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He will give discernment to the one who makes judicial decisions,
and strength to those who defend the city from attackers.[a]
Even these men[b] stagger because of wine;
they stumble around because of beer—
priests and prophets stagger because of beer,
they are confused[c] because of wine,
they stumble around because of beer;
they stagger while seeing prophetic visions,[d]
they totter while making legal decisions.[e]
Indeed, all the tables
are covered with vomit,
with filth, leaving no clean place.[f]

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  1. Isaiah 28:6 tn Heb “and [he will become] a spirit of justice for the one who sits [i.e., presides] over judgment, // and strength [for] the ones who turn back battle at the city gate.” The Lord will provide internal stability and national security.
  2. Isaiah 28:7 tn Heb “these.” The demonstrative pronoun anticipates “priests and prophets” two lines later.
  3. Isaiah 28:7 tn According to HALOT 135 s.v. III בלע, the verb form is derived from בָּלַע (balaʿ, “confuse”), not the more common בָּלַע (“swallow”). See earlier notes at 3:12 and 9:16.
  4. Isaiah 28:7 tn Heb “in the seeing.”
  5. Isaiah 28:7 tn Heb “[in] giving a decision.”
  6. Isaiah 28:8 tn Heb “filth, without a place.” The Hebrew phrase בְּלִי מָקוֹם (beli maqom, “without a place,” see HALOT 133 s.v. בְּלִי) probably means there is no (clean) space on the table, since it is covered with filth. The translation follows the line division of the MT. Some translations (NASB, ESV, NRSV) move “filth” to the previous line as “filthy vomit,” but the Hebrew lines are no longer balanced.