New English Translation
5 all will be put to shame[a]
because of a nation that cannot help them,
who cannot give them aid or help,
but only shame and disgrace.”
6 This is an oracle[b] about the animals in the Negev:
Through a land of distress and danger,
inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions,[c]
by snakes and darting adders,[d]
they transport their wealth on the backs of donkeys,
their riches on the humps of camels,
to a nation that cannot help them.[e]
7 Egypt is totally incapable of helping.[f]
For this reason I call her
“Proud one[g] who is silenced.”[h]
- Isaiah 30:5 tn The present translation follows the marginal (Qere) reading of the Hebrew text; the consonantal text (Kethib) has “made to stink, decay.”
- Isaiah 30:6 tn See note at Isa 13:1.
- Isaiah 30:6 tc Heb “[a land of] a lioness and a lion, from them.” Some emend מֵהֶם (mehem, “from them”) to מֵהֵם (mehem), an otherwise unattested Hiphil participle from הָמַם (hamam, “move noisily”). Perhaps it would be better to take the initial mem (מ) as enclitic and emend the form to הֹמֶה (homeh), a Qal active participle from הָמָה (hamah, “to make a noise”); cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:542, n. 9.
- Isaiah 30:6 tn Heb “flying burning ones.” See the note at 14:29.
- Isaiah 30:6 sn This verse describes messengers from Judah transporting wealth to Egypt in order to buy Pharaoh’s protection through a treaty.
- Isaiah 30:7 tn Heb “As for Egypt, with vanity and emptiness they help.”
- Isaiah 30:7 tn Heb “Rahab” (רַהַב, rahav), which also appears as a name for Egypt in Ps 87:4. The epithet is also used in the OT for a mythical sea monster symbolic of chaos. See the note at 51:9. A number of English versions use the name “Rahab” (e.g., ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) while others attempt some sort of translation (cf. CEV “a helpless monster”; TEV, NLT “the Harmless Dragon”).
- Isaiah 30:7 tn The MT reads “Rahab, they, sitting.” The translation above assumes an emendation of הֵם שָׁבֶת (hem shavet) to הַמָּשְׁבָּת (hammashbat), a Hophal participle with prefixed definite article, meaning “the one who is made to cease,” i.e., “destroyed,” or “silenced.” See HALOT 444-45 s.v. ישׁב.