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Isaiah 16

16
XVI
1Send forth the lambs of the ruler of the land,
From Selah of the desert,
Unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
2For it shall be, that as a wandering bird, a nest forsaken,
So shall the daughters of Moab be at the fords of Arnon.
3Impart counsel; execute justice;
Make thy shadow like unto the night, in the midst of the noon-day:
Hide the out-casts; betray not the fugitives.
4Let my out-casts, the Moabites, dwell with thee;
Be thou to them a covert from the destroyer:
For the oppressor is no more, the destroyer ceaseth;
He that trampled you under foot is perished from the land.
5And the throne shall be established in mercy,
And thereon shall be seated in truth,
In the tabernacle of David, a judge;
And he will carefully search out the right,
And promptly execute justice.
6We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud:
His haughtiness, and his pride, and his anger:
His vain boastings.
7Therefore shall Moab lament over Moab,
Every one shall lament;
For the fortifications of Kir-haraseth shall ye moan,
Ye the deeply afflicted.
8For the fields of Heshbon languish,
The vine of Sibmah, the lords of the nations have broken down the fruitful tendrils thereof;
Unto Jazer did they reach, they wandered over the desert:
Her branches extended themselves, they passed over the sea.
9Therefore I will weep, with the weeping of Jazer,
for the vine of Sibmah;
I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh!
For upon thy summer fruits, and upon thy harvest, the war-shout is fallen.
10And joy and gladness is taken away from the fruitful field;
And in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither any shouting:
Wine into the vats the treader shall no longer tread; The shout of joy I have made to cease.
11Wherefore my bowels shall sound like a harp for Moab;
And mine inward parts for Kirharesh.
12And it shall be, when it is seen
That Moab hath wearied himself out on the high place,
Then shall he enter into his sanctuary to pray;
But he shall not prevail.
13This is the word, which Jehovah spake concerning Moab long ago; 14but now Jehovah hath spoken, saying:
After three years, as the years of an hireling,
The glory of Moab shall be debased,
Together with all his great multitude;
And the remnant shall be very few, not many.

Isaiah 16

16
1 Send rams as tribute to the ruler of the land,#tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “Send [a plural imperatival form is used] a ram [to] the ruler of the land.” The term כַּר (kar, “ram”) should be emended to the plural כָּרִים (karim). The singular form in the text is probably the result of haplography; note that the next word begins with a mem (מ).
from Sela in the desert#tn The Hebrew text has “toward [across?] the desert.”
to the hill of Daughter Zion.
2 At the fords of the Arnon#tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
the Moabite women are like a bird
that flies about when forced from its nest.#tn Heb “like a bird fleeing, thrust away [from] a nest, the daughters of Moab are [at] the fords of Arnon.”
3 “Bring a plan, make a decision!#sn It is unclear who is being addressed in this verse. Perhaps the prophet, playing the role of a panic stricken Moabite refugee, requests the leaders of Judah (the imperatives are plural) to take pity on the fugitives.
Provide some shade in the middle of the day!#tn Heb “Make your shade like night in the midst of noonday.” “Shade” here symbolizes shelter, while the heat of noonday represents the intense suffering of the Moabites. By comparing the desired shade to night, the speaker visualizes a huge dark shadow cast by a large tree that would provide relief from the sun’s heat.
Hide the fugitives! Do not betray#tn Heb “disclose, uncover.” the one who tries to escape!
4 Please let the Moabite fugitives live#tn That is, “live as resident foreigners.” among you.
Hide them#tn Heb “Be a hiding place for them.” from the destroyer!”
Certainly#tn The present translation understands כִּי (ki) as asseverative, but one could take it as explanatory (“for,” KJV, NASB) or temporal (“when,” NAB, NRSV). In the latter case, v. 4b would be logically connected to v. 5. the one who applies pressure will cease,#tn A perfect verbal form is used here and in the next two lines for rhetorical effect; the demise of the oppressor(s) is described as if it had already occurred.
the destroyer will come to an end,
those who trample will disappear#tc The Hebrew text has, “they will be finished, the one who tramples, from the earth.” The plural verb form תַּמּוּ, (tammu, “disappear”) could be emended to agree with the singular subject רֹמֵס (romes, “the one who tramples”) or the participle can be emended to a plural (רֹמֵסִם, romesim) to agree with the verb. The translation assumes the latter. Haplography of mem (ם) seems likely; note that the word after רֹמֵס begins with a mem. from the earth.
5 Then a trustworthy king will be established;
he will rule in a reliable manner,
this one from David’s family.#tn Heb “and a throne will be established in faithfulness, and he will sit on it in reliability, in the tent of David.”
He will be sure to make just decisions
and will be experienced in executing justice.#tn Heb “one who judges and seeks justice, and one experienced in fairness.” Many understand מְהִר (mÿhir) to mean “quick, prompt” (see BDB 555 s.v. מָהִיר), but HALOT 552 s.v. מָהִיר offers the meaning “skillful, experienced,” and translates the phrase in v. 5 “zealous for what is right.”
6 We have heard about Moab’s pride,
their great arrogance,
their boasting, pride, and excess.#tn עֶבְרָה (’evrah) often means “anger, fury,” but here it appears to refer to boastful outbursts or excessive claims. See HALOT 782 s.v. עֶבְרָה.
But their boastful claims are empty!#tn Heb “not so his boasting.”
7 So Moab wails over its demise#tn Heb “So Moab wails for Moab.”
they all wail!
Completely devastated, they moan
about what has happened to the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth.#tn The Hebrew text has, “for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth you [masculine plural] moan, surely destroyed.” The “raisin cakes” could have cultic significance (see Hos 3:1), but the next verse focuses on agricultural disaster, so here the raisin cakes are mentioned as an example of the fine foods that are no longer available (see 2 Sam 6:19; Song 2:5) because the vines have been destroyed by the invader (see v. 8). Some prefer to take אֲשִׁישֵׁי (’ashishe, “raisin cakes of”) as “men of” (see HALOT 95 s.v. *אָשִׁישׁ; cf. NIV). The verb form תֶהְגּוּ (tehgu, “you moan”) is probably the result of dittography (note that the preceding word ends in tav [ת]) and should be emended to הגו (a perfect, third plural form), “they moan.”
8 For the fields of Heshbon are dried up,
as well as the vines of Sibmah.
The rulers of the nations trample all over its vines,
which reach Jazer and spread to the desert;
their shoots spread out and cross the sea.
9 So I weep along with Jazer#tn Heb “So I weep with the weeping of Jazer.” Once more the speaker (the Lord? – see v. 10b) plays the role of a mourner (see 15:5).
over the vines of Sibmah.
I will saturate you#tc The form אֲרַיָּוֶךְ (’arayyavekh) should be emended to אֲרַוָּיֶךְ (’aravvayekh; the vav [ו] and yod [י] have been accidentally transposed) from רָוָה (ravah, “be saturated”). with my tears, Heshbon and Elealeh,
for the conquering invaders shout triumphantly
over your fruit and crops.#tn Heb “for over your fruit and over your harvest shouting has fallen.” The translation assumes that the shouting is that of the conqueror (Jer 51:14). Another possibility is that the shouting is that of the harvesters (see v. 10b, as well as Jer 25:30), in which case one might translate, “for the joyful shouting over the fruit and crops has fallen silent.”
10 Joy and happiness disappear from the orchards,
and in the vineyards no one rejoices or shouts;
no one treads out juice in the wine vats#tn Heb “wine in the vats the treader does not tread.”
I have brought the joyful shouts to an end.#sn The Lord appears to be the speaker here. See 15:9.
11 So my heart constantly sighs for Moab, like the strumming of a harp,#tn Heb “so my intestines sigh for Moab like a harp.” The word מֵעַי (me’ay, “intestines”) is used here of the seat of the emotions. English idiom requires the word “heart.” The point of the comparison to a harp is not entirely clear. Perhaps his sighs of mourning resemble a harp in sound, or his constant sighing is like the repetitive strumming of a harp.
my inner being sighs#tn The verb is supplied in the translation; “sighs” in the preceding line does double duty in the parallel structure. for Kir Hareseth.#tn Heb “Kir Heres” (so ASV, NRSV, TEV, CEV), a variant name for “Kir Hareseth” (see v. 7).
12 When the Moabites plead with all their might at their high places,#tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
and enter their temples to pray, their prayers will be ineffective!#tn Heb “when he appears, when he grows tired, Moab on the high places, and enters his temple to pray, he will not prevail.” It is possible that “when he grows tired” is an explanatory gloss for the preceding “when he appears.”
13 This is the message the Lord previously announced about Moab. 14 Now the Lord makes this announcement: “Within exactly three years#tn Heb “in three years, like the years of a hired worker.” The three years must be reckoned exactly, just as a hired worker would carefully keep track of the time he had agreed to work for an employer in exchange for a predetermined wage. Moab’s splendor will disappear, along with all her many people; there will be just a few, insignificant survivors left.”#tn Heb “and the splendor of Moab will be disgraced with all the great multitude, and a small little remnant will not be strong.”