18:15 Yet my people have forgotten me
and offered sacrifices to worthless idols!
This makes them stumble along in the way they live
and leave the old reliable path of their fathers. 1
They have left them to walk in bypaths,
in roads that are not smooth and level. 2
People will forever hiss out their scorn over it.
All who pass that way will be filled with horror
and will shake their heads in derision. 4
2 sn Heb “ways that are not built up.” This refers to the built-up highways. See Isa 40:4 for the figure. The terms “way,” “by-paths,” “roads” are, of course, being used here in the sense of moral behavior or action.
3 tn There may be a deliberate double meaning involved here. The word translated here “an object of horror” refers both to destruction (cf. 2:15; 4:17) and the horror or dismay that accompanies it (cf. 5:30; 8:21). The fact that there is no conjunction or preposition in front of the noun “hissing” that follows this suggests that the reaction is in view here, not the cause.
4 tn Heb “an object of lasting hissing. All who pass that way will be appalled and shake their head.”
sn The actions of “shaking of the head” and “hissing” were obviously gestures of scorn and derision. See Lam 2:15-16.