The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; 1 Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice. How dare you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the sages, one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?” 2
The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; the wise counsellors of Pharaoh give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the wise men, a disciple of the ancient kings"?
The princes of Zoan are mere fools; The advice of Pharaoh’s wisest advisers has become stupid. How can you men say to Pharaoh, "I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings"?
What fools are the counselors of Zoan! Their best counsel to the king of Egypt is stupid and wrong. Will they still boast of their wisdom? Will they dare tell Pharaoh about their long line of wise ancestors?
The princes of Zoan are fools, the advisors of Pharaoh stupid. How could any of you dare tell Pharaoh, "Trust me: I'm wise. I know what's going on. Why, I'm descended from the old wisdom of Egypt"?
The chiefs of Zoan are completely foolish; the wisest guides of Pharaoh have become like beasts: how do you say to Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the offspring of early kings?
The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the sages, a descendant of ancient kings"?
Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel. How do you say to Pharaoh, "I am the son of the wise, The son of ancient kings?"
Surely the princes
of the wise
is become brutish
ye unto Pharaoh
I [am] the son
of the wise
|NET © [draft] ITL|
are nothing but
dare you say
of the sages
, one well-versed in the writings of the ancient
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Or “certainly the officials of Zoan are fools.” אַךְ (’akh) can carry the sense, “only, nothing but,” or “certainly, surely.”
2 tn Heb “A son of wise men am I, a son of ancient kings.” The term בֶּן (ben, “son of”) could refer to literal descent, but many understand the word, at least in the first line, in its idiomatic sense of “member [of a guild].” See HALOT 138 s.v. בֶּן and J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:371. If this is the case, then one can take the word in a figurative sense in the second line as well, the “son of ancient kings” being one devoted to their memory as preserved in their literature.