Isaiah 28:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place."

New Living Translation
You boast, "We have struck a bargain to cheat death and have made a deal to dodge the grave. The coming destruction can never touch us, for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception."

English Standard Version
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;

New American Standard Bible
Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception."

King James Bible
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For you said, "We have cut a deal with Death, and we have made an agreement with Sheol; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, it will not touch us, because we have made falsehood our refuge and have hidden behind treachery."

International Standard Version
Because you said: 'We have entered into a covenant with death, and we have an agreement with Sheol, so when the overwhelming scourge makes its choice, it cannot reach us, since we have made lies our refuge and have concealed ourselves inside falsehood'

NET Bible
For you say, "We have made a treaty with death, with Sheol we have made an agreement. When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by it will not reach us. For we have made a lie our refuge, we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word."

New Heart English Bible
"Because you have said, 'We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it won't come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.'"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You say, "We made a treaty with death and an agreement with the grave. When the overwhelming disaster passes by, it won't matter to us, because we have taken refuge in our lies, and falsehood is our hiding place."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Because ye have said: 'We have made a covenant with death, And with the nether-world are we at agreement; When the scouring scourge shall pass through, It shall not come unto us; For we have made lies our refuge, And in falsehood have we hid ourselves';

New American Standard 1977
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
            And with Sheol we have made a pact.
            The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
            For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hid ourselves:

King James 2000 Bible
Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

American King James Version
Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing whip shall pass through, it shall not come to us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

American Standard Version
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Douay-Rheims Bible
For you have said : We have entered into a league with death, and we have made a covenant with hell. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come upon us: for we have placed our hope in lies, and by falsehood we are protected.

Darby Bible Translation
For ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol have we made an agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.

English Revised Version
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Webster's Bible Translation
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we in agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not reach us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

World English Bible
"Because you have said, 'We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it won't come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.'"

Young's Literal Translation
Because ye have said: 'We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a provision, An overflowing scourge, when it passeth over, Doth not meet us, Though we have made a lie our refuge, And in falsehood have been hidden.'
Study Bible
A Cornerstone in Zion
14Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, 15Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception." 16Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.…
Cross References
Isaiah 3:12
O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.

Isaiah 8:8
"Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:15
The head is the elder and honorable man, And the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.

Isaiah 28:2
Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent; As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction, Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.

Isaiah 28:18
"Your covenant with death will be canceled, And your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, Then you become its trampling place.

Isaiah 29:15
Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?"

Isaiah 30:9
For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the LORD;

Isaiah 30:28
His breath is like an overflowing torrent, Which reaches to the neck, To shake the nations back and forth in a sieve, And to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which leads to ruin.

Isaiah 44:20
He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

Isaiah 59:3
For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness.
Treasury of Scripture

Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing whip shall pass through, it shall not come to us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

we have. To be in covenant with a thing, says Bp. Lowth, is a proverbial expression to denote perfect security from mischief or evil of which it is the cause.

Isaiah 5:18,19 Woe to them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it …

Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; …

Job 5:23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field: and the …

Job 15:25-27 For he stretches out his hand against God, and strengthens himself …

Jeremiah 44:17 But we will certainly do whatever thing goes forth out of our own …

Ezekiel 8:12 Then said he to me, Son of man, have you seen what the ancients of …

Hosea 2:18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of …

Zephaniah 1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem …

when

Isaiah 8:7,8 Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up on them the waters of the …

Daniel 11:22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflowed from before …

we have made

Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not …

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Jeremiah 14:13 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say to them, You …

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of …

Jeremiah 28:15-17 Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, …

Ezekiel 13:16,22 To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, …

Amos 2:4 Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, …

Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power …

(15) We have made a covenant with death . . .--The phrase was a proverbial one. (Comp. Job 5:23; Hosea 2:18.) Cheyne quotes Lucan, ix. 394, Pax illis cum morte data est (They have made peace with death"). "Hell" is the Hebrew Sheol (Hades), the region of the dead. The two are joined together, as in Hosea 13:14; Revelation 20:13-14.

When the overflowing scourge . . .--The words probably implied a sneer at the imagery which the prophet had used, painting the Assyrian invasion first as a flood (Isaiah 8:7-8), and then as a scourge (Isaiah 10:24). (Comp, Isaiah 28:2.) The scorners think that their "lies" will give them a refuge from the danger under either form.

Verse 15. - We have made a covenant with death (comp. Job 5:23; Hosea 2:18). The words are a boast, expressed somewhat enigmatically, that they have secured their own safety by some secret agreement. The exact nature of the agreement they are disinclined to divulge. With hell are we at agreement. A "synonymous parallelism," merely strengthening the previous assertion. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through. Assyrian invasion has been compared to a "flood" (Isaiah 8:7; Isaiah 28:2), and to a "rod" or "staff" in Isaiah 10:24. Here the two metaphors are joined together. It shall not come to us. Some means will be found - what, they do not say, either for diverting the flood, or for stemming it. For we have made lies our refuge. Here the Divine reporter departs from the language of those whose words he is reporting, and substitutes his own estimate of the true nature and true value of that "refuge" on which they placed such entire reliance. It appears by Isaiah 30:1-7 and Isaiah 36:6-9 that that refuge was Egypt. Now, Egypt was a "bruised reed," not to be depended on for keeping her engagements. To trust in her was to put confidence in "lies" and "falsehood." Because ye have said,.... Within themselves; they thought so, if they did not say it in express words; and their conduct and behaviour showed that these were the sentiments and presumptions of their minds:

We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement: as safe from death, and secure from hell, or the grave, as if a covenant and compact had been formally entered into between them. The phrases are expressive of their being fearless of them, and of their confidence and assurance that they should not be hurt by them. Some interpret this of their deadly enemies, as Sennacherib king of Assyria particularly, with whom they had made peace, and had entered into a covenant of friendship and alliance, and so had nothing to fear from the threatenings of the Lord by the prophet; but Vitringa, better, of the covenant and agreement with the Romans, which the Jewish rulers were careful to observe, and thought themselves safe on account of it; see Revelation 6:8,

when the overflowing scourge shall pass through; when the judgments of God shall come upon the earth, and pass through the whole world, as a chastisement and correction of men for their sins, and as a punishment for them, like a mighty torrent spreading itself, and carrying all before it; or particularly when the Assyrian monarch with his army shall pass through the land of Judea, signified, in Isaiah 28:2, by a tempest of hail, a destroying storm, a flood of mighty waters overflowing; or rather the Roman army invading Judea:

it shall not come unto us; who were in the city of Jerusalem:

for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves; not what they themselves reckoned so, but what the prophet Isaiah, or the Lord by him, called so, whose words they used, and in whose language they spoke; meaning either their lying prophets, as Kimchi, and the false doctrines they delivered to them, promising them peace when destruction was at hand; or their idols, as Jarchi, which are falsehood, lying vanities, and work of errors; or their carnal policy, arts of dissimulation, sinful compliances, and crafty methods of acting with their enemies, by which they hoped to deceive them, and secure themselves from destruction, as others; or else their wealth and riches, got by lying and fraud, which is the sense of some interpreters; and perhaps all may be intended in which they might put their trust and confidence, and on account of them expect security from threatened evils, though no other than lies and falsehood; and the same may be observed of all outward acts of religion, rites and ceremonies, and works of righteousness done by men, in which they place their trust, and hope to be saved by them from wrath to come. 15. said—virtually, in your conduct, if not in words.

covenant—There may be a tacit reference to their confidence in their "covenant" with the Assyrians in the early part of Hezekiah's prosperous reign, before he ceased to pay tribute to them, as if it ensured Judah from evil, whatever might befall the neighboring Ephraim (Isa 28:1). The full meaning is shown by the language ("covenant with death—hell," or sheol) to apply to all lulled in false security spiritually (Ps 12:4; Ec 8:8; Jer 8:11); the godly alone are in covenant with death (Job 5:23; Ho 2:18; 1Co 3:22).

overflowing scourge—two metaphors: the hostile Assyrian armies like an overwhelming flood.

pass through—namely, through Judea on their way to Egypt, to punish it as the protector of Samaria (2Ki 17:4).

lies—They did not use these words, but Isaiah designates their sentiments by their true name (Am 2:4).28:5-15 The prophet next turns to Judah, whom he calls the residue of his people. Happy are those alone, who glory in the Lord of hosts himself. Hence his people get wisdom and strength for every service and every conflict. But it is only in Christ Jesus that the holy God communicates with sinful man. And whether those that teach are drunk with wine, or intoxicated with false doctrines and notions concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah, they not only err themselves, but lead multitudes astray. All places where such persons have taught are filled with errors. For our instruction in the things of God, it is needful that the same precept and the same line should be often repeated to us, that we may the better understand them. God, by his word, calls us to what is really for our advantage; the service of God is the only true rest for those weary of the service of sin, and there is no refreshment but under the easy yoke of the Lord Jesus. All this had little effect upon the people. Those who will not understand what is plain, but scorn and despise it as mean and trifling, are justly punished. If we are at peace with God, we have, in effect, made a covenant with death; whenever it comes, it cannot do us any real damage, if we are Christ's. But to think of making death our friend, while by sin we are making God our enemy, is absurd. And do not they make lies their refuge who trust in their own righteousness, or to a death-bed repentance? which is a resolution to sin no more, when it is no longer in their power to do so.
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Alphabetical: a agreement an and Because boast by cannot concealed covenant death deception entered falsehood for grave have hiding into it lie made not our ourselves overwhelming pact passes place reach refuge said scourge Sheol sweeps the touch us We When will with You

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