Isaiah 40:13

13 Who can fathom the Spirit[a] of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?

Isaiah 40:13 in Other Translations

13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
13 Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel?
13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD ? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
13 Who could ever have told God what to do or taught him his business?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who gave Him His counsel?

Isaiah 40:13 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 40:13

Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord
In the creation of all things, in garnishing the heavens, and moving upon the face of the waters? not anyone, angel or man; there were none with him, nor did he need any to guide and direct him what to do F19: or being his counsellor, hath taught him?
or, "the man of his counsel {t}"; there was no other than the Wonderful Counsellor, the Angel of the great council, the essential Word of God, whose spirit is here spoken of.


F19 The Targum is, "who hath directed the Holy Spirit in the mouth of all the prophets? is it not the Lord?" which agrees with the accents; for so according to them the words should be rendered "who hath directed the Spirit? the Lord"; so Reinbeck, de Accent. Heb. p. 418. and who renders the next clause, and he hath made the man of his counsel (Moses) to know that.
F20 (wtue vya) "vir a consiliis", Junius & Tremellius Piscator.

Isaiah 40:13 In-Context

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 42:1
  • 2. S Job 15:8; Romans 11:34*; 1 Corinthians 2:16*

Footnotes 1