Ezekiel 22:4 – Return To Your Scabbard!

As you know, in the JSB we have the Biblical text, the translators’ notes, and the commentary. The Biblical text of Ez. 22:4 reads:

You stand guilty of the blood you have shed, defiled by the fetishes you have made. You have brought on your day; you have reached your year. Therefore I will make you the mockery of the nations and the scorn of all the lands.

In the middle of all that we find the phrase, “you have reached your year,” or in both the NRSV and ESV: “the appointed time of your years has come.”

A translators’┬ánote on that phrase in the JSB (so yes, in fact, the note comes from the NJSB Tanakh) says that an emendation reads, “return to your scabbard!” (The exclamation point is part of the quote, not my addition.) Based on that emendation, the translators’ claim that all of 22:1-16 refers to Babylon, who in preceding verses held the role of the sword.

Of course, none of the immediate context sounds at all like God pronouncing judgment on Babylon; rather, it reads very much the same as the preceding and following prophecies against Jerusalem. And, I might add, none of my commentary, JSB, HarCol, RSB, takes up that point in any way.

So yeah, this is a pretty long post just to make the point that even the translators’ notes need to be read with a questioning eye. Why did the translators feel the need to include that interpretation? What other leading comments have they made that I just took for granted?