Isaiah 28

 

הֹוי עֲטֶרֶת גֵּאוּת שִׁכֹּרֵי אֶפְרַיִם וְצִיץ נֹבֵל צְבִי תִפְאַרְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשׁ גֵּיא־שְׁמָנִים הֲלוּמֵי יָיִן׃   28:1

Isai. 28:1   Woe, proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,

                             and wilting flower of the glory of his honor

                     that was over the best of the fat valleys

                             of those smitten of wine!

הִנֵּה חָזָק וְאַמִּץ לַאדֹנָי כְּזֶרֶם בָּרָד שַׂעַר קָטֶב כְּזֶרֶם מַיִם כַּבִּירִים שֹׁטְפִים הִנִּיחַ לָאָרֶץ בְּיָד׃   28:2

Isai. 28:2   Behold, might and strength are the Master's.

                             Like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,

                    like a mighty flood of inundating water,

                             casting down to the ground with a hand!

בְּרַגְלַיִם תֵּרָמַסְנָה עֲטֶרֶת גֵּאוּת שִׁכֹּורֵי אֶפְרָיִם׃   28:3

Isai. 28:3   With feet the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trampled.

וְהָיְתָה צִיצַת נֹבֵל צְבִי תִפְאַרְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשׁ גֵּיא שְׁמָנִים כְּבִכּוּרָהּ בְּטֶרֶם קַיִץ אֲשֶׁר יִרְאֶה   28:4

  הָרֹאֶה אֹותָהּ בְּעֹודָהּ בְּכַפֹּו יִבְלָעֶנָּה׃

Isai. 28:4   And the wilting flower of the glory of his honor

                             that was over the best of the fat valleys

                    will be like the first ripe fruit before summer,

                            when one will joyfully examine it,

                    while it is in his hand, he will eat it up.

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יִהְיֶה יְהוָה צְבָאֹות לַעֲטֶרֶת צְבִי וְלִצְפִירַת תִּפְאָרָה לִשְׁאָר עַמֹּו׃   28:5

Isai. 28:5   In that day the Lord of hosts shall be

                            for a Crown of splendor

                   and for a Crown of glory to the remnant of His people,

וּלְרוּחַ מִשְׁפָּט לַיֹּושֵׁב עַל־הַמִּשְׁפָּט וְלִגְבוּרָה מְשִׁיבֵי מִלְחָמָה שָׁעְרָה׃   28:6

Isai. 28:6   and for a Spirit of judgment

                             to him sitting in judgment,

                    and for the might of those

                            who are the reversers of the battle at the gate.

וְגַם־אֵלֶּה בַּיַּיִן שָׁגוּ וּבַשֵּׁכָר תָּעוּ כֹּהֵן וְנָבִיא שָׁגוּ בַשֵּׁכָר נִבְלְעוּ מִן־הַיַּיִן תָּעוּ מִן־הַשֵּׁכָר שָׁגוּ בָּרֹאֶה   28:7 פָּקוּ פְּלִילִיָּה׃

Isai. 28:7   But even these reel with wine

                            and stagger with strong drink.

                    Priest and prophet, they reel with strong drink.

                            They are confused from the wine,

                     they go astray from the strong drink,

                             they err in vision, are unsteady of judgment.

כִּי כָּל־שֻׁלְחָנֹות מָלְאוּ קִיא צֹאָה בְּלִי מָקֹום׃   28:8

Isai. 28:8   When all tables are full of filthy vomit without a space,

אֶת־מִי יֹורֶה דֵעָה וְאֶת־מִי יָבִין שְׁמוּעָה גְּמוּלֵי מֵחָלָב עַתִּיקֵי מִשָּׁדָיִם׃   28:9

Isai. 28:9   whom can one teach knowledge,

                              and whom can one make understand the message,

                     the weanlings from milk, the removed from breasts,

כִּי צַו לָצָו צַו לָצָו קַו לָקָו קַו לָקָו זְעֵיר שָׁם זְעֵיר שָׁם׃   28:10

Isai. 28:10   when it is precept by precept,

                               precept by precept,

                       line by line, line by line,

                               a little here, a little there,

כִּי בְּלַעֲגֵי שָׂפָה וּבְלָשֹׁון אַחֶרֶת יְדַבֵּר אֶל־הָעָם הַזֶּה׃   28:11

Isai. 28:11   when by stammerers of words

                               and with strange language

                      must it be spoken to this people?

The stammerers are those mentioned in v. 28:7.

אֲשֶׁר אָמַר אֲלֵיהֶם זֹאת הַמְּנוּחָה הָנִיחוּ לֶעָיֵף וְזֹאת הַמַּרְגֵּעָה וְלֹא אָבוּא שְׁמֹועַ׃   28:12

Isai. 28:12   To whom it was said,

                               “This is the rest; give rest to the weary.

                      And this is the refreshing.”

                               But they did not rest content, listening.

וְהָיָה לָהֶם דְּבַר־יְהוָה צַו לָצָו צַו לָצָו קַו לָקָו קַו לָקָו זְעֵיר שָׁם זְעֵיר שָׁם לְמַעַן יֵלְכוּ וְכָשְׁלוּ אָחֹור   28:13 וְנִשְׁבָּרוּ וְנֹוקְשׁוּ וְנִלְכָּדוּ׃

Isai. 28:13   So the word of the Lord shall come to them

                              precept by precept, precept by precept,

                       line by line, line by line,

                              a little here, a little there,

                       so that they will go and stumble backward

                              and be broken and snared and taken.

לָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהוָה אַנְשֵׁי לָצֹון מֹשְׁלֵי הָעָם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִָם׃   28:14

Isai. 28:14   Therefore hear the word of the Lord, scornful men,

                              rulers of this people, who are in Jerusalem!

כִּי אֲמַרְתֶּם כָּרַתְנוּ בְרִית אֶת־מָוֶת וְעִם־שְׁאֹול עָשִׂינוּ חֹזֶה (שִׁיט) [שֹׁוט] שֹׁוטֵף   28:15

  כִּי־(עָבַר) [יַעֲבֹר] לֹא יְבֹואֵנוּ כִּי שַׂמְנוּ כָזָב מַחְסֵנוּ וּבַשֶּׁקֶר נִסְתָּרְנוּ׃

Isai. 28:15   Because you have said,

                               “We have made a covenant with death,

                      and we have made an agreement with the netherworld.

                                The sudden scourge, when passing over,

                      will not come into us;

                                for we have made a lie our refuge,

                      and we have hidden ourselves in deceit.”

There are supposedly two errors in this verse.  Indeed the one in the first set of parentheses has a yad in place of a vav, as it is part of a Hebrew idiom, @jeAv jAv.   And the one in the second set of parentheses is presumed to have a yad missing.  I believe this word is not in error, and is actually a participle.  The alleged correction makes it an imperfect verb, which I suspect was not intended by Isaiah   The change makes the translation of the phrase something like “... The sudden scourge, when it will pass over, will not come into us....”  I believe this “error” was identified because in v. 28:18 below, the word is repeated in an almost identical phrase, and there the word in question is an imperfect verb.  I question this correction, though, on three grounds.  For one, often identical or nearly identical phrases may be (and often are) changed somewhat when they are repeated.  For another reason, in this verse the people is quoted by Isaiah, but in the repetition in v. 28:18 the people is quoted by the Lord (in Isaiah’s words) and the rest of that verse differs from this one.  Thirdly, the same word appears in v. 28:19 and there it is a participle.

לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנְנִי יִסַּד בְּצִיֹּון אָבֶן אֶבֶן בֹּחַן פִּנַּת יִקְרַת מוּסָד מוּסָּד הַמַּאֲמִין לֹא   28:16

 יָחִישׁ׃

Isai. 28:16   Therefore, thus says the Master, the Lord:

                               “Behold, I am a Foundation of stone in Zion,

                      a Corner Stone,

                               an excellent Bulwark of a sure foundation.

                      He who believes will not make haste.”

וְשַׂמְתִּי מִשְׁפָּט לְקָו וּצְדָקָה לְמִשְׁקָלֶת וְיָעָה בָרָד מַחְסֵה כָזָב וְסֵתֶר מַיִם יִשְׁטֹפוּ׃  28:17

Isai. 28:17   “And I shall set up justice as a line

                               and righteousness as a plumb,

                      and hail shall sweep away the deceptive refuge,

                               and water shall inundate the hiding place.”

וְכֻפַּר בְּרִיתְכֶם אֶת־מָוֶת וְחָזוּתְכֶם אֶת־שְׁאֹול לֹא תָקוּם שֹׁוט שֹׁוטֵף כִּי יַעֲבֹר וִהְיִיתֶם לֹו לְמִרְמָס׃   28:18

Isai. 28:18   Then He shall annul your covenant with death,

                               and your agreement with the netherworld shall not stand.

                      The sudden scourge, when it will pass over,

                                then you shall be trodden down by it.

מִדֵּי עָבְרֹו יִקַּח אֶתְכֶם כִּי־בַבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר יַעֲבֹר בַּיֹּום וּבַלָּיְלָה וְהָיָה רַק־זְוָעָה הָבִין שְׁמוּעָה׃   28:19

Isai. 28:19   Every time of its passing through,

                               it shall take you,

                      for morning after morning it shall pass through,

                               in the day and in the night,

                      and it shall be nothing but vexation

                               to understand the message.

כִּי־קָצַר הַמַּצָּע מֵהִשְׂתָּרֵעַ וְהַמַּסֵּכָה צָרָה כְּהִתְכַּנֵּס׃   28:20

Isai. 28:20   For the bed is too short to stretch oneself out,

                               and the cover is too narrow to wrap oneself.

This clever metaphor sounds like “You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it.”

כִּי כְהַר־פְּרָצִים יָקוּם יְהוָה כְּעֵמֶק בְּגִבְעֹון יִרְגָּז לַעֲשֹׂות מַעֲשֵׂהוּ זָר מַעֲשֵׂהוּ וְלַעֲבֹד עֲבֹדָתֹו נָכְרִיָּה   28:21 עֲבֹדָתֹו׃

Isai. 28:21   For like Mount Perazim the Lord shall rise up,

                             like the valley in Gibeon He will “rage” to do His work

                      -- strange is His work, and to bring about His act --

                             strange is His act.

It is pretty much accepted by bible scholars that Perazim is a reference to a great victory by David over the Philistines (2Sa. 5:20), and Gibeon refers to the time when the sun stood still for Joshua (Josh. 10:12, 13).  These were both mighty acts of the Lord.  If this presumption is correct, it places the writing of at least those books before the time of Isaiah, meaning that they had to have been written before the Babylonian exile (at least some 140 years or more before).

וְעַתָּה אַל־תִּתְלֹוצָצוּ פֶּן־יֶחְזְקוּ מֹוסְרֵיכֶם כִּי־כָלָה וְנֶחֱרָצָה שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאֵת אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאֹות   28:22 עַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ׃

Isai. 28:22   So now do not be scoffers,

                               lest your restraints should be made stronger.

                      For determined and decided, I have heard from the Master,

                               is the Lord of hosts concerning all the land.

הַאֲזִינוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ קֹולִי הַקְשִׁיבוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ אִמְרָתִי׃   28:23

Isai. 28:23   Give ear and hear my voice!

                               Attend and hear my speech!

הֲכֹל הַיֹּום יַחֲרֹשׁ הַחֹרֵשׁ לִזְרֹעַ יְפַתַּח וִישַׂדֵּד אַדְמָתֹו׃   28:24

Isai. 28:24   Every day the plowman plows to sow,

                               does he loosen and break up his ground?

הֲלֹוא אִם־שִׁוָּה פָנֶיהָ וְהֵפִיץ קֶצַח וְכַמֹּן יִזְרֹק וְשָׂם חִטָּה שֹׂורָה וּשְׂעֹרָה נִסְמָן וְכֻסֶּמֶת גְּבֻלָתֹו׃   28:25

Isai. 28:25   Does he not, when he has leveled its surface,

                               then scatter the black cumin,

                      and sprinkle the cumin,

                               and cast rows in the wheat,

                      and the marked barley,

                               and the spelt of his place?

וְיִסְּרֹו לַמִּשְׁפָּט אֱלֹהָיו יֹורֶנּוּ׃   28:26

Isai. 28:26   And He will have instructed him rightly,

                               his God will have taught him.

כִּי לֹא בֶחָרוּץ יוּדַשׁ קֶצַח וְאֹופַן עֲגָלָה עַל־כַּמֹּן יוּסָּב כִּי בַמַּטֶּה יֵחָבֶט קֶצַח וְכַמֹּן בַּשָּׁבֶט׃   28:27

Isai. 28:27   For black cumin may not be threshed with a threshing sledge,

                              or a wheel cart turned upon the cumin,

                      because black cumin must be beaten with a staff,

                              and cumin with a rod.

לֶחֶם יוּדָק כִּי לֹא לָנֶצַח אָדֹושׁ יְדוּשֶׁנּוּ וְהָםַם גִּלְגַּל עֶגְלָתֹו וּפָרָשָׁיו לֹא־יְדֻקֶּנּוּ׃   28:28

Isai. 28:28   Bread grain should be crushed.

                               Certainly, one would never customarily thresh it.

                      And the wheel of his wagon is noisy,

                               but its driver will not crush it.

גַּם־זֹאת מֵעִם יְהוָה צְבָאֹות יָצָאָה הִפְלִיא עֵצָה הִגְדִּיל תּוּשִׁיָּה׃   28:29

Isai. 28:29   This also comes forth from the Lord of hosts.

                               Wonderful is the counsel, great is the wisdom!

 

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