they ate on the left, but were not satisfied.
and Ephraim against Manasseh;
together they fought against Judah.
Despite all this, his anger does not subside,
and his hand is ready to strike again. 5
1 tn Or “cut.” The verb גָּזַר (gazar) means “to cut.” If it is understood here, then one might paraphrase, “They slice off meat on the right.” However, HALOT 187 s.v. I גזר, proposes here a rare homonym meaning “to devour.”
2 tn The prefixed verbal form is either a preterite without vav consecutive or an imperfect used in a customary sense, describing continual or repeated behavior in past time.
3 tn Some suggest that זְרֹעוֹ (zÿro’o, “his arm”) be repointed זַרְעוֹ (zar’o, “his offspring”). In either case, the metaphor is that of a desperately hungry man who resorts to an almost unthinkable act to satisfy his appetite. He eats everything he can find to his right, but still being unsatisfied, then turns to his left and eats everything he can find there. Still being desperate for food, he then resorts to eating his own flesh (or offspring, as this phrase is metaphorically understood by some English versions, e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT). The reality behind the metaphor is the political turmoil of the period, as the next verse explains. There was civil strife within the northern kingdom; even the descendants of Joseph were at each other’s throats. Then the northern kingdom turned on their southern brother, Judah.
4 tn The words “fought against” are supplied in the translation both here and later in this verse for stylistic reasons.
5 tn Heb “in all this his anger is not turned, and still his hand is outstretched” (KJV and ASV both similar); NIV “his hand is still upraised.”
sn See the note at 9:12.