1tn Heb “Woe [to] the crown [or “wreath”] of the splendor [or “pride”] of the drunkards of Ephraim.” The “crown” is Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom (Ephraim). Priests and prophets are included among these drunkards in v. 7.

2tn Heb “the beauty of his splendor.” In the translation the masculine pronoun (“his”) has been replaced by “its” because the referent (the “crown”) is the city of Samaria.

3tn Heb “which [is].”

4tn Heb “ones overcome with wine.” The words “the crown of” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The syntactical relationship of the final phrase to what precedes is uncertain. הֲלוּמֵי יָיִן (halume yayin, “ones overcome with wine”) seems to correspond to שִׁכֹּרֵי אֶפְרַיִם (shikkore efrayim, “drunkards of Ephraim”) in line 1. The translation assumes that the phrase “the splendid crown” is to be understood in the final line as well.

5tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here and in vv. 16, 22 is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

6tn Heb “Look, a strong and powerful [one] belongs to the Lord.”

7tn Heb “like a rainstorm of hail, a wind of destruction.”

8tn Heb “like a rainstorm of mighty, overflowing waters.”

9tn The words “that crown” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The object of the verb is unexpressed in the Hebrew text.

10tn Or “by [his] power.”

11tn Heb “which the one seeing sees, while still it is in his hand he swallows it.”

12tn Or “in that day” (KJV).

13tn Heb “and [he will become] a spirit of justice for the one who sits [i.e., presides] over judgment, // and strength [for] the ones who turn back battle at the city gate.” The Lord will provide internal stability and national security.

14tn Heb “these.” The demonstrative pronoun anticipates “priests and prophets” two lines later.

15tn According to HALOT 135 s.v. III בלע, the verb form is derived from בָּלַע (bala’, “confuse”), not the more common בָּלַע (“swallow”). See earlier notes at 3:12 and 9:16.

16tn Heb “in the seeing.”

17tn Heb “[in] giving a decision.”

18tn Heb “vomit, without a place.” For the meaning of the phrase בְּלִי מָקוֹם (bli maqom, “without a place”), see HALOT 133 s.v. בְּלִי.

19tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20tn Heb “Who is he teaching knowledge? For whom is he explaining a message?” The translation assumes that the Lord is the subject of the verbs “teaching” and “explaining,” and that the prophet is asking the questions. See v. 12. According to some vv. 9-10 record the people’s sarcastic response to the Lord’s message through Isaiah.

21tn Heb “from the breasts.” The words “their mother’s” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The translation assumes that this is the prophet’s answer to the questions asked in the first half of the verse. The Lord is trying to instruct people who are “infants” morally and ethically.

22tn The meaning of this verse has been debated. The text has literally “indeed [or “for”] a little there, a little there” ( כִּי צַו לָצָו צַו לָצָו קַו לָקָו קַו, ki tsav latsav, tsav latsav, qav laqav, qav laqav). The present translation assumes that the repetitive syllables are gibberish that resembles baby talk (cf v. 9b) and mimics what the people will hear when foreign invaders conquer the land (v. 11). In this case זְעֵיר (zer, “a little”) refers to the short syllabic structure of the babbling (cf. CEV). Some take צַו (tsav) as a derivative of צָוָה (tsavah, “command”) and translate the first part of the statement as “command after command, command after command.” Proponents of this position (followed by many English versions) also take קַו (qav) as a noun meaning “measuring line” (see v. 17), understood here in the abstract sense of “standard” or “rule.”

23sn This verse alludes to the coming Assyrian invasion, when the people will hear a foreign language that sounds like gibberish to them. The Lord is the subject of the verb “will speak,” as v. 12 makes clear. He once spoke in meaningful terms, but in the coming judgment he will speak to them, as it were, through the mouth of foreign oppressors. The apparent gibberish they hear will be an outward reminder that God has decreed their defeat.

24tn Heb “who said to them.”

25sn This message encapsulates the Lord’s invitation to his people to find security in his protection and blessing.

26tn Heb “And the word of the Lord will be to them, ‘tsahv latsahv,’ etc.” See the note at v. 10. In this case the “Lord’s word” is not the foreigner’s strange sounding words (as in v. 10), but the Lord’s repeated appeals to them (like the one quoted in v. 12). As time goes on, the Lord’s appeals through the prophets will have no impact on the people; they will regard prophetic preaching as gibberish.

27tn Heb “as a result they will go and stumble backward.” Perhaps an infant falling as it attempts to learn to walk is the background image here (cf. v. 9b). The Hebrew term לְמַעַן (lmaan) could be taken as indicating purpose (“in order that”), rather than simple result. In this case the people’s insensitivity to the message is caused by the Lord as a means of expediting their downfall.

28sn When divine warnings and appeals become gibberish to the spiritually insensitive, they have no guidance and are doomed to destruction.

29map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

30sn Sheol is the underworld, land of the dead, according to the OT world view.

31tn Elsewhere the noun חֹזֶה (khozeh) refers to a prophet who sees visions. In v. 18 the related term חָזוּת (khazut, “vision”) is used. The parallelism in both verses (note “treaty”) seems to demand a meaning “agreement” for both nouns. Perhaps חֹזֶה and חזוּת are used in a metonymic sense in vv. 15 and 18. Another option is to propose a homonymic root. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:514, and HALOT 301 s.v. II חֹזֶה.

32tn Heb “the overwhelming scourge, when it passes by” (NRSV similar).

33sn “Lie” and “deceitful word” would not be the terms used by the people. They would likely use the words “promise” and “reliable word,” but the prophet substitutes “lie” and “deceitful word” to emphasize that this treaty with death will really prove to be disappointing.

34tc The Hebrew text has a third person verb form, which does not agree with the first person suffix that precedes. The form should be emended to יֹסֵד (yosed), a Qal active participle used in a present progressive or imminent future sense.

35tn Traditionally “tested,” but the implication is that it has passed the test and stands approved.

36sn The reality behind the metaphor is not entirely clear from the context. The stone appears to represent someone or something that gives Zion stability. Perhaps the ideal Davidic ruler is in view (see 32:1). Another option is that the image of beginning a building project by laying a precious cornerstone suggests that God is about to transform Zion through judgment and begin a new covenant community that will experience his protection (see 4:3-6; 31:5; 33:20-24; 35:10).

37tn Heb “will not hurry,” i.e., act in panic.

38tn Heb “[the] refuge, [the] lie.” See v. 15.

39tn On the meaning of כָּפַר (kafar) in this context, see HALOT 494 s.v. I כפר and J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:515, n. 9.

40tn Normally the noun חָזוּת (khazut) means “vision.” See the note at v. 15.

41tn Or “will not stand” (NIV, NRSV).

42tn See the note at v. 15.

43tn Heb “you will become a trampling place for it.”

44tn Or “for” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

45tn The words “it will come through” are supplied in the translation. The verb “will sweep by” does double duty in the parallel structure.

46sn The bed and blanket probably symbolize their false sense of security. A bed that is too short and a blanket that is too narrow may promise rest and protection from the cold, but in the end they are useless and disappointing. In the same way, their supposed treaty with death will prove useless and disappointing.

47sn This probably alludes to David’s victory over the Philistines at Baal Perazim. See 2 Sam 5:20.

48sn This probably alludes to the Lord’s victory over the Canaanites at Gibeon, during the days of Joshua. See Josh 10:10-11.

49sn God’s judgment of his own people is called “his peculiar work” and “his strange task,” because he must deal with them the way he treated their enemies in the past.

50tn Or “the whole earth” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NCV).

51tn Heb “to my voice.”

52tn Heb “to my word”; cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “hear my speech.”

53tn Heb “All the day does the plowman plow in order to plant?” The phrase “all the day” here has the sense of “continually, always.” See BDB 400 s.v. יוֹם.

54tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “place wheat [?], and barley [?], and grain in its territory.” The term שׂוֹרָה (shorah) is sometimes translated “[in] its place,” but the word is unattested elsewhere. It is probably due to dittography of the immediately following שְׂעֹרָה (sorah, “barley”). The meaning of נִסְמָן (nisman) is also uncertain. It may be due to dittography of the immediately following כֻסֶּמֶת (kussemet, “grain”).

55tn Heb “he teaches him the proper way, his God instructs him.”

56tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB).

57sn Both of these seeds are too small to use the ordinary threshing techniques.

58sn Verses 23-29 emphasize that God possesses great wisdom and has established a natural order. Evidence of this can be seen in the way farmers utilize divinely imparted wisdom to grow and harvest crops. God’s dealings with his people will exhibit this same kind of wisdom and order. Judgment will be accomplished according to a divinely ordered timetable and, while severe enough, will not be excessive. Judgment must come, just as planting inevitably follows plowing. God will, as it were, thresh his people, but he will not crush them to the point where they will be of no use to him.