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Isaiah 32:9-13

Context
The Lord Will Give True Security

32:9 You complacent 1  women,

get up and listen to me!

You carefree 2  daughters,

pay attention to what I say!

32:10 In a year’s time 3 

you carefree ones will shake with fear,

for the grape 4  harvest will fail,

and the fruit harvest will not arrive.

32:11 Tremble, you complacent ones!

Shake with fear, you carefree ones!

Strip off your clothes and expose yourselves –

put sackcloth on your waist! 5 

32:12 Mourn over the field, 6 

over the delightful fields

and the fruitful vine!

32:13 Mourn 7  over the land of my people,

which is overgrown with thorns and briers,

and over all the once-happy houses 8 

in the city filled with revelry. 9 

1 tn Or “self-assured”; NASB, NRSV “who are at ease.”

2 tn Or “self-confident”; NAB “overconfident.”

3 tn Heb “days upon a year.”

4 tn Or perhaps, “olive.” See 24:13.

5 tn The imperatival forms in v. 11 are problematic. The first (חִרְדוּ, khirdu, “tremble”) is masculine plural in form, though spoken to a feminine plural addressee (שַׁאֲנַנּוֹת, shaanannot, “complacent ones”). The four imperatival forms that follow (רְגָזָה, rÿgazah, “shake with fear”; פְּשֹׁטָה, pÿshotah, “strip off your clothes”; עֹרָה, ’orah, “expose yourselves”; and חֲגוֹרָה, khagorah, “put on”) all appear to be lengthened (so-called “emphatic”) masculine singular forms, even though they too appear to be spoken to a feminine plural addressee. GKC 131-32 §48.i suggests emending חִרְדוּ (khirdu) to חֲרָדָה (kharadah) and understanding all five imperatives as feminine plural “aramaized” forms.

6 tc The Hebrew text has “over mourning breasts.” The reference to “breasts” would make sense in light of v. 11, which refers to the practice of women baring their breasts as a sign of sorrow (see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 1:585). However, one expects the preposition עַל (’al) to introduce the source or reason for mourning (see vv. 12b-13a) and the participle סֹפְדִים (sofedim, “mourning”) seems odd modifying “breasts.” The translation above assumes a twofold emendation: (1) שָׁדַיִם (shadayim, “breasts”) is emended to [ם]שָׂדַי (saday[m], “field,” a term that also appears in Isa 56:9). The final mem (ם) would be enclitic in this case, not a plural indicator. (The Hebrew noun שָׂדֶה (sadeh, “field”) forms its plural with an וֹת- [-ot] ending). (2) The plural participle סֹפְדִים is emended to סְפֹדָה (sÿfodah), a lengthened imperatival form, meaning “mourn.” For an overview of various suggestions that have been made for this difficult line, see Oswalt, 586, n. 12).

7 tn “Mourn” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text vv. 12-13 are one long sentence.

8 tn Heb “indeed, over all the houses of joy.” It is not certain if this refers to individual homes or to places where parties and celebrations were held.

9 sn This same phrase is used in 22:2.



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