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Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed![a] For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips,(A) and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.

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Footnotes

  1. 6:5 Doomed: there are two roots from which the verb here could be derived; one means “to perish, be doomed,” the other “to become silent,” and given Isaiah’s delight in puns and double entendre, he probably intended to sound both notes. “I am doomed!” is suggested by the popular belief that to see God would lead to one’s death; cf. Gn 32:31; Ex 33:20; Jgs 13:22. “I am struck silent!” is suggested by the emphasis on the lips in vv. 5–6, and such silence is attested elsewhere as the appropriate response to the vision of the Lord in the Temple (Hb 2:20).

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