You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more than the stars of the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away.
You have increased your traders more than the stars of heaven— The creeping locust strips and flies away.
Merchants, as numerous as the stars, have filled your city with vast wealth. But like a swarm of locusts, they strip the land and then fly away.
You've multiplied shops and shopkeepers--more buyers and sellers than stars in the sky! A plague of locusts, cleaning out the neighborhood and then flying off.
Let your traders be increased more than the stars of heaven:
You increased your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven. The locust plunders and flies away.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Or “Increase!” or “You have increased.” The form and meaning of the MT perfect tense verb הִרְבֵּית (hirbet; from רָבָה [ravah], “to increase”) is debated. The LXX translated it as a simple past meaning. However, some scholars argue for an imperatival form or an imperatival nuance due to the presence of the two preceding volitive forms: הִתְכַּבֵּד (hitkabbed) and הִתְכַּבְּדִי (hitkabbÿdi, “Multiply…multiply!”). For example, the editors of BHS propose emending the perfect tense הִרְבֵּית to the imperative form הַרְבִי (harvi, “multiply!”). K. J. Cathcart (Nahum in the Light of Northwest Semitic [BibOr], 145) retains the MT perfect form but classifies it as a precative perfect with an imperatival nuance (“increase!”). Some scholars deny the existence of the precative perfect in Hebrew (G. R. Driver, Tenses in Hebrew, 25-26); however, others argue for its existence (IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4).
2 tn The words “they are like” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
3 tn The verb פָּשַׁט (pashat, “to strip off”) refers to the action of the locust shedding its outer layer of skin or sheaths of wings while in the larval stage (BDB 833 s.v.). In a similar sense, this verb is normally used of a person stripping off garments (Gen 37:23; Lev 6:4; 16:23; Num 20:26, 28; 1 Sam 18:4; 19:24; 31:8, 9; 2 Sam 23:10; 1 Chr 10:8, 9; Neh 4:17; Job 19:9; 22:6; Ezek 16:39; 23:26; 26:16; 44:19; Hos 2:5; Mic 2:8; 3:3).