26:19 King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah did not put him to death, did they? Did not Hezekiah show reverence for the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor? 5 Did not 6 the Lord forgo destroying them 7 as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.” 8
1 tn Heb “turns from its wickedness.”
2 tn There is a good deal of debate about how the word translated here “revoke” should be translated. There is a good deal of reluctance to translate it “change my mind” because some see that as contradicting Num 23:19 and thus prefer “relent.” However, the English word “relent” suggests the softening of an attitude but not necessarily the change of course. It is clear that in many cases (including here) an actual change of course is in view (see, e.g., Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9; Jer 26:19; Exod 13:17; 32:14). Several of these passages deal with “conditional” prophecies where a change in behavior of the people or the mediation of a prophet involves the change in course of the threatened punishment (or the promised benefit). “Revoke” or “forgo” may be the best way to render this in contemporary English idiom.
sn There is a wordplay here involving the word “evil” (רָעָה, ra’ah) which refers to both the crime and the punishment. This same play is carried further in Jonah 3:10-4:1 where Jonah becomes very displeased (Heb “it was very evil to Jonah with great evil”) when God forgoes bringing disaster (evil) on Nineveh because they have repented of their wickedness (evil).
3 tn Heb “Make good your ways and your actions.” For the same expression see 7:3, 5; 18:11.
4 tn For the idiom and translation of terms involved here see 18:8 and the translator’s note there.
5 tn This Hebrew idiom (חָלָה פָּנִים, khalah panim) is often explained in terms of “stroking” or “patting the face” of someone, seeking to gain his favor. It is never used in a literal sense and is found in contexts of prayer (Exod 32:11; Ps 119:158), worship (Zech 8:21-22), humble submission (2 Chr 3:12), or amendment of behavior (Dan 9:13). All were true to one extent or another of Hezekiah.
6 tn The he interrogative (הַ)with the negative governs all three of the verbs, the perfect and the two vav (ו) consecutive imperfects that follow it. The next clause has disjunctive word order and introduces a contrast. The question expects a positive answer.
7 tn For the translation of the terms involved here see the translator’s note on 18:8.
8 tn Or “great harm to ourselves.” The word “disaster” (or “harm”) is the same one that has been translated “destroying” in the preceding line and in vv. 3 and 13.
9 tn The word “just” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute before the finite verb emphasizing here the condition rather than the verb root (see Joüon 2:423 §123.g, and compare the usage in Exod 15:26). The form looks like the infinitive absolute of the verb שׁוּב (shuv), but all the versions interpret it as though it is from יָשַׁב (yashav) which is the root of the verb that follows it. Either this is a textual error of the loss of a י (yod) or this is one of the cases that GKC 69 §19.i list as the possible loss of a weak consonant at the beginning of a word.
10 tn Or “I will firmly plant you in the land,” or “I will establish you.” This is part of the metaphor that has been used of God (re)establishing Israel in the land. See 24:6; 31:28; 32:41.