9:10 “The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with chiseled stone;
the sycamore fig trees have been cut down,
but we will replace them with cedars.” 1
10:33 Look, the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies,
is ready to cut off the branches with terrifying power. 2
The tallest trees 3 will be cut down,
the loftiest ones will be brought low.
1 sn Though judgment (see v. 8) had taken away the prosperity they did have (symbolized by the bricks and sycamore fig trees), they arrogantly expected the future to bring even greater prosperity (symbolized by the chiseled stone and cedars).
2 tc The Hebrew text reads “with terrifying power,” or “with a crash.” מַעֲרָצָה (ma’aratsah, “terrifying power” or “crash”) occurs only here. Several have suggested an emendation to מַעֲצָד (ma’atsad, “ax”) parallel to “ax” in v. 34; see HALOT 615 s.v. מַעֲצָד and H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:448.
3 tn Heb “the exalted of the height.” This could refer to the highest branches (cf. TEV) or the tallest trees (cf. NIV, NRSV).