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Isaiah 34:2-6

Context

34:2 For the Lord is angry at all the nations

and furious with all their armies.

He will annihilate them and slaughter them.

34:3 Their slain will be left unburied, 1 

their corpses will stink; 2 

the hills will soak up their blood. 3 

34:4 All the stars in the sky will fade away, 4 

the sky will roll up like a scroll;

all its stars will wither,

like a leaf withers and falls from a vine

or a fig withers and falls from a tree. 5 

34:5 He says, 6  “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers. 7 

Look, it now descends on Edom, 8 

on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”

34:6 The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,

it is covered 9  with fat;

it drips 10  with the blood of young rams and goats

and is covered 11  with the fat of rams’ kidneys.

For the Lord is holding a sacrifice 12  in Bozrah, 13 

a bloody 14  slaughter in the land of Edom.

1 tn Heb “will be cast aside”; NASB, NIV “thrown out.”

2 tn Heb “[as for] their corpses, their stench will arise.”

3 tn Heb “hills will dissolve from their blood.”

4 tc Heb “and all the host of heaven will rot.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa inserts “and the valleys will be split open,” but this reading may be influenced by Mic 1:4. On the other hand, the statement, if original, could have been omitted by homoioarcton, a scribe’s eye jumping from the conjunction prefixed to “the valleys” to the conjunction prefixed to the verb “rot.”

5 tn Heb “like the withering of a leaf from a vine, and like the withering from a fig tree.”

6 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Lord speaks at this point.

7 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] my sword is drenched in the heavens.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has תראה (“[my sword] appeared [in the heavens]”), but this is apparently an attempt to make sense out of a difficult metaphor. Cf. NIV “My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.”

sn In v. 4 the “host of the heaven” refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets, see, among others, Deut 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr 33:3, 5) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7; Isa 14:13). As in 24:21, they are viewed here as opposing God and being defeated in battle.

8 sn Edom is mentioned here as epitomizing the hostile nations that oppose God.

9 tn The verb is a rare Hotpaal passive form. See GKC 150 §54.h.

10 tn The words “it drips” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

11 tn The words “and is covered” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

12 tn Heb “for there is a sacrifice to the Lord.”

13 sn The Lord’s judgment of Edom is compared to a bloody sacrificial scene.

14 tn Heb “great” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).



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