and his messengers arrive at Hanes, 2
because of a nation that cannot help them,
who cannot give them aid or help,
but only shame and disgrace.”
Through a land of distress and danger,
inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions, 5
by snakes and darting adders, 6
they transport 7 their wealth on the backs of donkeys,
their riches on the humps of camels,
to a nation that cannot help them. 8
1 sn This probably refers to Judah’s officials and messengers.
2 sn Zoan was located in the Egyptian delta in the north; Hanes was located somewhere in southern region of lower Egypt, south of Memphis; the exact location is debated.
3 tn The present translation follows the marginal (Qere) reading of the Hebrew text; the consonantal text (Kethib) has “made to stink, decay.”
4 tn Traditionally, “burden” (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “oracle.”
5 tc Heb “[a land of] a lioness and a lion, from them.” Some emend מֵהֶם (mehem, “from them”) to מֵהֵם (mehem), an otherwise unattested Hiphil participle from הָמַם (hamam, “move noisily”). Perhaps it would be better to take the initial mem (מ) as enclitic and emend the form to הֹמֶה (homeh), a Qal active participle from הָמָה (hamah, “to make a noise”); cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:542, n. 9.
7 tn Or “carry” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
8 sn This verse describes messengers from Judah transporting wealth to Egypt in order to buy Pharaoh’s protection through a treaty.