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
CommentaryClarke'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
light. Heb. morning
LibraryShiloah 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.
The Universality of Actual Grace
Jesus' Temporary Residence at Capernaum.
"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
Bind up this testimony of warning and seal up God's instruction among my disciples.
Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
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.'
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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