51:3 Do not give her archers time to string their bows
or to put on their coats of armor. 1
Do not spare any of her young men.
Completely destroy 2 her whole army.
mortally wounded in the streets of her cities. 5
Her warriors will be captured;
their bows will be broken. 7
For the Lord is a God who punishes; 8
he pays back in full. 9
51:57 “I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
along with her governors, leaders, 10 and warriors.
They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,” 11
says the King whose name is the Lord who rules over all. 12
1 tc The text and consequent meaning of these first two lines are uncertain. Literally the Masoretic reads “against let him string let him string the one who strings his bow and against let him raise himself up in his coat of armor.” This makes absolutely no sense and the ancient versions and Hebrew
3 tn The majority of English versions and the commentaries understand the vav (ו) consecutive + perfect as a future here “They will fall.” However, it makes better sense in the light of the commands in the previous verse to understand this as an indirect third person command (= a jussive; see GKC 333 §112.q, r) as REB and NJPS do.
5 tn The words “cities” is not in the text. The text merely says “in her streets” but the antecedent is “land” and must then refer to the streets of the cities in the land.
6 tn Heb “for a destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon.”
7 tn The Piel form (which would be intransitive here, see GKC 142 §52.k) should probably be emended to Qal.
8 tn Or “God of retribution.”
9 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the following finite verb. Another option is to translate, “he certainly pays one back.” The translation assumes that the imperfect verbal form here describes the