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Isaiah 5:26-28

Context

5:26 He lifts a signal flag for a distant nation, 1 

he whistles for it to come from the far regions of the earth.

Look, they 2  come quickly and swiftly.

5:27 None tire or stumble,

they don’t stop to nap or sleep.

They don’t loosen their belts,

or unstrap their sandals to rest. 3 

5:28 Their arrows are sharpened,

and all their bows are prepared. 4 

The hooves of their horses are hard as flint, 5 

and their chariot wheels are like a windstorm. 6 

1 tc The Hebrew text has literally, “for nations from a distance.” The following verses use singular forms to describe this nation, so the final mem (ם) on לְגּוֹיִם (lÿgoyim) may be enclitic or dittographic. In the latter case one could read לְגוֹי מֵרָחוֹק (lÿgoy merakhoq, “for a nation from a distance”; see Deut 28:49; Joel 3:8). Another possibility is to emend the text from לַגּוֹיִם מֵרָחוֹק (laggoyim merakhoq) to לְגוֹי מִמֶּרְחָק (lÿgoy mimmerkhaq, “for a nation from a distant place”) a phrase which occurs in Jer 5:15. In this case an error of misdivision has occurred in MT, the mem of the prefixed preposition being accidentally taken as a plural ending on the preceding word.

2 tn Heb “he.” Singular forms are used throughout vv. 26-30 to describe this nation, but for stylistic reasons the translation uses the plural for these collective singulars.

3 tn Heb “and the belt on his waist is not opened, and the thong of his sandals is not torn in two.”

4 tn Heb “bent” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NIV “are strung.”

5 tn Heb “regarded like flint.”

6 sn They are like a windstorm in their swift movement and in the way they kick up dust.



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