Isaiah 48:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze.

New Living Translation
For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze.

English Standard Version
Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass,

New American Standard Bible
"Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron sinew And your forehead bronze,

King James Bible
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Because I know that you are stubborn, and your neck is iron and your forehead bronze,

International Standard Version
Because I knew that you are obstinate, and because your neck is an iron sinew, and your forehead is bronze,

NET Bible
I did this because I know how stubborn you are. Your neck muscles are like iron and your forehead like bronze.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I know that you are stubborn. Like iron, you are hardheaded. Like bronze, nothing gets through your thick skull.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Because I know that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow bronze;

King James 2000 Bible
Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow bronze;

American King James Version
Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass;

American Standard Version
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I knew that thou art stubborn, and thy neck is as an iron sinew, and thy forehead as brass.

Darby Bible Translation
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass,

English Revised Version
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Webster's Bible Translation
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

World English Bible
Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass;

Young's Literal Translation
From my knowing that thou art obstinate, And a sinew of iron thy neck, And thy forehead brass,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

48:1-8 The Jews valued themselves on descent from Jacob, and used the name of Jehovah as their God. They prided themselves respecting Jerusalem and the temple, yet there was no holiness in their lives. If we are not sincere in religion, we do but take the name of the Lord in vain. By prophecy they were shown how God would deal with them, long before it came to pass. God has said and done enough to prevent men's boasting of themselves, which makes the sin and ruin of the proud worse; sooner or later every mouth shall be stopped, and all become silent before Him. We are all born children of disobedience. Where original sin is, actual sin will follow. Does not the conscience of every man witness to the truth of Scripture? May the Lord prove us, and render us doers of the word.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - I knew that thou art obstinate; literally, hard, or stiff - the adjective used in the phrase translated in our version "stiff-necked." The idea is still more forcibly expressed in the following clause - thy neck is an iron sinew; or rather, a band of iron, as stiff as if it were made-of the hardest metal. And thy brow brass. The exact simile here used does not occur elsewhere in Scripture. It seems to be the origin of our expressions, "brazen,... brazen-faced," "to brazen a thing out." The forehead may be hardened for a good or for a bad purpose; in obstinacy or in a determination to resist evil (comp. Isaiah 1:7 and Ezekiel 3:8 with Jeremiah 5:3; Ezekiel 3:7; Zechariah 7:12). Here the hardening is evil, marking defiance and self-will.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Because I knew that thou art obstinate,.... Or "hard" (a), hard hearted, an obdurate and rebellious people, contradicting and gainsaying:

and thy neck is as an iron sinew; stiffnecked, inflexible, not compliant with the will of God, and his commands; unwilling to admit his yoke, and bear it:

and thy brow brass; impudent, not ashamed of sin, nor blushing at it, refusing to receive correction for it, having a whore's forehead. This the Lord knew and foreknew, and therefore declared before hand what would come to pass unto them; who otherwise would have had the assurance to have ascribed them to themselves, or their idols, and not to him.

(a) "quod durus tu es", Pagninus, Montanus; "te durum esse", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vitringa.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. obstinate—Hebrew, "hard" (De 9:27; Eze 3:7, Margin).

iron sinew—inflexible (Ac 7:51).

brow brass—shameless as a harlot (see Jer 6:28; 3:3; Eze 3:7, Margin).

Isaiah 48:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Israel's Stubbornness
3"I declared the former things long ago And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4"Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron sinew And your forehead bronze, 5Therefore I declared them to you long ago, Before they took place I proclaimed them to you, So that you would not say, 'My idol has done them, And my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.'…
Cross References
Acts 7:51
"You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Exodus 32:9
"I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people.

Deuteronomy 31:27
For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die!

2 Chronicles 36:13
He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take an oath in God's name. He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart and would not turn to the LORD, the God of Israel.

Proverbs 29:1
Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy.

Isaiah 46:12
Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness.

Ezekiel 2:4
The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.'

Ezekiel 3:7
But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate.
Treasury of Scripture

Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass;

I knew

Isaiah 46:12 Listen to me, you stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

Psalm 78:8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; …

Zechariah 7:11,12 But they refused to listen, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped …

obstinate. Heb. hard

Jeremiah 5:3 O LORD, are not your eyes on the truth? you have stricken them, but …

Ezekiel 3:4-7 And he said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, …

Daniel 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, …

Romans 2:5 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself …

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any …

and they

Exodus 32:9 And the LORD said to Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, …

Exodus 33:3,5 To a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the …

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked.

Deuteronomy 31:27 For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck: behold, while I am …

2 Kings 17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like …

2 Chronicles 30:8 Now be you not stiff necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves …

2 Chronicles 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him …

Nehemiah 9:16,17,28 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, …

Psalm 75:5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.

Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardens his neck, shall suddenly be …

Jeremiah 7:26 Yet they listened not to me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened …

Jeremiah 19:15 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold…

Zechariah 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should …

Acts 7:51 You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always …

they brow

Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter …

Ezekiel 3:7-9 But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not …

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