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Isaiah 9:10

    Isaiah 9:10 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stone; the sycomores are cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The bricks have come down, but we will put up buildings of cut stone in their place: the sycamores are cut down, but they will be changed to cedars.

    Webster's Revision

    The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stone; the sycomores are cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.

    World English Bible

    "The bricks have fallen, but we will build with cut stone. The sycamore fig trees have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stone: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

    Definitions for Isaiah 9:10

    Hewn - Cut.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 9:10

    The bricks - "The eastern bricks," says Sir John Chardin, (see Harmer's Observ. I., p. 176), "are only clay well moistened with water, and mixed with straw, and dried in the sun." So that their walls are commonly no better than our mud walls; see Maundrell, p. 124. That straw was a necessary part in the composition of this sort of bricks, to make the parts of the clay adhere together, appears from Exodus 5. These bricks are properly opposed to hewn stone, so greatly superior in beauty and durableness. The sycamores, which, as Jerome on the place says, are timber of little worth, with equal propriety are opposed to the cedars. "As the grain and texture of the sycamore is remarkably coarse and spongy, it could therefore stand in no competition at all (as it is observed, Isaiah 9:10) with the cedar, for beauty and ornament." - Shaw, Supplement to Travels, p. 96. We meet with the same opposition of cedars to sycamores, 1 Kings 10:27, where Solomon is said to have made silver as the stones, and cedars as the sycamores in the vale for abundance. By this mashal, or figurative and sententious speech, they boast that they shall easily be able to repair their present losses, suffered perhaps by the first Assyrian invasion under Tiglath-pileser; and to bring their affairs to a more flourishing condition than ever.

    Some of the bricks mentioned above lie before me. They were brought from the site of ancient Babylon. The straw is visible, kneaded with the clay; they are very hard, and evidently were dried in the sun; for they are very easily dissolved in water.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 9:10

    The bricks are fallen down - The language of this verse is figurative; but the sentiment is plain. It contains the confession of the inhabitants of Samaria, that their affairs were in a ruinous and dilapidated state; but also their self-confident assurance that they would be able to repair the evils, and restore their nation to more than their former magnificence.

    Bricks, in oriental countries, were made of clay and straw, and were rarely turned. Hence, exposed to suns and rains, they soon dissolved. Walls and houses constructed of such materials would not be very permanent, and to build with them is strongly contrasted with building in a permanent and elegant manner with hewn stone.

    The meaning is, that their former state was one of less splendor than they designed that their subsequent state should be. Desolation had come in upon their country, and this they could not deny. But they confidently boasted that they would more than repair the evil.

    We will build - Our ruined houses and walls.

    With hewn stones - At once more permanent and elegant than the structures of bricks had been.

    The sycamores - These trees grew abundantly on the low lands of Judea, and were very little esteemed; 1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chronicles 1:15; 2 Chronicles 9:27.

    'This curious tree seems to partake of the nature of two different species,' says Calmet, 'the mulberry and the fig; the former in its leaf, and the latter in its fruit. Its Greek name, συκόμορος sukomoros, is plainly descriptive of its character, being compounded of συκος sukos, a fig tree, and μορος moros, a mulberry tree. It is thus described by Norden: "They have in Egypt divers sorts of figs; but if there is any difference between them, a particular kind differs still more. I mean that which the sycamore bears, that they name in Arabic giomez. This sycamore is of the height of a beech, and bears its fruit in a manner quite different from other trees. It has them on the trunk itself, which shoots out little sprigs in form of a grapestalk, at the end of which grows the fruit close to one another, most like bunches of grapes. The tree is always green, and bears fruit several times in the year, without observing any certain seasons, for I have seen some sycamores which had fruit two months after others. This sort of tree is pretty common in Egypt."' They were not highly valued, though it is probable they were often employed in building.

    They are contrasted with cedars here -

    (1) Because the cedar was a much more rare and precious wood.

    (2) Because it was a much more smooth and elegant article of building.

    (3) Because it was more permanent. The grain and texture of the sycamore is remarkably coarse and spongy, and could, therefore, stand in no competition with the cedar for beauty and ornament.

    We will change them - We will employ in their stead.

    Cedars - The cedar was a remarkably fine; elegant, and permanent wood for building. It was principally obtained on mount Lebanon, and was employed in temples, palaces, and in the houses of the rich; see the note at Isaiah 2:18.

    The sycamore is contrasted with the cedar in 1 Kings 10:27 : 'Cedars he made to be as sycamore trees.' The whole passage denotes self-confidence and pride; an unwillingness to submit to the judgments of God, and a self-assurance that they would more than repair all the evils that would be inflicted on them.

    Wesley's Notes on Isaiah 9:10

    9:10 Stones - We have received some damage; but, we doubt not we shall quickly repair it with advantage.