Isaiah 8:11-13

11 This is what the LORD says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:
12 “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.

Isaiah 8:11-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 8

This chapter contains a confirmation of the sudden destruction of the kingdoms of Syria and Israel, by another sign; a threatening to those that gloried in the kings of those nations, with an invasion of their land by the Assyrian monarch; a sarcastic address to those that joined in confederacy against Judah; some directions and instructions to the people of God; and some prophecies concerning the Messiah, and the miserable estate of the Jews, that should reject him and his Gospel. The sign given is a son of the Prophet Isaiah, whom his wife conceived and bore, and whose name was written with a man's pen, Mahershalalhashbaz, of which there were witnesses, whose names are mentioned; and it is predicted, that before this child should have knowledge to call his father and mother, Damascus and Samaria, the chief cities of Syria and Israel, would be taken and spoiled by the king of Assyria, Isa 8:1-4 who would invade, the land of Israel, and even pass through the land of Judah, as a chastisement not only of the Israelites that rejoiced in Rezin and Remaliah's son, the kings of Syria and Israel; but also of those Jews who chose to be under them, or neglected the promise of God, and applied to Assyria for help, Isa 8:5-8 and then both the people of Israel and of Syria are addressed, in a sarcastic way, to associate and take counsel together, when they should be broke to pieces, and their counsel come to nought, Isa 8:9,10 and the prophet being instructed by the Lord how to behave among the people of the Jews, advises them not to join with them whose cry was a confederacy with Assyria, nor to be afraid of the two kings that were come up against them, but to sanctify the Lord of hosts, and trust in him, and make him the object of their fear and dread, Isa 8:11-13 which is enforced from the consideration of what the Lord, who is no other than the Messiah, would be, both to his own people, and to his enemies; to the one a sanctuary, and to the other a stone of stumbling, a rock of offence, a trap, and a snare, Isa 8:14,15 then follows an instruction to the prophet to take care of the Gospel of Christ, and communicate it to his disciples, Isa 8:16 upon which the prophet determines to keep waiting and looking for his coming, who at present was hidden from the people of God, Isa 8:17 wherefore the Messiah is introduced, as presenting himself and his children to the prophet's view, which would be for signs and wonders in Israel, gazed at and reproached, Isa 8:18 and then the folly and vanity of seeking counsel of the Scribes and Pharisees, when Christ should be come in the flesh, is exposed; whose Gospel should be attended to, and not those dark and blind guides, Isa 8:19,20 and the chapter is concluded with the wretched condition of the Jews that called Jesus accursed; they should pass through the land, and find no food; and look into it, and see nothing but darkness and misery, Isa 8:21,22.

Isaiah 8:11-13 In-Context

9 Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered! Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Prepare for battle, and be shattered!
10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.
11 This is what the LORD says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:
12 “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.
14 He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.”

Cross References 8

  • 1. Ezekiel 1:3; Ezekiel 3:14
  • 2. Ezekiel 2:8
  • 3. Isaiah 7:2; Isaiah 20:5; Isaiah 30:1; Isaiah 36:6
  • 4. S Isaiah 7:4; Matthew 10:28
  • 5. 1 Peter 3:14*
  • 6. S Numbers 20:12
  • 7. S Exodus 20:20
  • 8. Isaiah 29:23