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Isaiah 8:16-18

Context

8:16 Tie up the scroll as legal evidence, 1 

seal the official record of God’s instructions and give it to my followers. 2 

8:17 I will wait patiently for the Lord,

who has rejected the family of Jacob; 3 

I will wait for him.

8:18 Look, I and the sons whom the Lord has given me 4  are reminders and object lessons 5  in Israel, sent from the Lord who commands armies, who lives on Mount Zion.

1 tn Heb “tie up [the] testimony.” The “testimony” probably refers to the prophetic messages God has given him. When the prophecies are fulfilled, he will be able to produce this official, written record to confirm the authenticity of his ministry and to prove to the people that God is sovereign over events.

2 tn Heb “seal [the] instruction among my followers.” The “instruction” probably refers to the prophet’s exhortations and warnings. When the people are judged for the sins, the prophet can produce these earlier messages and essentially say, “I told you so.” In this way he can authenticate his ministry and impress upon the people the reality of God’s authority over them.

3 tn Heb “who hides his face from the house of Jacob.”

4 sn This refers to Shear-jashub (7:3) and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (8:1, 3).

5 tn Or “signs and portents” (NAB, NRSV). The names of all three individuals has symbolic value. Isaiah’s name (which meant “the Lord delivers”) was a reminder that the Lord was the nation’s only source of protection; Shear-jashub’s name was meant, at least originally, to encourage Ahaz (see the note at 7:3), and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz’s name was a guarantee that God would defeat Israel and Syria (see the note at 8:4). The word מוֹפֶת (mofet, “portent”) can often refer to some miraculous event, but in 20:3 it is used, along with its synonym אוֹת (’ot, “sign”) of Isaiah’s walking around half-naked as an object lesson of what would soon happen to the Egyptians.



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