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Isaiah 17:9

    Isaiah 17:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    In that day shall their strong cities be as the forsaken places in the wood and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it shall be a desolation.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    In that day your towns will be like the waste places of the Hivites and the Amorites which the children of Israel took for a heritage, and they will come to destruction.

    Webster's Revision

    In that day shall their strong cities be as the forsaken places in the wood and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it shall be a desolation.

    World English Bible

    In that day, their strong cities will be like the forsaken places in the woods and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it will be a desolation.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    In that day shall his strong cities be as the forsaken places in the wood and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel: and it shall be a desolation.

    Definitions for Isaiah 17:9

    Forsaken - To leave in an abandoned condition.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 17:9

    As a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch "the Hivites and the Amorites" - החרש והאמיר hachoresh vehaamir. No one has ever yet been able to make any tolerable sense of these words. The translation of the Septuagint has happily preserved what seems to be the true reading of the text, as it stood in the copies of their time; though the words are now transposed, either in the text or in their Version; οἱ Αμαρῥαιοι και οἱ Ευαιοι, "the Amorites and the Hivites." It is remarkable that many commentators, who never thought of admitting the reading of the Septuagint, understand the passage as referring to that very event which their Version expresses; so that it is plain that nothing can be more suitable to the context. "My father," says Bishop Lowth, "saw the necessity of admitting this variation at a time when it was not usual to make so free with the Hebrew text." Mr. Parkhurst is not satisfied with the prelate's adoption of the reading of the Septuagint, "the Hivites and the Amorites." He thinks the difficult words should be thus rendered; he takes the whole verse: "And his fortified cities shall be like the leaving, or what is left כעזובת caazubath, of or in a ploughed field, החרש hachoresh, or on a branch which they leave coram, before, the children of Israel." Which he considers a plain reference to the Mosaic laws relative to the not gleaning of their ploughed fields, vineyards, and oliveyards, but leaving עזב ozeb, somewhat of the fruits, for the poor of the land; Leviticus 9:9, Leviticus 9:10; Deuteronomy 24:19-21, in the Hebrew. I fear that the text is taken by storm on both interpretations. One MS. has כל ערי col arey, "all the cities;" and instead of החלש hachalash, "of the branch," six MSS. have החדש hachodesh, "of the month." But this is probably a mistake.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 17:9

    His strong cities - The cities of the united kingdoms of Damascus and Samaria.

    Be as a forsaken bough - There has been much difficulty in the interpretation of this passage. Lowth says, 'No one has ever been able to make any tolerable sense of these words;' and proposes himself the translation,

    In that day shall his strongly fenced cities become

    Like the desertion of the Hivites and the Amorites;

    Following in this the translation of the Septuagint, but doing violence to the Hebrew text. Rosenmuller translates it, 'As the remnant of a grove when the thicket is cut down, and when few trees are left.' The word rendered 'bough' (חרשׁ choresh) means, properly, a thicket, or thick foliage, a wood that is entangled or intricate 1 Samuel 23:15-16, 1 Samuel 23:18; 2 Chronicles 27:4; and probably this is the idea here. The phrase may be rendered, 'as the leavings or residue of a grove, copse, or entangled wood;' and the idea is, that as a "few" trees might be left when the axeman cuts down the grove, so a few inferior and smaller towns should be left in the desolation that would come upon Damascus.

    And an uppermost branch - Isaiah 17:6. As a few berries are left in the topmost branch of the olive, or the vine, so shall I a few cities or people be left in the general desolation.

    Which they left - Which "are" left, or which the invaders would leave.

    Because of the children of Israel - literally, 'from the face,' that is, before the children of Israel. Lowth supposes that it refers to the Amorites, who left their land before the Israelites, or gave up their land for them. Vitringa renders it, 'On account of the children of Israel;' and supposes that it means that a few cities were spared by the purpose of God in the invasion by Tiglath-pileser, to be a residence of the Israelites that should remain; or that, for some reason which is not known, the Assyrians chose to spare a few towns, and not wholly to destroy the country. The "general" idea is plain, that a few towns would be left, and that it would be "before" the children of Israel, or in their presence, or in order that they might continue to dwell in them. Jerome interprets the whole as referring to the time when the land of Judea was forsaken on the invasion of the Romans.

    And there shall be desolation - The land shall be desolated, except the few cities and towns that shall be left, like the gleaning of the olive tree.