who completely devour their prey by morning. 5
they are deceitful men.
Her priests defile what is holy; 7
they break God’s laws. 8
1 tn Or “officials.”
2 tn Heb “her princes in her midst are roaring lions.” The metaphor has been translated as a simile (“as fierce as”) for clarity.
3 tn Traditionally “judges.”
4 tn Heb “her judges [are] wolves of the evening,” that is, wolves that prowl at night. The translation assumes an emendation to עֲרָבָה (’aravah, “desert”). For a discussion of this and other options, see Adele Berlin, Zephaniah (AB 25A), 128. The metaphor has been translated as a simile (“as hungry as”) for clarity.
5 tn Heb “they do not gnaw [a bone] at morning.” The precise meaning of the line is unclear. The statement may mean these wolves devour their prey so completely that not even a bone is left to gnaw by the time morning arrives. For a discussion of this and other options, see Adele Berlin, Zephaniah (AB 25A), 129.
7 tn Or “defile the temple.”
sn These priests defile what is holy by not observing the proper distinctions between what is ritually clean and unclean (see Ezek 22:26).
8 tn Heb “they treat violently [the] law.”