New American Standard Bible
"Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron sinew And your forehead bronze,
King James Bible
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
Darby Bible Translation
Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass,
World English Bible
Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass;
Young's Literal Translation
From my knowing that thou art obstinate, And a sinew of iron thy neck, And thy forehead brass,
Isaiah 48:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Because I knew that thou art obstinate - I made these frequent predictions, and fulfilled them in this striking manner, because I knew that as a people, you were prone to unbelief, and in order that you might have the most full and undoubted demonstration of the truth of what was declared. As they were disinclined to credit his promises, and as he saw that in their long captivity they would be prone to disbelieve what he had said respecting their deliverance under Cyrus, he had, therefore, given them these numerous evidences of the certainty of the fulfillment of all his prophecies, in order that their minds might credit what he said about their return to their own land.
That thou art obstinate - Margin, as Hebrew, 'Hard,' The sense is, that they were obstinate and intractable - an expression probably taken from a bullock which refuses to receive the yoke. The word hard, as expressive of obstinacy, is often combined with others. Thus, in Exodus 32:9; Exodus 34:9, 'hard of neck,' that is, stiff-necked, stubborn; 'hard of face' Ezekiel 2:4; 'hard of heart' Ezekiel 3:7. The idea is, that they were, as a people, obstinate, rebellious, and indisposed to submit to the laws of God - a charge which is often brought against them by the sacred writers, and which is abundantly verified by all their history as a people (compare Exodus 32:9; Exodus 33:3-5; Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6-13; Deuteronomy 31:27; 2 Chronicles 30:8; Ezekiel 2:4; Acts 7:51).
Thy neck is an iron sinew - The word גיד giyd means properly a cord, thong, or band; then a nerve, sinew, muscle, or tendon. The metaphor is taken from oxen when they make their neck stiff, and refuse to submit it to the yoke.
And thy brow brass - Thy forehead is hard and insensible as brass. The phrase is applied to the shameless brow of a harloi Jeremiah 3:3; Ezekiel 3:7, where there is an utter want of modesty, and consummate impudence. A brow of brass is an image of insensibility, or obstinacy (so in Jeremiah 6:28).
LibraryMercy's Master Motive
We shall now use the text as an illustration of divine love in other cases, for from one deed of grace we may learn all. As God dealt with his people Israel after the flesh, in the same manner he dealeth with his people Israel after the spirit; and his mercies towards his saints are to be seen as in a mirror in his wondrous lovingkindness towards the seed of Abraham. I shall take the text to illustrate--first, the conversion of the sinner; and secondly, the reclaiming of the backslider; and I pray, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 18: 1872
After the Scripture.
"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
The LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.
"For I know your rebellion and your stubbornness; behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD; how much more, then, after my death?
2 Chronicles 36:13
He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. But he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel.
A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
"Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, Who are far from righteousness.
"I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.'
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