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19 You will no longer see a defiant[a] people
whose language you do not comprehend,[b]
whose derisive speech you do not understand.[c]
20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!
You[d] will see Jerusalem,
a peaceful settlement,
a tent that stays put;[e]
its stakes will never be pulled up;
none of its ropes will snap in two.
21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king.[f]
Rivers and wide streams will flow through it;[g]
no war galley will enter;[h]
no large ships will sail through.[i]

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  1. Isaiah 33:19 tn The Hebrew form נוֹעָז (noʿaz) is a Niphal participle derived from יָעַז (yaʿaz, an otherwise unattested verb) or from עָזָז (ʿazaz, “be strong,” unattested elsewhere in the Niphal). Some prefer to emend the form to לוֹעֵז (loʿez) which occurs in Ps 114:1 with the meaning “speak a foreign language.” See HALOT 809 s.v. עזז, 533 s.v. לעז. In this case, one might translate “people who speak a foreign language.”
  2. Isaiah 33:19 tn Heb “a people too deep of lip to hear.” The phrase “deep of lip” must be an idiom meaning “lips that speak words that are unfathomable [i.e., incomprehensible].”
  3. Isaiah 33:19 tn Heb “derision of tongue there is no understanding.” The Niphal of לָעַג (laʿag) occurs only here. In the Qal and Hiphil the verb means “to deride, mock.” A related noun is used in 28:11.
  4. Isaiah 33:20 tn Heb “your eyes” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
  5. Isaiah 33:20 tn Or “that does not travel”; NASB “which shall not be folded.”
  6. Isaiah 33:21 tn Heb “But there [as] a mighty one [will be] the Lord for us.”
  7. Isaiah 33:21 tn Heb “a place of rivers, streams wide of hands [i.e., on both sides].”
  8. Isaiah 33:21 tn Heb “a ship of rowing will not go into it.”
  9. Isaiah 33:21 tn Heb “and a mighty ship will not pass through it.”