all the homes of Jacob’s descendants. 4
In his anger he tore down
the fortified cities 5 of Daughter Judah.
He knocked to the ground and humiliated
the kingdom and its rulers. 6
2:17 The Lord has done what he planned;
He has overthrown you without mercy 11
and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you;
he has exalted your adversaries’ power. 12
2:21 The young boys and old men
lie dead on the ground in the streets.
My young women 13 and my young men
have fallen by the sword.
You killed them when you were angry; 14
you slaughtered them without mercy. 15
2 tn Heb “has swallowed up.”
3 tc The Kethib is written לֹא חָמַל (lo’ khamal, “without mercy”), while the Qere reads וְלֹא חָמַל (vÿlo’ khamal, “and he has shown no mercy”). The Kethib is followed by the LXX, while the Qere is reflected in many Hebrew
4 tn Heb “all the dwellings of Jacob.”
5 tn Heb “the strongholds.”
6 tn Heb “He brought down to the ground in disgrace the kingdom and its princes.” The verbs חִלֵּל…הִגִּיע (higgi’…khillel, “he has brought down…he has profaned”) function as a verbal hendiadys, as the absence of the conjunction ו (vav) suggests. The first verb retains its full verbal force, while the second functions adverbially: “he has brought down [direct object] in disgrace.”
7 tn The verb בָּצַע (batsa’) has a broad range of meanings: (1) “to cut off, break off,” (2) “to injure” a person, (3) “to gain by violence,” (4) “to finish, complete” and (5) “to accomplish, fulfill” a promise.
8 tn Heb “His word.” When used in collocation with the verb בָּצַע (batsa’, “to fulfill,” see previous tn), the accusative noun אִמְרָה (’imrah) means “promise.”
9 tn Heb “commanded” or “decreed.” If a reference to prophetic oracles is understood, then “decreed” is preferable. If understood as a reference to the warnings in the covenant, then “threatened” is a preferable rendering.
10 tn Heb “from days of old.”
11 tn Heb “He has overthrown and has not shown mercy.” The two verbs חָרַס וְלֹא חָמָל (kharas vÿlo’ khamal) form a verbal hendiadys in which the first retains its verbal sense and the second functions adverbially: “He has overthrown you without mercy.” וְלֹא חָמָל (vÿlo’ khamal) alludes to 2:2.
12 tn Heb “He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.” The term “horn” (קֶרֶן, qeren) normally refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Israel. This term is often used figuratively as a symbol of strength, usually in reference to the military might of an army (Deut 33:17; 1 Sam 2:1, 10; 2 Sam 22:3; Pss 18:3; 75:11; 89:18, 25; 92:11; 112:9; 1 Chr 25:5; Jer 48:25; Lam 2:3; Ezek 29:21), just as warriors are sometimes figuratively described as “bulls.” To lift up the horn often means to boast and to lift up someone else’s horn is to give victory or cause to boast.
13 tn Heb “virgins.” The term “virgin” probably functions as a metonymy of association for single young women.
14 tn Heb “in the day of your anger.” The construction בָּיוֹם (bayom, “in the day of…”) is a common Hebrew idiom, meaning “when…” (e.g., Gen 2:4; Lev 7:35; Num 3:1; Deut 4:15; 2 Sam 22:1; Pss 18:1; 138:3; Zech 8:9). This temporal idiom refers to a general time period, but uses the term “day” as a forceful rhetorical device to emphasize the vividness and drama of the event, depicting it as occurring within a single day. In the ancient Near East, military minded kings often referred to a successful campaign as “the day of X” in order to portray themselves as powerful conquerors who, as it were, could inaugurate and complete a victory military campaign within the span of one day.
15 tc The MT reads לֹא חָמָלְתָּ (lo’ khamalta, “You showed no mercy”). However, many medieval Hebrew