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Isaiah 8:12

    Isaiah 8:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Say you not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear you their fear, nor be afraid.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof .

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Do not say, It is holy, about everything of which this people says, It is holy; and do not be in fear of what they go in fear of.

    Webster's Revision

    Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof .

    World English Bible

    "Don't say, 'A conspiracy!' concerning all about which this people say, 'A conspiracy!' neither fear their threats, nor be terrorized.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 8:12

    Say ye not, A confederacy "Say ye not, It is holy" - קשר kesher. Both the reading and the sense of this word are doubtful. The Septuagint manifestly read קשה kashah; for they render it by σκληρον, hard. The Syriac and Chaldee render it מרדא merda, and מרוד dn merod, rebellion. How they came by this sense of the word, or what they read in their copies, is not so clear. But the worst of it is, that neither of these readings or renderings gives any clear sense in this place. For why should God forbid his faithful servants to say with the unbelieving Jews, It is hard; or, There is a rebellion; or, as our translators render it, a confederacy? And how can this be called "walking in the way of this people?" Isaiah 8:11, which usually means, following their example, joining with them in religious worship. Or what confederacy do they mean? The union of the kingdoms of Syria and Israel against Judah? That was properly a league between two independent states, not an unlawful conspiracy of one part against another in the same state; this is the meaning of the word קשר kesher. For want of any satisfactory interpretation of this place that I can meet with, I adopt a conjecture of Archbishop Secker, which he proposes with great diffidence, and even seems immediately to give up, as being destitute of any authority to support it. I will give it in his own words:

    "Videri potest ex cap. Isaiah 5:16, et hujus cap. Isaiah 8:13, Isaiah 8:14, Isaiah 8:19, legendum קרש vel קדוש kadosh, eadem sententia, qua אלהינו Eloheynu, Hosea 14:3. Sed nihil necesse est. Vide enim Jeremiah 11:9; Ezekiel 22:25. Optime tamen sic responderent huic versiculo versiculi Isaiah 8:13, Isaiah 8:14."

    The passages of Jeremiah and Ezekiel above referred to seem to me not at all to clear up the sense of the word קשר kesher in this place. But the context greatly favors the conjecture here given, and makes it highly probable: "Walk not in the way of this people; call not their idols holy, nor fear ye the object of their fear:" (that is, the σεβασματα, or gods of the idolaters; for so fear here signifies, to wit, the thing feared. So God is called "The fear of Isaac," Genesis 31:42, Genesis 31:53): "but look up to Jehovah as your Holy One; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread; and he shall be a holy Refuge unto you." Here there is a harmony and consistency running through the whole sentence; and the latter part naturally arises out of the former, and answers to it. Idolatry, however, is full of fears. The superstitious fears of the Hindoos are very numerous. They fear death, bad spirits generally, and hobgoblins of all descriptions. They fear also the cries of jackals, owls, crows, cats, asses, vultures, dogs, lizards, etc. They also dread different sights in the air, and are alarmed at various dreams. See Ward's Customs. Observe that the difference between קשר kesher and קדש kadosh is chiefly in the transposition of the two last letters, for the letters ר resh and ד daleth are hardly distinguishable in some copies, printed as well as MS.; so that the mistake, in respect of the letters themselves, is a very easy and a very common one. - L.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 8:12

    Say ye not - Do not join in their purposes of forming a confederacy. Do not unite with the king and the people of Judah in their alarms about the threatened invasion by the kings of Syria and Samaria, and in their purpose to form an alliance with the king of Assyria. The reason why they should not do this, he states in Isaiah 8:13, where he exhorts the nation to put confidence in the Lord rather than in man. There has been, however, great diversity in the interpretation of this passage. The Septuagint renders the word קשׁר qesher, 'confederacy,' by the word σκληρόν sklēron - 'Everything which this people say, is hard.' The Syriac, 'Do not say, rebellion,' etc. The Chaldee understands the word in the same sense. Lowth proposes to change the word קשׁר qesher, into קדשׁ qâdôsh, because Dr. Seeker possessed one manuscript in which this reading was found; and he translates the passage:

    'Say ye not it is holy,

    Of everything of which this people shall say it is holy.'

    That is, 'call not their idols holy; nor fear ye the object of their fear; that is, the gods of the idolaters.' But it is plain that this does not suit the connection of the passage, since the prophet is not reproving them for their idolatry, but is discoursing of the alliance between the kings of Syria and Samaria. Besides, the authority of one manuscript, without the concurrence of any ancient version, is not a sufficient authority for changing the Hebrew text. Most commentators have understood this word 'confederacy' as referring to the alliance between the kings of Syria and Samaria; as if the prophet had said, 'Do not join in the cry so common and almost universal in the nation, "There is a confederacy between those two kingdoms; there is an alliance formed which endangers our liberty" - a cry that produces alarm and trepidation in the nation.' Thus Rosenmuller and Gesenius explain it.

    Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, however. understand it of a conspiracy, which they suppose was formed in the kingdom of Ahaz, against him and the house of David; and that the prophet warns the people against joining in such a conspiracy. But of the existence of such a conspiracy there is no evidence. Had there been such a conspiracy, it is not probable that it would have been so well known as to make it a proper subject of public denunciation. Conspiracies are usually secret and concealed. I regard this, however, as a caution to the prophet not to join in the prevailing demand for an alliance with the king of Assyria. Ahaz trembled before the united armies of Syria and Samaria. He sought, therefore, foreign assistance - the assistance of the king of Assyria. It is probable that in this he was encouraged by the leaders of the people, and that this would be a popular measure with the mass of the nation. Yet it implied distrust of God (note, Isaiah 8:6); and, therefore, the prophet was directed not to unite with them in seeking this 'confederacy,' or alliance, but to oppose it. The word translated 'confederacy,' קשׁר qesher is derived from the verb קשׁר qâshar, "to bind, to fetter;" to enter into a conspiracy. It usually refers to a conspiracy, but it may mean a combination or alliance of any kind. Or, if it here means a conspiracy, a union between Ahaz and the Assyrians may be regarded as a species of conspiracy, as it was an unnatural alliance; a species of combination against the natural and proper government of Judah - the theocracy.

    Neither fear ye their fear - Do not partake of their alarm at the invasion of the land by the united armies of Syria and Samaria. Rather put confidence in God, and believe that he is able to save you; compare 1 Peter 3:13-15.

    Wesley's Notes on Isaiah 8:12

    8:12 Say not - Thou Isaiah, and my children, do not consent to this confederacy with the king of Assyria. Their fear - That thing which they fear, that, if they do not call in the Assyrian succours, they shall be destroyed by those two potent kings.

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