Hebrew Language/Isaiah 33:23

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Question
The English translation of Verse 23 seems out of context with the rest of Isaiah chapter 33.  

"Your rigging hangs loose:  The mast is not held secure, the sail is not spread.  Then an abundance of spoils will be divided and even the lame will carry off plunder."  

My crude translation skills comes up with nothing to do with ships.  More like:  "Let go pain/destruction.  Strengthen base of beacon/flagpole.  Spread banner..."  

Then complete confusion sets in.  I am only starting to learn Hebrew. I have almost no grammar skills.  I would love your expertise in this text!

Answer
Hi Lanette,

Here I disagree with you: Isaiah is clearly using the metaphor of ships to drive home his message, not just in the English translation, but in the Hebrew text as well. The fact that the verse is hard to translate has a good reason - it is written in a difficult, almost hard-to-understand Hebrew.

All the best,

Gaddy  

Hebrew Language

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Expertise

What I don't do: NO NAME TRANSLATIONS. For that, try http://www.stars21.com/translator/english_to_hebrew.html

What I do: I'll help you understand Hebrew phrases or single words, as well as answer questions about Jewish customs and practices.

You may also try the Gooogle English-Hebrew translator, at http://www.google.com/dictionary?langpair=en%7Ciw&q=&hl=en&aq=f

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I am a columnist for a Hebrew-language newspaper, and a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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D.Med MBA BA in the US, Grade school and high school in Israel

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