the people 3 of Judah are the cultivated place in which he took delight.
He waited for justice, but look what he got – disobedience! 4
He waited for fairness, but look what he got – cries for help! 5
1 tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).
2 tn Heb “the house of Israel” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
3 tn Heb “men,” but in a generic sense.
4 tn Heb “but, look, disobedience.” The precise meaning of מִשְׂפָּח (mishpakh), which occurs only here in the OT, is uncertain. Some have suggested a meaning “bloodshed.” The term is obviously chosen for its wordplay value; it sounds very much like מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat, “justice”). The sound play draws attention to the point being made; the people have not met the Lord’s expectations.
5 tn Heb “but, look, a cry for help.” The verb (“he waited”) does double duty in the parallelism. צְעָקָה (tsa’qah) refers to the cries for help made by the oppressed. It sounds very much like צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah, “fairness”). The sound play draws attention to the point being made; the people have not met the Lord’s expectations.