Isaiah 9:18
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

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.

Isaiah 9:18 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The great light would not arise till the darkness had reached its deepest point. The gradual increase of this darkness is predicted in this second section of the esoteric addresses. Many difficult questions suggest themselves in connection with this section. 1. Is it directed against the northern kingdom only, or against all Israel? 2. What was the historical standpoint of the prophet himself? The majority of commentators reply that the prophet is only prophesying against Ephraim here, and that Syria and Ephraim have already been chastised by Tiglath-pileser. The former is incorrect. The prophet does indeed commence with Ephraim, but he does not stop there. The fates of both kingdoms flow into one another here, as well as in Isaiah 8:5., just as they were causally connected in actual fact. And it cannot be maintained, that when the prophet uttered his predictions Ephraim had already felt the scourging of Tiglath-pileser. The prophet takes his stand at a time when judgment after judgment had fallen upon all Israel without improving it. And one of these past judgments was the scourging of Ephraim by Tiglath-pileser. How much or how little of the events which the prophet looks back upon from this ideal standpoint had already taken place, it is impossible to determine; but this is a matter of indifference so far as the prophecy is concerned. The prophet, from his ideal standing-place, had not only this or that behind him, but all that is expressed in this section by perfects and aorists (Ges. 129, 2, b). And we already know from Isaiah 2:9; Isaiah 5:25, that he sued the future conversive as the preterite of the ideal past. We therefore translate the whole in the present tense. In outward arrangement there is no section of Isaiah so symmetrical as this. In chapter 5 we found one partial approach to the strophe in similarity of commencement, and another in chapter 2 in similarity of conclusion. But here Isaiah 5:25 is adapted as the refrain of four symmetrical strophes. We will take each strophe by itself.

Strophe 1. Isa 9:8-12 "The Lord sends out a word against Jacob, and it descends into Israel. And all the people must make atonement, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, saying in pride and haughtiness of heart, 'Bricks are fallen down, and we build with square stones; sycamores are hewn down, and we put cedars in their place.' Jehovah raises Rezin's oppressors high above him, and pricks up his enemies: Aram from the east, and Philistines from the west; they devour Israel with full mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still." The word (dâbâr) is both in nature and history the messenger of the Lord: it runs quickly through the earth (Psalm 147:15, Psalm 147:18), and when sent by the Lord, comes to men to destroy or to heal (Psalm 107:20), and never returns to its sender void (Isaiah 55:10-11). Thus does the Lord now send a word against Jacob (Jacob, as in Isaiah 2:5); and this heavenly messenger descends into Israel (nâphal, as in Daniel 4:28, and like the Arabic nazala, which is the word usually employed to denote the communication of divine revelation), taking shelter, as it were, in the soul of the prophet. Its immediate commission is directed against Ephraim, which has been so little humbled by the calamities that have fallen upon it since the time of Jehu, that the people are boasting that they will replace bricks and sycamores (or sycamines, from shikmin), that wide-spread tree (1 Kings 10:27), with works of art and cedars. "We put in their place:" nachaliph is not used here as in Job 14:7, where it signifies to sprout again (nova germina emittere), but as in Isaiah 40:31; Isaiah 41:1, where it is construed with כּח (strength), and signifies to renew (novas vires assumere). In this instance, when the object is one external to the subject, the meaning is to substitute (substituere), like the Arabic achlafa, to restore. The poorest style of building in the land is contrasted with the best; for "the sycamore is a tree which only flourishes in the plain, and there the most wretched houses are still built of bricks dried in the sun, and of knotty beams of sycamore."

(Note: Rosen, Topographisches aus Jerusalem.)

These might have been destroyed by the war, but more durable and stately buildings would rise up in their place. Ephraim, however, would be made to feel this defiance of the judgments of God (to "know," as in Hosea 9:7; Ezekiel 25:14). Jehovah would give the adversaries of Rezin authority over Ephraim, and instigate his foes: sicsēc, as in Isaiah 19:2, from sâcac, in its primary sense of "prick," figere, which has nothing to do with the meanings to plait and cover, but from which we have the words שׂך, סך, a thorn, nail, or plug, and which is probably related to שׂכה, to view, lit., to fix; hence pilpel, to prick up, incite, which is the rendering adopted by the Targum here and in Isaiah 19:2, and by the lxx at Isaiah 19:2. There is no necessity to quote the talmudic sicsēc, to kindle (by friction), which is never met with in the metaphorical sense of exciting. It would be even better to take our sicsēc as an intensive form of sâcac, used in the same sense as the Arabic, viz., to provide one's self with weapons, to arm; but this is probably a denominative from sicca, signifying offensive armour, with the idea of pricking and spearing - a radical notion, from which it would be easy to get at the satisfactory meaning, to spur on or instigate. "The oppressors of Rezin" tzâr Retzı̄n, a simple play upon the words, like hoi goi in Isaiah 1:4, and many others in Isaiah) are the Assyrians, whose help had been sought by Ahaz against Rezin; though perhaps not these exclusively, but possibly also the Trachonites, for example, against whom the mountain fortress Rezı̄n appears to have been erected, to protect the rich lands of eastern Hauran. In Isaiah 9:12 the range of vision stretches over all Israel. It cannot be otherwise, for the northern kingdom never suffered anything from the Philistines; whereas an invasion of Judah by the Philistines was really one of the judgments belonging to the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:16-19). Consequently by Israel here we are to understand all Israel, the two halves of which would become a rich prize to the enemy. Ephraim would be swallowed up by Aram - namely, by those who had been subjugated by Asshur, and were now tributary to it - and Judah would be swallowed up by the Philistines. But this strait would be very far from being the end of the punishments of God. Because Israel would not turn, the wrath of God would not turn away.

Isaiah 9:18 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

wickedness

Isaiah 1:31 And the strong shall be as wick, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

Isaiah 30:30,33 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger...

Isaiah 33:12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.

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

Isaiah 66:16,17 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many...

Numbers 11:1-3 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled...

Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase...

Job 31:11,12 For this is an heinous crime; yes, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges...

Amos 7:4 Thus has the Lord GOD showed to me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep...

Nahum 1:6,10 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire...

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly...

Matthew 13:49,50 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just...

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire...

Mark 9:43-50 And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell...

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 in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

Hebrews 6:8 But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is near to cursing; whose end is to be burned.

shall kindle

Ezekiel 20:47,48 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in you...

mount

Isaiah 5:24 Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness...

Psalm 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume...

Hosea 13:3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passes away...

Joel 2:20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate...

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image...

Cross References
Psalm 68:2
As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God!

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

Isaiah 1:7
Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.

Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 26:11
O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: "Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?"

Isaiah 50:11
Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

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