The princes of Zoan [ancient capital of the Pharaohs] are utterly foolish; the counsel of the wisest counselors of Pharaoh has become witless (stupid). How can you say to Pharaoh, I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings?
The leaders of the city of Zoan are fools. Pharaoh’s “wise advisors” give bad advice. They say they are wise. They say they are from the old family of the kings, but they are not as smart as they think.
The officers of the city of Zoan [C probably Tanis, the Egyptian city nearest Israel] are fools; the wise ·men who advise the king of Egypt [counselors/advisors of Pharaoh] give ·wrong [senseless; stupid] advice. How can you say to him, ‘I am ·wise [L a son of the wise]’? How can you say, ‘I am ·from the old family of the kings [a son of ancient kings; C “son of” may mean “an expert in the ways of”]’?
The officers of the city of Zoan are fools. The wise men who advise the king of Egypt give wrong advice. How can they say to him they are wise? How can they say they are from the old family of the kings?
What fools the counselors of Zoan are! Their best counsel to the king of Egypt is utterly stupid and wrong. Will they still boast of their wisdom? Will they dare tell Pharaoh about the long line of wise men they have come from?
The princes of Zoan are fools, the advisors of Pharaoh stupid. How could any of you dare tell Pharaoh, “Trust me: I’m wise. I know what’s going on. Why, I’m descended from the old wisdom of Egypt”? There’s not a wise man or woman left in the country. If there were, one of them would tell you what God-of-the-Angel-Armies has in mind for Egypt. As it is, the princes of Zoan are all fools and the princes of Memphis, dunces. The honored pillars of your society have led Egypt into detours and dead ends. God has scrambled their brains, Egypt’s become a falling-down-in-his-own-vomit drunk. Egypt’s hopeless, past helping, a senile, doddering old fool.
The officials of the city of Zoan are very foolish. Pharaoh’s wise men give advice that doesn’t make any sense. How can they dare to say to Pharaoh, “We’re among the wise men”? How can they say to him, “We’re like the advisers to the kings of long ago”?
The leaders of Zoan are fools! And those who count themselves among the Pharaoh’s smartest counselors Base their advice on bizarre flights of fancy. How can you tell Pharaoh, “I am among the long line of Egypt’s wise and an heir of ancient kings”?
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