Isaiah 3:3

3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.

Isaiah 3:3 in Other Translations

3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms.
3 army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.
3 captains and generals, doctors and nurses, and, yes, even the repairmen and jacks-of-all-trades.
3 the commander of 50 and the dignitary, the counselor, cunning magician, and necromancer.

Isaiah 3:3 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 3:3

The captain of fifty
A semi-centurion, such an one as in ( 2 Kings 1:9-13 ) . So far should there be from being captains of thousands, and of hundreds, that there should not be one of fifty: and the honourable man;
by birth, breeding, and behaviour, through riches and greatness; and one of power and authority among the people, and in their favour and esteem: and the counsellor;
one able to give advice in matters of moment and difficulty, and in controversy between man and man; it suggests that nothing should be done with advice and counsel, with wisdom and discretion, but all tumult and sedition, as the history of these times shows: the Jews F2 interpret this of one that knows how to intercalate years, and fix the months: and the cunning artificer:
in any kind of metal, old, silver, brass, and iron, and in any sort of wood, and in any kind of manual and mechanical business; which would now be laid aside, shops shuts up, and all trade and business neglected and discouraged, occasioned partly by the siege without, and chiefly by their internal divisions and robberies, and by their zealots and cutthroats, which swarmed among them. The Septuagint render it, "the wise architect", or "masterbuilder"; the same word is used by the apostle in ( 1 Corinthians 3:10 ) : and the eloquent orator;
who has the tongue of the learned, and can speak a word in season to the distressed; or who is able to plead at the bar the cause of the injured and oppressed, the widow and the fatherless. Aben Ezra interprets it of one that is skilful in enchanting serpents; that charms wisely, as in ( Psalms 58:5 ) it may be rendered, "one that understands enchantment" F3: with the Septuagint it is a "prudent hearer"; sad is the case of a nation when men of so much usefulness are taken away from them. See ( 2 Kings 24:15 ) .


F2 T. Bab. Chagiga & Jarchi, ut supra. (fol. 14. 1. Jarchi in loc.)
F3 (vxl Nwbn) "intelligentem incantationis", Vatablus.

Isaiah 3:3 In-Context

1 See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water,
2 the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder,
3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
4 “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.”
5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S 2 Kings 1:9
  • 2. S Job 22:8
  • 3. 2 Kings 24:14
  • 4. S Ecclesiastes 10:11; Jeremiah 8:17