Isaiah 47:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.

New Living Translation
So disaster will overtake you, and you won't be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you, and you won't be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will strike you suddenly, one for which you are not prepared.

English Standard Version
But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing.

New American Standard Bible
"But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly.

King James Bible
Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But disaster will happen to you; you will not know how to avert it. And it will fall on you, but you will be unable to ward it off. Devastation will happen to you suddenly and unexpectedly.

International Standard Version
"But disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to charm it away. A calamity will befall you that you will not be able to ward off; and devastation will come upon you suddenly, and you won't anticipate it.

NET Bible
Disaster will overtake you; you will not know how to charm it away. Destruction will fall on you; you will not be able to appease it. Calamity will strike you suddenly, before you recognize it.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore disaster will come on you; you won't know when it dawns: and calamity will fall on you; you will not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come on you suddenly and unexpectedly.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But evil will happen to you. You won't know how to keep it away. Disaster will strike you. You won't be able to stop it. Destruction will overtake you suddenly. You won't expect it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Yet shall evil came upon thee; Thou shalt not know how to charm it away; And calamity shall fall upon thee; Thou shalt not be able to put it away; And ruin shall come upon thee suddenly, Before thou knowest.

New American Standard 1977
“But evil will come on you
            Which you will not know how to charm away;
            And disaster will fall on you
            For which you cannot atone,
            And destruction about which you do not know
            Will come on you suddenly.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from where it rises; and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and destruction shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore shall evil come upon you; you shall not know from where it rises: and mischief shall fall upon you; you shall not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.

American King James Version
Therefore shall evil come on you; you shall not know from where it rises: and mischief shall fall on you; you shall not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come on you suddenly, which you shall not know.

American Standard Version
Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know the dawning thereof: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou knowest not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Evil shall come upon thee, and then shalt not know the rising thereof: and calamity shall fall violently upon thee, which thou canst not keep off: misery shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

Darby Bible Translation
But evil shall come upon thee -- thou shalt not know from whence it riseth; and mischief shall fall upon thee, which thou shalt not be able to ward off; and desolation that thou suspectest not shall come upon thee suddenly.

English Revised Version
Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know the dawning thereof: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou knowest not.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

World English Bible
Therefore evil will come on you; you won't know when it dawns: and mischief will fall on you; you will not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come on you suddenly, which you don't know.

Young's Literal Translation
And come in on thee hath evil, Thou knowest not its rising, And fall on thee doth mischief, Thou art not able to pacify it, And come on thee suddenly doth desolation, Thou knowest not.
Study Bible
The Fall of Babylon Predicted
10"You felt secure in your wickedness and said, 'No one sees me,' Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me.' 11"But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly. 12"Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling.…
Cross References
Luke 17:27
People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

1 Thessalonians 5:3
While people are saying, "Peace and security," destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Psalm 35:8
Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.

Psalm 55:15
Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

Psalm 73:19
How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

Proverbs 13:21
Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.

Isaiah 13:6
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 29:5
But the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust, And the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; And it will happen instantly, suddenly.

Isaiah 30:13
Therefore this iniquity will be to you Like a breach about to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant,

Isaiah 45:7
The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore shall evil come on you; you shall not know from where it rises: and mischief shall fall on you; you shall not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come on you suddenly, which you shall not know.

thou shalt not know

Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the …

Exodus 12:29,30 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn …

Nehemiah 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till …

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, …

from whence it riseth. Heb. the morning thereof.
thou shalt not be

Psalm 50:22 Now consider this, you that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, …

Jeremiah 51:39-42 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, …

Daniel 5:25-30 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN…

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction …

Revelation 18:9,10 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived …

put it off. Heb. expiate

Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till …

Luke 12:59 I tell you, you shall not depart there, till you have paid the very last mite.

(11) Thou shalt not be able to put it off . . .--The words have been variously rendered: (1) of which thou shalt know no dawn, i.e., after the night of calamity; and (2) which thou shalt not be able to charm away. Stress is laid on the destruction being at once unforeseen and irretrievable.

Verse 11. - Therefore shall evil come upon thee. Connect this with the first clause of ver. 10, "Thou hast trusted in thine own evil (moral), therefore shall evil (physical) fall upon thee." The same word, ra'ah, is used in both places. Thou shalt not know from whence it riseth. So the Vulgate, Vitringa, Gesenius, and Dr. Kay. But the bulk of modern commentators (Hitzig, Ewald, Delitzsch, Nagelsbach, Weir, Cheyne) render, "Thou wilt not know how to charm it away." Both meanings are possible, and are almost equally good; but the parallelism of the clauses is in favour of the latter rendering. Shakhrah should correspond in construction, as in sound, with kapp'rah. To put it off; literally, to expiate; i.e. to get rid of it by means of expiatory rites. Which thou shalt not know; or, of which thou shalt not be aware. (On the carelessness and want of foresight displayed by the Babylonians, see the comment on ver. 8.) Therefore shall evil come upon thee,.... The evil of punishment, a great calamity; so Nebuchadnezzar foretold, as Abydenus relates (o), that a calamity, should come upon the Babylonians; a day of evil, because of the above sins Babylon was guilty of:

thou shall not know from whence it riseth; from what quarter it will come, little dreaming of Cyrus, with whom the Chaldeans had had no quarrel. So mystical Babylon will not know from whence her ruin will come; little thinking that the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication with her, and have given their kingdoms to her, will hate her, and burn her flesh with fire: or, "thou shall not know the morning of it" (p): that is, on what day, or at what time, it will be. Babylon was taken when it was not thought of, as appears from the book of Daniel, and profane history. Aristotle (q) reports, that it was said, that the third day after Babylon was taken, one part of the city did not know that it was taken. Or the sense is, this day of evil and calamity should be such a dark and gloomy day, there should be no light in it, it should be as the night, and therefore its morning or light should not be known, so Aben Ezra: "and mischief shall fall upon thee"; contrived for others; the pit dug for others she should fall into herself: though the phrase seems to denote the mischief coming from above, by the hand of heaven, and suddenly and irresistibly; which should fall with weight and vengeance upon her, to the crushing and utter destruction of her:

thou shalt not be able to put it off; or, "to expiate it" (r); and atone for it, either by prayers and entreaties, which God will not regard, Isaiah 47:3 or by gifts, or by ransom price, by gold and silver, which the Medes and Persians were no lovers of, Isaiah 13:17,

and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know; that is, before hand; neither the persons from whom nor the time when it shall come; notwithstanding their astrologers, diviners, and monthly prognosticators, pretended to tell what would come to pass every day; but not being able by their art to give the least hint of Babylon's destruction, as to either time or means, the Chaldeans were in great security, quite ignorant of their ruin at hand, and which therefore came suddenly and unawares upon them; as will the destruction of mystical Babylon.

(o) Ib. c. 41. p. 456. (p) "non scis auroram ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Cocceius; "cujus non cognoscis auroram", Vitringa. That is, as Ben Melech explains it, thou shalt not know the time of its coming; for it shall come suddenly, as a thing comes in a morning, which a man is not aware of till he sees it. (q) Politic. l. 3. c. 3.((r) "non potens placare eam", Montanus; "expiare", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Vitringa. 11. from whence it riseth—Hebrew, "the dawn thereof," that is, its first rising. Evil shall come on thee without the least previous intimation [Rosenmuller]. But dawn is not applied to "evil," but to prosperity shining out after misery (Isa 21:12). Translate, "Thou shall not see any dawn" (of alleviation) [Maurer].

put … off—rather, as Margin, "remove by expiation"; it shall be never ending.

not know—unawares: which thou dost not apprehend. Proving the fallacy of thy divinations and astrology (Job 9:5; Ps 35:8).47:7-15 Let us beware of acting and speaking as Babylon did; of trusting in tyranny and oppression; of boasting as to our abilities, relying on ourselves, and ascribing success to our own prudence and wisdom; lest we partake of her plagues. Those in the height of prosperity, are apt to fancy themselves out of the reach of adversity. It is also common for sinners to think they shall be safe, because they think to be secret in wicked ways. But their security shall be their ruin. Let us draw from such passages as the foregoing, those lessons of humility and trust in God which they convey. If we believe the word of God, we may know how it will be with the righteous and the wicked to all eternity. We may learn how to escape the wrath to come, to glorify God, to have peace through life, hope in death, and everlasting happiness. Let us then stand aloof from all delusions.
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