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Isaiah 33:20-24

Context

33:20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!

You 1  will see Jerusalem, 2 

a peaceful settlement,

a tent that stays put; 3 

its stakes will never be pulled up;

none of its ropes will snap in two.

33:21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king. 4 

Rivers and wide streams will flow through it; 5 

no war galley will enter; 6 

no large ships will sail through. 7 

33:22 For the Lord, our ruler,

the Lord, our commander,

the Lord, our king –

he will deliver us.

33:23 Though at this time your ropes are slack, 8 

the mast is not secured, 9 

and the sail 10  is not unfurled,

at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot; 11 

even the lame will drag off plunder. 12 

33:24 No resident of Zion 13  will say, “I am ill”;

the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.

1 tn Heb “your eyes” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 tn Or “that does not travel”; NASB “which shall not be folded.”

4 tn Heb “But there [as] a mighty one [will be] the Lord for us.”

5 tn Heb “a place of rivers, streams wide of hands [i.e., on both sides].”

6 tn Heb “a ship of rowing will not go into it.”

7 tn Heb “and a mighty ship will not pass through it.”

8 tn The words “though at this time” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The first half of the verse is addressed to Judah and contrasts the nation’s present weakness with its future prosperity. Judah is compared to a ship that is incapable of sailing.

9 tn Heb “they do not fasten the base of their mast.” On כֵּן (ken, “base”) see BDB 487 s.v. III כֵּן and HALOT 483 s.v. III כֵּן.

10 tn Or perhaps, “flag.”

11 tn Heb “then there will be divided up loot of plunder [in] abundance.”

12 sn Judah’s victory over its enemies will be so thorough there will be more than enough plunder for everyone, even slow-moving lame men who would normally get left out in the rush to gather the loot.

13 tn The words “of Zion” are supplied in the translation for clarification.



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