Isaiah 9:9
And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
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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.And all the people shall know - Shall know the message; or shall know the judgment which God denounces against their crimes. The Chaldee renders this, 'All the people have exalted themselves, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, in their magnitude, and in the pride of thee heart.'

Ephraim - This is another name for Israel, as Ephraim was the principal tribe; Note, Isaiah 7:2.

And the inhabitants of Samaria - The capital of Ephraim or Israel; Note, Isaiah 7:9.

That say in the pride - This is a description of general and prevalent pride; and it is traced to the source of all pride - the heart. It was a desire of splendor, power, and magnificence, originating in the heart, and manifesting itself by the language of self-confidence and defiance at the judgments of God.

Stoutness - Hebrew 'Greatness.' It means a self-confident purpose; and indicates the state of feeling in a man when he trusts to his own resources, and not to God.

9. know—to their cost: experimentally (Ho 9:7).

Samaria—the capital of Ephraim (compare as to phrase, Isa 1:1).

Shall know, to wit, by experience; they shall know whether my word be true or false; they shall feel the effects of it.

Even Ephraim; the people of the ten tribes, and particularly Ephraim, the strongest and proudest of them all.

The inhabitant of Samaria; the strongest place, and the seat of the king and court, who were most secure and presumptuous.

That say within themselves, and one to another. They purpose and boast of it. And all the people shall know,.... The word of the Lord, and that it is his; and by sad experience shall feel the weight of it; or, "the people shall know the whole of it" (y); shall find that the whole of it will be accomplished, every punctilio in it; whatever is said is done, everything predicted by it, the substance of it, and every circumstance relating to it: or they shall be punished, they shall bear, know, and feel the punishment of their sins; in which sense the word "know", in the Arabic language, is frequently used, of which Schultens (z) has given many instances:

even Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria: the ten tribes are meant by Ephraim; and the inhabitants of Samaria are particularly mentioned, because Samaria was the metropolis of Ephraim, Isaiah 7:9 and because it was to suffer, and did suffer much in the threatened calamity, being besieged three years, then taken, and its inhabitants carried captive; and so experimentally knew the word of the Lord, and the truth of it, 2 Kings 17:5,

that say in the pride and stoutness of heart; being proud and haughty, stout hearted, and far from righteousness, and the fear of God; hardening themselves against him, despising his word, and defying, as it were, his power and providence; saying, as follows:

(y) "totum ejus". (z) Animadv. Philol. in Job, p. 77, 78.

And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
9. shall know] i.e. by its effects; Hosea 9:7.

that say] lit. “saying,” i.e. “as follows.” A verb seems to have dropped out; [for they boast] in pride and stoutness of heart saying.Verse 9. - Even Ephraim; rather, especially Ephraim. The prophecy is no doubt mainly directed against the northern kingdom. That say in the pride and stoutness of heart; rather, in the pride and stoutness of heart, wherein they say. In Isaiah 9:3 he says, in words of thanksgiving and praise: "Thou multipliest the nation, preparest it great joy; they rejoice before Thee like the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they share the spoil." "The nation" (haggoi) is undoubtedly Israel, reduced to a small remnant. That God would make this again into a numerous people, was a leading feature in the pictures drawn of the time of glory (Isaiah 26:15; Isaiah 66:8; Zechariah 14:10-11), which would be in this respect the counterpart of that of Solomon (1 Kings 4:20). If our explanation is the correct one so far, the only way to give an intelligible meaning to the chethib לא, taking it in a negative sense, is to render it, as Hengstenberg, Hitzig, and others have done, "Thou multipliest the nation to which Thou hadst formerly not given great joy," which must signify, per litoten, "the nation which Thou hadst plunged into deep sorrow." But it is unnatural to take any one of the prophetic preterites, commencing with hicbı̄d in Isaiah 9:1, in any other than a future sense. We must therefore give the preference to the Keri לו, and render it, "Thou makest of the nation a great multitude, and preparest it great joy." The pronoun loo is written first, as in Leviticus 7:7-9; Job 41:4 (keri), probably with the emphasis assumed by Drechsler: "to it, in which there was not the smallest indication of such an issue as this." The verbs "multiplied" (higdaltâ) and "increased" (hirbithâ) are intentionally written together, to put the intensity of the joy on a level with the extensiveness of the multitude. This joy would be a holy joy, as the expression "before Thee" implies: the expression itself recals the sacrificial meals in the courts of the temple (Deuteronomy 12:7; Deuteronomy 14:26). It would be a joy over blessings received, as the figure of the harvest indicates; and joy over evil averted, as the figure of dividing the spoil presupposes: for the division of booty is the business of conquerors. This second figure is not merely a figure: the people that are so joyous are really victorious and triumphant.

(Note: On the passages in which לא chethib is לו keri, see at Psalm 100:3 and Job 13:15.)

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