I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them.
And I will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them,
Then he will appoint children to rule over them, and anarchy will prevail.
He says, "I'll put little kids in charge of the city. Schoolboys and schoolgirls will order everyone around.
And I will make children their chiefs, and foolish ones will have rule over them.
And I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
"I will give children to be their princes, And babes shall rule over them.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The words “the Lord says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The prophet speaks in vv. 1-3 (note the third person reference to the Lord in v. 1), but here the Lord himself announces that he will intervene in judgment. It is unclear where the Lord’s words end and the prophet’s pick up again. The prophet is apparently speaking again by v. 8, where the Lord is referred to in the third person. Since vv. 4-7 comprise a thematic unity, the quotation probably extends through v. 7.
2 tn תַעֲלוּלִים (ta’alulim) is often understood as an abstract plural meaning “wantonness, cruelty” (cf. NLT). In this case the chief characteristic of these leaders is substituted for the leaders themselves. However, several translations make the parallelism tighter by emending the form to עוֹלְלִים (’olÿlim, “children”; cf. ESV, NASB, NCV, NIV, NKJV, NRSV). This emendation is unnecessary for at least two reasons. The word in the MT highlights the cruelty or malice of the “leaders” who are left behind in the wake of God’s judgment. The immediate context makes clear the fact that they are mere youths. The coming judgment will sweep away the leaders, leaving a vacuum which will be filled by incompetent, inexperienced youths.