You are totally blind! 2
They are drunk, 3 but not because of wine;
they stagger, 4 but not because of beer.
29:10 For the Lord has poured out on you
a strong urge to sleep deeply. 5
He has shut your eyes (the prophets),
and covered your heads (the seers).
29:11 To you this entire prophetic revelation 6 is like words in a sealed scroll. When they hand it to one who can read 7 and say, “Read this,” he responds, “I can’t, because it is sealed.” 29:12 Or when they hand the scroll to one who can’t read 8 and say, “Read this,” he says, “I can’t read.” 9
“These people say they are loyal to me; 11
they say wonderful things about me, 12
but they are not really loyal to me. 13
Their worship consists of
nothing but man-made ritual. 14
29:14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people –
an absolutely extraordinary deed. 15
Wise men will have nothing to say,
the sages will have no explanations.” 16
[29:9] 1 tn The form הִתְמַהְמְהוּ (hitmahmÿhu) is a Hitpalpel imperative from מָהַהּ (mahah, “hesitate”). If it is retained, one might translate “halt and be amazed.” The translation assumes an emendation to הִתַּמְּהוּ (hittammÿhu), a Hitpael imperative from תָּמַה (tamah, “be amazed”). In this case, the text, like Hab 1:5, combines the Hitpael and Qal imperatival forms of תָּמַה (tamah). A literal translation might be “Shock yourselves and be shocked!” The repetition of sound draws attention to the statement. The imperatives here have the force of an emphatic assertion. On this use of the imperative in Hebrew, see GKC 324 §110.c and IBHS 572 §34.4c.
[29:9] 2 tn Heb “Blind yourselves and be blind!” The Hitpalpel and Qal imperatival forms of שָׁעַע (sha’a’, “be blind”) are combined to draw attention to the statement. The imperatives have the force of an emphatic assertion.
[29:10] 5 tn Heb “a disposition [or “spirit”] of deep sleep.” Through this mixed metaphor (sleep is likened to a liquid which one pours and in turn symbolizes spiritual dullness) the prophet emphasizes that God himself has given the people over to their spiritual insensitivity as a form of judgment.
[29:14] 15 tn Heb “Therefore I will again do something amazing with these people, an amazing deed, an amazing thing.” This probably refers to the amazing transformation predicted in vv. 17-24, which will follow the purifying judgment implied in vv. 15-16.