34:1 Come near, you nations, and listen!
Pay attention, you people!
The earth and everything it contains must listen,
the world and everything that lives in it. 1
34:2 For the Lord is angry at all the nations
and furious with all their armies.
He will annihilate them and slaughter them.
their corpses will stink; 3
the hills will soak up their blood. 4
the sky will roll up like a scroll;
all its stars will wither,
like a leaf withers and falls from a vine
or a fig withers and falls from a tree. 6
Look, it now descends on Edom, 9
on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”
34:6 The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,
it is covered 10 with fat;
it drips 11 with the blood of young rams and goats
and is covered 12 with the fat of rams’ kidneys.
a bloody 15 slaughter in the land of Edom.
as well as strong bulls. 17
Their land is drenched with blood,
their soil is covered with fat.
a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion. 19
and her soil into brimstone;
her land will become burning pitch.
its smoke will ascend continually.
Generation after generation it will be a wasteland
and no one will ever pass through it again.
all kinds of wild birds 24 will settle in it.
The Lord 25 will stretch out over her
the measuring line of ruin
34:12 Her nobles will have nothing left to call a kingdom
and all her officials will disappear. 28
34:13 Her fortresses will be overgrown with thorns;
thickets and weeds will grow 29 in her fortified cities.
Jackals will settle there;
ostriches will live there. 30
wild goats will bleat to one another. 32
Yes, nocturnal animals 33 will rest there
and make for themselves a nest. 34
they will hatch them and protect them. 37
Yes, hawks 38 will gather there,
each with its mate.
Not one of these creatures will be missing, 40
none will lack a mate. 41
For the Lord has issued the decree, 42
and his own spirit gathers them. 43
he measures out their assigned place. 45
They will live there 46 permanently;
they will settle in it through successive generations.
[34:4] 5 tc Heb “and all the host of heaven will rot.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa inserts “and the valleys will be split open,” but this reading may be influenced by Mic 1:4. On the other hand, the statement, if original, could have been omitted by homoioarcton, a scribe’s eye jumping from the conjunction prefixed to “the valleys” to the conjunction prefixed to the verb “rot.”
[34:5] 8 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] my sword is drenched in the heavens.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has תראה (“[my sword] appeared [in the heavens]”), but this is apparently an attempt to make sense out of a difficult metaphor. Cf. NIV “My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.”
[34:5] sn In v. 4 the “host of the heaven” refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets, see, among others, Deut 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr 33:3, 5) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7; Isa 14:13). As in 24:21, they are viewed here as opposing God and being defeated in battle.
[34:8] 19 tn Heb “a year of repayment for the strife of Zion.” The translation assumes that רִיב (riv) refers to Edom’s hostility toward Zion. Another option is to understand רִיב (riv) as referring to the Lord’s taking up Zion’s cause. In this case one might translate, “a time when he will repay Edom and vindicate Zion.”
[34:11] 22 tn קָאַת (qa’at) refers to some type of bird (cf. Lev 11:18; Deut 14:17) that was typically found near ruins (see Zeph 2:14). קִפּוֹד (qippod) may also refer to a type of bird (NAB “hoot owl”; NIV “screech owl”; TEV “ravens”), but some have suggested a rodent may be in view (cf. NCV “small animals”; ASV “porcupine”; NASB, NRSV “hedgehog”).
[34:13] 30 tc Heb “and she will be a settlement for wild dogs, a dwelling place for ostriches.” The translation assumes an emendation of חָצִיר (khatsir, “grass”) to חָצֵר (khatser, “settlement”). One of the Qumran scrolls of Isaiah (1QIsaa) supports this emendation (cf. HALOT 344 s.v. II חָצִיר)
[34:14] 33 tn The precise meaning of לִּילִית (lilit) is unclear, though in this context the word certainly refers to some type of wild animal or bird. The word appears to be related to לַיְלָה (laylah, “night”). Some interpret it as the name of a female night demon, on the basis of an apparent Akkadian cognate used as the name of a demon. Later Jewish legends also identified Lilith as a demon. Cf. NRSV “Lilith.”
[34:16] sn It is uncertain what particular scroll is referred to here. Perhaps the phrase simply refers to this prophecy and is an admonition to pay close attention to the details of the message.
[34:16] 40 tn Heb “one from these will not be missing.” הֵנָּה (hennah, “these”) is feminine plural in the Hebrew text. It may refer only to the birds mentioned in v. 15b or may include all of the creatures listed in vv. 14b-15 (all of which are identified with feminine nouns).
[34:16] 42 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “for a mouth, it has commanded.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa and a few medieval
[34:16] 43 tn Heb “and his spirit, he gathers them.” The pronominal suffix (“them”) is feminine plural, referring to the birds mentioned in v. 15b or to all of the creatures listed in vv. 14b-15 (all of which are identified with feminine nouns).
[34:17] 44 tn Heb “and he causes the lot to fall for them.” Once again the pronominal suffix (“them”) is feminine plural, referring to the birds mentioned in v. 15b or to all of the creatures listed in vv. 14b-15 (all of which are identified with feminine nouns).
[34:17] 45 tn Heb “and his hand divides for them with a measuring line.” The pronominal suffix (“them”) now switches to masculine plural, referring to all the animals and birds mentioned in vv. 11-15, some of which were identified with masculine nouns. This signals closure for this portion of the speech, which began in v. 11. The following couplet (v. 17b) forms an inclusio with v. 11a through verbal repetition.