Isaiah 8:11-22

For in this way the Lord spoke to me with His strong hand [upon me] and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people [behaving as they do], saying,

“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 nor be in dread of it.

“It is the Lord of hosts whom you are to regard as holy and awesome.
He shall be your [source of] fear,
He shall be your [source of] dread [not man].

“Then He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred, indestructible shelter for those who fear and trust Him];
But to both the houses of Israel [both the northern and southern kingdoms—Israel and Judah, He will be] a stone on which to stumble and a rock on which to trip,
A trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

“Many [among them] will stumble over them;
Then they will fall and be broken,
They will even be snared and trapped.”

Bind up the testimony, seal the law and the teaching among my (Isaiah’s) disciples. And I will wait for the Lord who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; and I will look eagerly for Him. Listen carefully, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are [a]for signs and wonders [that will occur] in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

When the people [instead of trusting God] say to you, “Consult the mediums [who try to talk to the dead] and the soothsayers who chirp and whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? [Direct those people] to the law and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because they have no dawn. They [who consult mediums and soothsayers] will pass through the land deeply distressed and hungry, and when they are hungry, they will become enraged and will curse their king and their God as they look upward. Then they will look to the earth, they will see only distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness and overwhelming night.

  1. Isaiah 8:18 Isaiah’s own name means “Salvation of the Lord.” His two children’s names were “signs” as well, the one (see note v 1) pointing to the coming military crisis and the other (see note 7:3) to the future restoration.

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Isaiah 9

Birth and Reign of the Prince of Peace

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish [for with judgment comes the promise of salvation]. In earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He will make them honored [by the presence of the Messiah], by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

The people who walk in [spiritual] darkness
[a]Will see a great Light;
Those who live in the dark land,
The Light will shine on them.

You [O God] will increase the nation,
You will multiply their joy;
They will rejoice before You
Like the joy and jubilation of the harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil [of victory].

For You will break the yoke of Israel’s burden and the staff (goad) on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the [b]battle of Midian.

For every boot of the marching warrior in the battle tumult,
And [every soldier’s] garment rolled in blood, will be used for burning, fuel for the fire.

For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given;
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace,
[He shall rule] on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From that time forward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

God’s Anger with Israel’s Arrogance

The Lord sends a word (message) against Jacob,
And it falls on Israel [the ten northern tribes, the kingdom of Ephraim].

And all the people know it,
That is, [c]Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria [its capital],
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:

“The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild [all the better] with ashlar (hewed stones);
The sycamores have been cut down,
But we will replace them with [expensive] cedars.”

Therefore the Lord raises against Ephraim adversaries from Rezin [king of Aram]
And spurs their enemies on,

The Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west;
And they devour Israel with gaping jaws.
In spite of all this, God’s anger does not turn away
But His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].

Yet the people do not turn back [in repentance] to Him who struck them,
Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts [as their most essential need].

Therefore the Lord cuts off head and tail [the highest and the lowest] from Israel,
Both [the high] palm branch and [the low] bulrush in one day.

The elderly and honorable man, he is the head;
And the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.

For those who lead this people are causing them to go astray;
And those who are led [astray] by them are swallowed up.

Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men,
Nor does He have compassion on their fatherless or their widows;
For every one of them is godless and an evildoer,
And every mouth is speaking foolishness.
In spite of all this, God’s anger does not turn away
But His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].

For wickedness burns like a fire;
It consumes briars and thorns,
It even sets the forest thickets ablaze;
And it swirls upward in a column of smoke.

By the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up,
And the people are like fuel for the fire;
No man spares his brother.

They slice off [in discord] what is on the right hand but are still hungry,
And they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied;
Each eats the flesh of his own arm.

[The tribe of] Manasseh devours [the tribe of his brother] Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
And together they are against Judah (the southern kingdom, the house of David).
In spite of all this, God’s anger does not turn away
But His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].

  1. Isaiah 9:2 Or have seen, Hebrew perfect tense. The perfect tense is used frequently in this passage and should probably be interpreted as the prophetic future, that is, the use of the perfect (past) tense to describe a future event as a certainty.
  2. Isaiah 9:4 A reference to Gideon’s great victory over the Midianites (Judg 7:22-25).
  3. Isaiah 9:9 The names “Israel” and “Ephraim” are used interchangeably to refer to the ten tribes of the northern kingdom.

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Isaiah 10:1-19

Assyria Is God’s Instrument

Woe (judgment is coming) to those [judges] who issue evil statutes,
And to those [magistrates] who constantly record unjust and oppressive decisions,

So as to deprive the needy of justice
And rob the poor of My people of rightful claims,
So that widows may be their spoil
And that they may plunder the fatherless.

Now what will you do in the day of [God’s] punishment,
And in the storm of devastation which will come from far away?
To whom will you flee for help?
And where will you leave your wealth [for safekeeping]?

Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives
Or fall [dead] among the slain [on the battlefield].
In spite of all this, God’s anger does not turn away,
But His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].

Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger [against Israel],
The staff in whose hand is My indignation and fury [against Israel’s disobedience]!

I send Assyria against a godless nation
And commission it against the people of My wrath
To take the spoil and to seize the plunder,
And to trample them down like mud in the streets.

Yet it is not Assyria’s intention [to do My will],
Nor does it plan so in its heart,
But instead it is its purpose to destroy
And to cut off many nations.

For Assyria says, “Are not my princes all kings?

“Is not Calno [conquered] like Carchemish [on the Euphrates]?
Is not Hamath [subdued] like Arpad [her neighbor]?
Is not Samaria [in Israel] like Damascus [in Aram]?

“As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose carved images were greater and more feared than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,

Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images
Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?” [declares Assyria].

So when the Lord has completed all His work [of judgment] on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit [the thoughts, the declarations, and the actions] of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the haughtiness of his pride.” For the Assyrian king has said,

“I have done this by the power of my [own] hand and by my wisdom,
For I have understanding and skill.
I have removed the boundaries of the peoples
And have plundered their treasures;
Like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones.

“My hand has found the wealth of the people like a nest,
And as one gathers eggs that are abandoned, so I have gathered all the earth;
And there was not one that flapped its wing, or that opened its beak and chirped.”

Is the axe able to lift itself over the one who chops with it?
Is the saw able to magnify itself over the one who wields it?
That would be like a club moving those who lift it,
Or like a staff raising him who is not [made of] wood [like itself]!

Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, will send a wasting disease among the stout warriors of Assyria;
And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame.

And the Light of Israel will become a fire and His Holy One a flame,
And it will [a]burn and devour Assyria’s thorns and briars in a single day.

The Lord will consume the glory of Assyria’s forest and of its fruitful garden, both soul and body,
And it will be as when a sick man wastes away.

And the remaining trees of Assyria’s forest will be so few in number
That a child could write them down.

  1. Isaiah 10:17 During a single night this prophecy was fulfilled (2 Kin 19:35).

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