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Isaiah 34:7-15

Context

34:7 Wild oxen will be slaughtered 1  along with them,

as well as strong bulls. 2 

Their land is drenched with blood,

their soil is covered with fat.

34:8 For the Lord has planned a day of revenge, 3 

a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion. 4 

34:9 Edom’s 5  streams will be turned into pitch

and her soil into brimstone;

her land will become burning pitch.

34:10 Night and day it will burn; 6 

its smoke will ascend continually.

Generation after generation it will be a wasteland

and no one will ever pass through it again.

34:11 Owls and wild animals 7  will live there, 8 

all kinds of wild birds 9  will settle in it.

The Lord 10  will stretch out over her

the measuring line of ruin

and the plumb line 11  of destruction. 12 

34:12 Her nobles will have nothing left to call a kingdom

and all her officials will disappear. 13 

34:13 Her fortresses will be overgrown with thorns;

thickets and weeds will grow 14  in her fortified cities.

Jackals will settle there;

ostriches will live there. 15 

34:14 Wild animals and wild dogs will congregate there; 16 

wild goats will bleat to one another. 17 

Yes, nocturnal animals 18  will rest there

and make for themselves a nest. 19 

34:15 Owls 20  will make nests and lay eggs 21  there;

they will hatch them and protect them. 22 

Yes, hawks 23  will gather there,

each with its mate.

1 tn Heb “will go down”; NAB “shall be struck down.”

2 tn Heb “and bulls along with strong ones.” Perhaps this refers to the leaders.

3 tn Heb “for a day of vengeance [is] for the Lord.”

4 tn Heb “a year of repayment for the strife of Zion.” The translation assumes that רִיב (riv) refers to Edom’s hostility toward Zion. Another option is to understand רִיב (riv) as referring to the Lord’s taking up Zion’s cause. In this case one might translate, “a time when he will repay Edom and vindicate Zion.”

5 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Edom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “it will not be extinguished.”

7 tn קָאַת (qaat) refers to some type of bird (cf. Lev 11:18; Deut 14:17) that was typically found near ruins (see Zeph 2:14). קִפּוֹד (qippod) may also refer to a type of bird (NAB “hoot owl”; NIV “screech owl”; TEV “ravens”), but some have suggested a rodent may be in view (cf. NCV “small animals”; ASV “porcupine”; NASB, NRSV “hedgehog”).

8 tn Heb “will possess it” (so NIV).

9 tn The Hebrew text has יַנְשׁוֹף וְעֹרֵב (yanshof vÿorev). Both the יַנְשׁוֹף (“owl”; see Lev 11:17; Deut 14:16) and עֹרֵב (“raven”; Lev 11:15; Deut 14:14) were types of wild birds.

10 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “stones,” i.e., the stones used in a plumb bob.

12 sn The metaphor in v. 11b emphasizes that God has carefully planned Edom’s demise.

13 tn Heb “will be nothing”; NCV, TEV, NLT “will all be gone.”

14 tn The words “will grow” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

15 tc Heb “and she will be a settlement for wild dogs, a dwelling place for ostriches.” The translation assumes an emendation of חָצִיר (khatsir, “grass”) to חָצֵר (khatser, “settlement”). One of the Qumran scrolls of Isaiah (1QIsaa) supports this emendation (cf. HALOT 344 s.v. II חָצִיר)

16 tn Heb “will meet” (so NIV); NLT “will mingle there.”

17 tn Heb “and a goat will call to its neighbor.”

18 tn The precise meaning of לִּילִית (lilit) is unclear, though in this context the word certainly refers to some type of wild animal or bird. The word appears to be related to לַיְלָה (laylah, “night”). Some interpret it as the name of a female night demon, on the basis of an apparent Akkadian cognate used as the name of a demon. Later Jewish legends also identified Lilith as a demon. Cf. NRSV “Lilith.”

19 tn Heb “and will find for themselves a resting place.”

20 tn Hebrew קִפּוֹז (qippoz) occurs only here; the precise meaning of the word is uncertain.

21 tn For this proposed meaning for Hebrew מָלַט (malat), see HALOT 589 s.v. I מלט.

22 tn Heb “and brood [over them] in her shadow.”

23 tn The precise meaning of דַּיָּה (dayyah) is uncertain, though the term appears to refer to some type of bird of prey, perhaps a vulture.



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