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Isaiah 8:16

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Among my disciples - בלמדי belimmudai . The Septuagint render it του μη μαθειν . Bishop Chandler, Defence of Christianity, p. 308, thinks they read מלמד , that it be not understood, and approves of this reading. - Abp. Secker.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Bind up - This expression is one that is applicable to a volume, or roll of writing. Thus far the prophet seems to have had the roll opened, which is mentioned in Isaiah 8:1. Now the prophecy is complete, and he directs to bind it up, or close it. Perhaps, also, it is implied that it would be useless any further to address a rebellious and headstrong people. He had delivered his message, but they disregarded it.

The testimony - The message; especially that of which Uriah and Zechariah had been called to bear witness, Isaiah 8:2. Any message from God is, however, sometimes called a testimony, as being that to which a prophet bears witness; Psalm 19:7; 2 Kings 11:12; Deuteronomy 4:45; Deuteronomy 6:17, Deuteronomy 6:20; 1 Kings 2:3; Nehemiah 9:34.

Seal - Books were made in the form of rolls, and were often sealed when completed - as we seal a letter. The mode of sealing them was not by wax only, but by uniting them by any adhesive matter, as paste, or glue. Wax in warm climates would be generally rendered useless by the heat. The meaning here is, to secure, to close up - perhaps by passing a cord or string around the volume, and making it secure, denoting that it was finished; see Daniel 8:26; Daniel 12:4.

The law - The communication or command which he had delivered, and which, being given by inspiration, had now the force of law.

Among my disciples - Most of the Jewish commentators suppose that the volume, when completed by a prophet, was given for safe keeping to his disciples, or to some employed to preserve it securely. The word disciples means those who are taught, and here means those who were taught by the prophet; perhaps the pious and holy part of the people who would listen to his instructions. The Chaldee translates this verse, ‹O prophet, preserve the testimony, lest ye testify to those who will not obey; seal and hide the law, because they will not learn it.‘

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The prophet challenges the enemies of the Jews. Their efforts would be vain, and themselves broken to pieces. It concerns us, in time of trouble, to watch against all such fears as put us upon crooked courses for our own security. The believing fear of God preserves against the disquieting fear of man. If we thought rightly of the greatness and glory of God, we should see all the power of our enemies restrained. The Lord, who will be a Sanctuary to those who trust in him, will be a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, to those who make the creature their fear and their hope. If the things of God be an offence to us, they will undo us. The apostle quotes this as to all who persisted in unbelief of the gospel of Christ, 1Pe 2:8. The crucified Emmanuel, who was and is a Stumbling-stone and Rock of offence to unbelieving Jews, is no less so to thousands who are called Christians. The preaching of the cross is foolishness in their esteem; his doctrines and precepts offend them.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 153

The words of Moses possess deep meaning. “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Leviticus 10:1-3. This has a lesson for all who are handling the matter that goes forth from our publishing institutions. Sacred things are not to be mingled with the common. The papers that have so wide a circulation should contain more precious instruction than appears in the ordinary publications of the day. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” Jeremiah 23:28. We want pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed. 7T 153.1

“The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.... Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.... To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:11-20. 7T 153.2

I call the attention of all our workers to the sixth chapter of Isaiah. Read the experience of God's prophet when he saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.... Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:1-8. 7T 153.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 463

“For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.... To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” The world is not to be our criterion. Let the Lord work, let the Lord's voice be heard. TM 463.1

Those employed in any department of the work whereby the world may be transformed, must not enter into alliance with those who know not the truth. The world know not the Father or the Son, and they have no spiritual discernment as to the character of our work, as to what we shall do or shall not do. We must obey the orders that come from above. We are not to hear the counsel or follow the plans suggested by unbelievers. Suggestions made by those who know not the work that God is doing for this time will be such as to weaken the power of the instrumentalities of God. By accepting such suggestions, the counsel of Christ is set at nought.... TM 463.2

The eye of the Lord is upon all the work, all the plans, all the imaginings of every mind; He sees beneath the surface of things, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not a deed of darkness, not a plan, not an imagination of the heart, not a thought of the mind, but that He reads it as an open book. Every act, every word, every motive, is faithfully chronicled in the records by the great Heart Searcher who said, “I know thy works.” TM 463.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 452

The Lord commands by the same prophet: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.” Isaiah 8:16. The seal of God's law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to reverence and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given. When the Sabbath was changed by the papal power, the seal was taken from the law. The disciples of Jesus are called upon to restore it by exalting the Sabbath of the fourth commandment to its rightful position as the Creator's memorial and the sign of His authority. GC 452.1

“To the law and to the testimony.” While conflicting doctrines and theories abound, the law of God is the one unerring rule by which all opinions, doctrines, and theories are to be tested. Says the prophet: “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Verse 20. GC 452.2

Again, the command is given: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” It is not the wicked world, but those whom the Lord designates as “my people,” that are to be reproved for their transgressions. He declares further: “Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God.” Isaiah 58:1, 2. Here is brought to view a class who think themselves righteous and appear to manifest great interest in the service of God; but the stern and solemn rebuke of the Searcher of hearts proves them to be trampling upon the divine precepts. GC 452.3

The prophet thus points out the ordinance which has been forsaken: “Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Verses 12-14. This prophecy also applies in our time. The breach was made in the law of God when the Sabbath was changed by the Roman power. But the time has come for that divine institution to be restored. The breach is to be repaired and the foundation of many generations to be raised up. GC 452.4

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 211.1

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Isaiah 8:16. Mar 211.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 389

The truth for this time is precious, but those whose hearts have not been broken by falling on the rock Christ Jesus, will not see and understand what is truth. They will accept that which pleases their ideas, and will begin to manufacture another foundation than that which is laid. They will flatter their own vanity and esteem, thinking that they are capable of removing the pillars of our faith, and replacing them with pillars they have devised. 2SM 389.1

This will continue to be as long as time shall last. Anyone who has been a close student of the Bible will see and understand the solemn position of those who are living in the closing scenes of this earth's history. They will feel their own inefficiency and weakness, and will make it their first business to have not merely a form of Godliness, but a vital connection with God. They will not dare to rest until Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. Self will die; pride will be expelled from the soul, and they will have the meekness and gentleness of Christ.—Manuscript 28, 1890. 2SM 389.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 332

The Lord designs that the light which He has given on the Scriptures shall shine forth in clear, bright rays; and it is the duty of our canvassers to put forth a strong, united effort that God's design may be accomplished. A great and important work is before us. The enemy of souls realizes this, and he is using every means in his power to lead the canvasser to take up some other line of work. This order of things should be changed. God calls the canvassers back to their work. He calls for volunteers who will put all their energies and enlightenment into the work, helping wherever there is opportunity. The Master calls for everyone to do the part given him according to his ability. Who will respond to the call? Who will go forth to labor in wisdom and grace and the love of Christ for those nigh and afar off? Who will sacrifice ease and pleasure, and enter the places of error, superstition, and darkness, working earnestly and perseveringly, speaking the truth in simplicity, praying in faith, doing house-to-house labor? Who at this time will go forth without the camp, imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, bearing reproach for Christ's sake, opening the Scriptures to the people, and calling them to repentance? 6T 332.1

God has His workmen in every age. The call of the hour is answered by the coming of the man. Thus when the divine Voice cries, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” the response will come, “Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8. Let all who labor effectually in the canvassing field feel in their hearts that they are doing the work of the Lord in ministering to souls who know not the truth for this time. They are sounding the note of warning in the highways and byways to prepare a people for the great day of the Lord, which is so soon to break upon the world. We have no time to lose. We must encourage this work. Who will go forth now with our publications? The Lord imparts a fitness for the work to every man and woman who will co-operate with divine power. All the requisite talent, courage, perseverance, faith, and tact will come as they put the armor on. A great work is to be done in our world, and human agencies will surely respond to the demand. The world must hear the warning. When the call comes, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” send back the answer clear and distinct, “Here am I; send me.” 6T 332.2

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