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Isaiah 27:4

    Isaiah 27:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Wrath is not in me: would that the briers and thorns were against me in battle! I would march upon them, I would burn them together.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    My passion is over: if the thorns were fighting against me, I would make an attack on them, and they would be burned up together.

    Webster's Revision

    Wrath is not in me: would that the briers and thorns were against me in battle! I would march upon them, I would burn them together.

    World English Bible

    Wrath is not in me, but if I should find briers and thorns, I would do battle! I would march on them and I would burn them together.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Fury is not in me: would that the briers and thorns were against me in battle! I would march upon them, I would burn them together.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 27:4

    Fury is not in me "I have no wall" - For חמה chemah, anger, the Septuagint and Syriac read חומה chomah, wall. An ancient MS. has חימה cheimah. For בה bad, in her, two MSS. read בם bam, in them, plural. The vineyard wishes for a wall and a fence of thorns - human strength and protection, (as the Jews were too apt to apply to their powerful neighbors for assistance, and to trust to the shadow of Egypt): Jehovah replies, that this would not avail her, nor defend her against his wrath. He counsels her, therefore, to betake herself to his protection. On which she entreats him to make peace with her.

    From the above note it appears that the bishop reads, חומה chomah, wall, for חמה chemah, anger or fury, in accordance with the Syriac and Septuagint. The letter ו vau makes the only difference, which letter is frequently absent from many words where its place is supplied by the point. cholem: it might have been so here formerly; and in process of time both vau and cholem might have been lost. The Syriac supports the learned bishop's criticism, as the word shora is there used; which word in the plural is found, Hebrews 11:30 : "By faith the walls of Jericho. "The bishop thinks the Septuagint is on his side: to me, it seems neither for nor against the criticism. The words in the Vatican copy are εγω πολις οχυρα, I am a fortified city; which the Arabic follows: but instead of οχυρα, the Codex Alexandrinus has ισχυρα, I am a Strong city.

    The word חומה chomah, wall, is not found in any MS. in the collections of Kennicott and De Rossi, nor in any of my own MSS.

    However, one of Dr. Kennicott's MSS. has חימה cheimah; but probably that which now appears to be a י yod was formerly a ו vau, and now partially obliterated.

    This song receives much light from being collated with that in chap. 5.; and perhaps the bishop's criticism will find its best support from such a collation. In Isaiah 5:5 of that chapter, God threatens to take away the wall of his vineyard: this was done; and here the vineyard complains, I have no wall, and wishes for any kind of defense rather than be thus naked. This is the only natural support of the above criticism.

    "About Tripoli there are abundance of vineyards and gardens, inclosed, for the most part, with hedges, which chiefly consist of the rhamnus, paliurus, oxyacantha, "etc. Rawolf, p. 21, 22. A fence of thorns is esteemed equal to a wall for strength, being commonly represented as impenetrable. See Micah 7:4; Hosea 2:6.

    Who would set the briers and thorns against me "O that I had a fence of the thorn and brier" - Seven MSS., (two ancient), and one edition, with the Syriac, Vulgate, and Aquila, read ושית veshayith, with the conjunction ו vau prefixed: Who would set the briers and thorns. מי יתנני שמיר שית mi yitteneni shamir shayith, Who shall give me the brier and thorn, i.e., for a defense: but hear Kimchi: "Who (the vineyard) hath given me (Jehovah) the brier and the thorn instead of good grapes."

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 27:4

    Fury is not in me - That is, I am angry with it no more. He had punished his people by removing them to a distant land. But although he had corrected them for their faults, yet he had not laid aside the affection of a Father.

    Who would set - Hebrew, 'Who would give me.' The Septuagint renders this, 'Who would place me to keep the stubble in the field?' Great perplexity has been felt in regard to the interpretation of this passage. Lowth translates it:

    'O that I had a fence of the thorn and the brier;'

    evidently showing that he was embarrassed with it, and could not make of it consistent sense. The whole sentence must refer either to the people of God, or to his enemies. If to his people, it would be an indication that they were like briers and thorns, and that if his fury should rage they would be consumed, and hence, he calls upon them Isaiah 27:5 to seize upon his strength, and to be at peace with him. If it refers to his enemies, then it expresses a wish that his enemies were in his possession; or a purpose to go against them, as fire among thorns, and to consume them if they should presume to array themselves against his vineyard. This latter I take to be the true sense of the passage. The phrase 'who would set me,' or in Hebrew, 'who will give me,' may be expressed by "utinam," indicating strong desire; and may be thus paraphrased: 'I retain no anger against my people. I have indeed punished them; but my anger has ceased. I shall now defend them. If they are attacked by foes, I will guard them. When their foes approach, "I desire, I earnestly wish," that they may be in my possession, that I may destroy them - as the fire rages through briers and thorns.' It expresses a firm determination to defend his people and to destroy their enemies, unless Isaiah 27:5, which he would prefer, they should repent, and be at peace with him.

    The briers and thorns - His enemies, and the enemies of his people (compare the notes at Isaiah 9:17; Isaiah 10:17). Perhaps the phrase is used here to denote enemies, because briers and thorns are so great enemies to a vineyard by impeding growth and fertility.

    I would go through them - Or, rather, I would go against them in battle to destroy them.

    I would burn them up together - As fire devours the thorns and briers; that is, I would completely destroy them.