Now they grope through the streets like men who are blind. They are so defiled with blood that no-one dares to touch their garments.
They wandered, blind, in the streets; They were defiled with blood So that no one could touch their garments.
They wandered blindly through the streets, so defiled by blood that no one dared to touch them.
These prophets and priests blindly grope their way through the streets, grimy and stained from their dirty lives, Wasted by their wasted lives, shuffling from fatigue, dressed in rags.
They are wandering like blind men in the streets, they are made unclean with blood, so that their robes may not be touched by men.
Blindly they wandered through the streets, so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments.
They wandered blind in the streets; They have defiled themselves with blood, So that no one would touch their garments.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn “They” are apparently the people, rather than the prophets and priests mentioned in the preceding verse.
2 tc The Hebrew word עִוְרִים (’ivrim) appears to be an adjective based on the root I עִוֵּר (’ivver, “blind”). The LXX, using a rare perfect optative of ἐγείρω (egeirw), seems to have read a form of II עוּר (’ur, “to rise”), while the Syriac reads “her nobles,” possibly from reading שָׂרִים (sarim). The evidence is unclear.
3 tn Heb “defiled with blood.”
4 tn The translation is conjecture. The MT has the preposition ב (bet, “in,” “by,” “with,” “when,” etc.), the negative particle לֹא (lo’), then a finite verb from יָכַל (yakhal, Qal impfect 3rd person masculine plural): “in not they are able.” Normally יָכַל (yakhal) would be followed by an infinitive, identifying what someone is or is not able to do, or by some other modifying clause. לֹא יָכַל (lo’ yakhal) on its own may mean “they do not prevail.” The preposition ב (bet) suggests possible dependence on another verb (cp. Jer 2:11, the only other verse with the sequence ב [bet] plus לֹא [lo’] plus finite verb). The following verb נָגַע (naga’, “touch”) regularly indicates its object with the preposition ב (bet), but the preposition ב (bet) is already used with “their garments.” If both are the object of נָגַע (naga’), the line would read “they touched what they could not, their garments.” As this makes no sense, one should note that any other verb on which the phrase would be dependent is not recoverable. The preposition ב (bet) can also introduce temporal clauses, though there are no examples with לֹא (lo’) plus a finite verb. A temporal understanding could yield “when they could not succeed, they touched [clutched?] their garments” or “while no one is able [to ?] they touch their garments.” In Jer 49:10 the meaning of יָכַל (yakhal) is completed by a finite verb (though it is not governed by the preposition ב [bet]). If so here, then we may understand “while (ב [bet]) no one dares (יָכַל, yakhal) to touch their garments.” This gives the picture of blind people stumbling about while others cannot help because they are afraid to touch them.