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Isaiah 33:8-9


33:8 Highways are empty, 1 

there are no travelers. 2 

Treaties are broken, 3 

witnesses are despised, 4 

human life is treated with disrespect. 5 

33:9 The land 6  dries up 7  and withers away;

the forest of Lebanon shrivels up 8  and decays.

Sharon 9  is like the desert; 10 

Bashan and Carmel 11  are parched. 12 

1 tn Or “desolate” (NAB, NASB); NIV, NRSV, NLT “deserted.”

2 tn Heb “the one passing by on the road ceases.”

3 tn Heb “one breaks a treaty”; NAB “Covenants are broken.”

4 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “he despises cities.” The term עָרִים (’arim, “cities”) is probably a corruption of an original עֵדִים (’edim, “[legal] witnesses”), a reading that is preserved in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa. Confusion of dalet (ד) and resh (ר) is a well-attested scribal error.

5 tn Heb “he does not regard human beings.”

6 tn Or “earth” (KJV); NAB “the country.”

7 tn Or “mourns” (BDB 5 s.v. I אָבַל). HALOT 6-7 lists homonyms I אבל (“mourn”) and II אבל (“dry up”). They propose the second here on the basis of parallelism. See 24:4.

8 tn Heb “Lebanon is ashamed.” The Hiphil is exhibitive, expressing the idea, “exhibits shame.” In this context the statement alludes to the withering of vegetation.

9 sn Sharon was a fertile plain along the Mediterranean coast. See 35:2.

10 tn Or “the Arabah” (NIV). See 35:1.

11 sn Both of these areas were known for their trees and vegetation. See 2:13; 35:2.

12 tn Heb “shake off [their leaves]” (so ASV, NRSV); NAB “are stripped bare.”

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