Isaiah 8:13
Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself . . .—The words contain an implicit appeal to the revelation of the Divine Name in Isaiah 6:3. Had the prophet’s disciples entered into the meaning of that “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts?” Had they learnt to sanctify Jehovah Sabaoth, to recognise the power of that infinite holiness?

Isaiah 8:13-15. Sanctify the Lord of hosts — Give him the glory of his power, and goodness, and faithfulness, by trusting in his promises for deliverance; and let him be your fear — Let God, and not the kings of Syria and Israel, be the chief object of your fear. And he shall be for a sanctuary — A sure refuge to all that truly fear him, and rely upon him; but for a stone of stumbling — An occasion of sin and ruin, at whom they will take offence, and stumble, so as to fall and be broken, as it is expressed Isaiah 8:15; to both the houses of Israel — To the two kingdoms, that of the ten tribes, and that of the two tribes. And for a gin, &c., to the inhabitants of Jerusalem — This is distinctly mentioned as a wonderful thing, because Jerusalem was the seat of the temple, and of God’s solemn worship; where all the means of knowledge and grace were in the greatest plenty; where the thrones of civil and ecclesiastical judicature were established; where the most wise and learned doctors had their constant abode. And that such a place and people should reject Immanuel, when he should appear, was so strange an occurrence, that the prediction of it was highly necessary, lest otherwise, when it came to pass, it should shake the faith of all who did believe on him; whereas, now the accomplishment hereof was a notable confirmation of their faith. And many among them — Not all; for there shall be a remnant, as was foretold, Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 6:13; shall stumble — At that stone or rock, mentioned Isaiah 8:14. The writers of the New Testament, who have so frequently quoted this passage, prove, beyond all controversy, that the subject of it is, God manifest in the flesh; the Messiah, who performed for his people all those benefits of grace which this promise implies, being a sanctuary, or place of refuge to them; and who, at the same time, became to the hypocrites and unbelievers in Judea, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to the destruction of the far greater part of that people. See the margin.8:9-16 The prophet challenges the enemies of the Jews. Their efforts would be vain, and themselves broken to pieces. It concerns us, in time of trouble, to watch against all such fears as put us upon crooked courses for our own security. The believing fear of God preserves against the disquieting fear of man. If we thought rightly of the greatness and glory of God, we should see all the power of our enemies restrained. The Lord, who will be a Sanctuary to those who trust in him, will be a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, to those who make the creature their fear and their hope. If the things of God be an offence to us, they will undo us. The apostle quotes this as to all who persisted in unbelief of the gospel of Christ, 1Pe 2:8. The crucified Emmanuel, who was and is a Stumbling-stone and Rock of offence to unbelieving Jews, is no less so to thousands who are called Christians. The preaching of the cross is foolishness in their esteem; his doctrines and precepts offend them.Sanctify ... - Regard Yahweh as holy; that is, worship and honor him with pious fear and reverence. Regard him as the source of safety, and the true defense. Ahaz and his people sought for aid from Assyria against the armies of Syria and Samaria. The direction here is rather to seek aid from God.

Let him be your fear - Do not be alarmed at what man can do Isaiah 8:12, but fear and honor God. Be afraid to provoke his wrath by looking to other sources of help when his aid only should be sought.

13. Sanctify—Honor His holy name by regarding Him as your only hope of safety (Isa 29:23; Nu 20:12).

him … fear—"fear" lest you provoke His wrath by your fear of man and distrust of Him.

Sanctify the Lord of hosts; give him the glory of his power, and goodness, and faithfulness, by trusting to his promises for your deliverance.

Let him be your fear; let God, and not the kings of Syria and Israel, be the chief object of your fear. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself,.... Christ, Immanuel, God with us, the Lord of the armies above and below, of angels and of men, God over all, the true Jehovah, who is sanctified by his people, when they declare him to be so; as the Targum paraphrases it,

"the Lord of hosts, him shall ye say is holy;''

for they cannot make him so, nor can he receive any holiness from them, nor does he need any; but they celebrate the perfection of his holiness, and ascribe it to him; yea, they sanctify him, by ascribing their holiness to him; by looking to him as their sanctification, and by deriving and expecting every degree and measure of holiness from him, to complete theirs; by exercising faith upon him, and showing a regard to his commands and ordinances:

and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread; that is, the object of fear and dread; not of a servile fear and dread, but of a holy reverence and godly fear; such a fear as is the grace of the covenant, which flows from the goodness of God, and has that for its object, and is influenced by it; see Hosea 3:5 where the same Lord, Messiah, David the king, is meant, as here. See 1 Peter 3:15.

{p} Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

(p) In putting your trust only in him, in calling on him in adversity, patiently looking for his help, and fearing to do anything contrary to his will.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Render: Jehovah of Hosts, Him shall ye count holy, and let Him be (the object of) your fear and (of) your terror. “Count holy” (Isaiah 29:23); recognise as the Holy One, especially by absolute trust in His providential disposition of events; fearing only what would offend Him.Verse 13. - Sanctify the Lord of hosts. God was sanctified by being believed in (Numbers 20:12). They who feared Rezin and Pekah, despite of God's assurances that their design should fail, did not believe in him, and so did not "sanctify" him. The heading or introduction, "And Jehovah proceeded still further to speak to me, as follows," extends to all the following addresses as far as Isaiah 12:1-6. They all finish with consolation. But consolation presupposes the need of consolation. Consequently, even in this instance the prophet is obliged to commence with a threatening of judgment. "Forasmuch as this people despiseth the waters of Siloah that go softly, and regardeth as a delight the alliance with Rezin and the son of Remalyahu, therefore, behold! the Lord of all bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, the mighty and the great, the king of Asshur and all his military power; and he riseth over all his channels, and goeth over all his banks." The Siloah had its name (Shiloach, or, according to the reading of this passage contained in very good MSS, Shilloach), ab emittendo, either in an infinitive sense, "shooting forth," or in a participial sense, with a passive colouring, emissus, sent forth, spirted out (vid., John 9:7; and on the variations in meaning of this substantive form, Concord. p. 1349, s.). Josephus places the fountain and pool of Siloah at the opening of the Tyropoeon, on the south-eastern side of the ancient city, where we still find it at the present day (vid., Jos. Wars of the Jews, v. 4, 1; also Robinson, Pal. i. 504). The clear little brook - a pleasant sight to the eye as it issues from the ravine which runs between the south-western slope of Moriah and the south-eastern slope of Mount Zion

(Note: It is with perfect propriety, therefore, that Jerome sometimes speaks in the fons Siloe as flowing ad radices Montis Zion, and at other times as flowing in radicibus Montis Moria.)

(V. Schulbert, Reise, ii. 573) - is used here as a symbol of the Davidic monarchy enthroned upon Zion, which had the promise of God, who was enthroned upon Moriah, in contrast with the imperial or world kingdom, which is compared to the overflowing waters of the Euphrates. The reproach of despising the waters of Siloah applied to Judah as well as Ephraim: to the former because it trusted in Asshur, and despised the less tangible but more certain help which the house of David, if it were but believing, had to expect from the God of promise; to the latter, because it had entered into alliance with Aram to overthrow the house of David; and yet the house of David, although degenerate and deformed, was the divinely appointed source of that salvation, which is ever realized through quiet, secret ways. The second reproach applied more especially to Ephraim. The 'eth is not to be taken as the sign of the accusative, for sūs never occurs with the accusative of the object (not even in Isaiah 35:1), and could not well be so used. It is to be construed as a preposition in the sense of "and (or because) delight (is felt) with (i.e., in) the alliance with Rezin and Pekah." (On the constructive before a preposition, see Ges. 116, 1: sūs 'ēth, like râtzâh ‛im.) Luzzatto compares, for the construction, Genesis 41:43, v'nâthōn; but only the inf. abs. is used in this way as a continuation of the finite verb (see Ges. 131, 4, a). Moreover, משׂושׂ is not an Aramaic infinitive, but a substantive used in such a way as to retain the power of the verb (like מסּע in Numbers 10:2, and מספר in Numbers 23:10, unless, indeed, the reading here should be ספר מי). The substantive clause is preferred to the verbal clause ושׂשׂ, for the sake of the antithetical consonance of משׂושׂס with מאס. It is also quite in accordance with Hebrew syntax, that an address which commences with כי יען should here lose itself in the second sentence "in the twilight," as Ewald expresses it (351, c), of a substantive clause. Knobel and others suppose the reproof to relate to dissatisfied Judaeans, who were secretly favourable to the enterprise of the two allied kings. But there is no further evidence that there were such persons; and Isaiah 8:8 is opposed to this interpretation. The overflowing of the Assyrian forces would fall first of all upon Ephraim. The threat of punishment is introduced with ולכן, the Vav being the sign of sequence (Ewald, 348, b). The words "the king of Asshur" are the prophet's own gloss, as in Isaiah 7:17, Isaiah 7:20.

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