7:20 At that time 3 the sovereign master will use a razor hired from the banks of the Euphrates River, 4 the king of Assyria, to shave the head and the pubic hair; 5 it will also shave off the beard. 7:21 At that time 6 a man will keep alive a young cow from the herd and a couple of goats.
7:23 At that time 7 every place where there had been a thousand vines worth a thousand shekels will be overrun 8 with thorns and briers.
2 sn Swarming flies are irritating; bees are irritating and especially dangerous because of the pain they inflict with their sting (see Deut 1:44; Ps 118:12). The metaphors are well chosen, for the Assyrians (symbolized by the bees) were much more powerful and dangerous than the Egyptians (symbolized by the flies). Nevertheless both would put pressure on Judah, for Egypt wanted Judah as a buffer state against Assyrian aggression, while Assyrian wanted it as a base for operations against Egypt. Following the reference to sour milk and honey, the metaphor is especially apt, for flies are attracted to dairy products and bees can be found in the vicinity of honey.
3 tn Heb “in that day” (so ASV, NASB); KJV “In the same day.”
4 tn Heb “the river” (so KJV); NASB “the Euphrates.” The name of the river has been supplied in the present translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “the hair of the feet.” The translation assumes that the word “feet” is used here as a euphemism for the genitals. See BDB 920 s.v. רֶגֶל.
8 tn Heb “will become” (so NASB); NAB “shall be turned to.”