New American Bible (Revised Edition)
28 In the year that King Ahaz died,[a] there came this oracle:
29 [b]Do not rejoice, Philistia, not one of you,
that the rod which struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s root shall come an adder,
its offspring shall be a flying saraph.
30 In my pastures the poor shall graze,
and the needy lie down in safety;
But I will kill your root with famine
that shall slay even your remnant.
31 Howl, O gate; cry out, O city!
Philistia, all of you melts away!
For there comes a smoke from the north,[c]
without a straggler in its ranks.
32 What will one answer the messengers of the nations?[d]
“The Lord has established Zion,
and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”
- 14:28 The year that King Ahaz died: 715 B.C.
- 14:29 The occasion for this oracle is usually taken to be the death of an Assyrian king; the Philistines were vassals of Assyria, whereas no victories of Ahaz over the Philistines are recorded. The chronological notice (in the year that King Ahaz died) may be incorrect, for no Assyrian king died around 715, the date usually assigned for the death of Ahaz. Flying saraph: a winged cobra, often portrayed in Egyptian art and on Israelite seals. The Hebrew saraph means “to burn” and perhaps is applied to the cobra because of the burning sensation of its bite.
- 14:31 Smoke from the north: the dust raised from the approach of the Assyrian army.
- 14:32 Messengers of the nations: envoys from Philistia, and from Egypt and Ethiopia, the real powers behind the Philistine revolt (20:1–6; cf. 18:1–2).