The roar of his chariots is like that of a whirlwind. 2
His horses move more swiftly than eagles.”
a cry of anguish like that of a woman giving birth to her first baby.
It is the cry of Daughter Zion 6 gasping for breath,
My life is ebbing away before these murderers!”
Come on! Let’s attack it at noon!’
The day is almost over
and the shadows of evening are getting long.
1 tn Heb “he is coming up like clouds.” The words “The enemy” are supplied in the translation to identify the referent and the word “gathering” is supplied to try to convey the significance of the simile, i.e., that of quantity and of an approaching storm.
2 tn Heb “his chariots [are] like a whirlwind.” The words “roar” and “sound” are supplied in the translation to clarify the significance of the simile.
3 tn The words “I cry out” are not in the text, but the words that follow are obviously not the
4 tn Heb “Woe to us!” The words “woe to” are common in funeral laments and at the beginning of oracles of judgment. In many contexts they carry the connotation of hopelessness or apprehensiveness of inevitable doom.
5 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is more likely asseverative here than causal.
6 sn Jerusalem is personified as a helpless maiden.
7 tn Heb “spreading out her hands.” The idea of asking or pleading for help is implicit in the figure.
9 tn These words are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
10 tn Heb “Sanctify war.” This is probably an idiom from early Israel’s holy wars in which religious rites were to precede the battle.
11 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity. Some commentaries and English versions see these not as the words of the enemy but as those of the Israelites expressing their fear that the enemy will launch a night attack against them and further destroy them. The connection with the next verse, however, fits better with them if they are the words of the enemy.
12 tn Heb “Woe to us!” For the usage of this phrase see the translator’s note on 4:13. The usage of this particle here is a little exaggerated. They have lost the most advantageous time for attack but they are scarcely in a hopeless or doomed situation. The equivalent in English slang is “Bad news!”