Do not stand at the crossroads to ·destroy [L cut off] ·those who are trying to escape [their fugitives]. Do not capture ·those who escape alive [their survivors] and turn them over to their enemy in their ·time [L day] of ·trouble [adversity].
“If thieves crept up on you, they’d rob you blind—isn’t that so? If they mugged you on the streets at night, they’d pick you clean—isn’t that so? Oh, they’ll take Esau apart, piece by piece, empty his purse and pockets. All your old partners will drive you to the edge. Your old friends will lie to your face. Your old drinking buddies will stab you in the back. Your world will collapse. You won’t know what hit you. So don’t be surprised”—it’s God’s sure Word!— “when I wipe out all sages from Edom and rid the Esau mountains of its famous wise men. Your great heroes will desert you, Teman. There’ll be nobody left in Esau’s mountains. Because of the murderous history compiled against your brother Jacob, You will be looked down on by everyone. You’ll lose your place in history. On that day you stood there and didn’t do anything. Strangers took your brother’s army into exile. Godless foreigners invaded and pillaged Jerusalem. You stood there and watched. You were as bad as they were. You shouldn’t have gloated over your brother when he was down-and-out. You shouldn’t have laughed and joked at Judah’s sons when they were facedown in the mud. You shouldn’t have talked so big when everything was so bad. You shouldn’t have taken advantage of my people when their lives had fallen apart. You of all people should not have been amused by their troubles, their wrecked nation. You shouldn’t have taken the shirt off their back when they were knocked flat, defenseless. And you shouldn’t have stood waiting at the outskirts and cut off refugees, And traitorously turned in helpless survivors who had lost everything.
You waited where the roads cross. You wanted to cut down those who were running away. You should not have done that. You handed over to their enemies those who were still left alive. You should not have done that. They were in trouble.
You should never have lain in wait along the crossroads to cut off those trying to escape; You should never have handed over the handful of survivors to Babylonian captivity on the day of their great distress.
neither thou shalt stand in the going out [of the ways], that thou slay them that fled; and thou shalt not close together the residues, either left men, of him, in the day of tribulation, (nor should thou have stood in the going out of the ways, so that thou could kill those who fled; and thou should not have enclosed their remnants, or those who were left, on the day of their tribulation,)
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