Isaiah 25:5 New American Standard Bible 1995

5 (a) Like heat in drought, (b) You subdue the uproar of aliens; (c) Like heat by the shadow of a cloud,
(d) the song of the ruthless is [a]silenced.

Isaiah 25:5 New King James Version

5 (a) You will reduce the noise of aliens, (b) As heat in a dry place; (c) As heat in the shadow of a cloud,
(d) The song of the terrible ones will be [a]diminished.

Isaiah 25:5 English Standard Version

5 (a) like heat in a dry place. (b) You subdue the noise of the foreigners; (c) as heat by the shade of a cloud,
(d) so the song of the ruthless is put down.

25:5 The Westminster Leningrad Codex

5 כְּחֹ֣רֶב בְּצָי֔וֹן שְׁא֥וֹן זָרִ֖ים תַּכְנִ֑יעַ חֹ֚רֶב בְּצֵ֣ל עָ֔ב זְמִ֥יר עָֽרִיצִ֖ים יַעֲנֶֽה׃ פ

IMHO, it is easy to understand Isaiah 25:5(c) and (d) because implies that a cloud’s shade will reduce heat which in turn silences the song of ruthless people.
However, Isaiah 25:5(a) and (b) is difficult to understand because heat in a drought or dry place can be seen as intensity. Therefore, said fragment verse is Not associated with calmness or mitigation of some kind of activity.

As I reviewed some of the commentaries on biblehub.com , I was Not convinced by their explanations:


For example, the “Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary” assumes that Isaiah 25:5 (c) ‘s “shadow of a cloud” phrase is implicitly imposed on the previous 25:5(a) and (b).

To elaborate here is the exact commentary:

“5. Translate, "As the heat in a dry land (is brought down by the shadow of a cloud, so) thou shalt bring down the tumult (the shout of triumph over their enemies) of strangers (foreigners); and as the heat by the shadow of the cloud (is brought low), so the branch (the offspring) of the terrible ones shall be brought low."

In, the “Barnes' Notes on the Bible” commentary, it also does the same:

“As the heat in a dry place - The parallelism here requires that we should suppose the phrase 'with the shadow of a cloud' to be supplied in this hemistich, as it is obscurely expressed in our translation by the word 'even,' and it would then read thus:

As the beat in a dry place (by the shadow of a cloud),

The noise of the strangers shalt thou humble;

As the heat by the shadow of a cloud,

The exultation of the formidable ones shalt thou bring low.”

Are the aforementioned assumptions based on some kind of ancient Old Testament Hebrew literary device? If yes, could someone please elaborate? Why and how should we bible readers interpret Isaiah 25:5(a) and (b)?

1 Answer 1


Here is my very literal translation of Isa 25:5 -

As heat in dryness, the noise of aliens You reduce

[As] heat in shadow of cloud, [the] song of [the] ruthless is answered [ie, is silenced]

The NASB gives a very similar result.

Thus, Isaiah uses "heat" in a double metaphor:

  • heat in hot & dry places makes this quiet - aliens will thus be silenced
  • as clouds reduce the heat of the sun, so the triumphal songs of the brutal and ruthless will be answered and silenced.

This fits with the context of the rest of Isa 25 which is a rehearsal of the greatness of God's victories over His enemies.

The pulpit commentary has this:

The exultant chant of triumph which the ungodly are sure to raise as they deem their victory over the people of God complete, will be stopped in mid-career, and "brought low," or reduced to silence, by the crushing overthrow predicted in Isaiah 24. Isaiah 25:5

  • Thanks. Are you saying that readers should simply interpret Isaiah 25:5(a) & (b) as God's ability to reduce the noise of aliens just like heat in drought can reduce the noise of aliens? In other words, there is No complex subtle nuances or No anachronistic Old Testament Hebrew literary device involved Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 22:32
  • @user1338998 - the "noise of aliens" is their clamor and godless activity.
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 16, 2023 at 4:45

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