King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Isaiah > Old Testament > Home

Isaiah 8

Exhortations and warnings. (1-8) Comfort for those who fear God. (9-16) Afflictions to idolaters. (17-22)

Isaiah 8 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Exhortations and warnings

1 Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz.

2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, 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 the king of Assyria.

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 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.

Comfort for those who fear God

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.

Afflictions to idolaters

17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

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?

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.

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.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Book. This mystery would require a large explanation. W. — Pen. Lit. “style.” H. — Write intelligibly. Here all is plain. C. — Take. Prot. “concerning Mahershalalchashbaz.” Marg. “in making speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey.” H. — Chashbaz, the son of Isaias, was a sign that Syria and Israel should soon be rendered desolate; and in a more elevated sense, he shewed that Christ should overturn the powers of hell. C. — The virgin’s son took the prey from the devil, who before possessed almost all the world. W. — Urias. Probably the high priest, who afterwards weakly complied with the king’s idolatrous order. 4 K. xvi. 10. C. — Yet at this time, he was a credible witness. H. — Zacharias. A person to us unknown. C.

Ver. 3. Prophetess. The blessed Virgin, (S. Chrys. &c.) or to his wife. He gives his son a different name from Emmanuel, (c. vii. 14.) that they might not be confounded. — Hasten. Heb. Mahershalalchashbaz. v. 1. H.

Ver. 4. Assyrians. Theglathphalassar, the next year, took the Damascenes to Kir, and Nephthali, Reuben, Gad, and Manasses into captivity. Yet the kingdom continued some time longer. Never was prediction more explicit. Can the pagans produce any thing similar?

Ver. 6. Silence. Being willing to receive Tabeel, instead of their lawful prince. Achaz was then terrified, and chose to become tributary, rather than to lose his crown. Herein both offended God, in whom they ought to have trusted; and the auxiliary king looked upon himself as master of the country. 2 Par. xxviii. 20. C. — Israel had joined with the Syrian; but was reduced to the state of captivity, while Jerusalem was preserved. W.

Ver. 7. River. Euphrates, (C.) with the overflowing of which the Assyrian is compared. H.

Ver. 8. Wings. Or troops. — Emmanuel. Christ was born in the country, and Lord of it: though it might be said to belong to the son of Isaias, as being his figure. C.

Ver. 9. Overcome. The defeat of Sennacherib, of the Idumeans, &c. under Ezechias, is intimated. 4 K. xviii. 8. and xix. 35.

Ver. 10. God. Heb. “Emmanuel.” We have a pledge of God’s protection.

Ver. 12. Conspiracy. In despair, they wish to submit to the enemy. v. 6. Isaias exhorts them to have recourse rather to the Lord. C.

Ver. 14. Two. The wicked of both kingdoms, (H.) who choose to revolt from God. Many of Israel were led into captivity, and the territory of Juda was laid waste. C.

Ver. 16. Disciples. Let some faithful witnesses keep this prophecy, (H.) that when it is verified, all may be convinced.

Ver. 17. Jacob. Having resolved on their ruin. C.

Ver. 18. I and my two children. C. vii. 3. and viii. 4. H. — The actions of some were prophetical. C. xx. 2. Os. xii. 10. C. — God announces what will happen, by the names of my children, (H.) and by their age, as well as by my mouth. C.

Ver. 19. Seek of pythons. That is, people pretending to tell future things by a prophesying spirit. — Should not the people seek of their God, for the living of the dead? Here is signified, that it is to God we should pray to be directed, and not to seek of the dead, (that is, of fortune-tellers dead in sin) for the health of the living. Ch. — Mutter. Lit. “use a shrill note,” strident. H. — so Horace, (1 Sat. viii.) says—

Umbræ cum sagana resonarent triste et acutum.

Should. Make this reply: Should, &c.

Ver. 20. Law. Sealed, (v. 16.) or to the law of Moses. Eccli. xxxiv. 28. C. — Sept. “why do they consult the dead concerning the living? For he gave the law to assist us.” H. — Light. They shall die or be miserable. C.

Ver. 21. By it. The word of God. H. — God. Elohim means also princes or idols. C. — Whether they seek God unwillingly, or the aid of men, (v. 22.) they shall perish. W.