grain” (perhaps meaning “before it reaches maturity”), but it is preferable to emend קָמָה (qamah, “standing grain”) to קָדִים (qadim, “east wind”) with the support of 1Q Isaa; cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:657, n. 8.

5 tc Heb “your going out and your coming in and how you have raged against me.” Several scholars have suggested that this line is probably dittographic (note the beginning of the next line). However, most English translations include the statement in question at the end of v. 28 and the beginning of v. 29. Interestingly, the LXX does not have this clause at the end of v. 28 and the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa does not have it at the beginning of v. 29. In light of this ambiguous manuscript evidence, it appears best to retain the clause in both verses.

6 tc Heb “and your complacency comes up into my ears.” The parallelism is improved if שַׁאֲנַנְךָ (shaanankha, “your complacency”) is emended to שְׁאוֹנְךָ (shÿonÿkha, “your uproar”). See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 237-38. However, the LXX seems to support the MT and Sennacherib’s cavalier dismissal of Yahweh depicts an arrogant complacency (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 1:658, n. 10).

7 sn The word-picture has a parallel in Assyrian sculpture. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 238.



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