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Isaiah 46:5-8

Context

46:5 To whom can you compare and liken me?

Tell me whom you think I resemble, so we can be compared!

46:6 Those who empty out gold from a purse

and weigh out silver on the scale 1 

hire a metalsmith, who makes it into a god.

They then bow down and worship it.

46:7 They put it on their shoulder and carry it;

they put it in its place and it just stands there;

it does not 2  move from its place.

Even when someone cries out to it, it does not reply;

it does not deliver him from his distress.

46:8 Remember this, so you can be brave! 3 

Think about it, you rebels! 4 

1 tn Heb “the reed,” probably referring to the beam of a scales. See BDB 889 s.v. קָנֶה 4.c.

2 tn Or perhaps, “cannot,” here and in the following two lines. The imperfect forms can indicate capability.

3 tn The meaning of the verb אָשַׁשׁ (’ashash, which appears here in the Hitpolel stem) is uncertain. BDB 84 s.v. אשׁשׁ relates it to a root meaning “found, establish” in Arabic; HALOT 100 s.v. II אשׁשׁ gives the meaning “pluck up courage.” The imperative with vav (ו) may indicate purpose following the preceding imperative.

4 tn Heb “return [it], rebels, to heart”; NRSV “recall it to mind, you transgressors.”



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