Isaiah 8:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

King James Bible
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

American Standard Version
To the law and to the testimony! if they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To the law rather, and to the testimony. And if they speak not according to this word, they shall not have the morning light.

English Revised Version
To the law and to the testimony! if they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.

Webster's Bible Translation
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Isaiah 8:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The object of their fear was a very different one. "Jehovah of hosts, sanctify Him; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your terror. So will He become a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence (vexation) to both the houses of Israel, a snare and trap to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and shall fall; and be dashed to pieces, and be snared and taken." The logical apodosis to Isaiah 8:13 commences with v'hâhâh (so shall He be). If ye actually acknowledge Jehovah the Holy One as the Holy One (hikdı̄sh, as in Isaiah 29:23), and if it is He whom ye fear, and who fills you with dread (ma‛arı̄tz, used for the object of dread, as mōrah is for the object of fear; hence "that which terrifies" in a causative sense), He will become a mikdâsh. The word mikdâsh may indeed denote the object sanctified, and so Knobel understands it here according to Numbers 18:29; but if we adhere to the strict notion of the word, this gives an unmeaning apodosis. Mikdâsh generally means the sanctified place or sanctuary, with which the idea of an asylum would easily associate itself, since even among the Israelites the temple was regarded and respected as an asylum (1 Kings 1:50; 1 Kings 2:28). This is the explanation which most of the commentators have adopted here; and the punctuators also took it in the same sense, when they divided the two halves of Isaiah 8:14 by athnach as antithetical. And mikdâsh is really to be taken in this sense, although it cannot be exactly rendered "asylum," since this would improperly limit the meaning of the word. The temple was not only a place of shelter, but also of grace, blessing, and peace. All who sanctified the Lord of lords He surrounded like temple walls; hid them in Himself, whilst death and tribulation reigned without, and comforted, fed, and blessed them in His own gracious fellowship. This is the true explanation of v'hâyâh l'mikdâs, according to such passages as Isaiah 4:5-6; Psalm 27:5; Psalm 31:21. To the two houses of Israel, on the contrary, i.e., to the great mass of the people of both kingdoms who neither sanctified nor feared Jehovah, He would be a rock and snare. The synonyms are intentionally heaped together (cf., Isaiah 28:13), to produce the fearful impression of death occurring in many forms, but all inevitable. The first three verbs of Isaiah 8:15 refer to the "stone" ('eben) and "rock" (tzūr); the last two to the "snare" (pach), and "trap" or springe (mōkēsh).

(Note: Malbim observes quite correctly, that "the pach catches, but does not hurt; the mokesh catches and hurts (e.g., by seizing the legs or nose, Job 40:24): the former is a simple snare (or net), the latter a springe, or snare which catches by means of a spring" (Amos 3:5).)

All who did not give glory to Jehovah would be dashed to pieces upon His work as upon a stone, and caught therein as in a trap. This was the burden of the divine warning, which the prophet heard for himself and for those that believed.

Isaiah 8:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the law

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

Luke 10:26 He said to him, What is written in the law? how read you?

Luke 16:29-31 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them...

John 5:39,46,47 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me...

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind...

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying...

Galatians 4:21,22 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law...

2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures...

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place...

it is

Isaiah 30:8-11 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever...

Psalm 19:7,8 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple...

Psalm 119:130 The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: see, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

Micah 3:6 Therefore night shall be to you, that you shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark to you, that you shall not divine...

Matthew 6:23 But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness...

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Mark 7:7-9 However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men...

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

light. Heb. morning

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day.

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come to us as the rain...

Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth...

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place...

Cross References
Luke 16:29
But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'

Psalm 78:5
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,

Isaiah 1:10
Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

Isaiah 8:16
Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples.

Isaiah 8:22
And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Micah 3:6
Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;

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