(2:2) The watchmen of Nineveh shout: 1 “An enemy who will scatter you 2 is marching out 3 to attack you!” 4 “Guard 5 the rampart! 6 Watch the road! Prepare yourselves for battle! 7 Muster your mighty strength!” 8
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The introductory phrase “The watchmen of Nineveh shout” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied from the context for clarity.
2 tc The MT reads מֵפִיץ (mefits, “scatterer, disperser”), the Hiphil participle of פּוּץ (puts, “to scatter, to disperse”; HALOT 755 s.v. פוּץ, but see BDB 807 s.v. מֵפִיץ, which classifies it as a noun). The Vulgate’s qui dispergat (“one who disperses”) and the LXX’s ἐμφυσῶν (emfuswn, “one who blows hard; one who scatters”) also reflect מֵפִיץ. The BHS editors propose the emendation מַפֵּץ (mappets, “shatterer, hammerer, war club”; e.g., Jer 51:20 and Prov 25:18). This is unnecessary; the text makes sense as it stands and there is no textual support for the emendation. The theme of exile and dispersion is prominent in the book (Nah 2:7; 3:10-11, 17-18).
tn Heb “a scatterer.” The Hebrew term מֵפִיץ (mefits, “scatterer”) is either a collective singular referring to the Babylonian army or a singular of number referring to the Babylonian commander. Singular forms occur elsewhere in the vision of the fall of Nineveh (2:1-10), used in reference to the Babylonian commander (Nah 2:3, 5)
3 tn Or “has come up”; or “has advanced.” Used in reference to an army, the verb עָלָה (’alah, “to go up”) means “to advance; to march against” (HALOT 829 s.v. 3.d; see 1 Sam 7:7; 1 Kgs 20:22; Isa 7:1; 21:2; Jer 46:9; Joel 1:6; Mic 2:3). Appearing in a prophetic vision, the suffix conjugation (perfect tense) form עָלָה can denote a future-time action that is pictured as complete (certain) and independent (not contingent upon other factors). The so-called “prophetic perfect” or “perfect of confidence” vividly expresses a future action that is “as good as done” (cf. Num 24:17; Isa 5:13; 8:23-9:1). See R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 33, §165; IBHS 489-90 §30.5.1.
4 tn Heb “against your face”; NASB, NRSV “against you.”
5 tn The Qal infinitive absolute נָצוֹר (notsar, from נָצַר [nastar], “to guard”) is used in an imperatival sense as the following string of imperatives suggests. The imperatival use of the infinitive absolute is often used to introduce a series of imperatives with special urgency (e.g., Deut 1:16; 2 Sam 24:12; 2 Kgs 5:10). See IBHS 593-94 §35.5.1; R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 42, §211.
6 tc The BHS editors suggest revocalizing the Masoretic noun מְצֻרָה (mÿtsurah, “rampart”) to the noun מַצָּרָה (matsarah, “the watchtower”) from the root נָצַר (natsar, “to watch, guard”). This would create a repetition of the root נָצַר which immediately precedes it: מַצָּרָה נָצוֹר (natsor matsarah, “Watch the watchtower!”). However, the proposed noun מַצָּרָה (“the watchtower”) appears nowhere in the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, the Masoretic reading מְצֻרָה (“rampart”) and the related noun מָצוֹר (matsor, “rampart”) appear often (Pss 31:22; 60:11; Hab 2:1; Zech 9:3; 2 Chr 8:5; 11:5, 10, 11, 23; 12:4; 14:5, 21:3; 32:10). Thus, the Masoretic vocalization should be preserved. The LXX completely misunderstood this line. The LXX reading (“one who delivers out of tribulation”) has probably arisen from a confusion of the MT noun נָצוֹר (“guard”) with the common verb נָצַר (“deliver”). It also reflects a confusion of MT מְצֻרָה (“road, rampart”) with מִצְּרָה (mitsÿrah, “from distress”).
7 tn Heb “Make strong your loins,” an expression which could refer (1) to the practice of tucking the ends of the long cloak (outer garment) into the belt to shorten it in preparation for activities like running, fighting in battle, etc. (cf. NAB, NRSV “gird your loins”); (2) to preparing oneself physically for the onslaught of the enemy (cf. NASB “strengthen your back”); or (3) to a combination of mental and physical preparation for battle (cf. NIV “brace yourselves”).
8 tn Heb “Make [your] strength exceedingly firm.”