Isaiah 9:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Surely wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns, it sets the forest thickets ablaze, so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.

New Living Translation
This wickedness is like a brushfire. It burns not only briers and thorns but also sets the forests ablaze. Its burning sends up clouds of smoke.

English Standard Version
For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns; it kindles the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

New American Standard Bible
For wickedness burns like a fire; It consumes briars and thorns; It even sets the thickets of the forest aflame And they roll upward in a column of smoke.

King James Bible
For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For wickedness burns like a fire that consumes thorns and briers and kindles the forest thickets so that they go up in a column of smoke.

International Standard Version
"For wickedness has burned like a blaze that consumes briers and thorns; it sets thickets of the forest on fire, and skyward they swirl in a column of smoke.

NET Bible
For evil burned like a fire, it consumed thorns and briers; it burned up the thickets of the forest, and they went up in smoke.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Surely wickedness burns like fire. It burns up briars and thorns. It sets the underbrush in the forest on fire, and it whirls upward in clouds of smoke.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For wickedness burns as the fire, it shall devour the briers and thorns and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.

King James 2000 Bible
For wickedness burns as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the rising of smoke.

American King James Version
For wickedness burns as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.

American Standard Version
For wickedness burneth as the fire; it devoureth the briers and thorns; yea, it kindleth in the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For wickedness is kindled as a fire, it shall devour the brier and the thorn: and shall kindle in the thicket of the forest, and it shall be wrapped up in smoke ascending on high.

Darby Bible Translation
For wickedness burneth as a fire: it devoureth briars and thorns, and kindleth in the thickets of the forest, and they go rolling up like a pillar of smoke.

English Revised Version
For wickedness burneth as the fire; it devoureth the briers and thorns: yea, it kindleth in the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in thick clouds of smoke.

Webster's Bible Translation
For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the rising of smoke.

World English Bible
For wickedness burns like a fire. It devours the briers and thorns; yes, it kindles in the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

Young's Literal Translation
For burned as a fire hath wickedness, Brier and thorn it devoureth, And it kindleth in thickets of the forest, And they lift themselves up, an exaltation of smoke!
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:8-21 Those are ripening apace for ruin, whose hearts are unhumbled under humbling providences. For that which God designs, in smiting us, is, to turn us to himself; and if this point be not gained by lesser judgments, greater may be expected. The leaders of the people misled them. We have reason to be afraid of those that speak well of us, when we do ill. Wickedness was universal, all were infected with it. They shall be in trouble, and see no way out; and when men's ways displease the Lord, he makes even their friends to be at war with them. God would take away those they thought to have help from. Their rulers were the head. Their false prophets were the tail and the rush, the most despicable. In these civil contests, men preyed on near relations who were as their own flesh. The people turn not to Him who smites them, therefore he continues to smite: for when God judges, he will overcome; and the proudest, stoutest sinner shall either bend or break.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18. - Wickedness burneth as the fire; i.e. the contagion of wickedness overspreads a whole nation in the same rapid way that fire spreads over a field of stubble or a forest. They shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke; rather, they - i.e., the forest thickets - shall be whirled upward with the uplifting of smoke. The burning thickets shall mount up with the volumes of smoke into the air, and hang there as a murky but lurid pall. The flames of wickedness give no light to a land, but lunge it in heavy, hopeless gloom.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For wickedness burneth as the fire,.... That is, the punishment of their sins, as the Targum interprets it; the wrath of God for sin, which is poured out like fire, and consumes as that does; unless wicked men are meant, who are consumed with the fire of divine vengeance; the sense is the same:

it shall devour the briers and thorns; sinners and ungodly, so the Targum paraphrases it; and Aben Ezra observes, they are the wicked; who are compared to briers and thorns, for their unfruitfulness in themselves, harmfulness to others, and for their weakness to stand against the fury of incensed Deity, see 2 Samuel 23:6,

and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest. Kimchi thinks there is a gradation in these words, that as fire first begins to burn the thorns, and smaller wood, and then the greater; so wickedness consumes first the little ones, who are the thorns, and after that it kindles in the thickets of the forest, who are the great ones; so the commonwealth of Israel is compared to a forest; and the thorns, briers, and thickets, may denote the common people and their governors, who all being guilty of wickedness, should not escape the vengeance of God:

and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke: or lift up themselves, or be lifted up; so Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret the word; but Jarchi thinks it has the signification of "to be perplexed": and gives the sense of it thus; they are perplexed, and shut up with the strength of smoke that burns: others take it to be a word of the same meaning with and render it, "they shall pulverize", or "go into dust in the lifting up of smoke" (d); and denotes the dissolution of the commonwealth; but perhaps it may be better rendered, "though they shall walk proudly" (or behave haughtily), their "pride" shall be as "smoke", which soon vanishes away; since the word, which is only here used, in the Syriac language signifies to walk proudly, as a cock with two crests (e).

(d) "et epulverabitur erectione fumi", Cocceius; "adeo ut in minutissimum pulverem abeant elato fumo, vel elatione fumi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (e) "Et superbient, (fastuose se gerent,) at superbia (vel quorum superbia) fumus, h. e. fumi instar, evanescit, interibit, quod etiam Armenis indigiat, isfud vacobulum `Abac', Syr. galus, gallinaceus, superbo gradu incedens et bicristatus", Castel. Lexicon Polyglott. Colossians 12.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18-21. Third strophe.

burneth—maketh consumption, not only spreading rapidly, but also consuming like fire: sin is its own punishment.

briers … thorns—emblem of the wicked; especially those of low rank (Isa 27:4; 2Sa 23:6).

forest—from the humble shrubbery the flame spreads to the vast forest; it reaches the high, as well as the low.

mount up like … smoke—rather. "They (the thickets of the forest) shall lift themselves proudly aloft [the Hebrew is from a Syriac root, a cock, expressing stateliness of motion, from his strutting gait, Horsley], in (in passing into) volumes of ascending smoke" [Maurer].

Isaiah 9:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
Judgment against Israel's Unrepentance
18For wickedness burns like a fire; It consumes briars and thorns; It even sets the thickets of the forest aflame And they roll upward in a column of smoke. 19By the fury of the LORD of hosts the land is burned up, And the people are like fuel for the fire; No man spares his brother.…
Cross References
Psalm 68:2
May you blow them away like smoke-- as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.

Psalm 83:14
As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,

Isaiah 1:7
Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.

Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 26:11
LORD, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"

Isaiah 50:11
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.

Ezekiel 20:47
Say to the southern forest: 'Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north will be scorched by it.

Joel 2:3
Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste-- nothing escapes them.

Obadiah 1:18
Jacob will be a fire and Joseph a flame; Esau will be stubble, and they will set him on fire and destroy him. There will be no survivors from Esau." The LORD has spoken.

Nahum 1:10
They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble.

Malachi 4:1
"Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them.
Treasury of Scripture

For wickedness burns as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.

wickedness

Isaiah 1:31 And the strong shall be as wick, and the maker of it as a spark, …

Isaiah 30:30,33 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall …

Isaiah 33:12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up …

Isaiah 34:8-10 For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompenses …

Isaiah 66:16,17 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: …

Numbers 11:1-3 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD …

Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, …

Job 31:11,12 For this is an heinous crime; yes, it is an iniquity to be punished …

Amos 7:4 Thus has the Lord GOD showed to me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called …

Nahum 1:6,10 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness …

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the …

Matthew 13:49,50 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, …

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, …

Mark 9:43-50 And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to …

it shall

Isaiah 10:16-18 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness…

Isaiah 27:4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me …

Hebrews 6:8 But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is near to …

shall kindle

Ezekiel 20:47,48 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus …

mount

Isaiah 5:24 Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes …

Psalm 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be …

Hosea 13:3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew …

Joel 2:20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive …

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and …

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