The Boiling Pot
24 The Lord’s message came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month:[a] 2 “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege[b] to Jerusalem this very day. 3 Recite a proverb to this rebellious house[c] and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Set on the pot,[d] set it on,
pour water in it too;
4 add the pieces of meat to it,
every good piece,
the thigh and the shoulder;
fill it with choice bones.
5 Take the choice bone of the flock,
heap up wood under it;
and boil its bones in it.
6 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Woe to the city of bloodshed,
the pot whose rot[e] is in it,
whose rot has not been removed[f] from it!
Empty it piece by piece.
No lot has fallen on it.[g]
7 For her blood was in it;
she poured it on an exposed rock;
she did not pour it on the ground to cover it up with dust.
8 To arouse anger, to take vengeance,
I have placed her blood on an exposed rock so that it cannot be covered up.
9 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Woe to the city of bloodshed!
I will also make the pile high.
10 Pile up the wood, kindle the fire;
cook the meat well, mix in the spices,
let the bones be charred.
11 Set the empty pot on the coals,[h]
until it becomes hot and its copper glows,
until its uncleanness melts within it and its rot[i] is consumed.
12 It has tried my patience;[j]
yet its thick rot is not removed[k] from it.
Subject its rot to the fire![l]
13 You mix uncleanness with obscene conduct.[m]
I tried to cleanse you,[n] but you are not clean.
You will not be cleansed from your uncleanness[o]
until I have exhausted my anger on you.
14 “‘I the Lord have spoken; judgment[p] is coming and I will act! I will not relent, or show pity, or be sorry![q] I will judge you[r] according to your conduct[s] and your deeds, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
Ezekiel’s Wife Dies
15 The Lord’s message came to me: 16 “Son of man, realize that I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you with a jolt,[t] but you must not mourn or weep or shed tears. 17 Groan to moan for the dead,[u] but do not perform mourning rites.[v] Bind on your turban[w] and put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your lip[x] and do not eat food brought by others.”[y]
18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening. In the morning[z] I acted just as I was commanded. 19 Then the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things you are doing mean for us?”
20 So I said to them: “The Lord’s message came to me: 21 Say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Realize I am about to desecrate my sanctuary—the source of your confident pride,[aa] the object in which your eyes delight,[ab] and your life’s passion.[ac] Your very own sons and daughters whom you have left behind will die[ad] by the sword. 22 Then you will do as I have done: You will not cover your lip or eat food brought by others.[ae] 23 Your turbans will be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you will not mourn or weep, but you will rot[af] for your iniquities[ag] and groan among yourselves. 24 Ezekiel will be an object lesson for you; you will do all that he has done. When it happens, then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.’
25 “And you, son of man, this is what will happen on the day I take[ah] from them their stronghold—their beautiful source of joy, the object in which their eyes delight, and the main concern of their lives,[ai] as well as their sons and daughters:[aj] 26 On that day a fugitive will come to you to report the news.[ak] 27 On that day you will be able to speak again;[al] you will talk with the fugitive and be silent no longer. You will be an object lesson for them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”
A Prophecy Against Ammon
25 The Lord’s message came to me: 2 “Son of man, turn toward[am] the Ammonites[an] and prophesy against them. 3 Say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You said “Aha!” about my sanctuary when it was desecrated, about the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and about the house of Judah when they went into exile. 4 So take note,[ao] I am about to make you slaves of[ap] the tribes[aq] of the east. They will make camps among you and pitch their tents among you. They will eat your fruit and drink your milk. 5 I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon[ar] a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 6 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced with intense scorn[as] over the land of Israel, 7 take note—I have stretched out my hand against you, and I will hand you over as plunder[at] to the nations. I will cut you off from the peoples and make you perish from the lands. I will destroy you; then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
A Prophecy Against Moab
8 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Moab[au] and Seir say, “Look, the house of Judah is like all the other nations.” 9 So look, I am about to open up Moab’s flank,[av] eliminating the cities,[aw] including its frontier cities,[ax] the beauty of the land—Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I will hand it over,[ay] along with the Ammonites,[az] to the tribes[ba] of the east, so that the Ammonites will no longer be remembered among the nations. 11 I will execute judgments against Moab. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
A Prophecy Against Edom
12 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Edom[bb] has taken vengeance against the house of Judah; they have made themselves fully culpable[bc] by taking vengeance[bd] on them.[be] 13 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom, and I will kill the people and animals within her,[bf] and I will make her desolate; from Teman to Dedan they will die[bg] by the sword. 14 I will exact my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel. They will carry out in Edom my anger and rage; they will experience[bh] my vengeance, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
A Prophecy Against Philistia
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘The Philistines[bi] have exacted merciless revenge,[bj] showing intense scorn[bk] in their effort to destroy Judah[bl] with unrelenting hostility.[bm] 16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Take note, I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines. I will kill[bn] the Kerethites[bo] and destroy those who remain on the seacoast. 17 I will exact great vengeance upon them with angry rebukes.[bp] Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I exact my vengeance upon them.’”
A Prophecy Against Tyre
26 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month,[bq] the Lord’s message came to me: 2 “Son of man, because Tyre[br] has said about Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gateway of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I will become rich,[bs] now that she[bt] has been destroyed,’ 3 therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look,[bu] I am against you,[bv] O Tyre! I will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers. I will scrape her soil[bw] from her and make her a bare rock. 5 She will be a place where fishing nets are spread, surrounded by the sea. For I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations, 6 and her daughters[bx] who are in the field will be slaughtered by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Take note that[by] I am about to bring King Nebuchadrezzar[bz] of Babylon, king of kings, against Tyre from the north, with horses, chariots, and horsemen, an army and hordes of people. 8 He will kill your daughters in the field with the sword. He will build a siege wall against you, erect a siege ramp against you, and raise a great shield against you. 9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and tear down your towers with his weapons.[ca] 10 He will cover you with the dust kicked up by his many horses.[cb] Your walls will shake from the noise of the horsemen, wheels, and chariots when he enters your gates like those who invade through a city’s broken walls.[cc] 11 With his horses’ hooves he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will tumble down to the ground. 12 They will steal your wealth and loot your merchandise. They will tear down your walls and destroy your luxurious[cd] homes. Your stones, your trees, and your soil he will throw[ce] into the water.[cf] 13 I will silence[cg] the noise of your songs; the sound of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place where fishing nets are spread. You will never be built again,[ch] for I, the Lord, have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Tyre: Oh, how the coastlands will shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan at the massive slaughter in your midst! 16 All the princes of the sea will vacate[ci] their thrones. They will remove their robes and strip off their embroidered clothes; they will clothe themselves with trembling. They will sit on the ground; they will tremble continually and be shocked at what has happened to you.[cj] 17 They will sing this lament over you:[ck]
“‘How you have perished—you have vanished[cl] from the seas,
O renowned city, once mighty in the sea,
she and her inhabitants, who spread their terror![cm]
18 Now the coastlands will tremble on the day of your fall;
the coastlands by the sea will be terrified by your passing.’[cn]
19 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I make you desolate like the uninhabited cities, when I bring up the deep over you and the surging[co] waters overwhelm you, 20 then I will bring you down to bygone people,[cp] to be with those who descend to the Pit. I will make you live in the lower parts of the earth among[cq] the primeval ruins, with those who descend to the Pit, so that you will not be inhabited or stand[cr] in the land of the living. 21 I will bring terrors on you, and you will be no more! Though you are sought after, you will never be found again, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
- Ezekiel 24:1 tn The date of this oracle was January 15, 588 b.c.
- Ezekiel 24:2 tn Heb “lean on, put pressure on.”
- Ezekiel 24:3 sn The book of Ezekiel frequently refers to the Israelites as a rebellious house (Ezek 2:5, 6, 8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-3, 9, 25; 17:12; 24:3).
- Ezekiel 24:3 sn See Ezek 11:3-12.
- Ezekiel 24:6 tn Or “rust.”
- Ezekiel 24:6 tn Heb “has not gone out.”
- Ezekiel 24:6 tn Here “lot” may refer to the decision made by casting lots; it is not chosen at all.
- Ezekiel 24:11 tn Heb “set it upon its coals, empty.”
- Ezekiel 24:11 tn Or “rust” (so also in v. 12).
- Ezekiel 24:12 tn Heb “(with) toil she has wearied.” The meaning of the statement is unclear in the Hebrew text; some follow the LXX and delete it. The first word in the statement (rendered “toil” in the literal translation above) occurs only here in the OT, and the verb “she has wearied” lacks a stated object. Elsewhere the Hiphil of the verb refers to wearying someone or trying someone’s patience. The feminine subject is apparently the symbolic pot.
- Ezekiel 24:12 tn Heb “does not go out.”
- Ezekiel 24:12 tn Heb “in fire its rust.” The meaning of the expression is unclear. The translation understands the statement as a command to burn the rust away. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:768.
- Ezekiel 24:13 tn Heb “in your uncleanness (is) obscene conduct.”
- Ezekiel 24:13 tn Heb “because I cleansed you.” In this context (see especially the very next statement), the statement must refer to divine intention and purpose. Despite God’s efforts to cleanse his people, they resisted him and remained morally impure.
- Ezekiel 24:13 tn The Hebrew text adds the word “again.”
- Ezekiel 24:14 tn Heb “it”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Ezekiel 24:14 tn Or perhaps, “change my mind.”
- Ezekiel 24:14 tc Some medieval Hebrew mss and the major ancient versions read a first person verb here. Most Hebrew mss read have an indefinite subject, “they will judge you,” which could be translated, “you will be judged.”
- Ezekiel 24:14 tn Heb “ways.”
- Ezekiel 24:16 tn Heb “a strike.”
- Ezekiel 24:17 tn As it stands in the MT, the syntax is difficult. Most translations say something like “groan in silence,” but this is problematic. According to their form, the two verbs that begin the verse, הֵאָנֵק (heʾanek; to groan) and דֹּם (dom; to be silent), may each be parsed as either imperative or infinitive construct. This allows four possible sequences. An infinitive followed by an infinitive would lack a main verb and can be dismissed. An infinitive followed by an imperative is improper syntax and nowhere occurs with both in the same clause. An imperative followed by an infinitive is very rare. The only three clear cases (Ps 33:3; Isa 1:16; 23:16) appear to involve infinitive complements, which does not fit these terms. Two imperatives back to back are common, occurring over 200 times, but in no case does the second imperative tell the manner of the action in the first (except perhaps a couple disputable parsings of מַהֵר (maher; be quick). So there is no combination of the forms in the MT that supports the common translation. It may also be said that groaning and being silent are mutually exclusive concepts. However, there is a rare homonym, also attested in the cognate languages Ugaritic and Akkadian, another root דמם (dmm), which means to moan. The translation above follows the suggestion of M. Greenberg that דֹּם מֵתִים (dom metim) be taken together and דֹּם be derived from דָּמַם (damam, “to moan, murmur”) meaning: “Groan a moaning for the dead.” See M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:508. Note that in verse 23 Ezekiel affirms that the people will moan to each other (though there the root is נָהַם, naham); therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that Ezekiel is moaning here, since his actions forecast theirs.
- Ezekiel 24:17 tn Heb “(For) the dead mourning you shall not conduct.” In the Hebrew text the word translated “dead” is plural, indicating that mourning rites are in view. Such rites would involve outward demonstrations of one’s sorrow, including wailing and weeping.
- Ezekiel 24:17 sn The turban would normally be removed for mourning (Josh 7:6; 1 Sam 4:12).
- Ezekiel 24:17 sn Mourning rites included covering the lower part of the face. See Lev 13:45.
- Ezekiel 24:17 tn Heb “the bread of men.” The translation follows the suggestion accepted by M. Greenberg (Ezekiel [AB], 2:509) that this refers to a meal brought by comforters to the one mourning. Some repoint the consonantal text to read “the bread of despair” (see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 2:56), while others, with support from the Targum and Vulgate, emend the consonantal text to read “the bread of mourners” (see D. I. Block, Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:784).
- Ezekiel 24:18 tn This almost certainly refers to the following morning. For a discussion of various interpretive options in understanding the chronology reflected in verse 18, see D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:790.
- Ezekiel 24:21 tn Heb “the pride of your strength” means “your strong pride.”
- Ezekiel 24:21 sn Heb “the delight of your eyes.” Just as Ezekiel was deprived of his beloved wife (v. 16, the “desire” of his “eyes”), so the Lord would be forced to remove the object of his devotion, the temple, which symbolized his close relationship to his covenant people.
- Ezekiel 24:21 tn Heb “the object of compassion of your soul.” The accentuation in the traditional Hebrew text indicates that the descriptive phrases (“the source of your confident pride, the object in which your eyes delight, and your life’s passion”) modify the preceding “my sanctuary.”
- Ezekiel 24:21 tn Heb “fall.”
- Ezekiel 24:22 tn See v. 17.
- Ezekiel 24:23 tn The same verb appears in 4:17 and 33:10.
- Ezekiel 24:23 tn Or “in your punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity/punishment” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here; 3:18, 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 18:17, 18, 19, 20; 33:6, 8, 9; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment” for iniquity or “guilt” of iniquity.
- Ezekiel 24:25 tn Heb “(Will) it not (be) in the day I take?”
- Ezekiel 24:25 tn Heb “the uplifting of their soul.” According to BDB 672 s.v. מַשָּׂא 2, the term “uplifting” refers to “that to which they lift up their soul, their heart’s desire.” However, this text is the only one listed for this use. It seems more likely here that the term has its well-attested nuance of “burden, load,” referring to that which weighs them down emotionally and is a constant source of concern or worry.
- Ezekiel 24:25 tn In the Hebrew text there is no conjunction before “their sons and daughters.” For this reason one might assume that the preceding descriptive phrases refer to the sons and daughters, but verse 21 suggests otherwise. The descriptive phrases appear to refer to the “stronghold,” which parallels “my sanctuary” in verse 21. The children constitute a separate category.
- Ezekiel 24:26 tn Heb “to make the ears hear.”
- Ezekiel 24:27 tn Heb “your mouth will open.”
- Ezekiel 25:2 tn Heb “set your face toward.”
- Ezekiel 25:2 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon.” Ammon was located to the east of Israel.
- Ezekiel 25:4 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates being aware of or taking notice of something and has been translated here with a verb (so also throughout the chapter).
- Ezekiel 25:4 tn Heb “Look, I am about to give you for a possession to.”
- Ezekiel 25:4 tn Heb “sons.”
- Ezekiel 25:5 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon.”
- Ezekiel 25:6 tn Heb “with all your scorn in (the) soul.”
- Ezekiel 25:7 tc The translation here follows the Qere reading: בַּז (baz, “spoil, plunder”). The Kethib reading of the consonantal text, בַּג (bag), is not a word.
- Ezekiel 25:8 sn Moab was located immediately south of Ammon.
- Ezekiel 25:9 tn Heb “shoulder.”
- Ezekiel 25:9 tn Heb “from the cities.” The verb “eliminating” has been added in the translation to reflect the privative use of the preposition (see BDB 583 s.v. מִן 7.b).
- Ezekiel 25:9 tn Heb “from its cities, from its end.”
- Ezekiel 25:10 tn Heb “I will give it for a possession.”
- Ezekiel 25:10 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon” (twice in this verse).
- Ezekiel 25:10 tn Heb “the sons.”
- Ezekiel 25:12 sn Edom was located south of Moab.
- Ezekiel 25:12 tn Heb “and they have become guilty, becoming guilty.” The infinitive absolute following the finite verb makes the statement emphatic and draws attention to the degree of guilt incurred by Edom due to its actions.
- Ezekiel 25:12 tn Heb “and they have taken vengeance.”
- Ezekiel 25:12 sn Edom apparently in some way assisted in the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/6 b.c. (Ps 137:7; Lam 4:21, 22; Joel 3:19; Obadiah).
- Ezekiel 25:13 tn Heb “and I will cut off from her man and beast.”
- Ezekiel 25:13 tn Heb “fall.”
- Ezekiel 25:14 tn Heb “know.”
- Ezekiel 25:15 sn The Philistines inhabited the coastal plain by the Mediterranean Sea, west of Judah.
- Ezekiel 25:15 tn Heb “have acted with vengeance and taken vengeance with vengeance.” The repetition emphasizes the degree of vengeance which they exhibited, presumably toward Judah.
- Ezekiel 25:15 tn Heb “with scorn in (the) soul.”
- Ezekiel 25:15 tn The object is not specified in the Hebrew text, but has been clarified as “Judah” in the translation.
- Ezekiel 25:15 tn Heb “to destroy (with) perpetual hostility.” Joel 3:4-8 also speaks of the Philistines taking advantage of the fall of Judah.
- Ezekiel 25:16 tn In Hebrew the verb “and I will cut off” sounds like its object, “the Kerethites,” and draws attention to the statement.
- Ezekiel 25:16 sn This is a name for the Philistines, many of whom migrated to Palestine from Crete.
- Ezekiel 25:17 tn Heb “with acts of punishment of anger.”
- Ezekiel 26:1 tc Date formulae typically include the month. According to D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 2:34, n. 27) some emend to “in the twelfth year in the eleventh month,” relying partially on the copy of the LXX from Alexandrinus, where Albright suggested that “eleventh month” may have dropped out due to haplography.sn April 23, 587 b.c.
- Ezekiel 26:2 sn Tyre was located on the Mediterranean coast north of Israel.
- Ezekiel 26:2 tn Heb “I will be filled.”
- Ezekiel 26:2 sn That is, Jerusalem.
- Ezekiel 26:3 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws attention to something and has been translated here as a verb.
- Ezekiel 26:3 tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘hinnenî ’êlékâ’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.
- Ezekiel 26:4 tn Or “debris.”
- Ezekiel 26:6 sn That is, the towns located inland that were under Tyre’s rule.
- Ezekiel 26:7 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws attention to something.
- Ezekiel 26:7 tn Heb “Nebuchadrezzar” is a variant and more correct spelling of Nebuchadnezzar, as the Babylonian name Nabu-kudurri-uṣur has an an “r” rather than an “n.”
- Ezekiel 26:9 tn Heb “swords.”
- Ezekiel 26:10 tn Heb “From the abundance of his horses he will cover you (with) their dust.”
- Ezekiel 26:10 tn Heb “like those who enter a breached city.”
- Ezekiel 26:12 tn Heb “desirable.”
- Ezekiel 26:12 tn Heb “set.”
- Ezekiel 26:12 tn Heb “into the midst of the water.”
- Ezekiel 26:13 tn Heb “cause to end.”
- Ezekiel 26:14 sn This prophecy was fulfilled by Alexander the Great in 332 b.c.
- Ezekiel 26:16 tn Heb “descend from.”
- Ezekiel 26:16 tn Heb “and they will be astonished over you.”
- Ezekiel 26:17 tn Heb “and they will lift up over you a lament and they will say to you.”
- Ezekiel 26:17 tn Heb “O inhabitant.” The translation follows the LXX and understands a different Hebrew verb, meaning “cease,” behind the consonantal text. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 2:72, and D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:43.
- Ezekiel 26:17 tn Heb “she and her inhabitants who placed their terror to all her inhabitants.” The relationship of the final prepositional phrase to what precedes is unclear. The preposition probably has a specifying function here, drawing attention to Tyre’s inhabitants as the source of the terror mentioned prior to this. In this case, one might paraphrase verse 17b: “she and her inhabitants, who spread their terror; yes, her inhabitants (were the source of this terror).”
- Ezekiel 26:18 tn Heb “from your going out.”
- Ezekiel 26:19 tn Heb “many.”
- Ezekiel 26:20 tn Heb “to the people of antiquity.”
- Ezekiel 26:20 tn Heb “like.” The translation assumes an emendation of the preposition כ (kaf, “like”) to ב (bet, “in, among”).
- Ezekiel 26:20 tn Heb “and I will place beauty.” This reading makes little sense; many, following the lead of the LXX, emend the text to read: “nor will you stand,” with the negative particle before the preceding verb understood by ellipsis; see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:73. D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 2:47) offers another alternative, taking the apparent first person verb form as an archaic second feminine form and translating “nor radiate splendor.”
People Commended for Their Faith
11 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. 2 For by it the people of old[a] received God’s commendation.[b] 3 By faith we understand that the worlds[c] were set in order at God’s command,[d] so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.[e] 4 By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith[f] he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith[g] he still speaks, though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God. 6 Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard[h] constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a foreigner[i] in the promised land as though it were a foreign country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs[j] of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with firm foundations,[k] whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old,[l] he received the ability to procreate,[m] because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy. 12 So in fact children[n] were fathered by one man—and this one as good as dead—like the number of stars in the sky and like the innumerable grains of sand[o] on the seashore.[p] 13 These all died in faith without receiving the things promised,[q] but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners[r] on the earth. 14 For those who speak in such a way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is,[s] they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
- Hebrews 11:2 tn Or “the elders,” “the ancients.”
- Hebrews 11:2 tn Grk “were attested,” “received commendation”; and Heb 11:4-6 shows this to be from God.
- Hebrews 11:3 tn Grk “ages.” The temporal (ages) came to be used of the spatial (what exists in those time periods). See Heb 1:2 for same usage.
- Hebrews 11:3 tn Grk “by God’s word.”
- Hebrews 11:3 sn The Greek phrasing emphasizes this point by negating the opposite: “so that what is seen did not come into being from things that are visible.”
- Hebrews 11:4 tn Or “through his sacrifice”; Grk “through which.”
- Hebrews 11:4 tn Or “through his sacrifice”; Grk “through it.”
- Hebrews 11:7 tn Cf. BDAG 407 s.v. εὐλαβέομαι 2, “out of reverent regard (for God’s command).”
- Hebrews 11:9 tn Or “settled as a resident alien.”
- Hebrews 11:9 tn Or “heirs with him.”
- Hebrews 11:10 tn Grk “that has foundations.”
- Hebrews 11:11 tn Grk “past the time of maturity.”
- Hebrews 11:11 tn Grk “power to deposit seed.” Though it is not as likely, some construe this phrase to mean “power to conceive seed,” making the whole verse about Sarah: “by faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and too old, she received ability to conceive, because she regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy.”
- Hebrews 11:12 tn Grk “these”; in the translation the referent (children) has been specified for clarity.
- Hebrews 11:12 tn Grk a collective “the sand.”
- Hebrews 11:12 sn An allusion to Gen 22:17 (which itself goes back to Gen 15:5).
- Hebrews 11:13 tn Grk “the promises,” referring to the things God promised, not to the pledges themselves.
- Hebrews 11:13 tn Or “sojourners.”
- Hebrews 11:16 tn Grk “now.”
A psalm of David.
110 Here is the Lord’s proclamation[b] to my lord:[c]
“Sit down at my right hand[d] until I make your enemies your footstool.”[e]
2 The Lord[f] extends[g] your dominion[h] from Zion.
Rule in the midst of your enemies.
3 Your people willingly follow you[i] when you go into battle.[j]
On the holy hills[k] at sunrise[l] the dew of your youth[m] belongs to you.[n]
4 The Lord makes this promise on oath[o] and will not revoke it:[p]
“You are an eternal priest[q] after the pattern of[r] Melchizedek.”[s]
5 O Lord,[t] at your right hand
he strikes down[u] kings in the day he unleashes his anger.[v]
6 He executes judgment[w] against[x] the nations.
He fills the valleys with corpses;[y]
he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield.[z]
7 From the stream along the road he drinks;
then he lifts up his head.[aa]
- Psalm 110:1 sn Psalm 110. In this royal psalm the psalmist announces God’s oracle to the Davidic king. The first part of the oracle appears in v. 1, the second in v. 4. In vv. 2-3 the psalmist addresses the king, while in vv. 5-7 he appears to address God.
- Psalm 110:1 tn The word נְאֻם (neʾum) is used frequently in the OT of a formal divine announcement through a prophet.
- Psalm 110:1 sn My lord. In the psalm’s original context the speaker is an unidentified prophetic voice in the royal court, likely addressing David, the head of the dynasty. In the course of time the psalm is applied to each successive king in the dynasty, and is likely understood as such by David (see 2 Sam 7:11-14, 19). Since the Psalm as a whole is attributed to David, it is appropriate to speak of any of its parts as coming from him, whether he composed them, reported them, or commissioned them. Ultimately these words come to apply to the ideal Davidic king, specifically Jesus Christ, the Son of David. Thus, in the irony of the incarnation, the lord who receives the promise is the Lord who made the promise. This creates some complexity in typographic convention, as NET chooses to use lower case here in the Psalm (“my lord”) due to its original context, even though we now know it to be ultimately fulfilled by our Lord. The Greek translation introduces more difficulty because it uses κύριος (kurios, “lord”) for both the Lord’s name, יהוה (YHWH, probably pronounced “Yahweh”) and the title אֲדוֹנַי (ʾadonay, “Lord”) (the word here is not the title, but simply “lord” [אָדוֺן, ʾadon] with the suffix “my”). This complexity and irony are the grounds for the riddle posed by Jesus in the gospels (Matt 22:43-45; Mark 12:36-37; Luke 20:42-44), which the Pharisees could not solve because they were not expecting the Davidic lord to be the Lord. Peter incorporates the answer “that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ” into his sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:34-35).
- Psalm 110:1 sn To sit at the “right hand” of the king was an honor (see 1 Kgs 2:19). The Lord’s invitation to the Davidic king to sit down at his right hand reflects the king’s position as the Lord’s vice-regent. In Ugaritic myth (CTA 4 v. 108-10) the artisan god Kothar-wa-Khasis is described as sitting at the right hand of the storm god Baal. See G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 61-62.
- Psalm 110:1 sn When the Lord made his covenant with David, he promised to subdue the king’s enemies (see 2 Sam 7:9-11; Ps 89:22-23).
- Psalm 110:2 tn Since the Lord is mentioned in the third person (note the use of the first person in v. 1), it is likely that these are the psalmist’s words to the king, not a continuation of the oracle per se.
- Psalm 110:2 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood here as descriptive-dramatic or as generalizing, though it could be taken as future.
- Psalm 110:2 tn Heb “your strong scepter,” symbolic of the king’s royal authority and dominion.
- Psalm 110:3 tn Heb “your people, free will offerings.” Perhaps the people, in their willingness to volunteer, are compared metaphorically to freewill offerings. Following the LXX, some revocalize the text and read “with you is nobility.”
- Psalm 110:3 tn Heb “in the day of your power.”
- Psalm 110:3 tc Heb “in splendor of holiness.” The plural construct form הַדְרֵי (hadre, from הָדַר, hadar, “splendor”) occurs only here; it may indicate degree or perhaps refer by metonymy to garments (see Pss 29:2 and 96:9, where the phrase הַדְרַת קֹדֶשׁ [hadrat qodesh] refers to “holy attire”). If one retains the reading of the MT, this phrase should probably be taken with the preceding line. However, because of the subsequent references to “dawn” and to “dew,” it is better to emend the text to הַרְרֵי קֹדֶשׁ (harere qodesh, “mountains of holiness”), a reading found in many medieval Hebrew mss and in some other ancient witnesses (see Joel 2:2; Ps 133:3, as well as L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 80). The “mountains of holiness” are probably the hills surrounding Zion (see Pss 87:1; 125:2; 133:3).
- Psalm 110:3 tn Heb “from the womb of dawn.” The Hebrew noun רֶחֶם (rekhem, “womb”) is probably used here metonymically for “birth.” The form מִשְׁחָר (mishkhar) occurs only here and should be emended to שַׁחַר (shakhar, “dawn”) with the מ (mem) being understood as a duplication of the mem ending the preceding word. The phrase “womb [i.e., “birth”] of dawn” refers to sunrise.
- Psalm 110:3 sn The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. The dew may symbolize the king’s youthful vitality or, more likely (note the parallelism), may refer to his army of strong, youthful warriors.
- Psalm 110:3 tn Heb “to you [is].”
- Psalm 110:4 tn Or “swears, vows.”
- Psalm 110:4 tn Or “will not change his mind.” The negated Niphal imperfect of נָחַם (nakham) is a way of marking an announcement as an irrevocable decree. See 1 Sam 15:29; Ezek 24:14, as well as R. B. Chisholm, “Does God ‘Change His Mind’?” BSac 152 (1995): 387-99.
- Psalm 110:4 sn You are an eternal priest. The Davidic king exercised a non-Levitical priestly role. The king superintended Judah’s cultic ritual, had authority over the Levites, and sometimes led in formal worship. David himself instructed the Levites to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (1 Chr 15:11-15), joined the procession, offered sacrifices, wore a priestly ephod, and blessed the people (2 Sam 6:12-19). At the dedication of the temple Solomon led the ceremony, offering sacrifices and praying on behalf of the people (1 Kgs 8).
- Psalm 110:4 tn The phrase עַל־דִּבְרָתִי (ʿal divrati) is a variant of עַל־דִּבְרָת (ʿal divrat; the final י [yod] being an archaic genitive ending), which in turn is a variant of עַל דָּבַר (ʿal davar). Both phrases can mean “concerning” or “because of,” but neither of these nuances fits the use of עַל־דִּבְרָתִי in Ps 110:4. Here the phrase probably carries the sense “according to the manner of.” See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 81.
- Psalm 110:4 sn The Davidic king’s priestly role is analogous to that of Melchizedek, who was both “king of Salem” (i.e., Jerusalem) and a “priest of God Most High” in the time of Abraham (Gen 14:18-20). Like Melchizedek, the Davidic king was a royal priest, distinct from the Aaronic line (see Heb 7). The analogy focuses on the king’s priestly role; the language need not imply that Melchizedek himself was “an eternal priest.”
- Psalm 110:5 tn The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay, “Lord”), which in this form to God. Many medieval Hebrew mss read יְהוָה (Yehwah, “Lord”) here. The present translation assumes that the psalmist here addresses the Lord as he celebrates what the king is able to accomplish while positioned at God’s “right hand.” According to this view the king is the subject of the third person verb forms in vv. 5b-7. (2) Another option is to understand the king as the addressee (as in vv. 2-3). In this case “the Lord” is the subject of the third person verbs throughout vv. 5-7 and is depicted as a warrior in a very anthropomorphic manner. In this case the Lord is pictured as being at the psalmist’s right hand (just the opposite of v. 1). See Pss 16:8; 121:5. (3) A third option is to revocalize אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay, “Lord” a reference to God) as אֲדֹנִי (ʾadoni, “my lord”; see v. 1). In this case one may translate, “My lord, at his [God’s] right hand, strikes down.” In this case the king is the subject of the third person verbs in vv. 5b-7.
- Psalm 110:5 tn The perfect verbal forms in vv. 5-6 are understood here as descriptive-dramatic or as generalizing. Another option is to take them as rhetorical. In this case the psalmist describes anticipated events as if they had already taken place.
- Psalm 110:5 tn Heb “in the day of his anger.”
- Psalm 110:6 tn The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 6-7 are understood here as descriptive-dramatic or as generalizing, though they could be taken as future.
- Psalm 110:6 tn Or “among.”
- Psalm 110:6 tn Heb “he fills [with] corpses,” but one expects a double accusative here. The translation assumes an emendation to גְוִיּוֹת גֵאָיוֹת(בִּ) מִלֵּא or מִלֵּא גֵאָיוֹת גְּוִיוֹת (for a similar construction see Ezek 32:5). In the former case גֵאָיוֹת (geʾayot) has accidentally dropped from the text due to homoioteleuton; in the latter case it has dropped out due to homoioarcton.
- Psalm 110:6 tn Heb “he strikes [the verb is מָחַץ (makhats), translated “strikes down” in v. 5] head[s] over a great land.” The Hebrew term רַבָּה (rabbah, “great”) is here used of distance or spatial measurement (see 1 Sam 26:13).
- Psalm 110:7 tn Here the expression “lifts up the head” refers to the renewed physical strength and emotional vigor (see Ps 3:3) provided by the refreshing water. For another example of a victorious warrior being energized by water in the aftermath of battle, see Judg 15:18-19 (see also 1 Sam 30:11-12, where the setting is different, however).
- Proverbs 27:14 tn The verse begins with the Piel participle from בָּרַךְ (barakh). It could be taken as the subject, with the resulting translation: “Blessing…will be counted as a curse.” However, that would be rather awkward. So it is preferable to take the first line as the condition (“if someone blesses”) and the second as the consequence (“[then] it will be counted”).
- Proverbs 27:14 tn Heb “rising early in the morning” (so KJV, ASV). The infinitive explains the verb “bless,” giving the circumstances of its action. The individual rises early to give his blessing.
- Proverbs 27:14 sn The point of the proverb is that loud and untimely greetings are not appreciated. What was given as a “blessing” will be considered a “curse”—the two words being antonyms. The proverb makes the point that how, when, and why they say what they say is important too (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 166).