The return of the remnant (Isa 11:11-11:11)

“On that day,

Yahweh will extend his hand

Yet a second time.

He wanted to recover

The remnant that is left

Of his people,

From Assyria,

From Egypt,

From Pathros,

From Ethiopia,

From Elam,

From Shinar,

From Hamath,

And from the coastlands of the sea.”

In this ideal time, all the scattered Israelites would return from their Exile. Yahweh was going to extend his hand for a second time. The first time was the Exodus from Egypt. This time it is a call to recover the remnant from all over the place. Some of these places are easy to figure out. Assyria (present day Iraq), Egypt, and Ethiopia are easy to understand. Pathros was in upper Egypt. Elam is where current day Iran is. Shinar was in Babylon. Hamath was in Syria. The coastlands may have been the Aegean islands around present day Greece. Obviously, this was during the Exile or after it. It is interesting to note how many different places the Israelites were in Diaspora, so early in their history.

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The translation problem (Sir 0:15-0:26)

“You are invited therefore

To read it

With good will.

You are invited

To read it

With attention.

Be indulgent in cases where,

Despite out diligent labor in translating,

We may seem to have rendered some phrases imperfectly.

What was originally expressed in Hebrew

Does not have exactly the same sense

When translated into another language.

Not only this work,

But even the Law itself,

The Prophecies,

And the rest of the books

Differs not a little

When read in the original.”

This author hits at a big problem that has plagued biblical scholarship since the early years. How do you insure that you have a good translation? He poses this question as many of the Jewish people in the Diaspora may not have been able to read Hebrew, let alone read at all. In fact, he states that the Greek translation, the Septuagint, of the Law, the Prophets, and the rest of the books may differ from the original Hebrew text. He apologizes at the beginning. He said that it was hard to take a Hebrew expression and put into another language with the same sense. Sometimes it will differ from the original text. Thus we see this 2,000 year old problem of translation.