Isaiah 49:23

Hebrew Bible

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look I will raise my hand to the nations; I will raise my signal flag to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. 23 Kings will be your children’s guardians; their princesses will nurse your children. With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you, and they will lick the dirt on your feet. Then you will recognize that I am the Lord; those who wait patiently for me are not put to shame. 24 Can spoils be taken from a warrior, or captives be rescued from a conqueror? 25 Indeed,” says the Lord,“ captives will be taken from a warrior; spoils will be rescued from a conqueror. I will oppose your adversary and I will rescue your children.

Psalm 72:9

Hebrew Bible

7 During his days the godly will flourish; peace will prevail as long as the moon remains in the sky. 8 May he rule from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. 9 Before him the coastlands will bow down, and his enemies will lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and the coastlands will offer gifts; the kings of Sheba and Seba will bring tribute. 11 All kings will bow down to him; all nations will serve him.

 Notes and References

"... Many commentators attempt to soften [Isaiah 49:22-23] by arguing that it is a hyperbole. Westermann, for example, describes DI as giving metaphors “for the careful protection, and the deference and attention, to be accorded to those who return home.” Others explain this as merely an ancient Near Eastern sign of homage, and Blenkinsopp cites court protocol in a fourteenth century B.C.E. letter from the ruler of Tyre to the Pharaoh: “I fall prostrate at the feet of the king my lord; I am the dirt under the feet of the king my lord.” P. Volz’s argument that the nations are not said to serve Israel in perpetuity is also usually cited. However, Van Winkle notes that licking dust in Psalm 72:9 and Micah 7:17 refer to the conquest of enemies, and though North proposes that licking dust from the feet is less degrading than licking dust from the ground, Van Winkle points out from Sargon’s and Sennacherib’s boasts that kings of conquered peoples kiss their feet in abject submission ..."

Low, Maggie Mother Zion in Deutero-Isaiah: A Metaphor for Zion Theology (pp. 170-171) Peter Lang Publishing, 2013

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