he lifts 2 his hand and strikes them.
The mountains shake,
and corpses lie like manure 3 in the middle of the streets.
Despite all this, his anger does not subside,
and his hand is ready to strike again. 4
he whistles for it to come from the far regions of the earth.
Look, they 6 come quickly and swiftly.
5:27 None tire or stumble,
they don’t stop to nap or sleep.
They don’t loosen their belts,
or unstrap their sandals to rest. 7
5:28 Their arrows are sharpened,
and all their bows are prepared. 8
The hooves of their horses are hard as flint, 9
and their chariot wheels are like a windstorm. 10
5:29 Their roar is like a lion’s;
they roar like young lions.
They growl and seize their prey;
they drag it away and no one can come to the rescue.
it will sound like sea waves crashing against rocks. 13
One will look out over the land and see the darkness of disaster,
clouds will turn the light into darkness. 14
[5:26] 5 tc The Hebrew text has literally, “for nations from a distance.” The following verses use singular forms to describe this nation, so the final mem (ם) on לְגּוֹיִם (lÿgoyim) may be enclitic or dittographic. In the latter case one could read לְגוֹי מֵרָחוֹק (lÿgoy merakhoq, “for a nation from a distance”; see Deut 28:49; Joel 3:8). Another possibility is to emend the text from לַגּוֹיִם מֵרָחוֹק (laggoyim merakhoq) to לְגוֹי מִמֶּרְחָק (lÿgoy mimmerkhaq, “for a nation from a distant place”) a phrase which occurs in Jer 5:15. In this case an error of misdivision has occurred in MT, the mem of the prefixed preposition being accidentally taken as a plural ending on the preceding word.
[5:30] sn The motif of light turning to darkness is ironic when compared to v. 20. There the sinners turn light (= moral/ethical good) to darkness (= moral/ethical evil). Now ironically the Lord will turn light (= the sinners’ sphere of existence and life) into darkness (= the judgment and death).