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Isaiah 28:1-5

Context
The Lord Will Judge Samaria

28:1 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards is doomed, 1 

the withering flower, its beautiful splendor, 2 

situated 3  at the head of a rich valley,

the crown of those overcome with wine. 4 

28:2 Look, the sovereign master 5  sends a strong, powerful one. 6 

With the force of a hailstorm or a destructive windstorm, 7 

with the might of a driving, torrential rainstorm, 8 

he will knock that crown 9  to the ground with his hand. 10 

28:3 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards

will be trampled underfoot.

28:4 The withering flower, its beautiful splendor,

situated at the head of a rich valley,

will be like an early fig before harvest –

as soon as someone notices it,

he grabs it and swallows it. 11 

28:5 At that time 12  the Lord who commands armies will become a beautiful crown

and a splendid diadem for the remnant of his people.

1 tn Heb “Woe [to] the crown [or “wreath”] of the splendor [or “pride”] of the drunkards of Ephraim.” The “crown” is Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom (Ephraim). Priests and prophets are included among these drunkards in v. 7.

2 tn Heb “the beauty of his splendor.” In the translation the masculine pronoun (“his”) has been replaced by “its” because the referent (the “crown”) is the city of Samaria.

3 tn Heb “which [is].”

4 tn Heb “ones overcome with wine.” The words “the crown of” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The syntactical relationship of the final phrase to what precedes is uncertain. הֲלוּמֵי יָיִן (halume yayin, “ones overcome with wine”) seems to correspond to שִׁכֹּרֵי אֶפְרַיִם (shikkoreefrayim, “drunkards of Ephraim”) in line 1. The translation assumes that the phrase “the splendid crown” is to be understood in the final line as well.

5 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here and in vv. 16, 22 is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

6 tn Heb “Look, a strong and powerful [one] belongs to the Lord.”

7 tn Heb “like a rainstorm of hail, a wind of destruction.”

8 tn Heb “like a rainstorm of mighty, overflowing waters.”

9 tn The words “that crown” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The object of the verb is unexpressed in the Hebrew text.

10 tn Or “by [his] power.”

11 tn Heb “which the one seeing sees, while still it is in his hand he swallows it.”

12 tn Or “in that day” (KJV).



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