Isaiah 8
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Isaiah 8
Isaiah 8
Great Isaiah Scroll.jpg
The Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved of the biblical scrolls found at Qumran from the second century BC, contains all the verses in this chapter.
BookBook of Isaiah
Hebrew Bible partNevi'im
Order in the Hebrew part5
CategoryLatter Prophets
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part23

Isaiah 8 is the eighth chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Isaiah and is one of the Books of the Prophets.


The original text was written in Hebrew language. This chapter is divided into 22 verses in many translations, but in Hebrew texts and some English versions Isaiah 9:1 appears as verse 8:23.

Textual witnesses

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (916), Aleppo Codex (10th century), Codex Leningradensis (1008).[1]

Fragments containing parts of this chapter were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (3rd century BC or later):

  • 1QIsaa: complete
  • 1QIsab: extant: verses 1, 8-12
  • 4QIsae (4Q59): extant: verses 2-14
  • 4QIsaf (4Q60): extant: verses 1, 4-11
  • 4QIsah (4Q62): extant: verses 11-14

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BC. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; Q; 6th century).[2]


The parashah sections listed here are based on the Aleppo Codex.[3] Isaiah 8 is a part of the Prophecies about Judah and Israel (Isaiah 1-12). {P}: open parashah; {S}: closed parashah.

{P} 8:1-3a {S} 8:3b-4 ?' {S} 8:5-8 {S} 8:9-10 {S} 8:11-15 {P} 8:16-18 {S} 8:19-23 [9:1-6 {P}]

The sign of Maher-shalal-hash-baz (8:1-4)

Since the sign of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14-17) gives an undisclosed time in the future, another sign is given to deal with the contemporary scene, in the form of a child with an ordinary birth and a name which would be a standing witness (cf. Isaiah 8:18) to the prophecy both about 'the enemy at the gate' (verse 4; cf. Isaiah 7:16) and about the next victim of the Assyrians, which is Judah itself (Isaiah 7:17).[4]

Verse 1

Moreover the Lord said to me, "Take a large scroll, and write on it with a man's pen concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz".[5]

Verse 3

Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, "Call his name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz";[7]

The striking similarities with Isaiah 7:14-15 raises an argument that this is a variant version of the same story, but 'the heavily symbolic name given to the unsuspecting child has markedly different overtone'.[8]

God's gentle flow and Assyria's torrent (8:5-8)

Using evil to fight evil would bring Judah to the path of the torrent/flood which would jeopardize herself as the land of Immanuel, but for Immanuel's sake, there is a limit set (verse 8: up to the neck; cf. Isaiah 10:24-27).[4]

God our refuge or our ruin (8:9-15)

This part contains Isaiah's defiant response to the meaning of "Immanuel" (verse 10c: God with us) and to God's insistence (verse 11: his strong hand upon me) that people should reshape their thinking and emotional attitudes (verse 12) round God himself (cf. call to a transformed outlook in Romans 12:2).[9]

Verse 12

"Do not say, 'A conspiracy,'
Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy,
Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled."[10]
  • "Their threats" (NKJV; ESV: "What they fear"): or "terror".[11]

Verses 12b-13a are cited in 1 Peter 3:14-15 which identifies Christ with the "Lord of hosts" (Lord Almighty) as Jesus himself alluded Isaiah 8:14-15 in Luke 20:18a (cf. Romans 9:33, 1 Peter 2:7-8).[12]

Verse 13

Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.[13]

As the oracle of judgement in this part gives clear warning to all conspiring against the community that the presence of Immanuel ('God is with us') will overthrow their plans: There is no political solutions to the community's problems, but the people are to trust in YHWH (Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread).[8]

Verse 14

He is the sanctuary and the stumbling stone
and the rock that brings down the two houses of Israel;
a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem."[15]

Verse 15

"And many among them shall stumble;
They shall fall and be broken,
Be snared and taken."[16]

The light withdrawn (8:16-22)

This part indicates that Israel is losing God's teaching and blessing (verses 16-17), because Israel is refusing the light (verses 19-22), so is only left with signs (verse 18) and can only expect darkness (verse 22).[12]

Verse 16

Bind up the testimony
Seal the law among my disciples.[18]

This verse relates to the completion of the scroll initiated in verse 1. The expression my disciples is God's new definition for his people in their relation to him.[12]

Verse 23

For is there no gloom to her that was steadfast?[19]

The Jerusalem Bible suggests that this line "seems to be a gloss".[20]

In the former time he debased the land of Zebulon, and the land of Naphthali;
But in the latter time he hath made it glorious:
Even the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nations.[19]

This text, which appears as Isaiah 9:1 in most modern translations,[21] forms verse 8:23 in Hebrew texts and some English versions.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 35-37.
  2. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
  3. ^ As implemented in the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 edition of the Hebrew Bible in English.
  4. ^ a b Kidner 1994, p. 639.
  5. ^ NKJV
  6. ^ Note [a] on Isaiah 8:1 in NKJV
  7. ^ NKJV
  8. ^ a b Coggins 2007, p. 446.
  9. ^ Kidner 1994, pp. 639-640.
  10. ^ NKJV
  11. ^ Note [a] on Isaiah 8:12 in NKJV
  12. ^ a b c d e f Kidner 1994, p. 640.
  13. ^ Isaiah 8:13 KJV
  14. ^ Gill, John. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - 1 Peter 3:15
  15. ^ Isaiah 8:14, CTS New Catholic Bible
  16. ^ NKJV
  17. ^ Note [a] on Isaiah 8:15 in NKJV
  18. ^ NKJV
  19. ^ a b Isaiah 8:23 - JPS Tanakh (Jewish Publication Society of America)
  20. ^ Jerusalem Bible (1966), Footnote to Isaiah 8:23
  21. ^ Range of translations in


  • Kidner, Derek (1994). "Isaiah". In Carson, D. A.; France, R. T.; Motyer, J. A.; Wenham, G. J. (eds.). New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (4, illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 629-670. ISBN 9780851106489.
  • Würthwein, Ernst (1995). The Text of the Old Testament. Translated by Rhodes, Erroll F. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0788-7. Retrieved 2019.

External links



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