Isaiah 8
Assyria, and the Law and Testimony
Text
Comments
 1 ¶ Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen [or "an ordinary pen"] concerning Mahershalalhashbaz.
 2  And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record [witness the authenticity], Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.
 3  And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.
.4  For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before [or "by"] the king of Assyria.
   1 - Mahershalalhashbaz Literally "speed the spoil, hasten the plunder."
   3 - Went in unto the prophetess This would have been Isaiah's wife.
   4 - Before ... The young age of the child was used to emphasize the immanence of the Assyrian invasion predicted in 7:17-25 is0717. Fulfilled in 732 BC.
 5  The LORD spake also unto me again, saying,
.6  Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son;
.7  Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his [or "its"] banks:
.8  And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

.6 - Refuseth ... Shiloah By refusing the warnings of God and inviting the help of Assyria, Judah under Ahaz, would bring the flood. Notice what is happening. Compare to Dan. 9:26, 27 da0926.
  8 - Neck Judah would be almost drowned is3731.
In Isaiah's time
Time foreshadowed
People refused peaceful water Jesus was (and offered) water of life
Got waters of strong river of heathen king (of Assyria) Roman army destroyed rebellious Jerusalem
Water went over bank, flooded Trouble uncontrolled
Wings spread and river fills whole land of Immanuel. Satan's work continues to its natural end. He shows his nature sowing rebellion among all those who claim to believe in God.
  8 - Stretching ... wings ... fill In nearly overcoming Judah in addition to Israel (the Northern Kingdom) the king of Assyria would oppress all in the area God had given to His people. Satan, represented by the wicked king and working through the massive end-time religious power ("confederacy" v.12 below) re1313ww, will extend his influence in an effort to control the whole world.
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"The pool [of Shiloah or Siloam] is now an artificial stone reservoir, fifty-three feet long, eighteen feet wide, and nineteen feet deep.  Steps lead to the bottom of the pool, three or four feet above which the water flows off southeast to water the cultivated grounds in the valley below.  The fountain is in an arched excavation in the foot of the cliff above the pool; and the small basin here is connected by a winding passage cut through the solid rock under the hill Ophel, with the "Fountain of the Virgin" eleven hundred feet north on the east side of Mount Moriah."  (ATS Dictionary) Pool illustration below from DA,1898.

.9 ¶ Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.
 10  Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
 11  For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
.12  Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
 13  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
.14  And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
 15  And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
 16 ¶ Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
 17  And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.


   12 - Confederacy A conspiracy. Israel joined Assyria against Judah.
   13 - Sanctify Here meaning "to recognize as holy."
   14 - Sanctuary Hebrew miqdash a holy place as used in ex1517. The other word kodesh is used for the tabernacle sanctuary. Miqdash may describe a pagan "holy" place.
   14 - Both houses Both parts of the divided kingdom, Israel and Judah.
   15 - Many will stumble The result of refusing to follow God's way.
   16 - Bind up ... seal Archaeological discoveries have found scrolls tied with string and the knot covered with a wax seal. A testimony that God preserves His word in the Scriptures.
   Sealing the testimony and law in the heart was and is God's goal.
.18  Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
.19  And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
   18 - I and the children Isaiah's name means Yahweh saves. His first son's name, Shear-jashub, means a remnant [will] return. The second reminds of the plunder of the others. This is a call for faithful parenting, in contrast to turning to the occult which is seen in the next verses.
   19 - Seek ... familiar spirits This is what was happening in Judah. God had forbidden it le1931. Spirit mediums are not new. The text indicates seeking the dead on behalf of the living. We may consider the words, "should not a people seek unto their God" as parenthetical.
   See special page on Harry Potter and Pókemon.
   19 - Peep Or "whisper," NASB, or "chirp," RSV.
   19 - Can dead people hear? See 1sa28.
.20  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
 .20 ... it is because they have no dawn. (NASB). However this verse is interpreted, the law and the testimony are shown as the standards to be reached. The "dawn" pictures a little light, but reading the next verses and continuing into the next chapter, those with occult practices are seen in a deep and terrible darkness not even a little light.
 .21  And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.
.22  And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
   20 - Law and testimony This is a test for any message. Does it agree with the word of the Lord. Many today claim to be guided by the Spirit while disregarding the claims of God on their lives. This is the test I invite you to use on the comments here. If you find errors, show me where they are contrary to Scripture. Compare de1304.
   The "law" in Isaiah's time was the Torah, the five books of Moses (Genesis to Deuteronomy). This was the established word of God. God's contemporary witness through Isaiah, for example, would have been the "testimony." These two are seen elsewhere in Scripture. For example re1104wh.
  An alternate, and perhaps better, identification of the "testimony" would be the ten commandments ex2516. We still have two types of inspired information. Here they are the law, God's explicit and concise rule for happiness, and the testimony, the application of that law in practical life.
   21 - Hard pressed and hungry This describes those who refuse the ways of God.

A deliverer is coming
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