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Isaiah 17:12-14


17:12 The many nations massing together are as good as dead, 1 

those who make a commotion as loud as the roaring of the sea’s waves. 2 

The people making such an uproar are as good as dead, 3 

those who make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves. 4 

17:13 Though these people make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves, 5 

when he shouts at 6  them, they will flee to a distant land,

driven before the wind like dead weeds on the hills,

or like dead thistles 7  before a strong gale.

17:14 In the evening there is sudden terror; 8 

by morning they vanish. 9 

This is the fate of those who try to plunder us,

the destiny of those who try to loot us! 10 

1 tn Heb “Woe [to] the massing of the many nations.” The word הוֹי (hoy) could be translated as a simple interjection here (“ah!”), but since the following verses announce the demise of these nations, it is preferable to take הוֹי as a funeral cry. See the note on the first phrase of 1:4.

2 tn Heb “like the loud noise of the seas, they make a loud noise.”

3 tn Heb “the uproar of the peoples.” The term הוֹי (hoy, “woe, ah”) does double duty in the parallel structure of the verse; the words “are as good as dead” are supplied in the translation to reflect this.

4 tn Heb “like the uproar of mighty waters they are in an uproar.”

5 tn Heb “the peoples are in an uproar like the uproar of mighty waters.”

6 tn Or “rebukes.” The verb and related noun are used in theophanies of God’s battle cry which terrifies his enemies. See, for example, Pss 18:15; 76:7; 106:9; Isa 50:2; Nah 1:4, and A. Caquot, TDOT 3:49-53.

7 tn Or perhaps “tumbleweed” (NAB, NIV, CEV); KJV “like a rolling thing.”

8 tn Heb “at the time of evening, look, sudden terror.”

9 tn Heb “before morning he is not.”

10 tn Heb “this is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who loot us.”

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