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
those who also accumulate landed property 7
until there is no land left, 8
and you are the only landowners remaining within the land. 9
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.
7 tn Heb “[who] bring a field near a field.”
sn This verse does not condemn real estate endeavors per se, but refers to the way in which the rich bureaucrats of Judah accumulated property by exploiting the poor, in violation of the covenantal principle that the land belonged to God and that every family was to have its own portion of land. See the note at 1:23.
8 tn Heb “until the end of the place”; NASB “until there is no more room.”
9 tn Heb “and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.”