Notes for Isa 16:1LEB

The Hebrew text reads literally, "Send [a plural imperatival form is used] a ram [to] the ruler of the land." The term

כַּר (kar, "ram") should be emended to the plural כָּרִים (karim). The singular form in the text is probably the result of haplography; note that the next word begins with a mem (ם).


The Hebrew text has "toward [across?] the desert."


Notes for Isa 16:2LEB

The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in 2:2.


"like a bird fleeing, thrust away [from] a nest, the daughters of Moab are [at] the fords of Arnon."


Notes for Isa 16:3LEB

It is unclear who is being addressed in this verse. Perhaps the prophet, playing the role of a panic stricken Moabite refugee, requests the leaders of Judah (the imperatives are plural) to take pity on the fugitives.


"Make your shade like night in the midst of noonday." "Shade" here symbolizes shelter, while the heat of noonday represents the intense suffering of the Moabites. By comparing the desired shade to night, the speaker visualizes a huge dark shadow cast by a large tree that would provide relief from the sun’s heat.


"disclose, uncover."


Notes for Isa 16:4LEB

That is, "live as resident foreigners."


"Be a hiding place for them."


The present translation understands כִּי (ki) as asseverative, but one could take it as explanatory ("for," KJV, NASB) or temporal ("when," NAB, NRSV). In the latter case, v. 4b would be logically connected to v. 5.


A perfect verbal form is used here and in the next two lines for rhetorical effect; the demise of the oppressor(s) is described as if it had already occurred.


The Hebrew text has, "they will be finished, the one who tramples, from the earth." The plural verb form תַּמּוּ, (tammu, "disappear") could be emended to agree with the singular subject רֹמֵס (romes, "the one who tramples") or the participle can be emended to a plural (רֹמֵסִם, romesim) to agree with the verb. The translation assumes the latter. Haplography of mem (ם) seems likely; note that the word after רֹמֵס begins with a mem.


Notes for Isa 16:5LEB

"and a throne will be established in faithfulness, and he will sit on it in reliability, in the tent of David."


"one who judges and seeks justice, and one experienced in fairness." Many understand מְהִר (méhir) to mean "quick, prompt" (see BDB 555 s.v. מָהִיר), but HALOT 552 s.v. מָהִיר offers the meaning "skillful, experienced," and translates the phrase in v. 5 "zealous for what is right."


Notes for Isa 16:6LEB


עֶבְרָה (’evrah) often means "anger, fury," but here it appears to refer to boastful outbursts or excessive claims. See HALOT 782 s.v. עֶבְרָה.


"not so his boasting."


Notes for Isa 16:7LEB

"So Moab wails for Moab."


The Hebrew text has, "for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth you [masculine plural] moan, surely destroyed." The "raisin cakes" could have cultic significance (see Hos 3:1LEB), but the next verse focuses on agricultural disaster, so here the raisin cakes are mentioned as an example of the fine foods that are no longer available (see 2 Sam 6:19LEB; Song 2:5LEB) because the vines have been destroyed by the invader (see v. 8). Some prefer to take אֲשִׁישֵׁי (’ashishe, "raisin cakes of") as "men of" (see HALOT 95 s.v. *אָשִׁישׁ; cf. NIV). The verb form תֶהְגּוּ (tehgu, "you moan") is probably the result of dittography (note that the preceding word ends in tav [ת]) and should be emended to הגו (a perfect, third plural form), "they moan."


Notes for Isa 16:9LEB

"So I weep with the weeping of Jazer." Once more the speaker (the Yahweh? – see v. 10b) plays the role of a mourner (see 15:5).


The form אֲרַיָּוֶךְ (’arayyavekh) should be emended to אֲרַוָּיֶךְ (’aravvayekh; the vav [ו] and yod [י] have been accidentally transposed) from רָוָה (ravah, "be saturated").


"for over your fruit and over your harvest shouting has fallen." The translation assumes that the shouting is that of the conqueror (Jer 51:14LEB). Another possibility is that the shouting is that of the harvesters (see v. 10b, as well as Jer 25:30LEB), in which case one might translate, "for the joyful shouting over the fruit and crops has fallen silent."


Notes for Isa 16:10LEB

"wine in the vats the treader does not tread."


The Yahweh appears to be the speaker here. See 15:9.


Notes for Isa 16:11LEB

"so my intestines sigh for Moab like a harp." The word מֵעַי (meay, "intestines") is used here of the seat of the emotions. English idiom requires the word "heart." The point of the comparison to a harp is not entirely clear. Perhaps his sighs of mourning resemble a harp in sound, or his constant sighing is like the repetitive strumming of a harp.


The verb is supplied in the translation; "sighs" in the preceding line does double duty in the parallel structure.



"Kir Heres" (so ASV, NRSV, TEV, CEV), a variant name for "Kir Hareseth" (see v. 7).


Notes for Isa 16:12LEB

The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on "in the future" in 2:2.


"when he appears, when he grows tired, Moab on the high places, and enters his temple to pray, he will not prevail." It is possible that "when he grows tired" is an explanatory gloss for the preceding "when he appears."


Notes for Isa 16:14LEB

"in three years, like the years of a hired worker." The three years must be reckoned exactly, just as a hired worker would carefully keep track of the time he had agreed to work for an employer in exchange for a predetermined wage.


"and the splendor of Moab will be disgraced with all the great multitude, and a small little remnant will not be strong."