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Isaiah 9:5

    Isaiah 9:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel of fire.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For every boot of the man of war with his sounding step, and the clothing rolled in blood, will be for burning, food for the fire.

    Webster's Revision

    For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel of fire.

    World English Bible

    For all the armor of the armed man in the noisy battle, and the garments rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For all the armour of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall even be for burning, for fuel of fire.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 9:5

    Every battle of the warrior "The greaves of the armed warrior" - שאון שאון seon soen. This word, occurring only in this place, is oaf very doubtful signification. Schindler fairly tells us that we may guess at it by the context. The Jews have explained it, by guess I believe, as signifying battle, conflict: the Vulgate renders it violenta praedatio. But it seems as if something was rather meant which was capable of becoming fuel for the fire, together with the garments mentioned in the same sentence. In Syriac the word, as a noun, signifies a shoe, or a sandal, as a learned friend suggested to me some years ago. See Luke 15:22; Acts 12:8. I take it, therefore, to mean that part of the armor which covered the legs and feet, and I would render the two words in Latin by caliga caligati. The burning of heaps of armor, gathered from the field of battle, as an offering made to the god supposed to be the giver of victory, was a custom that prevailed among some heathen nations; and the Romans used it as an emblem of peace, which perfectly well suits with the design of the prophet in this place. A medal struck by Vespasian on finishing his wars both at home and abroad represents the goddess Peace holding an olive branch in one hand, and, with a lighted torch in the other, setting fire to a heap of armor. Virgil mentions the custom: -

    " - Cum primam aciem Praeneste sub ipsa

    Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos."

    Aen. lib. viii., ver. 561.

    "Would heaven, (said he), my strength and youth recall,

    Such as I was beneath Praeneste's wall -

    Then when I made the foremost foes retire

    And set whole heaps of conquered shields on fire."


    See Addison on Medals, Series 2:18. And there are notices of some such practice among the Israelites, and other nations of the most early times. God promises to Joshua victory over the kings of Canaan. "To-morrow I will deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire," Joshua 11:6. See also Nahum 2:13. And the psalmist employs this image to express complete victory, and the perfect establishment of peace: -

    "He maketh wars to cease, even to the end of the land:

    He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;

    And burneth the chariots in the fire.

    - Psalm 46:9.


    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 9:5

    For every battle of the warrior - The expression used here has caused great difficulty, from the fact that it occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. The word סאון se'ôn, rendered here battle, is supposed to mean rather greaves, or the armor of the warrior which covered the feet and the legs. It would be literally translated, 'Every greave of those armed with greaves.' - Gesenius. The Chaldee renders it, 'Forevery gift of theirs is for evil.' The Syriac, 'Forevery tumult (of battle) is heard with terror.' Hengstenberg renders it, 'For all war-shoes put on at the noise of battle, all garments dipped in blood, shall be burnt, shall be the food of fire.' The idea, according to him, is, that the great future redemption will be like the deliverance under Gideon; 'because, far from being accomplished by force of arms, with it all contention and war shall cease.' Gesenius regards the figurative expression as a general designation of that peace which shall never end. All the armor used in war shall then be burned, as being of no further use.

    Is with confused noise - The word used here - רעשׁ ra‛ash - denotes, properly, a shaking, as of a spear; a concussion, tumult, noise, as of a battle. Here it is supposed to refer to the noise which the armor of the soldiers made - particularly to the noise made by the greaves, or war-shoes, worn on the feet and legs. Those greaves were fitted up; it is said, by numerous large iron hooks, or clasps, and were fastened sometimes with large nails; compare Josephus, Jewish Wars, B. vi. ch. i. section 8.

    And garments - This word here refers, doubtless, to the soldier's cloak or blanket.

    Rolled in blood - This is a description of the usual effect of war. The image of war is that of a clangor made by the armor of soldiers, and by garments that have been dipped in human blood. It is a most revolting but just image.

    But this shall be - In regard to this threatened invasion and danger, this shall be the result. The meaning is this. The prophet sees the image of war and of threatened invasion. He hears the clangor of their greaves - the sound of their march; and he sees the usual emblem of battle - bloody garments. But he says here, that this invasion shall not be successful. There was no occasion of alarm. The very armor of the warrior should be burned up. The enemy should be defeated - and their greaves, and their bloody garments, should be consumed.

    With burning - For burning; that is it shall be consumed.

    And fuel of fire - Hebrew, 'Food of fire.' This is a strong, emphatic expression - 'it shall be to be burned - the food of fire.' It denotes the certainty that they would be vanquished; that the invading foe would not be successful; and that his very armory and garments would be stripped off and burned. To understand this, it is necessary to remark, that in ancient times it was customary to strip the dead which were slain in a vanquished army, and to collect their armor, their chariots, etc., and consume them. The more valued spoils of battle were reserved as the prey of the victors, or to be suspended in temples censecrated to the gods; see Psalm 46:9-10 :

    He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;

    He breaketh the bow;

    And cutteth the spear in sunder;

    He burneth the chariot in the fire.

    Ezekiel has carried out this description more at length:

    And the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth,

    And shall set on fire and burn the weapons,


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