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10 For the fortified city[a] is left alone;
it is a deserted settlement
and abandoned like the wilderness.
Calves[b] graze there;
they lie down there
and eat its branches bare.[c]
11 When its branches get brittle,[d] they break;
women come and use them for kindling.[e]
For these people lack understanding,[f]
therefore the one who made them has no compassion on them;
the one who formed them has no mercy on them.

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  1. Isaiah 27:10 sn The identity of this city is uncertain. The context suggests that an Israelite city, perhaps Samaria or Jerusalem, is in view. For discussions of interpretive options see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:496-97, and Paul L. Redditt, “Once Again, the City in Isaiah 24-27, ” HAR 10 (1986), 332.
  2. Isaiah 27:10 tn The singular form in the text is probably collective.
  3. Isaiah 27:10 tn Heb “and destroy her branches.” The city is the antecedent of the third feminine singular pronominal suffix. Apparently the city is here compared to a tree. See also v. 11.
  4. Isaiah 27:11 tn Heb “are dry” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
  5. Isaiah 27:11 tn Heb “women come [and] light it.” The city is likened to a dead tree with dried-up branches that is only good for firewood.
  6. Isaiah 27:11 tn Heb “for not a people of understanding [is] he.”