24:17 ‘I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not close at hand. 1
and a scepter 4 will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the skulls 5 of Moab,
24:18 Edom will be a possession,
Seir, 8 his enemies, will also be a possession;
but Israel will act valiantly.
24:19 A ruler will be established from Jacob;
he will destroy the remains of the city.’” 9
1 tn Heb “near.”
2 sn This is a figure for a king (see also Isa 14:12) not only in the Bible but in the ancient Near Eastern literature as a whole. The immediate reference of the prophecy seems to be to David, but the eschatological theme goes beyond him. There is to be a connection made between this passage and the sighting of a star in its ascendancy by the magi, who then traveled to Bethlehem to see the one born King of the Jews (Matt 2:2). The expression “son of a star” (Aram Bar Kochba) became a title for a later claimant to kingship, but he was doomed by the Romans in
3 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it is equal to the imperfect expressing the future. The verb דָּרַךְ (darakh), related to the noun “way, road,” seems to mean something like tread on, walk, march.”
4 sn The “scepter” is metonymical for a king who will rise to power. NEB strangely rendered this as “comet” to make a parallel with “star.”
5 tn The word is literally “corners,” but may refer to the corners of the head, and so “skull.”
7 sn The prophecy begins to be fulfilled when David defeated Moab and Edom and established an empire including them. But the Messianic promise extends far beyond that to the end of the age and the inclusion of these defeated people in the program of the coming King.
9 tn Or, understanding the Hebrew word for “city” as a place name, “of Ir” (cf. NRSV, NLT).