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Isaiah 14:18-20


14:18 1 As for all the kings of the nations,

all of them 2  lie down in splendor, 3 

each in his own tomb. 4 

14:19 But you have been thrown out of your grave

like a shoot that is thrown away. 5 

You lie among 6  the slain,

among those who have been slashed by the sword,

among those headed for 7  the stones of the pit, 8 

as if you were a mangled corpse. 9 

14:20 You will not be buried with them, 10 

because you destroyed your land

and killed your people.

The offspring of the wicked

will never be mentioned again.

1 sn It is unclear where the quotation of the kings, begun in v. 10b, ends. However, the reference to the “kings of the nations” in v. 18 (see also v. 9) seems to indicate that the quotation has ended at this point and that Israel’s direct taunt (cf. vv. 4b-10a) has resumed. In fact the references to the “kings of the nations” may form a stylistic inclusio or frame around the quotation.

2 tc The phrase “all of them” does not appear in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa.

3 sn This refers to the typically extravagant burial of kings.

4 tn Heb “house” (so KJV, ASV), but in this context a tomb is in view. Note the verb “lie down” in the preceding line and the reference to a “grave” in the next line.

5 tn Heb “like a shoot that is abhorred.” The simile seems a bit odd; apparently it refers to a small shoot that is trimmed from a plant and tossed away. Some prefer to emend נֵצֶר (netser, “shoot”); some propose נֵפֶל (nefel, “miscarriage”). In this case one might paraphrase: “like a horrible-looking fetus that is delivered when a woman miscarries.”

6 tn Heb “are clothed with.”

7 tn Heb “those going down to.”

8 tn בּוֹר (bor) literally means “cistern”; cisterns were constructed from stones. On the metaphorical use of “cistern” for the underworld, see the note at v. 15.

9 tn Heb “like a trampled corpse.” Some take this line with what follows.

10 tn Heb “you will not be united with them in burial” (so NASB).

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