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All the stars in the sky will fade away,[a]
the sky will roll up like a scroll;
all its stars will wither,
like a leaf withers and falls from a vine
or a fig withers and falls from a tree.[b]
He says,[c] “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers.[d]
Look, it now descends on Edom,[e]
on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”
The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,
it is covered[f] with fat;
it drips[g] with the blood of young rams and goats
and is covered[h] with the fat of rams’ kidneys.
For the Lord is holding a sacrifice[i] in Bozrah,[j]
a bloody[k] slaughter in the land of Edom.

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  1. Isaiah 34:4 tc Heb “and all the host of heaven will rot.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa inserts “and the valleys will be split open,” but this reading may be influenced by Mic 1:4. On the other hand, the statement, if original, could have been omitted by homoioarcton, a scribe’s eye jumping from the conjunction prefixed to “the valleys” to the conjunction prefixed to the verb “rot.”
  2. Isaiah 34:4 tn Heb “like the withering of a leaf from a vine, and like the withering from a fig tree.”
  3. Isaiah 34:5 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Lord speaks at this point.
  4. Isaiah 34:5 tn Heb “indeed [or “for”] my sword is drenched in the heavens.” The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has תראה (“[my sword] appeared [in the heavens]”), but this is apparently an attempt to make sense out of a difficult metaphor. Cf. NIV “My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.”sn In v. 4 the “host of the heaven” refers to the heavenly luminaries (stars and planets, see, among others, Deut 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs 17:16; 21:3, 5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr 33:3, 5) that populate the divine/heavenly assembly in mythological and prescientific Israelite thought (see Job 38:7; Isa 14:13). As in 24:21, they are viewed here as opposing God and being defeated in battle.
  5. Isaiah 34:5 sn Edom is mentioned here as epitomizing the hostile nations that oppose God.
  6. Isaiah 34:6 tn The verb is a rare Hotpaal passive form. See GKC 150 §54.h.
  7. Isaiah 34:6 tn The words “it drips” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  8. Isaiah 34:6 tn The words “and is covered” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  9. Isaiah 34:6 tn Heb “for there is a sacrifice to the Lord.”
  10. Isaiah 34:6 sn The Lord’s judgment of Edom is compared to a bloody sacrificial scene.
  11. Isaiah 34:6 tn Heb “great” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

All the stars in the sky will be dissolved(A)
    and the heavens rolled up(B) like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall(C)
    like withered(D) leaves from the vine,
    like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

My sword(E) has drunk its fill in the heavens;
    see, it descends in judgment on Edom,(F)
    the people I have totally destroyed.(G)
The sword(H) of the Lord is bathed in blood,
    it is covered with fat—
the blood of lambs and goats,
    fat from the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice(I) in Bozrah(J)
    and a great slaughter(K) in the land of Edom.

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