Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Nahum 2:5

Context
NET ©

The commander 1  orders 2  his officers; they stumble 3  as they advance; 4  they rush to the city wall 5  and they set up 6  the covered siege tower. 7 

NIV ©

He summons his picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place.

NASB ©

He remembers his nobles; They stumble in their march, They hurry to her wall, And the mantelet is set up.

NLT ©

The king shouts to his officers; they stumble in their haste, rushing to the walls to set up their defenses.

MSG ©

The Assyrian king rallies his men, but they stagger and stumble. They run to the ramparts to stem the tide, but it's too late.

BBE ©

He takes the record of his great men: they go falling on their way; they go quickly to the wall, the cover is made ready.

NRSV ©

He calls his officers; they stumble as they come forward; they hasten to the wall, and the mantelet is set up.

NKJV ©

He remembers his nobles; They stumble in their walk; They make haste to her walls, And the defense is prepared.


KJV
He shall recount
<02142> (8799)
his worthies
<0117>_:
they shall stumble
<03782> (8735)
in their walk
<01979>_;
they shall make haste
<04116> (8762)
to the wall
<02346>
thereof, and the defence
<05526> (8802)
shall be prepared
<03559> (8717)_.
{worthies: or, gallants} {defence: Heb. covering, or, coverer}
NASB ©
He remembers
<02142>
his nobles
<0117>
; They stumble
<03782>
in their march
<01979>
, They hurry
<04116>
to her wall
<02346>
, And the mantelet
<05527>
is set
<03559>
up.
HEBREW
Kkoh
<05526>
Nkhw
<03559>
htmwx
<02346>
wrhmy
<04116>
*Mtkylhb {Mtwklhb}
<01979>
wlsky
<03782>
wyryda
<0117>
rkzy
<02142>
(2:5)
<2:6>
LXXM
(2:6) kai
<2532
CONJ
mnhsyhsontai
<3403
V-FPI-3P
oi
<3588
T-NPM
megistanev {N-NPM} autwn
<846
D-GPM
kai
<2532
CONJ
feuxontai
<5343
V-FMI-3P
hmerav
<2250
N-APF
kai
<2532
CONJ
asyenhsousin
<770
V-FAI-3P
en
<1722
PREP
th
<3588
T-DSF
poreia
<4197
N-DSF
autwn
<846
D-GPM
kai
<2532
CONJ
speusousin
<4692
V-FAI-3P
epi
<1909
PREP
ta
<3588
T-APN
teich
<5038
N-APN
kai
<2532
CONJ
etoimasousin
<2090
V-FAI-3P
tav
<3588
T-APF
profulakav {N-APF} autwn
<846
D-GPM
NET © [draft] ITL
The commander orders
<02142>
his officers
<0117>
; they stumble
<03782>
as they advance
<01979>
; they rush
<04116>
to the city wall
<02346>
and they set up
<03559>
the covered siege tower
<05526>
.
NET ©

The commander 1  orders 2  his officers; they stumble 3  as they advance; 4  they rush to the city wall 5  and they set up 6  the covered siege tower. 7 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “he”; the referent (the commander) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

tc The MT reads the Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine singular יִזְכֹּר (yizkor, “he commands”) from II זָכַּר (zakkar, “to command”); see above. The rarity of this homonymic root in Hebrew has led to textual variants and several proposed emendations. The LXX misunderstood זָכַּר and the syntax of the line: καὶ μνησθνήσονται οἱ μεγιστα¡τες (mnhsqnhsontai Joi megista>te", “And their mighty men will be remembered”; or “will remember themselves”). The LXX reflects the Niphal imperfect 3rd person common plural יִזָּכְרוּ (yizzakhru, “they will be remembered”). The BHS editors suggest emending to יִזָּכְרוּ on the basis of the LXX. The BHK editors proposed emending to pilpel imperfect 3rd person common plural יְכַרְכְרוּ (yÿkharkhÿru, “they prance, they whirl”) from II כָּרַר (karar, “to dance”). None of the emendations are necessary once the existence of the homonym II זָכַּר (“to order”) is recognized.

tn The Hebrew verb II זָכַּר is related to Akkadian zakartu (“to give an order”; see CAD 2:17). This is distinct from the more common root zakar I (“to remember”) which is related to Akkadian zakaru. The English versions are split between the two roots: “he commands” (NJPS) and “he summons” (NIV) versus “he recounts” (KJV), “he remembers” (NASB), and “he calls” (NRSV).

tc The MT reads the Niphal imperfect 3rd person masculine plural יִכָּשְׁלוּ (yikoshlu, “they stumble”) from the root כָּשַׁל (kashal, “stumble”). G. R. Driver argues that the MT makes little sense in the portrayal of a successful assault; the motif of stumbling warriors usually connotes defeat (Isa 5:27; Jer 46:6). Driver argues that MT’s יִכָּשְׁלוּ (“they stumble”) arose from metathesis (reversal of consonants) from an original יִשָּׁלְכוּ (yishalkhu, Niphal from שָׁלַךְ [shalakh, “to cast forth”]) which also appears in 2 Kgs 13:24-25, 28 (“hurled himself,” i.e., rushed headlong). Driver suggests that this is related to Arabic salaka VII (“to rush in”). He notes that the emendation would produce a tighter parallelism with the following noun: יְמַהֲרוּ (yÿmaharu, “they hasten”). See G. R. Driver, “Linguistic and Textual Problems: Minor Prophets II,” JTS 39 (1938): 270. On the other hand, Armerding argues that the anomalous MT reading יִכָּשְׁלוּ (“they stumble”) can be explained without recourse to textual emendation. The stumbling of the attacking army is caused, not by their weakness, but by the corpses of the Assyrians strewn in their path which obstructs their advance. Armerding suggests that this motif appears in Nah 3:3 (C. E. Armerding, “Nahum,” EBC 7:475).

tn Alternately, “they rush forward.”

tn Or “in their trenches”; or “in their columns”; Heb “in their advance”; or “in their march.” The noun הֲלִיכָה (halikhah, “procession, journey”) is nuanced “march; advance” in a military context (BDB 237 s.v. 1.a; HALOT 246 s.v. 1.a). Similarly, the related verb הָלַךְ (halakh) means “to march, to advance” in battle contexts (Judg 1:10; Hab 1:6). This is related to the Assyrian noun alaktu (“to advance”) which is often used of military advances (CAD 1.1.299). The related Assyrian noun aliktu means “detachment of soldiers” (CAD 1.1.346). HALOT suggests that הֲלִיכָה is related to an Assyrian noun which is a technical military term: “trenches, columns” (HALOT 246 s.v. *הֲלִיכָה). This line could be rendered, “They stumble in their trenches” or “They stumble in their columns.”

tc The MT reads הוֹמָתָהּ (homatah, “her wall”). On the other hand, several Hebrew mss, Targum Jonathan, and the Syriac Peshitta omit the mappiq and preserve an alternate textual tradition of the directive -he ending: הוֹמָתָה (“to the wall”). The directive sense is seen in the LXX. Although the MT lacks the directive -he (ה) ending, it is possible that the MT’s הוֹמָתָהּ functions as an adverbial accusative of direction meaning “to her wall.” The adverbial accusative of direction often occurs after verbs of motion (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 13-14, §54; IBHS 169-71 §10.2.2).

tn Heb “to her wall,” referring to Nineveh.

tc The MT reads the Hophal perfect 3rd person masculine singular וְהֻכַן (vÿhukhan, “and [it] is prepared”). On the other hand, the LXX reading reflects the Hiphil perfect 3rd person common plural וְהֵכִינּוּ (vÿhekhinnu, “and they will prepare”). Arguing that the active sense is necessary because the three preceding verbs are all active, K. J. Cathcart (Nahum in the Light of Northwest Semitic [BibOr], 95) suggests emending to the Hiphil infinitive absolute וְהָכִין (vÿhakhin, “and [they] prepare”). However, the Masoretic form should be retained because it is the more difficult reading that best explains the origin of the LXX reading. The shift from active to passive verbs is common in Hebrew, marking a cause-result sequence (e.g., Pss 24:7; 69:14 [15]; Jer 31:4; Hos 5:5). See M. Weinfeld, “The Active-Passive (Factitive-Resultive) Sequence of Identical Verbs in Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic,” JBL 84 (1965): 272-82.

tn Heb “the mantelet is prepared.”

tn Heb “mantelet.” The Hebrew noun סֹכֵךְ (sokhekh, “mantelet”) is a military technical term referring to a large movable shelter used as a protective cover for soldiers besieging a fortified city, designed to shield them from the arrows shot down from the city wall (HALOT 754 s.v.; BDB 697 s.v.). This noun is a hapax legomenon (a word that only occurs once in the Hebrew Bible) and is derived from the verb III סָכַךְ (sakhakh, “to cover; to protect”; TWOT 2:623-24). K. J. Cathcart (Nahum in the Light of Northwest Semitic [BibOr], 95) suggests that the translation “mantelet” is supported by the use of the verb III סָכַךְ in Ps 140:7 [8]: “Yahweh, my Lord, my fortress of safety; shelter (סַכֹּתָּה, sakotah) my head in the day of arms.” This is reflected in several recent English versions: “wheeled shelters” (NJPS), “protective shield” (NIV), “covering used in a siege” (NASB margin), and “mantelet” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV). Cf. also TEV “the shield for the battering ram.”

sn The Hebrew term translated covered siege tower probably does not refer to a battering ram, but to a movable protective tower, used to cover the soldiers and the siege machinery. These are frequently depicted in Neo-Assyrian bas-reliefs, such as the relief of Sennacherib’s siege of Lachish. The Neo-Assyrians used both small, hut-like shelters that could be carried by a few men, as well as larger, tower-like structures rolled on wheels to the top of siege embankments. These mantelets protected the attackers while they built the embankments and undermined the foundations of the city walls to hasten their collapse. Siege towers were equipped with machines designed to hurl stones to smash the fortifications and firebrands to start conflagrations (see A. H. Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains, 2:281-86).



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