View Isaiah 8 in the note window.
Syria and Israel should be subdued by Assyria, ver. 1 - 4.
Judah also should be afflicted, ver. 5 - 8.
God's judgments irresistible, and to be feared, ver. 9 - 13.
The Lord is a sanctuary to the godly, a stone of stumbling to the
wicked, ver. 14, 15.
The prophecy sure, God to be waited on, necromancers not to be
consulted, but the prophecy, their misery, ver. 16 - 22.
1: A roll - Or, a great volume, because the prophecy to be written
in it was large, and God would have it written in large and legible
characters. Pen - With such a pen as writers use.
Concerning - Concerning that thing which is signified by the name of
the child, which is here mentioned by way of anticipation.
3: Prophetess - To his own wife, so called, because the wife of a
4: To cry - To speak and to know his parents; which is within the
space of two years. And his agrees with the other prophecy, (Isa 7:16).
Before the child shall know to refuse the evil and chuse the good, which
requires a longer time than to distinguish his parents, and suits well to
Shear - Jashub, who, being born some years before, was capable of that
farther degree of knowledge, as soon as this was capable of the lower
degree. Before - In his presence, and by himself and his forces.
6: This people - The people of Israel, of whom he last spake, who
rejoiced not only in their own king, but also in the assistance of so
powerful an ally as Rezin. Shiloah - That small brook which ran by
Jerusalem. Hereby he understands the munitions and strength of the
Jews, which their enemies derided.
7: The river - Of Euphrates, called the river, for its eminent
greatness; whereby he understands the Assyrian forces.
Glory - His numerous and puissant army. He - This great river shall
overflow its own proper channels. That is, this great monarch shall
enlarge his dominions, and add the lands of Syria and Israel to them.
8: Reach - So that they shall be in great danger of being desired.
He persists in the metaphor of a river swelling so high as to reach to
a man's neck, and be ready to overwhelm him. Such was the danger of
Judah's land, when Sennacherib took all the fenced cities of Judah,(2Ki 18:13),
and sent his army against Jerusalem. Wings - Of his forces, or of the
wings of his army, as they still are called. My land - Of the land of
Judah, so called because the Messiah, who is called Immanuel,
should be born there. And this is added emphatically for the consolation
of God's people, to assure them, that notwithstanding this dreadful scourge,
yet God would make a difference between Israel and Judah, and whereas
Israel should not be a people, Judah should be restored, for the sake
of the Messiah, to be the place of his birth and ministry.
9: Ye people - Syrians and Israelites. All ye - Whosoever
you be, who conspire against Immanuel's land. Gird - Prepare
yourselves for war. Broken - This is repeated for the greater
assurance of the thing, and the comfort of God's people.
11: Spake - With a vehement and more than ordinary inspiration.
In the way - Of the generality of the people of Judah; whose eminent
danger and calamity he foretells.
12: Say not - Thou Isaiah, and my children, do not consent to this
confederacy with the king of Assyria. Their fear - That thing which
they fear, that, if they do not call in the Assyrian succours, they
shall be destroyed by those two potent kings.
13: Sanctify - Give him the glory of his power, and goodness, and
faithfulness, by trusting to his promises. Let him - Let God, and not
the kings of Syria and Israel be the object of your fear.
14: Sanctuary - A sure refuge to all that truly fear him, and rely
upon him. A stone - An occasion of sin and ruin, at whom they will take
offence and stumble, so as to fall and be broken. To both - To the two
kingdoms, that of the ten tribes, and that of the two tribes.
Jerusalem - Which are distinctly mentioned, as a wonderful thing, because
Jerusalem was the seat of the temple, and of God's solemn worship, where
all the means of knowledge and grace were in greatest plenty, where the
thrones of civil and ecclesiastical judicature were established, where
the most wise and learned doctors had their constant abode. And that such
a place and people should reject Immanuel when he should appear, was so
strange an occurrence, that the prediction of it was highly necessary,
lest otherwise, when it came to pass, it should shake the faith of all who
did believe on him; whereas now the accomplishment hereof was a notable
confirmation of their faith.
15: Many - Not all; for there shall be a remnant, as was foretold,(Isa 4:2,6:13).
Stumble - At that stone or rock, mentioned, ver.(Isa 8:14).
This was accomplished at the coming of the Messiah, whom the Jews
rejected to their own destruction.
16: The testimony - By the testimony and the law or
doctrine, he understands one and the same thing, as he doth also,
ver.(20), the word of God, and especially that which is the main
scope thereof, the doctrine of the Messiah, which, though now professed
by all the Israelites, shall be disowned by the generality of them, when
the Messiah shall come. Bind up and seal are to be understood
prophetically, declare and prophesy, that it shall be bound up and sealed.
Moreover, bind up and seal, design the same thing. Security and
secrecy, signifying, that it should certainly be fulfilled, yet withal
kept secret from the unbelieving Jews. By the disciples he means
those who were taught of God.
17: Yet - Yet, notwithstanding this dreadful prophecy concerning
the rejection of Israel. Wait - I will cast my care upon him, and
expect the accomplishment of his promise, in sending the Messiah, and
in conferring upon me and all believing Israelites all his mercies and
blessings. Hideth - That now withdraws his favour and blessings, from
the people of Israel.
18: Behold - These words are literally spoken by Isaiah concerning
himself, but mystically concerning Christ; and therefore they are fitly
ascribed to Christ, (Heb 2:13).
The children - His spiritual children, whom he had either begotten or
brought up by his ministry. Wonders - Are a gazing flock, for our folly
in believing God's promises. From the Lord - Which comes to pass by the
wise providence of God. Zion - Where the temple now was, and where the
Messiah was to set up his kingdom.
19: And when they - The Israelites, who are fallen from God, into
superstition and idolatry. You - My children, whom the prophet arms
against the common temptation. Mutter - That speak with a low voice,
as these two words signify, which they affected to do, speaking rather
inwardly in their bellies, than audibly with their mouths.
Should not - This answer the prophet puts into their mouths, doth not
every nation, in cases of difficulty, seek to their gods? Much more
should we do so, that have the only true God for our God. For the
living - That is, for living men to enquire of the living God, is proper
and reasonable; but it is highly absurd for them to forsake him, and to
seek dead idols, either to the images, or to the spirits of dead men,
which are supposed to speak in them.
20: To the law - Let this dispute between you and them be determined
by God's word, which is here and in many other places called the law,
to signify their obligation to believe and obey it; and the testimony,
because it is a witness between God and man, of God's will, and of man's
duty. They - Your antagonists. No light - This proceeds from the
darkness of their minds, they are blind, and cannot see.
21: It - Their own land. Hungry - Sorely distressed, and destitute
of food, and all necessaries. Their king - Either because he doth not
relieve them; or because by his foolish counsels, he brought them into
these miseries. God - Their idol, to whom they trusted, and whom they
now find unable to help them. Look - To heaven for help.
22: Earth - Finding no help from heaven, they turn their eyes
downward, looking hither and thither for comfort.