Isaiah 8:21
New International Version
Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God.

New Living Translation
They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven

English Standard Version
They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward.

Berean Study Bible
They will roam the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged; and looking upward, they will curse their king and their God.

King James Bible
And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

New King James Version
They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

New American Standard Bible
They will pass through the land dejected and hungry, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will become enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward.

NASB 1995
They will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward.

NASB 1977
And they will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward.

Amplified Bible
They [who consult mediums and soothsayers] will pass through the land deeply distressed and hungry, and when they are hungry, they will become enraged and will curse their king and their God as they look upward.

Christian Standard Bible
They will wander through the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged, and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They will wander through the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged, and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God.

American Standard Version
And they shall pass through it, sore distressed and hungry; and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their king and by their God, and turn their faces upward:

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he shall go through in it and he shall strike it, and he shall be hungry, and when he is hungry, he shall be afraid, and he shall insult his King and his God, and he shall return above

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And famine shall come sorely upon you, and it shall come to pass, that when ye shall be hungry, ye shall be grieved, and ye shall speak ill of the prince and your fathers' ordinances: and they shall look up to heaven above,

Contemporary English Version
They will go around in great pain and will become so hungry that they will angrily curse their king and their gods. And when they try to find help in heaven

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they shall pass by it, they shall fall, and be hungry: and when they shall be hungry, they will be angry, and curse their king, and their God, and look upwards.

English Revised Version
And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their king and by their God, and turn their faces upward.

Good News Translation
The people will wander through the land, discouraged and hungry. In their hunger and their anger they will curse their king and their God. They may look up to the sky

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They will pass through the land when they are hard-pressed and hungry. When they are hungry, they will be furious. Then they will look up, cursing their king and God.

International Standard Version
"They'll pass through the land, while greatly distressed and hungry. When they are hungry, they'll become enraged, and they'll curse their king and their god. They'll turn their faces upwards,

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they shall pass this way that are sore bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse by their king and by their God, and, whether they turn their faces upward,

Literal Standard Version
And it has passed over into it, hardened and hungry, And it has come to pass, That it is hungry, and has been angry, And made light of its king, and of its God, And has looked upwards.

NET Bible
They will pass through the land destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry, and they will curse their king and their God as they look upward.

New Heart English Bible
They will pass through it, greatly distressed and hungry; and it will happen that when they are hungry, they will worry, and curse by their king and by their God. They will turn their faces upward,

World English Bible
They will pass through it, very distressed and hungry; and it will happen that when they are hungry, they will worry, and curse by their king and by their God. They will turn their faces upward,

Young's Literal Translation
-- And it hath passed over into it, hardened and hungry, And it hath come to pass, That it is hungry, and hath been wroth, And made light of its king, and of its God, And hath looked upwards.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Darkness and Light
20To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. 21They will roam the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged; and looking upward, they will curse their king and their God. 22Then they will look to the earth and see only distress and darkness and the gloom of anguish. And they will be driven into utter darkness.…

Cross References
Leviticus 24:11
The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse. So they brought him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.)

1 Samuel 8:18
When that day comes, you will beg for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you on that day."

2 Kings 6:33
While Elisha was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him. And the king said, "This calamity is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?"

Job 18:12
His strength is depleted, and calamity is ready at his side.

Proverbs 19:3
A man's own folly subverts his way, yet his heart rages against the LORD.

Isaiah 9:20
They carve out what is on the right, but they are still hungry; they eat what is on the left, but they are still not satisfied. Each one devours the flesh of his own offspring.

Isaiah 9:21
Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; together they turn against Judah. Despite all this, His anger is not turned away; His hand is still upraised.


Treasury of Scripture

And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

through

Isaiah 8:7,8
Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: …

hardly bestead

Isaiah 9:20
And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:

Deuteronomy 28:33,34,53-57
The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: …

2 Kings 25:3
And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

they shall fret

Proverbs 19:3
The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.

curse

Exodus 22:28
Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

2 Kings 6:33
And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

Job 1:11
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.









(21) And they shall pass through it . . .--i.e., through the land over which hangs the sunless gloom. The abruptness with which the verse opens, the absence of any noun to which the pronoun "it" may refer, has led some critics (Cheyne) to transpose the two verses. So arranged, the thought of the people for whom there is no dawning passes naturally into the picture of their groping in that thick darkness. and then the misery of that midnight wandering is aggravated by the horrors of starvation. The words may point to the horrors of a literal famine (Isaiah 2:11); but as the darkness is clearly figurative, so probably is the hunger--not a famine of bread, but of hearing the word of the Lord. The Authorised version rightly translates the indefinite singular by the plural.

When they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves.--The faithful who waited for the Lord might bear even that darkness and that hunger, as soldiers bear their night-march fasting before the battle. Not so with the panic-stricken and superstitious crowd. With them despair would show itself in curses. (Comp. Revelation 16:11; Revelation 16:21.) They would curse at once the king who had led them to destruction, and the God whom they had neglected. Possibly the words may mean, "the king who is also their God," as in Amos 5:26 (Heb.) and Zephaniah 1:5; but the analogy of 1Kings 21:13 is in favour of the more literal meaning. The "upward" look is, we must remember, that of despair and defiance, not of hope. Upwards, downwards, behind, before, there is nothing for them but the darkness in which they are driven, or drifting onward. All seems utterly hopeless. Like Dante, they find themselves in a land "where silent is the sun." . . .

Verses 21, 22 are supposed by some to be cut of place, and to belong properly to the description of the Assyrian invasion, given in vers. 7, 8. But this bold solution of a difficulty is scarcely to be commended, there being no limit to its use. An order followed in all the manuscripts should not be disturbed, if it gives any tolerable sense. Such a sense can, it is thought, be found here by regarding the two verses as exegetical of the last clause of ver. 20 - "when there is no dawn for them." Verse 21. - They shall pass through it. "It," which is feminine, must mean "the land." The Jews left in it shall wander about it (comp. Isaiah 7:21-25), seeking pasture for the remnant of their cattle. They shall fret themselves; rather, they shall be deeply angered (Cheyne). And curse their king and their God. As the causes of their sufferings. And look upward. Not in hope, but in rage and defiance.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
They will roam the land,
וְעָ֥בַר (wə·‘ā·ḇar)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5674: To pass over, through, or by, pass on

dejected
נִקְשֶׁ֣ה (niq·šeh)
Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 7185: To be hard, severe or fierce

and hungry.
וְרָעֵ֑ב (wə·rā·‘êḇ)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7457: Hungry

When
כִֽי־ (ḵî-)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

they are famished,
יִרְעַ֜ב (yir·‘aḇ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7456: To be hungry

they will become enraged,
וְהִתְקַצַּ֗ף (wə·hiṯ·qaṣ·ṣap̄)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hitpael - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7107: To crack off, burst out in rage

and looking
וּפָנָ֥ה (ū·p̄ā·nāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 6437: To turn, to face, appear, look

upward,
לְמָֽעְלָה׃ (lə·mā·‘ə·lāh)
Preposition-l | Adverb | third person feminine singular
Strong's 4605: The upper part, with prefix upward, above, overhead, from the top

they will curse
וְקִלֵּ֧ל (wə·qil·lêl)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7043: To be slight, swift or trifling

their king
בְּמַלְכּ֛וֹ (bə·mal·kōw)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 4428: A king

and their God.
וּבֵאלֹהָ֖יו (ū·ḇê·lō·hāw)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b | Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative


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OT Prophets: Isaiah 8:21 They will pass through it sore distressed (Isa Isi Is)
Isaiah 8:20
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