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Isaiah 3:12

Context

3:12 Oppressors treat my 1  people cruelly;

creditors rule over them. 2 

My people’s leaders mislead them;

they give you confusing directions. 3 

Isaiah 3:14

Context

3:14 The Lord comes to pronounce judgment

on the leaders of his people and their officials.

He says, 4  “It is you 5  who have ruined 6  the vineyard! 7 

You have stashed in your houses what you have stolen from the poor. 8 

1 sn This may refer to the prophet or to the Lord.

2 tc The Hebrew text appears to read literally, “My people, his oppressors, he deals severely, and women rule over them.” The correct text and precise meaning of the verse are debated. The translation above assumes (1) an emendation of נֹגְשָׂיו (nogÿsayv, “his oppressors”) to נֹגְשִׂים (nogÿshim, “oppressors”) by moving the mem (ם) on the following form to the end of the word and dropping the vav (ו) as virtually dittographic; (2) an emendation of מְעוֹלֵל (mÿolel, a singular participle that does not agree with the preceding plural subject) to עֹלְלוּ (’olÿlu), a third plural Poel perfect from עָלַל (’alal, “deal severely”; note that the following form begins with a vav [ו]; the text may be haplographic or misdivided); and (3) an emendation (with support from the LXX) of נָשִׁים (nashim, “women”) to נֹשִׁים (noshim, “creditors”; a participle from נָשַׁא, nasa’). Another option is to emend מְעוֹלֵל to עוֹלְלִים (’olÿlim, “children”) and read, “My people’s oppressors are children; women rule over them.” In this case the point is the same as in v. 4; the leadership void left by the judgment will be filled by those incompetent to lead the community – children and women. (The text reflects the ancient Israelite patriarchal mindset.)

3 tn Heb “and the way of your paths they confuse.” The verb בָּלַע (bala’, “confuse”; HALOT 135 s.v. I בלע) is a homonym of the more common בָּלַע (“swallow”; see HALOT 134 s.v. בלע).

4 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn The pronominal element is masculine plural; the leaders are addressed.

6 tn The verb בָּעַר (baar, “graze, ruin”; HALOT 146 s.v. II בער) is a homonym of the more common בָּעַר (baar, “burn”; see HALOT 145 s.v. I בער).

7 sn The vineyard is a metaphor for the nation here. See 5:1-7.

8 tn Heb “the plunder of the poor [is] in your houses” (so NASB).



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