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Isaiah 8:12-15

Context

8:12 “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ every time these people say the word. 1 

Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.

8:13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies. 2 

He is the one you must respect;

he is the one you must fear. 3 

8:14 He will become a sanctuary, 4 

but a stone that makes a person trip,

and a rock that makes one stumble –

to the two houses of Israel. 5 

He will become 6  a trap and a snare

to the residents of Jerusalem. 7 

8:15 Many will stumble over the stone and the rock, 8 

and will fall and be seriously injured,

and will be ensnared and captured.”

1 tn Heb “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ with respect to all which these people say, ‘Conspiracy.’” The verb translated “do not say” is second masculine plural, indicating that this exhortation is directed to Isaiah and other followers of the Lord (see v. 16).

sn The background of this command is uncertain. Perhaps the “conspiracy” in view is the alliance between Israel and Syria. Some of the people may even have thought that individuals in Judah were plotting with Israel and Syria to overthrow the king.

2 tn Heb “the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts], him you must set apart.” The word order is emphatic, with the object being placed first.

3 tn Heb “he is your [object of] fear, he is your [object of] terror.” The roots יָרֵא (yare’) and עָרַץ (’arats) are repeated from v. 12b.

4 tn Because the metaphor of protection (“sanctuary”) does not fit the negative mood that follows in vv. 14b-15, some contend that מִקְדָּשׁ (miqdash, “sanctuary”) is probably a corruption of an original מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “snare”), a word that appears in the next line (cf. NAB and H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:355-56). If the MT reading is retained (as in the above translation), the fact that Yahweh is a sanctuary wraps up the point of v. 13 and stands in contrast to God’s treatment of those who rebel against him (the rest of v. 14).

5 sn The two “houses” of Israel (= the patriarch Jacob) are the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.

6 tn These words are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. וְהָיָה (vÿhayah, “and he will be”) does double duty in the parallel structure of the verse.

7 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

8 tn Heb “over them” (so NASB); NCV “over this rock.”



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