Isaiah 8:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Consult God's instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of 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.

Darby Bible Translation
To the law and the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, for them there is no daybreak.

World English Bible
Turn to the law and to the testimony! If they don't speak according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.

Young's Literal Translation
To the law and to the testimony! If not, let them say after this manner, 'That there is no dawn to it.'

Isaiah 8:20 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

To the law and to the testimony "Unto the command, and unto the testimony" - "Is not תעודה teudah here the attested prophecy, Isaiah 8:1-4? and perhaps תורה torah the command, Isaiah 8:11-15? for it means sometimes a particular, and even a human, command; see Proverbs 6:20, and Proverbs 7:1, Proverbs 7:2, where it is ordered to be hid, that is, secretly kept." - Abp. Secker. So Deschamps, in his translation, or rather paraphrase, understands it: "Tenons nous a l'instrument authentique mis en depot par ordre du Seigneur," "Let us stick to the authentic instrument, laid up by the command of the Lord." If this be right, the sixteenth verse must be understood in the same manner.

Because there is no light in them "In which there is no obscurity" - שחר shachor, as an adjective, frequently signifies dark, obscure; and the noun שחר shachar signifies darkness, gloominess, Joel 2:2, if we may judge by the context: -

"A day of darkness and obscurity;

Of cloud, and of thick vapor;

As the gloom spread upon the mountains:

A people mighty and numerous."

Where the gloom, שחר shachar, seems to be the same with the cloud and thick vapor mentioned in the line preceding. See Lamentations 4:8, and Job 30:30. See this meaning of the word שחר shachar well supported in Christ. Muller. Sat. Observat. Philippians p. 53, Lugd. Bat. 1752. The morning seems to have been an idea wholly incongruous in the passage of Joel; and in this of Isaiah the words in which there is no morning (for so it ought to be rendered if שחר shachar in this place signifies, according to its usual sense, morning) seem to give no meaning at all. "It is because there is no light in them," says our translation. If there be any sense in these words, it is not the sense of the original; which cannot justly be so translated. Qui n'a rien d'obscur, "which has no obscurity." - Deschamps. The reading of the Septuagint and Syriac, שחד shochad, gift, affords no assistance towards the clearing up of any of this difficult place. R. D. Kimchi says this was the form of an oath: "By the law and by the testimony such and such things are so." Now if they had sworn this falsely, it is because there is no light, no illumination, שחר shachar, no scruple of conscience, in them.

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...

Library
Shiloah and Euphrates
Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly ... the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many.' ISAIAH viii. 6, 7. The kingdom of Judah was threatened with a great danger in an alliance between Israel and Damascus. The cowardly King Ahaz, instead of listening to Isaiah's strong assurances and relying on the help of God, made what he thought a master-stroke of policy in invoking the help of the formidable Assyrian power. That ambitious military
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Prefatory Scripture Passages.
To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.-- Isa. viii. 20. Thus saith the Lord; Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.--Jer. vi. 16. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Universality of Actual Grace
The gratuity of grace does not conflict with its universality. Though God distributes His graces freely, He grants them to all men without exception, because He wills all to be saved. This divine "will to save" (voluntas Dei salvifica) may be regarded in relation either to the wayfaring state or to the status termini. Regarded from the first-mentioned point of view it is a merciful will (voluntas misericordiae) and is generally called first or antecedent will (voluntas prima s. antecedens)
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Jesus' Temporary Residence at Capernaum.
^A Matt. IV. 13-16. ^a 13 And leaving Nazareth [This expression means that Jesus now ceased to make Nazareth his home. For description of Nazareth, see page 60], he came and dwelt in Capernaum [See page 119. Capernaum means city of Nahum, or village of consolation. Its modern name, "Tel-Hum," means hill of Nahum. The word "dwelt" means that Jesus made this town his headquarters. He owned no house there (Matt. viii. 20). He may have dwelt with some of his disciples--for instance, Simon Peter--Matt.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Luke 16:29
"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

Psalm 78:5
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,

Isaiah 1:10
Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

Isaiah 8:16
Bind up this testimony of warning and seal up God's instruction among my disciples.

Isaiah 8:22
Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.

Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Micah 3:6
Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them.

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