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Isaiah 47:1-5

Context
Babylon Will Fall

47:1 “Fall down! Sit in the dirt,

O virgin 1  daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground, not on a throne,

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, 2  you will no longer be called delicate and pampered.

47:2 Pick up millstones and grind flour!

Remove your veil,

strip off your skirt,

expose your legs,

cross the streams!

47:3 Let your private parts be exposed!

Your genitals will be on display! 3 

I will get revenge;

I will not have pity on anyone,” 4 

47:4 says our protector –

the Lord who commands armies is his name,

the Holy One of Israel. 5 

47:5 “Sit silently! Go to a hiding place, 6 

O daughter of the Babylonians!

Indeed, 7  you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’

1 tn בְּתוּלַה (bÿtulah) often refers to a virgin, but the phrase “virgin daughter” is apparently stylized (see also 23:12; 37:22). In the extended metaphor of this chapter, where Babylon is personified as a queen (vv. 5, 7), she is depicted as being both a wife and mother (vv. 8-9).

2 tn Or “For” (NASB, NRSV).

3 tn Heb “Your shame will be seen.” In this context “shame” is a euphemism referring to the genitals.

4 tn Heb “I will not meet a man.” The verb פָּגַע (pagah) apparently carries the nuance “meet with kindness” here (cf. 64:5, and see BDB 803 s.v. Qal.2).

5 tc The Hebrew text reads, “Our redeemer – the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” The ancient Greek version adds “says” before “our redeemer.” אָמַר (’amar) may have accidentally dropped from the text by virtual haplography. Note that the preceding word אָדָם (’adam) is graphically similar.

sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

6 tn Heb “darkness,” which may indicate a place of hiding where a fugitive would seek shelter and protection.

7 tn Or “For” (NASB, NRSV).



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