|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.
Verses 8-21. - THE PROPHET RETURNS TO THREATS AND WARNINGS, ADDRESSED CHIEFLY TO THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL. The remainder of this chapter, together with the first four verses of the next, seems to have formed originally a distinct and separate prophecy. The passage is a poem in four stanzas, with the same refrain at the end of each: "For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." A somewhat early date has been assigned to the prophecy, as; for instance, "some period in the reign of Jotham" (Cheyne); but the internal evidence only proves that it was written before the destruction of Samaria by the Assyrians. Verse 8. - Jacob... Israel. These words do not show that the prophecy is directed against the kingdom of Israel only. "Jacob" designates Judah rather than Israel in Isaiah 2:3, 5, 6; and the expression, "both the houses of Israel," in Isaiah 8:14, shows that the term "Israel" embraces both kingdoms. Tim distinctive names by which Isaiah ordinarily designates the northern kingdom are "Ephraim" and "Samaria."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord sent a word unto Jacob,.... The prophet, having comforted Judah with the promise of the Messiah, returns to denounce the judgments of God upon the ten tribes, under the names of Jacob and Israel, which signify the same; for the "word" here is not the word of promise, the comfortable word concerning the Messiah before mentioned; but a word of threatening, ruin, and destruction, to the kingdom of Israel, after enlarged upon, which the Lord sent unto them by his prophets before hand, to warn them of it, and bring them to repentance; by which they would know, when it came to pass, that their destruction was of the Lord, and not a matter of chance: the Septuagint version is, "the Lord sent death upon Jacob"; and so the Arabic version, following it; the same word, differently pointed, being used for the pestilence, but is not the sense here; the Targum, Syriac, and Vulgate Latin versions, render it, "a word", as we do:
and it hath lighted upon Israel, or "hath fallen" (x); as an arrow shot out of a bow, as some think; or as seed cast upon the earth; or rather like a thunderbolt: it denotes the sure and full accomplishment of the word of God upon the persons to whom it was sent; for as his word of promise, so of threatening, does not return to him void and empty, Isaiah 55:10. The Targum is,
"the Lord sent a word into the house of Jacob, and it was heard in Israel.''
(x) "cecidit", Grotius, Cocccius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Isa 9:8-10:4. Prophecy as to the Ten Tribes.
Delivered a little later than the previous one. The ninth and tenth chapters ought to have been so divided. The present division into chapters was made by Cardinal Hugo, in A.D. 1250; and into verses, by Robert Stephens, the famous printer of Paris, in 1551. After the Assyrian invasion of Syria, that of Ephraim shall follow (2Ki 16:9); Isa 9:8-11, 17-20, foretell the intestine discords in Israel after Hoshea had slain Pekah (A.D. 739), that is, just after the Assyrian invasions, when for seven years it was stripped of magistrates and torn into factions. There are four strophes, each setting forth Ephraim's crime and consequent punishment, and ending with the formula, "For all this His anger is not turned away," &c. (Isa 9:12, 17, 21, and Isa 10:4).
8. Heading of the prophecy; (Isa 9:8-12), the first strophe.
unto Jacob—against the ten tribes [Lowth].
lighted upon—fallen from heaven by divine revelation (Da 4:31).
Isaiah 9:8 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 9:8 NIV
Isaiah 9:8 NLT
Isaiah 9:8 ESV
Isaiah 9:8 NASB
Isaiah 9:8 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible