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14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people—
an absolutely extraordinary deed.[a]
Wise men will have nothing to say,
the sages will have no explanations.”[b]
15 Those who try to hide their plans from the Lord are as good as dead,[c]
who do their work in secret and boast,[d]
“Who sees us? Who knows what we’re doing?”[e]
16 Your thinking is perverse![f]
Should the potter be regarded as clay?[g]
Should the thing made say[h] about its maker, “He didn’t make me”?
Or should the pottery say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”?

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  1. Isaiah 29:14 tn Heb “Therefore I will again do something amazing with these people, an amazing deed, an amazing thing.” This probably refers to the amazing transformation predicted in vv. 17-24, which will follow the purifying judgment implied in vv. 15-16.
  2. Isaiah 29:14 tn Heb “the wisdom of their wise ones will perish, the discernment of their discerning ones will keep hidden.”
  3. Isaiah 29:15 tn Heb “Woe [to] those who deeply hide counsel from the Lord.” This probably alludes to political alliances made without seeking the Lord’s guidance. See 30:1-2 and 31:1.
  4. Isaiah 29:15 tn Heb “and their works are in darkness, and they say.”
  5. Isaiah 29:15 tn The rhetorical questions suggest the answer: “No one.” They are confident that their deeds are hidden from others, including God.
  6. Isaiah 29:16 tn Heb “your overturning.” The predicate is suppressed in this exclamation. The idea is, “O your perversity! How great it is!” See GKC 470 §147.c. The people “overturn” all logic by thinking their authority supersedes God’s.
  7. Isaiah 29:16 tn The expected answer to this rhetorical question is: “Of course not.” On the interrogative use of אִם (ʾim), see BDB 50 s.v.
  8. Isaiah 29:16 tn Heb “that the thing made should say.”

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