His battle cry overwhelms like a flooding river 1 that reaches one’s neck. He shakes the nations in a sieve that isolates the chaff; 2 he puts a bit into the mouth of the nations and leads them to destruction. 3
2Sa 17:14; 1Ki 22:20-22; 2Ki 19:28; Job 39:17; Ps 18:15; Ps 32:9; Pr 26:3; Isa 8:8; Isa 11:4; Isa 19:3,13,14; Isa 19:12,14; Isa 28:17,18; Isa 29:6; Isa 33:10-12; Isa 37:29; Eze 14:7-9; Ho 13:3; Am 9:9; Hab 3:12-15; Mt 3:12; Lu 22:31; 2Th 2:8; 2Th 2:11; Heb 4:12; Re 1:16; Re 2:16
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “his breath is like a flooding river.” This might picture the Lord breathing heavily as he runs down his enemy, but in light of the preceding verse, which mentions his lips and tongue, “breath” probably stands metonymically for the word or battle cry that he expels from his mouth as he shouts. In Isa 34:16 and Ps 33:6 the Lord’s “breath” is associated with his command.
2 tn Heb “shaking nations in a sieve of worthlessness.” It is not certain exactly how שָׁוְא (shavÿ’, “emptiness, worthlessness”) modifies “sieve.” A sieve is used to separate grain from chaff and isolate what is worthless so that it might be discarded. Perhaps the nations are likened to such chaff; God’s judgment will sift them out for destruction.
3 tn Heb “and a bit that leads astray [is] in the jaws of the peoples.” Here the nations are likened to horse that can be controlled by a bit placed in its mouth. In this case the Lord uses his sovereign control over the “horse” to lead it to its demise.