and keep watch all night long. 2
They eat pork, 3
and broth 4 from unclean sacrificial meat is in their pans.
the one who sacrifices a lamb also breaks a dog’s neck; 6
the one who presents an offering includes pig’s blood with it; 7
the one who offers incense also praises an idol. 8
They have decided to behave this way; 9
they enjoy these disgusting practices. 10
66:17 “As for those who consecrate and ritually purify themselves so they can follow their leader and worship in the sacred orchards, 11 those who eat the flesh of pigs and other disgusting creatures, like mice 12 – they will all be destroyed together,” 13 says the Lord.
1 sn Perhaps the worship of underworld deities or dead spirits is in view.
2 tn The Hebrew text reads literally, “and in the watches they spend the night.” Some understand נְּצוּרִים (nÿtsurim) as referring to “secret places” or “caves,” while others emend the text to וּבֵין צוּרִים (uven tsurim, “between the rocky cliffs”).
3 tn Heb “the flesh of the pig”; KJV, NAB, NASB “swine’s flesh.”
4 tc The marginal reading (Qere), supported by the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa, reads מְרַק (mÿraq, “broth”), while the consonantal text (Kethib) has פְרַק (feraq, “fragment”).
5 tn Heb “one who slaughters a bull, one who strikes down a man.” Some understand a comparison here and in the following lines. In God’s sight the one who sacrifices is like (i.e., regarded as) a murderer or one whose worship is ritually defiled or idolatrous. The translation above assumes that the language is not metaphorical, but descriptive of the sinners’ hypocritical behavior. (Note the last two lines of the verse, which suggests they are guilty of abominable practices.) On the one hand, they act pious and offer sacrifices; but at the same time they commit violent crimes against men, defile their sacrifices, and worship other gods.
6 tn Heb “one who sacrifices a lamb, one who breaks a dog’s neck.” Some understand a comparison, but see the previous note.
sn The significance of breaking a dog’s neck is uncertain, though the structure of the statement when compared to the preceding and following lines suggests the action is viewed in a negative light. According to Exod 13:13 and 34:20, one was to “redeem” a firstborn donkey by offering a lamb; if one did not “redeem” the firstborn donkey in this way, then its neck must be broken. According to Deut 21:1-9 a heifer’s neck was to be broken as part of the atonement ritual to purify the land from the guilt of bloodshed. It is not certain if these passages relate in any way to the action described in Isa 66:3.
7 tn Heb “one who offers an offering, pig’s blood.” Some understand a comparison, but see the note at the end of the first line.
8 tn Heb “one who offers incense as a memorial offering, one who blesses something false.” Some understand a comparison, but see the note at the end of the first line. אָוֶן (’aven), which has a wide variety of attested nuances, here refers metonymically to an idol. See HALOT 22 s.v. and BDB 20 s.v. 2.
9 tn Heb “also they have chosen their ways.”
10 tn Heb “their being [or “soul”] takes delight in their disgusting [things].”
11 tn Heb “the ones who consecrate themselves and the ones who purify themselves toward the orchards [or “gardens”] after the one in the midst.” The precise meaning of the statement is unclear, though it is obvious that some form of idolatry is in view.
12 tn Heb “ones who eat the flesh of the pig and the disgusting thing and the mouse.”
13 tn Heb “together they will come to an end.”