the one who sacrifices a lamb also breaks a dog’s neck; 2
the one who presents an offering includes pig’s blood with it; 3
the one who offers incense also praises an idol. 4
They have decided to behave this way; 5
they enjoy these disgusting practices. 6
I will bring on them what they dread,
because I called, and no one responded,
I spoke and they did not listen.
They did evil before me; 8
they chose to do what displeases me.”
66:5 Hear the word of the Lord,
you who respect what he has to say! 9
Your countrymen, 10 who hate you
and exclude you, supposedly for the sake of my name,
say, “May the Lord be glorified,
then we will witness your joy.” 11
But they will be put to shame.
66:6 The sound of battle comes from the city;
the sound comes from the temple!
It is the sound of the Lord paying back his enemies.
1 tn Heb “one who slaughters a bull, one who strikes down a man.” Some understand a comparison here and in the following lines. In God’s sight the one who sacrifices is like (i.e., regarded as) a murderer or one whose worship is ritually defiled or idolatrous. The translation above assumes that the language is not metaphorical, but descriptive of the sinners’ hypocritical behavior. (Note the last two lines of the verse, which suggests they are guilty of abominable practices.) On the one hand, they act pious and offer sacrifices; but at the same time they commit violent crimes against men, defile their sacrifices, and worship other gods.
2 tn Heb “one who sacrifices a lamb, one who breaks a dog’s neck.” Some understand a comparison, but see the previous note.
sn The significance of breaking a dog’s neck is uncertain, though the structure of the statement when compared to the preceding and following lines suggests the action is viewed in a negative light. According to Exod 13:13 and 34:20, one was to “redeem” a firstborn donkey by offering a lamb; if one did not “redeem” the firstborn donkey in this way, then its neck must be broken. According to Deut 21:1-9 a heifer’s neck was to be broken as part of the atonement ritual to purify the land from the guilt of bloodshed. It is not certain if these passages relate in any way to the action described in Isa 66:3.
3 tn Heb “one who offers an offering, pig’s blood.” Some understand a comparison, but see the note at the end of the first line.
4 tn Heb “one who offers incense as a memorial offering, one who blesses something false.” Some understand a comparison, but see the note at the end of the first line. אָוֶן (’aven), which has a wide variety of attested nuances, here refers metonymically to an idol. See HALOT 22 s.v. and BDB 20 s.v. 2.
5 tn Heb “also they have chosen their ways.”
6 tn Heb “their being [or “soul”] takes delight in their disgusting [things].”
7 tn The precise meaning of the noun is uncertain. It occurs only here and in 3:4 (but see the note there). It appears to be derived from the verbal root עָלַל (’alal), which can carry the nuance “deal severely.”
8 tn Heb “that which is evil in my eyes.”
9 tn Heb “who tremble at his word.”
10 tn Heb “brothers” (so NASB, NIV); NRSV “Your own people”; NLT “Your close relatives.”
11 tn Or “so that we might witness your joy.” The point of this statement is unclear.