Then the LORD said to me, "Take for yourself a large tablet and write
on it in ordinary letters: "Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey".:
(Take: Jer 36:2,28,32) (write: Isa 30:8 Job 19:23,24 Hab
2:2,3) (Ordinary letters: Rev 13:18 21:17,
Righteousness & Justice of Jehovah
& Glory of Jehovah
"A throne" Is 6:6
"A Lamb" Is 53:7
To help keep this chapter in
context observe the preceding table and the following outline adapted
from Talk Thru the Bible which summarizes the first section of Isaiah
dealing primarily with prophecies concerning the Kingdom of Judah...
Prophecies against Judah
A The Judgment of Judah Isa 1:1–31
B The Day of the Lord Isa 2:1–4:6
C The Parable of the Vineyard Isa 5:1–30
D The Commission of Isaiah Isa 6:1–13
E The Destruction of Israel by Assyria Isa 7:1–10:4
1 Sign of Immanuel Isa 7:1–25
2 Sign of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz Isa 8:1–22
3 Prophecy of the Messiah’s Birth Isa 9:1–7
4 Judgment on Ephraim Isa 9:8–10:4
F The Destruction of Assyria by God
1 Destruction of Assyria Isa
2 Remnant of Israel Isa 10:20–34
3 Restoration of the Messiah’s Kingdom Isa 11:1–16
4 Thanksgiving in the Messiah’s Kingdom Isa 12:1–6
Fruchtenbaum has commented
CHAPTERS 7–12 of Isaiah constitute
a single unit, sometimes referred to as “The Book of Immanuel”
because the name “Immanuel” appears three times in the Hebrew text
(Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10) (Ed: Isa 8:10 = "God with us"
transliterated "immanu'el"). (Messianic Christology: A study of Old
Testament prophecy concerning the first coming of the Messiah. Tustin,
CA: Ariel Ministries)
When? After prophesying
of the desolation that was to befall Judah and Jerusalem (Isa
8:17-25). Remember that Isaiah 8 is a continuation of the prophecy in
Isaiah 7 (and in fact continues through Isaiah 9:7), where God
reassured Ahaz that Judah would not be defeated by the Aram-Ephraim
alliance. But God wants to make sure His people get this message
clearly and so He repeats the message with an object lesson in the
form of Isaiah's son, Maher-shalal-hash-baz. It should be emphasized
that while God does assure Judah she would not be defeated by the
Assyrians, this promise did not relieve Judah of considerable
suffering at the hands of the invading Assyrian forces. In the OT we
see that God would often use enemies of Israel to chastise His chosen
people (cp Hab 1:6 referring to the Babylonians He would send to
The LORD - Remember that in
the NASB, when "Lord" is in all caps (LORD) in
the text, it signifies the underlying Hebrew name is
Take a large tablet (not a
parchment roll but more like a slab) - Only rarely is a prophet
commanded to actually write out a message (cp Hab 2:2, 3 for another
example). Clearly this is a message Jehovah wanted to be fully visible
so that it could be read and understood by all.
In ordinary letters - The
idea is write on the great tablet with a man's (i.e. an ordinary)
stylus, in common characters, intelligible to all. The Amplified has
"a graving tool and in ordinary characters [which the humblest man can
read.]" The Jerusalem Bible has "ordinary writing," NEB has "common
writing," and NAB has "ordinary letters," the NIV "ordinary pen.
Swift is the booty, speedy is
the prey ("The spoil speeds, the prey hastes", "Speeding to the
Plunder, Hurrying to the Spoil", 'Quick-pickings-Easy-prey' = J. B.
Phillips) - This message is repeated as the name of Isaiah's son,
Maher-shalal-hash-baz in Isaiah 8:3. This name written out
for all to see would signify the rapid advance of the Assyrian forces
and the imminent fall of Damascus and Samaria before the Assyrians. An
Egyptian name of the Eighteenth Dynasty similarly means "Hasten, Seize
A Timeline of Isaiah
Uzziah (790-739BC) becomes king
of Judah, reigns 52 years
Jotham becomes king of Judah
assuming reign when Uzziah becomes leprous
begins his prophetic
ministry (cp ministry to Hezekiah Jer 26:18, 19, Mic 3:12)
Isaiah begins prophetic ministry in year King Uzziah died
Ahaz becomes king of Judah (2Ki
15:38, 16:1, 2Chr 28:1)
Hezekiah becomes 12th king of
Judah (2Ki 16:20, 18:1,2) and one of 3 best (2Ki 18:5)
Shalmaneser (2Ki 17:3, 18:9) dies
while besieging Samaria, Sargon seizes crown
Sargon of Assyria
(Is 20:1) conquers Samaria (2Ki 17:6, 18:9, 10, 11, 12)
(son of Sargon) of Assyria lays siege to Jerusalem
becomes king of Judah (2Ki 21:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
begins prophetic ministry
of Babylon conquers Judah
The Ryrie Study Bible: New American
Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers)
most of these dates are approximations and not indisputable facts.
They are listed to help give the reader have a general idea of the
relationship of historical events in Isaiah's time.
And I will take to Myself faithful witnesses for testimony, Uriah the
priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.:
(Take: Ru 4:2,10,11 2Co 13:1) (Uriah: 2Ki 16:10,11 18:2)
I will take to Myself faithful
witnesses for testimony - The presence of two witnesses indicates
that this prophecy had the force of a legal document. He names
two witnesses in keeping with the Lord's own requirement in
A single witness shall
not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which
he has committed; on the evidence of two or three
witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. (Dt 19:15)
Uriah the priest - He was a
priest during the reign of King Ahaz.
Uriah means "the LORD is my
light" and King Ahaz's request he built an idolatrous (Assyrian) altar
like one the king had seen at Damascus when he met with Assyrian King
Tiglath-pileser. King Ahaz
offered sacrifices on this idolatrous altar and moved the divinely
prescribed bronze altar. (Read 2Ki 16:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16). In
the present context, Uriah (assuming this is the same Uriah) is taken
as one of the two faithful witnesses concerning the matter of
Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah
- Zechariah is the name of up to 28 different persons in
Scripture but is not the famous prophet whose book is included in the
"Minor Prophets" of the Bible. This Zechariah may be the same one who
followed God and who taught King Uzziah to honor God which resulted in
Uzziah succeeding (see 2Chr 26:5). Zechariah was a witness of Isaiah's
prophecy against Syria and Ephraim (Recorded in Isaiah 7).
Jeberechiah means "Yah
So I approached the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth
to a son. Then the LORD said to me, "Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz;:
(prophetess: Jdg 4:4 2Ki 22:14)( Ho 1:3-9)(Isa 7:13,14,
Maher-shalal-hash-baz, Isa 8:1)
Approached (07126) (qarab)
conveys the basic sense of coming very near, which could simply be
spatially near but also (as used euphemistically in this present
passage) mean in proximity intimately, specifically in sexual
relations (Ge 20:4, Dt 22:14).
Prophetess (05031) (nebiy'ah/nebiah)
describes a woman who speaks or proclaims the message of God. In the
present context it could signify that she was the wife of a prophet,
but in a sense she does fulfill the role of a prophet by giving birth
to a son whose very name conveys a prophetic message.
There are a number of
prophetesses in the Bible including
Miriam (Ex 15:1-19,
Deborah (Jdg 4:4, 5,
22:14-20, 2Chr 34:22-29),
Noadiah (Neh 6:14 =
Anna (Lk 2:36, 37,
38), and Philip's four daughters (Acts 21:8, 9).
Nebiy'ah/nebiah - 6x in the
OT - Ex 15:20; Jdg 4:4; 2Ki 22:14; 2Chr 34:22; Neh 6:14; Isa 8:3
Then the LORD said -
Remember that names in Scripture were usually filled with meaning. It
is almost like this son would be a "walking sermon" or message from
God even as was Isaiah's first son whose name meant a "remnant will
for before the boy knows how to cry out 'My father' or 'My mother,'
the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away
before the king of Assyria.:
(before: Isa 7:15,16 Dt 1:39 Jon 4:11 Ro 9:11)(Wealth of
Damascus: Isa 10:6-14 17:3 2Ki 15:29 16:9 17:3,5,6)
For - Always be alert for
this little preposition at the beginning of sentences, where it most
often functions as a
term of explanation.
Then take a moment and ask "What (why, when, etc) is being explained?"
In the present context, Isaiah is explaining why Jehovah has given his
son such a long name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
Before the boy knows how to cry
out 'My father' or 'My mother' - The prophecy conveyed by the
birth of Isaiah's would be just a few years so that within probably 2 years (or
even less) the Assyrian king
Tiglath-Pileser III would plunder
Damascus (circa 732BC).
Damascus - A major city of Aram
or Syria. (See
map of Assyria which
incorporates Damascus and Samaria).
Samaria - The capital city of
Ephraim or Israel (the 10 Northern Tribe Kingdom) (1Ki 16:29; 22:51;
2Ki 13:1, 10; 15:8) originally built by
Omri (1Ki 16:24).
Will be carried away before the
Assyria - The Assyrian's
practiced deportation of their defeated enemies as an impediment to
local uprisings against their rule. The actual fulfillment of
this prophecy occurred in 732BC for Damascus and 722BC for Israel.
Again the LORD spoke to me further saying:
(Spoke: Isa 7:10)
Isaiah 7:10 records almost the same
statement but there Jehovah spoke to King Ahaz. The same divine voice
in Isa 7:10 and Isa 8:5 but different hearts and so different
Isaiah 8:6 Inasmuch as these people have rejected the gently flowing waters of
Shiloah and rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah:
(1Ki 7:16 2Ch 13:8-18)(Shiloah: Ne 3:15 Jn 9:7)(Jer 2:13,18
18:14)(rejoice: Isa 7:1,2,6 Jdg 9:16-20)
These peoples - The Northern
Ephraim (Israel). Young also feels this speaks of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah who had despised the LORD and turned to Assyria for
Rejected (despised) - The rejection of the
gently flowing waters was actually a rejection of God Himself as
the context shows. So in a sense the metaphor stands for God Himself
and contrasts with the raging Euphrates river mentioned in Isaiah 8:7.
The image of the Lord’s
satisfying waters is found often in Scripture: Ps 46:4; Jer 2:13–19;
Ezekiel 47; Jn 4:1-15, Jn 7:37, 38, 39; Rev 22:1.
The gently flowing waters
of Shiloah present an apt picture of the spiritual refreshing
found in Messiah (Isaiah 8:5-8; 33:21; 41:18; 48:18; 66:12).
I've got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul
Got Peace Like a River)
The gently flowing waters of
Shiloah - This was a brook at the
foot of Mt Zion (at the southern extremity of the
at the southern end of
Hezekiah's Tunnel -- picture)
which symbolized divine protection and help (cp Jesus' charge to wash
in the pool of Siloam and receive sight - Jn 9:7, 11). Because Judah
had refused God's help (healing?), she would experience (figuratively)
the flood of waters of the mighty Euphrates in the form of the mighty
and destructive forces of the Assyrians (Isa 8:7).
- King of Aram.
The son of Remaliah - Pekah
king of Ephraim (Israel). As in Isaiah 7, the writer does not refer to
him by his name Pekah, possibly because he was a usurper who does not
deserve the title he holds (but that is somewhat speculative).
Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong
and abundant waters of the Euphrates, even the king of Assyria and all
his glory; and it will rise up over all its channels and go over all
its banks.: (Lord:
Isa 17:12,13 28:17 59:19 Ge 6:17 Dt 28:49-52 Jer 46:7,8 Da 9:26 Da
11:10,22 Am 8:8 9:5 Na 1:8 Lk 6:48 Rev 12:15,16 17:15)(strong:
Ezr 4:10 Ps 72:8)(king: Isa 7:1-6,17 10:8-14 Eze 31:3-18)
Now therefore -
Term of conclusion
- In view of the fact that Judah had rejected Jehovah's help and
protection choosing to seek help from a pagan nation Assyria, God
would now act. Instead of the gentle flowing waters, Judah's rejection
would reap a raging torrent (Assyria)! Beloved, we must not read over
this too quickly and think to ourselves "How could Judah be so hard
hearted, so foolish?" Judah is a picture of our fallen flesh which
(like Judah) rejects the help and protection of God and far too often
seeks the world's ways. But we always do so at our own peril (and I am
referring to believers), for we too will reap the reward of God's hand
of righteous discipline in our life! Do not be deceived when you sin,
thinking that you will get away with it. You never get away with sin
against God. And if we persist and refuse to confess and repent, we
may reap a raging river like Judah! (cp Gal 6:7-note,
He 12:7, 8-note,
He 12:9, 10-note,
Lord - Note that "Lord" is
not in all caps, which indicates this is not a translation of Yahweh (Jehovah)
Adonai - My Lord, My Master.
Behold (02009) (hinneh)
is an interjection (= a word in speaking or writing, thrown in
between words connected in construction, to express some emotion or
passion) often seeks to grab the reader's attention and says something
like - Look! Pay attention! Don't miss this next point! Hinneh
draws attention to an important fact or action that follows and in a
sense demands our attention. W E Vine adds that Behold is
notable that when behold (hinneh) is used in Isaiah, it always
introduces something relating to future circumstances.
(Uses of hinneh in Isaiah - Isa 3:1; 5:7, 26, 30; 6:7f; 7:14;
8:7, 18, 22; 10:33; 12:2; 13:9, 17; 17:1, 14; 19:1; 20:6; 21:9; 22:17;
24:1; 25:9; 26:21; 28:2, 16; 29:8, 14; 30:27; 34:5; 35:4; 36:6; 37:7,
11, 36; 38:5, 8, 17; 39:6; 40:9f; 41:15, 27; 42:9; 43:19; 47:14; 48:7,
10; 49:12, 22; 51:22; 52:6, 13; 54:11; 58:9; 59:9; 60:2; 62:11; 65:1,
6, 13f, 17f; 66:12, 15)
Strong and abundant waters of
the Euphrates - First note the clear play on words - rejection of
the gentle flowing waters of Shiloah, will reap a torrent of
waters from the mighty Euphrates River (cp Hos 8:7 - you always sow
more than you reap!)
Obviously strong and abundant
waters is a figure of speech and a
powerful one indeed, for if you have ever been caught in rushing,
swirling waters (I have and almost drowned), you know the power of
flowing water (cp hydroelectric power!). (Click
map of Assyria -
the river nearest to Israel is the Euphrates. Observe in the
legend the striking expansion of the boundaries that occurred the
years 824BC and 671BC. For context the events in Isaiah 8 are
prophesied between 735-732BC - How do we know? See comments on Isaiah
8:4. Observe that Judah is not
- while the Northern Kingdom whose capital was Samaria was eventually
defeated by Assyria, the Assyrian advances on Judah did not result in
her defeat - Why? God's protective hand was on Judah. He would
eventually use Nebuchadnezzar as His servant [Jer 25:9, 27:6, 43:10]
to defeat and demolish Judah and Jerusalem in 586BC.
Beloved if God is in control of
kingdoms rising and falling, what is there in your life which you
think is beyond His control? And remember His timing is not
necessarily your timing!)
Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through,
It will reach even to the neck and the spread of its wings will fill
the breadth of your land, O Immanuel:
(pass: Isa 10:28-32 22:1-7 28:14-22 29:1-9 36:1-37:38)(reach:
Isa 30:28)(spread: Eze 17:3) (Immanuel: Isa 7:14 Mt 1:23
WHEN TROUBLE COMES
IMMANUEL - GOD IS WITH US!
Then - This time phrase (expressions
usually marks succession, in this case it describes the Assyrian
invasion of Judah (circa 701BC) after the defeat of the Northern Kingdom in
Then it will sweep on into
Judah - In 701 B.C.
Sennacherib invaded Judah (2Ki
18:13-19:37), and only Jerusalem escaped.
Sennacherib, in 701 BC, moved
against the cities in the West....He claims to have conquered 46
strongholds of Hezekiah's territory, but he did not capture Jerusalem,
for concerning the king he said, in his annals, "himself like a bird
in a cage in Jerusalem, his royal city, I penned him." He states,
also, how he reduced his territory, and how Hezekiah sent to him 30
talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, besides hostages.
It will reach even to the neck
- The Assyrian invading "tide" would sweep, and cover the land of
Judah but would go no higher than the neck. Thus Judah would be
spared from being "drowned" (defeated and destroyed) by the Assyrian
waters which did engulf and destroy Judah's sister Israel (Ephraim).
The spread of its wings will
fill the breadth of your land - As a great bird of prey spreading
its wings over its victim, so too would Assyria spread throughout the
land of Israel (cp Isaiah 7:19-note)
Immanuel - God with us. In
context Isaiah is speaking of the land of
Judah which belongs to God. God was indeed still with Judah
(even though she had been rebellious and unfaithful) and He would not
allow Assyria to defeat them. The fact is that THE LAND, the land of
Israel (Judah), did not actually belong to either Judah or King Ahaz,
but to the coming Messiah, Immanuel! He came the first time and was
rejected. Rejection will not be an "option" when He comes the second
time as King of kings and Lord of lords!
Is not God's provision of a historical
"salvation" of of Judah (A LAND) by Immanuel not a foreshadowing of the
greater salvation provided for the Jews (A LIFE) through the first advent of
Immanuel Christ Jesus?
Isaiah addresses Judah's king,
of Davidic lineage, as Immanuel. The prophet also gives the
meaning and application of the name by stressing that, in spite of
what a disobedient king does, God will be with His covenant people
The name Immanuel gives
expression to the truth God had expressed in various ways to His
covenant people in times previous to Isaiah. He had specifically said
that He would be God to Abraham and his seed (Gen 17:7). He would go
with Jacob (Gen 28:15) and Moses (Ex 3:12). God identified with His
people saying he had taken them to be His possession (Ex 19:5, 6). The
Angel of His Name (cf
Angel of the LORD) would go with and guard his people (Ex 23:20. 24).
To Joshua the word came, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you”
(Josh 1:5). To David God said, “I have been with you” (2Sa 7:9).
Solomon earnestly prayed that
the Lord would be with him and Israel as he had been with David (1Ki
8:57 “May the LORD our God be with us (transliterated - "elohenu
'immanu"), as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake
us."). By various visible means, i.e. cloud, pillar of fire, and the
ark of the covenant the Lord confirmed his word. He was with his
people. He led, upheld, and blessed them.
Isaiah, speaking to Ahaz,
assured him that the faithful covenant God was present as he had been
and as he would be in the incarnate Son to be born of the virgin. Thus
the past, present, and future intimate relationship of God’s presence
with His people is summed up in the name Im-manuel. (Harris,
R L, Archer, G L & Waltke, B K Theological Wordbook of the Old
Testament. Moody Press)
Constable adds that...
The reappearance of Immanuel
in this passage that predicts the birth of Maher-shalal-hash-baz and
so closely parallels the Immanuel prophecies in chapter 7 suggests
that Maher-shalal-hash-baz was the initial fulfillment of the Immanuel
prediction. (Isaiah - Expository Notes)
Be broken, O
be shattered; and
give ear, all remote places
of the earth.
be shattered.: (Be
broken: Isa 7:1,2 54:15 Jer 46:9-11 Eze 38:9-23 Joe 3:9-14 Mic
4:11-13 Zec 14:1-3 Rev 17:12-14 20:8,9)(and give ear: Isa
14:5,6 28:13 Ps 37:14,15 Pr 11:21) (gird: Isa 37:36 1Ki 20:11)
(Note all verbs in
Note that Isaiah 8:9, 10 there is a
shift in the prophecy from judgment to one of hope for
Judah. The commands in both verses are spoken not to Judah but to the
Assyrians (as if they were present to hear). Yes, Assyria would be
allowed to invade Judah but would eventually be destroyed.
Be broken...be shattered
- These commands are also prophecy. The NET Bible Note gives a
The verb רֹעוּ (ro’u) is a Qal
imperative, masculine plural from רָעַע (ra’a’, “break”). Elsewhere
both transitive (Job 34:24; Ps 2:9; Jer 15:12) and intransitive (Pr
25:19; Jer 11:16) senses are attested for the Qal of this verb.
Because no object appears here, the form is likely intransitive: “be
broken.” In this case the imperative is rhetorical (like “be
shattered” later in the verse) and equivalent to a prediction, “you
will be broken.”...(in other words) The imperative form (Heb “be
shattered”) is rhetorical and expresses the speaker’s firm conviction
of the outcome of the nations’ attack....One could paraphrase,
"Okay, go ahead and prepare
for battle since that's what you want to do, but your actions will
backfire and you'll be shattered."
This rhetorical use of the
imperatives is comparable to saying to a child who is bent on climbing
a high tree,
"Okay, go ahead, climb the
tree and break your arm!"
What this really means is:
"Okay, go ahead and climb the
tree since that's what you really want to do, but your actions will
backfire and you'll break your arm."
The repetition of the
statement in the final two lines of the verse gives the challenge the
flavor of a taunt (ancient Israelite "trash talking," as it were).
(Isaiah 8 Commentary)
a plan, but it will be
thwarted. State a proposal,
but it will not stand, for God is with us.:
(Devise: Isa 7:5-7 2Sa 15:31 17:4,23 Job 5:12 Ps 2:1,2 33:10,11
46:1,7 Ps 83:3-18 Pr 21:30 La 3:37 Na 1:9-12 Ac 5:38,39) (for God:
Isa 7:14 9:6 41:10 Dt 20:1 Joshua 1:5 2Ch 13:12 33:7,8 Ps 46:7,11 Mt 1:23
28:20 Ro 8:13,31 1Jn 4:4)
Young's Literal: Take counsel, and
it is broken, Speak a word, and it doth not stand, Because of
Devise a plan
(take counsel) - Devise your strategy Assyria. Call your councils of
war. Form a plan to take Judah.
It will be thwarted (06565)
(parar) means to break (a treaty, etc Ge 17:14, Lev 26:15), to
be broken (Jer 33:21, Zech 11:11), to thwart, frustrate, foil, cause
to fail (2Sa 15:34, 17:14, Ezra 4:5, Ne 4:9 Job 5:12; 15:4; 40:8; Ps
33:10; 85:5; 89:34]; Pr 15:22; Isa 14:27; 44:25) or to be thwarted as
in the present passage.
State a proposal
(more literally "Speak a word") -
For - Observe that this is a
term of explanation.
Isaiah explains why Judah is Immanuel's land and,
therefore, cannot be conquered except as Immanuel permits.
God is with us - The literal
Hebrew is Emmanu-El, which is emphatic and says something like
"With us, God"! In other words this name emphasizes God's presence and
in this case His protection (at least until 586BC when Judah fell to
Babylon). However, in one sense God is always with Israel because of
His immutable, unconditional covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a
covenant which will finally be fulfilled to the believing Jewish
remnant in the last of the last days (see
comments on the "remnant" in the
As noted earlier Fruchtenbaum
feels that Isaiah 7-12...
constitute a single unit, sometimes
referred to as “The Book of Immanuel” because the name “Immanuel”
appears three times in the Hebrew text (Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10)
(Messianic Christology: A study of Old Testament prophecy concerning
the first coming of the Messiah. Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries)
Gene Brooks writes...
Isaiah ends both verses (Isa 8:8,
10) of destruction with “O Immanuel!” It is a reminder that in the
midst of trouble, God is with us. For the faithful, it is comfort that
God remains in control of history.
What kind of trouble are you in? What is threatening you? What in the
news is troubling you? God remains in control of history. And He
remains in control of your history. So no matter the diagnosis, no
matter the child’s behavior, no matter the supervisor’s attitude, no
matter the employment situation, no matter the way the orders are
going at work, no matter who is in the White House, no matter the
issues at the courthouse, no matter the politics in the church house,
God is in control. When you know He is in control and you know His
character is good and that He has your best interest at heart, you can
settle down...and trust Him. (Isaiah
The NET Bible Note explains
In addition to being a
reminder of God’s presence in the immediate crisis faced by Ahaz and
Immanuel (whose name is echoed in
this concluding statement) was a guarantee of the nation’s future
greatness in fulfillment of God’s covenantal promises. Eventually God
would deliver His people from the hostile nations (Isa 8:9,10) through
another child, an ideal Davidic ruler who would embody God’s presence
in a special way (Isa 9:6, 7). Jesus the Messiah is the fulfillment of
the Davidic ideal prophesied by Isaiah, the One Whom Immanuel
foreshadowed. Through the miracle of the incarnation He is literally
“God with us.” Matthew realized this and applied Isaiah’s ancient
prophecy of Immanuel’s birth to Jesus (Mt 1:22,23).
The first Immanuel was a
reminder to the people of God’s presence and a guarantee of a greater
child to come who would manifest God’s presence in an even greater
way. The second Immanuel is “God with us” in a heightened and
infinitely superior sense. He “fulfills” Isaiah’s Immanuel prophecy by
bringing the typology intended by God to realization and by filling
out or completing the pattern designed by God. Of course, in the
ultimate fulfillment of the type, the incarnate Immanuel’s mother must
be a virgin, so Matthew uses a Greek term (parthenos), which carries
that technical meaning (in contrast to the Hebrew word עַלְמָה
[’almah], which has the more general meaning “young woman”) (Ed: See
comments on Isa 7:14-note).
Matthew draws similar analogies between NT and OT events in Isa 2:15,
18. The linking of these passages by analogy is termed “fulfillment.”
In 2:15 God calls Jesus, his perfect Son, out of Egypt, just as he did
his son Israel in the days of Moses, an historical event referred to
in Hos 11:1. In so doing he makes it clear that Jesus is the ideal
Israel prophesied by Isaiah (see Isa 49:3), sent to restore
wayward Israel (see Isa 49:5, cf. Mt 1:21). In Mt 2:18 Herod’s
slaughter of the infants is another illustration of the oppressive
treatment of God’s people by foreign tyrants. Herod’s actions are
analogous to those of the Assyrians, who deported the Israelites,
causing the personified land to lament as inconsolably as a mother
robbed of her little ones (Jer 31:15). (Isaiah 8 Commentary)
Since that first Christmas day
2,000 years ago, the assurance that God is with His people has taken
on new meaning. Before Jesus was born, the Israelites were assured
that even in judgment they could have hope because God was with them
(Isaiah 8:8,10). Yet they didn’t know God as fully as we can today.
We have a great advantage because through reading the New Testament we
can see the glory of God “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Corinthians
4:6). And we can sense His presence in all situations of life because
He is made real to us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:10-16).
When I need to be reassured that God is with me, I think about Jesus
as He is revealed in the New Testament. I recall how He took little
children in His arms and blessed them (Matthew 19:13-15). Then I think
of His crucifixion, which reminds me of all He endured to be my Savior
(Matthew 27:27-54). Finally, I reflect on His promise, “I am with you
always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
The birth of Jesus gave new significance to the name Immanuel, which
means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Because He lived among us, died
for us, and sent His Spirit to indwell us, we can rejoice!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.
God came to live with us so we could live with Him.
Isaiah 8:11 For thus the
LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in
the way of this people, saying,:
(Mighty power: Jer 20:7,9 Eze 3:14 Ac 4:20) (instructed:
Ps 32:8 Pr 1:15 Jer 15:19 Eze 2:6, 7, 8)
For thus the LORD spoke to me
- Jehovah spoke to Isaiah His prophet. (See Oswald Chambers -
How Could Someone Be So Ignorant!)
Mighty power - Literally
strength of hand (cp Jehovah's strong hand on His prophet Ezekiel -
Not to walk in the way of this
people - The call to follow Jehovah has always been a radical
call! Isaiah is strongly admonished to in essence be in the
midst of the people but not be of the people. In other words, Isaiah
was to resist any temptation to follow the prevalent pattern of belief
and behavior of the people of Judah. This divine word to Isaiah
reminds one of the words of Jesus prayer for His flock in John 17...
I have given them Thy word;
and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even
as I am not of the world. I do not ask Thee to take them out of the
world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world. (Jn 17:14, 15, 16)
Isaiah 8:12 "You are not to
say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a
conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of
Isa 7:2-6 51:12,13 2Ki 16:5-7) (Not to fear: Isa 7:4 57:9-11 Ps
53:5 Mt 28:2-5 Lk 12:4,5 21:9 1Pe 3:14,15)
New Living Translation (NLT
- Tyndale House)
"interprets" this "conspiracy" as directed against Isaiah (but not
everyone agrees - e.g., see
Note on Isa 8:12)
and so paraphrases this passage as...
Do not be afraid that some
plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you.
Comment: The NLT
paraphrase "interpretation" makes the important point that every Bible
translation is to some degree a "commentary". That is to say that the
translation cannot help but reflect to some degree the bias of the
translators and their "brand" of systematic theology. This is why
serious Bible study is best performed with the most literal
Comparison of Bible translations -
How literal is your version?)
You are not to say - While
this encouragement is directed primarily to Isaiah, the verb is second
masculine plural indicating that it would also to apply to all who are
likeminded (with Isaiah), presumably the same ones referred to as "my
disciples" in Isa 8:16).
You are not to fear what they
fear or be in dread of it - Don't fear what men fear and in Isaiah
8:13 the charge is to fear God. The writer of Proverbs said that...
The fear of man brings a
snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted. (Pr 29:25)
Comment: Notice in this
verse God gives us the clear antidote for fear of men. What is it?
It's faith. Faith in God will fight fear of man. (See related
Fear, How to Handle It)
Luke reminds us that
the fear of God takes precedence over every other fear...
(Jesus speaking) But I will warn
you whom to fear:
- command with a note of urgency) the One who after He has killed has
authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you,
- command) Him! (Lk 12:5)
Isaiah 8:13 It is the LORD
of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear,
and He shall be your dread.:
(Regard as holy: Isa 26:3,4 Lev 10:3 Nu 20:12,13 27:14 Ro 4:20)
(He shall be: Ge 31:53 Ps 76:7 Mal 2:5 Mt 10:28 Lk 12:5 Rev
KJV: "Sanctify the LORD of hosts
= command with sense of urgency. Do this now!) ye the Lord Himself and
He shall be thy fear.
This word of comfort as well as
warning to the professing followers of God in Isaiah's day, was
applied by the Peter to believers who might suffer for the sake of
righteousness. (See 1Pe 3:14,15-note).
The LORD of hosts - See
Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of hosts
Regard as holy (06942) (qadash)
means to set apart for a specific use by some agency. To consecrate,
separate, set apart a person or thing from all common or secular
purposes to some religious use. Everything consecrated to God was
separated from all profane use. In the present context clearly God is
Holy so we can't make Him more holy. But the charge is to think of Him
as holy, remembering that the way one thinks affects (or at least
should affect) the way one behaves! If we regard Jehovah as holy, we
will seek to live in a holy or set apart way even as He is holy (cp
1Pe 1:15, 16-note).
The Septuagint uses the verb
[word study] which means to
set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing (in the OT
altars, days, priests, etc were set apart) the opposite of koinos,
which means profane or common.
FEAR OF GOD
CONQUERS EVERY FEAR
He shall be your fear, and He
shall be your dread - As alluded to in the previous passage, if
you fear God, you have nothing to fear from man, for the Omnipotent
Almighty God of the universe is for you (Ro 8:31-note)
The remarkable thing about fearing
God, is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if
you do not fear God, you fear everything else.
A W Tozer...
In God is complete safety. Whoever
fears God enough never needs to fear anyone or anything else.
Spurgeon comments on the
meaning of "Sanctify the LORD of hosts"...
You may clearly understand that the
Lord does not need to be set apart for holy uses; the Lord of Hosts
does not need to be purified, for He is holiness itself. However, what
the sense of the word actually means is that we are to adore and
reverence the Lord; with fear and trembling we must approach His
throne and regard Him as the Holy One of Israel. Let me give you other
instances of this.
When Nadab and Abihu, as recorded
in Leviticus 10, offered a sacrifice to God and put strange fire on
the altar, the fire of the Lord went forth and consumed them, and this
was the reason given: “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh
me” (Lev. 10:3). By this He did not mean that He would be set
apart, nor that He would be made holy by purification, but that He
would be treated and regarded as a Most Holy Being, with whom such
liberties were not to be taken.
Another example is found in
Numbers 20, on that unfortunate occasion when Moses lost his temper
and smote the rock twice, saying, “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch
you water out of this rock?” (Nu 20:10). Then the Lord said that
Moses would see the Promised Land, but would never enter it, the
reason being, “Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes
of the children of Israel” (Nu 20:12). By this He meant that Moses
had not acted so as to honor God’s name among the people.
An even more familiar instance
occurs in what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father
which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9). The word
hallowed is simply an English variation of sanctified, because the
Greek reads, “Sanctified be thy name.” Now, we know that God’s name
does not need purifying or setting apart, so the sense here can only
be “Let thy name be reverenced and adored throughout the whole earth,
and let men regard it as being a sacred and holy thing.”
Don't They Believe in God?
- During the chaos of a big city riot, a television news video
showed a man pointing at looters who were racing in and out of the
stores. The man cried in anguish, “This is stealing! Don’t these
people have any morals? Don’t they believe in God?”
The prophet Isaiah made a similar point. The Israelites had done the
unthinkable—they had fallen into the immoralities of their pagan
neighbors. In addition, they had made a treaty with Assyria rather
than relying on the Lord to protect them against their enemies (2Ki
Isaiah said they were worried about the wrong things. Instead of
fearing their enemies, they should have been thinking about the Lord
(Isa. 8:12, 13). The Lord promised that He would be a sanctuary for
those who put their trust in Him. But to those who rejected His offer,
He would be “a stone of stumbling” and a hunter’s snare (Isa 8:14).
We who profess faith in Christ need to make sure God is the one we
fear. Whenever we join others in their sins or behave as if we are
afraid of offending them, those who observe us will ask, “Don’t they
believe in God?”
Our challenge is to fear the Lord above everyone else, and to show it
by what we do and say.
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Everywhere sin and disgrace are
Let us be faithful, make sure of our calling,
Let us serve Christ and follow His lead,
Let us be true in thought, word, and deed.
—H G Bosch
A friend of God will be a stranger to the world.
Fear - In June 6,
1944, five thousand ships departed England for the Normandy coast and
the greatest invasion of World War II. From this military event comes
the story of the skipper who lectured his crew on fear, and said,
"Fear is a very healthy thing."
A third-class yeoman yelled in reply
"Captain, you're looking at the healthiest sailor in the United States
We tend to associate fear with punishment and danger, but that shows
our limited understanding of it. Perfect fear comes from our sense of
awe and wonder as we get glimpses of God. John says, "Perfect love
casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).
Fear, for the Christian, is not so much about punishment as love.
God-fearing people are God-loving people. —D J De Haan
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
The fear of God can deliver us from
the fear of men.
Then He shall become a Sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a
Stone to strike and a Rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for
the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
(shall be: Isa 26:20 Ps 46:1,2 Pr 18:10 Eze 11:16) (stone:
Isa 28:16 Lk 2:34 Ro 9:32,33 11:9-11,35 1Pe 2:8) (snare: Ps
11:6 69:22 Mt 13:57 Lk 21:35)
Young's Literal - And He hath been
for a sanctuary, And for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of
falling, To the two houses of Israel, For a gin and for a snare to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Then - In context this seems
to function as a term of conclusion. If they fulfill the charge in
Isaiah 8:13, Jehovah would be their sanctuary.
He shall become a Sanctuary
- Who is He? Christ Jesus it is He. He will be the
Sanctuary when He returns to dwell among His people. This word emphasizes God's holiness as well as His
protection in the storm (cp Pr 18:10-note). Ponder
the numerous, striking metaphors used to describe Messiah. Is He
your Sanctuary or is He the Stone over which you will stumble into the Lake
of fire? May God grant all who read these solemn, weighty passages the
grace to see and receive Messiah as their Sanctuary, the protection
from the wrath to come (1Th 1:10-note).
translates miqdash with the
noun hagiasma which means a space set aside for devotion.
Sanctuary (04720) (miqdash
from qadash = set apart from profane or common use - see
preceding verse) refers to a consecrated (set apart) place, especially
the holy place, the tabernacle. In context miqdash refers to the place
that God dwells in His holiness.
Miqdash - 71x in OT - Ex
15:17; 25:8; Lev 12:4; 16:33; 19:30; 20:3; 21:12, 23; 26:2, 31; Num
3:38; 10:21; 18:1, 29; 19:20; Josh 24:26; 1Chr 22:19; 28:10; 2Chr
20:8; 26:18; 29:21; 30:8; 36:17; Neh 10:39; Ps 68:35; 73:17; 74:7;
78:69; 96:6; Isa 8:14; 16:12; 60:13; 63:18; Jer 17:12; 51:51; Lam
1:10; 2:7, 20; Ezek 5:11; 8:6; 9:6; 11:16; 21:2; 23:38f; 24:21; 25:3;
28:18; 37:26, 28; 43:21; 44:1, 5, 7ff, 11, 15f; 45:3f, 18; 47:12;
48:8, 10, 21; Dan 8:11; 9:17; 11:31; Amos 7:9, 13
to both the houses of Israel - Isaiah 7 and 8 have been
related primarily to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, but now he expands
the following prophecy to pertain to both Israel and Judah. Why the
What is being contrasted? Isaiah 8:13 has just described
treating God as holy and having a reverential fear of Him, both of
which are markers of genuine faith and in context describe the
"effects" of one who has genuine faith in the Messiah. In contrast
Isaiah now describes Jews who refuse to believe in Messiah, the
Sanctuary, the Stone, the Rock. So Immanuel, the Messiah, became
to the Jews and still is a stone of stumbling until the veil is
removed from their heart. (cp 2Cor 3:14,15, 16-note).
A Stone to strike (KJV =
stone of stumbling, stone of offense) - The "Stone" is Christ (Lxx
= lithos = stone or piece of a rock, used figuratively in NT of Christ
= Mt 21:42).
will be like a rock of refuge
for the people (Isa 8:14; 17:10; 26:4; 28:16).
See related resources:
Christ, the Rock, the Stone --
Scripture chain & chart
Isaiah 8:14 A Rock of Salvation and a Stumbling
Stone - Wil Pounds
Strike (KJV = stumbling)
(05063) (negeph) can describe a plague (any great natural evil
or calamity) (Ex 12:13; 30:12; Nu 8:19; 17:11,12; Jos 22:17) or
much less commonly describes the action of falling usually caused by
an object, in the present passage referring figuratively to stumbling
over the Messiah.
translates negeph with the
prós = to, against + kopto = cut, strike)
can describe literal or figurative stumbling. It is something a person
trips over. Thus proskomma can be an obstacle in the way which
if one strikes his foot against he stumbles or falls or figuratively
it can describe that over which a soul stumbles i.e. by which is
caused to sin or which causes an occasion of apostasy. It is also
used figuratively, to describe a cause of falling or an occasion of
sinning (Ro 14:13, 20; 1Cor. 8:9;
Ex 23:33; 34:12).
Negeph - 7x in the OT - Ex
12:13; 30:12; Nu 8:19; 16:46, 47; Josh 22:17; Isa 8:14
In summary a Stone that
causes Jews from both Israel and Judah to stumble is Jesus
Christ Who Paul refers to in Romans 9 as he explains what will happen
to Jews who fail to believe in Messiah (Read Romans 9, 10, 11 which
describes God's plan for Israel).
Why? (Why did the Jews not attain
righteousness like the Gentiles did - Ro 9:30, 31-note)
Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were
by works (cp Isa 64:6, Ro 3:20-note).
They stumbled over the stumbling stone (Messiah), just as it is
written, (Quoting Isaiah 28:16 and Isaiah 8:14) "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION
A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO
= as the general direction of their life) IN HIM WILL NOT BE
DISAPPOINTED (ashamed)." (Ro 9:32, 33-note)
Peter quotes from Isaiah 8:14, 15
writing that Christ is
(For those who refuse to
believe in Messiah for salvation, He becomes) "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND
A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to
the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
Writing to the Corinthians Paul
but we preach Christ
crucified, to Jews a stumbling block (skandalon),
and to Gentiles foolishness (1Co 1:23)
originally referred to a
movable part of a trap on which the bait was laid, and when touched
caused the trap to close on its prey. Skandalon thus came to
mean any entanglement of the foot. Figuratively, as used most often in
skandalon refers to any person
or thing by which one is drawn into error or sin.
Snare (06341) (pach/pah)
refers to a literal bird trap to ensnare, confine and control birds
(Amos 3:5, Pr 7:23, Eccl 9:12). Most OT uses are figurative and refer
to that which brings sudden danger and/or which entangles in
difficulties. (Jos 23:13; Job 22:10; Ps 69:23; 91:3; 119:110; 140:6;
141:9; 142:4; Pr 22:5; Isa 24:17, 18; Jer 18:22; 48:43, 44; Hos 5:1;
9:8) The implication is that it is able to snare someone because it is
deceptively attractive (eg, a woman who is not your wife - Pr 7:23).
Pach/pah - 25x in OT -
Ex 39:3; Nu 16:38; Josh 23:13; Job 18:9; 22:10; Ps 11:6; 69:22; 91:3;
119:110; 124:7; 140:5; 141:9; 142:3; Pr 7:23; 22:5; Eccl 9:12; Isa
8:14; 24:17, 18; Jer 18:22; 48:43, 44; Hos 5:1; 9:8; Amos 3:5
Trap (04170) (moqesh)
strictly speaking is the lure or bait that is placed in a fowler's
(bird catcher's) net or a hunter's trap. The lure comes then to refer
to the trap itself. Moqesh is sometimes used literally (Amos 3:5 =
bait, Job 40:24). Other uses are figurative and describe entrapment
that results in one being captured and/or controlled (this figurative
sense composes the majority of the OT uses below).
Moqesh - 27x in the OT - Ex
10:7; 23:33; 34:12; Dt 7:16; Josh 23:13; Jdg 2:3; 8:27; 1Sa 18:21; 2Sa
22:6; Job 34:30; 40:24; Ps 18:5; 64:5; 69:22; 106:36; 140:5; 141:9; Pr
12:13; 13:14; 14:27; 18:7; 20:25; 22:25; 29:6, 25; Isa 8:14; Amos 3:5
(1) To God Jesus = "Smitten
Ex 17:6; 1Co10:4; cp. Jn
4:13,14; 7:37, 38, 39
(2) To Israel Jesus =
Ro 9:32, 33-note;
(3) To Church Jesus =
1Co 3:10,11,12 (foundation)
(4) To all the Gentile world
powers Jesus = "Stone cut without hands"
(5) To Israel at Second
coming = capstone of the corner
(6) Stone that grows and
fills the earth
(7) To unbelievers = crushing
Stone of judgment
Mt 21:44, cp Luke 2:34
8:15 Many will stumble over
them. Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and
Mt 11:6 15:14 21:44 Lk 20:17,18 Jn 6:66 1Co 1:23)
This verse completes the
threatening by an explicit declaration that Jehovah would not only be
a stumbling block and snare to the houses of Israel but that many
should actually fall and be ensnared and broken. (The
Prophecies of Isaiah)
Many - This refers to Jews
who fail to believe in the Rock, the Messiah. They will stumble over
the Stone instead of being safe in His Sanctuary.
Note that five verbs are used to
describe their destruction.
means to stagger, totter, falter - stumbling in and out of control
(Lev 26:37). Literally kashal describes physically falling. Figuratively
kashal speaks of falling in the sense of failing or falling
into ruin (Ps 64:8, 2Chr 25:8, Isa. 3:8; Hos.
Swanson - 1. (qal) stumble,
falter, stagger, i.e., make a motion of falling or stumbling in an out
of control manner (Lev 26:37), note: often referring to a weak,
wounded, failing person; (nif) stumbled (1Sa 2:4); (hif) cause to fall
(Pr 4:16); 2. (nif) be brought down, i.e., be in a state of
destruction or ruin (Pr 24:16; Da 11:41); (hif) overthrow, bring to
ruin (2Ch 25:8); (hof) be overthrown (Jer 18:23); 3. (qal) have a
downfall, fail, have no success, i.e., a lack of obtaining a
desireable state (Hos 14:2[EB 1]); (hif) cause to stumble (Jer 18:15);
4. (qal) fail, i.e., to have a condition or state cease, implying a
defeat (Ps 31:10)
Vine - kashal (כָּשַׁל,
3782), “to stumble, stagger, totter, be thrown down.” As in biblical
Hebrew, this word is used in modern Hebrew in the sense of “to
stumble, fail.” It occurs in the text of the Hebrew Old Testament
approximately 60 times, the first time being in Lev. 26:37: “And they
shall fall one upon another.…” This use illustrates the basic idea
that one “stumbles” because of something or over something. Heavy
physical burdens cause one “to stagger”: “… The children fell under
the [loads of] wood” (Lam. 5:13). This word is often used
figuratively to describe the consequences of divine judgment on sin:
“Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the
fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them …” (Jer. 6:21).
Babylon, too, will know God’s judgment: “And the most proud shall
stumble and fall …” (Jer. 50:32). When the psalmist says: “My knees
totter from my fasting” (Ps. 109:24, NAB), he means: “My knees are
weak” (as translated by KJV, NASB, RSV, JB, NEB, TEV).
NAS Usage: bring you
down(1), bring down(1), brought down(1), cast down(1), downfall(1),
fail(1), failed(1), failing(1), fall(4), fall down(1), feeble(3),
feeble*(1), overthrown(1), stumble(26), stumble badly(1), stumbled(12), stumbles(2), tottering(1), weak(1).
Kashal - 58v- Lev 26:37; 1Sa 2:4; 2 Chr 25:8; 28:15, 23; Neh 4:10; Job 4:4; Ps 9:3; 27:2;
31:10; 64:8; 105:37; 107:12; 109:24; Pr 4:12, 16, 19; 24:16f; Isa 3:8;
5:27; 8:15; 28:13; 31:3; 35:3; 40:30; 59:10, 14; 63:13; Jer 6:15, 21;
8:12; 18:15, 23; 20:11; 31:9; 46:6, 12, 16; 50:32; Lam 1:14; 5:13;
Ezek 33:12; 36:15; Dan 11:14, 19, 33ff, 41; Hos 4:5; 5:5; 14:1, 9; Nah
2:5; 3:3; Zech 12:8; Mal 2:8. Some representative uses...
(Pr 4:16) For they cannot
sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they
make someone stumble. (figurative usage) (Charles
(Pr 4:19) The way of the
wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.
(Pr 24:16) For a righteous man
falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble
(sweep them away - in marked contrast to the security of the righteous
- cf Ps 34:19) in time of calamity. (Charles
J Vernon McGee =
Proverbs 24:16 Commentary)
(Jer 18:15) ‘For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to
worthless gods And they have stumbled (figurative usage) from
their ways, From the ancient paths, To walk in bypaths, Not on a
(Da 11:33) “Those who have
insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they
will fall (idea of die) by sword and by flame, by captivity and
by plunder for many days.
(Hos 4:5) So you will
stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by
night; And I will destroy your mother.
(Hos 5:5) Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And
Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has
stumbled with them.
(Hos 14:1) Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have
stumbled (figurative usage) because of your iniquity.
(Hos 14:9) Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever
is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right,
And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble
(figurative usage) in them.
Jesus said -
And blessed is he who keeps
from stumbling over Me. (Mt 11:6)
Over them -
What/who is them?
In context it refers to the
metaphors of the Stone and the Rock.
- see word study)
means to break (in pieces, up, down) shatter, burst.
refers to setting a trap for the purpose of catching prey. It is often
used in a metaphorical sense of the entrapment of people,
of catching one in an
Jer 50:24) A snare allures one from the safe path and results in his
destruction. Saul tried to ruin David with his daughter Michal (1Sa
18:21). Moses was considered a snare to Egypt (Ex 10:7). Gold
ensnares, as does the "god" (idol) covered by the gold! This warning
principle applies to all of us! (Dt 7:25).As the trapper snares the
unwary animal, so souls can be ensnared by sin (Ps 124:7-note,
= a great prayer for all God's saints to pray frequently!)
Pride makes one susceptible to
snares (Jer 50:24, cf Jer 50:31, 32)
Some of the uses of yaqosh
are translates in the Lxx with the word
which describes anything that
catches and holds fast, such as a snare, a trap, a noose, and like the
OT uses is used metaphorically in the NT of a false sense of security
that leads to a sudden and unexpected judgment (Ro 11:9) or as a
deceitful method or trick of the devil for gaining control (1Ti 3.7)
or generally of any allurement to wrongdoing, anything that entices,
attempts or attracts us (1Ti 6:9 is a prime example!)
Webster says a snare
is a device for trapping birds or small animals, esp a flexible loop
that is drawn tight around the prey. Anything that traps or entangles
someone or something unawares. To catch or trap by trickery. 1828
Webster adds "An instrument for catching animals, particularly
fowls, by the leg. It consists of a cord or string with slip-knots, in
which the leg is entangled. A snare is not a net. Any thing by which
one is entangled and brought into trouble."
Swanson - (qal) control,
formally, lay a bird snare, set a trap as a figure for capture and so
control and rule another, or be controlled by another (Ps 124:7;
141:9; Jer 50:24); (nif) be ensnared, be trapped (Dt 7:25; Pr 6:2; Isa
8:15; 28:13+); (pual) (Eccl 9:12+),
NAS Usage: ensnared(1),
set(1), set a snare(1), snared(4), trapper(1).
Yaqosh - 8v in the OT -
Deuteronomy 7:25 "The graven
images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet
the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or
you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD
Psalm 124:7 Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of
the trapper; The snare is broken and we have escaped.
Psalm 141:9 Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for
me, And from the snares of those who do iniquity.
If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been
caught with the words of your mouth,
Ecclesiastes 9:12 Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish
caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so
the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on
Isaiah 8:15 "Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be
broken; They will even be snared and caught."
Isaiah 28:13 So the word of the LORD to them will be, "Order on order,
order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little
there," That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared
and taken captive.
Israel is snared by their
rejection of God’s word (Isa. 8:15; 28:13). It follows that letting
the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col 3:16) is a great
preventative against being enticed and carried away by the lusts of
our fallen flesh (James 1:14).
Jeremiah 50:24 "I set a snare for you and you were also caught,
O Babylon, While you yourself were not aware; You have been found and
also seized Because you have engaged in conflict with the LORD."
Comment: Yes, Babylon was
God's instrument of punishment or chastisement for Judah, but because
of their evil ways they too would receive just recompense for Jehovah,
the Just One.
means to capture, seize, catch, as in a net, trap or pit (Ps 9:15).
Literally and figuratively, the latter sense poignantly illustrated in Pr 5:22
where Solomon notes that the wicked is captured with the cords of his
own sins (Josh 6:20, cf 1Sa 14:41-42). Captured (defeated) cities (Dt
2:34, 35; 3:4, Jericho = Josh 6:20; Jdg 1:8, 12-13, 18).
Speaks of tribes providentially "taken" to discern who committed the
sin that caused Israel to loose the battle at Ai (Josh
To be "immoveable, frozen, i.e., make a collection or mass hard and
immoveable, as an extension of capturing or binding up and object (Job
38:30)" (Swanson) Used in Job 41:17 of Leviathan's strong scales that
"clasp (lakad; Lxx =
= held together) each other and cannot be separated."
In the present verse lakad serves as a figure of divine
judgment. The Messiah, the Stone of Stumbling (Isa 8:14), will cause
many to be captured and suffer the pangs of eternal torment
because they rejected God's only Son and the only solution for man's
Walter Kaiser - Most of the
121 uses of lākad deal with men capturing or seizing towns,
men, spoils, and even a kingdom (1Sa 14:47). It is used figuratively
of the entrapment of men who are caught in snares of all sorts laid by
their enemies (Jer 5:26; 18:22; Ps 35:8). In Pr 5:22 the wicked is
captured with the cords of his own sins. Likewise, in Ps 9:15 the
heathen are seized in the very net which they hid to capture others.
They are captured by their pride, haughtiness, and the words of their
lips (Ps 59:12; Pr 6:2; 11:6). This word also serves as a figure of
divine judgment. The Stone of Stumbling will cause many to stumble,
fall, be broken, be ensnared, and be captured (Isa 8:15). When God
shakes the foundations of the earth, just prior to the Millennium
(“many days” of Isa 24:22), the ungodly shall be seized in the trap
(Isa 24:18) as were those who drunkenly mocked the prophet’s message
(Isa 28:13). When God moves in judgment, husband and wives (Jer 6:11),
scribes and wise men (Jer 8:9) along with Moab (Jer 48:7, 44) will be
included. Others are ensnared by a woman (Eccl 7:26) or are caught in
the “cords of affliction” (Job 36:8).
NAS Usage: capture(9),
captured(57), captures(4), captures at all(1), catch(2), caught(12),
clasp(1), imprisoned(1), seized(1), take(6), taken(13), taken
captive(2), takes(3), took(8).
Lakad - 113v - Nu 21:32; 32:39,
41f; Deut 2:34, 35; 3:4; Josh 6:20; 7:14-16; 8:19, 21; 10:1, 28, 32, 35,
37, 39, 42; 11:10, 12, 17; 15:16f; 19:47; Jdg 1:8, 12-13, 18; 3:28;
Jdg 7:24-25; 8:12, 14; 9:45, 50; 12:5; 15:4; 1Sa 10:20-21; 14:41-42, 47; 2Sa
5:7; 8:4; 12:26-28; 1Kgs 9:16; 16:18; 2Kgs 12:17; 17:6; 18:10; 1Chr
11:5; 18:4; 2Chr 12:4; 13:19; 15:8; 17:2; 22:9; 28:18; 32:18; 33:11;
Neh 9:25; Job 5:13; 36:8; 38:30; 41:17; Ps 9:15; 35:8; 59:12; Pr
5:22; 6:2; 11:6; 16:32; Eccl 7:26; Isa 8:15; 20:1; 24:18; 28:13; Jer
5:26; 6:11; 8:9; 18:22; 32:3, 24, 28; 34:22; 37:8; 38:3, 28; 39:1;
48:1, 7, 41, 44; 50:2, 9, 24; 51:31, 41, 56; Lam 4:20; Dan 11:15, 18;
Amos 3:4f; Hab 1:10; Zech 14:2.
Here are some representative
(Job 5:13) “He captures
the wise by their own shrewdness, and the advice of the cunning is
(Ps 9:15) The nations have
sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid,
their own foot has been caught.
(Ps 35:8) Let destruction come upon him unawares, and let the net
which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him
(Ps 59:12) On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their
lips, Let them even be caught in their pride, And on account of
curses and lies which they utter.
(Pr 5:22) His own iniquities
will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of
(Pr 6:2) If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have
been caught with the words of your mouth,
(Pr 11:6) The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the
treacherous will be caught by their own greed.
(Pr 16:32) He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he
who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
the law among my disciples:
(Bind up: Isa 29:11 Da 12:4) (testimony: Isa 8:20 Dt
4:45 2Ki 11:12 Jn 3:32,33 Heb 3:5 1Jn 5:9-12 Rev 19:10) (seal:
Da 9:24 Rev 5:1,5 10:4) (among: Isa 54:13 Ps 25:14 Pr 8:8,9 Da
12:9,10 Mt 13:11 Mk 4:10,11,34 Mk 10:10 1Co 2:14 Rev 2:17)
This verse is difficult to
interpret and one needs to be careful to not be too dogmatic.
Oswalt writes that one interpretation says that Isaiah's "oracles
were sealed up and committed to his disciples to be published at some
later date when events would have vindicated him and them." In light
of the fact that the law and the testimony together
could denote the general revelation of the Word of God (cp Dt. 4:44,
45; 1Ki 2:3; Neh 9:34; Ps 19:8) another possible interpretation is
that Isaiah is
referring to the revealed word of
God (certainly so in v. 20), and that the binding and sealing is an
act of affirmation and attestation? He is evidently including his own
oracles in the statement (so Isa 8:18), but the context demands that
he not be limiting the ground of his hope merely to his own experience
(Isa 8:17). If this is a correct understanding, then Isaiah, in
response to God's admonition of Isa 8:12-15, is reaffirming his
dependence upon God as revealed in Scripture and challenging those who
follow him to do the same (cf. Josh 24:14, 15).
Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39) (Ed: However see below for
the explanation in the discussion of the verb tsarar.)
up the testimony - Note
the two successive commands. In context we see most of God's people rejected
his message, but this would be a way of preserving the message. Motyer
The imperatives suggest a
definite act, a precise (even legal) securing of Isaiah’s message
against any accusation that he did not say this or that and against
subsequent tampering or addition by others. (The
Prophecy of Isaiah An Introduction Commentary 1993).
(this is a command)
means to be narrow, to be cramped, to be straitened, to be
constricted, to hem or be hemmed in.
Tsarar may refer to anything which is
confining and in the context of Isa 8:16 it means to bind up, to tie
or wrap up so as to safeguard from tampering (cf binding up in Pr 26:8, Ex
12:34, Joshua 9:4). This action refers most likely to the scribes
binding the document into a sealed scroll for safekeeping.
In Hos 13:12, tsarar figuratively depicts the record of
Israel's sins being written down and permanently bound in a sealed
scroll for safekeeping, thus assuring the that their sin would be
Figuratively tsarar means to oppress or harass and thus to be
hostile or be an adversary or enemy, the best known use being Ps 23:5
"in the presence of my enemies (tsarar)." (Ex
23:22; Nu 10:9; 25:17-18 Esther 3:10; 8:1; 9:10, 24; Ps 6:7; 7:4, 6; 8:2; 10:5; 23:5;
31:11; 42:10; 69:19; 74:4, 23; 129:1-2; 143:12; Isa 11:13; Amos 5:12).
tsarar also means
to feel hard pressed and thus
to be distressed (13/36 uses), troubled, oppressed, cramped, anxious or worried.
In contrast, that which is wide-open or broad gives a picture of
freedom and/or deliverance. In Job 20:22 the idea is to be in narrow
straits, to be in a bind, connoting the idea of pressure, stress or
"bind up" a city is to besiege it (Dt 28:52, two uses, first use in
Lxx extribo = to cause removal by irritation, to rub out,
the second use in Lxx =
= press upon, make narrow,
cause something to be constricted - the following passages translate
tsarar in the Lxx with
- De 28:52; Jdg 10:9; 1Sa
28:15; 30:6; 2Sa 13:2; 1Kgs 8:37; 2Chr 6:28; 22; 33:12; Neh 9:27; Job
20:22; Ps 31:9; 69:17; La 1:20).
NAS Usage: afflicted(1),
besiege(3), besieges(1), bind(1), binds(1), bound(3), bring
distress(1), cause them distress(1), cramped(2), distress(6),
distressed(6), frustrated(1), impeded(1), mended(1), oppressed(1),
shortened(1), shut(1), small(1), trouble(1), wrapped(1), wraps(2).
Tsarar means to keep out, shut out a
person (2Sa 20:3).
Tsarar indicates something being cramped,
shortened, cut back as in Job 18:7, where the trouble has hemmed him
in, so that he cannot walk with full, vigorous steps as he had before.
John Hartley - ārar may
refer to anything which is narrow or confining. A place may become too
small for people to inhabit when they increase in number (2Kgs 6:1;
Isa 49:19f.). Isaiah speaks of a blanket too narrow to wrap oneself
(Isa 28:20). It also refers to being restricted (2Sa 20:3), and it may
signify “to hamper something” (Pr 4:12). ārar means “to bind up” or
“to tie.” It is used for binding a stone in a sling (Pr 26:8), tying a
kneading trough to a mantle (Ex 12:34), or mending an old torn wine
skin (Josh 9:4, Pual). God is said to bind up the water in thick
clouds (Job 26:8; cf. Hos 4:19). Hosea describes the sin of Ephraim as
bound up; i.e. it was kept in store for the time of judgment (Hos
13:12). Since the people reject his message, Isaiah exhorts his
disciples to preserve his teaching among themselves saying, “Bind up
the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples” (Hos 8:16). It
further is used for preserving one’s life (1Sa 25:29); “the life of my
Lord will be bound in the bundle of the living.” It also may refer to
the strong emotional response that one experiences when pressed
externally by enemies or internally by wrong decisions or passions;
e.g. Jacob’s confrontation with Esau (Ge 32:7). Israel was frequently
placed in sore distress by her enemies during the period of the Judges
(Jdg 2:15; 10:9). Even a great leader may be distressed by reaction to
controversial decisions (cf. 1Sa 30:6). One can be obsessed with a
passion and be so bound up emotionally that he becomes ill; e.g.
(Amnon’s distorted desire for his sister (2Sa 13:2). One curse for
violating the covenant states that enemies will besiege Israel’s towns
(Dt 28:52). Similarly God brings distress on any who have sinned (Zeph
1:17; Jer 10:18). Some under such distress become more faithless, as
did Ahaz (2Chr 28:22), while others humble themselves and seek Yahweh,
as did Manasseh (2Chr 33:12; cf. Dt 4:30f.).
Tsarar - 36v - Ge 32:7;
Ex 12:34; Deut 28:52; Josh 9:4; Jdg 2:15; 10:9; 11:7; 1
Sam 25:29; 28:15; 30:6; 2 Sam 1:26; 13:2; 20:3; 1Kgs 8:37; 1Chr 21:13; 2Chr 6:28; 28:20, 22;
33:12; Neh 9:27; Job 18:7; 20:22; 26:8; Ps 31:9; 69:17; Pr 4:12; 26:8; 30:4; Isa 8:16; 28:20; 49:19; Jer 10:18; Lam 1:20; Hos 4:19; 13:12; Zeph 1:17
Note there are > 20 more
uses of this Strong's number 06887 in the KJV, primarily in those
passages translated as adversary or enemy - Ex 23:22; Nu 10:9; 25:17-18;
33:55; Esther 3:10; 8:1; 9:10, 24; Ps 6:7; 7:4, 6; 8:2; 10:5; 23:5;
31:11; 42:10; 69:19; 74:4, 23; 129:1-2; 143:12; Isa 11:13; Amos 5:12)
The testimony (08584) (teudah)
means attestation or testimony. A testimony is a solemn
declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or
proving some fact, in context referring to the prophecies given to
NET Bible Note -
probably refers to the prophetic messages God has given him. When the
prophecies are fulfilled, he will be able to produce this official,
written record to confirm the authenticity of his ministry and to
prove to the people that God is sovereign over events.
(this is a command in Hebrew) (02856)(chatham/hatam) describes the action of
signing a document and then placing a personal seal on it (1Ki 21:8,
Jer 32:10, 44). It can describe the act of sealing something to make
it secure, the most likely meaning in this present passage (cp Da
9:24, 12:4, Dt 32:34 [in sense of lock or store away with respect to
goods or property], Isa 29:11, Jer 32:11, 14). In the present
passage the meaning could include the nuance of to attest as final and
therefore guard from addition. Chatham/hatam can mean to stop
or hinder (Job 9:7, 37:7).
It is interesting that the related
Aramaic verb chatham (02857)
is used in Daniel 6:17-note when King Darius sealed up the mouth of the
lion's den with his own
signet ring (see also
Seal) as a guarantee that
Daniel would have no way of escape (As an aside, isn't that when God's
presence and power are most evident in our lives -- when we have "no
way of escape" and can only run into the Strong Tower of the Name
(cf seal in Mt 27:66)
The placing of a seal on a document
was equivalent to the modern use of signatures (Neh 10:1). Kings'
seals were used on letters to give them the status of royal decrees
(1Ki 21:8; Esther 3:12-note,
Esther 8:8, 10-note)
In Job 14:17 he says "my transgression is sealed up in a bag."
In Song 4:12 "a spring sealed up"
refers to the virginal state of Solomon's beloved.
A divine vision is "sealed up" in
Isa 29:11 and signifies the termination of (finishing of) the prophecy
Dwight Pentecost says "The verb hatam has the idea of sealing
up. Here the thought is sealing something up with a view to punishment
(cf. Dt. 32:34; Job 14:17). This emphasized that Israel’s sin which
had gone unpunished would be punished—in or through Jesus Christ, her
substitute, who would bear the sins of the world on the cross. Then at
Christ’s second coming he will remove Israel’s sin (Ezek 37:23; Ro.
Daniel 12:4, 9-note
speak of that which is certain to happen but is reserved for a later
time (thus sealed = "settled and sure"), coming to pass only after a
passage of time.
Esther 8:8, 10(note)
refers to sealing with a royal decree and in Jer 32:10-11 to the
sealing of the title deed to the land.
translates chatham with the
sphragizo (see word study)
in Isaiah 8:16 and in the following
Dt 32:34; 1Ki 21:8; Neh 10:1; Esther 8:8, 10-note;
Job 14:17; 24:16; Song 4:12; Isa 29:11; Jer
32:10, 11, 44; Da 9:24-note;
Da 12:4, 9-note
NAS Usage: obstructs(1),
seal(6), sealed(15), seals(2), sets a seal(1),
Chatham/hatam - 24v -
Lev 15:3; Deut 32:34; 1Kgs 21:8; Neh 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12-note;
Esther 8:8, 10-note;
Job 9:7; 14:17; 24:16; 33:16; 37:7; Song 4:12; Isa 8:16; 29:11; Jer
32:10, 11, 14, 44; Ezek 28:12; Da 9:24-note;
Da 12:4, 9-note
The law (the instruction)
(08451) (torah) means law (written code - Neh 8:2),
instruction, teaching (as information imparted to a student - Ps 78:1,
1:8), direction, custom or manner (that is the usual way of doing
something - 2Sa 7:19). Something which should/must be done (Ex 12:49,
Bible Note -The instruction (law)
probably refers to the prophet's exhortations and warnings. When the
people are judged for the sins, the prophet can produce these earlier
messages and essentially say, "I told you so." In this way he can
authenticate his ministry and impress upon the people the reality of
God's authority over them. (Note: Not everyone agrees this is
the accurate interpretation.)
My - The natural question is
to whom does "my" refer, the prophet or Jehovah. If it refers to
Isaiah the verse would read almost like a prayer that God preserve
what Isaiah has taught his disciples. Others favor that the My refers
to God and that He is essentially claiming the disciples as His
remnant who have the privilege of possessing His testimony and law.
Disciples (03928) (limmud)
means the taught ones, and in context those who follow the teaching of
the law and the testimony.
Limmud - 5v in the OT - Isa
8:16 Isa 50:4 Isa 54:13 Jer 2:24Jer 13:23
8:17 And I will wait
for the LORD Who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will
even look eagerly for Him.:
(I will: Isa 25:9 26:8 33:2 64:4 Ge 49:18 Ps 27:14 33:20 37:34
39:7 40:1 Ps 130:5 La 3:25,26 Ho 12:6 Mic 7:7 Hab 2:3 1Th 1:10 2Th 3:5
Heb 10:36-39 ) (Hiding: Isa 54:8 59:2 64:7 Dt 31:17,18 32:20
Eze 39:23,24 Mic 3:4) (I will look: Isa 50:10 Lk 2:38 Heb 9:28)
And - connects to the
previous difficult to interpret passage. Guzik offers this thought...
Waiting on the LORD is
connected with His word. We can wait on the LORD by waiting on His
word. (Isaiah 8 Commentary)
I will wait
to tarry, to delay action, but figuratively means to hope for
something, most often something good (Ps 33:20; Isa 8:17; Hab
2:3; Zeph 3:8, Da 12:12).
NAS Usage: long(2),
longs(1), wait(7), waited(1), waiting(1), waits(3).
Edwin Yamauchi - The book of
Daniel closes with a blessing for those who would wait for the
fulfillment of the prophecies (Dan 12:12). Habakkuk 2:3 urges
believers to wait for the vision though it tarries. The Lord declares,
“Wait for me” (Zeph 3:8). The expressions “to wait for the Lord” in
Isa 8:17 and “to wait for him” in Isa 64:4 [H 3], connote an attitude
of earnest expectation and confident hope.
Baker - It indicates
delaying an action (2 Kgs. 7:9; 9:3; Job 32:4). It refers to longing
or hoping for something to happen (Job 3:21), such as death or, in a
good sense, for the Lord to act (Ps. 33:20; Isa. 8:17; Hab. 2:3; Zeph.
3:8); or to resurrect (Dan. 12:12). But it means to wait in order to
accomplish one’s purpose, good or bad (Hos. 6:9).
Swanson - wait for, i.e.,
continue to be in a certain state until an expected event, implying a
desire to see the event occur (Isa 30:18); (piel) lie in wait (2Ki
7:9; 9:3; Job 3:21; 32:4; Ps 33:20; 106:13; Isa 8:17; 30:18a; 64:4; Da
12:12; Hos 6:9; Hab 2:3; Zep 3:8+)
Lxx translates chakah in Isa
8:17 with meno meaning to abide, remaining in place, tarrying,
keeping on with some context implying expecting someone (Acts 20:5).
Chakah - 13v - 2 Kgs 7:9;
9:3; Job 3:21 (Lxx = omeiromai = long for someone, 1Th 2:8); Job 32:4
Ps 33:20 (Lxx =
Ps 106:13(Lxx =
Isa 8:17; Isa 30:18 (chakah used 2x; Lxx = meno = abide and emmeno =
to persevere); Isa 64:4 (Lxx =
Dan 12:12 (Lxx =
Hos 6:9; Hab 2:3 (Lxx =
Zeph 3:8 (Lxx =
a command in Hebrew and Greek -
To wait for Jehovah conveys
far more than our English word means when we speak of waiting for the
plane to take off. To the contrary the idea of the Hebrew verb chakah
affects one's attitude so that there is not just a passive waiting but
that this individual has an attitude of earnest expectation and
Guzik agrees adding that...
Waiting on the LORD is not
passive inactivity. It means to wait on the LORD as a waiter would
wait on a table. It means to be totally attentive to the LORD, focused
on His every move, and responsive to His every desire. At times it
means inactivity, but even that is an "active inactivity," where we
stand before the LORD, totally focused on Him, waiting for what He
At the time Isaiah spoke, the
leaders and the people of Judah were waiting on the armies of Israel
and Syria, because they were under attack. As they heard of the danger
from the Assyrians, they would be tempted to put their focus on them.
But their focus was on these armies, not on the LORD. Isaiah says,
"Battle against Syria and Israel by setting your focus on the LORD.
Prepare for the coming attack from Assyria by waiting on the LORD
instead of your enemies." (Isaiah 8 Commentary)
Isaiah mentions waiting
for Jehovah again near the end of his prophecy...
For from of old they have not
heard nor perceived by ear, Neither has the eye seen a God besides
Thee, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. (Isa 64:4)
Daniel closes with blessing
for those who wait for the fulfillment of the prophecies
How blessed is he who keeps
waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
For the vision is yet for the
appointed time (context is referring to God's judgment of Babylon, the
very instrument He would use to punish Judah!); It hastens toward the
goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for
it (changed by the writer of Hebrews to "He" - see below)
will certainly come, it will not delay. (Hab 2:3)
Comment: This verse almost
certainly refers to a future fulfillment at the Second Coming of
Christ, which is substantiated by its quotation in Hebrews 10:37-note
A. J. Pollock comments:
The Old Testament passage and the altered quotation in the New
Testament are alike verbally inspired and equally Scripture. The
IT in Habakkuk refers to the vision—and deals with the
coming of Christ to reign. IT becomes HE
in Hebrews (He 10:37-note)
and refers to the Rapture. (Modernism Versus the Bible - writing from
the Plymouth Brethren)
The LORD Who is hiding His face
- Clearly this is reflects divine disfavor to those in the house of
Jacob (Israel) who refuse to trust Jehovah. Jehovah hiding His
face is the antithesis of the great Aaronic blessing which declares...
make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; (Nu 6:25).
The NLT paraphrase of Isaiah 8:17 conveys the sense...
I will wait for the LORD to
help us, though He has turned away from the people of Israel. My only
hope is in Him.
I will even look eagerly for Him
- Isaiah is looking for his Redeemer. God's saints throughout the
ages, both Old and New Testament, have always had a fervent, vital,
active longing and watching and waiting for their Redeemer.
Wait and look eagerly
together picture Isaiah's expectant faith in Jehovah. So in face of a
soon coming judgment, Isaiah (and his disciples) chooses to fix his
gaze on Jehovah,
a good pattern for all God's
children to emulate. This is especially needful as we move inexorably
toward the last of the last days and as we (if you are in America) see
the power and the prestige of our great nation under God slowly ebbing
as it continues to reject the good hand of the Almighty.
Isaiah was like the renowned
G Campbell Morgan who
I never begin my work in the
morning without thinking that perhaps he may interrupt my work and
begin his own. I am not looking for death, I am looking for
Child of God, what are you
looking for? Success, a promotion, a vacation at the beach, a second
home, etc, etc. Remember this axiom - What you are looking for
will surely impact what you are living for! If you are looking
for the Eternal One, you will find that you are living for eternity
not for time. Your daily choices will reflect your future focus
- see word study)
has the root idea of to wait or look for with eager expectation (hope
and confidence), look for patiently, to be confident (to trust). For a
good picture of the meaning see Job 7:2 (think about Rev 22:12-note).
The Lxx translates qavah in this passage with the
which conveys the sense of having
confidence or trust in this case, Jehovah. ("I trust in Him" in the
which conveys a permanent trust).
Related resources on Hope:
The Blessed Hope: Part 1
The Blessed Hope: Definition
The Blessed Hope: Source of
The Blessed Hope: Part 2
The Blessed Hope: Stabilizing
The Blessed Hope: Sanctifying
Resources on the Blessed Hope
Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and
the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in
Israel from the LORD of hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.:
(I and the: Isa 8:3 7:3,16 53:10 Ps 22:30 Heb 2:13,14) (signs:
Ps 71:7 Eze 14:8 Zec 3:8 Lk 2:34 1Co 4:9-13 Heb 10:33) (Who:
Isa 12:6 14:32 24:23 1Ch 23:25 Ps 9:11 Zec 8:3 Heb 12:22)
LOOK AT US!
LISTEN TO US!
WE ARE THE MESSAGE!
Behold (Isa 7:14, 8:7, 8:22) -
This word commands attention. Isaiah is calling the people of Judah to
listen carefully to
the his message. Isaiah is presenting his witness and words (and his
sons) as lights in the midst of impending, imminent doom and darkness.
The interjection behold is a warning cry as it were. Isaiah's
name and his son's names are to be heard and heeded!
Have you ever felt like Isaiah?
Your changed life
is a clear "sign and wonder" to those around you and yet they are not
able to see or hear this supernatural sign from the LORD! You are the
"message" to the unbelieving world around you. Is your message bold,
clear and unwavering?
Spurgeon on "behold" (in
English) - “Behold” is a word of wonder; it is intended to
excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is
like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares
within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the
margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something
particularly worthy of observation.
I and the children whom the LORD
has given me are for signs - Referring to Shear-jashub ("A
remnant will return") (Isa 7:3) and Maher-shalal-hash-baz
(Speed to the spoil, hurry to the plunder) (Isa 8:3). Remember that
the purpose of signs is to point the way and these signs were
ultimately to direct the Jews to their Messiah. And even Isaiah's name
conveyed the clear message to the Jews that "Salvation is of the
LORD." In addition we see Isaiah personally take the role of a
sign/wonder in Isaiah 20:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Young references John Calvin
The unbelieving multitude...is
concerned with material advantage and possessions. When it sees the
true people of God despise these things and cleave unto the Lord, it
despises that people. Here we may learn that one mark of the true
Christian is his willingness to sacrifice material possessions for the
kingdom of Christ. (The
Book of Isaiah 3 Vol. Edward J. Young) (Logos)
Signs (0226)('oth) means a
signal, a mark a miracle and is used to describe amazing events such
as God bringing Israel out of Egypt (Ex 4:8, 9, Nu 14:22) or a sign serving to authenticate the
message as from God (1Sa 2:34, 10:7, 9) in contrast to the signs from
false prophets (Dt 13:1, 2). King Hezekiah received a sign from
Jehovah that the He would add fifteen years to his life (Isa 38:1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; Gideon - Jdg 6:17-note)
Wonders (04159) (mopet)
are events which are given by God in order to arrest one's attention.
Mopet is a portent which is something that foreshadows a coming
event, something that indicates a future event, especially a momentous
or calamitous one.
Mopet - 35v in the OT - Ex
4:21; 7:3, 9; 11:9f; Deut 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 13:1f; 26:8; 28:46; 29:3;
34:11; 1Kgs 13:3, 5; 1Chr 16:12; 2Chr 32:24, 31; Neh 9:10; Ps 71:7;
78:43; 105:5, 27; 135:9; Isa 8:18; 20:3; Jer 32:20, 21; Ezek 12:6, 11;
24:24, 27; Joel 2:30; Zech 3:8
Oswalt comments on the
phrase "I and the children" that...
Their very existence, as well as
the strangely evocative names he had felt led to give them, was
testimony of God's working among his people. Furthermore, they were
evidence that although God's face might be hidden for a time, it was
still true that his dwelling was upon Mount Zion (Isa 2:2). They were
thus an indication that the coming upheaval and destruction was
ultimately only temporary.
Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39)
David Guzik draws a great
point of application from this passage reminding us that as followers
We are also the children of God,
and we are His message. Hebrews 2:11, 12, 13-note
quotes this passage to communicate this truth:
For both He (Jesus) who sanctifies and
those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He
is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM THY
NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING THY
PRAISE." And again, "I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM." And again, "BEHOLD,
I (Jesus) AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD (The Father) HAS GIVEN ME." (Note: In NAS, NT
passages in all caps signify direct OT quotations).
statement about his natural family is quoted by the writer of Hebrews
who applies it to Christ and His spiritual family.
Just as much as Isaiah's
children were living witnesses of the truth of God's word, so are we
as God's children. (Isaiah 8 Commentary)
From Jehovah - In other
words Isaiah is saying these signs and wonders are not something he
has concocted but are received from the very presence of the great I
Am. Thus they are worthy of our full attention. In addition the fact
that these signs/wonders are from the LORD undergirds the prophet's
own faith in the face of the coming storm.
Beloved, a storm is coming. Are
you going into the presence of Jehovah, bowing down and in humility
receiving His trustworthy Word of Life that by it your faith might be
strengthened for the future fray?
The LORD of hosts - See
Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of hosts (of
armies). The people of Isaiah's day were
eager to consult inadequate and dead sources (next verse) about the
future, while ignoring the living God. Unbelieving Judah had living
among them the signs of their own fate and faithlessness, but they
choose to ignore/reject them.
Is this not similar to what many
unbelievers do today - they have a believing spouse or relative or
co-worker as a "sign" in their very midst and yet they refuse to hear
and heed his or her testimony, instead rejecting their words of
warning and of hope which is found in Christ and seek for other lesser
gods (money, success, false religions, etc) who are no gods at all!
Who dwells on
Mount Zion -
Christ Jesus. He promises to dwell in Zion (Jerusalem) forever and
Young comments that...
The wicked majority of the nation
appealed to the Temple (Ed: cp Jer 7:4 - False prophets
deceived the people with promises that God would never permit the
temple to be destroyed.). Outwardly they were worshipers of Yahweh.
Isaiah now points out to them that their confidence is vain, for it is
this very Yahweh who dwells in the Temple on Zion that has set forth
the Messiah and His own for signs and wonders. Many there are who make
an outward profession of orthodoxy whose hearts are in reality far
estranged from the Lord (Ed: See Mt 7:21-note,
Mt 7:22, 23-note,
cp Isaiah records the same problem of professors who were not
possessors of faith in Messiah - Isa 29:13). Such a condition is about
us today in the fact that the great Protestant denominations, while
retaining ancient creeds, have nevertheless for the most part departed
far from the faith once for all delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).
Book of Isaiah 3 Vol. Edward J. Young) (Logos)
A number of OT passages refer to
the LORD dwelling in Zion...
Cry aloud and shout for joy, O
inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel
(Messiah). (Isa 12:6)
Then (At the
the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts
(Messiah) will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory
will be before His elders. (Isa 24:23)
Thus says the LORD, 'I will
return (Messiah at the
to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then (When?
Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the
LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.' (Zech 8:3)
Therefore thus says the Lord
God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a Stone, a tested Stone, a
costly Cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes
in it (Christ Jesus) will not be disturbed. (Is 28:16).
Isaiah 8:19 When they say
to you, "Consult
the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and
mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult
the dead on behalf of the living?:
(Consult: Isa 19:3 Lev 20:6 Dt 18:11 1Sa 28:8 1Ch 10:13
2Ch 33:6) (Mutter: Isa 29:4) (Should: 1Sa 28:16 2Ki 1:3
2Pe 2:1) (the living: Ps 106:28 Jer 10:10 1Th 1:9)
ABSENCE OF FAITH
INCREASE IN SUPERSTITION
When they say to you -
They refers to unbelieving Jews who try to pressure the
"disciples" (true believers) to turn from the Truth and to Lies.
Isaiah is forewarning the disciples that they will be confronted by
"popular religion" and superstitions.
Beloved, things have not changed
much, for if you take an orthodox stand, you can be assured that
before long you will be exposed to various winds of doctrine
(mysticism, churches subtlety
drifting from sound doctrine, e.g., 2Ti 4:3,4-note,
Ep 4:12, 13-note,
Ep 4:15, 16-note)
and the only way to withstand these
constant doctrinal winds is to stand firm on truth
(cp Titus 1:9-note)
in full dependence on God's Spirit and strengthening grace
(cp 1Pe 5:12-note)
Mediums (0178) (ob)
describes a necromancer who supposedly conjure the spirits of
the dead for purposes of revealing the future or influencing the
course of events.
Ob - 15v in the OT - Lev
19:31; 20:6, 27; Dt 18:11; 1Sa 28:3, 7, 9; 2Ki 21:6; 23:24; 1Chr
10:13; 2Chr 33:6; Job 32:19 (different meaning here = wineskin!); Isa
8:19; 19:3; 29:4
Spiritists (03049) (yiddeoni)
are those who contact dead spirits in search of information.
Yiddeoni - 11v in the OT -
Lev 19:31; 20:6, 27; Dt 18:11; 1 Sam 28:3, 9; 2Ki 21:6; 23:24; 2Chr
33:6; Isa 8:19; 19:3
Whisper (KJV = peep) (06850)
(sapap) means to speak in low-volume, muttering tones, as a
figurative extension of the chirping sound a bird makes and thus is
used again by Isaiah (Isa 10:14) to describe the sound of birds, a
figurative description of those who had been conquered by the
These mediums and spiritists
"chirp" like birds!
Sapap - 4v in OT - Isa 8:19
Isa 10:14 Isa 29:4 Isa 38:14 (twitter)
Mutter (01897) (hagah)
strictly speaking it means to utter any dull, confused sound and hence
it is employed of inward utterance, of the words a man speaks to
himself; and also of giving open and loud expression to the thoughts.
The meaning of hagah is a low sound, characteristic of the moaning of
a dove (Isa 38:14; 59:11). Most of the OT uses refer to the
positive, profitable discipline of
(E.g., see first use = Joshua 1:8-note),
but as used here by Isaiah hagah refers to wizards,
necromancers, etc, who made strange noises when they practiced their
Brenton's English translation of
the Greek Septuagint of Isaiah 8:19 is interesting...
And if they should say to you,
Seek those who have in them a divining spirit, and them that
speak out of the earth, them that speak vain words (The
Greek word here actually means "ventriloquist" or familiar spirit [of
a ventriloquist]), who speak out of their belly: shall not a
nation diligently seek to their God? why do they seek to the dead
concerning the living?
Consult the mediums and the
spiritists who whisper and mutter -
Who are they?
As alluded to above, they refers to
Isaiah's audience in Judah who lacked the trust in God which the
prophet possessed and who therefore stumbled over Immanuel, the Stone, the Rock.
fear of pending doom they were forced to seek answers to their concerns and doubts from
the mediums and the spiritists." Someone has well said that when a
society turns from faith in the true God, there is often a "revival"
of superstition in proportion to the loss of faith. Does this not
describe America in the 21st century?
Beloved, if one refuses the Holy
Spirit of Christ, he opens himself to the unholy "world forces of this
darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly
places!" (Ep 6:12-note)
A NATION SHOULD SEEK
GOD NOT SPIRITS
Should not people consult their
God? - Rhetorical question. Clearly calls for an affirmative
answer. The living God speaks through His living Word and it is He
alone we should consult (cp Isa 44:6, 45:5, 6, 7, Isa 43:10, 11, 12,
Who do you consult when you
experience adversity and/or affliction? Isaiah tells us who to consult
in the next passage -- go to the law and the testimony!
Should they consult the
dead on behalf of the living? - How tragic and utterly foolish is
such a godless process (cf. 1Sa 28:6, 7, 8)! This temptation is ever
before us, especially in times of national or personal sorrow. The
effect of these practices is to forget God and to deny His very
existence! How tragic when men want to hear muttering and chirping
from the darkness in place of a clear "thus saith the LORD" in the
W A Criswell comments
People through the ages have
turned away from God during times of great distress, when actually
they need Him most, and consulted those who offered false hope. The
Lord strictly forbids any kind of divination, fortune-telling,
astrology, or necromancy (cf. Dt. 18:10; 1Sa 28:7-20; 2Ki 21:6). The
phrase "wizards who whisper" is a reference to ventriloquists who
sought to disguise their voices as representations of ghosts or
spirits from another world.
W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas
Throughout Scripture, the Lord
unequivocally condemns consultation with spirit mediums,
fortune-tellers, astrologers, witches and all other occult sources of
supposed knowledge and guidance (Ed: Lev 19:26, Dt 18:9-14). The New Age movement involves a
plethora of such activities and should be avoided by all Christian
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to
this word, it is because they have no dawn:
(the law: Isa 8:16 Lk 10:26 16:29-31 Jn 5:39,46,47 Ac 17:11 Gal
3:8-29 Gal 4:21,22 2Ti 3:15-17 2Pe 1:19) (it is: Isa 30:8-11 Ps
19:7,8 119:130 Jer 8:9 Mic 3:6 Mt 6:23 22:29 Mk 7:7-9 Ro 1:22 2Pe 1:9)
(dawn: Heb. morning, Pr 4:18 Ho 6:3 Mal 4:2 2Pe 1:19)
To the law and to the testimony
- In Psalm 19:7 we see this same combination which in that context
refers to the Word of God. God's Word is the plumbline by which all of
men's opinions are to be judged.
NET Bible translation...
Then you must recall the
LORD's instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen.
Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually
The law reveals God's will
for man, what He requires of him. The testimony reveals God's
will, bearing witness that what is stated or written is from God.
They (and we) were not to go to mediums and spiritists but to the written Word of God which
provides all the counsel and guidance one will never need for life and
godliness (cp 2Pe 1:3-note).
God's Word is the only absolute and
absolutely trustworthy standard for our short time here on earth!
Returning back to the Bible (the Truth) assures counters the false
predictions (the Lie) obtained by consulting the dead.
When you find yourself in a
difficult situation, do you run to horoscopes, fortune tellers, etc,
are do you run to the Word of God allowing it to renew your mind and
guide your thinking. (cp
It is always amazing to me to
see how many Christians will consult the daily horoscope in the
newspaper. They see no harm in it and apparently are not aware of the
several places where God distinctly forbids such activities
(Deuteronomy 18:9, 10, 11, 12; Leviticus 20:27; 1Samuel 15:23).
Looking to astrology, psychics and other such individuals is not only
sinning, it is putting oneself in alliance with the devil and his evil
8 Teed Commentaries)
Leupold comments on the law
and the testimony that...
It was important then. It is
important now. In fact, the giving heed to it is the most important
issue of the day. It could therefore be aptly paraphrased: Let the
nation turn back to that basic instruction which has come to it from
God in the past; to do so is their only hope.
It is because they have no dawn
- Isaiah is explaining why they do not speak according to
God's Word (this is the great need today even among "Bible believing"
Christians - to order their thinking according to God's Word - cp Ro
As Vine says these people without dawn "abide in perpetual darkness".
Those who do not speak according to "thus saith the LORD" are those
who have no light of salvation and thus are spiritually dead in
unbelief and the darkness of their trespasses and sins. They possess
no spiritual light (cp Jer 23:16)
John explains how such individuals respond to the True Light...
This is the judgment, that
the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness
rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who
does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear
that his deeds will be exposed. (Jn 3:19, 20).
This verse introduces the theme of
divine light, which is important later in the passage. The true source
of light is God's word, for God is Himself light (Isa 10:17; cp 1Jn
Isaiah was a man who had God’s
light, and he was not afraid to let it shine.
When you obey God’s word, you
walk in the light and don’t stumble (Prov. 3:21–26; 4:14–19), but when
you reject the Word, you walk in the darkness and can’t find your way
(Isa. 8:20). Worldly and ignorant spiritual leaders produce worldly
and ignorant people, and this brings destruction to the land.
(Wiersbe, W. W. Be Amazed. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
Six Marks of a False
Prophet - Any one of the Bible’s six marks of false prophets is
(1) Through signs and wonders
they lead astray after false gods (Dt. 13:1, 2, 3, 4)
(2) Their prophecies don’t
come to pass (Dt. 18:20, 21, 22)
(3) They contradict God’s Word
(4) They bear bad fruit (Mt.
7:18, 19, 20);
(5) All men speak well of them
(6) They deny that Jesus, the
one and only Christ, has come once and for all in the flesh (1Jn.
4:3). (From Dave Hunt)
Isaiah 8:21 They will pass
through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that
when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and
their God as they face upward.:
(through: Isa 8:7,8) (hard pressed: Isa 9:20 Dt
28:33,34,53-57 2Ki 25:3 Jer 14:18 52:6 La 4:4,5,9,10) (Will be
enraged: Pr 19:3) (curse: Ex 22:28 2Ki 6:33 Job 1:11 2:5,9
Rev 9:20,21 16:9-11)
FORSAKE THE LORD
FORSAKEN BY THE LORD
They - Those who did not
speak according to this Word, those who refused to believe
Isaiah's prophecy and ultimately who failed to believe in the Rock of
their Salvation, the Messiah.
They will pass through the land
- Literally they will traverse the land of Judah but it will not be an
easy journey as Isaiah explains.
is a work that apparently arose from an agricultural milieu and
emphasizes the subjective effect exerted by an overly heavy
yoke. Their passage through the land would be cruel, oppressive
and hard to bear just as if they were wearing a heavy yoke!
The other nuance of qasha/qashah
is that of the rebellious resistance of oxen to the yoke, an apt
description of stubborn and stiff-necked individuals (Ex 32:9KJV ~
making of a golden calf, cp Dt 10:16, Jdg 2:19 2Ki 17:14; Neh 9:16).
Famished (07456) (ra'eb)
means to be hungry, intensely starved, exhausted from want of proper
sustenance. While this may speak primarily of physical food, there is
no doubt that these rejecters of the law and the testimony were
experiencing serious spiritual malnourishment of their souls.
Will be enraged and curse
- When they should repent and return to their Maker, they become angry
and curse Him! Famine "feeds" fretting which leads to anger in one's heart which
manifests itself in vile, evil words (Mt 12:34 15:19).
Solomon describes a heart which
rages against Jehovah...
The foolishness of man
subverts (twists) his way, and his heart rages (Pictures one who
storms against Jehovah like a raging sea - Jonah 1:5) against the
LORD. (Pr 19:3)
Comment: This proverb states
that men run into troubles and failures because of their own folly,
and then they blame the Lord for their failures!
They...curse their king and
their God - These individuals have become in effect "spiritually
insane." God Who would/could be their rightful help (See
Jehovah Ezer: The LORD our Helper)
is intentionally rejected and reviled! That's what happens when one turns from the
Truth of God's Word and from the Living God to the false gods and
lying counselors of this dark, godless world! (cp the deceivers who
themselves become progressively more deceived 2Ti 3:13-note,
see also the retributive effect of those who actively turn away from
the truth - they are left in a state in which they are spiritually
open to be turned aside to myths! 2Ti 4:3,4-note)
They face upward -
Apparently toward heaven, the abode of God. They know where He lives,
but they don't want any part of His Person or His plan for their life!
And so they are enraged when they begin to reap the fruit of the evil
seeds they have sown. And they blame God not themselves for they are
spiritually blind to the fact that they themselves are ultimately to
blame for their hard pressed, famished state! Their attitude and
actions are but a foreshadowing of those who dwell on earth (Earth
= a specific name for unbelievers in the Revelation) in the days of of
the final outpouring of God's holy and righteous wrath...
And men were scorched with fierce
heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these
plagues; and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory. And the
fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his
kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of
pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and
their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. (Re 16:9-note,
Earlier Isaiah had stated
those who rejected God would receive no light...
And it will growl over it in that
day like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold,
there is darkness and distress; Even the light is darkened by its
clouds. (Is 5:30-note).
Isaiah 8:22 Then they will
look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of
anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness:
(look Isa 5:30 9:1 2Ch 15:5,6 Jer 13:16 30:6,7 Am 5:18-20 Zep
1:14,15 Mt 8:12 24:29 Lk 21:25,26 Jude 1:13) (driven away into
darkness: Job 18:18 Pr 14:32 Jer 23:12 Mt 22:13)
Then they will look to the earth
- After looking up and cursing God they turn to terra firma but
still find no help and no hope! The distress is unrelieved. They have
had light in the form of signs and wonders, but they have rejected the
light God graciously gave.
Behold - An interjection
which says in essence "Pay attention to what I am going to say!".
Gloom (04588) (ma'up)
describes a dejection of spirits as a figurative extension of physical
darkness and thus a sense of sullenness, of despondence, of sadness or
of discouragement. Gloom in English describes a partial or
total darkness, a cloudiness or heaviness of mind; melancholy;
sullenness. Baker says ma'up "pictures a place of
distress overhung with the gloom of anxiety and despair" (Baker.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)
refers to distress, oppression, trouble, a state of hardship.
(Pr 1:27 = anguish = Isa 30:6). The English definition of anguish
is a state of extreme pain, distress, anxiety, this word suggesting a
torturing grief or dread.
Distress and darkness, the gloom
of anguish - They look for light which is the only thing that can
dispel their darkness and gloom. But they look in vain, for they have
willfully turned away from and against the Holy One of Israel, Who
Alone is the Light of the world (Jn 8:12, 9:5 cp Jn 1:4, 5, 9, 12:35,
36, 46, 3:21, 2Ti 1:10-note,
Isa 9:2, Malachi 4:2).
They will be driven away into
darkness - They refuse the living light so they reap the only
alternative perpetual darkness. Isaiah's words are a sad shadow of their eternal destiny described
by Jesus Himself stating that...
the sons of the kingdom (Refers to non-believing Israel) will
be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mt 8:12, cp Mt 22:13, 25:30, Jude 1:6,
13, 2Pe 2:17-note).
In that place there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all
the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
John Martin comments:
Ironically those who seek to consult the dead will be forced to join
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985.
Young comments that...
The people are cast out into
darkness. He who consults dark omens and does the deeds of darkness
can only expect an affliction that is characterized by darkness. In
the Bible sin is described as darkness. Gloom is oppressive and
constraining. Those who regard it as light and freedom are deceived.
The end of those who live in the dark is to be driven into the
darkness. Sinners think that they are in the light and that they
possess freedom, independence, truth, an unprejudiced mind; actually
they walk in darkness and are the slaves of gloom, subject to
falsehood and prejudiced in favor of evil. (The
Book of Isaiah 3 Vol. Edward J. Young) (Logos)
Oswalt rightly leads us from
this gloom and doom passage to the light and hope of the following
verses in Isaiah 9 commenting that...
God will not be satisfied that
his people have experienced the just results of their rebellion. That
experience is not an end in itself but a means, a means whereby God's
goodness can be manifested in the salvation of a land now aware of the
true source of its life. When every human attempt to bring light
has failed, then God will bring light, not because He must, not
because human craft has discovered the key to force Him, but merely
out of His own grace. It is part of that grace that the source of the
light will be in the very part of the land which first felt the
lash of Assyria—the area around the Sea of Galilee. So God never
permits a humiliation for which there is not a corresponding
exaltation planned. (The
Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39)