Bring more guards! 2
Post them all around the city! 3
Put men in ambush! 4
For the Lord will do what he has planned.
He will do what he said he would do to the people of Babylon. 5
51:31 One runner after another will come to the king of Babylon.
One messenger after another will come bringing news. 6
They will bring news to the king of Babylon
that his whole city has been captured. 7
1 tn Heb “Raise a banner against the walls of Babylon.”
2 tn Heb “Strengthen the watch.”
3 tn Heb “Station the guards.”
4 tn Heb “Prepare ambushes.”
sn The commands are here addressed to the kings of the Medes to fully blockade the city by posting watchmen and setting men in ambush to prevent people from escaping from the city (cf. 2 Kgs 25:4).
5 tn Heb “For the
6 tn Heb “Runner will run to meet runner and…” The intent is to portray a relay of runners carrying the news that follows on in vv. 31d-33 to the king of Babylon. The present translation attempts to spell out the significance.
7 tn Heb “Runner will run to meet runner and messenger to meet messenger to report to the king of Babylon that his city has been taken in [its] entirety.” There is general agreement among the commentaries that the first two lines refer to messengers converging on the king of Babylon from every direction bringing news the sum total of which is reported in the lines that follow. For the meaning of the last phrase see BDB 892 s.v. קָצֶה 3 and compare the usage in Gen 19:4 and Isa 56:11. The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.