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Isaiah 8:4-7

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8:4 for before the child knows how to cry out, ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria 1  will be carried off by the king of Assyria.” 2 

8:5 The Lord spoke to me again: 8:6 “These people 3  have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah 4  and melt in fear over Rezin and the son of Remaliah. 5  8:7 So look, the sovereign master 6  is bringing up against them the turbulent and mighty waters of the Euphrates River 7  – the king of Assyria and all his majestic power. It will reach flood stage and overflow its banks. 8 

1 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

2 sn The child’s name foreshadows what will happen to Judah’s enemies; when their defeat takes place, the child will be a reminder that God predicted the event and brought it to pass. As such the child will be a reminder of God’s protective presence with his people.

3 tn The Hebrew text begins with “because.” In the Hebrew text vv. 6-7 are one long sentence, with v. 6 giving the reason for judgment and v. 7 formally announcing it.

4 sn The phrase “waters of Shiloah” probably refers to a stream that originated at the Gihon Spring and supplied the city of Jerusalem with water. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:225. In this context these waters stand in contrast to the flood waters of Assyria and symbolize God’s presence and blessings.

5 tn The precise meaning of v. 6 has been debated. The translation above assumes that “these people” are the residents of Judah and that מָשׂוֹשׂ (masos) is alternate form of מָסוֹס (masos, “despair, melt”; see HALOT 606 s.v. מסס). In this case vv. 7-8 in their entirety announce God’s disciplinary judgment on Judah. However, “these people” could refer to the Israelites and perhaps also the Syrians (cf v. 4). In this case מָשׂוֹשׂ probably means “joy.” One could translate, “and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah.” In this case v. 7a announces the judgment of Israel, with vv. 7b-8 then shifting the focus to the judgment of Judah.

6 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

7 tn Heb “the mighty and abundant waters of the river.” The referent of “the river” here, the Euphrates River, has been specified in the translation for clarity. As the immediately following words indicate, these waters symbolize the Assyrian king and his armies which will, as it were, inundate the land.

8 tn Heb “it will go up over all its stream beds and go over all its banks.”



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