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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).