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Isaiah 57:5-7

Context

57:5 you who practice ritual sex 1  under the oaks and every green tree,

who slaughter children near the streams under the rocky overhangs. 2 

57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream are the idols you love;

they, they are the object of your devotion. 3 

You pour out liquid offerings to them,

you make an offering.

Because of these things I will seek vengeance. 4 

57:7 On every high, elevated hill you prepare your bed;

you go up there to offer sacrifices.

1 tn Heb “inflame yourselves”; NRSV “burn with lust.” This verse alludes to the practice of ritual sex that accompanied pagan fertility rites.

2 sn This apparently alludes to the practice of child sacrifice (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).

3 tn Heb “among the smooth stones of the stream [is] your portion, they, they [are] your lot.” The next line indicates idols are in view.

4 tn The text reads literally, “Because of these am I relenting?” If the prefixed interrogative particle is retained at the beginning of the sentence, then the question would be rhetorical, with the Niphal of נָחָם (nakham) probably being used in the sense of “relent, change one’s mind.” One could translate: “Because of these things, how can I relent?” However, the initial letter he may be dittographic (note the final he [ה] on the preceding word). In this case one may understand the verb in the sense of “console oneself, seek vengeance,” as in 1:24.



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