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Isaiah 10:28-32

Context

10:28 1 They 2  attacked 3  Aiath,

moved through Migron,

depositing their supplies at Micmash.

10:29 They went through the pass,

spent the night at Geba.

Ramah trembled,

Gibeah of Saul ran away.

10:30 Shout out, daughter of Gallim!

Pay attention, Laishah!

Answer her, Anathoth! 4 

10:31 Madmenah flees,

the residents of Gebim have hidden.

10:32 This very day, standing in Nob,

they shake their fist at Daughter Zion’s mountain 5 

at the hill of Jerusalem.

1 sn Verses 28-31 display a staccato style; the statements are short and disconnected (no conjunctions appear in the Hebrew text). The translation to follow strives for a choppy style that reflects the mood of the speech.

2 tn Heb “he,” that is, the Assyrians (as the preceding context suggests). Cf. NCV “The army of Assyria.”

sn Verses 28-32 describe an invasion of Judah from the north. There is no scholarly consensus on when this particular invasion took place, if at all. J. H. Hayes and S. A. Irvine (Isaiah, 209-10) suggest the text describes the Israelite-Syrian invasion of Judah (ca. 735 b.c.), but this proposal disregards the preceding context, which prophesies the destruction of Assyria. Some suggest that this invasion occurred in conjunction with Sargon’s western campaign of 713-711 b.c., but there is no historical evidence of such an invasion at that time. Many others identify the invasion as Sennacherib’s in 701 b.c., but historical records indicate Sennacherib approached Jerusalem from the southwest. J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 1:274-75) prefers to see the description as rhetorical and as not corresponding to any particular historical event, but Hayes and Irvine argue that the precise geographical details militate against such a proposal. Perhaps it is best to label the account as rhetorical-prophetic. The prophecy of the invasion was not necessarily intended to be a literal itinerary of the Assyrians’ movements; rather its primary purpose was to create a foreboding mood. Geographical references contribute to this purpose, but they merely reflect how one would expect an Assyrian invasion to proceed, not necessarily how the actual invasion would progress. Despite its rhetorical nature, the prophecy does point to the invasion of 701 b.c., as the announcement of the invaders’ downfall in vv. 33-34 makes clear; it was essentially fulfilled at that time. For further discussion of the problem, see R. E. Clements, Isaiah (NCBC), 117-19. On the geographical details of the account, see Y. Aharoni, Land of the Bible, 393.

3 tn Heb “came against,” or “came to.”

4 tc The Hebrew text reads “Poor [is] Anathoth.” The parallelism is tighter if עֲנִיָּה (’aniyyah,“poor”) is emended to עֲנִיהָ (’aniha, “answer her”). Note how the preceding two lines have an imperative followed by a proper name.

5 tc The consonantal text (Kethib) has “a mountain of a house (בֵּית, bet), Zion,” but the marginal reading (Qere) correctly reads “the mountain of the daughter (בַּת, bat) of Zion.” On the phrase “Daughter Zion,” see the note on the same phrase in 1:8.



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