Isaiah 55:8-11

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

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Isaiah 55:8 in Other Translations

KJV
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
ESV
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
NLT
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
MSG
8 "I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree.
CSB
8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration.

Isaiah 55:8-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 55

As the two preceding chapters are prophecies of Christ and his church, this treats of his word and ordinances, and of the nature, use, and efficacy of them. It begins with an invitation of thirsty souls to them, Isa 55:1, an expostulation with them for taking wrong methods, and a dissuasive from them, Isa 55:2, which is followed with an exhortation to hear the word of Christ, attend on his ordinances; to which they are encouraged with promises of life and covenant blessings, Isa 55:2,3. Christ is prophesied of in his offices; and the conversion of the Gentiles to him is foretold, Isa 55:4,5, men are called upon to seek the Lord, where and while he might be found; and both wicked and unrighteous persons, forsaking their ways and thoughts, are encouraged to turn to the Lord, in hopes of pardon, and in consideration of his ways and thoughts not being like theirs, Isa 55:6-9, the nature and efficacy of the word of God are expressed and illustrated by the similes of rain and snow, Isa 55:10,11, and the conversion of the Lord's people, in consequence of the word being made effectual, is predicted, the issue of which is the glory of God, Isa 55:12,13.

Isaiah 55:8-11 In-Context

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”

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Cross References 11

  • 1. Philippians 2:5; Philippians 4:8
  • 2. Isaiah 53:6; Micah 4:12
  • 3. S Job 11:8; Psalms 103:11
  • 4. S Numbers 23:19; S Isaiah 40:13-14
  • 5. Isaiah 30:23
  • 6. S Leviticus 25:19; S Job 14:9; S Psalms 67:6
  • 7. S Genesis 47:23
  • 8. 2 Corinthians 9:10
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 32:2; John 1:1
  • 10. Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 45:23; S Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 4:12
  • 11. S Proverbs 19:21; S Isaiah 44:26; Ezekiel 12:25
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