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17 Terror, pit, and snare
are ready to overtake, you inhabitants of the earth![a]
18 The one who runs away from the sound of the terror
will fall into the pit;[b]
the one who climbs out of the pit
will be trapped by the snare.
For the floodgates of the heavens[c] are opened up[d]
and the foundations of the earth shake.

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  1. Isaiah 24:17 tn Heb “[are] upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.” The first line of v. 17 provides another classic example of Hebrew wordplay. The names of the three instruments of judgment (פָח,פַחַת ,פַּחַד [pakhad, fakhat, fakh]) all begin with the letters פ and ח (pe and khet) and the first two end in dental consonants (ד and ת, dalet and tav). Once again the repetition of sound draws attention to the statement and contributes to the theme of the inescapability of judgment. As their similar-sounding names suggest, terror, pit, and snare are allies in destroying the objects of divine wrath.
  2. Isaiah 24:18 tn The verb that introduces this verse serves as a discourse particle and is untranslated; see note on “in the future” in 2:2.
  3. Isaiah 24:18 tn Heb “from the height”; KJV “from on high.”
  4. Isaiah 24:18 sn The language reflects the account of the Noahic Flood (see Gen 7:11).

17 Terror(A) and pit and snare(B) await you,
    people of the earth.(C)
18 Whoever flees(D) at the sound of terror
    will fall into a pit;(E)
whoever climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in a snare.(F)

The floodgates of the heavens(G) are opened,
    the foundations of the earth shake.(H)

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